Easy Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are jam packed with nutrients so imma add them to everything and nobody is gonna tell me otherwise.

Seriously though, chia seeds are the powerhouse of the seed family: packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein and omega-3’s… you really can’t go wrong by adding them to your diet. For me, they really help with regulating my digestion and I won’t go a day without having them – mostly adding them to porridge and yoghurt.

Chia seeds are one of the most fibre dense foods available, specifically soluble fibre. What does this mean? In the same way that chia seeds create a gel when mixed with water, the same process happens in your digestive system; they absorb water to form a gel and in turn soften stools for easier passage.

Anyway, heres the recipe – give your body the love it deserves:

Ingredients:
160g Non-fat greek yoghurt (I used Fage brand)
2 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Flavour drops of choice or vanilla extract
+ toppings of choice

Method:
Not much to it, just mix it all together until combined (without toppings), pour into a glass or bowl and refrigerate for an hour (or until you can turn the bowl/glass upside down without it falling out).

Then, top with what you like 🙂



I topped mine with some Malt-ish crumbles, sugar-free chocolate hazelnut spread and strawberries 😍


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Cheesecake-filled Easter eggs 🐣

Easter eggs but make them macro-friendly.

Easter eggs isn’t the problem, eating them in moderation is. I just want the whole egg. You know? So, with these homemade ones i can at least eat the whole egg and its still within ‘moderation’ hehe plus they look super cute AND a higher in protein.

Heres how:
100g Chocolate of choice
1/4 Tsp coconut oil
200g Light soft cheese*
10g Low-Sugar chocolate hazelnut spread
20g Whey protein powder – choc flavour
4 Drops of hazelnut flavdrops
2 Drops of white choc flavdrops
+ toppings of choice

*The lightest option available is Philadelphia brand ‘lightest’ however I used generic supermarket branded soft cheese.

To make a vegan egg alternative, use vegan cheese spread (any brand will work) and the best protein powder I would recommend is choc soy protein, like this one.


Note: if you don’t have the flavdrops don’t worry it won’t change the texture of this recipe just the taste. You can add more hazelnut spread for authentic ‘bueno’ taste or you can just add any essence/ flavouring drops to sweeten.


Method:
Melt chocolate with the tiny bit of coconut oil – I do this in microwave but if you don’t have a microwave place chocolate and coconut oil in a glass bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Some chocolate brands won’t require using coconut oil, but others might be thicker and need a bit of oil for it to spread easier.

Using an easter silicone mold, spread a layer of chocolate into each cavity and freeze a couple of minutes until solidified.

In a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour into your chocolate egg shells (still in mold) and refrigerate 15-20minutes.


Lastly, top with whatever you like – I used Malt-ish crumbles, strawberries and a cheeky white choko bon. Like having an easter egg and delicious dessert rolled into one, with the added bonus of each egg coming to approx 260 cals (inc toppings).


Hope you enjoyed this recipe and don’t forget to follow this blog to receive updates directly to your inbox or follow me on Instagram for all things foodie 😊

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Recipe: Peanut Pancakes 🥜

10pm is a great time to make yourself pancakes, right?


After eating light all day, 10pm came along and I was hungry – cue pancakes. As with most recipes, i chucked loads of ingredients in a bowl and hoped for the best.


This was the outcome:


Ingredients:
6 Tbsp peanut powder
(They also sell this one in Morrisons)
20g Whey protein powder
(I recommend the one in shopping list below OR this one by Bulk)
2 Tbsp xylitol (or granulated sweetener of choice)
30g Ready Brek porridge oats
1 Tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 (L) egg whites
3 Tbsp milk of choice


Shopping list here.


Method: Just like I did, chuck it all in a bowl and mix until everything is combined.

Leave your mix to a side (let the oats and peanut powder soak in) and heat a non-stick pan to medium heat. Be patient and wait for it to properly heat up, don’t be tempted to increase heat because this is just going to burn your pancakes. Trust.

Then, using a low-cal spray oil, make your pancakes. Pour table-spoonfuls of mix onto pan – leave to cook several minutes and flip. Repeat for entire mix.





Stack them up and enjoy! With some ‘Better than Snickers Spread’ maybe? I added some berries too! How will you have yours?
Hope you enjoy them, don’t forget to tag/share if you make them 🙂

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Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Salad Dressing 🥗

Worth it for the smell of roasted red peppers in your kitchen, aside from the fact that it tastes amazing ofc.



I was craving a huge salad and by huge i mean the kind where you add everything except the neighbours cat. Tired of plain ol vinegar and equipped with some fresh red peppers, i decided to make my own dressing.



