I’ve been trying to cut down (healthily) a little on what I eat recently, and I realised that I’ve been picking up weight because I’m constantly nibbling on different things in the pantry.
So, to make sure I stay full throughout the day I have 5 go-to snacks in the fridge/food cupboard which are filling AND yummy.
- Carrot sticks & Pilpel Hummous – carrot has to be my favourite veggie because of its sweetness, and Pilpel Hummous is my go-to because it has so much flavour but doesn’t have garlic in it (garlic upsets my stomach).
- Dried fruit/nut mix – handful of pecans, pepitas, dried apricots, sultanas and walnuts. The fruits give you that sweet satisfaction and the nuts fill you up.
- Apple & Carman’s Nut Bar – Carman’s does such a great range of healthy muesli bars, if your local supermarket stocks them I would definitely recommend checking them out. They are the perfect snack, and funnily enough I got up at 2am the other night because my stomach was rumbling, and a Carmen’s nut bar was the perfect fix to send me back to sleep.
- Popcorn – try to avoid popcorns that are doused in butter, just plain corn kernels will do the trick.
- My sugarless carrot/oatmeal cookies – they say ‘sugarless’ but don’t worry maple syrup and sultanas make them just as yummy as regular cookies.
I have been making batches of these for longer than I can remember because they are the perfect moreish snack, especially when I’m on the go.
You will need:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup self-raising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Sprinkle of salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil (be ready to add more in case your mixture is too dry)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1/3 cup pepitas
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Handful of pecans (to decorate)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, sultanas, grated carrots and pepitas together in a large bowl. Then, add the olive oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir to combine. Add extra olive oil until the mixture is a perfect, doughy consistency. Whack in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes (or until golden brown) and voila! You’re done.
I hope you too can enjoy these great snacks. They are especially great if you are looking to maintain a healthy weight and want filling snacks that aren’t completely boring!
Kimono red for yummy, healthy Snacks
It was mum’s 54th birthday last Friday and I wanted to make it super special this year, because over the past few years I have been really busy and stressed around this time and I felt I hadn’t really treated her properly for her birthday in a long time.
A dash of cyan for a successful day
To make the day memorable, I planned it out well in advance. The morning began with a massage with a local masseuse which I booked a couple of days prior. Mum really values experiences over ‘things’ so I made sure a lot of what I organised gave her a memory rather than something material. After her massage I picked her up and we went to lunch at a French Restaurant (which has a string of great reviews and recommendations) called Le Bouchon. The lunch was even better than I had anticipated, the restaurant is in a cosy hole in the wall setting, but has elegance and style with its walnut coloured wooden tables and gold plated decor. The authenticity of the French cuisine was enhanced as all the waiters were French and went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant dining experience. I ordered a Crispy Pork Belly with lentils in a crushed apple sauce, and Mum decided to be a bit more adventurous and got Sauteed Calves Liver with parsnip chips, which to my surprise was actually really tasty. We shared a glass of white House Wine as Mum isn’t a big drinker and enjoyed chatting for a couple of hours.
After lunch, we set off to the shopping mall and I bought her a pair of black leather boots as she has been saying lately that her current pair are a bit worn down. Then we went to a nail salon and I got shellac nails in a light plum colour and mum got a pedicure with a burnt orange polish and a complimentary foot massage. After, Mum headed home and I popped into the grocery store and went shopping for dinner.
For dinner I wanted to go all out and surprise Mum with a multiple course meal, as I’m not a big savoury cook and usually just whip up easy desserts and smoothies. I consulted a traditional English cookbook for recipes that are perfect for the drab and windy weather we have been having recently. For the entree I made corn scones with an avocado and soft cheese topping, garnished with capers and diced bacon. For the main meal we savoured a chicken and leek hotpot with a chickpea and feta salad. Finally for dessert I challenged myself to make an apple and walnut pie with ice-cream. The whole meal actually went really well and Mum loved all of it, which surprised me because something always seems to go awry when I work in a kitchen with lots of things boiling and bubbling and timers constantly going off.
What would a birthday be without presents, as I mentioned earlier Mum isn’t a massive fan of ‘things’ and doesn’t like candles, homewares, perfumes or make up. So, I opted in for a $50 gift card for Dymocks and I spent $100 on a voucher for a high tea for two at the Queen Victoria Building Tea Room (a very elegant and extravagant high tea experience). Overall it was a very successful day and I had so much fun treating Mum and putting effort in to make the day special for her.
Magenta for a fresh, healthy snack
And I’m back after a huge dry patch of not posting – I’m sorry! I really don’t have an excuse but I’ve been having so much fun checking out other people’s blog posts that I didn’t find any time to make my own. However, today I made an acai bowl for breakfast, and I thought I would share my recipe with you.
For those who don’t know what an acai bowl is, it’s basically a smoothie which you eat with a spoon and put a heap of yummy, fruity toppings on. I’m definitely not a chef, and I find this recipe easy as pie so I’d class this recipe as very easy. I also prefer making my own acai bowls than going out and buying them, because I find that they are very overpriced for something that is super easy and to make. They are also lots of fun to decorate in the bowl, so making your own makes you feel like the ultimate foodie and a world chef.
I use my Nutribullet for the recipe, and start by throwing in two or three pitted Medjool dates, a tablespoon of acai powder, a tablespoon of chia seeds, a handful of sultanas, a cup of almond milk (I personally prefer this over cows milk, but cow and soy work too), a tablespoon of peanut butter (any nut/seed butter will do) and 1.5 cups of frozen blueberries. Then I whizz them all up together, which in the Nutribullet literally takes five seconds.
The best part of a homemade acai bowl is decorating it after. For this, I chop up half a banana, crush some walnuts and sprinkle some gourmet muesli. And voila! Here we have it, my very own acai bowl:
Please try out this super simple recipe (only take about five minutes) and let me know what you think. Works perfectly as a refreshing breakfast, brunch or lunch.