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MERRY TREATMAS!

Coming from a place like Gibraltar, the influence of many cultures filters through into the way we eat. Our Christmas dining habits are just a mash-up of typical British and Spanish cuisine. Papa Smurf usually cuts the Spanish Ham fresh from the leg so you can enjoy pre dinner with a selection of olives, other cured cuts, Manchego cheese and a San Miguel (Gluten-Free for me). Then, momma Smurf has cooked up the most divine yorkshires, taters, turkey and all the trimmings. In short, we get the best of both worlds tbf.

With desserts its no different!

Typical Spanish desserts consist of Turron and Polvorones which are small cakes comprised mainly of butter, sugar and almonds with the British desserts consisting of Christmas Pudding, After Eights, Gingerbread, Mince Pies to name but a few.


So, we rounded up a collection of our best Christmassy recipes inspired by our local culture and re-invented the healthy way. Grab your apron, its baking time.


PROTEIN TRUFFLES

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Using Pistachio butter, these higher protein and higher fiber truffles are the perfect addition to your Christmas spread.


PEPPERMINT CREMES

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These delicious Sugar-Free Peppermint Cremes will no doubt kill those after dinner mint cravings!


PROTEIN FUDGE

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Think turron, except with a peanut butter twist, made higher in protein, sugar-free and low-carb.


GINGERBREAD MEN

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Gingerbread men got a Muscle Bakery makeover, made Gluten & Dairy-Free, using brown rice flour molasses and a sugar-free icing. Make a batch and make it last all Christmas!


APPLE PIES

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Why have mince pies, when you can have apple pies instead? Using ground almonds for the base, these are a MUST!


PROTEIN CRISPY PUDS

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We are not big fans of Christmas puds so we made our own twist! Chewy rice crispy squares meets christmas puds! healthy, delicious and no doubt play the part!


VEGAN MANTECADOS

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Mantecados is such a traditional fave, this one is a must! Made Vegan and using high doses of Peanut Butter goodness!


PALEO ENERGY TRUFFLES

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Made using pumpkin, these are great to whip up in a sec and can easily be modified! Use your favourite nut butter or topping!


CHERRY PIE

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After making the Apple Pie, Cherry Pie was next on the list no doubt! The flavour of the ground almonds and cherry is just sublime, a winner with all who tried it!


XMAS MUG CAKE

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In a rush but fancy something sweet and in the Xmas vibe, try this pudding inspired Mug Cake!


No matter what, i hope you all enjoy the Christmas festivities whether you choose to make it healthy or not. As long as you enjoy it, make memories and spend it with those you love most… that is what counts.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

<3

GUEST POST // Vegan Rice & Tofu Stir-Fry

Vegan Tofu & Rice Stir-Fry Recipe, By Veggie Gib.

Making a high protein and nutritious stir fry without meat is not an impossibility, in fact it is quite easy! Mr Veggie Gib shows us how…

I like to use extra firm tofu (usually sold as ‘bio’ tofu) for stir fries because it is higher in protein (a good 15g/100g) and has less water so it doesn’t need to be pressed. All you do is pat the tofu dry, cut it up and shallow fry. The outside will go crispy whereas the inside will be soft, giving a nice contrast of textures, and it develops a nutty, almost popcorn-like flavour.

I don’t mind admitting I sometimes use shortcuts, in this case with the stir fry vegetables which I buy ready to use, but feel free to add any of your liking. Stir fries require some organisation because they are quite quick, so it pays to have a hot wok and all the other components ready beforehand.

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Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium.


Ingredients:
150g rice noodles, 5mm thick
250g extra firm tofu
1 tbsp coconut oil
150g stir fry vegetables (carrots, beansprouts, onion, pepper, Chinese leaf, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots)
20g (1 tbsp) peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
25g dried shiitake mushrooms (about 7 or 8), alternatively a packet of mixed dried mushrooms will do
100 ml of water

1. Put the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl with about 100ml of hot water and allow to soak for about 15 minutes until soft.

2. Add the peanut butter, tamari soy sauce and rice vinegar into a small bowl and stir. It might look like it won’t mix but it will do so later on.

3. Place the noodles in a large bowl of warm water and let them soak. They only need to be soaked for about 8-10 minutes and should be ready for when they are needed at the end.

4. Pat the tofu dry with some kitchen paper and cut the tofu into bit size pieces and add the coconut oil in a hot wok. Once the oil is hot add the tofu and shallow fry until it has browned on all sides. This should only take about 5 minutes. Take the tofu out, place on kitchen paper to absorb any extra oil and put to one side.

6. Add the vegetables to the wok and stir fry.

7. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into strips and add to the wok.

8. Add about 4-5 tbsp of the shiitake mushroom liquid to the peanut butter / tamari soy sauce marinade and this should loosen up to the consistency of a thick sauce.

9. Add the noodles and peanut sauce to the wok and give a good stir.

10. Add the tofu pieces and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Nutritional Info:
Calories:635 kcal
Fat: 17.1g
Carbs: 65.3g
Protein: 29.7g


Muscle Bakery tip: Want to make it lower cal and carbs? Sub the noodles for spiralised veggies or Bare Naked / Slim Noodles!


Veggie Gib

Food has always been a passion of mine, especially eating! Being naturally curious and having a sweet tooth I have always enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and creating yummy treats for myself, family and friends. Going vegetarian made me explore a lot of different foods and ingredients and made me look at food from a different perspective. What is more I quickly learned that veggie food is far from bland or boring. I like to make food that is quick, easy and tasty and I like to adapt traditional recipes to vegetarian alternatives whenever I can. Now I like to share what I eat and my recipes and hopefully make people want to eat more veggie food.

