Matcha Green Tea Cream Pots with Toasted Walnut Crumbs

This delicious dessert is the perfect healthy follow-up to any meal. It is an amazing combination of health boosting ingredients, such as the green matcha powder and the walnuts. Green matcha powder is rammed full of antioxidants and is cancer fighting whilst also being great for burning fat and boosting the metabolism. When you choose to eat raw, organic nuts, you really can’t go wrong in terms of doing good things for your overall health. Having said that, walnuts are one of the best choices you can make for all the amazing health properties they have. It is worth bearing in mind that the majority of the antioxidants in walnuts are found just under the waxy skin, so be sure not to remove it when you use them in the recipe. It does have a slightly bitter flavour but it’s not unpleasant and is well worth including in your dish.

To make three of these pots, find the following ingredients:

2 tsp. green matcha powder
250ml green tea
6 tbsp. maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar
100g toasted chopped walnut pieces
2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tbsp. honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 bananas, peeled and sliced into 2cm rounds

To make the matcha sauce, put the green tea, 3 tbsp of coconut nectar and 1 tsp. of matcha in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce is thickened a bit.

Then you can toast the chopped walnuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. After these few minutes, you can remove them from heat and place in a bowl to cool.

To make the coconut cream, remove the tins from the fridge but be careful not to shake them. Open the tins and carefully scoop out the thickened cream off the top and place into a mixing bowl. Add the 1 tbsp. of coconut nectar and vanilla to the mixing bowl and beat well for 5 minutes until the cream is thick and fluffy.

In glass tumblers, layer the 2 tbsp. of the walnuts then drizzle with the matcha syrup, then top with a layer of coconut cream and enough bananas to cover the cream. You can then repeat the layers. Sprinkle the very top with more walnut crumbs and a drizzle of the matcha syrup. You can then enjoy immediately!

Goji Berry, Coconut and Matcha Cupcakes

I’m always trying to find creative snacks to create for my 4 hungry kids when they come home from school.  I know that they’re not about to make themselves a matcha latte or grab a handful of goji berries and eat them one by one.  But I do know, having been a parent now for 16 years, that they way to get your kids to eat the ‘good for you’ stuff – is to sneak it into something that they like and like the look of….aka cupcakes!

IMG_2389Matcha is well, just incredible.  In my recipe I used White Matcha (apparently the newest thing to hit the market) but of course, green matcha is fine too!  Matcha is definitely a superhero when it comes to teas.  The amazing thing about matcha is that energises you but at the same time calms the central nervous system.  Matcha has 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea, 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice and 9 times the beta carotene of spinach!  So, if you’re kids definitely don’t like spinach then this is a clever way to get that beta carotene in!

IMG_2391For your cupcakes you will need this:

Makes 16 – 20 cupcakes

4 cups of oat flour (or rolled oats ground to a flour)

1/2 cup ground flaxseeds

2 Tbsp. of matcha

1 1/2 cups of soaked goji berries

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup coconut palm sugar

1 3/4 cup plant-based milk ( I used coconut )

2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 F or 180 C.  And in a large bowl, simply combine the above ingredients one by one, stirring well until you get a nice, thick batter.  Line your cupcake tray with paper cases and fill to the rim with your delicious batter!  Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.  Even more delicious when you spread a bit of coconut oil on the insides!  YUM!

IMG_2397For more information on nutrition, head to www.theflexifoodie.com to sign up for the first of it’s kind online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Health.

 

Chia Coconut Pancakes

It’s about time I posted a breakfast, right? I was psyched about this one as it’s different but easy to make.  AND the nutritional value is out of this world.  There are a lot of pancake recipes out there that use wholewheat flour, but coconut flour is new and now my new best friend.  Coconut flour is a delicious, healthy alternative to wheat and other grain flours. Ground from dried, defatted coconut meat, coconut flour is high in fibre and low in digestible carbohydrates. A single 2 Tbsp serving of coconut flour delivers 5 grams of fibre with only 8 grams of carbs.  Lovin’ that, right?!

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And don’t even get my started on Coconut Oil!  Coconuts are everywhere now and I’m loving it!  From shampoo to moisturiser, to cooking and putting into your smoothies (yes!  smoothies!) you can’t go wrong with Coconut Oil!  Listen up!

Here are the Health Benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids that accelerate and stimulates metabolism, and definitely gives you more energy.  Coconut oil has a good quantity of caprylic acid in it which is well known to kill off excess candida by targeting harmful bacteria.  It is also rich in lauric acid which protects your heart by reducing total cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol.

