recipes

Dieta: Sweets and snacks PLUS where to eat in London

I am a big occasional snacker.
I go through phases of not wanting to eat much at all and feeling as if I can hop on a juice fast any minute, but then there are the phases where I eat CON-STAN-TLY.
I really try to embrace whatever my body is going through and respect its wishes, although it can be hard to distinguish between real hunger and just emotional hunger, i.e. "I am bored" or "I have had a hard day" kind of snacking (quick tip: have a large glass of water or a cup of tea. If you are still hungry 5 minutes after finishing it, you're actually hungry).

If I find that I really AM hungry, it is important to keep some healthy snacks on hand so I don't go off the rails and eat something ridiculous. 
This, of course, is especially important when following a dieta so that you may snack away and not stray from the path.

Therefore I would like to share with you some vegan, salt/sugar/gluten free and DELICIOUS sweet and savoury treats that you can have in between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner...
Or maybe, as is the case for me sometimes, between breakfast and second breakfast.


Mineral milkshake

I love sesame seed milk as sesame seeds (unhulled as they contain 90% more minerals than hulled seeds) are particularly rich in  calcium as well as other minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and phosphorus.
It has a rather "sesamy" flavour, one you may come to appreciate over time on it's own but which is very easy to disguise with other flavours.
Sesame seed milk is especially good for maintaining bone health as it offers a calcium rich alternative to acidic and mineral-depleting dairy milk.

To make sesame milk, simply soak 120 grams of unhulled sesame seeds in water overnight.
In the morning drain and rinse the seeds and blend with 1 litre of fresh water in a blender for minimum 30 seconds.
Strain the seeds through a musing cloth or nut milk bag (I've had this bag for almost 2 years now, use it several times a week and it still holds!) and bottle. 
Keeps for 36-48 hours in the fridge.

To make the milkshake (for 2):

  • 1 large or 2 small bananas
  • 500 ml sesame milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp maca powder (optional: this will add a mineral boost as well as a lovely malty flavour)
  • Sweeteners of your choice: a couple of dried figs or dates, 2 drops of stevia, 1 tsp honey (optional)

Blend everything together in a blender and serve!


Chia puddings

Chia puddings are super healthy, can come in any flavour and texture, can be adapted to the seasons and are very quick and easy to make – the perfect little dessert pot for an impromptu dinner, for example.
Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. They provide sustained energy as well as maintaining water balance: a great food if you are working on limiting your overall food intake to lose weight.
I am however mostly interested in them as they are rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3s. Oh, and they are delicious. They fluff up to a "pudding" overnight in liquid and can be used as a base to make many different chia concoctions. 
 

Measure out 15 grams of chia seeds per 115 grams of liquid to make one small, portion-sized pudding. 
You may add 2 tbsp berries (I especially love goji berries for a deliciously chewy antioxidant boost), finely chopped fruit or other seeds to the overnight soak, or perhaps serve with sprinkles of finely chopped nuts or dessicated coconut. 
Here are some recipe suggestions (per person):

  • Chia seeds, freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp passion fruit seeds
  • Chia seeds, tiger nut milk, 2 tbsp finely chopped banana, pinch cinnamon
  • Chia seeds, 50-50 pineapple juice and coconut milk, 1 tbsp flax seeds, pinch nutmeg, serve with desiccated coconut
  • Chia seeds, coconut milk, 2 tbsp goji berries, serve with a teaspoon raw honey and hazelnuts
  • Chia seeds, almond milk, 2 tbsp blackcurrants, serve with chopped almonds

Whisk all the ingredients together in individual pots and leave in the fridge overnight
Add the "served with"-ingredients on top before eating.

 Blood orange juice, goji berries and blackcurrants for a refreshing "second breakfast"-pudding

Blood orange juice, goji berries and blackcurrants for a refreshing "second breakfast"-pudding


Naturally sweet Banana granola

Banana granola!
A new discovery of mine: a way to make granola without using any sweeteners – not even "alternative" ones!
This recipe can be made in the oven or, if you are lucky enough to have one, in the dehydrator. 

  • 500 ml oats
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 100 ml pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight
  • 50 ml flax seeds, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp gently melted coconut oil at room temperature (if using a dehydrator)

For oven:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsiusand prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Spread out evenly on baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until a light golden brown colour., stirring the oats every 5 minutes or so.
Let cool completely before storing.

For dehydrator:
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Spread out on one or two dehydrator trays lined with sheets and dehydrate for 3-4 hours on 42 degrees celsius. 
Flip the granola upside down onto a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for a further 4-6 hours.
Let cool completely before storing.


Irresistible nutty kale chips 

These kale chips are certainly not only for dieta! I make them all the time and they are great travel companions.
Apparently leafy greens such as kale has the ability to protect us against radiation from the galaxy when we fly. According to a study on pilots funded by the National Cancer Institute, pilots who consumed the most dietary antioxidants suffered the least amount of damage to their DNA and leafy greens seemed to have the upper hand when it came to radiation protection.
This, in combination with their deliciousness and light weight, makes kale chips the perfect plane snack!

This is a recipe that works for dehydrators or for an oven set on the lowest setting in order to keep the nutrients of the kale intact and make the crisps as crunchy as possible without burning them.

  • Large bunch of kale (about 2 L firmly packed kale)
  • 200 ml cashews soaked overnight, drained
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Tear the kale off its stems (the stems can be juiced or add to a smoothie later), wash it and rip it into little pieces. 
Mix all the other ingredients together with a splash of water in a food processor or with a hand mixer. Add more water if necessary to achieve a creamy consistency.
Add the cashew cream to the kale by the handful and massage it into the kale.
For oven: Prepare a baking tray with baking sheets and spread the kale every out. Bake for 10-12 hours on the lowest setting possible, turning occasionally, until crisp.
For dehydrator: Spread the kale evenly on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate on 42 degrees for about 10 hours, turning halfway, until crisp. 

 Kale chips: the best plane snack!

Kale chips: the best plane snack!


Salt free hummus

Crunchy vegetables dipped in creamy hummus... Surely there is no easier and tastier snack than this? And let's not forget healthier!
Chic peas pack a punch when it comes to both fibre and protein and they are full of essential minerals as well. Sadly, store bought hummus is often saturated with polyunsaturated low quality oils and far too much refined salt. Better to make your own! 

Hummus can easily be made flavourful without salt and it can be knocked up in less than 10 minutes if you have a can of chic peas on hand and impromptu guests arriving.
It can also be frozen in portions and thawed overnight.

  • 1 can chic peas or 375 ml cooked chic peas, drained
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2-1 lemon (I like my hummus very lemony!)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • Optional: a handful sun dried tomatoes (the oil and salt free kind), herbs such as coriander, basil and mint, a handful of peas, 1/2 baked sweet potato, 1 roasted red pepper

Mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer or in a food processor, adding a few splashes of water as you go until you reach the desired consistency.


Eating out in london on the dieta

I love going out to eat and if I am following a dieta for several weeks it is hard for me to avoid the temptation. Luckily there are many wonderful places in London that are more than happily catering to all sorts of dietary restrictions:

Nurture, the company I work for, obviously has a great selection of vegan food and smoothies! 

Raw press on Dover st. does delicious juice and salads

Rawligion has an inventive raw food menu and fascinating superfood shots

Roots juicery do fantastic nut milks and juices

Nama does wonderful vegan raw food

Redemption has an all vegan menu and an eclectic mocktail list

Vitao is a vegan oasis slap dash in the middle of the city

Campbells Canal Café is my go-to vegan in north London

 Vegan and sugar free treat from Redemption

Vegan and sugar free treat from Redemption

 

... did I forget any? Let me know in the comments below!

 

I hope you have enjoyed the dieta series and that it has inspired you to cook with less salt, sugar, gluten and dairy regardless of whether or not you are cleansing.

My initial post regarding the dieta as well as recipes for hot meals can be found here
The second one on gluten free bread alternatives can be found here
The third on lunch can be found here

Dieta: What's for lunch?

A dieta offers quite a few restrictions and making a tasty lunch, especially if one needs it to be quick and easy, can feel almost impossible.
I have one friend who basically ate rice and fruit for a week in order to stick to the requirements and could not handle the thought of another dieta because of the limits it imposed.
But fear not! There are many tricks up my sleeve and I will share each and every one of them.

Salads are a wonderful addition to any diet and when we are cleansing it is important to eat as much raw, fresh and untreated food as possible.
My regular salads usually incorporate fermented things such as fermented vegetables and vinegar, two things that are banned when following a dieta. I am also a big fan of mustard and maple syrup in dressings as well as vegetables baked with oil – things that have to go when I am cleansing. 
This is why I have created a few lifelines that will make virtually any leafy creation burst with flavour.


DIETA STYLE MAYO

As one is allowed (and benefit from!) good quality, cold pressed organic vegetable oils on the dieta we can make creamy mayonnaise to go with a kale salad or to make a healthy Waldorf.
The presence of fat is also vital for the uptake of the fat soluble vitamins  A, D, E and K and so a must in order for us to receive all the benefits of a brightly coloured salad!

My recommended oils are extra virgin olive oil in a combination with (untoasted!) sesame oil, macadamia nut oil, hazelnut oil or avocado oil.
EVOO on its own is a very powerful taste so I recommend mixing it 40/60 or 50/50 with another oil based on your taste preference.

PLEASE MAKE SURE that all oils are cold pressed, unrefined/unpasteurised and organic!
This means the oils will be more expensive, but ill health is more expensive than anything and these oils will also last for a long time when stored in a dark and cool environment. 

The recipe:

  • 1 egg yolk, preferably room temperature
  • As much oil as you want mayo: 100-200 ml
  • Big pinch finely chopped parsley/coriander/basil
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

In a food processor or in a bowl using a hand mixer, whisk the egg yolk until it begins to firm up.
As it thickens, SLOWLY add the oil while the machine runs. Start with droplets and as the mixture continues to firm add oil in a steady thin stream. 
If the mixture begins to separate, stop adding oil and whisk until the mixture firms up.
When all the oil is added, whisk inn the herbs and the lemon juice.

 Dieta friendly waldorf with  lentil sprouts, cavolo nero, red cabbage, apple and currants

Dieta friendly waldorf with  lentil sprouts, cavolo nero, red cabbage, apple and currants


Dieta style pesto

"Pesto" is the generic name given to all herby dressings and no combination is wrong. Here are some of my favourite combinations, but feel free to go off piste with this one.

  • EVOO + basil + pine nuts + lemon juice + nutritional yeast (in place of cheese) is the classic
  • Avocado oil + coriander + walnuts + lemon juice is another delicious option
  • EVOO + almonds + parsley + lemon juice with or without the nutritional yeast is equally delightful
 Buckwheat, spinach, sweet potato, sprouts, dehydrated carrots and lots of other goodies topped with coriander pesto

Buckwheat, spinach, sweet potato, sprouts, dehydrated carrots and lots of other goodies topped with coriander pesto


citrus

This is not a recipe, just a reminder: citrus. It's delicious and will add a spark to any salad.

In addition to this, citrus fruit is calcium rich, antioxidant heavy, alkalising and helps promote both blood circulation and the uptake of iron so there are plenty of reasons to include more of these in your diet.

Blood oranges are in season now and are great in salads or juiced mixed with EVOO for a refreshing dressing. A squeeze of lime will brighten up any dish.

 Raw broccoli and sprout salad with smashed avocado and lime, carrot cracker with parsley pesto on the side

Raw broccoli and sprout salad with smashed avocado and lime, carrot cracker with parsley pesto on the side


Guacamole

Guac is also something that is super easy to "dietafy" as all classic guac ingredients are healthy and dieta friendly. Simply omit the spice.

  • 1 Avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, a handful of chives or 2 spring onions, finely chopped 
  • A splash of EVOO or avocado oil
  • A good squeeze of lime
  • Coriander or parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together and mash with a fork.

 Taco salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, red pepper, spring onions and guacamole

Taco salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, red pepper, spring onions and guacamole


hummus

That's right, it's perfectly possible to have hummus on a dieta to eat with crudités or raw crackers for a healthy snack or even packed lunch, as it travels well.
The shop-bought kind is often full of far too much low quality vegetable oil, salt and preservatives so it is best to make it at home in any case and it's very easy too. 

  • 400 ml cooked chic peas (canned is fine but home prepared is definitely better!)
  • 70 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 glove garlic 
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp warm water

Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender.

Feel free to add any of the following: 1/2 small roasted sweet potato; 1 roasted red pepper; 2 roasted medium carrots; 120 ml cooked peas; oil-free sun dried tomatoes; 1/2 avocado; a handful of basil, parsley or coriander.

 Carrot and flax seed crackers, sun dried tomato hummus and radish sprouts

Carrot and flax seed crackers, sun dried tomato hummus and radish sprouts


I hope you have enjoyed these ideas and that they may have inspired you to venture out of plain jane salads, dieta or no dieta!

In my next and final dieta post I will look at snacks and desserts PLUS recommend some places in London that are helpful and accommodating to a restricted diet. In the meantime, happy cooking!

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My post on the dieta and recipes for hot dishes can be found here.
My post on gluten-free and dieta friendly vegetable bread alternatives can be found here.

Dieta: Doing away with bread

These days a lot of us are avoiding gluten, whether on a dieta or not.
This is no surprise as gluten is difficult to digest for most people. In addition to this wheat flour, which is the primary source of gluten protein in our diet, is a “dead food” which has been harvested, milled, bleached, refined and left to sit in a warehouse and finally on a shop shelf for what may be years; it doesn’t have much nutritional chutzpah going for it anymore.

Many people are eating this grain at every meal without being particularly aware of it. Too much of anything – even a good thing! – isn’t ideal and it is really worthwhile to cut down on products, often processed, containing wheat flour and look around for nutritious substitutes.

Growing up in Norway, the Land of Open Faced Sandwiches, I know how deeply engrained bread is in our European food culture.
In Norway it is not unusual to have open faced sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, snack and supper and removing this staple of the diet can feel impossible.

Sandwiches travel well, are filling and can be endlessly redecorated to suit one’s palette. However, I have come up with some well tasting and deeply nourishing alternatives that will make your lunch box get all excited.

If you are following the dieta, simply omit all salt/pepper and other spices listed in the ingredients. The result will not be much different from the original and still taste yummy!


Cauliflower buns


This recipe is borrowed from Sarah Britton over at My New Roots and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is simply delicious and the buns can be topped with both sweet and savoury toppings. 

  • 1 large cauliflower (1200g)
  • ¼ cup / 20g almond meal
  • ¼ cup / 20g nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder (a crushed clove of fresh garlic is dieta approved!)
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onions or sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. psyllium husk (optional, will make the buns drier)

Chop cauliflower into chunks, place in a food processor and blend until as fine as possible. If you don’t have a food processor, grate the cauliflower with a box grater.
Mix with the almond meal, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic and psyllium husk, if using, and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl. Add the eggs to the cauliflower mixture and stir until the dough is moist and will hold together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Taking baseball-sized amounts of dough, squeeze them into a rough ball shape, then drop them from about 1 foot (30cm) onto the baking sheet (this helps to compact them). If you want to make bagels, simply use your finger to poke a hole in the center and shape the rest with your hands. Sprinkle the tops with the dried onion or sesame seeds and place in the oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the buns are golden brown around the edges.
Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Image courtesy of MyNewRoots.org

Image courtesy of MyNewRoots.org


Beetroot flatbread

This recipe was inspired by the vegetable flatbreads of Green Kitchen Stories and a mountain of juice pulp. 
As juice pulp is drier than grated beetroot, there will be two recipes for this bread, depending on how you choose to accumulate lots of grated beetroot. 

  • 500 ml grated beetroot OR 750 ml carrot pulp
  • 250-300 ml oat flour (self milled in a blender or using a hand mixer – more nutritious and makes for fluffier baking!)
  • 3 eggs OR 2 eggs plus 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp water left to soak for 15 minutes)
  • Salt/pepper if using

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixture, forming a sticky paste.
Flatten the paste into a rectangular shape with your hands onto the baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully flip upside down on a cooling rack and peel off the baking paper.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Beetroot flatbread with home made mayo and lentil sprouts

Beetroot flatbread with home made mayo and lentil sprouts


Carrot flatbread

Carrot juice. What can I say, it's my thing. The perfect vehicle for a turmeric and ginger juice, great for making curries and stews (check out the carrot coconut stew in my previous post) and most recently great for making bread. Here's how (without/with juice pulp):

  • 500 ml grated carrots OR 750 ml carrot pulp
  • 200-250 ml oat flour (self milled in a blender or using a hand mixer – more nutritious and makes for fluffier baking!)
  • 3 eggs OR 2 eggs plus 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp water left to soak for 15 minutes)
  • Salt/pepper if using

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixture, forming a sticky paste.
Flatten the paste into a rectangular shape with your hands onto the baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully flip upside down on a cooling rack and peel off the baking paper.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Probably the last styled picture I could have put up here, but it proves an important point: This bread travels well. Here is a carrot bread sandwich on a flight to Hamburg.

Probably the last styled picture I could have put up here, but it proves an important point: This bread travels well. Here is a carrot bread sandwich on a flight to Hamburg.


Broccoli flatbread

Bbroccoli is one of my favourite things to juice and I often have loads of pulp. This makes a delicious and green flatbread and is also a great way to use old broccoli stems.

