Monday, 16 September 2013

Happy Monday.. Here's To A Healthy Week - Why Juice?

Ok so juicing is the trendy thing to do ; there are juice bars popping up in shopping centres everywhere. I love it, I've been drinking them for years and making my own concoctions - some of which have been disastrously revolting I have to say!! 

Recently with my health challenge I've taken juicing to a new level. I've tried juice fasting but it's not enough for me . I need to eat little and often and need more protein than I've found I can get into my juices, however I add one juice into my diet every day, usually as my mid morning snack.

Jason Vale is the 'Juice Master'!! I've read his books and they come from a great place. He sorted out his psoriasis that he'd had for an awful long time, and realised juicing can be amazingly cleansing on the body! You can feel it doing you good while you're drinking - my partner John says he can feel the nutrients literally running through his body. I have most of Jason's books and know a lot of his recipes off by heart.

I used to follow them religiously,  but now I understand the principal I just use whatever I have in my fridge - generally starting with the green veg, because they are SO nutritious and we need to eat them in large quantities every day.

Some basic juicing tips for those of you just starting :

Squeezing lemon juice or lime juice into every juice makes it taste kind of zingy! And helps with alkalinity in the body.

Use 2-3 vegetables for every piece of fruit, or sweet root vegetables, so you're not taking in too much fruit sugar (fructose) 

Juicing takes out the fibre, so if you eat no other fruit or veg, best to eat the whole fruit because we need fibre. However when you juice it's gentle on the digestive system as your body doesn't have to break down the fibre.

Drink your juice within half an hour of juicing - before the fruit and veg starts to oxidise 

You can use the stems! Ie broccoli stems are actually really sweet and add a lot to your juice

You can add in other foods - I use things like nut butters, chia seeds, Maca powder, ground linseeds, and aloe Vera gel.

Today I just had a few things left as I go shopping on a Monday morning, so I made my juice with spinach, pineapple and apples with Maca powder, almond butter, and chia seeds (1tbsp of each), and some aloe Vera gel. Usually I will add in more veg, but it worked and tasted yummy! I whizzed it up in my Vitamix not a juicer and sometimes then sieve the juice to lose some of the fibre, but this one worked just fine without .

The benefits of juicing :

Great for vitality and energy

Helps to release weight (you can juice as a meal replacement) 

Helps detoxify

Helps the body to heal, flooding the tissues with goodness

Fills you full of nutrients and antioxidants with the right mix of fruit and veg

Tastes awesome! (When you get the hang of them) 

Increases your intake of fruit and veg in your day - we NEED a minimum of 5 but 10 is way better

And many more......

Happy Monday, Here's To A Really Healthy Week! 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Gooey-chocolatey-banana- pudding!!

For want of a better name! I need something more succinct I think? But my creativity only stretches so far first thing in the morning.

I'm in need of comfort food today, think its the weather getting colder, so I emptied the cupboard and fruit bowl of some of my regular stuff and just whizzed it all up in my magic Kitchen Aid, and hey presto the gooey pudding has emerged.

Here's the recipe for you, not sure if I can remember the exact quantities, but to be honest it doesn't really matter; you can even throw in more ingredients or exclude some and it'll still work (although you probably need the avocado, coconut cream and banana as the base).

Ingredients :

1 ripe banana
1 ripe avocado
Coconut cream - I scooped the solid cream off the top of the tin of coconut milk
1 tsp Maca powder
1tsp Chia seeds
1 tablespoon Cashew nut butter
2 tsp Raw honey, local no less!- more if you like sweetness 
1 tsp Cinnamon
1tsp  Vanilla extract
4 Tsp Raw cacao powder ( more or less depending on how chocolatey you like it)

Literally throw it all into your processor, and whizz up until it makes a smooth 'mousse'.

I sprinkled toasted desiccated coconut on top and put it in a heart bowl so my man can share it with me :0)))

Enjoy, knowing its totally guilt free. And you didn't go near those middle aisles of the supermarket. 


Monday, 9 September 2013

Happy Monday .. Here's to a healthier week - Oaty-Choc cake

How fabulous and versatile are oats?! A wonderful food: for porridge, pancakes, flapjack, muesli, crumble... and cakes! I've never used  oat flour for cakes but I was researching flours the other day, and came across the idea . I've had success with oaty pancakes after reading Patrick Holford's nutritional books, as they're really low GI/GL and therefore help to keep blood sugar stable, so it makes sense that they'd be great in cakes. But would the cake rise!?

They're also high in fibre, energy, vitamins and minerals, help cleanse the intestines and help decrease the risk of major diseases, so should be included in everyone's diet (gluten free means they are accessible to all of us too). 

I looked up lots of recipe ideas, and eventually blended several to get the one I wanted, and then practiced with real 'live' ingredients! It took me all day but finally found one that worked. It's not the lightest, fluffiest cake in the world; it's slightly dense in texture, very rich and with raw cacao powder deliciously chocolatey!! 
The added challenge  is to make it refined-sugar free as well as refined carb free so I combined coconut sugar, which is low GL, with Xylitol which is even lower GL. The combination worked a treat so here's the recipe and I really hope you'll give it a try. It's simple - you just combine everything in a processor (I use my trusty  Kitchen Aid) and whizz! Pour into the cake tins, two, and bake! 

Oaty Choc Cake

Ingredients :
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup Xylitol
3/4 cup Almond milk 
1 tsp Chia seeds
1 1/4 cups of gluten free oat flour ( you can make oat flour by whizzing up oats in a Vitamix (or other processor) or buy ready milled, go for Organic if possible 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs
1 tsp Xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
6 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Icing : Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients :

Double cream and Xylitol sweetened chocolate chips 2:1 ratio

Method :

Whizz up until smooth and pour into two greased 8" cake tins.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until a skewer pushed into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Cool on wire racks , and whilst the cakes are cooling make the ganache. Heat the cream in a pan until warm ( don't let it boil) , remove from heat and pour over the chocolate chips. Leave for a minute and then stir until fully combined. Use the ganache to sandwich the cakes together and then to spread over the top. I sprinkled cacao nibs over the top to decorate when the ganache had set.

Enjoy! I ate a slice, with a dollop of probiotic organic plain yoghurt, and a large steaming mug of peppermint tea! Yum! 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Happy Monday .... Here's to a healthier week! Baking made easy

I'm focussing on being time efficient now that the kids are back at school and life has gone back to 'normal' , if there ever is such a thing!! I love to blog, I love to bake and I'm in the process of putting together my next two e-books so life is busy, busy. 

My first one : Bakes, Bars and Bites is now out on and sales are steady! Yeah! All the recipes I'm working on are FREE FROM refined sugar and refined carbohydrates ... So no nasties, and as most of us respect out body's what can be better than still being able to eat 'treat food' but knowing its actually doing us good? 

Blogging and baking both take time. My recipes are all about NOT spending the whole day in the kitchen to produce one masterpiece. Most of my recipes can be thrown together by whizzing all the ingredients up in a Kitchen Aid (love my white one!) , or similar food processor and then baking ... Or not (as some of them are raw or just use the hob). 

And to cut down on my blogging time I've decided to write one post a week and release it on a Monday.... Happy Monday, here's to a healthier week will be the title. We all need a little positivity to start the week don't we, so how great to have a healthy recipe to try for you and your family.

I know it's Tuesday by the way, but my kids only went back to school today so this the first chance I've had to blog... From now on it will be published on a Monday!! 

This weeks recipe is divine, although I say so myself. It's a recipe I have adapted several times from various sources to make it healthy, chemical free and full of goodness. It's easy to make, very easy in fact; it's SO tasty, and can be eaten any time of the day. 

Without further a do may I present..... Raspberry and Coconut Loaf

Ingredients :

225g.    Butter , I use organic 
100g.    Xylitol (available in health food shops, online and some supermarkets) 
100g.    Coconut sugar (available in Heath food shops and online) 
2           Organic eggs
225g.    Unrefined flour - I use one quarter rye flour to three quarters coconut flour (rye flour is sold in 
              most major supermarkets now; coconut flour is available online, in health food shops and in 
               continental food stores
1tsp.      Baking powder (gluten free) 
2tbsp.    Almond milk (sugar free - beware many of them have added sugars) 
1tsp.      Vanilla essence (optional) 

For the top:
Unsweetened raspberry jam (you could use home made raspberry purée) 
Toasted desiccated coconut 

Method :

Whizz all the ingredients up in a food processor and pour into a greased loaf tin.

Bake at Gas 4, 350F, 180C for 40 -50 minutes, very oven dependent! It may take longer.

I tested mine with a skewer to check it was cooked right through. If the top looks like its cooked way before the middle, cover with foil and bake for a further ten minutes. 

When the loaf is cool, spread the top with a layer of raspberry jam, and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.

Enjoy! I love it with a steaming mug of peppermint tea!

Here's to a healthier week..