Heres what I did:


Ingredients:
2 large red bell peppers
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Chopped onion + 1 tbsp frozen garlic – sautéed
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste
You will also need a handheld blender/ food processor

Method:
First you will need to roast your peppers:
1. Slice them in half and place face down on a lined baking tray.
2. Spray or spread 1/2 tbsp olive oil over them.
3. Bake @ 200 degrees C for 20 minutes until softened.
4. Place on a plate and cover with a bowl, so the peppers can ‘sweat’ for 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can put in a bowl and cover with a plate. This process is done so that you can easily peel the skin off the peppers.
5. Remove skin and place into your blender jug.

Then:
Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is combined.


Voila, done. Pour over your salad and enjoy 🙂


Or you can try my Healthified Caesar Sauce instead, its super yummy too!


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Thank you for reading!

Recipe: Choc Chunk Cookies 🍪 (Gluten-Free)

Nothing says I love you like warm, freshly baked cookies.


I dont really need an excuse to bake, in fact I am a THE biggest procrastibaker – will bake/ cook before doing anything that needs done round the house (or in life). So, instead of doing something productive I decided to make freshly baked cookies to greet my boyfriend when he got back from work. Logical right?


They turned out to be the best healthified cookie recipe I have made to date sooooo no regrets! 😛


Try them yourself:


Ingredients:
150g Cashew butter
(or any alternative – I just like the taste of cashew in cookies)
50g Ground almonds/ almond flour*
20g Whey protein powder
(Any you prefer will be fine. I alternate between Combat Cookie or Bulk Vanilla).
25g Brown sugar**
15g Xylitol (or preferred granulated sweetener)
1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1 Tsp melted coconut oil
1 Tsp vanilla extract / flavouring
2 Egg Whites
Chocolate chunks of choice (I used some chocolate that was still lingering in the cupboard from xmas which is Morrisons Cookie Milk Chocolate. Chopped it into chunks and was perfect – just use whichever you like best.)

* If you don’t have ground almonds I would suggest ground oats, however almonds will give you a MUCH better texture for cookies, oats will dry up more.
** You can omit the sugar and replace with granulated sweetener but the brown sugar will give it the perfect cookie texture (crispier on the outside) + perfect taste. Alternatively, use coconut sugar.


Ive created a shopping list on iherb with all the products needed for this recipe if you prefer buying it online, remember to use code: JCB887 for exclusive discounts.


Method: Line a baking tray with greaseproof baking paper and pre-heat oven to 170 Degrees C.

In a bowl, combine your dry ingredients then fold in wet ingredients leaving chocolate chunks for last. Place in freezer for 10 minutes – this will help roll the cookies onto the baking paper.



With a tablespoon, grab a spoonful and roll into a ball with your hands then place onto baking sheet. Repeat until all mix is used.

Dip fingers into a tiny bit of water and flatten/ shape your cookies.


Bake for approximately 10 minutes (until cookies have began to go golden brown around the edges).

Leave to cool completely.
Recipe yielded approx 12 cookies.



Enjoy with (or without) the boyfriend but definitely with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

Each cookie was approx 137cals / 8F / 9.8C / 5P (and I piled on the milk choc in this one, so play around with the amounts and you can get even better macros!)


Don’t forget to tag us if you try it 🙂

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Recipe: Better than Snickers spread 🍯

Promise, better than Snickers (branded) peanut butter spread…not that it would be hard to make a better one.


I was SO disappointed in the lack of flavour, you would never think a trusted brand like Mars Company would get this sooooo wrong. Its meant to be a caramel flavoured peanut butter with chocolate pieces BUT it tastes of neither. How is that even possible? At first I rated it a 5/10 but it doesn’t even get that… its a 1/10.


I wanted to re-create the spread using supermarket products, so that you could get the same (more flavourful) edition at the same price.




You will need:
1 Jar (label optional)
60g Dates (pitted)
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tsp oil of choice (I used olive oil because coconut oil solidifies, however you can use any you like. You can also add more oil if you’d like to make the spread creamier)
400g Natural peanut butter (100% peanuts)
100g Milk chocolate spread
For a vegan alternative use this one by Plamil.
Sprinkle of salt

Method:
First you have to soak dates in boiling water until they soften. Then, in a high speed blender (or using a hand held blender) blitz together with 100g of peanut butter, agave, oil and sprinkle of salt.

Pour into a bowl and mix together with a spoonful of chocolate spread.

Grab your jar and layer the date mix, chocolate spread and peanut butter until all peanut butter is used up.

Mix slightly and done!



