Vegan Chocolate Cake with Tahini Cacao Icing. 

  
Mmmmm cake. 

My diet has been less than perfect lately, but when you’re running on broken sleep and now have a fiancé with a broken wing – you deserve cake. 

Can I just say, massive respect to single parents. 

Nate has a suspected broken scaphoid bone in his wrist that apparently doesn’t show up until about a week later so he’s in a cast until further X-rays confirm what’s going on. 

Matilda has decided that this is the perfect time to be a pork chop at night times. The first night after Nates accident at soccer she woke up every 2 hours and screamed and had to be rocked back to sleep. 

While I know how bad Nate feels and I know it was an accident – I’ve warned him at night time I’m probably going to want to kill him until he gets the all clear. 

So Nate can’t even pick her up and it’s really hard! But if I put it into perspective, he’s still managing to help out even with one arm. He’s still there to bring me nappies, water, coffee and just listen to me whinge! I can’t even begin to imagine how much harder it would be if he wasn’t around. 

Single parents, I salute you! 

This recipe was adapted from a recipe shared in my colic support group for all the mummas going dairy free. 

I read that this called the depression cake back in the day as the recipe came out in the depression era when butter, eggs and milk were hard to come by! 

The bits and pieces 

1 1/2 C wholemeal SR flour

3 Tbsp cocoa powder 

1 C raw sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp white vinegar 

7 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 C water

Tahini Cacao Icing

3 Tbsp hulled tahini

2 Tbsp maple syrup 

2 Tbsp cacao powder

1-2 Tbsp boiling water 
Preheat oven to 180 C. 

Grease a round cake tin. 

In a bowl add dry ingredients. Mix well. 

Make 3 wells in the mixture. In the first well, add the vanilla. 

In the second, add the oil. 

In the third, add the vinegar. 

Pour water over mixture and stir to combine. 

Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. 

For the icing, combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. 

Once cake is cooked, ice and add some raspberries or strawberries. 

Enjoy!

Brickie

Xx

Pumpkin Muffins with Date and Coconut Icing.

Pumpkin muffins!

I want to eat ALL the food.

No seriously, since ramping up the training my appetite has doubled! While I sit here writing this I am thinking about what to have for second dinner!

The bonus of upping the training and getting stronger has been that I have finally managed to lose most of the Eurotrip weight from last years epic adventure where I put on 6kg in 5 weeks! Yes, you read that right!

It only took me a year…! Before I left I was the healthiest I have ever been and I really thought it would be easy to lose when I got back and into a routine. I took it for granted and was really surprised when I was struggling to fit back into my clothes 6 months on!

I didn’t want to force myself into a strict regime or “diet” but was also justifying eating that second burger because I was going for a run later…! I was also super impatient! I thought that after a month of getting back into training I would be right back where I was before I left –  and I was super frustrated when I wasn’t!! However, after taking the focus off losing weight and shifting it towards training for longer distance tris – what do you know?! My clothes fit me again!

I guess my point is, I underestimated how hard it would be and that it’s also very easy to fall into the mindset of well I am exercising heaps so I can eat 10 of everything including a tub of peanut butter and ooooh look chocolate!

Nate and I have both been trying to get out nutrition right with this amount of training too. I now understand the importance of fuelling my body right after my training sessions and my favourite go to is a banana and some Dextro. We are also learning the importance of nutrition while training!

Our aim on Sunday was to run as far as we could in 2 and a half hours. Nate made it to 30km while I got to 25km… after the 2 hour mark I was really shuffling and on struggle street so this weekend I will attempt to eat on my run… this is going to be a massive struggle for me as I used to get sick running even 2 hours after I had eaten!

These muffins are an awesome snack idea and they are SUPER moist. You could omit the barley syrup and add in some corn, basil and semi dried tomatoes for a savoury muffin too.

The malted barley syrup is awesome as it has a mix of simple and complex carbs perfect for both before and after exercise!YUM!

The bits and pieces

1 egg (or flax/chia egg)

1 tsp maca powder (optional)

1 tsp organic vanilla essence

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp nutmeg, ground

2 C wholemeal SR flour

1 ½ C steamed pumpkin, pureed

¼ C olive oil

3 Tbsp malted barley syrup

 

Icing

15-20 dates

½ C shredded coconut

¼ C boiling water

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Preheat oven to 150°C and grease a muffin tray.

In a large mixing bowl, add wet ingredients and mix until well combined.

Add dry ingredients into mix and stir until well combined. Be careful not to overmix or the muffins will become tough and rubbery.

Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden on top.

Remove and let cool.

In a food processor, process dates and coconut adding water as needed to make the mixture smooth. You want it the consistency of icing so you can ice the muffins.

With a knife, ice the muffins with the date and coconut mixture and then devour!

Enjoy!

Brickie xx

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Choc Muesli Bars.

Mmmmm Bars!

Holidays are over, wah! Training is in full swing…!

On the weekend we went to Jamberoo where I had the time of my life riding over these rolling hills. Everything is SO green – something about riding around here reminds me of being in Mudgee. Although the roads are MUCH better!

I recently bought some cocao powder out of curiosity. I had put it off for ages after being deterred by the price and also thinking it can’t be THAT much better. Wow. Was I wrong, it is as good as everyone says. It’s not bitter at all and apparently it is super good for you as it contains lots of magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.

I have also been trying to get up in the mornings to train. This is a struggle. I have NEVER been one for training in the mornings, I will happily get up and blog and drink coffee and ease my way into the day! However, the thought of training in the mornings just doesn’t do it for me. I have been out of the habit of going to bed early too making the battle much harder. I did come across this interesting article about how to get up earlier and so far it is working. For me, the trouble was that I would set a super early alarm, not be able to get to sleep for ages and then not be able to get up.

The basis of the article is that o set your alarm 20 minutes earlier each morning to give yourself a kind of “jet lag” and you will start to fall asleep earlier too allowing you to be better rested for when that jerk of an alarm wakes you up the next morning. It’s definitely working as setting my alarm 20 minutes earlier every morning doesn’t seem as tough to tackle as a whole hour earlier than normal and now I am getting up at 5:30a YES! (haha!)

You can read more here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/so-you-think-you-can-be-a-morning-person/

On to the recipe – these came about as I was busting to use my cocao powder and we really need to start eating properly on our rides. We have a 4hour ride scheduled for Saturday so hopefully these will help keep us energised!

I think these would be good with dried apricots in them too – will try that next time! Also, I really just eyeballed the measurements so have a play around with it and just use my measurements as a starting point!

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The bits and pieces

15 medjool dates

1 C oats

2 Tbsp cocao powder

1 C almonds

3 Tbsp sesame seeds

2 Tbsp chia seeds

4 Tbsp water

 

In a food processor, process dates until they form a sticky ball. Add in almonds and pulse until almonds are chopped but not too fine. Add cocao powder and a dash of water, pulse until well combined. Add a little water at a time. You just want it wet enough to help the mixture combine

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in seeds. Add a little more water here if you need to.

Smooth out mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Use the back of a spoon!

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Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until firm. Remove and cut into pieces.

Store in an airtight container.

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Enjoy!

Brickie xx