The days are getting warmer and ladies all over South Africa are breaking into a cold sweat at just the thought of slipping into a swimsuit. If, like us, you’ve been comfort eating all winter long then keep reading because Matthew Ballenden, Nutritional Chef and Owner of Fresh Earth Food Store is here with loads of tips on how to Spring Clean your health. It might be easy to fall back on old bad habits when it comes to changing your lifestyle but all you need to do is follow these easy steps and then give Chef Matthew Ballenden’s healthy snack recipes a try – it’s the first step to healthy living!

To spring clean your daily routine Ballenden suggests you get moving by doing some work in the garden or taking the kids and dogs to the park. Not only will you get your heart rate going, you will also get some much-needed vitamin D and have fun with the family. Another easy way to get healthy is to introduce seasonal fruits and vegetables into your diet. Spring means the arrival of a variety of fresh fruit and veggies, so try some new combinations and make variety your mission. But what about exercise? Ballenden suggests refreshing your workouts to pull yourself out of your winter rut. Try new types of exercise or join a running club to stay motivated. Lastly, don’t forget to pay your doctor a visit! Make an appointment with your primary care physician, dentist, gynaecologist and dermatologist to have that annual checkup.

And, once you are back on track, give your body a fresh start by enjoying this refreshing Blueberry Bliss Smoothie, after exercise and snacking on these deliciously healthy snacks!

1. Fennel and Watercress Salad

Fennel and Watercress Salad


1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 bunches watercress – rinsed, dried and trimmed
3 bulbs fennel – trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
3 small bulbs of radish, cored and chopped
1 cup pecan halves, toasted


In a bowl, combine the cranberries, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt. Whisk in the olive oil.
In a large salad bowl, combine the watercress, fennel, radish and pecans. Stir the vinaigrette and pour over salad. Toss well and serve at once.

2. Blueberry Bliss Smoothie

Blueberry Bliss Smoothie


2 cups almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
handful baby spinach leaves
1-2 dates, pitted (optional)


Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend.
Pour into a glass and enjoy.

3. Olive Oil Roasted Almonds

Olive Oil Roasted Almonds


3 cups whole raw almonds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1teaspoon sea salt, fine
1/4teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
In a medium bowl, toss together all ingredients until almonds are well coated.
Spread into a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and continue roasting for another 10 minutes.
Cool completely on baking sheet before storing in an airtight container.

For more information on healthy living, more healthy recipes, or to order the ingredients for this recipe online visit the Fresh Earth website.