Rise and Grind!

Good morning! I hope you are all feeling energised this morning! I know I usually blog about recipes and nutrition but I really wanted to touch on exercise too. I used to absolutely hate exercising… so much that I actually used to skip P.E at school! Anything I could do to get out of it- I would! But little did I know just how important it was, and if I could go back, I definitely wouldn’t have skipped the chance to exercise. Saying that, I have now fallen in love with it! I actually get excited to go to the gym because I know how much my body loves it, and how great I feel once I’ve done it. Plus, did you know that people who exercise live longer? Below are some key health benefits that can be achieved through regular exercise…

Fights off diseases

Medical research indicates that regular physical activity is extremely important to achieve a healthy lifestyle, particularly once we get older. Statistics have shown that regular exercise can reduce risks of certain illnesses such as, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer and stroke. It also lowers the risks of depression and dementia.

De-stress

Had a stressful day? Head straight to the gym! You would not believe how much better you feel after blowing off some steam through physical activity. This is because exercising stimulates various chemicals in the brain which encourage feelings of happiness and relaxation. This can also have long-term effects – improving confidence and levels of self esteem.

Improves energy levels

Exercising can help increase your energy levels. When we keep active, we deliver oxygen and nutrients to our bodies’ tissue more efficiently which enhances our cardiovascular system. This helps keeps our heart and lungs healthy! Regular physical activity also boosts metabolism.

It’s fun!

Believe it or not, exercising can actually be fun… When you find that activity that you find your body likes, you will start to look forward to exercising! It helps you sleep better at night, reduces stress levels and it can be social! Join a dance class or a yoga class with your friends, go running or even walking on a cold, sunny or windy day- it doesn’t matter- just get up and do something! You will feel so much better about yourself.

You can read the research but the best thing to do is to get up and see what I’m talking about! I know the thought of hitting the gym may feel like a drag but this research doesn’t lie! You can also try out different workouts or exercises- I bet you’ll find one you like! Running, dancing, swimming, yoga… There’s so many different forms of working out you can try. Your body will love you for forcing it to work up a sweat. Stretch out those muscles and get moving- even if that just means taking the stairs and not the elevator! Don’t be lazy! Rise and Grind!

 

SHK x

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Berry bread

Back again! And with a new healthy recipe! It has been a while since I actually baked because I’ve been making so many ‘snacky’ things at the moment, like my deliciously healthy raw balls; but as it’s Sunday and I had a bit more time to spare, I decided to get baking! I’ve developed this recipe using spelt flour– making the bread easy to digest. It is low in fat and contains good sources of protein, fibre, Vitamin B and minerals. It also contains high levels of manganese and phosphorus.

So to make this bread even more nutritious- I added plenty of antioxidants with fresh blueberries and raspberries. I also topped the bread with pumpkin seeds (you can read the health benefits here). This vegan loaf makes a great breakfast bread and/or is perfect to keep for up to 5 days for a healthy snack!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups of spelt flour
  • 1/4 of a cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups of almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 mashed banana (ripe)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries (mashed)
  • 1 handful of pumpkin seeds

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a 1lb loaf tin with coconut oil.
  • In a bowl, combine the spelt flour, coconut sugar and baking powder.
  • Add the soya milk, half a cup at a time, mixing in gently. Do the same with the soya milk, making sure all the flour is mixed in, achieving a smooth mix. You can do this with an electric whisk but I like to use a wooden spoon. Then add the coconut oil and mashed banana- stir in well.
  • Add the cup of blueberries, and stir gently into the mixture.
  • Pour the mix into the prepared loaf tin.
  • In a cup, mash the fresh raspberries well, and drizzle along the top of the bread. Then sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds.
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour (until knife comes out clean).
  • Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the tin. Then enjoy!

Tip: Keep this bread in tupperware to keep it nice and moist throughout the week.

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Porridge for breakfast

Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time! I absolutely love breakfast, it really is my favourite meal of the day. Half the reason I love sleep so much is because it is like a time machine to breakfast! It probably helps that I am such a morning person! So I like to mix up what I have to eat in the morning, but I always make sure I have the essentials… Things like protein to give me energy, vitamins and antioxidants, the healthy fats that you find in nuts and seeds (you can see my nuts and seeds nutrition post here) and of course fibre. So a breakfast meal I am going to share with you today is porridge.


Firstly, you need to make sure you buy healthy and organic porridge that doesn’t contain any added sugar. Steel cut oats are the least processed of cereals and contain the most nutrients. Here the important health benefits the porridge oats provide us with:

Porridge oats are packed with high amounts of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Oats contain both soluble and insoluble fibre– both daily essentials when it comes to a healthy diet. Fibre is key to maintaining a healthy digestive system, lowering blood cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Porridge is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it releases energy into the body slowly, helping maintain healthy balanced blood sugar levels (great fuel for a workout!). There are also studies to suggest that eating oats daily can reduce the risk of heart disease in later life.

