Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Healthy Caramel Apple

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

Yes! Here it is! The recipe I am most proud of out of my three Halloween themed recipes this year. It's my healthy caramel or toffee apple recipe. And yes, it is totally possible to make something as unhealthy as toffee into a nutritious treat that you don't have to feel one bit guilty about. And in fact, it is so super easy as well, you would not believe it. I gaurentee you that it's harder to throw together a real, unhealthy toffee recipe. This is just one of those recipes where I even surprise myself. I surprise myself with the fact that the ingredients I put together actually worked to make a caramel-like consistency and taste, but also, the fact that this recipe was just so damn good. Every now and again, as a blogger, you come up with a recipe that even blows yourself away. And this is definitely one of those recipe for me. You all have to try this right now! You will not regret it, trust me.

The one ingredient that you might not have but definitely need for this recipe, is coconut sugar. The granulated texture of the sugar is required but also, the dark, caramel taste it brings to the toffee, similar to that of brown sugar or muscavado sugar. You can buy coconut sugar in any health food shop or any health food store online. I got mine in Holland and Barrett. But I know you can get it on online stores such as Body First Nutrition too. It's pricey enough, but such a worth while investment, as you can replace any granulated sweetener in a recipe with it and it delivers so much more nutrionally than any other sugar or sweetener available on the market, even including healthy liquid sweeteners.

Halloween Healthy Caramel Apple

1 sweet apple (I used Pink Lady)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 tablespoon honey

- Wash the apple under cold water and pat dry with a piece of kitchen paper, to ensure it is clean and place it onto a serving plate.
- Measure out one tablespoon of coconut sugar and place into a small, microwave save bowl.
- Measure out the honey and drizzle this all over the coconut sugar in the bowl.
- Place the mixture into the microwave and heat on high for 40 seconds.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the sugar and honey together really well until completely smooth and combined.
- Pour the caramel over the apple. Even though the mixture looks very thin, it will cling to the apple very well and firm up quite quickly.
- Allow the caramel to set and cool for around 5 minutes before devouring.
- Happy Halloween!

I'l leave you with a few pictures of the Halloween decorations I put up in my room this year. Yes, I put up Halloween decorations. I love the time of year that much! It's on the same level as Christmas for me.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Halloween Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt 

Sorry that I've been M.I.A the last couple of weeks. I have been so busy with my personal training course (it is super intensive as it is only seventeen weeks in duration) and I have also been busy with the Miss Bikini Ireland competition. But I am back with a vengeance! And with my return, I am sharing three super delicious Halloween themed recipes. What could be a more perfect time for a come-back than my favourite occasion out of the whole entire year (yes, even including Christmas).

The first Halloween themed recipe that I am going to share with you; is a pumpkin pie smoothie. This smoothie tastes of pumpkin spice and hosts a light orange coloured hue. Although, if you want your smoothie to be more noticeably orange in colour, double the amount of pumpkin that I have stated in the ingredient list below. Don't worry though, it will not affect the flavour at all if you add additional pumpkin, as the dominant flavours of this smoothie are the spices that I used and also, the sweetness of the banana. 

I don't think canned pumpkin exists in Ireland (which I am so disappointed about) so if you don't live in America, unfortunately, you are going to have to pre-cook your own pumpkin. But it's super simple. Just chop it up and whack it into a moderate oven until tender or, alternatively, you can cook it in the microwave. Again, just chop it up and put onto a plate and heat using two and a half minute intervals. Don't forget to flip the cubes of pumpkin around every now and again. 

I would encourage you to cook a lot of pumpkin at once, as it lasts really well in the fridge and you'll have cooked pumpkin on hand for any recipes you might want to whip up this spooky season. After the pumpkin has been cooked, remove it from the skins and mash or purée it. Whichever you prefer. 

Halloween Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 banana
1/4 cup mashed/pureed pre-cooked pumpkin
2 whole walnuts/1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup/125ml Avonmore 1% Fat Protein Milk
1 tablespoon sultanas/raisins

- Peel the banana and break it into chunks. Place the chunks into a blender, food processor or a tall and wide jug (if using a hand-held immersion blender).
- Measure out the pumpkin and add this to the blender.
- Chop the walnuts and add these to the blender also. 
- Measure the ground cinnamon, nutmeg and the milk and add all of these to the blender.
- Blend the mixture until completely smooth.
- Add the sultanas (optional) and pulse the blender, just until they are broken up sightly. This means that you get random chewy bites of dried fruit throughout, which completely makes the smoothie. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Apple Pie Parfait

Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

This is a perfect recipe for the Autumn months. And what's even better, is I used home-grown apples, which I got from my mother's partner's orchard. There are three barrels full of apples at my mother's house now, which I will most certainly be making use of.

