Tag Archives: gluten free

Healthy Chocolate Brownies

Did you know that today is Food Revolution Day?

The only reason I know is because in 2013 I volunteered to be an ambassador for this initiative started by Jamie Oliver that has spread worldwide in the endeavour to educate and inspire children and adults to learn where their food comes from and how to cook healthy food .

So it may seem strange that the word healthy and chocolate both feature next to each other! However this is the perfect way to get children involved in cooking something they will enjoy.

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Here’s how with these gluten free, dairy and sugar free chocolate brownies that everyone seems to love, especially those with with food allergies or intolerances who would like a sweet treat.

The secret ingredient in these is….sweet potato that is packed with nutrition and taste great.

SWEET POTATO BROWNIES

  • 2 medium/large sweet potatoes
  • 14 medjool dates- pitted
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 100g buckwheat or brown rice flour
  • 4 tbsp raw cacoa powder
  • pinch salt

Pre heat oven to 180C (fan 160)

1.Peel sweet potatoes, cut in chunks and steam for about 20 mins until really soft

2.Remove and allow to cool slightly

3.Add to food processor with dates, blend until smooth and creamy

4.Put all other ingredients in a bowl, then add date/potato mixture

5.Stir well – (This may be quite difficult and you may think its really dry but dont panic)

6. Place in baking dish/tray and cook for 20/30 mins until skewer comes out clean

7.Remove from oven and leave to cool in tray for 10 mins (REALLY IMPORTANT STEP)

After this time they can be turned out to finish cooling and cut into squares – enjoy!

So if you believe in helping spread the word about how easy and important healthy eating is for a future generation of happy, healthy children and adults then feel free to share this recipe.

If you’d like more ideas that the whole family will love then check out my cookbook with 90 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas that are tasty, quick and of course good for your mind and body. There are smoothies, soups, hot meals and many ideas you may never had thought of but will be favourites for a long time. Click here to find out more 

Enjoy the brownies

Zita 🙂

ps If you eat too many brownies and want to work them off then join our next trial week at Zest Bootcamp in Bath – click here 

 

 

Delicious dates

I was at a networking meeting yesterday doing a presentation about my business to a group of ladies and as I’m sure you realise by now I love my food so thought I’d make them a little healthy treat to have with coffee after lunch.

Although I could have found a recipe I just thought I’d freestyle again so popped into the shops to get some dried fruit and nuts and see what I could whip with some of the staples I always have in the cupboard.

Given that one lady was gluten and dairy intolerant I wanted to make them as “clean” as I could.

Good news is that they went down very well with the business ladies and even the guys that I train who are in a band liked them so different type of people gave them the thumbs up 🙂

Why not get your children making them with you as they are a great natural alternative to all the sugar laden snacks that the supermarkets have available for children.

Dates are a great way to add natural sweetness to recipes but if you have any blood sugar issues or are trying to lose large amounts of body fat then go easy on them and make them an occasional treat. They are great source of iron and potassium and important dietary fibre.

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DATE & NUT BALLS

These healthy sweet treats are gluten free, dairy free as well as only containing natural sugars, good amounts of fibre, protein and healthy fats.

250g dried apricots

250g dates

250g walnuts (could use any nuts)

2-3 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil

2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Splash of coconut water (could use water)

Few tablespoons of peanut powder*

Lot of sesame seeds to roll balls in at end

Put everything except sesame seed into a blender and mix well. Make into small balls in your hands then roll in lots of sesame seeds.

These made about 40 treats and they are best stored in the freezer or fridge. Also I think that maybe adding some more nuts, a few spoons of almond or peanut butter or even some raw cacao powder might taste nice and make it slightly less sweet. Why not experiment as that’s exactly how I came up with these 🙂

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* This gives you taste and protein without the fat so great for cooking. I found it in Tesco but you can buy online as you can any of the ingredients you cant find in health food shops. I often add it to smoothies for a lovely taste.

Enjoy!

Zita

ps If you would like 90 recipes that are gluten free, packed with good nutrition and easy to prepare then have a look at my recipe book HERE

Healthy Pancake Recipe

Whoop whoop it’s nearly Pancake Day!
I’m sure you know how I love to try and make a standard meal a bit healthier by taking out the sugar or ditching the gluten so pancake day is no different.
Many of  you already know about the banana pancake which so many people try and then keep as a regular part of  their diet once they are hooked.
Well I had a go at a variation and it seems to work out ok.
So here is a gluten free, high protein, high fibre, sugar free pancake that you can top with anything you fancy and if you fry in coconut oil it is also dairy free. I was happy to eat my as it comes:)
It made about 6 pancakes so enough for 2 or more people
4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour (eg Tiana available from health food shops)
2 small ripe bananas
1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened ideally unless you have a sweet tooth)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
pinch of baking soda
cinnamon and vanilla powder to taste
These could be used as a breakfast alternative as they are or top with berries, a dollop of almond butter or even my favourite – Coyo coconut yoghurt.
Let me know what you think as I always welcome feedback when I’ve only done 1 experiment so far for a healthy pancake day recipe
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If you over indulge in too many pancakes or other treats during half term then why not join Zest Bootcamp for a week’s trial on 2nd March in Bath.
Remember: EXCUSES DON’T BURN CALORIES but a 45 minute session at Zest bootcamp every Monday, Wednesday and Friday does – classes are at 6.30am, 9.30am or 6.15pm so plenty of options to fit into your schedule.
Book your trial week now so those pancakes have nowhere to hide!

Getting enough fibre

Just a quick post reminding you that our bodies are designed to go to the toilet after each meal we eat so theoretically if you don’t do a “no 2” every day you have seriously got to increase the amount of fibre you are eating.

