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Fibre Rich Tropical Breakfast Jar

This jar rules!

If we can’t visit the tropics at the moment, let’s bring the tropics to us in the form of a delicious cafe equivalent breakfast jar.

Just imagine the sweet, fresh flavours of the tropics, coupled with fibre rich psyllium husk and chia seeds, then layered with fresh yoghurt, mango, and banana. Mmmmmm.

Where were we? 

Oh yeah. 

This breakfast jar will transport you to a tropical island resort with every single delicious mouthful. Your passport consists of combining Murray River Organics Tropical muesli, psyllium husk, and chia seeds from their brand-new Muesli and Organic Pantry Range.

The range is really beautiful and comes in resealable, reusable, and recyclable canisters! There is nothing freakish about being neat when it comes to uniformity, these canisters look like little health soldiers all in a row, allowing the pantry to be more organised and convenient, especially when you're looking for staples in a hurry. No more rummaging around trying to find something!

No one likes to be labelled, except for jars in the pantry...

One of the best ways to organise your pantry is to label everything, and the airtight, clear jars come with labels that are easy to peel off; or you can keep them on and refill them when needed. They're also a good height so you can have your shelves set at a perfect height for each range item, this will make it easy for you to know which shelf they should be put on, meaning you can have all your cereals on one shelf and your dried goods and non- perishables on another. 

I've added psyllium to the jar as not only are the containers an everlasting star of wellness, so are fibre rich foods. We all need good, natural fibre to keep our insides in good nick, so it's a good idea to make this breakfast jar a part of your wellness regime.

Psyllium can be added to your diet to help promote regularity and it's a good source of soluble fibre. Soluble fibres can assist in improving digestion, increasing the absorption of minerals, and even assisting immune system function, increasing intestinal transit time, and reducing glucose absorption. You can read more about soluble fibres on another blog I wrote here

The 100% organic Tropical Muesli is delicious and gives the layered jar crunch and texture and it's such a bright, colourful and healthy way to start the day. You can find the Murray River Organics products in Coles stores from 1st June. 

Imagine sitting underneath a large coconut tree whilst consuming. Customise it with whatever fruit you have available and mix and match your pantry ingredients too.

This tropical flexible and family-friendly and fruity layered jar is a breakfast winner. Please enjoy it and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Why carotenoids are great for glowing skin + my Sweet Lemon Thyme roasted carrots

Beauty comes from the inside, and I’m not just talking in clichés here. Our skin acts as a reflection of what’s going on internally. Inadequate nutrient intake, low-quality sleep, and high stress can show up on the skin as acne, early aging, redness or dark under-eye circles. Yikes, that's a lot to look forward to ;).

To ensure you’re doing the best you can to look after your skin, my advice is to aim for prevention rather than cure. My favourite preventative measures for skin health include eating a nutrient-rich diet, exercise, stress management techniques, looking after your gut (hello, love your gut powder and love your gut capsules!) and lots of good quality rest.

When it comes to eating for skin health, I recommend leaning towards an antioxidant-rich diet. Antioxidants protect the skin from free radicals, which can otherwise cause damage and accelerate aging. Stress and overexposure to UV light can destroy antioxidants and increase oxidative damage.

UVA rays are not as strong as UVB rays but penetrate the skin more deeply. Unprotected exposure over time can cause genetic damage to the top layer of the skin, causing damage to cells, premature aging and immune suppression. Both UVA and UVB can deplete and suppress Langerhans and immune cells. UVA and UVB are now considered causes of cancer.

While there are plenty of different antioxidants in the body, carotenoids are one of my favourites to talk about (and eat). Carotenoids are the pigment in fruits and vegetables that give them their gorgeous yellow, red, and orange hues.

Carotenoids are potent antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals and create glowing skin. Carotenoids are a fighting nutrient, or more specifically, a phytonutrient, a ‘plant chemical’. There are over 600 different carotenoids in the body, including beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Provitamin A carotenoids may be the ones you’re most familiar with, as they’re converted into vitamin A; essential for growth, immunity, and eye health.

Carotenoids are abundant in some of the most delicious fruit and veg around, including sweet potatoes, carrots, yams, pumpkin, tomatoes, spinach, kale, and oranges. Carotenoids are fat-soluble compounds, meaning they’re best absorbed with fat. It’s time to face the fats; we need good fats!

So next time you're wondering about how to spruce up a plant-based dish, drizzle some olive oil on your veggies, or just eat good fats whole by enjoying an avocado or sprinkling nuts and seeds on your soups and salads.

Adding more carotenoid-rich foods to your diet can be a surefire way to supercharge your skin health. If you’re wondering which carotenoid to pick, at the moment I'm going through a carrots phase. I carrot live without them 😉

Heirloom carrots are probably one of my favourite sights when gathering seasonal produce. I love their spirally little bottom roots like tendrils, luscious green tops, and the remarkable amount of colour they can add to a dish.

When it comes to cooking, they’re such a treat to roast, and this recipe preserves their full form and flavour, elevating them with caramelized rice malt syrup. I've added Golden Gut Blend for it's anti-inflammatory ability, it also includes cinnamon which is anti-fungal, antioxidant and anti-bacterial making it useful against acne and skin blemishes. 

This is the perfect dish for lunch or dinner on its own or as a side. Enjoy these beautiful carrots. 

 Th-th-th-that's all folks! 

Sweet Lemon Thyme Roasted Carrots

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 90 g (3 1/4 oz/ 1/4 cup) rice malt syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps Golden Gut Blend or Love your gut powder  (optional)
  • 6 lemon thyme sprigs
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) heirloom or baby carrots, peeled and trimmed

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • Combine all the ingredients except the carrots in a small bowl and stir well.
  • Spread out the carrots in a large roasting tin, drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine.
  • Roast for 25–30 minutes, until the carrots are cooked through.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing

Celebrate Mother’s Day with a delicious home made cake. Just because you can’t throw a party this year, doesn’t mean you have to go without cake 🙂 

Treat your mum to a respectable carrot cake that embodies everything that a carrot cake should be.

It is virtuous with lip-licking creamy frosting, filled with wholesome chunks of walnuts and a delicious mix of subtle sweetness and notes of spice.

Need a vegan version? Substitute the eggs with 2 tablespoons ground or whole chia or flaxseeds soaked in 120 ml (33/4 fl oz) of water for 15 minutes.

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing

Makes 1 cake

Ingredients

  • 150 g (51/2 oz/11/2 cups) almond meal, or gluten-free flour of your choice
  • 60 g (21/4 oz/1/2 cup) raw chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia powder or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 organic eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter, coconut oil or light olive oil
  • 80 ml (21/2 fl oz/1/3 cup) additive-free coconut milk
  • 235 g (81/2 oz/11/2 cups) grated carrot
  • walnuts, to decorate (optional)

Coconut Icing

  • 120 g (41/4 oz/3/4 cup) raw, unsalted cashews (soak in water for 20 mins to soften)
  • 300 ml (101/2 fl oz) tinned coconut cream
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbs raw honey or sweetener of your choice
  • To make the coconut icing.

Place the cashews, half the coconut cream and the lemon zest and juice in a food processor and blitz for a few minutes. Slowly add more coconut cream until the consistency resembles crème fraîche – smooth, not runny, but not so thick as thickened cream.

Transfer to a bowl and add to the coldest section of your fridge for 30 minutes. Alternatively, put it in the freezer for 5–10 minutes to thicken.

To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3) and grease an 18 cm (7 inch) round cake tin.

Put the almond meal, walnuts, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sweetener in a large bowl and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, place the eggs, butter, coconut oil or light olive oil and coconut milk and whisk to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold through with a wooden spoon. Squeeze the excess water out of the carrots (using your hands is best) then add them to the bowl. Fold in lightly. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. When the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top using a knife or the back of a spoon and top with the walnuts.

This will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 5 days

Vegetable and Bean Casserole

Today I have a great dish with vegetables and kidney beans- not kidney-ing you!

It’s my mean bean casserole. You’re welcome.

It’s time to free your pantry and crisper from lockdown. Just use any vegetables you have in the fridge or lying around, also adding lemon and tamari for flavour and some stock and mixed herbs will supercharge your taste buds. If you like it hot add chili, cayenne or paprika.

The kidney beans have meatiness and will absorb up all the aromatic spices and herbs. This is your dish your way so make it vegan by adding vegetable stock or add chicken stock if preferred.

I hope you love my rock n roll casserole. Enjoy it with the whole family because it will really jazz up dinner.

By the way, this dish freezes well, so double the recipe and have it the next day or next week.

You can watch a video about how to make it here.



 

Vegetable and Bean Casserole

Serves 4-5

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 pumpkin coarsely chopped
  • 2 zucchini’s chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbs mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¹/₂ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 3 tbs tamari or soy sauce
  • 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Handful chopped kale
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper

Method

Chop onion and garlic and all vegetables

Heat olive oil in a deep casserole pan or saucepan

Add garlic and onion into the pan and stir and cook on a medium heat for a minute

Add red capsicum into pan and soften it down cook for a couple of minutes

Add vegetables into pan and stir them well

Add the mixed herbs, cumin and coriander into the pan and stir again

Slowly pour the stock in and stir again and ensure vegetables are evenly distributed and covered with the stock

Add squeezed lemon and tamari and stir

Add your kidney beans now and stir again gently

Now place your chopped kale on top, turn it down to medium heat and place on the lid

Cook for about 20 mins or until vegetables are tender or to your liking

Give it a shot and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Lee x

Beginner’s Guide To Growing Your Own Veggies + Herbs Plus My Gardener’s Bounty Salad

We’re in an unprecedented time; one that’s causing a lot of anxiety and panic for many people. I’m not going to tell you that everything’s great and we’ll all be fine, but I do want to open up the conversation about finding silver linings during hard times.

I’m discovering that these days, after talking to friends, we unanimously agreed that even though times are hard and restrictive, some of the positives that have come out of the corona virus lockdown is that we do have more time to spend with family. 

We've also noticed an increased enjoyment for at-home yoga practices and exercise, and we've had time to slow down a little with more time to appreciate nature and the natural world. 

Having time to communicate, reflect, rest and connect back to our roots is definitely a silver lining; one that has been calling us for a while now. 

So, what do I mean by connecting to your roots? Well old fashioned gardening, of course! What better time than right now to unleash your green thumb and become more self-sufficient by growing your own produce and developing a beginner's guide to eating healthy.

It’s an activity you can do alone or by getting the kids involved too, cause let's face it they love to get their hands dirty.  

A few years ago, I made the decision to swap out regular big grocery shops for more bounty from my kitchen garden and to try and support more local small grocers for items that I can’t grow myself. While this can sound extremely intimidating to some, with extra time on your hands, gardening is a useful and fun skill to learn and one that can save you money in the long run. And you don't need a traditional garden space to start gardening, but more on that later.

Gardening is hard work but it's also therapeutic, it gives you a greater appreciation for your food, and it has the bonus benefit of getting you out into some sunlight for some immunity charging Vitamin D. 

I'd love to share some of my favourite things to grow, the ones that may not be worth your time, some ideas for herbs and vegetables that are perfect for small spaces and also what I’m growing in real time and why. You can also read more on setting up a kitchen garden here

I’m in Sydney, which means we enjoy long summers and hot weather, and so do my home-grown veggies and fruits. When you start growing your own it's best to take your climate and soil into consideration, and see what best suits your climate and the area that you're using for your kitchen garden. When does it get sunlight, what times of the day etc.

The Go-To’s

Depending upon your space and climate, first things first it's good to prepare your soil,  as a good garden starts with good soil. I compost at home so I'm constantly amending the soil to gradually build up a productive soil. If you don't have compost you can use shredded leaves.  Or you might be keen to try the no gardening approach, where you throw your kitchen scraps, leaves and clippings straight onto the garden to bring more nutrients and diversity to the soil. 

I've created two garden beds and a herb wall to separate what I'm growing. I use the herb wall to germinate seeds and then replant them into the raised beds. If you don't have space, portable mini greenhouses and grow bags are good to experiment with too. I also had a tree which was dying and I needed to let more light in so used The Local Tree Experts.

This is the herb wall I transported from my old house and now use to grow herbs from seed.

Since I started growing Lettuce, I hardly buy any from the grocer in summer. Lettuce leaves are summer babies, but they can’t stay in the heat all day as they are partial to a bit of shade too. I plant them in partial shade in the summer and move them around in other months of the year so that they have full sun exposure. Soft and tender lettuces proliferate and need a ready supply of seedlings to keep up salad demands (especially for a family like mine!). You can grow lots of lettuce in a small space, even in a container so its a good one to start with.

Silverbeet, kale, bok choy and rainbow chard are other great greens to grow and are mostly pickable throughout the year. They take about 8-10 weeks to grow, which is a quick reward. You can keep harvesting greens as you need them, as long as you show them enough love and water. You can plant about six plants in a small space.

My favourite way to use greens is in my Super Seeded Spring Salad

If you’re up for a challenge, try growing carrots. They’re not the easiest to grow in Australia, but you can get a serious bang for your buck. I plant around 2-3 each year and get about six months of carrots. For best results, seed the carrots according to specific instructions. I also tie them with a cable tie to stop the leaves bending over. 

Another colourful and vibrant vegetable to grow is beetroot. Place it in about 30 in 1m2, water them well and end up with home-grown beetroots that are a thousand times better than store-bought ones. To get better cropping, plant beetroots individually and pull them apart as they grow.

Spring onion is a flavour provider that is a great companion to many crops. They start slow, but when you plant them monthly, there’s still something to harvest. You can plant at least 50 spring onions in a 1m2 space, and they love the sun for eight months of the year. Over summer, plant them in partial shade.  

Watercress Leek and Coconut Soup

Watercress Leek and Coconut Soup. It's good for your microbes!

Leeks may be slow growers, but they’re in the garden for about eight months of the year. They require a reasonable amount of soil and enough moisture to keep them growing. You’ll get around 50 leeks each plant, and you can plant about 20-30 per metre2 

Tomatoes take about 20-30 days to reach maturity from the time they first appear and begin producing fruits at about day 40-50. They’re compact plants, which means they grow a lot of fruit for their space. They’re like the kid who always stood at the back of the photos because they had a growth spurt younger than all the other kids. A recently picked juicy and ripe tomato provides a flavour explosion like no other. 

Eggplants and Capsicums are relatively easy to grow in a place with long and warm summers. They crop heavily and are compact plants. Eggplants grow in a tall and angular fashion and take about 100-120 days to reach maturity. Capsicums take about three months to mature.  Try adding them to this delicious Bohemian Baked Vegetable Bowl.

Cucumbers and strawberries are part of my kitchen garden. You can read more about how to start your own kitchen garden here.

Too hard basket

While I love root veggies, I tend to leave the parsnips for my local grocer. They take up a lot of space and take a more extended time to grow. Similarly, regular onions take up a substantial amount of space and time. 

Unfortunately, cabbage is another no-no as, taking up a lot of valuable space in the garden without any reward for months.

Minimal Space

If you’re reading this and thinking, Lee, all of this is too hard because I don’t have a backyard, it’s time to get creative. You can use a balcony or smaller outside area and have just a few pots. The best plants for a balcony are herbs. 

While some spread their herbs around their garden, I prefer to have a dedicated herb wall. My favourite herbs to grow are turmeric, garlic, fennel, dill, basil, oregano, chilli, and rosemary. For only a small amount of space, you can get a diverse range of herbs and spices!

What am I growing?

I’m currently paying special attention to a few specific veggies and herbs.

Celery has always been one of my favourite veggies to grow, even before celery juice became trendy! Celery requires lots of water and rich soil, otherwise it’ll dry out and become bitter and tough (I wouldn’t want to mess with that!). It takes about 3-4 months for the anti-inflammatory stalks to rise. If you’re totally over celery juice, sip on celery in my Lockdown Gut Immunity Smoothie.

Rocket is easily one of my favourite greens, maybe because it’s one of the fastest-growing ones! Rocket works best in spring and autumn and takes only 6-7 weeks to be ready for harvesting. Rocket is bitter, making it beneficial for our liver health. Rocket’s the perfect topper to my Supercharged Fish Tortillas.

I don’t mean to be biased, but my basil is the greatest basil I’ve ever seen – for real! Basil grows well in warm environments and take only 8-14 days to germinate and emerge from the soil. After germination, it takes about 4-6 weeks for leaves to emerge. I love adding basil to pasta, or making it the star of the show in my Red Capsicum and Hazelnut Pesto or this winning Basil Pesto with a twist.

Mint is a digestive aid, loved by all. It grows year-round in warmer climates and takes about 90 days to grow. I used to overwater my mint, which was a big mint-stake! If you’re planting mint in the ground, water it every 7-10 days. If it’s staying in a pot, it requires water every 3-5 days. Get out of the toothpaste tube and into your creative thinking. I love the way mint adds freshness to my Pan-fried Pineapple with Mint and Coconut Yoghurt.

Broccoli is a cool season crop that needs to be grown in full sun. Broccoli’s are heavy feeders, so be sure to feed them accordingly! I love broccoli because it’s great for our livers, and it offers a great source of vitamin K and vitamin C. it takes around 100-150 days for broccoli to grow. If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your broccoli, try my Oven-Baked Broccoli Steaks

To add some flavour and antioxidants to my diet, I love growing turmeric, ginger and garlic. While these flavour providers take some time, they’re worth the wait. Turmeric takes around 7-10 months to grow and can be used in a myriad of dishes. Garlic takes around 9 months to grow and is a big fan of the sun! Growing ginger usually takes 8-10 months to grow and can be planted in a pot. You can choose to harvest the roots after several months.  

I strive for self-sufficiency in my garden, and I’d love to see you do the same! Remember, just like the people in your life; plants require lots of love, attention and water. Act accordingly.

So what to do with your home grown produce? For the Rolls-Royce of nutrient-dense salads, look no further than my Gardener’s Bounty Salad. Overflowing with garden goodness, this salad is better than any multivitamin pill. This is your secret weapon against ill health, fatigue and lacklustre skin.

Let me know what you are growing in the comments section below.

The Gardener’s Bounty Salad

Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup english spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped kale, stem removed
  • 1 cup rocket (arugula)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), seeds and membrane removed, sliced
  • 3 baby (pattypan) squash, quartered
  • 1 small zucchini (courgette), thinly sliced
  • 150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) cherry tomatoes
  • 
1 cucumber, cubed

Dressing

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 Tsp Love Your Gut powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

Method

Assemble all the salad ingredients in a bowl.

Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and use a handheld blender to blend until smooth.

Pour the dressing over the salad and enjoy.

Top tips to take Instagram-worthy pics of your food and share them

The appetite for posting and consuming stunning photos of food cooked at home and in restaurants is at an all-time high thanks to Instagram or insta-gratification as I like to call it. Can you believe that more than 500 million people love to snap, upload, storyboard, swipe up, down and comment on this social photo app across the globe, with three-fifths of these using the app daily to take snapshots of their lives.

Given that you’re here on the Supercharged couch with me, it’s likely you're as keen as mustard about food as we are. That’s why we’ve pulled out all the stops to create an ‘Instagram 101’ article for those of you who want to shout loud and proud about their culinary talents, flavoursome photos and random sprinkling of salt from a great height on ‘the ‘Gram’.

Natural light can really make your dishes shine

It doesn’t matter whether you are taking snaps from your kitchen or a restaurant, the success of most Insta-foodies relies heavily on soft natural light. Many Instagrammers will only take photos of their food in daytime when the natural light is plentiful. If you're visiting a restaurant, ideally you should request a table close to a window or door to enable light to flood across your dishes.

Natural light is especially effective at allowing colorful dishes and ingredients to shine. Take my roasted vegetable stock as an example, which benefits from natural light kissing the darkened pot and bringing all those delicious vegetables to life.

Don’t over-edit your photos

There is a tendency with some Instagrammers to go heavy on the filters of their food photos. In fact, some of the filters can spoil the quality of the images instead of enhancing them. Instagrammer @theboywhobakes recommends avoiding using your smartphone’s flash too as it can also create an artificial appearance to your dishes. Photo editing apps like VSCO are said to be very effective at giving you the control you need without your feed becoming too staged and force fed. If you tend to over-edit your photos, consider using one of the simple resizing apps that allow only cropping pictures and almost nothing else. A photo of your dish taken in natural light and copped carefully might be all you need to make a good picture! Also try an instagram story maker.

Get inspiration from photographers of other still objects

Photographing still objects or people doesn’t have to be difficult. There are photographers who manage to capture the essence of various hobbies and industries that don’t require people jumping around or moving fast like professional athletes. Take poker for instance, which by its very nature is a sedentary pastime. Poker photographers make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas each year for the World Series of Poker, with ‘Sin City’ considered the mecca of this pastime among the poker fraternity. They manage to capture the essence and drama of poker tournaments often through anticipation and timing. By understanding how each player displays emotion after winning and losing hands, it’s possible to use their tendencies to anticipate the perfect shot of elation, resignation or downright despair.

Don’t stress about making your photos too perfect

Food looks at its most delicious when it is served and presented authentically. Whether it’s oozing with sauce or dripping with juice, make sure your photos demonstrate all aspects of your dish. This can certainly make your meals appear more wholesome and genuine, particularly if it’s home-cooked fare. If there’s a lot going on the plate, be sure to give it room to breathe. Try not to overcrowd it with other accessories like crockery and table decorations – let the plate do the talking. A picture is worth a thousand words after all!

Snap what you like, not what you think will get likes

A trap that many food Instagrammers fall into too easily is trying to take shots of food that they think their target demographic will like, not what they like. What really builds Instagram followings is authenticity. Although magazines like Elle recommend that you focus on meals that work aesthetically for Instagram, many users will be able to see through this insincerity. People will follow your feed if they see passion and love for what you cook and devour. Eat and create the food that you find delicious, not what you believe others find tasty. Be original with your feed. The last thing you want is to be a carbon copy of someone else.

Acquaint yourself with your phone’s photography features

Before you start spamming your Instagram feed with dishes, make sure you understand the full power of your smartphone’s photo functionality. Get to grips with using exposure and focus with your lenses and start to have fun with the kind of backdrops that can help your food sing on-screen. It doesn’t matter whether it’s tablecloths, tiled floors or textured wallpaper, it’s all about investing time and energy in creating the perfect environment for your food.

Enjoy creating and sharing your images!

Lee xo

Bunker Baked Beans on Toast with Video

If every tin of baked beans in your supermarket has been snapped up, fear not, I'm here to tell you that you can still have your beans and eat them too.

I’ve got the ultimate bunker down recipe for self-isolation today. It’s fun to make, healthy and tastes even better than the tinned thing.

Plus it only takes 15 minutes to get this good boy onto the table and it's so simple you could make it blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. (I am not suggested you do this by the way!)

To create this formidable breakfast, I’m using white Cannellini beans, known for their mild and smooth flavour. Did you know that home-cooked baked beans are surprisingly packed with nutrients? They’re a wonderfully nutritious ingredient with folate, iron and magnesium. In addition they’re full of fibre and protein so will support gut health, and promote the balance and population of microorganisms.

If you’re interested in gut health, check out our Love Your gut powder here. The fibre in the beans helps you feel full and slows down digestion, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes and drops. These benefits alone make Cannellini beans the cheapest superfood on the market today! Especially if you’re on a budget right now as many of us are.

So what are you waiting for, bring on the beans! Lets make tinned beans HAS BEANS and lessen the sodium and heapings of sugar from the canned variety.

This dish is the ultimate comfort food for a lockdown situation and will bring you much comfort and satisfaction. I recommend having it with my Best Scrambled Eggs you will Ever Eat.

The good news is, that with minimal effort, you can gain back the bean and incorporate it into your hearty breakfast, just by following these few simple steps.

I really hope you enjoy it!

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Watch a video here about how to make it.

Ps Occasionally beans can make certain people bloated, all you need to do is just rinse them (even the canned varieties) a couple of times before using to help alleviate this!

Bunker Baked Beans on Toast

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 slices bread for toasting

Beans
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsps mustard (or to your preference)
1/2 cup passata (tomato puree)
A good glug of tamari (or soya or Worcestershire sauce)
1 can cannellini beans (rinsed)
1-2 TBS maple syrup or sweetener of choice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Love Your gut powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Method
In a medium saucepan spray with olive oil
Place garlic and stir then add mustard and stir, then add all remaining ingredients and cook for 7-10 mins to thicken and reduce sauce
Place bread in toaster and when cooked to your liking, pile beans on top

Lee x

Stacks and Stacks of Resources for Good Gut Health 💪 Special Offer ☀️

One of the first steps to good gut health is to learn as much as you can about your unique relationship with this integral body part and its systems.

Today I’m sharing a fantastic educational e-course offer that I’m super proud to be a part of.

The Gut Health Super Stack is an in-depth e-course that brings together some incredible resources that will help you to not only get great results but also assess your own gut health needs, and give you access to stress management tools in a supportive private online community.

Our gut is the center of all health and well being, both physical and mental. For centuries medical experts in Japan recognized gut health as the core to health and vitality.  Called both onaka, ‘honored middle’ and hara, the ‘center of spiritual and physical strength’, the large intestine has long been venerated in the far east as the location of the soul.

And now, both Western medicine and the food industry are catching up. Studies on the gut microbiome are proving over and over just how much a healthy, balanced gut biome can change one’s life for the better. Which is why more and more people are turning toward the holistic benefits of nourishing their gut microbiome.

A healthy microbiome contributes to...

  • Improved digestion. A healthy gut is filled with a diverse and balanced group of bacteria needed to fully absorb and transmit nutrients to the body to maximum effect.
  • A strengthened immune system. A healthy gut is the frontline defense against ingested pathogens. It competes for nutrients and starves harmful pathogens, which protects your body from bacterial overgrowths which can lead to illness and inflammation.
  • Improved mood and cognition. The gut microbiome is connected to the brain via the gut-brain axis, a 24/7 biochemical communication. Gut bacteria make 90% of our serotonin which regulates emotions. A healthy, diverse microbiome enables the effective release of neurotransmitters from gut microorganisms. Research suggests a healthy gut can contribute to improved mental health and help with depression and anxiety.
  • Bone health. Studies show most Americans do not get enough calcium in their diet. A healthy gut microbiome can help increase absorption of calcium.

As if that's not enough, research shows that an unbalanced or non-diverse gut microbiome has a proven connection with obesity. Other studies have linked a balanced and diverse gut microbiome with sustained and healthy weight.

If you’re keen to access new material and get your gut health on the right track, the Gut Health Super Stack includes a hand-curated collection of premium tools and resources.  It’s a diverse collection of everything you need to start and maintain your gut health journey, including a vast array of assessment tools, troubleshooting blueprints, recipes, meal plans, nutrition guides and stress relief methods and it includes my very own Heal Your Gut book.

Whether you’ve tried gut health before, or you’re just starting out, this collection of resources will open the way to the benefits of a clearer mind and elevated mood, better resistance to illness, a stable and healthy weight, and an abundance of energy.

With the Gut Health Super Stack, you’ll be able to:

  • Assess your gut health needs with personalized self-assessment tools
  • Eradicate the harmful pathogens that cause chronic health issues
  • Know which foods will heal you and which ones cause inflammation
  • Use a powerful acupressure routine to boost digestion and strengthen immunity
  • Maximize nutrient absorption and stabilize your weight
  • Discover proven solutions, make educated changes, and take back control of your health
  • Seal your gut so it no longer leaks harmful microorganisms into your blood
  • Access over 90 anti-inflammatory recipes to heal and nourish your gut

Interested? Here’s a sneak peak at what’s inside...

  • Get lifetime access to 14 premium gut health e-courses, where world-class experts show you how to revitalize your body and mind with nutrient-rich meal plans and recipes, beat chronic inflammation, shift stubborn weight, and get on the fast track to health
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Please click here to see everything that is included in the super stack.

The value of the pack is $2700 but it's going to be offered at $49 for the next 7-days to the 21st April 2020, so it's really good value.

Let me know what you think of it.

Happy gut health!

Lee x

Swirly Easter Bunny Bark + Five Reasons to Enjoy Chocolate

Calling all chocolate lovers, families and friends, I have a lip-smackingly-good homemade treat for you, just in time for Easter.

Today I'm giving you a signed permission slip to eat chocolate. 

No questions asked, or strings attached. 

Are you surprised? confused?

Let’s take this back a step. Have you ever wondered what chocolate is and where it comes from?

Well, cacao is grown on trees in tropical areas of the Amazon. Cacao comes from beans that grow on the cacao tree. These beans are harvested and processed into cacao and cocoa products. Cacao powder is the raw version of cocoa and is full of essential vitamins and minerals. 

Cocoa was traditionally used for its healing benefits, which is vastly different from the indulgent way we consume it nowadays. So, where did they get this idea from, and more importantly, how do we start eating more chocolate… for the health benefits… of course. 

Here are my five favourite reasons to eat chocolate (not that you needed any 😉

  1. Cacao is packed full of antioxidants, which helps reduce bodily inflammation and fight off oxidative stress. Cocoa contains 50mg of polyphenols per gram; this means a single-serve of cocoa contains more antioxidants than the average person eats in a day! It turns out you can have your chocolate and eat it too.
  1. Chocolate improves your mood, and not just because it’s delicious. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a brain chemical released when we experience an emotional pleasure. No wonder we reach for the chocolate bar when we’re feeling down - it’s a natural pick-me-up!
  1. Against popular belief, dark chocolate can help with weight loss. Cacao is associated with suppressing our appetite and increasing fat oxidation. Frequent chocolate consumption is associated with lower body weight, which may be related to the antioxidant effect of chocolate. I’m not saying it’s time to scoff down several chocolate bars daily, but having a few squares of dark chocolate can be beneficial to your health and your waist-line.
  1. If you’re someone who struggles with sleep, chocolate could be your saving grace. Chocolate contains magnesium, a mineral that’s commonly deficient. Magnesium serves over 300 biochemical processes in the body, including looking after our bones, heart and energy levels. Magnesium is also beneficial for sleep, fatigue and muscle soreness. 
  1. One of the key research areas with chocolate is its impact on cardiovascular health. Chocolate offers a rich source of antioxidants, that can be protective against damage to the lining of the arteries, improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure. In one study, women who were consuming 1-2 servings of chocolate per week had significantly lower rates of heart failure hospitalisation compared to those who didn’t eat chocolate.

Now that you’re officially convinced, it’s time to reap the benefits! Celebrate your love of chocolate... oh, and Easter, with my Swirly Easter Bunny Bark!  It's full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants, and this chocolate bark is one for the whole family to love and enjoy. 

These shards of deliciousness may not look perfect but I can absolutely guarantee that they taste amazing!  It has something to do with the frozen berries I think, they make it incredible.

So why not marshall the troops at home during Covid-19 self-isolation, and hop onto this one, I promise you won't be disappointed with the outcome.

There will be no more hot cross bunnies in the house once they get their lips around this one, I can assure you.

Watch a video about how to make it here.

Swirly Easter Bunny Bark

Note, if you are cutting down on sugar/dairy or have allergies, you can make your own chocolate if you prefer.  There is a recipe for white or dark chocolate here.

Ingredients

  • 1 big block milk chocolate 70%
  • 1 big block white chocolate
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 tbs hemp seeds
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs pumpkin seeds
  • 3 x tbs frozen berries
  • Large pinch sea salt

Method

Kids ask mum, dad or an adult for help with this first bit…

Bring two pans of water to the boil and add a bowl on top and melt the chocolate, the water should be simmering underneath. Stir each bowl using two spoons or spatulas to remove any clumps

Kids can line a small baking tray with baking parchment paper

Adults spoon the dark melted chocolate into the tray and spread it out evenly leaving about an inch space around the edge of the tray. Then repeat the process with the white chocolate

Kids you can now get a chopstick or skewer and swirl it around back and forth to make a pattern or whatever shapes you like

Now its time to add your toppings, you can scatter over the nuts, berries and seeds and sea salt, then once it is finished place in fridge to set, if you’re in a hurry to eat it you can put it in the freezer to speed things up

Decorate with extra Easter decorations if you like!

