Mornin’ Sunshine Citrus Smoothie

A delicious citrus smoothie with a creamy green smoothie layer, full of vitamins and protein. Start your day off right with this tasty citrus smoothie that is like sunshine in a glass!

Jump to the Recipe One glass of citrus smoothie with pink and green layer in front with straw, one in background with straw

Hold on to your knickers, loves! Giraffes Can Bake has a healthy recipe for you! Whaaaa?! Don’t worry, this is still your best source for indulgent desserts, but whilst buttery cakes and boozy cocktails may be my forte, even I need a healthy dose of vitamins every now in then! In fact, despite all the delicious treats I make and share with you, I actually try and eat quite healthily in my day to day life. I certainly don’t deny myself indulgent, tasty treats like the ones I share here (I mean, somebody has to taste test the recipes!) – I’m big believer in everything in moderation. So I’ll try to eat healthy and nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then treat myself to a glass of wine and a slice or two of cake in the evenings. Sometimes, the indulgent side of the scale will heavily outweigh the healthy side, but I’m okay with that!

Short glass of citrus smoothie with pink and green layer, topped with raspberries. Another short glass in background - full size  Continue reading →

Almond Stuffed Chocolate Covered Dates

Sweet, sticky dates stuffed with cinnamon roasted almonds, covered in rich dark chocolate. So simple to make and the perfect sweet, healthier snack.

 Almond Stuffed Chocolate Covered Dates - sweet, chewy dates stuffed with cinnamon roasted almonds and smothered in rich, dark chocolate. So easy to make and they make the most delicious sweet, healthier snack. You'll LOVE them!

Oh boy, I have got such a simple recipe for you guys today! Simply amazing, that is! But don’t let its simple, down-to-earth status fool you, it’s absolutely divine and you are just going to love it! Because these almond stuffed chocolate covered dates are full of natural goodness, natural sweetness and just enough chocolate to satisfy your cravings. As a certified chocoholic, I think these are gonna be my new go-to chocolate snack of choice!

Almond Stuffed Chocolate Covered Dates - sweet, chewy dates stuffed with cinnamon roasted almonds and smothered in rich, dark chocolate. So easy to make and they make the most delicious sweet, healthier snack. You'll LOVE them!

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Chocolate Raspberry Green Smoothie

Chocolate Raspberry Green Smoothie

Hey guys, how you been doing? First off, apologies for how quiet I’ve been on the blog lately – I’ve been majorly lacking in inspiration! Would you believe it if I told you I hadn’t baked since before Christmas? That’s crazy by my standards! I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s a post holiday funk? Or maybe it’s just one of those things! Either way, hopefully I’ll get my mojo back soon or I might drive myself crazy! I have a few recipes in the figurative lock box still to post, but my lack of inspiration spreads to writing too! That might be more of a lack of motivation, it’s a dangerous spiral really – I need to bake to keep myself level headed and happy, when I stop that I lose motivation to do anything else! But I’m here today because a) I need to force myself back into things if I want any hope of returning to normal and b) I can’t miss Fiesta Friday now, can I? 

Chocolate Raspberry Green Smoothie

I think we all find ourselves in funks like this every now and then, it’s part of life. People talk about writer’s block a lot, but you don’t hear much about other blocks – baker’s block, knitter’s block, painter’s bloc etc. They all exist, no matter how much you love doing something, sometimes you just can’t! What do you guys do when you find yourself in that situation? Any tricks you use to get yourself back in the game? Or do you find it’s just one of those things you have to let play out? So far I’ve just been letting it play out, but I think it’s gone on long enough now so I’m taking action! Starting with writing up the recipe for something yummy I’ve had in my list of recipes to share with y’all. Next up I’m going to be baking some things to photograph, recipes I’ve already posted but their photos are terrible so they need updating – that’s what I’m gonna be spending my Friday doing – I’ll be baking profiteroles. I’ll only have time for that one thing though, as I have to take the cat to the vet in the evening and then me and my mum are having some late Christmas drinks (aka an excuse to drink more wine than we should!) – but I think it’ll make a good start and hopefully that will give me the kick up the rear I need to get me in the kitchen properly again! 

