This indulgent creamy chocolate chia pudding with avocado which gives it more bulk and richness is the type of breakfast that will make you WANT to get out of bed for.
As the avo is blended into the chia pudding and topped with fresh fruit you get at least 2/5 a day plus a whole host of other goodness including fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, good fats and a happy tummy afterwards.
This sneaky dish is also a good way to get some green stuff into little ones or any family members that say they don’t like avocado, top it with their favourite fruit and toppings then let them eat it first before telling them anything.
Years ago I never paid much attention to manuka honey because there wasn’t much known about it, however the research has really developed and we now know more about its benefits.
This honey comes from the manuka bush found only in New Zealand and some parts of Australia (one of the reasons it’s so expensive) and contains unique compounds, some are hydrogen peroxide based others are non peroxide based. One of the main reasons (but not only one, see below) why manuka is so antibacterial, is due to MGO (methylglyoxal), the higher the level of the MGO in the honey (indicated on the jar by the number/score) the more antibacterial it is. There is even medical grade manuka honey which is the strongest and is used in hospitals to treat infections that haven’t responded to other treatments. Manuka can also be scored by UMF (unique manuka factors) which include MGO and other compounds.
high strength manuka
I’ve started to use it myself to help treat my digestive issues and heal the gut as this antibacterial activity has been shown to reduce the number of bad bacteria linked to gut issues, whilst leaving the good bacteria intact. It also contains a type of prebiotic that encourages the growth of good gut microbes which make it a more gut friendly sweetener option compared to refined sugar, yes it does still impact blood sugar so don’t go mental but regarding gut health it’s a better option which is why not all types of sugar are the same in my opinion.
Furthermore, it can help coat the stomach and gut lining (which can already be compromised in people with gut issues) so that the gastric acids won’t be able to damage it as much and has been shown to reduce colonic inflammation.
Although it’s very early days, there’s even evidence that antibacterial compounds in high strength manuka can kill off bad gum bacteria that lead to gum disease such as gingivitis.
To maximise the benefits, try to use it raw, when heated, some of the compounds and the enzymes will be destroyed, but not all, it will still retain benefits as the MGO is more heat stable than other compounds.
If you simply can’t afford it then raw local honey from your region is also a good option especially for hayfever sufferers as the local pollen and microbes in it teach your immune system to tolerate local allergens and also has a degree of antibacterial activity.
As you can tell from the colour, it really is super green AND filled with super greens! A healthy snack to either prepare you for or recover from St Patrick’s day (giving your liver some greens will help keep it in good shape).
This is a variation on my Hulk dip, with the base being peas and avocado plus a touch of spirulina for that deep green colour and a boost of B vitamins (and others) but this time the big flavour comes from spicy hot sauce and fragrant fresh basil.
Making your own dips like these with nutritious ingredients is so easy and much healthier than store bought options, when I’ve cooked up some bread or something nice to go with a dip I’ll make a big batch of it so that I’m sorted for the next few days.
It’s also a really easy way to squeeze extra veg and goodness into your meals by centring the bulk of the ingredients around veggies or pulses.
Grain free, healthy, high fibre chickpea flour pizza!
Not only are you getting to eat pizza but it’s made from a veg!
Chickpea flour AKA gram flour is so cheap and easy to get once you know where to look, it’s usually in the continental/world food section of the supermarkets so I urge you to try it out, it’s not expensive and is a healthy, easy way of cooking with new flours.
For another chickpea flour based recipe check out these Veggie slices
Note: You will need a small circular pie base to hold and shape the mix as it’s runny until baked, I used a small silicon rubber pie mould. You could possibly use a small frying pan that’s oven safe however I haven’t tested this so let me know if you do.
Once you have the flour it’s easy and quick to make this pizza, you don’t have to knead anything or wait for dough to rise, plus it’s naturally high in protein and fibre, grain and gluten free so it should be suitable for many diets. Bloat free pizza anyone?
I threw together this dip in a rush one evening and couldn’t get over just how good it tasted!!
I promise it tastes waaaay better than it looks, the peas are mildly sweet, the avocado gives creaminess and the lemon and garlic are strong flavours which work really well together.
I love the deep green colour it has which comes from the spirulina powder and is why I called it the “Hulk” dip, this is also probably a good thing to call it for a chance that kids will eat it haha.
You can use it as a healthy dip or spread it on oatcakes or some sourdough toast, move over smashed avo!
It’s actually so delicious!
There’s loads of benefits to this dip (aside from flavour), to begin, it’s great for immunity because of the vitamin C rich lemon juice, the raw garlic and cayenne pepper. there’s B vitamins in the peas, avocado and spirulina which are great for energy and the good fats and lemon juice are good for skin too.
As I mentioned in my recipe for banana PB spirulina flapjacks, lots of people buy ingredients like spirulina and don’t know how to use it so this is another one to help you use it up, plus the flavour is covered completely by the dominant garlic & lemon.
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.
This stuff really is a dream to eat.
In fact, it’s so good that I rarely share it with anyone, normally I like to give my recipes to others to try and get feedback on them but when one turns out so delicious I usually just end up keeping it all to myself which is what happened with this one!
And yes, this IS healthy fudge!
Made from pure cashew butter which is rich in fibre and good fats but also provides a source of iron, when it’s combined with coconut oil and left to set it firms it up and gives a lovely, thick fudge like texture.
Add in the coarse salt for savoury contrast and some lucuma powder for a mild sugar free “caramel” like taste and you’re on to a winner.
Loco for lucuma
FYI, lucuma is a fruit that’s been slowly dried out and ground into a powder, it has a mild, sweet, almost caramel flavour which is why it works so well here, you can now get it online or in health food stores and I’ve even seen certain brands in the supermarkets!!
If you want to experiment with lower sugar recipes this is a great ingredient to have. I used Sevenhills wholefoods (find it on Amazon) organic lucuma as it was the brand lowest in overall natural sugar but other brands will work just the same.