Carob Curry – yes savoury too!

carob curry
Carob Curry! Delicious!

Cauliflower, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry with Roasted Carob

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves 3-4

  • Low fat
  • Vegan

Ingredients

400g can chopped tomatoes
300g cauliflower (chopped)
250g sweet potato
160g sweet corn
380g can chickpeas
2 tbsp Savvy roasted carob powder
1 tbsp buillon vegetable stock powder
½ tbsp paprika powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp garam masala powder

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients (apart from the sweet corn) in a large pan. Heat on high until it starts to boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  2. Cook for 20 minutes then add in the sweet corn.
  3. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.
  4. Serve with rice and fresh coriander.

Rachel Evans

Health Blogger of the Year 2016 – Health Bloggers Community
Blog: healthyandpsyched.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/healthyandpsyched/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/healthyandpsych/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthyandpsyched/ 

 

Quinoa Carob Bliss Balls Recipe


Here’s the first of some stunning recipes brought to you by Rachel at HealthyandPsyched

If you’re looking for a delicious healthy vegan post-workout snack then I’ve got just the thing- Quinoa Carob Bliss Balls.
These cakey quinoa and carob bliss balls are the perfect healthy snack to combat that 3pm energy slump. They also make a perfect pre- or post- workout snack. They’re are refined sugar free and low GI because they’re sweetened with Chocolate Savvy. Adding quinoa makes these bliss balls a source of complete protein, which can help you to feel fuller for longer and repair your muscles after exercise.

It’s also worth pointing out that many other recipes use nuts for protein and substance, but this one it totally nut-free (although it does contain sesame)! It’s also gluten-free and suitable for vegans.  Plus I’ve made it without dates and added raisins for a bit more texture and coconut flour to help it bind.

Serves: at least 6 balls (it depends how big you make them)
0.2 of your 5-a-day

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup Savvy organic carob sesame spread: chocolate*
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  1. Pulse together 1 cup quinoa, the Savvy spread and raisins in a blender or food processor. It doesn’t need to be super smooth, but it should be mixed together.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the rest of the quinoa and the coconut flour.
  3. Spread the cacao powder on a plate.
  4. Take 1 – 1.5tbsp of mixture and roll into a ball using your hands
  5. Gently coat the carob bliss ball in cacao by rolling it round the plate.
  6. Store in an air tight container.

Recipe and photos by HealthyandPsyched

 – thanks Rachel!

Sticky Savvy Date on Apple with Salted Cashew Nut Recipe

Another wonderful recipe from Designed2Eat

Crossed between a baked apple, peanut butter apple sandwich & a toffee apple: this is one recipe you would have never had before.  Simple and quick to prepare, this is one of my new favourite vegan treat recipes after a hard training session.

Dates are a versatile ingredient. They bring sweet, stickiness, texture and taste to many different recipes. Savvy Spreads have utilised this beautiful fruit in their sweet tahini spread as the main flavour feature and boy, is it delicious! You can see why it has won the Taste Award for sure! You could add this spread to many middle eastern dishes, crock pots etc to bring a sweet, nutty flavour, however I could eat this spread straight out the jar with a spoon. So, I thought, why hide the spread and make it the key feature.

There is a popular dish in the fitness industry of peanut butter sandwich. Basically, peanut butter sandwich between apples. A wonderful recipe but not sweet enough for my taste buds. Here you can be reminded of a salted toffee apple but with all the health benefits of the carob, dates and sesame seeds and in under 10 minutes too.
Here’s how you can make your very own Sticky Apple with Salted Cashew Nut Recipe:
Duration: 5 mins
Serves: 2
Ingredients

  • 2 Apples
  • 4 Tbsp Date Savvy Spread
  • Roasted and Salted Cashew Nuts (can be plain but just not as tasty)
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave Syrup

Method

  1. Slice the apples into 4 equal parts = 8 slices in total
  2. Layer each apple with Savvy’s Date Spread in between each layer (it may help to place each layer on a skewer as you rebuild your apple again)
  3. Once assembled, sprinkle the salted cashew nuts and drizzle with agave
  4. Finally, enjoy!

More free-from recipes and a fantastic source of free-from food info at Designed2Eat – complete with  an online food shop!

Gluten-free food diet – the facts. Have you a gluten allergy?

Gluten intolerance: it’s on the rise. With a range of nasty symptoms; from bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, and diarrhoea, to migraines, fatigue and depression (to name but a few), it’s no surprise that people are talking about it. If there’s a way of avoiding these things, surely we want to know about it?  Do you need to be on a gluten free diet?

There are a lot of theories out there on the causes of the sudden rise in gluten intolerance (as well as a healthy level of cynicism towards the newest health ‘panacea’!)…

A fully blown gluten intolerance can indicate coeliac (or celiac) disease.  One theory cites an improvement in diagnostic methods for coeliac disease over the past few years, while another points to the fact that modern wheat varieties contain a particular peptide strand in the gluten molecule, which researchers have learnt is the primary cause of coeliac disease and gluten intolerance. Ancient wheat varieties underwent a long, slow fermentation process, which broke severed the bonds of this particular peptide and made the bread easier to digest.  It’s important to note there is no test for gluten intolerance which is only diagnosed after ruling out coeliac disease and wheat allergy and where there is an improvement in symptoms after following a gluten-free diet.

Another theory highlights the fact that coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease, consisting of a pre-determined genetic inability to break down gluten in the gut. Genetic predispositions can be present without being ‘turned on’, and the chances of that switch being flicked can be dramatically increased by environmental factors. For example, dysbiosis – damaged gut flora – can be caused by antibiotics, sugar, alcohol, and GMOs. The damaged gut is then unable to process gluten as it treats it as a microbial invader, being unable to distinguish between the two. A nutritionally poor diet can also make the body more likely to attack gluten proteins, as the immune cells which regulate this attack are increased by specific vitamins. Further complications exist with intolerances to wheat and other products containing gluten.

Whatever the cause, the facts remain: a decade ago, worldwide gluten-intolerance levels were at 1 in 2500. Today, surveys suggest that 1 in 133 people are affected.

While a wheat allergy is easy enough to spot (sufferers will have a typical allergic reaction after consuming wheat, such as bloating, discomfort, skin rashes or runny noses), a gluten intolerance is harder to diagnose. Testing can be carried out on the NHS after visiting your GP. A simple blood test is the first step in diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people try to simply self-diagnose after some experimentation.  For this, gluten needs to be in the diet in more than one meal every day for at least six weeks before testing otherwise an inaccurate result can be achieved. So, if you’re having ongoing symptoms, you shouldn’t cut gluten out to test for yourself; it’s really important that you visit the GP first to discuss your symptoms and have a blood test.

If you think you might be wheat intolerant (or any food for that matter), cutting them out of your diet completely for 2-3 weeks can give a helpful indication. If you feel better, or worse off when you re-introduce it, chances are you have an intolerance.

Anyone who has tried a 100% gluten-free diet knows it is not easy. Gluten is everywhere. Fortunately, the rise in awareness in the past few years has also led to a rise in certified gluten-free foods: this is a guarantee from the manufacturer that the ingredients have not come into contact with anything gluten-contaminated, and that there is a third-party authority verifying this.

On that note, our delicious and healthy Savvy spreads have also just been certified gluten-free: what’s not to love?

Buy your Gluten-free Savvy now.

Further information at the Coeliac UK.  Helpline: 0845 305 2060

The Ultimate Savvy Revision Guide for Students – 5 tips for great exam results!

The Ultimate Savvy Revision Guide for Students – 5 tips for great exam results!

Here’s our savvy revision guide for students by Ayesha who recently got her degree after 4 years hard study!

Revision is hard work. But it doesn’t have to be painful – with a few solid ground rules in place, your study sessions can be thorough and productive, without compromising your health!

  1. Stay active.

man runningEndless hours sitting at your desk aren’t doing your mind, body or grades any favours. Research shows that 20 minutes of walking significantly increases the activity in your brain, releasing chemicals that protect and repair the memory neurons in your brain, as well as making you feel great.

  1. Don’t binge on sugary snacks.

While those late-night library sessions might seem like to perfect time to go all-out on cookies and Haribo, high sugar snacks are not the way to go. Processed sugar puts your body under stress, creating highs and lows, dependency, and causing you to put on weight. Take care of your body and mind with healthy snacks like nuts, crackers, carrot sticks and humous, and naturally sugar-free Savvy spreads for the treat factor – energy-sustaining and delicious, without a down-side!

  1. Meditate. And breathe!

A huge amount of research shows the positive effect meditation has on your brain; boosting positive feelings, decreasing stress, improving memory and teaching great techniques for keeping yourmeditation cool in stressful situations (like exams!).If you’re new to meditation, start simple: just 10 minutes of sitting still and bringing your attention to your breath is a good way to start. If (when!) your mind wanders off, don’t worry: that’s just what minds do. Gently bring your attention back to the breath.

