Posts Tagged With: raw food

Cool Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

This soup is a real summer cooler, not something you can regularly say about a soup.  Its creamy (without cream) and hearty (without potatoes and butter), all down to our raw friends the cashew nut.  What a wonderful thing they are.  They make great cheese, milk and add wonderful richness to all things they grace.

Raw soups can be very hearty actually, adding sprouted grains helps and a few nuts or seeds go along way to building a full texture, bags of veggies also make a big difference.  It always impresses me how much goodness you can squeeze into a soup/ smoothie/ juice.  My juice this morning had around 10 different fruits and vegetables (beetroot, carrot, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, spinach, apple, ginger, sweet potato YUM!)  I have to say, afterwards, I was feeling quite high on the stuff.  High on food!  Juice on an empty belly is a magical thing and gets the ZING going in the AM.

This mornings super juice

This mornings super juice

This soup has so many good flavours in there (we love the horseradish especially) as well as being superbly nutritious.  We have been using olives a lot this month instead of adding more salt, they add a natural saltiness to dishes.  So this is a salt-less soup.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER

Cucumber in anything is cooling, it has that lovely quality which is perfect for a sweltering summers day.  I am a hot blooded creature and therefore the British summertime is a little tepid, but yesterday did  seem quite steamy. This soup made for a perfect dinner.

The cooling effect of cucumber is put down to cucurbitin and fatty oils found in the seeds that has a soothing effect on the body.  Cucumber is great for sunburn and can also have a cooling effect when made into a juice.   So drinking cucumber juice is just like putting coolant into a car!

THAT ‘RAW FOOD’ FEELING

Now that we have been eating raw food for over two weeks, our appetite has generally decreased, more accurately our cravings for sugar have decreased.  I find myself better balanced and not snacking hardly at all, certainly not craving coffee or alcohol or sweet things.  I forgot how powerful the raw diet is and how it impacts much more than just what you eat, you feel very different also.  Its like your charged with loads of clean energy and your brain is working at its optimum level and your body is thanking you all the time for being some damn good to it.  Its a pleasant place to be.

RAW FOOD EQUIPMENT

The only thing about getting started with a raw food diet is that you need the equipment.  We’ve gathered ours over a period of two years and are still short of a few bits and pieces.  We have added a dehydrator recently, which we have been enjoying.  A juicer is fairly essential and a food processor is important for all those soups and smoothies.  You could be raw without these gadgets, that is probably the next step for us!  Eating things that fall from trees and gathering berries from hedgerows.  That would be a really natural existence!  Without this equipment, I’d imagine it would be difficult, especially in Britain, to get a decent variety of textures and keep things interesting.  Munching on a raw carrot does have its limits.

Raw food equipment

Raw food equipment

Having said that, one of the best bits of equipment that we use is a humble peeler.  Known as a French peeler, it is vital in sorting out all these fruits and vegetables quickly and makes almost perfect ribbons of produce that can then be popped into salads or made into a raw pasta-style dish.

French Peeler – The Best!

Makes two big bowlfuls:

The Bits

1 1/2 cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 2 small green apples (cored and chopped), 1 lime (juice), 1 cup cashews (soaked for 2 hours or longer in filtered water), 1 cup green olives, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup basil, 1 tbs horseradish, 2 tbs nutritional yeast flakes, 2 cups filtered water (more if needed)

Do It

In a food processor, blend your cashews first, until a thin paste is formed (add soaking water a little at a time), add the rest of the ingredients and a cup full of water.  Blend for 30 seconds and check consistency, it should still be a little chunky in places, add more water and blend again if required.

Serve

With a splash of brilliant, fruity olive oil and a pinch of cracked black pepper.

Foodie Fact

Cucumber has many beneficial properties, it is anti inflammatory and moisture regulating, as mentioned above, it also has cooling properties.  These are the reasons that cucumber is used in beauty products and the like, it smooths the skin and gets rid of dead skin cells.

Cucumber is also full of dietary fibre and is great for people suffering from heartburn, ulcers,acidity etc, for this reason it also helps with constipation.  It’s good for the joints, the kidneys and helps in the digestion of proteins.

Cucumber also has plenty of vitamin C and folates and like the vast majority of veggies, it contains a vast amount of other nutrients.  Overall, cucumber is a serious superfood!

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Categories: Raw Food, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Coconut and Almond Pad Thai (Raw)

Pre-dress – Coconut and Almond Pad Thai (Raw)

‘Tis a grey day in Wales and the streets of Bangkok seem a million miles away. There’s a little man, who moonlights as a pole dancing call girl (it is Bangkok) who makes the best Pad Thai, just off the hellish Kaosan Road. He whips it up in seconds, with his vivid painted blue nails and long fake eyelids.  It normally contains little dried shrimps and eggs, which we don’t add, but the rest of the ingredients are so simple and classically Thai. I can’t help thinking that making Pad Thai wouldn’t be such a bad way of making a living (preferable to moonlighting as a pole dancing call girl anyway!).

This type of Pad Thai recipe has been in my mind for a while and Jane just kick started me into getting it done.  I knew I wanted coconut in there somewhere, to make up for the flavours of shrimp, fish sauce and egg, but it needed something else.  I sought inspiration on the interweb and found a great recipe at the taste space food blog.  Just add almonds!  The missing ingredient had been found and I was off.  I always think of Spain with an almond, so mixing Spain and Thailand seemed like a very interesting proposition.

This is a taste sensation, as you would imagine from anything faintly Thai.  Thais food knows no mediocrity, over cooked veggies or insipid stews.  Its all fresh and POW! over there.  This is as Jane commented “real gourmet stuff!”  Not bad for a salad!

Pad Thai Vendor

I have added a few luxury ingredients that are not your everyday larder staples, but they are well worth the investment.  The tamarind is not necessary and if you have no almond butter, you can use peanut butter instead.  Tamarind is easy to find in most places and inexpensive.  Check out your local world food store.  If you can’t get your mitts on a fresh coconut, use pre-packed or I daresay desiccated will do.

For the salad itself, you will need a sharp knife and a French peeler.  Really, no cooks drawers are complete without one, so it’s a wise purchase.  You will save years of your life peeling things, they are so easy to use and in this recipe, double as an ace veg noodle maker.  Yes, no noodles here, just veggies.  Making it super healthy and crunchy.  You can use some kelp noodles as a base if you are in a rush, this salad does take while to get together.  Kelp noodles are really interesting and taste fantastic, not disimilar to a noodle.  They are also completely raw (aka good for the belly and body).  They are widely available and well worth an experiment.

The salad base will be good with other things like carrots, cauliflower and apples for instance. We have gone for something a little closer to home i.e. whats in the fridge.  We don’t like the dressing to be super sweet, but you may add a little more honey if you are a sweetie.

The kitchen is still full of the aroma of this intense dressing and the salad not only tastes wonderful, but is a rather sexy little number to boot!  It’s a looker.

This is the perfect summer salad to impress your friends (if they need any further impressing) and to treat your nearest and dearest to a taste of Thailand with a twist.  It is ideal served as a main course, but could also make a super side dish or starter.  Basically, you need to try this, however its served!

Chopped Ginger

Makes one big bowlful of good Thai lovin’:

The Bits

I know this looks like a hefty amount of ingredients, but don’t fret, its easy peasy really….

Salad/ Noodles – 1 large courgette (ribboned), 1 head of chicory (very thinly sliced whole), 1 red pepper (very thinly sliced, or julienne as they say in kitchens), 2 sticks of celery (ribboned), 2 handfuls of finely grated white cabbage, 1 big handful of sprouted mung beans (we used sprouting aduki beans also), 1 orange (peeled and chopped small), 1/2 a small coconut (chopped into small chunks), 1/2 cup smashed up peanuts (roasted if you’re not a raw one), 1 lime, heavy sprinkle of sesame seeds, 1 lime (for serving).

Dressing – 3 tbs tamari (or soy sauce), 2 teas honey (make runny by mixing in a little hot water), 2 cloves minced/ crushed garlic, 1 inch of finely chopped ginger, 1 chilli (finely diced),  juice of 1 big lime, 4 dates (soaked until soft), 1 tbsp tamarind paste (we chopped up, then mashed up whole tamarinds into a paste with a little warm water), 1/2 cup of almond butter (we make our own using soaked almonds and alot of blending, plus a little water.  You may use peanut butter here), sea salt (if you like, we don’t).

Do It

Ribbon and chop all your salad bits and get them into a lovely big bowl.  To ribbon easily, keep your fingers out of the way and bring the peeler down in smooth, firm motions.  Flip the veg regularly to ensure it is evenly peeled and by the end, you should be left with only a little slither, which can be sliced and tossed in also.  Reserve a few of the peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut for serving later.

In a blender, add all of your dressing ingredients and whizz up for a few minutes until a smooth texture has formed.  Taste it and adjust accordingly, normally the decision will be, sweeter or not?  It may need a little more lime, use the lime reserved for serving.

Mix the dressing into the salad, gently does it, some of those ribbons are quite fragile and look great when served whole.  Dish up with a big smile and be prepared for some yummmmmssss!

Coconut and Almond Pad Thai (Raw)

Serve

Sprinkle a few peanuts, coconuts and sesame seeds and finish with a little twist of lime juice.

We Love It!

WOW.  A really stunning salad.  Jane said it was “more than lovely,  INCREDIBLE!  This salad is genius…..”

Foodie Fact 

Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes.  It has been served in Siam (Thailand’s old name) for thousands of years, but was made popular by president Luang Phibunsongkhram in the 1930′s.   He wanted to lower the consumption of rice in Thailand, which was making good money being exported, and therefore promoted Pad Thai as being proudly Thai and virtuous.  He set about educating the nation in making rice noodles, especially the underpriveleged, training them to sell Pad Thai dishes selling them in small cafes or from street carts.  This may have something to do with the amazing array of Thai street food in modern day Thailand.  Cheers Luang!

Now for a blast of Thai blues from my favourite bar in Bangkok, the legendary ‘Adhere Blues’ bar:

 

Categories: Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Green Leanie Smoothie

“The green leanie, lives on its back, the green leanie, loves chimney stacks, he’s outrageous he screams and he bawls, the green leanie, let yourself go…..ohhhhhhhhhh”  I’m sure Bowie would approve of such a smoothie.  He’s looking good for an oldie.

Here is a smoothie that really gets you flying in the morning.  Leave the espresso on the side and quaff one of these green beauts, you’ll be zinging ’til lunch.

When its early in the day and our bodies are just waking up, the last thing the want is a mass in the belly to digest.   That’s the good thing about a smoothie, its basically pre-digested!  Sounds disgusting, but is true.  The blender does alot of the work your digestive system would have done, meaning the nutrients are there to be had with very little effort.  Smoothies are a gentle way to nourish yourself, your body will love you for it.

I know what you’re thinking, another green smoothie!  But this one has a very different flavour and green happens to be my favourite colour.  I remember a massive advertisement campaign when I was a nipper, ‘a Mars (insanely sweet and rubbish chocolate bar) a day helps you work, rest and play’.  That seemed to be the nutritional advice heeded by many folk when I was younger.  Well heres a new one, highlighting our evolution as a species, ‘a green leanie a day will help shine, smile and basically feel a heck of alot better about everything’.  Not as catchy, but true enough for us.

A green smoothie per day is brilliant for you, ‘green’ meaning containing green leaves (ie kale, spinach, spring greens etc).  A good blender really gets to work on the fibre, breaking it down into easily absorbed particles.  They act as a blood toxifier, are high in enzymes and minerals and are low in cholesterol.  They are also full of chlorophyll, which makes your skin glow and flushes out baddies, like disease and toxins.

Enzymes are an important part of our diet, our body over time does not produce enough to replenish our system.  We use enzymes when digesting food and without the adequate level, do not absorb nutrients efficiently.  When you drink a green smoothie, you’re getting a shot of pure enzymes.

Smoothies are ideal for packing nutrients in, we need as many as we can get.  Following you’re five a day is fine, but you could always make it ten!  Why not?  The more the merrier.   In one smoothie we can fit in the nutritional equivalent of three vegetable based meals.  These smoothies contain no milk, just water.  Jane and I prefer them like this, they taste cleaner.  This is also the ideal type of smoothie if you fancy a bit of  detox.

So smoothies are the way forward for us all, it will take a little change in culture, but I can see smoothie bars being more popular than your corner cafe in the future.  The French will be sitting on boulevards sipping shots of wheatgrass and kale smoothies from elegant glasses.  This is the future…….

This combo arose out of one of our fruit bowls (we need more than one at the minute, we are munching loads of fruit) and the veg drawer.  The combination of bits in a green smoothie is wide and wonderful.

We love to serve our smoothies in nice glassware, show them some love, so does our lovely friend freeflowfoodie, a blog with amazing energy and of course, smoothies in funky glasses!

Green Leanie Smoothie

This makes a large blender full.  Good enough for breakfast and lunch.

The Bits 

1 handful of spring greens, 1 handful of spinach, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1/2 handful of mint leaves, 1 stalk of celery, 1 inch cube of ginger (finely sliced), 1 handful of chopped canteloupe melon cubes (any sweet melon really), 1 cup of clean water

Optional – Add bananas if you like sweet smoothie, add strawberries if they are in season, add fennel if you want to try something new (great aniseed kick there).

Do It

Blitz in a blender until smooth.  The better the blender, the better the smoothie.  It will be better broken down.

Serve

Straight into nice glassware or pour over a fruit salad/ bowl of cereal.

We Love It! 

The best way to start a day.  That’s it really.

Foodie Fact

Spring greens are actually young, tender cabbage plants, without the tough stem in the middle.  Spring greens are great veg for lowering your cholesterol, which is actually more effective when steamed.  When eaten raw they also contains sinigrin, a great thing for fighting the big ‘C’.

Categories: Blogs, Breakfast, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Detox, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Nutrition, Raw Food, Recipes, Smoothies, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Indo Coco Curry (Raw)

One bright day in June (the bright day in June), our picnic spot, above Beddgelert

So the raw food lifestyle is continuing in the Beach House, this is a good sign.  We have been feeling good and loving experimenting with raw foods, so we are rolling on raw well into July.

Our aim is to eat a lot of raw food, but soon start cooking again.  I cook alot at work, but its not the food that excites me, it seems a strange idea getting the pots and pans out again at home.  The oven, instead of the food processor.  I’m sure it will happen gradually and at the right time.  I still haven’t drank a coffee or any wine, again, it just seems like a strange thing to get back into now.  Those of you who have been on a raw diet will know how I feel.

It has been an atrocious June for weather, we’ve had a fire on most nights and the rain and wind has lashed down on our poor little seedlings.  Even with this wintery weather,  Jane and I have been perfectly happy with salads and cold food.  I think a full raw food diet (ps – when I say diet here, its not like a weight loss diet, just what we are eating) in winter is a possibility, whereas before I would have not considered it.  No hot soups!

One spoonful of this curry and we both exclaimed “This is the best yet!” Which is always a nice thing to hear about something.  This coconut curry has a lovely sweetness, the smooth richness of the creamed coconut and the gentle warming hint of garam masala.

We have not been eating a great deal of spice of late, the raw diet it not overtly anything really (bar amazingly healthy food). This dish added so much needed spice back to our lives.

I think this curry is a real winner this summertime. Raw food is, of course, perfect for a sunny day (which are rare in these parts, but hopefully on their way).  Summer is the ideal time to dabble with raw food and this Coco Curry would make an interesting salad to serve as a side dish at a barbecue or take for a picnic to a beauty spot.  It keeps well and is nice and quick to get together.

If you’re not a raw one, this will go very nicely with something like a cold rice salad.  You can even heat it up!  The flavours will still be amazing.  It can be thinned down for a lovely soup (just add a little stock or water)  and used as it is for a dipping and spreading.

The original inspiration comes from the brilliant British raw food book “Eat Smart, Eat Raw’ by Kate Hill, but I have dabbled with the recipe to bring it more into line with our taste.  That means more spice, more garlic, more ginger……..we like a big and bold flavour in the BHK.

Cauliflower can be used as a substitute for rice in the raw food world.  You just need to chop it up very finely, or stick it in a food processor, and it resembles rice but without the stodge factor.

The serving here is enough for four strapping individuals.  Jane and I saved some for lunch the next day.

The salad base, as you can see, we like ours chunky!

The Bits

Sauce – 1/2 tin of organic coconut milk, 1/2 a big avocado, 4 dates (pitted), 4 tomatoes, 1 carrot, 1 medium onion, 2 tbsp tamari (or soya sauce), 1 tbsp garam masala, 1 tbsp turmeric, 1/2 red chilli, 1 inch cube of ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 150ml water.

