Morning Start – Quinoa Breakfast of Vegan, allergy sufferers champions!

I can hear myself chewing. It’s not the quinoa as you might first think, but the sweet crunch of apple and nuts which were carefully chosen to compliment this awesome meal. Breakfast is the hardest meal of the day for me. Take away the daily routine of rush in the morning to get 2 children ready, 1 for school, and a Mr two, time is never on my side. Being a vegan with allergies and makes things a little more challenging. So what to do, what to do. Pick a meal that will give you everything you need in one sitting of various multitasking, because you only get one chance at this. So here is what you will need

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1/2 cup of quinoa – this is your super food. Great for getting in your iron, protein, calcium and carb it pretty much covers all the nutrients you need.

1/2 a medium apple – low sugar, high fiber, great for lowering blood sugar and lets face it, what fun is anything without apples

5 dried sulfur free apricots – in the winter months, I love apricots. You don’t need alot of it to get what you need. When dried, these fruits are high in vitamin A which is great for your immune system! So throw more than 5 on if you are keen on them.

1 tablespoon chai seeds – the other super food. Rich in calcium, omega 3, mucilage, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, it is up there in the comparison chart with flaxseed and sesame seed. It also decreases blood pressure and fibrinogen and C-reactive. For this reason, If you are on any anti hypertensive medication be sure to speak to your healthcare practitioner as chai seeds increase the effects of those medications.

protein levels1/4- 1/2 cup of walnuts –  High in protein, fiber, and must importantly antioxidant and omega oils

1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses – great source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, B6, potassium, manganese, and even calcium. A little goes a long way

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 cup of warm nut or soy milk (optional)

Prep:

Cover your quinoa with water and let it soak over night. In the morning rub grains between your finger whiles still in the water. You might have noticed the foam that is on top. That is your saponins. Rub the grains to get the rest of. throw water away and rinse again. Discard water and cover with 2 cups of fresh water. Place on stove on leave to boil. let it boil till grains expand. This should take less than 10mins as you have already presoaked. Once grain is open, discard remaining water, place in bowl and began to cover this remainder ingredients and enjoy.

note: If you forgot to soak your grain, simply cover with 4 cups of water in pot, place on stove, and let it boil till the water turns yellow, form becomes visible on the liquid surface and grains have opened (this usually takes about 10 – 25 mins depending on your stove and heat setting), remove from stove, discard water and rinse under clean water. Continue the remainder steps.

Adding warmed nut or soy milk gives it a really hearty touch

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My food intolerances & allergies – the 4 week elimination diet

So though I have been on a health quest all my life due to wheat and intolerances, it never accrued to me that I might still be eating the wrong things. I decided it was time to have a visit with my naturopath as I still had some allergy symptoms but was still eating healthy. We sent my blood work to the lab to check for IgA, B, antigens to foods and the results were shocking! So for the next 4 weeks I will be on a elimination diet until my next visit with my doctor. I am optimistic that this will only make me better and even more healthier so I welcome the challenge. To follow my progress make sure to subscribe to my youtube channel. I will upload daily progress vblogs  http://www.youtube.com/user/Naturallyzoefriendly

Here are a list of foods I can not eat for the next 4 weeks:

dairy ,
coffee,
blueberries ,
cranberries,
honey,
sugar,
baker’s yeast,
brewer’s yeast,
fish ,
almonds,
amaranth,
kidney beans,
lima beans,
soy,
string beans,
buckwheat,
corn,
wheat,
gluten,
hazelnut,
lentil,
oat,
green peas,
pecan,
rye,
sesame seeds,
spelt,

Almond Milk Made Simple – What!

Wow, is the first thought that comes to mind as the rich white liquid hits the pallets of the mouth. It’s fresh and cool. The hint of cardamon is enough to have you wanting more. You remember you only made 6 cups, so you better go easy. Next time will be even better. You have complete control over how thick and rich you make it, from lite to full. Why has it taken soo long to get you here when all you need was just a few little ingredients.  You know the benefits of almonds, from the richness in Vitamin E, the high fiber, the vitamin B, protein, calcium, and mono saturated fats. You know the phytosterols in it helps to lower cholesterol. You know that you need to be aware that almonds can still be an allergy and intolerant food so be aware.  Yes, you knew all that. You also remembered to save your almond pulp to make desiccated almond to add to your granola and backing after all it’s all about wholefoods  and complete foods to get the full benefit of your almonds.

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Soo What Do You Need To Make Your Own Almond Milk:

1 1/2 cup of almond. (organic /pesticide free)

7 cups of filtered water

1/2 teaspoon of cardamon seeds

sieve or cheese muslin clothe

mason jars

blender/food processor/ hand held mixer

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Prep:

Place almonds in a container with 1 cup of filtered water. Leave in fridge for 24-36  hours. Make sure to cover it.

Sterilize your mason jars.

Next. Empty water out and place almonds and cardamon in processor along with the reminder 6 cups of filter water. If you would like your milk to be lite, add an additional 2 cups of filter water. Process until water is white and almond is broken down.

Pour through sieve or muslin cloth. Save almond pulp for making desiccated almond to add to your backing or granola. It’s all about wholefoods.

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Place in empty sterilsed mason jars and store.

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Enjoy!

Smoothie of the week – Melon berry bliss!

Yum!  A burst of citrus, that leaves a sweet mellow taste on the tip of your tongue. Cooling,  and my the aroma that hangs at the back of your tongue. Oh, yes the apricots. That’s what that is. Every soo subtle, that it’s gone before you realise what just happened to your mouth. The water melon lingers as a reminder that something exciting just happened to your mouth as it makes it’s way to your stomach. You reach over for another taste of bliss.

IMG_3624Having a fruit smoothie during your day is such a wonderful way to get your body refreshed and filled with an abundance of anti oxidants, nutrients and fibre. It’s easy to do and you can drink it on the run. And lets face it, It’s a wonderful way to get more fruit in you than you could chew in a single day! So get to it!

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You will need the following:

2 cups of chopped watermelon – high in lycopene , which is important for prostate health. Keep in mind, it is high on the glycemic index and should be eaten with other foods that will help low the glucose effect

1 fresh apricot– High in Vitamin A as well as potassium

1 peeled orange with with the pericarp still attached – contains Vitamin, flavanoids and calcium

7 medium strawberries –  high in Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

1 plum

1 cup of blueberries -high in lutein, potassium. Vitamin A & Vitamin K. Lutein has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts. It also can turn the skin bronze. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Be aware K can interfere with blood thinning medication. It is however a good way of getting Vitamin k into breastfeeding mothers, and pregnant women with low platelet counts

BLEND EVERYTHING TOGETHER TILL SMOOTH – IE AND ENJOY!

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Rosemary & Fennel Hummus – Simply yum!

The first bite is total bliss. After about a minute you realise your mouth and all digestive path are tingling with excitement. Ah, the rosemary, a gentle sensation that leaves your insides feeling refreshed and warm. Than the sweetness, not always there but pop in ever so often. It’s bliss! As you reach for another bite you are met with a new experience again and again and again. As the rosemary settles mind begins to feel alert and your eyes see clearly. Ah, snack, who lives without them?

IMG_3606I really love my rosemary and fennel hummus. It is something very different for me as I like to use more herbs as food and medicine. Ensuring I can reach therapeutic levels and gain the benefits of my food. As snack is just as important to me as my children, I want to know that I am giving them something that will not just quench their hunger but also nourish them holistically. So was born my first herbal hummus

You are going to need the following:

1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas or as it’s also called channa – they are high in protein, just what your body needs to function

2 table spoons of tahini – now if you can not buy the tahini because of the cost, you can buy sesame seeds, and simple add them to the recipe. It has the same effect. It has 0 cholesterol which is awesome, high in calcium which our heart needs and high in protein. Just two table spoon of this butter, gives you 8gms of protein.

Rosemary fresh is best from a 2 -3 inch stick – I used most of the leaves for this recipe. Great for increasing circulation,  strengthening capillary walls. This rich herb also stimulates circulation to the head helping to improve memory and concentration! I wonder if it helps with procrastination? It also aids the body from recovery from long term stress, something I can always use.

Fennel: I just love fennel, it is great for wind, bloating and low appetite. A great herb for children in low does. With it’s ability to also increase milk production, it is great for lactation mothers as well. Oh yay.

3 table spoon of apple cider vinegar – wonderful for the gut, stimulating digestion, helping to lower blood glucose. Remember though, less is more

garlic:  The awesome bulb this one is. Helping with everything from digestion, to lowering blood cholesterol levels, protects against blood clots, lowers blood pressure, and blood sugar. on top of that it has an antibiotic effect. So if you are feeling ill with cold, have lost your appetite, the fennel in this should get things going enough for you to eat more hummus to get more garlic to help you. Garlic does help to prevent circulatory issues and stokes by keep the blood thin so beware if you are on blood thinners.

1 table spoon of olive oil

1/4 cup of chopped parsley

1/2 cup of filtered water

pinch of salt 

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combine ingredients and process until creamy and all the rosemary are no longer visible.

Serve with fresh raw vegetables & naan bread

Enjoy!

How to pickle beets the zoe friendly way

A Bit of History

So my love of beets began when I was 27 weeks pregnant. I ended in hospital with a diagnosis of SEVERE pre eclampsia. (don’t panic, I signed myself out of hospital 4 days later) and had my bub at 40 weeks! Well, because I still had some pregnancy induced hypertension, I wanted to find ways to help reduce it and carry my baby to full term. That is when I discovered beets! So lets get to know it.

Beets or beetroot as some of us call it is a root vegetable. It is one of the most wonderful superfood that often gets neglected or never gets any credit for what it can do for you. So, why all the beet praise? For starters, it is potent in anti oxidants, and rich in nutrients that are essential for vascular health. That’s right, these babies make your heart and arteries a lot healthier. Beets, are high in:

magnesium – which is found in just about every part of your body, which makes it pretty important! About 50% alone is in your bones! Move over calcium, there’s a new mineral in town and her name is mag. Not only does she keep your heart beating to a steady well timed beat, she keeps your immune strong, your blood pressure down, your blood sugar low (especially when you are sneaking in those mid night not so low glycemic treats), and just to put the gluten free cup cake in your mouth, she helps you synthesize protein!

Than there is the potassium – this dude is freaking awesome! He works with sodium to initiate muscle contraction and helps eliminate excess sodium out of the body. He also helps you hold on to another friend calcium. Depending on who you are and how important calcium is for your body, this could be a good thing or not soo good thing. Either way we know what we are dealing with here. Be warned potassium can also be not soo friendly to some folks so watch out. The kidneys excrete excess potassium from the body so if you suffer from kidney disease, consume drinks that cause dehydration and forget to replenish with water on a regular human functioning basis, you might want to be extremely careful as it can cause toxicity!

Finally there is betaine – this has alot of words we don’t want to go into, so to keep it real, we will put it in a big omg 3 nut shell. Bet you read that as omega, huh? Staying on course, it pretty much protects the cells against osmotic stress and helps prevent dehydration, which could help counter the whole potassium issue for the diuretic drinkers out there. Still an issue for those with kidney disease though so beware and you can bring it up with your GP or Naturopath.

So now that you know alot more about beets, how do I eat it? Well, there is pickling, raw, in a juice, a salad, on a sandwich, like an apple <—-nah just kidding. Seriously though, I eat it with everything. Here is one way I do it

What you will need:

Lots and lots and lots of small to medium sized beets. Preferable the red ones.

apple cider vinager

sea salt

canning jars or any jars from your home built mason jars collection

Lets begin!

Wash beets and place on a try. Place in over set on 380 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Bake for 20mins and remove from oven to cool. My gorgeous mother in law taught me this trick!

Once you remove it from the oven, turn the oven off, you won’t be needing it anymore.

your beets should look something like this. The good news is if you were worried about too much potassium, the baking just cut it down to about half the original amount! Leave to cool. makes it easier to peel later.

next prepare your jars, by filling with hot water and letting stand

I like to use water from the kettle. If you would like a longer sterilizing period, you can put the jars in a pot and boil for about 10mins – 20mins

now place 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to 1 cup of filtered water in a pot and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and bring to boil. Add 4 garlic cloves to liquid and turn off stove.

Your beets should be cool now, peel skin of beets and cut into slices or small chunks

They should look like this when you are done and you hands should be nice and red!

These are great on everything! Enjoy them!

Empty water out of jars and place sliced beets in jars. Place one garlic clove in each jar and fill to top with apple cider mix. Seal and wait for jar to cool before placing in fridge. They can also be placed on the shelf until you are read to eat them. And remember, place the jar in the fridge once you have opened it. Enjoy! xx