Baked cinnamon apple with vanilla nut cream ‘bling’!

Baked apple and cashew cream

The Ingredients:

This is a superb occasional treat. Relatively low in natural sweetness (compared to other desserts).

Full of flavour, texture..
Delicious!

Serves 5

5 Apples – preferably organic. Buy apples when they are in season in your country.
5 teaspoons of Raisins – organic, and/ or diced dates – preservative-free.
(Use 1 tsp of dried fruit per apple).
Cloves – 2 for each apple (these get removed after baking).
A teaspoon of cinnamon and mixed spice.
Cashew or almond cream made from soaked raw cashews or almonds
(or any other type of delicious nut).. I used walnuts in this dessert..

The ‘How To':

Peel and care your apples.
(You don’t need to peel if your apples are organic – there are nutrients in the skin).

Hydrate the dried fruit if you have time. You can quickly ‘re-hydrate’ the dried fruit first by soaking it in some warm water, then draining it.

Mix the cinnamon and mixed spice into the dried fruit.

Lovingly put the teaspoon of chopped dates or raisins and 2 cloves in the middle of each apple.

Bake in the oven on a moderate heat for about 20 mins.
I like mine to still be a bit crunchy.

To make the nut cream:

Soaked raw cashews – 1 cup
OR Soaked almonds.
Pure vanilla the seeds from one pod or a couple of teaspoons of pure (real) vanilla essence.
A tiny bit of date or a little stevia to sweeten the cream. Doesn’t need much – 2 pitted dates..

Garnish with some soaked raw nuts – any type and a sprinkle of cinnamon and mixed spice.

Enjoy! Remember to not eat the whole cloves but to put them aside
when you discover them while eating!

A wee note:

Portion sizes/ amounts are important when it comes to not spiking our
blood sugar levels
 too far upwards.

1 apple each person.. really hits the spot..
The skin on the apple, the nut cream and whole nuts add healthy fat and fibre
that also help to moderate the effect of this yummy dessert on our blood sugar levels.

Baked apples with cashew cream

SO Yum.

Lovely cold too.

Baked apple and cashew cream

 

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“The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams!”

QUOTE Photo of the sun rising - beautiful

I just love this quote!
What a remarkable lady Eleanor Roosevelt was. She was the longest serving First Lady in the USA.  She was a politician and a human rights activist.
She didn’t have an easy life.
She had such character and depth.
Hard times tend to grow that in us, eh?!
I think that her quote is profoundly encouraging.
We all have those dreams ..sometimes they can be deeply buried?
Eleanor’s words encourage us to listen, to cherish and to step into our dreams. There is real hope and promise, and ‘future’ in this.
May you take one step today towards your dreams. A small daily step with perseverance is just as valuable as a big leap!
This post for me is part of me stepping into one of my dreams. It is to offer both real food inspiration (around the physical, healthy food that we eat) and ‘soul food’ fodder. I want to encourage as many people as possible while I am on the face of this earth! My movie is to  facilitate real, lasting transformation in people’s lives. One daily step at a time.
Bless your day today!
Margaretxx

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Curly cabbage, broccoli, topped with sunflower cream and almond bliss!

Delicious curly cabbage, brocolli, sunflower cream, almond bliss!

Hi there!

I had a great time with a lovely client of mine today. I LOVE health coaching. It is my dream job. During our session we talked about delicious, real whole food. I came home feeling rather hungry. I needed to prepare lunch quickly!

This is what I made..

The Ingredients:

These are really approximate amounts.
I ‘taste as I go’ when I prepare food. Add a bit, stir, taste, add some more, stir, taste..
This helps me to not worry about being specific about the measurements of ingredients that I use.

When I prepare food, I also do it in bulk. This saves me a lot of time. I prepared a really good amount of this to have for lunch and also for later. Bingo! A lovely vegetable dish to add to our plant-strong dinner.

Where was I? Oh yes.. bulk ingredients..

One big red onion
1/2 (ish) of a curly cabbage
1 large broccoli
Sesame seeds – a few tablespoons
Soaked almonds – a cup
Chilli flakes – 1 tsp for the whole dish, more if you want more heat.
Jalapeños – diced – 2 – 3 tablespoons for the whole dish.
Sunflower seed cream with lemon and basil – or any other herb that calls to you from your garden, the vege shop, or cupboard! I would use about 1 cup of this cream for the whole dish (lunch and dinner). See directions below on how to make this.
A little Himalayan rock salt to taste.
Cold pressed organic olive oil.

The ‘How To':

I roughly chopped the onion.
Threw it into a large pot to ‘dry fry’.
Chopped up the broccoli and some curly cabbage – I love this stuff.
Threw the broccoli into the pot. Stirred.
Threw the cabbage in next (it is faster to cook than the broccoli).
Stirred until the cabbage wilted a tiny bit, and all the colours became vibrant. Kept the veges crunchy though – was careful to not overcook them.

While this was cooking I got some soaked almonds from the fridge. Put into another pot with a little olive oil, added a sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt and some chilli flakes. Stirred for a couple of minutes until they were lightly roasted. Yum. No longer raw, but yum.

I plated up the onion, curly cabbage and broccoli.
Sprinkled some of the sesame seeds on top.
Got some delicious sunflower seed cream out of the fridge. Had made this a couple of days ago. Now it’s flavours were really ‘singing’.
Drizzled this cream over the vegetables. Oh boy – it was SO calling to me from the plate. Was getting hungrier.
Threw the roasted almonds on top of the cream and veges.
Sprinkled some chilli flakes on top of all of this deliciousness.
Diced some Jalapeños and threw on top.
Tiny sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt.
Little drizzle of cold pressed organic olive oil.

Curly cabbage, brocolli, sunflower seed cream bliss for lunch!

 This lunch was serious yummy!

It is nutrient-dense, the wonderful nutrients from plants which are so health building and protecting. It has protein, good fats, fibre to fill us up.

When preparing food I try to make sure that there is a lot of scrumptiousness going on for the palate. This had..

A bit of crunch from the vegetables, the almonds.
Some heat from chilli and the jalapeños.
Creaminess from the sunflower seed cream.
Fattiness (is that a word?!) from the olive oil. We need some good fats in our diet.
Herbiness (I’m sure that’s not a word) from the cream.
Tartness from the cream. Not to be confused with tartiness! From the lemon.
Saltiness. (The nurse in me feels to say at this point, that if you have high blood pressure and are still eating processed foods which can be high in hidden salt, it will be good to leave out the salt when making this dish).

To make the sunflower seed cream:

1 cup soaked sunflower seeds. Rinse well.
3/4 cup filtered water. May need a little more if you want it runnier.
The juice from 1/2 to a whole lemon. Can put the lemon zest in there too if a spray-free lemon.
2 teaspoons of dried basil +/or fresh herbs.
1/3 tsp of chilli flakes.
A little pinch of Himalayan salt.

Blend.
Use this nut-free cream as delicious ‘bling’ on top of hot soups or stews, roast vegetables, stir fries, cold salads.. anything that inspires.

Hope you enjoy this curly cabbage, broccoli.. recipe!
It is fine to use the healthy ingredients that you have handy, and to be free to be really creative.
Margaretxx

Curly cabbage and brocolli, sunflower seed cream bliss

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Permission to be the unique you that you are created to be!

Some ‘SOUL FOOD’ thoughts..

I went to my lovely ladies group last week and was given this beautiful daffodil with this wee message on it. There was a flower and note for every person there.

 

Daffodil - Soul food

I think that the message is really profound. We can spend a lot of time and energy in life trying (often subconsciously) to be like others. We are unique. Our fingerprint is literally unlike anyone else’s on the face of this earth. We have a unique set of giftings. A unique purpose and plan for our lives. Why would we want to try to be like anyone but ourselves?!

Bless your uniqueness and the freedom to be you.

Don’t you just love Spring?
Don’t you just love having good friends?

Margaretxx

‪#‎realfoodforrealhealth‬ ‪#‎encouragement‬ ‪#‎inspiration‬ ‪#‎soulfood‬‪ #‎healthcoach‬

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Deliciously sugar-free, raw sprouted muesli / granola with berry ‘bling’!

Raw, sprouted muesli with logo

 

I am LOVING making raw, sprouted muesli / granola / cereals. There are many different ingredient and flavour possibilities. The sky is the limit really.

The mueslis I make are made from gluten-free whole grains / seeds.
They are creamy, yet dairy-free.
They are completely free of processed sugar, colour, flavouring and other additives.
There is so much real food in them that they don’t need all of that stuff. Yep, they are packed full of healthy, living nutrients. Filling. Wonderful for breakfast or a snack.

Feel free to add your favourite, healthy ingredients to really make this recipe your own. More on inspiring, different ingredient options below. Great to have a variety of different foods for our breakfasts, to get the maximum amount of health-building nutrients into our bodies!

This raw muesli recipe feeds about 4 people.

Ingredients:

I use homemade almond milk which is very quick and easy to make, and SO much creamier and cheaper than store bought. For an easy, step by step photo recipe on how to make almond milk, pop over to: http://www.realfoodforrealhealth.com/creamy-berry-and-vanilla-chia-dessert-for-any-time-of-the-day/  …or otherwise read below –

For the almond milk:
1 cup soaked and rinsed raw almonds (pre-soaking all your nuts and seeds overnight works well)
4 – 5 pitted dates (preservative-free)
1 – 2 tsp pure vanilla essence, or the seed paste of one vanilla bean for a really superb flavour.
A pinch of Himalayan rock salt, or Celtic sea salt

Blend the above ingredients together well. High speed blenders work the best.
You don’t have to strain the almond milk! Keep all of the wonderful fibre and goodness in it. This makes this recipe more nutritious and filling.
I like to use plenty of nut milk in my muesli. Go by feel / your preference here.
There will be milk left over. Store this milk in the fridge for later, for smoothies, dressings..

For the ‘base’ of the muesli / granola:

3/4 cup soaked, rinsed raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup mixed organic berries (frozen or fresh) + some for ‘bling’ on top.
1/2 cup soaked rinsed raw almonds – also great for garnishing.
2 cups really well rinsed raw, hulled buckwheat sprouted with cute little ‘tails’.

Sprouted buckwheat

 ‘How To':

Combine your dairy-free almond (or any nut) milk and your ‘base’ ingredients together. Squash and mix in the berries to get the berry flavour and colour into the milk. Eat your muesli straight away or store in the fridge to enjoy later.

How do you sprout buckwheat?
You can simply soak your raw / *non-heat treated buckwheat overnight and rinse well (until not at all sticky) and use straight away. OR you can continue to sprout these little beauties over 1-3 days. I soak overnight, rinse well, then put in a fine mesh sieve that sits within a pot. I put a clean, dry tea towel over all of the buckwheat. Rinse the buckwheat well twice a day while sprouting. In Summer, it is good to rinse three times a day. Avoid keeping in a hot, humid place or in direct sunlight. When ‘harvesting’, rinse thoroughly again before eating!

*Kasha is toasted buckwheat, so it won’t sprout.

Variety is the spice of life…
When making raw mueslis you really can be very creative..

Instead of using buckwheat you can use those raw, chunky wholegrain rolled oats. Soak these overnight, then add to your muesli. Choose gluten-free oats if you are very sensitive / have Coeliac’s disease. You could also use sprouted raw quinoa. Or you can soak, then cook either quinoa or buckwheat for a non-raw muesli option.

Nuts? You can use different soaked whole or chopped nuts, even a mixture – cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts..
Seeds? Soaked sunflower seeds work really well, some chia seeds, flaxseeds..
Berries? You could use just one type of seasonal or frozen organic berry. Just using blueberries, or raspberries, or strawberries give this muesli a different flavour and look altogether.
Dairy-free milks? You can also use coconut, cashew, hazelnut, walnut..
If you have allergies to nuts, sunflower seed milk can be a really nice alternative.
A little organic soy milk occasionally can be nice.

Spice of life? This reminds me.. you can add cinnamon, mixed spice, ground ginger…anything that inspires! Add a little, taste…add some more until it ‘sings’ on your palate. Your children may want to add a little of their own choice of spice to make it their own.

Here is a photo of another muesli with a different combination of ingredients –

Delicious soaked nut buckwheat berry apple chia breakfast

This muesli was made with a little cashew milk. It had pre-soaked walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, some chia seeds and chunks of organic apple, organic blueberries (instead of mixed berries).. also a reflection of my darling hubby in the spoon if you look closely!

If you are transitioning off processed sugar and initially need some more sweetness, add a couple more dates to your almond milk, or add some grated apple into your muesli. Adding more vanilla to your almond milk (yum) and some cinnamon can help with this too.

For children, whole soaked nuts and seeds can be thrown into the blender and ground down  first. Important: For younger children – blend these very finely (to avoid any choking risk).
Always check no nut allergies before serving.

A quick rave about the health benefits of eating this muesli:

Soaking or ‘activating’ or ‘sprouting’ nuts and seeds deals to the phytic acid in them which is their natural protection. When activated like this, the nutrients in these nuts and seeds are more available and therefore better absorbed by our bodies. When we soak and sprout these foods, their nutrient content increases LOTS! When food is raw and living, it has enzymes and phytonutrients that are very health building for our bodies.

Buckwheat is gluten-free. It doesn’t have wheat in it. It is part of the rhubarb family! Great to have a muesli that is not those wheat-filled, packaged breakfast cereals that are deficient in nutrients and can rocket our blood sugar levels upwards. This all makes us hungry soon after eating them. Adding more healthy (wholegrain), gluten-free options into our diets can be a good thing for our gut health and overall health.

Berries are packed with antioxidants for our health. They have a relatively low Glycaemic Index  which means that (when we eat a moderate amount in one sitting), they don’t push our blood sugars up, which is a good thing. Buying organic or spray-free berries is important so that they don’t have spray residues in them.

Blueberries

These mueslis have some protein in them. Having protein for breakfast is important as it sets us up well for the day. This protein, along with the good fats in the nuts and seeds, keeps us full for longer. Good for us to have more plant-based proteins and fats in our diet versus animal based.

There is fibre in this breakfast, in the nuts and seeds, the fruit. More so because the ingredients are whole foods and not refined. Fibre in food helps us to have a more balanced blood sugar throughout the day. It keeps us full for longer. Fibre keeps us ‘regular’ which is vital for our overall bowel health and for our natural detoxification. Fibre fosters the growth of beneficial flora in our gut which is so important for our immunity, our digestion, even our mood..

Time and money saving tips:

Buying your food in bulk when on special, or from a community collective can save you lots of money. We buy our beautiful organic ingredients from a collective at wholesale prices. This makes all the difference to the creativity and affordability of the food we eat.

Yes, almond and other nut milks are much cheaper than store bought! Fresher. Creamier. Tastier. Did you know that store bought almond milk tends to have 2% almonds in it (and artificial flavouring to make up for the lack), whereas homemade milk can have about 20% almonds?! Not straining well blended nut milks saves heaps of time.

I LOVE it the way that when you soak nuts, seeds, pulses etc, they really increase in size.
e.g. 3/4 cup of almonds actually increases to 1 cup or more after soaking.
This saves money. It can be really helpful to get into a routine where you put the nuts, seeds etc that you need for the  next day in water to soak overnight – ready to quickly rinse and use the next morning. When soaked, nutritionally they have even greater ‘bang for your buck’.

Bulk preparing food saves a lot of time. I love preparing food once and eating two or even more times. Mueslis like this actually can improve with time. The taste of the vanilla, berries can really soak into the buckwheat and be their best after a night in the fridge. (I store these raw mueslis in the fridge for up to 24 hours). This bulk preparation in advance can be really great for easy, self-service breakfasts in the mornings for busy families. Also great to put into a well sealing container to take with you as you go out and about. Throw into one of those insulated food carry bags with icepack in Summer.

Enjoy!

 Raw, sprouted muesli and almond milk collage

 

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A Green Juice With Attitude + Tips On Juicing

 

3. Immune boosting green juice

 

This wonderful vegetable juice ‘with attitude’ is one of my favourites.
This juice really does have attitude, in that the ginger and garlic gives it a bit of a kick. It warms the mouth and throat and energises the body. This easy juice has plenty of phytonutrients – antioxidants and enzymes to boost your immunity. Great for wintertime. Great for anytime of the year!

Ingredients:

The best of the best is using organic ingredients. Or just spray-free is OK too. See below for more thoughts on this.
This recipe makes juice for one person. Feel free to double, triple the ingredients if you have more people to ‘feed’.

2 big bunches of fresh, well washed raw spinach
1 apple
1 carrot
A piece of fresh, raw ginger half the length of your thumb in size
1 medium sized clove of raw garlic
About 1/2 cup of filtered water – or more to your taste.
1/2 a lemon (optional)

You could add other green leafy vegetables as well. Go with what is in season and fresh. Feel free to be creative. You absolutely can ‘taste and tweak ingredients’ as you go to suit your palate. A handful of fresh herbs can be a wonderful taste and health boost. Cilantro/coriander…basil…the sky is the limit.

After juicing, you could mix in a little spirulina for even more goodness.

‘How to':

If not using organic / spray-free vegetables and fruit, peel them first. If organic, keep the skins on.
To make the spinach easier to wash, separate the spinach into its individual leaves. Do this by chopping the very ends of the bunches. Use all of the stalks – don’t waste these!
Throw all of your ingredients into a large bowl or pot. Fill with cold water (preferably filtered) and quickly wash well. Drain. Good not to leave the greens sitting in the water as they can lose their nutrients.

Juice!
Add the water and mix.

Enjoy!

Some more thoughts on juicing and our health + money saving tips..

Using fresh, organic produce is my first choice. Spray-free would be my second choice, also better than ‘conventionally’ grown produce. However… most of us aren’t eating enough vegetables! When this is the case, the first priority is to get the wonderful nutrients in – organic or not. As you increase your vegetable intake (via juicing and eating) it is great to source more organic, and spray-free produce. Farmers markets are great for this. Joining a collective in your community and purchasing at wholesale prices is fantastic. Growing our own organic vegetables is the freshest option and can be the absolute cheapest – a bit like printing money!

Let’s all ask at our supermarkets and everywhere we shop, for more fresh, seasonal, organic and spray free produce! Our collective spending dollar is surprisingly powerful. I feel that a revolution in our food supply could happen if enough people started to assertively ‘vote’ with their dollar. Exciting.

The environmental working group give guidance on what vegetables and fruit have the least and the most pesticides and herbicides. Their clean fifteen, and dirty dozen can guide you in what you decide to buy organic or not. e.g apples, celery, cucumbers, spinach, kale, collard greens are best to buy spray-free / organic if possible.

If you juice regularly, it is a wonderful thing to vary the type of vegetables that you put in your juices. This helps us to get the maximum possible nutrients from different foods.
e.g. Instead of having spinach every time you juice, add many other types of vegetables.

Green vegetable collage

When we juice, the fibre is removed. This means that the nutrients can be really quickly absorbed by our bodies. I can literally feel a ‘boost’ within about 15 minutes of drinking a green juice!

It is really important, to not have too much fruit in your juices. Too much fruit will rocket your blood sugar levels upwards which is not good for our health. Being aware of the sweet vegetables is important too. e.g. carrots and beetroot are good to have in moderation. A really good principle is to not ‘drink’ more pieces of fruit (or sweet vegetables) than you would normally eat in one sitting. A very good explanation around not juicing and drinking too many pieces of fruit at one time, is in the wonderful movie ‘That Sugar Film’ by Damon Gadeau. I recommend this movie.

Speaking of the fibre.. I really don’t like throwing any food away! I like to keep the fibre from juicing and put it into soups and casseroles. Fibre has many wonderful benefits for our health.

The fibre from juicing

What type of juicer is best?

Slow juicers compress the fruit and vegetables in a sedate sort of a way and this apparently reduces the oxidation of the juice.

Our juicer

Fast juicers are OK though too. I’ve seen these at second-hand shops and online for next to nothing. Well worth keeping an eye out for buying one this way if on a tight budget.

Ideally great to drink green juices within about 20 minutes for maximum goodness, however you can take these with you when you are out and about. Put your juice into a screw top jar with a well-sealing lid. Storing in a fridge or wee chilli bag while you are out is great if you can do this. Green juices can make a great energy drink. A super-healthy alternative to coffee, tea, soda, and other drinks while going about life. You might want to skip on the garlic…and add other inspiring ingredients instead to avoid any garlic breath!

Immune boosting green juice to go

I think that it is wonderful to drink green vegetable juice and to also eat a wide variety of plant-based, real, whole foods with an intentionality for building wellness for ourselves and our families. In society, we currently have a paradigm of sickness care, we collectively need to shift our focus onto prevention and wellness.
What are your thoughts? Feel free to share below..

Bless your wellness.

 

 

 

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Yummy chia dessert for breakfast – an easy step by step recipe

 Chia berry dessert for breakfast - or anytime of day

This is one of my favourite breakfasts…or snacks…or desserts…

I love that this is nutritious, processed sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free. It has a creamy, decadent feel about it while being really healthy. You can prepare this the night before and put in the fridge, or make it about 10-15 minutes before needed.

There are no rules with making this recipe.
There may be other ingredients that ‘call’ to you from your fridge/pantry and beg to be added?!
If you want the consistency to be more liquid simply add more almond milk.
Kids (and adults) love seeing the way the chia seeds absorb the nut milk and become bigger and gelatinous…in a non-gross sort of a way!
This recipe feeds about 5-7 people.

The Ingredients:

 

Labelled collage - Chia dessert ingredients

The ‘How To’ – Step by Step:

Create your creamy dairy-free milk in minutes -

Put these ingredients into your blender container:
(High speed blenders work the best, but a standard upright blender will also do).

1 cup of soaked raw almonds. This is about 3/4 cup of un-soaked almonds. They bulk up.
1 litre of filtered water.
4 pitted dates or a small amount of stevia.
A little pinch of Himalayan rock salt – this brings out the flavour of the almonds.
1-2 teaspoons of pure vanilla essence or the seed paste from the inside of one vanilla bean.

Making almond milk

Blend the almonds, water, dates, salt and vanilla together. It takes about a minute.

Blending almond milk ingredients

After blending, there will be some texture or sediment in the milk. There may be small chunks of almond and date. I don’t strain it, but put every bit of this delicious goodness into the recipe.

Creamy almond milk

Pour your frothy, creamy almond milk into a good sized bowl.

Creamy almond milk

Gradually add 7 tablespoons of chia seeds (dark or light ones) to your milk while stirring.
Using a whisk helps. Adding your chia like this prevents clumping.

Mixing chia seeds into almond milk

Stir again in a few minutes. Let the chia seed bulk up beautifully. This takes about 10-15 minutes.

Chia seed dessert for breakfast
Add 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut.

Adding coconut
Add 3/4 cup soaked raw sunflower seeds.

Adding soaked sunflower seeds
Add 1 cup of mixed fresh or frozen berries (or just one type of berry).

Berry coconut almond chia dessert for breakfast

Stir well.

For Decoration or ‘Bling':

Put some more berries and a sprinkle of coconut on top – either desiccated or flaked. You could also top with any other soaked nuts or seeds, or a little fresh seasonal fruit that inspires.

Serve and enjoy!

Kids (and big kids) enjoy stirring in the berries and watching the colour of the milk change to bluey pink. Raspberries create lovely marbled effects.

If you are transitioning off processed sugar it can be helpful to put more berries into this recipe to naturally sweeten it a bit more. Alternatively you may want to add a couple more dates to your almond milk. Once your palate adjusts to less sugar, you can decrease the amount of berries/dates.

Money and time-saving tips:

  • Chia seeds do really ‘bulk up’ in size so they go further than you think. They are also filling. We buy our organic chia seeds in bulk through a community collective. They are much cheaper this way. Otherwise you could buy them when on special from the bulk food bins at your local supermarket, or from bulk food stores. Store chia seeds in the fridge to keep them nice and fresh. If you want to, you can use less chia in this recipe and more sunflower seeds and/or coconut.
  • You could use less almonds to make your almond milk. I like mine really creamy though.
    You can soak almonds (and other raw nuts and seeds) overnight and then store in the fridge for up to a couple of days. This way they are on hand when you need them. Drain these and give them a good rinse before using. Soaked nuts and seeds increase in size too which is great. I LOVE seeing food grow!

Bulk food preparation in advance is a wonderful time-saver! Simply make up this recipe and keep it in the large bowl. Cover the bowl with a plate and put into the fridge for easy self-service the next morning. Another very cool option is to divide the mixture into glass jars (or non-breakable containers for younger kids) one for each member of your family. Put a well-sealing lid on each container. Put into the fridge overnight to let the magic happen. The seeds bulk up even more overnight, and really absorb the delicious flavour of the other ingredients.

These make wonderfully easy ‘chia to go’ breakfasts or snacks for work or school.

Chia to go edited collage

A quick rave about the goodness of the ingredients in this recipe..

This recipe has plenty of protein, fibre and also some good fats, all of which help to make us full for longer. This is always a good thing for the beginning of the day as it can prevent mid-morning sugar cravings and tiredness!

