Cocoa-Hazelnut & Raspberry Balls

IMG_20170613_181509_507Well, I promised a recipe using the cocoa-hazelnut butter I reviewed a couple of days ago, and here it is!

Today we have a quick and easy recipe for a snack that you can keep in your fridge for times of need. These little snack balls have a rich chocolate-hazelnut, and sweet-tangy raspberry taste. The texture is almost creamy too, due to the oats mashed together with the nut butter. In fact, these remind me of a healthier after-dinner truffle…

Ingredients (for 16 balls)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut butter
  • 1/8  cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 80g frozen raspberries, defrosted in the microwave and mashed to a puree
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 1tbsp almond milk
  • 2tbsp cacao

 

Method

  • In a large bowl combine the oats, chia seeds, 1tbsp cacao, and cinnamon. To this add the nut butter, and the maple syrup, stirring well to combine. Add in the almond milk and beat together well. Now beat in the raspberry puree, until a soft dough-like mixture forms.
  • Using a tablespoon measurer create 16 balls. Roll them to a smooth texture. Empty the other tbsp. of cacao into a dish, and roll each ball in the cacao.
  • Store in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight tub. Enjoy!

 

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Raspberry, Pear & Chocolate Overnight Oats

IMG_20170421_091924_883I tend to go through phases with breakfasts. The porridge phase (okay, that one never ends), the pancake phase, the eggs on toast phase, the shredded wheat phase…and the overnight oats phase. This is one of my favourite variations on overnight oats. You’ll find plenty of recipes for them under the food section of the blog, though the combination of sweet pear, bitter dark chocolate (we’re using cacao, though if you really like things much sweeter you can either add maple syrup, or use a cocoa powder / hot chocolate mix instead), and juicy, sharp raspberries is amazing. Any overnight oats recipe is ideal for mornings when you know you’ll be in a rush, and short on time to make something. Continue reading

Banana, Cacao & Hazelnut Smoothie

wp-1482952086020.jpgI have yet to meet anyone who does not like nutella. This smoothie reminds me of nutella smothered over ripe banana. You have that chocolate-y, nutty taste, and sweet creamy frozen banana flavour.

Anyone who has a sweet tooth but wants a nutritious alternative: have I got your attention?

It might be a bit cold for smoothies in some people’s opinions, but not in mine. For this one I used Meridian’s hazelnut butter, but you can use chopped hazelnuts if you really want to- although, I have no idea how the texture of your smoothie would turn out. Probably fairly chunky. Though if you reduced the milk to just a couple of tbsp., you could make a nice-cream with chunks of hazelnut instead.

Anyway, this smoothie is ideal as a well balanced snack, or even a dessert: you have protein from your nut butter, plus a serving of fruit, fibre, and a hit of potassium from the banana. You also have any of the vitamins and minerals your milk is fortified with or naturally contains (I used almond milk, but use whatever floats your boat), and some beautiful antioxidants from the cacao powder. Also, I don’t know about you, but the taste of chocolate makes me feel happy.

Sound good? Let’s get going…

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 large, ripe banana (with ALL the speckles you can get)- sliced and frozen overnight
  • 1tbsp cacao powder (I used Seven Hills)
  • 1tbsp Hazelnut butter (I used Meridian)
  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • OPTIONAL: A splash of REALLY cold water, depending how thick/thin you like your smoothies; 1dsp protein powder if you want to increase your protein intake

 

Method

  1. Pour the almond milk into the blender first; this means the blades will be able to turn more easily. Add in everything else, blend, and serve with a straw if you’re feeling classy…

Christmas Porridge No.1: Hazelnut, Chocolate & Pear

wp-1481464521141.jpgChristmas breakfast is one of my favourite things about the entire day. In fact, of late I’ve been diving for my breakfast before my presents. My top picks are always either something involving eggs or smoked salmon (or both), shredded wheat with loads of toppings- or, more often than not, a bowl of porridge. But since Christmas is a time for making things that bit more special, I’ve decided to make three different- more luxurious- Christmas  porridges for you over the next week. This is the first one…

Hazelnut butter is a mega-luxury as it’s so expensive, and so as Christmas is a time for pushing the boat out a bit, I like to use it this time of year. Alternatively, you can use whole hazelnuts, which are much cheaper- just chop them, and add them as directed below. If your are treating yourself to hazelnut butter, then I highly recommend Meridian- nothing has matched theirs so far. Chocolate on Christmas morning is something I know many of us enjoy, but this chocolate flavour comes from cacao, making it super-rich and just that little bit better for you, as it is richer in antioxidants. If you aren’t a fan of bitter dark chocolate-esque flavours, then go ahead and add in 1-2tsp of maple syrup to sweeten. Finally, the pear means you get in one of your 5 a day, provides a little sweetness itself, and it works beautifully with both the cacao and the hazelnut.

Now, a little word on the egg whites…these are completely optional. I love egg white oats, and so I added them. The extra protein makes this a well-balanced breakfast, and you can’t actually taste them. The texture just becomes super-thick (which is something I like in my porridge), and your breakfast super-filling. If you’re sceptical then feel free to skip them, or even sub in protein powder if you’re into that. For more on egg white oats you can read my post and recipe here.

Let’s get going…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of porridge oats
  • 1/2 cup freshly boiled water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1tbsp cacao
  • 1 pear- three thin slices put to one side, and the rest chopped into chunks
  • 1tbsp hazelnut butter (I used Meridian)
  • Pinch of each: cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice (just a little!)
  • OPTIONAL: 2 egg whites, frozen berries, maple syrup (I highly recommend adding the egg whites- this recipe works fine without the berries, but they do add a little colour, and you can read about the maple syrup in my intro)

Continue reading

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (no bake!)

wp-1479643937314.jpgYou probably saw my PB & J Crumble Topped Flapjacks last week, and now I bring you another classic PB combo…chocolate peanut butter. I promise I will make some non- peanut butter recipes soon. But if you’re into chocolate without peanut butter, then you can check out my recipes over on Discover Chocolate’s blog, where I’m currently freelancing.

Anyway, these bars are just as easy as the first, and they’re another great snack to carry about with you. No bake, a handful of ingredients,  a whole lot of flavour- and these ones are also suitable for dipping in tea, because I know we all like that…

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Meridian)
  • 3tbsp cacao
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 8 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • Pinch of each: salt, cinnamon (just a little)

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, salt, cinnamon, and cacao
  • In a microwavable bowl melt together the honey and peanut butter
  • Pour the honey and peanut butter into the oats, and add the milk. Stir to combine, and then use your hands to bring everything together.
  • Press firmly into a tray lined with greaseproof paper, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning cut into bars, and store in an air tight tub in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

 

TIP! – Top a bar with nutella. You won’t regret it…

Raspberry, Fig & Chocolate Porridge

img_20160924_085250.jpg

Its fig time of year! As you may have already guessed from my seasonal salad (right here ), this is fine by me. Because figs are delicious. This recipe is a lot less labour intensive than the seasonal salad, but just as yummy. Have fun adding some figs to your breakfasts guys, and let me know any other fig recipes you love in the comments…

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup each almond milk, and hot water (just boiled)
  • 1.5tbsp cacao
  • 2 figs
  • 1 handful frozen raspberries
  • Cinnamon, to taste

Continue reading