The day of LOVE (and food)

Food is the ingredient that binds us together

Nowadays, Valentines Day is a far cry from what it used to be and has evolved into a somewhat different celebration. It is a day of proving your love to someone… Whether it be to your partner or someone you admire, lavishing them with gifts such as cards, chocolates, romantic meals and so on.

In the UK alone, it is estimated that £1.3 billion is spent every year on Valentine’s, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent. (WOAH!)

In Spain, Valentines Day is known as *add spanish accent* Dia de San Valentin… (sounds romantic).

DID YOU KNOW

Valentines Day started out as a celebration for Saint Valentine, a priest from Rome who was martyred in AD496. However, the celebrations have no romantic connotations and prior to the 14th century there is no link between the saint and romantic love. It is not until Chaucer wrote ‘Parliament of Foules’ that Valentines Day became associated with love.

To us however, Valentine’s Day is also the day where we get to dust off all our heart shaped baking molds, fine red linen, cute ribbons and play around with our culinary creativity… in the name of love of course.

So, here is a few of our creations that we have made over the years in celebration of this day, the perfect little treats that you can impress your loved ones with:

 

HEART PROTEIN BARS

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These will no doubt impress the favourite human in your life, a little bit naughty and a whole lot of nice… the perfect treat for Valentines.

BANOFFEE CRUMBLE (Dairy-Free)

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A combination of almond butter, banana and beef protein make this a decadent treat, perfect to indulge after a romantic dinner.

DOUBLE CHOC COOKIES (Dairy-Free)

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Chocolate is pretty much Valentine’s middle name, it comes with the package. So whip these Double chocolate cookies, and proceed to eat all of them with the important one in your life… what are healthy cookies for right?

PROTEIN HEARTS

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Cute miniature hearts with raspberry pieces and made with fruit powder, who said eating healthy wasn’t fun?

HEALTHY PROTEIN MAGNUMS

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Ice-cream is great any time of the year, but at least you get to share it with someone special today… (or not.)

RASPBERRY PROTEIN HEARTS (OR BUMS)

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Who needs pick and mix when you can have these super cute high protein jelly sweeties! Made high in fiber thanks to Vita fiber powder and in a super deliciously raspberry flavour!

VEGAN BLUEBERRY SLICES

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Knock up this simple recipe in no time with a few simple ingredients, Vegan or not… you’ll love it anyway!

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN HEARTS

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As we mentioned earlier chocolate goes hand in hand with Valentine’s, multiply it by hearts + The Muscle Bakery… and we get Chocolate Protein Hearts. Macro-friendly, delicious and easy to make! *thumbs up* Recipe going live tonite on GYMversus.

PISTACHIO CHEESECAKE

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Cheesecake made with a rich pistachio butter base, high protein yoghurt based filling and topped with Raspberry coulis, so good… you’ll be up for seconds… and thirds… and…

 

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Waffles, on a stick, coated with chocolate and topped with chopped oreos…. if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is…

Don’t fancy sweet recipes, why not try these savoury ones:

LOW CARB SPAG BOL

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Low-Carb spaghetti bolognese made with a delicious tomato sauce and low-calorie noodles, perfect for anyone who in prep mode but also wants to enjoy some good food with their loved one.

TOAD IN THE HOLE (Dairy-Free & Vegetarian)

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Admittedly, Toad-in-the-hole is hardly a romantic meal, but trust us… it tastes REALLYYYY good! (plus you can see the red linen in the image so it counts as a Valentine meal). Made with Sorghum flour, almond milk and egg whites… a simple recipe, which is easily adaptable and perfect all year round.

 

Hope you enjoyed these recipes and remember unless otherwise stated, all of our recipes are Gluten & Wheat-Free! Check out our recipe index for a selection of all our recipes across our site and our sponsors.

 

We love seeing your creations, so don’t forget to show us!

We are on all social media platforms @themusclebakery and now you can find us on Snapchat too!

 

Love & treats

The Muscle Baker <3

 

For the love of Peanut Butter!

We heard along the grapevine (aka social media) that it was National Peanut Butter Day yesterday which we completely missed! HOW DID NO ONE TELL US?! *insert sad faces here* But, even if it IS a day (fashionably) late… we owe it to Peanut Butter to re-live our bestest nutty recipe moments.

Here are our Top 10 bestest creations with the nut butter itself…

1. VEGAN MANTECADOS (PB Cookies)

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These are a re-creation of a popular local recipe, traditional to Southern Spain. Its traditional counterpart is laden with butter and sugar, but these… not at all! See for yourself.

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Egg, Refined Sugar & Vegan-Friendly.

2. PEANUT BUTTER ICE-CREAM

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PEANUT BUTTER… ICE-CREAM… Do we really need to add any more words? Don’t think so. Go feast your eyes on this recipe.

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Egg & Refined Sugars.

3. MUD PIE BALLS

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Using one of Hognuts signature nut butters, these simple protein balls are quick to knock up (and eat). You have been warned.

Free from Wheat, Egg & Sugar.

4. SUPERSIZED DONUT

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Whats better than a donut? A super-sized one… Topped with nut butter. Go on…

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Egg & Refined Sugars.

5. PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE (Low-Carb)

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Proving to be one of the most popular recipes to date, this easy to make fudge is super tasty and easily adaptable to suit your favourite tastes. Time to get creative!

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Egg & Refined Sugars.

6. CHICKEN SATAY

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No actual peanut butter is used in this recipe, but instead it’s far more macro-friendly sibling… peanut flour! A great recipe which is a staple in our weekly meal prep. Not only does it taste great, but has awesome macros to match. No doubt you’ll love it.

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy & Egg.

7. CREAMY BBQ CHICKEN

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Using Bulkpowders high protein Smoky BBQ Nuts About Whey to make the most delectable creamy sauce. Use on chicken, meat or even veggies! Whatever tickles your fancy.

Free from Gluten, Wheat & Egg.

8. BBQ BEEF BURGERS

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Burgers containing nut butter? YEP! Try it, they won’t disappoint!

Free from Gluten & Wheat.

9. PEANUT BUTTER CHIA BARS

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Soft peanut butter filling with a luxurious Dark Chocolate coat and chia seeds sprinkles, perfect protein bar treat. Perfect to prep in advance… or eat all at once. Your call.

Free from Gluten, Wheat, Egg & Refined Sugars.

10. SWEET PB CHOC PIZZA

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Last but not least, sweet protein pizza… topped with delicious chocolatey peanut buttery goodness. All the words we like to hear…

Free from Gluten & Wheat.

 

Too lazy too knock up recipes? Cannot find the time to make your own treats? Or would rather buy some delicious home-made peanut butter goodness? Why not try some of our bars? Sold exclusively at these local outlets

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This is our selection for the PB lovers… but there is a whole lot more, whatever your preference is.

Don’t forget to tag us, we love to see all of your creations.

Catch us on all social media platforms @themusclebakery

 

Lots of love and treats,

The Muscle Baker <3

Why Nutritional Yeast is so (fricking) awesome!

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We cannot really remember the time when Nutritional Yeast didn’t form part of our pantry, or do we want to! All we DO remember is being recommended it by a foodie friend who swore by it, and that was it… the beginning of a beautiful love affair with Nutritional Yeast. *insert love hearts here*

The name does not really help sell it, most people make the automatic connection to mainstream yeast, which is used in bread and beer ie the foods most people avoid when eating ‘healthy’. And I loosely say the term ‘healthy’ ( but, thats a post for another day).

Anyhow, we can confirm that this is NOT that same yeast, just its long lost distant cousing (at best) and this is a proclamation as to why you need it in your life. ASAP.

How is it made?
Nutritional yeast is produced by culturing a yeast in a nutrient medium for several days. The primary ingredient in the growth medium is glucose, often from either sugarcane or beet molasses. When the yeast is ready, it is killed (deactivated) with heat and then harvested, washed, dried and packaged.^

What does it look like?
We prefer using Nutritional Yeast Flakes, but it also comes in a powder form and is a yellowy colour, with a light ‘nutty and ‘cheesy’ smell to it.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes

What does it taste like?
The taste is hard to describe, mainly because you won’t believe it tastes cheesy without it being ACTUAL cheese. But it does, it gives a rich flavour to a lot of dishes and is used a lot in Vegan cooking. The savoury taste of nutritional yeast comes from glutamic acid, an amino acid that is formed during the drying process. Glutamic acid is a naturally occurring amino acid found in many fruits and vegetables and is not the same as the commercial additive monosodium glutamate. We LOVE it sprinkled in soup, to make Kale chips AND to make Cheesy Nachos ofc.

What are the benefits?
On average, two tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber).

A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is actually a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. That’s more than in 1 cup of whole milk (8g), a large egg (6g), or one oz. of beef (7g).

Nutritional yeast is a source of B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin. Just 1/2 tablespoon of some brands will provide you with a day’s worth of B vitamins, while other brands offer between 30 and 100 percent of the B vitamins.

^ Sourced from Wikipedia.

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STILL NOT CONVINCED?
Check these recipes out, if the above didnt sway you, no doubt these will!

 

CHEESY KALE CRISPS //

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If you’re a sucker for crisps, then look no further. In no less than 3 ingredients, these crunchy Kale crisps alternative will conquer them cravings!

 

VEGAN CHEESY NACHOS //

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Doritos better move over, theres competition in town.

 

PROTEIN FLAT ROLLS //

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Struggle to find Gluten-Free breads which taste good? Try these! Added nutritional yeast for extra (awesome) flavour!

VEGAN CHEESY SAUCE //

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Although we dipped our chicken skewers in it, the sauce is Vegan friendly, wahey! Go check out for yourself.

 

Hope you enjoyed this article and selection of recipes, we hope to be doing more like this in future.

 

If there is anything you’d like to see us talk about, just comment below, we are happy to hear from you!

 

Lots of love,

The Muscle Baker <3