Salad/ Filling – 3 tbsp raisins, 2 handfuls of green lentil sprouts, 1/2 handful of chopped coriander (with a little saved for topping), 2 handfuls of spinach, 2 sticks celery (finely chopped), 1 carrots (finely chopped), 1/2 cauliflower (finely chopped), 1 handful of mangetout, 1/2 butternut squash (chopped into little cubes), the rest of your avocado.

The Coco curry pre-mix

Do It

Salad – We use a food processor, because it is so easy.  You lose the individuality of hand chopping, but it saves alot of time, especially when you’re eating raw foods and most of your days could be spent peeling and chopping veggies.  Most of these contraptions have a chopping and grating blade as standard that can come in very handy.  However on this occasion we hand chopped, just to be awkward!

So, put carrots, celery and cauliflower in food processor.  Chop up your butternut squash and avocado into small chunks and mix all of these with the other ingredients in nice big bowl.

Sauce – Chop all vegetables into manageable chunks for your food processor.  Ginger, garlic and chilli should be finely chopped.  Put it all into the food processor and give it a whirl.  Make sure you hold the lid down firmly to begin with, if its a small one like ours, it tends to jump around a little.

Indo Coco Curry (Raw)

Serve

Sprinkle on left over coriander, raisins and grated coconut (dessicated coconut is fine).  We ran out of coriander and forgot the coconut!  It would look grand though, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

We rarely have time for presentation touches as we are such scoffers!  In the bowl, quick pic then get stuck in!  Tends to be the order of eating affairs in the Beach House.

You could try it with some cauliflower rice (see above), it makes for an interesting change.

Foodie Fact

You may have heard that coconut is full of fat, well it is, but they are great fats!  Avocado, nuts, seeds etc do contain a high proportion of fats, but they do not harm your body like the fats in processed foods or donuts!

The fat in coconut does not raise your cholesterol levels like saturated fats in animal products.   It is actually the most health-giving oil available, you can buy coconut oil for cooking.  The make up of the fats is similar to mothers milk, the lauric acid (a fatty acid in mother’s milk) has antibacterial qualities.

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Dinner, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Sweet Pepper and Pomegranate Antipasto (Raw)

Raw Sweet Pepper and Pomegranate Antipasto

We felt like a little starter, something to nibble on.  Nibbles seem to be the new thing, judging by the snack section in our local supermarket.  We seem to becoming a nation of rampant nibblers (dipped in hummus of course).

Italians are the kings of the nibble, tied with the Spanish, but they tend to make it more of main meal, a la tapas.  Antipasto (translated as ‘before the meal’) is always the perfect accompaniment to nice glass of chilled something and good conversation as the sun is beginning to settle down.

This raw June (just passed) we have been mainly having large salads for dinner.  We didn’t manage to arrange a dehydrator for the month, which would have meant many dried, crisp goodies.  Instead we have normally opted for large bowls of salad, normally a green leaf based salad, a dip/ hummus/ raw cheese (something with a creamy texture), olives/nuts/pomegranate etc and one salad that is made of primarily harder fruit and veg (like this antipasto).  All this served with a lovely dressing.  The combination of these salads is tantalising!  We cannot get enough of them and have decided to extend raw June in the future……………our rawness may never cease!?

This is a clean and citrus antipasto dish that boasts fresh, fresh flavours.  The ideal pre-dinner plate to get the palate zinging.  The combination of sweet pepper, tomato and pomegranate is a taste explosion that is difficult to match.  If this little plate doesn’t liven up a dinner party, your friends may be comatosed!

The asparagus here was the last of the season from our local farm shop and very much relished.  It is not essential to the dish, but a real treat non-the-less.  The subtle flavour and crunch of raw asparagus will be missed until it re-emerges next year.

You can serve this with other antipasto favourites to make a platter, olives, artichoke hearts, chunks of cheese, marinated mushrooms etcetc.

Organic peppers and tomatoes will make all of the difference to this dish and your salads in general.  The organic veg flavour is infinitely better.

Thanks to Mimi Kirk and the brilliant ‘Live Raw‘ book for inspiration here.  If you live on a drab island like ours (where June resembles November) it is wonderful to leaf through the pages of this book and see the Holywood lifestyle and sunshine!  How I miss the sun.

Sweet, sweet tomatoes

The Bits

Antipasto 1 red pepper (sliced thinly), 1 yellow pepper (sliced thinly), 1 bunch of asparagus (cut into batons), 1 small pomegranate (seeds (or arils as they are called) only, no pith), 1 big handful of the sweetest plum tomatoes (we used red and yellow ones here)

Marinade – 4 tbs good olive oil, handful of fresh basil leaves, 1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed), a pinch of marjoram, oregano, thyme, basil, juice of 1 small lemon, 2 teas capers, pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper.

Do It

Whisk your marinade then combine all ingredients in a tupperware and mix together gently, don’t break up the asparagus and tomatoes.  Make sure all is coated with the marinade.  Leave in a fridge overnight or for at least a couple of hours to infuse.

Sweet Pepper and Asparagus Antipasto – So colourful, its worth a second look

Serve

On a nice big serving platter with whatever accompaniments you prefer.  You may like to add a little torn basil leaf as a topping and of course, some nice toasted ciabatta drizzled with olive oil if it takes your fancy.

We Love It!

It is so full of crunchy flavour and pomegranate in a salad is a revelation.  I’m not sure if my Italian friend would agree with such an addition, not proper antipasto they would say, but they only know what mama taught them!!!!  (Sorry guys)

Foodie fact

Most of us are aware that pomegranate is good for us.  You can buy it in juice form all over Britain, it is most definitely a super fruit of note, packed full of the antioxidant punicalagin which scavenges free radicals from our bodies.  Hooray!  One of my favourite pomegranate products is the pomegranate concentrate, it adds an incredibly intense flavour to anything it touches.

The worlds finest pomegranates are grown in southern Afghanistan, although I heard that Iraq had some tasty arils also!

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Local food, Lunch, Organic, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Nourishing Banana Smoothie

Banana Smoothie

Eat your greens.  Now they are real words of wisdom.

A clean and fresh smoothie that feels so good on the way down.  A green smoothie a day is a huge step in the right direction for a zinging, healthy approach to living, especially in the morning time when our body needs some real t.l.c.

This was a part of my little detox spell which went incredibly well.  It always amazed me, when we inhibit or restrict our diet in anyway the cravings or desire for that food just slips away.  That’s me anyway, I think I’m a lucky one!   When I make a clear decision to give up something that is blatantly not doing me any good (we all know what they are……booze, coffee, lots of fatty, processed foods) my body respects that decision and responds in a very positive way.  It is such a reassuring step in the right direction.

Smoothies do most of the breaking down that our bodies would normally do, making nutrients readily accessible to be snapped up by our bodies and make us shine.  This is why they’re such a wonderful thing early in the day.

This smoothie is so simple and effective for a morning super boost.  You can play around with the fruit and veg, just keep the quantities the same and don’t add and citrus fruit (remember the Raw No No’s!).

I always try and pack as much spinach into the blender as possible, I normally add the spinach last as it does not blend well.  As a rule, add your juicy bits first to the blender.

This smoothie recipe is taken from the raw food book ‘Live Raw’ by Mimi Kirk which I can recommend highly.  Mimi is a real foodie and some of the dishes would grace any fine dining restaurant (not that  they have anything to do with real food).

GOOD MORNING to you all……….

The Bits

2 bananas, 4 stalks of celery, 1 apple (quartered), 3 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 cucumber (cut in half), 1 1/2 cups of filtered water (add to your liking, ice will be nice in hot places)

Do It

Add all to a blender and blitz until nicely smooth.

Serve

In your finest glassware, add a slice of fruit of vegetable to give it that special finish, you can use it to scrape out the leftovers in the glass.

Foodie Fact

A good tip with fruits is, freeze them.  If you have a glut of something, get it in the freezer and use it whenever you like.  Great in smoothies as it gives them that lovely chilled touch.

Categories: Breakfast, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Detox, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Smoothies, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Raw Chocolate and Black Olive Torte

Raw Chocolate and Black Olive Torte

Now this one really blew us away.  An unusual sounding combo that works out in the most fantastic way.  The dark and rich cacao blends perfectly with the fruity flavour of the olive; which of course adds a beautiful, pureed texture.  This torte is moist and decadent and will convince any raw food sceptic, that raw food is not just about carrot sticks!  You can most definitely indulge.

