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Chic choc cake

I was invited out for a meal with friends of which one had his birthday. I hadn’t bought a gift so I thought…what nicer way to wish him a happy birthday than with a cake….hmmmm? I had this crazy idea to make a dark delightful chocolate cake, so I did. And I am thinking it was a good idea, because I have to say it was pretty tasty…well for me it was delicious – for those used to sugar and sweet it is an acquired taste, as there is no added sugar, only natural fruit sweetness.

Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans, which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate’s health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants.

Recent studies suggest that the antioxidants in food may reduce the risk of many kinds of illness, from heart disease to cancer. Dark chocolate and cocoa contain high levels of cell-protecting antioxidant compounds. Two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than four cups of green tea, 1 cup of blueberries and one and half glasses of red wine.

For further reading regarding the benefits of dark chocolate please follow this link: http://www.allchocolate.com/health/basics/

Chic Choc Cake

Ingredients

  • 4oz Almond flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2oz Chopped nuts
  • 2 oz Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 40g Dark choc
  • 1/2 Cup coffee (strength as preferred)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cocoa powder
  • 10 Stoneless dates

Directions

  • Preheat fan assisted oven to 170°c
  • Two 10cm dia. cooks rings as cake moulds on a flat baking tray lined with baking paper. Butter the rings in preparation
  • Measure and mix all dry ingredients
  • Rub the chopped butter into the dry ingredients
  • Blend eggs, vanilla extract, 1/2 cup of coffee and stoneless dates
  • Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water (medium heat, till chocolate begins to melt then remove from heat)
  • Add the dry mixture to the cooled melted chocolate, then the blended mixture and finally fold in the coco powder
  • Spoon mixture into the cooks rings 3/4 full and place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes

Filling and topping

  • Dark chocolate pieces (around 6 squares)
  • 1/4 oz Butter
  • 10 Strawberries, topped

Directions

  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water (1/4 full)
  • Once the cakes are cooled and removed from the rings, add a generous amount of the melted mixture as your filling between the two cakes, then pop one on top of the other
  • Spoon the mixture over the top and smooth over the sides of the cake
  • To finish add topped strawberries to give it that sophisticated look. You could lightly dust some cocoa powder or even add a sprinkle of desiccated coconut to the top.

Allow to cool or even pop in fridge for 30minutes before serving.

Although it is not primal, this really does taste great with classical vanilla ice cream, or simply add a spoon of double cream to take the bitter edge off.

pro-balls mark II

Not a million miles away from the first recipe, however I have used almond butter instead of peanut butter as it has much more beneficial qualities.

If you are feeling like making this a real treat add a handful of dark chocolate chips to the mixture.

Pro-balls Mark II

5 oz Almond butter

2oz Desicated coconut

1.5oz Mixed seeds

Further desicated coconut to coat

Directions

Measure all of the ingredients and add to a bowl. Mix first with a fork then with clean hands until thoroughly mixed.

Taking a teaspoon of mixture, roll into a ball, dust with coconut and place into a storage jar or container.

Depending on the size of each ball, you should get around 20 of these delicious treats from the mixture.

Store in the fridge and enjoy as a space filler, post workout snack or just because!

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Enjoy munchykins! X

Green and Ham soup (primal)

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Today is a chilly one in the UK. A little grey, a little drizzly…all in all a soup day! I wanted to make something that includes a monton of greens with some delicious pulled ham in order to give it a full to the brim total taste explosion. I am quite certain it delivered!

I added kale to my recipe today besides about ten other things. This curly, frizzy, crispy looking cruciferous veggie that not many of us think to buy, is full of antioxidant properties for combating inflammation, some cancers and happens to have cholesterol lowering benefits, especially when steamed. The fibre-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. How nice!

For further information follow this link: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38

Green and Ham Soup

Ingredients

The stock

  • 1 1/4 Litres filtered water
  • 2 Gluten free, organic vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 Scallion onions or 1 leek
  • 2″ Chunk ginger root
  • 4 Large cloves garlic
  • 100g Pancetta chopped

The soup

  • 100g Kale
  • 75g Watercress
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • 160g Shelled peas
  • 1 Courgette/zucchini
  • 1 Broccoli
  • Grab of chives
  • Hand of mint leaves and stalks

To finish

  • 150g pulled ham hock or equivalent
  • Knob of organic butter
  • Tablespoon of organic double cream

 

Directions

  • Add the water and the vegetable stock cubes to a large soup pan (I use my wok) and bring to the boil
  • Add the chopped scallions, ginger root, garlic and pancetta allowing to simmer
  • Whilst these flavours infuse, wash and chop the soup veggies as required and add to the stock
  • Cover with lid and allow to simmer for 30 minutes
  • Once all the flavours have had a mingle and the greens are perfectly soft, add to your blender (don’t over blend)
  • Pour the blended soup back into your pan and add the pulled ham hock, butter and cream
  • Stir through and allow to warm over a low heat
  • Pour into a bowl and if you feel like adding a finishing touch, blue cheese or shaved parmesan to finish work wonders.
  • serve…devour…feel satisfied!

