LIZANNE MARR

Wholefood Dietitian & Nutritionist │ Personal Trainer

Filtering by Tag: health

Healthier Malva Pudding

One of my most precious memories as a little girl was coming home from church, the house filled with aromas of the Sunday roast my mum had put in the oven that morning. The whole family sitting down for a long lunch with lots of laughter and jokes, us kids playing under the table and making fun of the mung beans in mum's salad (little did I know about their nutritional value). The moment we were all waiting for finally came at the end of lunch and mum would reveal a perfectly baked Malva pudding from the oven. We could hardly wait for her to evenly divide it so that everyone had their fair share, and then of course with a big scoop of ice cream on top. Back then, you didn't have dessert every night, you had a treat once a week. The desserts weren't low fat, sugar-free, or gluten-free but man did they taste good! Every now and then I will have a craving for this kind of pudding. If you're South African (like me) or if you have any South African friends, I am sure they would've told you about this pudding before. It really is heavenly in taste, but unfortunately being laden with sugar, butter and cream, not so heavenly for your health. So here is my best recreation of a healthier version. Remember that any dessert, whether healthy or unhealthy, is still a treat and should only be enjoyed occasionally.

Healthier Malva Pudding - Not Your Typical Dietitian

Ingredients:

Pudding 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1 tablespoon coconut sugar* 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup* 1 egg 3 tablespoons no-added-sugar apricot jam (I use Charles Jacquin jam) ¼ cup milk (almond/rice/soy/cows) 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda

Sauce 1 cup coconut milk (or full cream cows milk) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract Sweetener to taste*

* coconut sugar can be substituted for any other unrefined sugar such as rapadura * rice malt syrup can be replace with honey or maple syrup * sweetener can be rice malt syrup, stevia, honey or maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Combine all pudding ingredients except the flour and bicarb in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the flour and bicarb little by little as you continue to whisk.
  4. Pour into a baking dish (20 x 15 x 4 cm)
  5. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 min or until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in pan over low heat until small bubbles form.
  7. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Remove pudding from oven, cool for 5 to 10 minutes and cut into squares. Pour the sauce over the pudding and allow to absorb. Serve with extra sauce and/or whipped coconut cream - yum!

Healthier Malva Pudding - Not Your Typical Dietitian

Healthier Malva Pudding - Not Your Typical Dietitian

 

Healthier Malva Pudding
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Pudding
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar*
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup*
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons no-added-sugar apricot jam (I use Charles Jacquin jam)
  • ¼ cup milk (almond/rice/soy/cows)
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk (or full cream cows milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetener to taste*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Combine all pudding ingredients except the flour and bicarb in a bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the flour and bicarb little by little as you continue to whisk.
  4. Pour into a baking dish (20 x 15 x 4 cm)
  5. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 min or until golden.
  6. Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in pan over low heat until small bubbles form.
  7. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8. Remove pudding from oven, cool for 5 to 10 minutes and cut into squares. Pour the sauce over the pudding and allow to absorb. Serve with extra sauce and/or whipped coconut cream - yum!
Notes
* coconut sugar can be substituted for any other unrefined sugar such as rapadura, rice malt syrup can be replace with honey or maple syrup, sweetener can be rice malt syrup, stevia, honey or maple syrup

Going nuts for nuts!

Nuts,  the perennial of life for any vegetarian, has now been proven above its other feats to have life prolonging capacity.

Having long been known as nutritious (and by many health conscious as a “superfood”) these little guys were previously known to lower cholesterol and diminish insulin resistance.

Most of these claims were met with scepticism, with the most common question being – ‘how does lowering cholesterol or improving insulin function really even help me?’.

Published last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, was  the largest prospective study to date on nut consumption. With 76 464 women and 42 498 men, the authors concluded that those who ate nuts less than once per week had a 7% decrease in mortality and those who ate nuts up to 7 times per week had a 20% reduction!! And that goes for any type of nut too.

Good news right? Great news you say ……especially for those of you aiming to push past 95 and spend every last waking hour squeezing a bit more out of life. But what about those who are more stuck in the reality of the next few years rather than the twilight of time? Maybe you hate the though of living out your life in a hospital bed or rattling with pills into old age? There's more good news!

