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Ah, bacon. Salty, streaky strips of pork that makes our mouths water and our knees weak. There’s no doubt that bacon is a tasty treat but all that fat, sodium and cholesterol may cause trouble in the long term. Hence, we’ve put together 5 easy, bacon-infused recipes that will not wreck your waistline or health, yet allow you to indulge in the goodness of bacon.

 

1. Bacon Broccoli Salad

Perfect for parties and potlucks, the Bacon Broccoli Salad is a great make-ahead recipe with an Asian influence. The tender crisp broccoli florets, rocket leaves and bacon bits tossed in a sweet soy-sesame mix creates an irresistible salad combination. For extra jazz, we like to add toasted almond silvers and dried cranberries.

 

Ingredients

Boil the broccoli florets in a large pot of salted water for 1 minute and plunge the florets into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain well, set aside and start to crisp bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove, drain on kitchen paper towels and roughly chop. Then, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, seasoned rice vinegar and minced ginger in a large bowl. Add in the bacon, broccoli florets and rocket leaves. Toss well and serve warm or chilled.

 

2. Bacon Bean Bundles

Plain green beans meet bacon – a wonderful treat to serve as canapés at your social gathering or as an accompaniment to your weeknight main meal. If you’re not a fan of beans, replace with asparagus spears.

 

 

Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 190°C and grease your baking tray. Steam the green beans till tender and set aside. Wrap 6 green beans with a halved strip of bacon and transfer to baking tray. Repeat with all green beans then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until bacon is crisp. Sprinkle some kosher salt and coarse black pepper over each bean bundle to taste.

 

3. Bacon & Egg Muffins

Is there anything more delicious and fun for a quick breakfast? These muffins include all the breakfast foods that will shake up your wake up.

 

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

Preheat your oven to 200°C and grease your muffin tin well. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes over medium heat, aim for a flexible but not raw texture. Then, cut circles of bread with a cookie cutter to fit your muffin tin and lay a circle of bread in each muffin cup. Wrap a bacon rasher around the edge of each muffin cup and add tomatoes. Last but not least, crack an egg into each cup and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. For a more cooked yolk, bake for a longer time.

 

4. Bacon & Pea Pasta

Need more inspiration for the bacon in the fridge? Try the Bacon & Pea Pasta recipe. Al dente spaghetti, garden peas and crisp bacon bits are tossed in a beautiful mint and lemon sauce that’s light on the stomach but full of flavour.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Boil the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted water until al dente. Add the peas in the final 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, set aside pasta and reserve ¼ cup of pasta water. In another large pan, crisp bacon over medium heat. Remove, drain on kitchen paper towels and roughly chop. Toss bacon back into pan and add onion, garlic, lemon rind and reserved pasta water. Simmer ingredients for 8 minutes or so, then add the mixture to pasta. Combine the mint, stir well and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

 

5. Pan-roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

These Brussel sprouts are pan-roasted until golden, then doused in a tangy cider vinaigrette and topped with crisp bacon. They are so addictive, it’s hard not to join the ranks of Brussel sprouts lovers and eat the entire lot before you serve them. Leftovers (if any) make delicious additions to salads!

Ingredients

Crisp bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove, drain on kitchen paper towels and roughly chop. In the same pan with all the bacon grease, melt butter over high heat. Add onions and Brussel sprouts (cut side down), cook for 10 minutes or until sprouts turn golden brown. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and toss bacon back into pan for a minute more. Serve warm.

 

 

Let us know which recipe was your personal favourite and do share your food photos with us. For the extra health-conscious individual, wash down the bacon grease in your belly with some of our herbal teas. A warm mug of Ginger Rooibos or Blue Ocean tea should do the trick!

Written by Valerie Tan

Kick start your day with a smoothie to increase fruit and vegetable intake in your diet. Smoothies are nutritional powerhouses that provide you with essential minerals and vitamins. Great as a nutritious breakfast or an energising afternoon snack, smoothies are fun to make and do not have to be as complicated as you think. However, smoothies come with caveats too. Store-bought smoothies may expand your waistline with artificial ingredients and excess sugar. But fret not, I’ve some healthful smoothie recipes to share. Fresh and fuss-free, each recipe packs a ton of flavour and allows you to whip up your delicious concoction in a flash. Here are five basic yet fabulous smoothie recipes to try at home.

 

1. Apple Avocado Smoothie

My favourite smoothie recipe is a somewhat-strange mishmash of apple, pear, avocado and spinach but when combined together, these ingredients create a luscious blend of flavours. The use of avocado in a smoothie may sound bizarre but be reminded that avocados will give your smoothie a dreamy creamy texture and a boost of heart-healthy fat, so nourish yourself and blend away without fear.

Image cred: pixabay

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Juice the apples and pear first then add the fruit juice, avocado and spinach into your blender. Blend until smooth then add a drizzle of Manuka honey. To keep myself satisfied for longer, a teaspoon of chia seeds and some protein powder are my favourite smoothie add-ins. But of course, feel free to leave any of these extra ingredients out.

 

2. Berry Banana Oat Smoothie

Image cred: pixabay

With a medley of berries, half a ripe banana for natural sweetness and some oats for fullness, the Berry Banana Oat Smoothie is the perfect power-packed breakfast to sip on the go. Why, you may ask? Berries are loaded with antioxidants, bananas are a great source of potassium and oats provide soluble fibre – vital nutrients for your digestive tract. It’s easy to prep and berry easy to drink so there’s no excuse for you to skip breakfast anymore!

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

For a creamier and frostier smoothie, I use frozen whole fruit to achieve a quick and thick effect. Blend all ingredients until smooth then pour, drink and love. Lactose-intolerant friends may substitute milk with almond, coconut or soy milk for a dairy-free alternative. Oh, and here’s a sneaky tip… Omit the oats to turn your smoothie into a healthier version of a banana split dessert.

 

3. Peach Perfect Smoothie

Image cred: pixabay

Reinvent the old berry-banana routine and make a fresh, juicy Peach Perfect when peaches are in season. If you tend to get in a rut with the addictive berry-banana smoothie combination (like me), I’d recommend you to give this a go.

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Blend all ingredients until smooth and spark it up with some ground cinnamon for a pinch of yum.

 

4. Tropical Mint Smoothie

Image cred: pixabay

Beat the heat with a refreshing Tropical Mint Smoothie. Fruity with a fresh finish of mint, this glass of green goodness will have you forget about the weather in a minute. If the green colour scares you, imagine you’re on a beach under a tropical palm tree and let your worries be washed away with the sound of waves. I promise you won’t even be able to taste the kale.

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Blend all ingredients until smooth. I garnish mine with a wedge of pineapple and some coconut flakes to create a virgin green Piña Colada. It’s a definite winner for alcohol replacement. Enjoy!

 

5. Rooibos Tofu Smoothie

Image cred: Natalia Dworniak on Unsplash

Stave off colds with Rooibos Tofu, a powerful immune-booster with unconventional smoothie ingredients. It works when you’re tired of bananas or want to cut back on carbs. Red rooibos tea is an excellent base for a smoothie as it produces a herbaceous sweetness, without the caffeine. Protein-rich tofu creates a lovely thick texture whilst frozen grapes and raspberries deliver a deep flavour of additional antioxidants.

Makes 1 large glass

Ingredients

Steep tea for 8 to 10 minutes, discard teabag and chill in refrigerator. Once cool, blend the tea with all other ingredients until smooth and serve cold. Add an optional scoop of protein powder for a tea-rrific workout drink.

You can get your fix of rooibos tea here!

Smoothies are incredibly easy and convenient to make. At the same time, they hold a wealth of rich essential nutrients. If you are lacking time to make a wholesome meal, make a smoothie. It's the next best thing.

 

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