snack

Fat free chips

image[3]
What’s the bet this will become my most viewed post? Guess only time shall tell. Last week, I was given a bag full of sunchokes AKA Jerusalem artichokes from my friend and our local organic farmer, Gery. Sunchokes are knobby-looking tubers that grow underground. They are rich in vitamins and practically fat free. According to Gery-san, they grow all year round but are at their sweetest in winter. They are to be eaten like a potato, roasted, pureed into soup or last but not least, chipified. But, since I don’t eat fried food (lol), okay, you caught me, let’s try that again, since I don’t cook fried food, I baked my sunchokes. Baked em free of fat, salt or any additives at all.

Unlike most tubers, but in common with many other members of the Asteraceae (including the artichoke), sunchokes store the carbohydrate inulin (not to be confused with insulin) instead of starch. For this reason, sunchokes are the best “clean” potato substitute both for diabetics and the health conscious in general.

Ingredients:
Sunchokes.

Preheat toaster oven to 260C (don’t fret, I’m sure a regular oven will work too! You might just have to squat a few times outside of your gym schedule).
image
Wash sunchokes then slice em thin – best to use a slicer thingy (no need to peel, the extra fiber is good).
image[1]
Rub between paper towels in order to draw out as much moisture as possible.
image[2]
Place sunchoke slices on an oven tray and bake in small batches until crispy.image[4]
That’s it! Just watch them so they don’t burn by turning them often (hence the squatting/gym reference).

Nothing else, no oil, no spice, no salt. Just as is. You’ll be surprised at how naturally flavorful and sweet they are all nat-u-ral.

Enjoy as you would regular chips, with a movie, smothered in dip or at 3am in your lonesome bed. Nah, just kidding no one does that… so a more appropriate suggestion for this hashtagfitfam generation would be to mix them through your paleo salad.

My most viewed post

I dedicate this re-post to my one and only sister, Delaram who has repeatedly shared, liked and commented on every single one of my blog-posts both online and in person. Deli, I appreciate every one of your efforts If I ever “make it” you’ll be the one person I won’t forget harharhar

Delaram loves carrot cake which is why I attempted these truffles in the first place and you know what else? She’s coming all the way to Japan to see me in THREE days. We have a FULL (and fun) schedule so watch this space!

The recipe for my “Mind-Blowing Carrot Cake Truffles” is my most viewed post yet: 24,907 and counting. I know, it isn’t that much compared to all the famous food bloggers out there but for me, it’s insane. Especially when the views come from St. Lucia, Zambia, Ecuador,  Qatar, Morocco, Cameroon, Benin, Luxembourg and Poland! WOW.

Blogging, at least for me, takes a lot of perseverance and faith. It’s laborious putting your energy and time into something without knowing what, if any, results will come of your actions. I haven’t started making a living off of my blog/writing yet, but for now, I’m over-the-moon knowing you’re eating these instead of cake.

image-28

sweet potato brownie bites – the perfect little treat to curb your sweet tooth

image
image[1]
image[2]
Gluten-free
Refined sugar-free
Dairy-free
Vegan
and no baking required!

1 large sweet potato (I used the orange variety)
6 medijool dates (pitted)
4 tbsp raw cacao powder
3 heaped tsp raw honey or pure maple syrup
1 cup ground nuts of choice (I used almond)

You’re going to laugh at this but this morning I Googled ‘how to cook a potato in the microwave’ and applied the instructions to my kumara (what us NZers call sweet potatoes). My sister glanced at the computer screen while I was googling and fell into a giggling frenzy exclaiming: “ha ha ha said the girl with the food blog”. To which I replied: “I have no shame bitch” Minus the bitch, I just thought that part – sorry sis if you’re reading this, which you most probably are… as it seems these days, my only followers/likes on Facebook are my sister and my mum! Nevertheless, my “developing” (an optimistic word/view to make myself feel better) culinary skills have produced these epic brownie balls/truffles/bites whatever you like to call them, deliciousness.

As per Google’s instructions (sorry Einstein next time I shall use my own brain – whatever that means in this day and age?):

Scrub the potato, and prick several time with the tines of a fork. Place on a plate.

Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes then turn over, and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.

Scoop out the insides of the sweet potato and place in the food processor alongside the remaining ingredients

Whizz for a few minutes or until mixture starts to come together like a dough.

Using your hands, roll into balls.

To finish, coat in raw cacao powder.

Refrigerate before consumption or nom nom straightaway if you just can’t wait.

It Takes Two To Mango

image
image[1]
But really it only took one mango to create two delicious vegan mango lassi smoothie bowls for mum and I. Sorry. Am I confusing you? It’s just that my brain is buzzing as I’m writing this post with unbelievable enthusiasm as this baby right here is by far, the most delicious fruit concoction I’ve ever created! (Even mum agrees and she’s a tough cookie)!

Flesh of one ripe mango
2 frozen bananas
1 cup of unsweetened light coconut milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp oats

Chuck all ingredients in a food processor and whizz away until smooth and creamy.

I topped ours with a sprinkle of coconut sugar, homemade granola and fresh blueberries.

PS you’ve got my permission to lick your bowl clean if you wanna – who am I kidding, of course you’re gonna wanna!

Easy Peasy Walnut Oat Crackers

image[3]
image[2]
image[4]
image[1]
image
1 cup raw walnuts
1 tsp sea salt
3 raw garlic cloves
1 cup oat bran
1 tbsp dried herbs of choice (I used dried dill)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3-5 tbsp water

All hail the food processor! Ain’t she an absolute gem?!

Place the walnuts, sea salt and garlic cloves in a food processor then process to a flour-like consistency.

Add the oat bran, dried herbs and olive oil then pulse a couple of times to combine.

Add 1 tablespoon of water then pulse, water then pulse, water then pulse etc until a dough is formed.

Dump mixture onto a lined baking tray (it’ll be a tad crumbly, don’t fret – that’s how it should be)

Knead it a little – oh yeah!

Place baking paper on top of dough and using a rolling pin roll out dough to around 1/2cm thick.

Remove the baking paper and using a knife, score criss cross lines in to the dough.

Bake for 20ish minutes or until golden.

Let completely cool before breaking crackers along the scored lines.

Serve in the form of a cheeseboard because what’s life without a little contradiction. AK

Crunch On

image-167
For all those who have been pestering me (JK – I love it, really) for healthy snack ideas, today, I bring you one of my favourite healthy snacks: crunchy roasted chickpeas. These chickpeas are incredibly easy to make and absolutely moreish; ideal for a potato chip alternative while watching Dana make bad decisions on Shortland Street.

2 cans of organic all-natural chickpeas

If you like it sweet:
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

If you like it saltaay:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tsp garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 200 C

Drain the chickpeas then rinse under cold water to remove starch.

Using paper towels, pat the chickpeas dry – NOTE: this step is very important, don’t be lazy; the drier, the crunchier.

Feel free to remove the outer skins if you wish. Personally, I find removing ALL the skins a tad tedious so I usually give up halfway. I don’t think skin or no-skin makes much of a difference (unlike KFC chicken).

Place chickpeas on a lined oven tray and roast for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove from oven and add desired flavourings. For the sake of ze blog, I made both of the above flavour combinations – first I drizzled the chickpeas in oil then added the spices and lastly, using a spoon, mixed to combine.

Place chickpeas back in oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes until nice and golden (watch them so they don’t burn!).

Turn the oven off and let the chickpeas sit for a further 15 minutes with the oven door open (for that extra crunch factor).

Nom nom nom enjoy! But be careful not to accidently eat the whole thing! They’re beans… so um.. you know.

An Anisa and Ryan Collaboration

image-174
Drop what you’re doing because I bring you HEALTHY caramel corn!

Yes, healthy.

Nutritious, even.

Oh mama!

A few months ago, I went on what I’d hoped to be, a romantic date to the cinema. I happened to be early and he happened to be running late so I decided to purchase our tickets and a large sized popcorn in order to make a good impression (everyone loves popcorn right?). Unfortunately, the first thing he said to me when he finally arrived was: “oh YUCK, popcorn” (guess he missed the straightened hair, painted nails, new dress – whatever). Long story short, turns out Mr. wrong used to work at the cinema and one of his responsibilities included making copious amounts of popcorn. However; it wasn’t the idea of popcorn or the thought of the task that disgusted him but rather the actual popcorn itself. Apparently, commercial corn is horrifyingly unhealthy as it is packed with extensive amounts of butter and salt. In the end, he didn’t eat any popcorn and instead bought himself an ice cream. Awkward, is an understatement.

My rather unpleasant experience with commercial popcorn has inspired me to create this tasty and guilt-free caramel corn recipe which is also naturally free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar:

popcorn:
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 tbsp coconut oil

caramel sauce:
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
1/4 cup almond milk

In a deep pot melt 1 tbsp coconut oil on medium-high heat

Place two popcorn kernels in the pot and close the lid. Once the two kernels pop, the oil is hot enough to pop the rest.

Open the lid and add the remaining kernels. As the kernels start to pop, shake the pot occasionally and more vigorously as the popping increases

When ready, transfer popcorn to a bowl and set aside to cool

In a small saucepan melt 2 tbsp coconut oil on low heat

Add the honey and almond milk and stir to mix evenly

Let the mixture boil for about 6 minutes without stirring

Take off heat and stir vigorously – this part is truly magical; suddenly the bubbles disappear and before you the most fragrant caramel sauce appears! You’re welcome.

Drizzle over popcorn and toss to coat evenly

Place popcorn bowl in freezer for 10 minutes

Remove from freezer and brake into smaller pieces using your hands.

Hide it in your purse, take it with you to the movies and watch…

GONE GIRL

WORDS  RYAN PATRICK

“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s … gone”. My feelings exactly while pawing desperately at the left-over crumbs of anisa’s addictive caramel corn as well as the tagline to what is sure to be, one of 2014’s most talked about films. Gone Girl stars Ben, soon to be Batman, Affleck and Rosamund, holy crap where did this amazing actor come from, Pike but the biggest star of this film is definitely director David Fincher. Most recently he made coding cool with The Social Network and made your parents uncomfortable with the English language The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. However; he initially gained a cult following by Brad Pitt star makers Se7en, and Fight Club. Infamous for his intensive pre-production, post-production and demanding shoots, Fincher has rightfully gained a rep as one of the truest perfectionists in film today. And Gone Girl only further adds to his already stunning filmography (we’ll let Alien 3 slide). Based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel, Gone Girl stylistically portrays the thrilling unravelling of a husband as he attempts to uncover the truth about his wife’s disappearance. Flynn also wrote the screenplay for the film bringing her sardonic view of upper middle class America to the screen. Her script is twisted and appalling and horrific and so absolutely freakin’ entertaining. Make sure you visit the bathroom before entering the theatre because, trust me, there is NO point in this film that you will be able to take your eyes off the screen! Gone Girl is best described as a tangled web of modern day mystery with an intriguing side-story delving into the mad world of American media and crime. Intrigued, captivated and disturbed all at the same time, you’re bound to forget the healthy popcorn you brought along… sorry Anisa. GO SEE IT!

Chocolate and Pistachio Balls

image-104
image-103
1 cup shelled raw pistachio nuts

1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1 tsp honey
1 tsp water

In a food processor, process the pistachio nuts in to a dense flour. Take out just under a 1/4 cup and leave aside for coating.

Add the cacao, prunes, honey and water to the pistachio nuts in the food processor and mix until a dough-like mixture is formed.

Using your hands, roll mixture into small balls.

To finish, coat balls with the extra ground pistachio.

Enjoy!

CAUTION: may attract mob of ravenous old folk.

Personalised Scroggin With a View

image-111
image-92
image-91

image-94
image-98
image-97
image-96
image-93
image-99
Do you like scroggin? I freakin’ love scroggin! Do you know what scroggin is? It’s a mixture of nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other healthynoms eaten as a snack by hikers (and university students). Although most supermarkets sell already made scroggin, I like to buy my scroggin ingredients separately and create my own personalised version. Why? Two reasons: 1. I don’t like raisins and 2. It’s much healthier. The latter is due to the fact that most supermarket scroggin is packed with excess oil, salt and sugar!

My top tip for creating your own scroggin is to keep the contents as true to their original form as possible. In other words, if possible, the ingredients used should be organic, raw, unsalted and unsweetened. If you follow this simple rule, your scroggin is sure to be super healthy, tasty and nutritious.

Scroggin: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, cacao nibs, dried apricots, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
View: Taylor’s Mistake – Godley Head Track

PS Beware of accidently eating the whole thing as good scroggin can be dangerously addictive!

Salted Orange and Chocolate Pretzel Sandwiches

This post is dedicated to my friend Isaac Hindin-Miller – fashion writer and relationship enthusiast behind Issac Likes for the endless support and encouragement regarding my blog. Isaac gives some pretty dope relationship advice on http://www.isaaclikes.com which has inspired me to give you a little counsel of my own. Last year, I went through the most miserable break-up (yep, that escalated rather quickly) and I, like the multitudes of other heartbroken individuals constantly used sugar to solace my emotions. My simple advice is: Don’t. Instead, try and put all your pain, sorrow and negative energy into creating something beneficial. If you’re anything like me (an emotional eater), by keeping plenty of healthy treats handy, you’re bound to save yourself from unnecessary trouble.

Not only are these delicious pretzel sandwiches the perfect combination of sweet and salty, they’re also free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. In other words; 99% guilt-free.
image-84
image-85
image-83

1 cup almond meal
10 medjool dates 
zest of one orange
juice of one orange
1/2 cup raw cacao powder

Bag of pretzels (gluten-free options available at most supermarkets)

In a food processor mix the almond meal and dates into a flour-like consistency.

Add the orange zest, orange juice and cacao powder and mix again until a dough-like mixture is formed.

Using your hands, form small balls then sandwich between two pretzels.

Store in a covered container in the fridge in between snacking.

Fun fact: The average American consumes about 1.5 pounds, thats 0.7 kg of pretzels per year!