Zucchini noodles with basil pesto

basil-pesto
This is a super light and tasty dish that works beautifully topped with your favourite protein and smashed avocado for a good serve of healthy fats.

Zucchinis. known as courgettes in the UK, are wonderfully alkalising vegetables rich in antioxidants. They are beneficial for eye health and contain a special type of pectin which has been linked to helping the body regulate insulin and protect against diabetes. They’re also very low in calories so perfect for those trying to lose weight or on a low-carb diet.

Like many other green leafy vegetables, basil is rich in vitamin K which plays an important role in the body helping blood clot, building healthy bones and providing support for the cardiovascular system. Basil contains flavonoids that help protect the body’s white blood cells against DNA damage and have antibacterial qualities that help protect against unwanted bacterial growth. Basil oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that may be beneficial for those with arthritis.

Basil pesto

  • 2 cups basil approx 50g
  • 50g / 1.75oz parmesan
  • 50 / 1.75oz pine nuts
  • 1 large clove of garlic/1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or 4-5 tablespoons if you like a runnier pesto that will keep a little longer in the fridge)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place the ingredients in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. You will end up with the consistency of a thick paste. To thin I add water when cooking but prefer not to add it when making the pesto as it doesn’t tend to keep as long. Alternatively you can add a tablespoon or two extra of olive oil when blending and this will result in a runnier, more traditional style pesto and will also help it keep longer in the fridge.

Zucchini noodles

  • 6 medium to large zucchinis / courgettes (approx 600g / 21oz)
  • 18 cherry tomatoes
  • 30g /1oz pine nuts
  • OPTIONAL: half a ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 5 minutes
  2. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes until soft
  3. Heat a pan to a medium heat and dry cook the pine nuts for a minute or two, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Create your zucchini noodles using either a food processor, mandolin slicer or if you don’t have one you can use a good old fashioned cheese grater (obviously this won’t be as pretty but the effect will be the same)
  5. If you have time and you wish to drain out the excess liquid from the zucchinis, place them in a food colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so then rinse thoroughly and pat dry (I’m happy with a little extra liquid in my noodles so don’t worry about this step)
  6. If using avocado, mash it with a fork (and if you have a little fresh lemon, sprinkle a tiny bit of juice over the top to keep it nice and green)
  7. Heat a saucepan to a medium heat, add the olive oil and saute the zucchini for a minute until lightly warmed through then set aside
  8. Place 3 generous tablespoons of pesto in the pan. If you used 3 tablespoons of olive oil when making the pesto you will need to add approx 2 tablespoons of water to the pan. If you made the pesto with extra olive oil, you won’t need the water. Allow to heat and if using pesto and water stir with a wooden spool until mixed to a thin paste
  9. Return the zucchini to the pan with the pesto for a short time (less than a minute) until the pesto is mixed through the zucchini
  10. Top with the roasted baby tomatoes, pine nuts and smashed avocado (if using avocado)
  11. Serve with your favourite protein (I like poached chicken – if you’re vegetarian chickpeas work well)

Serves 2

zucchini-noodles-basil-pesto

Quinoa and chia seed breakfast bowl

quinoa-chia-breakfast-bowl

This recipe makes a delicious, versatile breakfast that can be enjoyed chilled in summer or warm in winter. It’s wonderfully portable so can be made in advance and will keep in the fridge for several days. Top with your favourite nuts, fruit and seeds and mix with coconut or almond milk.

I’ve included oats in this recipe but if you’re gluten free you can simply substitute with more quinoa and chia seeds. If using oats I suggest you soak them separately over night (this helps neutralise the phytic acid which can be hard for the body to digest), however if you’re short on time just mix everything together an hour in advance and you’ll be ready to go.

Health Benefits

A staple food in Central and South America, quinoa is a gluten-free grain revered for its health benefits. It’s rich in minerals and antioxidants and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body which is thought to lower the risk of cancer. Quinoa contains all eight essential amino acids and is therefore considered a whole protein, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians.

Considered a superfood by many, chia seeds are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, high in fibre, minerals and antioxidants and make an excellent inclusion in the diet.

Oats are high in beta-glucan fibre which is said to lower the risk of bad cholesterol in the body. They also contain unique antioxidants which have been linked to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Throw in some nuts and berries and this breakfast bowl is teaming with a range of nutrients that will help you power through the morning.

Ingredients

  • 50g/1.75oz cooked quinoa (I like to soak my quinoa before cooking and then freeze in batches – you can use pre-cooked quinoa straight from the freezer in this recipe)
  • 20g / 0.7oz / 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 20g oats / 0.7oz (optional – you can substitute with an extra 10g of chia seeds and 10g of quinoa)
  • 250ml /8.5 fl oz drinking coconut milk (I like Coco Quench) or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or natural vanilla essence
  • half a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 large ripe banana

Toppings of your choice

  • 30g chopped mixed nuts (I like almonds and hazelnuts)
  • Mixed berries or other fruit in season

Method

As noted above, steps 1 and 2 below are optional. If short on time simply add all the ingredients listed in steps 1 and 2 together and chill for an hour then move to step 4.

  1. If using oats, cover them in filtered water (room temperature) and allow to soak overnight, ideally for 12 hours
  2. Place the quinoa, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg in a bowl and cover with the coconut or almond milk – leave to soak overnight in the fridge
  3. Drain the oats, rinse and add to the quinoa mix
  4. Mash two thirds of the banana into the quinoa mixture (leave the rest to garnish) – your breakfast bowl is ready
  5. If you prefer a warm breakfast, place the mixture in a saucepan over a low heat and allow to cook for 10 minutes until warmed through (you may wish to add a little extra milk)
  6. Serve topped with the reserved banana, nuts and berries or other fruit in season

Serves 2

quinoa-chia-breakfast-bowl2

Radish salad with avocado, mango & walnuts

radish-mango-avocado-salad2
This is a lovely salad to make in late summer, when mangoes, radishes and avocado are all in season.

Ingredients

  • 6 small round red radishes (or use any type of good eating radish that is available locally and in season)
  • Half a medium to large sized mango (or a whole small mango)
  • Half a medium to large sized avocado
  • 110g/3.5oz mixed leaves/ 4 tightly cupped packs
  • 30g/1oz walnuts, chopped into small pieces
  • Dressing

    • Fresh juice of one lemon – should equate to roughly 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
    • Equal parts olive oil (I choose cold pressed) – again, should equate to roughly 3 tablespoons depending on how juicy your lemon is
    • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard

    Method

    • Make the dressing by adding the ingredients to a small glass jar with a lid. Shake well and set aside
    • Place the washed lettuce leaves in a large salad bowl
    • Wash the radish and slice using a vegetable peeler so that you get lovely thin slices
    • Cut the mango and avocado into small chunks and add to the salad bowl
    • Pour roughly 2 tablespoons of dressing over the salad – this should be plenty but if not add a little extra (the rest will keep in the fridge for several days – I keep mine for a week and it’s always fine)
    • Serve sprinkled with the chopped walnuts

    Enjoy with your favourite protein (poached chicken works well).

    Serves 2 – 4

    Makes 2 large salads or 4 smaller side salads

    Health benefits

    Revered by the Chinese for their health promoting properties, radishes are great for the stomach and liver and have wonderful detoxification properties. They’re rich in vitamin C and contain the flavonoid anthocyanins, which has been credited for its anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties. Some research studies suggest that radishes are also good for cardiovascular health.

    Avocados are extremely rich in monounsaturated fats including oleic acid  which is said to enhance memory and brain activity and improve healthy cholesterol levels. Healthy fats play a vital role in helping the body absorb vitamin D.

    Mangoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and their delicious sweet flavour provides a pefect compliment to the radish in this salad.

    Walnuts are rich are extremely rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids which promotes heart health and good cholesterol, they’re rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamin E.

      radish-mango-avocado-salad

    Broccolini salad with greens, seeds and sweet potato

    Broccolini-greens-sweet-potato-salad
    This is a delicious salad packed with nutrition thanks to a variety of tasty, nutritious ingredients.

    Broccolini originates from Japan and is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan (also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale). It’s rich in vitamins C and K and like other members of the brassica family is loaded with antioxidants and credited for its cancer fighting properties.

