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.

Advertisements

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!

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.

Nut Free Bliss Balls

nutfreeblissballThis one is dedicated to my dear friend who has a severe nut allergy.  With the rise and popularity of raw desserts and healthy desserts, there is usually one common ingredient: nuts. I am totally on the bandwagon when it comes to these desserts but unfortunately I can’t share these delicious treats with my friend. What a wonderful opportunity to look into some nut free versions!

Living with a severe allergy or sensitivity to a particular food isn’t easy. You may find yourself bringing your own food to social occasions or being singled out at get-togethers with your ‘special’ section of the food table. At restaurants you may be questioning how the food is prepared and what is in it, ruling out any cross contamination. Maybe you avoid eating out altogether. Often people really consider their friends or guests who have particular food requirements and cater for that. I love nothing more than getting creative in the kitchen by seeking and testing alternatives to many types of foods. In my experience, I have created some really delicious meals and treats that my family and friends love.

This recipe is also dedicated to parents who value the health of their kids and are constantly on the look-out for healthy treats and lunch box ideas. Many schools have a nut-free policy due to severe cases of allergies. Kids love to share and swap food so this policy eliminates the chances of allergic reactions from nuts. This bliss ball recipe is a nutritious and filling lunch box item, without the worry about whether it fits in with the school’s nut policy. Plus it tastes a bit like a lamington!

Just as regular bliss balls with nuts are packed full of health benefits, so is this recipe. Included is an excellent source of iron, dietary fibre, protein, antioxidants, zinc and plant-based omega 3 fats. Just to name a few! Plus it is dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free. Everyone is sure to love this treat!

You will need

12-15 pitted dates (soaked in water for at least 20 minutes and check if they actually are pitted, you don’t want to chip a tooth!)
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup shredded coconut
½ cup pepitas
2 tbsp cacao
3 tbsp coconut oil
A little date water – save the water, you may need a little to make the mixture wet enough to roll. I used 2 tbsp.

Blitz all ingredients in the trusty food processor, roll into balls and enjoy! I rolled mine in shredded coconut, goji berries and a cacao cinnamon mix (it’s quite bitter).

Do you want some support with your restricted diet? Are you curious about how to choose foods to keep you healthy (and your taste buds happy)? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13864907/?claim=h3c24pkr3db”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Crazy About Kale

kaleBy now I’m sure you’ve heard about the superfood kale. It is a green, leafy vegetable and packed with fantastic health benefits, making it one of the healthiest vegetables around. Kale can be curly or flat and dark green, but may have a bluish or purple tint. Have you tried it? Read on to find out why you should try it, how to use it and how to prepare kale.

The benefits

  • Kale is a powerful anti-inflammatory food packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including vitamin A and selenium. Dark leafy greens are celebrated for reducing inflammation and associated conditions.
  • Kale is a great source of fibre to maintain bowel regularity and prevent the risk of health problems.
  • Kale is an excellent source of the beauty vitamins A, C and E, which have powerful anti-aging properties and help promote new cell growth.
  • Kale is a good source of iron.
  • Kale is high in calcium.
  • Kale is a good source of protein with one cup of raw kale including nearly 3 grams of protein.

The health benefits of eating kale may improve diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, support bone health, digestion and healthy skin and hair. Read more about the benefits here and here.

How to use kale

  • Add raw to a smoothie
  • Add to soups, stews and pasta sauces
  • Sauté with mushrooms, shallots and rosemary as a toast topping or mix with egg for breakfast
  • Kale pesto to add to scrambled eggs, pizza toppings, pasta or noodles
  • Add to salads such as a Veggie and Soba Noodle Salad

How to prepare kale for a salad

Because the leaves are quite hard and crunchy, kale may not be pleasant to eat raw. Here is how you can soften the leaves for a salad:

1. Remove stalks from kale.
2. Wash and cut into ribbons.
3. In a bowl add the kale and squeeze half a lemon.
4. Massage the kale with the lemon juice and a little extra virgin olive oil (optional).
5. Allow to stand for up to 30 minutes, the kale will soften.

Are you crazy about kale? What is your favourite way to eat kale?