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Showing posts from tagged with: strawberry crisps

Portion Control – Are your eyes bigger than your belly?

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26.04.16

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

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

What a recommended portion actually looks like

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

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

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

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

Spring is upon us..become a Morning person!

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17.03.16

Whether you're a morning person or you're not..lifestyle factors can pretty much change this with almost immediate effect! With everyone constantly and increasingly on-the-go all the time, there is almost an unspoken expectation to not give yourself time off, not have any time down, and constantly people measuring commitment/success by the amount of shut-eye they had the previous night. We’ve decided to come up with a few ways this can be changed, so that even the sleepiest of us can enjoy the mornings as they become lighter with a few simple lifestyle changes..

CUT THE CAFFEINE!

It’s easy to get into a habit of relying on caffeine filled drinks to get you through the day, however drinking a coffee close to your bed time will most likely be a culprit to disturbing your sleep. For some people this doesn’t affect their sleep too much, however due to it being a stimulant it will undoubtedly disrupt most people’s. It can be found in more than just your daily coffee though, so avoiding chocolate with high levels of cacao is also going to help your sleep be the best quality it can be. With work schedules so demanding, it’s important to ensure, if you want to be the morning person you envisage yourself becoming, that you cut the caffeine mid afternoon each day. Instead, enjoy water infused with fresh fruit for a flavour kick and green tea to waken you up. This-Tropical-Green-Smoothie-is-one-of-my-favorite-green-smoothies-loaded-with-spinach-pineapples-orange-juice-and-bananas.-Its-only-255-calories-and-deliciously-smooth-4  

CHANGE YOUR PATTERN

Start by going to bed even half an hour earlier, an hour, or more, and increase the shift in hours as your body clock becomes more used to it.. Although getting your “beauty sleep” isn’t strictly true for beauty purposes, there is definitely something to be said about getting the zzz’s in before the clock strikes 12. Aside from the fact that many of us have to be up by 7ish in the morning, the way getting into bed a couple of hours before midnight will change your mood for the day is astounding.

EXERCISE BEFORE BREAKFAST

Going to bed at night knowing that you will be waking up with a plan to exercise will motivate you to go to bed earlier and in turn, wake up earlier to complete your work out. By setting tasks like this perhaps once or twice a week, you will not only set up a great foundation for sleeping well each night, but will also be setting up your day with lots of energy.. oh and to add to that, your exercise for the day will be done, so no carrying trainers and work out clothes with you all day anymore! Woohoo you can tick off a productive task straight away   d-300x300

EAT LIKE A KING

As the saying states, “Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a queen..”. After your morning work out session, the best way to refuel for the day ahead is to have a truly hearty but healthy breakfast. Having something like overnight oats, a bowl of porridge, or avocado and eggs on toast sprinkled with seeds will give you the nutrients you need to power through a long day and, if you know what you’re having the night before, you will undoubtedly look forward to eating it in the morning - what better way to become a morning person?

PREP

Simple but effective, planning in advance is always going to put you in good stead whether you like it or not, and annoyingly enough, always proves right! By moving your alarm to the other side of the room, you will be forced to get up to turn it off, and let’s face it, once you’re up, well you’re up! If you are planning to get up slightly earlier than would be standard for your early morning wake ups, get your clothes ready and laid out the night before so that it doesn’t take long to change in the morning and no thought has to be put into the outfit either. Also, ensure you prepare your breakfast, as it won’t only save you time, but it will allow you to be happy in the knowledge that you will be eating something good in the morning. Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.06.42   Try this delicious Giving Tree breakfast of naturally flavoured fruit yogurt and strawberry crisps!

Giving Tree Easter Eton Mess

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11.03.16

Easter is nearing, meaning family time, plenty of food, bank holiday celebrations and a well deserved lie in or two!

Try out this deliciously healthy Giving Tree recipe to tantalise your taste buds!

Strawberry Giving Tree Eton Mess

A mess you'll most certaintly want to clear up!

INGREDIENTS

For the meringues:

  • 300g coconut sugar (if you don't have this normal sugar will be fine)
  • 5 (150 grams) egg whites
  • For the Eton mess
  • 1 batch meringues
  • 150g frozen raspberries
  • 2 large packs of Strawberry Giving Tree
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus more if needed
  • 600g mix of fresh raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries
  • 400g Vanilla (try get vanilla pod) or natural greek yogurt

