WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Dairy Free

The Best Hot Chocolate's To Cosy Up With This Winter

Drinks, Dairy Free, Essentials, Review, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment

Winter is approaching and although the Sun is still out here in London, all I want is a hot drink to settle down with. Fancy something different to your usual tea or coffee? Below are my favourite hot chocolate brands, the ideal warmer during winter months and also a perfect sweet snack to satisfy daytime or evening cravings. Add some extra components to these base ingredients, for added nutrition and / or flavour. I’m adding a shot or teaspoon of fresh turmeric or ginger juice to mine, and during the day, a little he shou wu, maca, tocos and ashwaganda. Embrace your inner alchemist!

1. Zenbunni’s Shaved Dark Chocolate - biodynamic, raw, handcrafted chocolate spiked with a selection of adaptogens. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

2. Zenbunni’s Vanilla Reishi Gheenache - an alchemical blend of biodynamic and organic stone-ground chocolate and full moon-made ghee. A delicious and nutrient-dense superfood, it is filled with essential minerals, vitamins, and fats for a healthy & magical chocolate experience. Just mix with hot water or milk of choice.

3. Mörk Drinking Chocolate - crafted with cocoa powder, 100% cacao liquor and sweetened only with unrefined coconut blossom sugar. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

4. Ombar Mylk Chocolate Buttons - Raw chocolate buttons make with creamed coconut and sweetened only with coconut sugar. Chop roughly and mix with hot water or milk of choice.

Or anything Ombar for that matter. Chop roughly and mix with hot water or milk of choice.

5. Loving Earth Creamy Drinking Chocolate - Fair trade, dairy-free, gluten-free, organic, vegan, vegetarian, and again, sweetened only with coconut nectar. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

Pure Raw / Ceremonial Grade Cacao Powder - pure and simple. Mix with hot water or milk of choice, and sweeten gently if desired with natural syrup or other natural sweetener.

Archived hot chocolate recipes from the blog…

High Vibe Quinoa Hot Chocolate
Tahini Reishi Hot Chocolate

Quick Ginger Hot Chocolate Recipe

Either use 1/2 shot glass of fresh ginger juice (made using a juice or by blending 20-30g sliced fresh ginger with 60ml water) or brew 250ml water or plant-based milk of choice with either sliced fresh ginger or 2 ginger teabags. (You can also use ground ginger but the flavour wont be as strong, the nutrients wont be as active and you will find the ginger doesn’t dissolve and combine fully).

If using water, boil in the kettle and then add the shot of ginger juice or, if using fresh ginger, steep in a mug or small bowl. Add your chosen hot chocolate powder or solids, and stir to melt and combine.

If using a milk, heat in a small saucepan and add either the shot of fresh ginger juice or, if using, the fresh ginger slices. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-20 minutes. Leave on the hob but switch off the heat and continue to infuse for as long as possible (if you’re in a rush or don’t want to wait, you don’t need to do this extra infusion step, but if you have time, leave for an hour or so just to deepen the flavour). Then, stir in your chosen hot chocolate powder or solids, and stir to melt and combine.

Enjoy!

Finally ~ The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip (Vegan!) Cookies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman4 Comments
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I’m not even joking, I went as far as testing 4 different cookie recipes in 1 day a few weeks ago, and none of them came out how I wanted them to.

I revisited the challenge again this week though, and this story has a different ending. The best vegan cookies that have ever been.

To me, a cookie should be tough, crisp and gently crunchy on the outside, and soft, moist and chewy on the inside. It should definitely not be too crispy or biscuity, and at all crumbly. That’s the worst. What’s the point in a cookie if it isn’t chewy? I tried several different options that Sunday afternoon; some with egg, some without; some with coconut sugar, some with syrups; some with flour, some with ground nuts; some with coconut oil, some with olive oil. I even tried some chickpeas (the dough was insane, the baked version, not so much). All of them came out completely different and left me baffled by the science of cookies. Some were super light and fluffy and almost a dusty / sandy texture (inedible). Others were super oily and dense, but didn’t set properly or remained oily and moist like the dough it had been, rather than an actual cookie.

These, though, are the ones. They are the perfect texture - light and chewy, but not too dense or tough. In my opinion, they are more flavoursome than shop-bought cookies (which, since I’m now used to lower sugar foods, always taste too sweet and artificial, and somehow quite plain - maybe from the flour and the fact that the ingredients they contain are rarely fresh and hardly real food at all). Another couple of pros: these are make with completely natural ingredients (that’s where the flavour comes from) and are gluten free, paleo, and vegan. Uhhhhh. Who knew a cookie could hit so many spots?

They literally take about 5 minutes to make and 10-12 to bake. So you don’t have an excuse not to make these, really. Sorry.

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Components

Makes 6 large cookies

200g ground almonds
5 tablespoons natural syrup (about 100g) (I used dark agave but any natural syrup, like honey, maple or coconut nectar would also work)
3-4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspon bicarbonate soda
4 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (around 50-60g), melted
Generous pinch of salt for the dough and extra for topping
4 tablespoons gluten free flour - I use either buckwheat, rice, chickpea or chestnut
50-100g raw or dark chocolate - I use Ombar or 85-99% dark chocolate depending on what I can find locally

Optional

1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground ginger or grated or sliced fresh ginger
Chopped nuts (like hazelnut, pecans, pine nuts or walnuts)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175c.

Simply measure all of the ingredients - except for the chocolate - into a food process and pulse until they form a smooth dough. Ideally, it should begin to form a sticky, doughy ball, and the mixture should be smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. On a chopping board, roughly chop or crush the chocolate, if it is in a bar or buttons, to create small chocolate chunks. Stir the chocolate chunks into the dough mixture and use your hands to combine and distribute evenly throughout the dough.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take a small handful of mixture and roll into a compact ball, then place in the palm of one hand and flatten with the other hand. Aim to make each cookie about the size of the palm of your hand, and about 1cm thick. Place on the baking tray and continue to flatten gently with your figures, if necessary. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, if desired.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 - 12 mins, until the edges begin to brown and the surface is tough and dry to touch. I remove mine around 10 minutes as they continue to cook a little as they cool, and they set as they cool, so don’t worry if they feel too soft when you remove them from the oven.

Enjoy warm or cooled, with a glass of hot or cold plant-based milk, adaptogen-spiked milk (I like cacao) or other hot drink of choice.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1-2 weeks.

Mango Tofu Curry; Two Ways

Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten free, Recipe, Vegan, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
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Ah, I’m excited to share this one with you and I really, really hope you make it. This was an impulsive experiment last week, to keep me occupied whilst cooped up indoors with my first proper cold in years. A few days prior, my sister had mentioned a really good mango tofu curry she’d been making on repeat recently, and I immediately wanted in.

Not only are the days getting shorter, the evenings darker and the weather, well, worse, we’re also all more prone to illness this time of year. There are more viruses in the air and our immunity weakens as the weather gets colder. We need more from our food and we need different things from our food. Warming and soul-soothing stews, one-pots, dahl’s and curry’s replace light and refreshing summer salads, snacks and light meals. We turn to more heartier meals using more grounding and deeply nourishing ingredients.

This curry in particular is abundant in all kinds of spices, which have been used for decades in many traditions for healing from within. Needless to say, it really sorted me out and lifted many of my symptoms in under 24 hours.

I’m aware that mango isn’t the most seasonal ingredients right now here in London, but it adds such an incredible flavour and texture to this dish. You could omit it or replace it with something like banana (trust me), apricots (fresh or dry), or other fruits or vegetables if you want something a little more inline with October.

I made two variations of this; one Indian-style korma and one Thai-style green curry. My favourite is definitely the korma (pictured), but the Thai-style green curry is delicious in an entirely different way. It’s a little lighter and more refreshing.

This recipe is a total crowd pleaser, and quick and easy to make, is ideal for busy weeknights or batch-cooking and filling the freezer on weekends. You could double the recipe anytime you make it and keep some in the fridge for the rest of the week, and some in the freezer for instant ready meals.

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Components

Serve 2-4

½-1 white onion*
2 cloves garlic *
2 teaspoons ground garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika powder
Salt
Black Pepper
2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut but you could also use ghee, sunflower or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric (or 1 teaspoon fresh & grated)
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (depends on personal taste)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (if you can only find pods, crush them in a pestle & mortar)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or 2 large fresh tomatoes)
1 fresh chilli or 1/4 tsp chilli powder or flakes
1 mango, chopped into cubes (about 200g chopped weight)
1 block tofu, chopped (about 200g)
1 courgette, sliced into half moons
1 tin coconut milk
Juice of 1/2 a lime
4 tablespoons ground almonds
Handful of flaked almonds, to top

* I can’t eat garlic or onion due to an intolerance, so I tested this recipe without them as well, and, for anyone else in a similar position, it works perfectly well if you’d prefer not to use them.

