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6 Tips to Get Enough Calcium in Your Diet

When you think of calcium, you probably imagine your bones. This mineral is essential for creating your skeleton, but that’s not its only function. It’s also vital for blood clotting, maintaining normal heart rhythms and preserving neurological homeostasis — keeping your nerves operating as they should.

However, your body doesn’t produce this mineral. You need to consume it through the foods you eat.

Here are six tips to get enough calcium in your diet.

1. Consume More Dairy Products

The most obvious way to consume more calcium is to up your dairy product consumption. Milk and milk products are high in this mineral while providing other benefits. For example, the casein in milk covers your teeth in protective protein, preventing decay, while the magical mineral helps maintain them from the inside.

Enriched dairy foods also contain vitamin D, an essential nutrient for absorption. Without this substance, your body can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol — aka active vitamin D. Your body takes calcium from your bones if you don’t get a sufficient intake, weakening them instead of vice versa. Fortunately, your body also manufactures vitamin D with adequate sun exposure, but many people don’t get enough.

What if you’re one of the many whose stomach revolts when you drink a glass of the white stuff? Some lactose-intolerant folks can tolerate certain cheeses, such as Swiss, Parmesan, cheddar or feta. Yogurt is another excellent choice, providing a gut-healthy dose of probiotics with your calcium. Many plant-based milks such as cashew milk  also provide a decent amount of calcium.

Considering the potential challenges of incorporating dairy into your diet, especially for those with gut issues, exploring alternatives becomes crucial. If mornings are a rush and dairy isn't your go-to, perhaps a Morning Kick Supplement rich in power greens, probiotics, and ashwagandha could be a convenient way to ensure you meet your daily nutritional needs.

2. Get a Little Fishy

Other excellent sources of calcium and other essential nutrients like vitamin D are fish like salmon, shrimp and sardines. These benefit your body with omega-3 fatty acids, which are also critical for heart and neurological health. You need omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but many people get too much of the latter because of our over-reliance on vegetable oils in processed foods. The unbalance may contribute to various diseases — correcting it can help.

The long summer days make it a snap to wrap some snapper in baking paper with a few lemon slices and fresh herbs from your garden, popping it on the grill for a few moments. You get juicy and delicious perfection without smelling up your house. What can you do during the winter months? Pop a few lemon slices in your Pyrex baking dish with a touch of rosemary to keep odors at bay. You’ll also impart a few extra nutrients and antioxidants in your meal.

3. Think Deep, Leafy Greens

“OK,” you might think, “calcium and vitamin D matter, but what if I practice a vegan lifestyle?” If so, you can still get enough of this precious mineral in your diet from plant-based sources.

One of your best options is deep, leafy greens like kale, broccoli and Swiss chard. These foods also offer rich reserves of vitamin K, another nutrient essential for blood clotting and cardiovascular health. Sauteing vegetables like spinach in olive oil makes this nutrient more bioavailable because it’s fat- and not water-soluble.

You don’t have to do much to get more of these foods in your diet — without living on salad. Add a slice of kale or a few spinach leaves to your lunchtime salad or wrap. Fill your next breakfast omelet with arugula. Make a delicious vegan burger with black beans and dark, leafy greens baked right into the patty, perhaps adding a few hemp seeds for texture.

4. Shop Milk Alternatives

You might also have luck with plant-based milk alternatives. A quick perusal of your grocery shelves reveals scores of brands with more calcium than dairy. Many of these products are enriched with this nutrient, but they can still increase your intake.

For example, many commercial brands of almond milk contain more calcium than dairy. Some varieties, such as hemp and fresh soy without additives, also have hefty doses of vitamin D. Many versions are lower in fat and calories, helpful for those watching their weight.

5. Consider a Supplement

Consider a supplement if you still harbor concerns about your calcium intake. Western minds seem to think more is automatically better for some reason, but this consumerist principle does not apply to the human body. It helps your bones, heart and nervous system, but too much can have the opposite effect. Your best bet is to keep a food and supplement diary to share with your doctor.

You have four choices for calcium supplements:

  • Calcium carbonate: The cheapest form contains 40% elemental calcium, and you can find it in products like Tums. Hello, affordability.
  • Calcium citrate: This form is in many popular supplements because of its absorbability but is less potent.
  • Calcium gluconate: This version is available in prescription strength to fight osteoporosis and some over-the-counter preparations.
  • Calcium lactate: This popular food additive also stabilizes and firms food.

6. Have Your Cake

Let’s end this list on a sweet note. Many of your favorite desserts are high in calcium, so consider finishing your meal with a flourish of delight if you’re concerned about your intake.

Ice cream and yogurt are obvious choices — and you can find non-dairy versions of each if you’re vegan. Many cultures end their meals with cheese and fruit, so get a bit continental and do the same.

Get Your Calcium

Calcium is an essential mineral for several body functions. Are you getting a sufficient intake?

If you’re worried, follow the tips above to get enough calcium in your diet. You’ll enjoy stronger bones and a healthier heart and nervous system.

The best chicken pâté you will ever eat

Ladies and gentlemen gather 'round for the ultimate champion, the one and only...drumroll, please... the best chicken liver pâté you’ll ever eat.

Before we kick off, let’s talk about the elephant in the room — chicken liver. 

I know what you’re thinking – who likes chicken liver? 

Before I tried this pâté, chicken livers weren’t exactly my cut of choice either, but you’ll have to trust me on this: this chicken liver pâté will make you change your mind (sorry to any vegetarians reading this. I don’t make the rules!). 

Whilst chicken livers won’t exactly be making it on to your next breakfast shot on the gram, they are exceptionally nutritious, with one of the main benefits being they’re full of iron. Iron is needed to produce haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in the blood.1 Consuming enough iron is particularly important for individuals at risk of anaemia, including people with heavy menstrual periods, pregnant women, athletes and vegetarians.   

Chicken liver is a great vitamin A source, giving you healthy vision and glowing skin. It’s also packed full of vitamin B12, essential for forming red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system. 

