Christmas Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie tastes just like Christmas. Sooo delicious and my new favourite smoothie choice for this time of year. If you’re already starting to feel the affects of the cold weather or you have some serious Christmas parties happening this smoothie will really help you out.

Literally whizz up the following ingredients in a blender and voila.

Serves 2

2 heaped tablespoons of natural live yoghurt

2 bananas

1 teaspoon of Grated ginger

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder

1 tablespoon of honey

300ml of Almond milk

And then just whizz up in the blender.

I’ve had this two days in a row now just because it’s so tasty. Let me know if you give this a try.

Love Lea xx

Slow cooker potato and courgette curry with roasted butternut squash recipe

Now this is a one pot wonder. AND vegetarian. AND vegan. AND enjoyable even if you love meat in your curry. Bursting with goodness and flavour this is a winner dinner.

Ingredients 

5x small potatoes

3x sweet potatoes (1 was large, 1 medium and 1 small)

1x courgette

3x garlic

1x tablespoon of coconut oil

1x tinned chopped tomatoes

1x tin of hot water (I empty the chopped tomatoes and fill the tin with hot water)

2x teaspoon of ground cumin

1.5x teaspoon of ground coriander

1x teaspoon ground ginger

1.5 teaspoon mild curry powder (more or stronger powder if you want it spicier)

1x butternut squash

2x tablespoon of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Turn the slow cooker on to a medium heat and put in a tablespoon of coconut oil to melt. Peel and chop potatoes, chop courgette and peel garlic.

Once slow cooker is hot and coconut oil melted add all the spices and mix to a paste. Then add the chopped potatoes and courgette to the paste making sure all is covered by the paste. Next use a garlic crusher and add garlic to the mixture (if no garlic crusher simply mince). Put lid on and let mixture heat up/sweat for roughly 3 minutes. Then add tin of chopped tomatoes, fill empty tin with boiling water from kettle and add to mixture. Add a a generous dash of salt and pepper, give a good stir and put lid back on.

Now you can go off and enjoy your day whilst this cooks. I left mine to cook for about 6.5 hours. 45 minutes before serving I chopped the end off my butternut squash, and gave it a good wash. I then sliced length ways in to quarters, scraped the seeds out, placed in a roasting dish, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I then roasted at 200 degrees for 40 minutes.

And voilà. All done. Technically a two pot wonder dish. But this is super tasty and I didn’t even bother sautéing the courgettes or garlic, just threw it all in the slow cooker. You could also add an onion if you wanted. This would serve 4.

Hope you enjoy xxxx

Dauphinoise Potatoes with Crème Fraîche 

I made these dauphinoise potatoes last night but didn’t fancy using cream as I felt it would be too rich and heavy. Using crème fraîche and skimmed milk instead works really well. I slightly burnt the cheese on last night’s bake but it actually tastes quite nice a little crispy.

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

150ml skimmed milk

1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved

4 rosemary sprigs, plus extra for sprinkling

1 bay leaf

1 shallot, roughly chopped

5 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced

300g full-fat crème fraîche

75ml vegetable stock

Grated mature cheddar cheese (enough to cover potatoes)

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Brush the oil over the bottom and sides of a 20 x 30 x 5cm ovenproof dish. Put the milk, garlic, 4 rosemary sprigs, bay leaf and shallot into a saucepan. Bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and add a little pepper. Set aside to infuse.

  2. Peel and then slice the potatoes very thinly. Layer the slices of potato on to the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly, then season.

     

    Take the bay leaf and garlic out of the infused milk and pour into a jug. Put the crème fraîche into a bowl, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking gently until smooth. Then gently add the stock mixing as you go. Next using a ladel pour the mixture over the potatoes in the dish just covering them. Layer up the next layer of the potatoes, again cover the potatoes with your mixture. Note: you will need to keep enough of the mixture to cover the final layer of potatoes. Now layer up your final layer and cover with your remaining sauce. 

  3. Next cover the potatoes with the cheese and a grind of pepper. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 1¼-1½ hrs until golden and tender – test by inserting a sharp knife through the potatoes. Stand for 5 mins before serving.

    Enjoy guys, it’s really tasty and goes great with a salad.

    Love

    Lea

Tips and Tricks for Cheap and Healthy Family Meals

 

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Butter Bean Curry

Feeding the family healthy meals that don ‘t break the bank and don’t take hours to prepare and cook night after night can be challenging and stressful. When you throw in the idea of healthy eating people often feel that it’s an expensive challenge. Many patients/clients/friends/family that I see think eating healthily is expensive. Agreed, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Steer clear of gimmicky health kicks and tricks and stick to basics.

TOP TIPS

Fresh – Tinned – Frozen

We all know fruit and veg is good for us and will fuel our body with the vitamins and minerals our body needs to function. Yet we don’t seem to eat enough of them. Why? Buying fresh fruit and veg is great but there’s nothing wrong in using tinned or frozen too. If you’re worried you won’t use your fresh fruit and veg in time before they go off then buy some tinned and frozen options as well. Try to have a stash of fruit and veg in your cupboard and freezer so that you are able to add some plant power to every meal. On days when I’m working and don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast at home before dashing out the door with the toddler, I grab my overnight oats from the fridge and throw in a handful of frozen berries and eat when I get to work. That’s 1-2 portions of fruit before 9am. If life is hectic and there’s no time for meal planning, no time for food shopping you can easily add some frozen or tinned veg to a pasta bake. Just the other day I added some frozen peas and runner beans to a pasta bake. It helped to bulk out the dish with some extra green goodness.

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Meat-free Mixed Bean Lasagne

Pulses – lentils, peas and beans

Beans, peas and lentils whether they be dried or tinned are a great source of low-fat protein, are cheap and count towards your daily recommended portions of fruit and veg. Protein doesn’t just need to come from meat or fish, have you ever made a spag bol or chilli with beans rather than mince? It’s cheaper, tastes delicious and reducing your meat intake will aid to reduce your carbon footprint and won’t do your digestive system any harm either.

Bulk/Batch cooking

Making larger portions or extra portions on days when you have more time means you can then freeze and eat for lunches or dinners on days when you have less time. Having very little time to prepare and eat food is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients/clients/friends. Unfortunately, if we want to live long healthy lives we need to prioritize time for decent meals. Cooking from scratch is the best way to know that your food is decent and honest. Grabbing food from fast food chains or ordering a take away is not cost-effective (it’s really really expensive) and definitely not good for you. Making extra portions or batch cooking can be hard to get in the swing of as it takes a little forward planning but if you have young children this really will be a god send on those days you just run out of time!

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Big Batch Lasagne

I have plenty more tips and tricks like these so stay tuned for more by subscribing to my blog and you’ll get emailed them straight to your inbox. I think that’s how it works, ha, I’ve no idea. Just trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about when it comes to blogging ; )

Happy Thursday you lovely lot!

Love

Lea x x

Apple and Banana Breakfast Crumble

Mmmm yum yum, pudding for breakfast. Yes!!  No reason why you can’t have this super tasty indulgent pudding for breakfast. It’s refined sugar free and totally delicious AND has apple and banana in it so TWO of your five a day 😜 You could also have this for a tasty indulgent dessert.

Ingredients 

For the fruit layer

3 apples

2 large bananas

1/2 cup of raisins

1 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 teaspoons ground ginger 

For the crumble topping

100g chopped almonds

100g chopped hazelnuts

1 cup of oats

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 vanilla pod

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1.5 teaspoons of ground ginger

5 tablespoons of maple syrup

Method

First start by making the fruit layer. Peel the apples and bananas and chop in to small chunks (discarding core of apple) and place in a saucepan with the cinnamon and ginger. Cover the ingredients with a little boiling water from the kettle (just cover the ingredients) and let simmer/stew for about 15 minutes. It should be really soft.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (fan 180 degrees).

Next up is making the crumble layer. First blend the chopped nuts together in a food processor until they form a flour, leave that to one side for a moment. Then melt the coconut oil in a saucepan and add the maple syrup, seeds from vanilla pod, ground ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the mixed nut powder and oats in to the saucepan and coat the dry mixture with the wet mixture.

Place your stewed fruit in to an oven proof baking dish and top your fruit layer with your crumble mixture. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the top is a lovely golden brown.

I served mine with a little bit of Oatly milk for a proper breakfast, you could use yogurt too!

 

Hope you like : ) xx

Warming Ginger Latte


This little concoction recently got me through my winter sniffles. I say sniffles, I was an absolute snotty mess. It was revolting. This drink is creamy, indulgent but the kick of ginger definitely gives it a medicinal quality. The perfect drink when trying to beat the winter bugs.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Ginger 2-3 cm (roughly the size of your thumb)

Teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Teaspoon of ground cloves

Tablespoon of cashew nut butter (I use Meridian Foods)

3 cups of almond milk (I use Rude Health)

Method

Grate the ginger and then put in to a blender with the rest of the ingredients, whizz for 30 seconds or so. Then transfer to a saucepan and gently heat until it is hot but don’t let it boil. Serve in your favourite mug and relax. And that is it. Easy and delicious.

Love

Lea xx

Creamy Pistachio Chilli Dip

 

So it’s January 2nd 2017 and like many others I have a few thoughts and feelings on how I would like the new year to go. I don’t really do resolutions as such, I just try to focus my mind on a few intentions for the new year. So one of my intentions is to focus more time on my blog. I really enjoy sharing healthy and nutritious recipes with you guys but my life is quite hectic and busy at the moment (who’s isn’t) and all my sharing seems to focus on my Instagram page as it’s a bit more instantanious. The trouble is I’m not a photographer and I don’t have a decent camera and social media is filled with perfectly shot pictures of food that looks really tasty and appetising. I literally share what I’ve been cooking, baking, blending and eating day-to-day. So if you can forgive some rubbish photography I think I can dedicate more time to sharing more recipes with you lovely lot. This platform for sharing healthy, wholesome and tasty food really has changed my life. I love being inspired by others and hope I inspire a few others.

Any way, back to this dip I made for lunch today. So it’s post Christmas and New Year and somehow I managed to get my butt off the sofa and go for a run this morning. Which was actually really lovely, very cold,but lovely. I love running but anything can put me off. Cold, rain, too hot, anything! Feeling energised and productive post run I then went and did a fresh food shop and stocked up on lots of fruits and veggies. When it came to making the lunch I really fancied making my favourite dip as it’s so fresh and tangy and full of flavour. Stupidly I realised I didn’t actually buy all the ingredients I needed for it. D’oh. So I decided to improvise and this is what I concocted.

Ingredients

90-100g Unsalted deshelled pistachios (I had a 100g bag but accidentally ate a few)

5 heaped tablespoons of creme fraiche

1 garlic clove crushed or finely chopped

1 lemon (squeezed juice)

Half a red chilli finely chopped (if you like hot food add the whole thing, why not)

Handful of spinach

Salt and Pepper

Method

First, blend all the pistachios in a food processor. Then add the chilli along with the spinach, crushed garlic and squeeze half the lemon in to the processor and blitz. Once that is nicely combined add the creme fraiche and squeeze a little bit more lemon in to the mix with a dash of salt and pepper and blitz one final time. Pour the mixtire into a bowl and put in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to set. That is literally it. So simple. So tasty. I had mine with some spelt and sunflower seed bread and a side of cucumber, tomoatoes and celery in a little olive oil and squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

This will last two days in an air tight container in the fridge. You could easily take this in a little tupperware pot and put in the fridge at work for lunchtime.

