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Showing posts from tagged with: broccoli crisps

Portion Control – Are your eyes bigger than your belly?

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26.04.16

It's a common problem for us lovers of food, that it can often be hard to say no to seconds, and when food is infront of you we tend to 'pick' and overindulge when in reality are stomachs are more than full. It takes self-control to put back that extra portion, or stop yourself from reaching for a naughty dessert but modern day society doesn't seem to help us either!

Back in a modern kitchen, you suddenly notice how large everything is – 28cm has become a normal diameter for a dinner plate, which in the 1950s would have been 25cm. Serving on these large plates doesn't mean that we have to serve ourselves bigger portions, but we generally tend to! Brian Wansink is a psychologist (author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think) who has done numerous experiments to prove what you would hope common sense might already tell us: that oversized tableware makes us consume bigger portions. Take for example, a large ice-cream scoop makes you take more ice-cream; a short glass makes you pour more juice. This is because it doesn't look as much, so we  feel we are consuming roughly the same amount.

What a recommended portion actually looks like

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It seems that the only people who are immune to big portions are tiny children. Up until the age of three or four, children have an enviable ability to stop eating when they are full. After that age, this self-regulation of hunger is lost, and sometimes never relearned. This is a cross-cultural phenomenon, from London to Beijing. One study from the US found that when three-year olds were served small, medium and larger portions of macaroni cheese, they always ate roughly the same amount. By contrast, five-year-olds ate a lot more when the portion of macaroni cheese was oversized.

In a world where food is ever-present, many of us have become like Alice in Wonderland, controlled by cakes that say Eat Me and bottles that say Drink Me. As the nutritionist Marion Nestle remarked 10 years ago in her book, What to Eat: “It is human nature to eat when presented with food, and to eat more when presented with more food.” The trouble is that we are pushed more food, more often, every day. In 2013, the British Heart Foundation published a report called Portion Distortion on how portion sizes in Britain have changed since 1993. Back then, the average American-style muffin weighed 85g, whereas 20 years later it was not uncommon to find muffins weighing 130g. Ready meals have also ballooned in size, with chicken pies expanding by 49% and the average shepherd’s pie nearly doubling in size since 1993 (from 210g to 400g).

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Our problem with portions and portion control, is partly this: no one likes the concept of “less”. We are conditioned from childhood onwards to yearn for the overflowing glass and the laden table. An easy way to address this at home is simply to use smaller tableware.

Often at the end of a meal, you may not really be hungry but yearn for something sweet. First of all, ensure you are keeping hydrated and drinking enough water throughout the day too as thirst can often be mistaken for hunger. Once you have finished a meal, enjoy your favourite herbal tea or fruit flavour infused water. If you still are craving that sweet treat, then opt for a healthy version of your favourite indulgent treat such as our Giving Tree snacks which are the same nutrition as fresh and SO tasty. If you fancy that chocolate bar, then allow yourself a few squares instead of the whole block!

Giving Tree Easter Recipes

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23.03.16

Easter is round the corner and we are here to bring you the healthiest and tastiest easter recipes to crowd please and of course, they can be enjoyed any time of the year too!

Here are our favourites..

Recipe courtesy of the lovely Rhiannon Lambert - our lovely nutritionist (www.rhitrition.com)

1. To wake you up with a chocolatey Easter twist.. This delicious bowl of Chocolate Proats goodness that's super indulgent yet absolutely guilt free!

1. Grain Free / Paleo Goey Chocolate Brownies with Giving Tree Strawberries (recipe courtesy of @londonpaleogirl / www.londonpaleogirl.com (makes 6 brownies)

  • 1 Large Cooked & Mashed Sweet Potato
  • l 1 Egg 
  • 3 large TBS of @adunaworld Super - Cocoa Powder
  •  2 TSP @pipandnut Almond Butter
  • 2 TSP Honey
  •  1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
  • Mix together until a smooth consistency & pour onto baking paper in a baking tray & put in a 200• pre heated oven for 15 minutes / until cooked •• To make Chocolate Icing mix @chocshot sauce with a TSP @pipandnut Almond Butter l 2 Table spoons Honey l 2 TSP @adunaworld Super - Cocoa Powder ••
  • Served with Coconut Yogurt l Cinnamon l drizzle of @chocshot sauce & a frozen Raspberry on top

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2. The perfect evening meal to be shared with family and friends!

