Immunity boosting spiced butternut squash soup

by Clare Neill,

Now's the time to make use of seasonal and abundant squash varieties. Their beautiful colour hints at the nutritional properties within. We've used butternut squash in this recipe but use whatever variety you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ltr stock 
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 large 
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli (optional)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger root, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • black pepper (important for helping the absorption of turmeric)

Method:

  1. Place 1cm of water in a pan on a medium heat.  Add in the onions, garlic, celery and carrot and leave to cook for five minutes with the lid on, ensuring that the pan doesn't run dry.
  2. Add the stock and bring it to the boil. 
  3. Add the squash and bring back to the boil for a minute and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin pieces are really tender.
  4. Take the pan off the heat and either pour the contents into a blender or use a hand blender and blend until a smooth consistency.
  5. Check the flavour and season to your taste.
  6. You can also add a dash of olive oil or some yoghurt and then sprinkle with some seeds for an extra protein boost.

How do you like your Muffins in the morning?

by Olivia Cartwright, , link

 Here's our round up of our 3 favourite Breakfast muffin recipe's for the perfect nutritious breakfast on the go!

Deliciously Ella's Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

300 g grated carrots

100 g grated apples

60 g rolled oats

100 g buckwheat flour

100 g raisins 1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

4 tbsp apple purée (cook 1 large apple with 50ml of water, until soft)

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp honey

250 ml almond milk

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Place the grated carrots and apples and all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2 Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add it to the bowl with all the other ingredients. Mix everything together well. Scoop the mixture into 12 muffin cases and place in a 12-hole muffin tray. 3 Bake for 35 minutes, until the tops turn a golden brown.

3 Take them out of the oven and let them sit for 10 minutes to cool slightly in the tray and finish setting. Remove them from the tray and leave on a cooling rack for another 20 minutes.

4 Once completely cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature; they should last for about five days.

 

Hemsley and Hemsley Blueberry muffins

Makes 6 muffins:

3 eggs

2 tablespoons Butter or coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon apple Cider vinegar or lemon juice

A pinch of sea salt

40g coconut flour

¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

150–200g blueberries,rinsed and dried thoroughly

Method

1 Preheat the oven to fan 200°C/gas mark 7 and line a six hole muffin tin with baking parchment liners or squares of baking parchment.

2 Add all the ingredients except the blueberries to a food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the melted butter or coconut oil with the maple syrup, vanilla extract, ACV or lemon juice and salt. Sift the coconut flour and bicarbonate of soda into the batter and fold in well to ensure there are no lumps.

3 Once blended, divide the runny batter between the paper liners in the tin, then distribute the blueberries evenly between the liners, pushing most of the berries down into the batter and leaving a few studding the top of each muffin for decoration.

4 Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes until lightly golden at the edges, then remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

 

Madeleine Shaw's Strawberry and Almond Paleo Muffins

300g of ground almonds

1 Pinch of sea salt

½ tsp baking soda

300ml of full fat coconut milk (from a can)

2 organic eggs

4 tbsp honey

1 vanilla pod scraped (or 1 tsp of vanilla extract)

100g of fresh strawberries halved

Method

1 Preheat oven to 180° C

2 Mix the almonds, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.

3 In another bowl, mix all the coconut milk, eggs, honey and vanilla.

4 Combine together and fold in the berries.

5 Pour the mixture into muffin paper holders, but only fill them 2/3 full as they will rise.

6 Bake for 20 minutes, you want them to be golden on top.

 

 

 


Interview with bodywork specialist Kasia Gdowska

by Olivia Cartwright, , link
 
Kasia Gdowska is a master therapist with a difference. A co-founder of Silver Linings Retreats, she is a counsellor and physiotherapist by trade and a healer at heart, with over 10 years' experience under her belt. Her signature treatments are a curious fusion of psychosomatic therapy and a gentle healing touch. Kasia's heart opening sessions are set to nurture you towards a better understanding of yourself - lifting you out of survival mode into a deeper sense of compassion.
 
Following her latest trip Kasia has integrated an ancient healing art - internal organ massage from a Siberian shaman. The technique gently yet deeply works the organs on all levels – physically, emotionally and spiritually in order to make them work more efficiently. Throughout life tension, stress and negative emotions build up in the organs, causing congestion and blocking the body's energy. This particularly weakens the digestive system and can result in problems with organs such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, bloating and hormonal imbalances. Each organ is known to hold different negative emotions. For example: the liver holds anger, the kidneys hold fear and the stomach holds worry. When massaged intentionally, these lower emotions can be eliminated in the body. It’s greatest benefits occur for people fasting or doing a detox.
 
How did you first get started in the wellbeing industry?
 
After graduating as a counsellor I felt that working predominately with the mind was not enough for me. As a result I decided to study various forms of bodywork and kept incorporating into my practice what I had learnt and what I thought worked best. I've always been fascinated by the mind/body connection and it's effects on our health and well-being. I would say my personal interest, curiosity and a dedication to make a difference in people's lives led me to work in this industry. On that note I’m about embark on my latest trip to Mongolia and Siberia to deepen my knowledge in their traditional spiritual practices! 
 
Do you have a certain philosophy when it comes to your food?
 
Home is where the heart is and the same goes with food. The older I get the more simple my tastes become. I love clean, home-made cuisine that gives balance and goodness to your life. Fresh and unprocessed is a must. Oh and of course, ditch all that unhealthy sugar. All this is coming from an ex-chocoholic!
 
Are there any therapies in particular you would recommend to clients who are on a juice cleanse?
 
Definitely a good massage - deep tissue and lymphatic drainage. This would maximise the wonderful effects of Radiance!
 
What three foods would you always find in your fridge or kitchen cupboards?
 
Ginger, garlic and coconut oil.
 
What is your favourite way to work out?
 
I get easily bored so for me the combination of cycling, a Barrecore workout, plus a touch of flow yoga keeps me interested and fit! 
 
Do you have any easy relaxation techniques?
 
Breathing fully and slowing everything down always helps a lot. Simply take time to be.


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