Living my best Fizz life

Living my best Fizz life

Today I wanted to do a short and sweet post on my latest business venture and the fizz-alicious product that has taken over my life. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am a proud consultant with Arbonne. The longer I have been a part of it, the more I fall in love with it and their incredible values. In fact, the business was made a B Corporation in January, which is an incredible ethical accreditation meaning that they balance purpose (people and planet) with profit. All products are vegan, sustainably made and cruelty free, giving me peace of mind with everything I use and talk about with others. 

So, let’s talk fizz sticks. Fizz sticks are in the nutritional category of Arbonne and one of the best-selling products we do. Coming in pomegranate, citrus and strawberry they are a healthy caffeine replacement derived from guarana and green tea leaves. I am absolutely obsessed, enjoying two to three a day for a subtle energy boost that I enjoy simply mixed in a glass of water, or with an herbal tea to make what we call a ‘tizzie’. I wanted to give these bad boys a blog post of their own as they are one of the most unique and delicious products I have ever had in my life. 

As well as being an amazing caffeine replacement, they are also packed with tonnes of vitamins to promote the healthy living from the inside out… the Arbonne ethos. These include: 

Ginseng root – supports physical capacity and performance

Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, that helps support energy

Riboflavin – helps to metabolise carbohydrates, fats and proteins to provide energy

Niacin – helps to support energy yielding metabolism of macronutrients

Vitamin B2 and B12

So really, they are a win win. They are delicious in taste… just like a subtle (not overly sweet) squash with a light fizz, which is nothing like the fizz of a fizzy coke like drink. You can have them throughout the day, and they are perfectly healthy for you, even providing you with some essential vitamins. They are even more perfect if you are a bit of a coffee or energy drink junkie and are in need of a replacement that is much better for your gut and overall health. 

If you would like to give them a try, please send me a message! 

I have not been paid to publish this blog post and all views and opinions are my own. I am an independent consultant with Arbonne >> www.abigailhunter.arbonne.com

Banana and Maple Loaf

Banana and Maple Loaf

Jumping on the banana bread bandwagon and sharing one of my favourite recipes that we have made countless times during the lockdown. I love banana bread but find it can be quite boring plain, so always try to experiment and add different things. The maple version has been my favourite, as it is a flavour combination I have loved in many different bakes and it totally works with banana bread. Banana bread is so easy to make and always a crowd pleaser, so I expect I will be making this a lot throughout Summer. With the recipe I usually also add lots of different nuts and seeds depending on what I have in the cupboard, but my favourite is always chia seeds. I am obsessed with these seeds and put them in everything! My morning smoothie is always a delight filled with chia seeds! Anyway, on with the recipe we go… 

Prep time – 20 minutes

Baking time – 45 minutes

Skill – easy peasy

Ingredients: 

200g caster sugar

200g salted butter

200g plain flour

3 eggs

1tsp baking powder

2 over ripe bananas

1 normal banana

2tbsp maple syrup

2tbsp chia seeds

1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees (180 fan). Grease and line a loaf size baking tin. 

In a normal sized bowl, mash together the two over ripe bananas and set aside. In a separate normal sized bowl, crack in the three eggs, remove any shell and beat with a fork until completely liquid in texture. 

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I like to use an electric whisk as it makes them really light. Add in the beaten eggs and whisk with the electric whisk until completely combined and fluffy. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and fold all the ingredients together. Then, add the vanilla, maple syrup, chia seeds and mashed up banana. Mix together until smooth! 

Empty the banana bread batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out over the top. With your third banana, cut it in half length ways and place on top of your banana bread and push in a little. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove and place greaseproof paper on top. Pop back in for 15 minutes. Place a skewer through and make sure it is clear. If not, pop in for another 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

You can leave your banana bread as it is, or you can decorate like I have. I simply drizzled white chocolate over mine and added fresh banana. 

That’s it! Easy peasy! 

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This recipe is my own.

Orange Smarties Brownies

Orange Smarties Brownies

Baking has got me through the last few weeks, as something to do, something yummy to eat and to practice as I find very little time nowadays to spend time in the kitchen for anything other than essential cooking. It has been bliss, and hopefully I can carry it on a little when life resumes back to normal. This recipe is a twist on my classic brownie recipe that I have posted before, with the addition of orange smarties and almonds, however I have since made a few adaptions to the recipe as I had been following the same one for a good number of years. For me, a brownie has to be chewy and crunchy on the outside, super soft inside with a lovely mixture of textures. I think this is probably the same for most people to be honest! 

