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Posts Tagged ‘foods for health’

Butter bean with turmeric tomato sauce

Ingredients:
1 Carton or Tin of Organic Butter (Lima) beans
2 x tbsp of organic tomato puree
2 heaped tsp of turmeric spice
Splash of olive oil
A little water
Pinch of pink salt and ground black pepper
Handful of Fresh organic watercress.

Strain butter beans add to pan on low heat. Add tomato puree, splash of olive oil,stir in, add a little water and then add the turmeric and seasoning. Stir until heated through but not over cooked.

Serve with watercress. You can add a dressing if you like but the flavours are so clean and strong you don’t really need to. If you want to make a more substantial lunch, toast some home-made brown Rice and Gram Flour flaxseed bread (recipe to follow this)

Health benefits / supports:

Liver, digestion, colon, blood sugar, reduces inflammation, joint health, cardiovascular.

Turmeric has been used for thousands of years to support all round health and studies have shown that the extract from turmeric called curcumin is the part that plays a huge role in reducing inflammation.

I try to use turmeric everyday, and find ways to get it into my cooking and food prep.There are many ways to do this. You can also Take a supplement of the extract curcumin, which does help avoid the yellow fingers!

I made a bone broth and vegetable soup laced with turmeric for a friend who had an injury that required good nutrition for bone and joint healing. She loved the soup but wasn’t so sure about the yellow tongue. To me this just assured me that the curcumin was really getting into her tissues.

You can buy organic Turmeric from “BuyWholeFoodsOnline” https://goo.gl/jNPzWz, which may be a little cheaper as you can buy in larger amounts.
You can also buy the extract curcumin in food supplement form from health stores.

 

 

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Impress your Friends and Family with these
delicious guilt free Canapés.

Prawn tartlets 3

These recipes are designed especially for those that love Canapés but want to know that what you are eating is healthy and not full of fats, sugars and poor quality ingredients.

Buying high quality ready-made canapés can be very expensive and making your own can be so much more economical and impressive –and I think much  tastier.

You will need a baking tray especially for tiny muffins and tarts. There are various brands, I use one from Chefs Kitchen sold in various stores and websites, there are many on the market – they normally have 24 casings.

Tray with pastry for tartletsIf you plan to make a lot – I would advise you buy a couple of the trays.

You will also need something to cut the pastry circles – it should be 6.5 – 7cm, can use a glass if you don’t have a cutter.

All the following recipes can be made with or with a food processor, but I try to do most by hand as this does the least damage to the ingredients. A hand mixer can be very useful for the muffins. You may want to consider some large plastic containers with some paper towels to absorb moisture, to store the canapés or large plates with foil cover, as the following recipes will produce quite a few. These are really good for those Christmas drinks parties, or to start your Christmas day dinner.

I have used some alternative ingredients to what you might
normally find in recipes.

They are chosen for their health promoting properties and wonderful taste.

Rapa Dura Sugar is raw cane sugar and full of nutrients including iron, calcium and magnesium. As it is super sweet, less is needed to sweeten foods; it is also a mix of different sugars, which is much healthier for the body. Why not make your sugar a natural mineral supplement. You can purchase from health stores or even online.

Coconut Butter is a great alternative to processed vegetable fats and cows butter. Also perfect if you are avoiding dairy. It is a saturated fat so should not be heated to too high a degree, and the actual product should state ‘cold pressed’. Heat and processing can damage the fat structure changing it into an unhealthy fat.

Goat’s butter – delicious tasting with less cholesterol and casein proteins

Olive oil – instead of butter in pastry.

Oat milk – instead of milk.

Arrowroot thickener – instead of flour (can get from health stores or order on line).

Spelt flour – instead of normal wheat flour – easier to digest and much less gluten. If you are avoiding gluten altogether – try alternative flour like millet and use arrowroot to thicken sauces.

Seasoning – Pink Himalayan Salt, contains all necessary minerals and iodine, has a nicer flavor than normal salt and more health benefits. Organic finely ground black pepper. Use in moderation – salt can always be added later

Bite size muffins and tartlets –
create the perfect Christmas Canapés

Chocalte and coconut snawballsChocolate and Coconut Snowballs 

Dairy free (or can use Goat’s butter)

Ingredients – makes 24

70g Coconut Butter (or Goat’s butter)
70g Rapa Dura sugar
100g White Spelt Flour
3 x Eggs

20g Cocoa powder, can use raw cocoa (half the amount for a lighter chocolate taste)

Half teaspoon of baking powder

Half cup of desiccated coconut

Place coconut butter and Rapa Dura sugar in a bowl and mix thoroughly, add the eggs and whisk. Gently mix in flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Add half the desiccated coconut and mix in.

