Miss Bunny Blogs

Kawaii goth blogger

Scrambled Tofu

It wasn’t until I turned vegan that I decided to try tofu. I wish i had as it’s since become one of my favourite things to experiment with. There are many forms of tofu all good for different things. You can use it for so many recipes from eating it by itself to creating delicious cheesecakes.

Before I turned  vegan one of my go to easy lunches to make was definitely scrambled eggs it was filling and high protein and healthy! When I started going off of eggs and knew I wanted to be vegan I started looking for an alternative. Tofu is the perfect replacement it is high in protein and quick and easy to make!

I’ve seen scrambled tofu made a few ways but i’m going to share with you my favourite way of making it. Some people will press their tofu, you can do this but I don’t feel the need to with scrambled tofu.

 

Ingredients: 

  • Roughly 100grams of firm or extra firm tofu (this can usually be found in the fridge section of your supermarket I prefer either cauldron or Tofoo)
  • A teaspoon of smoked paprika,
  • Olive oil for frying,
  • half a teaspoon of asafoetida (this comes in powder form and is found in the herbs and spices section)
  • half a teaspoon of mustard powder,
  • a  teaspoon of dried chives,
  • half a teaspoon of marjoram.
  • salt and pepper to taste,
  • a good handful of spinach,
  • table spoon of nutritional yeast, (optional but really recommend)
  • a teaspoon of cyder vinegar (optional)
  • 15 grams of grated vegan cheese (optional)
  • 50 grams of chestnut mushrooms chopped up into small pieces,
  • 50 grams of sweet pepper or standard pepper chopped into small pieces.

Method:

  1. Drain the liquid from the tofu packet and take your tofu from the block. on a chopping board or place use a fork and start using it to crumble down the tofu block, it’ll start breaking down and looking a little like scrambled egg.
  2. In a small bowl mix all of your nutritional yeast, spices and herbs together and put to the side. In a frying pan heat your olive oil over a medium heat then add in your tofu. cook your tofu for about 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally and allowing to go slightly brown and crispy, add your cyder vinegar if using then add in your peppers and mushrooms and allow to cook for another minute.
  3. Now shake your bowl of seasoning over the top and add in your spinach and vegan cheese then allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy over a slice of toast, potato waffle, salad or simply enjoy it by itself!

 

Healthy weight loss Pt2: Balancing Macros

Hey everyone <3 This is the second part to my series of my healthy weight loss blogs there will be a part 3 next Monday. Last time I spoke about how to calculate your calories and how to track them and spoke a little bit about what Macros are, this week I wanted to help you understand how to balance your macros out.

**Okay so again I want to put a disclaimer! I am not a Doctor if you’re feeling unwell or are worried about something medical then please go to see your local GP I am simply sharing the tips and tricks I have picked up along the way through research and self observation.**

Before anyone becomes over whelmed with too much information remember In part one I mentioned you can absolutely loose weight just keeping in your calorie deficit however monitoring Macros can truly help you lead a balanced life style as well as making sure that you’re not lacking in all your vital nutrients which will help you on your journey.

At the beginning of my weight loss journey I felt super pumped and motivated and for awhile I found myself doing all the toxic diet habits thinking that I was doing everything right. At first I lost weight however it didn’t take long to get frustrated after I hit a plateau and would constantly feel hungry, tired and irritable. That was when I decided to really do some research and discovered tdee and learned all about Macros. Feeling a new lease of excitement I input all my details into fitness pal and after a couple of days I had realized how wrong I had been eating. After monitoring myself I discovered not only had I been massively under eating and putting my body into starvation mode but I also had been way over eating carbohydrates and not eating anywhere near enough Protein. It was no wonder I was feeling tired and irritable and getting a serious case of the hangries often!

So how did I amend this? For someone that has come through the other side of having an incredibly toxic relationship with food for me to change this, knowledge gave me power. Learning to not be afraid of food and learning how to nourish myself correctly so I felt good on the inside has helped me combat my destructive patterns. So i’m going to teach you a little about the different macros and what they’re good for.

Macros (macro nutrients) as I mentioned in my previous blog are the carbohydrates, protein and Fats that are in your food.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are found in almost every vegetable product and also commonly known to be things such as rice, pasta, bread. Carbohydrates are used in the body to create glucose a form of sugar which is then turned into energy. There for it’s important to make sure you’re eating the right types of carbohydrates regularly and then allowing yourself to eat delicious sweet treats in moderation.

It’s important to eat slow releasing carbs on a regular basis so that you have lots of energy during the day, If you’re not follow a paleo diet or alternative diet then carbohydrates will be your main source of energy.

If you eat a heavy carb diet or you have a heavy carb meal one day you may notice that for a couple of days or at least the day after your weight will be higher, this isn’t actual weight gain this is just water retention. When you eat heavier carb meals your body holds water weight more, often when you start a Keto diet you’ll notice a big weight loss at the beginning this is because you aren’t eating carbs and you loose a lot of water weight that you were storing from carbs, so don’t fret if one day you eat pizza and the next few days you weigh 2 or 3 pounds heavier.

A good example of carbohydrates that you should eat often are:

  • fruit,
  • Vegetables,
  • rice,
  • quinoa,
  • oats,
  • buckwheat,
  • seeds,
  • nuts

Protein

Protein Is found in numerous plant sources, and it is needed to help build muscle, repair broken tissue as well as help your skin, blood and brain function. Unlike Carbohydrates and fat your body doesn’t store protein in the same way so it’s really vital that you keep working towards eating your protein goals daily. Of course I mentioned in my last post that having one day where you eat higher carbohydrate content or fattier foods isn’t going to harm you in any way and you should by no means feel guilty over this but keeping the right balance is important.

Some really good plant sources for Protein are:

  • lentils,
  • chickpeas,
  • beans,
  • soy,
  • tofu,
  • tempeh
  • peas,
  • seitan,
  • seeds.
Fats

Healthy fats are also important to eat. I mentioned in my last post that I’ve met lots of people who see the word fats and shy away from eating anything that contains them but eating certain fats are a vital part of being healthy. Fats help you absorb some vital nutrients as well as helping you burn away fat that is already on your body. A good source of healthy fats are

  • Avocados,
  • oils such as olive, coconut and avocado,
  • nuts and nut butters,
  • chia seeds,
  • raw cacao nibs or small amounts of dark chocolate,
  • Flax seeds,
  • Tahini. (found in hummus)

 

Okay so now we know about what macro nutrients are and what they’re used for lets talk about how to balance them out. You may of noticed that yours swing one way or another, most likely your carbohydrates are higher, this is because they’re in so many foods. I find the best way to Keep my plate balanced is to make sure that you’re mindfully eating, instead of making your carbohydrates the key element in your dinner make your protein is your key element and do this for every meal. I try to keep my carbs balanced throughout the day but some days If I know i’m going to have a heavy carb dinner I will make sure that I eat higher protein meals and less carbs earlier on in the day. Always trying to maintain a balance between each day. Again do not stress if one day you eat too much of one or the other as long as you are generally eating with balance it’s perfectly okay to have one day higher than the rest, chances are you’ll end up balancing out anyway!

Below i’m going to show you a couple of examples of the kind of days I would do for myself whilst I was trying to loose weight. You’ll see that I have 5 small meals a day, I prefer to eat little and often as I find this suits my body better than having three separate larger meals a day, I will talk about this more in next weeks blog so keep your eyes peeled.

The first example is keeping my meals balanced through out the day and the second are how I’ve balanced my meals knowing i’m having a heavy carb dinner.

Example 1: balanced: 

Breakfast:

Porridge with almond or peanut butter mixed in, half a scoop of protein powder, raisins and cinnamon mixed with almond milk.

Snack:

A couple of brown rice cakes one with almond butter and sliced strawberries on the top and the other with dark chocolate spread and sliced strawberries.

Lunch:

Quorn chicken pieces with vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, courgette, tomatoes cooked in a tomato sauce and herbs served over salad. I’ll usually add seeds or nuts to my salad too and create a dressing from scratch using either avocado oil or cyder vinegar.

Snack: 

Yogurt over the top of mixed berries, a sprinkling of either paleo granola or seeds and a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.

Dinner: 

Home made seitan burgers with sweet potato chips, salad or steamed vegetables.

 

Example 2: heavy carb dinner:

Breakfast: 

Protein shake with frozen banana, spinach almond milk and almond butter.

Snack:

handful of almonds and a bowl full of fresh fruit with yogurt.

Lunch: 

Scrambled tofu with vegetables over salad.

Snack:

cucumber, carrot and sweet pepper sticks dipped into a nut or seed butter

Dinner: 

Pizza with vegetables on and salad. If there’s the option I almost always will get tofu on my pizza too.

 

So as you can see from my examples above planning out my meals is key and working out a balance between each of the days. For each of my meals I try and make sure i’m consuming protein in some form in every meal i’m eating. Whether it’s in the nut butter on my crackers or having it as my main focus for my meal. I usually plan my meals around the protein i’m going to have and everything else after as fat and carbohydrates are easy to incorporate that way I’m usually able to hit my calorie intake for the day as well as hitting my protein goal. (I aim to eat between 85-100 grams of protein a day minimum.)

So that’s it for this weeks blog I hope you’ve found it useful, as always if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below.

I originally mentioned that my upload schedule would be Monday’s for a blog and Thursdays for a recipe. This will actually be Tuesdays for a blog and Thursdays for a recipe.

My final part of weight loss tips will be coming next Tuesday. <3

 

 

Chinese style Seitan or tofu strips

I haven’t eat meat for a really long time and I never crave meat. The only thing I usually crave are the sauces that some of the meat came in! I miss so many sauces! you just can’t get vegan alternatives off of a shelf and now being on a low fodmap diet (for IBS) even if they did I probably couldn’t have it because it would contain Garlic and onion (They’re in absolutely everything!)

The other day I was sat there and suddenly had a hankering for those chicken pieces you can get in supermarkets in a Chinese style sauce! I looked online for a recipe but if you type in Chinese sauce recipe…let me tell you there’s a whole bunch and none of them looked like the ones the sauce I had in mind. So I checked out the ingredients that they use on the original chicken and got to formulating the recipe myself.

You can use this recipe for anything, I used Seitan this time but it works on tofu too. Below i’m going to show you my recipe for the seitan however to adapt this to tofu you will need firm tofu and then press it for a couple of hours until all of the liquid is drained (if you don’t have a tofu press you can easily use kitchen roll and put it between two chopping boards with something heavy on top). Then marinade the tofu for a couple of hours (or over night) with the same flavourings that I use in the seitan to let them soak in. Then smother in the sauce and bake like the seitan (though please bare in mind tofu won’t take as long to bake)

The seitan recipe is one that I’ve adapted from a few different places and this is my most used recipe when using it!

** Also Seitan for those that do not know is another term for Vital wheat gluten. If you’re on low fodmap you may not be okay with this so just a disclaimer! I’m lucky that I am. However I’m not so lucky that I have a severe physical reaction to other gluten products such as spelt, pasta and noodles. So for those of you that aren’t okay with it you can follow the information above for tofu. **

Keep your eyes peeled as over the next few months I will have a whole host of tofu inspired recipes for you, to keep in line with healthy meal inspo!

Seitan recipe: 

  • 1 and a quarter cups seitan powder,
  • quarter of a cup of nutritional yeast,
  • 1 cup vegetable stock,
  • 1 table spoon tomato puree,
  • 2 tbsp olive oil,
  • half a tbsp soy sauce,
  • half a teaspoon 5 spice,
  • half a teaspoon mustard powder,
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of coriander powder,
  • half a teaspoon of salt,
  • pepper to taste

(if you aren’t on a low fodmap diet you can add garlic and onion powder to taste)

Sauce recipe:

  • 1.5 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice,
  • 1 teaspoons smoked paprika,
  • 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (or you can use brown sugar)
  • 4.5 teaspoons of nutritional yeast,
  • 4 tablespoons of beetroot juice (I juiced my own cooked beetroot, but you can also buy this in health food shops)
  • half a table spoon of tomato puree,
  • salt and pepper to taste.

(again if you are not on the Fodmap diet you can add garlic and onion to taste, I made a separate sauce for my partner and I used ground onion granules and I used 1 teaspoon, and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)

 

Recipe.

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 Degrees and put some baking foil on a couple of baking trays. Grab a large mixing bowl and put in your seitan powder, nutritional yeast, spices and salt and pepper. Mix together well. In a separate bowl or Jug mix together your soy sauce, olive oil and vegetable stock.
  2. Make a well in the middle of seitan powder mix and add in your liquids. Using a wooden spoon start mixing the two together. It’ll start becoming sticky and eventually you won’t be able to mix with a spoon. Instead you will have to put your hands in and start kneading the mixture with the palm of your hands like you would a bread dough. Knead the mixture for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Now time to create the sauce! In a different bowl add all of your spices and seasoning, nutritional yeast, coconut sugar, tomato puree and the beetroot juice. mix well together until it forms a paste.
  4. On a chopping board cut off pieces of seitan to what looks like small fillets or chunks (you could even create burger patties if you wanted) spoon a tiny bit of your sauce onto each of the pieces and spread the mix over each of your fillets, make sure to coat both sides!
  5. Once you have coated all of the pieces put a layer of kitchen foil over the top of them, then place your second baking tray on top. This is going to help your pieces crispen nicely on both sides. If you have pieces on both baking trays and you have a third baking tray (or even a cake pan that’s the same length) then put it on top and pop it in the oven like this. if you do not have more than two baking trays then pop them in stacked on top of one another with the top layer just covered in kitchen foil. You can always pop the top layer in for an other 4-5 minutes if you need to with the bottom layer on top once you’ve taken the pieces off it. I know this sounds complicated, but you’re just stacking them on top of the other to make them crispen and bake better. Put in the oven for 30-35 minutes and then enjoy!

If you are using tofu you do not need to stack the trays on top of one another and you do not need to add kitchen foil to the top. However bake for the same amount of time.

I hope you enjoy my Chinese style sauce you could of course add this to many things such as soy strips or anything you like.

 

beginners weight loss

Hey guys, I’m so sorry It’s been awhile since I last posted having been christmas and new year I’ve been incredibly busy and as always experiencing serious January blues. I have big plans this year for my blog and my youtube account. On my blog I’m planning to be adding either a new blog entry or recipe every other week going forward, perhaps more often depending on how busy I am. So keep messaging me and leaving comments of things you’d like to see from me. I have decided going forward my blog is going to be about health (physical and mental) and all things food (reviews, recipes etc) and my You tube will be outings, baking fun videos, creativity and fashion stuff.

