Cleansing Juice

20140930-170008.jpgGood Morning! No time like the present to insert a bit of goodness before you head out into your day. This morning’s juice is simple to do and cleansing in nature. Not many ingredients either – this one is a clean, mean machine that will keep you buzzing throughout the day.

  • Cucumber – a great source of vitamin C, is alkalizinv and cleansing.
  • Ginger – a powerful antiseptic that keeps our immune system flowing the way it ought to.
  • Celery – includes nutrients that calms and may even help your sleep whilst reducing your blood pressure.

Cleansing Juice

1 cucumber

4 stalks of celery

2″ piece of ginger root

1 apple

Juice it all and enjoy the drink as soon as possible after having made it. I wish you all a fantastic day! x

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Make plenty and sip it through the morning, like a nourishing tonic, enjoying the refreshing taste and knowledge that you are putting back health and vitality.

 

10 Reasons To Love Avocados


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I would find it impossible to make do without the avocado. Versatile, nutritious and tasty could be it’s epitaph – fast food another. Few plant based whole foods taste so perfect without little or no intervention. Bananas do spring to mind yet they don’t have that exotic, luxurious and creamy deliciousness that the savory avocado do. I use them in smoothies, spread on toast, eaten au natural (or drizzled with olive oil) scooped out with a spoon, in salads, mashed into baby food, in face masks and of course in the epic Guacamole. Shunned in the past for it’s ‘fat’ content, here are 10 updated top facts* extolling the virtues of the avocado. Stock up now and start to glow!

10 Reasons To Love Avocado

1 – Great for keeping skin supple due to omega 3 fatty acids and oleic acid.

2 – Can aid in weight loss (good fat does not make you fat).

3 – Copper and iron aide stress reduction and relaxation.

4 – Folic acid promotes reproductive health.

5 – Lowers ‘bad’ cholestrol, increase the ‘good’.

6 – Protein rich – promotes strength and endurance.

7 – Lecithin improves brain function.

8 – Vitamin E, powerful anti oxidant, neutralises harmful effects of toxins in body.

9 – Omega 6 fatty acids and oleic acid aids in soothing inflammation.

10 – Linoleic acid help to improve blood sugar balance.

We’ve come a long way from only using avocados sliced into a Tricolore salad (although that is good too). Why not have your avocado for breakfast, spread on a piece of toast or a cracker (I use the gluten-free variety) or on its own with some olive oil and herb salt if grains does not agree with you. Pop a slice of tomato on top. Or mix it in your morning smoothies, together with a banana, berries, some mixed nuts and green leaves. Top it off with coconut or filtered water. In my book, as long as you’ve got an avocado in your fruit bowl, you know your day is going to be alright.  Have a happy saturday everyone! x

* ‘Natural Wonderfoods‘, by Bartimeus, Haigh, Merson, Owen and Wright.

 

 

1 Day Juice Fast

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Had a big weekend? Why not make today a Green Juice only day? Your digestive system is on go most of the time and would probably welcome a holiday! Why not give it a much-needed rest and let your body detox for 24 hours? If that concept fills you with dread, start gently by replacing one meal with a green juice – once a week.

Fasting is an ancient ritual (Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci were fasters) and, done right, can have great health benefits. Removing toxins (and by toxins I mean processed foods, sweets, cakes, coffee, alcohol et al) present in our bodies by the process of flushing out our system by liquids only, we prepare for greater absorption of nutrients from the foods we consume thereafter. An added benefit of a juice fast is that junk food simply does not appeal as much – it feels plain wrong!

Whether your motive is weight loss, clearer skin, more energy or a boost to your immune system, juicing can benefit us all. Personally, as a happy juicer for well over a year, I notice tremendous change in energy levels when I juice and when I don’t. During the summer I go off piste and indulge in food, drinks and not enough exercise thus returning back home sluggish and lacking in energy. Fast forward a few weeks of daily juicing and my energy is back in full force – as is my good mood.  That mind and body affect each other is of course no news – however when you feel big change quick, it does highlight how not looking after your physical self greatly affect your state of mind too. In addition, colds and flu do not seem to bite when your filling yourself with an abundance of vegetables – so start to prep now before the winter season’s outbreak of bugs get you. Here is a 1 Day Juice Fast inspired by Kris Carr from her book Crazy, sexy diet.

