banana

Classic Green Smoothie Ice Lollies

I love a good smoothie and with the current ‘heatwave’ i’m taking an all time fave and making a refreshing lolly.

green smoothie ice lolly

To me this is a classic green smoothie recipe and often I find that many green smoothies are full or a myriad of random ingredients. Don’t get me wrong I love spirulina and almond butter or whatever else every now and then, but at the end of the day there’s something very tasty and simple about this. This is a smoothie I would drink daily just as a snack and I really don’t want to be over complicating things. It’s not good on time, mess or my waistline! But we’re making ice lollies here and this is also perfect as a solid, creamy, banana-packed iced treat. These are naturally way healthier than your average ice treat but definitely not losing out on flavour. They take absolutely no effort whatsoever (aside for waiting for them to freeze!) and can be adapted very easily.

green smoothie ice lolly

If I haven’t convinced you to make your own asap then this will: these are….

packed full of bananas
contain zero refined sugars
dairy free
low in fat
just sweet enough
cheap as chips

Of course the variations are endless, so have lots of fun mixing it up and trying something new. I’m thinking peach pie flavour next……..:-)

green smoothie ice lolly

Classic green smoothie ice lollies

(makes 6)

4 frozen bananas
1 cup almond milk
handful spinach
3 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.

Blitz away until smooth + creamy. Transfer to a popsicle maker + freeze.

Wholegrain Blueberry Banana Muffins

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Since I’ve been pregnant I literally cannot get enough of blueberries, it’s kinda weird the amounts I’m getting through! I must say I am getting a little sick of eating them straight from the box, plus I seem to demolish packets at a time. Naturally when it comes to recipes, I’m thinking blueberry dense muffins. It’s also nice to finally be craving something sweet as opposed to my oily and salty obsessions of late (okay I admit it, I’ve been hooked on crisps or potato chips or whatever!). So it just has to be a good solid muffin. Blueberries galore of course, like too many almost.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

But I hate (that word isn’t even strong enough) it when you get a ‘blueberry’ muffin and there’s like 3 solitary blueberries in the whole thing. It almost seems a tad on the criminal side and definitely a complete rip-off, an utter cheat. So I made sure this disaster would not happen here. Amen.

There’s actually nothing quite like warm wholegrain blueberry banana muffins, moist and fruit-packed and jam packed with the goodness of whole grains. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy sweet treats a lot more when I know they’re not full of white sugar, white carbs and toxic margarines. There doesn’t seem to be any excuses anymore as there are so many alternative flours and sweeteners out there now and not to mention a myriad of much healthier oils to substitute for margarine and butter. And I’m not saying this in a ‘oh she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself’ kinda way, but I reckon if it tastes better and it is in fact miles better for your body then it’s a no brainer, right?

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

I used xylitol to cut the energy a little but regular raw sugar, maple syrup or agave would be completely fine. If you possibly can (‘cos I cannot) allow to cool before attempting to remove from papers. Just sayin’, as it’s kind of annoying when it all gets stuck in there and nobody likes sucking on a muffin case. Although I will do this if necessary.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

It’s one of those dry bits, wet bits, add-to recipes….easy peasy. Oh and it’s so quick, gotta love the quick ones.

It goes without saying these would be good with chocolate chips too but for me, it’s all about the blueberries right now. I’m sure it’ll be a new food obsession next week………….

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Have a great day ūüėČ

Wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

makes 10

dry bits:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup xylitol
wet bits:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 large banana, mashed (can be subbed with 1/2 cup apple sauce)
1 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
the best bit:
1 heaping cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200¬†¬ļC + line grease or line a muffin tray with cases. Add the first 4 dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl + combine fully.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
  3. Fold through the blueberries + carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin tray to 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remember to allow to cool or else you’ll be sucking on a muffin case!

Acai Berry Detox Bowl

acai berry detox bowl

Ah acai, acai. Or rather ah-sigh-EE, ah-sigh-EE! I first met acai when I was in Brazil where they sell it on the streets everywhere, usually in the form of acai bowls or cups. You cannot miss them, they really are everywhere. Lovely piercing purple dollops on every street corner. The thing is, it’s damn cheap in South America and you pay a pretty penny here for it but the desire to get reunited with acai was too strong and I really HAD to have some. Yeah when I think of Brazil these bright purple cups are high up there on my list of Brazil memories, funny the things that stick with us!

