This incredible “Cheeze” Cake is another of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It makes for such a beautiful dessert and the added bonus is that it packs a healthy punch too! Continue reading Mango “Cheeze” Cake
There are many amazing foods that you can add to your meals in order to enhance the flavour and improve the nutritional value. Ginger is one such thing that is not only loved for its taste, but also for its health boosting properties for both your body and brain.
Whether you use ground ginger or purchase the root and chop, grate or slice it yourself, you will be able to enjoy the many health advantages.
One of the most appreciated uses of ginger is to tackle feelings of nausea, especially those brought on by morning sickness. It is also believed to be effective in reducing vomiting for post-surgery patients and is used regularly by those undergoing chemotherapy.
Ginger can be effective in alleviating muscle pain and soreness following exercise due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Although the effects are not immediate, it will contribute to lowered levels of pain and soreness when used day to day. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can also help to relieve the impact of osteoarthritis.
Consuming ginger regularly is thought to lower cholesterol levels, which is good news for the health of your heart. High levels of cholesterol can contribute to the onset of heart disease and it is possible to help limit your risk by taking control of your diet!
Now that you know some of the great advantages of including ginger in your diet, let’s take a look at some easy and delicious ways that you can include it in your diet.
Drinking ginger tea is a simple way to enjoy it. You can either buy ready made tea, or you can cut up a chunk of ginger and pour hot water over it. For extra flavour and nutrition you can include a dash of lemon juice.
Adding chunks of ginger to soup is also easy to do and you can use fresh or powdered for similar benefits. If you are going to blend your soup before you eat it then it is effortless to just include large pieces of fresh ginger as it will get blitzed anyway!
Ginger can also be used in moderation in baking and can give an interesting twist to many dishes. Always be sure to follow the recipe when you are using ginger so that you do not overwhelm your dish with this flavour.
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!
If you are a coconut junkie, then this will quickly become your go-to snack! Packed with superfoods and natural sweeteners, this recipe will also help keep any sweet cravings in check. These balls may be small (which is great for taking them everywhere with you!) but they contain some serious nutrition which makes them the perfect pick-me-up throughout the day. I especially recommend them before and after exercise to give your body the energy it needs!
Lucuma is one of my favourite natural sweeteners and you can buy it in powder form. It is made from a subtropical fruit tree that is native to South America which can reach heights of 50 feet! Not only is this sweetener free from gluten, but it also contains a range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is useful for giving your immune system a boost as well as contributing to the function of several essential functions in the body. Lucuma powder is especially high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Using lucuma in your baking instead of regular sweeteners can help to bring about some serious benefits and promote optimal health.
To make 10 – 12 of these balls, you will need the following ingredients:
2 cups / 70z / 200g of desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling)
2 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp of raw honey
1 tsp of lucuma powder
1 tsp of chia seeds
The first step is to place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz for two to three minutes, or until you have a thick, coarse mixture. You can then remove the mixture from the blender and, using a large melon baller or your fingers, scoop and shape the mixture into 10–12 balls.
Roll each of the balls in a little bit of desiccated coconut, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes before serving. This tasty treat will stay fresh in your refrigerator for up to three days. As mentioned previously, these balls are great for taking with you as you go about your busy day and will give you an energy boost when you need it!
These bars make a wonderful on-the-go snack or quick breakfast, and they are full of goodness! I find it is a great idea to make up a batch over the weekend and then you will have a supply of healthy snacks during the week. These delicious bars do not require many ingredients and they do not take long to make either.
You may not use cherries very often in your baking, which is a shame as they are bursting with flavour and nutrition! Consuming cherries regularly is known to soothe aching joints, protect the health of your colon, help to keep your cholesterol levels down and also to maintain your eyesight. Regular consumption of cherries can also help you to get a good nights sleep as they are a natural source of melatonin. Cherries can be expensive when compared to other fruits so shop around and check out your local markets for a good deal!
To make six of these bars you will need the following ingredients:
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 cup / 6.5oz / 185g of quinoa, cooked
1 cup / 5oz / 140g of almonds, chopped
1 cup / 5 1/2 oz / 150g of dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup / 2oz / 55g of goji berries
2 tbsp of brown rice syrup
1/2 cup / 4fl oz / 125ml of water
The first step is to preheat the oven to 425F / 220°C / gas mark 7 and grease an 8 × 8 × 1inch (20 × 20 × 2.5cm) square bake pan (cake tin) with a light layer of coconut oil. On a separate baking tray, you can spread the cooked quinoa and almonds together before placing in the preheated oven for ten minutes.
When the mixture is toasted, remove the tray from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. You can then place the cherries, goji berries, brown rice syrup and water into a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until everything is smooth. Once this is complete, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the toasted almonds and quinoa. Stir well to combine.
Next, spoon the mixture into the bake pan and press down firmly with the back of a spoon. Ensure the mixture covers the bottom of the pan evenly. Then place in a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked, cut the mixture into bars before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. These bars will keep fresh in an airtight container for up to five days.
Beets are incredibly sweet and that is why they work so well in cake recipes. These cakes are sort of like red velvet cupcakes, but they filled with all things good. Also, these cakes are soft, moist and just perfectly delicious.
The nutritious make-up of beets is also a great reason to use them in your baking. They are high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron and phosphorous. Additionally, they contain high levels of vitamins A, B & C as well as folic acid. They are great as an inclusion in every diet but they are especially great for pregnant people because of the vitamin B, iron and folic acid. Because of the presence of betaine and tryptophan in beets, they are also beneficial for your mental health. They can also help to lower your blood pressure and boost your energy.
To make 12 of these tasty cakes, you will need the following ingredients:
1¼ cups / 6 ¼ oz / 190g of whole wheat (all-purpose) flour
¼ cup /1 ¾ oz / 50g of coconut sugar
2 tbsp of raw cacao
2 – 3 large beets, steamed and pureed until smooth
½ cup / 6oz / 175g of organic runny honey
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Before you get started, preheat the oven to 425F / 220C / gas mark 7 and line a 12-cup muffin tray.
You can then sift the flour, coconut sugar, raw cacao, and baking powder into a large bowl. Mix until well combined, and then set aside.
Place the pureed beet, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor and blitz for one to two minutes until it is smooth. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
Next, spoon the mixture into the muffin tray before placing in a preheated oven. You can then bake for approximately 20 minutes. After this time, check the muffins have cooked all the way through. If they are not quite ready yet then return to the oven for another five minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool before serving.
The cakes will store for three days in an airtight container. Serve with your favourite cup of herbal or green tea and enjoy.
Okay, I know this recipe might sound a bit weird and you are probably thinking, ‘is she serious?!’ But yes, I am serious! I urge you to try this because I promise you, these brownies are so seriously good and gooey! They do not disappoint if you are looking for an indulgent treat that is healthy too!
There are many benefits to eating lentils, such as promoting digestion and preventing ill health. The great benefits of eating lentils stem from the wealth of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and dietary fibre contained within. They are especially rich in potassium, calcium, zinc and vitamin K which all contribute to essential biological processes in the body!
To make twelve of these brownies for yourself you will need the following ingredients:
2 x 400g tin of lentils, drained and rinsed
12 Medjool dates (make sure you are using soft dates and Medjool are the softest!)
60g of almond butter
40g of cacao powder
1 Tbsp of honey
½ tsp of baking soda
The first step in making these brownies is to preheat your oven to 200C. Next, in a food processor, pulse the lentils until they are mixed. You can then add the almond butter, banana, cacao, honey and baking soda into the food processor and blend again. After a few moments, scrape the sides to make sure everything is mixed together. The next step is to add the dates and then blend again. Finally, in a greased 8×8 square pan, pour the mixture in and bake for 15 minutes.
Once this time has passed the brownies should be gooey, so if they are then that’s perfect! Remove from the oven and allow them to cool before slicing into bars. You can either enjoy them right away or place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
Healthy treats are my favourite things to make and my four children seem to enjoy it too! My love of healthy treats is due to the fact that I enjoy the challenge of making something that tastes amazing that is also great for the body! My Blueberry and Chia Spelt Muffins definitely tick both of those boxes and don’t take long to make.
Blueberries are a tasty superfood that are perfect for using in muffins because of the colour and the flavour that they provide. They are so good for you because they contain high levels of antioxidants that work to protect our bodies and prevent cell damage. Research also suggests that blueberries can improve your memory and cognitive function when eaten regularly. As with all foods, I would recommend the organic kind for maximum health benefits but if you can’t get hold of them then regular blueberries will still do wonders for your body!
To make a delicious batch of my muffins for yourself you will need the following ingredients:
2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp. chia seeds mixed with 6 Tbsp. water (allow to absorb for 10 minutes)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
First you will need to preheat the oven to 180C/375F. Next you must line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Then, in a large bowl, add in the coconut sugar and then stir in honey, chia mixture, almond milk and vanilla.
In a second large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then stir the spelt flour mixture into the chia mixture until it is combined well. The next stage is to gently stir in the blueberries. Finally, spoon the batter into muffin liners and then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. This should take about 30 minutes. You can then leave to cool briefly before you enjoy or even share!
Meatless meatballs are not as difficult to create as you might think and it is more than likely that you already have the necessary ingredients in your cupboards! The use of chia seeds is a fantastic way to get the consistency just right and to hold the meatballs together. As you will no doubt already know from previous posts of mine, chia seeds are an absolute nutritional powerhouse and something I recommend including in the diet every day! If you are unaware of their amazing health benefits then click here to find out!
To make these meatballs you will need the following ingredients:
1/2 cup of Puy lentils
1 pack of button mushrooms
1 cup of walnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves
1 small handful thyme
2 small handfuls coriander
The juice from half a lemon
To get started making this recipe you will first need to preheat your oven to 180C. Next, soak your chia seeds in six tablespoons of water for 10 minutes. While the chia seeds are soaking you can begin to cook the lentils according the back of pack instructions.
Next, finely chop the mushrooms and fry with a tiny bit of tamari sauce over a medium heat until they begin to go soft. This should take between five and seven minutes. After this time you can remove the pan from the heat. You must then combine the cooked lentils, mushrooms, walnuts, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, thyme, coriander and lemon juice in your food processor. Blitz all of these ingredients until a paste is formed and then roll this paste into golf ball sized balls.
Once all rolled, place the balls onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes before turning the balls and baking for another 10 minutes. After this time is up you can remove from the oven and they are ready to eat! You can either enjoy them on their own or add to your favourite pasta dish! They are especially delicious with courgetti spaghetti!
One of the most common questions people with children ask me is, “How can I make healthy sweet snacks for my kids”? This recipe is just the thing if you want to appeal to your child’s sweet tooth but also fill them with a snack that’s going to nourish them! All four of my children absolutely love these donuts and when there’s a plate of them in the kitchen I’m much happier for them to be snacking between meals! Traditional donuts are completely nutritionally pointless and full of all the bad stuff we want our children to avoid SO getting them hooked on these instead is a great move!
I use a lot of coconut based products in this recipe which is where a lot of the goodness comes from. Coconut in most forms is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It also has a high lauric acid count which encourages HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body. Studies have suggested that consuming coconut regularly will have anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic and anti-thrombotic (blood clot reducing) effects.
To make 12 of these mini donuts you#ll need the following ingredients:
1 sweet potato, grated
1 pear, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp. chia seed soaked in 3 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
90g coconut flour
90g buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp. flaxseeds, ground
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the glaze:
1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut butter, melted
1/2 tsp. honey
AND for a chocolate glaze:
1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut butter, melted
1/2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. of cacao
So, to get started, pack 1 cup of your shredded sweet potato and place it in your food processor along with your shredded pear, soaked chia seeds and coconut sugar. Once it’s well combined, add the remaining ingredients and mix into a soft but wet batter.
Next, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands roll the batter into large golf ball shapes and then slightly flatten it out on the baking sheet. I used the back of a pastry tip (about 1 inch diameter) to create the donut holes. You can keep all of the donut hole batter to create another donut at the end.
Bake the donuts for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and a toothpick comes out dry. Allow the donuts to cool before you ice. In separate bowls, combine the ingredients for the icings and spoon over the donuts and spread. Top with coconut flakes, goji berries or cacao nibs! Yum!
As the Christmas season gets ever closer, the temptation of sweet treats becomes greater and we can often be easily persuaded to abandon our usual healthy diets with the justification of the festivities. However, Christmas doesn’t have to be a reason to over-indulge in sugary snacks and desserts as there is a massive variety of healthy treats available also. If you’re having guests over then serving up this chocolate cake will prove exactly that! Not only is it made with an abundance of natural ingredients but it also includes one of my all time health favourites – goji berries! These tiny berries are great for our bodies and also add an extra twist of flavour to an already delicious cake!
Cacao is another health weapon in this cake. As you may know, cacao is the natural unrefined compound that is used to make chocolate. This means it has the mood enhancing properties of chocolate but is actually fantastic for health as the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals haven’t been lost to processing.
So to make this cake for yourself, grab the following ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cups of oat flour
1/2 cup of spelt flour
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1/4 cup of almond butter
1 cup of almond milk
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of goji berries
1/2 cup of cacao powder
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup of coconut butter – softened
1/3 cup of coconut oil melted
This is an incredibly quick and easy recipe to make once you have gathered the ingredients. To begin, pre-heat your oven to 180C / 350F and then mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until you have a smooth mixture. You can then pour the mixture into a greased 9 inch cake tin and place this in the oven for between 20 and 25 minutes.
After this time is up, remove from the oven and slide out of the cake tin. Leave for a few moments to cool and then enjoy!