Okay so I did a Q and A the other day on Instagram and I was asked many questions about how I lost weight and for recipes to aid in this. I thought rather than addressing them all independently I would write a blog entry to share with you all as in the past I’ve also had a lot of questions about it. For those that don’t know I lost quite a lot of weight after being on some heavy medication that made me gain 2.5 stone (35 pounds) in two months, I was really depressed and had absolutely no idea how I was going to loose the weight as i’d on and off struggled with weight gain through binging and thyroid issues in the past. I did manage to loose 3.5 stone (49 pounds) then last year after having a bad bought of depression I had an episode of over indulgence and I gained a stone but having changed my relationship with food I very easily lost the weight and have successfully kept the weight off. I have since gone on to help many friends to loose weight and keep to their goals.

I believe that you should be any size you’d like to be as long as you’re comfortable in your own skin. This is something I preach to everyone. For me I didn’t feel comfortable being the weight I was and I decided I wanted to loose it. I wanted to not only loose weight but I wanted to feel stronger and build some muscle too. So there started my journey to loosing weight.

 

 

11.5 stone

 

 

 

8 stone.

I am by no means an expert so please if you are experiencing issues or feeling weak or unwell please go to a health care professional. I am simply sharing how I lost weight and how I changed my relationship with food to keep the weight off in a healthy manner.

Please note that I hate the term dieting and my main focus is about a life style change to something that is sustainable to your body and most importantly if you’ve lost the weight you want to maintain it.

 

If you follow me on social media you’ll know that I’m a massive foodie. I’m one of those annoying people that constantly posts photos of my food in my stories, on my facebook and of course always creating recipes to share with you all. So after gaining weight the dreaded thought of having to cut out my favourite foods because as society would tell you they were a huge sin and this was really depressing, I love pizza and chocolate and although my diet is generally very healthy the thought of giving up my favourite “naughty” foods was really depressing. In the past the reason I had lost weight was purely by cutting out “bad foods” but would often lead to bingeing sessions later on. This is why I no longer label foods as naughty or bad as for me it leads to a very toxic  relationship with food and disordered eating habits. I had no idea how to loose weight other than this really toxic mentality.

There is also a whole host of contradicting information out there telling you to be on *insert fad diet* or of course the alternative of weight watchers and as great as these are for many people as soon as you stop at your goal weight you start gaining again because you don’t actually know how you lost the weight in the first place and then the cycle of “well I better start again” happens. I have so many friends that have done this, but I’m here to reassure you that you don’t need to give up all your favourite foods to loose some weight.

After doing a lot of research I discovered their big secret…. the way these types of programs work is that they keep you in a calorie deficit and that’s it! To loose weight you just need to make sure you’re eating less than you burn off. Simple right! you don’t need special teas and there isn’t some magical tablet you can take that will make you loose the weight you want to, you just have to eat less than the energy you’re using.

Yes that means that you can eat pizza and ice cream and chocolate and still loose weight.

I know, this sounds like an absolute dream come true doesn’t it? And it absolutely is! Now before you get carried away and start shoveling bags of crisps down your throat you need to make sure that you’re leading a happy and healthy balanced life style (I know! You hear this everywhere and i’m sure you’re sick of hearing it honestly, but you want to be healthy on the inside too so that you don’t struggle with heart issues and other inner body issues). You can still eat the odd take away, packet of crisps or muffin but It’s important to remember that foods like this aren’t nourishing for your body and although you can definitely still eat them and they aren’t the devil like diet culture would have you believe they are high in calories and saturated fats.

My biggest weakness is definitely… hands down… chocolate,  (self confessed choc-o-holic here) I would have it for every meal of the day if I could.  When looking at my favourite chocolate bar (big shout out to OMBAR For the most incredible chocolate ever) for the 35 gram bar it contains 202 calories but then for comparison you get the same amount of calories for scrambled tofu on a slice of toast with veges and of course this is a lot more filling and sustainable. I wouldn’t just have a chocolate bar for lunch as i’d still be hungry.

Making wise decisions when choosing what you’re putting into your body is really important but also remember it’s absolutely okay to eat foods that you want when loosing weight (and going into your diet with this mentality often stops the needing to binge). When I lost weight I ate pizza at least once a week and a few pieces of dark chocolate every day. I ate everything I baked so I was definitely having cakes regularly, I just made sure that I accounted for them into my calories and the rest of my meals were healthy and nutritious.

Also if you slip off the band wagon for a day or two don’t worry! you’re not suddenly going to undo all of your work it’s absolutely okay to have a few days where you eat more than others if you’re extra hungry those days. The biggest thing i’m trying to stress here is to make sure that what you’re doing is maintainable and sustainable. 

Phew! So now that is all out in the open lets talk about how I worked out how to eat in a healthy deficit.

First thing I did was go to Tdee calculator and input my stats. I’m going to show you screen shots of my stats so you can understand and see mine. I’ll try to break it down as easy and as much as possible.

 

Your Maintenance Calories

1,852
calories per day

12,964
calories per week

After inputting your stats it’ll tell you bunch of information. At the top to the left in the box it says “your maintenance calories” as you can see mine says 1852 with 12,964 calories per week, I am at a point where I don’t want to loose anymore weight but maintain so for me I can eat up to this amount each day and I won’t gain weight as long as I stick to my current exercise regiment. To the right hand side it says “basal metabolic rate 1,195”

This is really important, you should never eat below this amount. 

Eating below this amount can cause serious health issues. Your body needs this amount to function every day and to make sure your body is healthy.

 

Basal Metabolic Rate 1,195 calories per day

 

scrolling down the page you have your ideal weight and BMI. I don’t really pay much attention to these. As you can see it states:

“Your ideal body weight is estimated to be between 110-123 lbs based on the various formulas listed below. These formulas are based on your height and represent averages so don’t take them too seriouslyespecially if you lift weights.”

I got to the gym regularly and I lift weights and do cardio so I don’t tend to pay much attention to these. BMI also doesn’t account for bone density etc so don’t worry so much about this even if you don’t it’s just an average.

Lower down near the bottom of the page you have a section that says macro nutrients. “maintenance, cutting and bulking” click the tab that says cutting. As you can see mine says “1,352 calories per day, which is a 500 calorie per day deficit from your maintenance of 1,852 calories per day.” So that is exactly what I would need to eat if I wanted to loose weight.

You also have a list of Macro nutrients. If you don’t know what macro-nutrients are they’re simply the fat, carbohydrate and protein amounts in your food. I really recommend that everyone sticks to the moderate carb maintenance unless you’re on something like Paleo diet where you might want to pick higher protein, but for simply just loosing weight on a regular weight loss journey this option is the most suitable.

Next you need some way of tracking how many calories you’re eating. I use My fitness Pal (if you’d like to add me on there my diary is deliberately public so you can see the food I eat every day and I add recipes from my website so you can replicate them and find them easily. Leave a comment below) after making an account go to the section that says Goals. From there input your calories and macro nutrients. I believe you can only do this from the website and not the app. I really recommend downloading the App too, this will make adding food in really easy as you can scan barcodes. The food data base on fitness pal is huge and I’ve only had a couple of times where food items haven’t been found and that’s usually with a new product. You can also recipes of your own in there with your own ingredients and it’ll work the calories out for you. (if you make any of my recipes then you can find my recipes in fitness pal as Miss bunny *insert food*)

Please note above that it says I’ve lost 18lbs, this was after I reset my fitness pal so isn’t accurate to my true weight loss which is stated above.

