Liquid Cleanse. Two words that on their own are completely acceptable, even pleasant, but put those hands together and you have yourself a world of hurt. And it is only day one! Well actually I am being a bit dramatic. In general I find cleanses liberating, detoxifying, lightening and (funnily enough) cleansing! But of course they can be difficult and need a fair chunk of determination to get through. It is more of a psychological challenge than physical; because you know you can’t eat anything the mind plays tricks on you and tells you that you’re hungrier than you are. (Which is exactly the reason diets don’t work).Either way… by 3:30pm of Day #1 I felt faint, nauseous and panicky. I really felt I needed something hearty to keep my energy levels up enough to play with my 5 month old and pack our entire life into boxes. Enter the Choc Macanana Smoothie.
Also – for fun – whisper Choc Macanana in a deep tribal voice; doesn’t that sound like some mystical island legend? Can’t you imagine being around a campfire on the beach and Choc Macanana appearing with a fern headdress? Look, in my solids deprived brain I found that hilarious and have now been giggling for about 5 minutes. C’mon Em, pull yourself together!!! Anyway…
A Little Word About Maca…
I will go into a lengthier post about Maca Powder later on but I just wanted to say that this is the one Superfood that I have felt instant and dramatic effects from. Maca comes in powder form and is made from a turnip-esque root vegetable of South America. The list of health benefits of Maca is too huge to list but the most common praise I had heard was it’s ability to balance hormones, give your energy levels a boost (your libido as well!) as well as giving you the most amazing glowing skin.
I had held off until a few weeks ago as I had heard from some that it can negatively affect anxiety levels – and considering mine were just starting to normalise I didn’t want to risk another surge. But in the end the pros outweighed the cons and I gave it a go. Even on the first day I took it I felt noticeably better which I have never experienced with a product before. Now after two weeks of 1 teaspoon a day I feel like a different person. My husband has commented on how much more positive I am, more patient. I have had a lot of comments on my skin. And – surprisingly – my anxiety management has improved again. I have since learned that Maca is renowned for it’s depression-busting skills too.
The point of this spiel is to recommend that you invest in some Maca if you have any of the ailments I mentioned. I use this product from Loving Earth and they deliver all over Australia. But hopefully you can find it in most good healthfood stores.
Prep time – 5 minutes; Serves 1
1 x banana
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used my homemade Cashew Milk using this recipe)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
Pinch of cinnamon
2 x dates
Throw all ingredients in the blender.
Blend until smooth.
If you want to get fancy sprinkle on some cacao nibs.
What is your can’t-live-without ingredient and why?
Would love to hear in the comments…
Gluten Free – Grain Free – Refined Sugar Free – Dairy Free – Paleo
Cooking time – 3 minutes, Serves 1
So is it a Teacup Cake or a Tea Cupcake?
A Mud Cake or a Mug Cake?
Scrumdiddiliumptious or Yumskiddilidumptious?
Some of life’s great questions. All I know is that I played around with a few healthy ingredients and ended up with the most gorgeous little cake-for-one recipe. This is perfect for when you have a sweet craving but cannot be trusted with the whole cake. This being said, it is a healthy (read; gluten free, sugar free, grain free, dairy free) recipe so even if you don’t limit yourself to just one cup you are doing okay!
I have to apologise for the photo quality… I didn’t expect to be successful so I was just playing around on my phone before putting it up on Instagram (come follow me! My user name is @oliveonblonde). Don’t worry, the photo quality is not representative of the taste. It is Delicious with a capital D.
- 1.5 tablespoons Almond Meal
- 1.5 tablespoons Organic Raw Cacao
- 1 tablespoon Raw Honey
- 1 teaspoon Coconut Butter
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- Pinch of Salt (try go for an unprocessed one like Pink Himalayan)
- 1 Egg
I topped mine with some Cashew Cream I had already made and some Cacao Nibs.
To make Cashew Cream you need raw cashews, non-dairy milk, natural sweetener and a vanilla pod. I swear by Vegan Sparkles (one of my fave bloggers and friends) fail-safe recipe – see it here. (This will mean recipe takes about 10 minutes instead of 3)
It is perfect by itself but if you want something extra but don’t want to make the cashew cream get creative… berries, nut butter and honey. Get creative!
- Mix all ingredients together in a teacup.
- Microwave for 1 minute.
- Optional: Top with Cashew Cream and Cacao nibs.
- That is it. Seriously.
NOTE: If you want to make a bigger cake, double the ingredients, put in a mug and microwave for two minutes!
Great for kids!!! (My husband wanted to add that he is proof that it is child friendly – even he managed to cook one!)
Paleo – Raw – Vegan – Gluten Free – Refined Sugar Free
Preparation Time – 10 minutes; Fridge Time – 40 minutes
What a sweet little treat!
I have been completely embracing a new way of life lately – a life where I actually value the body I am trudging around in! This means I have forgone grains, refined sugar, dairy and opted instead for loads of vegetables, fruit and lean proteins. Not only am I aiming for a slightly lighter existence (post baby bod blues) but I have added motivation now. Since having my baby I seem to have developed allergies – itchy red rashy allergies! Strange but true. As you can see here The New York Times reported that due to weakened immune function, it’s not uncommon for women to develop allergies after giving birth. So with that in mind I am not only on a mission to discover what I am newly allergic to but I am also trying to balance that with breast-feeding cravings. Enter Sir Macaroon!
Strawberry optional… but was tasty I can assure you!
This fluffy, gooey ball of love was oh so simple to whip up. They are very sweet and moist and the perfect afternoon snack for that 3pm pang of sweetness. Next time I will dip them in raw chocolate and drizzle it over the top as well. (If you want to try this the raw chocolate recipe that I would use is the Ganache Icing from my Superfood Slice – see that here). Could be the makings of an indulgent raw dessert in there somewhere?
½ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Coconut Butter (Buy this at health food store or make your own see here)
1 ½ – 2 Cups unsweetend shredded coconut
3-4 tablespoon of sweetener of choice (maple syrup, raw honey or agave)
- Soften the coconut oil and coconut butter by heating in a small saucepan or by placing inside the oven at low heat
- Once melted to liquid remove from heat.
- Add your sweetener and combine.
- Add the shredded coconut bit by bit until you get the consistency you want. The mix won’t stick together like a traditional doughy mixture but it will cool down and harden into a solid form.
- Form the mix into whatever macaroon shape blows your hair back – little domes are tradition. You may have some liquid leftover at the bottom of the bowl… I poured these over the the mounds for extra richness. They will cool to be solid!
- Put in fridge to cool down.
- EAT THEM!
Paleo – Grain Free – Vegan
Preparation Time – 15 minutes; Cooking time – 15 minutes; Fridge time – 1 hour
Everyone loves a brownie!
When I was pregnant everyone always used to warn me about any expectations associated with my post baby bod. They all said – “your body won’t just bounce back straight away”. I nodded politely but internally I was thinking… “Pfft – I haven’t gone mad with food during the pregnancy, I’ll snap back like an elastic band dammit”. Unfortunately majority won and I have been left with a little bit of a shock. I guess cultivating a human for 9 months does slightly affect you – who woulda thunk it! As such I have committed to giving the Paleo diet a go. This diet hinges on a high protein intake, lots of leafy greens, no processed foods and – the most important part – no grains whatsoever! One could be fooled into thinking this diet makes coffee and cake with friends impossible never fear – baked goods are actually surprisingly easy to Paleo-ise.
Almond Meal is a Paleo Bakers friend! Almond Meal is made from ground almonds and therefore is sometimes referred to as almond flour. It lends a moistness to any dish you use and is a high protein alternative to your standard nasty white flours. And the kicker… it partners especially well with chocolate! Zing zing zing! If you would like to make your own Almond Meal the Delighted Momma provides a fantastic tutorial here. (note: she specifies almonds without skin, but using ones with their skin on is completely fine!). Here is the recipe for my incredibly well-received Fudgy Banana Brownie. YUM.
Served with organic strawberries and an Alessi spoon = perfection!
*note – if you don’t like banana substitute the 2 mashed banana’s for 1 free range egg. This will obviously mean the brownie is no longer vegan though!
½ cup coconut oil (solid)
½ cup organic raw cocao powder (this is different to cocoa in that it is a superfood but you can substitute if need be)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup (can use honey or agave nectar)
2 mashed ripe bananas (I always keep a stash of frozen ripe bananas in the freezer… cut into chunks)
1 cup almond meal
Raw Ganache Icing
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160° Celsius (325° Fahrenheit)
- Mix the coconut oil, cocao powder and cinnamon in a bowl and combine well.
- Add the coconut milk, maple syrup and almond meal and mix until combined.
- Mash in banana (if using frozen I microwave it until it is mostly defrosted. This works really well and means you will have amazing delicious banana chunks in your brownie!)
- Line a small brownie tin with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the surface of the mix.
- Place in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Insert a chopstick/skewer to check – the stick should come out with a bit of the mix on it. This means extra fudginess once it has cooled! Remove and allow to cool to room temperature (if you can resist digging in straight away!).
Raw Ganache Icing
- Remove 2 teaspoons of your coconut sugar and keep aside (this will dust the brownie!).
- Combine remaining coconut sugar with cinnamon.
- Whisk the cacao powder and coconut oil together until smooth .
- Add cinnamon coconut sugar mix and mix well.
- Pour on top of the brownie and refrigerate immediately.
- After 10 minutes remove from fridge and sprinkle on remaining coconut sugar. This will give a beautiful caramel fairy dust effect!
- Serve with strawberries!!!
Happy Last Day Of Winter!!! Summer is officially on its way which in Australia means some serious sun. Last weekend it actually peeked it’s head out of the clouds (just to let us know it was on its way!) and I made sure I took full advantage of it. I spent the day reclining on some awesome secondhand day beds we recently found and feasted on an amazing Vegan Platter (see that recipe here). The only thing that would have topped it off was some wine. But alas, I am pregnant, so instead I tried to make a drink so toe-tappingly tantalizing that I wouldn’t even miss the sweet grape nectar of the gods. I think I succeeded! Here is the recipe to my Perfect Summer Gingernade…
- 1/3 Cup Ginger, roughly chopped
- 1/4 Cup of Raw Honey or Agave Nectar
- 1/2 Cup Mint, finely chopped
- 2 x Lemons
- Water (approx 4 Cups)
- Iceblocks, slices of citrus and some leftover mint to serve
Put ginger, mint and honey/agave into a bowl or a container with a lid on it.
Pour 2 Cups of boiling water onto mixture and gently stir.
Let it steep (cover the bowl) for at least 30 minutes. I let mine steep over night so it was especially gingery!
Strain the liquid and refrigerate until you are ready to use.
When you are ready to serve, pour the liquid into a jug. Squeeze the juice of both your lemons into the liquid – I like my flavours bitey and strong though so maybe start with one and see how you like it! Then top up with 2 Cups of water to dilute the lemonade.
Serve with ice blocks, finely chopped mint and slices of citrus fruit! When I am allowed to enjoy alcohol again I am going to add sliced cucumber and Pimms for a really English affair. ENJOY!
Vegan – Sugar Free – Gluten Free – Paleo
Preparation – 10 mins; Freezing time – 1 hour
Makes a massive block!
And just like that… my life will never be the same again! Everyday, bang on 2pm, I find myself with an all-consuming urge to seek and destroy all chocolate products within a 5km radius. Instead of denying myself though I wanted to try and make my own healthy version. Then I was reading a post on the Wellness Warrior’s blog where she provided a super simple chocolate recipe with just 5 nutritious ingredients and 6 easy steps. Surely it can’t be so simple? Well… IT IS. This is the best stuff I have ever made and both my husband and I took stashes into the office to experiment on our colleagues. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Woot woot! This will only take you a few minutes and is so deliciously indulgent that I can guarantee you will be hooked as well!
Where To Buy
If you can do a regular shop at a health food store or one that allows the bulk purchase of things like grains and flours then you will find all the ingredients you need in the one place. It’s also great for you to take your own container and go plastic free! Otherwise you can check out these alternatives…
- Dates, Almonds and Maple Syrup – can all be found at supermarkets and grocery stores.
- Coconut Oil – I have recently heard that Coconut Oil is available in supermarkets in the Asian food section.
- Raw Cacao Powder – I have only seen this at health food stores or bulk style shops.
- 110 grams raw almonds
- 170 grams coconut oil (try cold pressed, virgin if possible)
- 4 tablespoons raw cacao
- A handful of medjool dates, chopped (I will use more next time… probably 15. But I LOVE dates at the moment).
- ¼ cup maple syrup (make sure it’s 100% pure – not just flavored syrup)
1) Line a baking tray with baking paper or alfoil and place in the freezer to chill.
2) Grind almonds in a blender / food processor until they are finely chopped (not quite a powder though).
3) If your coconut oil is solid, gently warm in a saucepan until it is all liquid (do not boil!).
4) Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients; almonds, raw cacao, dates and maple syrup.
5) Pour the mixture onto your tray and spread it out evenly then put into the freezer until it has set. This won’t even take an hour!
6) Chop the chocolate into chunks or rough squares. For Christmas pressies I am going to try and set the chocolate using cookie cutters shapes too!
NOTE: You’ll need to keep this stuff in the freezer between snacks. That is if you can hold out on the nom nom nom…
NOTE: That is a pregnant belly… not a chocolate belly!!!