Beat the Bloat Berry Smoothie

Bloating sucks! It’s a really uncomfortable feeling, so I like to get rid of it ASAP! My secret weapon: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! I drink a tablespoon of it a day, either right when I wake up or about a half hour before I go to bed. But I also like to put a big splash in my midmorning or lunchtime smoothie.

I do like to drink this smoothie a couple times a week, it’s refreshing, and I do find it helps with the bloat. If I’m making this after a workout, I like to add a scoop of protein powder.IMG_3999.JPG

Ingredients

8 ounces of liquid (I like to do half water/half coconut milk)

1/2 avocado

1 banana

1/2 cup of frozen berries

1 tablespoon hemp heart seeds

1 tablespoon ground flax meal

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Optional: a tablespoon of nut butter/a scoop of your favorite protein powder

Method

In your food processor, blend until smooth! You might need to add a little more water as you go! I like to put my smoothies in a bowl, so I like when smoothies have more of a sorbet/ice cream texture.

 

 

 

 

High Protein Cookie Sandwiches

These are really rich, but packed with the good stuff to recovery after a workout! The Cashew Buttercream was just what these cookies needed, as they’re very much a dense cookie otherwise.

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Ingredients

Protein Cookies

1 cup of nut butter (I mixed half a cup of Tahini and half a cup of Almond)

2 scoops of your favorite Chocolate protein powder

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 large egg OR use flax egg*

Optional-walnuts or chocolate chips

Cashew Buttercream

1 cup of cashews*

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

 

Method

*Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes in a bowl of water.

*To make a flax egg: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit for 10 minutes

To make the Cookies: Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, stir together the protein powder and cocoa powder. Mix in the nut butter until no trace of powders. Then add in the egg, mix well. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. It will look just like cookie dough, but the texture will be a but more stiff. Roll dough into balls(about a tablespoon or two) and gently press/flatten down when you place on trays(you can use a fork to make the criss cross pattern). Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cashew Buttercream: After soaking the cashews in water, put them, along with vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor. Blend until smooth–be sure to scrape the bowl while blitzing to get all of it smooth!

 

 

Cottage Cheese Banana Split

IMG_4213.JPGBack away from the freezer and go for this Banana Split instead! It’s a healthy alternative, and this makes for a great pre or post workout. And SO easy and quick(I’m talking seconds here!)! This is MUCH more tart than the classic ice cream split, so feel free to drizzle some extra honey or maple syrup over the top.

Ingredients:

1/ 2 cup of Cottage Cheese

Teaspoon of vanilla

2 teaspoons of honey

1 banana

A couple of walnuts

A couple of mixed berries

Dark chocolate chips

Coconut chips

Method:

Slice the banana in half length wise. Place on a plate. In a blender, put the Cottage Cheese, vanilla and honey. Blitz the Cottage Cheese until smooth. Scoop the Cottage Cheese on top of the banana. Add your toppings and devour guilt-free!

 

Vanilla Cookie Protein Balls

I was starting to make my Guilt Free Truffles, when I decided to omit the cacao. Two big thumbs up for this vanilla variation! Since hiring a trainer, it’s made me realize how important it is to fuel our bodies with the right foods. Getting enough protein has really helped my body recover quickly after workout sessions. I’ll be snacking on these before and after my upcoming workouts for the next couple of days! I’ve added some flavor variations down below!

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Ingredients:

14 dates pitted (Medjool)

1 cup of cashews

1/2 cup walnuts

2 heaped tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Method:

Soak the dates in warm water for about 20 minutes. Then drain the dates, and put in your food processor. Pulse until smooth. Take out the pulsed dates, and add your cashews and walnuts to the food processor. Pulse until fine. Add the dates back into the processor, along with the almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blitz until everything comes together like a dough. Put the ‘dough’ in the freezer for AT LEAST  15 minutes to firm it up. Then take it out and shape into balls and/or bars! Put them back in the freezer, and take out about a half hour before eating to thaw.

*Add a pinch of cinnamon for a Snickerdoodle flavor (at the same time as the vanilla and sea salt)

*Fold chocolate chips into the dough (or melt chocolate and pour over them!)

*Add oatmeal and top with cranberries or goji berries for a classic oatmeal cookie flavor

 

 

How-to: Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

Reese’s Cups HAVE to be one of my favorite chocolates. Here’s a quick little ‘How-to’, to make your very own chocolate cups. It’s messy, and you won’t want to stop licking the bowl, and the result is better than store bought!

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You can play around with the quantity of chocolate and nut butter, as I eyeballed the amount of chocolate chips. I used medium cupcake papers, feel free use the mini ones if they’re on hand, and freeze in a muffin tin to better hold the shape. You can use any nut butter you have in your cupboard, and you can omit the sea salt-but it does add that extra something!

You’ll need (*makes three medium cups):

Roughly two and half handfuls of dark chocolate chips

Tablespoon coconut oil

Three-four heaped tablespoons nut butter (I used almond, but cashew would taste great!)

Pinch of sea salt

Method:

  1. Line the muffin tin with the papers.
  2. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil until smooth (this can be done in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water in a medium pan)
  3. Pour about tablespoon of the melted chocolate into the paper holders, and stick in the freezer just to set. Keep some chocolate to the side, and keep stirring so it doesn’t get hard.
  4. Once set pour a tablespoon of nut butter on top, followed by the rest of the dark chocolate. Follow with tiny drop of the nut butter, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  5. Set in the freezer, and keep chilled until ready to eat.

