Dairy Free

Chocolate Chilli Overnight Oats

Choco chilli oats.jpg

I love overnight oats because they're quick and easy to make, are super versatile and you can take them on the go with you when you're pressed for time!

Now that the weather is cooling down I like to keep my internal body temperature warm by using ingredients that help keep my internal fire going. This recipe is filled with super boosted medicinal foods which support a healthy immune system to keep the seasonal colds at bay.

The use of cayenne pepper in this recipe is to activate the healing benefits of the turmeric while also making you feel all warm and tingly inside. Turmeric is a superfood root which is dried and powdered, the benefits of using it are numerous. For me the most important thing is that it reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is your body's response to injury which is great! However, our modern diets and lifestyles of eating highly processed sugars and dairy, drinking alcohol, feeling stressed etc can also cause inflammation in the body. Therefore by adding turmeric to our diets we can aid our bodies by reducing it's workload. It's not a cure all and it also helps to be more mindful of what we fuel our bodies with, both nutritionally and mentally.

Cacao is also a very powerful antioxidant, high in magnesium, which helps relax our muscles, hence why women crave chocolate when they are about to start their cycle. Please make sure that you use good quality raw cacao powder for this recipe as nutritionally it makes a big difference. Most cocoa powder you find in your local supermarket has been heated at very high temperatures which kills a lot of the nutrients. It is more expensive but a little goes a long way with so it's worth investing in some as it will last quite some time.

If you don't have all the ingredients don't worry, get creative and substitute some or leave others out. Or better yet why not try your hand at making your very own signature version?!

Ingredients
(Makes 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings)

  • 3 Tbs chia seeds
  • 3 Tbs rolled oats
  • 1 Tbs almond meal
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs goji berries
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 Tbs cacao nibs
  • 1/2 Tbs coconut flakes
  • 1.5 cup non dairy milk (I used sunflower seed milk)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method

Mix everything into a bowl or jar using a fork, making sure it's all well combined. Place in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. Enjoy! *This will last in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Mousse

IMG_0837.JPG
IMG_0837.JPG

This is the easiest chocolate mouse recipe ever! I made it this morning after waking up too early and was instantly blown away. It requires minimal prep which basically involves putting a can of coconut milk in the fridge over night. By putting it in the fridge the coconut milk turns into a beautiful thick cream. I always make sure I have a can in the fridge in case I want to use it for coconut ice cream, quick desserts, smoothies, porridge etc. Make sure your coconut milk doesn't have anything other than coconut milk and water in it though as some have thickening agents and other nasties, so always read the label!

This is a nutritiously delicious way of getting your daily does of healthy fats, which help improve brain function, and works wonders for your skin! Cacao is a powerhouse of antioxidants and also helps alleviate anxiety and headaches. So eat this knowing you are doing your body and taste buds good.

This recipe is for one but can easily be doubled etc.

Ingredients (makes 1)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cacao powder / cocoa powder if you can't find cacao easily
  • 1 teaspoon date syrup / sweetener of choice
  • Crumbled walnuts (optional)

Method

Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-6 hours.

Take it out when ready and turn the can upside down and open. This is in case any of the coconut milk hasn't solidified.

Scoop out 2 tablespoons of the thick coconut cream and place in a small bowl.

Then add the cacao powder and date syrup and stir it up until all ingredients are well combined.

You can top it with nuts or even fresh berries.

Finally, 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!

IMG_6170

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!

Freshly Squeezed Almond Milk

photo.jpg

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.

Raw Grape Ice Cream

Image

I've had an obsession with frozen grapes since I was a little girl. Growing up in Dubai it would get really hot in the summer and I would usually pop a cup of grapes in the freezer and a couple of hours later I would have a deliciously refreshing snack. Living in Doha reminds me a lot of Dubai back in the day and I guess it triggered a memory of having frozen grapes. So I bought some red grapes, gave them a wash, removed the stems, popped them in a tupperware and put them in the freezer. Since the weather isn't very hot here yet I completely forgot about them and when I went to get some ice for my drink the other day I saw the grapes sitting there waiting to be eaten or better yet made into something. So I decided to experiment with them as I had quite a big batch and decided to make a dairy free, raw ice "cream" and best of all, without an ice cream maker!

Red grapes are packed with antioxidants, potassium and vitamin K, while cashew nuts are filled with heart healthy mono-saturated fats which help lower cholesterol. Since all these ingredients are raw, your body will be benefiting from all the nutrients this ice cream has to offer.

Ingredients (serves 4)

100g raw cashew nuts
180g frozen red grapes
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons raw honey or agave syrup

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a nice smooth mixture.

Pour into a tupperware and place in the freezer.

After about an hour, once the edges of the mixture start to harden slightly, take out of the freezer and whisk vigorously with a fork to break up any ice crystals.

Put it back in the freezer and freeze until firm (at least 4 hours or overnight)

Enjoy you're deliciously nutritious raw ice cream!

Juice Pulp Gluten Free Muffins

Juice pulp muffin

I posted a video on our Instagram page (@vegetariantreehouse) of me making some juice yesterday morning and a friend posted a comment asking whether I do anything with the left over juice pulp. The answer was yes, I've made a number of things with it including hummus inspired dips, soups, veggie burgers (watch this space I have a recipe coming soon), and crackers. Since the pulp has a lot of nutrients and fibre in it it's a real shame to let it go to waste, so if you don't have time to make something with it immediately after making your morning juice just store it in the fridge, and it should keep for a couple of days. His question got me thinking about what else I could do with the pulp I had just saved from my morning juice and so I started researching and came across this lovely recipe. I decided to give it a go with the ingredients I had on hand at home, and since I'm packing up the flat at the moment in preparation for the big move to Doha on Friday I improvised a bit.

The pulp I used was from a orange, carrot, apple, ginger, and parsley juice, I sifted through it to get as much of the parsley out as possible. So here is the recipe and I hope you try it out next time you make a juice. If you want to give the muffins a go and don't have juice pulp just grate some carrot, apple and ginger and leave out the orange and parsley!

Ingredients (makes 12)

2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I made my own, see recipe below) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon cinnamon 3/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup chopped raisins (or whatever dried fruit you have on hand) 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds Filtered water 2 cups unsweetened soya milk (or non dairy milk of your choice) 1 teaspoon vanilla (fresh from the pod or extract) 1 1/2 cups juice pulp (or grated fruit) 2 tablespoons date syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

My Improvised Gluten Free Flour Recipe

Blend 2 cups quinoa flakes until it becomes a flour like consistency. Then add 2 tablespoons coconut flour, and 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour to it. The End.

So back to the muffin recipe...

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees celsius. Grease the muffin tins, I would not recommend using muffin cups as I did because the muffins stick to the paper! Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and add the sunflower seeds and raisins. In a separate bowl mix the chia seeds with about half a cup of hot water, stir well and add the soya milk, date syrup, and vanilla. Then add the fruit pulp and another half cup of water, and mix well for a couple of minutes. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix together. Then spoon the batter into the muffin tins, place in the oven and leave to bake for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a metal rack. Enjoy!