White Bean Dip

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Today I want to share my recent White Bean Dip Recipe video! This dish takes less than ten minutes to create and is great for serving as a side during a dinner party, or also just as a snack for one!

Several of the ingredients in my White Bean Dip, such as the garlic and olive oil, are fantastic for providing your body with the energy that it needs, as well as being helpful for protecting the immune system. Additionally, the cannellini beans are an amazing source of fibre, making them great for weight loss and optimum digestion.

Turmeric is one of my star ingredients and is something that I try to include in my diet every single day. One of the best things about turmeric is that it is super anti-inflammatory, meaning it can keep levels of inflammation in the body at a positive level. It also helps to protect against the onset of certain health conditions, such as some types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and liver damage.

Ingredients:

400g cannellini beans
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of turmeric
1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
Pumpkin Seeds
Pistachios

Method:

Take the canned cannellini beans and drain the water before adding them to your food processor with a quarter cup of olive oil. You can then add in the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, the teaspoon of turmeric, the minced garlic and the chopped ginger.

Blitz the contents of your food processor until your dip has the consistency of hummus. You can then scoop it out and place it into a bowl to serve. Top with pistachios and pumpkin seeds and you are good to go!

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Ginger for Good Health!

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!

Lemon Coconut and Radish Noodle Salad

This dish is fantastic if you want a light and refreshing yet filling meal that is full of flavour! It doesn’t take long to make and is a great excuse for getting your spiralizer out! I often make it as an accompaniment when I’m having people over for dinner but it also works as a main dish.

Radishes are incredibly under-appreciated when it comes to cooking and making an effort to eat them more brings variety to your meals as well as nutrition to your body! They have a crunchy texture and are actually naturally cooling which helps to keep your body temperature steady. In just a few months radishes will be in season, making them the perfect choice to include in spring dinner party dishes. If you are suffering with a sore throat or are experiencing poor digestion then radishes can help to improve both of these things! They are also very useful at preventing viral infections because of their high vitamin C content. Add to that, that they work to eliminate toxins in the body, as well as protecting against certain cancers, and you have an all-round amazing vegetable!

The following ingredients will serve two people as a main dish or four people as a side:

2 x watermelon radishes
1 small cauliflower
Zest of 1 lemon
A large handful of desiccated coconut

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
1 ripe avocado
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
A small handful of coriander
A dash of sea salt and pepper

IMG_4347The first thing you will need to do is peel the watermelon radishes and use a spiralizer to turn them into spaghetti noodles. Once complete, place the noodles in a large salad bowl. You must then chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in your food processor. Next, pulse the cauliflower until it looks like white rice and add it to the salad bowl. 

You can then sprinkle the radish noodles and cauliflower rice with the desiccated coconut. Next, in a small bowl, mash the avocado and add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and torn coriander.  This can then be seasoned with sea salt and pepper. The final step is to mix the dressing into the noodle salad and garnish with the lemon zest. Delicious! 

To learn more about which foods are great for your body, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Do You Know Why Plant-Based Foods Are Health Essentials?

As we know, there are vast differences between foods made from animal products and plant-based foods. Beyond the obvious difference of where these two food groups come from, there are also nutritional differences that it are great to be aware of.

You might not have heard the reasons why it is essential to not negate plant-based foods as a prominent part of your diet. In this post I am going to discuss certain nutrients that you simply can’t get in adequate amounts from meat products.

Vitamin C

First of all, and perhaps most importantly, vitamin C is not present in beneficial amounts in any cooked animal products. On the flip side, vitamin C is found in abundance in many vegetables and fruits. This is an essential vitamin that maintains connective tissue, as well as preventing a wide range of health problems that are caused by vitamin C deficiency. It can also help to regulate blood pressure and promotes the optimum function of your blood vessels.

Flavonoids

One of the most important groups of antioxidants to consume for good health is flavonoids. They are present in practically every plant-based food you can get your hands on, making it easy to get an adequate amount with a varied plant-based diet. Flavonoids have many uses in the body, not least aiding your brain function, protecting the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, as well as helping to protect against cancer.

Lignans

You may not have heard of lignans before, but they have several incredibly important roles to play in the body. Not only do they help to regulate our hormone levels and support the immune system, but they are also thought to aid in the relief of menopausal symptoms. This is due to the way they interact with estrogen. However, they also interact with testosterone in such a way that they can improve prostate health! Lignans are phytonutrients that are high in antioxidants, which of course also means they are perfect for fighting free radicals in the body. The foods which are richest in lignans are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds! So, as you can see, a varied plant-based diet will allow you to benefit from the fantastic benefit of lignans!

There are of course many more amazing nutritional benefits to be gained from eating a range of plant-based foods every day but hopefully these top three will motivate you to get started!

Want to learn more about nutrition? Head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Beans, Beats and Herbs

This colourful dish can either be used as a very light lunch option or alternatively as a fantastic side dish to go with a healthy dinner. Beets are amongst the healthiest foods in the world and they contain a unique type of phytonutrients known as betalains. Research has shown that betalains are amazing for providing antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory support in the body. The combination of these benefits means great things for the health of the cardiovascular system in particular. Add to this that they are also known to be effective in combatting cancer growth and contain high amounts of manganese, potassium, copper and fibre and you are eating an all-round winner!

If you are a fequent follower of my blog then you will know that coconut oil is a favourite of mine – but you might not know why! Well, it is my opinion (and one widely shared) that it is one of the healthiest oils to cook with. It can help with a whole range of things, from aiding weight loss to improving digestion, as well as boosting your immune system and your metabolism.

To make this dish to serve six people, you will need the following ingredients:

8 x beets
Coconut oil
1 x 400g tin of white beans

For the dressing:

2 Tbsp. capers
1 garlic clove
A handful of mint, parsley and basil
1 tomato
The juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

To get started making this dish, you will first need to preheat your oven to 180C. You must then coat the beets with coconut oil, a splash of water and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. You can then cover the beets with tin foil and roast in the oven for one hour or until the beetroots are cooked through. Once you are sure they are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Next, combine the beets and the white beans in a large salad bowl.

Now it is time to move on to make the dressing! All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. You must then take this mixture and coat the beets and beans with it. Before you serve, you can top with extra mint, parsley and basil as desired – enjoy!

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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!

Seven Cancer Fighting Foods

Combining an active lifestyle with a healthy diet is a great way to defend your body against many forms of cancer. Some cancers develop due to genetic factors however the way you take care of yourself can play a part in preventing the onset. By incorporating a wide variety of plant based foods into your meals you can stay on top of your health! Include these seven foods in a balanced diet to help your body defend against cancer and a huge range of other health issues.

Berries
Berries

Berries

Antioxidants are great for stopping those free radicals from travelling around your body causing damage and berries are absolutely crammed full of them. Although it’s never possible to completely avoid toxins, it is possible to put up a good fight and berries are a great weapon for this. There’s so many different types of berries that you’re bound to find a selection that you love!

Garlic

Studies have shown that garlic is especially great for inhibiting the growth of cancer in the prostate, colon, stomach and bladder. Garlic will also give your immune system a boost and work to detoxify the body. You can include it in soups, stir fries, salads – in fact, practically any dish!

Garlic
Garlic

Kale

Kale is full of fiber and studies show that it is most effective in preventing cancer of the colon, stomach and lungs. Kale is a delicious addition to many meals but if it’s not your thing, then you can also get similar nutritional goodness from other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

Spinach  Spinach is fantastic and works to prevent cancer when carcinogens enter the body. Research has shown that consuming spinach will decrease the chances of tumours occurring and growing. Spinach is delicious with salads or as an accompaniment to many main meals.

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Mushrooms

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are full of compounds that aid the liver in the detoxification process. Several of these compounds also work to stimulate the production of enzymes which protect against carcinogens. Broccoli sprouts are three-four day old broccoli plants which have been likened in flavour to the radish. These awesome sprouts will also help with lowering cholesterol levels and can be easily grown at home.

