Healthy chocolate bonbons

Healthy Chocolate Bonbons

I eat a piece of chocolate every single day.

Every evening I treat myself to a petite dessert to go along with my cup of tea. Now, we could start an entire discussion whether or not it’s healthy habit, or if it is good or bad thing to do and so on…

But I can tell you this much: that one piece does not make me gain any weight. (Neither does it make me lose any pounds though, for those ‘dark chocolate is healthy’ believers out there.)

I does, however, make me insanely happy and satisfied ánd it gives me instant chocolate gratification. It’s a little something to look forward too after a day of devoted healthy eating. My naughty moment if you want to put it like that. And it’s what keeps me going. Because let’s be honest, we need to let loose from time to time. And that’s why I don’t believe in diets. Being restrictive is good for nothing. Just eat. But eat healthy! And be a goodie two shoes 80% of the time and a bad ass chick 20% of the time. Food wise I mean. Obvi. You know, the boring old 80-20 rule.

So, I might not have to point out that my piece of chocolate is a ‘healthy’ one. Read: it’s dark (at least 70% cacao, ladies. Say buh-bye to the milk chocolate!). It’s with raw cacao. It’s dairy free (vegan if you like). You won’t find any processed sugar inside, neither will it contain any  preservatives. And it may or may not contain some superfoods along the way (bonus).

For those of you wondering where to find a chocolate that meets all the requirements as listed above… meet: Lovechock. The yummiest and healthiest chocolate option out there! Found in every so called organic/bio/nature shop for you to grab and enjoy. Moderation is key, though. Don’t eat the whole dang bar. Eat one piece (or two, on days when needed). Slowly.

But, if it’s absolutely impossible for you to find a Lovechock bar in a store near you, I have a plan B. Little more effort than buying it and only opening the wrapper when craving a chocolate. But as good and healthy as the store bought version.

Make your own dark chocolate bonbons with this easy peasy recipe:

You’ll need

  • 4 tbsp raw cacao
  • 15g raw cacao nibs
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk (note: not coconut creme)
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 (or 2) tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of pink Himalaya salt

Directions

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan.

When the coconut oil is melted add all other ingredients and stir well until you get a chocolate batter.

Add the mixture to an ice cube mold an put in the freezer for two hours (or overnight).

Enjoy one – guilt-free – with a cup of tea or coffee.

Bon appetit!

Xo, Kirsten

The yummiest coconut pancakes

Coconut Pancakes

For any of you that know me – or for any of you that follow this blog on the reg – it’s not a secret: I love a pancake for breakfast from time to time. (If you’re curious about previous pancake recipes check them over here and over there)

My fondest childhood memories are the ones containing the smell of pancakes. On lazy sunday mornings, when I was stumbling down the stairs to the kitchen area in search of breakfast, usually, I would find my mom or dad flipping pancakes (so profesh) and adding new ones to the stack next to the kitchen counter. For me to eat. Like, sunday morning perfection.

A given was that whenever I hosted a sleepover for my 9 year old besties there would always be a pancake fest in the a.m. with a billion of unhealthy toppings to choose from. Gimme that Nutella

The pancake mornings at my place were famous amongst my girlfriends back in the day. Obvi. Actually, they remained famous throughout my teens too, because we would still be treated with a good old pancake galore in the a.m. after our first 17 year old selves attempted the whole ‘going out’ thing with a petite sleepover afterwards. Like, acting all grown up woman at night – with a little too much make up on BTW, and a lot of fashion faux pas – but we would always turn back into pancake craving little girls in the morning.

Needless to say I still crave pancakes on sunday mornings. Especially on the rainy ones. Only, nowadays I have to prep and flip them myself. And, also nowadays, they’re not all that guilt free when I eat them. My mind turns into to one big alarm bell yelling: NOT SO HEALTHY LADY! FATTY, FATTY, FAT, FAT!

So, when I decide to make my own pancake stack I want them to be as healthy as posb. Without them tasting like a cardboard cracker. I want them to taste exactly like the real fat-ass deal. Or maybe even better. High standards much?

I’ve tried many varieties, swapping every ingredient in there for a healthy brother. Some of them worked, some of them didn’t (stay away from the buckwheat. Really. Don’t even bother). But this one is the bomb.com. My absolute winner, all time favorite. The yummiest. Like, you won’t know what you’re tasting and you’ll never ever want the real bad-ass deal again. It’s that good.

