Pack a punch – Almond cocoa energy squares

Almond cocoa energy squares
My ankle (which has been out of order on and off this whole year) is finally healing a little bit. Which means I can start running again. And even though I haven’t done more than 20 minutes on the treadmill and I’m not allowed to jump yet (I know. It’s catastrophic) I can make energy bars. These delicious little squares will satisfy your morning sweet tooth while giving you a full energy boost; they’re made of oats, which are a great source of slow-release energy and fiber.  Almonds, your classic super food (is there any body system they’re not good for?). Raisins, full of the good kinds of sugar to give you an up and which also help absorb vitamins and proteins, along with promoting a healthy digestive system. Flaxseed, also for great digestion but adding omega-3 and tons of other good side-effects such as fighting liver disease and lowering cholesterol. Cocoa powder, which is suspected of boosting endorphins and serotonin (aka, make you happy!) apart from being highly antioxidant. Wrap all of these up with some honey (which has, apart from all it’s other properties, been proven to increase athletic performance and reduce recovery time) and you get ultra healthy, sugar free bites of delicious fitness. I cut up mine small because I like bite-sized things, but feel free to turn these into bars to take on the go, or to add some protein powder! Read more for the recipe.

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Post monday – Greek yogurt chocolate banana muffins

Greek yogurt chocolate banana muffins

Some things are just universally loved. Like finding money in your pockets or banana muffins for breakfast. Other things are universally hated, like smashing your little toe against a table, or mondays. Most people find mondays truly horrible; it’s the day they have to get up early again, go to work, and accept the fact that there are five more days of the same before the weekend comes again. I, on the other hand,  happen to be a complete lunatic and absolutely love mondays. And don’t get me wrong, I love weekends as well… but they just take a huge toll on my doing-things-I-love-on-my-own schedule. For example, I can never have the discipline to work out on weekends. Or to walk my dogs, or read, or try out new recipes, or start a new work project, or finish another one I had at the back of my mind. I also get tons of ideas during weekends for cooking, or drawing or designing or just in general things I’d like to do, and I invariably forget them after a night out with friends. Which are absolutely worth it… but they make me crave monday morning the same as I crave banana muffins any other morning. There’s an incredibly good feeling when you don’t hit the snooze button and get to walk outside with the sunrise that carries on throughout the day, making those five days till friday actually really great. Almost as great as waking up to the smell of freshly baked muffins – which is what happens at my house when I don’t get to work out because of a bad ankle. I just bake instead. In this case, greek yogurt, chocolate chip, oat and ultra banana-ish banana muffins. They’re the perfect consistency, so smooshy from bananas you might even think there’s no flour instead. And not overly sweet, which means you won’t feel like you’re having cake for breakfast. (on monday! Asolute no-no. That’s ok on saturdays only) Not too much butter in them either, so have one after lunch as well. And since even sharing you can’t possibly eat all 12 in one day, have some post-monday. Read more for the recipe!

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Full of surprises – High protein peanut butter “granola”

proteing peanut butter granola

From reading this blog, you might not think I like to eat healthy stuff and work out. But you’d be wrong. While I might be the first one to get on the nutella wagon and have absolutely no remorse in eating pasta with rustic bread, I also love healthy foods. Fresh ingredients, raw veggies with delicious dressings and lean fishes rock my boat as easily as any cookie recipe. Which are all the things I like to eat on regular days. (By regular days, I mean those days in which I don’t eat out, cook for friends, or make cakes, three days a week? Guilty.) And my absolute favorite meal along those lines, is breakfast. Because there’s nothing more satisfying or rewarding than eating a delicious, healthy and filling bowl of greek yogurt with just ripe bananas and peanut butter and oats topping after an exhausting work out. So that’s why I’m sharing with you this delicious recipe…because even if you’re not a health-lets-eat-gazillions-of-proteins freak, you’ll still love it and want to use it as a topping for any meal, or a snack, anytime of the day. Because who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate and oats all together?. I know, no one. And the even greater thing about this recipe, it’s the easiest thing in the world! Just mix everything in one bowl. That’s why its not an actual granola, there’s no baking or syrup making involved! Got you hooked yet? Read more for the recipe. Continue reading

Rustic is love – Oatmeal and rye bread

Oatmeal rye bread

Some flavors are incredibly easy and almost everyone likes them. Think vanilla ice cream, ham and cheese, croissants. They’re the superstars of every kitchen/store because we’ll never tire of them and because we’re used to them. The same goes to people, design, fashion, decor, and pretty much everything else. But then there’s the other side of flavors, the unpopular, frowned upon by some and grossly overlooked ones. Like strong mustards, fennel and stinky cheeses. While they may go very high on our foodie-enjoy-almost-anything lists, the majority of people will pick a croissant over a whole wheat bagel any day. Oftentimes I do as well. But when you think about it, it’s really those things that you enjoy because of their strong characteristic flavors that really stick in your mind. And when they’re combined in your plate in such a way that their strengths don’t fight but compliment each other, then you’ve got what I think is a real ingredient experience. Such is often the case with rye breads or pumpernickel, for instance. It might not be ideal for a way-out-there sandwich or for any other recipe involving a lot of actual cooking….but if you’ve got some fresh bitter arugula and a good slice of cured ham lying around…..heaven. This bread turned out to be one of those things…a strong, earthy, moist, compact affair which in the company of some roasted sausages and maple syrup might make you squeal in delight (or you can just smile, if you’re the strong silent type). I tweaked the recipe I found at food.com to include wheat oats and maple syrup…and then I made dinner rolls which turned out suprisingly well for rye; a good hard crust and incredibly soft inside, the ideal roll for scooping up some mushroomy sauce or a jus left from your dinner steak. (Not that I ever scoop up sauce with my bread. ever. Yeah right) Read more for the recipe.

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