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Super-easy raw chia seed mousse for easy-to-get omega 3

1 Jul
photo-33

I was running late for work one morning so took my chia seed mousse to go…

What do a Queensland nutritionist and a Belgian High St chain of cafés have in common?? Raw food innovation?? Really??

While in Oz at Christmas I was lucky enough to meet a great nutritionist called Lynne Preece based on the Sunshine Coast, who consults and runs healthy eating workshops that make sexy slim beach bunnies even sexier and slimmer. Despite not being a beach bunny (in the broadest definition of the term) – I found her advice practical, insightful and in particular, tried replacing raw porridge oats soaked in coconut water for chia seed jelly.

Fast forward 3 months, back in London, I popped into a Belgian High St café Le Pain Quotidien for an early cup of tea before work. Le Pain Quotidien is a “nice” spot to meet people for a business-type chat, have a cheeky latte and a salad but I wouldn’t have rushed there for edgy raw food innovation. Until now! What a surprise to find chia seed mousse on the menu!!!

Chia seed mousse at Le Pain Quot.

Chia seed mousse at Le Pain Quot.

What is the fuss about chia seeds anyway??  As I mentioned in my previous chia seed blog, chia seeds have loads of benefits from good old weight loss to providing exceptional quality anti-oxidants. For me, the number one superbenefit, is that they are packed with hard-to-get omega 3, which as we know is great for cholesterol and therefore heart health as well as brain cell development and therefore mental/brain health. The main thing with the omegas, as you probably know, is to keep omega 6 and omega 3 in balance of something close to 2:1. With omega 6 in most oils, you can imagine we’re usually overdosed on it and therefore properly out of whack. In fact, this research paper suggests that most of us in the Western world have a ratio of 15:1. Yikes!!!  Chia seed mousse is a sensational way to keep the balance in check before the day has even begun…

There are tonnes of ways to prepare chia jelly/mousse/porridge. Lynne’s recipe here suggests soaking in orange juice, Le Pain Quotidien soak them in milk with a fruit confit on top.  Inspired by both Lynne and the High St, I’ve finally experimented enough and settled on my favourite way to make chia seed mousse.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 cup of coconut milk (not from the can…)
1 vanilla pod

METHOD

Soak chia seeds in coconut milk overnight (stir after 30mins and again just before going to bed)

TO SERVE

1. Straight up with walnuts (more omega 3), pumpkin seeds (omega 6) and fresh berries.
2. If I need a little morning chocolatey boost, I add a teaspoon of raw cacao (omega 6).
3. Grated apple and cinnamon.
4. Banana and cinnamon with a splash of maple syrup.
5. Let your imagination run wild.

SOAKING ALTERNATIVES

Coconut water is always sensational

Any old juiced juice leftovers are great too. I don’t have a pic – but half a cup of beetroot and applejuice makes for a really gorgeous (and delicious) liver-friendly breakfast.

Super simple super food with super benefits  – you really have no excuse! And neither do I for that matter.  For the record – Lovely raw Rob at Funky Raw sells a kilo for only £18 (only in UK)…Bargain!

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Raw chocolate, high protein, high energy slice for blissed out new mums

6 May
IMG_7596

Delicious raw chocolate, high energy, high protein slice for new Mums

My lovely pescaterian friend Jenn has just given birth to a yet-to-be-named, healthy, beautiful baby boy. Knowing she needed sustenance for the labour, I was inspired to create a high energy protein bar, also tailored to Jenn’s cravings for dried cranberries. Quote unquote: ‘there’d better be tonnes of cranberries otherwise there’s no point’.

I also chose to use coconut oil, the only other natural substance on earth, besides breast milk, that contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is transformed into monolaurin in the body, which has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities, hence supporting evidence that breast fed babies tend to have less infections.

THE RECIPE:IMG_7721
2 tbspns raw cacao powder
4 tbspns cup cold pressed virgin coconut oil
3 tablespoons hemp protein powder
½ cup of dried cranberries
Big dollop of honey (only use local if possible)
4 tbspns unbleached almond flour

I then made a big messy pile of it on baking paper, smoothed it down until it was roughly 1cm thick and popped it in the fridge, before slicing, eating 1/3 of it and only then giving it to Jenn…

Deliciouso Italiano raw linseed crackers

20 Oct

Italian raw crackers and smashed avo…the perfect raw emergency desk lunch

If you’re anything like me, you’ll more often than not be chained to your desk over lunchtime – making it unnecessarily ambitious to eat well.  If I’m in a hurry and short of green leaves, I usually grab the emergency oat crackers from my drawer and smash some  on some avo with a splash of lemon juice. In the spirit of pursuing rawdom – I decided to explore raw cracker production with my beloved dehydrator.

The raw ingredients
1 cup of raw linseeds
1.5 cups of water (I used filtered but that’s another story)
Dash of salt
Tablespoon (or more) of oregano (but also think basil, wasabi powder, chilli…it’s endless)

Linseeds crackers on the way – thick layer – predehydration

 The recipe
Soak the linseeds in the water and salt overnight until they’re nicely swollen and plump. Add the oregano (or other flavourings) and spread thickly on a dehydrator mat (or oven tray if using the oven). Dehydrate on 45 deg C for 16 hours  – and there you have it – raw Italian crackers.

For the record:

Linseeds are a product close to my Australian heart and heritage. Roughly some time in the 30’s, my great Grandfather established a company called Meggitt Linseed Oil, which fed highly nutritious omega oils to various livestock throughout Australia until more sophisticated mass produced feeding systems were introduced.  Meggitt Linseed Oil also oiled the nation’s cricket bats…

Getting back to the facts – described by the Guardian newspaper as power houses of nutrition, linseeds are very low in cholesterol and sodium but rich in magnesium, phosphorus and copper, as well as providing an excellent source of dietary fiber, thiamin and manganese. Also according to Vital Health Zonelinseed seeds contain many beneficial nutrients, such as protein and minerals and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of lignans. Lignans are phytoestrogens, which have a positive hormone-like action in the body. Lignans have very strong antioxidant properties as well as strong anti-cancer properties. Various studies have shown that phytoestrogens can possibly prevent some types of cancer, including oestrogen-dependent breast cancer, as well as colon and prostate cancer.

Every day I add a tablespoon of linseeds to my raw porridge soaking them in coconut water beforehand…but from now on I’ll also be smashing my avo on my raw crackers…

Raw salt and lemon kale crisps for a super-healthy snack

29 Aug

raw salt and vinegar crisps with lots of vitamins and minerals

I love salt and vinegar flavoured crisps with a passion but haven’t indulged for years and to be honest – I miss them – a lot. I did try Inspiral Café’s dehydrated kale from Planet Organic but at £3.65 for a small tub it wasn’t ever going to make for an everyday snack nor feed my rabid addiction.  So imagine my delight when my clever friend Laura sent me this recipe for lemon kale crisps on elana’s pantry website.  Elana cooks her kale for about 10-15mins in a super hot oven.  I’ve adapted her recipe for my dehydrator and I can tell you that either way – they’re addictive and very, very, very healthy.

THE RECIPE

1 bag chopped kale

Big bowl + fresh chopped kale

Generous dollop of olive oil
Juice of 2/3 juicy lemons
Healthy pinch of salt

Into a nice big bowl, throw in the kale leaves, oil and juice and sprinkle the salt before mixing together ensuring all leaves are coated.

Place the kale in the dehydrator for 24 hours at 40 deg C to ensure all the lovely and many nutrients and enzymes remain intact.  Remember that heating above 40C denatures the enzymes and is deemed ‘cooking’.   If you are not blessed with an excalibur deluxe 9 tray as I am – just pop them on a baking tray in the oven and leave overnight on low heat…

And serve.

Checking my favourite website nutritional facts – it’s easy to see why Kale is considered one of nature’s superfoods.  It is a rich source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron,  Phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, and Copper.

Also according to nutritional supplements health guide, Manganese is a largely ignored trace mineral found in tiny amounts in the body. It is however vital to just all the important functions – involved in bone formation, thyroid function, formation of connective tissues, sex hormone function, calcium absorption, blood sugar regulation, immune function and in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. So – pretty important and there’s lots of it in kale!

Salt and lemon kale crisps are absolutely my new addiction…and they’re an impressive healthy addition in school lunch boxes and fancy ladies’ lunches…

A raw beetroot salad recipe to prevent cancer and regenerate your liver

11 Sep

Raw beetroot salad with raw tahini dressing. It's addictive.

Beetroots are in season here in autumnal UK and seeing them in abundance at the markets and even in the aisles Tesco, makes my heart sing and liver jump for joy.  Sharing the top spot of my favourite vege with broccoli, beetroot is not only delicious but it also happens to be exceptionally good for you with scientific evidence that it regenerates the liver and prevents cancer.  

The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Howard University, Washington, DC is quoted on alternative-cancer-care.com as saying: ‘Our previous studies identified the extract of Beta vulgaris (beetroot), commercially also known as betanin, as a potent cancer chemopreventive agent. An in vivo anti-tumor promoting activity evaluation against the mice skin and lung bioassays revealed a significant tumor inhibitory effect. The combined findings suggest that beetroot ingestion can be one of the useful means to prevent cancer.’

PSC Trust says that, ‘Beetroot is probably the single most important liver food. The red pigment (called anthocyanin) and beetroot enzymes (called peroxidases) help to re-energise tired cells – especially liver cells. The liver is the major organ of detoxification, working to filter and detoxify the debris and toxins which accumulate in the body. Beetroot juice also contains large quantities of betaine and choline (which assist fat metabolism), with silicic acids, trace minerals, potassium, magnesium and the B-vitamins, Vitamin B6, B12 and folate.’ 

INGREDIENTS

1 large beetroot
rocket leaves
1green apple or a pear
7 walnuts
1 tbsp tahini paste
good dash apple cider vinegar
olive oil

RECIPE (for one)

Grate your beetroot (carefully) and finely slice your green apple or pear. Throw in a salad bowl and mix in rocket leaves and walnuts.

To make the dressing- stir the tahini, apple cider vinegar and olive oil together until saucy.  I usually need to add some water to make it runnier…

And eat up…

PREPARATION NOTE: If a CSI unit popped into my kitchen right now – their first pre-forensic thought would be that a massacre had taken place. Somehow when I grated just a single beetroot, my kitchen is now a crime scene and with beetroot bloodied hands, I am the chief suspect.  I’m sure when you make it – it won’t be such a domestic disaster…

Raw chocolate porridge is a kickstart that lasts the day

24 Aug

Raw chocolate porridge beats coco pops for taste and nutrition - despite how it looks...

Other than my green smoothies, my new raw addiction is raw chocolate porridge. It’s easy, quick, highly nutritious and tastes even better than a block of Belgian chocolate. Surely I don’t need to tell you that its a life-changing low GI start to the day. 

1 cup rolled oats
1 heaped tbspn raw cacao powder
handful of mixed nuts
1 tspn linseeds/flaxseeds
1 tbspn of sunflower seeds
1 tbspn of pumpkin seeds
1 squirt of of honey if you have a sweet tooth
rice milk/coconut water

Cover the rolled oats and linseeds with rice milk/coconut water and let it sit (overnight or min 30mins min) until it all soaks in.  If I’m in a rush in the mornings (as is usual) – I soak the oats on my way into the shower.  Then top with nuts and seeds. I also add coconut shavings when I’m feeling adventurous…

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…

For a Happy Valentine’s – try this raw raspberry tart

13 Feb

A gorgeous photo of the delicious raw tarts thanks to alkalinesisters.com

I found this amazingly uber scrumptiously delicious raw raspberry tart recipe on the beautiful raw foodie website at alkalinesisters.com. Other than swapping raspberries for strawberries, I managed to have all the ingredients on hand and can vouch that they are super easy to make, super healthy and super delicious.

The recipe (I’ve slightly adapted for my kitchen equipment capability…):

For the shell
1 cup raw organic almonds, soaked 2-3 hours or over night
1 1/4 cup dried organic soft dates, chopped, soaked for 30 mins only if not soft
3/4 cups raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla- alcohol free
pinch sea salt
2-3 tbsp filtered water – I used tap

Combine above ingredients in bowl and mix until it clumps together adding the water bit by bit. Take a generous tablespoon and roll into ball and place in mini tart pan – I used a small ceramic rameken.  Using the end of a wooden spoon gently press in the center and push mixture towards the sides, lining the tart shell.  Repeat until pan is full. Chill these for 15 minutes.  Remove from fridge and run a butter knife around the edge and lift each tart out on to a plate.

For the filling
2 cups fresh raspberries – I used strawberries
1 1/2 cups raw organic cashews, soaked 30 mins
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice + little more for consistency
1 1/2 tbsp agave syrup or to taste,or combine 3-5 drops stevia with less agave – or use honey

Place all filling ingredients in high speed blender until nice and creamy. To complete the tarts, place the filling in each tart, heaping it up a little in the center.  Top each tart with berries.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Raw pesto pasta – german style

24 Jan

Raw pesto pasta thanks to Spiralschneider

Winter is never an easy time to be raw and as you can imagine, my inner-hypocrite has been dominating my food choices heading me towards anything warm and cooked with a particular leaning to pastas.  I wish this wasn’t the case for the sake of my thighs – but until I met my new RBF (raw best friend) last night – I’m sorry to say it just has been.

Otherwise known as a spiral slicer, my German Spiralschneider has expanded my raw repertoire into a delicious new dimension of raw pastas galore.  My first foray last night was raw pesto zucchini (courgette) pasta.

