Peanut Butter & Cacao Energy Bites

So I’ve been really getting my sweet cravings lately. Like literally after every meal. That’s quite unusual for me since I don’t essentially have a sweet tooth. But I ALWAYS look at the dessert menu first lol. I’m one of those people who are excited about desserts from the start of a meal but by the time you actually come to the desserts portion, you are too full. Does it happen with any of you? Or maybe I’m the only weirdo haha 😛

Energy bites are definitely the best thing ever! They are light, yet filling and definitely do the trick of satisfying your sweet cravings without burdening your waistline. No extra 20 minutes on the treadmill for these guys, woohoo! I love how quick these are to put together and you don’t have to be a culinary mastermind to make them. Just throw everything into one bowl and give it a good stir. Tadaaa! Energy bites are super versatile and you can literally make them in any flavor. I went with the classic peanut butter-cacao combination because well, I was craving peanut butter. (Seeee you don’t have to deprive yourself of the food you like because of a healthy lifestyle). There is a lot of goodness packed into one bite here. You get your protein dose from peanut butter and oats. Oats are also a high source of fiber. Cacao are great anti-oxidants and flax seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Bottom line: they are damn good! 😀

Peanut butter cacao balls

Peanut butter energy bites

Peanut butter cacao bliss balls.jpg

 

Makes: 12 balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup flax seed meal
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey / maple syrup if vegan

 

Method

  • In a medium bowl, add the oats, flax seed meal, cacao powder and coffee powder. Mix well.
  • Add the peanut butter and honey/ maple syrup and mix well until everything comes together. Form 1″ balls. You could also make bars out of them. Refrigerate until use.

 

 

 

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Brown Butter Apple Pie

When I have too much to do and instead I decide to bake. That happens with me ALL the time! Somehow, baking makes for the perfect procrastination saviour for me. 😛 I have quite a lot on my plate to handle and I seriously need to start focusing, starting with studying for my IELTS exam due this month. I’m gonna start tomorrow morning, I promise! (Let’s hope so) Anyhow, now that I’m done ranting and giving you guys an update on my not so interesting life, let’s get to the point. So, apple pie. Have I mentioned I love all things apple dessert? It’s like comfort food to me. Soulful and flavourful. I have been making this apple pie for a long time now and surprisingly I never got around to sharing the recipe. No idea why. Thankfully, I have a different and a healthier version for you guys, which does not involve putting on your jammies. Yes, skinny jeans would do, haha.

Apple pie 2.jpg

I have been obsessed with brown butter lately. It lends such a caramel-y flavour. Apples, cinnamon and caramel. I’m pretty much sold! This is a spin on my usual go to apple pie recipe with brown butter, multigrain flour and honey. Honey is a great sweetener for desserts, substituting all that processed sugar. The thing with honey is, if not used a good quality one, it tends to leave sort of a weird aftertaste. This one is different. I have used the Litchi flavoured organic honey from Under The Mango Tree and oh boy! I could lick some off right from the bottle. It lends a very smooth taste to the pie, and no one will ever know you’ve used honey. I also tried it with multigrain flour this time and I was surprised by the results. I was worried it might taste bitter but it was quite good honestly. So, here is it.

Making pies at home can be intimidating but it really isn’t. Two rules to getting that flaky crust is; one: handle your dough as least as possible, two: make sure you have chilled butter and iced cold water. We achieve the flaky crust when the fat melts into the flour while baking. Overworking your dough can melt the fat beforehand, hence giving you a tender crust. Always keep these two rules in mind, and you’re good to go! Chilling the dough helps in relaxing the gluten and stops the fat from melting. You’re gonna love this pie, especially with a big scoop of salted caramel ice cream. I have a hack for making salted ice cream without any effort. Just swirl some salted caramel sauce into softened vanilla ice cream and freeze for an hour or two. That’s it, let’s make some pies!

Apple pie 1.jpg

Recipe adaptation: Nigella Lawson

Makes: 3 mini pies

INGREDIENTS

For the pie crust

  • 200 gms multigrain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 58 gms unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 3-4 tbsp iced cold water

For the filling

  • 3 medium apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder, or to taste
  • 65 gms unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp multigrain flour
  • 55 gms good quality honey (I used Litchi Honey from Under the Mango Tree)
  • 50 gms coconut sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 30 ml water, at room temperature
  • 1 eggwash or 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder mixed with 1/2 tbsp brown sugar

METHOD

For the pie crust

  • In a large bowl, mix the multigrain flour, salt and coconut sugar together. Add the chilled butter cubes and using a pastry cutter or a fork blend in the butter until it resembles wet sand. Pea sized butter pieces are okay. Bring the dough together using iced cold water, using just enough until the dough holds together. Divide into two pieces, one piece slightly bigger than the other and form round discs. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. The less you work your dough, the better it is.

For the filling

  • In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat until it starts to brown and smell nutty, swirling occasionally. This will take about 4-5 minutes. Keep an eye or else it might burn. Add the multigrain flour and mix to remove any lumps, if any.
  • Add in the honey, coconut sugar, salt and water. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apples into small cubes (about 1/2 inch cubes). Toss them with cinnamon powder. Add the brown butter sauce and mix just enough to coat all the apples with the sauce. Cover with cling film while you roll out your pie crust.

Assembly

  • Preheat oven to 220 C.
  • Take the bigger piece of dough and roll out into 2mm thin sheet. Cut out circles 3 cm bigger than your pie tin and place on the bottom of your tin, pressing gently. Fill with the apple filling slightly mounting in the centre.
  • Roll out the smaller piece of dough into 2mm thin sheet. Cut out circles slightly bigger than your pie tin and cover the apples with the top crust. Seal the edges using little water. Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix.
  • Bake for 15 mins. Reduce temperature to 180 C and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream. Enjoy!

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