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Monday, November 14, 2016



These Spark pre workout drinks from Protein Supplies Australia are amazing, the taste is second to none. My son has been using them as a pre workout for years now and I often sneak some and add it to healthy snacks, not only does it add a boost of energy, I love the amazing flavour combinations and how they add the extra wow factor to everything I've added them too. I've made a similar recipes to these in the past and shared them here on the blog. The Strawberry and Passionfruit Pre Workout Stars never last long but I wanted to do one up that has better Macronutrients for a pre workout snack which is mainly high GI carbs for quick release energy and low fat. I've used coconut because it an MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) are known for increasing sustained energy over an 24 hours period of 5% and help to raise the metabolism. I also added L-Glutamine which also assists with energy levels as well as digestive health, immune system and muscle support.  Oats and dried fruit are great sources of carbohydrates and fibre making this a perfect combination of ingredients for health, energy, weight maintenance or loss and the best part is, they taste fantastic!!

 Mango, Pineapple and Coconut Pre-Workout Chews


Make: 12 chews

Ingredients:

12 pitted dates
1 medium mango
3 tbs Protein Supplies Australia Pineapple and Coconut Spark
3 tbs oat flour – ground rolled oats
1 tbs coconut flour
1 tbs ground chia
1-2 tsp L-Glutamine
1 tsp psyllium
1 heaped tsp Protein Supplies Australia L-Glutamine

Preparation:
  1. Add the dates and mango to a blender and blend until smooth. You want the dates to be pureed.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients then blend for as long as you can before it gets too thick.
  3. You can either leave the mixture in the blender or transfer it to a bowl and refrigerate for 4-5 hours to get firm.
  4. When it’s cold and firm, roll out on non-stick paper to approx. 1cm thickness then cut into cubes.
  5. Roll cubes in the coconut, shake off excess and store in a container or clip lock bag for snack on the go. 

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Sunday, November 13, 2016



Who can resist a delicious chewy crust filled with smooth and creamy chocolate? The magic ingredients in this one are the ripe avocado and soaked and sprouted raw cashews. There are a lot of these type of recipes popping up in mainstream website, magazines and new age cookbooks. 
How good is it that it's becoming the norm to create such healthy alternatives. You'll even notice that most cafe's these days have something on the menu that's either gluten free, Vegan or Paleo. I only wish they'd get on board and provide a good Grain free/Paleo alternative bread. Most have gluten free but they're like cardboard and not nearly as nutritious.
I actually made this a few weeks ago now, as per usual with my vegan treats, it was on the weekend for our staff morning tea. So in a way, this post is for Olivia as well, as she wanted to be able to make it at home.


Raw Vegan

Equipment:

20cm round tart pan
High speed blender

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup dates
½ cup almonds
½ cup oats – use almonds for 100% raw or Paleo
1 tsp vanilla

Filling:
1 large avocado
1 cup dates
½ cup cashews
1/3 cup rice syrup or maple syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbs mesquite powder – optional
Extra rice syrup, maple syrup or honey if needed
2 tbs raw cacao powder

Preparation:

Soak dates and cashews in enough warm water to just cover for about ½-1 hour.
Line a round tart pan with non-stick baking paper or a teflex sheet.

Base:

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it starts to turn into dough.
Turn out into the pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom then level it out with the back of a dessert spoon pushing some up the sides, I left mine rustic but you can spend more time and get the edges neat and tidy if you wish.
Place into the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Remove the dates and cashews from the water making sure to reserve the water in case it’s needed.
Add all ingredients, accept the cacao powder and mesquite to a high speed blender or food processor then blend until completely smooth and creamy, you many need to add some of the date/cashew water to get it moving. Don’t add too much or it will be too runny.
Once you have it as smooth as possible, add the mesquite and cacao powder then blend through until fully incorporated.
Taste test for sweetness and add more if needed.
Spoon the mixture into the base and spread out.
Serve immediately for a warm and decadent dessert or place into the fridge to serve cool before serving. Some like them frozen but I find it loses some of it’s intense flavour when frozen, personal choice. J






Enjoy!