Let’s not forget that chicken livers are high in protein, which plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and well-being.1 Protein helps with weight management, boosts the immune system, and builds and repairs body tissues, making the ol’ chicken liver pâté a top-notch option for a post-workout snack. If you’re looking for easy ways to squeeze more protein into your day (I know I always am.), you have to try my new protein powder. It’s vegan and comes in either creamy chocolate or velvety vanilla.

Are we all on the same page about chicken livers now?

Great. 

Now, let’s talk taste. This pâté is like a party in your mouth, with a perfect balance of savoury chicken flavour and a hint of herbs and spices that will have your taste buds doing the cha-cha. It’s smooth, rich in flavour, and so simple to make that it’s almost silly. 

And let’s not forget about the convenience factor. This pâté is perfect for those busy days when you need a quick and easy snack. Spread it on crackers, bread, or even as a veggie dip, or get creative and use it as a sandwich filling or a topping on a homemade pizza. 

Getting excited? I thought so.

But Lee, where do you buy chicken livers?

I purchase my chicken livers from my local butcher, so I know it’s locally sourced, free-range and more ethically produced. Not only does it make my taste buds and body happy, but my conscience too.

Chicken livers can also be found at supermarkets in the fresh meat section, in the freezer, and sometimes in the specialty or organic section.

When buying chicken livers, check the expiration date and that they look and smell fresh. If you're buying frozen chicken livers, ensure they are sealed, and there are no signs of freezer burn. 

So, there you have it, folks. The best chicken pâté you’ll ever eat. Don’t just take my word for it; give it a try, and you’ll be doing the pâté cha-cha in no time.  

If you’re looking for more delicious recipes like this one, do I have the perfect book for you! Supercharge Your Life includes over 160 tried and tested delicious recipes. Take a look for yourself here.

Chicken Liver Pâté

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g free-range chicken livers
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or us spring onion (scallion) greens
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Generous pinch of grated nutmeg

Method:  

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. 
  2. Sauté the livers and onion for 10 minutes or until the livers are browned, with no pink remaining.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and season well with freshly ground black pepper. Process until light and smooth.
  4. Transfer to a small dish, cover and chill in the fridge before using to allow the flavours to blend.

The pâté will keep for 2–3 days.

Resources:

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/

Do You Struggle with Sleep? Have you tried CBD?

With the hectic lives many of us lead these days, it can become difficult to relax and unwind. Many people find it really hard to switch off, and they tend to churn things over in their minds all the time even while at home. This can make it very difficult to rest and can impact sleep and life quality as well as quality time with loved ones.

If you're one of the many people who struggle when it comes to relaxing and switching off, you may find that CBD offers the ideal solution.

There are all sorts of CBD products you can choose from including CBD gummies, and these can make a big difference when it comes to your ability to unwind and let your mind rest and recharge. In this article, we cover some of the ways in which CBD can help. Did you know you can even cook with it? 

Why You Should Consider CBD for Relaxation

There are many reasons why CBD can help you to unwind, relax, and switch off. It has proven extremely effective in a variety of ways, and is a popular choice for a variety of conditions.

Some of the ways in which CBD can be used is to help:

Reduce Anxiety Levels

One of the things you can look forward to when you use CBD products is a reduction in anxiety levels. When you're always on the go and constantly have things on your mind, it can lead to elevating anxiety and stress levels. This makes it even more difficult for you to switch off and relax.

By incorporating CBD products into your wellness routine, you can help to reduce the levels of anxiety making it much easier for you to relax and unwind and benefit from the positive effects on your health, wellbeing, and quality of life.

Make it Easier to Sleep

Getting enough sleep is vital to your health and wellbeing, but if you struggle when it comes to switching off, you may find that getting quality sleep becomes impossible. This will then impact other areas of your life, so it is important that you address the issue.

CBD can boost your serotonin levels, and this can help to regulate sleep patterns and provide you with far better rest. As a result, you'll feel far more rested and you can reduce the risk of a range of problems that can stem from lack of sleep.

Have a Calming Effect

CBD is also a good tool for calming you down and helping you to relax, and this will also make it easier for you to feel together and centered. Many people use CBD products to help them with relaxation and it has proven hugely effective for many users. Just another way in which CBD can help when it comes to switching off.

If you're one of the many people who struggle when it comes to relaxing and switching off, you may find that CBD offers the ideal solution.

While CBD-based products are a bit pricey compared to other natural remedies out there, you can find plenty of dispensary deals that will make them more affordable.

By using CBD to help you to relax, you can look forward to a simple and effective solution that is affordable and has a proven track record. 

Have you ever tried CBD products? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

Why Eating Healthy Can Improve Language Learning Abilities

If you think language learning has nothing to do with your diet, think again. Ample studies demonstrate how gut health can determine your daily well-being, affecting every component of your active life, including concentration, mood, and stamina. And who really needs studies when you can conduct a simple experiment yourself? With each bite of fruit, you'll feel your energy firing on all cylinders and your mind becoming clearer, while a single Kitkat sugar bomb can wear you out in no time. It only takes a day’s worth of concentration to realize how vital food is to the overall quality of your life.

We've summed up how eating healthy can boost language learning abilities to ensure you never again forget that what's inside really counts!

Boosted Cognitive Functions

Simply put, the human brain is built of food. Elements as seemingly trivial as sodium, magnesium, and carbohydrates control how our brain cells develop, whether they form new connections or shrink and perish. Electrolytes help create and transmit nerve impulses, whereas glucose supplies the energy required for brain function. Foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are neuro-protective. That said, including vital nutrients in your diet can skyrocket your language-learning abilities like nothing else.

It should come as no surprise that fast food, excess fats, and refined sugars are downright hazardous, instantly making us feel fatigued and increasing our risk of ample diseases tenfold. So the next time you need a snack before harnessing stellar academic writing skills with the best companies, you stumble upon on LetsGradeIt, ditch that McDonald's trip and opt for healthy foods that can help keep your brain sharp and healthy!

