I like nothing better than to bastardise recipes that uses ‘traditional’ ingredients. Sugar? Raw honey or maple syrup will often do. White flour? Buckwheat, einkorn (not strictly gluten-free but tends to be more tolerable than regular white wheat flour) or almond flour will often do the trick. Cow’s milk? Almond, coconut or soy milk can be great alternatives. If using cow’s milk I’d go for full fat, organic and ideally non-homogenised. The less tampering the better.
So the other morning I decided to experiment with fresh ideas for puddings (that’s dessert for you non-UK readers) that ticked all the boxes yet tasted sweet. Lovely assignment and the fun bit of writing a food blog – you get to try, taste and eat a lot of different things. Which is great as I love food! Pancakes are a big hit in my family and always have been. Which is both good and bad. Good, because I know my children love the prospect of eating pancakes. Bad, when it tastes in any way different from the ‘normal’ ones.
The key to making tasty pancakes, I think, is to cook them with butter. I’ve tried coconut oil but it simply doesn’t taste right. So I use organic butter and a lot of it. As a filling, I mashed a banana and grated one of the gazillion apples I got in my weekly Abel&Cole juice box. I don’t quite know what to do with them all so this was an excellent way of diminishing my supplies. I topped it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Although not the best looking things (big, fat sausages springs to mind) they tasted delicious and the children really liked them. I didn’t mention the bit about gluten-free to them either :) Here is what went into them:
Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancakes
3 tbsp almond flour (ground almonds)
3 tbsp buckwheat flour
1/2 cup coconut cream
Butter for cooking
1 apple, grated
1 banana, mashed
sprinkle of cinnamon
honey to drizzle
Mix ingredients for pancakes together until you have a smooth batter. You may have to add a bit of flour or cream depending on consistency. Make pancakes in a pan, cooked in butter, as per normal until you have a few stacked up. Mash up the fruit, add cinnamon and honey and fill each pancake with the mixture and roll up. Drizzle with lime and serve. If you have soft fruit you can substitute the apple for strawberries/raspberries or blueberries mixed with banana.
There’s generally not an awful lot going on in my fridge on a sunday night which means that whatever is left from the weekend tends to become my dinner. Tonight was no exception. I still had plenty of kale from my Abel&Cole delivery (they give you a mountain of kale in their juice box) so I chopped a stick of celery, shredded a carrot, added half a can of organic chickpeas and made my favorite dressing, a ginger & sesame combo which I’ve bastardised from a recipe by Kris Carr. Timeless and gorgeous. I massaged the kale and veg mixture with some sea salt and olive oil to get the stiffness out of the kale (this only takes a couple of minutes but it makes all the difference so it is well worth it) and then poured the dressing generously over the lot. Simple yet delicious. X
3 large stalks of kale (remove the thick stalks, just use the curly leafy bit)
1 stick celery, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper
10 mini coctail gherkins
1 carrot, grated
1/2 can organic chickpeas
1/2 head of steamed broccoli
1″ piece of ginger root
2 tbsp mellow miso paste
1 tsp sesame oil (go easy)
Dash of soya or tamari sauce
1/2 lime (but I had run out and used 1/2 lemon, still good)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
sea salt to taste
Wash all veggies and remove coarse stalks from kale. Place all veg apart from chick peas (unless you like them mushy) gherkins and broccoli in bowl and start massaging mixture with a dash of olive oil and sea salt to wilt kale that can be a bit rough if left to its own devices. Once ‘massaged’ add the chickpeas, broccoli florets and gherkins and set aside.
For the dressing I use a hand mixer and the tall, thin jug that comes with it. It is perfect for making liquids. Place all ingredients for the dressing in the jug and blitz with the hand mixer until everything is thoroughly mixed and has turned into a dressing like consistency. Some like a stronger taste of sesame and others the taste of ginger so play with the flavours to find out what works for you. If too thick add more water but be aware – a little goes a long way. Pour over the vegetables and enjoy this filling plate of goodness on a sunday night. Enjoy! x
After a day at school my daughter is starving at pick up time – so god forbid I bring the WRONG SNACK! You know what I’m talking about. The familiar fine line between healthy yet sweet is a tricky one to navigate so therefore shop bought sticky fruit snacks can seem like a good alternative. Once in a blue moon I vow to change all this, normally after a long school holiday when all seems fresh and new. Out goes the white flour, sugar and other naughties lurking in the cupboard, to be replaced by buckwheat flour, einkorn, stevia and honey. Today’s recipe got the thumbs up by my sweet crazed daughter who was very happy when I waited for her at pick up with these biscuits. They are quick to make and taste delicious. Hope you’re children enjoy them as much as mine. Happy Thursday. X
Pick Up Oat biscuits
Makes about 12-15
100g organic butter
2 dl gluten-free oat flakes
2 tbsp mixed ground nuts (brazil/walnut/cashew/almonds)
1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (sunflower/pumpkin/flax/chia) *
1 dl honey/stevia
1/2 dl maple syrup
1 tbsp organic full fat milk/coconut cream
1 dl buckwheat/einkorn/gluten-free flour
1 tsp baking powder
Set the oven for 175C. Melt the butter and pour over the oats, let sit for a few minutes. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and finish with the egg. When you’ve got a nice, gloopy texture take a spoon and dollop out on a baking sheet – not too close to each other as the mixture with spread to become large saucer shaped biscuits. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden. Take out and cool on a wire rack. To make these slightly moorish, melt dark chocolate in a Bain Marie and when melted, brush each biscuit with the melted chocolate and let harden. Enjoy! x
*I grind the seeds so that they disappear into the biscuit mixture. If your children are ok with visible seeds you can leave them intact.
Some days, only comfort food will do. After an alarmingly early morning wake up call to drop off my son at the coach for his school trip to France, I returned home ravenous. Perhaps it was the early morning darkness, the cold, damp air and slight trepidation that my eldest was going abroad without me? Whatever it was I needed stodge.
I don’t know about you but in my book there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot porridge. Growing up in Sweden, porridge WAS breakfast. These days I don’t put jam in the middle like I used to and I use almond milk instead of cows milk, but apart from that it still makes me feel that all is well in the world. And porridge can be bastardised to whatever mood you’re in – some days I swap oats for brown rice or quinoa depending on what I feel like and what’s left in the fridge. But when I do use oats I tend to buy gluten-free flakes from the supermarket – I prefer to stay mainly gluten-free as it just seems to work better for me. Today’s recipe has lots of nuts and seeds included too – I love the feeling of getting through all the good stuff without really being aware of it. As most of it is ground up it just becomes part of the porridge. Here’s my Nutty Porridge recipe for you this Monday morning. Have a great day! X
Ground flax seed
Ground chia seed
1 cup gluten-free oat flakes
2 tbsp ground nuts + seeds (almond, brazil nuts, cashews, sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
1/2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 LARGE tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 small apple, grated
Cook porridge according to package instructions. When done stir in 1 large tablespoon of coconut oil until dissolved. Add the ground nuts and seeds, including the ground flax seeds and chia seeds (I keep a jar of ground nuts in cupboard – when it runs out I just re-grind more so that I’m always ready to add to smoothies or porridge). Grate an apple finely and add to the porridge mixture, top with milk (I use almond but do whichever you prefer), walnuts and flaked almonds. Top breakfast with all nutrients you need for the day ahead. X
I’m loving the fat and juicy beetroot available in the markets right now and they cost next to nothing. I juice the whole lot, leaves and all, to maximise the detoxing qualities of this amazing root vegetable. It will add a sweet, earthy flavour to your brew which makes for a nice change. Beetroot increase the liver’s production of detoxifying enzymes, whilst betacyanin (that which makes the beet red) has antiviral and antioxidant qualities. What’s not to like about that? Kids are back in school, life is returning to normal and there is no time like the present to stay healthy. Here’s my Thursday recipe. Enjoy today! x
1 HUGE beetroot with leaves
3 celery sticks
2 lemons, peeled
Big handful of spinach
3 big handfuls of chopped kale
coconut water for diluting
Juice the lot and add as much or as little coconut water as you prefer – some may not like any. x
Check out Joe Cross‘s film Fat, sick and nearly dead. It is a fascinating documentary available from Netflix that follows Joe Cross, a fat, sick and nearly dead Australian business man, drive across America with a mission on his mind and a juicer in his boot. After sixty days of green juice fasting he had not only shed the pounds but also reduced his medication to a bare minimum too. With his easygoing style and gentle, human touch he shares his mission with those he meets along the way which makes for both touching and hilarious viewing. Compulsive too – my kids found it fascinating!
His documentary has inspired thousands of peeps worldwide to start a healthier lifestyle by adopting a (mainly) plant based diet and incorporating juice fasting as a regular detox tool whilst making Joe a bit of a hero along the way too. Bring it on!
Closer to home and according to a study made by the Global Burden of Disease study, published in the Lancet medical journal, 67% of UK men and 57% of UK women are either overweight or obese. Those are BIG statistics! Let’s get juicing people and share the good and the natural this beautiful planet has to offer. Happy Tuesday! x
Make a daily green juice or two.
Add more fresh vegetables to every meal and cut out white pasta, rice and potatoes when you can.
Have a meat free day a few times a week.
Eat in season.
Eat organic and/or local.
Ditch the sugar.
Avoid processed food.
Drink plenty of water.
Be kind and love more :)
Green juice is BIG! It’s official! Celebrities are being photographed with green juice in hand, leaving yoga studios and juice bars, whilst attributing their good looks, clear skin and lean bodies to the drinking of vegetables. Green juice has certainly made the shift from niche to mainstream. Junk is out, juicing is in. But the truth is that a lot of juices being sold in our supermarkets and health food shops are still loaded with naturally (and sometimes not so naturally) occurring sugars in order for the green juice to ‘taste’ nice and not put people off (bad for sales).
Yet the origins of vegetable juicing was never about taste buds or the right ‘mixology’ but rather the healing and restoring of our bodies. When you put good stuff in, there is simply less room for bad stuff. By refuelling and alkalising we become more energetic, boost our immune system and feel MUCH better. And this, dear people, we can do at home – with our juicer and a LOT of well-chosen vegetables. There are many sites that focus on raw juicing, juice cleansing and detoxing and some fantastic recipes concocted by people who have suffered real illness yet are now disease free. And it is true, some green juice recipes do not taste brilliant, I’ve got to be honest, but you drink them for the purpose of health and vitality. A soft drink it aint! Have a look at Raw Juice Cleanse Recipes, Kris Carr and Juice Recipes and get inspired. I will regularly feature key vegetables for juicing and their benefits to our health.
Let’s start with celery, my favorite juice base and snack. There is so much more to this humble vegetable than what initially meets the eye. Rather than being a cruditee waiting to be dipped, it has all kinds of health benefits when juiced that we can all benefit from. Due to its high water content it also lends itself perfectly as a juice base for a variety of green juices. Just make sure you buy organic – otherwise this lovely veg tend to be treated with lots of pesticides. Here is a little lowdown:
The Benefits of Celery*:
- Calms the nervous system
- Can be used as a sleep aid for insomniacs. The effect is cumulative so drink a celery juice daily to get some shut-eye.
- Reduces blood pressure by relaxing the muscles in and around the walls of the arteries.
- Lower the levels of stress hormones which can have a detrimental effect on blood pressure.
- Post work out aid. Have a celery juice after a strenuous exercise routine to replace lost electrolytes and minerals.
- Contains Vitamin B1, B2, B6, C.
- Rich in potassium, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, iron and essential amino acids.
* courtesy of the RawJuiceCleanseRecipe blog.
The Green Swede Celery Juice with Ginger and Kale
1 head of celery (oh yes)
2″ piece of ginger
3-4 stalks of kale (do not include stems, just leaves)
Juice the lot and consume on an empty stomach. Without the added hassle of digestion, juice can work its magic directly without interference. Wait about 30 min. before eating. Have a happy, healthy and wonderful Sauturday! X
So here it is! I’m a mother, a devoted juicer, sometimes vegan and most of the time a conscious eater. My children? Not so much. I cook mainly with organic vegetables, meats and dairy and I also use gluten-free bread, pasta and flour. However, all goodness is hidden – otherwise they don’t want it! Yes – no ‘conscious’ eaters here. I hide pureed veggies in sauces, I pretend the toast is normal when it’s gluten-free, the coconut yoghurt is served as ‘normal’ yoghurt, the pancakes are made with almond flour and coconut etc. The truth is that my children would run a mile if they were told to drink a green juice. Go figure!
Luckily my daughter’s friend stopped by yesterday and look excited when I brought out the juicer and the kale. ‘I love kale’ she said. My daughter almost fainted. ‘You LOVE kale?’ she inquired shocked and in disbelief. Fast forward 20 minutes and sure enough they were all having a ‘toast’ with green juice which I managed to get a picture of. It may be the last time it happens. The friend loved the juice, my children gagged. I think I need to put a bit more apple in next time but I’m going to persevere – seeing a friend eating/drinking something is obviously 100 time more effective than me asking. So there you are… Happy Wednesday! x
Don’t miss a sneak peek at this yummy recipe for portobello burgers from Tara Stile’s soon-to-be-released book, Make Your Own Rules Diet!
via Make Your Own Rules: Tara Stiles’ Maple Portobello Burger.