Healthy Butternut Squash Chocolate Bread, that you can feel good about eating!

 

‘Tis the time of year for baking some yummy treats! For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed by now that I like to bake with butternut squash! 🙂

It’s the perfect ingredient in my opinion to create yummy yet nutritious treats for you and your family.

Issey (my 4-year-old) loves butternut squash desserts and she will happily choose this over something store-bought, which is a mom win 🙂 I like to use butternut squash because it’s a great filling substitute and you’re also getting more nutrients into your diet. For example, butternut squash is loaded with vitamin A, contains half your recommended daily intake of vitamin C – which is good for your skin, so will keep us moms looking young and healthy!  And what I find amazing is that a protein found in butternut squash has been found to inhibit the growth of melanoma (skin cancer) cells, making it a potential anticancer agent. 

Overall, butternut squash is high in antioxidants, it’s immune-boosting and can lower inflammation! (and you know what I always say about inflammation…. it is the root of all disease…)

And, lastly why I love this recipe so much is that you can just throw all ingredients into one bowl and you’re done, this is how I like to bake!! This bread is super allergy friendly, vegan and shred-friendly (for those moms in our shred group), gluten and dairy free!! 

So I know you need to have this recipe asap! so here it is:

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients
  • 1 medium butternut squash (previously baked in the oven and cooled)
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, whisk together, set for 10-15 mins)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free oat flour*
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup almond meal (I just blend almonds in my ninja blender)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips or 1 bar of 85% dark chocolate (Green and Blacks)
* gluten-free oat flour can be bought in your local health store
 
 
Method 
 
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line an 8-inch bread tin with parchment paper or grease your tin with coconut oil.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to a large bowl: butternut squash, coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, flax egg, and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated.
  3. Add the dry ingredients: oat flour, cocoa powder, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Whisk together until difficult to stir.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips or chopped pieces of chocolate.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared tin.
  6. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of the loaf. Lightly press chips down into the mixture.
  7. Bake for 50 -60 minutes (I normally check it at 45 mins and then see how it is by inserting a toothpick in the centre). 
  8. Allow to cool on a rack for 2-3 hours (note, the first time I made this recipe I tried to take the bread out of the tin way to soon!!!  And it ended up broken in half on my counter ;0 still tasted great though ha!)
That’s it! I’d love to know what you think about this recipe, so please post in the comments below…
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas with your families and sincere thanks for taking the time to read my blogs all year, it means so much to me. 

Love Lisa XX

PS: if you’re not already in our free private facebook group then I’d love you to join (we are an encouraging and friendly group of moms) so head over via this link here

 

Credits:

Beaming Baker

References

Butternut squash benefits 1 

Butternut squash benefits 2

 

 

 

Getting ready to Shred!

Dear Moms,

This week I wanted to share with you my plans to do a shred for 10 days starting this Monday. I hear you say first of all what’s a shred and let me tell you I asked the same thing once I first heard about it!!

For me, the word shred initially conjured up images of small pieces of shredded lettuce and shredding my food into tiny pieces. However, this is not the case at all ;0)

What I learned about the shred 10 programme

Firstly, the shred runs for a 10 day period and it’s a time to jump-start your health and ‘shred’ certain foods and habits and focus on cleaner healthier foods thereby flooding our bodies with whole food nutrition.

We use this time to become more mindful of what we are eating and allow our body to have a break and a time to rejuvenate.

It’s part of the healthy living revolution that Juice Plus has rolled out and invites us ‘shredders’ to participate so we can ultimately achieve better health and energy whilst allowing our bodies to safely detox.

Also, this is not a programme that counts calories, there is no deprivation so you can eat as much as you like as you are only consuming whole foods.

Preparation

shakes image

In preparation for this, I’ve purchased the Juice Plus complete shakes (plant-based protein) to try them out before I started the shred. I’ve since purchased another set of shakes as we love them so much. Rok, Issey and I have either a chocolate or vanilla shake every morning for our breakfast. I’m also enjoying one in the afternoon or just before bedtime.

I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog post that I’ve started using the Juice Plus premium blend capsules which is a trio of fruit, vegetables and berry blends. Together with the shakes, my body is taking in over 45 fruits, vegetables and berries! So ensuring only whole foods, eliminating processed food and removing dairy, gluten, alcohol, artificial and refined sugars and caffeine for 10 days, I think my body will be very grateful!

And what I love is that I am getting all this for just €5.80/day (based on 30 days of capsules and shakes) and replacing my breakfast! How amazing is that?!! You know what’s interesting to me is that I used to pay €3.50 for a Starbucks back in my corporate days and sometimes would have two! So I think this option is a no-brainer for me.

juice plus trio

This January I took on a 7-day juice cleanse which was very challenging however this one seems far more achievable to me as I’m still eating food, I’ve also got more support as we have an online community that checks in with one another every day. Also, there is an amazing recipe book with tasty ‘shred approved’ recipes and I’ve also got my whole food capsules and shakes this time.  So I’m confident I’ll make it the whole way through the 10 days.  The only thing that may be difficult for me will be my morning small cup of coffee, so I plan on weaning myself off this slowly.

The key for me will be ensuring that I’ve stocked up on an array of pantry staples, fruits and vegetables and plan out what I will cook every day during the shred for lunch and dinner. This weekend I will be sitting down with Rok to plan this out and ensure we get off to a great start! So please watch this space, I’ll be reporting back soon on how I’m getting on. I’m actually very excited as I do love a challenge however also nervous of which habits might try and get the better of me, however, I’m so grateful that I got my Shred 10 community to check in with.

So, Moms, have you taken on a challenge like this before and if so how did you get on… as always I’d love to hear from you so please feel free to post in the comments below.

Wish me luck!

Love & Best wishes,

Lisa X

Resources

Shred 10 video

Learn more about Juice Plus 

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Hello Moms, this week I want to share something short and sweet :0

It’s a healthy chocolate mousse recipe and it’s frequently made in our house because firstly it’s so easy to make but more importantly, it tastes so yummy!

The main ingredients include Avocados, Cacao and Coconut milk!

From my research:

  • Avocados are extremely nutritious as they have healthy fats (which means they help lower bad cholesterol), they contain important minerals such as iron, copper, and potassium and are a good source of the B vitamin, folate.
  • Cacao is a super nutritious as it contains antioxidants (20 times more antioxidants than blueberries), magnesium, iron, and fibre! (note I always add cacao to my daily smoothie too)
  • Coconut milk also contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. The trace elements present in coconut milk are responsible for the regulation of electrolytes, nerve control, muscle relaxation, and the production of energy in the body.

So overall pretty nutritious!

Issey absolutely loves this dessert and I don’t mind her having it as it has lots of nice healthy ingredients and it always fills her up! It’s also a hit with the rest of the family too, they never suspect the avocado ;0

Finally, if I have nuts in the cupboard I will often roast a few and chop up and sprinkle over the top which adds another dimension 🙂

Usually, this dessert serves about 2 large portions , this is enough for our family 🙂 you may need to double up the ingredients depending on your household…

So what’s the recipe I hear you ask?!!

Here you go, the ingredients include:

  • 1 large bar of good quality dark chocolate (usually buy at least 85% dark chocolate or sometimes I use vegan chocolate)
  • 1 ripe avocado peeled and stone removed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 small can of coconut milk (I use organic and full fat)
  • 2 large tbsp of cacao powder (I use true organic cacao powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 banana

Method:

  • Start by melting the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over boiling water until fully melted and set aside
  • Next add the avocado, banana, maple syrup, cacao, vanilla extract, can of coconut milk and the melted dark chocolate to the blender. (note if you ever find it’s too dry just add a little more coconut milk)
  • Once blended, scoop out into dessert bowls and place in the fridge to set, I usually give it about an hour…
  • Once fully set you can sprinkle some nuts (roasted cashews, almonds or hazelnuts work well) and/or berries (with some mint) over the top and serve

It’s that easy!

Other variations of this recipe include adding the juice of a freshly squeezed orange, instead of adding the banana, this also tastes really great!

So moms, please let me know if you make it and what you think… maybe you have your own tasty desserts that are a hit with your little ones if so I’d love you to share with us…

Best wishes,

Love L X

 

Other Info 🙂

Approx Calories per serving: 403 based on 3 servings

References:

Calorie Calculator: 

http://www.myfitnesspal.com

Avocados:

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/all-about-avocados#1

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-avocado

Cacao:

http://dailysuperfoodlove.com/2852/21-fantastic-benefits-of-cacao/

http://truefoods.ie/product/organic-raw-cacao-powder/

Coconut milk:

https://draxe.com/coconut-milk-nutrition/

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-coconut-milk-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref

Recipe credits:

Mind Body Green

We are so Vegan