Health made easy – Country Living Fair demo

One of the hardest things about eating healthily is managing the whole deal around cravings and snacking.  What we all need is healthy alternatives that we can reach for quickly, and which will help wean us off sugar and processed foods and, of course, taste delicious. If, at the same time, they can deliver a whole heap of nutritional and health benefits, so much the better.

These recipes will introduce you to some new and interesting ingredients and intriguing ways of flinging together delicious, nutritious and filling snacks that will go a long way to keeping your health goals on-track.

Magic Muffins

Sometimes, we all want to eat something quick, squodgy and satisfying.  Normally, when we’re craving insta-satisfaction, we would reach for the bread bin or biscuit barrel, but here’s a super-easy, quicker-than-quick alternative that is packed with good fats and Omega 3’s, protein, fibre and goodness that will meet all your requirements for instant snacking, without messing with your insulin levels. What I love are easy recipes that I can play with to ring the changes, and these muffins are just that. This is the infinitely versatile, perfectly sweet or savoury, magically- life-saving recipe that will be your ultimate weapon against cravings.

Basic recipe:

(Makes 1 huge muffin or 2 smaller ones)

  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large free-range, organic egg
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (almond, cashew, hazelnut, brazil nut)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or nut oil
  • optional sweetener of your choice ½ tsp stevia recommended
  • Pinch of salt

This basic recipe is good to go as it is, but you can add any number of different ingredients to create the perfect muffin for you.  Here are a couple of my favourite combinations – one for a sweet option, one for a savoury.

pruv.co.uk/recipes/country-living
 Sweet ingredients:
  • 1 heaped tablespoon any combination chopped dried or fresh fruit of your choice – eg: sultanas, dates, banana, berries, dessicated coconut
  • Coconut syrup (optional, aim for as little as possible, depending on where you are on the no-sugar spectrum)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
 Savoury ingredients:
  • 1 heaped teaspoon nutritional yeast OR 1 oz grated cheese
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped herbs/veggies of your choice – eg cumin, rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley, onion, chilli, sweet pepper

Method                   

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mug.  Add the egg and mix thoroughly with a fork and then add the nut butter.  Depending on whether you are opting for the sweet or savoury version, add the appropriate ingredients at the end and stir well to combine.

Put the mug in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.

Tip your (slightly oddly shaped!) muffin onto a plate and enjoy.  It will be piping hot so take care!

So that’s the easy-peasy, done in a tick version, but if you like baking ahead, the basic recipe can also be augmented to be made up as a loaf, a savoury foccacia or a batch of muffins, baked in the oven.   Here are the details:

For Sweet Flax Banana Bread or Muffins
  • 200g flaxmealBanana bread 2
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • A couple of tablespoons seeds such as Dr Gaye’s Super Omega
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 5 organic, free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 75 ml coconut oil
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter of your choice
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 4 medjool dates, chopped OR 2 tablespoons sultanas

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl and combine thoroughly with a fork, leaving the dates until the end. Put the wet ingredients, including the mashed bananas and nut butter in a separate bowl all together and stir well to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir again thoroughly.  Finally add in the chopped dates and stir to distribute evenly through the mixture.

For a savoury tomato and basil foccacia, loaf or muffins:
  • 200g flaxmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • A couple of tablespoons seeds such as Dr Gaye’s Super Omega
  • 5 eggs
  • 75 ml olive or nut oil
  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast plus 3 extra tablespoons water OR 100 g grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon smoked cumin

Savoury muffinsCombine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir thoroughly with a fork. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the oil and the water.  Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly. Add the flavourings and stir thoroughly to distribute evenly through the mixture.

For a loaf:  Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake at 180°C for 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.  I usually check at 25 and 30 minutes.

For muffins:  Spoon into muffin trays or cups and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Check at 15 minutes to be on the safe side.

For foccaccia:  Allow mixture to stand for 2 or 3 minutes until it has stiffened enough to hold its shape.  Empty onto a flat, lined baking tray and spread with the back of a spoon to create the desired shape and thickness.  Sprinkle with a little sea-salt, garlic or additional herbs.  Bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Now that we have something delicious to sink out teeth into, how about a nice cuppa?  If you are like me and want to cut back on the dairy you consume and struggle to find a good alternative to add to your tea or coffee, look no further. Tiger Nut Mylk is just the best non-dairy alternative I have yet to come across.

If you haven’t already heard about Tiger Nuts, you are in for a treat. Screen Shot 2017-04-22 at 17.29.40Dubbed by Food Futurologist, Dr Morgaine Gaye, as the latest and best in food trends, Tiger Nuts deliver a massive nutritional punch.  They are not really nuts at all, but tiny little root vegetables that come from Africa and Spain.  Tiger Nuts contain more iron (weight for weight) than red meat, are rich in Vitamin E and Omega 9.  They are a perfect pre-biotic, promoting gut-health by being naturally high in the resistant starch and fibre good bacteria thrive on.  They are nut, gluten and dairy free and therefore a perfect alternative for anyone with allergies, opting for a vegan lifestyle or who just likes healthy, delicious foods. We are chuffed to bits to be stocking wonderful organic Tiger Nuts from the Tiger Nut Company and here are some delicious recipes they have shared with us so you can get the most our of the nutritious powerhouse that is in each little Tiger Nut.

To make the most delicious Tiger Nut Milk:

(makes approximately 1 litre)

For maximum flavour soak 250 g tiger nuts in water overnight ideally (can be made without soaking)

Blend with 500 mls (approx a mug) each of coconut and filtered water

Strain through muslin or a nut-bag

Optional: add a pinch of cinnamon or vanilla powder

I never like to waste anything, so here’s the perfect recipe for using up the pulp left over from making your Tiger Milk. A wonderful, lower calorie, alternative to the usual nut-and-date energy balls, these Spiced Tigers’ Balls are easy to make, easy to keep and this recipe includes turmeric, which is nature’s ultimate anti-inflammatory.

tiger Balls, nuts and turmeric 2

Tiger Nut Spice Balls

  • Take the Tiger Nut pulp left from making Tiger Nut milk
  • 1 large grated carrot
  • Handful nuts and/or seeds (20-25g I use a mixture of walnuts and Super Omega)
  • 6 Medjool dates
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons milled flaxseed

Process together until mixture just starts to come together but there is still a good texture.

Shape into balls – I get about 50 out of each batch.

Delish as they are or you can coat with chia seeds, coconut, cacao or anything you fancy.

You can enjoy straight away, but best served after cooling in fridge until mixture hardens.

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