turmeric-smoothie-raw-root

You will have noticed the hype around turmeric, and the food products that have launched on the market to make golden milk or tea, to add more turmeric to your diet. What is all the fuss about? Turmeric is said to be one of the most effective natural nutritional supplements. It contains compounds with medicinal properties, of which curcumin is the most important. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it is a very strong antioxidant. The natural pain relief properties are also contributed to curcumin, and therefore turmeric may be beneficial as a natural painkiller to manage chronic pain.

ROOT VS POWDER

Let’s talk a little more about this magical root. Turmeric is widely available as a powder, however as a raw root it’s very similar to ginger. Raw turmeric has several health benefits which may not be found in turmeric powder. The turmeric oil is one of the components which is lost during processing, and this oil is essential for your body to be able to absorb the curcumin well. Depending on which processing method is used, there may also be loss of curcumin. So aside from raw turmeric being cheaper than other products, using raw turmeric can be more beneficial for your health than using turmeric powder.

5 REASONS WHY TURMERIC IS GOOD FOR YOU

1. Helps increase antioxidant capacity and help fight free-radical damage

2. Helps boost your immune system - powerful anti-inflammatory properties

3. Eases joint pain

4. Protects your heart

5. Helps heal your gut

COOKING WITH TURMERIC

Turmeric has a peppery, warm, bitter taste, which makes it a popular spice in the Indian kitchen. It is used in many different ways, usually in curries, turmeric pickle, hummus and to make turmeric tea. Turmeric can also be used to add color to a broad range of dishes including soups, rice dishes and omelets.

But don’t limit yourself to these foods to get your dose of this herbal medicine. When blended with the right fruits, the pungent taste of turmeric compliments the recipe nicely bringing out aromatic flavours. We’ve created some delicious sweet fruity smoothies, to benefit from turmeric first thing in the morning. In these recipes we’re using fresh turmeric using the Omniblend blender, which makes it so easy to blend root vegetables like turmeric, ginger, beetroot, and carrots. It can be difficult to blend these in a domestic blender, but with a high-powered blender it’s done with ease. Investing in the best blender is key to happy smoothie blending!

SMOOTHIES TO BENEFIT FROM TURMERIC

Here are 3 ways to use raw turmeric in your smoothies. Milk (you can substitute with almond milk), avocado, and chia seeds add fat, which helps the body absorb curcumin better!

 

Peachy Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 C Milk
  • 1 C Peach
  • ¼ C Oats
  • 1 Tsp Fresh turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Fresh ginger
  • ½ Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  •  

    Berry Good Turmeric Smoothie

  • 1 C Blueberries
  • ½ C Blackberries
  • 1 Tsp Fresh turmeric
  • 1 Tsp Fresh ginger
  • 1 C Water
  • ¼ C Yoghurt
  •  

    Golden Glow Smoothie
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 C Milk
  • 2 Dates
  • 1 Tsp Honey
  • ¼ C Whey Protein
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh turmeric
  •  

    Directions

    Add all your ingredients to your jug and blend for 60 seconds. The measures for the ginger and turmeric are a volume indication. There is no need to chop the root, as the blender will create a smooth texture. Simply add a slice of the root that makes up a teaspoon.

    When you’re new to turmeric, the Berry Good Turmeric Smoothie is for you: the combination of the berries with turmeric and ginger hits the sweet spot! The Golden Glow Smoothie has that comforting cup of tea feel, and makes you feel good inside and out. For a breakfast kick-start the Peachy Turmeric Breakfast Smoothie is the one. It gives your traditional oats breakfast a healthy kick, and will boost your day.

     

    blueberries-office-smoothie

    The Berry Boost Smoothie is currently the office favorite! Filled with antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients and fiber to give you the energy boost you need. Perfect for breakfast, afternoon snack, or sweet dessert. This smoothie recipe is one of the recipes that were developed as part of the OmniBlend office smoothie bar. The aim is to encourage the whole office team to make healthy smoothies that are super easy to make.

    We use frozen packed berries from Euroberry, which makes it easy and convenient to make cool, thick and creamy smoothies with no fuss. Especially on those days where you’re looking for a quick snack or boost to get you through the day, having frozen supplies ready to go makes it easier to opt for a healthy option. This is also great for the family, making it easy for everyone to make their own smoothie, even the kids! The recipe makes about 400ml which can be divided into two portions for the kids. Just remember you’ll definitely need a high-powered blender when using frozen fruits.

    We really love how this blends so beautifully in a matter of seconds with our favorite office accessory, the blender machine! The secret behind making the perfect smoothies is not only what you put in, but what you make it with as well. A good smoothie machine is a must to get the best results! Buying frozen fruit and keeping them in the freezer not only makes the process easier, but you can also enjoy fruits like berries out-of-season all year long.

    The best part about making your own smoothies is that, you also get to play around with the ingredients, perfect way to sneak in a veg or two. In this recipe I used dried cranberries for sweetness since we’re in berry mode, alternatively you can use honey or any other preferred sweetener.

    To reduce sweetness or if you’re not really a banana fan then you can substitute the banana with some frozen pineapple. Pineapples are high in vitamin C and promote better skin. Improve your health in the most enjoyable way!

    Ingredients:

  • ½ C Blueberries
  • ½ C Blackberries
  • ½ C Milk
  • ½ C Water
  • ½ C Plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 Banana (Sub ½ C Pineapple)
  • ¼ C Dried Cranberries
  •  

    Directions:

    Add all the ingredients to the Omniblend jug. Blend from low-to-high for 30 to 60 seconds or until creamy. Garnish with fresh berries and mint leaves if desired.

    Now go ahead and make yourself a glass filled with just the right balance of berry awesome, light, refreshing and thick!

    This smoothie recipe was developed by Bernice as part of a series for the OmniBlend office smoothie bar. The aim is to encourage the whole office team to make healthy smoothies, and making it super easy to make, using real ingredients. Bernice has a background in food technology, and is passionate about all that looks, smells, and tastes like food. Her aim was to make sure that a healthy smoothie can taste great too! You can find other smoothies in this series here.

    healty-protein-bar-recipe

    These Chocolate Chia Energy Bars are great to fuel a busy day, or as a lunch box or pre-workout snack. Packed with slow releasing carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals you’re granted of a pick-me-up just when you need it most. We’ve sneaked in little dark chocolate on top of the cocoa, boosting brain function, immunity and mood. Just what you need on a stressful day!

    These bars are a nutritious way to take care of those chocolate cravings, satisfying and energizing! Aside from the small amount of the chocolate, these bars don’t contain refined sugars. The dates and cranberries provide natural sweetness. The healthy fats and protein in the chia seeds, coconut and walnuts really help to keep you full for longer.

    Walnuts are one of the main ingredients of these bars, and did you know that walnuts are little power houses? They’re packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acid, E and B vitamins and essential minerals. They’re said to decrease inflammation and promoting a healthy gut. Each portion of these bars contains your recommended daily intake of walnuts, as part of a balanced diet.

    The best part about these bars is there’s no baking required and they allow for a whole lot of creativity, substitute with your favorite ingredients or finish off with a peanut butter drizzle. We added just a pinch of salt which lifts the chocolate flavor, however you could leave it out completely if you’re looking to avoid salt completely.

    These make more or less 10 bars depending on how you cut them.

    Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ C Dried Pitted Dates
  • ½ C Dried Cranberries
  • 1 C Raw Walnuts
  • ½ C Chopped Dark Chocolate
  • ½ C Cocoa 
  • ½ C Whole Chia Seeds
  • ½ C Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • ½ C Rolled Oats
  • Pinch of course salt (1/4 tsp)
  •  

    Directions:

    The 2 liter jug works best for this recipe. Add the cocoa powder, chia seeds and chocolate chunks to the jug, and pulse about 3 times to combine and rough chop the chocolate, it'll blend more later.

    Add the other ingredients, blend until a thick paste forms. Use the tamper through the lid to push the ingredients into the blades.

    Line a rectangle or square pan with baking paper. Scrape the dough out of the jug with a silicon spatula into the pan. Firmly press the mixture into the pan, pressing tightly into all the corners.

    Place in the freezer for an hour. Lift out of the pan and cut into bars.

    Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. 

    For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro, and you could also use the OmniBlend V - 2ltr Pro

    vegan-falafel-burger

    This falafel burger ticks all the boxes of a hearty and healthy home cooked meal. It’s quick to prepare, and you can serve it in so many ways. Have it on a bun, with your regular burger toppings, and roasted sweet potato wedges on the side, or on a summer day as a salad. Grill this vegetarian burger on the stove, or in the oven, crispy outside and juicy inside.

    chickpea-patties

    We spent a day in the kitchen with Michelle Parkin, food & lifestyle photographer with chef and restaurant background, and it shows! Michelle whips up amazing creations with ease, and manages to style and capture it so beautifully. It was so much fun to work with her and use the OmniBlend for a host of different dishes!

    vegetarian-burger-recipe

    This chickpea patty was a favorite, and you can have it for lunch, dinner or as a party snack. Just shape it the right (bite) size, and serve with a tahini dipping sauce, and you have a healthy snack.

