This recipe is a great one for prepping you for a good study session or an early morning exam, especially if you’re bad at eating breakfast before you head out to do tests as you should have proper fuel before you begin.
There’s no refined sugar, it’s full of fibre as well as brain nourishing ingredients and I share some additional ones too that also have benefits, so feel free to add these into your daily diet leading up to exams in order to make sure your study sessions are maximised.
Brain boosting ingredients
Firstly I’ve used walnuts in this recipe as they’re packed with omega 3 beneficial fats which your brain loves, along with antioxidants such as Vitamin E for stress and brain protection.
The blueberries (also called brain berries by some) are great for focus and concentration as well as containing antioxidants. The cinnamon provides steady blood sugar levels meaning sustained, focused energy as does the high fibre wholemeal flour and oats that are providing slow release energy.
I’ve suggested using either avocado or coconut oil to add some moisture into the recipe as these oils provide good fats such as the MCT’s and ketones from coconut which are types of fat that the brain loves to use for fuel, while the avocado provides monounsaturated fats and vitamin E protection that helps blood vessels stay supple and flexible meaning good blood flow to the brain.
Finally the egg provides a source of choline which is essential to good brain function.
Served with nut butter
Other recommended foods
Turmeric-increases oxygen uptake to the brain
*Cacao– antioxidant protection and theobromine as a mild source of caffeine for energy
*Matcha (green tea powder)- provides a mild source of caffeine energy but also high in L-theanine which aids concentration and helps maintain a calm state
Oily fish– such as wild salmon are full of beneficial omega 3 fats
Water/hydration– your brain needs adequate hydration to function properly so make sure to drink plenty of fluids during studying and before an exam
*Note:Cacao, matcha and green tea contain only a small amount of caffeine so are suitable for older teens but high consumption should be avoided in young children and anyone with thyroid issues or on codeine painkillers should consult their doctor before high intakes of green tea/matcha.
I’ve been loving this lentil loaf not only because it’s so full of flavour but because it’s full of nutrition and it’s:
-full of fibre and protein
-full of healthy herbs
-doesn’t require kneading or proving
-made with super cheap red lentils
This loaf is lovely and soft, with more of a veggie “meat loaf” kind of feel about it rather than a loaf you’d slice and toast like normal bread (although I am working on a version like that) but you won’t want the normal white stuff once you taste this one anyway! Who doesn’t want a tasty slice of this savoury loaf without the belly bloat that you’d get from mass produced white bread?
The combo of feta cheese, tomatoes, oregano and basil gives it a pizza like taste to it, I mean really, what more could you want? Feel free to adapt the herbs and spices to your taste but I really do like the cheese, tomato and Italian herb mix so recommend giving this a go first and adding chilli if you want a gentle heat kick too.
Forget the Buddha bowls and power up with this plate full of plant based goodness!
This makes a great post workout meal with a good mix of healthy carbs, fibre, plant protein and lots of nutrients and antioxidants to help you recover well.
This couldn’t be simpler to make, it takes only 5mins to throw together and makes a great lunch for the next day too. Although I used carrots here you could also use some fresh/cooked peas if you only had these in your fridge/freezer, they also help to up the protein content so don’t be afraid to free style this one with whatever you have in your kitchen at the time.
Optional add ins that I like are chilli powder/flakes to give it a kick and a sprinkle of shelled hemp seeds for omega 3 & 6 fatty goodness!
Good mix of colours & nutrients
So what’s so super about this soup?
Well, firstly, it’s jam packed with allll the good stuff, green good stuff to be specific, hehe hence the name.
It’s made creamy with avocado, one of the most popular green foods but also includes a hefty dose of broccoli, one of the least loved green foods but one that’s so very good for us. Even I struggle to get as much broccoli as I’d like into my diet, partly because I hate the tough texture of it that always ends up stuck in my teeth, which is one reason why I like this soup so much, because it gets blended, removing this issue.
Broccoli has so many health promoting compounds in it but some of the main ones are called glucosinolates which then become isothiocyanates (another helpful compound) via an enzyme reaction. These compounds are responsible for heart health, boosting antioxidant effects, promoting the formation of enzymes involved in the livers detox pathways and may help reduce the incidence of cancer.
To get the benefits of these compounds it’s best to consume the cruciferous veg (cabbage, rocket, kale etc) uncooked to enable the enzyme reaction to occur, but this isn’t always possible or pleasant so if you want to maximise on your cooked cruciferous veg then pair them with some raw rocket, watercress, mustard or horseradish as these foods will mimic the enzymes needed for the reaction to occur. But don’t worry you still get some benefit from consuming cooked veg so don’t use it as an excuse not to eat them!
The avocado is packed full of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and fibre which are helpful for the heart and vitamin E which is great for skin plus the good fats help you to absorb fat soluble vitamins.
The next super green in here is the humble pea, yes peas. They’re a great source of fibre, B vitamins and protein, finally, I included fresh basil to amp up the flavour and pair with the garlic and herbs in the veg stock.
crackers & soup
All these foods are super nourishing and super accessible as well as affordable, no excuse not to make this soup in order to squeeze in more veg at the end of your day, especially if you’re other meals haven’t been as stellar.
I also give a few optional additions in the recipe below in order to help you boost its goodness but they’re completely optional, it’ll still be one of the healthiest soups out there!
What better way to have a delicious, nourishing, quick breakfast ready to go when you are than by baking these brownie breakfast bars the night before!
bursting blueberry breakfast brownies
They are made from jumbo oats, fresh blueberries, ripe bananas and a touch of cacao powder to give a decadent, chocolate taste and once baked they’ll provide you with a quick, healthy breakfast option in the mornings meaning it’s easier to get out the door. They’re also a great recipe to use up any overly ripe bananas you have hanging around your fruit bowl.
These taste best when slightly warm as the cacao chocolate flavour comes through more and with your favourite yogurt to contrast with the berries and rich cacao.
-No oil or eggs
-vegan & gluten free
-No sweeteners, fruit only
-High fibre & portable
Top with yogurt, fruit & cinnamon
This is a great, quick, healthy meal made from simple ingredients that you can whip up within 15mins and when paired with a big plate of greens it’s highly nutritious too. It also makes a good meat free dinner/lunch option and is handy for when you haven’t been shopping in a while as we all tend to have some oats and beans tucked away somewhere in the cupboard.
I love using beans in cooking, they are such a nutritious cheap ingredient and are so versatile. I love the combo of chilli and lemon as it’s refreshing and full of flavour which is what you need to perk up plain beans.
To add more flavour I’ve created a creamy harrissa dressing, If you’ve never used harrissa before then you’re really missing out, It’s a spicy paste similar to chipotle which I’ve paired with creamy tahini/yogurt (choose your favourite) to create a lovely silky dressing for these nuggets which you definitely won’t want to leave out as it gives much needed moisture to the dish.