Friday, 23 May 2014

Fitness Friday: Let's Eat Cake

Good afternoon!

I hope you're all excited for the impending weekend.....M has finally finished her exams so we are both going out for the first time in months!

Lots of fake tan and make up headed our way for a night of drinking and dancing and I cannot wait!

First things first though, i need to share this recipe with you. I've been changing my diet and lifestyle over the last few years and have mostly kicked the bad habits to the kerb. I no longer drink diet coke, I rarely have takeaways (in fact i made it until May 10th without one this year!) and sugary snacks I don't even think about. However.....I have an extremely large achilles heel in the form of cake.

My mum is an amazing cook and has always provided some form of cake the rest of my family. I'm talking muffins, flapjack, traybakes, loaf cakes and sponges. None of which are particularly bad for you as my mum is health conscious....but they're not exactly the nutritious snacks or desserts that I normally have.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight at finding a recipe on Emily Skye's 30 Day ab shred that produced muffins! I was over the moon and it was the first thing that I made sure I had the ingredients for. Muffins on an ab shred that genuinely works, and a quick check of the forum told me that although the ingredients made 2 actually made around 6 muffins. 3 muffins as a snack?! It was love.

I've made them a few times since and have changed the recipe around a few times trying different things so I will share my tips and tricks with you as we go!


Firstly cover your muffin tin in coconut oil so the cake batter doesn't stick. I love coconut oil for its many health benefits and its the best one to use in all cooking and baking as its treated by the body as a carb and so is burned off rather than stored. I've previously written a post about it here.

Secondly, get all your dried ingredients together:

This was one of my many batches so I've cheated here and varied it from the original recipe. you'll need 1.5 cups of almond meal, 1-2 tablespoons of stevia and 2 scoops of protein powder.

I ran out of almond meal so have been using quinoa flour and oatmeal for a similar effect. Quinoa flour has also been amazing because its gluten/fat/cholesterol etc etc free so would be a good substitute but generally i use whatever is available. I still can't find stevia so have been using demerara sugar; i know its not as good as stevia but it's better than refined sugar!

Mix all of these together in a bowl with a 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.

My protein powder is also chocolate unflavoured hasn't turned up yet but I figured it was only going to help the taste!

Next up you need to crack the two eggs into a bowl and whisk them together before adding to the mixture with a tablespoon of honey.

The original recipe is for apple and cinnamon muffins. For this you will need one apple, peeled and grated, and 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon. The cinnamon you can add as much or as little as you like, I find 1 is enough for me but you might be a cinnamon fiend so throw in as much as you want!

I've also made coconut and cranberry muffins with the same recipe too, just substituted the cinnamon and apple for 2 tablespoons each of the dried cranberries and dessicated coconut. These taste so sweet, I love cranberries in baked goods! I'm sure there are plenty of others you can also try too, some with nuts in and other fruits would be great but try and steer clear of the chocolate....

Mix up all of the ingredients together in the bowl and hopefully you will have a fairly runny batter. I've found depending whether I've used oatmeal, almond meal or quinoa flour the mixture can be quite thick and nothing like how a normal muffin batter is.

I made them following the recipe and instructions and unfortunately ended up with some quite dry muffins that tasted fine but definitely required a cup of tea or two to wash it down with! So i would definitely recommend that you add some almond milk to the mixture to loosen it enough so that it is runny. Hopefully you'll know what i mean but as an extremely novice baker my technical terms are somewhat ridiculous!

After that simply spoon them into the tins and pop them in the over for 15 mins on Gas mark 6. As long as the tops are slightly spongey and bounce back after you give them a prod then they're done! Here's my latest double batch cooking away...

On the left are the coconut and cranberry, and on the right are the cinnamon and apple. Again, according to the meal plan I got the recipe from this make 2 servings, so three muffins for a snack! This is delightful news for me but i have managed to keep control of myself so far and have had one in the morning with my cup of tea on my work break. However on particularly hungry days i know that i can have another without any problem at all and its knowing this that makes these taste even sweeter!

I tend to make a double batch like these, pick 3/4 to keep in a container on the side of my kitchen and freeze the rest. Then when i run out I just need to take out whichever flavour I want that day and it defrosts in my lunch bag by my 11am break, perfect!

Have you tried baking without using flour before?

Almond meal is a great alternative but can be expensive for small bags. I've found quinoa flour to be better value and is still has so many health benefits.

Will you be trying these muffins? What would your recipe suggestions be?

L xxx

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