Wednesday 20 December 2017

Chocolate Orange Smoothie

chocolate orange smoothie

There's no denying that this smoothie isn't much to look at but promise me that you won't let that put you off as it tastes incredible! It has a thick and creamy texture (thanks to the avocado- which I promise you can't taste) that creates an indulgent drink, along with the classic combination of a rich chocolatey flavour and fresh juicy orange. I decided to sweeten the smoothie using dates rather than syrup to increase the iron and fibre content. What's more, the vitamin C from the orange will aid in the absorption of iron from the dates, spinach and cacao so it's a really healthy option as well as being delicious. I love drinking this when I want a quick breakfast, as a sweet snack or even dessert!

Three great health benefits: good source of fibre, boosts immunity, rich in antioxidants 

Makes 1 glass
Enjoy immediately

3/4 cup almond milk
1 orange, peeled
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 handful frozen spinach
1/2 frozen baby avocado
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
Sprinkle of cacao nibs to decorate (optional)

1) With the exception of the cacao nibs (if using), place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and decorate with a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Enjoy immediately.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Friday 15 December 2017

Festive Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts & Pomegranate

festive maple roasted brussels sprouts with chestnuts and pomegranate

I always say it at this time of year- sprouts have a bad reputation but it's completely undeserved because so long as you don't overcook them (how many people have endured boiled-beyond-recognition Brussels?!), you'll realise how tasty they are! I actually enjoy them so much now that I look forward to eating them at this time of year! In this dish, the sprouts are roasted with maple syrup to balance out the slight bitterness. Chestnuts add further sweetness and a nutty taste whilst pomegranate brings a fresh zestiness to the dish. The flavours work so well together! What's more, it looks impressive to serve thanks to the festive colours and pomegranate seeds adding a jewel-like quality.

Three great health benefits: beneficial for bone health, good source of fibre, good source of antioxidants

Serves 2
Enjoy immediately

300g Brussels sprouts, washed thoroughly, with the bases removed and each sprout sliced in half
50g cooked and peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped
125g pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp & 1 tsp maple syrup
Sea salt and black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the sprouts in a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil and maple syrup, ensuring that all of the sprouts are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Roast the sprouts for 25 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. When there are just a few minutes remaining, add the chestnuts and finish roasting.
4) Remove from the oven and drizzle with the 1 tsp of maple syrup. Sprinkle with the pomegranate and serve.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Curried Parsnip Dip

curried parsnip dip

Every year, I host a "ho ho ho down" Christmas get together with my friends. It's the perfect opportunity to exchange cards and gifts but most importantly catch up over drinks and to the essential background of Mariah, Wham, Band Aid, The Pogues, Boney M, Slade and Wizzard to name just a few! Inevitably (the South American in me just lives to feed people!), this is accompanied by some festive nibbles with mince pies featuring annually and the savoury option in rotation. This year, I'll be serving this Curried Parsnip Dip which perfectly balances the sweet root vegetable with a spice flavour, without being overwhelming. It's an unusual, festive alternative to hummus which I really hope you'll try.

Three great health benefits: rich source of calcium, beneficial for heart health, boosts immunity.

Makes 1 bowl

375g parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cups water
Sea salt and black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the parsnips in a roasting tin. Sprinkle with the curry powder and drizzle with the coconut oil, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Roast for 25-30 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool.
3) Place the parsnips and remaining ingredients in a food processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Carrot and Chestnut Soup

carrot and chestnut soup

This warming soup combines classic festive flavours and is so lovely at this time of year. If you're looking for a crowd pleasing Christmas starter then this might just be the soup for you- simply jazz it up with a decoration such as sage leaves or star shaped gluten free bread croutons on top. It can be made in advance, freezes well and can be easily doubled (or more) to cater for a group.

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, good source of fibre, beneficial for eye health

Serves 3

500g carrots, roughly chopped into bitesized pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
4 sage leaves, roughly chopped
180g cooked chestnuts
1 litre vegetable stock

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
2) Place the carrots in a roasting tin, season with salt & pepper and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, ensuring all of the pieces are evenly coated. Roast for 20 minutes. (You can do this step in advance, if desired).
3) Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat on the hob. Add the onion and lightly fry for a few minutes, until softened.
4) Add the sage leaves and lightly fry for a further minute, before adding the roasted carrot (including any remaining oil from the roasting tin), chestnuts and vegetable stock.
5) Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6) Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Reheat to serve.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats

Monday 4 December 2017

Chocolate Orange Brownies

chocolate orange brownies

I made these chocolate orange brownies for the recent Christmas NamasTEA event and they proved really popular. I always associate the classic combination of chocolate and orange with Christmas thanks to the tradition of previously receiving a Terry's Chocolate Orange in my Christmas stocking. Nowadays, I'm all about the healthy alternatives and these brownies fit the guilt-free bill perfectly. I highly recommend including the frosting, which first featured in my recipe for Fudgey Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake with Creamy Avocado Frosting (recipe here). It is rich and creamy and perfectly complements the chocolate cake base- no-one at the NamasTEA event could believe the secret ingredient of avocado!

Three great health benefits: boosts mood, beneficial for heart health, promotes healthy skin 

Makes 16 brownies

1 & 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
Pinch sea salt
1 & 1/3 cup smooth almond butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
Juice of 4 oranges
Zest of 2 oranges
Coconut oil, for greasing the tin

For the frosting:
8 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 15 minutes in boiling water (then drained)
1 large ripe avocado or 3 ripe baby avocado, peeled and with the stone removed
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
Zest of an orange, to decorate

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease an 8 inch square cake tin with coconut oil.
2) In a mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, salt and cacao powder.
3) Next, add the wet ingredients (almond butter, maple syrup, orange juice and zest) and stir, ensuring the mixture is thoroughly combined.
4) Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top so that it is evenly distributed. Bake for 30 minutes until the brownie is set in the middle and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
5) Meanwhile, make the frosting by whizzing together the dates, avocado, cacao powder and maple syrup until smooth and creamy and the avocado is completely blended in. Top the brownie with the frosting and decorate with the grated zest of an orange. Slice into individual portions.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Friday 1 December 2017

Raw Gingerbread Cookies

raw gingerbread cookies

Pretty much as soon as I started Halo Eats, I knew that I wanted to create a raw gingerbread cookie recipe for Christmas. I made these for the recent Christmas NamasTEA event and they proved really popular. I may have eaten an embarrassing amount of the mixture whilst making them too! My other half even claimed them to be his favourite treat which I've made so far- high praise indeed!
I'm so pleased with how this recipe turned out and really hope you'll give it a try. These cookies taste insanely good and are perfectly Christmassy thanks to the rich and warming combination of spices. If you don't want to roll out the dough and aren't fussed about the festive shapes, these also work well as a flavourful energy ball.

Three great health benefits: beneficial for brain health, promotes healthy skin, good source of fibre 

Makes 28 cookies
Keeps for approx 1 week refrigerated in an airtight container and freezes well for a couple of months

1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1 & 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch sea salt
1 cup medjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp maple syrup
A little buckwheat flour, for dusting

1) Place the oats, almonds and walnuts into a food processor and whizz until the mixture resembles a course flour.
2) Add the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves) together with the salt to the food processor and whizz to combine.
3) Next, add the dates, molasses and maple syrup to the dry ingredients in the food processor and whizz until the mixture comes together in a sticky ball.
4) Lightly flour a clean, dry surface and a rolling pin using a little buckwheat flour. Form the gingerbread mixture into two balls and roll out to a few millimetres thick.
5) Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters and place on a lined baking tray. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight to set.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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