Is Veganism a fad? 🤔

It’s 01:32, my apple update is taking forever and I have to stay awake until it’s done so I’m sat here watching insta stories and one in particular caught my attention: a blogpost called ‘is veganism the new clean eating’.

It peaked my interest so I clicked to read it and enjoyed seeing an opinion from the flipside.


What I definitely agree with is that there is a collective of people who are jumping on the bandwagon for all the wrong reasons, especially with the rise of the celebrity vegan influencers, paid to promote certain products and/ or weight-loss via veganism.

If you are turning vegan to lose weight, please just STOP.

This is where toxic relationships with food begin. Its 2018 now, please let’s leave that behind.

I’ve said it before and will say it again, the only reason you’ll lose weight on turning vegan is because YOURE EATING LESS than you were before. The science is that simple.

Yeah, you’re feeling wonderful but isn’t that normal? You’re probably eating 10x better than you were before because you’re forcing yourself to eat more fruits, vegetables, pulses and grains.


Now, having said that, I don’t think it is a fad and my personal belief is that it’s actually a culture shift.

I remember when I started my blog (about 6 years ago now) protein bars weren’t even a thing. No one would buy them, except the hardcore gym junkies, and they tasted like sawdust, yet now… they are a mainstream item, found in every supermarket, corner store and even vending machines with a majority choosing them as snacks over the usual.

What we once thought was a ‘fad’, we now deem normal.


People who choose to eat Vegan aren’t all following the same diet, they are just choosing to be vegan because they feel that they can make a change in the world.

You can still eat Keto, Paleo, Low-Carb, High-Carb, Low-Fat, IIFYM and even ‘clean eat’ within the Vegan diet. You can also be a vegan and eat chips all the time so the range is vast ya know. It’s mostly about changing/ evolving for the better, to create less harm on animals and on the planet.

In the same way that people who feel they can’t be vegan, are turning to a veggie diet or changing some meals a day/ week. That’s cool too!

They ain’t changing their diets completely, or changing their daily calorie allowance, or not eating low-carb or keto, or whatever other diet they may prefer… They are just trying to make a teeny bit of difference, and that’s something wonderful.

A collective of humans who feel they can change the world.

SIGN ME UP.

(Although if you do love a heated discussion, just bring up Veganism)


Honestly though, do whatever works best for your health, body and mind and do it because YOU want to. Be inspired by others but don’t feel obliged, just do you. Every. Damn. Day.


**11 minutes of update left**


s/out to Hannah Lewin for the article and to Fit as Fudge who shared it 🤗

Photo screenshot taken from: #veganfoodie


For anyone interested in starting Veganuary, check my WEEK UNO and WEEK DEUX posts from last year, our TOP TIPS TO TACKLE VEGANUARY, or our range of VEGAN RECIPES.


Hope you enjoyed this blogpost! Do you agree/ disagree? What are your thoughts? Tweet or DM us.

 

Much love,

the muscle baker <3

World Vegan Day 🌼

Today is World Vegan Day, an annual event celebrated by Vegans all over the world. The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then Chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organisation and the coining of the terms “vegan” and “veganism”.


In the beginning, The Muscle Bakery wasn’t a reaction to any culinary changes but more of a personal development in the way I saw food. However, as my clientele developed and my skills improved, the demand began evolving and I was catering to the needs of my customers as well as developing my own cooking/ baking style.

The request for Vegan food has grown incredibly over the past few years, and even more so in the last year. When I began, my Vegan customers were a very select amount. But now it seems to be the other way around which is actually surreal to see; the way our culinary culture has changed.

With the growth of knowledge, we are all becoming more conscious of the world around us and it’s up to us to change that. So in contrast to when we began, we have developed with these changes, becoming an exclusively veggie friendly bakery.

We have also completely removed plastic bags and looking into veggie friendly packaging and labels.

We also offer a discount to all customers when they return their plastic containers or bring their own bags.


Everyone’s little efforts, make a big difference.


DID YOU KNOW:


A person showering for 2 months uses up the same amount of water that it takes to produce enough livestock for one beef burger.

Broccoli has a higher protein content per calorie than beef.

Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.

Plastic is the only existing material that CANNOT break down naturally.

There is officially so much plastic in the world that any fish we eat, by default also contains plastic.

If every human skipped just ONE meal of chicken per week, environmental effects would be like removing 500,000 cars off the road.

82% of starving children live in countries where food is grown to feed animals in the west.

Brad Pitt, Beyoncé, Ellen Degeneres, Liam Hemsworth, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Lopez, Pamela Anderson, Alec Baldwin and Bill Clinton are vegans.


To celebrate this day, we have put together a collection of our best Vegan recipes to inspire you guys; to show that eating Vegan (& veggie) is also super fun and tasty (and not just about eating leaves and carrot sticks).


VANILLA WAFFLES

Vanilla Pancakes


Say yes to waffles with this tasty vanilla flavour waffle, topped with soy yoghurt, cookies, fresh berries and zero syrup.


BLUEBERRY SLICES


Imagine if you married up a cookie, a scone and a cake… this is what our Blueberry Slices are like.


COFFEE COCONUT TRUFFLES


Coffee and coconut? imma go and say yes my friends. Soft truffle centre made w/ coconut flour, infused with instant coffee and coated in luxurious dark chocolate.


CHOC BROWNIES


Fudgey brownies to brighten the day. Using Soy yogurt as a secret ingredient, a recipe to make over and over again.


CHEESY NACHOS


Cheesy nachos without the cheese? C’est pas posible. Thanks to the use of nutritional yeast, make any tortilla your b**tch and make them into badass nachos.


FLAPJACKS


Flapjacks are usually laden with butter, not these tho. With added peanut butter… theres nothing to not love!


GOJI HOB NOBS

Goji Hob Nobs


Hob Nobs minus the gluten and the buttah + added health from the goji berries. Give them a whirl.


PROTEIN PANCAKES

protein pancakes


These pancakes are so tasty, it fooled all our non-vegan friends.


BBQ TOFU

bbq tofu


The easiest way to make tasty tofu, using bbq sauce and not much else! Pair it up in a salad or a spud for maximum taste bud party.


TOFU NUGGETS


Chicken nuggets is so last year, try these tofu nuggets instead.


VEGAN BANANA BREAD

vegan banana bread


Would you believe us if we said a can of pop can replace an egg? This recipe shows you how.


BASIC VEGAN PANCAKES


The simplest and tastiest pancakes you’re ever gonna make! A firm favourite amongst our followers.


We hope these recipes inspire you and remember: even if you swap ONE meal a day to a Vegan meal… you ARE making a difference.


Join us with your feedback #WorldVeganDay \ @themusclebakery \ @themusclebaker


For 20% off Bulkpowders use code: MUSCLEBAKERY20
For 5% off iHerb use code: JCB887


HAPPY VEGAN DAY 🌱

Treat or Treat? 👻

We made a post last year about Halloween, so this year we are gonna skip all that mumbo jumbo and head straight to the treats… no tricks. Its the best part of this holiday anyway, right?


Showcasing our favourite Halloween-ey treats that we’ve rustled up to date:


SPIDERWEB SMOOTHIE BOWL


Get in the Halloween mood with this easy to make smoothie bowl, decorated with yoghurt spiderweb!


FRANKENSTEIN PROTEIN POPS


These Frankenstein Pops are a firm favourite with the kiddos! Laced with peanut butter, decorated with chocolate and coloured in green… fun to make… and EAT!


VEGAN WITCH FINGERS


These Witch Fingers are made with all the healthiest ingredients, but full of all the scare!


FRANKENWEENY CUPCAKES


Try these Frankenweeny cupcakes…The cutest Halloween cupcakes you ever did see.


PROTEIN WORMS


Snack on these protein worms today. Lucky for you they are choc orange flavour!


WORMY MATCHA CAKE


Dont be spooked out by this Matcha cake, what you see ain’t really worms… but walnuts!


HOPE YOU ENJOYED OUR HALLOWEEN THEME RECIPES!


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


For 20% off Bulkpowders use code: MUSCLEBAKERY20
For 5% off iHerb use code: JCB887


HAPPY (HALLOWEENY) BAKING!