Any student wishing to boost cognitive health should make sure the fridge is swarming with life: varied vegetables and fruits, whole grains, nuts, pulses, seeds, homemade juices, and kombucha, especially those engaged in online language study. Experts advise incorporating at least 30 plants a week, as variety is essential to help ward off infections and preserve optimal brain health.

Improved Mood

It's amazing how little talk is regarding the almost miraculous ability of healthy foods to lift spirits and bring us lasting joy instantly. We are constantly assaulted with marketing new medical medications and supplements, but the majority of people can significantly improve their health simply by modifying their diet. Having said that, it is critical to educate ourselves on the numerous benefits of foods to build a perfect diet. Complex carbs (such as sweet potatoes and beans) help produce the feel-good hormone serotonin, berries reduce inflammation, nuts reduce stress, and bananas boost dopamine.

Eating healthy, therefore, directly impacts your language learning abilities. Food is the fuel that lets your body operate on a certain vibration during the day. Its quality and health characteristics influence every single aspect of the conscious mind, including stress levels, mood, and resilience. Whether you have to socialize, consult online human translation services, engage a paperwriter, or learn a new language, your brain needs to stay alert and open to new experiences. The moment you understand that a handful of nuts can become your trusted ally in tackling any of these tasks, while a hamburger is a villain that will surely get in the way, your productivity levels will soar.

Have Some of What You Fancy

As harmful as highly processed foods are, it is never a good idea to neglect them fully. You should avoid radicalism at all costs. You can indulge in occasional treats as long as you realize the importance of moderation. If you practice mindful eating in general, there is nothing wrong with tasting that yummy lemon tart in the morning, more so if you exercise afterward to burn calories and eat lots of fruits and veggies to get vital nutrients. You can also use these foods to boost motivation, like promising yourself a delicious treat after a long weekend of rigorous studying and exercise. Your brain will thank you for the occasional treat if you feed it healthy nutrients 90% of the time.

The Way Forward

Nutrition research is a relatively young field; vitamins were discovered only a century ago. This is why there is still much to be studied and also why there is so much conflicting data on the dos and don'ts of healthy eating. However, sufficient research exists to help you determine the ways to improve your diet and help those little grey cells! No one can seriously debate the role of cruciferous veggies in boosting multiple brain functions and warding off Alzheimer’s disease; or of dark chocolate to instantly lift the mood. 

That said, make sure you delve deeper into researching your perfect diet to keep you energized throughout the day. And if you’re looking to master a new language, diet is more important than ever to prepare your brain for a difficult task at hand. 

How to Make Easter Recipes a Fun Language Learning Activity for Kids

Easter is a fun time to relax and catch up with friends and family. The best way to achieve this is to meet, converse, and eat food. As a parent, if you have children learning another language, this time of the year can be an opportunity for them to practice the dialect. With the right recipes, you can get your children excited about making food during Easter. Furthermore, they can get much-needed language practice as they indulge in fun activities. As such, this article presents how to make Easter recipes a fun language-learning activity for kids.

Visual Aids

Before you select the recipes to use, you will want to have in place all the material required to develop visual aids. With these tools, you can easily present new concepts and words in a new exciting, and engaging manner. If you intend to make brownies for the holiday, you should make a presentation showing the steps involved. In addition, you should present all the ingredients in the language you want them to master. If you need help creating content for your presentation, you should consider using professional translation services. These platforms will help you develop high-quality versions of your content in a foreign language.

Select Easy Recipes

When dealing with children, you would not want to indulge in making something complicated. Selecting a complex recipe with not resonate with your kids. Instead, you should find and choose recipes that are easy to prepare. Research what people around the world are eating during Easter time and try some of the recipes. Examples of foods you should consider making include:

  • Cookies;
  • Brownies;
  • Cake;
  • Buns or rolls.

Present New Words

Learning the words of a new language can be tricky. Therefore, you should take your time to introduce kids to new or complex vocabulary. You must highlight and translate the names of each kitchen tool or ingredient you want to use. Doing this simplifies all the activities you have planned for them.

Take a Multicultural Approach

Language learning is usually closely related to people’s culture and traditions. As such, you will want to make the entire process immersed with the cultures and traditions of the target language. If you intend to use an Arab recipe during Easter, it may benefit the learning process if you use a Mid-Eastern theme. Doing this helps your children visualize the dialect they are trying to learn. Likewise, it makes the process fun and aids the retention of new words. This approach can take a lot of time you might lack due to your college assignments. If so, try WritingUniverse to aid with your tasks. This way, you will have more time and energy for planning cool Easter activities.

Encourage Writing and Reading

The core of mastery of every dialect is the ability to read and write. While preparing Easter recipes, you can introduce activities that help your kids write and read in the target language. For example, each child should read out the specific recipes before you start preparing them. Similarly, you should encourage each child to write a list of the items they need to make a meal.

Sharpen Listening Skills

Explain clearly all the recipes you have planned for your kids. Encourage them to listen to you as you describe each process in the target dialect. Through these processes, your children can develop invaluable skills that may aid listening and comprehension. In addition, you will want to encourage them to ask questions when things are unclear.

Prioritize Communication

If you want to make an Easter party that is fun and aids language learning for kids, you must prioritize communication. When children engage in cooking and baking, you must encourage them to interact using words and phrases of the target dialect verbally. To achieve this, you must engage with them. Also, you will want to support them by correcting them and coming to their aid when they find it challenging to articulate themselves. Doing this helps reinforce the learning process. It also enhances your children's overall confidence.

Take Advantage of Math

Learning another language involves knowing numbers. Thus, it will benefit your kids if you engage in simple mathematics. You can achieve this by counting the items to use when making meals. As such, counting out items in another dialect should help improve their vocabulary. Also, this can be a great chance to enhance your children's math skills.

