Strawberry Banana Acai Smoothie Bowl

Strawberry Acai Bowl2

You’ve probably seen my Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl and this one is not dissimilar, I just used slightly different ingredients.

I try to open a few acai capsules into my breakfast every few days because the acai berries have been tested to hold more polyphenols and antioxidants than pretty much any other food. You get polyphenols from other berries, especially blueberries, but acai berries have them in an abundance never seen before. They are indigenous to the Amazon in Brazil and have only recently become public knowledge – great for us! Polyphenols make us happy and also help us prevent and beat degenerative diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases. Polyphenols also make your skin look and feel incredible so including them in your diet as well as using them as a beauty product will help not only your inner health, but your outer health too! Acai berries are also rich in fatty acids omegas 3, 6 & 9 which is all you need for that anti-inflammatory boost.

This really is so easy to make guys, so ditch the cardboard-like, sugar-filled, store-bought cereals and have this yummy creation for brekkie!

Ingredients

1 cup strawberries
1 heaped tbsp almond butter
2 dates
2 tbsp Coyo coconut yoghurt (optional but makes it extra creamy)
3 acai berry capsules, opened and sprinkled in
1 probiotic capsule, opened and sprinkled in (optional but great for gut health)
3 tbsp almond milk
2 bananas, one pre-frozen and one fresh

Optional toppings:
Granola
N
uts
Seeds
Fruit
Goji berries

Method

Simply put all the ingredients into your food processor or blender, except for the fresh banana, in the exact order as they appear, and start blender on a low speed and increase gradually. Once creamy pour into a bowl and top with anything you like such as nuts, seeds, goji berries, fruit, granola – the world is your acai bowl!

Happy breakfast!
Love,
Lauren

Roasted Butternut Squash with Garlicky Spinach

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When you first go vegetarian or vegan, it can be a bit stressful, especially if you are short of time. That’s because we’re so used to being able to ‘stick a steak under the grill’ or ‘put a chicken in the oven’ or ‘grill a chicken breast’ and so on and so forth. I got stressed about it myself when I first went fully veggie this time last year, which is why I try to come up with EASY vegetarian meals. I still have to cook meat for my husband, so it would be a hell of a lot of work if I was making highly intricate meals for me along with his meals. What I try to do is either a variation of whatever he’s having, or something simple, especially during the week when it’s all rush rush rush. But on nights like last night, he is more than happy to be part of vegetarian night because the food is so good!

I love butternut squash, I probably cook it in some variation at least once a week (by the way, speaking of butternut squash, you must try Raine’s Butternut Gnocchi!) Butternuts are high in fibre, low in calories and high in Vitamin B Complex which I need lots of for my nerve problems caused by long-term arthritis. They are also high in polyphenols (like acai berries and blueberries) which are great anti-oxidants. An all round brilliant vegetable!

Ingredients

1 butternut squash (half per person)
1 small bag of spinach
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan salt

Method

Preheat your oven to 180. Cut the ends off the butternut and cut it in half, lengthways. Place it on a baking tray and bake for about an hour.

Take it out the oven after an hour and remove the seeds with a spoon – they should come out really easily now – and throw them away. Drizzle a little olive oil and salt over it and put back in the oven for half an hour.

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Meantime, cook the spinach by heating 1 tsp of the oil in a saucepan. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the spinach, in small batches, along with some salt. It wilts to nearly nothing so a whole bag will end up just about filling the holes of the butternut. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes (should be less) for the spinach to be ready. Leave to the side, remove the butternut halves from the oven and fill the holes with the spinach. Serve on its own or with any accompaniments you choose. I served it with my vegan falafel, homemade tahini and some avocado.

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Peace and Love!
Lauren

Chai Coconut Milk Chia Pudding

chai chia pudding2

That might sound like a mouthful, and it is… a mouthful of deliciousness and health! “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength” and these little seeds were prized for their ability to provide long-lasting energy. They provide high nutrition for low calories (almost all of their carbohydrates are in the form of fibre) so this is a great food if you’re trying to lose weight. They are high in protein, fibre, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and antioxidants.

You can sprinkle chia seeds over your breakfast or add them to smoothies, but my favourite way to eat them is by making chia pudding. When you soak these little nutritional powerhouses in liquid, they swell and absorb the liquid. The result is a creamy and delicious pudding. Great for breakfast or dessert… and who doesn’t love dessert for breakfast?!

I prefer to grind my spices fresh in a coffee grinder as the flavour is much more intense, but you could use pre-ground spices if you don’t have whole spices or a coffee grinder.


Ingredients

1 stick of cinnamon (3/4 tsp ground)
1 star anise (1/4 tsp ground)
the seeds of 8 green cardamom pods (1/2 tsp ground)
about 1/5 of a whole nutmeg (1/4 tsp ground)
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 – 2 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup
2 cups coconut milk (I make my own but you can use an organic tinned one which contains only coconut and water)
90ml chia seeds
60ml hemp seeds

Method

Firstly, grind the spices until you have a fine powder. Place them in a bowl with the honey and salt and a few drops of the coconut milk. Use a whisk to dissolve the honey, and then add the rest of the coconut milk. Add the chia and hemp seeds and whisk well so that the seeds are well distributed through the liquid.
I normally leave it overnight in the fridge, stirring once before I go to bed. If you’re in a hurry, you could stir every hour or so and it should be ready in about 4 hours.

I layered mine with fresh mango, banana, brazil nuts and goji berries for a delicious and energising breakfast.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine

Buckwheat Blueberry & Poppy Seed Muffins

Buckwheat Blueberry Muffins

Firstly, we both want to thank you all for the amazing response we’ve had to our blog after only going live yesterday – we appreciate it so much!

I really went out on a limb here today. I wanted to make blueberry muffins for my husband for the weekend as he loves them but I’ve never made buckwheat muffins so I decided to really experiment which is sometimes risky as it can go wrong and you end up throwing away a bunch of good ingredients! Thankfully though, these turned out perfectly!

Buckwheat flour is the perfect substitute for wheat flour because, although you may think buckwheat is a grain, it is in fact a fruit seed so it’s a great replacement for wheat. Buckwheat also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and contains lots of phytonutrients that act as anti-oxidants to fight fight disease. Blueberries are also brilliant anti-oxidants. I also used poppy seeds in these because they are a good source of B-Complex vitamins and I’m trying to increase my B-Complex intake to help my nerve pains, something I still suffer from as a by-product of having long-term arthritis.  Poppy seeds are in fact extracted from the pods of the opium poppy, we just don’t get the same side effects with them (!) They are high in oleic acid (a mono-unsaturated fatty acid) so they help lower cholesterol and they are high in fibre. And guess what? They’re also anti-oxidants!

Ingredients (these are gluten free, dairy free and refined-sugar free)

2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Half tsp Himalayan salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs (for vegan, substitute with 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 5 tbsp water, mixed and left to set for 20 mins)
Quarter cup almond milk
Quarter cup agave or maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1-2 tbsp poppy seeds, depending on your preference

Method

Preheat the oven to 180.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the mashed banana, then add the almond milk, agave and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. It doesn’t matter if there are a few lumps from the bananas but make sure you mix in all the flour from the bottom of the bowl. Then add the blueberries and poppy seeds.
Place around 9-12 muffin cases in a cupcake oven tray and using a large spoon, spoon in the mixture into each one, filling to nearly the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and fairly moist.
Enjoy warm or cooled.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Love,
Lauren

Protein Packed Breakfast Parfait

breakfast parfait2

Tell me this doesn’t make you hungry just by looking at it! I’m in heaven right now eating my breakfast… mostly because I love that I can basically have dessert for breakfast!

So let’s start from the bottom: the bottom layer is my homemade maple and pecan granola, followed by raspberry coconut chia pudding, then some puffed quinoa pops, then my homemade healthy nutella, followed by Meridian Foods natural organic peanut butter, then some more granola sprinkled on the top. This is basically just one big jar of plant protein. I had a bit of this then went for a 45 minute power walk with the dogs. The cacao, quinoa and peanut butter are packed full of protein and the great thing about chia seeds is that although they contain carbohydrates, most of their carbohydrates are not digested by the body as carbohydrates but as fibre, so it speeds up the metabolism and gives you energy at the same time. They are also loaded with anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids; gram for gram, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon…

Ingredients

Homemade granola – click on link for recipe
Raspberry chia pudding – click on link for recipe
Quinoa pops – store bought
Homemade healthy nutella – click on link for recipe
M
iridian Foods smooth peanut butter

Method

Simply layer away and enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Blueberry Acai Smoothie

blueberry acai smoothie

I just love this picture! It snowed for the first time this year and I thought it would be nice for you guys to see it, especially Raine, who is probably lying by the pool right now – it’s summer in South Africa you know!

Anyway I need my anti-oxidants at the moment and acai berries have more anti-oxidants than any other known food. These anti-oxidants come from the high count of polyphenols in the berries, this is what gives them their gorgeous purple colour. If you want an immune boost, get yourself some Organic Burst acai capsules and use them as much as you can! If you add a probiotic capsule to this also, you’re really doing all you can for your immune system right now!

Ingredients

Half a cup of raspberries
Half a cup of blueberries
Half a cup of strawberries
1 tbsp almond butter
2 acai capsules (opened and sprinkled in)
2 dates
1 probiotic capsule
3 tbsp almond milk
1 frozen banana (cut in slices and frozen the day before, or any day before!)

Method

Simply put all the ingredients in your blender, in that exact order, and blend away! Pour into a glass and enjoy the sweet, smooth taste.

