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Showing posts from tagged with: giving tree crisps

How To Make Black Bat Pumpkins For Halloween!

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Welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests to your door with a litter of black cat pumpkins. These carve-free kitties are easy to craft, making them a fun project for older children or small kids with a little help from a crafty adult.

Material that you need:

  • faux pumpkins of various sizes and shapes
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Black exterior paint
  • 2'' foam paintbrush
  • Black craft foam
  • Medium-tipped white paint marker
  • White craft paint
  • Small craft paintbrush
  • Grey and light brown pipe cleaners
  • Felt (Light grey, light brown or red)
  • Black marker
 

Why summer bod blues need to be banished!

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08.04.16

We can all get extremely caught up in the pressure to conform to trying to sculpt what is perceived as the ‘perfect summer body.Generally the media portrays summer bodies as women that are generally beautifully toned, tanned and without the lumps and bumps we spend hours deliberating over, however it is not the way, even with regular exercise combined with a healthy diet, everybody’s bodies look on the same regime. Things are slowly changing, though not fast enough; generally people are becoming more personally accepting of their different body types which is brilliant, however what it’s doing as a result of this is taking away the importance of eating a healthful and nutrient - dense diet in the process. To eat healthily isn’t only to create the most glowing version of yourself, but to have the right foods on the inside to allow you to be the absolute best version of yourself is what counts the most as it will encourage you to flourish in every area of your life. Here are a few foolproof ways of letting your very own ‘summer body’ flourish the way it should do minus the pressure to succumb to the ideals we’re all too used to.. DON’T SWEAT IT You don’t have to be a personal trainer to know that exercise is extremely vital for your overall health and wellbeing, not only for your body but for your mind. However by not following the workout ‘of the year’ or subscribing to the latest set of work out videos doesn’t automatically mean you won’t feel amazing. The most important factor to consider when aiming to organise your work out regime is to only look into doing things you enjoy or you will result in giving up before you’ve even begun. If you dread running or can’t stand yoga, the answer is simple, don’t do it. There are a wealth of different options out there to explore when it comes to exercise, from boxing combined with pilates, a variety of HITT workouts, fluorescent spinning classes or local boot camps.. the only advice to really consider, is not to worry which path to exercising you take, but just to simply get moving in whichever way makes you happy.   londonpigeon BE INTUITIVE There are countless diet plans and ‘rules’ out there to follow but many disclaim that ultimately what you eat has to work for you. Some people may thrive off a diet filled with lots of good fats including avocado and nuts, and others’ bodies may completely disagree with it, equally a certain amount of carbohydrate in a person’s diet may need to be different depending on whether or not their body can take it and thrive off it. Ultimately, the best diet that works for you will be the one that allows you to want to wake up each morning and reach your fullest potential whilst enjoying the food that you’re eating. Food shouldn’t just be fuel, though at the same time it should provide your body (most of the time) with the potential to be the best version of yourself and ultimately feel amazing. DRESS TO FLATTER So much of the time, the latest fashion trend be it in swim wear, work out gear or day-to-day clothes is advertised as the only way to stay fashion-forward however it’s not always the best way for everyone. Going back to the idea that no diet or work out regime is best for everyone, neither is the same outfit. Half of trick to feeling great (other than exercise and diet) is ensuring that you dress to flatter your body shape. Yes we can all work towards achieving the optimum healthy weight and therefore size for our shape but fundamentally all of our body shapes are different, and what may flatter one persons’ body type might not quite look the same on someone else. It’s important to consider this when buying clothes/swim wear/work out attire, as ultimately what you see is, in the moment, almost as important in the way you feel as if you look you best you will feel you best, so embrace the opportunity each morning to wake up and dress in a way that will enhance the way you feel. Finally, don't forget that you can indulge in healthy snacks - chocolate whey hey ice cream (high protein, no added sugar) makes the perfect summer snack along with our Giving Tree crisps!   IMG_3621    

What to cook this weekend..

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07.04.16

So weekends are meant for indulging right? However, too much indulgence can lead to over indulging and consuming way too much on a weekend!

However, everything in moderation is what we believe, and these recipes are the perfect combination of what feels like a treat but in actual fact, super healthy! With thanks to our lovely nutritionist Rhiannon for the recipes!

1. Breakfast- Coconut milk, pistachio and strawberry giving tree porridge

INGREDIENTS

• 250ml water
• 40g oats
• 4 tbsp coconut milk • 1 tbsp almond butter • 1 tbsp chi coconut oil For a topping: • crushed pistachios Simply add the water, oats and coconut milk  to a saucepan and allow it to heat for about ten minutes, until the liquid has all been absorbed. Then stir in the almond butter and coconut oil and let them dissolve into mix. Once it’s all nicely mixed pour it into a bowl, add all your favourite toppings and then it’s ready to enjoy!