 

Recipe created by Ivan Hernandez, the man behind Veggie Gib. if you have not checked him out… what are you waiting for?! You can find him on InstagramTwitter, Facebook and most importantly via his website. (His Instagram is a beautiful array of meals and sweets that will most certainly make your tummy rumble!)


We hope you enjoyed this recipe, get involved… tweet/ gram us @themusclebakery & @veggiegib and tell us your thoughts!


Review: Hectares Sweet Potato Crisps

The lovely team at Crisps ‘N’ stuff sent us a bag full of their Hectares Sweet Potato Crisps and ofc we (very) happily dug in to review them! We were big fans to start off with, so we were SUPER excited to get so many bags sent to us! (Thanks guys) 😋


They have a selection of 3 flavours: Lightly Sea Salted, Chorizo & Sundried Tomato and Red Onion & Black Pepper. All of which are free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy and Vegan friendly (inclusive of the Sundried Tomato & Chorizo flavour.)


Red Onion & Black Pepper:

Perfect for those who love a bit of a peppery tang due to the predominant pepper flavour. The flavour does state ‘Onion & Pepper’ but the onion flavour is definitely more subtle.

I would use it in a combo for a recipe or as an addition to a salad or sandwich whereas the pepper flavour would compliment the meal rather than override it. Plus, crisps in a sandwich is always a winner! 

Or, you could always try out Sweet Potato Crusted Chicken Breast Recipe.

Per 35g bag: 179Cals | 11F | 17.8C | 1.2P Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Red Onion & Black Pepper Flavoured Seasoning (Black Pepper, Dextrose, Sea Salt, Rice Flour, Red Onion Powder, Colour: Beetroot Red, Natural Black Pepper Flavouring). 

 


Lightly Sea Salted:

It is what it is, like Ready Salted except made with sweet taters. Perfect if you’re not too adventurous and like your snacks plain. Unlike a lot of veggie crisps out there, these are way less greasy and super tasty! PLUS (out of all 3) these contain the least ingredients so if you are fussy like that, they are comprised simply of sweet potatoes, high oleic sunflower oil and salt!

Per 35g bag: 184Cals | 11.6F | 17.7C | 1.2P Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Salt.

Chorizo & Sun-Dried Tomato:

If a sweet potato eloped with a Bag of Lays Campesina flavour crisps you’d end up with these. No doubt my favourite flavour of the lot!

So full of smokey/ tangy/ paprika flavours Which remind me of the Lays mentioned above. Anyone who has shopped in a Spanish supermarket before will know it as the bright green packet. It’s one of my favourite crisps but it’s riddled with wheat and dairy which I cannot have so when I tried these… Ohhhhh the happiness!

Eat them solo, add to your salad for a little crunch (pic below) or try the chicken recipe with these instead!

Per 35g bag: 179Cals | 10.9F | 17.7C | 1.3P Ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Red Onion & Black Pepper Flavoured Seasoning (Rice Flour, Salt, Tomato Powder, Paprika, Cayenne, Yeast Extract Powder, Sugar, Natural Flavourings, Dried Bell Pepper Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Oregano, Colour: Paprika Extract, Chorizo Extract). 

You may be wondering what High Oleic Sunflower Oil is (seeing as all 3 flavours contain this ingredient). Well, hi-oleic sunflower oil is a type of sunflower oil bred to have a high concentration of the fatty acid oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which is found in olive oil and macadamia nuts. It is also considered as a Non-GMO ingredient as it is the result of traditional plant breeding.


To get your hands on these delicious crisps, follow Crisps ‘N’ Stuff on FB and order via their page directly or buy at any of their point of sales. La Parrilla On The Go sell them AND Muscle Bakery treats so we suggest you go there best 😝

For anyone in the UK, you can find them in a variety of outlets such as Holland & Barrett, Ocado, Wholefoods and more! Check Hectares website for more info.


 

We hope you enjoyed our little review! We plan to try some recipes featuring these crisps (when we manage to get a break from making Muscle Malts) so keep an eye out! You can find us on @themusclebakery on all social outlets, or follow @themusclebaker directly on Instagram!

 


 

Tag us if your try them!

 

Much love <3

World Vegan Day 🌱

Every 1st November marks World Vegan Day, an annual event celebrated worldwide and created in 1994 by Louise Wallis, former Chair of The Vegan Society, United Kingdom as a way of commemorating 50 years of the Vegan Society and of course the term ‘Vegan.’


What is Veganism?

Abstaining from eating meat, milk, eggs, and anything else derived from animals or insects. (This also means honey as it is sourced from bee’s).

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Note: Not to be confused with a Nazivegan, who follows a vegan diet but also flaunts one’s veganhood over everyone else as if morally superior. Kinda like saying that a gazelle is morally superior to a lion because the lion is a carnivore, you know? They’re not better than each other; just different.*

But, what about protein?

Naturally a lot of foods consumed with a Vegan diet are going to be carb dense as it includes loads of fruit, veggies and pulses but pea protein, hemp protein and brown rice protein are great additions to a Vegan diet. And, trust me when I say that ALL Vegans are tired of hearing the ‘where do you get your protein from?’ nonsense. Let’s give them a break already!

