Amazing Almond Banana Protein Smoothie

I’ve been loving smoothies and shakes lately! Making a quick shake or smoothie is a fast way for me to get in a lot of nutrients in a short amount of time. ¬†When I need a protein filled snack, bam! Lets have a smoothie. ¬†This is my favourite smoothie EVER. ¬†Yes, it might not be a vibrant ,beautiful green or a wonderful colourful colour, but the simplicity of this boring looking smoothie is all sort of amazing on the taste buds. ¬†Filled with all the wonderful super foods you need with a whole lot of yum, this is definitely the treat with so many health benefits you need.

img_4798new

MACA BENEFITS

  1. Hormone Balance; Maca is believed to balance estrogen levels.  Which can help with ovulation and pregnancy.
  2. Decreases levels of anxiety and stress.
  3. Helps with male fertility
  4. Increases endurance, energy and mood.
  5. Antioxidants booster; Helps in fighting disease and is great for cancer prevention.

COCONUT OIL BENEFITS

  1. Prevents heart disease and high blood pressure.
  2. Protects the liver
  3. Reduce inflammation and arthritis.
  4. Cancer prevention.
  5. Immune system booster.

ALMONDS BENEFITS

  1. Prevention in heart disease.
  2. Supports healthy brain function.
  3. Helps keeps your skin young, thanks to the anti ageing benefits.
  4. Helps control blood sugar levels.
  5. Helps with weight loss.

FLAX SEEDS BENEFITS

  1. High in fibre and great for gut health.
  2. Keeps your hair and skin healthy.
  3. Helps with losing weight.
  4. Lowers cholesterol.
  5. High in antioxidants.

CARDAMOM BENEFITS

  1. Helps prevent cancer.
  2. Keeps your heart healthy.
  3. A great anti – depressant.
  4. Helps with treating urinary disorders.
  5. protects against gastrointestinal diseases.

ALMOND BANANA PROTEIN SMOOTHIEserves 2

img_4792new

Ingredients

  • 1 large, banana peeled
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 -2 cup almond milk (depends on how thick you like it, start with a cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 heaped scoop protein powder
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 large pitted medjool date.
  • Ice

Directions

Place everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a glass and enjoy all those delicious health benefits.

img_4797new

Gluten Free Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie bars

I’ve been on a complete pumpkin kick lately! I just want to make everything pumpkin-y. ¬†Pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin cupcakes, and of course these amazing pumpkin pie bars! ¬†When I started making these I knew the gingery crust would pair perfectly with the smooth custardy goodness of the pumpkin filling, when I made the pumpkin filling and tried it, it actually took all the willpower a heavily pregnant woman could take not to just take the filling, go hide in the closet and just eat the entire bowl, that’s how good it is!

img_4787new

I’m glad I didn’t waste all the filling on my instant gratification need and decided this needs to be bars, because WOWZA! I just can’t get enough of these things, the fact that I don’t have any left kind of makes me want to cry, call it pregnancy hormones or the real life truth that there are no pumpkin pie bars in my fridge, maybe its just a combination of both? ¬†What ever it is, all I know is I need to make more. STAT!

img_4767new

What makes these extra special? Is the fact that’s its sugar free and gluten free, you don’t ¬†even need to feel guilty while binge eating these. ¬†The coconut flour ginger crust reminds me of a graham cracker or gingersnap cookie, paired with the smooth pumpkin filling and just the perfect touch of coconut whipped cream with 1/2 tsp of cardamom added to the mix, you’re in for a whirlwind of yum!

GLUTEN FREE SUGAR FREE PUMPKIN PIE BARS  Р9 Р12 bars

img_4779new1

Ingredients

Crust

  • 4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil ( at room temperature)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 can pumpkin puree or 2 cups puree
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup – Increase it if you want it sweeter
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum – optional its creates a firmer filling
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and a half tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions

Crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C.

In a large bowl, mix together the honey, coconut oil and spices, until creamy.  You can use a hand blender for this, I just used my trusty hand.

Fold in the coconut flour and mix until it forms a dough.