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And here is an astounding fact about coconut oil; even though it is a fat, it can actually help with weight loss!  The healthy medium chain fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats; they are sent directly to the liver and are converted into energy. Thus the body does not store the fat in coconut oil as fat; it uses it to produce energy instead.  Loving that one!

Also, it doesn’t produce an insulin spike – instead, it actually helps to control blood sugar by improving the secretion of insulin.  So, good for diabetics!  And lastly, (although there are MANY more benefits!) coconut oil as studies done on residents in the Pacific Islands showed that their diets included 30-60% of their calories from saturated coconut oil and yet they have a nearly non-existent rate of cardiovascular disease!

And don’t even get my started on the topical benefits.  Yes!  You can put it on your skin and hair! It speeds up healing on the skin but is also a great moisturiser as well as conditioner for the hair!

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If you’re wondering how the heck are we going to make pancakes without eggs?!  Well, that’s one of the many beauties of chia seeds…. they can be used as an egg replacement as well!  Yes, C’est vrai!  Simply combine 1 Tbsp of Chia with 3 Tbsp of water and let the seeds expand for about 20 minutes, and voila!  You have a seriously healthy alternative to eggs!  The benefits of Chia Seeds are seriously UNREAL – well, have a look at my other post called ‘Chia Seeds – A Cool Superfood’ and you’ll see why.  With the combo of coconut and chia – this breakfast is super special, nutritious and superfood delicious!  Grab yourself these ingredients!

Makes about 12 silver dollar pancakes:

6 Tbsp chia combined with 18 Tbsp water (let sit and expand for at least 20 minutes)

1/3 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup coconut milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

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You will first need to combine the chia seed mixture, coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut sugar in a large bowl. You can then add coconut flour and baking powder. Mix again until lumps are incorporated. Scoop about a 1/4 cup of the mixture onto your hot pan to make your silver dollar pancakes.  YUM!

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Mint CocoChip Ice Cream

I truly love mint anything!  Mint tea, mint on potatoes, mint in smoothies and now mint in my ice cream.  And this ice cream is not only dairy free and refined sugar free….. but utterly delicious.  I concocted this recipe because my 12 year old is a mint-a-holic just like his mom. 🙂  And we were gagging for something minty and cold over the weekend.  But not only is mint uber refreshing and delicious it’s nutritious too!

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Mint is amazing at aiding in:

Skin Care and Pimples: While mint oil is a good antiseptic, mint juice (yes, the juice!) is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin, and helps to cure infections and itchiness, as well as being a good way to reduce pimples.

Nausea & Headache: The very strong and refreshing fragrance of mint is a quick and effective remedy for nausea. Even just the smell of freshly crushed mint leaves or eating with mint, and your stomach issues will be alleviated.

Respiratory Disorders and Coughs: The strong fragrance of mint is very effective in clearing up congestion of the nose, throat, and lungs, which in turn relieves respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and the common cold.

Weight Loss: Mint stimulates the digestion of fat! You can chop the mint leaves and add them to any dish!

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So, dust off your blenders and grab the following which serves 2!  Or ONE if you’re greedy.

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 avocado

4 drops peppermint essential oil

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/2 cup spinach

4 mint large mint leaves

2 dates

3 ice cubes (optional)

Blend together and then fold in nibs….

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Either serve immediately or put into a container and pop in freezer for later… although once you’ve tasted it, I doubt you’ll be able to wait that long!
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Julie’s SUPERnut Butter Cups

Okay, so when I was younger, my hands down favourite treat was Reese’s peanut butter cup! If you’re not American, you may not know about these treats! But trust me, they are SOOOOOO good! Back then we didn’t know about the ‘badness’ of high fructose corn syrup, however as an American we did know how yummy the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is! I want my four kids to taste a seriously yummy butter nut cup too but perhaps not a Reese’s one……..So, I came up with a healthy, but to me, even MORE delicious alternative and I can tell you that these were a hit with all of them. My youngest is already asking if I can make them for his birthday party (which isn’t until October but I’ll keep it in mind)!

