I’ve been feeling really rotten the past few weeks and I’ve been trying to figure out why. The first week I went down with an awful flu- the night before I started my new job- absolutely typical! Which meant that I actually only made it half way through my first day before being sent to the doctors and bed bound for the rest of the week!
And although I’m back at work now and recovered from the brute of the flu, I’m still feeling pretty groggy and really bloated and drained a lot of the time. I’m starting to think it might be something else that’s causing it. For years I’ve kept clear of wheat as it doesn’t sit well with me at all. Having a gluten free diet was much easier in England- Spanish cuisine is very wheat-heavy and a nightmare for a celiac! And so last summer I started to incorporate a little bit of wheat back into my diet and although I can now get away with eating a bit, it still leaves me bloated and generally feeling pretty unhappy!
So I’ve made the decision recently to return to a gluten-free diet and whilst I’m at it I’m going to try my hand at avoiding dairy and refined sugars too. I think it might be dairy that’s making me feel so groggy – do any of you have any advice on any good dairy free alternatives/ coconut milk/nut milks/ soya based products I should try?
I’m hoping it won’t actually be too difficult to stick with as my diet generally involves very little dairy or refined sugars – I always use raw honey or dates to sweeten my food and make my breakfast with almond milk.
I’m trying to track down a Spanish version of Coyo but its proving difficult!!
I’ve also realised that for the last few months, I’ve pretty much been eating as a vegetarian- not completely consciously but mainly because I’ve been experimenting with recipes from the likes of Deliciously Ella and Green Kitchen Stories who have such great vegan and vegetarian repertoires of recipes. To be honest, I haven’t really noticed that I haven’t been eating meat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of roast lamb and a proper cheese-laden burger but I tend to only eat meat when I’m out at a restaurant and I actually think it has been doing me some good to avoid cooking it at home. You can also gain a huge amount of your vital protein sources through nuts, seeds, grains and vegetables.
A really good source of protein and one that I’ve been seeing a lot of recently is Quinoa. Quinoa granola and quinoa burgers are some of my favourite recipes but I recently discovered quinoa’s relative amaranth. It looks very similar to quinoa and is also a brilliant source of protein but its grains are smaller in appearance and is slightly harder to get hold of. It has a great nutty taste and is absolutely brilliant for making porridge with.
Especially when you stir in some coconut oil, almond milk and decadently rich cream of coconut! It’s very easy to make, super yummy and a very nutritious, energy-sustaining breakfast. You can also top it with whatever goodies you fancy- I plumped for fresh fruit, a handful of chia seeds and almonds and some roasted apples and strawberries. I also made mine with a handful of rolled oats but you can make it purely with amaranth (or with quinoa if you can’t find amaranth.)
I’d love to hear any of your tips on living a gluten/dairy/refined-sugar free lifestyle or if you know of any good blogs/ people I should follow!
Why not rustle up this delicious breakfast for your loved one tomorrow morning!
Have a beautiful day! x
1 apple- cored and cubed
1tbsp coconut oil
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup/75g amaranth
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup/50g oats
3/4 cup almond milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp coconut cream (I used Goya coconut cream)
In a mixing bowl, mix a handful of whole strawberries with the cubed apple, 1tsp cinnamon and 1tbsp each of honey and coconut oil.
Transfer this mixture to a baking dish and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C(fan) for 15-20 minutes until roasted, slightly caramelised and smelling divine!
Meanwhile, add another tablespoon of coconut oil to a small pan over a medium-high heat. Once it has melted, add in the amaranth and toast for 3-4 minutes until it starts to pop. Then add in 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Simmer the amaranth for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and then add in the oats and almond milk. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring well until you have a creamy porridge. Add in the cinnamon and then remove from the heat. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of coconut cream and then let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the baked strawberries and apple and whatever other toppings you fancy!!
It would be delicious topped with some toasted desiccated coconut!