Getting my kids to eat healthy has become a challenge

Getting my two kids to eat healthy has become a challenge.

Especially now they are influenced by their environment outside of home. I find them becoming even more fussy eaters.

They are constantly bombarded with unhealthy foods everywhere. At the supermarkets, our local village shops/cafe,parties, other social events and at school. And even at church…no surprise here!!

So I find ways to incorporate vegetables in everything I make at home. In soups, stews, pasta sauces, juices, smoothies, cakes and breads. And because all of my cooking is done from scratch, I get to add as much or as little vegetables and other health benefiting ingredients to my dishes. Sometimes they know what’s in them, sometimes they don’t have a clue. Either way it gets eaten. And that’s my goal..!

Like these seriously scrumptious Gluten Free Chocolate Beetroot & Flaxseed Mini Cakes I made today.

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They are so children friendly because they are made with coconut sugar which is much healthier than refined caster sugar. Even though its healthier, I tend to use less sugar when I’m baking for the kids.

And may I say that they are Hormones Friendly too. So I could have one if I like too..!

Oh and they are ever so easy to make. Because I had three steamed beetroot in the fridge which I cooked last Sunday, I was able to whipped them up in just about 25 minutes.

The kids didn’t know it was made with beetroot until I told my daughter she was eating beetroot. Its one of her most disliked vegetables ever.

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“Mum I couldn’t imagine its made with beetroot, its the best chocolate cake ever”she said. She helped herself to two of them. And I caught her pinching a third…!

Recipe

Ingredients

125 g Coconut sugar

125 g Real butter chopped in cubes

2 eggs

3 medium size steamed beetroot

200 g Gluten free all purpose self rising flour

50 g Organic coconut flour

25 g Flaxseed – grounded

1/2 cup almond milk

1 tsp baking powder

3 heap table spoons raw cocoa powder

100 g dark chocolate melted

Chocolate chip optional

How to make

Preheat the oven at 180

Get 2 muffin tins ready with paper cups

First blend the beetroot and almond milk together and set aside.

In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients,except the melted chocolate.

Mix together with a hand blender until smooth texture.

Add melted chocolate and stir in with a mixing spoon.

Add more almond milk or water if the mixture too thick.

Pour into muffin tin and bake for 18 minutes

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 


Summer Antioxidant Rich Dessert to Enhance Natural Beauty

Summer Antioxidant Rich Dessert To Enhance Natural Beauty.

 

Summer is around the corner, finally giving cold desserts their moment and the oven a break. And here in Briton, summer means desserts and lots of it, like Ice cream and Popsicles and of course strawberry cream teas. But no doubt the high sugar content in these shop bought or even homemade dessert can be well over our recommended daily intake which should be less than 5% of our total energy intake.

 

Dessert

 

Fatty, sugary desserts are the enemies of weight loss and clear skin. Excessive amounts of sugar can lead to skin imperfections, weight loss, and bloating. However, there are a variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich desserts that can actually be friendly to your natural beauty. These detox desserts not only help you meet your weight loss goals but satisfy your sweet tooth. Here are a few recipes from my Summer Wellness Rest Program which aims to reset your body from the inside out.

 

Berry and Beet Popsicles

 

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Summer means popsicles. Fruits and vegetables are perfect ingredients to make delicious frozen treats in a variety of colors and flavors. Beetroot is rich in antioxidant properties and a healthy dessert option.

¼ cup freshly squeezed beet juice

1 cup berries

½ cup water

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Evenly distribute mixture into Popsicle containers, add a popsicle stick, and freeze until the mixture is solid. For easy removal, run water over the popsicle container to loosen them.

Enjoy!

 

Orange Chia Pudding Parfait

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Chia is rich in fiber and omega 3, and oranges are a great source of vitamin C, which helps prevent diabetes and reduce weight gain. Orange Chia Pudding Parfait is a delicious and healthy breakfast combination that provides a filling meal and satisfies that sugar craving but doesn’t derail your diet.

 

¾ cups of fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 sliced banana

½ cup fresh berries

 

Combine chia seeds and orange juice in a bowl and let set until the chia seeds have fully absorbed the orange juice. Pour the mixture into a glass, alternating layers with fruits and maple syrup.

Enjoy!

Berry Sorbet

 

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Summer desserts seem incomplete without seasonal fruit, and berries are a great choice for a cool, refreshing sorbet. They are low in calories and contain only natural sugar, helping you keep your weight in check.

 

1-cup strawberries or any other berries that you like

½ cup coconut water

10 mint leaves, plus a few for garnish

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed. Gradually add ice and blend until mixture is a smooth, thick consistency. Scoop out into a bowl or glass and garnish with mint leaves.

Enjoy!


Fruity Nutty Linseed Buckwheat Pancake

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Who likes pancakes? I don’t think you like them more than my two munchkins,they absolutely love em!!

Pancakes is more than a weekend treat for us. I try to sneak in at least one batch a week on a school day morning for breakfast. I usually make healthy gluten free options and topped with the weird and wonderful healthy toppings like sugar free crunchy peanut or smooth almond butter, and my very own sugar free chocolate hazelnut spread, raw honey drizzled on fresh strawberries, blueberries, bananas or any fresh fruits in season. My five year old even likes to sprinkle chopped cashew nuts on his…queer I know :).

 

Pancakes don’t have to be always leaden with refined sugar and lemon juice or shop bought sugary toppings. Especially for little ones. You can read about the harmful effects sugar have on children here– healthier options are best for their little growing bodies. There is freedom in making pancakes and even more freedom with their toppings – the possibilities are endless when it comes to topping.

 

Really, there is no comparison between making pancakes yourself and buying the ready-made version or even the ready-made mix from the supermarket which usually have long shelf lives and therefore not ideal for our health.

 

As Pancake Day is almost upon us – less than 2 days to go. Hooray!

I am sharing with you my easy peasy Fruity Nutty Linseed Buckwheat Pancake Recipe using my Nutribullet to mix my batter. And I have also picked some of my favourite healthy homemade pancakes recipes for you from other foodies like me.

 

Recipe:Fruity Nutty Linseed Buckwheat Pancake

Makes 8-10 pancakes

Ingredients

50g buckwheat flour

50g einkorn flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs linseed

1 medium egg

180 ml goat’s milk or coconut milk

Coconut oil or ghee, for cooking

Sliced fresh fruits and avocado for topping

A dollop of peanut butter

Method

Put both flours, cinnamon, linseed, egg and milk in  Nutribullet cup. Blend into a smooth pancake batter.

Heat a frying pan and very lightly grease the base of it with a piece of kitchen paper dipped in coconut oil or ghee.

Pour a thin layer of batter over the base of the pan. Cook it until the edges start to curl back. Either toss the pancake, or use a palette knife to loosen it around the edges and then use the palette knife to help flip it over.

Cook the pancake briefly on this side, then slide it out on to a plate.

Cook the rest of the mixture in the same way.

Serve pancakes warm with toppings

Enjoy!!

 

Fish Pie Stuffed Pancakes

by Fuss Free Flavours

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Guilt-Free Chocolate and Banana Pancakes 

By Lean Living Girl

 

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Green Smoothie Pancakes

by Runnin Srilankn

 

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As I said, there are no limits to the flavours and toppings I make, once they are healthy and my kids love them that’s all that matters.

So this pancake day I challenge you to explore, be adventurous with your pancake flavours and toppings and you will taste the difference.

 

Happy pancake day 2017 !!

 

 


Nuts About Nuts – Seriously Chocó lately Hazelnut Spread

Just 4 Ingredients for this seriously chocolately nutty spread!

  1. Roasted hazelnuts
  2. Raw cocoa powder
  3. Melted dark chocolate
  4. Olive oil

Nutmeg oil or vanilla (Optional)

I think you guys are going to love this spread! It’s

  • Creamy
  • Chocolatey
  • Rich
  • Perfectly sweet
  • Spreadable
  • Simple
  • Versatile

It’s dairy free and definitely gluten-free!

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There’s something so comforting and indulgent about spreading nutty chocolate on a hot pancake and let it slowly melt or a dollop of it in a bowl of quinoa porridge…yum! yum!

I must confess, I’m a nut lover – full stop! I love any and all kind of nuts and I’m fortunate that I can eat them all without any allergic reaction to them. My two kids are NUTS about nuts too. Especially my five year old, his favourites are cashew and almond, while my seven year old daughter absolutely NUTS about pistachio and adore cashew nuts. My husband is secretly NUTS too!!!

For us, nuts are a daily part of our diet, they are perfect snacks for the kids after school. Me and my husband take them to work as snacks too.

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But this Seriously Chocó lately Hazelnut Spread I made two days ago has got to be one of my guilty pleasures. And its virtually sugar free! Its dairy free and definitely gluten free!.