Method

Start by heating the oil in a frying pan and, once hot, add the onion, garlic, tofu and courgette. Stir fry for a few minutes, flipping continuously, and then add the mango, tomato paste (or tomatoes), fresh chilli and spices. (You could also blend the onion, garlic, tomato paste, fresh chilli if using and spices in a small spice blender before cooking, or dice / mince the onion at least, as it a nicer texture in the sauce than having them as large chunks). Either way, fry for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and until the tofu is beginning to brown and crisp on the outside.

Next, add the lime juice and then the coconut milk. Stir to combine and then add the ground almonds.

+ Now would be a good time to put some brown rice or other grains on to cook, to serve with your curry.

Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10-20 minutes, until the sauce reduces and thickens. Add a splash or water if the mixture becomes too thick for your liking. I personally like the sauce thick, but added a little water to loosen it a little before serving.

Lastly, transfer to bowls and serve over your chosen grain.

Top with a pinch of fresh coriander and a handful of sliced almond.

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Thai-Style Green Curry

Components

2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or coconut oil or other plant based oil)
1/2 - 1 onion

2-3 cloves garlic
150g firm tofu
, sliced
1 courgette or 1 aubergine, chopped

1 mango (about 200-300g)
1 stick lemongrass, bashed
1 tablespoon ginger, grated or diced
1-2 red or green chillies (depending on personal taste)
1-2 teaspoons dried coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 can coconut milk
20g nori or other seaweed
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (to taste)
Handful fresh coriander
Salt and black pepper

Optional
50g bamboo shoots
A few kaffir leaves
1/2 teaspoon galangal
Small handful of Thai basil leaves

Bok choy, broccoli or mange tout snap peas
1-2 fillets of cod or other white fish (depending on number of servings)
250g king prawns, raw + sliced

Method

Start by heating the oil in a wok or frying pan. Fry the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown and then add the tofu and courgette or aubergine. Fry for 5 minutes, until the tofu begins to brown, and then add the mango and the chilli.

Next, stir in the spices and ginger, followed by the lime juice, tamari and rice vinegar. Stir to combine and then add the coconut milk and seaweed. Stir again and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Season, to taste, and add extra chilli, chilli powder or flakes until you are happy with the flavour and spice. Add the fresh coriander and serve, either with brown rice or another grain or gluten free noodles.

Almond & Adaptogen Ananda Mouthfuls

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments
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I love to make some variation of these simple snacks every few weeks, and they're especially convenient if I am traveling a lot. I love to take them with me for the journey, and if i have the facilities where I am staying abroad, I always make them if I am staying somewhere for a while, as they are super easy to make and provide functional nutrition in an instant. They are high in protein, healthy fats, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, and are a delicious way to incorporate a dose of your favourite adaptogens and / or tonic herbs if you want other ways to use them. Depending on the adaptogens you use, these mouthfuls have a host of physical and mental health benefits, and the bonus is that they taste like chewy caramels. Enjoy!

Components

50g gluten free oats (or cashews)
50g ground almonds (or whole almonds)
A generous pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla vegan protein powder (i use The Welle Co or Innermost Health)
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
150g medjool or other soft dates (pitted and halved)
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil (soft, or melted)
60g almond butter or cashew butter, or a mixture of both

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, ground or whole almonds, salt, protein powder, cinnamon and adaptogen powder of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars, (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set) and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Salted Peanut version

Components

50g gluten free oats
80g roasted peanuts
Pinch of salt (don't use if your peanuts are already salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract, or vegan or whey protein powder
250g medjool dates
50g peanut butter (could also use other nut butter)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temp

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, peanuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Cacao version

Components

50g gluten free oats
100g walnuts (can also use almonds or cashews, or a mixture)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract or vegan or whey protein powder
Pinch of salt
250g medjool dates
50g almond butter (can use other nut butter too)
2 tbs coconut oil

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)
1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, walnuts or other nuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Well Being Recipe Series - Lazy Boy Nut Milk

Anytime, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Well Being Book, Videodanielle coppermanComment

For a quicker way to make your own nut milk, blend 2 tablespoons of nut butter (preferably raw, but roasted will also work) with 150ml filtered water on a high speed for 2–3 minutes. Strain and transfer to a bottle or jar with a lid and store in the fridge for 3–4 days. This will only make about 2 servings, so you might want to double or triple the measurements to make more. Find the full recipe on page 305 of Well Being Book. Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2jIa3NW

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Upside Down Apricot + Almond Cake

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Summerdanielle copperman1 Comment
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Inspired by a cake my mama threw effortlessly together last week in desperation to use up some of the plums from the tree in our front garden, this cake is super simple and seasonally delicious. It is one of the moistest, lightest cakes you have and will ever encounter, I'm sure of it. Most of the flavour comes from the natural juices and essence of the fresh apricots (you can also use peaches, plums, nectarines or other seasonal fruit of choice - it will literally work with anything; berries, banana, citrus fruits etc etc), which goes so well with the creamy, nuttiness of the ground almond batter.

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This is such a summery recipe and it feels so energising, refreshing and nourishing to eat the vibrant fruits that nature offers up this time of year. I am a firm believer that we truly need exactly what the Earth provides for us in certain seasons / situations. I have been craving juicy, hydrating fruits all summer - probably due to the dry, hot weather - and feel so grateful to have things like peaches, apricots and nectarines thriving in abundance right now. 

This is such a quick and easy recipe and I would seriously recommend it, especially if you have some over-ripe fruits to use up. All the ingredients, as always, are 100% natural and unrefined and thus dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free.

+ A quick note on sugar: my opinion is that all sugar is sugar, it is received very similarly by the body, however it does make a difference using coconut sugar as it's is higher in fibre and other vitamins and minerals than regular white sugar or other highly processed sweeteners. I also use almost half the sugar required in most similar standard cake recipes, so that's something.

Components

8-10 medium apricots (or a similar amount of other fruits of choice. I'd suggest roughly 5 peaches or nectarines, 8-10 plums, 4-5 oranges or lemons - also feel free to use a combination of several different fruits)
120g  ground almonds
3 eggs (replace with equivalent of flax or chia gel for vegan option, although I haven't tested this)
100g coconut sugar
140g coconut oil
25g water
65g buckwheat flour (can also use self raising gluten free flour or standard self raising flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste, powder or fresh vanilla pod seeds
Pinch of salt
+ extra coconut oil and coconut sugar, for greasing

Method

Preheat the oven to 170c.

Line a 9 inch cake tin (I like to use one with a removable bottom, for ease) with baking paper and grease with the coconut oil and sprinkle with coconut sugar (enough to evenly cover the entire base) and a pinch of salt. 

Slice your fruits of choice into flat disks, however possible. I sliced my apricots in half only once, and removed the stone, but for peaches and nectarines you might want to slice four times for thinner layers. Then, lay the fruit - open side facing down and skin side facing up - over the entire base of the tin. Cover as much of the tin as possible and fill any gaps with smaller slices of fruit.

Next, make the batter. Whisk all of the remaining ingredients together in a bowl or combine in a mixer or a food processor. Once smooth, pour the mixture into the tin, covering every inch of the fruit. Smooth to even out with a spatula or back of a spoon.

Bake for 40-45 mins, testing to see if the centre is cooked through by poking a knife or skewer into the middle. If it comes out clean, it is ready, but if it brings a lot of raw looking mixture with it, leave it to bake a little longer. If the top begins to darken too much, cover with foil for the remaining time. 

Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. Remove the cake from the tin and gently flip it upside down onto a large plate or cake stand. Carefully remove the baking paper, pressing it away from you as you peel it away, to avoid any pieces of fruit coming with it.

Leave to cool for a minimum of 30 minutes, then either enjoy warm or leave for longer and enjoy at room temp. 

I enjoyed mine with yoghurt (I like soy, almond, cashew or coconut, but you can also use natural probiotic yoghurt). You could also serve with vegan cream (I like Oatly). I also added a little fresh grated ginger, but it would also be nice with fresh herbs like mint, thyme or lemon verbena, depending on the fruits you've used.

+ Store in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge. I left mine at room temperature and it lasted for 4-5 days.

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Summery Vegan Lemon Curd Tart ~ Vegan & Gluten Free Ofc

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Summer, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipedanielle copperman3 Comments
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Ah, this could be just about the dreamiest thing I've ever made. I thought it would be impossible to recreate a favourite of mine (and many's) - The Lemon Tart - using all-natural and vegan ingredients, but it wasn't, and that's why we're where we are today. First off, this post contains around 3 to 4 individual recipes in itself; not only a lemon tart but also a lemon jam, a lemon curd and a biscuity base you can use for all kinds of sweet treats, desserts, freezer granola (I'll explain later) or simply enjoy as a snack. 

