LiveYoga

Cacao Nutty Protein Balls (and activating nuts)

Morning inspiration..... A bit of a concoction so measurements are approximate!

6-8 Medjool dates
3 tbsp organic peanut butter
Couple of handfuls of activated nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews & pumpkin seeds)
Coconut oil
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
3 tbsp protein powder
Desiccated coconut to roll them in

So, activated nuts. I was introduced to this through Sarah Wilson, the I Quit Sugar author. What does this mean and what are the benefits? Well, it is a rather laborious process, not difficult, just long; and on further reading different nuts require different soaking, different amounts of salt and varied drying times so definitely read up! Basically the nuts are soaked overnight in salted water then dehydrated in the oven on the lowest heat on no more than 65 degrees. The reason for doing this is to increase the nutrient value of the nuts and to break down phytic acid and enzymes (found in raw nuts), which inhibit the absorption of these nutrients. Plus - apparently it keeps us younger for longer. Yey! 

So if you enjoy eating large amounts of raw nuts, it is definitely worth activating them to avoid digestive issues such as bloating and heaviness, plus they are heavenly! I found these articles useful:

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/what+are+activated+nutsr,27474

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2541791/Just-nuts-Is-new-craze-activating-food-seeds-great-idea.html

#energyballs #proteinballs #recipe #eatwell #instafood #liveyoga #energy #nutrition #activatednuts

 

Banana Loaf

As seen in The Sunday Times food magazine by Sue Quinn

banana loaf

Makes: 1 large loaf
Time: 60 minutes

Vegetable oil (I used Rapeseed)
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
100g unsalted butter
120g unsweetened apple sauce (see below)
2 large eggs
40g Greek-style yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp allspice
2 tbsp milk
125g raisins
75g walnuts, chopped

Heat the oven to 160C (non-fan 180C). Oil and flour a 12cm x 25cm loaf tin, or equivalent.
In a bowl, beat together the butter and apple sauce until creamy (don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled). Gradually beat in the eggs, then the yoghurt, vanilla and bananas.

In another bowl, mix the 225g flour, bicarbonate of soda, allspice and a pinch of salt. Stir this into the banana mixture, alternating with the milk, then fold in the raisins and walnuts. Pour into the prepared tin, smooth the top and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.


Apple sauce
Makes: 500g
Time: 1-3 hours

1kg sweet apples, skin on, cored and chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional - I definitely added!)

Heat the oven to 150C (non-fan 170C). Place the apples in an ovenproof pan and roast them, covered, for about 1 hour, or until completely soft. Stir halfway through. Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker on high for 3 hours.

Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the cinnamon, if using, and blitz until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 1 week.

Mediterranean Cod with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Got blown out tonight (a rare night of having child care) so instead of pizza and wine I scraped together a lone piece of cod, olives, lemon and tomatoes (all 3 a must in my household), shallot and sweet potato. It was a very close 2nd and at least I will be free of a hangover tomorrow. Every cloud.....

Ingredients:

As above
Coconut Oil
Turmeric
Paprika
Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt
Pepper

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 deg
  • Heat the coconut oil in a baking tray and add the sweet potato (skin on), sprinkle with turmeric and paprika and season. 
  • Place the cod in foil and scatter with the tomatoes, sliced shallot and olives, top with sliced lemon, add oregano and season.
  • Cook the potatoes for approx 30 mins and the cod for 18-20 mins.

Ps if you peel your spuds, don't! Known as a super food, sweet potatoes cooked with the skin on are full of fibre, beta carotene (which converts into vitamin A in the body), potassium, iron, vitamin C and E and folate. Phew! Check out: http://www.livestrong.com/article/534200-what-nutrients-are-in-the-skins-of-sweet-potatoes/

Butternut Squash, Chicken and Halloumi Salad

This was a bit of a supermarket sweep/throw it all together salad which turned out to be so delicious.

salad, healthy eating, butternut squash, halloumi

Ingredients:

Organic or free range chicken breast
Butternut squash
Raw beetroot
Leaves of your choice
Radishes
Avocado
Piquante peppers (to add a little kick!)
Halloumi

Method:

  • Cut the squash into 2cm squares and roast for 30 minutes with the beetroot (small ones roast whole, large ones I would cut up). I tend to get a large squash, cut it all up and then freeze what I don’t use, such a great time saver for future meals.
  • Cook the chicken breast and either chop up or use whole, whatever you fancy.
  • Pan fry the halloumi in coconut oil until nice and crispy. I never use olive oil to cook anymore, more info here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/wellbeing/diet/10970070/Why-olive-oil-should-be-kept-out-of-the-frying-pan.html
  • Then simply throw it all together! Add dressing of your choice or not for a super healthy dish.
     

