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Alkalising Raw Beetroot & Fennel Vegan Dip đŸ’š

Ingredients
  • Half a Fennel bulb (including stalks); chopped into small pieces
  • One medium size Beetroot; peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Spring Onion; chopped into small pieces
  • Handful of Parsley
  • 1 Small clove of Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tahini
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
  • Pinch of ground Black Pepper
  • Juice of 1/4 Lemon
Method
  • Place all the ingredients into a high powered blender and blitz until a smooth consistency is formed. It may be that you will need to pulse gently at first to break down the beetroot pieces.
  • Serve and enjoy with homemade flax seed crackers or vegetable crudites
    Healthy tip 💚

Both the Beetroot and Fennel are personal favourites of mine, partly because of their distinct flavours and textures that I love to include in a healthy salad or soup but also due to their incredible nutritional value. However, despite their individuality, I’ve discovered that they marry up so well together in this highly alkalising and nourishing dip.

Beetroots are an excellent source of fibre, folate and iron and abundant in other essential nutrients. They are rich in the immune-boosting, antioxidant Vitamin C which we all need so much of these days to protect us from the unstable, free radicals that are floating around in our environment, and which can cause so much damage to our cells. Eating Beetroot or drinking beetroot juice is a great way to help towards balancing hormones, supporting healthy blood and lowering blood pressure too.

Like the Beetroot, Fennel also contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals including the two powerful antioxidants, Vitamin A & C. Fennel, again is high in fibre and contains a compound that really supports digestion and helps to settle the stomach, relieve flatulence, bloating and discomfort.

I have added parsley to the mix which injects another burst of wonderful healing properties. It is also a rich source of folic acid and antioxidants, including Vitamin C. Highly alkalising, this herb also helps to support detox processes in the body, along with the Lemon, Beetroot and Fennel.

Enjoy!

 

Nourishing Green Leek, Celery & Romaine Lettuce soup💚

Ingredients

  • 1 Large leek, sliced
  • 4 Sticks of celery including the leaves, chopped
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 12 oz Sweet potato, chopped into approx 5 cm cubes
  • 1 Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1.5 Pints of vegetable stock (I use Boullion)
  • 4 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

Method

  • Saute the leeks and celery together in a large pan with the olive oil for 5 minutes until the leeks and celery start to soften
  • Add the crushed garlic. Saute for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the sweet potato and stock. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes until the potato is relatively soft.
  • Add the chopped Romaine lettuce and allow the heat to wilt the leaves. Simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • Blend in the pan with a handheld blender
  • Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Enjoy!

Healthy tip

You must make this awesome detoxing soup which tastes divinely fresh and is so incredibly nourishing. This soup is packed full of alkalising & energising plant goodness providing an abundance of antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties, phytonutrients, fibre and prebiotics which feed the good bacteria in the gut and hence supporting good immune function.

You’ll be surprised to hear that both Celery and Romaine lettuce have so many health benefits.  They are high in Vitamin K which is needed to synthesize Vitamin D in the body which supports good immune function along with healthy bone & muscle formation. They contain B vitamins, folate and Vitamin C, which ultimately is one of the most important of  antioxidants needed to source energy from our cells as part of the Krebs cycle. Romaine lettuce is also an excellent source of Vitamin A needed for good immune function and vision.

I would love to hear your feedback on this tasty and highly detoxing soup, so please do post a comment here… Have a wonderful weekend â˜ș

 

Flax, Sesame & Sunflower Seed Crackers

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Ingredients
  • 2 Cups of Flaxseeds (or Linseeds)
  • 1 Cup of Sunflower seeds
  • 1 Cup of whole Sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 Cups of filtered or mineral water
  • 1 Tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp Sea salt
  • 2 Tsp dried parsley
Method
  • Preheat oven at 180c (fan), 200c (normal)
  • Grease a baking sheet and line with greaseproof paper
  • Using a high powered blender (I use a Nutri -Bullet) blitz the flaxseeds and sunflower seeds into a powder.
  • Mix the powder in a bowl with the sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt and dried parsley
  • Add the water and mix until a stiff doughy mixture is formed
  • Spread the mixture out thinly on the baking tray. I use my fingers and then smooth the mixture out with a knife. If you have a small rolling pin then this might be useful too.
  • Place on the middle shelf and cook for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden brown. It may be after this time that the crackers aren’t quite crisp enough. If this is the case, put the tray back in the oven and allow for the crackers to dehydrate a little more in the heat.
  • Outline the squares with a knife whilst the mixture cools down, ready to cut once cold enough.
  • Enjoy with homemade houmus or guacamole.
Healthy tip

