Perfect Pink Berry Smoothies

Spring is the season of glorious British berries, beautiful and delicious fresh raspberry and strawberries. I am quite addicted to them and lately have been adding them to all my meals and snacks, salads and risotto/pastas included.

Perfect Pink Berry Smoothie

This pink smoothie is a family favourite, so awesomely sweet and delicious, made with homemade almond milk. It is fully packed of Vitamin C and antioxidants, perfect for mums-to be and kids.

I am always adding baobab poweder to all my smoothies. Baobab is the closest thing there is to a natural multivitamin and is almost fifty percent fibre, so it has a whole raft of health benefits. Beside boosting energy levels Baobab is the highest ranking fruit in the antioxidant table with almost five times the antioxidant capacity of fresh acai berries and six times the vitamin C of an orange.
Baobab is safe for children and pregnant women, in Africa one of its traditional uses is as a substitute for mother’s milk because is a rich, non-dairy source of calcium and iron. (Info sourced from radiancecleanse.com).

Pink Berry Smoothie: Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 apples
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1 cup of raspberries and strawberries
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp hemp powder
  • 1tbsp baobad powder
  • 1 tsp chia seeds

Blitz and enjoy x

 

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Raw Cacao and Maca Breakfast Smoothie

I haven’t updated this blog for ages. A lot has happened over the last few months but surely the biggest change is that I am pregnant, expecting my second baby! This time we decided not to know if it is to be a boy or a girl so in few weeks time, we’ll be having a sweet surprise.

The initial months of pregnancy have been a bit tough but now everything is going quite well. I have tried to improve a lot my diet to boost my energy levels and improve health and mood in general.

photo 2

Breakfast has become surely my main and favourite meal of the day and it always includes a fruit or veg smoothie like this chocolate-y one made with Raw Cacao  and Maca powder. 

 

Raw Cacao and Maca Smoothie

Raw Cacao is a powerful antioxidant with many health benefits. A mood improver, raw cacao is rich of magnesium and iron. Maca is rich in vitamin B, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.
Maca increases your energy level & stamina.

Raw Cacao and Maca Smoothie: Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 teaspoon Maca
  • 1 teaspoon Raw Cacao
  • Cacao Paste (optional, for the topping)

Blitz & Enjoy x

 

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Gluten Free Italian Aubergine Polpette

Cooking family recipes is a way to remember people you have loved and nice anecdotes of the past, mainly of childhood. I can still see my grandfather spending his Sunday mornings cooking for the family and mainly preparing polpette, Italian balls of goodness made with meat or aubergines.

I try to keep this family tradition here in London, cooking polpette for my daughter for Sunday lunches but making a healthier version, gluten free and baked, I can eat as well.

Gluten Free Italian Aubergine Polpette Ingredients

  • 3 medium aubergines
  • 1 cup of (gluten free) bread crumb
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp grated Permesan cheese
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • salt
  • pinch of pepper or chilly (optional)
  • Method
    1. Bake the aubergines in the oven at 200 degrees C for at least one hour or until tender. Once cooled, remove the skin off.
    2. In a large bowl mix together the aubergine’s pulp with all the other ingredients, making sure the mixture is tender but firm.
    3. Using your hands roll the mixture into balls with a 3/4 cm diamater and place them on a sheet tray.
    4. Bake the polpette for 25/30 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees C, until golden brown.

    For the gluten free bread crumb I blended 5 slices of DS Gluten Free rice and corn crackers.

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    Hemp, Maca and Chia Seeds. Vegan super foods for smoothies

    Even if summer is now over, I can’t renounce to have berries in my morning smoothies. Besides the small portions of berries I have frozen myself, I have found out that good and cheap options are available in all main supermarkets.

    Together with fresh or frozen fruit and vegetable milk (usually almond milk), I have been boosting my morning smoothies with some of the best super foods: raw hemp powder, raw maca and chia seed .

    Hemp Powder
    Raw green protein, made with natural hemp seeds, it is considered the cleanest, plant-based nutrition on the planet. Rich in fibre, omega 3 and 6, and all essential amino acids I like to add a teaspoon of it to my smoothies.

    Maca powder
    Grown in central Peru, Maca is an ancient plant which has been used for at least 3000 years due to its powerful and beneficial effects including enhancing energy, stamina, improving osteoporosis, depression, memory and fertility.

    Chia seeds
    Again an ancient food, used by the Aztecs, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fats and fibre and have a lot of positive health effects including boosting energy, aiding digestion, lowering cholesterol and stabilising blood sugar.

    Vegan Berry Smoothie with Best of Super food Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup of frozen berries
  • 1 tsp each of Maca, Hemp and Chia
  • Almond Milk
  • Method
    Add all the ingredients to a blender. Blitz and enjoy xx

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    Tuna and Aubergine Dadolata Gluten Free Pasta

    When you are on a gluten free diet plan, the first things you will probably miss are bread and pasta, or at least the ones you have always been used to.

    And, as I am used to have pasta everyday, the transition from wheat pasta to gluten free options hasn’t been initially very easy. However, after a few trials, I have found that the best gluten free pasta available here in London is undoubtely the Italian brand Garofalo.

    Gluten Free Pasta Recipe Italian

    Made with corn, rice and quinoa flour, Garofalo Gluten Free pasta is so well done and delicious that you may not even realise that what you are eating is gluen free!

    Gluten Free Penne Pasta with Tuna and Aubergine Dadolata Recipe

    Ingredients (Serves 4)

    • 400 g gluten free penne pasta
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 fresh red chilly, finely chopped (otpional)
    • 12 ripe plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • 500 g fresh tuna steaks
    • 1 Aubergine (diced)
    • salt
    • Fresh basil (or mint) leaves.

    Method

    1. Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and chilly for about 5 minutes unil softned bu no browned. Tip in tomatoes, season and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
    2. In a separate pan, heat the oil and fry the diced augergine.
    3. Coil the penne into a large pan of salted boiling water, bring back to the boil and cook according to packet’s instructions.
    4. In a separate  large pan, add  a generous pinch of salt and tip the tuna steak. Roast for about 5 minutes, until cooked. Dice the tuna steak in chucks of about 1 cm each.
    5. Drain the pasta and then toss into the tomato sauce, adding the diced tuna and aubergine. Season well, stir the basil and serve.

    Enjoy x

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    Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

    I am not a typical baking person. Despite my passion for cooking, I am more for an extemporized cuisine, quick and creative recipes to be thought and prepared with what is ready available in the fridge. However, lately, a certain little person has developed a passion for chocolate and ‘chocolate cake’ have become her favourite words and food.

    Best Gluten Free Chocolate Egg

    This new chocolate food affair, coupled with my 2 week gluten free diet (aimed to asses if I have developed Gluten Sensitivity )has led me to search for good gluten free cake recipes. Drawing inspiration from my  Italian origins I have  just come out with this fantastic almond and chocolate cake. This recipe is based on the traditional Capri Chocolate Cake.

    Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 250 grams ground almonds (blanched, lightly toasted)
    • 200 grams sugar
    • 5 large eggs (free range)
    • 1 pinch of salt
    • 160 grams butter (melted and cooled)
    • 200 grams dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa, melted and cooled)
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon coffee (optional)
    • 1tbsp gluten free baking powder (I have used Dr Oetker)

    Method

    1.     Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
    2. Beat the sugar and egg yolks until creamy.
    3. Add the ground almonds, and then the melted butter and melted chocolate. Mix well.
    4. Beat stiff the egg whites with a pinch of salt and add to the mixture, folding gently.
    5. Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon coffee (optional) and 1tbsp gluten free baking powder. Mix well.
    6. Line a cake tin with wet greaseproof paper, pour the cake mixture in it and cook for 40 minutes.
    7. When cooked cool on a cake rack and dust with icing sugar.

    Chocolate Cake Gluten Free

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    Butternut squash, Carrot & Potato Soup: vegan, gluten & dairy free

    Apparently yesterday was the last day of the British summer. Today temperature has dropped to 16° degrees and we have had a proper showery day! Good excuse to restart cooking some hearty, comfort soups like this one made with roast butternut squash, carrots and potatoes.

    Roast Butternut Squash, Carrot and Potato Soup Ingredients

    • 1 butternut squash
    • 2 carrots
    • 3 medium potatoes
    • 1 1/2 cup of hot water
    • salt, basil leaves
    • extra virgin olive oil

    Method

    1. Pre-heat the oven to a medium-high temperature (I set my fan oven to about 180 degrees)
    2. Cut the squash lengthways into halves, arrange in a baking tray and then roast in the oven for around 40-50 minutes.
    3. Steam or boil carrots and potatoes.
    4. Once the squash is cooked through, leave to one side to cool before peeling off the skin.
    5. Transfer all the vegetables to a food processor with hot water. Season with salt and oil, then blend until smooth.
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