Healthy

Healing Savoury Turmeric Pancakes

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The past two weeks have been quite intense for me as I've been recovering from a concussion. I've been feeling rather nauseous followed by migraines, shoulder and neck pain so as a result I've been eating and drinking as much turmeric, ginger and cacao as possible to help heal myself naturally. As I was feeling much better today I was inspired to make us some savoury pancakes for brunch and decided to add in some turmeric, as a precautionary measure for the pain, and I'm pleased to say that they ended up tasting great (husband approved) so thought I'd share them with the world!

If you haven't heard of all the incredible healing properties of turmeric here's one example. It's a great anti-inflammatory and has been used in many cultures for hundreds of years due to these specific effects which are caused by the chemical curcumin, that gives it the prominent yellow pigment. Recently studies have shown that it's just as effective as taking synthetic anti-inflammatory medication and when combined with black pepper it's bioavailability is boosted making this wonderful golden spice much more potent and effective in healing the body.

So here's a quick recipe which is 100% plant based, gluten free and wonderfully healing. You can get inventive with the toppings and add whatever you have at home. we had left over mung bean curry from dinner last night so decided to use it again, this can be substituted with cooked lentils, chickpeas or left out completely and enjoyed simply with the avocado and cherry tomatoes.

       

 

 

 

Ingredients (Makes 6)

Pancakes

  • 3 flax "eggs" (1 flax "egg" = 1 Tbs ground flaxseeds : 3Tbs water)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Couple pinches Himalayan pink salt
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

Toppings

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Cooked mung beans/lentils (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Make the flax eggs by combining the ground flaxseeds with water in a bowl, stir to get an even consistency and place in the fridge to set (about 10-15 mins).

Heat up your pan (preferably a non toxic non-stick pan like these) on medium - high heat.

Combine all the pancake ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Once the pan is nice and hot pour a ladle full of the mixture into the pan, using the back of the ladle to spread the batter out making it nice and even. Leave to cook for 3-4 mins, then flip and cook for another 2 mins. Repeat until you've finished all the batter.

Heat up the coked beans or lentils if you're using them. Pour 1/2 the lime juice and a pinch of salt to the thinly sliced avocado . Put the chopped cherry tomatoes in a small bowl along with the rest of the lime juice, sesame oil and a pinch of salt & pepper.

Add a little bit of each topping to your pancake and fold it over for a fancy looking crepe or add A LOT of each topping and eat it messily (my preference).

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!

Meat or Beet Burgers

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I made these juice pulp burgers when I was still in London and decided to post the recipe up as I had a lot of people ask me how to make them. I was inspired by  The Whole Pantry App, and would recommend buying this app if you haven't already, not only is it filled with amazing healthy and delicious recipes, there are also a bunch of very insightful articles, and the proceeds go to charity!

So if you've been juicing a lot of beetroot lately, or if you just want to try these out and have a beetroot juice as an added benefit give this a go. I had made a batch of beetroot, apple, carrot and ginger juice earlier in the morning and saved the pulp in the fridge so that I could have these for lunch. To be honest I didn't know what to expect and was quite dubious so I invited my neighbour Caroline (who I miss dearly) over to try out with me and we were both very pleasantly surprised!

Ingredients (Makes 4)

1/2 onion - diced handful of fresh parsley - chopped roughly 1 clove garlic - minced 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon paprika 5 tablespoons ground chia seeds 1/2 cup water

Juice pulp of: 2 medium beetroot 2 carrots 1 apple small piece of ginger

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Squeeze the pulp over a sieve to remove any extra juice.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, making sure the chia seeds are mixed in evenly.

Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture for each burger and shape the patties with your hands.

Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat.

Leave them bake for approximately 50 mins, turning them over half way through.

Remove them from the oven when done and serve with a minty yoghurt sauce, a bun or a green salad.

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!

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!

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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!

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!

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Daal

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I just whipped this up for lunch today with the few bits of food I had left over from last weeks shop and thought I would share it as it was so scrumptious! I find that when I'm limited on ingredients I'm obliged to get creative and most of the time surprise myself. This is essentially a vegan recipe but I had it with a bit of natural set yoghurt and dried mint.

Sweet potatoes have so many benefits, so here are just a few, they are rich in magnesium, iron, and Vitamin D, so your energy levels will increase and you are less likely to get stressed out! Red peppers are a great source of antioxidants, and Vitamin C which aids with the absorption of iron so the two ingredients work harmoniously well together.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil 2 cloves garlic (minced) 1/2 large sweet potato (thin slices) 1/2 red pepper (cubes) 2 teaspoons curry powder 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1 teaspoon ginger powder 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar 1 cup tomato passata 1 cup boiling water 1 cup yellow split peas sea salt and black pepper to taste Chives

Heat up the coconut oil in a wok on low heat. Place the minced garlic in the pan and let cook for a minute, then add the sweet potato. Once the sweet potato is coated with the garlicky oil add the cubed red pepper and let it cook. Add the curry powder, cumin, and ginger powder and stir everything together and cook for 2 minutes. Then add half of the boiling water to the wok, and all the tomato passata, then the rest of the water. Now add the chilli and turmeric powder, brown rice vinegar, salt and pepper and stir it up (little darling....) Add the split peas, turn the heat up to medium and bring the broth to a boil. Then reduce the heat and leave to simmer (uncovered) for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally. When the 20 mins is up, cook for a further 5 minutes with a lid on, then turn off the heat and let it sit for a couple of minutes. And finally, serve with freshly cracked black pepper, chives. Enjoy!