Speaking of breath, learning to breathe well is an often-overlooked and vital skill. Breathe through your nose, into your belly, focusing on the rising and falling sensation. If you can’t feel it, put your hand on your belly. Breathing quickly into your chest is a symptom of anxiety, but also a cause of it – calm exam nerves by taking a few good deep breaths. It actually helps, I promise.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep.

While it can be tempting to stay up and push yourself, if you don’t sleep enough, your mind and body will be under extra strain and your general wellbeing will suffer. While everyone has different optimum working times, getting a solid 7 or 8 hours will do you much, much better than sitting red-eyed at your computer through the night will!

  1. Keep an eye on the big picture.

animal-bandStudying is important, and it’s good to try your best. But it can become all-consuming, which tends to increase stress levels and can lead to anxiety and low moods: seeing exams as all that matter is an awful lot of pressure to put yourself under! Remember that life is going on outside of the library. Keep up with friends, watch an inspiring film, listen to music. The more calm and perspective you can approach your revision with, the more effective it will be.

We wish you all the best with your studies and exams. Good Luck! : ) Continue reading “The Ultimate Savvy Revision Guide for Students – 5 tips for great exam results!”

Get Savvy on Chocolate – it can be healthy too!

A Mayan Chief forbids a person to touch a jar of chocolate.
A Mayan Chief forbids a person to touch a jar of chocolate.

While chocolate has been enjoyed by humans as far back as 1900 BC, it was only during the 16th Century that Europeans discovered its delicious (and nutritious!) properties. Although the bitterness of the cacao bean didn’t initially convince the Spanish, who were introduced to it by conquistadors returning from South America, once they figured out that adding sugar and honey vastly improved its flavour, they were hooked. Within the next hundred years the craze spread throughout Europe, and we are still hooked today.

Cacao becomes cocoa when it’s been roasted.

Chocolate is made by roasting cacao beans and adding sweeteners and fats; the less the beans are processed, the more of their natural benefits are preserved. These benefits of cacao and dark chocolate include supplying the body with potassium, calcium, vitamin C, copper, iron and magnesium. They also contain levels of antioxidants that rival those of blueberries and acai berries, and surpass those of green tea.

compound chocolate
Compound chocolate

The darker and less processed the chocolate, the more of these amazing health benefits can be enjoyed. Vegan chocolate is not only much better for the planet (as it sidesteps the environmentally damaging dairy industry), it is healthier for your body too. Savvy’s Chocolate Super Spread contains organic, fairly traded cocoa powder, no artificial sugars, as we sweeten it ourselves with natural carob syrup, which is high in protein and low in calories, creating a delicious, rich chocolatey taste without the added sugar or dairy of processed chocolate! We also add a secret blend of spices which helps to bring out the natural flavour. This means that we can guarantee that our Chocolate Super Spread is an all-natural, earth-friendly and delicious chocolate spread substitute for those with a lactose intolerance, following a vegan diet, or just looking for a healthier, more natural and (we think!) tastier alternative!

Organic Chocolate Carob SpreadDid you know this Easter people in the UK will spend around £400 million on chocolate?!

More facts from the weird and wonderful world of chocolate…

The Nazis plotted to assassinate Winston Churchill with an exploding bar of chocolate.

The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word “xocoatl,” which referred to the bitter, spicy drink the Aztecs made from cacao beans.

It’s believed that people who are allergic to chocolate are actually allergic to cockroaches, as around eight insect parts are typically found in a bar of chocolate, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was financed by Quaker Oats to promote its new Wonka Bar. This is also why the film is called “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” instead of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” like the book it’s based on.

A 2013 study found that the scent of chocolate in a bookstore made customers 40% more likely to buy cookbooks or romance novels, and 22% more likely to buy books of any genre.

Get the Power of the Sun with a Savvy Pancake!

sun power
The Power of the Sun

Did you know our ancient peoples made and ate hot pancakes which symbolised the sun, hot and round, at the start of Spring! The Slavs believed they would absorb the power of the sun in a ritual pancake meal – slavering over it no doubt…  (sorry!). The first pancake was put on a window for the spirits of the ancestors and the last ones were burnt on a bonfire as a sacrifice to the pagan idols.

Like many festivals, the Christian religion took it over and Shrove Tuesday, originally a pagan holiday, is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “confess”.

Many Christians make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.  At least worth a thought while you munch your pancakes and absorb the power!

Pancake races are said to have originated in 1445 when a housewife from Olney, Buckinghamshire, was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake, tossing it to prevent it from burning. The pancake race remains a relatively common festive tradition in the UK, especially England, even today. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan while pancake-racerunning.  Please be careful, oh and don’t get indigestion either!

How things change! Now, get out the Savvy and layer it on thick!

The Truth about Sugar

Sugar makes you fatTrending massively on social networks, magazines and peak time programmes dedicated to it, we’re asking,

What’s the Truth about Sugar?

Sugar is a controversial topic. In the past year it has replaced fat as the bad guy of the nutrition pie chart; according to paediatric endocrinologist and author Dr Robert Lustig, understanding its addictive quality is key to fighting it; simply telling somebody to eat less sugar, he says, makes about as much sense as teling a diabetic to drink less water – thirst is a symptom of diabetes, as obesity is a symptom of sugar addiction.  So let’s look at the truth about sugar.

Carob and all of our products have naturally occurring sugars only.

Citing a combination of sugar’s effect, which is to launch the brain into a vicious cycle, and the fast food industry’s willingness to abuse our natural weakness for sugar by adding it to everything possible, Lustig suggests that sugar is to blame for the worlds obesity pandemic.

Sugar also triggers the release of huge amounts of dopamine – one of the hormones associated with feelings of pleasure and reward – which, to put it simply, feels good. When the dopamine spike has passed you end up a little lower than where you started, and miss the feeling of the dopamine high. If high-sugar foods are consumed frequently, the brain starts to reduce the number of dopamine receptors, which means that next time you eat sugary food, the effect will be blunted, and more will have to be consumed to achieve the same effect.

Did you know in the UK, almost 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children are classed as obese?

The truth is combating this can seem tricky when, as Lustig points out, most food manufacturers are far from shy about adding sugar to their products. As well as buying from local producers who have more than big bucks on their priorities lists, a good place to start is by paying attention to the glycemic index (G.I.) of the foods you consume, not just sugary ones:

Savvy Organic Carob Spread
No added sugar in any of our products! See why we’re getting multiple five star reviews on Amazon

diabetes-insulin-jabHigh GI foods have a bigger effect on blood sugar levels, trigger more of a dopamine spike, and are therefore more addictive, while low GI means that the food will be processed more slowly (thanks to the presence of fibres, for example), and ensure a slower, longer release of energy.

And yes, you guessed it: Savvy Spreads, with their combination of natural sweetness and fibre-rich sesame seeds, scores low on the glycemic index and high for your health!  Carob itself is low GI too, of course and has loads of added benefits…

Click here to get your Savvy fix NOW!

Sugar Problems: the case for natural sugars.

making choices about healthObesity: everyone knows it increases your chances of heart disease, but did you know it can also lead to increased risk of heart disease for your children, too? According to research presented at the American Heart Association 2014 Scientific Sessions in Chicago, children of overweight or obese mothers had a 90% higher risk of cardiovascular disease or death. Obesity can also lead to higher risk of certain cancers, as well as of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (the most prevalent form of liver disease in the US), and of sleep apnea.

While it’s easy to acknowledge that obesity is a dangerous and increasingly prevalent disease, it can be harder to know how to tackle it. We all want to be healthy and to help our families be healthysugar-cubes too, but it can seem increasingly difficult to source foods that aren’t full of hidden sugars and fats; anyone who has tried to cut processed sugar out of their diet knows it’s not easy, let alone when it comes to providing tasty crowd-pleasers for your whole family!

One way to improve your diet and help reduce your risk of obesity is to replace your intake of processed sugars with unrefined ones. While both kinds of sugar contain the same calories, the way your body processes them is different. Refined sugars, which are found in foods such as biscuits, cakes and sweets, as well as lots of savoury foods too, come from sugar cane or sugar beets which have been processed to remove the fibre. The body breaks down these sugars rapidly, which causes a spike in insulin levels. Insulin removes surplus glucose from the blood and lowers the speed at which the body burns fat – this causes fat to be stored rather than used for energy, and leads to feelings of lethargy and hunger, and cravings for more sugar.

Natural sugars, especially when combined with fibre, are broken down more slowly, which means you feel fuller for longer after eating them. That’s why the warm intermingling flavours of our pure fruit syrups, as well as honey and sesame are both delicious and a Savvy choice for you and your family!

 

Key words: sugar problems, natural sugar, no added sugar, exercise, health, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, processed, refined.