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

Pea, Mint and Avocado Pesto

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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Flapjacks

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. I make various versions of these flapjacks depending on what I have in the cupboards. I sometimes make them with nuts and seeds but mostly I try to cater them for my 19 month old daughter so tend to leave the nuts out.

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

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

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Banana, date and cashew nut butter shake

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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Stock Up On Cupboard Staples

Stock Up On Cupboard Staples
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Pumpkin Seeds

I hallmarked Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings as new blog update days but it seems Amelie picks up a new illness every week at the moment. A new bug means sleepless nights and long days for me, and inevitably I end up catching it too. Oli joked that she’s not allowed to go to any baby groups and socialise anymore, I think he was joking… So, I apologise for the lack of posts recently. I have been working on a few new recipes so I look forward to sharing those with you over the next week or two.

I do love hearing from people who read my blog, message me asking for advice and those that try my recipes and let me know how they got on. A few people recently have asked for a shopping list and advice on where to buy ingredients so that they can stock up on a few essentials. I think a good idea could be an online shop (Amazon or Buy Whole Foods Online) and buying some bits in bulk as supermarkets tend to sell small packets at more of a cost. There are some ingredients that I get through very quickly so it works out cheaper and your ingredients will last longer that way. Below are some ingredients I use a lot in my recipes.

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Things I would buy in bulk online are:

Coconut Oil (make sure it’s raw, organic, and cold pressed – Lucy Bee, Biona, Tiana)

Oats (make sure nothing is added to them)

Almonds

Ground Almonds

Pecans

Pumpkin Seeds

Cacoa Powder

Chia Seeds

Other things you can pick up in the supermarket gradually or when you’re making a specific recipe:

Almond Milk (Rude Health is free from additives, others might not be so do check) – or any other plant-based milk

Eggs

Sweet Potato

Spinach

Bananas

Oranges/Mandarins

Berries

Lemons

Medjool Dates

Sunflower Seeds

Flaked Almonds

Pine Nuts

Brown Rice

Chickpeas

If you go to my ingredients page there is a more comprehensive list of ingredients you can add to your shopping list. Sometimes it’s good just to get a little bit of inspiration before you head out to do a food shop!

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Cupboard essentials

I hope this is useful in some way. Have a fantastic week and hopefully I’ll have a new recipe up on Wednesday night for you : ) In the meantime, let me know what you struggle with when trying to eat healthy foods – snacks, meal ideas, lunches etc!

Lea  x

Chickpea Curry Goodness

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!

Strawberry and Banana Nice-cream Chia Sundae

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Strawberry and Banana Nice-cream Chia Sundae

A dessert reminiscent of summertime – Nice-cream Chia Sundae. It’s called nice-cream because the texture is like ice-cream but all the ingredients are natural, so they’re nice to your body. I had this for breakfast this morning. It was meant to be for dessert tonight but I got too excited – I know – I’m sad and need to get out more!

There is a little bit prep to this but it’s so easy to make and packed with goodness… Check my ingredients page for the health benefits of the ingredients I used!

Making nice-cream

2 bananas

Half a dozen strawberries (mine were quite large)

I also used 1 teaspoon Maca powder (@organicburst) but that’s not essential.

Slice your bananas and strawberries and put them in the freezer overnight or the best part of the day. Once they are frozen put your frozen fruits in a blender. Blend until smooth and resembling the texture of ice-cream. You may have to keep stopping the blender and pushing the ingredients down. But once it’s smooth you have your nice-cream. It’s as simple as that!

Making Chia Pudding

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

2 tablespoons of natural yogurt or 4 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk 

Mix the above ingredients together, place in a bowl, leave in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours. The chia seeds will expand : )

Creating the Sundae

To bring the sundae together I scooped the chia seed pudding I had soaked overnight into a bowl. I then made a layer of pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts on top of my chia seeds. I then filled the rest of the bowl with my strawberry and banana nice-cream. I topped it off with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut and a few more pistachio nuts. So easy and so good for you – protein, omega 3, fibre, potassium, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc!

The best part of the pudding was when the nice-cream began to mix with the chia seed pudding, it had a lovely creamy texture with a subtle nutty flavour.

Have a go, eat and enjoy guilt free and let me know what you think!

Xx

Chocolate and Coconut Energy Bites

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Had a lovely day in sunny Kingston visiting a friend yesterday. That was until Amelie screamed the whole car journey home. A journey that should have taken 1 hour 20 minutes took me 2 hours 30 minutes. I had to keep pulling up at the side of the road to settle her. Every time I settled her and continued driving the whole drama started again. At one point I thought we might as well set up camp at the side of the dual carriageway for the night. Then last night I saw every hour roll by with a baby that wouldn’t sleep *yawns and rubs eyes*. Think it’s going to be one of those days today, so I have made these healthy chocolate energy balls this morning. This is my ‘go to’ snack in an attempt to get me through the day.

Inspiration

When I used to work in London there was a very well known health food shop next to my gym and they used to sell these tasty protein balls, but at £1.80 for only one they are quite expensive. I never thought to make my own, until this morning. So here’s my own version. Packed with so many energy boosting ingredients.

1 cup Almonds

10 Dates

1 tablespoon Coconut Oil

2 tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder

2 tablespoon Chia Seeds

2 tablespoon Flaxseed

2 tablespoon Desiccated Coconut

1 tablespoon Maca Powder

So easy to make – literally throw everything in to the blender and blitz for a few minutes. Roll in to balls and put in the freezer for an hour. They can then stay in the fridge for you to eat as and when you wish (will last a few weeks but will probably be gone in a day).  These are so healthy for you – nothing but goodness in them. They will give you an energy boost without that horrible slump a little while later. Full of heart healthy fats such as omega 3, which will lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduce heart disease. Full of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, zinc and antioxidants which will keep your skin, hair and nails glowing and healthy. Check out my ingredients page for the full health benefits, there are far too many to list here!

Go make them – and enjoy!

xx