Spirulina Smoothie

Green Spirulina Smoothie

I felt like I needed to be super-duper healthy today, so I picked up the greenest vegetables I could find in my fridge and stuck them in the juicer. Once I was done juicing them, I added them to the blender with a spoonful of spirulina and voila! Spirulina is so thick and icky if you don’t blend it – it can really put you off so make sure you blend it!

Read these amazing facts on spirulina, provided by the amazing Organic Burst where I buy all my superfoods:

  • Supports the immune system. Vitamin B6 and iron in our spirulina powder supports the immune system.
  • Healthy brain and cognitive function. Organic Burst Spirulina powder is rich in Vitamin B6 and contains iron that are known to support healthy cognitive function, in other words your brain power!
  • Weight management. Taken one hour before meals, Organic Burst Spirulina powder can naturally promote the feeling of fullness and prevent over-eating.
  • Healthy heart. Thiamine in Organic Burst Spirulina contributes to the normal function of the heart.
  • Rich, complete and digestible protein source. Spirulina powder is very rich in protein (60-70%), containing 18 amino acids including all essential amino acids. According to studies, spirulina has a very high protein efficiency ratio (PER). Protein in spirulina is four times more absorbable than protein in beef.

Ingredients

Big handful kale
Big handful spring greens
2 celery sticks
Half a cucumber
1 inch fresh ginger
1 lime
1 tsp spirulina

Method

Put all ingredients apart from spirulina and lime in the juicer. Once juiced, add to blender with the juice of one lime and the spirulina and blend on high for a minute with 4 ice cubes,

You are now positively buzzing and vibrating with healthy, clean cells!

Lauren 🙂

Immune Boosting Berry & Superfood Smoothie

Immune Boosting Smoothie

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the last few days and the last thing I want to do is to take some nasty, over-the-counter chemical meds that will suppress the toxins. My aim is to release the toxins and let my body heal the natural way. And there are plenty of ways to do this.

I added maca – for extra strength, acai berries – hugely powerful anti-oxidants (both from Organic Burst), chia seeds – a great source of plant-based protein and added to that blueberries – more anti-oxidants (organic of course, otherwise it kind of negates their powers), strawberries and banana, because I need lots of plant-based natural sugars to keep strong.

Ingredients

250ml almond milk
1 banana (frozen or fresh, depends how creamy you like it)
5 strawberries
Handful blueberries
1 tsp maca powder
2 acai berry capsules, opened and sprinkled in
1 tsp chia seeds
4 ice cubes
2 figs, cut up in small pieces (optional)

Method

Simply put all the ingredients into your  blender (except for the figs) and blend. Pour into a cup and add the figs which are yummy to eat in chunks as you’re drinking the smoothie.

I love breakfast!
Love,
Lauren

Beautiful Beetroot Juice

Beetroot Juice

It’s funny how nature helps us know what we need. When you juice beetroot it looks like blood and it just so happens that the primary benefit that beetroot has on our health, is for our blood. It helps normalise blood pressure and increases the flow of blood to the brain – great for concentration and creativity! Beetroot also has a detox effect on the liver so if you’re carrying a lot of toxins, having more than one raw beetroot at a time may make you feel a little queezy. If you’ve never had raw beets before, go slow. The more you have over time, the more your liver will be used to it and you’ll find it will help you to detox.

I got my Abel & Cole box of organic fruit and veg delivered today (as I do every Monday) and there was a huge bunch of beets in there so I decided to juice some, save some more for juicing over the week, and I lightly steamed some to have ready to use in salads for lunches.

I added some other veg to this, ones I think go particularly well…

Ingredients

2 raw beetroot
3 sticks celery
4 large carrots
1 handful spinach

Method

Juice in a juicer (in a blender you’ll need less)…

Love,
Lauren

Dark Green Juice for Dark London Days

Dark Green Juice

It’s a gloomy old day in London Town today, so I woke up and made a strong green juice to boost my immune system. I added Organic Burst Spirulina because it supports the immune system and is a rich, bio-available protein containing 18 amino acids.

Ingredients

Half a cucumber
4 sticks of celery
1 small bag of spinach
1 fennel bulb
1 tsp spirulina powder
Juice of 1 lime

Method

Juice all ingredients except spirulina and lime. Once juiced, add lime juice and mix in the spirulina. Add an ice cube to make it more refreshing!

Enjoy!
Love,
Lauren

Homemade Almond Milk

almond-milk

If you would like to read about why dairy is bad for you and why I don’t have it myself and why I don’t give it to my baby, read this article about why dairy is bad for you. I do not recommend replacing dairy with soy, even if you’re buying organic non-GMO soy products. Soy beans naturally contain isoflavones, which function as phytoestrogens. These mimic your body’s own oestrogen, therefore it’s as though you have increased oestrogen production. It’s never a good idea to mess around with your hormones. Furthermore, soy beans may have health benefits in their natural, whole state, but most of the dairy-replacement products made from soy are very processed. My rule of thumb is that processed is bad, and this is the major theory behind the “raw food” and “clean eating” movements. I don’t think that eating organic tofu once in a while will have a bad effect, but for most people whatever they use to replace dairy is something they will be eating every day. So you need to choose something which will contribute to your health, not hinder it!

For me, the best alternative to cow’s milk is almond milk. It’s just so damn yummy! The health benefits of almond milk include improved vision, weight loss, stronger bones and muscles, and a healthy heart. It helps to maintain ideal blood pressure and is good for your kidneys. Almond milk (or any other nut milk) is such a great substitute for cow’s milk that you won’t even miss it. In fact, once you’re used to having nut milk the taste of cow’s milk is quite unpleasant. 

Nut milk is really simple to make, and once it becomes part of your routine, no big deal, you’re ready to move onto the next step of cleaning up your diet 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup raw almonds
water for soaking
900ml purified water
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 dried dates, or 1 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup

Method

Firstly, soak the almonds in water overnight or minimum 4 hours. Don’t skip this step! Almonds contain an enzyme which inhibits digestion so it’s important to soak them first. Drain the water off and rinse them.
Time-saving tip: if you own a dehydrator, soak a kilogram of almonds in one go and then dehydrate them. That way your almonds are pre-soaked and you can make milk without any forethought!

Now put all the ingredients in a blender, and blend well. In a high-speed blender 30 seconds is enough, but it may take longer in a regular blender.

Strain the liquid through a nut milk bag (available at health shops or online) or use a clean piece of cheesecloth or muslin. Keep refrigerated and use within 3 – 4 days. You could play around with flavour by adding cinnamon, or raw cacao powder for chocolate milk!

almond milk2

What you have left over after straining off the liquid is called almond pulp. In Raw food preparation we dry this out in a dehydrator to get almond flour (as opposed to store-bought almond flour, which is usually ground, blanched almonds.)

If you don’t have a dehydrator you can spread it out on a baking tray and put it in your oven on a low heat until it dries. Then process it in your blender to a fine flour. Keep in an airtight container. If you live in a very hot or humid place I recommend keeping it in the fridge. You can use this for gluten-free baking, as I do in my Banana Bread.

almond milk3

Health and happiness!

Love,
Lauren

Peanut Butter Nana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Yes yes, here I am again talking about breakfast, but I can’t help it! I just love breakfast! I also think it’s hugely important to get a good amount of protein intake in the morning, but if you’re vegetarian (and you don’t like eating chicken for breakfast!) you have to find other ways, and smoothies are amazing for that. This one is a great pre or post workout smoothie or simply good to start you off with heaps of energy. It also means you can whip it up quickly and drink it on your way out if you’re in a rush.

You can use homemade peanut butter by simply putting peanuts in a Vitamix and blending until they make a butter, or you can use store bought but it MUST be a natural, organic butter with no added ingredients, just peanuts. I like Meridian.

Ingredients

250ml almond milk
1 heaped tbsp peanut butter
2 dates
1 banana (sliced and pre-frozen)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp flax seeds

Method

Blend and drink!

Happy, healthy thoughts 🙂
Love,
Lauren

Raine’s Favourite Green Juice

green juice
Drinking green juice on an empty stomach when you wake up gives you a boost of nutrients that will give you energy for the day, heal your cells and fight off free-radicals (the nasty stuff that causes cancer.) I drink one just about every morning, and on the days that I don’t have a juice I can really feel the difference.
If you’ve never had a green or any vegetable juice before it may take you some time to get used to it, but I promise it will be worth it. If my husband can get used to it (and now even love it) then anyone can! On a hot summer morning it’s super refreshing, and in the winter months it gives your body everything it needs to fight off colds and flu.

The general rule is that you should juice your veg but eat your fruit (as is or blended in a smoothie.) This is because fruit is high in natural sugars so you need the fibre in the fruit to prevent a blood-sugar spike.
However, if you’re new to juicing, I recommend that you start off with a little bit less of the really strong tasting stuff (spinach, kale, broccoli etc) and use more of the easy-drinking vegetables (carrot, beetroot, celery, cucumber) along with fruit (apple, pineapple, grapes etc.) As you get used to it you can increase the vegetables and decrease the fruit. After all, what’s the point of making one really strong juice and then never having another?!
Over time you’ll start to enjoy the taste of the vegetables and will only need half an apple, or eventually none at all.

I make juice with whatever fresh vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices (fresh ginger or turmeric, sometimes even chilli!) I have available. I like to mix it up. This is one of my favourite combinations – I love the liquorice flavour of the fennel and it goes really well with the lime and lemongrass.

Ingredients (serves 2)

A big handful of kale or spinach
6 baby fennel or 1 large bulb
3/4 of a large English cucumber
2 limes
a knob of ginger (not too much if you’re not used to it)
a knob of turmeric (optional – great anti-inflammatory properties)
a stick of lemongrass
a handful of white grapes, or 1 – 2 apples
a few leaves of mint

Method

I highly recommend a slow, masticating juicer over a centrifugal juicer, as it preserves nutrients and gets maximum juice out of your ingredients, especially when it comes to leafy greens. (But juice from a centrifugal juicer is better than no juice at all!)
The money you spend on a quality slow juicer, such as an Oscar or Hurom, will be well worth it and will save you in doctor’s bills in the future.

When juicing in a slow juicer, always do your leafy greens first and don’t try to shove too much in at once – give the machine a chance to do its thing.

You can also check out Lauren’s Favourite Green Juice.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine