Tag Archives: fitfood

Under the Microscope – Maca.

Under the Microscope - Maca.

Superfood Maca is native to the mountains of Peru and is cultivated as high as 4300 meters above sea level. It has been used for over 3500 years and legend claims that during the peak of the Incan empire, the warriors consumed maca before going into battle to ensure super strength and stamina.  On return from battle however, Incan soldiers were prohibited from using maca in order to protect the women from their insatiable sexual desires. Maca is renowned for providing strength, endurance and enhanced libido.

So what is maca?

A member of the cruciferous  tribe  such as kale and cabbage, maca is abundant in potassium, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, iron, sodium and phosphorous and also contains trace minerals which includes iodine, zinc, selenium, bismuth, copper, magnese, tin and silicon. It is also rich in vitamins B1, B2, C and E.

Maca has the ability to stabilise and balance the body’s glandular – hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature. This makes it great for managing hormones, stress, thyroid and your mood in general.
According to David Wolfe, maca is great if you suffer from:
Anaemia
Chronic fatigue
Depression
Infertility and sterility
Lack of libido
Malnutrition
Menopausal symptoms
Menstrual discomfort and disorders
Poor memory
Stomach cancer
Stress tension
Tuberculosis

How to use it and where to get it?

Seeing as maca is a superfood it can be used in greater quantities than other medicinal herbs.  It has also found to be safe to use long term. You can purchase it online or at most health food stores in dried, raw, organic food. Look for the real deal and only buying from the root, not other parts of the plant.

Use a tablespoon in smoothies, juices, nut milks, tea or coffee, or add to your raw chocolate treats.

Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Blend 2 frozen bananas

2 fresh bananas

3 medjool dates

200mls of filtered water (or your favourite nut milk)

1 heaped teaspoon of maca root powder

Sprinkle with cacao nibs.

David Woolfe also claims that maca has a special relationship with cacao so use them together regularly to experience the culinary sensation 🙂

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Reference: Woolfe, D. (2009). Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future.  

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Breakfast Ice-cream

Breakfast Ice-cream

Ice-cream for breakfast? You can eat it all day long on a high raw, plant based diet

For the base blend: 3 frozen and 1 fresh banana with 1 tablespoon of almond butter and a heaped teaspoon of cacao powder

On the top blend 2 frozen bananas, 3 soft dates and 1 vanilla pod.

And for an extra health kick, drizzle some black strap molasses.

Black strap molasses will give you b vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, and great hair 🙂

Eat it guilt free 🙂

Note: Always make sure you use really ripe bananas (spotty skins) to ensure sweetness and optimal digestion.

Mini Chocolate Cakes

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One of the things that I love about this lifestyle is that you can eat chocolate, ice-cream and dessert at any time of the day, whilst losing weight and feeling healthy.  It is also nice to be able let your kids eat decadent foods that you know aren’t full of rubbish.

These chocolate mini cakes are easy to make.  No dehydrator required, just a food processor and/or high speed blender.

Base:

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of soft dates

1/4 of cup of shredded coconut

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture  holds together. (add a teaspoon of water if needed).  Press a tablespoon of mixture into muffin tins.

Middle:

1/4 cup coconut butter (not to be confused with coconut oil)

1/4 cup raw almond butter

1/4 cup coconut nectar.

In a clean food processor blend together the ingredients for the almond fudge until well blended. Add mixture to your bases and clean your food processor for the chocolate icing.

 

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1 cup of soft dates

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil

1/4 of a cup of cacao powder

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla.

Blend until smooth and spread icing over cupcakes.  Place in the freezer to set.

Licking the spoon is mandatory. photo

Yields 9

 

 

 

 

 

Mango and Turmeric Smoothie

Mango and Turmeric Smoothie

I love turmeric in juices and I love to cook with it. It makes me feel invincible over the winter months. Now that it is back in season, I thought I’d try it in a smoothie. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed.

Recipe:

1 cup of coconut water (you could just use water or almond milk)
1 – 2 inches of fresh turmeric
2 cups of mango (frozen if that is all you have)
1 tablespoon of pure vanilla essence
3 bananas

Peel and chop your turmeric before blending it on medium with your coconut water. If you don’t have a high speed blender,  juice your turmeric first. Add the rest of your ingredients and blend well. If you find you’ve used too much turmeric then add some coconut palm sugar. This yields 4 average servings. Adding frozen bananas will give you a creamier smoothie.

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Nutrient dense

The easiest way to the get the good stuff into my kids is via smoothies.  Nut milks are a great way of balancing out the fruit and keeping their tummies full.  Chia seeds will give them fibre, protein, omega 3 EFA’s, calcium, iron and magnesium.  I have recently discovered the goodness of camu powder.  It is a Peruvian super food which is rich in vitamin C and amino acids.  You purchase it and many other super foods at http://www.iherb.com?rcode=ZNZ931.

Just be sure to make enough for yourself

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Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl

Move over green smoothies, smoothie bowls are the new black. You’ll need your blender, large bowl, spoon and…

1 tablespoon of Maqui Berry Powder
1 handful of organic baby spinach
1 cup of raspberries
3 frozen bananas
Some water or coconut water for desired consistency
Blend well and top it off with hemp seeds, cacao nibs and raspberries.

We use maqui berry powder in our smoothies often. Whilst you may of seen goji berries or acai berry powder used in many recipes, maqui berries are less known.

Maqui berries grow wild in Chile and Argentina and are one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the berry family. They are a beautiful vibrant purple colour, which comes from a pigment called anthocyanin.

Research indicates that consuming anthocyanin rich foods may protect against high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and have anti-cancer properties.

 

 

Homemade Almond Butter

Homemade Almond Butter

Not to be attempted when you are in a hurry.
You’ll need natural almonds, a little salt, a food processor, and time. It is a much longer process than making cashew nut or macadamia nut butters but well worth the amount of patience required. It’s cheaper than buying it so winning.

To begin:
Add 3 cups of almonds to your food processor with the S blade fitted.

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Start your processor and let it run for a couple of minutes at a time.  As it processes  the nuts will build up around the top, so be sure to keep pushing them down.

Your machine will start to get hot so you may want to rest it periodically – which in turn will add to your processing time.

At about the 15 minute mark you should start to see some changes.

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The almond mixture will start to form a ball and get quite warm, rest your machine if you like. Give it a mix up and keep going.

 

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By now it is starting to look like the real deal – but it’s not 🙂 Keep going. It was at this point I added a couple of pinches of sea salt.

Once it starts to look grainy, don’t stop.  Push through until it is soft and oily.  The first time I made this I stopped a few minutes short of perfection.  It is really worth going the extra mile.

 

At the 30-35 minute mark (not including the time it took to stop and mind children etc we had beautiful almond butter.

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Store in an glass jar and keep refrigerated for up to a month.  You can use it in raw treats, as a spread, in smoothies or as a dip. It is sensational spread on apple slices 🙂

Mint Chocolate and Caramel Swirl

Mint Chocolate and Carmel Swirl

I’ve made a variation of this before which you can find here http://rawkiwi.org/2014/02/28/caramel-chocolate-bites/

For the chocolate section I used 1/2 teaspoon of alcohol free peppermint essence instead of vanilla. For a different effect I used a tooth pick to mix small spoonfuls of caramel through the chocolate base. The caramel is seriously good. Full of fat but really good.

 

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If you are looking to add even more sweetness to your day, this should hit the spot.

Juice

1 ripe pineapple.

3 celery sticks.

1 cucumber.

🙂

Green Smoothie – Protein Packed

Green Smoothie - Protein Packed

I finally purchased some Sun Warrior protein powder. I’ve never really been into protein powders but I needed the vanilla flavour for a chocolate recipe that I am making. In the past most of the powders I had used were soy based and left a really strong after taste.
Sun Warrior is raw whole grain brown rice protein powder. It is gluten free, soya free, dairy free and 80% protein.
The vanilla flavour is really lovely and makes for a filling smoothie.

For this smoothie:

Blend
1 scoop of protein powder
At least 1 cup of water
Baby spinach
1 tablespoon of grounded chia seeds
Bananas (frozen or unfrozen and as many as you care for)
1 probiotic capsule  (I used Truflora).

It helps to blend the water, protein powder and spinach until smooth and then slowly add the rest.

Don’t forget to share with any little people in the house. Kids love green smoothies and the sooner you can make them a regular part of their lives, the better 🙂

 

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