#FoodExplorerFriday on FoodiePages!

foodie-charmaine

A #FoodExplorer is a person who loves to experience and experiment with the freshest, most delicious local foods they can get their hands on. They are notorious Foodies who always put their own delicious spin on a recipe or ingredient. This week’s Food Explorer of the week is vegan model blogger Charmaine San Pedro of Not Another Model Blog.

Read the full interview on FoodiePages website!

You can also find my Healthy Soy Free Vegan Scrambled Eggs recipe there too!

vegan-scrambled-eggs

 

Cracker Head

#WHATHEALTHYMODELSEAT 

Cape Town’s best gluten free crackers.

One of my favourite go to health stores in Seapoint, Cape Town called “Health Matters” carried these scrumptious flaxseed crackers that I couldn’t get enough of. The shelves of Cape Town’s grocery stores had limited products that were healthy, gluten free, no sugar added and/or vegan so when I found these bad boys, I was in heaven! R’Vive Health’s Flaxseed Crackers come in 2 flavours (tomato or courgette) and contain the simplest ingredients: garlic, onion, himalayan salt, flaxseeds, herbs and extra virgin olive oil. They are slowly dehydrated to preserve the ingredients goodness and nutrients. I enjoy them on their own as an on the go snack, but they’re great paired with organic hummus or fresh guacamole. Best of all, they are free of preservatives, additives, gluten, wheat, dairy, added sugar, GMO and make a great alternative to soda crackers. However, make sure you have a toothpick (or two) handy. Your chompers will have a mouth full of flax after consumption!

Flaxseeds are low in carbs and digestive friendly and considered to be one of the healthiest and most nutritional foods you can have. These powerful tiny seeds are high in fiber, anti oxidants and rich in omega fatty acids. Perfect to add to your everyday diet! 

Simply Bars on Table Mountain

#WHATHEALTHYMODELSEAT

Simply Bars + Table Mountain = Match Made in Heaven! 

This is me on top of Table Mountain, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. It’s 1085 metres high. So you can imagine how hungry I was when my friends and I finally made it from our 1.5 hour hike! I am proudly holding my favourite snack: The Simply Bars by Wellness Foods. I brought about 2 dozen of these with me to Cape Town simply cause I don’t like to live without them. They’re a Canadian brand so they’re only available in select North American retail stores. However, you can order them worldwide on Vita Cost but shipping to South Africa can get pricey.

These protein bars are super delicious. I’d like to describe them as a tasty, healthy, crunch bar similar to the texture of a rice krispies square. They’re not like your usual gummy, thick whey protein bars as they’re made from non GMO soy crisps. Gluten free, low sugar (suitable for diabetics), no sugar alcohols, low GI, vegan, kosher, low carb, easy to digest and high in protein and fiber with the least amount of calories – I couldn’t find that in ANY protein bar. And believe me, I was on the hunt for days for a bar like this. All of their products are natural and made with 12 ingredients or less and they don’t use ingredients you can’t pronounce. Each bar contains about 16 grams of protein and more fiber than sugar. It’s a simple as that!

The bar I’m holding on Table Mountain is the Cinnamon Pecan flavour which is my absolute go to. They have a range of flavours like Peanut Butter & Chocolate, Coconut and Raspberry & Cocoa. (I love them all!) But like a lot of the health products out in the market, these bars can be on the more expensive scale compared to a crappy box of Nature Valley granola bars. And once you become dependent (or addicted) to these bars like me, it adds up. The bars retail individually from $1.99 CDN – $2.59 CDN. I always buy a box of them from my local health store in Toronto to save money. But I won’t complain since I get what I pay for! 😉

So forget your average Kellogs “only 90 calories” granola bars, the sugary Lara Bars or your steroid protein bars that taste like chocolate plastic you once thought was all good for you and simplify your life. Your tummy will thank you. 🙂

You can also check out this link on their website to see how their bars compare to the leading brand of protein bars: www.thesimplybar.com/compare

x

Mini Coconut Chia Seed Pancakes – Low Carb, Gluten/Wheat Free, Vegan, Low/No Sugar Added, Grain Free, All Natural Ingredients 

#WHATHEALTHYMODELSEAT

I love pancakes. And not the Aunt Jemima type pancakes – but this one! For those of you “glyceamics” who keep on low carb, low/no sugar, vegan, gluten/wheat free lifestyle like me, this is for you. (Or if you just want a healthier alternative to those Aunt Jemima pancakes too!)

