Strawberry Ice Cream Cake by Kylie Ann Casey

strawberryHow amazing are strawberries? Not only are they delicious, they are also a superfood. Yes, the humble strawberry has amazing super powers to benefit your health! Strawberries are rich in nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin C, therefore boosting immunity. They promote eye health, keep wrinkles at bay, reduce inflammation, help to regulate blood pressure and also promote pre-natal health.

When I saw my friend and fellow IIN graduate, Kylie’s Instagram feed with this amazing creation, I knew I needed the recipe and I had to share it with you all. I’m so excited that she agreed!

_______________________________________________________

It is an honour to be asked to contribute, a guest post to Lisa’s beautiful blog here.

I’m Kylie Ann Casey, like Lisa I graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and now specialise in Plant-based Wellness and Early Childhood Nutrition. I have worked with young children for the last 12 years and have realised that at some stage, all parents and care givers struggle to get their children to eat healthy food. I’ve seen these struggles and some very unhealthy lunch boxes! I have created a blog www.growingtastebuds.net where I will be sharing simple, affordable and healthy recipes that children will love.

The easiest way I have noticed to get any child (or fussy Husband) to eat healthy and nutritious food is in the form of dessert! So with this in mind, I created this delicious and healthy, Strawberry Ice Cream Cake.

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup Brazil Nutsstrawberry cake
1 cup medjool dates (pitted)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Filling:
1 can coconut cream
1 cup strawberries
¼ cup raspberries
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Topping:
Extra strawberries and Raspberries to decorate!

Instructions:
1. Place all base ingredients in a food processer and pulse till all combined 1-2 minutes depending on how powerful your food processor is.

2. When base is ready and combined, place in a medium sized cake tin and firmly mold the base evenly across the bottom

3. Put the base in the freezer to start setting while you make the filling

4. Put all filling ingredients in your blender or food processer and blend till combined, again this is usually 1-2 minutes

5. Pour filling over the base and place in the freezer for 30-60 minutes

6. When cake has set decorate with strawberries on top

Handy Hints: Cake tastes best when not frozen completely, think soft serve consistency. If freezing for a future time let the cake defrost in your fridge for 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy xx

Make sure you check out Kylie’s Facebook page, Growing Tastebuds, her website and also follow her on Instagram @kylieanncasey for more healthy food inspiration.

Advertisements

Make Peace with Your Plate – Book Review

make-peace-with-your-plateReading is one of my favourite things to do. I usually have about three books on the go; one for business, one for health/spirit and one for fun. Then I have more books waiting for me when I’ve finished them. I also have an ever growing list of “must reads” to get through!! Who’s with me? Earlier this year I joined a Wellness Book Club where us book nerds share our thoughts and ideas about a particular book each month. One of the books we read was Make Peace with Your Plate by Jess Ainscough, and now I’m sharing my review with you.

++++++++++++++++++++

Australia’s very own Wellness Warrior has left a significant legacy. The passing of Jess Ainscough earlier this year was felt by the many lives she touched. The authenticity of her blog and her story as well as her message of wellness resonated with so many people who in turn felt a connection to her. I had followed her blog for a couple of years and credit her inspiring story, enthusiasm and dedication to health for sparking a transformation in my own life. I started 2015 with my ‘books to read this year’ list which included Make Peace with Your Plate – finally! Picking up this gem for the first time after her passing was both comforting and poignant.

Jess’ story is both heart-breaking and remarkable. At just 22 years old her life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with a rare type of incurable cancer and told that her only option to prolong her life was to amputate her arm. She was like any young woman; partying, living each day as it comes, surviving on junk food and battling body issues. Her shocking diagnosis was a life-changing catalyst for extreme change to her lifestyle, beginning with a three week stay at the Gerson clinic in Mexico. Two years of hourly fresh, organic veggie juices each day, a basic plant based diet and five coffee enemas a day followed.

She was absolutely, one-hundred percent committed to her health with the support of her parents, boyfriend and fur babies. An obsession to research everything about natural, alternative cancer therapies and treatments as well as how to bring her body to optimum health forms the basis for a lot of information in this book. She acknowledges that the information isn’t new, but rather something we have forgotten along the way and need to relearn.

What I absolutely love about Make Peace with Your Plate is that it is part reference book, part autobiography and part self-help book, all interwoven in an easy to read and light kind of way. She speaks about the chemicals in our foods, nutrition, whole-foods, a plant based diet and debunks some ‘truths’ about dietary claims. She shares some useful information on superfoods and how to use them as well as reading labels. Most useful is the ‘how’. You will find a lot of value in how to put all of this information into practice.

Going beyond the plate, Jess rightfully acknowledges that our wellbeing is based on more than what we put in our mouths. We must take a holistic approach. For me, having a regular meditation practice is important but something I never prioritise. Jess shares the details of her own practice and how to do it, this really helped me out with my routine. While reading this book I also got back into dry body brushing and felt amazing for it. I was also inspired to try oil pulling for the first time. All I can manage is 3 minutes. I’m not sure how someone with kids or a dog could possibly do this for 20 minutes in the morning. Another thing is the coffee enemas…..hmmm, still need to get my head around that one!

We can read a number of text books or spend an afternoon googling the theories and philosophy for health and wellness included in Make Peace with Your Plate. But what we would be missing out on is Jess’ incredibly inspiring story. How a young woman with a serious illness intuitively makes decisions for her own health, researches daily practices and nutritional information to allow her to thrive and manages to live a life full of gratitude and positivity. Her holistic approach to wellness and what that looks like in her daily life is what sets this book apart from the rest. Her authenticity, honesty and passion shines throughout this entire book, engaging the reader from start to finish.

A truly inspiring book that empowers us to live our healthiest lives.

Have you read Make Peace with Your Plate? I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you enjoyed this book review please let me know in the comments. If it’s something you’re interested in, I would really enjoy writing more reviews for you.xx

Chocolate Crackles

choc crackleToday I found myself without any chocolate in the house on World Chocolate Day!! Luckily I had the time to create a chocolatey, delicious and healthy treat with some ingredients in my cupboard. This is ideal for the 3pm sweet fix, for morning tea or as a snack. Perfect with a cup of tea.

You will need:
1/3 cup raw buckwheat
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup almonds chopped
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs handful of dried fruit eg, goji berries, raspberries, cranberries
1 dessert spoon of cacao powder
1 dessert spoon of organic maple syrup (if you want more sweetness)
4 heaped dessert spoons of coconut oil

What to do:
1. Mix all dry ingredients together along with the maple syrup.
2. Melt the coconut oil then add it to the dry ingredients. Mix together.
3. Spoon mixture into cupcake paper cases or a silicon muffin tray.
4. Place in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to set. Enjoy!choc crackle 2

This recipe can easily be made without the almonds for a nut free version. If you don’t have all of these ingredients, substitute and create your own version! The coconut oil is key in holding it all together. I’d love to hear what you put in your own chocolate crackle recipe, leave a comment below. I also think this treat is best enjoyed in winter as it would melt very quickly in summer.

Want to know more about how to integrate healthier habits and foods into your life? I am an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and can support you with tips and information to re-boot your health. Contact me here for your free Health Coaching session and go into the draw to win a beautiful self-care pack.

Turmeric Tonic for Winter Wellness

turmerictonic2If you’re after some preventative medicine and immunity support, you’ll be very interested in making this healthy tonic. I first made it around this time last year when I was feeling run down, like I was getting a cold and also had shoulder and neck pain. A huge believer in food as medicine, I had heard some amazing things about turmeric that I thought would give my body the support and healing it needed.

How did we get into the mindset that we need to visit the pharmacy when feeling less than 100%? I always turn to mother nature first.

Turmeric is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, this is so important because most illness begins with inflammation. It is thought that India’s very low rate of Alzheimer’s disease is due to eating turmeric at almost every meal. Amazing stuff!

The properties of this incredible spice assists in keeping infection away, it is a flu fighter and also helps to repair skin. Plus it’s a natural painkiller, which is why I was drawn to use it to soothe my shoulder.

Research has shown that turmeric can be effective in lowering your risk of heart disease, improve brain function, treat symptoms of arthritis and benefits against depression. It can also prevent and possibly even treat cancer. Turmeric is THE spice you need to add to your diet for longevity and vitality. You can read more about the mind-blowing benefits here and here.

Have you used turmeric before? It is the spice that gives curries their yellow colour and looks very similar to ginger. When you buy fresh turmeric, you may not be able to distinguish it from ginger or you may notice that it has an orange or yellow shade.

A word of caution when making this tonic is not to wear white, be careful if you have white benches and try not to get too much on your hands and nails because it will stain. Fresh is best for this recipe.

How to make Turmeric Tonic (serves 4)

  1. In a saucepan add:turmeric tonic
  • 4cm stick of turmeric (or preferred amount) grated
  • 2cm chunk of ginger (or preferred amount) grated
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 4 cups of water
  1. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring.
  2. Use a strainer when pouring into your cup.
  3. Add honey and milk if desired. Enjoy!

