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Quinoa

When it comes to breakfast, the options are endless. But when you're stuck for time in the morning it can be hard to find something quick AND healthy to eat. 

Many of us will either avoid (big no-no ladies) breakfast or eat something that's not exactly healthy (muffins, we're looking at you), so when a hectic mornings strike, these eight options will have your tummy full in no time: 

1. Peanut butter and banana smoothie

Smoothies are the perfect on-the-go snack. Simply blend one frozen banana, two tablespoons of peanut butter, one cup of almond milk and a few ice cubes. 

 

2. Zapped scrambled eggs with veggies

Yes, it's possible to make really good scrambled eggs in the microwave. All you need to do is beat two eggs and throw them in a microwave container. Add in a handful of your favourite veg and sprinkle with cheese. Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds, stir, and cook for another 30 seconds. A delicious meal in less than two minutes!

 

3. Fruit and yoghurt parfait

One of the easiest, healthiest and tastiest breakfasts out there is a classic fruit and yoghurt parfait. And the best bit? It can be topped with whatever fruit you like. Try choosing fruits that are in season to get the most flavour. 

 

4. Breakfast burrito

Who doesn't love a burrito?! It will take about 10 minutes to make in the morning but if that's still pushing it, you can make it the night before. Scramble two egg white, 1/4 cup of black beans, two tablespoons of salsa and some shredded cheese. Wrap in a whole-wheat tortilla and you're good to go. 

 

5. Leftovers and egg

Stuck with last night's leftover meat, veg and potatoes? Pop them in a microwave container and crack on egg on top. Heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds and your breakfast is ready!

 

6. Overnight oats

This is the ultimate lazy person breakfast. The night before, combine 1/2 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 banana and a handful of chopped nuts in a sealed container. By morning, you'll have delicious overnight oats. You can also heat the meal up in the microwave for a minute or two if you're in the mood for something warm.

 

7. Avocado toast with egg

Sometimes, simple is just better. Lightly toast two slices of wholegrain bread and top with smashed avocado and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Top with two sunny-side-up eggs for a healthy dose of protein. 

 

8. Fruity breakfast quinoa

Cooking quinoa in milk and adding some sweet spices and fruit is a great healthy substitute for classic hot breakfast cereals. Simply cook the quinoa in milk, add some cinnamon or nutmeg and top with fresh berries and chopped roasted nuts. 

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'Tis the season for autumnal delights in the kitchen – and that means hearty, wholesome food to warm you up and satisfy your hunger.

And if you find yourself reaching for the same old recipes, this squash, red onion and quinoa bake could well be JUST what you're after. 

It's actually incredible easy to pull together, and particularly with squash in season at the moment, it's also packed full of tasty, everyday ingredients that thankfully don't involve a trip to bizarre health-food stores.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 650-700g of butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • A small red onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, cut in half, cleaned thoroughly, and chopped
  • 2/3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh thyme
  • 50/60g of Parmesan, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 125mls low fat milk 
  • 125g of cooked quinoa

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 220C and cover a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  2. Place the cubed squash on the paper with half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then pop in the oven and roast for about 30minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 180C.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and add your onion. After about 3minutes add the leek and a generous pinch of salt. Cook for another 3-5minutes until tender.
  5. Add the garlic and a handful of thyme and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant – 30seconds to a minute. Remove from the heat.
  6. Oil a baking dish or gratin.
  7. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add salt and pepper to taste. Next, whisk in the milk. Add onions and leek mixture, the squash, Parmesan and quinoa, and combine well.
  8. Scrape into the prepared baking dish.
  9. Bake for 35 to 40minutes, until set and the top is lightly browned.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10minutes before serving.
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Do you tend to eat on the go? Indulge in endless amounts of coffee (on an empty stomach), or tuck into treats while you're at your desk in work? 

If you're guilty of any of these, it's okay, because most people who work in offices are. 

There's a lot of working lunches, pastries and endless coffee runs, which over time can really effect your overall health. 

But it's not all doom and glum as there are really easy ways to turn your office snacking into healthy habits!

Breakfast

Many people still don't realise how important it is to have breakfast in the morning. 

But if you're always in a rush, (we know how good an extra five minutes in bed can be), then homemade granola is your best option. 

Choose your favourite nuts, seeds and grains and store them in an air tight container. This way they will be ready for you each morning. 

And if that's still cutting you tight for time, use the granola mix to whip up some granola bars at the weekend (they will keep in the fridge for a week). Perfect for when you're running for the bus with half your coat on and your hair not even brushed yet!

 

Snacks

There's no point telling yourself you won't snack during the day, because you will; especially if you're office neighbour is crunching down on some biscuits. 

