Yummy! I have found a good ratio of ingredients for a home-made brownie! Of course, there were no sugar, no gluten, no butter. We both say this is a best brownie in our life 🙂
Bananas – 2 pieces;
Baking powder – 1 tea spoon;
Cacao nibs or cacao powder – 7 tea spoons;
Water – 50 ml;
Eggs – 2 pieces;
Coconut oil – 3-4 tablespoons;
Flaxseeds – 4-5 tablespoons;
Brown rice flour – 4-5 tablespoons;
Dates – 7-10 pieces;
Walnuts – by your taste.
I whip bananas, baking powder, cacao nibs and water up in a blender. In a separate bowl I whip eggs and coconut oil by hand mixer. Then I add a liquid from the blender to the bowl and mix it together. Then add a grounded flaxseeds and a rice flour. You can also add an additional cacao nibs or powder. The wight should be enough thick. Finally I add there a chopped dates and spread in a silicone shape for baking. But before I sprinkle this with grated walnuts. And put it to bake for 35 minutes at 180C.
Homemade brownie is a great desert or breakfast for a healthy Christmas and New Year holidays! 🙂
A weekend is a great opportunity to slow the time down, not be in a rush and do what you like. I really enjoy cooking. At the same time, I never spend in the kitchen for more than forty minutes. Because healthy meals do not require a lot of time.
In the morning, I slowly crawled out of bed on an exercise mat. A little more than half an hour of yoga, and I my body is grateful to me. This afternoon, I play tennis which is an intense cardiovascular workout. So 30 minutes of yoga is enough to warm-up joints and muscles. After yoga – a green smoothie, shower and cooking breakfast. As always this happens with different recipes in my case, Russian pancakes recipe was converted into a one without gluten and sugar.
Ingredients for eight medium pancakes:
bananas instead of sugar – 2 pieces;
baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon;
eggs – 2 pieces;
coconut milk – 3 tablespoons;
cup of quinoa flour (can be substituted for rice flour, if you need gluten-free option, or wheat, if you eat gluten);
glass of water;
a pinch of salt.
Bananas I mash in a blender, then mixed with all the ingredients. And I leave the dough for 30 minutes to infuse. Then I stirred and still about a quarter cup of water. I fry pancakes quickly with a little olive oil.
In the evening I made a variant of dietary jam. Just mashed in the blender two mango pulp (you can use any other fruit). I added five teaspoons of chia seeds in a mango puree, and put in the refrigerator overnight. The seeds swell and make the mass like a jam. It served as a topping for pancakes with strawberries.
The great compliment for this breakfast is a green tea with lemon and a little clove. It is not only a tasty and healthy meal, but also a way to hear one more time that I am the best wife in the world! 🙂
A month ago I organized an excursion to the small chocolate factory owned by a French couple in Saigon. It took us two hours to get there, and it is considered extremely long by local standards. However, it really was worth the trouble. From this time on, cacao nibs are a must-have in our kitchen.
You can see cacao nibs in the picture of my brownie. The harvested and dried cocoa beans are then roasted and cracked. After that, cocoa butter is produced using the hydraulic press. Cocoa butter is the most valuable product in chocolate production process. The extraction process also produces cocoa powder, which is not as costly as cocoa butter, but is quite healthy too. To produce a chocolate bar, cocoa powder is mixed again with cocoa butter. Then sugar is added for sweetness. The sort of chocolate depends on other ingredients added to basic ones. Milk chocolate contains much milk; aerated chocolate consists of much air. By the way, white chocolate actually has no chocolate. There is no cocoa powder in it and cocoa butter is replaced by palm oil. Basically, if you study chocolate bar labels in detail, you will find out that of chocolate there is only color left in them, the rest is sugar, palm oil and emulsifiers.