One of the most surprising aspects of raw food has been the desserts.  They are a real knockout!  So full of goodness, you need to eat them in moderation.  The usual base ingredients of nuts and dried fruits means that  they are high in fats and sugars, but remember, they are all good fats and sugars.  Non of that processed and refined rubbish that is alien to our bodies.  These desserts are very, very good sources of energy.

The preparation of this torte is simple, but does take a little time.  We love using fresh coconut, but it can be a job getting into one (see the recent ‘How to dispatch a coconut’ post).  Once the coconut is sorted out, the rest is just an easy exercise in blending and enjoyment.

Psyllium husks are not your average larder stock, you may need to visit your local health food store.  They do make the whole mix set well.  I am sure it will be delicious without them, just a little soft around the edges.

This torte keeps well, even the banana in the crust seems to keep its colour and flavour.  We took it down to Pembrokeshire on tour and enjoyed slices of it whilst sheltering from the wind in our little orange tent.  These raw desserts are hardy.

This recipe comes from the brilliant ‘Eat Smart, Eat Raw‘ book by Kate Wood.   The recipe makes around 12 servings.

The Bits

Base – 200g fresh coconut, 125g ground cashews, 1 banana

Filling – 300g plain black olives (drained and pitted), 450g dates, 30g carob powder (or cacao powder), 1 tbsp grain coffee, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 180ml water, 2 tbsp powdered psyllium husks.

 

Our well used blender

Do It

Base – chop coconut in a food processor, add the ground cashews and process both until well mixed, put the banana in a chunk at a time until it binds together nicely (you may not need the whole banana).  Line the mix in a cake tin (around 9in).

Filling –  break down the olives in the food processor, add the dates and process until a paste is formed.  Then add the carob, grain coffee, cinnamon and vanilla and blend again.  Keep it running and add the water gradually, finally add the psyllium and after a minute turn off and immediately spoon onto the base before the psyllium starts to set.  Spread out evenly and leave in the fridge to firm for a few hours.

We Love It!

Yet another gourmet raw dessert.  At this rate we will be gaining weight on this raw diet (with big chocolaty grins on our faces).

Foodie Fact

Psyllium husks are portions of the seed of a plant.  They are mucilaginous, which basically means that  they thicken things up.  They are great for the colon and better blood circulation.  They can be used in vegan baking and help to bind mixtures together.   These husks are also used in a popular detox drink that involves clay, Bentonite clay that is volcanic and has many detoxing properties.

Raw Chocolate and Black Olive Torte

Categories: Cakes, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Detox, Gluten-free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Vibrant Gigglebean Stew (Raw)

Raw Vibrant Chickpea Stew

This may be the healthiest dish we have ever eaten.  I can only see stew this doing wonderful things for us and it tastes amazing (always a bonus).

I love the name ‘gigglebeans’, it’s is what Jane’s friend Alex calls chickpeas (or garbanzos, they have so many names!)  What ever we choose to call them, they are fine legume and a welcome addition to raw June at the Beach House.

We had tried previously to soak and sprout chickpeas.  I don’t think we have the heat here.  It has been a very strange season this year, our plants are not sure whether its winter or summer.  I know the feeling!  This may have affected the chickpea sprouts, as they don’t seem to like sprouting, they just swell up.  After soaking the chicks for 12 hours, we have discovered that they are delicious, even without a sprout.  It has been a revelation.  Nothing adds bite and vitality to a salad like a crunchy chickpea, jam packed full of nutrition and protein, they are a real gift from nature.  They are just like nuts, without the fats.

I am always compelled to add the flavours of India or North Africa/Middle East to a chickpea.  It just seems correct.  I have restrained myself this time as I am having a few days detox before raw June ends.  I feel quite amazing!  I have never been a fan of the word detox, but I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve dropped nuts and oils (fats in general) from what I eat and my energy levels have gone through the roof.  You wouldn’t imagine that, but it is true.  I went for a jog last night and I felt positively turbo charged.  I’m not sure if it is wise as a long term diet, but who knows.  I feel magic now.

This raw stew came together from the idea for a dressing.  It is definitely more of a stew, mainly due to the lack of leaves and the quantity of dressing.  The dressing itself can be used on most vegetables and you can add some olive oil and salt, if you are not having fun experimenting with the raw things.

In future I may add some fresh herbs to the dressing, a handful of mint of basil would be delicious.  But as I said, I’m trying to restrain myself at the moment and keep things relatively simple for the palate.

The combination of texture and colours here are a real feast for the senses, the flavours are light and understated, with the odd kick of chilli to liven things up.  Using apple cider vinegar here adds a nice tang to the dish. Overall a salad fit for any table and certainly fit for any body.

This will make a big bowl of salad, leftovers will get better in the fridge when left for a little marinate.

The Bits

We use the food processor for the grating

Stew – 1 cup grated swede, 1/2 cup chopped mangetout, 1 sweet potato (chopped), 2 cups sprouted (swollen) chickpeas, 1 cup grated courgette.

Dressing – 2 cloves garlic (one more if you are a garlic fiend), 1 inch of grated root ginger, 2 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 apple, flesh of 1 orange, 1/2 cucumber, 1 red chilli (of your choice, be careful with the heat!), 2 tbs olive oil (optional), pinch of sea salt (optional)

Do It

Cover the chickpeas well with water, they will swell up to more than double their original size.  Leave for 12 hours then drain.  You can eat them now if you like, if you would prefer them softer, add more water and leave for a further 12 hours.

Dressing – Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor and blitz up well.  Stew – Arrange/mix the salad and dressing in a big bowl.

Serve

For the final, super healthy boost, top with a generous handful of sprouts (mung bean or green lentil would be great).

We Love It!

After eating this salad, we felt our bellies sing!  Such a vibrant thing and full of only goodness.  The chickpeas really fill you up and you are left with a deeply sated feeling after this, no need for dessert or nibbles between meals.

Foodie Fact

Chillis are originally from Central America and are such a mainstay of Mexican food.  I remember eating raw chillis with my ‘Huevos Rancheros’ most mornings there.  My body seemed to get used to their potent effects.

Spanish and Portugese explorers (conquistadors) were originally responsible for making the chilli a hit on the world stage.   Chillis are well reknowned for their medicinal and health benefits.

Chillis contain an impressive number of plant based compounds that help to prevent disease and promote health.  The spice in chilli, a compound named capsaicin, is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic and lowers cholesterol levels.   Chillis are also rich in vitamin C, A and Beta-carotene, these help us counter the effects of free radicals created when the body is under stress or disease.

Chilli heat is measured by ‘Scotville Heat Units’.  Your average sweet pepper will get a 0,  tabasco sauce rates at 2,ooo-5,000, a mexican habanero weighs in at 200,000-500,00, but the hottest chilli in the world is the Naga Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) rating at a whopping 1,041,427.  Not surprisingly, the NBJ has been used in manufacturing weapons, being placed in hand grenades and pepper spray!

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Detox, Dinner, Dressings, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Lunch, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Cream Cheese

Raw Cream Cheese

This is as good as cream cheese gets, raw wise. I have to say that calling it a cheese is a little off the mark. But it’s as good as the plant world can do and does have the gentle sweetness of the cashew nut.  It certainly boasts more health benefits than your average mozzarella.

We have found this buttery cashew cheese to be a very versatile little number, great to add richness to dressings and as a base for many different dips (the cashew hummus being a real star, watch this space for recipe)

By adding paprika here, you may be able to recreate something of the taste of cheddar cheese.  We have not tried this method out, but it sounds interesting.  You can also have a go with some probiotic powder and nutritional yeast flakes, but this seemed like a longer process.  Time is of the essence this busy summer time.  We have a garden to tend and a lazy cat to stroke!

This will make good sized bowl of lovely raw cheese to enjoy.

The Bits

2 cup of cashew nuts (soaked overnight), juice of a lemon, 1/2 teas good sea salt, 1 tbs good quality olive oil.

Do It 

Place all ingredients (not olive oil) in a food processor and blend until smooth, trickle in the olive oil gradually, it should take around 5 minutes.  You will need to stop and scape the mixture from the sides and start again, this ensures all is blended nicely.  This will keep well in the fridge.

Serve

As you would with any cheese.  We have just used it to make a raw caesar dressing.  It is dense and packed full of richness.  We have also mixed some honey into this cheese and served it spread on fruits.

We Love It!

This is another recipe that we will keep making, it as great base for greater adventures in the raw cooking world.

Cashew Nut Tree

Foodie Fact 

The cashew nut tree is native to the Amazon rainforest and was spread all over the world by Portugese explorers.  The cashew nut hangs of what are called ‘cashew apples’ or the fruit of the cashew tree.

Cashews are high in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals and anti oxidants.  They also contain high levels of dietary fibre which will keep you ticking over…..(for our American readers, this is how we Brits spell ‘fibre’, you may notice other spelling changes during the course of this blog.  We call an Ax and Axe for example).

Categories: Cheese, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Black Olive Tapenade with Beetroot and Red Onion Salad

Beetroot and Red Onion Salad with Black Olive Tapenade

Tapenade is one of those things that we don’t eat enough of.  Everytime we have it, we say the same thing, “Why are we not eating more tapenade!”  It is delicious and is one of those classic summer dishes that reminds me of holidays in Greece and France.

I ate alot of tapenade at break times whilst picking grapes in Beaujolais.  We’d have it spread over warm baguettes, with local cheese and lashings of whatever wine was in the bucket (purely medicinal, it helped to dull the back pain you see).  I believe that the intense satisfaction I got from munching the tapenade pulled me through those back breaking times.  The wine was certainly nothing to get excited about, unfortunately.

This is a wonderful concoction of flavours that I’ve had a little play with (of course) and omitted the use of capers due to a forgetful moment at the shops.  The unique caper-ness has been replaced by the gorgeous sun-dried tomato.  Not a bad substitute!  I have also added raisins to add a little sweetness, the black olives can be a little bitter in these parts, Wales not being high on the olive producing charts.   The rest is fairly classic tapenade, forming a delectable black paste that can be spread or dipped as you choose.  I love this type of food, which is greater than the sum of its bits.

I normally think of Tapenade as being a Greek dish, but it actually hales from Provencal in France.  Traditionally this puree contains caper, anchovies, black olives and olive oil.  The French would normally serve it as an hors d’oeurve or stuff it into a steak.

Tapenade is alot like pesto (see our ‘Hazelnut Pesto‘ post) in that it is a joy to behold sitting in the fridge door.  It just hangs around and marinates, getting better and better.  It goes well in so many things and mixed with some oil, makes for an instant wonder dressing.  The best part is that it has a gourmet flavour with very little needed in way of preparation.

The way you chop up your veg has a major effect on the presentation and texture of a salad.  Have a little think before you begin to chop about what type of effect you’d like to create.

If you spend a little more on good quality olives here, it is well worth it.  The black variety are normally a little cheaper and in their own way, just as good as some of their greener brothers and sisters.

The Bits

Tapenade – 1 cup black olive, 6 sun dried tomatoes, 2 cloves crunched garlic, 1/2 red onion, 1/4 cup raisins, juice of 1 lemon, handful of chopped parsley, sprig of rosemary, pinch of thyme and oregano, glug of olive oil, cracked black pepper and sea salt (to taste), glug of olive oil (if needed)

Salad – 1 nice red onion (thinly sliced), 4 small beetroots (cut into eighth’s), 2 cups of spinach (chopped), 3 carrots (grated), 2 stalks celery (chopped), 1 cupful of sprouts (we used green lentil sprouts)

Black Olive Tapenade in the mix…..

Do It

Tapenade – Add all ingredients to a food processor and begin to whizz.  As it becomes sticky, trickle in some remaining olive oil to create a beautiful, shiny puree.  Keep in a sealed container in the fridge overnight for maximum marination (new word for you there!).

Salad – We put the red onion and carrot into a food processor and grated, then chopped the celery, spinach and beetroot separately.

Serve

Thin out some tapenade by adding the same quantity of good olive oil and whisking well.  You can lower the amount of tapenade if you’d prefer a lighter dressing.  Pour the dressing over the salad and give a good mix in.

Place in your favourite salad bowl and top with a handful of green lentil sprouts (see our ‘sprout‘ post for how to sprout your own, its quite simple).  Then spoon on some tapenade.

We have also used it to flavour soups and stews and of course in post June days we’d have it lathered on some warm oat bread.

We Love It!

This tapenade has a great balance of bitter and sweet, with the beautiful silky texture of pureed olives.

Foodie Fact

Olives are one of the oldest foods known, dating back 7,000 years.  Black Olives are left to ripen for longer on the trees, green ones are picked earlier, they generally have a milder flavour.  Olives are a good source of iron (which helps to carry oxegen in our blood) and are low in calories with plenty of good fats.  They do however contain a decent amount of sodium and should be eaten in moderation if you’re keeping an eye on salt intake.

Twelve black olives provide 1.8mg of iron.  Interestingly women need 18mg of iron per day and men only 8mg.

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Dinner, Dressings, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Lunch, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fair Hill Salad with Vegan Hazelnut Pesto

Local veggies

We live at 1 Bryn Teg (aka the beach house), Bryn Teg translates to English as ‘Fair Hill’.  I call it tiger mountain because of the stripes, but it doesn’t seem to be catching on in these parts.

So Fair Hill it is and this salad reflects what is growing near our little home.  Things are beginning to come into season and our local farm shop’s shelves are beginning to fill (thankfully).  We bought what they had and this delicious salad was born.  The combination of flavours worked surprisingly well with the pesto and it was even better the day later after having a good marinate in the fridge.

Broad beans (Fava beans) are special in any salad, they add a unique, nutty texture.  Texture is one of the key ingredients to a brilliant salad and ingredients should be selected accordingly.  Limp leaves are not the way forward!  Fresh and crunchy is the key, something that is exciting to in the mouth and on the taste buds.

We have been discovering the art of salad making this raw month.  Ingredients and dressings take on a completely different flavour when combined and subtle changes in flavouring can make all the difference.

Making a vegan pesto is tricky, without the pungent cheese, you just cannot recreate that unmistakable flavour.  I think this is a decent attempt, matured cheese is something that vegans just have to give up on.  You can buy those yeast cheese flake things, but I am wary of anything labelled as yeasty and cheesy.  I just don’t like the sound of them.

You do end up using quite a bit of herb in the pesto, but it is well worth it.

The Bits

Salad – 1 cup shelled broad beans, 3 handfuls of chopped sprouting purple brocolli (leaves as well), 1 sweet potato (peeled and grated), 1 courgette (1/2 grated, 1/2 cubed)

Pesto – 4 cups basil leaves, loosely packed, 1 cup fresh parsley, 1 – 2 tsp honey of your choice, 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper, 1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 cup hazelnuts (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed) 1 – 2 clove (s) fresh garlic, minced

Do It

Salad – Separate your broccoli florets from the stems and leaves, chop up.  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Pesto – Chop the basil and parsley until reduced to 1 cup basil and 1/4 cup parsley, blend all ingredients except hazelnuts until smooth.  Add hazelnuts gradually and continue blending, adding more olive oil as needed for desired consistency.  Check seasoning.

Thin down the pesto a little and mix into the salad.

Serve

Dress with a few of the brocolli leaves and a few more spoonfuls of the thick pesto.  Maybe a few leaves of parsley or basil if you are feeling extravagant!

Raw pesto salad

We Love It!

The glory of pesto!  Mix it in yoghurt for a tasty side dish, thin with oil for a dressing, mix with hummus to make the finest hummus ever!  It really is one of the finest things you can have lurking around the fridge.

Foodie Fact

Sometimes referred to as the horse bean (!), broad beans like all legumes are a high in protein and low in fat.  A really meaty legume!  They are packed with vitamins, fibre and have a high iron content.

Fair Hill Salad with Vegan Hazelnut Pesto

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Dinner, Dressings, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Local food, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Raw Chocolate Brownie with Rich Chocolate Icing

Raw Chocolate Brownie with Chocolate Sauce

This rich slice of brownie goodness just made my DAY!! Thank you to The Rawtarian for the idea!  After seemingly forever without any chocolate (it feels like a very long time ago since we did the Willies Cacao and Chocolate tastings – our favourite chocolate in the world!) Lee treated me to this yummy dessert. After all we couldn’t go on a raw diet without experimenting with a broad range of food including LUXURY puddings could we? J Hehehe!

Whilst munching our way through half a slab last night we concluded the only bad thing is the amount of sugar it contains (from the dates) and fats (from the coconut oil and the nuts…) It is unbelievable to think there is no butter, cream or chocolate in this recipe; it tastes just so rich.

But because it’s all healthy ingredients; it is still no crime to while the evening away with a delicious huge slab and a tasty cup of sweet vanilla rooibush tea to accompany it! And that’s exactly why I love this recipe – it’s naughty tasting healthy food!! Woo-hoo!

In the bits, we used soaked almonds instead of pecans and it worked out very nicely.  We were lucky to have a few coconuts hanging around, so we were privileged to used fresh coconut and shredded it in our coffee grinder.  The star of this recipe though is the salt (it is not often you say that!), Halen Mon Tahitian Sea Salt.  We’ve been waiting to use this since we tried it in a ‘Dark Chocolate Ricotta’ recipe a few months ago.  It really brings out the flavour of the chocolate and adds subtle hint of vanilla.

This recipe makes a great base for other desserts and can also be easily rolled up into dark chocolate truffles.

This is so packed full of energy, with the dates and nuts alone, if you planing on  running any marathons in the near future, we highly recommend this for dessert the night before.  You will break records!

The Bits

Brownie – 1 cup pecans (you can use walnuts in a pinch, but pecans are much better!), 1 cup dates, 5 tablespoons raw cacao (cocoa) powder, 4 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teas Halen Mon Tahitian vanilla sea salt (normal sea salt is fine)

Chocolate Icing- 1 cup dates, 1/4 cup raw cacao (cocoa) powder, 1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil (also known as coconut butter), 3/4 cup water (or a tiny bit more if needed)

Do It

Brownie – Add the nuts to your blender and whizz until broken down, then add dates and blend for a minute, add all other ingredients and continue to whizz away until the mixture turns a lovely shiny dark brown, not too buttery (you should still be able to see bits of nuts).  You may need scrape the mixture from the side of the blender to ensure that all is blended nicely.

Press down into a suitably rectangular container (cake tin will do) and press down evenly so the mixture evenly covers the base.  Cover and refrigerate, this mix keeps its shape well and even looks like a brownie!

Chocolate Icing –  Could not be easier, soften your dates in the water for an hour before blending.  This makes them softer and easier going.  Then add all ingredients to the blender and whizz up. Start slowly and build up the speed, blend for a while, until the icing begins the shine and no dates can be seen (roughly 5 minutes).   If needed, turn off the blender and scrape the icing down from the sides.  Viola, a rich icing that would grace any dessert!

Raw Chocolate Brownie

Serve

We keep the chocolate sauce separate, in a sealed container, and spread onto the chunks of brownie when cut.  Both the brownie and the sauce keep well in the fridge for a while.   Otherwise, this needs no additions, just a few sweet teeth and a nice cuppa!

We Love It!

Deep, rich and velvety.  This is a stunning recipe that keeps well and only gets better with age.  It is incredibly dense and a little goes a long way, meaning more days of decadent brownie time, which is never a bad thing.  The icing is also very versatile and has an almost mousse-like texture that melts in the mouth.

Foodie Fact

To the Aztecs, the cacao bean was the food of the Gods.  Raw cacao is bitter ad is normally sweetened, it is the main ingredient of chocolate and boasts many health benefits.

Cacao produces much the same effect as caffeine, yet milder and non-addictive.  It stimulates the brain to produce a gentle euphoria via a release of endorphins.  It also contains very high levels of antioxidants.

Like much of the research on foods, the science is ever changing and the cacao bean seems to be a contentious topic.  The general opinion though is that it’s a superfood and dark chocolate, even when processed, contains many health benefits.

Categories: Desserts, Raw Food, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Raw Asian Buckwheat Stew

Sprouting Buckwheat

This is not exactly Asian, not your average back street Shanghai fare; we lack some ingredients but do our best in the hills of Wales!  This recipe boasts all the flavours you would expect from a classic Asian dish, with the raw touch of sprouting buckwheat and the richness of cashews.  It really is a revelation that this food tastes so good cold and is so satisfying.  Who knew?

We live quite remote, the nearest decent shop being 30 mins drive.  For a cramped island like ours, 30 mins is quite a distance.  If you can believe it, there are no fresh fruit and veg markets in the entire area.  It is strange, we are quite unique.  We therefore use what we have locally, there is a shed over the hill that sells the occasional organic vegetable, at this time of year, local produce for sale is quite sparse.  Hence we make do and blend!

We have been missing our Thai curries, stir fries etc, so this was my attempt at adding a new set of flavours to this Beach House raw June.  I like adding cucumber to dishes, it freshens and lifts things.

These recipes are known as ‘living food’ due to the sprouting going on.  Anything sprouting is full of life and nutrients and is serious super fuel for your body (and mind/well-being…..).

Sprouting buckwheat has a lovely bite to it and reminds me of a fuller quinoa in flavour.  It tastes and looks like a grain, but is gluten and wheat free.  It can also be blended up into a lovely porridge (more of this to come).  Buckwheat sprouts well and only takes a couple of days.   The technique is simple enough, soak for 24 hours in fresh water, drain and wash, leave for 24 hours, drain and wash etc.  Until sprouts begin to appear.  It  is then ready to eat.

This stew has a lovely rich feel and is very satisfying, which you need on the grey island (Britain) were it is currently summer/winter in just one day.  The storms may rage outside, yet we are warm inside and dreaming of the East….

The Bits

Veg – 1 large tomato, 1 small onion, 1/3 cucumber, 1 carrot, 1/2 red chilli (check for heat)

Sauce – 2 cloves garlic, 2 inch cube of ginger, juice of 1 lime (finely chopped zest if you like a real tang), 2 teas honey, 3 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbs tamari (or light soya sauce)

Stew – 2 cups sprouting buckwheat, 1/2 cup whole cashews,

Topping – 1 1/2 cups chopped green beans, 2 teas sesame seeds, handful of broken cashews

Mid blitz aka carnage

Do It

Add all veg and sauce bits to the blender blend to a fine salsa like mix, taste check for balance of flavours, then add your stew bits and pulse a few times to break up the buckwheat and cashews slightly.  Not too much, you need a little bite there.  Chop up your greenbeans and scatter on top in any fashion that takes your fancy (we normally mix half into the stew).

Serve

Finish with a few sprinkles of sesame seeds (we were out of stock here) and some broken cashews.

Raw Asian Buckwheat Stew

We Love It!

This beats a sloppy Chinese takeaway any day of the week!  Bursting with vitality and nutrients, this is one of our favourite raw recipes thus far.

Foodie Fact

Buckwheat is one of the most complete grains globally and contains all eight essential amino acids (meaning you can basically live on it!).  It is great for diabetics as an alternative to sugary wheat and also alkalizes the blood.  Buckwheat even boosts the brain, it contains high levels of lecthin and 28% of the brain is made of lecthin which also purifies the blood and actually soaks up bad cholesterol.  Wonder food!

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Detox, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Lunch, Nutrition, Raw Food, Recipes, Superfoods, Vegan, Vegetarian, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Beach House Dressing

Beach House Dressing

We are in love with this.  It is going on or in most things that we are munching on at the moment.  Like most Beach House recipes, its super easy and quick.

Jane and I are both missing big flavours, I normally use a lot of spice in my cooking and they are lacking in our current diet.  Jane, of course, adores chocolate.  The sensual experience of raw eating is totally different, but this is a very creamy and more-ish dressing to go with the crunch of our salads.

The quantity of each flavour depends on your palate, maybe you like it sweet, maybe you like slightly sour.  Have a play here.  The flax seeds add a nice crunch and the garlic a little heat.  If you are not a huge fan of raw garlic (its fiery) omit the garlic.  It will make a great dressing.

We make alot of this, it keeps well in the fridge and I’m sure will soon become on of your ‘house’ favourites.

The Bits

Makes a decent bowlful

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (evoo), 1 tbs tahini, 2 cloves garlic (crushed, optional), 1 tbs good cider vinegar, 2 teas agave syrup or honey, 1 tbs flax seeds, 1 teas braggs liquid amino acid (or a pinch of sea salt).

Do It

Add all the ingredients to a bowl and bled together with a fork.  Taste, adjust flavour according to taste.  We like ours quite tangy, so we add a little more vinegar, but there should be a good balance of sweet and sour over the creamy tahini.

