These chocolate orange hemp balls are super nutritious and soft but also lower in sugar than regular energy balls as they use just 1 ripe fresh banana to sweeten them rather than dried fruit, this keeps them lovely and soft but means you need to eat them fast, preferably within 2/3 days (but it won’t be a challenge, trust me!)
They require a bit of setting time to firm up so make them in advance, they make a good afternoon pick me up or prepped the night before for a breakfast snack before a morning gym workout or on your way to work.
Activate those nuts!
I’ve used Linwoods activated walnuts here as I’m trying to use more activated nuts where possible in my cooking due to the process of activating making the nuts more nutritious but also easier on digestion, plus if you just want to eat them straight it also gives the nuts a lovely crispiness. Walnuts are one of the nuts highest in phytic acid which holds onto nutrients making it harder for your body to extract which is why they’re one of the nuts that you should try to eat soaked/activated whenever possible.
Another reason why I love walnuts and hemp is because they have a good balance of healthy fats which the standard Western diet tends to be lower in and instead, higher in omega 6 fats which when too high can be pro-inflammatory, so eating a variety of omega 3 fats to balance this out is something to keep in mind.
This combination of creamy coconut, hot harissa and sweet pops of pomegranate seeds on these chickpea pancakes is a dream mixture and great plant based meal full of goodness. There’s antioxidants in the pomegranate seeds, good medium chain, easily digestible fats in the coconut, spices in the harissa paste and fibre and protein in the chickpea flour (which you can get in the supermarket btw).
I really like this meal when I’m craving something different from the usual dinners and flavours you typically rely on and gives you a way to consume more pomegranate seeds which are packed full of Polyphenols which some people probably aren’t getting enough of.
Cooking with chickpea/gram flour
If you’ve never made chickpea flour pancakes/mixtures before, just note that it’s slightly different from usual flour so it won’t be as light but is great for savoury meals and provides a good thick texture to the recipe. They also need to be cooked out a bit longer than regular pancakes, they don’t brown quickly so don’t worry about them burning easily. Check out my veggie slices made with chickpea flour for another idea on how to use it.
TIP: for best digestion if you have time to soak the flour and water together for an hour/up to a few hours then this enhances digestibility and nutrition
These are savoury tikka flavoured muffins filled with grated carrot for added goodness.
These may sound a little strange but honestly they taste divine, even my own mum who tends to be health food adverse admitted how good they smell coming out of the oven. It’s curry in muffin form, what’s not to love?
They make a great lunchbox option for work as they’re easily made the night before and can be taken with you the next day without needing prep work which can be a bit tricky for offices that don’t have great kitchens/lunch areas.
These can be adjusted to suit many different diets, such as sub coconut oil instead of butter for dairy free or use chestnut flour for grain free, both flours I’ve tested were gluten free and were still really soft and light. Plus they’re packed with healthy spices and some sneaky carrot to help you along your way to 5 a day, they may even be good enough for picky eaters, why not try it? Seriously, I’ve found them so good I find it hard to stop myself eating nearly the whole batch!
For ages now I have really wanted to develop a grain free/lower carb scone especially for people with allergies/gut issues who can’t tolerate the usual flours and therefore tend to not be able to eat things like this. Going through my own issues, I know it can be really sad not enjoying the same things as others so having alternatives which you can have, really helps to keep you on track and your spirits up.
Even if you don’t have any of these issues this recipe makes a nice change from the usual style of scone both flavour wise and in terms of the ingredients used. Plus they’re a lot lower in sugar and way more nutritious than anything you could buy.
This recipe uses lovely fragrant lemon zest and rosemary for flavour, with just a touch of honey, if you’re on keto then you can omit this. When baking, the oils from the lemon get released and start smelling amazing! These are best served warm with a little bit of grass fed butter melting gently on them….I’m drooling just remembering these.
It’s optional but if you have it then you can add in collagen powder which is a great protein source that can be used by the gut to repair the lining.
I bet you’re thinking how can these be “cream” when they’re dairy free?
I’ve used a little trick which I think is pretty clever, which is to soak some cashews in water for a few hours to soften them, then I blend them with water or plant milk until smooth. It makes the best creamy sauce which pairs really well with the strawberries and some vanilla, plus you get more fibre too, you have to try it!
I’ve also kept these quite low sugar with most of the flavour coming from the fresh berries and only 1 tablespoon of added sweetness so that they still taste good but without a ton of sugar, retraining your taste buds to adjust to natural sweetness from fruit will really benefit you in the long run and you’ll appreciate flavours so much more, just give yourself time.
You’re also getting good nutrition all while using the normal ingredients you’d use for porridge, totally means they’re okay to have for breakfast as it’s like having porridge in bun form!
Getting the most from your berry bites
I had a little think while developing the recipe for these and tried my best to come up with a combination of ingredients that really provided benefits and complemented the other ingredients.
For example, did you know that although most berries are packed full of antioxidants, some components in dairy products actually bind to them and prevent their absorption, therefore by using a dairy free recipe you are getting the max antioxidants. Furthermore, the vitamin C in the berries can help absorption of iron from the cashews and oats. You also get a source of copper and magnesium from the cashews plus healthy soluble fibre from the oats which your gut loves!
Super easy healthy wholemeal bread that doesn’t require any yeast or kneading, basically no skill required as I’m a very lazy baker so I use this as a cheat so I can still have bread without the fillers or preservatives and with minimal effort!
Bloat free bread
If you’ve ever struggled with digesting typical store bought bread then I highly recommend trying this just once. You can bake it right away if you’re short on time but using the cultured buttermilk/kefir (see notes below) and allowing the flour to activate/ferment for a few hours (optional) will help with digestion. Plus you don’t get any added sugars, emulsifiers or preservatives that can affect your gut. Adding this to your eating plan means you still get your bread fix and easy meal prep but in a much healthier way.
Toasted with eggs
I’ve used this for both sweet and savoury recipes, it works great with either. It’s also lovely when lightly toasted. One of my fav recipes for it which isn’t pictured here is some grated apple, cinnamon and nut butter <3
It also goes really well with my Hulk dip or green shamrock spread