Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Raw, no-added-sugar, chocolate "fudge" - with secret health benefits

I must admit that lately my healthy eating habits have fallen at the way-side and I've been reaching for the biscuit tin or for the chocolate bars on a daily basis. Not great for my skin and I'm starting to notice breakouts. 

Before the breakouts get too bad, I'm putting a stop to the mindless non-stop sugary binges and going back to satisfying my persistent sweet tooth with homemade sweets, such as this raw chocolate "fudge". 

delicious and very moreish! 

perfect raw "fudge"

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Easy to bake chocolate mocha cake

I love a spot of baking but it has been a while since I last dusted off the baking trays and apron! With my friend’s birthday this week, I wanted a cake that was going to be big on flavour but fairly easy to make as I had to make it late at night, after a kick boxing session.

This chocolate mocha cake was perfect! Mocha is one of those grown up flavours that has character to it, and even though I am not a coffee drinker, I do love mocha flavoured things!

easy to bake, easy to eat! 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Kale and cucumber fruity smoothie recipe

Regular readers out there will know that vegetable smoothies are a new thing for me (yea I know this isn’t anything new, and I am a bit behind jumping on this bandwagon). Lately I have been loving making up some weird creations in the smoothie maker and using it as an opportunity to cram in some extra nutrients.

If you haven’t already, why not check out my blog entries on:

Today’s bright frog-coloured smoothie was made completely on a whim,  a simple case of “let’s see what is in the fridge" and bunging it in the blender. 

So what is inside???
  • ¼ cucumber
  • Generous handful of curly kale
  • 1 small pineapple
  • 2 apples
  • 1 large orange

Like finding a tenner in a pair of jeans you haven’t worn for a while, or discovering that you have just made happy hour for the post drinks cocktails, this was a pleasant surprise! Plus once made, I took to google and discovered the heaps of health benefits in this green smoothie!

trust me, all these flavours work! 

Monday, 13 April 2015

Jillian Michaels - Shred it with kettlebells workout

Last year I really got in to kettlebells after my colleague Heidi suggested it to me. A kettlebell is basically a large weight with a handle, so you have the ability to swing it, rather than using it in a linear way like a dumbbell. The benefit to this? You have an "extension" to your body which makes you work harder, which burns more fat!

my new workout DVD

I started last year with a beginners DVD which I definitely recommend as kettlebells can be quite hard on your back and it is imperative that you get the moves right and once I was used to it, moved up to a 6kg (for my review of this DVD check it out here.)

Since then I have been on the look out for a new kettlebells DVD so when I saw this one on amazon for about £8 with Jillian Michaels (the scary one from the USA weight loss fat camp program 'The Biggest Loser') I was sold!

the kettlebell swing - always an attractive look 

Jillian is actually pretty good - motivational but not too annoying as with most workout instructors and PTs.

I have been doing it for a few weeks now and I am hooked, I love it! I genuinely feel so good after doing this! There are two levels - I am still at level one, so looking forward to progressing to level two!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Sweet potato, chickpea and quinoa veggie burgers

Although I am strictly not a vegetarian, I do love veggie foods and that includes veggie burgers!!! 

However the shop bought ones are often full of bulking agents and high in fat. I always thought making your own would be quite tedious but then I found this recipe on popsugar that I have modified...

homemade veggie burgers 

The result. An incredibly tasty veggie burger, full of flavour, low on calories (just over 200 if you make 6 from the batch)  and full of veggies! Plus they are so easy to make – it's simply a case of pre-baking the ingredients and then blending it all together!

chop, chop, chopping 

1 sweet potato

¼ cup quinoa
¼ cup pearl barley
1 can of chickpeas
Handful of chopped parsley
2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of soya four (or any other flour)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
10 dried apricots, finely chopped
½ red onion, finely chopped

Makes 6-8 burgers


chuck it all in and blend!!! 

add as much spice as you dare! 

first off you need to prep the ingredients: 
bake the sweet potato (you can leave the skin on as the skin peels of easily once cooked) 
for about an hour, cook the quinoa and cook the pearl barley  
(check the packets for cooking instructions)

Once they are all cooked, in a food processor combine the sweet potato, 
quinoa and pearl barley along with all the other ingredients

Pulse until well mixed and all the ingredients are blended

tip the mixture in a bowl - easier to season and shape then 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Sweet toffee popcorn cheesecake cupcakes

I absolutely adore cheesecake and think cupcakes are one of the best inventions behind BB cream, food processors and screw cap wine bottles. So what happens when you combine the delicious power of cupcakes and cheesecake together…an epic party for your taste buds that’s what.

I have never really been number one fan of baked cheesecakes, I am more of a chilled, no bale cheesecake kinda girl. A few weeks ago I did dabble in making a baked cheesecake but learnt the hard way the perils of over cooking a cheesecake. All I was left with was a rubbery, magnolia coloured lump of a dessert.

cupcakes + popcorn + cheesecake 

But with this recipe, I now knew better. And I knew that you need to take them out of the oven whilst they are still a little wobbly.

I made these little delights for my charity bake sale at work the other week but in hindsight, this wasn’t the best cupcake to make for the occasion, they are much better suited for eating sooner, as leaving them out on display for hours resulted in the popcorn going soft and losing its fabulous popcorn crunch. Preferably, you need to sprinkle the popcorn on before serving.

popcorn cupcakes 

the ingredients...

For the base
80g digestive biscuits
50g toffee popcorn (I went for butterkist)
70g of melted butter
1tbsp of golden syrup (optional)

For the cheesecake filling
250g light cream cheese
250g mascarpone cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g condensed milk

For the toping
100g toffee popcorn
50g melted butter
1 tbs golden syrup

12 large cupcakes

Here is how to make the cheesecake cupcakes...

buttery popcorn goodness 

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Quinoa fruity cinnamon breakfast bake

Unless you don’t get out the house much, then “quinoa” is a food that you are probably well and truly familiar with, even if you haven’t cooked with it yet (if not, why not?!) then you have certainly heard of it, or at least had a debate as to whether it is pronounced how it is spelt as “quin-no-a”, or you pronounce it by its Peruvian dialect of “keen-wa”.

Anyway, it has slowly crept up as a staple in my diet and has earned a place in “Alice’s hierarchy of food” along with sweet potato, spinach, oats and salmon, as being a top health food I actually like!

Whilst I have been using quinoa as a staple for lunch and dinner, it also makes a great breakfast!!! Honest. Cue my “fruity cinnamon quinoa breakfast bake bars”.

golden and delicious 

The great thing about this little bake is that there is no fuss when it comes to preparation, can be stored in the fridge or freezer so making a batch can last you a while and they are totally healthy!

My new favourite breakfast! 

1 cup of uncooked quinoa
2 cups of almond milk*
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
½ - 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
½ cup raisins
2 eggs
Generous drizzle of agave nectar
1/3 cup ground almonds

*feel free to use dairy milk, or another milk substitute, such as soya.
You could also include fewer raisins or add a pinch of ground cloves to add a deeper flavour or add chopped almonds of another nut – experiment!!!

experiment with your spices