Coconut and Almond Truffles

These Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.The recipe was created by Amanda Hamilton, a TV Nutritionist working in connection with digestive health brand Udo’s Choice.

Ingredients:

  • 80g dates
  • 60g almonds ground or 60g of almond pulp from a Soyabella machine
  • 30g desiccated coconut
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Method:

In a food processor blend together the dates, almonds (or leftover almond pulp) until they form a crumbly paste. If it’s too thick, add a little water, but only enough for it to just come together. Depending on personal taste, the truffle mixture doesn’t need to be totally smooth; some nutty pieces and chunks can be a good thing.

Add the cocoa powder and blend until mostly incorporated.

Remove the nut mixture from your food processor and place it in a large bowl. Stir in half of the shredded coconut, maple syrup, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.

If the truffle mixture is too sticky at this point, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes so it firms up slightly. Measure the truffle mixture out as about 1 heaped tablespoon each.

Roll it into balls by rolling the mixture between your palms then roll the truffles in the remaining shredded coconut.

Truffles are at their best when cold so for the best results place the truffles in the freezer and allow to them harden for at least 1 hour. Store the remaining truffles in the freezer removing only what you are planning to eat now and allow them to soften at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.

If this recipe takes your fancy you should definitely pop over to Udo’s Choice website and check they extended selection of nutritional healthy recipes.

These Vegan Coconut and Almond Truffles are the perfect way to indulge in some festive cheer without overloading on sugar. Quick and easy to prepare they will provide you with a sweet fix with the addition of a nutritional kick.

Dry Apples & Cinnamon Muffins

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Frankly when I entered my kitchen the other day I was all for baking with coffee. My mind was set for a coffee treat but once I started preparing my ingredients I came across a big bag of dried apples which my mum had lovingly prepared for me… suddenly the coffee was out the window and the apples were in. As they were dried apples I wasn’t really sure what to do with them so I settled for yet another sugar free muffins. It was a good choice. The muffins came out perfectly oozing with rich apple flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 200g dry apples; chopped
  • 50g raisings
  • 250ml strong tea
  • 140g flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones.

In a medium sized cooking pot place your lovely chopped dry apples, add 250ml of freshly brewed tea (I used black vanilla tea) and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until all the liquid has incorporated into the apples.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. In the meantime, sift your flour and mix with the bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs.

Now back to our apples…

Add the butter and stir until melted and mixed in.

Add the cinnamon and vanilla essence and stir well.

Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda mixture, add the eggs and raisings and mix until fully combined but try not to over mix it.

Use a table spoon and scoop one heaped tablespoon of mixture into each muffin casing.

Pop into earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Enjoy!

Weight Loss, The Human Brain & Social Programming

The human brain is an amazing thing, for example it can be used to “program” our thinking in order to help us achieve our goals… if we only let it!

The human brain is an amazing thing, for example it can be used to “program” our thinking in order to let us achieve out goals… if we only let it!Unfortunately however, when it comes to weight loss we have been “programmed” for years by society and endless marketing to think that there can be no gain without an equal amount of pain which is let’s face it, a lot of crap.

On Saturday I had the huge pleasure of spending a few wonderful hours amongst the Slimpod stars of 2015. I’ve won the “Most Inspirational Blogger” category due to my complete changing of the way I see and blog about food. My journey with Slimpod has awarded me, so far, with just over 2 stone of weight loss but most of all it has allowed me to rediscover food in a way that I never would have thought about before. And no, I didn’t starve myself, I didn’t have to count calories or sins, I didn’t have a loooong list of foods I can’t eat or any other kind of restriction for that matter… so then how does it work?

Well, this is where we come to our mysterious and beautiful brain! Slimpod works on your subconscious and changes the way you think about food in general. And the result, well you start to have a dialogue with your body and it tells you that it doesn’t want that food, that it knows is bad for you or more simply, that 2 spoonful’s is enough. It is not a choice, in fact you don’t even realise it is happening until after the event or more likely it is when someone around you makes a comment. I personally don’t understand the science behind it but frankly I don’t care! For me and many others it works and that is all that matters!

I met some wonderful people on Saturday and they all have an incredible story to tell. They all lost a huge amount of weight but most of all they we all overcame our demons when it comes to food, being chocolate, cake, bread or cheese. We were all different and we all had different reasons for overeating and different “weak spots” but this is all in the past. We all feel happier and healthier now, we are lighter and it’s all because we gave Slimpod a try.

However, we all had one common story to tell… about those people around us who despite seeing our changes flatly refused to believe that such a change is possible without any sacrifice. This is so silly in my humble opinion!

It’s silly because for years we were told that diets have to equal some sort of restriction but this simple isn’t true!

I hardly ever watch TV but yesterday I happened to watch the Channel 4 programme called How to Lose Weight Well. One of the girls who was put on a crash diet said something which really sums up the general public’s opinion about weight loss “It’s not going to work because it’s not restrictive enough”. This statement really stuck with me as my own personal experience and the experience of others there on Saturday show that the statement is a prime example of total conditioned BS, sorry but there isn’t a different way of putting it.

People, think for yourself! Read about our majestic brain and what it can do for you. Don’t let society define your beliefs, give the unknown a go and put your trust in something you might not entirely understand and finally just start to think slimmer. It works. I am good physical proof of this, you can eat all you fancy and yet shed weight, and you can be slimmer, healthier and happier without conscience sacrifice, restrictions and will power! I say we all should start thinking slimmer!

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins

Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. New year, new me… and yes, I am still on my journey to a healthier eating me. The main goal is to try and eliminate sugar, especially refined ones. These muffins do not contain any sugar or any sugar substitutes, they are simply sweetened by the dry fruits included in them, so all natural and much friendlier for our body. Despite not having a need for a wheat free diet I’ve decided to use a spelt flour to up the nutty flavour… the results are truly yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 100g dates; chopped
  • 75g raisins
  • 50g prunes; chopped
  • 50g pecans; chopped
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 140g spelt flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4tsp salt

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates, prunes and raisins (Whitworths dry fruit selection is perfect for baking), add coconut milk and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until all milk has incorporated into the fruit.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a meantime, sift your flour and mix with bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs.

Now back to our fruit…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in.

Add salt and vanilla essence and stir well.

Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda mixture, add the eggs and nuts and stir until fully combined but do not over mix it.

Use a table spoon and scoop one heaped tablespoon of mixture into each muffin casing.

Pop into earlier preheated oven and bake for 20-22 minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from baking tray and place on wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. Enjoy!

Parragon Book Buddy – Natural

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.I have to admit, this is by far the biggest cook book I’ve ever had the pleasure to review from Parragon Books. Not only is it large in presence but it also has a solid feel with over 300 pages stuffed with ideas and inspiration. The picture above doesn’t do its justice as in reality the cover of the book is embossed but as much as I wanted to show it, I simply couldn’t photograph it in any way that it would be visible.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment contains eight main chapters:

  1. Wake Up!
  2. Energy-Fuelling Lunches
  3. Super-Charged Snacks & Sides
  4. Dressings, Sauces & Dips
  5. A Feast of Vegetables
  6. Power-Packed Protein
  7. The Sweet Stuff
  8. Healthy Nectars

The titles are pretty self-explanatory so they give you a very good idea what type of dishes you might find inside this cook book.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.In addition, as with most books from the Love Food series, this cookbook provides tons of information about naturally good ingredients. You can find in there all the knowledge you could seek about food superheroes like chia seeds, wheatgrass, coconut oil or water and well as many more.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.All the recipes in the book come providing the number of servings, preparation and cook time as well as a lovely clear picture of the final dish ready for serving. I love cookbooks that come with nice photography as it makes me more inspired to actually recreate the dish. Plain text might be good for some but I like to see what to aim for and how close I can get my copy cat dish to its desired form and plating.

To add to this, Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment also gives you the expected nutritional value for each dish being calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, carbs, fibre, protein and salt.

Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment – 320 pages of wonderful recipes that use fresh, natural and simple ingredients to help provide a healthier and cleaner approach to everyday eating.For us 2016 is a back to basics year; we have big changes coming and one of them is to go back to our roots when it comes to food… eat natural, eat clean and most of all eat healthy, so this cook book was a wonderful gift which I am sure will get a lot of use and you will most likely see a lot of recipes on the blog which were inspired by it.

Do you have any food related plans and resolution for 2016?

***
Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment
ISBN 978-1-4723-9243-5
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2015
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 320
RRP: £20
Hardcover

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.
**All pictures in this post are from “Natural – Wholesome Recipes for Pure Nourishment” cookbook.