Vanilla Almond Birthday Cake…

healthy living

This year, I celebrated my 20th birthday… in lockdown and it’s safe to say that it was one of the best and because buying a birthday cake was definitely not an option, it was left to me to bake a cake worthy of 20yrs. This one did not disappoint. It took me time to perfect the birthday cake recipe; I wanted one which was not too sweet but sweet enough and it had to be dairy and gluten free.

The issue with a gluten free cake is making it moist and soft enough without a whole lot of butter, as gluten free cakes tend to be dense and dry. The secret is having enough fat, but I needed healthy fat so I turned to almond flour. If you look at finely grounded almond flour, it has a very cakey texture and is perfect to balance dense flours. Although I have seen a few people add mixtures of buckwheat and tapioca flour, I felt like these ingredients weren’t available to everyone and the ratios were never harder to get right.

However, with this combination it’s always a 1:1 ration; half almond flour and half of any gluten free flour blend. Gluten Free flour blends are pretty constant with a mixture of tapioca, chickpea, potato starch and anthem gum. I’ve used multiple brands such as neofoods, Bob’s red mill… and any all purpose blend should work fine.

The recipe below makes four layers of cake and the donuts, but I’ve also provided measurements for only one layer in bold to simplify it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 1/2 cups Almond flour / 1 cup
  • 4 1/2 cups GF flour/ 1 cup
  • 9 eggs / 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp baking powder / 1/2 tsp
  • 5 cups almond milk (or any plant-based milk) / 3/4 cup
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar / 1/2 cup
  • 2tbsp vanilla extract / 1tsp
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil/ 1 tbsp

Filling & Glaze (for 4 layers)

  • 350g dark chocolate (I used Sweet switch’s 70% vegan chocolate)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup almond milk

STEPS

  1. Combine the flours and baking powder together in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, coconut sugar or any sweetener of choice, coconut oil and almond milk together.
  3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients or use a hand mixer on low speed to incorporate properly.
  4. Spray your baking pan with coconut oil and add baking paper to the bottom. Pour your batter to fill in 3/4 of the pan.
  5. Bake for 30- 40 mins at 170ºC, let the cake cool before levelling it.

Filling & Glaze

  1. For the filling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Let the layers cool completely before spreading the ganache between them.
  2. For the drizzle on top, add almond milk to the melted chocolate and pour over your cake, spreading it with a cake spatula or spoon.
  3. To make donuts to decorate the cake, I simply baked the leftover batter in donut moulds. Optional: add cacao nibs or chocolate chips.

TIPS

  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temp.
  • If the oven is too hot, your cake is more likely to form cracks.
  • Only level your cake when it has cooled.
  • Levelling a cake is harder without the right tools, but not impossible; using a ruler and a sharp knife, mark your cake all around at the same height. Then start cutting the dome off by angling your knife at right angles to the cake, keep rotating it and cutting slightly deeper each time. This is to avoid cutting a hole in your cake.
  • Keep in the fridge to harden the chocolate, and honestly cake tastes better cold.

Banana ‘Nice’ Cream (vegan)

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Craving ice cream but not the guilt that comes with? This recipe is definitely for you. ‘Nice’ cream is a great low calorie, vegan option that takes little time to make. The best part is you can adapt this recipe to your taste so that you don’t even taste the banana.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Frozen Banana (I used sliced ripe bananas)
  • 1-2 tbsp plant-based milk (I used almond)
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder

Optional

  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cacao nibs
  • liquid stevia or agave syrup

STEPS

  1. Using a powerful Blender (I used a Nutribullet) blend the frozen banana until smooth. Add 1-2tbsp of almond milk to ease the process and pulse it at first.
  2. Once smooth, add any spices, flavourings and cacao nibs and blend further. The cacao nibs reinforce that chocolate flavour.
  3. Spoon the Nice cream into a bowl and top with granola and fruits or any nuts and seeds of your choice.

Other good flavour combos are Acai and frozen blueberries, coffee and cacao nibs, strawberries and coconut flakes. I hope you try out this recipe and let me know how it goes. This is great for dessert or even for breakfast! Thank you for reading and please like and follow for more delicious recipes, xoxo.

High Protein Pancakes

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These pancakes are perfect for when you’re craving something sweet, but still need to get that protein in. This is often my go to breakfast because, let’s face it, carbs are life! Super easy to make and you can find most of the ingredients in your kitchen. Feel free to tweak this recipe and experiment with flavours and toppings to make it your own.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Organifi’s Vanilla)
  • 3-4 tbsp oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

STEPS

  1. First blend all the ingredients together, you want a slightly thick consistency and add the oats accordingly.
  2. Spray a frying pan with some coconut oil and allow it to heat up, the pancakes cook pretty fast so keep and eye on them.
  3. Top the pancakes with berries, honey, almond butter or any toppings of your choice.

