Blog : diet

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
Oat & Chia Porridge with Cinnamon Banana

Oat & Chia Porridge with Cinnamon Banana

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup Luz Almond milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ¼ cup traditional rolled oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ banana, thickly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)

Method

  1. Place Luz Almond milk, water, chia seeds, oats, salt and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to the boil and continue stirring until thickened and porridge has reached desired consistency.
  3. Heat a small fry pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.Place banana pieces in fry and sprinkle with cinnamon. Drizzle with honey.
  4. Cook for 2 minutes then turn, sprinkle other side with cinnamon and cook for further two minutes.
  5. Pour porridge in a bowl and top with banana.
  6. Serve immediately.

Tip: Try mashing or finely chopping the banana and stirring through to feed your little ones!

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!

 

Sweet Anti-inflammatory Roast Pumpkin Soup

Sweet Anti-inflammatory Roast Pumpkin Soup

Recipe courtesy of  The FODMAP Friendly Vegan

“Oregano is an amazing herb from a health perspective, and has been traditionally used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. It is often used in naturopathy to treat candida due to its potent antibacterial properties. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium. One active agent in oregano is rosmarinic acid, which is a strong antioxidant that may support immune system health. Fresh oregano has an intriguing, complex flavour, and the herb is among the few that dries incredibly well. In this recipe it draws out the sweetness of the caramalised pumpkin perfectly. This recipe will definitely become a family staple.”

Serves 4

Time taken: 50 mins

This is one of my favourite soups to prepare when my tum is playing up. Not only because it’s so easy to create, but also because it’s one of the tastiest. It is creamy (yet without cream), creates a cozy, warming feeling in your belly, is well-seasoned, and, to top it all off, is incredibly good for you! Oregano is an amazing herb from a health perspective, and has been traditionally used to treat respiratory tract disorders, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract disorders. It is often used in naturopathy to treat candida due to its potent antibacterial properties. It also contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium. One active agent in oregano is rosmarinic acid, which is a strong antioxidant that may support immune system health. Fresh oregano has an intriguing, complex flavour, and the herb is among the few that dries incredibly well. In this recipe it draws out the sweetness of the caramalised pumpkin perfectly. This recipe will definitely become a family staple.

Nourishing Ingredients:

  • 1 jap pumpkin (you could use butternut too – however note this is less FODMAP friendly due to its Oligos & Polyols content – so judge for yourself if this is safe)
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thick rounds
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped spring onion tips
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (homemade is best to avoid added onion and/or garlic powders)
  • 1 cup Luz Almond original almond milk
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 oregano sprigs (or 2 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (you can use freshly grated or powdered)
  • A sprinkle of ground nutmeg
  • Coconut oil for frying
  • Extra virgin olive oil for coating
  • Himalayan salt & pepper to season
  • Optional: toasted pumpkin seeds & coconut cream to top

 

To Create: 

  1. Preheat an oven to 190ºC. Cut the pumpkin in half & scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place both halves on a baking sheet and fill each cavity with 1 sprig of oregano.  Drizzle the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt & pepper.
  3. Carefully turn the halves. Roast for about an hour, until soft and caramelised. Remove the pumpkin from the oven (turning off the oven) & allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Place a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Sauté the spring onion tips in some coconut oil. Add the ginger and chopped carrot and stir to combine. Scoop out the flesh of the cooled pumpkin and add it to the pot. Add the turmeric and maple syrup. Stir well. Allow the mixture to caramelise slightly but keep an eye on it.
  5. After a few minutes, add the vegetable stock to the pan and stir. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Using an immersion or high-speed blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add the nutmeg and stir. Taste and add salt & pepper as required.
  7. Pour the soup into bowls and top with some oregano leaves and a swirl of coconut cream if you’re feeling fancy. You could also add some toasted pumpkin seeds or activated buckwheat for added crunch.
8 Ways with Luz Almond Yoghurt

8 Ways with Luz Almond Yoghurt

  1. Add it to your smoothie
  2. Have it with muesli and fruit
  3. Make it the star in our trifle (see our recipe)
  4. Freeze it into ice blocks – Blend with berries or other fruit and then pour into ice-block moulds to make a healthy ice cream alternative for the kids (or adults)
  5. Make your own homemade bircher muesli
  6. Enjoy it as an alternative to ice cream
  7. Turn it into a satisfying afternoon snack – sprinkled with cinnamon and a small handful of chopped nuts
  8. Or simply enjoy it just as it is!
Pear & Almond Bircher Muesli

Pear & Almond Bircher Muesli

Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Pear & Sour Cherry Bircher

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 350mL Original Luz Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced
  • 30g almonds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 200g Vanilla Bean Yoghurt

Method

  1. Combine oats, chia, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla and 1 tsp cinnamon in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover and place in fridge over night.
  3. In the morning heat small frypan over medium heat and melt coconut oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and place pear slices in pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden brown on the outside. Remove from pan.
  4. Add chopped almond, a little more oil and cinnamon and cook until lightly toasted.
  5. Divide oat mixture between two bowls. Top with pear, sprinkle with toasted almonds.
  6. Top with a generous dollop of Luz Vanilla Bean Yoghurt. Serve immediately.

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My Day on a Plate with Jade Ashby

My Day on a Plate with Jade Ashby

Breakfast: I’m a cold weather girl (I know, why would someone actually like cold weather). Aside from the crisp fresh air with a clear blue sky backdrop, I love the warming comfort food that winter brings. With the winter months coming to an end, I’m making the most of the porridge mornings we have left! The porridge recipe always varies but the base will consist of ½ cup rolled oats (I prefer rolled to quick oats as they have a lower GI and add texture), ½ cup milk and ½ cup water. You can then add whatever you fancy whether it be walnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup or grated apple, cinnamon and almonds. For this porridge variation, I added buckwheat to add variation in texture and topped with a honey spiced baby fig compote that I had previously made. Cinnamon stick for decoration of course.

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Mid-morning: With an English partner I’m quite inclined to a cup of tea, English Breakfast, naturally. Nicely brewed with a little bit of milk, no sugar. With the winter bugs in full force at the moment I’ve found myself craving fruit a bit more so than usual, so come mid-morning I’ll usually be reaching for a good-old-fashioned apple. An apple a day they say.

Late morning: As part of my role as a Product Development Dietitian I conduct ongoing sensory evaluation of products we produce. Currently we’re focussing a lot on yoghurt. So what does that entail you ask? Prior to any product being released it has been routinely tasted to note any sensory changes (e.g. look, smell, taste) that may occur over the period of time that you, our lovely customer would have it in your fridge. Basically, we routinely taste the product to ensure you’re getting a tasty product! Exhibit A: Yoghurts 1, 2 and 3.

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Lunch: I love lunch. Lunch is a great opportunity to have a nutrient dense meal and my lunch will nearly always contain numerous serves of vegetables. A wholesome vibrant salad with wholegrains and/or protein not only taste delicious but makes you feel good too. Make it as easy as possible for yourself and I find the best way is to make an additional serving of the vegetable based part of your dinner. For example, take a dinner side salad of peas, fennel and mint with a lemon and olive oil dressing, add some sliced poached chicken and you have a completely new meal for lunch.

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Mid-afternoon: As the above lunch was a lighter (albeit delicious) meal, I like to ensure I’ve got enough food in the tank to keep me effectively working through the afternoon. A couple of slices of sourdough, toasted and spread with nut butter works a treat for me (and a cup of tea).

Dinner: Meals are often Ottolenghi inspired as it ensures that dinner includes a nutritious dose of vegetables. Favourite classics such as spaghetti are often enjoyed too! I try to eat fish a couple times of week as it provides a delicious protein source that is rich in omega 3 (salmon more so that others). I bought some beautiful yellow and purple beetroot from the markets and on this occasion had the time (and patience) to prepare them as they deserved.

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Post dinner: You would think that trying yoghurt each day as part of my role would mean I would be over yoghurt. No chance. I enjoy some generous dollops of unsweetened natural or Greek yoghurt with fresh strawberries. And then some chocolate. I’m talking about the good stuff. Usually a high cocoa percentage of 70% or greater but always made by a company where you can tell some love went into making the chocolate, because I too, love good food.

 

Mad About Matcha

Mad About Matcha

Matcha is the new kid on the superfood block. Being used in everything from tea to lattes, cakes and desserts, this distinctly green powder is packed with nutrients and goodness. However while Matcha is only just now gaining popularity in the western world where Matcha shots were recently considered the “it” beverage at New York Fashion Week, Matcha has been a long standing tradition in Japanese culture.

So what is it?

Basically think of it as a super concentrated version of green tea! Yet unlike green tea where the leaves get infused with hot water and then discarded, Matcha literally means powdered tea. Matcha leaves are covered with shade cloths prior to harvesting which helps enhance the flavour and texture of the leaves which are then hand selected, steamed, dried and aged to deepen the flavour before being ground into a fine powder.

So what is so good about it?

  1. Boosts energy – Originally thought to be due to the caffeine content (1 cup of Matcha tea = 1 cup of coffee), the energy boost provided by Matcha is largely a result of the unique combination of nutrients. The presence of L-Theanine also means Matcha drinkers can experience the buzz associated with coffee, without the usual side effects such as nervousness and hypertension (high blood pressure).
  2. Rich in antioxidants – Antioxidants are natural chemical compounds which help to fight infections and disease. With an ORAC value (used to compare antioxidant content of foods) twenty times that of blueberries and pomegranate, Matcha is one of the most potent forms of antioxidants. In particular Matcha contains catechins, known for their cancer fighting properties as well as counteracting the effects of pollution and the sun’s UV rays which can cause cell and DNA damage.
  3. Memory, concentration and calm – L-theanine promotes the production of dopamine and serotonin, both of which play a role in enhancing mood, improving memory and concentration.
  4. Promotes calmness – Monks have used Matcha green tea for centuries to relax and meditate while still remaining alert, due again to the presence of L-theanine which induces relaxation without drowsiness, a side effect known as “alert calm”.
  5. Detoxifies the body – The high levels of chlorophyll which give Matcha its vibrant green colour also naturally remove heavy metals and chemical toxins from the body.

If you haven’t already, make sure you try our latest Luz creation, formulated in collaboration with Being Co, distributor of premium quality Matcha, we bring you Luz Matcha!Matchamilk_website copy

How Almond Milk helps with Weight Maintenance

How Almond Milk helps with Weight Maintenance

With a team of accredited dietitians and food experts we are the first to admit that there is not one miracle food or weight loss secret. Instead we are firm believers in consuming a diet rich in whole foods and variety from each of the food groups to ensure you are meeting your nutritional requirements. If you choose to adopt a vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or other kind of diet for any of the various reasons, we encourage you to do so carefully and in consultation with a fully qualified dietitian or nutritionist to make sure you are still able to meet your nutritional requirements.

And while there is never going to be one simple solution, there are certain foods which can contribute to a healthier diet and lifestyle and may in fact help you control your weight. Lucky for us almond milk is one example of this and here is why:

  1. Contains less kilojoules than dairy milk and other non-dairy alternatives
  2. Low in carbohydrates – with 2.5g per serving, it has significantly less carbs than dairy (~12.0g/serve) and most non-dairy alternatives including soy (~12.0g/serve) and rice milk (~24.0g/serve)
  3. Contains good fats – good fats not only contribute to increasing our good cholesterol, they also help slow down digestion and are particularly good at keeping us feeling full for longer
  4. Naturally contains no cholesterol – plant products are naturally cholesterol free which means no increase in bad cholesterol which can increase risk of heart disease, as well as other chronic diseases
  5. Naturally low in saturated fat – almonds contain very little saturated fat, thus almond milk is also very low in saturated fat, once again helping to reduce risk of heart disease
  6. No impact on blood sugar levels – while carbohydrates are responsible for increasing blood sugar levels (BSLs), given the low level of carbs in almond milk, it has little to no effect on blood sugar levels which is great for diabetics who need to carefully count their carbohydrate intake. Plus for those non-diabetics, maintaining balanced BSLs helps prevent people from over – eating which is often cause by the dips that subsequently follow spikes in BSLs.

To learn more facts and tips for the health-savvy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter or email [email protected] and our dietitians can answer any questions you may have.

Quinoa Porridge topped with Panfried Cinnamon Pear

Quinoa Porridge topped with Panfried Cinnamon Pear

Serves 1

Ingredients

¼ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

2/4-1 cup water

½ cup Luz Almond Cold Pressed Almond Milk with Medjool Dates

½ fresh pear, thinly sliced

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp ground cinnamon plus extra for dusting

Quinoa Porridge topped with Panfried Cinnamon Pear Recipe with Almond Milk

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 then cover for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. In the meantime, heat coconut oil over medium heat in small frypan. Place pear in pan and sprinkle with cinnamon, cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden.

4. Serve quinoa in bowl topped with pear and serve immediately.

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

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