Try This: Super-Easy Sweet Potato Falafels

Falafels. Loved by vegans and meat eaters alike, super versatile, super healthy, and all-round delicious (in my humble, opinion).

Homemade falafels are always that little bit healthier than the shop bought versions. First of all, I’m an advocate of baking rather than frying falafels, it’s healthier, and I think they are easier to add to sandwiches, as they won’t fall apart as much from being too crispy. Other than that, inevitably, homemade falafels means you know exactly what is going in your food and you get the satisfaction that you made your own.

This quick and simple recipe can be easily adapted, sometimes I use roasted butternut squash or roasted peppers instead of sweet potato, or add some fresh chilli for a kick.

Sweet Potato Falafels
Vegan, Gluten-Free

Makes 12

Ingredients:
1 can of chickpeas (drained)
400g of sweet potato (2 ish large ones)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1tsp of ground coriander
1tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of paprika
Salt and pepper

Optional extras 
Plain flour (Sometimes helpful to bind the mixture together).
Chopped coriander, lemon zest, tahini paste or my favourite, some crushed chilli (for extra flavour).

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200
  2. Place the sweet potato in the microwave, on high, for around 8 minutes, flipping half way through or until it is cooked through – you can roast it if you have more time.
  3. Once cooked, remove the flesh.
  4. If you have a food processor, whack the sweet potato and all other ingredients in the food processor and blend until combined. If not, its time for a work out. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use a potato masher to combine. (If you’re also lacking a potato masher, my boyfriend’s technique of using a good old fork to mash works fine, but as he quickly realised its much easier to pick up one for a £1 in the supermarket!)
  5.  Shape the mixture into balls slightly bigger than a golf ball and place on a baking tray, I sometimes use a muffin tin to keep them in place. Equally you can shape them to look like burger patties if you prefer them to be flatter for wraps, buns and sandwiches.
  6. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, flip and cook for another 15 minutes, or until they have started crisping and turning brown.

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And there you have it, place in sandwiches, wraps, salads, on their own as part of a mezze board or dipped in some hummus as a delicious healthy snack.

 

Naughty but Nice: Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse

The bank holiday has ended, Easter is now a distant memory, and if you are anything like me, you may have indulged in the chocolate and wine just that little too much. Easter is quite often the time for a revival of new-years resolutions where people get a little disgusted (and impressed) with how much food their body can consume and decide to hit the gym and cut the crap again.

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But let’s be honest, it is really hard to resist over-indulging every now and again. And so to reconcile myself (and maybe give some of you some inspiration in the process) I have tried and tested some delicious recipes which not only taste oh-so-good and a little bit indulgent, but actually are oh-so-good for you! So here is your first ‘serving’:

Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse

Okay so bare with me – chickpeas, in chocolate mousse? I thought the same, just to weird you out more, on top of that, you don’t actually use the chickpeas, you use the water they’re soaked in, (the technical name for it, I have now learnt is ‘aquafaba’). But after some scepticism I decided to experiment, and these are the real deal. What’s best is the recipe only calls for 3 ingredients, making this treat gluten free, and vegan, (dependant on the chocolate you use), but I only used cheap dark chocolate from Lidi’s and turns out it was vegan anyway!

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I can 100% tell you it is very hard to make a can of chickpeas look ascetically pleasing, and I felt sad enough I was having a photoshoot with a can of legumes…

The chickpea water is packed with protein and everyone knows dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, making this chocolate mousse practically saint-like. Bonus – I kid you not, no one can tell the difference between these and regular homemade chocolate mousse. Believe me, my brother is a sniffer-dog for anything out of the ordinary and healthy and even he couldn’t tell the difference and loved them!

Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse:
Vegan, Gluten-free

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas (only need the water)
120g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp maple surup (or agave/ coconut syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl which is sat over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water)
  2. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and leave to cool slightly whilst you do the next step
  3. Use an electric whisk or blender to mix the chickpea water until stiff peaks form and the mixture is fluffy and white in texture (this step is basically the same as if you would whisk up eggs) – you can hand whisk but you will be mixing for quite a while!
  4. Gently fold the chocolate into the chickpea mixture with a spatula until all is combined
  5. Pour out into bowls/ ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for 30-60 mins (but the longer you leave it the better set it will be).18109902_1470102309708150_478748715_o.jpg

Top with some raspberries or strawberries to balance out the sweetness, and there you have it! Quick and easy, protein packed chocolate mousse. Once you get over the fact you’re using chickpeas and try it, it’s a complete game-changer – and means you have use for something you would usually just chuck down the sink!

Much Love x

A Year in a List

Yes, I am fully aware it is March and not the 1st of January or even the middle of January anymore, and while I am a strong believer in having a good starting point, I also believe that change and challenges can be started at any time. Hence, this list.

I was really struggling for my next blog post already until I realised a few things,

  1. I love lists
  2. I love to challenge myself
  3. There were a lot of things I wanted to do/ change in this next year

I have been punishing myself about my weight and fitness for a while, and every other day I am dreaming about adventures  or things I want to do and so, I have created a list. Between the date today (March 7th 2016) and a year from now (March 7th 2017) I aim to complete as many things on this list as possible.

It’s not a massive list, and I imagine not even very interesting to you out there – but here it is. I’ll blog about each thing as I complete it, and update this page when they are completed.

But for now here it is – let me know if you have a list which is similar, or want to share different things on yours to make me feel like I’m not the only one trying to get their shit together!

Health and Fitness:
  • Be able to run a 5K
  • Be able to run a 10K
  • Up my yoga fitness and strength
  • Master the head/hand stand
  • Complete a 30 day squat challenge
  • Be able to do 5 chin ups
  • Do a colour run
  • Complete a 30 day ab challenge

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Blogging and Social Media: 

  • Update blog at least every 3 weeks – (I know that isn’t a lot, but with uni deadlines all the time, it is more realistic)
  • Get total views to 1000 – (again, not a lot, but I am a tiny beginner blog, so any views are good views)
  • Write a blog post that gets over 20 likes
  • Blog about each thing I tick off the list

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Travel: 
  • Visit 3 different countries
  • Visit every main beach in the area I live
  • Take a spontaneous day trip to somewhere in the UK
  • Go to a Christmas market somewhere else in the UK
  • Visit winter wonderland in London
  • Visit Joe/Matt at uni

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Getting Organised/ Work/ Uni:
  • Learn to do leaves on coffees at work
  • Start learning to drive
  • Write more for the student paper
  • Have something published in the physical paper
  • Have my phone sorted and fixed  29/03/16 (I won’t blog about this as it is highly uninteresting to me and to you – but in summary it was a nightmare I wish to never repeat) 
  • Complete my first year of uni with over 60%
  • Save £2000 from working the summer

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Personal: 
  • Be up to see a sunrise in the UK
  • Be up to see the sunrise in Costa Rica
  • Do something for charity (or at least apply to)
  • Give blood
  • Read 15 books for fun – (This does not sound like a lot, but when studying for a history degree, I don’t have a lot of time to read ‘normal’ books)
  • Buy a new practical coat which I will actually wear

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Food:
  • Make my own hummus
  • Try a week being Vegan
  • Try a week being Gluten free
  • Create a book of recipes i make all in one place
  • Try proper sushi
  • No Dominos for a month – (I am a student, Dominos deliver till 5am, I drink, it’s a lot harder than it sounds)

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Much Love x