The study also showed associations with lower rates of cancer, respiratory ailments and heart disease.  And possibly the best part …increased nut intake was associated with less weight gain (contrary to popular belief). LESS weight gain! Yes you did read that right. Reduced waist circumference, and reduced risk of obesity.

So ready set go. To your pantry scrabbling for that packet of almonds bought last year and inhale your 28 grams for the day. Alternatively you could always click on the links below and creatively consume your portion.

Healthy Strawberry Macaroons

I want to clear up the confusion between macaroons and macarons. Macarons is a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond meals, and food colouring/flavour. It is usually filled with a ganache or buttercream. The macaroon is a type of light, baked confection, that can look like a small cake or meringue-like cookie. Here is an illustration provided by blogilates

It is this innocent-looking delightful treat on the high tea tiers that makes us second guess the healthy eating vow we murmur to ourselves as the tea is being poured into our fine china cup.

Not Your Typical Dietitian has developed the "Not Your Typical Macaroon" and gave it a healthy twist, without refined sugar and butter. I am not saying that this treat is that healthy that you can now gorge yourself on them, but they're definitely a better option than the macarons you'll find staring back at you through the glass casing at the patisserie. And they have real fresh strawberries in them!

Ingredients: Makes ~20 macaroons

1 ½ cups almond flour 2 ½ cups organic shredded coconut 3 tablespoons raw honey 3 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract 1 punnet fresh strawberries (250g) (finely chopped) Pinch sea salt

Method: Combine dry ingredients. Warm coconut oil and honey in a bowl suspended in hot water until runny, then add vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients. Once well combined, carefully mix through the strawberries. Use your hands to form into macaroon shapes and place on baking paper. Chill in fridge for around 1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Will keep for 1 week.

IMPORTANT: You probably noticed that these babies don't require any baking. However, if you would like to bake these for a crunchy outer casing and soft chewy centre, then you can bake them at a very low temperature (140 or 150 degrees Celsius) for around 40 to 50 minutes. The key is not letting them brown too much - so keep an eye on them!

 

What I Ate Wednesday {2nd edition}

Back by popular demand...I'm bringing you another edition of What I Ate Wednesday!! It seems you lot are VERY interested and nosy about what a Dietititan eats. Well, here you go, you can have another sticky beak at my food from yesterday :) Breakfast:

This was a protein eggwhite crepe inspired by Jessica Sepel. It consists of the following: half small mashed banana, 1 tbsp. psyllium husk, tbsp. ground linseeds, 1/4 cup yoghurt, 1/4 cup frozen berries, half a scoop sunwarrior protein powder. I mixed this together, cooked for 3 to 4 minutes in coconut oil and flipped either side into crepe style! I then topped with a dollop of yoghurt, warmed berries, and a drizzle of maple syrup. So delicious!

Next, I went for a walk with this one...her name is Macy.

Along the way, I stopped for one of these...

My lunch was constructed from bits and bops I found in my fridge, and it turned into a colourful and tasty lunch plate! It featured the following:

- 1 slice of cinnamon and honey roasted pumpkin with goats cheese - Raw zucchini pasta with homemade kale pesto and chopped capsicum - 1 cup of fresh baby beetroot leaves dressed with lemon juice - 1 slice of the life changing bread spread with kale pesto - A few cherry tomatoes

For a snack, I had a big mug of rooibos tea and 2 fresh medjool dates filled with almond butter. This is probably my favourite snack at the moment.

Dinner was almost around the corner, but my husband was still at work and I was getting hungry. This is when I take the opportunity to eat a piece of fruit. It prevents me from getting ravenously hungry at dinner time so that I don't overeat and gobble up the food in 5 minutes. So I had a fresh persimmon (not pictured). This was dinner...

- Roasted pumpkin with kale pesto - Broccoli and sugar snap peas sautéed with kimchi - Carrot and beetroot "rice" with a hearty side of avocado

To finish the day off, my husband made me a cup of rooibos tea with a side of apple slices dipped in peanut butter. He also cleaned up the kitchen and did the dishes. Pretty awesome guy - I think he deserves to be in the running for the "husband of the year" award.

Rhubarb & Raspberry Tart

Rhubarb is really in right now. Especially since it's winter here in Australia. So I made a rhubarb and raspberry tart to celebrate (healthy style of course!). Here's how I did it.

