Category Archives: Snacks

Olive oil Zucchini Banana Bread with chocolate chips

Olive oil Zucchini Banana Bread with chocolate chips

Shredded zucchini and mashed banana work perfectly together and ensure that this nutritious loaf stays nice and moist. The banana adds sweetness so there is no need to add too much sugar.
It’s the best of all quick breads if you ask me. With the added chocolate chips to make it a real treat. Lightly sweet and perfectly fluffy and moist, and very healthy too.


INGREDIENTS:

WET
• 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/3 cup mild olive oil
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini, don’t pack to measure, instead fit loosely in the cup. (about 1 medium/large zucchini) SEE NOTE about drying zucchini*


DRY
• 1 cup oat flour, made by simply grinding oats in a food processor
• 1 cup brown rice flour or whole wheat all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• pinch salt
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add the the first six ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. In another bowl combine the flours, baking powder and salt, stir in the grated zucchini. Add the wet ingredients, and stir with a spatula, now add the chocolate chips and stir thru.
4. Turn batter out into the prepared pan , smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.


5. Bake for about 55 minutes or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Note – place grated zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and roll it up, wring out as much moist as you can.

Enjoy!

Healthy Salted Caramel Twix Bars

These home-made Twix Bars are a nutrient powerhouse!

Aside from being an easy, on the go snack, these nutrient powerhouses contain essential vitamins, minerals, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Yes, they are super healthy and super delicious.  And they keep you full and satisfied for a long time.

The base of the twix is made with healthy oats, nuts and some maple syrup.

The caramel layer is made out of dates, some of the most impressive benefits of Medjool dates include their ability to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, aid bone strength, protect cognition, boost metabolism, ensure proper hormone production, optimize digestion and help with normal growth and development.
Medjool dates also contain notable levels of magnesium, manganese, copper and calcium, all of which are required to improve bone mineral density in the body. Even if blood tests show that you are not deficient in minerals, this could be because your body is extracting minerals from your bones, especially women are prone to calcium deficiency so adding essential minerals in every snack is an important health decision.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make some Twix!
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🔪 Prep time : 15 minutes
⏰ Cooking time : 25 minutes
🍪 Makes : 16 Twix


INGREDIENTS:
BASE
• 1 cup cashew nuts, preferably soaked for a few hours
• 2 cups oats
• ½ Cup (pea) protein powder
• ¼ tsp. salt
• ¼ cup flax seeds
• ¼ cup coconut oil melted
• ¼ cup peanut butter,
• ½ cup maple syrup or agave syrup or a combo of both (I use 50/50)
CARAMEL
• 1 cup (heaped, well packed) pitted medjool dates
• ¼ tsp. instant coffee granules
• A few drops of natural caramel extract (optional)
• A few tablespoons of water
CHOCOLATE TOP
• ½ cup roughly chopped 80% dark chocolate
• 2 tsp. coconut oil
• Flaked sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Pre heat the oven to 350° F / 180° C
2. Drain the cashew nuts and pat dry.
3. Place all the dry ingredients in a high powered food processor and process until fine.
4. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Place the cashew nuts in the food processor and blend until smooth.
6. Place the dry ingredients back into the food processor.
7. Heat the peanut butter, syrup and coconut oil briefly in the microwave until just softened. Add to the rest of the ingredients.
8. Mix everything well.
9. Line a square 8” / 20 cm. baking pan with parchment paper
10. Place all the base ingredients in the baking pan and press down firmly.
11. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top and firm to the touch.
12. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack in the pan.
Meanwhile make the caramel.
1. Place the dates in a sauce pan with a thick bottom to prevent burning and add the water.
2. Add the coffee granules
3. Cook slowly, stirring often to break down the dates completely. Add a little water if necessary.
4. This can take up to ten minutes depending on the dryness of the dates
5. Keep stirring until you have a thick paste. (that smells heavenly)
6. Add the caramel extract
7. Let cool completely.

When ready to assemble, spread the date caramel all over the cookie base, evenly.
Place in the refrigerator until firm and cooled. Or in the freezer if you are in a hurry
Melt the chocolate in 20 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
Spread evenly over the caramel and return to the fridge until set.
When you are ready to cut the Twix bars, make sure to immerse a sharp knife in hot water before cutting thru the chocolate or it will break unevenly. Cut into 16 squares.
Sprinkle over some flaked sea salt.
And I’m really wondering how long they will last in your home…..let me know, ok?

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Chocolate Granola, only 6 Ingredients

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This fantastic Granola is chocolatey and super crunchy. It has very little fat and very little sweetener. All natural, all healthy, ’cause that’s what we’re doing this month. Are you with me?

…and ONLY 6 INGREDIENTS.

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INGREDIENTS;

  • 4 Cups whole rolled oats
  • 1 Cup large Coconut flakes
  • 1/2 Cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup cacao powder

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METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 160 C / 320 F

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients.
Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola mix out evenly over the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Toss the granola around at least 4 times during cooking time making sure it toasts evenly all over.
After 30 minutes. Take out the tray and leave to cool completely before storing away in a large Mason jar or similar.
Will keep for about three to four weeks.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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Detox tips for January plus Smoothie freezer packs.

Let’s get down to business.

If you are anything like me, you couldn’t wait to get back on track and start with nutritious healthy food now that we’ve started the new year.
I feel like I am in desperate need to replenish. How about you?

Although I had a great time during the whole month of December, enough is enough.
The first thing I do, is to clean out the fridge and check very well what you have, write it down if necessary. Plan meals to use up leftovers if you have any, and as far as I’m concerned throw out the fattening stuff. Get rid of chips and salty stuff too. We need to get rid of all that water retention, you may not notice it per se, but you’ve got excess water weight for sure, unless you only ate carrots and cucumbers in December.
Cleaning your fridge helps you to get the right mindset, it gets you in the mood to fill the fridge with vegetables and beautiful crunchy nutritious foods.

Clean the fridge as you normally would and then rinse with warm water and soda to get rid of any smells.
Then what I do is, I get lots of vegetables, wash them, prepare them and put them in containers in the fridge at eye level. So whenever I’m hungry I can pick a healthy snack, Other things I may have are a bowl of hard boiled eggs, fat free yoghurt and low carb fruits. Some nuts are ok too, unless you want to loose a lot of weight then you really need to watch your portions, no more than 1 tablespoon a day.

TIP No. 1:
First thing in the morning drink a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon.  It purifies and detoxes the body from toxins and also kick starts your metabolism. And I mean…..it does wonders.Wait for twenty minutes before consuming anything else.
Meanwhile make your detox water for the day.

TIP No. 2:
Make Detox water
Boil 2 liters of water ( about 0.5 gallon / 8 1/3 Cups) and let it sit for two minutes or so.
Pour in a large container or teapot over 2 tablespoons of Dandelion thee, the juice of half a lemon, a few slices of ginger and one bag of green tea. Leave to infuse and drink all of it during the day. If you must,  sweeten with little bit of Stevia.

Now let’s make some smoothie packs;

When you have smoothie packs ready in the freezer you will be less tempted to grab something else, and you might even feel a little guilty if you do because you really don’t have any excuses not to have a smoothie (wink).

The first thing you need to do, a day in advance, is to freeze coconut milk in an ice cube tray. It’s the best thing ever, great for smoothies and also for recipes that require just a bit of coconut milk.

Then we are going to freeze two or three more trays with a mixture of yoghurt, flax and almond butter, like this;

32 oz. of high protein yoghurt (more protein will keep you full the longest, I like Skyr)

3 tablespoons flax seeds

6 tablespoons almond butter.

Mix this in a bowl and divide over the ice cube trays. Freeze. When ready divide over six zip lock bags. This is the base. Now add the remaining ingredients and store the bags in the freezer. I have given you a few examples of what to put in the zip lock bags, but you can add whatever you like.

       

Blueberry Acaï Spinach

1 cup spinach

1 cup blueberries

2 tsp. Acaï  powder or a frozen Acaï  pack

1/2 banana, sliced

Pineapple Goji

1 cup pineapple cut into chunks

1 tbsp. dried goji berries (I love these)

1 whole banana, sliced

5 frozen coconut milk cubes

Mango Passion Baobab

1 cup Mango chunks

pulp from 1 passion fruit

1 banana

1 tsp. Baobab powder (optional)

1 tangerine in segments

Green Detox

1 cup kale

1 apple or pear, peeled and core removed

1 kiwi

1 lemon segment

1/2 banana

Strawberry Fields

1 1/2 cups strawberries

1 orange, peeled and in segments

1/2 banana

Raspberry Delight

1 Cup raspberries

1/2 Cup strawberries

5 frozen coconut milk cubes

1/2 banana

Chocolate Moca Smoothie

1 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 avocado

1 tsp. instant expresso powder

(no yogurt cubes in this one, replace with milk of choice)

When ready to use:

Place freezer bag ingredients in a blender and add 1/2 cup almond milk or soy. Blend until smooth. Add a little water if you like it a bit thinner. Enjoy and feel the goodness!

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Vegan Brownie Cookie Squares with Chocolate Fudge Layer

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I love anything you can mix in one big bowl and then press into a tin.

These cookie squares are somewhere between a brownie and a cookie, hence the name. They are super quick to make and so nutrient dense that one little square will be enough to last you until lunch or dinner.

I have used half Buckwheat flakes  and half Oat flakes just because I happened to have it but you can use one or the other or a mixture of both.

If your dates are dry, soak them in water for about an hour before using.

I have used a bit of Lucuma, but if you don’t have it, it’s fine without.

*Lucuma  is made from whole Peruvian lucuma fruit that has been dried at low temperatures and milled into a fine powder. It is a  low-glycemic sweetener with many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein. Lucuma has a maple-caramel like taste and I like to use it in sweet things and smoothies.

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Makes 16 squares

Ingredients;

Brownie cookie;

  • 1 C. Buckwheat Flakes
  • 1 C. Oat flakes
  • 5 tbsp. Cacao Powder
  • 2 tsp. *Lucuma Powder  (optional)
  • 1/4 C. Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 C. Peanut Butter  or an nut butter
  • 5 large soft Medjool dates, stones removed
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tbsp. Light Agave Syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted or left in a warm place until soft.
  • Sprinkles (optional)

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Raw Chocolate Fudge Layer;

  • 1/4 C. Raw Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. Coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. Date syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Agave

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Instructions;

Blend the Buckwheat and Oat flakes until you have  flour and place in a bowl.

Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.

In a food processor blend the Medjool dates until you have a paste, add a splash of water if necessary. Add the nut butter, the vanilla, the agave and the coconut oil. Blend until well mixed.

If you are using a home made nut butter you can add a pinch of salt. Store bought nut butters have salt already.

Now mix the dry into the wet and mix thoroughly. To test the consistency press a bit of mixture between your fingers or try to make a tiny ball, if it sticks together it good to go, if it crumbles add a little bit of water, or coconut oil. Blend, repeat.

Line a square dish 8″x 8″,  with parchment paper, press the cookie brownie mixture into the dish and cover with cling film, refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm. Cover with a thin layer of raw chocolate or leave as is.

For the Chocolate fudge layer, mix all the ingredients and stir well to mix, spread or pour over the squares. Decorate with sprinkles and leave in the fridge to set. About one hour should be enough. Cut into 16 squares.

Note: the chocolate will melt slightly if left at room temperature for a while.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it  #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.