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Benefits of Dates & Hot Tips to Get More of Them In!

Benefits of Dates & Hot Tips to Get More of Them In!

Laini Oldfield | June 13, 2019

Frankly, I know that above looks like… well, poop. But we’re actually talking about…

dates dates dates!

They’re heavenly things.

Sweet, chewy, caramely pockets of goodness. Don’t you think so?

Scroll down for:

  • why dates are such a powerful force for health
  • ways to use them
  • recipes
  • hot tips

But first, you gotta learn a thing or 2 about these bad boys…

Dates are the fruit of a date palm tree.

Seen one of those before? Me neither. Here you go.

They’re high in some important nutrients and you can use them in so many ways!

Don’t believe me? Check out the infographic we made for you above.

And – this sweet little info-morsel below blew-my-mind….

Did You Know?

Not getting enough fibre (combined with having too much processed sugar) creates inflammation, which both:

a) stops your body from producing enough serotonin (our feel-good hormone)
b) blocks the serotonin receptor in our brain, so the serotonin our body doesmanage to make, barely even registers!

So… getting enough fibre [hello dates!] helps us feel gooood, and lowers our risk of depression.

Thank you to Dr David Perlmutter for that amazingness.

And that’s not all! Let’s talk Antioxidants.

Dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content of similar types of dried fruits.

And antioxidants?

They protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease.

Think heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

So that’s a good thing.

These 3 antioxidants found in dates are to thank.

  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer.
  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration.
  • Phenolic acid: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Functional food

Because of the minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals found in dates, along with their high fibre content, they’re classed as a ‘functional food’.

(‘Cos they “serve a function” in our bodies. Cool concept huh.)

High in fibre, they also have high levels of selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and moderate levels of manganese, iron, phosphorus, and calcium.

Winning!

A word on Alzheimer’s

Dates may be helpful for preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which is important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Pregnant?

Dates may promote and ease natural labour when eaten during the last few weeks of pregnancy. The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labour contractions during childbirth.

Not only that, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions.

They’re also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labour.

A final word before… the Recipes

It’s important to remember that although dates are high in fibre and nutrients, they’re still fairly high in calories and best consumed in moderation.

Hot Tips!

Replace the more expensive Medjool Dates with Pitted Dates in most recipes by doing this

Just soak ’em in hot water for a few minutes, and they’ll be super soft – ready to blend up easily for bliss balls or a variety of desserts.

How to Make Date Paste (a healthier sugar sub)

Date paste is a highly nutritious substitute for refined white sugar (we know regular sugar does our body and mind NO favours!).

Turning dates into a paste sounds like quite a task but it is as easy as soaking them in water and blending them up the next day. Date paste stores well and is easily added to anything that requires some extra sweetness.

Curries, smoothies, cereal, overnight oats, as a bread spread or in date bars.

Use as a 1:1 replacement for a granular sugar. Cookies will come out a little softer and cake-like, but still amazing.

When replacing maple syrup, use double the amount of date paste than syrup that the recipe calls for.

Directions

  1. Fill a jar with very tightly packed dates, and just cover with water.
  2. Soak for 30mins to 8 hours.
  3. Empty jar into a food processor.
  4. Optional: Add a pinch of salt and a little vanilla.
  5. Blend until paste is creamy. This can take 7-8 mins. (It might be tempting to stop after a minute or two, but don’t. While the taste will be the same, the texture will improve!)

Pump Up the Nutrients with this Quinoa Fruit Crumble

Pump Up the Nutrients with this Quinoa Fruit Crumble

Laini Oldfield | June 10, 2019

Our family are fruit crumble l-o-v-e-r-s. Dessert, breakfast, school lunches…. doesn’t matter. With all the goodness in this meal, you don’t need to reserve it for dessert!