So when I have porridge for breakfast, I make mine with water, and I like to mix in some added nutrition… I like to add nuts and/or seeds, almonds are my favourite; and I ALWAYS make sure to eat fruit with breakfast- it’s nutritious and it makes breakfast so much sweeter! So with my porridge today, I mashed up a handful of raspberries (which are just packed with antioxidants!) and dolloped it on top and mixed it in for a fruity twist- so tasty!

However, you can also enjoy porridge with strawberries, blueberries or sliced banana- all plant-based and healthy. Additionally, you can use almond, soya or coconut milk instead of water- depends what you’re in the mood for! They are all super healthy options so mix it up a bit!

Enjoy!

SHK x

 

 

 

Bliss balls

Hi guys! I made these raw balls last week and as promised, here are the recipes. I was feeling creative when I started making the first recipe and they turned in to four different flavours. The pistachio truffles I have made before and have already posted the recipe, but here I give you three new flavours. The recipe are all similar but, the balls themselves actually taste very different.

Dark chocolate and pistachio balls

Firstly, you will need to place 3/4 of a cup of unsalted pistachios (unshelled) in a food processor (blender) until they are completely broken down- so they look like dust. Place them in a bowl and mix with 1/4 of a cup of organic agave. One combined, start adding 1/2 cup of ground almonds. You should then start to mould these into balls. You can use wet hands if you feel the mix is a little dry. Once you have rolled the mixture into separate balls, place them on baking paper on a plate in the fridge. Then melt 50g of 90% dark chocolate. After the balls have been refrigerated for about half an hour, dip half of each ball in the dark chocolate, so you have one side covered (as shown in the pictures). Leave in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours and enjoy!

Coconut, almond and vanilla bliss balls

With these I used the same method as above, just with different ingredients. You will need: 1 cup of ground almonds, 1/4 cup of coconut flour, 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste and 1/4 cup of agave. You will need about 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut for rolling the balls in. So mix all these ingredients in a bowl, and again use wet hands to mould them into shape. Then roll the raw balls in the desiccated coconut and leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Dark chocolate bliss balls

These balls are exactly the same as the ones above (coconut, almond and vanilla) however, once made, cover the balls in melted 90% dark chocolate. Then immediately roll in the desiccated coconut and leave to set of 1-2 hours.

These raw balls are the perfect energy snack to keep in the fridge (for up to 5 days). They’re made with plant-based ingredients, suitable for vegans, and are great for sharing with friends and family!

Enjoy!

SHK x

Vanilla & cashew vegan cake

I started brainstorming some new recipes this week and thought I would keep it simple with a nutty vegan vanilla dessert. I have been making a lot of healthy snacks recently so decided to bring you a new cakey-recipe! I began to write down lots of different flavours/ingredients whilst still keeping in mind that I wanted some nutritional value from this. Thats where the nutty flavours came in- almond milk (unsweetened) in particular is very good for you! It provides us with a good source of calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, and the antioxidant Vitamin E. It’s also great for glowing skin!

Now this was a first attempt so I may alter the recipe at some point. However it actually tasted rather yummy so thought I would upload the recipe for you guys today. As it’s Valentines Day I thought I would make a heart shaped cake- but of course still using organic plant-based ingredients. I kept the sponge recipe quite simple with subtle vanilla-almond flavours. Really its the cashew frosting that makes this vegan cake what it is. As the cashews worked so well in my banana & cashew loaf I thought I would try and whip up some frosting for this dessert, that really allowed you to taste the delicious cashew flavour.

vanilla vegan cake with cashew icing

This is the perfect Valentines vegan recipe! All the ingredients I used were complimented beautifully with the fresh and fruity taste that the strawberries provided.

vanilla vegan cake with cashew icing

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of wholewheat self-raising flour
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 cups of fresh strawberries for decoration

For the frosting

  • 3/4 cups of cashews
  • 3 tablespoons of almond milk
  • 1 cup of icing sugar

vanilla vegan cake with cashew icing

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a cake tin with coconut oil. (I used a heart shape tin but, obviously, any shape is fine!).
  • In a large bowl, combine the wholewheat flour, dark brown sugar and baking powder.
  • Gradually start to add the almond milk (about 1/2 cup at a time) and mix well until the mixture starts to look smooth. Add the apple cider vinegar and gently stir in the vanilla extract. You can mix this recipe using an electric whisk, however I always like to use a wooden spoon.
  • Then add the coconut oil, making sure you have achieved a smooth mixture.
  • Place in the oven and allow 28 minutes for the cake to bake, until a knife comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the tin.

