HWAM Nourish

Helen Ford, Nutrition Consultant

Choconut Bars

Helen Ford
These make the perfect mid-morning/afternoon snack and are super easy to make. They are rich in protein, fibre, Vitamin E and healthy fats for brain, hormones and the immune system. They are low in refined sugar due to the natural sweetness from the dates.
Course Snack
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Bowl
  • Spatula
  • Knife

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g raw almonds
  • 100 g 85% dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp Medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Put the almonds and chocolate in a blender and pulse until the ingredients have been mixed and moderately ground (leave some larger chunks to add texture).
  • Place the mixture in a bowl along with the desiccated coconut and cacao powder.
  • Next, blend the dates, coconut oil, almond butter and sea salt until smooth and add this wet mixture to the dry mixture combining well.
  • Press the mixture into a 7-inch square tin lined with baking paper and leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours before cutting into squares and serving.
  • Top with a little more desiccated coconut.
Keyword menopause health, Rich in protein, fibre, Vitamin E and healthy fats

Quinoa and Ground Almond Porridge

Helen Ford
This makes such a warm, cosy breakfast as the mornings are getting colder. It makes such a nice change from oats. Quinoa is a source of plant protein and is rich in immune-support zinc. You can use coconut yoghurt in place of cow's if preferred.
Course Breakfast

Equipment

  • Medium saucepan with lid
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups almond milk organic
  • 1/2 cup white or red quinoa
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries/mixed frozen berries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans toasted
  • 2 tbsp almonds ground
  • Natural organic yoghurt

Instructions
 

  • Combine the almond milk and quinoa in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring it to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low then cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Turn off the heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the ground almonds, blackberries and cinnamon and serve with the pecans and natural yoghurt.
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Helen Ford, Nutrition Consultant

Red lentil and tomato soup

Helen Ford
This is a perfect lunch for those cooler autumnal days and so easy to make in advance. The vibrant colour means it's rich in immune-supporting beta carotene and vitamin C and the lentils give a great protein content to stave off that mid-afternoon hunger. I would recommend making a batch of this delicious soup and freezing it so you can take out a portion whenever needed.
Helen Ford.
Course Main Course, Soup

Equipment

  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Food processor
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 200 g red lentils washed
  • 390 g can tomatoes
  • 750 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 generous tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Place the washed lentils into a large saucepan or stockpot. Cover with the stock.
  • Bring to the boil and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for a further 15 minutes.
  • Place the lentils, stock, tomatoes (including any juice) and parsley into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and reduce slightly or until a thickness you like.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Keyword Immune-supporting

Spicy Sardine Spaghetti

Helen Ford
Rich in Omega 3 fatty acids – vital for healthy brain function.
Course Main Course

Equipment

  • 1 large saucepan
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • A medium sized bowl for mixing ingredients together
  • Chopping knife
  • Colander for draining spaghetti

Ingredients
  

  • 100 g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 2 large tomatoes ripe and finely chopped
  • 1 red onion very finely chopped
  • 15 g black kalamata olives pitted and quartered
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped (seeds left in for extra heat!)
  • 1 lemon juice and zest
  • 1 handful basil leaves shredded
  • 2 tins sardines in olive oil, drained, oil reserved (optional)
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped
  • Capers to garnish

Instructions
 

  • Boil the spaghetti following packet instructions.
  • Meanwhile, mix the tomatoes with the onion, olives, chilli, lemon zest and basil.
  • Drain the pasta, return to the pan and toss well with the tomato mixture.
  • Add the sardines in chunky pieces.
  • Season with lemon juice, pepper and a little oil from the can if you like.
  • Sprinkle with lots of fresh parsley, capers and an extra red chilli on top!

Notes

Tinned fish is so underrated, yet so good for us.  Sardines are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are vital for healthy brain function.  Our brain is 70% fat and omega 3 forms a vital part of all the cell membranes.  These cell membranes have to transmit nutrients, chemicals and hormones to help with memory, concentration and mood.  Using wholewheat pasta provides more fibre and keeps blood sugar stable for longer, therefore helping with energy and brain function.  This is such a simple supper and looks beautiful too.
P.S. Waitrose sardine fillets with chilli are amazing!

Blueberry Overnight Oats

Helen Ford
Course Breakfast

Equipment

  • Grater
  • Medium sized bowl
  • Tablespoon
  • Dessert spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 1 red-skinned pear firm, ripe and unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp porridge oats
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt full fat
  • 3 tbsp oat milk (or any plant milk) plus a bit extra
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp walnuts crumbled
  • 2 handfuls blueberries

Instructions
 

  • Grate the pear into a bowl and add the oats, half the yoghurt, the oat milk and most of the nuts and seeds.
  • Leave overnight.
  • In the morning, check the consistency and dilute with a little more oat milk if it is too thick.
  • Spoon on the remaining yoghurt, pile on the berries, remaining nuts and seeds, then serve.

Notes

This is a perfect breakfast for those busy autumn mornings.  It’s all made the night before so can be eaten straight away or taken into work.  Porridge oats are full of fibre and provide slow release carbohydrates, therefore sustaining energy levels and improving mood.  The protein from the yoghurt, nuts and seeds gives this breakfast extra protein, fibre and omega 3 fats which are vital for brain function.
Keyword brain-boosting, menopause health

Helen Ford, Nutritionist

Watercress Pesto

Helen Ford
I love experimenting with different pestos, and the great thing is you can use pretty much any herb/green leaf and nut combination. Once you've made it yourself, you'll never buy shop bought again! This pesto is rich in plant iron from the watercress and essential fats. Vitamin E, protein and fibre from the almonds. This can be run through pasta or used to top salmon or sea bass before popping in the oven to lightly brown.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 jars

Equipment

  • Salad spinner
  • Food processor
  • Small frying pan

Ingredients
  

  • 100 g Watercress
  • 100 g Almonds
  • 1 handful Fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp Pine nuts
  • 2 large Cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 100 g Parmesan grated (or vegan alternative)
  • 1 Lemon zested and half juiced
  • 150 ml Olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Wash and dry the watercress and basil (in a salad spinner, or pat dry with kitchen paper), then blitz in a food processor. Meanwhile, toast the almonds and pine nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing regularly, until golden.
  • Add the toasted nuts to the food processor and blitz again, then add the garlic, parmesan, lemon juice and zest and a grinding of black pepper. Blitz to combine.
  • Add the olive oil, whizzing in a little at a time, until you have the desired consistency. If the pesto still seems a bit thick, add a splash of water.
Keyword balancing hormones, menopause health

Mackerel Paté

Helen Ford
Mackerel is a wonderful source of omega 3 fats which are so important for healthy hormones, skin, hair and brain health. I like to use the analogy of omega 3 being an 'ingredient' in a cake – if you don't have this 'ingredient', hormone balance is unlikely, mood changes and drier cells – both inside and out. This is also a great protein source, therefore helping to balance sugar to give us sustained energy. You can use plant based yoghurt if dairy free. Fresh red chilli, finely chopped can be added to give it an extra kick.
Course Appetizer, Brunch, Snack

Equipment

  • Large bowl
  • Fork or blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pack mackerel smoked fillets skinned
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt organic
  • 1 large handful chopped coriander
  • Juice from half an organic lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp horseradish sauce (adjust according to taste) The English Provender

Instructions
 

  • Put all ingredients together in a large bowl and mash with a fork. Use a food blender if smoother consistency wanted.
  • The consistency of the paté can also be adjusted by adding more or less yoghurt – it is a great recipe to experiment with!!
  • Ideal on oatcakes with watercress.
Keyword balancing, menopause health, omega 3

Helen Ford’s Carrot Cake Energy Balls!

These make a nutritious and very yummy mid-morning/afternoon snack. They are packed full of beta-carotene which is important for healthy skin, hair and immune system. The walnuts are a good source of hormone-balancing omega 3 essential fats, zinc and protein. Dates provide calcium and magnesium for healthy bone density. The flaxseeds contain lignans – a phytoestrogen which have subtle hormone-modulating properties.
Note: Contains nuts!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large carrot peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 10 medjool dates pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • 150 grams walnuts
  • 50 grams flaxseed crushed
  • Desiccated coconut to coat

Instructions
 

  • Combine everything in a Nutri Bullt and whizz up until the mixture forms a soft dough.
  • Roll into balls and coat in desiccated coconut.
Helen Ford, Nutritionist

Puy lentil and Sardine Nicoise Salad

Helen Ford
This is quick and simple and makes the perfect lunch to take to work or eat at home. Packed with nutrients including magnesium from the broccoli (for a healthy nervous system and mobility), protein from the eggs, lentils and sardines and omega 3 essential fats. All of these nutrients are important for healthy hormones during the peri-menopause/menopause. It's such a beautiful salad, it would even make a perfect dinner party dish!
Course Salad
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 large eggs organic
  • 100 grams tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pouch Merchant Gourmet Puy lentils (pre-cooked)
  • 50 grams black olives pitted
  • 1 bunch flat leafed parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 1 tin sardine fillets

Instructions
 

  • Bring a pan of water to boil and cook the eggs for about 6 minutes. Remove and pop into cold water so you can peel them easily.
  • Heat a griddle pan, toss the broccoli in a little oil and griddle for 4-5 mins until charred and tender.
  • Transfer broccoli to a large bowl and toss together with the lentils, chopped olives and parsley.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the oil with the mustard and cider vinegar. Add the shallot and a pinch of black pepper and salt.
  • Add half the dressing to the lentils and broccoli, mix well and spread out on a platter. Flake the sardines and arrange over the lentils with the halved eggs. Drizzle over the remaining dressing and serve.
Keyword healthy nervous system, menopause health, mobility

Introducing … Helen Ford!

Helen is a Nutritional Therapist and Cook! She is passionate about nutrition and the therapeutic power of food to heal. Helen specialises in women’s health and works as a Nutrition Consultant with Dr Marilyn Glenville at the Marilyn Glenville Clinic in Tunbridge Wells and Harley Street.

And now, every month, I will be featuring one or two of Helen’s delicious recipes as a nutritious, colourful and sometimes spicy addition to my column – Menopause the Burning Issue, for Hastings in Focus! You will find Helen’s inspiring recipes here on HWAM Nourish!

Visit Helen’s website at Helen Ford Nutrition, for cookery classes and store cupboard makeovers, or read her blogs on ‘Eating for a Healthy Immune System’, ‘Sourdough Bread’ and much more. If you want to book a nutrition consultation with Helen, visit https://www.marilynglenville.com/clinic/nutritionists/helen-ford/ and follow Helen on Instagram for daily updates.

Spring Clean Salad, with beetroot, walnuts and goat’s cheese!

A quick and easy lunchtime salad for a fresh and tasty, nutritious brain boost! This salad is a nutritional powerhouse with beetroot and walnuts supporting cognitive function at perimenopause and beyond.
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Brunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings 2

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Whisk
  • Shallow serving dish

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pack cooked beetroot ready to eat, in natural juices, roughly chopped
  • 1 400 g tin chickpeas ready to eat, rinsed and drained
  • 1 handful chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 150 g goat's cheese log thickly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 lemon, for the juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 tbsp parsley flat leaf, finely chopped
  • sea-salt to taste
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 handful rocket or similar to serve

Instructions
 

  • Begin by making the lemon dressing, by combining the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly together.
  • Put the chickpeas into a small bowl and add the dressing. Thoroughly and gently, mix in the dressing to ensure all the chickpeas are well covered. Leave to one side.
  • Put the chopped beetroot, finely sliced red onion and finely chopped parsley into the serving dish.
  • Add the chickpeas and dressing to the salad dish. Give everything a good stir.
  • Place the thickly sliced goat's cheese on top of the salad.
  • Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts.
  • Serve with the rocket tossed over the salad, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a final sprinkling of sea-salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • Enjoy on its own or as an accompaniment to a fish dish. It goes particularly well with smoked salmon or smoked haddock and some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
Keyword beetroot, chickpeas, goat’s cheese, walnuts

Poached Eggs & Kale Brunch

Jane Midwinter
Poached eggs on kale, with cherry tomatoes, avocado mash, garlic mushrooms and mixed seeds.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Brunch
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 100 grams kale washed, drained and chopped
  • 4 medium hens eggs
  • 150 grams chestnut mushrooms wiped and thickly sliced
  • 90 grams cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 whole avocado roughly mashed, leaving chunks
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
  • 1 tbspn olive oil extra virgin
  • 1/2 tspn sea salt
  • 1/2 tspn ground cumin
  • 1/2 lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 tspn chilli flakes

Instructions
 

  • Turn the oven on low. As each ingredient is cooked, you can pop it in the oven to keep warm, apart from the eggs which need to be poached last and when everything else is ready.
  • Put two plates in the oven to warm.
  • Prep and measure out all the ingredients.
  • Boil a kettle ready to poach the eggs and steam the kale.
  • Break the eggs into four separate tea-cups. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to each one. Put to one side.
  • In a small bowl, roughly mash the avocado, stir in the cumin, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a scrunch of black pepper and the chilli flakes.
  • In a small frying pan gently heat 1 tbspn oil and add the cherry tomatoes, cook on a low heat until slightly browned and softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • In a medium-sized frying pan, gently heat 1 tbspn oil, add the crushed garlic, a pinch of salt and the sliced mushrooms and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Place the kale in either a steamer, or large lidded pan with 2 tbsp of the boiling water. Bring to the boil, then immediately turn the heat right down and simmer on a low heat until the kale is cooked, approximately 2-3 minutes.
  • Now, before you poach the eggs, take the plates out of the oven and put them on the counter.
  • In a small shallow pan (which preferably has a transparent lid), add enough boiling water which will cover the eggs. Turn the heat to medium/high so that the boiling water is what I call a 'rolling boil' – just bubbling nicely – more than gentle, less than furious! Gently and swiftly, lower each egg into the boiling water, add more water to cover if needed, and put on the lid. You will need to watch the eggs so they don't boil over and you may need to adjust the heat. Fresh eggs will take only a minute or two for a firm white and a soft yolk.
  • Just before the eggs are ready, turn off the heat and take off the lid.
  • Arrange the kale, mushrooms, tomatoes and avocado onto the plates and as soon as the eggs are done, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon, allowing them to drain over the pan for a few seconds and then carefully placing them on top of the kale.
  • Serve, sprinkled with the seeds and seasoned with a pinch of salt flakes and a scrunch of black pepper.
  • The perfect start to a lazy Saturday!

Notes

This brunch is nutritious, delicious and should keep you feeling nourished for at least a couple of hours.  I sometimes serve it with toasted wholemeal spelt or sourdough bread, rubbed with a clove of garlic and drizzled with a little olive oil.  But don’t kiss anyone unless they’re eating with you!

Golden Dahl Soup

I have always enjoyed a large bowl of dahl to accompany a curry. This soup is a variation on that side-dish, and brings it centre-stage!
Warming and nourishing, it's like a bear-hug in a bowl. Perfect for comforting us through chilly autumn nights.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 hearty portions

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Medium frying pan
  • Stick blender

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g dried red lentils
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium to large onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tsp Bouillon stock powder or 2 – 3 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves stalks removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 fresh chilli (optional) very finely sliced
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • A few scrunches black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Put the lentils in a sieve and run cold water through them to rinse them clean.
  • Put the washed lentils into a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover to about 3 cm depth above the lentils.
  • Add the turmeric to the lentils and water and give everything a stir. Do not add salt at this time or the Bouillon or stock as salt will toughen the lentils and they will take longer to cook.
  • Bring the water, lentils and turmeric to the boil and then reduce the heat, partially cover with the lid and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Whilst the lentils are cooking, melt the coconut oil in a medium-sized frying pan on a medium heat and add the finely chopped onion. Fry for about 5 minutes or until softened and slightly golden. Be careful not to let them burn.
  • Add the cumin seeds and let them cook for a couple of minutes. Turn down the heat and add the tomato puree. Give the mixture a good stir and cook for another minute. Add a little water to the mixture if it becomes too dry.
  • When the lentils are completely cooked and soft, stir in the Bouillon or crumble in the stock cubes.
  • Allow the mixture to cool a little and then whizz to a smooth, soupy consistency with the stick blender.
  • Scrape the contents of the frying pan into the cooked lentil mixture. Stir well.
  • Leave to simmer, partially covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes to allow all the flavours to meld together.
  • Season to your taste with sea-salt and black pepper.
  • Serve in individual bowls, scattered with the coriander leaves and finely sliced chilli with chappatis or a chunk of your favourite bread.

Notes

Lentils are highly nutritious with many health benefits. They are cheap to buy, high in protein and fibre and low in fat and calories. They also count towards your recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables!
They contain a good source of phytoestrogens, which may help balance hormones at menopause.

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