So I’ll save the original version of this dip for another blog post in the near future! In the meantime please let me know if there is anything else you would like me to blog about – food, health, exercise, lifestyle, children, advice and I’ll do my best to fulfill your request. If you do make this dip please tag me @naturallea on Instagram, Twitter (I am on Facebook but neglected for a while) and hastag #eatnaturallea. I would love to know how you found it and of course see your beautiful pics. And finally HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I really hope 2017 is filled with magic, adventure, love and laughter for each and every one of you 💖

Love Lea xx

Pecan Nutbutter

I have no idea why I haven’t made this before, but I think it is one of the best things I’ve made for a while! This is pecan nutbutter. So simple and so delicious. I definitely don’t think I’ve made enough though, as every time I’ve passed the jar of it in the kitchen I’ve been spooning it straight in to my mouth. Haha.

This will be a pretty short blog post as it’s so simple to make. Here’s what you will need to make this yourselves – pecans, coconut sugar and a food processor.
Ingredients 

1.5 cups of pecans

2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
Method 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Spread pecans across a baking tray and put in the oven to roast for about 8-10 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool down.

Once they have cooled place pecans in the food processor and whizz around until they crumble. Then add the coconut sugar. Whizz around again until the mixture is beginning to become more wet in consistency. Depending on how powerful your food processor is it should blend together for about 3 minutes. Stop blending once it is completely blended and smooth and runny in consistency. That is literally it!

Providing you don’t eat this in one sitting it should last a week in an airtight container. There’s no nasties in this so you know exactly what you’re eating. Pecans are a great antioxidant and help to prevent the hardening of arteries.They are rich in healthy fats (oleic acid) with plenty of B3 so perfect at combating fatigue, if you’re feeling the slump reach for the nutbutter!

Enjoy and let me know if you make this – tag me in your creations, comment on one of my posts and feel free to let me know of any questions you might have. I’m already thinking about all the things I’m going to add it to or eat it on : )

Lots of love and light

Lea xx

Naturallea-VITL Chocolate Cookies 

So, I teamed up with VITL to come up with a few recipes incorporating their VITL Greens superfood powder. Their superfood powder is fantastic as it is a plant-based blend of 16 nutrient dense super foods and it comes in a handy sachet that can easily be added to smoothies, soups, sauces and even cookies!

I’ve already added the super convenient sachet to smoothies, a ratatouille type sauce I made and had with pasta and now I’ve discovered it goes amazingly well in this cookie creation I’ve just made. And already demolished (not entirely by myself), ha.

Full of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, copper and potassium these cookies are bursting with goodness and make a great post-workout snack, or just as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea. Which is exactly what I did this afternoon.

Enjoy, and be sure to let me know if you make them.

Lea xx

 

Ingredients 

2 sachets of VITL Greens

3 large ripe bananas

3 tablespoons of coconut oil (also a little for greasing the baking tray)

4 tablespoons of cacao powder

4 tablespoons of maple syrup

3 cups of oats

3 tablespoons of almond butter 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan, once melted add the cacao powder to the saucepan and make sure both ingredients are nicely combined and smooth. Mash the bananas in a separate large mixing bowl. Then add the maple syrup, coconut oil/cacao mix, VITL Greens sachets and almond butter to the banana mix and ensure it’s all combined. Finally add the oats to the wet ingredients and make sure it’s completely combined and gooey.

Grease your baking tray with coconut oil. Next you’ll need to spoon out the mixture and form round cookie like shapes in your hands and put on to the baking tray. You can squish the mixture a little bit once it is on the tray to ensure they are all evenly spread. The cookies can be as large or as small as you like. I made 12 cookies. Once you’ve transferred all your mixture to your baking tray they can go in the oven for 15-17 minutes. Once you take them out the oven leave to cool and set for 5 minutes.

Voilà!

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