Prep time: 20/30 minutes

Cooking time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients: 

2tbsp coconut oil

300g dark chocolate

200g ground almonds

1tsp baking powder

400g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

1 small avocado, mashed

3 eggs

200g whole almonds, crushed

1 bag orange smarties

100g white chocolate

Method: 

Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees (170 fan). Grease your chosen baking tray in preparation for the brownie batter and set aside. 

In a medium size saucepan on a medium heat, melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate together until completed combined and set aside to cool. 

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground almonds, caster sugar and baking powder. Now move on to the avocado. In a normal sized bowl, mash the avocado and mix in the vanilla extract into it. Then, crack the three eggs into a separate bowl and beat until completely runny. Now, put the avocado mixture and eggs into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and mix completely until even and green! 

Next, add the chocolate mixture to the brownie batter as long as it is relatively cool. Once mixed together, add the orange smarties (leaving a few to decorate) and half the crushed whole almonds. Mix all together again and then pop all the batter into the prepared baking dish. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes and then remove and cover with baking paper or foil. Pop back in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. 

Melt the white chocolate when you are ready to present. Take the brownies out of the dish and cut into your chosen sizes. Pop on a cooling tray or just on a chopping board and drizzle the melted white chocolate all over the brownies. To finish, sprinkle the remaining almonds and smarties. 

Enjoy! 

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This recipe is my own.

Salted Chocolate Tart

Salted Chocolate Tart

If you are a chocoholic, this is definitely a recipe for you. When the Winter cravings hit my chocolate radar is off the roof. This salted chocolate tart is one of my favourite recipes for a chocolate craving. It is light but rich in flavour, can be accompanied by so many different things and of course looks beautiful on my picnic spread table. This recipe is also very much a big winner in my family, as the four of us can often demolish the entire thing in one sitting. A few things to note, make sure you use very good quality chocolate for maximum flavour, and also trust your own taste buds. Taste the chocolate filling before adding to the pastry, and make sure it is chocolatey and salty enough for your taste buds.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Setting Time: Minimum 2 hours

Skill: Medium

Ingredients:

300g shortcrust pastry

300ml double cream

3tsp caster sugar

1tsp sea salt flakes

200g dark chocolate

50g butter

50ml milk

1/2tsp vanilla extract

Decorate:

50g white chocolate

1tbsp crushed pistachios

1tbsp freeze dried raspberries

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 180 degrees, or 160 fan oven. Grease a tart tin and roll out your pastry with plenty of flour. Line your tart tin with the pastry, top with greaseproof paper and fill in with baking beans. Once the oven is heated, pop the pastry in the oven for 20 minutes.

Whilst the pastry is cooking you can begin preparing the filling. In a medium saucepan add the double cream, vanilla, caster sugar and sea salt. Pop the pan onto a medium heat and stir until it all starts to bubble. Remove from the heat.

Once the cream is off the heat, add in the butter and the chocolate. Stir until the mixture is glossy and melted. Then, add the milk. Stir this all together and set aside to thoroughly cool

Once the pastry has had 20 minutes, remove from the oven and take the baking beans and paper off. Pop the pastry back in the oven for ten minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the pastry to cool completely.

 

Once everything is cool, fill the pastry with the chocolate filling. Careful not to over fill the pastry case. Pop the tart in the fridge and leave to set for a minimum of 2 hours. Once completely set you can decorate. I melt a little white chocolate and sprinkle with a teaspoon over one side, finishing off with a sprinkle of freeze-dried strawberries and pistachios.

 

This recipe is my own.

Scrumptious Lemon & Courgette Cake

Scrumptious Lemon & Courgette Cake

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Lemon cake has always been one of my favourites and something I will reach for at any tea party or coffee catch up. I think it is just the balance of sweetness whilst also being able to enjoy a sharp and citrus flavour. Paired with poppy seeds it is just pure bliss for me. During a blog shoot with my amazing photographer Hana, we went along to one of her favourite coffee stops in Bristol, where I tried the most delicious lemon and courgette cake. Since I had tried it, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how good it was and had to get my baking hat on to see if I could make something just as good. I have never ever baked before with courgette, but was optimistic as the one I tried was so good and I have heard very good things from people who use it a lot in their bakes. I used the base of a recipe I found online, but to be honest as with anything I cook or bake, I massively ran off course and went with what I thought was best. All in all the recipe has turned out to be very simple and not as time consuming as I had thought. It was light and fruity, whilst being moist in texture and the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of tea.

For me, a lemon cake has to be extremely sweet and lemony. It cannot be dry and must always have a soft texture. These are always things that seem very simple to achieve in a bake, but in theory can be quite hard to get right. For this recipe, your biggest challenge is the courgette as it holds a lot of water. Once grated, ensure that you take as much water out as possible.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cooking Time: 60 minutes

Skill: Easy

 

Ingredients:

 

200g Courgette // 200g Caster Sugar // 1 Egg // 125ml Vegetable Oil // 200g Plain Flour // 0.5 Teaspoon Salt // 0.5 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda // 0.5 Teaspoon Baking Powder // 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon // 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract // 2 Lemons (Zest and Juice)

 

Icing – to ice I used the shop bought vanilla icing as I hate making butter icing and actually think it works really well with this recipe. However, you could easily make your own or add a lemon glaze.