I can’t tell you just how incredibly nutritious these savoury, superfood crackers are! Apart from being vegan, gluten free, sugar free and dairy free, these crispy crackers are anti-inflammatory and packed full of soluble and insoluble fibre, healthy fats, minerals and antioxidants.

Flaxseeds support healthy hair & skin, digestive health, weight loss and hormone balancing. They are one of the richest sources of the essential fatty acid, Omega 3 needed for good hormone balancing and contain the powerful antioxidant, Lignan which supports good digestive health. They are also one of the richest sources of mucilage which is a gel-forming fibre that protects the gastro-intestinal lining and helps support good digestion and improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I have added whole sesame seeds to this mix for their high calcium content. Did you know that just a quarter of a cup of whole sesame seeds provides more calcium than a whole cup of milk? They taste great too.

As well as flaxseeds, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of magnesium too which is a much needed mineral used for many different functions in the body. They are powerhouses of Vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant which protects our cell membranes from free radicals and damage, and provides your skin with a healthy glow – just to name a couple.

These crackers taste delicious eaten as a snack with houmus and capers. Try them and let me know what you think!

Fiery Korean Kimchi – A Natural Source of Probiotics

Ingredients
  • 1 Chinese cabbage
  • 2 Carrots
  • 4 Spring onions
  • 1 Medium size onion chopped
  • 7 Cloves of garlic peeled
  • 5 Flat Tbsp Korean chilli powder/flakes.
  • Filtered water or spring water (chlorinated water will inhibit fermentation)
  • 2 Tbsp of Sea salt (important to use salt free from iodine and anti-caking agents which can inhibit fermentation.
  • 3 Clean and sterilised large jam jars or 1 litre size mason jar
Method
  • Cut the bottom off the Chinese cabbage. Separate the leaves and rinse in clean, filtered water.
  • Place the leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle each one with sea salt and massage the leaves until it starts to soften a bit. Then add water to cover the cabbage. Place a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy such as a jar of pickles or can of beans. Allow it to stand for 30 minutes-1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, blitz the medium onion, garlic and chilli powder together in a high powered blender to form a paste. Add a little warm water from the kettle to loosen the paste if necessary
  • Chop the spring onions and grate the carrots
  • After an hour. Rinse the cabbage under cold water and drain in a colander for 10 minutes.
  • Take each leaf and spread the paste liberally on each one. Fold each leaf into a parcel (the stalks are likely to break so don’t worry about this) if you are using small jars, split the leaves length ways down the middle, before pasting and make smaller parcels.
  • Pack the parcels tightly into the jar, adding a few spring onions and grated carrot as you go along, on top of each layer.
  • Press down the parcels so all the ingredients are tightly compact in the jar and then top up with a little filtered water so the top layer is immersed in brine. Allow approximately 1 inch of headspace. Place the lid firmly on.
  • Check the kimchi daily for the first week to ensure the cabbage is immersed, pushing the parcels down under the brine if need be. You may see it start to bubble inside the jar which is the release of gases as the cabbage ferments.
  • Store in a darkened cupboard for a minimum of four weeks. This gives the Kimchi enough time for the fermentation to take place. The longer the Kimchi is left the more mature it will become. Don’t be afraid if the Kimchi forms a film on top. This can be removed and the Kimchi will be perfectly ok underneath.
  • Keep refrigerated once opened.
  • Be prepared to be blown away by the smell and the taste!
Healthy tip

Lactic acid fermentation, which incidentally can be carried out on any food with a complex or simple sugar content, has been an efficient method of preserving food for hundreds of years dating back to our ancestors. Apart from producing the good bacteria necessary for supporting good health, the fermentation process can increase the activity of vitamin C and vitamin A in the case of kimchi or sauerkraut. It also increases the bio-availability of any micro and macro nutrients, particularly the amino acid, Lysine which has an antiviral effect in the body.

Based on many studies, it is understood that if you suffer with digestive problems it will be almost impossible to permanently eliminate them unless you improve the balance between the beneficial bacteria and the build up of bad bacteria that exist naturally in your gut (an imbalance is called Dysbiosis) There are ways of targeting and eliminating bad bacteria that cause flatulence, pain, bloatedness and erratic or irregular bowel movements (please get in touch if you would like to know how) as well as increasing the good guys.

Eating fermented foods which are naturally rich in probiotics, is one way to increase the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Having a little kimchi or sauerkraut as a condiment on the side and eaten on a daily basis with any meal will go a long way in improving your gastrointestinal health and therefore supporting good health in general.

Go on, give it a go and let me know how you get on!

 

 

Butternut Squash, Lentil & Ginger soup

Today, just before I posted this to my blog, I became aware that several of my recent recipes have included the wonderful, butternut squash and the medicinal and zingy, fresh ginger. Without being conscious of this fact at the time I was producing my recipes, I have since pondered over why I have been drawn to cooking with these ingredients. I know that when I made this soup I was feeling the cold weather and fighting off a head cold; and reflecting upon this I now realise I had an inadvertent craving for the warmth and cold-busting properties of fresh ginger and the seasonal, comforting and subtle sweetness of a butternut squash in a soup. ‘Seasonal’ and ‘cold-busting’ being the operative words here.

Since I put this delicious soup together I thought I may as well share the recipe which I hope you will like and enjoy. After all, it is highly nourishing, comforting, seasonal, high in fibre and tip-tip protein from the lentils; as well as being fuelled with pre-biotics for a healthy gut. The compound gingerol found in the ginger acts within the body helping our defenses fight off germs and disease. The garlic also helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and harmful free radicals.

So in conclusion: ‘You can’t have too much of a good thing!’

Ingredients
  • 1.5 Llb Butternut squash, cut into 5cm cubes
  • 6 Oz Red lentils
  • 1 Medium sized onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large chunk (size of a small thumb) of fresh ginger
  • 4 Tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1.5 pints of vegetable stock. I use vegetable Boullion.
Method
  • Gently heat the oil
  • Sautee the onions for 2 minutes
  • Add the lentils and butternut squash together and cook for another 5 minutes stirring regularly
  • Add the chopped garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  • Pour in the stock.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes until the squash is soft and the lentils have cooked. Add the chopped ginger 2 minutes before it has finished cooking.
  • Blend to your preference. I used a handheld blender for this one producing a texture with a bit more ‘bite’ It somehow makes this a more hearty meal.

Why not try this soup together with some turmeric and lemon flat breads? The combination of flavours will work very well together.

Healthy tip

When we eat foods that are in season, we eat as nature intended. This also allows our body to align itself with the natural energy that surrounds us and return to its natural rhythm.

Turmeric & Lemon Vegan Flat Bread đŸ’›

turmeric-flat-bread

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 Cups of Gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 2 Cups (including the lemon juice) of warm water from the kettle
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
  • A good pinch of Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients, apart from the olive oil, together in a bowl until they have combined and a smooth, gooey liquid is formed. You’ll find that the gram flour, once mixed with the liquid will absorb and expand.
  • Heat the oil over a low heat in your pancake pan of choice
  • Add a quarter of the mixture to the pan and allow it to spread out into a circular shape.
  • Each flat bread will normally average 5 minutes to cook. Allow 2 1/2 minutes each side and keep flipping over.
  • Serve with a topping of your choice! I like these topped with avocado, & sauteed mushrooms & garlic which I cook in the same pan after I’ve finished making the breads. These would be a great accompaniment to curry instead of rice or naan bread too.

Healthy Tip 💚

These awesome, vegan friendly flat breads are so quick and easy to make. They are highly nourishing and only contain 3 ingredients (actually 4 if you count the black pepper). Free from grains, dairy & sugar makes them very kind on digestion (although chickpeas can cause flatulence in some people so be prepared!). The super-spice that is Turmeric provides an extra medicinal and anti-inflammatory boost and is known for its anti-cancer benefits. Combined with the lemon creates a lovely flavour.

