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8 Energy-Boosting Alternatives To Caffeine

When your coffee addiction is getting out of control.

7 Surprisingly Healthy Vending Machine Snacks

Because sometime chips are the only dinner option.

5 Healthy Vegan Snacks

Looking for a way to beat 3:30itis without snacking on everything in the pantry? We are sharing some of the tastiest vegan snacks even the kids would enjoy! Simply prepare them the night before and pack in an air-tight container if you’re on-the-go.

RELATED: Wholesome Treats: Raw Vegan Chewy Pecan Brownie

No-bake bites

Prepare these healthy energy balls made from oatmeal, coconut flakes, peanut butter, flax seed, cocoa, honey, chia seeds and vanilla extract. Let them cool in the fridge overnight, then serve!

5 Healthy Vegan Snacks

Zucchini chips

Indulge in a handful of healthy zucchini chips the next time you want something healthy to snack on. Add some chilli flakes over the top if you like yours extra spicy!

5 Healthy Vegan Snacks

Tomato, mint and avocado bites

Take a 5 minute lunch break to enjoy these juice bites which are made from avocado, tomato and fresh mint. Drizzle some lemon juice over the top before serving.

5 Healthy Vegan Snacks

Salt and vinegar sweet potato chips

Or you can make these crispy sweet potato chips for the kids as a healthy snack for their school lunchbox. They only require 3 ingredients and no deep-fryer!

5 Healthy Vegan Snacks

Blueberry bars

We’ve definitely saved the best until last! These raw vegan bars are made from fresh blueberries, a nutty base and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or even a sneaky afternoon snack.

5 Healthy Vegan Snacks

Images via Gimme Some Oven, Frugal Living Mom, Petite Allergy Treats, Cook Eat Paleo, Le Creme De La Crumb

Easy Gluten-Free Snack Ideas

Switching to a gluten-free diet isn’t as hard as it seems when healthy snacks (and a vivid imagination) are always on the agenda. Try some of our wholesome ideas below which are low on calories, and ideal for a busy summers day. Simply pack them in your tote, and enjoy whilst you’re on-the-go!

RELATED: 7 Ways To Avoid Gluten (In Every Situation)

No bake energy balls

A simple and healthy snack for morning and afternoon tea. The recipe only uses seven ingredients, and takes just 5 minutes to prepare. Roll them up, and store in the fridge until they harden.

Easy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Baked kale chips

Enjoy a handful of baked kale chips and drizzle them with fresh lemon and lime juice for an extra kick.

Easy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Blueberry bars

These delicious blueberry bars provide a kick of natural sugars which are perfect if your energy levels begin to slump around 3pm.

Easy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Pizza zucchini’s

Just like a pizza, only healthier! These delicious treats are gluten and grain-free, plus they taste amazing. Made with just zucchini, spaghetti sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Easy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Baked sweet potato fries

If you have a little extra time on your hands, bake (or grill) these healthy fries for lunch or dinner.

Easy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Cocoa and banana smoothie

Blend 1 tablespoon of cocoa, almond milk and 2 bananas to create this filling smoothie if you just don’t have time for a sit-down breakfast.

Easy Gluten Free Snack Ideas

Images via Gimme Some Oven, Petite Allergy Treats, Sweet CS Designs, Sally’s Baking Addiction, A Spicy Perspective, Natural Chow

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

If you haven’t tried haloumi before, then you’re just about to love it. This versatile cheese can be grilled, fried and baked to create a multitude of main meals and snacks that taste amazing. We’ve compiled a few of our favourite haloumi dishes below for extra inspiration!

RELATED: Mediterranean Haloumi Salad Recipe

Fig and haloumi canapés

Start by making these delicious canapés made with grilled figs, fresh haloumi, mint and drizzled honey over the top.

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Avocado, pumpkin and haloumi quinoa

A serving of healthy quinoa is the perfect way to balance out this lunch or dinner meal. Serve with a few slices of avocado for extra flavour, yum!

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Beetroot and haloumi sliders with chilli jam

These mini sliders are a delicious slider to serve with fruity cocktails at home. Lightly toast the bread bunch for extra crunch and serve with fresh arugula.

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Baked haloumi cheese rolls

Simply fill your filo pastry with fresh haloumi, twist and bake until golden brown. So quick and easy!

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Haloumi and watermelon salad

Try this easy summer salad idea which combines the best of sweet and savoury produce. Serve with fresh red cherries, juicy watermelon and grilled cherry tomatoes with a balsamic glaze.

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Zucchini and haloumi fritters

Try these delicious haloumi fritters with fresh zucchini for a healthy meal at any time of the day.

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Vegetable stack

For a healthy meal sans-carbohydrates, try this yummy vegetable stack which is completely grilled. Add some hummus into the base for extra flavour.

7 Healthy Haloumi Snack Ideas

Images via Tomayto Tomahto, Nadia Lim, Olive Magazine, Alessandra Zecchini, JLD Web, Gourmet Traveller, Gluten-Free Goddess

How To Make Italian Antipasti

A pre-dinner appetiser should be light, tasty and easy to prepare – even if you’re a beginner in the kitchen. Italian antipasti ticks all of these boxes and let’s face it, everyone loves a bit of Italian food.

RELATED: Make Your Own Cheese Platter

Try these yummy antipasti dishes which are appropriate as an appetiser, snack with drinks, or part of a three course meal at home.

Meat

A traditional dish is nothing without a side of meat, and this is usually salami, pepperoni and prosciutto.

Olives

Olives are a must-have if you want to break up all the heavy meat and bread on the dish. Olive tapenade, black kalamata olives and a side of hummus is always a popular choice.

Seafood

Experiment with a few different seafood styles such as smoked salmon strips, fresh tuna and sardines.

Fruit

Delicious melon and seasonal grapes taste amazing with cold meats.

Nuts

Salty nuts add a savoury side to the antipasto dish and complement any glass of red or white wine. Cashews, walnuts and roasted almonds are perfect for this dish.

Vegetables

Roast vegetables are another essential part of the antipasto dish because they are great with salty cheeses. Eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and tomatoes are the best place to start.

Cheese

Finish off a traditional antipasti dish with a soft cheese such as camembert (bring it out last so it doesn’t melt), savoury cheese such as feta and Gouda.

Image via Honestly Yum

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Snacks

Planning a fun day in the sun this summer? Instead of buying something pre-made, why not pack your very own picnic! We have a few of the best healthy snacks to entertain your guests, made from seasonal fruits and vegetables.

RELATED: Summer Beetroot Salad Recipe

Fruit kebabs

Make your very own fruit kebabs with the essentials such as strawberries, bananas, kiwi fruit, melon, and pineapple – yum!

Planning a fun day in the sun this summer? Instead of buying something pre-made, why not pack your very own picnic! We have a few of the best healthy snacks to entertain your guests, made from seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Baguette

Bring your favourite baguette bread packed with sliced tomato, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, salami and a touch of garlic to taste.

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Ideas

Berry salad

Entertain your guests with this fresh berry salad boasting balsamic grilled cherry, blueberries, goats cheese and crunchy lettuce. Make sure to add the dressing just before you serve the meal so it doesn’t make the meal soggy.

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Ideas

Melon and cucumber salad

For another fresh salad recipe, slice some fresh melon and cucumber, then season with crumbled feta and coriander. Don’t be afraid to add a few chilli flakes for an extra kick!

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Ideas

Rice paper rolls

Prep these pre-made rice paper rolls with fresh chilli sauce the next time you want to impress your guests. Simply wrap them up, refrigerate and pack them into your picnic basket when you’re ready-to-go.

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Ideas

Strawberry caprese salad

For a modern take on a traditional classic, try this refreshing strawberry salad with fresh mozzarella.

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Ideas

Asparagus and haloumi sandwiches

We’re finishing up the list with these mouth-watering sandwiches with grilled asparagus, yummy mozzarella, and lemon and mint to taste.

7 Delicious Summer Picnic Ideas

Images via By Stephanie Lynn, Say Yes, Two Peas and Their Pod, Bakers Royale, Gourmet Traveller, How Sweet Eats

Top Snack Hacks To Beat The 3pm Slump

Do you find yourself throwing back a double shot latte and munching on a chocolate bar come 3pm? It’s usually around this time when concentration levels plummet and those pesky sugar cravings drop in to say hi. What’s a girl to do besides ditch the diet in favour of a quick fix, right? Wrong. Put that mars bar down, sister, because you’re headed for a crash in t-minus 60 minutes!

RELATED: 5 Healthy Desk Snacks

“The key to balancing energy levels is balancing blood sugar levels,” says Obela nutritionist and ambassador Teresa Boyce. “You can achieve this by including quality protein and healthy fats within main meals and snacks” – not by indulging your chocolate cravings. Sorry, ladies.

It all starts with breakfast says Teresa. “If you start the day with a highly refined, carbohydrate heavy breakfast (like most commercial breakfast cereals) you are more likely to have a sugar crash later in the day. One of the best breakfasts you can eat includes eggs with vegetables served with a slice of quality heavy seeded toast. This protein rich breakfast will help keep you full and blood sugars stable throughout the day.”

While that’s all well and good, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get hungry in-between meals – and it’s usually when you’re ill prepared and sprinting out the front door early morning that regretful diet decisions are made later on in the day. So, what’s a girl to do?

“Most convenience stores and supermarkets now provide great grab and go healthy snack options,” advises Teresa. “A few of my favourites include: raw nuts, mini full fat cheese slices, small tins of tuna, protein balls and Obela Hommus to Go (an easy grab and go hommus with wholegrain rice crackers!). These are all now widely available and are great for people on the move who want to grab something convenient yet healthy.”

Top Snack Hacks To Beat The 3pm Slump

If you do have time to prepare a few snacks before rushing out the door, the nutritionist and ambassador recommends raw vegetables, hommus and green tea as the ultimate afternoon pick-me-up. “This snack makes me feel nourished and full until dinner,” reveals Teresa. It’s also the perfect way to get in a dose of antioxidants and a serve of vegetables, she says. Alternatively, “keep a few Obela Hommus to Go’s in the fridge, they’re dairy and gluten free and easy to throw in your bag – a no brainer!”

The most important snack hack, according to the health guru, is to listen to your body and eat only when hungry, with a particular emphasis on quality high-protein options. And as for how many times a day you should be munching in order to keep those energy levels elevated, it’s dependant on individual exercise and health goals.

“I usually recommend 1 to 2 snacks per day for my office workers and 2 to 3 snacks a day for my active sports based clients. Basically, you should space meals and snacks around three hours apart; the key to optimal energy levels is not continuous snacking but rather quality balanced main meals and a few protein rich snacks,” advises Teresa.

For all of those caffeine feigns out there, you don’t necessarily have to skip on your beloved coffee fix, either (crisis averted!). Although, it is in your best interests to avoid all stimulants at least 5 hours before bed, says the nutritionist. “In moderation, coffee can actually offer health benefits; coffee becomes an issue when you start relying on it to get you through the day… Tea contains around one third the caffeine of coffee and is a better option as an afternoon pick-me-up.”

What are some of your snack hacks?

Image via Shutterstock

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Can’t quite keep away from snacking at your desk? Get rid of all the garbage in your drawers, handbag and other compartments and try some of these healthy snacks instead. They are sure to keep you feeling fuller for longer and taste amazing!

RELATED: Healthy Snack Alert – Hummus

Dark chocolate

A few pieces of dark chocolate is the best way to curb those sugary cravings when 3pm hits. Choose anything higher than 85 per cent since it’s healthier for you and isn’t packed with nearly as much sugar. Enjoy a few pieces with your green tea to unwind in the afternoon.

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Blueberries

Not only are blueberries a healthy snack, they’re also easy to find at all supermarkets! Simply rinse them with water and keep them at your desk the entire day.

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Edamame beans

Enjoy a handful of crunchy edamame beans the next time you’re feeling peckish. They are packed with fibre, protein and antioxidants, which all contribute to a healthy body in the long-term. Sprinkle with sea salt or even use them in your salad!

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Unsalted pistachios

Swap the potato chips for a handful of healthy pistachio nuts. Choose the variety which are unsalted since they taste even better raw and roasted. Yum!

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Dried fruit

Any type of dried fruit including mangoes, pineapple and apple is a great snack to stash on your desk or in your handbag. It doesn’t need refrigerating, tastes amazing any time of the year and is so yummy!

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

What are some of your healthy desk snacks?

Images via Nuts, City Nut and Candy Online, The Kitchn, Gimme Some Oven, Super Food Lab

Fresh Ricotta and Blueberry Ciabatta Recipe

Who doesn’t love a fresh punnet of blueberries on a lazy Sunday morning?

This recipe takes tasty ricotta cheese, crunchy ciabatta bread and a handful of blueberries to the next level. You could also substitute them for fresh strawberries or raspberries. Or both!

RELATED: Healthy Blueberry Pancake Recipe

Ingredients

1 large oval ciabatta loaf

500g ricotta cheese

1 cup fresh blueberries

Honey

Mint leaves

Method

  1. Slice the ciabatta into 4 slices, and grill on both sides until golden brown.
  2. If you want to make the bread extra infused, grill it with the ricotta over the top. If not, spread it generously after it’s cooled down.
  3. Top off with blueberries, mint, and drizzled honey for extra flavour. Yum!

