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Can Dried Fruit Actually Be Healthy?

Can Dried Fruit Actually Be Healthy?

FoodMatters | April 15, 2019

This is the sweet question on everyone’s lips. If you are a follower of the “I Quit Sugar” team, then you may have heard the “no dried fruit can sit with us” line being thrown around. And they make a good point. Dried fruit is really high in fruit sugars, known as fructose, which can only be metabolized at a certain rate. Otherwise, it is stored as fat.

However, when it comes to the fructose debate, we thought we would look a little further in order to give you a more comprehensive discussion on how to “let dried fruit sit with you”.

Dried fruit is any particular fresh fruit that has had the water removed either naturally, through sun drying, or by using a dehydrator. This concentrates the sugar content, giving dried fruit its trademark sweet flavor.

Energy Density

As healthy and nutritious as a piece of fruit is, once dried, it becomes more energy dense. It is also very easy to eat dried fruit in large amounts – resulting in excess sugar and calorie intake.

How many pieces of whole fruit would you normally eat? Now think of its dried version. Taking apricots as an example, a cup of fresh apricots will become approximately 1/4 cup, once dried. The sweet flavors make it very hard to stop at one or two pieces. However, don’t be scared off by dried fruit. If you are not trying to lose weight or are looking for a healthy option to sugar, look no further.

Dried fruit is very rich in nutrition and is also full of fiber. This means the sugars are not absorbed as fast as refined sugars, making dried fruit a great substitute in clean cooking recipes. We can’t forget that our super foods such as goji berries, inca berries and wild blueberries are all coming to us in the dried-fruit form.

Now let’s look at dates. Yes, they are high in fructose, but they are not solely fructose sugars. They are also not refined fructose like you find in sodas, high-fructose corn syrup and elsewhere.

We understand the liver can only metabolize so much fructose at a time, and the rest will then be stored as fat. However making smart portion sizes with your dried fruit is all you need to be considering.

A Perfect Snack

Dried fruit is the perfect snack for the kiddies. The key is to not give them a whole cup full at a time. Instead, portion dried fruit in a sensible size, mixing them with some nuts and seeds to also give some protein and fats. This will help prevent the liver from being overloaded with too much fructose. You might even find that if you mix them up, they won’t even eat the whole serving.

Nutrition Time

Let us look at some of the nutrition found in our favorite dried fruits.

Dates a rich source of dietary fiber, helping to reduce LDL cholesterols. Dates are also a good source of iron, manganese and vitamin B6.

Figs rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Apricots contains almost half your daily intake of vitamin A and is a rich source of iron. Always opt for brown or black organic apricots, as the orange colour is due to a sulphate-based preservatives.

Sultanas a good source of potassium and manganese, they are the perfect snack. Go for oil-free & organic.

Mangoes contain a powerful punch of vitamin A and C, both important for immunity.

Eaten with awareness, and not thrown down like a bag of potato chips, dried fruits are a nutritious, healthy, sweet snack-on-the-go. They can also provide a great replacement for refined sugars in homemade desserts recipes.

We would love to hear your thoughts on dried fruits. How do you control or limit your dried fruit intake, and which recipes you like to use dried fruit in?

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Superfood Greens and Matcha Bliss Balls

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Superfood Greens and Matcha Bliss Balls

FoodMatters | March 17, 2019

 

These tiny treats are packed full of nutrients from the Superfood Greens Blend. They are great to have on hand in the fridge, making the perfect little energy booster!

Ingredients

½ cup almonds
½ cup mixed seeds (sunflower, chia, hemp, pepitas, linseed etc.)
1 tbsp Superfood Greens Blend powder
1 tsp Matcha powder
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup nut butter
¼ tsp vanilla
dates
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp Matcha powder  
2 tbsp shredded coconut

Method

1. Place all ingredients in the food processor except the extra coconut & Matcha, process until combined well.

2. Roll the mixture into small balls and roll into shredded coconut & Matcha.

3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes while the balls set.

 

Share your healthy snack ideas with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Raw Maca Chocolate Bark with Nut Butter Swirl

Raw Maca Chocolate Bark with Nut Butter Swirl

FoodMatters | February 7, 2019

 

Enjoying a treat of chocolate doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. Like anything, consuming poor quality chocolate, such as chocolate loaded with added sugar and chemicals, is not beneficial for your body.

There are lots of healthy chocolate recipes you can try to make sure you are giving your body the best!

 

Ingredients

¼ cup raw cacao
½ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp nut butter – almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, ABC butter.

 

Method

1. Mix together cacao, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and maca powder.

2. Pour into a small tray or chocolate moulds, lined with parchment paper.

3. Drop in teaspoons of nut butter randomly.

4. Using a skewer or knife, swirl the nut butter throughout the chocolate mixture.

5. Place in the freezer to set for half an hour.

6. When serving, remove from freezer and break up into bark pieces.

7. Store in the freezer and snack on when you are feeling a little low.

 

Share your favourite healthy chocolate creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC!

 

Make This Healthy Chocolate Treat with Raw Maca Bark with Nut Butter Swirl Right Now

Make This Healthy Chocolate Treat with Raw Maca Bark with Nut Butter Swirl Right Now

FoodMatters | February 7, 2019

 

Who would have thought a nice treat like this could be helpful for balancing those hormones!

Maca is a powerful adaptogen, which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature. It supports the endocrine system (win for hormones), the adrenals (win for stress management), and the thyroid (win for your metabolism), and is known to improve your overall mood.

Due to its ability to balance hormones, maca is particularly beneficial to counteract menopausal and premenopausal symptoms. New to using Maca? Find more information on this Peruvian vegetable here.

Both maca and raw cacao are excellent sources of magnesium, which supports hundreds of reactions in the body. It is also well known to contribute to better sleep (essential for hormone balance) and also balancing your nervous system.

Enjoying a treat of chocolate doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. Like anything, consuming poor quality chocolate, such as chocolate loaded with added sugar and chemicals, is not beneficial for your body.

There are lots of healthy chocolate recipes you can try to make sure you are giving your body the best!  

 

Ingredients

¼ cup raw cacao
½ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp nut butter – almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, ABC butter.

 

Method

1. Mix together cacao, melted coconut oil, maple syrup and maca powder.

2. Pour into a small tray or chocolate moulds, lined with parchment paper.

3. Drop in teaspoons of nut butter randomly.

4. Using a skewer or knife, swirl the nut butter throughout the chocolate mixture.

5. Place in the freezer to set for half an hour.

6. When serving, remove from freezer and break up into bark pieces.

7. Store in the freezer and snack on when you are feeling a little low.

 

Share your favourite healthy chocolate creations with us on Instagram with #myTWC!

5 Plant-Based Dairy Free Milk Recipes

5 Plant-Based Dairy Free Milk Recipes

FoodMatters | January 29, 2019

Nut milks are great non-dairy, non-soy alternative and they’re super healthy! They’re convenient, delicious and portable. Plus they’re bursting with health benefits.

Packed with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, protein and fiber, they’ll help curb your appetite, keep you regular, and help to maintain healthy gut bacteria.

You can make a variety of plant-based milks by blending raw nuts and seeds, with water. Homemade milks are fresh, free of additives and preservatives, and you can experiment with different kinds of nuts and seeds.

Pumpkin Seed Milk

Pumpkin seeds are high in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, iron, copper and essential fatty acids! You’ll find they are a little cheaper than nuts that you would usually use to create your own milk at home, making it a great alternative to almond or cashew milk while still offering a whole bunch of health benefits.

Add this as a base to your smoothies, oatmeal, chia puddings or drink a glass on its own!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight)
6 cups filtered water
3 pitted dates or 1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt

METHOD

1. Drain your soaked pumpkin seeds.
2. Combine pumpkin seeds, dates, vanilla, sea salt, and water in the blender or the Hurom Juicer.
3. Blend well for 30 seconds to 1 minute until milk is smooth and creamy.
4, Optional to strain through a nut milk bag or pour straight into glass bottles for storage in the fridge if you don’t mind the pulp in your milk.

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Brazil Nut Milk

Although we love almond, we also love to mix it up! Brazil Nut Milk has quickly become a favorite of ours due to these nut’s unbelievably amazing nutrient profile. One of the richest sources of selenium in the food world, making them a great addition to your diet to help boost your immune system. They also contain a complete amino acid profile making them a great plant-based protein source.

Add this as a base to your smoothies, oatmeal, chia puddings or drink a glass on its own!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Brazil nuts (soaked overnight)
4 cups filtered water
2 dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
½ tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp of coconut oil to make it super creamy

METHOD

1. Drain and rinse soaked brazil nuts.
2. Combine soaked brazil nuts, dates, vanilla, sea salt and water in the blender or the Hurom Juicer.
3. Blend well for 30 seconds to 1 minute until milk is smooth and creamy.
4. Optional to strain through a nut milk bag or pour straight into glass bottles for storage in the fridge if you don’t mind the pulp in your milk.

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Creamy Cashew Milk

It might seem easier to buy store-bought nut milk but we are here to convince just how easy it is to make your own, not-to-mention nutritionally superior to store options. Plus, with that many on the market now, who has time to figure out which one is the best by delivering nutritional labels!

Cashew milk is a creamier version of the popular almond milk. Cashew offers many vitamins and minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper and is particularly rich in Vitamin E making them a great addition to your diet to protect and nourish your skin from the inside out.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
4 cups filtered water
2 pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp of coconut oil to make it super creamy

METHOD

1. Drain and rinse soaked cashew nuts.
2. Combine soaked cashew nuts, dates, vanilla, sea salt and water in the blender or the Hurom Juicer.
3. Blend well for 30 seconds to 1 minute until milk is smooth and creamy.
4. Optional to strain through a nut milk bag or pour straight into glass bottles for storage in the fridge if you don’t mind the pulp in your milk.

~~~~~~~

Creamy Sesame Milk

Sesame seeds are one the richest plant-based sources of calcium, making them a great staple in anyone’s diet. These tiny seeds are one of the most ancient foods on Earth, and offer big health benefits! Thanks to their high levels of phytosterols they can assist in lowering cholesterol along with assisting to protect the heart and improve blood pressure due to their lignans content. A great source of vitamins and minerals such as iron, fiber, magnesium and calcium, just to name a few.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sesame seeds (soaked overnight)
4 cups filtered water
2 dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
½ tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp of coconut oil to make it super creamy

METHOD

1. Drain your soaked sesame seeds.
2. Combine sunflower seeds, dates, vanilla, sea salt, and water in the blender or the Hurom Juicer.
3. Blend well for 30 seconds to 1 minute until milk is smooth and creamy.
4. Optional to strain through a nut milk bag or pour straight into glass bottles for storage in the fridge if you don’t mind the pulp in your milk.

~~~~~~~

Sunflower Seed Milk

Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, fibre, essential fatty acids, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium and vitamins B & E. Similar to pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds contain high levels of tryptophan with is great for alleviating stress. Seed milks are a little cost effective than nut milks, so a great alternative for those on a budget or if nut allergies are in your family!

Add this as a base to your smoothies, oatmeal, chia puddings or drink a glass on its own!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked overnight)
6 cups filtered water
2 pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp of coconut oil to make it super creamy

METHOD

1. Drain your soaked sunflower seeds.
2. Combine sunflower seeds, dates, vanilla, sea salt, and water in the blender or the Hurom Juicer.
3. Blend well for 30 seconds to 1 minute until milk is smooth and creamy.
4. Optional to strain through a nut milk bag or pour straight into glass bottles for storage in the fridge if you don’t mind the pulp in your milk.

**Note:

 

We love using our Hurom for nut milk as it strains out most of the pulp and leaves you with a smooth, creamy milk!

 

Soaking nuts, seeds and grains allows enzyme inhibitors to be released, making them easier to digest and enhances nutrient bio availability. Soaking them also makes them easier to blend and results in a creamy consistency that is like milk. Most nuts generally require 7 – 12 hours or overnight of soaking time for optimal results. Discard the soaking water and thoroughly rinse with fresh water.

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