Enjoy soupykins! JL x

Munch Brunch Bunch! (Primal)

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Sunday, Sunday, here again in tidy attire. You read the color supplement, the TV guide…You dream of protein on a plate, regret you left it quite so late, to gather the family round the table to eat enough to sleep…Oh, the Sunday sleep. ~ Blur

 

Ah, that Sunday feeling…no alarm clock, wake up with the natural daylight and allow yourself to steal away some time to read the paper or your book curled up in bed! Sounds good, no? Today was a great start, woke up with my own body clock (not the screaming electronic clock), FaceTime with my brother and the twins in Oz (ready for bed in their jim jams, utterly adorable), decent swim at the pool (warm up, intervals, sprints), then back home to make a right royal brunch (YUMMERS)!

I know, eggs, salmon and bread are rather commonplace on most brunch menus, however I thought I would add this delightful recipe using my own Primal/gluten free twist.

Smoked Salmon Scramble (serves 2)

Ingredients

Directions

  • I used a 10cm dia. cooks ring as a mold for my dish
  • Firstly, lay the thin slices of loaf (3 small slices was ample) and cut out using the cooks ring for your round base
  • Splash with extra virgin olive oil
  • Chop the smoked salmon into pieces and then add to the mold
  • Whisk the eggs, add the chopped chives and add some black pepper to taste
  • Heat your frying pan over medium heat add a generous knob of butter
  • Once the butter is melted add the egg and continuously stir till roughly half is scrambled
  • Remove from heat and keep stirring till an even scrambled consistency
  • Add to your dish on top of the salmon
  • Remove the cooks ring mold, add some leafy greens and another splash of the E.V.Olive oil, slice right through all layers, pop in your mouth, close your eyes and enjoy the deliciousness! Ah…it really tastes good!

Enjoy Brunchykins! JL x

Orange Choc Chip Cake (Primal)

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In the mix!

Tangtastic!…Mum is having a bit of a do! The ladies are coming over this evening for a quick bite before we all go off to the theatre! So what better way to test out my recipes. I decided to make one large loaf and an orange choc chip cake…I hope they go down well!

Oranges provide us with an abundance of Vitamin C for great antioxidant protection and immune system support, so it is not just a tasty fruit it is nutritious and a bonus for its’ sweetening properties! I found the orange makes the cake stay rather moist, whilst having a delicious amount of sweetness. A sprinkling of dark choc chips is the perfect finishing sweet touch!

Orange choc chip cake

Ingredients

  • 3.5oz Almond flour
  • 1.8oz Mixed seeds
  • 1.8oz Chopped mixed nuts
  • 2.5oz Desiccated coconut
  • 2oz Organic dark choc chips
  • 2oz Organic butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Orange

Directions

  • Pre-heat a fan assisted oven to 170°c
  • Wash one orange and put in a sauce pan covered with water. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour
  • Measure and mix all dry ingredients into a bowl
  • Measure the butter and rub into the dry mixture
  • Whisk the eggs and add to the mixture
  • Once Orange is done, put into a blender or food processor (skin and all) till blended, add to the mixture.
  • Finally mix in the choc chips
  • Spoon into a butter greased baking tray
  • Place on the top shelf of the oven for approx. 35minutes (check after 20minutes to gauge your time, or until golden brown and hollow to the tap)
  • Tip onto a cooling rack and using a fork pierce all over the top of the cake
  • Use the remaining half orange, squeeze the juice liberally over the top
  • Place the cake in a cool place, allow to cool, slice, eat, enjoy!

This really is a tasty treat! I would never guess it is free from refined sugar! It has the sweet appeal I was looking for with the moisture to match! Enjoy cakeykins! JL x

Homemade Chicken and Veggie Soup (Primal)

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There is an age old belief that chicken soup has certain powers to help when feeling under the weather, experiencing cold and flu-like symptoms or bronchitis.

Chicken soup is a traditional dish in the Jewish kitchen. The 12th-century rabbi and physician Maimonides pronounced the benefits of chicken soup to one’s health, and it has long been touted as a form of folk medicine to treat symptoms of the common cold and related conditions.

