Vegan snickers recipe

October 31st, Halloween which is usually associated with candy…. and well as a vegan i didn’t want to miss out. Also, snickers has – and is one of my favourite type of candy bars. Before i have made a protein version of snicker using protein powder and oatflour, however it was just a trial run and never got around to taking photos or wanting to share the recipe.

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Making vegan snickers really isn’t so hard… you want the base which should be similar to nougat, and then the sweet caramel combined with the salty peanuts and of course the chocolate coating to finish it off…. a sweet and salty candy bar which leaves you wanting more!!

You can make the base – and even the caramel sauce – in many different ways, ranging from coconut flour and protein powder to just dates and nuts or even using chickpeas. I settled with something in between, i.e dates, oats, coconut oil. And the caramel sauce is just a simple one made from dates.

As usual, i suck at actually measuring or weighing out the ingredients when i make my creations, but i will try my best to estimate and share my recipe. But my best suggestion is to add more/less of an ingredient depending on the texture and taste… i.e how many dates you need and how much salt depends on what dates or salt you use!

Recipe: Makes c.a 5 snickers bar

Base:

C.a 1,5-2dl rolled oats

c.a 10 dates, pitted

1,2-3tbs peanut butter

c.a 1,5 tbs coconut oil (NOT melted)

Caramel sauce:

c.a 15 dates, pitted

c.a 1 tbs water (add more if/when necessary)

c.a 1 tbs oatcream (soya works as well)

Sea salt (can omit – but i wanted the caramel sauce to have a touch of saltness)

& salted peanuts

c.a 150g Dark chocolate

More coconut oil (c.a 1tbs)

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How to:

Begin with adding all the ingredients for the base into a food mixer and mixing together. Add more of the ingredients if necessary. The “dough” should stick together enough to be able to shape it and scrape out from the mixer without everything falling apart. Form into the size/shape you want and place on a plate which has been covered with tinfoil or baking paper. Place into freezer while you prepare the caramel sauce.

Place all the ingredients for the caramel sauce into a food processer and mix – add more liquid and/or salt as necessary. Note… it is better to make too much caramel than too little. So add more dates if you feel that the caramel sauce won’t be enough. Note… the sauce should not be too liquidy, it should hold together but also not be a clump.

Take out the base/nougat from the freezer and place the caramel sauce on top and add peanuts. (You can either mix the peanuts into the caramel sauce once it is done, or just place on top of the caramel sauce.) Then place the bars into the fridge while you melt the chocolate.

You can melt the dark chocolate in the microwave or by a water bath where you boil water in a pan and place a plate (which can manage the heat) on top with the chocolate in it. Stir in melted coconut oil to make the chocolate more liquid and not as thick.

Take out the bars from the fridge and coat in chocolate. Note, once you have coated the top, place back into the freezer for c.a 10 minutes before coating the bottom and then placing back into the freezer.

Eat and enjoy! Best kept in the fridge or freezer.

 

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Note, this base is not the same as an actual snickers, but it works well anyway. You can of course use another base such as with chickpeas or flours or protein powder.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

 

Chocolate – coffee oatmeal

When it comes to making oatmeal, you can make so many different flavour combinations. If you don’t like the taste of oatmeal, you can add fruit,berries, sweetener, cooconut, some form of milk, nuts, nut butters, protein powder, cacao powder and the list goes on! And if you don’t like the texture you can try overnight oats or baking oats or even making banana and oat pancakes or cookies with oats!

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Oats are a whole grain food with alot of nutritional benefits making it an amazing food to eat!

Oats have lots of fiber as well as beta glucans which is a soluble fiber that can reduce LDL cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and insulin response as well as having a positive effect on your gut bacteria. Oats are also a source of iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, b1, b5 as well as contains smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals. Oats also have a good amount of protein and fat as well as having antioxidants. (source X )

So if you weren’t already eating oats, i would suggest you do add them to your diet!

