Sugar Free Prunes Muffins

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.This recipe is a spin-off from my Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. It has more defined flavours, has less fats due to the reduce amount of coconut oil used and with the addition of the optional dark chocolate and almonds I find it works perfectly as a breakfast muffin too 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 250g prunes; chopped
  • 1 tin / 400ml coconut milk
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 25g raw cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 50g almonds; chopped coarsely (optional)
  • 50g dark chocolate; chopped coarsely (optional)

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.Method:

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

In a medium size cooking pot place the chopped prunes, add the entire 400ml tin of coconut milk after a good shake and bring slowly to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes or until most of the milk has incorporated itself into the fruit.

Put aside and allow it to cool for 10 minutes; then add 1 table spoon of coconut oil into the mixture and mix well until it has melted and combined into the mix.

Meanwhile sift the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, into a large mixing bowl and then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix.

In a seperae bowl, beat the eggs till they are uniform and fully mixed.

Once the prunes have reached room temperature add the vanilla extract, beaten eggs and again mix well.

Finally, fold in the flour mixture. At this stage, if you have opted for using the chopped chocolate and nuts then add them now and fold in gently.

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar-free and low-fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.Spread the finished mix evenly between the 12 muffin casings and pop into the earlier preheated oven. Try to work as fast as you can… as the slower you are, the less fluffy the muffins will be when they come out of the oven.

Bake for 18 minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove them from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on a wire rack and allow them to cool completely (if you can).

Enjoy all day and night 🙂

Light, fluffy and full of flavour, these sugar free and low fat muffins make for a perfect treat at any time of the day or night.

Super Green Morning Smoothie

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Every single ingredient brings something to the table:

Water – essential for good hydration; promotes weight loss and helps to flush out the toxins from our body.

Spinach – not only is it high in proteins and fibre but it is also loaded with microelements and vitamins like A, B6, C, E and K just to name a few.

Kiwi – with its low GI, high fibre content and alkaline properties kiwi is a perfect morning fruit, which adds tonnes of vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants into the mixture.

Matcha – super high in antioxidants helps to increase our energy levels, endurance and concentration but at the same time, promotes calmness and relaxation.

Wheatgrass – it contains chlorophyll, which is a natural liver cleanser and detoxifier; additionally it contains all minerals known to man, as well as many other vitamins.

Chia seeds – low calories, high in fibre and proteins, just what you need in the morning.

Protein powder – well this one is optional but if like me, you are struggling with food in the morning, I would highly suggest adding some into your smoothie to boost your protein intake, which will help with metabolism and keep you fuller for longer.

So let’s mix!

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Ingredients:

  • 250ml filtered water*
  • 1 large organic kiwi; peeled and halved
  • 1 scoop of diet whey protein powder**
  • 1 large handful of fresh organic spinach***
  • 1tsp organic chia seeds
  • 1/2tsp organic matcha
  • 1/2tsp organic wheatgrass

*as its winter time I don’t like my smoothie too cold in the morning so I don’t use chilled water, but come the warmer weather, you can use chilled water or reduce the amount of water and add a good handful of ice cubes on top

**I like strawberry flavour from PhD

***frozen would work great too

Method:

Well, you will need a blender, a high power one would be ideal.

Simply pop all the ingredients into the blender bowl, starting with water, pop the lid on and blend.

I start with variable 1, turn it to 10 and then swap too high for around 10 seconds or so. In this time frame, my Vitamix will have blended everything nicely, including the chia seeds and kiwi pips.

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Serve and enjoy!

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.

The Truth About Sugar and Yo-Yo Dieting

* by Sandra Roycroft-Davis

Sugar! Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight knows that sugar is the enemy – but isn’t it the hardest thing to cut down or give up?  So many people repeatedly try and fail.

Most people go through horrific cravings, binges and mood swings when they try to cut down but this reaction should be no surprise when you learn that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. People also experience headaches and even get the shakes. This is all because of the effect sugar has on the brain.Most people go through horrific cravings, binges and mood swings when they try to cut down but this reaction should be no surprise when you learn that sugar is as addictive as cocaine.  People also experience headaches and even get the shakes.  This is all because of the effect sugar has on the brain.

If this is you, then there is exciting news because there is a way to end the hold sugar has over you without having any of the awful withdrawal symptoms. Firstly though, I think it’s crucial to understand a little bit about the impact sugar has on your brain and your emotions because knowledge means empowerment and empowerment is one of the keys to freedom!

Most people try to give up sugar because they want to lose weight.  They invariably go on a diet and start depriving themselves of their pleasures and that’s when a whole series of unfortunate events begin to take place because there’s an emotional aspect to food that so many people don’t even think about – and this sabotages their efforts.

A survey of 1,000 people in America found 31 per cent thought lack of exercise was the biggest barrier to weight loss, 26 per cent said it was what they eat and 12 per cent said losing weight took up too much time. Only 1 in 10 thought emotions and habits were a factor.

This explains a lot – because to lose weight and keep it off long term we need to understand WHY we eat not just focus on WHAT we eat.

From a very young age, most of us become emotionally attached to sweet stuff.  Parents use chocolate and sweet treats as a reward for being good or to help make us feel good if we’re upset or hurt.  Birthday parties generally revolve around cake and sweet treats, too!

All these things keep reinforcing the association the brain has made: food / sweet treats / chocolate = pleasure.

We become conditioned to use food and sweet treats not only for nourishment and nutrition but for comfort and the reward and pleasure it gives. This all creates powerful connections that can last a lifetime.

Whenever the brain experiences pleasure it releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine.  So when you experience pleasure for whatever reason, this process is activated – and the more you get the more you want.  Evidence proves that sugar also kicks off this process, becoming our reward or feel-good drug of choice.

Losing weight is a miserable experience and we are creatures of pleasure so that’s why so many people are unsuccessful. However, it’s not all bad because once we’re aware of this happening then we can deal with it.

Here is a link to my free ebook which explains more about the effects sugar has and how you can end the misery…

* Sandra Roycroft-Davis is a Founder of ThinkingSlimmer.com

Sugar Free Dates & Coffee Muffins

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free.Coffee or “gogo juice” as Mark likes to call it is a must have for most of us each morning. We drink it to boost our energy levels so we can start to face the day ahead… but this is only partially true isn’t it?

In the last few months the new “healthy me” hasn’t found the need for a cup of coffee in the mornings. Most days I have a protein shake packed with matcha and I am just as ready to go, yet I still have my coffee each day simply due to its unique flavour. Coffee is a wonderful ingredient not only for drinking but for cooking and baking too… tiramisu, cheesecakes, truffles, these are all delicious desserts made with coffee and if you are a coffee lover you really should give them all a try some day… but for now… back to earth and my muffins 😉 so what do I need I hear you ask…

Ingredients:

  • 250g dates; finely chopped
  • 200ml full fat milk*
  • 50ml very strong espresso from good quality coffee
  • 140g white flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten lightly
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 2tbsp coconut nectar
  • 2tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda

*If you aren’t a huge fan of full fat milk, you can use any milk you fancy or even a water but full fat milk adds something a bit special to these muffins; I am not quite sure (apart from he taste) what it is but it does make a world of difference.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones. The recipe will make 10 full size muffins but I assume there isn’t a 10 muffin tin out there.

Brew 50ml of strong, good quality coffee (Lavazza is a perfect choice). If you make it from espresso make it a triple or even a quadruple shot.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates add milk and coffee and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until all liquid has incorporated into the fruit and don’t forget to stir ever so often to reduce the risk of any sticking.

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

In the meantime, sift your flour and cocoa powder and mix with bicarbonate of soda then in a separate small bowl or a mug beat the eggs.

Now back to our dates…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in, finally add the coconut nectar and again stir until incorporated into the mix.

Fold in the dry ingredients being the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda mix, finally add the eggs and stir until fully combined but not over mixed.

Use a table spoon or an ice cream scoop and spread your batter evenly between 10 muffin cases. You can make 12 muffins if you have a mild case of OCD but they are going to be slightly more flat and just a bit on the small size.

Pop into your earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20 minutes at 180C fan. In case you made 12 muffins check them 1 or 2 minutes earlier just to be on the safe side.

The muffins should be firm to the touch and a toothpick pushed into the middle of one should come out dry and clean.

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

Serve and enjoy!

Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. Light and fluffy with complex flavours revealing themselves as you eat these delightful date and coffee muffins are pure indulgence yet surprisingly diet friendly and sugar free. I have to admit with my podding (aka listening to my Slimpod) I hardly ever eat sweets lately and if I do I find that half of something is usually more than enough… well this wasn’t the case with these muffins… I had two as soon as they became eatable (aka cool enough to eat without burns or blisters) and then finished half of Marks one whilst he was distracted… ooops! These are by far my most favourite sugar free creation to date.

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!