Froyo- Frozen Greek Yogurt with Almond Butter

While I’m blogging less, it doesn’t mean I am cooking or creating less. For the past week or so, I wondered… what am I trying to do on my blog? Is it about food? Asher? Me living a healthier lifestyle?  It’s really all of the above. I think it is important to eat well and more importantly enjoy good food. Good food does not have to be boring or bland. However, I think a balance of having treats here and there is also realistic not to mention important. Variety and moderation is the key here. Then, I have Asher whom I dearly love and enjoy seeing him grow.

So I think from now on, it’s going to be a mixture. This is going to be what my life is about now. I started writing when I was a 4th year undergraduate completing my honours. Then most of you followed my journey in completing my doctorate, being engaged, married and now a family of my own. It makes sense then, that I continue to write about my evolving life and how I continue to grow as a person. 😉 Thank you for being so patient with me as I juggle between writing posts, being healthy and loving my family.

As the warmer weather sets in, I’m starting to make use of my ice-cream machine again. This time round, I’m making froyo- which is basically frozen yogurt. Nothing beats having a nice cool ice-cream on a hot day but as I am determine to reach my fitness goals, I wanted to create something healthier and lighter at home.

We can probably just mix the yogurt up with any toppings and freeze it. Using the ice-cream machine though, it just provides a soft serve or a more “ice cream” texture. Not to mention, it is quite alot of fun watching the machine churn and come up with a yummy treat. I made two versions of it, with this being the first one. A simple greek yogurt with almond butter treat. My favourite way to eat it is to top it with blueberries and a sprinkle of lindt dark chocolate. Or in a mug of ice cold coffee.

Froyo- Frozen Greek Yogurt with Almond Butter (Serves 4)
250 ml of greek yogurt
1 tsp of honey
1/4 cup of almond butter

Mix everything up in a bowl. Pour into ice cream machine and churn for 20 minutes. Remove and freeze for 30 minutes. Open up the box and eat without guilt.

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Avocado Chocolate Loaf

The year 2013 certainly is going fast. I cannot believe we are in November already and heading to December real fast. Are we even ready for Christmas?

On another note, I’m very pleased to say I have lost 19kgs so far since the birth of Asher. 11 kg came off a week after birth (water, baby, placenta..etc) but the rest of it was through clean diet and exercise. I still have some way to go before reaching my pre-pregnancy weight but that’s ok. I have given myself permission to be ok with that.

That was difficult for me. To give myself time and love my body for what it has done. Being health conscious and fit prior to pregnancy, it was hard to adjust to the fact that I needed time to recover. It’s not just about the weight and size issue, but just how weak I felt post birth. Returning to exercise was hard. Getting my strength back was hard. I could not even carry Asher for more than 10 minutes standing. As I slowly started my walks, light intensity exercises and then finally more intense ones, not only am I slowly regaining my strength, but I’m staying in the moment and taking in the process.

So I rewarded myself with a new pair of trainers and started looking for healthy yummy recipes to bake. This is one of them. Who would have thought avocado could turn almond meal into something so yummy? This is good for breakfast, or as a snack. High in antioxidants, cacao almond and avocado turned this into almond bread. The avocado provided a creamy texture to it.

Avocado Chocolate Loaf (adapted from Living Healthy with Chocolate)
1.5 Avocado mashed
3 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon of almond milk
2 eggs
1. 5 tablespoon of raw honey
2 cups of almond meal
1tsp baking soda
1/4 cup of cacao powder
50 grams of dark 85% chocolate chopped

Line loaf tin with baking paper. Preheat oven 180C.
Whisk avocado, coconut oil, vanilla, almond milk, honey and eggs together.  Pour wet to dry ingredients and fold. Pour in loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes

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My birthday and…Clean and Healthy Carrot Cupcakes

So recently I celebrated my birthday with my two favourite men in the world- a big man and a little man. Birthdays always make me reflect on what I have done this year and what do I want to achieve next year. Reaching the milestone of 3-0 also makes me think what have I done in the past 10 years?

So let me start of what I think I have achieved and am proud of in the past 10 years:
– I graduated with two degrees. An undergrad and postgrad. My father believed in me and somehow, I managed to finished it.
– Lost 35 kgs. I went from being unhealthy to loving life. Embracing eating clean but treating ourselves from time to time.
– Got my heart broken but then found the love of my life and got married!
– Being in love with a man who really knows me.
– Planned and successfully executed 3 weddings (to the same man).
– Travelled around Malaysia, Australia, Europe and USA
– Started my “proper” job, achieved an award, experienced a management position, learnt how to deal with different scenarios.
– Maintained and love my friendships.
– Building a closer relationship with my parents, in laws and grandmother.
– Engaged a builder and we build our home.
– Having faith.
– Fell pregnant and delivered a life to the world.

What have I learnt?
– Work smart. Sometimes slow and steady is the way to go. Hurrying will not make it any better.
– Budgetting. I dare say in my 20s, I have lived with little money in my pocket. I haven’t gone red but certainly meeting day to day bills and needs can be a juggle. That really taught us how to use money wisely.
– Question and not trust everyone. I have always given people the benefit of the doubt, but now I learn to switch my “question” radar on a little more.
– Confidence in asking questions, at the risk of sounding stupid. It’s ok to speak up at times. I recall being nervous giving presentations and now it does not faze me too much anymore.
– Family rocks. Yes, I was heavily involved in work but at the end of the day, it’s the people closest to us that matters.
– We may not have the most expensive items or the most extravagant dinners but we can do simplicity well and we are proud of it.

Hubby asked what do I want to achieve in the next 5-10 years and that did stumped me…
– I want to continue to cherish and work on our marriage. I would like to work on my weakness of being impatient, easily distracted and not always giving my hubby my attention.
-I want to raise Asher up to be a man of values, manners and with a heart pointing towards God.
– If we are blessed with another child, we will continue to raise our family.
– Travel. Maybe around Asia, NZ and back to Europe.
– Pay off our house or at least most of it.
–  Stay healthy.
– Regular skype and facetime with my families and friends.
– Read more.
– Cook more
– Take time out and breathe. It’s ok to stop sometimes.

What were/are your aims and goals as you reach your 30s?

I’m not sure if I ever did mention that I love carrot cakes? Both the western and asian varieties. I have recently experimented making clean carrot cupcakes and I believe I have found the balance in them. Moist and tasty! No one at Asher’s full moon could even tell they were gluten free, and very low in sugar. I have mixed greek yogurt with the cream cheese frosting as well which not only reduces the calories but also added the tangy taste to it.  I have adapted this from Teresa Cutter’s recipe but also from my own experimentation.

Clean and Healthy Carrot Cupcakes (Serves around 16)
4 large carrots grated
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of almond meal
2.5 tsp of baking powder
1 heap tablespoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of olive or coconut oil
1/4 cup of honey or less

Preheat Oven at 180C. Line muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
Whisk wet ingredients together and pour to dry. Mix well. Spoon into wrappers and bake for around 25-30 mins till done.

Cream cheese and yogurt frosting
500 grams of cream cheese
150 grams of greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of honey

Whisk it all together. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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