New ways of approaching food and cooking

In need of a sweet treat that won’t set you on a guilt trip? This recipe, created by award winning TV Chef and Nutritionist, Christine Bailey, on behalf of Mindful Bites, is for a fudge is so scrummy you’ll find it hard to believe it’s so healthy. Rich in protein and essential fats with no added sugar this makes a wonderful treat or healthy post workout snack.

The addition of the superfood, Baobob, gives this fudge a sensational citrus tang and plenty of vitamin C for animmune and beauty boost.

Vitamin C is crucial for the production of collagen which is an
essential protein for healthy skin, bones and hair.

Makes 20 pieces

Suitable for Vegetarians, Suitable for Vegans, Gluten Free

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Chilling Time: 3 hours

Storage: Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. Freeze for up to 1 month.

 

Chocolate Cashew & Baobab Fudge
Fudge

Picture courtesy Christine Bailey: www.christinebailey.com

Ingredients

  • 200g cashew nuts
  • 200g pecans
  • 1tsp baobab powder
  • 200g dairy free, sugar free chocolate chips
  • 75g cashew nut butter
  • 150g pitted soft dates

 

 

 

 

Method:

1. In a high speed blender grind up the nuts in batches until really fine. Place in a bowl with
the baobab powder.
2. Put the chocolate chips in a small saucepan with the nut butter and melt over a low heat.
3. Place the dates in a blender with the melted chocolate mixture and process to form a stiff
paste.
4. Add the chocolate paste to the ground nuts and combine thoroughly using your hands to
make sure it is completely mixed. It should form a soft dough.
5. Place the mixture into a lined 20cm / 8-inch shallow square tin and press down firmly.
6. Chill for 3-4 hours until firm. Cut into chunks to serve.

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 Who doesn’t love Banana Bread? This recipe, created by Christine Bailey, an award winning TV Chef and Nutritionist on behalf of Mindful Bites,  is for a perfectly nutritious gluten-free bread to kick start your day. Packed with fibre, healthy fats and protein to energise you through the whole morning. Using Mindful Bites Almond & Maca Nut Butter, this is the perfect way to give your morning a healthy sustained energy kick.

Maca is a well known adrenal adaptogen helping the body cope with our daily stresses. Almonds are a good source of magnesium, manganese, iron and B vitamins which are all essential for energy production. Sweetened with bananas rather than sugar or syrups this will some become a family favourite.

For a special treat why not add a handful of chocolate chips to the mix before cooking.

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian

Makes 1 x 2lb loaf / Serves 10

Banana Almond Maca Bread
Banana Almond Maca Bread

Picture courtesy of Christine Bailey www.christinebailey.co.uk

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas, medium
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 60g coconut oil softened
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 125g Mindful Bites Almond & Maca Nut Butter
  • 30g coconut flour
  • 75g gluten free porridge oats
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g dairy free chocolate chips, optional

 

 

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas mark 4.
2. Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment
3. Place the first five ingredients in a food processor and beat well until smooth. Add the
remaining ingredients and process to form a smooth batter. If you want to at this point, stir
in some chocolate chips or handful of dried fruit or mixed seeds.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
5. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and when a skewer is inserted
into the middle it comes out clean
6. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before turning out on to a wire
rack.
7. Cool then slice and serve.

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Fed_Up-770x360

The problem lies in the fact that most of us are not even aware of how much sugar we are consuming. Whilst we know the obvious culprits (although even they can surprise us), there are also the sugar sources we don’t know about. Sugar is added to hamburgers to reduce shrinkage and add juiciness, to breading in deep fried foods or to give frozen fish a sheen. It is added to canned and frozen vegetables to maintain colour and juiciness; to bread to give it that golden crust; to soups and sauces to lend glossiness and flavour.

In fact, by some estimates, as much as 75% of the food available in supermarkets contains some form of added sugar.

Understanding sugars

Sugar, in all forms, is a simple carbohydrate that the body converts into glucose and uses for energy. But the effect on the body depends on the type of sugar you’re eating, and what you are eating it with.

Natural sugars are found in fruit and vegetables as fructose and in dairy products as lactose. Foods with natural sugar provide essential nutrients and come packaged up with vitamins, fats and fibre that assist the body in metabolising them appropriately.

Refined sugar (the white and brown crystals we think of when we say ‘sugar’) comes from sugarcane or sugar beets, which are industrially farmed (using all sorts of pesticides and fertilisers and even, in the States, GMO plants) and then highly processed to create the sugar crystals, leaving any nutrients or goodness behind. This granulated sugar, is typically found as sucrose. Food manufacturers use chemically produced sugar – aka high-fructose corn syrup – to get maximum sweetness with minimum cost.

Refined Carbohydrates as found in white bread, white rice, spaghetti and baked goods are ‘read’ by your body as sugars.  As far as  it is concerned, even if you are eating a hamburger, or a pizza, your body will deal with the bread in exactly the same way as it deals with refined sugar, which is to metabolise it very quickly.

Metabolism matters

Because refined sugar is digested quickly, you don’t feel full after you’re done eating, no matter how many calories of it you have consumed. On the other hand, the fibre and insoluble starches in fruit and vegetables slow down the metabolisation of the sugars they contain. That’s why it is easy to munch through an entire packet of biscuits, but an equivalent number of calories in apples? Not so much. It’s almost like nature put a handy brake on the amount of sugar we can take in one go. A brake that we humans were quick to dismantle, in the form of refined sugars and processed foods.

What determines how your body uses the sugar you have consumed is the amount of sugar already in your blood. Therefore even if what you’re munching on is a fresh apple, when you’ve just eaten your body-weight in donuts (or pizza) your body will still store the additional sugar from the apple as fat.

apples

The important thing, in addition to eating less sugar and refined carbohydrates generally, is to switch to unrefined, natural sugar. Use apples, bananas, carrots and dates to sweeten your baking.

The trick is to choose your sugars carefully.

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