chocolate breakfast shake (high fibre, vegan*)

 

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easy, peasy, and you can prepare the base for many of them all at once.

um, yes please.

I personally really enjoy smoothies and sometimes I think a drink is more refreshing than food, but I also sometimes want a milkshake and soz but that ain’t so healthy. I also think ice cream ain’t all its made out to be sometimes? Just me?

Anyway currently I’ve really been focusing on fibre because, well, I really need fibre despite my love for fruit and veg. This basically means I’ve recently attempted to make everything I consume have more fibre than usual and in my attempts, this beautiful shake came to be.

Usually I just make the ice cubes with the first 2 ingredients but yesterday I realised I could basically just blend everything aside from a few things in advance! yay! Althoughhh, if you want to customise your flavours, then just blending the milk and banana/yoghurt is fine.

Basically here you go. Try it. Enjoy it, or don’t but i really hope you do

chocolate breakfast shake

serves: 1
Ingredients:
60ml/ 1/4cup milk of choice
1/2 banana + 2T greek yoghurt*
15g/2T cocoa
1T wheat bran
pinch of salt
3-4 dates, soaked if necessary (1-2 if medjool)
180ml/ 3/4cup milk of choice

optional:
1T nut butter/coconut oil (for richness, 2T for flavour)
1T chia seeds (even more fibre, keeps shake thicker for longer)

*you can just use a whole banana to keep this vegan, but i’m not and tbh i don’t like the taste of banana, however it does lend a certain silkiness and creaminess, and so by using a little yoghurt i can mask the banana taste and still have the benefits. if you are vegan and don’t like banana, maybe use a vegan yoghurt?

Method:
in a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients except the last 2 until smooth.
pour liquid into an ice cube tray (1 standard should suffice) and freeze until solid.
once frozen, pop out cubes into your blending contraption again and top off with the soaked dates and more milk, also your optional ingredients if using.
blend till smooth, pour in a glass, cup, jar, bottle, anything – and enjoy!

chia bran waffles (high fibre)

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You know it’s almost time for back to school? For those of you done with all that I suppose that’s not something to worry about and for that i envy you. I wish I could take the mindset of my mum who loved school back when she was rifling through what I like to call the struggle, however that is certainly not the case. I don’t actually understand her when she talks about how much she liked it – its really like a foreign language. Not to say that I don’t see the importance, but – just to throw in a little cheese for this post – I suppose you’ll never see the rainbow without a little rain. The rainbow being success of course which I do hope will come at the end of it.

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My rant/worries put aside, I’d also like to say that I’ve always understood the importance of a good breakfast, but alas I did go through that stage many a girl goes through where they feel like skipping breakfast is okay. I know sometimes eating first thing in the morning is awful, but me, I’d much rather power through than be paranoid the person next to me thought I farted when in fact my stomach grumbled so loud it could have been revving a bloody engine.

Only 3 times once.

And so I understand the importance of a good breakfast now – it gives you energy for the day, keeps your metabolism up and keeps at bay any awkward hunger pangs. Now, not all of us have the time for waffles every morning (I definitely don’t, I value sleep over food in the morning any day), but on a day with extra time – or on a weekend – this is perfect. A great treat that’s filling, nutritious and high in fibre because i gotta say it’s likely you don’t get enough of it.

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I know, I’m very considerate.

Chia Bran Waffles

Makes: 2 waffles        Nutritional: 340kcal, 10g fat, 14g protein, 4g sugar, 8g fibre

Ingredients:

50g plain flour
1T wheat bran (heaped)
1/2T chia seeds
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2T coconut oil (or other)
1 egg white (or whole)
80ml milk of choice
* you can use 1T sweetener (of choice) here but i find sweet toppings mean no need

Method:

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until frothy
Mix the milk into the dry ingredients little by little.
Melt the coconut oil if using and stir this through too.
Gently fold in the egg white, to keep in some air.
Cook the waffles in a waffle iron according to your irons instructions, or alternatively, make into pancakes.
Top with syrup, fruit, whatever you please (chopped dates and a little honey is soooo goood)

Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese

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um, yum.

Carbs surrounding carbs with carbs on top? Yes, I do realise. Am I sorry though? No. Will I make it again? Yes. Should I make it again? Debatable.

