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Foods to Improve Your Mood + Cheesy Kale Chips

Have you ever finished a loooong day with a kind of sad and lethargic feeling? Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself standing in front of the fridge or pantry and gobbling down the entirety of its contents. Often, this includes the foods we shouldn’t be eating in copious amounts, like chocolate, chips, chocolate, cookies, oh, and did I mention chocolate?

We often tuck into these foods because they give us temporary emotional highs. They make us feel good and keep us wanting more (kind of like the really awful TV shows you watch, love to hate and can’t stop watching). We all have our vices – maybe for you it’s chocolate, chips, fast food, ice-cream or something else entirely.

So what makes us experience these cravings?

Picture this: you're sitting on the couch, it's a little late, your favourite Netflix show is on and you have a bar of chocolate in front of you (dark chocolate obviously, because it's high in the antioxidants and whatever...). You convince yourself you'll only have one piece. You look down during the ad break and it's only the wrapping that remains. How on earth did that just happen?

Science plays a bigger role in our cravings than we might realise. Those ‘melt in your mouth’ foods, like chocolate and marshmallows, give you a happy sensation when you eat them and then you tend to crave them more. This feeling signals to your brain that you’re not eating as much as you actually are and keeps you wanting more and more and.... So, when you eat these food, they literally tell your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating lots of calories. And this, my friends, is why many of us over eat.

Food companies know this and often take full advantage of it – there’s a reason small blocks of chocolate are so hard to find! These companies will also spend millions of dollars to discover the most satisfying level of crunch in a potato chip… imagine having that job!

A lot of the instant and fast foods that we crave are delicious and make us feel okay, but it's only temporary. These foods are often high in unhealthy fats, calories and artificial ingredients. The only thing they're low in is nutrients! They can impact brain function and memory, leading to a feeling of depression after the initial joy of eating it. They can also cause an increase in our blood sugar levels, which make us hungry after a meal, leading to over eating and weight gain. These comfort foods can often be full of artificial ingredients that our bodies have trouble understanding and that can lead to tummy pain, bloating, absorption problems and fatigue.

So now for the real question, what can we do about it?

I’m sorry to break it to you, but there’s no specific superfood that will make you happy or improve your brain function. Instead, what a good rule of thumb to follow is to eat a healthy diet with a variety of nutritious foods. Following a diet that emphasises vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, olive oil and lean protein, and reduces ultra-processed, fried and sugary foods. Basically, eat the real stuff, and cut back on junk food and you’ll be good to go!

If you’re really looking for a mood-boost, and we’re talking a real, sustained mood-boost, the best way to do it is to consistently supply your body with nutritious foods to keep it motoring along.  That doesn't mean you have to forgo all your favourite comfort foods, the key here s moderation.

Researchers have studied the association between foods and the brain. They’ve identified nine nutrients that combat depression and boost our mood. Don’t worry, I’ve compiled this all for you so you don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of it!

These nutrients are calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D and zinc. These mood-nutrients make us less stressed, boost libido and make us happier. Nutrients in foods can actually support neurotransmitters that produce feel-good hormones and happy hormones, like serotonin and dopamine.

So, what foods should we be including in our diets?

Capsicums – capsicums are full of vitamin C (even more than oranges) which helps hormone synthesis, producing happy hormones. The higher the concentration of vitamins in our food, the bigger the impact on our mood. Due to their vitamin C content, capsicums are also great for increasing our immune system so we don’t get sick. Whip up a Hazelnut and Capsicum Pesto.

Flaxseeds - flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are high in Omega-3 fatty acids to help avoid foggy brains. Flaxseeds can also help balance hormones and produce energy. I like to sprinkle flaxseeds over my eggs, make a flaxseed crust with baked fish or put a tsp of ground flaxseeds in my porridge.

Oats – oats are full of the vitamin B1 which helps produce energy. They also help seal the lining of the gut and reduce inflammation. Try out my gutmeal for a sustained mood-boosting breakfast.

Cacao – cacao - ahh the good stuff! Cacao increases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, giving us feelings of pleasure, happiness and lowering our stress levels. Cacao is also high in iron, magnesium, calcium and more! The best way to enjoy cacao? Chocolate! Go for ones that are 70% cacao or the raw stuff! Try this delish Chocolate Fudge.

Maca – maca is actually a Peruvian root vegetable that's found in powdered form from health stores and online. It helps regulate and balance hormones, boost our libido and fertility!  I can't speak about maca without mentioning my Maca and Tahini Latte.  This creamy and warm concoction is the perfect latte to help you chillax.

Oily fish - like salmon and sardines, are high in omega-3 and raise dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain.  Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression, aggression and suicidal tendencies, while dopamine is a “reward” chemical that the brain releases in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating.  The body does not naturally produce Omega-3s, so the fatty acid needs to be consumed from outside sources. Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, mood swings, memory decline, and depression. Try this Sardine Mash Pot.

Avocado – avocados are a natural hormone booster and they also help us absorb nutrients we’re eating, particularly fat-soluble vitamins. This is your permission to eat avocado with everything... you're welcome.

Lentils – lentils are a slow-digesting carbohydrate that help boost our serotonin levels. Lentils are a low-calorie, nutrient-packed legume with a nutty and earthy flavour. They contain a great source of prebiotics to help out your gut and keep things running smoothly on our insides. Plus, lentil dahl is dahl-icious.

Rosemary - the delicious herb, is an example of an adaptogen that has been used for centuries for its stress-relieving and immune-boosting qualities. It’s the perfect herb to add to your meals, I've included it in my Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Stew.

Chai Tea - No spirit-lifting list of mine could omit chai tea. Chai uses a blend of spices that promote happiness and I’m almost certain that a cup of chai tea can fix anything. If you’re ordering one out, be sure to go for the real stuff, not the powdered or syrup version!

Carbohydrates - let's slash carbophobia! Carbohydrates can help boost your mood. In a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who for a year followed a very-low-carbohydrate diet—which allowed only 20 to 40 grams of carbs daily, about the amount in just 1/2 cup of rice plus one piece of bread—experienced more depression, anxiety and anger than those assigned to a low-fat, high-carb diet that focused on low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruit and beans. It's been suspected that carbs promote the production of serotonin.

Living a life of restriction, like a low-carb diet, for a full year may have negatively impacted their moods. When choosing carbohydrates, go for unrefined carbohydrates like oats and quinoa and choose starchy carbs like pumpkin and sweet potato.