Hey, if I had any kids I would give them these instead of the boring old school unhealthy variety.

Yeah.

Eat that.

You’ll need (serves one, about 

  • 50g whole grain spelt flour
  • 1 egg
  • 125ml of coconut milk (not the creme! the actual milk. Like 40kcal for 100ml)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of stevia
  • a splash of sparkling water
  • toppings. Go wild. Fruit, maple syrup, stevia, banana, chocolate spread, honey,…

Directions

Add the flour to a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg.

Grab a beater and beat the egg together with the flour while slowly adding the milk.

Add some sparkling water, the melted coconut butter (so it’s oil), salt and some stevia. Whisk through the batter.

Add a large pan on a high heat.

Now add a big spoon of batter to your pan. Move your pan until a thin layer of batter covers the entire bottom of the pan.

Wait until bubbles appear on the batter. It’s time to flip. You can go profesh and flip the pancake in the air OR you can go safe and use a spatula. Like I usually do. 😉

If you want your finished pancakes to stay hot while you prep the rest here’s a tip: Boil some water and add to a large pot. Put a plate on top and move your pancakes on the plate. Cover with another plate or with the lit and your pancakes will stay super hot.

Eat with loads of maple syrup and stevia. Or whatever you want.

Bon appetit,

Xo, Kirsten

Coconut Pancakes

Sweet and salty dates to start

Sweet and salty dates

Whenever my Mom and Dad used to invite people over for dinner they always made something a little more special out of the ordinary besides the casual potato chips and nuts as a snickity snack before dinner.

Lets just say I grew up with quite the standards when it comes to hosting dinner parties. So the bar was set when I started hosting my own din din parties. 😉 And we so happened to have one last sunday. With a lot of casual snack and somewhat more out of the ordinary. Obvi.

We had homemade mango chutney with tortilla chips or spelt crackers, cherry tomatoes and dried tomatoes, olive, spelt breadsticks with olive tapenade and bresaola and… the nyummie babies below. Which were an absolute success. We ate dates this way in Italy a few weeks ago and I immediately decided to remake these as soon as possible when we got home.

So this was an excellent occasion to do just that. Ready in the blink of an eye and ahmagad they’re delicious!

You’ll need

  • Medjool dates (I took 2 per person)
  • Breasaola (or any other dried meat)
  • Goat cheese

Directions

Pit the dates and cut them in half.

Fill the each date with some goat cheese.

Wrap the meat around and secure with toothpick.

Done!*

Bon appetit,

xo, Kirsten

*you can pop them in the oven for a while to make the meat crunchy and to melt the goat cheese. But I don’t think it’s necessary. Might work in winter, but since our party was at 30°C we went for ‘the colder the better.

Sticky and skinny brownie bars

Sticky skinny brownie bars

When in a hurry and in need of a chocolate, sugary fix but preferably a healthy one: These babies are the answer to your cravings. Raw brownies made with the healthiest ingredients, so they are totally beach – and bikini body proof.

Better to munch on these than to devour the real fat-ass, gross brownie-deal. But I don’t need to tell you guys that, right?

I prepped these the night before and they gave me a warm (mmkay: cold) welcome in the a.m., when I opened the fridge. Sweet coconut chocolate pieces of heaven! I don’t know how I managed to do so, but I kept them in an airtight container in my cool bag the whole dang day and only ate them as a dessert at my mom’s place later that day. That’s right, I love to share my healthy stuff! 😉

 I often bring dessert on my weekly Tuesday night dinners with mom. So safe to say she’s one of the first hand test persons for all my clean, sweet kitchen trials.  Well anyways: She liked them. So they’re mommie proof! 😉

It’s not because they are clean, nutritious and healthy that you get to eat the whole lot, though. Moderation is key, ladies. Unless it’s that time of the month, than go ahead and grab two pieces. I wont kiss and tell. But to the rest of you a petite warning is in order: they’re still quite big on the calorie department. So you don’t get to eat an endless amount. However, you WILL notice a difference if you would devour the same amount of calories from a plain unhealthy brownie (don’t!). Bloated belly much?

Ok, enough with the health bla-di-bla. Without any further ado the recipe to your chocolate happiness:

You’ll need

  • 250g of pitted medjool dates
  • 200g of walnuts (or pecans)
  • 50g raw cacao
  • 50g shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Himalaya pink salt
  • 2tbsp of water

Directions

Add the walnuts to a food processor and shred them until they turn to flour. Add the dates to the nut flour and mix/shred.

Now add the coconut, cacao, pink salt and maple syrup to the food processor and mix with the walnuts and dates.

Add some water to make them moist.  After a while you’ll receive a big sticky chunk of brownie dough.

Add a baking sheet in a brownie mold and add the dough to it. Press the batter in the shape.

Add some shredded coconut on top to finish and put in the fridge for about an hour, or overnight, like I did.

* Servings: Depends on how big you want your pieces, but I had about 12. According to my calculations that would be about 228 kcal per brownie. Perf with a cup of tea as a small dessert or could work as a 10 o’clock snack (it sure worked for me).

** If you prefer your brownies fresh out of the oven but clean, this recipe might work for you too.

Enjoy!

Xo, Kirsten

Skinny sticky brownies

Clean, green Risotto goodness

Clean Green Risotto

Risotto might be the best way to eat rice. The tastiest way to eat rice too.

But it’s also def the unhealthiest way to eat rice. That is if you plan on using wine, loads of parmesan and cream to prep the risotto.

Gwynneth Paltrow, ex miss Chris Martin a.k.a Colplay’s lead singer, decided you don’t really need those ingredients to make this Italian delight for dinner. This recipe is based upon Gwynneth Paltrow’s recipe.. But I doubled the portions. I mean, I need food to get me going through the day. If I only eat that, I’ll be one cranky hungry bitch. And my boyfriend might wonder when the main will be coming? But if you are a small eater, divide by two or perhaps eat with three.

I also altered some ingredients. And that’s why it’s allowed on cupcakesandbeans. Because I’ll only post something when I altered something and I’ll always link back and never plain copy paste. That being said, here is the yummie green and healthy risotto recipe. Oh, it’s veggie. But feel free to add some shrimp or calarmari. Or don’t. Up to you!

You’ll need (serves 2, about 450 kcal pp)

  • 200g risotto rice (or quinoa if you want. In that case: make sure you cook it first)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Thyme
  • 750ml broth (I used an organic, corn starch free, veggie broth cube)
  • 150g of frozen spinach
  • 200g green peas
  • 1/2 a lemon and lemon zeste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • salt and pepper
  • A handful of basil leaves

Directions

Remove the outer leaves from your leek. Cut the white and light green part into small rings. Make sure you rinse it well.

Chop the onion finely.

Prep your broth. I boiled 750ml of water and added the broth cube.

Put a pan on a heat with some coconut oil.

Add the onion and leek and leave to simmer for five minutes. Now add the garlic and thyme and stir well with the onion and leek mix for another two minutes.

Add the risotto rice and the juice from half a lemon. Stir for three minutes and make sure your rice doesn’t stick to you pan in the meanwhile.

Add a big dash of broth to the mixture and stir well. Repeat the process until the risotto is cooked and you’re out of water. This is a tad bit time consuming, but it’s so very worth it. It takes you up to 15minutes in the end. Rough guess.

Add the lemon zeste, spinach, peas and basil to the pan and mingle with the other ingredients. Your vegetables will warm through the risotto.

Add some salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Bon appetit health birds!

xo, Kirsten

Bodylicious Protein Pancakes

Protein Pancakes

If you are anything like me and follow millions of health blog and Instagram profiles you might have been introduced to some ‘protein powder’ pictures and posts. Either in a plain boring shake/smoothie form or maybe in mouth watering pancakes or cupcakes versions.

Usually it states that if you want a ‘toned body’, you’ll need a lot of protein… Stating that they seem to make your muscles grow like it’s nobody’s business. Assuming you did an exhausting workout first, that is. Proteins don’t make miracles happen, they can’t make anything grow if you don’t train ‘them’ first. (sadly, I know)

I usually get proteins from chicken, fish, lentils, quinoa, eggs and yoghurt. Like most of us plain mortals do. You know. A plate filled with some greens, proteins, carbs and healthy fats is the usual healthy thing to do. But, I was triggered with the protein powder quick fix option a while back.

We so happened to have a big (and I’m talking huge) pot of ‘One Whey Protein Powder’ gathering dust in our kitchen cabinets (a leftover fitness thing from my boyfriend). We had it, so there really wasn’t an excuse for me not to try it.

