The Look, No Banana! Mango Smoothie Bowl

imageI nearly always start a smoothie wth a banana. I like that it thickens the smoothie but also that it has so many healthy nutrients in one ingredient and it is so satisfying.

Today, however, I went for something different: dried mango. I love mango, it is my favourite fruit: I love the juiciness, the colour and most of all the smell! But it is difficult to find them here, they are nearly always expensive and unripe.

Like avocados, they have a tendency to go off before they ripen and so when I get the urge for mango, I generally turn to the dried strips. Still organic, but not so juicy – or so messy! They take a little soaking first, so you may want to soak them in a little fresh apple juice or with the chia seeds and quinoa flakes in the coconut water for half an hour while you do something else. (This is extra yummy if you use frozen mango).

Mangoes are a good source of dietary fibre, B6, Folate, Vitamins A, C and K (necessary for bone health), and Potassium. Quinoa is a complete protein, while chia seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and essential omega fats (see also 3 Cheers for Chias! for more info on these amazing seeds plus further breakfast bowl recipes). Brazil nuts contain selenium, which some people are deficient in. (See Love Brazils? Beware Potential Selenium Overload! to read more about the symptoms of selenium deficiency and also the dangers of over-consumption).

This isn’t a particularly arty breakfast bowl, but it is simple and healthy.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free.


1 Cup Dried Mango, chopped

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

3 Brazil Nuts

1 Medium Glass Chi Coconut Water

Soak the above for about 30 minutes in the blender.

Blend and pour into a bowl and top with sliced apple and a sprinkling of dried coconut. 

Some smooth jazz today with some stunning natural photography.

(Ps If you’re reading this via email, you’ll have to go onto the blog to play the video)

Have a great day!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Berry Chia Breakfast Jar

This is a pretty way of making chia porridge, so if you’re feeling arty and have the time, have a go! 

This is such a healthy breakfast and will keep you going (in both senses of the word!): it has protein, calcium, minerals, fibre, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants galore. Plus it looks pretty.

You can choose alternatives to the nuts – golden linseeds, pumpkin seeds – and vary the fruit according to what’s in season. I am making the most of organic raspberries at the moment. I always intend to put some in the freezer for during the winter, but usually end up eating them all!

Vegan, gluten-free (I used gluten-free oats) and if you substitute the cashews, nutfree too. Organic except for the maple syrup.

(Take a look at the video at the end – but you’ll have to click onto the blog if you’re reading this via email).


1 Heaped Tbsp Chia Seeds

3 Tbsps Oats

1 Medium Glass Chi Unsweetened Coconut Water

1 Tsp Maple Syrup (optional)

CoYo Coconut Yogurt (dairy and sugar-free)

Cashew Pieces (you can substitute with other seeds)

1 Ripe Pear or 1/3 of a Mango

Raspberries (or any other berries)


Desiccated or Shredded Coconut


Soak the chia seeds and oats in the coconut water in a jar overnight or for ar least an hour in the fridge, stir well.

You can soak the cashew pieces, too, if you prefer, but if you want to layer them, do them separately.

Soaking nuts deactivates the phytates (which bind to minerals in the body and remove them) and makes them more easily digested, softer too.

When ready to add other ingredients, either stir maple syrup into chia porridge or drizzle it over the layers.

Layer coconut (or other dairy-free) yogurt, cashews, pear and berries. Sprinkle desiccated or shredded coconut on top.


Hopefully, the sun will be shining and you’ll have the time to be able to sit back and enjoy at leisure, admiring the colours and  beauty of Nature.

(I know this is but a dream or wishful thinking for a lot of you, but maybe you can treat yourself on a weekend).


Ps I was looking for an appropriate video and came across this – I never knew such things existed! How do people think these things up? I am just adding it for amusement, not promoting it in any way. Enjoy.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Nana Rhys Cream with Mango, Cacao & Peanut Butter

imageThis dessert is named after our 13 year old friend, Rhys, who has been visiting while his military dad is away ‘on manouevres’ (we all think he’s having a whale of a time in the sun, really).

Rhys is at that age when boys just sprout every other day and every time you look in the fridge, the contents have not-so-mysteriously evaporated!

