Fudgy Choc-Banana Brownies (flour free)

Fudgy Flour Free Choc-Banana Brownies

These deliciously easy to make flour free fudgy brownies require just 4 ingredients!

At approximately 100 calories per flour free brownie and a whole lot of goodness including:

  • magnesium
  • antioxidants
  • potassium
  • healthy fats
  • low GI carbohydrates
  • protein

These sweet treats are the perfect 3pm pick-me-up…
Find that spring in your step when the afternoon slump hits!

It is important to snack smart. Foods that support and regulate healthy blood sugar levels will ensure you continue on your way feeling content, headache free and full of the kind of  energy that lives on throughout your busy day.

A good quality snack should not be high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats but it should contain a healthy balance of quality healthy fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

Simple Fudgy Choc Banana Protein Brownies (flour free) Recipe

3 medium, overripe bananas (the riper they are the sweeter they are)

1/2 cup smooth pure almond butter, or any other pure nut butter (no added salt, sugar or nasties)

2 tablespoons cacao powder

¼ cup Prana Chocolate Protein

How to prepare and cook your brownies

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, line and grease a small loaf pan.

In a microwave friendly bowl or small saucepan on the stovetop, melt the almond or other nut butter. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, add banana, nut butter and cacao powder and mix well with a beater (if you have a kitchen aid use this to mix for a smooth consistency).

Transfer the brownie mixture into the pre-greased pan. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the brownie from the oven and allow to cool before slicing into pieces (this will ensure it holds together).

Cut into approximately 12 slices and store in the fridge for later enjoyment.

Why else are these brownies so awesome?

They:

  • contain no added sugars, refined sugar free  (all the sweetness come from the natural sugars in the bananas and the stevia in the protein powder)
  • have no nasty additives
  • contain no added saturated fats (just the healthy fats contained in natural nut butters)
  • are dairy free, meaning they are vegan friendly
  • gluten free, meaning they are perfect for coeliac and gluten intolerant (ensure that you select only products that are labelled gluten free if coeliac)

 

 

Keto Buzz: What is it all about?

The Keto Buzz

The buzz word in the diet realm currently seems to ring ‘Keto’. There are so many FAD diets around and so many that have come and gone over the many years that people have been ‘weight’ conscious. Most diets have their pros and cons and it is evident ‘diet’ is not a one size fits all protocol and the ‘Keto diet’ is no exception.

So, what is it?

There are several forms of the ketogenic diet geared towards different people including: Standard ketogenic diet: Very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat. Cyclical ketogenic diet: Phases of higher-carb reloads with majority ketogenic days (5:2). Targeted ketogenic diet: Carbs are consumed around workout times. High-protein ketogenic diet: The standard Keto diet with additional protein.

The most common however, is the standard very low-carb, high fat concept, where protein is left at a moderate intake. The diet is time consuming and leaves people open to obsessing over their ‘macros’. Counting total carbohydrate intake is the aim of the game. You can see how this may become problematic for those with eating disorders or addictive behaviours.

The goal is less than 50g of net (total minus fibre) carbs per day. In doing this, you are working towards the primary target of regearing where energy is derived from. Therefore, as glucose is our main energy source on a normal diet, our bodies will begin to utilise or create other energy sources, ‘ketones’ which are produced in the liver from the breakdown of fatty acids, essentially accelerating fat metabolism and weightloss.

Possible Benefits

– Ketosis has beneficial effects on blood sugar and may, benefit ‘some’ of the diabetic community along with other related blood sugar dysregulation conditions.

– It has been shown to benefit some with neurological disorders (epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s).

– It has shown benefits in sustaining healthy blood lipid levels for cholesterol control (when the correct fats are also consumed)

– Supports happy hormone levels and other hormonal related conditions

– Effective for some who wish to lose weight, if done properly.

