Monday, April 4, 2016

Turmeric Power!

Recently I can't get enough of Turmeric. The weird nobbly root that dyes your fingers bright orange.
It has been used in Ayurverdic medicine for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant that has well researched and recognised anti-cancer effects, used in both the prevention and treatment of.

The active component in turmeric is called curcumin. Curcumin has poor oral bioavailability but black pepper can help enhance absorption. Black pepper contains a compound called bio-perine, which helps you to absorb nutrients from your food. If you want the anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin in your colon, skip the black pepper. Or stick it up your bum. Just kidding. Don't do that. 

Remember! Not all turmeric is equal! Please purchase a good quality, organic and raw powder from a health food shop and NOT a generic bottle from the spice aisle of the supermarket. You want it to be active and nutritious, not sawdust. I am currently using a brand I found in Planet Organic called Organic Traditions which is £6.99 for 200g (this lasts ages!). 

Below are my favourite comforting recipes using warming turmerc. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Daal

I can't believe I haven't posted a daal recipe on here yet! It is my go-to comfort food! This recipe is rich in the anti-oxidants beta-carotene and lutein which can be found in orange, yellow and red fruit and veg. There's nothing like a bucket of this on a cold, wet winters night, or when you're hungover and sofa bound! It's a warm hug in a bowl and puts the world to rights.

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. It's super quick and easy to make and once you've done it a few times you'll be making your own version. Blindfolded.

Cooking time about 40mins. Serves 3/4 

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 sweet potato or large white potato
1 mug of split red lentils washed and any stones removed
1 red or orange bell pepper, sliced
1 red onion 
3/4 handfuls spinach leaves, well washed
2 turmeric roots sliced or 2 tsp ground turmeric
1 thumb sized piece of ginger root cut into matchsticks
3 gloves garlic
1 red chilli
1 green chilli
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
800mls-1 litre veggie stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes

To top:
Coconut or low fat yoghurt
Fresh coriander, chopped roughly, washed and stalks removed
Wedge of lime

Serve with basmati rice or eat on its own with naan or chapati.

Method:

Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy bottomed (make the rocking world go round) pan. Add the chopped potato, onions and garlic. Stir and cover. Leave to sweat for about 7 mins, shaking the pan every so often so they don't stick. Add all the spices, turmeric,ginger, chilli and bell peppers. Stir. Chuck in the lentils and stir in half the stock or enough to cover all the ingredients.

Leave to simmer for about 20mins or until the veg is cooked and the lentils have absorbed the stock. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for another 20mins. Lastly, stir in the spinach and remove from the heat. Serve with heaps of coriander, yoghurt and lime and find Nirvana. Or watch the DVD. It's pretty good.



Sweet potato pancakes with a tahini, coconut and lime dressing

These are excellent for a weekend brunch and pretty delicious any other time of day too.

Serves 2/makes 6 pancakes.

Ingredients:

1 tsp coconut oil to cook
1 sweet potato, peeled boiled and mashed
2 eggs
1 tbsp coconut flour 
1 handful spinach, shredded
1 heaped tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
grated nutmeg

Diced ripe avocado to serve

For the dressing:
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp coconut yoghurt 

Serve with chopped avocado, chopped coriander and a wedge of lime

Method:

Simply beat all the ingredients together in a bowl until well mixed and you have what resembles a pancake batter! Heat the oil in a frying pan and make patties in your hand with the mixture. Fry each side for approximately 2/3 mins or until firm and slightly browned.

For the dressing, put all three ingredients in a jam jar and shake it like a polaroid picture.

Stack 'em high and enjoy!


Roasted Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

I made this delicious soup last night with the random items I had left in my fridge and boy was it good! So! Like a good foodie I wrote it all down before I forgot, so I could share it with you lovely folk.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, washed, deseeded and chopped into chunks 
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
2 gloves garlic, chopped
1-2 litres stock
1 block creamed coconut
3 good handfuls of chopped kale
2tsp turmeric
1tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp garlic and rosemary seasoning
Cracked black pepper

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 Degrees C and melt a spoon of coconut oil in a roasting tin (enough to coat the base). Place the squash, sweet potato and garlic in the tin and add the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, garlic and rosemary seasoning, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Give everything a good shake until the veg is coated in the spices and roast for about 20-30 mins until nice and soft. 

