Protein Chocolate Molten Lava Cake… (Guest Post by The Online Grill)

Despite having adopted a fair number of diets to help a range of purposes, from trimming for race day or even boosting my mental health, I’ve never been really been willing to completely curb my sweet tooth.

It’s a problem I know a lot of people share, so it’s a relief that recipes that are often thought of as decadent or indulgent can be adapted to be nutritious and protein-packed sources of energy.

Perhaps none more so than this protein molten lava chocolate cake.

I’ve seen similar recipes to this one published elsewhere online, listing it as a Valentine’s Day dessert and, while we’re a little late in the year for that, this one toes the line on the right side of indulgent-but-healthy to make it appropriate to have at any time of year.

While this recipe is gooey and rich like your normal run-of-the-mill lava cake, this version is much kinder in calories, is gluten-free and it packs in a nice punch of protein (10+ grams of the stuff!). It requires a couple of slightly more specific ingredients, but is more than worth the investment.

Plus, we’re using dark chocolate with this recipe and, unlike its fattier milk-based counterpart, dark chocolate has a ton of health benefits. From helping your cognitive function, to helping with pain relief, a little bit of the dark stuff goes a long way.

This recipe is almost suspiciously easy-to-make, taking barely 10 minutes from start to finish. I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not being able to prepare a chocolate dessert in such little time is either a blessing or a hazard…

It’s time for us to have our cake and eat it. Let’s get into it!

 

Total time needed: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 people

 

You will need…


½ cup chocolate whey protein powder
3 tbsp dark cocoa powder

¼ cup almond milk

2-3 tbsp plain coconut sugar

2 tbsp coconut oil
¼ cup gluten-free oats
1 large egg


Let’s make this thing!


Start by preheating your oven to 356°F/180°C

Blend together all of the ingredients either in a food processor or in a large bowl with a hand blender. Blend until the ingredients form a creamy batter.

Pour the mixture into your choice of either pre-buttered/greased souffle dishes or baking pods.


Place the dishes or pods on a baking tray and then put in the oven. Cook for only 3-4 minutes, checking halfway to monitor how well cooked the top of your cakes are. Remember: It’s key that the middle stays gooey!

Once ready, remove from the oven. Immediately (but carefully) turn them each upside down on to a plate, and remove from the pods/dishes.

Either serve with your choice of ice cream or berries, or even just by themselves. Enjoy!
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About the author

Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about food and drink for lazy chefs at The Online Grill.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls… (Guest post by The Online Grill)

As a keen cyclist I am always eating. And while I would love to just bask in sugary snacks, there comes a point where I need to actually think about how I’m helping my body recovery after a few hours in the saddle. I’ve experimented with a whole menu of protein-based snacks. Some experiments have been far more successful than others, which is where today’s recipe fits in.

 

This healthy cookie dough protein balls recipe is perfect as a post-workout treat. Yes, you read that right: healthy cookie dough. These balls work as a snack, a dessert or part of your post-workout recovery.

They can be made in standard energy balls like in this recipe, but if you prefer them in bar form or, well, straight out the bowl then by all means go ahead! They’re egg-free so are safe to eat in raw form and good to go as soon as you make them.

 

These little delights are dairy-free, grain-free and even vegan (depending on what protein powder you use). They pack in five whole grams of protein. And best of all, you can make them with just five ingredients.

 

If you use protein powder as part of your post-workout sustenance already then you’ll be no stranger to its uses for recovery, but it can go much further than just that: It’s also a great agent to help leaving you feel full, preventing you from unnecessary and unhealthy snacking later.

 

If you prefer peanut butter to almond butter then feel free to mix it up to tweak it in line with your own tastes. I just hope you prefer crunchy over smooth!

 

Furthermore, I use my own homemade maple syrup over the store-bought variety. As with most recipes the homemade version is far healthier, with it being lower in refined sugar and corn syrup.

 

If you have any other tweaks or additions you’ve made to this recipe then let me know. Enjoy!

 

Total time needed: 10 minutes

Yield: 18 balls


You will need…


2 scoops vanilla protein powder

¼ cup maple syrup
1 cup almond flour/almond meal
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup dairy-free mini chocolate chips


Let’s make this thing!


Mix the almond flour and protein powder in a medium-sized bowl. Add the almond butter and maple syrup and mix thoroughly until the batter starts to resemble cookie dough.


Finally, add in chocolate chip and mix one last time. Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough into your palms and roll into balls. Repeat.

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About the author

Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about food and drink for lazy chefs at The Online Grill.

5 Benefits of Discovering New Food with Your Family… (Guest post by Jennifer Dawson)

Do you feel bored with eating the same meals everyday? Or, maybe you just fancy trying something different but the kids are too picky and you’d rather them eat dinner rather than waste a new dish you’ve just cooked. But what if they actually like it? And even if they don’t, what’s the worse that can happen? Trying new food not only boosts your healthy food habits but can open up to a world of fresh flavors and tastes for you and your family to benefit from, and here’s how.

1. Variety is the spice of life

Choosing to cook various food with different colours, textures and tastes can introduce a family to a more well-balanced diet in combination with learning about new cuisines and cultures. Starting off by bringing one or two new vegetables to the table to try before cooking a fully blown new dish can change the way daily dinners are cooked in your home and prepare the family to keep an open mind.

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This Tuns with sesame and miso is a great choice! 

2. Expands nutritional variety

When you infuse new tastes to the table you’re also broadening the nutritional value that everyone’s eating. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a vegetable, fruit or grain from a subscription box, not only will it expand your palate by trying new meals but you’ll also be provided with health benefits and improve everybody’s immune systems.

3. Sets a good example

Obviously you’ll want to introduce new food that you think the whole family will enjoy but until they’ve all tried it, how will they know? By making the decision to enjoy chickpeas, eggplant or anything else, you’re setting a good example that trying new things is a positive thing which you can all do together.

4. Educational

When you get more enthusiastic about trying new food, you’ll also learn how to cook differently. By choosing a different cuisine on some nights of the week, you and your family can share knowledge about different cultures, the types of food they eat and where it comes from while learning how to cook it at the same time.

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5. Being adventurous

If you’re all going to try new food, what do you have to lose? By making it fun and mixing it up at mealtimes can make it feel more adventurous, especially if, for example, you decide to have a Mexican or Greek night once a week. Get the whole family involved in the making and eating of new food where you’re all sitting down together to eat, as this has real benefits too.

Once you’ve got into the habit of trying new foods, you’ll be amazed how different mealtimes can be and the benefits it can have on the health of you and your family.

Protein French toast…

Eating the right amount of protein at breakfast can increase feelings of satiety; helping you to feel fuller for longer, aiding weight loss and weight control, and making it easier to concentrate at work. Eggs are one of the best sources of complete protein, so are a great addition to this breakfast!

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Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used The Good Guru– use code Hannaheats20 for 20% off),
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder,
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk,
  • 4 egg whites (100g of Two Chicks Egg Whites),
  • 1/4 c sweetener (I used Natvia),
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 slices of bread

Toppings: Choose any you desire but some options are:

  • choc chips
  • frozen berries of choice
  • granola
  • honey
  • bacon
  • banana

METHOD

  • In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients except the bread and topping.
  • Place the bread in a large rectangular container and pour the egg mixture over the top allow to sit for 10mins.
  • Heat a pan to a medium heat and cook the bread for 2-3 minutes each side.
  • Place the toppings onto the toast and serve immediately.

Banana Bread breakfast bars…

Amazing Banana Oat Breakfast Bars – they taste like banana bread! No flour, butter, eggs, or dairy in this healthy recipe!

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I’ve realised that my body loves natural foods — and these bars are exactly that. No flour, eggs, dairy, or butter! 

These breakfast (or snack) bars are made with:

Gluten Free Oats (you get to make oat flour and it’s soooo easy)!

Ripe bananas.

Honey (or agave/maple syrup!).

Tiny tiny bit of dairy free yogurt. 

Goji Berries for a little bit of sweetness.

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Ingredients:

  • 150g gluten free oats
  • 30g of protein powder of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (gluten free, if desired)
  • 50g of Nush banoffee yogurt
  • 50g honey (agave nectar if vegan)
  • 50g of goji berries.
  • 15g of Chia seeds

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees c. Spray 9×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make oat flour: Place oats into blender or food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until oatmeal resembles flour. You may need to stop blender and stir oats a couple of times to ensure that all oats have been blended. Transfer oat flour medium bowl; whisk in baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, protein powder, chia seeds and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. Place bananas, vanilla, yogurt and honey into blender; blend 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add to oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Gently fold in the goji berries. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly with rubber spatula. Bake for 15 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool 10-15 minutes on wire rack.
  5. Cut bars into 16 squares and enjoy!

Hannah x

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Cupcakes and a Raspberry buttercream (guest post by Cake Journal)

Spring and summer make the perfect time to bake something light, delicious and easy. At this time of year, shoppers can find so many great fruits to pick in the local stores. One fabulous way to welcome in the warm season is with a fresh and fruity dessert. At our company, we look for ways to use the vibrant produce all around us. One of my favorite recipes is this one. Lemon cupcakes are a great way to marry the tart lemon flavor with something sweet. The cupcakes remind us of long afternoons in the front of the porch sipping lemonade. I like to frost them with a rich raspberry buttercream.

