Anti-Inflammatory Parsnip & Turmeric Soup

parsnip turmeric

As you may well know about me already, the disease I had was rheumatoid arthritis. The pain was unbearable but the swelling, the fluid, inside the joints was the worst thing – it was so uncomfortable. I used to explain that it felt like jelly in between the joints as they moved – eugh! I never want that feeling back so I make sure I eat a lot of anti-inflammatory foods, turmeric being one of the top ingredients. My husband loves soups and they are so easy to make and such a great thing to have in the fridge during the winter. I usually try and make one a week and then I know I have lunch for a good few days. This week I had some parsnips left that were going to go bad if I didn’t use them soon so I decided to make a gorgeous winter-warmer anti-inflammatory soup.

Ingredients

5 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
Half tsp coconut oil
3 tbsp turmeric
1 cup boiling water
1 cup almond or coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Start by heating the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Once it’s hot, add the onion and leave for around a minute, stirring occasionally, until it becomes transparent. Then add the potatoes and parsnips and coat them with the oil.

Once coated, add the water and coconut or almond milk. Give it a good stir, then add the turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. If you don’t like it too thick, you can add more water or almond milk and you can adjust the amount of turmeric you use depending on your preference.

Turn down heat, put on the lid and leave to simmer for around an hour. Once all the vegetables are super soft, take off the heat and either transfer to a blender or use a handheld blender – my preference – and blend until smooth. Taste it now and see if you need to add salt or pepper. Serve straight away or keep it in the fridge (once cool) and reheat just as much as you need each time.

Enjoy!

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

 

Garlicky Green Beans

green beans

You may not think so because of their vibrant green colour, but green beans (or string beans) are very high in carotenoids (what you usually expect from orange or red veggies like carrots and tomatoes.) The expected orange or red is hidden by exceptionally high levels of chlorophyll. Carotenoids help to prevent cancer and are also important for heart health. Chlorophyll has many benefits, one of which is promoting iron levels. Green beans are also rich in silicon, which is important for bone health and the formation of connective tissue.

Health benefits aside, they are one of my favourite vegetables and can be prepared in many different ways. This is one of the quickest (and most delicious!) ways I know to prepare beans. I made this as an accompaniment to my Creamy Porcini Pasta last night.

Ingredients

75ml olive oil

juice of half to a whole lemon

4 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Himalayan crystal salt and black pepper to taste

350g green beans

Method

Combine the olive oil, juice of half a lemon and garlic to make a dressing. Blanch the beans in rapidly boiling water for just a few minutes until they turn a vibrant green. Don’t over cook them! They must still have a bit of a bite. Strain the water off the beans and then immediately toss them in the dressing. Season to taste and add more lemon juice if necessary (I like a lot of lemon.) These can be served hot or left to marinate and served at room temperature.

Love,

Raine

Creamy Porcini Pasta with Crispy Sage

photo 2

Who doesn’t love a good creamy pasta? You may think that when you switch to a healthy lifestyle it’s something you’ll have to give up permanently. But I’ve got good news… you CAN enjoy a delicious and satisfying bowl of pasta, and know that you’ve nourished your body with the good stuff!

Mushrooms have many medicinal properties and make a great substitute for meat.

This recipe is dairy-free, wheat- and gluten-free and vegan. I use raw cashew nuts to make my “cream” for this sauce and nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavour. You could use any gluten and wheat-free pasta, such as buckwheat, brown rice or amaranth pasta.

Ingredients

2/3 cup of raw cashews

1 1/4 cup of water

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp Himalayan crystal salt

a handful of fresh sage

250g quinoa pasta

Organic and virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil for frying

250g porcini mushrooms

120g shiitake mushrooms

3 big cloves of garlic, finely chopped

truffle oil and fresh lemon to finish

Method

Place the cashews, water, nutritional yeast and salt in a blender and blend until completely smooth.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Slice the mushrooms and saute them in coconut or olive oil. Once they start to brown nicely, add the garlic and continue to fry for a few minutes. 

In a separate pan, fry the sage in some oil for a few minutes until it turns crispy.

Season the sauce to taste with black pepper and salt if necessary. Toss the pasta and sauce together and serve topped with a few crispy sage leaves. Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil and a squeeze of lemon if desired.

Enjoy!

