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Showing posts from tagged with: healthy recipes

Our Favourite Autumnal Treats..

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09.11.16

HEALTHY AUTUMN TREATS - SO SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS!

So Bonfire Night has been and gone, and we made some AMAZING healthy treats to tuck into! They were so simple to make, and so incredibly healthy too with our Giving Tree strawberry crisps and plenty of toppings. Recipe 1: Banana Choco Kebabs Method:
  • Cut 3 large bananas in half, and place a wooden skewer through each half.
  • Melt your favourite Dark Chocolate brand (we like 70% cocoa solids) and stir continuously, we added a little Chi Coconut Milk to make it extra creamy too!
  • Dunk bananas into the chocolatey bowl and let drip over a cooling rack (pop a plate underneath to collect any drippings!)
  • Now add your crushed Giving Tree fruit and your favourite nuts, seeds, grains and anything else you can get your hands on!
  • Leave to set in fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
  screenshot-2016-11-09-13-28-41 Recipe 2: Sticky Choccy Apples  Method:
  • Cut 2 large apples in half, and place a wooden skewer through each half.
  • Melt your favourite Dark Chocolate brand (we like 70% cocoa solids) and stir continuously, we added a little Chi Coconut Milk to make it extra creamy too!
  • Dunk apples or drizzle in a fun pattern, into the chocolatey bowl and let drip over a cooling rack (pop a plate underneath to collect any drippings!)
  • Now add your crushed Giving Tree fruit and your favourite nuts, seeds, grains and anything else you can get your hands on!
  • Leave to set in fridge for 3-4 hours and enjoy!
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Vegan Healthy Treats

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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..

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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

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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.

Back to the basics – healthy food for everyone!

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05.05.16

All year round healthy foods for everyone!

We are so often bombarded with contrasting information regarding foods and drinks we should or shouldn’t be consuming, however once things are made simpler and we get rid of some of the complicated ingredients and recipes, and take it back to basics with some simple ingredients and foods that are fairly easily accessible.

COCONUTS

It’s no secret that coconut oil and well, everything coconut, is the what everyone is going mad for!  There are so many brilliant uses for this lovely nut including coconut milk, cream, water, oil and the meat itself. Coconut holds many beauty properties, doing wonders for your skin in turn, and absolutely creates the most deliciously healthy flavour when used in cooking. Coconut cream is brilliant for baking, while coconut water is filled with electrolytes, hydrating you no end, and coconut milk is a wonderful alternative to cow’s milk. Try Chi coconut oil, 100% organic, raw and cold pressed!

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GREENS

OK, so we all know that including greens in our diet is good for us, however it’s not necessary for you to sit with a bowl of spinach and expect to thoroughly enjoy munching your way through it. There are so many ways you can include greens in your daily diet, in pasta sauces, casseroles, in a smoothie, or even just stripping things back to basics and enjoying them as part of a colourful salad, this is one of the most important ways for anyone who refrains from eating meat and fish to get in a good source of protein in their diet. Try Giving Tree broccoli crisps as toppings for salads and soups as well as a healthy and nutritious on the go snack!

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BERRIES

Just as raw chocolate is brilliant for upping your antioxidant intake, so are the berry family. They are best when they are completely ripe and in season, however if you buy the frozen kind from any local supermarket, they make for a fantastic ingredient within a morning smoothie, on top of a breakfast bowl or even just on their own. Don't forget to try our Strawberry crisps from the Giving Tree which make amazing toppings for yoghurt, cereal, porridge and so much more! mmm!

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OATS

Oats are a brilliant way of consuming something delicious that will give you an extremely slow release of energy, meaning that it will keep you going for hours. They are so versatile by nature within recipes too, going from being able to be ground into a flour, as the nation’s favourite brekkie, porridge or as a substitute in many baking recipes. They work really well with bananas in smoothies as well, and are guaranteed to keep you going right through until lunch.

