Summer berry smoothie bowl

Summer Berry Smoothie Bowl

Summer berry smoothie bowl

The never-ending battle of making breakfasts interesting and fun yet healthy and nutritious for our little ones! Braxton loves smoothies and that is his breakfast most morning but in the summer we can cool it down even more with a delicious, creamy smoothie bowl. There are so many amazing berries available at the moment and berries are excellent anti-oxidants so these were thrown right into our smoothie bowl!

You can really pack these with superfoods to ensure you are getting the best possible amount of nutrients into your kids at the start of the day. I always put acai berry powder in my smoothies as it’s such an incredible anti-oxidant so is great for the immune system, and chia seeds as they are pure protein and the best time of the day to have protein is the morning. Then I decide which out of the following I want to include also: flax seeds, lucuma powder, maca powder, bee pollen, baobab powder, hemp seeds. If you have all these superfoods stocked in your pantry, you will be ensuring your family a great start to each day.

By the way, smoothie bowls are more like ice cream and smoothies are just smoothies.

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas (cut them in slices and set them on a plate to freeze, at least the night before)
Handful frozen blueberries
5 frozen strawberries
Handful redcurrants
Handful damsons or elderberries
Dash of almond milk (or oat, rice or coconut milk)
3 dates
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp acai berry powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp hemp seeds

Optional toppings:
Strawberries
Blueberries
Redcurrants
Damsons
Desiccated coconut
Chai seeds
Cherries – stones removed

Method

Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend until an ice cream-like consistency forms and finish with your choice of toppings.

Brax eating smoothie bowl This is how much Brax loved his smoothie bowl!

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Broccoli Pea Mixed Herbs

Broccoli, Pea & Mixed Herb Baby Blend

Broccoli Pea Mixed Herbs

Want to get more greens into your baby? This is a great one! The mint makes it really tasty too.

Ingredients

I broccoli head, cut into florets
1 cup frozen peas
Handful fresh mint
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano

Method

Steam the broccoli. Once ready, remove the steamer part from on top of the saucepan of boiling water and add the peas to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.

Drain the peas and add the peas and the broccoli to the blender with the remaining ingredients.

Spoon into small containers or food cube trays to store.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Vanilla Fruit Ice Lollies

Vanilla Berry Ice Lollies

Vanilla Fruit Ice Lollies

If there is one thing I miss about dairy, it’s ice cream! Especially during hot summer days; there’s nothing better. So I decided to make my own. I’ve made smoothie lollies before and fruit lollies but I wanted something creamier, like good old-fashioned ice creams and I came up with this idea. It literally couldn’t be easier, you just need to buy yourself some ice lolly moulds in preparation. I bought BPA free ones from Amazon.

I added some edible flowers in here just to make them look more colourful, but you don’t have to do that.

Braxton loved these so much I have to make some more! They are dairy free, refined-sugar free and therefore, totally fine to give babies. They kind of taste a bit like Mini Milks, remember those??🙂

If you like it sweeter add the Natvia (click on this page to read more about Natvia sugar substitute and why it’s so awesome and great for diabetics).

Ingredients (makes 2 large lollies)

1 tub Rebel’s Kitchen vanilla coconut yoghurt (or plain coconut yoghurt with 1 vanilla pod scraped in)
Half cup almond milk
About 8 blueberries, squished
2 strawberries, cut in thin slices
Half tsp Natvia for added sweetness

Method

Mix the yoghurt, almond milk and Natvia in a bowl then pour the mixture into the lolly moulds and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes without adding the lolly stick.

They should have firmed up just a little bit and now push the fruit down into them and space them out.

Add the lolly sticks and put back into the freezer for 4 hours.

Remove and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

carlo

Gioia – An Amazing Plant-Based Restaurant in Marbella

IMG_8375Braxton trying to steal my juice!

We spent two weeks in Spain recently. We are fortunate enough that Daniel’s parents have a place in Estepona so it makes it really easy when travelling with a baby as we already have everything we need there.

When we arrive the first thing we usually do is take ourselves to the natural health shop down the road to stock up on superfoods, smoothie ingredients (Braxton loves his breakfast smoothie!) and other foods and bits, so that we can eat at home some of the time. But we also love eating out; after all, what is a holiday if you have to cook all the time? And I love Spanish food. I do relax with my diet a little bit on holiday but I still don’t have dairy or sugar and still don’t give Braxton dairy or sugar; for me, they are the worst ‘foods’ and once you’re used to it, it’s not hard to stay away from them. I could be a little more lax now I’m back in remission but it’s just not worth it, for my remission, my stomach and Braxton’s all-round health. I do enjoy the odd glass of wine or a gin and tonic though!

So anyway, when we were in the health shop, the guy in there told us about a new vegan restaurant that had opened up in Marbella, only 20 minutes from where we stay. My husband, who used to be the world’s biggest meat eater and couldn’t fathom the idea of a vegan diet, got so excited and made sure it was our first meal out. It still amazes me how he’s embraced this lifestyle so openly.

