The savoury version of this loaf is my daily bread. But I had some cacao powder which needed using up and I wanted a treat for a picnic … so I thought I’d have a go at making a sweet version. It’s delicious! Particularly warm out of the oven and covered in butter! It really reminds me of malt loaf. Now let’s see if I can remember what I put in it …
2 cups ground almonds
3/4 cup psyllium husk
4 linseed eggs (see below)
1 tbsp gluten-free baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1tbsp ground cinnamon
a handful of raisins
a handful of walnuts
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup warm water
You could swap the spices, dried fruit and nuts for any you fancy.
Here’s how to make one linseed egg: (I use a Nutribullet – any grinder/blender would do)
1tbsp whole linseeds (brown or golden)
4tbsp cold water
Soak the linseeds in the water for at least an hour (or until gloopy). Blend until a smoothish (very gloopy) paste. This has the same sticking and binding properties of an egg (at a fraction of the cost and with different nutrition).
Here’s how to make the loaf:
Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add the linseed eggs, melted coconut oil and warm water. Mix well and press into an oiled loaf tin. Bake at 160C for 30-45 minutes – or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Place on a rack to cool (optional!).
This is my latest favourite ‘bread’ – it’s really more like a seedy savoury cake. It’s very filling and nutritious … unlike shop-bought gluten-free bread. It toasts and freezes well … it’s really versatile. Here’s how I make it (I make two and freeze one to save time) …
2 cups ground almonds
1/2 cup psyllium husks (from a good health food shop)
1 tbsp gluten-free baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup oil (coconut or olive)
1/2 cup water
4 large eggs (or 4 linseed eggs – see below)
Optional extras: tablespoon of fennel seeds (or cumin etc), 2 tbsp each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds … any other flavours you fancy … you could even make a sweet version with cinnamon and dried fruit (yum!).
To make one linseed egg … soak a tablespoon of whole linseeds in four tablespoons of water for at least half an hour. Then blitz them in a Nutribullet or similar. It will form a good gloopy seedy sticky lump!
Put all the dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well
Add the wet ingredients and beat until thoroughly mixed – you may need to add a little more water to form a dough.
Pour into an oiled and paper lined small loaf tin
Bake at 175 degrees until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean(ish).
Riverford delivered the most beautiful bunch of young carrots yesterday. The tops were so healthy and green I couldn’t resist having a carrot bonanza! Fresh young organic carrots dipped in a dip of their own tops … yum! Here’s how I made it …
a handful of almonds (or any other nuts)
a bunch of fresh carrot tops – remove big stalks
juice of 1 or 2 lemons
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
crushed garlic (optional)
a handful of basil (or any other herb)
I soaked a handful of almonds overnight in filtered water with a splash of cider vinegar (this helps remove the natural toxins in nuts).
In the morning, I drained and rinsed the almonds then blitzed them in my Nutribullet with the sea salt and lemon juice
I stuffed in the carrot tops a handful at a time and blitzed them with a good glug of olive oil and a little water to loosen the texture.
Finally I added the garlic and basil and blitzed to a smooth paste.
Serve as a dip with raw veg or stir through pasta and risotto. I even make a salad dressing from it … just add vinegar and olive oil to taste.
This lunch (or dinner with rice) ticks lots of trendy boxes! For a start, not one ingredient came from a supermarket. It’s 100% organic and vegan. It’s also really simple to make … here’s how:
Empty a can of organic coconut milk into a large pan (check the ingredients of non-organic versions for emulsifiers and preservatives). You can add water if making soup.
Grate in some organic turmeric root, ginger root and two cloves of organic garlic. These three ingredients are natural chelators of toxicity – they bond to chemicals to make them safe for removal from our body. That’s why it’s important to buy them organic. I get mine at Down to Earth in Dorchester (from Riverford). Optional: fresh or dried chilli
Add a sliced onion or leek and bring these ingredients to a simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
Add the cauliflower cut into small florets and any other vegetables you fancy (I’ve added a red pepper). You could add potato or sweet potato for a more substantial meal. I get all my veg from Riverford. Organic veg not only tastes better it is proven to be higher in nutrition.
Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the chick peas. Buying these in a glass jar means you avoid the BPA-lined metal cans – these chick peas also taste really good. I get these in Down to Earth, Dorchester too.
Easy to make and a fairly healthy treat (quite high in sugar because of the dried fruit), energy balls are a great idea for snacks on the go. They keep for days in the fridge and freeze well too.
There are lots of recipe variations and I reckon as long as you use equal quantities of nuts and fruit, you could mix whatever you fancy. I soaked the nuts in hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice for a few hours – to remove the mould and lectins which coat raw nuts and cause digestive issues. I also soaked the dried fruit in hot water to rehydrate it and make it softer – the texture of these energy balls was smooth and moist, like a healthy chocolate truffle.
Ingredients (makes at least 20):
200g raw cashews
100g walnuts and brazil nuts
100g cranberries (apple juice sweetened)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon raw cacao
Pinch of sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
desiccated coconut and raw cacao to coat
Put the nuts into a bowl and pour over hot water to cover. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and mix well. Leave to stand for at least two hours before use (or overnight).
Soak the dried fruit in hot water too for a smooth moist texture (optional).
Strain the nuts and rinse them. Place them in a food processor and blend until smooth or a fine crumb.
Strain the fruit and add to the nuts. Blend until smooth.
Add the flavourings. Blend.
Melt the coconut oil in a small pan. Drizzle into the food processor until thoroughly mixed.
Place the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour to harden and chill.
Roll a dessertspoon of the mixture into a ball with your hands. Roll the ball in coconut or cacao.
Earlier this year, I attended a fermentation workshop with Fran & Jude. Out of all the fabulous recipes they shared, Sauerkraut has become a staple for me. I love the salty sour taste and fermented foods can have a beneficial effect on our microbiome (the 2-3lbs of ‘friendly’ bacteria which live in our gut doing invaluable work helping our immune system, making vitamins, hormones, etc).
I’ve been asked to share the secrets of making your own successful batch, so here’s how I do it:
an organic or home-grown cabbage (you don’t want any chemicals in the mix as it may affect fermentation). You can use any variety of cabbage – I prefer to use red as it has the added benefit of even more antioxidant nutrients)
pure sea salt (preferably unrefined or ‘grey’ – you can buy it locally here)
seasonings – to taste and definitely optional – choose from: a bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, 6 juniper berries, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 cloves, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp celery seeds, clove of garlic, a few chilli flakes, half an onion.
Remove any damaged outer leaves of the cabbage. Then remove and keep two whole large leaves (these will form a lid later).
Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the hard core.
Weigh the remaining cabbage and calculate how much sea salt to use – 10g (two teaspoons) per 1kg of cabbage.
Slice the cabbage finely, put it into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on the sea salt.
Wash your hands with natural soap and hot water (don’t use strong smelling or antibacterial soap!).
Now knead and massage and pound the cabbage with your hands until it’s about half the volume and there’s a few tablespoons of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. This can take 10 minutes or more.
Add the seasonings (if using) and mix well.
Pack the cabbage into a clean jar. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover it completely. If not, go back and knead it some more.
Cover the cabbage with the saved outer leaves.
Weight the cabbage down so it all remains below the liquid – I use a glass jammed in the lid (see pic) *this bit is really important*
Seal the jar and place it in a warm, dark place – I use the kitchen cupboard next to the dishwasher. You can start to eat the sauerkraut whenever you like – the longer you leave it, the more it ferments. I leave mine 4-6 weeks.
When it’s at the required fermentation (tangyness), store it in the fridge.
Eat with everything!
**If at any time your sauerkraut grows a mould which is any colour other than pure white, compost the whole lot! White mould can be scraped off.**
Like most people, in December I tend to eat foods I don’t usually … and drink more alcohol. So, I’m doing a gut cleanse this week. Here’s what I’m doing:
NO alcohol or caffeine
At least two litres per day of still mineral water and herbal teas. I use whole leaf tea – the flavour and quality is so much better. I have a teaball for single cups and a teapot for when hubby joins me. I get my loose herbs from Helen’s Whole Foods in Weymouth or Buy Wholefoods Online. My current favourites are: nettle, dandelion, lemon verbena, fennel seed and dried ginger.
