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Smoothie Bowl Recipe – Quick & Easy Breakfast

Now the weather is warming up here in the UK, I’ve started to add a smoothie bowl recipe back into my weekend routine. It’s always easier getting up on the weekend when you have a delicious breakfast planned! This is a super easy recipe that only takes about 5 minutes to make. It’s healthy, filling and full of antioxidants from the berries too.

This smoothie bowl recipe is easily adapted to suit what ingredients you have around. If you have a pear, fresh berries, pineapple etc then these will be just as delicious. Just be sure to have enough frozen fruit, at least half, so that the consistency is correct. As a breakfast, you’ll be enjoying a mixture of delicious vitamins, minerals, fats and fibre. If you have them handy, you can add extra goodness by adding in a teaspoon of Maca, Lucuma, Cacao Powder or other superfood powder. I tend to had a sprinkle of each just for good measure, to add extra nutrients!
Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Getting creative with the toppings is the best bit. Try adding granola topping, seeds, chopped figs, toasted coconut flakes, or sliced apple. You can go as fancy or plain as you like – it will taste amazing whichever way you choose. Nuts and seeds add healthy fats and additional nutritional value, as well as more crunch!

My favourite thing is that it’s a pretty cheap breakfast, bananas and frozen berries are great value products that you can get in even the smaller supermarkets. I tend to make my own Oat Milk using a blender, which is a great money saver too. Read my article on plant-based milks here.

I first got into smoothie bowls when I visited friends Bali, over there they even have smoothie bowl bars dedicated to these dreamy breakfasts! One of the more well known cafes is called Nalu Bowls. If you’re ever over in Bali you definitely need to check them out.

I hope you enjoy the recipe,

Ruth x

Print Recipe
Smoothie Bowl Recipe - Berries & Banana
Here is a simple and quick smoothie bowl recipe thats great for a weekend treat!
Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Smoothie Bowl Recipe
Instructions
  1. Blend banana and berries until they are chopped into little pieces.
  2. Then add the powder and milk and blend again until you've reached the desired consistency. Ideally, your mixture will be thicker than a regular smoothie but thinner than ice-cream.
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Healthy Habits: A Guide to Dairy Milk Alternatives

With so many milk options out there, from oat milks to nut milks and everything in between. It can be hard to know which ones will suit your diet and which ones are worth it. It’s great that we can get dairy milk alternatives in all the main supermarkets now, however many contain sugar, are overpriced or are not what they’re cracked up to be. To help you figure this all out, I’ve done a run down of the main types of dairy milk alternatives and the benefits of each…

Soy Milk

Soy milk has to be one of the most popular non-dairy milks. You can get soy lattes in all the main coffee chains and hotels now, which is a great sign of the increased demand for dairy milk alternatives. Commercial soy milk contains vitamins A, B and D as well as calcium, potassium and magnesium – it’s also a great source of protein. Make sure you buy the unsweetened kind.

Almond Milk 

Almond milk is loaded with vitamins E and D. Ecomil, Provamel and Plenish are the brands I tend to buy as they contain 6.5-7% almonds, other versions such as regular Rude Health or Alpro only have 1-2% almonds in! Go for a variety with no added sugar, and avoid the additive carrageenan on the ingredients list. There are many other nut milks available now too such as hazelnut, these tend to be pricier but are delicious if you fancy trying something different.

Oat Milk

Oat milk has to be my favourite, it’s so cheap and easy to make at home. Just add some oats to filtered water and blend together, then sieve and store in an airtight bottle in the fridge. Nutritionally, oat milk contains great levels of iron and fibre. Oat milk also contains many vitamins and minerals including manganese, potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins, and vitamins E and A. Wow – what a power house! Oatly is a great brand you can get in the supermarkets that works really well for frothy lattes.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another great choice as it contains manganese and good fats. The fat (lauric acid) is converted by the body into monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial compound. Opt for a minimally processed variety, again avoid added sugar and additives like carrageenan. It’s also relatively easy to make at home, just add hot water (not boiling) and unsweetened coconut flakes to a blender. Sieve or strain through a cheese cloth and store in the fridge for 3-4 days. Great for a turmeric or matcha latte!

Rice Milk

As far as dairy milk alternatives go, rice milk is probably my least favourite.  It’s higher in carbohydrates, and contains few nutrients than the others. Starchy water isn’t my idea of fabulous. That being said, if you have allergies to dairy and nuts, then it’s a good alternative. But do be sure to buy varieties that are fortified with calcium and protein to ensure there nutritional benefits.

