Category Archives: Food

chia seed pudding

Raw Chia Seed Pudding: The Breakfast of Champions

Two days on raw food and already feeling HIGH on life. That’s the best part about eating raw — it’s a naturally potent anti-depressant.

If you’re looking for some yummy recipe ideas in the raw, this one is simple and delish!

Breakfast of champions:

Chia seed pudding: chia seed pudding

Soak about 3 tablespoons (or more, depending how how thick you want your pudding) in 1 1/2 cups of almond milk in the fridge over night.

In the morning, cut up banana, plumbs (they’re in season now and oh-so tasty) and any other fruit that fits your fancy.

Add a sprinkling of walnuts and raw honey and voilà! You have a breakfast full of omega 3’s and 6’s, potassium, healthy carbs, and essential vitamins.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

wine

Fully Raw Wine

As someone who LOVES wine (and worked in the wine industry for 8 years) I am always looking for alternative drinks that can still give me a nice “buzz” but also pumps my body full of nutrients and vitamins.

Maybe it’s just the high of eating raw foods, but I love this recipe from “Fully Raw Kristina.” I think the wine glass and decanter really make it feel like I’m having the full wine experience (not to mention the intoxicating color of the juice).

Try it and let me know what you think!

7 (More) Great Reasons To Add Chia Seeds To Your Diet

We like to post articles that we personally find informative, useful, and well-written. That’s why you’ve been seeing a lot, lately, from MindBodyGreen.

Personally, I’ve been using chi seeds ever since I’ve switched to a vegetarian diet and I LOVE the texture/nutrients they add to smoothies and even savory dishes. But for those of you wondering what all the rave is about, this articles covers the basics.

Give um’ a try. You won’t be disappointed.

“Long before the Ch-ch-ch-chia pet of the 1980’s, the Aztecs and the Mayans used chia seeds as a staple of their everyday diets, alongside corn and beans. “Chia” is the Mayan word for strength, and these ancient peoples understood the important health benefits of these seeds.

The Mayans would grind chia seeds into flour, press them for oil, and drink them mixed with water. Ancient people considered these seeds magical due to their ability to increase stamina and energy for long periods of time. However, once the Spanish conquered Latin America, they introduced their own foods and prohibited the farming of chia.

However, chia seeds have recently made a comeback in modern diets as researchers have discovered the hidden benefits from this ancient super seed. Here are just seven of the various reasons you should add this superfood to your diet today.

1. Pack in your fiber.

The American Dietetic Association recommends 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day, yet most people only consume about half of that. Chia seeds deliver almost 50% of your necessary daily intake, with 11 grams of fiber per ounce. Fiber is necessary for ultimate health, but especially for digestion and weight loss.

2. Trim the fat.

Chia seeds absorb up to 12 times their weight and expand in your stomach, making you feel full and curbing your appetite. Chia seeds help reduce your caloric intake by filling you up and helping lower the energy density of certain foods — ultimately, assisting greatly in weight loss.

3. Get your omega-3s.

Chia seeds are a concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and they actually have more omega-3s than salmon. Omega-3s are critical for brain health, and chia contains five grams per one ounce serving.

4. Build your bones.

One ounce of chia seeds has 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium. Chia seeds can help promote better bone and oral health.

5. Boost heart health.

Studies have shown that chia seeds can improve blood pressure and increase healthy cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. Chia seeds can help you maintain a healthy heart — a crucial element of your health.

6. Get your phosphorus.

Your body uses phosphorus to synthesize protein and repair cells and tissues. Chia seeds contain 27 percent of your daily value of phosphorus, and can help your body heal and repair itself faster!

7. Fill up faster.

Tryptophan, the amino acid that’s popularly known for making you sleepy, is also found in chia seeds. Not only will it make you want to take a nap, but it also helps regulate appetite, sleep and improve mood.

There are plenty of ways that chia seeds can benefit your overall health, and it’s no wonder that the ancient Aztecs and Mayans regularly consumed them. Adding chia to your diet can be a great way to help with weight loss and get your daily vitamins and nutrients!”

