5 Benefits of Walnuts

Who knew that walnuts are truly the nut of wonder… well actually they aren’t nuts but seeds but you get the point. They are among the oldest foods grown by humans, dating back to 7000BC, super rich in nutrition and with countless benefits to our body.

Who knew that walnuts are truly the nut of wonder… well actually they aren’t nuts but seeds but you get the point. They are among the oldest foods grown by humans, dating back to 7000BC, super rich in nutrition and with countless benefits to our body.I was never a huge fan of walnuts. I do like them, don’t get me wrong, but given the choice of different nuts I would usually go for almonds, cashews or even hazelnuts. Since coming to Bulgaria we have discovered that walnuts are the only protected tree in this country, which obviously means no chopping without very special permission, as a result there are walnuts everywhere! And I really mean everywhere! I can go for a 5 minute walk to my local village shop and come back with a basket of walnuts if I was to collect only those that have dropped from the trees along the sidewalk.  With such an abundance of these nuts I have started to look closer into them and to my big surprise I have discovered that they are truly nuts of wonder with many benefits which really shouldn’t be overlooked.

Heart health

Walnuts contain the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an anti-inflammatory and may prevent the formation of pathological blood clots. Research shows that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack and have a nearly 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death. They also decrease LDL cholesterol, which is the so called “bad cholesterol” and increases production of the good one.

Brain health

Walnuts have a very high antioxidant content, which means that they can improve your brain functions including the memory function, comprehension and possibly even slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

Weight control

Surprisingly those fatty, fairly high calorie nuts can help us lose weight. If added to your diet they will help to keep us fuller for longer. One study has shown that people who included walnuts in their breakfast had a sense of fullness for much longer than the group which didn’t, which means less snacking, less other foods, less calories…

Source of vitamins and minerals

Walnuts are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including: folic acid, vitamin B, vitamin E, magnesium, copper, phosphorus.

Beauty nut

Well, walnuts can help us with the quality of our sleep (thanks to melatonin), they will strengthen our hair (thanks to biotin / vitamin B7) and make our skin glow (thanks to vitamin B and antioxidants) so how could we not call it a beauty nut?

 

Those are just five of the main benefits of walnuts. According to many articles on the net there is many, many more, some less proven then others but the bottom line is: walnuts are good for you, really good! Now, it’s just a case of finding some “healthy” (aka organic grown) walnuts near you. And if you struggling give me a shout I can share our stash with you 🙂

Source:
https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/walnuts/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/19/7-walnuts-benefits.aspx
http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/go-walnuts-13-health-benefits-of-this-awesome-nut/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19910942
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16825686

9 Homemade Snack Bars Perfect for Kids Lunch Box

9 Homemade Snack Bars Perfect for Kids Lunch BoxIt’s back to school time again which means that all of us who have kids are starting to scratch our heads yet again in search of something new and exciting to put into their lunch boxes.

I was wondering about the perfect lunch box contents but the more I thought about it, the more confused I became and I would end up turned around in my own thoughts… sandwiches, salads, fruits, veggies plus some special “pick me up” treat. Normally this treat would be a shop bought snack bar but lately I’ve started making my own energy bars… they aren’t perfected as yet so I can’t share them with you… I did however go on the hunt through my favourite food bloggers in search of that something special to put into the lunch box.

I have picked for you a lovely selection of homemade bars which would make a perfect addition to any bento lunch box.

Savoury Bars

Bacon Jam Crumble BarsBacon Jam Crumble Bars

These bars contain bacon spread which can be purchased from most supermarkets but if you are a vegetarian 10thkitchen has a few great ideas with regards to substituting the bacon content.

Oat Bars with Olives and Sun Dried TomatoesOat Bars with Olives and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Lovely vegetarian bar which can be adapted to suit omnivores too. I love sun dried tomatoes so this recipe sounds perfect to me. For the full recipe please click here.

Pizza Snack BarsPizza Snack Bars

I am sure this one will become many kids favourite. As long as you call something pizza they will eat it, am I right? These bars are whole grain, gluten and oil free. For a full recipe please visit Healthy Helper Blog.

Sweet Bars

Vanilla Almonds Granola BarsVanilla Almonds Granola Bars

Wonderful looking and packed with good ingredients and if you want to go one step further Bowsesssed has the recipe for homemade almond granola too 🙂

Chocolate Chip Walnut Granola BarsChocolate Chip Walnut Granola Bars

Lunch with no chocolate? Well not to worry, I picked some chocolate bars too. The full recipe can be found on Shweta in the Kitchen.

Kitchen Sink Snack BarsKitchen Sink Snack Bars

Don’t let the name put you off, these bars are truly amazing. They are packed with oats, nuts, seeds and berries and look like fun… oh, and they are gluten free! For the full ingredients list and the recipe itself please visit Kim’s blog.

No Bake Bars

Strawberry and Cream Snack BarsStrawberry and Cream Snack Bars

Vegan, allergy friendly, gluten free and with a paleo option, they are very kid friendly. All you need is one bowl and 10 minutes of your time. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Visit The Big Man’s World to see how they are done.

Coconut Almond Quinoa Granola BarsCoconut Almond Quinoa Granola Bars

Lots of wonderful ingredients disguised as a sweet bar, especially with a chocolate drizzle on top who would think these are the healthy option? These might not take 10 minutes to make but they are well worth it. Full recipe can be found on The Spiffy Cookie blog.

M&M Protein BarM&M Protein Bar

You have to admit they do look super kid friendly. What kid could resist a bar like this? But in addition to the M&M’s which stand out in these bars they are packed full of goodies like oats, nuts, seeds, coconut… For a full recipe please visit Mommyhoods Diary.

These are all looking like wonderful bars, wouldn’t you agree?

And they are so much better for them than many shop bought “slabs” of chocolate bars which usually take up a place in our kids’ lunch box.

And on the topic of lunch boxes…. Fancy having your lunch in style?

I have a wonderful MB original green bento box from monbento to give to one of you. Monbento boxes not only look totally fab but they are also microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, soft touch, airtight, BPA-free and are made from food grade materials. So if you fancy winning yourself this award winning, cool looking lunch box just follow the steps on the Gleam app below.

#win MB Original from monbento

Good Luck!

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by Bark Time in connection with monbento.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries. Winner will be chosen by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive one MB Original bento box from monbento. The prize will only be fulfilled by Bark Time.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Monday 28/09/2015 at 23:59pm.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community

Clean & Green – Almost Green Cleanser

Clean & Green – Almost Green CleanserAll varieties of shakes, juices and smoothies are usually, very popular during the summer time. We have an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies to consume and so we try to mix them up in order to create something special. Some of these mixtures will no doubt have a pure self-indulgence purpose but some can be very tasty and a healthy addition to our daily diet.

This “almost green cleanser” was inspired by the Green Cleanser recipe from Clean & Green by Parragon Books. This lovely book is packed with an amazing selection of green juices, smoothies, shots and soups… and just as the title states they are all green 🙂

Most recipes don’t require any cooking (well… the soups do); all you need to make most of them is a blender or a juicer. So if you have these two kitchen appliance I would highly recommend buying Clean & Green.

But back to my almost green cleanser… I called it almost green as the original recipe calls for avocado, which would make the final smoothie really green. I skipped the avocado and replaced it with pineapple and redcurrants… so let’s start with the ingredients:Clean & Green – My Almost Green Cleanser

  • 30g curly kale
  • 2 springs of parsley
  • 2 kiwi fruits
  • 2 slices of fresh pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • Handful of redcurrants
  • Handful of crushed ice (optional)

Method:

Wash, trim and peel (if needed) your fruit and veggies.

Cut them into smaller pieces which will be more suitable for your juicer.

Feed all the ingredients, one by one, into your juicer.

Pour into a glass filled with crushed ice and serve and enjoy!

Clean & Green - Almost Green CleanserDo you like fresh juices and smoothies during the hot summer months?

Does the hot weather inspire you to eat more fresh fruit and veggies?

What would be inside your favourite green cleanser?

***

Clean & Green
ISBN 978-1-4723-8936-7
Published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2015
Part of Love Food
Number of pages: 128
RRP: £10.00
Paperback; perfect bound

*I received this book for free from Parragon as a part of my Book Buddy pack.

clean-green-almost-green-cleanser

Snacking with Graze Good To Go

Snacking – we all do it, some of us more often than others but at one point or another we all do it. Snacking is deemed to be unhealthy and disrupting to a healthy diet but what about healthy, smart snacking? What about fruit or a handful of nuts instead of the staple bar of chocolate or pack of crisps? Well I would say that if we have to snack we should at least explore the options out there and pick the most suitable and healthy one if possible.

Snacking with Graze Good To Go #grazeonthegoSmart snacking just got easier as the online snacking company Graze have launched their new good to go range of 12 new snacks available nationwide in a range of high street stores. So far they are available in Boots, WHS and Sainsbury and their price ranges from 99p to £1.49.

We were lucky to be able to try them before they hit the shelves 🙂

Snacking with Graze Good To Go  #goodtogoEach of the 12 new good to go range snacks has been carefully put together by the graze Taste Experts. Using their flavour expertise and new ideas they put together good quality ingredients in interesting ways to create exciting snack combinations.

New Graze #grazeonthego rangeThe range contains the following snacks:

  • Chocolate Pretzel Dippers – 26g, 141kcal
  • Dark Chocolate Cherry Tart – 46g, 175kcal
  • Herby Bread Basket – 18g, 90kcal
  • Juicy Peach and Raspberry – 30g, 95kcal
  • Lemon Drizzle Flapjack – 53g, 239kcal
  • Mini Strawberry & Banana – 39g, 120kcal
  • Original Fruity Flapjack – 53g, 228kcal
  • Punchy Protein Nuts – 35g, 210kcal
  • Salted Fudge and Peanut Cookie – 44g, 241kcal
  • Smokehouse BBQ Crunch – 31g, 137kcal
  • Thai Sweet Chilli Dippers – 25g, 83kcal
  • Veggie Protein Power – 28g, 132kcal

Snacking with Graze Good To GoSnacking with Graze Good To Go  - Juicy Peach & RaspberryAs you can see from the selection above the snacks are very different and I am confident everyone can pick something they fancy at the time. Sweet or salty whatever your taste, Graze will have something for you. There are even a few super healthy options with dry fruits or punchy protein nuts.

Personally I really like the idea of these small snack packs. I wish they were in every store. They are handy, super tasty and well-priced.

What do you think?

Do you see yourself munching on some Graze good to go range any time soon?

Discover the power of honey

Discover the power of honeyLast month I shared with you my thoughts on healthy sweets (if you missed it, you can read it here); we covered sugar intake and the importance of natural ingredients but we didn’t really go into any details regarding the power of honey… well today I want to talk about honey!

Discover the power of honeyWe have no interest in a sweet substance that is similar to honey; no we want the real deal we want real honey. You would be surprised at what some people / companies will do to benefit from honey. Some types of honey are extremely valuable and have many great benefits as you probably know… so surprise surprise some people fake it! Yes that’s right, not only are Nike trainers or boutique perfumes getting their “aftermarket” copies… apparently honey is too. If you want to know more about choosing the right high value honey for yourself you might want to read: Manuka Honey – How to buy a real deal.

But back to my main topic… honey… this natural super-food made by bees has an awful lot to offer. To start with natural honey is… well, natural! There are no weird E number additions, no fake colorants; nothing manmade should ever be found inside natural wild honey.

Honey is a great source of carbs, which are necessary in every diet. As a natural sugar it is absorbed quickly and offers an almost immediate energy boost enhancing our performance and reducing any muscle fatigue.

It is also a natural sweetener. It can be used as a sugar replacement, which will provide our body with greater benefits than any processed white sugar.

Honey also works wonders in the world of skin care. As it attracts and retains moisture exceptionally well it makes a perfect ingredient for any moisturizing product. But that’s not all; you actually don’t have to buy honey based products to benefit from it; just use some pure honey. For example have you ever experienced dry chapped lips, redundant question I know… well next time you do, simply massage some honey into them and you will see great results in no time at all.

Last but not least honey can be helpful as a medicine as it has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. For centuries our ancestors were using it as a home remedy to “fix” many problems. Are you suffering from a sore throat? Honey to the rescue! Got a cut or burn? Treat it with honey to speed up the natural healing process. Can’t sleep? Drink a cup of milk with added honey and your times of counting endless sheep will be over.

Honey really is wonderful! And to add to all its other great benefits it also taste great 🙂

Love Marlenka is embracing the power of honey by using it to create 100% natural – no preservatives, synthetic colouring or thickeners – delicious tasting sweet treats.

Discover the power of honey & #win with Love MarlenkaIn celebration of the launch of Napoleonky, which are the newest addition to their treat range, Love Marlenka kindly offered a selection of their honey based treats to one of my readers.

To enter the giveaway and be in with a chance of winning selection of Love Marlenka sweets including their new Napoleonky simply complete the Gleam below.

#win a selection of Love Marlenka honey treats

T&C:
1. Open to UK readers only.
2. This giveaway is sponsored by Love Marlenka.
3. There will be 1 winner chosen at random from all valid entries by Gleam.
4. The winner will receive a selection of Love Marlenka 100% natural treats including the new Napoleonky. The prize will only be fulfilled by Love Marlenka.
5. The winner will have 7 working days to claim the prize, after this time, a new winner will be selected.
6. Closing date for the giveaway is Sunday 07/06/2015 at 23:59pm, any entry made after this time will not be counted.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions
Loquax – Home of The Lucky Duck
SuperLucky Blog Giveaways Linky
Competition Hunter – UK Competitions Community