Healthy Summer Recipes
Top Nutritional Chef Fiona McDonald Joyce creates some deliciously fabulous recipes exclusively for YOGA Magazine readers. They are fun, sweet and best of all healthy.
CRUNCHY NUT MUESLI
1 dsp flavourless oil
75g whole, rolled porridge oats
1 dsp pumpkin seeds
1 dsp pre-cracked linseeds (eg from the healthy eating aisle of supermarkets, or health food stores)
1 dsp flaked almonds
1 dsp desiccated coconut
1 tbsp Perfect Sweet
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
Most shop-bought mueslis are packed with wheat (which is hard to digest) and added sugar (or use dried fruits which are very concentrated sources of sugar). This quick granola style muesli uses oats and nuts to provide fibre and low GI/GL carbs as well as essential fats and minerals. Serve with live yoghurt rather than milk as the probiotic bacteria in live yoghurt is very good for digestion.
Add some chopped fresh fruit for extra natural sweetness and flavour as well as vitamins and fibre. Instead of sugar this recipe uses Perfect Sweet, a natural sugar substitute whose sole ingredient is xylitol, which has fewer calories than sugar, much less available carbohydrates and a GI value of just 7.
1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (it is worth making up a big batch of this in advance and storing in an airtight container).
2. Gently heat the oil in a frying pan and add the Perfect Sweet. Stir and add the dry ingredients. Stir slowly for a couple of minutes as the mixture starts to turn golden and the oats crispen – it should look (and taste) like flapjack mixture. Don’t let the heat become too fierce or cook the mixture for too long as the nuts will scorch and their delicate essential fats will spoil.
3. Serve topped with yoghurt and fruit.
APPLE AND ALMOND CAKE
2 large Bramley (cooking) apples (around 500g in total), unpeeled, cored and diced
1 tsp lemon juice
3 organic or free range medium eggs
150g Perfect Sweet
250g ground almonds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
40g flaked almonds for sprinkling on top
This delicious, moist cake can be enjoyed with a clean conscience as it has a very low GI/GL and contains no wheat or flour, sugar or fat and is packed with protein, calcium and fibre. Instead of sugar this recipe relies on Perfect Sweet for its sweetness, a natural sugar substitute whose sole ingredient is xylitol, whic has fewer calories and carbohydrates than sugar and a GI value of just 7.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a cake tin (20cm/8 inch) with baking paper and grease the sides with a little oil or butter.
2. Place the apple and lemon juice in a saucepan and simmer, covered, until the fruit softens but still retains some chunks. Place in a mixing bowl and stir in the ground almonds, cinnamon and baking powder. Set to one side.
3. Beat the eggs and Perfect Sweet in a clean mixing bowl until they become pale and creamy and start to thicken slightly (the whisk should leave a trail when lifted out of the mixture).
4. Gradually fold the apple and almond mixture into the beaten egg, using a metal tablespoon, taking care not to knock all of the air out of the egg. (This is easiest done by drawing a figure of eight shape with the spoon as you fold).
5. Quickly pour the cake mix into the prepared tin, sprinkle with the remaining flaked almonds on top and bake for around 45-55 minutes (cover the top with kitchen foil towards the end of cooking to prevent the almonds from scorching if necessary). The cake is so soft and squidgy that a skewer inserted may not come out completely clean, but when it is done the top should be golden and fairly firm to the touch.
6. Serve warm with custard (made with Perfect Sweet instead of sugar) for pudding or allow to cool and have a slice for tea. Store in an airtight container or freeze.
FRUIT COMPOTE WITH YOGHURT
Your choice of fruit, such as 1 Bramley apple or 2 pears, 6 plums or apricots, cored/stoned and chopped
1-2 tbsp of water
Perfect Sweet to taste Ground cinnamon or ginger to taste (optional)
300g organic, live natural yoghurt
Take advantage of the glut of British fruit available in the summer and stew them to make delicious, fibre and vitamin packed compotes.
1. Place the fruit in a saucepan and add a splash of water, then simmer gently, covered for
around 5 minutes, or until the fruit softens.
2. Taste and sweeten to taste with Perfect Sweet. You could also add some ground ginger or
cinnamon for added flavour.
3. Allow to cool then serve with yoghurt, or over the Crunchy Nut Muesli recipe above.
SUMMER BERRY BLITZ
1 large punnet of berries (eg blueberries, raspberries or strawberries), washed and hulled if necessary Perfect Sweet to taste
Summer berries make brilliant fat free, sugar free sauces for ice cream that are also packed with vitamins and immune-boosting antioxidants, but they can be a little tart. Sweeten them with Perfect Sweet for a sin-free summer pudding.
Blitz the berries with a hand held blender until smooth, and add in a little Perfect Sweet to taste. Serve over vanilla ice cream, or live natural yoghurt with sliced banana.
CHOCOLATE MARZIPAN TRUFFLES
Makes around 6 truffles.
25g good quality dark chocolate, roughly broken into pieces
2 heaped tbsp flaked almonds, finely chopped
For the marzipan:
65g ground almonds
15g Perfect Sweet
2 organic, free range egg yolks (Tip: keep the whites in the fridge & add to omelettes for a very light, high protein omelet: use two whole eggs and one white per person)
2 drops almond essence (not artificial flavour)
Because this recipe contains raw egg, always choose organic or at the very least free-range eggs to reduce the likelihood of salmonella contamination, and do not serve to pregnant women, young children, the elderly or infirm.
Sounds decadent but these truffles are surprisingly nutritious: the almonds provide calcium and magnesium for healthy bones and the egg provides valuable protein, zinc and B vitamins for energy. Sweetening the marzipan with Perfect Sweet means that this is a protein rich, low GI/GL treat that can be enjoyed by anyone who has a sweet tooth but is watching their weight. Choose good quality dark chocolate as it is low in sugar and high in magnesium.
1. Line a baking tray or large plate with greaseproof paper and place the chopped almonds on a flat plate or chopping board.
2. Gently melt the chocolate over a bain marie (half fill a saucepan with water and let simmer. Place the chocolate in a bowl on the saucepan, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, and let the chocolate gently melt over the heat, stirring occasionally). Meanwhile, make the marzipan paste:
3. Mix the ground almonds, almond extract, Perfect Sweet and egg yolks together until they form a smooth paste.
4. Roll the marzipan into small balls and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle a teaspoonful of melted chocolate over each ball. Sprinkle the nuts over the top of each truffle.
5. Chill in the fridge for around 30-45 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.
6. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a ribbon to make an impressive home-made present, or serve as petit fours after a dinner party. Store in a cool, dry place..
Fiona has advised government and industry leaders on healthy eating initiatives and is regularly consulted by the media as a nutrition and cookery expert (including the BBC, The Times and best-selling nutrition writer Patrick Holford). Her cookbook (co-authored with Patrick Holford) and events have already received considerable acclaim.
The recipes and photography were supplied by Healthy by Nature Ltd. The company was born in late 2005 after a small group of individuals, concerned about the number of so called ‘health products’ appearing on the market, decided to start a company that would try and bring products to the shop shelves that were both natural and tasty, but did not cut corners on health.
They began their search for products by addressing the fact that our diets contain too much sugar and the only other real option on the supermarket shelves for those wanting to cut down on sugar, but still enjoy sweet foods, are artificial sweeteners, which carry their own set of health concerns.
So after much research the company launched its first product Perfect Sweet, a natural and healthy sugar alternative, to much acclaim at the end of last year.