Ten Minute Rainbow Crudités

We are often told that in order to eat for optimum health we need to get the rainbow into our diets – and this is something I absolutely live by!

This dish is my twist on a popular traditional French appetiser. It is absolutely perfect to serve at any party, and can also be served as the starter before a dinner.

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My Rainbow Crudités is super easy to make and as with many of my recipes, you can make this one in ten minutes or less! Also, you will probably find that you already have the majority of these ingredients in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

For the crudités

  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into sticks
  • 1 gem lettuce, trimmed and pulled apart
  • A handful of raw green beans, trimmed and chopped
  • A handful of radishes, cut in half
  • 1 apple, sliced

For the dip

  • 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 2 spring onions, chopped (save one for garnish)
  • The juice of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

Method:

Once you have prepared the crudités then the next step is to make the dip. You can do this by simply adding all of the ingredients (except one spring onion and the chilli flakes) into your food processor for around one minute. You can then move your dip into a bowl and sprinkle it with the chopped spring onion that you put aside and the chilli flakes.

Serve your crudités on a large plate next to your dip and tuck in!

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

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

Prioritising Plant-Based Foods

We all know that there is much to be gained health-wise from including more fruits and vegetables in our diets. You do not have to always be eating the latest superfoods in order to stay healthy, and there is an abundance of goodness to be found in common fruits and vegetables.

If you know how great these plant-based foods can be but struggle to include them in your diet, then the following tips can help you overcome this problem.

Learn to Love Salad

Salad is something that you may more commonly enjoy as a side dish than a main meal, and adjusting your thinking on this is encouraged! There are many amazingly filling and super healthy salad recipes that you can enjoy regularly as a main meal. Doing so will go a long way to ensuring that you eat more greens, as well as all the other exciting fruit and vegetables that you can easily include in a salad.

Say Yes to Healthy Snacks

Snacking on junk food late at night is where many dieters find their downfall to be. Making the decision to only snack on fruit after dinner, instead of trying to avoid snacking entirely, is a great way to satisfy your cravings whilst also nourishing your body. Frozen bananas are a particularly good choice for those with a sweet tooth, and they can be enjoyed with a light topping for extra flavour, such as peanut butter or maple syrup.

Fresh Fruit for Breakfast

The majority of breakfast dishes can be very well complimented by the addition of one piece or more of fresh fruit. Try adding berries to your cereal, avocado to your toast or cherry tomatoes to your eggs. Whatever your go-to breakfast dish is, the chances are you will enjoy it even more once it is accompanied with some plant-based goodness!

Mix Up Your Smoothies

Smoothies are a simple and delicious way to consume several portions of fruit and vegetables at one time. If you primarily make your smoothies with fruit then the time has come to throw some vegetables into the mix. Try carrots, beets and fennel to get started!

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!

Green Goddess Soup

If you have made my Green Goddess Salad Bowl before then you will know how delicious and nutritious dishes with the Green Goddess label are! This soup is absolutely bursting with flavour thanks to the amazing ingredients it is created with.

Purple sprouting broccoli is great to use in cooking and is in season in the UK from January to May. When you select yours, make sure it is fresh and firm, as opposed to being dried out, as this makes for the best taste! Broccoli is thought to help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure and help to protect against cardiovascular disease – with several studies to support these ideas! Broccoli is especially high in vitamins A and C as well as folate, fibre and calcium!

To make a big batch of this soup, you will need the following ingredients:

1 litre of veggie stock
200g of silken tofu
250g of purple sprouting broccoli
2 good handfuls of Swiss chard and kale
1 heaped Tbsp. of white miso
Sea salt and pepper to taste
A large handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted

IMG_4796To get started, bring the veggie stock to the boil and then add in the broccoli.  You can boil the broccoli in the stock for five to seven minutes until the broccoli becomes soft. At this point you can lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Once the stock is simmering, add in the tofu, Swiss chard, kale and white miso. Continue to simmer for another ten minutes and season with the pepper and sea salt. The next step is to either transfer the contents of the pan into your high speed blender, or simply use a hand blender to puree in the pan. You can then pre-heat your grill, place the pumpkin seeds on the top tray and toast for five to seven minutes. Finally, spoon the green soup into four bowls and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Also, if you like, you can add the red colourful stems of the chard as a garnish too!

For more great recipes like this, as well as extensive information about optimum nutrition, 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!

Superfoods for Seniors!

Food is one of the most enduring and consistent parts of our lives – and the old adage “You are what you eat” has never been truer, especially for seniors looking to improve their diets and their bodies.

As we get older, there’s a certain tendency to wonder if healthy eating still matters – after all, we may not have long to experience any effects, right? That’s true, but our daily nutrition still has a major impact on how well our body functions. Today, we’re going to look at a collection of fantastic superfoods for seniors that could help reduce the chances of certain medical issues.

How To Make A Super Meal

Before that, though, we need to know how to make a great meal. Blueberries are fantastic for getting dietary fiber and antioxidants, but a meal consisting of nothing but these tiny blue marvels wouldn’t be a good idea. Instead, let’s think about combining these foods with a few simple recipes.

The Super Salad

Start with a base of Kale, whose impressively high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can help fight off pain in your joints. Top with a handful of Blueberries, as fresh as you can get them, and a small handful of Walnuts. Add your favorite dressing, and congratulations – you’ve just created a super salad that’s full of nutrition.

The Ultimate Smoothie

It takes practice to make smoothies just by eyeballing them, and we all prefer to drink different amounts – so think about proportions, not size. Once you’re ready to start, pour in equal amounts of pomegranate juice and acai juice – making sure you’ve got actual juice, not merely a fruit-flavored sugary drink. Add some ground flaxseed (whole seeds aren’t nearly as nutritious), greek yogurt, and as much fresh fruit as you’d like. This last one will determine the ultimate thickness of your drink – if you prefer meal replacement smoothies, the fruit should make up at least half the drink.

The Easiest Dinner

While cooking a slice of salmon in the oven, arrange a set of beans and an avocado on your plate. For added value, you can add some pumpkin seeds to the beans – mixing them in to make the meal even healthier while adding a nice degree of crunch. Every part of this meal is packed with nutrients that will help boost your body up, giving you the energy you need to continue enjoying your life.

Mixing It Up

These recipes focus on packing as many superfoods into your diet as possible, but they’re far from the only way to do things. For example, you could also mix greek yogurt and blueberries into a bowl of steelcut oats, topping the whole concoction with chia seeds – or you could make superfoods a part of your meals instead of the focus. Other foods also have nutritional value, and it’s important to have a balanced diet.

To get the most benefit, though, you’ll need to get up and move around as best you can – summer activities are particularly helpful for staying active and allowing the body to process nutrients, though it’s important to avoid excessive heat, which is one of the most significant dangers to any senior. Activities should be enjoyed in the morning or evening hours – or at least somewhere that has air conditioning.

How Much Do Superfoods Cost?

That depends on a wide variety of factors, including the season, your geographic location, and various matters in agriculture and business. However, most superfoods are widely available at grocery stores and supermarkets, and many of them can be purchased in bulk at a reasonable price. You don’t have to destroy your savings just to eat healthy foods – so go ahead, take a look around, and start making a plan to add these fantastic treats to your diet!

This post was a contribution by Felicity Dryer. Check out her infographic below!

Originally born in Flagstaff, Arizona, Felicity Dryer was raised by her parents (more or less modern-day hippies) to always make her health a top priority. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a freelance health writer, and continues to help those seeking encouragement to keep moving forward to achieve their goals. @FelicityDryer

SeniorSuperfood+(updated)

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

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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