Sweet Beetz Feat. Chia Seed

This delicious smoothie is fantastic for boosting your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.  Beets are great for helping detox your liver. They are also packed with vitamin C, iron, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium and B6. Bananas are great for lowering blood pressure. Avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamins A, D and E; these help maintain healthy skin. Pink Grapefruit contains antioxidants such as lycopene and beta carotene which help protect the body’s immunity. Lemon juice is abundant with vitamin C. Carob is used as a chocolate alternative and is great for digestive health. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory. I use Stevia to sweeten it up. Stevia is a natural alternative to sugar.  Chia seeds add protein and are great for your digestion. Flaxseed oil contains omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs are great for bowel, colon and cardiovascular health.

Ingredients

2 small Baby Beets

½ Banana

1 Avocado (gives it a creamy texture)

Juice of one Pink Grapefruit

Juice of one Lemon

1-2 teaspoons of Carob powder

Thumb size piece of Ginger

4-5 drops of Stevia

1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds

1 tablespoon of Organic Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil

Method

Add all the ingredients to the blender. Cover with filtered water and throw in some ice cubes. Blend it to a smooth consistency and enjoy the beets.

Alternatives

You can mix and match any flavor you like with this smoothie. Add raspberries, blueberries or kiwis. You could add some almond meal to thicken it up and boost your protein intake. Mint leaves will give it a refreshing taste. Tease your taste buds!

Eat Real, Great Feel!

 

Heaven in a Glass

 

Almond milk is a great alternative to dairy milk, however, if you have a nut allergy please avoid. It can be made in the comfort of your own home or bought in the local health store. All you need is a nut straining bag or cheesecloth and a blender to proceed. I picked up the straining bag (by Soaring Free Superfoods) and the almonds at the Fresh Earth Store, Johannesburg. The ingredients below make just under 1 litre and should be consumed within 3 days. It has a rich, creamy texture; heaven in a glass!

Almond milk is rich in calcium, delivering the same amount per cup as cow’s milk. Calcium is responsible for many intricate roles in the human body. Along with vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium, calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It also helps regulate blood pressure and is necessary for muscle contraction. Almond milk is vitamin rich providing you with vitamin A and E. Vitamins A and E are antioxidants which help protect the immune system.

Ingredients

  • 2  cups Raw Almonds
  • 4 cups Filtered Water
  • 2-4 drops Stevia

Method

Soak almonds overnight in water. Drain the water the following morning. Place the almonds in the blender and add filtered water. You may need to do this in batches if you have a small blender. Once the mixture is smooth strain it through a nut milk bag. Pour into a glass jug and store in the fridge. If you don’t think you’ll use the almond meal immediately; store it in the freezer to prevent it from going rancid. The remaining pulp can be used in smoothies, pancakes, breadcrumb mixtures or cookies.

Eat Real, Great Feel!

Scone With The Wind

On a recent visit to the Fresh Earth Store I picked myself up a Scone Premix by The Gluten Free Bakery. They were very easy to make. You simply add butter/ghee and rub it into the dry mixture. Lightly beat an egg with 100ml of water/natural yogurt/almond milk; whatever you desire. If you aren’t a fan of eggs you can replace an egg with milled flaxseed or a banana. 1 egg = 1 banana. 1 tablespoon of milled flaxseed added to 3 tablespoons of filtered water will create the egg replacement mixture. Fold the mixture, roll out and cut with a scone cutter. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown in the oven at 180c. I decided to add a teaspoon of orange zest to the mixture; it tasted fantastic.

To serve with the scones I made a Vanilla Strawberry Compote. For the compote I used Stevia. Adding  Chia seeds thicken the mixture.

Vanilla Strawberry Compote

1 Punnet of Strawberries

Vanilla Pod/Alcohol Free Vanilla Essence

4 drops of Stevia

1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds

Method

Wash and finely chop strawberries. Place in a saucepan. Add the seeds from the vanilla pod. Then add 4 drops of stevia. Cook on a low, gentle heat until the mixture is softened.

Alternatives

You can replace the strawberries with another fruit like blueberries or apples. Instead of stevia you could use raw honey, agave syrup or coconut sugar.

 

Once the scones were ready to eat I served them with Greek yogurt instead of cream and a nice serving of the vanilla strawberry compote. Be sure to eat these clean guilt free scones with a cup of Fairtrade coffee.

 

Eat Real, Great Feel!

Rock the Beets

Beetroot & Ginger Soup

 4-5 small Baby Beets

1 tablespoon Organic Avocado Oil/Coconut/Cold Pressed Olive Oil

3-4 small Leeks

Juice of an Orange

2-3 Garlic Cloves

1 teaspoon of Garam Masala

Thumb size piece of fresh Ginger, peeled

Pink Himalayan Salt & Pepper to season

Method

Boil the beets until tender; this will take about an hour. Once tender peel the beets and chop. In a saucepan add the avocado oil, beets, chopped leeks, peeled garlic and ginger. Sauté the vegetables then cover with water. Allow it to simmer. Next add garam masala, juice of an orange, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the vegetables are soft. Take the saucepan off the cooker and allow the mixture to cool. Once the mixture has cooled down, blend it to a smooth consistency.

Serving Suggestions

Add a dollop of full fat Greek yogurt and serve with homemade gluten free brown bread. A favourite Irish brand of mine is Sowan’s Organic. Since moving to South Africa I have discovered a great brand O’Crumbs by The Gluten Free Bakery in Johannesburg.

Further Reading on the Health Benefits of Beetroot

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/9546330/Beetroot-juice-may-help-beet-your-best.html

Eat Real, Great Feel!

Cupboard Essentials in My Kitchen

Trips to the supermarket can be a daunting task when you aren’t sure what you really need or want. Below I have put together an outline of essential items that will help you to enhance your healthy eating habits.

Cupboard Essentials

  • Oils: Coconut Oil Cold Pressed, Olive Oil Cold Pressed, Avocado Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Ghee Clarified Butter.
  • Salt: Pink Himalayan Rock Salt, Rock Salt.
  • Spices: Every press should have an abundance of spices to add flavor to your favourite dishes. Pick yourself up some Chilli Flakes, Garam Masala, Turmeric Powder, Cardamom Pods, Star Anise, Mustard Seeds, Chilli Powder, Whole Coriander Seeds or powder, Ginger Powder, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Fennel Seeds, Fenugreek, Cumin Seeds and Peppercorns; the list is endless!
  • Herbs: Where possible I like to use the fresh herbs, however, it isn’t always possible so I go for the dry option. Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Bay Leaves, Sage, Tarragon, Mint; tailor to suit your cooking habits.
  • Sauces: Fish Sauce, Tamari Style Soy Sauce (gluten-free option), Tabasco Sauce, Mustard, Peanut Butter (make sure it has only peanuts in the ingredients, this is the healthier and more natural form).
  • Tins of Coconut Milk. Check the ingredients list and try to avoid brands that add additives, try keeping it as natural as possible. My favourite brands are Biona or Chaokoh.
  • Tins of Tomatoes. Great for the bases of sauces and soups.
  • Vinegar: Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, brands I like are Bragg or Biona, Balsamic Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar.
  • Sweeteners: Raw Honey, Unrefined Brown Sugar, Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Agave Syrup.
  • Chocolate: 70-85% Dark Chocolate is great when you get a sugar craving. My favourite brands are Lindt or Green & Black. Also keep an Organic Cocoa Powder in the press; Green & Black have a great cocoa powder. It comes in very handy for making your own natural hot chocolate drink (recipe to follow),Carob Powder is fantastic.
  • Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Roasted Coconut Flakes, Raw Peanuts ; these are all great for snack recipes.
  • Flour: Almond Flour, Coconut Flour and Desiccated Coconut; I use these flours mostly as I am Gluten Free.

Places I can recommend in Johannesburg are:

For a list of Farmers Markets in Johannesburg visit Eat Out.

The list above is an outline of products that will be needed for the various healthy recipes and ideas that I post. There is no need to make a burst for the store straight away to purchase the entire product list. I will add to the list as time progresses.

Eat real, Great Feel!


Homemade Gluten Free Cereal

Be warned its addictive!

What you will need:

  • 3 cups Desiccated Coconut (Read the product label to ensure there are no other chemical additives present)
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (nibbles, flaked, blanched – any kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts (crushed) I usually crush them with a rolling-pin if the supermarket doesn’t have the crushed version.
  • 1/2 cup Hazelnuts (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup Golden Linseed
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 Sesame Seeds
  • Coconut Oil (1 teaspoon)
  • Pink Himalayan Rock Salt (pinch)
  • Honey (1 tablespoon, however, you can season to taste)

Method:

Oven Temp: 150 degrees Fan Oven

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Next put the mixture on a flat baking tray. I tend to layer it up to about 1 inch in thickness.  Once the mixture is golden in colour remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool. Place in a storage container.

In a Pyrex jug add the honey and coconut oil. Place the jug in a saucepan of heated water and wait for the mixture to melt. Once melted pour on the cereal and mix it all together

Serving Suggestions:

Coconut milk works great if, like me, you prefer the dairy free option. A brand I am very fond of is “Kara”. You can also use rice, soya, hazelnut, quinoa or almond milk. Add some fresh fruit, dried fruit or natural yogurt.

Recipe Alternatives:

The recipe isn’t set in stone and if you are feeling creative you can mix up the ingredients by adding pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. I am a coconut fiend so I like to add roasted coconut flakes. Swap honey for agave syrup or molasses. Season it to your taste buds.

Tip:

You can have the mixture pre-made and store it in your press so when you are running low it is easy to throw another batch in the oven.

Eat Real, Great Feel!