Thai Turkey Burgers

This is a make-it-up-as-you-go recipe that worked out very well. Served with a big salad and a dash of lime, it’s perfect for a sunny day.

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Serves 3-4 

450g turkey breast
1 red chilli, chopped finely
1 cm knob of ginger, peeled and grated
Zest of one lime
Handful of coriander, finely chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper

You can either place everything except the turkey breast in a food processor and whizz until all the ingredients are finely chopped (this would save time) and then add the turkey breast and whizz again until everything is incorporated and chopped. Or, you could just place the turkey breast in the food processor and add all the other prepared ingredients and whizz!

Avocado Mash with Quinoa Flatbread plus Kale Salad

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Taken from Sirocco: fabulous flavours from the East by Sabrina Ghayour
I’ve adapted it by adding quinoa flatbread and coconut yoghurt rather than dairy yoghurt.

Avocado Mash with Quinoa Flatbread

1 large ripe avocado
2 tbsp garlic oil (as long as oil is just infused, this is ok for FODMAPS)
or plain olive oil
Chives, half a pack, chopped finely
Coriander, half a pack, chopped finely
1 tsp ground coriander
Slice of quinoa bread
Sea salt and black pepper

For the dressing

Super simple homemade chocolate

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Chocolate is one of the most delicious and desirable foods on the planet. You only have to look at the vast array of chocolate bars on supermarket shelves, not to mention the increasing variety of artisan and raw bars available, to see the hold it has over us.

Top quality dark chocolate is also good for us, when made with minimal and unprocessed ingredients. The antioxidants in chocolate help to protect our cells from damage, and dark chocolate helps increase levels of feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. One of the many theories as to why we crave it, apart from the delicious taste and feel-good factor, is the fact that it is a rich source of magnesium. Women, especially before their period, may be drawn to chocolate for this reason.

Apple and Almond Cake

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At our fortnightly WaistWatchers meetings we prepare a healthy snack. This week we’ve made a deliciously moist cake which can also double up as energy bars if you slice it up.

For the apple puree

  • 3 eating apples 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the cake

  • a little coconut fat or butter to grease tin
  • 8 large eggs
  • 325 grams ground almonds
  • 150g Xylitol or 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 50 grams flaked almonds

Method

  1. Peel, core and chop the apples roughly. Put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice and bring the pan to a bubble over a medium heat. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until you can mash the apple to a rough puree with a wooden spoon or fork. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4/180ºC/350ºF; oil a 25cm / 10 inch springform tin with almond or coconut fat and line the bottom with baking parchment.
  3. Put the cooled puree in the processor with the eggs, ground almonds, Xylitol or Coconut sugar and 1 tablespoon – or generous squeeze – of lemon juice and blitz to a puree. Pour and scrape, with a rubber spatula for ease, into the prepared tin, sprinkle the flaked almonds on top, and bake for 45 minutes. It’s worth checking after 35 minutes, as ovens do vary, and you might well find its cooked earlier – or indeed you may need to give a few minutes longer.
  4. Put on a wire rack to cool slightly, then spring open. This cake is best served slightly warm, though still good cold.

A Ho Ho Healthy Christmas

Can Christmas really be healthy and still enjoyable?

Resisting temptation at this time of year can seem impossible, and frankly quite boring, but no-one likes the weight gain, bloating or sluggishness that comes from overindulging during the festive period either.

We firmly believe that you can still enjoy Christmas without sacrificing your health or your waistline – here are our 12 top tips for a wonderful, delicious and healthy Christmas…

1. Get out and exercise every day, even if it’s just a walk round the park, it makes all the difference.

Chocolate Orange Cake with Creme Patissiere

In the spirit of The Great British Bake Off, here is our contribution. This cake tastes good even without the Creme Patissiere. It’s gluten free, low gi (good for your waistline) and delicious!

Serves 10-12

150 ml regular olive oil (plus more for greasing)
50 g good-quality cocoa powder, raw is best (sifted)
125 ml boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
150 g ground almonds (or 120g coconut flour)
Zest of one orange
1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch of salt
150g Xylitol or 3 tablespoons of Maple syrup
3 large eggs

Stewed Autumn Fruit

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Stewed autumn fruit

I love this time of year, not least because of the apples, pears and stone fruit that are ripe and ready to pick. If you’re lucky enough to have your own trees, or like me, have a generous neighbour who’s happy to share their bounty, then you will be able to make some delicious stewed fruit to store away in the fridge and freezer for the weeks and months to come. Of course you can buy the fruit too, but we recommend that you try to find local and organic fruit to reduce exposure to pesticides, and boost nutrient intake – farmers markets and local growers are a great choice.

Stewed fruit, rich with cinnamon, is a lovely thing – it can form the basis of crumbles, and, paired with some coconut (or regular) yoghurt, makes a speedy dessert or breakfast. But it’s also really, really good for you, and here’s why…

Consuming apples regularly can help reduce allergies (1), help to protect cells against oxidative damage (2), reduce inflammation in the intestines and throughout the body including the brain (3, 4, 5). And finally apples can improve your microbiome, by favourably impacting on the bacterial colonisation of the large intestine (6).

The deep, rich colour of most of our native plums gives an indication of their antioxidant, or phenol, content. Plums are also a good source of vitamin C, needed for iron absorption, to fight free radical damage, and to help protect our arteries from atherosclerosis. Stone fruits like plums have also been studied in relation to obesity and found to be protective, due to the bioactive compounds they contain (7), and in fact they can even help to ward off diabetes due to their blood sugar balancing effect (8).

We recommend that you add cinnamon to the stewed fruit, not only for its delicious autumnal flavour, but also to boost the health benefits of this dish even further. Cinnamon has been found to reduce inflammation (9), as well as helping to keep blood sugar levels stable (10).

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Stewed Apples and Plums – makes enough for several servings

8 English apples – I like Bramleys, they stew really well and are naturally lower in sugar
6 large plums
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp raisins (optional)

Peel and core the apples, then cut into slices or chunks. Wash and halve the plums, then remove the stone. Put all of the fruit into a large saucepan, then add the cinnamon, a splash of water, and then turn on the heat to low. In just twenty or thirty minutes, the fruit will be softened and stewed.

Chocolate Chilli Pots

200g dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), finely chopped
1 can full-fat coconut milk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 tsp of fresh chillies, very finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Whipped Topping
1 can full-fat coconut milk chilled overnight in the refrigerator
Coconut sugar, to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together coconut milk, egg yolks, chilli, and salt. Add in the cinnamon stick. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly until it thickens and forms a smooth custard that coats the back of a spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully watch the custard, taking care not to overcook or boil it. When the custard is ready, take the pan off the heat, and remove the cinnamon stick.

Lemon Smoothie

1 glass of water, coconut water or almond milk
Handful of blueberries
1 large handful parsley
Zest of one lemon
Squeeze of half a lemon
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (preferably soaked overnight)
1 knob of fresh ginger, about the size of a small adult thumbnail
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tbsp of nut butter (almond or cashew etc)
A few cubes of ice (if it’s a particularly hot day!)

With a high speed blender, throw all ingredients in and blend on high until creamy and smooth. You can add more liquid if you prefer a thinner consistency.