Not Bad Banana Bread

And by not bad, I mean bloody brilliant. 

(Thank you @maverickbeanco for introducing me to Quinoa’s cousin. We get along very well).

Meet LUPIN. The next superfood you need to know about. Thanks to old mate, this BB is gluten-free, super high in protein and fibre, low in carbohydrates and zero saturated fats… but I can ensure that it is full of taste, stunning texture, natural energy and overloaded with nutrients.

(MWA – love u Lupin)

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 200g Lupin flour
  • 2 heaped tbsp LSA, Psyllium Husk or Ground Flaxseed
  • Optional: 1 heaped tbsp Monk Fruit/Stevia (if you want to make it taste like that sweet store bought banana bread!)
  • 2 heaped tbsp raisins or sultanas
  • 1/4 cup granola, mixed seeds & nuts or Muesli mix for the topping and base.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170C
  2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper (approx 26 x 11cm)
  3. Mix the smashed banana, eggs, honey, olive oil, baking soda and lemon/lime juice.
  4. Stir in the Lupin Flour and LSA/Psyllium.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Fold in the sultanas/raisins.
  7. Sprinkle half of the granola/seed mix into the base of the lined tin.
  8. Transfer the banana bread mixture on top of the granola/seeds, into the lined tin (this will ensure a crunchy base AND topping)
  9. Sprinkle the remaining granola/seed mix on top of the mixture
  10. Bake for 45-60 minutes (checking after 35mins every 5-10 mins with a skewer).
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the tin.
  12. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature, or covered in the fridge for up to 7 days!

NOTE: Covering the loaf with foil whilst baking will stop it from browning and burning too fast if you can see the bread overcooking.

NOTE 2: I love storing half of my loaf in the freezer so that I can save it for when guests come over!

NOTE 3: It can be fun to decorate the top of your loaf in various ways – granola, nuts, seeds, or even a sliced banana for a worthy Instagram pic (hash-tagging #flavourfoodflow of course!)

5 Benefits of Stretching Everyday

“I should stretch more” 
“I need to do more yoga”
“It’s time to book a massage…”

Sound familiar?
Then read on…

Stretching is the new hot topic in the health and wellness sphere.
But WHY?
Because it is a life-long habit that provides endless benefits. From better digestion to full-body flexibility, say goodbye to lower back pain and repetitive stress injuries.
The best part is that now there are places like Stretch Studio in Sydney’s Double Bay, where you can have a professional stretcher called a Flexologist assist you with a full body stretch! They are specially trained in the art of assisted stretching (um, cool?), and taught how to match the resistance of each client, knowing how far to stretch them and when to stop (which I highly regard).

It honestly is the best way to achieve a deeper, more controlled stretch that just feels so damn great!

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  1. Flexibility

Sounds obvious, but there is more to flexibility than simply lifting your leg behind your head! Flexibility can help to reduce constant muscle pain, and decrease your risk of injury. Tara Romeo, CSCS, assistant director of the Professional Athletic Performance Center in New York says “believe it or not, back pain may come from tight hamstrings”. Tight hamstring muscles can affect the status of your lower back and spine health, causing repetitive pain and discomfort.

On the other hand, flexibility can help to reduce your risk of injury. Whether it be through playing sport, a gym class, Pilates or a run on the beach, the more flexible you are, the softer and more supple your muscles are. Whereas tight muscles mean less room to move, increasing the chance of tearing when overused or overstressed.

  1. Posture

We all want to age gracefully on the inside AND the outside. So many of us spend lots of dollars on skin products, hair and nail treatments, all the effort to keep our outside looking fresh and clean! However, so often we forget the importance of posture and how much it impacts our ageing process – physically AND mentally.

Posture is more than simply sitting up tall with your shoulders rolled down your back – it is about correctly aligning your spin to allow the free flow of oxygen, proper functioning of your vital organs and muscle activation. Bad posture is the result of tight muscles, which is ultimately the result of muscle weakness.

  1. Increased Energy levels

There is a reason why people attend health and yoga retreats – the days are full of relaxation, moving meditation, stretch sessions – leaving you feeling energised and reawakened. Stretching, whether it be assisted or on your own, helps to soften the muscles, allowing for extra blood flow and oxygen to travel around the body. The oxygen and blood can move more freely around the muscles and internal pathways, getting rid of any unnecessary dust that might make you feel drowsy, tight and overworked.
Stretching first thing in the morning also helps to wake up the nervous system, gently shocking the body after being reclined and still for a solid 8-9 hours. Our body naturally slows down over night as it concentrates on the important internal tasks such as digestion, recovery and cell rejuvenation. However, this means that it needs an extra bit of “oomph” in the morning to get going, hence why a morning stretch as you first wake up feels so damn good! It is also why practicing a stretch session such as yoga on an empty stomach when you wake, is the best time also!

