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5 Foods to Help You Avoid the Lurgy this Winter

5 Foods to Help You Avoid the Lurgy this Winter

While our friends in the Northern Hemisphere are revelling in the warmer weather, for us down under, the cooler months have begun to take their toll (unless we have been smart and decided to escape – Hello Europe) which has also meant an increase in colds and flus floating around! Our dietitian Olivia shares the 5 best foods for keeping your immune system in tip top shape:

  1. Fresh (or frozen) fruit and vegetables – you have heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” –  while it takes a bit more than an apple, the fundamental concept is there! Fruit and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Antioxidants in particular, boost the immune system by mopping up free radicals which attack cells. When people talk about antioxidants you will often hear them refer to the ORAC value – with higher values corresponding to higher antioxidant content. You will notice when you compare the ORAC values of F&V, a general rule of thumb is the darker the colour, the higher the antioxidant content. Blueberries and raspberries are particularly high in antioxidants so try adding them to your breakfast  or enjoying them as a snack through the day for a seriously delicious and low sugar boost to your immune system!IMG_6435
  2. Turmeric – This bright yellow coloured spice has been getting some serious airtime of late with turmeric being added to everything from your warming curry, the crumbing on your fish and increasingly as an alternative beverage to your morning coffee  (sans caffeine) with Turmeric Latte’s (AKA Golden Milk) popping up on menus everywhere. In an era of ‘superfoods’, Turmeric, a spice which has been around for centuries, has been escalated to stardom status. Curcumin, the active ingredient in Turmeric is responsible for it’s distinct yellow colour, as well as providing a list of health benefits, in particular reducing inflammation, with its benefits been comparable to that of anti-inflammatory drugs! It is also a powerful antioxidant and is a well tolerated treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Try incorporating turmeric into your regime – we recommend a Golden Latte made on our Almond Milk for a delicious way to get the benefits!
  3. Ginger – A well known spice in Asian and Indian Cuisine, as well as being very popular in the western world, Ginger has long been heralded for its immune boosting properties. It is particularly effective for the relief of nausea and symptoms associated with colds and is best simply served as a ginger tea. Slice fresh ginger and place in mug topped with hot water. Add manuka honey and lemon for extra anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties!
  4. Yoghurt & Fermented foods – Probiotics found in yoghurts and other fermented foods play a major role in maintaining the balance of bacteria within our gut. Ensuring there is adequate good bacteria, is essential for keeping our digestive system functioning optimally as this represents the first line of defence against pathogens which ultimately make us sick. Incorporate yoghurt (try Luz Almond Milk Yoghurt) into your daily routine to give your gut a healthy boost!IMG_6469
  5. Matcha – Before there was turmeric, there was Matcha! A long standing tradition in Japanese culture, the Western world caught wind of this vibrant green powder a little while back and these days it is commonplace to see it in everything from lattes (Have you tried our Matcha Almond Milk?) to cakes, desserts and even pancakes! Matcha which literally meals ‘powdered tea’ is basically a super concentrated version of green tea, concentrated in everything from colour, to taste and health benefits. One of the main benefits associated with matcha is the buzz of energy similar to that of caffeine, but without the jittery and anxious side effects. It also rich in antioxidants (ORAC values 20 x that of blueberries) and is known to enhance mood and improve memory and concentration.Powderalmondsbottle
Chai Latte

Chai Latte

Ingredients

4 Black Tea Bags

2 cups Luz Almond Original or Date Almond Milk

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

Grind black pepper

Sweetener to taste

Method

  1. Place all ingredients except sweetener into a small saucepan over medium heat with the tea bags hanging out of the pot.
  2. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes so flavour infuses.
  3. Squeeze tea bags to release flavour, mix and then taste.
  4. Add sweetener of your choice to taste (we recommend maple syrup or honey).
  5. Serve immediately.
Understanding the Difference Between Allergies & Intolerances

Understanding the Difference Between Allergies & Intolerances

Among the many reasons why people start drinking almond milk and other dairy alternatives is due to a food allergy or intolerance. This often means we are forced to limit our intake or rule out the offending substance, however the actual allergy or intolerance is often  due to a single compound within the food. The foods we eat are made up of various compounds including protein, fat, carbohydrates nutrients as well as natural chemicals, not to mention additives that can all single handedly cause adverse reactions.  In the case of cow’s milk, for example, some people (particularly children) will have an allergy to the protein in the milk, while others will have an intolerance to the sugar, lactose.

While the two are often grouped together, there are a few distinct differences. One of the primary differentiating factors is that an allergy illicits an immune response by producing specific antibodies against substances in the environment that are normally harmless. Contamination with an allergen usually results in swelling and inflammation which can occur all over the body. The severity can range from irritating to life threatening. In order to diagnose an allergy, most common methods include skin prick testing and blood testing for specific allergen born antibody. These tests are largely conclusive.
The most common food allergies are: peanuts, cow’s milk, soy, seafood and eggs.

An intolerance similarly causes an adverse reaction to food that can be mistaken for an allergy, as they share some symptoms, which can also be very severe. Yet unlike a true allergy, intolerances do NOT involve an immune response and does not show up on allergy testing mentioned above (blood test and skin prick testing).
The most common intolerances are: lactose, wheat sensitivity, salicytates, amines, glutamates, preservatives, artificial foods colours and food enhancers eg. MSG

Testing for intolerances is often far less conclusive and often exceptionally confusing. This is because not only are we always eating and drinking but people will also experience different reactions and to varying severities.  The best way to find foods responsible for food intolerances is to follow an elimination diet, followed by gradual reintroduction and challenges under the supervision of a professional. However due to the restrictiveness and time involved, many people will deal with undiagnosed intolerances, or worse self-diagnose.

Finally, you think you or someone you know is suffering from an intolerance or allergy, it is important to see your doctor to rule out anything life threatening.

Sweet & Spicy Almonds

Sweet & Spicy Almonds

The perfect solution to that mid afternoon snack attack!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 20g butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar OR honey
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Melt butter in large frypan over medium heat. Add olive oil then add almonds.
  2. Toss almonds to coat then add seasoning ingredients, stirring regularly to coat and allow to roast without burning.
  3. Once covered and lightly browned removed from heat and pour onto baking paper lined tray.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Enjoy by the handful!

 

Orange & Pomegranate Bircher Muesli

Orange & Pomegranate Bircher Muesli

Inspired by a recipe from Theresa Cutter, the Healthy Chef

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • 200g Luz Almond Vanilla or Natural Yoghurt
  • Arils from 1 pomegranate
  • 2 oranges, chopped
  • 1 green apple, finely chopped
  • Honey / maple syrup

Method

  1. Combine oats, chia seeds, orange juice and yoghurt and mix to combine. Cover and allow to soak overnight.
  2. Fold through apple and divide between two bowls.
  3. Top with fresh orange, pomegranate arils and a light drizzle of honey.
  4. Enjoy immediately or take in a container or jar to work!

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Breakfast Trifle

Breakfast Trifle

Super easy and EXTRA delicious! Feel free to use different fruit, nuts, cereal as you wish!

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen berries
  • 1 tub Luz Almond Yoghurt (we used mango)
  • ½ – ¾ cup your favour muesli or rolled oatsIMG_6439

Method

  1. Layer half the muesli on the bottom of a glass/clear bowl.
  2. Top with half the tub of Luz Almond Yoghurt, then top with half the berries.
  3. Repeat with remaining muesli, then Luz Almond yoghurt and finally finish off with berries.
  4. Enjoy immediately!

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Fragrant Quinoa Porridge

Fragrant Quinoa Porridge

A wholesome nourishing breakfast for these cooler months! Try any variation of fruit to mix it up!

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup Luz Almond Cold Pressed Almond Milk with Medjool Dates
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • ½ fresh apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp almonds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

1. Combine water, quinoa, cinnamon and vanilla in a saucepan on medium to high heat. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and cover for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add Luz Almond Milk and cranberries then cover for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Serve topped with fresh apple, almonds and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

NB: You may like to add a tsp of honey or maple syrup to sweeten

Gluten Free Almond Pancakes

Gluten Free Almond Pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients

2/3 cup rice flour

2/3 cup almond meal

1 cup Luz Date Milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

coconut oil

Method

1. Combine eggs, almond meal, rice flour, vanilla and baking powder in a bowl.

2. Slowly add the Luz Date Almond Milk, starting with a third of a cup and adding more if required to thin out the mixture.

3. Heat a small fry pan over medium heat and add a teaspoon of coconut oil.

4. Add ½ cup pancake batter and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until set.

5. Repeat with remaining mixture.

6. Serve with fresh fruit, honey comb, edible flours and for an extra treat why not top with a delicious scoop of Luz Almond Burnt Toffee and Macadamia Frozen Dessert!

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Choc Almond Paddle Pops

Choc Almond Paddle Pops

Makes 4

Ingredients

½ cup Luz Original Almond Milk

1 tbsp raw cacao

2 tbsp Isowhey Wholefoods Cacao, Maca & Mesquite

1 tbsp coconut butter

¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

¼ – ½ cup frozen or fresh avocado

Method

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth consistency.
  2. Fill moulds and then place in freezer for a few hours until frozen.

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Optional: Melt approximately 60g-80g dark chocolate with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Pour melted chocolate over ice block, working as quickly as you can to prevent the ice cream melting. Then roll in crushed almonds (1/2 cup toasted & chopped).

Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins

Ingredients

1 cup rice flour

½ cup almond meal

1 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp cinnamon

sea salt

1 cup grated carrots

½ cup pitted medjool dates

½ cup chopped walnuts

½ cup honey / rice malt syrup

½ cup Luz Date Almond Milk

2 eggs

¼ cup light extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Sift rice flour, almond meal, baking powder/soda and salt and mix evenly.
  3. Melt the honey in a small saucepan on low heat.
  4. Use a hand blender to combine the eggs, Luz Date Almond milk and oil. Then add the melted honey.
  5. Keep the mixer running gradually add the flour/almond meal mix until well combined.
  6. Fold in the carrots, dates and walnuts.
  7. Pour mixture into well-greased muffin tins, and bake for about 25 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.

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