Summertime Smoothie

Summer is coming, the weather is warming up and we have been having some beautiful sunny days. The nights are warm, and it seems only fitting that we have something cool to sip on in the evenings.

Watermelon smoothies it is.

Ingredients

Watermelon

Strawberries

Ice

Mint

Lemon juice

Would be awesome with: Mango

Instructions

Step 1: Use as many ingredients frozen, if possible.

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Step 2: Blend together, in quantities that you decide.

Step 3: Relax as you sip on a glass of summer ❤

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Clean Green Anzac Biscuits

Nothing smells better than a house full of delicious baked treats. This is a Paleo version of an Australian classic biscuit. anzacbikkies3 Fun fact: did you know that Subway was banned from selling Anzac biscuits in Australia because they called them Anzac Cookies, and refused to change their name. Ingredients 1 1/2 cups rolled quinoa (quinoa flakes) 1/2 cup desiccated coconut 1/2 cup almond meal 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon water Instructions Step 1: Combine quinoa, coconut and almonds in a bowl and stir to combine. anzacbikkies2 Step 2: Melt the oil, honey, water and vanilla together. Step 3: Add the melted liquid to the dry ingredients mix until well combined. anzacbikkies1 Step 4: Form into 12 medium biscuits and place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Step 5: Flatten down with enough room around each biscuit. The mix may seem crumbly in your hands, but after cooking it will all bind together. anzacbikkies Step 6: Bake for 20 -30 minutes in a low 150 C heat, or until golden brown. Step 7: Cool completely before eating and enjoy. hotchoc4

How to: be healthy on a budget

I regularly get asked how Regan and I manage to eat healthily on a tight budget. We are both students, with minimal income and we spend quite a bit of time at uni.

We both have a passion for wellness and health, so it is only natural for us to place value on the food we eat and the activities we do that improve our health.

I usually start off saying that eating well is imperative if you’re a student- but the reality is that eating well and looking after yourself is absolutely necessary no matter who you are, or what you do.

Eating for health is something that anyone can do, even with a small budget and time constraints. Let me share with you some of our secrets.

Eliminate

We eat gluten free and mostly dairy free as well (we are almost Paleo). This has reduced a large amount of toxins from our diet.

Since cutting gluten out all together, I notice that when I do have it, my digestive system becomes inflamed and my brain feels tired and foggy.

By eliminating irritants, it gives us a foundation on which to move forward to healthier options. Evaluate your diet, and decide what needs to go in order for you to function at your optimum.

Shop Locally

We support our local butcher, who always has great deals on meat. We shop at a farmers market close by, where we can source fresh fruit and vegetables. We also buy our eggs straight off a farm. We love to support our local producers, and in return we find that the quality and prices are even better than supermarkets.

Limit the expensive items, but don’t skimp on QUALITY

We eat a limited amount of meat, and have some days where we only eat vegetarian. If we eat vegetarian for a week- it only costs about $50 and is a great way to gently detox our bodies. However, when we eat meat, we ensure that it has no hormones, additives, flavours and is as ethical/organic as possible.

Meal Plan

Make a menu for the week, and shop for it. Have a budget, and stick to it. Just by following this main step- you are guaranteed to improve your diet. If you intentionally shop and spend, chances are you won’t by gimmicky items (increasing your bill) and you will stick to your healthy eating plan (increasing your health).

DIY

Do things from scratch. Make your own sauces, bread, stocks, jams etc. Things that you would normally buy pre-packaged or processed- do it yourself. It is not only satisfying, but usually cost effective and easy to do at home.

Utilise Convenient Cooking Methods

I use our slow cooker a LOT! Some days we are in classes all day, and that can lead to the temptation to eat take-away. Putting everything in our slow cooker makes cooking a breeze! Choose a way that makes cooking easy for you. It will help you stay motivated and make good food choices. 

I also spent a little extra on a good food processor, which opens up my food preparation to easily puree, mush, blend, crush etc. All of these are time and money saving options. I make my own almond meal, mayonnaise, mousse and more.

Cook in bulk 

I make soups which are super cheap (pretty much $5 once you buy a $2 pumpkin, left over veges plus some onions, garlic and coconut cream) so I do a soup once a week which we eat for lunches and sometimes dinner and that’s a great way to boost your vege intake. I freeze left overs, so that we always have a few meals in the freezer for those times when we need them. 

I also make my own stock in the slow cooker, by saving scraps from vegetables and carcasses from meat. Add water and herbs- and you have stock!

Get a good breakfast

We buy our eggs in bulk from a local farm, they are so fresh and reasonably priced. We eat eggs every morning for breakfast (sometimes raw in a smoothie or scrambled or poached) but ensuring that you get a high protein breakfast prevents snacking between lunch, which adds up cost wise and is often when you’re prone to reach for something sugary. Snacking isn’t a bad thing though- if you’re hungry have a piece of seasonal fruit or a handful of nuts. 

Ferment

We ferment our own foods, which means that our digestive systems are really healthy. Fermented foods are high in good bacteria for your gut, and they have lots of vitamins and minerals too. Foods like sauerkraut cost about $2 to make but have amazing health benefits.

Get moving

Regan and I exercise together often. Whether we are shooting hoops or going for a walk, it is great to hang out and burn some calories. We are also fortunate enough to have a gym membership. We go to classes together and enjoy the benefits of working out at our local gym. 

Buy on special

Hunt for the sales, if you have time. Particularly for the bigger ticket items, like coconut oil, chia seeds or meat. If your budget allows it, buy extra things on special, and freeze them. Especially fresh items, that you use frequently. I often buy a few extra veges, berries or meat when things are cheap, and freeze them for later.

Repeat offend

If there is an item on sale, and it is versatile I try and stretch it across various meals. For example if zucchinis are cheap one week, I’ll buy a heap and make a frittata, zucchini spaghetti, zucchini and banana cake and maybe put it in a stir fry.

Become Interested 

To really appreciate the changes you are making, do lots of research. Always read the ingredient label. Always ask questions. Invest some of your time in researching your local area and the options that you have for food and exercise; find like-minded people to support you. The more familiar you become with eating and moving well, the better you feel and the more confident you become with the decisions that you make.

Do you have a tip for healthy living that I didn’t cover? Leave a comment below and let us know!

3 Ingredient Paleo Hot Chocolate

Giving up dairy and sugar doesn’t have to be a drag, in fact with the right replacements it is enjoyable and rewarding.

This is the perfect drink to snuggle up on the couch with.

Ingredients

300mL Coconut Milk

1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener of choice)

1 tablespoon of raw cocoa

 

Instructions

Step 1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan, over low heat.

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Step 2. Whisk together well, as it comes to a light simmer.

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Step 3. When it is hot enough for your liking, pour into a mug and enjoy!

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Optional additions could be cinnamon, peppermint, chilli, salt, vanilla etc- have a play with flavours and let me know what works!

Paleo Banana Bread (high protein)

This post concludes my series on the magnificence of bananas. They are an amazing fruit, and I have tried to put some recipes together that will allow you to get some banana-goodness in your life. This is the best banana bread I have ever made!

I have made it several times, and everyone just loves it. Even my 2 year old nephew gobbled up 3 pieces and tried to go back for more.

I went to make this, to take photos for the blog, and realised that we had eaten our last lot of bananas #sadface. So you’re just going to have to trust me on this one, and I’ll upload photos when I can.

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas

3 eggs

1/2 a cup of crushed walnuts

2 cups of almond meal

1/2 cup protein powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tbs of honey

1/2 cup good quality chocolate chips

Instructions
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

Step 2: Smash the bananas in a bowl and leave them quite “chunky”

Step 3: Whisk in the eggs and vanilla essence and then add all the dry ingredients and stir them in well together.

Step 4: Transfer into a greased cake or bread tin.

Step 5: Cook for 40-45 mins. Allow to cool for around 15 mins before slicing.

Raw Banana Chocolate Mousse

This mousse is high in antioxidants and healthy fats. It is dairy free and gluten free. Filled with fruit, chia seeds and goodness. It is a decadent raw dessert that could fool even the most avid dairy lovers. It is creamy, light and oh-so satisfying!

This chocolate mousse is easy to use in other recipes, such as a cake filling or as a side for other raw desserts. It is an absolute favourite in our house.

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Ingredients

1/2 Banana

1/2 Avocado

1 tablespoon raw cocoa

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

3 tablespoons of coconut cream

Instructions

Step 1: In a high powered food processor add all ingredients except coconut cream to the bowl and pulse until just combined.

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Step 2: Add the coconut cream to the mix and process on high for about 15 seconds.

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Step 3: Set in the fridge for about 1 hour, to allow the flavours to combine.

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I made this into a parfait with some strawberry-chia jam and coconut cream.

I simmered strawberries in some lemon juice and water then added chia seeds
I simmered strawberries in some lemon juice and water then added chia seeds
Layer with coconut cream, mousse and jam
Layer with coconut cream, mousse and jam

 

 

 

Raw Banoffee (Banana and Caramel) Pie

This is such an easy dessert to make. It looks magnificent, and the layered flavours compliment each other so well to make this a memorable dish. I took it to a dinner party and everyone loved it- even going back for second helpings.

It is made in a few different stages, which I made ahead of time and then assembled before serving. I would recommend assembling it, and then refrigerating for a few hours to firm up the ingredients so that it holds together well.

 

Caramel

Ingredients:

300ml coconut cream

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp ground turmeric (anti inflammatory)

1 tbsp ground cinnamon (blood sugar regulating)

3 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan on low heat for 2 hours until thick dark brown colour.

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After 5 mins
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Once it’s really dark and blobby in colour, cool and pour into a large 500ml jar. You can store this in the fridge for at least one month.

 

Cream

Ingredients:

300mL of the thickest part of the coconut cream

1 tsp of vanilla

1 tbspn of honey

Instructions:

Whip the coconut cream like you would with normal cream. Add in the vanilla, honey and cream and use a processor, stick blender or electric beaters.

When soft peaks form, the cream should be whipped.

Base:

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup of cashews

1/2 cup coconut

1/2 cup pitted dates

1 tbs of coconut oil

Instructions:

Blend together in a food processor until crumbly and combined. Press into a lined tin and refrigerate until solid (usually 2-3 hours).

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Other Ingredients:

Banana

Blueberries

Almond Slivers

Dark chocolate

 

Assembly:

Step 1: Pour caramel over the base

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Step 2: Slice banana and layer over the caramel

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Step 3: Smooth cream over the banana-caramel

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Step 4: Slice more banana and place blueberries and almonds on top

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Step 5: Grate dark chocolate on top

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Chill for another 1-2 hours so that everything firms up a little and stays together.

 

 

2 Ingredient Pancakes (with a high protein option)

These pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast. Easy to prepare, they only have 2 ingredients that make for a dairy free, gluten free pancake!

So what is in these pancakes?

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Ingredients:

Makes about 3 medium pancakes

2 eggs

1 banana

Using an older banana helps the mix to become more smooth and sweeter.

A high protein option can be achieved by adding 2-3 scoops of protein powder or almond meal to the mix. This thickens it and brings it together quite nicely.

Instructions:

Step 1: In a bowl, mash or blend all the ingredients together.

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Step 2: Over medium heat, melt a little coconut oil or butter, and pour in some batter.

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Step 3: When air bubbles appear on the surface, flip them over and cook until golden brown.

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Optional: 

Make a fruit compote. Over a low heat, I simmered away some strawberries, honey and water to reduce it down to a warm berry compote.

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Serve warm with your favourite toppings. Yum!

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A Decadent Raw Ice-cream Sundae

There is nothing better than dessert with friends. Oh, wait. There is: Raw dessert with friends, where everyone is in the kitchen having a chat and making sweet, mostly raw goodness.

 

Firstly, Nigella Lawson’s Fudge Sauce was made:

See here for original recipe.

175 ml double cream
100 grams milk chocolate (chopped)
100 grams smooth peanut butter (skippy for preference)
3 tablespoons golden syrup

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Instructions:

Put all the cream, chopped chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup into a saucepan and place on the heat to melt, stirring occasionally. In about 2 minutes you should have your sauce ready.

Raw Icecream

Frozen banana

Splash of Coconut milk

Spoon of Peanut butter

Sprinkle of cinnamon

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Instructions:

There’s no quantity for this recipe- we just threw it all together in a processor and adjusted the amounts as necessary to produce a thick, frozen ice-cream consistency.

Work quickly when putting it all in the processor as it will melt fast. Put in the freezer in between batches to keep the consistency thick.

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Chop up some berries.

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Assemble by creating layers of ice-cream, chocolate and fruit- delish!

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Profile: Banana

This week on the blog, we are going bananas!

Bananas are in season, and very cheap at the markets right now. I bought an abundance of them and over the next week I plan on giving you a banana recipe every day to give you some inspiration to fit these beautiful fruits into your diet. They are loaded with health benefits and delicious to eat. What more could you want? I think bananas are the unsung heroes of Super foods.

Frozen Banana Slices

What is it?

Banana is a fruit that has a thick waxy skin and soft flesh on the inside. In most varieties the skin changes from green to yellow to brown as it goes through the ripening stages. Yellow is when it is commonly eaten, but did you know that the darker the colour of your banana- the higher it is in antioxidant benefits?

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Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms. Banana plants can grow to heights up to 9 metres tall.

Why is it good for you?

There are so many reasons why bananas should be your next snack of choice.

1. They pack over 80 nutrients! Check out this nutritional profile for the list.

2. Known for their high potassium which contributes to cardiovascular health eating a banana can help manage cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

3. Feeling tired? More than potassium, bananas have a huge amount of Vitamin B6, which boosts energy levels and aids red blood cell production.

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4. Bananas contain enzymes that help to balance gut bacteria and increase overall digestive health.

5. Got reflux? Bananas are a powerful antacid. Providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.

6. Banana peel has a variety of uses and benefits. Some include natural teeth whitening, wart removal or a leather conditioner.

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7. Feeling stressed? Eat a banana. They have natural chemical, tryptophan which helps the body to process serotonin which calms and stabilises your mood.

8. High in dietary fiber, bananas can regulate bowel movements in a gentle and natural way.

9. More healing powers: they can reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B.

10. They taste amazing and are versatile to use! Put them in a smoothie, cake, or just eat by themselves.

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Colours and varieties

There are more than 500 varieties of banana plants in the world: The most common kinds are Dwarf Cavendish, Valery, and Williams Hybrid bananas. Other types of bananas include Apple and a small red banana called the Red Jamaica. A large type of banana called the plantain is hard and starchy and is mostly used as a vegetable in cooking.