SWAP SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE UNHEALTHY FOODS FOR HEALTHY ONES
Everyone has a favourite food, what is yours?
A lot of your favourite foods may not be a healthy food such as pizza, ice creams, creamy sauces, chips and ketchup maybe.
Foods are connected to celebrating and can have an emotional trigger.
When you are feeling down, you may want to eat a tub of ice cream. Do you feel guilty afterwards?
You can change any recipe into a healthy one.
Here are some ideas for you to make healthier recipes to the unhealthy ones.
If you love pasta there are lots of ways you can still eat this by making healthier versions of it.
You could buy buckwheat noodles called soba noodles, chickpea pasta, lentil pasta. There are lots of different plant based ones you could use.
These are processed so if you want to go more natural you could spiralise some courgettes, carrots, cucumbers, squash or sweet potato. Pop them into a steamer and lightly steam until soft. Plate up and top with your favourite sauce.
Here is a recipe to make from the Every Last Bite website:
BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA WITH CASHEW ALFREDO SAUCE
1 Butternut Squash (approx 5 cups noodles)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped bacon OR leave out for veggie version
110g/2/3 cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
1 clove garlic
60ml/1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
57g/1/4 cup frozen peas or 1 cup spinach
1 tbsp parsley chopped
INSTRUCTIONS FOR CASHEW ALFREDO SAUCE
Preheat to oven to 200 degrees Celsius (395 degrees Fahrenheit). Peel the butternut squash and spiralize into noodles or use a julienne peeler to cut thin noodles. Place the butternut squash pasta into a steamer and steam until soft.
Combine the cashews, garlic, almond milk, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp (if using). Pour the sauce into the skillet along with the frozen peas or spinach and heat until warm. Add in the butternut squash pasta and toss to coat in the sauce. Top with chopped parsley before serving.
200g/1 cup tomatoes – roughly chopped to help blending
6 soaked sun-dried tomatoes
52g/1/4 cup of the soaking liquid
2 cloves garlic
1 fresh medjool date
1 tsp sea salt
Chopped parsley or basil for garnish
Optional – Add in any herbs and spices of your choice
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TOMATO SAUCE
Soak the pitted date and sundried tomatoes in warm water for 10 to 30 minutes to allow them to soften. Place the dates, sundried tomatoes, soaking liquid, chopped tomatoes, sea salt, garlic and any herbs and spices of your choice, in food processor/ blender and blend until smooth. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix together. Top with fresh chopped parsley or basil.
USE GLUTEN FREE FLOUR
You can buy gluten free flour such as ground almonds or meal, coconut flour or buckwheat flour. You could go one step further and buy some gluten free sprouted flour. When it is sprouted, this brings out more of the nutrients.
Ground almonds can be used in all baking, bread, cakes, pizza crusts, pastry cases etc.
Buckwheat flour is excellent to use for savoury items such as pastry crusts and also pizza crusts, tortillas or pancakes.
Recipe using gluten free flour from Rachael Hartley Nutrition website:
CINNAMON SPICE RAISIN COOKIES – NO SWEETENER
MAKES ABOUT 25
For a chocolate version, use regular raisins instead of golden raisins and add cocoa powder to the mix.
400G/2 cups golden raisins
360G/3 cups almond meal
2 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter
52G/1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Large pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, warm 3-4 cups of water for 3 minutes. Add golden raisins and let them plump for about 5-10 minutes. Drain the raisins and transfer to a food processor. Blend until pureed, about 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and process until fully combined and blended, scraping down sides as needed. Form the batter into balls. The batter is very sticky so if you wet your hands, it can help from sticking to them as much.
Place them 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Flatten a little bit with the back of a spoon and bake at 325/160C for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden. The bottoms have the tendency to brown, so you may want to check after about 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes on the baking tray and transfer to a wire rack to cool fully. They will keep in a covered container at room temperature for a few days, or store in the refrigerator for a week or so.
Shop bought cheese sauces can contain lots of additives, sugars and lots of cream and lacking in nutrition.
You can make a dairy free version that has lots of nutrition.
Here is a recipe using cashew nuts as the base for the cheese sauce.
300g Cashew nuts – soaked for at least 4 hours
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp Hemp seeds
Half red pepper
1 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos
1 spring onion – chopped
1 Sundried tomatoe – use dried ones with no oil if you can and rehydrate in warm water
1 tsp dried basil
Pinch Sea salt
Blend together to make the sauce. You could add in some carrot or courgette instead of the red pepper.
MAKE YOUR OWN FRENCH FRIES/CHIPS
French fries smothered in tomato ketchup are a great comfort food.
You can make your own by baking them instead and using sweet potato instead of white potato.
This way you can add in some herbs and spices too. You can cut them into thin strips and mix with any herbs and spices you want with a bit of olive oil.
For an oil free version, steam the sweet potato for a few minutes then toss with some spices and herbs. I love paprika, turmeric and cinnamon with basil and oregano herbs.
Put them onto a parchment lined baking tray and roast in hot oven to crisp up and brown.
3 large sweet potatoes, sliced into thin strips
1 tbsp Melted coconut oil or mix with a drizzle of olive oil
Herbs and Spices of your choice – sea salt, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, basil, oregano, or thyme
Mix all ingredients together so herbs and spices are well coated. Bake at about 200C for 25 – 30 minutes or until brown and crispy.
TOMATO KETCHUP SAUCE
200g organic tomato paste
1 tbsp raw organic honey
1 tbsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and serve with the fries!
MAKE YOUR OWN ICE CREAM
You can make ice cream with frozen bananas.
Blend bananas with flavour of your choice such as raspberries, strawberries, cacao powder, dates, anything you like.
You could also soak a cup of cashew nuts overnight in a cup of water. Drain the cashew nuts and put into blender with a fresh cup of water and blend until creamy.
Add some flavouring such as maple syrup and vanilla essence/extract. Blend again, then put into the fridge for around 2 hours to thicken and chill.
MAKE YOUR OWN DRESSINGS
The dressings you can buy in the supermarket are not very good and full of bad fats, sugars and additives.
You can make your own very simply and there are lots of different ways to make dressings taste great.
Here are a few examples.
Combine a teaspoon of minced garlic with 90g/3/4 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour.
Add 2 tablespoons of Tahini which is sesame seed butter and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
Finish it with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.
3 1/2 tbsp raw tahini (or any tahini you prefer)
2 tbsp mustard
4 tbsp coconut aminos or tamari sauce
The juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – if you want spicy!
1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt (or Dulse flakes to replace salt)
4 tbsp water instead
Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix it well.
3 large tomatoes
1 cup chopped celery
75g/½ cup raw sesame seeds
Chunk ginger – peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
Blend all ingredients together.
MAKE YOUR OWN DIPS
Most of the dips you buy contain sugars, bad fats, additives and flavourings.
You can make your own that are easy.
These swaps are full of flavour and taste just as good.
1/2 red pepper
3 soft dates finely chopped
3-4 sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1/4 tsp garlic powder or fresh
2 Tbsp spring onion
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
Juice of 1/2 lime
Splash olive oil
Handful of fresh basil
Pinch of chilli – optional
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pulse all ingredients in a processor or blender keeping some texture.
PEA AND WALNUT PESTO
Recipe from the One Green Planet website
1 bag frozen peas
2 tablespoons fresh basil
3 tablespoons raw walnuts
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Combine peas with water and bring to a boil. Strain the peas and add to food processor along with other ingredients and puree until all ingredients are combined. Serve right away or store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to a week.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHICKPEA SPREAD
200g / 7oz butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large wedges
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, left whole
1tbsp honey, optional
2tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
1 x 400g / 14oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of ground nutmeg or cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place the pumpkin and garlic in a shallow roasting tin. Toss with the honey and 1tbsp olive oil and season with black pepper and salt. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool. Peel the garlic cloves and place with the pumpkin in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth.
ROASTED GARLIC AND FRESH HERB CREAM
1 small head garlic
4 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, chives, and/or oregano
300g/1 cup raw cashew pieces, soaked in water 8-10 hours, rinsed and drained
57g/1/4 cup coconut butter or 20g/1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, soaked in water for about 15 minutes, drained
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450°F/225C. Cut off the top 1/3 or so of the garlic and wrap the head in foil. Place the garlic in the oven and roast for 30-45 minutes, or until fragrant and very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before unwrapping. Line a container with cheesecloth. Sprinkle the bottoms of the ramekins with one tablespoon each of the herbs, reserving the remaining herbs. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the cashew pieces, coconut butter or coconut flakes, and salt until fairly smooth. It will not get completely smooth. Squeeze the cloves from the roasted garlic and drop into the bowl of the food processor. Add the garlic powder and the lemon juice and process until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture between the container, pressing the cheese down into the herbs and cheesecloth. Tap the container on the counter a few times and level the top. Sprinkle the remaining herbs on top, gently press them into the cheese and cover with the ends of the cheesecloth. Place in the refrigerator and let set overnight. The next day, remove and gently tug the cheesecloth to remove the cream cheese. Serve with bread or crackers – or place them in an air-tight container for up to one week.