Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe

 

Chocolate Chia Pudding

I love chia pudding. Apart from being one of the most Instagram-able  treats, it also packs a seriously nutritious punch. It is one of my favourite breakfasts as it is low in sugar and high in fibre, protein and good fats. I find it a great way to start the day, keeping me full until lunchtime. It also feels like a nice treat and could easily be eaten as dessert too! The good news is that chia pudding is so easy to make!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe

Serves: 1-2

Nutrition: Approximate macros based on the amount provided for  in this recipe (or one whole serving size) and the use of Sunwarrior vegan protein powder are; 31g protein, 24g carbs and 21g fat with a total of 405 calories. The recipe contains  only 2g sugar and a massive 20g fibre to keep you full and satiated! Macros stated above do not include optional added toppings.

Ingredients: 

  • 50g or approx. 4 dessert spoons whole chia seeds
  • 5g or approx 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
  • 250ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 30g or approx 1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder (I’m using Sunwarrior vegan protein at the moment*)

*The specific protein powder used may affect absorbency of liquid in this recipe, but not by much. I find that vegan protein thickens the pudding slightly more than whey protein.

Toppings: Optional – I usually choose a couple of options from the following list;

  • Berries – blueberry/raspberry/strawberry
  • Coconut Yoghurt
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Shelled Hemp
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Ground linseed

These toppings will keep your chia pudding low carb while enhancing the amount of plant-based proteins, fats and fibre in the finished meal!

Method:

  1. In a sealable container, add the chia, cacao and protein powder and mix. Next add the unsweetened almond milk and stir before placing the lid on the container and shaking vigorously. It is important that the ingredients are thoroughly mixed so that the chia seeds can evenly absorb the liquid overnight.
  2. Ensuring all of the seeds have been well mixed in the container, place in the fridge and leave overnight.
  3. In the morning, stir up and transfer the pudding to a bowl. Add your toppings. (If you intend taking the pudding with you to eat on the go then just add your toppings to the container and reseal until you are ready to eat!)
  4. Enjoy!

The Clean Coconut x

P.S. This recipe is very high in fibre (approx 20g before toppings are added!). It is always a good idea to gradually increase your fibre intake if you are not already used to eating a plant-based fibre rich diet ?

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Cookies: A Clean Recipe

cookies

I came up with this recipe last week and had to share it. These cookies are so good. I love to have them with a glass of kefir or a chocolate protein smoothie!

These biscuits are vegan, gluten free and low FODMAP too. They are a really good clean treat to have when you want something nice! As well as that they are so quick and easy to make.

Cookies: The Recipe

This recipe makes approximately ten peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Ingredients:

250g Peanut Butter (I used crunchy)

4 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Tablespoon Oats (Use gluten free oats to keep recipe gluten free)

40g Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (ground)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

Sprinkle of pink himalayan salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda and 25g dark chocolate chips.
  3. Separately, mix the wet ingredients together; maple syrup, vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  4. Combine both wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Roll mixture into small golf-ball sized balls and flatten out a little (they will flatten more when baked so you don’t want them too flat going into oven!) Place each cookie on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Ensure biscuits are well spaced apart.
  6. Use the leftover 15g of dark chocolate chips to decorate the top of the cookies.
  7. Sprinkle with a pinch of pink himalayan salt and place the tray on the middle shelf of your preheated oven.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes before removing the tray from oven to cool for ten minutes.
  9. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to complete cooling.
  10. Store in a sealed container. Cookies should keep for about a week – although my batch did not last quite that long 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

cookies

Curry: My Clean Recipe

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Friday night take-away eat your heart out!

Here is my version of a clean curry – one of my go-to comfort foods. This curry is gluten/dairy/egg free and made with whole-food ingredients.

The recipe serves three people with a generous portion. Based upon the ingredients I used, the approximate macros per serving are as follows; 400 calories, 9g fat, 26g carbs, 55g protein and 7g fibre. This does not include the added rice or cauliflower rice that you may choose to serve your curry with.

Ingredients: 

  • Coconut Oil (to cook – I use about 3grams)
  • 6 garlic cloves – minced
  • Thumb of fresh ginger – grated or finely chopped
  • Thumb of fresh turmeric – grated or finely chopped
  • One stalk of lemon-grass
  • One large onion
  • 450g chicken (about 4-5 chicken breasts)
  • 1.5 tablespoons curry powder (I use Schwartz Hot Curry Powder)
  • 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • Tin of chopped tomato
  • One and half cups of petite-pois
  • One cup (250ml) of stock (I use homemade chicken stock)
  • Generous handful spinach (optional)
  • One tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos

To Serve:

  • 1 Head of cauliflower – to make cauliflower ‘rice’ or serve with brown basmati.

Method:

  1. Melt some coconut oil on a medium-heat and add the garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric and chopped onion to the pan. Break the lemon grass stalk in half and add it too (this will be removed before serving). Allow to cook until soft, stirring occasionally – about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the thinly sliced chicken to the pan and mix.
  3. Next add the dried spices – turmeric, paprika, garam masala, chilli flakes and curry powder and mix for about two minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and place a lid on the pan while the chicken cooks. Stir occasionally to make sure chicken doesn’t stick to the pan.
  5. After about ten minutes remove lid from pan and add the tinned tomato, stock, liquid aminos and petit-pois and spinach.
  6. Bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer without the lid on a medium heat for about 30 minutes. Remove lemon grass stalk before serving.
  7. To make cauliflower rice simply wash and roughly chop a head of cauliflower, add it to your food processor and pulse until you get the consistency of rice. I usually cook this by spreading it on a baking tray and roasting for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees. Otherwise serve with brown basmati rice.
  8. Enjoy!

The Clean Coconut x

curry

My Protein Bread Recipe

This protein bread is gluten-free and loaded with lots of protein in each and every slice! It is great toasted with nut butter or used as a high-protein side to a nourishing soup. It also freezes really well, I often slice the full loaf and freeze it to use slice by slice.

protein bread

This recipe will make one large loaf, as pictured above. When one loaf of this bread is cut into ten slices, each slice provides approximately 180 calories with 17.5g protein, 23.4g carbs and 2.7g fat. One slice will also provide approximately 5.5g of fibre. As you can imagine, a slice of this bread is very filling! It makes a great pre- or post-workout snack.

protein bread
A slice of my Protein Bread toasted with almond butter, banana, blueberries and a sprinkling of bee pollen.

My Protein Bread: The Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (or use oat flour, opt for gluten-free oats if specifically avoiding gluten)
  • 2 and a 1/4 cups liquid egg whites (approx. 12 egg whites)
  • 75g unflavoured whey protein powder (I use this unflavoured whey from Muscle Food)
  • 1 cup stewed apple, blended until smooth*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Sprinkle of oats to decorate

*I usually stew a large batch of apples at a time so that I can freeze them in one-cup portions to use in this bread recipe and other recipes. This saves me having to stew apples every time I make the bread! I stew brambly apples in a little water – I don’t add any sugar.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients; buckwheat flour, oats, whey powder and baking powder. Add pinch of salt if using. Blend dry ingredients together.
  3. Whisk egg whites until light and frothy. Don’t skip this step, it really helps the bread to rise and thus makes it much lighter.
  4. Mix stewed apple with dry ingredients.
  5. Fold egg whites into the mix.
  6. Line a bread loaf tin with grease-proof paper. Transfer the mix into the bread loaf tin.
  7. Sprinkle top of loaf with oats for decoration.
  8. Add loaf to preheated oven. Cook for 50-60 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool thoroughly on a wire tray before slicing.
  10. Enjoy 🙂

protein bread

If freezing the protein bread to use slice by slice, either freeze slices separately (once already frozen they can be placed in same bag in freezer without sticking) or place a square of greaseproof paper between each slice to prevent them sticking together in the freezer. They’ll be much more accessible this way!

I’d love to know if you try this Protein Bread recipe, use the hashtag #thecleancoconut to share it on social media 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

protein bread

 

Lasagne: A Low Carb & High Protein Recipe

For this lasagne recipe I have exchanged the pasta for courgette slices and the typical calorie-laden white sauce for a high-protein, lower fat, creamy mix. This lasagne is also gluten-free. In fact, I actually much prefer this to standard lasagne!

lasagne

This recipe will make about 6 slices of lasagne depending on the dish you use. Approximate macros per slice are; 339cals, 34g protein, 11g carbs, 15g fat.

Lasagne Ingredients:

  • 500g Steak Mince (preferably organic/grass fed – I used Mullan’s Organic Farm steak mince which I got from St. George’s Market in Belfast)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 courgettes
  • 100g mushroom
  • 15 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 500ml pasata
  • 3 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 500g quark
  • 4 tablespoons very finely grated parmesan
  • 50g high protein/low fat cheese – optional* (I use Myprotein High Protein Cheese)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

*I use this particular cheese because it allows me to make my lasagne extra-cheesey without adding excess fats and calories to the recipe. However, feel free to substitute with your cheese of choice e.g. additional parmesan.

Lasagne Method:

  1. Fry the mince off in your pot – you will use the fat from the mince to cook the veg rather than using additional oils.
  2. Chop the carrot, celery and onion very finely and add to the pot along with the 6 minced garlic cloves. Add the oregano, stir and allow to cook on a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  3.  Whilst the mince and veg are cooking, slice your courgette length-ways into long strips using a potato peeler.
  4. Mix two tablespoons parmesan with the quark to make the “white sauce”. Set aside for later.
  5. Once your veg have begun to soften, add 3 tablespoons of tomato puree and stir. Next add the pasata. Turn up the heat to boil and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Tear up the basil leaves and stir into the mix. Add some pink Himalayan salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  8. At this stage, I blend the whole tomato-mix with a hand blender so that the veg etc are smooth.
  9. Slice and add the mushrooms, stir together and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes on a medium-low heat.
  10. Begin to layer the base of your lasagne dish with the sliced courgette, followed by the tomato-mix. Next add a layer of the “white sauce”. Continue layering in this manner until you have used up all of your courgette/tomato sauce/white sauce.
  11. Top your lasagne with the remaining parmesan and, if using, grated Myprotein cheese. Pop into your preheated oven and turn heat down to 180 degrees. Cook for 30 minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

lasagne

Kefir: Clever Cultures

Kefir is a probiotic, fermented milk drink which is made by fermenting milk with kefir ‘grains’. The ‘grains’ are not actually grains, rather they are a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). For the purposes of this article I will be referring to them as kefir grains. Also, this article deals with milk-kefir rather than water-kefir.

A jar of kefir grains with milk, ready to cover and ferment
A jar of kefir grains with milk, ready to cover and ferment

I’ve mentioned kefir a couple of times before. Probiotic foods like kefir have been a central part of my diet ever since I experienced amazing benefits from using the probiotic Symprove when I was experimenting with food intolerance testing. It turned out, for me, that the digestive issues I was experiencing were immeasurably improved by the use of probiotics.

After realising these benefits, I delved into lots of the research around probiotic foods. I read books such as The Good Gut by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg; who work at the Stanford University Department of Microbiology and Immunology and share much of their amazing research on the microbiome. As well as looking at the scientific research, I also came across countless anecdotal accounts from a whole host of people who had used probiotics to heal a number of ailments. I attended a course with The Cultured Club in Belfast to learn the basics of how to make kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables and from there I taught myself how to make a plethora of fermented foods.

IMG_6835
A bowl of kefir with berries, bee pollen and cacao nibs

Probiotics supplements are expensive. I love including homemade fermented and cultured foods in my diet that are loaded with probiotics for a fraction of the cost. Kefir is probably the easiest of all the fermented foods to make and I have supplied the instructions within this post!

What does it Taste Like?

Kefir grains essentially live-off and eat the sugar (lactose) in the milk you pour on top of them. Whilst a cup of milk (250ml) will contain just over 13g of sugar, a cup of kefir will usually contain less than 1g sugar (the longer you ferment, the less sugar will be left). This of course changes the calories in the milk after it has become kefir – reducing them by about 50 calories per cup. It also means that kefir tastes different than milk. It is like a more tangy or sour tasting version of natural yogurt. Sometimes, it can even be a little effervescent.

kefir, probiotics, gut health
A glass of kefir with berries

Kefir is thicker than milk, but not as thick as yogurt – it could be described as a more pourable yogurt. Some people I have given it to have said it reminded them of the butter-milk they used to drink as a child. (I’ve never drank butter milk straight so I can’t comment!) Personally, I love the sourness of kefir – and often drink it on its own, but likewise I also add it to smoothies, salad dressings, make cream-cheese and dips with it – there are endless possibilities even if you don’t like the taste of it on its own!

Kefir also contains far more probiotic strains than yogurt, which you will see on the label typically contains between 2 and 7 strains of bacteria. Homemade kefir has been found to contain between 30 and 56 strains of bacteria and yeast when tested (Schwenk, 2015, p.10). Commercial kefir can often contain much less than this – always read the label!

Preliminary results from a University of Florida microbiology class showed kefir to have 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) per millilitre – yes millilitre! Thats a lot of probiotic bang for your buck. Namely 150 billion CFUs per tablespoon! This study is still underway as they are now researching particular microbial strains present in the kefir so the final paper has not been published yet, but when it is I will link it here!

kefir, probiotics, gut health
Kefir-based salad dressing along with some lacto-fermented tomato ketchup.

I have begun to see ready-made Kefir drinks pop up in the fridges of health food shops, but it is often very highly priced – remember, once you have your own grains it will really only cost you the price of the milk you use to make kefir at home. When fed regularly with milk, your grains will last and continue to grow and multiply so you can share them with your friends and family!

How I discovered Kefir: 

The first time I tried kefir, back in 2014, it was a jar of ready-made kefir that I picked up in a health food shop. I used it to make a smoothie – in fact the photo of my very first kefir-smoothie was The Clean Coconut’s first profile picture for quite a while!

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It wasn’t until 2015 that I learned far more about kefir and decided to go looking for some grains. I went to various health-food shops asking where I could source the actual grains for making my own kefir, but to no avail. Little did I know the kefir grains were going to find me first!

Back at home I was tidying the kitchen when I found a bowl sitting on the table covered by a plate. I lifted the plate and saw some milky porridge which I assumed somebody must have been saving for later? Odd! I almost threw it out, but then I figured someone obviously left it there, covered up, on purpose.

A couple of days later and I saw that same bowl on the table, covered by the plate. God, I thought, that milk will be so sour by now! Yuck! When I lifted it to clear it though, it smelled fine. Must be a fresh bowl of porridge I thought. Why has somebody left a bowl of uneaten, cold porridge out on the table again?

Another couple of days passed and I had been talking to my mum about kefir and how I was dying to find some grains of my own – after everything I’d been telling her about it, she really wanted to try it too! In fact, she had just signed up to a series of podcasts from the Hay House World Summit and a couple of them were solely dedicated to probiotics, gut health and; kefir! What a coincidence! We listened to the amazing stories of Donna Schwenk and Chuckling Goat amongst others and were excited to locate some grains to start making our own kefir ASAP.

Back in the kitchen, my dad is at the sink with a sieve and that bowl of porridge. “Ew Dad! why have you left that porridge there all day – what are you doing with it – WAIT?? Is that… KEFIR??”

“Its a mushroom.” he replied.

“A what?”

“Its great stuff. I got it from someone at work, very good for your stomach” he added.

“Oh my God Dad – that is kefir! YOU have got kefir grains – how long have you had these?? This is exactly what we’ve been looking for!”

Turned out my Dad had been making kefir for about three weeks right under our noses! Its not exactly the most common thing to find so you can imagine how shocked I was to discover that, my Dad had some all along! I ran out of the kitchen to tell my mum and it was as if it dawned on both of us at the exact same time! Because Dad had been calling the kefir grains a “mushroom” she hadn’t clicked it until that moment either!

Following on from that my mother got to speak to Louise Hay on Hay House Radio after we had listened to all the wonderful podcasts from the World Summit. She told her how much we had learned from the wonderful probiotic podcasts and shared our little story about how those kefir grains were simply determined to find us 🙂

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Where to find the Grains

To get your hands on some kefir grains of your own, you will need to find somebody who makes their own kefir. Every time I make a batch of kefir my grains grow and multiply so I have been able to grow enough to give some to family and friends. If you really want your own kefir grains but don’t know of anywhere to source them, get in touch with me via my contact page.

