TUSCAN BEAN SOUP

Tuscan-Bean-Soup-Web

If you love warm hearty soups then you’ll love this one. Made using our premium soup mix with a combination of vegetables and Italian herbs & spices. It takes little time to cook and is super tasty. Perfect for warming the belly on a cold night.

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TAKE HOME HEALTH TIPS FOR WINTER

Take-Home-Health-Tips-Winter

Winter is upon us! With it comes a whole other level of care we need to take for ourselves to ensure we don’t end up home in bed with a nasty cold or flu.

The extra stress that cold weather places on our bodies can result in all sorts of symptoms and feelings and interestingly, there is actually a science behind it.

For the human body to function properly, the temperature of our vital organs, ie the heart, brain, kidneys, liver and lungs, need to remain at approximately 37C. This is at all times. When the temperature outside our body drops, our body has to work harder to keep its own core temperature in the healthy range. This starts with vaso-constriction, a natural response from the hypothalamus to keep the blood nearest to our inner organs, hence why our extremities get cold first. After this we may experience goosebumps, another natural response from the body to stay insulated by the air closest to our skin.

Long periods of the body working to keep warm internally places stress on the organs and immune system leading to lack of focus, productivity, motivation and a drop in mood.

In a nut shell, feeling cold can prevent us from feeling good!

So here are some take home tips to combat this:

  • Take extra care with your food preparation making sure to consume lots of well cooked warming foods. Meals that are well cooked require less work to break down on the inside, so the bodies organs can focus on other areas of function needed to cope with the seasonal changes.
  • Incorporate a few spices into your cooking. Certain spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric and black pepper are particularly warming to the blood and circulation and also stimulate digestion. This is great if the digestive system is a bit run down from the cold and not functioning as it normally would.
  • Physically keep your body warm – Whatever your fancy, winter woolies, heating, exercise, hot water bottles etc, make sure your body is warm and toasty to prevent any stress on your immune and endocrine systems.
  • Drink warm liquids such as homemade bone or vegetable broths, teas and light soups – these are immune building as well as warming from the inside out.
  • Eat lots of chilli – if you can handle it – chilli is a blood warmer and great for immunity also; and
  • Try to incorporate exercise into your every day (even just a simple walk) as a commitment to keeping your circulation on track. Movement is a great way to stay warm inside.

Above all, enjoy looking after yourself and stay well this winter.

 

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CINNAMON AND VANILLA OAT PORRIDGE

Vanilla-Cinnamon-Porridge

She’s been at it again…..Meg Phillips producing simple, delicious and wholesome recipes to share on the Affordable Wholefoods Recipe blog. This may seem like a pretty standard breakfast….a bowl of oats in the colder weather, but its always great to have a little inspiration with how we flavour our meals. This one is made using cinnamon and vanilla, and a little coconut sugar for sweetness. Toppings and garnishes to your own making….Enjoy!

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NO BAKE BANANA PROTEIN BAR (VEGAN)

No-Bake-Banana-Bread-Protein-Bars

Our smooth & creamy ‘no bake’ banana protein bar is a banana chocolate lovers dream. We used the 180 vegan chocolate protein powder for the protein boost and well ripened bananas for sweetness. The result is just delicious. These bars would be great as an afternoon energy snack or to have following a workout.

Serving Size: Makes 16 bars

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Grease your tin and line with baking paper in preparation. We used a 22cm square cake pan.
  2. Place the oats, coconut flour, protein powder, nuts and spices in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Combine the nut butter, coconut milk and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it is just warm and well combined.
  4. Remove from heat and then stir in the banana, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  5. Add this mix to the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix well.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and then scatter the coconut over the top, pressing down with a piece of baking paper to seal it at the top of the slice.
  7. Refrigerate for 2 hours (or until firm) before cutting into slices and eating.
  8. Store chilled in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Read more at: Affordable Wholefoods Blog

ORGANIC BARLEY PUMPKIN RISOTTO WITH CHICKEN

Barley-Risotto

With winter fast approaching we have been eating more warming foods of late and recently made this pumpkin risotto dish using organic pearl barley in place of the traditional arborio rice.

The barley has a rich nutty flavour, has a lower GI than rice and is a rich source of fibre. The combination of pumpkin, sun-dried tomatoes and chicken is absolutely delicious. This one comes highly recommended.

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano rubbed
  • 1 cup organic pearl barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 300g chicken breast
  • 200g grated pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy based saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent.
  2. Add the barley and cook for a few minutes stirring to coat the entire mixture.
  3. Now add your vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is almost fully absorbed.
  4. While the barley mixture is simmering, heat a small amount of olive oil in a seperate saucepan and cook the chicken until soft (but cooked through).
  5. Add the pumpkin and sun-dried tomatoes to the barley mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the peas and spinach cooking for a final 2 minutes.
  7. Stir through the chicken, sunflower seeds and cracked black pepper.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and add a garnish of fresh basil. Enjoy.

Inspiration:

Replace the chicken with tofu as a vegetarian option, using any assortment of veggies you like.

Read more at: Affordable Wholefoods Blog

WALNUT CACAO NIB COOKIES

Walnut-Carob-Nib-Cookie

Another wholesome recipe shared by Nutritionist Natalie Harms. These gluten free cookies are the perfect compliment to a cup of tea. They have a texture similar to shortbread and the cacao nibs give a delicious hint of chocolate.

Almost chocolate cookies, but with a healthy twist!

Ingredients:

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 190’C. Line one or two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and tahini in a bowl and beat together until creamy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for a further minute.
  4. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt into a bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Stir in walnuts and cacao nibs.
  6. Drop generous teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking sheet, leaving a space between each cookie. Press them down slightly and bake in the heated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown in colour.
  7. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container for freshness. Enjoy!

Read more at Affordable Wholefoods Blogs