Let’s start with the chocolate sauce which frankly, can be used on pancakes, ice cream and strawberries! So keep this at hand.

julies_supernut_buttercups_grassrootsandgrainsIngredients:

200g of cacao butter
10 – 12 tbsp. of raw cacao powder
4 tbsp. of coconut nectar (or agave or raw honey)
4 tsp. of lucuma
1 and a 1/2 tbsp. of carob powder
1 tsp. of maca
1/4 tsp. of pink himalayan sea salt

Almond butter filling:

1/2 cup almond butter (I used white almond butter and it was delicious too!)
1 Tbsp. coconut nectar (or raw honey or agave)
1 Tbsp. lucuma powder
1/4 tsp. pink himalayan sea salt

julies_supernut_buttercups_grassrootsandgrains (2)In a saucepan, melt the cacao butter over low to medium heat or use a double boiler. Fold in the rest of the ingredients. Next, line your cupcake tray with paper cups and spoon in enough chocolate sauce to cover the bottom. Place in the fridge until the sauce is solidified; this should usually take about 15 minutes.

julies_supernut_buttercups_grassrootsandgrains (3)For the Almond butter filling, combine all of the ingredients together so that it eventually looks like cookie dough. Then, get a good heaped teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Using your hands, flatten to just less than the diameter of the base of the cups. Now you can add these almond nut butter saucer shapes to the cups and spoon the remainder of the chocolate sauce over the top, covering them completely.

julies_supernut_buttercups_grassrootsandgrains (4)Finally, place in the fridge for a good hour and presto! You can then remove the paper cups and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Although, if you’re anything like me, they won’t be in the fridge for very long!

julies_supernut_buttercups_grassrootsandgrains (5)These tasty treats taste even better than the store bought alternatives and will provide your body with a wealth of goodness. For example, instead of being crammed with sugar, they are sweetened with lucuma and coconut nectar. As you may remember from previous recipes, lucuma is made from a Peruvian plant and is completely natural. As well as being great as a sweetener, it is a good source of fibre, beta-carotene, niacin, iron and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals. Similarly, coconut nectar is free from gluten and fat and is the perfect low glycemic sweetener!

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Papaya and Coconut Milk Shake

Making a shake can be a great thing to do anytime of the day, whether you want one in place of breakfast or even after a workout, it’s an invigorating way to boost your body. Milk shakes aren’t famous for their nutritional content and, are more of than not, synonymous with fat and unhealthy ingredients. This Papaya and Coconut Milk Shake is the complete opposite of what the name suggests and is a great way to start, continue or end the day.

papaya-and-coconut-shake grassrootsandgrains5To make enough of this milk shake for two glasses you’ll need:

1 banana
1/2 a papaya
1 cup of coconut water
1/2 a cup of fresh coconut meat
1 cup of ice cubes

Take your high speed blender and mix all of the ingredients together, then you’re ready to serve! It’s as simple as that. You can either pour a glass for yourself and save half for later or you can be super generous and make the other glass for someone else!

papaya-and-coconut-shake grassrootsandgrains4The flesh of the papaya is a rich orange colour with round black seeds inside. The seeds are edible, just as the flesh is, however the seeds have a slightly more bitter taste. The papaya fruit contains an enzyme called papain which is essential for the bodies process of digesting proteins. Papain is more relevant in the fruit when it is less ripe, however in any quantity it is great for your system.

papaya-and-coconut-shake grassrootsandgrains3The papaya fruit is rich in vitamins C, A, E and K as well as potassium and fibre. Its many nutritional benefits and antioxidant properties are fantastic for keeping your cardiovascular system in check whilst also helping to keep some cancers at bay. Eating papaya will also help to promote healthy levels of cholesterol in the body as well as encouraging optimum digestive health.

papaya-and-coconut-shake grassrootsandgrains2Coconuts are frequently over-looked as a health food, especially in some parts of America, however in the right quantity, they can be a great addition to your diet. The nutritional value of your coconut may vary depending on its age and level of ripeness, generally, the younger coconut is better for carbs whilst the more mature ones have a greater protein count. Regardless of its age, a coconut will have a generous amount of dietary fibre, iron, calcium and vitamin A. They are also packed with potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese – just to name a few!As well as being incredibly flavoursome, coconuts contain an impressive amount of lauric acid which is antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; making it an all-round amazing addition to your body. It is also thought that coconuts will help you maintain and even lose weight whilst also reducing your risk of heart disease!

