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Baked Sweet Potato with Curried Chickpeas, Greens and Hummus

I made this for my gorgeous partner Matt before he went off to do an overnight swimming race (3x 30 minutes of swimming from 8.00PM until 6.00AM the next day! Where does he get the motivation?!). This is a lovely, filling, satisfying dinner with lots of calming complex carbohydrates, filling and sustaining fibre and lots of protein.

The sweet potato is decadent and creamy and the curried chickpeas have the kick of ginger, cayenne and turmeric and a small kiss of cardamom. Hummus is a given as it goes well with anything, and once you mix in the tangy, crunchy mixed leaves, you’ve got an all round winner.

Also, it’s really simple: bung the sweet potato into the oven for 45 minutes, saute the chickpeas in the spices and then throw them onto your plate along with the salad and hummus and boom. Demolish.

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Does anyone else get “food happies”? After particular food, I literally feel euphoric! I know I am hyper sensitive, but I’m pretty sure others get it too. Not from overstuffing yourself, but from the food you’re eating. Sweet potatoes and chickpeas give me the food happies without fail. That’s why you’ll see a lot of sweet potato recipes on here, heh.

Sweet potatoes are my crowning glory. They are a calming complex carbohydrate full of folate and B6, which will help to ground you and bring back some balance. Eating foods high in B6 will help reduce your depressive symptoms, irritability and low mood.
It has a high level of beta-carotene; diets low in beta-carotene have been linked with chronic fatigue and depression. Rich in iron, sweet potato will prevent that exhausted, weak, achy feeling that comes with low iron levels in the blood.

When I was suffering, I extensively researched natural antidepressants, which ranged from essential oils, herbs, minerals and various foods to cold showers, coffee and planking! I remember reading something about eating hummus over taking prozac and almost fell off of my chair. Hummus = happiness?!! Those annoying vegans that you invite to the BBQ who overload the table with hummus are onto something. I mean, I know eating hummus won’t cure your depression alone, but the reason why you should incorporate more chickpeas into your diet is because they provide you with a large amount of Tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, our natural happy chemical.

Can you see where I’m going with this? This is a happy meal. Tryptophan, beta carotene, complex carbohydrates, a good balance of vitamins and minerals = food happies.

Get this lovely plate of orange, yellow and green sunshine down you and give yourself an inner hug.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 can of chickpeas, drained (around 90g of cooked chickpeas)
  • Mixed leaf salad (red & green lettuce, rocket and spinach is my go-to, but you could also just use spinach)
  • 1 dollop of hummus
  • 1 tsp ghee (if you don#t have ghee, use coconut or olive oil)
  • Small knob of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/5 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cardamom pod, bruised (take out the pod when you have finished cooking the chickpeas).

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Score the sweet potato and bung it in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour (you should be able to put a toothpick all the way through without hitting hard potato).
  • Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, mix the spices for the chickpeas. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, cayenne, turmeric, grated ginger, paprika, cumin, garam masala and cardamom pod.
  • Pour the oil + spices mix into a small pan with the chickpeas and cook until the chickpeas has soaked up the spice mixture (around 10 minutes).
  • Take out the sweet potato and cut in half. Mush it up slightly with a fork.
  • Place the mixed greens over the sweet potato and the curried chickpeas over the mixed greens. Finish it off with salt, pepper, a dollop of hummus and some coriander, if you wish.

Enjoy,

Anna xxx

Say ‘thank you’

Seems obvious, right? Actually, I don’t feel we do it enough.

I’m talking about inner gratitude. When was the last time you said thank you inwardly for something?

This is something that changed my life around completely. The more gratitude I feel towards little things, the more appreciation I have for living in this world.

I’m talking about those things that pass us by. What about the bird that came and sat close to you and sung it’s little heart out?
The huge bush of lavender you walk past that gives out that beautiful smell? The shower you’re about to step into? The bowl food you’re about to devour?

I understand that ‘giving thanks’ could be seen as a religious practice, but I don’t feel the need to give it that label. I  know that life is more enjoyable and inspiring when we’re appreciating the little things.

When you’re ready, bring your attention to the small things. What are you grateful for?

Next time that bird sings, thank it, inwardly. Before you eat, place your hands around the bowl and say thank you. When you feel the sun on your face, think: thank you, for your blessing.

I promise you that saying thank you more will increase your appreciation of living in this world.

Green Smoothie + Overnight Oats Breakfast Duo

This is the breakfast I always reach for during my Mon-Fri job in school. Basically, I would eat this at 7.30, leave at 7.45, then work with the children solidly until lunch at 12.30 and I wouldn’t get a hungry rumbly tummy or blood sugar crash AT ALL. The filling, energy sustaining oats and chia seeds with the clarifying, energizing green smoothie is better than any Weetabix claim!

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Have you ever made overnight oats before? It’s really simple:

  • Measure out 1 cup/50g of oats in a bowl
  • Cover with milk of your choice
  • Mix together
  • Place bowl in fridge overnight

… and that is literally it! They taste so, so creamy, they don’t feel as heavy in your stomach as a hot bowl of porridge, yet they’re super filling. Also, no fuss or mess in the morning. You can take your bowl out from the fridge and start eating. Perfect for anyone in a rush or wanting zero faffing.

I mix in chia seeds with my oats. Why?

First of all, chia seeds are like a binding agent, so it adds an extra creaminess in with the oats.

Secondly, chia seeds stop me from having energy crashes. You know that feeling 2-3 hours after a meal, where you’re irritable, tired, weak and hungry again? That’s possibly a crash after a sugar spike. I am a highly sensitive person, and when I’m hungry or suffering from an energy crash, I get cold sweats, my heart palpitates and I get a headache. I really noticed a change from this when I began eating chia. Basically, because they are high in fibre, they slow down the bodies’ natural process of turning our food into sugars, which reduces the spike in your blood sugar.
As well as this, they are extremely high in Omega 3, which has evidence to help improve the symptoms of mood disorders. If you haven’t already got your hands on some chia seeds, I really, really recommend that you head out and buy some. I buy mine in bulk here.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, this green smoothie doesn’t actually taste green. You can barely taste spinach when you pair it with more overpowering flavors like banana. Let us take a moment to appreciate leafy greens….

Spinach is full of purifying chlorophyll, which increases the production of red blood cells in the body. It’s full of essential vitamins and minerals that keep our mental health in balance, including tension reducing magnesium, iron and potassium. The only fruit I used in this smoothie is banana – it may be different for you, but I find that I get bloated if I mix fruit with grains.

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Have this for breakfast regularly and feel a difference in your mind and body. You will feel fuller for longer, you’ll be balanced throughout your morning, and the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that you’ll be filling your body with will do the rest of the work to keep you grounded, reduce tension and  keep you energized.


Ingredients

Oats

  • 50-60g (or to preference) organic jumbo oats
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of milk of your choice (I love coconut milk with these)
  • 1/2 level tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

Smoothie

  • 1 heffalumping great handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 banana
  • 1 date (optional)
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt of your choice
  • 1 squeeze lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • Teeny pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 cup of water (or to preference of consistency)

Directions

  1. Make the overnight oats: mix all of the oat ingredients in your favourite glass and keep overnight in the fridge.
  2. In the morning, make the smoothie by blending all of the smoothie ingredients.
  3. Pour on top of the overnight oats.
  4. Decorate or top with a topping of your choice (coconut works particularly well!)

When I get to the end of the smoothie, I like to mix the remaining smoothie in with the oats. Then you get that lovely oaty banana-y taste 🙂

Enjoy,

Anna xxx

Seaweed Wraps with Tahini-Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce

These are not for the faint hearted. And by that I mean, if you have never made these before, put some time aside. Like, half an hour (I know, good god). I’m not even being sarcastic. When I was experimenting with this recipe, can you imagine me getting frustrated with the wraps not sticking together, faffing over toasting the seaweed and over burning it, then to only taste the first recipe to find it totally dull?!

Many, many facepalms and ‘FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU’s, that’s what.

But I got there. Four tries later, we have these beautiful things to make life simpler for you, with the tastiest dipping sauce I have ever tasted. I prefer it to anything I have tried in sushi bars or supermarkets before.

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This is nori seaweed. If you’ve eaten sushi before, it’s the same seaweed that’s wrapped around it. It has an extremely high mineral content – tons of magnesium, potassium, iodine and iron (source). That’s good news for us as magnesium is essential for keeping our nervous system in check, keeping us calm, content and free of tension. Eating foods rich in iron prevents anaemia, symptoms of which include weakness, fatigue, shakiness, tingly hands and feet and irritability. Nori is also full of vitamin C, which will help prevent the classic British common cold.

I’ve filled the wraps with even more greens – spinach, courgettes (or zucchini to some of you readers!), avocado and green onions. I’ve also thrown a carrot in for good measure. You’re welcome. (I’m joking – I know that none of you are particularly excited about a carrot)

Avocados are a great source of omega 3’s, b vitamins and tryptophan. If you’ve been following my blog, you will have likely read about tryptophan as a precursor to serotonin, the happy chemical in your brain! They contain lots of potassium, which is an essential mineral for keeping our blood pressure in check. I find that when my diet is rich in avocados, my skin looks healthier, feels less dry and itchy and I am fuller for longer.

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The wraps alone are delicious – the salty tang of nori, the creaminess of the avocado mixed with the kick of green onion pair perfectly with the crunch of the carrot and courgette. The sauce is the bit that takes it into #bosswitch level.

To make the carrot and courgette sticks, a julienne peeler makes life easier. If you have a super steady hand and a heap ton of patience, take your time and care in cutting them into teeny little sticks! This can be very therapeutic.


Makes 8 wraps

Ingredients

Wraps

  •  8 nori seaweed wraps, toasted
  • 1 avocado, pitted and mushed up
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 large courgette, julienned
  • 30g spinach (or 2-3 handfuls)
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp miso (I used hatcho miso. This is also optional)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 squeeze of lime
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp honey, or vegan sweetener
  • 1 small pinch cayenne powder, to taste
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp water, or to desired consistency

Directions

  1. Prepare the nori wraps: toast each wrap under the grill for 30 seconds – 1 minute until they turn green. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, add the tahini, lime, soy sauce, optional miso and water and mix together. Then add the ginger, cayenne, honey, salt and pepper and mix. Set aside for later.
  3. Julienne the courgettes and carrots  and set aside.
  4. Make the avocado and green onion spread: slice up the green onion and place it in a bowl with the avocado. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix until creamy and mushy.
  5. Make the wraps: place 1 of the nori seaweed wraps on a chopping board. First, smooth a teaspoonful of the avocado and green onion mix lengthways along the wrap as a base. Then add the spinach and layer the julienned carrots and courgettes on top. Roll up the wraps and then wet the ends of the wraps slightly with water to help them stick together. Cut the wraps in half and repeat 3 more times. Then wipe your brow, tuck in and feel like a queen/king.

Enjoy,

Anna

Kale, Avocado and Blueberry Salad

Surprise…. a pink dressing!!

You’d never believe that vegan food is boring, right?

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I tell you, you could turn any salad hater into a salad scoffer by just adding toasted nuts. It makes it taste less ‘healthy’. Do you know what I mean? More of a toasty, smoked, carbohydrate-y taste. Lovely.

If you’re like me and not much of a raw kale fan, I recommend rinsing the kale under the hot tap for 1-2 minutes and then massaging it with lemon juice (1 squeeze of lemon and then squeeze the kale in your hands until it wilts). This takes the edge off of it completely, and allows me to enjoy the taste without blanching at the texture.

1 cup of kale equals lots of fibre, 30 something calories and 0g of fat. It’s great for your digestion, helping everything to pass through and improving that horrible bloated feeling. It’s full of vitamins A, C and K – vitamin K thins the blood, which will help improve the look of those little dark under eye circles (my pet hate). It’s full of iron which is great for your energy levels.

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Avocados are a great source of omega 3’s, b vitamins and tryptophan. If you’ve been following my blog, you will have likely read about tryptophan as a precursor to serotonin, the happy chemical in your brain! Eat lots of avocado!

The dressing is made primarily with raspberries and cashews! Cashews are incredible for balancing your mood and for taming anxiety. 1 handful (the amount in the sauce) contains around 80-90mg of magnesium (you need 375mg a day). Magnesium intake is associated with mental health and regularly consuming magnesium-rich foods will have a calming effect.

Righty, down to business-


Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 handful of kale, rinsed under the hot tap
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 10 almonds, chopped
  • 1 squeeze of lemon

Dressing

  • 1 handful of raspberries
  • 1 small handful of cashews
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp honey (or vegan sweetener)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1/5 tsp nutmeg powder (tiny pinch!)