  1. Better Digestion

Sooooo many of our digestive issues can stem from a tight and unhappy muscular system. Tight hamstrings can lead to belly issues, a sore back can aggravate your gut and tense shoulders will cause you to hunch over, which may also disrupt digestion.

Forward folds with a gentle bend to your knees can help to relieve trapped flatulence (glamorous word for gas), that essentially causes sharp pain, hard bellies and unwanted bloating. Laying supine (on your back), hugging your knees into your chest either simultaneously or one after the other, can also help to stretch our the lower back, relax the belly and relieve the muscles that surround the digestive tract.
3 years ago, I found the practice of Yoga – originally, it was for 2 reasons: to help clear the mind, and to help stimulate my digestive system after multiple years of issues, pain and irritation. Yoga has seriously changed my life, especially when it comes to my digestive health. If I ever feel my belly becoming aggravated, bloated or gassy (sorry not sorry), I perform a few sun salutations that involve a stretch of the entire system, specifically in my front and back side body.

  1. Decreased Water Retention

Have you ever noticed your face and fingers puff up whenever you are stressed, overworked and tired? That may be your body holding onto the water within your system, rather than circulating it around.
Stretching, like it does for oxygen and blood, helps to soften the muscles and surrounding tissues, allowing for an easier movement of water around the body. Water retention in the body can make us feel uncomfortable in the skin we are in, causing you to feel puffy, heavy and sluggish – no thank you!

Assisted or individual stretching helps to alleviate any blocked pathways that inhibit a smooth flow of water around your internal system – which may also help to circulate the nutrients and vitamins that we consume, ensuring they get to the necessary places!

 

 

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Home-made Hazelnut Spread

Move over Nutella, no room for you here.

Home-made Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread, using nothing but the beauty of natural ingredients.

Whenever I am walking home from the bus stop, I always detour via Scoop Wholefoods in Mosman. I browse for about 10 minutes, as I source out at least $5 worth of goodies due to the Eftpos minimum ha!

However it is worth it. Each time, I leave with different ingredients, eager to get home and whip up a storm in my kitchen!

Today was a Nut Day; hazelnut and macadamia 

Something a little diverse, and certainly something a little tasty.  

When you buy nuts, you can do one of 2 things.

  1. Store them in an air-tight jar in the fridge for snack purposes
  2. Blend up a Nut Butter Creation!

I always choose 2.  



Not-ella Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 heaped tbsp cacao powder
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • Cacao nibs

Method

  • Blend the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely chopped
  • Melt the honey and coconut oil, adding into the Nut mixture
  • Add 1 tbsp water, blend
  • Add the cacao powder, blend
  • Add the rest of the water & cacao nibs
  • Blend until a smooth, rich and fluffy texture forms – depending on your blender, you may need more wet ingredients for a smoother consistency. However, if you like your nut spread crunchy, then adapt to suit your preference!

Enjoy xx

Private Yoga Class with your Gal Pal

Is it your best friends Birthday coming up? 

Or are you interested in a Private Yoga Class with you and your best girl friend?

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A 60 or 90 Minute Vinyasa Flow Style Practice, including:

  • Yoga Mats and Towels
  • Music
  • Healthy tasty snacks
  • Water
  • Good Vibes and Relaxation
  • Photographs (optional)

SYDNEY AUSTRALIA LOCATION ONLY

(Please Contact me in regards to Pricing$)

flavourfoodflow@gmail.com

 

Green Smoothie

This morning I woke up and realised just how much I was craving a Green Smoothie
SO i honestly insist that I share the recipe with you:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leafy greens
  • 1-1 and 1/4 cup nut milk or coconut water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp psyllium husk (fibre baby)
  • 1/4 cup crushed ice

Method

  • Blend it all together
  • ENJOY 🙂
  • Wash up all the dishes

TIP: I like to use Kale more than I do spinach, purely for the taste. If you’re using kale, not only be sure to wash the leaves, but also remove the stems (as they taste incredibly bitter!)

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Saucha Sundays

A touch of purity and an element of clearness… awaken your inner mind through bringing ‘Saucha’ into your life.

But hold up…  “what even is Saucha?”
Put simply, Saucha is one of the five Niyamas, stemming from Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. It often translates as ‘cleanliness’, however not only physical cleanness (like a tidy room), but also an awakening of your inner mind.

Saucha is much more than just #YogaTalk… Incorporating Saucha into our everday life allows us to arrive on our mats with focus, but also aids us towards being healthier, happier and more aware.

