Posts in Healthy Eating
Berry Smoothie - Guest Blogger Recipe

Smoothies are great to drink after a yoga session. Not only do they taste absolutely delicious, they also help to provide your body with a potent dose of essential vitamins and minerals.

To make a smoothie all you need is some fruits, vegetables, a liquid and a blender. You can also add in some nuts & seeds for good measure.

This smoothie has the following ingredients in it: 

1 cup of frozen mixed berries – namely blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Berries are excellent sources of powerful antioxidants which means eating them helps to reduce damage caused by free radicals in your body. This in turn helps fight off diseases such as cancer. Using frozen berries will give the smoothie a thick milkshake like consistency.

1 cup of spinach – spinach has long been known to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet and for good reason. Even though it is made up of more than 90% water, it is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate and manganese. In place of spinach you can also use kale or Swiss chard. 

1 cup of coconut water – coconut water is naturally sweet, which when combined with the sugars found in the berries helps to make this smoothie more palatable. Coconut water also contains potassium and magnesium, both of which are important for heart health.

1 tablespoon of almond butter – nuts and nut butters are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They contain minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and copper, all of which are needed by your body in small amounts.

1 Medjool date (pitted) – dates are one of the most delicious fruits on the planet and are a great alternative to chocolate & candy. Adding a date to the smoothie will really help to enhance its flavour.

1 tablespoon of chia seeds – these seeds though tiny are a good source of calcium and dietary fiber. When they are added to water, they swell up, thereby helping to thicken up the smoothie. You can also use flax or sunflower seeds instead.

To make the smoothie, add the coconut water to a blender followed by all of the other ingredients and process for 30 seconds until everything is well mixed. For added thickness, throw in a few ice cubes and process further.

If you enjoyed this recipe, try out some of these smoothie recipes as well.


Guest Blogger Veronica writes for Healthsomeness.com, a website dedicated to providing information on fitness, healthy eating and general wellbeing.

Middle Eastern Couscous Salad

This is the perfect accompaniment to a creamy curry or tagine, or as a barbecue side salad. Packed with dried fruit, toasted nuts, green herbs, citrus and pomegranate seeds, this has all of the flavours of Western Asia and the beautiful colours make an elegant and stunning dish on the table. Although quite a hefty list of ingredients, there aren't many steps as it is pretty much just a case of combining everything together.


Recipe

250g couscous
1 red onion (100g), thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves (12g), crushed
1.5 tsp citrus zest (lemon or lime or a combination of both)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2.5 tbsp orange juice
1.25 tsp toasted cumin seeds
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
100g dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, chopped figs or a mix of 3)
30g roughly chopped fresh herbs (coriander, parsley, mint or a mix of 3)
80g pomegranate seeds
150g toasted nuts (flaked almonds and pistachios or a mix of both)

Directions

Mix all of the ingredients from the red onion through to the pomegranate seeds together and let sit in a bowl for as long as possible, preferably overnight. This will allow the red onion to soften and the dried fruit to plump up in the citrus juices.
Cook the couscous according to packet instructions, usually by soaking in hot water for about 10 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed.
Mix the couscous and the nuts into the rest of the ingredients. I find that mixing by hand is easiest. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe by CAMYOGA Chef Alice Kabala

Raw Beetroot Homous Recipe
beetroot homous

I always think that dips are a perfect choice for parties: they're relaxed and informal to eat; they're easy to scale up and make in large quantities; and they're served cold so you can just put them on the snack table and forget about them. Probably most importantly, they are very quick to make, which is a huge bonus for those of use who don't take huge pleasure in rolling tens and tens of individual filo pastry parcels!

Homous is a steadfast favourite of vegans and non-vegans alike so you will rarely get anyone complaining about the basic recipe, but this variation on the classic makes it a touch more special (not to mention beautiful to look at!) I always think that you can make quite a striking looking platter with dips as well, combined with a variety of colourful vegetable sticks, crackers, breads or crisps, depending on what you like to dunk in to them! I would thoroughly recommend using a blender for this too; even a high-end food processor won't be able to get the smooth, creamy consistency that you want for this dip. The one downside for this recipe is that it doesn't keep brilliantly, so you will want to make it the day before, or the day of, the event that you're serving it.


Recipe
1 can (240g) cooked chickpeas
250g raw beetroot
75g tahini
50g extra virgin olive oil
50g water (from the chickpea can or fresh water)
Zest (1.25 tbsp) and juice (50ml) of 1 large lemon
2 large (13g) garlic cloves
1.5 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions
Scrub the beetroot (no need to peel) and chop in to slightly more manageable chunks for the blender.
Place in to the blender, along with all the other ingredients, and process until completely smooth. That's it!
Garnish with parsley, sesame seeds or anything else you feel like!

Vegan Victoria Sponge
vegan-victoria-sponge

I have been seeking a good vegan victoria sponge recipe for a while, as it seems a little tricker to pull off than a vegan chocolate cake (which was perfected long ago!)

Not sure It rightfully sits in healthy eating as it does contain sugar, but it is a great celebration or party cake and will fool non vegans everywhere!

This recipe has been adapted from one we found on Jamieoliver.com and made with me by my daughter Ilia who loves to bake!

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 190c
Grease and line with baking paper two springform tins, approx 20cm

Ingredients:

Cake mix:
300g Vegan margarine (I use Pure sunflower)
300g Golden granulated or caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence (I use Neilsen-Massey, it's the best)
200g soya yoghurt
1 lemon zest
300 g Self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder

Filling:
Jam (strawberry or raspberry)
Buttercream (beat 1/2 cup vegan margarine with 1- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence until it is very thick)

Directions:

Cream margarine and sugar together for about 5 mins until very creamy and light.
Add lemon zest, yoghurt and soya yoghurt. Sift together flour and baking powder and add gradually to the mix, beating the mix with a wooden spoon. Don't panic if your mix has curdled!  If it does curdle, just grab a whisk and gradually add the flour 1/2 a cup at a time, whisking until the mix returns to normal. The mix should not to too firm, add a little soya milk until it is a thick pouring consistency. Once the mix looks the right consistency, do not over mix and pour right away into your two tins.

Bake for 25-30 mins (the original recipe said 15-20 mins but i never found this enough). The top of the cake should be firm to the touch, if it is not then bake a little more.

Cool in the tines for 10 mins then carefully turn our onto a wire rack. Leave the baking paper on the base until it is completely cool. If your cake had risen quite a bit in the oven, don't be surprised if it sinks a bit once it is out! Should end up flat or slightly risen.

This cake is quite firm and easy to handle. Once it is cool carefully peel off the base baking paper. Put one side top side down on your serving plate. Add a layer of jam, then a layer of buttercream. Remove the baking paper from the second side, and carefully place on top.

Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar (place a teaspoon of icing sugar in a small sieve or tea strainer and  gently shake all over the top)

That's it! This cake slices really well and is delicious! My children insist on the buttercream, but it is also great with just the jam filling (and not so sweet)

 

Perfect Vegan Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons agave/maple
  • 1 cup sunflower/rapeseed/olive oil

Directions:

Blend soy milk, salt, mustard, vinegar and sweetener (i use a hand blender)

Once mixed gradually pour in the oil, preferably slowly whilst still blending.

May should be thick and creamy, if it feels too runny, add a little more oil.

I generally use sunflower oil, but it works fine with any other oil. Olive oil gives a stronger taste.