Are oats gluten free? Yes they should be. However if you do have celiac then choosing gluten free oats could be recommended due to the cross contamination which could hppen in the factory. If you are just eating gluten free because you are slightly sensitive to gluten or you think you should eat gluten free, then i would advise to eat normal oats as they contain little to no gluten and would just be traces of gluten if any.

I didnt think i would post this “recipe” as it isn’t much of a recipe at all, but it seems that even these small “not really a recipe – recipe” posts are appreciated anyway. Because even if it may not seem complicated i think it gives inspiration. So i will try to post the small recipes as well even if it’s just like mix cacao with oats and water 🙂

Recipe for chocolate coffee oatmeal.

1,5dl oats (60g)

cacao powder c.a 1 tbs

1-2 espresso shots or c.a 50ml

Sweenter and/or vanilla powder

Water c.a 1-2dl (100-200ml). (or as much/little as you would like to get the righ consistency.)

Optional: Add protein powder into the mix (best to do it after it is cooked and has cooled down a little as the heat can destroy the protein.) Also can substitute the water for milk instead or add in berries or chocolate chips or nut butter etc into the mix 🙂

Cook on medium heat, keep stirring and then when done, top with your favourite toppings, eat and enjoy!

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“Real food” vs “fake food”

Food…. there are so many labels and rules and names for food. Good and bad, healthy and unhealthy, clean and unclean and now real vs fake.

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It is easy to use these names because let’s be honest, we all know that a banana is “healthier” than a deep fried snickers bar, but if the only thing you are eating is bananas compared to having a balanced lifestyle and you eat a deep fried snickers bar once, then that only banana diet is most likely unhealthier than a more balanced diet.

And the clean vs. unclean food….. i’ve never really understood? But i am guessing the clean foods are the ones that are unprocessed, don’t have e numbers or additives or preservatives. But the truth is, those foods are added for a reason…. they preserve the food and even fruit is often sprayed with chemicals to keep pesticides and bugs away, and most food has salt or other preservatives so that it actually lasts, that doesn’t make it a bad or unhealthy food.

And then the food terms i have recently gotten irritated over, real food vs fake food. What does that even mean? Apparently there is a book written about this, but i have not read the book or the summary of the book so i have no idea what the author defines as real food or fake food.

But what is fake food? Food that is indigestible, is plastic or just whatever that isn’t supposed to be eaten such as plastic vegetables or for example the cakes and pastries in cafe windows that often aren’t edible because they are coated in something to preserve them. Or maybe you could even define meat as “fake food”, because really it shouldn’t be food…. but i guess that’s a definition you get to make for yourself.

Processed food, sugary foods…. it is not fake food, it is still food. Should your diet be based on just these foods? No. Do i recommend eating them? If you enjoy them, eat them in a balanced way but they don’t have to be a part of your diet… you can make your own versions, but you dont have to cut them out completely if you enjoy them.

Upon googling, i did see that one definition of fake food was food that says it contains something but contains very little of it or non at all. For example the crab meat that most often isn’t crab and is usually just a mix of white fish, or the fresh blueberry smoothie that only has 2% blueberries or the minced meat which is made from horse instead of cow. I can understand if these get labelled as “fake food” or something similar because the contents of the package/food is not what it claims to be and that is deception and wrong, but then it is more “wrong labelling” or “false advertising”, because the food is still real, just not what the package claims it contains.

I don’t like labelling foods, even if at times it makes it easier when comparing different foods or like mentioned above… when you know that the nutritional value in one food is better than the other then it is easy to say that it is better and/or healthier for you. But no one food will make you healthy or unhealthy, just like no one food will make you gain or lose weight, it is all about eating foods in balance. Sure, some foods have a better nutritional value compared to others but as long as you aren’t only eating foods with low nutritional value then you will be fine.

Skip the labelling of food and just see it as food, it is neither good nor bad unless you have an illness or allergy so that you can’t digest or absorb the food.

This is my thoughts on real food vs fake food and other labelling of food. 

