5 Quick and healthy recipes to boost your energy in winter
The clocks have gone back and the days are shorter, but you don’t have to hide in bed yawning. At Bulb we’re all about energy! So we invited Jassy Davis, recipe developer at Abel & Cole, to recommend some speedy meals based on 5 simple ingredients that would keep us brimming with energy all day long. Safe to say, they did the trick. We've shared them here:
Eggs are a winter must. They’re a brilliant source of protein and full of vitamin D (which we can lack when the days grow dark). They’re also rich in B-vitamins, which help you convert food into energy. Try them in this energy-boosting breakfast dish.
Green Shakshuka - SERVES 1
Sweat 1 small onion, chopped, and ½ hot green chilli, finely chopped, in a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep frying pan for 10 mins until it has started to soften but not picked up any colour. Stir in 2 garlic cloves, crushed, ½ tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp ground coriander and ½ tsp ground cinnamon with a pinch of salt. Cook and stir for 1 min, then add 150g spinach, roughly chopped, and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Cook, stirring for a few mins to just wilt the spinach, then crack in 2 medium eggs. Pop a lid on the pan (or use a baking tray if you don’t have a lid) for 3-5 mins till the eggs are set to your liking.
Scoop the eggs and spinach onto a warm plate and top with some crumbled feta and chopped dill.
These little powerhouses are full of fibre, folate, trace vitamins and minerals, including iron, which helps red cell production that carries oxygen to your muscles.
In this dish the red pepper and tomatoes provide some vitamin C while the wholewheat toast gives you plenty of energy-boosting carbs.
Curried Chickpeas on Wholemeal Toast - SERVES 2
Toast 1 tsp cumin seeds, ½ cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf and a pinch of dried chilli flakes in a pan for a few mins till they smell aromatic. Add 1 small onion, finely chopped, and ½ red pepper, chopped, with ½ tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and fry, stirring often, for 5-8 mins till the onion starts to soften but doesn’t pick up too much colour (keep the heat set to medium low). Stir in ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp ground coriander and 2 garlic cloves, crushed. Stir for 1 min, then tip in 400g tin of chickpeas, drained, and 330ml passata. Pop on a lid and simmer for 5-10 mins, stirring often, till the sauce has thickened.
While the chickpeas cook, toast 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread. Taste the chickpeas and add a pinch more salt if you think they need it. Fish out the cinnamon stick (and the clove if you spot it), then spoon the curried chickpeas on top of the toast. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander.
3) Pumpkin seeds
If you’re looking for a snack that will keep you going during your workout, try a handful of pumpkin seeds. They’re a good plant source of protein, fibre and healthy fats that will keep you feeling full and energized for longer.
Pan Popped Pumpkin Seeds - makes 4 servings
Melt 1 tsp butter in a frying pan with 1 tsp olive oil over a medium heat. Add 100g pumpkin seeds and frying, stirring often, for 4-5 mins till the pumpkin seeds are puffed up, browned and pop and jump in the pan. Tip them into a bowl and add ¼ tsp salt and ½ tsp smoked paprika. Toss to coat and store in a jar or airtight tub for up to 1 week.
Planning a long walk or a light marathon? Pack a few of these energy balls to keep you going. Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fats, which help keep hunger pangs away, while sweet carb-rich dates will give you an instant energy boost.
Walnut, Date & Cashew Energy Balls - MAKES 12
Soak 50g cashews and 150g dried dates in water overnight or for at least 2 hours. When you’re ready to start mixing, drain the cashews and walnuts and pop them in a food processor with 30g walnut halves, 1 tbsp agave syrup and 2 tsp cacao powder. Add a little pinch of sea salt and then blitz till you have a smoothish paste. Scoop out 2 heaped tsp from the mix and roll into a ball. Set aside and repeat with the remaining mix. You can leave the energy balls as they are, or roll them in more cacao powder or sesame seeds.
5) Dark chocolate
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which give you that feel-good, pick-me-up energy boost that all choccy fans are familiar. A little goes a long way, especially if you combine it with oats. Wholegrain carbs, like oats, are absorbed slower and give you a longer-lasting energy boost, making them a great way to start the day.
Chocolate Porridge - serves 1
Tip 30g porridge oats into a small pan and add 1 mashed banana, 2 tsp cacao powder, a few drops of vanilla extract and 250ml full cream milk (or almond milk, if you prefer). Warm over a medium heat, stirring often, until the porridge comes to the boil. Then turn the heat down a little and simmer for 2-3 mins until the porridge is thick and creamy. Spoon into a warm bowl and grate over a little dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa solids) to serve.
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