1 Day Juice Fast

Fasting Day: 

Upon waking, drink a cup of warm water with a slice of lemon. This helps the body to detoxify and eliminate waste.

Breakfast: 2 large glasses, more if you like, of Green Juice. (Green Juice = Cucumber, celery, kale, ginger root, apple, romaine lettuce).

Morning snack: 2 (or more) large glasses of Green Juice, Herbal tea (no caffeine or decaf) and plenty of water.

Lunch: 2 (or more) large glasses of Green Juice.

Afternoon snack: 2 large glasses of Green Juice, Herbal tea (no caffeine or decaf) and plenty of water.

Dinner: 2 (or more) large glasses of Green Juice.

Bedtime snack: Herbal tea (no caffeine or decaf) and plenty of water.

Note: If it is all too much and you just feel starving – make a nourishing vegetable soup and blend it well. Just keep it liquid :)

Following Day: 

Go gentle the day after. Start with the warm lemon water as per yesterday and follow with either another juice or some fresh fruit. Perhaps a light salad for lunch and some home-made soup for dinner. And by the way, this is not the day for a greasy bacon butty and homemade meat stew. Just sayin’…

What you can expect?

As toxins are leaving your body, light headaches, tiredness and maybe also feelings of sadness can pop up – this is normal and a sign you are letting go of junk. Rest, sleep and don’t fret. Tomorrow you’re back in the game again and you’ve done yourself a big favour. Much luck! X

 

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Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes

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I like nothing better than to bastardise recipes that uses ‘traditional’ ingredients. Sugar? Raw honey or maple syrup will often do. White flour? Buckwheat, einkorn (not strictly gluten-free but tends to be more tolerable than regular white wheat flour) or almond flour will often do the trick. Cow’s milk? Almond, coconut or soy milk can be great alternatives. If using cow’s milk I’d go for full fat, organic and ideally non-homogenised. The less tampering the better.

So the other morning I decided to experiment with fresh ideas for puddings (that’s dessert for you non-UK readers) that ticked all the boxes yet tasted sweet. Lovely assignment and the fun bit of writing a food blog –  you get to try, taste and eat a lot of different things. Which is great as I love food! Pancakes are a big hit in my family and always have been. Which is both good and bad. Good, because I know my children love the prospect of eating pancakes. Bad, when it tastes in any way different from the ‘normal’ ones.

The key to making tasty pancakes, I think, is to cook them with butter. I’ve tried coconut oil but it simply doesn’t taste right. So I use organic butter and a lot of it. As a filling, I mashed a banana and grated one of the gazillion apples I got in my weekly Abel&Cole juice box. I don’t quite know what to do with them all so this was an excellent way of diminishing my supplies. I topped it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Although not the best looking things (big, fat sausages springs to mind)  they tasted delicious and the children really liked them. I didn’t mention the bit about gluten-free to them either :) Here is what went into them:

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Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes 

Pancakes:

3 tbsp almond flour (ground almonds)

3 tbsp buckwheat flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup coconut cream

Butter for cooking

Filling:

1 apple, grated

1 banana, mashed

sprinkle of cinnamon

honey to drizzle

lime

Mix ingredients for pancakes together until you have a smooth batter. You may have to add a bit of flour or cream depending on consistency. Make pancakes in a pan, cooked in butter, as per normal until you have a few stacked up.  Mash up the fruit, add cinnamon and honey and fill each pancake with the mixture and roll up. Drizzle with lime and serve. If you have soft fruit you can substitute the apple for strawberries/raspberries or blueberries mixed with banana.

