Category Archives: Gluten/Wheat Free

Baked Cinnamon Honey or Sea Salt & Vinegar Crisps

IMG_2611Ingredients:

1 Tbsp Vinegar

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Tsp Ground cinnamon  

1 Tsp Honey

2 Small Sweet Potatoes 

 

Directions

1.Mix the honey and cinnamon together on half the batch for a sweet flavour

2. For the salt & vinegar,  shake up the sea salt and vinegar with the sweet potatoes in a ziploc/airtight bag.

Try a Greek Yogurt dip (total 0%) to go with these.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Taken from a great blog – Undressed skeleton, click HERE to see more  

 

 

Mouthwatering Healthy Protein Pancakes 

Yes it’s true, these pancakes ARE healthy, low in fat, calories and high in protein which means they keep you fuller for longer! I’ve used juice plus complete protein powder which is gluten, wheat and dairy free and suitable for vegans and used by 3 Olympic teams and many athletes around the world.image

Prep time –5 mins

Cook time  –10 mins

Total time – 15 mins

Ingredients:

1 tsp baking soda

1/3 Cup instant oats, dry

2 scoops vanilla or chocolate protein (juice plus) powder

2 egg whites

1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt (0% total)

1/2 small banana (old)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Low calorie nonstick oil spray

Instructions:

1. In a blender, combine the oats, protein powder, egg whites, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, banana, and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

2. In a large skillet coated with spray oil, begin cooking the pancakes over medium-high heat, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

3. Serve immediately or let them cool and place in a Tupperware box. You can freeze half the batch as well in separate ziplock bags. Make sure they are defrosted before serving.

image

Serving suggestions 

Best served warm (heat up in microwave or oven) with

-Total 0% Greek yoghurt & some strawberries / raspberries / blueberries

– organic almond or cashew nut butter & sliced banana 

– homemade frozen banana yoghurt and some cinnamon 

– Greek yoghurt a 2 tsps agave nectar syrup 

For more information on juice plus click here –http://www.juiceplus.co.uk/+ct53247

Spiced Baked Apple Chips

These spiced baked apple chips make a fabulous healthy alternative to potato chips when you want a crunchy treat!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours

Ingredients

Apples (as many as you like!)
Apple pie spice

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

2. Slice apples very thinly and discard seeds.

3. Arrange apple slices (without overlapping) on nonstick or cooking-sprayed baking sheets.

4. Sprinkle with apple pie spice.

5. Bake apples for 1 hour, then flip and continue baking for 1 to 2 more hours, flipping occasionally, until the apple slices are crunchy and no longer moist. The thinner the apples, the less time they will need to bake.

IMG_8358

Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Click here to go to original source

Baked Chicken & Pesto Polenta 

Ingredients

1 cup Mixed vegetables

1 Chicken breast

1 tsp Pesto

1 tbsp low fat cream cheese (Philadelphia)

50g Polenta

1 slice low-fat cheese

Directions

1. Cook the chicken breast and then chop up into slices

2. Boil the vegetables and drain

IMG_6381

 

 

 

 

 

3. Heat 200ml water in a pan and when it starts to simmer immediately add the polenta and make sure you keep stirring.

4. Add the fromage frais and pesto and stir.

IMG_6379,

5. Add the chicken and vegetables and mix into the polenta

6. Pour into your dish and sprinkle with cheese.

7. Put the dish a pre-heated oven 200 degrees for 20 mins , then switch on the grill and pop under for 5 mins so the cheese bubbles and you get a nice crispy too!

IMG_6380

ENJOY!

IMG_6382

Frozen Yoghurt – Not as healthy as you think

Alice Mackintosh, a nutrition consultant at The Food Doctor says: ‘Even if frozen yogurts are fat-free, if they are high in sugar, your body may take the sugar and store it as fat. They don’t offer much nutritional value, and should not be mistaken for a healthy snack.’ The probiotic element is in too low a concentration to have much impact, she adds.

New York-based nutritionist Lana Masor explains: ‘There are two things in this world that make food taste really good — fat and sugar — so if something claims to be fat-free but it tastes delicious, you can bet that it is loaded with sugar.’

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Since the difference in the ingredients of ice cream and frozen yogurt is cream, the main nutritional difference is the fat content. One cup of regular vanilla ice cream contains 275 calories, 5 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fat and 9 grams of saturated fat. One cup of regular vanilla frozen yogurt contains 221 calories, 5 grams of protein, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of saturated fat.

Several of the frozen yogurt cups also contain both artificial and natural ingredients — the former is chemically made, while the latter comes from some place in nature (though not necessarily something you’d typically think of as food; for example, some natural berry flavors might come from castoreum, an extract from beaver perineal glands).

So how to make sense of a confusing label? Here’s Nestle’s rule: “If it has more than five ingredients, or you don’t recognize the ingredient as a food, leave it.”
Some of the ingredient lists above top 10-plus items — and that’s for the seemingly simple “tart” flavors, not the oh-so-tempting birthday cake variety. And yup, that’s before loading on the toppings.

The Best Frozen Yogurt Is the One You Make Yourself!!!

HONEY PEACH FROZEN YOGHURT

INGREDIENTS

3 ripe peaches, peeled and cut into chunks. (about 3 cups of cut fruit and you can use a mix of white and yellow)
¼ cup honey
2 ½ cups Fage Greek yogurt

METHOD

With a blender or a hand blender, puree peaches.
Add, honey and yogurt and puree more.
Pour contents into ice cream maker and turn on for 25 to 30 minutes, until mixture is stiff and bunching into the blades.
Remove all frozen yogurt from ice cream maker and store it in another container.
Freeze for an additional 2 hours. Serve.

IMG_6093.JPG

FROZEN STRAWBERRY YOGHURT

INGREDIENTS

140g strawberries
½ x 405g can light condensed milk
500g tub 0%-fat Greek yogurt

METHOD

Roughly chop half the strawberries and whizz the rest in a food processor or with a stick blender to a purée.
In a big bowl, stir the condensed milk into the puréed strawberries then gently stir in the yogurt until well mixed.
Fold through the chopped strawberries.
Scrape the mixture into a loaf tin or container, pop on the lid or wrap well in cling film and freeze overnight, until solid.
Remove from the freezer about 10-15 mins before you want to serve the frozen yogurt.
Can be frozen for up to 1 month.

IMG_6095.JPG

Do you really know what the labels organic, natural, low calorie or healthy really means?

Fresh, Natural, Organic – What Do All These Labels Really Mean?

IMG_5905.JPG

What Does “Natural” Mean?

In a short answer nothing. The term natural has no FDA guideline behind it. The information taken directly from their site states the following: “The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.”

So while the foods can’t include synthetic ingredients, they can be heavily processed, such as animals raised with antibiotics and growth hormones. High fructose syrup (sometimes referred to as corn sugar) is a natural substance, but producing it from raw corn requires a number of processing steps.

What Does “Organic” Mean?

IMG_5903.JPG

According to the USDA there are three categories for the term organic:

100 percent organic –
Foods that don’t contain any non-organic ingredients can be labeled as “100 percent organic”.

Organic
Foods can be labeled simply “organic” if they contain 95 percent organic ingredients, and the other 5 percent does not contain growth hormones.

Made with organic ingredients –
Foods that have at least 70 percent organically produced ingredients can use the term “made with organic ingredients”. That’s right – up to 30 percent of the contents could be non-organic.

The Difference Between Healthy and Low Calorie Foods

IMG_5901.JPG

Low calorie foods are often thought to be healthy, and people often assume the opposite is also true – that high-calorie foods are unhealthy. The amount of calories in food is not necessarily linked to how healthy that food is.

What does healthy actually mean?

Something that is healthy will help maintain or improve your physical or mental condition.

A food source that is healthy will have good short-term and long-term effects for your mind and/or body. Conversely, something that is unhealthy will have bad short-term and long-term effects for your mind or body.

Why high calorie foods can be thought to be unhealthy

There is a catch. Everyone is different, with different body types and activity levels requiring a different amount of energy each day, so a healthy amount of calories for one person may be an unhealthy amount of calories to consume for another person.

Being overweight with excessive body fat can have many long term health risks, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Therefore, you must eat a diet with a specific caloric intake that enables you to stay at a healthy weight for your body type. In this case low calorie foods and meals must be eaten in order to be healthy.

If you focus on eating whole foods most of the time, you should end up eating fewer calories without eating a smaller quantity of food. To get the maximum benefit, choose foods with low calorie density to allow yourself to increase food intake whilst reducing caloric intake. Overall, improving your food choices and eating better food for weight loss is a much more sustainable lifestyle choice than simply reducing the quantity of food you are eating.

Do you regularly read the ingredient panel on food products you purchase? Did you know what these terms really meant? http://www.naturalnews.com/”

http://traineatgain.com/difference-healthy-low-calorie-foods/

Foods to Eat and Avoid to Stay in Shape

I read this article and loved it so much I wanted to share with all of you!

Eating the right foods will help you to stay in shape, build muscle and burn fat. It can be hard to decide what foods fit into your diet plan so we’ve come up with a simple list!

IMG_5622.JPG

There are three major food groups: proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Your diet will come from a mixture of these three macronutrients and there are good and bad choices for each group! To help you decide which foods you should eat, we have split up the items in each food group into three categories:

Eat – you can eat these every day

Eat in Moderation – eat these once or twice a week if you like

Avoid – try not to eat these

The bulk of your diet should come from the ‘Eat’ section, with a few items from the ‘Eat in Moderation’ section each week. Try to steer clear of foods labelled ‘Avoid’ – they are labelled that way for a reason and will slow down your progress!

Proteins

With protein, choosing the highest quality sources is of top priority. We especially want to avoid getting our protein from processed foods such as burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and any other fast food or junk food. Whilst the protein in these foods may come from the same place as a lean cut of meat, they also come packed full of fats and unhealthy additives such as preservatives, rusk and batter.

The majority of our protein should come from lean cuts of meat, fish, eggs, low fat dairy and whey protein (obviously if you are vegetarian or vegan this may not be possible!). Fattier cuts of red meat and poultry can be eaten occasionally but these tend to be high in saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids, which we don’t want to consume too much of (more about this later).

Eat – All fish, chicken/turkey breast meat, eggs, greek yogurt, low fat cheese, lean red meat, whey protein powders, tofu/meat substitutes

Eat in moderation – fatty cuts of red meat, chicken/turkey leg meat, full fat cheese, whole milk

Avoid – processed meats, burgers, hot dogs, anything deep fried or battered, chicken/turkey skin

Carbohydrates

With carbohydrates, our priority is avoiding foods with a high glycemic index as these are more likely to cause us to put on body fat. Carbs with a high glycemic index such as sugar and white bread also tend to be devoid of any nutritional value, which is not very useful to anyone who wants to be healthy!

Try to eat 5-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day to ensure you are getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. The other carbs in the ‘Eat’ category all have a low glycemic index but less nutritional value than fruit and veg. This is not really an issue and these carb sources do not have the same disadvantages as sugars and baked goods.

Eat – rice (basmati, brown, long grain), white potato, sweet potato, yams, oats, all vegetables, salad leaves, low sugar fruits (berries, melon, lemon, lime, apples, grapefruit)

Eat in moderation – brown bread, rice (short grain, risotto), rice cakes, brown pasta, sugary fruits (banana, mango, pineapple, orange, cherry, grape, kiwi)

Avoid – sugars, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, ice cream, fast food (pizza, fries, etc.), sugary drinks (soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, milkshakes), white bread, white pasta, sugary cereals

Fats

Not all fats are equal and some are really good for our health. They are often demonised by mainstream nutritional guidelines, but we must look at fats individually and not bundle them all into one group. We want the majority of our fat intake to come from healthy monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Foods we should try to avoid are those containing large amounts of saturated fat and omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega 6 fatty acids can promote inflammation and omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation. If these are in balance then all will be well within our bodies, but if we take in too many omega 6 fatty acids this can lead to an increased level of inflammation in the body. We should try and reduce our intake of omega 6 fatty acids because they are contained in so many of the foods we eat, especially vegetable oils and animal products like meat and dairy (also nuts excluding macadamia nuts can be high in omega 6). This makes it very easy to consume a lot more omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3 fatty acids.

There is a great deal of debate about whether saturated fats are bad for our health. Since eating a large amount of them is not essential to achieving our goals, it makes sense to limit our intake but not cut them out entirely. The saturated fats in coconut are an exception to this rule as they are primarily made up of medium chain trigycerates (MCTs), which are more easily broken down by the body and can readily be used for energy. The foods in the ‘Eat’ category are packed with good fats and should form the majority of your fat intake.

Eat – avocado, raw macadamia nuts, coconut, olive oil, oily fish, olives

Eat in moderation – all other nuts, nut butters, butter, dark chocolate

Avoid – vegetable oil, sunflower oil, vegetable spreads, mayonnaise, anything deep fried.

Check out http://traineatgain.com/ for more brilliant articles like this on fitness, diet and health.

IMG_5441.JPG

Why you’re not loosing weight

It sounds so simple: Don’t eat or drink too much. But looks can be deceiving. It’s easy to eat or drink more than you planned to.

A 2004 study of 329 overweight people found that 38% of those who practiced portion control for two years lost 5% or more of body weight, compared with 33% of participants who did not (they gained 5% or more of body weight).

IMG_5593.JPG

How to Measure Portion Sizes of Pasta, Rice and Couscous

Most of us are guilty of cooking too much when it comes to starches. And when we do try to cook less, it somehow ends up not being enough. It’s very hard to get it just right, so how much, in dry weight, should be sufficient per person? Of course it all depends on whether the pasta, rice or couscous is meant to be for a first course or a main course, how hungry you and your family or guests are, and whether or not you want leftovers. But let’s take a look at the average portion sizes used worldwide.

Rice
When it comes to rice the norm seems to be about ½ cup (90g) per person, although some people prefer to use a bit less – about 1/3 cup (60g) per person. And remember we are talking about uncooked rice here, which means that when it’s cooked it’s usually about a cup per person, as rice doubles in size. For a main meal this is definitely enough!

Pasta
As a general guide, you should allow 75g dried pasta, 115g-150g fresh pasta or 175g-200g filled pasta (such as ravioli) per person. The same rule applies to all types of pasta – whether it’s spaghetti, penne, rigatoni or elbows. 70-80 grams of dry pasta turns into a satisfyingly deep-dish plateful. A mound is too much, because it will leave no space for the rest of the meal. When it comes to spaghetti a measuring stick is available to buy in most homeware shops, or you could order one online. This measuring tool has different sized holes from one upwards, and you put in whatever amount passes through the hole to match the amount of servings.

Couscous
Couscous is perhaps less popular than rice and pasta, but is slowly but surely becoming more widely used. A general rule is that 100g couscous per person is sufficient. But of course this also depends on what you are serving it with. 1 cup dry couscous makes 2 – 2 ½ cups cooked couscous. As a side dish, plan on ½ to ¾ cup cooked couscous per person.

IMG_4258.JPG

IMG_4257.JPG

SOURCE

http://www.justeasyrecipes.co.za/2009/08/24/how-to-measure-portion-sizes-of-pasta-rice-and-couscous/

Secrets to the healthy grain Polenta- low fat and versatile !

Polenta

An Italian accompaniment dish made from ground maize, polenta makes a great change from serving pasta and potatoes.

There are three different types of polenta sold in supermarkets and delis. Traditional polenta takes around 40 minutes to cook, and it does need to be stirred while it’s on the stove.
Supermarkets sell instant polenta, which can be brought to the table, piping hot, in less than 10 minutes. 
If all this seems too much like hard work, check out the ready-to-use pre-cooked variety. It’s sold in good delis as a slab or a roll.

My ingredients

Polenta 50g
250ml water
Prawns 60g
Light chive Philadelphia 30g
Brocolli
Tomatoes
Peas
Carrots

HOW TO PREPARE 
Because traditional polenta takes longer to cook, it’s an idea to get hold of a sturdy saucepan, which isn’t likely to scorch.
As a rough guide, allow 50g polenta per person and about 250ml water for cooking.
Add the polenta in a thin steady stream into a saucepan of boiling water. Don’t forget to stir it constantly, or it might go lumpy on you.
When cooked, polenta has a smooth, creamy texture and comes away from the sides of the pan.

IMG_5279-0.JPG

If you don’t like my serving suggestion why not try these yummy alternatives ?

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

Serve it softly set, straight from the pan, with a hearty casserole or rich sauce.
You can also leave it to cool on a tray before cutting into fingers and deep frying.

Ring the changes – try using polenta instead of flour for a nutty, slightly crunchy flavour in cakes and biscuits.

IMG_5319-0.JPG

Creamy Tomato Polenta

IMG_5320-0.JPG

Mediterranean vegetable stack with chargrilled polenta and sauce vierge

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mediterraneanvegetab_86234

Crispy polenta cake

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/crispypolentacake_84562

IMG_5317-0.JPG

Crispy salmon, polenta chips and grilled asparagus

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/crispy_salmon_polenta_67895

Are rice cakes making you fat?

Rice cakes – the dieters nightmare.

You may see rice cakes as a staple diet snack but don’t be fooled. Rice cakes can have a glycemic index rating as high as 91 (pure glucose has a rating of 100), making it the kind of carbohydrate that will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. This is bad for weight loss and for your health!

GLYCEMIC INDEX

Although rice cakes are low in calories, it is easy to eat too many because they don’t make you feel full and can’t fully satiate your craving for more food.

The glycemic index of a food is a measurement of how fast the carbohydrate it contains raises blood glucose levels and insulin secretion as it’s digested.
Rice cakes have a high carbohydrate content at 21 g per serving, and three cakes have a very high glycemic index of up to 95. High-glycemic foods rapidly raise blood glucose levels and create a high insulin demand, which could lead to irreversible diabetes and cause cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and weight gain, warns Oregon State University. J. B. Miller and colleagues at the University of Sydney’s Department of Biochemistry conducted a study to determine the glycemic insulin-index values of various rice products, including rice cakes. The conclusion, as published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 1992, was that rice products are classified as high GI food.

Basically you won’t be satisfied or full- Not a good way to stick to the diet, as you’ll be reaching for a more filling (and more fattening) snack in no time. Swap the rice cake, which has a GI of 87, for a Ryvita, which has a GI of 63.

IMG_5272.JPG

IMG_5273.JPG