RAW VEGAN TURMERIC CHIA PUDDING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, R, V+, V)

Hi everyone. Hope you're all well :)

I've got LOTS in store for you this week. which is why I thought it would be helpful if I break this week's blog post down for you, so you can skip to the bits you're actually interested in ;). Cuz - just so you know - this is a looooong one and I don't want you getting bored ;).

This week you can find info on...

1. SUPERFOODS
I've been dying to write about superfoods ever since I started my little plantbased blog and with turmeric as the star ingredient in this week's vegan recipe, I coudn't think of a better time to share my thoughts on superfoods. This means I'll give you a list of the 7 superfoods that I believe truly live up to their name and should appear on your plate every single day! 

2. BLOGIVERSARY + A COOKBOOK GIVE-AWAY!
It's actually my blogiversary this week. Eeeeek! I STILL feel like a novice, but here I am finishing my second year of blogging. Crazy stuff! To celebrate I'm giving away a copy of Jessica Sepel's new book The Healthy Life. This give-away is open to UK and EU residence, so do check it out:). I'll provide a short review of the book and then I'll let you know what you need to do for a chance to win it.

3. TURMERIC RECIPES
I'm sharing 2 superfood recipes this week. One is this healthy raw vegan breakfast come snack recipe (the BOMB by the way). Two is a crazy sexy superfood Turmeric Cinnamon Tea on the Rocks recipe which you'll find over on Heal's blog this week. Just cuz turmeric is SO good, I had to create 2 easy and delicious recipes so you've got no excuse not to give this spice a go ;).

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1. SUPERFOODS

The word 'superfood' is totally over-used especially in the healthy food scene. So I thought it migt be helpful if I gave you a brief outline of the real superfoods that actually matter with some 'help' from my idol Dr Michael Greger

1. BERRIES - They are without a speckle of a doubt THE healthiest fruits you can put into your body. And if you eat no other fruits than one portion of berries daily, you'll make me a happy woman. That's because berries are packed full of anti-oxididants and therefore true superheroes. You can watch a short video on their potent effects here
2. CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES - If berries are the queens of fruits than cruciferous veggies are the kings of vegetables. Not only can they prevent DNA damage, they also have the power to stop cancer growth in its tracks and boost your liver detox enzymes. You can watch this short video here if you need any more convincing :). 
3. FLAX SEEDS - Flax seeds help fight high blood pressure, breast cancer and prostate cancer. That's because they are high in fibre, lignans and omega 3 fatty acids. I have 1-2 tablespoon every day and I'd recommend you do the same :). Wanna know more, then click to this short video here
4. TURMERIC - It is truly magical, potent, healing and worth all the rage. Not only is turmeric wonderful at reducing inflammation especially in joints (think arthritis), but it can also hep prevent and treat brain disease, numerous cancers and lung disease. 1/4 teaspoon every single day alongside a healthy diet should do the trick. But don't take my word for it and check out the research here
5. NUTS/SEEDS - One portion a day (a small handful) can not only reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, it has also been shown to lengthen your lifespan. Cool, right? You can get the details on how nuts work on your body in this short clip here.
6. LEGUMES - Legumes such as black beans, red lentils and chickpeas are plant-based protein powerhouses full of iron, zinc, fibre, folate and potassium. They are so good for you that you should have not one, not two but three servings every single day. Want to know why, then check out this short video which breaks it down nicely for you.
7. WHOLE GRAINS - Oats, quinoa, wild rice, the choices are endless which is great because we should be eating 3 portions of whole grains every single day. That's because they have been shown to reduce your risk of getting heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Eager to know more? Then click onto this short video. It rocks ;).  

I hope this short list is helpful but feel free to ask a question in the comment section if it isn't or you feel you need more details. Furthermore, if you really want to dig a bit deeper, then I'd suggest you get Dr Michael Greger's latest book (SOOOOO good and funny) 'How Not To Die' where you can get lots more info about superfoods :). 

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2. BLOGIVERSARY + A COOKBOOK GIVE-AWAY!

I can't believe it either, I must confess, but it has been exactly 2 years (!) since I hit the 'publish' button for the very first time and sent this vegan carrot cake out into the world. Like my own birthday (don't even ask cuz I won't tell you how old I am OR when exactly my birthday is, thank you very much! :P), I wanted to keep this blogiversary on the down low. So instead of creating a 10-layered cake, I'm giving you a much healthiest and more modest chia pud recipe instead ;). I hope that's ok :).

But it's not a real blogiversary of course without gifts. Therefore, I'm delighted to be able to send a lucky reader a copy of Jessica Sepel's new book The Healthy Life. Jessica's publishers kindly provided me with a copy for you to enjoy when Jessica was in London not too long ago, isn't that sweet?