Fill the muffin tray level off mixture so flatter surface.

Cook for 15-20 minutes on 160 degrees – test the middle ones with a skewer to check if fully cooked. Remove while still warm, smooth a very small amount of coconut butter on top of each one with a knife and press the rest of the desiccated coconut onto the top. It should stick – place in a fridge or leave to cool.

Store in sealed container.

Goat’s Cheese and Shallot Tartlets

Quiche minis

Crust:
Ingredients
185g flour – half whole grain spelt and half white spelt

Cold pressed olive oil – gives more flavor than light – but needs to be cooked on lower heat to avoid damaging the fat. Approx half a cup

Seasoning – Pink Himalayan Salt or sea salt, ground black pepper

A little filtered water

Heat oven to 160 degrees

Place flour in a bowel with seasoning and add olive oil slowly, stopping and rubbing it into the flour with fingers, add more until like light crumbs, now add a little water at a time until the crumbs seal together to make a dough – this should not be too dry as it will be difficult to roll or too wet, add more flour if needed.

Roll out dough on a small amount of flour to prevent sticking, cut 24 rounds out and gently push down into the tray. See picture.

Place in oven for 15 minutes until partially cooked, remove from oven.

Filling:

Ingredients

3 x eggs

3 x shallots

Half a cup of grated goat’s cheese

Fresh herbs options: Tarragon, parsley or basil

Seasoning

Whisk the eggs and season

Finely slice the shallots – for a stronger flavor, you can leave raw – or cook in small amount of olive oil on a low heat until soft but not brown.

Grate the goat’s cheese

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Fill each pastry cup to brim

Place back into heated oven for 15 minutes until all egg cooked.

Allow to cool slightly and remove from tray.

Prawn and Spinach tartlets – makes 24

Prawn tartlets 2

Pastry- same as mini Quiche – but allow cooking the cups for
5 minutes longer to become crisper.

Filling
Ingredients

1 cup of small cooked prawns (stronger flavour)

Half a finely lemon grass stalk finely chopped

2 x cups of chopped spinach leaves

3 x finely chopped spring onions (or can use finely chopped leek)

Teaspoon of arrowroot powder

A little water

A little olive oil

Seasoning if required

Directions

Place a little olive oil in a heated pan, add lemon grass, spring onions and prawns, heat for 2 – 3 minutes stirring. Lower heat. Sprinkle the arrowroot on top and stir in, pour a little water in until there is a small amount of watery sauce (which will be thickened by the arrowroot), add the chopped spinach leaves stir in for 1 minute until leaves are wilted. Remove from heat. Place a teaspoon full of mixture into each pastry cup. Serve warm or cold.

Chicken and Mushroom tartlets – makes 24

Chicken Tartlets

Pastry – create the same way as Prawn and Spinach tartlets.

Filling:
Ingredients:

Half a chicken breast or whole thigh – finely chopped – can be cooked or raw

3 large Portobello mushrooms – finely chopped

1 whole medium leek – very finely chopped

1 x desert spoon of finely chopped parsley

A little olive oil

1 x Teaspoon of arrowroot powder

Oat milk

Seasoning

Directions:

Place olive oil in pan and add chicken and mushrooms stir until chicken well cooked if raw.

Lower heat and add leeks. When softened sprinkle the arrowroot powder and stir in, then slowly add some oat milk until a creamy consistency sauce develops. Add parsley and seasoning.

Take off heat and cool a little. Add a teaspoonful to each pastry cup. Serve warm or cold.

Vegetarian Version

Instead of chicken, double the amount of mushrooms. You can also add different herbs like tarragon or basil.

Christmas mini Muffins – Makes 24

Christmas muffins 2

120g Softened Goat’s butter

20g Rapa Dura Sugar

2 x large eggs

70g Whole grain Spelt

70g white spelt

(Or can use all whole grain spelt)

Pinch of baking powder

Half cup of chopped prunes (organic)

Half cup of Raisins or Sultanas (organic)

The rind of one finely chopped or ground fresh organic orange

Handful of sunflower seeds.

Mixed spice

Directions

Heat oven to 160 degrees.

Place softened butter in a mixing bowl, add Rapa Dura sugar mix in, and then whisk in eggs. Fold in flour, spice and baking powder. Add all the chopped fruit, sunflower seeds and orange rind. Fill each cup in baking tray to brim and any extra leftover add a little more to each cup.

Place in oven for 20 minutes and check if cooked with skewer – if not leave for a further 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat allow to cool slightly, and remove from tray. Store in airtight container so they don’t dry out if you are storing them for later use.

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This dish is a super healthy dish for digestion. They do contain some starch like potatoes so supply some calories (approx 100 calories in a one cup serving) Jerusalem artichokes are also high in polysaccharide sugars (Inulin). This means that we do not absorb the calories from these sugars, as we cannot use them. Inulin promotes the growth of vital human strain bacteria, your gut flora feeds on this and produces many nutrients that we need to fuel and heal the gut lining. By increasing good gut flora other disease-causing organisms are prohibited or at least kept in check. (See Digestion section on my website for further info on gut health)

They are high in minerals (Iron, potassium, molybdenum and magnesium) and B Vitamins, which we can use. They are particularly good for people suffering with blood sugar problems like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. BUT they are also very healthy for everyone, they help the gut recover after antibiotics and aid weight loss as they make you feel fuller with fewer calories Ideally take an enteric coated probiotic (meaning more chance of surviving through stomach acids) capsule with this meal if you are working on gut healing.

Jerusalem artichokes may also promote immune function.

Note: A high content of inulin can cause flatulence by the very nature of feeding bacteria. As a professor specialising in gut flora said at a seminar I attended – “If you’re passing non smelling wind the gut is doing its job and supporting old friends’. You can’t produce good gut flora without a bit of wind – so start with small amounts. It does settle down after a while of eating them.

Cooking – Inulin can be leached out if you boil in water or steam for a long time. I like to sauté them in either a little water or olive oil on medium heat. They shouldn’t be too soft. You can bake in the oven, I don’t recommend microwave for any foods. The skin contains lots of iron – just scrub and cook. The flesh can go a bit grey – apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can help this.

Recipe

Can be a side dish or can add: chicken, duck, fish or tofu to make into a complete meal. I had chicken with mine for lunch. Serves one

2 x Jerusalem artichoke tubers – scrubbed and sliced

4 x Carvelo Nero leaves (in season) or can use Savoy cabbage or fresh spinach leaves -destalked and shredded

Olive oil

Black pepper

Pinch of Himalayan pink crystal salt

Directions:

Sauté the Jerusalem artichoke pieces in a little water at first stirring and keep adding small amounts so it doesn’t dry out. When they are softening add some olive oil and black pepper, pink salt stir for a few minutes until they semi soft, add a little more water and place all the green leaves for 30 seconds, Serve immediately.

I added a small amount sautéed chicken

Enjoy

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Type II Diabetes was in the news again yesterday. The Public Accounts Committee are claiming that ‘Diabetes Care is depressingly poor’ and recommend that the NHS should be doing a lot more preventative and educational work with potential sufferers AND those that are diagnosed. There are at any one point in the UK (let alone the rest of the world) 1 million people who have no idea that they are suffering from either Type II Diabetes or pre-diabetes or even metabolic syndrome (which may affect even more people)

Type II is mainly self-inflicted through diet and lifestyle (Genetics may play a part but you are not born with it – it has to be expressed through lifestyle). The body becomes desensitised to sugar, insulin resistance ensues which means the body cannot work to get the sugar from the blood quickly enough, eventually not at all and it then becomes life threatening. 90% of all Diabetes cases are Type II.

I listened to an MP for Leicester East, Keith Vaz, speaking on breakfast radio yesterday morning claiming that doctors diagnosed diabetes and supplied medication, but there is shockingly no dietary advice and no real explanation as to why high blood sugar causes so much damage. This came from his own personal experience, when he found out that his symptoms of fatigue, thirst, frequent urination, lack of good sleep patterns and stress, were in fact symptoms of type II Diabetes, he was shocked that he had such little knowledge. Other symptoms can be blurred vision and skin pigmentation.