I have added black pepper to assist in the body’s absorption of Curcumin from the Turmeric which also adds a kick to the taste of these delicious breads. They are low on the Glycemic Index keeping your blood sugars stable and will help keep you satiated for longer. Chickpea flour is high in protein and fibre which supports a healthy gut and is a healthier alternative to using refined wheat flour when making savoury snacks. 👌

I would love to have your feedback on these if you make them, so please feel free to post a comment on here!

Namaste 🙏

 

 

Prebiotic-rich Green Lentil, Haricot Bean & Red Cabbage Curry

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Ingredients
  • 1 Small onion -diced
  • 4 Cloves garlic -crushed
  • 2 Sticks of celery – chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 Tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 Tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 Flat tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Small green chilli
  • 1 Flat tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 Red Cabbage – Shredded
  • 1 400g Tin of Green lentils
  • 1 400g Tin of Haricot beans
  • 1 400g Tin of Plum tomatoes – blitz in a blender
  • 160ml Tin Coconut cream
Method
  • Heat the oil on a low heat in a large pan
  • Start to sautee the chopped onion, chopped celery and crushed garlic
  • Crush the Cumin, Coriander, Mustard and Fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar.  Add to the onions and garlic
  • Add the Turmeric, chopped green chilli & chilli powder to the pan. Mix and toast the spices in the pan for a total of 5 minutes
  • Add the shredded cabbage. Stir for another 5 minutes
  • Mix in the blended plum tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes until the cabbage is slightly softened
  • Add the lentils, haricot beans and coconut cream. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly
  • Finally, add the Garam Masala and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Season with sea/rock salt
  • Enjoy with wholegrain basmati rice
Healthy tip

This delicious and spicy curry is rich in Prebiotics. Prebiotic foods are high in special types of fibre that support digestive health and beneficially nourish the good bacteria in the gut. Whilst probiotics populate our intestines with friendly bacteria, prebiotics provide food for the bacteria. They promote the increase of friendly bacteria in the gut, help with various digestive problems and boost your immune system. Garlic, onions, beans, lentils and red cabbage are all incredibly rich sources of prebiotics.

Apart from containing a generous serving of prebiotic foods, the beans and lentils provide a rich source of complete protein as well as iron and B-vitamins. The various spices provide an anti-inflammatory boost which help to reduce inflammation in the body. Overall, this highly nourishing meal is incredibly well balanced and is suitable for vegans. Give it a go and let me know what you think as I would love to hear your feedback!

Serves up to 4 people

 

Simple Super Green Smoothie

file_000-19Nutritionally dense, lush tasting super smoothie is complete with healthy mono-saturated fats, abundant in raw phyto-nutrients needed for cell repair and boosting the immune system; high in tip-top protein, and fibre which is essential for good digestion and supporting a healthy gut. It is also overflowing with minerals needed for good functioning of our bodily systems not to mention Vitamin E which is great for the skin and gives you that healthy glow.

Having regular smoothies is a great way of getting lots of necessary nutrients into your body on a daily basis which help support a healthy immune system. They are quick to make and a great way to power up your brain first thing in the morning!  Nourishment from this smoothie will help keep you satiated until lunchtime.

Ingredients 💚

  • Half a medium size Avocado
  • Half a frozen banana
  • Handful of organic spinach
  • 5 Whole Brazil nuts
  • Water/Koko milk depending on your preference

Method

Place all the ingredients into a high-powered blender such as Nutri-Bullet. Top up with water or Koko milk, or both, so the liquid just covers the ingredients. Blend until a smooth and beautiful and creamy consistency is produced. Enjoy!

Tip 

Using Brazil nuts or any other nut such as the Cashew or Almond nut in your smoothie will negate the need to add a nut milk since the nuts and water combined in a smoothie will create its own creamy nut milk!  Nuts inject a fix of healthy fats, minerals, fibre and top protein into a smoothie.

