What Are Medicinal Mushrooms?

by Clare Neill,

Four Sigmatic was founded with its first goal being to find the smallest thing people could add to their current diet to produce the biggest positive impact on their health. You might be surprised to hear their answer: medicinal mushrooms. Another thing you might be surprised to hear is that mushrooms are among the world's most studied superfoods. Indeed, about 40 percent of Western medicines today, including penicillin, utilise mushrooms. Furthermore, because most of us don't consume any of these medicinal mushrooms, adding even just a very small amount into your diet can make a big difference. 

We've been experimenting with Four Sigmatic's elixirs, coffees and superfood blends for a while now and have become a little addicted. There's a beautiful reishi and cacao recipe HERE. Or, a chaga, ginger and turmeric latte HERE.

But our favourite is the mushroom coffee, which is really quite life changing! We included some Four Sigmatic sachets in our recent cleanse goody bag and while - let's be honest - some of the flavours take a little getting used to, the feedback was so positive. 

If you're interested to try it for yourself then check out this interview with one of the founders and ORDER HERE.


Hot Cross Buns for Easter

by Christina Agnew, , link

At Radiance, we've been trying out this delicious recipe for healthier Hot Cross Buns from Women's Health.

These buns are a lighter, more nutritious take on the traditional Easter treat. Spelt flour and oats give added fibre, while agave and apple keep the buns sweet and moist. Healthier they may be, but don’t be fooled - these spiced buns are just as delicious as their buttery cousins and make the perfect spring breakfast.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 500ml skimmed milk or dairy-free alternative
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 4 cloves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 2 oranges
  • 300g spelt flour
  • 300g strong white bread flour, plus about 100g extra for kneading and the crosses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g oats
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 apple, coarsely grated
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 60g currants
  • 2 tbsp apricot or fig jam, ideally a no added sugar brand

METHOD

1/ Bring the milk to boil with the cardamom pods, cloves, lemon zest and zest of 1 orange. Set to one side and allow to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, sift the flours and salt into a large mixing bowl. Tip in the oats, yeast, oil, agave and beaten egg. Once the milk has cooled, remove the cloves and cardamom and pour into the bowl.

2/ Mix together until the ingredients are well incorporated. Then tip the dough onto a generously floured work surface and knead for a good 10 minutes, either by hand or using the dough attachment of a table top mixer. It will seem like a very wet dough, but keep working it, slapping it onto the work surface to develop the gluten. It will eventually come together to form a sticky, but elastic dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove in warmish place for about 1 hour, until risen.

3/ Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and flatten slightly. Mix together the apple, cinnamon, currants and remaining orange zest and sprinkle over the dough. Knead briefly to distribute all the ingredients. Divide the dough into 16 even pieces and roll into smooth balls. Ar

range the buns on 2 lightly oiled baking sheets in rows of 4, about 1 cm apart. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for a further hour.

4/ Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200/gas mark 7. In a small bowl mix together 30g of flour with 2 ½ - 3 tbsp water, adding the water gradually until you have a thick paste. Scrape into a small sandwich bag. Once the buns have risen and puffed up, cut off the tip of one corner of the sandwich bag and use to pipe crosses over the buns. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, swapping shelves halfway through. Meanwhile, heat the jam with 2 tbsp of water in a small pan until the jam has melted and is syrupy. Sieve into a small bowl and use to brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and allow to cool before tucking in.

Read more: http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/nutrition/recipes/1126/healthier-hot-cross-buns#ixzz4bVG1OsL3


A versatile dairy-free nut milk

by Christina Agnew, , link

We absolutely love nut milks. They are so versatile. You can drink them solo, use them as the base for a smoothie or mix them with chia seeds or gluten-free oats for your breakfast. We include a smooth, nourishing cashew nut milk in each of our Classic Cleanses, for a hit of protein and good fats. Here's a macadamia-based recipe to try at home.

Goji & Vanilla Macadamia Milk

Makes 3 cups of nut milk

Ingredients:

1/3 cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked overnight 
3 cups filtered water
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 handful goji berries, soaked overnight
3-5 dates, soaked overnight (depending on how much sweetness you like)
1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (not essence)

Method:

1. Drain the macadamias, goji berries and dates, and discard the water.
2. Put all of the ingredients into a blender.
3. Pulse a few times, then blend until really smooth.

Tips:

  • Turn this into a post-workout drink by adding a scoop of your favourite protein powder. We like Sun Warrior.
  • You can use different nuts, such as almonds or pecans. If you like a completely smooth milk, you will need to add another step to the method, since these nuts have skins. Blend the nuts with the water first, then drain the mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth before blending with the remaining ingredients.
  • Try adding your favourite spices instead of vanilla, such as cinnamon or ginger.


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