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+ You can make this recipe into one big tart to serve sliced (right), or you can use smaller tart dishes to make individual tartlets (left). You can also make this into more a cheesecake pot if you don't have the right kind of tart dish, by filling small ramekins, small bowls or even glasses with some of the base mixture followed by the filling on top.

The Basic Biscuity Base

You can take inspiration from pretty much any recipe for a raw dessert when looking for a quick and simple base for a conventional dessert; whether you intend to make an entirely raw dessert or not. You can make a basic base for any dessert with pretty much any combination of nuts / seeds, coconut oil or butter and a little natural sweetener. I've given up using recipes as it is so easy to judge by eye how much oil and by taste how much sweetener you need to add to any amount of nuts / seeds for it to work as a base. The magic of a raw base like this is that the hard work is done by the coconut oil / butter and the fridge / freezer. It is so simple, and the result is always perfectly crunchy, creamy and crumbly. I use the same kind of recipes as the bottom layer for dessert pots, the base for cheesecakes and as an easy alternative to pastry shells - as I have done here.

+ You could make this tart on a more conventional pastry shell if you feel so inclined / prefer it / have more time and patience on your hands. The pastry from my recent Savoury Vegan Picnic Tartlets recipe would work amazingly with this filling.

Components

Makes enough for 1 medium to large tart dish, or about 8-10 small individual pots / tart dishes

200g raw cashews
200g raw almonds
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3-4 tablespoons honey, medjool dates or other natural sweetener of choice (I find 3 tablespoons is enough to make the dough stick but add more depending on your taste preferences)

+ You can of course use a combination of any other raw nuts and / or seeds you have on hand. I love using pecans or walnuts, and sunflower seeds for a nut-free option.

Process

Simply add your nuts / seeds of choice to a food processor and blend until ground into a fine, crumbly consistency. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the coconut oil followed closly by the honey or other natural sweetener of choice.

The mixture should begin to clump after 30-60 seconds on a high speed. Add a little more oil if the mixture seems too dry and/or a little more honey or sweetener of choice if the mixture isn't sticking and holding together when you press it with your fingers of the back of a spoon or spatula. You want it to stick and hold a compact shape.

Now, cut a strip of baking paper almost twice the diameter of your tart dish (do the same for each small individual tartlet dishes if using). Lay the baking paper across the tart dish as centrally as possible, with the baking paper flat to the middle of the tart dish, and the ends of the laying long outside of the dish. This will help you to lift the tart out once it is set.

Next, transfer the base mixture into your tart dish or tartlet dishes, and use a spatula and / or your hands to spread the mixture evenly to the edges. Press the mixture down until it is compact, and use small handfuls to press some of the mixture up and around the sides of your dish too. 

The base should be about 1/2 cm - 1 cm thick at the base, probably naturally a little thinner around the edges. Transfer to the freezer to set whilst you make the filling.

+ Leftovers tip: You can use any leftover base to energy balls or bars, either rolling it up or pressing into bar moulds or even tuppaware boxes. You can also crumble it into a small container and leave it in the freezer to enjoy as an instant granola for breakfast.

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The Lemon Curd Filling

I have previously made an all-natural lemon curd recipe but it contained eggs and quite a bit of coconut milk which made it quite heavy and rich. This new versions is incredible, I'm genuinely smiling just thinking about it. 100% vegan / plant based and 100% natural and unrefined, you won't find the usual eggs, overload of sugar or butter that is traditionally used in conventional recipes / lemon curd products, or any additives, preservatives and weird thickeners or acidity regulators (err, sorry what?).

As mentioned in the intro, you get 3-in-1 with this recipe. The earliest stage of this filling makes the most delicious lemon jam, which can be used on toast, in yoghurt or enjoyed with baked goods. The next stage makes the perfect lemon curd, which can be used as a spread, a dip or a side for fruit salads or other desserts. And the final stage is your lemon curd tart filling, which could also be used as a slightly richer and creamier spread, dip or side for other desserts. The choice is yours.

Components

140g coconut oil, melted
juice of 6 lemons
160-180g honey, coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
6 tablespoons soy yoghurt (can replace with other yoghurt of choice such as coconut, oat or almond yoghurt. Those who eat dairy can also use probiotic dairy yoghurt or double cream)

Process

Measure the lemon juice, oil and honey into a medium saucepan over a medium - high heat. Immediately whisk in the arrowroot. Add 3 tablespoons first then whisk until fully combine, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons and whisk again.

Heat over a medium - high heat until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. It should become incredibly gloopy. Also, during one of my test runs, a lot of the oil separated and sat on the surface, but if this happens it will all turn out fine, so don't worry.

As the mixture becomes thick and gloopy, remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture vigorously for 1-2 minutes (may need longer if your oil has separated slightly). The mixture should calm down and become a smoother more creamy looking texture. Return to a low-medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, whisking every so often to avoid any sticking and burning.

When the mixture is thick, smooth and glossy looking, remove from heat and then whisk in the soy yoghurt (or whichever alternative you might be using), one tablespoon at a time, until smooth. This will make the mixture thin a little but don't worry, it will set perfectly.

Pour the mixture into your tart base or tartlet bases, filling it up to come almost level with the edges of the base. This time, place in the fridge for about 1-2 hours to set fully.

+ Leftovers tip: If you have leftover filling mixture once you've filled your tart or tartlet bases, pour the remainder into a jar or container and store in the fridge. You can serve a dollop alongside the tart for anyone who wants extra, or you can use to accompany breakfasts (such as granola and yoghurt, fruit salad, spread on toast or on porridge) or other desserts.

Once set, slice and serve with an extra dollop of soy yoghurt (or you preferred alternative) and a side of fresh, seasonal fruit. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge. To keep for even longer, slice and store in the freezer; it thaws back to perfection in no time.

+ Decoration tip: You could try swirling an extra dollop of soy yogurt into the middle of the filling before setting, to create a marbled effect. You could also garnish with edible flowers, lemon slices or other fresh fruit of choice

Savoury Vegan Picnic Tartlets

Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten free, Lunch, Recipe, Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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Since the sun has finally decided to stay out long enough for the chance of al fresco dining, I've got the perfect recipe to liven up otherwise predictable picnic / barbecue fare. I first tested and shot these recipes in Autumn, hence the roasted grapes, brussels sprouts and chanterelle mushrooms. However, I figured they're still relevant because they're so incredibly customisable. If you've read the introduction of my book you'll know I am all about encouraging people to have a flexible and adaptable approach to cooking. Many people are terrified by this idea, however, I find being open to free-styling in the kitchen is more enjoyable and results in more creative and more personalised dishes.

The gluten free pastry shells in these recipes are the same, and there are two cheesy base options; one made from cashews and the other, a nut-free alternative made with white beans. But the rest of these recipes - the fillings and flavours - are entirely adaptable. Each season, try something new. For now, here are a few summer-inspired suggestions:

Roasted Courgette & Asparagus
Roasted Aubergine & Spinach
Roasted Cabbage & Fennel
Pea & Mint
Roasted Carrot & Garlic
Roasted Tomato & Basil
Or sweet options, with smashed berries, jams / marmalades (ideally homemade / handmade and made with natural ingredients without added sugar or additives) nectarines, figs, apricots and other seasonal fruits.

+ Or for summery alternatives for the below options, simply replace grapes with cherries, brussels with cabbage and chanterelle mushrooms with mushrooms currently in season.

The Basics

Depending on your fillings, I think the easiest way to make these is to start by making the pastry shells and the cream cheese fillings first, setting them aside whilst you prepare your chosen fillings. If roasting your fillings, it may save time to roast the fillings first, whilst you prepare the pastry dough and the cream cheese mixture. If you are not roasting your fillings, I would begin by making the pastry shells first, and preparing your cream cheese mixture and toppings of choice whilst the pastry shells bake.

Makes 1 medium tart, 6 medium - large tartlets, or 10-12 small muffin tin tartlets. The images show medium-large tartlets

The pastry

Components

80g Almond flour
90g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp Salt
20g coconut oil, room temp (not melted)
1 teaspoon Dried rosemary
5-6 Tbsp Cold water
Sesame or onion seeds - optional

Process

Preheat the oven to 170c.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a spatula to combine all of  the dry ingredients.

Next, add the oil and mash and stir using a fork to form a crumbly texture.

Next, gradually add the water. Add 4 tablespoons first and then 1-2 more tablespoons if the mixture seems too dry or crumbly and isn't forming into a dough easily.

Once doughy, form into a compact ball and then break into sections, depending on how many tart trays you are using and depending on the size of them. Grease the trays lightly with a little coconut oil and then press the mixture down firmly into each tin, spreading evenly along the base and pressing up the sides too. The mixture should be around 5mm thick.

Place the pastry shells into the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 mins, until beginning to brown. Leave to cool before filling.

The Cashew Cream Cheese

Components

120g Soaked Cashews
40ml Water
12g Nutritional yeast
Salt
Pepper
1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Lemon juice
5 tablespoons Olive oil

Process

Combine all the cashew cheese ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Pour into a bowl or container and set aside or chill in the fridge whilst you prepare the fillings.

The white bean cream cheese

Components

1 tin white beans (200g drained weight)
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoons natural salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1⁄4 teaspoons lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
20g coconut oil (melted) or extra olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water

Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or container and set aside or chill in the fridge until needed. 

Assembling the tarts

Roasted grape, brussels and hazelnut with cashew cream cheese

8-10 large brussels sprouts (or chopped cabbage)
200g red grapes, roasted (could also use fresh figs)
A pinch of fresh rosemary - to garnish
Hazelnuts or walnuts - to garnish

Process

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Slice the brussels into quarters, lengthways - so you have a few discs rather than wedges. Pierce the grapes as best you can with the tip of a sharp knife and then place in a baking tray, keeping the grapes and brussels at separate ends if possible. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and then bake for 45 minutes, until they begin to shrink and soften.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before assembling into the base of your pastry shells and before topping with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture.

When ready to assemble, simply place a few teaspoons of the roasted grapes and brussels into the base of your pastry shell, then top with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture. Smooth the mixture and then top with extra roasted grapes and / or brussels. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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Chanterelle & garlic with white bean cream cheese

Components

200g chanterelle mushrooms (or other mushrooms), sliced
4-6 whole or chopped cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon miso (optional)

Add the oil to a saucepan and once heated, add the garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add the mushrooms and miso and stir to combine. Sauté over a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to soften and the mixture begins to caramelise.

Allow to cool slightly before assembling into your pastry shells and before topping with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture.

When ready to assemble, simply place a few teaspoons of the mushroom and garlic mixture into the base of your pastry shell, then top with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture. Smooth the mixture and then top with extra sauteed mushrooms and garlic mixture and / or nuts, seeds or herbs of choice. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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Updated Raw Tamari + Avocado Brownies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Dessertsdanielle coppermanComment
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This was one of the first and most popular recipes I posted back in 2014 when I first started my blog. I don't even know how, since the pictures were awful, the ingredients list quite overcomplicated in parts, and the method really not as straightforward as it could have been. I've simplified the recipe and perfected the method (since now I am familiar with the power of food processors, when back in 2014 I apparently was not and attempted these in my Vitamix - which is also possible but just not the most straightforward or sensible approach IMO. 

These are my favourite things to keep in the freezer as they don't freeze fully but instead stiffen to become the perfect chewiness; sort of caramelly and fudgy. They are super easy to make and are high in fibre, healthy fats, protein and powerful adaptogens like cacao and maca - which enhance energy levels, reduce stress, balance the nervous system and regulate hormones (and moods y'all). I actually prefer these to baked brownies as they're less sickly and are are filling in a less uncomfortable way.

Ingredients

100g nuts or seeds (I tend to use cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds - either just one or a combination of several (you could also use gluten free oats)
1 tablespoon maca
200g Medjool dates (or standard dates, as long as they are soft)
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or natural syrup of choice
1 tablespoon nut butter - preferably smooth (almond, cashew, peanut, hazelnut, pecan or macadamia all work well)
30g coconut oil - at room temperature (could also use cacao butter, melted)
5-6 tablespoons raw cacao powder (use more or less to suit your tastes)
1-2 tablespoons tamari (could also use soy sauce, or replace with a pinch of salt, to taste)
50g avocado flesh (as ripe as possible)

To top

1 tablespoon cacao nibs, crushed nuts or seeds, cacao powder, salt or fresh orange zest.

Method

Start by measuring the nuts or seeds into food processor. Blend on a high speed Blend until it forms a flour-like consistency similar to ground almonds. Next add the remaining ingredients, except for those you plan to use on top and blend for a further 1-2 minutes. The mixture should become crumbly and should eventually form into a smooth, doughy ball. If it remains crumbly, check to see if the mixture sticks together when you press it with the back of a spoon or a spatula, and it will still work.

Transfer into a container, tray or small individual moulds (cake tins work well). Use the back of a teaspoon, tablespoon or small spatula to press the mixture into the base of whatever you decide to use. Ensure the mixture is compact and smooth it down to avoid any gaps. 

Top with toppings of your choice or, like me, leave au naturale. Place in the freezer for a minimum or 1-2 hours, and store them hear until ready to serve. I keep mine in the freezer for weeks and slice mouthful sized pieces off every now and then when I need a little something.
 

Pancake Day Edit; 2018

Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipedanielle coppermanComment

Pancake day is upon us and, although I'm not excited to quite the same level as I used to be, I am excited. I'm currently back in my hometown of Bath for a few days, where most of my pancake day memories thus far have been made, and whilst I wont be dousing my former 3-ingredient crepes with maple syrup and nutella, I will be celebrating the occasion with buckwheat flour, almond milk and banana based pancakes, and perhaps a green pancake with a variety of savoury toppings for dinner.

This year's pancake edit includes of a selection of sweet and savoury pancake options, varying from American-style pancakes to crepes. The recipes are made using 100% natural ingredients and are all gluten, dairy and refined sugar free, but are incredibly adaptable, so if you don't have an issue with wheat, gluten, dairy or sugar, you can easily switch any alternative flours and plant-based milks with standard plain or self-raising flours and cows milk.

Sweet

Light + Fluffy Quinoa Crepes

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Components

100g Cooked White Quinoa
1 Egg (2 will work if you want a higher protein option)
100ml Nut or Plant Based Milk (I like to use pure almond milk)
40g Buckwheat Flour (can also use quinoa flour or any other gluten free flour you have to hand)

Process

Simply measure all of the ingredients out and add them to a blender. We like to add the wet ingredients first so the flour and quinoa don't create a paste around the blade. Blend on a slow to medium speed for 30 seconds, then increase to the highest speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is entirely smooth and creamy and there are no lumps of quinoa. 

Heat about 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil in a frying pan and use a large spoon, ladle or jug to pour the batter onto the pan. Rotate the pan to allow the batter to spread as widely and evenly as possible. If it is too thick, the pancake may not cook through. Cook over a medium flame and carefully slide a spatula around and underneath the edges of the pancake to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the pan. When the underside feels cooked or when the edges begin to brown, flip the pancake and cook on the other side. You may want to flip several times to ensure the pancakes are good evenly. 

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Banana Surprise Pancakes from Well Being Book

Components

220g buckwheat flour
1 tbsp coconut sugar, plus extra to serve
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
220ml plant-based milk
2 ripe bananas
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or butter / olive oil)

Elevate it:
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon or cardamom,
3 tbsp cacao powder (for a chocolatey version)
handful of raw chocolate chips
1 tbsp hemp seeds or golden linseeds

Process

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk until pale and fluffy. In another bowl, mash one banana until almost puréed.

Gradually add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, whisking constantly. Then add 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or butter) and the mashed banana and whisk a final time. If using, add any elevational extras you like, stirring through the mixture to distribute evenly.

Heat about a teaspoon of the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Whilst it heats, slice the second banana into rounds, about 1⁄2cm thick. Place 2–3 banana rounds onto the surface of the frying pan and cover with about 3 tablespoons of the batter. Repeat until you have 3 pancakes in the pan. Cook for about 1–2 minutes or until air bubbles begin to appear, then flip the pancakes over with a spatula and cook the other side. Cook for about 2–3 minutes in total, flipping back and forth a couple of times to ensure they are cooked through and each side is golden.

Slide the pancake onto a large plate and keep warm in the oven on a low heat whilst you use up the rest of the batter, piling each fresh pancake on top of the last, and keeping them all in the oven to keep warm. Serve as a stack or on individual plates with a selection of your favourite toppings.

Savoury

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Spinach and Courgette Crepes

Components

500ml coconut drinking milk or almond milk
3 eggs
220g buckwheat flour
250ml water
1 tbsp melted coconut oil, plus extra for frying
pinch of salt
2 large handfuls of spinach, watercress or other leafy greens
1 tbsp fresh basil leaves
1 large courgette, grated

For the filling
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

Elevate it
1⁄2 tsp spirulina, wheatgrass or chlorella powder

Process

First, make the fillings. Arrange the fennel slices on a baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake for 45–50 minutes, until juicy and crisp around the edges Put the chickpeas in a bowl, add the tahini, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, nutritional yeast, a generous pinch of salt and pepper, and stir to combine. To make the pancake batter, put the milk and eggs in a high-speed blender, then add all the remaining ingredients apart from the oil and blend on a high speed for 1–2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and develops a pale green hue. Leave in the jug of your blender for easy pouring. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, once melted and hot, pour in a ladleful of batter (about the size of your outstretched hand), rotating the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook for 2–3 minutes on each side. Repeat this process until you have used up the all the batter. Take one pancake at a time and line your fillings down the middle of it, starting with the fennel, then 1–2 tablespoons of the chickpea mixture and finally some slices of ripe avocado. Serve immediately.