Love,
Lauren

Blood Orange & Jaffa Orange Juice

blood and jaffa

These winter days (in London, not in South Africa where Raine is sunning herself!) need lots of vitamin C and anti-oxidants, so some days I may make a fruit juice instead of a green vegetable juice. Today I really craved oranges and the lovely people at Abel & Cole sent me a box full of them!

Ingredients

3 Jaffa oranges
3 blood oranges

orange

Method

Peel the oranges, leaving the pith on, and juice! Simples!

Love,
Lauren

Roasted Aubergine with Tahini

aubergine

Another one of my staples growing up was the aubergine. Honestly, my mum can do about 150 things with an aubergine! But I just wanted a simple dinner tonight, so I simply roasted it. Aubergines are rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin which is found in the skin. Nasunin is what gives it its deep purple colour. As well as being a great antioxidant, it also protects the lipids (or fats) in brain cell membranes so if you’re feeling a little forgetful, get some aubergine down you! This one is totally vegan. We have another one on here using Greek yoghurt, check it out: Roasted Aubergine with Greek Yoghurt

Ingredients

1 aubergine (per person)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Himalayan salt and black pepper

For the tahini:
4 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch Himalayan salt
Pinch garlic salt
1 tsp paprika

Method

Preheat your oven to 180. Wash the aubergine and pat dry with a towel. Slice the aubergine lengthways down the middle. Next, take your knife and make deep criss cross incisions.

images

Brush the olive oil over the whole aubergine, both sides, then face them upwards on a baking tray and spread one crushed garlic clove on one half, and one on the other, then add salt and pepper.

Bake for twenty minutes, then turn them over and bake for another twenty minutes. Turn over once more and bake for a further ten minutes. You want to make sure the inside is really soft.

While it’s baking, make the tahini by simply putting all the ingredients (except the paprika) in a bowl and mixing really well. If it’s too thick, add some more water. If it’s too strong, add some more lemon juice.

Once the aubergine halves are ready, remove from the oven, place on a plate and spoon the tahini on top and sprinkle with paprika. Simples!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Roasted Aubergine with Greek Yoghurt and Chives

aubergine (2)

Another one of my staples growing up was the aubergine. Honestly, my mum can do about 150 things with an aubergine! But I just wanted a simple dinner tonight, so I simply roasted it. Aubergines are rich in antioxidants, specifically nasunin which is found in the skin. Nasunin is what gives it its deep purple colour. As well as being a great antioxidant, it also protects the lipids (or fats) in brain cell membranes so if you’re feeling a little forgetful, get some aubergine down you! This has Greek Yoghurt so it is vegetarian but not vegan. For a vegan aubergine recipe, try our Roasted Aubergine with Tahini

Ingredients

1 aubergine (per person)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Himalayan salt and black pepper
Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chives, chopped

Method

Preheat your oven to 180. Wash the aubergine and pat dry with a towel. Slice the aubergine lengthways down the middle. Next, take your knife and make deep criss cross incisions.

images

Brush the olive oil over the whole aubergine, both sides, then face them upwards on a baking tray and spread one crushed garlic clove on one half, and one on the other, then add salt and pepper.

Bake for twenty minutes, then turn them over and bake for another twenty minutes. Turn over once more and bake for a further ten minutes. You want to make sure the inside is really soft.

Once ready, add a dollop of Greek yoghurt on each half and sprinkle with chives.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Raw “Snickers”

 

Snickers

This is one of the recipes I am most proud of 🙂 and, Raine & I made this one way before all the other healthy ‘snickers’ recipes came out (just putting that out there!)
This recipe has no refined sugar, no dairy, no wheat and no chemical additives like you would find in factory-produced chocolate. It also means you get all the goodness of REAL chocolate: raw cacao.
Cacao is very high in antioxidants (fights off cancer), magnesium (very important for muscle health and sound sleep) and it enhances the production of feel-good chemicals in your brain (namely seratonin and dopamine.)
No wonder the Aztecs believed that cacao was a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom! The beans were so valuable that they used them as a form of currency.

They look different every time I make them for some reason! Below is another picture to show you.

Ingredients

For the nougat:

120g rolled oats
120g almonds
60ml maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the caramel:
15 dates
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
90g peanut butter
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract or powder
Pinch Himalayan salt

For the chocolate:
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp almond or cashew butter
1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup chopped raw almonds

Method

Line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Blend together the ingredients for the nougat, either in a mini blender or a food processor. Spread the nougat over the bottom of the tin and put in the freezer.

Place the ingredients for the caramel in a blender and blend for a few minutes, until the ingredients melt together and turn slightly darker in colour. Pour over the nougat base. (the nougat should have been in the freezer at least 20 mins first).

Gently melt together the ingredients for the chocolate.

After another 20 mins take it out the freezer again and add the crushed almonds, then pour over the chocolate and return to the freezer for an hour.

Remove and cut them into slices. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

raw snickers

Love & health,
Lauren