Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup

I discovered this recipe on my recent trip to Thailand, where I stayed at the beautiful Amatara Resort in Phuket! When it comes to finding delicious food around the world, Thailand is surely one of the first places that comes to mind.

Although Thailand is widely considered to be the home of many tasty dishes, you might not be aware of just how much of this food is vegetarian or vegan!

This Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup involves absolutely no animal products, making it totally vegan!

The combination of carrots, celery, and ginger in this recipe make it an all-round winner for both taste and nutrition. The inclusion of the macadamia nuts not only helps to give this soup a creamy consistency, but also helps to further enhance the health-boosting properties of this dish.

Macadamia nuts are among the fattiest of all of the nuts, but the majority of this fat is made up of monounsaturated fatty acids. Fats of this variety are known to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Macadamia nuts are also a good source of fibre, with one ounce of these nuts containing over 2g of the good stuff!

Ready to make this dish for yourself? Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Soup

  • 400g carrots
  • 40g celery
  • 50g fresh ginger
  • 100g macadamia nuts, soaked for 4 hours
  • 50g avocado
  • ¾ cup coconut water
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white pepper

Garnish

  • 50g green mango, finely shredded
  • 1 tsp shallot
  • ½ tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Method:

First you must blitz the carrot, celery, ginger and avocado in the food processor and then set aside. Next, blitz the soaked macadamia nuts and coconut water (with some coconut meat too if you have it to hand) until smooth. You can then mix the two bowls of ingredients together – stirring for a few moments.

You then just need a few minutes to whip up the garnish by mixing all of the garnish ingredients in a bowl.

Pour your soup into bowls and mix in the lime juice, salt and white pepper to taste. Garnish with green mango relish and you’re ready to serve!

Raw Carrot and Ginger Soup 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!

Ginger for Good Health!

There are many amazing foods that you can add to your meals in order to enhance the flavour and improve the nutritional value. Ginger is one such thing that is not only loved for its taste, but also for its health boosting properties for both your body and brain.

Whether you use ground ginger or purchase the root and chop, grate or slice it yourself, you will be able to enjoy the many health advantages.

One of the most appreciated uses of ginger is to tackle feelings of nausea, especially those brought on by morning sickness. It is also believed to be effective in reducing vomiting for post-surgery patients and is used regularly by those undergoing chemotherapy.

Ginger can be effective in alleviating muscle pain and soreness following exercise due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Although the effects are not immediate, it will contribute to lowered levels of pain and soreness when used day to day. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger can also help to relieve the impact of osteoarthritis.

Consuming ginger regularly is thought to lower cholesterol levels, which is good news for the health of your heart. High levels of cholesterol can contribute to the onset of heart disease and it is possible to help limit your risk by taking control of your diet!

Now that you know some of the great advantages of including ginger in your diet, let’s take a look at some easy and delicious ways that you can include it in your diet.

Drinking ginger tea is a simple way to enjoy it. You can either buy ready made tea, or you can cut up a chunk of ginger and pour hot water over it. For extra flavour and nutrition you can include a dash of lemon juice.

Adding chunks of ginger to soup is also easy to do and you can use fresh or powdered for similar benefits. If you are going to blend your soup before you eat it then it is effortless to just include large pieces of fresh ginger as it will get blitzed anyway!

Ginger can also be used in moderation in baking and can give an interesting twist to many dishes. Always be sure to follow the recipe when you are using ginger so that you do not overwhelm your dish with this flavour.

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!

Creamy Super Soup

This creamy soup is a super simple way to eat spirulina without having to taste it! If you are a fan of raw foods then just skip heating the soup—it tastes great either way.

If you have heard me talk about spirulina before then it is most likely in a smoothie recipe as it is great for adding a burst of nutrition to smoothies! However, you can also add it into soups to give them a healthy boost. Far from just being good for your body, spirulina is good for your brain too.

Spirulina is a type of bacteria that grows in both fresh and salt water. Its use as a superfood dates all the way back to the Aztecs, and with good reason. Just one tablespoon of spirulina contains an impressive four grams of protein, as well as beneficial amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, copper and iron! It also contains smaller, but still beneficial, amounts of a wide range of other nutrients that the body needs.

