Seasonal Food – Autumn Eating

autumn food

I have been waiting to post this post about seasonal eating and autumn food for some time. Now that I have finally finished for the exam assignment of my course, I have a little breathing space and time to catch up. I wanted to post about seasonal food, not only because I love autumn food, but because it makes sense to buy food that is in season rather than flown across the world, at great expense to the environment. So here are just a few of the seasonal autumn treats that I have been cooking up.

apple and blackberry compote

Apple and Blackberry Compote

At this time of year, I can usually manage to aquire some cooking apples and blackberries for nothing. I decided to add a taste of autumn to my breakfasts ny cooking them up into an apple and blackberry compote which I could then layer with greek yoghurt and top with a seed sprinkle or mix with porridge. This is super easy to make by peeling apples before cooking in a pan with blackberries and a little maple syrup and water.

macaroni cheese and kale

Macaroni Cheese

I love kale and it is perfect for adding a bit of veggie goodness to a warming dish of macaroni cheese. My children love eating veggies anyway but adding them to something like this means they eat even more of them. I didn’t really use a recipe. I just made a white sauce with milk a little oil and flour, then  adding a few teaspoons of djion mustard, cheese and steamed kale and cooked macaroni, topped with a little more cheese and baked in the oven.

DSCN4675 (2)

Leek and Potato Soup

I always look forward to autumn for cooking up some warming leek and potato soup. It is the one thing that can be guarenteed to help when I want to lose a bit of weight as it is so healthy and satisfying. This year I have discovered an amazing new addition to my soup, green lentils, which makes it even more filling. I just wash chop and fry lots of leeks, then add vegetable stock potatoe and a bag of washed green lentils and boil it up for about half an hour. Once it is cool I blend it a bit and then keep it in the fridge. I make enough for the week and keep it in the fridge heating it up with a few drops of worcestershire sauce and take it to work in a thermos for lunch.

For a list of which foods are in season in Novemember and other months, check out Eat the Seasons Website.

I couldn’t post about sustainability and food this week without a mention of Hugh’s War on Waste programme this week. If you didn’t see it, you can check it out here. I was really shocked to hear that a third of the food in the UK never gets eaten, disgusting when there are so many hungry people in the world. But I was also pleased to see that this issue is getting so much attention through this programme and hope that it helps to change attitudes. I have definitely made it a priority to make sure that no food gets wasted in my house. This week I will be using up leftover veggies with a sweet potato, spinach and red onion soup, perhaps spiced up with a little curry powder for next weeks lunches. Do you had any good ideas for making use of leftover food to share? I am also trying to make the effort to try out an organic veg box as an alternative to supermarket shopping.

Look out for next Mondays episode of War on Waste which looks at clothes!

Finally here are a few of my autumn instagrams.

tinkerbell pumpkin

My daughter carved this Tinkerbell pumpkin with a drill!

autumn leavesI couldn’t resist an autumn leaves picture. Shoes are Dream in Green and the dress by People Tree.

charity shop cardigan

I treated myself to a cosy new charity shop cardigan which cost me just a fiver from Oxfam and was perfect for dress down Friday at work.

food

Yet more food! Avocado and mushrooms on toast, the perfect way to fuel up before a 3 hour body combat session.

matcha green tea

Matcha green tea is the latest addition to my healthy eating plan. I have been enjoying it with apple juice and lime. Does anyone have any other good ways to drink/ prepare it?

Are you on Instagram? you can follow my Instagram account here or leave you link in the comments so that I can follow you.

I hope that you are havng a lovely autumn!

With warmest wishes


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Mother’s Day

Nancy Dee Dress

People Tree
Dress – Nancy Dee
Necklace – People Tree
Shoes – Clarkes

As Sunday was Mother’s Day, I decided to get a bit dressed up in my favourite dress for a bit of Sunday Lunch, cooked by Mr S. If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you will know that Nancy Dee is one of my favourite ethical fashion brands, with organic cotton and bamboo jersey pieces which are both comfy and flattering to wear, making it the perfect choice for a day of eating. The necklace is from People Tree a few years ago, I haven’t worn it as much as I could have done, but now I have tried it with this dress and love how it looks, I definitely think I will wear it again soon. It is the shape of a round collar embellished with sparkly beads, just the sort of beautiful, intricate and detailed fashion that People Tree excels at.