In 2000, Dr. Stephen Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center conducted laboratory tests to determine why the humble chicken soup might help colds. Using blood samples from volunteers, he showed that the soup inhibited the movement of neutrophils ( the most common type of white blood cell that defends against infection), and theorized that by inhibiting the migration of these infection-fighting cells in the body, chicken soup essentially helps reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms.

The researchers couldn’t identify the exact ingredient or ingredients in the soup that made it effective against colds but say it may be the combination of vegetables and chicken that work together.

Another study by Mount Sinai researchers in Miami also suggests that chicken soup has more than just a placebo effect. They looked at how chicken soup affected air flow and mucus in the noses of 15 volunteers who drank cold water, hot water or chicken soup. In general, the hot fluids helped increase the movement of nasal mucus, but chicken soup did a better job than the hot water, according to the 1978 report, also published in Chest. Chicken soup also improves the function of protective cilia, the tiny hairlike projections in the nose that prevent contagions from entering the body, according to a 1998 Coping With Allergies and Asthma report.

None of the research is conclusive. However, at the very least, chicken soup with vegetables contains lots of healthy nutrients, increases hydration, is soothing due to its warming effects and tastes good too.

Read more here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/12/the-science-of-chicken-soup/

Oooh er, not only does chicken and veg soup taste great any time, but knowing it is believed to have medicinal qualities has to be an added bonus!…here is my recipe:

Homemade Chicken and Veggie Soup (Primal)

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken breasts chopped
  • 1 Litre filtered water
  • 2 Organic, gluten free vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 Table sp. Organic coconut oil
  • 2 Courgette
  • 3 Stalks of celery
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Butternut squash
  • 1/2 Broccoli chopped to bits

Directions

  • I used a large wok, on medium heat to start
  • Add the water and the stock till it starts to simmer
  • Thoroughly wash, peel and chop all of the vegetables as required, then add to the simmering stock
  • Chop the chicken into small chunks and add to the soup
  • Add the Coconut oil
  • Give it a stir to mix up all the ingredients
  • Turn the heat to medium, low and put a lid on
  • Allow to simmer for 30 minutes
  • Once all of the vegetables are adequately softened you are ready to blitz or blend
  • Simply add the soup to your blender and give it a quick blast till roughly smooth (I know, sounds a bit backwards)
  • Serve immediately with a side of my primal loaf, take in the delightful aroma and enjoy!

P.s. This makes around 6-8 servings (depending on the size of your bowl), so you can keep the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days…oh, it taste great cold too!

Enjoy my soupykins! Let me know what you think! JL x

Apple and Cinnamon Loaf (Primal)

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Whilst making my bread mixture today I had a brainwave…instead of making two simple loaves why not make one normal and one fruity loaf! GENIUS! I know, no need to applaud just yet!

I have been toying with making an apple cake/loaf for a few days now, and today was my chance to try it out. Success it was and I have it on good authority (mum, again) that it tastes good, moist, just sweet enough and rather delicious with your cup of tea or coffee of a morning or afternoon!

I could and probably would normally use cooking apples but all I had to hand was a rosy apple, so I used that. It was really very simple to make and here is the recipe:

Apple and Cinnamon Loaf

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Almond flour
  • 1.5 oz Milled flaxseed
  • 1.5 oz Mixed seeds
  • 1 oz Chopped nuts
  • 1.5 oz Organic unsalted butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Red apple (pink lady should do the sweet thing)
  • 2 Tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 Tsp vanilla essence

Directions

  • Pre-heat a fan assisted oven to 170°c
  • Chop the apple into small pieces and put to one side leaving several slices to decorate the top if you like
  • Measure all of the dry ingredients and mix into a bowl
  • Measure and rub in the butter
  • Whisk and add the eggs
  • Measure and add the vanilla and cinnamon
  • Butter a loaf or cake tin
  • Add half of the mixture to the tin, spread and even out
  • Add the chopped apple to the central part leaving a small area around the outside
  • Add the remainder of the mixture on top of the apple pieces and using a fork spread and flatten
  • Add the slices of apple for decoration
  • Place on the top shelf for 15-20 min or until risen and golden in colour and hollow to the tap
  • Tip out, allow to cool on a rack and then sit down to a generous slice and enjoy!!!

P.s…I made two small loaves…so if you feel it needs more time, test with a skewer in the centre after 15 minutes and decide for yourselves!

Yummers! Enjoy cakeykins! JL x

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