Banana

Summertime Homemade Popsicles

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I know I haven't had the chance to post a recipe up on the blog for a while... We went away on a family holiday to Jordan & Dubai and as soon as I got back I went straight into weekly special orders, my first ever group cooking class, followed by lots of catering orders and few new exciting developments which I'll hopefully be able to write about soon :)

I've been practising yoga on the balcony recently as the weather is absolutely beautiful over here at the moment, and this recipe idea came to me on one hot morning! It was a lot hotter than usual and after I finished I was drenched in sweat, all I could think of was having a nice fruity popsicle. I rummaged around the cupboards and found my old popsicle moulds, reached for the few ingredients we had in the fridge and decided to make some mango, coconut milk, lime, and ginger popsicles.

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Mangos are very alkaline, which help balance the acidity in your body, they are also high in antioxidants which help protect the body against certain types of cancers.

Coconut milk has a multitude of benefits so here are a few, it's anti-bacterial, high in good fats, and iron, which is especially good for women.

Limes are an amazing source of vitamin C, they also help keep the body's blood sugar levels balanced, which is a good combination with mango as they are high in natural sugars.

Finally, I love ginger, not only does it add a nice depth of flavour but it's so good for you too! It helps reduce inflammation, aids in digestion & nausea and has also been linked to studies which have shown that it kills cancer cells.

So not only will this popsicle cool you down in the summer heat, but it will also be doing a lot of good to your body, in contrast to the sugar and chemical filled popsicles you can by at the shops! Again, if you don't have all the ingredients, try experimenting with what you have at home.

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Ingredients (makes 6)

1 medium ripe mango

1 frozen ripe banana

1/2 cup coconut milk/cream

Juice of 1 lime

1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled

Method

Scoop the flesh out of the mango, place in a blender along with all the other ingredients and pulse until you have a nice smooth consistency.

Fill the moulds with the thick mixture, tap the moulds on the counter to make sure the mixture has been evenly dispersed, then place in the freezer for 4 hours, or over night.

Enjoy!

Dairy and Nut Free Ice Cream

IMG_6212 I love ice cream, I mean who doesn't?! The only problem is that immediately after I have eaten it I get an upset stomach, this is probably because my body just doesn't digest milk, it's been that way since I was little. However I used to ignore this and eat ice cream, well...because it's just so good! But as I have become more in tune with my body over the past couple of years, I really do notice how it reacts to different foods, especially dairy. So I started off my dairy free ice cream endeavour by making frozen banana ice cream, which quite simply is blending up frozen ripe bananas and adding the topping of choice, mine would always be cinnamon and cacao nibs. It's delicious and easy to make but I was not quite satisfied, it lacks the creamy consistency. Then I experimented with making nut based ice cream, which was also really yummy but my husband wasn't convinced, and I wanted to try and make something for people with nut allergies.

So after a lot a of research and experimenting, I bring you the dairy and nut (and ice cream maker) free ice cream! It's rich and creamy, the perfect alternative to normal ice cream, husband approved (he went for seconds), and you don't need any fancy equipment to make it! It requires some pre planning, which is just putting a can of coconut milk in the fridge over night and peeling some ripe bananas and placing them in the freezer for a couple of hours. It is a great base so you can add cacao powder, fresh berries or just keep it plain and simple. I served some on top of spiced poached plums last night and it was divine. So let your imagination run free and the little child in you will be very happy, I promise!

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Ingredients (serves 8) 

1 can full fat coconut milk (the only added ingredient on the list should be water, no other nasties!) 3 ripe bananas (frozen) 1 vanilla pod / 1 teaspoon pure vanilla powder Optional : Goji berries (1/4 cup)

Extra ingredients

Coconut sugar / maple syrup / honey Cacao powder Fresh mint Cacao nibs

Equipment

Food Processor / blender Tupperware / Glass Pyrex container / I use this

Method:

Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge over night, or for at least 6 hours. When ready, turn the can upside down and open, you should have thick creamy coconut milk, scoop the contents into the food processor / blender. (At this point you will feel an urge to eat the solidified coconut milk straight out of the can, please try to control yourself!)

Add the bananas to the food processor / blender and combine, depending on your machine this should take around 5 mins to get a smooth consistency.

Meanwhile cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scoop out the seeds and add to the food processor / blender. This is the point to add in any other ingredients you want. I didn't add any sweetener to mine as I thought the bananas made it sweet enough for my palette but if you want it sweeter, add some coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey.

Then give it one final whizz in the food processor to combine all the ingredients (about a minute or so).

Pour the ingredients into the container and place in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours, at least.

Remove the ice cream from the freezer about 10 - 15 minutes before serving so that it is easy to scoop up.

Then add your favourite topping, or serve plain, and most importantly enjoy!

Good morning Doha!

I finally made it to Doha and managed to come across a lovely little fruit and veg shop where I stocked up on crates full of delicious Lebanese clementines and crunchy royal gala apples. The hotel room we're staying in looks like a mini market and the cab driver even asked if we were planning on selling the fruit and veg we bought as he couldn't believe that we would manage to eat all it all! I may have gotten a bit over excited by the sight of beautifully ripe Indian mangoes and papaya as most of the food here is imported you have access to quite a lot of exotic produce. However I was told that there are a few greenhouses which have started growing local produce that is sold at a farmers market once a week, so as soon as I find out where that is, I'll be there!

This fruit bowl is one of the first things I started making when I decided to try and eat more healthily about 4 years ago, and I would make it every morning for breakfast. I try to include at least 5 fruits, granola (homemade if possible), and yoghurt. I hope you incorporate this into your daily breakfast routine and feel the benefits of having fruit everyday. As my dad used to tell me when I was little "an apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 mango 2 clementines 12 black grapes 1 apple 1 banana Granola 4 tablespoons natural set yoghurt

Chop up all the fruit and divide in two bowls. Add granola and yoghurt. Enjoy!

Gluten and Dairy Free Pancakes

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These pancakes are so easy to make you're never going to want to make them any other way. I've tried quite a few different gluten free pancake recipes, and this one was the simplest and most delicious, it was inspired by my friend Paul's cooking show This Dude Knows Food. I like to make them for brunch when I have my friends over and pile them high. Coconut flour is gluten free and high in fibre, which means a little goes a long way, and you'll stay full for longer! Linseeds/flaxseed contain a lot of Omega 3's which are good fats that help keep your heart healthy.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Pancakes 2 teaspoons linseeds 2 organic free range eggs 2 tablespoons coconut flour 1 banana pinch of sea salt coconut oil

Topping Pomegranate seeds Blueberries Pomegranate molasses Honey Honeycomb

Put the linseeds in a food processor/blender for about a minute, so that they get broken up (this is how you get the nutrients into your body). Then add the eggs, coconut flour, banana, and sea salt to the food processor and blend until all the ingredients have combined (about 30 seconds). If you find the mixture is too thick, add a drop of filtered water. Put your frying pan on medium heat, and melt a teaspoon of coconut oil on it. Then put a tablespoon of the pancake mix on the pan, I like to make them small as a little goes a long way. Flip the pancake over when small bubbles start to form on top and repeat until you run out of mixture. When you're done, top the pancakes with pomegranate seeds, blueberries, a few of drops of pomegranate molasses, a drizzle of honey, and if you are luck enough to have some, a small teaspoon sized piece of honeycomb. Enjoy!