Recipe: SQUASH TOAST WITH ALMOND BUTTER, COCONUT & FRESH BERRIES (gluten, grain, dairy & sugar free, vegan)

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This is such a yummy healthy breakfast or dessert! Quick to prepare and cook, so no reason to choose cheap, nasty, sugar-laden breakfast cereals or prepackaged puddings over this delight!

You can choose winter or summer squash as both are loaded with vitamin C & A, and have a small impact on your blood sugar. Furthermore, cooking the squash in the stable fat options below means the already low starches and sugars are taken slowly into the bloodstream. The reason I’ve chosen to cook the squash in either coconut oil, butter or ghee instead of vegetable oils or margarine spreads is that heating unstable vegetable oils causes havoc on our systems. Not only do oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola increase the likelihood of having fat stored on your body, but they also stimulate an inflammatory response in the body (water retention, painful and stiff joints, thickened arteries, etc). In addition, remember while olive oil is a brilliant vegetable oil, you must avoid using when cooking with high temperatures – stick with the suggestions I’ve listed below:

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Ingredients (serves 1):

1/4 squash (the end without the seeds)

1 TBSP almond butter

1 TBSP coconut oil / ghee /butter

3 TBSP desiccated coconut

handful of blueberries

Pinch of pink salt

Preparation:

Preheat two pans (one small, one large) on a low heat or if you’re grilling switch the grill on to 180 deg

Directions:

Thinly slice into the top end of the squash, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread. Cut as many slices as you feel hungry for (I usually cut around 4 pieces that are around 1/2cm thick).

To the small pan add the desiccated coconut and stirring occasionally toast this for the duration of time you’re frying the squash.

Spread coconut oil on both sides of the squash pieces.

 To the large pan add the squash pieces and turn the heat up to a high medium (or place under the squash pieces under the  oven grill). Fry (or grill) for 5 minutes, then flip the squash pieces over and toast the other side.

Plate the squash toast,  spread generously with almond butter and add a pinch of salt. Then to finish, dress with the toasted desiccated coconut and  blueberries.

Enjoy!

Variations:

A quicker version – pre-cook the squash in hot water for a couple of minutes then pan-fry on a high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Keep the desiccated coconut un-toasted.

A more filling version – substitute berries for sliced banana

A more decadent version – serve with raw cream, coconut cream or yoghurt.

For the carnivores – add 2 rashers of bacon chopped into small pieces and fried until crispy (this is delicious!)

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Recipe: SEASONS CHANGING SALAD! (gluten, grain, dairy & sugar free, vegetarian)

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It’s a transitional time for us all at the moment – whether shifting into Spring or Autumn/Fall, this half-cooked / half-raw salad should help ease into whatever the weather is bringing for you next. What I love about this salad is the combination of protein, fats and fresh greens. During seasonal changes some people can really struggle to digest raw vegetables and others can find fats and starchy root vegetables to cause bloating and gas. So striking a balance between ingredients and the manner in which they are prepared can make all the difference.

In this salad coconut and olive oils will provide high quality fats; protein from the egg will satiate, nourish and provide a strong source of building blocks; the greens will boost your nutrient and vitamin count, and their fibre will help clear out your gut on their way through; and the apple cider vinegar and sauerkraut provide excellent probiotics to help the full digestive cycle (breaking the food down, absorbing the goodness, cleaning the gut walls and eliminating waste).

This salad is free from any starchy vegetables so should feel very gentle on the tummy – perfect for those suffering from hormonal imbalances where digestion and energy levels are negatively affected.

  • Cold-pressed coconut oil: helps heal the gut, is anti-fungal, antibacterial and an amazing energy source. Read more from me here.
  • Cold-pressed olive oil: packed full of antioxidants it boosts the immune system and helps fight off all sorts of nasties
  • Organic broccoli, spinach, rocket: help to detox and cleanse the gut, curbing sugar cravings and fighting off candida
  • Apple cider vinegar: the best salad dressing! Amongst a whole host of other benefits, I love ACV as it stimulates stomach acids, so acts as an incredible digestive aid
  • Sauerkraut: just a little bit goes a long way in helping to balance your gut flora. Read more from me here.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 pinch of pink / rock / sea salt
  • 1 organic egg
  • 8 stalks of tender-stem broccoli
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach
  • 1 large handful of rocket
  • 1-2 tbsps sauerkraut
  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed organic olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (with the mother)

Preparation:

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan on a low heat

Bring a small pot of water to boil

Set aside a large salad bowl

Directions:

Finely chop the celery and add it to the fry pan along with the cumin and salt. Cook on low for 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli to the pot of water. Cover and turn the heat down. Steam for 5 minutes.

In the large salad bowl add the baby spinach, rocket, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar and olive oil and mix well.

Once cooked add the celery and broccoli and mix well.

Lightly fry or poach your egg – keep the yolk runny for the best health benefits and yummiest flavour!

Top the salad with the egg and consume!

Egg substitutions:

Vegan – add some lightly fried tempeh (avoid tofu if you can)

Pescetarians – pan-fry or grill a piece of wild salmon or makarel

Omnivores – chop a chicken breast or bacon strips into small pieces and pan fry or grill in coconut oil / butter /ghee/ lard

Recipe: CHOCOLATE COCONUT ROUGH (paleo, gluten & dairy-free)

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Having a sweet treat (“because I’ve been so good / worked so hard…”) each day is one of the most difficult habits to break. The major problem with using sweet food as a treat is that it triggers the reward and pleasure systems in our brains, meaning that we associate sweetness with achievement and success.

To help with sugar cravings the best things you can do is eat proper meals – fill up on good quality whole foods such as vegetables, meats, fish, fats, soaked nuts and seeds and whole fruit. Following this you should choose chocolate/cakes/desserts etc that are sweetened with small amounts of any of the following: fruit, dried fruit, raw honey, good quality maple syrup, stevia, coconut palm sugar, rapadura, xylitol or molasses.

You should absolutely avoid cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, poor quality agave and ALL artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin (yes, even in the form of chewing gum). This latter list can send you on a mood roller coaster, increase anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, can deplete your immune system, upset your gut flora, increase blood pressure and increase body fat (especially around the waist). I wrote more about sugar and other sweeteners here – take a look.

With this in mind, I wanted to show how you can create a healthy version of a classic treat: chocolate coconut rough. Using either raw honey or good quality maple syrup alongside good quality fats such as coconut oil and almonds will mean you won’t be bouncing off the walls then crashing an hour later. With this recipe aim to reduce the amount of sweetener each time you make it – notice how quickly you get used to less sweetness when you reduce how much of it you consume.

… and if you really suffer greatly with binging and craving sugar next time you reach for a sweet sit, breathe and contemplate the following questions: 

  • What am I really hungry and craving for?
  • Where do I get my sweetness in life?
  • Does my desire to feel healthy and energised outweigh the need for sweet foods?

And to help you along your way:

  • Sign up with a friend so you can help support each other come off sugar!
  • Get inspired – there are plenty of people online and in real life (like myself) who are here to help inspire and encourage healthy habits
  • Get baking with healthy ingredients! Enjoy and help assimilate your healthy treat with a smile – nourishing thoughts are just as essential as nourishing foods!

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Ingredients (base)

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 3/4 cup soaked sultanas (choose chopped up prunes or figs for a lower sugar option)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder/soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg or 2 small eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa

Ingredients (topping, optional)

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup/ honey / rice malt syrup (omit for a lower sugar option, add 1 another TBSP of coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut

Preparation:

Soak the sultanas / dried fruit in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes – this is optional but does help bring more chewy moisture to the mix

Set aside a 24cm round or 20cm square 4cm deep greased or lined baking dish

Pre-heat your oven at 160 deg C

Directions for the base:

Put a small pot on a low heat, add the coconut oil and honey and slowly melt them down. Add the cocoa and stir until smooth

In a bowl add the dry ingredients. Stir in the egg(s). Then add the wet ingredients and mix well.

Firmly press the mixture down firmly into your baking dish

Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes

Directions for the topping:

In your small pot on a low heat melt down the coconut oil and maple syrup or honey. Heat to boiling point and simmer gently for about 1min to thicken.

Add the cocoa, vanilla and desiccated coconut

Stir and spread over the cooked base while still warm. Refrigerate or freeze to set icing.

… and enjoy!

Personal tip: I love keeping this in the freezer and taking a piece out 5 mins before I eat it!

Recipe: ROOT VEGETABLE SALAD (vegan, paleo, gluten & dairy free)

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Yet another super quick and easy but truly nourishing recipe!

Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this salad won’t leave you hungry with its satisfying amount of grated raw root vegetables and variety of good quality fats. And with the inclusion of apple cider vinegar all will be more easily digested and absorbed – ACV is fabulous at helping stimulate stomach acids which assist in breaking down your food and easing the effort required by the digestive tract. Take note and give it a go!

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large beetroot
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 handful of long stem broccoli
  • 1/2 an avocado (optional)
  • 1 TBSP melted coconut oil / cold pressed virgin olive oil / MCT oil
  • 1 handful of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar / freshly squeezed lemon
  • salt

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Preparation

Grate the carrot and beetroot and finely chop the spinach – set aside

Chop the avocado into small cubes – set aside

Bring a small pot of water to the boil

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small pan on a low heat

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Directions

Place the broccoli in the pot of hot water. Cover and cook on a low heat for 4-5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

To the heated pan add the walnuts, coconut, turmeric and pinch of salt. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes or until the ingredients are toasted/crispy then take off the heat.

In a large bowl combine the beetroot, carrot, spinach, raisins, avocado and brocoli. Pour over the oil and apple cider vinegar and using your hands mix well. Lastly add in the pan ingredients and mix well again.

Enjoy this delicious salad as it is, or accompanied by some roasted vegetables, or pan fried fish or chicken.

…and remember the wonders of turmeric and its super ingredient curcumin!

  • aids memory function – is used to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • aids the immune system – is used to disrupt cancer causing cells
  • relieves joint inflammation – is used to help arthritis
  • speeds up wound recovery and post work-out muscle soreness
  • aids digestion
  • promotes healthy glowing skin
  • incredible antioxidant properties – surpassing vit E and C

Recipe: DUCK EGGS & BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS (gluten & grain-free)

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If you can tolerate eggs they really are a marvelous whole food that can be part of any meal of the day. Eggs are considered to be the most complete protein source in a single food – their amino acid complex is perfectly proportioned! They offer a fabulous source of carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin D and niacin. And of course they are an excellent source of minerals, offering the easiest form of iron (‘heme’) to absorb and of course calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals.

Do not get caught up in the high cholesterol drama – this is an absolute myth.

“First and foremost cholesterol is a vital component of every cell membrane on Earth. In other words, there is no life on Earth that can live without cholesterol. That will automatically tell you that, in of itself, it cannot be evil. In fact it is one of our best friends. We would not be here without it. No wonder lowering cholesterol too much increases one’s risk of dying. Cholesterol also is a precursor to all of the steroid hormones. You cannot make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone, and a host of other vital hormones without cholesterol.” – Dr Ron Rosedale, leading anti-aging doctor in the United States. Read more here.

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It is so important that you buy organic free range eggs. It is absolutely worth the little bit extra you pay, as not only are you ensuring better health for yourself, but you are also powerfully voting against the cruelty of mass produced, chemical laden caged chickens.

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Ingredients

2 organic duck eggs (or organic chicken eggs)

4 rashers of organic bacon (make sure there are NO nitrates on the ingredient list)

8 asparagus tips (hard end snapped off if not using tips)

Salt

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Directions

Put the grill on a high setting. Cut each bacon rasher in half and wrap each piece around an asparagus tip. Place them under grill for 15 mins or until bacon is crispy. Boil a pan of salted water and then turn down heat, simmer the duck eggs for 7 mins.

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe: PIZZA BASE (gluten, grain & dairy free)

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We can eat pizza and be nourished!!! A far cry from the heavily processed sugar laden white flour, gut fermenting quick yeast and artery clogging hydrogenated plant oils, this pizza base is made with 100% natural unadulterated ingredients. Packed full of essential nutrients, fats and proteins and it hasn’t even bet dressed yet!