So having restocked since he was here the other day, we decided on chilli, rice and salad for dinner, making extra of course (sorry, didn’t think to take a photo before it was hoovered up!) Rhys had too big platefuls, reneging on a third because I had promised home-made dairy-free nice-cream if he still had room. Foolishly, I was convinced this time we would fill him up! He looked up from his empty plate, smiling with the face of a choir boy and asked if he could still have dessert.

We played it by ear as always, guessing as to quantities amd allowing Rhys to ok the ingredients. At first, it came out a bit like a smoothie, then we added frozen mango, whizzed it up again and put it in the freezer for an hour, which thickened it up but didn’t freeze it solid. It was perfect.


(All organic except for the maple syrup)

3-4 Frozen Ripe Bananas, sliced, depending on size

1 1/2 Cups Frozen Mango Pieces

2 Cups Coconut Milk

3 Tbsps Raw Chocolate Company Cacao Powder

1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

1 Dsp Meridian Palm Oil-free, sugar-free Peanut Butter

Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

 Blend on high until smooth, but don’t overdo it. Pour into a freezer-proof box and freeze about an hour. If it’s half and half after that time, pour into a bowl and stir a couple of times.

Serve with toppings of your choice.

We used:

Coarsely chopped Almonds, Grated Raw Chocolate Company Mint Chocolate bar, Organic Desiccated Coconut

There was too much to all fit in the freezer box, so each of the three of us had a small glass dish of the smoothie left over in the blender as a taster while we waited for the real McCoy! Rhys had 3 servings altogether.

I think it passed muster.

(Ps There are more Raw Chocolate Recipes here).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Blueberry & Walnut Protein Smoothie



This punily thin-looking smoothie is deceptively strong in terms of antioxidants, electrolytes, healthy fats, B vitamins, protein and fibre.

Walnuts contain a significant amount of the heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid or Omega 3 fatty acid. They are rich in antioxidants and contain manganese, copper, vitamin E and the B vitamin, biotin.

Quinoa is a gluten-free alternative wholegrain packed with protein and fibre.

All ingredients are organic except the coconut water, which is unflavoured, unsweetened and contains no additives.


1 Small Ripe Banana

1 Handful of Blueberries

1 Handful of Walnut pieces (1)

1 Dsp Chia Seeds *

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes (1)

1 heaped Tbsp CoYo Plain Yogurt 

1 Small Glass Coconut Water

Blend, add ice if desired.


Today’s music believe it or not is the first time I have ever listened to One Direction! It was this or Cher on the theme of Strong (get it?), I went with the boys 😊

*The Raw Chocolate Company

1. Buy Wholefoods Online

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Coco Banana Smoothie


This is a lovely, light smoothie – not like my usual everything-but-the-kitchen-sink experiments at all! I managed to exercise restraint with this one and it turned out a success.

Coconut water from young, green coconuts is wonderfully hydrating: it contains electrolytes, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and about half the sodium of so-called energy drinks. It is naturally sweet so doesn’t need the added sugar found in so many energy drinks, nor does it contain all the nasty colouring and additives.

All ingredients are organic except the coconut water, none was available, but this is unsweetened and no added flavours or citric acid.


1 Ripe Banana

1 Ripe Pear

2 Tbsp Gluten-Free Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 glass chilled unsweetened Coconut Water – size depending on how thick or thin you like it, I used a small one

1 Tbsp CoYo Natural Yogurt

Blend well. Add ice if liked.

And our music for today? Only one choice really…

Coco Banana – get it? 😂

Ps If you’re reading this via email you’ll need to click onto the blog to see the video!

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Khaki Kiwi Coconut Smoothie!

This smoothie turned out a bit differently from how I’d envisaged, on one of those mornings when things don’t quite go to plan – read more about it in One of Those Days …

The bananas were still very green, despite having been on the windowsill for three days, so I decided to use avocado, kiwi fruit and some cocount milk left over from the previous night’s curry.  Some romaine lettuce and a little wheatgrass powder, would, I thought produce a vivid green smoothie vibrant with health and nutrition, begging to awaken my sleep-starved body. What could go wrong?

This happened:


I got a little carried away, adding blueberries and açaì powder. It came out khaki and looked less than appetising! And so thick I could probably use a knife and fork to eat it!

It tasted much better than it looked, however – the ugly duckling turned out to be more like a swan, so smooth as it glided down my throat – so let’s start again and pretend I knew what I was doing!


This brunch in a glass is brimming with antioxidants, minerals, protein and healthy fats. It came out very thick, so you may want to add more liquid.


Half a ripe Avocado

(you can freeze the other half if you remove the skin and stone and chop it up, useful for smoothies or guacamole). 

1 Kiwi fruit, peeled

2 large Romaine leaves, washed and chopped

1 Tbsp chopped Sweet Apricot Kernels* (you can use almonds)

2 Tbsps Shelled Hemp Seeds*

2 Tbsps Coconut Milk

1  or 2 pitted Medjool Dates

Handful of Blueberries

1 Tbsp Açaì Powder *

1 Tsp Wheatgrass Powder

Glass of fresh Apple Juice + a little filtered water

Blend and eat with a spoon – or a knife and fork!

The only video that could possibly illustrate this recipe is the great Danny Kaye’s The Ugly Duckling, however it’s been removed from YouTube due to copyright issues 😕


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Improvised Thai Vegetable Green Curry with Chickpeas

This recipe is Vegan and Gluten-Free.


This came about when we had nothing planned for dinner – nothing new there then! – and found just over half a tin of chickpeas in the fridge that needed using, along with about a quarter of a cauliflower and the same of broccoli.

I don’t often have curry. My husband likes them quite strong and puts tomatoes in which I don’t eat, but this time my tastes prevailed and so was born a mild, creamy curry made with my favourite veg.

Chickpeas – also known as garbanzo beans and gram – are a good source of protein, calcium, iron and fibre.

Most of the ingredients were organic, but not the Green Curry Paste – however, it was free from additives, refined sugar and gluten and was suitable for vegans, so passed muster for this curry.

All measurements are very approximate and timings, well, basically I’m guessing!

The curry was all cooked in a large frying pan, with the vegetables being stir-fried first. Everything was done within 40 minutes or so.

Serves 3 – on the basis that there were 2 of us and enough left over for a third if we didn’t have seconds.

We had it with brown Basmati rice – I know, clash of cultures, but that’s what we like and that’s all we had in.

Get everything prepared beforehand: rice measured, soaked for an hour and rinsed, water boiled for the rice, all veg washed and chopped into small pieces, cans opened.


Coconut oil for frying

1 large Onion, chopped

2 cloves of Garlic, crushed

large handful each of Cauliflower & Broccoli already chopped into small pieces

3/4 Cup Sweetcorn

3-4 Mushrooms, Sliced

1/2 to 2/3 can of Chickpeas

2/3 can Coconut Milk

1-2 Tbsps Gang Keow Wan Green Curry Paste

A Splash or two of Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)

1 Dsp Coconut Palm Sugar*

Squeeze of Lime

Handful of fresh chopped Coriander

Optional: 1 chopped tomato added near the end, we also thought plain, unsalted peanuts or cashews would go well if liked, but we didn’t have any.


(Have the rice going when the onion has been stir-frying for a couple of minutes, have a hot dish ready to put it in in case it’s ready first).

Melt the oil until hot enough for the onion to sizzle but not smoking.

Stir-fry onion for a few minutes until shiny, add cauliflower, broccoli and crushed garlic, stir-fry for another few minutes, then add mushrooms and continue to cook until it all begins to give a little.

Add some of the coconut milk, the green curry paste and the tamari and stir, cooking until the paste is dissolved and well mixed.

Add the rest of the milk, chickpeas, sweetcorn, sugar and continue cooking for a few minutes on a low heat with a lid on, until the cauliflower and broccoli are cooked but with a little bite.

Add the nuts if used.

Before serving, add a squeeze of lime juice and some fresh chopped coriander, with more coriander for garnish (I forgot it for the photos!).

Serve on hot plates.


Hope I didn’t miss anything out!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Lemony Tiger Nut Truffles

Tiger nuts aren’t just tiny little balls of protein, they are also versatile in flour and milled form.* I decided to add some milled to these lemony truffles.

(While devising this recipe I found myself humming Mud’s Tiger Feet and discovered this youtube video of Mud live on ToTP 1974. It’s hilarious and can’t fail to make you smile!


Continue reading “Lemony Tiger Nut Truffles”