Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

This incredible salad is the last of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It takes just a few moments to throw together and is an iconic dish from this beautiful country.

The salad itself contains an abundance of ingredients that pack a healthy punch, and the pumpkin seed garnish gives it an extra nutritious boost! Also, if spicy isn’t really your thing then you can always make this salad without the addition of the chilli!

Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats, as well as being an excellent source of magnesium and zinc. Studies have suggested that regularly consuming pumpkin seeds could help to keep your blood pressure down and to promote an optimum sleep cycle.

Papaya is another exciting ingredient from this exotic dish, and may not be one that you consume often! Papaya is a rich and colourful source of nutrients, in fact – it has one of the highest vitamin C counts of all of the fruits! It is also an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene, and lycopene! As well as being a delicious addition to salads, you can also simply enjoy this fruit on its own, or as a juice!

Ready to make this salad for two people?

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 50g long beans, sliced diagonally in 1-2cm pieces
  • 100g green papaya, fine julienne
  • 50g carrot, fine julienne
  • 10g chilli, fine julienne
  • 10g coriander leaves

Dressing

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 5g garlic, minced

Garnish

  • 10g pumpkin seeds

Method:

Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Next, to make the dressing, mix lime juice, coconut nectar, sea salt, garlic and tamari soy sauce together. You can then pour the dressing over the salad and mix lightly.

Serve your salad onto plates and garnish with a few pumpkin seeds. So simple!

Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad Julie Montagu

Wellness for Women

If you have seen my 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 2018!

Also, if you wan to learn about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health and your energy levels, then click here now to check out my starter guide!

Mango “Cheeze” Cake

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

Raw Coconut Balls

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.

Raw Coconut Balls2.pngTo 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

Raw Coconut BallsThe 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!

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!

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!

Eat These Foods to Boost Your Mood!

Throughout each day your mood will be influenced by many different things. These can, of course, be both positive and negative and will affect the way you feel during each day. As well as your interactions with other people and your environment, the food that you consume will play a role in influencing your mood.

People who consume processed or sugary foods regularly are likely to find that they experience a low mood or even depression. This can be because these foods wreak havoc with our blood sugar levels which causes a fluctuation in energy levels. This can quickly lead to irritability and fatigue which will make even the happiest of people quite grumpy! Making healthy, positive changes to your diet across the whole is a great way to keep your mood steady but you can also try including certain superfoods for a quick boost!

Raw cacao powder is one of these foods and I would suggest you include a serving in your diet every day, especially if you are already struggling with a low mood. Cacao has a seriously impressive range of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals within and is responsible for the perception people have of chocolate improving your mood. However, with processed chocolate products you also get an unhealthy dose of additives and other chemicals which can disrupt your hormones and actually be of detriment to your mood! Stick to raw, unprocessed cacao powder and you will soon see the benefits!

Chilli is another fantastic ingredient you can use to bring a dose of happiness to your day. Studies have shown that when we consume chilli, in any form, it increases the presence of endorphins in the brain which in turn gives us a pleasurable feeling! It is so easy to scatter just a pinch on your lunch and dinner, alternatively you can choose a delicious chilli sauce!

As you will know if you read my blog frequently, I am an advocate of the amazing health benefits of coconut oil and when it comes to your happiness this is especially true! The composition of healthy fats in coconut oil, as well as coconut milk and other coconut products, boosts your brain health. A healthy brain leads to a healthy mind and I would suggest consuming it in moderation regularly!

Most importantly of all, be sure that the majority of the food that you eat is real, wholesome, plant-based food! Don’t sabotage your mood with rubbish that is going to weigh your body down and disrupt your happiness!

For more top tips on how nutrition is essential for a healthy body and mind, check out The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Banoffee Pudding

This pudding is my healthy twist on the traditional Banoffe Pudding. It is easy to make but seriously good too! If you need cheering up or you need to cheer someone else up, then I absolutely suggest that you make this as there is no way a smile won’t appear after just one bite!

The addition of the pecans is great for the texture of this dessert but they also pack a powerful punch of nutrition! These nuts, which are native to North America and Mexico, contain a range of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This impressive selection of health boosting compounds contribute to cardiovascular and digestive health as well as aiding in weight loss and reducing the risk of breast cancer. When eaten regularly pecans also provide a range of anti-inflammatory benefits and work to lower blood pressure.

To make enough for two servings you will need the following ingredients:

1 large ripe banana
1/2 an avocado
2 Tbsp. of raw cacao powder
8 pitted dates
2 ice cubes
2 Tbsp of cashew butter
400ml of coconut milk
60g of pecans, save a few to use to garnish

As I said, making this dish is incredibly easy! To get started all you need to do is blitz all of the ingredients together in your blender or food processor until they are smooth. You can then spoon this mixture into two separate bowls before you place these bowls in the freezer for just ten minutes. Once the ten minutes are up, remove the bowls from the freezer and garnish with the remaining pecans which you can chop into smaller pieces if you prefer!

This dish is then ready to serve and should have taken less than 20 minutes from preparation until you serve!

