Sunday, 22 February 2015

Peanut Butter Protein Bites

This is another one of our recipes which is perfectly suited for anyone who is a fan of the gym or working out who seeks another great protein source, and of course a delicious snack. These are perfectly delicious for everyone else also. We wrote this recipe using our wonderful MyProtein products.

These delicious peanut butter nibbles are great as they're easy to store and bring with you wherever you're going, whether its the gym for a light snack on the journey home or to work to beat those mid morning cravings. Oh and we forgot to mention, these are 'no-bake' so there's no cooking involved! This recipe makes around 15 protein bites depending on the size you make them.

The Ingredients:
60ml Higher Nature Virgin Coconut Butter (Melted)
60ml Honey (Natural)
55g MyProtein® Smooth Peanut Butter
1tsp Vanilla Extract / Paste
150g MyProtein® Rolled Oats
1 Scoop MyProtein® Protein Powder (Vanilla or Banana works well)
60g Dark Chocolate Chips OR 50g Raisins

The How-To:
The first step is simple, we need to heat the coconut butter and honey just enough so we can mix them together well. So add these to a saucepan and warm on a low heat until the mixture comes together. Do not boil.

Remove from the heat.
No need to use another bowl, just add the vanilla extract and oats to the saucepan and stir very thoroughly ensuring all the oats are well coated in the honey and melted coconut butter mixture.
Stir through the protein powder ensuring the mixture is evenly combined.

Allow to cool for 10 mins. This will start the mixture setting and most importantly ensure you dont burn your hands.
Mix in the dark chocolate chips or raisins. Obviously raisins are the healthier option but not everyone likes these.

You now have two options on how to prepare the bites.
Option 1 - Take tablespoons of the mixture in your hands and roll into balls, place on a non stick baking sheet and allow to set. We prefer this option as it requires less work.
Option 2 - Pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with parchment paper and push down to form a slab. Allow to set and then slice up.

To get these to set and harden up faster just stick them in the fridge. The coconut butter in the mixture will solidify really quickly. These can then be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. But if your house is very warm you might want to store them in a fridge if you find them too soft.

Store in an airtight container, these should last for several days, if you can resist.

Fairtrade Fortnight

Marks and Spencer's leads the way with its fantastic range of Fairtrade products. This year for Fairtrade fortnight we're showcasing some of our favourites.

The Amazing Colourful Packaging of the Marks and Spencer's Fairtrade Chocolate Bars

So what is Fairtrade? A lot of people see it every day but still dont know the exact meaning of this. It appears on lots of chocolate bars and coffee products now which we use every day. But what does it all mean? On the Fairtrade Organisations website they put it simply, and this pretty much sums it up.

"With Fairtrade you have the power to change the world every day.
With one simple choice you can get farmers a better deal. And that means they can make their own decisions, control their futures and lead the dignified life everyone deserves" (Fairtrade.Org)

So now you are a little clearer on the meaning we're going to show you some amazing Fairtrade products available from Marks and Spencer's this year.

First off we will start with everyones favourite, chocolate. And there truely is a bar for everyone in Marks and Spencer's range of Fairtrade bars this year. Each of the bars are made using Fairtrade chocolate and sugar bought directly from small producers, guaranteeing a fair price and investments in local projects in cocoa producing communities. Some of the range includes Dark Chocolate with Espresso Coffee, Dark Chocolate with Mint, Dark Chocolate with Italian Orange, and Milk Chocolate with Salted Butterscotch among many others.

Marks and Spencer's also have a wonderful range of Single Origin Ground Coffee such as Columbian, Peruvian and Kenyan among others. Each has a wonderful and complex set of flavours making them all different from each other. Shake up your morning coffee routine by trying one of these wonderful varieties.

If you have a little more time on your hands and you're more of a coffee connoisseur Marks and Spencer's also offer a wonderful range of Italian Coffee Beans, some also available ground. Made with 100% Arabica beans.

If you're in a rush or have a hectic schedule you can still enjoy wonderfully flavoured coffee varieties this Fairtrade fortnight with the range of Instant Coffee which Marks and Spencer's have to offer. Why not try the Italian or Columbian varieties of Instant Coffee.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival preview

Whilst we all enjoy making our own nutritious delicacies, it’s always good to keep an eye out for the latest culinary innovations.

And that’s why we’re keen to check out the upcoming Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival that promises an amazing array of tempting treats, along with some inspiring interactive workshops.

Here are a few teasers of what to expect from the festival.

The basics
Image from the wbesite

The festival takes place between 12 and 14 June in the luxurious surroundings of the historic Montpellier Gardens in Cheltenham. The gardens will feature a huge variety of local and national food producers all keen to show off their wares.

A big theme this year will be keeping food green. And there will be a particular emphasis on locally sourced food produce, along with many discussions over organic production methods.

The Chef’s Kitchen

The Chef’s Kitchen is likely to be one of the main attractions as it’s here that an interesting series of workshops will take place. Celebrity chefs such as Jean-Christophe Novelli and award-winning chefs from local restaurants and hotels will all take to the stage to instruct us in a few tricks of the trade.

Other workshops to look forward to include one by Cheltenham’s premier Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay, and our personal highlight, Contemporary Cake Designs that will features works by the highly regarded Swiss pastry chef Xavier Pelloux.

Something to drink?

Whilst we might be salivating over the great selection of food producers promised at the festival, there are some seriously indulgent drink options too.

The International Wine Theatre aims to increase the appreciation and understanding of global wines with many wine experts congregating to share their knowledge through a series of informative 45 minute workshops.

And the famous Beehive pub will be bringing the very best in cider to the festival with its own cider garden offering a friendly welcome to all.

Something for the kids

Of course, if you have young ones with you, then fear not as there’s also a great range of children’s entertainment including a Junior Chef Competition on the Friday, as well as an endless supply of street entertainment with musicians, jugglers and cabaret artists all contributing to the carnival atmosphere.

Other attractions

Away from the festival there’s a great range of activities going on in Cheltenham. Most notably Cheltenham racecourse has some of the best horse racing action on offer, including the Cheltenham Festival in March.

And there is a whole host of other important annual festivals taking place in this spa town including comedy, jazz and fashion festivals throughout the year.