Saturday, 28 February 2015

Sweet Potato Brownies!

My Brownies with a cake i whipped up at the same time!

Last weekend i made Deliciously Ella's Sweet potato brownies! Something i have been meaning to try out for a long time! A recipe that she had formed years ago although still remains one of her most popular on her blog! I thought id let you know how they went, I'm an avid baker and love to trial new recipes, tweaking them where i feel needed then indulge with my friends eating all the produce! Im pretty healthy in general but do have a sweet tooth so to find a recipe that i can indulge in but not feel guilty about is great. If you haven't tried these brownies before i would say be aware they are not your typical chocolate brownie these dont have any sugary sweetness to them so it may be a little shock to your taste buds - not what you expect! Never the less these are gorgeous! They have a very rich taste to them and a  more dense texture to a typical brownie, my friends all loved them and said they are almost a rich truffley, savoury version of a brownie! Heres the recipe info from Ellas blog I've added my suggestions along side for those who would like their brownies a little sweeter! 

Makes roughly 10 brownies
- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes (600g)
- 2/3 of a cup of ground almonds (80g)
- 1/2 a cup of rice flour (100g)
- 14 medjool dates - 16 to make it extra gooey
- 3 tablespoons of raw cacao - i used 5 to make them extra chocolatey
- 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup - i would add one more for added sweetness
- a pinch of salt

Im adding Dark chocolate to the list i think a little drizzle on top would be lush with these brownies! And using dark chocolate means its still good for you, although hats just an added extra to try out!

So you start by pre-heating the oven to 180C peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Steam or boil the potato until soft i would steam if possible because it will keep all the good nutrients in the potato!

Once they are super soft and beginning to fall apart take them out and whack them into a food processor (i used my smoothie blender same sort of thing) with the dates – this will then form a luxurious sweet, creamy mix of goodness! All you then do is put the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix in the sweet potato date combo.
Pot it all into a lined baking tray and cook for around twenty minutes, do the knife trick to test if you prod your brownie with a knife and it still comes out sticky then its not done yet. Let the brownie cool, remove from tin and leave for a little longer then you can drizzle your melted choc on top and cut into cute little bite sized squares or nice weighty slabs of greatness. 

You can see where i did the knife trick haha! 

On Ellas Blog i read all the benefits that are packed into the brownies heres one great fact...  these brownies contain tons of fibre, which means each brownie has a  ‘slow burning’ quality, this means that their energy is used up a lot  more slowly than low-fibre carbohydrates (like normal brownies). So it makes these brownies perfect for that mid morning slog around about 11, have one of these bad boys with a cuppa you’ll be fuller, more energised and more satisfied for a lot longer than if you had a regular brownie! 

I hope you enjoy making and eating these healthy treats as much as i did! I noticed a few days after making them Ella was on 'this morning' baking the exact same brownies it must have been fate! 

Madge x

Monday, 23 February 2015

Love yourself a little!

Image - Pinterest

So Valentines has just passed and although we all see it as a day to show those you love just how much they mean to you... I've thought why not see it as a reminder to love not just those around us but ourselves also!! Now valentines i adore, i think its great to show those who mean something to you just how important they are in your life! But i don't think we allow ourselves enough loving, I have recently began seeing a councillor to help with anxiety and depression, from it I've began to notice how self critical i am and how I'm not very kind to myself! I know I'm not the only one guilty of this,i think we are all self critical in one way or another soooo heres a few tips to be kind to yourself!

  1. Take time to enjoy life enhancing activities. Im not saying go bungee jumping (unless thats your sort of thing) Im simply suggesting to find things that excite and energise you! It can simply be exercise you like, discover a dish you've never tried or perhaps begin introducing foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive, maybe even try out that bungee jump if your really confident! 
  2.  Choose to be around loving/ uplifting people. This is something you will see change from instantly, choosing to be around caring, supportive and accepting people will make you feel so much more positive not to mention loved/cared for. Theres nothing worse than being around bitchy negative people it will only bring you down and make you feel unloved! ...Ditch the bitches!
  3. Take loving actions for yourself around others. When you find you are around someone who is being nasty/negative, speak up for yourself! I hate confrontation but by letting the person know that you don't like being treated that way makes you feel a little more confident in your decisions on how you are to be treated. You are worth more than that so let them know its not ok - don't start any cat fights, just don't let your feelings be un heard.
  4. Take care of your body, your time, your space and your finances. You will feel happy, loved and lovable when you feed yourself healthy food, and get exercise and sleep. I know it sounds so simple but its easier said than done! When you ignore your health, you are giving yourself the message that you are not worth loving. So many of my friends say they feel rubbish but they are running on 3hrs sleep, 3 Costa Coffees and the last time they saw a gym was probably at school in a P.E Lesson! 
  5.  By constantly being late and disorganized regarding your time and your space, again you are giving yourself the message that you are not worth taking care of. When you respect your own and others' time and space, you are letting yourself know that you are worth it. Plus you won't be in the dog house with your boss/ teacher for being late anymore!
  6. If you constantly overspend, you will eventually put yourself in unnecessary debt weather it be with mum and dad or the bank your once again not taking charge and  looking after yourself - your finances!
  7.  Find work you love: Since work takes up a big part of your day wether it be uni or a job, finding or creating work that fulfills you is vitally important. If you  force yourself to stay at that dead end job you hate, the message to yourself is that you are not worth doing whatever it is you need to do, to create a fulfilling work life. Going back to my first point start to enjoy life enhancing activities - fulfil your dreams!
  8.  Create balance... kind of leading off from this is creating a balance in your life. All work and no play, or all play and no work, creates inner anxiety rather than inner peace. We all need some sense of balance in our life to feel secure and loved. We need time to work and time to rest and rejuvenate. We also need time to nurture our body and mind through activities that bring us joy. 
  9. Seek professional help. Self-rejection and neglect is painful - i know this all too well! You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. So If  you feel its necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or just a friend. It’s the best investment you can make towards a better you, for you.
Hope that wasn't too Hippie/Emo for you!
Madge x