Experts have argued that gram for gram, this could actually be the most nutritious food on the planet!

To make this soup for two people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 cups of raw cashew nuts
2 cups / 16fl oz / 450ml of water or vegetable stock
2 cups / 5oz / 140g of kale
2 cups / 5oz / 140g of spinach
1 avocado, peeled and de-stoned
A handful of fresh cilantro (coriander), trimmed
1 inch (2.5cm) fresh root ginger, peeled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tbsp of spirulina
1 tsp of cumin

First you will need to place the cashew nuts and water into your blender and blitz for about five minutes. By this time your mixture should be smooth, but if it’s not then keep going until it is!

Next, add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and continue to blend until everything is completely smooth. This should take between one and two minutes. You can then pour the soup into a medium saucepan and heat on a low heat for 10–15 minutes. Finally, divide into two bowls and serve immediately. As I mentioned before, if you want to consume the soup without heating it up then that is totally fine too!

This is one of the recipes from my book – Eat Real Foods – which was released this week!!! You can order your copy in the UK by clicking here and order your copy in the U.S by clicking here!

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

Black Bean and Tomato Soup

During these hot summer months the last thing you want to do is eat a heavy meal during the day. That is why soup is such a great seasonal option at the moment! It fills you up without leaving you feeling like you have over-indulged. There are countless delicious ready made varieties in the supermarkets, but if you want to be sure that you are getting the nutrition you need then it is best to make your own! Making soup at home is also a low-cost way to cook a large amount that can then be frozen and eaten at a later date.

Making soup with black beans is a fantastic way to thicken the consistency as well as to massively boost the health benefits of your meal. They are very high in protein but contain very minimal amounts of saturated fat and absolutely no cholesterol! They are also crammed full of micronutrients, fiber and those all important antioxidants. So, it is easy to see how regular consumption of black beans can do wonders for your body!

To make a batch of this soup, gather and prepare the following ingredients:

2 cups of cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
400g tin of cooked black beans
1 stalk of celery, chopped
¼ cup of coriander, chopped
2 cups of veg stock
Salt and pepper
Coconut oil

The first thing you will need to do is heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pan and then fry the onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers. When the onion starts to brown, lower the heat slightly and add in the celery and carrots and then continue to fry. As the vegetables start to soften, add in the tin of black beans and the veg stock, You must then stir this pan occasionally for the next ten minutes.

After this time, add in the cherry tomatoes and continue to heat for a further ten minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and then pop it all in your food processor and whiz away until smooth. Pour into bowls, top with the fresh coriander and serve!

For more delicious recipes like this one, head over to Amazon to buy my cookbook!

Almond and Red Lentil Stew

The great thing about lentils, compared to other legumes, is that they don’t require any pre-soaking before you cook with them! This means that you can whip up this stew with minimal fuss and preparation. Lentils are also fantastic because they are generally inexpensive whilst also being high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre but also virtually free from fat! What’s not to love?! Additionally, a cup serving of red lentils contains an impressive 6 milligrams of iron. The average woman needs around 18 milligrams of iron everyday whereas men need only 8, so a cup of lentils helps everyone to be well on the way to reaching this quota!

almond and red lentil stew2To cook this stew up for yourself, you’ll need the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp of coconut oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
250g of red lentils
2 pints vegetable stock
A tsp of dry coriander
A handful almonds

To get started making this stew, the first thing you’ll need to do is heat the coconut oil in a large pan. You can then fry the carrot, leek, onion, garlic and sweet potato in the coconut oil until it has softened. At this point you can then add the lentils in to the pan. The next step is to pour the two pints of vegetable stock into the pan and then add the coriander. Bring this to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes. Just before the end of the cooking time for the stew, in another pan, fry the almonds in a splash of coconut oil for two minutes. You can then serve the lentil stew with the almonds and tomatoes.

Mung Bean Dahl

This dish has a lovely long list of fresh, wholesome ingredients which come together to create a traditionally Indian dish with my personal variations. Dahl is typically made with a combination of lentils and other pulses added together with a range of spices to enhance the flavour and the nutrition! When cooking a dahl, it’s advisable to leave it to do so for a long time to allow the consistency to become just right, so making this dish will take approximately one hour.

