Tag Archives: Healthy

Macadamia & Wattle Seed Butter

Macadamia Wattle Seed Butter_6089_wm_1x1

I have not posted anything in a couple of weeks and for this I apologise.  I have a number of things I would dearly love to bake, make, and post for you but life has again placed itself in my path.  But I will return to baking very soon.

As some of you know, I have attended some fantastic courses in making chocolates and pralines at the brilliant Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School in Melbourne.  I have had the time of my life and I have learned so much.  It’s been so great, I have signed up for some more classes!  If you would like to see some of the amazing chocolates and pralines we made, you can view them on the Facebook page.

But it has taken me away from baking and playing in my kitchen and posting new recipes.  Over recent weeks my father has been unwell and so I’ve been distracted by that too.  But I will be getting back to business as usual this week so there should be some posts coming through very soon.

I had some wonderful ideas for recipes to post for Australia Day, which is today.  Some wickedly good and some wickedly healthy too.  But as I’ve not had time to make them in time, I thought I should at least post up something to commemorate today.

Unlike some, I do not think of Australia Day as a commemoration of our early European (English) settlers arriving by ship over 200 years ago.  I think of it as a day to celebrate the coming together of Australians as a nation.  Strictly speaking, Australia became a nation on 1 January 1901 so this anniversary is a few weeks behind, but hey, what’s a few weeks between friends?

Like any nation, there are moments in our history of which we can be proud and moments that make us hang our heads in shame.  There are some who claim that those who migrated here from other parts of the world since the 1780s are not truly Australian, that only the indigenous people of our nation have the right to call themselves Australian.  I believe that all of us who call this beautiful country home have the right to call ourselves Australian, for even our indigenous Australians crossed over from other lands, albeit thousands of years ago.  We are essentially all migrants and yet all Australian, and all fortunate to live in such a beautiful country.   As is often said, we are all different but underneath it all, we are human and we are all the same.

It occurred to me earlier today that although the recipe I’m sharing is simple, and hardly even worth a blog post … it brings together two quintessentially Australian foods.   Macadamia nuts and wattle seeds.
Both foods are indigenous to Australia.  They are both amazingly delicious as well as being healthy.  Macadamia nuts are fully of healthy mono-unsaturated fats and nutrients while wattle seeds punch above their weight in protein and micronutrients.  Together they are nothing short of divine.

Whether you process the macadamias raw or lightly roasted is purely up to you, and a matter of personal taste.  I prefer to process them raw as the flavour is delicate and beautiful, and a pinch of sea salt really adds depth.

Anyone who has trawled through the recipes on this site will know that I love roasted wattle seeds.  That magical chocolate-hazelnut-coffee flavour they impart is sublime.   They are available online for those of you outside Australia.  If you cannot find them, you could substitute a little pure vanilla.  Use vanilla seeds or vanilla bean paste for the best flavour.

This literally takes only a few minutes to prepare.  It is the shizz on toast, on vegetables, on fish, on fruit, or eaten with a spoon.  It makes a fantastic alternative to butter, or other nut butters 🙂

Wishing you all a very Happy Australia Day.  I will see you all really soon with some new recipes!

Makes 1 x 250 gram jar

Ingredients
250 grams macadamias, raw and unsalted
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted and ground wattle seeds
sea salt q.b.

Directions
If you wish to roast the macadamias first, lightly roast them for 5 – 8 minutes at 180℃.  Keep an eye on them and move them about on the tray every couple of minutes.  Allow to cool completely before proceeding.  This step is optional and unnecessary but it’s a matter of personal preference for flavour.  I like to make my macadamia butter raw as I like the flavour.

Place the macadamias in the bowl of a food processor and process until it is processed to a smooth paste.  Add a generous pinch of sea salt, to taste.  Add the wattle seeds and pulse briefly to distribute.  Transfer the butter to a clean jar.

Stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for a long time.  I doubt that will be necessary though 😉

10 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Fillings, Jams & Preserves, Low Carb, Nuts, Special Diet

Lupin Protein Bread

Lupin Protein Bread_6073_wm_1x1

Anyone who follows Chocolate Chilli Mango on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram …

wait!  hey, that’s a great idea … do it!  🙂

But, yes, if you do, you will have noticed a steady stream of photos about all the fantastic chocolates I’ve made in my chocolates and pralines classes over recent weeks.  I’ve had a blast, but I’ll leave all the gushing about chocster heaven for another time … or the Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram (see??? do it!)

