In an ideal world we would all have beautifully prepared, healthy stuff in our fridge ready for a varied and nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, back in the real world it is not always that simple. Work, kids and, well, life gets in the way on a daily basis and when hunger sets in we often grab what is at hand as long as it’s quick. Which is why having a few fool-proof ingredients at the ready is essential when those snack attacks happen.
Nuts are a brilliant way of adding fibre, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals into your diet. They also taste great. However, when soaked, nuts are easier to digest and toxins (like phytic acid) are removed, releasing beneficial enzymes which helps the body absorb all the valuable nutrients. Read more about soaking nuts and legumes on the excellent platform, Foodmatters. My own particular nut mixture tends to be to be walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds but you can have a go with others. I keep the soaked nuts in the fridge and grab handfuls to use with avocado and olive oil in the morning, or in salads and smoothies. If you are to make your own nut milk (absolutely delicious and much more nutritious than the processed nut milks you buy in the shops) soaking the nuts are essential.
Soaking method: Place 2 cups of raw, organic nuts in a bowl and add 3-4 cups warm water plus 1tbsp of salt. Soak for at least 7 hours in room temperature and keep in fridge. Eat within a couple of days as they can start to decompose after.
If there is anything I can’t cope with it is a lack of avocados. I get terrible withdrawal symptoms as they are an integral part of my daily routine. They provide the toppings for my breakfast cracker. I’ll have them mashed on their own with soaked nuts, plenty of olive oil, a bit of herb salt and black pepper or they will go into one of my breakfast smoothies. It is a divine fruit and once you’re hooked there is no going back. Avo toast anyone? With added tomatoes on top, cucumber slices , lemon juice… the choices are simply endless. And don’t get me started on guacamole… Avocados, like bananas, are ready to eat when you are. Nature’s original fast food.
You can’t go wrong with a good dip. I personally always like having a little something on the side with my fish or salads and by keeping ready-made dips in the fridge you are only one step away from a great combo. My favorites are the classics; humus, guacamole and salsa. Coupled with plain corn chips, naturally gluten-free, they provide the perfect scoop for any dip. During my California years I had a room-mate who originated from Mexico. He made the meanest salsa which I dream about to this day. Chunky pieces of tomatoes, onions and Chile were mixed with masses of fragrant coriander and limes that somehow tasted much better than the tiny varieties I buy today. It was never bought, always made fresh and from great ingredients. Bliss…
When all else fails, having a bottle of green juice stacked away in the fridge is a god send. It’s one of natures’ neutralisers – after drinking a glass of green juice you simply can’t follow on with a chocolate bar. It just doesn’t work. I tend to make a jug for the day and top up my glass when I’m in the mood for something. Make sure you wait 1/2 hour to eat after drinking your greens to maximise the uptake of nutrients.
Basic green juice: Handful of kale, handful of spinach, 1 cucumber, 2 stalks celery, knob of ginger, 1 lemon and 1 apple.
Happy Tuesday! x