I can understand if people want to say that only “whole foods” (once again, what does that label even mean? What definition does it have? Are the other foods called half foods then? non whole foods?), such as the food that comes from trees and plants and grow from the ground and arent processed or GMO, that those are “real food” because no one has done anything to effect them. However the truth is that now a days the only non chemical foods you will get are the ones you grow yourself and then you are most likely going to need to use pesticides anyway to keep insects away. There is nothing wrong if you want to focus on these foods, and instead i encourage you to have vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, wheat as the base of your diet but that doesn’t mean that the other food is bad, unhealthy or fake just because it is made in a factory. For example frozen vegetables and fruits, they are all pacakged and cleaned in a factory, that doesnt make them less of foods just because they have been processed in factories!

No more labelling of foods!

What is your opinion on this and the labelling of food? 

 

Tofu – Why eat it?

People who say they don’t like tofu, i just think…. You’ve havent eaten it the right way!

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Tofu is one of those foods which you can do so much with and flavour and marinate in so many different ways, just because you don’t like one style doesn’t mean you don’t like it prepared another way. You can eat tofu scramble, baked tofu, fried tofu, breaded and fried tofu, grilled, in desserts such as mousse or cheesecake, as tofu halloumi, make a tofu omelette,  in spring rolls, marinate in all different ways!

Tofu is a great food to eat for both vegans and non vegans, it’s rich in iron, calcium and protein (contains all 8 essential amino acids so is a complete protein source)!

Tofu is made from soya so if you are allergic to soya then tofu may not be the best option for you, but there are other great vegan protein options you can still eat. Also the debate where soya lowers testosterone and can unbalance your hormones or cause thyroid problems

Acccording to Jo Lewin – Associate Nutritionist, “Tofu contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones – a group of chemicals found in plant foods. They have a similar structure to the female hormone oestrogen and therefore mimic the action of oestrogen produced by the body. They naturally bind to oestrogen receptor sites in human cells including breast cells “. As oestrogen is the female hormone, some men don’t want too high soya intake. However it isn’t something you should worry about and unless you have a history of thyroid problems in your family you shouldn’t worry about consuming soya – but once again, everything in moderation, you don’t need to base 100% of your diet on soya!

Also a note: “Tofu and all soya products contain large amounts of oxalate. Individuals with a history of oxalate containing kidney stones should avoid over consuming soya products.  Women who have or have had oestrogen-sensitive breast tumours should restrict their soya intake to no more than four servings per week.” Source

My suggestion – incorporate tofu into your weekly diet and try different ways to eat it and see if you can find some way of preparing it that fits your tastebuds! It’s a way to get some vegan protein into you and hopefully limit your consumption of meat!!

Also, usually asian shops sell tofu cheaper than the standard food store, so check those out if you live close to one 🙂

What’s your favourite way to eat tofu? 🙂

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What are fats in your diet? Why do we need fat in our diet? Part 1. Nutritional advice.

I was asked if i could write a post about how to increase healthy fats in your diet, and as i love sharing the nutrition information i know i thought i would answer in a post incase others may need the advice! I thought i would first make a post about what are fats, why do we need them and what foods are they in, and second post coming later today how to increase them!

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So first off, why do we need healthy fats, and what are healthy fats? I’ll keep it simple and basic as that’s all you really need to know, you don’t need to know the small details such as the number of carbon atoms and bonding of the lipids which people who study nutrition learn!

Lets start with that fat doesn’t make you fat, however an excess of energy over a longer period of time will make your body store that excess energy which can lead to gaining fat and weight. But just because you eat nuts and avocados and use oil doesn’t mean it will make you fat. However, fat does have more energy per gram than carbohydrates or protein but that shouldn’t scare you, fat does make you feel full quicker compared to carbohydrates or protein because it has a higher energy amount per gram.

Fats are necessary in your diet for

1) energy and

2) so that you can absorb and transport the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K in your body. Without fat you wouldn’t absorb them and that would lead to problems.

3) The essential fatty acids Omega 3 and 6, it is crucial that you get these fatty acids as your body can’t make them itself and they are essential for cell function and growth!

