Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

This salad looks fantastic as a side dish to a main meal at a dinner party but can also make an indulgent meal for one! Not only does it look amazing but it will also do great things for your body due to the wealth of goodness found within! Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that contain a unique range of antioxidants. They are super low in calories at just 28 calories for half a cooked cup! Brussels sprouts are also full of fibre which makes them perfect for digestive health as well as preventing constipation and keeping your colon healthy.

The addition of raisins to this salad not only helps to make it look more interesting but also gives the flavour a nice twist. Raisins are known to improve eye health and the health of your bones so double bonus!

To make a huge portion of this for yourself, you will need the following ingredients:

For the salad:

450g of uncooked Brussels sprouts
2 large handfuls of rocket
A large handful of parsley
100g of toasted pine nuts
A large handful of raisins
A large handful of dried cranberries
1 avocado, sliced or cut into cubes

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. of honey
1 Tbsp. of olive oil

Using a hand grater or mandoline, grate the Brussels sprouts and then add the shaved Brussels sprouts to a large salad bowl. You can then add the rocket, parsley, toasted pine nuts, raisins and cranberries into the bowl too. And, of course, the avocado. Next, in a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the salad. 

This is wonderful and delicious salad where you and your guests will be surprised that Brussels sprouts make such a wonderful meal!  I also find that it is perfect for American Thanksgiving too!

For more healthy recipes like this one plus some great nutrition advice, head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Beans, Beats and Herbs

This colourful dish can either be used as a very light lunch option or alternatively as a fantastic side dish to go with a healthy dinner. Beets are amongst the healthiest foods in the world and they contain a unique type of phytonutrients known as betalains. Research has shown that betalains are amazing for providing antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory support in the body. The combination of these benefits means great things for the health of the cardiovascular system in particular. Add to this that they are also known to be effective in combatting cancer growth and contain high amounts of manganese, potassium, copper and fibre and you are eating an all-round winner!

If you are a fequent follower of my blog then you will know that coconut oil is a favourite of mine – but you might not know why! Well, it is my opinion (and one widely shared) that it is one of the healthiest oils to cook with. It can help with a whole range of things, from aiding weight loss to improving digestion, as well as boosting your immune system and your metabolism.

To make this dish to serve six people, you will need the following ingredients:

8 x beets
Coconut oil
1 x 400g tin of white beans

For the dressing:

2 Tbsp. capers
1 garlic clove
A handful of mint, parsley and basil
1 tomato
The juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper

To get started making this dish, you will first need to preheat your oven to 180C. You must then coat the beets with coconut oil, a splash of water and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. You can then cover the beets with tin foil and roast in the oven for one hour or until the beetroots are cooked through. Once you are sure they are cooked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Next, combine the beets and the white beans in a large salad bowl.

Now it is time to move on to make the dressing! All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. You must then take this mixture and coat the beets and beans with it. Before you serve, you can top with extra mint, parsley and basil as desired – enjoy!

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Blood Orange Sautéed Red Cabbage on Quinoa

Although the British spring has been somewhat of a disappointment so far, I’m optimistic that some great weather is on the way! And with hot weather we need light lunch and dinner dishes that are still as nourishing as bigger meals. That’s why this dish is going to feature on my menu at home as soon as the sun decides to come out and stay out! You can’t log on to a health food website at the moment without being presented with reasons why you should make an effort to eat quinoa frequently. However, the health benefits of red cabbage might not be so familiar to you. This variety of cabbage contains a great deal more phytonutrients than green cabbage and it is thought that the rich concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols plays a preventative role in many diseases. Add to this the massive boost of vitamin C provided by the blood oranges and you’ve got a meal that has an incredible amount of antioxidants and protein. Not to mention the abundance of essential vitamins and minerals amongst many other things!

blood_orange_sauteed_red_cabbage_quinoa1Unfortunately none of the blood oranges I found were as colourful as they usually are but they still taste fantastic! To make enough to feed four people, gather the following ingredients.

Half a red cabbage

Two onions

Four cloves of garlic

One table spoon of fennel seeds

Half a tablespoon of black mustard seeds

Half a tablespoon of white mustard seeds

400g of quinoa

Two bay leaves

Four blood oranges

A few stems of parsley

blood_orange_sauteed_red_cabbage_quinoa12The first thing you’ll need to do is get the quinoa cooking!  400g will equate to approximately two cups so you will need four cups of water to cook it in. So get the water and the quinoa into a pan and cook for approximately 20 minutes. If you can see that it needs additional water at any point then feel free to include!

blood_orange_sauteed_red_cabbage_quinoa15In a separate pan, fry the black and white mustard seeds with the fennel seeds in some coconut oil over a medium heat. As this is heating up, slice an onion and two cloves of garlic. After a few moments, add these into the pan and stir for a few moments. Next, slice half a head of cabbage and then place this in the pan too. Pour a splash of apple cider vinegar over the top and continue to fry.

blood_orange_sauteed_red_cabbage_quinoa9555Take your second onion and chop it into small pieces, fry this in a pan with two cloves of garlic and add 400g of quinoa. Give this a quick stir and then if 20 minutes is up since you started cooking the quinoa then chuck this into the pan too.

blood_orange_sauteed_red_cabbage_quinoa00While your two pans are simmering, juice three of your oranges and segment the other. Sieve the juice to ensure there are no rogue pieces and then pour it into the pan full of cabbage. Stir the contents of this pan for a few moments and then remove the bay leaves from the other. You can then serve the quinoa onto a plate, top with the red cabbage and garnish with a couple of leaves of parsley. You can also add a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste if you desire although this is not essential to make this dish delicious!

Radish Avocado Salad with Chia Tahini Dressing

I’m always looking for quick, easy salads that I can just chop up and whip together and this is one of them.   But lately I’ve been reading about the MANY benefits of radishes and wanted to incorporate them into something yummy and thus this recipe was born.  I get it, radishes aren’t the tastiest of all veggies out there, but combined with a killer dressing or dip, you’re getting a delicious treat with SOOOOOOO many benefits!

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So let’s talk radishes! First of all, they’re kind of pretty to look at and the health benefits are unbelievable……Radishes are a serious Super Hero Food that come in a little package.  Researchers at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University found that radishes induce apoptosis – meaning they kill cancer cells. Compounds called isothiocyanates and anthocyanins are found in abundance in radishes and have been proven effective in the fight against cancer in several studies.  If you have chronic bronchial flare-ups, sinus infections or asthma, radishes can act as a natural decongestant.  They’ve been shown to lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.  The water and fiber content make radishes surprisingly filling, and the lack of calories (19 calories per cup!) puts them at the top of the “best diet” foods. The surprising number of nutrients found in these small vegetables means you aren’t skimping on nutrition while cutting back on fats, sugars and carbs.  So, let’s eat this Super Hero food, like now!

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so if you’re anything like me…. I always wanted to make them work in a recipe but it’s sort of hard, right?  Well, not anymore.  Here is a quick and delicious recipe to whip up for lunch or even for a dinner party!

Serves 3-4

2 cups radishes, diced

1 cup red pepper, diced

large handful of black olives

large handful of coriander, chopped

1 small avocado, diced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 spring onion, chopped

Chia Tahini dressing

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons tahini

1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoons fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon tamari

1 tablespoon agave or honey

pinch of himalayan sea salt

pinch of chill powder

fresh coriander and spring onions for garnish

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In a large pretty bowl add all the ingredients for the salad.  Blend all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  The dressing will be quite thick but when you mix it through the salad it will become thinner.  Toss until well combined and garnish with the coriander and spring onion.  Enjoy!

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Now this is what I call a truly Super Food, Super Hero Salad!  If you like this blog post then why not LIKE my Facebook page or check out my website at www.juliemontagu.com for more healthy lifestyle tips!