Directions

  1. Chop up the almonds into thirds and toast lightly on a low heat. When finished, they should have lightly browned on all sides and have a fragrance. They should be finished when you have made the salad.
  2. Dice the avocado and set aside.
  3. Rinse the kale under hot water for 1-2 minutes, drain and add to a bowl.
  4. Add a squeeze of lemon to the kale and begin massaging. Use your fingers to spread the lemon juice into the kale, squeezing the leaves in your hands until you feel the kale wilt, about 1-2 minutes later.
  5. Add the avocado, blueberries and toasted almonds almonds.
  6. Make the sauce: blend the water, raspberries and cashews together. Transfer to a small bowl.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix and then completely cover the salad in the pinkness 🙂

enjoy,

Anna xxx

Fig, Turmeric and Banana Smoothie

Turmeric?! In a smoothie?! I hear your doubtful cries, but I shall sit here smugly smirking and enjoying the deliciously creamy banana and fig combination and the multitude of anti-anxiety and depression benefits that turmeric has to offer. I literally sound as if I’m on a TV Channel selling watches. Oh well.

As you may have read in my recent Butternut Stew Recipe, I’ve been experimenting with Ayurvedic spicing and it’s benefits for mental health.

Ayurveda is a 5000 year old holistic system of natural healing originating from India. It stems from two words: ‘Aya‘ meaning ‘Life’ and ‘Veda‘ meaning ‘Study’ or ‘Knowledge of’.  The knowledge of life! It reminds us that health is a vital balance and integration of mind, body, spirit and environment (which is right up my street!).

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Turmeric is fast becoming recognized for it’s uses in treating depressive disorders. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has a huge range of medicinal benefits including being an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-oxidant. As well as this, curcumin is being looked into for alleviating the symptoms of mood disorders. Scientists say that curcumin may provide benefits for mental health disorders by regulating dopamine and serotonin production in the brain (for those of you who don’t know, those are your natural happy makers). Awesome.

Bananas are wonderful . In bananas, you’ve got tryptophan and B vitamins; B vitamins calm the nervous system, and combined with the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, this can help create that lovely content feeling. They’re also high in potassium – a lack of potassium in the diet has been linked to that ‘brain fog’ we all know so well (but would rather not).

Figs are high in fibre and minerals such as the anxiety taming magnesium, iron and potassium, and are a great source of vitamins E, A and K. I love the consistency that they give to the smoothie too.

I prefer to use frozen bananas in my smoothies and I love the consistency and taste it gives to the smoothies – like sweet ice cream. You can do this by slicing up bananas and leaving them in the freezer overnight or for 3 hours.

Lets get down to business!


Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 medium figs
  • 6 almonds
  • 200ml milk of your choice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 2 dates or 1/2 tsp of honey (optional sweetener)

Method

  1. Bung all the ingredients in your blender and blend.

Iced Anti Caffeine-Comedown

You know that tension headache you get 2 hours after a particularly strong coffee…? That weakness of the arms and legs, slight nausea and irritability after drinking caffeinated drinks all day? Knotted stomach, increased heart rate and anxiety? That, my friend, is a caffeine comedown. And it sucks.

I have to be careful about my caffeine intake as I know it sets my anxiety off badly. When I worked in Lush during Christmas, when the shop would get so overcrowded and loud, the cup of coffee in the morning was the difference in having an anxiety attack at work or not having an anxiety attack at work. If my heart rate was already increased and my brain whizzing away, I wasn’t doing myself any favours.

If you suffer from anxiety, I would recommend limiting your caffeine intake to up to 2 cups of tea or coffee a day. Any more than 100-150mg could put you on edge and increase your anxiety.

More affects of caffeine overdose include insomnia, muscle tremors, heart palpitations, restlessness and headaches. Whilst caffeine can induce alertness, increased cognitive functions and a general sense of euphoria and content, overdoing it just causes the reverse affects. Therefore, I  created this simple drink that will neutralize the caffeine comedown and combat the discomfort.

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Did you know that, in excess, the intake of caffeine can limit the absorption of vitamins and minerals in your body? To restore the vitamins and minerals sapped by caffeine, I’ve added two slices of squeezed lemon. Lemon water has a plethora of health benefits.  It is incredibly hydrating as it replenishes your essential body salts and minerals. It flushes out toxins from your body and aids your digestion.The high content of vitamin C protects you against the common cold, and, whilst being of an acidic PH, it balances the PH levels in your body.

I’ve added 3 ice cubes to clear that foggy feeling. Think of them as a cold shower – revitalizing, energizing and clarifying.

Lavender is a wonderful herb, widely known for it’s relaxing properties. It’s got the incredible ability to reduce nervous tension, enhance blood circulation, lower high blood pressure and reduce headaches. It is an excellent tonic for the nervous system and is therefore beneficial for treating anxiety and nervousness. The smell alone is wonderfully calming and relaxing.

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Please note that whilst you can ingest the lemon and ice cubes, it is note a good idea to ingest the lavender.

This is a simple drink to make, and I recommend drinking this about 1 hour after you have had your cup of tea or coffee, or at the end of a particularly caffeine filled day. This will counteract the onset of the caffeine comedown and will keep you alert for longer.

Squeeze the lemon slices before adding them into the drink, and lightly squeeze 1 or 2 of the lavender flowers before placing the sprig into your drink.


Ingredients

  • 500ml fresh water
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 slices of fresh lemon, squeezed
  • 1 small sprig of lavender

Method

  1. Squeeze the lemon slices into the glass and drop them in, so that the juice and slices are at the bottom of the glass.
  2. Add the water and ice cubes.
  3. Squeeze 1 or 2 of the lavender flowers and place the sprig on top of the ice cubes. Mix the drink with a spoon.

Enjoy,

Anna xxx

Wear Neroli Oil

I worked at Lush Cosmetics (well known to some as ‘the bath bomb shop’ or the ‘Christmas’ shop!) for a total of 2 and a half years. By the end of my time there, I could pick up any product in the shop, list the ingredients in the product and tell you the benefits that each ingredient will have on you, all off of the top of my head. Impressive, hey!

I gained a wealth of knowledge on essential oils and herbs and their benefits on the mind and body. I learnt that I can treat shock with Ylang Ylang, create a meditative state with Frankincense, induce a merry heart with Lemon Balm, and most intriguingly, increase serotonin production with Neroli.

Aromatherapy has been used as an aid to emotional and physical well being for thousands of years. There are several ways that we can use essential oils in our everyday lives and regain touch with our sense of smell and links with pleasure. You can mix essential oils with base oils, such as almond or grapeseed oil and use them as massage oils. Another method is putting drops of essential oil in a hot bath and soaking for at least 15 minutes. You can drop oils to handkerchiefs and inhale them throughout the day, or you can add a few drops to hot water in an oil burner and heat it with a tealight, which vapourizes the oil as it heats up. Burning oils is my way of starting and ending the day right, and creating a healing atmosphere in my space. Wearing them is taking that healing space with me, creating a healing bubble around me (whilst being a beacon of gorgeous smells for those nearby!)

Neroli

Neroli oil comes from the bitter orange tree. It drives away sadness, lifting that numb, fuzzy, heavyweight ache away like a cobweb. The smell of it is incredibly uplifting. It makes me feel as if I am rolling around in flowers (without the inevitable soil-in-mouth difficulty). It is incredibly calming, and for those of you with anxiety, this will help calm heart palpitations and that feeling of not being able to take a deep enough breath. It relaxes body and soul, and lifts the spirit.

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I buy my neroli from Amphora Cosmetics in Bristol.  I carry the 5% neroli oil dropper bottle with me everywhere, and I apply it on my wrists and temples. This keeps me in my healing bubble. Buy it here.

Enjoy,

Anna xx

Most Used Kitchen Tools

I thought I would write a blog post on my most used kitchen tools! This way, you can stock your kitchen with tools, gadgets and appliances that will enable you to make healthy, wholesome and nourishing food for your mind, body and soul.
I find myself using these on a daily basis, and I am not sure where I would be without them!

  1. Nutribullet
    This is number 1 on the list for a reason. This blends my smoothies, purees and sauces and grinds nuts, seeds and grains into a perfect flour. I wouldn’t settle for anything else.
  2. Garlic press
    Self explanatory, but if you haven’t got one of these, you need one now. I use the garlic press regularly as it presses garlic into teeny mushy squares, and this stops me from having to blend the garlic, which means my nutribullet won’t smell of garlic either. Result.
  3. Peeler
    Peel vegetables and make vegetable ribbons. No need for a fancy spiralizer.
  4. Preserve jars
    Keep everything in these, from your nuts, seeds, grains, powders, granola, smoothies, cordials, fermented foods… I have a plethora of 500ml and 1l preserve jars and I adore them.
  5. Storage tubs/tupperware
    For all of your fridgey storage needs, have a basket full of storage tubs. That way you can store leftover soups, salads, meals and prepare your meals ahead.
  6. Bag clips
    Because I got tired of using my hair bands to reseal packets of nuts or cereals that I only wanted to eat a bit of.
  7. Knife Sharpener
    Never again will I shun the importance of a sharp kitchen knife.
  8. Mortar and pestle
    I love the process of grinding up my herbs and spices. It releases the natural oils of the spices and connects me to my food on a deeper level.
  9. Muslin cloth
    For straining. I use these mostly to make nut milk or juices.
  10. Pancake pan
    For proper pancakes that won’t get stuck to the pan, go all mushy or be generally disappointing, you need a pancake pan.
  11. Loaf tin
    You don’t need a bread machine to make bread – just buy a good quality metal breadmaking tin, and you’re off. I also use it to make sweet breads such as banana bread, carrot loaves or bread shaped savory cakes!
  12. Wooden spoon
    For some reason, I feel that my food tastes better if I use wooden stirring spoons.