Ingredients - Makes one delicious tart

Base 1 ½ cup oatmeal ½ cup shredded coconut ½ cup almonds or macadamia nuts 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or 2 ½ tbsp. almond/macadamia/olive oil) 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Filling 5 stalks rhubarb (chopped) 1 cup frozen raspberries 1 large pear (chopped) 3 tablespoons honey/maple syrup/agave (or stevia equivalent for sugar-free diets) 2 tablespoons arrowroot 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping ¼ cup shredded coconut 2 tbsp. coconut sugar 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts

Method Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Using a food processor, lightly process the oatmeal, coconut, and nuts until the nuts are just broken. Add the oil and syrup and pulse until the mixture is combined enough to stick together. Press the mixture firmly into a tart tin using clean fingers. Place in a hot oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until slightly golden.Meanwhile, heat a saucepan on medium heat and add raspberries and chopped pear. Using a potato masher, squash the fruit to release juices. Stir in the syrup and vanilla until combined. Add the rhubarb and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring the contents to prevent it from burning. Once the rhubarb becomes soft and starts to disintegrate take off heat and add the arrowroot to thicken the mixture. Cool slightly.

Pour rhubarb mixture into tart base and spread evenly to cover pastry. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius. Combine the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle over tart after 20 minutes of baking. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and eat warm with coconut ice cream. Heaven!!

This one was eaten with Greek yoghurt, crushed berries and honey, but the flavours in your mouth turn into a party when paired with some homemade or store-bought coconut ice-cream.

Are you licking your screen yet? Go and make it NOW! :)

 

The Life-Changing Bread

I love bread. It is definitely one of my weaknesses. If I didn't know better and didn't have all the nutritional knowledge from studying for 6 years, I'd probably eat french bread sticks and sourdough from my local baker with lashing of butter at every meal. But unfortunately (and fortunately for my health and yours!) I do have the knowledge.

By no means am I saying that bread is bad for you. There is definitely a place in a wholesome, well-balanced diet for bread that has been made from good quality ingredients in small amounts. But unless you're willing to fork out $8-$12 for a good quality bread these days (or have the skills of a Danish bread maker) you're stuck with the mass-produced loafs from the supermarkets. These are often laden with processed wheat products, soy flour, colours, preservatives, sugars and syrups. If this is news - learn to read your labels.

One of my passions is to create healthy versions of everyday foods and dishes, and to encourage others to do the same. I simply had to look for a healthy alternative. These sorts of pursuits don't often stop until I find what I look for and it has ticked all my nutritional boxes. It didn't take me long though, to find this life-changing bread that was geniusly invented by Sarah at My New Roots. When I saw it, I simply had to try it. The end result was a very impressed dietitian with a huge smile on her face holding a piece of life-changing bread in her hand. With lashings of homemade jam (my treat).

The best thing about this bread? It actually is HEALTHY for you. And it is REALLY easy to make, with minimum kitchen mess. You the combine ingredients, stir, soak, and bake all in the one dish - perfect!

Here is the recipe from the My New Roots blog

Ingredients:

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 cup / 135g sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup / 90g flax seeds
  • ½ cup / 65g hazelnuts or almonds
  • 1 ½ cups / 145g rolled oats ( contains far less gluten than bread)
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder)
  • 1 tsp. fine grain sea salt (add ½ tsp. if using coarse salt)
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
  • 3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 ½ cups / 350ml water

Directions:

1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C.

3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).

4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast

Mediterranean Multigrain Salad

Today is Salad Inspiration day - and this one will fill up your tank with lots of flavour, fibre, and fat-fighting goodies!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup 4Grain Protein Rice (I also added wild rice and buckwheat to the mix) 10 cherry tomatoes 1/4 onion 2 handfuls of green leaves 1 tsp tahini Juice from half a lemon 2 - 3 tbsp almond milk 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tbsp goats cheese fetta (optional)

Add the chopped onion and cherry tomatoes to the protein rice, and lay the mixture on a bed of green leaves. Place tahini, lemon juice, almond milk and spices in a small glass jar and shake vigorously until well combined and a dressing consistency is achieved. Pour the dressing over the salad and top with goats cheese fetta. Enjoy!

What is your favourite go-to salad?

