Fauxtella Warm Chocolate

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I wrote this recipe as a guest post for www.pantry.qa they are an awesome online family run business based in Doha which provide the local residents with lots of wonderful health and wellness products, while 30% of their profit goes to different charities such as Happy 4 Life. They also stock a selection of my homemade nut/seed butters, granolas etc. Here's the post:

With all the cold weather in Doha lately, I've been drinking lots of hot (well, warm) chocolate to keep me snug. This is not the type which is laden with milk and processed sugars, this hot chocolate is 100% plant-based and is guaranteed to give you an excellent boost of nutrients as it's bursting with superfoods. In order to preserve the superpowers of the superfoods, especially the maca, this hot chocolate, is more warm rather than piping hot. The other advantages being that you don't have to wait until it cools to consume it, and you're very unlikely to burn your tongue!

The fauxtella is already sweetened with 100% pure date syrup, therefore I don't feel I the need to add more sweetener, however you can add your sweetener of choice to the blender with everything else if you would like it slightly sweeter. This is a delicious and nutritious way to keep the winter bugs at bay and an excellent excuse to have chocolate - need I say more?

Ingredients: (serves 2)

2 tablespoons VegetarianTreehouse fauxtella (can be replaced with 1.15 tbs cacao powder & 1 tbs almond butter)

1 tablespoon refined coconut oil

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon maca powder

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of Himalaya pink salt / Celtic sea salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Method:

- Bring one cup water to a boil in a kettle.

- Add all ingredients to your blender, including hot water and blend until combined.

- Pour the mixture into two separate mugs, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top and enjoy!

Refreshing Rose Petal Sharbat

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The summer has definitely arrived here in Doha with temperatures hitting the high 40s and even 50 last week!! So a great alternative to cooling yourself down in the summer heat, apart from blasting your air conditioning on full blast, which I detest, is by making a sharbat!

Sharbat is an aromatic syrup which is diluted with water and ice, very similar to cordial, and made either from fruits, herbs, vegetables or flowers. This age old Persian answer to the sweltering hot summer months, cools you down from the inside out! It also is known to help improve hydration and is a good source of antioxidants. You can have it plain with water and ice or to get the antioxidant effect, add in some chia seeds. The traditional seeds which are used in sharbat are basil seeds, which are very similar to chia seeds so I decided to use what I had on hand.

Ingredients (serves 10)

1 cup coconut sugar or any sweetener of your choice

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup rose petals (you can also use rose water instead)

splash of rose water

1 lime

Optional: chia seeds (about 2 teaspoons per glass)

cucumber slices

Sharbat ingredients 1


Bring the water to a boil in a pot.

Then add the coconut sugar, stirring constantly, until it dissolves.

Reduce the heat and add the rose petals and rose water and let simmer for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and let the syrup cool down completely. I put mine in the fridge to speed up the process.

Once the syrup has cooled down, pour about 1/3 of a cup of syrup per glass, then add cold water, ice cubes, squeeze of fresh lime and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds.

OR you can make a big jug of this to share, and add in some cucumber slices or watermelon.

Stir it all up and enjoy this refreshing aromatic summer drink!

NB: you can save any left over syrup in a bottle in the fridge for up to a week.

Freshly Squeezed Almond Milk

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almond milk

From a young age I couldn't digest milk very well, therefore I tried to avoid it as much as possible. I then started substituting it with soy milk and soon found out that most soy products are genetically modified, have a lot of artificial sweeteners and preservatives added to them. I then became familiar with almond, rice and hemp milk and started buying those instead.

A couple years ago I had some friends over for brunch and was testing out some packaged hemp milk for the first time, as were most of my guests we started talking about crazy it is that hemp seeds, almonds or rice are made into something that resembles milk. My friend Tana explained that it's actually really easy to make it at home, and so that evening I went in search of recipes and was shocked at just how easy it really was! Better yet it's much healthier than what you find in the shop because it doesn't have preservatives or any other nasty ingredients added to it, and you can make whatever flavour you like.

I normally add a bit of vanilla powder, in the photo above I decided to add cacao & lucuma powder to one and vanilla & maple syrup to the other, they both turned out really good!

If you have a nut allergy just substitute the almonds with cooked brown rice or shelled hemp seeds.

Ingredients (make about 1 litre)

1 cup raw almonds 1 litre water (about 4 cups)

Additonal ingredients cacao powder (1-2 tablespoons per litre) lucuma powder (1-2 tablespoon per litre) vanilla powder (approx. 1/4 teaspoon per litre) honey/maple syrup (1 - 2 tablespoons per litre) rose water (1 tablespoon per litre)

Equipment  Nut milk bag (I have this one, its easy to clean and I've used it plenty of times over the past 4 years and it's only just stared to fall apart) OR a fine cheesecloth High speed blender Medium sized bowl 1 litre glass jar/ bottle with lid

Method

Cover and soak the almonds in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 6 hours. Once soaked, drain and thoroughly rinse the almonds. Place in a blender with 1 litre filtered water and blend for about 2-3 minutes, you want the almonds to be as fine as possible. Place the nut milk bag or cheesecloth over a bowl and carefully pour the almond milk over the cloth, making sure it is secure. Then hold the sides of the nut milk bag/cheesecloth and twist the top closed, then press and squeeze the pulp with your hands trying to get as much of the almond milk out as possible. (I like to save the almond pulp to make almond flour or amazeballs out of it) If you're adding any of the optional ingredients, rinse out the blender, pour the milk back in, add the ingredients and pulse for 10-15 seconds. Then pour into the jar or bottle,  and place in the fridge to chill.

Enjoy!

*This will stay good for about 2-3 days.

**The milk may separate but just give it a good shake and it will go back to normal.

Sunshine Juice

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I wasn't feeling well last week and the day I made this juice was the day I started to get better. Just looking into the glass and seeing all the beautiful natural colours lifted my mood and helped me be more positive! So I decided to call it the Sunshine Juice, because it felt like I was drinking up the summer sun with every sip, even though it was wet and windy outside.

Oranges are filled with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and protect your body from viral infections. Beetroots have a lot of antioxidants so they aid your body in fighting off any nasty toxins, and are high in iron which helps if your feeling fatigued. Kale is an anti-inflammatory and again an antioxidant. Carrots have a list of benefits, they are a great antiseptic, and rich in Vitamin A which assists the liver in flushing out toxins from the body. Cucumbers are a great source of B vitamins, Vitamin C (found in the skin, so please don't peel them!), and mostly made of water so are a great for keeping your body hydrated. Ginger helps the absorption of nutrients into your body and has a wonderful warming quality, which is probably why this juice reminded me of the summer sun!

sunshine juice

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 large oranges 6-8 curly kale leaves - stems removed 1/2 beetroot 2 carrots 1/2 large cucumber Big piece of ginger

Put all the ingredients into the juicer, let it work its magic and enjoy!

Green Juicie and Chia Seed "Pudding"

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This is a great breakfast packed with super foods which will help wake you up and get you through an action packed morning with a lot of chia power! A juicie is what I like to call a mix between a juice and a smoothie, I normally make them when I want a smoothie but don't want chunky bits of fibre, for instance when I'm using kale. The chia "pudding" is packed full of goodness, chia seeds are a great source of protein, and a little goes a long way. Coconuts work wonders on your immune system with antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, to name a few. And goji berries are again a great source of protein, Vitamin C, fibre, iron and antioxidants. You can replace the water with almond/soy/hemp milk if you like but since I used almond milk in the juicie I thought it may be too heavy to have in both.

Please Note: Items marked with * suggest using organic products if possible.

Chia "Pudding" Ingredients (serves 1)

2 tablespoons chia seeds* 1 1/2 teaspoons goji berries* 1 tablespoon dried coconut chips* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder 1/2 cup of filtered water

Place the chia seeds and cinnamon powder in a bowl/cup and pour the 1/2 cup of water over them and stir. Then add the goji berries and coconut chips, and set aside while you make your green juicie.

Green Juicie Ingredients (serves 1)

4 stems of kale * 1 piece of ginger (to your taste preference) 1 apple* (I used Braeburn) 1/4 avocado 1/2 cup blueberries* 1/2 cup almond milk Scoop of green superfood powder of your choice (optional) 1/2 teaspoon edible dried rose petals (optional)

Juice the kale, ginger, and apple. Then add the blueberries, avocado, almond milk, and green superfood powder (optional) to the juice and blitz them with a handheld/regular blender. Sprinkle the dried rose petals on top and enjoy the mood enhancing aromas with every sip!

The Best Juice...Ever!

I just made this juice and would recommend it to anyone with a juicer. It was so good that I didn't even have a chance to take a photo of it!

I would recommend using organic ingredients if you can get a hold of them.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 fennel bulb 1/2 box of blueberries 2 small apples (I like to use Braeburn) 1 small bunch of basil (leaves and stems) Ginger to taste (I used a big chunk) 1 teaspoon linseeds/chia seeds/cinnamon (optional)

Cut the fennel, and apples into large chunks and put them in the juicer. Then add the blueberries, ginger and basil. Sprinkle some linseeds/chia seeds/cinnamon on top for an extra nutritional kick. Enjoy xx

Turmeric and Ginger Tea

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I usually make a pot of this tea first thing in the morning before I start my yoga practice so that it is nice and infused and just the right temperature to drink when I'm done. It's super easy and a lovely way to start the day. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, and ginger is a great immune booster.

I like to use a pot with a mesh strainer to put all the ingredients in, alternatively you can use a tea filter or make it in a saucepan and use a sieve to separate the liquid.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Fresh ginger to taste 2 teaspoons turmeric powder 3/4 cardamom seeds

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Put the kettle on so that the water is boiling while you prepare the ingredients. Grate or chop up the ginger, I like to use a lot which comes to about a tablespoon once grated. Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar so that the interior seeds fall out. Place all the ingredients, as well as the turmeric powder in the strainer/filter/saucepan. Pour the hot water over them and let steep for at least 5 minutes so that all the flavours infuse. Enjoy!