Creamy superseed and coconut butter

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Relentlessly moreish, filling and self-righteously nutritious, almond butter has been one of my storehouse staples for many years. Slathered on toast, dolloped into smoothies or mainly, scooped from the jar pre or post training, yoga or surfing. This is the iPhone 6S to the 4, upgrade now. To retain the health benefits, I keep most of the ingredients raw, but toast 1/3 of the nuts and seeds for extra flavour.

Coconut-superseed-butter

Makes: A vat, you may want to halve measures

INGREDIENTS

400g almonds
200g sunflower seeds
150g pumpkin seeds
250g peanuts or cashews – both delicious, although peanuts are much cheaper.
3 tbsp coconut oil – in this recipe I use virgin / unheated for a stronger coconut flavour
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt

METHOD

In a 180 degree oven, lightly toast 1/2 the almonds and cashews until the edges start to brown with the centres remaining white when you bit in the middle. Approx. 6 mins.

Toasting gives a more intense nutty flavour. I like to keep some raw so as to maintain as many nutrients as possible, without compromise to flavour, but you can swap as you wish.

Using a Magimix or wide based blender:

This recipe couldn’t be easier: add all ingredients and combine.

After 1 min, stop and scrape down the sides.
If making a crunchy nut butter, remove 1/3 of the breadcrumb consistency nuts and set aside. If you like a smooth butter, there’s no need to do this.

Continue blending, scraping down the sides every minute or so, until the nuts release their own oils and the butter loosens – 6 mins upwards, depending on the power of your blender.
For crunchy, return the retained 1/3 of nuts to the finished nut butter at the end and combine lightly; be sure not to overblend or you´ll get a smooth butter.

Using a Vitamix or tall blender:

You’ll need to go more slowly and carefully so as not to clog and overheat the blades. Start with half the almonds and all of the oil (Vitamix seems to need liquid, annoyingly) and continue to add through the top hole as the nuts blend fully.

I go pretty slowly on a low number setting and scrape down the sides every 30 secs or so.

Spooning-nut-butter

Your nut butter will keep in sealed jars for several weeks, although I imagine it will be long gone before then; this has passed the taste test with countless people, it’s seriously addictive.

 

Maple roasted roots with Stilton & walnuts

Posted in: N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Loaded with winter goodness, this is a crowd pleaser for carnivore and vegetarian guests alike. Served at room temperature, it has a particularly special place in my heart for allowing me to prep in advance so I can focus my efforts on the perfect mulled wine. I’ve done a mix of veggies here, but you can equally double up on sweet potatoes and drop all other roots. I’ve opted for an orange dressing with stilton and walnuts for a nod to the festive season, but feel free to sub for your favourites.

Maple-roasted-roots

Feeds 6 as side

INGREDIENTS

3 sweet potatoes
4 medium sized carrots
4 beetroot
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric (for anti-bacterial gut health)
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt
70g stilton or blue cheese
Fistful / 50g walnuts, lightly dry toasted in a pan or oven – a couple of mins
1 tbsp dried cranberries

Dressing

Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
Himalayan pink or sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp crushed, dried chillies – optional

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Slice carrots and sweet potatoes lengthways into wedges and beetroot into quarters. Line, skin side down onto a baking tray and roast for approx. 35 mins, gently turning the veg a couple of times throughout. You’re aiming for crispy wedges; soft in the centre with slightly charred edges.

Roast-veg-prep

Set aside the veg to cool slightly – you don’t want them to turn to mush by adding the citrus and olive oil too quickly. Mix the dressing ingredients.

In a large bowl gently combine the dressing with the veg (I use my hands). At this stage, you can set aside in the fridge for the flavours to develop.

When ready to eat / prep, transfer veg to a large platter, layering with the cheese, cranberries and nuts. Topping with parsley also adds colour and freshness.

Serve as a main for vegetarians and / or alongside your turkey or meat of choice.

Raw chocolate & Cointreau mousse

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized

No refined sugar options seem to be the latest health trend consuming the nation, so what to do at Christmas? Super creamy and chocolate rich, this is seriously delicious; your taste buds will feel in no way cheated – I can’t quite stress this enough! Thanks to the lack of nasties and abundance of good stuff (vitamins, minerals, unsat fats etc), it won’t leave you in a food coma or relentlessly scrambling for the Quality Street bucket. It also takes 10 mins to make, tops. Although not obligatory, the addition of Cointreau comes highly recommended.

Raw-chocolate-&-cointreau-mousse

Feeds: 6 – 8

INGREDIENTS

2 avocados
2 tbsp cacao powder
4 tbsp / 100g cashew nuts
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
300ml water
1 tbsp Cointreau or juice and zest of 1/2 orange

METHOD

Blitz all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix until smooth and creamy. Transfer to small glasses or bowls and set aside in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. Beware, it’s pretty rich; chocolate shots are probably the way to go…

Easiest Christmas ever. Ho ho ho.

Cacao nut energy bites

Posted in: DF, Featured, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Another relentlessly popular snack worthy of a re-post. Packed with nothing but (seriously) good stuff, these were a crowd pleaser at a recent Lululemon event and an energy staple on my Tarifa Yoga Holidays. They’re even a winner at parties, in fact, energy bites are fast becoming the new chocolate brownie of cafes. Nutritionist colleague, Kate’s added her recipe to our Gather & Gather meetings and snack range. So much more productive than a sugar or crisp crash and burn ‘pick me up’. This is my version.

Energy-balls

I’m not a huge fan of overly ‘datey’ flavours so have given options for (wholesomely seductive) maple syrup and added a pinch of sea salt for a healthy take on salted caramels. Think: protein, fibre, antioxidants, no refined sugar, raw, coconut oil, dairy and gluten free etc etc. I’ve used cup measures to save scale faffing; they really are very easy.

Makes 15 balls or 20+ bites

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (6 tbsp) pumpkin & sunflower seeds
1 dsp linseed and / or chia, split 50/50
1.5 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp almonds or almond butter
2 tbsp maple syrup or 3/4 cup pitted dates, I find most people prefer maple syrup
2 tbsp dried cranberries – adds a tart sweetness… that’s not datey :)
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp maca (for added energy) – optional
Pinch Himalayan or sea salt
1 dsp desiccated coconut for coating – if making into balls

METHOD

Blitz seeds (including linseed / chia) and almonds until they resemble chunky breadcrumbs – around 30 secs. If using almond butter, add this with other ingredients after whizzing seeds. Sorry Vitamix, but I find Magimix infinitely more efficient on drier recipes.

Making-energy-balls

Add remaining ingredients and mix for a couple of mins until you have a sticky dough. Roll into pieces smaller than a golf ball and coat in the desiccated coconut set aside earlier.

Or for ease, you can press into a tray and slice into squares after chilling. Either way, put straight to the fridge to retain the shape.

They keep for a while so I make double quantities and store for pudding or as a snack to tide me through exercise. Indulgence doesn’t get more virtuous.

 

Coconut & mushroom scrambled eggs

Posted in: DF, S, SF, V, WF

Crunchy yet creamy; seductive yet wholesome; filling yet bloat free; these are scrambled eggs as, I’d hazard a guess, you’ve never had them. I’m addicted. Knowing my appreciation for his native nut, and Wholesome Seduction, #ChefRaheem of Old Harbour Hotel in Kerala worked his magic on countless coconut incarnations for ‘Madam’. Every one created with health and healing in mind. Raheem’s an artist and doctor all in one. And my unfailing inspiration.

Coconut-scrambled-eggs

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

1 dsp coconut oil
2 eggs
Dash coconut (or cow’s) milk
Salt and black pepper – I like sea or Himalaya pink salt
½ carrot, grated
1 tbsp mushroom, or spinach. Or both.
1 tbsp desiccated coconut

Optional extras:

1 tbsp spinach, finely sliced
1 dsp cabbage, finely sliced – I like this for added crunch
¼ onion

METHOD

On a medium flame, set coconut oil to heat in a frying pan. Meanwhile whisk eggs with milk and salt. Set aside.

