learning to live a happy, healthy life

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Cold Brew Coffee & Coconut Smoothie

It's estimated 82% of adults are regular coffee drinks, but on hot summer days is drinking a mug of coffee really the best refreshing drink? I don't know about you, but I really go off tea and coffee during the warmer months but sometimes I just crave that delicious coffee taste. That's where cold brew comes in to save the day!

I've recently discovered Califia Farms who's products have just launched in Sainsburys. They have a range of incredible plant based milks, as well as plant based cold brew coffees! My favourite is the
Unsweetened Black & While Cold Brew made with almond milk - it's 100% GMO free, free from gluten, suitable for vegans and soy free too. This cold brew is a dream enjoyed just by itself, but I love blending it into smoothies to create a refreshing, cooling, summer coffee drink. My go-to recipe is a coffee & coconut blend, and lucky you....I'm sharing the recipe in this blog post!

This Coffee & Coconut layered smoothie tastes so indulgent (almost like a dessert!) but it's also loaded with goodness, only contains natural ingredients, there's no added refined sugars and it looks pretty too! If you want, you don't have to create two smoothies and layer them but simply add all the ingredients in one go - I just like the contrasting colours and it makes it super fun to drink.

The cold brew coffee layers are made with frozen banana, almond butter and the Califia Farms cold brew coffee - delicious, rich and super flavoursome! The coconut layers are made using frozen banana, desiccated coconut and Califia Farms coconut milk which I love as it has no added sweeteners or artificial ingredients (plus it tastes so creamy!).


Saturday, 17 June 2017

Cookie Dough Protein Balls

Protein or energy balls are my favourite home-made snack. They're so easy, quick and fuss free to make, they don't require any baking and there's minimal washing up - winner! I also love how many different combinations of flavours and ingredients you can come up with. My current favourite protein ball recipe is for these Cookie Dough Protein Balls made with The Good Guru Vanilla Protein Powder and delicious dark chocolate chips!

The main ingredients are oats and cashews which are inexpensive and easy to find in the supermarkets, and they make the best cookie-dough like texture. I also used cashew butter which adds a slight creaminess to these protein balls as well as holding the balls together, with a little help from the coconut oil and medjool dates.

I used The Good Guru Vanilla Protein Powder in this recipe which is entirely vegan. It's blend of pea, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed protein with natural vanilla flavourings and a little stevia for sweetness. The protein blends so well into these protein balls and is great for adding that vanilla cookie flavour! Adding protein powder to these balls also helps to make them super filling, as protein is considered the most satiating of all three macronutrients.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Purezza Review - Plant Based Brighton Restaurant

I've got another Brighton food spot recommendation for you!

I live just outside of Brighton so love venturing down to the unique and wonderful city to explore to quirky shops, stroll along the seafront and try out new food places. Luckily, there's no shortage of restaurants and cafes with vegan options in Brighton but I'm always on the lookout for new places to try. So when Purezza got in contact to ask if I'd like a meal at their completely plant-based restaurant I was super excited!

Purezza was founded in 2015, and was the first vegan pizzeria in the UK and still are the only wood-fired vegan pizzeria in Europe. Purezza are real plant pioneers and they aim to make their plant based menu superior to the traditional alternatives!

Purezza are completely plant based but they also have a wide range of gluten free options too! Unfortunately the pizza isn't coeliac safe as it's cooked in the same area as the other pizza's but all the other gluten free food is prepared separately which limits any risk of cross contamination.

So, Purezza is 100% plant based....what about the cheese, you may be wondering! Purezza have spent over two years developing their very own vegan mozzarella! It's made using a blend of rice milk, chickpeas and olive oil and honestly, it's the best vegan cheese I've ever tasted! Even my boyfriend agreed that it tasted like the real thing! It's not just mozzarella though, they also have their own ricotta style cheese and a creamy coconut cheese. Purezza also serve pasta dishes that include lasagne and mac & cheese, vegan burgers, salads and even a vegan cheese board!

The interior at Purezza is really cool, it's got a rustic feel that's really relaxed and comfortable yet smart. It's very clean, light, airy, open and it was a lovely room to sit in for a meal.
We were greeted by a friendly waitress who showed us to our table and explained a little bit about Purezza, before handing us the drinks menu and main menu to have a look through. I browsed the drinks menu and was impressed with the range of beers, wines and cocktails the restaurant had to offer but was a little disappointed in their lack of soft drinks. I'm not one for an alcoholic beverage during the day so asked for the Blueberry Kombucha, which unfortunately they'd run out of. I asked the waitress if they had any other soft drinks that weren't on the menu, such as fruit juices but she said they didn't so I was left with water. A shame because I do like a nice drink with a meal and it's a bit unusual for a restaurant not to offer even a simple orange juice or apple juice!