Brazil nuts are small powerhouses of nutrients. They are high in minerals such as selenium which is needed for good thyroid function; magnesium which the body needs for muscle function, absorption of energy from food and the production of protein. And vitamin B6 which is required for so many processes in the body including the balancing of hormonal changes in women as well as helping break down amino acids in the intestines.

It is important to vary your nut intake; likewise with other certain foods. Too much of the same thing can result in intolerance and sensitivities to that particular food hence causing inflammation in the intestines. If you suffer with digestive distress it is likely that you already have sensitivities towards certain foods. I recommend that you soak your nuts whenever possible, before use, to rid them of the phytates (phytic acid) which can aggravate the gut. Phytic acid is a natural pesticide substance that the plant produces to prevent it’s fruit from being eaten by insects and can cause aggravation to the gut.

This smoothie is a perfect way to start the day without spiking your blood sugars 💚

 

Super bright detoxing Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 4 Sticks of celery
  • 2 Organic beetroots
  • 3 Large carrots
  • 1 small eating apple
  • 1 Ramiro pepper (pointer pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Good pinch of black pepper
  • Sea salt for seasoning
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock ( I use Swiss Boullion)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

  • Chop onion and celery
  • Heat the oil in a large soup pan over a low heat
  • Add the onion and celery.
  • Crush the garlic and add to the pan
  • Peel and chop the beetroot into chunks. Add to pan and mix the ingredients. Whilst this is cooking for 5 minutes:
  • Peel and chop the carrots. Add to the pan.
  • Add in the turmeric and black pepper
  • Pour in the stock. Let the soup simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Chop the pepper into large chunks. Add to pan and mix.
  • Peel and chop the apple. Add to the pan
  • Simmer the soup gently for 10 minutes
  • Blend.
  • I like a little bit of bite to my soup so I don’t always use a high powered blender and instead use a handheld blender which roughly blends the vegetables leaving the odd chunk or so 💚

Healthy tip

This very bright and colourful soup contains no tomatoes! The combination of beetroots, carrots, apple, pepper and turmeric has created a beautiful, almost reddy-pink colour. These colourful veggies are rich in phytonutrients and potent antioxidants, each colour containing its own unique disease fighting compound.

Beetroots and Apples (as well as celery) are extremely alkalising and well known for supporting the liver to carry out its job of breaking down toxins and flushing them out of the body. They help to stimulate bile production, aiding the detox process as well as supporting healthy digestion. I have added Turmeric to this soup to provide an anti-inflammatory boost as well as to compliment the flavour.  Turmeric is a very powerful spice that helps to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the driver for all chronic disease so do try to add it to your food or smoothies whenever you can. However, make sure that you combine turmeric with a healthy fat and black pepper to assist the body in absorbing its powerful compound, Curcumin.

 

Cashew, Banana & Oat Bites

Ingredients

  • 5 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 4 Oz Madjool dates
  • 2 Medium Bananas
  • 4 Oz Cashew Nuts
  • 8 Oz Oats

Method

  • Preheat oven at 160c for fan
  • Melt the coconut oil in a pan
  • Remove the stones from the dates
  • Chop the bananas
  • Blend the oil, bananas and dates in a high-speed food processor until a thick smooth paste is formed. I use a Nutri-Bullet.
  • Blend the Cashew nuts separately in a blender. Keep pulsing until the nuts have turned into a smooth butter.
  • Place all the ingredients in a pan and add the oats. Mix until a stiff, sticky and soft mixture is created.
  • Grease your baking tray with coconut oil and grease-proof paper
  • Empty the contents of the pan into the try and spread evenly, keeping the depth of it thick.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Cut into bite-size pieces

Healthy-tip

These cashew, banana and oat bites are a real treat. They are packed full of healthy fats and high in fibre which supports a healthy gut: kind on digestion as well as being free from the usual stomach-aggravating sugar, dairy and gluten.  They are perfect for children’s lunchboxes or for elevenses with a cuppa. Low on the glycemic index means that these delicious snacks won’t spike your blood sugar and leave you reaching for more. The madjool dates along with the bananas give these bites a lovely, natural sweetness whilst the cashew nut butter and coconut oil provide a gorgeous texture. I recommend you eat these warm and straight from the oven! Give them a go and let me know what you think. Keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.