Courgetti Meatballs with a sprinkling of Giving Tree Broccoli crisps - recipe courtesy of the lovely Rhiannon Lambert - our lovely nutritionist (www.rhitrition.com)

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THE Foods for THE Healthiest Skin

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10.03.16

Eating a diet packed with nourishing foods has endless benefits, increased mood and energy, decreased risk of chronic disease, and weight management to name a few. Lucky for us, the benefits don't stop there. The foods we eat can have a huge impact on helping us feel great from the inside out.

Make these 10 foods go-tos on your weekly shopping list for a daily dose of skin protecting goodness. After all, our skin is our largest organ so show it the love it deserves!

Green Tea

Green tea is a great source of flavonoids, a type of phytochemical that gives plants their bright color. These flavonoids, called catechins, appear to help block UV penetration, promoting DNA repair and helping to reduce inflammation. For an even more potent source of these beneficial compounds, try Matcha. Matcha is a form of green tea where the leaves are actually consumed vs. being steeped and then discarded before drinking. Try a matcha porridge made with Chi Coconut Milk!

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Citrus

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit are high in the well known antioxidant, vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in collagen production and protects the skin from the aging process.

Broccoli

This comes as a surprise to many, but broccoli is actually one of the best sources of vitamin C. It is also in the cruciferous vegetable family, well known for their anti-oxidant, cell protecting properties. Don't forget to try Giving Tree Broccoli Crisps as a fantastic, nutrient packed snack. Or even on top of guacamoles, for crudities, salad and soup toppings too!

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Brazil Nuts

These nuts are packed with selenium, a potent antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage caused by sun exposure. Selenium also helps maintain skin elasticity to prevent premature aging. When it comes to Brazil nuts, more isn't always better. Although they are nutrition power houses when taken in small doses, keep it to 1-2 nuts per day to ensure you're under the tolerable upper limit of 400 micrograms per day. Over indulging can lead to selenium build up in the tissues, which can become toxic.

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Chickpeas, Beans and Lentils

Legumes are a good source of zinc. Zinc plays a role in preventing and repairing cell damage as well as building new cells. Zinc is often found in sunscreen and acne treatments.

Avocados

Avos are a great source of healthy fats and vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, so consuming it in the form of avocados will actually help you absorb more and reap the benefits. Consuming this delicious fruit provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects to keep skin healthy and glowing.

Salmon

Salmon is best known for its high Omega-3 content. These fatty acids, appear to help protect against UV radiation and sunburn and may also help reduce wrinkling in sun exposed skin. Don't forget to lather up though, food does not replace the need for the gold standard, sunscreen!

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, another powerful anti-oxidant to help keep skin glowing. Bonus: it's also high in vitamin C to further support its title as a skin protecting food.

Water 

OK, this isn't exactly a food but staying hydrated is key for healthy, smooth, supple skin. Add a squeeze of lemon or orange for extra flavour and a vitamin C boost. Coconut water also makes an excellent hydrator, packed full of electrolytes too! Try CHI Raw Organic Coconut water..delicious and refreshing!

Mother’s day recipes to win over her tummy and heart!

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04.03.16

Its Mother's Day this Sunday 6th March, show your mum's how much you care and treat them to some homemade delights made by yourself!

Here are our favourite Mothering Sunday recipes from start to finish yes you heard us, breakfast lunch and dinner.. no excuses!

1. Breakfast - Giving Tree pancakes

Giving Tree fruity buttermilk pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients

150g self-raising flour (wholemeal flour can be substituted here too)

2 medium eggs

2tbsp honey (2 tbsp coconut sugar if you have it )

150ml chi coconut milk

1tbsp coconut oil + extra for frying

1 sliced banana

1 small pack of Giving Tree strawberries

100g fresh blueberries

Method

Place the flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs and honey then gradually whisk in the coconut milk and 1 tbsp oil to form a thick batter. Stir in the fresh fruit. Heat a little extra oil in a frying pan and using a tablespoon, spoon some mixture into the pan to make 4 pancakes. Cook gently for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and cooked through. Repeat to make 12 pancakes. Scatter with extra fruit and Giving Tree strawberry crisps!

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2. Lunch - You're very own easy version of afternoon tea! Smoked salmon and cucumber afternoon tea loaf

Serves 8

Ingredients

½ cucumber 3tbsp butter, softened 2tbsp dill, finely chopped 3tbsp curly parsley, finely chopped 5 slices rye bread (approx 250g) 125g (4½oz) smoked salmon 1 lemon, zest & juice 175g (6oz) cream cheese

Method

Using a peeler slice the cucumber thinly into ribbons. Layer over kitchen towel to draw out a little moisture. In a bowl mix the butter with the dill and 2 tbsp parsley then season with a little salt & freshly ground black pepper. Spread over one side of each rye bread slice. Place on slice of rye bread on a plate and top with a few slices of salmon, squeeze over a little lemon juice and top with a few slices of cucumber. Mix the cream cheese and lemon zest together. Spread the other side of the remaining rye breads with the cream cheese mixture and place one on top of the cucumber. Repeat this until all the rye bread is gone. Spread the top with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Top with lemon zest & parsley and slice gently with a bread knife to serve. Tip: Make sure you place your salmon and cucumber right up to the edges so you can make a feature out of the sides of the loaf.

& a her favourite cup of tea too and pack of Giving Tree veg crisps!

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3. Dinner - Balsamic Roast Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and de-seeded 2 sweet potatoes, peeled 4 small parsnips (or 2 large), peeled 4 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 large red onion, peeled 4 chicken leg joints Few sprigs fresh thyme and rosemary 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp clear honey Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Cut the butternut squash, sweet potato and parsnips into large chunks. Put the oil in a large roasting tin and heat in the oven. Put the squash, sweet potato and parsnips in a pan, cover with cold water and heat until boiling. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile cut the onion into 8 wedges. Put the chicken in the roasting tin, skin side up, and surround with the vegetables, tucking the herbs in between. Roast for 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Mix the balsamic vinegar and honey. Remove the chicken from the oven and drizzle with the honey mixture. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, then serve.

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Post your Mother's Day recipes and tag us in any Giving Tree creations :)

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Half-term fun with Giving Tree

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16.02.16

The kids are on half-term and you need to keep them entertained.. what better way than with some Giving Tree heart healthy and fun-filled half term tips!

Childhood is a crucial time for teaching your children about eating healthily, exercising regularly and instilling in them the healthy lifestyle habits that will see them through to a long, happy and healthy adulthood.

Teaching your children how to follow a heart healthy eating and exercise regime is particularly important nowadays, especially in light of new research showing that over two thirds of obese children show early signs of heart disease.

So, if you find yourself at a loss for things to do whilst looking after your kids this holiday, take a look at these fun-filled ideas that will not only keep your children entertained, but also help them get into the habit of eating and living healthily.

OUR TOP TIPS FOR A HEART HEALTHY HALF TERM :)

1. Eat breakfast: It’s true what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day – even more so for growing kids! Make sure your children (even if they’re having a lazy at-home holiday) start the day with a nutritious, heart-healthy breakfast packed with protein and complex carbs (whole grain cereal, porridge oats, wholemeal soldiers and eggs and granola and  milk all make great breakfasts!) You can add our delicious Giving Tree fruit snacks onto nearly any breakfast recipe for added nutrients, crunch and  flavour!

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Steering clear of sugar-laden cereals and pastries first thing will avoid your children having a sugar slump (and craving more sugary foods) later in the day.

2. Indoor Olympics: Create your own DIY indoor Olympics during those inevitable rainy days stuck indoors during the holidays. Why not tie a piece of string across the room and let your kids bat a balloon over for a house-friendly alternative to volleyball? Use your imagination!