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Thai Coconut Noodle Bowl with Pak Choi

This is a healthy dish that has an indulgent feel to it as the combination of ingredients create a delicious yet nutritious concoction. Some of the ingredients may be slightly outside of the norm of what is found in your kitchen, however after cooking this recipe, you may soon discover they become regular additions to your cupboards. Asian food is cooked with fantastically aromatic flavours and although there is traditionally a heavy emphasis on fish and meats, you can create an amazing Thai dish without using any! To make this Thai Coconut Noodle Bowl with Pak Choi for three to four people you will need the following ingredients:

2 tins of coconut milk
5-6 coriander stalks
6 freeze dried whole pieces of lemongrass
1 large onion
1 hot red chilli
50g of coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons of shredded kaffir lime leaves
A handful of portabellini mushrooms
3 garlic cloves
The juice of 3 limes
3 tbsp. of tamari
50g thin rice noodles
100g of pak choi
1 cup of water

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The first thing you’ll need to do is remove the leaves from the coriander stems and put them to one side, they will come in useful when the time comes to garnish. Next, slice your onion, chop the red chilli and peel and smash the garlic. Next, take a large saucepan and pour the two cans of coconut milk in with the coriander stems, lemongrass, onion, garlic, kaffir lime leaves and the sugar. Stir the contents of the pan together well and bring to a simmer.

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Continue to cook for an additional 15 – 20 minutes before straining through a sieve and into a separate saucepan. You must now discard all of the strained ingredients that didn’t make it through the sieve. Add the sliced mushrooms, tamari, lime juice, water, pak choi and rice noodles to the new pan and bring to a simmer once again. This process should take between 3 and 4 minutes, after which time you can remove the pan from the heat.

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Season to taste and then serve into bowls. Before you give each dish to those waiting around the table, garnish with the coriander leaves you saved at the start as well as a few slices of chilli each and some kaffir lime leaves.

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Every plant-based ingredient in this dish is packing an impressive amount of nutrition, ensuring your body enjoys this meal just as much as your taste buds do. Although high in calories and fat, coconut milk contains a lot of micro-nutrients and protein and is also said to help blood cholesterol levels.

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Portabellini mushrooms are also a good source of protein and encouragingly low in calories with absolutely no cholesterol, fat or sodium. Pak choi is a very popular vegetable in Asia and is also very low in calories. It is a rich source of a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, mineral and anti-oxidants. Pak choi is a particularly good source of vitamins A, C and K which are great for the immune system, vision and bones respectively.

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Kaffir lime leaves have a strong citrus flavour and are often used in Thai cooking. In some parts of Asia, the juice of the kaffir lime is also used for its medicinal properties and for washing purposes. Garlic is another ingredient that has long been loved for its medicinal properties. Garlic has been proven to be effective in protecting against diseases, infections and cancers. It is also an amazing source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc!!

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Coconut Breakfast Bowls

What better way to combat Monday morning and start the week properly then with a seriously tasty and incredibly healthy Coconut Breakfast Bowl! This is my absolute favourite breakfast treat and is one of the first things I tuck in to on at least three occasions during the week! It’s not just a favourite of mine but also of all four of my kids and is so simple to make that even my oldest at 14 can easily prepare a bowl for the entire family – when she’s feeling helpful that is!

coconutbreakfastbowls3Across all of the Pacific Islands, palm trees are known as ‘The Trees of Life’ and they believe that coconuts are the cure for all illness. Whilst this may not actually be true, coconuts are fantastic for the immune system as they’re anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal – essentially they have the capacity to kill of harmful things which threaten your body. Not only this but they’re also totally delicious and a nutritious source of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and fibre. Add to this that they’re loaded with calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as containing a high concentration of electrolytes. I could go on and on and on about these amazing fruits, however instead here is the recipe to make Coconut Breakfast Bowls by yourself. The ingredients listed below are enough to feed two but you can always double up if you have more mouths to feed!

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Handful of chopped, fresh coconut
1/2 a banana
1/2 an avocado
1/4 a cucumber
A handful of blueberries
2 dates, de-stoned
8 basil leaves
The juice of 1 lime
1 inch piece of ginger
1 cup coconut water

All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients together in a food processor and blend together! No mess, no fuss then you can serve in a bowl and enjoy!

If you’re looking for a fantastic way to cleanse your body and increase your energy levels then check out my 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge!  By just including one smoothie a day in your diet you can soon get your body working and looking the way you want it to. With improved energy and a healthier body you’ll also notice that your ability to focus will also improve and you’ll experience better moods.

coconutbreakfastbowls4Having a diet that contains a decent amount of fresh fruit and vegetables is such a great way to maintain your general health and contrary to popular belief it doesn’t have to be difficult or overly expensive. By removing processed, fatty foods from your diet and replacing them with healthier, natural alternatives, you will readily be able to notice that difference in yourself and your attitude to the world around you!

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