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Wild Berry Coconut Bark

For someone who would rather eat a block of cheese than a block of chocolate it can be a little tricky finding a healthy snack to satisfy that sweet craving. There’s only so many banana and peanut butter bites one person should eat, so I think we’re onto a bit of a game changer with this one, Coconut Bark where have you been all my life.

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This sums up all the components that make a great recipe, it’s quick – like insanely quick, you can probably make this in an ad break (maybe? Try it) it’s the perfect healthy snack to grab after dinner or when you’re watching a film and need that snack, and it uses some of my favourite ingredients, especially The Wilds Muesli, yes yes yes. And the thing that makes a good recipe for me, is that you can play around with whatever ingredients you want to add in there, Nuts? Berries? Honey? Go wild…

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What you’ll need

  • 55g Coconut butter
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • The Wild Lime & Coconut Muesli (or any brand – but this ones yummy)
  • A mix of berries (we went for goji and blueberries)
  • Bee pollen (just to be obnoxious and for the colour (why else)
  • Coconut Crisps
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Vanilla essence
  • Small baking dish

 

What you’ll need to do

  • Line your tray/dish with baking paper
  • Melt your coconut butter in a bowl over a bowl of boiling water (don’t let the butter bowl touch the water
  • Then mix in can of coconut cream, your salt and vanilla essence
  • Pour your mix into your dish and then scatter over all your fillings, scatter the coconut chips over the top
  • And finally freeze until solid (takes around 30mins maybe more depending on the thickness)
  • The best part, smash your frozen block and enjoy.

 

This is a great alternative for a sweet bite, and you can make it exactly how you want it, throw in whatever ingredients you feel like, it makes for a pretty looking recipe plus it’s healthy, it’s easy and it tastes pretty damn good.

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Japanese Lettuce Cups

I haven’t been this excited about a recipe since I first moved to Melbourne and discovered Smashed Avocado.
Now that was a great day and this comes pretty close, you’re going to kick yourself you haven’t tried this sooner. Depending how elaborate you want to get it this can be so easy to throw together, just use whatever veg you’ve got in your fridge, play around and decide what makes the best healthy combo. We went a bit crazy in the local Asian supermarket with an ingredient overload and made all our sauces and dressings – obviously you don’t need to do this every time but trust me it tastes so good, it will definitely be worth it.

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Ingredients

1 baby cos lettuce
1 clove of garlic
1 small chilli
100g firm tofu
½ avocado, thinly sliced length ways
¼ mango thinly sliced
¼ cucumber
¼ red cabbage thinly sliced
sesame seeds to scatter on top

Wasabi Avo & Edamame Spread
2 teaspoons of wasabi powder
1 cup of Edamame beans
½ avocado
2 spring onions
handful of coriander
pinch of salt
dash of olive oil

Soy Dressing

1 minced garlic clove
splash of sesame oil
Good squeeze of lime juice
3 tablespoons of soy
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

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What to do

– To make your Wasabi Avo & Edamame spread simply blend all these ingredients in the food processor and set to one side.
– Same with your special Soy dressing, just mix everything that’s needed together.
– Now fry off your diced garlic and chilli in a little oil and add in your tofu and fry until golden, then slice your tofu into thin strips
– All your other veg should be sliced into long thin strips
– Now it’s time to get filling those lettuce cups, simply smear a good dollop of your Wasabi Avo-Edamame spread then load on up with all your favourites, bit of sauce, sprinkle of sesame seeds and job done.

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It’s easy, it’s simple and it’s so ridiculously good. These can be a straightforward snack with a few of your favourite ingredients or a bit more of an all-out affair like these, either way you can’t go wrong.

Lavender Chia Pots

Winter is definitely coming in Melbourne, these pitch black mornings are a killer to wake up to aren’t they?
It is my belief that in winter breakfasts need to be carefully planned, I’m talking about doing as much as you can the night before so you can snooze that alarm and stay in bed until the very last minute without compromising on flavor or benefits, so this recipe is a guaranteed winner, introducing our Lavender Chia Pots.

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Make these the night before and voila your looking at your main reason to throw yourself out of bed in the morning. An ideal healthy breakfast rich in nutrients and nourishing goodness. There’s a reason chia seeds are as popular as they are, they’re high in fibre and a great source of anti-inflammatory properties, did you know they actually contain more potassium than bananas?
But my absolute favorite thing about this recipe is using Lavender. Everyone knows how relaxing Lavender is, so imagine how calming it is to our body when we eat it? It is infamous for its natural-medicinal properties so I cook with it a lot to help my stomach and this is one of my favorites. I suffer with a lot of digestive problems and allergies and when things are pretty rough I will infuse lavender into a recipe for something that’s light and soothing.  Add in anything with Chia seeds and pear and you can’t really go wrong with this one.

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What you’ll need

-2 cups of orange juice
-2 teaspoons/ decent sized amount of dried lavender
-5 heaped tablespoons of chia seeds
-yoghurt
-dollop of honey
-Glug of milk (we used soy)
-1 pear
-big handful of cashew nuts

What you’ll need to do

-Heat your oj slowly in a saucepan with the dried lavender until it starts to simmer
-Then take off the heat and leave to cool
-Once cool simply drain the lavender out of the juice
-Mix your infused-oj, yoghurt, honey, dash of milk and chia seeds together in an airtight container and leave in the fridge overnight
-When you wake up just chop up your fresh pears and scatter on your chia seed pudding with the cashew nuts

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The best thing about Chia recipes is that you can play about with whatever ingredients you like, I went for pears because I’d stocked up at the market and they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Making this will take the hassle out of your morning rush, just throw this together the night before, wake up and enjoy, I challenge you to find a tastier, healthier breakfast.

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Baked Easter Eggs

I hate Chocolate.
Can you picture the outrage I get when this comes up in conversation? You’re probably doing it right now, how? What? Why? But I just don’t like it, never have, so all this Easter-food excitement is completely lost on me. Try telling that to my Dad who still buys me an Easter Egg despite me never eating chocolate my whole life, he’s chosen the route of refusing to accept it’s humanly possible or he just knows he gets to eat it, but give me a real egg any day.

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So in the efforts of doing something Easter related with not an Easter Egg or Hot Cross Bun in sight here is a recipe we made last year, Baked Easter Eggs. If you’re not a chocolate fan either then this one is for you. An eggscellent idea I think, this recipe is so easy to throw together, just use whatever you’ve got in the cupboards, don’t worry about it being too eggstravagant, it’s Easter after all and it’s time to relax. I’m counting down the hours until it’s the long weekend. The only plan I’ve hatched is to make no plans and have a rest. Cracking idea right? Doesn’t get more eggciting than that? (too many puns? You must be yolk-ing)

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What you’ll need

-2 red onions
– 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
– big handful of basil
– x2 cloves of garlic
– x1 small chili
– feta
– 4 eggs
– black olives
– 2 teaspoons of tahini

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What you’ll need to do

– chop up your red onion, garlic and chili and fry  until soft
– add in the chopped tomatoes, olives, tahini and some of the torn up basil leaves and leave to simmer away until thicker (about 8 minutes)
– transfer into your baking dish and make 4 dips in the sauce, attempt as best as possible to crack an egg into these
– scatter the remaining basil leaves and crumble the feta on top
– bake in the oven for about 8 minutes on a low heat
– Then enjoy

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And there you have it, an easy Brunch recipe that is going to be perfect for your lazy weekend. Best part is it’s rich in nutrients and valuable proteins, it takes no time to throw together so you hardly have to move out of bed and you can always make whatever combination you fancy, spicy? Mexcian? You name it – it always works. Play around with your favorite ingredients.

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Enjoy and most importantly have a lovely relaxing weekend. Sometimes we worry too much about trying to cram in so many plans and making the most of every second of time off we don’t give ourselves the time to actually enjoy it and relax.
Making a point to plan time to relax and do nothing is the most important plan you can make and usually the hardest one to keep. 

 

Lime & Coconut Slices

Here’s something  I never thought you’d ever hear me say but I think I’ve found something I like more than my Peanut Butter Balls – and as a self confessed Peanut Butter addict this is big.

Seriously they taste amazing, sharp tang of the lime with the creaminess of the coconut and cashews, mix that in with the sweet realization that these are actually so good for you and a great post work out protein hit and nothing tastes better. Plus these will literally take you a whole 5 minutes to make so it’d be rude not to knock a few up.

What you’ll need:

– 3 cups of cashews
– 3 limes
– 1 cup of Grated coconut
– 1 cup of Coconut chips
– 2 tablespoons Coconut butter
– 1 tablespoon of Protein powder

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What you’ll need to do:

– Put everything except your limes and half your coconut chips in your food processor
– Half your limes and squeeze in the juice
– Pulse your food mixer until your ingredients are roughly blended and sticking together
– Flatten out into a shallow dish like you would a brownie mix and freeze for 10 minutes
– Then sprinkle on the rest of the coconut chips and grate some zest off your limes for a topping and slice up

Things have been a bit hectic recently so I’m addicted to making anything that’s easy and quick and these are possibly one of my favorites so far. Pack some to enjoy after your next workout or to take to work you can even roll these into little energy balls if you’re more a ball guy than a slicer. Either way, their nutritious and a perfect boost of protein but even better they taste great.

GF Carrot Cake Muffins

Because nothing says Sunday more than baking.
Even better when it’s baking up something healthy and the words Carrot and Cake are involved.

These little beauties are ideal if you want to bake but are no Mary Berry. I’m all about simple, I want an easy recipe that I can throw in the oven and in less than half an hour I can claim to be the modern day muffin man. So here we have it, simple and healthy Carrot Cake & Coconut Muffins. (And gluten free – we can still enjoy baked goods too you know)

This recipe doesn’t need any extra sugar or unhealthy additions and all the carrot is a great source of antioxidants and fibre. You could even add in some protein powders to transform these into the perfect post work out snack. All this can be quickly knocked up in one bowl in record time, plus they’re a healthy take on Carrot Cake, surely that’s reason enough?

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What you’ll need:

– 3 carrots
– 1 cup of walnuts
– 1 banana
– 2 eggs
– 2 tablespoons of almond meal
– 1 tablespoon of coocnut oil
– 1 cup of grated coconut
– 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
– dash of vanilla extract
– honey (a decent dollop)
– pinch of salt
– 2 tablespoons of protein powder 

What you’ll need to do:

– Pre-heat your oven to 190c
– Mash up your banana in a bowl
– The mix in all of the other ingredients (but leave some walnuts out for the top)
– Once everything has been thoroughly mixed together transfer evenly into your coconut-oil-greased muffin tin
– Scatter some of your left over walnuts on top
– Bake in the oven for around 30 mins until golden brown

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I made a batch of these at the weekend and have slowly been working my way through them as my morning snack at work. Perfect size for a quick boost especially if you worked out that morning. I might have even cut one up, toasted it and added a little smear of peanut butter – because there’s no such thing as ever having enough nuts.
What do you think? Has to be one of the easiest, healthiest Carrot Cake recipes surely?

Chargrilled Aubergine & Goats Cheese Rolls

Sometimes there’s just no need to waste time with introductions.
I’ll get straight to the point: Chargrilled Aubergine & Goats Cheese Rolls.

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Sounds pretty good right? I promise you this recipe isn’t going to disappoint. All it takes is a few key ingredients and you’ll be making this almost as often as we do. They’re light, simple and so tasty – perfect for a snack, your next picnic or for dinner with a big old salad. Only problem, you can never ever make enough.

What you’ll need:

– Medium sized aubergine

– 200g goats cheese roll (log)

– Small handful of finely chopped parsley

– Salt and pepper

– You need to cut your aubergine into thin slices lengthways (if you cut on a diagonal it makes it easier)

– Lay out your slices in a sieve and sprinkle in salt (this draws out the extra moisture) leave for around 30minutes

– Rinse the slices and grill with oil and pepper until golden (keep a close eye you don’t want them to crisp)

– In a bowl mix your goats cheese, parsley and a dash of olive oil and season well

– Then with your grilled slices place a generous teaspoon of your mixture into the centre and roll

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And that’s it. Why confuse things when they don’t need to be. Simple ingredients that make one of my favourite meals right now. You’d be a fool not to try these. Trust me.

24hrs in Melbourne

There’s a reason Melbourne’s been voted the most liveable city in the world for the 5th year running, hundreds of reasons in fact. Why else do you think we moved here from London?
24 hours is never going to be long enough but here are some of our favorite things for you to check out in Eight Hours does 24hours in Melbourne with Eventbrite:

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COFFEE: Lawson Grove Cafe

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You can’t start a day in Melbourne without a coffee, it’s pretty much the law here. One of my favorite places is a bit of a hidden secret, Lawson Grove Café is a local treasure, places this good don’t come about often so definitely worth checking out.

ACTIVITY: Walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens

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Coffee in hand take a stroll along the river towards the Botanical Gardens, the most beautiful place around, just wander through or sit and relax by the lake. In Summer they even hold a Moonlight Cinema in front of the water with the city as the backdrop. Think of the Instragram potential.

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BREAKFAST: Uncommon

I’m not ashamed to admit this is my favorite part of the day, it’s all about a good Brunch. You can’t move for all the Smashed Avos, Chia Puddings and girls in active wear but if you can’t beat them join them, literally. Jump into the queue outside Uncommon, the new breakfast spot killing it in Windsor. Their health inspired menu is ridiculously good and refreshingly unpretentious, sign us up. Take advantage of the wait and check out Chapel Street Bazaar – a treasure trove of the most weird and wonderful stuff.  But back to the food: look no further than their Asparagus, Avo and Silverbeet on Toast. Unreal.

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ACTIVITY: head to Queen Vic Markets

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Next up a  visit to a Melbourne institution, the Queen Vic Markets, this place is huge and always fun to walk around. If you’re around on a Wednesday evening definitely check out their Night Market, live bands, cheap sangria and too many food stalls to choose from. Makes for a fun relaxed evening.

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LUNCH: Vegie Bar in Fitzroy

After killing a few hours (and calories) admiring the views strolling around this beautiful city it’s probably time for more food and this restaurant always delivers. Before any of you die hard carnivores start kicking up a fuss – yes this is a Vegetarian restaurant (what gave it away…) but it’s also one of the most popular places to eat around town. Try and grab a seat out back in their courtyard and you’ll see why it’s gained cult status – so tasty.

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The vibes pretty cool up North,  spend some time in the afternoon to walk around the neighbourhood, down the quirky alley ways, check out the shops and 100% make time for a few cocktails.  If you’re after a rooftop bar for an amazing view of the city: check out Naked in the Sky (if you can get a seat that is)


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DINNER: Chin Chin

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For dinner there’s really only ever going to be one answer, Chin Chin. There’s a reason this is the most famous restaurant in Melbourne. The wait time for a table is legendary but so is the quality of their food so it’s all worth it in the end. Whilst you wait head for a drink (or x4) swerve their GoGo Bar downstairs and head to our favorite: Eau du Vie. Melbourne is all about the quirky cocktail bars, if it doesn’t have a secret entrance, a crazy gimmick and a killer cocktail list then it’s not a true Melbourne bar and this one is one of the best.
If you didn’t know it was there you’d never know it existed, get ready for some of the best cocktails you’ve ever tried, their version of an Espresso Martini…two words: liquid nitrogen. Yep that’s right, it’s the stuff dreams are made of, crack your way through the ice cream top. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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A few cocktails down it’s Chin Chin time – order a selection of dishes to share and get ready for some of the best quality food I’ve ever had. Just be warned no meal’s going to measure up so you’re going to have to come back for more.

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ACTIVITY: Cocktails

If you don’t roll out of Chin Chins you’ve really let yourself down, if there was ever a place to treat yourself it’s here but if you can handle it there’s plenty of bars in the CBD to check out after. Some of the best, Goldilocks (rooftop bar through a Chinese), Section 8 – lively outdoor bar in a shipping container and for a little late night luxury, it’s all about Siglo, grab a seat on their rooftop with a ridiculous view overlooking Parliament and end the night properly, with a few cocktails of course.

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Final thing we promise, you can’t end 24hours in Melbourne anywhere but propping up the counter in Pellegrinis. It’s straight out of a film, a real Italian coffee experience, no frills  but it’s pretty damn decent. They even have a selection of their home made cakes if you’ve got room for desert.

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Some other activities you should definitely find time for:

Take a Moonlight Kayak Tour through Melbourne.
Takes exploring to a whole new level, did I mention you eat a fish and chip dinner in your kayak on the water. Plus you get the best view in the house of Crowns evening fire show. Well worth doing, because who sightsees by foot these days.

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Head out the city- Mornington Peninsula or Great Ocean Road – less than an hour outside the city and home to some gorgeous forests, beaches and wineries. Book a wine tour and be chauffeured around a number of the best vineyards, sampling all the wine and cheese you can handle or have a leisurely break by the beach and go for a long hike or horse ride. Picture perfect.

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