I have found that using a food scale really helps, I bought a cheap electronic one from Amazon. It’s often hard to eye up exactly how many grams you think you’re using especially at the beginning so if you’re not good with portion control like I wasn’t in the past then weighing scales are really handy to help you keep track of portion sizes!

I used to struggle a lot with stopping when full if there was food in front of me because I felt bad about waste but it’s really important to remember that if you have a portion of food in front of you and you’re full don’t push your body to eat more and to try tune into the signals that your body is giving to you to stop. On the flip side of this if one day you are really hungry then make sure you eat something, don’t let yourself starve just to keep yourself in your calorie goals because this will be detrimental to your health.

Are you boredem eating?

I used to find that I would do this all the time. I wasn’t really hungry but if I didn’t have much else to do I would start looking for food. If you find this relates to you then this trick may be handy for you. Ask yourself “could I eat an apple now?” often if we’re boredem eating it’s crisps or junk food we want. If your answer to this is “no” then you know it’s likely boredem eating and it might be a sign to go find something to do to distract yourself.

HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE

This is a funny one. Often when we’re feeling hungry it’s actually thirst. Make sure you aim to drink plenty of water. I drink about 2 liters of water a day more in the summer and if I’ve done a heavy work out.

 

Keep an eye on Macros.

Okay so I mentioned macros above. Just a reminder they’re your carbohydrate, fat and protein intake. You can absolutely loose weight not paying attention to your macros as long as you’re in a calorie deficit. However tracking them makes it easier to do so. On fitness pal it’ll tell you if you’ve over eaten a specific macro. Some days my macros are all over the place… for instance I totally ate the new Papa John’s pizza yesterday (it was absolutely delicious by the way) and so my carbohydrate intake was a lot higher. However to try and keep some balance knowing I was having pizza for dinner I ensured I had a high protein breakfast and lunch.  (mindful eating and all that)

I am currently on the low fodmap diet due to stomach issues so as a vegan it cuts out a lot of big protein sources (chick peas, lentils, beans) however I always aim to hit between 85-100 grams of protein per day minimum. I use a great tasting protein powder for shakes from a brand called The protein works. Their vegan protein powders are some of the tastiest I’ve ever tried. I’ve tried almost all of them now and my favourites that I highly recommend are Chocolate silk, vanilla creme, Birthday cake, mint chocolate brownie and salted caramel. I really recommend protein shakes especially if you’re working out as you need the protein to help build muscle and of course even if you’re not working out protein is vital for brain function! If you sign up and buy protein through my code they’ll also send you a free bag of protein!  Click this link: The protein works

Okay so we’ve talked protein but what about fats? It’s really important to make sure you eat healthy fats when trying to loose weight. A lot of people see the word fat and shy away. You don’t need to do this at all (hurray!) There is a really big difference between trans fats and healthy fats. Trans fats are those fats you’ll find in fried foods or take away. Healthy fats can be found in almonds, avocado and olive oil for example. Fats are essential to the body and you need fat to burn fat! So make sure that you’re eating healthy fats too.

On tdee they say for every 10-14lbs you loose then you should reset your stats on the website. When you reach your goal check tdee and up your calories to your maintenance calories.

Down 3.5 stone, trying on an old skirt that I used to wear regularly.

 

Exercise?

So I’ve just given you a whole host of information on my diet. What about exercise? Do you need to exercise to loose weight? Absolutely not…You could sit in bed and eat your calories lying in bed doing nothing all day and still loose weight. Do I recommend this? No.

The more you exercise the more calories you can eat…That sounds like the perfect reward and the best excuse to exercise if nothing else. That aside exercise has so many positive impacts on your body and can definitely speed up weight loss.

I really recommend finding an exercise that you find fun and incorporating it into your day. I exercise 6-7 days a week either from walking, gym, yoga, rebounding or pilates (and very excitingly starting pole fitness soon). Even dancing around your house for an hour is better than doing nothing and can have such a positive impact on your mental health.

I’ve invested in some work out bits for home; A yoga mat, light weights and a rebounder (indoor exercise trampoline perfect for low impact workouts on the joints). I have found a couple of you-tubers I adore Blogilates and Yoga with Adriene are a couple I highly recommend. I also have an app called easy workout light which is just a 5 minute work out a day; one for abs and one for thighs and butt. I do generally make sure I exercise everyday in some way or another being active for a minimum of 60 minutes (going for a walk, yoga, gym) but some days I’m tired, It’s really important to listen to your body other wise you could end up doing more harm than good. so along with mindful eating mindful exercise too!

Another good thing to point out is that if you’re exercising remember muscle weighs more than fat! this might mean your inches are going down but your weight isn’t. On fitness pal you can also keep track of measurements too. I focus less on weight now a days and as i’m working out more at the gym I’m keeping an eye on how i’m feeling and measurements. I have been taking progress shots each month.

Supplements?

I took some supplements on my weight loss journey. Purely because I have borderline low thyroid issues (and at times my thyroid has become under active) for this I take Magnesium which is also good for reducing water retention that you might be holding onto, typically heavy carbohydrate meals can mean your body holds water weight more. Vitamin D which also helps aid weight loss if you’re deficient, iodine, B12 (because i’m vegan) and selenium. Please research supplements before taking and if unsure ask your Dr. I really recommend researching your supplements before buying too, make sure you’re paying for quality!

I don’t recommend weighing yourself everyday. Your weight will naturally fluctuate during the week depending on food and a whole host of other things! Try weigh yourself once a week at the same time of the day. You will weigh more at night than in the morning and If you’re a girl remember you can gain up to about 4lbs in water weight before your period.

Now I know that Is a whole load of information that I have given you but i’m really hoping that I’ve answered all of your questions and in a simple form. A really great you tuber Jordan Shrinks also has a video explaining the same thing. Her channel is really inspiring. She talks a lot about her issues with binge eating and body dysmorphia so I really recommend following her if you have similar issues.

If you have any more questions please feel free to leave a comment below. But for now so long, lots of love and good luck on your journey <3

 

Spiced matcha and chocolate monster cupcakes.

With halloween fast approaching and the kids half term coming up it’s the perfect time to get baking. I had Pure Chimp reach out to me and offered to send me their Spiced Matcha powder. I was really excited because not only do I love matcha but their matcha is spiced with ginger, tumeric and cinnamon. These spices are perfect for keeping your tummy happy and healthy so fits in perfectly with my specialty baking. Be sure to check out their other flavours. They also have mint and plain matcha, they do the perfect sizes for sampling as well as jars of matcha that are really affordable and the best bit is that a percentage of each sale goes to charity and they’re a living wage employer. I love supporting smaller companies that encourage not only health but have a great work ethic, so be sure to go and check them out.

