Category Archives for "Nutrition"

Recipe: Salmon Tartar with Mango and Avocado

This delightful, fresh salad makes a beautiful, light lunch on a sunny day

What you need:

  • 1 small salmon filet (100g), cut in cubes
  • ¼ avocado, cut in cubes
  • ¼ cup (30g) mango, cut in cubes
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/3 tsp. honey
  • chili pepper, to taste
  • handful coriander, chopped

What you need to do:

Wash and dry the salmon, then cut it into small cubes. Next cut the avocado and mango into cubes and add to the salmon.

Mix in the lime juice, chili pepper, and coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix well.

Set aside to chill in the fridge for at least 10 mins, then serve with toast (not included in nutrition info).

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Coconut Energy Balls

We’re all fancying something a bit decadent at the moment but that doesn’t have to be followed by feelings of guilt.  The recipe below makes approximately 9 balls and each serving contains 125kcal, 9g fat, 13g carbs and 3g protein.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup (130g) pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup (40g) ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and blitz into a paste.

Form walnut-sized balls by pressing the paste together with your hands. Place in the fridge for a few hours so that they become more solid.

Recipe: Dill Soup with Turkey Meatballs

Ok so we’re not out of the soup woods yet!  We’re still having plenty of days when a big mug of soup is the only thing that really hits the spot.  Here’s one that’s a little different.  It’s filling enough to be a mid-week meal as well as a satisfying lunch.  Enjoy!

What you need:

For the meatballs:

  • 9 oz. (250g) ground turkey breast
  • 1 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. dill, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. wheat flour
  • 1tsp. coconut oil

For the soup:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 oz. (300g) potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 4 ¼ cup (1l) vegetable stick
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ bunch dill, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. cream (oat or dairy)

What you need to do:

Place all meatball ingredients, apart from the flour, into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well with your hands.

Using slightly wet hands, form small balls (around 12), and coat them in flour.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and fry the meatballs briefly until golden brown, then transfer onto a plate.

To make the soup, heat the oil in a large pot, over medium heat and fry the onion for 2-3 mins until soft.

In a butter pot, fry the diced onion, then add the potatoes, as well as the carrot. Season with salt, pepper and turmeric then cook for about 5 minutes stirring often.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then cover and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add in the fried meatballs, reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes. At the end of cooking, add the chopped dill.

Take the soup off the heat and add the cream, mix well and serve.

Recipe: Raspberry Breakfast Trifle

Trifle for breakfast?  Surely not… oh but it’s so quick, so yummy and so healthy!

What you need:

  • 2 cups (450g) cottage cheese
  • 10 oz. (300g) raspberries
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 8 tbsp. muesli

What you need to do:

Place the cottage cheese, 2/3 of the raspberries and honey into a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth (you can also use Greek yoghurt instead of cottage cheese). Keep the rest of the raspberries for garnish.

Prepare 4 not too big glasses or jars and layer the trifle.

Start with a layer of raspberry cheese, 1 tbsp of muesli, and some fresh raspberries. Continue until you use all of the ingredients.

Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator until required.

Recipe: Vegan Lemon & Coconut Cake

healthy cake

Sometimes we just need something a bit sweet and naughty, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to “fall of the wagon”.  You CAN treat yourself and stay on track.

Wet ingredients:
1 cup (240ml) almond milk, at room temp.
1/3 cup (80g) coconut oil
2/3 (125g) coconut sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Dry ingredients:
zest of 4 lemons
1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut
1¾ cups (210g) all-purpose white flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda

What you need to to:

Heat the oven to 180°C (355° F).

Line a 1 kg / 2 lb tin with baking paper.

Whisk softened coconut oil and sugar together with an electric whisk. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and room temperature plant milk and mix well with a spatula. Next, add in the desiccated coconut.

In a small bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Next, fold in the flour into the wet ingredients and mix well, then transfer the batter to the prepared baking tin.

Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is nicely browned. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Once cool you can sprinkle the cake with some icing sugar (optional).

Diabetes and what you need to know about the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

chippenham diabetes help

With nearly 4 million people in the UK being diagnosed with diabetes we get bombarded with masses of information about sugar, blood sugar and the glycemic index.  So let’s take a moment to clarify what exactly is the Glycemic index and the Glycemic load.

Glycemic this and glycemic that. Does it matter?

