Summer Fruits – Smooth operator

Recipe courtesy of The Co-operative Food Magazine.

Nothing evokes summer quite like the taste of plump and juicy summer berries.  Whether you’re planning a weekend picnic, making a fruit tart or a healthy smoothie.

Berry smoothieIngredients :
115g blueberries
115g raspberries
150ml apple juice
2 tblsp natural yogurt
Some crushed ice
Extra blueberries and raspberries to garnish

Method :

Bullet logo Pop all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.  Pour into a glass and garnish with the blueberries and raspberries.

Salted Vanilla and Walnut Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2018) and taken from ‘Well Being’ by Danielle Copperman .

Enjoy this energising drink, which is more like a milkshake than a smoothie, in the morning, or before or after a workout to aid muscle repair.  Add raw cacao powder for a chocolatey version.

Serves : 2

Vanilla and walnut smoothieIngredients :
20g raw almonds (with or without skin)
2 tbsp hemp seeds or golden linseeds
30g raw walnuts
110g banana, sliced and frozen
2 tbsp avocado flesh
200ml filtered water or plant-based milk
1 tsp maca powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 – 1g salt
20g tahini or nut butter
2g vanilla powder
1 medjool date
6-8 ice cubes

Method :

Bullet logo Put all the ingredients, apart from the ice, in a blender and whizz on a medium to high speed for 1-2 minutes, until everything is combined.

Bullet logo Scrape down any mixture on the sides, add the ice and then blend again on the highest speed, until the ice has fully broken down and you have a silky smooth, creamy texture.

Serve immediately.

Mocha Morning Buzz

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2016).

This chilled smoothie take on a cappuccino is sweetened with dates, and the rolled oats keeps you fuller for longer.

Mocha morning blitzServes : 1
Nut-free

Ingredients:-
3-5 soft dates, pitted
2 teaspoons cacao powder
3 tablespoons rolled oats (choose certified gluten-free if allergic)
250ml (1/2 fl oz / 1 cup) unsweetened plant milk
1-2 shots espresso (approximately 2-4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon cold-pressed coconut oil
2 ice cubes

Method:

Bullet logo Put the ingredients in a blender and blast on a high speed until smooth.

Bullet logo Taste and adjust the sweetness and coffee flavour to your liking by adding dates, espresso or milk.  Pour into one medium-size glass or cup and enjoy straight away.  Stir in a splash of extra plant milk, if you fancy it.

Raspberry, Liquorice and Star Anise Gummies

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2019) and taken from ‘The Beauty Chef Gut Guide’ by Carla Oates..

These gummies contain ingredients that help repair the lining of your gut.  Liquorice is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that suppress pathogenic bacteria.  Paired with gelatin, rich in gut-healing amino acids, you have a remedial snack that tastes more like a childhood treat.

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Makes 375ml

Ingredients :
340ml cold water
2 tblsp grass-fed powdered gelatin
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 star anise
240g fresh or frozen raspberries
2 liquorice root teabags
Stevia equivalent to 1 1/2 tsp of normal sugar

Step One : Pour 180ml of the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the surface in an even layer. Set aside for 10 minutes to bloom.

Step Two : In a medium saucepan, toast the fennel seeds and star anise over a low to medium heat for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Pour in the remaining 160ml water, add the raspberries and bring to the boil. Decrease the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

Step Three : Remove the pan from the heat, add the teabags and set aside to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the teabags, squeezing out all of the liquid, and discard.

Step Four : Add the gelatin mixture and Stevia to the hot raspberry liquid and stir until dissolved. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring jug, using a spoon to press the raspberry pulp to ensure you get all the juice out. Don’t scrape, as you don’t want to push too many of the seeds through. Top up the liquid with water to make 375ml, if necessary.

Step Five : Place ice-cube trays or silicon moulds onto small baking trays. Fill with the raspberry liquid. Refrigerate for al least 1 hour, or until completely set.

Step Six : To unmould, briefly dip the base of the ice-cube trays or moulds into boiling water. Using your fingertips, pull the gummies away from the edge of the moulds to release the seal, then invert onto a plate.

Step Seven : Store the gummies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Beautiful Raw Root Salad

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2016).

‘When we look at beautiful foods, our digestive system starts to wake up, so we might argue that we start eating with our eyes – and this salad is definitely a feast for the eyes.’ Raw chef, Solla Eiriksdottir.