If you have leftovers I recommend straining the liquid into glass jars and storing in the fridge, so you can heat some up each day. This tonic is best enjoyed at the end of the day and will feel like a nice warm hug!

What are some other ways you like to use turmeric? I like to add it to scrambled eggs, stir fry’s, a turmeric and carrot soup and juices or smoothies. You can find the recipe for my Turmeric Cauli Rice here.

Coconut & Sweet Potato Brownies by Elsa’s Wholesome Life

cacao-sweet-potato-brownieRecently I happily stumbled across Elsa’s vibrant Instagram page @elsas_wholesomelife full of goodness and foodie inspiration. Her blog Elsa’s Wholesome Life is just as colourful with many plant based and healthy recipes. I am very excited to be featuring her as a guest on the blog this week and sharing her delicious Coconut and Sweet Potato Brownie recipe.

Elsa is a student dietician living and studying on the sunny Gold Coast, sharing her love for whole, raw and plant based foods. Currently in her third year of her bachelor degree, soon she will be an accredited practising dietician, educating and helping people prevent and treat disease through their diet.

One of her favourite quotes is Let food be thy medicine – Hippocrates. One of my favourites too!

Now here’s her delicious recipe!

 Coconut & Sweet Potato Brownies

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, No Additives, Organic, Superfood’s, and Plant Based.

Now at first it may seem like a crazy ridiculous idea to throw veggies in a dessert. But I assure once you try, you will be all for the ol’ unsuspecting vegetable… sweet taties!

These brownies are baked crunchy on the top and gooey on the inside, just like a good brownie should be. Naturally sweetened, so it won’t make your blood sugar soar.

So what’s exciting about this is not only will you be getting a serve of veggies but also sweet potatoes are extremely high in Beta-Carotene, meaning lots of Vitamin A. They also contain oodles of Vitamin C, a superfood for your skin! Yay.

So it wouldn’t be a brownie without the hero superfood cacao. Packed with antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins, just to name a few. Basically just ALOT of goodness. Yet it’s chocolate right!?

Who thought something so incredibly tasty could also be soo good for you. Genius!!

Alright so how do we do this?

Here’s what you will need: 

2 large organic sweet potatoes
4-5 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
10-14 organic medjool dates (depends how sweet you would like it)
1/2 c organic coconut flour
1/4 c desiccated organic coconut
1/4 c organic almond meal
3 tbsp melted organic cold pressed coconut oil
sweet-potatoespinch of sea salt
1 tsp maca powder (optional)

For decorating:

1-2 tsp raw cacao powder
1-2 tbsp cacao nibs

To serve:

pack of strawberries
cacao sauce (extra, not pictured)

For sauce:

equal portions of cacao, coconut oil, and natural sweetener

Construction instructions: 

Firstly.. I recommend putting on some clothes that you don’t mind getting a lil grubby!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan forced) my ovens super old so I had it set to about 200.
  2. Steam the sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped) until super soft (fork falls through them)

note: steaming is better than boiling, keeps more of the nutrients alive!

  1. Blend in a processor the cooked sweet potatoes and dates until creamy and smooth. Taste and add more dates if you would like it sweeter.
  2. Add the cacao, salt, flour, almond meal, coconut, and maca to a big bowl, stir to combine.
  3. Scoop the potato mixture into the bowl with the other ingredients and combine with a big spoon, or your hands.. they are the best tool in the kitchen after all. If you like, add extra cacao to taste. Stir in the melted coconut oil well.
  4. Line a baking tin with baking paper, I used a square tin.
  5. Scoop mixture (my mixture was way too thick to pour) into the tray and press flat and firm.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until your fork comes out clean. My ovens’ super slow so it ended up being in there for more like 40 minutes. Plus I like the top to be nice and crunchy!
  7. Set aside to cool, then remove from tin, slice up, sift the cacao powder over the top, sprinkle some nibs, and serve with sliced strawberries and some cacao sauce if you like it yummy and gooey (optional, which you make by melting coconut oil over a stove with cacao and your choice of sweetener)

I also highly recommend serving it warm, you can store in a container and refrigerate it for up to a week, then microwave (or heat in the oven) your serve, and serve with the berries and sauce. Waaayy better when its gooey and warm with your hot tea 🙂 

brownie-1

Make sure you tag @elsas_wholesomelife on instagram if you recreate this recipe. Check out her blog here for her full post including more mouth watering pics and delicious healthy recipes!

10 Reasons to Visit a Farmer’s Market!

vegIt started out as a “date” with my husband on a Sunday morning. We saw a sign advertising the local Farmer’s Market and decided to check it out. There was live music and delicious food stalls, plus they sold the newspaper. So we would sit on the grass in the shade or sun, depending on the season, soak up the sounds and catch up on the news while enjoying a gozleme and a coffee. Afterwards we’d shop for our fruit and vegetables for the week. A very happy and relaxing Sunday morning!

Around the same time I saw the films Forks Over Knives, Foodmatters and Food Inc. Eating local and understanding where our food comes from and how it is grown really mattered to me. I also started Meat Free Monday in my household so including more plant based foods in our diet was also really important. So much so, that our Farmer’s Market visit became our weekly shop. Sometimes we would just be in and out in 15 minutes buying what we needed. The value for money really surprised us. We were coming home with bags of fresh produce and we hadn’t spent much at all. In fact, many prices at the markets were much cheaper than the supermarket.

Not only were we getting more value for our money but we were also getting better quality. These locally grown fruits and vegetables tasted amazing! I have had fruit and vegetables from a supermarket in the last year and I can honestly say that there is a huge difference in the taste. After buying directly from a farmer, I now know how fresh fruits and vegetables should taste. I encourage you to test it out for yourself.

Here are some reasons why you should visit a Farmer’s Market this weekend:

  1. Everything tastes better because it is fresh
  2. More nutritious as it’s sold right after it’s picked
  3. Support local farming families
  4. Eating in season and fresh, ripe foods increases the foods’ vitality
  5. Less packaging
  6. It’s cheaper to buy organic and spray free produce from the local farmer
  7. Promotes energy conservation due to reduction in transport
  8. Supports the environment and wildlife, farmers have respect for their land
  9. Builds community as you get to know the farmer and the story behind what you eat
  10. It’s fun! Farmer’s Markets are fun for everyone!

Now, five years later, things have changed; the Farmer’s Market is no longer a “date”. My donkey (husband!) only accompanies me occasionally, so now I happily visit the markets on my own or with my mum and carry my own bags!!

I have found an amazing local farmer who delivers fresh, spray free, organic produce to my door. But I do visit the markets for particular fruit and veggie items as well as organic meat, kombucha, eggs and fresh bread.

Where do you buy your fruit and veg? Are you a regular at the Farmer’s Market? Please leave a comment below with your favourite one and why.

I offer Farmer’s Market tours as well as Supermarket and Health Food Store tours in my Health Coaching Program, you can find out more here.

Have you signed up to my newsletter? Receive your free healthy snack resource and fortnightly health and wellness inspiration here.

Are you fat-phobic?

Sunflower-oil-free-license-CC0I’m talking about food here. If so, you’re not alone. The majority of us have been raised on the message that fat is bad. There is a prevalence of low-fat versions of all foods, particularly dairy.  The margarine vs butter debate has been argued for decades, each time adding more confusion.  We have our tea or coffee with low-fat or ‘skinny’ milk. We believe that low-fat yogurt is the best option. We choose meat that has little or no fat in it. We’re told that eating fat will make us fat or lead to heart disease or worse. We check food packets for information about the fat content. We feel guilty eating fat. Have you ever considered where these messages about fat originated and how much is true? Are we benefitting from this message and our feelings towards fat? If not, who is?

Recently, I have been thinking about these questions. I’m a huge believer in just eating real food. Food in its most natural form, just what our grandparents and great grandparents ate. There are so many ways of eating these days that value this. Our ancestors ate fat in its most natural form, think lard, butter, olive oil, whole milk, animal fat etc. However, it is only in recent times that obesity and the interest in dieting have become significant. If you’ve seen That Sugar Film, you would understand that it’s sugar, not fat, that will add centimetres to your waistline. So do we need to re-think our idea of fat? Can fat actually improve our health? Let’s start with the basics:

  1. All fats are not equal. There is good and bad.
  2. Nutrient rich traditional fats can nourish your body. They allow our cells to work properly and strengthen the immune system. Saturated fats are necessary for our lungs, kidney function and hormone production. It also helps to aid our digestion. Read more about the benefits here and here.
  3. Trans fats are the worst fats. Think polyunsaturated and hydrogenated vegetable oils and fried foods. These increase the likelihood of disease. Find out more here.

I know this is just scratching the surface of a huge topic which I will keep exploring. I hope it has sparked some of your own questions. It’s time to change our relationship with fat. We need to get to know fat a little better. You never know, fat could become your body’s best friend!

How do you feel about fat? Please leave a comment below.

Want help learning how to choose and use nutritious fats and other good-for-you foods? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

Have you signed up to my newsletter? You’ll find more information about where to find healthy fats and how to use them delivered right to your inbox. Plus you’ll receive my free Snack and Shine Bright resource.