Three Leafy Green Pesto

My Three Leafy Green Pesto recipe is something that you can easily throw together yourself in less than ten minutes from start to finish! It is also bursting with nutrients, meaning you can use it as your delicious go-to dip on those days when you feel you need an extra burst of goodness! Personally, I love making it for dinner parties! Continue reading Three Leafy Green Pesto

Aubergine Dip

This dip is absolutely amazing both hot and cold, and is bursting with both flavour and nutrition! Aubergines are packed full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. They are particularly prized for their ability to help lower cholesterol and assist those who are trying to lose weight.

Sweet red peppers are an excellent source of carotenoids, which are thought to help to prevent the onset of several diseases. Carotenoids are particularly beneficial for preserving the health of the eyes, as well as the appearance of the skin.

To make this dip you will need the following ingredients:

1 aubergine
2 sweet red peppers
1 clementine, peeled
1 tsp of miso paste
Pitta bread
Olive oil
Sea salt

The first thing that you will need to do is take your aubergine and chop it into small chunks. You can then slice the sweet red peppers in half. Place the aubergine chunks and the sweet red pepper halves onto a baking tray and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil. Add a sprinkling of sea salt on top of the olive oil and then you can place the tray into your oven at 180C.

Leave the aubergines and the sweet red pepper in the oven to roast for approximately 30 minutes. After this time you can remove the baking tray from the heat and place all of the aubergine into your food processor with half of the sweet red pepper. You should also add the clementine into the food processor with half a teaspoon of sea salt and the miso paste. Before you turn the food processor on to blitz your dip, add in four tablespoons of olive oil and then you’re good to go!

Once you have blitzed your dip you will notice that it is still hot once it is ready! This means you either have the choice to serve as a hot dip, or leave to cool down and enjoy it later. All that is left to do is break up the remaining sweet red pepper and add it to the top of your dip as a garnish.

Enjoy this dip with hot or cold pitta bread, or as a creative side-dish to a main meal!

If you want to see this recipe in action then you can head to my YouTube channel and watch me creating it!

If you have seen my new wellness for women membership site – Truly Julie – then you will know that I am on a mission to inspire and motivate women to become healthier and happier – and I would love it if you would join me on this journey as we keep moving through 2017!

Roasted Red Pepper Humous

Humous is an incredibly popular dip that is quite versatile when it comes to what it can be enjoyed with. If you have never made your own humous then you are missing out! Making it yourself at home is super simple and allows you to have complete control over what you put into your recipe. That means no preservatives or added sugar! It also means you can experiment with different flavours and there is no limit as to which foods you can add to the recipe in order to create different flavours and textures.

My Roasted Red Pepper Humous Recipe uses turmeric and paprika, which are two healthy spices, in order to boost the flavour and increase the nutritional value of the dish. They also contribute to the colour of the finished dip.

Turmeric is believed to be one of the most powerful medicinal spices available to us in the present day and has a wide range of uses. The most well-known of these uses are to fight inflammation in the body and to tackle pain. Furthermore, it is also known to be an anticoagulant, meaning it helps the blood to clot as it should. Paprika, on the other hand, is amazing for the optimum health of your skin and hair. This is because of the wealth of vitamins and antioxidants that are present. The presence of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body, is especially anti-ageing and will help to keep your skin looking fresh and young.

To make this delicious humous, you will need the following ingredients:

3 red peppers
2 tins of chick peas
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of paprika
2 tbsp of turmeric
Salt and pepper

Roasted Red Pepper Humous2 Julie Montagu
To get started you must first drizzle the peppers with olive oil and place them in the oven to caramelise. Once the edges start to brown you should remove these edges with a sharp knife. You can then combine the rest of the ingredients in your blender, and once the peppers have finished cooking you should add them in to the blender also and blitz everything together.

Once your humous has reached the desired consistency you can season it with a dash of salt and pepper. Depending on how thick you like your humous you might also want to add an extra drizzle of olive oil.

Roasted Red Pepper Humous2 JMFor more recipes like this one that will fill you with goodness, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Kale and Spinach Pesto

A wonderful twist on the classic pesto! Filled with three amazing greens and using flaxseed oil instead of the traditional olive oil. Flaxseeds are GREAT for your health for so many reasons and I really suggest finding ways to incorporate them into your diet. Many people actually refer to flaxseeds as the original superfood because they have been consumed as a food for many thousands of years.

The most well known benefits of flaxseeds are that they improve your digestion, promote clearer skin, regulate your hormones and also that they work to lower your cholesterol levels. However, consuming them regularly can also help to combat any sugar cravings that you might be experiencing, as well as helping to protect against cancer and encourage weight loss.

Flaxseeds are also often called linseeds and are widely available in both health food stores and normal supermarkets. Just a one ounce serving of flaxseeds (which equates to roughly three teaspoons) will provide your body with 8g of fibre, 6g of protein, 35% of your recommended daily allowance of manganese and 30% of your recommended daily allowance of magnesium. In addition to all of those amazing things, it will also supply you with an ample amount of phosphorous, selenium and a range of other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! What’s not to love?!