I have already expressed my love and need for coconut flour and coconut oil so of course they main ingredient is coconut in this recipe.

Making the perfect pancake isn’t always the easiest, so be patient. They may not form exactly like a normal pancake, but trust me, they are still delicious. I generally top my stack with cinnamon and melted coconut oil. But if you really need the syrup taste, opt for coconut nectar. Or if you want some more coconut punch, try whipping up some cold coconut milk as a whipped cream topping.They also go great with a side of berries!

Check out why coconut flour and coconut flour pancakes are the best:

www.coconutflourpancakes.com

NOTE TO SELF: Do not eat right from out of the frying pan!! 😉

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons of egg replacer (Like ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds) with 8 tablespoons of warm water

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of organic coconut flour, sifted

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract (not flavouring!)

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 to 2 packets or teaspoons of stevia (or coconut palm sugar)

Cold pressed virgin organic coconut oil for frying and topping (melted)

1/8 teaspoon of salt ** I usually keep this out

Optional: 2 tablespoons of full fat unsweetened coconut milk

Optional: 1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

Let egg replacer (either flax seeds or chia seeds) sit in the warm water for a bit until it looks gooey. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir thoroughly until well blended. You can allow the batter to sit for at least a few minutes too. Batter will be thick. Heat a greased nonstick skillet over medium high heat for a minute or two. Add coconut oil for frying. Make sure the pan is completely pre heated before cooking in order to have the ideal pancakes. Pour desired amount into the pan. I use about two tablespoons to make mini pancakes. Cook until golden, a few minutes on each side. Transfer to your plate and repeat with the rest of your batter. You’ll need to re-grease the pan with more coconut oil between each pancakes. And ENJOY!

If you want the non-vegan version, check out the ingredients below: 

2 egg whites

1/4 cup of organic coconut flour, sifted

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract (not vanilla flavouring)

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1-2 packets of stevia or coconut palm sugar

2-3 teaspoons of chia seeds soaked in warm water for a few minutes

Cold pressed virgin organic coconut oil for frying and topping (melted)

Optional: 2 tablespoons of full fat unsweetened coconut milk

Optional: 1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

Model Eats: Sexy Veg Burgers, Cape Town

#WHATHEALTHYMODELSEAT (In Cape Town)

What is sexier than a meat burger? A great gluten free veggie burger! While living in Cape Town, there were very few restaurants and grocery stores that offered a soy free veggie burger. South Africa is a big meat-eating country! One of my favourite health stores in Sea Point had these bad boys: SEXY FOOD Sexy Veg Burger. First off, I was already sold by the name. Second, it’s hard to find a soy free, gluten free veggie burger that’s not only good for you but tastey. Most veggie burgers are bound with wheat flour but these are made with coconut flour. I think the key ingredient to any great veggie burger are beans, beans, beans!

These burgers are gluten free, soy free, sugar free, preservative free and dairy free. (PERFECT!) Just a clean healthy burger made with real ingredients such as chickpeas, brown rice, lentils and my favourite, chia seeds. Chickpeas are high in protein and chia seeds are high in omega and fiber that you can eat these as your source of protein. The most recent flavor I’ve tried was the Thai-Licious patty (as seen in my photo above). It has loads of flavor and the spices compliment the chickpeas deliciously. For clean eating, try eating these bunless with a side of green veggies topped with alfalfa sprouts. There is nothing sexier than these burgers. Only thing is that these are only available in Cape Town. I wish could pack some with me on the plane ride back home!! Maybe I’ll start a petition to make these internationally available. 😉

For more info on SEXY FOOD, check out their website: www.sexyfood.co.za

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