Still, even the most expensive and darkest chocolate bars have not as much chocolate as we would like (French chocolate factory in Saigon is an exception, as chocolate there is hand-made and of premium quality). My boyfriend is an avid sweet tooth. After the chocolate factory excursion he went to the supermarket and studied all the chocolate bar labels possible. From now on, he is going to eat nothing but my homemade sweets.
And here is the recipe of my first brownie. You can easily substitute cacao nibs by cocoa powder. The result will be the same!
80g cacao nibs/ cocoa powder (grind cocoa beans in blender or coffee mill)
4 tablespoons rice flour
3 tablespoons buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds (grind them in blender or coffee mill)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (it’s up to you, I like to add it to my pastry)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
200ml coconut milk (can be replaced by any kind of milk)
1 teaspoon agave nectar for sweetness (can be replaced by honey or dates)
Walnut – optional.
Whisk bananas, cacao nibs and agave nectar or dates. In a separate bowl beat eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, coconut milk and baking soda. Blend in both mixtures, whisk and add flour. Then stir in ground walnuts. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Pour mixture into a baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.
I have baked brownies twice recently. And our family council has concluded that cooled down brownies taste better and tend to reveal a more vivid chocolate flavor.
I recommend you to prepare fresh ginger and lemon tea to your brownie. Just put some ginger and a little of lemon juice into a teapot, add hot water and in 10 minutes your flavored tea is ready!
There are official holidays in many countries in May. Usually I do my best to use this time and organize short trips somewhere. But I decided to have home-style holidays at this time with an intensive eco, healthy schedule. I am going to:
Read books and prepare new information for my blog.
Enjoy massage and new hair-cut;
Cook new main dishes and deserts. We eat at home at least 80% of the total numbers of meals. And we are going to follow the same way during holidays;
Go for family gym workouts and tennis. And practicing new workout program;
Meditate with Headspace app daily;
Practice yoga at home every morning;
Yesterday I tried to make a new raw desert for us: coconut and nuts cake with mango. There are three different levels in this cake, which I put in a silicone mold of the shape for banana bread. And then put it in the freeze for a night.
Lower brown layer:
Almonds grounded in a blender – 100 g;
Raisins – 100 g;
Raw cacao powder – 2 tbs.
Middle white layer:
Cashews, pre-soak in water for 2 hours – 100 g;
Coconut milk to taste;
Dried coconut to taste.
The same ingredients like in a white layer;
Mango – 1 piece (you can replaced mango by berries or other fruit which gives you a color).
You should blend all ingredients for each layers and lay our in a mold in the queue. I have read many different similar recipes in the Internet before. All of them said you should keep your desert in a freezer for 4–6 hours or overnight. So I did. It is also recommended to out a desert in a room temperature for 10–15 minutes before serving. But we tried this cold desert and due to our family council came to the conclusion this is not a good idea to eat a quite cold food for the digestion. Therefore, the desert was sent in the refrigerator defrosted naturally slow for a half a day. We guessed it! The cake turned into a soft and delicate mass of layers with a variety of flavors!
I don’t remember why and how I decided to cook dietary muffins this year. But recently I cook them quite often for our nice family weekends. I have tried different options of recipe. Firstly, I added a homemade cottage cheese, but I don’t eat dairy products for half a year now. So I created the different recipes and the taste is even much better. And now this is definitely dietary muffins without gluten, sugar, dairy products and butter.
Ingredients and proportions for six muffins:
2 small organic eggs + 1 egg white;
1 teaspoon of stevia (or teaspoon of honey);
1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
1 teaspoon of coconut oil;
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda;
4 tablespoons of buckwheat flour;
4 tablespoons of coconut or brown rice flour;
6 pieces of mashed dates;
2 mashed bananas with 1 teaspoon of organic cacao;
dried apricots or raisins to your taste.
I put dried apricots into hot water for 10 minutes. They swell up and the taste becomes very tender.
While dried apricots are soaking I’m mixing all the ingredients adding one after another. Then I put paste in baking cups filling them half and then bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
I cooked such muffins several times. You’ll have the tenderest taste if you add soaked apricots 🙂
One more nice option is to mash a carrot instead of dates with bananas and cacao.
Australian Nutritionist Karin G. Reiter inspires me not only to change in nutrition. She was an lawyer in a bank industry some years ago, studied Medical Nutrition, opened her Nutrition clinic in Singapore, became the wife of a happy husband and a mother of two healthy children. In the same time Karin was educated as a personal fitness trainer, shares her professional and personal experience in her blog Nutrisious&Delicious, has launched its own free ebook with healthy recipes, exercise five times a week, and just lives a fulfilled, meaningful life.
LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO EAT A GOOD FOOD
Karin is my teacher about medical nutrition during the course “Personal trainer FISAF Singapore”. I am very inspired by her lectures, and wanted to know more how she organizes a healthy food habits for her family with two children at ages five and three years old.
Me: How do you teach your children to eat healthy food?
Karin: They were born to know healthy food flavors from birth. They eat vegetables, fruits whole grains like quinoa, lentils, nuts and seeds… I make an almond milk… So they know flours in their systems and they love it. The challenges happen around the ages 3 or 4 when the children see the other children eating unhealthy food. So I do a workshop called “Kids eat healthy”. I educate parents why some food is unhealthy for children and how to get your children to eat healthy food. Because most people don’t really understand why some food is best avoided or how to get their kids to eat healthy. And also I explain sociological side how to deal with that: children should eat 90% healthy food cooking at home or eating at healthy restaurants. My kids love sushi and there are many places in Singapore where you can find fresh juices. So it’s very easy for us to eat out. And we never eat at McDonalds or places like that. And when we go to parties, I allow the children to eat whatever they want. Because this is a small percent of their food. They are still kids.
Me: You told me that problems happen around the ages three to four. So how do you persuade them to eat healthy food 90% of their time?
Karin: You don’t persuade children. And you don’t teach them what is the nutrition food. You just try to create positive thoughts for their habits. I’m modeling behavior for my children. I eat healthy food, they eat healthy food. They help me to cook food. They help prepare the food, touching it, smelling it, learning about it. They come shopping with us to the markets. So they know well what is healthy food. And when they choose healthy food, I tell them “Good choice, healthy choice”. When my daughter wants to eat unhealthy food, she knows this is unhealthy. And sometimes she can say me “I feel a stomachache”. And I remind her, she has a stomachache because she ate an unhealthy food. Or also there is a big connection between unhealthy food and children’s reaction and feelings. When you have kids one day, you will see that when they eat unhealthy food, they have mass of reaction. Really like running around, crying. And it’s very difficult to manage. So I try to show connection to my daughter how she eats and how she feels.
Me: What are the general rules to choose a good food?
Karin: The first is it’s a natural form: coming from trees, from a ground rather than something coming from a box. And fresh is best. Also little or no ingredients. You need understand all ingredients. I strongly recommend eating 80% of plant-based food: vegetables, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans and different kinds of whole grain, brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat…. Things like that.
Me: And how many times a day do you eat? How many times a day do you recommend to eat?
Karin: There is no one recommendation for every persons. Everyone isn’t the same. Some people need to eat six meals a day, and other three meals a day. I think it really depends on your hunger, your personality. I think generally you should eat around every two hours when your stomach is empty of previous food. So it can be three main meals, and two-three small meals. Or ot can be six small meals.
Me: How much time do you spend for cooking every day? Because some people think it’s quite difficult to cook healthy food.
Karin: I usually write down a menu plan on Friday for the next week. So know where my kids will go next week, or if we have guests at home. On Saturday I make shop for a whole week. And then usually on Sunday I cook four or five different big dishes. I make a lot of vegetables, I make hummus, I a big soup, I make much amount of beans or lentils, I make an almond milk. I don’t make fresh food in advance. I like fresh salads, green juices and smoothies, which I can prepare very quickly during a week. And I cook some fish, steamed vegetables during a week too. I don’t spend so much time for cooking. I usually spend one day for shopping, one big day for cooking around for three hours, and 30 minutes for cooking during weekday.
Me: How do you help your clients to change them?
Karin: We set goals: where we are gonna to be six weeks later, 12 weeks later or one year from now. And how we are gonna to get these goals. Maybe one week you cut out this type of food. You know, that’s the goal for this week. So it’s about the goals. But also about the plans how to make these goals. For example, if you want to decrease your cholesterol, how are you gonna to do it? Are you gonna to workout three times a week, to eat fresh vegetable salads for lunch every time, and you’re gonna to cook by yourself 90% of time.
Me: What could you recommend to people who have allergies?
Karin: You need to define if you have food allergy or food sensitivity. You feel tired, your mood is not good, your skin is not good, your bowel is not working correctly then you might have food sensitivity. The cheapest way to test if you are allergic to certain foods is to do elimination diet. So generally many people don’t feel good to gluten or wheat, dairy products, eggs and nuts. So and you need to avoid these food for two weeks but 100% to avoid them. And after two weeks one by one to add them and to see if you have a reaction. And if you have some of reaction like your skin, stomachache or headache, or diarrhea. It means you have sensitivity to this food. So you should cut out of your diet.
Me: Could you let us know your food diary for a day?
Karin: I don’t eat the same every day. But I can say what I ate yesterday. I had a green juice for breakfast with muesli, almond milk and berries. And then I had buckwheat with homemade hummus and fresh salad, and lemon for lunch. And afternoon I had berries, and some nuts, and some pineapple. And then for dinner I had a sweet potato with a small piece of fish and a big salad.
Me: And if a person wants to lose just 2-3 kg, what could you suggest generally?
Karin: Go back to the labels of food, which you eat. They should be simple with few ingredients. Drink a lot of water, eat a lot of vegetables in all forms: soups, salads, juices. Limit your fruits during a day (up to three fruits per day), eat only whole grains, and reduce the amounts of animals, which you eat.
Me: Thank you so much! And what is your main advice for people?
Karin: My main advice for people you should listen your body. You should learn about your body. Most people have no idea: they listen to the doctors, they listen to other people. Don’t follow the trends, magazines. The point is not to be skinny; the point is to be happy. And nutrition connects with your happy. When you eat a good food, you are happy. You are happy inside and love yourself enough to eat a good food. So all starts to love yourself and being true to yourself.
I’m accustomed myself to making smoothies in the morning. I pour it in a sport bottle and take to work. So I can have tasty and enriched bite in the first half of the day. Yesterday I had orange smoothie with carrots, papaya and almond milk.
Morning is my favorite time of the day. In the morning I love to do the most pleasant things: practice yoga, cook delicious breakfast, read a book, work out or just go for a walk. Recently I began to write morning notes. They say it helps to disclose the creativity. You wake up in the morning; you take a pen and write everything you have in your head (use a pen, not the keyboard or touch screen). The main thing is to write everything, even some funny and crazy thoughts!
This morning I wrote my notes and made bright fruit salad for breakfast.
Fruit salad (for two):
Cinnamon to your taste
Home-made yoghurt or non-fat cottage cheese to your taste (optional)
A multilayer smoothie! Beautiful, healthy and nutritious!
I rescheduled my workout in order to make it and take some pictures of it.
Multilayer smoothies look really beautiful in transparent glass. I also enjoy the richness of taste when I eat different layers with the small spoon and occasionally mix them.
Fruit and nut smoothie (for two):
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
About 20 Hazelnuts
100 g of homemade yoghurt (or non-fat cottage cheese)
Blend the mango and pour the first layer into the glasses. Wash the blender. Then blend avocado, kiwi, mint and cinnamon. Pour a second layer. Put hazelnuts on the top. Then pour homemade yoghurt or non-fat cottage cheese. Decorate your smoothie with walnuts, hazelnuts and mint leaves.