About the Author: Caitlin Sammons enjoys showing people how to live a clean, toxin free lifestyle. She has written articles for a number of online publications, and regularly contributes to the TimetoCleanse.com website.

3 Ways to Boost Thyroid Function

Features

To continue my posts about thyroid health, I thought I’d share this insightful article featured on Dr. Oz (with a few modifications for the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle).
For those of you who have had to focus on keeping your thyroid in balance, let us know if any of the following suggestions have helped.

Hypothyroidism may be the reason you’re overweight, but it’s not an excuse! I too have battled with a “dead” thyroid my whole life so I understand how frustrating it can be. You can still lose weight even if your thyroid is not working properly by taking a few simple steps.

There are many causes of hypothyroidism, and you want to make sure you know why your thyroid isn’t working properly so you can treat it accurately. It doesn’t matter if your thyroid is underactive because you have Hashimoto’s disease, goiter or your hormones have slowed it down. Most times, your doctor will treat you with thyroid hormone pills and you will start to feel better within a week or two.

But what should you do if you have all of the symptoms (tired, cold all the time, hair and memory loss, brittle nails and hair, leg swelling) and your doctor says your blood tests are fine? Most thyroid tests aren’t articulate enough to catch this, so pay close attention to how you feel and treat your thyroid naturally to keep it working at an optimal rate so you never have a problem with it slowing down.

The thyroid is “The Master Hormone” that controls everything in our body. One of the biggest reasons our thyroids slow down is due to iodine deficiency in addition to aging. In fact, 40% of us are at risk for iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism. Not giving our bodies the nutrients that are important for a healthy thyroid will also slow your thyroid down. Since the body does not make iodine, it relies on the diet to get enough. We can easily maintain adequate iodine through our diets by using table salt because it’s fortified with iodine, but most of us need to restrict or limit our sodium causing iodine deficiencies to show up.  Many medications also slow down the thyroid and also cause iodine deficiency. Lithium and corticosteroids are thyroid-slowing and should be used sparingly if at all. Pain medications, antihistamines and anti-depressants may also slow the thyroid down. Medications that make you feel sleepy or slow may also slow your thyroid and your metabolism down even more. Ask your doctor about alternatives.

 

Here are three things you can do to boost your thyroid function:
1. Eat more of these great sources of iodine to enhance thyroid function: 

  • Low fat cheese
  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Low fat ice cream (coconut milk ice cream is an delicious substitute)
  • Low fat yogurt     (again, coconut milk yogurt, especially homemade, is an excellent choice)
  • Saltwater fish (for vegans, stick with the salt water plants below)
  • Seaweed (including kelp, dulce, nori)
  • Shellfish
  • Soy sauce (not a huge advocate of any soy products myself)

2. Eat less of these foods; they slow your thyroid because they block your thyroid and your medication from producing thyroid hormone properly, especially when eaten raw. Cooking these foods inactivates their anti-thyroid properties. These foods are called goitrogens, which are chemicals that lower thyroid function. Eat these foods sparingly or only once every four days:

  • Almonds
  • Cauliflower (Any vegetable that falls into the broccoli family is a goitrogen and shouldn’t be eaten more than twice a week if you have hypothyroidism.)
  • Millet
  • Pears
  • Turnips
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Corn
  • Mustard
  • Pine nuts
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Peaches
  • Soy (Isoflavones block iodine)
  • Canola oil
  • Peanuts
  • Spinach

3. Workout every day. All you need is a pair of sneakers and a watch, and you’re ready to go. For optimal thyroid function, you must exercise at least three days a week for 40 minutes per workout. I strongly suggest working out/walking every day so your thyroid gets a boost daily to correct the condition until your thyroid is running at an optimal rate. Circuit training is also great way to lower insulin levels and increase thyroid function. This is easy to do in the comfort of your own home by doing pushups, lunges and sit-ups back to back without rest, pushing yourself a bit to get out of breath.

Bonus: Enhance your thyroid with supplements. Take thyroid-enhancing supplements daily to gently and safely keep your thyroid working optimally for life. The best way to treat anything is to prevent it!  Supplementing is the best way to keep your thyroid running at an optimal rate and to keep your weight under control. Start your supplement regime first by using a very strong, high quality multivitamin.

Most store-bought vitamins are not suitable or strong enough to help hypothyroidism, so look for a very potent high quality multi with high levels of iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin B, D, E and at least 2 grams of vitamin C. Other nutrients such as omega-3 as well as amino acids also help regulate the thyroid and need to also be considered. One of my favorites that I put all of my hypothyroid clients on is gugglesterones. Guggulsterone or guggulipid’s have been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine to naturally regulate the thyroid and keep it running at an optimal rate without the side effects of medications.

Look for supplement multitaskers from a very reputable source so you don’t have to take 29 different pills every day.

Gluten and its Harmful Ways

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve had quite the battle with my thyroid and food sensitivities. Going 100% raw only seemed to exacerbate my thyroid issues (as many raw foods prevent the utilization of iodine), while even the vegan route — though the most appealing to my conscience — caused weight gain.

In the spiritual community being vegan has become synonymous with  “enlightenment.” And while I understand the importance of lifestyle choices that are best for the environment/planet, I feel that it is almost taboo to talk about health problems faced on the vegan journey and how to overcome them.

While I’m still on my own path of discovering what the best diet is for my body, one thing I have discovered for certain is the many harmful affects of gluten on overall health (and thyroid).

For those of you struggling with thyroid issues who haven’t considered looking into the gluten aspect, I suggest this article from The Natural Thyroid Diet website. I know it’s not the whole piece, but an important one to consider.

What is a gluten free diet?

The hottest diet craze among Hollywood celebrities is a gluten free diet. Is this just a fad or could eliminating gluten help end the bloat, brain fog, nagging indigestion, and even turn your thyroid health around?

Gluten is the main structural protein found naturally in a variety of grains including wheat, rye, spelt, barley, oats and triticale which is a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten is also used as a single ingredient in many processed foods as it makes an ideal binder or thickener. This means you could be consuming additional gluten without knowing it.

A gluten free diet defined

A gluten free diet strictly excludes all grains and packaged foods containing gluten. This means cutting the common gluten containing foods such as bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, desserts and biscuits from the daily diet. But this may not be as restrictive as it first appears as health food stores and supermarkets offer gluten free alternatives. In addition, vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fish and lean organic animal protein are all naturally gluten free.

However for most people changing to a gluten free diet plan is a big step and takes some getting used to. The restrictions can even make you feel downright deprived. But the upside is that excluding these gluten based foods often results in weight loss, especially around the middle.

The modern problem with wheat

These days highly refined wheat is the most common source of gluten as it is used in a wide variety of foods found in supermarkets. To meet ongoing demand wheat is grown on an industrial scale. Along with the development of modern agricultural methods there has also been selective breeding of wheat. Wheat crops now yield a much higher ratio of gluten. This is not good news for those who are gluten sensitive or have diagnosed gluten-related disorders.

And not only that, there is evidence the newer high yield wheat strains are less nutritious and lack important nutrients such as zinc, iron, copper and magnesium.

Gluten sensitivity can result in a broad range of symptoms

Gluten can easily irritate the lining of the digestive system. Once this happen the body launches a swift immune response as it reacts to gluten as something foreign. This creates inflammation that spreads like wildfire throughout the whole body. Gluten sensitivity symptoms can therefore be linked to specific digestive problems as well as broader health issues. There is little doubt emotional stress plays a significant role in intensifying these symptoms.

Could you be gluten intolerant?

Gluten sensitivity can result in a broad range of symptoms. The major symptoms include:

  • Weight loss or weight gain, especially abdominal weight gain
  • Fatigue or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten
  • Digestive problems: bloating, pain, gas + diarrhoea
  • Weak + cracked fingernails
  • Fat in the stools due to poor breakdown of dietary fat
  • Joint + muscle pain
  • Mood swings + depression
  • Poor memory + concentration
  • Skin rashes including dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Osteoporosis due to lowered mineral absorption
  • Migraine headaches

The best way to discover if gluten is a problem and to what degree is by strictly excluding gluten from your diet for at least 4 weeks as it takes this long to clear gluten the negative effects of gluten from your system. If you feel far better when you exclude gluten, or feel worse when you reintroduce gluten then it’s likely a problem for you.

Minor symptoms such as bloating, fatigue, brain fog and indigestion can disappear fairly quickly when gluten is excluded from the diet. Improvements in chronic health problems made worse by gluten sensitivity such as arthritis, eczema and autoimmune diseases including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may take longer. Many people report their thyroid symptoms improve once they eliminate gluten from their diet.

The gluten-thyroid connection

A gluten intolerance markedly reduces the absorption of a wide range of nutrients. This is not good news for thyroid health as the thyroid is particularly sensitive to a decline in micronutrient intake. For example; iodine, zinc and selenium as three minerals critical to aid ongoing thyroid hormone activity.

Gluten sensitivity contributes to a wide range of autoimmune responses including Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Studies have shown individuals with low selenium intake or poor absorption of selenium are also more likely to develop Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There are two factors:

  • A selenium deficiency results in lower activity of the selenium dependent enzymes vital to assist ongoing activity of the thyroid hormones, including activation of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3). Low T3 is associated with the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • Selenium plays a role in protecting the thyroid gland itself as this mineral boosts glutathione activity. Glutathione is naturally produced by the body using selenium and a combination of three amino acids sourced from dietary protein – cysteine, glycine and glutamine. Glutathione acts as a potent antioxidant and is highly active within the thyroid to help protect this important gland.

Coeliac disease

For people with Coeliac disease avoiding gluten is a very serious issue and a gluten free diet is advocated to treat this chronic digestive problem. Individuals with Coeliac disease are so sensitive to they must avoid all foods containing gluten as even a minute amount will prompt a noticeable immune reaction.

If a person is unaware they have Ceoliac disease and continue to consume gluten the inflammation damages the small bowel. This leads to low intake of essential nutrients. Over time their poor health is linked to malnutrition.

Gluten sensitivity contributes to a wide range of autoimmune responses including autoimmune thyroid disorders. Grave’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are frequently diagnosed along with Coeliac disease and vice versa. Coeliac disease is associated with selenium malabsorption which is considered a key factor linking this digestive problem with thyroid health decline.

Coeliac disease is commonly considered to be a genetic disorder however it can be set off later in life by a stressful event, such as an infection, injury or surgery. A specific diagnostic test is used to confirm Coeliac disease.

Gluten free shopping

A gluten free diet excludes all types of grains that contain gluten. Here are some gluten free alternatives to common grain based products:

  • Breads: rice, buckwheat + ‘wheat free’ varieties.
  • Breakfast cereals: organic corn flakes, rice bubbles, Amaranth, puffed buckwheat + gluten free muesli.
  • Flours: 100% buckwheat, rice, Besan (chickpea), Lupin, coconut.
  • Noodles: rice + 100% buckwheat.
  • Pasta: vegetable + rice varieties.
  • Porridge: Quinoa, rice + Polenta porridge.
  • Rice: brown rice + white rice varieties.

It is important to read food labels carefully as gluten is often a hidden ingredient in packaged foods. Examples include; baking powder, flavourings and hydrolysed vegetable protein. Beer may contain varying amounts of gluten as it is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of germinated cereals, usually barley.

Cross contamination of gluten free foods can occur during the manufacturing process when these foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten. For example, if the same equipment is used to make a variety of snack foods some gluten free items may become contaminated. Food labels often include a ‘may contain gluten’ statement if this is the case.