I was spoilt with lovely cards and pressies from my girls including the Deliciously Ella cookbook which was definitely on my wish list. I have been making a conscious effort to try and eat more healthily by cutting down (almost cutting out) both alcohol and meat. I have also been cutting my sugar intake by snacking on some of the recipes from the Deliciously Ella blog. The book will make it a little easier to cook the recipes as I don’t have a tablet which I can use to view recipes in the kitchen. I may be imagining it, but since switching to my healthier lifestyle (only 2 or 3 weeks so far), I have definitely felt like I have got more energy.

Unfortunately on Sunday, I blew the healthy eating with not one but two breakfasts, one made by each of them and a ‘few’ glasses of wine. Here are just a few instagrams from my Mother’s Day.

teddy
My daughter has been on for a while about making a dress for her tiny teddy. Mother’s Day seemed like the perfect time to get on and do it.
Breakfast
My youngest made me this breakfast with Greek Yoghurt, bananas, almonds and honey. Not only was it delicious but set me up well for the 2 hours of exercise classes I did ij the morning.
cards
Lovely cards from my girls
Deliciously Ella cook book
Pressies!

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to spoil my mum this Mother’s Day as we have to share her around. But I will be making up for it in a few weeks time when I see her.

What did you do this weekend?

With warmest wishes

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Natural Food – Deliciously Ella

I have recently become a little bit obsessed with Deliciously Ella, a natural food and healthy living blog filled with some seriously delicious but extremely healthy food. If you follow me, you may have noticed my Insatgram and Twitter are filled with food posts. Since Christmas, I have decided to try and cut down on the amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates in mine and the childrens diet. I wouldn’t say that we ate badly but some bad food habits were starting to creep in and both for the sake of my own and my children’s health, I think it is really important to focus on eating a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and doesn’t contain too much of the bad stuff.

What I really love about Deliciously Ella is that she doesn’t recommend depriving yourself as she has lots of alternatives that are filling and satisfying but also help to wean you off sugar (which is actually a bit addictive). I have also recently switched to only eating meat very occasionally instead of most days, so it is great to get some ideas for protein rich plant alternatives that taste amazing. You can check out Ella’s video above for some great tips on how to quit bad habits and get healthy.

sweet potato brownies
Homemade hummus

The sweet treats section of the blog is definitely where most of my attention has been but I have also been trying out some of the delicious salad ideas (homemade hummus and roast Kale pictured above) for mine and the childrens pack lunches. Yesterday I made a batch of sweet potato brownies which were an outstanding success, deliously rich and gooey with a really chocolately and slightly bitter flavour. I added my own extra ingredient of some pecan nuts to up their protein content even more.

Do you think about eating natural food? have you checked out the Deliciously Ella blog or cookbook.

With warmest wishes

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Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars

Healthy Nut Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Inspired by a recipe on clean food blog, Deliciously Ella and by a comment by Mr S about the multiple bags of open seeds and nuts that I have in the kitchen cupboard, I decided to try and create some healthy snack bars from food that I already had in the house and needed using up.

This  healthy snack bar recipe basically features a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruit that I have bought to top porridge and yoghurt or to make salad dressings with. I think it would work well with just about any mixture of wholefood seeds, nuts and dried fruit that you have got. I also used ripe bananas that needed using up for this recipe, there isn’t really any substitute for this as it is what holds the bars together. My snack bars tasted a bit like flapjacks only a lot more filling and not nearly as sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, you could double or triple the amount of honey for a more sugary snack.

I am hoping that they will be a good alternative to cakes and biscuits for the me and the children and a more healthy option than the supposedly ‘healthy snack bars’ that you can buy in the shops.

This recipe makes about 12 healthy snack bars or more if you cut them smaller!

Ingredients 

2 large ripe bananas
2 cups of mixed seeds, nuts and dried fruit (I used flaked almonds, cashew nuts,walnuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins)
2-3 cups of oats
1 -3 desert spoons of honey
A little oil/ spread to grease the tray
Healthy Snack Bars
Preheat the oven to about 160 degrees celsius Mix together the nuts, seeds and dried fruit chopping any larger nuts or dried fruit into smaller pieces.
Healthy Snack Bars
Peel and mash the bananas until they form a smooth puree.
Healthy Snack Bars
Add the seeds, nuts, dried fruit and honey to the bananas and mix.

Seed and nut snack bars
Add oats until the mixture is quite dry (it should form a ball that could almost be rolled out). You may need to use more or less oats depending on the amount of banana puree and types of nuts, seeds and fruit you used.
Healthy nut and seed bars
Line a tray with baking paper and grease and transfer mixture into the baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the sides of the tray and pack it down.
Seed and nut snack bars
Bake in the oven at about 160 degrees celcius for 25 minutes. Half way through remove the snack bars and score so that they are easier to cut/ break into pieces once cooked. Keep an eye on yours snack bars as the nuts and seeds can burn quite quickly.
Nut, seed and banana bars
Allow the bars to cool before removing from the tray and breaking into pieces. And there it is, yummy healthy snack bars.

These snack bars smell amazing when they are cooking. They are really filling, packed with plant based protein and nutrients making them great for pre or post workout snacks and for lunch box or tummy fillers for children. I made them with the help of my 7 year old who loved mixing up the ingredients and eating them!

Are you trying to eat healthy in 2015? what are your favourite healthy snacks?

With warmest wishes

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Natural Food – Wheyhey Protein Icecream

Wheyhey protin icecream review
Wheyhey Protein Icecream
Wheyhey Protein Icecream review
I was recently asked if I would like to recieve some pots of Wheyhey protein icecream to sample. I have in the past considered protein shakes to drink after workouts especially bodypump classes but could never really bare the thought of drinking them. Icecream though seemed like an altogether more attractive choice for a post workout protein fest. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that Wheyhey icecream is made from natural ingredients. After being informed that Wheyhey would be featuring behind the scenes at London Fashion Week, I couldn’t wait to give it a try.

The icecream is sugar free but uses Xylitol as a sweetner, I usually try and avoid foods with sweetners but apparently Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in vegetables, berries, and oats; it’s is also low GI so helps to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Each pot is low fat and has about 125 calories per a 100ml pot so whilst not completely guilt free it does make a good alternative to my usual post workout snack. The best thing about Wheyhey icecream though is that it is packed with protein isolate which has lots of benefits including helping in managing weight as it helps you feel fuller for longer and recovering from excercise by repairing muscles and promoting healthy bones and muscles.

So what did I think of Wheyhey Protein Icecream?

I tried the Vanilla icecream today. I was actually quite surprised by how nice the icecream tasted. It has a really subtle flavour which seemed natural. The texture was similar to normal icecream but slighly less creamy and almost slightly chewy.  It was great that it was in a 100ml pot as it was just the right amount. It was really filling and I certainly couldn’t have eaten any more (usually with normal icecream, I could eat loads!). Overall I would say that for me it is a great low calorie way to boost protein and a much better alternative than a shake. Whilst not quite as tasty and indulgent as normal icecream, it was probably more satisfying.

My daughters tried the chocolate and strawberry icecream and both declared them yummy. The strawberry again was quite a subtle flavour and the chocolate was super chocolately but withour being too sweet.

What do you think? do you eat protein snacks/ shakes after working out? Would you consider a protein icecream?
With warmest wishes

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Win Tickets to Innocent Inspires and a Month’s Worth of Smoothies!

Innocent inspires tickets

I was really disappointed that I won’t be able to make it to the next Innocent Inspires event but equally excited that I have been given a pair of tickets to giveaway along with a month’s supply of smoothies.

I love Innocent smoothies although I rarely get to have them as my children alway gobble them up before I get a look in. I also love that Innocent are a great example of an ethical business and a really fun company at the same time.

The Innocent Inspires events are a series of tailor made evenings by Innocent. The next event is about ethics. It features ‘how to lead a stylish and sustainable life with model Laura Bailey’, a talk by ethical eating trailblazer Arthur Potts Dawson on his sustainable food and how we can help people every time we shop, and eco fashion designer Henrietta Ludgate on doing business in an ethical way and the future of ethical fashion. There will also be the chance to find out how to use your skills to do some good with the Good for Nothingcrew and the chance to get your hands dirty transforming an urban area in to a wildflower wonderland with the Guerrilla Gardeners.

The event takes place on 19th June in the Innocent Yurt at Paradise Park, London starting at 7pm and will aslo include a delicous picnic. Before you leave, you can help them to disappear without a trace by taking back some of what’s inside to your own garden. You can read more about Innocent and their Innocent Inspires events here.

So for the chance to win pair of tickets and a month’s supply of smoothies, just enter using the rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodluck!

With warmest wishes

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