Naturally easy and simply delicious

Recipes extracted from Grow Younger with Great Food, by Dr Catherine Stone and Jessica Giljam...
Recipes extracted from Grow Younger with Great Food, by Dr Catherine Stone and Jessica Giljam-Brown, RRP $39.95.
Helping people learn about how to live and eat for optimum health depending on their age and stage of life is the aim of New Zealanders Dr Catherine Stone and Jessica Giljam-Brown.

The pair have pooled their knowledge, Dr Stone’s in non-surgical ‘‘cosmedicine’’ and Giljam-Brown’s in holistic nutrition, to create Grow Younger with Great Food.

The book has a range of nutritional information as well as fascinating life hacks about how to improve your hormones, energy, digestion, mood, sleep and libido as well as recipes.

In this extract, they cover the importance of good nutrition.

As humans, it’s becoming clear that we need to simplify. Go back to basics and make things easier for ourselves. Our over-complication of food and the use of technology in food production has ultimately been our undoing.

We have complicated food with processing, preservatives, stabilisers and artificial colours and flavours, all in an effort to make food production and feeding ourselves tastier, faster, easier and cheaper. In reality, all that’s been achieved is the excessive consumption of non-food ingredients and refined food devoid of nutrients.

This has resulted in a population-wide increase in lifestyle diseases and a generation of people who are disconnected from real food.

We have lost the innate knowledge of how to nourish ourselves.

It’s time to return to this.

Humans have evolved to thrive on a varied diet, rich in plants and enhanced with animal foods. Plant foods offer us a huge range of nutrients, as well as fibre to keep our gut healthy and gut microbes happy. Numerous studies have linked high plant consumption with longevity and lower rates of disease.

While fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and whole grains are a vital part of a nutrient-rich diet, animal foods also provide us with rich nourishment and nutrients which are not found in plant foods.

Food is made up of fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. By understanding how different types of food are comprised and what role these components play in your health you can better decide how to nourish yourself.

 

Photos: Melanie Jenkin
Photos: Melanie Jenkin
Loaded brownies

Healthy, filling and chocolatey? Yes, please! The combination of cacao powder and blueberries brings DNA-protecting antioxidants, and the ground almonds provide polyunsaturated fat and fibre to help keep you satisfied throughout the afternoon.

Makes 12 squares

Prep 10 minutes

Cook 50 minutes

Ingredients
2 eggs
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup maple syrup or honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini; excess water squeezed out
1¼ cups ground almonds

3 tablespoons coconut flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raw walnuts

Method
Heat oven to 160degC and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin.

Whisk the eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup or honey and vanilla together in a bowl, then mix through the grated zucchini.

Next, add the ground almonds, coconut flour, cacao powder and baking soda to the wet mixture and mix well. Fold the blueberries and walnuts through the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the brownie looks set when you jiggle the tin.


Breakfast hash muffins

Sweet potato and eggs are two nutrient-rich foods to help set you up for a great day. Sweet potato is packed with vitamin A, a skin-supporting superstar, while the eggs provide valuable protein for maintaining muscle mass and are a concentrated source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants which fight against age-related vision degeneration.

Makes 6 large muffins

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 45 minutes

Ingredients
olive oil for greasing
1 cup grated sweet potato
1 cup grated parsnip
¼ cup chickpea flour
2 Tbsp finely chopped chives
Large pinch of Himalayan salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups finely sliced greens (kale, silverbeet or spinach)
6 whole eggs

Method
Heat oven to 200degC and grease a large muffin tin with olive oil. A Texas muffin tin works best, as it is big enough to fit a whole egg in.

Combine the grated sweet potato, grated parsnip, chickpea flour, chives, salt and pepper and beaten egg in a bowl and mix well.

Divide the hash mixture between the muffin holes and press it down and towards the edges of the tin, making a small well in the centre. The hash should come about halfway up the tin.

Place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes.

While the hash is baking, put the chopped greens into a bowl and pour over some boiling water, leave for 1 minute, then drain well and leave to cool. The boiling water par-cooks the greens, which helps to soften them for easy assembly later.

Remove the hash from the oven and divide the chopped greens between each of the muffins, pressing down so that there is room for the egg. Then crack one egg into each of the muffin tin holes.

Return the tray to the oven for another 12-15 minutes or until the egg is cooked to your liking. We like the yolk still runny if we are eating them fresh, but we will cook it through if planning to pack them into lunchboxes or take as breakfast on the go.

Note: If you don’t eat all the muffins in one go, they make for great lunchbox items or a breakfast on the run.


Summer tart

Quinoa makes a beautifully nutty and flavourful crust for this tart. We have chosen to fill the crust with pesto and roast tomatoes, but you could fill it with anything you like.

The fibre and protein-rich quinoa turns a simple tart into a filling and enjoyable meal. We like that this show-stopper of a dish comes together with some very simple ingredients and little time.

Serves 8

Prep 25 minutes

Cook 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Quinoa crust
1 cup dried quinoa
1½ cups Homemade Broth or water
2 Tbsp ground flax meal
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-6 tsp water
olive oil for greasing the tin

Roasted tomatoes
15 cherry tomatoes
2 large heirloom tomatoes
6 medium tomatoes cut into half or large chunks
5 sprigs of thyme
Himalayan salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil

Filling
1 cup Classic Pesto
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of rocket
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method
Place the quinoa and broth in a pot, bring to a boil then simmer with lid on until the quinoa absorbs all the liquid. Once cooked, fluff with a fork and replace the lid on the pot to trap the steam.

Preheat oven to 200degC.

Once the quinoa has cooled down enough to touch, mix through the ground flax meal, salt and herbs and beaten egg.

Mix until a dough forms, add water one teaspoon at a time until the mixture forms a loose dough. You will usually need 2-6 teaspoons of water, depending on how much water is left in the cooked quinoa.

Press the quinoa into a greased 30cm tart tin. Press evenly over the base and up the sides of the tin.

Wet your fingertips so that the quinoa doesn’t stick to your hands as you press it in the tin.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from oven and leave in tin to cool.

While the base is cooking, place the tomatoes in a baking dish with the thyme and salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until skins blister and juices start to leak out.

Spoon the pesto into the cooled but still warm tart crust and smooth over the base.

Carefully spoon the roast tomatoes into the tart crust, arranging evenly. Discard the thyme or use to garnish.

Very finely slice the red onion into long rounds and mix with the rocket leaves. Heap the rocket and onion mini salad in a pile on top of the tart. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar over the whole tart.

Notes: You can make the tart filling ahead of time and return it to the oven at 180degC for 5-10 minutes to warm through and crisp up again.

This tart crust is very versatile: use different-flavoured pestos, different roast vegetable fillings, or use as a pizza crust.

You can make this tart crust with leftover quinoa. You may just need to add a little more water once you have mixed through the flax meal in order for it to bind, as the quinoa will have dried out a little in the fridge.

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