Friday 28 April 2017

Multi Seed Crackers

multi seed crackers

These crisp crackers have a satisfying crunch and a lovely flavour thanks to the combination of sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds. They're great on their own, topped with nut butter or served with a dip. I adore them with my Moroccan Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip (recipe here) and I'm not alone as I've found it's a popular combination when served as a canapé.

Three great health benefits: anti-inflammatory, boosts immunity, good source of fibre

Makes approx 60 crackers
Store in an airtight container
Dough freezes well

1 & 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp flaxseeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch sea salt
50ml olive oil
300ml boiling water

1) Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Line a baking tray with silicone liner or greaseproof paper.
2) Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3) Add the oil and water and mix until thoroughly combined (I use my hands to do this). Form into two balls.
4) Lightly flour a clean surface and a rolling pin. Roll the "dough" until thin (cracker thin).
5) Cut into desired shapes using an upside down glass or cookie cutter. Place on the baking tray, spaced evenly apart.
6) Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire cooling rack.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Wednesday 26 April 2017

Moroccan Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip

moroccan spiced roasted carrot dip

I love making dips to dollop onto salads and nourish bowls or to serve with crudities. Hummus is my go-to but I was recently entertaining a friend who is following the low FODMAP diet and avoiding chickpeas so I was inspired to get creative and devised this recipe for Moroccan Spiced Roasted Carrot Dip. It's a thick, chunky dip which is packed full of flavour and really captures the essence of Moroccan spices.

Three great health benefits: good source of fibre, good source of antioxidants, boosts immunity 

Makes approx 1 & 1/2 cups
Keeps for a couple of days refrigerated in an airtight container

3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb carrots, washed and chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp tahini
1 tsp harissa paste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
2) Place the carrots in a roasting tin and drizzle with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, ensuring the carrots are evenly coated. Roast for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3) Place the roasted carrots, along with any remaining oil from the roasting tin, into a food processor along with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, harissa paste, cumin and salt & pepper. Whizz until smooth.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Monday 24 April 2017

Green Apple and Mint Smoothie Bowl

green apple and mint smoothie bowl

This fresh and vibrant green smoothie bowl is jam packed full of goodness, making it the perfect way to start the day. I particularly like to have this for breakfast, with a side of OJ, when I'm feeling run down as it packs in nutrients and instantly makes me feel virtuous and better.

Three great health benefits: good source of fibre, beneficial for heart health, promotes healthy skin

Makes 1 generous serving
Enjoy immediately

2 Granny Smith apples (skin left on)
1 handful spinach
1/2 small avocado, frozen
Leaves from a few sprigs of fresh mint
1 tbsp coconut oil
250ml almond milk
15 almonds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1) Chop the apples in half. Set aside one half and core, then cut into slices. Put aside as this will be used for topping the smoothie bowl. Core and chop the remaining apple into bitesized pieces.
2) Place the apple pieces along with the spinach, avocado, mint leaves, coconut oil and almond milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl.
3) Top with the sliced apple, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy immediately.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats

Friday 21 April 2017

Mushroom, Pea and Potato Curry

mushroom pea and potato curry

When introducing people to healthy eating, I often recommend curries because they're associated with a treat (e.g. a takeaway), tend to be naturally free from common allergens yet are full of flavour. This one is great for beginners because it's easy to make as well as being affordable. I find that, as is often the case with curries, this tastes best the day after it's made and the flavours have had a chance to infuse and develop- making it ideal for meal prep! As the curry already contains carbs thanks to the inclusion of potato, I tend to serve this with quinoa instead of traditional rice.

Three great health benefits: anti-inflammatory, boosts immunity, beneficial for bone health

Serves 3 as a main dish or 4 as a side

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 & 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4- 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder (depending on taste)
350g potato, cubed
250g chestnut mushrooms, halved/ quartered
300g frozen peas
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
500ml water
Sea salt and black pepper

1) Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, followed by the ginger and fry lightly until softened.
2) Next add the spices - ground coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli- along with a splash of water to form a paste. Add the potato and stir.
3) Add the chopped tomatoes and mushrooms, and remaining water (I usually pour the water into the tomato tin to avoid any wastage). Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4) Finally, add the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Banana Bread

banana bread

Is there anything better than a slice of warm banana bread fresh from the oven?! It's great way to use up bananas which are past their best and is arguably the ultimate comfort food. This low added sugar version has a dense texture which means that it works well as a "bread". It tastes incredible smeared with my Healthy "Nutella" (click here for the recipe) or peanut butter - so good!

Three great health benefits: good source of fibre, beneficial for brain health, beneficial for heart health

Makes 1 loaf
Freezes well

4 ripe bananas (which have turned brown), peeled
1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid), plus a little for greasing the tin
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 & 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 cup walnut pieces (dust lightly with a little buckwheat flour)

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a loaf tin using a little coconut oil.
2) In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Add the coconut oil and stir.
3) Add the bicarbonate of soda and salt, followed by the sugar and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
4) Fold in the buckwheat flour and finally, stir in the walnuts.
5) Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for approximately 40-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean when removed. Set aside to cool.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Monday 17 April 2017

Strawberry, Almond & Coconut Bliss Balls

strawberry almond and coconut bliss balls

These bliss balls are my boyfriend's favourite, which comes as little surprise given his sweet tooth. The creaminess of the almond flavour works really well with the sweet strawberry and I like that the coconut and berry brings a taste of the forthcoming summer, whilst also providing an energy boost that's ideal ahead of a workout or as a healthy pick-me-up.

Three great health benefits: good source of protein, high in fibre, beneficial for brain health

Makes 12
Keeps for approx 1 week refrigerated in an airtight container and freezes well for a couple of months

325g dried strawberries
125g almonds
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp almond butter
3 tbsp desiccated coconut

1) Whizz the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the strawberries, coconut oil and almond butter and whizz until the mixture sticks together.
2) Form into balls and roll in the desiccated coconut. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Fudgey Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake with Creamy Avocado Frosting

fudgey sweet potato chocolate cake with creamy avocado frosting

I really hope that you'll try today's recipe. It's the most wonderfully indulgent, rich & fudgey chocolate cake with creamy frosting. Trust me, you'd never know that it contains sweet potatoes and avocado! I wanted to come up with something really special and chocolatey for Easter and after a little recipe testing, this is the end result- a great celebration cake that needn't be solely reserved for Easter.

Three great health benefits: high in fibre, promotes healthy skin, rich source of iron

Makes 1 small cake

4 cups sweet potato, peeled & chopped into cubes
3 tbsp coconut oil (liquid), plus a little extra for greasing the cake tins
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped in half
6 tbsp maple syrup
6 tbsp raw cacao pow der
1 & 1/4 cups brown rice flour
Generous pinch sea salt

For the frosting:
8 medjool dates, pitted and soaked for 15 minutes in boiling water
3 ripe baby avocado, peeled and with the stone removed
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
Decorations, optional and as desired (I used edible flowers)

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan). Place the sweet potato in a roasting tin with 1 tbsp of the coconut oil and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool.
2) Grease two 8 inch round cake tins with a little coconut oil or line with greaseproof paper.
3) Place the cooled sweet potato in a food processor along with the dates. Whizz until combined.
4) Add the maple syrup and coconut oil to the food processor and whizz again until combined.
5) Add the cacao powder, brown rice flour and salt to the mixture in the food processor and whizz again until thoroughly combined, stopping and scraping down the sides if necessary.
6) Divide the mixture evenly between the two cake tins (you can weigh this if you want to be really precise) and smooth the top. The mixture is thick and fudgey so you'll need to use a spatula to spread it in the tin. Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
7) Make the frosting by whizzing together the soaked dates, avocado, cacao powder and maple syrup in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Be sure to continue processing until any green lumps are removed.
8) Use the frosting to assemble and decorate the cake.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Monday 10 April 2017

Carrot Cake Smoothie

carrot cake smoothie

I'm so excited to share today's recipe with you! This incredibly indulgent and creamy smoothie tastes exactly like carrot cake but is a healthy option! It packs in two of your five a day and is an excellent way to satisfy any sweet cravings. It's hard to get across just how good this tastes- so you're just going to have to trust me on this one and give it a go. If you're a fan of classic carrot cake then you won't be disappointed!

Three great health benefits: boosts immunity, high in antioxidants, promotes healthy skin

Makes 1 large glass
Enjoy immediately

1 carrot, grated
1 orange, peeled and chopped with any large pips removed
1 tbsp Cinnamon Pecan Nut Butter (see the recipe here)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste)
1 tbsp maple syrup
300ml almond milk

Note: You can, of course, substitute the Cinnamon Pecan Nut Butter for another nut butter of your choice and simply increase the amount of ground cinnamon added, to taste. The caramel flavour of the Cinnamon Pecan Nut Butter really does work well though! 

1) Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy immediately.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Friday 7 April 2017

Spinach and Hazelnut Pesto

spinach and hazelnut pesto

This creamy spinach and hazelnut pesto offers a more substantial twist on the classic basil pasta sauce. I love serving it with sweet potato tagliatelle, which I make by using a vegetable peeler on raw, peeled sweet potatoes and then slicing lengthways into thin strips before blanching very briefly in boiling water. It's a great, quick dinner option which packs in the nutrients.

Three great health benefits: good for bone health, promotes healthy skin, good source of antioxidants

Serves 2

50g hazelnuts
25g pine nuts
1 avocado
Large handful (approx 50g) spinach
3 sprigs basil
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt & pepper

1) In a food processor, pulse the hazelnuts and pine nuts until finely chopped
2) Add the other ingredients and whizz together until smooth

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Lemon and Poppyseed Pancakes

lemon & poppyseed pancakes

I love indulging with these pancakes for a lazy Sunday morning breakfast or brunch. The delicate lemon flavour is perfectly balanced in these pikelet style pancakes. There's quite a bit of preparation required to make them so the recipe is definitely one for the weekend, rather than a day-to-day breakfast. That said, you can make the chia egg and oat flour the night before if you want to get ahead. They're so delicious that it's definitely worth the little extra effort to make them. I love serving the pancakes topped with homemade blueberry compote (find the recipe here) and natural coconut yoghurt- it's a match made in heaven!

Three great health benefits: beneficial for heart health, good source of fibre, anti-inflammatory

Makes 9 pancakes
Enjoy immediately 

1 tbsp chia seeds
200ml almond milk
Juice and zest of a lemon (I always use unwaxed)
1 cup gluten free oats
3 tbsp coconut oil (liquid)
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp poppyseeds
Generous pinch sea salt

1) Make a chia "egg" by combining the chia seeds with 3 tbsp water. Set aside for approximately 20 minutes until a thick gel has formed. Stir. 
2) Meanwhile, make "buttermilk" by combining the almond milk with 2 tbsp of the lemon juice in a jug. Set aside for 10 minutes until it appears curdled. Stir.
3) Meanwhile, make oat flour by blitzing the oats in a food processor until a fine crumb is produced. 
4) Add 2 tbsp of the coconut oil along with the remaining lemon juice, vanilla and chia "egg" to the "buttermilk". Whisk to combine thoroughly. 
5) In a separate bowl, mix together the oat flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, poppyseeds, lemon zest and salt.
6) Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and whisk together to remove any lumps.
7) Heat a little of the remaining coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. 
8) Add a little of the pancake batter (I used an ice-cream scoop to measure it out) to the frying pan in a rough circular or pikelet shape. Cook for approximately one minute before flipping and cooking for a further minute on the other side. Keep a close eye on the pancake to ensure it doesn't burn. Remove the pancake and set aside on a plate. 
9) Repeat steps 7 (as required) and 8 until all of the batter is used up and you have a lovely plate of pancakes! Enjoy immediately.

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 

Monday 3 April 2017

Quinoa Tabbouleh

quinoa tabbouleh recipe

I first discovered quinoa on my gap year in Peru (I know) and it immediately became a firm favourite of mine. When I was subsequently diagnosed as coeliac, quinoa became my go-to grain to substitute for cous cous. In the case of this tabbouleh recipe, it replaces traditional bulgar wheat but nonetheless, there's no compromise when it comes to taste. This tabbouleh tastes so fresh and I adore the balance of flavours. It's great as a light lunch but I also love serving this in gem lettuce "cups" as a healthy canapé (as pictured).

Three great health benefits: good source of plant based protein, beneficial for digestion, good source of fibre

Serves 2 as a salad or makes 18 lettuce cups

1/2 cup quinoa
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 cup fresh tomatoes, finely chopped (approx 2 & 1/2 tomatoes)
1 cup cucumber, finely chopped (approx 1/3 cucumber)
1/2 cup spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
2 baby gem lettuces (optional)

1) Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt & pepper. Set aside to cool.
2) Once the quinoa is cold, add the tomatoes, cucumber, spring onion, mint and parsley and stir well to combine. Serve as a salad or in the leaves of 2 baby gem lettuces (used as "cups").

Let me know if you try out this recipe! Tag me on Twitter @HaloEats or Instagram @halo.eats 
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