Raw cacao & almond pralines

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Woo your Valentine with chocolates which aren’t only devoid of bad stuff, they’re packed with goodness, and The LOVE Drug. As an added bonus, these insanely tasty little morsels take all of 6 minutes to make (I’ve timed it); freeing you up for some extra loving.

Praline-centre

In it’s raw, unprocessed state cacao’s loaded with antioxidants, iron, zinc (said to increase testosterone, stamina and libido..!), calcium and potassium. Cacao also helps produce the body’s happy hormone, seratonin and there’s the Love Drug: Phenylethylamine is said to mimic the feeling of being in love. Minus the drama. And if that doesn’t float your boat, there are always the almonds. Apparently the aroma induces passionate thoughts in women – Samson’s strategy with Delilah…

Makes 25 chocolates (depending on your mould)

Ingredients

1/2 cup cacao butter or coconut oil
2 1/2 tbsp raw cacao
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp macadamia butter. Optional but makes the chocolates sweeter and creamier.

Cacao-pralines

raw-cacao-pralines,-lace

Method

In a bain-marie (bowl placed with a pan of simmering water) very gently melt the cacao butter. Stir in the cacao powder, removing any lumps, followed by the maple syrup. Take care not to boil or over heat or you’ll obliterate the fantastic health benefits of raw cacao.

Check for sweetness and consistency, adding more maple syrup for a sweeter tooth (remember the nut butter will also sweeten). As you’d expect, cacao thickens, butter  adds gloss and thins out.

Pour into moulds or ice cube trays and freeze for 30 mins. Transfer to a fridge to store. Eat. See, quicker than a desperate dash to the garage for Dairy Milk.

For any of you balking at the price of cacao (it isn’t cheap): It packs such a punch, that very little goes a very long way. I’ve had my bag for at least 6 months and I make a LOT of energy bites and chocolates. So, it’s quite possible that gram for gram, it’s cheaper than Cadbury’s.

 

Pea, kale, fennel & smoky bacon soup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, V, WF

If kale really isn’t your thing but you want some of its (biblically proportioned) health benefits, stick it in soup. While the freshness of the pea in this old classic is retained, the antioxidant, fibre and nutrient dense kale adds a meaty, heartiness which is perfect for fresh spring days and, should you so wish, summer slimming prep. Soup’s also surprisingly quick: this takes 15 mins.

Pea, kale, fennel & smokey bacon soup

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon – optional, the fennel seed gives this lots of flavour
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ground fennel seeds
500g frozen peas
1 ltr Boullion or chicken stock
200g chopped curly kale, stalks retained
Sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

Set 1 dsp of the oil to heat, then fry bacon until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil, followed by onions once hot. After a couple of mins stir through ground fennel seeds.

Once onions have started to turn translucent, add in kale, then stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add peas and chopped bacon and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand blender for ease and minimal washing up.

Return to the heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

Kale superfood salad. And Dolly.

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Quick, packed with flavour, antioxidants, iron and filling energy, this is my year round Go-to recipe. When rubbed with olive oil, salt and lemon, raw kale breaks down into a super delicious (honestly) and meaty salad leaf; rocket now seems pretty insubstantial by comparison. Sesame & rosemary spice was made for this, the chilli meatiness sticks to the leaves and is seriously tasty. Use as a base for any of your favourite toppings for lunch, supper or take-away.

Superfood-salad

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Base

1 good handful kale, chopped
1 dsp olive oil
Squeeze lemon juice
Pinch Himalayan pink or sea salt
2 dsp Sesame, rosemary spice – optional but worth the effort!

Optional toppings

1 tbsp cooked quinoa = complete protein, fibre + all essential amino acids.
1/2 avocado, chopped = potassium + heart healthy unsaturated fats.
1 dsp feta, crumbled = calcium flavour kick with reduced lactose (I’m addicted).
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped = filling lean protein.
1 dsp hummus = great sub for meat protein or Middle Eastern deliciousness with chicken.

And some more

Goji berries = sweet tanginess + antioxidant and skin loving beta-carotene.
Rocket leaves = peppery green crunch.
Sticky sweet potato wedges, chopped = low GI filling sweetness
Poached egg = #addictedtoeggs
Balsamic vinegar = adds a tangy sweet contrast to the nutty and creamy salad.

Kale-&-Dolly

METHOD

Using a large bowl, rub the olive oil, salt and lemon into the kale. As you do so, the volume will reduce by half and the stalks pop to the surface – there’s no need to painstakingly remove beforehand.

It’s up to you if you want to include in the salad or discard; Dolly eats mine as I’m prepping. #wholesomeseductiondog

Top with the Sesame & rosemary spice, followed by any other ingredients from the list. The flavours all complement each other, so you can add as many or as few as you like. It goes without saying that you may want to reduce quantities if opting for all eight…

This recipe tastes even better on day two, so make a big batch for instant eating.

For something similar without lifting a finger, try The Good Life Eatery’s Good Life Bowl.

 

Seasonal Seducer: Aubergine

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Most attractive features

This berry (yup) is a great source of fibre, B1 and B6. It’s an impressive antioxidant and, it’s purple. I quite like purple.

Aubergine-Seasonal-Seducer

Why I fell in love

First off, there’s the way it looks on our dishes. A splash of purple in a sea of green. But it has more to offer – dietary fibre, B1, B6, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, folic acid… and nasunin. Nasunin is one of the most potent antioxidants and free-radical scavengers out there. So we’re talking cancer fighting, cholesterol lowering and diabetes managing. And it’s purple. I really do like purple.

Seasonal Seducer: Mango

Posted in: Uncategorized

Most attractive features

King of fruits, mango is rich in dietary fibre, Vitamins A, C & E, potassium, minerals, and antioxidants. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and really does help us see in the dark (thank you, Vitamin A).

Why we fell in love

Because it tastes so good it really shouldn’t have any health benefits what so ever. Mango is also found to protect against leukemia, colon, prostate and breast cancers. It’s even said to clear pores when used externally. There appears to be no end to The King’s talents…

Almond butter

Posted in: DF, Featured, N, S, SF, V, WF

I’m a big Peanut Butter fan. I was practically weaned on Sun-pat and Marmite sandwiches; I dollop Wholenut Crunchy into smoothies and even cram it into Lindt Teddies. Don’t knock it. Apart from the nagging feeling of gluttony, I’m painfully aware that peanuts aren’t great for me – there are better fats out there and I’m cursed with instant bloating on consumption. Almonds on the other hand, are a veritable powerhouse of goodness. And in my opinion, taste even better when roasted, blitzed and topped on toast or oatcakes. Protein and nutrient packed instantness.

Makes: 200ml jar Takes: 15 mins.

Almond Butter it transpires, is Sun-pat on Crack: Keens cheddar over Pilgrims Choice; Chloe over Primark. You get the idea. Inevitably then, shop bought Almond butters don’t come cheap. Hence my super quick and easy DIY version that costs half the price. Try the supermarket World Food aisles for better value sacks of almonds. Get the full health benefits of almonds on our Seducers page.

Ingredients

200g almonds, skins on
¼ tsp sea salt

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas 6

Scatter almonds in a baking tray and roast for 8-10 mins, until nuts start to brown around the edges inside – bite one of the darker nuts in half to test.

Transfer to a food processor, add the salt and blitz for 1 min.

Scrape down the sides and blitz for a further 2 mins, scraping the sides every 30 seconds to a minute.

almond-butter

The nuts will release more oil the longer you blend. You can add groundnut oil to bulk out your mix but there’s no need.

I like a crunchier butter so I remove 1 tbsp of the ground nuts after 1 min and mix back through at the end.

Tip: Be careful not to burn the almonds when roasting or you’ll taint the end result. If when you bite in half, the flesh has turned fully from white to brown, you’ve gone too far.

P/25g (serving): Kcal: 160, Pr: 5.2g, Carb: 1.7g, OWS: 1g, Fat: 14.2g, Sat Fat: 1.3, Salt: 0.3g

P/100g Kcal: 620, Pr: 20.6g, Carb: 6.8g, OWS: 4.2g, Fat: 57g, Sat Fat: 5.0g, Salt: 1g

 

Storehouse Seducer: Almonds

Posted in: Uncategorized

Most attractive features

A natural anti-oxidant, storehouse staple, almonds are also richer in six key nutrients than any other nut: magnesium, Vitamin E, potassium, protein, fibre and copper.

Why we fell in love

Nuts in general get a bad rap in terms of our girths. However, a handful (approx. 23 almonds) of this super hero contains only 163 calories and will do a lot more to sustain you than half a bagel or a couple of slices of toast. Both are about the same in calories. Miraculously, almonds also help reduce our insulin and blood sugar levels after eating.

So, reduced risk of heart disease; cholesterol and GI lowering; anti-oxidant rich and skin nourishing. Need you ask why we’re in love?  Spread some Almond butter on your toast this instant!

Seasonal Seducer: Asparagus

Posted in: Uncategorized

MOST ATTRACTIVE FEATURES
Full of folate, inulin, fibre, vitamin A, B and K, GSH and potassium. Empty of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

WHY WE FELL IN LOVE
Oh where to start! We’d always been attracted to asparagus. There was the folate that reduces our inflammation and lowers the risks of birth defects and cancer, the potassium that helps us to detox, the vitamin K that helps us prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, and the combination of all these that slows the signs of aging.

Then, as if all that wasn’t enough, we learnt about inulin. Inulin is a prebiotic that isn’t digested until it reaches our large intestine where it feeds those friendly bacteria (like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli): leading to better nutrient absorption, lower risks of allergy, and a lower risk of colon cancer too. Some say it’s just the shape that makes this veg an aphrodisiac…we say it’s what’s inside that counts.