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    Green Protein



    Iceland was the trip we booked and paid for months ago. Then its volcano decided to put on a bit of a performance, which instantly made it world famous, but we were sure by the time our flights were up, this subject wouldn’t even be brought up in conversation. Maybe we shouldn’t have been so confident- our flights were cancelled at short notice.



    Totally set on going away, we dove into last minute holiday research, but it seemed as though all airlines were suffering such a loss, they were trying to make up for it by charging ten times more on available routes. Then Ben and Felicity came up with the best idea and I discovered my new favourite destination!

    A mere two hour drive and a short ferry ride from London- Isle of Wight was stunning! Centuries old cottages, hay roofs, beautiful coast, acres upon acres of farm land, picturesque gardens and fresh air- lots and lots of fresh air. It is one thing you starve for when living in a big city, so I couldn’t care less about being greedy and made sure to satisfy that hunger with every deep breath over the weekend.



    So then, what is the best food for a road trip? The same food that is the best for absolutely any kind of trip and the one I can’t go a day without...

    GREEN SMOOTHIE
    • Green smoothie is the most nourishing, alkalising, energising, refreshing and satisfying choice
    • It keeps well for 3 days in the fridge or in a chiller bag for a road trip
    • It is full of chlorophyll, molecules of which are known to closely resemble our blood cells, so every sip is like a healthy blood transfusion.
    • It provides protein in the form of individual essential amino acids, which are easier for the body to utilize than complex proteins
    • It contains lots of fibre for elimination, since we are not getting rid of the pulp like when juicing
    • It is super fast to blend up
    • It’s addictively tasty

    I went through all my photos and couldn’t believe I had none of my favourite food! Not even an average one! I guess I have been seeing it everyday for years now, that it didn’t occur to get it on file. Well I could always rely on my parents, so mum to the rescue and I get a whole selection of the photos turns out she has been taking..
























    And my top 3 Green Smoothie recipes:

    My everyday favourite
    (Yields 2)
    1 ripe mango
    2 Kiwi fruits
    2 stalks celery
    ½ cucumber
    Handful Kale leaves
    2 cups water

    Missing NZ Spirulina
    (Yields 2)
    ½ ripe pineapple
    1 banana
    1 pear
    1 apple
    1 Tbsp spirulina powder
    2 cups water

    Love Smoothie
    (Yields 2)
    1/4 watermelon
    2 ripe plums
    2 ripe nectarines
    2 stalks celery
    1/3 head romaine lettuce
    4 mint leaves
    1.5 cups water

    Chop up fruit. Blend all ingredients. Love this day!

    Sauerkraut Central


    Gdansk, Poland. That was my recent weekend getaway with Elliot, Tim and Kirsty. Polish Food. Well that was just a getaway all on its very own.

    The food really was something. Something so “good” and something so bad all at the same time. I think the Polish must know it too, they do after all have a famous saying "Jedzcie, pijcie i popuszczajcie pasa" (Eat, drink and loosen your belt).


    If you’ve tried Polish food, you’d know there’s nothing Raw about it. In fact, it is so far from Raw that when you order a salad, you are guaranteed to get warm Sauerkraut. But then coming to think about it, you also get Sauerkraut with anything you order - sauerkraut with mains, sauerkraut in Pierogi, sauerkraut on the side and even sauerkraut for breakfast.


    So what do I do when I get home? I make Sauerkraut! My own version of the raw, crunchy, salty, tangy, nutritious salad, that is also the easiest dish you can make:

    1 x small red or white cabbage
    1 x juiced lemon
    3 x Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1 x Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 x Tbsp Himalayan Salt

    -Finely slice or grate the cabbage (if you grate it, it will marinate quicker and can be ready to eat within an hour)
    -Mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl, then pour over the cabbage and mix through
    -Let it sit at room temperature overnight or longer



    SO WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT CABBAGE?

    Where do I even start? Maybe by saying ‘I wish I didn’t hate it so much as a child’, however I am making up for it plenty now. This magical vegetable belongs to the same Cruciferae family as kale, collards, brussels sprouts and broccoli. They have special phytonutrients that protect your cells and aid in detoxifying your body.

    Phytonutrients work as antioxidants to disarm free radicals before they can damage DNA and cell membranes, but in crucifers, they work at an even deeper level. These compounds actually signal our genes to increase production of enzymes involved in detoxification and help our bodies to release harmful compounds.

    This cleansing and antioxidant activity reduces the risk of cancer and alzheimer’s disease, and promotes gastro-intestinal health. Studies have shown raw cabbage to have a particularly strong impact on breast cancer rates because its phytonutrient content and its own detoxifying enzymes help to metabolize estrogen properly. However, eating raw cabbage is the vital key, because these special cancer-fighting properties are reduced during the cooking process.

    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FERMENTATION?

    Well this is where Sauerkraut can be classified as Superfood! ‘Probiotics’ is a big buzz word out at the moment and it is the fermention process, which produces this good bacteria, as well as beneficial enzymes to aid digestion and promote healthy flora in the digestive tract. Fermentation also produces isothiocyanates, compounds that have been shown to prevent cancer growth in test tubes and animals.

    However, not all sauerkraut will give you these benefits, as most sauerkraut in restaurants is served heated and sauerkraut sold in supermarkets is pasteurized, which means all of the good bacteria have been killed. So make your own, it’s too easy.

    Chocolate Chocolate



    Chocolate....there is nothing else like it. Chocolate is sensuous, passionate , adoring , comforting , luxurious, heartening, inspirational, enticing, sexual and exciting to all senses. This may as well be a description of a secret love affair. And no wonder we often end up feeling guilty for eating it.

    But doesn’t chocolate grow on trees? Is it not a plant based product?

    Indeed it is and as the matter of fact chocolate is the Number One source of anything in the entire world of Antioxidants. It contains Tryptophan- an important amino acid that produces serotonin, is an antidepressant and stress reducer, it is high is Magnesium- relaxing, calming and regulates hormonal cycle, has Flavonoids, Phenols and Catechins- that all contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease, has Chromium- good for sugar regulation and various B vitamins, proteins and iron.

    But don’t go running to the nearest supermarket, because what you will find is nothing but a beaten up, abused, ruined and neglected by product of a beautiful Cacao bean. The chocolate industry roast it, toast it, heat it, microwave and kill all the goodness and noble elements, not to mention add loads of sugar, dairy and calories to it. The good news is there is a very easy way to get all the goodness out of this holy bean just by eating it raw (cacao nibs) with a dash of Agave nectar, the way Chocolate has been eaten for over 5000 years. For my most delicious simple chocolate recipe, scroll down.


    I run regular Raw Handmade Chocolate making workshops in various parts of London. Sylvia, one of the lovely ladies that attended my recent class at Camden's Alchemy Centre, kindly provided some photos she took. I decided to share them here, since the this information is a small fraction of points I reveal during the workshop.


    Interesting fact #1: Cacao bean is rich in oxalic acid, which inhibits calcium absorbtion- something commercial chocolate and dairy industries wouldn't want you to know and another reason to have raw chocolate.


    Interesting Fact #2: The saturated fat in RAW chocolate does not elevate cholesterol, unlike commercial chocolate, meat or dairy foods, since cacao butter contains plant sterols such as sitosterol, which inhibit cholesterol absorption.


    Interesting fact #3: The cacao beans are native to Mexico and since the time of the Aztecs were used as currency. Who was it that told me "money doesn't grow on trees"?

    And now for my DELICIOUS DARK CHOCOLATE, here is the recipe:



    ½ cup Cacao Butter
    ½ cup Cacao Powder
    ¼ Cup Agave Nectar (or less to taste)
    Pinch Sea Salt

    1. Grate Cacao Butter on a grater for easy melting
    2. Gently melt cacao butter in a double boiler. Do not let water boil.
    3. Add powder, stirring well to eliminate clumps
    4. Add sea salt and agave, stirring through
    5. Pour mixture in moulds or on a tray. Refrigerate or freeze and enjoy

    It is just so much BETTER RAW

    Two Raw Pizzas (or salads for those without dehydrators)

    Wednesday 28th April 2010- A date to remember! My born and bred heavy meat eating boyfriend had his first ever - not just vegetarian, not even vegan, but a Raw Vegan Day of his life!

    He made it quite clear early on in the relationship that he is not prepared to live a day without meat, so as disappointing as the statement was to me (being totally happy to live off my favourite tomato + cucumber + avocado salad), I found myself cooking meat especially for him every night of the week.

    Ofcause there hasn’t been a time he didn’t look forward to trying all the new raw recipes I’ve been coming up with and he already religiously drinks his green smoothies each day and has his salads with dinner, but I am sure he is not the only one out there that struggles to overcome the mentality of dead animal consumption.

    So for some time now, I’ve been thinking up a pitch, considering every aspect of an upcoming debate and a strong negotiation point to propose a ‘one day a week’ Raw Regime for Elliot. Going in for the win, I even got stage fright speaking and I can’t even remember at what point he agreed, but I’m sure I still carried on talking, unable to believe my own ears that it took no convincing, no debating and no persuading what so ever. I guess there was a bit of influencing, but that has been 2,5 years in the making.

    With the toughest challenge now over, the next challenge was not necessary to make something tasty (I knew I was capable), but something of a ‘Real Man’ type that does not scream out ‘Happy Hippy’ on his plate. And so the answer was simple:




    Having a great recipe for the pizza base and sauce already (see previous post), the 2 pizzas I decided to create were:
    1. Mushroom and Basil Pesto
    2. Broccoli and Tangy Tahini

    I found its best for the toppings of both of these pizzas to be left marinating overnight, so prepare the night before you are planning on eating them, or early in the morning so the marination is complete by the time you get home from work:

    Essentials:
    1.Prep the night before
    2.Food processor for basil pesto
    3.Blender for Cashew Cream- optional
    4.Dehydrator- if not available, then the below recipes are just as amazing as salads


    ALL RAW BROCCOLI AND TANGY TAHINI PIZZA



    Broccoli:
    1 broccoli head chopped small without stems
    3 x Tbsp Lemon juice
    3 x Tbsp Olive Oil
    2 x Tbsp Tamari soy sauce

    1. Mix all ingredients in large bowl and massage with your hands until the broccoli becomes softer, then cover and leave to stand out of the fridge overnight.

    2. The juices may have settled on the bottom of bowl by the morning, so mix all ingredients again and leave to marinate until lunch/dinner out of the fridge.

    3. Arrange the broccoli onto the pizza base (from previous post) and dehydrate for 2 hours at 41 degrees C. You may find it useful to pour the Tangy Tahini sauce and cut into pizza slices half way through the dehydration process, so that you can serve straight out of the dehydrator while pizza is still warm.



    Tangy Tahini sauce:
    1/4 x Cup Tahini
    3 x Tbsp lemon juice
    1 x Tbsp Agave Nectar
    3 x Tbsp Raw Apple Cider vinegar
    2 x Tbsp tamari
    1 x garlic clove or ½ tsp garlic powder
    1/2 x tsp mild chilli powder
    1/2 x tsp ginger root powder

    1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl
    2. Pour over dehydrated broccoli pizza. I used an icing syringe for even spread and ease.


    ALL RAW MUSHROOM AND BASIL PESTO PIZZA



    MUSHROOMS
    7 x medium portabella mushrooms
    ½ x Red pepper
    7 x fresh basil leaves chopped
    2 x garlic cloves
    3 x Tbsp Olive Oil
    ½ x lemon juiced
    3 x Tbsp Raw Apple cider vinegar
    Pinch salt

    -Follow the same preparation process as Broccoli pizza

    [Mushrooms freshly chopped, ready for marination process]

    BASIL PESTO
    1 x Cup pine nuts
    2 x Cups fresh basil
    2 x garlic cloves
    1 x lemon juiced
    3 x Tbsp Olive Oil
    1 x tsp salt

    -Chop up basil in the food processor, then add nuts and then the rest of ingredients. The consistency will not be runny, so spoon small amounts over the pizza in blobs.



    CASHEW CREAM (Optional)
    ½ x Cup cashews
    ½ x Cup water

    1. Blend until smooth in a blender. If the ingredients do not cover the blades and you struggle to blend well, just double the ingredients and use left over Cashew Cream in another recipe later (will last in fridge for 7 days)
    2. Splatter over pizza

    It was so so good.

    The Ideal Raw Pizza Base and Sauce

    My parents were recently on the news in Canada talking about how Raw Food can be fun!! I was so busy nodding my head in approval and filling with pride, that it was my friend Anna who pointed out they've misspelt our surname :)



    Watching this video inspired me to create the best ever raw pizza! With many trials and errors however, I decided (and succeeded) to get my hands on the original pizza base and tomato sauce recipe by Raw Chef Pedja used in the actual video. And since it had my parents' seal of approval, I went ahead to create this in confidence.

    Essentials you'll need:
    1. Dehydrator
    2. Food prossesor
    3. Blender
    4. Spice/Coffee grinder (unless your flax seeds are ready milled)

    PIZZA GARDINIERA (makes 2 pizzas)
    By Raw Chef Pedja

    CRUST
    5 x medium carrots
    2 x Cups whole oats
    1.5 x Cups flax seeds
    2/3 x Cups water

    SAUCE
    2 x Medium Tomatoes
    1 x Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes (soaked for 1 hr in warm water and keep that water incase you need to add for a runnier sauce)
    1/8 x Red Onion
    1 x Garlic Clove
    1 x Sprig of Fresh Oregano
    1/8 x Cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
    2 x Medjool Dates

    TOPPINGS
    6 - 8 collard leaves (in London I found these in my local supermarket under the name of 'British Spring Greens', very original)
    Selection of seasonal local veggies and sprouts (In my next post I will create 2 variaties of pizzas- Mushroom and Pesto plus Broccoli and Tangy Tahini)

    CRUST
    "It is a good idea to prepare the 'dough' the night before so it dehydrates over night or set the dehydrator in the morning to be ready in time after work"

    1. Begin by making oat flour, running your oats through a food processor.

    2. Mince carrots finely in a food processor or grate by hand.

    3. In a spice/coffee grinder, pulverize your flax seeds (I bought mine ready milled) and combine all the ingredients together until your pizza dough is formed.

    4. Let it sit for at least 30mins-1hr before forming into pizza crusts.



    5. Once the dough has rested, proceed by shaping it onto teflex sheets of you dehydrator, into the classic round pizza crust look. This batch will give you approximately two 10" crusts, but feel free to divide the dough into as many crusts as you prefer.

    [Note how my crust goes pretty much to the edges of the dehydrator trays- this is exactly half of the dough and I wanted the base quite thin. If you prefer it chunkier, keep in mind the dehydrating process will be longer]

    6. Dehydrate at 41C for 1-2 hrs, peel off the teflex sheets and continue dehydrating for another 8-10 hours (overnight).


    TOMATO SAUCE
    To make the tomato sauce, simply combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth!

    [You can see how the pizza base shrunk after dehydration. The vital part was to turn it over after 2 hours as per instructions, otherwise it could stick to the teflex sheet and crack during the process]

    TOPPINGS
    Pizza assembly is simple and encourages customization! De-stem your collards and cover the entire base of your pizza crusts. Top the collards off with your tomato sauce and your personalized selection of local, seasonal veggies and sprouts. Cut into slices and enjoy!

    It really was good! But especially with the amazing toppings I made- coming up in the next post..