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Coconut Banana Bread

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Fasting, Gluten Free, Recipe Book, supercharged food, Vegetarian

banana breadNever ever think that just because you’re sticking to an eating protocol that you have to be a victim of restriction. I’m not a believer in hard core dietary limitation, however I do believe you can achieve detoxification, cleansing, and give your gut a rest from everyday stressors whilst still indulging in pleasure. All it takes is some creativity and an open mind.

In fact, fasting as a spiritual practice is a way to experience the pleasure of a higher conscious state, mindfully detaching from mealtimes as a way to re-focus. During my fasting protocol, which isn’t a complete abstinence of eating all together, you do have the opportunity to truly savor simple elemental flavours. By the end of a fast, you may actually find that your taste buds have re-wired to find even vegetables bursting with sweetness.

Ritual is something of a lost art in our society, and sitting down to food with a mindful, conscious approach is somewhat of a shock to the system in our fast paced world. How often do you sit down, breathe, indulge, and bask your senses in the still quiet of a meal? This approach can act as a mini health retreat, a minor meditation that will re-set your mind on the goodness and beauty of life.

While I’m fasting, I love to sit down in the afternoon to take a pause between ticking tasks off my to-do list, to have some time for myself; refueling for the afternoon. I’ll light myself a candle, prepare myself a pot of herbal tea in a nice tea-pot, and sit down to a snack. My strawberry teacakes are a true delight for afternoon tea, and my lime and blueberry muffins are a sweet treat that will never disappoint.

While I’m fasting, I still want to enjoy a treat that is generous in flavor, and I’d have to say this coconut and banana bread from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness is an utterly gorgeous indulgence, with a tropical twist on the classic flavours of everyday banana bread, which is usually loaded with wheat and white sugar.

This beauty is free from gluten, low in fructose and uses coconut flour, which imparts the flavour of a Maldivian island, yet offers a range of health benefits. Coconut supplies energy building medium chain fatty acids, micro-flora support and defence against parasites and pathogens thanks to lauric acid and monolaurin. Studies have also shown the fatty acids in coconut help you to eat less, and this is believed to be the result of the way these fats are metabolized.

Bananas are high in potassium, vitamin B6, immune boosting vitamin C, and also contain nutrients that moderate blood sugar levels; helping you to avoid blood sugar plummets during periods of fasting. Bananas are also quite rich in fibre and resistant starch, which are loved by your gut microbes, keeping all those friendly bacteria happy, healthy and fed. Look after these guys and they will look after you! You can read more about the importance about gut health in my popular e-Book Heal Your Gut.

I use a few eggs in this recipe, which adds a good hit of protein to keep you fuller for longer. Honestly, I’m not sure I can find another ingredient that quite matches the nutritional generosity and convenience of the mighty egg. These guys are the perfect portion of fats, proteins and nutrients to aid in body building and all round nourishment. They’re an inexpensive, high quality source of protein, which is found mostly in the whites.  Egg whites contain rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B12, B6 and minerals such as iron, zinc and copper. Egg yolks contain fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and lecithin. If you buy high quality free range eggs that have come from hens who have pecked around happily in green pastures, they’ll also contain a nice dose of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, so be sure to know you’re eggs.

Aside from binding this bread nicely, eggs are intentionally part of the recipe to ensure you are gaining nutrient density and protein to keep you happy during a fast. But you’ll barely notice you’re fasting when ritually enjoying a slice of this luscious loaf, and with an open and conscious mind, every mouthful will bless your tastebuds.

Take the time to bake and enjoy this gift to yourself with a cup of herbal tea such as this lavender tea with almond milk, or a cleansing and anti-inflammatory turmeric and ginger tea.

Coconut banana bread

Makes 8 slices

119 calories per slice (498kJs)

 Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe small bananas
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly whisked
  • 90 g (31/4oz/1/4 cup) rice malt (brown rice) syrup  
  • a few drops alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4cup) coconut flour
  • 3/4teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • fruit, to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a 21 x 9 cm (81/4x 31/2 in) loaf (bar) tin.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, rice malt syrup, stevia and vanilla, thenmix well. Add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean. Completely cool in the tin on a wire rack, then slice and serve with fruit (if using).

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Sunday Morning Green Pikelets

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Healthy Meals, Vegetarian

green pikeletsIs a Sunday morning really a Sunday morning without pikelets?

When I reminisce about some of my favourite Sunday mornings, they involve late mornings, lazy tunes, light rain and steaming hot pikelets with toppings galore! 

Over the years, I’ve experimented with healthy-fying my old pikelets recipe and I’ve finally come up with a gut-healing recipe I know you all will love...

Green Pikelets!  

Yes you read that correctly - green pikelets! Before you wrinkle your nose and squint your eyes at the word 'green' in front of 'pikelets', just trust me on this one. The green aspect of these pikelets take them to the next level.

As you know, I love trying to incorporate veggies into my diet as much as possible. This is why adding spinach, a brilliant green leaf and a great source of folate, iron, vitamins and minerals, is the perfect addition to any pikelet recipe.

I know how hard it can be to get the kids to finish their vegetables, let alone enjoy them, so my pikelets recipe is sure to be a winner for both you and the kids. Hooray!

Even the biggest sceptics won't be able to taste the difference with this recipe. I've trialled and tested it out on my family and even the fussiest one in our bunch loved them. They’re secretly healthy but let me tell you, they're so delicious that will be adored by all.

Pikelets are great for Sunday mornings but really, can be enjoyed for any day at any time! They make for the perfect afternoon hit, busy breakfast, lazy lunch, mid-morning pick-me-up or decadent dessert.

The great thing about these delicious treats is that they can be eaten with savoury and sweet toppings. I say - go crazy!

I love having mine with eggs for a savoury protein hit in the morning. They can also be enjoyed with some of my lemon and blueberry ice-cream, nut butter, simple berries for an antioxidant hit or even on their own!

So what are you waiting for? Let's enjoy some fluffy green pikelets for breakfast this morning.

Green Pikelets

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of English spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup chia seeds

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBS smooth nut butter
  • 1 TBS HYG powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • good pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, or butter for frying

Method:

Place all the ingredients, except the coconut oil or butter if using, into a food processor and combine until smooth.

Remove batter and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add half the oil.

Depending upon the size of the pikelets preferred, could just under ¼ cup mixture into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on one side, then flip over to do other side for about 3 minutes.

Place on a waiting plate and continue until all the batter is used.

Happy cooking!  Lee xo

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Teacup Watermelon Salad 🍉

Written by lee on . Posted in Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Eat Right for Your Shape, Fast Your Way to Wellness, Fasting, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Snacks, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

watermelon saladSeasons are one of life’s most beautiful designs. I love that as the earth turns and seasons change, there is a completely unique expression of foods and patterns that cause culture and behaviour to shift. In the depths of winter, the earth provides the perfect earthy foods that beckon to be served hot, whilst in the height of summer, there’s the miraculous provision of hydrating fruits that are the perfect solution to a searing heatwave. As a cook, I find it extremely joyous to work with what each season provides me, forming recipes that celebrate and compliment our needs and desires that change at different times of the year. This salad is from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

In following an Ayurvedic philosophy, summertime can cause an overabundance of the fire element within our constitution, which explains why we can get so angry and irritable during a hot day. However nature has its wonderful way of providing the exact kinds of foods that calm this fire; balancing us out and bringing our mind and body back into a happy, ‘cooled down’ state.

The hot months can very easily cause dehydration within our bodies as we sweat more. Apart from keeping on top of our water intake, we can also work with the seasons and capitalise on some of the hydrating and cooling foods that are growing at this time of year, and base our meal planning around these foods. In summer, juicy hydrating foods like berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, mangoes and watermelons are in abundance, and for this reason they’re also really cheap to buy!

We are having an extended Indian summer in Sydney this year, yesterday we spent the day at Bondi Beach to soak up the last rays of the east coast sunshine. To me, summer just screams the name WATERMELON. I love the sound of a knife cutting wedges of juicy watermelon, and the sensation of an icy cold piece of its watery sweetness is something of pure bliss on a day of sweltering heat. Enjoying it straight up is a joy on its own, but I’m definitely a fan of a good watermelon salad! If you haven’t tried watermelon in a salad before, you’re going to be in for a treat with this recipe!

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No More Muffin Top Muffins

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dessert, Desserts, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Sugar Free, Vegetarian

supercharged breakfast muffins
As much as the health world idolizes the beauty of eating poached eggs and greens for breakfast – sometimes we just can’t hold back from our morning sweet tooth! Sometimes fluffy muffins, crunchy cereals and chewy choc-chip cookies are calling your name and the last thing on your mind is eggs and kale?!

Instead of fighting cravings, let’s embrace them! Listening to your cravings is so important and can indicate a lot about what you’re needing both emotionally and physically and can help to highlight the foods that you may have become addicted to.

If you’re craving chocolate, it could mean you're magnesium deficient. Magnesium is available in fish, dark leafy greens and nuts. Craving sweet foods like pastries, white bread and pasta may mean that you're chromium deficient. Chromium can be found in oats, sweet potatoes and eggs.

Thinking about cravings rationally and listening to them can help us lead healthier and happier lives.  So instead of ignoring cravings, why not just make healthier choices and fill up with healthy versions of favorite foods?

I'd love to introduce you to my new delicious No More Muffin Top Muffin recipe and I’ve made sure that they'll not only improve your gut health and waistline but also fill your daily ‘eggs and greens’ quota! 

If you’re not already on the healthified sweets train, these muffins will make you jump on board! Forget the traditional, sugar-filled, gluten-packed muffins and swap to a new world of healthy, refined-sugar free and absolutely tasty muffins. There are no strange ingredients here – just healthy wholesome baking ingredients.

Who could pass up the chance to start the day with fluffy, yummy muffins? The chromium-packed eggs and vitamin-filled zucchini makes sure these beautiful muffins stay moist, while my Heal Your Gut powder (a raw vegan plant based whole food) ensures that you're getting good gut-healing straight off the bat.

My Heal Your Gut powder is high in absorbable iron which helps to support tiredness and fatigue and it doesn't leave you constipated like traditional synthetic iron supplements do. That way you can get your necessary iron via real plant based foody-goodness.

Magnesium-packed almond-meal is a delicious gluten-free flour that is great for baking so I threw it into the mix too. This recipe also contains a touch of butter, which contains healthy saturated fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Butter helps these baked treats stay fluffy and keep their texture. Yum!

So, make up a batch and let me know what you think? They freeze well too!

No More Muffin Top Muffins

Makes 6 large or 12 small muffins

Make these the day before and then just warm them in the oven for 10 minutes before enjoying. They're surprising filling and full of veggie goodness.  Take them as a snack to work too.

  • 11/2 cups) almond meal
  • 1/2 cup) toasted walnuts
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 
1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp stevia powder
  • 1 tbs HYG powder
  • 11/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup additive-free coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Place zucchini in a sieve over a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt and let sit.

Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and preheat oven to 180°C

In a medium bowl, place all the dry ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon

With your hands, very tightly squeeze the zucchini to remove any excess moisture.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk and butter together. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and then very gently stir in the zucchini.

With a spoon, carefully spoon mixture into the muffin tray liners  and place into the oven for 45 minutes until cooked through- you can test with a skewer.

Let cool on a wire rack.  These can be kept in the fridge for 4 days in a sealed container.

Lee xo

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Chia Pleasure Breakfast Pudding

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 7.46.50 am

Picture this: it’s the first day back at work or school after a long weekend and you’ve already slept through your alarm. Twice.

You’re in a rush and wondering what you should grab for breakfast on the run? Should you just skip it altogether?

Sound familiar?

In our fast-paced world, everything is happening in a rush. We grab the first decent-looking thing from the fridge in the morning and gulp it down, we speed through our lunches while we scroll through instagram and we mindlessly watch whatever’s on TV during dinner.

For many of us, we’ve taken the pleasure out of meal times. Sadly, meals are no longer a time of talking and gathering together but rather, something that takes up time in between tasks. Meals have been replaced with mindless chomping and finger scrolling.

I want to put the pleasure back into food and that’s why I’ve created my Chia Pleasure Pudding!

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Apple Pancakes Y’all

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Kids, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

appleThe humble apple is one of my greatly adored kitchen staples and today I'm sharing an apple recipe from my brand new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Affordable, nutritious and versatile, they’re a scrumptious fruity must-have that I love to continually replenish within my kitchen. Whether sliced thinly and thrown into salads, baked and stuffed with nuts and oats, stewed and made into apple sauce, or lovingly formed into a classic crumble, apples are the jack of all trades and a loyal friend that awaits transformation into all kinds of delectable creations.

Apples are nutritional ninjas, boasting loads of wellness boosting properties. Did you know that apples are a wonderful ingredient for regulating blood sugar? Recent studies have shown that the polyphenols contained within apples can help to prevent rollercoaster blood sugar spikes. Particular flavonoids like quercetin have the effect of inhibiting enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase which normally break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Therefore when you eat apples, your body deals with less simple sugars and releases you from spikes in blood sugar.

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Supercharged Summer Popsicles ☀️

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Kids, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Push Ups and Icy Poles, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

PopsiclesIn the searing heat of summer, I want my food to be refreshing, full of supercharged ingredients, and speedy to prepare. Balmy evenings and the dry warmth of the summer air begs for our energy to shift from the comforting presence of the stove and lengthy food preparation, towards simple alfresco food solutions that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

In the warmer parts of the year, my priorities shift away from indoor activity, to more outdoor, social engagements; morning yoga sessions and beach walks followed by throw-together breakfasts, inviting friends over for a shaded outdoor lunch of simple, seasonal ingredients, and family gatherings where common sense, last-minute entertaining or pot luck offerings are regularly required.

When enjoying the food of summer, I always tackle my food planning with a two-fold approach. Firstly, and most importantly, I focus on healing, supercharged ingredients that are full of the season’s well-curated nutrients that support immunity, energy and vitality that the summertime requires. Secondly, I love to embrace speedy simplicity by taking hold of the ritual of batch cooking, one pan options, and easy-peasy snacks and refreshments that allow less time in hands-on food prep, and more time enjoying the outdoors and the presence of those I love.

For summer breakfasts, you can’t go past a glorious granola topped with a mountain of seasonal fruits. My Cranberry and Walnut Granola is my favourite go-to. I find great contentment mixing and baking a large batch of this scrumptious stuff during a Sunday batch-cooking session. You should smell the aroma! The blissful scent of sweet cranberries and roasting nuts will fill the air of your home, comforting your mind with the assurance of nourishing breakfasts sorted for the week ahead. I love to immerse my granola in homemade almond milk topped with fresh organic farmer’s market fruits. You can’t beat passionfruit, mango or raspberries!

One pan meals minimise the need for hands on time in the kitchen, and you don’t have to miss out on flavour with a throw-together dish. My Seven Minute One Pan Salmon with Greens is one you could do blindfolded, and always delivers the light, fresh oceanic flavours of salmon, plus the anti-inflammatory benefits of this high omega 3 fish. It’s also surrounded by seasonal greens that are important for oxygenating the blood to increase energy levels for outdoor cricket or rugby and trying to keep up with chasing around my three step sons during the holidays. 

But if I were to uphold one of the greatest summer recipes that I know of, I’d have to wave my banner for these no-fail popsicles. For the amount of effort required to whip up a batch of these darlings, it never ceases to amaze me how many times they have brought a sense of delight to both adults and children on a sweltering summers day.

As guests drizzle in through the holidays, I love to have a few variations of this basic recipe stored up in my freezer to bless unexpected guests. At the point of their presentation, it’s beautiful to watch the kid come out of everyone in response to the offer.

When whipping these up, you can use the basic variation, add cacao for a cheeky chocolate flavour, or try some of these seasonal variations:

  • Blend in some mango chunks and scatter some whole macadamias into each mould
  • Drop a handful of chopped strawberries into the mix before pouring into moulds for a strawberries and cream popsicle
  • Stir the pulp of two passionfruit into the mix before pouring.
  • Blend in a handful of blueberries and the zest of one lemon.

The best thing about this recipe is that it utilises simple non-perishable food items that can be kept on hand for use at any moment. Aside from being conveniently canned, coconut milk is also highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It’s also dairy free, so your popsicles will still impress friends or children with dairy allergies.

My Heal Your Gut powder is included in this recipe but is an optional addition. However I always love to prioritise a scoop, as it’s a simple way to cram in its remarkable gut healing benefits of improving detoxification, aiding nutrient absorption, increasing the health of hair skin and nails, and boosting hydration in the hot weather. You can read more about the benefits of the HYG powder and purchase it here.

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Popsicles

Makes 6-8 popsicles 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of organic coconut milk 
  • seeds of one vanilla bean (or alcohol free vanilla/ vanilla powder) 
  • 2 Tbsp HYG Powder
  • 10 drops of stevia (or to taste) 

For chocolate version add in 1 tsp of cacao powder

Method:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pour into popsicle mould and leave in freezer for 3-4 hours. 

*These are best eaten at this time, as if left overnight or too long in the freezer, the coconut milk sometimes splits. 

Make them and let me know how you go!  Viva la holidays 🙂

Lee xo

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One-Bowl Turmeric Fudge Masterpiece!

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Create, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sugar Free, Vegetarian


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If you weren't aware by now, I'm happy to admit that I love love LOVE turmeric! 
 
There's a big reason this powerful spice has taken over the kitchens and menus of 2016 and will continue to do so in 2017.
 
The compound within turmeric, known as curcumin, is the main active ingredient and gives turmeric it's famous golden colour.  It's responsible for a host of anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to offer your immune system a boost. Turmeric can be extremely beneficial in weight-loss, lowering insulin resistance and activating fat-burning genes too.
 
If you're keen to add more turmeric-y goodness to your life this year,  why not try making my Turmeric Fudge, it's super fun and tasty as a quick treat.
 