Foods labelled ‘gluten free’ are not always healthy

Just because it is a ‘gluten free’ food product, doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy for your thyroid. Food manufacturers regard corn (maize) and soy ingredients as cost effective substitutes for gluten containing grains. Corn and soy are common food allergens and in turn can also initiate symptoms of a food intolerance. These ingredients should be avoided when you have an under active thyroid problem. This includes soy oil which is often labelled as ‘vegetable oil’. If you are not sure check to see if the label states the product contains soy.

Activating your gluten free grains

All grains including gluten free varieties have naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors that make them difficult to digest and also lower absorption of important minerals. Eating large quantities of grains and using flours that have not been soaked, sprouted or fermented can lead to mineral deficiencies and long term bone loss. This means even gluten free flours and whole grains should be activated with these traditional methods to release their full nutritional potential.


 

nature1

3 Nutrient-Packed Power Breakfast Recipes

Looking for new breakfast recipes that will help kick-start your morning with nutrient dense ingredients? We all know breakfast gives you more energy and is known to help with weight loss, not to mention help boost concentration and physical endurance, so we thought we’d share with you MindBodyGreen‘s latest yum fest!

Give them a try and let us know what you think!

Raspberry Banana Smoothie 

Ingredients:

1 cup chia gel*

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 banana

Chia is a tiny seed revered for its ability to boost your energy and endurance while keeping you satiated. A cup of raspberries packs 8 grams of fiber to keep your digestive system moving, and a banana not only delivers energy and B6, it will make your smoothie creamy and delicious.

Simply add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

*Make chia gel by soaking 1 tbs. of chia seeds in 1 cup of water, for 10 minutes or more. If you make smoothies often, you can soak in a larger quantity and leave in your fridge for up to a week.

If you’re always hungry before lunch:

Steel Cut Oats* topped with Apple or Pear 

Ingredients:

½ cup steel cut oats

1 1/2 cups water

1 apple or 1 pear

handful of walnuts

cinnamon and salt to taste

Hello fiber! This filling breakfast will keep you focused straight through lunch without even a twinge of hunger. Eating this regularly should help keep your trips to the loo regular, too.

Directions:

Cook oats according to directions. Meanwhile, chop apple or pear into bite-size pieces, and add to the pot a few minutes before the oats are done. When the timer goes off and all of the water is absorbed, transfer to a bowl, top with walnuts and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt if desired.

*Admittedly, steel cut oats can take a while to cook (20-30 minutes), so rolled oats are another option. Make sure your oats only contain “oats” in the ingredient list, though, and skip the highly processed instant oats with their added sugar and chemicals.

If you’re already perfect and just want a little beauty boost:

Millet Toast with Almond Butter and Banana 

Ingredients:

2 slices of millet bread

raw almond butter

2 tbs. raw pumpkin seeds

1 banana, sliced

What’s wrong with wanting to be beautiful? A mix of creamy and crunchy, this breakfast is sure to satisfy. Banana delivers energy to keep you perky, while pumpkin seeds are loaded with beauty minerals that will help keep your skin glowing and radiant. Luscious almond butter is packed with skin-loving vitamin E, and research suggests its healthy fats may actually help you lose weight.

Directions:

Toast bread, spread with almond butter, top with pumpkin seeds and then sliced banana. In place of banana, you can also use thinly sliced apple or pear, which will deliver added vitamins and fiber.

Armed with these delicious and satisfying breakfasts, you’ll never be able to utter, “I got up on the wrong side of the bed” again.

What are some of your favorite breakfast foods?

Strawberry & Lemon Tart

This dessert is perfect for the warmer weather. It’s refreshing, fruity and lighter IMG_3371 than most nut based treats. Plus it’s:

▪    Gluten Free

▪    Dairy Free

▪    Cacao Free

I came up with this recipe whilst trying to create something different to the usual chocolate based healthy dessert for a dinner party.

To be honest anything lemony is good with me!

This recipe makes x 4 tarts.

Ingredients:

Base

▪    1 1/2 cups of macadamia nuts

▪    1/2 cup of medjool dates

▪    pinch of sea salt

Blend ingredients until a dough is formed, press into the coconut oil greased tart tins.