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HOW TO MAKE ROASTED HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE SPREAD

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Ingredients
  • 250g raw or roasted hazelnuts
  • 50 g  dairy free dark chocolate, chopped (see notes for cacao version)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 4 drops of nutmeg oil
  • 1/2 tbs raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat the chocolate in a pyrex over a saucepan of slowly boiling water and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and add hazelnuts to a baking sheet in a single layer. If raw, roast for a total of 12-15 minutes. If already roasted, roast for 8-10 minutes just to warm the natural oils and loosen the skins. This will make it easier to blend into butter.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then transfer to a kitchen towel and use your hands to roll the nuts around and remove most of the skins. But doesn’t worry if its not perfect!
  4. Add hazelnuts to a food processor or high speed blender. Blend on low until a butter is formed for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Once the hazelnut butter is creamy and smooth, add the melted chocolate, raw cocoa powder, oil and vanilla/nutmeg oil. Blend until well mixed. Taste and adjust to your best taste and texture.
  6. Divide between sterilised jars and store for a few weeks at room temperature and use as desire.

Enjoy!

 

 


Winter foods that are filling and nourishing.

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It is only natural during the winter we crave warmer and heavier foods. But the good news is; winter warming foods doesn’t have to be all fatty and stodgy.

I like to cook more comforting foods while still maintaining some form of raw foods or slightly cooked vegetables to my dishes, like my favourite lentil and carrot soup topped with steamed spinach (dip in and out of hot water).I love cooking soups and keep it in the fridge, its handy for taking to work or as a light snack when I get home from work.

I love adding warming spices like ginger to my smoothies, juices and cooked foods. Roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes, beet, parsnips, carrots and salad potatoes, dusted with turmeric, paprika, salt and oregano herb roasted in coconut oil is one of my all time comfort foods.

My kids favourites are curried chicken or vegetable curry with brown rice. Shepards pie  and chicken pie with steamed carrots and broccoli. My seven year old daughter loves spaghetti in mummy’s special sauce – all sorts of steamed vegetables blending together into a sauce with sauté tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs.

In the past, personally I had never liked salads during the winter and I would try to avoid eating them at all cost. But since I have changed the way I eat, I now enjoy salads in the Winter. I would combine hot and cold foods like my warm chick peas or lentil topped onto a leafy salad – yum!

I though I would share with you two of my favourite Healthy and Nourishing Winter Warming recipes.

I resently had some tomatoes given to me by my friend, so I decided to make some soup before they go off.

Roasted Tomato Soup & Cassava Bread

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1kg ripe tomatoes

4 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Small bunch of basil, separated into leaves and stalks

600ml beefbone broth I made and stored in the freezer

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

Extra virgin olive oil to serve, salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 190C and cut the tomatoes in half . Arrange, cut-side up, in a baking dish, drizzle with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about an hour, until softened and beginning to char around the edges.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 7 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, chop the basil stalks, and then add to the pan and cook for another minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, plus any juices from the dish, to the pan along with the broth. Stir and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover and leave to simmer for 25 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Leave to cool slightly.

4. Use a hand blender to purée the soup, then stir in the cider vinegar, and season to taste. Reheat gentle and drizzle olive oil on top.

Serve with cassava bread or your favouriate bread.

Vegetable Curry

veg-curry

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 chilli

thumb-sized piece ginger

peeled and finely chopped

1 ½ tsp ground turmeric

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1/2 medium size cauliflower

1 red and green sweet peppers

1 large courgette

250g green split lentils

300ml vegetable stock

1 cup coconut milk

4 spring onions

celery

Method

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli, cook for 1 min, then add the spices and cook for 1 min more.

Add the lentils, stock and some seasoning. Bring the liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 mins until the lentils are tender then gently stir in the vegetables and coconut milk. Cook for five minutes, top with the spring onions and celery to serve. Eat on its own or serve with cooked brown rice.

Enjoy!


How To Make Water Kefir

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Over the past year, I have been on a mission to add as much probiotics foods to our diet. Probiotics are important for gut health. And no doubt I have been busy in the kitchen trying out new recipes. Like making goat’s yoghurt, fermented vegetables, bone broth and water kefir. I sometimes open probiotic capsules in the kid’s smoothies so that I know they are getting as much probiotics in their diet.

Water Kefir has become one of my favourite drinks in our home, we don’t use squash at all. The kids love it; I usually add it to our drinking water as an alternative to squash.

