Thick + Creamy Quin-pear Porridge – gf, df

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If you have lived or visited Melbourne, Australia you would know how the weather is (a big 4 seasonal ball of shitty and dress ups) and today is no different because currently, it is pouring down and my brand new (!!) socks are saturated and soggy! Ugh, God dahm it, I just put them on too!

But, if its possible to love ONE thing about bipolar weather, it’s the opportunity to always enjoy warm, creamy hot food – like a pot of all-year-round pumpkin soup, gluten-free carrot and walnut cake, to die for crispy sweet potato fries, or a stack of gluten-free blueberry pancakes.

This morning I managed to just escape the rain and cold to take a photo of Quin-pear Porridge, which I devoured in under a minute, so thank god the few I got turned out okay! This one is for my GLUTEN FREE and DAIRY FREE lovers….

Quin-pear Pudding

Serves: 1        Time: 5-10minutes

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Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup quinoa flakes (protein)
  • 125 ml almond milk (calcium, vitamin D)
  • 1 mashed banana (potassium and electrolytes)

Optional:

  • 1 scoop protein powder (I use Amazonia)
  • ½ tsp cacao powder

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and heat until warm, thick and creamy.

Happy Hump Day, Naturers!

K x

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Fat-Soluble Vitamin Breakdown: Functions + Sources

*** Warning: this article does contain some graphic, yet interesting, images. Continue reading at your own fascination. 

Vitamins, along with minerals, are an essential part of our diet and are the basic tools of nutrition. As a nutritionist and naturopath in training, knowing the function and roles of both types of vitamins are important. Especially when it comes to clinic consultations as clients symptoms can often present as a nutrient deficiency or toxicity.

The functions and actions of vitamins are also important in particular diseases or syndromes because some conditions need to avoid particular vitamins and foods. Eg- somebody with gallstones should avoid fat in their diet as they aggregate the gallbladder and cause further pain.

With that in mind, I thought it would be cool to breakdown vitamins, why they are important to include into our diet and where we can find them.

I plan on posting in 2 parts: fat soluble vitamins followed by water soluble vitamins. And maybe a minerals and metals post aswell… but for now, meet my (delicious) friends VITAMINS….

WHAT ARE VITAMINS?

Vitamins are essential micro-nutrients your body needs in small amounts. They are classified as either fat-soluble (A, D, E, K) or water-soluble (B’s, C) and are primarily obtained through a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, though they can be found in meat, fish and other animal derived foods.

TYPES/ FUNCTION/ DIETARY SOURCES

Fat-soluble Vitamins

  • vitamins A, D, E, K (DEKA is an easy way to remember)
  • needed in small amounts for normal function, growth and maintenance of body tissues
  • found in plant and animal sources
  • are not needed on a daily basis as they stay in the body for a longer period of time than WS vitamins, and any excess from consumption are stored in the liver and fatty tissues when not used
  • mega doses can be toxic (hypervitaminosis) and cause health issues/complications
  • can be lost if food is over cooked or stored incorrectly

ABSORPTION

Once ingested, fat-soluble vitamins travel to the stomach to be digested and then into the small intestine for further digestion. It is here where Bile (made in the liver, stored in the gallbladder) enters the small intestine to breakdown the fats. The nutrients are then absorbed by villi lining (they look like fingers) the small intestiScreen Shot 2015-04-27 at 3.28.29 pmne walls, and enter lymph vessels (filter and transport fluid away from organs) into the blood stream, to be used for maintenance of body functions and energy.  Once the body has used what it needs, excess vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues until the body requires more, where they are released from the liver into the bloodstream to begin the cycle again.

 

VITAMIN A (Retinol): essential for healthy eye sight; regulation of immune health; repair and maintenance of cells; healthy skin, hair and nails; supports mucous membrane moistness for lungs, throat, mouth and nose; and acts as an antioxidant against free radicals

Dietary sources: dark green and yellow/orange vegetables and yellow fruits like mangoes, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes; beef liver; eggs and butter.

Deficiency: protein malnutrition (kwashiorkor/marasmus), night blindness, broken fingernails, rough/dry skin, halted growth in children.

 

VITAMIN D:  has a very important and crucial role utilizing and absorbing calcium and phosphate for healthy bones and function of nearly, if not all, body processes including immune health and cell growth. It also stimulates insulin production and is synthesised by the skin when exposed to sunlight, so make sure you are getting aleast 20 minutes outdoors!

