Food & Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Healthy Reece's Peanut Butter Cacao Carob Cups

My healthy Reece's Peanut Butter Cacao Carob Cups make the most scrumptious guilt-free dessert or the ideal mid-afternoon pick-me-up bursting with superfood powers from the coconut oil, coconut sugar, cacao and carob powder.

Here is the recipe I'm sure you've all been dying to get your hands on!

Ingredients (makes 8 cups) :
8 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp carob powder
5 tbsp sweetener of choice - I use half coconut sugar and half maple syrup but agave nectar works too!
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
4 drops vanilla essence
3/4 tbsp honey

1. Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan on a low heat. Stir in the cacao powder, carob powder and your sweetener of choice until it forms a liquid consistency.
2. Place 8 cupcake cases on a lined baking tray.
3. Add 3/4 tbsp of the melted chocolate mixture to each cupcake case.
4. Place in the freezer for 12-15 mins while the chocolate hardens.
5. Meanwhile, put the peanut butter, vanilla essence and honey together in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds on a low heat and then stir well.
6. Add an equal amount of the peanut butter mixture to each case then put back in the freezer for 8-10 mins
7. Add 1 tbsp of the remaining chocolate mixture to each case with any toppings you like: try fresh blueberries, dried goji berries, raw cacao nibs, dessiccated coconut or sultanas! Put in freezer for 15 mins.
8. Enjoy!!


Monday, 23 November 2015

Chocolate Chia Oats

2 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup oats
1 cup almond milk
A splash of coconut milk for creaminess
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
Optional: 1 mashed banana, vanilla essence, pinch Himalayan salt

Simple - just throw everything together in a bowl, let it sit for 10-30 mins, and decorate with your choice of toppings - in the photo above I used passion fruit, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, almonds and raw cacao nibs.


Monday, 16 November 2015

Two days in Barcelona

During my spontaneous two-day city-break to Barcelona last week, I managed to encompass a huge variety sight-seeing and other activities. My friend and I stayed near the The Placa de Catalunya. We wandered down Las Ramblas, experienced La Bouquería food market, covered the Gothic Quarter on foot, went to the Picasso Museum, had dinner at a tapas restaurant, bought ice-cream from a street-stall during our walk back to the hotel, and went to a bar to get a taste of the nightlife that the city had to offer.

Day 2 began with an açai bowl and a superfood smoothie at the trendy Flax & Kale. We then had the chance to get to know the city's metro system on our way to la Sagrada Família, Gaudi's seminal masterpiece, a breathtaking but unfinished cathedral illuminated by the blue and orange glow of the stained glass windows, and I learned that the construction is expected to be finally completed in 11 years. This was followed by a long walk up the mountain that is Parque Güell for a spectacular view of the whole city, before catching the bus back to Las Ramblas for lunch. We walked along the waterfront and through the narrow alleys and winding streets where we found many hidden gems of cafés and boutique shops, before heading to the airport for our flight back to London!

I would say that the higlight of the trip was feasting our senses in La Bouquería food market with a vibrant display of colourful fruit, fresh vegetables, ice-cream parlours, nuts, seeds and spices. I particularly appreciated the cosmopolitan vibes all over the city and I can definitely see myself living here as part of my year abroad. 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Barcelona: Flax & Kale

On my spontaneous two-day trip to Barcelona earlier this week, I couldn't leave the city without squeezing in a visit to Flax and Kale, a health-focused, trendy "flexitarian" restaurant, meaning it's nearly-but-not-quite veggie. The cosmopolitan vibes reminded me of somewhere between New York and London whist actually being located just off Las Ramblas. 

The menu is almost entirely plant-based, without feeling at all restrictive, and explores some delicious raw options as well as plenty of gluten-free alternatives. I ordered the açai bowl (of course!) with housemade Brazilian chestnut granola crumble, hemp seeds, banana, blueberries, agave syrup and goji berries.

As for the drinks, the juices are all cold-pressed, in order to preserve the maximum nutritional value of their organic ingredients and the smoothies are packed full of superfoods ranging from maca to spirulina. I opted for the Tropical Superfood smoothie made from coconut milk, frozen banana, papaya, mango, pineapple, mac and goji berries, which tasted like a fruity, melt-in-your-mouth ice-cream.

Whilst the price is higher han some of the local tapas bars, I believe that it is perfectly reasonable considering the top-notch quality of the all the fresh produce.

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, celiac or anything else - I can't recommend this gem in Barcelona highly enough!

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