Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Low carb Protein Balls (recipe time!)

I don't hold myself up to be a chef of any kind; however I have been spending a fortune buying high protein, low carb foods for my 4 year old with type 1 diabetes. I have started to research cheaper (and less processed to some degree) options for snacks and have been struggling to find many online. I also like things to be simple... so anything I post will be EASY and quick!

If you aren't familiar with the taste of protein bars/ snacks, these may be a little unusual as they really do have a specific taste/ texture that is not for everyone.

Let me know what you think of this one:

 Low carb Choc-peanut biscuits (or balls)

50g protein powder (chocolate)
30 – 35g Peanut butter (no added sugar)
5 teaspoons of water
(NB: see botom of article for slightly reduced fat/ kj option)


Melt peanut butter in microwave for 20 sec in microwave safe bowl (I used Kraft’s new No added sugar or salt crunchy – adds texture)

This is the batter with 3 tsp water
Add protein powder and mix. Add water slowly to allow powder to absorb all water before more is added. 

Depending on the brand of protein powder used you may need more or less water. (I used Body Science Shaping Protein for Women in chocolate flavour).

Once a very thick and fairly dry consistency has been formed, mould into a tube shape (as per image right). 

Slice tube into 8 small pieces (to be consistent with nutritional information panel (NIP) shown below).
For balls, roll each piece into a small ball (NB: You can also choose not to cook the balls at all and roll in a small amount of shredded coconut for variety – coconut is not included in NIP)

For biscuits, flatten and shape into a small biscuit (as per left image)

Place on a microwave safe plate (you may want to lightly spray with oil).

Microwave for 45 secs (may vary depending on your microwave – longer will make them drier, if you make larger size biscuits or balls you will need more time). 

Biscuits/ balls will rise slightly and batter will start to dry.

Allow to cool (biscuits will crisp slightly, but not much, as they cool)

Each biscuit or ball contains approx. 212kj and 0.8g carbs. See Nutritional Information Panel (NIP) for more information (below). 

Option B: reduce peanut butter to 20g and increase water to 6 - 7 tsp. This cuts the kj to 153, fat to 1.5 and carbs to 0.6. It doesn't change the flavour or consistency too much either.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What's love got to do with it?

“Mummy, will I get a Valentine’s Day card?”

That was the question posed by my 6 year old son yesterday. “Probably not, sweetie” was my reply.
What followed was a long discussion about what Valentine’s Day meant; who got cards, why, why not, and why it all started (I had no idea).

My 4 year old daughter popped the odd question in here and there, but mostly the questions were from my son. The kids in her kindy class make cards for their parents – which is sweet and appreciated.

My son’s concerns were that the kids at school were already talking about who they were giving cards to and who they thought they would get them from. Did I say that he is 6? When he asked if he and his male mates could give each other cards so they weren’t left out, I was a little stumped. Of course they could, however that was not necessarily in the spirit of the day, which was about girlfriends/ boyfriends (and I am making no judgement here on same-sex relationships – simply that a 6 year old does not have a romantic relationship). 

But I wondered, why couldn’t the day be about friends? The main reason I felt uncomfortable with the whole concept is that Valentine’s Day is just so much about marketing. In my job, I have received endless press releases telling me about why I should be telling our magazine readers they should be giving “sugar-free chocolate this Valentine’s Day” or giving a cute stuffed bunny/ teddy/ dog to show they really care.
I have enjoyed receiving something on Valentine’s Day and when we have time, my husband and I have made a special effort to have a quiet meal together. That said I enjoy a thoughtful card or quiet meal even more when it is spontaneous and not part of a set marketing calendar that tells us to share our feelings on this date.

So in the end, I told my son that he should make his friends a card telling them why they are special to him. It didn’t need to be a Valentine’s Day thing, but that was up to him.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What does it mean to you?