To start we ordered the gluten free cheesy garlic bread, which arrived in the shape of a pizza with the cheese all melted on top with sprigs of rosemary scattered around too. The garlic bread was delicious - the base was perfectly thin and crispy, the cheese was wonderfully melted and the addition of rosemary added something special. The only negative I have to say about it is it was a little bit too oily for my liking, but that's just me being fussy!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Three Recipes With Linwoods Snackettes

Finding healthy yet delicious and satisfying snacks can be a little tricky. I find meals super easy but snacks a bit more challenging, especially on the go - because taking a pot of hummus with carrot sticks around isn't exactly practical. This is why so many people reach for bags of crips or chocolate bars, they may be easy and mess free but they're not going to help you feel your best, they aren't loaded with nutrients and they can have negative effects on your health when eaten regularly.

Linwoods Snackettes (cutest name ever, right?) are one of my favourite on-the-go snacks. There's a selection of 3 flavours - all gluten free, vegan and free from preservatives and artificial ingredients, they're filling, they're high protein, they taste great, they're mess free and they come in handy little packets that can easily be thrown in your bag or kept in your desk draw. Luckily, Linwoods Snackettes are becoming more available too as they're launching into Holland & Barrett stores! To celebrate this I'm sharing 3 serving suggestions for the Snackettes, 1 for each flavour - because they can be enjoyed on their own but they're also very versatile and are delicious paired with other foods too.

Spicy Tomato (With Vegan Chive Cream Cheese)
The spicy tomato flavour is my favourite! They're made with golden flaxseed, sesame seeds and spicy tomato flavouring (tomato powder, garlic, coriander, onion, sea salt) and are just such a yummy savoury snack. The spicy tomato flavour is a dream on it's own but my favourite way to enjoy these seeded snacks is with my homemade vegan chive cream cheese! The combination of spicy tomato and creamy chive cheese is unbeatable.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Berry Bounty Slices

You're in for a treat with this recipe for Berry Bounty Slices! These squares of indulgence my be perfectly sweet, creamy, rich and delicious but they're also 100% raw, vegan, gluten free and free from refined sugars....not that you'd believe it!

Bounty's are a classic, so I decided to put a Nourishing Amelia twist on the classic chocolate bar and make these Berry Bounty Slices complete with creamy coconut filling and dark chocolate topping. The star ingredient is the Good Berries powder from The Good Guru which not only makes these sweet treats look super pretty and bright but also adds a heavenly berry taste that pairs wonderfully with the coconut and chocolate.

The base of these bounty slices is made from ground almonds and oats which creates an almost biscuity texture, then the middle is made from desiccated coconut and coconut cream as well as the Good Berries powder by The Good Guru which is a superfood berry blend made from blueberry, blackberry, cranberry, cranberry and raspberry freeze-dried powder - it's loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, tastes amazing and gives this beautiful pink colour! I then topped the bounty slices with all important dark chocolate.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Healthy Chocolate Hobnobs

Everyone loves a chocolate hobnob. Am I right or am I right? I know I used to love dunking a sweet hobnob into a cup of tea, and I miss doing that since switching to a plant-based diet so I decided to create my own hobnob recipe - Nourishing Amelia style!

These oaty hobnobs with smooth, dark chocolate topping may be entirely vegan, gluten free and refined sugar but you'd never know it! The biscuit is perfectly oaty with the perfect crunchy/soft balance, deliciously sweet and incredibly moreish with a dark chocolate topping that's so rich and indulgent. Every mouthful is utter heaven, and they're even better dunked in an English Breakfast Tea or enjoyed with your afternoon coffee.

These healthy hobnobs couldn't be easier to make too! The ingredients are pretty basic, there's only a few steps in the recipe and the biscuits only take 10 minutes to cook in the oven. Winner!

Friday, 2 June 2017

15 Minute Chickpea Masala Curry

Curry is one of my favourite meals; I have a homemade curry pretty much every week and I love to experiment with different flavours and ingredients. Curry typically takes a little while to cook, which means it's not ideal if you're after a quick mid-week meal but I'm about to change that with this recipe for a chickpea masala curry that takes only 15 minutes to cook!

This 15 minute curry may be a fast dinner but it tastes like a meal you could've spent hours cooking. It's loaded with flavour, tastes so fresh, is packed full of nutritious ingredients and is so satisfying thanks to the chickpeas. It's a new favourite of mine and I'm excited to share the recipe with you below.

As I mentioned above, this curry is bursting with flavour! I've included a variety of different spices in this dish such as ground cumin, coriander and turmeric which all hold anti-inflammatory benefits. I kept the dish with simply chickpeas and spinach, I find that curries full of loads of veggies can taste amazing but sometimes your taste buds can get a bit confused and the flavours become lost. Chickpeas are wonderful in a curry as they absorb spices well, are super filling, hearty and are packed full of goodness like fibre and protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer! The spinach boosts your iron levels as well as vitamins K & A.

This curry is delicious served with brown rice, quinoa or even simply on its own! Keep in the fridge for a meal-prep option for up to 2 days.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Mexican Inspired Lunch Wrap

Lunch can be one of the most difficult meals if you're trying to eat a little healthier - especially if you're working all day. Salads can be a little boring, sometimes there isn't time for meal-prep and anything else can be difficult to take on the go. 

I'm sharing the quick, easy, healthy recipe for one of my favourite lunches at the moment. It's a delicious Mexican inspired wrap with hummus, salsa, black beans and other goodness! It's filling, high protein, with some healthy fats and plenty of nutrients. 

You can use a wholemeal wrap for this recipe if you're not avoiding gluten but I love the sweet potato wraps from BFree foods - not only are they gluten free but they're vegan, high fibre and high in vitamin E too...oh and they taste delicious, which is of course very important.

The wrap is full of so much plant-based goodness including hummus and salsa which add so much flavour to the wrap but also help to hold it together. There's black beans which I love and are a great source of protein, there's tomatoes and onion too as well as chopped coriander and black pepper for plenty of flavour. You could use guacamole instead of hummus for even more Mexican inspired flavour, but I just prefer hummus and find it pairs really well with the black beans.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tesco BBQ 'Shroom Buns (+ Tesco Vegan Offerings)

It's amazing to see more and more supermarkets widening their range of vegan products, focusing on plant-based ingredients and making plant-based cooking so much more accessible. Recently, Tesco have really upped their game with this and you can see they're really making an effort to cater for people following a vegan or plant-based diet. Not only is there a big selection of vegan friendly products on their shelves but they're sharing delicious meat, dairy and egg free recipes over on their website too!

One of their recent vegan recipes is BBQ 'Shroom Buns created by chef Derek Sarno which are a yummy seeded bun filled with BBQ mushrooms, lettuce, herbs, spices and onion. This recipe is great as it gives an almost meaty substance thanks to the mushrooms which is bound to satisfy both the veggies and the meat eaters out there. It also shows just how versatile veggie products can be - mushrooms aren't just for throwing in stews! I recreated Derek's recipe at home (see below) and it really was scrumptious.

Tesco sharing recipes that showcase plant-based ingredients is really exciting - they're really proving that vegetarian or vegan meals aren't bland and boring, they're not tasteless and unsatisfying but rather they're full of colour, textures, spice and herbs! They're getting the point across that you don't need meat to make a meal and that putting your focus on lots of veggies can be really beneficial to your health and it tastes incredible too. Hey, it's not all carrot sticks and hummus you know!

Tesco's Food Love Stories campaign is all about finding that story behind a meal and proving that special dishes don't need to be laden with sugar and salt to be delicious. Often it's about making simple swaps but will boost the nutritional value of your meal, make you feel incredible and perhaps even make your meals that much tastier. Derek shares his passion for cooking with plants and the inventive recipe in a short video, which you can watch here. You hear why he loves incorporating plants into his dishes, his philosophy that food should be more than just what it tastes like but whether it's good for the environment and whether it's sustainable, which I think is really important too.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Mango, Passion Fruit & Baobab Tropical Smoothie

As it's coming into Summer I thought I should share my favourite tropical smoothie with you all, featuring one of my favourite superfoods.

This mango, passion fruit & baobab smoothie with zesty lime is just the perfect afternoon snack, cool drink on a warm day or you could even have it for breakfast perhaps with some protein powder and/or oats thrown in too. It's so filling, so full of tropical flour, so bursting with vitamins and minerals and most important, so delicious!

I've used mango in this smoothie as it creates such a thick and creamy texture, especially with the added banana too. It also gives a beautifully tropical taste which is taken to the next level with the passion fruit and lime. The magic ingredient however is Bumbleroot Baobab Powder.....carry on reading to find out why.

These smoothie is brimming with fruits that are full of vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants to help your skin glow, boost your energy, fight off any colds and just leave you feeling incredible. The ingredient that really adds a huge boost of vitamins is the baobab powder which is one of my favourite superfoods! I've used Bumbleroot 100% Organic Baobab Powder in this smoothie which is super high in vitamin C, is a great source of dietary fibre, has even more antioxidants than blueberries or acai and tastes so yummy!

Baobab powder comes from an African fruit that's packed full of nutritional goodness! The baobab tree holds green coloured pods that once cracked open hold a white powder where all the goodness lies! Baobab is most famous for being high in vitamin C - in fact it has six times more vitamin C than an orange! Vitamin C is a crucial vitamin in our body - we need it not only to fight off illnesses but it's also responsible for aiding the growth and repair of tissues in the body, it's vital for skin, bone and teeth health and without the super vitamin our body would become weak and fatigued. So, making sure you're hitting your daily recommended dose of vitamin C every day is important!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

SUPA - The Superfood Subscription Box Review

There's a million and one foodie subscription boxes on the market and more are appearing every single day, so it's hard to find one that really stands out and us a uniqueness about it. So when SUPA contacting me about trying their new superfood subscription box I kinda of expected the same as every other box out there, but I was delighted to see that SUPA was that bit different.

SUPA is a monthly subscription box service that shares the world's most powerful and nutritious foods. Their aim is to help everyone enjoy the taste and discover the health benefits of real powerful superfoods in a convenient way and be inspired by easy, nutritious recipes which are included in the box. What's different about SUPA is that their products are more superfood ingredient based rather than snack based, and each month brings a new theme. For the month of May, SUPA delivered a little taste of India right to my doorstep and I was so excited to see the diverse, exciting, bright products inside the SUPA box.

The May box, inspired by India, was full of amazing products. Some of which I'd tried before and some of which I hadn't! There was moringa powder which is amazing in smoothies, organic turmeric powder which is traditionally used in curries in India but I also love it in soup, turmeric lattes, dips, hummus and even porridge, star anise which is a fabulous spice, himalayan pink salt crystals which I totally swear by - so much tastier than regular salt and far better for you, saffron and a packet of ready-cooked beluga lentils which are actually one of my favourite products, I love adding them to chilli, to salads and mixing them together with loads of veggies and a tomato sauce.

Also included in the SUPA subscription box was a booklet that firstly introduced you to this months box and explained the reason behind the theme, then went on to give you a little bit of information about each product and it's place in Indian cuisine and then at the end of the booklet there was a recipe using each of the products from the SUPA box. I think the recipe section is great, it's bursting with beautiful photographs and I found it really inspired me to get in the kitchen and start using my new superfood products straight away! It also means if you receive a product you're unsure of you'll always have a way you can use it.

You can purchase a trial box from SUPA for £19.99 which may sound a little pricey but you really do get top quality products and wonderful recipes to keep. There's also absolutely no commitment if you choose to subscribe to the box - you can cancel at any time with a money back guarantee.

I'm genuinely really impressed with the quality of the SUPA box. You can tell real thought has gone into the products, real passion comes from the team and the added details like the recipe inspiration makes a huge difference. I think this box would be ideal for anyone who loves cooking and would make a thoughtful present for wannabe chefs!

- this blog post contains a paid advertorial from SUPA but all opinions remain my own, as always -

Monday, 8 May 2017

Banana & Blueberry Waffles - Gluten Free (Feat. Mornflake)

This week is Coeliac Awareness Week so I've teamed up with Mornflake to create a delicious Banana & Blueberry Waffle recipe using their amazing gluten free jumbo oats!

I myself suffer with coeliac disease and was diagnosed 2 years ago, so this week is really important to me as I want to raise awareness for what a life effecting, serious disease coeliac is. If you don't know, coeliac disease is an auto-immune condition which means your small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, causing it to become very inflamed and unable to digest foods and absorb nutrients. I was very unwell before getting my diagnosis and continue to struggle with the condition 2 years on.

It's incredibly important to avoid all traces of gluten if you have coeliac disease, which means purchasing certified gluten free products to make sure you're not running the risk of cross contamination. Luckily Mornflake have two varieties of certified  gluten free oats which make eating porridge and healthy baking that much easier for me!

This is a quote from the Mornflake website which will really put your mind at ease if you suffer with coeliac disease -

'Our fields are checked meticulously to make sure there isn't anything growing in them that's not meant to be there! After we've harvested our oats, we store them ready to be milled. Here, we test each and every batch for gluten, as well as at an independent lab to make extra sure! So, not only is our Gluten Free Range the great quality and taste you've come to expect from us, rest assured it's also well and truly gluten free'

As I mentioned above, Mornflake have two varieties of gluten free oats (which are coeliac approved!) - porridge oats which are super fast to cook and a delicious texture, as well as jumbo oats which are perfect for baking. I used the Mornflake jumbo oats in this waffle recipe to create wonderfully crispy yet light waffle texture that just can't be beaten!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Lemon, Garlic & Thyme Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback potatoes are the tastier, prettier sibling of the plain old jacket potato. Jacker potatoes are great but let's face it, they can be a little bit 'samey', whereas hasselback potatoes are deliciously flavoursome, have a wonderful texture and are far more interested to look at!

The recipe for these lemon, garlic and thyme hasselback potatoes is a new favourite of mine and a real crowd-pleaser. I made these potatoes for my whole family and they loved them, so I'm excited for you to try them out too!

The recipe for these scrumptious hasselback potatoes is easy to follow, easy to make and tastes amazing. Before cooking the potatoes you cut deep slices across the top, drizzle with good quality olive oil and lemon, then scatter fresh thyme and garlic on top to create a delicious flavour combination that goes perfectly with avocado, salad, poached eggs, baked fish, steamed veggies, etc.

These potatoes go beautiful crisp in the oven yet are soft and fluffy on the inside, and the slices in them ensure that all the flavours seep deep into the potatoes so every bite is full of garlicky, lemony, herby goodness! I also advise using a really good quality extra virgin olive oil in this recipe as it creates such a wonderful taste and adds something special to these potatoes. I've attached Jamie Oliver's new 'The Buyer's Guide To Olive Oil' below which has been beautifully crafted and features cooking suggestions, a how to guide to professional tasting and facts on where your olive oil is sourced from. Super helpful!


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Honesty - My Mental Health

I've always been very honest and upfront about my struggles with mental health, I've talked about suffering with both depression and anxiety for the majority of my life and how adapting my lifestyle, changing my eating habits and becoming more active helped improve my mental health dramatically.

I want to write this post to tell you those things weren't and aren't a miracle cure for any mental health issue, that I don't just have happy days full of smiles and laughter and that I do still suffer with both depression and anxiety. It would be wrong and irresponsible of me not to address the fact my mental health is still an ongoing battle, and although my lifestyle changes did help bring me out of a very deep and dark depression, helped boost my confidence and improved my relationship with my body, I do still struggle and I do still have very bad days. No mental health issue can be fixed over night and it's completely normal to have set backs, which I myself need reminding of sometimes. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be okay all the time, to be strong 24/7 and to carry on when sometimes we need time to be sad, we need time by ourselves and we need time to heal without any other added pressures.

I'm talking about this now as the past few days I've experienced several panic attacks and very dark spells of depression that have really impacted my life. I was due to start a new job this week, which I was so excited about and really thought would be ideal for me to go alongside my blog/freelance work - it was part time and local so I wouldn't have to travel. Unfortunately I missed my first shift due to a depression breakdown that was completely terrifying, exhausting and traumatic. Somehow I made it in the next day (even though it was difficult), and you know what? My first day went okay, the job isn't my dream role but the people were lovely and the work area was nice. However, the following day when it was my second shift I suffered a bad panic attack in the morning, followed by dark feelings and a pain in my chest that I can't even begin to describe. I couldn't make it in.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Currently Loving: GoodLife Burgers & Falafels

Ready made veggie products that are both delicious and don't contain lots of artificial or processed ingredients can be hard to find in your everyday supermarket, but sometimes we need something quick and easy we can just throw in the oven after a long, busy day. I'm always on the lookout for new brands to try  and today I'm sharing with you one of my favourites.

Goodlife Foods produce frozen, veggie based products that really do make vegetables the star of the show! Their products only contain natural ingredients with no preservatives or artificial ingredients to be found....plus they really do taste scrumptious.

Having healthy food options in your freezer you can literally just whack in the oven and it be ready within 20 minutes is always a good idea - it means there's always a quick dinner waiting for you after a long day that's going to satisfy your tummy and make you feel good, it makes preparing packed lunches super easy and it reduces the risk of ordering in takeaway or throwing a pizza in the oven (which is perfectly fine occasionally but maybe not something we want to be aiming for regularly!).
I have to admit I find it difficult to find gluten free, vegan, natural frozen food products such as burgers, sausages and falafels in mainstream supermarkets but that's where Goodlife comes to the rescue!  I've been a fan of Goodlife Foods for a while now so I thought I'd share with you two of my favourite products from their range that are both gluten free and vegan.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Creamy Vegan Mushroom & Spinach Pasta (Feat. Biona)

Sometimes there's just nothing better than a bowl of pasta with a delicious creamy sauce, but finding a dairy-free option can be a little tricky. I'm bringing you a recipe that changes that and will satisfy your cravings for creamy pasta with none of the dairy but all of the incredible taste!

This pasta sauce is made using silken tofu with Biona which blends amazingly well with lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic and plenty of black pepper to create the dreamiest, high-protein sauce for an unbeatable pasta dish. Add in the mushrooms and spinach for a balanced, nourishing, satisfying and scrumptious meal with plant-based protein, energy boosting carbohydrates and plenty of vitamins and minerals to make your body and your mind feel happy and healthy.

As I mentioned above, Biona silken tofu is the star ingredient in this recipe! It's perhaps not an ingredient you'd think of to create a pasta sauce with but it works so well and adds a protein boost to a normally low-protein meal. Biona has been one of my favourite brands for a while now as I know they produce food I can trust - all their products are organic which means their farmers don't use any pesticides or chemicals on the crops they grow and only use sustainable farming methods.

In this recipe I also used one of my favourite Biona products - their coconut oil cuisine which is completely odourless, meaning none of your food will have that coconut taste when you cook with it but you'll still reap all the benefits from this superfood! For the pasta, I used wholegrain rice pasta from Biona's sister brand Amisa but you could also use any of Biona's pasta range if you're not avoiding gluten - I hear their spelt pasta is particularly tasty.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites (Vegan) - Seasonal Berries

I'm the biggest berry fan, I eat some form of the delicious fruit every day without fail, so when Seasonal Berries contacting me asking me to create a delicious strawberry recipe for their #SpringStrawberry campaign I jumped at the chance!

The Spring months are the perfect months to be buying and eating juicy strawberries as they're readily available at all major supermarkets and are super great quality at this time of year. I love adding strawberries to my porridge, to yogurt bowls, throwing them into smoothies, infusing them into water and just munching on them as a healthy sweet snack throughout the day. I also love to bake with strawberries as they create an unbeatable taste that is combined so well with a variety of flavours and ingredients. Today I'm bringing you a recipe for vegan strawberry cheesecake bites - they're totally raw, refined sugar free and gluten free but truly indulgent, perfectly sweet and full of flavour.

Strawberries are the true star of this recipe, and rightly so as they're an everyday superfood! Strawberries are one of the healthiest fruits out there; they're low calorie, relatively low sugar for a fruit, they contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals which include vitamins C, B6 and K as well as fibre, folic acid, potassium and amino acids! Strawberries are also rich in anti-oxidants including elegiac acid which helps to protect the skin.

I'm so excited to have collaborated with Seasonal Berries on this campaign and bring you a recipe I'm really proud of! The base of these cheesecakes are made out of almonds and oats which creates the most incredible biscuity texture with sweetness from the gooey medjool dates. The cheesecake layer is made using soaked cashews which when blended form this wonderfully smooth texture that will rival any other cheesecake. I topped these bites of heaven with a slice of strawberry to really add to the sweet taste!

FUN FACT - Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside!
(via Seasonal Berries website)

Monday, 17 April 2017

Chocolate Protein Cookies With Peanut Butter Frosting

These cookies really are the ultimate and I'm so excited to share the recipe with you!

Chocolate and peanut butter is a combination I never seem to get tired of - it's just total heaven! These Chocolate Protein Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting are no exception; the taste is dreamy and the texture is perfection, plus they're pretty high protein thanks to the chocolate pea protein I used.

I adore the combination of crunchy yet slightly chewy cookie with the contrasting smooth, gooey peanut butter frosting and the crunch of the peanuts on top. These cookies are flour-less too as I simply blended oats (this keeps costs down too!) with chocolate protein from Nutristrength, coconut oil, maple syrup, peanut butter and almond milk. The frosting is purely peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and a splash of almond milk. Simple.

I added Nutristrength's Roasted Cocoa Pea Protein to these cookies, not just to give them a boost of protein but also an amazingly rich chocolate taste. Pea protein is probably my favourite form of vegan protein as it doesn't have a strong taste like hemp protein, it blends really well with other ingredients and isn't too sensitive to heat so is a great option for baking. Nutristrength is a brand I've been a fan of for a while - you might remember by vanilla protein fudge recipe with their vanilla protein - and I'm so excited to be sharing another delicious recipe using their fantastic product with you.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Puffed Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Squares

These Puffed Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Squares are my healthy take on the classic rice krispy squares that you no doubt made as a kid. Yes, they may be a healthier alternative but they're still just as delicious, sweet, crispy and more-ish!

I made them with Indigo Herbs new puffed quinoa which is just 100% organic puffed quinoa - nothing added, nothing taken away. The quinoa is a great alternative to rice as it's much higher in protein, it's easier to digest and it doesn't play havoc with our blood sugar levels! It also gives an even more wonderful texture to these crispy squares and works perfectly with the coconut and chocolate.

To make these Puffed Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Squares I simply picked the puffed quinoa and desiccated coconut together, made a chocolate mixture then mixed it all together, placed in a tray and left to set for 40 minutes in the fridge. So simple, but so good!

I've worked with Indigo Herbs to bring you this indulgent recipe, and used their cacao powder, cacao butter, raw almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup to make these chocolatey squares! I've been using Indigo Herbs products for a long time and truly trust the brand - their products are of the highest quality without the mammoth expensive! I also love that Indigo Herbs has every healthy baking ingredient I could ever need on their website, it makes shopping so much easier knowing I can get it all from the same place!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Hot Cross Cookies

Easter weekend is only a few days away, so I'm sharing my second Easter recipe with you ready for you to recreate in time for Easter!

I'm a massive hot cross bun lover; there's just nothing better with a cup of English Breakfast Tea. I decided to adapt the classic hot cross bun recipe and make Hot Cross Cookies, complete with the same mouth-watering spices and sultanas as hot cross buns but in cookie form. Yes, they're as good as they sound.

These cookies are family friendly and free from dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts. They're sweet enough to satisfy that sweet tooth without being sickly sweet, they're got the perfect combination of spices and just the right amount of juicy sultanas. They've got a slightly crispy outside but a soft, chewy inside and each mouthful feels so heavenly! 

The cookies are also very easy to make and don't take much time at all. A great recipe to make with kids, as a gift for family members or to take to your friends for a cup of tea and a chin-wag.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Plant-Based Lasagne Feat. Schwartz

Vegetable lasagne was always one of my favourite meals growing up. I'd always choose it on special occasions and especially requested it on my birthday! I loved it and never got bored of the dish. It's a meal a really miss since having to cut out gluten and dairy, so I took it upon myself to create a free-from lasagne that was totally plant-based but not lacking in any of the delicious lasagne flavours.

This recipe has been made in collaboration with Schwartz, as they're recently brought out an exciting range of gluten free recipe mixes that still have all the flavour of Schwartz but with none of the gluten! I was inviting to the launch of these new products and was super impressed with the quality of them, and I think it's fantastic that such a well-known brand has brought out a wide range of recipe mixes that are suitable for those on a gluten free diet!

The Schwartz gluten free recipe mixes are really versatile too; in this lasagne recipe I actually use the spaghetti bolognese mix which worked like a dream and created the perfect flavours! If you do eat dairy you could also use the Schwartz gluten free cheese sauce mix, but as I'm dairy-free I created my very own vegan friendly cashew cheese topping which is out of this world. You've gotta try it!

If I'm honest, I didn't quite know how well this recipe would turn out. Could a gluten free, vegan lasagne really be anything special? I thought I'd miss the pasta and the real cheese topping, but honestly this recipe is one of my favourites ever. The courgette and aubergine layers in place of the pasta sheets create a really wonderful texture and taste to the dish, the cheese sauce doesn't taste like it's vegan whatsoever and the Schwartz bolognese mix adds so much rich flavour to the lasagne without needing to buy loads of different ingredients.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Healthy Easter Rice Crispy Nests

I used to love making chocolate rice krispy cakes when I was little! Melted the chocolate and stirring in the rice krispy's was so much fun, and of course I always ate some straight out the bowl before they were set in the fridge! They're such a classic treat - great to make with kids and everyone loves them, so this Easter I decided to make a healthy chocolate rice krispy cake alternative that's just not (if not more) delicious, complete with marzipan mini eggs!

These healthy easter rice crispy nests are super easy and fun to make, they look seriously cute and both kids and adults are going to love them. They're 100% vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free but also 100% scrumptious and sweet!

