Dairy free cauliflower cheese

dairy free Cauliflower cheese
cauliflower cheeseCauliflower is full of beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol! What does this mean?? It's a huge antioxidant powerhouse which can help to protect you from a range of disease risks.  Cauliflower has been included along with other cruciferous vegetables (most commonly broccoli and cabbage) in studies on cardiovascular diseases, and because of its ability to bind bile acids, intake of cooked cauliflower has also been linked to better regulation of blood cholesterol. Try this dairy free version which is lower in saturated fat as part of your Sunday roast.

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Chickpea Croutons

Chickpea Croutons
croutonsChickpeas are rich in protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates, folate, iron, and zinc. They are also an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps you to feel full - a great benefit if you’re trying to control your weight. Like other beans, chickpeas are digested slowly, which promotes a gradual release of blood glucose, which may be helpful in the control of insulin resistance conditions such as Diabetes. Try adding these to garnish soups or over salads for an extra fibre hit to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

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Lentil Crackers

Lentil Crackers
lentil crackersLentils are low in fat and high in protein and dietary fibre. These tiny, disk-shaped legumes also provide complex carbohydrates and good amounts of thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, zinc, and potassium. But they are particularly rich in the B vitamin folate which is needed for hundreds of processes in the body including making DNA and RNA, metabolising amino acids required for cell division and also reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and anaemia. These crackers are a great source of slow releasing energy and can be eaten as a snack with hummus or dips, or added as croutons to soups.

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Apple & Oat Crumble

Oat & Apple Crumble
Oats contain beta-glucans, a soluble fibre that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This slower digestion prevents dramatic spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels that could encourage our bodies to store fat. Oats are also a rich source of magnesium, which is key co-factor needed for energy production, and also helps to relax blood vessels and regulate blood pressure. Apples are also a great source of fibre with one large apple supplying almost 30 percent of the minimum amount of fibre that should be consumed daily. Most of this fibre is soluble and is known as 'pectin' which is also effective in lowering cholesterol levels. This recipe is a take on the traditional crumble recipe, but is gluten free - and much tastier! It takes only 15 minutes to make and wont leave you feeling heavy and sleepy once eaten!

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Chocolate oat fridge bar

Chocolate oat fridge bar
Using rough oat cakes might seem like an odd ingredient for a sweet snack, but they are a prime source of complex carbohydrate that help to sustain energy. They contain roughly 50% more protein than bulgur wheat, and twice as much as brown rice. Oats contain strong levels of thiamin, iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc; however, the most impressive quality of oats are their rich source of soluble fibre called 'Beta Glucans' which has been credited with helping to lower blood cholesterol levels. These snacks are super quick to make and you only need a tiny square to satisfy those sweet cravings.

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Banana Oat Balls

Banana Oat Balls
oat ballsBananas and oats are both rich sources of the amino acid Tryptophan which is the sole precursor of Serotonin, our 'happy' hormone. Research shows that the synthesis of Serotonin is an important factor involved in mood, behaviour and cognition, so its important to get enough Tryptophan in the diet. Another hormone produced in the Tryptophan/ Serotonin pathway is Melatonin which regulates our diurnal rhythms and influences reproductive and immune systems, as well as digestive processes and gastrointestinal motility. So these banana and oat balls are not only a snack full of happy ingredients, but a dreamy night time treat to help you snooze into a blissful sleep! This recipe makes approx. 12 balls.

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Chocolate coconut bites

CHOcolate coconut BITES
Chocolate bounty bitesCoconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but they provide fat in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids, including Lauric acid. When converted in the body, lauric acid forms monolaurin which is both antiviral and antibacterial and this has been shown to help destroy a wide variety of undesirable organisms. Coconuts are also full of fibre, calcium, selenium and magnesium, and combined with the magnesium rich dark chocolate in this recipe, these bites provide a muscle soothing  and relaxing snack which is free from refined sugars and hydrogenated fats.

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Pumpkin, Coconut & Chilli Soup

Pumpkin, Coconut & Chilli Soup
pumpkin soupPumpkin has a range of fantastic health benefits, including being one of the best known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant. Beta Carotene is what also gives orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant colour. Carotenoid rich foods also help to protect eye health and may also reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer as well as offering protection against asthma. This pumpkin, coconut & chilli soup is full of anti inflammatory ginger and turmeric which will help to support the immune system as the cold weather kicks in. It's also made with organic chicken stock which is high in protein, glutamine and collagen to support gut, skin and joint health. Top this meal with chickpea croutons for an extra fibre fix and you have a powerhouse of a lunch right there!

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Apple & Oat Muffins

OAT & APPLE MUFFINS
muffinsOats are a prime source of complex carbohydrate that help to sustain energy. They contain roughly 50% more protein than bulgur wheat, and twice as much as brown rice. Oats contain strong levels of thiamin, iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc; however, the most impressive quality of oats are their rich source of soluble fibre called 'Beta Glucans' which has been credited with helping to lower blood cholesterol levels. The fibre in oats has other benefits too - research suggests that oat fibre may also help control blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity - so a benefit for those with insulin resistance problems. The combination of protein and fibre in this recipe results in a slow release of energy and the anti-inflammatory ginger and blood-sugar-balancing cinnamon results in a warming and comforting snack/ breakfast to see you through the cold weather. Recipe makes approx 8 muffins.

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Fresh Basil Pesto

Fresh Basil Pesto
Basil PestoBasil is a wonder herb and I always make batches of fresh pesto to have with meals throughout the week. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin K which is essential for building strong bones. So, if you have had your genetic profiling done and if you have a SNP on your VDR gene then increasing Vitamin K rich foods can help with bone health and density. Basil is also a great source of Copper, Vitamin C, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium. It doesn’t stop there either. It’s highly anti-inflammatory and can block the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Over the counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen also block this inflammatory enzyme. So increasing Basil in your diet can not only provide you with an abundance of vitamins and minerals, but used therapeutically can also offer symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.

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Dairy Free Mackerel Pate

 Mackerel Pate
mackerel pateThis easy to make Mackerel pate is great as a snack on rice cakes, eaten with crudites, or as a filler for lunch time wraps. Mackerel is rich in the healthful polyunsaturated fats known as long-chain omega-3s, which may help boost heart health. It is also an important source of protein and B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12. An 85g serving provides nearly 700 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12. It also offers tremendous amounts of selenium, a mineral that helps to protect our cells against damaging free radicals.

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Quinoa, Apple, Ginger & Cinnamon Porridge

Quinoa Porridge
quinoa porridgeThe key nutritional factor of Quinoa is its high level of lysine, which is an amino acid necessary for the synthesis of other proteins. This high level of lysine makes it one of the best sources of plant protein and also provides riboflavin, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and fibre. The combination of protein and fibre results in a slow release of energy and the anti-inflammatory ginger and blood-sugar-balancing cinnamon results in a warming and comforting autumnal breakfast. Serve with yoghurt or almond milk and top with nuts, seeds and/ or berries. You can eat this as a warm pudding or mid afternoon snack. Recipe serves 3-4.

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