Tis the season to be in the kitchen!
Tra la la la la la la la la.
It’s Summer here in Australia and you know what that means – long days spent at the beach (followed by a slathering of aloe vera on all those burns!), wiping grass off everywhere after lying down in the park, golden tans, endless road trips, arriving too early at the airport for your plane-ride out of here and of course, plenty of holiday feasting.
After months of being wrapped up in blankets and layered in our wooliest jumpers, it can be hard to switch out of hibernation mode. How are we supposed to go from tracksuit pants to bikini bottoms or board shorts within a week?! It seems impossible!
Well, I’m sharing some of my summer tips to help ease you into summer and the holiday season!
It’s so important to give yourself much needed you time. We sometimes get so caught up in our routine - whether it's work, schlepping the kids around, cooking, cleaning or running errands, that we sometimes forget to breathe. Whether it’s a bath, your favourite yoga class or even a massage, I’m giving you permission to slow down. I recommend trying earthing, a natural phenomenon that involves planting your feet on the ground. While this may sound silly, multiple tests have shown that this has proven to lessen stress and make you feel more grounded; go figure! Not only is this so good for our minds, it also enables our bodies time to rest and digest; key to a healthy gut, body and life.
If you’re trying to shed a kilo or two, I recommend increasing your intake of fibre-rich veggies and looking into intermittent fasting, my book Fast Your Way to Wellness has 90 great recipes that can help to keep you trim, supercharge your energy and feel great. I know what you may be thinking – should you be increasing anything when trying to lose weight? Yes! Not only do vegetables keep us full, they’re also high in fibre to help keep things moving in our bodies so we’re less prone to overindulging and unnecessary snacking. Eating veggies doesn't need to be boring. I like experimenting with a range of vegetables to keep me interested. Try out pairing them with different things, like kelp noodles, which are bursting with vitamins and nutrients.
Everyone knows how good it is for us to exercise so I won’t hit you with the hardcore facts but, I just want to send out a little reminder that exercise should be fun! If you hate the gym, try out something else. Maybe sign up with a friend for a new gym class or go for morning walks. Coming into summer it’s also a great time to take advantage of the ocean or to try out something new, I've recently taken up a body balance class which is just that; great for body balancing.
With summer comes an array of beautifully fresh produce and delicious opportunities for all your favourite meals and snacks. Check out some of my latest summer recipes below with staple ingredients from Sprout Market!
Goat’s Cheese, Fig and Peach summer platter
Does anything scream summer louder than a fruit and cheese platter?
I think not.
I’m so excited to see two of my favourite fruits back on shelves - figs and peaches.
Ahhh figs. There’s nothing quite like biting into a lusciously sweet fig that has a chewy flesh, smooth skin and a crunchy seeded centre. While dried figs are delicious and widely available, they’re much higher in sugar and lower in water than their fresher counterparts. Both dried and fresh figs are super high in fiber and a great source of potassium to help lower blood pressure. Plus, they’re so beautiful – an Instagrammer’s dream fruit!
Do you know what makes me extra peachy? Peaches! They’re high in antioxidants which means they help combat free radicals to reduce our disease risk and oxidative damage. They’re also great for supporting the gut and helping move things along the digestive tract.
I’ve featured goat's cheese in this platter, because it's delicious and much easier to digest than many other cheeses. Goat's cheese is known to causes less inflammation in the body than regular cheese and is high in calcium and fatty acids! It also helps us absorb nutrients better than regular cow’s milk. I guess you could say it’s the big cheese.
Combining these three fresh ingredients, alongside a delicious dressing filled with gut-friendly apple cider vinegar, heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil and mouth-watering rice malt syrup makes for one heck of a platter!
- 4 cups mixed leaves
- 1/2 cup rocket
- 1 bunch Basil, leaves
- Bunch fresh mint, leaves
- 8 figs, washed stems removed and halved
- 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
- ½ cup walnuts
- Pimp my salad superseeded sprinkle mix
- 1 packet Goat’s cheese sliced
Grab your serving bowl or platter
Lay a bed of mixed leaves and rocket
Top with figs, peaches, walnuts, goats cheese and super seeded sprinkle mix.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk
Dress the salad and serve!
Baked apple with prune, cinnamon and cardamom
I was going to say I loved apples but then I realized, I don’t think anyone dislikes apples. Seriously, try to find me someone who hates apples... I’ll wait.
Apples don’t need to just be a lunchbox-regular, they have the potential to be so much more! Apples are so versatile and will love their new makeover with this comforting summer dish. It’s a mix of sweet, spice and everything nice.
I’ve also added prunes to this mix for an extra dose of fibre. They help keep the digestive system squeaky clean and free from toxic build-up.
These baked apples are delicious on their own but could be enjoyed with some Golden Gut-time Soft Serve, coconut yoghurt or regular yoghurt. The options are endless.
- 1 small apple, cored but left whole
- 1–2 tablespoons filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 prunes, chopped
- Stevia, to taste, optional
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Put the apple in a small baking dish with the water. Combine the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, prunes and stevia in a small bowl, then spoon into the centre of the apple.
Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until soft. To test, pierce the apple with a sharp knife; it should slide through easily.
Note: The apple can be cooked up to a day ahead. It can be eaten cold or warmed in the oven before eating.
Asian Kelp Noodle Salad
Before I became the gut-loving, health-nerd I am today, I was a takeaway-junkie. Being a single mum and working full-time I found it so hard to manage cooking, working and mumming (I’m not sure if that's a verb but it very-well should be!). I had a special place in my heart for Pad Thai. It was an expensive habit but one that I didn’t feel I could change.The noodles, the oily sauces, the sweet and salty tastes – it was perfect.
It was, however, not so perfect for my gut. Regular Pad Thai is filled with a number of not-so-good sauces with more numbers in them than a phone book! They're often full of MSG, high in sugar and way too hot for summer anyway.
Ever since I started my supercharged journey, I’ve always wanted to enjoy that noodle feeling, just without that post-pad thai feeling (you know what I’m talking about).
My Asian Kelp Noodle Salad is a summer-friendly supercharged version of pad thai that will save you money and heal your body. It’s perfect for an outdoor picnic or BBQ.
This salad is absolutely bursting with flavor and goodness; the crispy cucumber, the iodine-rich kelp noodles and obviously, the delicious sauce. Unlike your regular Thai place, this dressing is made with real and wholesome ingredients. While Sesame oil contains essential vitamins and minerals for our whole bodies, tamari is especially rich in mood-enhancing tryptophan. I've also included limes because of their citrusy taste and ability to improve digestion and rejuvenate skin.
My Asian Kelp Noodle Salad requires less effort, time and money than calling your local Thai place and getting takeaway. Trust me. It’s also great and super adaptable for my vegans, gluten-free and dairy-free friends.
If you do want to make this salad more of a meal, you can add a protein source, like tofu or chicken, of your choice. Or just enjoy it on its own.
How can something so simple, so easy and so minimal be so tasty?
Crazy world, kids.
- 340 g (12 oz) kelp noodles
- 150 g (5 1/2 oz) bean sprouts, trimmed
- 3 medium spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium Lebanese (short) cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 large red capsicum (pepper), cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- 2tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
- stevia, or honey to taste
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Rinse and drain
Mushroom and Cacao Dessert Drink
You know how there are some foods you can eat in any weather? Let's take ice-cream for example. Even if it’s freezing outside and you need to layer up with blankets, while next to the fire, with all the windows shut, ice-cream is always worth it.
That’s me and hot chocolate. I can have hot chocolate any time of any day, no matter the weather.
When I found out about the medicinal mushroom craze, I thought it was pretty cool... not cool enough to ruin my hot chocolate, but you know, pretty cool. But now, I can officially say I'm a convert! I’m a proud mushroom hot cacao advocate. You must make some shROOM for this hot chocolate.
This unique hot chocolate blend combines spices and reishi mushrooms to help relieve stress and improve sleep. Reishi is great for balancing our adrenal system to calm us down. The cinnamon and cardamom in this mix can even help combat sweet cravings! It’s also full of cacao which is full of antioxidants and has a high source of plant-based iron.
A hot chocolate that's perfectly creamy, delicious and somehow super healthy. It’s the ideal treat to satisfy chocolate cravings and help you beat the 3pm energy slump.
It can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. It’s organic, vegan, paleo and doesn’t contain any additives, gluten, lactose, white sugar or soy.
Dissolve one packet into a saucepan with warm water, and milk of choice. Beat with a whisk until frothy and serve.