Any protein powder should work in this recipe, give it a try and let me know how it goes. I will be sharing a post giving you healthy breakfast options very soon, so please like and follow for more recipes.

Healthy Konjac Noodle Soup

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Konjac noodles, also known as Shirataki noodles are made from the fibre of the root of the Asian Konjac plant. They are 97% water and are extremely low in calories and carbs, which make them ideal for weight loss. Moreover, since it is full of fibre, it keeps you fuller for longer and studies have shown that it has prebiotic properties that improve the gut flora.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 portion of konjac noodles
  • 100g of chicken breast or beef
  • 1 cup chopped bok choy
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1tsp lemon zest
  • 2tbsp chopped spring onion
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sliced red chilli or chilli flakes
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

STEPS

  1. First heat some olive oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic paste and chilli and stir until the onions turn translucent.
  2. Add the cubed chicken/beef and sauté until browned, this is when you can add any other ingredients you’d like such as mushrooms, broccolini or carrots. Add any spices as well as salt and pepper.
  3. Add the stock and let it simmer on medium heat.
  4. Drain the noodles and rinse them in water. Heat a pan on medium heat and let the noodles dehydrate for 5 mins or until all the water has evaporated. Stir them regularly to prevent them from shrinking if they’re cooked for too long.
  5. Add the noodles into the soup and the bok choy, close the pan with a lid for a few minutes so that the bok choy wilts, but does not overcook.
  6. Lastly add the spring onion and lemon zest.

This is one of my favourite recipes to make on the weekends, so I hope you try it out and follow for more healthy recipes, xoxo.

Healthy Chocolate Muffins

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Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free and guilt free. This yummy recipe is easy to make and takes only a short amount of time. I recently made this one as a little treat even though I am improving my fitness goals, so you don’t have to worry that it will compromise your weight loss, it won’t (as long as you don’t eat the whole batch in a week).

What I find works best for me is to avoid batch baking, because otherwise I find myself reaching for one of these every day and that’s ok as long as you’re not going into a caloric surplus. I usually bake on the spot because these recipes are pretty quick to make.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 50g almond flour
  • 50g gluten free flour (I used neofoods all purpose blend )
  • 20 g cacao powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g erythritol/stevia blend (I used Sukrin)
  • 100 ml almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Cacao nibs (optional)

 

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STEPS:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine well. Gradually add the milk until a desired consistency, the thicker the batter, the more dense your muffins will be.
  • Spray a muffin pan with some coconut oil and pour in the batter up to 3/4 of the mould.
  • Bake in the oven at 170ºC for 10-15 mins (these cook pretty fast so keep an eye on them)
  • Let them cool down before storing them in the fridge, they’ll last for 1-2 weeks.

 


 

  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 173
  • Time: 20 – 25 mins

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe, let me know down in the comments if you do try them out. Please follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

Golden Milk Latte Recipe

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This amazing recipe is a nutrient dense, caffeine free and totally delicious drink to curb those coffee cravings and boost your gut health. This latte contains turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties, improving digestion and skin health. It also contains cinnamon which lowers blood sugar levels and has antimicrobial effects, as well as cardamom which is great for the liver and is packed with antioxidants. In other words, this is one powerful latte! So here’s how you can make it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 – 1 cup almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/2 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom or 5 pods
  • 2/4 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp erythritol/stevia blend (or any sweetener of choice)

STEPS:

  • Combine 1/2 a cup of milk to 1/2 a cup of water or use 1 full cup of milk.
  • Whisk in the spices and sugar while on medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer. Strain the milk into a mug to remove any undissolved spices.

 

Other Optional Ingredients:

  • Ginger
  • Lemon zest
  • Ground Black pepper

 

Let me know down in the comments if you do try out this recipe. Thank you for reading and please like and follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

 

Green Juice Recipe for Detox

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I haven’t always been a fan of green juices, mostly because it’s an acquired taste, but lately I’ve been giving it a try because I feel like my digestive system needed a boost. The best thing about a detox juice is that it has all the benefits blended into one. It’s simple and quick, but my issue has always been the high folate levels in green juices; folate is found in spinach and avocado, and it doesn’t always agree with me.

So the recipe below is a green juice for beginners, you don’t just jump onto the green juice frenzy, you ease into it.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small green apple
  • 50 grams of sliced cucumber (or a handful)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp matcha powder (unsweetened)
  • 1-2 cups of water

Tip: pass the juice through a strainer.

