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Showing posts from tagged with: vegan

Here’s what you should know about Freeze Drying

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  In case you haven’t noticed it yet; our Giving Tree fruit crisps are really special as they are freeze dried. Sounds pretty fancy, doesn’t it? And as most of you might ask yourselves what vacuum drying exactly is, we would like to explain this method to you a little but further today and make also clear why we chose to dry our fruits this way. By freeze drying fruits, these are dehydrated at a low temperature, which freezes the water inside and makes it as a result evaporate into gas. Thereby around 80 to 90 % of water are removed from of the fruit. To give you a more precisely idea of the immense evaporation process, listen up: after drying 7 to 10kg of fruits, there is only 1kg left. That’s when you actually notice how much water fruits contain!     While they contain up to 87% of water, vegetables can be even composed of 95%! So if you know that you are definitely not drinking enough water, you should at least try to eat more fruits and vegetables to get your body hydrated. Anyway, not only the water is an important benefit of fresh food, but also the high number of nutrients, especially vitamins! And while most of the dried fruits unfortunately lose many nutrients and are instead prepared with lots of sugar once they are dried, our Giving Tree fruit snacks still got all the nutrients and NO added sugar! Remember also that you should eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, while the Giving Tree crisps are covering indeed one of these 5. So don’t hesitate to integrate a little pack of our Giving Tree Peach, Strawberry or Mango crisps in your daily diet and your body will be more than well provided.  

AVOIDING THE FAD SUMMER DIET..

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03.08.16

AVOIDING FAD DIETS!

For a long time, we have collectively been aware of the fact the fad diets do not work, however so many of us continually appear to get caught up in the cycle of eating less, losing weight fast, to then only go and put it back on again soon after. As the Summer Season is in full swing, it’s essential to ensure that we are aware of this common Summer Diet, and aim to eat as mindfully as possible as the indulgence is taken up a gear! Occasionally, phrases similar to “if I’m good” or “I deserve it” can float around, allowing us to feel as though food can be used as either a punishment or a reward, however it’s much more productive to gain some balance and perspective on the food we eat at this time of year.

EAT A HEALTHY BREKKIE

It’s the old fave that we all know but don’t always abide by, yes you guessed it (well, it is in the sub heading…), eat breakfast! Ensuring you eat a healthy first meal of the day will of course set you up for the day ahead, but will more importantly allow you to worry less about what you eat for the rest of the day (within reason, of course!). If you are to have a smoothie bowl packed with goodness and topped with seeds, fruit or cacao nibs, with a glass of fresh juice, a herbal tea or another healthy alternative, you will automatically feel as though you are on course for a healthier day and subconsciously want to remain feeling super healthy, but will equally not be as worried about having what you really want for dinner!

DON’T BE FOOLED

A word of guidance now, don’t be fooled by the false promises of fad diets, as let’s face it, they make you feel well and truly miserable! Remember when the sun is out, it’s a lot easier to thrive off raw fruit and veg, with a naturally lower calorie content than other foods and undoubtedly bursting with goodness! Try keep up your healthy eating with exciting recipes and delicious seasonal fruit and veg.

PORTION PROPERLY

Many people fear the phrase “portion control” as it can come with negative connotations, however the premise of it really is to ensure you don’t overload your plate with an unnecessary amount of food. If fad-ing is a familiar thing for you, aim to exercise portion control (or whichever way you wish to phrase it) when having the more indulgent foods, as the misery from under eating can swing the other way once the 10th profiterole has been consumed, meaning you end up feeling equally as bad, and resulting in the lead up to a fad diet being on the cards! Portion properly throughout the day and you one, won’t be as ravenous when meal time hits, and two, will be able to enjoy your choice of meal without any of the ‘guilty’ repercussions.

SNACK YOUR HEART OUT

Snacking sometimes has a bad rep, however if you want to avoid feeling the need to fad in the future, snacking is a consistent and reliable way of ensuring that you aren’t going to reach for the choccy biscuits or family bag of crisps later on in the evening. Preparing small, sandwich - style bags with nuts, seeds, dried fruit or fresh fruit is a brilliant way of knowing that you have food on you for emergency hunger situations, in turn encouraging you to snack healthily, resulting in there being no need for over-indulging, and you feeling extremely satisfied in the long run.

