Thursday 18 June 2015

Super Banana Berry Smoothie

Its true! I am officially obsessed with bananas and berries. But I recently met a few people who absolutely hate bananas and I just don't understand why. I think they are missing out on one of nature's best gifts to mankind. That is besides the point though.

It is painfully easy to blend smoothies and is hugely rewarding when done the right way. Basically you consume a huge portion of good, nutritious foods in a quick glassful, which you might never think of eating individually during the course of a regular busy day. Smoothies also make excellent meal alternatives especially when you are on the go.

Banana is a rich source of potassium & fibre and is known help maintain normal blood pressure  and lower the risk of heart disease. Strawberries are loaded with vitamin A, B6, C and E which literally translates brilliant skincare. Blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants that have anti ageing benefits. The list goes on and on but I need to stop for the sake of this post! My lovelies, are you convinced yet?

Lets get started with the preparation, shall we?


1 very ripe banana 
The reason why you need a ripe spotty dirty looking banana is because that will make your smoothie sweet & delicious. Also, non ripe bananas are the reason behind serious constipation. I know this is TMI but then I think it's an important issue that needs to be talked about)

A handful of frozen berries or a mix of fresh berries cause ain't nothing like fresh seasonal berries ;) 
I prefer fresh strawberries & blueberries (because right now they are in season). The frozen pack usually contains raspberries & currants in addition to strawberries & blueberries and is a good option as it also serves the purpose of ice! However, choosing between frozen or fresh berries is completely a matter of choice and I will leave this at your discretion. Alternately you could throw in both fresh and frozen berries and experience best of both worlds.

1 cup milk of choice 
Milk is a very personal choice, although I recommend almond milk, you could pretty much use whatever plant/animal based milk you like. Just stay away from the full fat ones ;)

A few drops of honey or agave syrup for that extra sweetness
This step is optional as well, it all depends on how sweet you like your smoothie to be.

Half a teaspoon of coffee to wake you up

Half a teaspoon of almond butter to make it rich & creamy 

Get your blender out, throw everything in and blitz. Your smoothie will be ready in under a minute. I use the NutriBullet and I absolutely love that mean machine. Have you tried the NutriBullet? If not, which blender/ extractor do you use? I am such a curious cat!

My super banana berry smoothie is ideal as a pre or post workout snack. It is packed with goodness from fruit and contains natural sugars which instantly energise the system. The subtle caffeine kick is absolutely on point or should I say on fleek?  It is exactly what you need to get your day started and it's not the overwhelming, sickening or dehydrating caffeine kick that you get from a cappuccino or latte. The sharp tarty berry taste in my opinion is the best wake up call. This smoothie tastes divine and is a good change from the usual banana chocolate smoothie that everyone has been drinking for a while now.

On a side note, I am also looking out for a juicer. Let me know if you have any good recommendations. 

Do you think that smoothies have revolutionised nutrition? Let me know your thoughts on smoothies.


Tuesday 16 June 2015

The Juice Life

    Apple, carrot, celery, cucumber & spinach juice.

 Carrot, celery, cucumber, orange & pear juice. 
I placed strawberries on the plank for that pop of color ;) On second thoughts, I could have just chucked in a few strawberries. Hmmm.

Once a week when my fridge looks like it needs a serious clean, I try and use up leftover vegetables and fruits and juice them all. 

Not only is the juice healthy, delicious and nutritious but also a great way to utilise any leftover fruit and veg. I hate wasting food with a passion so for me this makes total sense.

For your juice to be really healthy make sure to include more vegetables than fruit. You are better off following the 80-20 ratio. If you juice only fruit, you end up removing all fibre from it & hence consuming concentrated sugar. Juicing vegetables on the other hand ensures that your body absorbs all the nutrients & goodness from veggies quickly & effectively. A hint of fruit in your vegetable juice is the way to achieve an optimum balance between taste & nutrition. 

My other point in this case is that you don't always need every single ingredient mentioned in a recipe. You just gotta work with what you can get easily at the local market & sometimes with whatever you have left in the fridge. Everything is replaceable and everything has an equally yummy alternate. 

Share your masterpiece juice recipe?


Saturday 6 June 2015

Booja Booja Hunky Punky Chocolate

Next time you crave pudding or dessert or ice cream, try and look out for other healthier alternatives available in the market. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Sugar is the biggest reason behind weight gain, obesity and being unhealthy in general. I  am not talking about sugar from natural resources but about processed and refined sugar.

In order to create a healthy nutrition balance, our body needs sugar, but from sources close to its original form i.e. the unrefined or non processed versions. And that's where options like honey, agave nectar & stevia etc come into play. And we also need to apply the principle of moderation to our consumption of sugar, even from natural resources. I am not going to dwell on that topic here because I specifically want to talk about why I love Booja Booja.

Booja Booja is a company from Norfolk, United Kingdom that produces chocolate truffles & healthy alternatives to ice creams. In this post, I am talking about their ice cream alternative in the flavour Hunky Punky Chocolate. They have other flavours available as well. (ginger, coconut, vanilla & maple pecan)

Hunky Punky Chocolate is made out of just four ingredients- water, cashews, agave nectar and cocoa powder. There is definitely no compromise on the taste; it is just as delicious, just as creamy and indulgent as any other chocolate ice-cream. If someone served this to you in a bowl without mentioning the ingredients or showing you the tub, you would probably not know the difference at all.

It is very difficult for our body to digest dairy and the fact that this is dairy free and also refined sugar free makes it a winner for me. 

My only problem is that it is priced at £5.99 which is a bit steep for ice cream. But I understand that there is a cost attached to producing organic, good quality food. And if you consume this in moderation, a 500 ml tub will last you a while. But then again who eats ice cream in moderation ;)

Have you tried Booja Booja yet? I am dying to try all other flavours! Have you tried any other flavour besides Hunky Punky Chocolate? Let me know, I would love to hear your views.


Friday 5 June 2015

Banana Porridge with Berries

If I have to choose my favourite meal of the day, without a shadow of doubt it will be breakfast! I love my morning tea with something healthy ish , I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes to the way my day pans out. It is an instant energiser and a sure shot way to lift your mood.

A big favourite in our household is banana porridge with berries on top. A lot of people believe that porridge oats is the most boring breakfast ever. But this is an exciting spin on the classic bland tasteless porridge.

The base of my porridge is banana. Now the key to nailing this recipe is using a perfectly ripe, spotty banana. And you need a ripe banana because unripe bananas cause major constipation and are difficult to digest. Secondly, a ripe banana will make your porridge sweet enough and you won't need to add any extra sugar/honey/agave syrup to it.

For one portion of porridge you will need-
1 cup of porridge oats
Milk of choice (2 cups)
1 ripe banana
Pinch of cinnamon
Raisins (optional)
A handful of mixed fresh or frozen berries

So just throw in oats, banana slices, milk, cinnamon and raisins in a bowl and heat them in a microwave for a minute or 2 minutes depending on the performance of your microwave. Alternately you cook your porridge over a hob in a small sauce pan.

Once you have the desired consistency (neither too thick or thin), transfer it to a bowl and sprinkle a mix of frozen or fresh berries on top! Sweet & creamy hot porridge with tarty & sharp frozen berries is such an interesting contrast and is such a burst of flavour in your mouth. This will wake you up instantly. Promise :)

What is your favourite meal of the day and how do you like your porridge?

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