We arrived at the place and although it was small and discreet, it was perfectly shabby chic; English country garden-style wrought iron chairs outside underneath a tree, reclaimed-wood chairs and small wooden tables indoors within a bright, minimalistic yet warm atmosphere with a dessert bar and a book stand. The only drawback was that they don’t yet have any high-chairs for babies as they have just recently opened, but they promised us they’d be getting some soon. When Braxton eats these days the surrounding area ends up looking like a school food fight so we prefer to have him not in the buggy or on our laps. But he sat on Daniel’s lap and we all just got a bit dirty which is also fine every so often!

gioia-plant-based-cuisine

gioia-plant-based-cuisine (1)

The menu was mouth-watering. I just love going to places where I know I can order anything for Brax and not worry about it. All organic, plant-based produce with nothing processed and not a fish finger or a chicken nugget in sight.

We ordered 2 green juices and 4 dishes for us all to share:

  • ravioli that used cashew cream instead of ricotta and a dairy-free pesto
  • Mexican salad
  • buckwheat spaghetti with Sicilian sauce
  • and the bean burger

strawberry-tomato-gazpacho

avocado-tomato-tartar

13628048_1646469312343487_914658440_n

three-truffles-espresso

I honestly can’t pick which one was the nicest – they were all seriously delicious. The ravioli was so creamy you’d think it was dairy; the spaghetti was just so indulgent and the bean burger – Daniel’s favourite – was out of this world.

We finished with dessert – of course, would be rude not to! – of an after-eight slice which was a mint cacao brownie type thing, a blueberry cheesecake and a mini white chocolate ball.

We’ve never seen Braxton eat so much before – he just loved it all – and it was a nice feeling knowing that it was all healthy and nutritious for him.

We left feeling so full but my god was it worth it. So good in fact that we went back the following week for another lunch even though we usually make a rule on holiday not to go to the same restaurant twice.

The chef, Carlo, was so inviting and the guy that helps him, Carlos, was so friendly and talkative. We spoke to them about the restaurant and their hopes for it. Carlo hopes to hold some plant-based cooking classes there over the winter so if you live in the Costa-del-Sol or are visiting over the winter, please get in touch with them.

carloThis is Carlo

We need more places like this all over the world so I’m posting this in the hope that if you’re in Marbella, you’ll go. Even if you’re not vegan and never plan on even being vegetarian, it’s an eating experience – I promise you’ll enjoy it. If we can help restaurants like this survive it means I get to go back and have more cashew cream ravioli next year! J

Here are the details, ask for Carlo:   Address: Avenida Bulevard Principe Alfonso De Hohenlohe, S/N | Junto Al Hotel Guadalpin, 29602, Marbella, Spain 

Tel: 0034630441834

IMG_8377Excuse the bruise on his head. No, I’m not beating him! he’s just started crawling so that should explain it🙂

Love & health,
Lauren

Cauliflower Corn Nutritional Yeast

Creamy Cauliflower Sweetcorn Baby Blend (& Some Info On Nutritional Yeast)

Cauliflower Corn Nutritional Yeast

(Sorry for the bad picture on this one – busy mama alert!)

Just because Braxton is dairy-free, doesn’t mean he misses out. The combination of cauliflower and sweetcorn is great, it goes really creamy. Add to that some nutritional yeast and it literally could not get any creamier if you were to add butter!

The term ‘nutritional yeast’ isn’t particularly appealing, but it is not the same as brewers yeast. It is deactivated so doesn’t froth or grow. It’s essentially a single-cell organism which is grown on molasses then harvested, washed then dried, and this deactivates it. It is very high in Vitamin B12 which is essential in our diets and is used by vegans as a cheese substitute. I know it sounds weird but give it a go!

This doesn’t even need any herbs as the cauliflower and corn are both so flavoursome.

Ingredients

1 cauliflower
1 small tin organic sweetcorn
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Method

Break the cauliflower into florets then steam.

After about 7  minutes add the corn to the steamer and keep steaming for a further 5 minutes.

Add to the blender with the nutritional yeast and blend.

Spoon into smaller containers or food cube trays if you are batch cooking (this makes quite a large batch).

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Green Juice

The Only Green Juice Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Green Juice

I probably mention them too much (and they don’t even pay me to!) but I just love Able & Cole for their weekly boxes. This week I ordered a juicing box on top of my usual box and pantry stuff.

This juice is full of every nutrient you need to start your day and cleanse your body of its toxins. This is serious immune-boosting, cancer cell-fighting goodness.

Guess who else loved it? Yup – Braxton loves his green juice and he’s only 10 months!

Ingredients

Big handful spinach
Big handful kale
Half a cucumber
3 celery sticks
1 apple
1 inch of fresh ginger
Small handful mint
Small handful parsley
1 lemon

Method

Simply put all the ingredients except the lemon through the juicer, then squeeze the lemon into the cup once it’s done and mix.

Add a couple of ice cubes to make it even more refreshing.

Love & health,
Lauren

A&C Green Beans

Non-Boring Runner Beans!

A&C Green Beans

I just love when Abel & Cole send me a sweet little recipe idea in my weekly box. This week they sent over a bunch of runner beans (which I found really boring growing up!) with a bit of inspiration for them and they turned out beautifully and are no longer boring! A perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Ingredients

A bunch of runner beans
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch Himalayan pink salt
Pinch garlic salt
Chilli flakes (optional but gives it a kick!)

Method

Cut the ends off the beans and wash them.

Heat the olive oil in a griddle pan (you can use a normal frying pan but this charred them really nicely) then add the beans once hot.

While they are cooking away, mix all the other ingredients in a bowl.

Once the beans start to char, add the sauce and mix well and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Healthy & happiness,
Lauren