Thursday, 4 June 2015

Blueberry and Banana 'Nicecream'

All scream for Nice Cream!!

I think Nice Cream is one of the best things invented ever. If you haven't tried it, or heard of it, where have you been! You are missing out. Nice cream, is an ice cream made of blended frozen bananas. It is super yummy. You can mix in any fruits that you want to flavor the nicecream, or add chocolate powder, and dates for a chocolatey flavor. 

I find that the bananas are quite hard to blend when frozen. But i don't have a super duper high speed blender. I find adding a little coconut water helps the mixing process, but it does create a wetter mix. You can refreeze after you have blended to make a scoopable ice cream. 

It is best to wait until your bananas are very ripe, black spotted, before you freeze them. This is a great way to use up any uneaten bananas, although i personally only eat really raw bananas anyway as they are easier to digest. 

Blueberry Nice Cream

4 Frozen ripe Bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
A dash of coconut water

Any toppings you like ie cinnamon, fresh fruit, raisins :)

Blend frozen bananas, and coconut water until icecreamy texture. Either add the frozen blueberries and sir in with a spoon to create a 'ripple' or blend to flavor the ice cream. 

You can re-freeze the nicecream if you want it to be scoop-able, or it straight away. 

Fruit island - oh and i have vegan tees!

 Helloooo chickpeas. It has been such a lovely day today, really hot and sunny. Although the sun has started to go down now, and it has become a little chilly, i am still lounging on the grass attempting to soak up the last few rays! I always feel much better when it is sunny.

The last couple of days i have been focusing on an island diet as previously mentioned. Which, simply is a mono diet. You are strictly meant to only eat one fruit, normally bananas, watermelon or oranges. But loads of that fruit in order to get enough calories in.  The idea of this, is a high carb, high natural sugar but low fat diet. I personally have combined a few fruits. I am eating bananas, oranges, melons and blueberries. I occasionally nibble the odd date too if i need an energy boost.

It seems like a lot of sugar. From the standard 'recommended daily amount', yes, you consume way over the recommendation. But here is the clever part. But cutting out all fats, including nuts, avocados etc, your body uses the sugar as energy. If you were to eat the fats as well, they would block the sugar from entering your bloodstream and the excess sugar is then turned into a fat store. Pretty neat.

So as long as you cut the fat out, you can eat as many bananas, oranges, dates and berries as you like. Drink wise, i have tons of coconut water, lemon infused water and green teas. I occasionally make a black coffee too ( but that is normally if i am stuck in the office and it has been a long day!)

I have been trying to drink a lot of my bananas, by blending into smoothies with coconut water. The oranges, i just eat tons of! And the blueberries i add to frozen bananas to make a 'nice cream' which is amazing and i will post a recipe up tonight :)

To some, a pure fruit diet may sound crazy, I have to admit, it did to me before i tried it. But i actually feel fantastic. So i deffo recommend giving it a go. I am going to keep it up all summer, but lay off if i go out for a meal with friends etc, as otherwise it would be ridiculously tricky. It is hard enough finding anything vegan on menus as it is!

In other news, I have vegan t-shirts! I have wanted some for ages. I found some really cute ones on Etsy, but they were from the US and delivery costed a fortune. Luckily, one of my friends recently went over to the US and he bought them back for me. :).

I don't like to force my veganism or beliefs on others. But a few slogans on tees doesn't do any harm.

I am off to eat some yummy Blueberry Nice cream and i willl post the recipe up too. :)

Monday, 1 June 2015

For the love of Fruit

I am soaking up the Vit C tonight with a huuge bowl of oranges covered in deliciously yummy cinnamon. This morning i went for a run before work and swallowed a little fly - ( bad vegan? ). EEk. Anyway ever since then my throat has been really itchy and tickly. Now it could be because of the little fly, but most likely i am coming down with a bug, or cold and i really cant be doing with that right now! I would like to think with all the fruit and veg i consume my immune system is pretty good. So i am hoping i will beat this tonight and wake up fine and dandy tomorrow morning.

My brother sent me a book in the post a few weeks ago which was a nice, yet strange surprise. Strange as i don't read. It is not that i cant physically read, but i cant seem to concentrate on a book long enough to read more than a page. Or i have been telling myself that for years to the point that i believe it, and even picking up a book feels odd. The book he sent me was 'Swallow This' by Joanna Blythman. It is all about unraveling the food industry, and finding out what is in foods, even ones labelled as 'fresh' and untouched not just processed. It really seems like my kind of book so i am going to give it a go and i will report back!

I have a new motivational quote, or line i guess to keep myself upbeat and moving forward. I say it to myself when i am running, and feel like i want to stop and walk for a bit. ( which i dont actually allow myself to do!) 

'What is the point of giving up. What would it achieve?'

I am not sure where this came from, or why it suddenly popped into my head but it did, and it works. Say i have run 4 miles, my legs are pretty tired but i have told myself today i am running a minimum of 5 miles. I want to stop, but what would i gain? If i give up now, i would only regret it and wish i hadn't. What would i actually achieve? Nothing. Then i carry on, finish my 5 miles and often run a few extra because i have motivated myself. 

