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)
  • ÂĽ cup melted coconut oil
  • ÂĽ 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
  • ÂĽ 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 

Pesto Courgetti with Cashew Cheese Sauce

Hello Moms,

This week I am sharing our Pesto Courgetti recipe that is so loved in our household, it’s so tasty and it’s also really perfect for Summer evenings. It is vegan-friendly, gluten and dairy free, however, this dish will leave you feeling fully satisfied without any heavy feeling.

It is packed with nutrients for example courgettes contain abundant levels of manganese and vitamin C that help to keep the heart strong.  It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A all of which are important for maintaining good health.

The pesto is made from basil which contains high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and a range of vitamins, such as vitamin A, K and C.  Interestingly basil contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and also has DNA-protecting flavonoids!

The cashew cheese sauce is full of goodness too, cashews contain a powerhouse of proteins, essential minerals, including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Cashews also contain vitamins such as vitamin, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.

So Moms, as I’ve said before this dish not only tastes great, but you can also rest assured in the knowledge that your family is getting a jam-packed nutrient dense meal!

So let me share this recipe with you:

To make the Pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil (large stems removed)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts (can also use walnuts, my preference though is pine nuts)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (add more garlic if you are like us ;0)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast (see link below)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-6 tbsp of water (more if needed)

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender except the olive oil and water
  • Blend on high until a loose paste forms
  • Then slowly add the olive oil as the machine is on and scrape downs the side as needed
  • Then add 1 tbsp water a time until you reached the desired consistency
  • Taste the pesto and season

To make the Cashew Cheese sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews (recommend you soak the cashews first (at least 3 hours) better for digestion and also removes phytic acid)
  • 1/4 cup of water (more water if you want it a thinner consistency.. whatever way you like it, experiment…)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Method

Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until you reach your desired consistency. For this recipe, I like to leave it a bit chunky (almost like a cottage cheese consistency) however that’s totally up to you.

To make Courgetti:

  • Simply take 2 washed courgettes and place them on a spiralizer, we use the Hemsley and Hemsley spiralizer (link below)

Voila! toss the courgetti in the basil pesto and add a dollop of cashew cheese on top and you have just created a healthy, delicious and beautiful meal. Issey loves this especially the courgetti ;0

As always moms  I’d love to hear from you, please let me know if you decide to make this dish and what you thought of it… :0

Love and Best wishes,

L X

 

Notes: Serves approx 4 portions

Credits:

Lovingitvegan 

Minimalist Baker

References:

Hemsley & Hemsley Spiraliser 

Nutritional Yeast  

Courgettes 

Basil 

Basil 

Cashews