4) For hormones. Hormones contain lipids i.e fat and hormones control alot of different functions in the body, so without enough fat in your diet your hormones can be a little off which can then lead to many other problems

5) For your nerves and brain.The brain contains alot of essential fat which is necessary for function and protection and also the nerve cells have a layer of myelin which helps the transportation of electrical messages, so without that layer of fat the messages will go slower or not at all i.e you might not be able to think as clear or concentrate as well and just feel/act/think slower.

6) For healthy skin. The cell membranes in our body contain essential lipids which can then control what goes in and out of the cells and without the fat the cells won’t function as they should. Skin can look thinner and more white if there isn’t enough fat in your diet.

7) Keeping you warm. This isn’t so much to do with fat in your diet, but more actually having fat on your body which both protects you and keeps you warm!

8) If your diet is well balanced and contains all the macronutrients you are more likely to feel satisfied after eating and not have a bunch of cravings or constant hunger!

So there are 8 important reasons to eat healthy fats… i mean if these facts don’t make you want to eat more healthy fats i don’t know what will convince you.

Secondly, what exactly is healthy fats vs non healthy fats?

So there is saturated and unsaturated fat (which is then divided into monounsaturated and polunsaturated) and there is transfats. They are slightly different and have slightly different function in the body. (Note there are many more lipids/fats but these are the 4 most talked about).

Saturated fats and transfats increase your LDL (so called “bad cholesterol” though that is rather outdated because cholesterol is the same its just the function of the saturated fats in the body can make the cholesterol get stuck in arteries, but also depends on other factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes etc). Unsaturated fats lower LDL and can increase HDL (so called “good cholesterol”.)

Saturated fats are “firm” at room temperature example butter, cheese, margarine, ice cream, fatty meats, but also milk, cream, palmoil and coconutoil are saturated fats even if they are liquids. These types of fats should be eaten in moderation.

Mono unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature for example olive oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil etc but also nuts, seeds, avocado are unsaturated fats.

And then trans fats which are hardened vegetable oils and often used in very processed food such as cakes, cookies, baked goods etc Many countries actually have a ban on trans fats as they are so negative for your health, i don’t think that is the case in USA however. I would advise you all to not eat food that contains trans fats! (However natural transfats can be found in dairy products and meat, but once again… recommendation is to limit intake of those foods for other reasons as well).

What are healthy fats?

The poly and monounsaturated fats for example, nuts, seeds, avocado, salmon,  olives and olive oil, mackerel.

It is important to have a good balance of Omega 3 and 6. And Omega 3 can be found in salmon, mackerel, flax seed, walnuts and chia seeds (though they have to be soaked for the omega 3 to be able to be absorbed in the body.)

Omega 6 is often found in plant food/vegetables and in oils. For most people in western society they get more Omega 6 compared to Omega 3 so thye need to increase their intake of Omega 3 rich foods, however its a fine balance you don’t want too much of either.

Also note that many vegan foods do contain palm oil or coconut oil which are saturated and a high intake isn’t recommended, so just because you eat a vegan diet doesn’t mean you eat the right type of fat. But also when it comes to peanuts and peanut butter which contains alot of Omega 6, it is important to vary your nut and seed intake so that you also eat different nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashewnuts and different seeds such as sunflower, chia, flaxseed, hemp seed so that you get omega 3 as well!

 

Hopefully this post helps you and has helped explain – in a simple way – why we need fats and what they are. There is alot more detail of course but then it is better to contact a dietician or nutritionist who can help you specifically, but this will atleast give you some simple information!

Also to end this post, there has been the hype and belief that coconut oil is some magical oil and is healthy, however coconut oil is infact saturated and works the same as butter or margarine in the body so its not some magical oil. However it does work great on your hair, for oil pulling, on your skin, as a moisturizer etc etc so it has it’s benefits even if it is not magical food!

Also note, just because fat is important and necessary doesn’t mean that you should over eat on it for example LCHF. Your body also needs carbohydrates and protein, so a very high intake of fats and low intake of carbohydrates isn’t recommend as a  healthy diet.

 

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