I used to be extremely good at giving up and failing. I have an extremely black and white personality. I either do something, and nail it to the point it is incredible and perfect. Or i sack it in, give up completely and never go back. It can be a good trait to have. I have achieved so many great things. But also failed at, and lost many too. It means i get highly addictive, i have an extremely addictive personality. That is why i have never and will never gamble! Haha that wouldn't be a good move. 

Mono Mealing! Mono meals mean eating meals of single items, specifically fruits as it is easier for the body to digest. You may have heard of banana island, or watermelon island. Where you simply just eat that fruit, in various forms ie smoothies, frozen, etc for a specific period of time. Well right now i am half islanding! I am having about 4 bananas for my breakfast, often in a smoothie form or frozen and blended into a 'ice cream'. Then for lunch either a mono meal of melon, or oranges - or  a Litre of orange juice or coconut water. And for dinner a mono meal of bananas, melon or oranges again. It doesn't sound like a lot but the idea is that you eat a vast amount of each of the foods, and make sure you make up 2000-4000 calories per day. So you are no way starving. Fruits are full of sugar, water and carbs - And so far i feel pretty great.

I am not being too strict. I am allowing myself the occasional actual meal if i go out or just fancy something different. You have to listen to your body after all. But i am really keen how this fruitarian mono meal plan turns out. I have heard of loads of people who have had great results - health wise.

I had real funny looks in the supermarket today. I don't think people are used to seeing so much fruit in one trolley. I bought about 2 x the amount of oranges shown in the picture too, plus a load of green tea :) .

Fruit is just the best.

Real, clean, healthy fresh foods heal your body. 


Friday, 29 May 2015

Liquid Fast Day!

Liquids seem to suit my digestive system, and i used to have smoothies and juices for most meals except dinner. I am not sure why i stopped really - but i became more bloated and i am now back on the liquid wagon. I do miss solid foods, and am not against having solid snacks and dinners. I just feel i need a few days of pure liquids to detox right now

This morning i was in a rush! I got up a little later than i had planned, so quickly did a few core exercises and rushed to go prep my breakfast and lunch to take to work with me. 

Breakfast was a hydrating and cleansing green smoothie. With shock horror - coconut water. Haha. I love the stuff. When cleansing, you want to increase the water. So in juices and smoothies you want to choose fruits and veggies with a high water content.

Cleansing green smoothie

2 Stalks celery
1/4 cucumber
1/4 rhubarb
2 handfuls spinach
200ml coconut water

Lunchhh was delicious. It is unusual that i have fresh berries around as i normally buy frozen for cost / convenience. But my mum has been staying with me for a few days and went shopping - Result :) 

A stable for most my smoothies is Bananas. They work as a blending agent but also help you to carb up. Grapes have a high water content and lovely natural sweetness so they needed to join the gang.

Strawberry, Banana & Grape Smoothie

1 Large Banana
5-10 strawberries
1 handful red grapes
100ml coconut water
100ml almond milk

I am unsure what to have for dinner tonight. And pudding! ( or i will make a big mother of a smoothie and have a dinner / pudding smoothie all in one). That sounds like a plan.

Maybeee i will make miso soup, and then a small cocoa & chia smoothie. 
Far too many options. Whoever said vegans have nothing to eat!?

I have a long day at work today so i better get busy. 


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Carrot & Apple Juice, Berry Smoothie & Sprouted Quinoa Pizza

The aim today was to start a liquid fast. Purely for the fact that i feel my body needs some rest and a little detoxing as i have become quite bloated recently and feel a little sluggish. I need to get my energy back and kick-start my body again.

I had liquid meals for breakfast and Lunch, but remembered that i had some quinoa sprouting which needed to be used today otherwise i would have had to just through it away. Which i wasn't okay with doing! So i made myself a non liquid dinner tonight, which was a really tasty pizza. Full on liquid fast starts tomorrow!

Breakfast was Carrot & Apple Juice. I love the taste of carrot juice, it has to be one of the faves. To properly detox, you are meant to cut all fiber out from the diet. Hence why i am liquid fasting, rather than juicing as i still want to keep my fiber. However, when it comes to juices such as carrot & apple, the pulp isn't that great to drink. I do have an actual juicer machine, but it is at the back of a cupboard and a nightmare to clean. I ended up blending the ingredients, and then putting it through a sieve, so only the juice came through.

Carrot & Apple Juice 

2 Carrots 
2 apples
50ml coconut water
1tsp ginger
1tsp turmeric 

For Lunch i made a fruity & creamy smoothie. It was immense. I now stick to using coconut water as a base for most of my drinks.

Beautiful Creamy Berry Smoothie

2  Large Bananas
1 cup of mixed strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
200ml Coconut water
1tsp vanilla essence
( i wanted to add some mixed spice too but i didn't have any )

Now THIS is a pizza. Pizza is something i would not normally even imagine eating, but a friend on instagram uploaded a picture of a pizza using a Quiona base. So i thought i would give it a go. Unfortunately i had started to soak my quinoa long before i decided to liquid fast, but, i have to say it was worth the fast fail!