  • 500 ml grated broccoli OR 750 ml carrot pulp
  • 200-250 ml oat flour (self milled in a blender or using a hand mixer – more nutritious and makes for fluffier baking!)
  • 3 eggs OR 2 eggs plus 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp water left to soak for 15 minutes)
  • Salt/pepper if using

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixture, forming a sticky paste.
Flatten the paste into a rectangular shape with your hands onto the baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully flip upside down on a cooling rack and peel off the baking paper.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Broccoli bread with home made hummus and cucumber

Broccoli bread with home made hummus and cucumber


Carrot pulp crackers

As you see, I juice a lot. And I love carrots. So what to do with the surplus of carrot pulp when you can’t face another carrot bread? (just kidding, I can eat carrot bread until the cows come home.) Make crackers, of course! This things have actually become so popular at home they are their own reason to make carrot juice. Yes. Really.  
These crackers can be dehydrated in a dehydrator on 45 degrees or in an oven on the lowest setting for 8-12 hours to stay raw, or they can be baked in the oven on 180 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup flax seeds soaked in 1 cup water overnight (2 hours works in a pinch) 
  • 1,5 litres carrot pulp
  • 100 ml water (more if needed)
  • 60 ml sesame seeds (soaked overnight then drained)
  • 60 ml chia seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 5 small tomatoes (canned is okay in the winter), roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 pinch unrefined salt (if using)
  • 1 pinch cayenne (if using)

If using the oven, heat it to 180 degrees celsius. 
Mix all the ingredients together. 
Prepare sheets on your dehydrator trays or baking sheets on your oven trays and spread the mixture out (not too thin!). 
Dehydrate or bake as directed above.

 Carrot pulp crackers hanging out with other dehydrated goodies: raw apple granola, kale crisps and berry  bars

Carrot pulp crackers hanging out with other dehydrated goodies: raw apple granola, kale crisps and berry  bars


Granola bars

If you have a dehydrator, you are probably already well versed in granola bars. I have made a ton of these things since I got my dehydrator for Christmas a mere month ago and they keep evolving. 

As I make these as I go with whatever I have on hand, I have no exact recipes for you. However, here are some combinations I have tried and found delicious! 

  • Roasted buckwheat - chestnut honey - dried figs - cinnamon - almond butter (dieta friendly)
  • Roasted buckwheat - acacia honey - goji berries - cashews - ground ginger
  • Oats - hazelnuts - prunes - nutmeg - chestnut honey - pepitas
  • Oats - almonds - almond butter - cinnamon - rapeseed honey - flaked coconut  
    (dieta friendly)
  • Roasted buckwheat - hazelnuts - cinnamon - acacia honey - dates - raw cocoa nibs 

I hope this has given you some inspiration to cut gluten both for your dieta and overall. There are spots many healthier and more fun options out there and these recipes really don't take much time at all. 

Next week I will continue the dieta series and look at dieta friendly lunch and snack alternatives!
Until next time.

Dieta

Whether it is for spiritual purposes, for cleansing, for treating illness or simply to explore a more sattvic diet, a dieta is beneficial for both body and mind. 

I do this diet regularly for both spiritual purposes and cleansing and I find the restrictive nature of the diet only adds to my creativity. Giving up salt is the hardest one for me, but I know that my body is able to cleanse much better without it due to it's water retaining properties so it is very important to try to stick with it. 

Giving up coffee for me is hard initially, but over time I am satisfied with matcha lattes and herbal teas. For others it may be the sugar that is hard to give up or perhaps cheese. Giving up foods for a certain amount of time is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about our food addictions and emotional attachments to what we eat.

The diet is restricted as follows:

  • No red meat
  • No dairy
  • No alcohol
  • No non-prescription or prescription drugs
  • No caffeine (coffee, black tea and kombucha included)
  • No cacao
  • No fermented foods (including no vinegar)
  • No wheat or gluten
  • No sugar
  • No spices (except for a little bit of cinnamon)
  • No salt
  • No oil for cooking
  • No fried food
  • No processed or ready made foods

Wait, what can we eat? Let's look at the YES-list instead!
Yes to... 

  • Herbs
  • Ginger, turmeric, garlic and onions
  • All vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains such as oats, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa
  • Split yellow and green lentils; red, black, brown and puy lentils
  • Chic peas
  • Black beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, mung beans
  • Brown, wild, basmati or black rice
  • Unroasted and unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Unheated, cold pressed organic vegetable oils 
  • Fish, eggs, turkey and chicken if you wish

One can of course live on simple salads and steamed vegetables throughout the diet, but as I am as addicted to cooking as I am to salt I want to be a little more creative with my meal choices over the course of a dieta.  

Over the course of the next few weeks I will share a few meal ideas for a dieta in order to inspire and to help. From breakfast to late night snack, from sweet to savoury, we will take a look at what we can make on a dieta.
Let's begin with the main course...
 

Vegetable stock and soups

Most vegetable soups can be adapted to fit the dieta, but the simpler the better. Of course you must omit sautéing onions in oil, eliminate spices and salty dried vegetable stock. The best way to achieve a flavourful soup without these things is by making your own vegetable stock (makes about 1,5 litres):

  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Bay leaves and/or thyme sprigs 
  • A few cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a knife
  • Some parsley stalks (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a pot and add 1,75 litres of boiling water. Let cook for 1-2 hours and strain.
You can keep this stock in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze it in batches.

I use all sorts of vegetable trimmings from farmer's market vegetables in my vegetable stock and the tops of leeks, the leaves of cauliflowers, fennel tops, celeriac and other flavourful vegetables and their trimmings can go in the stock pot in addition to, or as a replacement of, the ingredients listed above.


In order to make an easy and dieta friendly vegetable soup, simply chop whatever vegetables you would like in the soup, add them to hot stock and boil them until tender before mixing it all with a hand mixer or in a blender.
Feel free to top the soups with pepitas, sesame seeds, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds or other crunchy options.
Here are some suggestions for the winter season. All recipes serves 2 generously.
 

Parsnip soup with ginger

700 ml stock, 3-4 parsnips (depending on size), half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, 5 cm ginger. Option to replace some of the stock with nut milk for a creamier soup


Sweet potato and tomato soup

300 ml stock, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, basil to garnish
 

Butternut squash soup

600 ml stock, 1 medium butternut squash (skin and seeds removed), half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, thyme and/or rosemary
 

Simple noodle soup

Lastly, something a little different: a simple noodle soup with a little more complex recipe.

  • 1 litre vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 cm ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped to bite-size
  • Shiitake mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 broccoli flower, bite sized pieces
  • Optional: other exotic mushrooms of your choice
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 packet of soba noodles (enough for 2 persons)

Bring the stock to a simmer and add the cinnamon, ginger and garlic and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add the carrots to the stock, seven minutes later add the broccoli and boil until the carrots are just tender.
Meanwhile, boil the soba noodles following packet instructions and toast the sesame seeds in a clean pan – careful so they don't burn!
Once the carrots are tender, add the mushrooms to the soup. 
To serve, place noodles in bowls and pout hot soup over, followed by raw spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.


Hot dishes

It is possible to make many "normal" hot dished on the dieta if you just modify the recipes a little bit! 
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired...
 

Carrot and coconut stew

  • 1 tin coconut milk, refrigerated for 15 minutes
  • 500 ml carrot juice
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5 cm ginger, grated 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, gently bashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 courgettes, chopped 
  • 2 handfuls sugar snap peas, finely chopped
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Coriander
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 lime
  • Optional: flaked coconut

Using a spoon, remove the coconut cream from the coconut milk tin and heat it slowly in a pan. Add the lime leaves, ginger, and garlic and let simmer for 8 minutes.
Add the lemongrass, coconut water and carrot juice and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds. 
Add the carrots and red pepper. When the carrots are almost tender, add the courgette and when the courgette is tender add the sugar snap peas and cook for another 2 minutes before turning the heat off. 
Serve with rice, sprinkle with spring onions, coriander, toasted sesame seeds , flaked coconut and a squeeze of lime.


Black rice congee with salmon

One of the very few meat recipes you will ever find here on the blog. Make sure to buy wild caught salmon.

It is also important to soak the black rice in lukewarm water with an acidic medium such as lemon juice or vinegar overnight as this will help break down the complex and hard to digest starches of the rice and make its nutrients more available. 
Serves 2-3.

  • 200 g black rice
  • 1.7 litres vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • 5 cm ginger, grated,
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Spring onions,  finely chopped
  • Half a broccoli floret, chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds and coriander (optional).

Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Boil the rice until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the salmon fillets in aluminium foil and rub them with the crushed garlic and ginger.
Add a few tablespoons of stock to the aluminium parcel, close the parcel and place it on a baking tray in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.
Steam broccoli in a steamer or over a pot of boiling water until tender.
Once the rice and fish is done (the rice and stock should have a soupy consistency), place the rice in  bowls, place the fish fillets on top and garnish with spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander.
 

Spaghetti bolognaise 

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 ladle(s) vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • Half an onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250 g button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • A few thyme sprigs 
  • Optional: basil to garnish
  • Gluten free spaghetti such as Dove's Farm gluten free spaghetti

Serves 2.
Bring the tomatoes and the broth to a boil and add the vegetables and the thyme sprigs, the reduce to a low simmer for 20-30 minutes or longer – the longer the better!
Let the sauce rest while you boil the spaghetti according to package instructions.
Serve with basil to garnish.
 

Stuffed winter squashes with buckwheat

"This tastes like stuffing" was the reaction from my man. It sure does! I served this with some left over lunch salad on the side. Serves 2.

  • 100 grams roasted buckwheat, soaked overnight
  • 2 medium sized red squashes such as hokkaido, turban squash or sugar pumpkin
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • A handful of kale or cavolo nero, stalks removed and finely chopped

Soak the buckwheat overnight with an acidic medium such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Open the top of the squashes and remove the seeds.
Roast cut sides down for 30-40 minutes until tender, then remove from the oven and let cool.
Scoop out the flesh from the squashes and add to a bowl with the drained buckwheat and the other ingredients, then stuff it all back into the squash.
Roast for 10-15 minutes then serve.
 

Savoury porridge

A savoury breakfast dish that works just as well as lunch or even a last minute dinner. You be the judge of ratios here depending on how many you are feeding and how hungry you are.

  • Porridge oats
  • Vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • Carrots, grated
  • Garlic clove(s), crushed
  • Kale, spinach or cavolo nero, finely chopped
  • Optional: poached egg(s)

Cook the oats in the stock together with the carrot, greens and garlic until the oats have reached the desired consistency. Top with a poached egg if you wish.

 Dieta makes me feel like ...

Dieta makes me feel like ...

I hope this has provided some inspiration on how to go about a dieta.

I will continue to post dieta friendly recipes over the next couple of weeks and cover topics such as breakfasts, snacks, salads, bread alternatives and treats as well as recommend some spots for eating out in London on the dieta.
Stay tuned!

Sweeping the temple

Isn't it strange that a weekly cleaning of one’s lodgings (house, flat, cave) is not only seen as normal but even mandatory, while housekeeping of our fleshy lodgings (our bodies) is looked upon as something a little bit weird and even unnecessary?
However, cleaning the body and cleaning the house works in the same way: if it’s not done regularly, lots of gunk will gather in the nooks and corners and getting rid of it will be more difficult the longer you leave it.

This is why I want to share with you an array of useful tools to detox and support the body: the enema, face masks, body scrubbing and brushing, the detox bath, hair and scalp treatments, the castor oil pack and the neti pot.
It’s a lot, I know, but I hope to inspire you to during this cold and quiet seasons delve into your personal spa at home and really clean out the gunky corners of your fleshy household.
And who knows, maybe you establish a new routine for all seasons?

 One of my favourite posessions: my body brush

One of my favourite posessions: my body brush

In today’s modern society it is difficult to avoid environmental toxins no matter how health conscious our diet and lifestyle.
Pharmaceutical drugs, while sometimes helpful, are still toxic to the body and residue and after-effects may linger in unexpected places.
A cure of antibiotics still affects the body’s natural flora 2 years after it is taken.
The polluted air that we breathe, pathogenic microorganisms in our drinking water, chemicals in household cleaning products as well as in body lotions, makeup and hair products, pesticides and heavy metals in our vegetables… The list goes on and on.

These are poisons which are very hard to avoid if we wish to live in a modern society today, especially if we enjoy the pulsating life of a big city!
As humans we are equipped with eliminatory organs such as the lymphatic system, the liver and the kidneys, but these organs need support in order not to buckle down under the pressure of filtering out a serious load of toxins every single day.

As these poisons are impossible to avoid (although I of course encourage you to do your best!), our focus should be on limiting the effect these harmful substances have on our bodies.
A brilliant way to do this is to frequently give yourself time to do some bodily housekeeping; sometimes a light vacuum and sometimes deep cleanings.

Here are a few things that I do at home to support my healing and well being, both when going through a cleanse such as a juice or water fast or when I am just doing some “general housework” on a weekly basis:


 The turmeric face mask, aloe vera hair mask and – dare I say it? – coffee enema all in action this very morning!

The turmeric face mask, aloe vera hair mask and – dare I say it? – coffee enema all in action this very morning!

FACE MASKS

I make my own simple face masks at home, different ones for different purposes. I will not take credit for any of these recipes! They are simply recipes I’ve picked up on the way and modified to suit my needs.
There are three: one for oily skin, one for blemish prone skin (that time of the month, hello!) and one for dry skin.

The best way to prepare your skin for a face mask is by opening the pores using a clean face towel rinsed in hot water. Keep the towel on the face until it cools, pat dry with a clean towel and then apply the face mask.
 

SPIRULINA FACE MASK – for oily skin and clogged pores

You will need:
1/2 teaspoon spirulina
1 tbsp water OR 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

Instructions:
Vinegar will dry the skin somewhat so it is best used on particularly oily skin. This mineral heavy face mask will dry up on your skin, balance your PH and suck lots of crap our of your pores. Spirulina and apple cider are both antibacterial foods and this will help keep your pores from irritation which causes blemishes and redness.
Leave for max 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
 

TURMERIC FACE MASK – for blemish prone skin

You will need:
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions:
Turmeric and raw honey are both very antibacterial and will deeply disinfect your pores. Lemon juice cleanses, tones and reduces pore size.
This mask gets kind of grainy because of the turmeric, so you can scrub your face with it for 30 seconds before leaving it on as a mask.
Leave for max 15 minutes.
Note that this mask may leave your face a little bit yellow for a couple of hours after you have removed it! Fear not, it will fade. Just wipe your face with a cloth after the mask before moisturising.
 

RAW HONEY FACE MASK - hydrating

You will need:
1 teaspoon refrigerated raw honey

Instructions:
Refrigerating the honey is key as this will make the sugars in the honey crystallise and you will have a fine scrub. Raw honey is antibacterial, moisturising and it smells nice; this is the one I use most frequently. Scrub the cold honey into your pores and then leave it on your face for 20-30 minutes before washing with warm water.
 

MOISTURISE

Moisturising is always important, but especially after a face mask like the spriulina or the turmeric face mask as these put your skin though a lot. I prefer an oil after a face mask, either argan oil or, if my skin is not going through an oily phase, rose hip oil.
 

 Raw honey

Raw honey


ENEMA

The health benefits of enemas, in particular my favourite coffee enema, are too numerous to list in one small post and there have been written books on the subject. But believe me, having your morning coffee this way is much better for you!
This is something I do once a week.

Coffee in the colon causes the ducts in the liver to dilate and release bile and the coffee that is being absorbed through the enema dilutes the bile, causing it to flow more easily in order to be flushed out.
Proper bile flow helps your body rid itself of waste products so this is crucial to detoxing properly.
Enhancing bile flow is a great way support for the liver, an organ which works so hard for us in particular during times of illness or after a period of drinking alcohol to excess and showing this organ some love can feel very intimate and powerful.

Substances found in the coffee (kahweol and cafestol palmitate) gives a 600% activity boost to the liver enzyme glutathione-S-transferase which is known to remove free radicals from the blood stream.
If you manage to hold the coffee enema in for 15 minutes, all the blood of the body will pass through the liver at least 4 times (roughly just below every 3 minutes) and you will effectively cleanse the blood of free radicals.

In addition to this, an enema is excellent for colon health as it properly washes out old material that otherwise can get stuck in the colon and block the intestinal lining, preventing nutrient assimilation, water uptake and proper digestion.
You especially see the effects of the enema when on a juice or water fast as you keep passing solids several days after your last solid meal… It is really quite revolting and inspiring all at once.

As you clean out both good and bad bacteria when doing an enema I recommend having a probiotic supplement or food when you're done.
I usually do my enemas first thing in the morning before I eat anything (drinking water is fine), but this is a preference and not strictly nescessary.

Coffee enemas are vigorously employed in alternative cancer treatments and were a cornerstone in Dr. Max Gerson’s cancer therapy. The method I am using is borrowed from the Gerson therapy.

 My trusty enema kit

My trusty enema kit

You will need:

A bag of ground ORGANIC coffee
An enema bag or bucket
Filtered water
A timer or a phone with a timer
A comfy place to rest
Coconut oil for lubrication
A good book or a podcast (my favourite enema-time-podcast is SMNTY!)

I always do two enemas: a flush and a coffee enema. The flush enables me to hold the coffee enema for a full 20 minutes and it cleans far up into the bowels.
Prepare both enemas before you start.


THE FLUSH ENEMA

Boil 500 ml of filtered water
Add this to a bowl along with 1 litre cold filtered water
(you are aiming for water that is warm, almost hot)


The coffee enema

Bring 1,2 litres of filtered water to a boil and add 4 tablespoons of coffee.
Turn off the heat and let the coffee infuse for 20 minutes before straining.
The coffee will be too hot to use at this point, but I find that it cools down during my flush enema.

Then we begin.
Hang your enema bag or bucket up on a door handle or a picture hook in your bathroom and release the clamp on the hose into a sink so that you release some air.
Clamp the hose again, lubricate the tip with coconut oil and lay down on a towel, on the floor, in the bathtub… Wherever you can be comfortable.
Laying on your left side, insert the hose and try to relax your muscles and your breath.
Once all of the water has been inserted, go to the toilet and release at once.
This may take some time as the water can get lodged far up. Massaging clockwise on the lower abdomen can help, as can getting up and walking around for a bit – I assure you that 2 minutes will be more than enough!

Then it is time for the coffee enema.
Strain the coffee infusion into the enema bag, checking the temperature. If it is too hot or cold, tweak it with water.
Again, release air over the sink and lay down on your left side.
After all the coffee has been inserted, start a timer for 5 minutes.
Every 5 minutes, turn around as turning like this ensures that you give your bowels proper “wash”.
Turn from the left side to laying on your back, on your right side and finally (this is the hardest one!) come to rest on your knees with your forehead on the floor (child’s pose) before going to the toilet to release the enema.
Massaging anti-clockwise throughout the coffee enema can help retain the enema as this moves the water further up the colon.
Breathing exercises and mediation is also helpful and so is a good podcast!


BODY SCRUB

The perfect thing to do with your left over coffee grounds from your enema is to make an exfoliating body scrub.
This recipe is very simple and while the coffee exfoliates and tones the skin, the coconut oil moisturises and the essential oil of your choosing can either uplift or relax.
This is also a great way to enjoy the benefits of mineral rich salts if you don’t have a bath tub.

Scrubbing vigorously aides detoxification as it stimulates the lymphatic system at the same time as removing dead layers of skin which allows the skin to breathe and sweat to properly exit the pores.

You will need:
2 parts coffee grounds
1 part epsom salt or other mineral rich salt crystals
1 part melted coconut oil at room temperature
A few drops of essential oil of your choice. I like eucalyptus or orange for an uplifting experience and lavender for a more soothing feel.

Instructions:
Mix all the ingredients together and keep in a jar in your shower or bathtub.
Scrub the skin vigorously, then rinse.
In order to further moisturise the skin, resist the urge to wash off with soap and instead gently pat your body dry and enjoy the feeling of the oil entering your pores.

 Finished body scrub and essential oils

Finished body scrub and essential oils


BODY BRUSHING

Body brushing has become a bit of an addiction of mine: I have to do it every morning and I don’t really feel that I have woken up properly without! I even travel with my brush.

Body brushing has the same detoxifying effects as a body scrub in that is stimulates the lymphs and allows the skin to breathe properly.
It is a great way to wake up the body in the morning as well as preparing the pores for an epsom salt bath or a ginger bath (see below). 
Needless to say, please purchase an all natural brush for your skin. I use this one (not sponsored, I just love it!).

You will need:
A body brush

Instructions:
In order to best stimulate the lymphatic system try to follow the guidelines of the lymph drainage map below, scrubbing from the extremities towards the core using circular motions.
Try to be as enthusiastic as possible: the goal is to make your skin really pink and a stiff brush takes some getting used to!
 


DETOX BATH

A nice, hot bath is very relaxing, but did you know that it can help you detox as well?

Epsom salt, coming from Epsom in Surrey here in the UK, is well renowned for it’s high compound of magnesium and sulphate and has gained popularity as THE bath salt.
However I will say that any mineral rich unrefined salt such as dead sea salt and Himalayan pink salt will do the job nicely.
The point is to have a bath with a high mineral content as these minerals help relieve muscle cramps, improve circulation and draw toxins out of the pores, more efficiently so if the skin is prepared with a body brush as outlined above.
In addition to this a hot bath of course helps the body sweat, which is a powerful cleanse in itself. It is important to replenish with at least a large 500 ml glass of lukewarm water (as lukewarm is more hydrating) to replace lost fluids after a hot bath.

If you want to get a serious sweat on you can add powdered ginger to you bath. This will make you sweat and feel very hot for a good hour after your bath so it is best to do just before bedtime.

After a salt bath with or without ginger I prefer not to apply any moisturisers or oils to my skin as I want to keep the pores open and the sweat going for as long as my body feels is necessary.
Try not to stay in the bath for more than 25 minutes as the toxins you draw out of the pores will slowly begin to go back in after half an hour and that ruins the whole point!
Rinsing off with cold water before stepping out of the bath is a great way to get both the blood and lymphatic circulation going.

You will need:
A bathtub
Good quality salt
Ground ginger (optional)

Instructions:
Run a hot bath (as hot as you can handle) and add a few good handfuls of salt and, if you wish, 1 1/2 tablespoons of powdered ginger. Stir the bath to dissolve the salt and ginger.
Soak for no longer than 25 minutes. Keep drinking water to stay hydrated!
Rinse off with cold water, pat dry and lay down while your body sweats and returns to normal temperature.


SCALP AND HAIR TREATMENT

Our scalps and hair needs some love as well, especially if we subject them to chemical laden hair products and heat through blow drying or otherwise heat treating the hair. And let’s not even begin to think about the toxins in hair colour!

A hair mask is perfect for when you are having an enema, a bath or a face mask and I keep returning to these three masks depending on what my hair and scalp needs.
I have a very sensitive scalp and suffer after using hair colour and/or products as well as when the winter temperatures set in so the aloe vera mask is especially helpful to me.

Essential oils can be very helpful in a hair and scalp treatment. I like lavender as it soothes and relaxes and itchy scalp and also rosemary which promotes hair growth and decreases hair loss.


ALOE VERA MASK

You will need:
Freshly harvested aloe vera inner gel from an aloe vera plant (instructions here), puréed, or 100% aloe vera inner leaf extract.
Essential oil of your choice can be added to the mix.

Instructions:
Damp the hair and scalp with a warm cloth as to open the pores.
Massage into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, leave for as long as you like and wash your hair as normal.
Brushing your hair as you add the gel will help expose the scalp.
This mask will treat a dry, flaky and itchy scalp as well as provide moisture to the hair.

 

COCONUT OIL HAIR MASK

You will need:
Organic coconut oil

Instrictions:
Damp the hair and scalp with a warm cloth as to open the pores.
Melt coconut oil on in a pan on the stove and allow to cool before massaging into hair and scalp.
You can add essential oils to this mix as well as raw honey.
Massage into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, leave for 30 minutes and wash your hair as normal.
This mask will soothe a dry scalp as well as give plenty of moisture and bounce to the hair.

 

AVOCADO MASK

You will need:
An avocado
You can add a banana (deep conditioning and promotes natural curls), raw honey (protects the hair if you often subject it to heat), an egg yolk (strengthens hair and reduces hair loss) or olive oil (fights frizz and helps remove tangles) to the blend.

Instructions:
Blend smooth 1 avocado with any essential oil/other ingredient(s) of your choice.
Damp the hair and scalp with a warm cloth as to open the pores.
Massage into the hair and scalp for a few minutes, leave for 45 minutes and was your hair as normal.
This mask thickens the hair and promotes shine and growth as well as soothes a sore scalp.


CASTOR OIL PACK

A castor oil pack is made by soaking a flannel in castor oil and letting it sit on the abdomen for an hour or more.
Used this way, castor oil greatly improves detoxification as it supports the liver and the lymphatic system.
Castor oil packs are able to help regulating menstruation and support ovarian and uterine health and can be used before or after a cycle (not when menstruating).
In addition to this a castor oil pack relieves digestive issues such as gas, bloating, inflammation, congestion and bowel toxicity.

A 1999 study found that “castor oil packs produced a significant temporary increase in the number of T-11 cells that increased over a 7 hour period following treatment and then returned to normal levels within 24 hours later”.
A T-11 cell lymphocyte is a powerful antibody that kill viruses, unwanted bacteria, fungi and cancer cells. We want more of those, please!

You will need:
A flannel or face towel made from a natural fabric such as wool or cotton
Good quality hexane free castor oil (I use this one)
A small cotton towel you don’t mind dedicating to castor oil packs as the oil won’t wash out (but feel free to reuse the towel again for castor oil packs)
A hot water bottle or heating pad
Cling film or a castor oil pack holder
Old clothes or blankets you don’t mind staining or a medical grade toxin free plastic sheet if you can find one. Or, if you have a bath tub, you can do your castor oil pack there and won't need a plastic sheet.

Instructions:
Make sure your flannel is the right size to cover the lower part of your abdomen, either folded or unfolded. A thinner flannel should be folded, whereas a thicker flannel or cloth can have one layer only.
Thoroughly saturate the flannel in castor oil. One way to do this is to keep the flannel in a glass jar or bowl and add a tablespoon of oil every 15 minutes until the flannel is saturated. It may sound like a lot of work, but you can reuse the flannel once it’s done!
Lay down on a towel or plastic sheet in bed or on the floor or in the bath tub, wearing clothes or blankets you won’t mind stain.
Place the oil soaked flannel on your lower abdomen (roughly from under the ribs to the hip bones) and wrap around with the cotton towel followed by the cling film or, if you have it, a castor oil pack holder.
Place the heating pad or hot water bottle on top of your abdomen.
Relax! Read a book, listen to a podcast or meditate for an hour. If possible, keep your feet elevated using pillows, a stool or a ledge nearby.
When done, store the castor oil flannel in a glass jar or box in the fridge.
Wash the oil off using natural soap or baking soda and water.
Make sure to drink plenty of water.


NETI POT

A neti pot is a small pot that may be shaped like horn or a small tea pot and is used for cleaning the sinuses.
By simply mixing salt with water, the neti pot offers relief from congested sinuses either from a cold or from air pollution.
The fancy word for it is nasal saline irrigation, but it is basically the use of lukewarm salt water to flush out the sinuses.
The inside of the nasal and sinus cavities is lined with tiny little things called cilia and these are the ones that move mucous back and forth in the sinus passages. Saline solution seems to boost these cilia so that they coordinate more easily and can remove allergens and irritants from the sinus passages. Neat, isn’t it?
Thus, the neti pot can provide relief from allergies as well as ward off infections without the use of pharmaceutical treatment.

You will need:
A neti pot
High quality, finely ground salt

Instructions:
Fill the neti pot with lukewarm water and add a pinch of salt.
Shake the neti pot for 30 seconds to mix the salt and the water.
Insert the tip of the neti pot into one nostril and tilt your head in the opposite direction of the pot. The salt water should begin to trickle out of your other nostril.
Keep breathing through your mouth! When halfway through the water in the pot, switch sides.
Blow your nose after. You may feel temporarily more congested, but this will last only for a few minutes.
Use the neti pot as often as you like, either to treat specific ailments or as a maintenance tool.


Finally, I want to assure you that it is okay – more than okay, necessary – to take the time to do these things.
Our bodies work so hard for us no matter what we put them through and one of the few things we can be certain of is that we will spend the rest of our time in this life inside the bodies we have been given.

In order to be the best we can be, to be most efficient, to achieve our goals and to have spare energy to care for other beings we need to be as healthy and pain free as possible.
We need to help ourselves before we can help others and treat our bodies as if they belong to someone we love. This is why caring for oneself shouldn’t be seen as or thought of as a selfish act but a necessary act, something that ultimately supports the wellbeing of all that cross our path.
Take good care of yourself.

 

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of the treatments outlined and I will do my best to answer them!

The year's last, loveliest smile

"Autumn – the year’s last, loveliest smile"
William Cullen Bryant
 

My favourite season is here!

Time to tidy the wardrobe and pull all the cosy sweaters out from their hiding places, to kick leaves in the park and to sample the best vegetables nature has to offer.
At the farmer’s market the stalls are creaking under the weight of the loveliest things around: lingering summer flavours such as strawberries, courgette flowers, lettuce, curly leaf kale and cucumbers are mixing with pumpkins, apples, beets and carrots, the first winter vegetables of the season.
It is such a joy to follow nature as she dances on through the seasons.

In my last post I discussed the health benefits of raw honey and promised to share some autumnal treats with you after experimenting a little. Now is the time!

Using raw honey from The Local Honey Man I have made two autumn treats, although both are so healthy you could even have them for breakfast if you so wish. In fact, the tahini date balls are ideal before a workout!
So without much further ado, here are two recipes to take with you into the new season.


AUTUMN HONEY CAKE


As the initial excitement over the arrival of the winter squashes slowly fades into frustration over the course of the cold season (my man calls this state of mind “squashed out”), it is nice to have some recipes to hand that offer an alternative take on these colourful bubbleheads.

For this recipe I have used butternut squash, but it is perfectly okay to use pumpkins, hokkaido squash, or a mix of orange and green squashes – whatever you have on hand.
Butternut squash is one of the most powerful sources of the antioxidant betacarotene in the plant kingdom, which out bodies convert to vitamin A.
As betacarotene is fat soluble, a good source of healthy fat (coconut oil in this case) alongside any orange vegetable aids the body in the uptake of nutrients.

I used borage honey from the Local Honey Man in this recipe as it is sweet, but still with some flavour to it.
I also chose to decorate my cake with a pumpkin flower from the garden, but if you can’t find one the cake can also be decorated with chopped walnuts, desiccated coconut, seeds, bee pollen, honey swirls… Whatever takes your fancy!

For the base:
140 grams walnuts
50 grams ground almonds (left overs from nut milk is fine!)
190 grams pitted dates
2 tbsp coconut oil
a pinch of sea salt

For the cake:
600 grams butternut squash
200 ml orange juice (fresh is of course best)
140 grams raw honey
180 ml coconut oil, melted and room temperature

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
Peel the squash, half it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, cut into cubes and roast for 30-40 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, blend all the base ingredients in a food processor or with a hand mixer to a crumble-like consistence that holds together in a pinch.
Line an 18 cm spring-form baking tin with baking paper, spoon the base mix into the form and press it down with your fingers, making sure that it is of even height all around.
Refrigerate the base.

Once the squash is roasted, leave it to cool before adding it to a blender with the rest of the cake-ingredients and blent until completely smooth.
Remove the cake tin from the fridge and pour the cake filling over the cake base.
This is the time to decorate the cake if you so wish.
Then place the whole thing back into the fridge to set: a couple of hours will do, but overnight is better.

To serve, open the spring form and either cut the paper around the cake base or, if you are brave, carefully transfer the cake from the baking paper to a serving plate with the help of spatulas.
 


FERMENTED HONEY ENERGY BALLS

 

I got to try something very special when I let visited the Local Honey Man, namely fermented honey!
As you may know if you have ever read anything on this blog at all, I am ever so slightly obsessed with fermented foods, so this honey was right up my alley. It is sweet yet fermented, bitter, malty, almost a little bit like honey-beer.

Energy balls, bliss balls, raw balls; you’ve probably had one somewhere lately.
These things are all the rage these days and as there are so many wonderful recipes out there this is the first time I have seen any reason to create a recipe myself.
Why add another one to the pile?
Firstly, because I wanted to create something special in honour of the fermented honey instead of having to make this unique flavour fit into an other recipe and secondly because I find many energy balls too sweet for my liking.

If you read my post about foods to eat before exercise, you may recall that the ideal thing to eat before a workout is a high carb snack that will replenish your glycogen storage (=energy) while at the same time not being too fibrous so that it will linger in your stomach and make you queasy.
Dates are ideal as they are taken up by the bloodstream quickly to give you a burst of energy before physical activity.

If you can’t find fermented honey, another more bitter honey such as chestnut honey will do the trick here. Or, if you like it sweeter, feel free to substitute with any regular (RAW!) honey you can find.

50 grams ground almonds (left overs from nut milk is fine!)
3 tsp tahini
2.5 tsp raw honey
50 grams pitted dates
small pinch of sea salt
sesame seeds

Mix all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds into a paste in a food processor or with a hand mixer.
Pinch off enough dough to make a roughly 3cm ball and roll it in the sesame seeds, refrigerate for minimum 1 hour and enjoy.
Makes approx. 10 balls.

Local Honey Man

A little while back I was incredibly lucky to be invited by The Local Honey Man to see their honey production behind the scenes first hand and to sneak a peek at their new and beautiful products and logo.

The Local Honey Man (LHM) produces raw honey in Essex and London and is run by Curtis who learnt the bee keeping trade from his uncle.
LHM works tirelessly to better the situation for the world’s bees, who are nearing extinction because they have nowhere to feed in an increasingly urbanised world and because big agro are fond of using bee killing pesticides. (Which can also produce cancer in humans by the way… Choose organic!)

Bees, while being beautiful beings in their own right, are also vital to the ecosystem in that they help pollinate the plants that all species need in order to live.
This is why, in addition to selling raw honey and beeswax products, LHM also sells bee keeping equipment and holds bee keeping courses so that anyone who is interested can take up a rewarding hobby and help save the planet at the same time!

Personally I am not sure if I am ready to take on a hive for myself just yet, but at home we have planted a wildflower meadow in order to give the bees a safe feeding ground and I urge everyone who has a garden to do the same. Not only will you help the quickly diminishing bee population, but you will have gorgeous (and some edible!) flowers all summer to cherish outside or to pick and display on the dinner table.

 The beeswax of the LHM honey is scraped off by hand before the honey is sucked out of the honeycomb in a centrifugal machine.

The beeswax of the LHM honey is scraped off by hand before the honey is sucked out of the honeycomb in a centrifugal machine.

As raw honey is unpasteurised and unfiltered it contains an incredible amount of beneficial enzymes, phytonutrients, macro- and micronutrients.
Honey is often heat-treated and “purified” before reaching the market and this strips off its natural anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. This is why raw honey is excellent ON the body as well as IN the body! More on this later.

The nutritional content of honey varies with the floral source, but often include the B complex vitamins and vitamin A, C, E and K, minerals like copper, zinc manganese, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and an abundance of amino acids.
In comparison to “purified” commercially sold pasteurised honey, raw honey is incredibly more nutritionally beneficial. For instance, raw honey is alkaline forming in the body in contrast to pasteurised or refined honey which is acidic.
Raw honey also has a relatively low glycemic index score (how quickly the sugar is taken up by the bloodstream – the higher score, the bigger spike in blood sugar) of 30 to 40, while pasteurised honey can reach up to 80.
Raw honey has been linked to treating candida overgrowth, aiding the digestion, boosting the immune system and relieving infections and hay fever.

 Scraping beeswax: surprisingly meditative

Scraping beeswax: surprisingly meditative

Raw honey is antiseptic and anti-bacterial, it minimises the chance for inflammation of the skin which causes redness and blemishes and this is why it is great as a face mask.
My favourite facemark and scrub consists of raw honey only. The true mark of raw honey is that is crystallises when it gets cold, so if you keep a small jar in the fridge it is great as a scrub and then it can be left on the face for 30 minutes after. Rinse with warm water and you are good to go! I use this scrub/mask at least once a week.

LHM has also released a raw honey lip balm in their product range. As we eat most of our lip balm throughout the day, I think it is only logical to opt for a natural option and this one is lovely.
 


I cook with raw honey all the time and it is not only for desserts!

I love playing around with it in the kitchen and this is why I would like to share with you three everyday-recipes using raw honey as well as dedicate my next post to the perfect raw honey autumn dessert. Stay tuned…
Meanwhile, enjoy these inspiring and simple ideas for using raw honey!
 

ON ANYTHING ANYTIME SALAD DRESSING

This is so easy that it is hardly a recipe, but I find that this salad dressing can liven up even the most bitter-tasting wilted salad (old dandelion greens laying around, anyone?).
It is sweet, sour, salty and pungent all at the same time, which is why it goes with anything. I also adjust the ratios to suit the salad in question: a sweet salad with root vegetables need less honey for example, while a sour salad with sorrel can use a bit more mustard and honey.
The key is to have the best ingredients available and because you only need to use a little bit of everything each time it is cost-effective in the long run.

1/2 tsp strong mustard
1 big tsp raw honey
1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 good pinch pink himalayan salt
2 good grinds of black pepper

Mix everything together in a glass or small cup and add to any salad. Suitable for a salad serving 2-3 people

TURMERIC RAW HONEY SHOTS    

I recently started making these shots after visiting Boulder, CO, where it is all the rage and so I won’t take credit for inventing them.
What I will say though is that this is the ultimate cold and inflammation fighter!

Raw honey is, as you know by now, anti-inflammatory and alongside turmeric and ginger this is a very powerful shot for the immune system to kickstart the body’s anti-inflammatory response. The carrots sweetens this powerful drink and the black pepper aids the uptake of curcumin (the main curcuminoid in turmeric).
When my man suffered from an inflamed achilles after too much running I fed him this daily.

4 finger sized pieces of fresh turmeric
3 large thumb sized pieces of fresh ginger 2 carrots
1 tsp raw honey
Freshly ground black pepper

Juice the turmeric, ginger and carrots in your juicer. Mix in the raw honey and add a few good grinds of pepper. Swirl and drink.

This makes one very powerful shot, so you may want to sip it rather than shoot it!

SUPER POWER OATS

This is my favourite thing to eat after a hard workout as these oats contain a fine balance of everything you need after a training. Carbs, anti-inflammatories, calcium, iron, protein, antioxidants and healthy fats… It’s all in there. And you can make it the night before so that you can hit it straight after you finish your training!

To recap from my post on exercise and diet:
the oats provide healthy carbohydrates to replenish your energy storage and promote metabolic hormone function; the anti-inflammatory functions of the raw honey help prevent damage to ligaments and muscles; the chia and flax seeds provide a healthy dose of omega 3 and protein; bone and blood minerals are supplied by chia seeds (calcium) and maca powder (iron); antioxidant heavy goji berries prevent inflammation and the ghee supplies the body with healthy building blocks for cells and hormones in the shape of saturated fats.
In short, the perfect recipe for promoting metabolism, building the body and preventing damage. Raw honey is particularly great for this dish as an enzyme present in the honey called amylase has the ability to pre-digest grains and make them easier on your digestion.

(For 1 person)
70-100 grams oats (depending on the intensity of your exercise regime)
1 tbsp goji berries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maca powder
1 tbsp flax seeds (if you have the time and patience, grind them up beforehand: this allows for better assimilation)
1 large tsp raw honey
1 pinch himalayan pink salt/unrefined sea salt 200-250 grams almond milk (depending on how much oats you are using)
1 large tsp ghee

In the evening before bedtime find yourself a jam jar or an old coconut oil jar (I have quite the selection) and add the oats, goji berries, chia and flax seeds, maca, honey and salt.
Mix everything with a fork before adding the almond milk and stir as you go.
Pop the lid on and leave in the fridge overnight.
In the morning after your exercise (or no exercise!) add the ghee, stir and enjoy!

 Super power oats

Super power oats


The next post will tackle the perfect autumn treat as well as looking into fermented honey and how to cook with it.
I want to thank The Local Honey Man for giving me such an educational experience and I hope this post has inspired you to incorporate more raw honey into your diet!

 Ready steady scrape!

Ready steady scrape!

Deliciously elder

For two years I have been living in the lush and green borough of Fulham without even noticing the abundance of elderflowers around me, but this year I decided to make the most of it. It is incredible how these beautiful flowers appear suddenly all around me, just to disappear as quickly in just a few weeks.

This is why it is important to use the seasonal produce while it is avaliable. Eating seasonal foods is something I am very passionate about. It makes sense ecologically as we by eating this way don’t force Mother Earth to grow things she would not normally be able to grow out of season.
If there are for example asparagus at the grocery store in November, they have a huge carbon footprint as they most likely come from another continent. They will also have been treated with chemicals so as to appear fresh looking when they arrive in Europe after weeks on the road.
Eating seasonal also makes sense from a chef’s standpoint – it’s fun and challenging.

Nature is ingeniously clever by providing us with exactly what we need for the seasons.
During the cold months we have starch-heavy carbohydrates in the form of root vegetables alongside plenty of vegetables that make excellent stocks for soups and stews, while in the summer we find lighter vegetables perfect for hot weather such as summer squashes, peas and light root vegetables.

I was prompted by one of my favourite chefs Yotam Ottolenghi in the last weekend’s The Guardian to go out and look for elderflowers and I found a big bush in my local park.
I jumped the fence separating me from my fragrant prey and after five minutes I happily cycled home with a basket-full of little white treasures.

I made both pickled elderflower (I love the idea of using this in a root vegetable mash or as an addition to salads!) and elderflower cordial more or less following the recipes in the article, both of which I will attach at the end of this post.
As I use unrefined, mineral rich cane sugar (rapadura) instead of white caster sugar my cordial comes out slightly murky, but this is a small price to pay to avoid refined sugar.

However I had been a little too enthusiastic in my foraging and I still had lots of flowers left! So I decided to experiment by making elderflower water kefir. And hit the jackpot.

 Elderflower kefir brewing

Elderflower kefir brewing

Water kefir, as I have mentioned before, is a wonderful probiotic drink and a great alternative to regular kefir and kombucha as it is both dairy and caffeine free.
If you feed the tibicos-grains minerals as you brew, you will end up with a mineral rich drink full of good bacteria that can contribute to better digestion, lowering of “bad” LDL cholesterol, clearer skin, a more robust immune system and it can reduce the risk of infections and inflammation in the body.

Water kefir carbonates naturally as it ferments and this is a perfect compliment to the elderflower: you end up with a fizzy, sweet-and-sour drink that is perfect for summery barbecues.

 Kefir grains doing their thing

Kefir grains doing their thing

Whatever elderflower idea that tickles you, at least be quick about it! These flowers are in bloom right now and when they are gone in just a couple of weeks you won't get the chance until next year.


Elderflower pickle
 

18 elderflower heads
200 ml red-wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar (I use rapadura)
1/4 tsp salt
10 black peppercorns

Rinse the elderflowers gently and press into a 325 ml jam jar. Pour over the vinegar, add the sugar, salt and peppercorns. Seal the jar and put it in a large sauce pan filled with cold water. On a high heat, bring to the boil then turn down and leave to simmer for 7 minutes. Remove the jar from the pan and set aside somewhere cool and dark for at least 3 weeks before using.

 Sealing the elderflower pickle

Sealing the elderflower pickle

Elderflower and rose cordial (makes 700 ml)

12 elderflower heads
Shaved skin of 2 small lemons
1 small rose from your garden (or someone else’s garden – just don’t say I told you!)
500 ml water
200 g rapadura (note: the original recipe contains a lot more sugar, but I found this was plenty)
125 ml lemon juice

Rinse the elderflowers and peel the petals off the rose, discarding the hard centre. Put the elderflowers in a large bowl along with the lemon skin and rose petals. Pour over boiling water and press down the florets, making sure they are submerged. Cover and leave to infuse for 36 hours. Strain the infusion into a medium saucepan, pressing the lemon peel, flowers and rose petals with the back of a spoon before discarding them.
Add the sugar and lemon juice to the infusion, turn the heat on high and cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is starting to simmer. Leave to cool and pour into a glass bottle. Serve 3 tablespoons of cordial per 200 ml of water.
The cordial will keep in the fridge for 1 month.

 Elderflower cordial hanging out with Buddah and the beetroots

Elderflower cordial hanging out with Buddah and the beetroots

Elderflower water kefir (makes 1 litre)

24 elderflower heads
900 ml boiling water
70 g rapadura
Half a lemon/1 lime, sliced into boats Egg shells (optional – this will further mineralise the drink)
1 tbsp of dried unsulphured fruit – I used apricots
1 large tbsp tibicos grains
(Take care to use only non-metal utensils when making water kefir as the tibicos grains are not partial to metal)

Rinse the elderflowers and put them in a large bowl.
Pour in the hot water and press down the florets, making sure they are submerged. Cover and leave to infuse for 36 hours.
Strain the infusion into a medium saucepan, pressing the flowers with the back of a spoon before discarding them. Add the sugar to the infusion, turn the heat on high and cook for 3-4 minutes while stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is starting to simmer.
Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, clean a 1 litre wide mouth jar and rinse it thoroughly as to get rid of any soap leftovers. In it goes the lemon/lime, egg shells if using, and dried fruit and tibicos grains.
When the sweet elderflower liquid is at room temperature or below, pour it into the jar, cover with a muslin cloth or tea towel, secure with a rubber band and leave to ferment for 24-36 hours.

 Soak it!

Soak it!

In this warm English summer weather I check mine after 24 hours by smelling and tasting it. Does it taste too sweet? Then it’s not done. What is too sweet? It depends on what you prefer, but it shouldn’t taste sugary anymore. I left mine for 28 hours to get the perfect sweet/sour balance.

Once the brew is done, strain the liquid into a glass bottle, discarding the fruit, lemon peel and egg shells. You may keep the tibicos in a little bit of sugared water in the fridge until next use.
Leave the brew to carbonate in the glass bottle for 8-10 hours. As always, but particularly in the summer temperatures, please beware of exploding bottles! The carbonation may happen very quickly in this weather and this can make the bottle explode – believe me, it happens!
After a few hours you can “burp” the bottle and see how carbonated it is and gauge it from there – it may not need any more time on the counter.
Keep in the fridge and enjoy cold.

 Fizzy elderflower kefir

Fizzy elderflower kefir

Viola cake

At the end of March these little violet things started popping up in our garden. A friend told me that they are called viola odorata, better known as sweet violet, that they are edible and even medicinal.
This, naturally, called for a cake.

The viola family contains over 200 species of which 5 are native to Britain and you can find them in gardens or forests from February to April.
They have been used in foods for their particular violet flavour for a very long time: a violet syrup recipe from Warwickshire was found in a seventeenth century recipe book.
During the reign of Charles II, the costume were to crystallise the flowers and enjoy them as a confectionery called Violet Sugar and was also used to treat consumption and other ailments of the lungs such as asthma, congestion and coughs.
The plant’s positive effect on respiratory problems is still one of its main medicinal uses today. The flowers are also said to aid relaxation, relieve menopausal symptoms and digestive issues.

The sweet violet has both edible leaves and flowers and owe its floral sweetness to the honey in the flower as it blooms before there are many bees around to harvest it. The leaves are more bitter and can be ingested, but are better used as poultices for bruises and they speed up the healing of wounds as they are antiseptic. The leaves have also been used in alternative cancer treatment, particularly to treat cancer of the throat.

I decided to make a raw cashew nut cheese cake, incorporating the mixed viola flowers in the middle section of the cake. I expected the cake to turn slightly violet, but this was not the case. After researching a little bit more it seems that they have to be soaked in warm water (or warm coconut oil could perhaps work?) in order to release their colour and so my cake was white with specs of purple flower pieces. Never mind, they still lent a delicious violet flavour to the cake!

The cashew cake recipe is borrowed from My New Roots and I changed the raspberries for blueberries in the top layer. I only added a small handful of viola flowers as I was afraid the flavour would be too powerful, but they were so delicious that next time I will use a proper handful and I recommend that you do the same.

Finally, let me apologise for the blurry cake photography. What can I say, I was hungry.


VIOLA CAKE

Ingredients:
Crust:
1/2 cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey (solid or liquid.)(Vegans use agave nectar.)
1 handful violet flowers
1 cup blueberries (thaw completely if using frozen)

Directions:
1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor (or use a hand mixer) with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 20 cm spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a pie plate lined with saran wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
2. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient).
4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer.

Happy picking – and baking!

Sweet potato waffles

Waffles are a food that evoke childhood memories in me and many Norwegians like myself. If someone were to call ahead to say there were coming for coffee back home in Norway, my mother would quickly whip up a batter for waffles and heat up the waffle iron. Waffles, coffee and brown cheese are for me the key components in any successful family gathering, summer or winter.

Traditionally waffles are made with refined wheat flour, sugar and milk – three things that I do not like putting in my food or in my body so when I made waffles the other day I substituted the wheat for oat flour, the sugar for the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes and the milk for home made almond milk.

Wheat flour is highly mucus forming in the body and has little nutritional content as it has been pulverise, heat treated and exposed to air. It is found in so many of the foods that most people eat every single day and causes many people to feel discomfort and bloating. Oats, however, are naturally gluten free and a great source of fibre. They contain a group of antioxidants, avenanthramides, that have proven to protect against heart disease and are a wonderful source of iron and magnesium. Hey, they even contain protein!
I mill my own oat flour using my blender, as flours are foods that have been exposed to air and light for a long time and lost much of their nutritional content through oxidation.

There are many reasons to eat less sugar, too numerous to list in this post. Suffice to say it is not doing any of us any good. Sweet potatoes are deliciously sweet all by themselves and are a highly alkaline food containing no cholesterol and an incredible amount of beta carotene and vitamin A – actually more than any other root vegetable! This makes the humble sweet potato a powerful antioxidant.

Lastly, I choose to cook and bake with home made nut milk in most cases. Finding dairy that is produced in a sustainable and humane way is difficult and dairy that does not come from pasture fed and happy cows are no good for my body nor my conscience. Almond milk, or other nut milk for that matter, is very easy and quick to whip up at home and I make it every other day. Almonds are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids which contribute to lowering “bad”, LDL, cholesterol while upping the “good”, HDL, cholesterol. They contain good amounts of protein and are an excellent source of the “beauty vitamin" that is vitamin E alongside minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Take that, dairy milk!

The recipe is simple yet delicious and the waffles can be enjoyed as a dessert with sweet toppings such as home made jam, fruits or raw honey, but they can also be made into a savoury and protein packed lunch with sprouts, butter, cheddar and hummus.

If you are not lucky enough to own a waffle iron, I am sure that with half a teaspoon of baking soda this recipe would make excellent pancakes!


Sweet potato waffles

 

Ingredients:

raw butter, for greasing

500 grams sweet potatoes, cooked (unpeeled if organic)

120 grams oat flour

60 ml nut milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

After cooking the sweet potatoes by either boiling or baking, let them cool down and then mash with a masher. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Grease the waffle iron with butter and add a ladleful of waffle batter onto the iron. You want it to be a little bit thick – see picture above. Leave for 2-5 minutes, depending on the heat of your iron (mine is vintage and only has the “on” setting!). To check if they are ready, carefully lift the lid and peek under. The waffle should fall away from the waffle iron quite effortlessly. Cool on a cooling rack and eat them while they are warm.

Photography by Adrian Fisk – thank you!