Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

This incredible salad is the last of the amazing dishes that I discovered during my stay at the Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand! It takes just a few moments to throw together and is an iconic dish from this beautiful country.

The salad itself contains an abundance of ingredients that pack a healthy punch, and the pumpkin seed garnish gives it an extra nutritious boost! Also, if spicy isn’t really your thing then you can always make this salad without the addition of the chilli!

Pumpkin seeds are rich in healthy fats, as well as being an excellent source of magnesium and zinc. Studies have suggested that regularly consuming pumpkin seeds could help to keep your blood pressure down and to promote an optimum sleep cycle.

Papaya is another exciting ingredient from this exotic dish, and may not be one that you consume often! Papaya is a rich and colourful source of nutrients, in fact – it has one of the highest vitamin C counts of all of the fruits! It is also an excellent source of potassium, beta-carotene, and lycopene! As well as being a delicious addition to salads, you can also simply enjoy this fruit on its own, or as a juice!

Ready to make this salad for two people?

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 50g long beans, sliced diagonally in 1-2cm pieces
  • 100g green papaya, fine julienne
  • 50g carrot, fine julienne
  • 10g chilli, fine julienne
  • 10g coriander leaves

Dressing

  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp coconut nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 5g garlic, minced

Garnish

  • 10g pumpkin seeds

Method:

Place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Next, to make the dressing, mix lime juice, coconut nectar, sea salt, garlic and tamari soy sauce together. You can then pour the dressing over the salad and mix lightly.

Serve your salad onto plates and garnish with a few pumpkin seeds. So simple!

Raw Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad 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!

Julie’s Vegan Pizza

If your kids are anything like mine, then there’s a good chance that pizza is one of their favourite dishes. The problem with a lot of store bought pizzas is that they can be high in fat, high in calories, and also contain additional additives and preservatives that aren’t going to do your health any favours!

My recipe for vegan pizza is a simple way to create a fresh, healthy pizza that the kids will still love – all four of mine certainly do!

If you are interested in receiving a downloadable version of this recipe straight to your inbox then enter your email!

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The bases that I recommend are the stone-baked variety from BFree Foods. In case you didn’t catch my last blog post, I’m now a Brand Ambassador for this incredible company,! BFree Foods provide allergen-free foods so that more people can enjoy amazing tasting dishes!

To make two pizzas, you will need the following ingredients:

    • 2 BFree pizza bases
    • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced long-ways
    • 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced long-ways
    • 10 stalks of tender-stem broccoli
    • 2 handfuls of rocket
    • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 2 heaped Tbsp of tomato paste
    • 2 white onions, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
    • 2 tsp of paprika
    • 2 Tbsp of pine nuts
    • Olive oil
    • Agave syrup

Begin by pre-heating your oven to 200C and preparing all of your ingredients.

Take the sliced onions and fry at a medium to high heat with a splash of olive oil. Once the onions have begun to soften, which should take around five minutes, you can then add one tablespoon of agave syrup. This will allow the onions to caramelise, so leave them to do their thing for a further few minutes. After this time, you can remove them from the heat and set aside.

Next, in a food processor, whizz the tinned tomatoes with the tomato paste and one tablespoon of the agave syrup until smooth. Set this aside as you’ll be using it as your red sauce.

Place the red and yellow peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them. Roast in the oven for ten minutes, as they just start to get soft.

Place the broccoli in a shallow pan and cover with 2cm of water. Heat at a medium heat for just five minutes. You can then drain and remove from the heat.

Now it’s time to create your pizza!

Slather the BFree pizza base with your red sauce, top with the caramelised onions, red and yellow peppers, and the broccoli. Each pizza should then get a tablespoon of pine nuts and a sprinkle of paprika!

Cook for 10 minutes (pine nuts will be perfectly toasted) and once out of the oven, top each pizza with a handful of rocket. Enjoy!

BFree Foods Pizza Julie Montagu Vegan

Don’t forget to check out the BFree Foods website for these pizza bases, as well as to see the other amazing foods that they have in their range. You can also like their Facebook page to stay up to date with what they’re up to!

Winter Immune System Health

As the winter season begins to settle in it becomes all the more important that we pay attention to the health of our immune systems. Consciously supporting your immune system should be seen as giving yourself a helping hand to stay healthy through the winter, and always close to the top of your priority list! 

There are several small things that you can do to give this aspect of your health a boost, and doing so can not only protect your body from illness, but will also help you to maintain your positive mood. When we begin to get ill our happiness can suffer, and this can lead to increased levels of stress as we struggle to find the energy and the motivation to get things done. This can become a cyclic problem as higher levels of stress can further compromise the immune system!

Get to Bed

Getting enough sleep can sometimes feel impossible. We all have our different reasons for not always getting an adequate amount of good quality sleep at night – but whatever your reason, it is important for the health of your immune system that you work to resolve the problem.

You can try going to bed earlier, avoiding caffeine or other dietary stimulants in the evening, meditating before bed and creating a more peaceful sleeping environment for yourself.

Eat for Digestive Health

The health of your digestive system is closely connected to your immune system function, and this is something I discussed in my previous article on Gut Health and your Diet.

Cutting out highly processed foods and those that are high in sugar is a great place to start. Additionally, taking a daily probiotic can help to encourage the presence of good bacteria in the gut.

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

Pay Attention to Vitamin D

Vitamin D is most commonly known for its role is protecting bone health, but it is also important for the health of your immune system. Your body naturally creates vitamin D from the sun, and getting outside into the sunshine is a simple way to make sure you are producing enough. However, this can become a problem during the winter months due to the grey weather and shorter days.