Conclusion

Making Easter recipes can be a fun language-learning activity for kids. To achieve this, you will want to use visual aids. Furthermore, you should use easy recipes and highlight new and complex words. Also, taking a multicultural approach can enhance comprehension. You should sharpen their listening, writing, and reading skills. Finally, you should prioritize communication and utilize math when making meals. Try these tips, and you will be able to engage, entertain and educate your kids during Easter time.

Two of My Favourite Chicken Dinner Recipes

So, you’re trying to eat healthier and have some chicken in the fridge.

The classic image of a “healthy” meal – boiled chicken, packet brown rice and soggy broccoli – springs to mind, and you start to feel a bit sad (hey, I’m not judging.). Does healthy eating have to be as regimented as chicken, brown rice and broccoli? 

Definitely not!

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with chicken, brown rice and broccoli (in fact, they’re all very nutritious), the idea that this is the only healthy meal option is outdated and, kind of dull.

If you’re tired of the same old chicken recipes and are looking for creative and delicious ways to up your chicken game and add some variety to your weekly meal rotation, you’re in for a treat. 

Here are TWO of my favourite chicken recipes for dinner. I promise – there’ll be no boiled chicken in sight. 

Let’s start with a classic – butter chicken.

If you’re craving some creamy and flavourful butter chicken but don’t want to sacrifice your health, I’ve got a healthy butter chicken recipe that will have you licking your bowl clean. And yes, you read that right – healthy butter chicken! Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Butter chicken? Healthy? Is that even possible?” Well, my friend, it absolutely is. Let me show you how.

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the butter. Traditional butter chicken is loaded with, you guessed it, butter. Oh, and a whole lot of cream. But in this version, we’re swapping out the butter and regular cream for coconut cream. Coconut cream is a rich and creamy alternative to traditional cream and comes with a range of added health benefits. It contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help to improve heart health by reducing cholesterol levels.

Next up, the chicken. Chicken is already a great source of lean protein, but we’re taking it to the next level by using skinless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are a fattier meat cut, giving this butter chicken a rich and intense flavour.

Now, let’s talk about the star ingredient in this recipe – cashews. Cashews add a delicious nutty flavour and are loaded with heart-healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, they add a nice crunch to the otherwise creamy dish that I know you’ll love. 

Convinced? I thought so.

Butter Chicken Clay Pot

Serves 4

Everything just tastes better in a clay pot — even butter chicken. This version will help give your Friday-night curry a gut-friendly upgrade.

Ingredients: 

  •  2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cm (1 ¼  inch) knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved or cut into pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) coconut cream
  • 100 g (1 lb 10 oz) roasted unsalted cashews, crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve 

Method: 

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large clay pot or heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion for 3–4 minutes, or until softened. 
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a further minute.
  3. Stir in the ground spices and salt and sauté for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, before adding the bay leaf, passata, coconut cream and cashews.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20–25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6.  Stir in the lemon juice, scatter with coriander and serve with cauliflower rice or your choice of accompaniment.

And now, onto the second recipe.

My Filipino-Style Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Adobo

Not only is this recipe delicious and packed with flavour, but it’s also super fun to say. Go ahead, try it out: “Filipino-Style Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Adobo.” See, didn’t that feel good?

Now, on to the recipe itself. Adobo is a popular Filipino dish that typically features chicken or pork cooked in a tangy, vinegary and savoury sauce. This version highlights the goodness of chicken and one of my favourite veggies – leeks. If you’re new to leeks, it’s important to know they’re similar to onions, just more a-peel-ing.  

Leeks add depth to any recipe, promote healthy gut bacteria, and break down fat; they’re also high in vitamin K and flavonoids, which are beneficial for blood, bones and heart health. 

Another ingredient that adds some va-va-voom (and a load of health benefits) to this adobo are mighty mushrooms. That’s right, those funky little fungi that pop up in your backyard after a rainy day are packed with a ton of health benefits. One of the most impressive things about mushrooms is their ability to boost your immune system. They contain beta-glucans, which are complex sugars that help activate your immune cells and improve their function. So, if you’re feeling a bit run down, adding some mushrooms to your diet could be just what the doctor ordered.

Believe it or not, mushrooms can also help boost your brain function. They contain ergothioneine, an antioxidant that helps protect your brain cells from damage. Some studies have even suggested that eating mushrooms could help improve your cognitive function and memory. 

To top it all off, the apple cider vinegar adds a tanginess to this dish and is also full of enzymes and potassium to aid digestion and support the immune system. PS: think you’re ready to up your apple cider vinegar game? These are the mother of all apple cider vinegar capsules

Now that you’re ready to try this adobo for its health benefits, I know what you’re thinking: what about the flavour?

It’s sweet, salty and acidic in all the right places. Cooking softens the sharpness of the vinegar, while aromatics such as star anise and bay leaves build the complexity of the broth. 

Without further ado: the adobo. 

Filipino-Style Chicken, Mushroom and Leek Adobo

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • 4 chicken Marylands (leg quarters), about 1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz) in total, skin on
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cm (3/4 inch) knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 250 g (9 oz) mushrooms, roughly sliced
  • 2 leeks, white part only, washed well and thinly sliced, or 4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1 dried red chilli, whole
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 75 ml (2 ½ fl oz) wheat-free tamari
  • 175 ml (5 ½ fl oz) quality chicken stock or bone broth, such as the Gut-Healing Turmeric Chicken Broth
  • 1 long red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced

Method:

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat.
  2. Season the chicken with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Working in batches if necessary, fry the chicken, turning frequently, for 6–8 minutes or until browned on all sides.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 1–2 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  4. Stir in the mushrooms, leek, star anise, bay leaves, whole dried chilli, vinegar, tamari and stock.
  5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone.
  6. Sprinkle with the sliced fresh chilli, and serve with cauliflower rice or your choice of accompaniment.

I hope these chicken recipes add some spice to your meal rotation. Let me know what you think in the comments section below. If you're looking for more delicious recipes, check out my book, Supercharge Your Life

New Product News + a Roasted Leek, Goat’s Cheese and Avocado Salad

At Supercharged Food we’re always thinking about food. Food, food, food! We love trying natural ingredients to supercharge our meals and drinks. Sometimes, like now, we even put them into a container and offer them to you.

Which is all a roundabout way of saying we have some exciting new products to show you that we are releasing today! They all form part of the Love Your Gut range as they each have some love to give to your fabulous tummy region.

I'm also sharing a wonderful gut friendly salad below which features a dressing using one of our supercharged ingredients.

Without further ado (but with an imaginary drum roll, if you please) here are the four new products we are launching;

Phew! There are quite a few new products actually! In any case, we’re super excited to share them with you. They’ve been years in the making, with sourcing by me, a qualified clinical nutritionist, from quality, passionate producers across Australia.

Holmes-made products

I'm here to give you the heads-up on how and why I developed these four new Supercharged Food products.

“I’m always playing with food ingredients and nutrients. It’s my job as a clinical nutritionist but it’s much more than that, it’s my passion. Not only that, it’s just super fun to find new ingredients or new ways with familiar ingredients.

This new batch of products have been in development in my clinic and kitchen for around 18 months now. They are all highly nutritious and ideal for your gut health regime.

Read on to find out more about how I worked on them…

Wild Organic Tasmanian Seaweed. It's so nutrient dense! I’ve been adding a pinch of seaweed into my cooking for years now. The only issue was the ‘bitty’ texture can be off-putting. So I worked with our team to make our seaweed superfine - it’s now barely perceptible in taste and texture. No one needs to know they’re getting wildly nutritious, organic Tasmanian Seaweed in their meals or smoothies. It’s a great source of prebiotic fibre for the gut too.

Organic Beef Liver Capsules. Many people are craving the nutrients of beef liver. But not many want to actually eat beef liver. I certainly don’t! These capsules make it easy to get beef liver's wonderful vitamins and minerals. Our liver is Australian too and grass-fed and grass finished. 

Freeze dried beef liver is a good source of Vitamin B12 and Iron. I love to dump the gelatin caps out into a smoothie, you can't taste it at all. 

Organic Curcumin + Black Pepper. I’ve been a fan of curcumin for gut health for years now. Curcumin, a polyphenol, is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that can support gastrointestinal health.

Years ago, I created our ever-popular Golden Gut blend with turmeric (of which curcumin is the active ingredient). Now you can have the benefits of curcumin in a convenient vegan capsule.

Australian Zeolite. No pun intended (well, maybe a little intended) but Zeolite is an 'underground' sensation in nutrition and naturopath circles. It’s a mineral straight from the pristine Australian desert. It’s beneficial for gut health and chronic eczema and rosacea. It’s supercharged with naturally occurring negative ions. In fact, it’s one of the world’s best sources of negative ions. Negative ions counteract the, mostly, positively charged ions emitted from modern day appliances (screens, air-conditioners, microwaves) and pollution.

Well, there you have it! A new batch of gut-loving ingredients for you to consider. To celebrate their launch we’re offering 20% off each of the products for a limited time!

All you have to do is type in ‘NEW PRODUCTS’ in the promo code field at the checkout.

And now for a delicious recipe...

Roasted Leek, Goat’s Cheese and Avocado Salad (Supercharged with Superfine Wild Seaweed Dressing).

Why not add more nutrients to your meals by supercharging them with a delicious wild seaweed dressing? The leeks and onions in this dish are a great source of prebiotic fibre for the gut and when they become caramelized, they sweeten up in the oven, adding a gorgeous depth of flavour.

Serves 4

  • 5 medium trimmed leeks, washed and sliced 3cm thick
  • 2 brown onions sliced into quarters
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups kale washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 avocados peeled and diced
  • 2/3 cup Goat’s cheese

Wild Seaweed Dressing

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh herbs such as coriander, parsley, dill, basil and mint
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch of Wild Tasmanian Seaweed
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic Sea salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth 

To make the salad:

Preheat the oven to 190°C

Toss the leeks and onions with three tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place leeks and onions on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, until starting to soften, turning once or twice.

Place kale into a large bowl and add avocado. Pour the dressing over the leeks and pile on top. 

Scatter goats cheese over the top!

Near Death Experiences + Supercharged Chicken Soup

Sometimes life unfolds in ways that you never anticipate. It can nudge you gently on the arm or it can come at you with the full force of a sledgehammer.  Three weeks ago was one of those sledgehammer moments. I was involved in a horrifying car accident and NDE (you can read more about it here if you wish.) 

It was the day that fate stepped in, and a miracle happened. I'll share from the heart my near death experience and brush with the afterlife in an upcoming blog. But with that being said, I'm extremely grateful to have survived an experience so intense and out of this world. The kind of experience that pushes you to rethink your place on earth. 

Fortunately for me I've been given a second chance to be able to continue to be of service, and carry on my mission of helping people feel healthy and well through recipes, gut health products and clinical nutrition. I'd love to share a new recipe with you today.

I've been making this recipe over the last couple of weeks whilst I'm in healing mode. It's calming for the nervous system, (hello PTSD nightmares!) and souper delicious.

Call me souperstitious but if you’re feeling out of stock and need a nourishing hug in a bowl, you really can’t go past this homemade chicken soup. It feels like a medicinal elixir for the body, and it’s so crammed full of healing ingredients. You can also keep it in your freezer for midweek meals which is what I've been doing.

