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Posts tagged ‘antioxidants’

Delicate, Dainty and Delicious – Prawn and Asparagus Heaven

Available in white and green varieties, asparagus is delicate, dainty and delicious. It is also packed with health benefits which have been recognised since ancient times and many believe that asparagus contains aphrodisiac properties too... so either way it’s a win/win situation! This is low carb, low sugar, low calorie and low fat but still filling, super tasty and nutritious!

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Smoked Salmon Pâté – snacking for Health & Va-Va-Voom

Snacking is a sneaky, silent, slayer which will un-do all your healthy eating efforts if you let it. This snack is super healthy and beautifying (probably!) -- for the vain amongst you, this snack will get your skin glowing, your hair luxuriant and will restore your levels of Va-Va-Voom in no time!

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Saucy, Love Apples… for Valentine’s Day (and every other day too.)

If you end up making this for your Valentine... did you know that Tomatoes used to be called “Love Apples” because of their sizzling hot, seductive, scarlet colour and because, in times gone by, they were considered to have aphrodisiac properties (you can thank us later!)

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Post-Indulgence Recovery in a glass…

For many of us, December is a month of over-indulgence and increased socialising, both of which can play havoc with our waistlines, energy levels and immune systems. Studies are showing that many people put on around 2lbs/1kg over the Christmas period which they then NEVER fully lose. How annoying!

With this in mind, we think you should try fortifying your more hectic/social/indulgent months of the year with some nutritious smoothies or juices which will fill you with vitality, boost your immune levels and will get you looking absolutely radiant. We know that there is debate in the healthy eating world about “smoothies vs juices” but we think both have their merits and can be enjoyed equally.

Drinking a glass of pure vegetable juice every day is like an instant hit of High Dosage Feel Good Factor. Aside from this, each ingredient in this juice does something to help with our seasonal PIR (Post-Indulgence Recovery.) We all know we need it! Each ingredient supports the immune system in its own way but each veggie here also works specifically to help you.

Beetroot supports the body to detox and repair, carrots and their natural sugars help gently boost energy levels, lemon will perk up the immune system with Vit C and ginger helps indigestion and feelings of nausea or actual sickness. The dash of oil is because one of the key nutrients in carrots (Vitamin A/retinol) is fat soluble — so oil will ensure your body sucks up the carroty goodness like a big, old, thirsty sponge! Whether you have over-indulged on the food side or have a self-inflicted hangover (naughty naughty)… this is the juice for you.

You do need a juicer for this recipe but, honestly, if you’re new to juicing, you don’t need to go out and spend a fortune and, for many of us, this is the perfect time of year to add it to your Christmas Wish List! Get the one that seems the best for your budget, making sure that it can juice a good variety of fruits/vegetables (ideally including leaves like spinach, lettuce and kale.) Also, get one that you can clean easily/stick into the dishwasher (saves on time and manicures!)

You don’t need to drink gallons of the stuff  – just a medium glass will do. And you don’t need to drink this daily as it’s better to try different juices/smoothies during the week rather than sticking to one type… your tastebuds will respond by appreciating the new flavours and your body will respond by sucking in as much of the nutrition as it can. If you’re not yet converted to pure veggie juices, this is a good one to start with because carrots are actually very sweet when juiced (diabetics/those watching blood sugar levels take care.)

One little side effect to warn you of… for those of you not used to taking in concentrated beetroot… beetroot does not lose all its colour as it passes through your digestive system… so, keeping in mind that “what goes in, must come out” we’ll leave you to work out the rest! (On  a serious note — we just want to mention it as genuinely some people have really become quite scared by this beetroot side effect!)

What you need (for one glass): 

  • 1 medium sized, raw Beetroot (ideally organic, well washed and unpeeled)
  • 2 large, raw Carrots (ideally organic, well washed and unpeeled)
  • Fresh, raw Ginger to taste – aim for around 1/2 an inch
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 1 tsp of oil of your choice (e.g.. flax, extra virgin olive, rapeseed, coconut)
  • Optional – echinacea tincture if you use it, a handful of fresh parsley (it’s an amazing cleanser/detox booster), matcha powder if you want an energy boost (read our write up on our favourite Matcha on our “obsessed” page.)

How to make it:

Follow the guidelines for your particular juicer in terms of how much you need to chop the veg up (don’t peel it though) and how much you can put through the chute/feeder. Then push the beetroot, carrots and ginger through the juicer and watch the juicing magic happen! Finally add the fresh lemon juice, oil and any of the other optional extras that you would like to add!

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No Longer just a Guilty Pleasure…

This brand delivers some of the most incredible cacao and chocolate you can possibly imagine and is set up by a chap called Willie Harcourt-Cooze (we kid you not — that is his real name!) He is utterly obsessed with the stuff and appreciates cacao in the way some people learn about wine, coffee and cheese. Much of this brand’s range is vegan approved as well – so it is suitable for anyone who is following that way of eating and/or cannot tolerate dairy products.

What does this cacao mean for a chocoholic? It means that you get the most sublime, chocolate fix possible and,  because of its purity, a little goes a very long way. It is so intense that it is virtually impossible to binge on it, which does make it a healthier choice. You won’t have those awful feelings of “why oh why oh why oh why oh why oh why did I just eat 2 bars of milk chocolate back to back without even stopping to breathe?!”

100% cacao is totally unsweetened and is available in different single origin varieties –all of which deliver an intense, chocolatey hit packed with goodness. Initially 100% might be too intense for some people, and the adjustment to no sugar could take some getting used to — but you can start with a good 80% variety and then begin to work your way up as your tastebuds begin to acclimatise to the intensity of this exceptional product.

Unlike regular chocolate bars, high percentage cacao can quite proudly wear its underwear on top of its trousers… not because it is some sort of weird exhibitionist but because it really is quite the culinary Superhero. You’ll find that Cacao is increasingly being referred to as a “superfood” because of its composition of antioxidants, minerals and “feel good” compounds which can leave you pleasantly energised and with a nice sense of well-being.

Cacao contains many things — Antioxidants which keep us looking young and beautiful, Phenylethylamine which elevates the mood gently and Theobromine which is a mild stimulant and helps with the “feel good” factor and will increase your energy levels (some research also suggests it can also help the body push out toxins more efficiently too.) Cacao can also increase our serotonin levels which can help with anyone who is feeling a little down and/or low in energy. On top of all that, it also provides magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, manganese and vitamins A, B1/2/3, C and E.

Cacao is a hugely versatile ingredient and can be used for baking, chocolate truffles, adding to smoothies and also, because it is unsweetened, can be added into casseroles, sauces and gravies to provide a really deep, background flavour which is absolutely delicious. One of the quickest ways to enjoy this though is just to make an incredible hot chocolate — grate it into hot water (you don’t need milk but could use it if you wanted to), stir it over heat, flavour it with anything you like (chilli, cardamon, orange zest) — or have it plain — and then, if you want to, add honey/stevia/unrefined sugar. Then sit somewhere quiet, turn your phone to silent, come offline and drink every last drop of it!

Priya drinks hers unsweetened and it really is like drinking a great espresso — the flavour is just as powerful but it is also mellow and rounded and it definitely leaves you with a nice buzz of energy. Just a word of caution, cacao does contain caffeine — and so too much of it is going to take you from feeling nicely energised to bouncing off the walls like a squash ball. So be sensible.

We’re not telling you to suddenly start eating huge quantities of this stuff — we’re telling you that you can eat a better quality of product, enjoy it in moderation, reap some super health benefits from it and not have to feel quite so guilty about enjoying it. They key is moderation and a healthy approach to this. We’re just showing you that a healthier life does not mean a life without the chocolatey loveliness of cacao. Thank God.

Check out the range at www.willieschocolateshop.com

Watermelon Salad – Pretty, Pink and Perfect for Princesses (and everyone else really)

Breathe the Watermelon... Feel the Watermelon... Be the Watermelon. A fast and easy salad (there’s a smutty joke to be made somewhere here) which can be used as a canapé, starter, accompaniment, part of a mezze or as a light lunch or dinner. It’s refreshing, hydrating, nutritious and it's pink and pretty!! What's not to like?

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Green is the new Black…

Very carefully thought out to make sure every, single ingredient is making a valid contribution to your overall health, well-being and general mojo (whatever that might be!) Drink one of these a day and your skin will glow, your energy levels will rocket and people will be drawn to you because of the undeniable waves of vitality that you will emit from every pore!

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