Spending all day slaving over a tank of chocolate, sometimes several, making fillings, molding and dipping does not make you crave chocolate.  It leaves you seriously hungry for some substantial healthy fare.   So I’m still eating healthy and making my protein breads every few days.   I was so taken by the success of making muffins with lupin flour and I’m still getting requests for low carb baking that I thought, why not a full on, no holds barred, take no prisoners lupin bread?   Would it work?  Would it be better than those wimpy attempts at adding lupin flour to wheat bread you can buy in the supermarket?

Would it also be gluten-free?  Yeast free?  With no added vegetable oils or icky ingredients?

Would it be high in dietary fibre?  High in protein?  Low in fat just as a bonus?

Could I possibly make it delicious?

Is brilliant too strong a word?  I’d be going for genius but hey, let’s be humble.  This is brilliant!

The lupini bean is a legume and has been identified as a potential allergen, as are peanuts and other legumes.  If you have a peanut or legume allergy, you might want to exercise caution.  However, if you are OK with lupini beans and lupin flour, this bread is fantastic.

It’s got a light open texture and a lovely sweet nutty flavour.  The colour is amazing, almost as golden as polenta!  I used egg whites in the recipe, but if you use whole organic free-range eggs, you might want to don a pair of sunglasses before slicing into this yummy loaf.

This bread is fantastic with both sweet and savoury foods.  I’m currently enjoying it with cheese, both hard and soft cheeses, including ricotta and cottage cheese and sharp grana padano.  It is delicious topped with butter, nut butters, jams, yoghurt and fresh fruit, salad and chicken, mustard, salmon, grilled vegetables, bacon, eggs, anything.

As I’d just opened a fresh pack of hemp seeds, I threw a few in to the loaf.  OK, now we’re tipping the scales into genius territory … it works.  It is sensational to be honest.  I’m guessing you could use chia, pumpkin, flax, or any seeds you like and it would work.  Just for extra goodness and some texture and flavour.

If you are low-carbing, and I know many of you are in your quest to lose body fat in 2013 (don’t cave, it’s only January!), then this bread could be for you.

I hope you enjoy it.  I’m loving it.

Seriously, I’m never buying bread again.  It’s just too easy and delicious to make a gluten-free loaf full of goodness at home.

Go ahead, make this bread!

Lupin Protein Bread_6075_wm_1x1

Makes 1 loaf  (21cm x 10cm loaf tin)

Ingredients
315 grams egg whites (or 6 large eggs)
110 grams lupin flour (I use this one)
35 grams unflavoured whey protein isolate (I used Professional Whey NZ WPI or substitute whey concentrate, or rice protein)
15 grams coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Optional Additions:
20 grams hulled hemp seeds or substitute about two tablespoons of chia, flax, pumpkin, or sesame seeds, or whatever you like.

*If you prefer to make this bread without protein powders added, simply omit the whey protein from the recipe.  Substitute an extra 35 grams of lupin flour or 12 grams of coconut flour instead.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Grease a loaf tin lightly with coconut oil spray (or PAM) or line the tin with silicone paper, if not using a silicon mold.

Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix or whisk together until blended and the batter is smooth.   The batter will be fairly thin but the whey and coconut flour will absorb a great deal of moisture during baking.

Transfer to the prepared loaf tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.  Do not over bake this bread or the loaf will dry out.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Store, well wrapped, in a freezer bag in the fridge or freezer.  It will last for up to a week, stored in the refrigerator.  It will last longer if you slice it and store, wrapped, in the freezer.

Lupin Protein Bread_6076_wm_1x1

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for both the plain and hemp seed versions, with all macros based on the ingredients as stated.

I used egg whites for this recipe, but obviously whole eggs will work extremely well.  Whole eggs would also provide a host of more micronutrients and make this bread even more golden, if that is possible!

Lupin Protein Bread_macros_plain version

Plain Version

with Hemp Seeds

with Hemp Seeds

25 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Breads & Quickbreads, Low Carb, Protein, Protein Bread, Special Diet

Apricot Almond Low Carb Muffins

Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6062_wm_1x1I get so many requests for low carbohydrate recipes, I wish I had a dollar for every time I get asked.  I’d be a bazillionaire!  It does speak volumes about the popularity of low carb diets though.  For some, it’s about losing body fat and maybe some weight.  For others, it’s a lifestyle choice due to health factors like Type II diabetes, food intolerances, or carb sensitivity.  For others, it just makes them feel good.

Whatever the reason, there is no need to feel as though one has to miss out much on foods that are typically high carbohydrate.  Breads, cakes, snacks … there are so many options.  Nut flours and lower carb flours make life more nutritious and lower carb without deprivation.

One such flour that is gaining popularity but is perhaps less well-known, is lupin flour.  Lupins are a legume and popular in some Mediteranean cuisines.  Unlike many other legumes, lupins are quite low in carbohydrates while containing healthy omega fatty acids, a whopping dose of dietary fibre, and they pack a solid punch of protein.  There has been a lot of commotion about the potential for lupin flour use in breads to boost nutrition and give greater satiety thereby aiding weight loss, as well as it’s ability to help lower cholesterol and provide a range of nutrients.  Bread makers are starting to make lupin flour breads and they are gaining in popularity.  That’s all good.

But ultimately, I say yay because it’s high in protein, low in fat and carbs and high in dietary fibre.

Lupin beans are about 45% protein and 30% dietary fibre, and have negligble carbohydrate.  That is awesome.

100 grams of lupin flour contains:

1365kJ / 362kCals
39 grams protein
5.5 grams fat (0.1 gram saturated)
11.5 grams carbohydrates (2.9 grams sugars)
31.3 grams dietary fibre

It is also gluten-free.

For.  The.  Win.

Right?

On the downside, being a legume, it is likely that it may cause problems if you happen to react to FODMAPS, specifically fructans and galactans.  In particular, it’s likely to contain galactans as most legumes do.  I have yet to see it on a list of FODMAP foods, but it’s a reasonable assumption.  But that is not to say that it will cause someone a problem.  These things are highly individual.  So it might be worth checking out.

OK.  So, how does this lupin flour bake up then?  Well,  I like to go easy early on trying out a new flour so I went for muffins.  I’ve wanted to make my mum some low carb healthy muffins and these really hit the spot.  She likes her muffins fruity and is a big fan of the wheat free muffins I make for her, especially those with almond flour.  They have a lovely fall-apart, flourless texture but are not heavy or stodgy.

Apricots are in season now and apricots and almonds are a great combination.  You could substitute whatever fruit you like but be aware of the impact on the carbohydrate count.  One usually discounts fruit when thinking about a low carb option but these muffins prove you can enjoy a fruity muffin without a carbohydrate blow out.  Alternatively, you could leave out the fruit and just make them vanilla, or add some chopped up 100% chocolate or spices, or anything else you fancy that meets your low carb requirements.

Great, so where do I buy this lupin flour, CCM?  Well, I don’t know about elsewhere but here in Australia, Lotus Foods make a really good lupin flour that is widely available in health food and organic shops.  I have yet to see it in a supermarket but I suspect it’s only a matter of time.  You can also get it online.

I have used a granulated stevia based sweetener in place of sugar.  You can substitute your preferred sweetener, knowing that the amount in the recipe is equal to the same amount of sugar, so please substitute accordingly.

They are sugar-free, gluten-free, lower in fat than most muffins, and have a good dose of protein per serve, without adding any protein powders.  These are not suitable for a low FODMAP diet, however, but watch this space … I also follow a low FODMAP diet so the likelihood of a suitable version is high 🙂

They taste fantastic!  I hope you enjoy them too.

Macros are provided below the recipe, as always 🙂
Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6065_wm_1x1

Makes 10

Ingredients
80 grams almond meal
100 grams lupin flour
65 grams Natvia (or substitute your preferred sweetener or sugar, equal to 65g sugar)
2 teaspoons baking powder
140 grams apricots (2 large), diced
2 large eggs
125 millilitres almond milk (or substitute your preferred milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Line 10 muffin molds with muffin liners and set aside.
Mix together the almond meal, lupin flour, sweetener, and baking powder in a bowl.  Make sure you break up any lumps.  Toss in the diced apricots.

Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and vanilla bean paste.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix lightly with a fork.  It’s okay if the mixture is a little lumpy as these are muffins.  Do not over mix the batter.  Pour the batter into the 10 lined muffin tins.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen, golden, and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.
Apricot Almond LC Muffins_6066_wm_1x1

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for the recipe as stated above.  Any variations and substitutions will, of course, vary the macros to some degree.

Apricot Almond LC Muffins_macros.jpg
Apricot Almond LC Muffins_183928_wm_1x1

11 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Breakfast, Fruit, Muffins, Nuts, Protein, Protein Muffins, Special Diet

Coconut Protein Bread

Coconut Protein Bread_6050_wm_1x1

More protein bread.  More protein recipes.  Well, yes.  Part of me getting off to a good start in 2013.  This is good, yes? 🙂

Also, there are likely to be some traditional dessert type recipes cropping up here soon, what with the merry-go-round of birthdays and such that will start in a few weeks here at home.  Plenty of time for that … so for now, I’m going to share with you some more of what forms part of my daily repast.

Coconut bread.  Coconut Protein Bread to be precise.  A low-fat and moderate carbohydrate bread that is both high in fibre and protein.   It is great with both savoury and sweet toppings so a good basic protein bread to have on hand.  Easy to make, you just throw in all your ingredients and off you go.

This bread does contain protein powder and I know some of you have asked “Well, I don’t use protein powder so can I substitute more flour or something else in its place?”  The answer is YES, YOU CAN.  In this bread you can substitute more coconut flour for the protein powder and still have bread that is relatively high in protein and delicious.

This is great toasted and spread with some coconut butter or fresh butter.  It also makes a lovely French toast, topped with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit, made into sandwiches, and is amazing topped with your favourite healthy chocolate spread or some melted and drizzled 100% chocolate.   Serve it with fish or chicken dishes or your favourite curry, anything that loves coconut.  It has a distinctive coconut flavour and a light texture.

Coconut Protein Bread_6058_wm_1x1

Served warm, with coconut butter 😀

It is a proper bread though, not a cake baked in a loaf tin, OK?  This is not cake, people.  So for those of you who want something sweet instead, I have included the Sweet Coconut Bread version as well.  For those of you who want a gluten-free bread to eat as proper bread, make toast and bread shenanigans, this is for you.

The macros are included below the recipe as usual.   It is gluten-free and suitable for anyone following a low fructose and fructan diet.  If you substitute for the protein powder, it will also be lactose free.

Ignore the photography as I’ve had to take these photos at night and we all know that always ends in tears, mostly mine 😉

Enjoy!

Makes 1 small loaf  (21cm x 10cm loaf tin)

Ingredients
156 grams egg whites (or 3 large eggs)
156 grams whole eggs (3 large eggs)
55 grams coconut flour
20 grams unflavoured whey protein isolate (I used Professional Whey NZ WPI or rice protein)*
20 grams unflavoured micellar casein (I used Professional Whey Micellar Casein or rice protein)*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

*If you prefer to make this bread without protein powders added, simply omit the whey and casein powders from the recipe.  Substitute an extra 25 grams of coconut flour instead.

Directions
Preheat the oven to 180℃.

Grease a loaf tin lightly with coconut oil spray (or PAM) or line the tin with silicone paper, if not using a silicon mold.

Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix or whisk together until blended and the batter is smooth.   Transfer to the prepared loaf tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until risen and a skewer, inserted into the centre, comes out clean.  Do not over bake this bread or the loaf will dry out.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  Store, well wrapped, in a freezer bag in the fridge or freezer.  It will last for up to a week, stored in the refrigerator.

Coconut Protein Bread_6053_wm_1x1 Coconut Protein Bread_6051_wm_1x1

Variation: Sweet Coconut Bread
This is a more cake-like bread and is richer from the addition of fats and sweetener.  You can add chocolate chips or chunks to this sweet bread, shredded coconut, or some fresh berries, banana, mango, or passionfruit, or any fruit that goes well with coconut for you.

Ingredients
As per the recipe for Coconut Bread but with the following additions and substitutions:

125 millilitres extra virgin coconut oil, melted
65 grams coconut sugar (or honey, coconut nectar, or your preferred sweetener, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt only
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or 2 teaspoons lemon or lime zest (optional)

Add these ingredients along with the others to the mixing bowl and blend until smooth.  Proceed as per the recipe above.  This bread does not need to be stored in the refrigerator although I would recommend you do this in warmer weather.  It should otherwise keep well for several days if stored at room temperature, in an airtight cake tin.

Macronutrient Profile
I have included macros for both the Coconut Bread and Sweet Coconut Bread recipes, using the ingredients specified above.

The macros for the sweet version do not include any extra additions such as fruit or chocolate.  They just include the addition of coconut oil and coconut sugar and other basic ingredients specified.

Coconut Protein Bread

Coconut Protein Bread

Sweet Coconut Protein Bread

Sweet Coconut Protein Bread

 

 

11 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Breads & Quickbreads, Protein, Protein Bread, Special Diet

Banana Chocolate Protein Bars

Banana PB Protein Bars_6040_wm_1x1

It’s time … remember I made those Strawberry Ripe protein bars a while ago, using freeze-dried fruit?  They are the bomb.

The thing with protein bars is that you really want to be able to pack them into your lunch box or bag or wherever you keep your snacks or post workout stuff when you are on the go.  That is what makes freeze-dried fruit so amazing.  You get a big flavour punch from whole fresh fruit (no additives) and all the goodness, but they’re not perishable as fresh fruit tends to be, right?  Plus, when ground into a powder, they help make the texture of your protein bar fantabulous and your bar can travel more safely with you.

There is mounting evidence on this blog of my love adoration worship of banana and chocolate together.  I know a lot of you share this love.  So here is one of my simple, fast, but absolutely yummilicious protein bars.  Nothing fancy, just a banana bar with some oats and a dollop of peanut butter, coated in 100% dark chocolatey goodness.

I have never tried it but I would guess you could substitute banana chips for the freeze-dried banana.  Or simply use a good quality banana flavoured whey protein, although you won’t really get that real banana flavour.  I’ve actually made these bars using only unflavoured whey as well as a combination of unflavoured and banana flavoured whey.  Both are great.  I did not add any sweetener as the banana is sweet enough for my taste.  If you use a flavoured whey, it will already be sweetened so take that into account.

The small amount of peanut butter in the bar does not give the bars a strong PB flavour.  If you want a stronger flavour you can add more but you will have to add more oats to balance out the texture and use less almond milk.  Alternatively, a small amount of peanut flour (if you can get it!!) would be great.

They are sticky but that’s what makes them so awesome when you eat them.  The texture is not dry.  They are delicious and almost creamy!  If you don’t like chocolate, finely chop up some dry roasted peanuts and roll the bars in that to coat them for a Banana PB bar.  Wow.

I love using Willie’s Cacao 100% Chef’s Cacao for this, especially the Madagascan Sambirano Superior.  But a good Pralus 100% or any good 85% plus bar will do.  The intensity of the thin chocolate coating with the banana protein filling is amazing.

If you love the idea but not the fruit, substitute another favourite freeze-dried fruit or even coconut.  Just remember that all these changes will impact the macros one way or another.

I hope you love these.  They are one of my favourite post workout bars.  I gave a piece to my father to see if he could tell it was a protein bar … he thought they were banana chocolates!

That has to be worth points on some scoreboard somewhere 😀

Store them in the refrigerator or even freeze them if you are so inclined.  Wrap them up and pop into your lunch or workout bag.  I love them straight from the fridge on a hot day.

Macros are included below.

Enjoy!

Banana PB Protein Bars_6027_wm_1x1

Makes 4 bars

Ingredients
40 grams freeze-dried banana* (I used Absolute Fruitz)
70 grams unflavoured or banana flavoured whey protein isolate**
30 grams rolled oats (gluten-free, if required)
25 grams 100% peanut butter (or peanut flour
20 – 30 millilitres almond milk (I used 30 ml.  You could also substitute coconut or other non-dairy milk)
40 grams 100% chocolate, for enrobing the bars (or q.b. … this is about what I used to coat them all over)
sweetener, to taste (optional)

*If you cannot get freeze-dried banana, try using banana chips!

**I’ve tried this with 70 grams of this one and a combination of 40 grams of this with 30 grams of this one.  The latter gave an extra banana oomph.  You could substitute with peanut butter flavoured whey, if you can get that too.

Directions
Place the freeze-dried banana in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground.  Add the whey and rolled oats, and process until the mixture is fine.

Add the peanut butter, almond milk, and sweetener (if using) and process until the mixture comes together.   It will be fairly sticky.  Toss in a little extra whey powder or oat or peanut flour, if required.  Cover and refrigerate until it firms up.  Divide the mixture into four equal portions and form into bars.   Alternatively, you can immediately divide the mixture into four equal portions and form in to bars and then place on a tray, lined with silicone paper, in the fridge until they firm up enough to coat.  A little trickier than doing it the other way round but it’s up to you.

Place the dark chocolate into a microwave-safe plastic bowl and microwave for about one minute.  It might need another 15 seconds or so.  Stir the mixture until melted.  Keep stirring the mixture as it cools slightly.  You can also melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (a bain marie).  Once melted, remove from the heat and stir until it cools slightly.

Dip or coat each bar in the chocolate and set on to a tray, lined with silicone paper, to set completely.  You can set the bars at room temperature or place in the refrigerator for ten minutes or so until the chocolate sets.

Now, you can temper the chocolate and coat the bars for a shiny finish with a nice snap to the coating, if you are like me and prefer them this way.  To do this, I generally temper a large quantity of chocolate and use a dipping fork to dip and coat the bars.  I still end up having used about 40 grams of chocolate, as you only need a think layer of chocolate.

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge.  They are great straight from the fridge.  Wrap well if packing into a lunch box or gym bag.

Banana PB Protein Bars_6039_wm_4x5

Macronutrient Profile
I’ve included macros based on the recipe as stated and using the ingredients I specified above.  If you make variations to the bars, you will have to account for those, of course.

Banana PB Protein Bars_macros

4 Comments

Filed under All Recipe Posts, Chocolate, Protein, Protein Bars, Special Diet