Crush these into ice cream, eat them as are, OR add a teaspoon of raspberry chia jam if you love PB&J combo!

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!

 

How-to: Whipped Ricotta Two Ways

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Fancy toasts have been on blogs, in cafes, and pictured on Insta for quite some time. Personally I can’t get enough avocado toasts-smashed avocado with a good sprinkle of chili flakes and squeeze of lemon juice. Another variation of these faWncy(pish-posh accent) toasts is using ricotta cheese. It’s my go-to snack as of lately. Sweet or savory, you’ll be making these for yourself for breakfast or lunch on the go, or for the wee ones after school.

I use the Sweet Ricotta on toast or pancakes! I use the Savory mix on toast, bagels, crostini, even as a dip for carrot and celery sticks!

For the photo pictured, I used Irish Soda Bread(my go-to recipe is the one I learned at Ballymaloe!), Irish honey, and wild blackberries that I foraged down in West Cork.

Here is my quick ‘How-to’ for Whipped Ricotta:

 

Ingredients:

All you need is about a cup of ricotta cheese

 

For Sweet Ricotta:

A teaspoon of vanilla (I like to also scrape a tiny bit of the beans out of the pod to add an extra punch of flavor)

Drizzle of honey, agave nectar

Toppings: Berries, coconut shavings, or almond slivers

 

For Savory Ricotta:

A teaspoon of lemon juice

A teaspoon of thyme leaves (dried is totally fine, but fresh is that bit nicer!)

Sea salt and pepper

Toppings: Tomatoes, green olives, smoked salmon

 

What to do:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the ricotta until fluffy (just about 4-5 minutes). Remove the bowl from mixer and add either your Sweet or Savory ingredients.

It’s that easy! And there are so many ways to mix up the flavors. I even sometimes smash berries into the Sweet Mix, it creates a cool color effect.

 

Enjoy!

Paleo Dutch Baby

Dutch Dutch Baby!

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I had one of my pancake cravings this morning, but was also feeling a little bit lazy. This is just a simple recipe, which I’m sorta feeling this week, after a couple of days…well more like, weeks…of indulgent eating between it being the Regatta Festival in West Cork, my birthday, and taste testing for the eBook. I would also consider this on the healthier side, using all natural fresh ingredients. I see my blog’s recipes taking a healthier, cleaner route,  and my eBook certainly reflects that!

This is definitely a great recipe idea for a brunch with family and friends, served sliced and alongside coffee mimosas and you are pretty much guaranteed a good morning. The little amount of washing up is an added bonus! It’s another recipe of mine that is a great easy go-to.

Paleo Dutch Baby:

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heaping tablespoon of coconut oil

Small handful of berries

Method:

Preheat oven to about 220C. In a medium frying pan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat. While it’s melting, beat the eggs then add the other ingredients. Pour into pan, and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle on a couple of berries, and cook for another 3 minutes. It’ll look pale, and almost like it’s curdling. Then pop it in the oven for another 5-6 minutes, and cook through.

Serve with a splash of maple syrup, berries, coconut slivers, or yogurt!

Spicy Prawn Salad

Sun’s out in Dublin, and it’s beautiful! Such a change from yesterday. Maybe you’re hosting or going to one last summer BBQ? Or just don’t feel like cooking a massive meal?

This is a super quick and easy salad recipe, but there is a lot of flavor. It’s a colorful and bright dish, but the marinade really steals the show! It’s a good go-to for get togethers. Although it’s only August, this would make for a great, and very refreshing, starter at Christmas time.

The prawns are from Castletownbere, where the seafood is unreal. If you ever find yourself in West Cork, picking up some seafood is a must! Top chefs all over Ireland use, and give high praise to, West Cork’s seafood.

I made this Spicy Prawn Salad at my cooking demo earlier this month, and it was such a hit! Thanks again for those who came out.

 

CARMEL’S SPICY PRAWN SALAD

Serves 5-6

 

INGREDIENTS:

6 ears of fresh corn

1 lb cooked prawns

10 ounces cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

 

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ cup tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

sprinkle of chili flakes

 

2 tablespoons parsley

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons white vinegar

salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

Marinade the prawns for at least 45 minutes(the longer the better!). Marinade is: olive oil, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic and chili flakes. While marinating the prawns, cook the corn. Place the corn in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, then drain and rinse. Set aside to cool. Whisk together parsley, lime juice, vinegar and salt and pepper. Put corn, prawns, tomatoes, and bell pepper in bowl. Pour the parsley dressing over. Serve alongside BBQ and enjoy!

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AVAILABLE NOW, my EBook!

I’m so excited! My recipe EBook is available now!!

It’s full of my most popular recipes from my blog, as well as two exclusive recipes just for the EBook. All the recipes are more from my ‘Saintly’ category.

It was challenging at times, but I love a challenge. It also made me tweak current recipes, tasting and testing my skills even more.

This will be the first of several!

Purchase here:

https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Easy-Cookin-Carmel-Recipes-ebook/dp/B01KG4VN6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471868893&sr=8-1&keywords=Quick+and+Easy+Cookin%27+with+Carmel

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