Filling

▪    2 cups of cashews IMG_3353

▪    1/2 cup of lemon juice

▪    1 tbsp of honey

▪    1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

▪    pinch of vanilla

Blend all ingredients together until a smooth cream. Pour into the tart tins on the base. Place in the freezer for 30 mins to firm.

Topping

▪    2 cups of strawberries, chopped

▪    3/4 cup of medjool dates.

Blend into a strawberry jam, pour in the cream filling and place in the freezer to set for about an hour.

These are delicious when totally defrosted or still slightly frozen. I like how when they are frozen you can eat them by hand! They’re like an ice-cream biscuit and oh so yummy!

What are some of your favorite summer vegan treats? Let us know in the comment section below!

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most Sarah Hookdelicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Lemon & Avocado Mousse

Lemon desserts are one of my favorites! I pretty much love all fruit based desserts, like eton mess, apple crumble, apple pie, lemon meringue, and so on! Nowadays I don’t eat sugar laden desserts but have found a way to make my own versions of them with healthy ingredients instead. Guilt free desserts and no groggy feelings the day after are important to me.

The combination of the creaminess of the avocado and the astringent lemon is to die for!

My Lemon & Avocado Mousse is IMG_3397

  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Sugar Free
  • Cacao Free
  • Vegan

This makes mousse for 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 lemon, the flesh, no rind
  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked.
  • 1 dropperful of stevia
  • 1/3rd cup melted coconut oil
  1. Blend the avocado with the lemon,
  2. Add in the cashews and stevia, blend again,
  3. Finally add the coconut oil. You will probably need to stir a few times between blends, once the mixture is smooth and a perfect mousse consistency it’s ready.
  4. Serve straight away, or chill for an hour in the fridge.

You can also freeze this and eat frozen like an ice-cream/sorbet.

Enjoy!

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing Sarah Hookyou the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Third Eye Chakra Juice

This juice is delicious, refreshing and cleansing. It’s great for boosting immunity and aiding the liver cleanse.

Ingredients:

  • BeetrootIMG_3052
  • Apple
  • Ginger
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Coconut water

Juice all of the ingredients and add coconut water to taste.

Enjoy!

Sarah HookTuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Chocolate & Beetroot Cupcakes

Chocolate & Beetroot Cup Cakes

Yes! Chocolate and beetroot! It’s an amazing combination! Beetroot is an excellent detoxifier and cleanser, helping the liver do its job, and when combined with the taste of raw cacao it makes these cupcakes deliciously healthy. Plus they are grain free, sugar free, and dairy free.

IMG_3005

Ingredients

  • 4 organic eggs
  • ½ cup of Coconut Flour
  • ½ cup of xylitol
  • 1 cooked beetroot chopped, (takes about 45 minutes in the oven)
  • 1 tbsp of Cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla powder
  • few drops of stevia

Blend the eggs in a blender, add in xylitol and beetroot. Blend again.

Next add the coconut milk, coconut oil, sea salt, stevia and vanilla. Blend again. Lastly add the coconut flour and cacao powder and blend well until thoroughly mixed.

Spoon mixture into cupcake holders and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 200C.

Enjoy!

Sarah HookTuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Superfood Smoothie!

Superfood Smoothie

▪   1 bananaIMG_2314

▪   1 cup of seed milk (fantastic with the pumpkin seed milk from last week’s recipe)

▪   1 tsp. raw honey

▪   1 medjool date

▪   1 tbsp chia seeds

▪   1/2 tsp. of chlorella

▪   1 tsp. of acai powder

▪   1 tbsp cacao powder

▪   1/4 tsp. of rhodiola

▪   1tbsp rice bran soluble

Blend and drink!

This drink is so perfect if you have a busy day a head; the cacao gives you stimulation (a healthier version than coffee), and the superfoods keep you going for hours!

