Most people tend to stick with the same wholegrains in their diet (wholewheat, oats, etc) out of habit, but you can still get in that fibre content while mixing up your nutrition with other grains too using this simple recipe that is tasty and helps cover the bland flavours of most grains due to the sweet banana and creamy nut butter. It’s also a good way to use up a spare overly ripe banana.
For this recipe I’ve tried both quinoa and millet. Both are naturally gluten free and high fibre, one main difference is that quinoa is a complete protein whereas millet is not, but it still has lots of goodness, just something to bare in mind for anyone getting their protein solely from plant sources.
You can now easily get quinoa in big supermarkets and millet in health food stores.
Notes: I prefer to soak my grains over night, as this helps with digestion and nutrient absorption however it isn’t necessary, so if you forget, it’s not a big deal. I also like to thin out the nut butter into a kind of sauce as it makes it more spreadable and I think blending the banana rather than just mashing it helps the flavour distribute more evenly but it’s totally up to you. FYI Choosing ripe bananas with brown spots will give a sweeter taste.
Ever bought a green powder like spirulina, used it once then left it in the back of the cupboard not knowing what else to do with it? I know loads of people who’ve done this or don’t know what else to add the powders to other than smoothies so here’s one of my favourite ways to use the algae spirulina.
This recipe is a great way to use and mask the unique flavour of spirulina because of the dominant tastes of banana and peanut butter, plus there’s a good thick texture from the oats too which tops it all off.
Different brands of spirulina will have different levels of nutrition as this depends on where it was grown but in general it’s a source of Vitamin B12 (although not all of it in an easily used form so not to be the only B12 source in a diet), other B vitamins, iron, vitamin A, magnesium and chlorophyll, hence its dark green colour. Algae such as spirulina are concentrated into supplements in order to provide plant sources of the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA which would otherwise need to come from oily fish sources.
Some animal studies also suggest that it’s beneficial for heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol. Scientists have even fed it to malnourished children in Africa, so while you can’t expect it to work miracles if the rest of your diet and lifestyle is awful it can definitely be a good nutritional, body booster.
Make sure to buy quality, organic spirulina that has gone through testing for contamination, EU brands have to follow certain regulations which is a good safety net but if you’re unsure then ask the brand before you buy, better safe than sorry.
Savoury scones with a hick of chilli to complement the cheese and pumpkin.
I’ve wanted to do a savoury scone for a while now and this seemed like a good combo, I’ve been cooking with a lot of pumpkin and squashes as it’s nearly Halloween time so there’s an abundance of them around and this is a good way to use them up, especially if you’ve leftover pumpkin innards from carving.
I’ve made my scone recipe many times and tried various flours but the one I always come back to is spelt, it’s wholegrain meaning high fibre, it has some gluten but less than wheat flour meaning you still get good texture but is easier to digest and doesn’t absorb as much liquid as other flours and has a nice flavour when cooked.
You can now find spelt flour in lots of places including supermarkets and health food stores.
A tip on cooking your pumpkin flesh, I found it best to steam it, this introduces more moisture than baking it which then gets added to the flour mix and helps it stay more moist and also means it blends better so that you won’t get any big lumps of pumpkin in your bite of scone!
You can also do this on a night where you’re steaming other veg then leave it to cool and store it for a few days in the fridge until you’re ready to make this recipe.
Tired of your boring same old omelette?
Then spice it up (literally and metaphorically) with this Moroccan version which uses cumin, hummus for creamy decadence and added lentils which not only bulk it out with added veg but provide some plant protein and fibre to the dish as well!
Brilliant beans and lovable lentils
Lentils and pulses/beans are such a great food staple, they’re cheap, packed with a type of fibre that your gut loves and most give a decent protein hit too which all means they also keep you full.
Another bonus is that beans and pulses can blunt energy release when paired with high carb foods, so if you’re having that white rice then one way to blunt the insulin spike is to add beans, which is a delicious way if you ask me.
This is because the beans will block an enzyme that’s needed to break down the starch and carbs in the other foods meaning you don’t get as much of an energy spike, woo!
A study across various countries examining bean/pulse intake in elderly people found that regardless of what country they came from (which is interesting as diets can vary widely) for each 20g increase in bean/pulse consumption this led to a 7-8% decrease in mortality, so eat up folks!
If you’re familiar with my blog then you’ll know I’m a big fan of sneaking veg into recipes anytime I can, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the sound of a chickpea pudding, this one really works thanks to the strong flavours of PB & J, which is a classic itself but is given a healthy makeover in this recipe.
For the “jelly” in this recipe I used a fruit only sweetened jam and combined it with some high oleic peanut butter, which is a type of peanut that has a higher monounsaturated fat profile (similar to avocados!) which is healthier for the heart and also means they’re more stable during heating and won’t go rancid as quickly, plus it tastes amazing and really helps make the chickpeas taste delicious too!
This is such a nourishing, yummy recipe that although I called it a “pudding” I often have it for breakfast, hehehe, gives you something to get out of bed for!
This recipe is such a mix of many others that I struggled to name it (clearly), but the title does sum it up pretty well.
It involves wraps that are sweet, that I like to have for breakfast (lunch is great too) but it’s fun to cut them into slices so that it resembles a pizza (also a great way to encourage kids to eat them and the fruit on them).
These are a great way to use up any leftover wraps before they go stale and are super quick to prepare in the mornings meaning you get a nutritious breakfast with minimum effort AND makes a change from porridge (even though I adore porridge).