Mung beans are one of the most nutrient dense legumes and are also remarkably low in calories. Mung beans are high in dietary fibre and a relatively small serving can quickly leave you feeling full! They are a great choice to include in your diet if you are looking for a food that is high in protein without all that nasty cholesterol! The herbs and spices which are used also pack a healthy punch and bring a unique taste to this dish.

To make enough of my dahl to feed four to six people, find the following ingredients:

200g of mung beans
Coconut oil for frying
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. tomato puree
1 tin x 400g chopped tomatoes
1 litre veggie stock
Coriander, to garnish
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

mung_bean_dahl_the_flexi_foodie2In a large pan, over a medium to high heat, melt a tablespoon of coconut oil. Once this has melted, add the onions, garlic, ginger and all of the spices and saute for approximately five minutes until the onion is soft. Next, add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, mung beans and veggie stock.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 45 minutes. After this amount of time the mung beans should be soft. With a potato masher, begin to mash the mung beans so that roughly half have been mashed. You can then serve into dishes, season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped coriander.

Love this recipe? Then check out more in my first cookboook! SUPERFOODS: The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods.

Green Bean, Courgette and Coconut Soup

This soup is incredibly quick to make and also fantastically filling. It also involves minimal preparation which makes it the perfect choice when you’ve had a long day but still want a healthy choice! Adding coconut milk into a soup will create a creamy consistency that isn’t usually possible when you only use stock.

It is the coconut milk that is responsible for the high levels of nutrients in this soup. When consumed in moderation coconut milk is amazing for your health and can actually help to fight infection in the body. This is because of a compound found within, known as monolaurin, which is antibacterial and antiviral. The most notable benefits of consuming coconut milk are that it is rich in fibre as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. That includes Vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6 as well as iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous!

To make enough soup for 4 – 6 people, find the following ingredients:

600g of courgettes, cut into 1 inch chunks
200g of top and tailed green beans
1 cup (240 ml) of coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) of veggie stock
Radishes and dill, to garnish
Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

green pea courgette coconut soup2

This one is just so so simple to whip up when you’re in a rush! All you have to do is bring a large pot of water to the boil and then add in the courgettes and beans. Boil this pan for 3-5 minutes and then drain and rinse with cold water. Next, in a high speed blender, combine the beans, courgettes, coconut milk and veggie stock. Once this mixture is smooth pour the soup back into a large pot and heat it until it is warmed. you can divide the soup between your bowls and top it with sliced radishes and dill. You can also add a good sprinkling of black pepper and sea salt. Enjoy!

If you want to discover more easy, healthy recipes like this then head over to Amazon to pre-order my first cookbook!

Cashew Corn Soup with Broccoli Puree

This soup is a particular favourite of mine as it is perfect for both lunch and dinner. Making a big batch of it is enough to refuel my husband and I at lunch time and also to fill all four kids up in the evening! The combination of vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices means that it’s not just satisfying the hunger pangs but also really nourishing the body in the process!

Cashew nuts contain an incredible amount of goodness and are especially great for heart health, muscle growth and fighting infection. Add to that the turmeric, which from my previous post, we already know is a health god of spices, and cumin which boasts a massive array of health boosting properties!

cashew_corn_soup_theflexifoodie3The absolute first thing you need to do when making this soup is soak the cashew nuts for at least four or five hours and it’s better if you do it overnight! So before you go to bed put your cashew nuts in a cup and pour in enough water to cover. Leave the cup in the fridge and they will be ready to use in the morning.

cashew_corn_soup_theflexiefoodieWith these ingredients you will make enough for four servings:

Half a cup of cashew nuts
A bunch of broccoli
Six and a half cloves of garlic
One and a half onions
Almond milk
Dairy-free butter
Pink Himalayan salt
Paprika
Cumin
Turmeric
One and a half cups of sweetcorn
One cube of veg stock
Four cups of water

cashew_corn_soup_theflexifoodie5So for the puree, cut one bunch of broccoli into florets; half will be used for the puree and half for the garnish. Boil the florets in water with the cloves of garlic and half an onion. After a few minutes, remove half of the florets and place them in cold water to cool them down until they are cold. Boil the remaining broccoli for a further ten minutes.