Saffron - saffron has proven to help relieve PMS symptoms, like mood swings and depression. It's antidepressant effects have even been compared to common antidepressants like Prozac! Researchers believe that the spice helps produce the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin and makes it more available to the brain. You'll love my White Fish Soup with Saffron.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes- Nutritional yeast is the kind of yeast that doesn't feed pathogenic bacteria as it's a deactivated yeast and usually a strain of scaaharomyces cerevisiae.  It's packed with B vitamins such as B1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12, and fibre and  makes a great food source for vegans who may be lacking in B12.  Research shows that B vitamin supplementation can benefit stress. It's cheesy nutty flavour means you can add it to pizza's, soups, mashes, omelettes and casseroles or wherever you would ordinarily add cheese.

Probiotics - Whether from supplements or foods, these good bacteria are beneficial for more than digestive health. People who take probiotics see improvements in their perceived levels of stress and have a more positive mental outlook compared to people not taking probiotics. Not only does eating these happy foods help our moods, they also help out our gut because of the direct link existent from the gut to the brain. So, if we’re eating mood-boosting food, our bodies are going to function much more efficiently and our moods are going to be that much brighter.

Iron Rich foods- In a review published in Nutrients, the researchers with Deakin's School of Psychology and Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) examined studies into the positive mood and cognitive effects of increasing iron and zinc intakes in women between 12 and 55 years old.  They discovered that increasing iron intakes via supplements improved memory and intellectual ability, and increasing zinc intakes also via supplements improved depressive symptoms in women who either already had depression or had low zinc levels. Iron rich supplements such as Love Your Gut powder and Fulvic Humic Concentrate are a great way to assure an adequate intake of iron.

So, what's my netflix snack of choice? My Golden Gut Oatmeal Cookies and these delicious Cheesy Kale Chips. They're full of mood-boosting and healthy-promoting ingredients so you can lounge around with netflix on and snack away!

Happy Kale Chips

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch of curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

Method

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

Combine the kale and oil in a large bowl and massage the oil into the kale.

Transfer to a baking tray, sprinkle with the nutritional yeast flakes and bake for 12 minutes.

These are best eaten straight out of the oven.

🙂

Lee xo

FREE Supercharge Your Immune Health 14-day Shopping List

IS YOUR PANTRY SUPPORTING YOUR IMMUNITY?

Immunity, immunity, immunity! It’s the hot topic raising the temperature of many discussions nowadays. It’s also a vexed issue - vaccines, herd immunity, pandemics, vitamins, supplements, snake oil. You know the drill.

At Supercharged Food we’re, funnily enough, all about the power of food. Not overblown promises, cure-alls, just good, old food. When it comes to immunity, food amongst other things can play an important role in helping you manage disease and bounce back to health.

When it comes to good old-fashioned health and immunity, the place to start is in your pantry.

We've all been through alot this year, and to give you and your family a helping hand with navigating which particular foods are best, we’ve created a FREE ‘Supercharge Your Immune Health 14-day Shopping List’.

You can also find lots of recipes utilising the pantry list ingredients here on the blog. There are delicious recipes such as: 

It’s a practical list of pantry, fridge and freezer immune-supporting staples. We’ve done all the research and list-writing for you. You’re welcome. 

Many of the items recommend healthier substitutes for staples: brown rice for white. Almond meal or whole grains for processed and bleached flours. More veggies than meat. To build your immune system (any of your body’s systems in fact) it’s best to get back to the simple idea of making healthier choices.

But fear not, we promise you’ll get used to the new ‘swap-outs’ and your body will start to crave them. And so will your taste buds too!

A few stars that we’d like to put on a pedestal are foods such as flaxseed, garlic, nuts and bananas.

Flaxseed never cops any flack in the Supercharged household. We use its oil, the seed itself and crushed and blended into smoothies and cooking. Flaxseeds are a smart choice because they’re dense with nutrients - omega-3 fats, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), lignans a type of phytoestrogen and fibre. Flaxseed components  such as ALA and lignans affect immune cells and mediators of the immune response such as eicosanoids and cytokines.

Garlic. It’s not only great for Vampire immunity it also builds YOUR immunity and is used in many cold and flu remedies. To get the most from your garlic here’s a few tips: crushing garlic and allowing it to stand for 10 minutes before cooking can help prevent the loss of its medicinal properties. Researchers have also found the loss of nutrients via cooking could be mitigated by increasing the amount of garlic used. There you can blame ‘researchers’ for doubling your garlic intake!

Shellshock! Nuts are packed with protein, fibre and essential fats. A golf ball-sized serve (about 30g) of unsalted nuts makes a vitality-boosting snack. The vitamin E found in nuts like pistachios, almonds and walnuts is required by the immune system to help fight off invading bacteria.

Bananarama. It’s the fruit we buy most. We love a smoothie in Supercharged HQ and bananas make a smoothie rich, nutritious and delicious. Buy them green, let them ripen, use some and freeze the rest. We like to have them almost, almost over-ripe. It makes them sweeter. Frozen bananas are not just convenient but add coldness to the drink.  Bananas are a prebiotic food – supporting gut health which is linked to immunity plus they’re high in vitamin B6 which is required for immune system functioning.

Enjoy your FREE ‘Supercharge Your Immune Health 14-day Shopping List’. I hope this helps you and your family. We’ve done all the thinking for you with lots of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, immune supporting herbs and spices, flavour providers and fridge and freezer items.

Please download the Supercharge Immunity Shopping List here.

Stay Supercharged 🙂

Lee xo

Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds

I'm going back to the future.

I love blogging and sharing my food adventures with you.

And you sharing right back.

It's what Supercharged Food is all about and why I started blogging in the first place.

So, I’ve decided I’m going back to basics.

You know, when the blogger make a recipe at home in their kitchen, away from the hullabaloo that is life?

Forget FaceTime! Let's get back to face to face time.

Say hello to good old-fashioned, simple Supercharged food blogs.

Here’s the first…

Curate your date night with my Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds.

Whether you’re facing first-date butterflies and you want to seriously impress your first date or, you want to make your long-time partner feel a little more special, this SOUPercharged recipe is sure to do the trick.

Get changed out of your tracksuit pants and throw on your fanciest get-up because date night at home need not be casual!

You don’t need a specific day to show someone you love them. Sometimes love can come through in the simplest of gestures - like making a warming pot of soup with some candles and soft tunes to gently sway to on the couch.

This baked veg soup is husband-approved and absolutely fool-proof. You can even throw it together while you're getting home from a long day. It's sure to warm you both up from the inside out.  If you have an air fryer / toaster oven why not make some sweet potato fries to have on the side? 

So, what makes this soup so soupercharged? The cruciferous vegetable, cauliflower, can help fight inflammation because it's rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Whilst garlic can help lower cholesterol and combat heart disease!  Who knew healthy eating could be so sexy?