Transfer the veg to a hot, heavy bottomed pan and add enough stock to cover the veg, turmeric, cinnamon and creamed coconut. Put a lid on it and simmer for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until the block of creamed coconut has melted completely. Whizz in a blender or with a hand held one and if the soup is souper (sorry, not sorry) thick, add more stock. Return to a gentle heat and add the kale. Stir and simmer for another 5 minutes. 

I don't have a picture as I ate it all. 


Turmeric, ginger, Chia Porridge Oats

This is a great start to a cold morning. The chia seeds add protein to an otherwise carb-heavy meal and will keep you fuller for longer. The ginger and turmeric are warming, stimulating and great for digestion as well as their anti-inflammatory powers! 

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 cup jumbo rolled oats
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup milk of your choice (I use almond or brown rice milk)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 small apple, grated
1 inch piece ginger. grated
1 heaped tsp turmeric powder

To top it off:
Coconut jam (If you've not tried this you need to) OR Blob almond butter
1 tsp raw honey or tsp organic black strap molasses
1tsp cinnamon
6 walnut halves (per person)
Coconut shavings

If you're feeling greedy/extra famished then whack the lot on!

Method:
I like to soak my oats and chia seeds in hot water for 20 mins (usually whilst in the shower. Myself, not the oats. They'd get soggy. DUH!!)
Heat up the oats and chia, add the ginger, turmeric and grated apple and stir often. As the mixture starts to thicken gradually add the milk until your porridge is the desired consistency. Some like it sloppy, others like it like wallpaper paste. Hey! Tomato, potato. 

Serve and stick on a few or as many toppings as your heart yearns for.

It's porridge. It's not supposed to be pretty!

Turmeric Latte

Lovely! Great instead of coffee (I'm trying to convince myself). Any time of day or night.

Ingredients (per person):
1 cup brown rice or almond milk (sweetened or vanilla)
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cracked black pepper
whisk all the ingredients in a pan over a gentle heat or whizz up in a blender and then heat up in a milk pan.

Quick ideas:

Add a teaspoon of turmeric to hot chocolate, make a restorative drink with hot water, honey and lemon, add to smoothies, juices, coconut water with a squeeze of fresh lemon, stir-fries, rice pudding, bread mixture, cakes and bakes...




Useful links:
http://examine.com/supplements/curcumin/
www.planetorganic.com

Eat well. xx


















Friday, August 28, 2015

Comfort and joy!

Anyone else noticed the mornings are feeling cooler as we begin our shift into Autumn? The evenings are also darker. But, before you despair, think about all the lovely, warming, comfort food that awaits you....

Comfort


I have started having porridge for breakfast again. Obviously I tart it up though. There is something so evocative about a big bowl of steaming oats. There wasn't a snowy day that escaped my mother demanding my siblings and I ate a bowl before being bundled up and allowed outside to make snowmen. I can still taste it. Oats made with full fat milk and dark muscodavo sugar that made brown swirls through the creamy porridge. Heaven.


Blackberries, plums, apples, pears are all coming into season and make excellent hot or cold toppings for porridge. Add any combination of banana, chopped dates, cacao nibs, coconut chips, berries (dried or fresh), seeds, nuts, nut butter (I use home-made almond butter in mine as it makes everything taste amazing), honey, maple syrup, molasses and cinnamon and you will have a nutritious and delicious start to the day. If I'm working out lots (very rare) I'll also add a scoop of protein powder to the pan just before I switch it off.





I usually soak my oats for about 20mins in hot water with a spoon of chia seeds (extra protein) whilst I'm in the shower. This means they cook in no time, I add a non-dairy milk, like brown rice or almond, whilst it's cooking. 


