Anna Chisholm, a Mum and a Health Coach shares with us some of her nutritious quick easy to prepare meals that’ll keep Mums staying healthy, happy and have the energy to keep up with little ones
Hello readers! It feels great to be back in this space sharing with you what others cook at their homes. Putting together this post made me realise how much I miss this part of my life. From visiting their homes to observing how they create their dishes in the comfort of their personalised kitchens to documenting the whole process with a bit of food styling fun and lastly to processing the images and writing up the post.
For the past 7 months my husband and I have been attending to and caring for our little one. It has been a journey of physical recovery, emotional whirlwind as well as joy and comfort of having our new little family. Fortunately, we have a lovely support network of family and friends who help us so much throughout these times.
As all you Mums out there know how challenging it can be to juggle between looking after your baby and looking after yourself, I thought what could be a more perfect post to share with you than this one of Anna Chisholm. She is a mum to two gorgeous kids and a health coach who helps people in all areas of their health including nutrition, exercise, relationships, career and spirituality. She also helps people make gradual and lifelong changes that enable them to reach their current and future health goals. Pop over to her blog Nourished For Life and receive a free pdf of nutritious kids lunchbox tips.
In this post, Anna shares with us a few of her favourite and healthy go to meals that could be easily prepared the night before or stored well in the freezer.
Anna: As a pregnant woman and a new mum I was always looking for quick, nutritious and easy to prepare foods! I had low milk supply when breast feeding my babies so really looked into which foods would help boost my supply, while also nourishing a body that was going through huge changes! My family and I follow a whole foods, plant based diet. The recipes I am sharing are all nutritious, plant based and support good milk supply for breastfeeding mums.
OATS. One of Anna’s favourite all time ingredients. They are so versatile, full of antioxidants and good fibre to help prevent heart disease. They are quite a dense food so help keep you full for longer. Great for those who are experiencing morning sickness and do not want to eat often! Also a great food for breastfeeding mums as they are said to not only contain properties which help boost milk supply but are also such a comforting food that they help relax mum to optimise feeding.
Anna’s current favourite oats recipe is called Overnight Oats. You can play around with this recipe but it’s so quick and easy to prepare the night before so you have a healthy/satisfying breakfast waiting for you the next day.
GREEN SMOOTHIES. If you are not a huge salad lover like Anna or don’t have the luxury of time to sit down for a meal while your baby is crying her lungs out for your attention, this green smoothies is the perfect way for you to get your dose of greens. Leafy greens contain not only antioxidants but also phytoestrogens that are believed to promote breast tissue health. There are so many versions of green smoothies out there but Anna’s favourite would have to be this combo of avocado, banana, berries, spinach, dates, oats and almond milk.
BUCKWHEAT AND CHIA LOAF. This nutrient dense, gluten, dairy and egg free loaf is so quick and easy to make. And on the plus side, no kneading required and you don’t need to wait for any dough to rise first!
Buckwheat may seem to become increasingly popular recently, however it has actually been a big part of many cultures diet for centuries. In Japan, the flour is used to make soba noodle, the Russian and French enjoy it in the form of crêpes and in India it is consumed during the Hindu fasting day where eating cereals such as rice and wheat is prohibited. Since buckwheat is derived from the seeds of a flowering plant then it is the ideal ingredient to be used during the fasting period. The buckwheat groat has a wonderful nutty flavour and high in amino acid tryptophan that produces serotonin – the hormone responsible for feelings of wellbeing and happy digestive health, essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper. Buckwheat is also rich in anti-inflammatory and help to reduce blood pressure (it would come handy when your patience with the kids has hit the roof ^_^).
The soaked chia seeds in this recipe act as a binding agent (replacing eggs in traditional way of baking). It works wonderfully and gives the bread a nice fluffy texture.
- Who: Anna Chisholm
- Home is: Turramurra
- Family origin: Scottish/german. That’s where the red hair and brown eyes come from I guess
- I can’t live without: Coffee, family & friends, my double pram and my blender
- Occupation: Health Coach & Mum
- Dream Job: Doing it now – Coaching new mums to build health and wellness into their lives and the lives of their families! I love working from home as it gives me the flexibility to work and also look after my kids
- Currently I am obsessed with: Creating new recipes that my kids will enjoy
- Childhood taste: Baked Beans on toast. I now do a homemade version with smashed avocado and fresh lime
- I will always have in my pantry: Oats, brown rice, lentils
- I learnt to cook from: I kind of taught myself by experimenting
- Currently I’m listening to: The ‘Nashville’ soundtrack, Vance Joy, Haim..and I always have the Waifs on!
- One day I must visit: Berlin
- Go to meal: Beans of some sort with diced tomatoes, tahini and brown rice. So quick and satisfying
- I am really good at: Settling babies, singing ‘Frozen’ songs with my daughter, staying fit!
- The unforgettable meal: My Vegan Wedding Buffet. Vine leaves, hummus, falafel, stuffed zucchinis, baklava and vegan carrot cake. It was so good to be able to share with all my friends and family how delicious and varied vegan food can be. Even my grandma loved it!!
- My piece of Sydney: Warriewood beach. This is a perfect beach for the kids and has a good coffee shop! For me, walking along the sand has amazing calming abilities. Sometimes I hide out there on my days off
- Guilty pleasure: Medjool dates filled with almond butter. You won’t believe how creamy and rich this tastes. Its like eating caramel!
- Who does the dishes: Whoever doesn’t cook
HUMMUS. This well loved dip is a staple in the Chisholms’ diets. So simple but so delicious, it is a complete protein and is super nutrient dense. The chickpeas provide a great source of protein and the good fats from olive oil and/or tahini help to keep us feeling full for longer so we don’t binge on sugary treats. This dip can be enjoyed with cut up raw veggies, as a spread on wraps or sandwiches or served with falafel for lunch!
Here Anna used dried chickpeas that have been soaked overnight, drained and boiled with a bit of bicarb soda. The bicarb soda helps soften the beans and speeds up the cooking process. Alternatively you can also use tin chickpeas. Hummus freezes very well for up to a couple of months, so if you want to make a bigger batch and store it in the freezer, go for it. Choose an airtight container and make sure you leave some headspace because it will expand a little when frozen. You could also add a tablespoon of olive oil at the top. This will help maintain the texture while freezing and thawing. When you’d like to consume the frozen batch, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and consume within 5 days.
Slice the remaining cooled loaf and store in freezer ready for toasting. The same batter mix will also make delicious pizza crust or pancakes.
Buckwheat and Chia Loaf
Ingredients - Serves 10-12
- 300g raw buckwheat groats
- 60g chia seed
- 60ml olive oil
- 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- juice of ½ lemon
- 250ml (use half to soak chia seeds and the other half to combine in the blender)
- Preheat oven to 160˚c
- Soak buckwheat in plenty of cold water for 2 hours until softened
- Soak chia seeds in 125ml water for about half an hour or until gel like
- Drain buckwheat and rinse through a fine sieve
- Place buckwheat, chia gel, 125ml water, olive oil, bicarb soda, sea salt and lemon juice in the food processor/blender and mix well for about 3 minutes
- Spoon the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper
- Bake for 1 hour and 15 mins until firm to touch
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for around 30 mins
- Remove from the tin and cool completely on a rack or board
- For storage, wrap with cling film in the fridge for up to 1 week or sliced and freeze for up to 3 months
Ingredients - Serves 1-2
- ½ ripe avocado
- 1 ripe banana
- 300ml almond milk
- ½ cup frozen berries
- ¼ cup oats
- big handful of spinach
- 2 dates
- Blend all ingredients in blender
- I use an Optimum 9400. It’s powerful and easy to clean and half the price tag of a vitamix.
Ingredients - Serves 4
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight
- 1 tsp bicarb
- 150g of tahini
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100 ml icey cold water
- Celtic sea salt
- Drain soaked chickpeas and place in a saucepan with bicarb over high heat. The bicarb soda helps soften the beans and speeds up the cooking process
- Cook for 2-3 min stirring constantly
- Add 1.5 litres of fresh water and bring to a boil
- Reduce to simmer and skim off any foam that floats on the surface. Cook till tender
- Once cooked, drain chickpeas and place in a blender/ food processor. Blend well until stiff paste forms and add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt. Blend again well
- In the end, blend in the icy water until very smooth (the icy water helps smoothen the texture instead of having to add extra oil)
Ingredients - Serves 1
- 1/2 cup grated apple or pear
- ½ cup raisins or cranberries
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup preferred seed ( ie sunflower, sesame, pepitas)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (fabulous source of protein)
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1 cup almond milk
- Add ingredients to jar in this order and stir well
- Leave in fridge overnight
- Add more almond milk if required in the morning