Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed the festive period with loved ones and are ready to take on 2019 and all the exciting opportunities and challenges it’s sure to bring!

For most of us, this week brings the return of the normal working week and repetitive routines, but don’t let the reality shock get you down! Why not keep up the New Year positivity by making small goals that you’d like to achieve during the week? Whether it’s being more active, making more effort to spend time with loved ones, trying a new hobby – all of these things could put a positive spin on your week and give you a sense of achievement (especially if it’s related to a New Year’s resolution that you may have made). Take this week as an opportunity to try something new! You’ll find a tasty new recipe below if you’d like to try your hand at baking!

New Year, New You?

A lot of you may have made New Year’s Resolutions, and I can guarantee that the majority of these will revolve around health and fitness (am I wrong?). With more and more people turning to vegan diets, a growing resolution is to tackle ‘Veganuary’. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, it means following a vegan (plant-based) diet for the whole of January. This is a huge challenge, especially for those who are used to consuming a diet that is rich in animal products. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you’re consuming adequate nutrients to avoid any deficiencies that could be harmful to your health. Though I don’t personally follow a vegan diet, my diet is mainly vegetarian and plant-based, and I like to experiment with recipes that suit a range of diet. So, I’ve been in the kitchen and have come up with a new sweet recipe for anyone who’s trying veganism (or just loves desserts!) and wants to still enjoy a taste of the sweet stuff. Shop-bought and restaurant vegan desserts have gotten better in recent years, however these can be so expensive! So here is the recipe for my latest creation – chocolate-smothered baked donuts! They’re light and fluffy, just sweet enough, and the rich, chocolatey topping gives them a nice bit of healthy indulgence! Can’t resist? You’ll find the easy recipe below!

Chocolate-Topped Baked Donuts

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Recipe (Makes 10)

Ingredients (Donuts)

  • 100g oat flour
  • 50g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 130ml almond milk
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 50g apple sauce
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 10g flax seed (soaked in enough hot water to cover for 10 minutes)

Ingredients (Topping)

  • 20g smooth peanut butter
  • 1tbsp maple syrup
  • 2tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
  • 4-5tbsp almond milk

Method

  1. Blend the oats to a flour, then combine with the remaining dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Add in the remaining wet ingredients and mix well
  3. Grease a silicon donut mould with a little oil. The mould I used had space for 8 donuts
  4. Fill the moulds to just below the top, so that the middle of the ring is exposed to create the ring shape
  5. Bake the donuts for 15-20mins until golden and firm
  6. Leave the donuts to cool in the mould for at least 15 minutes, then carefully remove each one
  7. Top make the topping, melt the peanut butter in a microwave (around 20 seconds should do), then mix in the remaining ingredients. Add more milk if you’d prefer a thinner consistency, but make sure the mixture is spreadable
  8. Spread a little of the chocolate topping on each of the donuts once they are cool, then finish with any desired extras (e.g desiccated coconut, chopped nuts)

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Easy! These are great for sharing with friends or storing as an emergency snack when the sweet cravings hit! They’ll keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or can be frozen to enjoy later. Don’t forget to feedback in the comments if you make them!

Beat the Winter Blues

It’s mid-Winter, it’s dark and chilly all of the time…it’s exam season!  It’s a student’s worse nightmare, and so I’ll be doing my best not to let the Winter Blues get me down too! Regular yoga sessions, leisure reading and still making time for a few fun things are my chosen strategies for combatting the blues…I can’t say for definite that they’ll save me from the brutal force of exam stress, but my intentions are good! So you won’t be hearing much from me this month, but be sure to check out my Instagram page, however, as I’ll still be posting regularly with meal and snack recipes (most probably with a speedy twist due to my busy revision schedule!). So it’s bye from me for now, but I hope you continue to enjoy the New Year and keep up the good work on any resolutions you’ve made!

-TheCookingYam

Written by TheCookingYam

I'm a BSc Sport and Exercise Science Graduate from Loughborough University, and also work as a Nutrition Advisor and recipe developer for organisations such as British Swimming, Colour Fit and Bam Organic. I'm passionate about all things food, health and fitness, and have an ambition to share my knowledge with others. Qualified with Grade Distinction in Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Sports Nutrition to support my interest in food and health for active individuals.

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