I couldn't believe how crunchy and tasty the base was. I will deffo be making this again in the future :)

Sprouted Quinoa Pizza

150g Quinoa - soak for 8-24 hours
2tsp Cider Vinegar
2 tsp mixed herbs

Tomato pasata
veggies of your choice - i used mushrooms, olives, sweetcorn, tomatoes, spinach & nutritional yeast

Soak your quinoa in water for 8-24 hours. Drain, and blend with cider vinegar, salt, pepper and herbs. It will for a thick white looking paste / dough. Place the mixture onto a lined baking tray, and shape into a large circle. You want it to be about 1cm thick. 

Cook in the oven for 10-15 mins, then carefully flip over and cook the other side for 5-10 mins. Put the tomato pasata, and the toppings onto your pizza and cook for a further 5-10mins.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Edamame Bean Spaghetti, Cinnamon apple oats & Fresh Fruit salads

I thought i would post some of my meals. Below is my breakfast. I always start my day with a green tea and occasionally have a coffee afterwards. I had a long cycle so felt i needed a little extra pazazz yesterday. I have a real thing for oats now too, but only raw :). They are full of great carbs, protein and a little bit of healthy fats. Great to start the day with. I had 1 cup of oats, 1 chopped apple, almond milk and topped it off with some yummy cinnamon.

A few weeks a go i was up in London to get my hair done. Even though i am actually a qualified hairdresser myself, getting my own professionally done have never been a huge priority of mine. But i decided it was about time i went and got it sorted, rather than doing it myself! I have had dark hair for ages, and i wanted to lift the colour a little ready for summer. 1/2 head of highlights and 3 hours later, my hair was sun kissed and just as i imagined. Result.

I popped into the Wholefoods Market on the way back, and found these Edamame bean spaghetti packets! I used to love pasta, but very very rarely eat actual pasta these days. I only do if i am at someone elses house for dinner. Edamame beans are soya beans, so full of protein and fiber. The spaghetti is purely beans and water, nothing else. And you can soak them in water for 8 hours instead of boiling them if you prefer. The process to form edamame beans into spaghetti shapes happens just over the allowed 'raw' temperature. So depending how strict you are on your raw foods, you could soak and have these on a raw diet.

Taste wise they are great. I love courgette and carrot noodles, but they really lack the texture of spaghetti. These bean spaghetti shapes mimic real pasta perfectly and if you didn't know it was beans, you would never guess. I mixed my spaghetti with some veggies, cashews, toasted sesame oil and seeds.

Annddddddddd a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit. I love fruit. All fruit. Especially bananas :) I seem to munch handfuls of raisins throughout the day too because i am greedy. There are far worse things to snack on though!

I am trying to decide if tomorrow i should start a 3 or 5 day detox. i will do 3 days, and then see how i go. A liquid detox is basically, just liquids. You can juice detox, where you cut out all fiber too, ie pulp in smoothies. But i think a liquid detox will suffice for now. I will be just having smoothies, juices, lots of water, green tea and possibly make some veggie soup or broth for dinners if i am craving something a little warmer.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Mini RAW Carrot Cakes [ with a coconut cream frosting ]

Wow it was a beautiful day today. I drove down to The New Forest to visit my parents and sister this weekend. Today was so sunny that I sat outside on their balcony and sunbathed most of the morning. It was Lush. My sister and I went of a 4 mile run across the open forest and i was pretty pleased that at the end, Laura was totally out of breath and i could have carried on for miles, still. I don't think i have ever been fitter than her before. I remember the last time i drove down, possibly only a month or so ago, i couldn't even keep up. I am amazed how my fitness has improved and extremely proud at myself for sticking to a routine. 

Now onto these incredible little treats. They taste soo bad for you but are ridiculously healthy!  Before going vegan, i loved carrot cake. I have previously tried one raw carrot cake before, using an online recipe, but honestly i wasn't keen. I thought I would give it another go, making up my own recipe and adding in various ingredients by taste to create the perfect raw carrot cakes :) And they were perfect. So tasty and completely satisfied my craving!

Now, i realised the key to these cakes was reducing the moisture in the carrots. Ideally, you should use the left over carrot pulp from a juicer. Or, grate you carrot, and try to squeeze out as much juice as possible using a cheese cloth, or sieve. If the carrot contains too much moisture, the mixture will not hold or stay in shape. Another good tip is to not to over blend the mixture. If you blend the mixture too smooth, more water will be released for the ingredients and form a wetter mix.

Mini Raw Carrot Cakes

  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 3 or 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup soft dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Mix all the ingredients in a blender until well mixed, but not smooth. ( over mixing will result in a mixture that is too wet)
Place the mixture into cup cake moulds, ideally silicone, or shape into small round cakes. Place and keep in the fridge. 