Image via Heather Bullard

5 Healthy and Easy Mezze Recipes

Rather than creating one main meal for lunch or dinner, mezzes are a great way to experiment with different foods each night.

Just like tapas, they are small, designed for sharing with 2 or more guests, and are really easy to create on a limited time frame.

RELATED: Food Cravings – What You Really Need Instead

Lemon feta dip

Ingredients: Reduced-fat cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic, olive oil, lemon, red pepper flakes, chives

A simple dip is perfect for any mezze meal, especially if you have an abundance of bread on the table. Sprinkle some cracked black pepper, coriander and serve with a side of olives.

5 Healthy and Easy Mezze Recipes

Greek salad

Ingredients: cucumber, olives, tomato, feta cheese, olive oil, red onion

Make this quick and easy summer salad which tastes fresh, and is ideal with red or white wine. Cucumber, olives, feta cheese, tomato and red capsicum with a splash of olive oil is the best way to treat your guests. No lettuce.

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Grilled cheese jalapenos

Ingredients: jalapeno peppers, goat cheese, smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic, sea salt

For those who like it spicy, these grilled jalapenos are the perfect starting dish. Slice in half, add some goats cheese with olive oil and cook until golden brown.

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Grilled octopus

Ingredients: Red wine vinegar, lemon zest, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, octopus, olive oil, lemon juice

Prepare this delicious seafood dish which is so quick and easy! Simply wash the octopus, and carefully cut the tentacles into small pieces. Season, and grill until golden brown. Yum!

5 Healthy and Easy Mezze Recipes

Lentil salad

Ingredients: green lentils, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh mint, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, allspice, black pepper

Finish off with this fresh and healthy lentil salad which everyone is sure to enjoy. It’s the perfect summer salad which won’t leave you feeling too full after a few too many servings.

5 Healthy and Easy Mezze Recipes

Images via A Nutritionist Eats, Travel and Leisure, Damn Delicious, Dana Slatkin, The Daily Meal, Kalyn’s Kitchen

Healthy Snacks For Babies And Toddlers

Most of us begin our parenting journey with the great intention to teach our children good eating habits. This intention often gets lost somewhere between the sleepless nights and the dirty nappies, however. We start looking for shortcuts, and one of them comes in the form of fast food. The temptation to choose one of the many readily available options is even stronger when we are on the go.

RELATED: Carrot, Zucchini And Parsnip Slice – An Easy Toddler Recipe

So, how do we find healthy snacks for our kids that are also quick and easy to prepare? Here are some suggestions:

Fresh fruit

For snacks on the go it’s best to choose fruits that keep well, are not messy, and which the children will like. Some of the options are blueberries, pieces of apple, mandarins, bananas, apricots and grapes. For babies, you may need to puree the fruit and carry it in a small container. If you have a toddler, keep in mind that apples and other hard fruit may present a choking hazard, so it’s best to get the fruit sliced and peeled beforehand.

Dried fruit

Some of the choices here are sultanas, dried apples, apricots or cranberries. They don’t take up a lot of space in your bag, don’t create mess and children love them. For young babies you may need to soak and puree the fruit before you offer it.

Veggies

Toddlers are notoriously bad at eating veggies. But sometimes they’ll eat them without a sound when they are outside and exploring new surroundings, so this is the perfect time to offer healthy snacks.  Some veggies you could offer include carrot, cucumber, celery or capsicum sticks, or cooked pumkin, peas and corn.

Sandwiches

Babies and toddlers usually love bread and many will be happy with just a bread roll on its own. If you’d like to add more nutrients, here are some basic sandwich fillings you can easily incorporate: Vegemite, cream cheese, grated cheddar, avocado, lean chicken, canned tuna, veggies.

Crispbread, crackers and rusks

There’s a variety of baby and toddler snacks available from the supermarket, but they aren’t always healthy (even if it reads “healthy” on the label). Check the list of ingredients carefully for any hidden additives and preservatives. Ideally, the products you select will also contain no added sugar and very little salt.

To take the stress out of snacking, be sure to carry a couple of different healthy options, especially for picky toddlers. This way your children will get a variety of nutrients and having a choice will help them feel in control.

Image via Pixabay

How To Avoid The PMS Pig Out

For three weeks out of four, following a healthy eating plan can seem like a piece of cake (or celery), but then PMS strikes and all attempts at following a sensible strategy are lost. Here, Ms Colette Heimowitz, nutritionist and vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins Nutritionals Inc, provides five tips to keep you on track.