Serve

You can douse it on vegetables, salads, it would be amazing on new or roasted potatoes (leave overnight in a fridge and let the flavours mingle and soak).

We Love It!

We can’t stop making this and devouring it, smothered on whatever it takes!

Foodies Fact 

Apparently cider vinegar increases memory and concentration, which we need  quite desperately.  Cider vinegar contains over 90 substances and is actually less acidic than coca cola.

The glorious colours of raw food

We thought you might like to see what we actually put this dressing on.

Above is a picture of last nights dinner, served with the ‘Beach House Dressing’.  Jane’s ‘Traffic Light Salad’ with a delicious ‘Butternut Squash and Seaweed Salad’:

Diced butternut squash and courgette, grated carrot and red onion, topped with diced cauliflower and nori (soaked overnight).

Happy crunching!

lee and janeX

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Dressings, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Four C’s Juice with Barley Grass

About to get juicy

CARROT, CELERY, CUCUMBER, CORIANDER…….the fours C’s.

Why has nobody thought of this before! Or should I say, why have I never heard of this before, a carrot and coriander juice.

A classic soup recipe will no doubt make a tasty juice, just colder and thinner but still full of all those good enzymes and nutrients we need to keep ticking over.

I’ve made a few additions here to spice things up a little. The cucumber adds some freshness, the celery a more savoury edge and the ginger and nice little POW.

We take the skin off the cucumber as it has a bitter flavour and also turns the juice a peculiar beige shade.

We have been using barley grass in our savoury juices, it is a real super food and also has a pleasant taste.  We’d like one day to start a little wheat grass farm here, but this dried barley grass is a more than adequate substitute for wheat grass.

Fire up the Magimix!

The Bits

Makes two good glasses

4 Carrots, 2 sticks of celery, 1/2 cucumber (de-skinned) 2cm cube of ginger, 1 handful of coriander (celantro, stalks and all).  If your juicer is not great, you may need to mash up the celantro in a pestle and mortar and add it to the juice later.  It can get left behind.  If you have one of those little wheatgrass crushing machines (lucky you) use that instead.

Follow the instructions on the barley grass packaging (don’t over indulge!) we use half a teaspoon per glass.  Add a little juice and mix to a paste, then add the rest of your juice, stirring all the time.  This avoids blobs of intense barley grass surprising you mid-slurp.

Do It

You will need a juicer here unfortunately, we are blessed with a crimson Magimix that is by far the greatest appliance we have ever owned (purrs like a Rolls Royce when started).

Juice your coriander and ginger first, then the rest goes in with the carrots last.  Carrots are a great veg to juice last as they give off alot of juice and really clean out any lingering bits and peices.

Four C’s Juice

We Love It! 

This is a delicious savoury way to start the day, packed with vitality and goodness.

Foodie Fact

Several reasons that barley grass is worth adding to your diet.  It contains:

-  Five times more iron than brocolli.

-  More iron than steak.

-  Seven times more vitamin C than orange juice.

-  Eleven times more calcium than milk.

Our bodies are mainly too acidic for our own good, leading to many health issues.  Barley grass is a strong alkalizer and helps to neutralise the effects of an acidic diet and let our cells get on with their business.

Categories: Breakfast, Juices, Nutrition, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Raw Apple and Peach Crumble

Raw Apple and Peach Crumble

Jane is out at ukulele club, so I thought I’d whip up a dessert for when she gets back.

This is a sweet thing that I didn’t imagine I’d be eating this month.  Apple Crumble was a winter special in my house, smothered with custard. Custard is also possible on a raw diet, but I thought it was step too far, it required more cashew nuts (plus dates, banana and vanilla extract, I may make it soon).

This is a rich and hearty dessert and the oats provide the crumble with some serious substance, add to that the nuts and you have a hearty topping fit for any fruity base.  The tantalising combinations are almost endless….

Many of these raw food recipes will be staying in our diets and this is one of them, we are both learning new techniques of cooking (or non-cooking) and of course, we are now ace salad makers!  This will be a key skill with the summer allegedly on its way/here.

We soaked our almonds and raisins overnight to make them softer and easier to blend, we then used the juice of the raisins to sweeten the crumble.  Walnuts or pecans would also be a great addition to this crumble.

Below is a picture of the kind of nutters we are!  Our nut selection of nuts and seeds is comprehensive, but essential for our playtime with this new lifestyle.  Jane and I both lost a little weight when we started the diet, but with all these gorgeous desserts filled with nuts and dates, we are filling out again in all the right places.

This recipe is a doddle as most of the measurements are the same, you can use any vessel (or hand) and just keep things consistent.  A great one to just throw together for a quick dessert.

The nut stash

The Bits
Makes enough for eight people (or four hungry folk)
Crumble – 125g almonds, 125g cashews (or walnuts), 125g oat groats (soaked overnight) or rolled oats with a glug of hot water added (if you aren’t a raw-er), 80ml of raisin juice (the soaking water)
Filling – 125g raisins, 1 kg apple, 2 peaches (de-stoned and chopped), 2 teas cinnamon

Crumble in the mix

Do It

Add all of your filling ingredients to a good blender and give it a whizz, we like chunks, leave a few in if you prefer.  Set aside in your serving dish.

Give the blender a quick wipe out and then add all of the ingredients for the crumble.  Blend until it has all come together and is nice and thick.  It should be a little damp, it will set when spread out.

Using a trusty spatula, spread out the crumble onto the fruit filling.  Be gentle here, it can get messy!

This will keep overnight in a fridge, but is best eaten on the day.  It won’t last long!

Serve

We had ours with a little soya yoghurt (greek yoghurt would be amazing also).

We Love It!

These amazing raw dessert recipes are coming thick and fast, I’ve just made some chocolate brownies that are a real knockout.  Whoever said that raw food was be boring!

Foodie Fact

An apple a day keeps the dentist away.  Apples won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing apples stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

 

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Desserts, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Raw Food, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Raw Fruity Cereal

Sprouting Breakfast Salad

This mornings breakfast was very good looking (and tasting), I felt it deserved to be shared with the world.

Adding wheat sprouts to meals is great for us as it gives that sugary wheaty boast that we normally get from our muesli. The wheat sprouts are very easy to grow and have a nice soft, chewy texture.

Wheat has addictive qualities and the bread at work last night smelled amazing. This is probably why I opted for a sprouting breakfast.

I dislike using out of season produce, but it seems unavoidable at the moment.   Jane and I are always up for a bargain and visiting the shops, found some amazing berries from Spain on sale.  We love Spain, so we snaffled them up.  They were .30p a punnet!  Of course, they lack flavour and the magic of a seasonal berry (preferably ate straight off the bush), but we are not an island blessed with abundant fruit reserves.  I also thought that somewhere in the world, you may live in a land where the sun shines and fruit is always on the menu.  You may have a mango tree in your back garden! (We have a hawthorn and a couple of gnarled crab apple trees).

Raisins add a lovely sweet surprise to this awesome morning bowlful of happiness, you could used diced dates or figs.  Try soaking your raisins overnight, they become nice and plump and give off a nice raisin drink for slurping or using in cooking.

Wheat sprouts

The Bits

Enough for two decent sized bowls.

1 apple, 1 pear, 1 carrot, 1 kiwi, 1 large handful of wheat sprouts, 1 handful of blueberries, 1 handful of blackberries, 1 handful of raisins, soya milk.

Do It

Slice apple, pear, carrot and kiwi, we don’t peel anything (except kiwi).  Just wash or scrub them.  Use your creative flair and mix all nicely in your fanciest  bowl.  Mix some sprouts and raisins into the salad.

Serve

Use the rest of the sprouts for topping with the berries and some nice chilled soya milk (add as much as you would with your favourite cereal).  If I was having this for lunch and not watching my food combinations, I’d have some seeds with this.  Pumpkin and sunflower would be my choice.

Buster and I busy gardening

We Love It!

Its fruity cereal!  It is bursting with vitality and crunch and not as stodgy as our average muesli counterpart.  It also contains no fats, so the good nutrients can get straight into your system and get some morning work done.

Foodie Fact

Don’t throw the water away when you sprout wheat, it has many restorative powers.  You can even mix it with ground seeds and leave it for a day to make a sort of cheese.  It can also be used to make the drink Rejuvelac, which was created by Anne Wigmore of the Hippocrates Health Institute.

This mornings Beach House tune is by Panda Bear ‘Alsatian Darn’:

Categories: Breakfast, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Healthy Eating, Music, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Carrot Dip

Raw Carrot Dip

It was time to wish Savannah goodbye and good luck for her trip to Spain, so we made her a beach house special raw lunch.  Over the last few days I have come to realise I LOVE preparing food raw.  It is a new found passion for me! It’s so quick, easy, the washing up takes two minutes, and I am learning about some amazing ingredients that make everything SO tasty.  Plus the herb garden herbs are becoming so bushy of late they are just perfect.

This makes a jam jar full :)
The Bits
3 large carrots, half an onion, chopped parsley, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 4 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp water
Do It
Chop the carrot and onion (we used the grater blade in our blender which grated everything perfectly), put everything into the blender and blend for a couple of minutes and then have a little taste – YUM!
We Love It!
This adds a nice bit of richness to our salads and can be used for dipping or spreading on your favourite things.
Foodie Fact
Tahini has an incredibly high nutritional content, full of most of the vitamin B’s and calcium.  In most diets, calcium is taken in via cows milk which is not great for the digestive system, potentially leading to irritation and other difficulties.  Many people believe that tahini has the highest calcium content of any food.

Fresh coco and nut yogurt

We thought we’d add this little snack on, we made it as a fatty number to be eaten 3 hours after our sugary morning fruit salad and before dinner (see our Raw Food No No’s for why?)  We chopped up fresh coconut, a handful of mixed nuts (unroasted) and a good blob of soya yogurt.
Happy dippingX
Love, JaneXXXX

Sunshine lettuce

 

Categories: Dairy/ Lactose Free, Gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Sauces, Side Dish, Snacks and Inbetweens, Superfoods, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sava’s Elephant Garlic Flower Salad

Sava’s last lunch at the BHK

Here was this lunch offering, made by Jane and Sava.   A crunchy wonder, with bucket loads of veggies, topped with the ever intriguing, elephant garlic flowers.

This was Savannah’s last meal with us and we wanted it to be special.  We rustled up a few different salads, dips and even a piquant beige guacamole.

Sava is originally from South London, but is currently masterminding world domination (Sava style) which means spreading love, happiness and vibrant energy to all corners of the world.  Sava is also an ace vegan chef and was the perfect house guest during this raw time at the Beach House.  We have spent most of our time sitting around talking about food and travel, two of our most favourite chat topics.  Its been a gas….

Sava has an brilliant travel website, all about travelling the world and living your wildest dreams.  Its called travel butterfly.  Sava has just returned from travelling around Central and Southern America and there are loads of wonderful tales, images and tips to be found there.

These garlic flowers have thick stems with a potent garlic punch (the whole house stank of garlic after chopping a few up).  The flowers seem edible, with small yellow petals.  One bunch has lasted us quite a few days as its best used sparingly.  Warning, if you are worried about garlic breath, do not approach these flowers (and stop worrying).

You may like to add some spirulina, wheat grass or barley grass powder to the topping if you are raw, or even if you aren’t, this would give you a serious boost.  These are three heavyweight contenders of the superfood world.  It is said that you can live on these green powders (the barley grass actually tastes of dried fish) but not even I will venture this far down the road of cleaning my internals up.  The barley powder we have is labelled as a ‘powerful’ food and should be eased into, you wouldn’t want to over do it (this all seems very tame compared to my tequila slammer days, but unimaginably healthier!).

These salads are always super easy to get together, we’ve made them per person so you can just have it yourself, or share with the people you really, really like.  This is a big salad and designed to be a main meal so there is a lot of ingredients in it.  We realise this goes against some of our ‘The Big Four Raw Food No No’s’ but we are trying to be good!  We topped it with the elephant garlic flowers so we could measure the amount we ate with eat spoonful, it also looked great.

Elephant garlic flowers

The Bits

Per person - Handful of baby corn, 1 carrot (chopped), handful of mangetout, 1 ripe tomato, 1/2 courgette (chopped), 1/2 apple (green and sour is best, chopped), 1 stick of celery, handful of cucumber (chopped), handful of cos lettuce (chopped), 2 teas linseeds, 1 handful of mung bean sprouts, 2 teas alfalfa sprouts.

Topping – Handful of elephant garlic flower (chopped), handful of sunflower seeds, splash of olive oil.

Elephant Garlic Flower Salad

Serve

Layered with a creamy Miso, Tamari and Tahini Dressing, topped with the chopped elephant garlic flowers.

We Love It!

Mainly because Sava made it and she is very lovely indeed.  The elephant garlic is amazing and well worth seeking out, it explodes in your mouth and adds a spot of romance to the plate.

Foodie Fact

Native Americans believe wild garlic to help against ailments such as high blood pressure, asthma and scurvy.

Our Morning Juice Routine

Is stuttering along.  We are still getting into the routine of a mid-morning juice.  I used to have  a nice jug of coffee, now its a yogurt pot full of fresh juice.  I know which one my body prefers (bit sometimes I miss that aroma).

Jane made a magic juice this morning with the trusty Magimix.  Simple and not really worth a separate post, its similar to a couple we have done before.  It was a zesty Apple, Carrot and Ginger.  The perfect balance of sweetness with a kick of ginger.  Here is Jane mid juice:

Jane making morning juice

We aim to be drinking at least one juice per day and are finding that we are not hungry in the mornings.  This would make sense, all of our nutritional requirements are being met, so the absorption cycle of the body doesn’t really kick in until 12pm.  That’s when we whip out the salads.

We plan on getting a 25 kilo bag of carrots from a farm down the road and really getting juicy next week.  Apparently, if you drink too much carrot juice, you actually turn orange.  Watch this space, will make for interesting pictures I’m sure.

Happy days aheadX

Categories: Breakfast, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Friends of B.H.K, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Sauces, Side Dish, Superfoods, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Four Raw No-no’s

On a rope bridge in Panama

For me an introduction to raw food came quite unexpectedly while I was working and staying with a friend out in Panama; home of some fantastic and enormous fruit and veg. Kami prepared delicious salad after salad; we ate little and often, with the right combinations of foods and two weeks later I was veritably zinging.

We thought it would be a good idea to share Kami’s words of wisdom; after all one of the biggest reasons for going raw is to help the body with its mineral and vitamin absorption and efficient digestion. After some extra research I realised it is easy to get bogged down in this subject. So I squeezed it down into a few main points.

The Big Four Raw no-no’s

1. Fat and carbohydrate: Avoid having sweet fruit like bananas, nuts, seeds, avocados etc together in the same meal. If you do eat them together the fats and proteins (which are slower-digesting foods) will cause the sugary fruit to ferment in your stomach. This cannot be good. You can eat the fats or proteins four hours before, or a couple of hours after the sweet fruit instead – because the sweet nutrients will have had time to dance through your digestive system by then.

2. Carbohydrate food and acid food: Like with fats, acid foods need longer to digest. If they are eaten with sweet fruits they can also cause fermentation in the stomach.

3. Acid food and proteins/fats: Citrus fruit, pineapple, strawberries and other acid fruits should not be eaten with nuts or avocados; otherwise the protein will not digest properly. Acid fruits inhibit the flow of gastric juice whereas digestion of protein requires an unhampered flow of juice.

4. Keep the amount of fat to a minimum: Fat has an inhibiting influence on digestive secretion and also slows down digestion of other foods. It is generally a good idea to reduce fat intake; it is surprising how little of it we need. Delicious but notoriously fatty avocados are best eaten with a green salad but never with nuts sweet fruit, especially melons.

We feel the trick to this diet is to keep it simple. After all we just want to help our bodies digest this lovely fresh food. Tips like sticking to one type of protein in meals (some raw foodies even stick to just one type of nut or seed). By not eating a huge variety of food types in one meal will help to stop our bodies having to work too hard and will avoid most of the no-no’s too.

We’re just looking forward to getting sensitive with our own bodies; listening to how it feels after eating different combinations of food, and how we feel after these small easy to digest portions.

We want to live in the best possible way for our whole lives so that we can be the healthiest and best we can be for ourselves and for other people! Apart from the eating (which has a huge impact) we also want to focus more on sleeping, exercising, relaxing, being creative, being in nature, having fun so we can shine together brighter from the inside out – yay!!

Have fun trying out our recipes and join us in Raw June!

Love Jane xxxxx

Categories: Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Nutrition, Raw Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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