Blog : health

Five reasons why you should be buying local

Five reasons why you should be buying local

Ideally when we say local we mean buying directly from the nearby farm, however this is obviously not always possible so make sure at the very least you are buying Australian grown and Australian made products. Why?

  1. It’s fresher– when you buy local, and more specifically from the farmer, your produce hasn’t had to sit in cold storage and be shipped long distances (be wary of some of the larger supermarkets who keep their ‘fresh’ produce in cold storage for days, weeks and even months)
  2. It’s cheaper – If it is not in season in Australia, you are going to pay a premium for an overseas import. Produce in season will be in abundant supply ultimately meaning lower costs to consumers so watch for the specials at your local green grocer!
  3. It boosts the Australian economy – By supporting our local farmers we are keeping money in Australia and creating jobs from the associated industries such as packing, transport etc
  4. It helps create a healthier environment – buying local means reducing our carbon footprint, improving air quality and reducing pollution which helps us and our future generations.
  5. It tastes better – Particularly farm fresh produce is left to ripen for longer on the vines before being picked and then sent directly to markets so the consumer has it within 24 hours of being picked!
Vanilla Porridge with Blueberry Compote

Vanilla Porridge with Blueberry Compote

Ingredients

⅓ cup rolled oats

½ cup Luz Original Cold Pressed Almond Milk

½ cup water

½ tsp vanilla powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 tbsp maple syrup

 

Method

1. Heat oats, water, Luz Original, vanilla powder/extract and pinch of salt in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then turn down to low and stir continuously for approximately 5 minutes or until oats are tender and porridge reaches desired consistency. Remove from heat.

2. In the meantime to prepare the blueberry compote, place frozen blueberries and maple syrup in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir consistently for 10 minutes, until blueberries have completely defrosted and syrup has formed.

3. To serve pour porridge into a bowl, spoon out blueberries on top and then pour desired amount of syrup. You may like to reserve some of the syrup (as there is often a fair amount) for using on top of other dishes such as our berry chia pudding.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Ingredients
Almond Cashew Cream (1 batch)*
24 Ladyfinger / Savoiardi Biscuits
100g dark chocolate

Syrup
1 cup strong coffee
2 tbsp frangelico (optional)
¼ cup honey or rice malt syrup

Method

  1. Prepare the almond cashew cream following the recipe here and including the coconut oil (and ricotta if you wish).
  2. To prepare the syrup add all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (You may like to prepare ahead)
  3. Assemble either as one cake or in individual glasses. Begin by dipping a sponge finger into the syrup for approximately 10 seconds or until soaked but not soggy. Lay at the bottom of the dish. Repeat until bottom of the dish is covered.
  4. Add a layer of cream on top, approximately 1cm deep and ensuring the sponge fingers are covered.
  5. Grate chocolate on top of the cream.
  6. Then repeat with soaked sponge fingers. Repeat so you have 3 layers of sponge fingers, 3 layers of cream and 2-3 layers of grated dark chocolate..
  7. Decorate with dark chocolate or alternatively a dust of cacao.
  8. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours or until ready to serve.

*For a gluten free option for the cake, try substituting the lady finger biscuits for the cake from our lamington recipe (minus the raspberry). Instead add some coffee powder/flavouring and the alcohol as you will not be able to soak the cake like you can the lady fingers.

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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.

10 Fabuluz Facts about Luz Almond Milk

10 Fabuluz Facts about Luz Almond Milk

Just in case you needed 10 more reasons to enjoy our delicious cold pressed almond milk!

  1. Vegan friendly – all Luz Almond products are 100% free of animal products
  2. Gluten Free – our products are free of gluten-containing products, and therefore are suitable for celiacs and those with gluten intolerances
  3. Dairy & lactose free – making them suitable for those who avoid dairy and lactose for dietary, religious or personal reasons
  4. Made with Australian Almonds – we are proud to say our product is Australian made using premium quality Australian almonds, supporting our local industry
  5. Activated almonds – we activate our almonds to reduce the phytates which can prevent absorption of the good nutrients in the almonds
  6. Source of protein – unlike most almond milk brand, Original Luz Almond milk contains 5.3g of protein per serve versus ~1g in other brands
  7. No added or refined sugar – our Original almond milk is made simply from almonds and filtered water, while our flavoured milks are naturally sweetened with dates
  8. Low in saturated fat – almonds are naturally high in good fats (poly and monounsaturated fatty acids) and low in the bad fats (saturated and trans fats) which cause high cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease
  9. 12% almonds – most almond milks contain 2-4% almonds and have added oils, emulsifiers and fillers to make them seem denser
  10. Fresh, unpasteurized, no HPP – our milk is simply made by soaking then pressing the almonds, bottling, labeling and distributing. Our milks contain no preservatives and do not undergo any form of heat or high-pressure treatment to ensure the nutritional integrity of the product is maintained.

To learn more facts and tips for the health-savvy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Almonds and Your Skin

Almonds and Your Skin

Almonds and almond milk* are a rich source of protein, vitamins and nutrients which not only nourish the body but also provide significant benefits for the skin which is why almond oil and almond milk have long been used in the cosmetic world.

So what is it in almonds that makes them so good for our skin?

  • Rich in antioxidants – plants develop protective chemicals as a means of protecting themselves against nature’s elements. These protective chemicals also act to cleanse and eliminate toxins and free radicals in the body which can lead to diseases such as cancer and heart disease. One of the most abundant antioxidants in almonds is Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin E – acts by preventing and repairing cell and sun damage. It is well known as an important vitamin required by skin for it’s nourishing and hydrating functions.
  • Protein – almonds and some almond milk brands* are a good source of plant protein, which is particularly important for vegans and vegetarians to ensure they are meeting their protein requirements as protein is essential for growth and repair of body tissues including the largest organ, our skin.
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) – Almonds and almond milk are a particularly rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as containing some polyunsaturated fatty acids. These essential fatty acids also necessary for the transportation and absorption of many nutrients, in particular the fat soluble vitamins – vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats also provide energy to keep our skin and hair healthy.
  • Magnesium – assists in the formation of bone, protein and fatty acid as well as counteracting the effects of stress hormones which lead to premature ageing, acne and hair loss.

* Due to the high volume of almonds we use to make our almond milk, Luz Almond milk is a much greater protein source than many other almond milk brands which use a lower percentage of almonds (2-3%). Each 250mL serve of almond milk contains 5.3g of protein compared to 1.3g when comparing Luz to other brands respectively. As Luz Almond uses more almonds (12%), it makes sense that our milk would contain a greater proportion of these other beneficial nutrients too!

While you can obviously obtain the above benefits from consuming almonds and almond milk, there are a number of DIY beauty recipes which incorporate almonds and almond milk into non-edible solutions for your skin – here’s a few we stumbled across online:

http://www.thefitindian.com/amazing-benefits-of-using-almonds/

http://www.naturalbeautyworkshop.com/my_weblog/2015/03/fresh-rose-almond-milk-beauty-recipes-.html

To learn more facts and tips for the health-savvy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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And just to share a little something else we are working on…

We would love you to  help us bring dairy free, vegan friendly almond yoghurt to Australia. Support our Kickstarter campaign by clicking the button below!

Support our Kickstarter campaign for a yoghurt machine

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.

To learn more almond-based recipes, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Help us bring dairy free, vegan friendly almond yoghurt to Australia. Support our Kickstarter campaign by clicking the button below!

Support our Kickstarter campaign for a yoghurt machine

Six Splendid Ways Almond Milk Improves Your Health and Body

Six Splendid Ways Almond Milk Improves Your Health and Body

People who value nutrition without sacrificing taste strongly recommend almond milk as a welcome addition to a healthy diet. Have you ever wondered how almond milk actually helps your body, though? Here are six great health benefits of consuming almond milk.

1. It aids in managing your weight – Whether you want to gain or lose some weight, drinking almond milk is a great way to get in shape! A cup of almond milk contains less kilojoules than dairy milk as well as most dairy alternatives including soy, rice, oat and coconut milk.

2. It strengthens your heart – Low in sodium and rich in healthy fats (e.g. mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids), almond milk helps to prevent high blood pressure and fatal heart diseases.

3. It protects your skin – Almond milk contains vitamin E, an antioxidant which nourishes and protects your skin against harmful Ultraviolet rays.

4. It satisfies your sweet cravings the healthy way – Since almond milk is low in carbohydrates, it will have very little effect on blood sugar, which is particularly beneficial for those with diabetes. In addition the presence of good fats in almond milk helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer as it slows down digestion and consequently energy release.

5. It keeps your digestion in check – Almond milk is a source of fibre contain 3.0g per serve. Fibre is responsible for keeping the digestive system in check and also plays a role in stabilising blood glucose levels and cholesterol which contributes to the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

6. It tastes better than dairy milk – Making it a great alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. Plus it serves as a wonderful substitute in recipes and dishes which call for cows’ milk.

These are just a few of the many benefits of consuming almond milk but if you don’t do it for any other reason, just drink it because it tastes great!! When buying your almond milk (as with all foods & beverages) make sure you read the list of ingredients to ensure you are buying products free from added sugar, preservatives and harmful chemicals.

To learn more facts and tips for the health-savvy, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

 

References:

Brady, Krissy. “11 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About.” Lifehack, n.d. Web. 1 April 2015.

Morgan, Griffin. “How Fiber Helps Your Digestive Health.” WebMD, 1 November 2010. Web. 6 April 2015.

What’s in your fridge Vie Active?

What’s in your fridge Vie Active?

For those unfamiliar with this awesome brand, Vie Active is an active wear brand based in Sydney Australia.”Vie Active is a luxury, high-performance activewear brand with a Bondi-cool attitude that was created for precisely the way we live our lives. High-performance clothing that enables us to enjoy the benefits of living an active life without having to compromise on how we look and feel. Founded in Australia’s famous Bondi Beach in 2012 with just 8 Merino styles, founders Bryan and Noa Ries wanted to create activewear that was not only technical and discreetly luxurious but also captured the fun and freedom of their lifestyle by the beach.” (excerpt from Vie Active website)

Luz Almond proudly collaborated with Vie Active a while back on their awesome Barre & Brunch event which raised money for the Butterfly Foundation, an not-for-profit organisation which provides supports to those people and families suffering from eating disorders. It is not only their beautiful range of functional and fashionable activewear which is why we love this brand so much but also this down-to-earth attitude and support of such organisations.

As an activewear brand, it is unsurprising that the Vie Active girls are passionate about health so we asked them if we could have a peak inside their fridge, to which they welcomed up with open arms. Check it out:

whatsinyourfridgevie

 

A little more on what’s inside the Vie Active fridge:

  • Lots of fresh berries to snack on throughout the day and add to smoothie bowls and salads
  • Fresh Medjool dates for when our afternoon sweet tooth hits
  • Avocados – we love including these in our green smoothies and salads to pack our diet with healthy fats
  • Almond butter – perfect to snack on with apples
  • The bottom shelf has our green smoothie essentials:
    • fresh kale
    • bananas
    • bee pollen (an amazing complete source of protein)
  • Greek yoghurt to add some protein to our berries
  • Smoked salmon – we’re in LA at the moment so spelt bagels with avocado and smoked salmon are a go to lunch after a hard workout
  • Unsweetened almond milk ( it would be Luz if we weren’t in LA) essential for our smoothies, raw deserts and our coffees

 logo-bondi

Quick Q&A with Vie Active

Q: Why do you think it is important to maintain a healthy weight?
A: A healthy weight is important to us because if your weight is healthy it’s more likely your body is healthy. You have a lower risk of disease, health problems and aches and pains and when your body is running well you feel and look better.

Q: What do you do to maintain a healthy weight?
A: To Vie Active maintaining a healthy weight requires a healthy relationship with not only food and exercise but also your mind. There are a lot of factors that come into play when maintaining a healthy weight – stress, hormones, activity levels and many of these can relate to how you feel. We believe the happier and healthier you feel the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight. One practice we try to do regularly is taking time to do something that loves our body back – yoga, a massage, dry body brushing – these things make us feel happy and healthy and that makes it easier to make healthier choices, be motivated to exercise and maintain a healthy weight.

 

Get in touch with Vie Active & check out their amazing range of activewear:

What’s in your fridge Jordanna Levin?

What’s in your fridge Jordanna Levin?

Jordanna Levin is the founder of one of our favourite blogs, ‘The Inspired Table’. She is a holistic wellness coach whose focus is to heal people’s ‘complicated’ relationship with food. She believes food should inspire and nourish, not be a source of stress and anxiety. Through her coaching programs, cooking workshops and popular healthy food blog she’s creating a new movement of mindful and inspired eating.

We were delighted to get a sneak peak inside Jordanna’s fridge. Enjoy checking it out for yourselves!

Jordanna's fridge

 

A little more on what is in Jordanna’s fridge (in her words, it was a little random on this day!):

  • 2 types of yoghurt: Coyo and goat’s milk. The reason there is two because I prefer Coyo on sweeter things like porridge or with fruit, and then goat’s milk on savoury meals like curries and salads. I find straight cow’s milk yoghurt a little hard to digest these days. Goat’s milk is a good compromise, plus it’s DELICIOUS.
  • Fresh coconut: I have a serious coconut addiction. I add the water to my smoothies most mornings. The carton stuff just isn’t the same. I try and make sure I use the whole coconut too. I usually freeze the flesh i don’t eat and add it to smoothies or banana soft serve.
  • Raw Sisterhood sauerkraut: I always have a jar of this in the fridge and eat a spoonful with every meal. I’m usually a Golden Goodness (full of turmeric and ginger) fan, but this week I bought the Pickle Me Pink (full of beets).
  • 2 jars of random: I always have countless jars of weird things in my fridge. The top jar is some cold pressed turmeric and ginger juice that I made the day before to add to teas and hot almond milk drinks. The bottom jar is a raspberry chia pudding that I made the night before to have for breakfast with some Coyo and probably some activated buckwheat.
  • Organic eggs: Always! It’s eggs for days at my house. Soft-boiled, scrambled, poached, in crepes, in banana bread… I couldn’t survive without them.
  • Vegemite: You can see the yellow lid peeking out from over the back. I love the stuff, I can’t deny it! Vegemite and avocado on sourdough with a poached egg on top is my idea of breakfast heaven.
  • Orchard St Turmeric Kefir: I’m surprised this was in the fridge, they never last more than 2 minutes once i buy them. I’m fortunate enough to live a 5 minute walk from Orchard Street elixir bar in Bondi, I must have planned ahead this day and had one ready to go for an afternoon pick me-up.
  • Organic veggies: I actually couldn’t get my veggie crisper in shot here, but my fridge is usually full of lots of vegetables. Although I end to buy as I need it these days. I was sick of getting to the end of the week and finding I wasn’t able to get through everything. Its such a waste. I’m lucky that my local grocer has such a wide selection of organic fruit and veg.

 Jordanna Levin1

Quick Q&A with The Inspired Table

Q: Why do you think it is important to maintain a healthy weight?
A: “I think we place too much emphasis on weight, size and body shape. When I’m working with my clients and they come to me with weight issues I think it’s really important to shift the focus from a desired weight range or dress size and ask them what being healthy would feel like to them. What would it feel like to have boundless energy, have a clear head, sharp mind, restful sleeps, glowing skin and improved self-esteem? How would it affect their job, relationships, family and hobbies? There are so many varying degrees of “healthy”, but if somebody can say that they’re nourishing their bodies with nutrient-rich foods, moving their bodies with regular exercise and taking the time for self-care and stress management then being “healthy” has the ability to transform peoples lives.”

Q: What do you do to maintain a healthy weight?
A: “Well, I do things a lot differently than I did in my early twenties I’ll tell you that much. The biggest key factor for me to remain healthy is to really tune in to my body and listen to what it needs. I spent years exercising like a crazy lady and restricting my diet only to have a serious adrenal burnout at the age of 25, 2 years without a period and a massive disconnection from what my body really needed. These days I eat when I’m hungry and try to squeeze as many nutrients as I can into each meal, which means lots of green vegetables, small amounts of grass fed meats, fresh seafood, good fats and superfoods like quinoa, chia and cacao. If my body feels nourished it stays pretty happy. I also exercise less these days. I do yoga most days and then throw in some brisk walks and a couple of HIIT sessions, but if my body says ‘no’ and somedays it does, I just take it easy that day. Meditation is the last bit of the puzzle for me. Actually, mindfulness in general. Once I eliminated the stress from eating and exercising the whole being healthy thing just kind of fell into place. We are so incredibly hard on ourselves sometimes and the mere act of being gentle and kind can make physical and emotional transformations in people that no amount of dieting or exercising could achieve.”

 

Get in touch with Jordanna: