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

Fruit & Fructose

If you have been following my blog for a while then the chances are you will have often heard me speak of the dangers of consuming refined sugars!

It is widely acknowledged that too much of the sweet stuff can lead to weight gain, heart disease, disruption of the hormones, fluctuating energy levels, premature ageing of the skin and more! What’s more, is that refined sugar is added in excess to many of the processed and packaged foods that are easily available in the supermarket!

One of the most contentious points up for discussion when it comes to sugar is whether the natural sugars from fruit should be considered ‘bad’ as well!

Fruit contains glucose and fructose – both of which are simple sugars. Glucose can be used by the majority of the cells in your body, but only your liver is able to metabolise fructose.

If you are eating large amounts of fruit, and therefore consuming high levels of fructose, then your liver may have a hard time working through it all. This can then lead to excess fructose being stored as fat in the body. Furthermore, this can also lead to the onset of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Eating fruit provides a wealth of health benefits thanks to the delicious amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients contained within. However, because of the natural sugars that are present, many fruits should be enjoyed in moderation.

There are some fruits that you can enjoy without worrying too much about the fructose content, such as avocados, kiwis, pears and berries. However, fruits that are especially high in sugars, such as grapes and mangoes, should be included only in small amounts.

It should be noted that if you are a very physically active person then you have much less to worry about when it comes to fructose in fruit. This is because when the body is active, it is much better equipped to handle simple sugars. So, if you want to continue to enjoy the fruits that you love without being overly concerned about fructose, then be sure to engage in an ample amount of exercise!

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!

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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