Sheree's Berry Cheesecake

Thank you Sheree, a super talented Muay Thai boxer, for this delicious recipe and for bringing me a slice to sample! 

www.shereehalliday.co.uk
Twitter: @sheree_halliday
Facebook: LadiesOnlyThaiFitClasses

Berry Cheesecake

Makes 12-15 slices

THE BASE:
300g almonds
500g Medjool dates

THE MIDDLE LAYER:
2 over-ripe bananas
400g cashew nuts
150ml maple syrup
100ml fresh apple juice
1tsp ground cinnamon

THE TOP LAYER:
1 banana
200g fresh blueberries
200g fresh strawberries
4 Medjool dates
1tbsp maple syrup
1tsp ground cinnamon

Before you begin!
Slice 3 bananas and freeze along with the blueberries (use fresh not frozen as too runny) for 3 hours. The cashew nuts also need to be soaked for 3 hours in a bowl of water.

STAGE 1: The base
Blend the almonds in a food processor until crushed.
Add the pitted Medjool dates and blend until a sticky mix forms.
Press into a cake tin and place in the freezer.

STAGE 2: The middle layer
Using a food processor blend all the middle layer ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Take base out of the freezer and add ¾ of the mix then place back in freezer, keeping the final ¼ of the mix in the food processor for the top layer.

STAGE 3: The top layer

Wait 20 mins for the middle layer to set and then add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and blend with the rest of the mix until smooth then pour over the middle layer.

Place the cake back into the freezer to set for 2-3 hours before serving. When ready take out and allow it to warm a little before serving.

 

Savoury Spring Muffins

With asparagus season under way I couldn't resist making these muffins that I came across in Yoga Journal. As it's a US mag the recipe was in cup measurements so I've converted for this recipe.

So before you read on, I'll be honest, this was my first foray into making muffins. Cupcakes no problem! But muffins, well, I learnt a thing or two so will pass on my pearls of wisdom first because mine were a little, shall we say, doughy....

  • Either melt the butter (not in a microwave as it cooks unevenly) or use olive oil which apparently is a better option for vegetable based muffins. I didn't melt the butter (I missed that part of the recipe) so the effect was pretty lumpy! I then used an electric handmixer to get the lumps out – ideally you would just whisk it with the eggs and milk. What can I say, with cupcakes you can blend with an electric mixer!

  • Secondly check your ingredients are in date! My baking powder was 18 months old and this can obviously affect your muffins getting the lift they deserve.

  • Thirdly, when you combine the dry and wet ingredients together, make sure you fold using a spatula and do not use an electric blender, like I did. If I had known mixing was the most important part, well..... So, do not over-mix; anything between 8-12 folds should do the trick and some lumpy bits are fine apparently.

  • Finally! Cornmeal and cornflour are 2 different things. I used the latter as the shop didn't have cornmeal, this means the muffins were denser than they should have been.

So all the above would have contributed to the doughy-ness. I will definitely be trying my hand at them again or certainly another savoury muffin. Watch this space!

Click here for the recipe and underneath are the conversions: http://www.yogajournal.com/recipe/recipes/savory-spring-muffins/

Asparagus: ½ cup = 95g
Flour: 1 ¾ cups = 210g
Cornmeal: ¼ cup = 30g
Milk: ¾ cup = 180ml
Peas: ½ cup = 95g
I just threw in the mixed herbs.

 

Coconut, Cocoa and Banana Blitz

healthy raw snack

I was recently on an anatomy course with Stuart Girling (h​ttp://loveyogaanatomy.com/)​ where another student, during break time, brought out these delicious little squares of coconut, banana and cocoa raw yumminess. I practically pounced on her for the recipe and only wish I could remember her name so I could dedicate it to her! I gave it the above name as you literally just blitz everything, except the banana. It takes approx 45 minutes.

Equipment:

Food processor
Tin (any shape ­ I used a round 18cm tin, for a healthier treat go bigger so the layers are thinner).

Ingredients:

200g brazil nuts
200g dates
Tbsp raw cocoa powder
2 bananas
250g raw coconut / flakes
Tbsp coconut oil
Agave nectar (depends on your sweet tooth!)

Method:

Using the food processor grind the brazil nuts to powder, add the dates and cocoa powder and blend. Press into tin and chill.

Once chilled slice then layer the bananas, ­the Magimix Mini I use has a slicing attachment so super quick and easy!

I used a whole coconut (check out YouTube on how to crack it) but I have bought coconut chunks from Tesco before which is easier! Blitz the coconut for 2­-3 mins to release the oils. You could use packet coconut flakes (which I did the first time) but it’s not quite a tasty as the real deal.

Add the coconut oil and agave nectar (add and taste until you find your required level of sweetness), blend together and pat the mixture onto the bananas.

For the sauce: blend the cocoa powder, coconut oil and agave nectar and spread on top. No measurements given for this one so simply estimate!

Chill.

All that is left to do now is to eat this very tasty ensemble of sweet, raw goodness.