From the streets: Bounce Natural Energy Balls

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Bounce’s gluten, dairy and (refined) sugar free balls of protein and goodness have been kicking around in yoga centres, gyms and health shops for a while. But at nearly £2 a pop, I needed some convincing. Until I tasted the Coconut & Macadamia…

Bounce Energy Balls

Thanks to the lovely people at Bounce sending me a truck load of samples I’m now hooked.

A filling protein and energy hit for when you get caught out on the go surrounded only by crisps or Cadburys. This seems to happen to me a lot. On a recent cycle home I inhaled 1/2 kg of dry roasted peanuts. Bounce has since become a handbag staple.

Why I’m hooked:

  • 100% natural (not just a strap line) and made only with stuff that does us good
  • 42 filling grams of protein or fibre
  • Gluten, dairy and refined sugar free
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Under 200 calories
  • Winning flavours: Macadamia & Coconut; Spirulina & Ginseng; Peanut; Cashew & Pecan; Almond… I like them all!

£1.79 from Wholefoods, Holland & Barrett, Waitrose or health shops. Or you can buy boxes of 12 online at Bounce: £19.45.

 

The Anti-diet: Carbs v. protein

Posted in: Uncategorized

I once paid exorbitant amounts of cash to see a fit guru who promptly rigged me up to a mask attached to lots of wires, while making me stretch my poor little heart to breaking point on various apparatus. I only learned calories the year before (goodbye family size trifle) and have zero comprehension of my weight, so this was a little out of character. It was surprisingly useful however: I learned that eating nothing but kumquats can make you fat.

Fat

Apparently, the body likes a little protein with carbs. If eaten in isolation, carbohydrate may as well be a lump of lard, it would seem. OK, maybe this is a slight exaggeration but I find the visual helps me focus.

It’s all down to our blood sugar levels. In the interests of keeping you awake, I’ll abstain from the over convoluted workings of the Glycaemic Index, just heed this: High GI foods (the white stuff: tatties, pasta etc) turn almost instantaneously to sugar in the body, producing insulin (= sugar rush, then slump), which tells your body to store fat. So you see, starving yourself on Snack A Jacks and blueberries will not only make you miserable, devoid of dinner party invites and probably unwell, you’ll gain weight.

Before you frantically renounce all ingredients bar celery, however, we need carbohydrates for energy, and to prevent us being likened to an irritable Devil Wears Prada Diva. All our shrewd bodies crave is a mix of protein, fat, fibre and carbs.

World-Flours-3

Mother nature (and the supermarket World Foods aisle) has fortuitously provided us with a cornucopia of options, not to mention wheat alternatives, if we’re ever so slightly open minded.

As our Seducers explain, pulses and quinoa, with their mix of carbs, fibre and protein, are a veritable gift from the Gods to be coveted. They’re also super easy to incorporate into soups, stews, salads and fritters: Quinoa, lentil & feta salad, Courgette & prawn fritters (made with chickpea flour).

Avocado, cottage cheese & vegemite on sourdough

Eggs, olive oil, nuts, lean meats and avocado are not to be avoided on pain of death; they are our friends. In moderation (blah blahhh). Now, I don’t know about you, but I think this is pretty good news.

Some other protein hit recipes: HummusGaram masala & tamarind chickenBramble Bircher or Almond butter.

For more Anti-diet tips click on the Tags on the right, or type Anti-diet into the Search box at the top of the page.

 

 

Almond butter

Posted in: DF, Featured, N, S, SF, V, WF

I’m a big Peanut Butter fan. I was practically weaned on Sun-pat and Marmite sandwiches; I dollop Wholenut Crunchy into smoothies and even cram it into Lindt Teddies. Don’t knock it. Apart from the nagging feeling of gluttony, I’m painfully aware that peanuts aren’t great for me – there are better fats out there and I’m cursed with instant bloating on consumption. Almonds on the other hand, are a veritable powerhouse of goodness. And in my opinion, taste even better when roasted, blitzed and topped on toast or oatcakes. Protein and nutrient packed instantness.

Makes: 200ml jar Takes: 15 mins.

Almond Butter it transpires, is Sun-pat on Crack: Keens cheddar over Pilgrims Choice; Chloe over Primark. You get the idea. Inevitably then, shop bought Almond butters don’t come cheap. Hence my super quick and easy DIY version that costs half the price. Try the supermarket World Food aisles for better value sacks of almonds. Get the full health benefits of almonds on our Seducers page.

Ingredients

200g almonds, skins on
¼ tsp sea salt

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6

Scatter almonds in a baking tray and roast for 8-10 mins, until nuts start to brown around the edges inside – bite one of the darker nuts in half to test.

Transfer to a food processor, add the salt and blitz for 1 min.

Scrape down the sides and blitz for a further 2 mins, scraping the sides every 30 seconds to a minute.

almond-butter

The nuts will release more oil the longer you blend. You can add groundnut oil to bulk out your mix but there’s no need.

I like a crunchier butter so I remove 1 tbsp of the ground nuts after 1 min and mix back through at the end.

Tip: Be careful not to burn the almonds when roasting or you’ll taint the end result. If when you bite in half, the flesh has turned fully from white to brown, you’ve gone too far.

P/25g (serving): Kcal: 160, Pr: 5.2g, Carb: 1.7g, OWS: 1g, Fat: 14.2g, Sat Fat: 1.3, Salt: 0.3g

P/100g Kcal: 620, Pr: 20.6g, Carb: 6.8g, OWS: 4.2g, Fat: 57g, Sat Fat: 5.0g, Salt: 1g