I don't hate gluten or dairy and try to keep my refined sugar intake as minimal as possible, so instead of using Rice Krispies in this recipe I used Brown Rice Puffs from Rude Health, which are basically like the healthy, unrefined version of Rice Krispies and available to buy from most supermarkets in the 'free from' aisle. For the chocolatey goodness I simply melted together cacao powder (my favourite is Sevenhills), coconut oil and a pure maple syrup to create a wonderfully rich, sweet and mouth-wateringly delicious chocolate liquid that sets hard in the fridge.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Five Steps To Smoothie Success

A vitamin packed smoothie is a great breakfast or afternoon snack as you can really cram in so much goodness, they're quick and easy to make and they're super delicious too!

If you're a smoothie novice or find your smoothies don't have that thick, creamy consistency you're after then this post is for you. I'm a bit of a smoothie-queen (if I do say so myself), so I thought it was only right to share my top tips on how to make the best smoothies ever!

1. Frozen Banana
Using frozen banana in your smoothies is a total game-changer, if you're yet to try it then prepare to have your life changed. Simply chop up a super ripe banana and pop it in the fridge, the next day add it your blender (along with liquid...you don't want to break the blender!) with your other ingredients and it'll create a much thicker, creamier smoothie than just using a regular blender. If you don't use quite as much liquid you can even get an ice-cream like consistency which is a total dream!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Food For Friends - Vegetarian Restaurant | Review

Brighton is one of my favourite places to eat as there's such an amazing choice of restaurants, cafes and delis that are suitable for those following a more plant-based diet. One of my favourite restaurants (not just in Brighton but ever) is Food For Friends, which is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in the South Lanes. I first ate at Food For Friends a couple of years ago and have since been back a few times as I just can't get enough of their unbelievably flavoursome, fresh, delicious food!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to Food For Friends to review some of their new dishes and I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful meals I've ever had - from the service to the drinks and food, it was all outstanding. The only thing I could complain about is the baby crying on the table next to us for rather a long period of time, but hey...that's not the restaurants fault!

Food For Friends is situated in the trendy South Lanes in an old but modernised space with elegant decor yet a laid-back, comfortable vibe. The space is quite small but by no-means claustrophobic thanks to the well-arranged tables and huge windows that let in lots of light and allow you to people watch as you eat. Food For Friends was founded with the ethos of serving global vegetarian cuisine that was not 'just a load of old lentils' but instead opening customers eyes to the fact vegetarian food can be just as (if not more) flavoursome as meat dishes. I am a vegetarian myself but my boyfriend who isn't agreed that you actually forget Food For Friends is a vegetarian restaurant...you don't look at the menu wondering where the meat is or feeling as if anything is missing from the dishes.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Beluga Lentil & Black Bean Chilli

Chilli is one of my all-time favourite meals. I love how quick and easy it is, how inexpensive the ingredients are, how wholesome and nourishing it is and of course it tastes utterly amazing too.

For my final recipe of National Nutrition & Hydration Week in collaboration with Merchant Gourmet I'm bring you a chilli recipe that's out of this world! This Beluga Lentil & Black Bean Chilli is hands down one of my favourite recipes ever and I can't wait for you to make it yourself.

This beluga lentil & black bean chilli is a great meal for the whole family. It's so quick and easy to make, the ingredients are easily sourced and inexpensive, it can be served with a variety of accompaniments such brown rice, quinoa, baked potato, courgetti or simply on it's own. It's suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those on a gluten free diet, and it's incredibly delicious and really satisfying.

This chilli is not only lusciously yummy but it's loaded with nutrients to keep you feeling happy and healthy too! The Beluga Lentils from Merchant Gourmet and the black beans provide your body with plenty of plant-based protein, all important fibre and energy-boosting carbohydrates, the tomatoes give you a healthy dose of vitamin C & K and the spices all have anti-oxident properties! Winner!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake

My fourth recipe for National Nutrition Week in collaboration with Merchant Gourmet is one of my favourites! If you're trying to eat more nutritious foods it can sometimes feel like you're going to miss out on the sweet foods like cookies and cakes, but that doesn't have to be the case!

This Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake is an amazingly sweet treat that tastes incredibly indulgent but actually only contains the most natural, wholesome ingredients that won't leave you feeling sluggish, bloated or give you a sugar rush. It's entirely gluten free, refined sugar free and suitable for vegans but you'd never know it as it's bursting with so much flavour and it doesn't taste like it's missing a thing.

I made this cake with Merchant Gourmet polenta which adds a pleasantly crumbly texture but still manages to stay moist. I also used ground almonds which really help to create that classic spongy texture, cacao powder to add such a wonderful richness and is so incredible combined with the zest orange to give that classic chocolate orange taste.

This cake is the perfect recipe for afternoon tea, for a birthday or just if you fancy a slice of cake with your cup of coffee without all the artificial ingredients!

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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