Chocolate brownies are a classic indulgence. Soft, stodgy, and moreish – they can be a difficult craving to ignore! Which is why we're bringing you this fantastic healthy brownie recipe, which is vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and even high protein. It's a delicious recipe and will make the perfect post-workout snack without the guilt.
- 2 medium, overripe bananas
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup protein powder (use plant-based for vegan)
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4. Line a small square baking dish with parchment paper or grease well. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork and then mix in the peanut butter. Whisk until fully combined.
- Stir in the protein powder and cocoa powder with a spoon. Pour the batter into the greased/lined pan.
- Bake for 12-20 minutes or until cooked through.
- Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
- Cover the leftovers and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy cold or at room temperature.
Two of the most popular diet and lifestyle choices at the moment are following the keto diet and being vegan. Generally, a vegan or plant-based diet is very high in carbohydrates whereas the keto diet by definition is very low in carbs. So can you be a vegan on the keto diet? What can you eat as a keto vegan? We answer all your questions in our vegan keto guide.
What can you eat on a vegan keto diet?
Let's start with the basics. A vegan diet is one which omits any animal foods or foods derived from animals. This means no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy. Some people believe a vegan diet is restrictive, but this isn't the case. Instead, what this leaves is an abundance of plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, lentils, and beans. All of these foods are intrinsically healthy as they contain high amounts of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and even protein, which can be a divisive subject for vegans.
The keto diet is a recently trending super low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet which promises followers rapid weight loss and health benefits. It is a somewhat controversial diet as there can be side effects such as keto flu and bad breath, however a lot of people swear by this diet for improving their lifestyle and losing weight.
In general, people following a keto diet eat a lot of animal products as these are naturally high in fat and low in carbs. Foods like steak, eggs and dairy fit the keto diet easily, however they are not vegan.
So what can you eat on a vegan keto diet? In fact, you have lots of options! Some of the tastiest vegan foods are naturally high in fat, such as coconut products, avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds. These days there are lots of coconut-derived products which have been developed as the vegan lifestyle becomes more popular. You can now buy coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour... the list goes on. This one ingredient will be the staple of your vegan keto diet.
Other foods suitable for the vegan keto diet include avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, and oils. Most of these foods are whole plant-based foods and are therefore very healthy.
Is vegan low carb possible?
Yes, a vegan low carb diet is definitely possible. While a traditional vegan or plant-based diet is naturally high in carbohydrates, it is still possible to follow a low carb vegan diet. If you are careful with what you eat, plan your meals, and keep an eye on your calories and macros, you have plenty of options of things you can eat on a vegan keto diet.
A vegan keto diet can be very healthy as some of the healthiest fats are vegan, such as oils, olives, nuts, seeds, and avocado. You can supplement these foods with coconut products to round out your options and create delicious vegan keto recipes.
In general, the keto diet requires getting up to 90% of your calories from fat. As there are so many healthy fats which are vegan, this shouldn't be a problem.
Vegan Keto Recipes
There are plenty of delicious vegan keto recipes available online which can keep your diet healthy, varied, and tasty. Try some of these vegan keto recipes to find out for yourself!
Vegan Keto Avocado Pops
Chocolate Keto Protein Smoothie
There are lots of bold flavours in this hearty lentil dish: fragrant chermoula and soft aubergine strips rubbed in black garlic. Served with sweet Romano pepper, rocket, crunchy cashews and a lemony tahini drizzle. Recipe courtesy of Mindful Chef.
Ingredients - Serves 2
- 1/2 lemon
- 180g cherry tomatoes
- 1 aubergine
- 1 red onion
- 1 romano red pepper
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 240g lentils in water (drained)
- 2 tbsp Belazu chermoula
- 2 tbsp oil
- 30g cashew nuts
- 40g rocket
- 4 black garlic cloves
- Medium handful of flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
- Cut the red onion and Romano red pepper into small bite-sized pieces. Slice the aubergine horizontally into 3 pieces, then again into long 1-2 cm wide wedges. Place the black garlic cloves into a small bowl, add 1/2 tbsp oil and mash with a fork until a thick paste forms. Spread evenly over the aubergine wedges to form a thin coating (you may have to do this with your hands!).
- Place the black garlic coated aubergine, onion and red pepper on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Place in the oven for 20 mins until turning golden, turning halfway through.
- Drain the lentils and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Roughly chop the parsley leaves. Heat a pan with 1/2 tbsp oil on a medium heat and add the lentils, cherry tomatoes, parsley and the chermoula, cook for 5 mins. Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- Place the rocket in a large bowl and add the chermoula lentils, onion and red pepper. In a small bowl, mix the tahini paste with a squeeze of lemon juice and 2 tsp cold water to form a smooth sauce.
