All Posts by vitalassurance

Summer Night’s Nice Cream

This recipe was created on a beautiful Melbourne's night and is a great, healthy alternative to give your kids instead of the chemical and sugar filled ice cream they normally get. It takes only 2 minutes to whip up and can be topped with whatever fruits, nuts or condiments you desire. You can also change this into a smoothie by adding a little more liquid.

Ingredients:

1 sachet Amazonia frozen coconut
1 cup frozen banana, chopped
1 cup frozen pineapple, chopped
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup cashew milk
¼ cup coconut water

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 sec until thick and creamy. Scoop evenly into bowls and top with anything you desire.

This can also be made into a smoothie by adding more liquid.

Serves 2-3 as a snack

Tumeric, Lime and Coriander Fish

Fish is a regular protein in our household and I think this one has just become my favourite. Not only does it taste amazing, the aroma is unbelievable especially when you open the package after it has been cooked. Being a really simple and easy dish to prepare, in combination with it being packed with so much flavour and goodness from the turmeric, I anticipate that this dish will become a favourite of yours too.

Ingredients:

2 x 200g snapper fillets
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
½ tablespoon ground turmeric
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

Method

Combine your garlic, ginger, turmeric, lime, oil and coriander so that it is all mixed well.

Place each piece of fish on a piece of baking paper large enough to be able to wrap it into a parcel.

Pour half of the marinade on each piece of fish and then fold and twist the ends of the baking paper to make parcels. Allow the fish to sit in the marinade for 15-30 minutes prior to cooking.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Bake your fish for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillets. Serve with sautéed vegetables, steamed greens or a fresh salad.

Serves 2

Almond Pulp Power Balls

The best thing about home made almond milk is the fact that you are left with the pulp that can then be used for something else. Almonds, being a great source of protein and good fats, make for an excellent treat and therefore are a great 'go to' snack when you are experiencing those sugar and hunger cravings.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond pulp
8 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup smooth peanut butter
pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon raw cacao (for rolling)
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut (for rolling)

Method:

Place pulp, dates, peanut butter and salt in a high speed blender and process until well combined.

Combine the cacao and coconut on a plate. Using damp hands, shape mixture into balls and roll in the coating.

Best stored in a well-sealed container in the fridge.

Makes 16 balls

Grain-Free Nut-Free Choc Chip Biscuits

I am always looking to make new creations for my kids that are school friendly and therefore need to be nut free. I have been experimenting a lot with quinoa flour and finally I have created a recipe that BOTH my kids like (even the one that doesn't like banana....). These biscuits are sweetened mostly by a ripe banana and a little maple syrup, which you can eliminate if you like. They are packed with protein and are a fabulous snack. Winning all around!

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa flour
¾ cup quinoa flakes
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup sweet cacao nibs

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, quinoa flakes, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk together your eggs and melted oil. Add the mashed banana and maple syrup ensuring that it is all well combined.

Add your liquid ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Gently fold in the cacao nibs.

Place a spoonful of the mixture onto your prepared tray and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack.

Store in a well-sealed container for 5 days.

Makes 10-12 biscuits

Sweet Coconut Balls

I find that many of the protein power ball recipes involve nuts which eliminates me being able to send them to school with my kids. This is why I have created these balls that are based around coconut which not only provides a nice hint of sweetness but also gives you a good source of fat that will satisfy those cravings you may experience during the day.

Ingredients:

2 cups flaked coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons sweet cacao nibs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup goji berries
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender / food processor for approximately 30 seconds until the mixture is well combined.

Using slightly wet hands (or gloves) carefully roll mixture into balls. Mixture will be soft and delicate. Place in fridge for 30 minutes to set.

Makes 10 balls

BBQ Parsley Fish

Warmer days are fast approaching so it's time to wipe off the cobwebs from your barbecue and get cooking! Here's a really simple, fresh recipe to get you going. The fish absorbs the beautiful flavours of the parsley dressing which goes so nicely with the charring of the barbecue.

Ingredients:

2 x 180g firm white fish fillets (I like to use Blue Grenadier)

Parsley Dressing:
½ bunch fresh parsley
½-1 lemon juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of sea salt.

Method:

Turn on your barbecue to heat it up.

Make the parsley dressing by placing all ingredients, starting with only the juice of a ½ lemon, in a food processor and blend until it is well combined. You want the mixture to be slightly runny so you may need to add the juice of other ½ of the lemon.

Prepare 2 separate pieces of aluminium foil with a smaller piece of parchment paper inside. Place the fish on the parchment paper and top each fillet with 2 tablespoons of the parsley dressing. Spread the dressing so that it covers the entire fish. Wrap the ends of the aluminium foil so that the fish is enclosed.

Cook on the barbecue for 20 minutes, turning them once half way. Remove from the barbecue, unwrap and serve with a beautiful fresh salad and some extra lemon.

Note, this can be prepared in the oven as well by baking for 20-25 minutes at 180 degrees.

Serves 2

Immune Booster Smoothie

It seems to be that with the change in weather there are many colds and viruses floating around. Keeping your immunity at it's optimum is going to be extremely important to ensure that you don't get struck down. Eating lots of real, fresh produce will ensure that you are going to get optimum nutrients and then supporting it with The Healthy Chef's Natural Immune Support, which is as easy as adding a teaspoon to your smoothie, will give you the extra boost your immunity requires.

Ingredients:

¼ cup walnuts
1 frozen banana, chopped
½ cup papaya, chopped
1 serve Healthy Chef Vanilla Pea Protein
1 teaspoon Healthy Chef Natural Immune Support
1 cup coconut water

Method:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 sec until smooth and creamy. Pour into glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Broadbean Hummus Dip

Hummus is always a staple in our fridge but it doesn't always have to be chickpea based. This version is made from fresh broadbeans and is a delicious alternative to your traditional dip whilst still providing you with lots of protein. It is great to have as a snack with veggies, as a spread in your wrap or simply add a dollop to your salad.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh or frozen broadbeans
2 tablespoons unhulled tahini
½ lemon juiced
½ cup water reserved from cooking broadbeans
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch sea salt

Method:

First prepare the broadbeans by placing them into a pot of salted boiling water. Return the water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and allow the beans to simmer for 4-5 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving ½ cup of the water to be used later.

Place the beans and all other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

You may wish to adjust the seasoning as per your taste

Makes 1 cup

Newsletter 22 – How to Stop Night-Time Cravings

How often do we say to ourselves, “I’ve been so good all day” and then night-time comes and all that hard work goes out the window? Then the next day you start the cycle again, you are ‘good’ during the day and then night-time comes and you can’t stop eating, even after having a really big meal.

This pattern tends to be known as the sumo-wrestler diet because if you eat late at night (and just before bed), your body will store all those extra calories as fat instead of processing them and burning them.

In order to be able to put a stop to this pattern we need to understand WHY this is happening. WHY are we craving more food, more junk food or really just anything unhealthy? More often than not, the root cause of this problem is an imbalance in our appetite regulating hormones. These hormones each have their own triggers and therefore if we can understand how to balance them, then the cravings for sweet, junk food late at night will be eliminated.

The four main hormones are:

  • Insulin – the main hormone our body produces to regulate blood sugar. When your insulin spikes then crashes after eating sugar and flour or junk, it makes you hungrier.
  • Leptin – this is the hormone that tells our brains when we are full and to STOP eating. When you eat a lot of processed foods, sugar and refined flour, Leptin does not work as well.
  • Grehlin – this is the hormone that tells us when we ARE hungry.
  • Peptide YY – this is a hormone in our intestine that tells us when we are FULL.

We do also need to consider the hormone, Cortisol, which is our stress hormone. When you are stressed, your Cortisol level goes up, and when that happens, you get hungrier and your blood sugar and insulin levels rise.

Being able to balance these hormones and keep them in check will enable you to reduce those cravings and the night-time snacking that comes with it.

Here are 6 simple steps you can follow to take control of your cravings:

1. Eat breakfast – eating a protein rich breakfast is the KEY to stop your night-time cravings. Now, you may wake up in the mornings full from the late night snacking so it’s important that you break that cycle. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced all day.
2. Don’t drink your calories – consuming high sugar drinks (soft drinks, juices, flavoured milks, energy drinks) spikes your insulin levels and increases your cravings for more sugary foods.
3. Eat regularly – eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times allows your hormones to remain balanced.
4. Have good quality protein and sources of fat with each meal – these foods are known to satisfy you and keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
5. Take some time out – stress increases our cravings, which results in us overeating and putting on weight. Learning to reduce your stress will help you manage your weight.
6. Prioritise sleep – depriving yourself of sleep drives the hunger hormone, Ghrelin, up and the full hormone, Peptide, down therefore you will end up eating more sugary foods to give you the energy you are lacking.

So remember that in order to put night-time binging behind you, you have to take the steps to stop the cycle and to create different pathways within your body in order for you to be able to keep that blood sugar level in check!

Berry Nut Puff Slice

With just 10 ingredients, and five easy steps, you can have your own 'mock' rocky road made and ready to eat in just over 30 minutes. The kids will love the chocolately sweet taste, and you'll love the fact that there's no added processed sugar! Everyone wins!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
5 Medjool dates, pitted
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup mixed nuts (or seeds)
¼ cup shredded coconut (plus extra for topping)
¼ cup goji berries (plus extra for topping)
½ cup puffed quinoa

Method:

Prepare a 9cm x 9cm baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine nuts, coconut, berries and quinoa.

In a blender, mix together the melted coconut oil, cacao, dates, salt, cinnamon and vanilla until it is a smooth consistency. Pour this over the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Sprinkle with extra coconut and goji berries.

Pour mixture into prepared tray and place in freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve. Keeps well in a well sealed glass container in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Makes 12 squares