To help curb the unhealthy cravings, hummus is a godsend. When you feel the office munchies coming on, enjoy hummus with a few carrots, celery sticks or toasted pitta bread and your hunger stay at bay until lunch.

And if you really want to step it up a notch, try making your own hummus with this easy recipe

Fruit is another obvious office munch. It's always handy to keep a back of berries or grapes to snack on during the day. Nuts are great too as they're full of fibre and will help keep your energy levels up in the long run. 

 

Lunch

We know a salad is the healthiest option to have for lunch, but on some days, it just doesn't cut it. When them days strike, opt for quinoa. Quinoa is great because it's super healthy and it absorbs so much flavour into the meal. 

But if you really want to go all out for lunch, try a mason jar meal. Not only will they keep for ages due to their super-tight lid, they are super easy to make up and store; so all you have to do is grab the jar before you run out the door to work! 

 

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If you’ve been scoffing at the popularity of quinoa since its appearance as a superfood in recent years, you may be forced to eat your words…

A study by Harvard Public School of Health has found that just one bowl of the grain a day could decrease the risk of early death by 17%.

The author of the research, Dr Lu Qi praised whole grains such as quinoa for better health: “Our study indicates that intake of whole grains and cereal fibre may reduce the risk of all-cause mortality and death from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory disease.”

Oats were also found to be incredibly beneficial to health due to a fibre called beta-glucan which helps protect against heart disease as well as containing a compound that helps to prevent heart attacks by cutting down on the fat forming in arteries.

It looks like it’s time to stock up on these incredible grains! As if we needed another reason to eat porridge for breakfast.

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We’re no strangers to ‘trendy’ food these days; with things such as quinoa, kale and farro often featuring in recipes and on blogs as the super foods of our time.

Now, there is a new food trend, but it may not be what you’re expecting…

Vice president of culinary and pastry at New York City’s International Culinary Center, Candy Argondizza predicted to ABC News that cauliflower was going to be 2015’s trendy food, saying: “Cauliflower is a really interesting vegetable because it’s extremely versatile and there’s a deepness to the flavour that’s profound.”

Cauliflower already seems to be making an impact this year, with roasting the vegetable as a main dish becoming very popular as well as using pulsed cauliflower as a pizza crust for those who may be intolerant to gluten.

Many people have also started eating cauliflower 'rice' as an alternative to the grain. 

Is it a food trend you will trying?! 

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It looks like quinoa’s time in the spotlight may be coming to an end as a new grain is hitting the headlines.

Teff, Eragrostis tef, is a species of lovegrass that is native to Ethiopia. Teff is a massive crop in Ethiopia, accounting for 20% of all land under cultivation.

It has all of the similar gluten-free and protein attributes that quinoa is famed for, and then some.

The grain is unusual in that it is a fantastic source of vitamin C.

Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow are said to be fans of the grain, so no doubt it will be hitting the shelves soon with that endorsement!

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If you overdid it on the chocolate and rich food this Valentine’s Day don’t worry – we have just what you need.

Replace your rice with quinoa for an easier-to-digest meal without skimping on taste. Quinoa is a superfood and is a source of complete protein.

This meal would make a great lunch that you can bring to work or college with you.

What you’ll need: 

Serves one

  • 125g quinoa
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 avocado
  • Handful of black beans, either tinned or soaked overnight and cooked
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley (optional)

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Prepare the quinoa and black beans as instructed.
  2. Half the cherry tomatoes and chop the avocado into small pieces.
  3. In a bowl combine the cooled quinoa, beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes, avocado and season.
  4. If you would like a little more taste, drizzle some olive oil and balsamic over the top.
  5. Add some parsley or coriander for extra taste if you have some.
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If you’re looking to improve your diet, you may benefit from swapping your heavily refined foods for something that is slightly better for you.

Nowadays, people are more conscious of their health and in sync with their bodies, so it’s not surprising that sales in unusually-named grains and foods have skyrocketed.

Peru’s gluten-free quinoa grain is fast becoming popular among consumers as it is packed with fibre, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. While the ‘superfood’ has been championed for its health benefits, it is not the only one around.

Cowpea can be just as beneficial to your body as the quinoa. Cowpeas, grown in Africa, are more commonly known as the black-eyed pea and are rich in nutrients and fibre.

The aptly named ‘bitter melon’ may well be the most bitter fruit in the world, but it is packed full of cancer-fighting properties.

Uruguay and Brazil’s native guava is both sweet and sour to taste, but has superior mineral and antioxidant content.

It may be a little difficult to source these foods, but with some research, you can give your health a much needed boost.

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