Hey, I'm Lilian. I eat well and exercise regularly because I like to feel fit and healthy. On this blog, you'll find lots of easy recipes, nourishing meals, healthy treats, lifestyle hacks, beauty tips and information about my fitness regime. I hope you enjoy!
These homemade protein bars are perfect to keep in the fridge for breakfasts or snacks when you need something tasty and satisfying. They have a soft and fudgy texture thanks to the peanut butter and the addition of oat bran boosts the fibre content.
The recipe makes quite a bit – 10 large bars. If you don’t think you’ll get through that many you can easily halve the mixture. You could also shape the mixture into smaller balls if you prefer bite-sized snacks. The dough is very versatile. If you feel like pimping them out, you could add some dark chocolate chips to the dough before shaping into bars.
When buying natural peanut butter to use in the recipe, it’s best to look for brands that only contain peanuts and perhaps a touch of salt. That should be it. Added sugars or oils aren’t really necessary. I use oat bran in the bars because it’s slightly higher in fibre than normal oats and I like its texture. If you don’t have any oat bran, you could whiz some rolled oats in the food processor until you get a flour and use that instead. Just make sure the final amount of oat flour equates to 1 1/2 cups.
Four Ingredient Peanut Butter Protein BarsGluten freeLow sugar
1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or pure maple syrup or honey)
Water, as needed
Place the protein powder, oat bran, peanut butter and rice malt syrup into a food processor and process until you get a dough. You will need to add a little water to bring everything together – I usually add about 1/2 cup water.
Line a tray with baking paper. Form the mixture into bar shapes with your hands and press onto the tray. Leave in the fridge to firm up.
Store in the fridge and use within a week or freeze.
Makes 10 bars.
* Oats and oat bran naturally don't contain gluten, but as they are often processed on the same equipment as wheat, they can have traces of gluten. If you're strictly gluten-free, you can buy gluten-free oats and process them in a food processor to get 1 1/2 cups oat flour.
I always have a few cans of chickpeas in my cupboard. They can easily be transformed into something delicious in a matter of minutes. When you need something healthy and tasty fast, this chickpea dish is perfect. It literally takes two minutes to prepare. Plus you only need one pan to make it, so washing up is minimal.
When using canned chickpeas, I think it’s worth getting the best quality ones you can afford. You can find organic varieties in most supermarkets. There are also no added salt varieties if you are looking to reduce your salt intake. However, if you’re using a no added salt variety I would definitely recommend tasting at the end and seasoning with a bit of your own salt. At least when using your own salt, you can use a less refined version like sea salt.
The dish is best served warm shortly after coming off the heat. But I still enjoy it cold if there are any leftovers. It can be eaten by itself or you can add some protein such as leftover meat, boiled eggs or vegan options like tofu or crushed nuts. It also makes a great side dish. Handy if you’re asked to bring something to a friend’s place for dinner and you’re short on time.
Two Minute Spiced ChickpeasGluten freeGrain freeVegan
1 x 400g can chickpeas
2 teaspoons red curry paste
Large handful baby spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a fry pan over a high heat. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
Toss the chickpeas in the hot pan until warmed through. Stir through the curry paste.
Add the spinach to the pan and stir through the chickpeas until wilted.
Take the pan off the heat, taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
If there is one thing that I need before training, it’s a black coffee. I’ve been doing it for years and honestly feel like it helps me go that little bit harder. There are varying views on coffee consumption, with many people cutting it out during detoxes. But as a pre workout tool, I find it beneficial.
As a stimulant, coffee does put some strain on your system. If you’ve ever had one too many and ended up shaky or spaced out, you will know this is true. But before exercise, I find its metabolism boosting and concentration enhancing effects improve my performance. It’s also a lot cheaper than manufactured pre workout supplements, which can include a bunch of unwanted artificial ingredients.
Iced black coffee
For best results, I go for a black coffee pre workout. Adding sugar isn’t really necessary. When I first started drinking coffee I did add sugar, but managed to wean myself off this over time. I also prefer not to add any milk as don’t want it rolling around in my stomach during training.
