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Hawkley Cottage, Highclere Street
RG20 9QB
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07816 968536

Yoga, Nutrition & Meditation.

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Blog

Welcome to Amber's wellbeing blog. Unearthing new health and beauty finds, discussing yoga and mindfulness, great healthy recipes and much more!

Filtering by Category: recipes

Angelic Cashew Delight

Amber Macintosh

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I like to try and make nut milk once a week as it’s so easy and much more nutritious that shop bought. Last time I was repeating this process I held back some of the cashew nuts (which had soaked in water for 7 hours) and created a delicious desert which tastes like butterscotch angel delight!

Ingredients for 3 to 4 people: 2 handfuls of soaked cashew nuts (soaking makes them creamy & more digestible)

1 tablespoon of maca powder (gives a slightly caramel flavour)

2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

1 medjool date

Pinch of cinnamon & Himalayan salt

Splash of coconut mylk

Directions: simply blitz in a blender to a smooth creamy consistency. Eat just as is or top with fruit, a dust of cocoa powder, chia seeds or fresh mint - I think this one is perfect for a dinner party! xAmber

Super Beetroot Brownies

Amber Macintosh

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These brownies really are more beetroot than chocolate so I have given the option to top up the natural sugar content if you need! You can see by the incredibly vibrant colour how beet heavy these are and therefore packed with antioxidants. I have also suggested leaving the skins on the beetroots and poaching for a shorter time so that the fibre content is left intact. These are suitable for vegans and for those gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

Ingredients for 20 brownies: x4 fresh raw beetroots, 100g of buckwheat flour (or another if you prefer), tablespoon of GF baking powder, 100ml of coconut oil, 100g of organic dark chocolate, tablespoon of raw cacao powder & vanilla paste plus 50ml of maple syrup.

Method: Line a baking tin with baking paper, preheat oven to 180 degrees and melt dark chocolate with coconut oil in a small saucepan. Clean and trim beetroots, taking off any really thick bits of skin. Cover with water and poach for 20 mins until only just tender. Remove, roughly chop and add to blender or magimix with other wet ingredients - coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla & melted dark chocolate. Blitz and taste this beetroot mix, it is at this point that you may like to add more maple syrup or chocolate - you need to enjoy the taste at this stage! Add swiftly to your dry ingredients, don’t over work and pour into your lined tin. I like to add some cheeky cubes of extra dark chocolate to the top of the mix but equally you could make a chocolate glaze, bake for 25 mins.

Hope you enjoy the plant powered goodness of these! xAmber

Cocoa Amaranth Slabs

Amber Macintosh

Such a simple chocolate treat with the benefit of fibre and natural fats. You can interchange nuts for seeds if you are nut free and use quinoa pops instead of amaranth.

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150g Organic dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids or vegan chocolate option

60g of Amaranth pops (available from Ocado or health food shops)

Small handful of golden raisins, the same amount of sliced almonds, of hazelnuts & toasted coconut chips

A drop, or teaspoon, of cinnamon

Method:

Line a small oven dish with baking paper. Meanwhile add a handful of the two nuts to a frying pan and lightly toast for 10 mins. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stir till melted, adding the cinnamon and take off the heat. You can now combine all the dry ingredients with the chocolate, stirring so that everything is really well coated and press a 6 cm layer into your oven dish and place in the fridge for a couple of hours. So simple.

Cut into rectangular bars, store these in tupperware, and keep in the fridge - they will last for over a week but I assure you will be gone within days!!

xAmber 

Bircher Museli with Pear Compote

Amber Macintosh

I love the fresh, naturally sweet taste of this seasonal museli. It’s perfect as we transition into Spring and easy to prep the night before so that you have a relaxed hassle free breakfast. This recipe is for two people or two servings:

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Ingredients:

1 Cup of organic jumbo oats, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds & 1 tablespoon of hazelnuts, bashed up

1 Pinch, or drop, of cinnamon & vanilla paste (I use spice drops by Holy Lama)

2 Cups of almond milk (you can also use cashew, oat or coconut)

1 Apple grated & juice of 2 clementines

For the compote: 8 conference pears, handful of golden raisins & juice plus zest of 2 clementines.

Method: simply mix all these ingredients together in a cereal bowl, making sure there is a little fluid resting over the top of the dry ingredients so that the oats and chia seeds can expand. Put in the fridge overnight.

Meanwhile skin the pears and chop, add to a saucepan with the zest and juice of the clementines, as well as the golden raisins. Poach slowly until just tender. This is enough for quite a few servings so I like to freeze little batches that can be used for puddings and breakfasts whenever you need.

To serve start with half a bowl of bircher museli and top with the compote. You could lightly toast some extra hazlenuts to finish and add honey, but it really is sweet enough.

I hope you love this one as much as I do! Happy, healthy breakfast. xAmber






Winter Granola

Amber Macintosh

I have promised the recipe for my granola, which I have been gifting in my recent nutrition workshops, better late than never! I don’t give exact ingredient amounts because I would suggest you tweak the recipe to the amount of granola you want, the kilner jar you store it in and baking tray sizes you have at home.

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Jumbo organic oats

Ground ginger & cinnamon

Maple syrup

Coconut oil

Zest & juice of 1 orange

Flaked almonds

Vanilla paste

Pumpkin & sunflower seeds

Warm a teaspoon of coconut oil (small baking tray) or tablespoon (large baking tray) in the oven at 180 or 150 fan. After a few minutes cover the tray in a fine layer of oats, followed by a light layer of ground ginger and cinnamon. Add a layer of mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds followed by a drizzle of maple syrup and top with a layer of flaked almonds. Next add a teaspoon of vanilla paste, juice and zest of orange. Bake for 10 mins, take out and thoroughly mix. Continue to bake for 30 mins taking out every five minutes to mix, adding extra maple, cinnamon and ginger to taste. You will notice the orange cooks off and the ingredients become dry and perfectly crunchy, lightly browned with no burnt bits. It is now perfect! Take out and completely cool before adding your choice of dried fruit. In the Winter I love cranberries and golden raisins for their festive colours. Add to kilner jars and enjoy with almond milk and fruits, with natural yoghurt or as a yummy porridge topping.

The smell as it cooks fills the whole house, divine! x


Healthy Eton Mess

Amber Macintosh

I was messing about with an Eton mess recipe, though you can hardly call them recipes as it is more of arranging ingredients in a bowl! Anyway, I have created a version that makes a great Summer evening treat and thought you might like it:

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Mix goats yoghurt (use coconut or soy for dairy free or vegan) with vanilla paste. Spoon into a glass, next add fresh berries, follow with crumbled meringue (or vegan cookie) and another spoon of yoghurt. For the topping stew blueberries with lemon zest, drizzle on next and finish with more meringue and crumbled chocolate quinoa. This chocolate treat is simply puffed quinoa, vanilla, coconut chips & seeds mixed into melted 85% organic chocolate and cooled in the fridge as a slab (full recipe here). The kids found some wild strawberries to add but final touches are your call. My family and I thought this was a great little treat and for kids you could use vanilla ice cream instead of yoghurt - see what you think! xAmber

Radiant Health Workshop Recipes

Amber Macintosh

Huge thanks to those that joined me on Thursday to explore health through nutrition and meditation. For those that missed this one there will be much more to come this Autumn and we can all enjoy these simple recipes:

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Vanilla oat & chia porridge with stewed fruit: cook oats in a milk of your choice (we used cashew milk) and add a big spoon of vanilla paste for natural sweetness. You could also soak them overnight but cooking breaks oats down further to remove any phytic acid - in much the same way as we activate or sprout grains and nuts. Leave to cool whist you soak chia seeds in the same milk and vanilla, you may also want to add ground cinnamon and/or ground ginger for taste. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid you can combine both together and either eat or set aside in the fridge for breakfast the next day. I have not put exact amounts as you may want some for a few days - it will keep in the fridge for three. 

On to the fruit: We used blueberries and I simply slow cooked them in a saucepan after rinsing them thoroughly (remember how much our fruit is sprayed!) and add the zest of a lemon and dash of honey. Once jammy they are ready and you can add to your porridge - great at this time of year, in the Autumn you might want to add stewed apples, pears or blackberries. You could of course add raw fruits of your choice but for the purpose of this workshop we were looking at ways in which to calm the body and mind and eating slowly cooked foods is one of the ways to achieve this, leaving the digestive system very little to do.

So far we have carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, natural sugars - let's now add some more fats and fibre to offset the fructose, keeping blood sugar stable, with a simple granola that does not even require any cooking! In a bowl put puffed quinoa and/or puffed amaranth and stir through vanilla paste, dried berries, coconut chips, fresh pistachios, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add to a kilner jar to keep fresh for a week or so. You could add linseed if you know you need more fibre - remember we are all different.

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Praline nuts: you all loved the sweet pistachios so just a very quick recipe. Pop a handful of nuts in a small frying pan with some unrefined brown sugar or coconut sugar, once the heat has just melted the sugar take the pan of the heat and bring together with a wooden spoon and bash up once cool in a pestle and mortar. Don't panic if you find they cool and stick firm in the frying pan, just warm up again and move once soft! You can choose any nut or nut and seed combination you fancy and store for topping on anything in an old jam jar.

Enjoy this balanced, calming breakfast to start the day. 

Spring Workshop Recipes

Amber Macintosh

Thank you for spending a lovely sunny morning on the yoga mats with me. As promised the recipes of our breakfast bowl, smoothie and snack are detailed below:

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Cardamom overnight oats with mango & praline pistachios

It's lovely to enjoy a warming bowl of porridge on a cold day but we don't always have the time or maybe we want to take breakfast with us to work? by making overnight oats you can have something ready in the fridge for up to three days to which you can add an array of fruit, nut butters and seeds. 

For this version crush cardamom seeds to a fine dust in a pestle and mortar. Add to oats and chia seeds with a little vanilla powder and pour over your choice of milk. Keep stirring and adding milk until the seeds have expanded. I have used coconut drink from M&S because it has a mild coconut taste which marries with the tropical taste of mango. If you are using berries almond milk goes well and with apple compote hazelnut milk. Mango is finely chopped with the juice and zest of a lime. Once ready to assemble together just layer up in a glass and top with pistachios and linseeds that have been heated in a pan with coconut or brown sugar. I also use the flat plate on the nutri bullet to break them down to a nut crumb, this combo of nuts and seeds adds both natural fats and fibre to your breakfast.

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Berry & Blood Orange Smoothie

So simple and such a crowd pleaser with even the smallest members of the family. Pop 1/4 bag of frozen berries in the nutri bullet cup or food processor, add the juice of 1 blood orange (as they are in season) and a mug of milk, I like brown rice milk with this. Blend to your desired consistency, for little kids you could make it really thick and add a drop of honey as a great refined sugar free pudding!

Little Sweat Snack

Many of you mentioned you have a little craving for something sweet so try taking pecans and fennel seeds, warming in a fry pan with honey and leave to cool. These will keep in an airtight container for a few days. You could also try cashews in the same way with curry powder and honey.

Enjoy! x

 

Organic Brownie Raspberry Cake

Amber Macintosh

I have been tweaking a recipe based originally on a brownie by Anna Jones. This version uses a fraction of the coconut sugar, and to reduce the amount of ground almonds, introduces organic wholemeal self raising flour to give lift and lightness, which my kids and their friends love.

Ingredients:

3 Organic Free Range Eggs

200g of Organic Green & Blacks 70% Plain Chocolate

100g of Organic Unsalted Butter or Coconut Oil

100g of Organic Raspberries

50g Organic Doves Self Raising Wholemeal flour

50g Ground Almonds

1 teaspoon of Organic Vanilla Powder

25g of Organic Coconut Sugar

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Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 170C fan and line a small baking tin (20cm by 10cm) with baking paper. To make sure it fits just scrunch up into a tiny ball and unfold - a Jamie Oliver trick! Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Take the bowl from the heat and stir in the coconut sugar followed by the eggs, well beaten, and add gradually as you fold in the mixture. Next up, mix in the flour and almonds, along with the vanilla, finally stir in the raspberries and bake in the middle of the over for 30 to 40 minutes. Ovens vary so look for a little rise and a very slightly cracked top. Leave to cool before cutting up and storing in an air tight container. 

Share & enjoy - we love them! 

Snack Attack!

Amber Macintosh

Ayurveda, the medicine sister of Yoga, is one of the most ancient and powerful mind-body health systems in the world. It is a complex system but over the years I have found I return to and dip into aspects again and again for myself, family and clients. One of the principles is simply the importance of breakfast, lunch and supper, which reduces the need to snack. Skipping meals is a big no no for me and many others - confusing blood sugar and increasing feelings of anxiety. We fuel healthy bodies and minds with wholesome meals, our kids and teens need to do the same, something I feel passionate about. When was the last time you heard your tummy rumble? smelt food that made you salivate? felt truly excited and READY to eat? Be honest with yourself. Too many of us fall into the snack trap. Forget breakfast, snack later instead, not hungry enough for a good lunch so another quick snack and so on? thus putting a constant stress on the digestive system that remains on the go all day and can lead to weight gain. When the tummy rumbles it is not telling you to eat necessarily but that the stomach has emptied and grinding (that's the noise) the last dregs down to the large intestine for further filtering and processing. 

Now comes the slightly controversial part of this post, and some will deeply disagree with me, but that's cool. It's about our kids. How many of you bring a snack in the car at pick up? When I ask, most Mums tell me that their kids could not possibly go without the car snack on the way back from school as they are starving, the kids word, not theirs! Ask them why and the answer is always the same, they don't eat school lunch - let's go back to why? they know you are going to give them a delicious snack in the car!! So they love their snack (and I am sure it is healthy, but that's not the point), and then you make a lovely supper, and guess what, their stomach is still working so they don't 'feel' hungry and your supper goes to waste.

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Let's make 2018 the year of eating well, making food together (here is my earlier post about helping fussy kids to be better eaters) and saying a big thank you to our school catering staff. Let's make a money jar for every time our kids use the word starving and send it to Save the Children - it's heartbreaking that there are children who really do know what it feels like.