Recipe: Kit-Kat & Cookie Ice-Cream Cake

Recipes and Food

This simple no-bake ice-cream cake is a great DIY cake for any occasion. This can be done over a couple of days to allow the ice-cream to freeze properly.

Ingredients:

  • 44 Kit-Kat (4 blocks of KitKat chocolate)
  • 2 one-litre containers of whatever ice-cream you want (I used Connoisseur Cookies & Cream + Weis Vanilla)
  • 1 packet of malt-o-milk biscuits (or 250 grams of any sweet biscuit)
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • Optional: 1 packet of crispy m’n’ms

Method:

  1. Line a cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Break up blocks of Kit-Kats into individual Kit-Kats and line the sides of the cake tin with them, trying to get them vertical and close together.
  3. Smash up the biscuits in a bowl and place half of the crumbs in another bowl.
  4. In one of the bowls of biscuits, add the tablespoon of milk and mix thoroughly.
  5. Place the milk-biscuit mixture on the bottom of the cake tin, spreading it out evenly with a spatula, making sure the biscuit is spread out to the bottoms of the Kit-Kats
  6. Now place the cake tin in the freezer for at least 1hr.
  7. Let one ice-cream flavour soften for a bit out of the freezer before you take the cake tin out again.
  8. Add the ice-cream on top of the biscuit-milk layer, spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Place the cake tin back in the freezer for at least 10 min.
  9. Smash up the remaining Kit-Kat. Take out the cake tin and add the smashed Kit-Kat, spread evenly on top of the ice-cream layer. Place tin back into the freezer for at least 10 min.
  10. Let the other ice-cream flavour soften for a bit out of the freezer and then add that ice-cream layer on top of the cake. Place back in freezer for at least 10 min.
  11. Take out cake tin just before serving and add the remaining crushed biscuit and decorate with the M’n’Ms (you can write out things with these).

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Recipe derived from: http://familyspice.com/recipes/recipe/?recipe_id=91

Recipe: Simplest Healthy Banana Cake Ever

Recipes and Food

Are you feeling like a sweet treat but can’t be bothered to buy too many ingredients or want to keep your sugar levels down? Try this tasty simple banana cake which can be eaten for breakfast, dessert, tea, as a snack etc etc (any time, any day haha).

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas (riper if you want the cake sweeter)
  • 2 satchets of stevia or 1 teaspoon raw honey/maple syrup/brown sugar (your preferred sweetener)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1&1/2 cups almond meal
  • Extras: Shredded coconut, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts or frozen berries (as much as you want of any of these)

IMG_0123Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius
  2. Line a baking tin with baking paper or grease with oil
  3. Mash the banana in a bowl with the fork
  4. Whisk the eggs together in a large mixing bowl and add the sweetener
  5. Add the almond meal and banana to the large bowl and mix until well-mixed
  6. Add the extras and then pour mixture into the baking tin
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean OR until top is golden.
  8. Take loaf out onto wire rack and let cool in pan for around 5 min before unmolding it
  9. Serve with yoghurt, cinnamon and freshly cut bananas. Store in the fridge in an airtight container where it will keep for up to a week.

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When should you exercise?

Fitness

This has been a subject that has been researched and debated extensively amongst exercise physiologists. There are pro and cons regardless of the time of day that you choose to exercise but the most important fact is that you choose to exercise.

The Early Risers

While it generally requires a little bit of extra commitment and preparation, that is, waking up early and not slamming the “snooze” button or having your gym bag ready to go the night before; there have been many studies that have showed significant benefits of working up a sweat first thing in the morning. This has been especially so regarding those looking for fat loss as during the night your body has consumed all the available carbohydrates or sugars and hence has to resort to burning fat to fuel the early morning workouts. It is important to note for those looking to gain muscle that working out on an empty stomach is not recommended as you ultimately compromise performance leading to lighter lifts.

Furthermore, it has been shown that those who exercise first up are more likely to maintain exercise routines in the long term as they don’t let unexpected turns in the day compromise their routine. By exercising in the morning you also prevent yourself from using the “I’m too tired” excuse at the end of the day.

Importantly, exercise raises mood, alertness and energy levels and by doing so in the morning you will ultimately have a more productive day.

The Night Owls

Exercise in the evening also fair share of benefits. For those looking to build muscle, by exercising in the evening you are ensuring that (if you diet appropriately) that your body is optimally fueled for maximal performance and hence better gains.

Evening exercise can also help limit binge eating at dinner time – a cardinal sin as excess calories at this time of day tends to be stored as fat rather than burnt off due to the close temporal proximity to sleep.

There may also be stress relief benefits by exercising after a long day. This may result in improved sleep but this has been of much debate as some studies have shown that the increased body temperature and hormone levels may in fact interfere rather than aid sleep.

So, the best time is…

Whatever works for you! There are arguments for each side but overall all that matters is that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise – the rest is very secondary.

