Sweet potato nachos

With my sweet potato nachos recipe you can enjoy a GIANT portion of nachos all to yourself without any of the guilt, and of course without sacrificing on the taste.

…oh did I mention these nachos are packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and are low in calories? Just Google the health benefits of sweet potatoes and you’ll be sold! (If you weren’t already from the word ‘nachos’.)11376298_1440249826281331_432873756_n

This recipe is ridiculously simple, even for the inexperienced cook. It does involve some nifty knife work (but you should use a mandoline slicer if you have one.)

Ingredients:

♥ 1.5 large sweet potatoes or 2 medium sized sweet potatoes.

♥ Glug of olive oil.

♥ Salt & pepper.

And that’s it!

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 – 200 degrees celsius.

2. Using a large sharp knife or a mandoline, thinly slice the sweet potatoes into rounds (2-3mm thick). Make sure all your slices are the same thickness to ensure they bake evenly.

3. In a large bowl shake up your sweet potato rounds with a glug of olive oil, and then season with a generous amount of salt and pepper (this is the time to add any other herbs and spices you’d like).

4. Place your rounds on baking parchment (do not overlap).

5. Bake for 25 minutes and then turn over and bake for another 15-20 minutes. (it’s important to stay close by as they can catch quite quickly. I used this time to prepare my salsa and guacamole.

And there you have it! A giant plate of crunchy, loaded, delicious and (believe it or not healthy) nachos.

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Homemade Doritos with only 3 ingredients!

Whilst trying to think of an alternative side dish to rice to eat with my chilli, I came across “homemade” corn tortilla chips online… well when I say homemade the majority of recipes went like this – ‘buy premade corn tortillas, cut up and fry.’

A) I didn’t want something fried and oily

B) It’s almost impossible to find corn tortillas without wheat or other added ingredients

I mean, I can be lazy at the best of times, but when I want to make something homemade I don’t want to buy something premade to start off the recipe! So, I decided to come up with my own. 2222

This is an amazing recipe for expert cooks and novices alike; it’s super easy yet people will be impressed to know you made them yourself!

The three main ingredients you will need are:

♥  1 cup of Finely Ground Cornmeal (NOT cornflour).

♥  1/2 – 3/4 cup of water.

♥  1/2 tsp of salt

(Optional but highly recommended ingredients)

♥ 1/2 tsp of hot chilli powder

♥ 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

Method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180-200 degrees celsius.

2. Mix all the ingredients together (the consistency should be fairly runny, not doughy at all).

3. Line your baking tray with baking parchment and spread with a little olive oil.

4. Using a spatula spread the mixture thinly onto the baking parchment (in regards to thickness  they should be about the same thickness as a regular Dorito, if they’re too thick they won’t go crunchy).

5. Bake for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven, chop up into triangles and place back in the oven for 30-40 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when they start to brown and go hard. (If they feel a little bit soft keep them in the oven and check them every few minutes.)

3333These chips are delicious and crunchy, slightly spicy and so much healthier than the shop bought alternative! I paired mine with turkey chilli for a low carb, gluten free side dish – in fact, just skip the fork and use these as an edible utensil to scoop the chilli straight into your mouth! Layer with melted cheese, sour cream and guacamole for perfect nachos, or simply munch on them with your favourite dip!

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Note: Dogs will give serious puppy eyes to get their paws on these chips!

Review of Peanut Hottie, the new peanut butter flavoured hot drink

Peanut butter lovers everywhere, take that spoon out of the jar; you no longer have to feel guilty when you’re scraping the last remnants of peanut butter off the side of the jar, 3000 calories later.

We all know peanut butter is a good fat, and great in moderation. However, if like me you keep a jar in your desk at work for the odd spoonful throughout the day (does anyone else actually do that?) then this new product on the hot drink market will make your day.

Being the peanut butter addict I am, when I read about a new, hot peanut butter flavoured drink called Peanut Hottie, I was ridiculously excited to try it.

I was lucky enough to get a sample sachet sent to me to review, and my colleagues can vouch that I was possibly slightly over excited when it came through the post. I may have even let out a small yelp.

Peanut Hottie

Being the good friend that I am, I reluctantly let my friend Lucy have a mug since she might even be more of a peanutbutter-holic than I am. (We once spent the evening sandwiching giant chocolate buttons together with peanut butter until we felt sick.)

Peanut Hottie

It smells just as it should, a lovely peanut buttery scent, and it isn’t like any hot drink I’ve tried before. It’s quite sweet, yet has a salty roasted peanut taste. It tastes indulgent like it should contain more than 83 calories.

My only criticism would be that it is slightly thin in consistency as it is only mixed with water. I think with the added creaminess of milk it would be perfect, more hot chocolate than tea.

Peanut Hottie

If you’re a peanut butter fiend and add it to everything from bagels to stir-fries you will love this new drink. It’s also caffeine free, suitable for vegetarians and contains no artificial ingredients. One sip of Peanut Hottie and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before… or why you never thought of such an ingenious invention yourself.

My egg free, gluten free and vegan chocolate brownies

You will be mind blown when you bite into this moist, gooey and rich chocolate brownie, you will be even more surprised to learn that they contain no eggs, flour or butter. No one will know these are a healthy alternative! After experimenting with butter beans in my secret ingredient cookies I decided to try using chickpeas in my next recipe.

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The best bit about this recipe is that it is SO easy to whip up, it takes minutes. After browsing other chickpea recipes I found an amazing recipe for seasalt blondies here, which is where my inspiration for this recipe came from.

Not only are these brownies egg free and gluten free, if you substitute the chocolate chips for dairy free chips they are also vegan!

Recipe (makes 14-16):

♥ 1 1/2 cup of tinned, cooked chickpeas, drained.

♥ 1/4 cup unsweetened peanut butter

♥ 1 tbsp coconut oil

♥ 3 tbsp cocoa powder

♥ 1/3 cup maple syrup

♥ 1 tspn vanilla extract

♥ 1/2 tspn baking powder

♥ 1/2 cup chocolate chips of choice

Here comes the easy bit…

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2. Whiz everything except the chocolate chips up in a food processor.

3. Mix in chocolate chips.

4. Put mixture in a greased and lined baking tray and bake for 18 minutes.

I first discovered chickpeas made an epic brownie during the obligatory taste of the batter mix. As this is a vegan recipe there are no uncooked eggs to worry about so you can eat this ‘raw’ (not that it ever stops me anyway)!

Again, these taste incredible straight from the oven but you should probably leave them to cool before you try and cut them.

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These come in at around 90-120 calories a piece depending on the thickness and type of chocolate chips used, but they taste so indulgent and naughty, when they’re secretly good for you!

After taste testing these on two of my friends neither could tell they weren’t a traditional brownie, and both wanted another piece (to which I had to swat their hands away and hide my wonderful creation out of reach from prying hands).

One bite of these bad boys and you will be transported to chocolate, dessert heaven! The chickpeas give the finished brownie a beautiful nutty texture, and they’re packed full of goodness and nutrients. Enjoy!

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Peanut butter vs. PB2

Peanut Butter VS. PB2

Unfortunately living in the UK means I can’t get my hands on some of the amazing health foods available in America. This meant I had to fork out £11.69 for two jars of PB2 on Amazon. If like me you have a slight obsession with peanut butter and often find yourself eating it by the spoonful for a morning (and afternoon, and evening) snack, then I would recommend trying it out!

The nutritional info:

Nutrional Info

For every 2 Tbsp. of PB2 compared to traditional peanut butter you save 145 calories! And it has absolutely no saturated fat.

The best bit about PB2 is that it’s all natural with a minimal list of ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.

The best BEST bit about PB2 is that it tastes AMAZING.

It comes in a powder and the ratio is 2 Tbsp. PB2 to 1 Tbsp. water. You mix it up until you get your desired consistency…

PB2

…and eat it straight off the spoon with none of the guilt! Or you could put it on toast, and oh…my…goodness it makes for a delicious breakfast. It is possibly the best thing invented since peanut butter itself was invented.

Chocolate PB2

(chocolate PB2 is pictured in this photo.)

It even has little bits of peanuts once it’s been mixed up so it has a nice texture, and tastes just like normal peanut butter but without any of the fat!

Verdict:

Now here comes PB2’s ONLY downfall… It doesn’t come with all the great health benefits of natural, peanut butter as all the nutrients are taken out along with the fat. The fat in traditional peanut butter is a ‘good fat’ so I’m still going to be eating it for my breakfast, and it’s amazing to eat before/after a workout.