Cheesy, gooey, crunchy, sweet? Sweet potato my friend, is so, so welcome in this recipe.

This was absolutely delicious. Not the best health-wise, but there has been far worse than a simple portion of good ‘ol macaroni cheese. And I mean, if your watching your fat intake, this isn’t too shabby seeing as I used less cheese (than some) due to the input of the fab sweet potato.

It’s basically healthy. That’s also what I tell myself when I drink my Pepsi Max through a straw.

see: broccoli in background.

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Sweet Potato Macaroni Cheese

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

300g sweet potato (1 large)
15g/2T plain flour
15g/1T butter
240ml/1 cup milk (i use 2%)
100g/3.5oz cheddar, grated
320g/11oz/4 servings of pasta (i used conchiglie)
breadcrumbs (preferably of the herb-y kind)
salt, pepper & paprika

Method:

Cook your sweet potato; whether that means baking it and removing the flesh, peeling and boiling/steaming or microwaving it. You should be left with the flesh of what was originally roughly 300g of raw sweet potato. The flesh should then be mashed.
Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 7.
Boil your pasta in salted water until al dente
While your pasta boils, start on your sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and then stir in the flour until it forms a paste.
Add the milk little by little, continuously stirring, until it is all combined and you have a sauce of coating consistency.
At this point you can add most of your cheddar (save a little for later). Stir in until the it has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Add in your mashed sweet potato and stir. You may have a few small potato lumps now but that’s okay. Once in, season the sauce to your liking.
Drain your pasta, save the water, and toss in the cheesy sauce until fully coated. Add a little of the saved pasta water to thin the sauce out if it is too thick.
Pour into a suitable, greased, baking dish and top with the remaining cheddar and the breadcrumbs. Bake until the top is crispy and golden brown – approximately 10 mins.
Serve up & enjoy!

Butternut Squash Pizza Base & Quick Triple Tomato Sauce

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yum.

Pizza has literally become the obsession of online recently, like people would actually kill for pizza, marry pizza, reproduce with pizza, I’m not even sure anymore. It’s garnered the craze bacon had a couple years ago. Although maybe I’m just out of tune and bacon is still a craze? I don’t know.

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Either way, I like pizza too. I don’t want to say I love it, simply because I’m afraid of commitment, but I really like pizza. A lot.

I’m also not gluten free, but this can totally be made gluten free, as the recipe I adapted it from was originally that. It can also be egg free (also the original recipe), but I am also not avoiding eggs (and soz but I don’t see myself avoiding them in the future either so, um, yeah.)

So I mean this pizza base is actually kinda healthy – lots of vitamins from the butternut squash and low in refined carbs unlike most bases. I will say it has a slightly chewy texture compared to a regular base, and definitely doesn’t taste bready at all, but its a really delicious difference as long as you don’t actually expect it to taste like a regular crust, that would just be lying to yourself.

Redeeming qualities in my book include; crispy exterior, slightly chewy (actually soso good), sweetness from butternut squash , fun orange colour,  no waiting time for any dough to rise!

Again, yum.

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Butternut Squash Pizza Base

adapted from wholehearted eats (such a good site!)
*enough for 1 30cm wide pizza (8 generous slices)

Ingredients:

1 medium/large butternut squash
25g/ 1/4 cup ground almonds
60g/ 1/2 cup oat flour
90g/ 3/4 cup plain flour (substitute gf flour here for fully gf pizza)
1 egg (can use flaxseed mix here)
1 tsp salt
1/2tsp balck pepper
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp paprika

Toppings: *triple tomato sauce, cheese, pesto, peppers etc.

Method:

Cook butternut squash – cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place in a roasting dish filled halfway with boiling water at Gas Mark 6/200C for 40-50 minutes until the insides are soft and mash-able.
Once the squash is cooked, let it cool and remove the flesh to place in a mixing bowl. Mash it down and beat in the egg.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
On a tray lined with baking paper, spread out the mix into a circle about 25-30cm wide. Make the edges a little thicker to ensure a good crust. Brush with a touch of olive oil if desired.
Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden with a set centre.
Top pizza with any toppings you wish and bake for another 10-15 minutes at Gas Mark 7/220C if required.

