Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

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I make several variations of this cheesecake but at the moment Amelie (my two year old) is obsessed with blueberries. So this was created just for her really. If you’re new to my blog, I try to limit the amount of refined sugar, dairy, wheat, chemicals and nasty saturated fats (by no means do I mean avocados or carbs) in all the foods we eat as a family, particularly her food. This recipe is a much healthier alternative and I know every single ingredient I am putting in to this dessert. The maple syrup is 100% organic maple syrup, the oats are organic and gluten free and there is no dairy whatsoever. If you have a nut allergy then this isn’t for you, sorry!

All you need to make this cheesecake is a food processor, a freezer, a 7×7 inch cake tin with a loose bottom. Oh and the ingredients listed below as well as 20 minutes to spare.

Ingredients for blueberry topping

Frozen blueberries – 1 cup
Melted coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
Almond milk – 1/4 cup
Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon

Method

Throw all ingredients in to a saucepan, stirring the mixture together over the heat for roughly 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Pour the mixture in to a separate bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and leave to one side until later.

Ingredients for the base

Blanched almonds – 1 cup
Oats – 1/2 cup
Dates – 1/3 cup
Maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
Coconut sugar – 2 tablespoons
Coconut oil -1/4 cup

Method

Blitz the almonds and oats together in the food processor. In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients and then massage those ingredients together with your hands and it should start to caramelise. Once it starts mushing together wack that in the food processor with the almonds and oats and blitz again. Pour the mixture in to a 7×7 inch tin (round or square your choice). Push the mixture firmly down in to the tin with the back of a spoon, make sure it’s really compact and then put in the freezer whilst you make the next section.

Ingredients for cheesecake mixture

Overnight soaked cashews – 2 cups
Water – 6 tablespoons
Maple syrup – 1/4 cup
Melted coconut oil – 1/3 cup
Lemon – 1 tablespoon

Drain the cashews from their overnight soak and then blast in the food processor until mushy. Add the water, lemon,  coconut oil, and maple syrup and blitz again until nicely combined.

Take your base out of the freezer and sprinkle some fresh blueberries on top of the base. Then pour your cashew cheesecake mix over the top. Next splodge your blueberry sauce (mixture that you left to one side) over the top and put back in to the freezer for at least 4 hours. Take out the freezer, leave for 15 minutes before cutting in to sections. This cake needs to be stored in the freezer, however I do like to take mine out the freezer about 15 – 20 minutes before I’m going to eat it as it just tastes better that way. If it’s too frozen you can’t taste the flavours as well.

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If you make this let me know how you get on. Any feedback is appreciated.

Take care of yourselves – eat well, sleep well, get fresh air and drink plenty of water!

Love

Lea xxx

Yoga and me : )

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Before I was pregnant with Amelie, I was relatively fit and healthy, and had lots of energy. I would go to yoga classes, pilates, I did flying trapeze for a few terms, and I ran LOTS.  When I fell pregnant I was obviously intending to keep up my healthy lifestyle and had every intention of keeping my body strong and safe to house my little growing baby. I signed myself up to a pregnancy yoga class but unfortunately pregnancy sickness and exhaustion took me right in to my second semester and by the time that all subsided – well, I just couldn’t be arsed!

Nearly two years on since giving birth I really thought I deserved to give myself the time to do something I used to love. I practised a little at home on my mat but I wanted to find a class where I could leave motherhood, work and home-life at home and focus on myself for an hour or so.

Because I no longer live in London I was apprehensive about finding a good class and teacher local to me. But, as my nearly two year old says “Ta-da!” I have managed to find a class that suits me. It’s at 8pm in our local community hall and is run by a lady called Leah Braknell (http://www.leahbracknellyoga.com/). Leah is an Actress and also a Yoga Teacher and I knew within 10 minutes of being in her class that her class was the right class for me. Leah created a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere and within a few minutes I had forgotten about the list of jobs I still had to do and had stopped worrying whether Amelie had eaten enough of her dinner blah blah blah. During the hour and fifteen minutes I had worked incredibly hard but had managed to stay completely focused and also relaxed. I left the class feeling dreamy and achy and that night I literally slept like a baby. I returned and attended Leah’s class twice in one week!! I also ached for a couple of days afterwards, but a really satisfying ache. Before Amelie I never ever ached after a yoga class, I don’t know if it’s just simply because I am no where near as fit as I was before Amelie or whether I just connected with my breath and body better. Who knows. I’ve decided I will go and try out a few other local classes but in the meantime I’m just happy I’ve found a class and teacher that is right for me at this moment in time.

I would highly recommend yoga, especially to someone with young children. It can be really hard as a parent to put in a little time for yourself and when you do you still end up thinking about everyone that needs you at home. When you get the right yoga class and teacher the health benefits are huge. Not only is it a fantastic form of exercise, it also helps combat stress and depression to name but a few. Before I became a parent going out running was definitely my go to stress buster, I would go in to a form of meditation whilst out pounding the streets of London. Since Amelie made an appearance I find running mentally quite hard, I tend to not be able to let go of everything that is going on in my head. Saying that – I encouraged everyone to find something that works for you. I know people that like going out walking on hikes with friends, people that do a few lengths at the pool in the evening and also people that like to lift weights. What ever floats your boat, I would just encourage people to stay active as the health benefits are huge!!

Namaste ; )

Pea, Mint and Avocado Pesto

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This pesto combination is so delicious and creamy it takes pesto to the next level. You can have this stirred in to warm pasta (brown rice pasta is gluten-free and my preference) or slathered on toast. I’m really happy with this combination and know that you’ll find it so tasty and extra bonus points for it being incredibly nutritious. I tried and tested this recipe on two toddlers, a four and 7 year old, a teenager, another Mummy and a fussy health fanatic (Oli, my partner). I can honestly say that they loved it, yay! The 7 year old took some coaxing in to initially trying it but she got there and loved it.

Ingredients

1/2 mug of Pinenuts
3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Avocado
1 mug of Peas
3 sprigs of Mint
Juice of half a Lemon
A pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Place the pinenuts into the food processor and blend, once blended add the rest of the ingredients. Once evenly combined you can either serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the fridge (up to 3 days).

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Important things to remember when making your own food from scratch is that you know exactly what is going in to your food. With this recipe the peas will be providing you with a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation throughout the body. Peas are a great source of fibre and protein helping you maintain a healthy digestive system. Avocado contains vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium – just amazing! They have a rich supply of a type of fat called oleic acid, also found in olive oil, which helps the digestive tract’s ability to absorb nutrients, as well as lowering the risk of heart disease. It’s so worth investing in a little home cooking, your mind and body will thank you for it. Remember that your body needs to last you quite a while!!

Lea Xx

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Easy Peasy Pancakes

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•PANCAKES•

I seriously LOVE these pancakes. I saw a similar recipe a while back and I’ve been making variations ever since. The core ingredients of this pancake is one mashed banana and one egg. Sometimes I add cinnamon to the mixture, sometimes mashed raspberries, just depends how I feel and what’s in the cupboards. Really quick, really easy and really tasty!!

Recipe

Mash one banana in a bowl, fold in 1 egg to the banana mix, add a teaspoon of cinnamon (if you fancy). Melt a spoonful of coconut oil in a pan. Add pancake mixture to the pan, cook on both sides. Plate it up, add a drizzle of lemon, (sometimes I also add a drizzle of 100% maple syrup), dollop or drizzle on cashew nut butter (@meridianfoods or @pipandnut or make your own) & then berries of your choice 👌

You’ll be making these all the time. You’re welcome 🙂

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Lactation Flapjacks

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These flapjacks make a fantastic snack, are great for lunch boxes and go brilliantly with a cup of tea. They are full of fibre and plant protein and are refined sugar-free and also gluten-free. If you are breast-feeding you will want a batch of these to hand as they make great snacks to help with lactation and are a good pick-me-up when energy is dwindling. I make various versions of these flapjacks depending on what I have in the cupboards. I sometimes make them with nuts and seeds too. They are chewy and delicious.

Ingredients

3 mugs of oats
3 mashed bananas
5 tablespoons of cashew nut butter (I use Meridian or Pip & Nut or you can easily make your own)
4 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
2 tablespoons of raisins

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Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C).

Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to a saucepan with the maple syrup, nut butter and coconut oil. Allow ingredients to simmer gently on the hob  until it liquidises.

Pour the oats and raisins into the mixture and stir well so that they are all covered.