This delicious burger wrap is completely Vegan and it tasted glorious! Using our Vegan Waffle Recipe with unflavoured protein, I made a large pancake which doubled as a wrap and sandwiched it together with Morrisons Meat-Free burgers, Violife cheese and salad. SRSLY SUH GOOD. 


Calories still count

Just because a food item is labelled as Vegan doesn’t mean that it is all of a sudden the epitome of health. It just means that it has no animal derived ingredients, that is all. You still have to be mindful about the calories you are consuming, after all margarine is Vegan and that isnt exactly the healthiest of ingredients.

Note: If you want to log in the calories of an item, knowing the ingredients will be easier. Dont be afraid to ask, most cafes, bakeries, chefs or independant bakers will be happy to tell you. Then, you can go on MFP or Fat Secret and search eg. ‘carrot cake made with margarine’ there will no doubt be an entry for anything you may search for!


But, cheese!

Initially, my very first thought when I had to start avoiding Dairy & Egg (for health reasons) was, ‘OMG CHEESE!’ 😪 (Specifically Halloumi cheese, how does one live without this delicacy?)

Admittedly, three months down the line, I still really f**king miss cheese, mostly being able to enjoy pizza but also Halloumi cuz Halloumi is awesome.

However, nowadays there are a variety of alternatives like the range created by Violife Foods who do a selection of cheeses and soft cheeses which taste pretty close to the real thing, they even have a ‘Mozarella’ cheese which melts just as mozarella would! Magical.


Its cool, I can eat all the nuts

Word of advice, easy on the nuts! Nuts are an awesome, oh so beautiful thing (especially when it comes in giant 1kg tubs of nut butter) BUT, devour a pack of say 250g roasted cashews and you are looking at a days worth of calories consumed in one sitting. The same thing goes for raw vegan cakes which are mostly made with soaked cashews, coconut oil and nutty bases meaning they do pack on some fair amount of calories. You can have one slice, maybe even 2  (you nailed that killer workout an hour prior and really deserve it) just not 10 slices just coz its ‘healthier’.


Cakes without egg tho?

Its definitely possible, we make cakes on the daily without egg and they can fool anyone. Egg replacements range from chia seeds, flaxseeds, activated milk, homemade puree’s and we’ve even made a Banana Bread recipe (successfully) by using a Coke Zero as replacement!


To prove how easy baking #Vegan is we dug out some tasty recipes for you to check out:

 

CHEESY NACHOS

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Nachos made cheesy by using Nutritional Yeast and no nasties. All the awesome, none of the guilt. Go get.


SATAY SAUCE

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Lovers of peanut butter rejoice, this simple 5 minute sauce is what you need in your life. Go make.

 

VEGAN WAFFLES

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These simple pancakes are so delicious, made sweet with banana and agave! A definite must, for Vegans and non-Vegans alike! Check it out!


PB COOKIES

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Just like Mantecados the abuela would make, except made Vegan. These are DANGEROUSLY good! Go to recipe.


CHOC BROWNIES

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Brownies made with soya/ coconut yoghurt? Yup! Thats what makes them awesomely moist and fudgey! Recipe here.


COFFEE COCONUT TRUFFLES

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For the coffee or coconut lovers, a simple truffle recipe to keep the sweet tooth monster at bay. Whip some up.


APPLE & LUCUMA SMOOTHIE

Simple, tasty and nutritious! Packed with fibre from the apples, a ton of benefits from Lucuma and extra protein from Non-GMO Soy Protein. Recipe below 👇🏻

Lucuma powder is sweet with caramel-like tones, making it the perfect addition to smoothies, sweets, cakes and desserts. Plus, its high in antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, iron and protein!

 

APPLE & LUCUMA SMOOTHIE


Author: The Muscle Bakery.

Deliciously light & nutritious smoothie enriched with Lucuma

Ingredients

1 Cup Coconut Milk/ Almond Milk (or preferred milk)

1 Tbsp Lucuma Powder

1/4 Cup Homemade Applesauce

1 Handful fresh spinach

1 Scoop Protein powder of choice (i used Now Foods Non-GMO Soy Protein)

1 Tbsp Zero Syrup (for added sweetness)* *Add agave/ honey/ Coconut nectar if you prefer.

Directions


Add all ingredients into a blender, blitz, pour into your fanciest cup, add a straw (optional) and SLURP IT UP!

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Egg & Sugar.

 


Special thank you to all our lovely Vegan customers who trust us day in and out with making them treats. We love making them for you and hope to continue to do so, for as long as we can <3


To book yourself in for an order, whether it be a bespoke cake, a bulk order or an event request, email us info@themusclebakery.eu or PM us via our FB page.


Much love,

The Muscle Baker ✨

*http://www.urbandictionary.com

Hello Halloween. 

Did you know that most experts trace trick-or-treating back to the European practice of “mumming,” or “guysing,” in which costume-wearing participants would go door-to-door performing choreographed dances, songs and plays in exchange for treats! (Yes, that’s right… dancing.)

Although it is unknown precisely where and when the phrase “trick or treat” was coined, the custom had been firmly established in American popular culture by 1951, when trick-or-treating was depicted in the Peanuts comic strip. In 1952, Disney produced a cartoon called “Trick or Treat” featuring Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.


One thing is for certain, each year the popularity for this celebration increases with everyone wanting to join in on the pumpkin carving, fancy dress wearing and treat making.

We decided to jump on the bandwagon (but only for the treat making) and made these delicious Spiced ‘Franky’ Muffins.

SPICED 'FRANKY' MUFFINS


Author: The Muscle Bakery. Spiced muffins topped with Pumpkin Spiced flavour PB and decorated with an easy ‘spooky’ face.

Ingredients

3 Cups Carrot or Pumpkin Puree

3/4 Cup Coconut Flour

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Agave Nectar

2 Scoops Apple & Custard Whey (can use any whey you prefer)

5 Egg Whites

1/4 Cup Sweetener (optional)

1 Tsp Cider Vinegar Topping: 2 Tbsp Water

2 Scoop Vitafiber

60g Peanut Butter Co Pumpkin Spice Decoration: Dark Choc Chunks

Sukrin Icing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 Degrees C.
  2. In a bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until combined. Then, fold in your wet ingredients until you get a thick batter.
  3. Prepare a muffin tray with muffin cases and pour batter into each, should be enough for 12.
  4. Bake for 30-40mins (until soft and springy to touch and golden on edges).
  5. Leave to cool completely.
  6. To make PB frosting mix water and vitafiber and whisk vigorously, microwave for 30 seconds or heat in pan till vitafiebr dissolves. Then spread over your cooled muffins and store in fridge for an hour so it can set.
  7. You can decorate as you please, we used dark choc chunks and Sukrin i ing made as per instructions on packaging.

Nutritional Info (per slice):138 Cals | 4.5F | 17.7C | 7.7P

Free from Gluten & Wheat.


We also dug out our favourite Halloween themed recipes from previous years (including one that never got published), have a scroll:


PROTEIN WORMS

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Using beef gelatine, straws and a hella lot of patience… make these disgusting looking high protein worms! Recipe here.


SPIDER MATCHA CAKE

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Spooky green cake made with Matcha and using walnuts to simulate worms and a ‘cream’ topping painted with a spider web. All the Halloween things, under one frightful recipe. Click here for it.


BLOODY FINGERS (VEGAN)

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This recipe was made for Bulkpowders but never published! So, we thought we’d dig it out just for you guys. Easy, no baking, made Vegan and no that isn’t real blood just a bit of Vegan friendly red dye! Recipe below.

BLOODY FINGERS (VEGAN) 


Author: The Muscle Bakery. No bake fingers, kinda like Nakd bar’s but scarier.

Ingredients

5 Pre-soaked dates*

25g Walnuts

25g Chopped Hazelnuts

2 Tbsp Agave Nectar

1 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Cacao

1 Tbsp Coconut Sugar

1 Tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk

2 Tbsp Brown Rice Protein

2 Tbsp Ground Almonds

6 Blanched Almonds

Concentrated Vegan Red Food Colouring

Directions

  1. Add your pre-soaked dates, walnuts and hazelnuts to a bowl and start mushing them down with a utensil of your preference. The edge of a wooden rolling pin is perfect for this to really grind everything together.
  2. Start adding all the rest of the ingredients in the order they are listed, mixing with a spoon, leaving the ground almonds till last. Your mix should remain kind of sticky up until that point, the ground almonds will add the final touch to make them easier to roll. Roll them into finger shaped bars and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Dip your 6 almonds into the colouring so that the tips are smudged with red, press them onto your rolled up fingers and whack them in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. No doubt the trick or treaters will be pleased when they come knocking!

Nutritional Info (per slice):182Cals | 8.1F | 25.2C | 4.6P

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Egg & Sugar (agave contains sugars)


HOPE YOU ENJOYED OUR HALLOWEEN THEMED RECIPES


Don’t forget to tag us if you try any of these recipes, you can find us on all social media outlets @themusclebakery

For 15% discount on Bulkpowders use code: MUSCLEBAKERY15

For 10% discount on iHerb (on your first purchase) use code: JCB887


HAPPY (HALLOWEENY) BAKING!

<3

Free-From Eats: Brunch It (Malaga)

Brunch It Cafe 

Location: Calle Carreteria, 46 29008 – Malaga📍

Whenever i need to go somewhere the first thing i do is find somewhere new to eat, (it isn’t really worthwhile without some good food) so one quick search and i found this cute place in Malaga. The typography and cool design kinda sold it to me, the food looked pretty good too. Thanks Instagram.

To get to this location, we used the Sat Nav as we are not very familiar with the area. It’s a good job we did as there were roadworks around the area, which meant a sudden route change. Best suggestion is follow directions as best and as close as possible then park and walk there.

The decor is modern, blacks and whites with a fresh tone from plants, fruits and ornaments. Their large window opens up to allow seating on the front, there is a bar seating area at the entrance, then more seating indoors with one ‘lounge’ table with sofa seating towards the back of the establishment.



To start off I ordered a fresh fruit/veg smoothie. There was a few to choose from and each had a description of what they would help with ie. Digestion, alcalizing, energising etc. I chose the ‘Kotao’ which was for ‘digestion’ and comprised of apples, pear, ginger, lemon and spinach.

They were all priced at €3.50.

The other half decided to go for a slice of their freshly made pizzas, parma ham and pumpkin flavour made on a focaccia style base which looked and smelt DIVINE. (These moments are when i realise how much i miss cheese.)

Anyhow, the pizzas/ sandwiches etc are all made with their freshly baked focaccia style bread and each piece is sold by weight not by slice which is pretty cool. Especially if you’re one of those unlucky people who always ends up with the smaller pieces 😛





For my mains, after much deliberation I chose a salad, bacon salad to be exact. In hindsight it was not the best option and I should have gone for the quinoa salad or veggie burger, which had initially caught my eye. I’m used to eating turkey bacon so when the salad came it was a lot greasier and it was the typical Spanish bacon which has loadsa fat pieces and i dunno i just felt bad eating it. I think the wanting of cheese clouded my judgement!

By default, my partner chose a burger. There was a few to choose from including a turkey burger, veggie burger and soya burger by the names of Buey, Crunchit, Pavo Eco, Veggie & Tofu, all priced at €8.90 and came with a side of fresh cut chips.

Same goes for all their meals, they have a bit of a variety to choose from, designed to suit all and any. They even have a veggie and vegan pizza option: veggie had olive oil, cucumber, aubergine, peppers and Pecorino cheese (made from Sheeps milk) and vegan one had sweet onion, aubergine, cucumber and pepper. Each of the pizzas also had a different type of cheese, some with mozarella, others Parmesan and even one with provolone. 



We weren’t sure if to stay for dessert but like most occasions, i was there… i may as well. But, much to my disappointment i wasn’t able to have anything as none were wheat-free or vegan friendly (without dairy/egg) so i opted for a green tea to soothe my tummy post-food and watched the other one eat a Nutella stuffed focaccia. Sigh.



Price: ☺️ | Location: 😰 | Service: 😄 | Food: ☺️

The place is super cool, the layout is awesome, the decor is trendy and they even have iPads on the tables so you can surf the net. I wouldn’t consider it to be an ‘organic’ place per say, more like a healthified eatery with Italian vibes. They have meal options to suit all and any which is great, especially if you’re travelling there with a variety of people who have different diets and even though they don’t specifically cater to Gluten-Free they do have salad/ smoothie options to choose from. Perfect place if you’re not Gluten/ Wheat intolerant as you can enjoy any of the burgers or pizzas too, whether you’re Vegan or not.

 

Caters to Vegan/ Vegetarian diets (and people who love pizza).

 

Tip: For anyone counting calories/ macros etc my advise would be to log in similar counterparts to what you are eating and be mindful about it. Eg. bean burger isn’t hard to find on MFP, and it is very unlikely that there is a vast difference in macros. Trust me, at some point, someone has logged in something similar in MFP, a quick search and you’re good! If at the very least, for peace of mind.

 


Another from our series of #EatsFreeFrom as we travel around taste testing all the delicious (free-from) foods for you!


 

Any requests? Let us know! 🙂

Much love,

The Muscle Baker

<3

Banana Bread: Two Ways (Protein & Vegan)

Banana bread is possibly the easiest and most re-created recipe amongst the foodie realms and no surprise why, it’s flipping delicious! The nan used to make a walnut one when we were little ohhhh did we love it! 


Some food historians believe banana bread was a byproduct of the Great Depression as resourceful housewives did not wish to throw away overripe bananas (as they were still a costly item to purchase), others believe the modern banana bread was developed in corporate kitchens to promote flour and baking soda products.


These recipes came about after finding a printed banana bread recipe from what used to be our first blog and one of the first recipes we ever created all those many moons ago. We decided to give it a go again with a few tweaks and making two versions: Protein version and a Vegan version.

PROTEIN BANANA BREAD


Author: The Muscle Bakery.
Banana bread recipe that you can whip up in no time! Simple, delightful and tasty!

Ingredients

    3 Cups (Gluten-Free) Ground Rolled Oats
    0.5 Cup Granulated Sweetener of choice
    1 Cup Low-Fat Greek Yoghurt or Fromage Frais*
    1 Scoop Banana Whey (or any flavour you prefer)
    2 Mashed Bananas
    1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    5 Egg Whites
    1 Tsp Baking Powder
    1 Tsp Baking Soda
    1 Tsp Cider Vinegar
  • If you don’t have this, substitute with applesauce.
  • You will also need a metal loaf pan, not the silicone one.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 Degrees C.
  2. In a bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until combined. Then, fold in your wet ingredients until you get a thick batter.
  3. Prepare a greaseproof baking sheet in your loaf pan then pour mix into it.
  4. Bake for 30-40mins (until knife comes out clean when piercing it).
  5. Leave to cool completely before slicing.
  6. Then slice up and enjoy solo or with your fave nut butter!

Nutritional Info (per slice):109 Cals | 1.6F | 19C | 6.5P

Free from Gluten, Wheat & Sugar


For the Vegan variation, we decided to use a Coke Zero to replace the egg. Yes. You heard that right!

After delivering a Vegan cakey to a customer, he mentioned that he had tried making a cake with his daughter using a Betty Crocker mix and a Diet Coke and it worked! This clearly got us SOOOO curious and the culinary creative juices started flowing! We had read somewhere before that sparkling water could be used but never really thought much about it until he mentioned it so without further ado we jumped right in and used the above recipe to experiment with.

As with all of our recipes, we prefer trying and failing before having to call on our buddy google for help and that is exactly what we did with this one and absolutely winged it. The experiment paid off! It made the most delightful banana cake, id even go as far as to say that it was better than the original creation!

(Thanks for that Mr Williams).

Heres the recipe:

VEGAN BANANA BREAD


Author: The Muscle Bakery.
Banana bread made with Coke Zero?!! YUP! So damn delicious, like a cross between bread and pudding… exactly like nan used to make (made vegan)!

Ingredients

    3 Cups (Gluten-Free) Ground Rolled Oats
    0.5 Cup Granulated Sweetener of choice
    1 Tbsp Xanthan
    1 Cup Soya/ Coconut Yoghurt*
    1 Scoop Pea Protein Isolate**
    2 Mashed Bananas
    1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    1 Tbsp Agave Nectar (add more if you prefer a little sweeter)
    1 Coke Zero/ Diet Coke Can (330ml)
    1 Tbsp Cinnamon (optional)
    1 Tsp Baking Powder
    1 Tsp Baking Soda
    1 Tsp Cider Vinegar
  • If you don’t have this, substitute with applesauce.
  • If you want to omit this or don’t have this ingredient, try adding a little bit more flour instead.
  • You will also need a metal loaf pan, not the silicone one.


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 170 Degrees C.
  2. In a bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until combined. Then, fold in your wet ingredients until you get a thick batter.
  3. Prepare a greaseproof baking sheet in your loaf pan then pour mix into it.
  4. Bake for 30-40mins (until knife comes out clean when piercing it).
  5. Leave to cool completely before slicing.
  6. Then slice up and enjoy solo or with your fave nut butter!

Nutritional Info (per slice): 112 Cals | 1.8F | 25.1C | 5P

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Sugar, Dairy, & Egg.


As you can see the recipes are extremely similar, in fact they are almost identical except for the eggs part.

You can try the Protein version without eggs and use coke instead, but we have not yet tried that yet as we still have all the above slices of banana bread to get through! 😛

If you do, let us know how it goes!


Don’t forget to tag us if you try any of these recipes, you can find us on all social media outlets @themusclebakery

For 15% discount on Bulkpowders use code: MUSCLEBAKERY15


HAPPY (BANANA BREAD) BAKING!

<3

Free-From Eats: Gioia (Marbella) 

Gioia Plant Based Cuisine

Located on: Avda Bulevar Principe Alfonso, Marbella📍

Opening Hours: 13:00- 23:00 (Closed Sunday’s).


I stumbled upon this place after a friend from Marbella posted up some pics after a visit there. At first glance I thought it was going to be a fancy gourmet vegan restaurant, but boy was I wrong and for all the right reasons!


The location is easy to get to and impossible to miss. Take the first right after Guadalpin Suites (opposite Opera Room club) and you’ll see it. Parking may be a little hard but you can park along the front of the hotel anyway.

The setting is simple and quaint, modern with vintage tones. We chose to sit inside as it was a bit chilly, and the sun was no longer shining over it (approx 4pm). Perhaps at breakfast or brunch would be better for outside seating, at least now that winter is coming.

The menu was simple, several choices for starters, mains, desserts, smoothies, teas and wines. However, you could tell the choices had been carefully thought out, using a variety of wonderful ingredients.


Our first choices were of course the smoothies. There were 8 to choose from, 5 of which were fresh juices and the remaining 3 were labelled as smoothies: Classic Green, Summer Breeze, Ruby Tuesday, abc, Banana Cacao, Dreamy Chai and Blueberry Bee all priced at 6eur. I went straight for the Dreamy Chai and my friend chose the Blueberry Bee.

Needless to say they were both delicious, the Dreamy Chai was exactly that… DREAMY. I tend to love cinnamon/ spiced foods/ drinks and this was exactly that! The Blueberry Bee was smoother and fruitier, topped with bee pollen and also really tasty. They are all made with almond milk as the base and sweetened with agave or dates and have added (awesome) hidden ingredients such as maca powder and hemp seed. 


We shared a starter dish: Baba Ganoush, which came with homemade raw crackers and Kalamata olives. The crackers were absolutely delicious and were not dry which tends to happen when foods are made in dehydrator. I polished off the olives (standard) and my friend enjoyed the baba ganoush. Thumbs up so far.

Starter prices range from 5eur to the most expensive choices at 8eur which are mushroom carpaccio and mock sushi.



Onto the mains:

The mains (as usual) is always the hardest, a fussy eater with intolerances is not fun at all and after eyeing up the Mexican Salad which came with guacamole & pico de gallo I decided to break away from my default (safe) salad choice and managed to mix and match the bean burger with gluten-free bread which the owner happily changed for me. (Major bonus points). My friend chose the raw Zucchini Lasagna because she is way less fussy than i am  😝


What convinced me the most about the burger was that it came with homemade condiments: cashew mayo and sundried tomato ketchup. I was really curious about tasting them and also majorly excited about not having to choose salad for once. Bean burger came sandwiched between 2 slices of Gluten-Free bread (buckwheat or spelt options) was coated in sesame seeds and pan fried, with a side of mixed greens and red peppers.

Can honestly say it is one of the most delicious Vegan burgers I have tried to date, (best one was at Teresa Carles in Barcelona) but this coming a very close second. The texture was soft, which is standard for Vegan burgers, yet the sesame coating gave it a slight crunch which really complimented it. Even the mixed greens were really tasty, topped with a light dressing and pumpkin seeds. For someone who usually drowns her salads in vinegar, and didn’t this time… This is monumental 😂

My friends Raw Zucchini Lasagna came layered with spicy marinara, cashew ricotta and brazil nut/ pine nut pesto and she absolutely loved it too. Simple, tasty and really filling.


Lastly… dessert.

There is always room for dessert.

By this point we were REALLY full, but I had travelled all the way there… I wasn’t about to leave without dessert! Luckily they sell bitesize treats such as truffles and cookies which were perfect to satisfy the sweet tooth without them sitting too heavy on the stomach.

I chose the raw White Choc and Raspberry Truffle and my friend chose a Chocolate Cookie which we accompanied with some tea and coffee. I tried both and they were delicious, the truffle mostly tasted of coconut butter, with a melt in your mouth texture while the cookie was crunchy yet chewy and had a rich taste of cocoa.


