I recently came across this quick bread recipe and was tempted by how little effort it required (it really is quick & easy!). Wasn't sure how it would turn out - or if I would like it (since, you know, I love bread!) - but it ended up being a pleasantly tasty surprise. It's easy to make fresh from scratch and you can experiment with different nut, seed or grain flours to suit your preference. Go on - give it a try!
Tips: You can swap out the sunflower flour with other nut or seed flours such as almond or coconut. Instead of buckwheat flour you can use rice flour or any other grain flour that you like. To make this recipe keto-friendly skip the rice or buckwheat flour and use ground flaxseeds (or 100% sunflower flour) instead. This quick recipe can also be made in the microwave – cook on high for about 90 seconds & be careful not to get burned!
2 tbsp sunflower flour
1 tbsp buckwheat flour
1 tbsp oil of your choice, liquid
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
In a small bowl, add egg, flours, baking powder and oil. Mix well.
Line a 4 1/2-inch (12cm) ramekin with baking paper and oil.
Pour mixture in ramekin and bake for 12-15 minutes.
When the top is firm, but spongy take out the bread and let cool on a rack. Enjoy!
Per Mini Bread: 250 calories; 19.3g fat; 8.2g carbohydrates; 11.1g protein; 1.2g Fibre; 51% DV for vitamin E; 43% DV for selenium; 29% DV for vitamin B1; 22% DV for calcium; 22% DV for vitamin D.
Chromium… what do we know about it? I recently did a functional nutrient test and my chromium levels were pretty low. I knew chromium is vital for blood glucose regulation (I make sure my grandma supplements with this for her diabetes and we’ve seen improvements), but I thought I’ll refresh my mind about this essential mineral.
First discovered in 1797, chromium is mainly known for its role in enhancing sensitivity to insulin and thus lowering blood glucose levels. It does have a few other functions related to its blood sugar balancing benefits, such as:
Carbohydrate & fat metabolism
May lower blood pressure
May improve blood lipids
May enhance cognitive function
It could even improve mood
Chromium deficiency is rare, since it is found in many whole foods, especially in:
Apples (with peel)
It may even be found in some beer & red wine products (chromium is present in grapes after all)!
Signs of insufficient levels include:
Elevated blood sugar & lipids
Elevated insulin levels
Anxiety (due to blood sugar imbalances)
Vitamin B3 and C can enhance chromium absorption. Iron & chromium compete for the same transport proteins in the body, although chromium supplementation does not seem to affect iron levels.
I absolutely fell in love with these gluten-free lemon cookies the very first time I tried them! Stumbled upon this recipe when I had a pack of chia seeds that was about to expire - what a great find it was. They are gluten-free, dairy-free and require absolutely minimal kitchen/cooking/baking skills. Honestly, it's hard to go wrong with these, even if you don't follow the recipe to a T, they always turn out mouthwateringly good!
Tips: You can use baby food apple puree or a very very thick coconut cream (this last version will make the cookies a bit more crumbly) in place of applesauce. You can also swap the rice flour for any other GF flour, the ground sunflower seeds with any other nut or seed and the honey with your favourite natural sweetener. Yep this is a super-versatile recipe, so feel free to experiment!
Zest of a lemon
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp applesauce
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup finely ground sunflower seeds, flour-like consistency
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
dash of salt
Extra rice & coconut flour for coating
In a large mixing bowl, add zest of lemon, lemon juice, applesauce, honey and coconut oil. Mix well and then add chia seeds. Mix again.
One by one, add sunflower seed flour, rice flour, coconut flour, turmeric, salt and baking powder. Mix the dough well – it should not be too dry. Place bowl in fridge for 10 mins
Meanwhile, line a baking tray with baking paper. In a small plate, sprinkle some rice & coconut flour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
Once the dough has chilled, take out and using a tablespoon scoop out dough and shape in small balls. Roll into rice & coconut flour and press flat the dough ball using fingers (making it into a cookie shape). Place each cookie on to baking tray.
Bake for 8-10 mins, until golden and then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool before enjoying these gooey cookies!
Store at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for couple of months.
Per Cookie: 121 calories; 6.3g fat; 11.4g carbohydrates; 2.4g protein; 3g Fibre; 18% DV for manganese; 17% DV for vitamin K; 12.5% DV for copper; 11% DV for phosphorus; 6.6% DV for vitamin E.
This is probably one of my favourite vitamins and one I struggle with personally the most. Having tanned skin, spending most of my time working from home and having two genetic SNPs (polymorphisms) in my vit. D receptors means that often my levels are sub-optimal – even with supplementation!
In fact, the moment I stop supplementing my vitamin D levels drop to deficiency or even “severe deficiency” levels (yup, just did my blood test a couple of weeks ago after taking a break from supplements and, surprise-surprise, my levels were so low my doc told me to get a D injection asap).
But more than just being classified as “deficient”, when my levels are low I begin to feel really fatigued, my mood is low, I struggle to focus and my muscles feel achy with minimal exertion. Why does this sun vitamin have such wide-reaching effects? Simply because it is essential for so many bodily functions, including:
Calcium & phosphorus balance
Nervous system function
Cell differentiation (& cancer prevention)
Insulin production & glucose tolerance
Blood pressure regulation
Gene transcription & regulation of hundreds of genes*
*As you’ll find out in the Younger You book, vitamin D is a powerful DNA methylation adaptogen and an active demethylating nutrient, ensuring the right genes get turned on.
This fat-soluble vitamin is made in our skin and can be found in small amounts in:
It’s best to assess vit. D status through a simple blood test and be aware that deficiency can produce profound signs & symptoms such as muscle & back pain, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, muscle cramps, achy bones & decreased bone density, insulin resistance & blood sugar imbalances, poor cognitive function, increased risk of infection (including viral infections), dysregulated & overactive immune function (autoimmunity) and the list can go on and on.
Did you know that there are 13 vitamins essential for life? They are essential because each one of them serves a whole host of important functions in the body.
Take for example Vitamin A. It is needed for:
Optimal gene expression
Red blood cell production
This fat-soluble vitamin is found in animal foods as preformed vitamin A and in plant foods as its precursor – carotenoids.
Top sources include:
Dark coloured veggies (spinach, kale, collards, etc.)
Vitamin A status can be tested through a simple serum (blood) test and deficiency can produce notable symptoms such as vision problems, poor immune function, skin and hair conditions, thyroid dysfunction + more (we’ll explore some of those in our Body Signs series).
Zinc and iron deficiencies are often associated Vitamin A deficiency (zinc is needed for vit. A metabolism, whereas vit. A is needed for iron metabolism).