Frozen Mango & Passionfruit Smoothie – yum!

29401088_UnknownI love mango, all smooth, exotic and tangy with a delicate aroma, and I adore passionfruit. It doesn’t look up to much, all wrinkly, dark and swarthy, and when you slice it open, what do you get? No juicy flesh, just a spoonful of less-than-appetising crunchy seeds covered in what looks like yellow frogspawn! But the smell and the flavour are gorgeous, and they are so good for you, so putting them together in a breakfast smoothie was a no-brainer, why hadn’t I thought of it before? This particular week we’d found a pack of four in the supermarket greatly reduced as they were close to their use-by date, so I used two of them in this smoothie.

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It was a sunny morning and looked like it was going to be a hot day, I wanted something fruity and refreshing for breakfast, but that would fill me up as well.

This smoothie ticks all the boxes (that one’s for my husband who hates buzzwords and phrases!), plus it’s lovely and creamy and smells wonderful too.  It has lots of nutrients: vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, protein, healthy fats (omega oils), vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, dietary fibre and lots lots more. The baobab powder has a lightly citrusy taste and adds more vitamins and minerals – it has 6x more Vitamin C than an orange. It promotes a strong immune system, healthy skin and a healthy gut. The Aduna brand supports small African businesses harvesting and exporting baobab, many of them run by women.

Ingredients

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, can be nutfree if you use seed, rice or soya milk but it will taste a little different.

Organic where possible.

All amounts are very approximate.

2 Tbsps Oats

1 Small Mango, chopped and frozen

2 Passionfruit, scooped out, but save half of one for serving

1 Tbsp freshly-ground Golden Linseeds

Glass of chilled Homemade Almond Milk*, more or less depending on how thick you want it

1 Tbsp freshly Ground Almonds

1 Tsp Baobab Powder **

 Blend everything except one half of a passionfruit, pour into a glass and top with remaining passionfruit seeds.

Serve and enjoy 😊

*Nut & Seed Milks & Smoothie Recipes

**Aduna

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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Vegan Mixed Bean Salad While the Kitchen’s Under Wraps!

29134960_UnknownLast week, the kitchen was covered in dust sheets and all the appliances – juicers, blenders, pans, etc. – were scattered about in other rooms. HB had been painting the ceiling, walls and doors all day, the windows were closed because the Men in Orange were laying smelly tarmac on the drive and it was quite a hot sticky day too, so a quick, cool salad was in order for dinner at the end of a long day.

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The bottom layer of this nutritionally power-packed salald bowl is a combination of leaves: romaine, rocket, watercress and spinach – did you know romaine and rocket contain protein? Watercress and spinach are a good source of iron and Vitamin C, too. Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron in the body.

Layered over the leaves are chopped celery and cucumber, then celery leaves, chopped spring onion (a prebiotic for gut health), more protein and B vitamins in homegrown mung bean sprouts*, and topped off with basil leaves, which we grow on our kitchen windowsill. Basil is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and rich in anti-oxidants.

Alongside, we have half a can of mixed beans, rinsed well – another source of protein and B vitamins, as well as dietary fibre.

The whole salad is then dressed with tamari and olive oil dressing, and sprinkled with raw hemp seeds* and plenty of black pepper. Hemp seeds are high in protein and a good source of healthy omega oils.

HB had a large baked potato with his!

*See also Shelled Hemp Seeds: Superfood or Psychogenic?!

Sprouting for Health, Energy and the Environment!

Crunchy & Satisfying Black Bean, Red Grape & Hemp Seed Salad

Mixed Beans with Avocado, Pomegranate & Wilted Spinach

Rocket (Arugula) Salad with Sweetcorn, Walnut Slaw, Crisp Red Apple & Lemon Tahini Dressing

Oh-So-Chocolatey Hemp Seed Coins

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Ginger & Lemon Bliss Balls with a Bite!

29398032_UnknownIt’s been some time since I posted a recipe for raw treats, even longer since we made energy balls, so when we were in the midst of an horrendous thunderstorm and planting had to stop for the day, the food processor was put through its paces and these are what we came up with.

Using lightly ground rather than finely ground Sweet Apricot Kernels and Sunflower Seeds, together with Raw Cacao Nibs, gives them a satisfying nutty bite rather than the fudge texture of most energy/bliss balls. Cacao nibs are dried pieces of raw cacao. If you can’t get Sweet Apricot Kernels, Almonds are a good substitute.

I’ve had a bar of The Raw Chocolate Company Ginger & Lemon raw chocolate for some time, waiting patiently for me to come up with a recipe. It contains tiny pieces of Fijian crystallised ginger which are really spicy! These were set aside when the chocolate was melted and used to decorate the treats.

These treats are packed with healthy ingredients including protein, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, healthy oils, and raw chocolate is mood-enhancing, so go on spoil yourself!

As always, these are vegan and gluten-free and they can be made nut-free if you substitute with other seeds, though the taste and texture will be a little different.

(All ingredients used were organic where possible).

Ingredients for basic energy balls:

1 Cup Organic Raw Mulberries*

1/2 Cup Sweet Apricot Kernels (ground)*

1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds (ground)

1/3 Cup chopped Medjool Dates

Juice & Zest of 1/2 Lemon (washed)

1/2 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs*

Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

2 Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter*

Process all ingredients together until the mixture will stick together when pressed into a ball.

Make approximately 15/16 balls and place in tiny truffle cases.

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Chocolate Dip:

1 x 44g The Raw Chocolate Company Ginger & Lemon Bar for melting + 1Tbsp Melted Cacao Butter 

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Break up the bar into squares and gently melt with the cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water, stirring until smooth. Set aside the pieces of ginger for decorating.

Dip the energy balls in the melted chocolate and cacao butter.

29397888_UnknownAllow the dipped energy balls to set a little before gently placing a small piece of crystallised ginger from the melted chocolate on top of each ball –  it is quite strong so if you prefer, use a raw mulberry instead.

It’s also been some time since we got jiggy in the kitchen! RecentlyI was sorting through old cd’s and rediscovered The Lemonheads, so here’s a video of them – not very good reproduction, but worth a revisit.

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Gettin’ Jiggy in the Kitchen: Make Your Own Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter

For this recipe, I have chosen a different take on the usual nut butter recipes.

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If you’re a raw food newbie, then this will ease you in gently to raw food cuisine. It is so simple, you just need a little patience – or in this case, a little Florence – see later, bad joke!

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter features my favourite Raw Chocolate Company Raw Organic Sweet Apricot Kernels.* 

 They are found inside apricot stones and look like small flat almonds. They are sweet and nutty, packed with protein and fibre and contain essential Omega 3 fats, iron, zinc and calcium.

By the magic of my ancient Braun Multipractic food processor we transformed them into yummy butter in less than half an hour. Half an hour, you say! Standing stirring, switching on and off for 30 minutes, surely that’s like watching paint dry, is it going to be worth the effort? YES! It is so simple and so tasty, and you know what they say, patience is a virtue and all good things come to those who wait…

(If you’re using an old food processor like us, be careful it doesn’t start to overheat, process in short bursts. It is well worth it, but a more modern processor/high speed blender will get the job done a lot quicker).

So, to make things more interesting, let’s get jiggy with it: put on some loud music, preferably the kind you can sing along to, and get some moves on while you switch and stir.

Today’s music of choice was Florence and The Machine’s Shake It Out but don’t hold that against me! 

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter

Ingredients
2 Cups of The Raw Chocolate Company Sweet Apricot Kernels.
or 1 1/2 150g bags
Pinch of sea salt

Method

Process in short bursts, frequently scraping down the sides. It will seem like nothing is happening for about 15 minutes and you may start questioning your existence but then miraculously it all starts coming together. After that, it’s up to you how long you keep going, depending on how smooth or crunchy you like it. Some people like to add a teaspoon of coconut oil to help it along, but we kept to the basics.

Makes enough to fill a honey jar. I like it with Nairn’s Gluten-Free Oatcakes but it can easily be used in other recipes. Look on the back of the bag for a sweet and spicy choco version and see also my Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices and other Raw Treats on the   Recipes Page

It makes a lovely gift tied up with a colourful ribbon or string.

*http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan