Peanut Protein Bites

These are super easy to make and keep in the fridge for a week or can be frozen for a month.

You should have all the ingredients in the pantry.
1/2 cup natural peanut butter- crunchy is best
1/2 cup drained chick peas
2 tbs Natvia for Baking
100g Sugar Free melted dark chocolate for coating or topping the protein balls

In a food processor pulse the peanut butter, chick peas and Natvia.

They should resemble a crumbly mess!
Take a tablespoon size in the palm of your hand and roll into a bite-sized sphere. Wet hands work best doing this!

Once you have created the proteinballs refrigerate them on a tray lined  with baking paper for about an hour.

When they are firm to touch use the melted  chocolate  to either  coat  the balls, using two forks works well,  otherwise use a small syringe or piping bag  to decorate the tops of the litttle bites.
Each protein ball contains 55 calories and 3g of protein and are sugar free.

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Pumpkin Pie Slice

Just in time for Thanksgiving or for Christmas. This slice is perfect for the health conscious or as a tasty light dessert.
You will need:
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup Natvia for Baking
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 mashed banana
1 cup mashed pumpkin
4 eggs
Icing:
1/2 cup silken tofu
200g cream cheese
1/2 cup Natvia for Baking
Cinnamon for decoration
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees- fan forced.
Mix the dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.
Once thoroughly combined stir in the dry mix to the wet and beat well.
Line a slice try with baking paper & using a spatula spread the mix firmly around the dish.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until firm & golden.
While the slice is baking whizz the cream cheese, Natvia & tofu in a food processor until thick & almost like whipped cream.
Once the slice has baked, cooled & been cut into squares, spread the whipped icing over the cake & sprinkle with extra cinnamon.

Vegan Bounty Bars

Yummy, light and full of coconut.
These little slices of goodness are easy to whip up & taste divine!
You will need-
1 Cup Coconut Cream
2 Cups Dessicated Coconut
3 tbs Coconut Oil
1 tbs Natvia for Baking
1 Vegan Dark Chocolate Block
In a saucepan on a medium heat melt the coconut oil and stir in the coconut milk.
Add the dessicated coconut & Natvia and stir until well combined.

Press the warm mixture into a lined slice dish. Use a spatula to make sure the mix is flat and firmed into each corner.

Use a sharp knife to slice rows into the mixture. And then slice into little squares.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or two hours in the fridge and an hour in the freezer if you’re desperate to indulge.

Once the coconut mix is solid begin to melt the chocolate over a medium heat in a double boiler. I just use a glass dish atop a small saucepan. As soon as the chocolate is melted, stir and lower the heat.
Break up the slice into their squares and carefully, use a couple of spoons, coat each piece of coconut in the melted chocolate.

Place each slice onto a lined tray and then put them straight into the fridge for the chocolate to harden and set.
Once the chocolate has set eat them up before anyone else gets their hands on them. Or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

This recipe makes 40 small pieces at 100 calories each.

Oliver’s Real Food

Oliver’s is the kinda place that you want to see at every shopping centre, every airport & at every servo. These guys are making healthy, quick, nutritious food accessible.  Unfortunately the only downfall at the moment is that it takes an eTag to visit them, something I don’t have…

So I bought an east link day pass and proceeded along the Ferntree Gully road on-ramp to go out of my way to stop for petrol (only to exit via the next off ramp- Oliver’s is in between).

There’s nothing like seeing a line of people, mainly tradies and men in business suits, lining up for their edamame & freshly squeezed juices. I can’t say much for the parents lining up at Ronald’s ( Ohhh is that too obvious?) for, as my son calls it- Fatty Fat Food.

Three young guys were maning Oliver’s and they were all over the customer service. Using my name they reiterated my order, called me over when my Choconana Smoothie & almond milk latte was ready & even offered me some muesli bar samples.

The set up of Oliver’s is pleasing to the eye, collections of lifestyle & nutritional books are on display, along with their varieties of sandwiches, prepared salads, juices & my FAVOURITE- Pana Chocolate (!!!).

There’s a huge selection of gluten free foods, including toast, muffins, slices and brownie options.
There’s also vegan & vegetarian food & drinks available too.

The menu is diverse and doesn’t just have a handful of items. 
Breakfast, lunch & dinner can easily be purchased & the service is quick & friendly.
The staff were more than happy to make suggestions & go through any allergen information.

Oliver’s provide three seperate menus- a standard menu, allergen menu & then a brochure broken down into Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free & Dairy Free. These guides make food choices, easy. I purchased a fruit salad with coconut flakes, almond milk latte, smoothie & carrot cake. Everything was enjoyable & the carrot cake the best I’ve ever eaten.
If you’re eating with kids & they’re not going to be satiated with a smoothie or juice the ‘kids menu’ at Oliver’s is actually kid suitable. There’s nothing deep fried, nothing processed & no fries!
A kids pack includes a little sandwich- yes with crusts- sultanas, yoghurt, cheese, crackers, carrot & banana bread. Perfection. Honestly, we should be cherishing our kids bodies & nourishing them, not filling them with highly processed, fat laden foods.

Oliver’s isn’t about the latest fad or diet, nor are they about pushing food choices onto their customers. I think Oliver’s is just living up to their name- Real Food. 
Nutritious, flavoursome, natural, organic foods. 
The better foods that fill your body, the better you will feel & the better choices you will make.

Oliver’s is ground breaking. They’re providing foods that are readily available & making their mark in the ‘fast’ food industry. Oliver’s is ‘fast food’ because it’s easy, simple food. It’s not traditional, it’s natural.
Support this company, and what they’re doing. Embrace the changes & competition they’re bringing to healthy, convenient food.

Visit http://www.oliversrealfood.com.au for locations & franchise opportunities 
or search Oliver’s Real a Food on Facebook.

The Lilydale General

Okay, so you’ve read about The Lilydale General before, but I’m writing about it again!

I’ve you haven’t visited this little gem, then put the address, 110 Beresford Road, Lilydale, in your GPS and head down.
Today the General was packed. 
I was warmly offered a space over at the bar, settling in with an almond milk chai latte.

I perused the menu, deciding on Toasted Sourdough Bruschetta, with goats feta, avocado, tomato, Egyptian Dukkah, topped with a poached egg.
The meal arrived quickly, and the staff member was friendly and chatty, despite being a busy time.
My latte was creamy and not too sweet and the food was perfect as usual.

My brunch was yummy & I loved the addition of the dukkah. I’ve never had it as part of a breakfast dish before, mainly just used it to create a crust on tofu. It definitely added flavour and texture to my breaky.
I really love how the Lilydale General sources local, natural products; with plenty of options for those with intolerances or food choices such as veganism. But on the other hand I also like that there’s still traditional breakfasts available, with plenty of sides including baked beans & bacon. 

I was pretty strong willed at the cake cabinet this time- the Chocolate & Peanut Butter cake had my name on it, but if anything- grab a piece  of the Vanilla ‘Slice’ ( & by slice I mean slab, it’s no where near traditional ‘slice’ size), it is perfection. 

The Nutrition Bar

I love that there are so many more places opening up that are providing real, genuine foods.
Nutrition Bar has been at the top of my list for a while & I finally made the visit to Richmond by train today.
The two staff members working today were friendly and patient as I perused the menu boards for my nourishing breakfast.
I settled on an Acai Bowl with strawberry and banana.

The service was quick and the food was presented beautifully and it was worth my train ride!
Nutrition Bar, lined with its wooden benches and matching indoor and outdoor seating is clean, streamlined and bright.

I can imagine it would become quite busy late morning and early afternoon, taking in the hustle of Swan Street. 
The menu is pretty straight forward with detailed descriptions of ingredients and options for vegans and those needing gluten free.
There is a handy take away display cabin ate with oats, raw slices and cakes and pre packed salad lunches, with chicken and falafel options.

My Acai bowl was made fresh and a really good start to my morning. It was made of a acai, banana & coconut water purée topped with toasted granola, nuts, strawberries and banana. 
There’s some gorgeous shakes & green smoothies available, again gluten free, vegan and dairy free options are readily available. 
Additional extras and Superfoods such as bee pollen, buckins, chia, protein powders and vital greens are an extra $1 and Superfood take home packs such as goji berries & maca powder are well priced at $10.
This is one Clean Eating place you need to add to your list. The service, smiles and overall variety at Nutrition Bar will have you returning to try more of their goodness.

The Nutrition Bar will be opening in Windsor soon but is currently open at 121 Swan Street, Richmond or http://www.nutritionbar.com.au or search them on Facebook.
Read up on founder Eli at http://www.theunimpossibles.com