Not only does using coconut oil make this recipe bond beautifully, using a healthy saturated fat in conjunction with turmeric makes it easier for your body to make the most of the benefits of this powerful golden spice. Coconut oil can also promote heart health and improve blood cholesterol, so turmeric and coconut oil truly are a match made in heaven.
 
To make this recipe even more gut-friendly, I’ve added in my Heal Your Gut powder which gently cleanses and sweeps away plaque built up in your gut over time. Since using my powder daily, I've found that I no longer experience that dreaded bloated feeling and know that my inner-microbes are in their perfect environment to flourish!  
 
If you're looking to further the process of healing your gut and restoring balance within your body, why not try out my Heal Your Gut programs here? You can choose between the four-week program course or the two-day-a-week program depending upon what works best for your lifestyle. They both provide fantastic results, you can read testimonials from our community here and you can start at anytime!
 
By the way, these delectable fudgey pieces will surprise you with how easy and quick they are to make. You just need one bowl, a baking dish and a few minutes to spare. They're a simple and delicious treat so give them a go and enjoy their benefits.
 
Turmeric Fudge naomi sherman blue rust images
Turmeric Fudge
 
Ingredients
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp HYG Powder
2 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp ginger 
 
Method:
Stir all ingredients in a bowl, poor into a small lined baking dish, set in the fridge for an hour and cut into slices!

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Bonkers Banana-cado Bread

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Healthy Meals, Kids, Kids' Recipes, lunch box ideas, Organic, Snacks, Sugar Free, supercharged food, Vegetarian

banana-avo-bread

Bananas and avocadoes are two foods always stocked in my fruit bowl. I honestly don’t know how I could live without these perfectly packaged portions of nourishment, in fact I'm bonkers about them.

While the spotlight is often on ambiguous superfoods found in the depths of Amazonian rainforests, I like to think that some of the simple seasonal foods we have grown up with are also brimming with supercharged goodness.  This is something that I've discovered in my own kitchen at home; everyday foods often hold some of the greatest nutritional superpowers. My mission in life is to find ways to harness the nutrient density of these ingredients; maximising their benefits through the pleasure of everyday simple and delicious recipes.

Smashed avo on toast certainly is a national favourite in Australia and also was peaking in cafes on my recent trip to New York City, and why wouldn’t it be? Creamy, green, versatile and full of nourishment ranging from an abundance of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, a big hit of fibre, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C; these perfect portions of goodness can turn a piece of toast or a standard salad into a thing of gastronomical wonder.

I love a bit of smashed avo, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg in a hipster café to enjoy its goodness, and can quite frugally enjoy this wholesome café favourite at home. My ultimate go-to breakfast recipe is my smashed sardines with avocado on chia and flaxseed loaf which is full of anti-inflammatory fats, and wonderful for anti-ageing by supplying the skin with moisture from the inside out.

My chilled avocado soup is also an ideal way to enjoy the delight of Mexican flavours and is a brilliant recipe to share as a light meal or starter in the warmth of summer.

No salad really feels complete to me without the presence of luscious chunks of ripe green avo, and another way to celebrate this dreamy fruit is within my kale, strawberry and avocado salad; a beautiful lunch or side to grace your family table.  It's one I'll be serving at my annual orphans Christmas event at my house this year. For more Christmas recipes go here.

Now bananas are another one of those everyday foods that just don’t get old. It’s likely these yellow friends were a presence in your daily school lunchbox, and are the perfect on-the-go snack to bring energy and nourishment in an instant. But don’t let this commoner fool you. They are absolutely loaded with nutrition.

We all know they’re high in potassium which is important for relieving anxiety and stress, enhancing muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and balancing the nervous system; but did you know that bananas are also loaded with vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and fibre?  They also contain several types of potent antioxidants, including dopamine and catechins, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases.

I love to enjoy bananas as a quick morning snack before exercise. I never let an over-ripe banana go to waste; storing them up in my freezer as a quick way to add creaminess to breakfast smoothies. A stash of frozen bananas always means I can have a sustaining smoothie bowl on offer;  whizzing up a deliciously customised blend bejewelled with different crunchy sprinkles like cacao nibs, nuts, seeds or coconut on top.

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A Sustainable Christmas + Recipes

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Christmas, Seasonal, Shopping List

xmas

image via pinterest

Christmas is a time of joy, the sharing of generous gifts, lavish hospitality and the warmth of celebrations shared between family and friends.

The moment December hits, I feel the anticipation for Christmas rising within me, and a yearning to experience the sensations of the festive season drives me into the mode of planning meals, decking the halls and imagining all the ways that I can express the Christmas spirit through delicious foods, gifts and home adornments.

Have you ever thought, however, about the impact of Christmas on our planet? Christmas is the peak time for consumerism, and sadly many of the gifts that are shared are of the plastic and cheap variety. And purchases that emerge out of our buy-buy-buy culture don’t serve the planet from an environmental point of view.

If you’re buying clothes, some of the outlets have questionable ethical standards, and foods are purchased and consumed in large quantities, out of season, and often wasted.

This is the not so pretty side of Christmas, but how about this year we approach the silly season mindfully, consciously and with sustainability in mind? I believe we can do it!

This year, I don’t have a Christmas present list for myself, but if friends want to bestow presents, I’m letting them know that plants or herbs for my garden are always welcome. I’ve also highlighted a couple of things in the Oxfam catalogue too. By the way, if you’re on the lookout for natural gifts for a healthy lifestyle then you might like to read my Healthy Gift Giving Guide here.

I’d love to share with you a few of my top tips for approaching Christmas sustainably and ethically this year.

Make your own Christmas tree

wooden-twig-tree

You might think that sparing a live tree might be better for the environment, but fakies of the plastic varieties generally only last around six years, and you can guess where they end up….. landfill!  The best option for a sustainable Christmas tree is to put your thinking cap on and create something unique, from materials around you. Why not gather driftwood and arrange it as a tree, adorned with hanging seashells? Or pot a native Australian pine? The sky is the limit, and you can create something completely unique that will be a topic of interest for your guests. I make use of the large banksia tree in my garden and decorate it with fairy lights and second hand finds.

DIY gifts

Tamari Nibble Mix

Why not steer clear of the consumerist bandwagon and opt for gifts that are upcycled, homemade or DIY. A fun thing to do is to invite some friends around for a ‘crafternoon’, scouring pinterest for creative gift ideas. Think jars of deconstructed dry-mixes for baked goods such as brownies or cakes, with a handwritten recipe attached, or home made wall hangings, knitted or woven goods, or upcycled trash to treasure items made from op-shop finds. Steptoe and Son style :). You can also tap into the experience economy by avoiding a physical gift, rather opting for workshops, bread baking classes or cooking schools in your local area.

Meal plan sustainably

buckwheat

Avoid the supermarkets as much as possible, rather seeking to support small local businesses. Order organic meats and hams that are grass fed, free range and free of chemical nitrates. Enjoy ocean caught and local sustainable sea foods from your fishmonger. Hit up your farmers markets in the lead up to Christmas and stock up on seasonal fruits and vegetables, or visit co-ops locally to purchase organic nuts, seeds and dried foods in quantities you need. Plan your meals ahead of time. By working off a plan you can avoid food waste, and find ways to re-use the leftovers in the week after Christmas.

My blog and recipe books are full of seasonal delights that will tantalise the tastebuds this Christmas. You can read more about them here.

When it comes to menu planning here are a few ideas to mull around with in the lead up to creating your Christmas lunch or dinner...

To begin, some of my favourite starters include Pistachio Stuffed Mushrooms, Smoked Salmon and Pistachio Terrine or a classic chicken liver pate.  Red Capsicum and Hazelnut and Basil Pesto work well as beautiful dips with Lemony Herb Crackers or Cheesy Star Crackers.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-9-25-27-am

To balance out the indulgence I love to make sure my table is abundant with fresh salads full of antioxidant rich ingredients. My Kale, Strawberry, and Avocado Salad and Warm Beetroot, Carrot and Pear Salad are always crowd pleasers. 

Kale strawberry and avocado salad

For the main course, I can’t go past a classic ham, and this Gluten Free Christmas Ham with Rosemary will drop the jaws of all your guests.

When it comes to dessert, Supercharged Christmas Cake is a after dinner winner, and no Christmas table is really a Christmas table without the presence of mince pies; these Cranberry Mince Pies are to die for. xmas cake LRLast but not least, every Aussie Christmas feast must have a nanna inspired trifle, and my Layered Quinoa Trifle will satisfy your sweet tooth, even after filling yourself to the brim with feasting.

Layered Quinoa Trifle

For my absolute top picks, here are a few of the sustainable and supercharged Christmas courses that will be gracing our family table this year from my eBook The Renewable Table.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy and sustainable holiday season 🙂

And now for the recipes..