Vegan Banana Bread Pt.2

We mentioned not long ago that Banana Bread is possibly one of the most re-created recipes amongst the foodie realms… it is after all, where all over-ripened bananas are laid to rest. RIP spotty bananas. We created not one, but TWO awesome banana bread recipes back then, check that blogpost out here.


Now, months later and with some overly spotty bananas in hand, we decided to make some more. Except this time with a recipe upgrade:



VEGAN BANANA BREAD


Author: The Muscle Bakery.

Banana bread made with sparkling water?!! YUP!! We wondered if the recipe would work with sparkling water as we originally tried it with Coke Zero and it worked perfectly. Our curious selves had to try it out, and we are SO glad we did!

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**
    1 Scoop Vanilla Soy Protein
    2 Mashed Bananas
    1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
    1 Tbsp Agave Nectar (add more if you prefer a little sweeter)
    400ml Sparkling Water
    1 Tbsp Cinnamon (optional)
    1 Tsp Baking Powder
    1 Tsp Baking Soda
    1 Tsp Cider Vinegar
    Handful Dairy-Free Choc Chips (optional)
  • 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 of 16): 121 Cals | 1.9F | 20.4C | 6.3P

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


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

Our top tips to tackle Veganuary 🌿

This year we are planning to dive head first into mission: Veganuary. Our aim is to tackle it from our typical Muscle Bakery perspective; healthified, delicious, macro-friendly and (hopefully) higher in protein. It may be a little harder to achieve, but alas, not impossible! So, we hope to prove this and we would love for you to join us!


Now, what is Veganuary?


For the whole month of January, you consume a Vegan based diet ie. no animal derived products. Much like Movember, this is done to raise awareness. For most, a love of animals is the catalyst. Some people want to feel better about themselves and the impact they make on the world. Others would like to set themselves a challenge, combining Veganuary with their ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and see trying vegan as the healthiest start to the year. Whatever the reason, that is why Veganuary began.


But, what do i eat?


This is always the first question most people ask themselves, and although initially it may seem a bit daunting there is still so many foods you can enjoy, this coming from THE fussiest eater… if i can do it so can you! *pink promise*


Make a list


What I recommend to everyone who is trying to cut out foods whether it is due to intolerances or simply because they are trying to make changes and turn veggie/ vegan/ gluten-free etc is to make a list! If you start with your goals on a negative mindset and thinking of everything you CAN’T have… you will fail. Instead, make a list of ALL the foods you CAN have. You will be amazed at how much you can actually eat.

Once you have made your initial list, pair off foods that would work together as meals or snacks etc and compile it into another list. This is your potential ‘recipes’ that you can create along the way with the foods you’ve listed you CAN have.


Food Shopping


Our recommended shopping list:

CHOOSE MEAT-FREE
The burgers, sausages and mince by Morrisons Meat-Free range are all Vegan, however not all are free from wheat so be aware and double check ingredients. Quorn for example, is not ideal as most of their products contain some form of wheat and some contain egg too!


TRY SOME TOFU
You can buy fresh or packaged tofu from most supermarkets and for anyone looking to hit daily protein targets… Low in fat, moderate carbs and high in protein, this’ll be your best friend. It doesn’t taste of much, but that is what makes it great as you can flavour it as you most prefer. Pan-fry it with seasonings, use it to make tofu burgers or even whip up a dessert with it.

We’ve bought loads so keep an eye out for recipes (or failed recipes at that).


ALL DA GREENS
Kale, Spinach, broccoli, asparagus, peas, leafy salad, rocket, lambs lettuce… if its green its good for you! Leafy greens and fibrous green vegetables are among the most nutrient dense foods available. High in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. Each one is packed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other phytochemicals and micronutrients. When eaten raw, you get the added benefit of live enzymes needed for improved digestion and nutrient absorption.

Not only that, they are great to add volume to your meals without affecting your overall calorie intake! More greens, less everything else.


PICK YOUR FAVE VEGGIES
Choose your favourite veggies and add them to your shopping list. Not everyone likes the same veggies so this is entirely up to you!