These Smooth Sweetcorn Pancakes

 

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy sweet pancakes or crepes with a selection of raw honey or other natural sweeteners of choice, fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, blood orange), superfood powders, spices, fresh herbs, homemade nutella or chocolate spread, nut butters, whipped coconut or cashew cream and fresh fruits. Bulk up your savoury options with a wholesome combination of avocado, tahini, raw or roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, nutritional yeast, pesto and hummus.

Coconut Milk Chocolate Spread

Components

150g tinned coconut milk (the solid part)
40g cocount milk liquid
60g coconut oil (room temperature/soft)
25g cacao powder
40g medjool dates, pitted
5g coconut nectar or other natural sweetener of choice
5g vanilla essence, paste or powder
pinch of salt
5g maca powder
30g raw macadamia nuts (or other nuts of choice - cashews also work well)

Process

Start by blending the coconut milk and coconut milk liquid with the cacao, dates, vanilla and salt for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Next, add the nuts and blend on the highest speed for a further 1-2 minutes. Finally, add the coconut oil and blend for a final time until smooth.

Or this chocolate avocado spread.

 

 

Not another cookbook - Well Being Book Announcement

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Movement, Rituals, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellbeing, Well Being Bookdanielle coppermanComment
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The time has finally come for me to reveal the release of my debut book, Well Being: a collection of recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind. Below is a brief breakdown of what's to come, and if there's anything else you want to know, leave a question in the comments or ask me via email.

I have been manifesting this book for years and finally started working on it in 2016. I then spent pretty much all of 2017 planning, writing and shooting its contents and, 10 months later, it's a real life book that you can buy and hold and read. Life is crazy.

The book contains natural recipes and rituals inspired by ancient traditions and aimed at realigning the body and mind to restore balance within, both mentally and physically. It contains rituals and other practices aimed at undoing the damage of side effects of modern life - such as stress, depression, low energy, lack of sleep, poor digestion, and much more.

Well Being is a combination of the most valued rituals and recipes I have discovered over the years, since embarking on my journey of eating healthily and living well. Each section contains rituals to help reduce stress, ease digestive issues and encourage a sense of balance, calm and clarity, followed by recipes made with entirely natural ingredients, designed with each stage of the day in mind. Morntime rituals and recipes energise the body and mind, Daytime rituals and recipes enhance productivity, In Between Time rituals and recipes encourage concentration and focus, Evening Time rituals and recipes aim to refuel and Nighttime rituals and recipes aim to encourage relaxation and deep sleep. 

Offering a collection of recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind, inspired by nature, modern-day needs and a variety of age old traditions from wellbeing systems from all over the world, the book combines all-natural, carefully considered recipes with simple rituals, each of which are tailored to specific times of the day, underpinned by the common interest in reducing the stresses of modern day life. Its main intentions are to reduce stress, improve digestion, enhance energy levels, improve sleep, enhance concentration, strengthen immunity, encourage positivity and reverse the effects of illness - all by understanding and utilising the power of natures healing ingredients and the potential of your own body and mind.

With over 200 recipes, 60 rituals and 30 recipes for beauty and home remedies, Well Being is a versatile and easy-to-use handbook for anyone, anytime, anywhere. It will guide you through each stage of the day and provides advice and education to help you to fine-tune the fundamental foundations of wellbeing, to personalise them and to curate an individualised set of guidelines you truly understand and enjoy enough to sustain them. It will guide you through your ever-changing journey with flexible and adaptable information rather than restrictive rules or extreme, quick-fix methods.

MAIN FEATURES

Official release date: January 4th 2018

Over 200 food recipes

Over 60 rituals

Over 30 recipes for beauty remedies and home solutions

The book is divided into five main sections: Morntime, Daytime, In Between Time, Evening Time and Nightime. Each is then subdivided into rituals and recipes

The recipes are mostly plant-based although some contain eggs, and there are suggestions to include meat or other animal products in certain recipes, depending on your dietary choices / requirements. The recipes in the book are adaptable and don't fall under any official label or systems, reinforcing that no single diet works for every one and that the keys to adopting sustainable lifestyle habits is responsibility, understanding, individualisation and flexibility.

The book includes a detailed introduction to the more 'buzzy' ingredients I tend to include in my recipes, such as adaptogens and tonic herbs, and these are always included in an 'elevate it' section of the ingredients list, rather than standing at the forefront of a recipe. The foundations of the recipes in this book are all accessible, easy to come by ingredients. 

How-to recipes for daily goods (including how to make 2 minute almond milk, coconut yoghurt, sauerkraut, buckwheat pasta, almond pasta, bagels, breads, pickles and quickles, chutneys, nut butters and other spreads, stocks and broths from scratch) that guarantee consistent and effortless cooking at your fingertips.

Follow @dcopperman and #WellBeingBook to explore more about the book or to get involved once you have your copy ;)

Cauliflower coconut soup

Dairy Free, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment
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Whilst the rest of the world is apparently into blending cauliflower into smoothies, I'm keeping it savoury and, IMO, just as it should be, by blending it into a soup. To be honest though, you could definitely get away with adding some frozen banana and extra liquid to this for a sweet, creamy smoothie - if that's your jam give it a go and let me know how that turns out for you.

I've always been big into soup and this time of year its not only perfectly fulfilling simplified nourishment, it's also warming and comforting - two very important factors when its snowing outside and you're back at home for Christmas with parents who like to ration the heating regardless. This recipe is so simple, and blending roasted cauliflower with rich coconut milk makes for the creamiest end result. To be honest, you could use pretty much any vegetables in place of or as well as cauliflower. I don't tend to like potatoes in soups as they become too thick and starchy for my liking, but by all means add them in if you want to bulk it out a little. I think it would work well with sweet potato too, but i'll let you be the judge of that.

Nutrition: Cauliflower is highly detoxifying and cleansing and is known to improve digestion. As always, these nutritional benefits are general, and this may not ring true with you. I personally find cauliflower often affects my digestion for the worst, but I occasionally eat it anyway. The point is that unless the rest of your lifestyle is aligned and balanced, your digestion is not going to become flawless as a result of one individual ingredient. Cauliflower is also thought to be high in essential vitamins and minerals, however, depending on many other aspects of our individual lifestyles, these vitamins and minerals may not be bioavailable for all of us. Don't eat this purely for its nutritional promises, enjoy it and if it makes you feel good, enjoy it again, and again and again.

+ I don't cook with onion or garlic as I have mild sensitivities to both, which is why they are included here as 'optional'. I don't personally feel they are essential for adding flavour do this dish, but if you'd prefer, roughly follow the below measurements. 

Components

Serves 2

4 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
200g cauliflower (can also half this quantity and use 100g potato, sweet potato, celeriac or other vegetables of choice)
1 tin coconut milk
300ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, lemon thyme or rosemary
Salt + pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic - ideally roasted whole for a more smoky flavour, or if not raw and crushed
1 small - medium white onion, chopped
50g chickpeas (optional)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Process

Preheat the oven to 200-220c. 
Slice the cauliflower into individual florets and any difficult areas to cut, just slice into smaller, flatter pieces. Place in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt. Toss in the oil to cover and then pour out and arrange onto a baking tray.
Roast for 35-45 minutes.

Once the cauliflower begins to brown and soften, remove from the oven. If using garlic or onion, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add both, stirring continuously for 4-5 minutes until they begin to brown. 
Transfer the cauliflower to a high speed blender and add the garlic and onion, if using. Add the remaining oil if you didn't use it to cook the garlic and onion, along with the stock, nutritional yeast and fresh herbs of choice. If you're using chickpeas, add those now, along with the apple cider vinegar and cinnamon, if using. 

Blend on a medium to high speed for 1-2 minutes until smooth, then transfer to a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the coconut milk and season to taste, then heat through and serve instantly.

Top with a drizzle of olive oil, flax oil, chia oil or avocado oil or add a knob of coconut oil or ghee.
Drizzle with raw honey or wheatgrass oil (see below).
Top with savoury qnola, hemp seeds and crushed nuts.

+ You can also use this soup chilled as a dressing for salads or as a hot or cold dip for vegetables or bread.
+ You can also stir it through pasta as a creamy pasta sauce. Simply add it to a pan of cooked pasta, heat through, and serve with an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast, or cheese if you aren't vegan or dairy intolerant.
+ You can also turn this into a risotto-style dish by simply adding cooked brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet to the soup and cooking until the grains absorb some of the liquid.

