Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of the season’s natural produce.

Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of the season’s natural produce.

Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of the season’s natural produce.

Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of this season’s natural produce.

By Kate Devine

Spring has (nearly) sprung and that means a change in some foods that we should eat to keep us healthy throughout this new season. When foods are in season, obviously they taste better due to being richer in vitamins and minerals, but eating seasonal foods is also more sustainable as they are relevant to your geographical area and therefore require less travel, packaging and storing, while supporting small farmers and the local economy. Growing and consuming crops seasonally not only guarantees flavourful and nutritious produce, but promotes a varied diet and allows the environment to cycle through its natural resources and seasons like it would without human intervention.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of the tomato shortage that’s swept the nation recently? Or as I noticed on a news app the other day, ‘Salad crisis to hit Britain!’. WOW, no wonder we all panic bought toilet rolls in the pandemic! Well, rest assure, it’s only due to the unexpected weather conditions abroad, therefore the fruit and veg that gets imported hasn’t grown as it should. I’ve read that things will return to ‘normal’ within 6-8 weeks so no need to panic people!

Here’s a list of some of the foods, and their amazing properties, that are in season during Spring:

Apple – help balance blood sugar levels, strengthen bones, lower cholesterol and provide relief from constipation and diarrhoea
Artichoke – help balance blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, aid the digestion of fat and has a mild laxative and diuretic
Asparagus – help strengthen the immune system, keeps blood vessels supple, removes energy-draining toxins and has a mild laxative action
Beetroot – Has a liver-cleaning action, lowers the risk of heart attack, improves blood oxygen uptake and has an anti-diabetic effect
Broccoli – promotes collagen synthesis, strengthens the immune system, promotes prostate health and protects eye health – make sure to eat the leaves as they contain the most beta-carotene
Cabbage – helps heal ulcers, supports healthy liver function, fights free-radical damage to skin
Carrots – help lower cholesterol, powerful antioxidant, aids digestion and feeling of fullness and helps maintain good eyesight
Chicory – promotes healthy digestive tract, removes toxins from the blood, natural sedative properties and has a mild diuretic action
Leeks – feed the good gut bacteria, helps lower cholesterol, powerful antibiotic action and have a gentle diuretic and laxative
Parsnip – helps lower cholesterol levels, contain anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, boosts your immune system and aids digestion
Purple Sprouting Broccoli – contains more antioxidants than green varieties but more prone to nutrient loss when cooking
Radishes – help lower blood pressure, supports healthy liver function, treats congestion and inflammation
Rhubarb – helps strengthen bones, protects against neurological-degeneration, lowers cholesterol and helps protect eye health
Spring Onions – feed the good gut bacteria, helps lower cholesterol, powerful antibiotic action and contains immunity-boosting sulphur compounds
Watercress – contains anti-cancer substances, aids digestion, promotes clear skin

Try to include these foods in your diet as much as possible over the next few months to ensure you and your family are getting the most out of this seasons natural produce.

written BY KATE DEVINE

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BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE & FIZZY FESTIVE FRUIT COCKTAIL CUBES BY KATE DEVINE

BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE & FIZZY FESTIVE FRUIT COCKTAIL CUBES BY KATE DEVINE

BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE & FIZZY FESTIVE FRUIT COCKTAIL CUBES BY KATE DEVINE

I love everything about this time of year. The preparing, the celebrating, the socialising, the woolly jumpers, the cosy nights in watching ‘I’m a celebrity’ religiously for 3 whole weeks! What’s not to love?! Talking of preparing, this the week I’ve been thinking of wholesome, family foods to share with you all to enjoy throughout the festive season. Instead of a main meal, I’m thinking more about a warm, hearty dessert filled with sweet fruits with a crunchy, crumbly texture which is perfect to share with friends and family during the festive season. Introducing the Blueberry Dump Cake. Not the most enticing name for a dessert, I know, but it’s an original American recipe which comes from the concept of this cake – dump and bake! Quite literally you ‘dump’ the ingredients into a baking dish and bake. It’s as simple as that! I use the term ‘cake’ loosely, it’s more of a crumble or cobbler to me but let’s roll with it! It’s pretty simple and take around 40mins to make and bake so you’ll be done in the kitchen in no time.

 

Here’s the recipe, give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

 

BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE – Serves 8

 

You will need:

 

  • A medium sized oven proof dish
  • A mixing bowl

 

Ingredients:

 

  • 3 cups of frozen blueberries – you can use fresh, just reduce the cooking time by 5-10mins
  • 1/2 cup of sugar free sweetener
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp Xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter/coconut oil
  • Handful pecan nuts – crushed (optional)

 

Method:

 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C or 375 degrees F
  • Place the blueberries, sweetener, lemon juice, xanthan gum in a bowl and mix well, coating all the blueberries
  • Once mixed, empty the blueberries into the ovenproof dish
  • In a clean mixing bowl, add the coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, egg, cinnamon and salt and mix together
  • Layer the mixture over the blueberries
  • Drizzle the melted butter/coconut oil evenly over the top of the mixture
  • Sprinkle the crushed pecan nuts over the top if using
  • Place in the oven for approximately 30 mins or until the top is golden brown
  • Enjoy with piping hot custard or a scoop of your favourite ice cream.
Festive Fizzy Ice Cubes

Something else we all enjoy during December is raising a glass with friends and family, below you will find my ‘fizzy fruit cocktail cubes’ recipe which are perfect for both the adults and the children to enjoy!

 

FIZZY FESTIVE FRUIT COCKTAIL CUBES

 

You will need:

 

  • Ice cube trays – one regular square shaped tray and one star shaped tray if possible
  • Clear tumbler glasses – to get the full effect of the colourful fruit

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Fizzy water/lemonade/champagne
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Cranberry juice

 

Method:

 

  • Prepare the fruit ice the night before you plan on making these drinks – start by filling the star tray with the blueberries and raspberries and fill each mould with regular water and place in the freezer
  • Do the same with the cranberry juice in the square shaped ice tray and place in the freezer
  • Once frozen, place the cranberry cube(s) in the glasses first, then a fruit star, then the sparkling water/champagne to get the nice colour gradient in the glass
  • Be careful not to get the fizzy water drinks mixed up with the champagne drinks!
  • Raise your glass and enjoy!

 

And as usual, don’t forget to share your creations with us @broodmagazine and @thedevinelife and feel free to drop us a DM with anything you might want help with or any nutrition related questions you might have. I’m more than happy to help!

written BY KATE DEVINE

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Leftover Easter Chocolate BARK Smash!

Leftover Easter Chocolate BARK Smash!

Leftover Easter Chocolate BARK Smash!

Kate’s Leftover Easter Chocolate Smash!

Hello lovely people, I hope you all had a wonderful chocolate bunny filled Easter and enjoyed a well deserved long weekend of rest and delicious food! 

I just wanted to share a little recipe that I’ve made with my kids, to get rid of the left over Easter egg chocolate that sits in the cupboard calling your name every time you walk past! It’s a chocolate bark smash full of lots of healthy ingredients that the kids will love to add along the way. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 200g of milk chocolate – or dark chocolate – at least 70% organic for a healthier snack alternative 
  • 30g of white chocolate for the topping
  • 50g of dried fruit of your choice e.g. raspberries/cherries/goji berries/cranberries
  • 20g of nuts – crushed in a pestle and mortar e.g. pistachio/walnuts/almonds – you can leave the nuts out if you prefer, just add a different dried fruit 

What you will need:

  • Medium saucepan
  • Glass bowl to rest on the top of the saucepan for melting the chocolate
  • Spatula/mixing spoon
  • Medium size baking tray
  • Parchment paper

Method:

  • Weigh out all ingredients before beginning the following process…
  • Place the chocolate in the bowl, grab the saucepan and fill with cold water approx 200ml 
  • Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the saucepan and heat on a medium to high heat
  • When you notice the chocolate begin to melt, stir continuously with a spatula until smooth 
  • In the meantime, cover the baking tray with parchment paper
  • Once the chocolate has fully melted, pour into the baking tray and spread evenly with a spatula approx half to 1cm thick
  • Add the fruit and nuts, spacing evenly. Push any larger piece into the chocolate so they set properly and place in the fridge for 10 mins
  • Meanwhile, melt the topping chocolate the same way as the milk chocolate 
  • When the 10 mins is up, remove from fridge and using a fork, flick the topping chocolate over the bark chocolate and fruit and nut pieces on the baking tray
  • Return back to the fridge for 30 mins or until fully set
  • When set, remove the parchment paper and smash with a rolling pin into snack size pieces
  • Share with family and friends and enjoy!

I also make this as a snack for myself but use dark chocolate (as mentioned above) and leave out the extra chocolate topping. Store these in an airtight container in the fridge and they will last up to a week, although I doubt they’ll be any left after a few days, they’re that delicious!