Coconut Cream Frosting

160ml can coconut cream
1tbsp Lemon juice
1tbsp Agave Syrup

Whip the coconut cream with an electric whisk. The coconut cream will thicken slightly. Fold in the lemon juice and Agave syrup.
Place the frosting in the fridge to set. ( this will take approx 2 hours). 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Cauliflower couscous, Raw sprouted falafel & Paprika vegetables

Soundtrack of the day - Little talks, Julia sheer & John D

 I have really got into raw foods at the moment, and I have begun experimenting new ways of creating foods as otherwise I would stick to courgette noodles and carrot sticks every day!

I have begun sprouting raw chickpeas, quinoa, bulgar wheat and beans to create various dishes. I absolutely love chickpeas and everything made with them ie Hummus & Falafel. But tinned chickpeas are cooked. Sprouted grains are soaked, and left to sprout for up to 3 days so that they are edible in a raw form. But what is the point? Well.. sprouting, or germinating seeds and grains breaks down the complex nutritional matrix of the raw foods, making them easier to digest whilst boosting the nutritional content of the food, ie minerals, vitamins and enzymes. When food is cooked above 46'C , some of those enzymes and minerals are destroyed. Therefore eating raw whole foods has many health benefits to the body and is a great way to naturally fuel yourself.

I will create a post with more detailed info on sprouting, and link to this page in the next few days. The basic process is to soak, drain and leave to sprout for a certain time period depending on the grain or seed. 

After sprouting various grains, I decided to have a go at creating a raw sprouted falafel recipe. As raw foods can be heated up to 46'C, the use of a food dehydrator or a very low oven temperature can be used to help dry food out.

Obviously the taste and texture of raw sprouted food is totally different to cooked. So when I say this is falafel, don't expect it to taste like a cooked falafel. It tastes fantastic though. Once I began creating I couldn't stop, and out popped the idea of a cauliflower cous cous and spiced veggies.

Raw food  is simple, technically, to make but does require a lot of prep time. It is best to make batches that will last a few days, otherwise you will spend your whole life in the kitchen!  

Cauliflower Cous Cous
1/2 cauliflower
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 large handful fresh mint leaves
1 large handful fresh sage leaves
1 stem of rosemary
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
2 handfuls seedless raisins
Process the cauliflower in a blender until fluffy, and resembles a couscous texture. Add the fresh herb leaves, rosemary, lemon juice, salt and oil. Pulse in the blender for 30 seconds.
Place in a bowl, with the raisins and mix with a fork, whilst 'fluffing'.
Raw Sprouted Falafel
1 Cup Sprouted chickpeas
2/3 cup Sprouted bulgar wheat
1/3 cup Sprouted butter beans
1/4 cup soaked almonds
Blend above ingredients in a food processor until well mixed, but still a chunky texture.
1 garlic clove
1 shallot onion
1 tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil 
1tbsp Nutritional yeast flakes
1 handful sage leaves
1 handful mint leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp. tamari
3 tsp Lemon juice
Pulse in food processor until well combined.
take spoonfuls of the mixture and create falafel balls. IF the mixture is too wet to create balls, just spoon and shape into portions. Place either on baking paper and into a dehydrator, or onto a baking tray if using an oven.
Dehydrate on 46'C for 4-6 hours, or dry on a very low temperature oven.
Paprika Vegetables
1/2 Broccoli florets
1 yellow bell pepper - sliced
1 Carrot - sliced
2tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 tbsp. Paprika
2tbsp Cold-pressed olive oil
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until all the veggies are coated.
Place on a dehydrator sheet and dry at 46'C for 1.5 hours, or on a low oven temp.

Raw Vegan Curry [ With Cauliflower Rice ]

I am back! I haven't posted for a few weeks now. Honestly for a few reasons. First of all because I became slightly obsessed with exercising for a while. I have an extremely addictive personality and sometimes I get so focussed, and crazy into something that I cant stop until I burn out. Not that being focussed is bad by any means, but having such a black and white mentality doesn't do any favours. Luckily I have rained myself back in a little. I have eased off the 'crazyness' and am going a little more steady.
I freaked out about being so open in blogging. Keeping my life locked up inside is a great skill of mine, and so sharing it with the world seemed strange. But I need to let loose and get it out there. I have also just been really, really busy recently. When I think of the actual days of paid work I do, (3 a week) Its clear I have loads of free time. Yet I wake up at 6.30 every morning, go to bed about midnight and don't seem to ever stop. I love being busy. I think I on purposely have started to fill my days with endless activities to keep my mind occupied.
SOOO I have plenty to update. Food wise,  I have quite a few recipes which I will be uploading in the next couple of weeks. Mainly raw ones - I have taken a huge step now into raw foods and my creativity for new meal ideas is on overload right now.
Non food wise, I have also been a busy bee. I have competed in a pageant, built up some  body muscles, had a birthday and eaten out at a good few vegan restaurants. Again all to be blogged about shortly.
I have realised that you never know what is going to happen in life. That you cant plan, or predict or trust what the future will bring. If a year ago I could see what my life was like now, I wouldn't believe it. Life has changed so much. Both in good and bad ways. I like the person I have become, and I love the person who helped me become it. I have learnt to start to love myself for who I am, and gain confidence, and actually just live each day as it comes for myself.  I have made some incredible friends, lost a few incredible ones, and felt helpless in trying to help some others. Life isn't fair. There are some awful, nasty people out there but all you can do is be the best you can and fight your corner with every ounce of strength in your mind and body.  And in order to do that you need to fuel your body with clean, powerful, nutritious foods.
Talking of foooood! I invented a delicious raw curry tonight with Cauliflower rice. I am not a huge curry fan and wasn't too sure how it would turn out, but it was so good and exceeded my expectations.