If you struggle with the bitterness of black coffee, you could try having it iced. I find that the coldness can distract your taste buds from the bitter flavour. The ice also gives it an additional awakening boost. In Australia, you can order an iced long black at most cafes, or in America, an iced Americano. If you’re making it at home, just fill a large cup with lots of ice and then pour your hot brewed coffee over the top. That should cool it down quickly and you can top it up with more ice if required.
Take a coffee break now and then
Every month or so, I try to have a couple of days without coffee or caffeine. This is to make sure I don’t become too reliant on it. If I get a bad headache on the first day going without, I know my body needs a little break. The added benefit of taking a break is that when you start drinking it again, you’ll enjoy its full effects once again.
It's hard to argue with the convenience of a protein bar for a post-workout hit of protein. However, so many commercial varieties sold in stores come with a host of undesirable ingredients. Cheap fillers, artificial sweeteners and poor quality protein blends tend to be the norm.
Some brands are better than others, but if you want to know exactly what goes into your bar, making your own is a good idea. I regularly make my own and share the recipes here on the blog - just search for ‘protein bars’ using the search box. You can also search ‘protein balls’ for bite-sized variations.
It’s a lot easier than you may think. The bars can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and stored in the fridge for the week ahead. Plus, you get the added benefit of being able to customise the flavours and additions to suit your personal taste.
Whey protein vs vegan protein
The base of each recipe starts with a protein powder. There are recipes on this blog using whey protein powder and others using vegan, plant-based protein powder. The only thing to remember is that whey and vegan powders cannot usually be substituted for each other. This is because they are so different in texture and how they react to the addition of liquid. If the recipe calls for whey protein, stick to whey. If it calls for a plant-based protein, most vegan powders made from brown rice protein, pea protein, sacha inchi protein and/or hemp should work.
Whey protein powder tends to give the best texture when making protein bars. I find that you can add more of it to the recipe to boost the protein content without ending up with an unpleasant texture. I’ve previously written about the differences between whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate – WPI and WPC – if you're wondering about which one to use. Both will work in recipes calling for whey protein.
Vegan, plant-based protein powders can also be used to make protein bars and balls, but these powders usually have an earthier flavour and can be slightly chalkier in texture. This just means that the recipe won’t use as much of the powder to make sure the finished product still tastes good.
It’s always a good idea to try out a few recipes to find one that you enjoy. Once you’ve found a recipe that works for your taste, you can get creative by changing up the flavour of the protein powder or making additions like chopped nuts and chocolate chips. It’s your bar after all.
Mango is one of those fruits that just tastes like holidays. Whenever I go to Thailand it’s one of the first things I track down (along with sticky rice). Fresh is obviously amazing, but I’ve recently become obsessed with dried mango for its intense flavour hit.
Being dried, the natural sugars in dried mango are of course concentrated. But a little bit goes a long way. I use eight strips in this recipe to get 15 protein balls. You can buy dried mango at health food shops, in some supermarkets and online. Along with the addition of coconut and Bare Blends Vanilla & Coconut Plant Protein, the balls have a lovely tropical vibe. The little specks of vanilla bean from the protein are also super delicious.
I gave these bars the ‘chunky monkey’ name because they consist of a fudgy chocolate base, studded with chunks of walnuts, coconut and dried sour cherries. I love the combination of fudgy, crunchy, sweet and sour.
I developed the recipe for Bare Blends. The chewy, fudgy base has a cookie dough-like texture so it will hold pretty much whatever you choose to add.
Feel free to get creative with what you add to the mixture. You could use any nuts you like. Macadamia nuts would be super deluxe. If you don’t have dried sour cherries, dried cranberries or even dried golden inca berries would work well.