I’ll switch to PB2 when I fancy something sweet and not so calorific, possibly on the days where I’m not hitting the gym. I’m definitely going to try adding it to my baking/cooking, as all the peanut butter taste is still there, so watch this space for some yummy baked PB2 goodies coming soon!

My first attempt at chia seed pudding

After browsing various health food blogs and reading about the health benefits of chia seed I decided it would be worth a try.

You’ll soon come to learn that I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, I literally never get sick of sweet food; so when one blogger wrote that eating chia seed pudding for breakfast was like eating chocolate dessert, I was sold.

My first attempt was a bit of a flop. I added almond milk, stevia and cinnamon to the chia seed and left it in the fridge overnight. Although my clever placement of fruit made it look incredibly pretty, the taste was a huge let down. (Hence the massive dollop of peanut butter to cover the taste!)

Chia SeedIt has taken me 4 attempts but I now have the perfect recipe for the health conscious chocoholic like me. It is seriously good, it tastes creamy and chocolately and indulgent. You would never know this is a health food.

For one portion of pudding the ratio is 1 cup of nut/soya milk to 4 tbsp of chia seed.

Chocoholic’s Chia Seed Pudding:

– 4 tbsp chia seed

– 3/4 cup chocolate almond milk

– 1/4 cup coconut milk (NOT coconut cream.)

– 1 tsp cocoa or cacao powder

– Sweetener of choice to taste (I would recommend maple syrup to taste, but that’s just because I don’t like stevia.)

Mix it all up in tupperware box (or a pretty mason jar; a 0.5-0.8 jar will be around a single portion.) Give it a little shake and leave it overnight. You will have to give it a stir in the morning as the cocoa powder will have settled on the top. Add a drop more coconut milk to make the pudding your desired thickness and it’s ready!

chocochoaIt is the simplest recipe to prepare and only takes around 3-5 minutes to rustle up! Prepare it before bed and wake up to a seemingly sinful yet nutritious and filling breakfast.

To graze or not to graze?

If you’re unsure about whether to subscribe to graze box or not then read on for some helpful information:

I have a huge appetite and have to make sure I have my drawers stocked full of snacks at work otherwise I’m a bit of a nightmare to be around. As it’s Easter season (or as I like to call it Creme Egg season), I frequently find myself falling for the tempting, and oh so evil 3 Creme Eggs for £1 offer. As much as I love Creme Eggs and take advantage of them for the short and sweet time they’re around, this isn’t the healthiest snacking habit. I do bring healthy snacks into work with me such as almonds, dates and peanut butter, but it’s very easy to overdo it as they’re difficult to buy in single portions.

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Due to my uncontrollable sweet tooth I decided to sign up for a free trial of the graze box and have been hooked ever since! You can browse all their snacks on their website and pick which ones you definitely want to try, which ones you wouldn’t mind trying, and which snacks you never want to see in your box!

My ‘Love’ list contains mostly chocolate based goodies, however we all know dark chocolate is good for you (meaning you can eat as much as you like right)?

Graze Box
The graze box comes with a little menu with all the nutritional information of your snacks and full list of the ingredients so you know exactly what’s inside. All their food is natural and clean meaning guilt free snacking.

They have so many options to choose from, so if you think some of the snacks are slightly too calorific you can sign up to the light box with all the snacks coming in at under 150kcal. I have also recently discovered there is a CHOCOLATE BOX which I might have to switch to in the near future.

The snacks are conveniently packaged in individual portions, and you can get them delivered as often as you like to your home, office, or any address you choose!

Graze Box
graze has put together some really clever combinations of all your favourite treats such as rocky road, sticky toffee pudding, jaffa cake and many more, meaning you can enjoy some of your favourite flavours minus the carbs, added sugar, chemicals etc.

If you’re still not sure whether to try graze then they always have amazing offers which allow you to try a free box! I’m currently on an offer which gives me a free box, and then I get my 1st, 5th and 10th free. If you would like the same offer then here is a code for you to use (uk only):

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Even if you decide you don’t want to continue you can cancel at any time and you’ve still had a free box.

Some of my favourite and recommended snacks:

The graze brownie: only 110kcal for three pieces of brownie and approximately 69% less saturated fat than other brownies!

Dark Rocky Road: With pecan nuts, dark chocolate buttons and cranberries it’s sweet yet tart, crunchy and satisfying.

My Thai: Sweet chilli sauce with baked soy bites and only 84 calories per portion!