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2. Lunch / Dinner - Herby garlic chicken with veggie giving tree topping

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 100g quinoa
  • 600ml hot chicken stock
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • Mixed herbs to season
  • Giving Tree Broccoli and pumpkin crisps for topping
  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the chicken with the garlic, herbs and arrange in a single layer in a roasting tin. Bake for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in the chicken stock for 15 mins until tender, blend the vegetables in a food processor in the mean time. Drain and place into a large bowl with the chicken, toss together with the vegetables sauce too.
  3. Top with broccoli and pumpkin crisps!

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3. Dessert - Wheyhey Chocolate ice cream topped with bee pollen, chia seed and Giving Tree Peach Crisps! Simple as that

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Healthy Snacks for all!

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31.03.16

Try these Giving Tree inspired, easy snacks ideas to help fight mid-day snack attacks.

We can all be snackers, especially at work. When your mind is working hard, your stomach inevitably starts grumbling. While snacking can help get in all the nutrients that your body requires throughout the day, as well as curbing hunger so that you don't eat too much at the next meal, be careful not to engage in too much mindless munching but instead perfectly sized portions like we have shown below!

1. Peanut butter snacks (crunchy or smooth) with Giving Tree Apple Crisps - try fresh apple too for a mixture of textures!

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2. Giving Tree Vegetable crisps, carrots with your favourite dips - remember this snacks aren't just great for one but also make a fantastic sharing assortment for parties, celebrations, dinners and lunch boxes too!

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3. Crumpet with coconut oil, cottage cheese and banana or smoked salmon..

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4. Miso Soup (buying the ready made soup is fine but check sodium content) feel free to add your own tofu and seaweed as well.

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5. Rice cakes with a variety of toppings - we like;

- Tuna & Avocado with a twist of black pepper

- Cottage cheese & chives with fresh tomato

- Smashed boiled egg and cress

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Hello Spring Well-being!

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29.03.16

HELLO Spring Well-being!

Following the coldest months of the year, what continuously felt like an endless slog of dark nights and difficult mornings, and Christmas festivities a mere memory, Spring appears to have popped out of nowhere and the inevitability of flip flops and kaftans creeping out of wardrobes is so strong you can almost smell it. New Years resolutions may have slightly been forgotten about, so what better way to start again with Spring a great time for new beginnings. Tying in with new beginnings is the birth of lambs and chicks and lovely tree blossom!

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GET OUTSIDE!

So now the weather is warming up, there really is NO excuses not to go get some fresh air, and light exercise outside. The evenings are now much lighter, and so after work why not get yourself your running gear on and go for a light jog or evening walk. You could try bringing a friend or family member with to keep you company. If you're more of a morning person, then setting your alarm an extra half an hour earlier could mean you fit in a little exercise before you head off to your daily jobs! Around this time of year also, outdoor bootcamps begin to fill up again, the runners come out again, and even walking seems the more popular mode of transport, so why not pop your best trainers on and be a part of it! (and an excuse to treat yourself to that pair of new trainers to show off!)

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LET GO

The beginning of Spring gives us the perfect excuse to simply let things go that were perhaps niggling away at us during the winter months. In the lighter months, people are generally much happier, this is often because the sun is out, lighter days and therefore meaning spending more time with loved ones and feeling warmer too! Jump on the same band wagon, and let go of things that were holding you back in the winer, and embrace the potential for new beginnings, relationships, work prospects, or improved health - letting things go will undoubtedly help you to embrace the spring as it should be.

GOALS

With new beginnings comes a wealth of inspiration from sometimes nowhere, or occasionally from something that has been a suppressed goal for a while but you haven’t given the time to it that you would want to. Spring provides the perfect opportunity for you to begin to achieve the goals you subconsciously set for yourself. The brighter mornings can change your perspective on how achievable something is, so make the most of them and run with your goals in these lovely Spring mornings - you never know, you might just have ticked a few things off the list by August, or be further on your way to achieving something you’ve always wanted to achieve.

Why not re-evaluate some of your daily choices? From diet to exercise, and work to leisure, there are many ways our immediate lifestyle choices can impact our overall happiness, long and short term. If you are thinking of cutting out refined sugar or chocolate, why not make that choice now but instead of depriving yourself, try making healthy swaps such as swapping a bag of crisps for Giving Tree fruit or veg crisps (packed full of fibre, nutrients and 1 of your 5 a day!)

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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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Say YES to the Slow Cooker..

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19.02.16

With all the latest health gadgets on the market, from the Spiralizer to the Nutribullet, some of the old favourites can be forgotten! The slow cooker is one of those staple pieces of equipment that can benefit you in so many ways - for the health conscious, busy mums and just those of you that love locking in flavour, everyone should invest in one (at such budget prices too!)

Why the slow cooker?

How the slow cooker can help: Cooking at home is a great first step in trying to get your health eating under control. Since slow–cooked food relies on long, moisture-rich cooking, you can use less oil than if you were cooking with dry heat in the oven or on the stove. Using your slow cooker to make dinner means that dinner is ready when you get in the door—no more hungrily snacking on other food while preparing dinner.