Chocolate Raspberry Green Smoothie

To get me back into the blogging side of things, I’m sharing a pretty easy recipe with you today. It’s nice and simple to put together, it’s super yummy and it’s good for you – that’s 3 pretty awesome boxes checked there! It’s also pretty customisable – I used raspberries because I had a nice supply of them in my freezer and chocolate and raspberry is one of my favourite flavour combinations, but you could also use cherries or strawberries. I love, love, love my green smoothies – it took me a long time to convince myself to try them, but I’m so glad I did. They’re super yummy and they just make you feel healthy even when, like me, your diet really isn’t! I can’t eat a lot of fresh vegetables because of my TMJ so the green smoothie is a great way for me to get some of that goodness in my diet without cooking vegetables until they’re way too soft and lose most of their nutrients. This smoothie is a great one to start with if you’re still on the fence, it’s got plenty of sweetness and a deep cocoa flavour, you’ll forget there’s even spinach in it! My general rule for green smoothies is to have a 2:1 ratio of greens and fruit – so if I use 1 cup spinach I’ll have 2 cups of fruit (or 1 cup and a banana), that way you don’t have to worry about any bitter aftertastes ruining the smoothie for you. Nut milks are a great addition too to help counteract the bitterness, and the almond milk in this one is just a must, it really adds to that chocolatey flavour. 

As a rule, I like at least one ingredient in my smoothie to be frozen to make the smoothie cold without any need for ice. I usually buy fruit when it’s on sale or discounted (buying fruit that’s been marked down at the end of it’s shelf life is great for this), then I divide it into portions and freeze in zip lock bags, that way I have handy portions of frozen fruit ready to go! I do the same with my greens too, 1 cup of packed greens per zip lock bag and I’m always ready to go when the smoothie need hits! Although I do like to keep fresh greens on hand when possible, so I don’t lose out on those nutrients. 

Chocolate Raspberry Green Smoothie

 

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Chocolate Banana Muffins

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and 2015 is full of non stop awesome for you! I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, especially diet related ones! I’m a baker and I’m very attached to my butter and sugar, dieting just isn’t for me even if I would like to lose a couple pounds. With that said, the first recipe I’m posting in 2015 is pretty healthy! I’m not a calorie or nutrition counter so I don’t know how healthy these are but they have no butter, the majority of the sweetness comes from the bananas with only a small amount of brown sugar supplementing it. They’re also made with wholemeal (whole wheat) flour – they’re practically a health food! These will also be dairy free if you use chocolate chips that don’t contain dairy (I use semi-sweet chips, which do contain traces of milk I believe). You could also potentially make them vegan with a little fiddling, replacing the eggs with applesauce would probably work but I haven’t tested that, so I can’t say for sure. 

Chocolate Banana Muffins

These chocolate banana muffins are also delicious, way more delicious than they are healthy which is my kind of muffin! They’re a nice dense, moist muffin, I hate those muffins that are like biting into air, I want some substance in my muffins – leave the light and airy for the cupcakes! They’re equally chocolatey and banana-ry, with a hint of cinnamon to give them a nice flavour depth. The chocolate chips are definitely a must too, they add little chunks of chocolatey goodness and a little extra sweetness, 

Chocolate Banana Muffins

These muffins came about because I had a few way too ripe bananas – my first idea was, naturally, banana bread, but I only had three bananas so it would have been a very small loaf! Muffins seemed like a great idea and they really were! Over ripened bananas are so great for baking, never ever throw away those brown bananas okay! They look pretty nasty and aren’t fun to eat, but the riper they get the sweeter they are, so when they’re all brown and mushy, there’s so much natural sweetness in them that’s perfect for baking, you can even cut down on your sugar usage because of all the natural sweetness. Next time you have some bananas getting a bit too comfy in your kitchen, you should definitely turn them into these muffins, you’ll love them! They’re worth buying bananas especially to make these muffins, you’ll have some waiting time but they’re so yummy it’s worth the wait. 

Chocolate Banana Muffins

Because of all the natural sweetness, you really can have them at any time. Grab one for a quick and tasty breakfast in the morning, pack one in the kid’s lunchbox for a snack or treat, or even pass them out as dessert after dinner – everybody will love them any time of the day. They have those wonderful domed and chewy muffins tops that are essential for a good muffin! The best way, I find, to get a good muffin top is to fill the paper cases up until they’re almost full and then bake on a high temperature for 10 minutes before lowering it to bake throughout – I never fail to get a great muffin top with that method! 

Chocolate Banana Muffins

So, 2015 is finally upon us! The year of my golden birthday, the rugby world cup, the year of general elections in the UK and, assuming she’s still reigning towards the end of the year, Queen Elizabeth II will be our longest reigning queen, beating Queen Victoria! And lots more yet to be determined I’m sure. I haven’t made any proper resolutions but I do plan on a few changes this year to help make it a good year – and of course, there will be lots of baking! Do you guys have any big plans for 2015? Have you made any resolutions? 

Chocolate Banana Muffins

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Winter Morning Anti-Venom Smoothie

Winter Anti-Venom SmoothieGosh, that’s a terrible name for a smoothie isn’t it? I’m not the most creative person when it comes to naming things, I think if I ever had kids I’d probably end up calling them Child 1, Child 2 etc. I’m surprised my cat isn’t just called Cat! 

Winter Anti-Venom Smoothie

The thought behind this smoothie is a lot better than the name at least! We’re getting deeper and deeper into winter, at least we are in the northern hemisphere anyway, and these cold mornings are getting harder to bear with every temperature job. I made this smoothie as a way to inject a little sunshine into those dark, cold mornings and get you ready to face the day! 

Winter Anti-Venom Smoothie

It’s full of summery flavours to trick your brain and tongue into thinking summer hasn’t left us out in the cold and it’s full of lots of goodness to keep your body ticking while the winter wages war against your immune system! Blueberries are considered super foods by some due to their antioxidants, but they’re also chock full of Vitamin C to give your immune system a boost! The orange juice helps with that too of course, plus it’s a great source of potassium. 

Winter Anti-Venom Smoothie

Strawberries also have lots of antioxidants and yet more Vitamin C. And mangoes? You guessed it, more Vitamin C. Watch those winter colds try and catch you now! Mangoes are also a good source of Vitamin A which is good for your skin, and let’s face it skin needs all the care it can get in this harsh weather! And then there’s the spinach, full of everything good – iron (to keep your energy levels up) and Vitamin K (for your bones), plus more Vitamin A, C and antioxidants! I won’t lie, I’m not health expert and I’m not sure how much of your daily recommended vitamin intake this smoothie would get you (if anybody knows more about this subject and wants to do the math for me, please do!!) but I think it’s safe to say it’s a good boost to get you going in the morning. You could even double up and give yourself another boost for your afternoon snack! 

Winter Anti-Venom Smoothie

It’s not just your immune system getting a helping hand with this smoothie, it also contains one of my favourite smoothie ingredients – kefir milk! Kefir milk is full of tummy loving bacteria to keep your digestive system nice and healthy – which is extra good because winter is when Norovirus most likes to strike (aka the winter vomiting bug), mostly because we all stay huddled up close together in winter so it spreads easy. Your tummy needs all the help it can get to avoid catching it (I got it just after celebrating my first thanksgiving last year, it was no fun!). Kefir milk is a great source of protein too.

Winter Anti-Venom Smoothie

The best part though is that it tastes yummy and is an easy and filling breakfast! What more could you want!!

I had originally planned to post my first Christmas recipe today, but to be honest with you I’m still not feeling great and I didn’t think I’d be able to muster up enough excitement to get you all in the festive spirit! Besides, I thought maybe writing about vitamins might help me feel a little healthier… stranger things have happened!

I’m going to bring this health-boosting, winter-busting smoothie along to Fiesta Friday this week in the hopes it’ll give the party goers a quick boost to keep them partying throughout the weekend! I’m sure our returning co-hosts, Tracy and Stephanie, could use it too!

I will have some Christmas fun up for you soon, I’m sure! Come hang out with me on social media to get a preview on the festive treats I’ve been baking and see what’s going on in my kitchen in real time, and come chat too! Friends are always welcome! You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Bloglovin’ 

If you’d like my recipes to magically appear in your inbox, just enter your email address into the subscription box in my side bar!

Winter Morning Anti-Venom Smoothie
Serves 1
An easy, filling breakfast smoothie to get you going on these cold winter mornings and help you fight off the nasty things winter can bring!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 packed cup spinach, raw
  2. 1 cup kefir milk*
  3. 1 cup orange juice*
  4. 1 frozen banana
  5. 1/2 cup blueberries
  6. 2 cups mango
  7. 1 cup strawberries
Instructions
  1. Place the spinach, kefir and orange juice in your blender and blitz until spinach is well cut up.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blitz until smooth.
  3. Drink immediately or keep in fridge overnight ready for breakfast.
Notes
  1. *If you're not able to get kefir milk, substitute with greek yogurt. It won't have the good bacteria in it like kefir, but is still a good source of protein and will give the same taste.
  2. *You can use fresh squeezed orange juice or store bought (use not from concentrate for best health benefits and taste)
  3. To make sure the smoothie is nice and cold, freeze fruits first. Make sure at least the banana is frozen for the best texture
A Tipsy Giraffe https://www.atipsygiraffe.com/
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