As we dive into week 3 of lockdown I think acceptance is the general feeling now, however our mood changes and cravings are still all over the place. We know we can’t keep baking cakes and eating most of them to help our mood.
Plus Easter eggs will soon be in the shopping trolley. So here are some healthier options and even healing foods to keep our immune supported, energy levels more balanced and our waistline on track as summer and beach-time is just around the corner!
STEWED CINNAMON APPLES OR PEARS
Apples (and pears) are easier to digest when they’re cooked. The cooking process breaks down cellulose making it easier for your digestive system to break down the components. Research indicates apples, pears (and in some cases, carrots) provide the following benefits, especially if they are organically grown:
- Allergy protection against rhinitis and asthma
- Phenols in apples and pears offer excellent antioxidant protection
- Inflammation control
- Promote optimal gut bacteria balance
- Cinnamon reduces inflammatory chemical production in the gut and promotes immune balance in the gut
- 6 cooking apples or pears
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup raisins/sultanas (optional for added sweetness and fibre)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Peel and core the apples and chop them into small evenly sized pieces
- Put all the ingredients in a covered pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Cook until soft the colour should be a “russet brown” with the cinnamon effect. Delicious on porridge, or as dessert with yogurt etc.
BANANA BREAD ENERGY BITES
(yields about 30 bites)
Using up old bananas and cupboard stocks, delicious treats, rich in tryptophan for good spirits!
- 2 cups of raw almonds or cashews
- 1.5 cups of dates, chopped
- 2 small ripe bananas
- 1/2 a cup of ground flaxseed or other seeds
- 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
- Desiccated coconut for rolling
- First place the almonds in your food processor and blend for a minute or two until they break up and start to form a flour like mix
- Gradually add the pitted dates, peeled bananas, flax and chia as the mix continues to blend. After a few minutes the mixture should be smooth and sticky, at which point the balls are ready to be rolled
- Simply use a teaspoon to scoop up a batch of the dough, then roll it in your hands to form a ball. Place the ball on a plate and continue doing the exact same thing until you’ve used all the mixture
- Roll the balls in coconut before placing the plate of bites in the freezer for a couple of hours to set before enjoying. Store them either in the fridge or freezer
ORANGE AND CARDAMOM BALLS
Delicious spicy treats that can be a snack or finish off a good curry dinner. Oranges rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, abundant right now, will support immune health and make you smile!!
- 1 cup almonds
- ½ cup walnuts
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted*
- Zest of an orange
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- Place the almonds and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until broken down into chopped nuts. Don’t pulse into ground nuts.
- Using a pestle and mortar or the broad side of a knife, crush the cardamom pods and remove the seeds. Discard the pods, and again either using a pestle and mortar or a knife, grind the seeds into ground cardamom. Add the ground cardamom along with the dates, orange zest, orange juice and sea salt to the nuts in the food processor and turn the food processor on until the mixture has completely broken down and formed into a dough like consistency.
- Using your hands, form the mixture into 12 ball shapes. Place the sesame seeds on a plate and roll each energy ball in the sesame seeds until each is fully coated in sesame seeds. Place the energy balls in a dish and place in the freezer for an hour to set and then remove and store in the fridge.
About the author
Suzanne is a Nutritional Therapist trained in London at College of Naturopathic medicine. She has 25 years experience as a chef and recently trained in raw foods, at a gourmet level with Matthew Kenney.
Suzanne’s business is Vital Nutrition which she founded in 2008. She offers private consultancies focusing on diet and lifestyle improvements supporting patients on their journey to optimum health.
Her regular cookery workshops are delicious, fun and educational and her cooking skills are available to private clients, on retreats and for chef training.