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 Carrot and Ginger Soup

I discovered this recipe on my recent trip to Thailand, where I stayed at the beautiful Amatara Resort in Phuket! When it comes to finding delicious food around the world, Thailand is surely one of the first places that comes to mind.

Although Thailand is widely considered to be the home of many tasty dishes, you might not be aware of just how much of this food is vegetarian or vegan!

This Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup involves absolutely no animal products, making it totally vegan!

The combination of carrots, celery, and ginger in this recipe make it an all-round winner for both taste and nutrition. The inclusion of the macadamia nuts not only helps to give this soup a creamy consistency, but also helps to further enhance the health-boosting properties of this dish.

Macadamia nuts are among the fattiest of all of the nuts, but the majority of this fat is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. Fats of this variety are known to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Macadamia nuts are also a good source of fibre, with one ounce of these nuts containing over 2g of the good stuff!

Ready to make this dish for yourself? Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Soup

  • 400g carrots
  • 40g celery
  • 50g fresh ginger
  • 100g macadamia nuts, soaked for 4 hours
  • 50g avocado
  • ¾ cup coconut water
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper

Garnish

  • 50g green mango, finely shredded
  • 1 tsp shallot
  • ½ tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Method:

First you must blitz the carrot, celery, ginger and avocado in the food processor and then set aside. Next, blitz the soaked macadamia nuts and coconut water (with some coconut meat too if you have it to hand) until smooth. You can then mix the two bowls of ingredients together – stirring for a few moments.

You then just need a few minutes to whip up the garnish by mixing all of the garnish ingredients in a bowl.

Pour your soup into bowls and mix in the lime juice, salt and white pepper to taste. Garnish with green mango relish and you’re ready to serve!

Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup 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!

Easy Ways to Stay Energised

If you are like me and have a consistently busy schedule and several things to juggle – work, family, friends etc – then you may find that your energy levels are often running low. This is totally normal when you have a lot going on, but there are ways that you can boost your energy levels to help you approach each day with endless positivity and enthusiasm! Continue reading Easy Ways to Stay Energised

Gut Health and Your Diet

In recent years there has been an emergence of research that has shown just how important the health of the gut is! When your digestive system isn’t doing its thing, all other areas of your health can soon become compromised. Continue reading Gut Health and Your Diet

Toffee Caramel Popcorn

When it comes to making healthy snack decisions, popcorn is such a fantastic choice! One of the most amazing things about popcorn is that you can choose from so many different healthy toppings that it never has to get boring!

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Popcorn Nutrition

Popcorn generally only has around 30 calories per cup, making it a great snack for maintaining a healthy weight. As a wholegrain, popcorn also contains a beneficial amount of fibre as well as a dose of protein!

The problem with most ready made popcorn products is that they are usually covered in salt, butter or other unhealthy (but certainly tasty) ingredients.

My recipe for Toffee Caramel Popcorn is excitingly healthy AND a little bit sticky – perfect for those of you who enjoy a messy treat! With this recipe you will cook up a whole batch that you can either enjoy right away or store to eat on the go another time.

Ingredients:

1/2 a cup of popcorn kernels
1/2 a cup of maple syrup
1 tsp of almond extract
1/3 of a cup of almond butter (or any nut butter)
A dash of cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Method:

First of all preheat your oven to 180C / 375F. Next, take a large pot and place it on the hob at a medium to high heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan and then add your popcorn kernels. You can then put the lid on your pan and leave the kernels to do their thing! This will usually take around ten minutes but will vary so watch your pot closely. Once you start to hear more than five seconds between each pop then you will know that your popcorn is almost ready. As soon as it is ready you should remove the pan from the heat.

The next step is to make the caramel toffee sauce. To do this, take a mixing bowl and pour in the maple syrup, the almond butter, almond extract, and the cinnamon. Whisk the contents of your bowl until it becomes a smooth paste.

Next, pour your prepared popcorn onto a baking tray and pour the contents of the bowl over the popcorn. Try to drizzle it evenly but don’t worry too much as it will spread in the oven. Place the baking tray in the oven for seven minutes and your treat is then ready to enjoy!

Want to learn more about how eating more plant-based foods can enhance your health? Click here now to check out my starter guide!

White Bean Dip

If you haven’t discovered my YouTube channel yet then don’t worry! I am going to be bringing the videos from my channel straight to you here on my blog!

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!

My YouTube channel is packed full of recipes, yoga, lifestyle advice, self-care tips and more! Click here to head there now and subscribe to be the first to know when new videos are released!

Plant-Based Protein

If you follow a plant-based diet then the chances are you have heard that dreaded question before – “Where do you get your protein?”

Proteins, often a hot topic in the nutrition world, are necessary for all of us. Without them the cells in our body can’t repair and regenerate themselves. When we consume protein, our body breaks it down into amino acids, which is what our cells are made of!

Plant protein comes packaged in healthy fibres and carbohydrates that your body needs to fuel itself. Animal-based protein sources are often high in cholesterol and animal fats. Despite animal proteins often being advertised as ‘complete’ sources of healthy protein, they often aren’t always so healthy after all!

When we look a little closer at the wide range of plant-based foods available to us, we can see that complete proteins can be found within these foods too. The definition of a complete protein is when it consists of all of the necessary amino acids that the body needs.

However, it is important to remember that not all protein is the same: different sources contain different amounts of amino acids. And, that’s why it is important that we mix and match!

Most amino acids are pretty easy to get from any balanced plant-based diet, but some are tougher, such as lysine. If you eat tofu, beans and tempeh, you’ll surely be just fine. But if these things are not a part of your diet then you should pay attention to your lysine intake. Another limiting factor could be methionine. But fear not! By combining your pulses and beans with grains, you are pretty much guaranteed to get enough of them both. 

One thing is obvious: variety is the key! Different foods contain different amino acids and thus a balanced and a varied diet ensures you have covered all of the bases. Not all of the ingredients need to be complete proteins, as long as your daily intake is covered.

Here are a few simple tips to give you a head-start when it comes to fulfilling your protein quota on a plant-based diet! 

First of all, mix your rice with beans. The beans complement the low lysine content of the rice and the rice compliments the beans’ methionine. Check out my delicious recipe for making baked beans at home! 

Secondly you can eat your bread with humous to create another a lysine-methionine power couple. Alternatively, try peanut butter. A two slice sandwich with two tablespoons of peanut butter contains an impressive 15 grams of protein!

Finally, add more spirulina into your diet. You can effortlessly do this by adding a dash to your grains and oats. Spirulina on its own lacks cysteine and methionine, but that’s nothing a tasty green porridge can’t fix!

To put it simply: you probably don’t have to worry about your protein count if you are eating a healthy and varied plant-based diet!

For more top tips on nutrition head to The Flexi Foodie Academy now!

Bulgar Wheat Red Peppers

Bulgar wheat is a low cost, high nutrition whole grain food that can be used in a huge variety of meals! It has a light nutty flavour and actually ranks quite low on the glycemic index. With high fibre and protein levels, bulgar wheat is also fantastically low in fat and will give your body a helping hand in keeping your digestive system healthy! Combined with red peppers, this whole grain makes a great main meal that is sure to keep those late night snack urges away!

In total this dish will take between 40 and 50 minutes to prepare.  To make enough for two people you’ll need the following ingredients:

Four red peppers

Three medium mushrooms

Fresh or frozen spinach

A dash of turmeric

Fresh parsley

Two carrots, diced

125g of bulgar wheat

One onion

Two tomatoes

Coconut oil

Firstly, cut the tops off of the peppers and scoop out the seeds. Next, lightly brush them with coconut oil and place them in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C. Leave them for twenty minutes while you get on with the next step.

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Add 125g of bulgar wheat to 600ml of water in a pan and bring to the boil before adding in a dash of turmeric, covering and leaving to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. If you’re using frozen spinach then add a small handful in half way through the simmering process, if you’re using fresh then wait until later!

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Whilst the wheat is simmering chop the mushrooms into small pieces, dice the carrots, onion and tomatoes. In a separate pan, boil the carrots for a few moments and then after draining the bulgar wheat add it together with the mushrooms, carrots, onion and tomatoes. If you’re using fresh spinach then now is the time to add it in!

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You can now take the peppers from the oven and fill with the bulgar wheat mix. Position the peppers back in the oven for a further ten minutes before taking out and garnishing with the parsley before serving!

Ginger and Umeboshi Aubergines

Ginger and Umeboshi Aubergines is a fantastically filling side dish that will perfectly complement any nutritious meal. When you’re shopping for your ingredients, try to select a wide range of aubergines to make your meal much more beautiful and fun to make. The aubergines in my recipe were the purple and white striped “greek” variety, the skinny “little fingers” aubergine and the baby aubergine, all purchased from Clapham Whole Foods in London. So to get started creating this meal for four, you’ll need to acquire the following items:

500g of a selection of auberginesGinger and Umeboshi Aubergines grassrootsandgrains1
Rapeseed oil for frying
2 small onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 red chilli, chopped finely
2cm knob of ginger, peeled and grated
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp. umeboshi paste
1.5 tsp. coconut palm sugar or agave nectar
75ml water
The flesh of 1 small mango
Sea salt

To begin you must first take all of the aubergines you have selected and cut them into 1.5cm slices. You can then place them in a dish and sprinkle with a good quality sea salt before leaving them to sit for 30 minutes. As these 30 minutes are coming to an end you must then add a splash of oil to a pan in order to fry the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger. Once the onions have begun to brown and soft, you can then add the spices into the pan and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Now that these ingredients have been combined and cooked, you can remove them from the pan and place in a separate dish.Ginger and Umeboshi Aubergines grassrootsandgrains2

Using a clean tea towel or some kitchen roll, wipe the salted aubergines until they are dry and then place them into the pan that you previously fried the other ingredients in. Whilst doing this, it may be necessary to add a dash more oil into the pan. Keep frying until the aubergines are golden on both sides and then pop them into your oven on a fairly low setting, just to keep the warm.

It is now time to take the fried onion mixture and return it to the frying pan. You must also now include the umeboshi paste, sweetener and the 75ml of water. Allow this concoction to boil then stir well and leave it to simmer for five minutes. Once finished, move the mixture from the frying pan into a food processor and chuck in the flesh of the mango. Blitz together for 30 seconds before returning to the dish.

Now you can have some fun with the presentation by arranging the aubergine slices onto a platter. The sauce that you have just created in the blender can now be drizzled over the top and the rest served on the side of the dish. Present on the dinner table alongside your meal and your whole family will be satisfied until breakfast!Ginger and Umeboshi Aubergines grassrootsandgrains4

Aubergines are revered as a health food and loved by many for their low calorie count and their rich fibre content. Eating 100g of aubergine will provide you with just 24 calories but will also account for nearly 10% of your recommended daily allowance of fibre. The skin of the aubergine is just as good for you as the flesh itself and contains an impressive amount of anti-oxidants. Aubergines also rate incredibly low on the glycemic index of vegetables.

The vitamins that can be found in aubergines are essential to the body’s process of replenishing proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Also you can find great amounts of potassium, copper, iron and manganese in this tasty vegetable which are all fantastic for keeping the body functioning well. With all of these factors considered, you can understand why aubergine is an all round amazing addition to your diet!

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