PREBIOTIC SALAD

prebiotic-saladPREPARATION TIME: 20-30 minutes

SERVINGS: 8 X 300g servings

NUTRITIONAL VALUE (300g serving size – large bowl)

110 calories, Protein 7.5g, Fat 0.7g, Sat Fat 0g, Carbohydrates 12g, Fibre 11g

How can a salad be a PREBIOTIC? And what is a PREBIOTIC? Well PREBIOTICS are essentially fermentable fibres (carbohydrates) namely oligosaccharides and inulin which pass through the gastrointestinal tract intact (resisting digestion in the small intestine) and end up in the large intestine (colon) providing a food source for beneficial bacteria. Simply put; they are fertiliser for beneficial bacteria helping them to grow and flourish [Symbol]

PREBIOTICS DO AMAZING THINGS FOR OUR HEALTH…

  • Feed our gut microbiota (the good bugs)
  • Ensure better regularity
  • Improve immune function
  • Assist with vitamin production
  • Help heal intestinal permeability
  • Ensure calcium absorption
  • Improve bone density
  • Are anti-inflammatory in nature
  • Reduce cravings
  • Reduce appetite
  • Assist with weight loss
  • Improve the integrity of the skin

PREBIOTIC SALAD

This recipe makes a huge container – 8 meals – the RAW CABBAGE keeps everything from wilting or going mushy. Make this at the beginning of the week so it is easy to fill your lunch box for work or school, top with the nut ‘n’ seed mix (optional), a can of tuna or a boiled egg, and put your omega salad dressing, in a small bottle to add when serving. The most perfect meal packed with live enzymes, prebiotic fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Why spend money on a vitamin supplement when you can have this!!

NOTE: feel free to add more of your favourite vegetables. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups mixed greens (chicory leaves, spinach, rocket, chard etc.)
  • 1 can Artichoke hearts (in brine) – cut into quarters
  • 1-2 bunches of asparagus (steam to soften)
  • 1 fennel bulb (cook first, see below)
  • ½ large red cabbage, or 1 small.
  • 5 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots (grated or spiralised)
  • 200g crunchy combo spouts (or make you own – recipe here)
  • 1 red capsicum

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut fennel bulb into small pieces, put in a loaf pan, drizzle with olive oil and cook for 45mins at 175ᵒC. Put in fridge afterwards to cool.
  2. Cut the woody ends off Asparagus and then steam until tender. Put in fridge afterwards to cool.
  3. Put mixed greens into a large container (with lid), add finely cut red cabbage, artichoke hearts halved or quartered, sliced capsicum, diced celery, grated or spiralised carrot and sprouts.
  4. When fennel bulb and asparagus are cool mix in.
  5. When serving, top with nut ‘n’ seed mix ,or a boiled egg for a protein hit, and top with Omega rich omega salad dressing
  6. Keep in fridge, lasts 4-5 days. However check when serving that nothing has gone slimy!!

NUT ‘N’ SEED MIX

nuts n seedsThis is the perfect mix to sprinkle over salads, roast vegetables or soup. Packed full of Vitamin E, a fat soluble antioxidant, that protects us against toxins that damage cells. It also is a great immunity booster and helps to lower cholesterol.

PREPARATION TIME: 5 minutes
SERVINGS: 12
NUTRITIONAL VALUE (1 heaped tbsp.)

212 calories, Protein 8g, Fat 18, Saturated Fat 2.4g, Carbohydrates 2g, Fibre 3g

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (50g) slivered almonds
  • ½ cup (60g) sesame seeds
  • ½ cup (70g) pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup (70g) sunflower seeds
  • ½ tsp. coconut oil

OPTIONAL: You can substitute any nuts e.g. hazelnuts, cashews, brazil nuts OR seeds e.g. chia, quinoa, amaranth

METHOD

  1. Melt coconut oil in shallow fry pan.
  2. Put in all ingredients and keep stirring until slightly brown
  3. Let cool, then keep in fridge in a sealed container.

OAT MILK

Oat-MilkPREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
SERVINGS: 8 X 100ml servings

NUTRITIONAL VALUE (100ml serving size)
48 calories, Protein 1.3g, Fat 1g, Sat Fat 0.1g, Carbohydrates 7.6g, Fibre 1.2g

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g Raw Wholemeal Oats (not quick oats)
  • 750 mls filtered water
  • Pinch Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla essence

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put oats in a large bowl and cover with filtered water. Soak for 15 minutes.
  2. With a sieve, drain the oats (throw away the water).
  3. Put oats in Thermomix. This can also be done in a high-speed blender.
  4. Add 750mls filtered water, pinch of salt and vanilla essence.
  5. TM Speed 8, 1 minute. Or blend on high in blender.
  6. Pour oat milk through a fine mesh sieve or a nut-milk bag.
  7. Squeeze well to get all the liquid out.
  8. Keep in fridge, lasts 4-5days.

SPROUT SALAD

Sprout-salad-007Sprouts are a fantastic source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and provide 100 times more enzymes than fruits and vegetables – as they are a LIVE food.  In addition, they are a great source of the amino acid Lysine which helps maintain a healthy immune system. Also packed with fibre and a providing a potent hit of Vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E you’re really doing your health a BIG favour by eating this!

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
SERVINGS: 6 servings

NUTRITIONAL VALUE (100g serving size)
142 calories, Protein 3.6g, Fat 10g, Sat Fat 1.5g, Carbohydrates 6.8g, Fibre 2g

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cups crunchy combo sprouts (or make your own – click here)
  • 8-10 radishes, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced or grated
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup coriander or spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup raw red cabbage
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. EV olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a small jar (with lid) combine garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper put on the lid and shake until mixed.
  2. Toast the cumin seeds in a small frying pan over a medium heat for about 2 minutes, moving them around continuously. Remove and crush in a mortar with pestle, roughly. If you can’t be bothered doing this, you can always add 1tsp. ground cumin seed to the dressing.
  3. Combine the sprouts, radishes, carrots, coriander, cherry tomatoes and red cabbage in a large salad bowl.
  4. Shake the dressing and pour over the salad and dust with cumin and serve.

TABOULI (Tabbouleh)

tabboulehThis is a no-grain version of the traditional Middle Eastern salad – Tabouli. This super delicious salad is rich in dietary fibre (22%) which nourishes our good bacteria and helps it grow – building a healthy microbiome. Not only that, it is packed full of vitamins A, B, C & K, phytonutrients, antioxidants and a variety of minerals that support good health.

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes

SERVINGS: 5 servings

NUTRITIONAL VALUE (90g serving size)

24 calories, Protein 1.5g, Fat 0.2g, Sat Fat 0g, Carbohydrates 2.5g, Fibre 2.7g

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups finely diced Italian parsley
  • 1 cup finely diced mint
  • 1 cup finely diced tomato
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion (or more if you like onion!)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 clove crushed garlic

OPTIONAL: 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl then chill for at least 30 minutes and serve on either lettuce leaves or Japanese Nori (seaweed) sheets that are rolled into pouches.

SEED CYCLING

seed cyclingMany women have trouble with their menstrual cycles, from menstrual cramps, back aches, PMS, low energy, irregular cycles, uterine fibroids and more. This is due in part to hormonal imbalances, in particular an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.

SEED CYCLING

The good news is that hormonal imbalances can often be helped with seed cycling. Seed cycling works to benefit the regularity and health of the entire cycle by supporting our hormone production, binding and metabolism. Different seeds contain different types and amounts lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans help our body bind up excess hormones, whereas fatty acids help with hormone production. Together they work on balancing hormones throughout the entire menstrual cycle. But first a little about what is going on. The recipe for seed cycling is at the end of this article.

MENSTRUAL CYCLE HORMONE BALANCE

seedThe female reproductive cycle involves an interplay of hormones that normally results in cyclical changes in the ovaries and uterus. Each cycle takes anywhere from 20 – 35 days, with the average being 28 days, to complete and involves the development and release of an egg from the ovaries and the preparation of the uterus to receive a fertilized egg.

If fertilization doesn’t occur, the endometrial (uterine) lining is lost through menstruation (day 1). Estrogen and progesterone are two of the key hormones that regulate this cycle. Estrogen levels increase during the first part of the cycle; whereas, progesterone levels increase while estrogen levels slowly decrease during the last part of the cycle. It is the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone throughout the cycle that contributes to the symptoms of PMS, menstrual cramps and irregular cycles.

THERE ARE TWO MAIN PHASES OF THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

From the time menstruation starts until ovulation is Phase 1. The production of estrogen is essential during this phase. Phase 1 begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts until you ovulate, which is around 14 days.

From ovulation until menstruating is Phase 2. Progesterone is being made and utilized during this 2nd phase. Phase 2 is from when you ovulate, day 14 until the say your menstruation starts.

HOW TO SEED CYCLE

  1. Day 1 to 14: 1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds daily. It is suggested in this phase to also add a high quality fish oil tablet to increase Omega 3’s.
  2. Day 15 to menses: 1 tablespoon freshly ground sunflower and sesame seeds daily. It is suggested in this phase to also take an Evening Primrose oil supplement daily to increase Omega 6’s.

SO WHY ARE THESE SEEDS SO GOOD??

  • Flax and sesame seeds are full of lignans, which block excess estrogens.
  • Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for liver detoxification.
  • Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which supports progesterone release.

It is important to grind the seeds to ensure the lignans are adequately available and can be absorbed by your intestines so the constituents can be used. The easiest way to eat them is on salads, on yoghurt or in smoothies, seeing that the raw aspect is so important.  The consistency of ingesting the seeds daily is important, as we are going for balance here. Use a coffee grinder for the soul purpose of grinding seeds, you can usually pick one up second hand.  Store ground seeds in an air tight container in the refrigerator so the integrity of the oils within can stay fresh and effective.

It usually takes about 3 months before you will start noticing the improvement in your menstrual related symptoms. So give it time.

RAW CHOCOLATE NUT ‘N’ SEED SLICE

raw-chocolate-nut-'n'-seed-sliceThe yummiest Vitamin & Mineral supplement you’ll ever eat! Packed full of Vitamins A, B, C, E, Folate and minerals – Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron and Zinc. Only 10 minutes to make in a bowl with no cooking required. It’d take more time to go to the shop and get a bottle of multi-vitamins!

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes
SERVINGS: 24 squares

NUTRITIONAL VALUE (28g serving size)
130 calories, Protein 4g, Fat 11g, Sat Fat 4g, Carbohydrates 1.6g, Fibre 1.5g

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw nuts –slithered or whole almonds
  • 1 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder

Once blended

  • 40g (melted) organic coconut oil (or more if required)

METHOD

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl
  • Slowly add the melted coconut oil and mix with a large spoon.
  • Line a shallow container (that has a lid) with baking paper (enough so it can be folded over on top to cover).
  • Press the mix into the container, about 2cm high.
  • Fold over the baking paper, and then push down hard until flat.
  • Keep in the fridge. Will take an hour to set.
  • Cut into slices when hard.

HOT CROSS BUNS

hot_cross_bunsDid you know that commercially sold HOT CROSS BUNS are full of poor quality ingredients? Wheat (sprayed with roundup), palm and canola oils, sugar syrup, thickeners, acidity regulators and emulsifiers! Not too much nutrition there.

Well here is a HOT CROSS BUN recipe that is nutritious, super delicious and easy to make. In addition, it has a super-boost of fibre ☺ This recipe was adapted from http://www.therawfoodmum.com/raw-hot-cross-buns-recipe/ . I encourage you to look at her site http://www.therawfoodmum.com/ as she has lots of great recipes and resources!

TIME TO MAKE 10-20 minutes OVEN TIME Approx. 4 hrs
MAKES 6-7 BUNS
NUTRITIONAL PROFILE PER BUN 412 cals, Protein 13g, Fat 25g, Sat Fat 1.7g, Carbohydrates 27g, Fibre 11g

INGREDIENTS FOR BUNS

  • 1 cup psyllium husk
  • 2 cups raw unsalted almonds (with skins on or off)
  • 4 tsp. mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon & allspice mix)
  • 1 cup raisins, or mixed dried fruit (pre-soaked)
  • ½ cup flaxseeds (ground)
  • ½ tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (ground)
  • 1 cup filtered water (or more if required)

METHOD FOR BUNS
PRE-PREP: Put raisins in a bowl, fill with water and let soak for 30mins.

  1. Put almonds and flaxseed in a Thermomix/blender/food processor and blend until fine.
  2. Add all other dry ingredients and combine.
  3. Drain the raisins and add to mixture.
  4. Add water slowly while blending with a spoon, or food processor, until the mix is a dough consistency.
  5. Remove and mould into a square loaf shape and separate into buns and place on oven tray.
    1. I have made this as a loaf, then just cup it up into slices to serve with butter, or sprinkle with cinnamon.
  6. Set oven for 55°C – and bake for 1 hour
  7. Raise the oven temp. to 100°C and slow bake for approx. 3 hours, basting with glaze every 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS FOR GLAZE

  • 1 cup of dried apricots (pre-soaked)
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • ½ cup filtered water (or more if required)

METHOD FOR GLAZE
PRE-PREP: Put apricots in a bowl, fill with water and let soak for 30mins.

  • Put all ingredients into Thermomix/blender/food processor and pulse on high. The mix should be thin but not runny like water. Add more filtered water if needed.
  • Use a brush to glaze buns.
  • Any leftover will keep in the fridge for a week although I mixed my leftover mix into yoghurt and had for breakfast!

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CROSS
This was easy to make but didn’t add any extra taste, and was fiddly when piping onto the buns so feel free to exclude if you want to. I have listed the nutritional profile of the cross separately
NUTRITIONAL PROFILE PER CROSS 100 cals, Protein 2, Fat 8g, Sat Fat 3g, Carbohydrates 3g, Fibre 0.8g.

  • 1 cup cashews (pre-soak for 1 hour)
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 4 tsp coconut oil (melted)
  • Pinch Pink Himalayan Sea salt

METHOD FOR CROSS
PRE-PRE: Soak cashews for an hour in a bowl of water

  1. Blend all ingredients except for the coconut oil in Thermomix/blender/food processor.
  2. Add melted coconut oil and blend again. The mixture should be quite thick but add a little more water if needed.
  3. Put into a container and refrigerate. When ready to make crosses on buns, pour into a piping bag and cross the hot cross buns.

BREATHING TO RELAX? THAT’S A NO BRAINER!

BREATHINGWhen someone says, “just relax” or “chill out” does it make your blood boil?

Well it’s probably a sign that you REALLY need to relax (lol)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried various relaxation techniques. Meditation (half successful), yoga (not successful) and then I came across BREATHING. Well I figured I could do that since it’s what I do all day, every day!!

But guess what, it’s not as simple as that, because the breathing that most of us do every day is Shallow Breathing – that is, breathing through the chest rather than lower lungs and breathing through the mouth rather than the nose.

This type of quick breathing is often a result of our fast paced lifestyle. We’re always in a rush (guilty as charged!!).

But did you know that Rapid Breathing results in a surge of the stress hormone cortisol, increases blood pressure and limits the amount of oxygen we need for optimal health. Not ideal.

The Key To Relaxation is SLOW BREATHING. I’ve tested it (yep took a bullet for you) and can attest to the fact that it WORKS!

And the bonus it that you can do it anywhere, anytime, no equipment required (also, it’s a sort of meditation, so it ticks that box too!)

SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF DEEP BREATHING ARE…

  • Clearer skin due to increased oxygen intake
  • Calms the mind
  • Helps centre thoughts
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves mood

So Here Are My 3 Top Breathing Exercises To Get You Started…

4 — 5 — 6

  • Close your eyes, take a big breath in to the count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for the count of 5
  • Then let it out slowly to the count of 6.
  • Repeat approx 5-10 times.

DOUBLE THE BREATH OUT

  • Breath-in for a count of 5
  • Breath out, slowly, for a count of 10.
  • Repeat approx 5-10 times.

ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING

  • A bit more concentration needed for this one but it really is relaxing!
  • Using your right index finger close the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril.
  • At the peak of inhalation, switch to closing the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril.
  • Now breath in through the right nostril, at the peak of inhalation, switch to closing the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
  • Repeat as often as you like.

SHARE this post to help others that need to CHILL 😉

Nat xx

RAW CHOCOLATE

IMG_8410Raw chocolate is a wonderful treat that is so satisfying and can boost your health!

Raw cacao is known to….

  • Improve gut health
  • Help to regulate blood sugar
  • Improve mood
  • Promote healthy skin with its zinc and essential fatty acids
  • Aid weight loss
  • Eliminate sugar cravings

It has an ORAC value of over 90,000 and is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium and sulphur. Recent research showed that raw dark cacao increases beneficial bacterial strains such as Bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and decreases strains of unbeneficial bacteria species. So start making the yummiest treat in less than 10 minutes!

PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes

SERVINGS: 22 x 10g servings

NUTRITIONAL VALUE (10g serving size)

58 calories, Protein 0.6g, Fat 5.5g, Sat Fat 3.7g, Carbohydrates 2g, Fibre 0g

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsps. coconut oil
  • 80g Raw cacao butter (chopped into small pieces)
  • 55g Raw dark cacao powder

EQUIPMENT

  • A glass (Pyrex) jug
  • Saucepan
  • Sifter
  • Chocolate mold (or tray with baking paper)
  • A small whisk/wooden spoon/hand blender
  • Spatula

METHOD

  1. Fill saucepan with 2-3cm water, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Place the cacao butter in the Pyrex jug, place the jug in saucepan and let it melt.
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool a little.
  4. Add maple syrup and coconut oil, mix well.
  5. Place the sifter on top of the jug and slowly sieve cacao powder a little at a time, blending each time.
  6. Add any other additions at this point e.g. goji berries, nuts, shredded coconut
  7. Carefully pour into the molds/or a shallow tray (lined with baking paper) and gently shake to settle the chocolate.
  8. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours.