Immunity Shots

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Anyone who’s ever wandered into a juice shop before or maybe even perhaps if your local grocery store has caught on, you may have come across juice shots. Usually they are sold as a potent dose of nutrients in a quick, easy to toss back shot. I remember when wheatgrass shots used to be the only variety kicking about. Nowadays, there are all sorts of different kinds being touted for a variety of ailments.

I’ve been experimenting with lemon ginger variations myself and I absolutely love them for this time of the year. They’re really great to have on hand to keep you feeling well when everyone else around you begins to feel under the weather from the changing temperatures.

I’ve included a couple of extras I also like to add to mine depending on if there’s something specific to target.

Ginger is wonderfully warming and aromatic and helps with cold and flus by promoting detoxification and healthy sweating. It’s also great for the gastrointestinal tract, helping to reduce nausea and upset stomach. Ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory making it beneficial for aches and pains of the muscles and joints.

Lemons are very alkalizing for the body. They contain a variety of antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C, which is one of the most important we can find to maintain a healthy immune system. You can try adding half a lemon to warm water in the morning upon rising to wake up your digestion and cleanse the system of toxins.

Together, these two make a potent spicy dose that feels like you’re literally kicking any bugs lurking around right out of your body! Experiment a bit to find the right combination of the ingredients for your ideal shot.

Makes approx. ¼ cup

Ingredients

1 lemon
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger

Optional:
2-3 drops of oregano oil (colds/flu)
4-5 drops of grapefruit seed extract (candida/parasites)
1-2 cm piece of fresh turmeric (anti-inflammatory boost)

Directions 

If using organic ingredients, you may choose to leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel away from both the lemon and ginger then juice through a juicer. Enjoy straight away for the best benefits or keep stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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Carrot Falafel with Sesame Seeds

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Falafel fan I have not always been but I’ve been playing with lots of different variations lately. These have been one of the best. They’re great for a meat free Monday recipe and in trying to include more plant based recipes in your life.

Usually falafel comes fried but I’ve made these by baking them in the oven and they are so delicious.

They’re free of any flour, frying, or grease but they still have a great crunch on the outside, and are fluffy and full of flavor on the inside.

The yogurt dip tops everything off but you can easily have them without.

They’re also great to make ahead to freeze for a quick dinner in the evening, or perfect for a portable lunch.

Makes 16-20 falafel

For the falafel:

1 tin 400g chickpeas

3 carrots

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup cashews

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp black pepper

pinch of salt

handful of fresh parsley

4 tbsp sesame seeds

For the yogurt dip:

4 tbsp organic, full fat Greek yogurt (or plain coconut yogurt)

1 lime, juice and zest of

handful each fresh mint and parsley

drop of maple syrup (about ¼ tsp max)

pinch salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. If you wish, lightly toast your nuts and seeds in a frying pan until fragrant and toasted. Add these to the food processor pulsing until you reach desired texture. Set aside.
  1. Add the carrots to the food processor and pulse. Rinse and drain the chickpeas, add alongside the carrots blending until combined.
  1. Add the nuts/seeds back in, garlic, egg, herbs, and spices making sure everything is blended until incorporated.
  1. Pour your sesame seeds into a shallow dish and taking tablespoons at a time of the mixture, form balls, then roll into the sesame seeds until covered. Pop these on a lined baking sheet continuing until all the mixture is gone.
  1. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Flip them over after the first 10 so they get evenly crispy on the outside.
  1. While the falafel is baking make your yogurt dip by adding the yogurt, lime juice and zest, fresh herbs, and seasoning to a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Serve with the falafel, warm from the oven.

 

 

Blackberry Walnut Breakfast Bars

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These breakfast bars are great if you’re short on time or need a mid-morning snack. They have quinoa for protein, chia seeds and walnuts for a healthy dose of omega 3s, and coconut oil for an energy boost.

These can easily be made completely vegan as well substituting the honey for an alternative sweetener and the egg for mashed banana. The egg is used to bind the ingredients together to make everything compact. A mashed banana or two works just as well and will add a little more sweetness!

I use organic ingredients as much as I can. I specify it for the coconut because often times the kind you find the in the shops tend to have preservatives and added sugar and not very much coconut at all. Buying organic means you should find 100% coconut but always read the labels to make sure.

Makes 8 bars

Ingredients:

1 ½ tbsp chia seeds + 4 tbsp almond milk

1 ½ cups oats (gluten-free if necessary)

½ cup organic desiccated coconut

½ cup quinoa (soaked overnight is best)

¾ -1 cup chopped walnuts

¾ cup fresh blackberries

3 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp honey (or maple syrup, date syrup)

1 egg (or 1 mashed banana)

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  1. Mix the chia seeds with the almond milk and set aside to “gel”.
  1. Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until you have a flour. Chop your walnuts, drain and rinse the soaked quinoa, and add to a large bowl along with the oats, desiccated coconut, and sea salt.
  1. Mash the berries (or pulse in a food processor) then add those to the bowl along with the chia seeds and almond milk mixture. Fold everything to combine.
  1. In a small saucepan on the stove, melt the coconut oil and add your sweetener. Add this to the oat mixture and make sure everything is coated nicely.
  1. Add the egg or mashed banana last. Depending on your ingredients you may not even require this step.
  1. Line a 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper leaving extra to hang over the sides and add the mixture to it patting it down well into the corners and smoothing the top with a spatula.
  1. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden at the edges. Allow this to cool completely before removing from the dish and cutting into bars.

You can keep these stored for a week or more in the fridge. Wrap them individually in parchment paper for a snack on the go.

 

 

Cacao Beet Smoothie

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Okay, this had to turn out good because I am not the biggest fan of beetroot! There’s been a lot of vegetables that I’ve opened myself up to over the past few years and have really learned to love but unfortunately, beets are not one I can get on board with! However I still eat them, mainly by juicing them because they are very nutritious. They’re wonderful for cleansing your liver and detoxing the body. No matter what though, they still end up tasting quite “earthy” to me. Well, enter this smoothie! Combining beets with chocolate is a classic combination of late and this is an excellent way to get in some veggies AND enjoy chocolate. Guilt Free. Because using raw cacao allows you to keep all the wonderful properties of pure chocolate (such as magnesium which we all tend to be pretty deficient in!) And this is delicious. I promise even if you despise veggies at all, this is a winner. When I make this I don’t really measure too much so adjust the quantities to your liking as these are estimates. You may find you’d like to add more cacao or berries or even a frozen banana to the mix.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (coconut milk, etc)

2 small beets

1/2- 1 whole avocado

1/2- 1 cup raspberries

2 tsp vanilla extract or a vanilla pod

Couple tbsp raw cacao

Pinch of cinnamon

Optional add-ins: raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp hearts

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

I added hemp hearts to mine for an added boost of protein. And a sprinkling of chia seeds and raw cacao nibs on top to make it that little bit more chocolatey!

Raw Chocolate Chia Pudding

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This raw cacao chia pudding tastes amazing. It’s good for you as well, which might be hard to believe as it looks and tastes decadent enough to be a dessert. However, with all the ingredients added to this it’s incredibly healthy and filling enough for breakfast or anytime.

Chia seeds are a bit strange when you first experiment with them and can be a bit of an odd texture but I promise when mixed with raw cacao, it tastes delicious and will have you eating them in no time!

They’re great in smoothies, sprinkled on top of porridge or yogurt, or added to baked goods. You can even use them to replace eggs in recipes.

Probably one of the best things about this recipe is that it takes no time at all to prepare. Just mix everything the night before and you’ll wake up to a bowl full of superfood goodness!

Ingredients:

To serve 1

1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)

¼ cup chia seeds

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp maca

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup (you could use raw honey or date syrup as well)

1 tbsp raw cacao

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together well your milk and chia seeds allowing the seeds to become incorporated with the liquid.
  1. Set aside for a couple of minutes to “gel” then mix the rest of your ingredients in until everything is nicely combined.
  1. Pop in the fridge overnight until you’re ready to eat in the morning. Sprinkle with whatever toppings you like.

I used hazelnuts and flaked coconut but you could add anything you like: nuts and/or seeds, granola, fruit, etc. Raspberries would be a great addition with the chocolate!

 

 

Homemade Almond Milk

almond milk

 

If you haven’t tried making your own almond milk (or any nut milk for that matter) you should definitely try it out! I had never given much thought to the difference between shop bought almond milk and homemade almond milk. Having made it myself I can definitely say that it is amazing and far outweighs anything that you’ll find on a shelf (which often contain fillers) It’s creamy and delicious and so very versatile in replacement of dairy milk. Making your own nut milk is a great way of knowing the exact ingredients you are consuming . It’s also incredibly good for you! This is how I make mine:

Ingredients:

2 cups of organic almonds (I usually buy the blanched almonds but you can easily use the ones with the skins on)

5-6 cups of filtered water (depending on how creamy you would like the milk)

pinch of sea salt

Optional add-ins: ½ tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp cinnamon

You will need: Nut-milk bag, cheesecloth, or muslin cloth

Directions: 

  1. Place almonds in a bowl of water to soak overnight. This not only softens the almonds to allow them to blend better but also breaks down the enzymes on the outer skin of nuts for easier digestion.
  1. When you’re ready to use, drain and rinse your almonds, then add to a blender with the 6 cups of filtered water and blend until smooth (Note: Depending on the size of your blender, you may want to do this in batches)
  1. Place your milk bag (or if using muslin cloth, line a fine mesh strainer with it) over a large bowl and slowly pour the milk through it.
  1. Use a spatula to lightly press down the liquid through the cloth and strainer in batches until you’re left with just the pulp in the cloth. Squeeze through the rest of the liquid and set aside the almond pulp.
  1. Return the milk to the blender adding in sea salt, vanilla extract, and/or cinnamon and blend again. When finished, add to a sealed jug and keep stored in the fridge to enjoy all week long.

Makes approx. 1 1/2 litres of almond milk

Use this in place of dairy milk in smoothies, porridge, breakfast, and baking recipes, or just on its own.

 

 

 

Yogi Energy Balls

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Sometimes even with the best intentions and in making something you’ve made countless times, things with cooking and baking don’t quite work out the way they’re meant to.  But sometimes that actually happens for a reason and that reason in this case was a delicious one! I was aiming to make my usual nut butter but in soaking the nuts beforehand I was left with nuts that simply wouldn’t become “butter”. Even though soaking nuts is a healthier way to consume them, it doesn’t necessarily make for good nut butter.

Enter these energy balls. I’ve added some healthy ingredients full of flavour for a quick bite size snack that hits the spot when you need it. These are raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free, but still so very yummy. They’re perfect before or after yoga class, as an afternoon pick me up, or even just for dessert! They’re super easy to make, taste chocolatey and indulgent, and are full of natural protein from the hemp hearts. Try them out yourself:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup hazelnuts

4 Medjool dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp coconut sugar

2 1/2 tbsp raw cacao

3 tbsp hemp hearts

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Soak the cashews and hazelnuts overnight (or minimum 4 hours) When ready to use, drain and rinse the nuts then blend in food processor until fine and crumbly. Add the dates and pulse for a few seconds before adding the rest of the ingredients, blending until fully combined.

Make the balls by taking tablespoons of the mixture and rolling into shape. Place on a lined baking tray and pop in the fridge until ready to serve.

Makes approx. 14 energy balls