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HOW TO bring some Saucha into your life this Sunday…

Fresh & Clean Food

  1. Clean out the pantry of any processed, sugar-overloaded, expired CR@P!
    • Your body is your body, and we were only given one, so treat it well. Toxins and chemicals in our food can severely impact the way we feel physically, but also the way we think (for example, certain additives in food can create imbalances with our hormones, causing unnecessary mood swings).
  2. Clean out the fridge, and stock it with FRESH produce;
    • Like I suggested with the Pantry, clean out the fridge of any sauces, take away meals, high sodium foods that you know deep down your body will not enjoy in the long run.
    • Before you restock it, give it a good wipe down! All you need is a warm sponge, some white vinegar, eucalyptus oil or natural soap. Kill that bacteria – your body has enough of it growing inside you already.
    • Load it with fresh produce (organic where possible) from your local market, rinsing and storing it in such a way that keeps it preserved and fresh/alive for as long as possible.
  3. Cook once, eat twice;
    • Prep for the next day(s), depending on your weekly schedule.
    • The best way to preserve your perishable goodies is by ‘partially cooking’ them, and storing them in the freezer in freeze bags or glass containers. This means baking or steaming things like sweet potato, beetroot, pumpkin etc so they’re about 70-80% cooked. Allow to cool before storing in the freezer for later. This also makes it super easy and quick to whip up a delicious dinner dish when you come home from work (and cooking is the last thing on your mind…)
    • Making a salad, vegetable curry, soup or even loaded a quiche with lots of vegetables is another perfect way to utilise your goods. But don’t simply cook for one nights meal, make enough to last 1-3 days maximum (as leftovers are not only the easiest, but also the tastiest ‘next-day’ lunch option!)

A clean SPACE

  1. And by space, I emphasise your Bedroom;
    • It’s a place where you not only sleep, but hopes and dreams are also made and created. Lets start by OPENING up your windows, your balcony door, your bedroom door… allow fresh, clean and pure air to enter your room.
  2. See all those clothes on the floor, or on that chair?
    • Are they even clean, or are they dirty? How about all those tea cups or snack plates from the apple you ate earlier this morn… Yep, lets get rid of it all! Toss the dirty clothes in the wash and fold the clean ones up and pop in your wardrobe. Take the dirty dishes to the kitchen to be washed by hand (or a dishwasher if you’re lucky). Whilst you’re at it, grab the vacuum, broom, dust pan and/or duster, and give the entire place an old classic wipe down! With more space to work with now that all your junk is gone, you can thoroughly rid yourself of that excess dust gathering on the books sitting on your bedside-table.
  3. Change your sheets;
    • Even if you washed them a few days ago, lets be extra ‘Saucha’ today and pop them in the wash alongside your clothes. A dirty pillowcase is a strong contributor to troubled skin, especially if you’re someone who is prone to breakouts and has oily skin. I recommend changing your pillow case every 3-4 days, and sheets at least 1 or 2 times a week.
  4. Candles, incense, essential oils, flowers;
    • These are all great options to bring beautiful smells and clean air into your room naturally, without the nasty chemicals. They not only smell fantastic, but they really jazz up the interior of your room too!

A clean BODY & a clean MAT

  1. Take a shower before yoga, and wash your hair;
    • It may sound silly, especially for anyone practices in a heated room or just gets super sweaty, but trust me, it feels amazing. Clean sweat is much nicer than dirty sweat, especially when you’re wearing clean yoga clothes! Rocking up to yoga with freshly clean, wet hair has an incredibly cooling and purifying effect on you whilst you practice… it’s also better for your hair follicles to dry naturally than applying heat from a blowdryer, so it’s technically a win-win situation.
  2. Clean your mat;
    • We often wipe down our mats before and after practice, but the sponges we use are often communal, and therefore your mat is not necessarily getting the proper clean that it needs. Today, let’s give your mat a proper scrub before you leave home to practice – natural disinfectants like eucalyptus oil diluted in warm water works like a charm.
    • If your mat is at the studio, be sure to give it a sponge with the communal tools on offer, but after class today, let’s take your mat home. Take time this week before you next practice to give it a thorough clean, and clear away any built up muck and not-so-nice smells.

A clean MIND

  1. End your day with some self-love;
    • Whether that be a solo evening walk listening to relaxing tunes, or a bubble bath with essential oils and soothing fragrances, be sure to take the time to rest and unwind.
  2.  Meditation;
    • Bring your focus on affirmations such as “I am healthy” or “I am happy”, as these can really help to cement this new Saucha aspect into your daily life. Focusing the mind through Pranayama (breath work) is also another way to reach inner clarity.
  3. An early nights sleep;
    • Sleeping is where the magic happens – where our body soaks in all the goodness of the day, and makes way for new great opportunities to enter. So give your body all the time it needs in order to recharge for the week ahead.

 

Happy Saucha Sunday xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…

Did you know that salt water actually has a healing effect on the body? 

“Hippocrates first used the word ‘thalassotherapy‘ to describe the healing effects of seawater, according to Pacific Naturopathic. Ancient Greeks appreciated the health and beauty benefits of this mineral-rich water and bathed and soaked in seawater-filled pools and hot tubs.” (Live strong)

 
Through simply popping on your swimmers and diving into the water, you can help improve your skin smoothness, any blemishes or pimples, mental health, digestive system and more!

  
Salt –  Also known as Sodium Chloride, did you know that it acts as an incredible clearing, and cleansing agent. Switch from your harsh chemical based products, and introduce a morning swim in the ocean to help cure your skin issues! 

Water Fitness – Whilst it may seem obvious, swimming at the beach will help you keep fit. You use an array of muscle groups such as your arms, legs, shoulders and other unique muscles that aren’t really used in other forms of physical activity.  

TIP: If you’re short on time, simply tread water at a fast pace for 1 minute! The more reps you do, the more calories you’ll burn! It’s incredible for toning too…

Whose waking up at 6am for a morning swim tomorrow? I know I am…

#flavourfood

   

GF Veggie (yum) Pizza

This tasty pizza recipe is GLUTEN FREE and healthy! A great alternative to your fast-food option… And perfect for an enjoyable night in. 

Its the simpizza things in life

 

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups quinoa, uncooked and soaked overnight
  • ½ cup filtered water (plus more for soaking)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

For the roasted cherry tomatoes:

  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the basil pesto:

  • 2 cups tightly packed basil
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Sea salt and pepper

Other pizza ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • Handful of basil leaves (to garnish)

Other toppings: sautéed mushrooms, eggplant, or peppers, sautéed spinach or other greens, garlic, mozzarella cheese.

 
Method:

For the quinoa crust: 

  1. Place uncooked quinoa in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Quinoa will have absorbed all water by this time and fluffed up a bit. Place soaked quinoa in a mesh strainer and give a good rinse.
  2. Preheat oven to 220C°/425°F. In a blender or food processor add in soaked and rinsed quinoa, ½ cup filtered water, salt, baking powder, oregano, and garlic powder. Blend on medium-high until quinoa begins to form a smooth batter – about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Line a large baking tray or round pizza pan with parchment paper. You can drizzle pan with a bit of oil before placing the parchment paper on top so it doesn’t move around. Drizzle parchment paper in pan with olive oil and pour in quinoa crust batter in a thin layer. Use a spatula to thin out and make sure crust is even.
  4. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, until it begins to turn golden. (During this time you can also place your tomatoes in the oven to roast!) Remove pizza from oven, gently flip over, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden and crisp. During this time, prepare the pesto and slice your zucchini or other toppings.
  5. Remove pizza from oven, cover with pesto sauce, layers of zucchini, and roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle pizza with sea salt and pepper. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until zucchini starts to gently brown. Remove from oven, slice up, and devour! You can also sprinkle the pizza with some torn basil leaves, or a drizzle of olive oil.

#flavourfoodflow


Banana Choc Protein Loaf

And here we have it… The worlds TASTIEST Banana Loaf. 

Pass this one onto the grandchildren for sure…

 

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup oats of choice
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp maca powder
  • 1/2 cup protein powder (I used chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp cacao
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 2 tbsp tahini or nut butter

 


Method

  1. Toss all ingredients into a food processor
  2. Blend until you reach a desired consistency
  3. Bake for 30-40 mins at 180 degrees Celsius!


(I topped mine with sliced banana, left over oats and coconut flakes – you could also add some nuts and seeds!)

ENJOY! #flavourfood

 

Abbys Balls

Bite-sized balls make the perfect snack! Super nutritious and extremely delicious
(no wonder we love them here at the Flavour Lab) 


Ingredients

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (to roll)

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, except for the desiccated coconut
  2. Shape the mixture into balls (approx 40g is a great snack size)
  3. Roll the balls in the desiccated coconut until completely covered
  4. Best eaten after a few hours of being in the fridge… But also taste amazing post-freezing!

TIP: you can always use prunes in exchange for dates for a change in flavour (and of course, added fibre… I say no more)

#flavourfood


*thanks Abby for the recipe inspo, and Morgan for the photo!