    Ingredients (12 small patties):

    • 2 Cans Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
    • 1 Onion, peeled
    • 1 C Coriander and Parsley (fresh)
    • Juice of 2 Lemons
    • 1/4 C Olive Oil
    • 3 Cloves Garlic (peeled)
    • Salt & Pepper

    Directions:

    Add all ingredients to the OmniBlend jug, and blend for a few seconds, using the tamper (through the lid) to move the ingredients into the blades. Don’t blend too long, to avoid that the mixture gets too smooth. You’ll want to keep some bite. Pulse a few times until you’re happy with the texture. Transfer the mixture into a bowl, and shape the patties. Fry in a little olive oil in a pan, turning to brown each side.

    Bon appetit!

    For this recipe we used the OmniBlend V - 2ltr Pro.

    Tahini, the Middle Eastern sesame paste, is made of just sesame seeds and oil and adds so much flavour to your recipes! Tahini is used in hummus …duh…  and it’s actually very versatile. If you find that a jar is usually just sitting in your fridge, and you’re not sure what to use it for, you’ll want to check these recipes.

    There are many ways to use tahini, and we’re sharing our 5 favorites:

    Salad Dressing

    Adding a few spoons of tahini will make a dressing that’s rich, creamy and velvety. For an everyday vinaigrette, whisk together tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, honey and minced garlic. Or try this Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with Maple Tahini Dressing from the Minimalist Baker. 

    Dips

    Tahini gives creaminess and a rich flavor to all your dips. Mix it with a sour cream for a nutty, tangy dip for pita chips. Tahini also makes a great dip for raw veggies: just add lemon juice, salt and a little pepper and enjoy a delicious snack. Try this 5-minute dreamy vegan and gluten-free tahini dip by Gimme Some Oven that’s delicious with chips, veggies, breads, falafel or chicken strips.

    Smoothie

    If you enjoy smoothies with nut butter you’ll love a smoothie with tahini. It adds a creamy texture and depth of flavour to your smoothies. Try this Berry & Tahini smoothie from Green Kitchen Stories that’s both tart & savory.

    Spread

    Tahini makes a great spread on toast and rice cakes. Tahini has the consistency of nut butter, making it the perfect substitute. Spread it on toast with some sliced bananas, or try this chocolate tahini spread as a healthy alternative of Nutella, on sourdough toast.

    Soup

    Try adding a few teaspoons of tahini to your soups! Tahini works well as a substitute for dairy in vegan soups to create creaminess. Try this creamy broccoli tahini soup.

     

    Tahini can be used in sweet and savory dishes, and in fact you can replace nut butter with tahini in all your recipes that include nut butter. That makes tahini a perfect substitute in case of nut allergies, and as it's high in vitamine A, and B vitamins, healthy fats, and essential minerals, it's a highly nutritious replacement.  

    Now that you know how versatile it is, you’ll want to make your own, to always have it at hand. Try our recipe and make your own homemade tahini in just 5 minutes with your OmniBlend blender.

    tahini-blender-recipe

    We love using tahini in different recipes, and it’s so easy to make your own! Homemade tahini is not only easy, it’s also cheaper than store bought tahini. For this recipe you only need two ingredients and a powerful blender.

    Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds, and is a staple in the Middle Eastern cuisine mostly used in savory recipes. We all know how to use it in hummus, and the new trend is to use it for baking! With the rise of peanut allergies, this seed-based paste is growing in popularity.

    Tahini is rich in vitamin E, B vitamins, and essential minerals. Great way to sneak some healthy nutrition into a host of meals too!

    Ingredients:

  • 2 C Sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbsp Avocado oil
  •  

    Directions:

    Toast the sesame seeds in a wide saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the seeds brown slightly and become more fragrant. Careful not to burn them, sesame seeds burn very easily.

    Once the seeds have cooled, put them into your jug then add 1 tablespoon of oil and blend until a crumbly paste begins to form. Use the tamper through the lid, and move the seeds into the blades by pressing in the tamper into the corners of the jar. Try not to add the oil all at once, the power of the OmniBlend will extract the natural oil from the seeds. For a smooth and slightly runny tahini you only need 3 tablespoons of oil. Avocado oil is perfect as it doesn’t have an overpowering flavour.

    Add oil to get desired consistency, and blend until smooth. It should be smooth and pourable. Store tahini in a jar and keep it in the fridge.

    For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I - 2ltr Pro, and you could also use the OmniBlend V - 2ltr Pro. The 2 liter jug is best suited for grinding dry ingredients, and making nut butters, pastes, hummus, and other spreads. 

    spinach-king-bread

    Lufefe Nomjana, also known as the Spinach King,started his business with just R40 and turned it into a Health Food Café and Bakery that supplies restaurants and shops in the wider Cape Town area. The Spinach King opened his restaurant right next to the Kayelitsha train station, and supplies low-GI and gluten-free spinach bread to local Spars and Wellness Warehouse stores. In the process he is also helping to transform the community he is located in.

    Lufefe Nomjana is the owner of Espinaca Innovations, known as the Spinach King. We had the opportunity to visit his café in Khayelitsha, to get to know more about the Spinach King. As we walked towards the restaurant, the beautiful vertical spinach garden against the wall caught our eye, and is a perfect representation of what the business is all about.

    The philosophy behind the Spinach King is to empower the community and make a positive change in their eating habits. To create better awareness about nutrition, and diseases that are linked to unhealthy food, and how to eat and live healthier.  At the core of the business is creating opportunities in the community, through micro farming and social development. Lufefe is closely working with micro farmers in the area, making sure they grow top quality spinach to ensure consistent supplies for his breads, pastries, 7-veg burgers, and smoothies. Next is to utilise the land next to the restaurant for social development micro farming, to show the farm to table concept.

    Lufefe’s journey doesn’t come without obstacles: the many available fast food chains in the area smell appetising to the local community, and it takes stamina to keep telling the message about the importance of healthy food. The Spinach King is innovative in how to approach these challenges: he’s developed a healthy 7 vegetables burger that satisfies the cravings without the processed meats.

    The response from the community is positive, which is encouraging to continue with sharing the message through schools and the different micro entrepreneurs he’s working with.

    We were there to deliver the Spinach King’s new OmniBlend V - 1.5ltr, and take the opportunity to get to know him. We’re proud to partner with Lufefe and his team, as they’re working tirelessly on positive change in the community.

     omniblend-blender-customer

    When you hear him speak, it’s clear that a healthy lifestyle is very important to Lufefe, he is very passionate about promoting and living a healthy lifestyle, making better choices and changes.

    The main focus is on spinach because it grows fast and it has excellent health benefits: spinach contains all six major classes of nutrients. Lufefe also incorporates other vegetables into the food served at the café, like the delicious 7 veg patties used in the sandwiches, and in their smoothies.

    Why use spinach in bread, we asked: “Incorporating spinach into a loaf of bread, is the perfect way to increase nutrient intake, especially because most people are on the go and always busy. People don’t have time, and since forever they’ve been eating bread. So the easiest way is just to add vegetables to the bread.” Explains Lufefe. Lufefe is responsible for the development of recipes and the quality control. He’s hands-on, handling deliveries and management of the cafe and farming relationships as well. He’s working hand in hand with his wife who heads the production team.

    It’s clear the Lufefe is a busy man: over the past couple of years the Spinach King has expanded with a second bakery in Khayelitsha, and a partner restaurant opened its doors in Amsterdam. “I loved Amsterdam! I cycle here in Kayelitsha and being able to cycle around Amsterdam was awesome! The restaurant is doing very well, the Dutch seem a little more health conscious and that makes it somewhat easier to bring the message across.” There are plans to reach out to the Langa community as well, and he’s planning to branch to other provinces in South Africa. Keep a look out for the Spinach King: there’s still more to come!

     

    spinach-loaf-beet-strawberry-smoothie 

    You can get yourself a spinach bread at a few local stores and delis in Cape Town, or take a drive to Khayelitsha and meet the King himself.

     

    For more about the Spinach King: http://www.spinachking.co.za

    autumn-salad-dressing

    Winter’s upon us, days are shorter, and the mornings are becoming slightly colder. That doesn’t mean we have to give up our favorite salads as we have warm flavours to look forward to in autumn and winter. It’s the time of the year for cozy comfort dishes, and the season comes with an abundance of beetroot, butternut, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, figs and oranges to name a few. Use these for your salad this season, cause salad doesn’t always mean lettuce, and autumn salads are perfect for the cooler weather.

    This season’s salads are made using roasted seasonal vegetables, apples and nuts for crunch, and quinoa or brown rice. Add some fish, chicken or eggs for protein to make it a substantial meal for lunch or dinner.

    A salad is not a salad without the dressing, so we’ve picked our top 5 dressings and we’ve paired them with some great salads.

    You can make these dressings using the OmniBlend 2 liter jug. The 2 liter jug is most versatile because of the narrow base. This narrow base works excellent for a smooth dressing, or sauce. Making these recipes with your OmniBlend blender will definitely prove that making your own salad dressing is fun, fresh and easy.