Other Ingredients you can add or substitute with:

  • ginger
  • mint
  • spinach
  • parsley
  • apple cider vinegar
  • avocado

 

The possibilities of a green juice are endless and effective if you need a cleanse for either weight loss or detox. The juice is one I make in the morning and before breakfast, I don’t usually have it every day, but if you’re trying out a detox week then this would be a good idea.

I hope you try it out and if you do please leave me a comment. Follow for more posts like this one and thank you for reading, xoxo.

Healthy Banana Bread

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This is a recipe I made three times in a row until I ran out of bananas. Seriously, it’s that good. As always, this is a dairy free, gluten free recipe and I mean, who doesn’t love banana bread? It’s easy to make and tastes like a slice of heaven, so here’s what you need.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (any mix will do)
  • 3 medium sized bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup almond milk (or any milk)
  • 1/4 cup erythritol/stevia blend (or coconut sugar/ monk fruit sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Blueberries or cacao nibs (optional)

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Steps

1. Mash the bananas with a fork or in a blender until smooth.

2. Add in the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, coconut oil and sugar to the bananas and mix well. (Ingredients should be at room temperature to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying)

3. Mix both flours and fold but to not over mix. Gradually add in the milk, if you want a more dense bread add in less milk, but I prefer mine light so I usually add 3/4 cup, but depending on your choice of gluten free flour you may need to adjust this.

4. Line a loaf pan with baking paper and pour the batter in. This is optional but you can add slices of banana, blueberries or cacao nibs as a topping.

5. Bake for 15-20 mins at 190ºC, allow the top to brown a little and let it cool before removing. I usually keep mine in the fridge in the same pan and wrapped in the baking paper and I do not slice it beforehand to keep in moist.

I hope you try out this recipe, if you had to pick one, I would definitely recommend this one. Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoy it and please follow for more recipes like this one, xoxo.

Healthy Homemade Granola

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This is a gluten free, dairy free and nut free recipe that I’m sure you’ll enjoy! It can be eaten with yoghurt, milk or as a snack. You can alter this recipe to your taste and add or switch any ingredients you’d prefer. The base mainly consists of rolled oats, coconut oil, and honey, you can add in seeds, nuts or dried fruit if you like.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower/ pumpkin / hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey / maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder / 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • You can also add dried fruit – dried figs, berries.

 

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Steps:

  1. Mix together the rolled oats, seeds, cacao nibs and coconut flakes.
  2. Melt coconut oil and honey together either in a microwave or in a saucepan on low heat.
  3. Add the liquid to the dry and fold well to make sure your granola is well coated. Add in vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Spread the mixture over a tray lined with baking paper.
  5. Bake for 10 mins on 170 º C or until it turns golden. (The granola will burn easily so make sure to keep an eye on it)
  6. Let it cool down and store in an airtight jar.

 

I hope you enjoyed this quick recipe and that you come back for more. Thank you for reading, and make sure to let me know if you try this one out, xoxo.

 

 

Healthy Donut Recipe

healthy living

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When I was a child, I was obsessed with donuts and growing up, I can admit I’m still pretty in love with them. However, I know that they aren’t the healthiest because they are packed with sugar and deep-fried, so I finally came up with the right recipe to remedy that. It took a couple of tries to get this one right, it won’t have the same exact texture as a regular donut but it’s a close second.

This is a gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipe and it is simply delicious!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour ( I used Neofoods’s all purpose gf flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup erythritol/stevia blend (you can also use monk fruit or coconut sugar) I used a zero calorie sweetener, so calories may vary depending on the sweetener you use.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

 

STEPS

  1. Whisk together the egg, milk and coconut oil until well incorporated.
  2. Add in the vanilla, baking powder and sugar.
  3. Fold in the flours and pour the batter into greased donut pans (I used coconut oil)
  4. Bake in a preheated oven for about 10-15 mins on 170ºC or until slightly golden.

 

TIPS

  • I added cacao nibs to my mix, you can also add in blueberries or any other fruit.
  • You can add a chocolate glaze, for a vegan option mix coconut oil with cacao powder at a 1:3 ratio. You can also use melted coconut butter or almond butter.
  • Be careful when using sugar blends, stevia tends to have a bitter taste which is why I used a mix of stevia and erythritol.
  • Make sure your wet ingredients are room temperature or your coconut oil may solidify.
  • I prefer my batter a little more on the runny or thin side, if it’s too thick, your donuts may be too dense. Mix well before adding any more flour or liquid as the consistency will thicken up with the almond flour.
  • Avoid overcooking them by piercing them with a fork, the moment your fork comes out clean, turn the oven off. If you’re afraid they are slightly undercooked leave them in the closed oven.

 

  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 150
  • Time: 20-25 mins

 

Thank you for reading, I hope you try out this recipe. Let me know down in the comments if you do and please follow for more guilt-free treats like this one, xoxo.