I’m planning to include some home-made raw juices with plenty of fresh turmeric and ginger (but I haven’t got round to it … it’s something to do with the weather I think!)
NO dairy (except small amounts of butter)
Low carb (very little rice or potatoes)
Maximise veg, herbs and spice intake (I ordered in extra veg from Riverford this week along with organic turmeric and ginger root which I’ve been adding to everything)
Go to Menus below to see what I’ve been eating day by day and to download recipes (click on the links).
My kinesiologist came up with two products I needed to help cleanse my gut:
CandiSolve – a combination of digestive enzymes and a specific probiotic which re-balances candida overgrowth.
Made another batch of hummus and linseed crackers and I’m trying out a new lemon cookie recipe. Riverford had bergamot lemons this week – smell amazing and the juice tastes like a cross between lemon and mandarin.
Dinner: pork & veg casserole, spring greens, muffin, two squares 85% choc.
I think that this week of menus shows you the diet which best suits me when I want to feel good and lose weight (I lost 3-4lbs – I’m back to my usual weight). There is no one-size fits all in terms of which diet is best … please contact me to book in so we can find which diet suits you. Happy new year!
I’m a convert! I saw this recipe on social media and had to give it a go. Nori is a type of seaweed and it’s available in sheets in supermarkets – I got mine in Sainsbury’s. I love seaweed! It’s really tasty and nutritious – it’s packed with minerals and full of fibre. Seaweed is especially rich in iodine, which is needed for good thyroid function and other metabolic functions. Our diets are typically low in iodine now that most of us don’t eat much fresh seafood.
These nori rolls could be made the night before and kept in the fridge for breakfast on the go. They could also be taken as a packed lunch. Yum! They’re really easy to make, satisfying and nutritious!
These flatbreads are great for breakfast, brunch or lunch. Ideal if you’re cutting out wheat, gluten and/or grains, this recipe uses coconut flour and arrowroot powder. They can also be made with a linseed ‘egg’ – this makes the flatbread hold together so well you can roll it as a wrap. Linseeds add extra texture and nutrition too.
These flatbreads work really well with smoked salmon & avocado or bacon & tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. You can take them with you too – add some hummus and salad for a quick packed lunch.
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
1 egg (or a linseed ‘egg’ – see below)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup arrowroot powder
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat the oven to 170C.
If using a linseed egg, soak 1tbsp of linseeds in 2tbsp of water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients or until it becomes gloopy. Then blitz it in a NutriBullet, spice grinder or blender.
If using a hen’s egg, beat the egg in a large bowl, add the sea salt, lemon juice, olive oil and water – mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix into a ball.
Roll out to about 1/2 cm thickness between two sheets of baking paper
Bake on one of the sheets for about ten minutes or until the edges are golden and the bread is firm to the touch.
While salads are the mainstay of my diet in summer, in the deepest, darkest days of winter the last thing you want to eat is cold food. Your body has to get it up to body temperature to start with – before it can begin digestion. That takes up a lot of energy and effort.
So, we have soup just about every day for lunch at home and I promised a client I would share some recipe ideas. These are not soups for entertaining … these are for everyday lunches or light dinners. It’s more about getting in some good nutrients rather than impressing. So, the absolute best base to start with is bone broth – stock made from the carcass of a chicken or meat bones which have been simmered on very low heat for a long time. See my post on chicken soup here.
Other than that, here are my top tips for healthy, nutritious soups:
If you don’t have time to make stock, then this vegetable bouillon powder is the best start: Marigold Organic Bouillon. (I like the Organic version best as it doesn’t contain as much added salt or any hydrolysed vegetable protein.) A heaped dessertspoon of this powder and a litre or two of cold water from the filter is the start of most of my soups.
Chop vegetables small so they cook quickly. Use a wide variety of veg.