Kale and Spinach Pesto3To make this pesto to serve four people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups / 5oz / 140g of kale
2 cups / 5oz / 140g of spinach
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tbsp of almonds
2 tbsp of flaxseed oil
A handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), trimmed and chopped
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 a tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 a tsp of freshly ground black pepper

Kale and Spinach Pesto2Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blitz for a few minutes, adding more flaxseed oil or lemon juice if necessary to reach your preferred consistency. And that’s it!

You can serve this pesto with your favourite pasta dish for a tasty meal! I love quinoa and corn pasta but my kids prefer whole wheat, so take your pick and enjoy. Adding a handful of cashew nuts on top isn’t necessary but will give you that extra little bit of nutrition and flavour!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

Kale and Spinach Pesto

How to Make Flora Spread!

Last week I was invited to the Flora Blend Bar in Hertfordshire to create my very own spread using a range of healthy and natural plant-based ingredients! It was a fantastic experience and I’m now super excited to share it with you! You can use this spread for cooking and all of your baking needs. You can even use it as a replacement drizzle on your salads and other meals!

Flora is a popular household name in the UK and they generally make their soft spread with a range of simple ingredients, including buttermilk, plant oils, seed oils and just a pinch of salt! The seed oils which go into flora are mostly rapeseed, linseed and sunflower seed oil! These seeds are an amazing source of omega-3 and omega-6 fats which, as we know, are great for the health of the heart. These fats are also essential in our diet as they help our children to grow and develop properly. They also help the whole family to keep their cholesterol levels low. Flora spreads are also a rich source of vitamin E which is exactly what we need to keep ourselves looking young!

Making the spread with Patrick at Flora was so quick and simple and you can all absolutely do this at home. So, the first ingredient was a combination oil of linseed oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. This was then flavoured with oil made from hazelnuts and almonds as well as some water and carrot juice for colouring. Lemon was also added for freshness and a tiny little bit of salt for additional flavour! Finally, there was a very small amount of cream (regular or plant-based) and just a drop of palm oil.

All you have to do is whip out your hand blender and pour the oil mix into a large jug. You can then turn the hand blender on and pour the water in too. As you continue to blitz, squeeze in the lemon and then a dash of salt. Keep the blender turned on and include the palm oil and cream. Finally, the carrot juice can be included as you continue to blend.

After a few minutes you can stop and then leave in the fridge in an airtight container to cool. Alternatively, if you happen to have an ice cream maker to hand then you can pour your spread into this and let it do its thing!

Dill and Radish Hummous

Making hummous at home is so simple to do and is generally always going to be healthier than the shop bought versions! You have an endless choice of ingredients to include in your hummous recipes and this one is one of my faves!

Radish might not be one of the first things that come to mind when you are choosing how to flavour your hummous but they are great for both taste and nutrition. These veggies have a natural spicy kick to them which is great for soothing sore throats and decreasing the presence of mucus in the body. This also makes them useful in clearing the sinuses and combatting colds. Radishes are also known to be useful in aiding digestion as well as tackling toxins in the body. Add to that they contain a combination of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber and you have a food that is great for the whole body!

Dill is a herb that is also incredibly healthy! It is believed to be useful in aiding digestion, relieving insomnia and helping to prevent certain cancers and respiratory disorders. It is also useful for boosting the immune system as well as helping to alleviate inflammation in the body.

To make a batch of my hummous for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. of tahini
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
5 radishes
A large handful of dill, stems removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
A litte more dill to garnish

All you have to do is put all of the ingredients into your food processor or blender and whizz until smooth and creamy! You can then transfer to a container and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

This hummous is especially perfect for enjoying with carrot sticks or with your favourite bread!

Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Jam is a breakfast favorite of so many people but at the same time people might try to avoid the store bought varieties because of the high sugar count! Vegetarians and vegans often have a hard time finding jam that they can eat because several brands of jam do not qualify in either category! The best way to have control over your diet is to make things like jam at home yourself. It does not take as long as you might think, it will always be healthier than anything you can buy in the store and it will be delicious!

Strawberries are such an amazing way to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals into your diet. Even though some people opt to eat them dipped in sugar or cream, they are still very tasty without any added extras. Strawberries are particularly high in a certain group of antioxidants known as polyphenols and will provide protection for your heart as well as increasing good (HDL) cholesterol levels.

To make my strawberry jam, you will only need the following ingredients:

2 cups of strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped in quarters
¼ cup maple syrup / honey /coconut nectar
2 Tbsp chia seeds
Water as needed

To get started you will first need to add the strawberries to a pan and heat at a medium to high heat. You must also add the sweetner of your choice. The liquid from the strawberries will soon start to fill up the pan. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for a further 7-10 minutes, stirring every so often. Then, ussing a fork or masher, smash your strawberries to your desired level of consistency.