On the flipside if poorly executed or with a lack of professional guidance, nutritional deficiencies can arise, hypoglycaemia may present, a temporary energy loss may leave one unable to live a normal life and too much weightloss may present.

What I suggest… Do lots of reading and research before you jump into any diet regime and seek the guidance of an extensively trained professional who can educate, support, guide and monitor your health.

Dietary Fats are Healthy!

Dietician Or Nutritionist Dietary Fats

Well to a certain extent. When we consider the various types of dietary fats that present within our diets, unfortunately for the Western Diet, saturated fats or ‘bad’ fats and omega 6 are in higher proportion than beneficial, anti-inflammatory omega 3 healthy fats. Omega 6 another dietary fat converts to what is called arachidonic acid in the body, this is pro-inflammatory and disease promoting. Saturated fats are found in most packed and processed foods, take away foods, fried foods, some cooking oils, meats and dairy.

HEALTH SATURATED FATS

In small amounts stable saturated fats have shown some benefits to our health, such as those found in coconut oil (caprylic acid and lauric acid a medium chain triglyceride). The fats in coconut oil do not burn or rancid when cooked and are therefore more stable for cooking purposes.

COCONUT OIL

Although the jury is still out on the health benefits of coconut oil, lauric acids has shown some promise for enhancing metabolism, acting as a direct energy source due to their immediate absorption, improving skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and cradle cap on babies. It is considered to assist in anti-bacterial and anti-viral processes.

CAPRYLIC AICD

Caprylic acid, another saturated fatty acid found in smaller amounts in coconut oil has also shown promise for anti-bacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory benefits.

PALM OILS

Other palm oils on the other hand are less stable releasing free radicals, particularly when heated and are said to be pro-inflammatory and disease promoting. Because they are cheap, they are used in many consumable items. Palm oils may promote heart health risks, weight gain, elevations in cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaques.

RED MEAT & SATURATED FATS

The saturated dietary fats found in red meats can also cause concern for cholesterol and heart health. Limited intake of fatty red meats should be limited. Choose lean cuts of meats and extra lean meats such as kangaroo and venison. Aim for 1-2 red meat free days per week. You can achieve iron and protein status through a range of different foods. Speak with your nutrition professional on how to meet this goal without the additional saturated fats.

HEALTHY FATS BENEFITS

Healthy fats form an essential part of a healthy, anti-inflammatory and metabolism enhancing diet. This is because healthy fats have a structural and protective role in the cells of our body, organs, hormones and tissues including our hair, skin and nails. Healthy fats help quash the free radicals that are produced through normal metabolic processes and through our environmental and dietary influences.

OMEGA-3 (Essential Fatty Acids)

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to be low in most Western diets. These polyunsaturated fatty acids can be found in oily fish, nuts, seeds and some oils. Omega 3s support reductions in pain and inflammation, improvements in mood, anxiety and depression, regulate blood glucose levels, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, reduce cholesterol, and oxidative damage and much more. Fats form part of our cellular membranes, particularly in the brain. To protect cognitive function, healthy fats are essential. Unfortunately, these fatty acids are not stable at high temperatures and therefore lose their nutritious nature if over-heated.

MONOUNSATURATED

Monounsaturated fats such as those found in avocados, some oils, nuts and seeds are also important protectors. These fats, like omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to assist in reducing inflammation, depression, insulin resistance, ADHD symptoms and preventing heart disease. Not to mention their sources are delicious!

One could go on and on about the benefits and pitfalls of different types of  dietary fats but one thing we can be clear on is we need them in our diet in sufficient amounts for various body functions.

Simple Sugar-Free Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Who doesn’t love banana bread right? Well now you can enjoy a delicious slice of banana bread without the guilt. This recipe is completely sugar and flour free (apart from the natural sugars from the bananas) meaning lower carbohydrate, leaving room for more nutritious ingredients.

This recipe is also dairy free and gluten free.