Using a slow cooker can save you major time preparing meals. By prepping ingredients and putting them in the pot before you leave for work in the morning, you know that when you come home dinner will be waiting. Bonus: Use the extra time you save and hit the gym after work.

Slow cookers lend themselves to stews and other one-pot meals that let you stretch more expensive ingredients, like meat, further.  such as Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions. Chances are a slow-cooked meal will yield leftovers ..Bring leftovers for lunch the next day and you’ll save on lunch money too! BONUS!

Recipes to Try:

1. Slow cooker Three bean & Barley soup 

Serves: 4-5

 INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon chi coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1.4l water
  • 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 100g dried black beans
  • 100g dried great northern beans
  • 80g dried kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Method:
  1. Heat oil in a slow cooker on a medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours (adding more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.
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2.

5 a day Vegetarian Ratatouille and cous cous - (we added a mozzarella stuffed chicken breast on the side too!)

Serves:2

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste (we used Discovery)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small red onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 pack of button mushrooms chopped roughly
  • 1  can of chickpeas
  • a few coriander leaves
  • 1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
  • splash of water
  • 150g wholegrain cos cous

FullSizeRender Method;

1. roughly chop both onions, garlic, courgettes, mushrooms and peppers into medium sized chunks

2. In your slow cooker add the coconut oil and all the chopped ingredients, stir once to coat all vegetables.

3. Leave for 10 minutes then add the chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, chickpeas and chicken stock cube and a splash of water

4. Leave to simmer for an hour.

5. Now add the cous cous to the pot and cover.

6. Meanwhile, make a fairly deep incision into the side of each chicken breast, but be sure not to cut through to the other side completely!

7. Stuff with mozzarella, add salt and pepper to the top of the breasts and roast for 30 mins in oven.

8. Serve with the cous cous medley and any other veg!

Coconut Milk rice pudding with Giving Tree Strawberries

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

 Combine the rice, sugar and coconut milk in a large bowl. Stir well, then transfer to the slow cooker with a teaspoon of coconut oil and add the vanilla pod. Leave on a low heat in the cooker for an hour and three-quarters, stirring three or four times during cooking, until the rice is tender. There should be no golden skin on top. To keep the pudding relatively light and also dairy-free, leave it as it is. To make it a little richer and more indulgent, stir in some more coconut milk.

Serve in glasses or bowls with Giving Tree fruit crisps and extra fresh fruit too seasoned with a squirt of lime juice.

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February is heart month, show it some love!

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02.02.16

There’s Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, of course — but this is also Heart Month and on February 5th its the British Heart Foundation National Heart day, dedicated to raising awareness of heart health.

Heart and circulatory disease takes the lives of more than 400 people in the UK each day. So let’s get red everywhere and help raise money for the British Heart Foundation’s life saving research.

We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

Some simple ways to ensure keeping your heart healthy come from the following;

- A healthy diet rich in heart healthy foods (oily fish, avocado, grains, legumes, tomatoes and berries)

Try making some fantastic heart healthy recipes using our Giving Tree snacks - our strawberry crisps make the perfect addition to yogurt, porridge, smoothies, juices and even a substitute to fresh strawberries in baking! With all the same nutrition as fresh and 1 of your 5 a day you can't go wrong.

- Limiting alcohol in the diet

- Exercising -  Physical activity can help reduce your risk of heart disease. It can also help you control your weight, reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and improve your mental health – helping you to look and feel great.

- Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke.

  • Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.
  • The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs.
  • The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.
Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.06.42 Why not try some great fundraising activities to promote Heart Health. Invite your friends, neighbours or whole community to do somethingred and join you for a breakfast, afternoon tea, pamper evening, quiz night or even an auction to raise those pennies!

To get the pounds piling in, you can ask people to give a donation on the door, or pay to enjoy food and drinks as they go along.

If your feeling slightly more adventurous.. Bring an exercise bike into work and keep it spinning for an hour, a morning or even a whole day. Colleagues chip in to sponsor those who are cycling and wearing red.   Shop_banner760x339 Turn PE at school into a fundraising event with a laps-round-the-playground ‘marathon’ or red baton relay. Children (and teachers) can bring in £1 to take part on the day.

Not feeling so energetic? No problem. Here are some easy other ways to make fundraising a team effort at work, school, college, your toddler’s playgroup, your workout class or wherever you’ll be on Friday 5 February:

Have a dress-down day, where everyone gives a donation to participate - while wearing something red of course.

Or, donate to dress up, perhaps with a prize for the best red outfit or fancy dress. Being a tomato, Red Queen, strawberry, Spiderman or lobster could be your winning ticket.

Organise a bake sale, showcasing everyone’s talents. Watch the money roll in!

Of course, Giving Tree snacks will be brought into the help of the special Red Day..

Here is a fantastic Strawberry Giving Tree and berry recipe to keep you going before all of the activities you're going to get involved in...

Ingredients.

 Method.

Blend all ingredients and immediately consume for a deliciously heart healthy smoothie :)

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