Banana, Date and Sesame Muffins

Banana Date and Sesame Muffins Loula Natural fb

Banana, Date and Sesame Muffins

It was the last day of term party at my daughter’s kindergarten this week. Sharing food at school is not allowed for many reasons but at the end of term they are able to bring food for sharing.

There is a no nut rule in the school and so I wanted to make sure my daughter was able to have food she could make herself, can eat herself (she has sensitivities to wheat, some dairy and has a strong reaction to refined sugar) and also be excited to share with her friends.

We looked through all my recipe books and we decided on a banana and date bread recipe. I have adapted and added nutrition to it, so that we are all happy! They tasted great too! We are gluten free in the house so I used Tapioca, Oat and Coconut flour, I then used  kefir to keep them moist and light. Since I could not use almond flour (no nuts) I added black sesame seeds which contain more antioxidants. 

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We also made Cinnamon Salty Sweet Popcorn for her to take too. I sent a whole box and none of them came back so that seems like a success!!

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Light and moist, the dates helped to add texture and sweetness to the muffins. The mixture was wet without being sloppy and by keeping the muffins small by using this pan (from Amazon but in Hong Kong I bought it on Shanghai St) the cooking time was only 10 mins!  About the right amount of time to keep my daughter engaged with the task!

Banana, Date and Sesame Muffins
A delicious gluten and nut free muffin. Sweetened with dates and coconut sugar, these muffins are a very satisfying treat for all ages (1 and up as it contains eggs)
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Ingredients
  1. 150g oat flour
  2. 50g tapioca flour
  3. 25g coconut flour
  4. 10 dates chopped into small pieces
  5. 1 tbs kefir (milk or water)
  6. 175g butter/ghee
  7. 50g coconut sugar
  8. 3 eggs
  9. 2 medium ripe banana's
  10. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  11. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  12. 2 tbs sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Mash banana in a bowl
  2. Cream butter and sugar with a beater
  3. Add banana and eggs
  4. Add Vanilla at this time too
  5. Sift flour, cinnamon and baking powder in
  6. Beat till smooth then stir in dates.
  7. Add to muffin pan and cook at 180 degree for 10-15 mins- check at regular intervals
  8. Allow to cool
  9. Stone in a glass container in frigdge
Adapted from Good Houskeeping Banana and Date Loaf
Adapted from Good Houskeeping Banana and Date Loaf
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Banana Date and Sesame Muffins Loula Natural pin

The Ultimate Fat Smoothie

Ultimate Fat Smoothie Loula Natural fb

How can I get fats into my diet?

You probably know by now, how much I love fats! They are great for reducing chronic inflammation, boost your immune system, change your body shape, balance blood sugar levels and even balance hormone levels. I am looking to lose weight for life and fats have been integral to my success. Especially great for kids- I have been looking at ways to also maximise their intake too. The three of us shared this recipe.

The other morning I woke up starving! I also really craved a smoothie. I haven’t been drinking smoothies recently as I went off them a couple of weeks ago. I think it has something to do with the fact that since I have gone off grains (for my trademark 80% of the time!) I have not been half as hungry as before. I decided to have a smoothie and created this one with as many fats in it as possible. I cannot describe how satisfied I felt after this! At lunch I had a salad with pomello and shrimps and scallops and I was still satisfied until dinner- with my blood sugar levels for the past 15 years that is practically unheard of.

Here is what I did;

Ultimate Fat Smoothie
A smoothie designed to get a wide range of fats into your daily diet. Delicious too! Includes kefir to maximise absorption of the fats.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup almond milk
  2. 1 Cup oat milk
  3. 2 tbs Milk/Water Kefir
  4. 1/2 tbs raw butter/ghee
  5. 1/2 tbs Coconut oil out side Hong Kong use this one
  6. 1 raw egg (optional)
  7. 30 drops sea buckthorn oil
  8. 1tsp walnut oil
  9. 1 banana r 1/2 avocado (or avocado oil
  10. 1tsp maple syrup (optional)
  11. 1/2tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Everything in a high speed blender- add ice if desired.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
now you have see what is in it, you can see how wonderfully filling it is!

Here are some of my other smoothie recipes

Morning Smoothie

Bullet-proof smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie

Chocolate egg smoothie

Choco-coco Milkshake

Breakfast in a glass

Apple Pie Smoothie

Here are some other inspiring drinks on my pinterest board
Follow Loula Natural’s board drinks on Pinterest.

Ultimate Fat Smoothie Loula Natural pin


How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural

How do I naturally boost the immune system?

Inflammation is key to healing and the immune system- it is the way the body puts up barriers to shield off the area needing repair. By allowing the inflammation, heat (fever), pain and swelling to be like a no go area (like when resurfacing a road) you are allowing that area to get what it needs. By ignoring these symptoms and surpressing them with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, pain killers, steroids, antibiotics and so many other methods you are prolonging the area the time and resources it needs to heal and return to optimum health. By using natural methods to boost the immune system, you can promote healing and repair of the whole body.

Look to nutrients which support the immune system and all the jobs it needs to do- central to this, of course, are bacteria. Fermented foods are the easiest way to get the body balanced. A man named Antoine Bechamp (who worked alongside Louis Pasteur) discovered tiny organisms he called “microzymas” which are present in all things – animal, vegetable, and mineral, whether living or dead. Depending upon the condition of the host, these microzymas could assume various forms. Bad bacteria and viruses were simply the forms assumed by the microzymas when there was a condition of disease. In a diseased body, the microzymas became pathological bacteria and viruses all in the name of survival. In a healthy body, microzymas formed healthy cells. Fermented foods have a balanced ratio of these microzyma’s which can morph, adapt and transform into what the body needs to regain balance. 

Also read this great article from Lynn Margulis about how Kefir forms in the same manner. There is also this one on multicellularity;

“Single celled micro-organisms are constantly interacting with their neighbours, from individuals of the same species to cells from different domains of life, forming complex biofilm patterns, complex nutritional symbioses, and complex clumps.” (source)

Here is Kefir under the microscope;

kefirmicroscopy

 Sometimes this may mean the body’s inflammatory response will turn on to set up a healing area so that the body is able to find energy, strength and motivation. A common thing I hear is that ‘fermented foods do not agree with me”. This is not true- the body has to sometimes go through upheaval to achieve balance. We are 10-20 times more bacterial cells than human cells. Fermented foods are essential for every age to boost the immune system.

Every human on the planet needs fermented foods in their daily diet. Regardless of age.

Life gets better Loula Natural

Firstly REDUCE the IMPACT of Stress

Excessive stress (whether mental, physical or emotional) is detrimental to your immune system and therefore your overall health. Stress affects you by drawing away your life blood from the organs to supply the skeletal muscles in the fight or flight mode. Whether you perceive stress or not, stress is a reaction to stimulus, whether that be walking down the road in a city with everything going on around you, to being overworked and underfed in a job situation, to constantly worrying about anything and everything.

Even watching TV is a stressful situation as the constant flicker and movement is incredibly stimulating. In fight or flight (the opposite being the Relaxation response) mode the blood supply is diverted away from your organs to the skeletal muscles. By diverting the blood supply you are taking away nutrients, oxygen and life source away from the cells in your vital organs disrupting the essential environment and processes for cellular health. Any stagnation, mental, physical and emotional will also contribute to this. To boost the immune system we need to have times in the day to return to rest and recovery mode.

Use Breathing techniques (here is my Rainbow Breathing and Simple Meditation from Real Fit Mama)

Visualisation techniques

Gentle exercise like hiking and yoga

Get into nature- grounding

meditation

Massage

Bach Flower Remedies

EFT

Aromatherapy (essential oils)

Get back to REST and RECOVERY everyday for at least 1-5 minutes. Tiny changes can make huge differences.

Nutrients needed to boost the immune system then also help the bacterial levels in your body or will help the body through the various stages of inflammation (heat, swelling, pain and redness (blood circulation).

Immune Boosting Foods

Nutrients that help can naturally help balance bacteria;

Fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Elderberry

Lavender

Onions,

Garlic,

Raw honey  

Calendula

Super Greens

Spices; Cinnamon, cloves, star anise

Coconut (oil, meat, water)

Jerusalam artichokes

Ginger

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Protecting nutrients (allow the body to do its job);

Anti-Oxidants (berries, greens, hibiscus, Rose hips, elderberries)

Viamin A

Vitamin C (including citrus fruits)

Hormone Balancers (like blood-sugar balancers-Holy Basil, cinnamon)

Vitamin D

Fats (butter/ghee, coconut oil, nuts/seeds, avocado’s and eggs)

Protein (including gelatin)

Magnesium

Zinc

Ginger (helps to raise the body temperature)

Bone Broths

Herbs; thyme, rosemary, oregano, coriander, parsley and basil

Nutrients that also clean up and restore the area back to normal

Chamomile

Anti-inflammatories (see a whole list here)

Fermented Foods (see my book Culture Your Life)

Epsom salts

Oats

Aloe Vera

Turmeric

Elderberry

Immune Boosting Foods Pin

More Information:

culture your life

5 Reasons to make Kefir

Kefir FAQ

5 Reasons to Brew Kombucha

Spring into HEalth

Inflammation

Heal From Inflammation

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrients

Naturopaths First Aid Kit

What to do when your kids get sick

What to do when you get sick- fever

5 ways Nutrition can change your life

Recipes

Honey and Onion Immune Elixir

Sunshine Shot

Elderberry Cordial

Immune boosting pumpkin pie spices

Lemon, Honey and Ginger Tea

Hibiscus Tea

Orange Peel Powder

How to make your own bone broth

Coconut and ginger chicken soup

Coconut Milk

Lemon, Orange and ginger curd

Healing Body Butter

 Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak

See here also for my fermenting Inspiration Pinterest Board; 

Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

check out this post;

How does the Immune System Work Loula Natural

Naturally Boost Your Immune System Loula NAtural Pin

Cherry Vanilla Kefir

Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural fb

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir

I play with kefir flavours all the time-I love to introduce new ones in my classes. Whatever is in my fridge or cupboard gets tried out! I use dried fruit, fresh fruit, stewed and juiced fruit! I use vegetables too (cucumber and mint water kefir is lovely) I even use cacao nibs. Some I love and so I then make a huge batch of it. This is a recipe that I love!

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Black Cherries are in abundance and the tart fizzy flavour of the cherries in the water kefir is so well balanced by the vanilla. I use very concentrated vanilla essence (like this one). I have tried it with fresh vanilla pod and it is nice too. Also it goes the prettiest colour! 

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I normally ferment with an open vessel because in the humidity and heat of the summer- potential for explosion is very high. However I decided to use a shorter fermentation time. I used the fido lid this time and fermented this for 8 hours and then refrigerated it. You may need to adjust the timings of the ferment so that it is suitable for your climate. I always taste my ferments as I go past to see if it needs longer- and the key to good flavour is fermenting to taste.

Cherry-and-Vanilla-Water-Kefir-in-the-popped-bottle-Loula-Natural

This recipe is a second ferment. If you want to learn how to make the initial water Kefir please see here for my How to; Make Kefir or buy Culture Your Life (hardback version is out very very soon)

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir
This tart, fizzy and rich vanilla water kefir is delicious and refreshing. Its also amazingly good for your digestive and immune system.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 litre of water kefir ( I make mine with coconut and maple sugar)
  2. 7-8 cherries pitted
  3. 3 drops of vanilla essence
Instructions
  1. Once the water kefir is strained pour into a flip top topped bottle like this one
  2. Add cherries to the bottle and close
  3. I fermented this for between 8-10 hours but you may need to leave it for up to 24 depending on your climate.
  4. Store in the fridge when you like the taste
Notes
  1. Be careful when you ferment with lids as carbon dioxide is a by product of fermentation.
  2. Ensure you allow gas to escape by opening your bottles periodically.
  3. See here for how to make water kefir
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here is my pinterest board for fermentation inspiration;
Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

 Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural pin

 

 

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub Loula Natural

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub

I have loads of homemade cosmetic recipes in my book Culture Your Life. Here is why I love using Kefir on my skin, I wrote this for Thank Your Body. We have been using Kefir and Kombucha inside and ourside our bodies for a couple of years now and I can honestly say I will never go back. Shampoo, laundry detergent, after sun, face masks and many more. I have been using homemade scrubs like my coffee scrub and salt scrub but plain water kefir grains make a great body scrub on their own.

My kids have pink himalayan salt and epsom salt baths every night with various essential oils and sometimes water kefir and coconut oil goes in the bath. It occurred to me to mix all of this together and come up with the Ultimate Bath Soak or Body Scrub! 

Multi-purpose, simple and incredibly effective at nourishing, soothing and healing- this may be my best cosmetic invention yet! It is in the hardback copy of the book out soon!

Here is the basic recipe and underneath some essential oil combinations you may like to try.

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub
This blend of water kefir grains, epsom salts and pink himalayan salt is great for all ages.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup epsom salts
  2. 1/2 cup ground pink himalayan salt
  3. 1tbs water kefir grains
  4. 1tbs coconut oil (or here in Hong Kong)
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together. Try adding essential oils.
Notes
  1. Great blends of essential oils to try;
  2. Lavender and Chamomile
  3. Frankincense and Vanilla
  4. Mandarin, Rosemary and Black Pepper
  5. Clary Sage, Marjoram and Juniper Berry
  6. Peppermint and Lemon
  7. Ginger and Lemon
  8. Please check with your Aromatherapist when using oils in pregnancy and for children.
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here are some other bath salt recipes;

Ultimate Kefir Bath Soak and Body Scrub Loula Natural Pin

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