Fortunately, many foods are fortified with vitamin D and it also occurs naturally in quite a range of foods. Therefore making the extra effort to include vitamin D rich produce during the colder months will help to keep your immune system functioning properly.

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!

Fall Recipes with the Natural Gourmet Institute

Last week you may have caught my Facebook Live in collaboration the Natural Gourmet Institute! This was a super exciting session during which I prepared two delicious recipes from my first cookbook – Superfoods: The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods. Continue reading Fall Recipes with the Natural Gourmet Institute

24 Hours of Self-Care

As you all know, I’m all about self-care and making it a priority. I talk, write and dream a lot about those small moments of self-care that we should incorporate into our everyday life. Continue reading 24 Hours of Self-Care

Chilli, Lime, Sweet Potato and Rice Bowl

This rice bowl is another one of my super simple to make recipes that doesn’t take much time at all to create! It’s essentially a selection of some of my favourite foods combined to make a delicious lunch or dinner option.

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If you know me then you will know that I LOVE all things hot and spicy – but that doesn’t mean that you have to spice yours up if you don’t want to!

The following recipe makes enough to serve two to three people – depending on how big you want your bowl to be.

Ingredients:

  • 125g of cooked brown rice
  • 400g of cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • A handful of cashew nuts
  • 2 small handfuls of pumpkin seeds
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Tamari soy sauce
  • 1 lime, sliced in half
  • Maple agave (or your favourite natural sweetener)

Method:

Start by preheating your oven to 200C or 400F. Next, place your sweet potato chunks on an oven tray and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them. Roast the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes.

Place the cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds in a separate oven dish and roast with the potatoes for the final seven minutes of the 20 minutes.

While the sweet potato and the nuts and seeds are roasting you can turn your attention to making your salad dressing. For this you will need to place the ginger, the red chilli, and the garlic in a bowl. You can then take the lime halves and squeeze as much juice as you can into the bowl. Add four tablespoons of olive oil to the mix with two tablespoons of the tamari soy sauce and two tablespoons of the maple agave – or your favourite natural sweetener! Whisk the contents of the bowl together.

Next, take a large handful of the rice and place into each bowl, alongside a large handful of the sweet potato and the black beans and the nuts and seeds. You can then pour the salad dressing over the top of each bowl and sprinkle with coriander.

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

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!

B12 and a Plant-Based Diet

Although the majority of our nutritional needs can actually be met reasonably easily on a plant-based diet, this is not always true of B12. This essential vitamin is most commonly found in meat and dairy products. If you are following a plant-based diet then it is a great idea to take the following advice into consideration so that you do not experience a deficiency in this essential vitamin!

Vitamin  Deficiency

If you do not consume an adequate amount of B12 then you run the risk of damaging your nervous system, as well as experiencing fatigue, muscle weakness, and even problems with your memory! A deficiency can take several years to present itself and can be difficult to recognise or diagnose. However, this is more the case in adults rather than children, and B12 deficiency in children will present itself more rapidly. Health problems that are caused as a result of low levels of B12 can usually be treated and reversed by working to meet the daily recommended allowance. 

If you follow a diet that is primarily focused on raw foods then it is all the more important that you work to avoid a deficiency in this vitamin, as you will naturally be exposed to it much less.

Sources of B12

The only reliable ways to get an ample amount of vitamin B12 on a plant-based diet are to either take supplements or eat foods that are fortified with B12. Fortunately the latter of these two methods has become much simpler in recent years as more foods are fortified with this vitamin. These products include plant-based milks, soy products and a variety of cereals.

If you are opting to take a supplement to ensure you meet your vitamin B12 quota, then you should aim for either 10 micrograms every day, or a once weekly supplement of 2000 micrograms.

B12 Consumption

If you are getting your B12 through fortified foods then it is advisable to do so regularly, as your body absorbs it best in small amounts. However, it is also worth remembering that there is no harm in exceeding the recommended amount. So, when considering your B12 intake – more is always better!

A healthy, varied diet that includes a large selection of whole, natural foods is the best way to avoid a deficiency of any kind.

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!

Healthy Festive Food

Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make. And, it is no coincidence that this is a common idea following the festive season! Many of us use this time of year as a great excuse to cast our healthy eating ambitions aside and indulge instead!

The burst of new diets and exercise regimes in January are of course great for improving health. However, if you want to avoid having to make a dramatic change to your eating habits or activity levels in the New Year, then the best idea is to eat healthily during the festive season. That way you will have no extra weight to contend with and can start 2017 with a more positive focus!

Although Christmas is undoubtedly a time of year when there is an abundance of high sugar and high calorie foods everywhere, it is also a great time of year to experiment with healthy cooking.

Plant-Based Alternatives

Keeping meat off the table is a good way to avoid the unhealthier aspects of the festive season. And, it is super simple to create plant-based alternatives to traditional meat dishes! If you have never made a Nut Roast at home before then you are definitely missing out on a delicious plant-based meal that is also incredibly good for you. There are several amazing recipes online that you can also customise yourself to make it more to your taste.

Eat Your Veggies

With all of the meals you cook or attend during the Christmas season, there is no excuse not to pile your plate high with veggies! If you are cooking yourself at home then make sure you grill or boil your vegetables in order to keep them as healthy as possible, and avoid using too much oil or salt. You can never cook too many vegetables at Christmas as anything left over can be used to make a vegetable mash the next day!

Healthy Desserts

Creating alternative healthy desserts, instead of snacking on pre-made mince pies and Christmas puddings, is a great way to avoid over-doing it. This is also a great way to sneak some superfoods into your dessert options, such as by making my Banoffee Pudding or my Lentil Brownies!

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 this Christmas!