Review: Maple and Clove, Barton, Canberra

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I'm fairly new to this clean eating business. I went to the new wholefoods cafe in Braddon Eighty Twenty a while back and made friends with salad. Health food cafes like Eighty Twenty and Local Press Cafe are becoming very popular. I discovered another one in Barton recently. Maple and Clove has an emphasis on nourishing, handmade wholefoods - nature's produce eaten as close as possible to their natural state with little or no refinement or processing. A monochrome interior with matching chairs, tables, cups and plates keeps the decor simple and casual, while the marble walls and long tables give the cafe a luxe feel. Floor to ceiling folding glass doors - allow the place to be filled with natural light and a viney plant wall spells eco-trendy.

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The_Food_Avenue_Maple_and_clove5

Their menu includes all day breakfast, which I couldn't wait to tuck into. I ordered the zucchini and corn fritters $16.50, which was served on a bed of greens drizzled with natural yoghurt.

The light and fluffy fritters weren't at all oily. In fact, they were very much like a savoury version of my friend's pancakes. The delicate greens were a highlight - lightly cooked, the baby spinach was soft and subtle in flavour.

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The_Food_Avenue_Maple_and_clove3

My friend had the spelt pancake stack with whipped maple ricotta, served with fresh strawberries, and topped with shredded coconut $17.50. I had a taste and the pancakes were very light and fluffy and perfectly round! The berry jam/sauce was to die for - concentrated fruit flavour and a hint of sweetness. They should bottle that and sell it. It's gold.

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The_Food_Avenue_Maple_and_clove

They also do a range of other breakfasts including maple porridge, granola, banana bread and of course, variations of eggs and bacon.

Matcha latte is on the menu and they were out on the day I visited, but I will definitely be back to try this out! I settled for a lovely flat white instead.

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The_Food_Avenue_Maple_and_clove4

Maple and Clove serve lunch from 12pm - 3pm daily, including light meals, open-faced sandwiches, salads, burgers and even a curry of the day.

The dessert offerings looked highly appealing, especially as they're almost guilt-free! (naturally sweetened with low GI sweeteners)

The Low-Down on Maple and Clove Cuisine: Wholefoods cafe What I loved: Spelt pancakes, Corn and zucchini fritters Best for: Breakfast or lunch with friends, family or date

Phone: 02 6162 0777 Address: Realm Park, 7 Burbury Close, Barton ACT Website: http://mapleandclove.com.au/ Open: Mon-Wed 7.00am-3.00pm, Thurs+Fri 7.00am-5.00pm, Sat+Sun 7.30am-3.30pm

Maple & Clove on Urbanspoon

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Recipe: Bliss balls - great snack!

Adapted from a friend's recipe (which I believe she got from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program) this is a decadent-looking snack without the guilt trip! A  friend creatively called them "Healthy Ferrero Rochers" but I've since discovered most people call them bliss balls. I brought these to work one day for an afternoon tea and people gobbled them up! There is no refined sugar in this recipe - the sweetness comes from the dried fruit, cocoa powder and honey (which you can tailor to your liking). Having these bliss balls prevents me from reaching for the chocolate bars during any the mid-afternoon slumps! (although it can be hard to stop eating the bliss balls after one or two after you start!) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used peanuts and walnuts but you could also use cashews, almonds or pecans)
  • a handful of toasted coconut (you can buy it in a packet already toasted)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup dried pitted dates (check for and remove pits)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries but you could also use dried goji berries, apricots, and currants)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of honey

Method

  1. Finely chop nuts, seeds and coconut in the food processor. Scoop about 2 tbsp of mixture out and reserve on a plate.
  2. Add dates, dried fruit, essence, cocoa powder, spices and honey to food processor until combined.
  3. Roll into balls before rolling around in the reserved nuts and seeds mixture.
  4. Keep in airtight container and eat within a week or so (if they last that long!)

Fitness: Favourite youtube workouts

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I've never been a huge fan of gyms. I know most people are too busy doing their own gym workouts to care what anyone else is doing, but I always get self conscious whenever I go to the gym. That's why Youtube workouts are so perfect for me. I can follow along with a "class" in the privacy of my own home. All I need is a mat and my tablet and I'm ready to go! I particularly like Jillian Michaels workouts because they're so intense that I feel like I've achieved an awful lot in only 20 minutes!

Here are my top 3 favourite Youtube workouts (all by Jillian Michaels).

Jillian Michaels: 6 Week Six-Pack Abs Workout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ8Zdj0OPMI&list=PL3BA6F86571FD2B9C

This workout is about shedding fat while toning your core. She doesn't just work your abs, she also works your lower back to bring balance to the body.

The first time I did this workout, I barely made it past the warm up (which was also designed to work the abs). But over time, I've been able to do more and more of the workout every time I do it.

Jillian Michaels: Banish Fat Boost Metabolism Complete Workout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTT4W8ygJ7w&list=PL3BA6F86571FD2B9C

What I like most about this workout are the kick boxing moves in this workout. I also like it when she explains why the move is beneficial to your fitness and what area it is targeting.

The Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FPQRmbFIUI&index=25&list=PL3BA6F86571FD2B9C

This is my absolute favourite workout for so many reasons. It could be that the group of people working out are at all different levels of fitness and you can modify your own workout by mimicking the person closest to your level of fitness. It could be that Jillian focuses a lot on technique and how to do the moves correctly. It could be that she keeps up a steady stream of chatter, a mixture of encouragement and threats to keep you going! Whatever the reason, it's a fantastic workout for beginners.

I've realised that motivation is my biggest obstacle. I know what I need to do, but weekly and daily motivation can be hard to keep up!

What are your favourite workouts on Youtube that I should know about? :)