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    2 Super Smoothies That’ll Help You Fight Off That Cold

    The probiotic health trend is having a massive moment right now and it’s moving away from those tablets you take with antibiotics, to drinkable or edible fermented foods like kimchi and kefir.

    Next time you’re drinking a smoothie, add some probiotics to the mix: the lactic acid bacteria in the drink create an environment in your tum perfect for better absorption of nutrients. You can get your fix from Rawbiotics, a range of live liquid probiotics that works to correct microbial imbalances, or kefir, a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains that’s been drunk for years in the Eurasia region.

    We’ve rounded up two must-try recipes loaded with probiotics that’ll boost your immunity – and are totally delicious!

    Spiced Apple Smoothie

    Other than the fact that this smoothie is truly delicious, kefir’s been used for many years. That’s because it’s rich in amino acids, vitamins, and is alive with tummy-loving bacteria. One study even found that kefir has the ability to reduce lactose intolerance in adults.

    Spiced Apple Smoothie

    This vitamin-packed smoothie is bursting with amino acids and tummy-loving probiotics. Plus, it’s absolutely delicious!

    Course Snack

    Servings 1 serving

    1 Apple½ tsp Cinnamon½ tsp Nutmeg½ cup Oats1 cup KefirHoney, to taste

    Keyword Smoothie

    The Green Monster Smoothie

    Green smoothies are powerhouses for your health: the phytochemicals in green food make them great ways to up your immunity. Add some probiotic, gut-healthy Rawbiotics to the mix.

    Healthy Gut Green Smoothie

    Green smoothies are health powerhouses! Packed with phytochemicals, they boost your immunity. Add some probiotics to make them even better.

    Course Snack

    Servings 1 serving

    Handful of spinach leavesJuice of half a lemon1 Kiwi30 ml Rawbiotics Gut Correct Probiotics250 ml Water

    Keyword Smoothie

    Looking for more smoothies to try? More

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    This Healthy Cauliflower Risotto Is A Winter Dream

    A classic, cosy way to cook rice, the risotto stands out not only as a filling and delicious dish but as a veritable winter warmer. And this healthy cauliflower risotto ticks all the boxes.

    This recipe, from Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin’s new offering at Steenberg Wine Farm’s Bistro Sixteen82 winter menu, nails it.

    The new winter menu at Bistro Sixteen82, curated by Kilpin, embodies the essence of winter comfort. Featuring an array of fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients, the menu includes highlights such as umami-glazed Cape Bream and heart-warming desserts like Valrhona chocolate marquise, promising a sensory feast that celebrates the best of what the colder months have to offer.

    But if you can’t make it to the lush foothills of the Steenberg valley, Chef Kilpin has this healthy cauliflower risotto recipe to cosy you up.

    The key to a perfect risotto

    Use the right rice

    A short-to-medium grain rice does well and absorbs the liquid, making it velvety and rich. Another tip: don’t wash the rice beforehand – you want that extra starch to create a good, rich texture.

    Go slowly

    Per Jamie Oliver, cook your risotto slowly on low heat. Also add your broth in ladles: this gives the rice time to absorb each spoonful of broth, slowly plumping up that grain.

    Pay attention

    Like the perfect scrambled egg, you can’t leave a risotto unattended. Stir frequently to prevent the dish from sticking to the bottom of the pan and make sure the rice never dries out.

    Healthy Cauliflower, Corn & Bacon Risotto

    Executive Chef Kerry Kilpin

    This healthy cauliflower risotto is a winter dream and comes together in minutes.

    Prep Time 10 minutes minsCook Time 20 minutes mins

    Course Appetizer, Lunch, Main Course, StarterCuisine Healthy, Italian

    1 onion, chopped100 g butter2 cloves garlic, chopped200 g risotto rice200 ml Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc, or dry white wine15 ml smoked paprika1 cup frozen corn250 g streaky bacon, chopped½ head cauliflower  blended roughly to make “cauliflower rice” 2 cup chicken stock2 sprigs rosemary, chopped125 g parmesan, grated20 g parsely
    Sweat your onions and garlic with 50g butter in a pot for about 2 minutes. Add your rice, cook for a further minute until the rice starts to go translucent on the outside. Add the wine and allow the wine to cook off and the rice to absorb all the liquid. Add the paprika, bacon and enough stock to cover the rice. Cook on a medium heat. After a further 2 minutes, add the cauliflower, corn and rosemary and top with stock. Throughout the cooking process you will add stock and stir from time to time. Keep your risotto moist at all times. If you run out of stock and your rice isn’t cooked, top up using water. Once your rice is about 2 minutes off from being cooked, add the parmesan, butter and parsley and allow to melt. Season to taste and enjoy with a glass of Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc.

    Keyword bacon, comfort food, Easy Meals, risotto

    Try these winter-warming recipes More

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    3 Hearty Winter Braai Recipes To Warm Your Weekend

    South Africans know that a braai isn’t just for summer—it’s a year-round custom. These hearty recipes are what we call comfort food goals! Picture this combination: a crackling fire, a glass of Pinotage, cosy knitwear and good company. Sounds like the perfect winter evening, right?

    Our friends at Le Creuset and Georgia East have teamed up to bring you three braai recipes that celebrate the best of winter flavours, featuring juicy citrus, rich squash, and aromatic alliums like garlic, spring onion and shallots.

    For best results, use a pizza oven, kettle braai, or Weber. However, all three recipes can be prepared in a conventional oven, too.

    Moreish Sticky Chicken

    This sticky braaied chicken, basted with sweet oranges, marmalade and fresh rosemary, is the perfect main course for a cosy night in.

    Image by Le Creuset

    Butterflied Chicken with Citrus & Rosemary Basting

    Georgia East

    Sweet oranges, marmalade and fresh rosemary make an addictive basting for this sticky braaied chicken. By butterflying the bird, it is easily and evenly cooked over the coals with the Le Creuset Alpine Skillet ensuring that no roasting liquids are lost. 

    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 1 hour hr

    Course Main CourseCuisine South African

    Servings 4 servings

    1 kg whole free-range chicken, cleaned3 tbsp chunky orange marmalade 50ml2 large oranges zested and juiced25 ml Worcestershire sauce or dark soy sauce3 garlic cloves finely chopped3 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped, plus extra sprigs for stuffingSea salt and black pepper1 large red onion unpeeled and quartered150 ml dry white wine or water
    Add the marmalade, orange zest and juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and rosemary to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced and sticky. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to butterfly the chicken by removing the backbone and flattening the bird breast-side up. Clean and dry the chicken with paper towel and brush the citrus glaze all over the underside of the bird.Arrange the orange slices over the base of the Le Creuset Alpine Skillet and place the chicken skin-side up on top of the fruit, tucking a few rosemary sprigs underneath the chicken. Use the rest of the citrus mixture to baste the chicken thoroughly. Tuck the red onion and any extra rosemary around the chicken and pour in the white wine or water. Cover the skillet with foil and place into a preheated 220°C kettle braai or Weber, removing the foil after the first 25 minutes. The chicken will be done once the skin is a golden brown and the juices from the thigh run clear (poke the chicken with a knife to make sure). Leave the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serve with the red onion and spoonfuls of the roasting liquid from the skillet.

    *Cook’s tip: Use Le Creuset’s silicone basting brush to baste the chicken with its own roasting liquid while it cooks, for a deliciously sticky skin.

    Keyword braai, chicken

    Grilled Butternut Bliss

    What’s a braai without the perfect side dish? This one features a tangy balsamic glaze and fresh sage, transforming it into the ultimate veggie delight. Moreover, butternut and other squashes are rich in vitamin A and fibre—exactly what you should stock up on this winter.

    Image by Le Creuset

    Smoky Grilled Butternut with Balsamic Glaze, Sage & Seeds

    Georgia East

    Butternut and other squashes like pumpkin, gem and Hubbard are in season now and their tender taste pairs well with smoky flavours infused from fire. For this recipe, two big butternut squash are halved and roasted over the coals in the Le Creuset Alpine Grill Basket, brushed with a piquant balsamic glaze and stuffed with fresh sage. A scattering of toasted pumpkin, flax, sunflower and sesame seeds finish off this easy veggie dish.

    Prep Time 10 minutes minsCook Time 30 minutes mins

    Course Side DishCuisine Vegetarian

    Servings 4 servings

    2 large butternut squash halved lengthways50 ml balsamic vinegar reduction25 ml dry red wine or waterSea salt and black pepperOlive oilA handful of fresh sage30 ml mixed toasted seeds
    Pour the balsamic reduction and red wine into a small saucepan over medium heat and reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Rub a little olive oil over the skin-side of the butternut and place into Le Creuset’s Alpine Grill Basket. Use a sharp knife to score the cut side of each butternut in a criss-cross pattern and brush with the balsamic glaze. Put the butternut into a preheated 220°C kettle braai or Weber and cook skin-side down for the first 20 minutes before basting the cut side with more glaze, placing some sage into each cavity and turning the butternut to roast flesh-side down for a further 10 to 20 minutes or until soft. To serve, baste once more with the balsamic reduction and scatter over the toasted seeds.

    *Cook’s tip: by roasting butternut in the skin, the vegetable takes on a buttery, nutty flavour. Once cooked, the skin of a butternut can be eaten and is more nutrient-dense than the flesh. This is also a tasty way to roast butternut for soups, sauces and pasta filling.

    Keyword braai, vegetarian

    Focaccia with Garlic, Spring Onion & Shallots

    Enjoy this focaccia as a starter or as a delightful side dish alongside the chicken and butternut recipes. Did we mention it’s a plate of pillowy, bubbly goodness?

    Image by Le Creuset

    Focaccia with Garlic, Spring Onion & Shallots

    Georgia East

    Not only great for pizza, Le Creuset’s Alpine Pizza Pan is perfect for flatbread or this easy focaccia. Cold fermentation is essential for a pillowy, bubbly bread and so the hardest part of this recipe is the waiting period! Get creative with different designs for the top of the focaccia – this recipe uses Autumnal alliums like spring onions, garlic and sweet shallots. 

    Prep Time 30 minutes minsCook Time 40 minutes minsCold-ferment 2 days d

    Course Side DishCuisine South African

    Servings 4 servings

    1 kg stoneground white bread flour850 ml warm water1 sachet nstant yeast 7g10 g honey30 ml olive oil20 g fine sea saltAssorted alliums like garlic, spring onions, shallots and red onionAdditional olive oilFlaky sea salt
    Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and add in the yeast, honey, olive oil and salt. Mix to combine and pour in the flour. Mix well, scraping down the bowl, until the flour is thoroughly hydrated. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave for 15 minutes. Using wet hands, stretch and pull the dough, folding it in over itself. Cover for another 15 minutes before repeating the stretching process. I like to do this step three times to really build structure in the dough. After the final stretching process, turn the dough smooth-side up and rub with olive oil. Cover the bowl with clingwrap and refrigerate for 48 hours – 72 if you have the time.Drizzle a little olive oil over the base of the Le Creuset Alpine Pizza Pan and using oiled hands, carefully place the focaccia dough on top. Fold the dough into a burrito-like shape and flip so that it is smooth-side up. Cover the dough and leave to prove for a minimum of 2 hours. I usually prove for 4 hours. By now, the dough should have spread out over the pan but if not, gently assist it using oiled fingers. Oil the alliums and push them into the dough. Drizzle the focaccia with a little more olive oil and season generously with flaky salt.Bake the bread in a preheated 220°C kettle braai or Weber for 30 to 40 minutes. The focaccia is best sliced and eaten immediately.

    *Cook’s tip: be sure to oil the veggies and herbs before putting them into the focaccia dough as this will prevent them from blackening on the braai. Other produce like olives, radishes, tomatoes, beetroot, mushrooms, asparagus, figs, grapes, peppers and chillies can be used in place of alliums if desired.

    Keyword braai

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    After This Recipe, You’ll Never Have Seared Tuna Any Other Way!

    Not travelling anytime soon? We’re right there with you! Join us while we lick our wanderlust wounds with some delectable cuisine. Who better to take us on an exotic culinary journey than award-winning Chef Monché Muller. Below, one of our favourite creations from her book Harvest Table: A Culinary Journey Through The Wine Regions Of France, Italy, Spain And South Africa. Let’s jump right in!

    Harvest Table: A Culinary Journey Through the Wine Regions of France, Italy, Spain and South Africa

    Chef Monchè’s book blossomed from a casual conversation about good food and wine into a much-loved project that tells many magnificent stories about ingredients, communities, local producers and the people behind Oddo Vins et Domaines wines. The recipes, some traditional and some curated especially for this book, are an ode to some culinary regions in France, Italy, Spain and our very own South Africa.

    Pink Peppercorn-Crusted Tuna with Artichoke and Pine Nut Caponata

    Pink Peppercorn-Crusted Tuna with Artichoke and Pine Nut Caponata

    Chef Monché Muller

    From Harvest Table: A Culinary Journey Through the Wine Regions of France, Italy, Spain and South Africa

    Prep Time 30 minutes mins

    Course Lunch, Main Course

    Servings 4 servings

    1 Braai Stand1 Griddle Pan
    For the tuna4 Tbsp Pink peppercorns, crushed 1 Tbsp Pink Himalayan salt1 Lemon, zested1 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil800g Fresh tuna loinMarjoram, deep-fried to garnishFor the caponata200g Pine nuts2 tsp Sweet paprika2 tsp Cumin seeds½ tsp Turmeric375ml Extra virgin olive oil100g Capers, drained165ml Fresh lemon juice2 Tbsp Marjoram, chopped800g Artichoke hearts, halved
    To make the tuna, combine the crushed peppercorns, salt, lemon zest and olive oil. Cover the tuna loin with the pepper crust on all sides.Sear the tuna over very hot coals on all sides, leaving the inside raw. Also grill the artichoke hearts (for the caponata) for a few minutes, until charred.Cool the tuna on a chopping board for about 10 minutes, then cut into 1 cm-thick slices.To make the caponata, toast the pine nuts in a dry saucepan over medium-high heat until golden. Add the spices and toast until fragrant.Add the olive oil and bring to a low simmer. Add the capers and fry until crispy.Remove from the heat, stir through the marjoram and lemon juice, then pour the hot liquid over the chargrilled artichokes. Allow to cool.Serve the caponata as a relish with the seared tuna slices, and garnish with deep-fried marjoram.

    NB: Not in the mood to braai? Similar results can be achieved by searing the tuna in a hot griddle pan.

    Keyword Easy Meals, fish

    READ MORE: This Tinned Tuna Nicoise Salad Is The Ultimate Quick Dinner Or Work Lunch

    How To Sear Tuna Perfectly

    Blot both sides of the tuna dry with paper towels.

    Rub it down with a little bit of olive oil, then season the tuna on all sides

    Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.

    Arrange steaks in the hot pan. Shake the pan gently to avoid sticking.

    Cook for one and a half minutes. Flip the tuna and cook for one more minute.

    Video by Pexels

    More Healthy Recipes:

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    5 High-Carb Fruits—And How Adding Protein Or Fat Helps Blood Sugar

    There are *so* many reasons to love fruits. These nutrient-rich foods pack in plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients—necessary for keeping your body functioning at an optimal level. And, many contain antioxidants like polyphenols, also, that help ward off cancer and keep your body healthy.

    But here’s the thing: Eating endless fruit isn’t a zero-sum game. That’s because all fruit contains natural sugar, and as a result, is naturally higher in carbohydrate content than vegetables, says registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix.

    Some low-carb diets, including the ketogenic diet, actually suggest avoiding most fruits because of their carb content. (FWIW there isn’t an “official” definition of what low-carb truly means, but most of these diets range between 50 to 150 grams of carbs per day, with the keto diet at no more than 50 grams of carbs per day.)

    “I’ve never met a patient in my practice that was overweight because they ate too much produce. I have, however, had patients eating too much fruit and think that it doesn’t matter because it’s fruit. But it does matter,” she says, especially if you are managing diabetes or need to control your blood sugar levels.

    Quick tip to help stabilise blood sugar levels when having fruit: Pair ’em with protein and or fat. Try adding some almond butter to your apple.

    Meet the Expert: Bonnie Taub-Dix is a registered dietitian, nutrition consultant and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You From Label to Table.

    But the carbs in fruit are just one part of the picture, Taub-Dix says. Fruit isn’t something to avoid! Keep the fruit’s carbohydrate content in mind along with its overall nutritional profile and don’t jump to eliminating high-carb fruits. Women should be eating about one and a half to two cups of fruit a day, according to the NIH. (BTW, most people aren’t eating enough of it in the first place.)

    High-carb fruits might be a great way to stay fuelled before a workout and they make for a sweet (all natural!) treat to end your day.

    So whether you’re navigating a low-carb diet or you’re just curious, here are five fruits that have particularly high carb counts.

    READ MORE: What Is The 30 Plants Per Week Challenge?

    1. Banana

    If a banana comes to mind when you’re thinking of high-carb fruit, there’s a good reason why: A medium banana (about 18cm long) is loaded with 27 grams of carbs. There are a few other reasons to throw this fruit into your a.m. smoothie, though—from containing prebiotics and fibre to packing in electrolytes, including potassium.

    2. Raisins

    Fuelling up for a hike? Chances are you will find a decent amount of raisins in trail mix, likely because of their high carb count. With 22 grams of carbs in a little box of raisins, you only need a handful of these sweet nuggets to get a quick energy boost when you’re out on the trail or on a long run. But you’ll also get 2 grams of fibre, which can help balance your blood sugar levels and minerals like potassium and iron.

    3. Mango

    Many tropical fruits tend to have higher sugar content, and therefore, higher carb counts. And mangoes are no exception. According to the USDA, one cup of cut mango yields 25 grams of carbs. That said, there are many reasons to eat this “king of fruits.” It’s a solid source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

    READ MORE: 10 Healthy Snacks That Won’t Give You A Sugar Crash In 20 Minutes

    4. Pineapple

    Each cup of chopped pineapple contains almost 22 grams of carbohydrates (per the USDA) and offers tons of nutritional benefits. This tasty tropical fruit packs in 85 percent of your daily manganese needs, an essential nutrient that helps your body function properly, and plenty of vitamin C, fibre and H2O. (With 86% water, it’s also a great source of hydration.)

    5. Apple

    One medium apple—measuring about 7cm in diameter—has about 25 grams of carbs (that number varies only slightly depending on the type of apple). Surprised? That’s probably partly because it is a high-fibre fruit. Apples also are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which help keep your immune system humming.

    This article by Christine Yu & Trish Clasen Marsanico was first published on Women’s Health US. More

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    6 Delicious Winter Soup Recipes – Plus Sides!

    Temperatures are dropping, socks are getting thicker and you’re suddenly finding you need an extra blanket on your bed at night. Winter is here, and it brings with it more time snuggled up indoors, endless cups of tea and, of course, bowls of steaming soup. There’s no better side for soup than fresh bread, so here’s a round-up of six super winter soup recipes and sides to go with them.

    Note: Stick to low-GI wholewheat bread whenever possible, or leave it out completely. These soups are filling enough to go without the side!

    READ MORE: 3 Comforting Soups That’ll Boost Your Immune System

    Want More Winter Soup Recipes? We’ve Just Launched The Ultimate Soup Cookbook!

    In this book, you’ll find light broths, bold bisques and scrumptious stews so satisfying, you’ll be craving them all year long. It’s time to simmer, stir and slurp your way to better meals with:

    45 Easy, Healthy Homemade Soup Recipes

    Energy Boosting Foods

    The Best Blenders That Do It All

    Ingredients That’ll Help Curb Cravings

    6 Winter Soup Recipes That’ll Warm You Up, Stat!

    1. Cheeky Broccoli And Cheese Soup

    Broccoli and cheese are a heavenly match, and this is a good way to disguise healthy green vegetables if your family members aren’t mad about them.

    Broccoli And Cheese Soup

    Broccoli and cheese are a heavenly match, and this is a good way to disguise healthy green vegetables if your family members aren’t mad about them.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 15 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine American

    ½ OnionOlive Oil2 Cups Broccoli1 Litre Chicken or vegetable stock1 Tin Evaporated milk1 Cup Cheddar cheese, gratedFor The SideButter, softenedLemon zest, gratedLow-GI brown bread, toasted
    Fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Add broccoli, stock and evaporated milk. Boil until the broccoli is soft.Add cheddar cheese. Blend until smooth.For the side: Mix softened butter with grated lemon zest, then spread onto toasted low-GI brown bread. Serve with the broccoli soup and enjoy.

    Keyword Healthy Recipes, soup

    READ MORE: Make This Cold-Fighting Lettuce, Fennel & Pea Soup If You’re Feeling Under The Weather

    2. Smoky Bacon And Bean Soup

    The best thing about this soup is that you can make it with items from your kitchen cupboard or freezer.

    Smoky Bacon And Bean Soup

    The best thing about this soup is that you can make it with items from your kitchen cupboard or freezer.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 10 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine Spanish

    Few Rashers Bacon, chopped 1 Tin Italian tomato and onion mix1 Tin Butter beansFor The SideSoft butter1 Clove Garlic, choppedDried herbsLow-GI white bread
    Fry a few rashers of chopped bacon until crispy. Add tomato and onion mix and butter beans.For the side: Make herbed garlic butter by mixing together butter, garlic and dried herbs. Spread this mixture onto slices of low-GI white bread then grill until crispy and golden.Dunk the garlic bread into the soup for a hearty meal that’ll warm anyone up from the inside.

    Keyword bacon, dinner, Easy Meals, soup

    3. Tummy-Filling Sweetcorn & Chicken Soup

    This soup is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken pieces.

    Cosy Chicken & Corn Chowder Soup

    Cosy up with a hearty bowl of this chicken and corn chowder. This soup is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken pieces.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 15 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine American

    2 Potatoes, chopped1 OnionButter1 Tin Creamed sweetcorn1 Tin Whole kernel corn, drained1 Can Cream of chicken soupDash MilkLeftover chicken, chopped into small piecesFor The SideLow-GI brown bread, toastedParmesan, grated
    Fry the potatoes and onion in butter, then add sweetcorn and corn. Add chicken soup, a dash of milk and leftover chicken.For the side: While the soup bubbles away, toast a few slices of low-GI brown bread, top with Parmesan and grill until the cheese has melted into the bread. Serve the soup when the potatoes are completely soft, with a healthy portion of Parmesan toast.

    Keyword chicken, Easy Meals, Healthy Recipes, soup

    READ MORE: Give Your Salad A Winter Makeover With This Butternut And Beetroot Recipe

    4. Hearty Veggie Noodle Soup

    If you have odds and ends of vegetables in your fridge, you can whip up this soup for almost nothing.

    Hearty Vegetable Noodle Soup

    If you have odds and ends of vegetables in your fridge, you can whip up this soup for almost nothing.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 20 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine Vegetarian

    1 OnionOil3 Carrots, chopped2 Stalks Celery, chopped2 Zucchinis, chopped2 Tbsp Tomato paste2 Cups Vegetable stock2 Cups Short pasta (macaroni, penne, fusilli or shells)For The SideBreadOlive oilSalt
    Fry one onion in a little oil, then add carrots, celery and zucchini.Add tomato paste and stock to the mixture. Bring to the boil, then add short pasta (macaroni, penne, fusilli or shells) and cook until the pasta is al dente.For The Side: To serve with the soup, make homemade croutons by cutting bread into cubes. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt, then roast in the oven until crispy. Sprinkle the homemade croutons into noodle soup just before serving – scrumptious.

    Keyword dinner, Easy Meals, soup, vegetarian

    5. Creamy Mushroom Soup

    This soup couldn’t be simpler and it works for a laid-back dinner party starter.

    Creamy Mushroom Soup

    This soup couldn’t be simpler and it works for a laid-back dinner party starter.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 15 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine Vegetarian

    2 Punnets Mushrooms, sliced1 Onion, chopped3 Cloves Garlic, choppedButter2 Cups Fresh cream1 Cup Vegetable or chicken stockDollop Sour cream (optional), for servingFor The SideBreadOlive oilBrown onion soup powder
    Fry mushrooms, onion and garlic in melted butter until all the mushrooms are brown and tender.Add fresh cream and stock, simmer for five minutes, then turn off the heat.For The Side: Cut slices of bread into “soldiers”, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with brown onion soup powder, then bake until completely crispy. The brown onion soup gives them a salty, savoury flavour.Serve bread with the hot mushroom soup and top with sour cream, if you have some.

    Keyword 15-Minute Recipes, dinner, Easy Meals, vegetarian

    READ MORE: 15-Minute One-Pan Chicken With Green Beans In Tomato Sauce

    6. Meaty Lasagne Soup

    If your family loves lasagne, they’ll adore this twist on the classic pasta dish.

    Meaty Lasagne Soup

    If your family loves lasagne, they’ll adore this twist on the classic pasta dish.

    Prep Time 5 minutes minsCook Time 25 minutes mins

    Course SoupCuisine Italian

    1 Onion, chopped2 Carrots, chopped500 Grams Mince2 Tins Chopped tomatoes2 Cups Beef stock1 Cup Elbow macaroni or lasagne sheets, broken upFor The Side3 Slices BreadOlive oilDried herbs
    Fry onion and carrot until golden brown, then add the mince until browned.Add tomatoes and simmer.Add beef stock and elbow macaroni (or broken lasagne sheets). Cook until the pasta is soft.For The Side: Toast bread, then whizz in a blender until a chunky crumb is formed. Fry the crumbs in olive oil with dried herbs, until crispy. Use these crunchy breadcrumbs to top the lasagne soup.

    Keyword beef, dinner, Easy Meals, Healthy Recipes, soup More

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    What Is The 30 Plants Per Week Challenge?

    Forget five a day, scientists have said getting 30 portions of fruit and vegetables a week is even better for your health – and that eating a large variety of plants is just as key. Yep, it looks like there’s a new mantra in town: 30 plants a week, also known as the ’30 plant challenge’ or ‘plant points’.

    What is the 30 plant challenge?

    The challenge comes from the likes of expert dietician and NHS Clinical Lead, Catherine Rabess (author of the book, The 30 Plan) who quotes a 2018 study that found people who ate a variety of plant foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, boasted better gut health. Led by the British and American Gut Project, and run by the University of California San Diego in the US alongside Dr Tim Spector of King’s College London in the UK, the study offered a new message: instead of “eat five a day”, they started saying “eat 30 plants a week.”

    The Results

    The advice to eat 30 plants a week is based on the project’s study of thousands of people (well, more specifically, their poop) and found those who ate a wider variety of plant foods – fruits and vegetables, but also seeds, nuts, whole grains and spices – had a more diverse gut microbiome. A wider variety of gut bacteria provides a basis for better overall health and well-being: greater resilience to withstand pathogens, better digestion and better brain function.

    “Don’t fall into the trap of eating the same meal every day, even though that makes life easy. At least have three different breakfasts, three different lunches and three different dinners and rotate them across the week. However ideally try the 30 plant foods per week challenge,” says Nutritionist Edwina Ekins. “Research shows that those that eat 30 different plant foods (compared to those that only eat 10) have a much more diverse and therefore healthier gut microbiota. A diverse gut microbiota is linked to a lower risk of many diseases including bowel cancer and diabetes.”

    Now, that’s not to say getting your five servings of fruit and veggies per day is a goal to discard; eating those foods still have incredible health benefits, helps to keep our bodies topped up with vital nutrients and much, much more. But the idea behind the 30 plants a week – also known as the ‘diversity diet’ – focuses more on gut health.

    How does the 30 plants challenge work?

    It works by assigning every individual plant you eat one “plant point”, even if you only eat a small amount of that plant, like a couple of carrot sticks or one strawberry. Herbs, spices and garlic also count, but only for quarter of a point.

    Then you have colours to consider: different coloured versions of plants, like red and yellow capsicums, count separately as a point each, since different coloured plants contain slightly different amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. But some items don’t count at all – like white rice and potatoes (they spike your blood sugar too much, according to Spector, and contain less fibre and nutrients than other plants).

    “Eating 30 plants a week means eating 30 different varieties of plants, but this doesn’t prescribe serving sizes,” says Rabess. “It can seem tougher to achieve this if you are cooking for one, but remember that foods do not always need to be fresh. Tinned and frozen foods are my go-to, and they are extremely cost-effective and a great way to limit waste.”

    “Each different variety of plant that you eat counts as one plant point. Even herbs and spices are a quarter of a point each,” she adds. “So, if you eat a banana, an apple and a carrot, you would have earned three plant points. If you had porridge and sprinkled on cinnamon and nutmeg, the added spices would total half a plant point.”

    The more plant points you earn = the more diverse your diet is.

    What counts as a plant point?

    Vegetables such as:








    tomato (okay, yes it’s technically a fruit but…)

    Fruit such as:







    Some legumes such as:



    broad beans

    pinto beans

    soybeans or edamame

    Some grains such as:



    brown rice

    Some nuts and seeds such as:



    brazil nuts

    chia seeds

    pumpkin seeds



    Herbs and spices (whether they’re fresh or dried out) such as:










    Do supplements count?

    According to Nutritionist, Edwina Ekins: not really. She says that many of the marketing claims around these products are exaggerated and that most supplements are best suited to people with deficiencies – not as part of an overall diet.

    “Greens powders are a hot topic at the moment: There are several on the market all claiming to have benefits for immune, energy, gut health and blood pressure, but the research is in its infancy, and we cannot support these claims yet,” explains Ekins. “In saying that, greens powders are packed with approximately 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, prebiotic fibres, probiotics and digestive enzymes. A greens powder may act as a “stop gap” when our diets are insufficient.”

    “These powders are certainly no substitute for real foods and we should continue to strive for two serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables per day, however, they make sense if someone doesn’t like vegetables, is travelling with limited access to fruit and vegetables and is suffering from energy issues despite having good sleep, drinking enough water and doing exercise,” she adds.

    “There is huge cost range in greens powders, and this is not necessarily reflected in the content so read the back of the pack of at least two and makes a comparison before you purchase. Again, greens powders are not suitable for everyone, especially those on medication or pregnant or breastfeeding. Many also contain inulin or other prebiotic fibres which for some people can upset your gut. So, in summary, you don’t need a greens powder but there may be certain times when taking a greens powder would improve energy levels.”


    The article by Nikolina Ilic appeared first on Women’s Health Australia. More

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    Give Your Salad A Winter Makeover With This Butternut And Beetroot Recipe

    Who says salads are only for summer? Loaded with roasted butternut and beetroot, toasted almonds, basil and a sprinkling of feta (optional), this salad will keep you happy and warm throughout the chilly months — and when summer swings around again, you can simply let the roasted veggies and nuts cool down before serving the salad.

    Serve the salad as a main or as a side depending on your mood — it’s the perfect salad for a braai or Sunday roast, but you can just as easily serve it as a main meal.

    Health Benefits:

    Immune Support: The vitamins and antioxidants in butternut squash and beetroot help support a healthy immune system, especially during the winter months when colds and flu are more common.

    Heart Health: The fibre, healthy fats and antioxidants in almonds, beetroot and olive oil contribute to heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and inflammation and improving blood vessel function.

    Let’s make this warm hearty winter salad:

    Warm Winter Salad

    Loaded with roasted butternut and beetroot, toasted almonds and a sprinkling of feta, this salad will keep you happy and warm throughout the chilly months.

    Prep Time 15 minutes minsCook Time 45 minutes minsTotal Time 1 hour hr

    Course Salad, Side DishCuisine Vegetarian

    Servings 4 servingsCalories 342 kcal

    500g butternut, chopped400g beetroot, choppedGood-quality olive oilSalt and freshly ground black pepper100g almonds, choppedLettuce, roughly tornBalsamic vinegar1 wheel feta optionalA few basil leaves, roughly chopped
    Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Place the butternut and beetroot on an oven tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and roast until tender and very slightly charred on the edges.While the veggies are roasting, add the chopped almonds to a dry pan on a medium-high heat and toast until warmed through and browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.Arrange the lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Remove the veggies from the oven and scatter them over the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle over the toasted almonds and dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you are using feta, crumble it over the salad. To finish, sprinkle over the chopped basil leaves.

    Keyword salad

    Looking for more easy winter meals? Try this One-Pan Chicken With Green Beans In Tomato Sauce recipe, this Lettuce, Fennel & Pea Soup recipe or these Quick Air Fryer Delights. More