Goji Berries

Chocolate Chilli Overnight Oats

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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.

Pistachio & Rose Amazeballs

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I started doing weekly specials about a month ago, selling the food products I make for catering jobs, or at home. I never imagined I would be selling my amazeballs, cashew milk, banana bread etc, but my friends and clients kept asking so I thought I'd give it a go! And I couldn't be happier, not only do I get to share my food with more people, which is what I love doing, but I've also met such wonderful new people! It has made me realise just how much people in Doha do want good, organic, whole, plant based food.

One thing I've sold almost every week and have been playing around with is what I call 'amazeballs'! They are the perfect little treat to have around as they all filled with pure goodness, no added sugars, fillers, words you can't read, let alone say, and my husband loves them, which is a good excuse to make them all the time. The different variations I've sold so far have been chocolate orange with maca, goji berry with flaxseed , and pistachio & rose with spirulina, which is this weeks' special inspired by my Iranian background and a little bit, but not really, valentines day.

Once you have the consistency of the base down, which is basically raw nuts, dates, and a superfood (this is optional, but so much better added in) then it's easy to experiment with flavour combinations etc. If you don't have all the ingredients, it's ok, you can sub it for something similar, or leave it out all together. Goji berries can be substituted for cranberries, medjool dates can be substituted for any other soft dates, raw honey can be substituted for date syrup or maple syrup etc, and you don't have to roll them in anything, they're also great just on their own.

P.S. I'm not really one for celebrating valentines day, I think that if you love someone, be it your family, friends or your other half, you should shower them with love (and amazeballs) every single day!

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Ingredients (makes approx. 20 pieces)

  • 80 grams raw, unsalted pistachios (peeled)
  • 50 grams goji berries (see notes above for substitutions)
  • 50 grams dried figs
  • 100 grams medjool dates
  • 60 grams unsweetened desiccated coconut (organic, preservative free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rose water

Toppings (optional) 1/2 cup dehydrated rose petals, or dried rose buds 1/2 cup desiccated coconut

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Amazeballs mudra!

Method

Place pistachios in the food processor and pulse until they are crumbly.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor, except for the toppings, and blitz on a medium speed for about 20 seconds then go to high speed for about a minute, until you have an even consistency (this will vary depending on how powerful your food processor is).

Scoop out approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time, squeeze in your hand, and roll into a ball gently with the palms of your hands.

Prepare the toppings (optional) by using a spice mill, or pestle and mortar, to grate down the rose petals to a similar consistency as the desiccated coconut.

Mix the 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut and the rose in a small bowl, and roll the amazeballs in the mixture. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes (if you can resist) or eat as is! They should keep in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks, but they'll probably be eaten up way before then!

Enjoy and share with all the people you love in your life!

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If you are based in Doha and are interested in knowing more about my weekly specials, head over to my instagram or facebook page for more info! 

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!

Raw Chocolate Madness Pt. 1

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Yesterday I decided to finally try and make some raw chocolate, I had saved a fair amount of recipes and drooled over far too many photos of delicious and nutritious chocolate. According to my recipe research I knew that you can either use cacao butter or coconut oil to make raw chocolate, and since I had both on hand I embarked on a little experiment in The Vegetarian Treehouse Kitchen! I must confess that the finished product seems a lot more fancy and sophisticated than the process. There are very few ingredients required and once you have the basics down you can work with what you have on hand!

So the first test was with coconut oil, and the one thing I had in mind was the Chocolate Nut Butter Cups I had seen on The Whole Pantry App, so I read through the recipe and gave it a go. I changed it slightly according to what I had, i.e. tahini instead of nut butter, and I added in a few extra spices.

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Raw Tahini Filled Chocolate Cups 

These guilt free antioxidant packed beauties will melt in your mouth and work wonders for your skin, digestive and immune systems, as well as providing your body with all the essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Maca is the epitome of superfood, it balances hormones, promotes mental clarity, alleviates depression, migraines and anxiety while boosting your body with calcium, Vitamin B1, B2, C and E - the list is endless! So enjoy these guilt free deliciously nutritious treats knowing that you are nourishing your body with every bite!

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Ingredients (makes 8)

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup 100% pure cacao powder

1/4 teaspoon himalayan pink salt / sea salt flakes

2 1/2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons maca powder (optional)

tahini

cinnamon

handful of goji berries / cacao nibs for topping (optional)

Combine the cacao, salt and maca in a medium sized bowl, then add the melted coconut oil and honey and whisk well so there are no clumps.

Prepare some mini muffin cases (I used reusable silicone ones) and pour 1 tablespoon of the chocolate mixture into each case and place the moulds in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm.

Remove from freezer and spoon 1/2 teaspoon of tahini in the centre of each case, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top and place back in the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.

Once the tahini has firmed up slightly, remove from the freezer and top each chocolate case with 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture, and goji berries or cacao nibs ,if desired, then leave to set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Remember they are raw so serve immediately or store in the fridge until you're ready to eat them.

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!