All-new wake-up chocolate cup

photo-32I love chocolate. The food of the gods, indeed. This is a recipe I’ve played with a lot over the last few years and have adapted in recent times.

It used to feature agave nectar, but I wanted to find a version that tasted great without any sugars that weren’t naturally occurring so that I can enjoy a guilt-free chocolate hit any time of day.

With a little trial and error, here it is.

It’s full of good fats & protein from the avocado, mood-boosting cacao (the unprocessed version of cocoa powder), vitamin-rich strawberries and banana. I have included Maca powder *(see note below) in this recipe.

I admit, I have had a hard time convincing the kids to love it. At five and seven, they are no longer easily duped into eating new flavours without a full briefing and warning beforehand! I have more success with the fruit smoothies and milkshakes. They tried this chocoolate cup and apparently the result doesn’t taste like chocolate.

I beg to differ – it’s rich, creamy, and chocolatey. So in this case, I’m happy with it didn’t pass the taste test – all the more for me!

Ingredients (serves 2 in small cups)
1/2 Large banana
1/2 Avocado
1 Dessert spoon raw cacao powerd
1 Dessert spoon maca powder
6 Strawberries (2, sliced, to serve)
Splash Almond milk
Splash water
Sprinkle of cacao nibs

You may like to add a handful of spinach for a vitamin boost. It turns it a more muddy brown but the taste remains the same!

Method
Put everything but the strawberries for serving and cacao nibs into your blender, blend until smooth. Serve in a cup, topped with strawberries & a sprinkling of cacao nibs.

I’ve enjoyed this as protein-rich start to the day, but it would be just as good as a delicious fatburning, nutritious dessert.

Til next time,
Sophie x

* Maca powder is derived from Peru – from a root vegetable belonging to the radish family. It is said to have benefits such as improving sexual function and helping to maintain a healthy hormone balance – with claims that it can even help with PMS. It appears that there have been some studies about it – but nothing concrete. I’m giving it a whirl to see whether it makes any difference to me, but I would recommend research and drawing your own conclusions as to whether you’d like to include it in your daily nutriton.

Goats cheese and fennel omelette

A fabulous quick lunch which will keep you full well into the afternoon.
Serves 1

Ingredients
1 desert spoon coconut oil
2 eggs, whisked (with a splash of milk and salt & pepper)
Small handful broccoli, cut into small (1-2 cm florets)
Small handful fresh fennel, sliced
1 spring onion, sliced
Sprig thyme
1/2 small round goats cheese
Portion baby spinach
Squeeze of lemon
Sprinkle of seed mix (for this recipe I use ‘Omega sprinkle’ from Holland & Barrett)

Whisk the eggs, splash of milk, and seasoning. Set to one side.

Heat half the oil in a pan on a medium heat until melted, then add the broccoli, fennel, and spring onion, and fry until softened, and just starting to brown. Remove from pan.

Add the remaining oil, keeping the pan on a medium heat.

Put the eggs in the pan, and cook for a minute, then add the cooked veg. Tear the goats cheese and distribute on the omlette, along with some thyme leaves. It should look a little like this:

Goatscheeseomlettecooking

When the egg is still a little runny, fold the omelette and cook for a few minutes longer.

Serve with the baby spinach, a squeeze of lemon, a handful of seeds, et voila! Bon apetit!

GoatsCheeseOmlette

3 quick, easy, sustaining breakfasts

Morning folks, so this morning, I thought I’d share my top 3 quick, sustaining breakfasts with you.

1. Scrambled egg & avocado wrap.
Prep/cook time: 5 minutes.

When you need a quick, delicious breakfast, this recipe will certainly fit the bill and help you start the day the right way. The reason? It’s packed with protein, good fats, vitamins and nutrients which all contribute towards your body functioning well at a cellular level. And because it contains virtually no sugar (there will be a little in the wrap), your blood glucose levels will rise slowly, energy will be released slowly, and you will stay satisfied for longer.

You will need:
2 eggs, splash of milk, seasoning
A large handful of raw, baby spinach
1 large tomato, sliced
Handful of fresh herbs if you have them – (coriander works particularly well)
1/4 avocado
1 wholegrain wrap

Whisk, then scramble the 2 eggs, milk & seasoning in a pan with coconut oil. They should be glistening when you eat them, not hard and rubbery.

Pop your wrap on a plate, put the eggs, tomato, avocado, herbs (if you have them, they’re just there to add to the yum factor) and as much spinach as you can on the wrap, wrap it and eat it.

Enjoy it! And remember to eat it slowly and appreciate it.

2. Homemade granola.
Prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 20. This granola is best pre-prepped and stored in an airtight box so you can grab and go. I usually make up 500g, but you could double up the quantities and make up a kg for it to last longer.

Why is this breakfast healthy?

Oats are a great source of dietary fibre, which aids digestion in your body. They will also provide energy from their carbohydrate content. The seeds provide a healthy dose of Omega 6 fatty acids, which are great for brain function. The nuts are a source of protein, and in combination with the oats provide your body with the essential proteins it needs for optimum function.

The berries provide anti-oxidant qualities which help in counteracting potential damage by something called free radicals. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

You will need: 

500g jumbo oats
35g sunflower seeds
35g pumpkin seeds
2 tbsps coconut oil
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsps vanilla extract

To serve
5 Pecan/almond/hazelnuts
1 tbsp toasted coconut
Generous handful berries
Almond milk / dairy milk (but the almond milk is VERY delicious!)

Method
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line 2 flat baking trays with greaseproof paper. Melt the coconut oil until it’s liquid in a pan over a gentle heat. Take it off the heat and add the ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, sunflower & pumpkin seeds until the oats are covered. Spread the mixture evenly over the 2 trays, and bake for 20 mins, checking regularly. Turn after 10 mins so you get an evenly cooked result.

Serve
With your choice of pecan, almond, or hazelnut, a tbsp of toasted coconut, a generous helping of berries – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries are all great choices and cold almond milk.

As a variation, this is just as delicious served with other fruits and natural yoghurt.

3. Healthy peanut butter on toast.

Okay, now’s the time to ditch the peanut butters you’re used to buying, and I’ll let you into a secret. They cost a FORTUNE in comparison to a healthy substitute. Search for Meridian natural peanut butter. It contains peanuts, and that’s it. And 1KG will set you back a fiver! £5. A bargain!

And no added sugars, palm oil or other nasties you sometimes find in more commercial brands.

To manage your expectations, it does taste a little different, but this is only because you’re used to higher sugar versions. I have switched, and even my 2 & 4 year olds now readily scoff this brand. The best bit is that it’s packed with health-giving protein!

You will need:
Rye bread (you can now buy this from most supermarkets – it’s yummy)
Healthy peanut butter
A tomato, sliced
Seasoning
Spinach (optional)

 

Toast 2 slices bread, spread peanut butter (note: no butter!), arrange sliced tomatoes in abundance. Crack of black pepper and salt over the top and serve on a bed of raw baby spinach. Enjoy!

You’ll note that I rattle on about raw spinach. It’s full of nutrients, including iron, so try adding it to any meal you can.

So there you have it, three delicious, simple, and sustaining breakfasts packed with nutrients to leave you feeling full of longer lasting energy, and which contribute to your body’s optimal health.

Bon apetit!

Sophiex