November means that days are getting even shorter and nights are getting even colder. Hello cold and flu season. If I think about it, everyone around me gets sick at least once or twice throughout the winter, not even mentioning the chronic-sniffers-and-caughers. And it seems to be accepted as completely normal, as part of winter. But it doesn't have to be like that! I haven't had a serious cold in suuuuuch a long time; and if I do, it disappears again with 1-3 days and doesn't stick around in the form of a feverish-flu for two weeks.
What's the answer? Prevention, baby! Prevention is the best way to stop those sore throats and coughs in their tracks - by keeping our immune systems nice and strong.
Now, I have to be honest with you: I love my morning smoothies. BUT, as the temperature drops cooler I just can't make myself drink a cold beverage (I normally used frozen fruits) in the morning. My body just craves that little extra comfort, that fuzzy feeling from the inside. So my smoothies are put on hold for a little while and are being replaced by this yummy alternative: an almond and cashew yoghurt. Even though it's not a warm breakfast, it's just so beautifully sweet and creamy and somehow warms you up from the inside out. I love having a whole bowl of this goodness topped with bananas and berries or mixing a few spoonfuls of it into my morning oatmeal. I'm sure you will love this recipe as it's so easy to make; all you have to do really is through everything into a mixer and push the button. #fastfoodwithstef
Now, why is this bowl so healthy for you?
Why baobab is so good for you
Most of our baobab (actually pronounced BEY-oh-Bab, who knew..) comes from Africa, though there are some tree species that are native to Madagascar and Australia. The baobab tree is fondly called 'The Tree of Life' as it stores excess water during the wet season that it used to produce fruit in the dry season where little else flourishes. Pretty smart, eh? It is wild-harvested, requiring no fertilisers. Once it's been harvested it doesn't require refrigeration as it's a naturally dehydrated fruit.
Apart from the healthy fats and the natural anti-inflammatory proponents of cinnamon, baobab is a nutrient powerhouse of it's own. It is an incredible source of Vitamin C (goof for immunity), iron, antioxidants and alkalising minerals. Did you know that humans, unlike most animals, don't produce their own Vitamin C? This means we have to make sure that we get our daily dose through the foods we eat. Lucky for us, baobab contains 6x the vitamin C of an orange - a single serving provides 33% of your daily requirement. It also helps the body to absorb iron, which is really important for people on plant-based diets.
And unlike some other superfoods that won't be mentioned here (chlorella and wheatgrass, hint hint), baobab is actually really yummy. It has a faintly sweet, mild citrus-like taste that doesn't affect the taste of the meal too much.
Why I support Aduna - #makebaobabfamous
I have to be honest with you: before Aduna was so generous to send me some of their baobab (and moringa) samples, I thought they were just another company jumping onto the superfood-bandwagon because it's currently à-la-mode. But boy was I proven wrong! Watch this and this video and you'll know what I'm talking about. Aduna genuinely cares about their suppliers and works at arms-length from producers. Their entire business model is designed to create demand for these under-utilised, but extraordinary, natural products cultivated by small African farmers. Baobab is a readily-existant crop in rural Africa but unfortunatley most of it goes to waste as the demand for the fruit is not enough. Aduna is trying to change this with their #makebaobabfamous campaign, and I think it's a very noble cause.
Almond and Cashew Yoghurt with Baobab (Serves 2)
1/2 a cup of almonds
1/2 a cup of cashews (pre-soaked)
3 cups of water
5 medjool dates
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Place the nuts into a bowl and cover them with water. Then leave them to soak for about four hours, at which point drain the water and place them into a food processor.
Blend the drained nuts with the dates, cinnamon and 2 cups of fresh water for about 10-15 minutes, this will depend on the strength of your processor but you need to blend until a totally smooth, slightly runny yoghurt forms. If for some reason it’s not turning totally smooth then try putting the whole thing into a smoothie blender and blending it with a little extra water.