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Is gluten free bread healthy?

When transitioning to a gluten free diet, many people are often horrified at the thought of giving up toast for breakfast. But is gluten free bread healthy? Gluten free bread is so widely available now, and some of it is not bad, why wouldn’t you just swap your normal bread for this, slap on some jam, and carry on as you were?

Before delving into this, I want to clear a few things up about toast for breakfast in general. I’m not talking about your artisan, organic, stoneground, bread made in a 17th century mill in the Pennines (this is pretty good stuff), I mean your bog-standard, ubiquitous supermarket loaf. 

The concept of bread, and toast in particular, is so deeply entrenched in the British psyche that to suggest removing it is tantamount to chopping an arm off. Yes, there is some fibre in the wholewheat varieties – which we’re told is very good for us – and some might be fortified with a few vitamins and minerals, but on the whole I consider...

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My ‘Ultimate’ Green Joothie (it’s a juicy smoothie!)

I love my job. I am one of the lucky few who has followed their passion and gets to do what they love every day. Helping people to improve their health and feel better than ever using great nutrition is just so rewarding. And believe me, I do not do it for the money! 

But every now and then, a little perk turns up that makes my job just that little bit more rewarding. After writing and blogging about smoothies and green smoothies for what feels like a lifetime, it's wonderful to finally have this recognised.

When the lovely people at Russell Hobbs sent me their brand new 3-in-1 Ultimate Juicer to try out and create my very own smoothie with, I did do a little whoop. I do love a kitchen appliance, and to be sent one by the manufacturers is just a teeny bit exciting!

The 3-in-1 Ultimate Juicer is a juicer, press and blender all in one machine. So you get to make smoothies using a freshly made juice for a delicious flavour, maximum nutrient content and minimal...

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Cleansing Green Smoothie

Click on this post to watch the video!

Check out my latest recipe for this delicious and cleansing green smoothie. It's packed full of alkalising vegetables, low-GI fruit and healthy fats which are great for your skin and won't send you on sugar rollercoaster. 

You know I love a smoothie! They're easy on the digestion, portable and a great way of packing lots of nutrient-rich colourful vegetables in one meal. 

If you need a kickstart to get you back on the health wagon this is a great place to start. It's super simple to prepare and you can enjoy it straight away. I even made a little video!! My first attempt at editing, so be kind!

The full recipe for the smoothie can be found below this clip:

Cleansing Green Smoothie:

1 pear
1 stick of celery
2-3" chunk of cucumber
1/2 an avocado
1 dsp coconut oil
1 dsp chia seeds
1 slice lemon, unpeeled
1 chunk ginger
200ml unsweetened almond milk

Blend in a high speed blender and enjoy straight away. 

If you love this recipe check...

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Grain free granola recipe and my personal thyroid story

Why am I making a grain free granola? And what's it got to do with my thyroid?

I have been asked this question a few times in the last couple of days when I mentioned I had made a grain free granola, as I have decided to go grain-free for January (and possibly longer). Does it have oats in it? What are grains in? What's wrong with grains, and why are you giving them up? Aren't you already gluten free, what's the difference?

Whoa! So many questions! I realised, however, that I live in my little nutrition bubble where I assume that everyone knows what grains are, and what paleo is, and what a grain free granola is! But it's actually only the other people in my nutrition bubble who know what I am on about, and the vast majority of the population just think I am slightly bonkers.

So, before I get to the recipe for this delicious, grain-free granola, I thought I would give you a little background as to why I am going grain free. It's a bit personal and it's about my health. But...

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Gluten-Free Blueberry and Almond Butter Porridge

Serves 1
A wholesome, warming autumnal breakfast
 
 
Total Time
10 min
 
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup/21g brown rice flakes (such as Big Oz)
  2. 1/4 cup/21g quinoa flakes (such as Amisa)
  3. 1 cup/240ml non-dairy milk of choice (such as Koko)
  4. Big handful frozen blueberries (or fruit of choice)
  5. 2 tsp almond butter
  6. 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (Biona)
  7. 1 nectarine
  8. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the nectarine and the cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until the milk has been absorbed and the rice/quinoa flakes are cooked.
  3. Top with nectarine and cinnamon.

So, the mornings are getting a little cooler and I've been getting a bit of a hankering for some warm, wholesome porridge. After a little experimentation I've come up with this delicious blueberry and almond butter porridge. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Nutribullet smoothies, but sometimes you need something a little more substantial of an autumn...

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My 5 favourite Nutribullet recipes

I’m a bit obsessed with my Nutribullet and I’m always being asked about smoothies so I thought it was only fair to share my 5 favourite Nutribullet recipes with you. 

There are lots of other blenders out there in various price ranges so there’s no need to feel left out. I’ve recently been introduced to the Breville Blend-Active which comes with portable spouted bottles that I personally feel are less cumbersome than the large Nutribullet cup. However, I do so love my Bullet!

Smoothies are such a versatile food/drink. They are great for breakfast but equally fab for a mid-afternoon snack instead of a slab of sugary cake. They’re also great for sneaking extra veg into kids without them realising! Who knew you could hide spinach in a blueberry milkshake?!

The key to making a well-balanced smoothie is to make sure you include the following components:

– Vegetables – you really can blend any veg. Green leafy veg like spinach and...

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Grain-free, Gluten-free Chocolate, Almond & Coconut Paleo Bars

Paleo Bars

These sound rather delicious don’t they? Well, they are! There are lots of different ‘paleo bars’ out there at the moment, which are so easy to make at home and are a great snack, pre or post exercise boost, or even an on-the-go breakfast. But don’t be fooled by the fancy title. They are suitable for everyone –  not just gluten/grain free people – even hungry husbands who’ve just got home from work!

I am forever looking for snacks for both myself and the kids (and the husband) that are not totally laden with sugar and unhealthy fats – and are also gluten free. Nakd bars do a pretty good job but they are fairly pricey, and most other gluten free granola bars/snack bars are just loaded with sugar and other ingredients like ‘glucose syrup’, ‘rice syrup’, ‘brown rice syrup’, ‘evaporated cane juice’ which are basically fancy-pants words for…you guessed...

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Gluten-free Granola

I’ve been making my own gluten-free granola for quite some time now. First of all, most of the shop-bought gluten-free granola options were so sugary that they did not pass the test for a healthy breakfast; and secondly, they are usually very expensive. So I set out to create my own and had been using the same formula week in, week out, until I got a little bored of it and stopped making it altogether.

Then one of my little ones asked me if we could make some granola so naturally I obliged and checked the cupboard for ingredients. Result! Thankfully my cupboards are usually well stocked with oats (gluten-free, of course) and a selection of nuts and seeds but – disaster – no honey or maple syrup. Or so I thought! It turns out this (slightly sticky) half bottle of Meridian Date Syrup was the secret ingredient I’d been looking for to magic my granola into something quite scrumptious indeed. Not too sweet, but wonderfully gooey and intensely moreish. 

...

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Gluten free coconut bread

This delicious gluten free coconut bread is so easy to make and so versatile. It has an almost cake-like texture so you can eat it as a sweet or a savoury bread. It is equally delicious smothered in avocado or houmous as it is with a cheeky bit of jam. You could probably grate cheese onto it and stick it under the grill, though I’ve not tried this!

I was given this recipe from a homeopath, though I’m not sure where she originally obtained it. As I am gluten free, and now dairy free as well, I am always on the lookout for delicious recipes that can emulate some of the foods that I cannot have. Not that I really miss bread and cakes, but this coconut bread certainly hits the spot!

The first time I made this coconut bread was to take to lunch with two nutritionist friends. I made the fatal schoolboy error of not greasing the loaf tin and most of it stuck to the bottom of the pan. I managed to rescue most of it, and it was still delicious. My nutritionist friend...

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Mummy Muffins

That got your attention!

As I mentioned in Super Speedy Snacks, I recently gave a talk to my local NCT Bumps & Babes group with lots of practical easy ideas to incorporate healing, healthy, energy-boosting foods into their very busy lives.

I have no idea if they were listening because frankly the babies were making a right racket, but I do know that the muffins went down a treat. The reason I have called them Mummy Muffins is that they contained two special ingredients to encourage milk flow – fennel and caraway seeds. Now, don’t worry, you won’t start spontaneously lactating, but it does give them an lovely aniseedy tang.

I have adapted the recipe for Good Morning Muffins from one of my favourite cookbooks, Leon by Allegra McEvedy, to make them less sugary, more nutty and seedy, gluten free, and of course, milk flow-inducing. Here you go:

 

Makes about 8 in a deep muffin tray.

  • 2 eggs (free range definitely, organic preferably)
  • 90ml groundnut oil
  • 3 heaped...
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