You’ll sense the difference between this crumble and the ultra-sweet supermarket versions. And everyone I’ve served this up to says they love it. It’s delicious and they can sense it’s doing their insides some good! Even my super honest nieces and nephews agree 😉

This is a super versatile recipe! A few notes:

  • Use whatever fruit you have on hand
    A great ‘make the day before you go food shopping’ meal, you can use whatever in-season fruit you have left over from the week. I used about 8 small apples, a small tray of rhubarb, a cup or two of frozen berries and a few random strawberries I had sitting in the fridge. Pear and rhubarb go great together FYI.
  • Add whatever ‘boosters’ you have on hand
    I’ve included a few nutritional ‘boosters’ in this recipe because I love to squeeze ’em in at every chance I get! I used hemp seedschia seeds and maca powder here. You can sub them out altogether or swap ’em out for something else. Use your health needs for motivation. For example, if you’re working on your gut – you might like to add a little slippery elm powder and banana flour. Immune system need a boost? Throw in some of nature’s vitamin C powder – camu camu powder!
  • Leave the sugar out or add it in. It’s up to you and your taste buds!
    I often leave the coconut sugar out and just sprinkle a little maple syrup over the top. 
  • The addition of quinoa gives this meal a crazy super nutrition boost, but if you prefer a more crispy, crumbly topping, try subbing it out for oats – still totally nutritious.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • Fruit of your choice (see note above)
  • Juice of 1 x lemon
  • 1 tspn ground ginger (any excuse to add the super healing ginger in – the better!)
  • A drizzle of rice malt syrup (for extra sweetness without the fructose. Use maple syrup / coconut sugar if you don’t have rice malt syrup on hand)
  • A splash of water if needed.
Crumble
To serve
Yoghurt / cream / ice cream of choice.

Directions

1. If you don’t have cooked quinoa on hand, pop that quinoa on the boil now (1 cup quinoa : 2 cups water. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer for about 15 mins or until all the liquid is soaked up. Fluff with a fork).

2. Preheat oven to 180°C. 

3. Chop fruit into pieces around 2cm wide and pop into a fry pan on low-medium heat with the rest of the filling ingredients.

4. Let simmer for a few minutes until partly cooked, but not mushy.

5. While that’s goin’ on, throw together the crumble ingredients and add in the cooked quinoa.

6. Assemble the crumble by layering the fruit (with the juices from the pan – don’t leave that behind!) on the bottom of a large baking dish, and pop the crumble mixture on top.

7. Cook for 15 mins, or until you feel the top is cooked / browned / crispy enough.

 

Enjoy that bowl of delicious real food goodness!

Spice of (a Robustly Healthy) Life

Spice of (a Robustly Healthy) Life

Laini Oldfield | June 5, 2019

Spices! Woah nelly – check out the powerful health benefits of these babies. I’ll be adding more of them in to my life as much as I possibly can!

> Did you know there’s a spice that’s well known to reduce farting?

> Know which spice is a potent aid for asthma?

> Did you know there’s another spice that when used topically, inhibits pain messages being sent to the brain! Insane.

> There’s another spice that was shown to be comparable in effectiveness at treating depression to a dozen drugs?

> And another that was shown to be just as effective as relieving menstrual pain as Ibuprofen!

Read on for: health benefits, uses and ways to get them in that beautiful body of yours.

Laini x

PS. This is only a sampling of spices. Perhaps I’ll get to writing up the awesomeness of more spices soon 🙂

Turmeric

Turmeric gets a rad wrap, and for good reason, as you’ll see below! It’s a popular ingredient in Indian cooking and is also used in religious ceremonies and skin care. It’s also known as the Indian saffron or the golden spice from Asia and Central America. It’s the subterranean stem of the 2-3 foot, long-leafed Turmeric plant.

Now for the good stuff…

Health benefits

Curcumin is Turmeric’s primary component, which:

  • Lowers inflammation (the cause of sooo much chronic disease)
  • Strengthens our immunity to sickness
  • Increases the antioxidant capacity of the body and inhibits free radicals
  • Improves brain function and lowers the risk of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression (it’s even been demonstrated to have comparable efficacy to over a dozen different anti-depressant drugs!)
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease (thanks to its ability to improve the functions of endothelium)
  • Supports a healthy response to circulation and congestion
  • Helps detox the liver (the more I learn about my liver the more I love it)
  • It’s even been demonstrated to have comparable efficacy to over a dozen different anti-depressant drugs!
  • Achy joints? Turmeric can reduce stiffness and strengthen joints
  • Cleansing effect on the intestines
  • May help prevent cancer
  • Used to enhance the condition and appearance of the skin (through both topical and internal applications)

*Use with caution if you’re taking anti-coagulant medication, as Turmeric can thin the blood and enhance blood flow.

*Curcumin is not easily absorbed in the body, but good news – black pepper enhances it’s bioavailability! So always add a little black pepper when using turmeric.

Uses

  • As a spice: Use turmeric in curries and other spicy dishes.
  • As a background to most cooked dinners: A meal doesn’t need to be spicy to benefit from turmeric! Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric paste to basically any cooked dinner (soups, spaghetti bolognese…).
  • As a tea: Make your own turmeric tea by boiling 2 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder / paste and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Just add lemon, honey, or milk and you’re ready to go!

Ground Cinnamon

True Sri Lankan Ceylon Cinnamon (or cinnamon verum) is the real deal, and should never be confused with Cassia Cinnamon.

It’s derived from the inner bark of the plant Cinnamomum verum. One of the oldest spices around, it was once prized more precious than gold! The Egyptians and Romans deemed it sacred, Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have always known it’s worth, and throughout history it’s even been used as medicine, perfume and currency.

Today cinnamon is reaching new levels of awareness and respect, and used to add flavour and goodness to just about anything.


Health Benefits

  • Antioxidant (thanks to the powerful polyphenols it contains)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Supports healthy brain and cognitive function (it’s actually one of the few compounds that supports the manufacture of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs) – joining the company of turmeric, ashwagandha, bacopa, omega-3 fish oils
  • Converts to ‘Benzoate’ in the liver, which:

a) Supports BDNF production (which boost neurotransmitter brain activation)

b) Supports dopamine receptors (necessary to maintain the integrity of nerve cells responsible for locomotion and fine motor control)

c) Supports natural regeneration of dopamine-carrying nerve cells

d) Acts as an antioxidant for the brain

  • Anti-coagulent (improves blood circulation)
  • Reduces risk of heart disease (thanks to it’s ability to lower bad LDL cholesterol levels)
  • Lowers blood sugar levels (can assist with type 2 diabetes)
  • Helps in reducing weight
  • Stimulates the digestive system
  • Reduces the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumours
  • Helps bacterial and fungal infections (yes, read candida), thanks to it’s anti-microbial, anti-fungal properties
  • Treats nausea, coughs and phlegm
  • Can help fight HIV-1

Uses

We go through a LOT of cinnamon at our place!

  • Every smoothie
  • Every bowl of oats
  • In baking
  • Sprinkled on desserts
  • In pancakes
  • In tea
  • It also goes great in savoury curries and sauces.

Cayenne Powder

Cayenne peppers have long been referred to as the king of medicinal herbs. In fact, these peppers have been used for thousands of years to help treat many health problems.

Cayenne peppers are a type of chilli pepper. They belong to the nightshade family of flowering plants.

Originally grown in Central and South America, but brought to Europe in the 15th century by Christopher Columbus.

Health Benefits

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, and it’s what gives them their medicinal properties.

It’s also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is. So if you find your eyes watering, maybe that’s a good thing!

  • Boosts metabolism (mildly)
  • Helps you burn more calories per day (by increasing the amount of heat your body produces, through a process called diet-induced thermogenesis)
  • May help reduce hunger (many studies show it may help you eat less, and feel fuller for longer)
  • Reduces blood pressure in animal studies
  • Boosts the stomach’s defence against infections, increases digestive fluid production and helps deliver enzymes to the stomach, aiding digestion
  • May help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers (contrary to the popular belief that spicy food actually causes stomach ulcers)
  • Acts as a pain reliever when applied to the skin! (Thanks to it’s ability to reduce the amount of a neuropeptide ‘substance P’, that signals to the brain that there’s pain. *Don’t use on open skin)
  • Improves psoriasis
  • May reduce the risk of cancer (animal studies show promise of slowing the growth of cancer cells and even causing cancer cell ‘suicide’ for many types of cancer).

Uses

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper spice to lots of your fave foods like eggs, homemade hot chips, marinades….

Try slicing fresh chilli’s into salads and stir fries.

Ginger Powder

Ginger is one of the healthiest and most delicious spices on Earth. It has a very long history of medicinal use.

It’s loaded with powerful nutrients and bioactive compounds that are like music to your body and brain.

Ginger is a flowering plant, belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal. Originally from ancient China, ginger then spread to India and the rest of the Asia and West Africa. India is now the greatest producer of ginger in the world.

Health Benefits

The head honcho bioactive compound in ginger is called Gingerol – and it’s this compound that’s responsible for much of ginger’s medicinal properties.

Ginger is well known to:

  • Reduce nausea (1-1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness – yay!)
  • Help with digestion
  • Fight the flu and common cold

But did you know that ginger:

  • Is anti-inflammatory
  • Is a powerful source of antioxidants
  • Lowers the risk of infections (particularly gingivitis and periodontitis)
  • Is effective against exercise-induced muscle pain (In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain)
  • Has been shown to help with menstrual pain (oh yeah – goodbye Panadol, right! 1 gram of ginger powder during the first 3 days of the menstrual cycle was shown to be just as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen)
  • Reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis (thanks to it’s anti-inflammatory effect)
  • May drastically lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors, which spells very welcome news for those with diabetes (however, this was just one small study. The results are incredibly impressive, but they need to be confirmed in larger studies)
  • May help prevent indigestion (though bigger studies need to be done)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • May be effective against pancreatic, breast and ovarian cancer, though it’s early days and more study is definitely needed
  • May help improve brain function and reduces our risk for Alzheimer’s.

Uses

There’s no shortage of ways to use ginger!

  • Baked goods (like gingerbread, cookies…)
  • In soups, stir fries
  • Pickled with sushi
  • Ginger tea
  • Ginger beer

Asafoetida

What in the world is Asafoetida?!

It’s an ancient Roman spice that even today is used as a complimentary treatment for some nervous conditions, as well as bronchitis, asthma and whooping cough!

It’s the dried sap extracted from the stem and roots of a perennial fennel plant species that belongs to the carrot family, and is used as a spice. The resin is difficult to grate and is traditionally crushed between stones or with a hammer.

Today, the most commonly available form is compounded asafoetida, a fine powder containing asafoetida resin along with arrowroot flour.

An essential ingredient in Indian cooking, asafoetida is usually paired up with lentils and dishes featuring vegetables like cauliflower. When used in cooking, it gives a flavour like an onion or leek.

Health Benefits

  • Reduces… farting! (it’s a powerful anti-flatulence agent, and it’s used when cooking gas-inducing foods like legumes mainly for this reason)
  • Reduces asthma (the oil in asafoetida is eliminated through the lungs, which is why it can be such an an excellent treatment)
  • Helps respiratory infections (it’s a potent respiratory stimulant and expectorant, and helps release phlegm and relieve chest congestion naturally)
  • Lowers blood pressure (and is a natural blood thinner)
  • Helps treat IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome)
  • May lower blood sugar (this effect is likely due to the presence of phenolic acids, specifically ferulic acid, and tannins in asafoetida extract)
  • FODMAPs diet friendly

Uses 

Asafoetida is a great natural defeater of intestinal wind, and that alone recommends it for inclusion in any and everything that includes lentils or beans.

It’s also a great alternative to garlic and onion.

Don’t be scared off by its pungent smell (think sulphur) because it will dissipate with cooking. If you use too much in a dish, it’ll mellow out as you cook it longer.

It doesn’t taste very pleasant on its own — it’s like a concentrated rotten garlic or onion flavour. But once it’s cooked, it adds a pleasant onion or leek-like flavour to dishes

And don’t make the mistake I made and use too much, or use it raw (I ruined a home batch of tomato sauce this way!).

Use in about the proportion of a pinch or two to 250g of the main ingredient.

Asafoetida works best when first fried for five to ten seconds in hot oil until its pungency is dramatically obvious.

Tiny amounts give a gentle lift to fish, egg or cheese dishes where onion would be too coarse or bulky.

It’s ideal for use when you are not certain if others like onions and garlic or when you do not want subsequently to have garlic breath or the wind problems that onion might generate. That includes salads and salad dressings, too.

Whole Vs. Ground Spices

Whole spices have a longer shelf life compared with ground spices that tend to loose their potency quicker.

On the other hand, ground spices are easier to cook with and, and the flavour is infused into the food faster.

Ground spices don’t really go ‘off’, but their health benefits will lessen over time. If you open the bag, take a whiff and the smell doesn’t hit you in the face, it might be time to get a fresh batch of spices.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4357107/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167597/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23844093
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10743483
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26756096
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16621751
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7577249
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3760276
http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/71/8/2809
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12208886
http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/36/3/837.long
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25230520
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10793599
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9815340
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16389016
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20418184
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11710709
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277626/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3016669/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19216660
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24552266
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2687755/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21197427
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609356/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18814211
https://idosi.org/wasj/wasj17(2)12/4.pdf
https://draxe.com/asafoetida/
https://examine.com/supplements/ferula-asafoetida/

Powerhouse Protein Pikelets

Powerhouse Protein Pikelets

Laini Oldfield | April 28, 2019

Want a vegan option? Click here.

Looking for a quick, no fuss way to add a hit of protein to the school lunches?

Bel Smith of The Root Cause (Australia’s lunch box guru) says protein is so often missing in kids lunches, and it’s sooo critical to optimal firing of our kid’s brains throughout the school learning day.

So, I created this recipe to help our family with that.

These little pikelets are sweeeet, so all the kids like them – even without any toppings (which makes them great for on-the-go).

And with the sweetness all coming from whole sources – bananas and medjool dates, the little guys are getting all the fibre and good stuff that comes with it.

And the protein? Well….

Did you know that hemp seeds are super high in protein? About 30% protein actually. That’s about the same per volume as chicken!

Just 2 tbsp of hemp seeds = about 8.76g of protein. Amazing.

And they’re one of the most nutritious foods on the planet!

Rich in healthy fats, the perfect balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, and they’re a great source of vitamin E and minerals.

If that wasn’t enough, they’re considered a complete protein source, which means they provide all the essential amino acids we need to survive. So, if you’re ever stuck somewhere with only one food, this would be a pretty great one to have!

Combine that with the eggs, which Naturopath Jessica Donovan says are nature’s superfood, and you have a powerhouse pikelet! (Side note: She says never to remove the egg yolks for kids. They have fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E that are essential for healthy children).

To top it all off, being a ‘throw it all in the blender’ kind of pikelet, it’s easy as pie!

Well, it’s actually easier than pie.

Let me know how you go with them!

Ingredients:

1 banana
1/4 cup oats (or omit and replace with equivalent in hemp seeds – it’ll be a little stronger in taste though)
3 eggs
Deodorised coconut oil for frying (it’s safer for cooking with heat than virgin coconut oil)

 

Method:
1. Chuck all ingredients in the blender
2. Blend

3. Pour straight into fry pan (medium heat only) in small pikelet sizes. Bigger pancakes will be impossible to flip!
4. Flip carefully when it’s browned.

Enjoy!

Wonder Which Oil to Use for Which Purpose?

Wonder Which Oil to Use for Which Purpose?

Laini Oldfield | March 20, 2019

Ever wondered which oil to use for which purpose?

I’ve been loving learning more about them lately.

Check out the simple explanations below, and keep scrolling for the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of each oil.

Why Cold Pressed?

Cold pressing means that all the stuff below is not part of the product process:

– Nutrient-neutralising heat,
– Caustic chemical solvents
– Industrial refining

 

It’s simply the oils pressed out of the fruit / nut / seed it came from.

 

What Does ‘Extra Virgin’ Mean?

Extra Virgin means it’s the very first time that fruit / nut / seed has been squashed.

It means it’s higher in nutrients, richness and taste. Extra Virgin oil goes through testing for acidity, chemical make up and sensory quality before it can be called Extra Virgin.

It also means it usually has a lower smoke point, so keep it under it’s identified smoke point temperature when cooking.

The more times that fruit / nut / seed is squashed, the name changes to things like ‘refined’, ‘cooking oil’, ‘deodorised’, or ‘processed’.

 

What Does ‘Smoke Point’ Mean?

When an oil is heated past its smoke point, it becomes unstable, generates toxic fumes and free radicals which are harmful to your body when ingested or inhaled.

Oil Comparison

This comparison was so fun to create. I guess I’m becoming a food geek. Unashamedly too!

Oh – and watch for our ‘New Products’ announcement soon. These oils will hitting the shelves soon (all Certified Organic & Cold Pressed):

Safflower Oil

Apricot Kernel Oil
Pumpkin Seed Oil 
Walnut Oil

Sesame Oil, Cold Pressed & Certified Organic

Taste? 
– Nutty flavour

How?
– Stir-frying, sauteing, for added flavour as a condiment

Smoke Point?

177 °C (351 °F)

Why? 

– Cold pressed is the best choice as it’s the least processed option and contains the most nutrients.

– It’s high in zinc and copper that are beneficial to the blood and heart.

– It also has calcium, which is necessary for bone growth and bone healing.

– It has lignins which contain polyphenols that can prevent cardiovascular diseases.

– Sesame oil has chemical compounds, sesamol and sesamin, that have been found to reduce certain types of cancer cells.

– Sesame oil also helps promote healthy skin and hair. It can be used for treating inflamed, irritated and damaged skin. The oil penetrates deep into the skin, fights bacteria and leaves the skin detoxified.

Sunflower Oil, Cold Pressed & Certified Organic

Taste?
– Neutral, clean taste

How?
– Salad dressing, mayonnaise, baking, frying

Smoke Point?
107 °C (225 °F)

Why?

– Sunflower oil promotes heart health (thanks to it’s 80% good fats, and none of the bad fats).

– It’s great for your skin (thanks to it’s good levels of Vitamin E – one of the most skin-friendly antioxidants, and Vitamin A). The oil is light and non-greasy – great for easy absorption into the skin without blocking pores.

– Massaging sunflower oil into your scalp once a week can help to soften dry, frizzy hair and adds a beautiful shine.

– It strengthens your immune system (thanks to being rich in antioxidants). It strengthens the cell membrane barriers which make it harder for bacteria and viruses to enter the body. The body’s ability to defend infections is also increased.

– Sunflower oil also contains protein that helps in building and repairing tissues and various enzymes required for healthy functioning. 

– It’s a good energy booster. Sunflower oil helps the discharge of glycogen into the bloodstream from the liver.

– It improves digestion, thanks to it’s high levels of good fats. It’s extremely light, easy to digest and better absorbed in your digestive tract. Sunflower oil also has mild laxative properties which can help prevent constipation.

– Cold pressed oil is much more nutritious than heat refined oil, and it’s solvent free.

– Sunflower oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that help lower amount and severity of asthma attacks. 

MCT Oil, Original – 100% Organic Coconut Oil Derived

Taste?
– No taste or smell

How?
– Smoothies, bulletproof coffee, and salad dressings

Smoke Point?
160°C (320°F)

Why?

–  MCT oil may support weight loss by increasing fullness, fat loss, energy burning, ketone production and by improving your gut environment.

– It can also reduce insulin resistance which eventually helps control blood sugar levels and support diabetes management. 

– MCT oil is easily absorbed and transported throughout the body. It can be used as an instant source of energy or can be converted into ketones to fuel your brain.

– May reduce lactate buildup in athletes and help use fat for energy.

– MCT oil may improve brain function, which could have benefits for people with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and autism.

– MCT oil contains fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the growth of yeast and bacteria. Overall, MCTs may have a variety of antimicrobial and anti-fungal effects.

– MCT oil may reduce heart disease risk factors such as weight, cholesterol and inflammation. Adding it to your diet could help lower your risk of heart disease.

*Keep to 1-2 tablespoons per day, as more than that could increase the amount of fat in your liver in the long term.

Sweet Almond Oil, Certified Organic

Taste? 
– Nutty flavour

How? 
– Body care (it’s quite thick so it can be tricky to use in cooking, but your skin LOVES it!), high-heat cooking, salad dressing (combine with apple cider vinegar and chopped herbs), sauces, flavouring (drizzle over your favourite side dish to give it an extra kick, or drizzle over pasta to give it a boost of healthy fats).

Smoke Point? 
221 °C (430 °F)

Why? 

– Super high in Vitamin E (1 tablespoon gives us 26% of our recommended daily intake)

Vitamin E is a group of eight fat-soluble compounds that have antioxidant properties. These compounds protect cells from harmful substances called free radicals.

Higher intakes of vitamin E can help lower the risk of heart disease, age-related macular degeneration and cognitive decline in the elderly

And used on the skin? Vitamin E helps protect the skin from sun damage and premature ageing, as well as helping prevent the spread of stretch marks.

Use it as a gentle makeup remover, a natural skin or hair moisturiser (it’s less expensive than most skin moisturisers and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients), or a velvety massage oil. You can also use it as a carrier oil to dilute essential oils when you’re applying them to the skin.

– Super high in good fats and super low in bad fats

Diets rich in unsaturated fat may provide some health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and obesity, and they may aid weight loss.

– May help keep your heart healthy

– Has been shown to lower levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol

– High in antioxidants

– May be beneficial for blood sugar control (in one study, participants who consumed a breakfast with added almond oil had lower blood sugar, both after the meal and throughout the day, compared to participants who did not eat almond oil)

– Excellent source of potassium and zinc.

Extra Virgin Avocado Oil, Australian & Certified Organic

Taste?
Nutty, buttery, ‘clean’.

How? 
High-heat cooking, salad dressing, home-made mayo, body care (add a little to dry skin or use it to create a moisturising hair mask), add a tablespoon to smoothies for a dose of good fats, sub for butter when baking (basically this is a ‘safe and awesome to use for anything’ oil!).

Smoke Point? 
271 °C (520 °F) – that’s the highest of them all!

Why? 
– It’s rich in Oleic Acid, which is a very healthy fat
– A fantastic source of antioxidants
– Reduces cholesterol and improves heart health
– High in Lutein, an antioxidant that has benefits for the eyes (tip: your body doesn’t produce lutein, so you must obtain it from your diet)
– Enhances the absorption of important nutrients (there is good reason to include a healthy fat source like – avocado oil when eating vegetables, as it may increase the absorption of carotenoid antioxidants up to 17-fold).
– May reduce symptoms of arthritis
– May help prevent gum disease (hello better breath)
– Used on the skin, it may improve would healing and psoriasis
– Neautralises free radicals (In rats, avocado oil is able to enter cell mitochondria and decrease the production of harmful free radicals. We assume the same is true for humans.)
– It’s simply the oil pressed from the pulp of avocados 
– No cholesterol

Flaxseed oil – Australian, Cold Pressed, Certified Organic


Tastes?
– Clean, crisp and mildly nutty

How?
– Smoothies (add a splash in)
– Salad dressings (my fave way)
– As a nutritional supplement
– Applied directly to skin / hair
– Keep it cold. Do not use at high heats.

Smoke Point?: 107ºC

Why?
– A great way to get the omegas in.
– Packed with antioxidants and many other vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, selenium, phosphorus and vitamin B6.
– Extraordinarily high levels of soluble and insoluble fibre, which support optimum gut health (specifically the colon, digestive health, and even helps with healthy weight loss).

Macadamia Oil – Australian, Cold Pressed, Certified Organic


Taste?

– A lovely subtle nutty flavour

How?
– Baking
– Frying / deep frying
– Salad dressings
– Fabulous skin / hair moisturiser 
– Use at low or high heat due it it’s high smoke point (even higher than olive oil!). Good choice for sautéing, roasting and grilling.

Smoke Point?: 210ºC

Why?
– High levels of Vitamin E (hence why it’s great for skin and hair).
– Lightweight and well absorbed in the skin without feeling greasy. 
– High in monounsaturated fatty acids, including Oleic Acid (Omega 9), which are very moisturising, regenerating and softening on the skin, and are anti-inflammatory.
– The Omega 6 helps to restore the skin’s barrier function and reduce water loss. 
– Also contains Omega 7, an active anti-microbial that’s found naturally in youthful skin. Omega 7 levels in our skin reduce with age, contributing to the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and weathered skin. 
– Has been shown to slow the signs of ageing and has also been used to improve the appearance of scars, sunburn and other minor skin irritations.

Hemp Seed Oil – Australian, Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed, Certified Organic


Taste?

– Pleasant nutty flavour

How?
– Cooking / baking (up to it’s smoke point of 165ºC)
– Salad dressings and pasta
– Smoothies
– Moisturiser

Smoke Point?: 165ºC

Why?

– Known for its healing properties due to its great nutritional value.
– Contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
– Extremely high in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which may assist in achieving healthy skin. 
– Contains the ideal 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 (GLA) to Omega-3 (SDA) essential fatty acids which can help the body to metabolise fat, counteract ageing, increase immune system strength, lower cholesterol, and help prevent cardiovascular disease. 
– Soothing for dry / itchy skin, and has been shown to counteract the skin’s ageing process.

Olive Oil – Australian, Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed, Certified Organic


Taste?

– Fragrant and fruity

How?

– Baking / roasting / frying (up to it’s smoke point of 190ºC)
– Salad dressings

Smoke Point?: 190ºC

Why?

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains, more than any other grade, the health-promoting nutrients that olive oil is famous for.
– High quantities of healthy fats.
– Contains oleocanthal which has anti-inflammatory agents.
– Simply the juice of the first-crush of premium Aussie organic olives.

Coconut Oil – Purified & Deodorised, Cold Pressed, Certified Organic


Taste?

Physically removed odour and flavour. Neutral.

How?
– All things hot!
Baking / frying / roasting / sautéing

Smoke Point: 232ºC

Why?
– It’s the 3rd press. The 3rd time that coconut is squashed. That means it’s a more heat-safe oil to use for high temperatures.
– The components that come out in the first press are not safe at high heats, as they turn into trans fats.
– Refined coconut oils do not offer the same health benefits of a virgin, completely raw coconut oil, but they are still excellent sources of most of the beneficial fatty acids (like MCTs).
– No cholesterol
– One of our routine questions before bringing this oil on was to ensure the deodorisation process was through ‘steaming’ rather than through the use of harsh solvents, as is often the case. Good news – this oil has been deodorised through the use of steam – no chemicals added.
– Most refined coconut oils are made from the rancid oil byproducts leftover from creating desiccated coconut flakes. Sadly, these are refined, bleached, and deodorised in an effort to create a palatable product that can be sold to consumers. Many coconut oils are even hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated! This coconut oil is made of sound, mature, organic coconuts that have been selected, de husked, de shelled, testa removed, cut, dehydrated pressed before expelling and extracting the oil and simply packing it up for you to eat.

A note from Ashley regarding coconut oil: “Whilst it’s high in saturated fats, it contains lauric acids and is high in Medium-Chain-Fatty-Acids (MCFA), and is a great fat for you.”

Coconut Oil – Virgin, Cold Pressed, Certified Organic


Taste?

Smooth, healthy and delicious. Coconut-ty.

How?
– Raw desserts
– Oven (up to it’s smoke point of 170ºC)
– 
Hair and skin moisturiser
– Eye make up remover (the only one in my bathroom!)

Smoke Point?: 170ºC

Why?
– The ‘1st press’. The first time they squish that coconut! Great to use in raw desserts and even in the oven up to 170 degrees (interesting fact: there’s no difference between extra virgin and virgin coconut oil).
– No cholesterol
– High in medium chain fatty acids (a good thing)
– It has a similar molecular structure to the oil in our skin, making its nourishing vitamins and minerals easily absorbed.
– Coconut is a rich source of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and the essential minerals iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
– Great for brain health. 
– No cholesterol
– High in Medium Chain Fatty Acids

Why Not Vegetable Oil?

Shock horror, there’s no veggies in Vegetable Oil.

But that’s not why I avoid them.

So-called ‘vegetable’ oils are actually often made from tough seeds and legumes that were originally grown for industrial use, not human consumption. These seeds must be treated chemically in order to be processed into a pourable, somewhat more human-friendly liquid.

Thanks to their high levels of polyunsaturated fats, it’s highly unstable, which makes it inflammatory, and super damaging to our insides when it oxidizes.

Quick tip: Saturated fats are more stable fats because of their molecular structure. Unsaturated fats are less stable—and polyunsaturated fats are the least stable of all.

Polyunsaturated fats like those found in vegetable oils can become rancid simply from exposure to light through a clear glass bottle, which means that it’s basically gone bad even before you take it home from the store.

Vegetable oils can really do damage – so the most health-conscious path is to keep the stuff out of your body.

Don’t be fooled by pretty packages, great graphics, and phrases like ‘no trans fats’, ‘pure vegetable’, ‘all natural’ and so on.

Instead, know your oils, and buy the highest quality possible.

Interested to Know More?


 


Check out a hefty comparison on even MORE oils here on Ashley the Kitchen Coach’s blog. Super informative.

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