Thursday, 31 March 2016

RECIPE: Nut Butter

Oh my god! I'm actually shocked that I haven't posted a recipe yet for nut butter! I have a serious addiction to this stuff I'm afraid to say, it's actually quite scary ha ha!


Porridge with caramelised bananas and nut butter

To be fair there is not really much of a recipe, its a case of just blitzing them up but I will go through it with you in any case.

Nut butters are so useful, they can be added, spread or drizzled on to pretty much anything. Here is a list of some ideas that I like to use them for...

  • Adding to smoothies
  • Spreading on toast
  • Having as a snack - literally as a spoonful!
  • Spread onto a sliced banana
  • Fill some dates with it
  • Drizzle onto porridge
  • Add to pancakes
  • Add to acai bowls
  • Drizzled on top of a 'love bowl' or chia seed puddings
The options are endless! Plus it's super easy to make too. You ideally need a powerful blender though so either a Magimix or a Vitamix. I'm not too sure if it works with a nutribullet as I don't think it's powerful enough - please don't break your blender by trying either!

So, this is how I do it...

Ingredients:

1 x cup of nuts (this is your choice - what ever you like! Almonds, brazils, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts etc etc. You can mix them too, I love almond and cashew blend)

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)

sprinkle of salt

Recipe:
  • Toast the nuts either in a dry pan, under the grill or in the oven - just be careful not to burn them! Nobody likes the taste of burnt nut butter!
  • Allow them to cool slightly and then add to the food processor
  • Blitz the nuts on full power for a couple of minutes and then with the motor still running, add the vanilla and salt.
  • Continue to blitz, like for 10-15 minutes - yes it gives you a headache!
  • Stop every 5 mins or so to scrape down the sides (and give your head a break from the noise ha ha) with a spatula and continue to process
  • You want a running, creamy consistency. Don'y give up as soon as it starts to come together, allow it a few more minutes to really go runny - it's worth it!
  • Spoon the butter into a sterile jar with an airtight lid ideally and use within the month. 
I like store mine at room temperature. I've seen lots of blog posts saying keep it in the fridge, don't keep it in the fridge, use it within a week or use it within 3 months! So, for me I like to make only a small batch and then I know I can use it up quickly. Use your own knowledge, if it smells like it has gone rancid then don't eat it! I've used mine though up to 3 months after and it still has been ok, just keep it out of the sun.

And voila! We have nut butter!



I do need to add though, nut butter is not the 'healthiest' thing in the world! Yes it's just pretty much nuts - which are good for you! They also contain lots of good fats that your body needs - but please don't go overboard, especially if you are trying to loose weight.

I usually have around a tablespoon of it per day some way or another. Almonds are so good for the skin I really believe that they have helped to clear it up - but just don't be downing half a jar as a 'healthy snack' - you know who you are ha ha!

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you all have a lovely weekend

Emmaline x

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Monday, 28 March 2016

FIVE FAVOURITES: 5 Superfoods you should know about!



I know you might think that superfoods can be a bit of a fad. I sometimes think that too! Now and again though, there are some foods that come into the market that seem to stick around. Some foods that have been eaten for thousands of years to help heal the body and increase wellness and vitality. For me there are a handful of foods that I like to have in my diet almost on a weekly basis...

1) Goji Berries



I guess the main reason for me eating goji berries regular is because I love the taste of them. I love the chewiness they give and almost a zingy fruity taste without being too sweet. Now, this is all very well, but are they any good for you? Goji berries have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. They are part of the nightshade family and are native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and Mongolia, the goji berry is now grown in many other countries as well. 
They are loaded with beta-carotene which can promote healthy skin, they can help boost the immune system and also help protect the eyes. They have a large amount of Vitamin C and so can help reduce cold symptoms. They are also an excellent source of anti-oxidants, fat-free, low in calories and high in fibre - which is great with aiding digestion and helping our toilet habits!
The only downsides are that you must be careful how many you eat if you are on blood medication and also diabetes medication as they may interfere with it.



