Easy Hummus With A Twist

Red pepper & watercress hummus, recipe, integrated wellbeing

Hummus is not just yummy and incredibly versatile; it’s high in fibre and a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get protein.

There are loads of different versions available in deli’s and supermarkets but there’s nothing quite like making your own.  And it really isn’t tricky!

My most recent hummus recipe experiment was a real hit at home, so I thought I’d share it on what is apparently International Hummus Day!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 1/4 of a red pepper
  • 1 handful of watercress (including stalks)
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 small handful of coriander
  • 1 glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 generous squeeze of lemon
  • Sea salt & black pepper for seasoning (to taste)

Process

Nothing tricky here. Put it all in a food processor and whizz it up until smooth.

Tip

For a more textured end product, hold back a handful of chickpeas. Once the food processor has done its magic, add the final chickpeas and give the machine a quick ‘pulse’. That last handful will be chopped in but leave you with a slightly coarser hummus.

There’s no end of different versions you can make. Get creative.  Have some fun!

Please share your own favourites in the comments box below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Warm Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

Integrated Wellbeing, Food Matters, Sweet Potato, Quinoa, Salad

Now that summer’s here, it’s time to mix up your salads and try something different.

This easy recipe for my warm sweet potato and quinoa salad is not only yummy but a nutritious veggie meal with carbs, protein and healthy fats thrown in!  And for those who like to support local growers and minimise food air miles, check out The British Quinoa Company in Shropshire.

The quantities below are for a salad that serves 2 people.

Salad Ingredients

  • quinoa (1 cup)
  • sweet potato (1 large)
  • courgette (1 large)
  • mixed salad leaves (4 handfuls)
  • cashew nuts (1 cup)
  • avocado (1 large)
  • cherry tomatoes (12)
  • fresh mint / coriander (1 small handful)
  • balsamic dressing

You can use a pre-made or shop-bought dressing but I prefer to make my own before each meal using the ingredients below. It really is easy and you can adjust it each time to your own taste.

Dressing Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Dijon mustard
  • ground black pepper
  • tiny pinch of Stevia (or your own favourite plant-based sweetener)

Process

Start with the quinoa and the sweet spud. Once they’re prep’d and cooking, you can get on with the other stuff.

  • Rinse and cook the quinoa as normal then set to one side
  • Peel, dice and steam the sweet potato
  • Grate or spiralize the courgette
  • Dry toast the cashews on a gentle heat in a pan or skillet for no more than 5 minutes (either using them whole or roughly chopped, whichever you prefer)
  • Dice the avocado
  • Quarter the cherry tomatoes

Place all the ingredients (except the cashews) in a large salad bowl, then add the dressing and toss thoroughly.

Toss it well so that everything has a coating of that gorgeous dressing and quinoa.

Finally, sprinkle your toasted cashews on the top, and serve!

I’d love to hear your favourite summer salad recipes so we can try them at Integrated Wellbeing here in sunny Devon, so please post links or recipes below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Cashew Nut Yoghurt

cashew nuts, cashew yoghurt, integrated wellbeing

This incredibly delicious, dairy alternative has become a firm favourite in our household – I can’t keep up with the orders!

This protein (and healthy fats) rich yoghurt is equally at home on your morning home-made Bircher’s Muesli (click here for my easy Bircher’s recipe video) as it is “au natural” with a few blueberries and a dusting of cinnamon or a sprinkling of chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup – yummy!  And it’s an easy recipe too …

Ingredients

I use an American cup measure as so many recipes these days are U.S. ones and it’s easier than trying to convert!

  • 2 cups of unroasted cashews
  • 1 cup of filtered water (add a little more if you prefer your yoghurt a slightly thinner consistency than Greek yoghurt)
  • 3 Tablesoons of maple syrup (vary according to desired sweetness)
  • 1 Tablesoon of pure vanilla essence (or bean pod if you have it) – again adjust to your preferred taste
  • ¼ Teaspoon of probiotic powder (this is necessary to thicken the yoghurt and provides the wonderfully gut-friendly bacteria in the end product)

Method

Soak the cashews in filtered water for about two hours, then drain and rinse.

Add all the ingredients into a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet. It needs to be a pretty powerful machine in order to create the totally smooth consistency you need.

Blend for a couple of minutes until your yoghurt has a completely smooth and creamy texture.

It may well warm up during this process which is a good thing as it will speed up the fermenting process.

Add to a pre-warmed dish or storage tub with a firm lid (I use a click and lock type of tub) making sure there is an inch or so room left at the top to allow for some expansion.

Put the yoghurt into a warm place (airing cupboard is ideal if you have one or near a warm radiator). The probiotics will do their thing in 8-12 hours. I usually leave mine overnight (if we can wait that long!), then give it a stir and place in the fridge to cool.

Hey presto! An amazing, home-made fermented yoghurt that will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (that’s if I don’t tell everyone that I’ve made a new batch!).

Incidentally, this yoghurt doesn’t taste of cashews which is the beauty of these fabulously versatile nuts. More on these little beauties in later posts.

Enjoy!

With love and wellbeing wishes,

Chrissie Tarbitt - Integrated Wellbeing

Get Creative With Coleslaw

Food Matters

Every Wednesday morning, I’m like a kid in a sweetie shop. 

Wednesday is delivery day for our weekly supply of organic veg; organic veg which is seasonal and sourced from UK organic farms (oranges and lemons are an exception of course!). A quick caveat here, I’m a huge supporter of local independent shops so I choose to spread the love. I do use our greengrocer to top us up with our veggies in the week, but they don’t have as large a selection of organic produce as Abel & Cole (www.abelandcole.co.uk).

Not knowing what’s going to be in my veg box is part of the fun and in a small but significant way, it’s a great practice of letting go of that feeling that everything has to be planned within an inch of its life, “just to be certain”.

It’s also a great way of bringing mindfulness into our relationship with food in a natural, relaxed way. It’s just me and the box of veg! Just seeing the fantastic colours and the weird shapes of some veggies that I’ve never seen or cooked with before (particularly the fabulous array of winter squashes we’ve been enjoying) gets my creative juices flowing.

Here’s my latest recipe inspired by a recent veggie box that included all of the ingredients below. Honestly, it was so much fun putting it together, gorgeous to look at and the best slaw I have ever eaten (sorry if that’s sounds like bragging, but it really was that good!).

Celeriac, Cabbage & Carrot Coleslaw

  • ½ large celeriac (grated)
  • ¼ red cabbage – shredded
  • ¼ white cabbage – shredded
  • 1 large carrot – grated
  • 1 apple – grated
  • 1 raw beetroot – grated
  • 1 chicory – roughly chopped
  • 1 large celery stick – peeled and diced
  • 1 blood orange, pith removed, segments chopped into small pieces

Food Matters

 

Dressing: Olive oil, lemon juice (and zest of ½ lemon), ground black pepper & crushed chef’s sea salt.

Garnish: toasted sesame seeds (optional).

 

I’d love to hear about your creative seasonal veg recipes, or your favourite homemade slaw. Please share in the comments below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

chrissie-signature

Get Up And Go Gorgeous Greens

Greenie_1

We all know that we need to eat more greens (especially raw ones) and for many of us, even if we love them, it’s hard to consume at least 5 portions a day.

It seems that the most important and healthiest vegetables (the green ones) are missing from a lot of our diets.

Juicing or blending really helps fill the gap and allows for far more efficient absorption of the vital nutrients in our greens such as essential alkaline minerals, calcium and magnesium. Greens are also rich in antioxidants, and cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, kale, collards, watercress and rocket to name a few, speed up the liver’s ability to rid the body of ingested toxins. In addition, iron, vitamin C, beta-carotene are found in most of these greens (I could go on, but you get the picture), so you can see why I’m so enthusiastic about this daily ritual!

My Morning Favourite Combo

Makes approximately 1 ½ pints or 750ml to divide into glasses, cover and sip throughout the day or pour into a takeaway flask for your instant “on the go pick me up.”

  • One large celery stalk or 2 smaller ones (washed – no need to peel)
  • 1/4 a cucumber – peel if not organic
  • 1/2 an apple – peel if not organic. Add a whole apple if you prefer a slightly sweeter start to your day ☺
  • A handful of spinach leaves
  • 2 or 3 lettuce leaves
  • A small handful of kale
  • 500ml filtered water
  • A piece of peeled ginger
  • A generous squeeze of lime juice
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 6 ice cubes

DSC00929

Wash the leaves and add all the ingredients into your blender. If using a juicer you may want to add some filtered water afterwards to make it go further or simply add a few ice cubes instead.

Tips / Time-savers
Kale: I regularly buy a large bag of kale, wash it, chop it and place it in the freezer in an airtight bag. Once frozen it’s really easy to break some off for your morning juice. This cuts down morning prep-time and instantly cools your drink for an extra fresh taste. Do the same with collards, Swiss chard, etc.

Ginger: Ginger has antiviral and antifungal properties. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and stimulates circulation. As root ginger tends to come in quite large pieces, I peel and chop it into ready-made thumb nail size pieces and again put it in the freezer in an airtight bag. Fab – no messing about in the morning and a large root can last a few weeks. (If you too are a fan of ginger, grate a frozen piece into a glass of hot lemon at any time of the day ☺.)

This recipe is my favourite morning combo and one I keep coming back to. Have a look at my recent piece “Superfood Smoothies:  What’s All The Fuss About?” to read more about the many health benefits of regularly juicing or blending. Greens in particular are top of the list, so go ahead, get your creative juices flowing and experiment with your favourite greens: replace apple with pear, lemon juice instead of lime; or try adding broccoli florets, chard or collard leaves in place of kale. The combos really are endless!

And please share your favourites in the ‘comments’ below.

With love and wellbeing wishes,

chrissie-signiture