Best ever chocolate protein energy bar

Oh, my, goodness. I can’t believe I actually made these. They are so amazing and will rock your world if you are into physical activity, missing delicious treats, just need something to get you through the day or want a dessert! Yes, this is the all around awesomeness recipe!

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Make them with glucose and they will serve you as a fantastic workout / hiking energy bar and with zylitol for a snack on a regular day. If you are withdrawing from sugar the high level of protein and fats will curb your sugar cravings!

And…. drum roll… You can also turn them into this delicious treat inspired by Aloha and Naked Treaties (via Sara Wilson). Now, how to make these amazing little things…

I can't believe it's not good for me cups

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE – DIABETIC FRIENDLY

Ingredients:

Chocolate mix (makes one square block approx 15x15x3cm):

50 grams of unsweetened chocolate (If you cant find it easily where you live, you can use 40 grams of cacao/cocoa powder and 40 grams of cocoa butter – It just doesn’t taste as decadent. Alternatively, use Lindts 90% – from memory it only has around 6-7% sugar)

20 grams of Zylitol (diabetic friendly natural sweetener)

Seed and nut mix (makes approx 700 grams in total – you only need 100g for the amount of chocolate above, I just always make a large portion while I’m at it because I use it for other things too. If you only want to make 1 portion – just divide the measures below with 7, but really it ain’t worth it ;))

2 1/2 tbsp peanut butter (chunky or smooth, to your liking)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup linseeds

1/2 cup chia seeds

2 cups of chopped nuts (I use a mix of hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews and almonds)

1 cup of large coconut chips

3 tbsp oil (coconut or other healthy oil – this is only to make the cacao powder stick)

1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder

1-2 cups of puffed rice, oats or similar

EXTRA: If you are using it as a workout snack, instead of Zylitol, add 40 grams of glucose (or more depending on how hard your activity is). This way you will get energy release at different speeds and keep your energy levels up all the way. I had 2x2cm square every 20 minutes on my recent bush hike/run and was still energetic at the end 🙂

TOP TIP: Including hazelnuts will give the bars a taste of Nutella!!! The more you use, the more of the flavour you will get. Yes, just try roasted hazelnuts in the oven, your house will smell like Nutella…. mmmmm…… Nutella….(okay I will stop saying Nutella now).

Directions:

Turn your oven to 160C (320F) so it heats up whilst you prepare your nut/seed mix.

Get a medium/large bowl and chuck in all your seeds, nuts and coconut in it.

Nuts n seeds (watermark)

 

Add the oil to the mix, stir it around so it covers nicely. Add your chocolate and cinnamon powder. Give it another good stir so that you get an even coating and spread on a baking paper and chuck it in the oven for 6-10 minutes (depending on how finely you chopped your nuts and what your oven is like. Let it sit to cool it for a bit.

Seed mix, spices, oven (watermark)

Melt your chocolate in a water-bath (same method as in this recipe) or in the microwave (just be careful not to nuke it – stop when half of it is melted, take out and stir and leave the other half to melt slowly on the kitchen bench, still in the same container). Add your glucose or zylitol (they look very alike, it’s zylitol in the photo below). Stir. Add peanut butter and stir again.

chocolate mass (watermark)

Add 100g of the seed/nut mix and mix until all of it is evenly distributed.

Now line a container with cling film, then add linseeds so that the finished bar will have seeds on the bottom and top (great for workouts and hikes where you don’t want the heat of your fingers to melt and get chocolate on your fingers). Add your chocolate / seed mix. Drizzle more seeds on top. Wrap the cling film to keep the shape you want the bars to take and put it in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

Boxig it up (watermark)

Boom – ready to eat!

Or…… Turn them into a delicious blueberry-coconut-cream treat:

See the recipe for the coconut cream filling here (i used Zylitol instead of rice syrup and cocoa butter, less as it goes harder when cold, instead of coconut oil) but roughly it looks something like this (just made with the flesh from one coconut (about 3/4 cup)):

coconut mass (watermark)

And then you just pipe it into my protein bar cups and top with a blueberry. Scrumptious!

Finishing the cups (Watermark)

If you would like to see more gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

Healthy chocolate peanut butter snack bars (no-bake, super easy)

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Your biggest problem if you make these? To keep yourself/your partner/family from devouring them too fast!!! I have to hide these and only bring out a portion everyday for them not to be inhaled (we use them as lunch box / work treats, well, and other other time we find an excuse to eat them). Now, how to make them….

DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

50 grams of unsweetened chocolate (If you cant find it easily where you live, you can use 40 grams of cacao/cocoa powder and 40 grams of cocoa butter – It just doesn’t taste as decadent)

40 gram of glucose

2 1/2 tbsp smooth peanut butter (runny)

100 grams of my granola, smashed up into smaller pieces

Directions:

Melt your chocolate in a water-bath (same method as in this recipe) or in the microwave (just be careful not to nuke it – stop when half of it is melted, take out and stir and leave the other half to melt slowly on the kitchen bench, still in the same container).

Whilst the chocolate is melting, measure out your granola, glucose and peanut butter. When the chocolate is completely melted pour it into a bowl.