vanilla and cashew vegan cake

For the frosting

  • In a food processor, mix the cashews until they are ground down finely (looking a but like dust).
  • Place the ground cashews in a bowl, and add the almond milk. Start adding the icing sugar until you achieve a thick, whipped consistency. You can do this with a wooden spoon. You may want to add water depending on how thick or thin you want to frost it.
  • Leave the cashew icing in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set – making it a little firmer.
  • Only once the sponge is completely cool, can you ice it with the cashew frosting.
  • Cut up the strawberries and decorate as you desire.

nutty vanilla vegan cake

nutty vanilla vegan cake

Although this looks very much like a Valentines Day dessert- it doesn’t have to be. You can make this dessert any time and for anyone.

If you don’t end up making the sponge, I highly recommend making the frosting! It will go with any vanilla/nutty cake/cupcakes.

Enjoy!

SHK x

No-bake raspberry balls

So with Valentines Day coming up it’s nice to ‘share the love’ with some little vegan sweet treats, don’t you think?! I used fresh raspberries in the recipe to achieve a naturally pink colour and alternated with dark chocolate- did you know dark chocolate is an aphrodisiac?
I wanted these raw balls to be flavoursome and sweet! So I rolled in ground almonds,  and sweetened with just a little agave. Then I covered the balls in either dark choc (90%) or more desiccated coconut. I also made some little valentine themed truffles with the raspberry mix, by moulding them into some shapes that I had brought- you can see in the photos!



Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups of ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup of organic agave
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 8 raspberries (mashed)

Method

  • In a bowl, stir the agave into the ground almonds until combined.
  • Then mash your raspberries and add to the mixture, stirring in to achieve a naturally raspberry pink colour. Pour in the desiccated coconut and start to mould into a big ball- you may find this easier with your hands.
  • Start to tear off the mix to roll into balls.
  • At this point you can either roll into the desiccated coconut, or cover in melted dark chocolate.
  • Leave the balls to cool in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Enjoy your vegan raspberry treats!

Buckwheat pancakes

It’s pancakeee day! I have been very busy working all day so haven’t had time until now to actually get in the kitchen and make them. However, I have noticed social media going crazy with all their yummy recipes- pancake stacks everywhere. Some healthy, some not so healthy. But don’t worry, as you can probably guess, mine are guilt-free and totally healthy! This banana buckwheat vegan recipe is my own, and one I just love to play around with! You can add banana, blueberries, raspberries, chia seeds- all so nutritious! Like most of my plant-based vegan recipes they are super easy to make and they also taste absolutely delicious. I made these with buckwheat flour, almond milk and mashed banana- complimented each other beautifully!

Ingredients (makes 12 small pancakes)

  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of wholewheat self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 2 mashed bananas

Method

  • In a bowl, combine together the buckwheat and wholewheat flours, the sugar and baking powder.
  • In a small jug, combine together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Gradually start pouring this into the dry ingredient bowl, stirring gently. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Gently stir in the mashed up banana, and leave the mixture for 5-10 minutes… This way you will have a ‘fluffier’ pancake mix.
  • Heat a saucepan, and use coconut oil to grease the pan. Spoon on a small amount of mixture (depending on how big you want your pancake) and allow to cook on each side. Once the pancake is cooked, transfer it to a plate and repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have a pile of deliciously healthy vegan pancakes. Top with desired toppings/berries and enjoy!

Tip: do not get distracted or walk away from the saucepan otherwise you risk burning them. Keep an eye on when they need turning and they’ll be cooked to perfection!

I hope you enjoy this banana buckwheat recipe! I enjoyed mine topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries. I also decided to treat myself to some organic blue agave drizzled on top. Berries add a significant amount of antioxidants to your diet as they are high in Vitamin C. Aim to eat berries everyday to detox your system and keep your body happy on the inside!

You can try out my vegan berry pancakes, reading the recipe here.

Happy pancake day!

Oat and raspberry muffins

Good afternoon! Today I felt like creating a recipe that I could pack with lots and lots of delicious raspberries- as these are my favourite types of berries and they provide us with so many health benefits. I decided to make them with oats as I thought they could also be enjoyed as a healthy on-the-go vegan breakfast raspberry muffin. So I developed this recipe with 100 percent plant-based-ingredients that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere! The ingredients I used is great for slow releasing energy, which is why I think they are perfect for breakfast. This type of energy is the type that you get from complex carbohydrate that is a lot healthier for your body and will keep you feeling fuller and more energised for longer. Organic raspberry have been found to have significant benefits for our health.