Enjoy x

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you by Chakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed Milk

Pumpkin & Sunflower Seed Milk

I usually make milk with Almonds, Brazil or even Pecans, as my dairy free milk. However I had lots of seeds left over from when I soaked a whole batch and froze them. Once I had defrosted them I didn’t want the to go to waste, so I decided to make some seed milk!

It was a success so I’ll share what I did and why it makes a nice change…and it’s oh so good for you too!

Ingredients:

▪   1 cup of soaked pumpkin seedsIMG_2310

▪   1 cup of soaked sunflower seeds

▪   1 1/2 litres of filtered water

▪   3 medjool dates

▪   Pinch of sea salt

Add everything to the blender (I use my trusty Vitamix!).

Blend until smooth and then strain through a nut bag.

Easy!

I store mine in a mason jar in the fridge and it last for at least 4-5 days.

It’s important to soak the seeds first for at least 12 hrs; this makes the seeds more nutrient dense and also easier to digest. The digestion is your powerhouse!

To soak or not to soak..:

Soak! The reason for this is that nuts, seeds, legumes and grains, while rich in nutrients and enzymes, also contain phytic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc, they also contain enzyme inhibitors that work to block the absorption of minerals. In nature, phytic acid exists so that the seed or nut can protect itself until the proper conditions are met for it to sprout, grow and reproduce.

In addition to blocking key minerals from being absorbed into the body, phytic acid can be a great strain on the human digestive system. Traditional people have soaked and sprouted seeds, nuts, legumes, and grains for millennia in order to get the optimal nutritional benefits from these foods. Once soaked, the phytic acid is deactivated and released into the water and the enzymes and minerals in the food are more readily available for absorption into our bodies.

Why Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds are so good for you:

Sunflower Seeds

Raw sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, a valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and a source of vital minerals such as magnesium and selenium as well as linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid.  The seeds contain lots of iron, which can combat anemia, and lots of chlorophyll, which helps detoxify the liver and the blood. Amazing Stuff!

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich dietary source of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, iron and copper. So many people are deficient in important minerals like magnesium and zinc. The seeds are a good source of tryptophan, the amino acid that converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is important for coping with stress and deficiencies can lead to depression and insomnia.

Pumpkin seeds are also a fairly good source of certain B vitamins, which help regulate mood. Combine this with the tryptophan mentioned above and pumpkin seeds look like a great food to eat when stressed or tired.

Give this seed milk a go and let me know what you think…

And you can make this smoothie:

I like to have a play and get all my super-foods out and play at alchemy!

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is a weekly column bringing you the  best, most delicious and easy raw food recipes to help maintain and support a healthy lifestyle. Brought to you byChakra Center’s own raw food goddess, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Hazelnut & Chocolate Bites

OMG! These taste like Ferrero Rocher and Nutella rolled into one. Delicious chocolate!

Dairy free, gluten free, and no processed sugars.

Hazelnut & Chocolate Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of pecansIMG_2285
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1 tbsp of hazelnut butter
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1/4 cup of coconut shredded
  • 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  1. Add the pecans to the blender and blend into flour
  2. Add in the coconut and cacao powder & blend again.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend. You may need to stop and stir the mixture to get everything mixed well as it can be quite sticky…
  4. Once it has mixed into a dough texture, roll into little balls.
  5. Place in the fridge to firm.

These are great for kids, and a perfect chocolate fix for everyone.

Enjoy!

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats is brought to you by holistic health coach, Sarah Hook.

Tuesday’s Tasty Treats: Chocolate Raisin Fudge

Chocolate Raisin Fudge

  • 1 cup of Cashewscashew fudge
  • 1-2 chopped medjool dates
  • 1/3 cup of Organic Raisins
  • 1/3 cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp of Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • pinch of vanilla powder

Add cashews to blender and blend to a powder, then add sea salt, vanilla, and cacao powder and mix again. Add in the medjool dates and raisin and blend, then finally add the coconut oil and blend to a dough.

Spoon out and put into a rectangular dish and pop in the freezer for 30 minutes until firm.

Enjoy!

Recipe by nutritional health coach and raw food chef, Sarah Hook.