KitchenJason Koppel

#1 Dark Chocolate

Yes, it may well be January and many people are back at the gym, but the benefits of dark chocolate certainly make it a delicious indulgence to have every so often. Dark chocolate is full of organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. Some studies have found that dark chocolate may have more antioxidant properties than blueberries.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Fridge Cake

Take a mug of dried fruit and in a small bowl, pour over 100ml of fresh orange juice. Microwave for 2 minutes. Break up approximately 300g of dark chocolate into little pieces the size of a 2 pence coin and add to the dried fruit. Add a squeeze of golden syrup and ½ a pack of butter. Cover with cling film and microwave for a further 2 minutes until melted. Meanwhile line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. In a large bowl, break 12 digestive biscuits using your fingers. Pour the chocolate and fruit over the biscuits and mix until the biscuits are completely coated in the delicious dark goodness. Tip the mixture into the tin flattening it out with a spatula. Put in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. This should keep for a week in the fridge.

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#2 Coconut

If you’re feeling stressed out in January, the fresh scent of coconut will help ease anxiety. Said to reduce stress levels and support the immune system, coconuts are going to be a hit in 2018. Popular in 2017 and used within natural beauty routines, coconuts are about to take over the kitchen.

Recipe: Coconut Key Lime Momtini

Shake 100ml of limeade with 25ml of coconut milk and ½ teaspoon of powdered sugar, with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with coconut flakes.

#3 Matcha Tea

If you enjoy herbal tea, you’re going to love Matcha Tea. With one serving of the incredible tea equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea, you will benefit from a hit of antioxidants. Essentially a very finely powdered green tea, when you drink Matcha tea you’re ingesting the entire crushed up tea leaves rather than brewing the leaves in hot water. Matcha tea is said to support the immune system, and could possibly help to prevent Altimeters and even Cancer.

Recipe: Matcha Latte

Enjoy a Matcha Latte by stirring a teaspoon of Matcha powder into a tall glass of warm milk. Sprinkle Matcha over the top of the drink and enjoy. Add sugar as required.

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#4 Berries

Enjoy a burst of berries in the morning and start your day off right with a fruity and delicious breakfast smoothie. A berry smoothie containing a number of delicious berries can help to boost your immune system and count towards a nutrient and antioxidant rich diet.

Recipe: Very Berry Breakfast

In a blender, add 2 cups of frozen berries, ½ cup of chilled almond milk. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of grated ginger. Add 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and finish with a fresh mint garnish.

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#5 Tomato Soup

Warm up with a hearty bowl of homemade tomato and red pepper soup. The beauty of homemade comfort food means you can whip up a batch of delicious and spicy soup whenever you need a little lift. Perhaps you’ve been caught out in the rain, you’ve been battered by a winter storm or you’re feeling down during the dark nights, this classic comfort food will help boost your mood and warm you from the inside out.

Recipe: Spicy Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Pop 290g of red peppers in a blender with 270g of cherry tomatoes- halved. Add 1 clove of garlic crushed, 1 vegetable stock cube and 1 teaspoon of paprika. Pour in 100ml of water, a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of ground almonds. Blitz until smooth and season well with salt and pepper.

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