We always buy tomatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potato, squash and green peppers as they are really versatile, add flavour to a lot of meals, work well on their own, cooked or raw and have a range of benefits between them.

Top tip: if your budget is low or you don’t seem to eat all your veggies before they go off, buy them frozen! Our go-to frozen veggie buys are usually peas, mixed peppers and sweet potato wedges, but there is a huge selection you can choose from! 


NATURES SWEETIES
Fruit is natures sweeties, packed with all the goodness and bursting with flavours, they are great to eat as snacks or even to add to your savoury meals for a little something something. Our faves are usually any type of berries, pineapple which helps with digestion and of course banana’s and apples. Always got time for those.

The great thing about most types of fruit is that you can freeze them if you won’t eat them in time. Then, you can use them for smoothies or smoothie bowls.


WELCOME THE BEANS
Beans are an amazingly versatile ingredient to have! They work well in savoury and sweet recipes, are a great source of fibre and they provide an army of nutrients. Make yourself Burrito Bowls with Guacamole & black beans, use Canellini beans to make bean burgers or make yourself some cookie dough using chick peas! Only one thing, they are high in carbs and fibre, so be wary when consuming. Especially if you can’t tolerate too much fibre and want to avoid spending your days on the toilet.


SUPA FOODS
These are not essential (and if you are on a tight budget then keep on scrolling), however we do use these often so decided to list them anyway. Chia seeds, ground Flaxseeds, Nutritional Yeast, Kale powder, Lucuma powder and Amazing Grass Superfood blend. Think of these as add-ons to smoothies, oats, yoghurts etc. Nutritional yeast is great to add to savoury meals to give it ‘cheesy’ flavour and is great to top up the protein content, check this previous blogpost for more info on it.


CHOOSE YOUR GRAINS
Rice, Brown rice, Oats & Quinoa are a must, they are a great carb source but unlike beans are a lot lower in fibre! Pair them up with loads of your favourite veggies, in a stir-fry, as a salad… wherever your imagination takes you. If you like pasta, then by all means have that too! (Opt for wheat-free options if you are intolerant).

As for oats, you can use to make granola, warm oats with plant-based milk or grind some up to use as flour for pancakes and waffles!

Top tip: Buy ready made packs of rice or quinoa if you are don’t have much time to cook, they do make life a little easier sometimes.  


DONT HATE THE PROTEIN POWDERS
A lot of people turn their noses up at protein powders, as if by some divine reason they are exempt from needing protein. The fact of the matter is that your body needs a balanced intake of ALL macro nutrients, i.e. Fat, Carbs AND Protein. So, protein powder’s are a great way to get them in, when you are struggling to obtain them in your daily diet. However, it must be said that a lot of Vegan Protein Powders may taste a bit ‘chalky’ on their own.

Our favourites are Bulkpowder’s Choc Peanut Vegan Blend, Now Foods Vanilla Soy Protein and Sunwarrior Vanilla Blend.


SWEET SYRUPS
Honey is out of bounds for Veganuary, so grab some Agave nectar, Coconut Nectar or Coconut Sugar instead. Any health store will have a selection of nectar’s to choose from including Date syrup, brown rice syrup etc but our fave is always Agave.

If you are looking for a lower cal alternative, Bulkpowders have a ‘Zero’ range which taste A-mazing and are zero fats, carbs, sugars etc + Vegan friendly. Their Maple flavour is incredible and unlike Walden Farms products, these taste like real syrup!


DONT NEED NO COWS MILK
Cow’s milk is the easiest to avoid thanks to the amazing selection we have in supermarkets and locals nowadays! Best advice would be to try them all until you decide on which you prefer. I like Vanilla Soy in my coffee but almond or hazelnut for smoothies. The only problem is that they are a little more expensive than normal milk so maybe find a friend/partner who can split cartons with you to avoid extra spending.


BUTTER ME UP
Again, much like Non-Dairy milks, this is easy. Bread and butter needn’t be avoided, just swap your usual spread for some Vitalite Dairy-Free or Pure Olive or Soya Spread and use them just the same. In savoury meals, sweet treats, cakes and more. We made our Gingerbread Men using just that and they were delicious! As well as the above, our pantry always has Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil and Sesame Oil.

