easy tasty clean

This Blog Is Moving – Please Come With Me!


Hello all,

This year marks the 2 year anniversary (or Jani-versary as my husband likes to call it!) of Easy Tasty Clean. I almost can’t believe it’s been so long already, but as I’ve looked back through my previous posts I can see the journey I’ve travelled and indeed, some time has passed!

With this anniversary came the question of whether to continue with my separate ‘Easy Tasty Clean’ website, which was primarily used to sell the eBook of the same name. I asked myself if I had enough time to put into the blog and also wondered where I was heading with the eBooks idea – did I want to stop at just one book? After some discussion with friends, who all thought I should definitely continue with it, I have decided to merge this blog into the main website, making Easy Tasty Clean into primarily a recipe blogging website. Of course I will still have the original eBook for sale on there but the main look and feel of the website would be for sharing new recipes and healthy lifestyle information.

In recent weeks I have made a start on a few new eBook ideas and am not too far from being able to offer my next venture to you. I don’t want to say too much about this project yet but I will share soon.

Best Of The BlogThe only thing I ask for now is that you come with me to the new home of the Easy Tasty Clean blog, which is www.easytastyclean.com (the wordpress bit in the middle has gone). From there you will see a little ‘Subscribe’ block in green on the right hand side – please pop in your name and email so that you can continue to receive updates from me. As a bonus for signing up you also receive a free download of the top 10 recipes from this blog, called ‘Best of the Blog’. This is a handy little PDF that you can download onto your computer or tablet, with the readers’ favourite recipes all in one place. Can you guess what the number 1 most viewed recipe was? Get the eBook and find out 🙂

I want to thank you all for following this blog, for commenting and for sharing. It’s interaction with you that keeps me knowing that I’m on the right path.

See you over at the website… don’t be shy! I hoe you like the new look and layout. Send me your feedback please 🙂

Janice.

x

Healthy Fats – How Much To Eat and In What Form?


Confused about how much fat you should eat per day? And in what form?

Nutritional guidelines say that we should eat no more than 20% of our daily calories in the form of fat, and that no more than 6% should be saturated fats. Of the rest, we should be consuming mostly polyunsaturated fats (Omega-3 and Omega-6) and monounsaturated fats (e.g. olive oil).

The so-called ‘essential fats’ that the body needs are Omega-6 and Omega-3, and the ideal ratio of these according to some research is 1:1. With the rise of processed and fried foods, these ratios are often shockingly skewed towards the Omega-6 side, meaning that more people are likely suffering from diseases related to inflammation in the body, such as arthritis and dementia. Eating a ratio closer to 1:1 means that our bodies and brains are better protected against these previously mentioned diseases as well as having less chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

So how do we ensure we get both these fats on a daily basis? Here’s one way, as illustrated in my handy graphic. Flax seeds contain Omega-3, whereas sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds all contain Omega-6. Add a tablespoon of the ground seed mixture to your daily diet and you’re good to go where your essential fats are concerned! It really is that simple!

Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fat Ideal Ratio

 

Please share if you have friends who may also benefit from this easy guide.

Hope you all had a great long weekend. I’ll be celebrating my birthday tomorrow! I think a new kitchen gadget is on its way… 🙂

Janice.

Soft & Crispy Nutty Snack Bars


Soft & Crispy Nutty Snack BarsI like to find new ingredients to try as often as possible and this week I ordered a few things from my favourite UK supplier of all things healthy – HealthySupplies.co.uk. Amongst my box of goodies this time were some Buckwheat Puffs.

BuckwheatPuffsBox

So what exactly IS buckwheat?! Well for a start it has nothing to do with wheat, so the gluten-intolerant amongst you can breathe a sigh of relief, it’s gluten-free. It’s not a grain at all, it’s actually a fruit seed, closely related to rhubarb and sorrel. In terms of taste, for those of you familiar with Sugar Puffs, buckwheat puffs taste kind of like those but without the sugar, if you can imagine that!. If you want the full low-down on buckwheat, I found this fantastic page all about it, just click here (but come straight back!).

And so to today’s recipe… Soft & Crispy Nutty Snack Bars. Bit of a mouthful but I couldn’t think of a better way of describing them! These bars have the slight crispiness of the buckwheat puffs, combined with the crunchiness of the chopped hazelnuts, all stuck together with a mixture of soft dates & peanut butter and a little coconut flour! The finished taste is nutty, the insides soft but with a hint of crispiness, and when reviewed by colleagues at work they described them having a similar texture to that of a Nutrigrain Elevenses Baked Bar. One colleague said they would make a great breakfast bar and that he would definitely pay for them! Sounds good?! Here’s the recipe and photographs…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1.5 cups puffed buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or desiccated coconut will do if you don’t have flour)

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Mug Cake. Pan Cake. Pancake. Is There A Difference?


This week a friend posted that they were making a Microwave Mug Cake, but another friend commented that they didn’t have a microwave, and asked if there was any way to make these in a pan instead. So I said I’d do a little experiment for her and see if would work.

And so the ‘Pan Cake’ idea was born. Say with me… Pan Cake. Not pancake (all one word) but Pan Cake. Cake in a pan, different you see…

Or is it?

When you look at the recipe below you might think, umm, that’s a pancake recipe. And you’d actually be right. It could be used as the mixture to add to a large frying pan and make lovely light & fluffy pancakes. And delicious they would be too. But I wanted to make Pan Cake. Cake in a pan.

What I realised when I was thinking over this little challenge was that in fact most ‘microwave mug cake’ recipes do indeed have very similar ingredients to a healthy pancake recipe. There always seems to be an egg involved, some sort of floury stuff, a little oil and often in many of the recipe I find myself drawn towards, some protein powder (for us health & fitness nuts!).

So would the microwave mug cake recipe indeed work when cooked in a pan? I thought I better make two lots of identical mixture, then try it both ways.

Here are the ingredients and the pictures of both the Pan Cake and the Microwave Mug Cake, as you can see they turned out to be quite different. I’ll see you below for the taste test, comparison and conclusion.

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Peanut Butter & Coconut Cookies – A Taste Sensation


PB Coconut CookiesHere it is! The recipe I’ve been teasing you all with a picture of this week. These cookies are moist but slightly crumbly, sweet but slightly savoury and a whole lot of delicious! I’ve taste tested them on 3 people and as they’ve chewed into the cookie each person has had a similar reaction… “ooh, interesting… nice… ooh coconut… oh wait a minute… peanut… mmm… different… I like them!”. So I’m reporting that as a successful taste test and so now I present to you… Peanut Butter & Coconut Cookies.

I won’t beat around the bush with this one, I’ll just dive straight in with the recipe and pictures. Hopefully you will be drooling over the photos so much that you will definitely want to make these. And then you will taste what all the fuss is about for yourself.

Ingredients: (makes about 6 medium sized cookies – double recipe if you have a larger family!)

Sweet Drops Stevia Vanilla Drops

  • 1/2 banana, mashed up with a fork
  • 1 tbsp. organic runny honey
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, I used crunchy so that the final cookies would have little peanut bits in them
  • 12 Vanilla Stevia Drops (see pic right) OR 1 tbsp. stevia powder plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 12 dark chocolate drops to decorate (optional) (more…)

When Eating Clean Becomes a Way of Life – A Journey of Discovery


For those of use who have been eating clean for months or even years, we may not have realised it but this way of selecting natural, wholesome ingredients that are free from added sugar, salt and chemicals has probably become like second nature to us, it’s a way of life, it’s just what we do now. But how do you know when you’ve reached that point where you don’t have to think too much about it and how long does it take to get there? I’m going to look at what changes you need to make when you start your eating clean journey and how things might progress, until your eating and food-shopping habits are just a way of life, they’re just ingrained in you at root level. I also want to briefly ask the question, can we ever truly eat completely clean with the best will in the world, do we even need to, and if we miss the boat occasionally does it matter?

When I discovered eating clean a few years ago, it was at a time in my life when I had suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) for many years, that would leave me doubled over in agony at the intestinal contractions that were happening in my lower gut. I want to say that eating clean saved my life but that’s a little dramatic as I wasn’t exactly dying. In truth, eating clean did turn my life around from an existence where I would always be sure to have anti-spasmodic tablets with me and would get anxious at the thought of going anywhere out of the ordinary because of fear of an IBS attack, to a life that was relatively carefree and didn’t require me to worry about the embarrassment of an attack when in public. Once I started eating clean my symptoms subsided and a few months later I was celebrating not having had any IBS symptoms for weeks on end. Hurrah! The final single ingredient that I discovered that COMPLETELY made me pain free I will tell you about later in this post. (more…)

Prune Shortcake Cookies


Don’t let the title put you off these gorgeous-tasting cookies!!! Prunes are optional and the shortcake hints only at the flavour, not the assumed ingredient list!

So I still have your attention? Good!

Prune Shortcake CookiesI wanted to share these cookies with you because I simply can’t believe how good they taste, bearing in mind they have none of your traditional cookie ingredients in them. They’re gluten, dairy and wheat-free. But before I get to the recipe, just a few snippets of information about a couple of the ingredients.

Firstly, I have used coconut oil in this recipe. For those of you thinking, “Wait a minute, you said this was a healthy recipe yet you’re pouring oil into the mix?”, let me tell you a bit about coconut oil. For a start, yes it is technically a saturated fat, due to the type of chemical structure it is composed of. You can usually tell which fats are the saturated ones as they will generally be solid at room temperature (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a very warm climate).  Coconut oil indeed sits on the shelf as a solid and only melts at a temperature above 24 degrees Celcius. However, coconut oil is different from most other saturated fats, as it is made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s), which is just a fancy way of saying its structure is a little different from other saturated fats, and this type of structure is one that is readily assimilated (gobbled up!) by the body, meaning you use the energy from coconut oil straight away and don’t store it in your fat cells as you might with other saturated fats. Perfect! When buying coconut oil you should make sure it is COLD pressed, VIRGIN coconut oil. This is the best quality oil you can get. Coconut oil is also one of the few oils that can be used at high temperatures, as its structure does not break down under heat and saves us from those nasty free radicals, which only cause premature ageing. So all round, coconut oil is a great oil to use for cooking with. It also has other fantastic health benefits such as helping protect from mental degeneration, aswell as beauty benefits when used as a moisturiser or as a hair conditioner. Look it up!

Ground almonds (or almond flour as some of you know it) is quite literally almonds that have been ground very finely. Usually it’s the blanched almonds that are used to make the flour, so you don’t get the brown ‘skin’ of the almond in the meal. I have used measurements in cups of ground almonds here, but make sure you pat down the flour into the cup, or you could end up with some air and less almonds than you thought.

So, with that said, onto the recipe. I hope you will make these cookies, they literally take less than 15 minutes including baking time, so what’s to lose?

Prune Shortcake Cookies

Makes 12 small cookies. Each cookie contains 91 calories, 7g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 7g fat (1g of which is saturated fat), 3g sugar.

Ingredients: (more…)