Hemp Milk

Hemp milk is the Queen, she has it all. No, really! Hemp milk has all the essential amino acids, plus omega 3 and 6, protein, vitamins A ,D, and E, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, a high amount of calcium, vitamin B12 and potassium. If you are looking for an alternative milk that nourishes, go for hemp! Great in overnight oats for a post workout boost.

So, there you go. A quick guide to dairy milk alternatives, and some tips on when to use them.

Ruth x

PRESS Soup Cleanse Review

So I’ve wanted to do a cleanse for a long time now, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do one…I’ve been missing out BIG TIME! I decided to take my first dive into the world of juicing by trying the one-day PRESS Soup Cleanse which has just launched. Having a specially designed programme delivered was a whole new experience, and it was awesome! As a fully fledged cleanse convert I thought I’d better share a bit more about what a cleanse is, how it can benefit you, and what I thought of the soup cleanse programme.

So what’s the idea behind a cleanse?

A cleanse is a diet designed to give you body (and especially digestive system) a rest, in this case with nutritionally rich juices and soups. When consuming pure plant based juices and soups, your body is flooded with key minerals, nutrients and enzymes. Importantly, by having a cleanse that is a mix of cold-pressed juices and nourishing soups you don’t feel too restricted.

Ultimately, in the words of the PRESS team – “It’s about breaking habits, giving your body a rest and finding the healthiest version of you”.

Which cleanse did I do?

I decided to go for the ‘Energise’ programme as it has been designed for those with a more active lifestyle.

This was the menu for the day;

Charcoal Lemonade

Greenhouse 1 (Green Juice)

Skinny Veg Broth

Thai Coconut Soup

Orchard 2 (Fiery Apple & Ginger Juice)

Butternut & Beetroot Soup

Vanilla Leche (Almond Mylk)

It might not look a lot, but trust me it’s filling enough to get you through the day no problem!

PRESS Soup Cleanse - The Vegan Edit Review

What are the benefits?

Breaking your food routine means you can reset your habits and start a fresh. The boost of vitamins, minerals and enzymes is really beneficial to your body, and will help to improve your complexion and skin quality too. It’s also a great way to kick start a healthier lifestyle, where you are more mindful of what you put into your body and how your body responds to different foods. A way to spark a new way of thinking and a healthier happier daily regime.

The team at PRESS say… “You will be left feeling energised, refreshed and ready to take on life’s challenges with a little more spring in your step”.

Amen to that!

What do I like about this soup cleanse programme?

Firstly the ethos of PRESS is awesome – Let us dream, let us never stop trying, let us laugh, let us make someone else’s day, let us live in the moment…. Let us live the juice life

What I like most about the PRESS Soup Cleanse is the combination of juices and soups – the mix of the two is such a simple and effective idea. I like to think of this as more of a foodie-friendly cleanse, as the variety means that you can look forward to each of the delicious flavours throughout the day. The soups are warming and savoury, and the juices are sweet and fresh. Both are super nourishing and balanced, created by the in-house nutrition team in LA!

The juices are cold-pressed which means they retain the highest amount of nutrients. Each recipe is specially formulated with rejuvenation in mind – with ingredients chosen to reduce inflammation, boost immune system function, aid digestion etc. Most importantly, all the juices and soups are super tasty!

PRESS Soup Cleanse - The Vegan Edit Review Greenhouse 1

So.. how did my cleanse day go?

It was great to hit the reset button and give my digestive system a bit of a rest.  I loved feeling lighter and knowing that I’d had such a nourishing diet. It was also really great to have a break from cooking for a change. I can honestly say that each and every one of the juices and soups are delicious. There is a Queen of the Cleanse though, I must give a huge shout out to the Thai Coconut Soup – it is mind-blowingly tasty. Seriously, it’s the best soup I’ve ever had (and I eat a lot of soup!). I know this sounds ridiculously high praise, but it’s completely true – this soup is the bomb! I was really surprised at how awesome all of flavours were, the PM drink Vanilla Leche is another winner. What better way to finish off the day than to have a sweet nutty mylk to sip while I read the latest issue of Women’s Health.

PRESS Soup Cleanse - The Vegan Edit Review Almond Leche

The day after..

I slept really well and woke up feeling light and energised. I did my usual 7am pilates class, managing a great workout with the usual strength and energy from start to finish. I was really surprised that I didn’t feel hungry as my tummy is usually rumbling in the mornings. It goes to show that the Press soup cleanse is a great way to re-set your appetite too. I found I ate a lot less than usual and felt in control, rather than being ravenous come lunch time or dinner time – a welcome change! I noticed feeling more thirsty, which is hopefully a good sign.