Mexican lamb shoulder with cumin, oregano and pomegranate glaze

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-5-36-22-pmServes 8

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped 

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon 

  • 2 tsp ground cumin 

  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano 

  • 1 lemon halved and pips removed 

  • 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt 

  • 1 tsp black pepper 

  • 2kg bone-in lamb shoulder joint 

  • 2 brown onions, cut into wedges 

  • 1 whole quorn of garlic unpeeled 

  • 1litre pomegranate juice 

  • 1 lemon juiced 

  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 

  • 2 tbsp. rice malt syrup 

  • 250g full fat natural yogurt 

  • Seeds from 1 fresh pomegranate 

  • Small handful mint leaves, chopped 


Method 


To make marinade place garlic, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, lemon and rind, salt and pepper and blend until
smooth.


Place the lamb in a large
baking dish and spoon the
mixture on top and massage
in with hands. Let marinade in
fridge for between 2 and up to
24 hours.


Heat oven to 160°C/140°C
fan/ gas 3. Place lamb into
pan and garlic and onions
surrounding the lamb, then pour
over the pomegranate juice and
lemon and apple cider vinegar.


Cover the lamb with foil
and cook for approx. 4 hrs, checking every hour and re- basting with the juice.


When ready and after four hours, remove
pan from the oven and carefully remove lamb and pour juice into a saucepan on the stove
over a medium heat. Replace lamb into baking tray and place back into the oven whilst you are making the syrup.

Add rice malt syrup and cook until bubbly and a thick syrup is formed adding more rice malt syrup if necessary. This should take about 20 minutes. Once it is ready, remove foil from lamb, pour it over the lamb and return to oven for 20 mins until the lamb becomes crispy on top.

Pistachio minted cranberry quinoa

scvegetarian quinoa saladServes 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini (courgette), sliced
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, for drizzling
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 270 g (91/2 oz/1 cup) cooked quinoa
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 bunch of mint, leaves only, plus extra, to serve
  • 1 bunch of coriander (cilantro), leaves only, plus extra, to serve
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
  • 2 avocados, peeled, stones removed and sliced into wedges
  • 4 small spring onions (scallions), chopped 125 g (41/2 oz/1 cup) slivered almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).

Place the zucchini, eggplant and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for about 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a bowl with the lemon juice and zest and the olive oil. Combine well.

Place in a salad bowl with all the other ingredients and serve topped with extra mint and coriander leaves.

Festive Almond, cinnamon and rhubarb cake

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-5-24-39-pmMakes one cake

Firstly make stewed Rhubarb

Ingredients

  • 750gm rhubarb trimmed and chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 75g coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1 small orange, zested and juiced 1 inch knob ginger grated 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 1⁄4 cup water

Method

Place in large saucepan and place remaining ingredients over the top.

Bring to a boil and simmer gently until soft, about 10 minutes until rhubarb is cooked but still holds it shape.

Take two cups of rhubarb for Xmas recipe and set aside and place remaining rhubarb in fridge for use on Boxing Day.

Ingredients

  • 60g butter 

  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind 

  • 1 1⁄2 cups (300g) coconut sugar 

  • 2 eggs 

  • 2 cups almond meal 

  • 1⁄2 tsp baking powder 

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 

  • 1⁄2 tsp grated nutmeg 

  • 1⁄4 tsp sea salt 

  • 1⁄2 cup coconut cream 

  • 2 cups cooked rhubarb 


Method 


Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F Gas Mark 4 and grease an 18cm round cake tin.


In a bowl beat butter, rind, coconut sugar and eggs and stir in almond flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and coconut milk and stir to combine.


Add rhubarb and fold in lightly.


Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre.

Sprinkle with topping mixture.


Let cool and then turn out onto a wire rack to continue to cool. 


Lee xo

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Supercharged Sweet Potato Toast

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Heal Your Gut, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

img_3167

Gluten free foodies rejoice!

There’s a new trend dominating the foodie world; Be prepared to replace your bland, lacklustre, mundane breakfast toast for.... *drumroll* Supercharged Sweet Potato Toast! 

Sweet potatoes are very versatile vegetables, and it seems that their uses are infinite.  They can be added to baked goods, mashed and coupled with steamed vegetables, baked as a healthy alternative to fries.... and now they can even be used as a nutritious and delicious gluten free alternative to bread. 

Sweet potato is a complex carbohydrate, meaning that the natural sugars that give it that rich, sweet flavour will release a consistent flow of energy into the body all morning long. These inexpensive, orange hued root vegetables are high in fibre and overflowing with essential vitamins and minerals and, best of all, you won’t find that afternoon bloat after overindulging in bread. 

Despite being cooked in the toaster, the sweet potatoes maintain their soft and moist texture, and they can be toasted with their skin on or off depending upon your preference.

The topping opportunities are endless too, with both sweet and savoury options pairing nicely with these golden, guilt free and gluten-less slices of goodness!

I’ve featured some of my favourite toppings that will leave you lusting for sweet potato toast yearlong.

Supercharged Tip: try to buy a nice round sweet potato, as they’re easier to cut into ‘toast’ shapes.

Give them a whirl and let me know what to think in the comments section below.

Recipe

Method: 

  1. Slice sweet potato length ways into slices about 0.5-1cm thick (this will depend on how much knife control you have as well as the quality of your knifes!) 
  2. Put in toaster for between 2 to 4 rounds on high, making sure it doesn’t burn

Tip: use chopsticks to manoeuvre them out of the toaster if they get stuck!

img_3162

Topping #1: Cinnamon Swirl Nut Butter and Berry Chia Jam

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbsp Nut butter of choice
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh Strawberries or raspberries
  • Squeeze of Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Rice malt syrup or stevia or raw honey

Method:

  1. To make the jam, mash berries with a fork for a more chunky jam, or blitz quickly in a blender. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and rice malt syrup or stevia. Stir in the chia seeds and let sit for 15 minutes. 
  2. To make the nut butter, add a good pinch of cinnamon to your favourite nut butter and swirl in
  3. To assemble the toast, spread on the nut butter, drizzle with chia jam and top with fresh berries, toasted coconut and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon

img_3165

Topping #2: Hummus and Tomato Bruschetta 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbsp hummus 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp olive oil 
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Toss all ingredients except for hummus in a bowl 
  2. To assemble toast, spread with hummus and top with tomato and cucumber mixture

img_3168

Topping #3: Smavo and Feta 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 a small avocado OR 1/4 of a large one
  • 2 tbsp good quality feta, crumbled
  • Toasted pepitas 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Method: 

  1. Smash avo with a fork into toast
  2. Top with feta, pepitas, salt, pepper and lemon juice
  3. Optional: Add a poached egg on top!

Enjoy 🙂

Lee xo

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Maca and Tahini Latte

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, drinks, Nutrient Rich, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

maca and tahini latte
I was fiddling around in the kitchen the other day and came up with a new drink that I believe should be on everybody's lips. Move over Golden Mylk (as much as I love you)!  And make way for my Maca and Tahini Latte.

This creamy and warm concoction will support your immune system and revitalise your body, both mentally and physically. It’ll get your metabolism revving first thing in the morning, providing you with more get-up-and-go, reducing fatigue and ensuring your body is functioning at it’s best.

Today’s modern, hardworking men and women can often be seen multi-tasking in the centre of busy cities, hands clutching their morning caffeinated beverage, determined looks upon their faces. For decades caffeine has been viewed as a daily necessity to get you moving in the morning and to ‘switch on’ creativity.

But for many people, caffeine may be doing more harm than good. Overdoing caffeine can cause your blood pressure to swell, burdening your already hardworking heart!

Caffeine and other energy-enhancing supplements can also overload the endocrine system in the body. Since the endocrine system and the adrenal glands are responsible for the release of important hormones into the body, too much caffeine can result in an imbalance in hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone. Plus I’m sure I don’t need to remind you about the relationship between hormone levels and mood swings. Eeek.

For someone aiming to maximise their gut health, caffeine can impede progress as it can cause indigestion and incontinence not ideal on a busy working day when you are trying your upmost to be fierce! Diuretics can hinder the absorption of vital nutrients by the gut and can lead to the unnecessary loss of healthy gut microbes.

What is maca powder?

Maca is grown in the Peruvian Andes and is packed with vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and phytochemicals. It is the root of the Maca plant that is of the greatest nutritional value and it has been used by the Incas for centuries. Generally used to improve energy levels and revitalise the body it is nutrient dense and has a variety of beneficial uses. It can be ground into flour, added to smoothies and drinks and used in baking too.

What are the benefits of maca powder?

- It’s nutritious and is made up of protein, fibre, essential amino acids, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium and calcium – oh my!
- Helps to increase energy levels, without causing stress to the endocrine system and key organs in the body
- helps to reduce chronic fatigue
- balances hormones in men and women, as it contains amino acids which are the building blocks for hormones.
- Peps you up! Think elevated mood and a reduction in self perceived anxiety, stress and depression.

My Maca and Tahini latte contains no caffeine, no processed sugar and no pharmaceutical energy enhancers. And this frothy brew boosts energy levels in a balanced and sustainable way, with no stress on the body. Yay for that!

Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp maca powder
1 tsp tahini sesame paste
1 tsp vanilla
To sweeten add 1 tsp rice malt syrup to taste (optional)

Method

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir, whisking until combined and just warm then pour into a heat proof blender and blend for a few seconds until frothy. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and a little cinnamon on top.

Enjoy!

Lee x

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