5 healthy breakfast food swaps

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1.

Original:

Smoked salmon and standard cream cheese on a white bagel

Swap for:

Smoked salmon and Quark (a naturally fat free soft cheese) in a wholemeal tortilla wrap or, if you really want a bagel, have a nice wholemeal one.

Why?

Standard cream cheese has saturated fat and is often processed with long ‘sell buy’ dates. Quark offers a fat free alternative that is fresher, natural, and wholesome. White bagels are made from flour which has been stripped of its natural goodness through processing and they also often have higher sugar content than wholemeal alternatives. Wholemeal is much more natural as the wheat grains are left as is and not altered. It also means you get much more fibre key for keeping your digestive system nice and healthy.


 2.

Original:

Fried eggs, bacon rashers, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, and hash browns

Swap for:

A poached egg, grilled turkey bacon, meat-free sausages, grilled large mushroom and tomatoes. Skip the hash browns.

Why?

Grilling is a much more healthy-concious option compared to frying. It removes the need for oil to be added when cooking. Turkey bacon is leaner than bacon from pork. Meat-free sausages have higher protein content than a lot of standard sausages due to them having less fat. The meat in standard sausages is often the cheapest cuts padded out with pork or beef fat – doesn’t sound very appetising, does it? Hash browns are fine as a treat but if you are aiming to be healthy then leave them out as they are fried extensively and often bought readymade meaning with the addition of chemicals.


 3.

Original:

Porridge/Hot oatmeal made with cream and topped with golden syrup, and jam

Swap for:

Porridge/Hot oatmeal made with water or semi-skimmed milk or half n’ half and topped with maple syrup and homemade fruit compote such as this one

Why?

By swapping you lower the amount of saturated fat and sugar. Golden syrup is made from refined sugar and jam is full of naturally sweet fruit but with the added addition of lots of sugar (the ratio of fruit:sugar is often shockingly low especially on cheaper ones). Homemade fruit compote, on the other hand, has only naturally occurring sugars or a little natural added sweetener such as honey or maple syrup. Maple syrup is used instead of golden syrup as it is less processed and much lower in sugar (and free of refined sugar).


 4.

Original:

A bowl of cereal

Swap for:

A bowl of custom (aka make your own) muesli or granola

Why?

Some cereal is reasonably healthy but despite the big claims on boxes of them being ‘fortified’ with ‘added vitamins and calcium’ etc., they are frequently full of sugar, and also often have quite a lot of salt. Maize-based cereals can also be found to be made from GM (genetically modified) maize crops.

If you buy, organic, low sugar and salt cereal then that is probably ok as part of a healthy lifestyle but if you buy the super-processed, sweet, cereal, then by switching to homemade muesli you can be fully in the know entirely what you are eating. It’s super simple to make and you can either make up a serving each time or to save time make up a larger quantity and store it as you would bought cereal.

Here’s a basic muesli recipe:

Oats, wheat flakes

Seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, flaxseed, chia)

Nuts (e.g. Almond, hazelnut, pecans, walnuts, macadamia, brazil)

Dried fruit (e.g. raisins, sultanas, cranberries, banana, pineapple (watch out for sugar content though))

Serve dry or with dairy milk, coconut milk, or almond milk.

Optional:

Use fresh fruit (e.g. berries, sliced banana, mango, grapes) instead of dried fruit or have some of both


 5.

Original:

White toast and butter / chocolate spread / jam / marmalade

Swap for:

Wholewheat toast and spread with mashed ripe avocado seasoned with pepper and a little sea salt or home-made healthier chocolate spread

• Recipe: Homemade clean chocolate spread •

Basic method:

Blend some mashed ripe avocado and cocoa powder together and/or a little maple syrup or mashed ripe banana to sweeten. Approx. ratios 1/2 avocado: 1tsp cocoa powder: quarter mashed banana or 1 tsp to a tbsp maple syrup

This can be stored in the fridge until the next day in an airtight jar.

Enjoy!

Helen x

P.S For more foodie goodness, find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!


 Copyright©HLDCblog//Helen Redman 2015.