Grease a baking tray with some coconut oil. Transfer the mixture into the baking tray, press down firmly with the back of a spoon or spatula so that it’s tightly compact.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until you see the top slightly browning.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing the flapjacks up. Enjoy with a cup of tea and your feet up!

Xx

Banana, date and cashew nut butter shake

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I have a lot of smoothies throughout the week and sometimes it’s nice just to mix them up a bit. Lots of people ask for smoothie inspiration so I thought I’d share this little gem with you. It’s so sweet it will make a great afternoon pick-me up, sweet dessert treat, or if you’ve been up half the night with your children (or partying) a sweet healthy shake will kick start your day!

This shake provides a great source of fibre, potassium, protein and magnesium. Magnesium is such an overlooked mineral, yet most of us are deficient in it. When my hair was falling out after I stopped breastfeeding I was recommended to take a magnesium supplement or better still try to get it from the foods I was eating. Hence the overhaul of the foods I was eating,  because I wasn’t fuelling my body very well.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
6 medjool dates
1 1/2 cups of almond milk (rude health http://rudehealth.com/)
2 teaspoons of cashew nut butter (meridian foods http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/)
2 teaspoons of cacao powder

Optional – 1 teaspoon of maca powder (organic burst http://www.organicburst.com/)

Literally throw it all in to the blender for a few minutes just make sure you take the stones out the dates and slice the banana first. Also makes sure your almond milk is cold, this makes it extra refreshing! Takes 3 minutes max to make.

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How to eat healthy food on a budget and no time

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Simple frittata

Happy Monday! Today is the start of a new week. We can achieve so much in a week, so rather than looking at Monday like it’s a big grey cloud over your head, look at Monday as the start of something new and exciting. Anything is possible guys, set your goals and go run at them with a smile : )

It’s Monday – let’s think about the week ahead and get planning some exciting things. Lots of people ask me if I spend a lot of money on ingredients and the truth is, no not really. Of course there’s always the potential to spend a fortune in a health food store on pricey products that claim to pack a punch in the health stakes. Equally, without a budget or planning it’s just as easy to do that on your weekly shop at the supermarket. Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. Be savvy, give your meals and snacks some thought, and don’t get distracted. You can rustle up a quick and healthy meal just using a few ingredients. And remember, small positive changes, slowly over time are better than no healthy changes at all. So please don’t beat yourself up if you’re not eating organic, fresh produce 100% of the time. I don’t. Be realistic. You can easily build up healthy food staples over time – nuts, seeds, grains, beans and lentils last, as a little goes a long way and they are some of the cheapest things to buy when you’re doing your weekly shop!

Simple changes

Focus on a few simple day-to-day changes to get you started. For instance, swap white rice for brown rice. We all know brown rice is better for us and it makes a fantastic staple to your diet. White rice basically looked like brown rice before it went through a refining and polishing process. This process takes out all goodness. Brown rice is richer in fibre,vitamin B3, B1 and B6, manganese and iron. With one simple change you can boost your daily nutrient intake. Try out some other healthy carbohydrate and protein options such as lentils, beans and grains such as quinoa to bulk up salads, stews and soups.

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Brown rice

Although I eat mainly plant-based foods, I’m not vegan, so I do eat eggs and find frittata makes a great lunch or dinner when you don’t have much time. You can pack a frittata with as little or as much veg as you wish. I will often make quite a deep frittata, pack it full with peas, onion, garlic, spinach and tomatoes and cut it in to thick wedges and put it in a lunch-box, pop it in the fridge and eat it for lunch. It makes a great alternative to eating a sandwich. I also give it to my 8 month old daughter for lunch or dinner and she loves it!

Don’t waste

Don’t waste food or time. If you’re making a chickpea curry for instance, make extra and put some in a lunch-box for your lunch the next day. You can easily take that to work with you and your work colleagues will undoubtedly be jealous of your delicious, nutrient packed lunch. Or make extra and put some in the freezer, you then have easy and healthy go-to-meals when you don’t have the time or energy to cook. I’ll often freeze my bananas (slice first), raspberries, and blueberries. That way they keep for longer, don’t get wasted and are great to throw in to energy boosting smoothies that are really tasty and refreshing.

These are just a few ideas. I could go on but I think this is a good start. I’ll do another blog like this in the near future to cover more ground. If you have anything else you’d like me to cover please get in touch or comment. I hope it has been useful in some way and I hope your Monday has got off to a flying start!

Enjoy your week xx

Chocolatey Banana and Pecan Bites

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Chocolatey banana and pecan bites

 

A sickness bug swept through our household like wildfire on Wednesday.  There’s nothing quite like looking after a poorly baby when you are ill yourself. It really takes being ill to another level when your child’s needs are far more important than your own. I had projectile vomit in my face three times throughout the night. That’s three changes of bed sheets, three changes of pj’s for me and also Amelie and three face scrubs. My Mum’s response was “well least it was Amelie’s sick and not Oli’s”. True. For anyone that doesn’t know my partner he is 6ft 3 and is in to his fitness and food. The amount he eats in a day is unfathomable.  *shudders*

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with healthy eating… Well, today I woke up feeling a lot better and definitely had my appetite back. I had successfully managed to hold down breakfast and lunch and was beginning to crave something sweet! My auntie Ali was visiting late afternoon so I thought it was the perfect excuse to bake something.

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Chocolatey banana and pecan bites

 

My auntie Ali did ask me for the recipe so I think it went down well and it certainly fulfilled my sweet craving.

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
1 cup spelt flour
2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup of pecans
1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Method

Firstly, set the oven to 180 degrees.  Slice the ripe bananas into a deep baking bowl and use a hand blender to smooth. Add the spelt flower and the cacao powder to the banana and blend again until mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients to your mix but keep the pecans to one side. Ensure all the ingredients are mixed well together, lastly add the pecans to the mix.
Line your baking tin with about a teaspoon of coconut oil (probably slightly less than that) and then pour your mixture in to the tin. Put in the oven. After about 30 minutes turn the oven down to 150 degrees and bake for a further 20 minutes or until cooked. Check that it is cooked by putting a metal knife in to the cake, if the knife comes out clean then it is cooked.

Leave the cake to cool before slicing in to bite size pieces. Then sit back and enjoy with a cup of tea : )

Xx

Chickpea Curry Goodness

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Chickpea Curry

This really is a warming, hearty, colourful dish to get you through February. Full of goodness it will help keep those nasty winter colds at bay and the vibrant colours and fresh flavours reminds me that spring is just around the corner!

We all struggle with thinking of different things to make for dinner and tend to get stuck in a rut. Because I love good food, like to be inspired, and I’m nosey, I always ask people “what are you having for dinner tonight”. So – what are you having for dinner tonight?

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring, if you’re struggling for something different, or just need some inspiration, try this recipe. It’s so easy and all the ingredients get thrown into one pot, which means less washing up!

I made this for just two people with a little left over, but Oli does tend to eat for five, so you could alter the quantities to suit whoever you’re cooking for.

– 150g fine beans
– 150g corn
– onion
-10 pomodorino (or cherry) tomatoes
– 1 red chilli
– 3 cloves of garlic
– lemon
– a big handful of coriander
– 2 teaspoons of turmeric
– 2 teaspoons of garam masala
– 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt per serving
– 2 teaspoons of coconut oil (or olive oil)
– 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
– 1 tin of chickpeas
– 2 cups of boiling water
– brown rice to serve

Start by chopping the fine beans, the corn and the tomatoes in half. Also chop up the onion, chilli and crush the garlic.

Melt your coconut oil (or olive oil) in a large saucepan then add the turmeric, garam masala, chilli & crushed garlic until they’re bubbling. Add the fine beans, corn, and onion and stir the ingredients well. After a few minutes add the tin tomatoes and also the chopped fresh tomatoes. Once it’s bubbling turn it right down to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Next you need to drain your chickpeas and add to your pot. Also chop up a handful of coriander and add to the mix. Leave to simmer for a further 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your rice ready. The amount of rice you use is dependent on how many are eating. For the two of us I use one cup of rice to two cups of boiling water. Place the rice and water over a medium heat. I literally do the absorption method as it’s the only way I don’t mess the rice up. Literally leave on the heat until the rice has absorbed the water.

Once everything is ready place the rice into bowls and the curry on top. On top of each curry serving I squeeze a little lemon over. Dollop a table spoon of natural yogurt on the top of your curry with a little more coriander sprinkled on top to serve.

Then get ready to tuck in to a healthy dinner bursting with flavour and goodness!

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