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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Cheesy Polenta and Sweet Roasted Butter Beans with a Beetroot Sauce

This dish is a great choice for those who enjoy a cheesy aroma in their cooking without actually having to use any dairy products! It is quick to prepare and can be beautifully presented, which is great for when you have guests over. Apart from the polenta, you will more than likely have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already, meaning it is minimal effort to give it a try!

One of the great perks of following a plant-based diet is having such a fantastic range of foods available to experiment with. Polenta is one such food that you might not be too familiar with if you are new to this way of eating. This yellow delight is made from cornmeal and, although it originated in Italy, is enjoyed all around the world. It is relatively easy to cook and contains iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium, as well as a selection of vitamins. If you are trying to eradicate carb heavy foods, such as bread and pasta, from your diet then polenta can help to satiate your hunger and prevent cravings for these foods.

The following ingredients will make enough to serve four people:

2 cups / 320g quick polenta
1 veggie stock cube
2 Tbsp of nutritional yeast
400g of butter beans, rinsed and drained
3 tsp of sweet paprika
4 pre-cooked beets
2 Tbsp of olive oil + excess for drizzling
2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
250g of tenderstem broccoli

To get started you will first need to preheat your grill to a medium-high heat. You can then make the polenta according to the packet instructions – but be sure to mix in the veggie stock cube with the water that you use to do so. Once the polenta is cooked you must mix in the nutritional yeast and put it to one side. The next step is to spread the butter beans onto a baking tray and drizzle them with olive oil. You should also sprinkle two teaspoons of the sweet paprika on top.

Next, grill the butter beans in your pre-heated oven for five to seven minutes, or until they become brown and crunchy. While the butter beans are roasting, add the broccoli to a pot of water and boil for three minutes before you drain and rinse. The next step is to place the beetroot, two tablespoons of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of sweet paprika into your food processor. Blend these ingredients until they become smooth. Finally, to assemble, place a good sized scoop of polenta onto each of your four plates and top with the beetroot sauce, butter beans and broccoli before you serve!

For more information about optimum nutrition, and to gain access to a selection of other healthy recipes, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

3 Bean Spicy Chilli

Being American, chilli is a big deal!  And growing up in the cold Chicago winters….well, chilli was an even bigger deal! Of course, chilli recipes ideally have meat in them which of course is fine if you’re not vegetarian or vegan. However, I’ve found that adding in a selection of beans (three in this recipe) definitely makes a great and hearty substitute for the meat.  So, on those cold, rainy days – let this heart warming chilli be your go to super easy supper.  Oh, and PS, chilli is super easy to freeze so feel free to double this recipe so that you’ll always have it on hand when the downpours arrive!

Eating a range of beans is great for your health as they are bursting with nutrients. This recipe uses white beans, which are high in potassium and calcium, black beans, which are great for protein and magnesium, and kidney beans, which are packed full of dietary fibre! What’s not to love!

To make this dish for four people, you will need the following ingredients:

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 x 400g tin white beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 400ml tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. chilli powder
A small handful of basil, chopped
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. cumin
A small handful of coriander, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime, quartered
1 Tbsp. coconut oil

FullSizeRender (1)To get started you will need to take a large pot and melt the coconut oil over a medium to high heat in it. You can then add the onion, crushed garlic, carrot and celery and then cook for five minutes. Next, add all of the beans, chopped tomatoes and the spices and then cook for ten minutes over a medium heat. Once this time is up, you can then stir in the fresh basil until soft, which should just take a minute. Finally, serve into bowls and top with sliced avocado, fresh lime juice and chopped coriander. You’ll soon agree that it is SOOOO good!

Remember, for more amazing recipes like this and nutrition information and advice, 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!

Roasted Celeriac, Mushroom & Chestnut Soup

This meal is the perfect winter warmer and is also an amazing soup to go with your Thanksgiving dinner! To make it, I have combined all of my favourite Thanksgiving flavours with an extra ingredient here and there. And I’m glad I did because it created this super heart warming and hearty soup!

Chestnuts are massively under appreciated in western cooking, especially when we consider the wealth of nutrition that they yield. These little treasures contain an abundance of vitamin C, potassium, copper, magnesium and amino acids! They are also prized for containing a compound that helps to prevent kidney stones from forming, as do the majority of nuts!

You can serve this soup as a starter for Thanksgiving and then keep the leftovers to warm up the next day!  YUMMY!

To make your own for four to six people you will need the following ingredients:

1 large celeriac, trimmed, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 portabello mushrooms
250g of pre-cooked chestnuts
2 heaped tsp. of sweet paprika
2 garlic cloves
1 litre of veggie stock (or just water is fine)
1 small apple, roughly chopped
Coconut oil

Optional:

A small handful of walnuts, toasted
A scattering of fresh thyme

Soup2So the first thing you will need to do is pre-heat your oven to 200C. You must then thoroughly rub the mushrooms and chopped celeriac with the coconut oil. I like to melt my coconut oil first and then drizzle it over the ingredients before rubbing in. Next, place the mushroom and celeriac onto a large backing sheet and sprinkle the sweet paprika over the mushrooms and celeriac to coat.

Roast the vegetables for 10-15 minutes or until they become soft. You can then remove them from the oven and place in a large pot along with the pre-cooked chestnuts, veggie stock, garlic and apple chunks. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes until the apple is soft. Finally, scoop the mixture into a food processor or high-speed blender and whizz until somewhat smooth.  Of course, if you like a chunkier soup, then be sure not to blend the mixture too much.  You can then pour into bowls and top with toasted walnuts and fresh thyme. Delicious!

For more hearty meals and nutrition advice, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!   

How to Make Flora Spread!

Last week I was invited to the Flora Blend Bar in Hertfordshire to create my very own spread using a range of healthy and natural plant-based ingredients! It was a fantastic experience and I’m now super excited to share it with you! You can use this spread for cooking and all of your baking needs. You can even use it as a replacement drizzle on your salads and other meals!

Flora is a popular household name in the UK and they generally make their soft spread with a range of simple ingredients, including buttermilk, plant oils, seed oils and just a pinch of salt! The seed oils which go into flora are mostly rapeseed, linseed and sunflower seed oil! These seeds are an amazing source of omega-3 and omega-6 fats which, as we know, are great for the health of the heart. These fats are also essential in our diet as they help our children to grow and develop properly. They also help the whole family to keep their cholesterol levels low. Flora spreads are also a rich source of vitamin E which is exactly what we need to keep ourselves looking young!

Making the spread with Patrick at Flora was so quick and simple and you can all absolutely do this at home. So, the first ingredient was a combination oil of linseed oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. This was then flavoured with oil made from hazelnuts and almonds as well as some water and carrot juice for colouring. Lemon was also added for freshness and a tiny little bit of salt for additional flavour! Finally, there was a very small amount of cream (regular or plant-based) and just a drop of palm oil.

All you have to do is whip out your hand blender and pour the oil mix into a large jug. You can then turn the hand blender on and pour the water in too. As you continue to blitz, squeeze in the lemon and then a dash of salt. Keep the blender turned on and include the palm oil and cream. Finally, the carrot juice can be included as you continue to blend.

After a few minutes you can stop and then leave in the fridge in an airtight container to cool. Alternatively, if you happen to have an ice cream maker to hand then you can pour your spread into this and let it do its thing!

Dill and Radish Hummous

Making hummous at home is so simple to do and is generally always going to be healthier than the shop bought versions! You have an endless choice of ingredients to include in your hummous recipes and this one is one of my faves!

Radish might not be one of the first things that come to mind when you are choosing how to flavour your hummous but they are great for both taste and nutrition. These veggies have a natural spicy kick to them which is great for soothing sore throats and decreasing the presence of mucus in the body. This also makes them useful in clearing the sinuses and combatting colds. Radishes are also known to be useful in aiding digestion as well as tackling toxins in the body. Add to that they contain a combination of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber and you have a food that is great for the whole body!

Dill is a herb that is also incredibly healthy! It is believed to be useful in aiding digestion, relieving insomnia and helping to prevent certain cancers and respiratory disorders. It is also useful for boosting the immune system as well as helping to alleviate inflammation in the body.

To make a batch of my hummous for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. of tahini
2 Tbsp. of olive oil
5 radishes
A large handful of dill, stems removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
A litte more dill to garnish

All you have to do is put all of the ingredients into your food processor or blender and whizz until smooth and creamy! You can then transfer to a container and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

This hummous is especially perfect for enjoying with carrot sticks or with your favourite bread!

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

The Best Baked Beans

Baked beans are such an amazingly satisfying meal, especially when combined with a crusty chunk of wholemeal bread! Delicious. However, when you buy baked beans from the store, the sugar and salt content can be incredibly high! You might also find other additives and artificial sweeteners lurking in the can which your body simply doesn’t want anything to do with!

That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid this meal entirely as it’s always possible to make your own! My recipe uses cannellini beans and chickpeas combined with a few other nourishing additions to create the Best Baked Beans!

Cannellini beans rank incredibly low on the glycemic index and also score some serious points when it comes to their high antioxidant count. They are full of a range of vitamins and minerals, with an especially impressive magnesium count. Magnesium is important for keeping your blood pressure normal as well as for the health of your bones. Chickpeas are the perfect accompaniment to the cannellini beans as they are a fantastic natural source of protein. Chickpeas are also low calorie as well as low in fat. In fact, one cup of cooked chickpeas contains 4 grams of fat but it is the healthy unsaturated kind!

best_baked_beans_flexi_foodie2To make the Best Baked Beans, grab yourself the following ingredients:

1 x 400g tin cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin chickpeas – drained and rinsed
1 leek, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
3 Large garlic cloves, crushed
200g tomato puree
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
4-6 Tbsp. coconut nectar depending on how sweet you like it.

To begin, melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat before adding in the chopped leek and the crushed garlic. You can then saute the leek and the garlic in the oil for the next ten minutes. After this time, they should begin to go soft.

Next you can add the litre of veg stock into the pan and then the tomato puree and thyme as well. Give this a quick stir and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the pan to simmer with the lid off for the next 45 minutes. By this time the sauce will have become thick. Decide how much of the coconut nectar you want to add into the mix and then place that in the pan with a dash of sea salt and black pepper. You can then remove from the heat and serve into bowls!

best_baked_beans_flexi_foodie3

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.

seven_cancer_fighting_foods_mushrooms_the_flexi_foodie
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!