We love using coconut oil for pancakes, waffles, sweet treats and cookies. Sesame oil is the perfect accompaniment for stir-fry’s and olive oil is a must for salads or to drizzle on toast… mmmmm.


PROTEIN TREATS
Like mentioned earlier, just because you are choosing the Vegan lifestyle, doesn’t mean you need to avoid all protein! So, if you are not too great at gulping down protein shakes or find that you are not getting enough… this is your next best alternative. Easier to carry around and perfect to combat any sweet cravings.

Aside from MB bars (obviously) there are a few other bars out there which are pretty decent and have a good macro nutrient profile. Our current favourites are Trek bars, especially their Peanut Power flavour!


PASS THE BREAD
The good news? Bread is 100% Vegan. Bad news for people like me? It has wheat (sad times) however, these Quinoa & Chia wraps by BFree Foods are amazing AND also happen to be lower in carbs than your standard wholewheat wraps which is awesome.

Make sure to double check ingredients on certain packaged breads as a a few sliced breads and gluten-free breads use egg in their recipe.


CHEESE
Let me break it to you now, there is no cheese like real cheese and if you love cheese… you will miss this the mostest. Having said that, (THANKFULLY) VioLife brand do an amazing Vegan cheese alternative! A little bit expensive but that makes you use it wisely so not an entirely bad thing.

You can also attempt to make your own, there are various recipes out there which use tofu, cashews amongst other things.

OR, you could always sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on everything!


YOGHURT
I thought I would miss yoghurt the most as i eat this every day, but the alternatives out there are amazing. Alpro have the widest range of products, all of which are Soya based. Coconut Collab have a Coconut based range, however those are naturally higher in fat than Alpro range. My favourite flavour is the Alpro Soya & Coconut, i enjoy it with fruit, nut butters or even with an added scoop of protein when i need it and the best thing? It has friendly gut bacteria which will keep your tummy happy.


NUT BUTTERS
If there is one thing you can rejoice about… it is the fact that you may consume all the nuts and nut butter’s as you please! Well maybe not ALL… coz they are laden with fats and overconsumption may lead to weight gain (we will cover this another day). But for now, nut butters are an awesome way to top up your fats and protein not to mention the added fibre that they pack.

Our recommendation would be to eat it mindfully, measure out your servings rather than just ploughing through it with a spoon and try to opt for natural nut butters rather than ones with extra sugars.


SNACK ATTACK
If you are a snack fiend like me, these are some of our faves: Lenny & Larries Protein cookies, M&S Peasnap Crisps, Enjoy Life Mini Cookies, Vegan Chocs.

Most Dark chocolates are actually Vegan, just make sure to heck the ingredient label… for example some Lindt Dark Chocolates contain lactose or milk 👎🏼

Note: Lenny & Larries cookies contain wheat.


And LASTLY…


GET INSPIRED


Follow Instagram accounts or FB pages that will motivate and inspire you, who share recipes and tips that will spark positivity in you. Search the #Veganuary hashtag and join others who are also taking part, don’t be afraid to comment and ask them questions… they most likely want to join you too!

Some of our fave accounts are @thehungrywelshgirl, @veggiegib, @eatyogreens, @fitasfudge, @spamellab, @samanthahadidi & @burtonsbakes. All of which post Vegan recipes, some more regularly than others but worth checking out 🙂

You can also check out our current list of Vegan Recipes.


We hope this inspired you guys even if just a little!

If you are thinking of joining in on Veganuary, let us know! Try it for even just a week and see how it goes for you… think about it like this… if we ALL tried Veganuary for just a week… how many more animals would remain? Loads more that’s for sure!

We will be posting regular recipes and updates along the way, you can follow us on @themusclebakery or follow @themusclebaker directly (who is the one taking on the challenge). Don’t forget to tag us along the way too, use #VeganuaryWithMB and lets create our little online sharing community.


For anyone located in Gibraltar, head down to LPH Gibraltar for their daily Vegan specials!


Much love,

The Muscle Baker ❤️

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

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

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