I like to have around a handful a day - either in my smoothies, on top of my acai bowls, in a cup of hot water and lemon or just as a nice snack.

2) Bee Pollen



Firstly I love the smell of bee pollen, it's almost floral - which I guess its going to be! Those tiny little golden granules are bursting with health benefits though - but what's all the 'buzz' about (get it?? ha ha).
Well, according to Kimberley Snyder...

"those tiny little golden beads are a wonderful source of protein. They are also packed with valuable amino acids, including choline and phenylalanine, which help to control hunger and appetite. They are also packed with vitamins, including B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.I’ve found that consuming bee pollen is so nutritionally complete that it even helps my hunger levels stay consistent, and it definitely helps balance cravings. Studies show that diets containing bee pollen have effectively increased metabolism and helped improve muscle mass, so it is definitely a valuable part of your meal plan when striving for healthy weight loss and control."
Is it bee friendly though? I've heard some horror stories about honey and how queen bees can have their wings removed so they can't leave the nest and other horrible things I don't want to go into. I believe the way it works is that the bees fly through a pollen trap when they enter each comb in the hive. This then can gently loosen off some of the pollen without doing any damage to the bees. I really hope this is the case. Just make sure when you buy bee pollen it is of a high quality and if you are lucky enough to know a bee keeper, ask them if you can buy some!


I like to have mine either sprinkled on salads or on top of smoothies. You can have it on your granola in the morning too. Some people also like to have it ontop of a spoonful of coconut oil in the morning to give you energy (it's called 'energy in a spoon') but I don't think I can stomach a spoonful of coconut oil any time of the day, let alone in the morning.
3) Maca Powder


I've used Maca powder in my smoothies for quite some time now. I can struggle with hormone 'issues' now and again and so I like to take it to help balance my body. It's been used for centuries to help the body function in a number of ways.
According to vegkitchen.com it has a large number of health benefits...
"Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility.
Maca relieves menstrual issues and menopause. It alleviates cramps, body pain, hot flashes, anxiety, mood swings, and depression. If you are pregnant or lactating you should avoid taking maca.
Within days of using maca your energy level may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost! 
Maca helps your overall health in a number of ways. It supplies iron and helps restore red blood cells, which aids anemia and cardiovascular diseases. 
Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy and allows you to heal from wounds more quickly. When used in conjunction with a good workout regime you will notice an increase in muscle mass.
But be very cautious if you have a cancer related to hormones like testicular and ovarian, among others. If you have liver issues or high blood pressure you should ask your doctor before taking maca. 
Many people take maca for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help your skin withstand extreme temperatures. 
If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though of the evidence is anecdotal. Some have reported an increase in mental energy and focus."


Wowsers! That's one powerful superfood! Definitely one to keep in your diet!

4) Chia Seeds



Chia seeds came into the limelight a few years ago and became very trendy. Nobody had really heard of them before and then all of a sudden they were everywhere! Chia seed puddings were what all the health cafes were banging on about and even I have been through a phase of eating this little seed a hell of a lot! I feel though that they are here to stay now. Known for their fibre and protein, they can really help to aid digestion and can also be used as an egg substitute in baking - just don't get one of those little dudes in your teeth, bloody hell you will now about it ha ha!

Ok, so here we go, these have some serious health benefits...

A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
Fiber: 11 grams.
Protein: 4 grams.
Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.
They are high in antioxidants (fighting free radicals in the body)
They have a massive amount of protein gram for gram
They have a huge amount of fibre in such a tiny seed too.
Chia Seeds contain Omega-3s to help with brain function and skin health.
They can also help with bones as they have a good amount of calcium too.



So, that weird looking, tadpole like chia seed pudding may not be something to pass up on. Why not check out my recipe here which tells you how I make my puddings. I also like to add them to acai bowls and smoothies (just make sure you drink your smoothie straight away, otherwise it can set and go a bit gloopy). Try incorporating some into your diet and see the difference.

5) Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder


I have been eating these crunchy little nibs for quite some time now. Strangely though, if you eat them by themselves they don't taste so great, but if you eat them with something else they can give it such a great chocolate flavour.
Raw cacao is good for you too. It's classed as a bit of a super food due to it's anti-oxidant properties. It does however have some controversial stories about it though. Although nothing has been scientifically proven, some people say that raw cacao can be quite addictive and also can be very stimulating to the body so I wouldn't recommend having it in large doses.

I adore the taste of this though and the crunchy nibs give such great texture and bite to my acai bowls. 
According to vegetarian.lovetoknow.com...

  • It is packed with powerful antioxidants. According to Survival Monkey, unprocessed, raw cacao has an ORAC score of 28,000. Dark chocolate (with an ORAC score of 13,120) has been regaled for its antioxidant content, but raw cacao contains even more health benefits. Antioxidants purportedly lower blood pressure and have a protective effect against many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.
  • It may satisfy female cravings. During a woman's menstrual cycle, she may crave chocolate. The scientific community has yet to tack on an official reason as to why, but many people believe it is because chocolate, or rather the cacao from which it comes, naturally contains magnesium, which women may need during their cycles.
  • It contains important essential fats. Though the word fat has taken on a highly negative connotation when it comes to health, fat is actually required in a healthy diet. Most people now know that salmon and olive oil contain a healthy dose of "good fats," but did you know that cacao is another great way to get heart-healthy fats into your diet?
Due to some of the conflicting information on raw cacao, you're probably best to check with your doctor or GP first if you decide to introduce it to your diet - Just to be on the safe side!

As with all superfoods, as they are packed with so much nutrition we must be careful not to overdose on them. Everything that we like to eat should always be in small doses, whether it be kale or a piece of cake! Use your common sense and if you think something is not suiting your body then don't eat it - simple as that! I like to combine these foods in my diet most weeks, but generally in small amounts and not all the time.

I hope that you found this post useful and thanks so much for reading!


Emmaline x



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Tuesday, 22 March 2016

INSPO: 7 questions with Lynette

As we all need a little inspiration now and again, I've decided to do a post series which is 7 quick questions with somebody that I see as successful. So, I guess for me, there is no bigger inspiration in my life than my mum! Lynette!


McDonalds! It happens to the best of us ha ha! God what is happening with my hair here!


Birthday celebrations at the yummy Rose Garden, Didsbury.

After running a highly successful (as in got into the top 200 SBE businesses in the UK kind of successful!) vehicle rental company for 39 years, there is nothing this little pocket rocket can't do! From cutting hair to laying carpet, riding horses at a very high level to giving everybody she meets advice and love. I couldn't think of a better person to start this post with!

So, here we go. 7 questions starting now...


1) Describe yourself - who you are and what you do

I am a retired vehicle hire manager, I'm 5.1 blonde with blue eyes. I love the outdoors and anything to do with animals and also business related!

2) Most valuable beauty tip


Drink lots of water and always wear make up to protect your skin (plus it makes you look and feel good!)

3) Most valuable tip on staying fit and healthy


Keep on the move as much as possible, and have a hobby that keeps you active. Eat well, sleep well!

4) Advice for anybody starting out in business
Give it your best shot! Work hard and be conscientious all the time

5) What is your best business tip for success
Spend wisely

6) Favourite food
Potatoes - roasted, boiled, mashed, julienned - anyway just not raw! ha ha

7) One word that describes you

Conscientious

Seriously good business tip there! I think we can all use the excuse 'we need to speculate to accumulate' - or at least I do anyway!

Thanks so much for reading! 


Emmaline x
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Thursday, 17 March 2016

TRAVEL: Hong Kong Part 2

;)So here's part 2 of my fabulous trip away of eating, eating and eating! :)


Year of the Monkey!


APPLES!


I LOVE MY GREENS! :)


We visited the IFC Mall in Central for a spot of shopping and discovered this gorgeous little tea boutique call Tea WG Boutique.


They had some amazing cakes too! There was a tea menu which was so big - it actually came as a book! We were not too adventurous I'm afraid, I had a Moroccan Mint tea and my hubby went for an English Breakfast Tea.


Then we had a strawberry slice and a creme brûlée tart which was rather yummy!


Hong Kong is seriously the town of doorways! There are so many cool ones! Above is Comme Des Garcons and below is another cool shop in Causeway Bay


This shrubbery was actually real and was being watered all the time! Quite impressive as an entrance!


Another cool entrance!


Dinner was at BLT Burger in Times Square. Oh My! This was so so yummy!


Such a great menu


Hubby went for a classic burger and I went for the Salmon Burger. Wowsers! This was unbelievable - I think it was almost one of the best fish sandwiches I have ever had! They served it on an onion Brioche Bun and I had it with sweet potato fries - YUM!!



Dessert at Haagen Daz - I had a lemon sorbet (wow! super sweet!) and hubby went for a mango and raspberry!


Then we went for dinner with some family to a restaurant called Mr Steak, ironically most of us didn't have steak. I opted for the salmon and then they gave us a dessert too as part of the offer. The salmon was perfectly cooked and these crunchy little potatoes were super tasty!


Dessert at Mr Steak


The next day we had a walk around Causeway Bay and came across this really cool restaurant called Elephant Grounds. I loved the branding of this place and it's really simple interior. Food was pretty awesome too!



Fresh Lime Soda - All Day Errday!! ;)


Gorgeous Bowls!


Gorgeous lunch! Fried fish sandwich, fries with black garlic aioli and kale and quinoa salad with a poached egg!


Found this in City Super - Happy Cow Ice Cream! Vegan, gluten free, sugar free and dairy free!


Seriously good dim sum with the fam! Yummy!


This was kind of random but pretty cool! Some friends wanted us to visit their new home in New Territories and they organised a barbecue for us all. They even hired 2 chefs to come and cook dinner! I would say it's the best way to bbq, everybody can sit together and eat at the same time without somebody being left standing by the bbq cooking!


We had some much food, lots of seafood and vegetables for me too! The food just kept coming anf coming! Awesome night with lots of laughs :)


Our little make shift dining table outside, I love it when everybody is on different chairs ha ha! Like a Peter Kay moment ;)



I had such a fab break away, visiting some really cool shops and restaurants. There is never anything better than spending time with family, especially ones that you don't get to see too often. I'm so grateful for a great trip and time away. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I got up to and thanks so much for reading.

Until next time Hong Kong...


Emmaline x

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

LITTLE GEMS: Post Hong Kong Blues :(

What an amazing holiday I have just had. I hope you enjoyed my post on my Hong Kong Travels part One :) If you haven't seen it, then you can read it here.

It's all about getting back into the swing of things again and recovering from the jet lag. It's so good to be home though! Look at whats happened to my lime tree whilst I was away!


Come home to find my lime tree is covered in blossom and mini limes :)


Beautiful dishes I bought from HK

 Healthy and tasty breakfast today! Perfect Sunday morning brunch! Homemade gluten, dairy and sugar free pancakes with homemade blueberry sauce.


I made the best combination of pancake toppings today! Banana, almond butter, maple syrup and blueberry sauce - this was HEAVEN!


Post holiday healthy lunch at The Garden, Hale. Great organic food! Just what we needed after an indulgent week of Chinese food. I went for a vegetable chilli sandwich and hubby had a falafel wrap. Yummy!


Missed my little guy so much!



All black everything! ;)


Healing tea this morning. I was missing HK so I made myself some hot, lemon tea.


I hope you all had a good week! Will be posting more from my travels soon

Have a great week


Emmaline x

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