June Food Blog - Winter Warmers

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached that dreaded time of year. That time of the year when the bikinis are shoved to the back of the wardrobe, the hot water bottle comes out, and we wake up to frost coated windows, long before even the sun has decided to have a coffee and rise for the day.


Ladies and gentlemen – welcome to winter!

I think I speak for most when I say that during these cooler months, motivation can sometimes disappear alongside that bikini in the back of the wardrobe. The days are shorter, the weather is…well…cold, and our rate of “comfort food” consumption tends to increase. A combination of these aspects can become deadly to the goals that we have set at the start of the year (remember those New Year’s resolution thingys? Yeah, I’m talking about them). For many, this lack of motivation can lead to their health and fitness beginning to track in the opposite direction to what they want, as they become more relaxed with their exercise and eating routines. But let me tell you a little secret…


Lifelong lifestyle changes don’t just exist in summer – they are very much present in winter as well!

This means that even though you may be tempted to reach for the Dominos home delivery menu – that one action may be the act that unravels months of physical and mental work that you have done on your journey towards your goals!


My number one tip for remaining on track with your nutrition throughout winter is to ‘cook simple, and utilise spices’. Of course, if you want to be more creative in the kitchen then go for it! But if you’re someone who just wants something warm in your belly, and to maximize the time you can curl up with your doona, pup, and spouse on the lounge, keep it simple.


A dish which has become my favourite, and one that I am looking forward to experimenting with more in the coming weeks is Dahl. While there is definitely a more traditional, less healthy version of this dish – it can also be made using the freshest ingredients and when seasoned to perfection, delivers some incredible flavours. Plus, it’s so quick to make! What follows is my favourite Dahl recipe, my take on classic Banana Bread, and a new Granola recipe which I threw together one recent Saturday morning.



Recipe 1: Red Lentil, Turmeric and Spinach Dahl (serves 3-4)


  • 2 cups red split lentils

  • 1 cup chopped spinach

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (minced/crushed)

  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 1 red chili (diced)

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • 2 cups hot water

  • ½ cup almond mylk

  • 3-4 serves brown basmati rice (if desired)


  • Cook rice according to instructions on packaging

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan, and add onion, garlic, ginger, chili and turmeric. Cook for 2 mins, stirring frequently

  • Rinse the lentils with cold water, and drain

  • Add lentils and hot water to pan, then bring to boiling point, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-15mins

  • Add garam masala and almond mylk, and stir to combine

  • Allow to simmer for another 5mins, or until all the liquid is absorbed, and you are left with a thick consistency

  • Serve with rice, and top with coriander and black pepper is desired!

Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 7.14.26 am.png

Recipe 2: Winter Warmer Banana Bread


  • 3 medium ripe bananas (the riper the better)

  • 1 cup almond milk (or nut milk of choice)

  • 2 tbs coconut oil (melted)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups organic almond flour/meal

  • ½ cup coconut sugar

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a loaf tin with non-stick baking paper

  • In a bowl, mash 2 of the bananas with a fork

  • Add milk, oil and vanilla – then combine well

  • Add flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon – then combine well

  • Chop the remaining banana into smaller chunks and gentled fold through the mixture (that is if you want pieces of banana in your bread – if not then mash it at the start like you did the other two)

  • Transfer mixture to prepared baking tray, and cook for 30-40mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 12.46.23 pm.png

Recipe 3: Vanilla Chai Spice Granola


  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (yes…a whole tablespoon)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (if you’re using it you may as well be able to taste it!)

  • 2 tbsp quality honey/rice malt syrup/maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 5 medjool dates pitted and chopped

  • Handful chopped walnuts

  • Handful broken banana chips

  • Handful pepitas

  • Handful coconut flakes


  • Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper

  • Combine oats, cinnamon, vanilla in a large bowl

  • In a heat proof bowl, add coconut oil and honey, then microwave for 30secs until melted (each substance will separate in the container but that doesn’t matter)

  • Add the coconut oil/honey mix to the oats and stir through until well combined

  • Add chopped walnuts and combine

  • Transfer mix to the prepared baking tray and spread out evenly

  • Cook in the oven for 25mins or until golden – removing from the oven halfway through and mix around slightly to allow even toasting

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool

  • Add pepitas, coconut flakes, and dates to the cooled mix

  • Serve immediately with nut mylk or coconut yoghurt and fruit, or store in airtight container for up to 1 week (it won’t last that long though because it is so good!)

Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 12.48.08 pm.png



Posted on June 7, 2018 .