Raw root salad.jpgServes : 4-6

Ingredients :
300g red cabbage, cut into thin strips
2 carrots, cut into thin round slices
1 courgette, cut into thin, round slices
1 yellow beetroot, cut into thin, round slices
1 striped or red beetroot, cut into thin, round slices
5 radishes, cut into slices
1 pear, cut in half, cored and cut into thin slices
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
50g pistachios
10 dried Incan golden berries
4 tblsp green herbs, such as coriander, mint, basil and parsley finely chopped

For the dressing :
50ml walnut or olive oil
3 tblsp lemon juice
3 tblsp mandarin or orange juice
1 tblsp rice vinegar (or your favourite vinegar)
1 tsp ras el hanout spice
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Step One : To make the dressing, put all the ingredients into a clean jar, put on the lid and shake to mix. Set aside.

Step Two : Put the prepared vegetables into a bowl, and pour over the dressing, then, using your fingers, massage the dressing into the vegetables.

Step Three : Let the vegetables marinate for 15-20 minutes. When ready to eat, put the vegetables into a serving bowl, add the remaining ingredients, toss together, and enjoy.

Food Focus : Bounteous broccoli

Article courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (March 2019) and written by Eve Kalinik. (evekalinik.com)

broccoliBroccoli may be dubbed the ultimate ‘green machine’.  Indeed, this cruciferous powerhouse has a whole lot of natural ammo.

Firstly, broccoli contains a compound called idole-3-carbinol (I3C), which is derived from a type of phytochemical present in all cruciferous vegetables that becomes active when we chop or chew them.  This compound helps to support detoxification pathways in the liver and may have beneficial effects on hormone balancing.  Chewing broccoli also releases sulforaphane, which gives it that distinct ‘sulphurous’ taste and smell, that supports healthy cell turnover, including arresting the development of what could turn into potentially unhealthy cells.  If that’s wasn’t amazing enough, broccoli is also a massive boost for our gut since it contains plenty of fibre, which is welcome news for our gut microbes as they love the stuff.  Additionally, some of the active chemical antioxidant compounds mentioned above also support a healthy microbiome.

Let’s also not forget that broccoli is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, important for bone and cardiovascular health; vitamin C to provide antioxidant ‘protective’ support for our cells and a wealth of B vitamins, which have a role in energy production as well as working as co-factors for hormonal health and neurotransmitter functioning for brain power … come to think of it, broccoli does have somewhat of a cerebellum look!

You can get broccoli in numerous varieties including purple (or yellow) sprouted, Tenderstem, in shoot-like sprout form (also the highest form of sulforaphane) or in just the regular green variety.

Purple sprouted works really well with a dressing of sesame oil and tamari; broccoli sprouts are excellent toppers for salads, whereas the regular florets pan-fried with some thin slices of garlic, lemon juice and a generous drizzle of cold-pressed olive oil are simply heavenly.  Generally, it is better eating your broccoli lightly cooked rather than eating lots of it raw, since cooking negates the possible effects it can have on thyroid functioning, particularly if you have any underactive thyroid issues.  It’s tastes better that way, too.

Grow:
You can grow your own sprouts at home.  Get yourself a germinator like below A Vogel BioSnacky Germinator Seed Jar.

Source:
Broccoli is a veg that we have in abundance in the UK and it’s great if you can get to your farmers’ market and check out the varieties in season.  For farmers’ markets, see http://www.farma.gov.uk

Cook:
Anna Jones has taken veg-centric food to another level with her book, “The Modern Cook’s Year”.  And her broccoli recipes do not disappoint!

Pea and Basil Tart with a Buttery Oat Crust

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (July 2017) and taken from Food for a Happy Gut by Naomi Devlin.

Oat flour makes a crisp, rich crust – the perfect foil for a smooth pea filling and some cool probiotic labneh. The tart is easily digestible, but you could increase its probiotic value by adding a garlic clove and using the white of the onions.

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Serves : 4

Ingredients Oat Crust:
70g oat flour (or porridge oats, ground)
70g buckwheat flour
70g ground linseed
2 pinches of sea salt
70g cold salted butter, diced
80-100g live Greek-style yogurt

Pea and basil filling:
225g frozen peas
3 large organic eggs
150ml double cream
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon
Large handful of basil, plus extra to dress
3 pinches of sea salt
4 spring onions, green parts only, sliced
120g labneh
Olive oil, for drizzling
Freshly ground black pepper

Step One : For the crust, put both flours, the linseed and salt into a bowl, rub in the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs, and use a knife to stir in half the yogurt. Add the remaining yogurt in teaspoons, until the mixture starts to clump, then gather into a ball and knead till smooth. Form into a disc, then wrap and chill for 20-30 minutes.