Sometimes, you need some extra comfort. I have had a head cold this week and made a very piggy bowl of porridge this morning, which included medjool dates and a home-made chocolate nut cookie. Instant gratification!


My indulgent porridge:


Soak a cup of jumbo porridge oats in warm water for 20mins
Grate an apple and add to the oats
Add a handful of raisins 
1 tsp cinnamon
Add a splash of your choice of milk for a creamier porridge

Gently heat until the mixture thickens

To top:
1 sliced plum 
6 walnut halves

2 chopped medjool dates
A blob of almond butter (obvs)
Molasses, drizzled 
A nutty choco cookie (recipe below) if you desire it! 




Walnuts are a great source of omega 3, melatonin and vitamin E. They look like tiny brains which is what they are good for! 

Molasses is a great source of B-vits and iron. Great for all you veggies and vegans. It's ironic that it's a by-product of the sugar refining process when it's what contains all the minerals and nutrients. But, there you go. It's a mad world we live in. 
Molasses also contains a nutrient called PABA, which is a member of the B vitamins. It is useful for protecting the skin against damaging UV rays from the inside. Therefore protecting skin from sunburn and the development of skin cancer. I also read it can protect from the effects of breathing second hand smoke. I don't know if this has been proven though so don't quote me! 


Something else that instantly takes me back to my school days is semolina. We used to have it as a pudding with raspberry jam. I can still smell it, sweet and earthy. I bought a bag of semolina last week when I was feeling nostalgic. It warrants a home-made, Scandinavian style fresh jam to accompany it so maybe that's what I'll have a bash at this weekend. Ultimate comfort. Like a hug in a bowl!

Joy


There are occasions when no matter how many times I open the fridge or cupboard doors, no chocolate materialises. Neither does any cake, or biscuits. This is what is known as an EMERGENCY. 


I have two recipes on stand by for such emergencies that are quick and easy to make and only require a few ingredients. Take note:


Chocolate nut fudge cookies (these were inspired by a recipe in Deliciously Ella. I improved them though. Obviously.)


Ingredients:


150g ground almonds

150g walnuts
100g coconut flour
50g milled flax seeds
6 medjool dates or 10 smaller dates (I personally like the Iranian dates. They are small and very gooey!)
3 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:


Blend eveything in a blender and add about 75-100ml water to make a sticky dough. If too wet, simple add a bit more ground flax seed.


Spoon out blobs of the mixture and make it into as much of a ball as possible. Place on a baking tray and squash it with a spatula. Bake in the oven for about 15mins, on about 180 degrees Celsius, checking them halfway through. Feel free to squash them with a spatula if you want them flatter! When you deem them done, carefully slide each cookie onto a cooling tray. Try not to eat them all at once. Unless you really really need to.


NOW! The party ain't over! If you have a powerful blender this is where you can REALLY have some fun! Make ice-cream sandwiches by blending 2 frozen bananas, a few dates and some peanut butter (optional). Whiz it all up and scoop a blob between two cookies (make sure they have cooled first!). Shove in your gob. Close your eyes. Enjoy the moment. 





No Bake Vegan Brownies


These babies take about 10 mins prep time. They do need to set in the freezer for about an hour though. Sorry!


Ingredients:


110g coconut flour

150g coconut oil
50g raw cacao powder
50g medium oatmeal (omit if you want them gluten-free)
1tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons agave nectar
50g chopped nuts (optional)

Method:


Mix all ingredients together (gently melt coconut oil in a bowl above simmering water if it is too solid)

Grease a square brownie tin and line with cling-film. pour mixture in and set in freezer for about 1hr. 




These are great on their own, with a mug of coffee for breakfast, or broken up on ice-cream. 


Coming soon....my raw, vegan salted caramel slice recipe. It's worth waiting for.....


Eat well. Xx















Friday, August 14, 2015

Simple Mutha Supper!