Don't forget the seedy topping! Seeds are rich in  zinc - a crucial but often forgotten mineral that helps with growth, immunity and can even improve our skin.

And of course, the best part of having a date night at home is what happens after dinner...... 😉

Get your head out of the gutter - I'm a food blogger after all!

I'm talking about DESSERT.

Be sure to try out my love heart chocolates. These indulgent delights, with their special smooth and velvety texture and chocolaty buttery taste, are melt-in-your mouth good.

You'll wonder why you ever made reservations in the first place...

Oven Baked Veg and Garlic Soup with Toasted Seeds

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 zucchinis chopped into cubes
  • 1 carrot chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 bulb garlic unpeeled (about 6 cloves)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 1 knob butter or 1 tbs olive oil
  • 500gms veg or beef stock
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs wheat free tamari
  • 1 tsp ginger grated

Top with:

  • 1/4 cup toasted seeds
  • Fresh coriander

Method:

Heat oven to 240 degrees Celsius

Place veg and garlic on a baking tray and splosh with olive oil then add spices and stir to coat

Bake for 25 to 30 mins

Once ready heat butter/oil in heavy based saucepan

Squeeze garlic into pan and break up with a wooden spoon

Place veg into pan and stir

Add stock and remaining ingredients and stir then bring to the boil and reduce heat place on lid and simmer for 10 mins

Ladle into bowls and top with toasted seeds and fresh coriander

Gorgeous Green Lentil Soup

I love lentils. There. I’ve said it. And Murray River Organics green lentils are superb. I include these green lentils in at least three meals a week, summer or winter. I’ll toss them in my green leafy veggies, star them in stews or mix them up in a big pot of soup.

Salad can be a controversial friend over colder months, so this winter, I suggest you make friends with lentils. Trust me; they’ll friend you right back.

Lentils are a great pantry staple, and we all know I’m a big lover of an easy to navigate pantry. Plus have you noticed that when you have an organised pantry, you are more inclined to do home cooking and you feel like nothing can stop you!

What people really find out when they discover lentils is just how versatile and filling, they are, with no empty carbs.  When done correctly, they give soup a creamy texture, subtle flavour and substance. Lentils are nutrient-dense and rich in plant-based protein. You heard that right; I said plant-based protein. Some people assume you can only get protein from animal sources, but plants and legumes are abundant in protein. Getting protein from a variety of sources is critical in maintaining overall health.

Protein isn’t just for bodybuilders or those trying to put on size; protein is one of three macronutrients and makes up the main components of our muscles, bones, organs, skin and nails. We need protein to help us produce the right amount of haemoglobin, hormones and immune antibodies. Protein is a complex structure, made up of smaller building blocks called amino acids. Lucky for you, this soup mix is rich in plant-based protein, as well as soluble fibre.

Dietary fibre is vital for gut health and can keep us fuller for longer. Soluble fibre, found in little lentils, helps slow down the emptying process in our stomachs, increasing satiety. Fibre can also lower our LDL cholesterol levels and stabilise blood glucose levels. Foods rich in soluble fibre include whole grains and seeds such as rice, quinoa, oats and, of course, lentils. One cup of cooked lentils offers about 16 grams of fibre, making up more than half of our fibre requirement for the day.

Okay, I get it, lentils are great, but why are there so many and which ones should I choose?

Oh, I thought you’d never ask!

Brown lentils are the most common variety and have a mild, earthy flavour. You’ll find them in veggie burgers, casseroles and stews.

Red and yellow lentils, known as ‘split’, are processed into smaller lentil bits. They’re somewhat sweet and nutty and often used in Indian and Middle Eastern Cuisine. Hello, dahl.

Now, for my favourite, allow green to reign supreme! Green lentils have a robust and slightly peppery taste and are great for salads, side dishes and of course, my Gorgeous Green Lentil Soup.

You don’t need to soak lentils but soaking them can help remove some of their phyto-chemicals which can be the culprit of many a gut issue, including gas and bloating.

I’m using Murray River Organics green lentils as they’re better for the environment and our health. Murray River Organics have a variety of lentils on offer, including split lentils, French green lentils, black Beluga lentils and green lentils. They even have lentil flour, to fulfil all your lentil dreams!

I’m combining green lentils with coconut oil from Murray River Organics. Murray River Organics have the best organic oil in the biz. Thinking about their cold-pressed coconut oil makes my mouth drool. Coconut oil adds a sweet coconut flavour to cooking, adding another rich layer of flavour to my soup. Coconut oil can serve as a make-up remover, body moisturiser and hair conditioner.

With this Gorgeous Green Lentil Soup, you’ll satiate your taste buds and your tummy. If you want to avoid after-dinner hunger on meatless Monday (it’s okay, we’ve all been there. Yes, I’m looking at you, soggy mushroom burger, and no, I’m not sorry!), try my Gorgeous Green Lentil Soup on for size.

Gorgeous Green Lentil Soup

Supercharged tip: Soaking grains, lentils, nuts and seeds for 30–60 minutes in warm water helps make them easier to digest. If garlic or onion is a problem for you, you could also cook the lentils with asafoetida (Hing) a beautiful spice that you can find in Indian and Middle Eastern grocers. It has a pungent earthy taste similar to garlic and onions but will to help prevent gas and bloating.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Murray River Organics Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 205 g (7 1/4 oz/1 cup) Murray River Organics Green Lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, to serve
  • lemon cheeks, to serve

Method

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.

Add the spices and stir for another minute until fragrant.

Add the lentils, tomato, stock and lemon slices, stirring to combine.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Add the lemon zest and juice, season to taste, and cook for a further 1–2 minutes.

Top with parsley and serve with a lemon cheek each.

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

Minimal Living + Ayurvedic Cardamom Hot Chocolate

Let’s talk minimalism.

Before you close this tab and roll your eyes, this isn’t going to be a blog post where I tell you to throw all the items that you’ve ever loved away, sleep on a thin mattress on hard wooden floors and live out of a backpack with only a distressed t-shirt, two ratty pairs of bamboo underwear, a scrappy diary and an iPhone charger to your name.

No.

There’s much more to minimalism than that.

Minimalism is more than just a style of house or art piece or throwing away things that no longer spark joy.

To me, minimalism is simple; it’s about simplicity, you know, the less is more approach.

The truth is, in the modern world we live in, we all have too much stuff (except the person who nodded their head to all the things I mentioned before. You probably don’t get where I’m coming from).

In a world that’s constantly trying to tell us we need more to make us happier, maybe it’s time for a little reassessment to really figure out what is necessary and what's not.

At our core, we all know that the things that make us the happiest are usually the simplest, not the latest phone, mansion, dress or expensive car. The things that bring us true happiness are experiences like sipping on a big mug of tea, spending quality time with our family and friends and enjoying life's basic pleasures.

