I would like to begin today by sharing my new, self professed title: ‘Instagraddict’, and by this I mean that it has become habitual to mindlessly scroll through my news feed for a significant amount of my day, gazing at photos of pugs and crushed avocado on toast. I knew I’d got it bad when I was deep into the settings on my phone and decided to check my battery usage. To my shock horror, I spent an alarming 78% of my battery on Instagram. Bear in mind that I probably post around once a week from my own account, this means that the rest of the time I’m just stalking other accounts.
Personally, I love the variety of the content on instagram. You can get inspiration for your home decor, fitness routine, make-up or fashion, what pets are trending (pugs, obviously pugs) but most importantly- what to eat. Perfect lattes with beautiful milk swirls, smoothie bowls with concentric circles of berries, poached eggs on anything and everything, open the app and you’ll be inundated with trendy ‘health’ foods.
I still question how it all began. Did a business minded avocado farmer think “aha!” whilst whacking the Valencia filter on his avocado on toast pic, uploading it, only to see his sales shoot through the roof? Or is it a clever way of the health guru’s making it the ‘in-thing’ to eat well through Insta-inspiration. I guess we’ll never know!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Some of my most delicious and aesthetically pleasing meals have come from social media; but what is so special about these trendy, Instagrammable foods? I’ve taken matters into my own hands, I’ve done my research and discovered the real reasons why these foods are getting so popular. So, here you have it: my top five list of trendy healthy foods:
A Whiter Shade of Kale
The internet’s new favourite leafy green, packed with fibre, Vitamin B6, A, K, calcium and various antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer nutrients; sounds too good to be true right? Yeah, I thought so too. Lets break it down. The Vitamin A is in the form of carotene, which the body must convert to be able to use it; this is only possible if fat is also present whilst digesting it. The calcium is also not easily absorbed unless a fat is present; yes, saturated fat! Fun fact: this is actually the nutritional wisdom behind the Green Eggs and Ham pairing.
So, basically everything you’ve heard about Kale is true. It is packed with nutrients and goodness. However, unless you pair it with a healthy fat, you’re not getting the most out of it.
I can appreciate how shocking this news may be to you, but it’s okay. Simply sprinkle a little Parmesan and rock salt on your veggies and you’re good to go.
My preferred method of eating Kale is to bake it into crunchy and delicious crisps. Not only is it super simple and easy to make but it also ensures that you’re getting the right fats with your greens. This recipe is from one of my personal favourite health blogs, Oh She Glows. They post tons of yummy recipes that are all easy to follow.
• approx. 1/2 bunch kale leaves
• 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil
• 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1- Preheat oven to 300F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2- Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces. Compost the stems (or freeze for smoothies). Wash and spin the leaves until thoroughly dry.
3- Add kale leaves into a large bowl. Massage in the oil until all the nooks and crannies are coated in oil. Now sprinkle on the spices/seasonings and toss to combine.
4- Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking sheet into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale.
5- Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. The kale will look shrunken, but this is normal. I bake for 25 mins. total in my oven.
6- Cool the kale on the sheet for 3 minutes before digging in! This really makes all the difference! Enjoy immediately as they lose their crispiness with time.
7- Repeat this process for the other half of the bunch.
The Rise of the Avocado
Im not going to lie; if I don’t have at least one avocado a day I do get withdrawals. They are hands-down, my favourite food of all time. Although they are a fruit, avocados have a creamy, meaty texture that you just cant beat, and a flavour that compliments almost everything.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know how incredibly nutrient dense the fruit is, with 20 different vitamins and minerals and more potassium than a banana! They actually contain 26% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, as well as vitamin C, B2, B3, B5, B6, E, A, Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous and many more. All in all, avocados are amazing for blood pressure, preventing cancer, weight loss and metabolic health, eye health, skin, teeth, hair, nails and preventing arthritis.
They are also a great partner to ‘fat soluble’ nutrients found in plants, as I mentioned earlier whilst talking about kale. Avocados have recently become insanely popular, with some McDonalds now even serving avocado on toast, and superstar Miley Cyrus getting a tattoo of an avocado on her arm. Instagram is filled with avocados prepared in every way imaginable. Rumours suggest that their popularity was spiked by a new eating disorder called Orthorexia, which is a life restricting addiction to being healthy at all costs, read more about it here.
This recipe is from the blog Bon Appetit. It’s almost guacamole but its lighter, smoother and more ‘avocado-y’. (yes, that’s a real adjective)
• 2 avocados
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds
• kosher salt
1- Process the avocados, sour cream, vinegar, oil, cilantro, and fennel fronds in a food processor until mixture is very smooth, light, and thick.
2- Season with salt.
3- Transfer avocado cream to a small bowl and top with cilantro leaves and more fennel fronds. Serve with chips.
Everybody knows the many nutritional benefits of eggs, high in protein, contain good fats, yes they’re great. They’ve been around for as long as we can remember (what came first, the chicken or the egg?) but their popularity has recently shot through the roof. I personally have a 3 egg omelette practically every day; that’s at least 936 eggs a year (is that a yolk?). Personally, I think their popularity is down to the versatile cooking options. You can boil, scramble, fry, poach, or make into an omelette. They taste great in salads, sandwiches and my personal favourite combo: poached eggs on avocado toast.
If you’re lucky enough to live in downtown LA then you will probably have visited Eggslut, a unique restaurant with a huge online presence. They primarily serve eggs, in all different forms, one that really caught my eye however was a little pot with an egg floating in it. To my delight, I’d actually stumbled across a new method of cooking eggs, called ‘coddling’, and it’s taken the internet by storm.
What are coddled eggs? Coddling is very similar to poaching, but instead of dropping the egg directly into water, you first put it in a cup or jar. This way, your egg is cooked more gently, and you wind up with a lusciously runny yolk (if that’s your thing).
Here’s a recipe for you to try from yummly, the original recipe also has mashed potatoes in the bottom of the cup, but with or with out, this recipe is eggsactly what we needed.
1- Bring a deep pan of water to the boil.
2- Crack the egg into a jar and clip the top shut. Place the jar into the water and leave to simmer for 12-15 mins, until the whites of the egg are set.
3- Whilst the egg is cooking, toast your bread and butter it.
4- Carefully remove the egg from the water and remove the lid, season with the salt and pepper and get dipping!
Possibly one of the most popular trends out there at the moment, coconut oil is flying off supermarket shelves all over the world. It’s one of the the richest sources of saturated fat there is, with over 90% of its fats being saturated. It helps burn fat by increasing energy expenditure by 6% per day. It also contains Lauric Acid which kills harmful bacteria and reduces infections; it also has ketone bodies which reduce your appetite and can help prevent epileptic seizures.
You can incorporate coconut oil into your diet in so many ways. Simply replace your cooking oil, butter or what ever fat source you wish and reap the benefits. Here’s a recipe I found on LucyBee’s website, if you’re interested in finding out more about coconut oil they have tons of information and many more recipes on their webpage.
Coconut Oil Blueberry Muffins
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup tapioca flour
• 1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
• 1 tsp. Lucy Bee Cinnamon Powder
• 1 tsp. ground cardamom
• tsp. ground ginger
• 1/2 cup Lucy Bee Coconut Oil
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar
• 4 eggs
• 1 ripe banana, mashed
• 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
• 1/2 cup chopped hazlenuts
1- Preheat the oven to 170 C, 325 F, gas mark 3.
2- Place 12 muffin cases into a muffin cake tin.
3- Mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl (flours, bicarb, spices).
4- Melt the Lucy Bee Coconut Oil and whisk together with the coconut sugar in another bowl.
5- Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking in between.
6- Add the mashed banana and apple cider vinegar.
7- Whisk in the dry ingredients and fold in the blueberries.
8- Pour the mixture into the muffin cases and top off with chopped hazelnuts.
9- Bake for 20 minutes.
Most of us want a perfect beach body and I’m pretty sure all of us want to have dessert. Unfortunately these two do not go hand in hand and we just have to accept that sometimes you just can’t have it all. Allow me to put you out of your misery. What if I told you that you could keep your health in check and also enjoy a guilt free bowl of ice-cream? You’d probably say I’m bananas?
Well, yes I am! This home made ice cream is tastier and easier to prepare than you ever imagined. More importantly, it’s low in sugar and calories, and high in omega-3s, fiber, and resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that boosts metabolism and burns fat; need I go on?
Bananas are nature’s very own fast food, creamy, rich & sweet, they’re are the perfect food for everybody from babies to elders. Not only do they taste great, but they also contain potassium, copper, biotin, manganese, vitamins B6 & C.
So next time you’re craving something sweet, give this recipe a try, from the general well-being blog, Health.
Banana and Walnut Ice-cream.
• 1 frozen Banana, peeled & sliced.
• 3 tablespoons of Milk (any of choice)
• 1 tablespoon of chopped Walnuts
1- Place the frozen banana into a blender, add the milk and blend!
2- Pour into your Vintage Kilner Jar (order here!)
3- Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and enjoy!
So, there you have our top 5 super healthy, super ‘Instagrammable’ recipes for you to try! If, like myself you’re a foodie, then you’ve probably realised that you could combine all these recipes and have coddled eggs on avocado-cream toast, with a side of kale crisps cooked in coconut oil, followed by some yummy banana ice-cream. We’re off to go and feast on our recent finds. Be sure to tag us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you like these recipes. Enjoy!