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Friday, October 21, 2016


How can something so experimental work out so damn good! Most would have called these an absolute failure. I was experimenting make in caramel with coconut sugar and added to much coconut water, then when I added the salt it got lumps in it. So I left it no the stove to cool off and contemplate what I would do with it as I tend not to waste anything. 
Morning tea was coming up hard and fast and I had a limited time to get something delicious, creative and vegan over to the band of merry workers by 10.30! Cookies, I haven't made cookies for while went through me head. Quick what can they be? A quick glance in the pantry and I spotted an opened packet of salted peanuts that needed to be used and decided that some of the fresh sultanas I'd purchased the day before was a better option that choc chips as we'd decided it was a chocolate free day! That is until dinner arrives then he's in the fridge quietly sneaking handfuls of the Date and Almond Chocolate Fudge that I make sure it always on hand for such cravings.
 Back to the cookies!!! That was it, I threw the ingredients into the mixing bowl and in my rush quick added 1/2 cup cacao buttons to the coconut sugar salted caramel and gently heated it up to melt the buttons. Not using honey kept it vegan and it helped to use up the failed caramel. I gave it a quick mix then decided it needed to be really thick and fudgy to get the desired OMGYUM factor so I got my hands into it and gave it a good squishy mix up! Mmm things where starting to happen. This time it was gong to be mega cookies so I shaped them into huge cookies, threw them on the baking trays, whipped them into the oven and headed off to do a quick 8 minute tabata while they baked! At 15 minutes i took them out and headed off to do some stretching not realising that they hadn't cooked properly. When I go back to them I though! Far out! oops!! then as I removed them I realise the outer edges where all sugary and crisp while the centre was all stretchy and gooey. #sodamgood #whatmorecanisay! so here's the recipe. :-)
 Chewy Salted Peanut, Sultana and Caramel Cookies


Makes: 12 large cookies

Ingredients:

Caramel:
1 cup coconut sugar
50ml coconut water, milk or water

Cookies:
1 cup almond meal
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup sultanas
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup coconut flakes
1 tbs mesquite – optional
1/2 cup cacao butter, butter or coconut oil
3 tbs water

Preparation:

Caramel:

Add sugar and coconut milk/water to a pot on medium and simmer for approx. 45 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
Add the salt and stir through, leave to simmer for another 5-10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to cool

Cookies:

Preheat oven to 160 oc and grease or line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper.
Add the almond meal, rolled oats, sugar, sultanas, peanuts, coconut flakes and mesquite to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Add the cacao butter to the caramel, gently heat and stir until the butter dissolves, then stir the caramel mixture into the almond meal mixture with the water.
Using your hands continue to mix the dough until it becomes thick and gooey.
Take a good handful and roll it into a ball then flatten it out to about 1-2 cm.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture making sure to spread them out on the baking trays leaving a good 4 -6cm between each cookie.
Place into the centre 2 racks of the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes or until they flatten out and the edges start to brown.
Remove for the oven.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking paper.
Best stored in the fridge, the outside remains crisp from the caramelised sugar and the centre chewy.

NOTES:

Paleo: use quinoa flakes or almond sliver in place of the oats.
If you cannot get cacao butter you can substitute coconut oil or butter.
For a choc chip version you could substitute the sultanas for choc chips or use both!
Caramel can be made the day before.



Enjoy! :-) 

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Monday, October 10, 2016


Who doesn't love a good crumble, covering a yummy layer of sweet and gooey caramel, filled with salted peanuts and chewy sultanas on a healthy sugar free shortbread base? We all loved this one. It would be perfect served hot with cold coyo, yoghurt, ice cream or fresh cream. To make it decadent, add some extra caramel sauce warmed up and drizzled over the top. 
One of the benefits of blogging is how I can go back through my blog and see what I was making years ago. It's quite a journey. With all the moving we've done in the last few years it shows how I've had to adapt and be create by using different methods to create healthy treats for my hubby, staff or family. It'a a food diary and some. I need to start sharing more of the savory meals we have but as I've mentioned before, by that time of day getting a nice pic just does't seem to happen unfortunately. 
That brings me to another one of my blogging obstacles, taking pictures!! I'd love for my images to be much better than they are. Food photography is huge these days and I LOVE photography. Creating and cooking up new recipes is the easy bit, actually it's therapeutic part of it all for me... creating a nice image raises my anxiety and stresses me! Mainly because I'm always strapped for time! Running a business that also requires me to take photos becomes extremely time consuming. Although I must admit I’ve developed a new love for pet and animal photography. 
Salted Peanut, Coconut and Caramel Slice
Paleo | Vegan

Makes: 20 x 20 cm slice

Base:

1 ½ cup Luving Life Wholefoods SRF or 1 1/4 cups blanched almond meal, 2 tbs tapioca or arrowroot and 1 tsp baking powder
½ cup xylitol or coconut sugar 
2 lge heaped tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut cream

Caramel:

½ cup dates
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup raw cashews
approx. ½ cup coconut milk

Coconut Crumble:

½ cup coconut shreds
½ cup almond meal
½ cup xylitol
2 tbs cold coconut oil
3 tbs maple syrup or rice syrup

Fill ins:

½ cup sultanas
½ cup salted peanuts or salted cashews for Paleo
½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Preparation:

Base:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir  to combine.
Press into the bottom of the prepared baking tray

Caramel:

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy
Pour caramel over the base and spread out evenly

Coconut Crumble:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together with fingertips to create a course mixture that stick together when pressed into a ball
Sprinkle the sultanas, peanuts and choc chips over the caramel then distribute the coconut crumble over the top and press down lightly.


Bake at 16-170 no fan for approx. 30 minutes.
Enjoy! 
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Disclaimer:

I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen

Karenluvslife

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