Today, I’m going to show you how to make the cupcakes. I’m also going to show you how to make lemon cookies that can also be topped with any leftover raspberry cream. Treat yourself and your kids to something special just for the summer. Follow this recipe and you’ll get the perfect summer dessert every single time.

For the Cupcakes

To make the cupcakes, you will need Williams-Sonoma Lemon cakecup mix, an egg, a fourth of a cup of butter and a half cup of milk.

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For the Cookies

To make the cookies, you want to have on hand Williams-Sonoma Lemon Sugar Cookie Mix, an egg and a cup of softened butter.

For the Buttercream

For the buttercream, start with a half cup of the freshest raspberries you can find. You’ll also need half a cup of softened butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, and a package or sixteen ounces of powdered sugar.

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The Bake

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You need a cupcake pan that’s line with mini cupcake liners.

2. After this, it’s time to begin making the cupcakes. You want to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. The whole box goes in the recipe so don’t worry about mixing with this one. You can use the mix to create a batter.

3. Pour the entire batter into the baking sheet. Since these cupcakes are not full sized cupcakes, they will not need as much time in the oven. I left them in the oven for twelve minutes and it was fine. The tops should turn a golden brown.

4. While they are baking, you can start on the lemon cookies. Just like with cookies, you combine all the ingredients to create a dough. Then you need to mix them up properly. For this task, I used a stand mixer.

5. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. It’s a good idea to put some flour on the pin so it’s easier to work with the dough. You can also use a nonstick rolling pin. Get it to about a fourth of an inch thick. Then start cutting out the cookies with a cookie cutter.

6. You can put them in the oven after you’ve rolled out the dough. I like to put a silpat on top of the cookies and the baking sheet. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about eight to ten minutes. You don’t want to over bake them. When they’re lightly golden, you can take them out of the oven to cool.

7. While everything is cooling down, I like to start working on the raspberry buttercream.

8. To make the cream, you want to completely cream the butter, salt and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Your raspberries should be washed. I like to strain the juice before I begin. This way, you’re getting rid of the seeds. Gradually add in the sugar carefully. You don’t want to over mix the buttercream. Otherwise, it may become quite runny. That will make it hard to stick to the cupcakes. Keep in mind that the fresh raspberries will contain lots of water. Avoid over beating the mix and it should be just fine.

9. Now it’s time to put the entire thing together. I put my icing in my piping bag. Then I put in on the cooled cupcakes carefully to get the pattern I want. You can also add the buttercream to the cookies. This is what I did.

This is my end result!

My goal was to give you some fun inspiration for your spring and summer baking. If you have followed me and made the recipe, please share them. Thanks for reading our recipe. This recipe was provided by Cake Journal.

Snact bars; my thoughts…

Who else finds that, when shopping, the sugar laden, processed snacks are always the ones that supermarkets promote? It drives me crazy as there are so many other natural and healthier options available.

Lucky for me, I recently received a great box of snacks from Snact; they aim to help combat food waste by using fruit that was due to be thrown away and using it to make delicious snack bars and fruit jerky.

I was looking forward to trying these out as I think the idea behind them is brilliant. I hate food waste and it is shocking how much ‘good food’ is simply thrown out each day that is still perfectly edible and, on the plus side, all sugars in them, are completely natural too.

Snact have been making deliciously sustainable snacks to tackle food waste since 2013. Every day in the UK we throw out tonnes of perfectly good fruit. Snact saves surplus fruit and turns it in to tasty snacks. All snacks are packaged in fully home compostable wrappers to ensure that their packaging matched their ethos of creating less waste.

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I received three different bars to try:

  1. Apple & Cinnamon Kick Banana Bar,
  2. Beetroot & Cacao Blast Banana Bar,
  3. Carrot & Spice Boost Banana Bar.
  • ✔ Each bar saves one banana from going to waste
  • ✔ Vegan
  • ✔ Gluten free
  • ✔ Part of your 5 a day
  • ✔ No added sugar
  • ✔ No additives or preservatives
  • ✔ In home compostable packaging
  • ✔ Definitely has no dates!

Apple & Cinnamon Kick Banana Bar

You can taste each of the flavours in this bar;  the combination of cinnamon and apple is my favourite too!

The ingredients are all easy to read and completely natural; Dried banana, gluten free wholegrain oat flakes, pumpkin seeds, dried apple powder, pecan nuts, apple fibre and ground cinnamon.

