Cashew butter, berry bars

Happy Sunday guys! You may or may not have noticed how much I love making healthy snack recipes… If you look on the recipes page you will see that there are significantly more recipes than anything else! So I have made more of an effort to start developing some healthy (and vegan) breakfast recipes for you guys (as it is the most important meal of the day!) and is actually my favourite meal of the day!

So berries are great for breakfast as they are lovely and refreshing and are packed with antioxidants. However, being that we live in the UK, it is rarely berry season so I like to store frozen berries in the freezer as they work great if you’re making any kind of dessert of breakfast. I also add frozen berries to my banana nice-cream.

cashew butter berry breakfast bars

Fresh or frozen berries will add more delicious flavour and added antioxidants. Frozen berries have just as much (if not more) nutritional value as fresh ones do. Freezing fresh berries is a successful way of preserving their nutrients and phytochemicals.

Ingredients (makes 6 bars)

  • 1/2 a cup of coconut flour
  • 3/4 of a cup of steel cut oats
  •  3 teaspoons of cashew butter (I use meridian)
  •  1/4 of a cup of pure maple syrup (can also use agave)
  •  1/4 of a cup of unsweetened almond milk
  •  1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  •  2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of mixed frozen berries (or berry of your choice)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking dish with baking paper. I used a 4×4 inch.
  • In a bowl, mix together the oats and coconut flour.
  • In a saucepan, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, cashew butter, almond milk and vanilla extract and bring to a low heat until all ingredients is melted and combined.
  • Add the melted mix from the saucepan, to the bowl of oats and coconut flour. Mix until all ingredients is combined. (See picture above)
  • In your prepared baking dish, use half of the mixture and mould it to cover the bottom of the dish. Add your frozen berries on top of this, and then cover the berries with the rest of the mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 24 minutes. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the dish. Allow to cool for another 20 minutes and then slice into 6 bars.

These bars are made with 100% plant based ingredients and are sooo delicious! I wouldn’t know how long they last as I have a big family and they were eaten in minutes! But I would recommend keeping them in a sealed container in the fridge so they stay moist!

For more of my breakfast recipes you can check out my recipes page or keep up to date via my instagram page.

SHK x

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Matcha, Lemon coconut balls

Happy Sunday evening! Hope everyone had a lovely weekend 😀 The weather has been so beautiful that I haven’t made time to write up any blog posts recently… but as promised, here is the recipe for these dark chocolate covered matcha, lemon and coconut balls! I pretty much took all my favourite flavours, mixed them all together, and developed these awesomeee vegan treats that are perfect for keeping in the fridge and snacking on throughout the week. The raw matcha powder and freshly squeezed lemon juice that I added means they are also high in antioxidants. I worked off my original recipe- lemon coconut truffles.

Ingredients (makes 10-12)

  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 of a cup of ground almonds
  • 1/4 0f a cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or agave)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder
  • 100g of vegan dark chocolate

Method

  • In a bowl, combine the desiccated coconut and ground almonds, then mix in the coconut milk.
  • Then add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix in well, lightly beating the mixture with a spoon. Add the lemon juice and matcha. Mix the matcha until the whole mixture turns an even green colour. You may find this easier with your hands- squeeze together into one big ball.
  • You can then start tearing off the mix to roll into balls. Place the balls onto a plate lined with baking paper and put in the fridge to chill for up to an hour (or freezer for about 20 minutes.
  • You can then melt the dark chocolate. Once the balls are chilled, dip each ball into the melted dark chocolate so they are completely covered.
  • Leave to chill for an hour, then enjoy!

These will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days (if you haven’t eaten them all already ;))

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Plant-based diets

Countless research has been carried out regarding the benefits of a plant-based diet. Not only is it good for the environment, but it is excellent for our overall wellbeing. Now, I am no vegan, but I am passionate about adding as many plants and as much colour to ones diet; so I thought I would share with you my knowledge of health benefits that go along with this way of living, and why it is so important to follow such a nutritious diet. This is not me encouraging a strict plant based diet but simply advising individuals to add more plants to their meals!

I know that a lot of individuals find the word ‘vegan’ rather extreme, so I always like to use the word ‘plant-based’. The issue a lot of people seem to have with a diet like this, is the amount or ‘lack of’ protein they perceive to be associated with this lifestyle choice. The obvious protein sources are usually animal based proteins like meat and dairy products. However, for individuals who have chosen a plant based lifestyle, there types of proteins are off the cards. So for a healthier alternative- I have listed some of my favourite sources of plant-based foods that can be combined to give equal amounts of protein….

Proteins are vital for both the structure and metabolic operations of the human body.

Functions of proteins:

  • Enzymatic
  • Transportation of cells
  • Hormonal function and regulation of metabolism
  • Immune function
  • Buffering function

So what are some delicious plant based proteins?

Quinoa- 1 cup contains more than 8 grams of protein and includes all nine of the essential amino acids that our body needs for growth and repair. Quinoa is great of either lunch or dinner, and is flavoursome mixed with different herbs or spices and vegetables.

Beans- Black, white, soy, kidney beans etc. all contain high amounts of protein. 2 cups of kidney beans will provide us with around 26 grams of protein. I regularly have kidney beans with my dinner- mixing them with lentils and plenty of veg.

Nuts and nut butter (such as peanut butter)- Nuts, I would go as far as saying, are an essential part of a plant-based diet. They are excellent sources of protein, and contain healthy fats. Make sure you choose raw nuts (not salted) and choose nut butters that have no added sugar or hydrogenated oils. I LOVE peanut paired with apple, or just snacking on a handful of raw almonds.

Soya milk- can contain up to 8 grams of protein per cup and is ideal to use with cereals, add to smoothies or simply drink on its own.

Green peas- legumes are great sources of plant based proteins. Green peas provide 8 grams of protein per 1 cup.

A lot of people think if you cut out meat- then what do you eat? But how wrong they are! There are so many other delicious foods that include proteins that provide far more nutritional value than a piece of steak. One of my favourite dinners to whip up in the evening is a mixture of wholegrains, lentils, kidney beans and a load of mixed veg! You’ve got various proteins, fibre, vitamins and minerals and a very low acidity level! By mixing up different plant proteins, you are providing yourself with an excellent variety of amino acids that also contain many other health benefits such as fibre, and various antioxidants.

plant based foods

This type of diet, naturally tends to be packed with plenty of fruit and veg… which is great! Fruits and vegetables contain countless antioxidants which are so important for our health. They aid in flushing out bad toxins from the body and attacking ‘free radicals‘ that can contribute to risk of diseases, including certain cancers. Antioxidants are also essential for ‘younger looking’ skin. Free radicals can attack cells and decrease the elasticity of your skin, causing your skin to age more quickly. Antioxidants will prevent this from happening.

Lastly, it is a lot easier (and healthier) to enjoy sweet treats, when you are following a plant based diet. I say easier, because they typically won’t contain as much saturated fat. For healthy sweet treat recipes- check out my recipes page. All recipes that I develop will have nutritional benefit, and taste delicious 🙂

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