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Sunday Greens

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There’s generally not an awful lot going on in my fridge on a sunday night which means that whatever is left from the weekend tends to become my dinner. Tonight was no exception. I still had plenty of kale from my Abel&Cole delivery (they give you a mountain of kale in their juice box) so I chopped a stick of celery, shredded a carrot, added half a can of organic chickpeas and made my favorite dressing, a ginger & sesame combo which I’ve bastardised from a recipe by Kris Carr. Timeless and gorgeous. I massaged the kale and veg mixture with some sea salt and olive oil to get the stiffness out of the kale (this only takes a couple of minutes but it makes all the difference so it is well worth it) and then poured the dressing generously over the lot. Simple yet delicious. X

Sunday Greens

Salad:

3 large stalks of kale (remove the thick stalks, just use the curly leafy bit)

1 stick celery, chopped

1/2 yellow pepper

10 mini coctail gherkins

1 carrot, grated

1/2 can organic chickpeas

1/2 head of steamed broccoli

Dressing:

1″ piece of ginger root

2 tbsp mellow miso paste

1 tsp sesame oil (go easy)

Dash of soya or tamari sauce

1/2 lime (but I had run out and used 1/2 lemon, still good)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp water

sea salt to taste

Wash all veggies and remove coarse stalks from kale. Place all veg apart from chick peas (unless you like them mushy) gherkins and broccoli in bowl and start massaging mixture with a dash of olive oil and sea salt to wilt kale that can be a bit rough if left to its own devices. Once ‘massaged’ add the chickpeas, broccoli florets and gherkins and set aside.

For the dressing I use a hand mixer and the tall, thin jug that comes with it. It is perfect for making liquids. Place all ingredients for the dressing in the jug and blitz with the hand mixer until everything is thoroughly mixed and has turned into a dressing like consistency. Some like a stronger taste of sesame and others the taste of ginger so play with the flavours to find out what works for you. If too thick add more water but be aware – a little goes a long way. Pour over the vegetables and enjoy this filling plate of goodness on a sunday night. Enjoy! x

 

 

Pick Up Oat Bisquits

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After a day at school my daughter is starving at pick up time – so god forbid I bring the WRONG SNACK! You know what I’m talking about. The familiar fine line between healthy yet sweet is a tricky one to navigate so therefore shop bought sticky fruit snacks can seem like a good alternative. Once in a blue moon I vow to change all this, normally after a long school holiday when all seems fresh and new. Out goes the white flour, sugar and other naughties lurking in the cupboard, to be replaced by buckwheat flour, einkorn, stevia and honey. Today’s recipe got the thumbs up by my sweet crazed daughter who was very happy when I waited for her at pick up with these biscuits. They are quick to make and taste delicious. Hope you’re children enjoy them as much as mine. Happy Thursday. X

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Pick Up Oat biscuits

Makes about 12-15

100g organic butter

2 dl gluten-free oat flakes

2 tbsp mixed ground nuts (brazil/walnut/cashew/almonds)

1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (sunflower/pumpkin/flax/chia) *

1 dl honey/stevia

1/2 dl maple syrup

1 tbsp organic full fat milk/coconut cream

1 dl buckwheat/einkorn/gluten-free flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 egg

Set the oven for 175C. Melt the butter and pour over the oats, let sit for a few minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and finish with the egg. When you’ve got a nice, gloopy texture take a spoon and dollop out on a baking sheet – not too close to each other as the mixture with spread to become large saucer shaped biscuits. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden. Take out and cool on a wire rack. To make these slightly moorish, melt dark chocolate in a Bain Marie and when melted, brush each biscuit with the melted chocolate and let harden. Enjoy! x

*I grind the seeds so that they disappear into the biscuit mixture. If your children are ok with visible seeds you can leave them intact.

 

 

Nutty Porridge

Originally posted on GreenSwede:

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Some days, only comfort food will do. After an alarmingly early morning wake up call to drop off my son at the coach for his school trip to France, I returned home ravenous. Perhaps it was the early morning darkness, the cold, damp air and slight trepidation that my eldest was going abroad without me? Whatever it was I needed stodge.

I don’t know about you but in my book there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot porridge. Growing up in Sweden, porridge WAS breakfast. These days I don’t put jam in the middle like I used to and I use almond milk instead of cows milk, but apart from that it still makes me feel that all is well in the world. And porridge can be bastardised to whatever mood you’re in –  some days I swap oats for brown rice or quinoa depending on what I…

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