What is there to love about this recipe? Well, if your a fan of apple pie, tart or crumble, you've love this recipe. All the flavours of your favourite fruity dessert, but with no grains, butter or sugar involved what-so-ever. This breakfast parfait can be vegan (if you substitute the honey for maple syrup or agave nectar) and this parfait is vegetarian, gluten free, sugar free and even paleo. This breakfast parfait incompasses all the flavours and scents associated with food in Autumn; inlcuding warming spices like ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, this parfait offers a contrast in temperatures (which I adore) with the hot apples and the cold yoghurt. But of course, you can make the apples in advance and serve them room temperature or cold from the fridge if you want to (or just heat them up in the microwave).

Apple Pie Parfait

1 large sweet apple (like a Pink Lady or Golden Delicious)
1 tablespoon sultanas/raisins
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup natural soy yoghurt (or yoghurt of choice)

- Dice the apple up into bite sized chunks. Leave the skin on the apple, as this is where all the fibre is and this also gives greater body and texture to the parfait.
- Put the apple pieces into a small pot and measure out the sultanas, honey, ground cinnamon and nutmeg and add all of these to the pot.
- Add the water (to prevent sticking and drying out) and turn on a medium heat.
- Cook the apples for abut five minutes with the lid on(to stop the water evaoporating straight away) and then for about five minutes with the lid off.
- Set the apple aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Once the apples have cooled slightly, start layering your parfait into the serving gass of your choice. Alternate between layers of yoghurt and hot apples.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Home-Made Healthy Chocolate Protein Milk

Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

This is my go-to post workout drink! Literally, I make this every single day that I work out (in advance) so it's ready and waiting for me after I have finished. There are so many reasons that you need to make this after your next work out. And I will list all of them for you now.

Number 1: This home-made protein milk is so delicious and tastes exactly like any chocolate flavoured milk you can buy in the shop.  Literally, I promise you that you won't notice a difference.

Number 2: This protein milk does not contain any added sugar what-so-ever, like a lot of chocolate milks and chocolate protein milks that you can buy do.

Number 3: Making your own protein milk is so much cheaper than buying those single serving bottles of ready-to-drink protein milk in the shops. They are actually really expensive!

Number 4: This protein milk does not contain any protein powder what-so-ever. So if you're like me, and protein powder just does not agree with your digestive system, or, if you can't afford protein powder (as they really are quite expensive) or don't have access to any, this is the perfect reipe for you!

Saying that, you can easily add a scoop of your chosen protein powder to this recipe, to make it even higher in protein content. I do recommend to everybody to buy an all natural protein powder, instead of a flavoured one, and to create their own protein milks and shakes with it. That way, you can not only change up the flavour, but you can also control exactly what goes into your protein milks and shakes (in terms of sugar and all natural ingredients).

I used Avonmore Protein Milk for this recipe, and if you are not using a protein powder, this is an essential ingredient. You can get it in most leading supermarkets and shops around Ireland. However, if you are using a protein powder, use whatever your prefered milk of choice is, or even water. I also also used cacao powder in this recipe. But you you can easily substitute this with unsweetened cocoa powder. I used maple syrup to sweeten my protein milk, but honey or agave nectar will work perfectly well here either. I put vanilla extract as an optional ingredient in this recipe as I do not personally use it. I think cacao powder has a stronger chocolate-ly taste than cocoa powder, so I feel that additional flavour is just not necessary. If you are using cocoa powder however, you may want to use a full tablespoon of it or add the vanilla extract, fo additional flavour.

The Avonmore Protein Milk provides 12.5 grams of protein per cup or per 250 milliletres. Protein is essential post workout to build and repair muscle. The maple syrup provides carbohydrates (through simple sugars) which is also necessary post work out to help to build and repair muscle. Don't forget to try and drink your protein milk or protein shake within 20 minutes to 30 minutes after you finished your workout. This time period is known as the 'window' and is the most important time that you ensure that you re-fuel your body with both carbs and protein for recovery. This is most easily done by drinking carbs and protein, rather than eating them, as your digestive system processes liquids much faster than solid food.

