Watercress, avocado & passionfruit smoothie

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

Green shakes are a great start to the day, possibly none more so that those containing superhero, watercress. It does wonders for cleansing the liver and brightening the skin and eyes, amongst other things. The good news: veg shakes (genuinely) taste delicious… provided the fruit ratios and options are right! The passionfruit, cucumber and watercress give this recipe a refreshing tang, while the avocado, mango and almond milk make it creamy and filling. Frozen fruit not only adds to the creaminess, it makes more sense in winter.


Feeds 1


200ml coconut or almond milk – I like Rude Health
100ml coconut water or water
1 good fistful of watercress
50g / 1/4 cucumber
50g / 2 tbsp frozen mango
1/2 avocado
1 passionfruit
1/2 tsp spirulina – optional


Put all ingredients in the order listed above into a blender and blitz. I use a stick blender for speed and minimal early morning washing up.


The beauty of shakes is that, once you have the fruit to veg ratios sussed, pretty much anything goes. Swap ingredients depending on what’s in the fridge, in season, your hunger levels or dietary requirements.

Nut butters and milks are filling and protein packed, although OD’ing probably won’t help your waistline. You can add a scoop of whey (sweet and inoffensive) or hemp (not to everyone’s taste but dairy-free) protein powder for a low fat hit that fills you up all morning.

I like Pulsin protein powders as I’m told they don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients.

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.


Feeds 1


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


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 

Seasonal Seducer: Mango

Posted in: Uncategorized

Most attractive features

King of fruits, mango is rich in dietary fibre, Vitamins A, C & E, potassium, minerals, and antioxidants. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and really does help us see in the dark (thank you, Vitamin A).

Why we fell in love

Because it tastes so good it really shouldn’t have any health benefits what so ever. Mango is also found to protect against leukemia, colon, prostate and breast cancers. It’s even said to clear pores when used externally. There appears to be no end to The King’s talents…

The jam co-operative

Posted in: Uncategorized

I had an early induction on street food. Pioneering in nutrition, my mum would pitch up in a salubrious Black Isle (a peninsula on the Scottish Highlands) square every Saturday to sell home grown fruit and veg. Decent varieties of which were harder to come by without the use of the Inverness ferry (and a very long queue) in the, ahem, 1970s.

Netherton Farm Jam & marmalade

Not limited just to veggies, I’d help mum sell our home-made jams, chutneys, marmalades and spun wool (I kid you not) from the neighbour’s burger van. The rest of the week Pat would use said vehicle to supply highlanders with gourmet venison burgers; you see, we Scots don’t just eat deep fried Mars bars!

In those days street food was somewhat less en vogue; one well-heeled village resident promptly enlisted the local bobby to deal with the mobile people. I can only imagine the shame at Granny Mac’s charity lunches; wasn’t procreating with a Spanish drummer rogue enough? Mindful of his duties, our diligent PC promptly marched over to Mrs Garcia-Macintyre and with a broad Scottish accent, and a hint of a chuckle, demanded a passion fruit.

One area where Rebel Garcia and Matriarch Macintyre et al saw eye to eye though, was on the caliber of preserves we purveyed. With the help of a 1929 MAFF guide, mum’s marmalade at least, has never been cause for debate.

The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food, HMSO Bulletin 21: Home Preservation of Fruit & Vegetables.

Ministry of Agriculture, Farming & Fisheries Guide

Mother Garcia’s cherished (and sous chef crayoned) 1970’s copy talked her through jamming, canning and bottling in preparation for the winter months; and a Wholesome Seduction child is born.

Mrs Garcia now serves her wares, along with Netherton Farm eggs (more free-range than I feel is entirely necessary) with Wild boar cross Tamworth sausages and bacon at B&B Netherton Farm.

Netherton Farm Eggs & Wild Boar Sausage

My Home-made soda & tahini bread, Wild boar cross Tamworth sausages, Netherton Farm eggs and Mum’s chutney.

It’s getting a little late in the day but you should still be able to get your hands on Seville oranges for MAFF Marmalade next week.


Seasonal Seducer of the month: Blackberries / Brambles

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Vitamin C, vitamin K, phytoestrogens, allagic acid, fibre, magnesium… A blackberry (or bramble in Scotland) ticks all the boxes, it would seem.


Don’t let those prickles put you off. We just had to get to know this berry a bit better and every inch of us was won over. Our skin loves the ultraviolet protection provided by its ellagic acid. Our immune systems love the vitamin C (one cup is 50% of our daily recommendation). And our stomachs love the anti-inflammatory qualities.

Then there are phytoestrogens to help reduce food cravings and vitamin K to to aid calcium absorption and keep our blood clotting properly. But it doesn’t end there. Even the leaves are good: make them into tea and they’re said to reduce inflation in our mouths and throats.

Seasonal Seducer: Rhubarb

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Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy. Oh, and the Chinese think it can help to cure gastric cancer.

We’ve got nothing against apples and pears, but after months of them being the only fruit in season, we always get a bit excited when rhubarb time comes around again. The fact that it’s really a vegetable doesn’t dampen our enthusiasm one bit. But, whilst change is always good, that’s not the only reason we love rhubarb. Taking a leaf out of the Chinese book (they’ve been using it for centuries in their herbal medicine), we love that it can sooth our allergies and reduce our inflammation too.