Carrot Salad with Broccoli, Coconut and Almonds

This recipe uses both solid and blended foods together to create a delicious meal that also has a range of consistencies. Broccoli and almonds mixed with the coconut milk, veg stock and lemon is such an amazing flavour as well as an incredible source of goodness! Lemons might be small but they are often referred to as powerhouses thanks to the high nutrient count within. Just one squeeze of lemon juice is enough to provide your body with a dose of phytonutrients and antioxidants! Lemon juice is also known to be healing with antibiotic effects. The almonds, which you will have to pre-soak before you get started, also contain a selection of antioxidants as well as a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Almonds are also a fantastic source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are essential for keeping LDL cholesterol levels down!

In addition to the nutrition, making this dish involves spiralizing the carrots which is a fun and interesting way to prepare them! If you don’t own a spiralizer yet then you can click here to buy one!

So to make this dish for four people, you’ll need the following ingredients!

4 medium carrots, spiralized
50g of almonds (soaked for 3-4 hours)
200g of broccoli
1/2 a tin of coconut milk
1/2 a cup of veg stock
Squeeze of 1 lemon
A large handful of pumpkin seeds
A large handful of currants
Salt and pepper

When making this dish, I prefer to steam the broccoli so that it’s soft but not overcooked!  However, if you don’t have a steamer then it’s absolutely fine to boil, just make sure  you don’t overdo it! Once the broccoli is cooked, combine it with the almonds, broccoli, coconut milk, veg stock and lemon in your food processor or blender. You should then blitz it well until it’s nearly a puree.  The next step is to thoroughly mix with the spiralized carrots and then top with currants and pumpkin seeds before you season with salt and pepper.  Yes, it’s that easy and super yummy too!

Carrot Salad with Broccoli, Coconut and Almonds

Sweet Potato and Pear Donuts

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

sweet_potato_pear_donuts_the_flexi_foodie2So, 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!

For more recipes like this one connect with me on Facebook or purchase a copy of my cookbook for yourself!

sweet_potato_pear_donuts_the_flexi_foodie4 (2)

Green Bean, Courgette and Coconut Soup

This soup is incredibly quick to make and also fantastically filling. It also involves minimal preparation which makes it the perfect choice when you’ve had a long day but still want a healthy choice! Adding coconut milk into a soup will create a creamy consistency that isn’t usually possible when you only use stock.

It is the coconut milk that is responsible for the high levels of nutrients in this soup. When consumed in moderation coconut milk is amazing for your health and can actually help to fight infection in the body. This is because of a compound found within, known as monolaurin, which is antibacterial and antiviral. The most notable benefits of consuming coconut milk are that it is rich in fibre as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. That includes Vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6 as well as iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous!

To make enough soup for 4 – 6 people, find the following ingredients:

600g of courgettes, cut into 1 inch chunks
200g of top and tailed green beans
1 cup (240 ml) of coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) of veggie stock
Radishes and dill, to garnish
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

green pea courgette coconut soup2

This one is just so so simple to whip up when you’re in a rush! All you have to do is bring a large pot of water to the boil and then add in the courgettes and beans. Boil this pan for 3-5 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water. Next, in a high speed blender, combine the beans, courgettes, coconut milk and veggie stock. Once this mixture is smooth pour the soup back into a large pot and heat it until it is warmed. you can divide the soup between your bowls and top it with sliced radishes and dill. You can also add a good sprinkling of black pepper and sea salt. Enjoy!

If you want to discover more easy, healthy recipes like this then head over to Amazon to pre-order my first cookbook!

Chestnut Chia Savory Pancakes with Peach Salsa

Pancakes are no longer just a meal for the morning! With this dish you can nourish your body at any time of the day with a combination of savory pancakes and sweet peaches. Peaches are at their freshest during the summer months but they are generally available all year round. This fruit is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E as well as several complex B vitamins. Additionally, peaches are a delicious dose of potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc! Peaches will also provide you with a healthy portion of fiber, however, the majority of the fiber is in the skin so be sure to eat this too!

As you’ll be able to tell from several of my previous recipes, I LOVE chia seeds and the benefits they bring to the body are so incredible considering their tiny size! Check out this post to find out all about them! Then, when you’re ready to try these pancakes for yourself, find the following ingredients!

For the Pancakes:

2 and a 1/2 cups of chestnut flour
1/4 of a cup of chia seeds
3 tsp. of caraway seeds
1 and a 1/2 tsp. of ground turmeric
2 tsp. of sea salt
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 and a 1/2 cups of water
Coconut oil for frying

For the Peach Salsa:

4 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 green jalepeno chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
1 tsp. of coconut nectar/syrup or honey
Sea salt and pepper to taste
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

savory_chia_pancakesAll you have to do to make the peach salsa is to add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.

Then, to make the pancakes, take a large bowl and whisk all the ingredients together except the water. Next, slowly pour the water in, whisking as you go, until a batter is formed. Cover the batter and then let it sit for 30 minutes.

The next step is to heat an 8-inch skillet and melt the coconut oil until it covers the hot pan. After 30 minutes, whisk the batter again and pour about a 1/3 of a cup into the skillet. Cook the pancake for approximately two minutes until the edges start to turn brown. Then using a spatula, carefully flip the pancake over the other side and cook for another two minutes. It doesn’t need to be perfect! Add more oil before cooking each pancake. Once the pancakes are all cooked, serve immediately with the peach salsa.