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan). Prepare your chosen cake tin with baking paper.

Start by grating the courgette. I just use a normal cheese grater and try to get it as fine as possible. Empty all the grating out onto a clean tea towel and press as much as possible to remove excess water. The tea towel is usually dripping wet by the end.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg until it is a think liquid. Add the vegetable oil and sugar and thoroughly mix together. Then, add the courgette and mix again.

Using a sieve, add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Fold all these ingredients together. Then add the lemon zest and juice, as well as the vanilla extract. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth cake batter.

Transfer the cake batter into your prepared tin and place in the pre-heated oven. If you are using a loaf tin, the cake may need an extra ten minutes just because it is much deeper. Keep an eye on the cake and add foil to the top if it is starting to catch.

Decorate your cake as you please and ENJOY!

Shop this Post:

Jumper – Boohoo

Cake Stand – Waitrose

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This recipe has been created using the AllRecipes Website, however slightly adapted.

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/5959/lemon-courgette-cake.aspx

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White Chocolate and Blueberry Baked Cheesecake

White Chocolate and Blueberry Baked Cheesecake

One simple pleasure in life has to be a giant slice of fresh homemade cheesecake. Whatever the flavour, baked or chilled, it is a scrumptious treat that a lot of us find very difficult to resist. It is different from any other sweet dessert, and what I personally love is how it can be made in so many different ways. If you want something a little lighter and fresh you can make a quick lemon chilled edition, but if you want something rich and indulgent, a chocolate based baked cheesecake is the perfect way forward. Any cheesecake can be enjoyed with tea or coffee, or if you want to push the boat out even more, a glass of wine! This pairing is one of my grandmothers’ favourite! In this recipe I am bringing you one of my favourite baked cheesecakes, flavoured with white chocolate and blueberries, which I add by making a fresh blueberry jam. White chocolate for me is my favourite in a cheesecake, as naturally these cakes are less sweet than a sponge, so they really can take the hit from the white chocolate.

Another great thing about cheesecakes, well baking in general, is that it is very easy to make it the right way for you. I personally love the balance or blueberries and white chocolate; however, you can very easily change up the fruit or chocolate to something you prefer.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 45-60 minutes

Skill: Medium

Ingredients

250g digestive biscuits

75g butter

500g soft cheese

300ml double cream

200g caster sugar & 100g caster sugar

300g white chocolate

3tbsp plain flour

3 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

200g blueberries

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees, 180 fan.

Start by prepping the base. In a food processor blend the digestives until they have started to crumble. Then add the butter and blend until you have a smooth base. Into a prepared tin, place the base and blend out with your hands until even. Pop this in the fridge for an hour or so (30 minutes minimum).

Whilst the base sets you can prepare the jam and the white chocolate. To make the jam, on a low heat place the blueberries and 100g caster sugar in a medium sized saucepan. Also add a couple of tablespoons of water. Mix this and let it bubble away until a thick sauce has formed. To melt the white chocolate, place it in a heatproof bowl over a little boiling water. Once melted, remove and set aside to cool. By this time the jam should be starting to get to the right texture. It usually only takes about half an hour. Once it is looking a little thicker, set it aside and let that cool too.

 

 

 

Now you can make the mixture. Start by beating the eggs in a small bowl until completely runny. Leave this to the side. In a large mixing bowl gently whisk the cream cheese until it is a little lighter. Then add the sugar and beat until completely together. Then add the double cream and whisk until it is all a little thicker. Don’t whisk it too much though. To finish add the eggs, flour and vanilla extract, as well as the white chocolate. Gently whisk this all together until smooth.

Remove the base from the fridge and cover with ¾ of the blueberry jam. Spread it out evenly ready for the cream cheese filling. Now add the cream cheese and again, spread it out evenly. Place this in the oven for around 45-60 minutes. The top should be brown, with the edges firm and the middle still a little wobbly. Leave the cake on the side at room temperature for around an hour until it sinks. I then leave it in the fridge overnight before eating.

To serve, use the remaining jam and add it to the top of your cheesecake, whether you choose to cut it like I do or leave it as a whole cake. I also add a lovely sprinkling of crushed pistachios.

Keep the cheesecake in the fridge at all times and use within around 5-6 days. It can also be frozen, and even better in the Summer, can be eaten frozen!

This recipe is my own.

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