You would be forgiven for thinking that all fruit and vegetables are in season all year round, after all they are available all year round in our local supermarkets!

However, eating seasonally could actually be the best way to eat sensibly as there are real health benefits in sticking to fruit and veg that’s in season.

Here’s why:

  • Produce tastes better – When you eat produce that’s in season it’s a taste sensation as opposed to produce that’s in transit for nearly two weeks. The transit time alone and chilling reduces the flavour. When a fruit or vegetable is ripe and picked fresh not only will it taste better but it’s nutritionally superior too.
  • It’s better value – it stands to reason that when a farmer harvests produce in season it will not only be plentiful but cheaper because storage and transport are not necessary as its usually heading somewhere local.
  • It’s better for the planet too – our planet needs all the help it can get these days and every little helps. Buying local produce reduces fuel to fork costs, helping to reduce pollutant gases into the atmosphere. Growing fruit and veg in season requires lower levels of artificial inputs like heating, lighting, pesticides and fertilisers, making it better for the environment and you.
  • Seasonal vegetables suit our body – Our bodies our wise and we need to move with the seasons. What’s grown in nature each season is what our bodies crave for nourishment and optimal nutrition. In the summer we lean towards berries and salads but in the winter hearty soups and stews made from root vegetables is what we need. So build a comforting friendship with your crock-pot. After all, winter is all about grounding yourself and we can do this through food too.
  • We can support our local farmers –support and connection is really important for our health and wellbeing. When you buy local you not only help to support your local farmer but you also make a real connection to where your food came from.

Here’s a list of what’s in season now:

All year round you will have onions, carrots, chard, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, potatoes and salad leaves.

liz cook veg seasonal winter veg Liz Cook charts BUY HERE

December: Chestnuts, field mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, leeks, turnips, pumpkins, celery, rhubarb, red cabbage, kale, cauliflower, swede, cabbage, celeriac, beetroot, pears, cranberries, cooking apples and apples

January: Cabbage, Red cabbage, cauliflower, kale, swede, Brussels sprouts, celery leeks, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, beetroot, rhubarb, apples, pears, cooking apples

February: Purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, beetroot, cabbage, kale, turnip, rhubarb, celery, celeriac, red cabbage, apples, pears, cooking apples

I love shopping local and my! it’s a very different experience to the supermarket. My son is 6 and has built a relationship with the people at my local market. He knows where food comes from and is interested in the process. From farm to fork without all the logistics is preferable where possible. So please try and support our own and shop locally. Here’s a link to the market I attend in Dublin 8. Check it out The Green Door.

Christy Stapleton greendoor

It’s no secret I love juices and smoothies and I’m always on the hunt for great juice bars in Dublin. One of favourite places is The Juicery in Georges Street Arcade in Dublin 2. They are the only juice bar in Dublin who cold press on site, meaning all of the juices are made fresh while you wait.


A Cold-pressing juicer A.K.A masticating juicer is one that uses a hydraulic press to extract juice from fruit and vegetables, as opposed to other methods such as centrifugal or single auger.

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These juicers work by first crushing and then pressing fruit and vegetables for optimal juice quantities. As they don’t produce as much heat as other juicers more of the nutrients are retained whereas in centrifugal juicers the fast speeds can destroy enzymes.



Well to be honest they are all great but if you are looking for a pick me up and you’re done with coffee for the day then look no further that their turmeric shot (€2.50) which will wake you up from the inside out and has great health benefits too. I’m also a huge fan of fresh wheatgrass shots as they are a great source of chlorophyll, which is great for our blood. It’s also great for detoxing and alkalinizing the body too.


Well they are all good but my fav is ‘Green Supreme” which has kale, cucumber, spinach, celery, parsley and wheatgrass!

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I have two favorites here and I add Kama hemp juice to both and here’s why? Kama hemp juice is a nutritionally potent raw living food. It is loaded with essential supplements that a lot of us are lacking in our modern diets.

The potency of Kama Hemp Juice comes from the most important ingredient, Cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a strong anti-oxidant that helps to detoxify your body. It also boosts the immune system and helps to restore balance and with regular consumption it can increase energy and even improve sleep.

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So I add it into my top pick above, which is the Basil Berry. This is delicious and comforting due to the coconut milk but its also refreshing thanks to the berries!

Ingredients: Raspberries/Basil/Raw honey/Hemp juice/coconut milk

If you’re a gym bunny or looking for a protein fix then try the “Protein Split” it’s filling, satisfying and tasty especially after a workout.

Ingredients: Sun Warrior Protein/Shredded Coconut/Banana/Maca/Almond Milk

There’s plenty more to choose from and if you are in a rush call ahead and they will have your order ready for you! 085 129 3357


LEAVES PASTA, ALISON CANAVAN, BE COMPLETE, HEALTHY EATING, BUCKWHEAT, PROTEIN, KIDS MEAL, PASTA, WELLNESS, HEALTH COACH, FOOD DEALSA while back I received a small hamper with a couple of packets of pasta. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a high-protein, free from, pasta made exclusively from buckwheat and chickpeas and decided to find out more.
It was October of last year when I first had the chance to have a chat with Nico and Sabine from Leaves, the creators of #PastaMagic for one of my Wellness Wednesday articles (read the full story here: WELLNESS WEDNESDAY with Nico and Sabine).

Since then this couple (and their little son Aidan) have come a long way: this February they finally launched their #PastaMagic nationwide in a clever single serve portion of 100g, to help with portion control and avoid waste. They currently have 3 flavours out there: Fusilli originale, Penne with Garlic and Macaroni with Sage; all available in SuperValu stores and speciality stores around the country and online on their WEBSITE .

I really like the passion that this young couple have for their mission and what Leaves stands for: helping others achieve a healthier lifestyle in an easier and more attractive way. I truly love their pasta, so it works for me. The idea that in just five minutes (that’s how long it takes to cook this pasta perfectly al dente!) I can get as much protein as a serving of salmon and 3 times more fibre just from my pasta, with a great flavour and texture (forget all those brittle gluten-free alternatives out there) it’s absolutely fantastic!

I met the two again for a tea a few weeks ago and together we decided to partner as I really love to support positive, passionate people that like me are committed to help others to feel better.
So I will be sharing a few interesting recipes with #PastaMagic, and how it fits into my daily life, but most importantly we’ll be offering FREE SHIPPING to all readers when buying from the Leaves Web Store  :simply add the code “Alison” at checkout to avail of the offer.

The pasta on their website costs just €2 (or less when ordered in bigger quantities) for what basically is a full meal in a box for one.

If you try it, I’d love to hear your thoughts about #PastaMagic and how you use it, I hope this product will help many of you feel better in an effortless way.

In this video I’m chatting to Maria Donlon from Life Cleanse about choosing the right juicer. I have used a centrifugal juicer for many years and I have a separate Wheatgrass juicer but more recently I have moved to a masticating juicer that has everything in one.
Maria uses and recommends masticating juicers for the following reasons:
  1. Maximise nutrient and enzyme preservation – the slow rotation of the auger in a masticating juicer cold presses the juice and minimises oxidation which help to preserve the nutrient and enzyme content. Put simply because you are introducing as little heat and oxygen as possible you will destroy as few nutrients and enzymes as possible.
  2. Versatility – I juice lots of greens and a masticating juicer will juice leafy greens and wheatgrass whereas a centrifugal juicer can’t deal with these. In addition to juice most masticating juicers make seed and nut pates and butters, healthy ice creams and baby food
  3. Efficiency – The slow process of cold pressing the juice extracts more liquid from the ingredients thus minimising food waste, and saving money on food shopping over time. This is clearly visible from how dry the pulp is coming out of a masticating juicer versus a centrifugal one. They are also much easier and quicker to clean.
  4. Durable – Most masticating juicers are built to last. All of the masticating juicers that Life Cleanse sells come with a 10 year warranty


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Colours –  polished chrome, red.
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Happy juicing xx

Forget oysters and dark chocolate, Nico and Sabine from leaves pasta magic are suggesting that with Valentines Day looming you can spark romance and seduce your loved one with a pasta dish!!

Leaves pasta is a healthy aphrodisiac! PastaMagic is made with only two ingredients; chickpeas and buckwheat. Both ingredients are great sources of Manganese and Zinc which are minerals that place them among the best aphrodisiac foods available. Zinc also plays an important direct role in the development and proper functioning of the reproductive organs.

With a cooking time of only five minutes this tasty meal will leave more time for loving!

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Leaves penne with ginger, lime and Roses

  • Put a pot of salted water to boil and put the pasta in when ready.
  • Thinly cut some onions and put in a second pot adding in Irish butter, then add a teaspoon of lime zest (don’t use the white part as it is bitter) and freshly grated ginger.
  • Let this cook over medium heat and add a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
  • Drain the pasta after just 4 minutes and put in the pan to finish cooking with the sauce and a bit more cooking water to make the sauce creamy and delicate.
  • When ready squeeze in the juice of half a lime and the fresh mint. Finish with a touch of pepper (and some fresh chillies if you like it spicy!) and serve when still hot.
  • Consider dressing the dish with edible roses for that final touch of romance.

Enjoy and Happy Valentines Day

Ali xxx

(*Leaves recently won as Best Irish Food & Drink Startup of the year 2015 at the prestigious Bank of Ireland Startup Awards, Leaves PastaMagic was runner-up in the Product of the Show Award by Speciality Fine Food Fair Ireland, Sabine won as Best Female Entrepreneur 2014 awarded by the Local Enterprise Office Dublin City and Nico has been a finalist as Irish Best Young Entrepreneur 2014 for Dublin City.)

PastaMagic (RRP€1.99) is currently available in SuperValu and speciality stores nationwide or via,

#PastaMagic –






So this Tasty Thursday I decided to share my sneaky trick to getting more veggies into James. It can be tricky trying to get your kids to eat their veggies but if you juice for your family its pretty easy to sneak things like celery, cucumber and peppers into a carrot and apple juice without them even noticing!

This will serves 2-3 kids:

  • 4 Carrots
  • 2 Apples
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 to 1 Pepper

You can also add Tumeric to this to boost immunity. When you are juicing try to use mostly vegetables and only 10-20% fruit. My general rule is juice veg and eat fruit!


Ali xxx


Rozanna Purcell, natural born feeder, banana bread, recipe, alison canavan, food, nutrition, delicious recipes, roz purcell, tasty thursday,For this weeks #TastyThursday Roz shares her delicious banana bread recipe. This recipe is so simple and great if you’re craving something sweet. When I baked this bread, I left it sit aside until it had fully cooled. It’s perfect for re-heating or eating cool and still tastes just as delicious when reheated 3 days later!


  • 1 cup buckwheat flour gluten free
  • 1 cup wholemeal spelt gluten free
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 5 bananas – 4 mashed & 1 whole
  • 1tsp vanilla powder or essence
  • 1/2cup coconut sugar
  • 12 big medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk – I used coconut


  1. Preheat oven 190ºC
  2. Whisk egg whites till stiff (this avoids using baking powder).
  3. Add all other ingredients into blender except the whole banana. Blend until completely smooth with no bits (especially from the dates).
  4. Fold in the egg whites.
  5. Pour into baking tin (lined or greased).
  6. Slice the banana left and place on top. Glaze with a little honey.
  7. Bake at 190ºC for 40 min. Wait until it has cooled a little before removing it from the tin, however it shouldn’t fall apart its a very sturdy mix



I love this drink and if you ever visit my home with a hint of a sniffle this will greet you with a warm cuddle. It’s also a great elixir on a cold winters morning!!

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and we need as many antioxidants as we can get these days especially if you live in a big city because of every day toxins and pollutants. Tumeric also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects and adding cinnamon which also has anti-inflammatory properties can help to regulate your blood sugar levels too.

We love manuka honey in this house and if my little boy James has a sore throat I always give him a spoonful which he loves! Manuka can help with sore throats and is great for digestive issues also.

So curl up on the sofa and sip on this great comforting winter warmer

Ali xx



I love my herbal teas as you’ll see in this video and if you struggle to get enough water into you day herbal teas are great for taste and hydration!

These teas can also help with digestion (mint), detoxing (dandelion, milk thistle, licorice) skin purifying/ calming (nettle/ chamomile/ lemon balm) and sleep. So as Mrs Doyle would say go on, go on, go on!

Follow me on my Facebook Page for daily inspiration!

Ali xxx