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chocolate

4 Easy and Healthy Desserts | Get Healthy With Valentina

4 Easy and Healthy Desserts | Get Healthy With Valentina

Even if you do decide to treat yourself (with healthy desserts, at that), don’t beat yourself up, and don’t forget that it takes courage to be true to who you are in a world that is in such a hurry to judge you at every turn. Being the best version of yourself is not a one-time event. It is a constant decision that you make every day, so take care of your body, eat healthy and respect yourself. These easy and healthy desserts make it easy.

4 Healthy Christmas Desserts That You Can Make ASAP - Get Healthy With Valentina

4 Healthy Christmas Desserts That You Can Make ASAP - Get Healthy With Valentina

Apart from the pressures of choosing the right presents or catching up with friends and family, the holidays can also be a time of disappointment, financial strain, feuds, travel problems and being alone or far away from loved ones. Instead of enduring another stressful festive season, I'm sharing these amazing and healthy Christmas desserts to put the 'merry' back into your holiday festivities.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Smoothie Ever

The Best Vegan Chocolate Smoothie Ever

This is my absolute favourite vegan chocolate smoothie of all time. It's a recipe from my first vegan cookbook - it immediately stood out to me and the book has been my companion for almost 2 years. You need to make this vegan chocolate smoothie: it's quick, delicious, and so versatile.  

Vegan Orange Chocolate Bliss Balls

Vegan Orange Chocolate Bliss Balls

Ball is life. When you find yourself craving a Terry's Chocolate Orange, think of these orange chocolate bliss balls instead. They're simple to make and they don't require any laborious baking or melting. All you'll need is a food processor and a few simple ingredients. Rich, moist, and decadent, orange chocolate bliss balls are the perfect solution for the chocolate-fuelled athlete inside of you. Make them as snacks for yourself, or as gifts for your friends. Bliss balls are for sharing.

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes

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Pancakes are one of my staple breakfasts.  They're super easy to make, they load you up with carbs, and they can be made with very little fat. There are a million different ways to modify (and eat) vegan pancakes. This particular vegan chocolate cherry pancake recipe was inspired by cherry chocolate muffins that my mum used to make for me when I was a kid. One day, I was thinking about new ways to spice up my pancakes. Because we had cherries at home (...and because I am a total chocolate addict), I decided to turn my mum's muffins into vegan cherry chocolate pancakes. But are these pancakes healthy? In my opinion, they are. They're vegan: no hormones are swimming around the milk that I used. Make sure that you look for low-fat vegan milk. I'd recommend oat milk and good-quality vegan dark chocolate. Fun fact: The best quality chocolate is often vegan, even though it isn't certified as such. When you eat cacao (raw dark chocolate), there isn't any need for milk in your chocolate!

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes // The PumpUp Blog

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes

  • 100g (or ¾ cup) whole wheat flour
  • 170 ml (or at least ½ cup) of the vegan milk of your choice
  • 20g (or about 2 tbsp) agave nectar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 25g (or about 4 tbsp) chopped chocolate
  • About 15 chopped cherries (this is quite much you can use fewer if you want)
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder (optional)

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes // The PumpUp Blog

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, milk, agave, vanilla, cinnamon, and optional cocoa powder in a bowl.
  2. Add in the chopped chocolate and mix again.
  3. Fold in chopped cherries and mix them in carefully.
  4. Heat a wide skillet for about two minutes on full power and then lower the heat to medium. My pan does not require the use of any oil but if your pan does, coat it lightly.
  5. Pour the pancake batter in the pan (1 tbsp per pancake) and flip them over when the batter begins to bubble and become firm at the top sides of the pancake.
  6. Repeat until all your batter has been used. Arrange your pancakes on a plate and top them whatever you desire. I used banana slices, melted vegan chocolate (told you, I'm an addict), chopped nuts and agave nectar.
  7. Enjoy!

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes // The PumpUp Blog

Vegan cherry chocolate pancakes // The PumpUp Blog

These vegan cherry chocolate pancakes were created by PumpUp member @_lis. Find Lis on Instagram @vegan_lis, on Tumblr, and on Snapchat @lis-ssy

 

 

Clean up your diet with these 2 healthy smoothies

Clean up your diet with these 2 healthy smoothies

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Fresh Carrot and Ginger Juice

Carrot ginger juice // 2 healthy smoothie recipes from the PumpUp Blog

Whether you're sick or simply looking for a drink that will make you feel great inside and out, this juice is for you. Ginger gives healthy smoothies a potent taste, so be careful if you're not used to strongly flavored drinks. This juice is filled with anti-inflammatory compounds and tons of vegetables to help you fulfill your daily recommended intake of vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients

Makes 2 glasses

  • 50g of natural honey
  • 150 g of carrots (≈3 carrots)
  • 50 g of celery (≈1 celery)
  • 10 g of grated ginger
  • Juice of 2 limes (or 1 lemon)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup of water

Carrot ginger juice // 2 healthy smoothie recipes from the PumpUp Blog

Directions

Pulse, then blend all ingredients together until mixture forms a juice. Filter out the juice in a sieve if you want to remove any residue.

Chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie

Chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie // 2 healthy smoothie recipes from the PumpUp Blog

Think a Reese's peanut butter cup, but better. This chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie fulfills all your dreams and puts it into a neat little glass. You won't need to add any extra sugar if you like your drinks to be on the sweeter side. It tastes just like a frothy milkshake if you use ripe and creamy bananas. To keep sugar on the low side, use unsweetened almond milk instead of vanilla or chocolate almond milk.

  • 2 bananas
  • ¼ cup of almond milk
  • ¼ cup of cold water
  • 2 teaspoons of natural peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons of chocolate protein powder

Chocolate banana peanut butter smoothie // 2 healthy smoothie recipes from the PumpUp Blog

Blend everything together until mixture is smooth. Top with toasted oats, coconut flakes, and chocolate chips.

Loved these healthy smoothies? These two recipes were created by PumpUp members @tyler_bacc and @tysa. Let them know if you tried the recipes in the comments below! 

Vegan Gluten Free Pancakes have never been more amazing

Vegan Gluten Free Pancakes have never been more amazing

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Sure, it might be National Donut Day (or any national 'dessert' day for that matter). Don't let your sweet tooth bring your down! When you're craving for something sweet, try to eat a healthier alternative with a similar texture. If you're craving creamy ice cream, make banana 'nice cream'.  If you're craving fluffy donuts, try some vegan gluten free pancakes! They're far easier to make than doughnuts, and they're far better for you.

Vegan Gluten Free Pancakes

Recipe by PumpUp member @haileycatherine

For the pancake batter

  • 1/3 cup cashew milk with 1 tsp lemon juice mixed in
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • Stevia
  • Handful vegan chocolate chips.

For the topping

  • 1/2 banana
  • Handful of vegan chocolate chips
  • Cocoa powder
  • Water
  • Tbsp chocolate pb2
In a small bowl, mix cashew milk with lemon juice and set a side. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, cinnamon, and allspice. Alternate between pouring in the milk mixture and mashed banana until just incorporated. Fold in the stevia and chocolate chips. Warm up a pan on low/medium heat and create pancakes, flipping once air bubbles form at the surface of the batter.
While pancakes are cooling slightly, chop the other half of the banana and set aside. Melt together a chocolate chips, cocoa powder, water, and chocolate PB2 to make a sauce.  Sandwich the bananas between pancakes and pour sauce on top.

Guess the secret ingredient in this chocolate berry smoothie bowl

Guess the secret ingredient in this chocolate berry smoothie bowl

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With the right ingredients, it isn't difficult to mask the taste of vegetables in most culinary creations. After all, not everybody particularly enjoys munching on leafy greens straight-up at the crack of dawn.  Stay energized in the morning by slurping on something that is tasty and good for you in equal measure. The secret is to overwhelm the flavour of cruciferous vegetables with a tango of other tastes: chocolate and vanilla protein. Nobody would ever be able to guess that there's spinach in your smoothie bowl. Packed with maca, avocado, spirulina, and protein powder, this chocolate berry smoothie bowl is packed with nutritious surprises.

Vegan chocolate berry smoothie bowl

  • 1 banana
  • Handful or two of spinach
  • Handful of frozen cherries and blueberries
  • 1 tbsp hemp chocolate protein
  • 1 tbsp raw vanilla protein
  • 1 tsp maca
  • 1/4 a small avocado
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp spirulina powder

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Vegan chocolate berry smoothie bowl - You'll hardly be able to taste the spinach in this. Don't be scared. Don't be intimidated. Chocolate is involved.

This vegan chocolate berry smoothie bowl recipe is courtesy of PumpUp member @veganyogi. Find more smoothie recipes from the PumpUp community here, and by searching the #smoothie tag on PumpUp. Have an amazing smoothie recipe to share with the PumpUp community? Let us know in the comments below or tag them on Instagram with #TeamPumpUp. 

Wheat-free chocolate chunk cookies

Wheat-free chocolate chunk cookies

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I'm the kind of person who finds it very hard to say "no" to cookies. Can you blame me? They are without a doubt my biggest weakness. Being the cookie monster that I am, I came up with a much healthier alternative.
I'm pretty surprised that it took me so long  to health-ify the legendary chocolate chip cookie.  I guess I was a little afraid they wouldn't turn out so well. In all honesty, these babies are freaking amazing! They're just as good (if not better) than a regular cookie. So sue me.
Crispy and golden on the outside, soft on the inside, melty chocolate chunks...they're the stuff of dreams. I'm not stopping there: these cookies contain no refined sugar, no wheat, no oil, no eggs and no milk. They're naturally high in protein, and naturally high in everything that is good for you! The best part? You can pretty much eat the dough unbaked, as is.

Wheat-free chocolate chunk cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 can of chickpeas (257g drained)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp honey (agave or maple syrup if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp nut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Dark chocolate chips or chunks (I bought a sugar free dark chocolate bar and cut it into chunks myself).
Directions
  1. Drain and dry the chickpeas with a paper towel.
  2. Mix everything (except for the chocolate) in food processor or blender until a dough is formed. It should look just like a regular cookie dough, but the consistency's a lot lighter.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl and fold in your chocolate chips/chunks. You can use as many as you please.
  4. With the help of a spoon, drop some of the dough on a greased/lined cookie sheet, just the way you'd do with regular cookies.
  5. Place the cookies in the oven at 360° for around half an hour, or until edges start to golden. You can bring your oven to broil to make the top of the cookie golden, too.

wheat free gluten free chocolate chunk cookie recipe from the PumpUp Blog

And you're done! You can wait for them to cool, or risk burning your tongue by eating them straight out of the oven. Because that's what I did, and it was worth it.
Wheat free chocolate chunk cookies
This wheat-free chocolate chunk cookie recipe is by PumpUp member mariajumps. Keep her pumped on the PumpUp app here!

2-ingredient vegan chocolate (we know, it's a real thing)

2-ingredient vegan chocolate (we know, it's a real thing)

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As Easter looms over your head, promises of chocolate and Cadbury mini-eggs float around you like snowflakes endlessly drifting down from the pale white sky.  If you're going to inevitably indulge, know that there are alternatives! Here's a 2-ingredient vegan chocolate recipe that isn't an assault on your taste buds. You can make it again (and again) without too much of a hassle on your part. You can make it for others or keep it as a tiny and tasty little secret to yourself and your tastebuds. Incorporate it into your favourite recipes that call for dark chocolate to impart a much bolder flavour. While it may not turn out to be the mini-eggs you dream and dream about, this 2-ingredient vegan chocolate recipe by PumpUp member @heybeau makes it possible for you satisfy your chocolate craving again and again.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder

Optional

  • Maple syrup or agave nectar, to taste
  • Chocolate protein powder

Mix coconut oil and cacao powder together and add sweetener and/or the protein powder if desired. Refrigerate for 15 minutes and enjoy! Keep mixture cool for as long as it exists in your household. If you wish to increase the portion size of the recipe, do so by mixing the coconut oil and cacao powder in a 1:1 ratio.

2-ingredient vegan chocolate

Drop everything: Try this Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Mousse

Drop everything: Try this Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Mousse

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Hey there! I hope you all enjoyed that pancake recipe from last month! It has become a weekly routine to make these on either Saturday or Sunday mornings, and enjoy them in bed with a nice coffee and a movie… Reading this over, it’s making me feel like such an old lady! I guess that I like my little routines. Speaking of routines, my girlfriend and I make a point of making weekly/bi-weekly dinners with some of our friends. It’s a great way to get together, enjoy healthy foods and not break the bank. I’m usually the one cooking the main meal (mostly because of all of my allergies), but everybody pitches in and brings ingredients or snacks/desserts. Last weekend, we had some friends over for an amazing Indian feast (see my blog about Rogan Josh), and for dessert, I thought about making an amazing, guilt-free chocolate and raspberry mousse.

Making a dessert that will please everyone AND is healthy AND relatively inexpensive is always a hard thing, especially when one of your guests, or yourself, has allergies or restrictions. I have a solution for you! If you’re looking for something sweet, but not overly sweet, that is timeless/season-less, and healthy, check this out!

How to make a Vegan Raspberry Chocolate mousse

You will need

  • 12 oz. package of silken tofu (either the boxed kind found in the Asian section of the grocery store, or the regular silken/smooth tofu in the cold section of the grocery store)
  • 1 small container of fresh raspberries (or about a cup and a half of frozen raspberries, thawed)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ½ cup of confectioner’s sugar (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any chocolate that you and your guests can all eat), melted according to packaging

vegan chocolate raspberry mousse

To begin with, melt your chocolate chips according to the packaging, either in the microwave or on the stove-top. Once it’s melted and smooth, set it aside.

In a large blender, food processor, or anything that blends, blend together your silken tofu, raspberries, melted chocolate, confectioner’s sugar and maple syrup. If your blender is small, feel free to do this in batches.

There you have it. That wasn’t hard, was it? Pour your mix into cups, molds, bowls, parfait glasses, etc. and let it sit in the cold (freezer, fridge, or outside if cold enough), until ready to serve. I suggest letting it sit for at least an hour and a half, until it sets.

The raspberries in the recipe cut the sweetness from the chocolate, making it light, just sweet enough, and creamy smooth. It’s a healthier alternative to regular chocolate mousse, and those die-hard chocolate fans will never notice it’s made with tofu!

You can always make fudge pops with this recipe as well! We replaced the raspberries with a cup of soy milk and made fudge pops too (see my blog for the recipe!)

A neat trick with this vegan raspberry chocolate mousse is that you can also use it to make a cheese-less cheese cake! Use firm tofu instead, and it will give you a nice thick consistency. Place it over a cheese cake crust (I usually go for rolled oats, quinoa flakes, crumbled gluten-free/egg -free/nut- free cookies, and a bit of melted butter, baked for 15 mins in a shallow baking pan), let it set in the freezer, and serve it cold.

This post is part of a monthly series by Zoë Desborough. Follow Zoë on PumpUp ( @zoedesborough) and on her blog

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Truffles

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These vegan gluten-free chocolate cake truffles will knock your socks off

Recipe courtesy of PumpUp member @ayaalamode. Check out The Healthy Appetite blog for more of her tasty creations!

The holidays are just around the corner and let’s face it: temptation is everywhere. Despite the routine gym visits, it’s really hard to say no to that slice of cake your roommate saved for you from yesterday’s office party. Or that limited edition coffee flavor that you’ll have to wait another year for (and therefore should drink as much of it now as possible). And wait, are there still leftovers in the fridge from Thanksgiving?

No doubt, the end of the year is a time for the 3 Fs: Family, Friends, and Food (4 if you count the word you shout out when trying to fit into your favorite skinnies the morning after your friend’s holiday party). But why not? ‘Tis the season, after all. And now you can also be Free of guilt with these vegan and gluten free Chocolate Cake Truffles! Perfect to make with loved ones (don’t tell me rolling cake into melting chocolate and studding them with toppings is not fun) and you won’t feel bad about eating more than one either (or two, or three … )

Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Truffles
Makes ~28 cake balls

Cake Ingredients:
Dry:

1 cup gluten-free flour of choice

1/2 cup tapioca or glutinous rice flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup unrefined raw cane sugar or 45 drops of Stevia extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Wet:
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil (or any other neutral tasting oil)
Coating:
175 grams of semi-sweet or dark chocolate (I used a mixture of semi-sweet with 85% dark chocolate)
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

Measure out the dry ingredients in a bowl, making sure to mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the vinegar, oil, and milk, mixing after each. When everything is combined, pour the batter into a 11” x 7” (28 x 18 cm) baking pan/dish and bake for approximately 35 minutes (the top should spring back but the center should be moist).

Take out of the oven and let cool in the pan until the pan is warm enough to handle with bare hands. Release the cake into a bowl and crumble apart with your hands. Form about 28 uniform balls (if the cake is too dry, mix 1 tbsp of non-dairy milk at a time).
Place them on a plate and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

10 minutes before taking the plate out, melt the chocolate. You can use the bain-marie/double boiler method or microwave the chocolate in 30 second intervals, making sure to stir after each round.
Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper, then prepare your toppings. Nuts, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, dried/candied fruit are all good options.

Take the balls out and immerse each one in chocolate, only doing a few at a time. Once the ball is evenly coated, fish it out with a fork and let the excess drip off. Place onto the parchment paper. You can either decorate as you go along or do it after you’ve dipped everything in chocolate. The key is to do it before the chocolate cools and hardens.

After everything is decorated and to your liking, place the tray in the fridge and let cool until the outer shell hardens. Enjoy!

Follow @ayaalamode on PumpUp and visit The Healthy Appetite Blog for more healthy recipes. 

Get Healthy with Valentina! Smoothies, Quinoa Salad, Chia Pudding

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This post is part of a series of monthly posts by Valentina M. Read her story below and follow her on Instagram @thehealthymexican9 and on PumpUp @thehealthymexican. 

We should always live a healthier lifestyle because nowadays there are so many factors contributing to health degeneration. This includes pollution, chemicals in our food or beverages , etc. The problem is that most people (myself included) start to take action only after they fall sick, or are in the process of losing their health.   I urge you, before you face a health problem or if you are facing it right now, start taking care of you and love yourself.

I faced the need for surgery on my left knee and afterwards the doctors realized it was a bad diagnosis and the real problem was a herniated disc. After surgery I didn’t start a healthier life and began to have many other health problems so when I went to the doctor he told me I needed to start living healthier or everything will be worse. It took me many starts and frustrations before I learned how to live a healthier lifestyle. Today, I am much healthier and fitter. I eat healthily most of the time (with regular indulgences) and I’m able to stick to a meal plan if I want, and avoid junk food most of the time. I know how hard can that be, but it is not impossible.

My advice for you is be creative and explore new foods, explore fruits, seeds, vegetables,nuts. There are foods that many people don’t eat on a regular basis or have never tried some of these. Explore the power you will feel by eating the right things. Start today! Get healthy with me! There are so many healthy and easy recipes you can start doing right now!

chocolate peanut butter smoothie recipe

Chocolate PB Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons natural peanut butter 
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana, pre-sliced
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ice as needed

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add ice according to desired thickness. Decorate the top with some unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds or fresh berries or nuts if you wish.

pineapple energy smoothie pumpupapp

Pineapple Energy Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ripe pineapple
  • 1 large knob of ginger (about 2-4 inches)
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut water
  • Lemon juice (1 lemon squeezed)
  • ½ cup Raspberries

Directions

Blend all ingredients for 20-30 seconds and enjoy! Decorate the top with some unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds or fresh berries or nuts if you wish.

mango coconut chia pudding recipe pumpupapp

Mango Coconut Chia-pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh ripe champagne mango, diced
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweetened shredded coconut
  • honey to make it sweeter (optional)

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a large container Mix and close the container. Refrigerate overnight or at least 5-6 hours. Decorate with more fruits and coconut flakes.

 quinoa tofu salad recipe pumpupapp

Quinoa Tofu Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (see Tip)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 6- or 8-ounce package smoked tofu diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ Avocado
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

Directions

1.Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Spread the quinoa on a baking sheet to cool for 10 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the cooled quinoa, tofu, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, parsley and mint; toss well to combine.

With Love,

Valentina

Follow Valentina on PumpUp @TheHealthyMexican 

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Try Swapping out the cocoa in your life for its much healthier alternative, CACAO. Cacao is our superfood of the week on #TastyTuesday. Not only does it have a ton of antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium, but it is also proven to naturally improve your mood. Try adding some cacao into your smoothies, make milk or hot cacao, use it in your baked goods, or have it with some nuts and fruit!