‘All-Out’ Wheatgrass Power Pancakes

This recipe is for when you’ve got a Sunday morning all to yourself.

Banana, spinach, buckwheat and wheatgrass pancakes perfectly paired with blueberries, goji berries and a peanut butter sauce.

I look forward to my Sunday mornings all week thanks to this recipe – waking up, flannel to the face, clothes on, walk to the beach, come back and stuff myself with green pancakes and cuban coffee. Oh my lord.. it really doesn’t get much better.

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I’ve called them ‘All Out’ pancakes because I go all out on them. ‘Matilda’ sized pancakes, stacked in the most pretentiously Pinteresty way, and covered in all sorts of goodies like blueberries, banana, buckwheat groats, goji berries, peanut butter and date sauce… the list could go on. You could add your own toppings like desiccated coconut, nuts or seeds, frozen fruit, syrup… oh blimey, it’s really hard for me to write this in the evening just before dinner – I want to leap out of my seat and start making pancakes instead!

So – why spinach and wheatgrass?

Spinach is a fantastic source of iron. Used by our red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body, this is a great source of energy. If you’re lacking in iron, you may be experiencing things like tingly hands and feet, constant low energy, dizziness, feeling faint… anaemia is miserable, I can tell you that. So throw a good handful of spinach leaves into this and give yourself a boost.

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I love how the blueberry juices stain the pancakes!

You may have heard the rave about wheatgrass. Hey, you may have even jumped on the bandwagon a couple of times to wretch at the taste. I did first time. I made sure to hold my nose whenever taking shots of wheatgrass from then.
I began taking wheatgrass everyday not really knowing what would happen, but simply being open to it. Within a month my skin was much less red, dry and irritated, I was bloating less. Most of all, I felt that I had a good, calm energy about me. It was very grounding.

I sent my brother off to University with a packet of wheatgrass to take as shots for the morning after. He always commented on how it made him feel: fresher, clearer, happier.

On research, I find that wheatgrass has many benefits, including:

  • Increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood
  • Reducing fatigue
  • Liver cleansing (good for the morning after!)
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels (less mood swings for me)
  • Boosts immunity
  • A high amino acid content (the building blocks of protein)
  • Being extremely nutrient dense and including over 90 vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, iron, selenium, calcium and A, C, E, K and B.

I add 1 teaspoon to the pancakes. The pancake mixture tastes savory – I feel that sweet toppings on sweet pancakes is a little too much, so I haven’t added a sweetener to the pancakes. If you wanted them sweeter, you may like to add a couple of medjool dates, maple syrup or honey.


Ingredients (serves 1)

Pancake mixture:

  • 1/3rd cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1 banana
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 tsp wheatgrass powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 squeeze of lime
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice (I think almond milk makes it taste the nicest)
  • 1-2 medjool dates/honey/syrup (optional).

Peanut butter sauce

  • 3 medjool dates
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/5 cup milk of your choice

Directions

  1. In a jug, mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon and wheatgrass powder.
  2. In a blender, blend together the banana, spinach, milk, vanilla and lime.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix together until combined. Add more or less milk depending on preference of consistency (I like my mixture to be fairly thick).
  4. Head a large pan or griddle over a medium heat with a dash of oil for 5 minutes or until it is smoking slightly.
  5. Whilst you are waiting for the pan to heat up, make the peanut butter sauce. In a blender, add all of the ingredients and blend.
  6. Pour about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into the pan to create circular shapes and cook for 2 minutes or so. When little bubbles form around the outside, that’s when they are ready to flip. Cook for a few minutes further or until nicely browned.
  7. Keep making pancakes until you have finished with your mixture.Stack on a plate.
  8. Serve with as many or as little toppings as you wish, and of course, absolutely smother the pancakes in the delicious peanut butter sauce.

Enjoy!
Anna xxx