Raw chia seed – a super food. Contains omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fibre and important minerals. Also contains protective antioxidants. Chia seeds can apparently help to improve blood sugar control.
Raw almonds – have protein, fibre and healthy fats. They have magnesium, Vit E, and other antioxidants. The thin brown skin of the almonds contain most of the antioxidants. Soaking almonds ‘activates’ them and helps deal to the phytic acid making the nutrients better absorbed by our bodies.
Dates – a very effective natural sweetener. As we are adding the whole pitted date, all of the fibre and nutrients are included. If you need to watch your blood sugar levels, some natural stevia (the green powdered variety) is an excellent choice.
Vanilla – the smell of vanilla has been linked to the production of endorphins! When vanilla is added to a recipe, less natural sweetener is needed. Vanilla seed paste from the inside of a vanilla bean has the best flavour.

De-seeding a vanilla pod

Coconut - contains fibre, protein. The fat contains a little lauric acid (also found in breastmilk) which has antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties.
Raw sunflower seeds - contain vitamin E, also selenium, copper, zinc, folate. They have protein, fibre and good fat.
Berries – have wonderful phytonutrients. They are anti-oxidant rich (blueberries have the most). Berries in general are considered to have a low glycaemic index. This means that when eaten in moderation, they don’t spike your blood sugar levels too far upwards – which is important.

A couple more thoughts to do with our health..

  • Choose organic berries whenever possible as non-organic berries have spray residues.
  • Glass or stainless steel food storage containers are better than plastic, as plastic (even BPA-free) has the potential to leave residues in the food. Younger kids need non glass chia-to-go containers.
  • Avoid giving chopped nuts and small seeds to really young children due to the choking risk.

 

If you like this recipe, feel very free to share this post with friends and family. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

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No rules, power-packed sushi

Sushi nori rolls with a difference

This delicious idea came to me one day as I dug into the fridge and pulled out whatever inspired to make some sushi with a really creative difference. I was hungry and wanted something that was going to fill me up.

I love this type of sushi as it is using a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods that are by their nature filling. It has fermented veges so is great for gut health and has sprouts that are packed with health-building goodies. The gluten-free quinoa with a little millet is healthier than white rice.

I had a wee epiphany on typing up this blog post and looking at my ‘no rules’ sushi photos. It dawned on me that the contents of this sushi are perhaps symbolic in that they represent a shift in what we need to be putting on our plates. For a long time there has been the recommendation to ‘eat mostly’ carbohydrates. You know, the bottom of the old food pyramid? Now there is a growing realisation that what we need to be eating most of is salad and vegetables, and less in the way of carbohydrates (especially the refined, white ones).

Keeping the above in mind, the sky is the limit with this ‘recipe’.
You can add whatever healthy goodies inspire you! Pile as much salad and veges as you can fit inside each nori sheet.

It can work very well for friends and family members if you put the ingredients on the table and let them make their own creations. Kids love doing this.

Mine was messy to eat, I definitely needed a fork!

Ingredients:

  • A sushi nori sheet or more if you are feeding a few people.
  • Any colour (red, black or white) cooked quinoa and cooked hulled millet. I used a combination of  red quinoa and millet. Approximately 1 part millet to 4 parts quinoa. I had bulk cooked them together and stored them in the fridge/or freezer for quick and easy access. When cooked, they were a bit sticky which helped the sushi to (mostly) hold together.
  • A drizzle of raw apple cider vinegar, or gluten-free tamari (soy sauce) – approx 1 teaspoon of either per nori roll.
  • Some fermented veges – I used spicy Kimchee. You could use Sauerkraut and if you like a bit of heat, add a little sprinkle of dried chilli flakes…or cayenne pepper…or finely chopped jalapenos…
  • Mung bean sprouts, or any sprouts.
  • Grated carrot.
  • Fancy lettuce. You could add baby spinach leaves, rocket…whatever inspires.
  • Sesame seeds, or add a little tahini (sesame seed paste) – about 1 teaspoon per nori roll. Some people are allergic to sesame seeds – check with any guests first!
  • A little sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt to taste. Sauerkraut, Kimchee and tamari contain salt so you may not need it.

The ‘How To':

Sushi making - size 9 spacing

  • Put the nori sheet on a plate.
  • Get your cooked and cooled quinoa/millet combination (see cooking instructions below under ‘Time and money saving tips’). Spread a thin layer of these lovely gluten-free wholegrains/seeds on top of your nori sheet. Leave a little gap around the edges so it will stick together when rolled up.
  • Drizzle over the quinoa/millet your raw apple cider vinegar, or tamari.
  • Add your salad ingredients and fermented veges, chilli etc in whatever order you like. Go with the flow. Be creative. N.B Kids may not like too much heat/spice!
  • Sprinkle on some sesame seeds or drizzle some tahini over your salad and fermented veges if desired.
  • Add a little Himalayan rock salt to taste.
  • Roll into a roll. Cut into halves, or quarters. The pieces are large which adds to the fun.
  • Serve.

Provide a fork …and perhaps some serviettes!

Time and money saving tips:

  • Bulk cook your grains and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. We cook ours in a rice cooker that has a stainless steel cooking bowl. I switch my rice cooker onto the ‘warm’ setting after about 15 mins of boiling so that the grains at the bottom don’t burn. Otherwise you can just cook your quinoa and millet together in a pot on the stove. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa. Cook until the grains are soft (again, approx 15 mins). Soaking wholegrains first makes their nutrients even more absorbable and can also shorten their cooking time. If you are eating in a low carb way, having just a wee bit of these whole grains/seeds in your sushi can satisfy without spiking your blood sugar levels (and appetite) upwards.  
  • Get your family and friends to build their own sushi rolls around the table together – it is social, creative and incredibly time efficient!
  • Buy your nori sheets in bulk. We buy a lot of our ingredients in bulk through a community collective. This is much cheaper. Good to buy nori and other seaweeds from clean seas.
  • Grow your own organic sprouts. These are easy to do and SO cheap…and very nutrient-dense. This means amazing ‘bang for your buck’ nutritionally. If you don’t have time to grow them, you can buy them.
  • Make your own fermented vegetables like Kimchee or Sauerkraut. This is a lot cheaper than buying them. If making these is not an option for you, you could purchase them at health food shops.
  • You could get your fresh salad ingredients at a good price from a local Farmer’s market. That way you can ask if they are spray-free/organic…OR we could start a revolution and start asking at our local supermarkets and fruit and vege shops for more spray-free/organic produce?! Let’s do it.

Enjoy!

Sushi with a difference 03

If you like this recipe, feel free to share this post with your family and friends. Many thanks!

 

 

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Creamy almond chia breakfast

Deliciously creamy almond, apple and cinnamon chia breakfast

This lovely breakfast feeds 5-7 people.

Quick and easy to prepare. This can also be made the night before and put in the fridge so that it is ready to go on particularly busy mornings.

Ingredients:

For the creamy almond milk:
1 cup of raw almonds (soak in water for 8-10 hours, drain, then give a quick rinse)
1 litre of filtered water
A pinch of Himalayan rock salt
1-2 teaspoons natural vanilla essence (or the seeds of one vanilla pod)
4 pitted dates, or a couple more if more sweetness is desired
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

6-7 tablespoons of chia seeds

1-2 apples grated (preferably organic).
Add a good squeeze of lemon juice to the apple and give a quick mix to prevent browning

For the ‘BLING':
Apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon to garnish. You can save a bit of the almond milk and drizzle it over the top too if you like.

The ‘How To':

  • Place the soaked almonds, water, salt, vanilla, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg into a high speed blender. Blend well. You now have your delicious, creamy almond milk!
  • Pour every bit of this delicious goodness into a bowl (no straining of the milk required).
  • Add chia seeds and give a really good stir. Using a whisk works well. Give another stir a few minutes later. The chia seeds will ‘bulk up’ in about 10 minutes and form a lovely dessert/porridge-like texture.
  • Add your grated apple with the touch of lemon. Stir in well.
  • Serve, and top with the sliced apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon, or anything else that inspires you! Berries…soaked sunflower seeds…coconut flakes…

This is also wonderful as a snack or a dessert.

Money-saving tips:

Chia can seem pricey. It does really ‘bulk up’ in size though when you add it to milks/ liquids, so it goes further than you may think. We buy our ingredients in bulk through a collective in our community. This means we can purchase top quality organic products at a VERY reasonable price. This makes all the difference for us as a family. Other alternatives to being part of a collective, are to buy these products when they are on special at your local supermarket, or bulk food stores.

Enjoy!

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