Header widget area left
Showing posts from tagged with: giving tree snack

Health and fitness apps of 2016

Posted by admin in Food, Health, Mindful | 0 comments

24.08.16

Girl floating on beach mattress and eating watermelon in the blu   With the end of August in sight and perhaps diminishing motivation for the ultimate beach body, the desire to get fit and healthy should not just be limited to the summer and for sunny days for the beach (although we are praying for an Indian Summer come September and October!). Maintaining and increasing ones fitness should be an all year round goal; not just so that we physically feel our best but also mentally. Following a steady year round routine also means that one does not need to drastically change their lifestyle come pre summer months. how-to-workout-at-beach1 Now with increasing technology advancements and a flourishing base of health and fitness apps that are constantly updating, there is really no excuse to embrace them seeing as we are already superglued to our smartphones. In fact, there has been a rise in popularity of such apps as they primarily allow the option of exercise to ones weekly routine... flexibility! So whether you are a professional athlete, a regular gym goer, just new to the gym or a couch potato looking to begin your fitness regime, you can positively fuel and motivate themselves through your very own smart phone. Apple Starts iPhone 6 Sales In Germany Health and fitness apps can be incredibly beneficial...

  • For those who do not have enough time to go to the gym - there is huge flexibility to adapt your gym routine to do at home or wherever you are, even on holiday!
  • For those who do not want to spend masses on a gym membership, apps are also A LOT cheaper; some are even free!
  • For those who want to record and track their personal health and fitness goals - some apps are able to calculate and graphically report progress data
  • For those who have one sport they would like to specialise in i.e. running, cycling, yoga
  • For those who are at any fitness level, no one has an excuse to opt out and try something new!
There are hundreds of health and fitness apps available and with some charging a small cost, it is difficult to know which ones are worth buying. The hard work has been done for you as we compare reviews and ratings to find the best apps to download in 2016.  

For those new to running

Couch to 5k

c25k   If you’ve wanted to try running but never known where to start, Couch to 5K should be the next app you download. The free eight-week program gives users three workouts per week that get you ready for your local Turkey Trot or Fourth of July road race. FREE; iOS and Android

For a serial runner or cyclist

Strava Running and Cycling 

strava If you’re a serious runner or cyclist, you need one place to keep track of your most recent runs and rides, and no app comes close to the capabilities offered by Strava. The app can track distance, speed, elevation, calories burned, heart rate, power, and cadence. Then it synthesizes all of this data into easy-to-understand graphics. FREE; with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android

For a work out at home

No equipment required, just yourself. 

sworkit_0

Sworkit 'Simply WORK IT'

Tell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers the moves to follow during your sweat session. The pro edition ($4.99/month) has a few notable features, including the ability to save custom workouts, access your complete workout history, and eliminate ads. This is also compatible with Apple Watch. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For a 10 minute work out

HIIT at its best 

FitStar Personal Trainer 

icon

Shows workouts you can do quickly and inexpensively. Training is broken down into four types of workout styles: "get lean" (cardio), "get strong" (balance of bodyweight strength training moves), 10-15 minute "daily dose" workouts; and "freestyle". At the core of the app is a patented algorithm that customises a user's workouts, so an athlete can move at their own pace and and advance as they get stronger. There is also a user's rating for each exercise which is used to adjust each routine. Difficulty ratings range from "too easy" to "way more brutal" than expected

FREE or Premium ($7.99/month or $39.99/year); Android and iOS

Or a 7 minute work out?

The Johnson & Johnson Official 7-Minute Workout

JnJ-7-Minute-App

Crafted by Chris Jordan who is the mastermind behind the original 7-Minute Workout. This "Smart Workout" is designed to challenge your fitness level and help throttle the intensity according to your ability, while the uncomplicated interface is designed to help you get through the bodyweight routine as simply as possible.

FREE

 

For those who lift

StrongLifts 5x5

stronglifts-5x5

No need to carry around a paper and pencil while lifting at the gym anymore. This app keeps track of the exercise, number of reps, and rest time, so all you have to worry about is getting to the gym and getting huge stronger.

FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For outdoor lovers

Yonder 

yonder

Think of this like Yelp for the outdoor enthusiast. Enter your location and find dozens of suggestions for hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing with reviews and tips from fellow outdoorsmen and women.

FREE; Android and iOS

For gamers

Zombie's, Run! 

zombies-run Running becomes way more fun when each step gets you closer to carrying out your mission, collecting materials for your base camp, and keeping humans safe from the zombie apocalypse. There’s a reason this game became the highest-grossing health and fitness app on iTunes in just two weeks—even though it’s free to download, you’ll start shelling out money like you do for Candy Crush. Except this game helps you get your sweat on. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For yogis

Daily Yoga 

daily-yoga

Never be bored by yoga again: More than 50 classes shot in HD video are just a few taps away. Each sequence has a specific focus, from increasing flexibility to strengthening your core. Plus, there’s a library with detailed videos of more than 500 poses.

FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

For pilates

My Pilates Guru

512x512bb iTunes most popular Pilates app created by Pilates instructor Anya Hayes. Offers step by step instructions with 90+ exercises with high res photography. Build your own sessions, focusing on one body area and monitor your own progress. £2.99

Food and nutrition

Because you need to eat well too! 

MyFitnessPal

myfitnesspal MyFitnessPal is the most popular health and fitness app in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The app’s database of more than 6 million foods makes it easy to track your diet, no matter what you eat. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or put on muscle, the app helps determine the best things to eat to meet your goals. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

Fooducate 

fooducate Makes grocery shopping surprisingly fun. Open the app, scan barcodes, and get a quick read on how healthy each item is. It also tracks sleep, mood, and hunger levels. Then Fooducate analyzes all of the information and provides feedback to help you meet your health and fitness goals. FREE with optional in-app purchases; Android and iOS

Thrive Market 

thrive-market Buying healthy food has never been easier and cheaper. Thrive Market is basically the Costco for natural and organic products. Pay a yearly fee ($59.95) and have access to insane deals on everything from coconut oil to kale chips. The app makes it easy to shop for groceries whenever you’ve got the time, and then Thrive sends your order right to your door. FREE; iOS

Mind and Brain

Meditation Studio 

meditation-studio There are so many different types of guided meditation. Rather than try a general practice that focuses on relaxation, this app offers meditations catered to your needs, whether it’s anxiety, stress, happiness, or gratitude. And best of all, it’s a one-time fee for access to more than 160 meditations. ($2.99; iOS)

Sleep Cycle 

sleep_cycle_android_icon Say sayonara to feeling groggy in the morning. This app measures your sleep cycle, as its name suggests. Then it wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state. Sure, you might get up before your alarm goes off, but you’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the day. FREE with in-app purchases on iOS, $0.99 on Android

Musical accompaniment

Motion Traxx

motion-traxx Listening to music can be the perfect way to add extra oomph to your workout, but crafting the perfect playlist is tricky. That’s where Motion Traxx comes in. The app combines coaching from world-class trainers with music designed to set the perfect intensity for every phase of your workout. FREE with optional in-app purchases; iOS and Android

Spotify Running 

spotify Part of the Spotify app (and let’s be honest, you probably already have that on your phone), Spotify Running measures your pace and picks a song with the beats per minute to match it. It’s about time your music matches your cadence instead of the other way around. FREE; iOS and Android

Destress and relax 

Relax Melodies 

i-relax-melody-app

The most popular and highly rated of the stress release apps on the market, Relax Melodies boasts at array of white noise inspired loops, which you can then mix with other loops or pair with songs on your device

FREE; iOS, Android and Windows Phone   Now without further ado, get downloading to renew and enhance your workout! It is important to note that an app should not replace ones motivation, they should be seen as a personal aid or guide to be made full use of!

Vegan Healthy Treats

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

31.05.16

We have found the most AMAZINGLY delicious and totally vegan recipes from one of our favourite bloggers Madeleine Shaw.. featuring freeze dried goodness!

Check this out..

madshaw

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a doughnut pan with coconut oil.

Mash the banana, chia egg, maple syrup, spices and melted coconut oil together. In another bowl mix the flour and baking powder. Pour the wet mix into the dry and combine well with a spoon. Spoon in the batter and cook for 10 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Depending on the size of your doughnut pan, you might need to cook in two batches.

While this is cooking make the glaze by melting the coconut oil with the nut butter and maple syrup. Stir well until fully combined then leave to the side to cool a little.

You can also glaze your donuts with melted dark or raw chocolate if you are nut free, or just for some extra decadence! Or do a mix of both like I have. Brush the donuts with the glaze then top with the toppings. They won’t last long because they’re so moreish but if you’re going to savour them, they’ll last in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days.

Pancakes with Strawberries and Coconut Cream

panc

Directions

For the crepes: Whisk the eggs and milk in a large bowl, slowly shift in the flour and a pinch of salt.

Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan on a medium heat, swirl the oil around to cover the pan.

Pour about 50ml of the batter onto the pan making sure the mixture is distributed evenly. When the edges are set and they start to curl up (after just under a minute) flip over and cook for 30 seconds, then fold in half.

Repeat this same procedure for the rest of the mixture.

To serve, open up each crepes, smear in the coconut yogurt, a drizzle of honey and the strawberries, fold in half then into quarters and serve.

Note – The wet mix will keep in the fridge a few days so you can enjoy them a few times more.

Why are there days when you just can’t stop eating? Banish the hunger!

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

16.05.16

This great article for the Daily Mail features advice from our nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert on why you get those dreaded hunger pangs!

You know the feeling - you wake up with hunger pangs that even a hearty breakfast and slap-up lunch do little to diminish. But what causes those 'hyper-hungry' days when all you can think about is the next snack? We look at the science behind the stomach rumbles.

YOU'RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP

If you didn't sleep well last night, chances are you won't only feel exhausted. You will feel ravenous, too.

Those who don't go to bed until the early hours end up eating an extra 248 calories the next day, according to a study in the journal Obesity.

Those who don't go to bed until the early hours end up eating an extra 248 calories the next day

Those who don't go to bed until the early hours end up eating an extra 248 calories the next day

Being exhausted has also been found to encourage us to eat twice the amount of high-calorie fast food and fizzy drinks - and half the amount of fruit and veg.

If you keep skimping on sleep, scientists say you are likely to become badly overweight, because the stress on your body interrupts the balance of 'hunger hormones' ghrelin and leptin, which tell you if you are hungry or full.

As a result, people who regularly get only five hours of sleep have been found to be 50 per cent more likely to be obese than those getting eight hours.

Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, of rhitrition.com, says: 'If you are tired and your body hasn't had enough sleep the night before to stoke energy levels, it is going to crave glucose - sugar, carbs and fizzy drinks - like crazy because it needs more energy quickly.'

EATING TOO MANY CARBS AT DINNERTIME

If you felt famished when you woke up this morning, cast your mind back to what you had for dinner last night. If it was pizza, garlic bread and cake, you went to sleep on a major sugar high.

Refined carbohydrates such as these are made of small molecules which are quickly digested and converted into glucose - a sugar produced by the liver that fuels the brain. Eating them causes levels of these sugars not only to rise rapidly but to drop fast, too.

The resulting low means on waking up, your brain immediately craves glucose. Hunger hormones are then released, making you want to eat as soon as possible.

To avoid starting the day hungry, experts advise dinners that combine more complex carbs - brown rice, whole grain breads and pastas, which are processed more slowly by the body - with proteins, such as meat, fish or nuts, which are also more difficult to digest.

Endocrinologist Sir Stephen O'Rahilly, a professor at Cambridge University, says carbs don't switch off hunger hormones as well as other foods.

'Inside your intestines are tiny sensor cells which detect how much protein and carbs you have eaten.

'Protein stimulates these cells more strongly than carbs, which is why it's harder to eat too much steak than too much pizza. You need to include protein in meals to tell your brain you have had enough.'

A BIG NIGHT OUT WITH FRIENDS

Drinking doesn't just land you with a raging hangover the next morning. It can also give you the munchies.

Research published in the journal Alcohol And Alcoholism found just three glasses of wine can lower levels of hormone leptin, which keeps hunger at bay, by up to 30 per cent.

Also, your liver will have spent so much time breaking down the alcohol in your blood overnight it won't have been able to deliver the levels of glucose your brain needs to function.

Professor O'Rahilly, says: 'If you poison your liver with alcohol, it does not make the normal amount that your brain is used to. So when you wake up, it screams emergency because it wants glucose so badly.'

MOUTHWATERING FOOD ADS

Tempting food smells set off cravings, too. Our brains light up when we smell our favourite foods - in the same way that those of cocaine addicts do when they think about their next drug fix

With food adverts tempting us everywhere we go, no wonder eating is always on our minds.

Just looking at pictures of appetising meals can make you hungry, according to researchers at Germany's Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry.

They found we produce more nof the hunger hormone ghrelin when we see the images.

Tempting food smells set off cravings, too. New York-based Brookhaven National Laboratory found our brains light up when we smell our favourite foods - in the same way that those of cocaine addicts do when they think about their next drug fix.

The result of all this is that we no longer just eat when we are hungry, says Alison Clark, of the British Dietetic Association. 'Triggers like food ads can actually make people want to eat - even when they don't need to.'

NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER

You think you're peckish - but if you don't take on enough fluids, you may be misinterpreting your thirst as hunger. When we are dehydrated, these messages become confused in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain which regulates appetite hormones, so we reach for a snack when we actually need a drink.

Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert says: 'Our body is 60 per cent water and all our cells need it. If you're dehydrated, you're going to start getting moody, tired, losing concentration. However, that feeling can get confused in the brain with hunger as it has the same effects.

If you don't drink enough, you may be misinterpreting your thirst as hunge

If you don't drink enough, you may be misinterpreting your thirst as hunge

'People should therefore aim for about two litres a day minimum, even when you don't actually feel thirsty, to avoid this confusion.'

SUFFERING THE 'BUFFET EFFECT'

The trend for importing cuisines from all over the world means we have never enjoyed a wider range of exotic flavours.

But eating lots of different types of food at one meal - known as the 'buffet effect' - can trick us into eating more than we need.

A study in the Journal Of Consumer Research found diners tend to eat 10 per cent more if offered a variety of foods.

When faced with a large choice at one meal, researchers think our eyes con us into underestimating the quantities of each dish. Over a year, this 'optical illusion' can lead to weight gain of up to 20 lb.

Therapist Marisa Peer, author of You Can Be Younger, says studies show how a new taste can also reset our appetite - even when full. 'There is only so much of one food we can have before we get bored and stop eating. When you are given a taste, even if feeling full, it stimulates your appetite again.

'This is why you still have room for dessert after a filling Sunday lunch.'

WOLFING DOWN YOUR MEAL

When you rush a meal, you may fill your stomach quickly. But your brain needs time to register you've had enough.

Experts say it starts to realise you are full only when your meal begins to be digested.

'It takes about 20 minutes for your body to register and for your receptors in your stomach to reach the brain and say: “Thanks very much. I'm full. Stop eating,”' says Alison Clark of the British Dietetic Association.

'So we suggest taking time to pause after a meal instead of going on to the next course in order to allow the chemical signals to reach the brain.'

YOUR PERIOD IS ON THE WAY

If your period is on the way, the biscuit tin will be much harder to resist.

During the second half of your menstrual cycle, levels of the sex hormone progesterone rise as your body gets ready for pregnancy by sending blood to the womb.

As part of this preparation, it also triggers hunger hormones to persuade you to eat more and give your body the reserves to grow a baby.

As your period approaches, levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen also dramatically drop off - and with it levels of the feelgood hormone serotonin.

Lucia Lukanova, founder of The Flow app, which helps women chart their cycles, says: 'Women's food cravings start in the last week before their period when their progesterone and oestrogen levels fall.

'This sudden withdrawal is like taking cigarettes away from a smoker so we crave alternatives, like comfort foods, to make us feel better.'

Power Spring Salad Bowls featuring GT

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

14.04.16

Forget salad plates and sushi platters: Foodies are all about the new Instagram-worthy 'power bowl'. The power bowl is a bowl filled with vegetables, whole grains and plenty of protein! It tastes as healthy as a salad, but feels heartier as a meal The recipe for the 'perfect power bowl' comes down to macrobiotics, and here we show you our favourite ones featuring Giving Tree crisps as healthy, crunchy toppings for these bowls!   Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.29

Quinoa tricolore - this lovely bowl features our Apple crisps with steamed kale, with raspberries, and pomegranate, spiralized carrot and a tahini-açai! YUM

The smoothie bowls are still in, but this latest food trend is totally savoury.

Introducing power bowls, or the latest way to eat your lunch like the chic, wellness-obsessed set. Basically a bowl filled with vegetables, whole grains and protein, the power bowl ticks all the right boxes. It’s as healthy as a salad, but tastes heartier, it’s highly photogenic and is low in carbohydrates while also being jam packed full of so-called ‘good fats’ (think avocado, chia seeds and brazil nuts) These recipes we feature are so simple to make and the more variety of veg the better - we like to say 'Eat a rainbow'. There’s a science to the ‘perfect power bowl’, which basically comes down to macrobiotics. The most powerful Power Bowl consists of 15 per cent lean protein, 25 per cent whole grains, 35 per cent vegetables, 10 per cent sauce and 30 per cent extras (including nuts, seeds and sprouts). Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.03

This wonderful bowl consists of Spiralized veggies, and a cucumber sesame salad, raw mushrooms, broccoli, mixed cooked beans, beetroot hummus with lots of tahini, mixed greens and @givingtreesnack apple crisps plus fresh pomegranate seeds. It adds a different dimension adding sweet and crunchy flavours to savoury too! 

Here are some great ingredients to add to your shopping list if you want to recreate your own at home include quinoa, beetroot, sweet potato, seeds, nuts, chicken, black beans and avocado (of course). When perfectly arranged so that you can see everything in it, the bowl provides a much more photogenic alternative to the traditional plate. Fans of the bowl say that it is like a ‘hug’ in a meal, and Instagram already has tens of thousands of posts with the hashtag #powerbowl accompanying their filtered snaps. For those who are sick of their regular plate of salad at lunchtime and who fancy something with a little bit more symmetry and harmony than a few pieces of wilting lettuce, try the power bowl in replacement.

Top Fitness Gadgets for Spring!

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

03.03.16

Spring is around the corner.. it's nearly time to get yourself exercising outside, enjoying the fresh air and using the top of the range gadgets to help you along the way! We couldn't resist sneaking in a few novelty ones too..

1. Withings Smart Body Scale
If you want to get fitter, it's worth knowing the state of play before you start - and during your programme. The Withings Smart Body Scale will give you that. It's able to accurately track your weight, body fat and various other stats, and sync them to your phone so you can easily monitor progress over time. They're pricey - but they might make the difference.
2. FINIS SwiMP3 Waterproof Headphones
The FINIS SwiMP3 headphones (£93) are a stunning bit of kit which transmit music through your cheekbones via induction. It's one of the only pair of headphones you can wear in the pool, and if you're spending a lot of time underwater and need a boost on your 50th lap, it might make the difference. (£93)
Screenshot 2016-03-03 15.22.40
3. Nike Fuelband SE
The Nike Fuelband is one of the most attractive and intuitive fitness trackers on the market - and the new SE edition is the best one yet, adding Bluetooth LE for constant syncing with your iPhone, 'Session' markers and limited sleep tracking.
Screenshot 2016-03-03 15.21.10
 
4. The Smelly Alarm Clock: SensorWake

Alarm clocks are like spiders: everyone acknowledges they do a valuable job, but that doesn’t stop most from despising them. The SensorWake aims to lessen that hatred by waking you up not with a piercing shriek but with a smell, like chocolate or coffee or freshly baked bread, depending on which capsule you pop in it. Unless you sleep through the smell, in which case the shrieking kicks in as a back up. Available in June, around £77 sensorwake.com

 5. The Massaging Jacket: AiraWear

The AiraWear jacket grandly promises a massage on the move, a marvel achieved through its built-in inflation points. Controlled via an app, the AiraWear looks like a regular jacket until parts of it start inflating, and runs for three hours on a single charge. As well as offering a massage, it can also be used to support your back and gradually break the slouching habit developed at your desk. around £176, airawear.com

Screenshot 2016-03-03 15.19.29

Snack O’Clock and the science behind it!

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

25.02.16

Do you find it harder to stick to your diet at certain times of the day? You’re not alone, according to a survey conducted by Forza supplements

The th-ree most dangerous moments have been identified as 11.01am, 3.14pm and 9.31pm • Dieters can consume as many as 750 calories during these three vulnerable times – wrecking their chances of losing weight; • Coffee shops were identified as the biggest danger to dieters because even a simple latte from a high street chain is worth 190 calories;

Nutritionists say dieters should opt out of drinks rounds at work because they put themselves under peer-group pressure to consume unnecessary calories with colleagues.

The results are revealed in a new survey of 1,000 people by diet firm Forza Supplements.

The research demonstrated that there are three specific times in the day when we’re likely to throw out the healthy eating rule book: 11:01am, 3.41pm and 9:31pm. As much as 750 calories are consumed at these times of the day – enough to ruin even the strictest diet plan.

The findings point to key mistakes that dieters make. These include skipping breakfast (leading to making poor nutritional choices for an elevenses snack), tackling post-lunch stress with food, and succumbing to temptation late at night. The report also highlighted the high calorie count of an average coffee shop latte (190 calories).

Forza’s managing director Lee Smith, adds: ‘We are all becoming much more knowledgeable about nutrition and how to eat more healthily at traditional meal-times. It is at other vulnerable moments during the day – these Snack O’Clocks – when all the damage is done in diets.’

FullSizeRender

While there’s nothing wrong with snacking to keep energy levels up during the day, the study is useful in pointing out when we might make bad food decisions. Remember: preparation is key when sticking to a healthy eating plan. Be inspired by our round-up of nutritious snack ideas, instead.

Giving Tree snacks are here to help, the perfect snacks to try during your day are our 7 different varieties of fruit and veg crisps. When reaching for a chocolate bar, packet of crisps or cheese and crackers we have the perfect alternatives for those both sweet and savoury cravings!

Why not try our vegetable crisps dipped in reduced fat humous, tzatziki or guacamole or just as good on their own!

Our fruit crisps (apple, peach ,strawberry and mango) all make fantastic toppings for a bowl of natural yogurt or ontop of some fat free coconut yogurt..we love cofro! Take a look at the mouth-watering picture above, this was a fat-free, dairy free, gluten and refined sugar free coconut frozen yogurt with our yummy Giving Tree fruit crisps on top mmm!

Let us know your favourite healthy snacks and how've incorporated Giving Tree into your healthy snacking!

Facebook Instagram Twitter

x

     

Say YES to the Slow Cooker..

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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.
3-bean-barley-soup-shutterstock-slide crop

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.

168s

Half-term fun with Giving Tree

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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!

IMG_1138

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!

11825907_1664060403835668_583232813116810875_n

SVOATS.. Porridge like you’ve never tried before

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

12.02.16

SVOATS? Sounds a bit like an up and coming bar or restaurant..but in actual fact these are porridge oats like you've never tried before.

Move over the avo toast, smoothie bowls and poached eggs, please make way for Savoury Porridge!

Now we're not talking just adding a pinch of salt Goldilocks style..

SVOATS are bowls of ridiculously tasty, warming, healthy and filling goodness. Don't get us wrong we love our Giving Tree topped porridge with all the trimmings. But with the Winter months still very much upon us, and it can get repetitive having the same breakfast every morning we thought it was time for a little bit of change.

Now, you probably have alarm bells ringing and thinking, I can't possibly confuse my tastebuds this much. However, just trust us when we say you won't regret it with these wondrous recipes.

Not only are oats tasty, studies have shown that eating oats may help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. They are a good source of protein, complex carbohydrates, iron and full of both soluble and insoluble fibre helping keep you full and also to keep things moving.