Oat and raspberry vegan muffins

Health benefits of raspberries

  • They are extremely high in the antioxidant Vitamin C which aids in protecting and keeping our cells healthy.
  • They have been suggested to possess anti-cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory phytonutrients they contain.
  • They can also increase enzyme activity in certain fat cells in the body which, as a result can help control body weight and blood sugar levels, as well as speeding up your metabolism.

Ingredients (makes 6 vegan raspberry muffins)

  • 2 cups of wholewheat flour 
  • 1 cup of porridge oats
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of agave
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of soya milk
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries (mashed)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a cupcake tin with 6 muffin cases.
  • In a bowl, combine the wholewheat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and porridge oats.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the plant-based milks, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.
  • Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry mixture recipe, folding in the ingredients gently. Be careful not to over-mix. Stir in the agave and mashed banana.
  • Using a fork, mash the fresh raspberries and add to the mixture, mixing in gently.
  • Share the mix equally between the 6 prepared muffin cases. Top with extra berries (optional).
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 22 minutes and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the hot tin (still leaving them in their cases).
  • You can enjoy these vegan muffins hot or cold. Remove the raspberry muffins from their muffin-cases when you’re ready to eat them!

These oat and raspberry vegan muffins will stay fresh for up to 5 days- to keep them moist, store in a cake tin or tupperware.

Enjoy the recipe!

SHK x

Raw pistachio truffles

I am so excited about these! When I travelled to Paris last month, me and my sister managed to find these AMAZING pistachio truffles that were just so good that we ate the whole bag! I decided I needed to make my own but could not find a vegan recipe that I liked anywhere. But today- I managed to develop my own recipe. All through experimenting, I have managed to achieve a healthy vegan version of pistachio truffles that taste absolutely delicious- and they are so simple to make!

Ingredients (makes 12 truffle balls)

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted pistachios (unshelled)
  • 2 teaspoons of almond butter (peanut butter will work too)
  • 1/4 cup of organic agave 
  • 3/4 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup of cacao powder

Method

  • Place the pistachios in a food processor and blend until very fine (see picture above).
  • Place the pistachio mix in a bowl and add the almond/peanut butter. Then mix in the agave. The mixture should be a little runny at this point.
  • Gradually add the ground almonds. Once added, you should achieve a soft dough-like mixture- this can be done using a spoon or your hands.
  • Mould the mix into 12 rolled balls- you may find this easier using wet hands.
  • On a clean, dry surface, sprinkle out the cacao powder, and individually roll the balls into the powder until they are covered completely.
  • Leave to set in the fridge on a plate for an hour. Enjoy chilled or a room temperature!

SHK x

Chocolate orange loaf

I’m always on the look out for different ideas and inspiration in terms of the vegan recipes I develop. I like to play around with flavours and try out fresh new ingredients that go so deliciously together- whilst remaining healthy. So you probably know that I love chocolate, and you can read the great health benefits of using cacao in a previous blog post I did. So whilst deciding on a new chocolatey concoction, it then came to me: chocolate-orange. A flavour you can find in decadent chocolate boxes, and of course, terry’s chocolate orange! So then I thought, why not make a bread that flavour. I, myself have never come across a recipe like this one, so I was excited to start from scratch with a recipe that I was so unfamiliar with, and after a few tries, it turned out pretty tasty!

Chocolate and orange- a delicious combination, and despite how indulgent this vegan loaf is, it is surprisingly light on your stomach! I added walnuts to this recipe for some extra nutritional value. Although is this treat is a healthy one- moderation is key, and just because something provides us with nutritional value, doesn’t mean we can eat as much as we want. To achieve such an organic dark chocolatey flavour I used cacao powder, and mixed fresh orange-zest to mix for a fruity twist. This is a really great vegan bread recipe… I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate orange vegan loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of self-raising wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup of cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup of soya milk
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (plus extra for decoration)
  • 1 orange (for grated zest and juice)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a 1lb loaf tin with coconut oil.
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cacao and baking powder. Gradually add the soya milk to the mixture until you have blended it smoothly. Then add the coconut oil.
  • Grate the orange skin and mix in the zest. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice from the orange. Then gently fold in the chopped walnuts.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and line the top of the mix with walnuts (see pictures).
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour- until the knife comes out clean. Once it is baked through, remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

This is prefect for sitting down with a cup of tea as an afternoon treat, and will stay fresh for up to 5 days. I find by keeping it in some sort of cake tin or tupperware it stays moist for a lot longer!

Enjoy!

SHK x