It is a wonder why the NHS and doctors don’t campaign to educate and inform the masses.

We all know that sugar is bad for you – but many people don’t want to believe it.
It seems that because manufacturers are able to continue to promote their sugary and refined products (some even claiming to be healthy) that somehow it won’t affect health. It does. It really does. That bowl of refined cereal with milk sugars you had this morning. That piece of white toast, the jam on top, the croissant, the juice, the sugary yoghurt, the sugar in your tea or coffee, the toasted tea cake, the pancake, the high sugar muesli – all this even before you had some chocolate or a biscuit mid-morning washed down with a
can of sugary drink.

In moderation or very occasionally it is okay to have some sugar, the body can cope. But the Western diet is loaded with refined carbohydrates: white bread, white cheap pasta, white products, sugary foods and drink, fruit juices, sweetened foods ready meals and foods. The sugars in dairy and all sweet fruits are implicated too. And don’t get me started on alcohol! No wonder more than half the population feels unwell at anyone time.

Sugar – I dare to say it: Does more damage than fat!. Sugar makes you put on weight more than fat does! (Good fats and eaten in moderation that is) Products that claim to be ‘Fat Free’ are not necessarily good for you – they are normally loaded with sugar – take yoghurt and cereals for example. What’s is the point of being fat-free when it’s laced with sugar?

Some people are even more susceptible to Type II diabetes; it may run in the family, it may be connected to ethnic background. For example diabetes is an even bigger problem in India than in Western countries.

The figures – £9 Billion a Year!!!

Did you know that £1 Million per hour is spent on treatment and care for Diabetes sufferers in the UK alone – that’s 10% of the NHS budget! £9 Billion a year! Think what we could do with that money for the homeless, the jobless, the economy etc. It would only take a fraction of this money to create better education and help with diet and lifestyle. More laws on food manufacturing and retailing of such products are needed. Some retailers have now signed up to putting more about the content of foods on pack.

Everybody needs to understand what sugar does to the blood and therefore the tissues and why it does so much damage – and why every time you consume sugar, coffee (causes a blood sugar rise) or alcohol your body goes into crisis management. When the insulin response is set in motion it puts a strain on the whole system.

Although Obesity is said to be one of the main causes of Type II diabetes, it can affect people who are not obviously overweight and even slim people can suffer blood sugar imbalance.

Sugar in the blood is dangerous, it damages and hardens arteries and destroys the smaller blood vessels.

In people with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and diabetes, it can seriously damage the bloods vessels in the eyes and the peripheral vessels in toes and fingers. This can lead to eye problems even blindness. Damaged vessels can lead to gangrene in feet causing sores and even lead to amputation. Heart disease is very much implicated as well it affects all vessels.

As a person ages this becomes more and more serious with many health issues linked to a lifetime of consuming sugar and refined carbohydrates.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Firstly if you have any of the symptoms or are concerned – see your doctor, get tested.

When accessing your blood sugar levels in the general term you can easily get an idea from your energy levels during the day. If it fluctuates, you feel tired, then eat something are fine, then later feel tired again until by mid afternoon you are even sleepy – you need to address your blood sugar.

It applies to all ages as low or high blood sugar can affect everyone.

When simple sugars are eaten a blood sugar boost happens giving immediate energy, but the body removes this quickly as it will cause serious damage if left in the blood, then low blood sugar levels are experienced, causing a tiredness, sleepiness or fatigue – this is generally when we crave carbs.

The answer is to reduce or even remove all sugary and stimulating foods and substances and then work to balance your blood sugar levels. This will also balance hormones for men and women.

Balancing blood sugar is one of the most health promoting things you can do.

It doesn’t just improve health but also the quality of life as you will have more energy and feel more vital, you will be protecting yourself against many diseases including cancer and heart disease.

The following is a guide to reduce your exposure to high blood sugar and what you can do if you have been diagnosed with a blood sugar problem.

  1. Avoid sugary foods, sugar, white refined carbs, alcohol, coffee, and too much dried fruit.
  2. Eata substantial breakfast that contains – slow release carbohydrates (whole grains, oats, brown spelt, millet, brown rice), proteins and fats. This combination takes a lot longer to digest and the sugars from the foods are released slowly – an insulin response is avoided.

    Porridge with flax oil and cinnamon

  3. Eat healthy snacks that contain some fats and proteins like nuts and seeds, avocado, whole grain spelt bread dipped in olive oil, a handful of pumpkin seeds with some goji berries or raisins, an apple with a few fresh almonds, a spelt cracker with avocado, try my ‘Power Cookies’ recipe.
  4. Eat a slow release carbohydrates (Brown or wild rice, whole grains, some pulses, quinoa, spelt) lunch that contains some fats and protein
  5. Avoid too much dairy like milk and cheese as this can play a big part in blood sugar spikes
  6. Eat a moderate evening meal with just proteins and vegetables (i.e.: Salmon and kale with shiitake mushrooms and ginger, chicken and vegetable casserole, Or Legumes and whole grains)
  7. To keep blood sugar balanced through the night, eat a snack of home-made/ or bought spelt toast and avocado, oatcakes with a tiny smear of coconut butter. You may need to do this for first few weeks until your body adjusts.
  8. Avoid ‘Grazing’ – even on healthy foods – your digestion MUST have arrest
  9. 8 Drink herbal teas and filtered water

If you have to use sugar for anything use one that is high in nutrient so it isn’t empty and can protect you from the sugar response: Rapa Dura, Molasses, Prunes or Sweeteners like Stevia.

Please be aware: The information and advice provided in this website is not
a substitute for medical advice. If you are concerned about your health or
have any symptoms you should see your GP/healthcare provider.

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What can you make for lunch when you have two guests that are expecting something delicious but at the same time ridiculously healthy? Is there indeed such a thing?

If you know what to buy and how to cook it, there are many such lunches. Most of the people I talk to and pretty much ALL of my clients want Easy to Make meals. There just isn’t the desire to slave over a stove anymore unless you are cooking to show off, or perhaps Sunday Roast (Which I find well worth slaving over due to the endless praise I get from my 10 year old gravy monster)

I made this lunch for two friends that are both on a quest to get better health, and it will fit into my beautiful skin recipes simply because it is filled with all the right ingredients to support skin health (and in doing so will support many other functions in the body)

It was a great success and now I am sharing it with you.

Wild Salmon with Black Rice and Sesame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 3/4

Ingredients

  • 200grams wild easy cook or black rice (See previous blog re nutritional)
  • 240grams of Wild Salmon (important for extra taste, more Omega3 content) Approx 2 fillets
  • shiitake mushrooms (fresh) – whole pack or 140grams (can use dried ones) – chopped or sliced
  • Any green leaf vegetable you have in fridge – a few chopped handfuls (spinach, kale, spring greens, carvelo nero, bok choi or green beans)
  • Fresh ginger – approx 1 inch – chopped finely
  • Sesame seeds (not toasted) – 3-4 teaspoons
  • Parsley – Handful chopped
  • Fresh red chilli – de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 x spring onions
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Tamari sauce
  • 1 cup of water

Directions

Steam of bake the salmon at around 160 degrees (to not damage the precious fats) when cooled remove any skin or bones and flake the fillets.

Cook the rice (as pack instructions) – if it’s easy cook it will be around 10- 15 minutes if black rice it will be 30 minutes at least. You can pre-cook this and keep it in the fridge.

In a large flat pan place half a cup of water place on the heat (watch this carefully as water will brown the foods quickly if allowed to dry out) when hot add the ginger and a splash of tamari, add shiitake mushrooms and cook until soft, lower the heat and add sesame oil, add the flaked salmon and another splash of tamari. You will need to keep adding water so it does not dry out and brown after a minute or so add the cooked rice keep stirring nothing should be over cooking or getting brown. Add freshly chopped parsley, chilli, sesame seeds, chopped greens (these should not spend much time cooking- 1 minute) Turn off the heat and add a little more sesame oil and finely chopped spring onions. It’s ready to serve – once in the dishes sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Keeping the cost down

To reduce the cost of this dish but keep it delicious, use just one fillet of salmon, half a pack of shiitake mushrooms, a larger amount of greens, replace black rice with red rice and use a pinch of cayenne pepper instead of fresh chilli, and olive oil instead of sesame oil. It will still be delicious and healthy, but with slight different flavours.

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