Baked Eggplant, Figs & Cream Cheese

What’s Not To Love?

Beautiful And Delicious!






Why not give this beautiful recipe a try, it is so simple to prepare, healthy, tasty , gluten-free and quite impressive? I love making baked eggplant as a side dish, it is a wonderful accompaniment to a main meal.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant

2 cloves garlic (minced)

Cream cheese, you could use full fat, medium fat or even fat free( smooth)

2 fresh figs _ sliced or quartered

A few cherry tomatoes (halved)

Good quality olive oil

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar, preferably raw organic sugar if available

Kosher salt to taste

Method:

1.Halve the eggplant and score diagonally carefully, now scatter minced garlic over the eggplant halves and brush with olive and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place the eggplant skin side down and bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees.

2. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a skillet, over a medium flame and toss in halved cherry tomatoes, cook for about 3-5 minutes or until tomato skin blisters, you can season lightly with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Remove tomatoes and set aside in a bowl. Add vinegar and sugar to the pan, and return to a medium flame. Bring to a slight boil and remove from heat.

3. When the eggplant is ready, slather cream cheese liberally over and top with tomatoes and fresh figs, bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 degrees. Finish off by drizzling balsamic reduction, you could also drizzle olive if desired. Garnish with fresh or dried chives.

4. Best served immediately and enjoy!

Thought For The Day!

Light And Blessings

Nichola

Homemade Apple Crumble

What’s Great About It

I absolutely love apple crumble, and like making this recipe for my family especially when the weather is colder, this is one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen, the whole house is just filled with sweet aromas of cinnamon and vanilla. I use top red apples or golden delicious as they are naturally sweet, you don’t need to add sugar, that’s what’s great about this beautiful recipe, so simple to make .

Serves 6 ( use one apple per person)

Ingredients:

For the filling

6 medium sized apples ( I used top red apples)

Generous splash of apple juice or water if preferred.

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon ( organic if available)

Crumble topping

1 1/2 cups (150g) organic rolled oats or you could use almond flour to make it gluten free like I did.

1/2 cup (50g) organic dessicated or flaked coconut

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp organic maple syrup (optional)

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil or butter

Method:

  1. Firstly, wash the apples.
  2. Peel apples and cut into wedges or dice if preferred, make sure to remove the apple core.
  3. Place the apples into a large pot.
  4. Add apple juice or water, vanilla and cinnamon.
  5. Cook over a medium flame for roughly 15-20 minutes, stir occasionally until apples have softened.

To prepare the crumble

1.Mix together rolled oats, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and olive oil, rub all the ingredients with your fingers.

2.Preheat oven to 180 C.

3.Pile apple mixture into a baking dish

4. Scatter crumble over the apples and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until golden.

5. Serve with Greek-style yoghurt or vegan custard

6. Enjoy!

Inspiration

You can also add blueberries to the apple mixture before filling. You can also transform any leftovers into a wonderful breakfast, serve with Greek-style yoghurt and dust with cinnamon. I also make apple crumble smoothie, blend the apple crumble with yoghurt and a spoon of protein powder for a quick and easy breakfast!

Thought For The Day

Light and blessings

Nichola

white butterfly resting on cat's nose

Flu Fighter!


Natural Medicine!



Soothe all cold and flu symtoms this Winter with an amazing, all-natural and effective flu-fighting tea! Try sipping on this super hydrating and very soothing homemade tea. This remedy is excellent at fighting colds and flu at the very onset. Your body will thank you!

Here’s what you will need:

Ingredients:

1 Rooibos teabag

2-3 slices of lemon

1Tbsp raw honey

1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Start off by steeping a Rooibos teabag, organic if preferred, in a mug of hot water.
  2. Add raw honey, lemon slices and rosemary.
  3. So comforting…enjoy!

Thought For The Day!

Haloumi With Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce And Sweet Roasted Tomatoes And Courgettes!

Delicious Delight

BLISS!



Who needs an English muffin when you can have roasted tomatoes with salty haloumi as a base for the perfect poached eggs?

Ingredients:

Vine tomatoes, rosa or cherry, I used Romanita (4 tomatoes) cut in half lengthwise

2 baby courgettes ( use a peeler to shave courgettes)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 5 fresh sprigs of thyme

Salt to taste

freshly cracked black pepper

1 haloumi burger

2 poached eggs

mock hollandaise sauce ( please refer to previous recipe on how to prepare hollandaise sauce)

chives for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Add olive oil to a skillet , now add tomatoes, oregano or thyme, salt, black pepper, sautee on a medium flame for roughly 3-5 minutes, then toss in the courgettes, cook for another 3 minutes or until tender, make sure not to overcook them!
  2. Prepare poached eggs ( refer to previous recipe on how to poach eggs)
  3. Add some olive oil to a pan and sear haloumi burger until golden brown on both sides, 30 seconds to 1 minute per side and then transfer to a dinner plate
  4. Time to assemble ingredients, layer haloumi with sauteed vegetables, poached eggs and spoonfuls of hollandaise sauce…yum!
  5. Season with black pepper and a dash of paprika
  6. Garnish with chives
  7. Delightful!

Thought For The Day!


Light and Blessings
Nichola



































Raspberry Gelato With Dry Roasted Pistachios

Super Healthy!

Natural Sweetness!

This vegan raspberry gelato is quite intense and pure, it has a clean texture and a beautiful colour.

There is no single recipe for making gelato, my absolute favourite is one that is fruit -based, the best gelati are made using only the finest ingredients, so use seasonally fresh fruit. The good news is that you don’t require an ice-cream maker, you can easily make gelato at home.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

320g fresh raspberries

1 can full fat coconut milk

1 Tbsp maple syrup or more to taste

Dry roasted pistachios for topping.

Instructions:

  1. Add fresh raspberries, coconut milk as well as maple syrup into a blender and blend until nice and smooth.
  2. Now pour the mixture into an air-tight , freezer-safe container and freeze until frozen completely.
  3. When frozen, cut the mixture into cubes , which makes it easier to blend. Add cubes into a food processor or blender and blend frozen pieces, it should have a soft serve consistency.
  4. Transfer the gelato mixture into an air-tight, freezer-safe container and freeze for about 3-6 hours. Allow to thaw for 10-20 minutes and serve.
  5. Store leftover gelato in a freezer-safe, air-tight container for 1-2 weeks.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

Remember to use coconut milk at room temperature.

Thought For The Day!

Light and Blessings

Nichola

Raspberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats Anyone?

Hmmm, a taste of yummy goodness!

The Perfect On-The-Go Breakfast!

Hello everyone! I would just like to share one of my favourite on-the-go breakfast ideas, it is so easy and super simple to prepare. I love this recipe because it requires no cooking at all, and it gives you the freedom to mix your favourite ingredients together to not only make a healthy breakfast but a delicious one too!

I hope you give this recipe a try!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh, chopped raspberries

2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk of your choice

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 Tbsp flaxseed meal

roasted almonds or pistachios

fresh raspberries

lemon zest

dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Mix cream cheese, greek yoghurt, maple syrup and vanilla in a bowl.
  2. While still mixing ingredients, incorporate milk, rolled oats, flax seed meal and chopped raspberries.
  3. Now, portion out into containers and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Serve with fresh raspberries, nuts, chocolate chips and lemon zest!
  5. Enjoy!

Thought For The Day!

Love and Light

Nichola

Milk Kefir

Healing Benefits!



Real Food


So what is Kefir , you may wonder? Well, milk kefir is a very unique cultured milk product and most certainly one of the most probiotic-rich superfoods on the face of the planet and has incredible benefits and healing properties. It’s name originates from the Turkish word “keif” which means” good feeling!”

Kefir has been used in European and Asian folk medicine for centuries for many conditions it has been known to cure.

It is one of my favourite fermented beverages and I hope that after reading my article, you will consider including Kefir as part of your daily natural health regimen. Kefir boosts our immune system, remember that about 80% of our immune system is in our digestive tract. This nutrient- probiotic- rich drink definitely holds the key in improving health issues relating to the immune and digestive system. Tabbed as a “real food” of the 21st century, this probiotic food has as many as 30 beneficial strains of good bacteria which has the potential to fight against tumours, carcinogens, bacteria and so much more!

Milk kefir is made using starter grains, so these are living cultures, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast or SCOBY, forms grains that resemble Cauliflower and are somewhat gelatinous in texture.

However, these grains cannot be made or manufactured and therefore they are referred to as “real food.” No other milk culture forms grains, so this makes kefir very unique. This fermented drink is also suitable for lactose intolerant individuals like myself! It can be made from any type of milk such as goat, sheep, cow, soy , rice or coconut, even coconut water!

Some healing benefits of kefir:

  1. Boosts the immune system
  2. Probiotic powerhouse
  3. Potent antibacterial properties
  4. Improves bone strength and reduces the risk of Osteoporosis
  5. Fights against Cancer
  6. Generally tolerated by individuals who are lactose intolerant
  7. Helps with digestive issues

Types of Kefir:

For those of you who cannot tolerate dairy, you will feel happy knowing that there are types of kefir that offer probiotic-rich and many health benefits which are lactose and dairy free. There are 2 types of kefir, milk kefir which is made from goat, cow, sheep milk and also coconut milk and water kefir which is made from sugary filtered water or coconut water.

Milk kefir is also known as the champagne of milk! It most certainly has myriad uses that is beyond a breakfast smoothie. This milk kefir recipe is so easy to prepare, simply place grains in milk and wait for 18-24 hours depending on your taste preference as well as brewing conditions, then strain grains and repeat the process. Flavour your milk kefir with fruit, honey and spices, get creative!

Kefir grains are available at certain health food stores , you can also get them online , there are many people online who share them, including myself.

Here’s how you can make milk kefir at home.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp hydrated kefir grains

2 cups dairy milk ( conventional milk, make sure it is not UHT, if using raw milk, make sure that you get it from a safe and reputable dairy)

Equipment:

Half gallon glass jar

Mesh strainer or cheese cloth

Cloth with rubber band or plastic lid

Plastic spoon, measuring cup and funnel

Bottles or mason jars for the finished kefir

Directions:

  1. Add milk to the jar
  2. Add kefir grains to the milk
  3. Cover with a cloth and secure with a rubberband or you could use kitchen paper or simply place lid on jar, remember not to screw on the lid.
  4. Let it sit for 18- 24 hours, no longer than 72 hours, as the kefir grains will begin to disintegrate.
  5. After 24 hours, strain milk kefir through a cheesecloth or plastic strainer to capture the grains.
  6. Once grains have been removed, flavourings can be added for a second fermentation or simply drink as is!
  7. Enjoy!

Thought For The Day!

Love and Light

Nichola

Sun Butter, Sliced Banana and Chia seeds On Toasted Rye

Yummy Breakfast!



Happy Tummy!


I wanted to try something different , with toast being my focal point, this is a wonderful breakfast or a lovely snack option that will get you through the day! The sun butter , sliced banana and chia seeds compliment each other, not only does it keep your tummy full but it keeps your mind fueled.

The sun butter is made from sunflower seeds and very simple to make , alternatively you could use almond or peanut butter if you prefer, use what you have!

To prepare sun butter, all you need is a high powered blender, sunflower seeds, coconut oil and vanilla extract and some coconut sugar for a touch of sweetness.

Toast 1 cup sunflower seeds until golden brown, place into blender and blend well, add 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and coconut sugar to taste. Blend all ingredients until it forms a smooth and creamy consistency.

Now you have homemade sunbutter!

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 slice rye bread or 100% wholewheat bread

1 Tbsp sun butter or almond or peanut butter

1/2 medium banana, sliced

1/2 Tbsp chia seeds

Instructions

  1. Toast bread and spread sunbutter
  2. Place sliced banana over the sunbutter and top with chia seeds
  3. Drizzle with honey for a hint of sweetness and enjoy!

Thought For The Day!

Superfood Coconut Milk Strawberry Smoothie

Flavour Burst!

Natural Sweetness!

This smoothie is very simple and easy to prepare, with only three ingredients.

You will also get a good amount of fiber and protein and keep you satiated all morning, it is super quick, healthy and most definitely a filling choice for a breakfast smoothie.

This smoothie is low carb and a weight loss friendly recipe. Always opt for unsweetened coconut milk to keep sugar content minimal.

Servings: 1 smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 cup strawberries (hulled and chopped)

4 oz coconut milk unsweetened

1 tsp almond butter

Instructions

  1. Hull strawberries, chop into small pieces
  2. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Thought For The Day!

Smoked Salmon With Poached Egg And Mock Hollandaise Sauce On Sweet Potato Waffle

Nutritious And Healthy!

Savour The Flavour Of Every Morsel!

Why not turn your everyday breakfast into an elegant brunch with this delicious sweet potato waffle, poached egg , hollandaise sauce and smoked salmon!

I think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, not only does it kick-start your metabolism but it also helps you to burn calories throughout your day. It boosts energy levels to get things done and it also helps you to focus at work or at school. These are just some of the reasons why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many studies have shown that eating breakfast is associated with good health; improves memory and concentration, reduces “bad” LDL cholestrol, as well as lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease and weight-gain . Many individuals tend to skip the a.m meal ,make no mistake, your body needs fuel from food or you could feel zapped of energy and you are most likely to overeat in the course of the day and tend to snack on high-fat, high-sugar foods.

Breakfast is no doubt, a wonderful occasion to eat together as a family whenever possible. It is important to have good breakfast habits in childhood and maintain these habits throughout adolescence which plays a vital role in reducing the ubiquity of skipping breakfast and acquiring excellent eating habits that will last all your born days!

So why not shake-up your morning with breakfast…

Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 6 minutes Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients

For The Mock Hollandaise Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1tsp lemon juice

1tsp dijon mustard

1/4 tsp ground paprika

1 dash hot pepper sauce

Directions: Whisk all the ingredients together in a saucepan over a medium flame until warmed through , for about 2-3 minutes.

For The Sweet Potato Waffles

1 pound sweet potatoes

1 whole egg

1 1/4 cup of almond milk (or milk of your choice)

1/2 cup wholewheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

For The Poached Eggs

water for poaching the eggs

2 large eggs

2 tbsp white vinegar

For The Sweet Potato Waffle

  1. Preheat waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Peel sweet potato and cut into cubes, place in a steamer until soft and tender. Mash sweet potato , using a fork and allow to cool.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg, add milk and stir in the cooled mash.
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder and slowly add into the sweet potato mixture , to make a smooth batter.
  5. Use a non-stick spray for waffle maker, spoon batter onto the plates according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Cook until golden on both sides.
  6. While the waffles are being cooked:

For The Poached Eggs:
1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan and reduce heat to simmering. Add vinegar.

2. Crack the eggs into individual small bowls. Carefully, tip egg into water, one at a time. Allow, the eggs to cook for about 3-4 minutes or depending on your personal choice.

To Assemble:

While the eggs are being poached, remove waffles. Place 2-3 ribbons of salmon on top of each waffle, layer with slices of avocado.

Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and blot with kitchen paper to remove excess water. Place egg on top of salmon and avocado.

You can also add a dab of capers to this dish with steamed asparagus on the side.

Spoon hollandaise sauce on top of the egg and garnish with chopped chives.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Thought For The Day!