If your diet is high in refined foods such as white bread and also a lot of meat but low on fresh vegetables it is likely that there is a serious backlog happening in your digestive tract.

Think of your body like the kitchen sink – if you throw fat and other things down there it will get blocked.

Foods that supply plenty of fibre are fruits, vegetables, whole grains but also some other special foods such as flaxseed and chia seeds.

So to keep it simple just look at the amount of fibre you are eating and try and increase it.

Half your dinner plate should be vegetables (no potato doesn’t count) – does that sound like a lot?

A great way to include flaxseed is in these sweet treats I made this week. I was doing a presentation at a local business hub about how to increase energy and productivity and as the event is called “coffee & croissants” I decided to make some healthy treats to take along and share.

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Here is the recipe if you want to have a go:

ZITA’S APRICOT CHIA NUT BITES

These dairy, sugar ang gluten free sweet treats are packed with fibre, good fats and protein and can be stored in the freezer if you make a batch. Store in fridge once made. Ingredients can be found at good health food shops or online.

Makes about 20 balls

225g bag of chopped, dried, apricots (could use dates for a sweeter flavour.

4 tablespoons flax seed

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter

1/2 cup ground almonds

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

1 tablespoon vanilla powder

Blend everything in food processor then make into balls and coat in sesame seeds.

If you like the recipe feel free to share this blog post with your friends 🙂

Sweet treats

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I love food!

And I also like a sweet treat now and then 🙂

sesame energy balls
In an attempt to create “cleaner” healthier versions of foods, as a way to not feel deprived, I love to see if I can make dairy, gluten and sugar free versions of different things. Sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t!

This is how I do it….

1. Decide what I am in the mood to create
2. Throw a bunch of ingredients into the bowl
3. Taste it and if it seems ok, test it out on Mr Z
4. If we both like it then I might do a further taste test out with Zest Bootcampers as they are always VERY honest!
5. Type up the recipe properly for me to keep and to share if I’m feeling generous 🙂

Luckily these “energy balls” seemed to go down pretty well so here is the recipe:

Energy balls

Actually that was my scribble as I made another version (not photographed) so here is the recipe in full

1 cup of dates

1/2 cup of dried apricots

2-3 tablespoons of (sugar free) nut butter e.g. peanut, almond or cashew

1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil

1/2 cup ground almonds

Optional extras

1/4 cup sesame seeds

cinnamon powder

vanilla powder or vanilla bean paste

1 teaspoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseed

Blend everything well in a mixer then make small round balls in your hand and leave as they are or coat in sesame seeds as I did in the photo or you could try desiccated coconut.

This makes 10-15 balls depending on size.

Store in fridge (or freezer if you want to make them last).

Just realised these are also raw and vegan as well as being dairy free, sugar free and gluten free (just no good if you are allergic to nuts)

These are perfect when you’d like a sweat treat and great for kids too. They contain good fats, natural sugars, some protein and fibre too but like any treat you don’t want to eat too many otherwise your jeans will get tight!

I do also have a COOKBOOK with 90 recipes that are gluten, dairy & sugar free – 30 breakfasts, lunches & dinners that the whole family will love – plenty of customers have told me in the past.

For any of you in Bath who would like to exercise outdoors with like-minded people to improve your fitness, health, body shape, energy levels and to feel more positive and happy – then why not join our next 4 week bootcamp that starts on Monday 29th September. You can come for a trial week to see what you think – find out more here

Have a great weekend

Zita

Chocolate vegetables

Eating your 5 a day can be easier than you think if you blend in smoothies, soups and even better into a chocolate cake!

beetroot choc protein bites

In Bath we are finally lucky enough to have a new health food place called “Beyond The kale” that makes amazing fresh juices and blends (healthy smoothies) as well as loads of other goodies.

Today I had a lettuce, kale, coriander, lemon and banana  (I think) and last time it was a beetroot and other goodies blend.

Even more exciting more me is that they make fresh almond milk which I love and don’t always get time to make myself. It’s not only dairy free but also loaded with enzymes  and goodness – plus it tastes wonderful.

If you are on my email list, have the 7 day detox (you can sign up for above) or have my cookbooks then you should already have tried a few delicious smoothy recipes. Also you can see my famous “kermit” recipe here on Martini Mum Blog

Anyway here is a super simple recipe (if you have kids it might be a way for you to get them to eat beetroot!)

Have a great weekend and if you are in Bath we start our April 4 week bootcamp on Monday – outdoor group fitness for all abilities at either 6.30am, 9.30am or 6.15pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Trial weeks available too – Click Here for more info

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Zita’s Beetroot Chocolate Protein Bites

These are dairy & gluten free sweet “treats” that are high in protein, good fat and are easy to make and taste great.  Great alternative to biscuits, chocolate or cakes.

Ingredients

100g of 80 to 90% dark chocolate

150 cooked beetroot (either cooked from fresh or vacuum packed – not in vinegar!)

3 eggs

3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

3/4 cup chopped dried apricots or dates

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup almond butter (or unsweetened peanut butter if can’t get almond)

1/2 cup ground almonds

2/3 large tablespoons coconut oil

Cinnamon

Method

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil slowly
  2. Blend beetroot & almond milk until smooth
  3. Mix all other ingredients then add beetroot mix then finally melted chocolate mix
  4. Spoon 10 or more bites onto greased baking tray & cook at 180 degrees for approx 15 mins
  5. Let cool then store in fridge
  6. Enjoy!

Zita x

Other options:

Could try banana instead of dried fruit and grated carrot or courgette instead of beetroot.

Also could add spoon of flaxseed or chia seeds for omega 3 and fibre