When I was sent the spiced matcha of course I knew I was going to have to pair it with chocolate as this is my favourite and lets face it matcha and chocolate is the perfect flavour combination! I wanted to create something fun as well as healthy so I decided that I would use fondant icing to create cute monster faces. Make sure if you’re going to ice your cupcakes with fondant you check on the back that your icing is suitable for vegans as some colours are not suitable. I then used a black icing writing pen to add in the little scars and mouths. I didn’t want my monsters to look the same because I think this makes them look quirky and cute so I decided to add slightly different hair pieces and slightly different smiles to each. You can of course decorate them however you want and get really creative especially if you have little ones helping!

SUBSTITUTIONS:

My recipes as usual calls for gluten free flour however you can substitute with regular self raising flour all you need to do is swap the measurements over and make sure you leave out the Xanthum gum from the chocolate mix if you are doing this. You can also replace the coconut sugar with regular caster sugar or the the stevia for sugar, if you are going to replace the stevia with sugar add 60 grams of caster sugar. Stevia is naturally sweeter than regular sugar so you do not need as much.

I also used Aquafaba as my egg replacement in my recipe, I’ve not experimented with others, but if you do let me know how you get on! 🙂

 

This recipe roughly makes 8-10 cupcakes.

Ingredients: 

For the Matcha halves:

  • 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder. 
  • 60 grams of gluten free (or regular) self raising flour.
  • 40 grams of stevia,
  • 60 grams of vegan margarine/butter,
  • half a teaspoon of vanilla extract,
  • half a teaspoon of baking powder,
  • 5 table spoons of aquafaba (chick pea water)

For the Chocolate Halves:

  • 100 grams of gluten free self raising flour,
  • 7 heaped teaspoons of cacao, (or cocoa)
  • 80 grams of coconut sugar, (or regular sugar)
  • 50 grams of vegan margarine/butter,
  • 3 tablespoons of non dairy milk,
  • half a teaspoon of baking powder,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of Xanthum gum
  • 6 tablespoons of aquafaba,

For the spiced matcha butter cream:

*you can leave them like this or you can decorate like I did with fondant icing too* I used green, white and black. I also used a writing icing pen for the details. Make sure to check your ingredient colours are vegan!

I use silicone cases to bake my cupcakes in and only transferred a few to paper cases when I knew I had people coming to collect them. Silicone cases are great as they’re reusable I really recommend investing in them if you’re baking a lot.

 

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 165 degrees. Grab your cake cases and pop them on a baking tray.
  2. You’re going to need two separate bowls for mixing your batters, we’ll start with the chocolate mix. In your first bowl cream together your sugar and vegan butter. Next add in your cacao, flour, Xanthum gum, baking powder then start mixing and slowly add in your non dairy milk. Whilst mixing slowly add in your aquafaba and then mix well until all ingredients are completely mixed and your have a smooth batter for your cupcakes.
  3. Now for the matcha halves. Grab your second bowl cream together your butter and stevia just as you did in the first bowl. Next add in your matcha powder and your vanilla extract and mix well. Add the rest of your dry ingredients and then slowly add in your aquafaba and mix in well.
  4. Once both batters have been mixed using a spoon divide your matcha mix into each of the cupcake cases and then do the same with the chocolate. Grab a cocktail stick or skewer and then pull the bottom matcha layer up from the middle so you get a slight swirl of matcha coming through the chocolate. This can be tricky but try not to over mix so you still keep your flavour definitions.
  5. Pop your cupcakes in the oven and bake for roughly 12 minutes or until you can stick a skewer or knife in and it comes out clean.
  6. When you’ve taken your cupcakes out and they’re cooling you can make your matcha frosting. In a clean bowl pop your butter in and then using a sieve, sieve in your icing sugar and cream together. Next add in your matcha and mix until totally blended and smooth, slowly add in your non dairy milk, then pop in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. When your cupcakes are totally cooled off it’s time to ice your cupcakes, you can do this with an icing bag or if you’re going to decorate yours with fondant like I did grab a teaspoon and pop a bit on the top, using the back of the spoon to spread it then create your faces out of fondant and pop them on the top.

 

Hello Autumn

Hello lovelies, ahhh the autumn is here and it’s officially October. I have pumpkin spiced everything on my brain and I’ve been making tonnes of seasonal recipes.

I love this time of the year and I always feel so inspired. The warm crisp colours, the smells and of course the seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Due to my food allergies and sensitivities I’m not able to buy my favourite seasonal foods whilst out and about which is always so disappointing, of course I’m always determined to not miss out! So I’ve taken to creating my own recipes and I want to share some of my favourites with you so i’ll be posting a lot of recipes over the next month to hopefully inspire you all to go and create! I’m also actively working on my Youtube channel  too and will be posting cute autumn fashion blogs and maybe some inspirational make up videos for you guys <3 I can’t wait to show you all what I have planned.

So when I was thinking about my first recipe I wanted to make I thought about all the things I missed out on and decided I wanted something pumpkin spiced flavoured. So I created my recipe for a Pumpkin spiced shake. It took a few times to get it to a recipe which I felt really worked but I’m really happy with how this recipe worked out, the shake itself is creamy, thick whilst being subtly spiced making it perfect for those autumnal rainy days.

 

Tips And Extras: 

I’m allergic to ginger so I haven’t added it to my recipe, but you could always experiment with putting ginger powder in this too for a little kick.

This recipe calls for a frozen banana. I always have frozen bananas in the freezer and I use them in loads of different recipes. Don’t worry if you don’t, pop a banana in the freezer over night or first thing in the morning (if you want it for the evening) and it should be perfect for when you need it.

 

Calories:

As I wrote on my bourbon twist recipe I’ve started adding my recipes to fitness pal, this one is under miss bunny’s Pumpkin shake. it contains 292 calories and these stats are based off of using the brands that I state below. The calorie content may differ slightly either being slightly more or less depending on your ingredients. I always try and write which brands I use so that you can find the same. The calories are also not worked out using cream and chocolate on the top but I have included the calories for maca powder and ground flax seeds.

I have done my best to keep it as accurate as possible but like with anything it may slightly vary if you’re concerned about it not being 100% accurate or you don’t add flax or maca then pop the ingredients in independently.

 

Vanilla and pumpkin spiced shake.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 100 grams of frozen banana,
  • half a can of Pumpkin puree,
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup,
  • 30 grams of Plain Yogurt, (I used koko dairy free)
  • 250-300 ml of almond mylk or non dairy mylk of your choice (I used Almond breeze unsweetened mylk)
  • quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of all spice,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of nutmeg,
  • quarter of a teaspoon of Almond extract (or Vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut or almond butter, (I used roughly 10 grams of pip and nuts peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground flax seeds, (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of maca powder, (optional)
  • a couple of pieces of dark chocolate (optional)
  • vegan spray cream.(optional)

 

Method: 

  1. In a blender pop all of your ingredients except the chocolate and blend until well mixed and creamy.
  2. pour into a cup or glass, spray on the cream and then using the fine side of a grater grate the chocolate over the top of the cream.

 

I hope you enjoy drinking your pumpkin spiced shake as much as I did. Leave me a comment below if you’ve tried it and let me know what you think <3

I’d also love to hear what your favourite thing about autumn is <3

 

 

 

Exposing myself; The naked truth

Everyone grab a cup of tea and Let’s talk mental health for a minute.

This isn’t something I’ve discussed on my blog before but as the days are getting shorter and s.a.d (seasonal affective disorder) is creeping in I feel like it’s really important to talk about.

