Food|Healthy eating

The Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds Explained

Chia seeds (salvia hispanica) have become one of the most popular superfoods in the fitness and health community. They’re easy to digest when prepared properly and a very versatile ingredient that can be easily used in recipes. The benefits of chia seeds are indeed plentiful.

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History of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds were originally a best kept secret but has gained popularity in recent years.  These tiny black and white seeds have a long history. They were grown in Mexico and South America, chia seeds are said to have been used by Mayan and Aztec cultures for supernatural powers.  Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language.  They were also known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance while running long distances or during battle.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a concentrated food containing healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, antioxidants, and calcium. Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds.

They give you tons of energy but also won’t keep you awake at night and are supposed to be great for weight loss. This is apparently due to the fact that they can absorb many times their size/weight in liquid.  Chia seeds are also excellent for avoiding dehydration during exercise or exposure to heat.

Obtained from www.riseorganics.co.uk

But Wait, There’s A Down Side

Chia seeds contain compounds called phytates that block the absorption of certain nutrients. These anti-nutrients are the reason that many ancient cultures soaked and fermented grains and seeds prior to eating them.   There is also some evidence that soaking and rinsing the seeds may help reduce the levels of these compounds.  The good news is that when used in moderation there isn’t a need  to worry too much about their phytate content.

Uses For Chia Seeds

Depending on the required texture, there are several ways to use them in the kitchen :-

  • Egg substitute
  • Healthy puddings
  • Thicken gravies and sauces
  • Homemade energy gel
  • Bread chicken or fish
  • In meatballs
  • Grain free crackers

My Fav Chia Seed Recipes




 


These are just a few of my fav chia seeds recipes, but pop over to my Instagram account to see why my cupboard is always stocked with Chia Seeds
 
 

Food

Crab Curry

Crab Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 3 kg orange crabs cleaned and chopped
  • 2 onions, finely chopped10 rosa tomatoes
  • 10 rosa tomatoes
  • 4 tsp curry powder
    1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup tamarind water
  • 3 tbsp ginger and garlic
  • curry leaves
  • 6 green chillies
  • Salt as per taste
  • Dhania (aka coriander)

Directions

  1. In a large pot heat oil then add the onions.  Allow to brown.
  2. Grate tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Cut green chillis in half and add to the pot with the curry leaves, ginger and garlic.
  4. Clean and chop the crab, then add to the pot.  Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and all spices.  Mix well and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes to the pot.
  7. Add salt to taste as well as the coconut sugar.
  8. Mix well, replace the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Thereafter increase the heat to allow the gravy to thicken.
  10. Pour in the tamarind water and bring to the boil to finish.
  11. Remove from heat and leave to stand. The gravy will thicken on standing.
  12. Wash dhania properly and sprinkle some over the cooked crab curry.
  13. Best served with rice!


Food

Almond and Chocolate Cassava Cookies

Almond and Chocolate Cassava Cookies

  • Servings: 40
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 0.5 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1.5 cups cassava @health_riot
  • 0.5 cup of honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 cup almonds chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Orange zest of 2 oranges

Directions

  1. Sift the cassava and set aside
  2. Beat the eggs and coconut sugar together
  3. Add the vanilla essence, coconut oil & honey. 4. Mix well
  4. Add the cassava, salt and oats.
  5. When combined well add the chocolate, almonds and orange zest. Dont over mix
  6. Spoon small amount onto a baking sheet ans bake for 10-12 minutes on 180 degrees

Food|Healthy eating

Do you feel it in your gut?

One of the trending topics in terms of health and wellness at the moment is “Gut Health” but what exactly does this mean. Well basically it’s the balance of good and bad bacteria living in the digestive tract.

To find this achievable state you need to feed your good bacteria and starve the less desirable bacteria.  In other words you would need to swap processed foods, breads and pastas for more plants, fruit, seeds and nuts.  You would also have to add fermented foods like yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi and kefir to your diet.  These items naturally contain probiotics and/or healthy bacteria.

There are 100 trillion bacteria in your body, and most of them are in your intestines. What you eat determines what kind of bacteria enters your gut, this is why its crucial to realize that what you put in there has long-term effects. According to Nava, a Health and Vitality Center, the stomach is like a second brain which can affect your mood, energy levels, libido, creative output and etc.  – The Huffington Post

Possible Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

  • Anxiety
  • Auto-immune disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive issues like bloating, diarrhoea & gas
  • Food allergies or sensitivities
  • Frequent Infections
  • Mood swings, irritability
  • Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD
  • Skin problems like eczema

What to Eat to Improve Your Gut  Health

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – helps your body create hydrochloric acid, which is a beneficial belly acid that helps digest fats, carbohydrates, and protein.
  • Kombucha – the most natural way to get a buzz, it’s probiotic-packed meaning it’s good for your gut.
  • Dairy or Lactose-free yoghurts – made from almond, soy, or rice milk are much easier for people to digest than their dairy counterparts.
  • Fermented Coffee – Drinking coffee can improve athletic performance, particularly for endurance sports so you should drink it before your workouts for energy.
  • Sauerkraut – is a naturally fermented food that has micro-organisms which crowds out bad bacteria in the gut and allows the beneficial gut flora to flourish.
  • Kefir – is great for your gut as it usually contains at least 10 live and active strains of bacteria, compared to most yoghurts which usually have three.
  • Sprouted Grains – The process involved in making sprouted grain bread products makes it easier for some people to digest rather than other traditional wheat products, which in turn makes it easier for nutrients to be absorbed into the body
  • Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid that is an antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-fungal.
  • Wild Salmon –  has an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is critical for healing an inflamed gut and preventing future episodes.
  • Garlic – is a wonderful prebiotic and even better when eaten raw.
  • Miso – aside from being a good source of protein and fibre, it’s rich in probiotics meaning it can help treat intestinal disorders.
  • Chocolate -raw and certified organic, prebiotic and probiotic enhanced chocolate bars the most delicious way to get your prebiotic and probiotic fix.
  • Collagen – is one of the largest proteins in our bodies—in fact, it’s what basically keeps our body together.
  • Bone broth –  is a stock made from the bones and marrow of a chicken or cow and it’s slow cooked for 24-72 hours.
  • Onions – as well as Jerusalem artichokes and chicory are high in prebiotics, which will help promote the growth of good bacteria. To make the most of these nutrient-rich foods you’ll want to avoid as many refined foods (think white flour and white sugar-based anything), which feed the bacteria in our gut that we don’t want.
  • Kvass – beverage commonly made from rye bread, meaning it’s filled with digestive health benefits.
  • High Fibre Foods – like artichokes, green peas, lentils, black and lima beans, almonds raspberries, and apples are a great addition to your diet.
  • Kimchi – is rich in probiotics and excellent at keeping things moving in your digestive tract.
  • Yoghurt – Grass-fed, full-fat and plain (no sugar added) yoghurt has a very high amount of beneficial probiotics.

Improved Gut Health Can Aid:

  • Allergies
  • Brain function
  • Immune function (80% of our immune system is located in the gut!)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Symptoms of anger, sadness and depression
  • Toxin levels in the body
  • Weight loss

In the past I never gave my gut a second thought, but with time and research I’ve come to learn otherwise.  It is important for us to acknowledge and understand the effects of gut health on our bodies both mentally and physically, in doing so we will need to optimise our gut health in more innovative ways.

Food

No Bake Power Balls

No Bake Power Balls

  • Servings: 20-25
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal (dry)
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (sugar free)
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls.
  3. Store in an airtight container or jar.
  4. Keep in refrigerator for up to one week.


Food

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Coconut Flour Pancakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 175ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix until the pancake batter is smooth.
  3. Add coconut oil to a pan and allow to heat.
  4. Pour mixture into the pan and make pancakes
  5. Cook for a few minutes then flip over and allow to cook on the other side
  6. Remove from pan, stack
  7. Serve with a drizzle of honey and some berries (optional but oh so yummy)


Food

Thai Chicken Soup

Thai Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • 2kg chicken pieces (skin removed – optional)
  • water
  • 10 Thai lime leaves
  • 1 stick of lemon grass
  • 3 T Fresh ginger
  • 2 T Fresh garlic
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3T Thai 7 spice (depends how hot you like it)
  • 2T Coconut oil
  • 2-3 Red chillis
  • Punnet of shitake mushrooms

Directions

  1. Wash, clean and prepare the chicken
  2. Add the chicken pieces and thai lime leaves into a pressure cooker
  3. Fill the pressure cooker with water until reaches the max line
  4. Allow to cook for 1 hour in the pressure cooker
  5. In a separate large pot add the coconut oil and allow to heat up
  6. Finely chop up the ginger and garlic then add to the oil
  7. Chop the red chillis and add to the pot
  8. Add the shitake mushrooms and allow to brown (but don’t over cook)
  9. Bang the lemon grass with something heavy to release the flavour then add to the pot
  10. Allow to simmer for a minute or two. (Cook on a medium heat)
  11. Add the Thai 7 spice and mix well.
  12. Add the full contents from the pressure cooker to the pot
  13. Allow to cook for 15 minutes then your soup is ready to serve


 
 

Food

Cassava Pancakes with a Berry Coulis

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients


Pancake Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 T coconut sugar or honey
  • 3 T protein powder
  • ¾ cup cassava flour
  • ¼ t salt

Blueberry Coulis Ingredients

  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 T coconut sugar
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar

Directions


Pancake Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs.
  2. Add the coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut sugar or honey.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add the cassava flour and salt and mix well.
  5. Cook by for couple minutes per side on a greased pan over medium heat until cooked through.

Berry Coulis Directions

  1. Combine the berries and coconut sugar in a pot and allow to stew.
  2. You can blend the mixture or mash some of the berries in the pot while cooking.
  3. Once a nice thick syrup starts to form add the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Mix and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  5. Then serve with your pancakes.



 
 

Food

Jacket Sweet Potatoes

Jacket Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Ingredients

  • 6 large orange sweet potatoes
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Celery
  • Handful of almonds
  • Spring onion or Chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin/
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Chicken spice
  • 100 ml fresh cream
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Cheese (optional)

Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C
    2. Baked Sweet Potatoes
    • Wash 4 to 6 large sweet potatoes thoroughly.
    • Bake sweet potatoes in microwave until soft for approximately 10 minutes.
    • Remove from microwave and cut in half (length wise).
    • Scoop out the flesh and place in a large mixing bowling.
    • Keep the skins intact and place in an oven tray
    • Set the tray aside for now.
  1. Filling
    • Dice the chicken breast.
    • In a pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and allow to heat.
    • Once heated add all the spices and allow to cook.
    • Once chicken is cooked you can add the flesh from the sweet potatoe that you scooped out.
    • Add 100ml fresh cream to the mixture and stir well.
    • After the cream has been absorbed, remove from the heat.
    • Fine chop approximately 15cm of celery and add to the filling mixture.
    • Roughly chop a handful of almonds and add to the mixture
  2. Assembly
    • Scoop the mixture into the potatoe skins that are in the oven tray
    • OPTIONAL – Grate cheese over each sweet potatoe half.
    • Place the tray in the oven and allow to cook.
    • Remove after 10 minutes and serve.

Food

Berry Surprise Coconut Cupcakes

Berry Surprise Coconut Cupcakes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
  • dark chocolate (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C
  2. Spray muffin tin with spray and cook.  Alternatively line with paper or silicone cups
  3. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Then add in the honey, vanilla essence and coconut milk.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients and combine.
  6. Spoon batter into each cupcake cup.  Only fill until the halfway mark.
  7. Add a few small berries onto the cupcake batter.  ( I prefer to use blueberries and raspberries)
  8. Use the remaining batter to cover the berries and fill up each up.
  9. Bake in the preheated over on for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  11. The remove the cups from the tin and allow to cool completely.
  12. Drizzle melted chocolate over each cupcake.  This is optional.