Raw Vegan Curry with Cauliflower Rice
125g Chestnut mushrooms
1/2 carrot - grated
1 small garlic clove
1 shallot onion - sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper - sliced
1 stick celery - chopped
1 handful fresh mint leaves
4 plum tomatoes
3 tsp cold pressed olive oil
1tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste

1/2 Cauliflower
To make the curry, add all ingredients to a blender, or magimix. If your blender is not high powered, start by mixing the tougher veggies first, ie celery, carrot, pepper, and then add the rest.
Blend for 5 mins until resembles a curry consistency.
Adjust the cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
The rice is so simple to make. Simply cut the cauliflower into medium sized chunks and then blend for 1 min until fluffy.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Fitness Update

I Cant believe it. I am normally awful at sticking to things let alone exercise! But i am definitely getting somewhere! I praise the vegan diet! I wake up, with endless energy and so excited to live my life. I even get up at 6am before work. Yep. 6am! Just so i have enough time to do some yoga. I am so proud!

Yoga is going well. I love it. I find it really fun and relaxing.

Haha do you like my excited yoga face?

My main area i want to work on is my abs. I don't want ridiculous muscles. I am quite petite, and only 5'5! But i would like to se something there! I can see a few lines starting to appear which makes me happpppy and motivated to carry on.

Apart from yoga, i try to run, cycle or hit the gym a couple of times a week. I have to admit running isn't my best friend. It is quite hard on your joints, and i really don't think it is an exercise that suits me. Its always best to listen to your body rather than thinking you know best :)

I went for a lovely 25 mile Cycle the other day. Stopped for a spot of lunch where i found a salad and fruit smoothie. YUM.

So progress is progressing. Haha. 
I am on a few Vegan fitness groups on Facebook. I have to say being in those community's are so motivational! 

I will try and do a fitness update once a month. Join me on facebook if you want to  get healthy together! Have a good day :)

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Cold brewed Vanilla Hazelnut Iced Coffee

If you love your coffee hit in the morning, this recipe is for you :) 

I discovered how to make cold brewed coffee recently and i am hooked. Obviously i wanted to make some sort of awesome shake or 'ice coffee' drink with my cold brewed coffee so i began experimenting. Oh MYYY its good. I mean really good. I WILL be drinking this all summer :) 

Before i went all healthy :), i used to love Hazelnut Lattes. But Hazelnut syrup is pure sugar! So a big no no. But chuck in a few hazelnuts and your away! I actually Love this recipe. SOO much. 

Cold brewed Vanilla Hazelnut Iced Coffee

250ml Cold brewed coffee concentrate - recipe here 
250ml Almond Milk ( or alternative milk)
10 Hazelnuts
2 tsp chia seeds
1tsp vanilla essence
3 dates ( or fruit sugar / agave syrup to taste)
Ice cubes 

When you cold brew coffee it is concentrated. I really like strong coffee, but the average rule is to dilute it by 50%. 
Either blend with ice cubes, or pour over the ice cubes afterwards. 
Chuck everything is a blender and you set. 


Cold Brewed Coffee

Ahhh so excited about this. I love my coffee. Cold brewed coffee is amazing. It is 70% less acidic than hot brewed coffee, and you keep all the nutrients from the coffee beans. In Japan, cold-brew is produced in slow glass-drippers, but you can easily replicate the effect at home in a coffee bodum using cold water, coarsely ground single-origin coffee and patience!

Cold brewed coffee is concentrated, and so you will need to dilute your coffee by 50%, with a milk or water. I love my coffee strong, so sometimes i just drink it straight! But you do get one hell of a caffeine buzz so small doses please! I also made a Yummy Cold Brewed Hazelnut Vanilla Iced Coffee which you can see the recipe for here.

Cold Brewed Coffee 

120g coarsely ground, preferably single-origin coffee 
1 litre Water

Fill a large Bodum or jug with 1 litre of water. Add the coffee and stir. 
Leave to brew at room temp for 12-24 hours.
Enjoy :)

Best served diluted, over ice of as an iced coffee drink :) 

Monday, 20 April 2015

Raw Vegan 'Sushi' Rolls

'Footsteps have traced this land before
My skin is hurting, I cannot feel my feet anymore
And you can hope for a life that is calm
But come in time, you’re gonna
Pick up one that feels a little hard'

Sometimes you have to sit back, realise how small you are in the scale of things and get on with the day ahead of you. It is easy to look at someone else s life from a distance and assume how easy they have it, or how happy they seem. But the truth is you don't know. Most people in life put on a front in different situations, as it gives them something to hide behind. You cant compare yourself to other peoples masks, or make judgments based on them. Everyone has tough days. Bad days. Run away to bed days. And i have had oh far too many. But as long as we get up, take a deep breath, realise that life is to be lived, not feared and carry on. That's all that matters.