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Wheatgrass Oil

Components

1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder (can also use spirulina)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or other oil such as nut, chia or avocado oil)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Adaptogen powders of choice (optional) (i like pine pollen or he shou wu)

Process

Simply add all of the ingredients to a small measuring jug, a mug, a glass or a jar and whisk with a fork or a small whisk if you have one. Season to taste the drizzle over the soup or use on salads, vegetables and to top other meals.

 

HIGH VIBE HYDRATION . FUNCTIONAL QUINOA HOT CHOCOLATE W/ ADAPTOGENS

Seasonal, Sugar Free, Vegan, Winter, Recipe, Drinks, Dairy Free, Business Stories, Autumndanielle coppermanComment

It doesn’t get much higher vibe than this lemme tell ya. If you’re looking for the ultimate hot chocolate recipe, I am telling you really truly honestly no bs, there's a good chance this is it. When I was growing up, I felt like I was on a lifelong quest for the best hot chocolate. It’s like finding the perfect brownie. Bad versions of either are still not that bad, but half arsed versions are disappointing and unfulfilling, especially when you know that better versions are out there somewhere. Your best option? Make you're own.

The kind of hot chocolate you want (or lets face it sometimes just desperately need) differs - just like anything else in your life - depending on how you're feeling and what you're going through. Sometimes I need a light energy boost so hot water and cacao powder - although not decadent or indulgent - does the trick. I often make a quick blend of cacao powder, nut or oat milk, vanilla, maca and a pinch of himalayan pink salt for something a little creamier and more filling as a lively energy hit that doesn't require too much effort. When I have more time and ingredients, I add soaked cashews to make a thicker, more intense option, but recently I’ve become sensitive to cashews (I think stress, or general cashew overdose, or both), and I know many people are allergic to nuts or wary of the calorie content, so I wanted to create an option that was less dense and less rich, and easy to be made nut free (depending on what milk and nut or seed butter you use).

Although this recipe is less heavy, it's still quite filling, so if you’re catering for a movie night on the sofa and planning to down an entire glass of this after dinner, you may have some regrets (and you also probably won’t sleep because cacao is liiiiit). I’d go for this drink first thing in the morning, consumed instead of a smoothie (it is basically a hot smoothie), or mid afternoon if I’m hungry between lunch and dinner, and/or planning an evening workout. Quinoa is so high in natural plant proteins, amino acids and omega 3, so this drink is a functional option to support particularly active lifestyles.

+ Adaptogens are natural substances (often herbs, roots, vegetables or fungi) that help to decrease cellular sensitivity to stress. They go one step further than superfoods which are known as nutritional powerhouses, by actually helping with internal balance, mental and emotional activity and biological calm. I'll share a full post on them and their benefits in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, experiment with the ingredients in the Elevate It list, which I've listed as optional additions, as some are quite uncommon and difficult to source, and just might not be everyones jam.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 3

1 cup cooked quinoa (about 200g)
30g cacao powder
500ml plant milk or water
5-6 medjool dates
2 teaspoons fresh vanilla or vanilla extract / powder / paste
1 tablespoon maca powder
Pinch Himalayan pink salt - to taste
30-40g tahini or nut butter (I like to use tahini, almond, pecan, hazelnut or brazil nut butter)
2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (could also use extra virgin olive oil or melted cacao butter)

ELEVATE IT

with 1/2 teaspoon of one or some of the following superfood powders and adaptogens:
ashwaganda
amandamide
rhodiola
reishi
chaga
he shou wu
cinnamon
ginger
chilli
turmeric
bee pollen

METHOD

If you haven’t already cooked your quinoa, do so now as per the packet. If it’s loose and unpackaged (yay, good for you!) i generally bring 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. Halve the cooking quantities if you don’t want so much leftover quinoa, as 1 cup of raw quinoa will over double in size and this recipe only calls for 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Once cooked and cooled (you can rinse with cold water to speed things along) add to a high speed blender with all the other ingredients. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds then on the highest speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth. Taste and season, adding more superfoods, salt or dates to suit your tastes, then transfer to a saucepan and heat, whisking, over a low - medium heat. If the result is too thick, add a little extra nut milk or water to thin to your tastes.

Serve piping hot. Top with himalayan pink salt, qnola of choice or any superfoods / spices you used in the recipe, or decorate and infuse with fresh rosemary, dried rose petals or chamomile flowers.

+ You could also serve over ice, or blend with ice, for a chocolate milkshake / slushy option

+ Try also substituting the cacao powder with extra honey, cardamom, vanilla and honey, for a creamy vanilla chai option

+ Try also using less liquid to make a thicker result, which can be used as a chocolate sauce (or a custard if you substitute the cacao powder) for desserts.

 

SIMPLE SWEET POTATO CANAPES

Sides, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Gluten free, Dinner, Dips + Spreads, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

This recipe has been in my drafts for over a year now. I first experimented with it last December, and it was one of the first things I made on returning from two months living in New York, and living without much in the way of a kitchen. It was fun.

I love sweet potato. It actually concerns me more when someone says they don't like sweet potato than when someone says they dont like chocolate. There's nothng not to like, and there are so many ways you can use them. Roasted. Made into chips. Blended into desserts, baked good and other puddings. Added to smoothies. Curry. Risotto. You can literally do anything with them and they are pretty low maintenance. This recipe is super easy and is an effortlessly impressive option for a dinner party, a canape spread, a starter, a snack or a simple side.

INGREDIENTS

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes (preferably long and thin) (can also substitute for plain potatoes)
Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Himalayan Pink Salt
Fresh Thyme

TOPPINGS OPTIONS
Nut or Seed Butter (almond, cashew, sesame, macadamia, pecan, hazelnut)
White Bean Cream Cheese (Recipe Below
Homemade Cacao Chocolate Sauce
Avocado Cacao Chocolate Spread
Other spreads or condiments of choice

ELEVATE IT

Elevate this recipe with the adition of one or a selection of the following superfood and adaptogen powders:
Reishi
Turmeric
Shilajit
Cacao Powder
Wheatgrass
Beetroot Powder
Cinnamon
Sumac
Ginger
Charcoal

+ Sprinkle on top of the finished individual sweet potato discs and toppings, or blend into your chosen toppings.

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200c and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Start by washing and scrubbing the sweet potatoes, but don't peel them. Slice into thin discs discs (as shown in the photographs) - preferably no thicker than 0.5mm in height. Arrange on the prepared trays, drizzle or brush each one with a very small amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with the thyme and a little salt. Bake for 40-50 minutes - flipping halfway through - until the rounds begin to brown. Whilst they bake, make the white bean cream cheese, or prepare your own other choice of toppings.

WHITE BEAN CREAM CHEESE

INGREDIENTS

1 Tin White Beans (200g drained weight)
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1-2 Teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 - 1 Garlic Clove (optional not essential)
A Few Drops Apple Cider Vinegar

METHOD

Simply place all of the cream cheese ingredients into a blender and blend on a high speed. Scrape down the sides and add a little more oil or some water if the mixture is too thick and needs some help blending smoothly. Blend for at least 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Once the sweet potato discs begin to brown and crisp up slightly (they will become crispier as they cool) transfer to a cooling rack. If serving warm, top immediately with your choice of toppings, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days before serving.

+ For savoury options using the white bean cream cheese, top with your choice of hemp seeds, linseeds and / or chia seeds, Savoury Qnola, greens (such as kale, spinach or fresh herbs), smoked salmon or flaked fish, shredded meat, chopped raw or roasted nuts and / or seeds, grapes, cranberries or other seasonal fruits, chopped or crumbled chestnuts and anything else you're in the mood for.

+ For sweet options using nut butter, tahini, chocolate spread or other sweet spreads / condiments, top with hemp seeds, linseeds and / or chia seeds, sweet Qnola, granola or other sweet cereals, fresh or dried fruits, desiccated coconut, cacao nibs or raw chocolate chunks, fresh herbs or spices, chopped raw or roasted nuts and / or seeds, chopped or crumbled chesnuts and anything else that suits your tastes.
 

YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THESE CHESTNUT BROWNIES

Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

So, although it's practically sunbathing weather compared to most Decembers in the UK, winter is coming, and more importantly, (in the words of Coca Cola) the holidays are coming. Silently, alongside public Christmas light displays, Starbucks' red cups and pumpkins and chestnuts filling my local grocery store, winter is unfolding and I have an underlying suspicion that it's just gonna come out of nowhere and hit me in the face with blue lips, frozen toes (no matter how strong my sock game), and some seasonal illness for good measure. My response will be these seasonal brownie bites, inspired by the abundance of chestnuts this time of year - definitely not one of those ingredients you come across in a recipe that makes you think 'where on earth?!'.