Chunky Monkey Protein BarsGluten-freeGrain-free
1/4 cup chocolate whey protein powder (I used Bare Blends Raw Cacao WPI)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder (I used Bare Blends Raw Cacao Powder)
2 x 20ml tablespoons rice malt syrup
2 x 20ml tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
1/4 cup coconut flakes
Place the protein powder, cacao powder, rice malt syrup and softened coconut oil into a bowl and mix until you get a smooth dough. You will need to slowly work the syrup and oil into the powders. I find it best to work the mixture together by continuously pressing it against the side of the bowl using the back of the spoon.
Add the walnuts, sour cherries and coconut flakes to the bowl and use your hands to squash them into the chocolate dough.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Shape the mixture into bars and place on the tray. Leave in the fridge for about an hour to set. Store in the fridge or freezer.
There's something very delicious about these little gluten-free chocolate cupcakes with their tangy sweet icing. The icing has to be one of my favourites to date. It's made with freeze-dried pomegranate powder that gives an intense, sweet and sour flavour hit.
Although it's a bit of a specialty ingredient, if you're a fan of pomegranates you have to try the fruit in its freeze-dried form. You can buy freeze-dried pomegranate arils and powder online or at some health food shops.
Apart from using it in this recipe, you can add it to smoothies, sprinkle it on porridge or smoothie bowls or just eat it with a spoon. I also developed a recipe for a Pomegranate Slice using freeze-dried pomegranate arils if you want to check it out.
1 cup thick portion of refrigerated coconut cream *
2 x 20ml tablespoons freeze-dried pomegranate powder **
Preheat your oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and line a mini muffin tray with 10 paper or silicone cases.
To make the cupcakes, beat the coconut oil, rice malt syrup, coconut milk and egg together in a large bowl. Add the brown rice flour, baking powder and cacao powder and stir until well combined.
Spoon the mixture into the mini muffin cases and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, prepare the icing by beating the coconut cream and pomegranate aril powder together until well combined and smooth. Top each cupcake with a spoonful of icing and sprinkle over a little extra pomegranate powder. Enjoy straight away.
Makes 10 mini cupcakes
* Leave a 400ml can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight. The cream will separate leaving the thick portion at the top of the can and the liquid portion at the bottom. Carefully spoon out the thick portion to use in the recipe.
** You can buy freeze-dried pomegranate powder online or at some health food stores. You could use another freeze-dried berry powder if you can't find pomegranate. If you can find any powders you could simply sweeten the coconut cream with some rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey instead.
Most days, I want my skin to look fresh, clear, and like I’m not wearing any makeup. Of course this starts with good skincare. But if you want to give yourself a little boost, this quick natural makeup base is my everyday solution.
When I want my face to look and feel super-natural, I leave out cream-based foundations. That’s what I’ve done here. The result is so light that you could wear it while working out if you wanted to.
Everyday natural makeup base | No foundation - YouTube
I’m a big believer that it’s important to use cosmetics that are also good for your skin. I think it’s worth the investment as it helps to ensure that your skin remains in good condition over time. I used Ere Perez cosmetics to get this look. The products are all natural and I find that they work well on my skin.
Natural makeup base in four easy steps:
I prepare my skin with a couple of drops of Ere Perez Australian Blue Cypress Face Nectar. It’s a light-weight, balancing oil that gives you a dewy complexion without looking oily.
Then I use their Natural Arnica Concealer, which I have previously written about. I use a few dabs to even out the skin tone under my eyes and conceal any blemishes. The great thing about arnica is that it has natural anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to calm any red spots. I use the ‘Chai’ colour for my skin tone.
After concealing, I dust a little bit of their Calendula Powder over my whole face. It helps to smooth over any imperfections and absorb any excess oil without clogging pores. And it still allows your skin to breathe. I use the ‘Medium’ colour for my skin tone.
Finally, I use their Natural Almond Brow Pencil to tame by brows, which can get a little crazy. I use the pencil to lightly fill in any gaps, then the handy brush on the lid to brush my brows upwards. This helps to make the eye area look more ‘awake’.
That’s it. It’s pretty simple and takes less than two minutes. You could follow up with some mascara to define your eyes or just leave them for an ultra-natural look.
Read Full Article
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.