You’ll notice that they both begin with “glycemic.” That’s one tip that they have to do with sugars and carbs. Not only how much sugar is in foods, but more importantly, how it affects your blood sugar levels.

In general, diets that are high on the glycemic index (GI) and high in glycemic load (GL), tend to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

FACT: Starches like those in potatoes and grains are digested into sugar; this is because starch is just a bunch of different types of sugars linked together. Digestive enzymes break those bonds so that the more complex sugars become “simple sugars”, the most basic type. Those sugars affect your body the same way that eating sugary foods do.

Glycemic Index (“how fast”)

The most common of the two terms we’re going to talk about is “glycemic index” (GI).

As the name suggests, it “indexes” (or compares) the effect that different foods have on your blood sugar level. Then each food is given a score from 0 (no effect on blood sugar) to 100 (big effect on blood sugar). Foods that cause a fast increase in blood sugar have a high GI. That is because the sugar in them is quickly processed by your digestive system and absorbed into your blood causing a “spike” in your blood sugar.

So, you can probably guess that pure glucose is given a GI rating of 100. On the other hand, chickpeas are right down there at a GI of 10.

Regarding GI: low is anything under 55; moderate is 56-69, and 70+ is considered a high GI food.

Remember, this is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate containing food is digested and raises your blood sugar. It’s not a measure of the sugar content of the food.

How quickly the carbohydrates in food affect your blood sugar level depend on other components of the food. Things like fibre and protein can slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, and this can make even a high-sugar food, low on the GI scale.

The key takeaway here is that lower GI foods are better at keeping your blood sugar levels stable because they don’t increase your blood sugar level as fast.

FACT: Can you guess which food has a GI of higher than 100? (Think of something super-starchy) White potatoes! They have a GI of 111.  This doesn’t mean don’t eat white potatoes but certainly watch portion sizes and make sure you’re having some protein and fibre with the potatoes.

Glycemic Load (“how much”)

The glycemic load is different.

Glycemic load (GL) doesn’t measure how quickly your blood sugar “spikes”, but how high that spike is. Basically, how much the food increases your blood sugar.

GL depends on two things. First, how much sugar is in the food. Second, how much of the food is typically eaten.  You may have foods with a high sugar content that is eaten in very small quantities.

Low GL would be 0-10, moderate GL would be 10-20, and high GL would 20+.

Example of GL and GI

So, let’s compare average (120 g) servings of bananas and oranges:

FoodGI Serving size (g)GL per serving
Banana, average4812011
Oranges, average451205

Excerpt from: Harvard Health Publications, Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods

As you can see, the banana and orange have almost the same glycemic index; this means they both raise your blood sugar in about the same amount of time.

But the average banana raises the blood sugar twice as high (11) as the orange does (5). So, it contains more overall sugar than the same amount (120 g) of orange.

Of course, this is all relative. A GL of 11 is not high at all. Please keep eating whole fruits. 🙂

What does this all mean for your health?

Certain people need to be aware of the effects that foods have on their blood sugar. People who have diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions like insulin resistance need to be aware of the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods they are eating regularly.

The GI and GL are just two factors to consider when it comes to blood sugar. Some high GI foods are pretty good for you but if you want to reduce the impact on your blood sugar, have them with a high-fibre or high-protein food.


If you have blood sugar imbalances or diabetes, you should probably be aware of the GI and GL of your food.

If you are at risk of diabetes or heart disease, you might try swapping out some higher GI/GL foods and replacing with lower GI/GL foods.


Recipe: Chakalaka Style Risotto

Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish that may have originated in the townships of Johannesburg when Mozambican mine workers coming off shift cooked tinned produce with chili to produce a spicy relish.  This dish is a quick, mid-week meal for those days when it just seems there’s no time to eat healthy… there always is!

What you need:

2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2/3 cup (150g) risotto rice
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. curry powder
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp. chilli flakes
1 ¼ cup (300ml) vegetable stock
1 carrot, grated
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 cup (175g) sweetcorn

What to do:

Heat the oil in a large deep pan and sauté the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft.

Add the risotto rice, thyme and curry powder and stir fry briefly. Next add the grated ginger and chilli, season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour in the hot stock, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer under cover for approx. 20 minutes, checking periodically. If the liquid is absorbed before the end of cooking, add some more water.

