Mung Daal (Moong Dahl)

I got tips for this recipe from a few Indian friends (everyone seems to make it slightly differently), then put my own stance on it, but only a little bit because why change something that works? So thanks to Deepa, Roshni and Abigail!

Mung beans have been part of traditional Ayurvedic diets for thousands of years and are used for their amazing nutritional values.

Not only are they absolutely packed full of nutrients (manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins), they are also very high in protein (a great option for a vegetarian diet) and fibre, and are a great anti-inflammatory food. When cooked with turmeric it is the perfect anti-inflammatory meal. They’re also great anti-oxidants.

One of the main reasons I made it this week is because more than anything, mung beans help digestion and after coming back from holiday and eating way too much, I needed something nutritious that aided digestion and was also filling and wholesome enough as a meal for Braxton.

It sounds like a lot of ingredients but just get all the spices out in front of you and add one by one. Just gives it the best flavour to have all the spices.

It’s such a delicious, wholesome, comforting meal and easy to make, which helps!

Ingredients – (NB: make sure to soak the beans at least overnight. You can soak them for days, changing the water each day.)

3/4 cup mung beans / moong beans
1 tsp turmeric
Choice of vegetables. I used: okra, baby corn, carrots, onion, courgette, sweet potato (could also add beetroot, pumpkin, peas, broccoli, green beans)
1 tbsp coconut oil (you can also use Ghee if not dairy free)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
1 inch ginger, crushed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cumin
Black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander

Optional spices – use what you fancy:
Cardamom, chilli, hing, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf

Method

Once the beans have soaked for long enough, cook them. If you have a pressure cooker use this, if not, cover with boiling water, turn down the heat and put on a lid, stirring often and adding more water if needed.

Add the turmeric to the beans as they cook.

Once 3/4 cooked, add all the vegetables and continue to cook.

Once nearly ready, get a small frying pan and heat the coconut oil (and add ghee if using). Turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds and stir continuously. Once cooked, turn off the heat and immediately add the garlic, ginger and the rest of the spices except for the salt and pepper and stir. If the heat disappears too much, turn it back on to a low heat then turn off again. You don’t want the spices to burn or the garlic to brown too much.

Once cooked, add this mix to the bean mix and stir, and add salt to taste, then stir in the coriander and serve with fresh coriander and brown rice..

Love & health,
Lauren

Blueberry Banana Bread

I had a heap of blueberries in my fridge and some ripe bananas so I thought I’d use my classic banana bread recipe and add blueberries. If you want a more chocolatey version, see here. This one is so light and fluffy and yummy and of course gluten, dairy, sugar and egg free ❤

Ingredients

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed (if they are small, use 4)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp flax seeds
3 tbsp filtered water
1 cup buckwheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Handful blueberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180° and line a loaf tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Mix the flax seeds in a small bowl with the water and set aside so it can set. (this is a flax ‘egg’ and used instead of eggs.)

Mash the bananas in a large bowl and add the coconut oil and maple, then add the flax mix and mix well.

Now add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Mix in the blueberries gently and spoon into the prepared cake tin.

Put it in the oven for around 25–30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. My oven tends to cook things much quicker than most so it’s been a bit of a learning curve, your oven may need more time.

Leave on a wire rack to cool then turn out of the loaf tin onto a plate.

Delicious served with peanut or almond butter!

Love and health,
Lauren

Summer Berry Smoothie Bowl

Summer berry smoothie bowl

The never-ending battle of making breakfasts interesting and fun yet healthy and nutritious for our little ones! Braxton loves smoothies and that is his breakfast most morning but in the summer we can cool it down even more with a delicious, creamy smoothie bowl. There are so many amazing berries available at the moment and berries are excellent anti-oxidants so these were thrown right into our smoothie bowl!

You can really pack these with superfoods to ensure you are getting the best possible amount of nutrients into your kids at the start of the day. I always put acai berry powder in my smoothies as it’s such an incredible anti-oxidant so is great for the immune system, and chia seeds as they are pure protein and the best time of the day to have protein is the morning. Then I decide which out of the following I want to include also: flax seeds, lucuma powder, maca powder, bee pollen, baobab powder, hemp seeds. If you have all these superfoods stocked in your pantry, you will be ensuring your family a great start to each day.

By the way, smoothie bowls are more like ice cream and smoothies are just smoothies.

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas (cut them in slices and set them on a plate to freeze, at least the night before)
Handful frozen blueberries
5 frozen strawberries
Handful redcurrants
Handful damsons or elderberries
Dash of almond milk (or oat, rice or coconut milk)
3 dates
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp acai berry powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp hemp seeds

Optional toppings:
Strawberries
Blueberries
Redcurrants
Damsons
Desiccated coconut
Chai seeds
Cherries – stones removed

Method

Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend until an ice cream-like consistency forms and finish with your choice of toppings.

Brax eating smoothie bowl This is how much Brax loved his smoothie bowl!

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Apple Pear Blueberry Vanilla Baby Blend

Apple Pear Blueberry Vanilla

Braxton is 9 months now so he’s eating a lot more ‘solid’ food but he also loves these sort of things for breakfast so I still make them. You can give these purees from the beginning of weaning – although I am a strong believer in waiting until 6 months before introducing solids as it reduces chances of allergies or autoimmune diseases by giving the gut time to mature before introducing anything new.