 Ingredients and Tools:

  • Kefir “Grains” or SCOBY
  • Milk
  • A glass jar or ceramic bowl (not plastic or metal)
  • Elastic band
  • Tea towel
  • A plastic sieve
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Funnel (If storing your kefir in a glass bottle)

Method:

  1. Place your kefir grains into a clean ceramic dish or glass jar. I love the Kilner or Ikea storage jars for making kefir. You will need to make sure that the glass/dish is not hot – remember your grains are living, so both hot and cold extremes can kill them.
  2. Over the grains, pour some milk. I choose organic milk to make my kefir. Don’t worry too much about the ratio of milk-to-grains, the only time a problem will arise is if you don’t give them enough milk and they starve. A good rule of thumb is to use at least 250ml milk per tablespoon of grains, however you can use more  milk than this if you wish to make more kefir!
  3. If using a jar, leave the lid open. Once the grains and milk are inside, cover the jar or bowl with a tea-towel or muslin cloth and secure the edges with an elastic band so that the opening is sealed. (Beware that, especially in the summer, fruit flies may be attracted to kefir that is not properly covered and this could destroy your batch – so be vigilant about keeping it tightly covered!).
  4. After 24 hours, your kefir will be ready. You will need to use a plastic sieve (grains do not like metal – never use a metal spoon to handle them either) to separate the grains from the kefir-drink. Put the kefir drink in a glass bottle using your funnel, or into jug, and store it in the fridge. It will last for a very long time int the fridge – it won’t spoil like milk would. However, the longer you leave the kefir in the fridge the more tart it will become.
  5. Return your kefir grains to the original dish or jar you used to make your kefir. Pour more milk over them and leave for a further 24 hours before repeating the process.
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Kefir with blueberries and a Raw Rev vegan protein bar

Notes:

  • If you leave your grains fermenting for longer than 24 hours, the sourness of your kefir will increase significantly. Any longer than 48-72 hours and you risk killing or starving your kefir grains. You will know they have died because, whilst they might look okay, they will no longer ferment the milk for you. To prevent this, ensure that you feed the grains with fresh milk every 24 hours.
  • Never rinse or wash your grains with water (especially chlorinated tap water!). This can kill strains of bacteria and reduce the potency of your kefir. If you feel you need to rinse them between batches (you don’t!) then only use milk to rinse them.
  • If you don’t want to continue making kefir, or are going away on holidays, you can store the grains in the fridge, covered in milk. The coldness of the fridge will slow down the fermentation so that the grains will not eat through the lactose in the milk as quickly. You can store your grains in the fridge for up to a week on about 500ml of milk (Or at least a cup of milk per tablespoon of grains). The more milk you give them, the more food they will have so I tend to give them a bit extra when they are in the fridge. After a week has passed, you can change the milk and continue storing them in the fridge for a further week. If you are going to be away for more than a week you will need to add significantly more milk to ensure the grains will have enough to feed on.
  • When you decide to begin using your grains again they may likely take a little bit longer to ferment as they have been ‘sleeping’ in the fridge. The first time you try to make kefir with them after waking them up you may need to leave them for 48 hours rather than 24.
Kefir, probiotics, gut health, pancakes
My Protein Pancakes, served with banana, berries and a probiotic vanilla kefir-cream dip

There is SO much more that you can do with homemade kefir and I hope to share this with you in some upcoming posts. For example, you can flavour your kefir by doing a second ferment and you can separate the whey from your kefir and use it to ferment vegetables and make probiotic lemonade with it too!

You may well have heard about some of the health claims associated with fermented foods like kefir. I haven’t gone in to all the research around probiotics in this post as there just isn’t enough room! However I will discuss this in an upcoming post. Whenever I see some promising research I will be sure to share it on my Facebook and Twitter accounts!

I hope this post has made it a little bit clearer what I’m talking about when I mention kefir in my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts and pictures!

