Archive | April, 2011

Happy Raw Chocolate Easter Eggs

24 Apr

Happy raw Easter eggs (if you squint your eyes they look more egg shaped)


Following the success of my raw chocolate coated fruit balls at Sim’s lunch last Sunday, I decided to repeat the recipe and make raw chocolate coated fruit eggs for Easter. Super easy, super delicious, nutritious and good for your bowels, your whole body will benefit from this Easter treat.


Ingredients for the raw fruit balls
100g dried apricots
100g dried prunes
100g dried dates
100g dried currants
200g dessicated coconut

Ingredients for the raw chocolate
50g coconut butter
50g raw cacao
Tablespoon of honey

The recipe:

1. Cover the dried fruits in freshly squeezed apple juice (or water, or coconut water) in a bowl and soak for a couple of hours until the fruits plump up.  If there is lots of liquid left, drain some of it off and leave it to one side.

2. Add the dessicated coconut and whiz/mulch in a blender, food processor or use a hand held thingy-ma-jig.  A reasonably dry but moist mound of raw fruit heaven should be left.

3. Shape into balls/eggs.

4.To make the raw chocolate – melt your coconut butter, add the raw cacao powder and add honey/agave to taste.

5. Cover the balls/eggs in chocolate. As the fruit balls are soooo sweet, I like the surrounding raw choc coating to be really dark to complement…but it’s up to your sophisticated palates to judge.

6. Put in the fridge for an hour or so.

7. Lick your fingers and the bowl…

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Raw food lampstands, entrees and crockery from Designmarketo

10 Apr

Everybody needs a lamp(stand) powered by a pumpkin

 

Last week I made it to DesignMarketo’s Spring Seeds and Sprouts dinner party at the Barbican.  For £30, we were surrounded by food-inspired design and fed three courses of healthy heaven by Executive Chef Quentin Fitch.  The dinner party  featured specially commissioned recipes and objects produced by DesignMarketo’s friends and collaborators including those you can see in the pic and many you can buy at their new shop at the Barbican.   While our main course was nowhere near raw, our entree, lampstands and the crockery for our herbal tea were…

Forgive me for using the word ‘cool’ but Designmarketo is a very cool enterprise who describe themselves as ‘a platform diffusing up-and-coming designers’ small and limited productions’.  I don’t really understand what that means but yes, their ideas are cool to me, as per the turnip lampstand on the left.

Herbal tea was served in mugs based on saucers made of honey and sesame snaps.

Fresh orange and pomegranate salad

Entree was a fresh leaf salad very similiar to the one I regularly scoff at Mexican restaurant La Taqueria. While I don’t have the break down for Design Marketo’s recipe, the ingredients listed at Taqueria  include romaine lettuce, cucumber, radish, onion, orange segments, pomegranate seeds, and avocado dressing.  I highly recommend it.

Walnuts crush other nuts for health benefits

3 Apr

Brain food that looks like a brain - walnuts are literally a top nut

Surely no-one missed the global groundbreaking news on Monday that US researchers declare raw walnuts to be the healthiest nut of them all and just seven of them a day will ward off heart disease, certain cancers and type-2 diabetes.

According to this BBC article, Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton, analysed the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and discovered that: ‘a handful of walnuts contained twice as many antioxidants as a handful of any other commonly eaten nut. He found that these antioxidants were higher in quality and potency than in any other nut. Antioxidants are good because they stop the chain reactions that damage cells in the body when oxidation occurs. The antioxidants found in walnuts were also two to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E, which is known to protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease.’

In another study by Australian scientist T. M. Strathan (also backed up by the FDA) the advice is similar and even specific to vegetarians; ‘In vegetarian populations it appears that nuts may be exerting the strongest protective effect [for cardiovascular protection]. This was an unexpected finding since it was anticipated that the absence of meat eating would be the dominant factor. Although nuts contain approximately 80% fat the nut feeding trials have not shown any associated weight gain in those ingesting nuts suggesting the addition of nuts in the diet may have a satiating effect. It is concluded that the daily ingestion of a small quantity of nuts may be one of the most acceptable lifestyle interventions for the prevention of coronary heart disease.’

Walnuts are so rich in ALA that a daily amount of just half an ounce (15g) supplies 1.5g of the fatty acid will protect against heart disease – part of a 16-year study of more than 76,000 women reported to a meeting of the American Heart Association.

Walnuts are an excellent source of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals such as Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Sodium, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin, Vitamin E, and even the little known Vitamin K.

Only one thing to watch for is that walnuts are a little bit acidic. So stick to the seven as advised…