To eat, ask an adult to chop it up into pieces

This keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge if it lasts that long!

Make it and let me know what you think below 😉

Happy Easter!

Lee xo

Is your kitchen a potential Covid-19 crime scene?

The kitchen in most houses is the social centre of the home, and now more than ever, with more people self-isolating, it’s really coming into it’s own. It’s the one communal area of the house that is getting a lot more contact and foot and hand traffic.

Please indulge me for getting on my soapbox here for a moment.

I’m the kind of person you’ll always find in the kitchen at parties! As a self-confessed fastidious clean freak, along with many others, when you think about it, this really is our time to shine… and wipe, and rinse and spray and get-into-the-nooks and..... well you get my drift here.

If you think about your kitchen as a germ crime scene, then let’s make the most of our time at home, make it fun by snapping on the gloves, arming ourselves with anti-bac spray and getting all CSI on it!

Covid-19 is, in many ways a contact virus. It cannot only spread via person-to-person transmission, but also via the surfaces and objects we touch. One of the ways to stay on top of things is to anoint a Coronavirus Czar. Someone that no one likes to mess with at home, who’s across all the latest information and can be really motivating when it comes to setting and following Covid-19 kitchen rules. The kind of family member who enjoys organisation, cleaning and anti-bacterialising and cannot sit through an entire episode of hoarders without getting twitchy.

At this moment, there is no current evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food. Having said that, extra care should be taken with hygiene to reduce the risk of food born illnesses.

Importantly, you want to try and stay in good health at times like these and keep your immune system strong. You can read more about immunity here.

The World Health Organisation suggests that if you’re eating meat then cooking it well is best. All raw meat can contain microorganisms and bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This can help prevent cross-contamination.

Keeping your fruit and vegetable intake up can be challenging during lockdown. If you’re cutting or grating fresh produce such as tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries, a study shows that viruses such as Norovirus and Hepatitis A can be transferred from contaminated produce and onto knives. If you’re planning on using the knife again to cut another ingredient, it would transfer the virus from the knife to another food source. This highlights the importance of cleaning knives between uses to prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen.

Here are my twelve tips to good hygiene practices when preparing and handling food:

  • Wash your hands before handling any food, and even when you are touching and preparing raw and then cooked foods
  • Wear durable nitrile gloves when cleaning your kitchen, handling chemicals cleansers, and disposing of waste products. 
  • Clean your knives between use
  • Ensure you’re cooking meat thoroughly
  • Use separate chopping boards for uncooked meats and vegetables
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Then re-wash your hands
  • Avoid contact with other family members in the kitchen if they’re showing any symptoms
  • Think forensically! Regularly clean and sanitise workbenches and equipment, clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and light switches. Don’t forget all the knobs and knockers and handles, the ones on the stove or where you pull out your drawers
  • Use clean utensils for eating and drinking, maybe try and have your own set and use those
  • Use a hand sanitizer
  • Pop a note on the fridge explaining that everyone needs to wash his or her hands before and after dinner!
  • If you recycle, empty the food waste bin more frequently to avoid build up which could attract pests
  • And finally, walk the perimeter with your disinfectant spray gun and squirt with abandon

Coronavirus is destroyed by hot water, so if you're using a dishwasher, set it to above 60 degrees and use sanitisers in the kitchen and that should do the trick.

If you do happen to have an upset stomach or food poisoning, our Love Your Gut powder  and Capsules are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic and will help to gently cleanse the gut and remove bad bacteria, heavy metals, waste and toxic substances.

Happy Cleaning! And by the way if you need them and are keen to make your own cleaning products, you can find some cleaning recipes over here.

The Best Scrambled Eggs You Will Ever Eat! + Video

Today I’m eggspanding your breakfast menu.

I’ve been in self isolation and scrambling around in the kitchen in lockdown so I thought I’d share with you my favourite way to make simple scrambled eggs.

These eggs are a little different and they have a couple of supercharged twists 🍋

You’ll never do boring scrambled eggs again after trying them especially as I have my two secret ingredients nutmeg and lemon rind!

Plus they are affordable at $1.90 per serve.

Give them a go and let me know what you think? 

You can watch a video of how to make them here:

Supercharged Scrambled Eggs

Serves 3

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Love Your Gut powder
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Toast of choice and basil to serve

Method

Whisk eggs in a bowl ensuring you get enough height to make them nice and fluffy

Grate lemon rind into bowl

Add nutmeg and Love Your Gut powder

Heat butter or oil in a pan

Then heat to low- medium and pour in eggs

Add a pinch of sea salt

With a flat edged wooden spoon stir gently until cooked

Tumble out of pan and serve on toast with fresh basil 🌿

Green Eggs No Ham Frittata

Ever looked in the fridge and wondered, what can I make for dinner tonight? It’s a question that comes up regularly in kitchens across the world. I know it’s the most repeated question in our house! Especially at a time like this when many people are in self-isolation because of Corona Virus.

In these instances, when I’m not sure what to make and I’m looking for a fool-proof, easy meal with a big hit of vegetables, I always go to my ‘fall-back favourite’, the trusted frittata.

It's also affordable to make at $3.25 per serve (6 people) plus you have leftovers too!

This high protein, green filled meal is not only supercharged, but also perfect for vegetarians. It’s a great way to get a big hit of vegetables in one go, just my style!

What I love about frittatas is that you can easily mix and match ingredients and basically use whatever you have sitting in your crisper drawer or even use frozen vegetables if you don’t have access to fresh right now. Having a couple of packets of snap frozen vegetables in your freezer will still make this recipe work. Stock up on edamame peas, spinach, broccoli and green beans and you’ll have handy healthy ingredients to throw into the mix. Check out my free 14-day Healthy Shopping List and Kitchen Plan here.

I usually pair a slice for dinner with some greens and a side of Savoury Smashed Root Vegetables, then we store the remainder in an airtight container for the following day. I call it supercharged stockpiling!

The frittata leftovers are then sliced into wedges to pack for lunches, another dinner option, or snacks. It’s also a viable option if you are travelling into work at this time, as it’s wonderful eaten as a cold dish, plus it’s perfectly easy to warehouse.

When creating supercharged meals, think about adding different herbs, spices and flavours and different textures and temperatures, as this will give you variety and the sense that you’re not eating the same meal over and over.

I’ve used garlic in this dish, as it’s a winning ingredient because not only does it intensify a dish and impart rich flavour, it’s also an all-rounder when it comes to promoting health. Garlic is a strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent, which is why getting stuck into it during cold and flu season, can help you stay healthy.

When you start by sautéing onion or garlic at the beginning of your cooking story, you’ll find they’ll unleash a powerful flavour that lends itself to releasing the aromas of other ingredients in your dish. Some people like to add it in towards the end of a dish; it’s entirely up to you. What is so good about the strong flavour profile is that it will only increase the longer you wait to eat it. That’s why it’s perfect to include in a dish you plan on reheating the next day.

Frittatas lend themselves to the use of different herbs and spices, adding a delicious aroma to your meal in addition to loading your dish up with health-promoting properties. This is especially important for families who need to satisfy the taste buds of their children or partners.

Discovering the different flavours and aromas of herbs and spices already in your pantry can be the difference between your family pushing their plates away and eating their meals with delight.

If the thought of herbs and spices gets you into a muddle and tarragon and oregano sound like American states, I’ve created a wonderful reference guide which includes all of the most common and some uncommon herbs and spices here. I’ve detailed thirty-seven of my favourite herbs and spices to zest and flavour your meals and give them a whole new lease on life.

A Supercharged tip is to store dried herbs and spices in a cool, dry place preferable not above the oven. This will keep them in peak condition. Dried or dehydrated herbs keep fresh for a year but it’s helpful to write use by dates and label them just to make sure.

I always try to stock some good quality sea salt or pink Himalayan salt in the pantry, which contain minerals to add even more nutrition and great flavour to your cooking.

Adding sweet vegetables such as frozen peas to your meals will give you the fibre needed for good gut health, one of my key principles for health and they taste wonderful in this frittata.

If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand as I’ve used in this recipe, you can still add sweetness and a richness of flavour to your meal by using tinned tomatoes. They’re a versatile and low-calorie product good to have on hand in your pantry and can be used at a moments notice.

I always cook this frittata in my trusted Chasseur Casserole Buffet Pan, it’s not just for frittatas, and you can use it for just about everything on the stovetop. I love that it gives the frittata a lovely evenly cooked result, plus its oven friendly. I recently teamed up with Everten, an Australian family business that have a great range of kitchenware and cookware from leading brands across the world as I am really keen to support local businesses at this time. They send it packed in recycled materials with 100% biodegradable air pillows to protect it, and you can then add them to your compost or garden bed by adding a small amount of water. Basically you are feeding yourself and the garden at the same time!

There’s always a certain amount of egg-xiety when it comes to frittata making, no one wants to look down on their plate and find a spongy overcooked or runny undercooked mess, but this pan just seems to nail it every single time. This dish slides out of the pan effortlessly and cleanly, because the pan is double coated, enamelled cast iron, which is the preferable one to use. A thick cast iron base gives a more even heat distribution & fuel-efficiency to make cooking easier & more economical. Plus a tip is to slide it out of the pan immediately after it’s been grilled that way it comes out easily.

I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve when making a good frittata. One is to monitor the stovetop heat (medium to low) and then crisp and fluff it up under the grill until puffy. I also think the right cheese makes a difference and Fetta or goat’s cheese is the key here, you want the right amount of saltiness but not too much!

I’ve served it on my favourite Ecology Oatmeal Speckled dinnerware.

The range has an environmentally friendly production process (no coal furnaces are used in manufacturing). It has a lovely organic shape with a dimpled tactile finish giving it an earthy wholesome feel.

Enjoy my Green Eggs No Ham Frittata hot or cold and in any kind of weather. Putting it under the grill will give you a golden brown with a crusty top.

And another little tip from me, make this recipe in a muffin tin, and when cooked they can be stored in the fridge for four to five days.

Green Eggs No Ham Frittata

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • handful chopped herbs, I used mint, parsley, rosemary, coriander, thyme and basil
  • splash of oat milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • handful of kale
  • pinch chili flakes
  • 2 cups frozen minted peas
  • 6 small truss tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup goat’s cheese or feta

Method

Whisk eggs in a bowl and add garlic, herbs and milk

Heat oil in a buffet pan and add kale, sautéing for a couple of minutes then sprinkle with chili flakes

Stir through the peas on a gentle heat

Add egg mixture to the pan and add tomatoes and cheese

Cook over a low to medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until almost set

Place under a grill for 3-5 minutes until puffy on top

Serve with fresh greens

I hope you enjoy it. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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