I really enjoyed doing the cleanse and genuinely think it is a really well designed programme. Delicious, easy and effective. Certainly something I think is well worth doing every month or so, or to give you a boost if you’re a bit off track.

*Update* it’s been nearly a week since I did the cleanse and my stomach is still really flat, I’ve not been bloated, I’m eating less (I’ve not felt like over-eating, which makes a change!) and feeling super light and energised! Amazing 🙂

If you fancy trying this awesome one-day Soup Cleanse I urge you to go for it. The team at PRESS have been kind enough to offer you a special 15% off with the code VEGANEDIT …so you might as well go for it. For more information and to order visit www.press-london.com

I’d love to hear how you get on, so let me know in the comments below!

Ruth x

PRESS Soup Cleanse discount code

PS. I love sharing great health, fitness and wellbeing products that I genuinely think are awesome. I wrote it independently, and won’t be making any money from the code when you use it 🙂

Good Mood Foods to Beat the January Blues

Food has a HUGE ability to influence your mood – for better and for worse.  When the cold and dull January weather is getting you down and the New Year resolutions are a distant memory, it’s easy to self-medicate by binging on comforting carbs and sugary snacks. This short term fix won’t shake those January blues, in-fact you will most likely crash and end up feeling worse. Instead, integrate more of Mother Nature’s good mood foods into your meals to get your mojo back!

Keep this list of all-natural, science-backed mood boosters on hand for when you need to add some brightness to a gloomy day and want to eat your troubles away…

MOTHER NATURES GOOD MOOD FOODS

CHOCOLATE

I know, it’s almost too good to be true, but there is a reason why chocolate always seems to make things better! Raw chocolate, or Cacao Beans, are among the richest natural source of antioxidants that, improve blood flow to our brain resulting in increased concentration and focus. Cacao also contains Magnesium, an essential nutrient required for the biochemical reactions in the brain that boost your energy levels – no wonder it’s known as a superfood.  Just one small square of dark chocolate (70% cacao) will cause the brain to release endorphins and boost serotonin levels.

Try this smoothie for a serotonin boost: Blend together 2 tsp raw cacao powder, 1 banana, 100ml almond milk, ½ tsp maca powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, pinch of ground cinnamon and 1 tbsp soy yogurt.

BRAZIL NUTS

Brazil nuts are by far the richest source of selenium, an essential nutrient for humans.  Low levels of selenium have been linked to anxiety and tiredness, so increasing the levels of this mineral in your body may help to improve your mood, especially if you are deficient. Just 4 nuts per day will provide you with your recommended amount of this mineral.

BANANAS

Bananas contain vitamins A, B6 and C, fibre, potassium, phosphorous, iron and carbohydrate. The carbohydrates in Banana aid in the absorption of tryptophan in the brain, and the vitamin B6 helps convert the tryptophan into serotonin. This helps to boost your mood and also aids sleep.

LENTILS

Lentils are another complex carbohydrate that help increase the production of serotonin in the brain. They also help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, keeping your mood even. And finally, lentils can help boost your iron levels, which will give you a nice shot of energy.

DARK GREENS

Spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus and other dark green leafy vegetables are high in essential B vitamin, folate.  This nutrient helps create feel-good brain chemicals. Harvard researchers found that boosting the folate levels of depressed patients helped improve their mood. Have more green juices, stir spinach into your curries/soups/stews and order a side of greens when you’re eating out.

FEEL GOOD TIPS

Make sure you eat regularly and have a healthy snack on hand, as if your blood-sugar dips you may notice you feel irritable, tired and depressed. To keep your sugar level steady choose foods that release energy slowly such as protein foods, oats and wholegrains, nuts and seeds.

For years, studies have looked into the effect of vitamins and minerals on physical and mental wellbeing. A deficiency in certain nutrients can lead to feelings of depression, fatigue and a general lack of enthusiasm.  However, making key nutrients a regular part of your diet can work to reduce mood swings and boost your mood. If in doubt – eat the rainbow!

Good Mood Foods - Eat The Rainbow

Keeping your mind and body nourished with good food is just the start. Feeling happy and relaxed is about keeping those little things in check.  Stretch, breathe deep, get some fresh air, walk in nature, laugh with friends, meditate, and read a chapter of that book you’ve wanted to start for ages…

Sending you some good mood food vibes,

Ruth x

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

I find November to be the most manic time of year, even more so than December maybe? Either way, quick easy comforting meals are always on the menu. After a rushed day, a nice warm bowl of filling chilli does the trick. The leftovers are great as a lunchtime power-up meal (if you have any left that is!). This sweet potato and black bean chilli recipe is really something I threw together one evening. The ingredients are simple and I tend to have them in my cupboards most of the time.  For something so tasty it’s an absolute winner as the ingredients are cheap and it’s super easy to make!

