The Blog

Tangy Lemon Tarts, and a whole lot of lemons.

lemon tarts 1

So, I have all of these lemons at the moment. Thanks to my Dad’s burgeoning tree, I am lucky enough to get the odd delivery of a GIANT bag of lemons. Luckily, I love lemons. Not only for their taste, but their health benefits and pure versatility.

Lemons are super high in vitamin C. This is wonderful for our antioxidant status and immunity in particular. Lemons are also alkalising to the body, creating a supportive environment for good bacteria – tick. But my favourite thing about the humble lemon, is their effect on digestion. Because of their bitterness, lemons encourage the release of digestive juices and the production of bile from the liver, making them an extremely inexpensive and accessible tonic for your health. They are also a fantastic addition to salad dressings, increasing the absorption of iron from those leafy greens that you are eating.

There is some concern that the acid in lemons have potential to corrode tooth enamel. If you are eating lemon with a meal, this is not going to be too much of a problem, as the saliva produced while eating helps to neutralise the acid. If however you plan to drink lemon water, you may like to either use a straw, or rinse your mouth out with water afterwards to prevent any potential problems. From the research that I have read, it is excessive use that seems to be an issue, and the odd lemon water when you feel like you need a little digestive support shouldn’t present an issue.

Needless to say I have embarked on a lemon cooking frenzy this last week. First up was this FANTASTIC lemon vanilla granola, which I posted along with the recipe on my Instagram and Facebook accounts just recently.

lemon vanilla granola

Next were these beautiful little chewy lemon …

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Salted Caramel Smoothie, and the secret roasted banana.

salted caramel smoothie frontSalted. Caramel. Two very popular words, and for good reason in my opinion! Traditional caramel, although delicious, doesn’t technically scrape into the healthy realm… However, I was playing around in the kitchen the other day, and I believe I have a fabulous offering for you which provides the rich, silky sweetness, but with all natural goodies.

It all started with these roasted bananas.

roasted bananas copyThey look harmless enough, but oh my wow are they delicious! I have become a little addicted to adding them to my breakfast. Somehow I had some leftover, and thought oh great I’ll make a smoothie. Making a smoothie in itself is quite an exciting thing for me at the moment, I haven’t been making them due to our less than favourable (bloody cold) weather…but I digress. Roasted bananas. I threw a few things in the blender and then thought ooh salted caramel, and voila!

I am convinced the deliciousness of this smoothie is due to these roasted babies, but of course you could make it with fresh, ripe banana too, I’m sure it will still be great. However if you can at all be bothered, roast away!

salted caramel smoothie bottleServing wise, keep it modest. It is quite rich and insanely delicious so served out in small portions is the way to go. Or alternatively, serve it fancy dessert style as in the top image. It would make a great after dinner treat.

1 ripe banana

1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup nut milk (or milk of your choice)

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 medjool, or 2 small soft dates, pitted

2 tbs cashews (ideally soaked for at least an hour)

A good pinch of sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 180C /350F.

Slice the banana in half lengthways, and lay on a lined baking tray. Sprinkle with …

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No-Bake Spiced Carrot Cake with Whipped Coconut Icing

raw carrot cakeHaving just polished off the last of this cake (with a little help) this afternoon, I can confirm that it is not only delicious, but nutritious – awesome! It contains a whole world of goodness, is simple to put together, and you don’t even need to bake it! Too good. It makes the perfect little snack with a cup of tea as it combines some lovely protein from the walnuts and almonds, some high quality fat from the nuts again as well as the coconut, some fabulous vitamin A, C and fibre with the carrot, and is naturally sweetened with dates, which are also high in fibre and potassium. So let’s jump right in.

I have presented it as a layer cake, but you could just as easily set it in any dish you like, and have more of a slice style cake. Alternatively, this mix would also make great bliss balls for something different, just shape into balls and roll in desiccated coconut.

carrot cake 3

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Grain Free // Makes one small 15cm layer cake, or a larger single layer cake

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup almond meal

1 generous cup of grated carrot (about one large carrot)

1/2 cup (about 5) medjool dates, pitted

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Icing:

1 400g tin coconut cream (unsweetened, no added emulsifiers)

The zest of 1 orange

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place the walnuts, coconut and almond meal into  food processor and process until they form a small crumb.

Add all other ingredients and process until dates are well incorporated.

Press into a tin or dish of your choice lined with baking paper.

To make the icing, place the tin of coconut milk in the fridge …

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Book plate giveaway, how to make kefir, and why fermented beverages are your new best friend!

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 4.20.36 pm Dear wonderful readers,

Today I want to share with your the second part of the fermenting series – fermented beverages! This is a subject close to my heart, and as some of you already know I have a book out that is all about the magic and fabulousness of these probiotic wonders. Very excited! I absolutely loved researching, writing and creating the recipes for it, and am so excited to share it with you all. I learned so much more about gut bacteria, and uncovered awesome research on fermented beverages, and their positive health benefits, so I really hope you love it. For now I’m sharing one of the recipes. I’m also giving away a personally signed book plate to the first 100 people who pre-order my book. This is a label that I will inscribe and send out to you, so that you can place it in your book when it arrives! All you have to do is send your proof of purchase to fermentedbeverages@gmail.com, and we will organise a book plate to be sent out to you with your desired message. Yay!! gingerlemon kefir Now, onto some drinks! Fermented and cultured beverages are absolute powerhouses of nutrition. Not only are they loaded with their own vitamins, minerals and enzymes, they provide a plethora of health benefits. Most noted for their positive effects on the digestive system, they work to promote an optimal balance of bacteria in the gut.

Healthy gut bacteria is essential to the health of the whole body, and unfortunately many of our dietary and lifestyle habits such as sugar, caffeine, processed foods, toxins and stress are harmful to these precious bacteria. Fermented drinks work to maintain, protect and nourish our intestinal cells, and can also alleviate common digestive conditions.

Fermented beverages encourage a strong immune system …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Holistic Nutritionist

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