How to: Smoothie Bowl 🍧

Over-indulgence during the holidays is a natural thing, however it can leave us feeling quite sluggish and uncomfortable. Whenever we feel like this, we get an undeniable desire to ingest nutrient dense food *cue smoothie bowl*

The wonderful thing about making smoothie bowls is that you can make it as simple as you like or really go crazy with it. You can add extra protein, powdered greens, superfoods and more!


Here is our how to basics:


CHOOSE A FRUIT
Your choice of fruit will be the main component of your smoothie bowl. We’ve tried it with all sorts, this includes bananas, raspberries, blueberries, apples, cherries & mango! Bananas and any berries work the best in our opinion, but dont be afraid to try one that you prefer.


FREEZE IT
Whatever fruit you choose, chop em up, add to freezer bags and pop in freezer till they are completely frozen over. Most supermarkets sell frozen fruit and berries anyway, so if you tend to be short of time or are plain lazy head to the frozen section and grab a few bags.

Waitrose has a great variety of frozen fruit including Bramley apples, Cherries, Tropical Fruit & more!


GET SOME MILK
No matter your choice, any milk will work. We have tried this with Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Hazelnut Milk and recently have favoured Vanilla Soy Milk.

The reason you need a dash of milk is so that the blender can blitz your frozen fruit with ease.


ADD SOME SPARKLE
Not actual sparkles, but you know… ingredients that add some life to it. At this point it is up to you to use your imagination! We always add some form of protein powder and greens, we have even added nut butter before and it was GOOOOD.

Or if you don’t fancy adding anything, just keep it simple instead.


BLITZ IT
Blitz together in a blender and voila, done! We favour doing this in a NutriBullet or similar as larger blenders won’t mix this as successfully unless you do a larger batch.


Tip: If you want your smoothie bowl to be thicker just add more frozen fruit, or vice versa if you want it less!


See video below for example of texture, this is how we love it.



CHERRY SMOOTHIE BOWL

Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Milk of Choice
2 Cups Frozen Cherries
1 Scoop Vanilla Soy Protein
1 Tsp Powdered Kale
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method:
All all ingredients into your NutriBullet and blitz!

Pour into a bowl, eat on its own or top with your favourite ingredients.




Nutritional Info: 290cals / 1.2F / 24C / 41.8P


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 SMOOTHIE MAKING!

<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 ❤️

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

FREEZE! Top 8 Recipes to help you BEAT THE MELTDOWN!

The temperatures are soaring, doing anything has you resembling a wet dog and you are actually looking forward to getting to the gym today, for no other reason than there is air conditioning there… We feel ya!

But, there is something that can help… These refreshing selection of recipes we have created will help take you from wet dog to cooled down kitty cat IN NO TIME!

Have a go…

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA ICE-CREAM //

PB Banana Ice Cream2

Frozen bananas + peanut butter + whey = DELICIOUSNESS!

Recipe here //

COCO PRO ICE POPS //

CocoPro Icicle1

CocoPro High Protein Coconut Water in Pineapple flavour makes for the perfect protein ice-pops!

Recipe here //

RASPBERRY FLUFF ICE-CREAM //

RaspberryProteinFluff_IceCream2

Who knew frozen raspberries and whey would make such a delicious treat! Make fluff or ice-cream with the very same recipe!

Recipe here //

GREEN MACA SMOOTHIE //

GreenMacaSmoothie1

Add some ice to this nutritious refreshment for a light, low-fat, vegan-friendly summer drink!

Recipe here //

PROTEIN JELLIES //

ProteinJellies

Jelly is great no matter the occasion! Try this one for a supped up protein version!

Recipe here //

TOP TIP // WE LOVE ADDING LOADS OF ICE TO OUR COLA BCAA’S FOR A QUICK (EASY) REFRESHMENT! TRY IT WITH YOUR FAVOURITE FLAVOURS!

 

OATMEAL COOKIE WHEYHEY SANDWICH //

IceCreamSandwich

This is the most decadent of them all! No baking required, you will however need some decent amount of will power to avoid eating more than one!

Recipe here //

BLUEBERRY LEMON ICE POPS //

bluepops

This combination of flavours is truly sublime and so damn refreshing! Perfect to consume pre AND post freezing! YUM!

Recipe here //

RAZZLE DAZZLE SMOOTHIE //

RazzleDazzleSmoothie

Want something a bit easier to make? Add these ingredients to your blender and PERFECTO! Add ice to help with cooling down!

Recipe here //

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY…

Keep your skin safe, wear sunscreen, keep hydrated, use a portable battery operated fan if need be. (They are cool promise) or find your nearest pond or fountain and bathe yourself silly.

Our buddies at BULK POWDERS™ have some sound advice on how to survive a heatwave if you need it…

 

Otherwise, enjoy! Summer’s only come round once a year! 😛

 

Lots of love,

The Muscle Baker <3