5 lbs in 5 Days: Day 5 Feelgood Friday – Parsnips? You’ve Got To Be Kidding!

Ok, I’ll spare you the rant! Regular followers on here and on Twitter will be well-versed in my, ahem, relationship with this particular root vegetable – if you are one of the few not familiar with said relationship, I invite you to read Pears But No More Parsnips!

The reason I mention it again here is that Day 5 means Pear ‘n’ Parsnip juice – twice! But after trying several times in the past, I have given myself permission to forego this ‘delight’ and will be substituting with a juice from the Super Juice Me! app so that I can use some of the asparagus we inadvertently ordered in our veg box this week, forgetting about the juice cleanse.

It is ok to substitute occasionally, providing you still create a balance with your juices and don’t overdo the fruit or the root veg to make them sweeter.


Nature’s Super Blend in my Grip and Go leakproof glass bottle.        Much healthier to use glass rather than plastic to store or drink juice from, both for us and the environment.

5 Day Friday

So, today is the final day of the cleanse. How is it going? Did you find it a breeze or a struggle? Did you ‘cheat’? How do you feel about ‘cheating’? Did you give up because you cheated? Do you feel a failure?


As I said at the beginning of the week, this is not a test for you to pass or fail. One slip doesn’t mean juicing isn’t for you! You can start over: if circumstances precluded you doing a full cleanse, then have a juice a day until you can. Did you have support or were people commenting about protein/fibre/sugar etc? Or cooking food you don’t want to eat and ‘encouraging’ you to ‘just have a little mouthful, once won’t do any harm.’

You are trying to be the healthiest you can be.

That’s not for anyone else to comment on, only for you to feel proud about.

And if you’ve made it through the week, well done! But don’t give up yet – it’s 5 Days AND 5 nights! 

Saturday is transition day. You will still need to juice while gently introducing whole fruit and veg, in other words plant-based foods. Don’t be tempted by family or friends to go out and celebrate – well, not in the way that’s traditionally done! No alcohol or fatty, sugary processed foods. Believe me, you will regret it.

See Super Juicing! I Feel Good – What Now? for tips on how to proceed after a cleanse.

(Whispering now cos it’s not polite to use toilet talk in public: after the initial ‘elimination’ at the start of the cleanse, some people have problems restarting the system, shall we say, towards the end of the week. If this is the case, it is perfectly fine to add a spoonful of ground linseeds to your juice in the morning).

And with that thought, I’ll love you and leave you!

Oh, ps look what my mum brought with her!


NB Please ask your doctor for advice if you’re thinking of extending your juice cleanse.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Easter Coconut & Almond Truffles


So good to have some sun again after weeks of rain!

These Raw Truffles were made from the pulp left over from the almond milk this morning. (See Almond Milk Recipe). The pulp was left wet and everything was done in the processor. Very quick and simple.


Leftover Pulp fom just under a Litre of Almond Milk

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut

4 Dates

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp Raw Organic Coconut Oil

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp Maple Syrup

For Dusting (Optional): Desiccated Coconut, Finely Chopped Almonds, Raw Cacao Powder*


Process everything until it comes together and you can press it into balls. It doesn’t take long. Place in the fridge in an airtight container and they’ll keep well.

Some garden photos to celebrate Spring!



Love the smell of hyacinths


Nesting materials for the birds – we have a pair of robins, several blackbirds, goldfinches, sparrows, blue tits, great tits and a pair of wrens! Idea from Pioneering the Simple Life.



Copyright: Chris McGowan

Tarty Tiger Berry Treats


After making Tiger Nut Milk, there is always a lot of dry pulp left over and it is such a shame to just discard it, so I came up with these easy-to-make and nutritious raw treats.

(See recipe for Tiger Nut Milk here, but you could also use almond milk pulp or sweet apricot kernel pulp which would give a slightly different flavour).

They are tarty because they are made using golden berries* which have a sweet/tart flavour, giving these treats a sharp citrus taste, and ‘tarty’ because they are over-made-up with cinnamon-flavoured raw cacao powder!

Before beginning, it is a good idea to slightly moisten, ever so lightly, the goji berries, with water or fruit juice, as they can be reluctant to blend when processed and you can get little bits of hard berry in the mix.

Today’s accompanying music video is the very funny Mika and ‘We Are Golden’ – Golden Berries, get it? 😉


1 Cup Tiger Nut Pulp

1/2 Cup Raisins

1/2 Cup Mixed Goji Berries and Golden Berries in a ratio of 2:1

1 Tsp Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter*

Raw Cacao Powder mixed with sprinkling of Cinnamon for dusting


Process all ingredients except Cacao Powder until it is blended enough to stick together when pressed.

Squeeze together and shape into balls. It probably won’t roll, but will press into shape.

Cover in Cacao and Cinnamon Powder.

Refrigerate for a while then gobble up!

Makes about 6.

*Tiger Nuts from http://www.thetigernutcompany.co.uk

*Goji Berries, Golden Berries, Cacao Butter and Raw Cacao Powder from http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Spiralising: A Great Way to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Greens, Reds, Yellows …

I have a confession to make. You know all those kitchen gadgets I mentioned in Gadgets Anonymous ? Well… <typing in quiet voice, head down, eyes looking sheepish> I have another one… But it’s not a blender!

Nope, a spiraliser. Lurch is its name.

To be fair, it isn’t new. It’s been sitting in the cupboard for some time, still in its box, waiting for us to catch up to it. And last night, we finally did, amd what fun!


On this plate are a Red Apple, a Carrot, half a medium Courgette and a quarter of a long Cucumber. Look at the wonderful colours!