Maybe Covid-19 has brought this out in us more as we self isolate and reevaluate all sorts of things that were once taken for granted.

Trying to fill ourselves with more stuff almost always ends up leaving us feeling a little bit emptier afterwards. To me, there’s something graceful and simultaneously a tiny bit terrifying about letting go; of detaching ourselves to the material or a certain outcome. I believe there is much beauty to be found in detachment if we’re open to it. So, it’s time to get back to basics. It's time for freedom.

But, where do we begin?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with clutter, start decluttering. It doesn’t need to be a laborious process. You can start slow – say the one shelf that you throw all of your paperwork and Knick-knacks into (you know the one), or a section in your wardrobe. Think of it like this: if it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no.

Once you’ve gathered up your items, consider giving them to friends or dropping them off  your closest op-shop. Walking out empty-handed can feel extremely liberating, especially if you know that your pre-loved items are going somewhere they’ll be used and needed.

One of my favourite parts about minimalism is just how freeing it is. Once we realise that we don't need more to make us happy, we can enjoy simple pleasures a lot more. For example, I personally love giving out experiences as gifts rather than material items. If you want to find out more about meaningful gifting, click this link here.

If you’re looking for some new experiences, why not cancel your usual fancy dinner reservations for Friday and have a game’s night instead? I guarantee everyone will have just as much fun and you won’t need to worry about the awkwardness of splitting the bill at the end either. My family’s favourite choices are scrabble (I’m a word nerd, what can I say?), but we’re also impartial to monopoly and card games too.

Speaking of bonding activities, one of the most highly underrated ways to bond is over shared interests. Even if you're socially isolating, a book club is a brilliant way to share insights over a novel while also investing quality time into friendships and having a good laugh while you’re there too. If you're looking for a book to discuss, I've heard Supercharge Your Life's is a really good one ;). ha.

If you’ve ever had a look at my Instagram, you’ll know I have a mean green thumb. While I’m an amateur gardener, it’s seriously one of my favourite ways to spend my time. One of the best parts about gardening is using your own fruit, vegetables and herbs in your own meals afterwards. I’ve turned my kitchen into my garden!

If you’ve always wanted to try creating your own kitchen garden, be sure to check out this link here. Your tastebuds will thank you however, your wrists and back may not.

Cooking from scratch and using mealtimes as a celebration is a beautiful experience that we can all do a little more. When I have people over, I love putting our phones in a box upon arrival and just letting our mouths and the food do the entertaining. There is something highly underrated about presence that can be quite astounding when there’s no phones around. I also love pot luck meals when everyone brings an item they’ve made. It’s so much more fun when everyone can share their favourite dishes and exchange recipe ideas. What’s not to love about that?

Minimalism has given me a deeper appreciation of the items that I do have and cherish everything and everyone in my life even more. The truth is, we don’t need more stuff, rather we need to use what we have and use it properly.

So, go on, now it’s your turn! Decluttering and a new sense of gratitude and appreciation awaits you.

One of my favourite shared experiences is making a pot of Ayurvedic Cardamom Hot Chocolate and sharing it with family or friends.

Why not try this Ayurvedic twist on the classic hot chocolate, which doubles as a scrumptious indulging ritual as well as a medicinal aid for your gut.

In Ayurvedic tradition, cardamom is considered an excellent digestive that helps minimise gas and bloating. Its soothing, warming effect will help to enhance the absorption of nutrients, as well as calm the nervous system in times of stress.

You could serve this wonderful hot chocolate dusted with extra cinnamon and topped with raw cacao nibs. It serves 2.

Ayurvedic Cardamom Hot Chocolate

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) milk of your choice
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp raw honey to taste

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk over low heat until any clumps of cacao and spices have dispersed. Continue stirring as you allow the milk to simmer gently for a few minutes.

Pour into cups and enjoy warm.

NOTE: For extra kick, you could add a very small pinch of freshly ground black pepper — as long as spicy foods don’t upset your stomach. If you’d like a frothy hot chocolate, whisk or blend just before serving

I would love to know what your thoughts on minimal living are and also, what your favourite experiences to share with loved ones are.

Let me know in the comments section down below!

Lee xo

Pumpkin, Mushroom and Sage Brown Rice Risotto Video

The risottos are in for a healthy and delicious dinner recipe....and the winner is.....

*drum roll🥁 ....

This simple and satisfying Pumpkin, Mushroom and Sage Brown Rice Risotto!

It’s a new recipe that is so delicious and perfect for any night of the week or it also works well as leftovers for lunch any day of the week.

Wholegrain brown rice is a cute little swap out that you can make, as the fibre helps to lower cholesterol (along with sage) and it also aids digestion.

Enjoy the video below and let me know what you think of this new recipe?

Squash and Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs olive oil divided
  •  ½ jap pumpkin chopped
  • 1 small brown onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 4 large flat mushrooms chopped
  • 2 zucchinis diced
  • 2 yellow button squash
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cup brown rice
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk (1 bought a 400 ml tin accounting for extra if needed)
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar

To serve

Method

Place pumpkin on a tray, drizzle with 1 TBS olive oil and scatter with salt and place in a preheated 200 degrees Celsius oven for 25 mins.

Heat 2 TBS oil in large heavy bottomed pan and cook onions and garlic over a medium heat for about 2 minutes until softened.

Add mushrooms and stir, then add zucchini and squash and add spices and cook for five mins stirring.

Add rice and stir for a minute.

Poor in chicken stock slowly, one cup at a time, add coconut milk and add ACV and bring to the boil then turn down to low heat, cover with a lid and cook for about 30 mins or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir well intermittently, ensuring every grain of rice is covered.

Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Add more coconut milk (for creaminess) or stock or water if it needs it and replace lid.

Once it’s ready, stir through Golden Gut Blend for immunity or Love Your Gut powder, and butter if using then add roasted pumpkin and gently toss, spoon into wide mouth bowls and top with nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese and sage.

Fulvic Humic Concentrate Drops Have Dropped

We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to our new little gut loving liquid - FHC. Thank you for all the purchases and enquiries. Please keep asking questions or for more information - we’re happy to oblige.

Supercharged Food’s Fulvic Humic Concentrate (FHC) is a liquid food created from natural organic plant substances. These drops are heavenly for the gut. They play an important role in healthy metabolism and recycling of metabolic wastes.

One aspect we especially love is the strong negative ion charge of our FHC. It’s one of nature’s best sources of negative ions not only for the strength of the charge but also because it is a food and therefore absorbed by the body. 