**Warning: I will be discussing details of my mental health history and there will be notes to eating disorders, suicidal tendencies and self harm. So please if you are triggered by this then please do not read.**

So even as I’m typing this I’m feeling a surge of anxiety coming over me, I’ve never really bared all and exposed myself the way i’m prepared to now, but it seems like now is the time to discuss this and recent events that have happened have triggered a domino effect in my life that have given me a sense of urgency to speak up.

When I was growing up mental health was never discussed. It was a silent topic. When I was a young child I didn’t understand how I felt and couldn’t at all process what was going on so my way of coping was to sleep as much as possible and I developed a safe space in my mind that I would go to when I felt threatened. I would Hallucinate and disassociate to a happy place. When my body couldn’t cope I would have panic and anxiety attacks but I was always told they were asthma attacks and always had a blue inhaler to try and help but of course it didn’t. Through out my early childhood and my teenage years I was exposed to a lot of traumatic events, but I had always been taught from a very young age that we didn’t talk about what happened and that we just pretended like they hadn’t happened so this was the mentality I kept all whilst growing up and that unfortunately caused me a great deal of pain.

I tried a couple of times to reach out to a family member, but I was made to feel that I was being a drama queen and the way I felt was irrelevant. I knew something was wrong with me but talking about depression and anxiety was taboo and so I tried to hide it from everyone as I believed that I was wrong for the way I felt. Feeling quite out of control of my life and not understanding what was happening to me I tried to comfort myself in any way possible. In my teens I turned to binge eating until I was sick, drinking very heavily until I was blacking out and then in my early 20’s I started taking drugs. I later started experiencing episodes of Psychosis and disassociation and very violently hurting myself.

**Psychosis is characterized by an impaired relationship with reality. It’s a symptom of serious mental disorders. People who are experiencing psychosis may have either hallucinations or delusions. Hallucinations are sensory experiences that occur within the absence of an actual stimulus.**

**What Is Disassociation? Dissociation is a psychological process whereby someone disconnects from reality, their thoughts and feelings, or loses memories and their sense of identity**

When I hit the age of 20  I tried many times to end my own life and I was very nearly successful. I over dosed and didn’t wake up for a few days but when I woke I decided it was time that I went to my doctor to try and seek out help, my Dr prescribed me medication and diagnosed me with depression and sent me away. I felt like a lost cause and I didn’t know how to bring myself out of it, I couldn’t talk to my doctor openly about everything I was experiencing because I was terrified that they would tell me that I just needed to get over it or I was a drama queen, something which I had been told repetitively my whole life.

After another traumatic incident before Christmas 2008 I started experiencing extreme vivid flashbacks and with this came sleep paralysis, insomnia and a complete change in my behavior. I was misdiagnosed with bi-polar disorder and I tried to seek out therapy but believing the threat was still very real I pulled away and pretended nothing was wrong. Then in autumn  2011 when I was 23 I over dosed again and severely hurt myself in an episode of psychosis. It was at this point I decided to moved to Brighton in the bid to start a new life and find some stability. A year later at the age of 24 I hit breaking point and had a mental break down. My doctor wanted to hospitalize me but I was terrified and I ran instead and spent a month with my dad who wasn’t completely aware of my situation but knew enough and that I needed help. I later lost my job because I developed agoraphobia and couldn’t leave the house alone at all.

**Agoraphobia (ag-uh-ruh-FOE-be-uh) is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed**

I had vivid flashbacks to traumatic things that had happened throughout my up bringing, intense feelings like I was reliving things over and over again, I was jumpy, scared and nervous and it constantly felt like I was being watched. It felt like my past was coming back to haunt me all over again and there was no escape.

“PTSD nightmares aren’t always exact replays of the event. Sometimes they replay the emotions you felt during the event, such as fear, helplessness, and sadness.”

Not understanding or able to articulate how I felt I started loosing friends. I’d disassociate and often would loose weeks at a time having no idea where they had gone. Friends told me I would drift off mid conversation and I couldn’t hold my attention.
Almost a year later I was diagnosed with cptsd (complex post traumatic stress disorder) with anxiety, depression and dis-associative behavior. I started seeing a specialist through the NHS who started trying to help me. It finally felt like everything made sense. That everything that I had experienced growing up was actually a real thing. I wasn’t being overly dramatic and I wasn’t wrong for feeling the way that I was feeling. It was finally the acknowledgement that I had needed throughout the years for me to be able to start moving forwards.

**Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental condition that some people develop after a shocking, terrifying, or dangerous event. These events are called traumas. After a trauma, it’s common to struggle with fear, anxiety, and sadness. … But if you have PTSD, these thoughts and feelings don’t fade away.**
**Complex PTSD and emotional flashbacks
If you have complex PTSD you may be particularly likely to experience what some people call an ’emotional flashback’, in which you have intense feelings that you originally felt during the trauma, such as fear, shame, sadness or despair. You might react to events in the present as if they are causing these feelings, without realizing that you are having a flashback.**

So where am I today? I have been in continuous therapy for just over a year with a wonderful trauma specialist. I have a lot of struggles and self doubt and I constantly question myself. I have massive chunks of my life completely blocked out from my memories, because my brain isn’t ready to process my trauma. I still hallucinate daily, sometimes it’s hard to understand what is real and what isn’t. I still experience intense flashbacks and disassociation but it’s becoming easier to cope with as i’m learning new ways of grounding myself and self care. I’m not 100% over my agoraphobia but I’m pushing my boundaries and learning to trust the outside world again and discovering the world doesn’t have to be a scary place. I’m starting to become a whole different stronger person who finally understands herself and I’m learning to accept myself. It’s been 7 years since my last over dose, 6 years since I last self harmed and I’ve changed my relationship towards food so I no longer binge. I don’t drink alcohol and I’ve chosen to live the healthiest life I possibly can. Don’t get me wrong I still have to fight the urge on bad days/weeks but i’m stronger than my impulses and I’ve learned healthier coping mechanisms. For a long time it felt like my mental illness was all consuming because I didn’t understand what was wrong with me and now day by day I refuse to be defined by it and i’m learning who I truly am. I finally feel like I have a bright and positive future ahead of me and i’m excited to see where my life goes.

The ugly truth- Due to being un-diagnosed for so long I now suffer intense stomach and gut issues through both IBS and food sensitivities. My body releases trauma and stress through my gut and I struggle with eating lots of different foods. My symptoms can go from being very mild to very aggressive depending on how i’m feeling.

It’s so important to talk about mental health. Even recently I’ve hit heads with people who have told me;

“you have panic attacks so often you should just be used to them”

“There’s nothing wrong with you, just get over it.”

“You look fine to me.”

“people have it worse than you do”

Being silent isolated me and being silenced nearly killed me. I refuse to keep quiet and I refuse to be ashamed. 

Mental health is as debilitating as a physical illness and people need to acknowledge that it’s a real issue. In 2017 in the UK alone there were nearly 6000 deaths from suicide. Many people go through a good chunk of their lives not being diagnosed because society has had a stigma that you have to be completely crazy to have a mental illness this couldn’t be further from the truth with 1 in 4 people suffering from depression and anxiety. If you’re struggling or suspect that you’re suffering with mental health issues no matter how minor or severe go to your Dr and speak up. It’s okay to accept you’re struggling and it’s okay to need help. If you have the flu you take medication to help you feel better and you take time to rest so It’s okay to talk up and accept you need a helping hand.