For this post I want to keep it real. I'm talking about quick, healthy, easy meals with a few simple ingredients that taste like a hug feels. Or something.

Here are three...and a half recipes for you to try this weekend. Perfect for something super fast and healthy to set you up for a night out, or to rustle up before a night in front of the telly.

Please let me know what you think or how they worked out for you.

I'm not one for measuring and weighing every little thing so just go with it. Experiment. Live life on the edge. I like the sense of danger. It makes me feel alive.

Celery cashew soup
Don't judge it till you've tried it.

Glug of olive oil or similar
1 cup cashew nuts
2 heads of celery, chopped
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 spoon Bouillon powder or other veg stock
1 mug of soya milk or alternative
flat leaf parsley, chopped (if in doubt, just chop it)
Nutmeg, salt and black pepper to taste.

Method:

Heat the oil in a large pan and with the lid on, on a low heat, sweat the potato, celery, onion and garlic for about 10 minutes. Give the pan a shake every few minutes so nothing sticks and burns.

Throw in the cashew nuts and sweat for a further 2 mins. Then add enough boiling water to cover the veg and stir in the veg stock.

Simmer for about 1/2hr until everything is nice and soft. Blitz the soup in a food processor until smooth. Then add the milk and season with the nutmeg (freshly grated is best), salt (taste the soup first as some veg stocks can be very salty!) and pepper.

Stir in the chopped parsley and serve! Ta daa!

I like this with toasted spelt bread. But that's just how I roll.

Variation:

To make a deliciously creamy, vegan spinach soup, swap the celery for spinach. Omit the parsley though!

Courgetti with avocado pesto and stir fried tofu

This meal is insanely tasty and so simple you'll be asking yourself why you didn't think it up. But you didn't and I did. You're just going to have to live with that.

I bought my Spiralizer from Amazon. I've managed to add bits of my fingers to the ingredients a few times so just be careful!

Serves 2.

Coconut oil or other fryng oil
1 slab of tofu cut into squares. keep it chunky

For the marinade:
Teryaki sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 green chilli, sliced

For the pesto:
1 ripe avo, mashed
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
Handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

2 courgettes, spiralized!
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 inch chunk of ginger, sliced into matchstick kinda size

To serve:
Pine nuts gently toasted in a dry frying pan
1/2 a lime



Method:

Melt enough coconut oil in a frying pan to cover the base generously.
Gently fry the tofu chunks with the chilli, sliced garlic and ginger, turning frequently, until golden brown.

In a wok gently stir fry the courgetti in coconut oil for a few minutes until they soften.

Meanwhile, mash up all the pesto ingredients together and mix it with the courgetti in the wok.

Drain the tofu on kitchen toil and discard the garlic and ginger. It will most likely be burnt.

Plate up, scatter with pine nuts and squeeze that lime!

Shove it in yer gob! Yummy.

Spaghetti alla Olivia

I made it, so I named it. Plus my name is basically Olive in Italian.

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

Spaghetti. obviously.
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup black olives
1 tablespoon capers
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bag of rocket

Avocado pesto from previous recipe. I would use the juice of 1 lemon rather than lime though.

Grated vegan cheese to top. I like the almond one with this recipe. Available in Planet Organic or another well stocked health food store.

Method:
Cook pasta. Bung everything together. Done,

I drizzle the spaghetti with olive oil before adding anything else as I like it extra lubricated!



Hope you enjoy these meals as much as I do. If in doubt, add lemon or lime juice to EVERYTHING as it makes food taste AWESOME!

If you enjoyed this post please follow me on Instagram for more food porn and bite sized ideas!

Eat well. Xx


















Sunday, July 26, 2015

Flavour Fiestaaa!

I am having a love affair. It's with a hot, spicy and colourful lover called Mexican food. Now, I'm no Thomasina Miers, although I could be found stuffing my chops with fish tacos and other delicious delights in Wahaca last night, but there's something so wonderfully simplistic about Mexican food that anyone can have a go at recreating or reinventing classic dishes at home.  There's a certain magic combination of ingredients that turns up to the party time and time again and always delivers. Spicy, fun, easy to socialise with and always so colourful and attractive. The perfect guest! These key ingredients are avocado, peppers, lime, chilli, coriander, garlic, salsa, cheese, beans and of course the corn tortillas and nachos. I disregard meat (except fish) as I don't eat it or cook it. I'm also not a fan of dairy. I'm not vegan myself but many of the meals I cook are. I am pescetarian and I eat organic, free range eggs. I avoid dairy for ethical and health reasons. I'm happy to answer questions on this if you feel the need to ask.

I have always avoided vegan "cheese" as I don't like to eat food that has an ingredients list as long as my arm. I also try to limit my soya intake. I was recently given a new vegan cheese to try which is made from coconut fat. Now being a coconut freak I was happy to try it. It also only has six ingredients. OH MY GOD! It is amazing. It grates, melts and tastes like......CHEESE!



I have progressed from the "build your own" boxed meal kits available in supermarkets and moved onto a more rustic, experimental formulation. The recipes you will find here are very simple and fool proof. Nothing fancy. Just honest and wholesome. I do recommend washing it all down with (100% blue agave) tequila however. Unless you're working or driving. Please drink responsibly. Coincidentally, it was National Tequila Day recently. As if I needed a reason to drink it. I would suggest that one day is not enough to celebrate such an ingenius invention as tequila, and we should extend the celebration to a week, or even better, a month. Vote for me!

What's not to love about Mexican food? There's something about the combination of the staple ingredients and flavours that makes my toes curl with pleasure and against my better judgement,  stuff one more bulging fajita into my greedy gob before moaning about how full and fat I am. Oh well.

I like to use corn tortillas. You get 13 in this pack and they will last in the fridge for a week once opened. Just seal them with a food clip or an air tight box.














So, to cooking.....


Vegan quesadillas with chunky guacamole and spicy potato wedges with garlic mayo...

Serves 2/makes 8 quesadillas

2 ripe avocados
1 clove garlic, crushed
About 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Juice of 1/2 lime
Fresh coriander, chopped
pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper
Large chunk of cheese (vegan or dairy), grated

Sweet Potato wedges:
Slice a sweet potato into wedges, toss them in a bowl with oil and smoked paprika until they are covered in it. Put on a baking tray in a hot oven (about 180 degrees) for about 30mins until soft and lovely looking.

Crush a clove of garlic and mix with 2 tablespoons of mayo. Job done.


Mix all the ingredients except the cheese (and obviously not the sweet potato wedges or mayo) together in a bowl. Chop the avocado into chunks rather than mashing it.

Spoon the filling onto one half of a tortilla and top with the grated cheese. Fold the other half over it. Place into a hot, dry frying pan and heat gently for a few minutes each side. Remove and cut the quesadilla in half. Serve with a hot salsa and a cold beer.

Veggie tacos

Real tacos are not the crisp, dry, shrapnelling monstrosities found in the afore mentioned box kits. They are soft corn or wheat tortillas that resemble little boats filled with tasty morsels. Be adventurous with your fillings. The only limit is your imagination. Dirty.

I recently made very simple bell pepper, spinach, mushroom red onion and vegan almond cheese tacos for a light supper. Served with a very chunky guacamole. Sometimes simple is best.



Veggie Huevos Rancheros-2 ways!

The first time I made this dish I wanted to keep it very simple. I didn't use a tin of tomatoes as it was just for myself. Instead I added a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half.

For one:
tablespoon of cooking oil such as rapeseed
2 eggs (organic, free range)
1 Red bell pepper, sliced
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 green chilli, chopped or sliced
small bunch coriander, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
2 corn tortillas
1/2 avocado
Chunk of cheese, grated
1/2 lime
Coriander, chopped
Hot sauce of choice


Fry the onion, pepper and chilli in a pan until softened, Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Make two holes in the mixture, add a teaspoon of oil in each hole and gently add the eggs. cover the pan with a lid and fry for a few more minutes. Flip your eggs if you don't like them runny! There are no rules set in Aztec stone here!