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Triple Tomato Sauce

* enough for 2 pizzas (or whatever other use)

1 tin/400g chopped tomatoes
6 sundried tomatoes
1T tomato puree
basil & oregano to taste
salt & pepper to taste

– Blitz all ingredients in a food processor or the likes until the sundried tomatoes break down. Can be completely smooth or chunky – whatever your heart desires. Simmer in a sauce pan for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened and it has a slightly richer flavour. Let cool slightly first before spreading on the pizza base.

Houmous

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I’m guessing you spell it hummus right?

I don’t really know how to spell it if I’m totally honest, because it’s one of those words where there isn’t a real spelling. If we’re being realistic, houmous is probably spelled closer to how it’s pronounced in the Middle East, but I suppose it doesn’t really matter. I’m far too tired to put my passion into how to spell the name of a dip.

Or spread. Houmous makes a fantastic spread for sandwiches and wraps.

I actually used to really dislike houmous purely based on the fact that it was thick, pasty, and beige. Why would I willingly put that into my mouth? But I suppose as I’ve aged and become wiser (says 15 y/o), I’ve learnt to go out of my comfort zone.

That’s all a joke really, but I mean I did try houmous. Once at a Lebanese restaurant and once from the supermarket; and they were good, so evidently I attempted to make it myself and IT IS SO DELICIOUS OMG AND SO EASY.

So there’s reason enough to try it. I can honestly say it’s the best houmous I’ve ever had. Says the girl who’s consumed 3 different houmous’s (?) in her life. BUT, if it beats a Lebanese restaurant, then surely it’s good right? Also, houmous is very basic in its main ingredients, so you can’t really mess up, in that way, if i say it’s good it has to be good right? Just a few of my own tweaks have made it what I would consider absolutely fantastic.

Enjoy!

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Houmous

Makes: about 1-1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

1 400g can Chickpeas (or equivalent cooked fresh)
4T Tahini
1 1/2 Lemons, juiced
2T Sunflower Oil (can use olive for a stronger taste)
2 cloves Garlic OR 1tsp Garlic Paste
1tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4tsp Black Pepper
Water
Optional: 1/2T Honey

Method:

In a food processor if equivalent, blitz together the tahini and lemon juice for 30 seconds (this helps create a creamier end product)
Next, add all your cumin, pepper, salt and garlic and blitz quickly, following up with the oil.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas, then add half to the food processor and blend till smooth. Repeat with the other half. The mix will be very thick as you do so, so add a little water between the batches to prevent a big lump (and overworking your processor).
Once all incorporated, add a little more water to your houmous and blitz until you achieve the consistency you would like.
You can add a little honey at  this stage if you wish, it’s not traditional but I find a very mild sweetness can really counteract the bitterness tahini can add.
Transfer houmous to a bowl to serve, or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I suck….. and a Liebster Award!

