From healthy granola recipes to hot tips on fresh fruit, Foodie Mama Ghillie James is here to let you know how to eat well this July, mamas!
This month is all about health. Where to shop for healthy cheats, where to detox, and some fabulous recipes from Donna Hay’s new book Life in Balance. Plus where to eat if you’ve got 24 hours in Jakarta!
Diary of a Detox Sceptic
I’ve always been a wee bit scared of the activewear boot camp gangs of Singapore (I tried it and it wasn’t pretty. Plus I got told off for bringing muffins for everyone after the class). I’ve also never been a fan of diets and cutting out food groups, and rather sceptical about detox cleanses. So when offered the chance to try out EGA Juice Clinic’s three-day detox, I nearly ran for the hills!
What’s different about this one though, is that rather than blindly whizzing up three days of hell in a spiraliser hoping that the kale, pear and beetroot mix you’ve concocted might make a difference, these guys really know what they are doing. It’s run by an Ayurvedic doctor and his team of knowledgeable staff.
Instead of a “one-size fits all” approach, my daily juice menu was planned having answered a host of questions to ascertain my body type (try it here). With this, cleanses apparently become much more tailored and effective. You get six bottles of cold pressed juice, plus a shot of sadly not tequila but some amazing but revolting turmeric, ginger lemony thing every day. It’s not easy!
Day one was hardest but by days two and three you really do start to get into the groove a bit more. Did I feel great at the end? Yes. Did I lose a bit of weight? I definitely had a flatter tummy. Did I think it made a difference? Yes, I felt less sluggish, I slept extremely well and I’ll just have to hope that my insides felt relieved and cleansed too! Would I do it again? Yes, every month or two. As well as – or instead of – the three-day detox a one-day-a-week juice day is another option and something I feel I can achieve. With this apparently you will also really notice a difference. Cleanses start at $90.
If you want to try the cleanse then you’ll be pleased to hear that Sassy Mama readers get 10% off for the months of July and August if you mention Sassy when you book a three-day cleanse. You can contact them at the link or call (+65) 6466 2100.
My Go-To Homemade Granola Recipe
One thing that I’m a big fan of is making your own breakfast cereal. Even the so-called ‘healthy’ cereals can often have hidden nasties and heaps of sugar, even if they are lower in fat. A batch of granola lasts a long time if kept in the fridge and you can adapt the recipe to suit your own family’s tastes. Here’s a simple recipe below:
Healthy Start Granola
200g rolled oats
2 tbsp lightly flavoured oil, such as canola or vegetable
2 tbsp apple or orange juice
2-3 tablespoons runny honey, depending on how sweet you like your cereal
50g nuts, such as almonds, macadamia or cashews, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons dried fruits such as chopped apricots, raisins or cranberries
2 tablespoons seeds such as sunflower, flax, sesame or pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or cocoa (optional)
1 tablespoon shredded coconut (optional)
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3.
- In a bowl mix together the oats, oil, fruit juice and honey. Add all the remaining dry ingredients except the dried fruits and shredded coconut and mix together.
- Spread out over a large baking tray in an even layer.
- Pop into the hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden all over, stirring every 10 minutes or so to stop it from catching around the edges. Bear in mind that the granola will harden up and go crunchy even more as it cools, so don’t be tempted to cook it for too long. Add the fruit and coconut and stir.
- Leave to cool completely, then tip into airtight storage containers – it will keep quite happily for up to 4 weeks.
Cooking the Books
Life in Balance – A Fresher Approach to Eating by Donna Hay (published by Fourth Estate) is, like all her previous tomes, a feast for the eyes. But this one in particular is really useful too. With chapters like power snacks and better baking she has compiled a collection of really useful recipes for healthy eating families. There’s a lovely recipe for grilled cauliflower and brocolli steaks with smoky eggplant and buckwheat and quinoa blueberry muffins, which are a great energy-giving snack for the lunchbox. If you want some other new ways to include the mighty quinoa in your kids’ daily diets then you can find Grains are Good by Ghillie James in the Singapore shops, too!
24 hours to eat in Jakarta
Best to stick to one area as getting around is quite a challenge due to traffic.
Breakfast: Head to Komunal 88 in Kemang for a breakfast fit for a king
Lunch: St Ali in Setia Budi is a great coffee/lunch spot as it’s near the shops! Or try Potato Head or the new Super Loco at Pacific Place.
Dinner: Le Quartier for classic French in a beautiful setting (think Cote de Beouf and Oysters), or Nusa Gastronomy for traditional Indonesian recipes given a thoughtful contemporary twist from Chef Ragil Imam Wibowo
Brunch: The Mulia has a fab brunch which is family-friendly, too
Super Simple Fruit Fix
I recently bought a whole load of raspberries from my favourite online fruit and veg shop, Open Taste. They offer a buy in bulk option, which is cheaper. Raspberries freeze brilliantly and are a fab smoothie ingredient instead of adding ice cream. You can do the same with mangoes from Tekka Market. Peel and chop into large chunks then freeze them flat on some greaseproof paper before transferring to a freezer bag. If you haven’t got time to DIY, then Sasha’s Fine Foods’ frozen fruit packs are a great freezer staple, too.
Lessons We Love: Pimp your Cupcakes!
Steamroom with The Pillar and Stones (SRPS) at Orchard Central is offering diners a free one-hour cupcake decorating workshop when they buy a main course and drink on Sundays from 14 July to 13 August. Sign up to create Instagram-worthy, floral cupcakes and learn piping techniques from SRPS’ in-house Pastry Chef. Email [email protected] to book.