To make this recipe, the cost was approx £3-£3.50 which is the same price as the Snickers spread. Alternatively you can omit the dates… even the natural peanut butter with chocolate spread is still nicer 😆

My spread went a bit pasty overnight, this is normal due to the dates – you can blend or mix in more oil and it will go creamy again.

Hope you enjoy it, try not eat it by the spoonful!
Don’t forget to tag/ share if you make it 🙂

Recipe: Peanutella

Most spreads are usually packed with maximum calories (which isn’t a bad thing) but it just means you get less amount for your calories. With this recipe you get to eat MORE for the same amount of calories… now thats winning!


This recipe is best enjoyed immediately but if you prefer making in bulk and storing for future use, note that the coconut oil will solidify – to use again simply heat a little beforehand.


Ingredients:
1/4 Cup peanut powder – approx 25g (I use PB2 brand)
10g Cocoa powder
40g Ground granulated stevia or alternative sweetener
25g Coconut oil (melted)
4 Stevia hazelnut drops* (I used Better Stevia brand)
*You can use any sort of flavour drops, some other favs are Skinny Co or Bulkpowders drops.

Method:
In a bowl mix all your dry ingredients, then fold in coconut oil until combined.

Then spread onto toast, pancakes or whatever else you may fancy.


I calculated about 8 servings, which totals to approximately 54 cals. However, you may get more servings (or less) out of your mix. Depends on your greedy levels 😛




Don’t forget to tag / share if you try this recipe, we love to see! 🙂


Follow @themusclebaker for recipe video reels and more.

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How to: Quinoa 🍚

If you don’t like quinoa, we can’t be friends.


Quinoa {keen-wa} – is it a seed? Is it a grain? A debate we are not here to discuss because there is a more pressing issue: eating it.

Its my favourite thing to eat at home, so i collated my favourite ways to eat them…get ready to jazz up your plain quinoa.Life changing.


EGG-FRIED QUINOA


Egg-Fried Quinoa
Ingredients:
1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
5 Egg Whites
2-3 Tbsp Soy Sauce (Or Tamari if needed gluten-free)
Sprinkle of salt

Method:
1. Heat a pan on medium heat with a bit of spray oil.
2. Once hot, pour the egg whites and salt and cook like you would scrambled egg, moving around until egg is mostly cooked.
3. Add quinoa and soy sauce and mix together, keep moving until egg has fully cooked through.
4. Remove from heat and enjoy.

LENTIL MEATBALLS WITH QUINOA



Follow our Lentil ‘Meat’ Ball recipe and enjoy on a bed of your ready made quinoa.

RICE WRAPS WITH VEGGIES & QUINOA



Ingredients:
2 Rice Wraps*
40g Avocado (Sliced)
50g Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes
50g Spiced Tofu (optional) 1 Tbsp Spicy Brava Sauce
Sprinkle of salt
Large bowl with lukewarm water
*You can find these in the chinese food section in most supermarkets or grocery stores.

Method:
1. Prepare all your ingredients and a large chopping board next to your bowl of lukewarm water
2. Grab a rice wrap and immerse it into the lukewarm water until fully covered for about 3 seconds so that it goes a bit soft but still manageable.
3. Lay carefully onto chopping board and repeat (2.) with second rice wrap. Place second wrap with half of it overlapping the first.
4. Layer ingredients as you please.
5. Roll wrap together carefully, tucking in the edges before wrapping fully.
6. Drizzle with the spicy brava sauce and enjoy!

LENTIL STEW WITH QUINOA



Ingredients:
500g (Cooked) Pardina Lentils
100g Mixed Frozen Peppers
1 Chopped Onion
1 Tbsp Frozen Garlic
Handful Chopped Basil
4 Tbsp Marigold Vegan Stock
6 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Italian Herbs
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 Ltr Water (Boiling)
100g Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes
2 Cups Cooked Quinoa
Sprinkle of salt & pepper

Method:
1. We pre-cooked the lentils for this recipe, but you can also use can or jar lentils which come ready made.
2. In a large sauce pan bring olive oil to heat on a medium setting, then add onions and garlic. Once onions have softened slightly, add mixed frozen peppers and keep moving until peppers have softened too.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the quinoa and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and leave simmering for approx 15mins.
6. Fold in quinoa and leave simmering for another 10mins.
7. Remove from heat and leave to settle, then enjoy or pack it up for the next day.

Note: The lentils will settle even more if you store them for the next day, so dont worry if you think they have perhaps come out too liquid(ey).

This recipe is made to suit my preferred tastes, but you can add/ swap ingredients and flavours as you see fit.

Hope you enjoyed these recipes! Please tag us if you make them, we love seeing you re-make our creations 🙂


Recipes created by @themusclebaker

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 🌱