So one morning, after a 5K run, I made protein pancakes based on a recipe from Tone It Up. And boy were they tasty. Yeah. Healthy pancakes, we all know I’m game for these kind of things.

Meanwhile, I learned that ‘One Whey PP’ is a shitty product. Read: they use all kinds of nasty ass processed stuff to make the powder. Even aspartame. Yuk. Not really something that fits my ‘clean eating’ way of life.

Luckily for my healthy-ass there are brands out there that produce all natural and organic, stevia based powders. Ideal for your post workout smoothies, pancakes and cupcakes. Mine is a Vegan (no cow milk stuff in this one, grrrreat) version from SunWarrior that has a vanilla smell and taste to die for. Vanilla pancakes: yum!

If you don’t care to follow the protein craze you can easily substitute the protein powder with plain flour or nut flour in this recipe.

Another thing I want to have said: do not fear turning into a bulky, man-looking, female-fitness athlete after using a scoop of protein powder every once in a while:

You’ll need to do a whole lot of fitness, for several hours, like 24-7, on a daily base before you’ll even remotely look like one of them. Woman don’t tend to gain muscles that easily because these babies need testosterone. And guess what: us ladies don’t have all that much testosterone going on inside of our bod. And if you do see a lady with huge arms and legs, you bet your ass something fishy is going on there!

You’ll need (serves 1, about 350kcal)

  • One ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp almond milk (or any milk you like)
  • 1 tbsp of sparkling water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 15g protein powder
  • 5g flaxseeds (or 20g protein powder if you skip these)
  • cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil (for baking)
  • Fruit and toppings (maple syrup, sugar, yoghurt, chocolate spread,…)

Directions

Mix the banana or mash with a fork until you get a batter.

Add some almond milk and egg whites. Add some sparkling water (trust me, this will make the batter so good and fluffy)

Now gently mix through the protein powder and flaxseeds until you get a thick batter. Add some cinnamon.

Heat a pan on a high heat. Add some coconut oil. Make sure your pan is really heated.

Add two to three tbsp of the batter to the pan (think American pancake sizes). Bake for a few minutes on each side. Usually when the batter starts to boil a bit it’s time to flip. Repeat until you’re out of batter.

Now add your favorite toppings. I usually add some heated frozen berries, a big tbsp of maple syrup (yum), and some yoghurt.

Pancake LOVE!

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten

Skinny sizzling chicken pesto pasta

Skinny Italian Pasta

I’m back!

I’ve been wandering around Italy – Tuscany and Umbria to be precise – these past two weeks. So I haven’t been blogging for a while. No worries, you’ll get a well documented must-eat blog about the places I visited in the near future. 😉

Needless to say I ate my way through the country. I mean… I. Ate. A. Lot. And I’m not even sorry because I loved everything I put in my mouth. God I love Italian food! (especially the dolci and the bucket loads of carbs).

I was a tad bit apprehensive to step on a scale upon arriving home. Luckily, it wasn’t all that bad after all. Ok. I’ll be blatantly honest here… I added 2 kg. BUT, 4 days later (like, we’re talking today) they’re already goners. How? By eating super clean these past 4 days and doing my own detox (and with lots of running and planking and push ups).

Anyhow, this was one of my ‘detox’ recipes. It’s a golden oldie that my mom used to prepare on fridays. With pasta though. I decided to make a skinny version with courghetti (zoodles) this time. But believe you me, you won’t miss the pasta. This is such a delish’ tastebut sizzling pasta! I can do detox for weeks and weeks with these kind of dishes… ESP when they still remind me a of Italian cuisine in one way or another.

You’ll need (serves 2, about 350 kcal pp)

  • 2 large zucchini’s
  • 2 tbsp pesto (I bought readymade pesto, but prepare your own if you prefer that)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 20 sundried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 250g to 300g chicken breast

Directions

Add a pan on a high heat with some coconut oil.

Cut the chicken into small pieces and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and bake until golden and brown.

When the chicken is almost done, turn down the heat a bit and add the pine nuts and sundried tomatoes for a minute or two (just to give it some heat.

Prep the courghetti -> recipe can be found here (easy peasy!).

Add the pesto to the courghetti and stir so all noodles are covered with pesto.

Now serve the courghetti with the chicken, sundried tomatoes and pine nuts and add some grated parmesan on top. You can finish it off with some basil leaves.

So so so good and so so so bikini body proof!

xo, Kirsten

Skinny Italian Pasta     DSC_0001