Press the dough evenly in a prepared pan and bake until slightly golden about 5 Р8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.

Filling

Place everything in your blender and blend until well combined.  Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning to your preference.    Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread it around evenly.

Bake for 20 Р40 minutes or until the pie is firm but still jiggly.  Let cool and place in the fridge overnight to properly set.

Cut the pie bars, serve with a dollop of cardamom coconut whipped cream and enjoy your masterpiece!

img_4790new

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

img_4732new

^^ Found this really inexpensive chest of drawers for the baby’s room and gave it a little make over.

img_4737new

^^ I wanted more of a woodland green, but I just didn’t have enough paint stainer to get it there. ¬†Happy surprises, because I really like the way it turned out. ¬†Later on I spray painted the knobs gold. ¬†Walking around with a face mask, while pregnant felt like a ridiculous sight, but things need to get done!

img_4755new

^^ Nursery break! I’ve been desperately looking for a fiddle fig tree, with no luck at all. ¬†I’ll find you my beautiful planty friend!

img_4787new

^^ Made the best sugar free, gluten free pumpkin pie bars ever! It was like magic in my mouth, the gingery crust, made me feel like crying tears of happiness! I was floating my own boat hard while thinking I’m a recipe genius!

img_4804new

^^ My cute little kitchen friends.

img_4805new

^^ Protein shake in the baby’s room!

img_4806new

^^ Kind of done with the baby’s mobile, I still feel like I’m missing one little woodland friend? What do you think?

dsc_2745new

^^ The guinea fowl family on our walk again, these guys really know how to make you feel bad, when you try to pass them, and they all scatter like you’re the biggest murderer on this planet.

Hi friends! ¬†Whew! Its been a couple of days hasn’t it? ¬†I’ve just been so busy with all lives demands and trying to get everything ready for the baby! I still feel like I have so much to do and buy! ¬†I’m starting to feel just a tad overwhelmed, but I downloaded the hypnobabies app on my phone and its just the best thing to listen to!

I feel like this week has been a whirlwind for the entire world……I try to keep my blog neutral and easy, but what is going on with the world? I’m still in so much shock about the US elections and the effect this will have on all the other countries and I just can’t believe people chose fear again so soon after brexit. ¬†In the beginning of the year I couldn’t wait to see what humans were going to do next and now, I’m like how is such a racist, sexist, completely insane man, going to be president? but who knows maybe this will be the time were people stand together and realise fear is not the answer, we should live with kindness and treat people kindly. ¬† Okay! Rant over! ¬†I felt like I needed to say something about all the craziness right now! ¬†Things will get better, the earth is too beautiful to not care!

Rooibos Tea Latte

Its that time of the year again , the time when my instagram feed goes crazy with pumpkin spice everything! ¬†All over the internet everyone seems to be going pumpkin spice nutty, even the starbucks in South Africa is hitting up the pumpkin spice season, even if its technically spring here, but hey, I’m not complaining. ¬†Well I’m sorry to disappoint you guys, but this is not a pumpkin spice recipe! ¬†but its an even better for you treat that’s a perfect afternoon treat or an anytime treat! With a lot of good for you qualities added to the mix thanks to the powerful Rooibos tea. ¬†If you haven’t tried rooibos tea yet, you really should. ¬†This caffeine free tea is native to South Africa, but can be easily bought anywhere around the world these days.

If you are still having a hard time dealing with the no pumpkin spice flavour to this recipe, I’m really sorry, but I’m not asking you to abandon the beloved pumpkin spice, I’m asking you to add some variety and who know this might become your favourite warm drink.

Rooibos Latte

I use a hand blender to get my perfectly foamy top, but if you don’t have a hand blender, throwing everything in a jar and shaking your little heart out will probably do the trick, and you will get a great workout in the process.

BENEFITS OF ROOIBOS TEA

  1. Improves skin: the tea is rich in alpha hydroxy acid and zinc.  Both of these nutrients are great for the skin and may help alleviate several skin problems including acne, pimples, sunburns, eczema and uneven skin.
  2. Anti РInflammatory: Roobios tea is rich in polyphenols including aspalathin and nothofagin, which are two polyphenol antioxidants. These antioxidants help protect the body by fighting free radicals or unstable cells that attack healthy cells to stabilize themselves.
  3. Immune Boosting:  The anti viral benefits gives your immune system a boost.
  4. Improves Blood Circulation; Roobios tea contains chrysoeriols, which is a flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This compound aids blood circulation and has been linked to reducing cholesterol.
  5. Promotes Healthy  Hair: Rooibos tea is rich in several important minerals required for hair growth. This includes zinc, calcium, copper and potassium. Regularly consuming rooibos tea may help increase hair growth and strengthen hair fibres, so hair grows healthy and strong.

(Source)

ROOIBOS TEA LATTEserves one

Rooibos tea Latte

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 rooibos tea bag
  • 1/2 heated non dairy milk
  • 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • sweetener to taste

Directions

Steep the rooibos tea bag in the boiling water for 2- 5 minutes.  Remove the teabag.

Add the vanilla, milk and sweetener, have a little taste and adjust.   Pour everything in a bowl to avoid spillage, and start using your hand blender until the desired frothiness is reached.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy with a view.  (view optional, but highly recommended!

img_4421new

I’ve even used my salted caramel date sauce as a sweetener for an added extra special.

Immunity Boosting Vitamin C Tonic – No Juicer required

No matter where you are on this beautiful planet right now the seasons are changing! and with the changing seasons a whole bunch of the sniffles seem to be right behind it. ¬†I pride myself on getting sick as little as possible and being able to jump back really fast when I do get sick, I like a good one day of wondering if I’m getting sick or not and waking up feeling as good as new. ¬†I also try not to take a lot of medication, not just because I’m pregnant at the moment, but in general, so when I really, really need to use medication my body will probably have some sort of freak out wondering what this foreign stuff is all about. ¬†I’ve always just tried to prevent sickness, by following a good diet (with minimum gluten), exercise, practice good hygiene and drinking immunity boosting tonics. ¬†When I feel my throat starting to hurt I make an amazingly delicious, super lickable healing paste, that takes away any throat tickles in a jiffy, but enough about the paste this blog post is about my immunity boosting tonic!

This tonic doesn’t require a juicer, but if you’re lucky enough to have a juicer, by all means use it! Filled with good for you ingredients that will give you’re body the extra fighting strength it needs to kick the sniffles right to the curb.

BENEFITS OF ORANGES

  1. Oranges fight against viral infections.
  2. Immune booster: with all that vitamin c, it gives you immune system the boost it needs.
  3. Fights inflammation
  4. Slows ageing: just an added bonus of oranges that’s got nothing to do with boosting your immunity, but everything to do with vanity!

Benefits Of Lemons

  1. Excellent source of Vitamin C; an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies.
  2. Balances the PH levels in your body.
  3. Flushes out toxins in your body.
  4. Its a great source of citric acid, magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Benefits of Carrots

  1. Helps boost immune system;When it comes to strengthening your immune system vitamin A plays a vital part (along with vitamin D) and carrots are filled with good old vitamin A
  2. Helps prevent infection.
  3. Cleanses the body; Vitamin A assists the body in flushing out toxins and reduces bile from forming in the liver.

Benefits of Ginger

  1. Anti Inflammatory – Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance that’s a powerful anti inflammatory and filled with antioxidants.
  2. Prevents Nausea.
  3. Reduces muscle pain and soreness.
  4. Helps fight infections.

Benefits of Turmeric

  1. Anti inflammatory.
  2. Manages Pain.
  3. Boost Immunity.

Now with all those benefits don’t you just want to take a sip of this tonic! ¬†I grated my carrot before hand as I don’t have a great blender at the moment, and used a little strainer over my glass to strain out the pulp and control how much pulp I wanted in my tonic. ¬†Its all up to you, like I said if you have a juicer feel free to use it you will probably have a way more juicy tonic than mine, if using a juicer I would suggest to go easier on the water.

IMMUNITY BOOSTING VITAMIN C TONICserves 2 small glasses or 1 and a bit bigger glasses

Immunity Boosting Tonic no juicer required

Ingredients

  • 1 large orange, peeled
  • 1/2 large lemon, washed well I blend it with the rind.
  • 1 large carrot, washed and grated
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 cup of water or add a little more if using the strainer method.

Directions

Add all the ingredients to a blender a blend until smooth.

img_4395new

Place a strainer over your glass or a bowl and pour the liquid in.  I used a spoon to push through as much of the liquid as I could.  Give it a stir, add ice and enjoy.  Feel free to sweeten it with honey or maple syrup if you want, I drank it just as is.

img_4401new

an instant of life captured for eternity

img_4206new

^^ Nature, always impressing me with its vibrant display of colour.  We should all plant bougainvillea as a fence, it will make the world so much prettier.

img_4210new

^^ Found this pretty flower on the ground.  Just look at that colour.

img_4223new

^^ Walks in Tokai forest.  They are planning on felling all these trees.  It brings a lot of sadness to my tree hugging heart.

img_4251new

^^ Mesmerised.

img_4260new

^^ Find beauty everywhere.

img_4273new

^^ We found a log to sit on to enjoy our little picnic lunch.  Kale salad and almonds for me and a rye bread sandwich for him.

img_4275new

^^ Enjoying his sandwich.

img_4283new

^^ You know your husband loves you if he is willing to carry a heavy stump back to the car, because with a little work this stump will be turned into a side table.  Thanks Carl!

dsc_2322new

^^ Pretty flowers on a walk to the waterfront.  A contrast of colours.

dsc_2346new

^^One of my favourite photos! Feet in the forest.

Hey friends! What did you guys do this weekend? ¬†We’ve been preparing for our move in 2 weeks and trying to buy everything at just the right moment so it will be delivered on the day we move in! Hopefully it all works out perfectly, otherwise this pregnant lady will be sleeping on the floor! We decided to go to Tokai forest before they start felling, so we can walk around the forest and be happy amongst all the trees. ¬†I’m really sad that they want to cut down all the pine trees in Cape town for fynbos, but that’s just because I’m horribly allergic to it and it feels like Cape town is slowly trying to kill me, but we are only planning on staying here for a year or two so hopefully all the felling gets delayed and I get to enjoy all the trees until we leave. ¬†Hopefully!

 

an instant of life captured for eternity

Healthy nori wrap

^^ Amazing Nori wrap.  Cauliflower rice with kale, fresh veggies and beetroot hummus for an added bit of amazingness.

IMG_4081new

^^ We went to a strawberry farm for the biggest, cheapest strawberries of the season! The cutest little farm stall with some angry elderly people ready to elbow anyone they can out of the way.

mooiberge strawberry farm

^^ Really big strawberries.

25 weeks pregnant

^^ 25 weeks pregnant.  Where did my ribs go?

IMG_4109new

^^ This entire farm is filled with a crazy amount of scarecrows.  If a bird landed on these fields I would be shocked.

DSC_2157new

^^ Early morning hikes.

DSC_2216new

^^ So many scarecrows.

DSC_2218new

^^ Beautiful sunset over the ocean after a visit to family.

How was your weekend? ¬†We’ve been walking and hiking all around Sea point and lions head, before we leave for our new place at the end of the month! ¬†We decided to visit a cute little strawberry farm I remember visiting as a child, they seem to have gone completely bonkers with the amount of scarecrows the have up, and I hope they don’t get any bird attacks with all those guys around, but who knows, birds do what they want.

25 weeks pregnant and 2 days today.  WOW!  It feels like I woke up and my ribs somehow disappeared, baby has decided to move into my ribs and kick as hard as possible all the time.    Baby seems to be having a lot of fun in my womb and likes throwing parties and mosh pits on the inside daily.

Cookies and Cream Vegan Ice Cream

I’ve been craving delicious sweet treats like crazy since moving to Cape town, maybe its the stress, but I just want all the candy! I know that’s not a good idea for me and I try to stay reasonably far away from sugar as possible or keep it to a minimum, I’m actually insanely good at moderation and not being tempted by things. ¬†I’ve got some serious willpower! I’ve been coming up with healthy treats that you wont even notice has no sugar – to just a bit of sugar in! ¬†This banana ice cream is amazing! creamy, dreamy with that amazing cookies and cream ice cream flavour that so many of us love. ¬†I used an oreo, but feel free to use any cookie you have around.