Banana Bread

2 medium bananas, ripe

3 eggs

2 tbsp coconut or olive oil

Water

½ cup xylitol

2 cups almond meal or flax meal

1 tbsp baking powder (gluten free for those avoiding gluten)

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 c walnuts chopped (optional)

 

Preheat oven toOnline Nutritionist 180 degrees fan forced. Oil a loaf pan.

Use a shaker or two cup measuring cup for wet ingredients and a bowl for dry ingredients.

Mash bananas in a separate bowl with a folk and put into the 2 cup container. Mix or shake.

Add all wet ingredients to the bananas and make it up to two cups by adding water.

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add wet ingredients, beat for 2-3 minutes, stir in walnuts if using them.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a folk inserted comes out clean.

Allow to completely cool and cut into 1cm slices and wrap in alfoil and sandwich bag for work.

Store in freezer for longer term consumption.

Minty Cauliflower Fried Rice

Minty Cauliflower Fried Rice

Cauliflower is extremely versatile and can be swapped out for cheeses in baked dishes or for rice.

Not to mention it is extremely nutritious!

Minty Cauliflower Fried Rice Recipe

1 head large cauliflower chopped in a blender or grated to resemble rice.

I added ¼ cup of mint into the blender but you can shred it and mix it through if grating.

1 cup thinly chopped green spring onion

2 cups mixed green, yellow, orange and red capsicumClinical Dietitian

250g roasted pumpkin cubed (optional)

½ head broccoli broken up into tiny florets

4 button mushrooms or other Asian mushrooms to mix it up

4 garlic cloves diced

1 onion diced

1 chicken breast roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper and cubed after being cooked.

2 tbsp. good quality tamarind soy sauce.

5 anchovies chopped up (you don’t taste them but they are optional)

Black pepper to taste

A handful of pepitas

Handful of cashews

 

Add garlic, onion, caClinical Nutritionpsicum, mushrooms into a wok with 2 tbsp olive oil and sauté until fragrant.

Add cauliflower mint rice mixture and mix through until evenly distributed. 

Add in broccoli, diced chicken, anchovies and pepper. Stir through.

Add in the tamarind soy sauce and stir through until the whole batch turns a slightly brownish colour, as pictured.

Serve in a shallow bowl topped with pepitas and cashews.

 

 

Clean Orange, Poppy Seed & Pistachio Muffins

Orange poppy seed pistachio muffins

We all love muffins and they are often a convenient and yummy snack option. However, they often come with a hefty, less than nutritious caloric profile and this can impact both our waistline and overall health. Thankfully, there are raw ingredient options available to us to boost their nutritional profile and reduce poor quality calories.

Clean Orange, Poppy Seed & Pistachio Muffins

 

Ingredients

 

100g pistachios (unsalted), & an extra 1 ½ tbsp. chopped (for decoration).

100g almond flour/meal (if you don’t have any on hand, put 50g almonds in a food processor and grind down)

50g coconut flour.

60g rapadura sugar (or xylitol if you are looking to cut down on sugar)

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch sea salt or Celtic salt or Himalayan salt

Zest of one orange + juice of 1 fresh orange.

1 tbsp. poppy seeds, plus 1 tsp additional for decoration

60mL almond milk

4 lightly beaten large eggs

3 tbsp. walnut, hazelnut or almond oil (or olive oil if neither are available to you)

1 tsp vanilla bean paste/extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

 

Method

 

Preheat oven to 180⁰C. Line 10 spaces of a muffin tin with muffin cases.

Place 100g of pistachios in a food processor or blender and process until fine.

Place ground pistachios into a large bowl and stir in other dry ingredients as well as the orange zest.

Squeeze orange juice into a measuring cup and add almond milk up to 175mL. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and add eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cases, top with designated decorative pistachios and poppy seeds.

Bake for 25-30 mins or until a fork or skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool.

Transfer into an airtight container for storage in the fridge or freezer if left for more than 4 days.

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