23
Oct
2014

Healthy Eats: Chocolate & Almond Crispy Treats

I think everyone remembers making rice crispy treats with their parents when they were little and this is just a healthy, more adult take on those! This is my hubby’s favourite sweet clean eating recipe to date and he has now polished off the whole lot.  These are really filling and none of the rich, chocolatey flavour is sacrificed in making them better for you. They are the perfect little sweet treat to have with a cup of tea and you really do feel like you’re having something naughty!

crispytreats

Makes 12 pieces

Ingredients:

For the chocolate layer:

1/2 cup cacao butter (I used the CHOC chic organic cacao butter)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
large tablespoon raw organic honey (you can add a little more if you want this to be a little sweeter)

For the almond butter layer:

  • 1/2 cup almond butter butter
  • 2 tbsp organic raw honey

For the chocolate puffed rice layer:

  • 2 cups puffed rice (I used Kallo Organic wholegrain Puffed Rice Cereal)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup raw coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup (or you can use honey/agave nectar)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch low sodium salt
  • Optional: you can add some chopped nuts, seeds, shredded coconut, dried fruit…etc for extra flavour and texture.

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Directions:

  • To make the puffed rice layer: Heat the coconut oil in the microwave for a few seconds until it melts (literally a few seconds!) then add in the cocoa, 1/4 cup almond butter, honey, vanilla and salt and mix well. Give it a taste to see if you’re happy with the sweetness, otherwise add more maple syrup/honey. Pour the mixture onto the puffed rice and give it a good mix until the rice is evenly coated.
  • Line an 8″ cake tin with parchment paper.
  • Drop the puffed rice mixture into the tin and press down with a spoon. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the chocolate layer: Heat the cacao butter, cacao powder and honey in a pan over a medium heat. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
  • Make the almond butter mixture by mixing the almond butter and honey in a bowl.
  • Take the tin out of the freezer then drop the almond butter mixture on top and spread out using the back of a wet spoon.
  • Pour the chocolate layer over the top of this and distribute evenly.
  • Place back in the freezer for another 30 mins to set.
  • Once it has set it can be stored in the fridge for up to 10 days
23
Oct
2014

Baby Boy Clothes Haul

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Yep it’s another baby boy clothes haul! In my defence though, Conor has grown out of all of his 0-3 months clothes so I did have to replenish the stocks…

Ok so maybe he has loads of clothes, so shoot me! He’ll thank me in years to come when his girlfriends look at his baby pictures and coo over how cute he looked! ha ha.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.  He needed a ton more bibs because he’s quite literally going through about 4 a day. It doesn’t take long for him to turn a lovely dry bib into a dripping, saturated dribble cloth.  I had a quick search on Amazon and spotted these Zippy Bibs of which there are loads of different designs. I pretty much bought this set for the fox one. I love foxes. It’s my thing.

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Onto what I picked up from Zara and you’ll more than likely recognise this hat because I think most of the big blogger mums have picked it up recently! Although I’m not normally one to jump on the bandwagon, I simply fell in love with this bobble hat and with the extremely cold weather we get up here in Aberdeen, it’ll definitely be a winter favourite!

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Bear Motif Bobble Hat £7.99

I’ve been stalking the Zara animal t-shirts for a while now and although I really wanted the rabbit one from last season, it’s now out of stock so I plumped for this bear one instead. I just love the way Zara use more grown up colours and abstract graphics for their baby clothes. It just makes them look really unique and offers a nice change from the same old designs you get in every other shop

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Bear Print T-shirt £4.99

I think it’s safe to say that Zara Baby have THE best designs in baby leggings and trousers. The prints they come up with are just so unique. I love these skull and cross bones ones and because they’re dark grey, they’ll go with everything.

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Skull Leggings £6.99

Another pair of printed leggings but this time, with tee pees! I mean, come on, what’s not to like???

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Hut Print Leggings £6.99

These next ones are lovely and soft and I love the Scandi-style cross print.  Even the small details like the knee pad stitching just adds a little extra. I got all of these in 3-6 months and although they’re a little big on Conor right now, I’d much prefer to get things that will last longer. Although the hat was sold out in 3-6 months so I got the 6-9 months size. I have to say that it seems quite small but as it’s knitted, it’ll stretch to fit.

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Crosses Trousers £6.99

You know I’ll probably be posting another baby boy haul in a few weeks. I have a problem.

21
Oct
2014

Conor’s Outfit Of The Day

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I will freely admit that I love buying clothes for and dressing Conor as much as I enjoy doing the same thing for myself! There is such a huge array of baby clothing now to suit every taste and I find it particularly hard to walk past Zara, H&M, Gap or The White Company without having a little peek at their baby clothing ranges! Conor does spend a lot of time in baby grows because, let’s face it, they’re the easiest and most convenient clothing item for when you’re just around the house.  However, when we do venture out, I like to put him in something a bit more interesting! Initially I dressed Conor in a lot of pastel shades but I’m really fond of more earthy tones now.  It’s makes him look like a little person, which I quite like at times.

conorootd

Zara Joggers | Next Long-Sleeved baby grow | Tesco F&F socks | John Lewis Lion Hat | Mamas & Papas Quilted Jacket

I love Zara for really lovely jogger bottoms and a drawstring waist is always handy to make sure they fit properly even when they’re on the large side! As I’ve said before, long-sleeved bodysuits are the daddy when it comes to convenience because they keep your little bean warm and they don’t ride up and expose their little tummies. They make it a lot easier to layer things over the top too. The John Lewis hat was a present from my mum and was part of a set that comes with little booties – it’s just beyond adorable! I really like outfits that are versatile and allow you to remove layers if they get too hot, which can often happen when you go from being outdoors to indoors.

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Let me know if you’d like to see more of these types of posts because I really enjoy seeing other people’s baby ootd’s! It always gives me ideas for what to get for Conor.

21
Oct
2014

Healthy Ways to Detox

Why would you want to detox? Because it rids your body of toxins, enhances immune system function, it can reduce bloating and help you lose weight, improves your quality of life, increases your energy levels, improves your skin and it can balance out your mental and emotional state. There is more than one way to help detox your body so I thought I’d go through just a few simple things you can do. Obviously you can’t do every single thing each day but even trying just a couple would be beneficial to your health and wellbeing!

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*Pic Via DeAnna Barbour*

1. Start the day with a glass of warm water and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon.

This helps flush out the toxins and alkalizes the body. I have a cup before my breakfast every morning and I find it really improves digestion, prevents bloating and sets me on the right track for the day. I continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day to continue flushing out the toxins.

2. Drink a freshly made vegetable juice daily.

Greens such as kale, spinach and coriander are perfect for detoxing the body and in their raw state they provide even more goodness for the body. I regularly have a juice made with apples, carrot, lemon, ginger, turmeric, beetroot and kale. You can really pick any combination you like and add in fruit to sweeten it. The more raw fruit and veg you eat, the better because they lose nutritional value when you cook them.

3. Eliminate toxic oils from your diet.

Toxic oils can include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil and canola oil. Substitute with good oils, such as extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, hemp oil and flaxseed oil. Hemp oil, for example, is a great source of omega-3s, -6s, and -9s. I find that coconut oil  is the most versatile and I use it a lot in baking and stirfrys. It’s a superfood which contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful medicinal properties. It also makes you feel fuller for longer which is always a welcome side-effect!

4. Drink green tea and herbal teas such as dandelion, nettles etc.

These teas help the body detoxify and clear out toxins. I particularly like the Pukka Cleanse herbal tea with Fennel, Dandelion Root and Nettles. I add a tiny amount of agave syrup to make it a bit more palatable.I also really like Matcha Green Tea which is the highest quality powdered green tea available. It’s high in anti-oxidants, boosts memory and concentration, helps to boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories, improves cholesterol and fortifies the immune system.

5. Eat more raw fruits, herbs and vegetables.

Fruit, vegetables and herbs contain enzymes that aid digestion and improve nutrient absorption. You can incorporate them in by chopping crudités using carrot, celery, cucumber etc and have them with hummus as a snack. Or you could juice them, add them to smoothies or just have them in their simplest form by topping your granola with them in the morning.

6. Minimize or eliminate white sugar intake.

I don’t need to tell you that sugar is an addictive drug with research telling us that it’s as addictive as cocaine! It’s one of the worst things you can put in your body and although it tastes like heaven, it’s doing hellish things to your body.  You should also avoid substitutes that contain toxic artificial sweeteners like aspartame (contained in 99% of diet foods and drinks), and opt for natural versions such as stevia, honey, coconut sugar, date sugar, molasses, or maple syrup. Once you ween yourself off cane sugar, you really don’t miss it anymore!

7. Minimize or eliminate white flour and white breads.

White flour is like adding glue in the body, and it overworks the digestive system. It can cause digestive disorders, and it can make it difficult to have normal bowel movements. Substitute white flour for other flours such as spelt flour, kamut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour or cornmeal. Switch from white bread to whole grain/granary bread and read the labels as some ‘wholemeal’ breads still contain white flour!

8. Take a probiotic supplement.

Try some low fat Greek yogurt –  one of the only low fat foods which is still good for you! The beneficial bacteria kill harmful bacteria and yeasts and help to heal the lining of the intestines. Be careful of the pre-packaged probiotic drinks in little plastic containers as these can contain sugar, or sweeteners which are harmful to the body.

9. Eat legumes and less meat, fish and poultry.

Legumes are a great source of protein and the fiber in beans helps keep the bowels eliminating properly. They include peas, beans and lentils and can be incorporated into soups, salads or things like vegetable curries and chilli. It’s good to give your body a rest from the work it requires to digest meat and fish. Research shows that our bodies function more efficiently with a diet based more heavily on fruits, vegetables and legumes. You don’t have to give up meat or fish – just try and have 1 or 2 days of the week where you have a non-meat dinner.

10. Breath deeply, walk, smile, laugh, be happy and remove toxic people out of your life.

Positivity in the mind filters through to your whole body.  Your mental state has a hugely profound effect on your health and well-being. Find the positive in every day and move your body. This will all help to reduce stress and the stress chemicals in your body. If there’s anyone in your life who is toxic, feeding off your energy, draining you and generally having a negative effect on your mood, then definitely re-evaluate whether they need to be in your life!

19
Oct
2014

Healthy Eats: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Everyone loves a bit of banana bread and it’s the perfect way to satisfy those pangs of hunger without feeling guilty afterwards.  This recipe is hearty, moist, really satisfying and perfect as a snack or breakfast on the go. I always find that I’m left with a few really ripe bananas at the end of the week so it’s a fantastic way to use them up.  Many recipes have brown sugar in them but I have found that the sweetness of the ripe bananas and the agave/maple syrup is more than enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

bananabread

Makes a loaf with 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (1.5 cups)
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 2.5 Tbsp raw coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 Tbsp agave or maple syrup, depending on ripeness of bananas
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup organic 70% chocolate chips
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 175oC and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the egg and add banana and mash thoroughly.
  3. Add all ingredients through to the almond milk and whisk vigorously to combine.
  4. Add cocoa powder, ground almonds, brown rice flour and oats and stir.
  5. Last, stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour, 5 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly on top.
  7. Let cool completely before cutting or it will be too tender to hold form (preferably overnight).
  8. Store completely cooled leftovers in a covered container for up to 5 days, though it’s definitely best when fresh. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.