If you have any questions or if you’ve tried kefir before I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

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References:

  1. Schwenk, Donna. Cultured Food For Health. USA: Hay House, 2015.

Breakfast: How do you like your Protein & Fats in the Morning?

 

breakfast. low carb

If you’ve been following The Clean Coconut on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter you may have noticed my obsession with breakfasts similar to the one above! There is no doubt – I’m a big fan of high-protein breakfasts that are full of good fats and low in carb.

In general, I don’t tend to train in the mornings, at least not Monday-Friday, so I don’t really need carbs in the morning. I prefer to keep my carbs for pre and post workout. If I was training on a Saturday morning I would usually opt for my Proats or Protein Pancakes for a higher-carb breakfast that would adequately fuel my workout. If I’m not training in the morning though, nine times out of ten my breakfast will be low carb, high protein, with some healthy fats.

Lately I have been opting for combinations of eggs, greens and other veg, along with another protein source such as smoked salmon for my morning kick-start. I also often wash this down with a glass of kefir for a low-carb probiotic protein boost. Kefir has the consistency of a drinkable yogurt and because the good bacteria in the kefir ‘eats’ the lactose (milk-sugar) in the milk, a cup of kefir will typically contains one gram or less of sugar, compared with about thirteen grams of sugar in a cup of standard milk. Basically kefir boosts my protein intake in the morning because it has the same protein level as milk would, yet it maintains my low-carb morning time macro-nutrition because its has little-to-no sugar. Read more about kefir here. 

breakfast, low carb

Having a low carb breakfast that is high in protein and contains healthy fats also helps to prevent blood-sugar spikes and allows the insulin response to be controlled. Essentially, this helps me to feel fuller for longer and helps eliminate sugar or carb cravings throughout the day. Apart from that though, this truly is a delicious breakfast which I really look forward to! It doesn’t take very long to make and can be cooked in one pan so there is minimal clean-up when you’re rushing in the morning.

For this breakfast I have three different flavour options which I alternate between depending on which one I’m craving! You can vary the specific amounts of eggs/veg/salmon etc. to suit your own specific nutritional needs and appetite. Each picture represents one  portion for me.

breakfast, low carb

Breakfast: Main Ingredients

  • Eggs (organic, grass-fed)
  • Selection of greens and other veg, I tend to choose some or a mix of all of the following; kale, spinach, courgette, tender-stem broccoli, asparagus, spring onion, peas, mushroom, tomato, shallot. I like to have at least half my plate filled with veg.
  • Another protein source; usually smoked salmon, sometimes chorizo. You could also use chicken or another suitable protein source, but when I’m stuck for time in the morning I find the former options a lot handier! Sometimes a little bit of cheese depending on the flavour (see below).
  • Raw, organic, virgin coconut oil – to cook.

Flavour Combinations:

I usually choose from one of the following three flavour combinations when cooking this breakfast;

  1. One teaspoon each of turmeric, chilli flakes and smoked paprika (use a half-teaspoon of chilli flakes or less if you don’t want it too hot).
  2. The leaves from one sprig of rosemary and one sprig of thyme, both finely chopped along with a teaspoon of dried sage (or use fresh sage too if you have it!).
  3. One teaspoon of dried oregano, 8 fresh torn basil leaves, black pepper, extra tomato and some mozzarella. I use chorizo or parma ham rather than smoked salmon for this version.

To each of the above flavours I will also add two teaspoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, but if you can’t get your hands on that then try using tamari instead.

Adding flavour combinations like these to your breakfast really makes all the difference. It is not a struggle to eat your greens when they taste this good!

Breakfast: Method

  1. Melt some coconut oil on the pan and add in your veg. I usually start with the tougher greens like broccoli, asparagus and black-kale and then add the softer veg like mushroom and tomato etc. after a minute or two.
  2. Toss your flavouring of choice and your Bragg’s Liquid Aminos all over the veg. Allow to cook.
  3. Add in your smoked salmon or other protein source and toss together.
  4. Finally, when the veg is pretty much done, I make a space on the pan, crack two eggs open and allow them to cook with the veg. If you really wanted to boost the protein in this breakfast you could also add an additional egg white or two at this point.
  5. If you want to up the fat or fibre of this breakfast try sprinkling the end product with some ground flax seed or chia seed.

breakfast, low carb

I love a soft yolk , its my favourite part of an egg! That’s why I tend to cook my breakfast this way rather than mixing it all together in an omelette. I do make omelettes from time to time though and likewise, each of the above flavour combinations will work really well in any omelette!

So have a go at this breakfast for a week or two and see if it keeps you full for longer and helps curb those mid-morning cravings!

The Clean Coconut x

breakfast, low carb

 

 

Paleo Bites: A Chocolatey Chewy Superfood Recipe!

paleo bites

When you’re trying to eat ‘clean’ you definitely don’t need to go without a treat. I created these Paleo bites in an attempt to curb cravings in a nutritious way. They are great with a mid-morning coffee or even a matcha latte!

These bites are naturally sweetened with maple syrup and dates. They are vegan and are also gluten free. The recipe makes about 15 golf-ball sized bites. I chose to decorate them with bee pollen and desiccated coconut. These toppings are high in fibre, with bee pollen containing almost 25% fibre and desiccated coconut having about 13% fibre. Bee pollen is also high in iron and zinc and is about 16% protein.

What I love about these bites is that despite the fact that they contain lots of goodness, they still feel like a really indulgent and tasty treat and are very satisfying! So next time you’re feeling like a treat, avoid the processed rubbish with its sugar-laden empty calories and give these a go instead!

Paleo Bites: Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons Almond Flour (Ground almond)
  • 6 Tablespoons Almond Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 8 Pitted Dates (Try to get organic dates or sulphite and additive free dates as many packs I’ve seen have added sugar!)
  • 1 heaped Teaspoon Raw Cacao Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Dark Chocolate Chips (I use Plamil dark chocolate chips)
To Decorate:
  • Bee Pollen
  • Desiccated Coconut
paleo bites
Almonds form the base of this recipe, I use ground almond flour and almond butter which adds extra protein.
paleo bites
I use this organic vanilla extract from Nielsen-Massey for these paleo bites also.
paleo bites
Cacao powder is a raw version of cocoa powder. As it is not heat-treated, it retains a higher nutritional profile than cocoa powder.
paleo bites
I use this organic maple syrup to sweeten the recipe
paleo bites
This recipe also includes some pitted dates which add that lovely chewy texture.

Paleo Bites – Method:

  1. Place the dates, rice milk, maple syrup, vanilla essence, cacao powder and almond butter in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the mixture to a mixing bowl and mix with the almond flour and dark chocolate chips.
  3. When thoroughly mixed, roll into bite-size balls.
  4. To decorate, set out bowls with your choice of toppings – I really like bee pollen and desiccated coconut on these. Roll each individual ball in either bee pollen or desiccated coconut to coat. You could even leave some plain or you could try coating some in raw cacao powder, cacao nibs or crushed nuts – get creative!
  5. Return to baking tray and allow to set fully in fridge before transferring to a sealable jar.
  6. Keep stored in fridge.
  7. Enjoy 🙂

The Clean Coconut x

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Low Carb Tacos: A Raw, Vegan Recipe

 

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I first tried vegan nut tacos with walnut ‘meat’ when I undertook My Vegan Challenge back in August 2015. Many of the recipes I followed at that time were from Marco Borges’ vegan plan which was made famous by Beyonce. When I made Borges’ walnut tacos I changed the recipe slightly by using Savoy Cabbage leaves to wrap my tacos – I much prefer this as I find romaine lettuce far too messy. Cabbage leaves are much more sturdy and easier to wrap. I really loved the idea of the walnut tacos and I especially loved the low carb addition of the cabbage leaves as opposed to a grain-based wrap. After having them a couple of times I began to feel like the walnut taco filling could be made even nicer with a different combination of ingredients.

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low carb raw vegan

I decided to try my own version of the vegan nut tacos by changing up the ingredients to create a different flavour for the filling. Instead of walnuts I used a combination of almonds and sunflower seeds, as these are much higher in protein than walnuts. When I’m cooking vegan or plant-based recipes I’m always conscious of the amount of protein they provide and I prefer my version of the tacos because of the elevated level as compared with the original recipe I used. I also prefer the flavour combinations of my version!

