Yummy gluten free chocolate and beetroot cake.

I made this cake for my birthday, it's rich and indulgent, great for a special treat yet packed with healthy nutrients. Ingredients: (serves 10) 250g of coconut oil (or you can use unsalted butter) 250g cooked beetroot 250 dark chocolate, broken into pieces (minimum 70% cocoa) 180g coconut palm sugar 3 eggs 75g cornflour 50g raw cacao powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp baking powder 1 pinch sea salt Serve with natural yoghurt or creme fraiche. Method: Preheat the oven to 180

Roasted squash with a chilli quinoa filling.

A delicious vegan Autumn warming dish that's super easy to make. Ingredients: Serves 2 1 medium squash 50g quinoa 4 spring onions 1/2 red chilli Handful of cashews 2 cm ginger, grated Coriander, chopped Olive oil Salt and pepper Optional: 40g of feta cheese (for non vegan version) Method: You can use any type of squash for this recipe. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade or Gas mark 4/ 350F. Start by washing and drying it. Cut it in half and scoop out all the seeds

Broccoli Soup

Looking for a super easy seasonal, delicious and nutritious lunch recipe? Look no further... Ingredients (for 2 - 3 people): 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets 1 medium onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely 1 tbsp olive oil 1 pint chicken or vegetable stock Salt & pepper to season Handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds Method: Start by heating the olive oil in a pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add in the onion a

Common nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin B9 or Folate.

Also known as Folic acid, folate is the name given to it, in it’s natural form. It’s probably best known for it’s importance in the development of a foetus’ neural tube to protect against spina bifida, yet vitamin B9 is also of great importance for all of us, not just pregnant ladies. It’s needed for cardiovascular health, the formation of healthy red blood cells, cell division, which if it’s impaired can affect growth and the normal structure of the nervous system. Vitamin

Common Nutritional Deficiencies : Magnesium

Are you suffering from a nutritional deficiency? Would you know if you were? Most of us are aware of the government's ‘5 a day’ fruit and vegetable guideline and know that we need to incorporate certain food groups in our diet and may even take regular supplements. But are we actually sure if our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to function properly and maintain good health? I've compiled a guide to four of the moIst common nutritional deficiencies, why they are

Common Nutritional Deficiencies and Symptoms. Are you suffering from a nutritional deficiency?

Would you know if you were? Most of us are aware of the government's ‘5 a day’ fruit and vegetable guideline and know that we need to incorporate certain food groups in our diet and may even take regular supplements. But are we actually sure if our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to function properly and maintain good health? I've compiled a list of the most common ones, why they are important and how you can solve them. Todays post is focusing on - Vitamin D Vit

Barbecues for vegans and meat eaters.

Hurrah, the sun is shining and the barbecues are out, but what do you do cook if you have to cater for meat eaters and vegans? Everyone loves a barbecue, there's something about the ease of slinging on a few burgers and sausages, maybe some kebabs and chicken wings whilst you relax in the sun with a chilled beer? Even for vegetarians it's easy to find a decent veggie version these days. But what if you're vegan? Not having delved into the world of vegan sausages before I s

"Mum, I'm going to become vegan".

"Oh - really?" I've never been against veganism and I'm all for eating a mostly plant based diet, but did I want my eleven year old to become vegan? To be honest my initial reaction was no, I didn't. On a selfish basis I knew to eat well (nutritionally well), I'd have to start cooking differently for her and that would mean more work for me to make sure she was eating all the nutrients she required as a growing girl. I was (and still am) concerned that it was a nutritionally

Bread glorious bread

This week marks the end of my three month abstinence of all things dairy and wheat not to mention peas, cannellini beans, kidney beans, yeast, almonds, cashews..... Am I feeling smug having got through a whole three months without some of my favourite foods? Excited that I may now be able to reintroduce them back into my diet? Oh how I have missed freshly baked bread. Many times over the last few months, I've clinged longingly to warm loaves of freshly baked bread, whilst

Kids, do you fancy some avocado on sourdough - no? Chocolate - yes?

If you are lucky enough to have kids that will happily devour avocado, nuts, seeds, homemade energy balls and only drink water, then I take my hat off to you. Whilst many of us, have a long list of foods that we'd like our kids to be eating , getting them to eat it is another matter. I do have some general snack rules in our family, which have varied over the years but two I have always stuck to, I very rarely buy sweets and for many years now, we never have biscuits in the

The French connection

My passion for healthy food hasn't been a life long one. I've never been a massive junk food eater, or had a particularly sweet tooth. But when we moved to France, when the kids were four and six years old, I began to look at food in a fresh light. I realised that I was hitting middle age an it was time to start looking after myself. But it was not just age, being surrounded by markets with amazing seasonal, locally sourced foods and supermarkets stocking only fresh produce

One vegan, one gluten & dairy intolerant, one picky voracious meat eater & one wannabe gastronome...

Welcome to my family and the trials and tribulations of what, why, can, I possibly feed them, keeping them nourished and contented and my sanity in check! Now I must make clear first of all, we all love food in my family, even the fussy one of us, he just loves specific foods and isn't keen on trying new ones! Feeding a family can always get mundane, however much you love cooking, and I do - most of the time. I also know what, ideally, we should all be eating to keep us in

Inflammation (part 2) - how can we reduce inflammation through diet?

Diet plays a major role in affecting inflammation, both positively and negatively. Inflammation is linked to consuming various different foods particularly those containing high levels of glucose and fat. If you eat red meat you are more likely to have high levels of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid which your body naturally produces, which if it is too high, can lead to inflammation. Sugar, white bread and pasta, processed foods, fast food and oils which have been damaged by

Inflammation (part 1): How it affects the body.

Do you or someone you know suffer from arthritis, asthma, eczema, acne, heart disease, bowel disease or cancer? These are just some of the diseases which can be traced back to chronic inflammation and there are many more. In fact most diseases have some kind of underlying inflammatory cause, affecting the gut, brain, joints and skin. So what is inflammation? The body is amazing and will always try to heal itself. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to attempt to protec

Should I be drinking coffee?

Most of us can’t go without a cup of coffee or two on a daily basis, but do we need to be worried about this or can we be drinking it guilt free and how much is too much? Well a few years ago we’d only have heard about the negative impacts of coffee, raising your blood pressure, causing heartburn and impacting a good night’s sleep. Whilst some of us do have sensitivities to caffeine, increasing evidence has led us to believe that it actually has some health benefits. Coffe

Should I go gluten free?

Is it just a trendy food fad, or is there more to it? So of all the confusing messages around food and health, whether you should go gluten free must be up there near the top. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats, if you are have coeliac disease then the, the body’s immune system reacts to gluten by damaging the lining of the small intestine, which will affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. It’s a serious condition which needs to be di