For huevos rancheros for two, omit the cherry tomatoes and use a can of chopped or plum tomatoes instead. Use a whole onion and two bell peppers of different colours, and four eggs. Wacky, huh? You may want to stick the pan under a hot grill for a few minutes to cook the eggs on top.

Warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan and plate up! Sprinkle grated cheese on first or over the mixture and then place the avocado slices on last. Season as you wish and squeeze fresh lime over the glory that is the riot of colour on your plate! Bueno!







Three Bean Chilli with home-made guacamole and corn tortilla chips.

I made this for a dinner party recently. Two of my guests were meat enthusiasts but said they didn't miss the meat at all. It is hearty, rich and satisfying.

1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 fresh chillies (1 red, one green) sliced
2 bell peppers (red and green) sliced
1 can each of kidney, pinto and black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2tsp smoked paprika
Dash of Worcester sauce
Table spoon bouillon or other veggie stock mixed in about 200ml hot water.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and add the peppers, chillies, onion and garlic. Stir occasionally and cook for about ten minutes or until they have softened. Add the three varieties of beans and chopped tomatoes. Season with the salt, pepper, paprika. Then add the veggie stock and Worcester sauce. Stir it all together and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 1/2 an hour. Stirring every 10 minutes or so. You don't want a burned bottom!

Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados, mashed or chopped chunky if preferred
about 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 small handful coriander, chopped
finely chopped 1/4 red onion
1 green chilli, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Smash the lot around in a bowl until the ingredients know each other a bit too well.

Serve the chilli with brown rice, guacamole and tortilla chips and a sprig of fresh coriander, for pretty.




Frozen Margarita

I couldn't imagine having all this deliciously spicy food without anything cool and refreshing to wash it all down with.

Per person:
35ml 100% blue agave tequila
25ml or juice of one lime
15ml agave syrup
2 cups ice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blitz!

Salty rim? Run a segment of lime around the outside of the glass rim and then rotate it in a bowl of salt till the salt sticks to the glass.

Equally as delicious served on the rocks and not frozen.

CHEERS!






Friday, May 22, 2015

Pancakes equals happiness!

Weekends now mean one thing and one thing only:


PANCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKES!!!!!!!


Here are a few of my latest creations. They can be made vegan by substituting the eggs with two small, ripe, mashed bananas.

A simple but great tasting pancake batter is my spelt cinnamon pancake recipe. This can easily be modified to make the mixture more adventurous.












Spelt Cinnamon Pancakes
Makes six pancakes. Serves 2 or one very greedy person. No names mentioned...

100g spelt flour
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 medium eggs
200-250ml unsweetened almond milk or similar
a few drops almond extract
Coconut oil for frying.
Cinnamon, almond butter and fresh fruit to serve.

Sieve the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix in the eggs and then gradually add the milk until the consistency is fluid but still relatively thick (If you leave the batter to rest you may need to add more milk as the protein powder can make the mixture thicken). Heat a large frying pan with a teaspoon of coconut milk. Slowly spoon in the batter to form about three to four small pancakes at a time. Fry gently for a few minutes and use a spatula to turn them over. They should be lightly browned on both sides.

When all the pancakes are ready, spread the first one with almond butter and then stack them with banana and berries of your choice. Drizzle with honey or syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. serve with nice-cream and enjoy!





Nice-Cream:

Plain:
Two medium sized frozen bananas
a squeeze of agave syrup or two medjool dates
A dash of unsweetened almond milk

Blitz in a high powered blender until it has thick consistency of ice-cream. Serve immediately.

Variations:
Add a large dessert spoon of peanut butter
Add a cup of frozen mixed berries

Omit the almond milk for a thicker result.



Pancake variations:



Chocolate pancakes with peanut butter nice-cream and blueberries: Simply add 50g cacao powder to the dry mixture.




I'll be making apple and cinnamon pancakes this weekend. Keep an eye out on Instagram for the results!

Eat well. Xx


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Smoothie operator

Just when I thought I had mastered the art of making and drinking smoothies, I discover I am doing it all wrong.

I have fallen for smoothie bowls. Search for #smoothiebowl on Instagram and hundreds of beautiful creations will appear and if you're like me you'll be salivating and thinking about them day and night.

The idea is to make a smoothie and eat it from a bowl. Revolutionary, non? It makes sense. When you blitz a meal and drink it down quickly, the digestive process doesn't get a chance to work as well as it would if you were chewing solid food and then swallowing it. When we chew we produce amylase in our saliva. This is an important enzyme which breaks down starch and kicks off the rest of the digestive process in your body. Your liquid meal will arrive in your stomach more quickly than solid food would, meaning you might not digest it properly or absorb all the nutrients as well. 

What I find so appealing about these bowls of loveliness is how they can be decorated to look so appetising. To make a smoothie bowl, I start with a base of vegan milk or coconut water, a banana (preferably frozen), a tea spoon or two of nut butter and a scoop of vegan/veggie protein powder. Then you can freestyle it to your mood! Add fruit (fresh or frozen), powdered greens or spirulina, oats, avocado, seeds. Finally, to decorate your gloop use fruit, nuts, seeds, goji berries, dried mullberries, shelled hemp seeds, chia seeds, dessicated coconut or coconut chips, cacao nibs, nut butters, superfoods, even edible flowers! The only limit is your imagination.

I have compiled a few recipes below but they are so versatile and can be varied as much as you choose. I'm a bit of a renegade in the kitchen and don't tend to measure out ingredients so just try and experiment a bit with quantities. It's all personal preference anyway.

I use a Vitamix in my kitchen. It is an expensive piece of equipment but so worth it. It is high powered and the blades can deal with frozen bananas, hard nuts and ice for when I need an emergency frozen margarita or six.

Cheeky Monkey



1 tablespoon chia seeds soaked over night in vanilla rice milk
8fl oz vanilla rice milk
1 frozen banana 
1/2 cup organic jumbo rolled oats
1 scoop of banana split spirutein protein powder (Nature's Plus)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
Blitz all together in food processor.
(If the consistancy is too thick just add some filtered water and give it another whizz in the food processor)

For topping: toasted coconut chips, banana slices and raw cacao nibs.

Green Energy



8fl oz vegan milk like almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 scoops of Source of Life energy shake (From Nature's Plus)
1/2 cup jumbo rolled oats
2 tspoons almond butter
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

To top: raw cacao nibs, dessicated coconut, fresh strawberries and spirulina crunchies

Berry Tempting



8fl oz vegan milk or coconut water
1 frozen banana
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 tablespoon acai powder
1 teaspoon almond butter

To top: 1 sliced kiwi, strawberries, dessicated coconut and cacao nibs.


Chocolate Dream



8fl oz Coconut water
1/2 ripe avocado 
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon ground almonds
2 medjool dates

To top: 1/2 ripe avocado, raspberries, blackberries, whole almonds, toasted coconut chips. 

I defy you not to go to your happy place whilst eating this!

Here are some variations:










Total food porn. 

Now go forth and create beautiful smoothie bowls!

Eat well. Xx

www.naturesplus.com for protein powder info and stockists
www.bonpom.com for raw super foods and treats!









Friday, April 10, 2015

East Dulwich Rocks!

I love my neighbourhood. We are a civilised lot in ED. There is a friendly, relaxed community vibe here and there are some fantastic independent businesses which I feel deserve some praise and recognition.

I will be publishing a series of posts celebrating the local businesses in ED, from health and specialist food shops, to pubs, bars and restaurants and let's not forget the market stalls who are trading weekly in all weathers! All of whom have individual character and their own, unique appeal.

Keep your eyes peeled because you'll want to frequent these beauties!

Be well. X