Pumpkin Spice Balls

We are well into October, but here in Bristol, we are being spoiled by beautiful weather this weekend. Walking around was so perfect and it certainly doesn’t feel like winter will be here soon. Taking advantage of the nice weather, I went to Zero Green in Bedminster, one of Bristol’s many plastic free shops. You bring your own containers, weigh, fill, then weigh again. The oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, date/raisins, and pulp are from this shop. They also feature almond, cashew, and oat mylk in glass bottles from a lovely company called O!Mylk. They often leave leftover nut pulp for customers to take for free! So I took about a cups worth and decided to make these Pumpkin Spice Balls. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond pulp (or desiccated almonds if you don’t have pulp)
  • 1/4 cup porridge oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped dates
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 5-6 tablespoons puréed pumpkin
  • Pumpkin seeds to coat

Place the pulp, oats, dates & raisins, chia seeds, and pumpkin spice in a bowl. The pulp is moist, so I found it best to mix together with a fork, working all the ingredients together as much as possible.

Once mixed, it should look a bit crumbly, as seen above.

Next, add the honey, nut butter, and pumpkin. Really stir it through so that all dry ingredients are well incorporated. If the mixture is too dry and not holding, you can add a bit more pumpkin. If it’s turned out too wet, just sprinkle on a bit more oats.

After rolling into a ball, I squished pumpkin seeds onto the outside. You really have to press them in as they don’t stick easily. Alternatively, you can drizzle the balls in chocolate or icing, then put the seeds on.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Spice Balls! They were super easy to make and would be a fun activity for little ones. There are also a lot of ways to adapt this recipe to your liking. You can always use maple syrup or golden syrup instead of honey. And if you like them sweeter, add more honey and slightly less pumpkin to bind. I think toasted pecans or chocolate chips would work really well in these treats. However you make them, this is a great way to create a healthy snack without producing much waste.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Oat and Banana Energy Bites

Today is bank holiday Monday and it is absolutely gorgeous! I had a fantastic run this morning and decided to make this recipe as a post workout treat. And although I do enjoy running as a hobby, this time it’s in training for the Bristol 10k. I also decided to raise funds for the Bristol city centre hospital charity, Above and Beyond, which does some really great things for so many patients. If you would like to make a donation towards my fundraising goal, you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/candice-cole

And if you’d like to make these delicious energy bites, here is what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups oats (270 g)
  • 4 tablespoons milled linseed or flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 small bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (170g)
  • 1 cup peanut butter or nut blend (225g)

Go ahead and mix up the oats, linseed, and cinnamon. Put aside.

Next, mash the bananas. Make sure your bananas are ripe. This ensures they are soft which makes it a lot easier to mash into a smooth purée.

Add the vanilla, honey, and nut butter to the bananas, stirring very well.

Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture, and mix very well. Once thoroughly incorporated, let sit for about 10 minutes for the oats to absorb some of the banana mixture.

At this point, roll into balls and place on a piece of parchment or baking paper. If the dough is still a bit wet, you can add a bit more linseed, or roll with something like coarse coconut flour, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips.

Place in the freezer for an hour to set.

And there you have it, Oat & Banana Energy Bites! They are the perfect pre-workout, post-workout, or sitting on the couch snack! You can even have these for breakfast or an afternoon pick me up. It’s also tasty to try different nut butters like a coconut peanut butter, as I did in mine. Next time I’ll experiment with different bits to roll in it, although the coconut is delicious! However you make them, I hope you savour these healthy treats! Enjoy the good weather and if you’re around on Sunday May 13th, cheer on all of us running the Bristol 10k in the city centre. Remember your sunscreen, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

So, I still have Easter chocolate left! Although I love baking I don’t tend to be eating as much sweets as I’ve been getting older. Therefore, I turned my last (dark) chocolate egg into brownies. They don’t contain any dairy or refined flour. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ~2 cups (260 g) dark chocolate
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 2 tablespoons to drizzle
  • 1 1/3 (120 g) cup almond flour
  • 2/3 (50 g) cup coconut flour

If you have a double boiler, use that to melt the chocolate. Otherwise, like me, use a saucepan that is wider than a small pot of simmering water beneath.

While the chocolate is beginning to melt, beat the eggs and vanilla very well.

You can also use this time to measure out the almond and coconut flour.

Once the chocolate is melted, take it off the heat source and stir in 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

Now, you’ll add the warm chocolate to the eggs, mixing well. Make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot so the eggs don’t cook up.

Next, you’ll add both flours, making sure it is all incorporated and absorbed by the chocolate mixture.

The mixture will be very thick by now. Go ahead and press it into a square baking tin, or anything you have. Mine was rectangular, so the brownies will be a bit thinner.

At this point, go ahead and drizzle some extra peanut butter on top.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 20 minutes. It will rise a bit, but it should be done when you notice a bit of cracking on top.

And there you have it! Peanut Butter Brownies that are dairy free and free from refined flour! These are very rich and decadent, making it the perfect companion for a cup of coffee. They are also a great post run treat! And as I’ve been training for the Bristol 10 k in two weeks time, these went down nicely. Give these a try and savour them as summer approaches. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Muffins with Coconut Flour

Hello Bristol! Enjoying the spring weather? I’ve been loving the longer days and slightly warmer temperatures. I feel much more active, thus much more hungry. And if like me, you still have leftover Easter chocolate, then this is a fun way to use it up. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • ~1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

First, beat your eggs very well.

Next, add the coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Mix this very well.

Last, add the baking powder and coconut flour. Combine thoroughly. It may take a few minutes, but keep stirring until the batter is smooth.

You will then chop up some chocolate and throw that in. You can also substitute nuts instead of chocolate if you like.

Line or grease a muffin tin for 6 muffins. I seemed to have lost my 6th one, so greased it with coconut oil. Bake at 400 F / 200 C for 10-12 minutes.

And there you have it, Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins! These are packed with protein and are a great post workout snack. Or a post work snack, post nap snack, etc. And since they don’t contain refined flour, it can be a great gluten free treat. They come together quite quickly, making these muffins an easy treat to whip up today. Use up the last of your Easter chocolate by giving these a try! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!