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RAW CHOC

Now for people who love a caffeine fix but want it without the sugary additions usually included in coffee shop concoctions, or for those who simply want something a little different, raw chocolate is a brilliant way to have this fix minus the nasties that come in normal chocolate bars. This form of chocolate is extremely high in antioxidants and is a brilliant way of getting your caffeine fix, totally naturally! There are so many different bars on the market that there will undoubtedly be a flavour that will take your fancy.

NUTS

Nuts create much controversy for many due to their high calorie content, however when portion control comes into play, the most important thing to do is know when to eat them, how to eat them and to remember that when food is in its’ rawest form, like nuts generally are, they are full of protein and healthy fats, which are both essential for maintaining our energy levels and giving us a gorgeously envious glow. If having them on their own just isn’t on the agenda though, combining them with dates to create a raw bar, or using them in a flour are all ways of including them in your diet without having to sit down with a bag of almonds.

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Don’t forget food groups that ARE healthy!

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19.04.16

Nutritional guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing with new research. It can be difficult to keep up with which foods are healthy and which aren’t, there is also confusion with inaccurate sources telling us different things all the time!

Take a look at these foods that have gone through the cycle of being the 'baddies' of nutritional science, but are now okay to eat again.

Remember, everything in moderation, and cooking methods play a large factor in healthy eating too!

EGGS

For a long time, eggs were thought to be bad for your heart. A large egg contains 185mg of cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol was believed to contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. But for the last 20 years, nutrition and medical research has shown repeatedly that at normal intakes dietary cholesterol has very little influence on a person’s cholesterol levels.

Although it’s taken time, nutrition experts are now correcting the record for eggs by removing it as a nutrient of concern from dietary guidelines. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and several vitamins and minerals.

It can often be the way you cook an egg that contributes to it being unhealthy. Frying an egg in lashings of butter, and making scrambled eggs with too much butter and full fat milk will increase your daily fat intake drastically.

Try poaching your eggs for a delicious breakfast.

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POTATOES

Potatoes are one of the few vegetables that are actually considered to be unhealthy. They have a high glycaemic index so often get put with foods made from refined carbohydrates as foods to avoid. But potatoes are a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamin C, some B vitamins and minerals.

How you prepare potatoes completely changes the aspects of those starches that get a bad name. Cooking and cooling potatoes increases the amount of resistant starch in the potatoes. This resistant starch then acts like dietary fibre which “resists” digestion in the gut, potentially having a positive impact on your gut bacteria.

DAIRY

Milk, butter, yogurt and cheese were once considered a staple in many people’s diet, but this seems to have changed which could be down to mixed health messages.

Positive aspects of dairy include the high protein and calcium content. Fat content and fat type are important when choosing dairy products as some contain high amounts of fat per serving and this fat tends to be high in saturated fat.

Although it’s best to avoid a diet high in saturated fat (a risk factor for CHD), regularly consuming dairy products doesn’t need to be a concern if your overall calorie intake and fat intake is healthy.

It can often be worse to consume dairy products such as cheeses and yogurts that are reduced fat or 'healthier', as added sugar, artificial flavourings and additives are often used to replace the fat content.

The recent updates to the UK Eat Well Plate still promotes dairy foods as part of a healthy diet, as long as the dairy choices are lower in fat.

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NUTS

Nuts also get a bad reputation for being high in fat and high in calories, leading some to suggest they should be avoided by anyone looking to lose weight. A recent study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that eating raw nuts reduces death from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death.

Raw nuts contain protein, healthy fats (low saturated fat and high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat), dietary fibre and micronutrients.

Nut butters, such as peanut butter, can also be part of a healthy diet. The fat in peanut butter has a healthy profile and peanut butter is also an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Some recent evidence has shown increased weight loss for people that replace less healthy proteins, such as processed meats, with peanut butter.

You should aim to avoid nut butters with added sugar, salt and palm oil though.

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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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Christmas cooking!

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30.11.15

The festive season is finally here, it's time to make some christmas sweets with your family or your friends. At Giving Tree, we want healthy sweets for Christmas. You wonder how freeze dried fruits can be used in baking? They can be baked in to the dough and batter or you can incorporated in to a biscuit filling. Sounds yummy?! See all the recipes below.  

Strawberry Banana Bread

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup coconut palm sugar 1 large egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup mashed banana (approx 2 large) 1/2 cup plain greek-style yogurt 1 cup  Giving Tree freeze dried strawberries

Method

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, coconut palm sugar, egg and vanilla extract until well-combined. Stir in the mashed banana, followed by half of the dry ingredient mixture. Stir in yogurt, followed by remaining dry ingredient mixture. Mix just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Fold in strawberries and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the batter comes out clean and the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Allow loaf to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry chocolate Chip cookies

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 cup brown sugar 1 cup coconut palm sugar 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 2 large eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 cups Giving Tree freeze dried strawberries or Mango or Apple or Peach 1 cup Raw chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs in one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients, followed by freeze dried fruits and chocolate chips (don’t worry about breaking up freeze dried fruits; stir them vigorously!). Drop tablespoonfuls (1-inch balls) of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10-11 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and are set. Bake an extra minute or two for a crisper cookie. Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mango cupcakes

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@holycowvegan

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp CardamomPowder
Sift all the ingredients into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat together until well-mixed:
  • 1½ cups Mango Pulp or Puree
  • ⅓ cup Canola Oil
  • ⅔ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
FROSTING:
  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) Vegan Butter like Earth Balance
  • 8 tbsp Vegetable Shortening
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ cup Mango Pulp or Puree
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Giving Tree Freeze dried mango
Method MAKE MANGO CUPCAKES:
  1. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a whisk just until you have a smooth batter. Do not overmix or overbeat.
  2. Divide the batter equally among 12 cups of a standard-sized muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. Smooth down the tops with the back of a spoon or spatula or you will have a lumpy top.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven about 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
MAKE MANGO BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
  1. Cream together the butter and shortening until they are fluffy, about 1 minute.
  2. Now add the mango puree and vanilla and half the sugar. Beat until mixed, then add the remaining sugar and beat until mixed. This should take no more than 2 minutes altogether.
  3. Frost the cupcakes after they’ve cooled completely.
  4. Sprinkle some Giving Tree mango crisps.

Low fat Ginger bread cookies

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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the Icing

  • 1 1/2 tbsp egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar
Sprinkles Method  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add the egg and molasses, mix well. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well. Divide the dough into two flat balls; cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously dust the surface of your working area with flour before rolling out the dough. Work with one ball of dough at a time, keep the other refrigerated while you do so. Roll the dough out to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough if it's a little sticky. Cut the gingerbread with a cookie cutter shape of your choice. Place cookies 1 or 2 inches apart on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. For the icing: Mix the egg whites with lemon juice. Combine with powdered sugar, mixing well. If the icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, if it's too thick add a drop of lemon juice.Add to a piping bag to decorate cookies when cookies are cooled.And then add some freeze dried fruits instead of sugar. (Recipe from http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/12/low-fat-gingerbread-cookies.html)

Homemade Chocolate bars

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Ingredients

Method

In a microwave, double boiler, or chocolate melter, gently melt chocolate on the lowest possible heat setting. Stir regularly, removing from heat as needed. The goal here is to keep the temperature under 90 degrees, above which the chocolate will lose its temper. Be patient, keep stirring, and even with on and off low heat the chocolate will melt eventually. Once melted and smooth, pour chocolate onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread into an even layer (it will not cover the entire pan, just spread it until it's as thick as you want your final bark to be). Sprinkle evenly with  Giving tree freeze-dried fruits. Let dry, uncovered at room temperature, for 1 to 2 hours or until set. Break into serving size pieces.