Recipe: Pumpkin Soup

Recipes and Food

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 1/2 a medium-sized pumpkin or 2kg (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 20g butter
  • 2 cream delight potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1L chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp natural/Greek yoghurt or cream
  • Pepper & herbs to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c fan-forced. Line a tray with baking paper, place pumpkin onto paper,drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and soft.
  2. While pumpkin is baking, prepare other ingredients
  3. Then melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the garlic.
  4. Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the stock, bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer until potatoes are fully cooked (15 minutes)
  6. Stir in the roasted pumpkin and yoghurt/cream and keep on heat for a few more minutes.
  7. Allow a few minutes for the soup to cool before blending.
  8. Using a blender or food processor, blend the mixture in batches, then return to saucepan over low heat. If using a stick blender, blend in the saucepan over no heat and then return to low heat.
  9. Serve and sprinkle with pepper, herbs, chives etc. to taste.

Credit goes to Taste.com for this recipe. For the original recipe go to:
http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/29499/roasted+pumpkin+soup

Recipe: Sweet Chilli & Soy Fish with Asian Greens

Recipes and Food

Ingredients: – Serves 4

For the fish:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2tbs sweet chilli sauce
  • 2tbs lemon juice
  • 3cm piece of ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 pieces of white fish (~600g)*
  • 2 green onions/shallots
Veggies:
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans/snow peas
  • Pak choy or buk choy (Chinese cabbage)
  • Asparagus
  • Carrot (Not green … I know)

Serve with:

  • Brown/white rice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Put saucepan of water on stove and cook rice per packet instruction.
  2. Finely chop ginger and garlic and place in a bowl. Add soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and lemon juice. Mix.
  3. Place each piece of fish on a separate piece of foil. Top each piece with finely chopped green onion. Spoon 2 tbs of the sauce mixture over each piece of fish.
  4. Fold up foil to form parcels. Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. While fish is cooking, prepare the veggies. Cut broccoli into large florets and carrot into sticks. Roughly chop stalks of pak choy and keep the leaves separate.
  6. Place veggies except pak choy leaves in a pot with a small amount of water.
  7. Cover with lid and steam over medium heat for 3-5mins until just soft. Add leaves and cover for a further 30secs. Drain.
  8. Once fish is cooked, place rice and veggies on plate and open foil. Pour liquid from foil over rice and veggies. Place fish on top of rice.

Notes:

* Basa is a very affordable fish. It’s from Vietnam and Thailand so it always comes frozen and you can actually buy it from the frozen section at Aldi for super cheap. If you’re looking for something a bit more fancy go for some Blue Grenadier.
Credit goes to Taste.com for this recipe. For the original recipe go to:http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/18487/chilli+soy+fish+with+egg+noodles

Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!

Fitness

The benefits of yoga transcend the physical realm and, in a classic Hassed manner, extends to the psycho-social facets of life. As an alternative therapy, yoga has been recommended as an adjunct to treatment for many medical conditions – and, unlike many other complementary therapies, has been proven to be of benefit. The physical aspects of yoga combined with the breathing exercises and mediation result in it being almost the perfect recipe for a wholesome healthy life.

Regular yoga practice will lead to visible improvements in the below aspects of bio-psycho-social wellbeing amongst others:

  • Flexibility
  • Strength and muscle tone
  • Balance
  • Breathing
  • Stress reduction
  • Body awareness
  • Sleep
  •  Posture
  • Psychological – concentration, memory, attention, mood

There are many types of yoga, each with its own unique philosophy, and as a result it is important that you do some research on the class you’re planning to attend; firstly, to know what you’re getting yourself into, but also to make sure you pick the type of yoga that suits you the best. Some of the most popular styles you are likely to come across are:

  • Hatha – movement tends to be slow and gentle and hence more relaxing
  • Bikram – a progression through 26 poses in a hot room, take a towel
  • Vinyasa – poses flow from one to another, tends to be the most popular type
  •  Kundalini – a lot of spinal and core work
  • Ashtanga – aka power yoga, physically intense and probably not for a beginner

If you are signed up to a health club, most should have a yoga class that you can involve yourself with. Otherwise, there are numerous dedicated yoga studios all around Melbourne that you can either participate in classes on a casual basis or join on a fixed contract if you fall in love. If the aforementioned options don’t suit you for one reason or another, you can practice at home with the help of some excellent YouTube classes or Apple apps (Yoga Studio would be a personal recommendation – it’s full of detailed instructions and videos – all for $4.99). If you’re an absolute beginner I would highly advise you to at least start with a couple of live classes with an instructor so that your basic technique can be corrected and will decrease the chance of you causing yourself injury.

Beyond the mat, yoga is a way of life that people from all walks of life “convert” to after really connecting with the physical side of it. The philosophies surrounding yoga are ancient and deeply meaningful. If you do a quick Google search you will find endless hits on individuals who have transformed their lives through yoga and its teachings. If you really want to connect with yoga and practice on a deeper level I would highly recommend you reading “Light on Yoga” by B. K. S. Iyengar; it is a great insight to yoga off-the-mat.

Overall, the best aspect of yoga is that it is totally inclusive in the sense that anybody can do it – regardless of fitness level – and further, regardless of your fitness goals, everybody can benefit. Each pose tends to have advancing variations that you can progress through to challenge yourself as your practice improves. I can’t stress the importance of practising as regularly as possible – even if its only for 15 minutes a day – as increased frequency of practice will lead to maximal benefit.

So grab a mat, open your mind and enjoy the journey – what are you waiting for?

Namaste.

If you have any questions regarding Yoga or any other fitness topic please ask us in the comments section.

For inspiration check out: http://rachelbrathen.com/