If I could go back and do things over I would of spoken to a Doctor sooner and reached out more. Remember you aren’t alone despite how scary and isolating it can make you feel.

If you do not suffer with a mental illness it’s okay to not understand it but be accepting and reach out to those that you can see suffering. Refrain from using sentences like “cheer up” or “just don’t think about it” and instead find out what support you can offer them. Even if it’s just being there with a cup of a tea, a nice biscuit and a cheesy film we don’t expect you to have the answers but sometimes all we need is a cuddle.

 

 

If you think you are being affected by any of the things I have mentioned above and do not wish to speak to your doctor or you are suicidal please contact Samaritans on:

If you’d like to read up more about CPTSD you can check out the mind website here:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/complex-ptsd/#.W6qQh2hKiM8

Chocolate bourbon twists

 

There’s something really nostalgic for me about biscuits. They remind me of happy childhood memories and rainy autumn and winter days.
I’ve not eaten biscuits for years and as it’s the first day of autumn today it seemed like the perfect time to whip some up. Chocolate bourbons were some of my absolute favourites growing up and so I wanted to make some that were free from refined sugars and gluten free.

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Of course I always talk about substitutes before giving you my recipes as not all of you want or need to bake without regular sugar or gluten.So the sweeteners I’ve used are a mixture of stevia and maple syrup in my biscuits. The stevia makes the biscuits a little dryer in it’s dough form than a normal biscuit mix so don’t worry if it seems a little more crumbly than other biscuits that you’ve made. Alternatively you can use regular sugar however you’ll need to use double the amount of sugar as stevia is a lot sweeter than regular sugar. I like to pick up my stevia by a brand called Sukrin this can be found either online or some Holland and Barrett stores stock it,  however you can easily use this Whole earth stevia from Sainsbury’s.

For the ganache center I use the powdered stevia icing from Sukrin, again you can buy this in some Holland and Barrett stores or you can purchase this online. It’s always worth shopping around for as you can normally find it on a deal from sites such as dolphin fitness other wise you can use regular icing sugar. Do not use double the icing for the center. The rations need to be split evenly for the perfect ganache center.

I use gluten free plain flour (Sainsbury’s) however you can also substitute this for a normal plain white flour if you don’t need to eat gluten free.

Other info: 

I have now started adding my recipes onto fitness pal as foods. To search for them look for brand “miss bunny’s *insert recipe name* so for instance these are miss bunny’s chocolate bourbons. I have a lot of people asking me about calorie information so I have worked my biscuits out as an average. If you recreate these using the ingredients I have (and not substituting for regular sugar and flour) and using a large cookie cutter (like I did) rather than making small biscuits you’ll roughly have 34 single biscuits or 17 full biscuits with ganache center. The 17 biscuits with center is what I have worked out on fitness pal. I will slowly be adding more of my recipes to fitness pal over the next few months so if you are calorie counting and want to try out my recipes then you can add them easily.
For those of you not on fitness pal the large 17 complete biscuits equals 171 calories; 12 grams of carbs, 11 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and only 1 gram of sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 340 grams gluten free plain white flour,
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder,
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup,
  • 90 grams of stevia,
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of raw cacao (or alternatively 4 heaped teaspoons of cocoa powder)
  • pinch of salt,
  • 220 grams of room temperature vegan butter (I used soy pure)

For the Ganache center:

  • 40 grams of dark chocolate of your choice (My preference is always 72% dark ombar)
  • 40 grams of room temperature vegan butter (I used the soy pure brand)
  • 40 grams of powdered stevia or alternatively normal icing sugar.

*I iced some of my biscuits but you really don’t need to as they’re bourbons however they’re super fun to decorate with royal icing or flood icing* 

 

RECIPE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Grab a couple of baking trays and line them with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl put in your butter and stevia and mix with a spoon until blended. Next add in your maple syrup and stir. Add in your dry ingredients one by one and start mixing with a spoon, It will get to a point that you’ll need to start working the biscuit dough with your hands. The dough should be moist enough that you can roll it into a ball. Like I said in my notes earlier the mix may seem dryer and more crumbly than other biscuit doughs you’re used to as we’re using stevia instead of regular sugar. Don’t worry it doesn’t affect them when baked.
  3. Flour a clean surface and a rolling pin then grab half your mixture and put in in the middle of your flour surface. Roll the dough to roughly a few mm thick, then use your cookie cutter to cut out the shapes that you want. Alternatively you can roll your dough into the shape of a rectangle or square and cut lines vertically and horizontally to form normal bourbon shapes just make sure you have an even amount of shapes.
  4. Very carefully move your shapes onto your baking tray. I found the best way to do this was to slide a butter knife underneath the dough and then slide under a spatula and use the spatula to carefully pop them onto your baking tray. Pop your biscuits into the oven for 10-15 minutes. (usually less time for a gas oven. My oven is an electric fan assisted oven and they took 12 minutes)
  5. Take your biscuits out to cool and then grab a clean heat proof bowl. Next Melt your chocolate in the bowl. To do this I normally take a pan of hot water (just enough so the bottom of your bowl is in it) and pop on the stove top on a very low heat (to keep the water hot whilst melting the chocolate but not hot enough to boil.) Put your heat proof bowl into the pan (alternatively if your bowl is too big you can use the hot water as steam to keep it warm) and melt your chocolate. Next sieve in your powdered icing stevia and mix together, then add in your creamed butter and make sure the ingredients are completely mixed together.
  6. Using the ganache ice half of your biscuits and then add the other half on top.
  7. Enjoy your biscuits with a nice cup of tea or cup of hot chocolate.

 

 

J’adore Tu

So it’s the time of the year where the aesthetic is perfect and you can buy the cutest heart shaped foods from anywhere and everywhere! My favourite thing about valentines is how cute everything is in the shops, I absolutely adore all the red, pink and heart shaped goodies you can see in window displays. Everything is so pretty, I love grabbing bits for general decor and tea party opportunities and of course valentines presents the perfect opportunity for me to make something delicious and share a new recipe with you guys!

When I think of valentines desserts I think of all things sensual and indulgent to me the perfect food to sum this up is chocolate. If you hadn’t of gathered by now I love chocolate it’s my ultimate food guilty pleasure and it’s perfect for your valentines treat. This is one of my favourite recipes and it won’t leave your tummy feeling heavy after as it’s low carb and grain free, with roughly only 150 calories per co-nut it’s also the perfect guilt free treat.

I call these chocolate co-nuts, ultimately they’re doughnuts made from coconut flour instead of regular flour. Stevia icing makes the chocolate icing melt in your mouth and compliments the Jam center.  They’re deliciously moist, chocolatey and with a perfect balance of sweetness.

Get creative:

  • There’s a couple of different things you can change with these. I like to use Raw cacao so that I get the full benefits of the cacao bean however you can easily use cocoa instead. I also made my own fruit filling instead of using Jam, I simply simmered down frozen cherries and blueberries and used a teaspoon of coconut sugar. You can fill your co-nuts with anything you want, it doesn’t need to just be jam I’ve previously filled mine with a chocolate ganache too so get creative.
  • This recipe calls for Psyllium Husk as an egg replacement. The reason I use Psyllium husk in baking is simply because it helps add to the spongey texture making it perfect for cakes and other baked goods and not to mention it’s really good for you and has tonnes of health benefits. You can find it in health food stores, Tesco’s and on Amazon however if you’d rather use a different vegan egg replacement then pick your favourite and get experimenting, I’ve not tried my recipe with any others so bare in mind results may vary, but please let me know if you do try something new and how it turns out.
  • For the glaze I use a stevia alternative to icing sugar by a brand called Sukrin Uk you can buy this directly from their website or via dolphin fitness (which usually do deals) you can alternatively just use icing sugar. I use Sukrin stevia icing a lot in recipes, it’s the perfect alternative to icing and has zero calories, it doesn’t raise sugar levels and still has that super sweet flavour. Sukrin can be expensive so look out for deals on websites.

You will also need a doughtnut pan to make these perfect, I have this one from Amazon, but any will work (you could even make bags of small ones).

My recipe roughly makes 7-8 large double stacked doughnuts, you could just eat them in the halves however I think you should go big or go home 😉

 

Chocolate Co-nuts

Ingredients for the co-nuts: 

  • 160 grams of coconut flour,
  • 125 ml of maple syrup,
  • 4 heaped teaspoons of raw cacao of cocoa,
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder,
  • half a teaspoon of salt,
  • 8 teaspoons of powdered psyllium husk to 500ml of water,
  • 125 ml of melted coconut oil,
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract,
  • half a teaspoon of cinnamon,
  • 250ml dairy free milk (I used sugar free vanilla rice milk- which adds to the flavour)

Simple chocolate glaze: 

  • 70g of melted dark chocolate, (I used Ombar 72% dark)
  • 40g of powdered icing stevia (or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract,
  • 350ml of dairy free milk (I used vanilla rice milk)

Extras:

  • Jam of choice- I made my own by simmering down frozen blueberries and cherries with a teaspoon of coconut sugar, however you can easily just buy a jam of your choice or add a chocolate ganache center.
  • I sprinkled desiccated coconut over the top of mine which I dyed with a pink vegan food colouring. This is totally optional. You could also add chopped nuts, or sprinkles.
  • butter for greasing your doughnut pan.

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 165 degrees or 160 for fan assisted and then grease up your doughnut pan, you’re going to have to grease your pan and bake about 3 time, so keep the oven on or you can do some and then pop the rest of the mix in the fridge for tomorrow. If you haven’t already in a cup or jug mix your psyllium husk powder with water, mix with a teaspoon and leave to set for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl add your coconut flour, cacao/cocoa, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix. Make a well in the center and add your maple syrup, melted coconut oil, milk, vanilla and psyllium husk mix and then combine all together, as you mix it together you’ll notice that it’s starting to get a bit spongy, it should be sticky but easily molded with your hands.
  3. picking up parts of your mixture push it into the doughnut pan, make sure to pack it in and evenly all the way round, these won’t rise in the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, then take out and leave to cool.
  4. Once your co-nuts are fully cool turn them out onto a plate and then if you’re baking more grease up your pan again and put more in. Add your filling to one half of the co-nut and then pop the other half on top, wait until all of your co-nuts are baked and cooled before proceeding to the next step. If you are only doing some co-nuts today and the rest another alter the glaze mix accordingly.
  5. Fill up a saucepan with 2-3 inches of hot water and put it on the stove on a low temperature, pop in a bowl and place in your chocolate then let the chocolate melt fully. Then add in your vanilla, milk and sift in your powdered stevia or sugar, mix well and then drizzle on top of all of your co-nuts. Sprinkle on any toppings and enjoy!

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this recipe then don’t forget to add subscribe. Leave a comment if you made these and send me photos of your completed co-nuts. <3

 

Taco Thursday

 

I love Mexican food and Tacos are no exception, they’re a really great way of using up ingredients that are left in your cupboards and fridge making a really delicious meal. In my recipe I have changed a few ingredients up, I’ve used red and white quinoa (which was from ALDI) to add a really healthy twist to these tacos, there’s also an avocado and mango dip which combines my love for both mango salsa and guacamole with the addition of smoked tofu and vegetables as my filling.

You can pretty much use any vegetables you want to, but the ingredients that I have used are the ones I would recommend. You can also add re-fried beans or mexican salad beans (or any kind of bean that you like.) I kept mine fairly simple, but they were equally as delicious and went down really well with everyone I gave them to.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING: 

  • 125g diced smoked or normal tofu,
  • Oil for frying,
  • Half an orange pepper,
  • 1 sweet red pepper,
  • Half a courgette,
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms,
  • 2 handfuls of spinach,
  • 1 small red onion,
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato concentrate mixed in with 220ml of cold water,
  • Half a teaspoon of dried coriander,
  • Half a teaspoon of mustard powder,
  • Half a teaspoon of salt,
  • Half a teaspoon of cumin,
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder,
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (this is optional depending if you like spice or not)

FOR THE AVOCADO SALSA/GUACAMOLE:

  • 1 ripe avocado,
  • 100 grams of mango,
  • 50 grams of grated carrot,
  • 4 cherry tomatoes,
  • Chopped fresh coriander (as much as you want to taste I usually use two tablespoons),
  • pinch of salt,
  • 1 bulb of crushed garlic.
  • red Jalapenos (optional)

EXTRAS:

  • Quinoa or rice, (optional)
  • Taco shells,
  • Salad to serve.

 

This meal roughly serves 4 people and roughly takes 30-40 minutes to make.

 

 

METHOD:

 

  1. Take a small bowl and set it aside. Now halve your avocado, remove the stone and scoop out the insides, using a sharp knife cut the avocado into pieces and then put it in the bowl, you want to half mash the avocado with a back of a fork whilst leaving some pieces in there so it’s slightly chunky but creamy too. Dice your mango and cherry tomatoes into really small cubes, then add it to your avocado bowl and then grate in your carrot mixing well. Next crush or very finely diced your garlic, coriander and if you’re adding red Jalapeno’s dice them up here too, add these into your bowl with a pinch of salt and pop in the fridge.
  2.  Chop your tofu up into small cubes and set aside in a small bowl, then cut up your sweet red pepper, orange pepper, red onion and courgette into small pieces (bare in mind they need to be small enough to fit into your tacos). In a small bowl spoon in all of your spices, garlic and salt then mix well.
  3. Grab your frying pan and start cooking your tofu on a medium heat. Saute your tofu until all sides are starting to go crispy, then pop in your diced onion and peppers and keep mixing for about 5 minutes so that none of the ingredients stick and burn, add in your courgette and take two teaspoons of your spice mix and sprinkle it over the top of your tofu and vegetables and fry for a further 3-4 minutes mixing in the seasoning.
  4. If you are using quinoa now would be the time to pop it in the microwave and cook it or pop your tacos in the oven for 5-10 minutes to warm up (follow the instructions on the back of the packet). Add your spinach then pour over your tomato and water mixture and then add in the rest of the seasoning. Mix and cook until all the water has simmered down and you’re left with a thick tomato sauce covering your veges and tofu.
  5. You’re now ready to create your tacos, at the bottom of each mine I placed the salsa-guacamole, then the quinoa, then my tofu and vegetable mix. I served mine with Salad too. Serve warm and enjoy! <3

 

 

 

 

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