Step Two : Preheat the oven to 200oC / 390oF / Gas Mark 6 and line the base of a 23cm loose-based tart tin with baking parchment.

Step Three : Lay a sheet of clingfilm on the worktop, place the pastry on it and cover with clingfilm. Roll into a circle to line the tin, peel off the top layer of clingfilm, and ease the pastry into the corners before removing the clingfilm and trimming the top edge. Chill for at least half an hour.

Step Four : Line the tart case with parchment, fill with baking beans and bake for 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and beans and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside. Turn the oven down to 180oC / 390oF / Gas Mark 4.

Step Five : To make the filling, blanch the peas in boiling water until just cooked. Refresh in cold water, then drain and reserve 25g. Put the remaining peas into a blender with the eggs, cream, lemon zest and juice, basil and salt. Blend and pour into the case, then scatter over the onions and reserved peas.

Step Six : Bake for 30 minutes, until set. Put side till just warm, then scatter with labneh and basil and drizzle over the olive oil. Season with black pepper and serve.

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Super Snack Tip : Asma’s Beet Brownies

Recipe taken from Psychologies Magazine (October 2015) 

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Serves: 6

Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, drained (approx. 480g)
80ml melted coconut oil
4 eggs
1 cup cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
4 tblsp beetroot powder
Seeds of one vanilla pod
12 dates
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

Step One : Preheat oven to 170oC. Grease the bottom of a 13 1/2 x 8 x 1 inch brownie pan with coconut oil.

Step Two : Add all the ingredients to a large food processor and blend until smooth.

Step Three : Spoon into the pan and bake for approximately 35 minutes until you can see slight cracking on the top, and it is springy to the touch.

Step Four : Leave to cool fully before cutting into squares.

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Trends & Facts : What should a balanced lunchbox for kids look like?

Article taken from Psychologies Magazine (October 2015) 

healthy lunchbox

Assuming allergies or intolerances are not present, this is a rough idea of what a packed lunch should include:

Carboyhydrates
Sandwiches made from additive-free, wholegrain seeded bread with real butter; wraps made with wholegrain or gluten-free flours; cooked quinoa; sweet potato wedges, mini buckwheat pizza bases.

Protein
Fill or top the above with full-fat organic cheese, nut butters, organic cheese, nut butters, organic meat or fish, hummus, free-range eggs.

Antioxidants
Create posts of your favourite veggie bites with tasty dips (raw carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and celery with tzatziki, tahini, hummus and guacamole). Smoothies are ideas for hiding veggies. Blend a banana, 2 teaspoons of cashew nut butter, a handful of spinach, a drizzle of maple syrup or good honey and a cup of dairy or non-dairy milk.

Calcium
Use full-fat organic yogurt of full-fat organic milk for milkshakes and smoothies. Remember, green vegetables, almonds, tahini and white beans are also good non-dairy sources of calcium.

Better treats
A small bar of good-quality, high-cocoa chocolate (try Oh So bars, a unique probiotic chocolate proven to support good gut flora), an oatcake with hummus or nut butter (check out Nairns range or Heavenly’s Wafer Wisps) or an oaty homemade flapjack or muffin. Try fresh and seasonal fruit – banana boats are usually a hit. Slice one in half, add peanut or other nut butter, and decorate with goji berries, cacao nibs and coconut chips. It’s nutritious, delicious and gets kids’ creative juices flowing.

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Orecchiette with Broccoli, Chicken Sausage and Harissa Paste

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2019) and taken from Skinny Pasta by Julia Azzarello.

This dish is a healthier version of the traditional sausage and broccoli because it is made with lean chicken. It still packs a lot of flavour into one meal, especially with the zing of harissa and lemon.

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Serves : 4

Ingredients:
250g chicken sausages, removed from casings and cut into 2 cm chunks
320g dried orecchiette or 400g fresh
125g Tenderstem broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tblsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
2-3 tblsp harissa paste
2 tblsp chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges
40g Parmesan cheese, grated

Step One : Saute the chicken sausage chunks in a non-stick pan for about 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside until needed. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add salt and cook the pasta for 1-2 minutes less than the packet states, or until just al dente.

Step Two : Add the broccoli to the pasta for the last 2 minutes of its cooking time. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Step Three : Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add the oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Step Four : Add the pasta, broccoli and sausage chunks to the pan and toss with the harissa paste and a little of the reserved pasta water. Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan and parsley.

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