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.
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8 Healthy no-cook Canapé Ideas

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So it is that time of year once again, New Year’s Eve. It is a time of celebration, reflecting happy memories, and making new memories with family and friends as the preparing for the clock to strike midnight. Here is a selection of simple, healthy, no cook canapé ideas which are ideal for NYE parties, or New Year’s Day snacks and appetisers. Happy celebrating!


 1. Melon and parma ham

Wrap the parma ham around chunks of melon. Use both cantaloupe and honeydew melon for variety.


 2. Quirky crackers and cheese

Crackers are a great ready-prepared snack on there own but can be a bit bland if just served plain. To make a fun canapé, cut slices of cheese and then use a cookie cutter to cut stars or circles, or anything NYE related, to top the cracker.

Optional: Add some chutney or a sun-dried tomato to finish it off.


 3. Smoked salmon and low-fat cream cheese pinwheels

Spread a generous layer of cream cheese over a slice of smoked salmon, sprinkle with a twist of ground black pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Then carefully roll up into a swiss roll type shape. Wrap in cling film and chill for 15-30mins. Finally, carefully slice into bite-sized slices (pin wheels).


 4. Whipped goats cheese-topped bread

Cut star shapes out of herby or olive bakery bread and top with whipped goats cheese and a twist of freshly ground black pepper.


 5. Chocolate swirled strawberries

Melt some high cocoa content dark chocolate (70 to 90% cocoa) and swirl over fresh strawberries.


 6. Tropical fruit kebabs

Alternate cubed fresh mango, papaya, and pineapple on a kebab stick.

Optional: Drizzle with melted dark chocolate


 7. Stuffed cherry tomatoes

Remove the flesh from the tomatoes and stuff with a small basil leave, one drop of balsamic glaze, and a cube of feta cheese.

Go on, try them!

Helen x

For more tasty ideas check out the blog’s social media accounts: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Copyright©Hldcblog2014

 

Top 5 Healthy Foods to Snack On

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Tempted to pick up a handful of crisps, sweets, or pop to the nearest coffee shop to buy a triple chocolate muffin?! Try these healthy options instead. All require no, or virtually no, preparation making them perfect for work breaks and study snacks.


1. Grapes

Why?

  • They are lower in sugar than other fruit such as bananas.
  • They are easy to eat, no sticky fingers or juice going everywhere (a nightmare if you’re busy working away in an office – no one likes sticky keys on a keyboard!)
  • They require virtually no preparation – just be sure to buy the seedless variety for minimal effort.
    Grapes

2. Half an Avocado

Why?

  • It is a power-house of goodness it is good if you’re in both a savoury or sweet mood
  • It can be eaten easily just with a spoon it is filling.
  • Here’s a quick little recipe for a sweet serving idea. 

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3. Nuts

Why?

  • There is no preparation – providing you buy ones already shelled.
  • They are a good source of minerals, vitamins and protein. Although, the high fat content in some nuts can worry people, the fats in the nutritional make-up of nuts are good fats rather than bad. [1]
  • There are many types to choose from including almonds, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts. My favourite are pecans and fresh coconut.

Coconut photo


4. Sliced red pepper, carrot batons, celery and hummus dip

Why?

  • It’s a colourful snack filled with nutrients and easy to eat.
  • Celery, red pepper and carrots are all low-calorie making it a light snack.
  • Celery aids digestion and lowers blood pressure, red peppers are full of antioxidants and vitamins A and C, while carrots give a source of beta-carotene, promoting eye health.

This requires some prep. but works great for preparing in the morning to take to work as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. The different vegetables vary in colour and taste making them appealing to both eyes and tastebuds. This snack got me through many an essay break at university! I used to buy pre-cut carrot batons (lazy, I know) and store-bought hummus too – serving idea [here].


5. Apple and cheese

Why?

  • Apples are a good source of Vitamin C while cheese is a source of protein.
  • It is sweet and savoury – perfect if you can’t decide what mood you’re in (tastebud-wise!)

The snack I had as a child when other kids were eating fries / crisps / sweets etc. My parents have always encouraged a healthy diet. I did love it as a child and I think that’s why I still enjoy it now. Simply chop up an apple and cheese into similar sized cubes and serve as is in a bowl or, if taking to work, place in a sealed snack box with a squeeze of lemon over the apple to stop it from going brown due to oxidisation. To me, it’s the perfect sweet and savoury snack.

  • TIP (from my childhood): Try to end on a piece of cheese as cheese will help get some of the fruity acidity off of your teeth.

Apple and cheese


Enjoy,

Helen x

For more foodie content, check out our Facebook page and Instagram. Any questions, feel free to pop me a Tweet, or comment below!

[1] http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-nuts

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/peppers-health-benefits
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20680738,00.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/24659-health-benefits-raw-celery-juice/
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-celery.html

 

Copyright©Hldcblog2014

Holidays are coming!

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The days are duller, temperatures are colder, and the hours of darkness are increasing by the day. Yes, it’s winter in Scotland, UK! Yet, with this time of year also comes the continually expanding build-up to Christmas meaning the darkness is illuminated by Christmas lights and candles, AND, our sense of smell is tempted by the gorgeous scents of Christmas market food, home cooking and products in supermarkets. Also, our eyes are taunted by the visual delights of festive cooking on the TV. Unfortunately smell-o-visions do not yet exist but when it does, I will be first in line to purchase one! All the festivities cheer me up exponentially. Anyway, the point is that in the upcoming days and weeks I will be posting a variety of festive recipes, meal ideas, serving suggestions, and tips! Stay tuned!

And remember you can also follow me on Twitter: @hldcblog, and Instagram @hcrinstacam

Helen x