Ingredients Facts:

  • Chocolate Some research suggest there may be healthful nutrients belonging to chocolate, including improved immunity, greater longevity and quicker recovery from intense exercise. Dark chocolate without unhealthy additives and sugar have been shown to lower blood pressure, cancer and stroke risk as effectively as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • RaspberriesPacked with antioxidants, potential benefits in regulating metabolism and fighting diseases – contains the antioxidant compound, ellagic acid, which is cancer protective
  • Cherries – Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and help in the treatment of gout. They also contain melatonin, which helps treat insomnia and encourage good sleep.
  • Cranberries Again, high in antioxidants, helps prevent infections from taking hold in the urinary tract, kidneys, and bladder. Aids digestion by helping to prevent stomach ulcers, helps alleviate heavy periods, stomach upsets, sore throats and laryngitis.
  • Goji BerriesThese berries belong to the nightshade family that includes chilli peppers and tomatoes and are rich in a combination of antioxidant nutrients that benefit cardiovascular health – they contain carotenoids known to boost metabolic processes and promote good sleep and memory.
  • AlmondsGood source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, which supports the brain, cardiovascular and respiratory systems and are rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fatty acids and help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Pistachio NutsContain anti-inflammatory properties, high in beta-carotene, oleanolic acid and phytosterols, a type of anti-inflammatory plant hormone associated with improved immune function, lower levels of LDL cholesterol and reduced risk of cancer.
  • Walnuts – Rich source of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-3 fatty acid. ALA helps lower unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) levels and keeps arteries healthy. They contain antioxidants and tocopherols (Vit E complex), helping to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and maintain skin and tissue health. They also contain serotonin, a brain chemical that can help lift depression. 

READ MORE FROM KATE HERE

easter egg leftovers
Nutritionist Kate Devine
Easter Eggs Leftover
KATE DEVINE IMAGES ©
written BY KATE DEVINE

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Kate Devine – Nutritionist, PT & Mum of 3 Boys

Kate Devine – Nutritionist, PT & Mum of 3 Boys

“…a mum to my 3,
football crazy, overly loud, sometimes a bit
annoying, but generally amazing boys!”

Kate Devine – Nutritionist, PT & Mum of 3 Boys

Firstly, I’m so excited and honoured to be part of the BROOD family and involved in its first online launch! I hope you enjoy reading my very first article on health and nutrition and I hope you find it provides lots of information, tips and advice for you and your family…Now, to introduce myself properly…

Hi, I’m Kate and my most important job is, of course, being a mum to my 3, football crazy, overly loud, sometimes a bit annoying, but generally amazing boys! Oh and not forgetting our beautiful Bassett Hound, Hettie, who is 15 years old and still going strong – although she has lost the use of some bodily functions, which can be interesting at times! I am married to Paul, who is slightly more annoying than the kids, but we laugh everyday and tackle life together.

I am a Nutritional Therapist and Personal Trainer, alongside the things mentioned above! My journey into nutrition and fitness began after having my first child 12 years ago. I had always exercised and thought I ate relatively well, but I think once you become a parent, you realise just how important being healthy and looking after yourself and your family is! You want to be the best parent and you want your child to thrive, especially in their first few years of life. I returned to the gym and began to find it quite therapeutic. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was bloody awful doing the actual training (still is), but it enabled me to have an hour to myself and I found that I was a better person for having that time out from parenting. This became a regular thing for me and I suddenly grew very passionate about exercise and its benefits, both physically and mentally.

KATE DEVINE. IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

Some years past, a few more kids arrived, and I decided to become a Personal Trainer. By far the most terrifying thing I had done in a long time! Going back into learning after 3 bouts of baby brain, I was surprised there were even any brain cells left to be honest! But, I did it, and qualified 5 years ago and further qualified in Pre and Post Natal Exercise – this was something I found was lacking in the fitness industry during all of my pregnancies. Being as PT is by far the best job I’ve ever had. I get to help people achieve life changing goals and talk all day, every day, and if you know me, talking is the thing I like to do most!

“Pre and Post Natal Exercise – this was something I found was lacking in the fitness industry during all of my pregnancies”

As you can imagine, nutrition is talked about A LOT in the fitness industry, and it was no exception in my gym. I was asked daily about food, something which I was taught the basics on during my PT course, but I was always hesitant to actually advise people on what to eat – even back then, I believed that everyone was individual and no one plan suits all.

The next thing I know, I’ve enrolled myself on a 3-year Diploma course in Nutritional Therapy at The College of Naturopathic Medicine. Remember before, when I said my PT course was hard, well, this course was a whole different level!! Throw a global pandemic into the aforementioned and I’ve got myself a whole heap of craziness, emotional breakdowns and many moments of self-doubt! Thankfully, I carried on and here we are! I’m loving my new career and cannot wait to share my passion and knowledge with you all over the coming months, to help you achieve a lifestyle that ensures you and your family thrive!

Some of you may be wondering what Nutritional Therapy actually is…

In a nutshell, I aim to help alleviate symptoms potentially relating to disease, by treating the person, not the disease, in a naturopathic way by investigating the root cause and providing nutritional and lifestyle advice to help promote the outcome my clients want to achieve.

This is a lengthy process, taking several hours of investigation into current lifestyles and all body systems, functional testing and medical research into each individual case. From this, I can recommend the most effective dietary advice and supplementation and provide bespoke meal plans and recipes to begin this re-set. My ultimate aim is to educate my clients in order for them to be able to make these changes themselves and understand how their bodies work to ensure longevity in the lifestyle changes they are investing in.  

A subject that always crops up when talking to other parents is how they are struggling to get their children to eat, sometimes at all; never mind choosing a healthy option. This is something I have come across regularly in my clinic. I have worked with many children, from babies and beyond, helping to deal with chronic colic, intolerances, eczema and allergies to name but a few.

It’s so frustrating trying to get your child to eat. I remember spending MANY hours force feeding my kids smashed avocado and banana, only to have them chuck it on the floor, then being left with no choice but to try a hundred different options just so they would eat something! Usually a packet of Quavers! I sent myself a little more crazy and persevered with the ‘healthy foods’ until they finally accepted them. It has definitely paid off as they all eat really well now, so that’s one epic parent fail I avoided.  

The most effective way, I found, to get the kids to eat was involvement. Plain and simple. We sit down over the weekend and have a chat about what everyone fancies to eat over the coming week. There’s five of us so we all pick a day of the week and choose a dinner. On the weekends we’ll have a ‘treat meal’ on the Saturday – make pizzas or have fajitas – and usually a roast on a Sunday. We also have a wipeable meal planner stuck to the fridge and they write on their choice each week and when it’s their meal day, they help me prepare it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not like the Vontrapp family and sing and dance our way through meal times, and we definitely have weeks where life happens and everything goes to pot; but with just a little bit of organisation and preparation, maybe we can all be singing and dancing our way through meal times!

Here’s an easy, fun and healthy Sunday morning breakfast recipe to try with your kids….

I have added a brief summary of some of the amazing nutritional benefits each ingredient has!

Maybe you can share with your kids, what all the different foods they are helping you prepare, can do for our bodies?

Happy cooking!

 

THE Perfect Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

 Ingredients:

 2 ripe bananas, peeledBananas are rich in potassium which is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure and helps strengthen bones – they are natural antacids, and contains slow release sugars to help maintain a balanced blood glucose level

  • 100g quinoa flakesQuinoa is highly regarded as nature’s most complete plant food as it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fibre, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients – it is also high in protein and naturally gluten free
  • 180ml of nut milk – Almond/coconut etc or milk of your choice – rich in beneficial fats
  • 1 organic eggcontains protein, omega-3 fats, high in vitamins, zinc, magnesium, calcium and dietary cholesterol (good cholesterol)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extractVanilla extract is a powerful anti-oxidant, has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps improve mental health
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamonCinnamon is a digestive aid that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes – it is also a first-class antiseptic that can help fight bacteria, viruses and fungal infections – it is rich in anti-oxidants, which gives it a mild analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder while baking powder contains few vitamins and minerals, it still plays a role in maintaining healthy teeth, bones and nails
  • Small pinch of Pink Himalayan salt contains more than 80 minerals including potassium, iron and calcium which aid the bodies natural detoxification process and promote the removal of bacteria
  • 2 tsps organic maple syrupsweeter than sugar so a little goes a long way – it is nutrient rich and full of minerals
  • 1.5-2 tbsp coconut oilhigh in healthy fats medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) – which can help lower risk of heart disease and help with weight management by reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and increasing activity of fat burning cells

 

Topping options:

  • 100g mixed berries/spoonful of Greek yoghurt/coconut yoghurt/crushed pistachios/drizzle of maple syrup
  • 2 apples, grated/sprinkling of ground cinnamon/spoonful of toasted flaked almonds

 

Method:

  • Place all ingredients for the pancakes (except oil) in a blender and whizz for around 30 seconds – alternatively, mash bananas with a fork and mix in a jug with remaining ingredients
  • Melt the oil in a large frying pan on a high heat
  • Spoon about 3 tbsp of the batter into the pan and circle about 1cm thick and 8cm wide. Repeat to make more pancakes, depending on the size of the pan
  • Reduce the heat to medium and leave the pancakes to set for round 1 min. When they start to bubble, flip each one over and cook for 1 min on the other side
  • Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter. Use a little more oil each time until you’ve made 8 pancakes (you do not have to eat them all, they can be kept in the fridge for 2 days, or frozen – pop them in the oven or fry in a pan to reheat)
  • Serve as is, add toppings recommended above or toppings of your choice.

written BY KATE DEVINE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM PITFIELD

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