Pumpkin Spiced Porridge

It’s only cold here for about 3 months of the year, which means there are 12 weeks of prime-pumpkin-porridge-tasting time to be enjoyed!

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • 200g butternut pumpkin
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • pinch of pumpkin spice (I use 1 tsp cinnamon with 1 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
  • coconut or Greek yogurt and flaked almonds to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Skin and chop the pumpkin into small pieces and roast until soft and golden (approx 20-30 minutes).
  2. Place the pumpkin, spices and almond milk in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Use the ‘pumpkin smoothie’ as a base to cook the quinoa flakes, on a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously (particularly the bottom so it doesn’t stick) until the flakes are soft and the mixture is thick and creamy. If you need to add more liquid, add more almond milk as you go.
  4. Top with yogurt and flaked almonds just before serving.

Tip: The most time-consuming part is roasting the pumpkin. So, roast a large pumpkin early in the week so that there’s plenty on hand to make porridge whenever you fancy!

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Salted Caramel Protein Balls

Warning, these little mouthfuls of bliss are slightly addictive! Perfect for curbing those afternoon cravings with a healthy mixture of protein, carbs and good fats.

Ingredients (makes 8 large or 12 small) 

  • 1 small banana
  • 4 dates
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 40g of Botanika Blends salted caramel pea protein (OR use vanilla pea / whey protein and add 1/2 tsp salted caramel essence, found in the baking isle of the supermarket)
  • 1 tbsp carob powder (can use cacao or cocoa instead but carob is naturally sweeter in flavour)
  • 3/4 cup granola of your choice

Method

  1. Process the banana, dates, tahini, oil, pea protein and carob powder in a food processor until smooth
  2. Stir in the granola until well combined, then roll into balls and set in the fridge.

Note you will find it much easier to roll the balls if your hands are wet. 

Gluten Free Cacao Banana Bread

All the taste of chocolate and banana bread without the nasty hidden sugar! Adapted from Sarah Wilson’s iQuitSugar gluten free banana bread recipe with the added deliciousness of cacao.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of yogurt (I used plain Chobani but coyo or flavoured greek yogurt also works)
  • 1/8 cup cacao nibs

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a loaf pan with baking paper.
  2. Mash the banana together with the yogurt and the oil.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Eat while still warm with your favourite peanut butter on top!

Sassy Shakshouka

I bake these ahead of time and freeze them for the perfect quick, protein-loaded, ‘throw in the microwave and then eat in the car’ style breakfast while I’m rushing to work of a morning!

Baked eggs with mushroom, cherry tomato, spinach and seeds 

Makes 2 servings (of 2 eggs each). Preheat the oven to 200*C. Grease the ramekins with olive oil, then line with a small handful of spinach. Place 2 button mushrooms and 2 cherry tomatoes on top of each ramekin, followed by the eggs (1 each in a small ramekin or  2 in a large). Sprinkle with 1 tsp of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, then bake for 10 minutes until the egg white is cooked through.

Baked eggs with broccoli, peas, beetroot and macadamia dukkha 

Makes 2 servings (of 2 eggs each). Preheat the oven to 200*C. Grease the ramekins with olive oil, the roughly chop the broccoli florets and place at the bottom. Add 1/8 cup frozen peas in each ramekin, then 1 baby beetroot finely sliced. Top with the eggs and a sprinkle of dukkha, then bake for 10 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through.

Breakfast Bowls – an update

As someone who works long and busy hours, sometimes without a meal break, I am an advocate for having a healthy start to the day regardless of what shift I’m working. If that means eating oats and yogurt before work at 9 pm then so be it!

I am a huge fan of the breakfast bowl (and breakfast in a jar for that matter), because why have just boring old processed breakfast cereal when you can have something much more filling, with more texture, more protein and more flavour, without all the hidden nasties?

I like to keep my yogurt plain because I enjoy the tartness of it, and I tend to use Chobani 0.5% fat plain natural yogurt because of the protein content. However, if you’re looking for something sweeter, just add a drizzle of honey or sweetener of your choice to the yogurt in each of these recipes, or use a brand that you enjoy. If you’re dairy intolerant or vegan I highly recommend the Luz Almond range which taste much nicer than the soy alternatives I’ve tried!

To thicken the yogurt to make a pudding-like consistency, I add pea protein powder (which also helps to keep me full for longer).

A few of my recent favourites;


Yellow Overnight Not-Oats 


Mix 1/4 Lupin flakes, 2/3 cup plain natural yogurt, 1/8 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and leave soak overnight. Top with whatever you like, but I chose flaked almonds, nutritional yeast (from The Source Bulk Foods) and freeze dried mango pieces.


The Pink and Green Scene 


2/3 cup of plain natural yogurt swirled with 2 tsp Matcha Maiden matcha and 2 tsp Just Blends freeze dried dragon fruit powder, topped with flaked almonds, buckwheat and the Coles ‘Power and Go’ seed mix (which includes linseeds, chia etc).


Choc Beetroot 


2/3 cup plain natural yogurt mixed with 2 tsp raw cacao and 2 tsp Healthy Life beetroot powder, topped with almonds, walnuts, cranberries, buckwheat and strawberries.


Matcha Apple Ginger


2/3 cup plain natural yogurt mixed with 2 tsp Matcha Maiden Matcha, topped with green apple, flaked almonds, Bask & Co granola and pieces of Ginger Party ginger.


Choc Greens 


2/3 cup plain natural yogurt mixed with 1 scoop Isowhey vanilla pea protein, a pinch of stevia,  1 tsp greens powder and 1 tsp matcha, topped with tigernuts , cacao oats+chia mix from The Chia Co, cacao nibs and a squeeze of Sweet Freedom Choc Shot (a fruit based clean cacao sauce).


Peanut Butter Jelly Time 


Blend 4 large strawberries with 1/3 cup coconut water, then mix with 1/4 cup white chia seeds and leave set overnight to make a strawberry ‘jam’.

Mix 2/3 cup plain natural yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla pea protein, 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter and 1 tsp maca powder, then swirl with the strawberry mix and top with smooth peanut butter.


 

HEALTHY STRAWBERRY SUNDAE FREAKSHAKE! 


For those who grew up in Queensland, you will no doubt be familiar with the Ekka Strawberry Sundae. A glorious tower of strawberries, Lick vanilla icecream, Lick strawberry icecream, whipped cream and strawberries, nestled in a crunchy cone and served at the Royal Qld Show (colloquially known as “The Ekka”) to raise money for the life changing research of the Prince Charles Hospital foundation.


My healthy strawberry sundae freakshake is a protein-packed tribute to this beautiful beast, one of my favourite Ekka childhood memories! 

Ingredients (makes 1) 

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla pea protein 
  • 4 strawberries 
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder 
  • Stevia to taste 
  • 1 x healthy muffin or donut (make your own or I used the vanilla muffin mix by 12Health)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla Chobaniau yogurt 
  • 1/2 tablespoon freeze dried strawberry powder (or you can just use strawberry yogurt) 
  • Sprinkle of puffed quinoa
  • 1/2 tablespoon goji berries  
  • Strawberry to perch on top 

Method 

  1. Blend the almond milk, pea protein, maca and berries until smooth. 
  2. Pour into a jar and balance the donut on top. 
  3. Swirl the yogurt with the strawberry powder, leaving some pink and some white. Dollop on top of the donut and decorate with quinoa, goji and a fresh strawberry.