Treat Yourself! Recipe time…

We’re delighted to have some new recipes to share with you again this week. And we’ve pulled some old ones out of the bag for you too, as we’re focusing on treats! Each of these delicious ideas has been cooked up by one of our own colleagues here at LloydsPharmacy.

When you’re trying to lose weight, it can feel like you should cut out every single treat or dessert, right? The problem with that is as soon as you start eating normally again, your weight may start to creep back up. Use your snacks (you should be having two a day) to satisfy your cravings for sweets or treats. And allow yourself dessert every so often but think about how you can make a healthier version.

All of these recipes, and lots more, can be printed off for you at any branch of LloydsPharmacy, where you can also receive free weekly 1-2-1 weight-loss support as part of our Change your Health direction programme.

Happy, healthy cooking! We hope you enjoy 🙂


 Chocolate CracklesJoanne Choc Crackles

Snacking is a challenge for a lot of our weight-loss participants. We’re used to starving ourselves when trying to lose weight and end up being totally low on energy as a result. You need to eat every 2.5-3 hours whether you’re hungry or not in order to keep your energy levels sustained. Snacks can easily serve as treats and relieve sweet cravings. This easy-peasy recipe from Joanne O’Brien in LloydsPharmacy Claremorris should ease your chocolate wants. And so very simple! Coming in at about 50 calories per portion, you can even have two!

Makes 12 portions

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups brown rice puffs (check the wholefoods section of your supermarket)
  • 2 tbs good quality honey
  • 2 tbs cacoa powder
  • 1 cup coconut butter (check your local health food store or use a good nut butter instead).

Method:

  • Put rice puffs into a large bowl
  • Melt all other ingredients in a saucepan on a medium heat until combined
  • Mix into rice puff mixture and stir well
  • Spoon into bun cases
  • Refrigerate until firm.

 Guilt-Free Chocolate BrowniesAvril Brownies

Another super healthy snack idea for when you’re craving something sweet. Perfect with a cup of coffee at your afternoon break. These delicious brownies are so quick and simple to make, you won’t believe it! They’ll keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or you can freeze for even longer if you wish. Another great recipe from Avril Reilly, pharmacist and weight-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy, Governey Square.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup dates
  • ½ cup Meridian almond butter
  • ¼ cup Nua Naturals cacoa powder

Method:

  1. Simply place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix well.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and press down firmly. Top with chopped nuts (optional).
  3. Refrigerate for a few hours before cutting into small squares.

Mandarin and Nut Fro-YoNaomi Fro Yo

Ice-cream is a very big no-no when you’re trying to lose weight. Frozen Yoghurt isn’t really much better in terms of calories. This version by our Health Strategy Manager, Naomi O’Farrell, might satisfy your ice-cream cravings and comes in at only 200 calories a portion. It takes a little bit of monitoring but it’s still super-easy and worth the effort! Mix up the fruit and the nuts as you fancy. Rum is used here as it prevents the yoghurt from freezing too much but you can use vodka instead.

Makes 5 portions – approx. 2 tablespoons per portion

Ingredients:

  • 3 mandarins, peeled and segmented, pips removed and frozen for a at least a few hours
  • 500g 0% Fat Greek Yoghurt
  • 50g chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 shot white rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs good quality maple syrup.

Method:

  1. Start the night before by peeling the mandarins, separate the segments, remove pips and place in the freezer in suitable container with lid
  2. In the morning, add the mandarins to a food processor and whizz into slush – about 10 seconds
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth
  4. Place into a container suitable for freezing with a lid
  5. Put into your freezer and stir every 2-3 hours until it’s frozen fully
  6. Enjoy with a few chopped nuts and fresh fruit.

Chia Seed PuddingChia Seed Pudding 1

If you haven’t heard of Chia Seeds, where have you been?! Avril Reilly, pharmacist and Weight-Loss coach at LloydsPharmacy Governey Square gave us this exciting way to use chia seeds. This versatile pudding can be eaten as a delicious, filling breakfast or as a dessert. It can also be enjoyed hot or cold. Avril likes hers with a tablespoon of greek yoghurt and some fresh berries. If you are short on time then this is a great option as it can be quickly prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Use a jar you have a lid for so you can bring it to work. It’s a winner all round!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 150mls unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional:
    • 1 scoop protein powder (I used Sun-Warrior vanilla rice protein powder)
    • 1 tsp raw cacoa powder
    • Stevia to sweeten

Method:

  • Simply add chia seeds and vanilla extract to a jar and pour in the unsweetened almond milk.
  • Give it a good shake and pop it into the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
  • The chia seeds absorb the almond milk to form a gel-like consistency.

Coconut MacaroonsCiara Macaroons

A tasty, healthy treat to satisfy those chocolate cravings. These are so delicious and taste amazing!! Keep them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long!). This yummy treat idea comes from our purchasing executive, Ciara Morgan.

Ingredients:

  • 130 grams of unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 60 grams of ground almonds
  • 50ml of maple syrup (honey or agave nectar works too)
  • 55 grams of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 grams dark chocolate (I use about 80% cocoa solids)

Method:

  1. Melt the coconut oil and mix in the syrup and vanilla extract.
  2. Mix the almonds and coconut together. Mix with the oil and syrup.
  3. Pop the oven on to preheat to 160 degrees Celsius while you let the mixture cool. It is easier to shape when it is cool.
  4. Line baking tray with parchment paper or use a mini cupcake tray and line with muffin liners.
  5. Use a measuring spoon (or melon baller if you have it) to really compact and shape the mixture. Dip the utensil in warm water between each macaroon as it means that they don’t stick as much
  6. I found I had to sharply tap the utensil against the tray to get it out cleanly. I got about 12 from the mix.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the tray and bake for another 10 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool on the tray for at least 10 minutes as they will fall apart easily while they are warm.
  9. Melt the chocolate and drizzle on top using a teaspoon. Allow the chocolate to set and store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Chocolate Avocado MousseAvril Avo-Cho mousse 1

This incredible mousse comes from Avril Reilly, pharmacist and Weight-Loss Coach in LloydsPharmacy Governey Square. A fab dinner party dessert, nobody will believe it is so healthy! Also, great when you are in need of a chocolate hit. The Nua Cacoa powder used in this recipe is a powerful superfood, rich in anti-oxidants, magnesium, iron, chromium, zinc and sulphur. Who ever thought that healthy food could taste this good?!

Serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp Nua Raw Organic Cacoa Powder
  • Optional: honey, stevia or xylitol to sweeten.

Method:

  • Add cacoa powder to a bowl and blend in the avocado, banana, lemon juice, water using a hand blender. Alternatively, add to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Sweeten to your desired taste using the suggested sweeteners.
  • Spoon the mixture into espresso cups or ramekins and chill in the freezer for one to two hours.
  • Transfer to the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.
  • Sprinkle with a little cacoa powder or some chopped nuts and serve with a juicy, fresh strawberry or two!

 ‘Eat Clean’ Chocolate Treats!Eat Clean Choc Treats

It’s time for something sweet! A great healthy treat from Sarah Ashe, Category Manager at LloydsPharmacy Support Office. This is a perfect option for satisfying chocolate cravings and suitable as one of your snacks or treats. Another recipe that proves that eating healthy doesn’t need to be boring! Nua powders are now available at selected LloydsPharmacy branches – ask your local team for more details. We just love them!

Use a fun ice-cube tray to make more interesting shapes. Sarah used a flower designed tray for her treats.

Makes enough to fill a 16-hole ice cube tray

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons of Nua Natural Cacao Powder
  • 2 tablespoons of good quality honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Method:

  • Put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan on a medium heat
  • Keep stirring until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth
  • Pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray – silicone trays work best and make it easier to pop out
  • Put the tray into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes
  • Store your treats in the fridge for up to 5 days
  • Enjoy!!

Healthy Banana & Walnut MuffinsNaomi Banana Muffins

Sometimes you just need something sweet! These muffins can be a treat, a snack or perhaps breakfast. They come in at just under 200 calories each and taste like way more. This recipe comes from our Health Strategy Manager, Naomi O’Farrell.

Makes 12 muffins using a regular muffin tray

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 small very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  • Turn your oven on to 180°
  • Line a 12-hole muffin tray with bun cases
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well and drop in the eggs, oil and syrup. Blend with a fork until fully mixed
  • Mash the bananas and fold them into the batter with the walnuts
  • Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin cases (one dessert spoon per case)
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean.

Nicky’s Ugly Cookies!Nicky Ugly Cookies

Nicky Roche is our weight-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy Kilkenny and has really caught the cooking bug! We hear that she is constantly trying new snack ideas for her colleagues and customers, experimenting with our colleague recipes to create even more variety. We love the look of these ‘ugly’ cookies! A great snack or treat idea, you won’t feel ugly eating them! Only 35 calories per cookie – what’s not to love?!

These cookies are chewy and crunchy; they can also be half dipped in dark chocolate to give that extra bit of decadence.

Makes 12 Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 8 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups xylitol
  • 2 cups shelled, toasted hazelnuts, chopped finely

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 140 Celsius.
  • Beat egg whites and salt until almost firm.
  • Then gradually beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until egg whites hold stiff peaks.
  • Scape egg mixture into a heavy saucepan. Add nuts, and stir over a low/medium for about 20 minutes until batter is light golden in colour.
  • The batter will reduce in volume as it cooks.
  • Remove from the heat, and spoon round teaspoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet. Place about an inch apart. Bake in the oven until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  • Cool completely on a rack before serving. Can be stored, at room temperature, in an airtight container for up to a week.


Mandarin & Oat MuffinsNaomi Mandarin Oat Muffins

Coming in at about 150 calories, these healthy muffins make a great treat or snack, or even breakfast if you’re on the run. With plenty of protein and fruit, they are a great addition to a school lunch box. They’ll keep for about 3-4 days in an airtight container. This recipe comes from our Health Strategy Manager, Naomi O’Farrell.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup good quality porridge oats (do not use quick oats; they’re too fine)
  • 50g ground almonds (use flaked or chopped if you want a bit more texture)
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of Agave Nectar (honey substitute). Use Maple syrup if you prefer
  • 4 small mandarins, peeled and chopped (watch out for pips! I used a cooking scissors to chop – much easier)
  • Butter for greasing.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease your muffin tray with butter – don’t use bun cakes – I tried to and they stuck!
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, almonds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg. Then one by one, add the yoghurt, vanilla extract and agave nectar, whisking well each time you add each.
  5. Mix in the mandarins.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
  7. Divide evenly into your muffin tray. Sprinkle with some oats for prettiness.
  8. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins until golden and a cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Leave to cool in the tray for about 15 mins before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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