Actually, now we can! To celebrate the launch of Niomi Smart’s cookbook, Eat Smart, we asked Niomi to share her perfect day in food. Our mouths are watering already...
‘To kick start my day, I’ll have a bowl of mixed fruit and nut granola with almond milk, topped with blueberries and raspberries, with a glass of water and lemon slices. Granola is something I like to make on a Sunday to last me all week, it’s such a quick and easy recipe to put together. It’s made with nuts, seeds and dried fruit, so it feels like you’re having something substantial and it’s really filling’.
This recipe makes 16 servings:
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Heat 4 tbsp coconut oil in a small saucepan over a low heat until melted, then stir in 125ml maple syrup and remove from the heat.
2. Stir together 200g rolled oats, 160g raw unsalted almonds, 100g raw unsalted pecans and 60g pumpkin seeds.
3. Pour the melted coconut oil and maple syrup mixture into the bowl and stir to fully coat. Then pour into a baking tray and press down with the back of a wooden spoon.
4. Bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 30g coconut flakes after 15 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Stir in 120g chopped dried fruit, (such as unsulphured apricots, medjool dates, figs, raisins and prunes) and store in an airtight container.
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‘If I’m hungry and I have the time, I’ll whizz up a smoothie. One of my favourites is my Mango Passion smoothie, which has mango, passion fruit, coconut water and lime – it’s really refreshing, especially on a hot day. If I’m out and about, I’ll have fresh fruit, normally an apple or fresh berries’.
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‘For lunch I’ll eat my chunky Farmhouse Vegetable Soup - this is actually a great one to make the night before so you don’t have to worry about being too busy, and can last for more than one lunch. This soup is made with six different vegetables (including one of my favourites, parsnips!), so it’s brilliant for getting more veg into your diet. It’s also made with pearl barley, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer too’.
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‘I love my Beetroot Burgers, which are made from beetroot, cannellini beans and dried apricots for a hint of sweetness. This is a delicious dinner that feels substantial when you’re eating it, but isn’t too heavy. Eat it naked or pop it into a lettuce wrap with slices of avocado and tomato on top. They taste really good with a big dollop of wholegrain mustard. These burgers go really well with some sweet potato wedges and my homemade tomato ketchup. It’s a lovely dinner to make for friends as everyone can add their own toppings’.
This burger recipe serves 4:
1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Use kitchen paper to roughly dry 3 peeled and grated beetroots.
2. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a frying pan and fry 1 red onion (chopped) for 5 minutes, until softened, then add 2 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed), fry for a further minute, remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Mix together 2½ tbsp milled flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and keep to one side to thicken.
4. In a food processor, pulse 400g drained, tinned cannellini beans, 4 unsulphured dried apricots and 30g pumpkin seeds a few times – you want it to be still relatively chunky. Add 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper and 1 tsp ground cumin with a pinch of salt and black pepper and pulse again.
5. Tip into a large bowl, add the grated beetroot, flaxseed mixture and onion and mix together. Take a quarter of the mixture and form a ball. Lay it on a baking sheet and gently press down to make it into a burger size. Repeat three more times.
6. Bake the burgers in the hot oven for 40 minutes, until cooked through, flipping them over halfway through. Once cooked, serve in gem lettuce leaves with sliced tomato, avocado, sliced radish and a little wholegrain mustard.
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‘If I feel like having a sweet treat after dinner, my Chocolate and Banana Chia Pudding is great because it’s quick to put together and uses all natural ingredients. It’s almost like a chocolate mousse, but a healthy version and just as delicious’.
This recipe serves 2:
1. Mix 2 tbsp of chia seeds with 6 tbsps of water in a bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
2. Put 1 ripe banana, 3 peeled medjool dates (pitted), ½ ripe avocado (peeled and stoned), 2 tbsp raw cacoa powder and 125ml unsweetened almond milk in a blender and whizz until smooth and the dates have broken up.
3. Stir in the soaked chia seeds and pour the mixture into two bowls or glasses.
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Eat Smart: what to eat in a day – every day by Niomi Smart (HarperCollins) £20, is out now