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Snacking

Firstly apologies for the lack of posts recently, I’ve been developing a new site I hope to launch soon and it’s taking (much) longer than I had hoped and expected. However, as someone once told me ‘hard work pays off’.

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Anyway, todays post is about a recent discovery I’ve made which is Quark. I’ve noticed a lot of health bloggers discussing the protein packed, fat free dairy product but have never managed to find it. But, on my weekly food shop on Saturday I across the wee gem in the soft cheese department of Tesco – which actually isn’t that surprising considering it’s soft cheese!

So, what is Quark? Other than having a rather onomatopoeic name, Quark is a soft white cheese  packed full of protein and 99% fat free. In 100grams of Quark the stats are as follows:

  • Calories – 68
  • Protein – 12.8g
  • Carbohydrates – 3.9g

Like other cream cheese it can be used in a variety of ways, both for savoury and sweet dishes. Costing around a £1 for 250g this provided me with two servings which i ate by itself for an afternoon snack and crushed some fresh raspberries on top to add some more natural sweetness. Done the job good! Enjoy! Fx

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Soft boiled on wilted spinach, rye toast and a side of tomatoes

Boiled, scrambled, poached… when in doubt eat eggs! Or at least this is generally my rule of thumb at most meal and snack times. Having just been home to the countryside for the weekend `i have had the absolute pleasure of eating our free range organic chicken eggs! Cluck cluck.

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Egg whites scrambled with spinach and chilli sauce

Eggs are so versatile and can be cooked in many different ways both sweet and savoury. They can be eaten for  breakfast, lunch and dinner in both sweet and savoury forms. Some of the images in this post are examples of the eggs I eat on a regular occurrence. If I don’t have eggs for one of my meals I always boil up for four eggs for a healthy and tasty snack throughout the day.

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Boiled served with avocado, tomatoes and spinach

So what are the health benefits of eggs I hear you ask? Eggs are classed as a super food (another to add to your list) with a list of some of the nutritional benefits

  1. Protein – they are excellent source of protein (6 grams each egg) which suits a vegetarian diet by eliminating meat and  also cheaper than buying other protein sources such as meat or supplements.
  2.  Cancer Fighting – eggs contain choline which has been found to reduce womens likelihood of attracting breast cancer.
  3. Eyes – lutein and zeaxanthin found in eggs are both antioxidants which have been shown to ward off macular degeneration.
  4. Weight loss  – due to the high protein levels in an egg this leaves us feeling fuller for longer and more satisfied once finishing a meal to snack on other food, furthermore the amino acid in the eggs is used and broken down by our muscles.
  5. Low calorie – one egg contains around 72 calories, and if you just eat the egg white that’s around 15 calories.

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Vegetable omelette using egg whites and one whole egg (attempted with a STICK pan!)

Eggs have received much criticism that they increase your cholesterol but studies have proven this is not the case. I often only eat one whole egg a day and the rest egg whites, if you are concerned the yolk may increase your cholesterol. But don’t let this put you off the egg. Enjoy! Fx

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A scoop of creamy ice cream is far too tempting to cool down with all the sunshine the UK has been experiencing recently. However the dairy cream and sugar used in ice cream often leaves a fat and sugar loaded bowl of guilt. Ice cream is my downfall in any season and nothing quite compares to the sweet ice treat.

So in attempts to find a healthier alternative to this gluttonous delight, I discovered the genius idea of making a healthy natural alternative, which is also suitable for a vegan diet too. And it is so simple to make! One ingredient + one blender = one sweet creamy bowl of ice cream!

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As the banana has a higher (natural) sugar content then water, when frozen the sugar binds the mixture together rather than breaking up leaving the same consistency as dairy ice cream. Banana’s are super healthy and one of the greatest fruits in terms of nutritional benefits. As mentioned in my healthy oat banana loaf post, bananas provide lots of energy and hold many other benefits including, heart, vision, bone  and digestion health.

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My vegan ice cream recipe simply uses frozen bananas, but I added a few additional ingredients to add a little extra taste.

Ingredients

2-3 ripe bananas

1 tblspn peanut butter

1 tbslpn toffee whey protein

As mentioned I used a few additional ingredients to add additional taste and nutritional benefits to the ice cream but essentially all you need are frozen bananas. I use peanut butter as it is the perfect combination with banana and also adds protein into the dish, which brings me onto the next ingredient. Whey protein powder from My Protein comes in many flavours and is a quick way to add additional protein into your diet, which is key to weight loss. I used the toffee flavour which was super complimentary with the bananas.

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Method

1. How to make frozen banana ice cream? Simply take your over ripe bananas, peel and slice up and freeze overnight. Pop in blender and blend! Add in any other additional ingredients and mix together. You can also try adding other frozen fruit before you blend the bananas for a variety of flavours. Enjoy! Fx

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In theme with my recent post about Colombian Cuisine i experienced on my travels, one of my favourite parts was the access to the best avocados that I have ever ate. Not only were they consistently ripe and about four times the size to those we find in the UK, they cost $1,000 PESO, which is the equivalent of 35p. Compare this to the minuscule £1.50 avocados we have to choose from in the local supermarkets, I most definitely made the most of it while on my travels.

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