CHILL OUT

It’s easy to fall into the all-or-nothing trap of eating, presuming that, if you eat really heathily for a week, you are then granted permission to eat whatever you want (binge style) a day following this; As soon as this is over, you end up feeling somewhat guilty about the quantity and quality of food you have consumed, and there begins the fad diet once again. By ensuring that you have a relaxed approach to your eating schedule, your decisions regarding the food you eat will be much easier as you will inevitably act more instinctively and if you wish to eat something healthy or alternatively unhealthily, it will be a more conscious, less impulsive decision. Whilst bearing these points in mind, it’s important to acknowledge that different things work for different people, and so to only commit to eating brekkie or consuming healthy snacks is absolutely fine, just as long as it works for you and your daily routine, as let’s face it, we can’t always do everything we know we should do all the time! So steer away from those age old fads if you’re looking for long term health and happiness, just make sure you enjoy the journey while you’re doing it!

That’s A Wrap

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

08.07.16

Whether you're on the go or you just like to roll your food these fun, healthy wrap recipes are for you! They are packed full of whole plant foods, our friendly fruits and vital veggies, in other words we love the work of mother nature and so should you! 1.) Southern Black Bean Wraps These colourful wraps are full of goodness and wonder! You can practically see the health through the vibrant phytonutrients pigments of the sweet potato and green leafy vegetables! You can wrap up at least 3 servings of your 5 a day in this recipe alone!   Check out the full recipe here! And for more information on why you should be eating more beans click here! southwestern_veggie_wraps4   2.) Nori Burrito Just about everyone loves sushi and burritos, this sushi burrito recipe makes the best out of both worlds! Also the brown rice in this recipe whams in a punch that has been associated with increased weight loss, lower blood pressure and decreased inflammation! For more information on brown rice click here! Then roll on over here for the full wrap recipe! P.S. This is gluten free sweet-potato-sushi-burrito-1200x750 3.) Protein Packed Hummus Wrap Throw your kale confetti in the air because this wrap is a celebration of health! This humble hummus wrap will have you humming with happiness! For the full recipe click here! protein-power-hummus-wrap     4.) Summer Rainbow Rice Paper Rolls This summer rice paper rolls all about rainbows and sunshine and are sure to leave you with a vibrant glow from head to toe! Check out the full recipe with the secret sauce here! Almost-RAW-Rainbow-Veggie-Spring-Rolls-with-Ginger-Peanut-Sauce-vegan-glutenfree- 5.) Easy Mexican Bean Burrito Would you like to burry your worries with burritos? Well this recipe is for you! Check out the full recipe here!     mexicanburritos5-1-of-11   For more wrap recipes head on over here!

Vegan Recipes for your Next Summer Picnic

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30.06.16

The summer season is here and we're all ready to kick back and relax, enjoying the weather with our friends and family. Pack your blanket and your basket because we have 5 fun new picnic recipes to share this summer! These great recipes are a great way to sneak your veggies in! 1.)Vegan Mushroom Rolls Who needs sausage rolls when you can have mushroom rolls! If Jamie Oliver can eat vegan so can you! Stuffed with a flavourful herby mushroom fulling these vegan mushroom rolls will be irresistible at your next picnic! Check out the recipe here! Vegan Mushroom Rolls 2.) Mexican Black Bean, Avocado, Corn and Quinoa Salad Packed full of flavour and topped with refreshing orange segments this Mexican inspired salad will be a hit at your summer picnic! Try topping with some broccoli and pumpkin Giving Tree crisps for added crunchy texture! Get the recipe here! HEALTHY-Vegan-Mexican-Quinoa-Salad-with-Black-Beans-Corn-Avocado-and-a-Creamy-Orange-Chili-Dressing-vegan- 3.) Easy Sesame Brussels Sprouts Slaw This recipe is so quick and easy you can make it in no time! Check out the full recipe here! Easy Brussels Sprouts slaw   4.) Sweet Potato Burger This sweet potato burger looks so delicious and so easy to take on the go! It's sure to be a favourite among children and adults alike! Check out the full recipe here! sweet-potato-burger   5.) Vegan Pumpkin Brownies These fudgey pumpkin brownies would be a delightful addition to any picnic regardless of the weather! Check out the recipe here!                          Pumpkin Brownies   With all these great dishes and desserts your picnic is sure to be a success! Also the great thing about these recipes is they all include a serving or more of fruits or vegetables. Smash in your fibre and your five a day at your next picnic! For more great picnic ideas click here! or here!

Fruit Versus Cholesterol

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

24.06.16

High cholesterol has become a epidemic of this century, and this century alone. Many scientists believe this is due to the change in our diet over the recent years. In this decade we have reached all new highs in the prevalence rates of high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. What can we do to conquer the diseases of our time? Well we can start by eating more fruit. Why is this an issue? High cholesterol can lead to hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and eventually deathHaving cholesterol is fine, we all have cholesterol, however high cholesterol is an issue. An issue with rates at an all time high; high cholesterol is a disease that plagues over 50% of adults in the United Kingdom alone. As this can lead to cardiac arrest and in some cases death, this is clearly an issue that we need to take to heart. Where does it come from?  Cholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy substance which is necessary for healthy cell maintenance, vitamin D production, hormone production amongst other functions. Cholesterol is made by the body in the liver so we get all the cholesterol we need. However it is also a component in some foods so we need to watch our diets and consuming too much cholesterol. Dried-fruit Get low! Get low! One of the most effective ways to keep our cholesterol levels lows to limit our intake of saturated fat, as consuming these foods has been scientifically proven to raise our cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is mainly found in animal products such as butter, lard, fatty meat and full fat dairy products. Another way to combat our cholesterols is to eat more fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in fibre and other beneficial compounds that lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and can help individuals who struggle with their cholesterol levels. Dietary fibre can be seen as a broom that works to sweep cholesterol out of the body naturally. How does this work? and what can we do? Soluble fibre found in plant foods like fruits and vegetables (as well as grains and beans) bind to and remove bile acids from the body. This means that there is less bile acid available to recirculate in the body. However we need bile acid for digestion, so the liver must use up its cholesterol reserves to produce more bile acids. This process of using up our existing cholesterol, lowers the overall cholesterol in the body. Research has shown that individuals who consume higher quantities of fruits and vegetables are at lower risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity. Additionally, experimental findings have shown that increasing daily dietary fibre intake by "5 to 10 grams have up to a 5 percent drop in cholesterol". Fruit stack Most fruits and vegetables are of high fibre content however some especially high in fibre such as broccoli, apples, strawberries and spinach. Additionally, dried fruits have been shown to also have been shown to offer a whole host of health benefits such as providing a high antioxidant value, help with insomnia and battle cancer. Dried apples have been especially good at lowering cholesterol.  Scientists conducted a year long study that tested the cholesterol lowering effect of various dried fruits in a group of 160 older women. They found that just 12 dried apple rings a day helped to significantly drop the overall cholesterol levels! It's time to get crunching! Put simply if we are to trying to reduce our cholesterol levels, reduce our risk of heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure or just live a healthy lifestyle we should limit saturated fat intake and eat more fibre! Each fruit and vegetable crisp pack at The Giving Tree count as one of your five a day! For more information click here!

Fruits and vegetables versus asthma

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

22.06.16

Asthma is the most common chronic illness amongst children today and prevalence rates are quickly on the rise worldwide. We cannot let constant coughing and wheezing cripple our nation! To remedy this issue we should look to our diet and turn the table to more fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that there is a link between low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and increased prevalence of asthma amongst children. This helps to make sense of the finding that populations that eat a traditional diet, where the majority of their caloric intake comes from plant sources have lower rates of asthma.   An apple a day keeps the asthma away? Recently British researchers have found that individuals who ate between 2 to 5 apples a week have lower rates of asthma. They speculate that it may be due to the flavonoid components involved, in particular, khellin which has been shown to open up airways. At The Giving Tree our fruit crisps make an excellent snack with all the nutrition preserved by our freeze drying process and vacuum packaging.Apples   A call for the 'C'? We have all heard of the wonders of vitamin C. Pirates out at sea that lacked vitamin C got scurvy. Whilst nowadays scurvy is not so common, asthma however is. One study of preschool children conducted in Japan found a link between vitamin C intake and lower rates of asthma. Some fruits with the highest antioxidant vitamin C content include papayas, strawberries and kiwis. Additionally, research has shown that there is increased risk of airway hypersensitivity in those with the lowest vitamin C intake. citrus 2 Veggies to the rescue? Another study on a sample of children has shown that high dietary vegetable intake to be protective against asthma, reducing the risk up to 50%. This may be due to the high antioxidant content of many vegetables which serve a protective effect on our overall health. To test this theory researchers conducted an intervention study where they experimented adding and then removing antioxidant rich foods from the diets of their experimental sample. The results showed that  when the antioxidant rich foods were removed from the participants' diets they experienced "significant worsening of lung issues and asthma control". This suggests that antioxidants play a key role in the functioning of our lungs and breathing and can be considered as a treatment option for asthma in adults and children alike. Our vegetable crisps are a great to eat your veggies when you're on the go! Grab a pack of our broccoli crisps for your next snack! Even if we don't have asthma we should all eat an abundance and variety of fruits and vegetables to better our health! For more information on how asthma can be treated using fruits and vegetables click here or here!

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.

National Vegetarian Week – the best of the bites!

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17.05.16

National Vegetarian Week is upon us, so why not try one of these delicious meat-free meals?

These dishes are full of flavour, texture and colour so you won't feel like you're missing out on anything at all.

For the Pasta and Cheese lovers..

Mac and three cheeses recipe

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS 1 x 410g tin of evaporated milk 200g cream cheese 2 tsp English mustard ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 350g macaroni 3 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 small garlic clove, crushed 175g  Comté or cheddar, grated 75g stilton, crumbled 500g green beans 1 tbsp chopped chives 45g  sourdough breadcrumbs 45g  pecans 150g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Whisk the evaporated milk, cream cheese and mustard well. Add the nutmeg and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Bring 3.5 litres of salted water to a boil, and add the macaroni, slowly, making sure the water is always boiling. Stir for a minute to stop the macaroni sticking together. Test after about eight minutes – the macaroni should be very al dente. Drain well and add to the cream-cheese mixture.
 Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil and garlic and use this to grease a deep 20 x 20cm (8 x8 in) baking-dish. Spread half of the macaroni on the bottom of the dish. Scatter on half of the Comté and all of the stilton, cover with another layer of macaroni and finish with the rest of the Comté. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Boil or steam the green beans until tender with a slight crunch – about five minutes. Drain, place in a bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Heat the coconut oil in a frying-pan. When hot, add the breadcrumbs and pecans and cook for two to three minutes, until crisp and golden. Add the beans and toss to coat them well. Serve the macaroni with green beans and, if you wish, a few tomatoes on the side.   cheesemac

Mushroom, spinach, and blue-cheese lasagne

This creamy vegetarian lasagne full of chesnut mushrooms is perfect served with a big salad and some fresh crusty bread

SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 3 tbsp olive oil 2 x 250g packs chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 large clove of garlic, crushed 2 x 240g packs pre-washed fresh spinach 1 large jar ready-made white sauce (710g) 12 sheets ready-to-bake lasagne 125g blue cheese, crumbled
METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, add half the mushrooms and fry until golden, about five minutes. Transfer them to kitchen paper, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the remaining mushrooms, also transferring them to kitchen paper after five minutes.
Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the onion and garlic for about four minutes, until soft. Add the spinach to the pan, cover with a lid and allow it to wilt for one to two minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan, mix together and season.
Use a rectangular dish about 24 x 18cm and spread a layer of white sauce on the base. Place three lasagne sheets on the sauce followed by a third of the mushroom mixture, another layer of white sauce and some crumbled cheese.
Add another three sheets of lasagne and continue layering, finishing with the final three sheets of lasagne, a good covering of white sauce and a sprinkling of crumbled cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until it is cooked through and the topping is bubbling and golden. Serve with a side salad or garlic bread.

Aubergine, pepper and yogurt stacks with coriander pesto

Serves four
3 red peppers chi coconut oil for brushing 2 large aubergines ½ lemon 8 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt sprigs of coriander to serve
For the pesto: 60g (2oz) coriander leaves 40g (1½oz) blanched almonds, lightly toasted 2 garlic cloves, chopped juice of ½ lemon 125ml (4fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil (not too grassy) 60g (2oz) feta cheese, finely crumbled 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped 1 green chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Halve the peppers and remove the seeds and stalk. Put into a small roasting-tin and brush with olive oil. Season. Roast for 35 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the edges of the flesh are slightly scorched.
Meanwhile make the pesto by putting everything, except the feta and chilli, into a food processor. Whizz to a purée. Season to taste, then scrape into a bowl and add the feta cheese and chilli.   stacks_2917851b
Bean chilli with chocolate and walnuts
SERVES 6-8
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp cumin seeds or 1 tsp ground cumin 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (more if you like it hot) 1 tsp ground paprika 1 tsp dried oregano 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 2 sweetcorn cobs (kernels cut off) or 150g thawed frozen sweetcorn 2 large celery sticks (use leaves too), finely sliced 150g  walnuts, very finely chopped 300g dried mixed beans, such as kidney, black-eye or borlotti, soaked and cooked (or 3 x 400g cans cooked mixed pulses, drained) 2 x 400g cans whole plum tomatoes 2 tsp sea salt 60g dark chocolate (minimum 80 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
to serve 120ml  plain yogurt 1 large handful coriander leaves, coarsely chopped Giving Tree broccoli and pumpkin crisps to dip and use as toppings too
METHOD Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, spices and oregano and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smell fragrant and the onions are soft but not browned.
Add the peppers, carrot, sweetcorn and celery and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the walnuts, beans, tomatoes, 250ml (9fl oz) water and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and cook for a couple of minutes. Taste and season. Serve in bowls, garnished with a dollop of yogurt and chopped coriander with toasted corn tortillas on the side. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for three to five days.

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Veggie Sunday Roasts for the long weekend!

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29.04.16

The cooking clouds have started to lift, the blossom is out and so surely, now it is most definitely time to leave roasting behind for a bit, along with woolly hats and winter coats. But something in us doesn’t feel JUST ready for salads and steamers only yet ...Sunday roasts are here to stay!

Try these two types of roasting: one fast and full-on, the other slow and sweet. For the fast roast, peppers, broad beans (pod-and-all) and radishes were sent to a searing hot oven, bringing smokiness lots of flavour. The slow roast is sweeter from the baby vegetables.

Both roasts are simply spiced while they cook to allow the character of all the vegetables to shine bright. They are then carefully coated in herby spring dressings which make the roast so delicious too!

Roast spring roots with turnip and carrot-top pesto

Serves 4 200g new potatoes (jersey royals), scrubbed clean 200g baby beetroots, tops saved, scrubbed clean 200g baby turnips, tops saved, scrubbed clean 200g baby carrots, tops saved, scrubbed clean 6 baby onions, peeled and halved Juice of 2 lemons Juice of 1 orange 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, but unpeeled

For the pesto A bunch of mint, leaves picked from the stalks A bunch of thyme Saved turnip tops or a big bunch of watercress Saved carrot tops or a big bunch of parsley 4 cornichons or little gherkins 100g hazelnuts or almonds, roasted 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp baby capers Salt and black pepper A small bunch of radishes

1 Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Take all your scrubbed vegetables, keeping the tops for later, and cut any larger vegetables in half – you want everything to roast in about the same length of time. Divide the vegetables between two baking trays. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and the orange over the veg, then put the squeezed halves on the tray. Scatter the unpeeled garlic cloves over the top and put both trays in to roast for 45 minutes, or until everything is soft throughout and brown round the edges.

2 Meanwhile, wash, dry and finely chop your herbs and vegetable tops, keeping the beetroot tops for later. Finely chop the cornichons too.

3 Put the nuts in a pestle and mortar, then bash well until you have a rough, crumby texture. Mix with the chopped herbs and tops, the olive oil, cornichons, capers and a good pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4 Once the vegetables are ready, scatter over the beetroot tops for the last few minutes. Once everything is ready, the vegetables are nicely golden and the beetroot tops have wilted and begun to crisp a little at the edges, take the tray out of the oven. Carefully squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a little bowl, then mash them well and add to the herb mixture.

5 Use tongs to squeeze the juice out of the (still hot) roasted citrus – even the ones you originally squeezed will have become juicy again after roasting.

6 Serve the veg on a big platter with the garlic, herb and almond dressing for spooning over.

7 Serve with some bread or brown rice if you are particularly hungry; a spoonful of tart yoghurt is also delicious too!

Flash-roast green veg

Flash-roast green veg

Serves 4  8 green peppers 4 red onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges 8 broad beans in their pods 4 little gem lettuces, washed and cut into wedges A bunch of long radishes, washed A bunch of spring onions Salt and black pepper 2 good pinches of Turkish chilli powder (pul biber) Extra virgin olive oil 200g feta A small bunch of thyme 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, or 300g jarred chickpeas, drained (optional) Juice and zest of 1 lemon

For the dressing A splash of white wine vinegar A small bunch of mint A small bunch of dill A small bunch of parsley 2 garlic clovesfinely sliced

1 First, preheat your oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put all the vegetables on to a tray, season with salt, pepper and chilli, then drizzle with olive oil and put into the oven to roast for 25 minutes. You want the oven to be very hot, so that everything will catch and char.

2 On another tray, lay the whole block of feta on one side and the chickpeas on the other. Top the feta with a little more chilli, half the lemon zest and the thyme tips. Sprinkle the chickpeas with about 2 tbsp vinegar. Put this into the oven underneath the veg for the final 20 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, make the dressing. Chop all the herbs and put them into a bowl with the remaining lemon zest and half the juice, plus 4 tbsp of olive oil.

4 When the veg is nearly done, squeeze the last of the lemon juice over the top, scatter with garlic and return the tray to the oven for a couple of minutes.

5 Pull both trays out of the oven. Pile each plate with greens, then top with chickpeas, chunks of feta and a good amount of the herb dressing. Serve with Turkish bread, if you like.

Enjoy these delicious roasts this Bank Holiday Weekend - they won't disappoint! 

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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