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Beetroot, Pear and Walnut Wrap

When I created this recipe, I did it entirely for my 14 year old who prefers to take her lunch to school since she recently proclaimed: ‘I’m Vegan!’  So school lunches at school, are rarely ever vegan…..(as much as I’d like them to be!)  I wanted to create something different for her that was also very portable too.  She does a lot of quinoa salads which is fantastic, but I wanted to surprise her with something truly different.  Being her mom, I knew she liked beetroot, wild rice, avocado, sultanas, pear and walnuts and she also likes her veggie burritos – so that’s why I incorporated a whole wheat tortilla as well.   Think of this a jam packed wrap of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.  Score, score, score.

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Let’s zoom in on Beetroot for a sec…..

These ruby red beets can definitely help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Research has shown that beets can help reduce blood pressure because of a gas that beets produce called nitric oxide which helps to lower blood pressure.  Hurray!  But there’s more…..

Beets are superior in antioxidants…I mean, just look at the colour! Betacyanin, the lovely pigment that gives beetroot its colour, is THE antioxidant.  And remember, antioxidants can help reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL), which in turn protect are amazing artery walls!

Pregnant or wanting to be?  Well, this beet is one of the best sources of folic acid.  And folic acid is essential to the development of the baby’s spinal cord especially during the first three months of pregnancy.  But not only are beets good for the developing baby, but they’re good for the mom-to-be as they contain iron which believe it or not is a fantastic fatigue fighter!

And for those of us worried about osteoporosis….well….beetroot contains the mineral silica which totally helps the body to utilise the calcium we consume.

Beetroot is low in calories and pretty much fat free.  Even though it has a Glycaemic Index of 64, it has an incredibly low Glycaemic Load of 2,9 which in layman’s terms means that it’s converted into sugars very slowly and in turn helps to keep our blood sugar levels at an even keel.

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And now to the creation which makes about 8 wonderful wraps.

For the Beetroot and Walnut paste:

4 – 5 cooked beetroots, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

small handful of coriander

small handful of parsley

50g walnuts

1 tsp. coconut oil

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

himalayan pink salt, to taste

Literally throw everything into your blender or food processor to create your amazing paste.  Transfer to a bowl for later.

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For the Wild Rice Filling:  (Also, you will need 8 whole wheat tortillas!)

200g wild rice

1 tsp. caraway seeds

finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

75g sultanas

100g toasted, flaked almonds

4 large romain lettuce leaves (torn in half)

2 avocados

3 small pears, grated

pink salt, to taste

Bring app. 500 ml of water to a boil and add in the wild rice, caraway seeds and salt.  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until tender and all of the liquid is absorbed.  Allow to cool.  Once cooled, add the lime zest and juice, sultanas and almonds – stir in well to combine!

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To Assemble:

Scoop 2 Tablespoons of the beetroot and walnut filling in the middle of each tortilla and cover with one of the torn romaine lettuce leaves.  On top of the lettuce leaf, place a couple of heaped spoonfuls of the wild rice filling.  Finish off with a couple slices of avocado and grated pear.

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Fold the top and bottom edges over the filling and roll the entire tortilla from left to right to wrap it all up.  Yum, Yum, Yum – you are Done, Done, Done!

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My Plenish Cleanse

When my lovely box of 6 juices for my ONE Day Cleanse last week arrived at the door…. my inner cheerleader came through and this is what I said in my head:  ‘Let’s Go, Let’s Fight, We’re Rockin’ the Gym Tonight!’  Because that is how excited and thrilled this giddy cheerleader was to start her cleanse.  First and Foremost, it must be said that the packaging is totally awesome and it comes chilled and ready to be put in your fridge.  And how cute are the straws?!?  During this cleanse day, I never felt hungry as I was spacing each juice by 2.5 hours.  So, I drank my first one at 8am (after my hot water and lemon tea!), next one at 10:30am, followed by 1pm, 3:30pm, 6pm and last one at 8:30pm.  I then headed to bed early…..9pm! And slept like a baby!

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I ordered the Plenish’s Pick of Green Dream Team which included 3 Mind Body Green and 3 Sweet Sexy Green.  Why is this their pick of the litter?  On their website www.plenishcleanse.com they say: ‘Supplement your regular diet with Plenish’s green juice. Drinking chlorophyll-packed green juice is one of the best things you can do to boost immunity, fight disease, lower acidity and balance pH’.  And after reading that, I was SOLD!

The Mind Body Green has over 5lbs of organic greens (yes, in ONE bottle!) so it really packs a chlorophyll punch while alkalising your body.  What’s in this one, you ask?  Nothin’ but goodness:  Pear, Parsley, Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Ginger, Cucumber and Romaine.  Delicious.

Sweet, Sexy Green is chock a block of antioxidants and calcium and rids your body of toxins!  Hello?!?  How amazing is that!!!  This one is filled with:  Pear, Kale, Celery, Spinach, Broccoli, Cucumber and Romaine. Yummy.

But what’s so awesome about Plenish is that you can do a 1-Day, 3-Day or 5-Day Cleanse and choose from not only the two juices I had, but also Cashew Milk, Pineapple, Spicy Lemonade and Beet Box.  Summer is here, holidays and vacations are right around the corner – so get your body back by doing one of these awesome cleanses!

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If you like this post and green juices then why not LIKE my Facebook page too?  If you are interested in nutrition consultations, head HERE to find out the options that I offer.

Puy Lentils, Sweet Potato & Pomegranate Bake

Lentils have become a real staple in our house.  From red lentils to green lentils and now to puy lentils!  But what has been so amazing about these cute lookin’ discs, is that my 6 year old LOVES them!  In fact, he loves them so much that he practically asks for them every night.  So, we’ve had to get really creative in the ‘lentils’ department to make the dishes fun (and tasty) for all 6 of us!  And this is how and why this particular ‘bake’ was born.  For those of you who sometimes wonder or get asked – like I do – where you get your protein from other than the meat slogan that’s force fed to us, well – this little legume is your answer because…… Lentils have a higher protein content than beef! No joke.

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Lentils may be small but they are a huge player in the legume family.  They are an awesome source of cholesterol-lowering fibre but they also help manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fibre content prevents blood sugar levels from quickly rising after your meal.  But there’s more!  Lentils also provide amazing amounts of 6 important minerals, 2 B-vitamins, and like I mentioned above – the full monty: protein.  And can you believe it, all of that with virtually NO fat!  Just 230 calories for whole cup of cooked lentils.  This tiny nutritional giant fills you up – not out. ImageServes 6!

250g puy lentils

600g sweet potatoes

400ml (1 tin) coconut milk

1 pomegranate

1 red chilli

2-3 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

handful of parsley, to garnish

ImagePre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.  Place the lentils in a small pot, cover with water and bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until al dente.  Drain and then just set aside.

Pierce the sweet potatoes, rub with coconut oil, place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until tender.  Once cooked through, leave to cool but keep the oven on!  Once completely cooled, dice into 1 1/2 inch chunks.

Heat the remaining of the coconut oil in a pan and saute the garlic until soft.  Stir in the lentils, chunked sweet potatoes and spices with the 400ml of coconut milk and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.  Pour this glorious mixture into an ovenproof baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, de-seed and thinly slice the red chilli.  After the 15 minutes, place the sliced red chilli on top of the bake and bake for an additional 5 minutes until those red chillies are a bit charred!

Serve with lots of pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.  YUM!

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Gorgeous Green Glow Smoothie (3GS)

This is IT! I’m totally psyched to share this with you all!  I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my perfect smoothie and one that gives me loads and loads of energy AND makes my skin, hair and eyes glow!  Thus the name:  Gorgeous Green Glow Smoothie!!!!  And once you get this totally going and whizzing away, don’t stop there!  Start adding super cool, super foods like:  wheatgrass, spirulina, bee pollen, camu camu, goji berries, chia seeds, lucuma, cacao, maca, hemp seeds, baobab and SOOOO much more!

But if you’re new to green smoothies and are like, ‘I have no idea where to begin or how to do this…’ Well, why not sign up for my 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge!?!  I’ve helped 100’s of clients get their energy and glow back by simply helping them incorporate green smoothies into their every day life.  I promise you, I will motivate you during the 21-Days and even my inner cheerleader comes through to help get you across that finish line!

Do you answer YES to 3 or more of these questions?

1. Do you wake up in the morning and not feel refreshed?
2. Do you feel unusually tired most of the time?
3. Do you need coffee, soda, or sugary snacks to get going and keep you going?
4. 
Do you feel as if you are aging too quickly?
5. 
Is it a struggle to lose weight in spite of dieting and exercise?
6. 
Do you have gas, bloating, constipation, and/or indigestion?
7. 
Do you often feel depressed or have trouble concentrating and focusing?
8. 
Have you found that little or nothing seems to rejuvenate you?
9. 
Do you lack motivation to accomplish even small tasks?
10.
Do you find that you get ill more frequently and that it takes longer to recover?

What the 21-Day Green Smoothie Detox Will Do For You:

MORE ENERGY!
The more greens people add to their diet, the more enthusiastic and energetic they become! Reducing the demand on your digestive system will boost your physical energy as well as your emotional energy! When your body doesn’t have to process heavy foods and toxins, you will in turn feel energetic and invigorated!

HEALTHIER BODY WEIGHT!
Participants often tell us about weight plateaus that have been broken, workouts that yield better results, and clothes that just become too big! With simple nutrient-dense foods you will feel easily satisfied and overeating is much less likely to happen.

YOUNGER SKIN!
The more greens people add to their diet, the more enthusiastic and energetic they get! Reducing the demand on your digestion will boost your physical and emotional energy! When your body doesn’t have to process heavy foods and toxins, you feel energetic and invigorated!

BETTER DIGESTION
Changing to a diet that consists of fresh food will dramatically improve your digestion! You’ll feel better because food is being processed through your system much more efficiently. What’s going on in the gut has an affect on every part of your overall health and well-being!

BETTER MOODS
You’ll feel less irritable, more interested in spending time with others and less “on the edge of your nerves”. All because your body is feeling rested and peaceful right down to your cells!

BETTER FOCUS
You’ll be able to think clearly, feel more focused and get more done because your attention and energy won’t be tied up with digestion!

You can eat whatever you want, but you just need to drink your green smoothie every morning.

What will I need for the Green Smoothie Challenge?
You need fresh fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, raw nuts and seeds, plant-based milk of your choice, a decent blender and 20 quid and change in your purse, and then you’re ready to ‘sign up for The 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge

Is this a diet? 
Absolutely not.  You can eat what you like, but while you do that – you’re adding more greens to your diet which seriously helps to ‘crowd out’ the unhealthy foods and all of a sudden you become less interested in those ‘old’ eating habits!

When you sign up for The 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge you’ll receive:
• Access to other participants, exchange recipes, get support and make new friends!
• My e-Book of 21 Green Smoothies plus 4 bonus ones!
• Daily emails of Healthy inspiration, additional recipes, some great yoga poses and healthy eating and living tips
• And scroll below to see your bonus gift!

Sign Up Now and I’ll send you this additional bonus for FREE:
An awesome guide to a seven day detox program – recipes included!
This e-book is here to gently and safely guide you to a healthier,
more vibrant, and happier you. So, over  7 days, skip the
animal products and greasy, sugary foods, and enjoy the tastes
and great health that vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains
can bring.

CLICK HERE to find out more about my 21-Day Green Smoothie Challenge!

 

Rhubarb, ApriSquash & Quinoa Stew

R-H-U-B-A-R-B!  It’s in Season!!!!  And it doesn’t have to be put in every single pudding or cake.  Yes, rhubarb can be used in main meals too.  Hurray!  My lovely mother-in-law brought me a huge stash of the rhubarb from her kitchen garden in Dorset and after much contemplating of what to do with it….. this recipe was born.  It’s easy, yummy and super fun to cook.  I say, this weekend, give it a go!

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I’m all about simplicity, so even though this recipe might ‘look’ complicated, I promise you, it’s not.  Here’s what y’all will need!

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

1 Tbsp. cardamom pods

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

800g butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes

5 sticks of rhubarb, sliced

15-20 dried apricots

200g quinoa

3 Tbsp. raw honey

handful of flat leaf parsley, to garnish

ImageStart by heating the coconut oil in a large pan.  Grind the spices in your mortar and pestle to release the fragrance and add to the melted oil, stir for about 5 minutes.  The smell will be divine!  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and blend in to the spices for about 2 minutes.  Add the rhubarb, butternut squash and apricots and again, blend well with the spice mixture.  Next, add the quinoa and 900 ml of water, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the squash is soft.  Season with sea salt and black pepper and stir in the honey.  Serve with an awesome handful of some delicious parsley!

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We all know that rhubarb is great for puddings/desserts/cakes and more.  But what if I were to tell you that it also an amazing nutritional addition to your diet!  It’s often thought of as a fruit, but guess what… it’s a vegetable!  This “plant” contains a fair amount of potassiumvitamin CVitamin Adietary fibre, and calcium.  There are also claims of additional health benefits, such as anti-cancer properties, aiding indigestion, lowering blood pressure, diminishing hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, and reports of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergy properties.  So dig in!

ImageAnd cheers to R-H-U-B-A-R-B!

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Basil, Parsley and Macadamia Nut Pesto

Pesto makes a great accompaniment to absolutely any pasta meal and can give the blandest of dishes a real kick. Many people assume that it’s difficult and time consuming to make but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Although traditionally prepared with a pestle and mortar you can get the same fantastic result from whizzing all the the ingredients together in a food processor! If you follow a plant-based diet then you may not have realised that you can enjoy pesto as much as everyone else due to the standard use of cheese in the recipe.basil, parsley and macadamia nut pesto grassrootsandgrains

With the following selection of ingredients this isn’t something you’ll have to worry about:

 

2 large handfuls of basil (stems removed)
100g of macadamian nuts
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
1/2 of one clove of garlic
100g of olive oil
1 large handful of parsley (stems removed)

basil, parsley and macadamia nut pesto grassrootsandgrains (6)So as mentioned before, all you have to do is combine all of these ingredients together in your food processor and whizz together until you achieve the consistency of pesto! You can then either store in the fridge for later use or include it immediately in your cooking.

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Making your own pesto from home is the best way to really keep track of what you’re putting into your body. Many pesto sauces can be quite fattening so by making you’re own you know exactly what has gone into it! In this instance the high fat level comes from the olive oil however, this is mono-unsaturated fat which is much better for us then saturated or trans fats. Mono-unsaturated fats can actually help lower your blood cholesterol levels too.

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Macadamia nuts are also high in fat but again, it’s the healthy monounsaturated kind. They are also a fantastic source of protein and contain all of the essential amino acids. As you may already know, protein is essential for muscle growth as well as for keeping your immune system healthy. Because of their high antioxidant content, it’s important to include nuts in your diet and the Macadamia variety are a tasty choice!

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Including garlic in your pesto recipe will give it that extra little bit of flavour as well as boosting the nutritional profile. Garlic isn’t difficult to grow for yourself so you can easily have a fresh store at your fingertips. There is an abundance of vitamins and minerals in garlic, such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and manganese. It also contains selenium which helps keep the heart in optimum condition.

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