Home-Made Healthy Chocolate Protein Milk

1 cup/250ml Avonmore Protein Milk
1/2 tablespoon cacao powder/unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup/honey/agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

- Measure out 250ml or 1 cup of Avonmore Protein Milk.
- If you are using protein powder, measure out your prefered milk of choice or even water.
- Pour the milk into a blender, food processor, or leave it in the jug in which you measured the milk, if you are using a hand-hed immersion blender.
- Add the cacao powder or cocoa powder and the maple syrup or other other liquid sweetener.
- Add the protein powder here (if you are using protein powder instead of protein milk) or the vanilla extract if you choice to is it also.
- Blend the mixture on high until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into a serving glass and drink immediately or pour into a protein shaker and take it with you on the go.

By the way, do you love my pink Smart Shaker or what? I'm obsessed with it!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Ice-cream

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

All my peanut butter and jelly fans, I have yet another PB&J recipe that I know you'll all love. It's a peanut butter flavoured home-made healthy banana ice-cream, but to it take it that step further, I've swirled all natural sugar free raspberry jam throughout it. Who says you only have to enjoy PB&J on bread?

As always, choose a peanut butter with a minimal amount of ingredients. You definitely want to find a brand that is sugar and vegetable oil free. An all natural peanut butter (100% peanuts) is the best choice. When it comes to choosing a jam, choose a sugar free variety but one that is sweetened naturally (usually using grape juice) rather than one containing artificial sweeteners. And also, you can use any flavour of jam for this reipe, it doesn't have to be raspberry just because I used it here. Raspberry is just my all time favourite flavour when it comes to jams.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Swirl Ice-Cream

1 large frozen banana
Splash of Avonmore Protein Milk (or milk of choice)
1 tablespoons crunchy/smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon all natural sugar free raspberry jam

- Peel and chop your banana into chunks, then place the pieces into a food and freezer bag and freeze for at least four hours, or until the banana is solid. I always freeze my bananas well in advance, so I have them in the freezer for whenever I get an ice-cream craving.
- Remove the frozen banana from the freezer and remove from the freezer bag.
- Place the frozen banana into a blender, food processor or into a wide jug if you are using a hand-held immersion blender (like me).
- Add a splash of avonmore protein milk (or milk of choice) and start to blend the banana.
- It should start to resemble a texture similar to thick ice-cream.
- You can add more milk if needs be.
- Once all of the banana is blended and no lumps and left, add the tablespoon of peanut butter, mix this through and then give the ice-cream one final blend to combine.

- Swirl through a tablespoon of all natural sugar free jam.
- You could heat up the jam before incorporating, if you wanted to, but this isn't necessary.
- Scoop the peanut butter and jelly ice-cream out of the jug or blender and into serving cups, glasses or bowls.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Baked Banana

 Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

If you ever crave chocolate in the morning (or any other time of the day for that mater - this recipe would also be perfect for dessert), then this is the recipe for you! I used a dark chocolate hazelnut spread for this recipe (I use the brand; Keen Nutrition) for the added protein mainly, but by all means, if your not worried about your protein in take, just use one serving of 70% dark chocolate. Make sure to read the label to see what one serving consists of, as it differs from bar to bar, as the square size and thickness of the chocolate varies. 

This recipe is super simple, so I won't waffle on and on and I'll just get straight to the good part!

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Baked Banana

1 large banana
1 tablespoon dark chocolate hazelnut spread/1 serving 70% dark chocolate
1 teaspoon unsweetened dessicated coconut 

- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Using a sharp knife, score the skin along the length of the banana on both sides.
- Remove the top layer of skin, revealing half of the banana, but leaving half of the banana protected by the skin.
- Place the banana on a baking tray (skin side down).
- Put your banana into the oven and bake for 15 - 25 minutes, depending on your oven. It takes my oven 20 minutes to bake my banana to perfection.
- Your banana is cooked when it the remaining skin has turned completely black, the banana itself looks 'dry' on top but the flesh of the banana is soft and squishy to the touch.
- While your banana is cooking, toast the coconut on a dry pan until it starts to turn golden and smells fragrant.
- Remove your banana from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you measure out your dark chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Smear the chocolate spread all over the top of the banana then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.

- If you are just using dark chocolate, melt the chocolate in a small bowl or container in the microwave, then smear all over the banana.
- When melting chocolate in the microwave, ensure to heat the chocolate in 10 to 20 seconds stints, and make sure to continuously stir the chocolate between heating periods. - Serve immediately and enjoy. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Home-Made Lemon Iced Tea + Blog Turns 1 Year Old

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

As the title to this blog post suggests, yes, my blog has officially turned one years old (do you say one year old or one years old, I'm not too sure). Well, my blog actually turned one on the 20th of September, so the Saturday that has just passed. But unfortunately, I was super busy over the weekend (preparing for my personal fitness training course which is starting this week and for the Miss Bikini Swimsuit Ireland 2014 Bootcamp which is coming up this coming weekend) that I didn't get time to post on my blog's actual birthday! Sad face. Oh well. I'm still letting you all in on the good news, I'm just a couple of days late. 

So now that I have an opportunity to, I would like to thank every single one of you who take the time out of their day to view my recipes and read my posts. I would also like to thank everyone who comments on my blog posts or who gets in touch with me directly. All of your lovely, positive words are so motivating and encouraging. I really do appreciate every single individual who views my blog and this only spurs me on further to keep posting my own unique recipes of you guys to see. 

As always, please do let me know what you think of my recipes if you do try them out by commenting on the blog or the recipe post. Better yet, contact me directly via Twitter or Instagram or even post a picture of the recipe that you tried on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #breakfastaddictionblog so that I can see your re-creations and maybe even feature your photos on my own account. Also, please let me know what kinds of recipes to include more on the blog. It means a lot to me that I am consistently posting more recipes of what you guys want to see (for example; baking, desserts, smoothies, high protein recipes, no-bake, etc).

Now that I've said all of that, on with the recipe. I am a huge iced tea fan (as most of you probably already know considering the amount of iced tea recipes I have been posting recently). Don't get me wrong, both Nestea and Lipton's iced teas are super delicious. But both brands are full of sugar. Literally. As much as any full sugar soft drink. Which completely out-weighs the benefits of the tea then. That's why I decided to make my own! My favourite flavour of iced tea has to be peach iced tea. But lemon iced tea is a close second. And since I had a lemon tea bag hanging around the apartment, which was never going to be used since I would never drink a fruit tea hot (yuck, I just can't do it, reminds me of Lemsip cold and flu drinks), I decided that now would be the perfect opportunity to make my own home-made lemon iced tea which was sugar free and healthy!

I used coconut sugar to sweeten my lemon iced tea here, because it is neutral in flavour, but you could use agave nectar either. If you don't have coconut sugar or agave, you could use honey or 100% pure maple syrup, but these liquid sweeteners are dominant in flavour, which will more than likely over-power the lemon flavour.

You can also use lemon extract in this recipe (natural lemon extract preferably), for a bigger kick of lemon flavour. You could also add the juice of half a lemon to this recipe, both for the added lemon flavour and the health benefits. But I just simply used my lemon tea bag, because I am more of a 'subtle flavour' fan rather than a 'dominant flavour' fan. But it's totally up to you.

Please excuse the super sparkly and long silver nails I have in the following picture. I got gel nails done for the Miss Bikini Swimsuit Ireland Bootcamp which is coming up this weekend. No, I am definitely not one of those girls who would always have my nails done like this. I'm actually quite the opposite as I am finding them very hard to deal with. But don't you just love this Urban Outfitter 'To-Go Jar'? My boyfriend got it for me (along with a few other things) for our one year anniversary which was a couple of weeks ago. He knows me so well!

Home-Made Lemon Iced Tea

1 lemon tea bag
Boiling water
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract/juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
2 large/4 small coconut water ice cubes/normal ice cubes

- Boil the kettle with an ample amount of water.
- Put the lemon tea bag into your serving glass of choice. 

- Pour the boiling water into the serving glass, about 3/4 of the way up.
- Then add your sweetener (and optional lemon extract or lemon juice) and stir it to fully dissolve and incorporate it into the tea.
- Allow the tea to come to room temperature.
- Then, place the tea into the fridge to steep and chill for four to eight hours (or over night).
- When the tea has steeped and is chilled, remove the tea bag from the glass.
- I add two large coconut water ice cubes to my iced drinks (for extra nutrition) but you can add two to four normal ice cubes, depending on their size.