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low carb raw vegan

The best part about this low carb recipe is how truly easy and quick it is to make! And its totally filling too. A great lunch or dinner, particularly when you are stuck for time.

Low Carb Tacos: The Recipe

Serves: Enough for 2-3 people

  • 100g almonds
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (Can be subbed for Braggs liquid Aminos or if you have neither use a half teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt).

To Garnish and Wrap:

  • Large Savoy cabbage leaves (2 per person)
  • 1/2 an avocado per person
  • 3 Cherry Tomatoes per person
  • Black pepper
  • Coriander
  • Lime

 

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients for the taco ‘meat’ to a blender or food processor to mix.
  2. Cut the thick stem out from the middle of you cabbage leaves  and arrange the two leaves on top of each other at opposite ends as pictured below;
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    low carb raw vegan

    Divide your taco ‘meat’ among the cabbage wraps and tops with chopped avocado, tomato, black pepper, coriander and a squeeze of lime.

  4. Wrap up nice and tight and cut in half.
  5. Enjoy!

The Clean Coconut x

P.S. Read more about My Vegan Challenge by clicking here. 

low carb raw vegan

 

Proats Recipe: The Clean Coconut

 

Proats

Proats, or Protein-Oats are amazing. In essence, making Proats involves combining some form of protein powder with oats, as the name suggests! I have been enjoying Proats for the best part of a year now and in that time I have perfected a fool-proof recipe for making them.I like having Proats at night if I have had a heavy weight training session in the evening. I also like them in the morning – particularly if it is cold, wet and miserable outside – they were a staple for me in January! I also like having them as a treat on the weekend with some extra yummy toppings! As well as that, they’re brilliant pre-workout for a boost of energy! So yeah, basically there is never a bad time to have Proats!

If you’re sick of your usual porridge then try out this version and enjoy a protein and fibre packed bowl of goodness! For some more inspiration on toppings follow me on Instagram or Facebook!

Proats

Proats: The Clean Coconut Recipe

This is my fail-safe, basic Proats Recipe that I always stick to. I always cook them on the hob, never in the microwave. This recipe will make a large bowl that will keep you full for ages! A bowl of these will provide about 32g of protein, 13g of good fats, 11g of fibre and just 20g of carbs. There are about 330 calories in a bowl*.

Proats

Serves: One (If you’re Greedy!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Oats (I use gluten-free oats)
  • 1 Cup/250ml of Almond Milk (Or milk of choice)
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds (Milled or whole – I much prefer whole though as the milled can give the Proats slightly more of a gel-like texture!)
  • 1 Scoop of Protein Powder (Flavour of choice. I use whey or vegan rice protein)
  • 1 Tablespoon Milled linseed
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Goji Berries (Optional)

Bonus Ingredients:

  • For even more added ‘bulk’ and nutrition without excess calories try adding in half a finely grated courgette/zucchini to turn your Proats into Zoats…I promise you won’t taste it!
  • Drop of Vanilla Extract (For Vanilla Proats)
  • Tablespoon of Cacao powder (For chocolate Proats!)
  • Drop of peppermint extract for mint Proats – especially good when combined with chocolate protein and cacao powder!

Proats

Method:

  1. Place the oats in a pot and cover with the almond milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 minutes (I get my toppings ready during this time!). If you are including the vanilla extract or zucchini/courgette add them while the oats are simmering.
  2. Remove from heat. Add in the goji berries, chia seeds, ground linseed, protein powder. Stir well so that everything is mixed.
  3. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you fancy. Some of my favourite toppings are nuts, seeds, berries, nut-butter, greek yogurt, honey, bee pollen, cacao nibs, desiccated coconut and dark chocolate.
  4. Enjoy 🙂

Proats

*Nutritional info is an approximation based on specific brands I have used and based upon use of almond milk and inclusion of goji berries in recipe. Toppings and use of zucchini or other bonus ingredients are not accounted for in nutritional info.

The Clean Coconut x