First steps

Add glucose and peanut butter. Mix well. (If you are using cocoa powder, sift that into the glucose first, mix well, then add the melted cocoa butter and peanut butter).

Next steps

Add your granola and mix until all the chocolate is evenly distributed.

Last steps

Now all you gotta do is scoop it into a container lined with baking paper, press it down until it’s nice and firm and pop in the fridge or freezer (15-30 minutes) to set. Boom – ready to eat!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Snack nuts – salted, spicy and sweet

These roasted savoury and sweet nuts are great to prep in advance and keeps really well in an airtight container. perfect for work (or school) snacks!

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DAIRY FREE – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Salted nut mix

200 grams raw mixed nuts (I used almonds, cashews and brazil nuts)

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Spicy cashews

200 grams raw cashew nuts (but you can use any nuts)

1 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp onion (or garlic) powder

1/4 tsp chili powder (or more or less depending on your taste buds – this is mild to medium spicyness I’d say)

Sweet roasted almonds

200 grams raw almonds

1 tsp vanilla essence

20-40 grams sugar-free white chocolate (optional, the vanilla spiced roasted almonds by themselves are delicious), unsweetened chocolate or if in a pinch, Lindt 90% only has 6.7% sugar in it.

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 175C (165C fan bake / 350F).

Measure out your nuts. For the two savoury recipes, add the oil on top of the nuts and stir with a spoon until they are completely covered, then drizzle you salt or spices over and stir again. For the sweet roasted almonds, add your vanilla essence to the almonds and stir.

PicMonkey Collage - cashews blog

Now, spread the coated nuts on a baking sheet and pop  in the oven for approximately 6-10 minutes (in my oven it took 8 minutes). Let the savoury nuts cool down and box/bag them. They will last for quite a while (longer if kept in the fridge).

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If you don’t want to add chocolate you just finish and bag them too. If you want to add the extra part, melt your chocolate, let it cool to the thickness you prefer. Then you just pour it over the almonds in a bowl, mix and spread them back on a baking sheet and let them solidify (or stick them in the fridge/freezer for a short period if you are in a hurry).

Done! Ready to enjoy whenever you feel like it.

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

Choccy treat balls

These delightful choccy treat balls were inspired by a recipe from my friend Tina. Traditionally they were just 3 ingredients (dates, cacao and coconut oil) but I added in liquids (water/orange juice) to make them smoother and softer with additional orange and mint respectively. They went down a treat with everybody at work 🙂

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

With the size I choose, I made 32 balls – 16 of each flavor. Please note that since a medium Medjool date contains 7.7 grams of fructose, the total content for this recipe is 77 grams. If you make 36 balls, that is just over 2 grams per ball. I try to stay below 15 grams per day = 7 balls.

Ingredients:

10 medium Medjool dates (These are very soft which is what you need but you can probably sub for others if you can find some really soft ones, then you probably just need to put in extra dates as Medjool usually are a little bigger than your average date. I buy organic loose dates in my local New World in the fresh veggie section, but dates can otherwise be found in bags in the isles next to sultanas etc)

20-24 tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder

2 tsp coconut oil (or rice bran oil, but you might need to add a little more cacao at the end if it gets too sticky – or, if you are not lactose intolerant, melted butter)

1 tsp mint essence (or any other essence you can think of)

45 ml water (3 tbsp)

50 ml (3 tbsp + 1 tsp) freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp (approx the juice from half a medium sized orange)

Toppings (E.g. chopped nuts and desiccated coconut or whatever else you have in your cupboard)

Optional: ‘Nutella‘ or other chocolate spread (this recipe takes only 5 min if you have some peanut butter)

Directions:

Pit all the dates and place them in a bowl with 8 tbsp cacao and all the oil.

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Combine and knead with your hands until the “dough” is well mixed and smooth (or pop in a food processor).

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Now divide the dough in two equal portions and place in two separate bowls.

Orange balls: Add the orange juice and 6-8 tbsp of cacao (put less cacao in first and then stop when it has the consistency you prefer). Knead/combine.

Mint balls: Add the mint essence, water and 6-8 tbsp of cacao (put less cacao in first and then stop when it has the consistency you prefer). Knead/combine.

Roll each portion out into a long roll and cut into 8 pieces. Then shape into a ball and cover in your favorite toppings (I choose chopped almonds for the orange balls and desiccated coconut for the mint balls).

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You can either finish there, or inject some filling, I made some with ‘Nutella“.

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Now your balls are ready to eat straight away or keep in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge. Enjoy!

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If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Peanut butter cups

I just stumbled on a recipe from Sarah Wilson’s book I Quit Sugar on chocolate butter cups (great book by the way, for anyone else on a sugar-free journey :)). That made me think, that this would be another good use for the fudgy chocolate I made the other day!!! Homemade healthy peanut butter cups – yum!

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

Makes around 12 cups.

For the chocolate – follow the recipe for Fudgy Chocolate on one of my other posts.

The only other ingredient is peanut butter. Either you can buy some (make sure you check the labels – lots of them have added Palm Oil and sugar in it – I buy one called 100% Nuts which is exactly as it says on the label, only nuts). Or even better, make your own (I do this when I have time, it’s cheaper as well).

Variations to this recipe:

There is no end to the flavors and substitutes that you can make. As someone else commented on my fudgy chocolate recipe (thanks Anne) – you can swap the vanilla essence with mint essence! You can also substitute the peanut butter with any other nut butter you can think of – or, how about adding in homemade Nutella, white chocolate, mashed banana, or anything else your creativity might inspire – do share if you think of something new!

Directions:

Make the chocolate mix and tip it into something which is easy to pour from (I used my measuring cup). As soon as you have stopped stirring the chocolate it will start separating. This is actually what I really like about this recipe. The ‘liquid’ part will harden into crunchy chocolate whilst the ‘thick oozy’ part will shape into chewy fudgy chocolate. Use this to have some fun. Pour the two different densities into separate containers. I poured in a little liquid in all the cups first. Now pop it in the freezer for 5 minutes.

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Take it back out the freezer (don’t leave it for any longer or the rest of your chocolate mix will get to dense to pour). Now spoon a little peanut butter in the middle of each cup. I choose to add a little peanut oil to my peanut butter to make it runny as you bite into the final product (but this also means that you will get a flat line of it as in the top picture). If you want more peanut butter in your cup and for it not to touch the sides, all you have to do is not add any oil. Then it will be dense enough to dollop and form a ball, rather than spread out.

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Now pour on a layer of the thick chocolate and wait for it to spread out evenly. Then pour on a finishing layer of the liquid.

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Then, pop the tray in the freezer and let it set for 30-60 minutes. Your peanut butter cups are now ready to use and will have a crunchy layer on bottom and top with soft peanut butter and chewy chocolate in the middle. You can keep them in the freezer for storing OR in the fridge if you are eating them within a week (regardless, they taste best when they are at fridge or living room temperature depending on your taste – they take about 15-30 minutes to ‘defrost’ when they come straight out of the freezer). Enjoy!

If you would like to see more recipes like this you can always follow me here (via email, see top right on this page) or on Facebook.

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Fudgy chocolate

This recipe was a little bit of luck. I had run out of dextrose to make chocolate chips for another recipe (mint chocolate chip ice cream – will post later this week), so I used glucose syrup instead. Rather than hard and crunchy, this chocolate turned out decadent, chewy and fudgy! This chocolate can be used for anything – add as chips in ice cream, cupcakes or cookies or just eat as a treat.

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VEGAN – GLUTEN FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

100 grams cocoa butter

3 tbsp glucose syrup

2 1/2 tbsp cacao (or cocoa)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:

Measure out your cocoa butter.

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Then chop it up and melt over a water bath. Then add the glucose syrup whilst stirring and keep stirring until it has dissolved as much as possible (it will separate a little bit and the syrup will stay at the bottom. You may find that it doesn’t dissolve completely, that’s okay, it will still turn out fine).

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Take off the heat, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir some more.

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Then pour into a container (lined with a baking sheet) or make into chips or other decorative  shapes (just keep in mind that if you go too thin the end shape will bend at room temperature due to it’s fudginess). It will naturally separate into layers of liquid and dense chocolate (as seen by the different brown colors in the photos below. I love the different texture in bars etc. However, if you want more fudgy, chewiness rather than crunch, add more syrup and chocolate or reduce the cocoa butter.

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Then freeze until it has set (10 min – 30 min) and chop up and use for whatever purpose you desire! Or, you can keep it in the freezer for whenever you have a craving for it – after 10 seconds out of the freezer it has softened a little bit and you can munch away (depending on the thickness you may have to be patient a little longer if it’s completely frozen – the thicker you go, the longer it takes to ‘defrost’). Enjoy!

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5 minute fluffy mini pancakes

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I love pancakes in every form and shape and have tried a lot of gluten-free recipes. They have all been okay but have been a bit on the dry side. These are nice, moist (sorry, can’t think of another word) and super fluffy. They are delicious on their own but for a treat I top it with jam, apple sauce or strawberry compote with fresh fruit. This recipe serves 2 regular people for breakfast if you add fruit and an egg on the side.

GLUTEN FREE – DAIRY FREE – LOW FRUCTOSE – PALM OIL FREE

Ingredients:

2 bananas, mashed (I mush mine while still inside the peel to save time)

2 eggs (or you could try to add another banana or “flax seed egg” to make it vegan)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

4 tbsp buckwheat flour

1 handful of blueberries (excellent too if you have blueberries which got a bit old and wrinkled, NOBODY will know)

TIP: Top it with raw boysenberry jam, apple-sauce (either shop both natural, no added sugar, or home-made), fresh fruit, a little glucose syrup or strawberry compote.

Heat up a pan to medium to high heat. Combine all the ingredients and spoon onto the pan. Turn when the mixture starts to bubble slightly, take off the pan 10 seconds later. Done!

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This is what I served for my husband and baby today (Good Friday):

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If you would like to see more gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes like this you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

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