Next add the grated carrot, red pepper, chopped tomatoes and sweetcorn, mix well, cover and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Recipe: Baked Salmon with Oranges and Cranberry Sauce

Have you still got some cranberry sauce lurking in your fridge from Christmas?  Here’s a great way to use it up with a healthy fish dinner that’s fresh and easy to prepare.

What you’ll need (for 4 people):

  • 4 salmon fillets (1.2 lbs/550g)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 4 tbsp. cranberry sauce
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp. hot paprika
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


Place the salmon on a chopping board skin down, and with a sharp knife remove the skin. Season the fillets with salt and pepper.

Next, rub the salmon with the sweet and hot paprika and place in a baking dish.

Mix the orange juice, honey, and olive oil, then drizzle over the fillets. Cover and rub the salmon in the marinade and leave to rest for 30 mins.

Heat the oven to 410F (210C). Place slices of orange on top of the salmon fillets. Bake in the oven for 17 min.

Serve topped with the cranberry jam. This dish goes well with white rice and fresh dill.

Recipe: Celeriac and Truffle Soup

Just in case you’re getting a bit tired of the same old soups, here’s one from our new recipe packs.  It’s luxurious, decadent and oh so tasty!

You’ll need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • bunch thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 celeriac (2.2lbs/1kg), peeled and chopped
  • 1 potato (7oz./200g), chopped
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 3.3 oz. (100ml) cream (use soya or coconut cream to make this vegan)
  • 1/3 cup (50g) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp. truffle oil


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over low heat. Tie the thyme sprigs and bay leaves together with a piece of string and add them to the pan with the onion and a pinch of salt.

Cook the onion for about 10 mins until softened.

Add in the garlic and cook for another minute, then add the celeriac and potato. Stir well and season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Next, pour in the stock, bring to the boil, lower the heat and then simmer for around 30 mins until the vegetables are soft.

Remove the herbs, then stir in the cream. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Stir through 1/2 tbsp. truffle oil at a time and taste for seasoning – the strength of the oil will vary, so it’s better to start with less oil and add a little at a time.

Reheat the soup until hot if necessary. Serve in bowls topped with the hazelnuts, freshly ground black pepper and an extra drizzle of truffle oil.

Super boost your superfood – brocolli (and other veg!)

cruciferous vegetables

We all know that vegetables are good for us right?  And lots of us know that cruciferous vegetables are really, really good for us!

For those who aren’t sure what vegetables count as cruciferous, they include broccoli, rocket, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy and cabbage.

Along with a host of vitamins and minerals, cruciferous vegetables provide us with a component called sulforaphane which is showing signs of being a promising anti-cancer agent.  In addition, sulforaphane may also help protect your brain and your eyesight, reduce nasal allergy inflammation, help manage type 2 diabetes and was recently found to successfully help treat autism.

Sulforaphane forms when raw broccoli (or other cruciferous veg) is chopped or chewed.  Then a sulforaphane precursor mixes with an enzyme called myrosinase and produces the sulforaphane.  The trouble is that this enzyme is inactivated by cooking!  However, both the precursor and the sulforaphane, once it’s been created, are resistant to heat.

Obviously, you could eat all your cruciferous veggies raw or in smoothies and then the veg will sit in your gut while the chemical reaction takes place but seriously, who wants a brussels sprout smoothie?

Another option would be to chop your broccoli (or brussels sprouts, kale, collards, cauliflower, or any other cruciferous vegetable) and then wait forty minutes, at which point you can cook it as much as you want. By  then, the sulforaphane has already been made, so the enzyme is no longer needed to achieve maximum benefit. It’s already done its job.

And what if you’re using frozen cruciferous veg?  Well this has been blanched so sorry, but frozen cruciferous veg lack the ability to form sulforaphane, again though, there’s a simple answer.  Remember, the precursor is resistant to heat so the frozen veg is still packed with this, it’s just missing the enzyme it needs.   We just need a way to add that back in.

Mustard is a cruciferous veg too and mustard seeds contain the necessary enzyme, sprinkle a pinch of ground mustard on your cooked broccoli and this significantly increases sulforaphane formation, woohoo!

So if you don’t have 40 minutes to spare between chopping and cooking, or if you’re using frozen greens just sprinkle your veg with mustard powder before you eat them.  All it takes is a pinch.

Daikon radishes, regular radishes, horseradish, and wasabi are all cruciferous vegetables and potentially have the same effect.

Ref: Greger, Michael. How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease (p. 346). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.