This is so much better for your waistline and your health than normal ice cream, ¬†a perfect serving size for one or you can share with your loved one. ¬†I shared this with Carl with no problem, if that’s not love!

COOKIES AND CREAM VEGAN ICE CREAMServes 1

IMG_3500new

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas, peeled chopped and frozen
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp non dairy milk ( to get things moving, if you have a powerful blender you probably don’t need this)
  • 1 Oreo cookies, extra for garnish

Directions

Place the bananas, vanilla milk and oreo in a blender.  Blend until smooth and the consistency of soft serve.  You might have to stop to scrape the sides down.  Garnish with a crushed oreo.

Serve immediately.

IMG_3504new

an instant of life captured for eternity

IMG_3298new

^^ The yummiest, softest bread around.  I used the same knife that I was cutting swiss chard with to cut the bread, less dishes, but a lot of weird little green pieces on the bread.

IMG_3303new

^^ It would seem that Alice was already here.

IMG_3305nwe

^^ Big trees.

IMG_3317new

^^ Unprepared picnic days.  We were still hungry after our treats.

IMG_3331new

^^ Carl makes a pretty handsome knight.   Imagination has no age limit.

DSC_1526new

^^ Little pops of colour.

DSC_1545new

^^ Popcorn eating.

DSC_1552new

^^ Little flowers and some rubbish.

Hey friends! I hope all my Canadian friends had an amazing Canada day and all my American friends had a wonderful Independence day! ¬†We’ve been busy, busy, busy, trying to figure everything out, but in between all that we still had some time for a little picnic date. ¬† My weather headaches are still here, sometimes stronger than ever, but nothing a good old slice of freshly baked bread can’t cure. ¬† Here’s to another week, lets make this one even better than the last.

Cape Point

On Saturday we headed to Cape point, the drive there felt insanely long and it didn’t help that the gps maps lady, decided to take us on the craziest route ever created. ¬†We were zigzagging going through the navy base, feeling really awkward driving through military housing and somehow we got to the bottom feeling like we just trespassed on everyone’s property. ¬†We made it in the end and it was glorious.

Cape point  is the most south-westerly tip of Africa, covered in fynbos, beaches, and beautiful little hikes and picnic areas.  We kept having to stop thanks to ostriches thinking they are slow moving cars and refusing to get out of the road and some how finding their way in front of the car every turn we made.  There is also a lot of baboon warnings around, we actually saw a baboon right as we got there, just chilling eating a slice of pizza, not a care in the world, as I tried to take my camera out it started making a dodgy looking stride towards me, so of course I ran away screaming like a little girl, while the baboon ran the other way obviously confused.

Being the cheap people we are we decided to give the “flying dutchman” or the little tram that can take you to the top in 3 minutes a skip and the walk up was great! we saw cute little mice and I found out that all the learn mandarin things I’ve been using are all a bunch of liars! They say that Asian people never say Ni hao………Well we saw all the tourists and I constantly heard everyone saying ni hao. ¬†Lesson learned!

Walking to the top is a treat for the eyes! Panoramic views of the ocean makes you feel like you’ve fallen into a painting. ¬†If Cape town could be any colour it would be blue. ¬†Blue like the skies and the water, it always seem like everything is just blending together.

IMG_3085new

^^ ocean.

IMG_3091new

^^ You can walk up all those little stairs.

IMG_3096new

^^ Pretty little cove.

IMG_3098new

IMG_3101new

^^ Flying dutchman

IMG_3107new

^^ Baboons signs everywhere.  Not even close to the top.

IMG_3109new

^^The lighthouse.

IMG_3139new

^^Ostrich.

DSC_1383new

^^ Pretty water. ¬†It was really windy down here and I’m not one of those girls that look magical in the wind. ¬†It looks like my hair is trying to kill me while my jacket slowly tornadoes around me.