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Monday, 20 October 2008

Great healthy and Easy Alternatives

so many of you have asked for the details of my drink and snack healthy alternatives so here are some
Alternative to Diet Coke
Buy Crazy Jacks concentrated fruit juice from Holland and Barret, they do lots of flavours but for a coke alternative the apple and blackcurrant is best. Dilute 1 part juice to 7 parts fizzy water and you have a delicious healthy drink that tastes very close to diet coke but is a million times better for you. You can add zsweet healthy sweetener to it if you like it to taste really sweet.

Alternative to crisps
Buy plain popping corn/popcorn kernels, you can find them in most food shops, put about 40g or a handful into a brown paper bag fold it at the top and microwave for 3 minutes and you will have a large bag of air popped popcorn which has hardly any calories. Sprinkle it with light soy sauce or light tahini sauce and you have a healthy filling snack of under 100 calories. Popcorn is full of lutein which guards against macular eye degeneration.

Alternative to spaghetti
Use a julienne vegetable parer on courgettes to make courgette ribbons, place the courgette ribbons in boiling water for one minute to soften them than you can add them to bolognaise sauce. You can use them in place of spaghetti or pasta in any pasta dish and also in place of noodles in stir fry dishes you can also add them to soups once the soup has been cooked.
You can also cook beansprouts (they only need a few minutes to cook )and use them as an alternative to pasta and noodles.

Real Breakfast Bars
Cook a large pan of porridge oats using water or water and rice, oat or soya milk once its cooked leave it to asborb all the liquid and thicken then add other ingredients to it like hemp seeds and microwaved popcorn or sunfloweer seeds, flaked almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. Pour the mixture onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. If you like it chewy cook it for less time and if you like it crunchy press it down so it is thinner and cook for a little longet then cut into squares or slices and enjoy. You can experiment with lots of added ingredients like chopped up pear and ginger or grated apple and cinnamon or mashed up banana and peanut butter (smooth or crunchy and of course sugar free) or blueberries or any berries and dessicated coconut. In fact any kind of fruit, seeds, nut combo is good; dont use dried fruit as it is too high in sugar. These bars will keep for at least a week in foil or an airtight container and are great for breakfast on the go, or as alternatives to biscuits and snacks for you and your children.

Alternative Spreads

Fantastic Home Made Hummus
Here is my recipe for hummus its much nicer and lower in calories than the shop bought stuff.
400g tinned chickpeas drained
2 tbsp light tahini paste
2 crushed garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon (you can also add lime juice )
2-5 tbsp virgin olive oil
small handful of parsley
small handful of coriander
half tsp mild smoked paprika
2-4 tbsp water according to how thick you like it

blend all the ingredients in a food processor season with salt and or black pepper. Spoon into a tub or individual bowls and place in fridge for an hour before serving. It will thicken up so you can thin it with more water or olive oil.
Sprinkle with smoked paprika or tumeric for colour and a few sprigs of corinader or parsley.

You can make hummus different by adding tomatoes, peppers, olives or sun dried tomatoes to the mix. If you have time its lovely to roast or grill peppers or tomatoes or a mild red chilli or all 3 for for about 7 minutes until the skins blacken then remove the skins and add the roasted peppers, chilli and or tomatoes to the mix before blending. its also great to add avocado to hummus. When you add ingredients like cucumber, tomatoes or peppers you naturally lower the calories, just make sure the salad ingredients have been dried in kitchen towels so they dont make the hummus watery.

Butter Bean Spread/Butter Bean Hummus

One large tin of butter beans, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tblsp olive oil, fresh garlic and 6-8 sun dried tomatoes or 2 roasted red peppers. drain the butter beans, press the garlic and blend all the ingredients in a food processor until they are smooth and creamy add a little lemon juice and more olive oil if you like it thinner. You can experiment with this recipe by adding some fresh peas and mint, some mild chillies, an avocado, more sun dried tomatoes, more peppers, or some olives, more coriander etc. It will keep for about 5 days and can be frozen.