cashew_corn_soup_theflexifoodie6Once the broccoli, garlic and onions are boiled, blend them together with a splash of almond milk and a tablespoon of dairy-free butter. Chuck in a dash of salt, a pinch of paprika and half a clove of raw garlic.

cashew_corn_soup_theflexifoodie4Moving on to the soup, fry a chopped onion in some oil over a medium heat with four cloves of garlic. After a few moments, add in a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of garlic and continue to fry. After another minute add in half a cup of the soaked cashew nuts and the one and a half cups of sweetcorn. Now is the time to pour in four cups of water, bring it to the boil and then let it simmer for one hour.

cashew_corn_soup_theflexifoodieAfter this hour has passed, add a cube of veg stock into the pan and continue to simmer for another half an hour. You can now blend it to a fine consistency and add more salt if necessary. Your soup is now ready to be served into bowls. Once you have done so, pour as much puree as you like over the top and also position a couple of pieces of the previously blanched broccoli in the centre of each bowl to decorate. Enjoy!

Seven Clever Ways to get your Kids Eating Leafy Green Vegetables!

Convincing your children that eating healfebruary green smoothie challengethily is a good idea isn’t always the easiest task. When they’re adamant that they’d rather fill their faces with sugar instead of the healthy snack that you’ve prepared for them, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. However, there are many ways to easily incorporate health foods into your child’s diet, without causing a fuss! Here are just seven of my favourites…

Smoothies
Smoothies are easy to make and taste great. Even kids who don’t usually enjoy eating fresh fruit will be happy to drink a smoothie, especially if made to look a bit more enticing with colourful ingredients. You can blend the fruit with some soy milk and even sweeten with honey or natural sugars to satisfy that sweet tooth. Another great bonus of this treat is that you can also chuck some nutritional supplements and also things like kale or spinach into the mix and your child will be none the wiser!

Pasta Sauces simplesauce
Pasta is a simple and inexpensive meal that the majority of young ones will be happy to eat. Sprucing up any pasta dish with a delicious sauce is another great way to get some nutrients into your child’s diet. Making your sauce from scratch is the best way to know exactly what is going into the meal, and this also this allows you to blend in extra vegetables and herbs at your discretion!

If you like this then why not click here to sign up to my newsletter and get my Top Ten Healthy Living and Eating Tips!

Soupred velvet soup grassrootsandgrains8
Soup is a fantastic way to cram a lot of goodness into one meal. Home-made vegetable soups can consist of absolutely anything you want and adding flavours and stock will keep any recipe tasty. Garnish with a selection of herbs before you serve for an extra dose of nourishment.

Kale Chipsimages
Kale chips are an interesting and nutritious alternative to potato chips and make the perfect snack between meals. They are so easy and quick to make that you can whip them up fresh whenever your young ones get peckish.

15649993-assortment-of-salad-dressing-bottlesSalad dressing
There is a massive variety of salad dressings that can be made with leafy green vegetables. To do this it’s best if you have a high powered food processor to properly blend everything together. Fresh spinach leaves are excellent for including in a salad dressing and it’s also easy to add in absolutely any herb to compliment the flavour.

Substituteburgers-0605p35b-l
There are some very high quality vegetable burgers in the supermarkets these days, try substituting any meat products your children are eating for a veggie alternative. There is a lot of protein to be found in leafy green vegetables so there’s absolutely no need to worry that your children are missing out by not eating meat!

Purees
If your child is still young enough to be eating pureed food then it’s easy to combine leafy vegetables into any meal. This also works for older children. For example blended broccoli is easily disguised into mash potato and you can chuck any vegetable into the blender with tomatoes to make pizza sauce. images

Remember, you don’t always have to be sneaky to encourage your children to eat healthier foods. Often leading by example is a great way to show them that nutrition doesn’t have to be boring. Also, making every meal time fun and creative is a brilliant way to get children excited about food. Use your imagination when it comes to nutrition and they’ll use theirs!