3. Let your kids play chef: Whether it’s chopping the carrots or peeling the potatoes, encouraging your kids to get involved in helping cook the family meals allows them to get hands on and familiar with the various healthy foods that make up each meal. Plus, they’ll more than likely be tempted to scoff the odd tasty carrot slice along the way!

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.06.424. Allow the odd sweet treat: When teaching your children to make heart-healthy food choices, this doesn’t mean never allowing them the odd chocolate bar as a little treat every now and then. In fact, letting them enjoy the odd treat should help make them aware of the importance of a varied diet.

5. Walk the dog: Dog-walking is a great way to get your animal-loving kids enjoying outdoor activities. Don’t own a dog? Then borrow your neighbour’s pet pooch! We’re sure they’d secretly be only too glad of a day off from walking their dog. Not only is this great exercise for your child, it’s also a really good fun

6. Go supermarket shopping: Chances are you don’t tend to take your children to the shops during school time when you just want to quickly whizz round the aisles and pick up dinner. Taking your child shopping, however, is a great way to introduce to and to explore new foods for themselves.

Make sure you spend lots of time in the fresh produce section to see which of the brightly-coloured fruit and vegetables your child’s attention is drawn towards. Get them to choose a piece of fruit or vegetable to try at home – who knows, they may even quite like the taste of the mango that they picked up!

So, which of these fun, heart-healthy half term activities will you be trying out with your children first? And remember, you don’t have to wait until the holidays to do these with your children – these are perfect for any weekend spent with your kids!

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Top Up your Soup With Giving Tree

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07.10.15

Dig out  some chestnut, pumpkin and mushrooms...Autumn is here! As the days get cooler, it's time to start making some warming soups. Don't think that soups are boring, at Giving Tree HQ we gathered some creative recipes.  You will be surprise on how you can use our snacks in your soups ;) IMG_2013 A bowl of soup for dinner, it's a great way  to stay fuller for longer as well as of course full of vitamins and minerals while taking care of your weight. Soups are easy to make and offer plenty of health benefits. So let's start!  

Pumpkin Soup

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 15.33.28 Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1kg pumpkins or squash (try kabocha), peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 700ml vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 142ml pot double cream
  • Handful pumpkin crisps Giving Tree snacks
Method
  1.  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, then gently cook 2 finely chopped onions for 5 mins, until soft but not coloured. Add 1kg peeled, deseeded and chopped pumpkin or squash to the pan, then carry on cooking for 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally until it starts to soften and turn golden.
  2. Pour 700ml vegetable stock into the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins until the squash is very soft. Pour the 142ml pot of double cream into the pan, bring back to the boil, then purée with a hand blender. For an extra-velvety consistency you can now push the soup through a fine sieve into another pan. The soup can now be frozen for up to 2 months.
  3. Then serve scattered the soup with some pumpkin crisps.
(recipe  from BBC Good Food)

Roasted Carrot Soup

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Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 450g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2l vegetable or chicken stock
  • Handful coriander (about ½ a supermarket packet)
  • Handful Broccoli crisps Giving Tree snacks
  Method
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, then fry for 5 mins until softened. Stir in the ground coriander and potato, then cook for 1 min. Add the carrots and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and cook for 20 mins until the carrots are tender.
  2. Tip into food processor with the coriander then blitz until smooth (you may need to do this in two batches).
  3. Return to pan, taste, add salt if necessary, then reheat to serve.

 (recipe from BBC Good Food) 

Mushroom & Chestnut soup

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Ingredients:
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (closed cup or chestnut mushroom are best)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 jar chestnuts
  • 1 litre stock (veg or chicken)
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Pepper to season
Method
  1. Heat the butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms and onions for around 3 to 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the chestnuts long enough to warm them through.
  3. Add the stock and blitz with a hand blender until you have no large lumps (although you can take out a few slices of mushroom and re-add them after blending to add texture). Add the rosemary and simmer until heated through.
  4. Stir in the cream and season, leave to warm through. Serve.
 (recipe from BBC Good Food) 

Bon Appétit everyone!