METHOD

  1. To make meringues: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, pour in the sugar, and put the baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the sugar are just beginning to melt. Heating the sugar will help it dissolve in the egg whites more quickly and help create a glossy, stable mixture.
  2. Meanwhile, make sure the bowl and whisk attachment of your standing mixer are free from grease. Pour the egg whites into the bowl. Whisk on low speed at first, allowing small bubbles to form, then increase the speed to high and continue whisking until the egg whites form stiff peaks and the bowl can be tipped upside down without the whites falling out. Stop whisking just before the whites take on a cotton-woolly appearance; if they do, they have been overwhisked, and the egg protein has lost some of its elasticity.
  3. By now, the sugar should be ready to take out of the oven. With the whites stiff and while whisking again at high speed, add one big tablespoonful of hot sugar after another to the bowl ensuring that the whites come back up to stiff peaks after each addition. Don’t worry about small clumps of sugar, but avoid adding large chunks of caramelized sugar from the edges of the baking sheet.
  4. Once you have added the sugar, continue to whisk on high speed for 5 to 7 minutes. Rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers, and if you can still feel gritty sugar, keep whisking at high speed until the sugar has dissolved, the mixture is smooth, and the bowl is a little cooler to the touch. The meringue will continue to thicken up during this stage. You know it is ready to use when it forms a nice, smooth, shiny peak on the tip of your upturned finger.
  5. Carefully spoon your meringue mixture into the piping bag, rolling the sides up. You need to pack the meringue mixture in tightly, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Pinch the top of the bag closed, gently pushing the mixture in. If using a disposable piping bag, with sharp scissors, cut the tip of the bag so that the opening measures 7/8 inch in diameter.
  6. To get the meringue mixture flowing, twist the top of the piping bag to push the meringue to the bottom. Pipe small dollops onto the four corners of your baking sheets. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper; the meringue dollops will act as glue and stick the paper to the sheets.You are ready to start piping!
  7. Hold the piping bag vertically with both hands, securing the twisted top with your dominant hand and placing your other hand halfway down the bag. Use the top hand to apply pressure and the lower hand to control the flow of the meringue. Squeeze the bag to form a small circular meringue with a 2-inch base, and then lift up the bag while releasing some pressure so that the meringue forms a big peak at the top. Space  them about 3/4 inch apart.
  8. To bake, position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat your oven to 95°C. Slide the baking sheets into the oven, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the meringues are easily lifted off the parchment paper, with their bases intact. Let cool completely on the baking sheets. Stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, these will keep for 1 week.
  9. To make the raspberry coulis: Put the frozen raspberries in a small saucepan, drizzle in the honey, and set the pan over medium heat. Once the berries are simmering, turn down the heat to maintain a gentle bubbling and cook until lightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and let cool slightly. Taste the mixture and stir in more honey if it needs it, but you want the coulis to be quite tart as the meringues are very sweet. Using a blender, puree until smooth, and then let cool completely.
  10. To assemble: When you are ready to serve — and only then — start assembling the dessert. If you do this too early, you'll end up with a soggy mess, not Eton mess. Divide the meringues among individual bowls. Dollop the greek yogurt around the meringues, and top with the fresh berries. Spoon coulis over everything, and crumble the freeze-dried strawberries over the centers. Serve right away.
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Snack O’Clock and the science behind it!

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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.’

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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!

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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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Half-term fun with Giving Tree

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16.02.16

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

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

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

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

OUR TOP TIPS FOR A HEART HEALTHY HALF TERM :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pancake Day recipes to make you drool!

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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

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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

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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!

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

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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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Giving Tree Granola

Posted by admin in Uncategorized | 0 comments

13.01.16

Granola. A breakfast staple to so many of you, with granola sales up by 20% last year (Grocer uk) and so many brands to choose from its a fantastic, energy fuelling 'go to' breakfast or snack.

However, be warned.. many 'healthy' granolas are jam packed with refined sugar and dried fruit coated in sugar which in reality does not make a healthy mornings breakfast. Along with the high sugar content, many brands add fats such as palm oil to their granola which raises saturated fat levels and overall makes a pretty unhealthy breakfast, that will leave you feeling hungry faster too.

This doesn't mean to say all granolas should be tarred with the same sticky brush!

We are loving Raw Gorrilla Strawberry Crispies at the moment, a completely Raw, Gluten free, Vegan, Paleo cereal! With no additives or preservatives and blended with amazing superfoods like raw cacao, lucuma & macs it goes perfectly with Chi Coconut Milk too!

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We also LOVE making our own!

The most important bulk ingredient to the granola should be the whole oats. They are full of fibre, high in protein, and contain vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium.  Make sure when you buy your oats, they are labelled as 100% pure whole rolled oats, nothing that says “instant” or “quick cooking or any added sugar or sweeteners!

Nuts and seeds make a fantastic addition of protein, texture, flavour and Vitamin E.  A small amount of unsweetened dried fruit is ok too, just make sure it’s unsweetened to keep the sugar content down.

Here at Giving Tree, we realised it's easier than you think to make your own delicious granola, which we found topped with Giving Tree fruit crisps makes a bowl of pure, healthy goodness!

Here's our favourite recipe, but remember you can add your own favourite additions too - just remember to check the back of ingredients and aim to avoid sweetened nuts and fruit. You can reach your own desired sweetness with the addition of coconut sugar (low GI) or a small amount of extra honey.

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Giving Tree Granola Recipe;

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chi coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp raw, organic honey
  • 300g rolled oats
  • 50g sunflower seed
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g flaked almond
  • 100g dried berries (find them in the baking aisle - make sure they are unsweetened)
  • 50g unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Method:
    1. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Mix the oil and honey together in a large bowl. Tip in all the remaining ingredients, except the dried fruit and coconut, and mix well.
    2. Tip the granola onto two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 15 mins, then mix in the coconut and dried fruit, and bake for 10-15 mins more. Remove and scrape onto a flat tray to cool. Serve with cold milk (chi coconut milk tastes delicious on the granola),  yogurt and or as a snack to go! Don't forget to add your Giving Tree fruit crisps on top for a delicious and nutritious crunch!
    3. The granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.

    Happy munching :)

    We love to hear from you so please feel free to say hello and tell us what you think of our snacks!

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