Thursday, 23 January 2014

Top 10 healthy ingredients to add to your shopping list

A lot of people have been asking me about some of the ingredients I mention in my recipes and so here's a list of all the essentials I use daily. It took me some time to build up my cupboards with all these goodies and some of these ingredients can seem expensive at first; but they last so long, and do such great wonders to your body that they are definitely worth the money!
1. Raw Cacao Powder.  So this is NOT cocoa!  A lot of people get the two mixed up. Raw Cacao (as in pic) can be bought in a health food shop.  It comes in powered form (which i use for desserts, smoothies etc) or little nibs -on the table in the pic - (which i use to top smoothies).  This is incredibly healthy. It's chocolate in its purest form, before all the chemicals and sugar.  It gives me a real energy boost, is full of anti-oxidants and it tastes amazing.

2. Almond Milk.  So when i mention this to some people they think it sounds gross! I think cows milk sounds (and tastes) a whole lot worse.  This almond milk has a really mild taste and it's unsweetened.  You can buy it in most supermarkets and it holds for ages in the cupboard.  You can make your own...but i prefer to just buy it and Blue Diamond is my favorite. Rice / Soya milk etc are also good (although too much Soya is not good for the body)

3.  Coconut Oil. This baby has it all! It's great to cook with (it has a really high smoke point), it makes delicious chocolates and truffles and it is the best hair and skin conditioner out there!'s raw, it's natural, it's healthy, its available in most supermarkets.

4. Vegan Stock Cubes. These stock cubes are vegan friendly and so no animals are harmed! Again..they are available in most supermarkets and don't cost the earth! I use these in stocks, soups and sauces.

5. Chia + Flax seeds. Chia seeds are cool.  When you soak them in any liquid they create a gel substance.  So they are super if you want to make a thick smoothie, bircher (i'll be doing a post on this soon), chocolate mousse. I put them in all my juices and smoothies.  They are a super source of omega and because they expand they are really filling. Flaxseed and all other types of seeds are also great to pop into salads, juices etc.  The fiber and omega are needed!

6. Maca Powder. This is basically a Peruvian root that has been ground down.  It has quite a strong taste and so i use a teaspoon of it in my smoothies. It is super for women, and for helping with any hormone issues.

7. Flour. I love all of Dove's Farm flours.  Here I have pictured Rice Flour from their range.  I also use their White Flour.  They are naturally gluten, wheat and yeast free.  I used it this morning to make pancakes and it tasted delicious.

8. Brown Rice Pasta. Another Dove's Farm product.  This is organic pasta.  It's gluten and wheat free.  The ingredients are as follows: 100% Brown Rice! This is a no brainer! Some gluten free pastas taste weird in my opinion and many go mushy when you cook it.  This tastes great and stays in tact like whole wheat penne. I found this in Tesco but it's probably available in lots of other shops now.

9.  This is Bee Pollen.  Just do a quick internet search on this wonder product and you'll uncover a whole myriad of it's benefits.  It is a superfood. I use it to top smoothies and salads. It's quite strong and quite sweet so a little does go a long way.  A small bag of this costs about €3 in most health food shops.
10. These are dates! Pitted organic dates to be exact. If you want to eat a primarily healthy and sugar-free diet then these will become your best friend. I would never eat a date straight up! I think they look and taste yuck.  But when you use them to make your very own sugar free desserts they turn into yummy, creamy, gooey heaven. They are also really good for your body.

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