The next step is to stir in the two tablespoons of chia seeds and leave to cook for another minute – making sure to stir well. You can then remove from the heat and allow the jam to cool while the chia seeds swell up to thicken the jam. Don’t worry if it isn’t at the desired consistency as it will continue to thicken as it cools. Once the jam is cooled you can serve on your favourite piece of toast or top onto your favourite pudding! There’s no end to the many uses of delicious and healthy strawberry chia seed jam!

If you want to store this jam for later use then do so in an airtight container. If you keep it in the refrigerator then it will be good for up to two weeks.

To learn more about nutrition head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Mexican Hummous

Making your own hummous is great fun and can bring an interesting variety to a meal or snack! It is also easy to store in your fridge for a couple of days so you can always make a huge batch and enjoy it without worrying that it will spoil.

Tahini is the most consistent ingredient used to make hummous and it is a fantastic source of nutrition! Tahini is rich in many of the important minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, lecithin, iron and potassium! Additionally it is a great source of methionine which helps the liver during the detoxification process. When it comes to easy ways to get calcium into your diet, tahini is the perfect choice as it brings high amounts even in small quantities. On top of all of this, it promotes healthy cell growth whilst also protecting against anaemia!

To make enough hummous to serve a party of four, gather the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
50g of coriander
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup or 60ml of tahini
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. of coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup or 60ml water

All you have to do to create this delicious hummous is simply put all of the ingredients except the water into your food processer or high-speed blender. Give this a good whizz until it has reached close to the desired texture. The next step is to gradually pour in the the water until the you have that lovely hummous consistency. You can then top this with some more zest and even some chilli flakes if you like – it is now ready to serve! This hummous is especially great for corn chips or sliced red pepper!

mexican hummous the flexi foodie

Roasted Tomato and Sweet Potato Dip

Summer is just around the corner and that means picnics, barbeques and all manner of outdoor parties! The problem with going to so many of these events is that the food on offer can often be quite calorific! So, to avoid your waist-band increasing over the next few months, it’s a great idea to whip up your own dishes and dips to take with you. This doesn’t have to be a time consuming task and you can easily create a small selection of things to bring with you in under an hour. My Roasted Tomato and Sweet Potato Dip is just the thing for those summer days spent outside and goes well with practically everything!

Tomatoe and sweet potato in the same dish is a powerful fruit-veg combination. They are both full of antioxidants as well as their own range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. A fun fact about tomatoes is that certain aspects of their nutritional value actually improves as they are cooked! When tomatoes are heated in the cooking process, the amount of lycopene, which is a chemical compound contained within, is increased. This beneficial compound is known to be effective in protecting the body against cancer and is also just useful for all round health!

So to get your summer off to a healthy start, gather the following ingredients:

8 vine tomatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 spring onions, chopped
A large handful of coriander
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 Tbsp. of honey
Salt and pepper

roasted tomato and sweet potato dip2So to get started, pre-heat your oven to 180C and roast the tomatoes until the skins start to peel away (which should be after about 15-20 minutes). You should then remove the skins and allow the tomatoes to cool. In the same oven (even at the same time!), peel and bake your two sweet potatoes. I advise creating a few holes in the potatoes with a fork before you place them in the oven. The sweet potatoes will take a bit longer to cook than the tomatoes and you should give them about 25-30 minutes. After this time they should be adequately soft. Once they are ready, remove and allow to cool.

Once the tomatoes are cooled, peel away the skin and discard. Then you can place the tomatoes, chopped spring onions, coriander, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper into a food processor. Once the sweet potatoes are cooled, cut into chunks and add to the mix. Whizz until mixed well – close to the consistency of a puree. And voila, you have a gorgeous, easy dip to serve to your family or guests! Cut some chunky rye, spelt, wholewheat bread and top with the dip. Delicious!

For more healthy recipes like this one, head over to Amazon to buy my cookbook!

Sweet Corn, Spinach and Mint Pesto

Pesto is a great side dish to add to so many different meals. It brings a burst of flavour and when made with colourful ingredients it is also an aesthetically pleasing addition to the dinner table. The combination of sweet corn, spinach and mint is not only great for your health, as these three ingredients are full of nutrients, but also creates an amazing taste! Research has suggested that a certain acid found in sweet corn can prevent certain cancers as well reduce inflammation in the body. The high antioxidant count in spinach makes it the perfect choice for improving all-round health, plus it only contains 27 per calories per cup! Finally, mint is an absolute winner when it comes to aiding essential functions in the body. It is good for digestion as well as the health of your blood and bones!

Sweet corn, spinach and mint pesto3To make a bowl of this pesto at home, collect the following ingredients:

500g cooked corn, but put aside 100g
50g pine nuts
1 large handful spinach
1 small handful mint
Squeeze of one lemon
120ml olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put all ingredients into a food processor except for the 100g of corn and whizz away. Garnish with the rest of the corn and a few more mint leaves and it’s ready to serve!

Sweet corn, spinach and mint pesto2

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