It is highly unlikely anyone would sit and eat those items whole with a knife and fork. But spiralised, it becomes a whole different experience. Spiralising really does make a difference to how they taste, the texture and how much you can eat.

I had all this for dinner last night, along with a couple of very tasty, easy-to-make items from Jason Vale’s Super Fast Food app, which I hope to review when we’ve given it a good workout – so far, so thumbs up!

(We made the Zesty Creamy Rocket Pesto and the Nutty Seeded Crackers, both flavourful and nourishing and now added to our menu for regular use).


For the kids, it’s so much fun watching the twirly ribbons of veggie noodles emerging from the spiraliser, they just want to take a handful, tip their head back and start feeding the spirals into their mouth.

The Lurch spiraliser is very light and easy to use. Kids can help make their noodles with supervision. It comes with 3 different blades which are stored in the side and have protective hand grips to make it easy to switch.


It has suction feet to stop it slipping or travelling while in use. It also cores, and kids find the leftover middles amusing to play with or eat, or they can be juiced.

I am so excited! I know I am late to the party as far as spiralising is concerned, but I’ve been wanting to try for so long and better late than never!

Just hope the juicers and blenders aren’t going to view this as an act of betrayal! (But they needn’t worry, they continue to have pride of place on the kitchen counter, the spiraliser for the moment is still confined to the cupboard).

With grateful thanks to K and M! x

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Spicy Orange Fruit Balls – A Taste of Christmas


These raw treats are loved by everyone who tastes them, including the sceptical male Tweens in the family! They are moist, sweet and fruity and will keep for ages in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. They are quick and easy to make and would be a lovely gift if placed in pretty cases and a suitable box, decorated with colourful ribbon or string.

They provide a wealth of nutrients and make an excellent afternoon pick-me-up, a lunchbox treat or after-school energy hit.

Depending on the size, makes about 15.

All measurements are approximate.

Vegan, Gluten-Free & Organic.

Can be nut-free if you have a nut allergy.


10 Dried Figs, stems removed, chopped

6 Soft, Sulphur-Free Dried Apricots, chopped

(You can substitute other dried fruit but the overall flavour will be different)

1 Tbsp Orange Zest and a small squeeze of juice

1 Cup Desiccated Coconut or half and half with Almonds, freshly ground

1 Tsp Organic Maple Syrup (optional)

1/2 Tsp Ground Cardamom Seeds

A little Desiccated Coconut and/or ground Raw Sweet Apricot Kernels* or Almonds, Raw Cacao Powder*, Tiger Nut Flour* for dusting.


Process the dried fruit, then add the rest of the ingredients and process again until it all comes together.

(Here comes the lovely messy bit!)

Scoop up about a rounded tablespoon of the mixture and using your hands, shape gently into balls.

Next, roll some of them in Dessicated Coconut, ground Raw Sweet Apricot Kernels, Almonds or a little dusting of Raw Cacao Powder or Tiger Nut Flour.

Refrigerate to firm up and keep chilled in an airtight container or if they aren’t going to be gobbled up at once, keep them in the freezer.

Lick your fingers!


Ps You might also like Ginger & Lemon Bliss Balls with a Bite!

*The Raw Chocolate Company

*The Tiger Nut Company

 Copyright: Chris McGowan

Gorgeous Goji Berry Smoothie


This protein-packed smoothie features Organic Raw Goji Berry Powder, Organic Shelled Raw Hemp Seeds and Organic Raw Goji Berries (we use The Raw Chocolate Company products*). It can be made in a small blender, we used the kind that can also be used as a flask, so you blend and go.

 All measurements are approximate.
I am a great believer in adaptation and substitution, so don’t panic if you don’t have everything on the list. You are advised, however, not to take this too literally as one family member did when missing out the peas from the raw Pea and Mint Soup and the lentils from the Lentil Stew! Continue reading “Gorgeous Goji Berry Smoothie”

Grab Yourself a Slice of Energy: Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices!

Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices


These Sweet Apricot Kernel Slices are protein-packed and bursting with so much energy you could be bouncing off the walls! Simple and quick to make, they are excellent for a.m. and p.m pick-me-ups, lunch-boxes and activity snacks. They keep well in a sealed container in the fridge and even keep for a long time in the freezer – if you can resist them that is.  Even the sceptical children in the family love these! They also make a lovely gift.

They are an excellent way to use home-made Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter – see earlier post Gettin’ Jiggy in the Kitchen 

All measurements are approximate. Substitutions are ok on a like for like basis. I use organic where possible. They are vegan and gluten-free and very yummy!

(If you want a slightly less chewy bar, briefly soak the goji berries in a little apple juice or water).

1 Cup Raw Chocolate Company* Organic Sweet Apricot Kernels, ground coarsely
1 1/2 Cups Gluten-Free Oats
12 Soft Organic Dried Apricots
2 and a bit Tbsps Water
1 Heaped Tbsp Raw Chocolate Company Chia Seeds
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate Company Goji Berries
A Generous 1/3 Cup Raw Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter (see earlier recipe)
A Generous 1/4 Cup Organic Maple Syrup
Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract


Place ground kernels in a large mixing bowl
Process oats, apricots and water until the apricots are coarsely chopped
Add to mixing bowl along with Goji Berries and Chia Seeds
In a small saucepan, warm the Sweet Apricot Kernel Butter, Maple Syrup, Sea Salt and Vanilla Extract until smooth and pouring consistency
Add to mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until it starts to come together, clean hands are the best tool for this!
Press into an 8″x 8″ tin lined with greaseproof paper

Refrigerate for several hours to set.
Slice and savour!

PS my husband reckons they taste like Christmas cake and was convinced they were made with almonds.


Copyright: Chris McGowan