Date Ladoo

Recipe taken from Diabetes Magazine and shared by nutritionist Azmina Govindji. (

A vegan recipe

Makes: 10 – Prep time: 20 mins

Per 33g serving:
Carbs: 14g – Cals: 128 – Sugars: 11g – Fat: 6g – Sat Fat: 0.9g – Salt: 0.04g – Protein: 3.2g – Fibre: 2.5g
0 portion of fruit and veg

30g almonds
30g cornflakes
60g cashew nuts
3 tsp flaxseeds (golden linseeds)
3 tsp sesame seeds
½ tsp cardamom powder (optional)
12 dried dates
1 tsp pistachio nuts, ground


  1. Toast the almonds in a dry pan for about 5 minutes over a medium heat. Set aside to cool.
  2. Toast the cashew nuts over a medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. Grind the cornflakes until they look like breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients.
  4. Pulse the toasted almonds in a grinder or food processor until powdery. Do not over blitz as they will turn into almond butter. Add them to the cornflakes.
  5. Roughly chop the toasted cashews and add to the almond and cornflake mix.
  6. Roast the flaxseeds, sesame seeds and cardamom powder for about 30 seconds till they pop. Set aside to cool.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the stones and chop the dates into small pieces. Add to the bowl of roasted nuts.
  8. Pulse or crush the seeds and mix with the date and cashew mixture while the seeds are still warm from grinding.
  9. Work the mixture with your hands until the ingredients are combined. Form into 10 ball shapes.
  10. Dip each ball into the ground pistachios and serve.

Sunshine Chia

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Wholesome Bowls by Melissa Delport (Watkins Media)

‘Chia seeds are ancient seeds that date back to the Aztec era. They can be found at most health stores, or in the health section at your local supermarket. Add them to smoothies or sprinkle them over your oats. Chia is one of nature’s richest antioxidants. It can prevent premature skin aging and is also very high in fibre, which promotes digestive health’

87.5g chia seeds
250ml almond milk
250ml coconut milk
1 tbsp plant-based protein powder
1 tsp honey
165g diced fresh mango
25g raw coconut flakes
Edible flowers (optional)


  1. In a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, add the chia seeds and almond milk and cook for about 10 minutes. The chia seeds will soak up the liquid. Slowly add the coconut milk to the mixture when it starts to look dry.
  2. Add the protein powder and honey and mix well. Once all the liquid has been added and the consistency is like porridge, remove from the heat.
  3. Divide the chia seeds porridge between your bowls and decorate with mango and coconut flakes. If you find some edible flowers, use these to make the bowl beautiful; beautiful foods brings joy, and joyous food is good energy!

Red Velvet Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and taken from Hungry Woman by Pauline Cox (Ebury Press).

This delicious and different beetroot-infused smoothie comes from qualified functional nutritionist Pauline Cox, author of Hungry Woman, a hormone-balancing cookbook for women of all ages. She says: ‘Nitrate rich foods such as beetroot are incredibly important for building nitric oxide, a key compound for increasing blood flow to the skin, vagina and pelvic organs, which optimises cardiovascular health, mental clarity, healing and recovery from injury’.

5-6 wedges of cold, roasted beetroot
A handful of frozen raspberries
2 tbsp cacao powder
400ml unsweetened nut milk
1 tsp mushroom powder, such as Lion’s Mane (optional)
1 tbsp collagen peptides (optional)
1 tbsp maca powder (optional)
Seeds and crushed nuts of your choice, to serve


  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and combine until smooth. Finish with some seeds and crushed nuts of your choice on top. (Pecans work well!)

Brain-body Boost – Collagen

Article taken from Psychologies Magazine and written by Nutritionist Daisy Connor of

Discover the many faces of collagen, and its abundance of mind-bolstering benefits.

We’re accustomed to seeing collagen adorn our creams, oil and ointments, and hearing how fabulous it is for plumping our skin, smoothing fine lines, and strengthening hair and nails. But did you know that collagen is also a secret powerhouse when it comes to our mental health? This humble protein is said to help with cognitive function and memory, and can even calm a busy mind. Nutritionist Daisy Connor of City Survivor explains why it’s time we all started to look at collagen a little differently.

Keep calm with collagen
‘You might want to up your collagen levels to keep your skin looking fresh, but there’s strong evidence to suggest that dietary collagen, including supplements, has potential benefits for mental health, too,’ says Connor. ‘For example, it’s rich in the amino acid glycine, which acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning it helps to calm overworked and stressed-out receptors. This results in a calming effect on the brain and therefore, reduced stress and anxiety. What’s more, glycine is thought to improve cognitive function and memory, too.’

Happy gut, happy brain
‘We’ve known for some time that our brain and our gut are intrinsically linked,’ explains Connor, ‘so it stands to reason a happy gut equals a happy brain. Research shows amino acids in collagen have anti-inflammatory properties, which can support gut health by reducing inflammation and improving the integrity of the gut lining. In turn, this supports and maintains a healthy, happy brain.’

Your natural source
‘Collagen is abundant in our bodies – including skin, bones, tendons and ligaments,’ explains Connor. ‘In the past, we would get all the collagen we needed through our diet, by eating animal products. But, these days, even those who eat meat tend to throw away the collagen-rich parts.
‘One of the best ways to enjoy collagen is with a bone broth,’ says Connor. ‘Simmering all the bits you usually put in the bin creates a hearty collagen-rich liquid. Another way to get your fill is by eating the less popular parts of the meat, such as skin, feet and shanks.
‘However, for many, a collagen supplement is an easier (and more palatable!) way to increase your intake,’ she adds. ‘Collagen powder, for example, easily dissolves in drinks. She recommends a marine collagen powder from sustainably sourced wild cod skin, as opposed to bovine collagen, which has a great impact on the environment.

Did you know? For the most part, our body can make all the collagen it needs through a healthy, balanced diet. However, studies have shown that production drops off as we age, meaning there’s a greater need to seek out additional sources.

From tablets and capsules to powders and drinks, there are plenty of ways to supplement your collagen levels this summer …

Skinful Pure Marine Collagen Powder can be mixed into tea, coffee, smoothies and shakes, and is made from sustainably caught cod skin.

Healthspan Super Strength Marine Collagen Complex contains 1,000mg of collagen in an easy-to-take capsule

Absolute Collagen Marine Liquid Collagen Drink For Women can be enjoyed directly from the sachet, or add it to your favourite beverage.

Flax to the max


Article courtesy of Psychologies Magazine and written by Eve Kalinik.

These tiny seeds may fall short in size, but they’re big in terms of benefits.

One of the most notable facts about flax is that the seeds are considered to be one of the highest sources of ALA, a type of plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acid.  These are necessary for myriad processes in the body, including helping to manage inflammation and support cardiovascular health.  This type of omega-3 is different to the ones in fish oil that contain EPA and DHA fatty acids.  Studies show that, depending on your gender, you may convert more or less ALA into EPA or DHA components – women seem to have higher levels than men.  It is crucial that we get enough of these and we should try to obtain them from different sources.

From a gut perspective, flaxseeds give a welcome boost, as they provide fibre that feeds our beneficial gut microbes.  This has a positive knock-on effect, as the microbes can produce more anti-inflammatory substances like butyrate and, as research is starting to show, potentially increase out output of positive mood neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

The mucilage gel-forming fibre that flaxseeds provide helps keep things moving along nicely in the bowel too.  Flaxseeds are a good source of lignans and are considered a phytoestrogen foods, which means they may have an influence on hormones, mimicking and moderating the effects of oestrogen in the body.  This can be beneficial during menopause, although, if you have any type of hormonal condition, you may need to check with a practitioner before you introduce flax regularly into your diet.

When it comes to eating flaxseeds, and to really tap into their benefits, it is best to grind or sprout them.  In their whole raw form, the seeds pass through the gastrointestinal tract undigested, so try to grind from fresh using a coffee or spice grinder, and store in the fridge as they can go rancid.  Flax is brilliant in Bircher muesli or stirred into yogurt with a lick of raw honey, but they also work as an excellent substitute for eggs if you need to bind in a vegan or egg-free dish.

Suggested products:-

Grind – Use a De’Longhi Coffee Grinder that can give you freshly ground flaxseeds in a flash.  Remember to store your ground seeds in an airtight container in the fridge.

Baked – Flaxseeds can give a delicious boost of flavour in a simple loaf.  Try Biona Organic Rye, Chia and Flaxseed Bread.

Seeds – You could buy whole seeds from the supermarket and grind at home but, for pre-ground, try Linwoods Sprouted Milled Organic Flaxseed.

Trends & Facts : How to boost health with herbs

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2015).  Eve Kalinik* extols the benefits of herbs on our wellbeing.


Whether fragrant, grassy or aromatic in nature, herbs can transform a simple dish into something truly magnificent. But beyond their great and versatile taste, it’s the health benefits of herbs that pack the most surprising punch of all. Sadly, with the popularity of fast and convenience foods, laden with their sugar, salt and fake flavourings, we have somewhat lost our love of these very special plants. It’s about time we rediscovered just how incredibly nutritious and delicious they can be.

Let’s start back in the days before modern medicine, when the herbs that you might typically throw into your favourite supper were ubiquitously used to cure common ailments. Herbs were used in many ways – to produce teas, tinctures, tonics, rubs, pastes and poultices – and herbalists and apothecaries would prescribe treatments direct from the most bountiful first aid kit of all – Mother Nature.

Today, many of our most common drugs are in part based on the same chemical components of these readily available plants. Each of these beautiful herbs contains unique molecules – and this is what lends them their distinctive health-giving properties. Obviously, the more you can get the fresh herbs into your diet the better, but that doesn’t mean the dried versions won’t also have many fantastic benefits. All herbs – dried or fresh – contain antioxidant benefits that help to counterbalance the effects of environmental damage to our bodies, as well as being antimicrobial. You could almost think of them as your daily dose of medicine, just in the purest and most natural form.

Here are some people who are giving herbs the happening factor:

Michael Isted – herbal medicine practitioner and founder of the Herball*, his clever infusions, aromatic waters, bitters and amazing cocktail recipes will have you feeling inspired.

Olia Hercules* – food writer, stylist and chef, she creates beautifully designed and mouth-watering recipes. Her book, Mamushka (Mitchell Beazley), is brimming with herbs, but Eve particularly loves the fermented herbs seasoning; it’s mind-blowingly good!

Juice Tonic* – in the heart of London’s Soho, Juice Tonic has reinvented health drinks with a menu of juices, smoothies, tonics and pharmacy teas that blend together herbs from far and wide.

Herbs to boost health and awaken taste buds
Thyme : It lifts a classic risotto, and has been associated with supporting respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and congestion.
– Rosemary : Traditionally served with lamb, rosemary is renowned for its rheumatoid and cardiovascular benefits.
– Oregano : The base of all good Italian sauces, it has potent antimicrobial properties.
– Sage : Simply shredded through green beans, pine nuts and drizzled with olive oil, it makes for a delicious accompaniment. Sage has been revered for its support of menopausal symptoms.
– Garlic : This is the ultimate antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-parasitic herb (yes, it is a herb). Your gut will be thanking you for having more of this pungent wonder in your diet.

* Websites worth visiting:-;;;

Further reading:

Bone Broth

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2015).

Health trends – Bone broth ?

IMG_1818The Hype

Despite having been a staple in cooking pots for centuries, bone broth has recently gained new momentum.  It’s revival can be partly attributed to the growing popularity of the Paleo diet and its superfood status is believed to be due to its easily digestible protein composition.  The protein comes from collagen found in the bones and connective tissue, which transforms into a nutrient-dense gelatin as it cooks.  A cupful is said to ensure a hit of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium and minerals that are known to help strengthen hair and nails, improve skin texture, heal your digestive system and prevent insomnia, fatigue and anxiety.

The Facts

    1. Foodies argue that bone broth is simply stock that’s had a fashionable makeover, but bone broth takes much longer to cook than stock; chicken carcasses simmer between six and 12 hours, and beef bones for up to 24 hours to ensure they fully dissolve into the water, providing bioavailable minerals to the body.
    2. Cassandra Barns, from NutriCentre, believes that bone broth an live up to the hype. ‘The minerals it contains can directly support healthy hair, skin and nails.  In addition to glycine and proline, the gelatin in bone broth is a source of substances like glucasamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.  These are known to support the joints, ligaments and tendons’.
    3. Lily Simpson from The Detox Kitchen Bible, points out that bone broth is often treated as a meal replacement, yet it’s not a sufficient meal in itself, as it’s so low in calories. ‘I would treat bone like miso soup and serve as a nourshing low-calorie snack during the day to boost your nutrient intake.’

The Verdict

Bone broth is a great source of bio-available nutrients.  Rob Hobson from The Detox Kitchen Bible says, ‘There isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest bone broth can treat conditions such as IBS.  However, gelatin found in bone broth forms a key component of the GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome) diet designed to improve digestive health.  Collagen makes up connective tissue in joints, so that may help in the case of osteoarthritis, but I wouldn’t consider it a reliable treatment.’