Price: 😄 | Location: 😄 | Service: 😍 | Food: 😍

In all honesty the place is faultless, the price was very reasonable (we paid 30eur each and literally had one of everything), the service was wonderful, the owner who was the one who served us was happy to amend my meals without hesitation, the decor was pleasing and most importantly… the food was incredible. Bearing in mind i occasionally eat chicken and consider myself a Flexitarian rather than a Vegan, so for me to say that the burger was better than any normal burger i have tried… really does say a lot! 

The location is perfect too, not too busy with hustle and bustle and you can enjoy a nice walk around the area after your meal. Perhaps during busy periods not so child friendly due to it being next to a road but, at the time we went it was really peaceful and quiet so depends at what time you go (and how naughty your kids may be) 😛

Caters to Gluten-Free/ Wheat-Free/ Vegan/ Vegetarian diets.

 

Tip: For anyone counting calories/ macros etc my advise would be to log in similar counterparts to what you are eating and be mindful about it. Eg. bean burger isn’t hard to find on MFP, and it is very unlikely that there is a vast difference in macros. Trust me, at some point, someone has logged in something similar in MFP, a quick search and you’re good! If at the very least, for peace of mind.

 


Another from our series of #EatsFreeFrom as we travel around taste testing all the delicious (free-from) foods for you!


 

Any requests? Let us know! 🙂

Much love,

The Muscle Baker

<3

Everyday we wafflin’

I bought a new double waffle machine recently, you know… the one that makes those sexy looking American Diner style waffles. YAS.

So, in true Muscle Baker style, I didn’t let that red light die down till I was several recipes deep. (If you follow me on instagram @themusclebaker you may have noticed the few days of waffle obsession that followed suit.)


 

Now, making waffles isnt too different to making pancakes which means any pancake mix will work for waffles and vice versa! Just (for me personally) waffles are easier because the machine does all the work for you with a handy light which lets you know when they are done. Regardless, here is our top tips for wafflin’ successfully:

 

QUALITY WAFFLE MAKER // We ploughed through a gazillion options and reviews to check over quality/ price/ customer satisfaction before we bought ours. Don’t just choose a cheap one or even an expensive one because you think it will be good. Our recommendation is: JM Posner Double waffle maker.

SPRAY OIL // This is not essential but it does help a little, especially for Vegan waffles which don’t have eggs.. We use a coconut oil spray which is low in calories and doesn’t add much extra calories. There is also a butter flavour one which tastes lovely and vegan-friendly!

EASY WITH THE MIX // Before you start going crazy making waffles, experiment with the batter first. Check how many spoonful’s of batter it takes to make a full waffle without over-spill. Start small then go adding more batter for every next waffle until you reach perfect size. If your waffle spills it is quite hard to clean so you want to avoid that.

BE PATIENT // Don’t be tempted to put the heat too high in a bid to get the waffles done quicker. Start on a lower heat and wait for it to get to the right temperature, the first 2 waffles will always be the dummy ones anyway, the perfect temp will start once you’ve done a few. Note: some waffle machines don’t have temp options, it’s not necessary but is a nice extra to have. 

DON’T CHEAT THE LIGHT // The heat lights are there for a reason, so pay attention to it! All waffle machines generally are the same whereas there is a red and green light, both of which go on when you turn on machine and then the green light is the one that goes on and off to alert you. In short, when the green light is on don’t do anything.

 


As mentioned earlier, using any pancake batter will work for waffles, so if you are after a simple protein waffle recipe we recommend this one. However, if you are after a Vegan option or egg-less option, the following recipe is for you and works perfectly with casein or a vegan protein blend.

 

This is our latest go-to recipe:

VEGAN PROTEIN WAFFLES



Deliciously dense waffles, perfect for any day of the week.
Credit: The Muscle Bakery

Ingredients

1.5 Cup Coconut milk/ Almond milk 0.5 Cup Gluten-Free rolled oats 0.8 Cup Brown Rice Flour 1/8 Cup Arrowroot Flour 1 Scoop Bulkpowders Vegan Protein Blend* 1 Tsp Xanthan Gum 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract 2 Drops Stevia (or alternative) 1 Tsp Baking Soda 1 Tsp Cider Vinegar Spray oil of choice.

*This recipe will work just the same with casein too, textures will be different but will work perfectly nonetheless. We used Bulkpowders Strawberry flavour casein to test the recipe.

Directions

  1. Mix milk and vinegar together and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until combined. Then, fold in your wet ingredients until you get a thick batter.
  3. Heat up waffle machine as per instructions and like mentioned earlier, if you have never done waffles before add less batter rather than more. Add batter when green light goes off, then wait until green light goes off again to open waffle machine to remove waffle.
  4. Note: If you’re waffle has a temperature setting, start at a lower heat then build it up.

  5. Repeat until all batter is used up.
  6. Pile them up on a plate, add your favourite syrup and ENJOY!
  7. Nutritional Info (per serving of 4): 228 Cals | 2.6F | 39.7C | 8.8P

    Free from Gluten, Wheat, Sugar, Dairy, & Egg.


 


Need some waffle inspo? Here are some of our customers creations from our ‘Waffle Party’ event held 15th October at Strength Factory. Proceed with caution, extreme foodporn follows:

Vegan Choc Peanut waffles with Zero syrup, frozen raspberries and almond butter, Nadia’s simple and delicious creation.
Simple protein pancake recipe, smothered in zero chocolate mint syrup, choc mint oreos and a dollop of Nutella. OH MY.
Simple protein pancake sandwich with an apple pie theme! Apple pie filling and Toffee Nakd bites between 2 layers of waffle, topped with whipped cream, banana, caramel waldens syrup and a cheeky oreo.
Rita topped her simple protein pancake with frozen razzies, choc shot syrup and an oreo ice-cream sandwich. Who’s jealous?
Chocoholics look away! Simple protein pancake topped with zero syrup, crumbled twirls, Nutella and an oreo ice-cream sandwich. HOT DAMN.

 

 


No matter your dietary needs, everyone should be able to enjoy waffles! So if this recipe doesn’t tickle your fancy, have a browse on our ‘Pancakes and Waffles‘ recipes section and see if any other recipe suits you better!

Hope you enjoyed the tips and recipe, tag us if you put them to good use!

Find us on all social media outlets @themusclebakery <3

Free-From Eats: Pane Cioccolate (Marbella)

Pane Cioccolate

Located on: Calle 19A, Marbella📍

Opening Hours: 09:00- 21:30 (Closed Sunday’s).

This chain has two eateries, one situated in Sotogrande and one in San Pedro and after visiting (and loving) the Sotogrande one, we just had to visit their bigger San Pedro one. It’s location can easily go unnoticed which is actually a good thing as it means less people.

Here are the directions as it could very easily go amiss:

– Travel along the AP-7 Autopista del Mediterraneo (if coming from Gib-Marbella direction) and take exit 157 which merges onto the A-7 towards Estepona/ San Pedro Alcantara.

– Take exit 170 towards Gaudalmina, San Pedro de Alcantara and take the 3rd exit once you get to the roundabout.

– At the next roundabout take the 4th exit and follow on until the last roundabout, take the 2nd exit. 

– Continue and turn right onto Calle 18, left onto Calle 19, follow left again and your destination will be on your right. 


The setting is lovely, a little bit of shabby chic meets hipster vibes with blue hues and pastel colours all around and delicate decor in the form of cushions, quotes and cute ornaments.

At first glance the menu is extensive with a wide variety of items, all of which are clearly labelled with intolerances (see below). Unfortunately, the wide variety is narrowed down considerably if you need to avoid dairy, egg and wheat but none-the-less there are a few items as well as off the carte Vegan menu items (which you need to ask for).


My first choice was the Apple Pie Smoothie, I had tried it before and it is my absolute favourite! Made with apples, almond milk, agave, lemon and cinnamon, so simple yet so tasty! Definitely recommend if you like apple/cinnamon flavours, but there is something to suit all tastes.

The most impressive part of the menu was their great selection of toasts combinations, they have a different type of bread depending on what ingredient you would need to avoid which is absolutely awesome! There were combinations for all sorts of diets, whether you wanted eggs, tomato, olive oil or avocado, and if it isn’t on menu they are happy to customise it for you.

After reading the menu several times I decided I wanted bread (there is always time for bread) and decided on a Rye/ Spelt Wheat-Free toast. I really wanted a high protein topping that wasn’t eggs though, so I asked if I could have turkey, they happily noted it down and brought me some delicious chargrilled turkey pieces atop of my toast! A pleasant surprise as I was kinda expecting cheap supermarket cold cuts!

The mains had a little bit to suit anyone and everyone, a selection of salads, wraps, burgers, pastas etc. Perfect if there is a group of people with varying diets and taste preferences which was the case for us. (The boys wanted burgers while the girls wanted salads.)

However, I did find the mains a bit hard to choose, mainly because I’m a fussy eater who has to cater to intolerances which is a double whammy of annoyingness for the poor waiters/ waitresses *hides face*

I decided to opt for the ‘Nicky’ salad which is comprised of salad greens, cherry toms, walnuts, chicken breast and a balsamic glaze. (It also contains Parmesan but I had to omit that.)

The other half decided to go for the burger which came in a seedy bun filled with salad greens and a fried quail egg.

Other meals that were ordered were Goats cheese salad and a spaghetti pasta dish, everyone seemed satisfied and happy with their meals (with space left for dessert).


Now, I’m going to be completely honest here… The dessert was the most disappointing part for me because I never got to have any! 😩

All the cakes contained some form of gluten, wheat, dairy or egg and when asked if there was any Vegan desserts available, the waitress offered me a cake but wasn’t too convinced herself about the contents which didn’t inspire much confidence. (And then i asked the guy waiter and he thought i asked for Veal!) lol

Thing is, yes there was some Vegan items, yes there was some gluten-free items (which is great)… But no crossover treats catering to an all in one.

Watching everyone eat delicious Banoffee cake isn’t fun when it looks this incredible 👉🏻

Having said that, i would still go again (maybe prompt them beforehand to make sure there is Vegan cake available) 😛


 

Price: 😅 | Location: 😄 | Service: 😊 | Food: 😄

Would recommend for mixed groups as they cater to all sorts of diets, perfect for breakfasts, smoothies and non-vegan cakes. This place is also child-friendly and has sweets, cookies etc that children would prefer to eat. Overall prices are decent, smoothies at €5, salads around 10€, just don’t be too frivolous ordering drinks as they do add up! 

Caters to Gluten-Free/ Wheat-Free/ Vegan/ Vegetarian diets.

 


 

The first in our series of #EatsFreeFrom as we travel around taste testing all the delicious (free-from) foods for you!

 


 

 

Any requests? Let us know! 🙂

 

Much love,

 

The Muscle Baker

<3