A Faithful Companion: Chocolate and Macadamia Fudge Brownies

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✔Refined Sugar Free

✔Gluten Free

✔vegan (optional)

Diamonds, men or chocolate?

I hope I speak for more than myself when I say CHOCOLATE. Diamonds cost a load and men are often useless. It holds no grudges and provides unlimited satisfaction and a no-strings-attached shoulder to cry on.

What is it about the damn cocoa bean? Its like a delicious and exotic love affair that later leaves you feeling like an almighty blimp. Swap around the last two vowels in cocoa and you have a whole different story. I use raw cacao in smoothies, sauces, biscuits and cakes and it has truly transformed my usual guilty chocolate consumption into a staple of my Thrive diet.

The cacao bean is rich in energy minerals, magnesium and sulfur which keeps your hail shiny, nails strong and helps keep your liver healthy! Powdered cacao is full of flavonoids, which are basically natural antioxidants (three times the antioxidant content of green tea!).

Prep time: 10 minutes + Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes 10 brownies

You will need

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 3 tsp agave syrup
  • 1/2 cup macadamias
  • 2 eggs OR 1/4 cup of water (vegan)

How to

  1. Preheat oven to 160Cº Fan forced
  2. Place the dates and 2 tbsp of water into a food processor and pulse until a smooth mixture is formed
  3. Combine almond meal, cacao, vanilla essence and agave syrup with an electric whisker until smooth
  4. Gently melt the coconut butter over a low heat and add into the mixture along with the egg OR water (vegan option)
  5. Smash the macadamias with a rolling pin or pulse until the desired texture is formed and add into the mixture (leaving some aside to sprinkle onto the mixture before baking)
  6. Pour the mixture into a shallow baking tin (the size is up to you depending on how thick you would like your brownies) and sprinkle a handful of the macadamia crumble on top
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and leave aside to cool for 10 minutes

Its that simple. Keep Thriving! ♥ Anya

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Pho the love of soup: Vegan, crunchy goodness

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   ✔Refined Sugar Free

✔Gluten Free

✔vegan

So I don’t know about you, but my idea of the perfect meal is something thats quick and easy to make, healthy and delicious. Finding the balance between all three is often a difficult task. Fear not- I have the perfect solution pho you (heheh).

The crunchier the veg, the more nutrition it retains…so keep those veggies crunchy. Bok choy is an understated vegetable, very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol and works as a catalyst for burning calories and increasing weight lose. Do not underestimate the power of the mushroom either, high in vitamins B12 nd D,low in kilo joules and filling. It ticks all the super food requirements- nutrient-rich,  low in kilo joules, high in bio-active compounds, antioxidants, convenient and affordable. I ♥ mushrooms.

Tofu is an excellent source of vegetarian protein and a cholesterol-free food (as a most plant-based foods). 

As for the chili, ginger and garlic…your practically eating The Three Musketeers of the speeding up metabolism and reducing body fat revolution.

Most of us know that white rice=little nutrition so obviously the same applies to rice noodles, however the rice-to-veggie ratio (almost all veg+tofu) I use works to provide a subtle amount of carb-energy, keep you full that little bit longer and provide texture. Bean sprouts are just as delicious so it just depends how carb-conscious you really are.

Prep:10 minutes + cooking: 10 minutes

Serves 2

You will need

  • 3 stalks of bok choy
  • 3 mushrooms
  • 3 small pieces of broccoli
  • 1 spring onion stalk
  • a small handful of vermicelli noodles OR bean sprouts
  • 200 grams tofu
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 tbsp gluten free, reduced salt soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp chili flakes OR 1 fresh chili
  • 2 tsps coconut butter
  • 4 cups water

How to

  1. Chop up all your vegetables and throw them into a wok on a medium heat with one tsp of coconut butter
  2. Dice the tofu into small cubes and put into a frying pan, again with 1 tsp of coconut butter and 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  3. Add the ginger, chili and garlic into the wok after the vegetables have cooked for 5 minutes
  4. Boil 4 cups of water and pour into the wok
  5. Add the remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable stock and noodles then leave to cook for a further 5 minutes
  6. Dish up the soup into bowls, add the tofu and chop up some spring onion to sprinkle on top.

Note: Coriander also tastes delicious sprinkled on top. If your using bean sprouts just add them to the wok at the same time as you would noodles but no further cooking is required.

Its that simple.

Keep Thriving! ♥ Anya

Avoid Chippy Slap Syndrome: Crispy Kale Chips

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✔Gluten Free

✔ Vegan

✔Refined-Sugar Free

✔Dairy Free

What better way to enhance your healthy diet than to warmly welcome the Queen of Greens, Kale into your regular eating habits. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet and consuming it regularly can inflict phenomenal positive consequences on your insides.  Half a cup of chopped Kale contains approximately 15 calories and absolutely bombards your body with a delightful array of vitamins. It also contains a substantial amount of iron, manganese, phosphorus and copper. Additionally, Kale has also been found to improve and maintain healthy eyesight! Whats not to love, right?

Okay I’ll admit that Kale isn’t necessarily the MOST spectacular substance that your tastebuds have to look forward to but I personally believe that Kale chips are a different story. Salty, crispy and ready in 20 minutes…delicious.

Prep: 5 minutes + cooking: 20 minutes

You will need 

  • 1 head of Kale
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • pinch of salt

How to

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190 Cº
  2. Remove the ribs from the Kale and shop into 2 inch pieces
  3. Cook for 20 minutes, turning over after 10

Note: Kale is a seriously loaded weapon of nutrition however it does contain oxalates, naturally substances that can potentially cause problems with absorbing calcium so try to steer clear of dairy substances when consuming Kale!

Keep Thriving! ♥ Anya