So what's the book about?
It's a cookbook with LOTS of extras, aimed at those eager to make a healthy life change, but unsure where to start. This means that Jessica provides thoughts on gut healing, liver detoxification and weight loss, to name but a few of the topics she tackles. 

She also shares a template for creating your own food diary, suggestions about pantry essentials and a healthy eating guide.

Last but not least the book is PACKED full of recipes covering breakfast ideas, mains, salads, sides and sweet treats.

So, what's good about it?
I think this book can be really helpful for someone who is at the very start of moving away from processed foods into the world of real foods. Someone who is very wary of giving up meat and dairy and wants a gentle push in the right direction with simple, achievable and tasty recipes to get excited about.

Highlight from the book include...
A stunning looking gluten-free banana bread recipe, breakfast protein balls, lovely salad dressing recipes and a Japanese broccoli and green bean salad. YUM!

What you need to be mindful of...
This is NOT a vegetarian cookbook and for my own personal liking it's too heavy on animal based foods and therefore I wouldn't call this a healthy cookbook. Which is why I had to think very, very carefully about featuring it here on the blog. The reason I decided to do so after all, is because I feel that there are so many people who will enjoy The Healthy Life and who will find this a helpful transition book to a more whole foods lifestyle. I also appreciate the thought that Jessica has put into this book. It's clearly a labour of love; accumulating so much nutritional information and breaking it down step-by-step for people to understand and enjoy is NOT easy. Therefore, I'm sure someone out there will love putting this book to good use. Could that be you or someone you care about?   

What you need to do to win a copy...
COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! All you need to do for a chance to win is comment below, telling me what your favourite cookbook of all time is and why. But be quick with your answers, entry to this give-away closes at midnight (Greenwich Time) on Monday, May 16th. The winner will be picked and notified within a week of the closing date. THE WINNER IS MAXINE! CONGRATULATIONS :)!

Please note that this competition is open to UK and EU residents only. Therefore, I'd be super grateful if you can be clear when you comment whether you live in the UK/EU or not. And even if you don't please do feel free to leave a comment. I'm super interested to read your answers no matter where you live because I'm crazy about good cookbooks and always eager to discover new ones ;). Good luck everyone!

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3. TURMERIC RECIPES

I am bringing you not 1 but 2 recipes this week both featuring true superfood turmeric. You can find the recipe for a refreshing turmeric and cinnamon ice tea over on Heal's Blog (who kindly provided the glasses for this blog post. Aren't they STUNNING?) and this vegan turmeric chia pudding recipe right here. Enjoy!

RAW VEGAN TURMERIC CHIA PUDDING (ChF, GF, NF, R, V+, V)

Today's recipe is easy, quick, delicious and healthy. In short the perfect breakfast :). It's inspired by this recipe from The Awesome Green and this one from Katie over at Whole Nourishment. Thanks girls :). 

Preparation Time: 5 - 10 minutes
Soaking Time: 15 - 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients for the chia pudding:
1 cup/240ml plant-based milk (I used home-made cashew milk for extra creaminess, using the methods outlined here. But any milk will do)
4 tbs chia seeds
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of ground cardamom
a pinch of pepper

Ingredients for the toppings:
1/2 cup/120ml of (vegan) yoghurt (I used a soya based yoghurt but a raw coconut yoghurt would work really well here too)
a handful of pomegranate seeds
a handful of berries of your choice - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc.
a spinkle of chia seeds or ground flax seeds
2 tsp (or more to taste) of raw honey or maple syrup

Instructions:
Combine all the chia pudding ingredients in a large bowl by mixing them thoroughly. Then set aside for 15 - 30 minutes, until the chia seeds fully absorb the liquid and spices.

When the chia seeds are ready, spread them evenly into two serving glasses, top with the yoghurt, fruits, seeds and sweetener and enjoy!

Tip 1: If you wish to use a home-made plant-based milk, remember to soak your nuts the night before assembling this chai pudding. As noted above, I used cashew milk, but you can use any milk really. Remember that many store bought plantbased milks are sweetened and hence you may need to reduce the amount of honey you use here. Though I don't encourage it, you can also use regular milk making this a vegetarian, rather than vegan recipe.
Tip 2: Both the pepper and the fat from the yogurt will help you better absorb the turmeric, so they are essential parts of this recipe
Tip 3: You can use fresh ginger and turmeric, but as they tend to be more potent you may need to reduce the amounts you use :). 
Tip 4: To make this recipe kiddie friendly, I had to add an extra dollop of honey. Just saying ;)

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