I'd love for you to try it this weekend and let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Supercharged Chicken Soup 

Ingredients 

Serves 4

  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 whole leek sliced
  • 3 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 2 litres of vegetable stock
  • 1 whole organic chicken
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin diced
  • 5 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 sweet potato diced
  • 1 swede diced
  • 1 whole small broccoli chopped into small florets

AROMATICS

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh Rosemary optional
  • 1 bay leaf


Method
Combine garlic, onion, leek and celery in a deep stock pot with olive oil 
Fry on a low heat until browned and the onions are translucent
Pour vegetable stock into pot then add the whole organic chicken 
Season with salt and pepper and add your aromatics (I used fresh thyme, Rosemary and a bay leaf )
Cook on medium until stock has come to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 60 minutes (remember to keep stock pot lid on).
After 60 minutes remove the whole chicken and  remove the skin and bones . Remove the chicken meat by gently shredding with a fork and place back into the stock pot. Add all the chopped vegetables,  stir and simmer for another 60 minutes. (Keeping the lid on). 

Serve in wide-mouthed bowls or let cool and pack into freezer containers and freeze until ready to use.

How to Create the Perfect Home Gym on a Budget

Think about how often you've skipped a workout because you didn't want to go to the gym. Or how often you've been unable to exercise due to a packed schedule. Having a home gym means no more excuses and wasted gym memberships. It's a convenient and cost-effective way to stay fit and healthy from the comfort of your home.

With the right equipment, a little bit of creativity, and a few simple tips, you can create a home gym that will help you reach your fitness goals. This guide will show you how to create the perfect home gym on a budget and enjoy the benefits.

Understanding Your Budget

Setting a budget is the first step in creating the perfect home gym on a budget. This will help you determine what you can and can't afford and make smart decisions about what equipment to buy.

When setting your budget, consider the following factors:

1. Equipment costs

This includes the cost of workout machines, weights, and accessories. Make a list of the equipment you need and research prices to know how much it will cost.

2. Maintenance costs

Remember to factor in the cost of maintaining your equipment, such as replacement parts and regular cleaning supplies.

3. Space costs

Consider any costs associated with converting a room or area of your home into a gym, such as flooring, lighting, and storage.

4. Ongoing costs

Think about recurring expenses, such as electricity and fitness subscriptions, that you'll need to budget for.

Once you clearly understand your budget, you'll be able to make informed decisions about what equipment to buy and how to maximize your space.

Remember, you don't need to buy everything all at once. You can start small and build your home gym over time as you grow and expand your collection of equipment. A full-body workout machine can be a great starting point for your home gym.

Essential Equipment for Your Home Gym:

Once you have a budget, it's time to start thinking about the equipment you need for your home gym. While buying every piece of equipment under the sun may be tempting, focus on the essentials.

Here are some of the most essential pieces of equipment to consider:

  1. Resistance bands: Resistance bands are a great way to build strength and flexibility without adding bulk. They're also relatively cheap and take up minimal space.
  2. Dumbbells or kettlebells: Free weights are essential to any home gym. They allow you to work on multiple muscle groups and target specific areas for improvement.
  1. A full-body workout machine: A full-body workout machine can complete a workout and target multiple muscle groups in one exercise. Consider one that offers adjustable resistance for a challenging workout.
  1. A yoga mat: A yoga mat provides a comfortable, non-slip surface for stretching, yoga, and other exercises.
  1. A stability ball: Stability balls improve stress and target core muscles. They're also relatively cheap and take up minimal space.
  1. A jump rope: A jump rope is a simple, portable, and effective way to get your heart rate up and burn calories.

Making the Most of Your Home Gym

Once you've set up your home gym, it's essential to make the most of it. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your investment:

  • Set goals: Determine what you want to achieve with your home gym and set achievable goals. Write them down and track your progress to stay motivated.
  • Create a routine: Create a workout routine that fits your schedule and stick to it. A consistent routine will help you see results faster.
  • Mix it up: Doing the same home exercises over and over can get boring. Mix your routine by incorporating different movements, adding weights, and changing the intensity.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workout is crucial for optimal performance.
  • Get support: Having a workout buddy or joining a fitness community can provide accountability and support. You can also join online forums or hire a personal trainer[, and even consider getting an athletic training CEUs to expand your knowledge and] to help you stay on track.

Conclusion

Creating the perfect home gym doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can set up a home gym that meets your needs and fits your budget. Whether an early bird or a night owl, you can work out at your convenience and avoid commuting to a gym.                                                                                                        

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Cashew Fudge Recipe

Love is a many-splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is Chocolate Fudge.

Someone recently asked me if I had a date for Valentine's Day. I responded, with “Of course, it's February 14th”. 

Although this date can be polarising, most people, whether they’re lovers or rebels, romantics or cynics, feel some kind of way about it. Whether it’s candy and cupids or time spent with loved ones, to clue you in, how you feel about V-Day might just depend on how you feel about yourself.

However you’re enamoured by it, whether you celebrate Valentines or Galentines or it’s kind of not such a big deal, my smooth and rich five ingredient Chocolate Cashew Fudge is a great way to get a healthy dose of the feel goods!

This recipe is soooo melt-in-the-mouth and makes a delicious treat, plus you don’t even need to turn on your stove, it can all be whizzed up in a matter of minutes.

The usual ingredient of fudge is a truckload of sugar, but, here, I’m switching it out for honey to add subtle sweetness. I’ve also moo-ved away from dairy with the addition of coconut milk for an instant touch of creaminess.

What I personally love about this recipe, is that you only need one piece to truly satisfy your tastebuds and you can stash the rest in the fridge or freezer for when you’re looking to appease your sweet tooth on another occasion.

Whatever you’re up to this Valentine’s Day, I have one essential tip for you… don’t forget the chocolate!

Later taters,

Lee xo

Chocolate Cashew Fudge

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 11/2 cups cacao nibs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 TBS honey

Method

Place all ingredients in the Vitamix A3500i blender and blend on low speed and increase to high until mixed

Add extra coconut milk if needed

Transfer to a small tray lined with baking paper and smooth top over with a spatula

Refrigerate for 2 hours until well set

It tastes delicious!

Medicare and Medicaid: What Do They Do?

Medicaid and Medicare are federally funded health care coverage programs. People who are 65 or older or who are disabled and meet specific requirements are eligible for Medicare.

People who meet Medicaid's income guidelines receive financial assistance. These two programs heavily impact the government budget. If you want to know more, read on to see how every one of these initiatives is addressed.

What is Medicaid

Medicaid is the United States government-run health insurance program for low-income individuals and families. Each state and the national authorities contribute to the program.

Since it is managed on a state level, the scope of services and how they are administered differ significantly between jurisdictions. This program is restricted to households that meet specific income requirements.

People who get this aid are either U.S. citizens, lawful immigrants, or permanent residents. As of September, of that year (2020), Medicaid enrolled about 70.6% of the population.

Individuals cannot receive medical care via Medicaid. As an alternative, it pays for all their medical expenses, such as visits to the doctor, hospitalizations, custodial care, long-term medical care, and more.

Who is covered, what kind of coverage, and how providers and facilities are reimbursed are all matters left to the discretion of individual governments. That's because the Medicaid program is a matter for each particular state to govern and administer.

Depending on the state, there is a statutory baseline of 50% federal match and a peak of 83% federal matching. Participation in Medicaid is voluntary for the states, but all of them provide it.

What is Medicare?

Medical coverage is available through Medicare for anyone 65 or older or disabled and satisfies specific financial and health requirements according to this website. Typically, insurance companies are hesitant to insure anyone over 65.

This is because persons at this age are disproportionately affected by extremely costly medical diseases. In 1965, while Lyndon B. Johnson was president, the federal government started the Medicare program to address this issue.

Medicare was developed as part of the broader Social Security system. The Social Security program, which was established in 1935, offers an income in retirement to those who are 62 or older, as well as to those people with impairments. Medicare is an auxiliary service of the Social Security Administration.

Medicare is an elevated health insurance program that does not require applicants to undergo a medical or financial underwriting process. In general, Medicare does not charge a premium for its covered services. Those who meet the requirements can now participate in the program.

Eligibility to Medicare and Medicaid Programs

There are prerequisites for participating in each course.

Medicare eligibility

Their age determines a person's Medicare eligibility. Eligibility requirements include being at least 65 years old and a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

The number of years of Medicare taxation determines both premiums and plan eligibility. Disabled individuals under 65 who meet specified criteria are an exception to this rule.

Medicare recipients typically also obtain Social Security disability or retirement payments. Additionally, Medicare coverage may be expanded to:

  • A widow(er) above the age of 50 who is applying for benefits under the Disability Insurance program
  • Someone who pays Medicare taxes for a certain number of years while at a public service job

Medicaid eligibility

Medicaid qualification is generally income-based. Individuals may be eligible depending on their household income and composition.

Because the required income requirement is the same across the nation, the Affordable Care Act has expanded coverage to bridge healthcare shortages for individuals with the lowest wages.

Eligibility is determined by having an annual income of less than 133 percent of the national poverty line for most individuals under 65. The average cost for a four-person family in 2021 is estimated to be $26,500, while an individual would pay about $12,880 if using Healthcare.gov as a guide.

Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) income limits for families with children vary by state.

Medicaid also has specialized programs that provide health insurance to vulnerable populations, like pregnant women and people with severe medical conditions, who otherwise would not qualify for the program.

Medicare and Medicaid coverage

Medicare coverage

Medicare covers various medical expenses through its many segments.

Inpatient treatment is covered by Medicare Part A, including hospitalization, hospice, skilled nursing, and home health aide services.

Subpart B of Medicare covers medical services received outside of a hospital setting. Outpatient hospital treatment, doctor visits, preventative care, and some medical equipment are only some of the things that are covered.

Medicare Part C or Medicare Advantage is a commercial insurance program that provides the same coverage as Original Medicare (Parts A or B) but is administered by private companies. Dentistry and vision care and insurance for medications may be available under these policies for an additional premium.

Prescription medication coverage is provided via Medicare Part D, administered by approved plans per government regulations.

Medicaid coverage

Medicaid's coverage varies by state, although all offer at least some of the same services.

These include:

  • X-ray and laboratory testing
  • Hospital care for both in- and outpatients
  • Contraception and other forms of family planning assistance (e.g., nurse-midwife care)
  • Nursing home care for seniors and preventative medicine for kids
  • Surgical, dental care is available for adults.

Since Medicaid laws vary from state to state, it's a good idea to speak with a counselor in your area to evaluate your eligibility and assist you with enrolling.

In the United States, Medicaid and Medicare are two government-run healthcare programs available. Medicaid's eligibility criteria mostly center on financial needs, while Medicare primarily covers senior adults and people with specific chronic diseases or disabilities.

A Sustainable Christmas + Roast Turkey with ALL the Trimmings

The festive season has arrived yet again, and boy do I have some ridiculously good sustainable ideas and recipes to grace your table this Christmas!

This celebratory season is all about love, connection and gratitude centred around the best food you'll cook all year. My latest book Supercharge Your Life features lots of festive recipes from decadent grazing platter morsels to gorgeous roasts and potluck favourites to share with family and friends over the Christmas break.

Supercharge Your Life centres around food as the catalyst for pleasure, enjoyment, love and connection. To ramp up the love even further, I’ve put a huge focus on how our food and entertaining choices can be a gift to heal our planet.

The Australian Retailers Association predicts that Aussies will spend approximately $48 billion over Christmas, which results in a massive increase in the waste we produce. The average western country is estimated to throw away around 300,000 tonnes of card packaging, 8000 tonnes/approximately 50,000 trees worth of wrapping paper, 125,000 tonnes of plastic, and 200,000 tonnes of meat!

This doesn’t sit well with me.

So here are some tips straight from my own personal Christmas plans that will hopefully inspire you and your family this year. Why not curate a Christmas experience that will help to save the environment and your wallet, whilst savouring a wholesome feast to delight the senses and warm the hearts of everyone.

Full Tummy, empty bins: Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! To cut down on waste, be sure to carefully plan your Christmas day spread, being mindful not to over cater. Ask your guests to bring along some containers so that they can take leftovers home for boxing day lunch rather than tossing all that beautiful food in the bin. Compost or worm farm all your food scraps; it’s good for the garden and the planet!. And if you do have a full tummy try my Love Your Gut Synbiotic. It works wonders.

Use brown paper bags and newspaper: Instead of using wrapping paper, opt for leftover newspaper to wrap your gifts. Tie with ribbons or twine (tip- I always save these from gifts and keep them in a special box. This saves me money too!) and poke some foraged flowers, foliage or herbs into the bow. Brown paper bags can be used to bag up cutlery- just tie the top with twine and again pop in some rosemary. Brown paper can also be used to write up menu cards or to gift wrap fresh herbs for your guests.

Forage baby forage! Real plants and foliage offer a free way to decorate your table or create Christmas decorations. Walk through your garden or search for overhanging plants on your street on Christmas morning with a basket and scissors. Snip flowers and/or greenery and place in jars of water. Herbs like rosemary can be tied with string around cutlery or bunched up and given as gifts. Natives like eucalyptus can be woven into a wreath for your front door, or laid out across the middle of the table for a rustic tablescape. Dry eucalyptus leaves can also be used as name tags for your gifts. Simply hole punch them, thread ribbon on twine through them and write the person's name on the leaf for a unique and thoughtful touch.

Ditch the plastic tableware: Straws, cups, plates, and other plastic tableware are simply terrible for our environment and find their way into our oceans; destroying our marine life. Stick to your regular ceramic ware and metal cutlery or invest into some bamboo eco tableware that is more durable and biodegradable. Metal straws and beeswax wraps are widely available now and significantly cut down on single use plastics.

Make a mason jar snow globe: Skip on the plastic Christmas ornaments and make your own out of mason jars and desiccated coconut! Simply glue small ornaments or beautiful small items already available to you into the inside of the mason jar lid. Place a handful of the coconut into the jar, screw the lid on and place upside down for your very own DIY snow globes. Your guests will love the creativity!

Make a herb garland: Herbs are the perfect Chrissy decoration because they reflect the theme of greenery that we all love at Christmas, but they’re also an edible decoration! Weave together herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, bay leaf branches, mint, or any others you like. Add red chillies, cherries or garlic bulbs for hits of other festive colours. Give sections of it away as gifts or use them to flavour your meals.

Explore the beach: Hit the seaside with kids and collect beautiful pieces of driftwood, stones, shells and feathers to express a beachy vibe for your Christmas table. Driftwood can be collected in different lengths to be glued together in the shape of a Christmas tree. Sand can also be placed in small jars and topped with a tea light candle.

Buy second hand or recycled: Buy a bundle of unique clothes, accessories, books or retro ceramics from your local thrift store as gifts and invest into the circular economy. Chances are that if they’ve survived one person’s ownership, they’ll be of the quality that can be enjoyed for years to come.

Give thoughtful gifts: Common Christmas gifts like ipads, phones, clothing and fashion accessories are encased in layers of styrofoam and plastic packaging. To eliminate waste, opt for experiences such as tickets to a concert or shout them a cooking lesson. If the kids are into video games, get them off their screens and into a real life experience like a go-karting class rather than giving them more “stuff”.

Use old magazines as placemats: For Christmas last year, I used decorating magazines as placemats. They were the talking point of the table and everyone wanted to take them home afterwards! Simple, creative thoughts like this can be a great way to upcycle things you already have in your home that would simply go straight to landfill.

If you really want to create a show stopper meal this Christmas, get organised, roll up your sleeves and throw yourself into the joy of creating and devouring this gorgeous recipe from my new book Supercharge Your Life:

I hope you have a lovely Christmas filled with good cheer, friendship, family and the kind of food that shares love and brings people together!

Xx Lee

Christmas stuffing balls

{ makes 12 }

These can be made the day before and warmed in the oven while the turkey rests – 10 minutes at 150°C (300°C) should do the trick.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs (e.g. sage, rosemary, thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 110 g (334 oz/12 cup) cooked quinoa or 95 g (314 oz/12 cup) cooked brown rice
  • 115 g (4 oz/34 cup) pine nuts or crushed nuts
  • 100 g (312 oz/1 cup) almond meal
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease a baking tray.
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then sauté the onion, garlic and celery for 3–4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the pork, mixed herbs, parsley and lemon zest, then cook until the pork is no longer pink. Add the quinoa and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Roll 60 g (214 oz/14 cup) portions of the mixture into balls, sit them on the prepared baking tray, then bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Cranberry sauce

{ makes about 500 ml [17 fl oz/2 cups] }

INGREDIENTS

  • 310 g (11 oz/212 cups) fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained, or frozen cranberries
  • 180 g (614 oz/12 cup) rice malt syrup, plus extra as needed
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/12 cup) filtered water
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 12 teaspoon ground cinnamon

METHOD

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low and simmer, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
  • Taste for sweetness, add more rice malt syrup if necessary, then cool and seal in a sterilised jar until ready to use.

Roasted whole turkey

{ serves 1012 }

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 × 6 kg (13 lb 4 oz) turkey, giblets removed
  • large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 170 g (6 oz) butter, softened
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • large handful thyme
  • small handful sage
  • 3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and halved
  • 2 leeks, pale part only, halved lengthways
  • 4 baby carrots, halved
  • 2 celery stalks, halved lengthways
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) chicken stock

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F).
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towel. Place the parsley in the cavity. Season the turkey with salt and pepper, and place in a large roasting tin. Spread the butter all over the bird. Drizzle over the lemon juice, sprinkle over the zest, and tuck the remaining herbs under the bird.
  • Arrange the onion, leek, carrot, celery and whole garlic bulbs around the turkey, then pour in the stock. Cover the tin with foil and roast for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (325°F) and roast for a further 3–4 hours. About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F) and roast until the turkey skin is golden brown and crisp, and the juices from the thickest part of the leg run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy your Christmas and let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below.

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