Small Achievement and Smoothie Recipe!

Dear Reader,
Hello! It has been a while since my last blog post, but now that I am settled back in England and my MA is behind me, I have a lot more time on my hands!
Recently I have been attending yoga lessons at Yoga Dave in Rokt Brighouse: http://yogadave.uk/
Dave teaches Ashtanga yoga which is the form of yoga I most enjoy. I find Dave’s classes calming and challenging.

A small personal achievement: Even though I am very flexible I struggle to ‘fold over’ flat when in these positions:

stock-photo-yoga-runner-girl-stretching-back-over-legs-doing-seated-forward-bend-fold-named-paschimottanasana-700229395 (1)

stock-photo-young-women-stretching-their-leg-muscles-touching-their-knees-with-noses-257889899 (2)

I can go flat to my leg when I have only one of them out and the other leg is tucked in, but not with both outstretched in front of me. This is something that has frustrated me hugely throughout my life as a dancer and to try and get this flat fold I would distort my back, hunch over, grab my feet as hard as possible, ANYTHING to get flat…
In my yoga class yesterday we were in the position demonstrated in image 1 for around 3 minutes; we did a variety of footholds with breathing exercises. Instead of focusing on getting flat I focused on the breath (for once)!
Guess what happened… my forehead knocked against my knees, I WAS FLAT! Obviously my body dipped in and out of this position due to it not being used to it and I didn’t push, I just focused on breathing and relaxing and enjoying the moments when I felt my forehead knock against my knees just as much as the pleasure of feeling my back stretch.
Moral of the story: it’s time to stop focusing on the ‘position’ and ‘perfection’, I feel much better and calmer when I focus on the breath.

I just wanted to share this little achievement and I would be very interested to hear your personal small achievements in your life (don’t need to be sport related)!
I made a weird but yummy smoothie yesterday and since my cake recipe went down so well (which I will link at the end) I thought it would be good to branch out and try some healthy and weird smoothies. Let me know your thoughts, this won’t be to everyone’s tastes but give it a go!
Ingredients:
Handful of blueberries
Stick of celery
1 pink lady apple
Chunk of fresh ginger
Apple juice (fill your container generously so that the smoothie won’t be too thick)
Tablespoon of honey

Method:
1) Prepare all fruit and veg by washing, chopping, peeling etc
2) Put all ingredients in your blender/smoothie machine
3) BLEND
4) Enjoy!

Thank you all for reading, you can always email me on ericamulkern1414@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments and let me know if you tried the smoothie!

Link to my cake recipe:

https://ericamulkern.wordpress.com/2017/12/12/healthy-gf-df-dark-chocolate-orange-loaf/

Healthy Jam

Dear Reader,

Since I was a little girl I have adored jam, but due to my no processed food diet I could not eat jam… until now!

I found a recipe for jam that does not contain heaps of sugar (like all shop bought jam does) and it is very easy and cheap to make. I found it on: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-chia-jam-with-any-fruit-222310

I have written the recipe out for you to quick scan, there is a lot of information about chia seeds in the website link so I do recommend reading it as well.

How To Make Easy Chia Jam

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups

What You Need

Ingredients
2 cups chopped fruit
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons honey, agave, maple syrup, or sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons chia seeds, plus more if needed

Equipment
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula
Saucepan
Potato masher, optional
Glass jars or other storage containers, for the finished jam

Instructions

  1. Prepare the fruit as needed: Remove stems, pits, seeds, and skin, as needed. Chop large fruits into small pieces. Berries can be left whole.
  2. Cook the fruit until it starts to break down: Transfer the fruit to a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until the fruit breaks down and becomes syrupy, 5 to 10 minutes. Mash the fruit with the back of a spatula or a potato masher, leaving it as smooth or as lumpy as you like.
  3. Stir in the honey and lemon juice: Off the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of the honey and lemon juice. Taste and add more honey or lemon juice to taste.
  4. Stir in the chia seeds.
  5. Let stand 5 minutes, until thickened: This won’t quite reach the firm consistency of regular jam, but it will noticeably thicken. If you’d like a thicker consistency, especially with very juicy fruits, stir in more chia seeds 1 teaspoon at a time.
  6. Transfer to a jar or other storage container: Once the jam has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about 2 weeks. The jam will thicken further and become more set once completely chilled. The jam can also be frozen for up to 3 months; thaw in the fridge before using.

Recipe Notes

  • No-cook chia jam: Mash the fruit with a fork until pulpy and juicy, then stir in the rest of the ingredients. You can also combine all the ingredients in a blender, or use an immersion blender, and blend until the jam is completely smooth. Uncooked chia jam tends to be a bit looser and more sauce-like than the stovetop version; add extra chia seeds if you’d like a thicker consistency.
  • Getting rid of visible chia seeds: If you’d prefer not to have visible chia seeds in your finished jam, puree the jam in a blender or with an immersion blender. If you’d like to keep a somewhat chunky texture, blend just a portion of the jam with the chia seeds, then stir it back in with the rest of the jam.

 

Image: http://ohmyveggies.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/how-to-make-chia-seed-jam-7.jpg

Jamie Oliver’s Smoothie Pancakes

Dear Reader,

On Saturday morning I made this recipe by Jamie Oliver and I thought that I needed to share it with you all! I could not find a website link so I have typed it out and the book it is from is called ‘Everyday Superfood’

They are yummy and make breakfast even more interesting!

Ingredients:

320g blueberries or raspberries

1 ripe banana

170ml semi-skimmed milk

1 large egg

250g wholemeal self-raising flour

4 tablespoons natural yoghurt

ground cinnamon

30g mixed unsalted chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts

manuka honey

Method:

Blitz half the berries, the peeled banana, milk, egg and flour in a blender to make a smoothie pancake batter. Tip into a bowl and fold in the remaining berries. Place a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, put your batter into the pan to make large pancakes or little ones, whichever you fancy. Either way cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until crisp or golden. Sometimes I flip them for an additional 30 seconds on each brown side to ensure they get super-crispy. Serve as and when they’re ready, while you get on with more.

To serve, I like to slice my pancakes in half so you can see all that lovely fruit. Top with a dollop of yoghurt, a sprinkling of cinnamon and scattering of toasted nuts, then finish with a little drizzle of honey.

Side note: once you’ve made the pancake batter, you can cook it right away or pop it into the fridge to keep for up to 3 days, to use each morning. Takes 20 minutes to cook.

Nutritional facts:

357kcal

10g fat

2.2g sat fat

13.3g protein

54.9g carbs

17g sugar

8.9g fibre