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Kale chips

Kale chips and chickpea croutons top my savoury snack list. They are delicious, nutritious and the ultimate quilt free snack; and so easy and quick to make. So next time you are reaching out to a pack of crisps or other snack, bake some kale chips instead!

Kale is considered a nutritional powerhouse, filled with so many nutrients and vitamins: folate, magnesium, iron, high in Vitamin K, C and A, calcium and filled with powerful antioxidants! Need i say more?!

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Winter allergies and how to protect yourself from them

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Up until a few days ago I had no idea that winter allergies even existed! The last couple of years I have been struggling with stuffy nose from October through April and I always thought I had caught a cold that didn’t want to leave! I was so puzzled by it, taking vitamins, trying to consume the ‘right food’ to boost my immune system!

And then, a friend shed some light: Maggie, she said, you are probably suffering from winter allergies… There is no such thing as a cold that starts in October and goes in April!

So, as one does, I started my research. It turns out that although, in this part of the world, pollen which is the culprit for most respiratory allergies, is absent during winter, other allergens can cause issues. Most common allergies can be due to indoor things, such a dust and animals!

Besides keeping a clean house, paying attention to your diet can also help you lessen the impact of allergens. Of course, if you’re dealing with a serious case of allergies, consulting your doctor and managing your situation with medication is the way to go, but for milder cases, the food we eat can overall make us feel better.

For me, it was a combination of meds and a bigger consumption of the below foods that finally did it!

  1. Red Bell Peppers

Full of vitamin C red bell peppers not only contribute to strengthening our immune system but they actually also help lower histamine (major contributor in allergic reactions) levels in our bodies.

  1. Brussels Sprouts

They are full of phytosterols which, in the case of preventing allergies, is a great thing! These naturally occurring substances in plant cell walls  play an important role in dampening the effect of cytokines (ie overactive antibodies responsible for allergic reactions).

  1. Cranberries

Contain antioxidants called quercetin that inhibit the release of histamine and also decrease the pro-inflammatory effect of cytokines antibodies.

  1. Sea Vegetables

Studies show that food containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may play a role in reducing inflammation related to asthma and allergic diseases. That’s because omega-3s fatty acids help in the production of three mediators of inflammation in our airway, namely protectins, resolvins, and maresins.

  1. Capers

Capers contain a high amount of quercetin.

  1. Walnuts

Walnuts are a good source of omega-3s fatty acids.

 

So, if you are struggling with winter allergies, go ahead and boost your diet with the above and let’s see if my research was good! Good luck and stay healthy and allergy free! 

 

Vasilopita – Traditional New Year’s Day Cake

Vasilopita is the traditional Greek cake that we make on New Year’s Eve and eat on New Year’s Day, where we put a coin and the finder of this coin is supposed to have good luck that year. This tradition goes a very long way back, I won’t bore you with details!

But I will tell you that it is delicious! And you can make it anytime of the year (like i do) whenever you feel like having a simple cake.

There are a variety of recipes for Vasilopita, but i love the below – the original recipe has eggs, but I substituted them with flaxseed seeds. One of my biggest joys when cooking vegan is realising how easy it is to substitute animal by products, and how delicious the result is!

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Spiced Pumpkin bites

Maybe it’s a bit of a cliche, but I wanted to make something wit pumpkin, other that soup or roasted or a pie! So, this recipe came up – well balanced flavour wise, full of nutrients your body will love, full of aromas and somewhat of a guilt free treat! 

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Energy bars with nuts and seeds

I have been ‘silent’ for a month and I apologise! But I’m back with a bang! So, what a way to start your week, if not with lots of energy! We are what we eat and what we eat either fuels us for the best or worse. 

So, a few of my favourites in this recipe: chia seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, almond butter, pistachios and oats! I hope you enjoy these, i know your body will thank you. 

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Super food granola

There is something about granola that i simply cannot resist! I love topping my smoothie bowls with it, my nut yoghurt or chia puddings, or just have it with milk. And this recipe gives you so much goodness in every spoon. Almonds, Cashews, Goji Berries, Pumpkin Seeds, Linseed Seeds, Coconut Oil …. need i say more!

I hope you enjoy it!

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