There’s all manner of positives about negative ions for health and we urge you to dive into some research from credible sources - here’s one

Negative ions are measured by Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Soil is negatively charged that’s partly why being in a garden and digging around with your hands can be so relieving. It has a CEC of around 5-15. Our Love Your Gut powder is negatively charged with a CEC of 30 (this negative charge can attract the detrimental positively charged waste in our digestive system and help in its disposal).

On the positive, yet no-so-positive, side there are positive ions or cations. These aren’t great for you or your health. Think what’s emitted from computers and wifi - they’re generally positive ions. Also air-conditioning, pollution and other non-organic, man-made agents. These ions are inevitable in our modern world. Highly negatively charged foods like FHC help to combat their effects while giving you their own benefits too.

FHC is composed of two minerals - Humus and Fulvic acid. They are each some of the highest negatively charged minerals in the world. Humus has a CEC of 400-450 and Fulvic 1,400! That’s why just a few drops a day is all you need to get those good ions into your system. They’ll iron out your gut health too.

Just a few drops a day in water, juice or smoothie (or anything really) will do the trick. We drop some ‘Jupiter’ everyday. You can buy our FHC here 

A natural chelation therapy, Fulvic Humic Concentrate (FHC) also has antioxidant, antimicrobial, neuro-protective, and anti-inflammatory properties.

GUT, ADRENAL, METABOLISM SUPPORT
  • Helps keep your gut clean and microbiome fed
  • Helps boost nutrient absorption by increasing cell permeability
  • Delivers over 70 minerals & trace elements
  • Assists in balancing & energising cells
  • Enhances your cells use of electrolytes and antioxidants
  • Natural chelation therapy
  • Strong negative ion charge helps increase absorption of key nutrients and vitamins
  • Vegan, flavourless, gluten, dairy, sugar, additive and preservative free

Fifty FODMAP friendly foods plus Low FODMAP Hearty Meatball Stew and Slow Cooked Ham Hock Soup

If you’re experiencing abdominal pain, bloating and flatulence, and feeling lost on where to turn, I’ll hand you the FOD-MAP. 

If you’ve never heard of FODMAP, it stands for: 

  • Fermentable: meaning they’re fermented by bacteria in the large bowel, not absorbed in the small intestine. 
  • Oligosaccharides: more complex sugars, such as fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides.
  • Disaccharides: ‘double’ sugar molecules, such as lactose.
  • Monosaccharides: single sugars, such as fructose.
  • And Polyols: things like sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, mannitol and xylitol. 

For people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the FODMAP approach is typically the first port-of-call for nutritionists and dieticians. It’s a protocol that helps you heal the gut and identify trigger foods that cause flare ups.

If this sounds a little confusing to you, have a read of my FODMAP run-down, which includes foods to avoid while undertaking FODMAP, here, and come back after.

Are you all caught up?

Okay, great. Let’s continue on our way. 

When undertaking the FODMAP approach, cut-down your intake of FODMAP foods for a period of time and then slowly introduce them to identify which foods are causing flare-ups. This trial elimination gives your gut time to repair and check which foods you may be sensitive to. Unlike many diets out there, the FODMAP approach is definitely not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach and should be tailored specifically to you. 

After the elimination phase when you’re reintroducing foods, record the foods you’re eating and the symptoms you’re experiencing. This can give you an indicator of which foods aren’t working for your gut. 

Inflammatory responses include bloating, tiredness, throat irritation, coughing or sneezing after food, mood problems, headaches, migraines, indigestion and weight retention.

Writing down these symptoms will make it clear what isn’t serving your body. When you are reintroducing foods, try to have a positive mindset and not be too anxious about it. If you’re trialling foods while in a state of stress, it can impact the digestion process. So, be cool, calm, collected and enjoy the food you’re eating.  

While there are plenty of foods you have to avoid when following the low-FODMAP protocol, let’s look at this in a positive light, below are fifty FODMAP friendly foods that you CAN include during these stages. And remember that a FODMAP friendly diet shouldn't be encouraged for long period of time and getting back to a balanced diet is always best!

Here are my favourite fifty FODMAP friendly foods: 

  1. Baby spinach: baby spinach is a green leafy that makes for a great low-FODMAP salad base. Spinach plays the star role in my Pull-Apart Green Bread.
  2. Bamboo shoots: bamboo shoots are the edible sprouts that often feature in your Thai takeaway. Try them stir-fried, cooked in soup or pickled.  
  3. Unripe bananas: unripe bananas are great for a low FODMAP diet. What they lack in sweetness, they make up for in gut-friendly bacteria. Banana flour, flour made of unripe bananas, is a great base for baked goods.  
  4. Beef: iron-rich beef is protein-packed and great for boosting the immune system and building muscles. Try it in my Beef Stir-Fry with Peaches
  5. Love Your Gut powder can help you if you're suffering from gut issues such as poor, inefficient digestion, lack of nutrient absorption and a build-up of gas, wind and bloating. It helps to clean and tone your gut and relieve symptoms.
  6. Blueberries: blueberries are one of my favourite fruits in the whole world. They’re rich in antioxidants, low in sugar and really, an all-round winner. They’re even a feature in my Hello Vera Smoothie. I love berries as a topping on my porridge and straight out of the punnet as an easy snack. 
  7. Bok choy: bok choy, also known as pak choy, ramps up the nutritional value of any stir-fry. It’s a great green that features in this delicious Beef Stir-Fry with Peaches
  8. Broccoli: This veggie brocs. Broccoli, part of the cruciferous vegetable family, is great for helping detoxify the liver. Ensure you’re cooking your broccoli for optimal absorption and digestion. My Oven-Baked Broccoli Steaks go down as a treat. 
  9. Brown, basmati and white rice: while we bang on about cauliflower rice, brown, basmati and white rice are wonderful for the low-FODMAP diet. To make it FODMAP-friendly, serve rice steamed, boiled or fried without any onion or garlic. 
  10. Carrots: there’s no better snack than carrots. Try baking them in the oven by dipping your toes in my Prebiotic Tray Bake.
  11. Celeriac: what this vegetable lacks in beauty, it makes up for in nutritional value. Try baking celeriac in the oven with extra virgin olive oil to make crispy celeriac chips. 
  12. Celery: celery is a hydrating and alkalising vegetable that’s made quite a comeback with the celery juice trend. While it’s risen to popularity recently in juice, I prefer having it cooked, like in this Delicious Lamb Mulligatawny
  13. Chia seeds: chia seeds are a wonderful thickening agent and fibre-rich addition to any smoothie. They also make for a great topper on a smoothie bowl, like this one here. Oh, and if Debbie at work swears by chia seeds for her glowing skin but they give you bloating, listen to your own body and just don’t go there.  
  14. Chicken: chicken is a low-fat source of protein that can help maintain lean muscle mass and provide a plethora of nutrients. Chicken pairs well with so many different flavours and vegetables, always making for a hearty meal. 
  15. Clementine: clementine’s are small seedless fruits that are somewhere between a mandarin and a sweet orange. They’re a fresh snack that’s great for the school lunch box. 
  16. Cranberry: cranberries offer the perfect balance between sweet and tart, they even make for a delicious trail-mix part. 
  17. Cucumber: cucumbers are a hydrating veg that add an extra crunch to any salad. They’re high in nutrients and contain antioxidants to reduce oxidative stress. 
  18. Eggplant/Aubergine: If you want a vegetable that’s auber-genius, try an eggplant on for size. This FODMAP-friendly vegetable is low in calories and can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, extremely useful in cases of inflammation. 
  19. Fennel: fennel is a small yet mighty vegetable that is high in fibre and contains amazing nutrients, including magnesium, potassium and calcium. While it looks a little like dill, fennel has a mild aniseed taste that can be used as an alternative to onion in a low FODMAP diet. 
  20. Fresh fish: Fresh fish such as cod, salmon, trout and tuna, offer wonderful sources of omega-3. Omega-3 is essential when trying to reduce the inflammation that triggers irritable bowel syndrome and irritable bowel disease. 
  21. Ginger: ginger has a strong anti-inflammatory effect, prevents nausea helps fight off the common cold or flu. 
  22. Grapes: forget candy and lollies, pass me the grapes! Grapes are one of nature’s candies. They’re sweet, juicy and plain old delicious.  
  23. Green beans: these stringy beans are, in my opinion, highly underrated when it comes to nutritional value. They’re low calorie and extremely high in fibre. 
  24. Guava: this tantalising fruit is found in many tropical and subtropical regions. Guava is rich in Vitamin C, a nutrient that’s essential for our immune system.  
  25. Hemp seeds: hemp seeds are tiny but mighty! They contain Omega-3 fatty acids, making them a wonderful bonus for our skin health and cognitive function.  
  26. Honeydew melon: name a melon I don’t like… seriously, I’ll wait. Honeydew melons offer a fantastic source of potassium and a low sodium content helping to keep our blood pressure in check. 
  27. Kale: kale yeah! This green leafy vegetable is loaded with antioxidants and has basically been shown to help heal the world. Just be sure to massage your kale or cook it before eating it to aid digestion. 
  28. Kiwi fruit: it turns out kiwi is more than just a person from New Zealand! Kiwis are one of the most fibre-rich fruits available, and contains vitamin C, collagen and omega-3 fatty acids. Research indicates that eating 2 kiwi fruits a day can help reduce constipation (1)!
  29. Lamb: this high-quality source of protein is one of my favourites to cook. Lamb is a red meat that’s comprised of iron, vitamin B12 and zinc. These nutrients are essential for our blood, muscles and energy. 
  30. Lettuce: lettuce celebrate the simple things in life, such as lettuce. Despite its reputation of having minimal nutritional value, iceberg lettuce actually contains significant amounts of Vitamin A and K. It’s also extremely hydrating in the hot weather due to its water content. 
  31. Mandarin: to be honest, I had to include mandarins in here because I just find them so cute. Sweeter and smaller than an orange, this citrus fruit is bursting with Vitamin C and A, which are essential for growth and immunity. 
  32. Oats: I call for a time-oat. This nutrient-packed grain insists on improving bowel regularity, lowering cholesterol and also offers an amazing source of plant-based protein. Try my Gutmeal, which is breakfast oats with a gut friendly twist here
  33. Orange: oranges are the typical flu go-to so, it’s a good thing they’re on the low-FODMAP list. If you’re struggling to get enough water in during the day, adding orange to your water bottle can help improve the taste.
  34. Pineapple: pineapple is an extremely versatile fruit that’s low in fructose and super tasty. Pineapple contains digestive enzymes that are vital for maintaining and rebuilding gut health. Try this Pan Fried Pineapple with Mint and Coconut Yoghurt
  35. Potato: while we praise the sweet potato, the regular OG potato has been getting a lot of hate. I say, let’s act like Taylor Swift and ignore the haters. Potatoes are delicious baked, mashed and cut into home-made wedges. 
  36. Pumpkin: highly nutritious and nutrient-rich, pumpkin has been proven to boost immunity, assist in weight loss and protect the health of your eyes. There’s nothing better than caramelised pumpkin that’s just left the oven; I have googly eyes just thinking about it. 
  37. Quinoa: I feel like we’ve forgotten about this gluten-free and protein-rich plant foods. Let’s bring it back! Quinoa contains fibre, vitamins and minerals, and makes for a great base to any meal. 
  38. Raspberry: raspberries are a low-calorie and fructose fruit that make for a delicious smoothie bowl like this one here. While they can be expensive when they’re not in season, I always have frozen raspberries on hand for smoothies and desserts. 
  39. Red capsicum/bell peppers: did you know capsicum actually contains more vitamin C than oranges? Capsicums are great for the immune system however, they’re part of the nightshade family so, some people do have some side-effects when consuming them.   
  40. Seafood: I’m pretty sure no one’s going to complain about seafood being on this list.  Crab, lobster, mussels and shrimp can all be enjoyed on a low-FODMAP diet. 
  41. Seaweed: seaweed and nori offer a wonderful source of iodine which is essential for thyroid function. I'm loving my Seaweed and Sesame Salad
  42. Swede: this vegetable’s nutrient profile is pretty sweet if you ask me. Swedes contain a variety of nutrients, including manganese, carotene and fibre. 
  43. Sweet potato: while only ½ cup of sweet potato is allowed on the low-FODMAP approach, you can definitely enjoy it in moderation! I love sweet potato baked, mashed and even cut finely in a stir-fry. 
  44. The green tops of spring onions (scallion): while it’s certainly not the most delicious part of the onion, the green tops of spring onions make for a wonderful alternative to regular onion when cooking. 
  45. Tofu: tofu isn’t just for Japanese food and vegetarians or vegans. Tofu is a protein-packed option that’s bursting with calcium. 
  46. Turkey: turkey is loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid essential for regulating sleep.
  47. Tuna is a great on-the-go source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Try my Ginger-Seared Tuna to up your tuna intake.  
  48. Turnip: turnips are loaded with fibre and B vitamins which are essential for boosting our energy and mood. 
  49. Walnuts: these brain-shaped nuts are brilliant for just that, your brain health. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, promote a healthy gut and can support weight balance.
  50. Zucchini: zucchinis always feature in my roasting tray. They’re low in calories and offer a great source of fibre to help reduce constipation. 