This is super sweet and delicious and the vanilla gives it such a yummy flavour. It’s one of Braxton’s favourites! The blueberries are a great source of antioxidant so try giving them a few times a week when they are in season.

Ingredients

1 apple
1 pear
A handful of blueberries
1 vanilla pod or half tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tbsp almond / oat / rice / coconut milk (whichever is your preference)

Method

Peel, core and chop the apple and pear and wash the blueberries.

Put them in a saucepan with the almond milk and open up the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, or add the vanilla bean paste.

Simmer on a medium heat until soft – around 8-10 minutes, then put in the blender and serve once it’s cool enough.

Love and health,
Lauren & Braxton

Blueberry Porridge Bars for Baby Led Weaning

 

Blueberry Porridge Bars BLW

Ok guys, I don’t have time to write a super long post today but been looking for things to give my baby that he can feed himself as we’ve started on solids and I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible. So instead of porridge these are basically porridge, but baked! With organic blueberries for antioxidants, acai for extra super-duper anti-oxidants and chia seeds for extra protein.

Porridge Bars

Ingredients

320g organic jumbo oats
1 punnet of blueberries
250ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml maple syrup
1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp acai berry powder (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180c and grease a square silicone baking tray with coconut oil.

Add the oats, almond milk, vanilla and maple to the food processor until it’s all combined. Once combined add the blueberries, acai and chia seeds and pulse until the blueberries are evenly distributed but not all totally mushed (some of them can be mushed!)

Spoon it into the cake tin and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wait until completely cool before you slice into bars.

These will last for a maximum of 4 days before they start growing other stuff!! Keep in an airtight container. I usually make mine on a Sunday and Wednesday is the last day I can use them.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Winter Detox Smoothie

Avocado smoothie

It’s all about the detox this winter and although I usually juice my green veg as I prefer the texture, I also like to make the odd smoothie in the vitamix or nutribullet so that I can get the superfoods in like spirulina, and add an avocado which I don’t do when juicing. This one is great to get the metabolism going and boost the immune system on these cold winter days.

Ingredients

Half an avocado
Handful of kale
1 banana
100ml coconut water
1 tsp spirulina
1 probiotic capsule
1 tsb Manuka honey
2 ice cubes

Method

Add all the ingredients to your blender (I used a Vitamix) and open the probiotic capsule and pour it in. Blend, pour and enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Maca-Chilli and Lemongrass-Wheatgrass Chocolates

Chilli & Lemongrass Chocs

The mayans believed that cacao was the drink of the gods, and with good reason! Raw cacao is high in magnesium and all the B vitamins; it promotes cardiovascular health and aids digestion; it is high in anti-oxidants, neutralising free radicals in the body and thereby preventing cancer. Cacao also promotes mental well-being due to containing phenyethylamine and theobromine, organic compounds which stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. No wonder we feel so good after eating chocolate!

Making your own raw chocolate is simpler than you would think, and means you get all the incredible health benefits of raw cacao without the added sugar, dairy or chemical additives. Make sure to buy organic and raw cacao products, rather than regular cocoa, which has been processed and stripped of nutrients.

Ingredients

For the flavoured caramel centres:

50g organic virgin coconut oil
70g raw almond butter
100g runny raw honey or 85ml organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Oryx desert salt
1 tbsp maca
a pinch of cayenne
5 drops organic lemongrass essential oil
1 tsp wheatgrass powder

For the chocolate:

75g raw cacao paste
25g raw cacao butter
30ml runny raw honey or organic maple syrup
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder (alternatively, use an additional 30ml honey or organic maple syrup)
pinch of Oryx desert salt

 

Method

To make the caramel, place the coconut oil, almond butter, honey or maple, vanilla and salt into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes. You want everything to melt together into a creamy consistency, and the mixture will change colour as you do this. It’s important to blend for long enough, as opposed to just mixing everything together, to get the right consistency. If it doesn’t look right yet just keep on blending!

Divide the mixture in two. To one half add the maca and cayenne, and to the other add the lemongrass oil and wheatgrass powder. Taste each mixture for flavour – you may want to add another pinch of cayenne or a drop of lemongrass, according to your preference. Place the flavoured caramels in the freezer to set while you make the chocolate.

Place the cacao paste, cacao butter, honey or maple, stevia and salt in a glass or stainless steel bowl which can fit over a saucepan. Bring some water to a simmer in the saucepan, and set the bowl over it. The trick with chocolate is to only ever use gentle heat, and to heat all the ingredients together. If you try to melt the cacao over direct heat, or add cold honey to it once it’s been melted, it will seize. Use a whisk to stir the chocolate until everything is melted, well combined and glossy.

Fill your moulds with chocolate one third of the way, making sure to use only half of the chocolate.  If you don’t have moulds, ice trays work just as well. Place in the freezer until set. Now use a small spoon to make a little ball of the set caramel and drop into the centre of the mould, trying to avoid the sides of the mould. Use the maca-chilli caramel for half of the moulds and the lemongrass-wheatgrass caramel for the other half. Fill the moulds with the remaining chocolate so that it pours around the caramel, and covers it. Place in the freezer again until set.

These chocolates do need to be kept in the fridge as they can melt at room temperature. I keep mine in a glass jar, and they can last up to a month (at least, that’s the longest mine have ever lasted before being eaten!)

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine