London

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.

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!

No Regrets Shakshuka (Baked Eggs)

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I had a busy morning the other day running around trying to get things done before I leave to Doha, and by 12pm I still hadn't had anything to eat so I decided to have a go at making shakshuka as I'd kept hearing about it. I took it as a sign to challenge myself at making something new. I did a bit of recipe research and looked deep into my fridge and spice cupboard and managed to round up most of the ingredients (and add in a few in too). If you've never tried baked eggs before, I would recommend giving this recipe a go, you won't regret it.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 teaspoon coconut oil 1 yellow onion (sliced) 1 clove garlic (minced) 6-8 leaves cavolo nero 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon harissa or chilli powder 1 yellow/red pepper (diced) 1 cup tomato passata 4 eggs small piece of feta couple of sprigs of thyme sea salt and black pepper to taste 4 corn tortillas (optional)

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Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized frying pan and add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the cumin powder, paprika, harissa/chilli powder and stir it up and let cook until fragrant. Then add the yellow/red pepper, cavolo nero, and 1 tablespoon of water and let cook for another 2 minutes. Pour in the passata, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Then add a couple of tablespoons of water, cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Make some space in the tomato sauce for the eggs, and crack the eggs into the pan. Then crumble some feta with your fingers and scatter over the pan. Place the pan in the oven and leave to bake for about 10 minutes, or until the whites have cooked. Take out the oven, sprinkle with thyme and enjoy! *You can serve them with some bread, or I had mine with corn tortillas mmm...

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!

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!

Brown Rice Beetroot Risotto

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Making risotto with brown rice is not only healthier but it's also a lot easier, because instead of having to stand over the pot stirring constantly, you pretty much just leave it to cook for about an hour. The brown rice adds a nuttier flavour to the risotto, and is packed full of Vitamin B1 and B6. The vibrant colour that comes off the beetroot is not only a feast for the eyes. Beetroot helps detoxify the liver, lower blood pressure, and is a sustainable source of energy due to the natural sugars which are gradually released into your body. If you buy the beetroot with the leaves attached please do not throw them away as they can be used as a side salad or you can sauté them with a bit of garlic and chilli.

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

Ingredients (Serves 4)

2 medium sized beetroots* Coconut oil 1 yellow onion 2 garlic cloves 2 cups short grain brown rice* 4 cups vegetable stock Zest of 1/2 a lemon* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese Sea salt and black pepper to taste Few sprigs of flat leaf parsley.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Wash and scrub any dirt off the beetroot, and place in a glass baking dish. Melt down about a tablespoon of coconut oil so that it turns to liquid and drizzle over the beetroot. Pop the beetroot in the oven and let cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. Heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot. Dice up the onion, put it in the pot and let it cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Mince the garlic and add it to the pot with the lemon zest, stirring occasionally. Then add the brown rice and toss to coat. Slowly add all the stock in and bring the rice to a boil. Then reduce to low heat, cover and leave to simmer for 50 minutes. Once the beetroot is done cooking take it out the oven and leave to cool down a bit. If they are organic you don't need to peel the skin off but if they aren't I would recommend peeling off the skin, which should be quite soft by now. Then cut the beetroot into small cubes and stir them into the risotto and let cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and mix in the parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Roughly cut the flat leaf parsley and sprinkle on top of each serving. I like to have a bit more parmesan cheese at the table for my guests to help themselves to. Enjoy!

Baby Swiss Chard and Kohlrabi Salad

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This is a quick and easy salad bursting with flavour and nutrients. I was inspired to make this salad after I made a portion of the tamari almonds from The Whole Pantry App. If you don't have time to make the tamari almonds I have suggested an alternative dressing you can use. You can also replace the baby swiss chard with baby spinach leaves or a salad of your choice. Kohlrabi is a rich source of Vitamin C (even better than oranges), and potassium. It tastes a bit like lettuce hearts but sweeter and juicier. If you haven't tried it I would recommend giving this crunchy and nutritious vegetable a go, you can even use the leaves separately as a substitute for kale or any other leafy green.

Salad Ingredients (Serves 2)

2 handfuls of baby swiss chard/ baby spinach 1/2 bulb kohlrabi 3/4 sprigs of thyme 1/3 cup tamari coated almonds/raw almonds Extra virgin olive oil Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Wash and drain the chard. Dice the kohlrabi, you can peel the skin if you think it is too thick but I prefer to leave it on. Take the leaves off the thyme. Place all the ingredients in a salad bowl and top with the tamari coated almonds, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. *If you don't make the tamari coated almonds then you can use raw almonds and the dressing recipe below.

Tamari Salad Dressing

2 tablespoons tamari 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar Pinch of salt & pepper

Put all the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake to combine, then drizzle over the salad.

Tamari Coated Almonds Recipe (serves 8) - From the Whole Pantry App

180 grams raw almonds 60 ml tamari 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar 720 ml filtered water 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with the water and sea salt. Leave to soak over night. Preheat the oven to 60 degrees celsius. Rinse and drain the nuts, coat with tamari and coconut sugar mixture. Transfer nuts onto baking paper and place in the oven. Bake at 60 degrees celsius for 4 1/2 hours, turning occasionally to coat and dry evenly.

Curried Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

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I have started juicing a lot of vegetables lately and when I do, I save the pulp from the juicer, which is full of fibre, and try to reuse it. It seems like such a waste not to, and if you know me you will know that one thing I hate is wasting food. So the original recipe was made with carrot, fennel and ginger juice pulp but you can also make it with grated carrot, fennel and ginger too. I made this soup the other night for some friends and accompanied it with some delicious fresh Turkish bread from the shop up the road.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 medium butternut squash 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1/2 yellow onion (diced) 2 cloves garlic (crushed) 2 teaspoons curry powder 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon turmeric 2 carrots (grated) 1/2 fennel bulb (grated) 1 relatively large piece of ginger (grated) 1 litre vegetable stock (I use Marigold) 1/2 cup yellow split peas Chilli infused olive oil or olive oil & chilli flakes 6 stalks Tuscan kale/cavolo nero (de-stemmed) Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small pieces, season with salt and pepper, place on a lined baking tray and pop in the oven for 20 mins. Get your largest soup pot and heat up the coconut oil in it. Then place the onion in the pot and let cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes, followed by the crushed garlic. Add all the spices and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the grated vegetables/juice pulp and leave to cook for about 5 minutes until the flavours infuse. Then add the vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and with a handheld blender, blend the soup into a nice smooth consistency. If you are using juice pulp I would recommend sieving out the soup into a large bowl after blending to avoid having pieces of ginger fibre in the smooth soup. Put the pot back on medium heat and add the yellow split peas, and salt and pepper to taste and then let cook for at least 25 mins. In the meantime de-stem the kale so that you are left with the leaves. Just before you serve the soup, put a pan on low heat and warm up the chilli infused olive oil/olive oil & chilli flakes and quickly cook the kale for approx. 2 minutes. Divide the soup up into bowls and place the kale on top. Enjoy!

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

Coconut Sugar Ricciarelli Cookies

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The first time I tried Ricciarelli was a couple of weeks ago at a friends house and it was love at first bite! When I found out that they were homemade, gluten free and easy to make I had to have the recipe, so he wrote the steps down on my phone and I've been waiting for a chance to make these ever since. They are crunchy with a divine chewy centre.

I decided to alter the recipe to make it ever so slightly healthy as it calls for quite a lot of sugar. So my version uses homemade coconut icing sugar instead of shop bought icing sugar. Coconut sugar has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar because in contains inulin which apparently slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood, though this doesn't mean that it is ok to have it all the time as it is still sugar!

Coconut Icing Sugar Recipe - inspired by this

coconut icing sugar

5 cups coconut sugar 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)

Put the arrowroot or cornstarch in a blender or food processor for about a minute or until the sugar grinds down to a powdery consistency. Keep the lid on the blender/food processor until it settles or your kitchen will be covered in powder. **This will make more than the required amount of sugar needed for the recipe so you will have some left over to use later on.**

Ingredients (makes approx. 20)

250 grams ground almonds 250 grams coconut icing sugar / regular icing sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 2 organic free range egg whites 1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg whites until they are semi-solid. Add the vanilla to the dry ingredients. With a metal spoon fold the egg whites into the dry ingredients until you get a sticky even texture. Scoop a walnut sized piece of dough and roll it into a ball then gently flatten it in your hands, place on a lined baking tray and shape into a diamond shape. Continue until you run out of dough. Sprinkle them with a bit of icing sugar and pop them in the over for 10 - 12 minutes. Once they are done take them out the oven and leave on the baking tray to cool. If you try to pick them up too soon they will fall apart and not set properly. (I can assure you that this is the hardest part of the recipe). And finally...enjoy!