Learn how to make a healthy green juice or smoothie with Christine Bailey

Did you overindulge this Christmas? Of course you did! Do you want to start a healthy, happy 2016? Why not try and incorporate green juices and smoothies into your diet? And for the more hardcore, a detox?

So how exactly do you make a healthy green juice or smoothie? What do you need? In what proportion? Find out with nutrition expert Christine Bailey!



Christine Bailey
The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet
Available in January 2016.
Buy from Amazon now.

Cleansing Cucumber Salad After the Christmas Excess

by Nisha Katona

This is how Europeans redecorate their gut flora after the Christmas excess! This is a great Eastern European dish. Its so light, tangy and full of flavour that it often sits with meat as a carbohydrate replacement. No one misses lumpen spuds with this stunner at the table. When I make this, I use 8 cucumbers and it still goes in a flash. All the vitamins, and all the pleasure.

Cleansing Cucumber Salad After the Christmas Excess

4 Cucumbers
1 level tablespoon of distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
1/2 crushed clove garlic
pinch of paprika (optional)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche (optional)


  • Peel and slice the cucumbers using the slicing bit of your grater.
  • Add in all the ingredients and toss.
  • Taste and check the sweet,salt,sour balance. If you want it more sour then add more vinegar. This dish is a matter of taste and you will make it your own.
  • You can add creme fraiche or not depending on how light you want the dish. Try both ways and see which you prefer. The cucumbers will release their juice and an incredibly delicious liquor will form as the dish sits. Drink it and taste the goodness!

You can check Nisha’s video tutorial at

Pimp My Rice_Cover_WEL


Nisha Katona
Pimp My Rice
£20.00, Available from Nourish Books


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Enjoying a Gluten Free Christmas

by Christine Bailey

This article has been cross-posted from

The festive season can be a tricky time if you suffer with allergies or coeliac disease If you are avoiding gluten for example you may feel that you’re missing out.  Whether its office buffets, parties, eating out or simply coping with food served on Christmas Day you need to be savvy about what you can and cannot eat. Thankfully more and more companies are providing a great range of gluten free options and many of the seasonal foods around Christmas time are of course naturally gluten free (think cranberries, nuts, Brussels sprouts etc). However you may need to check how they have been prepared and cooked.

Party Tips
If you’ve been invited to a party the best option is to take some allergy free goodies with you. We have a great selection of treats in our recipe pages or you can simply take healthy dips, crudities, nuts and salads with you. If you’re making your own mince pies remember to check the ingredients in shop bought mincemeat as some contain gluten.

Homemade blinis or crackers / breads are a delicious option as a canapé or starter or breakfast option and can be topped with a wide range of ingredients such as smoked salmon, prawns, avocado, roast beef and horseradish or Christmas chutney. Bags of nuts and seeds and dried fruit are easy healthy options that make ideal hassle free party snacks. Watch the crisps especially flavoured varieties as they often contain gluten. Bags of vegetable crisps and fruit crisps or freeze dried fruits and vegetables are typically gluten and dairy free.

Christmas Drinks
If you like your beer thankfully there are many gluten free varieties now available. Mulled wine is a popular party favourite or for a creamy option make up your own Egg Nog style drink using almond milk blended with nuts, banana and dates for a healthy dairy free option.  Have a look at our drinks pages for inspiration. Another great tip is to make a protein shake and drink before going out – the protein helps stabilise your blood sugar so you are not starving making it less likely you will over indulge.

Those Little Extras
Often its those little extras that can catch us out when going gluten free – gravy may be thickened with flour. Stuffing is often ladened with wheat flour and starch. Potatoes may be tossed in flour before roasting and some sausages contain wheat starch. You can make your own gravy by thickening with cornflour or arrowroot and for extra flavour add a spoonful of redcurrant jelly. Bread sauce is easily made with gluten free bread and almond milk or coconut cream if you want it to be dairy free as well.

For stuffing, simply follow your favourite recipe and substitute ground nuts or use quinoa or millet instead of bread.

Sweet Endings
Again there are many gluten free Christmas puddings available but you can also make your own by using gluten free flours, ground almonds and / or gluten free bread. You don’t need to use suet in puddings either – butter, coconut butter or a dairy free spread can be used instead.  Try my chocolate gingerbread cake recipe for a delicious alternative to Christmas cake or why not make up your own healthier truffles or chocolates.

Getting Prepared
If you’re new to cooking allergy free find a wealth of gluten free, raw, paleo recipes on my website which are all suitable for gluten free diets. Many of these can be made in advance and frozen or stored for a later time.  Seeded bread is a fabulous standby healthy protein rich bread option. Make up a batch of granola too – perfect for breakfast but also healthy snacking.

If you’re looking for new inspiration why not book yourself onto one of our cookery days. If you have children then get them cooking and enjoying healthy food with our hands on cookery day.



Christine Bailey
The Supercharged Green Juice & Smoothie Diet
Available in January 2016.
Preorder from Amazon now.


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Chestnuts’ Special Place at the Christmas Table


Chestnuts are traditionally given a special place at the Christmas table. These shiny brown nuts are delicious boiled or roasted – always split the hard skin first to stop them exploding while cooking – and eaten on their own. They are also good puréed and served as a side dish or mixed into stuffings. Tossed with freshly cooked Brussels sprouts, a knob of butter and freshly ground black pepper, they make one of the best vegetable dishes on the winter menu.
In southern Europe, they have a long culinary history, being used in breads, cakes and sweetmeats and to make a type of flour. Chestnuts have a natural affinity with chocolate and you will find many recipes for rich chocolate desserts, ice creams and cakes that include them.
Most recipes for chestnuts require them to be cooked and peeled, and although this is simple to do, you can buy ready-prepared chestnuts in cans or vacuum packs. These also have the advantage of being available at any time of the year.

Chestnut and hazelnut roast

Serves: 6-8
100g/31⁄2oz hazelnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
225g/8oz mushrooms, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g/8oz chestnuts, cooked, peeled and finely chopped
85g/3oz white breadcrumbs
pinch of dried thyme
4 tbsp vegetable stock
juice of 1⁄2 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and process briefly to chop finely, but avoid grinding to a smooth powder. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and gently fry for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. They should be moist, but not wet.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts, chestnuts, breadcrumbs, thyme, stock and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Press the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until golden.
  • Leave the roast to stand for about 5 minutes, then very carefully invert on to a board or serving platter, cut into slices and serve.


Susannah Blake
Seasonal Food
Available from Nourish Books



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Potstickers for a Part-Time Vegetarian

Asparagus and ginger make for a delicious filling for these typical Chinese potstickers. You can adapt this recipe according to your own preferences, adding pork instead of asparagus. Nicola Graimes‘ non-vegetarian version also for you below to try.

‘Potsticker’ is another name for a Chinese dumpling and this tempting version makes a great precursor to a vegetable stir-fry or can be served as part of dim sum. The great name derives from the way the dumplings are cooked. First they are fried to give a crisp, golden base – take care as they can stick to the pan, hence the name – followed by steaming in a little water or broth.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes

20 round wonton wrappers (for frying), defrosted if frozen
plain/all-purpose flour, for dusting
1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra if needed
1 tbsp finely snipped chives, for sprinkling

Asparagus and ginger filling:
235g/8½oz bunch asparagus, stalks trimmed and very thinly sliced, tips halved lengthways
1 spring onion/scallion, finely chopped
2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, coarsely grated (no need to peel)
140g/5oz tofu, drained well on paper towels and coarsely grated
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soy and ginger dipping sauce:
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
½cm/¼in piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced

Method:Asparagus and Ginger Potstickers

  • Mix together the ingredients for the dipping sauce, adding just half of the chilli, then leave to one side.
  • Reserve the asparagus tips, then mix together the remaining ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and season with a little salt and pepper.
  • Place 2 teaspoons of the filling mixture in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Moisten the edge of the wrapper with a little water, fold in half and pleat the edge to seal to make a half moon-shaped dumpling with a flat bottom and rounded top. Place the dumpling on a floured board, cover with a damp dish towel and repeat to make 20 dumplings in total.
  • Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan. Arrange half the dumplings in the pan, flat-side down, and cook for 2 minutes until the base of each dumpling is golden and slightly crisp. Remove from the pan, leave to one side and repeat with the second batch of dumplings, adding more oil, if needed.
  • Return the dumplings to the pan if they fit in an even layer.
  • Add 4 tablespoons water to the pan and scatter over the asparagus tips, immediately cover the pan with a lid and steam  for 2 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Serve the dumplings scattered with the asparagus tips, chives and reserved chilli with the dipping sauce in a small bowl by the side.

PART-TIME VARIATION: Pork and ginger potstickers

  • To make the potsticker filling, mix together 150g/5½oz minced/ground pork, 1 finely chopped Chinese cabbage leaf, 2.5cm/1in piece of fresh root ginger, grated, 1 finely chopped spring onion/scallion, 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil in a bowl.
  • Make and cook the dumplings as described above, adding 6 tablespoons water to the pan.
  • Cover with a lid and cook for 6 minutes.
  • Serve scattered with chives and chilli with the dipping sauce.


Nicola Graimes
The Part-Time Vegetarian
Available from Nourish Books




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Victoria Sponge Guilt-Free Cupcakes

Simple, light and classic: these are so easy to make but unfailingly delicious.

This recipe is an extract from Guilt-Free Baking by Gee Charman.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes

Makes 12 cupcakes (12 servings)
For the sponge cupcakes:
low-calorie cooking oil spray, for greasing (optional)
250g/9oz/2 cups self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g/5½oz tinned pears in natural juice, drained
3 tbsp sunflower oil
150g/5½oz/⅔ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the strawberry filling:
200g/7oz/1⅓ cups strawberries
6 tbsp low-sugar strawberry jam
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and line a muffin tin with paper cases or lightly spray the sections of a 12-hole loose-based mini sandwich tin with low-calorie cooking oil spray.
  • Mix together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Put the pears in a blender and blend to a purée. In a separate bowl, beat together the oil, caster sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, then add the pear purée and mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling the sections three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 15–18 minutes until golden brown, well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Remove the paper cases, if necessary, and cut the cakes in half horizontally. If you like, reserve 6 strawberries for decoration, then hull and thinly slice the remainder.
  • Spread a little of the jam over one half of each of the cut cakes, then top with a few strawberry slices.
  • Replace the top of each cake and dust lightly with icing sugar.
  • Cut the reserved strawberries, if using, in half, then make 3 cuts in each half up to the stalk but not going through it completely, then fan them out and put one on top of each cake to serve.


Gee Charman
Guilt-Free Baking
Available from Nourish in August 2015




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Healthy and Tasty Jams at The London Jam Factory

Our pick this month is The London Jam Factory, a company started in 2014 by confiturier Pierre Louis Phelipot. The London Jam Factory presents a variety of unusual flavours, and you can find delicious and tasty jams in beautifully presented jars. Combinations such as kiwi and mint, apple, caramel and nuts are among over 60 different flavours. We interviewed Pierre Louis and asked more information about his jam-making business.

Pierre Louis Phelipot

When did you create The London Jam Factory? How did your experience as a confiturier grow over the years?
The company was created back in April 2014 when I quit my job as MD for a big company. I had already started The London Jam Factory before quitting my job, producing jams for my friends, my family and a coffee shop – Maison d etre, in Islington. However the demand was growing and I decided to make the big jump and dive into the exciting world of entrepreurship.

So the London Jam Factory was created and grow nicely month by month.

I always loved jam and was always frustrated to have the same flavour over and over again. This is why I thought I could create flavours which are a bit more interesting and unusual. I starting mixing fruit with essence, herbs, spices and alcohol and it works.

Would you describe the process of jam-making?
The process starts with the selection of the fruit: a lot of people think that overripe or damaged fruit are good for jams. Well, actually it is the opposite; you need to choose them slightly underripe. It really helps to add less sugar and the jam to set properly.

Then comes the cooking. As I put less sugar I need to cook the jam over 2 to 3 days making short and quick boil for maximum of 5 minutes.

This step is very important as if you cook them too long the fruit gets brown or loses all its taste.

What is your favourite selection?
It depends on the day and on the bread I eat with my jams! My partner being German loves strong and heavy sourdough full of seeds. This kind of bread requires very strong jams such as mango and passion fruit. In a yogurt for instance you can treat yourself with more subtle jams such as Raspberry and Geranium or Plum and Hazelnut.

What does make a difference at The London Jam Factory?Mango & Passion Fruit
The fact that we use less sugar. Consequently the jam are healthier and tastier.

What is the function of sugar in jams and how The London Jam Factory priorities fruits over sugar?
The sugar helps the jams to preserve. But jams contains far too much sugar: in a regular jar you can have around 65 to 70% of sugar. This is far too much. At The London Jam Factory we have around 49 to 56 % only. The rest is fruit.

What kitchen tools are unmissable for a successful result?
Copper pan. Copper creates a chemical reaction essential in the jam making process. It cuts the pectin molecule into multiple way and help the setting once the jam is cooked.

Can you give us some tips for making jam at home?

  1. Use slightly underripe fruit
  2. Dont hesitate to put less sugar
  3. Dont leave the jam overcooking
  4. Finally don’t get scared to fail. This is the best learning experience



Are you suffering with Leaky Gut?

This article has been cross-posted from .

Your gut really is the gateway to good health. When your gut is dysfunctional it can result in a wide range of health conditions. One topic which is widely discussed in gastroenterology research as well as the field of immunology is ‘leaky gut’ or ‘intestinal permeability’. But what exactly is it?

The lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is composed of small epithelial cells that lie side-by-side each other forming tight junctions. These tight junctions act as a barrier between the interior of the body (blood/circulatory system) and the exterior of the body (the lumen of the GI tract). Under healthy conditions, our gut permits the absorption of vital nutrients from the gut lumen while presenting a barrier against the passage of harmful substances into the body.

A leaky gut arises when there is an increase in permeability of the intestinal mucosa that in turn leads to the increased absorption of intestinally derived endotoxins, antigens and inflammatory mediators. Gluten for example is known to cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart tight junctions in the intestinal lining. Other factors including infections, medications, toxins, stress and age can also cause these tight junctions to break apart. When the epithelial cells and junctions start to break down it allows the passage of toxins through and between the cells into the blood. These foreign molecules may include undigested food molecules, toxins or bacteria. As a result our immune system is activated to eliminate or destroy these unwelcome molecules. This activation of the immune system leads to an inflammatory response and can lead to a wide range of signs, symptoms and health conditions.

This can lead to long term health consequences. In fact increased gut permeability has been linked with symptoms far from the gut including autoimmune conditions, depression, arthritis, diabetes and other conditions in which a pro inflammatory state continues.

Healing a leaky gut is one of the most important things you can do to restore overall health and vitality and I discuss in detail how to do this in my new book: The Gut Health Diet Plan.

When the gut becomes damaged instead of being a source of nourishment it becomes the source and gateway of toxicity and inflammation. Research has shown that intestinal permeability is associated with a range of health conditions not just IBS type symptoms. For example systemic inflammation, allergic reactions such as eczema, asthma or hayfever and progression of autoimmune conditions. By restoring the health and function of the gut, you prevent potential invaders from passing into the bloodstream where they can evoke inflammation locally in your gut but also systemically throughout your body.

Signs of leaky gut include:

  • IBS symptoms: bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhoea
  • Asthma, eczema, seasonal allergies
  • Hormonal imbalances, PMS
  • Autoimmune conditions e.g coeliac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, hashimotos
  • Chronic fatigue / Fibromyalgia
  • Mood disorders, depression
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Food allergies
  • Inflammation in the body
  • Skin conditions e.g acne, psoriasis

Damage to the gut lining may occur for a variety of reasons including gut infections, sensitivity to certain foods (particularly gluten and dairy), oxidative damage, medications, stress, alcohol, smoking, nutritional deficiencies and poor diet. Therefore identifying key food triggers is also an important step in supporting long term healing. However healing the gut requires more than simple removal of known allergenic foods. It needs nourishment with nutrient dense and specific healing foods – this is why I have written the Gut Health Book to provide you with delicious, nourishing recipes to restore gut health.


Christine Bailey
The Gut Health Diet Plan
It will be published in 2016. Pre order your copy on Amazon.



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