Sauté carrot and mushroom (+ any other optional extras) in the hot coconut oil for 1-2 mins – you want the veg to remain crunchy.

Add whisked eggs, stirring until cooked and fluffy. Add in most of the desiccated coconut, remove from the heat immediately and serve.

Top with the remaining coconut and a side of roasted tomato or toasted rye bread. I like Village Bakery for taste and because there’s no added yeast (yeast = bloat and lethargy for me).

ChefRaheen-and-Vineetha

Click here for why I fell in love with coconut oil and here for the best ones to buy

Pea, kale, fennel & smoky bacon soup

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, V, WF

If kale really isn’t your thing but you want some of its (biblically proportioned) health benefits, stick it in soup. While the freshness of the pea in this old classic is retained, the antioxidant, fibre and nutrient dense kale adds a meaty, heartiness which is perfect for fresh spring days and, should you so wish, summer slimming prep. Soup’s also surprisingly quick: this takes 15 mins.

Pea, kale, fennel & smokey bacon soup

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 rashers smoked bacon – optional, the fennel seed gives this lots of flavour
1 onion, chopped
3 tsp ground fennel seeds
500g frozen peas
1 ltr Boullion or chicken stock
200g chopped curly kale, stalks retained
Sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

Set 1 dsp of the oil to heat, then fry bacon until it starts to brown. Remove and set aside. Add remaining oil, followed by onions once hot. After a couple of mins stir through ground fennel seeds.

Once onions have started to turn translucent, add in kale, then stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins. Add peas and chopped bacon and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Remove from the heat and blend. I use a hand blender for ease and minimal washing up.

Return to the heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

3 things for a happy, healthy new year

Posted in: Uncategorized

Don’t diet this new year, feel healthier, happier and springier with my top wholesomely seductive tips. Xmas-Excess and the cold, shorter days leave me desperate for a re-charge. My body’s creaking through yoga and cycling, even dog walking’s less springy. This time last year I blogged The Anti-diet. The Wholesome Seduction way of life that’s bursting with flavour and makes us feel and look our best. Without dieting. I live by this, mindful of 3 key things:

Hail the Kale, Bench cafe.

EATING IN. EATING OUT. EXERCISE.

Anyone who’s attempted to cut out certain ingredients, detox or just eat more healthily, will know this isn’t always easy when on-the-go in the UK – Nope, crisps and chocolate aren’t part of our #eatclean menu.

The bottom line: We need to be prepared. Most of us are super busy so having a bank of quick and easy recipes is key. Over the coming weeks, I’ll blog my Top 5 green breakfasts, brunches, suppers and packed lunches. Including recipes for entertaining, along with my favourite clean, green eats restaurant, The Good Life Eatery.

And because how we feel is about more than what we eat, I’ll share workout wear to inspire, nip and tuck even the most lethargic and style conscious amongst you.

In the meantime:

Here are some of my go-to recipes and products for feeling healthy and cutting down on the stuff that makes us feel like we’ve been hit by a truck:

From the streets: Rude Health dairy-free milks and Coconut oil and Coyo yoghurt.

Recipes: Watercress, avocado & passion-fruit smoothie, Sticky sweet potato wedges, Broad bean & cashew pesto, Quinoa, feta & toasted seed salad, Orange, almond & chocolate cake, Cranberry & lemon amoretti (yes, these count!).

 

Almond, orange & cranberry granola

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

You can’t go wrong with granola, loved by all and packed with nutty goodness, this is wholesome seduction at it’s best. The ideal start to your day, oats famously provide slow release energy and fibre, while the nuts and seeds are packed with protein, vitamin E, Omega-3 and minerals, magnesium and phosphorus. Even the coconut oil not only adds creamy deliciousness, but does wonders for your skin, hair and digestion (more info on why I fell in love here). As if that’s not enough, this recipe contains no refined sugar and, I think, tastes even better for it. Crunchy nut, creamy coconut and juicy cranberries; the perfect boxing day breakfast?