Nutritionally, there’s a nice balance of benefits from each of the ingredients. I always aim to add as much nutrients as possible to each meal I make. You’ll get protein from the beans, and complex carbs, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium in the sweet potato. If you buy the nutritional yeast fortified with B12 then you’re giving this meal an added boost of vitamins. B12 is more difficult to get in a western vegan diet, so this is a great way to add it into your meals.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 medium sweet potatoes
• 1 red onion
• 2 tsp coconut oil
• 1 red bell pepper
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 tin chopped tomatoes
• 1 tsp chili powder (or more to taste)
• 2 tsp cumin
• 2 tsp smoked paprika
• 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
• Sea salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180 C. Wash the sweet potatoes and chop into cubes. Put 1tsp of coconut oil onto a baking tray and pop into the oven until the oil has melted. Once coconut oil has melted, add the sweet potato cubes and sprinkle over some smoked paprika. Mix together and pop back into the oven for 20 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting in the oven, make the chili. Chop the onion, garlic and peppers. Heat a large pot on a medium heat and add 1tsp coconut oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Turn down heat if necessary to avoid burning. Then add the chopped pepper. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Now add in the drained and rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika. Simmer on low-medium for 10-15 minutes. At this stage, if I have some greens in the fridge I prep these (wash and chop). I will add shredded kale 5 minutes before the end, or stir in some spinach leaves just before serving. Stir in a few tbsps of nutritional yeast.

Seasoning: Add a pinch of salt/pepper, or splash of tamari soy sauce to taste.
Top Tip: I find tomato based dishes can sometimes be a bit tart so I like to add a sprinkle of coconut sugar or dash of maple syrup to take off the edge.

Remove the sweet potato chunks from the oven and stir into the chilli mixture.

TO SERVE

This dish is tasty and filling enough to have all on its own due to the fibre and protein. Alternatively, if you’re monstrously hungry you can serve with quinoa, on a jacket whole sweet potato or bed of steamed green veggies. I top with some grated vegan cheese or a sprinkle of this lovely mixture… garlic powder, chopped nuts and nutritional yeast!

As a Sunday meal prep recipe this chilli works very well as you can heat it up for lunch each day, or freeze for a homemade ‘ready meal’. When I make a batch of this and it runs out I’m always pining for some more!

Enjoy this recipe and let me know how you get on 

Ruth x

Cacao and Maca Porridge Recipe: Winter Power Porridge

In winter I love a bowl of warming porridge (hello comfort food!) and there are loads of ways to add extra nutrients and flavour.  I’ve been experimenting with different porridge variations and coming up with new recipes to make really delicious nourishing breakfasts.  This Cacao and Maca Porridge recipe is so easy, and with all the added benefits it’s a great meal to start the day with!

Maca is one of the famous ‘superfood’ elites, and with good reason too!  The Peruvian root powder is rich in vitamins thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2) and Vitamin B6, and also contains calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron.

Cacao has been an important food known for its invigorating properties for generations in Aztec society as well as in Mexican, Central and South American cultures.  Cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants found in nature, containing nutrients iron, potassium, zinc, copper and magnesium. It’s hard to believe something so tasty can be so good for you!

Even before we add these nutrient dense ingredients, the oats in porridge provide a great dose of nutrients themselves. Oats are a complex carbohydrate meaning their energy is slowly released throughout the day, keeping you full until lunchtime.  These little power grains also contain thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and are a great source of fiber.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Organic Oats

1 tbsp Maca Powder

2 ½ tbsp Cacao Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

3 cups Almond Milk (or alternative plant milk)

1 Conference Pear

METHOD – Serves 2

Put oats, cacao, maca and cinnamon in a saucepan along with 2 ½ cups of almond milk.  Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Keep an eye on the consistency of the mixture and add the rest of the almond milk if necessary.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Top with half a sliced pear and small dollop of almond butter

Stir in grated orange zest and top with some orange segments

Add chopped banana with a spoonful of peanut butter

Top with apple slices and pumpkin seeds

Add Raspberries/Blueberries and cacao nibs

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe as much as I do! It’s so easy and delicious, a great start to the day 🙂 With all these serving suggestions, you can see there are loads of ways to boost the nutrient density of this meal. Get creative and power up your poridge!

Ruth x