Because at the end of the day, if you cant, and aren't living a life for yourself. To be the best version of yourself that you can be, you are simply just existing to exist.

And if all else fails. Make Sushi. 

I am not going to pretend that rolling these delights was easy. But once i cracked the technique i was on a roll. - pun intended.

Although rice is vegan, and in particular brown rice, is extremely good for you - i like to take most of my carbohydrates in the form of  raw fruit and veggies rather than cooked grains. Creating rice from cauliflower is a great way to cut down the grains and starch - and also calories if that concerns you. 

Fill these amazing rolls of deliciousness with anything you fancy! 

Raw Vegan 'Sushi' Rolls  - serves 2

1/4 Cauliflower
1/2 Parsnip
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil ( or substitute )

Pack Choi Leaves
( use Nori if preferred )

1/2 Red bell pepper
1 avocado
3 spring onions
1 carrot
A handful of green beans

To make the 'rice', put the cauliflower florets and parsnip in a food processor and blend for 1 minute until fluffy, and resembles rice in appearance. Remove from blender and put into a bowl. Add the soy sauce vinegar and oil. Mix well. 

Mash 1/2 avocado into a paste using a fork. 

Slice the pepper, spring onions, carrot and beans into small strips. For the spring onion, you don't want to use the very dark green part of the stem as it is tough and hard to digest. 

Place a pack choi leave on a sushi mat, or baking paper, Cut the rounded corners off so you are left with a rectangle. Spread a think layer of mashed avocado over the leaf, and then cover with rice.  (This is so the rice sticks to the leaf)  
Place other sliced veggies on top and roll!
It takes some practice. You may need to adjust the amount of veggies or rice you put in the roll, as if you put too much it is impossible to roll. 

Happy Rolling :) 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Raw Vegan Cookie Dough n'ice' cream [ with a salted caramel sauce ]

OHHH my Gosh this is amazing. It just tastes incredible and ive just consumed the whole bowl - and licked it! Who would have thought it. Raw vegan cookie dough ice cream! Sometimes i admire my mind for being so creative. Although other times i have no intelligent thoughts what so ever. So it balances out :)

Raw vegan ice cream is so simple to make. All you need is Bananas :). Frozen Bananas of course, and the riper they are before you freeze them, the better. Blended frozen bananas = ice cream, or NICE CREAM as i like to call it!

The salted caramel sauce is heavenly! Again super easy to make, just dates salt and water ( or almond milk). And the cookie dough from my wholefood vegan cookies.

Just what i needed to end the week, or start the new week!

Raw Vegan Cookie Dough ice cream [ with a salted caramel sauce ]

Nice Cream
2 frozen Bananas
(drop of almond milk if needed)

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup dates (soaked)
1/2 tsp rock salt
100ml water (or almond milk)

Cookie Dough

Start by making the cookie dough.
I would advise making the salted caramel sauce before the nice cream, as it melts quickly.
To make the sauce, blend dates, salt and water or almond milk until smooth. Use almond milk instead of water if you prefer a thicker, creamy sauce. 
Take the bananas out of the freezer and blend in a food processor. If the bananas are not blending, try add little almond milk. 

Place nice cream in a bowl with cookie dough balls, and drizzle with salted caramel sauce. ;)


Wholefood Vegan Cookies [ with dates & raisins ]

One of my best friends is a chef by profession. She was talking to me about her favorite cookie dough recipe and we had a long conversation about how much we love cookie dough ice cream! ( or how much i did before i went vegan!). Brain wave! I got my friends non vegan cookie dough recipe and spent a few hours thinking how to substitute the ingredients to make tasty Vegan cookies! And i succeeded. I think i managed to eat half the dough before it was cooked. Which is a very good sign! I have saved 1/4 of the dough and will be attempting to make a cookie dough ice cream recipe in the next couple of days. WIN!

So Non vegan cookies consist of 

All of which i do not eat. (Except pure cocoa or raw vegan chocolate ).

Butter? I had a few options here. 1. Dairy free oil spread. i don't like to use too may if any processed foods so no. Oil? I wanted to keep the consistency of butter and oil would make more of a cake mixture than a dough. Coconut oil! Mimics - or pretty close - the consistency of butter, is raw and has the fat content needed. Win.

Eggs? There are a few egg substitutions you can use to act as a binding agent. Chia or flax work well. I chose to use banana as i have loads of them in my kitchen, and because the sweetness of the fruit would reduce the amount of sugar, or sugar substitute i would need to add.

Flour? Instead of processed white flours there are plenty of wholefood options available. Rice flour, quinoa flour, almond flour, chickpea flour and loads more. Oats can be used, but you need to have at least a 50;50 ratio of flour to oats.

Sugar? My go to sugar replacement is dates. I LOVE them. I much prefer to use an actual fruit to sweeten rather than a packaged fruit sugar or syrup. ( However i do use both ).

Chocolate? Raisins. :)

I wasn't sure how my cookies would turn out. But they were LUSH. Soo good to the point i had to force myself to stop eating them. And even then i went back for more! Its okay.. i will go for a run tomorrow and work it all off. :)

Wholefood Vegan Cookies
 [ with dates & raisins ]

3/4 cup dates 
1/3 cup peanuts
1/2 banana (  1/2 large or 1 small )
1 tsp vanilla essence
65g coconut oil ( not melted )
1/2 cup rice flour / almond flour 
1/4 cup oats
1/3 cup raisins

Soften the dates and peanuts by soaking in water for 10-15mins.
Drain, and place in a food processor along with  the Banana, vanilla essence and coconut oil.( Note that you do not need to melt the coconut oil before using)
Blend for 1-2 minutes.
Add flour and oats and mix again. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Add extra flour or oats if necessary.
Remove from blender and place into a mixing bowl. Fold in the raisins. 
Place dough onto a lightly dusted board and roll until approx 1cm thick.
Cut cookies into shape with a cookie cutter and place on a lined baking tray.
Cook in the oven at 150'C for 10-15 mins
Leave to cool

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Lemon Infused water

It may seems silly writing a recipe on Lemon infused water. Obviously, you just place lemon slices in water :). BUT! Why? Are there any benefits of infusing water with fruit? 

To hydrate our bodies, it is recommended we drink at least 2 litres of water a day. I actually really like to drink water on its own, as long as its really cold. But a lot of people either don't like the taste, or find it boring to drink plain water. Infusing fruit flavours the water naturally. Unlike simply squeezing the juice into water, infusing derives flavour from the whole fruit, including the rind which provides a tangy bright flavour.

Infused water is a great low calorie alternative to Fresh fruit juices. As the water is only being flavoured by the fruit, and you are not eating the fruit itself, you are not consuming a large number of calories. For one jug of orange juice, you could use 10 oranges, but only one for a jug of infused water.  

Fruit infusions take seconds to prepare and look so pretty! If a beverage looks colorful and healthy, you will be more inclined to drink it, which will help to keep you hydrated.
I usually fill a huge jug of water, top with fruit and keep in the fridge. I top it up when the water gets low, using the same fruit. You can buy infusion water bottles which has a separate fruit section. this way you can keep topping up your water bottle throughout the day. 
Get creative - use berries, citrus fruits, summer fruits, anything you fancy :)

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

This morning i needed a little boost. Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie is my without fail Friday breakfast. But often turns out to be much more regular than once a week! I used to hate peanut butter. When i was about 16, my friend made peanut butter protein shakes and it was almost undrinkable. But now i can not get enough of the stuff!

As a rule, i make my own foods and never use processed products. I do however occasionally use products, such as Meridian Peanut and Almond butter as it contains 100% nuts and if i am in a rush - its so much easier than making my own. Most nut butters contain sugar and palm oil, as well as the nut. Meridian do not add any other ingredient than the nuts themselves and so i feel pretty happy eating their products. As no sugar is added, it is noticeably less sweet than standard nut butters and if not mixing into a smoothie ( which already contains sweetness from bananas etc ), you may want to add some fruit sugar or mix with dates.

I use a mixture of frozen and unfrozen bananas for this recipe. Frozen bananas give the smoothie a 'ice cream' feel and is a really good way to use over ripe bananas. Sometimes i ask my local farm shop to save me any unsold, over ripe bananas which i get for a discounted rate, I then unpeel, chop and freeze to make smoothies or ice cream :),

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

1 Frozen Banana
1 unfrozen Banana
2 heaped tsp Peanut Butter
1/4 cup oats
200ml water
200ml almond milk

Friday, 17 April 2015

Coconut & Vanilla Chia Pudding [ with Banana & Kiwi ]

CHIA seeds are awesome. When i first went vegan, i heard about these weird chia, flax, hemp things and had no idea what it all was. Chia seeds are sooooooooo good for you! They are packed full of protein and healthy omega 3 oils, and loads of B vitamins, much needed on a Plant based diet. You can use them as a substitute for egg in recipes, mix them into smoothies, chocolates, salads, - basically anything you fancy! The best part is that when soaked, they swell up into little jelly bubbles. And although they don't look extremely appetising - it tastes like a yummy healthy rice pudding when soaked in a plant based milk. And lets face it, who doesn't want to eat pudding for breakfast!

I am normally pretty good at sticking to regular meal times, but today was a little crappy. I think everyone is allowed a few down days. I had a slow start and skipped my breakfast, which meant lunch became breakfast and dinner, lunch. But i definitely felt the much needed energy rush after munching my chia pudding at lunchish time.

I've had had one of those days were i feel like i could quite easily give up on everything and run away. I suppose i did for most of the morning. Then you realise how big the world is, how unimportant situations are in the grand scheme of things and you have to get back up and get on with life. I over think things, people and situations to the point my head almost explodes into a million chia jelly globules and i MUST stop that. And just eat more actual chia jelly globules. Globules, globules - i love that word!

Coconut & Vanilla Chia Pudding 
[ with Banana & Kiwi ]

Amount per person

1/8 Cup Chia Seeds
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
3/4 cup coconut milk

1 Banana
1 Kiwi

In  bowl / cup / glass, place chia seeds, coconut milk and vanilla. Mix with a spoon and leave in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, but best left overnight. Before eating top with fruit :)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Kiwi & Pear Smoothie

I love Breakfast smoothies :) I have them daily after my workouts - and i always get excited. I tend to look in my fruit bowl, pick a few fruits out that i fancy and chuck them in a blender. Sometimes i get a combination which just does not work and i know never to do that smoothie again! Ahaha. But most of the time, as long as you are not mixing a citrus fruit with a 'creamy' or 'milky' base such as almond milk etc, you are pretty safe!

I have bought a new blender, which i will blog about in full shortly. But in brief - i don't know how i ever managed without it! I previously used a standard smoothie maker that came with my food processor package. It was good, but took a while to blend and i never got a really smooth consistency. I also had to wash the damn thing up every morning which was a slog as i am always in a rush! My new blender, blends in the cup you use to drink! Which is perfect for the morning, when i can grab the bottle and run out the door. Its also super quick! and blends Everything really well, even carrot!

Working out is becoming enjoyable now. I used to hate exercising and i never thought i would get to the point where i liked it. I go to sleep looking forward to waking up. That is very odd for me as i love my sleep!

Today i had a loveeely kiwi & pear smoothie... It was sweet, thick, creamy and almost like having a pudding for breakfast. YUM.

Kiwi & Pear Smoothie

2 Bananas
2 Kiwis
1 pear
250ml Almond milk / Coconut water/ water

I used 100ml Almond milk, 100ml coconut water and 50ml water as i don't like to have too much almond milk. If you use all almond milk, you will have a much 'creamier' smoothie :) Alternatively, if the smoothie is too thick for your taste - add more liquid of choice.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

RAW Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

Ahhh im so pleased with the way my {Cheesecake} turned out! I was inspired by one i bought from the  Inspiral Lounge in Camden. I LOOOOVEEE that place. I even have a unspoken rule that whenever anyone i know goes to camden, they MUST bring me back a goodie from Inspiral.

I honestly had no idea how i was going to make this desert. I spent a few days thinking about it. The base, easy.. a chocolate nut base similar to my RAW BROWNIE mixture. But the middle layer took a few days of planning. I am such a NERD. I decided it HAD to be based on Hazelnuts, as it was a hazelnut cheesecake. I am so clever :) HA. And a coconut milk / cashew cream. It took a little bit of playing around with - but I was pretty happy with the result! I think in future I would try to look into buying a raw hazelnut paste, or attempt to blend my hazelnuts into a paste first as they did not blend in 100%. My small coffee grinder broke, but I think that would have been ideal.

Fortunately I Love savoury food, because otherwise I think I would spend my days just eating raw desserts and puddings like this one. They taste soo good. I have to actually keep reminding myself that it is all Raw Wholefoods. Because I take a few bites and think.. this tastes like it should be really bad for me! When it is the absolute opposite!

I like to store my cheesecake in the freezer, I then take it out and cut a bit off  about 20mins before I plan to eat some. That way it always stays fresh and set. However, you can eat it straight from the freezer and it tastes like an ice cream cake :) YUM.  Once fully set, you can store in the fridge, but it wont last as long.

RAW Vegan
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

1 Cup Walnuts
1 cup Almond nuts
1/2 cup of dates ( soaked in water)
1/4 cup chia seeds ( optional )
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
Pinch Salt

This base is similar to my brownie mix - with a few alterations to create a more solid base.
Mix all ingredients in a blender, ( melting the coconut oil first as explained here ).  Spread
the base mixture into the bottom of a cake tin ( Use a cake tin which have a removable bottom. It makes life 1000x easier) and smooth it out so it is flat. Place in freezer whilst you make the 'cream cheese'.

'Hazelnut 'Cream Cheese'

2/3 cup Cashews ( soaked in water for 10 mins first to soften)
1 cup Hazelnuts (soaked in water) or Hazelnut paste
2 Medjool Dates
2 tbsp Agave Syrup or Maple Syrup
2 cups Coconut Cream
 -[Bought as coconut cream OR buy 2 tins of coconut milk, place in fridge for 2 hours, drain the liquid and use the solid cream]

Drain and blend Cashews, hazelnuts and dates until smooth, or as smooth as possible! Add the coconut cream and blend again. Now add the Syrup. I recommend adding one spoonful at a time and taste testing. I personally have a sweet tooth, and so you may prefer less - or even more syrup :)

Take the base out of the freezer. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over, and even out. Place in the freezer for a good few hours to let it fully set.


Cocoa Powder

Once set, you can remove from the tin. This is where the removable cake base comes in handy! Sprinkle cocoa powder over and place a few hazelnuts on top for d├ęcor!

This recipe is great for enticing Non vegan eaters to try Vegan foods. :)