These brownie bites are perfect as a sugar-free snack with full-on chocolate vibes during the winter, and would be well received making an appearance at duvet days, movie nights, cocktail or dinner parties, wrapped as a gift to give or kept in the freezer when the boxes of Celebrations and balls of Chocolate Orange begin to get a bit much.

INGREDIENTS

makes 8- 10 small brownies or 1 dish around 9 x 5 in

FOR THE CHESTNUT BROWNIE LAYER

170g medjool dates
80g chestnuts
90g raw almonds
70g raw walnuts
20-25g raw cacao powder
25g coconut oil - melted
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 Teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
10g coconut palm sugar or natural sweetener of choice - optional

ELEVATE IT

1/2 Teaspoon of some or all of the following:
He Shou Wu Powder / Maca Powder / Chaga Powder / Reishi / Shilajit / Cordycepts / Mucuna / Ashwaganda

FOR THE CHESTNUT CARAMEL LAYER

100g chestnuts
2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
25g coconut oil - melted
65g dates
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup plant milk or water
1 teaspoon honey, coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of your choice
1 tablespoon maca

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER

250g cacao butter (or coconut oil) (can also use half cacao butter + half coconut oil)
150g raw cacao powder
40ml coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of choice
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

+ Can also use store-bought dark or raw chocolate bars. I like Ombar.

METHOD

Start by making the brownie layer. place the almonds, walnuts and chia seeds into a food processor and blend until they form a flour like consistency, similar to breadcrumbs. next, add the chestnuts and blend again for 30 seconds. then add the dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, himalayan pink salt and coconut sugar, if using. blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mixture comes together to in a slightly sticky dough-like consistency. make sure the mixture is smooth and that there are no large chunks of nuts involved, as this recipe tastes so much better when the mixture is completely smooth.

Once blended, either place into a cupcake or mini loaf tin tray (i use this one) or into a standard loaf tin or baking tray (around 9 x 5 in). Using trays with individual mini sections will be easier to handle, but you can use a larger tray and simply cut into individual pieces once set. Whichever you use, spread the mixture on the bottom of the tray/tray sections, making it about 1 to 1.5 cm in height. Place in the freezer to set.

Whilst the brownie layer sets, make the chestnut caramel layer. In a cleaned food processor or your blender, pulse the chestnuts for 20 seconds until they begin to break down into small pieces. Add the dates, almond butter or tahini, coconut oil, vanilla, syrup of choice and maca, if using and then continue to blend until smooth - about 1-2 minutes should do it.

Once the bottom layer is beginning to set and firm to touch, spread the chestnut caramel layer on top until the entire base is covered. Smooth evenly to ensure a more level finish to coat with the raw chocolate.

Return to the freezer and set for about 1-2 hours, or overnight. Unfortunately this step is necessary in order to easily coat the brownies in the chocolate layer. If you can't wait, follow the following step for drizzling the melted chocolate over the bars instead of dipping the bars into it.

Once set, start making the chocolate. Leave the brownies in the freezer until you have made the chocolate. bring a small pan of water to the boil and then set a heatproof bowl over the top. Add the cacao powder, cacao butter or coconut oil (or combination of both), salt and sweetener of choice to the bowl and whisk as the mixture melts together. Once combined, remove from the heat but leave the bowl over the water to avoid the chocolate cooling and thickening too quickly.

Remove the brownies from the freezer and remove from the tins carefully with a knife or cake slice. If you used a large dish, slice into desired sizes. Set each individual brownie onto a cooling rack with a layer of baking paper on the surface underneath the rack. One by one, add a brownie to the chocolate mixture and, working quickly, use a fork to turn the brownies through the mixture until fully coated. *You could alternatively keep the brownies on the rack and pour or spread the chocolate mixture over them, but I find this method a little messier. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans or hazelnuts, Qnola or himalayan pink salt before the chocolate has fully set. You can also experiment with drizzling a second layer of chocolate over the smooth chocolate layer, and if you have leftover chocolate you could double dip, for a thicker, crunchier outer coating.

If the cooling rack fits, place it in your fridge or freezer once each brownie has been coated. If it doesn't fit, wait for the chocolate to set slightly at room temperature, and then transfer the brownies onto smaller plates or to tuppaware.

+ store in the freezer, and remove 5 minutes before serving.

HIGH VIBE HYDRATION . WALNUT, TAHINI, HEMP AND BANANA SMOOTHIE

Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Drinks, Dairy Free, Breakfastdanielle copperman2 Comments

For me, liquid nourishment is a key method for feeling good through food. It's easy. It's quick. It's powerful. And it's always, always delicious. It's also very adaptable - you can swap in and out certain ingredients if you don't have the exact supplies that a recipe calls for, and it hardly notices once everything is blended together. I start every day with a liquid. Sometimes it's a hot drink (either lemon and ginger juice or an adaptogen dissolved in hot water or nut milk) and others it's a more filling option, like a smoothie, shake or smoothie bowl. I tend to use whatever ingredients I have in the kitchen, making things up as I go along usually. That's another great thing about liquid creations. You can really get creative and improvise, and you almost always end up with something wonderful. It's hard to go too far off track, as you can keep adapting until you're happy with the taste. I've decided to start 'High Vibe Hydration' as a regular feature on the blog, as I want to share all of my super quick and creative drinks recipes with anyone stuck for time, and also stuck for cooking motivation. The drinks I create are usually done so through weary, bleary eyes before I've properly woken up, and require no effort and no real recipe structure. The method is generally 'add everything to a blender and blend until smooth' which isn't really a recipe at all. The truth is, everyone knows how to make a smoothie. It's just the flavour combinations and the ingredients choices that some people get stuck with. High Vibe Hydration is here to inspire and enhance your smoothie experience, one unexpected ingredient combination and one superfood at a time.

INGREDIENTS

(Makes 2 medium smoothies or one large one)

30g Almonds*
20g Hemp Seeds*
35g Walnuts*
230ml Water*
100g Banana, ideally frozen
5g Maca
1g Cinnamon
Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
20g Tahini
Ice Cubes (about 6)

* If you don't have whole nuts and seeds, use 250ml pre-made plant based milk instead

ELEVATE IT

all or a combination of:

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Mucuna Puriens
1/2 Teaspoon Ashwaganda
1/2 Teaspoon He shou wu
1/2 Teaspoon Chaga

METHOD

If you are not using pre-made nut milk, start by adding the almonds, walnuts, hemp seed and water to your blender and blend on high speed until a smooth milky consistency is reached. Then add the banana, cinnamon, tahini, salt and ice cubes, along with any adaptogens / superfoods from the Elevate It ingredients list. Blend again on the highest speed for 1 minute until the mixture becomes thick and silky smooth. Serve instantly, over extra ice or enjoy as a smoothie bowl, topped with Qnola / nuts / seeds / fruit.



+ Add one large handful of fresh spinach or mixed salad to create a greener option without altering the flavour too much

+ For a fruit-free version, use avocado instead of banana

 

SYRIAN-INSPIRED STUFFED BABY AUBERGINES WITH TWO-WAY QUINOA AND WALNUT CREAM

Seasonal, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Gluten free, Dinner, Dips + Spreads, Dairy Free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

This is quite possibly one of my favourite recipes, but I might just be saying that because it is one of my only recipes in the past few months. I know, I know, I'm a shocking excuse for a blogger, but I got other real things to deal with, like running a start up (ongoing), shooting music videos in Ibiza (october) and relocating to Berlin to train for 200 hours non-stop to become a Strala Yoga Guide (current). Never the less, I do have so much content saved up to share with you guys and I'm finally organising ample time to do so - so please bear with me and stay intrigued :) In the meantime, here is another syrian-inspired recipe I created to support my friends at Suitcase Magazine, who are part of Unicef Next Generation's #cookforsyria campaign, running throughout November. To help raise awareness, and ultimately funds, I developed a series of recipes, and it is now time for these Syrian-inspired stuffed aubergines with two-way quinoa, crushed chickpeas, pine nuts, medjool dates and a tahini walnut cream sauce to shine.

INGREDIENTS

Base Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (cook in vegetable stock, nutritional yeast or plain water)
10-12 baby aubergines or 5-6 large aubergines
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch himalayan pink salt

For the Smokey Muhamara Quinoa
30g tomato puree
4 tablespoons olive oil
30g walnuts
3g paprika
1g turmeric
2g cumin
1g cinnamon
0.5-1g chilli powder
5g raw honey
2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 cup of the cooked quinoa and stir in the
40g pine nuts
20g dates, chopped
large pinch of fresh parsley
40g chickpeas, mashed with a fork

For the Plain Quinoa
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1g turmeric
20g pine nuts
20g dates, chopped
40g chickpeas, mashed with a fork
large pinch of fresh parsley
1g cinnamon
pinch himalayan pink salt

For the Walnut Cream
100g Walnuts
130ml Water or nut milk
65ml Olive oil
Large pinch Salt
½ teaspoon Lemon juice
1 teaspoon tahini
Optional - garlic

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c. Halve your aubergines (slicing lengthways) and if using baby aubergines feel free to leave some of them whole. Brush the sliced sides with olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of himalayan pink salt and place in the oven for 30 minutes. (The cooking time will depend on the size of your aubergines, but baby aubergines will need no longer than 40 minutes, and larger aubergines should be perfect after 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when the inside flesh has become soft and juicy).