What is Water Kefir?

Water kefir is a fermented beverage with beneficial probiotic bacteria. It is quick and simple to prepare, and once it is brewed, absolutely delicious. It has a slightly sweet through to crisp, earthy, yeasty flavour, depending on how it is prepared. Sometimes when there is more yeast in the brew it contains a tiny amount of alcohol and is slightly fizzy if bottled. Water kefir is a magnificent source of beneficial bacteria; it also contains a variety of enzymes and organic acids, and a range of B vitamins, vitamin K and folic acid.

Kefir means “feel good” in Turkish. Water kefir is also known as tibicos, tibi, sugar kefir, Japanese water crystals, bebees, Australian bees, African bees, California Bees, ale nuts, balm of Gilead or beer seeds.

Benefits of drinking water kefir and using it on your skin

Drinking Water Kefir can help you to achieve your optimal health, strengthen your immune system, and help to prevent diseases of all kinds. Most importantly, it restores good digestion – the key to health and longevity. When your body is out of balance, unfriendly opportunistic bacteria and yeasts can take over – producing irritable and bad digestion, food allergies, headaches, flu, skin rashes, and other more serious disorders. Water kefir is something you and your family can drink and use on your skin every day.

  • Inhibits the growth of unfriendly bacteria and yeasts, and helps beneficial probiotic microorganisms to colonise and thrive in your digestive tract, and throughout the test of the body (skin, eyes, bladder, vagina, nose, throat, etc).
  • Contributes to a healthy immune system.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Helps with the digestion of food and micronutrients. The KEY for health and longevity is good digestion, and a balance of good bacteria are the essential starting point.
  • Heals, or reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome IBS) including bloating, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea/constipation, nausea, low energy, muscle aches and pains.
  • Heals intestinal dysbiosis and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).
  • Increased energy and overall feeling of good health.
  • Can stop unhealthy food cravings, especially for sugars and sweet foods.
  • Skin complexion and overall condition improves. Brown liver spots / age spots can fade, as can skin tags, moles, warts etc. It can ease or cure many skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.
  • Hair and nails look healthier, and are strengthened and improved.
  • Liver cleansing, as in traditional Chinese medicine, thus easing aches and joint pains, and benefiting the eyes.
  • Glandular (endocrine) system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries) benefits. Women have healthier periods; some women have periods start again after early menopause.
  • A tranquillising effect on the nervous system has helped many who suffer from sleep disorders and insomnia, depression, ADHD and autism.

 

Recipe – how to make water kefir

 You will need: Water Kefir Cultures also called Water Kefir Grains. They aren’t really grains, but are a symbiotic colony of beneficial bacteria that create probiotics and enzymes during the process of breaking down natural sugar.

I use Hydrated Water Kefir Grains and I get mine from here

Equipment Needed

  • Glass Jar (1 quart or half gallon)
  • Wooden spoon for stirring (avoid metal)
  • Towel, cheesecloth or coffee filter to cover jar
  • Rubber band

Ingredients

  • Hydrated Water Kefir Grains (I get mine here)
  • ¼ cup sugar per quart of water (I like organic unprocessed sugar).Do not use honey!! Non-chlorinated filtered water.

Instructions

  • Dissolve the sugar in small amount of hot water.
  • When sugar is dissolved, fill the rest of the jar with cool filtered water and make sure the water is not warm- it must be at room temp!
  • Add the hydrated Water Kefir Grains
  • Cover with towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter and rubber band to keep out insects
  • Leave on the counter (preferably at 70-75 degrees) for 24-48 hours.
  • After 48 hours, strain the water Kefir Grains through a mesh strainer (don’t use metal if you can help it!) pouring the liquid into another container. I use a half  jars for this process.
  • Restart the process by dissolving more sugar in water, adding cool water and adding Water Kefir Grains.

To make the Water Kefir carbonated, pour a couple ounces of fruit juice into the strained water kefir you just strained. I like to use Grape and Pomegranate, as they work the best. Once you’ve added the juice, cover the jars tightly with an air tight lid and leave on the counter an additional 1-3 days before drinking or refrigerating. Repeat the process!


Stuck for new inspiration for Gluten Free lunch box ideas? Here are some of my simple easy recipes to get you started.

It’s back to school time!! And it’s the second week of the autumn term already for us here in the UK. And the battle of the lunch boxes has begun. Most mums and dads struggle for healthy options for their child’s lunch boxes, especially if they are wheat and gluten intolerant. And because our little ones are still growing and their brains are developing they need a well balanced diet to ensure the get the nutrients their little bodies need to grow up healthy.

Some of you might have opted for the Government’s free school meals which are available to any full-time student who is still at school and eligible. https://www.myfreeschoolmeals.com/eligibility.

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We tried the free school meal for the first term last school year and the kids did not get too well with it. But to be fair the foods they served up are ok – it encourages children to eat a healthy meal at least once a day. And it nice to know that the fruits and vegetables are sourced from local farmers, but they are not necessary organic.

However, I chose to let my kids take their own lunch to school for a few reasons. One, because they have multiply food intolerance and eczema, which flares up if they eat certain foods like wheat and gluten, certain grains, dairy- mainly cow’s milk, soy,foods which contains preservatives like nitrites and sulphates and refined sugars.

Taking their own food enables me to keep an eye on what they eat and drink – since I manage their eczema naturally with food and natural home remedies.

I’m forever creating new recipes for my kid’s lunch boxes – some they like and other they don’t. But that’s ok too.

Here are a few of my simply lunch box ideas and easy recipes. I hope you find it helpful.

lunch-box

My kids lunch box – (sourdough bread sandwiches) goat’s cheese sandwich for Hannah and chicken cucumber sandwich for Joseph, sorghum and buckwheat blueberry muffins, cucumber and carrots sticks, grapes and strawberries. They sometimes take homemade fruit and veg smoothie or water.

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Chicken nuggets 

Ingredients

  • 2 orgainc or free range chicken fillets
  • Bread crumbs ( I usually make mine in advance and freeze)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs

How to make it:

  • Cut chicken into strips
  • Season chicken stripes with salt, pepper and mixed herbs
  • To make breadcrumbs – put any left over gluten free bread or cut off crust on a baking tray and toast in a hot oven until golden brown. Blend in a food processor to form bread crumbs.
  • Toss seasoned chicken in the breadcrumbs lay out on a greased baking tray. and cook in a pre heated oven for about 18-20 mins until cooked.

 

Buckwheat feta goat’s cheese and broccoli savoury muffins.

 

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Ingredients

For:  12 muffins

  • ½ broccoli chopped
  • 100 grams feta cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried herbs of choice e.g. parsley, thyme, basil, or a blend
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin ~40mL
  • ¾ cup hemp milk or almond milk, unsweetened ~185-190mL
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar ~20mL
  • 4 tsp grated goat’s cheese – optional

 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180 C and grease a 12-cup capacity muffin tray .Combine the hemp milk and the apple cider vinegar and set aside to form a sour non-dairy “buttermilk”.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, tapioca flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt, nutmeg and dried herbs.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil and the “buttermilk” mixture.
  • Make a well in the centre of the dry flour mixture and pour in the wet mixture, stirring as you go, until evenly combined.
  • Fold in the chop broccoli. Crumble up the feta cheese with your fingers and then gently fold this in, too.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes, smooth over the tops and sprinkle on the grated cheese.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the muffins have puffed up and feel firm to touch in the centre, and are turning a golden brown at the edges. Cool on a cooling rack.

Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or can be freeze for at last two months.

 

Energy balls: date, cocoa & roasted coconut and pumpkin seeds.

energy-balls

A perfect lunch box snack.

MAKES 12 PORTIONS –COOKS IN 25 MINUTES

Ingredients

  • 70 g pumpkin seeds
  • 40 g roasted coconut ( or freshly grated coconut)
  • 50 g whole almonds
  • 40 g cashew nuts
  • 80 g Pitted dates
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger – optional best for adults
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped teaspoon raw cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 orange

 

Method

  • Blitz pumpkin seeds and roasted coconut in the processor with the almonds and dates (destone first), ginger (optional) then blitz until finely chopped.
  • Add  the cinnamon, cocoa powder and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Blitz again until finely ground, then add the vanilla, honey and half the orange juice.
  • Blitz for another 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times, and adding an extra squeeze of orange juice to bind, only if needed – it takes a while for the mixture to come together.
  • Divide into equal sizes  and roll in the palm of the hands to form balls.

They can be kept happily for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container

How to roast coconut:  Crack open a fresh dried coconut. Take out coconut flesh – using a knife take out the flesh from the shell. Using a sharp knife or potato peeler, thinly slice coconut into pieces. Place onto a baking tray and cook in a pre-heated oven at 180 for about 20-25 mins until brown. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.