My perfect light and fluffy pancake recipe

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Ok, so I have made quite a lot of American-style pancakes in the past but each time I made them I used a recipe from cookery websites or bloggers. Since I have had my own blog I have been thinking I need to create my own healthy recipe for pancakes which I could share with you. This recipe was intended, originally, to merely be an experimental first attempt which would, hopefully, improve with trial and error. BUT, it actually proved to be a success the first time around with no altering needed! I think I’m going to have to give my genes some credit as my Scottish grandmother was apparently fantastic at making Scotch pancakes (a Scottish equivalent of American pancakes but smaller in size.) Hence, I’m thinking that I may have inherited some of her natural baking ability as she never used recipe books but cooked from scratch to great effect nonetheless.

I just love pancakes so I’m going to very much enjoy using this recipe a lot myself! Also, as a student, there was a cafe I used to frequent mainly for the fact they cooked the best pancakes in town. (Those who have studied at The University of St Andrews like me will know the one to which I’m referring!) Now that I have mastered how to make my own pancakes I don’t have to leave the comfort of my home to enjoy a lovely plate of pancakes!!

One last thing, before I get to the recipe, I know that this blog is focussed on healthy eating and inspiring healthy living and pancakes are not traditionally seen as very healthy at all, everyone needs a treat every so often. These pancakes are also a reasonably healthy recipe without things such as melted butter, oil, lots of refined white sugar etc. They are sweetened minimally with maple syrup, a healthy natural low-sugar content sweetener.

Right, without anymore delay – here is the recipe!

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Perfect pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (add more if you’d like them sweeter)
  • 1 egg

Method:

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl

2. Beat the egg and combine with the liquid ingredients

3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine. Do not over mix, you do not want an entirely smooth batter, but a thick, slightly lumpy one.

4. Heat a pan and add a small amount of healthy cooking oil (such as coconut) or low-fat unsalted butter.

5. Add some batter (about a quarter cup per pancake) and cook the pancakes, turning each once when bubbles form on the top.

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TIP: The first pancake is often a write off, but don’t be disheartened by this. It is just because the oil is awkward the first time around heat-wise, if that makes any sense at all?! You should see what I mean, though.

NOTE: The cooked pancakes should be evenly browned on both sides and cooked through.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Serving idea (more serving suggestions below):

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More serving ideas:

  • Sliced bananas and Greek yoghurt
  • Strawberries, Sliced Kiwis and maple syrup
  • Fruits of the forest
  • Homemade blueberry sauce
  • Frozen yoghurt and flaked almonds
  • Melted high cocoa content dark chocolate and strawberries

Hope you enjoy the pancakes as much as I do!

Helen x

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Copyright©HLDCblog2015

 

Perfect Weekday Breakfast

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Extra early morning start? Make overnight oats the night before. Breakfast will be ready and waiting for you when you wake up! Overnight oats is a great alternative to porridge, and requires no cooking. The oats and chia seeds will swell and thicken overnight making a delicious filling breakfast dish. There are a number of recipes around but this is my one.

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Recipe: Berry Overnight Oats

They are ‘berry’ good!

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 heaped cup frozen berries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
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Step 1 before stirring

1. Add everything to a bowl or mason jar and stir

2. Cover with cling film or the mason jar lid and chill overnight

3. Remove cling film, stir once more, and eat!

(Note: All of my photos are from overnight oats I only left for around 3/4 of an hour (long story…) rather than overnight. Chilling overnight is recommended for a thicker result – hence the name ‘Overnight oats’  obviously!)

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Basic Nutrition:

This breakfast provides a great source of slow-release energy and iron from the oats, fibre and a number of other nutritional benefits from the chia seeds (a superfood tracing back to Aztec times), calcium in the milk, and vitamins from the berries.

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Disclaimer: Nutritional information is solely from personal research and general knowledge. I am not professionally qualified in nutrition. 
Copyright©HLDCblog//Helen Redman 2015.

Smoothie 5: Detox Green Smoothie

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This post focusses on my tried and tested ‘Detox Green Smoothie’ recipe. Since the beginning of the year I have been drinking a number of smoothies regularly – usually to start my day. See earlier posts. This green smoothie is one of my recent creations. It contains many green elements: avocado, kale, kiwi, celery and pear. Sweet and savoury blends are the best way to go when making green smoothies to avoid the unappetising watery-veg-puree which will often occur if you fail to add anything naturally juicy, such as a pear, to a smoothie containing leaves such as kale.

The smoothie is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fibre. In addition, the water adds hydration and naturally occurring sugars provide energy. This is an ideal smoothie to drink in the morning but can easily be enjoyed at any time of the day. If you have never eaten kale before, though, it may be better to use spinach first as it will ease you into the taste of green smoothies (spinach is milder and easier to blend). Also, if you have a hand blender rather than a full-sized blender then spinach may again be a better option as the result will be smoother. You can use a hand blender with the kale if you don’t mind a more textured smoothie. I use kale with both hand blenders and full-size blenders as I’m not fussed but I know other people who insist on smoothies perfectly smooth so the option is yours!


Here is the recipe:                

Smoothie

Detox Green Smoothie

                                               

Ingredients:

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    Avocado

    1 cup raw kale

  • 1/2 of a ripe hass avocado
  • 1/2 kiwi
  • 3/4-1 cup water (depends how thin you like the smoothie)
  • Approx. 1/4 stalk celery
  • 1 ripe conference pear

Method:

1. Make sure everything is washed, peeled, and in suitably sized pieces.

2. Add all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth

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Kiwi fruit

3. Check consistency to decide if you would like to add more water.

4. Serve and enjoy

Note: Green smoothies are not to everyone’s taste but they are VERY good for you so hopefully you’ll enjoy this one!

If you would prefer a completely different type of smoothie, try this ‘Tropical Dream’ smoothie (recipe here).

For more of my recipes, foodie pics, and meal ideas, follow this blog (button over to the right of this post if viewing on a desktop computer), or find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and PinInterest.

Helen x


Copyright©HLDCblog2015

Smoothie 4: Good Morning Smoothie

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Tired? Half-asleep? Keep reading and try the recipe that follows.

Here is a refreshing smoothie that is made using a combination of store cupboard tinned fruit and fresh fruit. It is free from added sugar, thickener or anything else, just pure fruit and water. The sweetness of the smoothie will depend upon the sweetness of the fruit and so if you’d like a sharper smoothie use a green rather than red apple. Also, using an unripe green kiwi rather than a golden one will give a sharper result. I prefer just a hint of sharpness so tend to just stick with the broken grapefruit for that.

It is entirely up to your personal preference, though. Have a go at experimenting with different combinations and find your favourite! It’s fun coming up with various tasting ones.

Good Morning Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 golden kiwi
  • 2 slices of pineapple (I used unsweetened tinned pineapple as I didn’t have fresh)
  • 1 tbsp of broken grapefruit (tinned)
  • Water

Method:

1. Peel, core, and cut apple into chunks.

2. Scoop flesh out of kiwi.

3. Add the fruit into a blender with a little water and blend.

4. Add more water to thin if desired.

NOTE: I use golden kiwis as they tend to be much sweeter than green kiwis. They are easier to get hold of in the summer rather than winter, so if making in the winter then you can substitute a green kiwi for the golden one.

This is the 4th smoothie recipe from a series of posts I’ve been doing since last week. For the earlier recipes see:

1. Creamy Green Energy Machine

2. Tropical Dream,

3. Breakfast Smoothie With a Kick.

For more healthy recipes, meal ideas, and tips, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Helen x


Copyright©HLDCblog2015

Ideas for a Healthy Savoury Breakfast

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A while back I posted a list of ideas for healthy sweet breakfasts (read here) and then completely to post this sister-post. I think it is by now certainly time to post this long over due content! This list of suggestions is great if you fancy something savoury rather than sweet. These ideas provide different nutritional benefits so if using them to create a meal plan for the week, remember that variety is key! Obviously there are many other healthy, savoury options but these are my top 5 and the ones which I personally have most often.

• Also, a new smoothie recipe will be coming tomorrow, thought I’d take a break from smoothies today! Here’s one from the archives if you’re currently in the mood for one – it’s a refresher smoothie (recipe here). •

Now, let’s get back to breakfast.

Here is the list:

1. Omelette (2 or 3 eggs)

A plain omelette seasoned only with black pepper is an option, but why not spice it up by adding a variety of herbs /or cayenne pepper (I LOVE this stuff for adding a spicy kick to foods) /or chilli powder etc. Add these ingredients to the egg as you whisk it up.

Also, add a little ground turmeric which will enhance the yellow colour of the egg but, more importantly, is a great spice that has surprisingly bountiful health benefits including its anti-flammitory properties and being a powerful antioxidant.

As for fillings, red pepper, sliced courgettes, finely chopped onions, half cherry tomatoes, low-salt cheese, spinach, parma ham, turkey bacon, and kale are all possible options.

Here are some combinations to try:

  • tomato, parma ham, and cheese
  • spinach, tomato, basil, and mozzarella
  • red pepper, spinach and turkey bacon
  • courgettes, mushrooms and red peppers (as seen in the picture below)
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Cooking an omelette

Serve with salad leaves /or rocket or on its own.

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Serving suggestion

Nutrition: This breakfast provides a source of protein from the egg (filling too depending on your choice), benefits from spices, if used, and vitamins from the fillings.


2. Wholemeal toast (2 slices)

Toppings:

  • Avocado (spread a ripe avocado over the toast for a butter-like topping that is full of nutrients)
  • Scrambled egg and smoked salmon or flaked smoked mackerel (a breakfast classic!)
  • Low-fat cream cheese
  • Sliced tomatoes and a twist of cracked black pepper (a refreshing topping)
  • A poached egg (as seen in the photo below)
Egg photo

Poached egg

Or you could use a wholemeal pitta bread if desired.

Nutrition: Wholemeal bread provides a source of fibre while the toppings provide protein, and various nutrients such as omega 3 (salmon) or vitamin E (avocado).


3. Cottage cheese

If in a hurry this requires least preparation and no cooking.

Eat this with:

  • chopped fresh tomatoes
  • fresh finely chopped chives
  • celery
  • peppers
  • pineapple

Nutrition: Cottage cheese is a good low-fat source of protein and is much healthier than hard full-fat cheese. Adding fruit or vegetables adds a source of vitamins


4. A ‘grill-up’’

This is a healthy alternative to a ‘fry-up’ which is grilled rather than fried (obviously), and has healthier substitutes.

Try a combination of grilled turkey bacon (a leaner and healthier alternative to pork bacon), tomatoes, mushrooms and a scrambled egg. If vegetarian, substitute a vegetarian sausage for the bacon. You could also add sweet potato and / or reduced-salt baked beans.

Nutrition: This option provides a protein-rich breakfast.


5. Porridge

Make with just oats and water for a simple healthy breakfast or, alternatively, do what the Romans did (trust me, I have a history degree(!)), and season with herbs.

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Porridge

 

Nutrition: Oats are a great source of slow-release energy and help to lower cholesterol making them a great way to start your day.


For more meal ideas, recipes, and tips follow us Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Have a great day,

Helen x


Disclaimer: Nutritional information has been gained from personal study over the years. I am a graduate of a subject which is not nutrition-based.
Copyright©HLDCblog2015

Smoothie 3: Breakfast smoothie with a kick

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This is the third of my smoothie recipes for the first full week of January. I past two smoothies were the Creamy Green Energy Machine and Tropical Dream.

Today’s smoothie  is a tasty, sweet, cherry and banana smoothie which has the addition of fresh ginger root to give a little kick. The bananas are packed with potassium, the cherries with antioxidants, and the flaxseed with omega 3. Moreover, the oats contain slow-release energy to get you going while the milk gives you calcium. What more could you want to kick start your day?!


Breakfast smoothie with a kick

Ingredients: 

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup semi-skimmed milk (or unsweetened almond / soya milk)
  • 1/3 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2-1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed (find in health food shops)
  • 3 tbsp oats

Optional: 1 tbsp chia seeds (find in health food shops)


Method:

Place everything into a jug and blend with a hand blender until fully combined into fruity deliciousness!

Serve straight away perhaps over some ice if you want a super cooling breakfast.

Have a great day,

Helen x

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 Copyright©HLDCblog 2015.

 

Tropical Dream

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Smoothie 2: Tropical Dream 

Missing the summer sun at all? I may have a quick fix DIY solution… Bring the sun to you, in the form of a sunny smoothie! Ok, so not a real sun, and no heat comes with it, but it looks nice and bright and tastes of the tropics. My mango and banana smoothie is a rich yellow smoothie which is dairy-free and free of any added sugar. It is packed with vitamin C and other nutrients. The flaxseed is an excellent plant-based source of omega 3 and also adds some texture to the smoothie.

Smoothies are a fantastic way of getting towards your 5-a-day of fruit and vegetables. They make great snacks, additions to breakfast, or a work-break drink as they are quick to make and easy to take with you. This is the second in a seriesof smoothie recipes I’m posting to help you all kick off the first month of 2015 in a tasty, healthy way. Check out yesterday’s post for another idea and come back tomorrow for the next smoothie instalment!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped mango
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed (ground linseed)

Makes: 1 glass

Method:

1. Add everything into a blender.

2. Blend until smooth.

Note: The finished smoothie is reasonably thick, so if you’d prefer it thinner, just add a tablespoon to a quarter cup water to thin it down. TIP: Add ice cubes and blend for a slightly thinner and refreshingly cool drink.

*Drink and pretend you’re on a beach in a tropical place bathingin the gorgeous warm sun* 😉Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 15.45.49

Enjoy!

Helen x


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Copyright©HLDCblog2015

Smoothie 1: Creamy Green Energy Machine

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Smoothie 1: Creamy Green Energy Machine

This is a rich, creamy and very filling drink full of energy and nutrients. Bananas are a fantastic source of potassium, vitamins, manganese and fibre. Similarly, avocados are a great source of fibre and vitamins, such as A and E, while, on the other hand, they are also sources of folate and pantothenic acid. The creaminess comes from the creamy, buttery consistency of avocados as well as the soya milk which for some reason gives smoothies a great creaminess which you’d almost think would have to come from cream but in fact is entirely from the soya itself. This makes a great quick breakfast, on-the-go snack, or part of a breakfast. The main ingredients, banana and avocado, successfully provide good nutritional content for both pre and post-workouts making it ideal to drink on the way to the gym or after the gym.


Recipe for: Creamy Green Energy Machine

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a super-ripe avocado
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened soya milk (make sure it is made from non-GM whole soybeans) or use unsweetened almond milk
  • Optional: 1/4 cup water to make it slightly less thick
  • Crushed ice-cubes
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

Method:

1. Remove stone from avocado and scoop flesh out and into a tall jug or a smoothie maker. 2. Add the peeled banana in chunks and pour in the milk If using chia seeds add these too 3. Blitz for a few minutes with a hand blender or smoothie maker until smooth

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Serve as it is, or, if you would like it thinner, add water /or ice-cubes Enjoy the tasty goodness!

Helen x

For more delicious recipes, tantalising food pics, and general foodie fun, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and PinInterest.


Copyright©HLDCblog2015

Winter-Spiced Apples

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Here is a satisfying recipe for a tasty fruity treat that is perfect for tucking into while curled up on the sofa in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s evening. The cinnamon evokes a festive scent which is lovely for getting in the Christmas spirit. It can be served on its own or with a variety of foods.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pink lady apple (cored and cut into slices) [Note: Because we are using an eating, rather than cooking, apple there is no need for the abundance of sugar, or indeed any sugar, to be added as is often the case when cooking with apples]
  • A small amount of coconut oil or low-fat unsalted butter
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

1. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the apple

2. Add the cinnamon

3. Stir, while cooking on a medium heat, until the apple is softened and golden. (Tip: The apple is also really nice while it still has a little crisp to it, so cook for a shorter time if you’d like it that way.)

4. Serve immediately

Serving suggestions:

  • Serve as a topping for granola or porridge
  • Serve as an accompaniment to a mugcake (many healthy mugcake recipes available in my older blog posts) (e.g. my Choco-banana Mugcake)
  • Serve with some Greek yoghurt for a pleasing contrast in temperatures and textures. Serve on its own
Serving suggestion

Serving suggestion


 

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