Why it’s good to be nuts about nuts

Nuts are such an underrated snack.

Different types of nuts offer different nutritional benefits but they’re all packed full of goodness including plenty of fibre, good fats and protein. Yes, they are high in fat and 100g cashews typically contains 553 calories but before you vow never to eat a handful again let me tell you why nuts ARE in fact good for you and although high in fat, it’s good fats and fat like this is our friend to use a tired but true cliché.

30g is the ideal snack size for nuts so try and stick to that. I’m talking about unsalted, non-honey coated nuts here too!

They’re so easy to snack on as well. You don’t need to keep them in a special Tupperware and they have a long shelf life which is perfect if you want to buy in bulk.

I’ve put together a bit of info to highlight the nutritional benefits different nuts offer.

Let’s start with…

These nuts are packed full of fibre which is good for your digestive system. They’re also rich in vitamin E which is a great antioxidant and is good for the skin. If you’re avoiding dairy then stock up on almonds as they’re calcium and phosphorous rich. Finally, these nuts are especially good for your heart if they have their skin on as it is full of heart-protecting nutrients.
Try them in porridge or add ground almonds to home-made energy bars.
30g contains roughly 173 calories.

casjhews  Cashews:
Cashews are a definite brain booster as they contain lots of magnesium which is supposed to help with age –related memory loss. Some studies have even gone as far to say that eating cashews can help to warn off Alzheimer’s. Not only that but these nuts are also rich in iron and zinc which is good if you’re a vegetarian and lacking minerals usually found in red meat.
Try them in this really easy to make Pad Thai dish.
30g contains roughly 166 calories.

brazil nuts  Brazil nuts:
If your immune system needs a boost then grab a couple of Brazil nuts. They’re a good source of selenium which boosts immunity and also helps those who have a low thyroid function. It has also been suggested that selenium might help to prevent certain cancers including prostate and breast cancer. An ideal serving would be 3-4 Brazil nuts, it’s important not to over-do it with these.
Perfect simply as an afternoon snack or on your cereal.
30g roughly contains 197 calories.

hazelnuts  Hazelnuts:
We all love a hazelnut shot in our coffee but like other nuts these boast a high amount of good fat. Hazelnuts in particular are full of mono-unsaturated fats which can  improve heart health. The nutrients in hazelnuts help to balance out homocysteine levels – amino acid homocysteine has been linked to heart problems according to medical research.
Try them in home-made crunchy granola.
30g roughly contains 184 calories

walnuts  Walnuts:
They can often look like a brain and the image fits as these nuts are rich in omega -3 and mono-unsaturated fats which are both food for the heart. They are also a good source of calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium. Calcium and iron will help with strong bones whilst selenium is a fantastic anti-oxidant. Walnuts have also been proven to help lower cholesterol.
Try them in a salad with raisins or grapes and feta cheese.
30g roughly contains 196 calories


Clean & lean turkey burger stack

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So…this just happened! This is my take on the classic burger and chips and to be honest it’s even better than the original.

For most people burger and chips is an indulgent meal and a treat to have once in a while but this meal is totally guilt free, not to mention filling and nutritious.

The bun has been replaced with portobello mushrooms and sweet potato whilst the chips are my ultimate favourites, roasted parsnip chips – I’m obsessed with them! You can easily make this more low carb as well if fat loss is your goal by leaving out the sweet potato and switching the parsnip chips for kale crisps.

This meal is also fairly cheap to rustle up, using ingredients and basic kitchen cupboard store items – you’ll only need to get the mince in and other fresh ingredients. These burgers were turkey and apricot spiced with cumin and coriander and the flavours are amazing. Apricot also works well with pork mince.

For speed I didn’t actually follow a strict recipe with specific quantities but I’ve added some quantities below if you do prefer following a strict recipe but honestly, it does just work if you throw it all in!

You will need:
For the burger
– 500g lean turkey mince
– 1 red onion, chopped
– 1 garlic clove, chopped
– Salt and pepper
– Sweet chilli sauce
– Coriander, chopped
– 2 tsp cumin
– 1 free range egg (to bind ingredients together)
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 2 portobello mushrooms (more depending on how many people you’re feeding)
– 1 large sweet potato, chopped width ways
-1 medium avocado
-1 large beef tomato
-50g dried apricots, chopped

For the “chips”
– 4/5 parsnips, chopped
– 1 tsp coconut oil

For the slaw
– Red cabbage, chopped length ways
– Cabbage, chopped length ways
– 2 tsp Dijon mustard
– 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
– 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

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– Start by pre-heating the oven to 180 degrees and put the chopped parsnips and sweet potato on a baking try and into the oven to roast.
– Put the turkey mince, chopped onion, garlic and seasoning in a large bowl before adding the chopped apricots, coriander, egg, sweet chilli sauce and the cumin. Stir together until well combined.
– Sprinkle a little flour on to a chopping board and shape the burgers (using your hands) on to the tray. Heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers for about 15-20 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
– To make the slaw, add the chopped cabbage to a bowl and add the vinegar, mustard and balsamic glaze and stir well. I was in charge of the coleslaw and overdid it on the Dijon mustard, oops, so just stick to two tsp of that!
– When the sweet potato/parsnip chips are about 5-10 minutes from being done, add the mushrooms to the tray to roast slightly.
– Once everything is cooked, place one mushroom on a plate followed by a sweet potato circle, then the burger, tomato and avocado before topping with another sweet potato circle and finally the last mushroom top!

I am officially STUFFED now but thoroughly content – it’s all about fuelling your body right after all isn’t it! Enjoy 🙂

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Thai pork mince lettuce wraps

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As you may have seen from some of my previous recipes  I love Thai food.

This is a super easy dish to make and you’ll be surprised by just how much flavour it packs with just a few, simple ingredients.

Make this as a quick tea when you get in from work or during Sunday night meal prep to have for lunch or dinner for the rest of the week.

You can also use turkey or beef mince but these flavours work really well with pork. What’s more, it is low carb but you can also add brown rice to the lettuce wraps before adding the mince to get some healthy carbs in there if you want to.

You will need:
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of two limes
1 red chilli, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
500g lean pork mince
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 tsp coconut oil
Handful of coriander, chopped
1 large Chinese lettuce

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– Start by heating the coconut oil in a large frying pan before adding the garlic and the pork mince. Cook thoroughly until the pork mince is almost done and then add the chopped chilli, fish sauce and the chopped pepper.
– Cook on a high heat until the mince is thoroughly cooked then add the fresh lime juice and stir in some fresh coriander.
– To prepare the lettuce leaves simply peel them away and chop off the end before arranging artistically (we tried!) on a plate. If you’re having rice with your wraps then add that in to the lettuce leaf before adding the mince.
– Wrap up the leaves as you eat them (I’d suggest with your hands!) and there you have it, Thai pork mince lettuce wraps.

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Serve them with a sprig of fresh coriander on top and a wedge of lime on the side. I guarantee these will go down a treat any night of the week and it is a perfect meal to make in bulk to keep you going for the rest of the week.