Emma Nutrition

Simplifying the science through cooking and education. When I'm not on Mummy duties…


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Recipe: Pumpkin & Chocolate Brownies

Happy Halloween everyone! Well almost 🙂 We are getting into the spirit of Halloween here by carving a pumpkin (a combined Granny/Grandson activity). I got the easy job of using the leftover pumpkin so I decided to make brownies with it. I’m always trying to reduce butter and sugar in recipes and this one contains no butter at all. It does have sugar but I did manage to reduce the excessive amount in usual brownie recipes by 1/3.
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Chia seeds – health benefits from a Nutritionist

Recently Ive been cooking (experimenting) with Chia seeds. They aren’t the easiest ingredient to find here in the UK or Europe due to being approved only in 2009 as a Novel Food. In the States, South America and Australia though, they are hugely popular. I buy mine from here.

What are Chia seeds?

They are magical tiny seeds, coming from the plant Salvia hispanica. Salvia in Latin means to ‘feel well and healthy’, or ‘to heal’. They are the latest superfood ingredient with good reason.

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What are they used for?

They can be used in drinks or foods to increase nutritional value or as a thickener or natural healthy bulking agent. They are mucilaginous which means they will help to line the digestive tract and ease digestive pain from food not moving through it smoothly. They have a gelatin-like consistency when soaked in water or even thicker liquid or wet ingredients such as yoghurt. They expand to approximately 100times their size and eventually break apart into a gel. Fascinating and funny to watch!

What are the health benefits of Chia seeds?

Containing 35% fatty acids they are a great source of omega 3. Omega 3 is useful for heart health, inflammation, nerve and skin. They have high levels of the minerals Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorous and Zinc.

Some studies have been done on the benefits. One study showed a positive affect on blood sugar levels after eating. That could mean that Chia seeds, when eaten with a meal, can help reduce blood sugar spikes and possibly cravings. Another study showed a reduction of triglycerides and blood sugar levels. More study needs to be done but so far its all good stuff for the heart health, weight management and metabolic syndrome.

What can I do with Chia seeds?

You can add them to home made muesli, puddings, overnight oats or make jam with them. Yum!

Let me know of any tasty recipes you’ve made with Chia seeds.


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Healthy Chocolate Pudding

This healthy chocolate pudding is so good! As a treat is a wonderful dessert or as a snack it satisfies the chocolate/sugar craving when it hits! Go on, try it 🙂 Photo 24-07-2013 19 54 52

Ingredients:

Oats x 8 tbsp
Cocoa x 4 tbsp
Chia seeds x 4 tbsp
Vanilla extract x 4 tsp
Honey/Cane Sugar x 4 tsp
Greek yoghurt x 8 tbsp

* Strawberries to garnish

1. Combine the dry ingredients: oats, cocoa, chia seeds

2. Add the vanilla, honey then yoghurt and stir well to form a paste

3. Place the pudding mix into 4 bowls or cups

4. Quarter the strawberries (or other fruit) and place on top of the pudding mix

This pudding can be made with less cocoa (I like mine quite bitter and strong so I use alot of cocoa). It is similar to my overnight oats recipe that can be found here. As the texture is quite thick fleshier fruits complement it quite well eg strawberries, nectarines, bananas. You could try whizzing the dry ingredients to make a finer texture (like a mousse) and refrigerate it for 2 hours before serving.

From my personal nutrition notes:

Oats are a very healthy carbohydrate and are good for sustained energy release as well as being great for anxiety and mood. Greek yoghurt contains healthy fat, calcium, enzymes. It is a much better alternative to using flour as a pudding base. Honey and cane sugar are healthier natural sweeteners that contain enzymes and nutrients. Chia seeds are little energy powerhouses full of nutrients.

PDF or Print Healthy Chocolate Pudding

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Fish Pie

As the weather turns Autumnal try this warming comforting heart healthy fish pie!

Ingredients:Fish Pie

400gm fish (cod, salmon, trout, etc. best mixed)
1000gm potatoes or sweet potato
200gm frozen peas
160gm mature cheddar grated
80gm butter
Milk, salt, pepper & a bit of vegetable oil

  • Place fish pieces with the skin side down into an oven proof dish. Season with salt and pepper. Cover fish with a little dairy/nut milk so it’s about half covered. Cook in oven at 180C
  • Boil potatoes – peeled if you must but healthier unpeeled
  • Lightly cook the peas; don’t boil them as they will go mushy
  • Take the fish out of the oven and drain off the milk. Keep the drained off milk and separate the fish with a fork
  • Add some of the milk you drained off the fish earlier – careful – don’t use all of it. Start off with a small amount.
  • Mash the potatoes using butter, salt, pepper and a little drained milk
  • Fold the peas through the fish
  • Now fork the mash on top of the fish and spread it evenly.
  • Distribute the grated cheese over the potato
  • Cook at 220C for 20 mins

From my Nutrition notes:

Fatty fish such as salmon and trout contains Omega 3 that helps to reduce blood clots, improve blood vessel elasticity, lower blood pressure, boost good cholesterol and lower blood fats. Fish can help to balance blood sugar, relieve inflammatory condition symptoms and reduce the risk of dementia if eaten twice per week. Replacing potatoes with sweet potato makes this dish comforting while reducing the glycaemic index. Keeping the skin on maintains fibre and mineral content. Potatoes should be avoided by those with Solanacea/Nightshade issues ie arthritic conditions. Peas contain fibre, vitamin c and folic acid; although not in high amounts the dish can be served with green veges.

 
PDF or Print Fish Pie


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Raw Blueberry Cheesecake Recipe

I just love this blueberry cheesecake. Packed full of antioxidants, fibre, healthy fats as well as being wheat and dairy free. A nutritional thumbs up!

Crust ingredients: Blueberry cheesecake
1 ½ cups pre-soaked almonds
½ cup ground coconut
½ cup dates
pinch salt

Filling ingredients:
2½ cups cashews, soaked
1½ cup blueberries
3 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp coconut sugar, ground
1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup water
1 vanilla bean, scraped
Pinch salt
1 tbsp psyllium husks (optional) *
6 tbsp coconut oil

¬ Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and grind until mixture resembles biscuit crumbs;
¬ Press mixture into 7” tart pan and place in freezer to set;
¬ Blend all filling ingredients except coconut oil in a high powered blender until fairly smooth;
¬ Add coconut oil and blend again until very smooth;
¬ Garnish with ground coconut and crushed nuts or blueberries.

Nutrition notes:

Blueberries are thought to be one of the highest level antioxidant foods; meaning they can fight cardiovascular disease, free radicals and may even reduce cancer risks. Cashew nuts are used instead of cheese or cottage cheese in this recipe making it dairy free yet high in Calcium and fibre. The crust of this is dairy free and wheat free. Coconut is a healthy fat good for nerve, skin and brain function.

Recipe courtesy of Rich Havardi – Raw Food Chef found here.

For more baking alternatives go to this chart.

PDF or Print Blueberry Cheesecake Raw – Wheat & Dairy free


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Healthy baking alternatives

If you like baking then these substitutes may be just what you’ve been looking for! You will find there is little difference in flavour (enhanced flavour even!) and you will want to eat less to feel more satisfied. Not forgetting the health benefits and reduction of heart conditions, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome etc. Enjoy!

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Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Cod Fillets x 250 g (or other white fish or tinned tuna)
Shallot Onions x 20 g
Gourmet Garden – Thai Herb and Spice Blend, 3/4 tsp (4 g)
Rapeseed oil x 1 Tablespoon /15gms
Potato x 200 g
Sweet potato x 200 g
Medium Free Range Egg x 1
Courgette (Zucchini) x 1

• Chop and boil the potato and sweet potato, let it cool. Grate the courgette (or use finely chopped greens such as celery, broccoli)
• Break up the cod into small pieces and mix it by hand with the other ingredients.
• If you wish to add the spices its best to do this at the end, adjusting for taste and leaving out if for children.
• Serve with a side salad of your choice – rocket and tomato with a lime juice dressing are a good combination.

Nutritional information:

Total/Per serving

Calories 812/203
Carbs 85/21
Fat 24/6
Protein 62/16
Sodium 354/89
Sugar 23/6

From my personal Nutrition notes:

These fish cakes are particularly suited to a family meal as most children love them. Using sweet potato as well as potato reduces the blood sugar impact of the potato. The fish and rapeseed oil are high in Omega 3 – great for maintaining skin, nerve, heart and brain health. Fish is a lean protein. Courgette or greens are high in fibre.


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Cook off with Rosemary Shrager

I’ve had an amazing day at the Gourmet Garden cook off. They were all so welcoming and we had a good laugh.

Rosemary Shrager giving me tips was totally surreal but she was very kind.

The winner (first on left) really deserved it too. Here I am (second from left) pre-contest with my fellow cooks 😉

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