Monday, 24 March 2014

healthy treats!

Incase you hadn't noticed, I am sort of on a major health kick. After three weeks of this 'healthiness' and pretending to enjoy salads and running daily, salads are beginning to wear thin. I truly believe that I have used eggs to their most extreme limits, and desperately need to eat something else! Easter around the corner means that there is chocolate everywhere I look and this makes me very very sad that I can't eat my favourite treats :( 
So the result is searching instagram and food blogs for a very long time to find healthy 'desserts!'  

'Protein' Balls 
The word protein is still quite scary to me, I am still equating it in my mind with butch muscles and lifting 100kg. Probably from cheerleading, where big tubs of protein powder was present at every session. So these are basically just really delicious balls which taste like cookie dough (disclaimer: a little imagination needed). 

Basically, you can use whatever you find in your kitchen, mash it all up (preferably in a food processor) and add dark chocolate chips to it. (aka a great recipe if you are really not a recipe-sort of follower, and prefer to make it up as you go along... guilty!) 
However, what I used on this particular day was the following:

  •  Pinhead porridge oats - I did NOT know these were a thing, but apparently they are. Tiny balls of porridge oats instead of the usual flakes (my boyfriend has an extremely random collection of food in his cupboards!) He claims they are healthier and keep you fuller for longer, any thoughts? Just toss an amount in depending on how oaty you would prefer your balls 8) 
  • Organic Peanut butter - I used a tablespoon, but probably the most you use = the more delicious your balls will be because peanut butter = happiness 
  • Dessicated Coconut - DELICIOUS. on everything. use LOADS if you are obsessed with coconut like me. 
  • Chopped Dates and Walnuts  - most recipes use dates as a good replacement for something sugary and delicious. Basically use any tasty fruit (banana I'm looking at you) and some chopped nuts.
  • Sesame Seeds - another thing just lying about, but actually turned out to be a very good addition. 
  • Coconut Milk - this is probably also not a requirement, and only use a bit if you are going to add milk, but I found this 'Koko' milk in Tesco's and got wildly excited (and erm.. drank the entire thing in one day)
  • Vanilla Essence - note: do not overuse the vanilla essence, tempting as it smells. it will make your balls taste like alcohol. 
  • Dark chocolate chips - these are the most important ingredient. Basically just because they are chocolate, and I miss chocolate dearly so will take whatever I can get. Dark chocolate apparently has antioxidants blablabla but they taste FAB <3
As you can see, my ingredients were largely based on what was in Dima's cupboards at the time. Basically you need some form of oats, nut butter, fruit (dates or bananas), nuts and chocolate chips. 

Now for the process.... BLITZ everything except the chocolate chips together! If you don't have a processor just mix by hand! 

Then spoon it into a bowl and add chocolate chips.
 With your hands, shape the amazingly-delicious mixture into balls and place on a plate. When finished, put the plate in the fridge and leave it for however long you can wait, then proceed to eat....

Top tip: DO NOT EAT ALL OF THE BALLS IN ONE GO. Depending on how much ingredients you use, they can probably be quite calorific (probs around 100 calories per ball) and one at a time is the perfect bite size amount of tasty heaven to give you a mid-morning/afternoon energy boost! 

Of course, I made a batch and proceeded to eat all five straight away. Then I decided to make some more to last me for the week... they lasted me until the evening :'( So a disclaimer, these are seriously moreish - but seriously amazing whilst being healthy! 

Chia Seed Pudding 
Chia seeds are AMAZING. I was extremely shocked to find them being sold in Tesco (for about £5 average - not the cheapest superfood but good quality!) and proceeded to force my boyfriend to buy me loads! They have properties in them which absorb liquid, making the teensy seeds expand to double their size and make you feel super full up, so a great snack! 

Another one of my make-it-up-as-you-go-along recipes, this is easy. You will need:
- chia seeds
- milk (preferably almond/coconut) 
- vanilla essence/chocolate chips/cocoa powder/banana

To make, all you do is mix the ingredients in a bowl (around 1/3 seeds, 2/3 milk) and pop it in the fridge for an hour or two! You then take it out and eat to your heart's content! 

If you add cocoa powder, it comes out fabulously chocolate-y as my friend Katherine achieved, however I am trying to wean myself off chocolate again after this weekend's relapse so stuck to dark chocolate chips. Also, if you add chopped banana it makes it extra-thick and filling :) 

Perfect to add to porridge - especially porridge that has been slow-cooked for twelve hours! 

Enjoy! Any more healthy dessert ideas, I would LOVE to hear them! <3

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