Hangover cure: Home-made hummus

home made hummus

There’s really little more satisfying than throwing a bunch of ingredients into a food processor for instant, home-made hummus. Especially on a hangover. It’s comforting and relaxing, and after a night of alcoholic excess, it’s reassuringly self-caring. It’s my go-to 7-minute dish and one which everyone also likes to tuck into.

How to make hummus in 7 minutes flat

Put in a food processor:

  • 1 can of chick peas with a little bit of its water (or two cans if you’re making for a few people)
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed (or two or three if you / your guests love a rich taste of garlic like I do)
  • over half a lemon squeezed or a whole one for two cans of chick peas. The more lemon you add the brighter and more uplifting the taste. If your hummus tastes dull and dense then you probably haven’t added enough lemon.
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini per can of chick peas (sesame seed paste)
  • generous salt
  • generous pepper
  • generous glug of olive oil (in the mixture and for drizzling at the end)
  • chilli flakes/cayenne pepper/paprika – optional to season

Whiz in the food processor until as smooth or as chunky as you like. If it’s too dense, add a glug of plain, unflavoured yoghurt or more olive oil.

Also ensure it’s full of flavour – nothing worse than hummus without enough kick – always add more lemon juice than you think you need and don’t be shy with the seasoning. Be generous, and give it some life!

So that’s it.. no frills, no fuss (just a bit of mess), speedy, natural and utterly delicious. Just toast some pitta, grill some tomatoes, kick back and enjoy.

x

Hangover cure #3: Home-made hummus

home made hummus

There’s really little more satisfying than throwing a bunch of ingredients into a food processor for instant, home-made hummus. Especially on a hangover. It’s comforting and relaxing, and after a night of alcoholic excess, it’s reassuringly self-caring. It’s my go-to 7-minute dish and one which everyone also likes to tuck into.

How to make hummus in 7 minutes flat

Put in a food processor:

  • 1 can of chick peas with a little of its water (two cans if you want to make enough for four people)
  • 1 clove of garlic (or 2 or 3 if you love garlic as I do)
  • just over half a squeezed lemon (make this one whole squeezed lemon if you’re using two cans of chick peas)
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini per can of chick peas (sesame seed paste)
  • generous salt
  • generous pepper
  • generous glug of olive oil (in the mixture and for drizzling at the end)
  • chilli flakes/cayenne pepper/paprika – optional to season

Whiz in the food processor until as smooth or as chunky as you like. If it’s too dense, add a glug of plain, unflavoured yoghurt or more olive oil.

Also ensure it’s full of flavour – nothing worse than hummus without enough kick – always add more lemon juice than you think you need and don’t be shy with the seasoning. Be generous, and give it some life!

So that’s it.. no frills, no fuss (just a bit of mess), speedy, natural and utterly delicious. Just toast some pitta, grill some tomatoes, kick back and enjoy.

x

On the bookshelf

My two latest Amazon book buys include: The Coconut Oil Miracle and The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health. Neither are new releases but as coconut oil is having its moment of fame in the world of health I thought I’d swot up on it. The book was published  in 2004, long before it was fashionable to debate the food’s health benefits but begins by describing the Ayurvedic, Polynesian and Central American cultures who have used coconut oil in cooking, health and beauty for thousands of years. It’s only recently western cultures have given this ancient health food any attention.

It hasn’t come without controversy though – being a saturated fat, coconut oil has gathered quite a strong opposition but the book details decades of published medical journals examining its nutritional benefits and unique chemical make-up that sets it apart from other saturated fats.

The juicing book presents an A-Z of common health conditions with a detailed examination of what juices could prevent and treat, which appeared to be more in-depth than your average juice-diet-recipe book.

I spotted both books in an amazing health food store called Rainbow in California while I was there a few months ago and picked them up from Amazon when I got back. Can’t wait to get stuck in…

A Pukka way forward

Pukka Herbs Revitalise Tea

Pukka Herbs Revitalise Tea

I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to caffeine – anything after 4pm and I’m wide-eyed until the early hours so come evening, I switch to herbs. Pukka Teas Revitalise is one I really rate – it does exactly as it says on the box: ‘it warms and invigorates with organic cinnamon, cardamom and ginger’. 100% of the ingredients are organically grown (with a Soil Association stamp of approval) and ethically sourced from around the world.

So while I’ll always opt for full-caffeine tea or coffee any time of morning, this is my current favourite for a natural evening energy boost – and very comforting when it’s cold.  It gets my big tea-tick…

Why coconut oil is good for you

Pukka Herbs coconut_oil

Pukka Herbs coconut_oil

Coconut oil is my hot-product of the moment – as a spread for toast and oil for cooking – but a friend recently said it’s not good for us as it’s saturated fat, i.e. a heart health and weight-loss no-no. Yes, it’s a saturated fat but no, it isn’t bad for us, it’s actually very very good. So off I went to consult the powers of Google and I came back with some very very confusing answers. Luckily, health journalist Anna Magee, in her brand new book The De-stress Diet, explains why this is a wonder oil for our health and wellbeing, inside and out…

“Not all saturated fats behave the same. Plant versions like medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut cannot be stored as fat and so act thermogenically, raising fat-burning and metabolism. These are the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory fats like lauric acid caprylic acid, also found in human breast milk, pumpkin seeds and butter.” 

Even more interesting, she says: “High dietary coconut is associated with low obesity and heart disease in culture that eat it a part of their traditional diet, showing abilities to regulate insulin, prevent metabolic syndrome, reduce heart disease risk factors and as a healthy addition to a weight-loss diet.”

So there you have it, a secret powerhouse. It comes as a solid in a jar or tub but turns liquid in warmer temperatures so it’s very versatile. I’ve also heard it’s great for applying straight to skin – I met a woman once who lives in Thailand (think of all the wrinkle-causing sun rays) but honestly she looked about ten years younger which she said was down to using only coconut oil on her face. I’m sold.

So, thank you Anna for the fab explanation that’s helped sort out the bad from the good. Now go forth and get coconut oil into your life! And please check out the exceedingly good health, diet and wellbeing book for an insightful (and seriously easy) way to live a healthier and happier life without stress and weight-gain: The De-Stress Diet by Anna Magee and Charlotte Watts (£12.99, HayHouse). Buy it. Now. You won’t be disappointed.

A berry vitamin boost

Perricone Super Berry Acai

Perricone Super Berry Acai

A belated Happy New Year! Just a quick one to tell you about a great vitamin-boosting drink I tried the other day that helped prop up my weak January immune – Super Berry Powder with Acai by Dr. Perricone – a good winter supplement perhaps?

It contains a blend of a zillion berries – raspberries, blueberries, bilberry, goji and others – as well as acai, a Brazilian berry containing lots of antioxidants and essential fatty acids.  (Although I have to say at this point the nutritional information on the pack isn’t so detailed so I couldn’t tell how effective it really is).

I double-dosed and poured two sachets into one big glass (not sure if you’re supposed/not supposed to do that!) but I needed a mega health boost.

It’s a bit pricey  but just thought I’d tell you about it anyway as I’m a bit of a Perricone fan – currently reading his latest book Forever Young. Let me know if you’ve tried other vitamin-boosting drinks that you’ve liked – always on the lookout for more.

Hope you’re having a great and healthy start to the year – there’ll be more health-related posts this month including info on The De-stress Diet – a fabulous new book, that’s just out, by one of my editors so stay tuned!

x

How I love thee Hari Tea

Tea, tea, how I love tea… I have tins of the stuff from all around the world jamming my kitchen cupboards. But this one – Persistence of Memory by Hari Tea from yogamatters.com – was recommended to me by another beauty journalist, and it’s DELICIOUS.

Each label, cutely tells you it “promotes random access to your files” and comes in a beautiful cotton bag. And the whole lot is packaged up with a  big straw ribbon and a message about how yogis lived thousands of years ago. Try it. You’ll love it.