Mushrooms

Because of their ability to suppress the enzyme in the body which converts testosterone into estrogen, mushrooms are great for inhibiting breast cancer. They also contain lentinan which is thought to prevent tumour growth. Certain types of mushroom, like shitake, are also fantastic for kick-starting the immune system.

Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric is predominantly used in curry dishes but can also be used to flavour many other meals. Curcumin is the component of turmeric which makes it of such great value to our health. Studies have shown that curcumin helps in the fight against cancers such as that of the mouth, intestines, breasts, skin, and stomach and is also especially useful for treating colorectal cancers.

When it comes to preventative medicine, plant-based foods are a great way to go! You can have effective control over your health and your body just by making some simple lifestyle and dietary choices. Try it for yourself and see the difference!

Chocolate and Salt

There aren’t many foods that I would say I absolutely could not live without, but these two might just make the cut! I try to include both of these amazingly nutritious ingredients in both mine and my kids diets every day and with a bit of imagination, it’s not a difficult task at all!

Himalayan Sea Salt

Making the decision to use Himalayan sea salt in your cooking, as opposed to regular table salt, is a great decision for your overall well-being. As we already know, consuming too much salt means bad things for the body. It can easily cause high blood pressure and place strain on your organs which can then lead to a stroke, a heart attack or even kidney disease. Eating less salt is generally a great idea but using an alternative that provides all the minerals and nutrients that regular salt is lacking is an even better one!

Himalayan sea salt contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals and is totally unprocessed and unrefined. It comes from salt caves that came to be over 250 million years ago when salt from the ocean was deposited on land.

Because Himalayan sea salt is millions of years old, it doesn’t contain many of the present day impurities and toxins that the ordinary kind can be polluted with. The many health benefits of incorporating this type of salt into your diet include controlling your water levels, providing your cells with a consistent pH balance, maintaining optimum blood sugar levels and even slowing down the visible aspects of the ageing process. It is also thought that it is great for your respiratory and vascular health and can reduce your chance of suffering with sinus problems. On top of all of these fantastic factors it could also help to ease muscle cramps, increase the strength of your bones and encourage a normal sleeping pattern.

Eating Himalayan sea salt isn’t the only way to take advantage of its many health benefits. Adding a couple of hundred grams to a bath is also said to aid detoxification and will not only relax your muscles but will also rejuvenate your skin. This is a very calming way to eradicate toxins from your body and will leave you feeling refreshed.

Many doctors and health food professionals suggest that this kind of salt is the best option and it’s a great idea to use it in place of the regular brands that you’re used to. You’ll soon see the difference for yourself!

chocolate-and-salt-grassrootsandgrains

Raw Cacao

Cacao beans come from a tree that is native to the West Indies and South America. The taste of raw cacao is typically described as nutty and slightly bitter, causing some people to include a natural sweetener, like agave nectar, when they consume it. There is absolutely no cholesterol or trans-fats in the beans but there is an impressive amount of fibre and protein.

Raw cacao does several things to the body to truly earn its title as a super-food. The high antioxidant count is great for eliminating rogue free radicals in the body which are known to cause certain types of cancer and age the skin. Cacao also improves blood flow which in turn helps stimulate the process of healing cells and reducing stress inducing hormones.

Cacao is a rich source of magnesium and sulphur, making it great for improved focus and for combating fatigue. It also contains phenylethylamine, which chocolate fanatics may already know is the compound that is often referred to as ‘the love drug’. Phenylethylamine is thought to be useful in treating depression as it aids the release of endorphins. Similarly, cacao encourages extended anandamide presence in the brain which can also create feelings of happiness.

Raw cacao is excellent for including in a wide range of recipes and will increase the nutritional value of any dish. It’s not just great for food but can also be used in powder form in drinks like hot chocolate and smoothies. Mixing even a small amount into a smoothie will increase the nutritional value and compliment the existing flavour!

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