"Here at Neat HQ we love getting creative in the kitchen and whipping up a healthier version of our favourite treats to keep that pesky sweet tooth in check. Over time we’ve learnt our fair share of tips and tricks, like how to swap the usual baking staples for ingredients with a little bit more nutrition. These 5 ingredients are ones you will always find in our kitchen, which we love to use in our day to day meals, smoothies and culinary experiments. Time to embrace your inner Mary Berry - bring on the baking!"
Oats are a low calorie, nutrient dense source of slow releasing carbs. This breakfast time favourite contains the soluble fibre beat-glucan, which can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, not to mention also being linked to reducing the risk of heart disease! They are perfect for refuelling after a tough workout with a steaming bowl of porridge, or for making homemade protein balls to keep you healthy on the go.
Greek Yogurt is a great healthy eating staple. Not only is it high in protein but it also contains probiotics, which can help improve both digestive function and your immune system. It’s great as a snack just on it’s own, as well as stirred into curries or baked into recipes, both sweet and savoury.
Apart from the fact that it tastes amazing, raw cacao is high in antioxidants and is a great source of magnesium, which is essential for energy production, a healthy nervous system and strong muscles, bones and teeth to name but a few. It’s also a great source of Iron, so it’s perfect for vegetarians or vegans. Cacao can improve your mood too, due to its phenylethylamine content… No wonder we all love chocolate so much! Whether you’re mixing cacao powder into your post workout smoothie or sprinkling nibs on your yogurt, it truly is a healthy powerhouse, so no more feeling guilty about that daily dose of chocolate!
Matcha Green Tea Powder
This bright green powder really packs a nutritional punch, and just one cup of Matcha can contain as many antioxidants as ten cups of green tea! It also has higher levels of caffeine and more L-theanine (promotes relaxation) than green tea and provides a steadier energy with little crash as opposed to the caffeine in coffee. Try swapping your morning cup of Joe for a greener latte, and get a natural buzz to keep your going all day.
This addictive spread is not only a tasty favourite among fitness fanatics, but is also described as ‘brain food’. It’s full of plant based protein and contains additional nutrients like Vitamin E, Magnesium, Iron and Calcium as well as providing a nice dose of healthy, unsaturated fats. We love it as a snack with fresh fruit, baked into cookies and other treats or simply spooned straight out the jar!
This blog was written by Kathryn Armitage. Kathryn: the creator of lifestyle blog, kathrynarmitage.co.uk. Covering everything from culture and society to health and travel, check out her blog for a lot of seriously good food, opinionated rants and plans for world adventures. You can also find Kathryn on Instagram and Twitter.