“The key is putting strategies in place to combat your PMS cravings,” Ms Heimowitz said.

According to Heimowitz, common premenstrual symptoms include feeling bloated and heavy, lethargic, a ‘bit blue’, and powerful cravings for chocolate and sugar laden foods – many of which can be combated by following a carbohydrate-controlled eating program, such as the Atkins Nutritional Approach.

“In the lead up to ‘that time’, many women may find themselves unable to resist reaching for high carbohydrate, starchy foods such as white bread and white pasta, as well as sweet foods such as lollies, chocolate and pastries – all of which may seem to be a quick fix to boost energy levels and ward off the premenstrual blues, but in actual fact will only lead to a vicious cycle of sugar-highs and lows,” Ms Heimowitz said.

So how can we combat the symptoms of PMS – and the (often) resulting pig out?

Colette Heimowitz’s top five tips for battling the bloat and keeping hormones and blood sugar levels in check include:

1. Avoid stepping on the scales

Many women may hold water and experience weight gain in the lead up to and during their menstrual cycle. Normal weight fluctuation is 2.5 kilograms, and some women may experience gains slightly higher than this during ‘that time’. Seeing your weight increase – or, if you are trying to lose weight, seeing weight loss stall – can be disheartening. Stick to healthy eating and exercise and wait to weigh yourself until after your cycle.

2. Carbohydrate control is key

Adopting a carbohydrate-controlled approach (such as Atkins) is an excellent way to curb your carb and sugar cravings – both in the lead up to and during menstruation, and every other day of the year. Not to mention the fact that high-carb foods are often the culprits of belly bloating and weight gain.

By cutting out processed carbohydrates and sugar-laden foods – such as white bread, chips and lollies – and building your diet around fresh, whole foods – such as lean protein (including meat, poultry, fish, tofu and legumes), plenty of leafy green and fibrous vegetables, healthy natural oils ,dairy, nuts, low sugar fruits , and whole grains– you will find your cravings for high-carb, high-sugar foods will decrease, belly bloating will lesson and you will be on your way to a healthier figure and lifestyle.

3. Never skip a meal or snack

A golden rule for weight management in general, ensuring you eat regular meals and snacks is even more important during menstruation. Eating regularly will help keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel, reducing cravings for high-carb and sugar-laden foods.

4. Exercise

Even light exercise, such as walking or jogging, will encourage your body to produce endorphins – a naturally occurring chemical in your body that boosts mood, and is often considered an elixir of happiness. So if PMS has you feeling blue, one of the best cures is to get off the couch and get your body moving!

5. Keep healthy snacks on hand that will satiate cravings

Craving chocolate or sugar? Keep in mind that caving in to the sweet will only result in your blood sugar levels peaking and then dropping, leaving you feeling worse off than before. Reaching for a low GI, whole food snack – rather than a sugar-laden one – will keep you feeling full for longer and keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel.

If you really can’t pass up the chocolate or sweets, try a low-carb option instead, such as a bar or shake from the Atkins range. High in protein and fibre but low in sugar and carbohydrates – they taste like your regular favourites so will satisfy cravings and you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

Natural Superfood Bar Recipe

Forget about buying overly processed muesli bars, because now you can make your own healthy snack with Janella Purcell’s superfood bar recipe.

Not only are the bars gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly, they’re also packed with nutritious ingredients including hemp seeds, spirulina, maca powder and cacao nibs.

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates, or dried figs

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1⁄4 cup Lifestream spirulina

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup cacao nibs

1/2 cup coconut shredded

2 tbsp maca powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp cardamom, ground

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  1. Cover the dried fruit, nuts and seeds in clean water and soak for at least 8 hours.
  2. After soaking, rinse them in a colander and let them drain.
  3. Place the soaked dried fruit and nuts/seeds in your food processor and whiz for 1 minute to get a chunky paste.
  4. Add in the remaining ingredients. You may need to add a little water to get it to a nice puree, scraping down the sides once or twice – if it’s too dry, add in 1/4 cup more coconut oil and process again (the processing will heat the coconut oil enough to help it blend everything).
  5. Scoop the mixture out into a large glass pan and press it down firmly with a spoon to even everything out. Alternatively you could also make these into bite-sized balls.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for one hour to harden.
  7. Cut with a knife and package them individually.

Recipe Courtesy Of Lifestream

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Chips Recipe

Swap the potato chips for a healthy zucchini instead. Why? Not only are they half the calories, but they taste the same, if not better!

There’s no time than now to take advantage of zucchini season and test out this dish with family and friends.

RELATED: Zucchini Fig Smoothie

Ingredients

3 large zucchinis

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 crumb wholemeal bread crumbs

1/2 Parmesan cheese

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

Pinch of salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (392ºF), and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Slice each zucchini into thin rounds, and season with the pepper, salt, and even some freshly chopped garlic. Brush on some olive oil over the top before cooking in the oven.
  3. Combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the zucchini.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Image via The Kitchn

Italian Hazelnut Biscotti Recipe

A classic Italian biscotti makes for the perfect breakfast snack, or even a light appetiser for those long summer nights. Feel free to include a teaspoon of chocolate if you’re feeling adventurous, or stick to the classic hazelnut recipe which is just as good!

Biscotti is the perfect treat for those who have an enormous sweet-tooth, and is the perfect treat when paired with a morning tea or coffee.

RELATED: Easy Dessert Recipes – Affogato

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1.5 tsp vanilla extract

2.5 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup hazelnuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (170-180ºC), and line a tray with baking paper. Grease lightly if you want to place the biscotti directly over the tray.
  2. Combine the butter and sugar into a bowl until light and fluffy in texture. Whisk through the eggs one-by-one, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt into the egg mixture. Beat well, then include the chopped hazelnuts.
  4. Create two equal logs with the dough, and apply directly over the lined tray.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and the centre is firm. Keep an eye on the time, since it’s really easy to overcook these delicious treats!
  5. Remove the biscotti, then slice diagonally before spreading them out onto the tray. Cook again for 10 minutes, then leave to cool. Store in an air-tight container in the pantry or fridge to save them for another day.

Image and Recipe via Yummly, Heather Homemade

Papaya And Coconut Muffins Recipe

Serves 12

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour

½ cup shredded coconut, plus extra to top muffins

1 cup papaya, peeled, deseeded and mashed

¼ cup papaya, peeled, deseeded and finely diced (for decoration)

1 large egg, whisked

2 tbsp butter

½ cup honey

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC.
  2. Over a low heat, heat butter on stove until melted. Allow to cool.
  3. Combine flour and coconut in a large bowl and mix.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine mashed papaya, egg, melted butter, honey and mix well. Add papaya mixture to flour and coconut bowl and mix well.
  5. Place muffin cases into a standard muffin tin and spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each one.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.
  8. Top with extra shredded coconut and finely diced papaya.

Yummy Vegetable Juice Recipes

Don’t avoid vegetables altogether if the bitter taste is enough to make your taste-buds cringe! There are a variety of ways to disguise your greens by juicing with some yummy fruits instead. Add orange, strawberry, apple or even banana to your juice – and you won’t even taste the kale!

RELATED: 10 Easy Ways To Hide Veggies For Picky Eaters

Citrus Beet Juice

Ingredients

1 large red beet

2 oranges

1 large pink grapefruit

1/2 lime

1 apple

4 carrots

Method

  1. Peel and chop the beet, oranges, grapefruit, apple and carrots. Mix together in your favourite juicer, and add some ice if you enjoy your juice cold.
  2. Squeeze the lime when you’re done, and mix with a spoon before serving. If you don’t like the taste of pulp, simply squeeze the oranges and strain the pulp before including them in the juice.

b

Kale Juice

Ingredients

Handful of kale leaves

Handful of baby spinach

3 carrots

1 cucumber

1/2 lemon

2 granny smith apples

Method

  1. Combine all of the fruits and vegetables together in your favourite juicer. Add an entire lime if you prefer your juice on the zesty side.
  2. Remove and strain if you don’t enjoy a juice with lots of body and pulp. If the flavour is true strong, simply add a few splashes of water to dilute the flavour.

Healthy lunch ideas: Yummy Vegetable Juice Recipe

Images and Recipes via Family Gone Healthy

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

Whether you’re choosing to eat light in the lead up to summer, or simply don’t have enough time to make a complicated meal, it’s always a great idea to have a few easy recipes for those busy days ahead.

Try some of these yummy (and healthy) snacks which will take less than 5 minutes to prepare!

RELATED: Michelle Bridges’ Banana Bruschetta Recipe

Stuffed grape leaves

Try this traditional Mediterranean dish if you love the taste of something quick and fresh for lunch. Simply boil some rice, and add your favourite crunchy vegetables for a snack or side dish when you’re feeling peckish. Serve with lemon slices for extra zest!

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

Baked onion rings

A healthier alternative to a classic recipe, this is a guilt-free way to enjoy a delicious snack when you’re at home. Chop some slices, then season with rosemary before baking for 5 minutes on a high heat.

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

Energy balls

Make your favourite raw energy balls to keep in your handbag if you’re feeling hungry throughout the day. Prepare with rolled oats, sunflower seeds, blueberries, and a pinch of cinnamon for a tasty snack.

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

Spinach smoothie

While the title of this may prove difficult to swallow, add some sweet fruits to disguise the taste of green veggies. Orange, banana, and a few strawberries mixed with spinach is a perfect treat at any time of the day.

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

Wholegrain bruschetta

Transform a traditional bruschetta recipe by using wholemeal or grain bread instead of something like a baguette. Chop tomatoes, basil leaves, olive oil and a pinch of salt to create a delicious topping.

5 Healthy Snacks in Under 5 Minutes

Images via Greatist, The Trainee Chef, Eat To Thrive, Toriavey, Where The Cookies Are

Yummy Ways To Cook Feta Cheese

The next time your meal is tasting somewhat lack-lustre, sprinkle some feta cheese over the top if you love it’s salty texture. Just a few cubes of this delicious cheese is bound to have your taste buds yearning for more, and create a taste sensation!

Try just some of the following snacks if you want something savoury throughout the day.

RELATED: 3 Winter Breakfast Recipes

Cucumber feta bites

There’s no denying that cucumber and feta cheese are a match made in heaven, so create these delicious crackers the next time you’re in need of a quick snack.

Use a chopped cucumber as a base, a spoonful of Greek yoghurt for the filling, then top-off with some walnuts for added protein. Serve with a lemon slice for extra zest!

Feel free to slice a cucumber, add the yoghurt and walnuts instead, then roll-up with a toothpick as a tasty appetiser.

Yummy Ways To Cook Feta Cheese

Spinach feta grilled cheese

Bring a little life to your toastie by substituting that yellow cheese for some feta instead. Add a few baby spinach leaves in your focaccia, then grill for 2-5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Yummy Ways To Cook Feta Cheese

Feta and scrambled eggs

Not only are eggs delicious at any time of the day, but they are packed with protein to keep your tummy full (and hopefully snack-free). Add some crumbled feta cheese into your eggs and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Enjoy with a side of leafy greens and kale for a healthy, guilt-free meal.

Yummy Ways To Cook Feta Cheese

Feta-cheese pizza

Instead of using mozzarella cheese on your next pizza, add some feta instead. The saltiness of the feta cheese is a match made in heaven with capsicum (especially red), and the smell is amazing!

Yummy Ways To Cook Feta Cheese

Watermelon feta salad

Bring some life to your watermelon by seasoning with mint, sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese. The sweet and savoury flavour are delicious, and ideally made for the warmer months of the year.

Yummy Ways To Cook Feta Cheese

How do you enjoy feta cheese?

Images via The Blond Cook, My Wife Can Cook, The Daily Morsel, Goodlife Eats, Budget Bytes

Healthy dessert alternatives

Every girl needs her chance to indulge, right? Unfortunately, most of us don’t want to suffer the expanded waistlines that come as a result of such free-feeding. Cater to your sweet tooth (without the extra calories) with these healthy dessert alternatives.

RELATED: A Busy Girl’s Guide to Staying Healthy

Mixed Berry Yogurt Panna Cotta

berry yogurt panna cotta

This panna cotta is based on yogurt (as opposed to cream) and is packed full of delicious berries. Summer berries – such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries – are full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight cancer and heart disease!

Quinoa cake recipe

quinoa cake

Unlike many flour-based cakes, this quinoa cake is low GI – meaning, it releases energy slowly throughout the day, keeping you full for longer. It has all the benefits of quinoa, including high protein and riboflavin, which can help migraine sufferers! This one is also a winner for the gluten intolerant!

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

cranberry oatmeal bars

Pre-packaged muesli or granola bars from the supermarket are often full of sugar, preservatives and hidden sweeteners and additives that aren’t so great for you or your kids. These homemade oatmeal bars make a great snack and can help you monitor your child’s sugar intake.

Easy Watermelon Sorbet

watermelon sorbet

Sorbet is a great alternative to ice cream or gelato, as it is fruit-based and doesn’t include any fatty creams. While there is still quite a bit of sugar, this fruity delight retains some of the goodness of the fresh fruit you put into it.

Organic Raw Chocolate Balls

organic raw chocolate date balls

This snack is full of energy – make it a great afternoon snack to get you through the work day – without any added sugar! They are made from cocoa which is better than artificial chocolates and is a healthy antioxidant. Despite the lack of sugar, these raw chocolate balls will still appease your sweet cravings with yummy dates and honey.

5-Minute Hummus Recipe

Hummus is a middle eastern dip or spread, made mostly from chickpeas. It is high in iron and Vitamin C and makes a great, healthy snack for kids and adults. You can serve with pita bread as a dip, use it on sandwiches, eat with falafel or even with carrot and celery sticks.

RELATED: Traditional Shakshuka breakfast recipe

Ingredients

15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp ground cumin
Kosher salt
Paprika and flat bread to serve
Method
  1. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, and ¾ teaspoon of salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving with flat bread.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Do you ever feel that your healthy eating goes out the window by the time 3:30pm hits? This is usually the time of day when your blood sugar drops, and you crave something sweet and fast. Instead of snacking on high sugar and heavily processed foods, below are just a few quick snack recipes you can prepare to fight 3:30itis.

Strawberry chips

How did we not think of this ourselves? Strawberry chips are very easy to prepare and taste extremely delicious as well! Simply chop into small pieces then pop them into the oven at 180ºC, and cook for 10 minutes on each side.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Smoothie

A smoothie is a great idea if you’re low on time, but still want to prepare something quick and easy to curb that afternoon slump. Throw in some of your favourite fruits and vegetables to create a filling drink which will tide you over until dinner. Don’t forget to add some yummy baby spinach, blueberries and banana for extra flavour and texture.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Kale chips

Prepare this the night before and pack in an air-tight container if you’re constantly on the go. Kale chips are an extremely healthy option if you love the crunch of a chip (without the extra salt or guilt which comes along with it). Tear pieces of kale then pop them onto a lined tray, then into the oven for 175ºC for 10-15 minutes. Throw in some chopped strawberries or blueberries to bring a sweet taste to this often bitter dish.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Crispy edamame

Green soybeans make for a delicious snack since they are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are perfect if you’re constantly moving around during the day. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the top for an extra kick of flavour, and enjoy with cold water and a slice of lemon to boost your metabolism. Pop into a zip-lock bag and carry them in your handbag for easy accessibility!

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

What are some of your favourite afternoon snacks?

Images via This Beautiful Day Blog, Park City Foods, A Whisk and Two Wands, Wise Geek

Homemade Muesli Bars Recipe

There is no white or brown sugar used here. There is honey and sweetness is also achieved by the addition of apple. This homemade muesli bar is perfect for a snack at home or in lunchbox. It is high in fibre, has the protein of nuts and seeds and is nutrient- and energy-dense. As it is lower in added sugars than other muesli bars, you could also eat it as a breakfast alternative.

Makes 12 or more

Ingredients

2 apples, grated

100g butter or coconut oil

1/2 cup honey

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup puffed rice

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/2 cup sultanas

Method

  1. Put apple, butter/oil and honey in a saucepan over a low heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. When mixture starts to pull away from the sides, it is ready.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the butter mixture and combine.
  3. Pour mixture into a paper-lined tray and flatten it out to about 1.5-2cm thick. Cover and put it in the fridge to set. It will take a few hours to firm up.
  4. Cut into squares and keep it in the fridge until ready to serve or to put in a lunchbox.

Recipe via The Healthy Mummy

Banana And Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

This recipe comes from Teresa Cutter, a well-known Australian chef and the founder of The Healthy Chef – a company that creates yummy yet healthy foods, using organic and natural wholefoods.

It’s a great recipe for kids – mine love them and of course they don’t contain any nuts so they are perfect for the school lunchboxes.  The oats will keep you full for longer and can help lower cholesterol, whilst the olive oil contains all those good fats for your body.  If you’re gluten free you can substitute the oats for ground almond meal.

What I love about this recipe too is that it’s so easy!  It’s a great one for the kids to help you with because all you do is measure then mix.  No mucking around required.

Ingredients

1 cup mashed ripe banana

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups rolled oats

½ cup desiccated coconut

½ cup raisins (or you can use dried apricots or cranberries)

¼ cup honey or pure maple syrup

¼ cup olive oil (or you can use macadamia oil, coconut oil or butter)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees (fan forced).
  2. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well with your hands until it binds.
  3. Form into twelve balls and flatten slightly to form a cookie shape.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
  5. The cookies will keep for five days in a sealed container.

Image via thehealthychef.com

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