Love,

Raine

Plain Buckwheat Pancakes

plain buckwheat pancakes

I’ve always had an obsession with pancakes, even, I’m ashamed to say, the super unhealthy stacks of American style pancakes. So recently, I’ve set about trying to make the perfect healthy pancakes using buckwheat flour and I think I’ve perfected them! Buckwheat flour is amazing because, although you may think buckwheat is a grain, it is in fact a fruit seed so it’s great for people who are sensitive to grains, and really, we should all try and substitute other grains with buckwheat. Buckwheat also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and contains lots of phytonutrients that act as anti-oxidants and fight disease.

Other great ingredients in these pancakes are flax seeds and lucuma. Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids or ‘good fats’, they are also an anti-oxidant and they contain plenty of fibre. If you don’t have flax seeds around you could use chia seeds instead and use the same method to create a vegan ‘egg’. (It doesn’t look or taste like an egg but acts in the same way when baking.) Lucuma has tons of nutrients, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and is also excellent for the skin for anti-ageing!

You can top with fruit, nuts, seeds, maple – anything you like, have a play around!

Ingredients (makes about 6 pancakes)

4 flax ‘eggs’ (make by mixing 4 tbsp ground flax seeds with 10 tbsp water and put into the fridge for 30 mins)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1 heaped tbsp lucuma powder
1 ½ ripe bananas
1 tbsp agave nectar
1 cup of almond milk (or any nut milk of choice)
Coconut oil for cooking

Method

Sift flour, baking powder and lucuma into a bowl. Add mashed banana, agave and milk, then add the flax eggs and mix well.

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and once hot, add a ladle full of the mixture and spoon into a pancake shape. Cook for one minute then flip, the other side should take quicker than a minute.

You can add a tbsp. cacao to the mix or blueberries and top with anything you like! Here I have made acai coconut cream by taking the creamy top part from a tin of coconut milk and opened an acai capsule into it and blended.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Green Goddess Spirulina Smoothie Bowl

green goddess

‘How do you get protein if you’re a vegetarian?’ That is the question I am asked on a daily basis. And I love giving the answer! I get so much plant-based protein, protein that gets absorbed instantly and is bioavailable, that I’m sure I actually get more protein that my meat-loving husband! Plant-based wonders like chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa, nut butters, chickpeas and the wonderful spirulina contain all the protein I need. Spirulina is around 50-70% protein, a complete protein. To explain it in simpler terms, 100g of spirulina contains 57g protein, where100g of chicken, in comparison, contains only 16g protein! So I try to get it in my diet a couple of times a week and the best way to do that is in a smoothie or a juice. This is a great pre or post workout smoothie!

Ingredients

1 avocado
Handful spinach
2 dates
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp spirulina powder (I use Organic Burst)
1 tsb maca powder (I use Organic Burst)
Half cup frozen pineapple (cut up and frozen the night before)
1 frozen banana (cut in slices and frozen the night before)
Splash of almond milk

Method

Simply put all ingredients into a blender or food processor (I use the Vitamix) in the exact order listed above. Start on a low speed and increase slowly. Once it’s nice and creamy, pour it into a bowl and add your choice of topping. Here I used some homemade granola, poppy seeds, desiccated coconut and some fruit.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl

xAcai bowl

Oh hello breakfast! I don’t know about you guys, but breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day. I’ve never been the person who can go out the house without breakfast and wait until lunch. Since I started eating plant-based, unprocessed, wholefoods, breakfast has become a lot more fun! Because nothing I cook has any refined sugar, I can actually have dessert for breakfast! (Parfaits, nana ice cream etc).

I’m mad about the acai berry so today I decided to make a totally scrumptious acai bowl. 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! (I will post a recipe for a face mask using acai capsules soon). Acai berries are also rich in fatty acids omegas 3, 6 & 9 which is all you need for that anti-inflammatory boost and also makes it great for babies as they need their omegas in high amounts. Your babies will just love the sweet, creaminess of this – mine did!

I wanted to make this bowl really thick and creamy. It’s almost like a smoothie in a bowl but creamier, so a bit like dessert! I hope you love it as much as I do…

Ingredients

½ cup raspberries
½ cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries
2 dates
1 tbsp almond butter (you can use any nut butter)
2 tbsp almond milk
4 Organic Burst acai capsules, opened and sprinkled in
1 probiotic capsule (optional) (opened and sprinkled in)
1 frozen banana (chopped and frozen the night before)

Method

Simply put all the ingredients into your food processor or blender, 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!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren