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!

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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!

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

Anxiety and your Diet

Choosing which food we will nourish our bodies with is among the most important decisions that we will make each day. With our dietary choices we have the potential to either heal or harm ourselves, and this is particularly true when it comes to anxiety.

Research has shown that certain foods can exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety, whereas other foods have the potential to combat and ease these feelings. If anxiety is something that is affecting your life in some way then taking notice of the following tips could go a long way to helping you overcome it!

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress. It is a precursor to serotonin, which is extremely beneficial for promoting feelings of calm and happiness.

Tryptophan naturally occurs in several plant-based foods, most notably in bananas, oats, peanut butter and sesame seeds.

Vitamin B

There is much research to suggest a connection between the various B vitamins and the mood. In fact, a deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to a low mood, anxiety and even depression.

Eating a range of foods that contain B vitamins is the best way to enjoy the many benefits of this vitamin group. Good foods to include are leafy green vegetables, oranges, nuts, spirulina, watermelon, spinach, rice and legumes.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often get a bad rep in the wellness world, but they are actually great for increasing serotonin production. Whole grain carbohydrates are the best choice and you should make an effort to avoid processed carbs, such as white rice and white bread.

When you eat whole grain carbohydrates it takes a while for your body to break them down, and this means that sugar is being released into the bloodstream relatively slowly. This is great for consistent energy levels as well as consistent mood.

The best things to include are brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat pasta and legumes.

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dietary choices that encourage feelings of anxiety!

Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and energy drinks, are often favoured for the quick burst of energy that they can provide, but after the high comes the inevitable crash – and this can impact your mood as well as your energy levels! Furthermore, studies have shown that the presence of caffeine can actually inhibit serotonin production. This can quickly cause you to be more prone to feelings of irritability, anxiety and depression!

This month on my wellness for women community website we are talking about the best ways to avert anxiety! You can click here to join us now and start on your journey to a happier, healthier version of yourself!

A Daily Dose of Epsom Salt

This is a favourite of mine that sadly seems to have declined in popularity in recent years. Epsom salt is more likely to be something your parents tell you about rather than something you have come across yourself. This mineral compound is made from sulphate and magnesium and has been used for many hundreds of years to treat a wide selection of minor health issues. As well as being used to cure ailments, Epsom salt can be used for various other reasons such as for beauty as well as around the home and garden.

One of the most common reasons people use Epsom salt is to alleviate stress. Stress can often be caused by heightened levels of adrenaline as well as a magnesium deficiency. Drawing yourself a hot bath and dissolving Epsom salt in the water will easily allow your skin to absorb it and this will replenish your magnesium levels. In turn, the magnesium helps to produce serotonin which is great for lifting your mood. In addition to this, it is thought that bathing in Epsom salt at least three times every week will increase your energy levels. Approximately two cups of the salt should be enough for each bath! You will note that after several of these baths, the Epsom salt will also put a stop to any unwanted foot odour.

Eliminating toxins from your body is another fantastic function of Epsom salt. Again, add two cups to your bath and bathe for at least ten minutes every time. The salt will draw toxins out from the body and you will soon notice any existing muscle pain beginning to ease. This pain relieving property isn’t restricted to just muscle aches and you can also use Epsom salt to treat any headaches or migraines that you might be experiencing.

Your skin has much to gain by incorporating this salt into your beauty regime. For example if you mix just one cup with a tablespoon of coconut oil, then you can apply this to your face as an exfoliating cleanser.  You can also make an effective blackhead remover solution by adding a teaspoon of Epsom salt to three or four drops of iodine and mixing with half a cup of boiling water. While it is still hot, use this mixture to wipe over any blackheads and notice the change!

If you prefer to put this salt to use around the house then you will find that it is fantastic for cleaning the tiles in your bathroom. To do so you will have to combine an equal amount of salt to a liquid detergent (any of your choice) and scrub away. Make sure you rinse well afterwards and you will really see them shine! It is also possible to sprinkle a dash of Epsom salt over your plants and grass areas once a week to promote healthy growth and appearance. The extra dose of magnesium will encourage greener grass as well as giving supplemental nutrients to all of your plants!

To discover more great ways to cleanse your body, don’t forget to enter my Radiance Cleanse competition!