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 Sprouted Oat and Chia Porridge

Starting your morning with a nutritious breakfast is the best way to equip your body and mind for the day ahead. Oats are an amazing low-calorie choice that are great for many functions in the body, not least the health of your heart! The addition of pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries, chia seeds and chlorella make this a superfood option that packs a wealth of vitamins, minerals and more!

Chlorella has not featured too much in my recipes before. It is a type of algae that is so nutritious that it is often used to make nutritional supplements and medicine. It is available in powder form and as well as being full of healthy essential compounds it is also high in protein and fiber.

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

1 cup of sprouted oats (Rude Health is my favourite for this)
1/4 of a cup of chia seeds
1 cup of water
1 tsp. of chlorella or spirulina
Top with pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and goji berries
*Optional strawberry chia seed jam to garnish

Green Sprouted Oat and Chia Porridge2To get started making this delicious breakfast dish you must first add the water and the oats into a medium sized pan. Turn up the heat and bring the oats and water to the boil before you then leave to simmer for ten minutes. After this time has passed the oats should be soft. At this point you can add the chia seeds into the oats and if it is still not as soft as you desire then leave the oats to simmer for a further five minutes. This will also give the chia seeds a chance to expand.

Once the oats have cooked and swelled, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chlorella.  After a few minutes you can move the oats into a dish (such as this gorgeous bowl and plate from L’Objet!!) and top with pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and goji berries. If you have any of your strawberry chia seed jam left in the fridge from last week then, like my eight year old, you might enjoy adding this to your porridge too!

Follow me on Twitter @juliemontagu for recipes, nutrition information, exercise tips and more!

The Best Natural Skin Masks

When you purchase face masks and skin products from the supermarket, it isn’t uncommon that they will have a long list of ingredients, some of which you may not be familiar with. Unfortunately, not all of these things are going to be as good for your skin as the manufacturer would have you believe. Avoiding toxic chemicals is very important when it comes to the health of your skin. Making skin masks yourself at home is the best way to know what you are using on your body and it’s also not at all difficult.

Lemon

Lemons are full of vitamin C which is great for your skin. Try mixing two tablespoons of lemon juice with a teaspoon of unrefined organic sugar. Then using your hand, rub the mixture into your face. This is amazing for exfoliating the skin and once you wash it off a few minutes later, you’ll notice that your face is brighter and smoother.

Raw Cacao

The caffeine that is present in raw cacao is great for your face as it tightens the skin, not to mention the mass of antioxidants that are present in raw cacao. It is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet and is revered for its cancer combating properties and ability to tackle signs of premature aging.  To get the best results from this miracle ingredient, mix two tablespoons of raw cacao powder with one mashed banana, two tablespoons of ground raw oats and two tablespoons of organic honey. Make sure you mix it together well and then apply evenly to your face. Wait for 20 – 30 minutes before washing off.

Avocado

Avocado is absolutely bursting with Omega fatty acids which work wonders at moisturizing your skin. Not only that, but avocados are full of many all important vitamins and minerals too.  If you have dry skin then the best way to treat it is to combine the flesh of an avocado with a dash of olive oil and leave on the face for 15 – 20 minutes. Be sure to use an organic olive oil or an Extra Virgin variety.

Spirulina

Spirulina is famous for its antibacterial properties which means great things for your pores. It is a member of the algae family and comparably has more antioxidants than blueberries! This is good news for your face if you are trying to reduce the impact of sun damage or are attempting to alleviate blemishes or fine wrinkles.

For a face mask that will leave you looking rejuvenated, add just ½ a teaspoon of spirulina with a mashed banana. You can also add a squirt of lemon juice in for good measure but it’s not essential. After 15 – 20 minutes on the face, rinse away and dry.