Liebster Award
award image found at {sixthematique}
OK so I have a confession to make – I am subscribed to far too many useless email subscriptions and I get sent a lot of what I now consider spam, simply because I read none of it.
This now means that when I finally get around to filtering my email, I come across many important emails from months before hand.
And guess what happened this time? Yeah, I found that I had recieved A TOTALLY GREAT AWESOME EMAIL about 4 MONTHS AGO where I was nominated for a Liebster Award! I had this deep sense of sadness and embarrasement for never finding this sooner, but also joy that someone enjoyed my blog enough to nominate me and so although I am 4 months late on this (cringe), I am passing this along none the less, because this is reallytotallyawesomeandextremelyflatteringsothankyou.
And of course, huge thanks to the lovely women who nominated me; Christa & Regina over at Gardenias & Mint, a lovely lifestyle blog that I like to frequent for their enjoyable writing and simplistic design (sometimes I like to pretend I’m a minimalist when in fact I just have a desire for a life simpler than my jumbled up one now, either way, I love your blog ladies!)
So a little background served me well and I now know that a Liebster Award is a way of recognising newer bloggers with small followings that have great potential. Someone thinks I have great potential! Yay. And after I’ll direct you lovely people to some more blogs you might not have known about, with a further 11 questions for them! Spreadin’ the loooveeee. (side note: I haven’t included 11 as I actually don’t read 11 blogs with a reader count of roughly under 200, but I will add to the list as I go to make sure I’m sending you guys to blogs I actually read! 🙂)
So without further ado, I shall be answering the questions Christa & Regina sent me.  Thanks again!
1. If you could live anywhere where would it be?
  • Right now I have this dream of living in Chicago, however living in Australia or Germany or Canada also seems interesting to me. It makes no sense really as I’ve never visited any of these counties, however I do know I would love to live elsewhere than England in the future. I think I’m just fed up with the town I live in. It’s a bit uneducated really.
2. What was the best concert you ever went to?
  • I’ve only been to 1 concert. It was a Katy Perry one just under 2 years ago and as I have little to compare it to, I would say it’s the best concert I’ve ever been to! I love me a bit of Katy Perry.
3. Any hobbies (besides blogging)?
  • I also have a youtube channel which really is just a hobby as I procrastinate from it a lot, but I suppose vlogging is kinda like blogging no? I do enjoy myself a bit of DIY now and again, particularly of the artsy kind.
4. What do you do to relax?
  • To be honest I have no idea as I’m tired almost 100% of the time, but always stressed too. I like reading and eating which I guess is more relaxing than not reading and eating. I am literally the worst ‘napper’ ever – my last nap resulted in me falling asleep for 13 hours.
5. How would you describe your personal style?
  • Relaxed, wanna-be-grungy.
6. Favorite junk food?
  • Fish & Chip Shop Chips. P
7. Favorite health food?
  • FRUIT. BROCCOLI. OATS.
8. Cat or dog person?
  • Neither, however I do appreciate cat clothing & accesories over dogs. #tacky
9. Favorite places to shop?
  • H&M, new look and the occasional thrift shops (i say occasional because England needs to step up its game in this department)
10. Any celebrity crushes?
  • Well I think we can all agree that Anna Kendrick and Emma Stone are pretty damn hilarious and equally as gorgeous.
11. Go-to accessory item?
  •  To be honest I’m not really an accessory girl but if I had to pick something it would probably be the small black leather cross body bag I take out with me on day trips where I need more than just essentials. Simplistic and chic (here comes back my illusion of minimalism)
Woo, hope you enjoyed that, a little different from the norm is good right?
AND if you read this far and would like to discover some new blogs, I highly recommend and nominate the following:
Along with 11 of my own questions:
1. One word you think others would describe you as?
2. Where do you most want to visit in the world?
3. Favourite clothing item?
4. Favourite breakfast food?
5. Daytime or Nighttime?
6. What’s your favourite season?
7. One song you’re loving right now?
8. What’s your favourite day of the week?
9. If you were to murder someone (up to you if that was intentional or not), how would you hide the body?
10. How tall are you?
11. Do you have any words that make you cringe?
So thanks again!

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

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Um ya.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes.

These are so fluffy and light and sweet and yum.

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I think I’m just happy it’s finally getting warmer her in England, partly because I LIKE SUN, but also because it means fruit is cheaper! Rejoice! I love fruit.

That makes me a healthy person right?

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These are really great though. And so easy! I generally don’t make pancakes with buttermilk as its not a common ingredient to find here in England, however the big supermarkets do sell them, so i just decided to give it a go.

I was not disappointed; I don’t know if these are just really fantastic pancakes or if it was the buttermilk, but it seems to be the main difference from the norm, so I’m  just gonna hold it to that

Woop.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Makes: 16-18 Pancakes                          Calories per Pancakes: 95

Ingredients:

240g/2 cups Plain Flour
25g/2T Dark Brown Sugar
2tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
1tsp Salt
2 Eggs
500ml/2 cups Buttermilk
30g/2T Butter, melted

*(i only used 250ml, and made a make shift buttermilk from 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt (you can also use creme fraiche) You can just use the make shift throughout for similar results)

Method:

Sift together the flour, raising agents and salt.
Add the sugar, eggs and 1 cup of buttermilk, and stir gently until the mix is smooth.
Once smooth, fold in the remaining buttermilk and melted butter.
On a hot griddle or wide flat pan, cook the pancakes on a medium heat by lightly greasing the surface first and using about 2T of mix per pancake. Scatter blueberries on top of the mix, let cook for about 30s-1 min and then flip.
Cook for a further minute or so until the pancakes are cooked through and golden brown on both sides.

Enjoy with maple syrup and butter. Or jam. These are good with jam.