Eggplant Canapes

Eggplant Canapes

Eggplant Canapes

Ingredients for Eggplant canapes:

2 Eggplants (choose long big ones ideally)
1 Red Pepper
1/3 cup avocado pesto
1/3 cup thick cashew nut cheese or 100 gm feta sliced into 5 mm slices
Handful of baby salad leaves (eg rocket and baby spinach)
Coconut Oil

Slice Eggplants into 5-6 mm pieces. In a non-stick pan gently heat 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil). Place the eggplant slices in and gently cook on both sides until lightly browned and cooked through.
Meanwhile, under the grill, place the red pepper until the skin begins to blister, turn over and repeat for the other side, but not until it is overcooked. Remove from the oven and place in a plastic bag while it cools. This enables the skin to remove easily. Once you have removed the skin, slice into 5 mm thick strips.
Lay slices of the cooked eggplant out and at the widest end, place 1.5-2 tsp of your avocado pesto, followed by a slice of pepper on top and then 1.5 tsp of the cashew cheese or feta. Finally lay a couple of the baby salad leaves on top and gently roll together.

NOTE –
If you find your eggplant is not cooking through, you can place it on a baking stone or oven tray and place in a low heat oven to cook through.
You can replace the avocado pesto with mashed avocado and a couple of leaves of basil inside the canape if desired.

Makes approx 12-14 eggplant canapes

Lovely served along side our Stuffed Medjool Dates. Enjoy…

Eggplant Canapes 2
Eggplant Canapes 3
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Nourish Protein Balls

Nourish Protein Balls

Protein Balls are a perfect snack if you’re competing in the RideLondon or in a marathon this summer. Here is a quick recipe to whip up and take some energy snacks loaded with nutrients, and free from refined sugars. I have used a pea protein in these, but you could use what ever protein powder you have on hand to make your protein balls.

Vanilla Protein Balls Recipe

2 cups sunflower seeds*
3 Tbsp vital vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup gojiberries
2 Tbsp nut butter
2 1/2 Tbsp raw coconut oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Place first three ingredients in a food processor, blitz until starting to come together, then add in the remaining three ingredients and process until you have a soft mixture that forms into a ball when pressed together. Finally roll into balls, and store in fridge
Makes 8-10 (depending on size)

*I used activated crispy sunflower seeds.

Chocolate Protein Balls

5 pitted medjool dates
3 Tbsp Vital Vanilla Protein powder
2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil

Place first three ingredients in the food processor. Process until the mixture starts to come together, then add in the cacao and coconut oil. Process until you have a soft mixture, adding in a little more coconut oil if necessary. Finally roll into balls. Store in the fridge.

Makes 8-10 (depending on size)

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Popcorn

Popcorn

A hint of cinnamon and vanilla makes this popcorn a delicious healthy snack…

We have a family tradition of having some treats to eat and warm hot chocolates while decorating the tree one evening in the lead up to Christmas. This year we had purchased some organic popping corn (on the cob) from Riverford. I was skeptical at first, but one cob produced a delicious mountain of popcorn. It tasted so fresh and was gobbled up quickly, (except the bit I put away for Inges school lunchbox).

​2 tsp coconut oil
1 popping corn cob (equivalent to 1/4 – 1/3 cup popcorn)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
A couple of pinches of Himalayan salt

Heat oil gently in a saucepan. Add in pop-corn and cover tightly with a lid. Keep over moderate heat, shaking every once in a while. When the popping starts, shake frequently over heat until it stops popping. Discard any un-popped kernels. To the popcorn add the cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Shake to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Enjoy…

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Pumpkin Seed & Apricot Snack Bites

Pumpkin Seed & Apricot Snack Bites

Pumpkin Seed and Apricot Snack Bites – With a month focused on making changes, whether it be cutting out sugar, or increasing your intake of vegetables, this is a fantastic recipe to make one of those healthy changes. There are a couple of versions, both of which are refined sugar free, I often make these on a weekend and pop in the fridge or freezer to have at hand during the week when you need a snack between meals, or while making dinner. Also great addition for lunch boxes (with a nut free option too).

These Snack bites are absolutely delicious. I frequently have a couple of these with a cup of tea for morning and afternoon tea. Also great to have while making dinner, especially when you are really hungry and are looking to eat anything in sight.

If you are following January as a month free of refined sugars, this is also a great recipe to use. You can use the option with no added raw honey. Both versions are delicious.

300gm pumpkin seeds
150gm dried apricots (organic, not the orange ones with sulphites added)
100gm rolled oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp coconut oil
4 1/2 Tbsp filtered water

Alternative – Add in the following –
60 gm your favourite nut butter (I used roast almond buter or my ABC nut butter)
1 heaped dessert spoon raw honey (I love the goodness of raw honey, but you can use coconut nectar, date syrup or maple sryup too).

Place pumpkin seeds, apricots in a food processor. Process until you get a fine crumb. Add in the oats and ground cinnamon. Process briefly. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Roll into balls, or into a log shape. Store in a container in the fridge or freezer (I have loved eating mine straight from the freezer lately).

A note about our energy snack bites/balls that we make – 
Why do we use water and coconut oil in most of our energy balls? Coconut oil is a fantastic source of good fat, adding in a little of this to your energy balls ensures you have a good satiety and you are getting good fats in your diet. Water helps to combine the energy ball and enable it to come together. A lot of the energy balls on the market have a much higher content of dried fruit, which while it is good for you, it is still a source of sugar, by using water you do not need large amounts of dried fruit. Please do comment below if you have any questions around this.

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Quinoa Sushi Wraps

Quinoa Sushi Wraps

Quinoa Sushi Wraps

Quinoa is a fantastic grain it is rich in minerals and vitamins and full of protein. These quinoa sushi wraps make a great lunch, or afternoon snack. Easy to prepare ahead and take to work for lunch.

Quinoa is a complete protein and wheat-free grain. It contains Iron, lysine, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). It is tasty and can be used in a variety of dishes. It is also much better at maintaining an even blood sugar level than white rice, pasta or bread.

Ingredients for Quinoa Sushi Wraps

½ cup  quinoa
½   carrot
¼  cucumber
½  red pepper (large)
1 Tbsp.  tamari
1  avocado (large)
3  sushi sheets

Place quinoa along with two cups of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 15-20mins until water has absorbed and quinoa is cooked.  Remove from heat, cover saucepan and allow to cool.
Cut carrot, cucumber and red pepper into fine strips. Mash avocado in a separate bowl.
Take a sushi sheet , lay on a flat surface.  At one end place a thick strip of the avocado mixture.  Cover 2/3 of the sheet with quinoa using the back of a fork to flatten, leaving a space at the end of about 2cm. Arrange vegetable sticks over the quinoa as desired. Sprinkle 1 tsp of tamari over the quinoa. Tightly roll the sheet starting from the end with avocado. Cut into pieces with a sharp serrated knife. Repeat this with the remaining with remaining two sheets.

VARIATIONS-
– 1 Tbsp nut butter mashed into the avocado is a delicious addition. We frequently do this.
– If you like wasabi, this can also be added if desired.
– Extra vegetables can be added, eg. grated beetroot, adapt it to your taste buds, or your children’s.

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Smashed pea and avocado

Smashed pea and avocado

Smashed pea and avocado, green goodness on a plate

This recipe is a favourite of mine and great to use for dinner parties, or alongside your favourite vegan or meat main. It goes well with falafel, lamb and salmon, but we love it with a Roasted Cauliflower Steak. Or you can have it by itself. Enjoy.

Ingredients 

1 & 1/2 cup peas

Large handful of baby spinach leaves

½ Large ripe avocado

Few leaves of fresh basil

4-5 leaves of fresh mint

1 & 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil

Salt and Cracked Pepper

 Method

Steam peas until hot and just cooked.

Place your peas and the remaining ingredients into the food processor. Blitz until you reach your desired consistency.

 

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