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!

Blueberry and Chia Spelt Muffins

Healthy treats are my favourite things to make and my four children seem to enjoy it too! My love of healthy treats is due to the fact that I enjoy the challenge of making something that tastes amazing that is also great for the body! My Blueberry and Chia Spelt Muffins definitely tick both of those boxes and don’t take long to make.

Blueberries are a tasty superfood that are perfect for using in muffins because of the colour and the flavour that they provide. They are so good for you because they contain high levels of antioxidants that work to protect our bodies and prevent cell damage. Research also suggests that blueberries can improve your memory and cognitive function when eaten regularly. As with all foods, I would recommend the organic kind for maximum health benefits but if you can’t get hold of them then regular blueberries will still do wonders for your body!

To make a delicious batch of my muffins for yourself you will need the following ingredients:

2/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp. chia seeds mixed with 6 Tbsp. water (allow to absorb for 10 minutes)
1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

IMG_1005First you will need to preheat the oven to 180C/375F. Next you must line a muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Then, in a large bowl, add in the coconut sugar and then stir in honey, chia mixture, almond milk and vanilla.

In a second large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then stir the spelt flour mixture into the chia mixture until it is combined well. The next stage is to gently stir in the blueberries. Finally, spoon the batter into muffin liners and then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. This should take about 30 minutes. You can then leave to cool briefly before you enjoy or even share!

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!

Discover These Superfoods in 2015!

The list of superfoods continues to grow as we discover new and interesting foods that are amazingly good for our health! With so many to choose from, it is easy to include at least one in our daily diets and the range of food types and flavours means there is something for every taste and recipe. Here are some of my favorite superfoods that you might not have tried before! If not, then your body will definitely thank you for giving them a go this year!

Dandelion Greens

DandelionDandelion greens are a rich source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, copper, manganese and also contain an abundance of antioxidants. It is also evident that these amazing greens contain more protein per serving than spinach. You can eat them raw but if you prefer not to then they are also fantastic for adding into smoothies! Dandelion greens are extremely low in calories and are also believed to aid the liver in the detox process. Research has shown that dandelion greens have the potential to help in reducing the risk of certain cancers and certain age-related diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Their use in protecting against strokes is also being explored. You can buy organic dandelion greens at health food stores but it is also possible to go and forage for them yourself! If you do so then be sure you are picking greens that haven’t been treated with pesticides or any other contaminants.

Kelp

kelpKelp comes from the ocean and is such an amazing source of so many nutrients! There is at least 70 minerals contained within, not to mention various enzymes and other health boosting components! The high number of minerals in kelp is thanks (in part) to the sea water and sea soil in which it grows. Eating the same regular vegetables everyday can become tedious and kelp is a great way to introduce some originality to meal times! It can be added to salads, blended into soups or eaten alongside any main meal. With just over 40 calories in a 100g serving, this superfood is low fat and high in protein. It is thought to be of particular use to those suffering with high blood pressure or poor cardiovascular health.

Black Rice

CaptureRiceBlack rice isn’t seen very commonly in the supermarket but it is actually one of the healthiest foods available and well worth seeking out! The antioxidant count of black rice is incredibly high and this is actually where the colour of this rice comes from. These antioxidants are of the same group as those found in blueberries! This superfood contains impressive amounts of anthocyanin. This is a compound which is known to lower the risk of heart attacks occurring as well as helping to control bad cholesterol levels. Black rice is lower in calories when compared to brown and white rice and is also lower in carbohydrates whilst being high in protein

Add them to your shopping list and find out for yourself just how great they are!

Almond Butter Granola Balls

These nutritious little balls are fantastic for carrying around with you and snacking on during the day. They also make great after-meal additions and can really help the body to get the amount of goodness it needs throughout the day. Add to that, that they are incredibly simple to make and will last for weeks when stored properly and you’re onto a winning snack idea!  Continue reading Almond Butter Granola Balls