lemon

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.

Plant Powered Butter Bean + Harissa Burgers with Honey Lemon Onions (Vegan)

Harissa burgerRuss and I had a fabulous time in Alaska and Canada but now I have serious case of post holiday come down fueled by my worst jet lag of all time, it’s cruel! The last two weeks were pretty special though, definitely this year’s highlight as I adore travelling by RV road trip style. We managed to cook some amazing food on the move too, stopping off at local stores for a fridge top up and a mosey. I fell in love in Canada, with Whole Foods. I have to say I really have developed quite the love affair with Whole Foods supermarket. Why oh why is this not a permanent fixture in my life, come on the UK – get with the programme. Whole Foods is almost reason enough to move to Canada! Seriously, I was so impressed by the layout, the actual food, the choice, the cosmetics, the take out counter, come to think of it I was impressed by Canada in general. But shopping in that supermarket is pure pleasure, I need Whole Foods here!

Moving on, travelling by camper van really is pretty special and gave us total freedom and flexibility to explore and make stops at our leisure. The kitchen was amazingly user friendly and well equipped so there really was no excuse not to make some great food. It was so nice to stop off somewhere different everyday, make a fabulous meal and soak up the scenery.  The only thing is the van did have the faint aroma of cumin and curry powder when we delivered it back to Vancouver. Oops, that’ll be those black beans and the delicious lentil curry!Harissa burger al fresco :-)

I made this butter bean and harissa burger before we went away, when it was a little warmer and we were eating outside. What is that about- I’m away for two weeks to return to close on winter weather? No matter, I’m layering up and will continue eating outside until it’s near freezing! Bring on the chili sauce and harissa paste for a bit of warmth. The harissa (formed of red peppers) in this burger has a some good spice and adds a very authentic North African flavour and makes a great colourful looking pattie too. The lemony onions are a delicious and sweet addition to the punchy and spicy flavours in the butter beans, I just have to, actually need onions with my burger. Any bean would work really, I just happened to have some of these handy the day of my burger craving.10 minute recipe!

You just gotta love a good old juicy bean burger. They’re just so satisfying and beans are fabulous for carrying robust flavours and are miles tastier than meat varieties. Making bean burgers is sooo easy too, they take no time at all and it’s really pretty satisfying to create your own burger from scratch, in a flavour to suit your tastes. I really do think you can pretty much form a workable burger entirely from guess work and have it in the frying pan in 10 minutes flat. You can adjust quantities as you combine the ingredients to create a workable consistency and more importantly have full control of what is going into your burger. Let’s face it, you cant say that for any shop bought varieties out there. This better, I mean ‘butter’ bean and harissa burger is entirely plant powered as it contains chia egg for binding the mixture but a regular egg would work also.Easy, spicy, plant powered and delicious. Nice.

Today’s the day for making a super plant burger. What’s your next veggie burger going to be?Plant power harissa burger

Butter Bean + Harissa Burgers with Honey Lemon Onions

(makes 2 large burgers or 4 small patties)

1 can (240 gram drained) butter beans
2 teaspoons chia seed just covered in water or 1 egg if not vegan
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt + pepper
handful basil leaves
3 teaspoons harissa paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 burger buns (I used Waitrose gluten free quinoa rolls)

for the onions:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
juice of half lemon
1 tablespoon honey

Method:

1. Drain the butter beans + transfer to a large bowl. Mash the beans with a fork + add the remaining ingredients continually pressing down with the fork until you have a pliable burger ball. If the mixture is too sticky add some oats + if too dry add a little milk.
2. Divide the mixture into two + form into 2 burger shapes.
3. Preheat a medium grill. Heat the olive oil in a large pan + fry the burgers on 1 side until browned. Flip + finish cooking under the grill for an even brown finish.
4. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a small pan + add the onion, lemon + honey. Cook until softened.
5. Slice the buns, add the burgers, top with honey lemon onions + salad.

Beet, Apple, Lemon + Spinach Smoothie

Fresh fruits & vegetablesMy Mum donated some beets to yours truly that a friend had gifted her from their veggie garden – that’s the nicest, I need these friends! Anyway, I just love making things with produce grown in someones garden and then passed along for others to enjoy. Whenever this happens I always end up cooking something really random, it definitely gets the creativity flowing! Take marrows, although I like them I wouldn’t usually buy them but if someone gave me a marrow from their garden, well firstly I’d be honoured but mainly I’d have fun making something tasty out of it…albeit random!Delicious red smoothie

Growing vegetables full stop is too impressive to me but I did actually have my own patch in our garden as a kid – potatoes, onions, carrots and strawberries, funny the things we remember. I’m totally feeling inspired to start a little growing myself but I need to get Russ to build me a few planting boxes first. I’ll start small, maybe simple salad leaves, onions etc, this isn’t a random list but what people tell me are the easy growers. I know I’m going to love it purely gaged on the weirdly high level of enjoyment I get from cutting parsley I grow myself. It’s true, I hope I don’t sound too weird!

I’m right bang in the middle of a juicing phase so of course I was going to make a red smoothie. All I needed was a small leap of faith and I’d be there! Yes, I put beetroot in the Vitamix, hoping and praying that it wouldn’t stain. It didn’t, phew! Now I’m safe in the knowledge that I can pulse my beets without fear of stainage! That’s good news, because beets combined with the right ingredients are gooood juiced up. I shared it with Russ because sharing is caring and this is his favourite so far. It was pretty delicious but I still prefer the meaner greener smoothies.Red smoothies process

Sweet, smooth, earthy and zingy – it definitely perked me up after! This is an energising and cleansing beverage for any time of the day, with three servings of freshness and a good protein boost from the chia seeds. A smoothie juice with a winning edge.

Do you grow your own veggies? What’s the easiest to grow?Delicious red smoothie

Beet, apple + spinach smoothie

(serves 2)

1 beet, peeled & chopped
! apple, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach
1/2 frozen banana
juice of 1 lemon
4 ice cubes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.