First I made a traditional raw pesto using a recipe from an earlier blog post here.

TRADITIONAL RAW PESTO
1 big bunch of fresh Italian basil
3 generous dollops of olive oil
1 cup of pine nuts
Sea salt for seasoning
½ garlic clove (or less – it will be very strong)

Then I spiralled the zucchini and mixed in the pesto. It was so yummy, easy and filling, my raw dinners have a new lease of life.

Raw zucchini pasta one night - raw carrot pasta the next

As it says on the back of the box, ‘with the spiral slicer you can conjure up endless Julienne strips of carrot, radish, cucumber and all kinds of other vegetables.’  Spiralisers are usually about £120 so at £19.99, it is an accessible life changing piece of equipment and you can get yours here.

Cilantro pesto cures muscle aches and hair loss says my cousin Meg

31 Oct

Thanks sonaspicesla.com for the picture

Well – actually my lovely cousin Meg just passed on this really interesting info about the healing powers of cilantro AKA coriander. I eat a lot of coriander so am excited to hear that not only does it add essential flavour to some of my ‘dry’ raw food concoctions but it is clears my body of heavy metals, a problem I haven’t previously really considered.  Ranging from muscle aches and pains, headaches and hair loss to depression and low concentration, according to many sources on the internet – the symptoms are frighteningly wide and varied.

In the article Detoxifies Heavy Metal (mercury from amalgamated fillings) by Klaus Ferlow in an excerpt from The Botanical Review — a technical bulletin published by The Institute of Quantum & Molecular Medicine:

Since Roman times cilantro has been used as food and medicine. A recent study by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura from the Heart Disease Research Foundation, New York,  has discovered that the herb cilantro will detoxify mercury from neural tissue*., is used to help stimulate the appetite and relieves minor digestive irritation.This is a remarkable discovery. It is a novel technique, which greatly increased our ability to clear up recurring infections, both viral and bacterial. Bioactive Cilantro blend is an inexpensive, easy way to remove (or chelate) toxic metals from the nervous system and body tissues. Cilantro blend contains yellow dock to help drain the mercury from the connective tissues. It is an excellent blood cleanser, tonic, and builder, working through increasing the ability of the liver and related organs to strain and purify the blood and lymph system. Achieves it’s tonic properties through the astringent purification of the blood supply to the glands and acts as a cleansing herb for the lymphatic system.

Here’s a recipe from Lena Sanchez on website rawfoodinfo.com

Cilantro Pesto
1 clove garlic
cup almonds, cashews, or other nuts
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil

Put the cilantro and olive oil in blender and process until the cilantro is chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and process to a lumpy paste. (You may need to add a touch of hot water and scrape the sides of the blender.) You can change the consistency by altering the amount of olive oil and lemon juice, but keep the 3:1 ratio of oil to juice. (It freezes well, so you can make several batches at once.)

As rawfoodinfo.com says: Cilantro has been proven to chelate toxic metals from our bodies in a relatively short period of time. Combined with the benefits of the other ingredients, this recipe is a powerful tissue cleanser.

Two teaspoons of this pesto daily for three weeks is purportedly enough to increase the urinary excretion of mercury, lead, and aluminum, thus effectively removing these toxic metals from our bodies. We can consider doing this cleanse for three weeks at least once a year. 

Lena Sanchez also tells us that 

Dr. Omura said he discovered, almost by accident, that the leaves of the coriander plant can accelerate the excretion of mercury, lead and aluminum from the body. He had been treating several patients for an eye infection called trachoma (granular conjunctivitis), which is caused by the micro-organism Chlamydia trachomatis. Following the standard treatment with antibiotics, Dr. Omura found that the patients’ symptoms would clear up initially, then recur within a few months. He experienced similar difficulties in treating viral-related problems like Herpes Simplex types I & II and Cytomegalovirus infections.

After taking a closer look, Dr. Omura found these organisms seemed to hide and flourish in areas of the body where there were concentrations of heavy metals like mercury, lead, and aluminium. Somehow the organisms were able to use the toxic metals to protect themselves from the antibiotics.

It just so happens that while he was testing for these toxic metals, Dr. Omura noticed that mercury levels in the urine increased after one consumed a healthy serving of Vietnamese soup. The soup contained Chinese parsley, or as it is better known in this country, cilantro. (Some of you may also know it as coriander, since it comes from the leaves of the coriander plant.)

I’ve taught a recipe of raw coriander pesto in one of my classes – using a dash of chilli and lime juice instead of lemon – it’s absolutely delicious. This is one recipe I recommend on a daily basis.