Go on, be a rebel and try these SVOATALICIOUS recipes..

1. Poached Egg, Avocado and Hollandaise SVOATS (serves 2/3)

90g oats 500ml water salt and pepper 1 tbsp green pesto shredded cheese like parmesan or cheddar avocado cured good quality ham 2 eggs hollandaise sauce cayenne pepper

Method;

In a pot place oats and water, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. When it’s thick and cooked, it means it’s done. Mix in a tablespoon of pesto into it.

Making a poached egg is not the simplest thing in the world, but it’s not as difficult as we think. It helps to add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and ½ tablespoon of salt to the boiling water and then, just before adding the egg, you need to stir the water (you can always replace it with a soft boiled or fried one).

Hollandaise sauce:

200 g butter 3 egg yolks 1 tablespoon lemon juice ½ tablespoon salt pinch cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons cream First you need to melt the butter (don’t heat it too much), meantime mix all the other ingredients in a bowl until the colour lighten. Very slowly add the butter and blend it until everything nicely connects. Your hollandaise sauce is ready!

Make a little portion of porridge with salt and pepper (you can add whole egg while you cook it) and a poached egg. Serve it with some good ham, pour a hollandaise sauce on a top, avocado and sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper.

slide_369544_4246156_free

(recipe with thanks to 'whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday')

2. For those of you that are still a bit wary of the SVOATS this recipe incorporates sweet too.. Maple Syrup, Bacon and Egg

Ingredients:

90g oats

500ml water (follow same cooking method of oats as above)

4 eggs

Streaky bacon

Maple syrup

Fill oven proof dishes with the cooked porridge (a little butter inside doesn't hurt too) ramekins would work well. Make a little well for the egg and crack it right in. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for approx 15-20 mins. your cooking time depends on the temp of your cooked porridge (your porridge should be warm), the type of dish, and how you like your egg. We know everybody likes their eggs different so just keep checking the middle 'till it is to your liking.. remember it will keep cooking a little bit after you take it out, so if your not serving right away take that into consideration. While they're in the oven, crisp up your bacon get it ready ( we fried ours with a little coconut oil in a frying pan).

If your not into bacon or don't want to fuss with it some toasted pecans or almonds would be yummy...you just need something that will add a little crunch and texture.

1 DSC_0052a sharp

 Serve with bacon, maple syrup and enjoy! :)

3. Mushroom, Thyme, Spelt SVOATS

Ingredients 75g  spelt flakes 75g  oats 1 tablespoon coconut oil 3 fresh thyme sprigs Pinch of salt

Toppings: 2 poached eggs Sautéed mushrooms (we sauteer ours in a little coconut oil) Small handful chopped spinach or kale leaves Chilli Flakes Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or truffled oil (optional)

Instructions Boil the kettle with 250 ml of water or bring to a boil in a pan. In a separate pan melt your coconut oil on a medium-high heat. Add the spelt and the oats and stir to coat. Reduce to a more medium heat and stir occasionally, making sure all the flakes are getting nice and toasty evenly. Toast for about 5 minutes, and once it’s lovely and fragrant (I think it starts smelling like popcorn!) carefully add in your boiling water - and be careful, as it’ll splutter! Turn down the heat to low, until it’s just barely a simmer, throw in the thyme sprigs and salt, give it a quick stir and cover. Leave undisturbed for at least 5 minutes. Once it’s reached your desired consistency, take off the heat, remove the thyme sprigs, and place into bowls. Add any and all toppings that you want, and enjoy straight away.

speltoatsavouryporridge7-1

(picture with thanks to sprinkleofgreen)

Pancake Day recipes to make you drool!

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

08.02.16

What are you going to have on your pancakes tomorrow? The only day of the year where consuming approximately 24 pancakes is acceptable!

Historically, pancakes were made on Shrove Tuesday so the last of the fat or lard was used up before Lent.

Do you go savoury or sweet? How long should you fry them for? When should you toss it?

Pancake Day is all about tossing and flipping your pancakes before topping them with some tasty treats.

Of course, there is the classic lemon and sugar combo, but if you're after something a little more adventurous, we've got some great ideas on what you can add to your Shrove Tuesday treat.

Here are our favourite recipes..We're giving you savoury ideas, and sweet ones too! (note: one may be slightly healthier than the other...)

Basic Batter Recipe (for both sweet and savoury)

Makes: 4 pancakes Ingredients:

Method:

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then make a hole in the middle of the flour using a spoon.

2. Break the egg into the hole. Add a little of the milk and beat with a wire whisk.

3. Beat in the flour to make a thick batter. Gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, then pour the smooth batter into a jug.

4. Lightly grease a small non-stick omelette pan with coconut oil and wipe out any excess with kitchen paper.

5. Heat the pan until very hot and then pour just enough batter in to cover the bottom thinly. As soon as the top is dry and the bottom is golden brown, flip the pancake over with a fish slice or round-ended knife – or if you’re feeling brave, toss it.

6. Cook for 1 minute or until the underside starts to brown. Slide the pancake on to a plate.

7. Grease the pan again with the kitchen paper and make more pancakes in the same way, keeping the cooked ones warm while you make the rest.

Ideas for Savoury;

- Spinach, cheese, mushroom and cured ham

- roasted vegetables, grilled tomato and creme fraiche

- smoked salmon, dill, avocado, chilli and ricotta

- grilled bacon and maple syrup

buckwheat_pancakes_with_39810_16x9

Ideas for Sweet;

- coconut sugar and freshly squeezed lemon

- sliced peaches, natural yogurt and honey

- fresh strawberries, Giving Tree strawberry crisps, mascarpone, blueberries and lemon juice

- nutella, nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew) and banana

- Rhubarb compote and vanilla creme fraiche

IMG_0321

Two ingredient Banana Pancakes

Makes: 8 small pancakes

Ingredients;

1 medium ripe banana 2 large eggs

Optional extras (choose a few!):

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder, for fluffier pancakes
  • 1 spoon of protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or a mix
  • granola
  •  fresh fruit, like blueberries, raspberries, or chopped apples
  • Giving Tree fruit crisps ( we like strawberry on ours)
  • Maple syrup, jam, chocolate spread
  • Natural yogurt

Method; Mash the banana: Peel the banana and break it up into several big chunks in a bowl. Use a fork to thoroughly mash the banana. Add any extra ingredients: These pancakes are pretty great on their own, but a few extras never hurt. Add 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder for fluffier, lighter pancakes, and whisk in salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, or honey to flavour the pancakes. Save any chunky, heavy ingredients — like nuts or chocolate chips — for when the pancakes are in the pan! Stir in the eggs: Whisk the eggs together until the yolks and whites are completely combined. Pour the eggs over the banana and stir until the eggs are completely combined. Heat a frying pan over medium heat: Melt a little coconut oil in the pan to prevent sticking, if you like. Drop roughly 2 tablespoons of batter onto the hot pan. It should sizzle immediately — if not, turn up the heat slightly.

Cook for about 1 minute: Cook the pancakes until the bottoms look browned and golden when you lift a corner. The edges should also be starting to look set, sprinkle with toppings

Sprinkle any loose toppings, like nuts or chocolate chips, over the top of the pancakes as the first side cooks.

Flip the pancakes: Best to do this very gently and fairly slowly — the opposite of regular pancakes. Gently work a spatula about halfway under the pancake, then lift until the unsupported half of the pancake is just barely lifted off the pan. Lay the pancake back down on its other side. Some of the loose batter will probably spill onto the skillet as you do this; just be sure to lay the pancake on top of the spill and nudge any excess back under the pancake. Cook for another minute or so: Cook the pancake for another minute or so, until the other side is also golden-brown. You can flip the pancakes a few times if you need to in order to get them evenly browned. (Flipping is much easier once the second side is set!) Continue cooking the pancakes: Transfer the cooked pancakes to a serving plate and continue cooking the rest of the batter.

Add your toppings!

banana-egg-pancakes

Show us your Giving Tree creations by tagging us on Social Media.. We love to hear from you :)

Facebook Twitter Instagram