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Sweet and Spicy Green Juice

Mean green smoothie.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Serves: 4 servings
Energy: 108 calories per serving

– 1 tbsp honey
– 2 tsps ground cinnamon
– 1/10 hot chilli peppers
– ¼ tbsp ground nutmeg
– 3 medium bananas
– 1½ cups kale, chopped
– 2 cups spinach
– 1 cup water

1) Mix all ingredients in a high power blender for about 5 minutes.
2) Either chill in the fridge or add some ice, blend again and enjoy.

Note: The chilli peppers gives it a little kick, start with a little and add more to taste.

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Spicy Spinach and Shallots

Spinach with a kick.

Preparation: 12 minutes
Serves: 1 serving
Energy: 88 calories per serving

– 1 tsp Chinese mustard
– 1/3 second butter cooking spray
– 1 tbsp malt vinegar
– 1 bunch spinach
– 1 tbsp chopped shallots

1) Spray a small pot with cooking spray.
2) Chop shallots and then sauté them.
3) Take a plop (as much as you like) of the mustard and mix it in with the onions.
4) Add some malt vinegar, to taste, to the mustard and onion mixture.
5) Drop in the washed spinach. Stir around pan until the spinach is wilted.

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Mini Spinach and Ricotta Pizzas

A yummy meal that requires minimal effort and is ready in no time.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Serves: 1
Energy: 299 calories

– 1 wholemeal pitta
– ¼ cup ricotta
– 1 cup frozen, leaf spinach
– 1 tsp leaves oregano
– 1 dash of black pepper
– 1 clove garlic

1) Cut pitta in half and place on a baking tray covered with aluminium foil.
2) Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
3) Peel and crush the garlic, then mix in a bowl with half the ricotta, oregano and pepper. Season with pepper (and salt if you wish).
4) Spread the mixture on the pitta breads, then top with chopped spinach.
5) Finally, crumble the remaining ricotta cheese over the top.
6) Place in a oven for about 5 minutes, and remove when cheese starts to brown.
7) Eat straight away for maximum enjoyment.

Note: I prefer to use 2 mini-pittas, but I have written this recipe for a normal-sized pitta.

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Spinach Gnocchi

A magnificent authentic pasta dish that is full of goodness and taste.

Preparation: 35 minutes
Serves: 6
Energy: 252 calories

– 2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
– ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
– bunch spinach, stems removed
– 1 cup tomato soup, canned
– ½ cup dried bread crumbs
– ¼ cup all-purpose flour, extra
– ½ cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1) Microwave or steam spinach until just wilted. Squeeze to remove excess water and chop finely.
2) Combine spinach, ½ cup of flour, cheeses and bread crumbs in a bowl.
3) Toss a tablespoon of mixture in extra flour and forn into an oval. Repeat with remaining mixture to make approximately 36 gnocchi.
4) Add gnocchi to a pot of simmering water and simmer, uncovered for 2 minutes. Gnocchi is cooked when it floats to the surface.
5) Remove gnocchi from the pan using a slotted spoon, drain and keep warm.
6) Heat sauce in microwave.
7) Serve drizzled over gnocchi.

Note: to maximise flavour, choose small spinach leaves with a crisp texture. They should give off a sweet aroma, not a sour or musty odor.


Green Tea

Green tea is produced by steaming fresh leaves, which results in a higher content of polyphenols like EGCG, which is a flavonol. Green tea is known to provide 10-40mg of polyphenols. Green tea also has antioxidant activity greater than a serving of spinach, broccoli, carrots or strawberries. Studies show green tea contains antioxidants, polyphenols, theanine, as well as a wide variety of vitamins and mineral. Due to all these properties, green tea benefits your body greatly.

So what are the benefits of drinking green tea?

Green Tea Restricts Blood Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol, one is “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and the other is good cholesterol (HDL). A heavy accumulation of LDL in tissues can lead to atherosclerosis. HDL prevents accumulation of excessive “bad” cholesterol. It is suggested that catechin in green tea restricts the excessive build up of cholesterol.

Green Tea Controls High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure puts an enormous burden on the vascular system and is known to cause heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Green tea is known for lowering blood pressure.

Green Tea Lowers Blood Sugar

Green tea has the capability of lowering blood sugar levels. Green tea given to diabetes patients caused a decrease in blood glucose levels.

Green Tea Suppresses Ageing

Oxygen plays a key role in metabolism, but can also be an unhealthful agent. As a free radical, oxygen in the body can corrode cell membranes, which will damage the DNA and the fats. This then leads to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Lipid peroxide created by fats combined with oxygen tends to build up in the body and create ageing. Green tea is rich in vitamin E and C which promises longer life.

Green Tea Refreshes the Body

Green tea can stimulate the skeletal muscles and smooth the progress of muscular contractions. It also helps to clear the mind.

Green Tea Prevents Food Poisoning and Fights Viruses

Green tea is a powerful sterilising tool for all sorts of bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. The catechin and theaflavin found in green tea is believed to have a strong effect on the flu virus.

Green Tea Helps You Lose Weight

The EGCG found in green tea has the ability to increase the body’s heat production, which therefore increases metabolism.