- Spoon the lentil and vegetable mix onto two warm plates, top with the black garlic aubergine wedges and sprinkle over the cashew nuts. Drizzle over the tahini sauce.
514 calories • 43g carbs • 30g fat • 20g protein
Not suitable for nut or sesame allergy sufferers
Want the ease and convenience of these ingredients being delivered to your door, already weighed out and ready to cook? Sign up to Mindful Chef today using code SUNDRIED for £10 off your first two boxes. This recipe is available to order now!
Health and fitness can be a tricky minefield to navigate as advice is always changing and something that is considered healthy one week can be demonised the next. We bring you our top 4 foods that are and always will be good for you and should be staples in your diet.
1. Forest fruits: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
Most people will agree that fruit is healthy and is very good for you. Various fruits have health benefits ranging from anti-inflammatory properties, promoting healthy skin, hair and nails to helping keep you regular thanks to the fibre content. However, some fruits are vastly more healthy than others and sugar in fruit is always a controversial topic.
Some fruits contain a lot of sugar and not much else – not many vitamins or minerals and therefore do not have the health benefits of others. Take plums for example, they contain 10g of sugar per 100g (roughly 7g of sugar per plum) and only 1g of fibre. They do not contain any calcium, vitamin D, Iron, Vitamin B6 or Magnesium and they only contain tiny amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Therefore, from a purely health-based perspective, there is not much point eating them.
This is where forest fruits come in and why they are top of our list. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries could be considered the healthiest fruits out there due to their superior vitamin and mineral content, relative low sugar content (compared to other fruits), and high fibre content. Take strawberries for example, they contain only 5g of sugar per 100g, so half that of plums. They also contain 100% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C per 100g. Meanwhile blueberries are packed full of antioxidants which are proven to be great for your health as they offset the negative effects of oxidisation on our bodies (kind of like how rust affects metal).
So, if you're keen on fruit and want to make it part of your healthy lifestyle, opt for these forest fruits and you'll be on to a winner.
2. Dark green vegetables: spinach, broccoli, kale
Another group of foods which are objectively great for your health and can be eaten in abundance is dark green vegetables. Foods like spinach, kale, and broccoli are unrivalled in their health benefits and you should definitely add them to your diet.
In this modern age, it can be easy not to get enough Iron into your diet. For women especially, Iron is vital for health as it keeps your energy levels up and boosts your immune system as well as helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are thoroughly rich in Iron and will help you feel energetic and full of life, not to mention keeping your blood healthy too.
These dark green vegetables are very low in calories for their volume so you can load up easily without worrying about high sugar or calorie content. Additionally, spinach is as rich in calcium as dairy despite products like milk and cheese being marketed heavily for this benefit. Spinach is also one of the best sources of dietary magnesium, which is necessary for energy metabolism, maintaining muscle and nerve function, regular heart rhythm, a healthy immune system, and maintaining blood pressure.
Guidelines state that we should try to eat one or two portions of oily fish per week due to the health benefits. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which are great for heart health as well as being a good source of Vitamin D.
Other types of fish include white fish such as cod, plaice, haddock and tilapia. White fish is low in fat and high in protein making it a healthy choice and could even be better than fatty meats like beef.
Shellfish such as prawns, lobster, mussels and scallops are rich in minerals such as selenium, zinc, iodine and copper which can promote a healthy immune system, prevent high blood pressure, and promote increased brain function.
Fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet due to its low fat content, rich mineral content and high protein content.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They're a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
If you have bad skin, it can really affect your confidence and make you feel like you need to do something about it. There are unlimited beauty products and brands out there that promise clear skin through a skincare routine, but in reality no matter what beauty products you use, achieving radiant, glowing skin really is down to diet and lifestyle. We take a look at the best food fixes for bad skin and what you should eat in order to improve your appearance naturally.
Matcha Green Tea
Drinking 10 cups of green tea a day definitely isn't realistic for everyone. It can have a bitter taste and will leave you running to the restroom every 5 minutes. However, a scoop of matcha green tea powder has all the same health benefits in one convenient shot, plus you're getting the whole leaf and all its added benefits. I add it to my daily homemade protein smoothie for a quick energy boost and vitamin top-up. Matcha green tea contains 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea and these are great for eliminating free radicals in the body. Why's this great for your skin? It reduces the signs of ageing and will leave your skin looking radiant and glowing. It also contains high levels of selenium, which protects your skin cells from natural damage and also reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
If any food deserves the label 'superfood' it's spinach. Spinach is rich in indol-3-carbinol which stimulates enzymes in the liver to boost your body's natural detoxifying process. It is also proven to balance your hormones which can reduce bloating in the face as well as improving the appearance of acne.
Raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the appearance of swelling in tired, fatigued skin. They are rich in both Vitamin C and Vitamin E which can enhance the skin's appearance as well as reducing the effects of ageing.