Acai cup

Having this again made me remember why I love it so much! Memories of Copacabana beach and the beach vendors selling bright vibrant purple acai bowls topped with all sorts of things. This is super refreshing and truly feel good food. It’s more filling than it looks as it contains a hefty amount of fruit which adds to the thick consistency and more importantly the turbo charged vitamin and mineral antioxidant content. This is truly good mood food.Acai cup in the blender!

Acai is more than just a pretty face and a hard to pronounce berry. It’s wonderful stuff, the superfood of superfoods and is one of the planet’s highest sources of antioxidants. As such this acai berry detox bowl is packed with mega health benefits, here’s just 5 of so many:

high in a particular antioxidant (called anthocyanins but you don’t care about the name right?)¬†that lowers cholesterol
aids weight loss and reduces negative effect of high fat diets
high in fibre and detoxifying
anti-ageing
energy boost, combats fatigue and exhaustion.Beautiful acai + the toppings!

It’s not a smoothie, it’s not ice cream, it’s not frozen yoghurt, it’s a cleansing acai bowl for any time. A thick, sweet, berry infused superfood soft serve.Pretty acai cup

Make it thick or thin, dark or light, acai will never let you down. My new favourite snack!Acai cup

Acai berry detox bowl

(serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
handful spinach leaves
1 heaped tablespoon acai powder
berries, seeds, sliced banana + coconut for topping

Blend all the ingredients on high speed until smooth + creamy. A thick frozen yoghurt consistency is best. Top with delicious things and enjoy.

Banana NiceCream – No Dairy, No Fat + No Sugar

Banana Nicecream – No Dairy, Fat or Sugar

banana ice cream

It’s that crazy time of year when everything just seems in excess; an obscenely huge selection of food, alcohol you would never usually drink (advocaat and Baileys anyone?), extravagant gifts we can’t afford, social expectations turning into obligations, shops packed to the brim with enthusiastic shoppers, television commercials telling us we need just one more thing and a minor meltdown when we realise we forgot the cranberry sauce. How could we possibly go ahead without this!? This stuff is tiring in a period of my life when I’m trying to detox in every sense of the word, embrace my inner minimalist, reduce everything, less is more as a mantra, de-clutter and simplify. Yes, simplify. Why make things more complicated than they need to be? It’s all very simple really and this ice cream is a celebration of less is more. But don’t be fooled, it’s pretty amazing stuff.

It’s free. Free from everything but wholesome goodness.

Liberated from unnecessary additives. simply banana ice cream

Completely unadulterated.

Happy to be just as it is and it doesn’t care what you think. ¬†DSC_8905

Pure.

Raw.

You get the picture right?

1 beautiful ingredient. Bananas.just bananas, frozen bananas

Nature’s offering of whole food plant powered ice cream. It’s banana nicecream.

There’s no sugar, no dairy and no fat. Hallelujah!banana ice cream with caramel + nuts

It doesn’t get any simpler. It doesn’t get any better either.

Less is more. Most of the time anyway.

Banana Nicecream

Freeze your bananas for at least 4 hours + blend away until creamy. The Vitamix does a terrific job. Eat as soft serve or freeze for a harder consistency.

Healthy Peanut Butter + Chocolate Fudge (No Dairy or Sugar)

peanut butter fudgeOh Fudge! Natural, healthy, creamy, nutty, smooth and chocolatey fudge on tap straight from the freezer. Oh yes please. But this is not not your average fudge, this is as healthy as fudge can get…………

there’s no cream, no butter, no dairy at all and no added sugar but rest assured it IS fudge, honestly. And not plain old fudge but delicious peanut butter and chocolate chip fudge. Yum please.¬†slab of fudgeDSC_9058

I really like this recipe, it’s quick + easy and requires no thermometer monitoring like conventional fudge and guess what – this makes you feel real good after eating it. Right on. Keep it in the freezer for a handy grab it when you need it fudge fix. There’s no sugar in this recipe but you can sweeten it to suit your own tastes with your favourite kind. Maple syrup is lovely. Maple syrup and pecans would be lovelier!fudge chunks

Guess what, this freezer fudge is super adaptable too. Any nut butter would be delicious as would cocoa powder for a rich chocolate twist. Walnuts (any nut!) and coconut would be yummy additions too. Swap the banana up with 1/4 cup apple sauce for an equally delicious version. Just make your own fudge.DSC_9067

Healthy peanut butter fudge

(makes 12 squares)

1 small or 1/2 large banana, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup dark dairy free chocolate chips

Blend all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips until smooth. Smooth into a parchment lined baking tray + stud the fudge slab with chocolate chips. Freeze until hardened + slice into desitred size. Store in the freezer or fridge.

Chocolate, Banana + Peanut Chia Pudding (GF + Vegan)

chia puddingMy November resolutions are to eat more¬†chia¬†and to get stuck into this¬†chocolate, banana and nut fiasco at least once per week! What a combo this is and a great way to get a my chia nutritional fix. It’s not hard to stick to these resolutions at all.¬†Easy process - chia pudding

This chocolate, banana + peanut chia pudding is super simple and can be prepped the night before for a next day nutrient dense pick me up. The chia seeds just need to soak up the lovely liquid and you’re ready to go. I blend mine for a smooth mousse-like consistency but it’s equally delicious left as is for that chia tapioca vibe. Of course it doesn’t need caramel sauce but that’s besides the point, add it anyway cos it’s beyond delicious. Just in case you wanted to know, I devoured both of these and enjoyed every last scrap.2 chia puddings

I’m monkeys, I’m nuts, just full on head over heels for this chia pudding and for very good reason too. It’s more than an instant energising and transportable snack, much much more:

gluten + dairy free
rich in omega 3
iron rich
high protein
good source of fibre
high in potassium
low in sugar
breakfast or pudding

She ticks every box. Get some chia and get chia pudding-ing. Chia pudding + caramel sauce

Chocolate, banana + peanut chia pudding

(serves 2)

30 grams chia seed
1 cup almond milk
4 dates
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup

peanuts
banana, sliced
puffed rice, granola
caramel sauce
anything your heart desires

Method:

1. Soak the chia seeds + dates in the almond milk for 1 hour or leave overnight. Add the soaked mixture to the blender with the remaining pudding ingredients + blend until smooth + mousse like.
2. Serve in a glass dish, layered with toppings of choice but my advice is bananas,  peanuts + caramel sauce. Enjoy this tonne of yumminess you just made.

A Sunshine Winter Wellness Anti-Flu Drink + 5 ways to Stay Cold Free

antiflu smoothieOh my goodness, we’re barely out of autumn and already people are coughing and splattering about the place. I forgot how much I hate it when people come to work spreading their germs – stay at home please, no need to be the hero! Yeah, yeah, I’ve done this too…………..but anyway, this post is inspired by the trickle of nose juice, courtesy of a client that splattered all over my left foot yesterday. I can’t blame him really, I was the one wearing gladiator sandals…….it’s what I do when I refuse to give in to the colder temperatures!Sunshine ant-colds smoothie

I’m a queasy person and I was horrified with this nose juice making contact with my foot, running off mid conversation to desperately clean the offended foot in the bathroom, twice over. Yes, this did really happen and I still have a slight shudder at the thought!Sunshine smoothie

I feel much better after drinking one of these though.Sunshine smoothie

Now it’s a fresh new day and I’m fully recovered post trauma so lets get involved in doing our utmost to ensure we give flus and colds a good boot up the backside. Here’s 5 things that really do work for me, and Russ too – I don’t think he’s had a cold for like 3 years! So here goes:

1. Garlic – whole books have been written about garlic’s amazing health benefits but here we’re interested in it’s antiviral + antibiotic properties. They’re good.
2. Citrus + vitamin C – lemons contain antibiotic properties so vital for a fully functioning immune system and for fighting free radicals. Lots of vitamin C too.
3. Sleep + rest – research shows that poor sleep makes people susceptible to colds. I can vouch for this as when I seem to feel run down it usually correlates with a period of poor sleep. Get at least 7 hours and try to get at least 1 hour before midnight.
4. Chili – if you are currently fighting a cold then eat spicy foods. Yep, your nose + eyes may run but this is a good thing + may give you some relief by opening up congested nasal passages and clearing sinuses. The capsaicin will numb the nerves in your head when it’s clogged by colds. Oh + 1 chili can contain 4 X as much vitamin C as an orange.
5. Ginger – my one true love. Ginger contains chemicals which I don’t know the name of that fight rhinoviruses – these are the most common type of cold. Ginger helps ease coughing, is a mild sedative + a natural fever reliever. Add it to teas, smoothies, juices, stir fries, cookies or just EAT it as is, everyday!

I know I said 5 but here’s a bonus point! Turmeric- gosh this spice is a knock out in health benefits¬†and one of its super powers reduces the severity of bacterial + viral infections.Healing ingredients

Yep, I’m thinking stir fry too (and curry and soup and moroccan stew) but this smoothie is a fantastic and speedy way of boosting our immune system and preventing winter colds and infections. Let’s call it a sunshine smoothie, a wellness drink and a health tonic too cos it’s all these things and mighty tasty too.Easy + effective cold remedy

The sunshine smoothie recap: pineapple for it’s magnificant vitamin C content, lemons for obvious reasons, ginger, garlic, turmeric (we’ve been here!), apple (well they do say an apple a day keeps the doctor away!), 1/2 frozen banana for a creamier consistency and the rest is history.

Get involved now, the perfect defence to those winter colds. Get well and get smug.A true health tonic

Sunshine  winter wellness anti-flu drink

(serves you)

1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (or tinned in juice)
1 lemon, skin removed
1 apple
1/2 frozen banana
2 inch pice of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 clove garlic
sprinkle of cayenne
1/2 cup water, coconut water or apple juice
5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender + blend until smooth. Enjoy the sunshine.

Vanilla Chia + Berry Pudding (Gluten free, Raw + Vegan)

Because PROTEIN is EVERYWHERE and plants are powerful!Delicious vanilla chia pudding

Yesterday I went for a check up at the doctors and I feel the urge to share some of our chit chat with you:

Nurse: “Make sure you eat lot’s of meat for protein”.

Me: “I don’t eat meat”

Nurse: “Oh right, so where do you get your protein from?”

Me: “Chia seeds”

Nurse: ‘What are they?”

I wont go on and yes, don’t worry I was just being a tad difficult with the whole chia seeds comment. Admittedly, I could have reeled off a whole host of ingredients she’d most likely heard of but I was having a moment and I thought that being a nurse she’d have a bit more of a grasp on non meat protein sources. Of course I explained that I eat a lot of plant based protein and it¬†seemed like her mind was put at ease, albeit with intrigue. She really was a lovely nurse but gee whizz, I just wasn’t expecting that, not from a nurse anyway. I get asked the protein question a lot and it’s hard for me to answer without providing so much information that the other person switches off (what? I’m passionate!). Usually, I go for a simple yet adequate response to this regular question with ‘oh, lot’s of different plant sources’. I’d rather it this way than start a mini powerpoint presentation to preach on how wonderfully abundant protein is within mother nature.Vanilla chia pudding

So this vanilla chia pudding is a celebration of plant based goodness….and protein of course. There are endless fantastic plants that are an excellent source of protein but today I’m picking on chia¬†because of it’s overall amazingness. I really do love the chia seed for it’s versatility and abundant health benefits. Chia really is the seed that just keeps on giving. Check out my post on the the health benefits of this Aztec wonder food and why it’s such a great addition to any diet.Vanilla chia pudding

Vanilla chia pudding is super easy to make and requires just a little pre-soaking before being thrown into the blender for a sweet, creamy and insanely healthy pudding. Great layered with any fruit you want but berries just fit so well and I dressed mine with cocoa nibs because they’re deliciously good for you. The little green sprig is in fact stevia. I cannot believe I found a stevia plant and it was completely by accident and at a builder’s merchants….so random! Of course I’m now looking for any excuse to use fresh stevia and this is one of those!Easiest pudding recipe ever!

Chia really does give good pudding.

So, where do ya get your protein from? Only kidding! No but seriously now, what’s your favourite way to use chia?

Peace, love and acceptance.Chia pudding + spoon ready to go!

Vanilla chia + berry pudding

(Serves 1)

1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
1 banana (I used frozen)
a large handful of raspberries + blueberries
cocoa nibs for dressing

Method:

1. Soak the chia seeds, milk, vanilla, syrup + banana for at least an hour in a mason jar. Soaking overnight is ideal.
2. Empty the contents into a blender + blitz until smooth. You may need to add a little more milk here for a yoghurt like consistency. Taste + adjust sweetness if necessary.
3. Layer a glass bowl or tumbler with the pudding + berries + dress with cocoa nibs or your favourite nuts.

Lavender + Blueberry Slow Down Smoothie

lavender and blueberry smoothieWhen did it become so cool to be so busy? Have you noticed how busy everyone is and even when they’re not they’re pretending to be! But this is just what we do. When I take a look around I see – do more, get energised, kick start, jump to it, go go go, fast track – you get the picture! I’m all for being productive, getting stuff down and making the best use of my time but hang on a second, let’s not forget to……..

Slow down.

Take a moment.

Do nothing, steady ourselves, let go and just be.Slow down + relaxThis lavender + blueberry slow down smoothie is a celebration of not being busy, an ode to doing nothing. It’s a smoothie to calm, soothe, sedate and harmonise. There is no stress in this smoothie, just pure plant power.

I’ve got a big thing for lovely lavender. We go back years, so much so it’s become a running joke that I’m an old lady due to my lavender love! But I don’t care because although it sounds silly to say, lavender has been a very loyal friend. This amazing healing herb has stuck with me through thick and thin, in ups and downs, providing calming comforting vibes when I needed them most. Insomnia as a child, in times of shock, in anxious times, on grazed knees and during periods of unsettling change, lavender eased and soothed.lavender & blueberry smoothieIt’s part of my treasured sleep kit, travelling the world with me, a comforting companion at night wherever I may be. My pillow is always infused with the scent of heavenly lavender and I take it wherever I go. On our recent Canada RV trip I dropped a few drops on my pillow, creating a familiar happy and relaxing place to lay my head. I really do love lavender. We have an abundance of this violet flora blooming in the canal bank, abundant with delicate lavender flowers ready for relaxation and lavender infused blueberry slow down smoothies.

Inhaling, applying, burning, sprinkling, steaming, and bathing in this essential oil – my lavender usage knows no bounds. Until very recently, I had never thought to eat this highly edible herb and I’m not sure why because it has the most beautiful, delicate, floral aroma with violet undertones. The flavour of this lavender + blueberry smoothie reminded me of little parma violet sweets I used to eat as a kid.Lavender + blueberry smoothieThe healing lavender in this slow down medicinal smoothie provides vitamin A, iron, calcium and a soothing effect on the central nervous system. Super fruit blueberries are almost too amazing to comment on but what the heck – these super berries boost this smoothie by providing whole body antioxidant support as well as cardiovascular, cognitive, blood sugar, eye health and anti cancer benefits. Bananas are packed full of magnesium and potassium, perfect for relaxing tired muscles. Bananas combined with the lavender are a recipe for a calmer, more relaxed and rested self. Goodness me, with banana and lavender we’ll sleep like a log.

What’s your best way to slow down and relax?Lavender + blueberry smoothieLavender + blueberry slow down smoothie

(serves 2)

1 teaspoon dried lavender
2 cups almond milk
1 cup blueberries
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Add ingredients to a blender and blitz on high speed until smooth.

Goodness Green Spinach, Kiwi + Spirulina Smoothie

Putting the green into a green smoothie!I cannot tell you how happy I am to be drinking green smoothies. Why oh why has it taken so long for me to start this habit? I am loving my Vitamix too, who knew such a simple thing could do so many amazing things. Anyway, this is the first (of many!) green smoothies I’ll be making in¬†this little darling. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the Thomas Crown Affair remake (the one with Pierce Brosnan), I think I was about 18 when I watched it. Anyway, there’s a scene with Renee Russo drinking one of these green smoothies and I remember wondering what the hell it was! Randomness, I know but I felt the urge to share that. It also goes to show how the US are space ages ahead when it comes to certain super foods and health crazes. Green juicing has become pretty mainstream now but I have to say the office were still a little taken back by my large glass jar crammed full of green stuff! It’s literally everywhere though, I watched ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ the other night and was amazed by how juicing can actually transform lives. Of course these people were extreme cases and personally I couldn’t juice for¬†extended periods of time but it really opened my eyes to the health benefits of a time limited juice diet.Smoothie making

This particular smoothie contains spirulina which of course is entirely optional but gee whizz it gives a superb health boost and really puts the GREEN into a green smoothie. This amazing post on Mind Body Green is all the evidence I need to put a teaspoon into my greens. I buy this green algae from Holland & Barrett but there are good bargains to be had on Ebay too.DSC_6594

I’m the first to admit it isn’t exactly pretty but the taste is utterly delicious! The kiwi, banana and almond milk balance out the spinach and spirulina flavours perfectly, resulting in a silky, smooth, supercharged health tonic that has you feeling on top of the world! Of course, if the spirulina makes this green smoothie just a little too green for your taste, just leave it out.Spirulina smoothie

It’s near impossible to list the vitamin and mineral boost this drink provides but let’s just say there’s hefty amounts of vitamin A, B1, B2, C, E, K, magnesium, potassium, calcium and tryptophan. It’s high in fibre and protein and the perfect¬†health tonic¬†for a¬†pick me up late afternoon or as part of a power breakfast.Smoothie all gone!

Spinach, kiwi + spirulina smoothie

(serves 1)

2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 kiwi, skin removed
1/2 frozen banana
1 teaspoon spirulina (optional)
1 cup almond milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blitz on high for 45 seconds or until smooth. Enjoy the goodness.