I love a freshly grilled fish salad with some sort of fruit added to it - like mango or peach! In case you haven't realised - I'm a bit obsessed with fruit :)

Link of the day:

Fresh Fig & Goats Cheese Salad 20130211-095053.jpg

Crunchy Choc Almond Butter Cups

I've been wanting to make these for sooooo long...and finally Easter seemed like the perfect opportunity!

These are so delicious and 100% satisfying - I devoured 2 or 3 the day I made them (...oops!).

What better way to enjoy chocolatey goodness on Easter than these little beauties!?

This is the perfect treat for when you feel like something naughty but don't want to be naughty...it is a wholesome treat you can enjoy (in moderation) without the guilt.

Ingredients: Half cup cacao powder Half cup coconut oil 2 tablespoons maple syrup or stevia equivalent 1 tbsp cacao nibs (optional - makes it crunchy!) Quarter (1/4) cup almond butter slivered almonds

Method: Combine the cacao powder, coconut oil, and syrup together in a bowl and stir vigorously until the mixture is thick but pourable. Pour the chocolate mixture into small cupcake moulds, only filling them halfway. Refridgerate. Once set, top with a small amount of almond butter. Add the cacao nibs to the remaining chocolate mixture and pour over each mould. Top with slivered almonds. Refridgerate until set. Take the chocolates out of the moulds and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Yum yum!

I think these are my new favourite way to enjoy chocolate the healthy way!

What is your favourite healthy sweet treat?

Maximising your nutrient intake

I often get asked by my clients what the best way is to make sure that they achieve their requirements for their vitamins and minerals. There are two answers -

1. If you want to make 100% sure, see an accredited practicing dietitian who can analyse your diet in detail.

AND

2. Eat a wide variety of different foods (at least 20 different foods per day) and eat them in lots of different colours!!

Why? The more colour a fruit or vegetable has, the more concentrated the vitamins or minerals! This is almost always an indicator that it will be more nutritious.

Here are some examples of colourful fruit and vegetables and how they can benefit your health:

Red - strawberries, tomatoes, radishes, beetroot, rhubarb, pomegranate. These contain lycopenes and anthocyans, believed to help reduce the risk of certain cancers, improve heart health, and help fight off infections.

Orange & Yellow - sweet potato, mango, carrots, pumpkin, oranges. These contain carotenoids and bioflavonoids which help improve vision, fight off cancer, slow ageing, and maintain a healthy immune system.

Green - kiwi fruit, avocado, spinach, kale, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini. These contain phytochemicals that help antioxidants fight carcinogens and strengthen our bones!

Purple & blue - blueberries, raisins, eggplant, figs, plums. They contain anthocyans and resveratol that may reduce cancer risk and slow down ageing.

This is more than enough reason for me to eat colourful! So that's what I did for lunch today...

20130326-182516.jpg

Breakfast Crepe with Protein Berry Filling

Ohhh yes...

This is too good to be true. Surely you can't eat something that looks this good for breakfast, can you? Yes you can, and you should!

Another addition to my dessert-like breakfast recipes. Think of it as the sister of this one, the cousin of this one, and the obscure relative of this one.

Nutrition Perfection: - Loaded with protein and fibre - Sugar-free - Gluten free - Great for blood sugar stabilisation - Provides sustained energy release

Ingredients:

- 3 medium egg whites - 1 tbsp greek yoghurt - 1 tbsp ground chia seeds - 1 tsp cinnamon - 1/2 a tsp vanilla

Filling

- 1/2 cup frozen berries - 1 tbsp protein powder - 1 tbsp greek yoghurt

Method: Combine egg whites, yoghurt, chia, cinnamon and vanilla in a bowl and mix well. Spray a non stick pan and cook on a medium heat for 2-3 mins with the lid on or until mixture is no longer runny on top. Slide it onto a plate.

For filling: Blend the berries in a blender to form a berry "paste". Add the protein powder and yoghurt and blend well until it forms a nice and creamy texture.

Fill the crepe and flip it on both sides so that it looks like a crepe. Top with berries and if you feel like some extra indulgence - pour a little agave or maple syrup!

Question of the day: What is your favourite dessert-like breakfast food?