If you’re looking for FODMAP friendly recipes, I’d love to be your guide. My cook book Supercharge Your Gut has a bunch of FODMAP-friendly meals that’ll make the whole process that much easier. My low-FODMAP Meatball Stew is inspired by the flavours of Italy. It’s a FODMAP-friendly meal the whole family will love.  

Don’t go ham on me, but this hearty and harmonious Slow-Cooked Ham Hock Soup from  Supercharge Your Gut is a FODMAP-friendly bowl of goodness that awaits you. It’s ready to turn those tummy troubles upside down. 

LOW-FODMAP MEATBALL STEW 

SERVES 4, OR UP TO 6 WITH A SIDE OF ZOODLES 

  • 1 teaspoon garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil 
  • 4 spring onions (scallions), green tips only, roughly chopped 
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) chunks 
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), chopped 
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) very ripe roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped, reserving the juices
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée) 
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) low-FODMAP stock 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar roughly chopped parsley, to garnish 

Italian Meatballs 

Ingredients: 

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) lean minced (ground) beef 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, about 100 g (31/2 oz), roughly chopped 

 Method:

Place all the meatball ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands until

well combined. Form into balls, about 4 cm (1 1/2 inches) in diameter. Set aside. 

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 8–10 minutes, turning now and then, until golden all over. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside. 

In the same pan, sauté the spring onion over medium heat for 2–3 minutes. Add the sweet potato, carrot, capsicum and tomatoes, including the tomato juices. Stir in the tomato paste, stock, lemon juice and vinegar. 

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, adding a li􏰌le more stock or filtered water if necessary. 

Add the browned meatballs and cook for a further 8–10 minutes, or until heated through, taking care not to overcook them, as you don’t want them to become dry. 

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, with your choice of accompaniment. 

LOW-FODMAP SLOW-COOKED HAM HOCK SOUP 

Serves 4

 Ingredients: 

  • 1 tablespoon garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced 
  • 4 celery stalks, sliced (optional; omit if not tolerated)
  • 2 zucchini (courgettes), diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) chunks 
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) organic, nitrate-free ham hock, skin scored t release the flavours
  • 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) low-FODMAP chicken stock 1 bay leaf
  • 1 handful of parsley, roughly torn 

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat. Add the vegetables, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring regularly, for 15 minutes. 

Add the ham hock and pour in the stock. Add the bay leaf and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 11/2–2 hours to allow the flavours to develop, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface, and topping up with extra stock or filtered water if needed. 

Leave to cool slightly, then carefully remove the hock from the pan and place on a chopping board. Pull the meat from the bone, shred the meat and add it to the soup. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste. 

Serve warm, topped with the parsley. 

SUPERCHARGED TIP...  This soup can be portioned into airtight containers and frozen for deliciously convenient meals! 

(1) https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=631602808353226;res=IELHEA



Easy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Hello my little pumpkins, today I'm sharing a super easy pumpkin soup recipe.  It all hinges on the way you roast it and the pimping of the toppings. 

You can really supe up the soup in anyway you prefer. I added pine nuts, hemp seeds, thyme and nutritional yeast flakes and a sprinkling of Love Your Gut powder, because #guthealth 🙂

You only need a handful of ingredients to make this thick, creamy and oodles of flavour soup.  Purrrrrrrfect!

Recipe

  • I used half a leftover butternut pumpkin and 1/4 kent pumpkin. So it's probably about 500 to 600 gms of your choice of pumpkin. Cut into medium sized chunks. I kept the skin on but removed the seeds.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 star anise crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS creme fraiche or coconut cream or yoghurt (for dairy free). 
  • 1 TBS Love Your Gut powder

Toppings of choice- hemp seeds, pine nuts, nutritional yeast flakes, herbs of choice.

Heat oven to 220 degrees celsius and place pumpkin and garlic and spices on a baking tray. Add olive oil and one cup of chicken or vegetable stock over the top.  Roast for about 20 mins until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and place it into a blender with remaining stock, and pulse until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat on stovetop on medium heat for 5-10 mins. Season to taste. Just before it's finished stir in creme fraiche or coconut cream/yoghurt and Love Your Gut powder if using.

Pour into a bowl and top with toppings of choice.

Please give it a shot and let me know how you go!

Lee xo 

Three Ingredient Apricot and Apple Cinnamon Muesli Bars

While we tend to lean on processed and packaged snacks out of ease and convenience, healthy snacking and baking need not be difficult. Plus, there’s no better family bonding time than cooking with the kids. Inviting kids into the kitchen can serve as a reminder that baking should be fun, and it helps us to not take the whole process too seriously. It’s going to get deliciously messy!

Introducing the kitchen as a space for children or grandchildren can have a host of benefits for the entire family. Creating healthy and straightforward dishes with kids doesn’t need to be a over complicated and we don’t have to produce MasterChef renditions of a fairy-tale castles and unicorns.

Encouraging kids in the kitchen can help educate them about the process of cooking. It can also serve to heighten their appreciation of food, encouraging them to create good habits, such as cooking healthy meals, long-term.

For younger children, learning how to read recipes and perform them can increase language development and reading skills, as well as fine motor skills. If more children learnt how to cook at a younger age, it would definitely inspire a generation who are adept with excellent life skills, to pass on to their own families int the future.

Encouraging baking for kids isn’t only a fun activity, but it can also be extremely gratifying. Healthier food can improve concentration by balancing blood sugar levels and enhancing moods. Creating home-made snacks is a significant first step when cooking with kids. For my first magic trick snack recipe, let’s start with a beloved traditional snack: muesli bars, specifically, these wonderfully delicious apricot and apple cinnamon muesli bars. 

I’ve started this one, because, I mean, who doesn’t love apricots? They’re full of nutrients, high in antioxidants, promote eye health, are great for gut health and can even naturally boost skin health. When it comes to dried apricots, Murray River Organics dried apricots are the best in the world! I pop these guys daily. Packed full of flavour and goodness, apricots are a simple and elegant treat.

I choose Murray River Organics dried apricots as they use sustainable and organic farming practices and only recyclable packaging. You may notice that sulphur-free apricots are a darker brown colour, as opposed to their bright orange counterparts. The colour is not something to concern yourself about; in fact, it’s something to celebrate! Murray River Organics dried apricots are sulphur-free. Sulphur dioxides and sulphites are naturally occurring chemical compounds that preserve foods, such as meat, wine and of course, dried fruit. While sulphur is safe for most people, it can cause digestive issues and sensitivities in others. Organic and naturally dried fruits have a more potent and delicious taste. Sadly, they won’t last forever in your pantry, because you’re going to eat them all; this is my warning. 

I’m combining my favourite dried apricots with the Murray River Organic Apple Cinnamon Muesli. I hide this from the kids, or I’d never get any (this secret is between you and me!) - this one’s high in fibre, natural ingredients, dairy-free and vegan friendly. When I look for muesli, I look for simple ingredients that I know how to pronounce, with whole foods and minimal additives. It’s muesli how it should be, and this muesli ticks all the boxes… just don’t eat the entire carton at once!

The apple and cinnamon perfectly round out the muesli bar with subtle flavour tones and tummy-filling substance.

This three-ingredient muesli bar is a masterpiece that can be ready in minutes! They’re perfect for a breakfast on the run, to have at work for morning tea, or as an afternoon snack for the kids.

 Apricot and Apple Cinnamon Muesli Bars 

A three-ingredient masterpiece that’s ready in minutes!

Makes 8

Ingredients 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin with baking paper. 

Process the apricots in a food processor until sticky. 

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. 

Push the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for

 15 minutes, or until slightly crisp (see tip). 

Cool, then cut into eight bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Supercharged Tip

Instead of baking the mixture, you can leave it raw, push it into a square dish and allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Cut into eight bars and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

 

Drops of Jupiter (Fulvic Humic Concentrate)

Now that she's back in the atmosphere

With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey, hey…

Speaking of drops of Jupiter, our new Fulvic Humic drops have dropped. These heavenly drops are straight from planet earth and heaven for your gut and overall health.

Supercharged Food’s Fulvic Humic Concentrate (FHC) is made from natural organic plant substances that play an important role in healthy metabolism and recycling of metabolic wastes.

FHC is a natural way to promote good gut health, as it goes beyond probiotic supplementation, by foundationally supporting the integrity of the gut lining and strengthening its tight junctions, whilst replenishing microbiota, nutrients and enzymes.

This super nutrient food and chelation therapy, aids the absorption of important nutrients, decreases acidity and enhances your cells use of antioxidants and electrolytes.

FHC has antioxidant, antimicrobial, neuro-protective, and anti-inflammatory properties.

You can find out more about it here.

Muscat Raisin Waffles with Fresh Berries to Brighten Your Day

Waffles! Just the word gets the mouth-watering (I’m starting a campaign to include an exclamation mark in the spelling of waffles!). These waffles! are a great breakfast or after dinner idea. Or both. In one day! These waffles! are simple to make, delicious to eat, nutritious to boot and organic.

You may have noticed the word organic at the end of that sentence, and wondered why? I mean, the word organic has been associated with healthier, but the question on everyone’s lips is often: Is that the case?

Well, to break it down simply, when you choose organic, you reduce your exposure to chemicals and pesticides. Organic food is typically more enriched with vitamins and antioxidants and is not genetically engineered or modified. Organic farming is better for the environment, soil fertility and helps to conserve natural resource such as water.

While not everything you purchase must be organic, I recommend, where possible, to consume seasonal organic produce when you can and if it works within your budget. Making small and sustainable changes, like buying the organic version of one ingredient, will make this easier.

When it comes to food choices, I like to ask myself a couple of questions, firstly Are they Australian owned and Is this organic? Thankfully Murray River Organics make it easier because they are both. They’re committed to growing sustainably through implementing environmentally sound practices, to create high-quality Australian health foods and pantry staples. They believe everyone deserves organic food that tastes great and is easily accessible and affordable. Affordability is one of the main reasons people find it hard to eat organics, however these wonderful organic products are much more reasonably priced and really good value.

Just a quick fact for your next trivia game – The Murray River is one of the largest navigable waterways in the world, spanning across Victoria, NSW and South Australia. The Australian Aboriginal people relied on it for its abundance and carried goods across it. Today, it provides essential water across Australia for industrial, domestic and recreational use.

Oops! You can tell I’m passionate about something when I start waffling on a little too much! Where was I? Oh yes, waffles! Just add Sun Muscat raisins from Murray River Organics, fresh berries, maple syrup and you’ve got yourself a real breakfast-or-snack-or-after-dinner-or-maybe-even-dinner special.

Speaking of raisins, I believe they don’t deserve their reputation as just dried-up grapes in tiny cardboard boxes. They’re not just shrivelled up grapes, okay?! They are so much more than that and give these pancakes a sweetness and depth of flavour. Raisins are naturally sweet, giving you lots of energy and are full of antioxidants. Have you ever thought that raisins are just the kids-friendly version of wine? Nope, just me, anyway…

I include them in porridge, chicken salads, home-made granola and even as a snack on their own. The 100% organic Sun Muscat Raisins in my waffles, are packed full of more nutrients than other varieties, without the harmful pesticides. These delightful raisins originate from Murray River Organics; the world’s largest dried vine fruit producer. I love supporting regional businesses, especially in these times where we all need a bit of love!  

Now, for the waffles! Dried ingredients are always useful to have on hand, especially when you’re in a house with a waffle maker. Oat flour, for example, is gluten-free friendly and high in fibre. Cinnamon has traditionally used to aid digestion and adds a subtle sweetness to this waffle mix. I’ve also included my Sun Muscat Raisins, salt and gluten-free baking powder.

For the wet ingredients, I’ve used coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, apple cider vinegar and Murray River Organics Avocado Oil. Why avocado oil? Well, firstly, it’s derived from avocadoes, and who doesn’t love avocadoes? Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated healthy fats, and the antioxidants vitamin E, lutein and beta-carotene. Together, these dry and wet ingredients make for a delicious and billowy and crunchy edged waffle for the whole family.

Of course, the mighty waffle would be nowhere without its trusty sidekick, toppings. While we all know that maple syrup is a must on waffles, have you thought about other ingredients to supercharge your waffles? Don’t worry; I’ve done the hard thinking for you. I love serving these waffles with fresh berries, plain yoghurt or coconut yoghurt and then, of course, I round it all out with a drizzle of maple syrup.

These waffles are a little bit of sweetness to brighten your day. This dish is such good fun for little kids and big kids alike. 

Muscat Raisin Waffles with Fresh Berries

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 heaped teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 TBS Murray River Organics 100% organic Sun Muscat Raisins
  • ¾ cup Pacific Organics coconut milk
  • ¼ cup Murray River Organics avocado oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Pacific Organics maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 punnet berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • Extra Maple Syrup to serve

Method

In a medium bowl, combine the oat flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and raisins.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, avocado oil, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and apple cider vinegar.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well combined. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes to thicken.

Heat waffle maker and spray with a little oil (trick is to get waffle maker very hot when its ready to use).

Spoon in a portion of batter and cook until golden.

Leave on a wire rack to cool slightly and crisp up while repeating the process with the remaining batter.

Serve topped with berries, yoghurt and maple syrup.

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