Granola

INGREDIENTS

3 cups oats – I like 2 of rolled oats and 1 of rye or buckwheat flakes
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup linseed
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1 tbsp almond or sunflower oil
1 tbsp coconut oil – you can also sub for sunflower oil
2 tbsp agave, honey or maple syrup
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 orange, juice and zest
1 cup flaked or desiccated coconut
1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Warm coconut oil in a small pan until it becomes runny, then add in all wet ingredients: honey, agave, oils, cinnamon and orange juice plus zest.

In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients except for the coconut and cranberries. Stir in the syrupy oil and transfer to two baking trays, flattening out your mix to a 1 inch flapjack approx.

Cook for 25 – 30 mins, stirring a couple of times so the top doesn’t burn. Add in the coconut flakes around 10 mins before the end.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins before breaking up. You should have chunks of crispy, flapjack granola. Store in an airtight jar or container.

In winter I love this with Coyo yoghurt or Rude Health almond milk and a green shake. You can’t beat the tangy berry, crunchy granola and creamy yoghurt combo in summer, when fruit’s at it’s best.

Follow with my Mushrooms with poached egg & spicy sesame for a long, lazy brunch.

Cacao, nut & berry super shake

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Super shakes are fast becoming as key to a cafe menu as coffee; even Pret’s now in on the cacao & almond milk smoothie action. As such, I’ve been developing recipes for yoga pop-ups, independent cafes and the somewhat larger, Gather & Gather. This is my favourite.

It’s hard to restrict the reasons to love this shake to just a few words, but the fact it tastes like chocolate milk and is actually good for you, is probably key. It’s also super quick to make (-5 mins) and can be eaten on-the-go so ideal for busy schedules. In terms of health tick boxes, think: protein, energy, anti-oxidants, vegan, no refined sugar, dairy free blah blahhh wheat free blahhhh. One friend’s even convinced cacao kick starts her day more than coffee; tall order but I like it.

cacao,-nut-&-berry-shake

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

1/2 dsp coconut oil
2 tbsp frozen berries
1/2 banana (frozen if possible)
1 dsp cacao
4 dates
1 dsp almond butter, tahini or peanut butter
150ml almond milk – I love Rude Health
200ml water

METHOD

If the coconut oil’s set (probable unless you live in a tropical climate), transfer to a cup immersed in hot water. Leave to melt while you make the smoothie.

Put all the remaining ingredients in the order listed above to your blender – I use a stick blender to keep washing up within 1 minute.

Blitz till smooth, add in the melted coconut oil and blitz again.

Tip: Frozen fruit works particularly well in smoothies, adding a thick, frappe like texture. I keep bananas in the freezer for this very reason. It also eliminates the black banana overnight syndrome.

For reasons I recommend Rude Health’s almond over all others, click here: From the streets: Rude Health dairy free milks 

Storehouse Seducer: Coconut oil

Posted in: DF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

MOST ATTRACTIVE FEATURES

This one’s a keeper like no other. Said to boost energy levels and metabolism (cue: calorie burn) and promote thyroid health and weight loss (tall order…). It can fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections including candida; there’s even evidence to suggest the effect of Alzheimer’s may be reduced and type 1 and 2 diabetes improved.

green-coconut

Athletes and fitness freaks dollop it in their shakes for sustained energy levels. And beauty experts smother it on their skin and hair to combat skin conditions and maintain glossy locks. Coconut oil is indispensible inside and out it seems.

WHY I FELL IN LOVE

By no means a new kid on the block, coconut oil won South East Asian hearts centuries ago. Catching on to the countless virtues, it now seems there’s not a health or fitness savvy man or woman in the UK who can live without their daily fix.