Link of the day: Creamy Almond Milkshake Creamy Almond Milkshake

Moroccan Chicken Salad

There are few things as satisfying as enjoying the taste, smell, and look of your food whilst knowing that it is good for you. It is even better when it is easy and quick to make!

This chicken is so tasty, you'll never want to make it any other way! But there is a bit of cheating involved which cuts prep and cooking time in half and gets the food on the table in less than 15 minutes! Whatch out Jamie!

Ingredients:

2 - 3 small free range chicken breast tenderloins 1 tablespoon Moroccan paste (this is a pre-made paste that you can buy if you're short on time that has whole ingredients, but if you have some time to spare you can make it from scratch using this recipe) 2 cups fresh dark green leaves 1/4 avocado 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Method: Evenly space the tenderloins between 2 leaves of baking paper or cling wrap. Take a kitchen hammer or the flat end of a wooden spoon and give it a few good whacks to flatten the meat. This greatly reduces the cooking time!

Uncover the meat, make a few small cuts/slits in each tenderloin, and spread the paste evenly onto each side. Cover it with the paper and massage the paste from the outside into the meat on both sides. Heat pan.

Meanwhile, wash the leaves and dice the avocado. Combine the cherry tomatoes, a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Pour onto an oven tray and bake in very hot oven for 5-10 minutes. When the tomatoes start to blister take them out of the oven, squash them slightly with a potato masher to release their juices. Add the remaining balsamic vinegar. Combine the tomato mixture, salad leaves and avocado in a bowl. Mix well.

Add the remaining olive oil in a pan and grill the chicken on each side for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Stack the chicken tenderloins onto the salad mixture and enjoy!

If you're looking for more sustenance, the addition of some 4Grain Protein Rice would be perfect!

What is your favourite way to cook chicken?

Grapefruit, Berry & Passionfruit juice

I had the pleasure of a gastro bug inhabiting my insides over the weekend - not fun!! As a result I feel pretty low in energy and in need if some serious nourishment! So what do you do when you need to get feel-good nutrients in ASAP? You juice!!! 20130305-173506.jpg

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I was drinking this on my way to work this morning as people were driving past me with their coffee cups in hand.

20130305-173810.jpgNothing like a shot of vitamins flooding the system to make you feel alive again!

Grapefruit, berry & passionfruit juice

1 grapefruit 1/2 a fresh beetroot 1/3 of a cup frozen berries 1 passionfruit

Juice the grapefruit and beetroot. Pour juice into blender with berries and blend. Pour into glass and top with passionfruit!

20130305-174156.jpg

Don't worry...the beetroot doesn't have any taste - all it does is add a beautiful colour to your juice and lips and add an extra boost of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and betaine - a compound that keeps your blood vessels healthy and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease!

Yes please!

What is your favourite juice combination?

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola

ooohhhhh granola...

...there's something about the crunch that makes you want to go back for more. And why wouldn't you? This one is super duper nutritious with loads of flavour!

 

Buckwheat is a wonderous little grain-like seed that is not related to wheat at all so its naturally gluten-free and wheat-free (yay for all our gluten intolerant friends)!

It is really high in fibre and has a low Glycaemic Index (GI) which means you have sustained energy throughout the day and you'll feel fuller for longer - great for weight loss or maintenance!

 

Ingredients: 2 cups buckwheat groats (soaked and sprouted) 2 bananas 1/4 of a cup chia seeds 2/3 of a cup almonds 2 tbs acai berry powder (optional) 2 tbs agave syrup 1/2 cup of shredded coconut 1/3 of a cup goji berries 1/2 cup macadamia nuts 1/4 cup sultanas

Method: Soak 2 cups buckwheat groats and let them do their magic by sprouting! There is a really helpful tutorial on how to sprout buckwheat here.

Next, combine the chia seeds, almonds and acai berry powder in a blender and blend to a fine consistency. Add the banana and agave syrup and blend until a paste is formed. If the mixture is too thick you can add a little water to make it thinner (you dont want the consistency to be too thin, but it needs to be thick enough to hold together when mixed with the buckwheat to form clusters when dried). Scoop mixture into a bowl and add sprouted buckwheat, shredded coconut and goji berries. Mix well.

 

Spread evenly onto an oven tray and dehydrate the mixture in a food dehydrator or in an oven (set at the lowest temperature) for around 8-10 hours or until the mixture is dry to touch. Let cool and add the macadamia nuts and sultanas. You're done!

 

You're set for breakfast for the next 2 weeks! Hooray!

 

These little clusters are of course delicious with some fruit and yoghurt for your morning food! A perfect start to the day.

 

How much do you want to dig into this? yummmm

 

What is your favourite morning food?

Creamy Almond Milkshake

What is better than a milkshake? photo 1

A milkshake that is GOOD for you of course!

My husband has a thing for dairy. He especially LOVES ice cream and milkshakes. Being married to a dietitian though, he doesn't get much approval for it and has to deal with sideways glances from me when he arrives home with a tub of ice cream. It probably has more to do with the fact that now I'll have to exercise self control because I know it is sitting in the freezer waiting for me. So I've had to come up with another plan to satisfy both of our sweet & creamy tooth cravings. And this one does a fine job at that.

photo 2

Ingredients:

- 1 tsp chia seeds - 1 tsp cinnamon - 1 tbs vanilla protein powder - optional (I like Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder) - 10 almonds - 1 tsp almond butter - 1/2 a tsp vanilla bean paste - Half a frozen banana - 1 cup almond milk (I like Australia's Own Almond Milk) - Slivered almonds - Agave syrup

Method:

1. Blend together chia seeds, cinnamon, protein powder and almonds to make a powder. 2. Add almond butter, vanilla paste, banana and almond and blend until smooth and creamy. 3. Top with slivered almonds, cinnamon and a dash of agave syrup if you feel the need for some sweetness :)

4Grain Protein Rice

Love your rice but feel like you're not getting as much from it as you'd like?Say hello to 4Grain Protein Rice! Now with more protein, fibre and B-vitamins than ever before!

This staple is colourful, crunchy yet soft, satisfying and exciting! It has a low Glycaemic Index (GI) giving you slow-released energy and stabilised blood sugar levels - perfect for weight management or diabetics! The seeds in this are also really high in protein so it will keep you fuller for longer and help repair your muscles to keep your metabolism sky high. Who wouldn't want this new rice? Even those who are gluten-intolerant can have this as it is 100% gluten free!

This is SUPER easy to make if you have a rice cooker at home. If you don't, it is still very easy. I promise :)

Ingredients: 1 cup brown rice 1 cup quinoa (I used red) 1/2 cup amaranth seed 1/2 cup millet 5 cups water

Don't worry these are not difficult to find! Quinoa and brown rice is widely available in Australian supermarkets these days - look in the healthfood isle. Amaranth and millet will need to be sourced from your local health food store and are very affordable. I want to talk a little bit about these grains and their nutritional value:

Quinoa is a seed that contains all essential amino acids required by the body, therefore a complete protein source! It is not a grain but a seed and when cooked becomes soft with a nutty, satisfying taste. You can read more about it here.

Brown rice is an unmilled, whole natural grain that has only had its outer husk removed. This means that it contains more B-vitamins, magnesium and iron than white rice. It is also a great source of fibre!

Amaranth seed is often called "grain" because is behaves like a grain but is technically a seed. There have been a few studies to show that amaranth may help with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This seed is also naturally gluten free and is rich in B-vitamins!

Millet is a traditional food source for many countries including India, Russia, Germany, China and West African countries like The Gambia! This little seed is rich in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. These are all important for healthy bones, skin and energy levels.

Have I convinced you yet? Well maybe the easy method will...

Method: Combine all ingredients in your rice maker and turn it on "cook". It should be ready in about 20 minutes! Voila...it's that easy!

* If you don't have a rice maker, simply add everything in a big pot on high heat until it starts to boil. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked.

This 4Grain Protein Rice is PERFECT to add to your food prep for the week! It is something that will keep in the fridge for the whole week and works really well added to salads for lunch or as a foundation for dinner!

This is how I had it for dinner last night...a delicious purple raw kale & brocolinni salad and oven-baked sweet potato with a creamy tahini sauce drizzled over it!

You could even make it into a healthy dessert like this one! Or use it in a salad like this one.

Question: Do you get bored with rice? What else have you tried to make it more nutritious and exciting?

Food prep for the week!

I recently showed you (here) part of my food prep and organisation that I like to get done on the weekend so that I’m ready to go for the week. Part of that routine is to go to the fruit and veg markets to get all my supplies for the week at a reasonable price. I also like to prepare a few foods on the weekend to make the process of creating meals easier. Here are a few of my favourites! Breakfast: It’s a real treat to wake up in the morning without having to think what you’re going to make for breakfast. That’s why I like to make a big bowl of homemade granola to last us a week or two. I like to do gluten-free sprouted buckwheat or an oat-based granola mixed in with various goodies. Perfect with almond milk and fresh chopped banana. Watch this space - recipes to follow!

Dips/sauces/spreads: I get so much use of out making these and they are so versatile! They’re perfect as a spread on a lunchtime sandwich, a dip with veggies or a few wholegrain crackers for a snack or to mix through quinoa or steamed veg for a main. - Hummus - Tahini Yoghurt - Chargrilled capsicum relish - Pesto

Here I made a baked sweet potato, radish and tahini yoghurt lentil salad topped with chargrilled capsicum relish. Lentil salad

Poached chicken: It works really well to poach a few pieces of lean chicken breasts, shred them and flavour them with lemon juice, pepper and herbamare. This can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, or I like to freeze them in portions. When you make your salad for lunch in the morning you can take it out of the freezer, pop it on top of your salad and it will be thawed and ready to eat by lunch time!

Quinoa: This is my absolute favourite staple as mentioned before. It behaves like a grain (so you can substitute it for rice/couscous/pasta) but it is actually a seed and a complete protein source. This beauty is perfect tossed through salads or to bulk up soups and curries. I also like to make quinoa pilaf and use it as a foundation for my meals. Here I mixed quinoa with pesto and brocolinni. Quinoa salad and scallops

Frozen fruit: I love to freeze ripe bananas and mangoes. Whenever I feel like a healthy frozen treat during the week I throw them into my thermomix to make 100% fruit ice cream! They’re also really handy for making smoothies. I love to freeze grapes for a cool summer snack.Frozen yoghurt blocks: I take this as a perfect opportunity to use up the last bit of my yoghurt from the week before it goes off. I like to combine it with honey/agave/maple syrup and any kind of chopped fruit.

Snacks: Trail mix - I like to combine raw almonds, walnuts, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and some chopped dried apple. You can leave this in a jar and grab as you go, or you can make them into little snack packs.

Super snack balls – these are one of my favourite snacks. So easy to make and very tasty!20130114-175701.jpg

Remember, 80% of your success is going to be nutrition - whether it is to tone up, bulk up, maintain or improve your general wellbeing. Exercise is vital, but eating the right foods is going to be the secret key to unlock the door to that level you're aspiring to! And being organised forms part of the key.

Success motivation quote Question: What kind of foods do you like to prepare to be organised for the week?

Quinoa, Chia and Cacao…

I’m sure you’ve seen these words being thrown around in your latest issue of ‘body & soul’ magazine, your local health shop or at the neighbourhood farmer’s market. If you are anything like me, you’re probably a bit sceptical about “new” foods appearing like this, especially if you can’t even get past the first syllable when trying to pronounce it. But are these “superfoods” just a money-making scheme or can it actually benefit your health? Well here is the lowdown: Quinoa is pronounced “keen-wah” and is not a grain but actually a seed.

It is however an excellent substitute for grains as it is easy to cook, naturally gluten-free and high in protein. In fact, it contains all 9 amino acids that are required by the body for building muscle, making it a complete protein source! Who needs protein powder?

It is also a GREAT source of fibre, to help keep those bowels regular and waistline in check. Need more convincing?

Quinoa is a great source of phosphorous, magnesium and iron, especially when you compare it to grains like wheat or barley. These minerals help form healthy bones, strong muscles and take part in biochemical reactions within your body to give you energy that will outlast the energizer bunny!

This little nifty seed will give you an energy boost now, but will also sustain you well into the next 3-4 hours after eating it. Want to know how to incorporate it into your daily diet?

Have a look at this delicious recipe you can try for breakfast, or even as a snack or for dessert. There are ofcourse many other tasty and healthy ways you can have your quinoa, including savoury dishes. But I am on a bit of a sweet tooth wagon right now, and all things sweet, creamy or chocolate-y is attracting my attention on pinterest today!

Stay updated for more posts this week on other superfoods like chia seeds, cacao and your leafy greens!