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Ingredients
1 medium sized head of cauliflower (3 cups once chopped up in the food processor)
2 TBSP almond flour
1 TBSP coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 TSP dried basil
1/2 TSP dried oregano

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 230 deg celsius
Cut one big square of non-stick baking paper or greased baking paper
Place a baking tray or pizza stone in the oven
Wash and throughly dry the cauliflower

Directions
Discard most of the cauliflower stem and pulse the florets in a food processor until you get a powdery snow like quality.

Transfer the cauliflower snow to a covered pot and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool.

Once cool enough to handle wrap the snow up in the tea towel and ring the water out of it, squeezing out as much water as possible!

In a bowl place the cauliflower and mix in the spices, almond flour, coconut oil and egg. Use your hands to ensure best mixing.

Place the mixture on the baking paper and press it firmly and tightly into a crust shape before transferring it onto the hot pizza stone or baking tray.

BAKE FOR ABOUT 12 MINUTES, or until it starts to turn golden brown and the edges crisp up

Top with your favourite toppings, serve and devour!

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Tips to tweak

Vegan base – substitute eggs for chia mixture: 1/4 cup of chia seeds +  3/4 cup of water, stirred well and refrigerated for 15 mins before use.

Fluffier base – add more eggs

Crunchier base – add extra almond flour and coconut oil and increase cooking time

Cheesy base – add 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Healthy topping ideas

Sliced up and fried/grilled: courgette / carrot / mushroom / tomatoes / peppers / garlic / onion / bacon (nitrate-free) / salami (nitrate free) / salmon (wild)/ chicken (organic)

Placed raw on top: avocado / baby spinach / coriander / rocket / mayo / sour cream / olives / sun-dried tomato / capers

Grilled on top: raw cheese / nuts / seeds

Recipe: PAN-FRIED LAMB CHOPS & VEGES (gluten, grain & dairy free)

img_4300Whether you’re enjoying the shift into Autumn or Spring this recipe will satisfy your tastebuds and bring a wealth of health benefits! I bought my autumn lamb from the lovely organic and sustainable Daylesford Farm. At Daylesford the animals roam freely and feed on organic rotated pastures.

Wherever possible please do select certified organic meat, or get down to your local farmers market and chat with the vendor about how the animals are raised – there are many high quality sustainable “organic” farmers who are yet to be certified.

Choosing organic, grass-fed meat is not just hip to request, nor is it just a fad – it’s better for our health, animals and environment:

Our health

  • Richer in heart and brain-friendly omega-3 unsaturated fats – reduces the chances of unhealthy blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder / hyperactivity, or Alzheimer’s disease. Read more here
  • Richer in antioxidants – vitamins E, C and A (over 400% more vitamin A)
  • Contain no traces of added hormones, antibiotics or other drugs and virtually devoid of risk of Mad Cow Disease
  • Higher in CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – helps fight cancer, improve insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) and reduce blood pressure, inflammation and fat stores. Read more here
  • Lower in total fat and calories – grass-fed meat can have just one third as much fat as a similar cut from a grain-fed animal
  • Lamb has twice as much iron as pork, three times that of chicken and six times as fish!

Animal health

  • Animals have plenty of space to freely roam, reducing stress and disease
  • They are fed good quality food that is free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • They are not fed hormones to make them grow faster and must only be given drugs to treat an illness (the routine use of antibiotics is prohibited). Read more here.

Environmental health

  • Organic growing methods use crop rotation and organic matter instead of artificial and chemical fertilisers. In fact the animals grazing on grass can do their own fertilising and harvesting all year round, made all the better in combination with solar energy
  • Nutrient-rich soil from organic farming helps grow strong healthy crops and also helps attract our natural pest and disease control – wildlife! A much better choice to toxic pesticides!
  • Less fossil fuel is used when animals are fed grass in contrast to being squashed into feeding yards eating dried corn and soya
  • The grazed pasture removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which helps to slow global warming

You’ve heard it a million times before, but it really is true: “you are what you eat!”. It’s a no-brainer that you will look and feel better if you eliminate the toxins, hormones, and antibiotics from your food. Make yourself from fresh, living essential enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and keep everyone happy!

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PAN FRIED LAMB CHOPS & VEGES – THE RECIPE!  

Ingredients (for 1 person)

2 lamb chops

1/2 bunch of carrots

1/2 bunch kale

1/2 leek

1 clove of garlic

1 TBSP coconut oil

salt and pepper

Preparation

Pre-heat two pans on a low heat and share the coconut oil between the them

Finely chop the garlic, leek and kale

Chop the carrots into finger lengths

Directions

To one of the heated pans add the garlic, leek, kale, salt and pepper. Fry on a medium to high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally (try to get a nice sweet sticky texture). Then cover and turn to low for the next 10 minutes while you’re cooking the lamb. Before serving take the lid off and fry on high for another 2 minutes to dry out the veg, making it sweet and sticky again.

To the second pan add the lamb, garlic, salt and pepper. Fry over a high heat for 2 minutes to sear the meat then turn to medium/low heat for 6-8 minutes.

While the lamb is cooking bring a pot of hot water to the boil and add the carrots and cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes then turn the heat off, drain and leave in the covered pot.

Turn the chops and fry the other sides on high for 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium/low for another 4-6 minutes – depending on how you like your lamb cooked.

Plate the veg and meat then add the carrots to the meat pan with a splash of water and fry for a minute or so constantly stirring so the carrots are dressed with the meat and seasoning juices.

Consume and enjoy! This is just as delicious the next day for lunch if there are any leftovers!

Recipe: ROASTED ORGANIC CHICKEN & VEGES (grain, gluten & dairy free)

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This is one of my favourite meals – super healthy, filling and so easy! Cooking chicken in its whole form i.e. with the skin and fat, not only helps you digest the muscle meat more efficiently but it is also full of collagen and gelatin which is excellent for skin, hair, nails and joints. As an added bonus it’s also way more delicious!

Ingredients (for 1 person)
1 organic grass fed chicken leg OR 2 thighs (with skin!)
1/2 medium sized butternut squash
2 carrots
1 clove of garlic
1 courgette or 5 stalks of long stem broccoli
1 handful of spinach
1 TBSP coconut oil
Salt
Pepper

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 190deg (180 if you have a fan oven)
Peel and cut the butternut squash and carrots into the varying sizes (that way you get big creamy pieces and small crunchy ones!)
Finely slice the garlic
Peel or finely slice the courgette and roughly chop the spinach

Directions
Melt half the coconut oil on the oven tray (I just pop it in the oven for a minute) then rub the chicken, squash and carrot into the melted oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the oven for 40-60 mins depending on the size of the chicken. When the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.

About 10 minutes before the chicken is cooked add the rest of the oil to a hot pan and fry the garlic and courgette for 5 minutes on a med-high heat then add the spinach, salt and pepper for the last 5 mins.

I always serve my meals with a spoonful of sauerkraut for extra nutrition and digestibility! A dollop of good quality organic mayonnaise is another yummy addition!

Enjoy!

Recipe: FIGS FOR PUDDING! (vegan, gluten, dairy & grain-free)

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Get back to natural sweetness with these yummy fig based desserts / accompaniments. Remember how much better fruit is as a sweet treat over addictive processed sugar! As low in natural sugar as strawberries and with all those tiny seeds figs are an excellent source of fibre – a much better go to than any grain based fibre!

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FRESH FIG PUDDING

Ingredients:

4 fresh figs

1 TBSP coconut oil / butter /ghee

Pinch of cinnamon / ginger / cocoa

Grated 85-100% chocolate / toasted coconut flakes / cream (ideally raw)

Directions: 

Wash the figs then cut them into halves. Add oil to a pan and when hot add the figs and fry for 1-2 minutes or until they look caramelised.

Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon / ginger / cocoa / grated chocolate / cream / toasted coconut flakes (fry flakes in a pan on high for 1-2 mins constantly stirring)

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DRIED FIG PUDDING

Ingredients:

8 dried figs

2 TBSP coconut oil

1/2 cup just off boiling water

2 TBSP cocoa powder (optional)

pinch of salt

Directions:

Using a hand blender blend all ingredients together until fluffy and smooth.

Serve as a hot sauce over good quality ice-cream / chopped frozen banana pieces OR chill the mixture and spread over cookies / crackers or simply eat as is!