Dietary sources: whole eggs, liver, salmon, milk including soy and almond, cheese, mushrooms,

Deficiency: poor immune health, muscle weakness, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, rickets, malabsorption, weak bones, high blood pressure, increase change of infections, insomnia, poor detoxification and low stomach acid


VITAMIN E:
protects tissues and cells from oxidation (acts as an antioxidant), reduces inflammation, protects vitamin A in eyes from degenerating, immune booster, hormone regulator and is responsible for healthy and efficient blood circulation.

Dietary sources: green leafy vegetables; avocado; cod; shrimp; tofu; nuts, grains and legumes; wheat germ; spinach; sunflower seeds.

Deficiency: often associated with fat malabsorption and poor nerve conduction. low birth weight, stunted or slow growth in infants, age spots (also with age), cataracts (pupil become coloured), decreased sex drive, hair loss, slow wound healing, muscle weakness.

 

VITAMIN K:  primary role is to synthesize blood clotting formation to stop bleeding from open wounds; used to manage osteoporosis as it works together with calcium to promote healthy bone formation; and synthesis proteins found in the liver, bones and plasma for energy. 

Dietary sources: broccoli, brussel sprouts and green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale, lettuce; organ meats like liver; eggs; diary products and cauliflower, bone broth.

Deficiency: often seen in infants. increased blood loss, caused by blood thinning medications such as warfarin, malabsorption, low bone density- osteoporosis, easy bruising, extremely heavy menstrual bleeding, frequent nose bleeds, bleeding gums.

 

NOTE: For some people, supplements may need to be taken to correct nutrient inadequacy or improper nutrition. This, of course, should be approved by a health care professional to avoid any chance of over nutrition and toxicity.

Keep your eye out for Part 2: Water-Soluble Vitamin Breakdown: Functions + Sources on Instagram and Facebook

 

Yours in health

Kaelli, x

instagram.com/bodyofnature

Facebook.com/BodyOfNatureNutrition 

Sunday Lunch’ – Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

I want to eat nothing but sweet potato chips for the rest of my life.

Seriously, these are so. addictive.  Sweet and full of flavour, all in the one bite. Very irresistible.

They are pretty hot in the nutritional value department too. One small sweet potato (100g) provides an excellent amount of:

  • iron – red blood cell production and strengthens immunity
  • magnesium – relaxation and anti-stress
  • calcium – all body functions
  • vitamin C – immune health and healthy skin (supports collagen growth)
  • potassium – regulate heart beat and muscle contraction
  • fibre – 2x more than oats
  • vitamin A – health eye sight, skin, strong joints, immune function, egg reproduction

AND their  natural sugars are slowly released into the bloodstream, helping to ensure a balanced and regular source of energy, without the blood sugar spikes linked to fatigue, weight gain and diabetes…. I knew they were ranked the #1 vegetable for a reason!

Sweet Potato Fries

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Eat time: 10 seconds

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Eat time: 10 seconds | Serves: 1-2 depending

Ingredients:

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt
  • herbs and spices – I used all spice, turmeric,

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 oC. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into sticks . Try and make sure they are cut similar so they can cook evenly.
  2. Toss the uncooked fries in a mixing bowl or bag with herbs and spices, salt and olive oil until evenly coated.
  3. Prepare a dark baking tray with non-stick baking paper and foil and arrange fries so they aren’t over crowded or bundled so they can crisp up.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes on one side then flip them (i found a spatula works best) and bake for a further 10 minutes until they are slightly brown and puffed.
  5. Remove from the oven and enjoy hot on their own, as a side with protein or dipped into homemade guacamole.

Volia! Sweet potato fries are now ready! Enjoy, and remember.. I did warn you they’re addictive…… 

Please let me know how you go if you are making them. I’d love to hear if you did anything different (i.e.: add different herbs) and  if YOU got addicted! 🙂 Leave a comment below, tag #bodyofnature on Instagram or post on BON Facebook wall.

Yours eating sweet potato chips right now,

Kaelli X

CARROT AND WALNUT CAKE – gf, df, v

I love baking on weekends when I have finished study, or on the rare occasion, sitting around twiddling my thumbs. And today is no different, except that I’m cooking out of procrastination rather than studying…. with no guilt at all!….. Okay, maybe I do feel a little guilty but its like this…. Would you rather write eight  + four case studies on diseases and conditions found in the body OR cook sweets? Id go sweets anyday baby.

Mine looked like slop so heres an attractive shot, courtesy of my pal Google.

My family was too hungry and ate half the cake (pigs) before I could take a picture, so heres an attractive and uneaten shot, courtesy of my gal pal Google.

Carrots are tasty things. But what do you do when you have way too many? Bake a  CARROT AND WALNUT CAKE.  I was going to make two versions:  a loaf and muffins but then I thought about the amount of dishes and appliances I’d have to wash and just stuck with the loaf! Haha

Health Benefits of Carrots 

Carrots are a great ingredient to add to your cakes, desserts, breakfast, dinner because they are one of the richest sources of Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is great for your vision and helping to boost your immune system. It is also an antioxidant which can help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Carrots are rich in fibre, low in calories and available all year round. 

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Icing- I personally don’t think icing is needed because it is already sweet enough with the medjool dates, but incase you like it the traditional way:

  • Dairy Free Icing: whip 1 cup of coconut cream until thick, add 1 teaspoon of carrot gratings and cinnamon
  • HIGH protein (and dairy) icing:  mix 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 tablespoon almond milk, ½ cup greek yoghurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract. 

Of course, with allergies and intolerance’s myself,  this recipe  is Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free and Vegan friendly, so its perfect for everybody and makes a delicious treat for breakfast or a sunday afternoon tea snack with a cup of herbal tea.

Carrot and Walnut Cake 

Quick Note: Leftovers can be frozen up to 4 months.

Mine looked like slop so heres an attractive shot, courtesy of my pal Google.

Cooking Time: 40 minutes | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas, fresh or frozen
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 1.5 Cup buckwheat flour (or any other gluten-free flour)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 3 carrots, grated with skin on for fibre
  • 3 flax or chia eggs (3 tbsp seed mixed with 8 tbls water- it replaces eggs)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C
  2. In a food processor, mix the wet ingredients: bananas, coconut oil and medjool dates until smooth and combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients: buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger.  Add and mix in wet ingredients with flax egg, then carrots and ½ of chopped walnuts.
  4. Pour mixture into a load pan (or cupcake moulds until half full) and top with remaining walnuts.
  5. Bake loaf for 40-50 minutes (checking every five minutes after 40 minutes with skewer- if wet leave in longer, if dry, cooked) or muffins for 20-30 and let cool for 10 minutes on a cooling rack. NOTE: Make sure the loaf is completely cold if you’re icing!
  6. Serve warm or cold (warm is best) and ENJOY!

Yours in health,

Kaelli, x

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My Easter Traditions + 5 Recipes

Birds are chirping, trees are starting to bloom, lent is nearly over and bunnies are starting to appear everywhere, which only means one thing…. Easter is coming!

It has almost become a tradition every Good Friday to have lunch with my family at Barwon Heads Beach where my nan has a caravan, but this year everyone’s separated. My dad is at the family holiday house in Phillip Island with his best mate and kids, my mum is in hospital, I’m at home studying and blogging and my twin and brothers are still asleep (its 12:12pm). I’m a little upset we all aren’t together because I cherish family time like a batch of chocolate brownies and bowl of dairy free ice-cream, but I guess some things happen you can’t control and instead of dwelling over it, you just have to pick the positives and roll with it.

And thats what I’m about to do.

Whenever I feel like I need some alone time or a place to relax, I head straight to the kitchen and cook. Its my space to meditate and it’s where things (creations) happen. I’m not much of a chocolate eater but when it comes to Easter, chocolate is my #1 ingredient.

Unfortunately  this year leading up to Easter I’ve been busy seeing my mum every few days in hospital whilst studying and organising my trip overseas in July, I haven’t had the chance to prepare or cook anything easter themed, so I’ve decided to feature my top 5 favourite easter recipes from other bloggers instead, in no particular order. Click the picture for the recipe.

#5: Colourful Devilled Eggs by foodjimotto 

easter eggs w: hummus

My changes: I would replace the ½ cup mayonnaise with hummus.

#4: Peanut Butter Cups by thegraciouspantry 

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My changes: cacao powder instead of cocoa. Why? read here.

#3:  Raw Dairy Free Chocolate by bodyofnature

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#2:  Raw Fig, Cherry, Lavender and Honey Cake by Ascention Kitchen 

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My thought: I would use almond milk as the nut milk and make sure the cashews are raw.

#1: Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns by thehealthychef 

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I hope everyone has a great Good Friday today. I will be watching the Good Friday Appeal and looking out for my name and donation scroll across the screen! If you would like to join me, you can donate here.

Have a Happy Easter everybody!

E N J O Y 

For more, follow me: instagram.com/bodyofnature