Beetroot & Cacao Blast Banana Bar

This bar tastes GREAT. Who’d of thought that beetroot and cacao would go so well together? It kind of tasted like my favourite raw brownies!

Carrot & Spice Boost Banana Bar

I loved the spices in this bar- it genuinely had the taste of carrot cake.

All of the bars were a great mid morning snack- they kept me from getting hangry before lunch and, as they’re only around 120 calories per bar, weren’t a too calorific mid morning snack.

 

As a teacher, I would also recommend them to the parents as suitable for snacks, or lunch products for children to bring in to school!

I thoroughly enjoyed trying these bars.  Snact bars can be purchased directly from the Snact website. Find out more about them on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Thank you Snact!

 

 

The Best Ways to Introduce More Iron into Your Diet by Jennifer Dawson

The Best Ways to Introduce More Iron into Your Diet

We all know about the importance of iron from watching Popeye as kids. While downing a can of spinach won’t necessarily give you superhuman strength, it does play an important role in healthy growth and development. It helps to make up the hemoglobin in your bloodstream, which is essential to transporting oxygen around your body.

Without enough iron in your diet, you’ll find yourself feeling fatigued, weak,and irritable. It may even lead to more serious conditions such as anemia, especially amongst women. As many as 20% of women and 50% of pregnant women don’t have a high enough level of iron in their bloodstream to support healthy functioning.

Luckily, it’s not hard to increase your iron intake. There are plenty of tasty and affordable sources of iron that you can make sure to include in your diet.

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Eat More Meat

Heme iron is found in muscle tissue and is easy for the body to absorb. All meats contain heme iron, though some are a better source than others. Shellfish such as clams, mollusks, and muscles contain more iron in a single serving than you necessarily need in a day. Fish are also a decent source of heme iron, alongside beef, pork, and poultry. Chicken liver is a particularly good source of iron and tastes delicious in pate form.

Snack on Seeds and Beans

Nonheme iron is found in plants, and while it’s a little bit harder for the body to absorb, eating nonheme foods reduces the risk of accidentally consuming a toxic amount of iron. Cooked beans and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, squash seeds, and sesame seeds are all excellent sources of iron that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well. In addition to iron, these foods also offer plenty of protein and fiber for healthy digestion which further balances the diet.

 

Eat Salads

As mentioned earlier, spinach has long been known as a good source of nonheme iron. It’s best to eat spinach leaves raw in salads, smoothies, and other light dishes. Other leafy green vegetables can also give you the iron that you need. Kale, chard, broccoli, and more can provide you with some of your daily iron needs, but you’ll probably have to supplement them with other nutrient-rich foods as well. 

Iron is an essential nutrient that’s important to include in your diet, especially for women. You can get iron from both meat and plant sources that also provide a host of other essential nutrients, keeping you feeling your very best.

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Jennifer

High Protein Energy Balls

Keep these little balls of protein goodness in the fridge ready for when you need a bit of a boost. Along with nut butter, they contain egg white and whey protein!

 

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Serves 12
Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooling time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

50g dates

2 large egg whites

1 tsp vanilla extract

25g Nutty one Muesli

25g Protein powder

75g Coconut flour

100g chunky peanut butter

40g desiccated coconut (to role in)

As much coconut milk as needed to make them roll able!

 

Method:

  1. Put the raisins in a blender with the egg whites and vanilla and blitz until the dates are finely chopped. Stir in the oats, protein powder, coconut flour and nut butter and mix well to make a soft dough; adding enough coconut milk to make this viable!
  2. Divide into 12 and roll in the desiccated coconut to make balls.
  3. Store in the fridge, in a container, for up to a week.

 

Enjoy x

Hazelnut Truffles ft Oppo Ice Cream

You can still enjoy a treat and eat healthy as these  Hazelnut ‘Ferrero Rocher’ style truffles,  made with healthy OPPO icecream, prove. Made with oat flour, cacao powder and chocolate whey protein, you wont be able to stop at just one!

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Ingredients:

– 70g of Cacao and Hazelnut OPPO Icecream, melted,

– 80g of soaked medjool dates,

– 50g of oat flour,

– 3 teaspoons of cacao powder,

– 30g of chocolate protein powder (or sub for more flour).

– 1 tbsp of chocolate spread (a cacao nut butter was my option),

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in your blender,
  2. Blend until well combined,
  3. Leave the mix to harden in the fridge for around an hour,
  4. Take the mix out of the fridge and scoop teaspoon size amounts on to a place,
  5. Place these scoops in to the freezer for a further half an hour,
  6. Take out the freezer, role in to shape and store in the fridge!

 

Hannah x