    Spinach is off-the-scale rich in vitamin K, which plays an important role in the body for bone health as well as it’s vitamin D absorption. In fact, a 60g serve (which is an individual serve according to the ingredients below) provides 329% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K (and that’s without factoring in the other ingredients).

    Snow pea sprouts are grown from pea seeds and like other sprouts are teaming with life. They’re rich in vitamins C & A, relatively high in protein and contain significant amounts of folic acid making them ideal for pregnant women.

    Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A, thanks to the beta-carotene which gives them their orange colour, while the seeds are both rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants and contain significant amounts of vitamin E.

    Ingredients

    • 4 broccolini stems – approx 60g or just over 2oz
    • 1 medium-to-large sized sweet potato
    • 120g / 4.25 oz / approx 2 tightly packed cups of baby spinach leaves
    • 50g / 1.75oz snow pea sprouts (a large handful)
    • 30g / 1oz sunflower seeds
    • 30g / 1oz pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
    • 1 generous tablespoon of olive oil

    Dressing

    • 1 tablespoon good quality sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon tamari
    • 1 tablespoon good quality rice vinegar (I choose brown rice vinegar)

    Method

    1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    2. Peel the sweet potato and chop into pieces roughly 2cm/1 inch each side
    3. Toss the sweet potato in the olive oil and roast in the oven for roughly an hour until they start to turn golden brown and are cooked through. Remove and allow to cool
    4. Steam the broccolini for a couple of minutes until cooked through but still nice and firm then allow to cool
    5. Bring a frying pan (ideally stainless steel) to a medium-high heat and cook the sunflower seeds for a couple of minutes until golden brown, tossing regularly to ensure they do not burn. Remove from heat immediately and allow to cool.
    6. Repeat step 5 with the pepitas
    7. Add the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake well
    8. Chop the cooled broccolini into pieces and add to a large salad bowl along with the other vegetables
    9. Pour a third of the dressing over the salad and mix through well. If you need more dressing, add gradually – the dressing has a lovely bold flavour so you don’t need too much (any the left over will keep in the fridge for several weeks)
    10. Top with the seeds and your favourite protein

    Serves 2-4

    Makes 2 large salads or a small side salad each for 4

    Coconut & Lime Ceviche

    IMG_7139
    Ceviche is a deliciously light dish that tastes amazing and is wonderfully quick and simple to make.

    Made by marinating white fish in lime juice and coconut milk, the lime juice cures the fish so that there’s no need to cook (hence no nasty fish smells in your kitchen).

    Best enjoyed in summer – when limes are tasty, abundant and cheap – limes have many health promoting properties. They are rich in vitamin C and are excellent for digestive function, thanks to their natural acidity which stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes. Limes are high in flavonoids, best known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – the latter making them good for arthritis sufferers. Limes are also said to be good for the skin (especially the oil in the skin, which is present in this dish thanks to the zest) and help regulate sugar absorption in diabetic patients.

    Coconuts are a superfood of the moment and although the milk can be a little on the heavy side, you don’t actually consume a great deal in this recipe as you discard much of the marinate.

    The cucumber is light and alkalising, the chilli is also good for digestion and the coriander/cilantro contains helps the body reduce swelling and inflammation.

    Make sure you choose a good quality firm white fish for this dish – if unsure check with your fish monger.

    Ingredients

    • Approx 500g / 18oz (2 -3 fillets) of firm white fish
    • 4 eschalots (Australia) /scallions (US) /spring onions (UK)
    • half a bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
    • quarter bunch fresh mint leaves
    • Juice and zest of 2 limes
    • 150ml/ 5fl oz coconut milk
    • 1 long red chilli (deseeded)
    • half a lebanese cucumber
    • Salt and pepper to serve
    • Extra lime wedges to serve

    Method

    1. Finely zest the lime using a grater, then juice the limes and combine with the coconut milk
    2. Remove the blood line from the fish and cut into small cubes just under 1cm each side or about a third of an inch
    3. Place the fish into a glass or non-reactive bowl, cover with the lime and coconut milk marinade and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This process will cure the fish. I like to leave mine for an hour but ideally you should not leave for longer than 2 hours.
    4. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, remove the inner part and finely chop the flesh then place in a sieve over a bowl and lightly salt – this will leach the excess water from the cucumber
    5. Remove the seeds from the chili (i like to use gloves for this so as not to burn my hands), wash and finely chop
    6. Finely chop the white and light green part of the spring onion
    7. Once the fish has cured, remove from the fridge and drain ensuring that you keep the coconut and lime marinade
    8. Mix the chilli, cucumber, spring onion, coriander and mint leaves through the fish and top with a little of the coconut and lime marinade (although not too much, you don’t want it to be soupy)
    9. Serve with fresh lime wedges

    Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main dish.

    White cabbage and iceberg salad

    white-cabbage-iceberg-salad3
    I’m loving this white cabbage salad at the moment. The combination of herbs, capers and toasted sunflower seeds coupled with the white wine and lemon dressing give it a really unique flavour. I’m not usually the biggest fan of dill but it really works well in his recipe.

    Best of all the cabbage is super nutritious. A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cabbage is rich in antioxidants and like other cruciferous vegetables has been credited for its cancer fighting properties. Cabbage is high in glucosinolates, a group of natural plant compounds that help the body stimulate detoxification and fight inflammation, activities that are particularly beneficial in the fight against breast, bladder, colon and prostate cancer. Cabbage is also wonderfully soothing for the stomach and digestive tract.

    I didn’t used to think too much about the health benefits of herbs but parsley is extremely rich in vitamin K which plays a major role in promoting healthy bones and supporting calcium absorption and blood clotting within the body. Dill is a great source of calcium and although the serve in this dish is small it’s important to consume nutrients from a wide variety of natural plant sources. The generous sprinkling of sunflower seeds provides a good source of vitamin E and a range of trace minerals.

    Ingredients

    • 200g /7oz white cabbage (around a quarter of a small-to-medium sized cabbage)
    • 100g /3.5 oz iceberg lettuce (around a quarter of a small-to-medium sized iceberg lettuce)
    • 4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
    • 2 small eschalots/scallions/small spring onions
    • generous handful of flat parsley leaves (around 10g / ⅓ oz)
    • small handful dill leaves (around 5g/ ⅕ oz)
    • 1 teaspoon capers
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Dressing

    • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (approximately the juice of a small-medium sized lemon)
    • 3 tablespoons cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon good quality white wine vinegar

    Method

    1. Toast the sunflower seeds for a couple of minutes until golden brown (I do this under the grill or in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat). Check/toss regularly while cooking to make sure they don’t burn. Set aside to cool
    2. Wash the lettuce and cabbage and slice into long thin strips then place in a large salad bowl
    3. Finely chop the white part of the eschalots/scallions/spring onions, the parsley, dill and capers and mix through the cabbage and lettuce
    4. Drizzle lightly with the dressing (you’ll only need a couple of tablespoons, not the whole lot). Mix through thoroughly and add a little extra if need be
    5. Season with salt and pepper then add the sunflower seeds and mix through

    This dish works well topped with some poached chicken or served with fish or with legumes for vegans/vegetarians. It also tastes great with half an avocado chopped and mixed through.

    Serves 2

    Paleo honey nut bars

    paleo-honey-nut-bars
    These paleo honey nut bars make a delicious sweet treat that the whole family will love. They’re loaded with nutrition, provide a good source of protein for vegans and vegetarians and are a great way to incorporate a variety of nuts and seeds into the diets of children and teenagers. Scroll down to read more about the health benefits of the various ingredients.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups nuts – I use 1 x cup raw/activated almonds, half a cup of raw cashews and half a cup of raw/activated walnuts but you can use whatever you have available or like best
    • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
    • 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds/pepitas
    • Half a cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
    • Quarter of a cup of honey/1 third of rice malt syrup if vegan (noting that honey tastes best in this recipe)
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil/butter plus a little extra for greasing (or other oil of your choice, noting that coconut oil or butter work best)

    Optional additions:

    • 2 dates, finely chopped OR
    • 12 dried sour cherries, cut into quarters OR
    • 2 tablespoons chopped dried fruit of your choice OR
    • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs

    Method

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    2. Line an oven proof baking tin (i don’t have one at the moment so use a small lasagne dish) with greaseproof paper and grease the paper with a little coconut oil (or any other oil will work)
    3. Roughly chop the nuts or place in a food processor with the shredded coconut and blend for around 10 seconds, ensuring that the nuts retain a nice chunky consistency
    4. Transfer to a bowl and add the sesame and pumpkin seeds plus the dried fruit/cacao nibs if including them
    5. Place the honey/rice malt syrup and coconut oil/butter (or other oil if you’re using something different) in a small saucepan and heat over a very low heat until mixed and runny
    6. Pour the sweet mixture over the nut and seed mixture and stir through well
    7. Transfer to the oven proof baking dish that you prepared earlier
    8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown
    9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes
    10. Transfer to the fridge and allow to cool for at least half an hour before slicing

    Serves 12-18

    I make 18 small honey nut bars from this recipe but you could opt for a smaller number of larger bars

    Health benefits

    Almonds are a superfood in themselves. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, regular consumption of almonds helps the body fight heart disease. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats which have been credited in numerous studies for helping reduce the risk of heart disease and have been linked to helping the body fight LDL (bad) cholesterol. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, particularly when consumed whole (with the brown coating in tact). They’re also a good source of magnesium and potassium.

    Like almonds, walnuts are a good source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fats, however they are higher in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. A single serve (30g or a quarter cup) contains 113% of the recommended daily intake of Omega 3. Much research into walnuts has been around they’re positive effect on the body’s cardiovascular system – like almonds they’re also more nutritious when eaten with their skins in tact.

    Sesame seeds and cashews are both excellent sources of copper, which the body uses to fight free radicals. Copper has been credited for reducing some of the pain and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

    Pumpkin seeds/pepitas are high in minerals, particularly manganese, phosphorous and copper and zinc.

    While I try very hard to limit the amount of sugar in my diet, I use raw honey in this recipe as it adds a wonderful flavour and helps bind everything together. Honey has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant qualities, and the consumption of raw honey made locally is said to help those suffering from seasonal allergies, due to repeated exposure of local pollens.

    Moroccan Fish with Preserved Lemon and Dukkah

    baked-white-fish-dukkah-preserved-lemon
    I’m loving Moroccan flavours with fish at the moment, they transform a light and healthy meal into a dish with the most amazing flavour.

    Preserved lemons are used commonly in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine, made by rubbing the rinds of whole lemons with salt and leaving them to pickle in brine, lemon juice and spices for at least several weeks (often a lot longer).

    I recently ran out of my own home made preserved lemons so bought some handmade ones from a good providore. They weren’t cheap but tasted excellent so were definitely worth the investment, plus you really don’t need to use a great deal to transform the flavour of any dish. Try to avoid buying mass produced preserved lemons from the supermarket as they just won’t taste the same.

    Dukkah is also used commonly in Moroccan and Middle Eastern dishes and is made by grinding a variety nuts such as hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds with sesame, cumin and coriander seeds. I’ll be posting a Dukkah recipe shortly but if you don’t have time to make your own, there are plenty of good options available from quality health food stores. I’ve tried the About Life dukkah made here in Sydney and it’s excellent.

    Ingredients

    • 2 x fillets of your favourite white fish approx 180-200g / 6.5-7 oz
    • 1 x fresh lemon
    • Roughly a quarter or 2 tablespoons of preserved lemon
    • 4 tablespoons dukkah
    • A large sheet of aluminium foil roughly 40cm/6 inches

    Method

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    2. Lay out 2 squares of aluminium foil roughly 20cm / 8 inch each side
    3. Slice the fresh lemon into thin slices and place half on each of the foil squares to create a bed for each of the fish fillets
    4. Place the fish on top of the lemon beds and fold the foil back on itself to create a parcel for each of the fillets
    5. Roast for approximately 15 – 20 minutes (this works for fillets approximately 2.5cm /1 inch thick so adjust according to the thickness of your fillets and how well you like your fish cooked)
    6. Remove from the oven and test to ensure the fish is cooked to your liking. If not return to the oven for a couple of minutes
    7. Once cooked, remove the fish and lemon from the foil and place on two plates, drizzling any excess lemon juice from the foil parcels over the fish
    8. Chop the preserved lemon into small pieces and arrange over the fish then sprinkle with the dukkah and serve

    Serves 2

    This dish goes beautifully with my rocket and cauliflower cous cous salad.

    Green Banana Smoothie

    cancer-fighting-green-banana-smoothie-2I’m such a big fan of green smoothies and am always experimenting with new recipes.

    Three key prerequisites for my green smoothies are that they contain plenty of green vegetables (not just a few spinach leaves), limited sugar (from fruit and other ingredients) and that they taste good.

    This smoothie contains a good serve of steamed broccoli, which has a whole host of health promoting properties. There’s an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that regular consumption of broccoli (think at least half a cup per day or a cup 3 – 4 times per week) helps the body fight against cancer. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods this is thanks to a unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and pro-detoxification properties.

    Similarly, spinach is rich in antioxidants and like broccoli provides the body with a good source of vitamins A & K. This is particularly useful for those who are vitamin D deficient as vitamins A & K help the body keep vitamin D metabolism in balance.

    Cucumbers are wonderfully light, alkalising vegetables (as is spinach) also with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They contain three key lignans (chemical compounds found in plants) that have been associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancers.

    Bananas provide a good source of potassium which helps the body maintain healthy blood pressure and heart function. They also provide a sweet, creamy consistency to the smoothie.

    If I’m running low on broccoli or spinach, i’ll often substitute with some kale. You don’t have to be too precise with the ingredients, again use what you have readily available at home and if you like, add some protein powder or your other favourite supplement powder. I’ll often throw in a tablespoon of hydrolysed collagen (which I find unpalatable taken alone) .

    Ingredients

    • 150 g / 5.25 oz steamed broccoli
    • 100 g / 3.5 oz spinach (I use English spinach or baby spinach leaves)
    • 1 large banana
    • 1 small lebanese cucumber or half a large one
    • 300 ml / 10 fl oz coconut water
    • 200 ml / 6.75 fl oz water
    • Quarter cup of ice
    • OPTIONAL: tablespoon of protein powder or supplement of your choice

    Method

    Steam the broccoli and allow to cool. I often steam batches and keep them in the freezer, you can blend straight from the freezer.

    Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until smooth.

    Serves 2

    Note, I was given a new high powered blender for Christmas the ingredients i’ve listed are a bit too much to fit into one of the jugs so I divide between 2 (one each for my partner and I).

    cancer-fighting-green-banana-smoothie

    Chocolate Buckwheat Pancakes

    chocolate-buckwheat-pancakes-2

    This recipe comes courtesy of my aunt who is gluten, dairy and processed sugar free. It’s her favourite breakfast of the moment topped some seasonal fruit and is even popular with her husband and teenage kids – who like them drizzled with maple syrup.

    Buckwheat is a wonderful grain substitute with a whole host of health promoting properties. It’s relatively high in protein and contains all eight essential amino acids making it a good option for vegetarians.

    Evidence suggests that regular consumption of buckwheat can help lower the risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol (precursors to heart disease), thanks to the presence of a number of powerful flavonoids including rutin.

    Regular consumption of buckwheat has also been linked to the reduction of type 2 diabetes according to an extensive Canadian research study published in 2003.

    Raw cacao is one of the most nutrient rich foods on earth with the highest antioxidant concentration of any food in nature (thanks also to its high flavonoid content). Coconut flour is high in fibre and cinnamon provides both a subtle flavour enhancement and has also been linked to lowering blood sugar in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    Ingredients

    • Half a cup / 70g / 2.5 oz  buckwheat flour
    • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
    • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
    • Stevia (equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1 egg
    • ~ 4 teaspoons coconut oil or other oil for greasing

    Method

    1. Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl
    2. Stir in the almond milk until completely mixed
    3. Beat in the egg until the batter is smooth
    4. Heat a small frying pan to a medium-high heat
    5. Add add a teaspoon of coconut oil to grease the frying pan
    6. Pour in a quarter of the batter
    7. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the top starts to bubble and the bottom is sufficiently cooked that you can flip the pancake
    8. Cook the second side for approximately 3 minutes
    9. Remove from the pan and repeat the process for the remaining 3 pancakes
    10. Serve with fresh banana and berries, other seasonal fruit or your favourite topping

    Serve 2

    Makes 4 medium sized pancakes – 2 each