Tag Archives: raw food recipe

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 food in season in January

8 Jan
 

fresh and seasonal is best for your body and the planet

If you pick your fruits and vegetables from where they love growing and when they love growing, you will not only reap maximum flavour, but also maximum nutritional value.  Fundamentally, the idea is that the fruits and vegetables will be happier growing to their full and ultimate individual potential at their ideal pace.  And consuming anything happy can only be good for us.

Imagine if we all ate fruit and vegetables like that all the time. We’d be healthier, more clever and probably wealthier because we wouldn’t, for example, be paying exhorbitant transportation costs for say, mangoes from the Congo.  Not only do our back pockets suffer from the cost of tranporting unripe genetically modified fruit grown in hot houses, but more importantly, our eating behaviours (and I am including myself) are at the expense of our increasingly fragile planet.  Raw and seasonal is the best sustainable and nutritional way to go.

I find my seasonal info here at Eat the Seasons:

VEGETABLES
beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, celeriac, celery, chicory, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes (maincrop), radishes, rocket, salsify, shallots, spinach, swede, turnips

FRUIT
apples, clementines, lemons, oranges, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, pomegranate, satsumas, tangerines

HERBS, FLOWERS, FUNGHI, NUTS
almonds, brazil nuts, chestnuts, chives, coriander, hazelnuts, mushrooms (cultivated), mushrooms (wild), parsley, truffles (black), truffles (white), walnuts

Raw cherry chutney! It exists!

25 Aug
raw cherry chutney exists and it is delish

raw cherry chutney exists and it is delish

I found this recipe for cherry chutney on renegadehealth.com during a bout of insomnia while i was fasting and have only just had a chance to make it. Don’t ask why I was perusing food websites at midnight – I was feeling, let’s say, peckish on day four of eating nothing but clay and pysllium husks… Anyway – I digress – cherry chutney. 

I’m always looking for raw flavour-filled treats to pep up my alfalfa salads and having eaten my way through a zillion variations of raw pestos decided it was time!! It also helps that cherries are in season…The other brilliant benefits of this chutney – are that it is super healthy, nutrient intact and perfect for serving to my non-raw mates with some extra strong cheese.  Here is the original recipe from Katrina Blair’s recipe book. My edited version is below it.

The ingredients
1 cup cherries
Small handful raisins
3 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tamari (a wheat free soy sauce flavour)
1 1/2 clove garlic
1 inch ginger
1 tbsp curry
Dash of fennel, mustard seed, cardamom, cumin, garam masala, cinnamon all ground

How to make it
Blend or use a food processor!

THE HYPOCRITE’S VERSION (with ingredients on hand and for once, no blending)

The ingredients
1 punnet of stoned cherries
1 finely chopped red onion
3 tbspns of apple cider vinegar
handful of raisins
1 tbspn honey
2 tspns of cinnamon, cumin, garam masala

How to make it

I just put everything into a bowl, stirred it all up and let the already juicy cherries absorb the flavours for about 30mins.

How to eat it
I had it with an avocado and baby spinach salad. If wasn’t feeling worthy, I would have liked to have eaten it with a big chunk of a strong goat cheddar (definitely not cow)…

Raw pesto is besto

15 Aug

 

enjoy your raw pesto with your other raw favourites

enjoy your raw pesto with your other raw favourites

Being a BIG fan of cheese of any flavour, smell, size and shape, and a fan of basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic, you can imagine that there is a special place in my heart for pesto. I also distinctly remember the life-changing moment when my old friend Beezie taught me the basic recipe. On discovering how easy it was to create those big yummy spoonfuls of heaven, I think I ate it every day for a year.

Now more inclined to enjoy the raw equivalent of anything, I’ve finally let go of the fact that pesto is ONLY pesto with parmesan in the recipe. While Genoan chefs will be turning in their graves at the thought of a raw recipe version, I’ve gone a step further and decided that anything with nuts, leaves and oil is a pesto. If it was a Sicilian recipe I wouldn’t dare fiddle with it…

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)

FRESH SUMMER PESTO
½ bunch fresh Italian basil
¼ bag of baby spinach leaves
2 sticks of celery
1 cup of cashew or macadamia nuts
½ cup of pine nuts
Juice of a juicy lemon
Zest of one lemon
Generous dollops of olive oil
Dash of sea salt

ASIAN PESTO
½ bag of baby spinach
½ bunch of coriander (cilantro)
1 big dash of sesame oil
1 swig of sunflower oil
1 cup of cashew or macadamia nuts
1 finely chopped and seeded red chilli
Juice of a juicy lemon
¼ clove of garlic
Dash of cracked black pepper

How to make it
Blend in a blender

Revolution in Thailand: the green smoothy kind

9 Jun
Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

Jennifer Thompson green smoothy guru

On the night before I began my fast here on Koh Samui, Thailand, I was lucky enough to bump into ‘my’ iridologist, and raw foodist, crystal healer and friend Jennifer Thompson. And as luck would have it she invited me to a free green smoothy talk she was giving that evening. Of course I accepted her very kind invitation and me and my fuchsia sunburn trundled along to her lovely beach hut to have my raw life revolutionised.

The first thing you notice about Jennifer is that she glows.  A problem if you come from Chernobyl but in this case it’s a very good thing.  She is gorgeous, vibrant and energetic and lives a raw food life in a way that I don’t think would ever fit with my hectic London schedule and weak willpower.

Six of us sit around a low table groaning with a giant pile of green leaves, exotic fruit and bananas and of course, a blender.  Nothing fancy, it’s just a slightly battered well loved, plastic blender I’ve seen in Sainsbury’s for a tenner.

First off we define what a green smoothy is.  Jennifer tells us; ‘it is not a naughty treat, it’s a healthy meal in itself.  Green as in green leaves are the only thing in nature that the sun turns into edible energy and blending them helps break them down and open up the nutrients to our bodies. ’ She also told us that ‘green leaves are not a carbohydrate like vegetables or fruit and they provide lots of essential minerals and proteins normally associated with meats.   They are a category of their own.’ 

Jennifer continued and rapidly fired off the benefits of green smoothies. Here are the top seven I managed to remember:

1. it’s an EASY way to get your nutrients (iron, calcium, magnesium, Vits K, C, E, B) for the day;
‘A smoothy is a perfect way to eat greens because we need such a big volume of them that we couldn’t get in a salad. You just add the green leaves to a fruit base such as apples, pears, bananas, berries, whatever and blend.’

2. it’s a QUICK way to get all your nutrients for the day;
‘We’re all too busy to chew.’

3.  You’ll have LOTS OF ENERGY;
‘When you start drinking green smoothies you’ll notice you’ll have a lot more energy because it is energy coming directly from the sun.’

4. It’s CHEAP;
‘Instead of coming all the to Thailand you can a three day or two week  (or whatever) green smoothy diet and fast every month.’

5. GREAT FOR BABIES;
‘Green smoothies are a great transitional food for babies because they’re delicious and easy to swallow.’

6. it’s a HEALING food; and
‘Your body can’t heal itself without the tools.  The tools are the nutrients.’

7. STOP CRAVINGS.
‘Underneath every addiction, is your body craving for nutrients.’

The one major yet superficial benefit of green smoothies that Jennifer didn’t really go into, is that you’ll lose weight.  Once you stop succumbing to the cravings, your body has the nutrients it needs to heal itself and because it will feel the love from you, you’ll shift the pounds! She also mentioned that because of the high level of fibre in the smoothy they can last up to three days so you can make them at night and eat them the next day. Oh – and they’re packed with anti-oxidants.  I’m 99% sold at this point and already visualise my new life as a green smoothy disciple.  And so we begin to blend…

For more information about the nutritional value of green leaves I found this easy to understand article on About.com.

Best ever raw mango salsa for summer

15 May
raw mango salsa is a raw summer suprema

raw mango salsa is a raw summer suprema

Here’s the recipe for the raw mango salsa I made for friends in Ghent last weekend.  We served it to the meat loving Belgians with fresh fish we barbecued in the garden. It was our first and best Summer day so far…

The ingredients:
4 ripe mangoes
1 large bunch of coriander (cilentro)
Juice of 1 lime
fistful of mint leaves
2 red peppers
2 red onions
2 red chillis – no seeds

How to make it:
Roughly dice the mango, chop the coriander and mint, finely chop the peppers and onion and juice the lime over the mix. And that’s it. Let it sit for an hour in the fridge to get nice and juicy.

Raw Travel Snacks: Raw Fruit Balls

11 May

Travelling raw can be tough and knowing the limitations of Eurostar, I made a few snacks to fill the five of us on our way to Belgium.  Thankfully these raw fruit balls satisfied all of us on the 2 hr journey, including my potentially toughest critic, 1yr old, 2-toothed Hunter.  Phew.

Fruity raw fruit balls are an ideal raw travel snack

Fruity raw fruit balls are an ideal raw travel snack

The ingredients
1 big grated carrot
2 grated apples
8 dried apricots
8 pitted medjool dates
½ cup of raw oats
½ cup of raw cacao
1 tbspn honey
Dessicated coconut

How to make it
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend.
You’ll see it gets a bit sticky but keep going and add date syrup or a dash of coconut water if you feel it really needs it. 
If it’s too mushy, add more oats but only a few.
Mould the mixture into 10p sized balls and roll in dessicated coconut.

Super Raw Disease Busting Pineapple Juices

21 Apr
Pineapple makes a Super juice

Pineapple makes a Super healthy juice

One of my raw food recipe bibles is the book Super Juice by Michael Van Straten.  And since discovering the overwhelming health benefits of pineapples, which is also one of my all time favourite fruits, I had a look at their juicing ideas.  Here are the two juices I loved the most:

PEAK PERFORMER
12 grapes (black or white)
4 x unpeeled pears
2 unpeeled apples
2 slices peeled pineapple

WHY IS THIS GOOD FOR ME?
The Peak Performer is packed with potassium, pectin, vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium, cancer fighting tannins (from the grapes), and amazing bromelain and it tastes yum.

CUCUMBER SOOTHER
3 x carrots
2 sticks celery plus leaves
1 x small pineapple
6 fresh leaves sage
2/3 cucumber

WHY IS THIS JUICE GOOD FOR ME?
It is high in beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid, the amazing bromelain as well as the little heard of thujone, an essential and healing oil found in Sage.

One more thing – according to various sources eating raw and ripe pineapple is also meant to be an excellent natural cure for tonsilitis.

Raw Pineapple Salsa Recipe

21 Apr

Try this quick recipe for a delicious and summery salsa that also happens to be a cure for cancer and indigestion!

Looks like a pineapple salsa but it's a really cure for cancer!

Looks like a pineapple salsa but it's really a cure for cancer!

THE INGREDIENTS
1 x raw soft and ripe pineapple chopped into small squares
1/2 cup red onion – finely chopped
1 x finely chopped red pepper (capsicum)
1/2 cup of chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup of chopped coriander
Juice of a lime
1 x tspn of apple cider vinegar

HOW TO MAKE IT
Add ingredients and toss roughly. Let it sit for an hour or so to make sure it’s as juicy as can be. Serve.

Raw Winter Rainbow Salad

24 Mar

rich in colour, potassium, silicon, calcium, magnesium, silicon, vitamin A

rich in colour, potassium, calcium, magnesium, silicon, vitamin A, and sulphur

Eating organic, local and seasonal fruit and veggies is not a trifecta win set aside for the fortunate few on the countryside acres, those with super-sized roof tops or allotment lottery winners.

While supermarkets stock their daikon from Thailand and avocados from Cuba, right now, at my local markets in Portobello, with Winter dragging on, I’m still able to pick up some yummy seasonal, organic, English-grown root vegetables.  There’s a lot you can do with roots in terms of cooking but what about raw?  Well – I like to turn mine into a delicious rainbow winter salad.

 

 
The Ingredients
1 x beetroot
2 x carrot
½ a celeriac
2 x courgettes
Roughly chopped parsley

The dressing
Extra virgin olive oil
dash of lemon juice
splash of apple cider vinegar
 

How to make it
You can either shave the veggies or julienne them. Mix it all up, add the dressing and serve on a big white plate. It looks gorgeous.