    Creamy Cashew Green Goddess Dressing (vegan)

    A delicious Creamy Cashew Green Goddess dressing that gets its silkiness from the cashew nuts that are blended to a milky texture. You definitely want to try this recipe with a quinoa salad, with fresh cucumber and chickpeas. Any leftovers of this dressing are also great on a sandwich, or as a dipping sauce for raw veggies on a platter. Dairy free, and vegan.

    Photo credit Cookie+Kate

    cashew-dressing-quinoa-salad-recipe

     

    Avo Coriander Dressing

    Ever hosted a Texmex party? This Avocado Coriander Dressing is great on a spicy Western salad with roasted sweet potato, black beans and corn. It brings all the flavours together really well. Just blitz the ingredients using the pulse, and you’re done!

    Photo credit Pinch of Yum

    avocado-coriander-texmex-dressing-recipe

     

    Green bean salad Ginger Carrot Vinaigrette

    Autumn is the season for warm root vegetable flavours like carrot and ginger, and this Ginger Carrot vinaigrette goes perfectly with tossed green beans, topped with cherry tomatoes, and toasted almonds. Toss some grilled chicken breast strips in for additional protein.

    Photo credit 101 Cookbooks

     green-bean-salad

     

    Harvest Maple Dijon Dressing

    Citrus is another autumn favourite, and this Harvest Maple Dijon Dressing pairs beautifully with a zesty green salad this season, topped with some orange and avocado slices. Add some grilled halloumi and it’s a winner!

    Photo credit TheKitchn

     avocado-zest-salad

     

    Ginger Cranberry Dressing

    This Ginger Cranberry Dressing is for the more adventurous in the kitchen. Replace fresh cranberry with (defrosted) frozen cranberries when they’re hard to get by. Or use dried cranberries, and leave the maple syrup out as it will have sweetness already. This dressing is magical in a warm kale salad with apple and walnuts or almond slivers.

    cranberry-kale-salad-dressing

    matcha-flapjacks-pancake

    These flapjacks are the best! We've been rambling about the benefits of oats before, and these flapjacks are fabulous to bring some variety in your breakfasts! Matcha adds delicious flavour and incredible nutritional benefits, making this an overall healthy start of your day.

    Matcha tea is delicious on it's own, but the Matcha culinary grade also makes it easy to add Matcha goodness to your smoothies, and treats. In this recipe we've just used 1 teaspoon Matcha which gives it a light flavour, however you can add an additional ½ teaspoon for a more pungent Matcha taste.

    just-matcha-baking

    If you'd like to make this recipe vegan, you can just leave the egg out, mix 1 tablespoon flax meal with 3 tablespons of hot water, and add this mix to the batter.

    Ingredients (for 8-10 flapjacks):

  • ½ C Oats
  • ¼ C Coconut Flakes
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Just Matcha culinary grade
  • 1 Banana
  • ¾ C Milk or non-dairy
  • 1 Free-range Egg
  •  

    Directions:

    Add oats and coconut flakes to the OmniBlend jug (the 2ltr jug works best for grinding dry ingredients), and blend to a flour. Add the remaining ingredients to the jug and blend again, for 20 to 30 seconds for a fluffy consistency. Leave to stand for a few minutes to thicken slightly.

    Heat up a pan on low-medium heat, add a teaspoon coconut oil and bake the flapjacks.

    Serve with syrup, maple syrup, or honey.

    berrylicious-smoothie-bowl

    Try this Berrylicious smoothie bowl and thank us later. This pretty bowl is packed with essential vitamins that gets its creaminess from … cauliflower! Yup, cauliflower for breakfast! Raw and even frozen for convenience, the cauliflower adds nutrients and texture, and doesn't add flavour, cause that's what the raspberry is for.

    The best part about smoothie bowls are the toppings. We used mixed berries and some cocoa nibs, and you can use chia and hemp seeds too, for added nutrients. Basically you can use any of your favorite toppings for the perfect snack or breakfast bowl.

    Raspberries are little powerhouses, as they're rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Using cauliflower adds not only creaminess, but also contains essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate and manganese. A great substitute for bananas to lower sugar content.

    Ingredients:

  • ½ C Milk
  • 1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp. Yogurt
  • Handful of Cauliflower
  • Toppings:
  • Fresh Raspberries, Blueberries, Blackberries & Cocoa nibs
  •  

    Directions:

    Add the milk, yogurt, mixed berries and cauliflower to your OmniBlend jug, blend from low to high for 30 to 60 seconds or more until creamy.

    Scoop into a bowl and top with desired toppings.

     

     

     

     

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