Chia Cranberry Vanilla Bars

Protein Bars, I can never have enough around! Whenever I get the chance, I like to make them at home. This way, I can see what exactly goes into them!

They’re packed with flavor, have no added sugars(well besides a little maple syrup), and they’re pretty filling. I’ve been eating them before I teach, or after I take a class and they tie me over until the next meal.

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Chia Cranberry Vanilla Protein Bars

Ingredients

1 scoop IdealFit Vanilla Protein Powder

1 tablespoon IdealFit Peanut Butter Powder

1 cup oats

1/2 cup cashews

3 tablespoons chia seeds

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup*

2 teaspoons almond butter

6-7 tablespoons of almond milk**

handful of dried cranberries

*see below

Method

In a food processor, blitz oats until fine. Add in the cashews and blitz. Then ad the rest of your ingredients, EXCEPT the almond milk. You will add this little by little, while blitzing and scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the mixture comes together like cookie dough. Scoop the dough out of the food processor and into a mixing bowl. Fold in cranberries.

Press the dough into a square dish (either your usual brownie one, a bread tin, or a tubberware). Chill in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Slice into whatever size you desire, and enjoy!

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*You can add more maple syrup if you like your bars more sweet

**Start with minimal amount of almond milk and add as you go, so start with only 5 to 6 tablespoons. You might need more than 8 tablespoons, just add slowly until dough comes together.

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Healthy No Bake Red Velvet Cookies

Last week I gave a food demo, my second one, at the San Francisco Public Library. It was a Valentine’s Day themed demo, with “Heart Smart Treats”.  I took classic desserts and put a healthy spin on them. Each dessert is packed with nutritional value including protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. You could pretty much eat each for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

The first dessert was a tofu based Cheesecake. Dish number two was a beet based No Bake Red Velvet Cookie Dough. And lastly, an avocado based Chocolate Mousse. I am going to split the desserts up into three blog posts.

The first one I’m sharing is No Bake Healthy Red Velvet Cookie Dough! I ditched process sugar, flour and food coloring to give you this good for you doughp dough! Beets are a great source of antioxidants, potassium(essential for nerve and muscle function), an anti-inflammatory, and so much more.

Ingredients:unnamed-8

1 beet (*see below)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups oat flour (*see below)

3 tbsp coconut/almond flour

Method:

  1. Roast the beets, no oil, no seasoning. (So there is a little oven use, but if you do this on a meal prep day, you can roast a couple of beets and use throughout the week in salads/other main dishes!)
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. When the beet is done, let cool. Add to the food processor with about 2-3 tablespoons of water, and puree until smooth.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and ONLY HAlF A CUP of the beet puree!
  4. Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix with a wooden spoon(or use your hands and get a bit dirty!) until throughly mixed until it is the consistency of cookie dough. You can also do this step in the food processor!
  5. On a sheet of parchment, roll dough out to 1/4 inch. Using cookie cutters, make different shapes!

*Slowly add more than the half of a cup of beet puree for a raw cookie dough texture

** Slowly add more than the 2 cups of oat flour for more of a shortbread texture

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Saintly Layered Reese’s Tart

A year ago you would have found me eating bars of chocolate like Cadbury’s or Hershey’s  was going out of business! I ate out of stress, boredom, and portion control didn’t even cross my mind. My weakness was a big bag of Galaxy Minstrels(yikes!) or a tray of three Reese’s(yikes, again!) and Barry’s Tea at the end of the day. While I still have a sweet tooth, I like to experiment with ways chocolates and sweets can BENEFIT you. And making sweet treats at home allows me to omit sugars and use raw/all natural ingredients.

This Reese’s Tart came A LOT of Date Caramel that I used in a quick snack: Date Caramel Apple Nachos.

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Ingredients

1 cup mixed almonds and cashews

1 cup Date Caramel

1/2 cup mixed walnuts and almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup dark chocolate

Method

Line an 8 inch round baking tin with parchment paper or plastic wrap(the paper or plastic wrap just makes it easier to remove and slice).

In a food processor, add the one cup of almonds and cashews. Pulse until VERY fine. Press into the bottom of the tin. Pop it into the freezer to set for about 7-10 minutes.

Pour Date Caramel evenly over the base, and smooth out. Sprinkle on the roughly chopped walnuts and almonds. Pop it into the freezer for a second time. for a couple of minutes

While the tart is setting, melt the chocolate! You can do whatever is easier: microwave or stovetop. Make sure it totally melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the tart, and yep, pop it back into the freezer for about 12-15 minutes or until chocolate is just a little hard.

Slice it up and serve it!

 

 

 

 

 

Saintly Rocky Road

I am back in San Francisco (for a little while) after living in Ireland for the good part of just about three years! I hummed and hah-ed about moving home, but now that I’m here I am so happy I packed up and moved back! I’m excited to try all the cafes and restaurants I’ve been craving as well as reading about-pretty spoiled for choice here in SF. I am also just so happy to spend time with family and friends.

Rocky Road is a pretty popular treat in Ireland. I had the duty of making about four slabs daily at a bakery I worked in– up to triple that amount during the holiday season! When it’s made with dark chocolate, it’s really dreamy.

Below I am sharing a cleaner alternative to the traditional Rocky Road: it’s sugar free and vegan friendly. There’s also no baking/ melting chocolate involved with this recipe, all you need is a trusty food processor or blender.

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Carmel’s Saintly Rocky Road

Ingredients

14 dates

Small handful of almonds

Half a cup of your choice of nut butter

Teaspoon of vanilla extract

A couple of drops of water

2 heaped tablespoons cacao powder

Method

Soak the dates and almonds in a bowl of warm water for about a half hour. Then blitz all ingredients together, but NOT until it’s completely smooth. The dates act as the marshmallows, and the almonds act as the hard m&m candies or malt balls typical used. Line a bread tin with parchment paper and press mixture into it. Before pressing it into the bread tin, or casserole dish, you can fold in dried fruits or even more nuts if you fancy. Freeze for about two hours, or even better, overnight.

Keep in the freezer for a more firm texture! If left in the fridge it gets more soft fudge, which would actually be a great sauce for ice cream when warmed up!

Keeps for about a week in Tupperware.

Easy and guilt free treat!