Healthy week recipes
This is an easy to eat muesli that does not break your teeth and is a pleasure to eat. In our house we love to make this wholesome muesli because who ever is making it earns the perk of nibbling on the toffee flavoured dried apricots and sticky dates. For the best flavour use organic apricots. These have not been subjected to treatment with sulphur dioxide, a preservative used to keep the orange colour of apricots. This preservative keeps the colour of the apricots but destroys the flavour. I prefer the dark amber appearance and flavour of apricots dried naturally. This muesli provides a great start to the day by providing one of serving of fruit (dried fruit counts as one serving), an excellent mix of fibre for good bowel health and is satisfying enough to keep hunger away until lunchtime. The oats contain a complex polysaccharide called beta glucan which provides the gut with soluble fibre to help good digestion. Beta glucan is a type of prebiotic which help to create the right balance of bacteria in the gut.
Makes 38, 75g portions
1.5kg bag of rolled oats
500g organic apricots
500g organic dates
200g pumpkin seeds
125g desiccated coconut
Serve with either semi-skimmed milk or fruit juice and chopped fresh fruit such as a banana.
Roughly chop the apricots either using a pair of scissors, knife or food processor and add to the oats. Repeat with the dates, although these can be tougher to chop in a food processor. Add the pumpkin seeds and coconut and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
Alternatives to the pumpkin seeds can be either walnuts or pecan nuts which both work very well with dates. Nuts can become rancid as they age so be mindful of the best before date on their packet. Try to be selective about the ingredients you use so as to capture complimentary flavours and textures. Remember less is sometimes more.
Stuck for what to eat for breakfast? Make sure there is always some good quality muesli on hand to provide a burst of nutrients to start the day. The original concept for muesli was devised by Dr. Bircher in 1887 in Switzerland at his diet clinic. Bircher-Muesli went on to become a Swiss national tradition and is made from oats, chopped fresh fruit, nuts and yogurt.
Makes 6 servings
150g natural yogurt
300g rolled oats
1 tbsp runny honey
½ lemon, squeezed
2 grated apples
2 bananas, peeled and chopped
50g either blueberries, strawberries or blackcurrants or a combination
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Squeeze lemon juice into a separate bowl and add to the grated apples and chopped bananas. Leave this mix overnight in the fridge. The following morning add your selection of berries to the mixture by gently stirring in. Serve in bowls and add more fresh soft fruit to garnish.
This is the closest thing to sunshine in the cool winter months. Pineapples are great value for money and they are just so sweet and flavoursome. This smoothie has quite a thick texture which makes it a very satisfying breakfast drink to accompany muesli and staves off hunger pangs until lunch time. A pineapple can be cut up into chunks and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several days. It can also be frozen in chunks which can taken out and liquidized as required. This adds an extra refreshing dimension to this drink. Research has shown that thick viscous drinks stave off hunger for longer than thin watery drinks containing the same number of calories.
1 ring of pinapple 2 cm think
1 ripe banana
juice of 1 large orange
100-200ml cool carbonated mineral water
Place the pineapple and the banana in the goblet of a liquidizer and process for 30 seconds. Add the orange juice and process for another 10 seconds. Add mineral water and give the drink a final wiz. Pour into two glasses and enjoy this nutritious smoothie.