Meanwhile, prepare the filling and the walnut cream. If you haven't already cooked your quinoa, cook it now. Use roughly 1/2 cup raw quinoa to 1 cup water or stock, which will make roughyly 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.

As your quinoa cooks, make the tomato and walnut muhammara-style paste. In a small herb blender / nut grinder, measure the tomato paste, olive oil, walnuts, paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder, honey and tahini and blend until a smooth paste forms. Set aside until your quinoa is cooked.

Next, make the walnut cream. Simply add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend for 30 seconds on a low speed, and then for 30 seconds on a high speed. Scrape down the sides and continue to blend until the mixture forms into a smooth, thick liquid. The timings will depend on the power of your blender. Once you are happy with the result, pour into a jug or a serving bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Once the quinoa has cooked and absorbed all of the liquid, rinse and drain completely. Divide the mixture, placing half in one bowl and half into a separate bowl. Stir the tomato and walnut paste into one bowl using a fork, mixing and mashing to combine. Stir through the pine nuts, dates and mashed chickpeas and set aside. To the other bolw of quinoa add the olive oil, turmeric, pine nuts, dates, chopped, chickpeas, pinch of fresh parsley, cinnamon and salt, mixing and mashing to combine.

Check your aubergines if you haven't already, and remove from the oven once they are cooked through. Use a teaspoon to gently scroop some of the flesh aside to make space for the quinoa. Don't remove the flesh, just push it to the sides of each aubergine half. Now, spoon the separate quinoa mixtures into the aubergines. (If you have mixture left over, offer it on the table or save it for another time).

If you want to serve the aubergines heated through, return to the oven now for 10 minutes. Alternatively, serve as they are (the quinoa will have cooled down completely but the aubergines should still be warm), or place in the fridge if you plan to serve them chilled.

When ready to serve, drizzle a few teaspoons of the walnut cream over each or some of the stuffed aubergines, or alternatively, offer the cream alongside the aubergines for people to help themselves to. Serve these as a side offering to meat or fish, or as a main meal with fresh salad.

+ Store aubergines in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
+ Store walnut cream in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

 

FERERRO ROCHER SWEET JESUS CAKE

Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle copperman2 Comments

Sweet Jesus. That's exactly what a friend of my sisters exclaimed during his first encounter of what was then my sisters birthday cake but what is now just a collection of tantilising 2D images on my laptop. I'm reliving the entire thing from the comfort of my Airbnb in Berlin, but Berlin's got nothing much to do with this recipe so I'll save that for another time. The cake is the real reason we're all here, am I right? And the aim is for you all to get a Sweet Jesus exclamation out of as many people as possible, okay? Let's go.

Sometimes you just need a birthday cake, and you need it fast. An example of one of these 'sometimes' was last week when I spent the day with my sister and her friends to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. We were on our way home for a quick freshen up of spa faces (you know?) and a light meal before heading to partytown in the form of our local, when the topic of the cake i'd made our other sister for her birthday came up in conversation. It was really good guys, but I literally threw things at the food processor hoping they would warm to each other and get along. It happened, but it was a miracle, a miracle. I wrote a few notes on my phone as i went along but the measurements were not what mattered here, just the end result, and so the specifics were pretty blurry. It was all about taste and texture and I might as well have been blind, which is all good and pretty clever at the time, but not when you're challenged to recreate it another time. That's when the feeling clever wares off. Never the less, as my sister and her friend reminisced about the cake gone by, I took my 1.5 hours, that same food processor (maybe it remembered?) and whatever I could find in the kitchen and I made it happen. Again. I do work well under pressure, but daaaamn, I didn't know I worked this well.

This time, wrapped up in a frenzy of searching and blending and writing and tasting, I somehow managed to add a frosting to the initial version, and thank god I did because the frosting is what really makes everthing you see going on here happen. It's inspired by the crispy, creamy, nutty, chocolatey vibes of fererro rochers, which may seem impossible to achieve with natural ingredients, but is simply what happens when roasted hazelnut butter meets thick, creamy coconut milk. We're all familiar with the phrase having your cake and eating it, but this recipe goes even further and is all about having your cake and your fererro rocher. It's not, however, going to be like eating a fererro rocher. It's going to be so much better. With a brownie-like cake layer (infused with maca and pure cacao) and a seriously smooth topping, it puts those poxy mouthfuls of wafer to shame if anything. Although, I'm grateful for the inspiratoin of course, otherwise where would we be? So thanks Fererro.

+ You'll notice in the ingredients list that there are a few loose options, as certain ingredients in version one were replaced in version two with whatever I had on hand. I can confirm that all options worked perfectly well without much alteration to the flavour, and no alteration to the texture. So approach this recipe freely and tailor it to your own supplies).

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
60g hazelnuts (cashews and walnuts will also work)
60g ground almonds
50g flaked or whole almonds
8 tablespoons coconut syrup (or other natural sweeteners such as date paste or raw honey)
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
4g pinch himalayan pink salt (tamari also works nicely)
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste powder or extract
80g cacao nibs
45g cacao powder
12g maca powder
10 dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons almond butter
50g coconut milk powder (I use this one. Coconut flour will also work if you can't get hold of coconut milk powder, but isn't as flavoursome. You could also use roughly 4 tablespoons of a melted bar of creamed coconut)

ELEVATE IT
1 teaspoon reishi powder
1 teaspoon chaga powder
1 teaspoon shilajit powder
1 teaspoon cordyceps powder
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
1 teaspoon mucuna puriens
1 teaspoon ashwaganda powder

FOR THE FROSTING
120G hazelnuts, roasted
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons coconut milk powder (can replace with 4 tablespoons melted creamed coconut)
1-2 teaspoons coconut nectar or other natural sweetener of choice
Pinch himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract / paste / powder or fresh seeds
2 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons tinned coconut milk - the thick creamy part + 2 tablespoons of the liquid part

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 150c. Place the hazelnuts from the frosting ingredients list on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until they begin to brown slightly.

Meanwhile, start pulsing the nuts - including the ground almonds - with the cacao nibs in a food processor. Once the ingredients begin to come to a fine flour-like consistency, add the salt, vanilla, cacao powder, maca and other superfood powders and pulse to combine.

Next, split the dates in half to remove their stones and place them in a small bowl. Cover with freshly boiled hot water and leave to stand for 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut powder or flour, syrup of choice, almond butter and coconut sugar to the food processor and blend for another minute, first on a low speed, and then on the highest speed for the final 30 seconds.

Next add the dates to your food processor, squeezing each one to remove as much liquid as possible. Blend for another 1-2 minutes on a high speed, scraping down the sides and blending continuously until the mixture is smooth and begins to form a doughy ball.

If you haven't already, check on the roasting nuts and remove from the oven. As they cool, transfer the mixture into you choice of cake tin, dish or even a muffin tin to make smaller individual cakes. I scattered the bottom of my dish with cacao nibs and pressed the brownie mixture onto it which adds a subtly crunchy base layer. You could also add crushed nuts, or nothing at all. Press the dough into your mould/s, making sure it is even and compact.

For the frosting, you can either blend the nuts with their skins or remove the skins by placing the nuts inside a teacloth and rubbing them together for around 1 minute which will encourage the skins to flake away naturally. Whichever you choose, add the nuts to your fresh and cleaned food processor and pulse on a high speed until buttery. This can take up to 10 minutes, and may take some scraping. Add the melted coconut oil and almond butter as the machine is still running. If your mixture still seems dry, these ingredients will help it to loosen up and combine. Now you should have a nut butter consistency. Next add the coconut milk, coconut powder, salt, vanilla and your sweetener of choice. Blend for a further 30 seconds to combine and then spread the mixture over the cake layer. Smooth with a spoon or spatula and if you wish, top with your choice of chopped nuts, superfood powders or cacao nibs. Place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes to set - this is what gives it it's chewy, decadent texture. Store here until ready to serve and remove 5 minutes before you plan to enjoy it.

+ If you don't end up making a cake of this recipe, you can break it into two. The cake mixture can be made into bars or balls, and the frosting can be used as a nutella alternative for things like pancakes, crepes, porridge or other desserts.

AUTUMN GOOD STUFF + HIGH VIBE HYDRATION WALNUT MILK

Sugar Free, Vegan, Recipe, Gluten free, Drinks, Dairy Freedanielle copperman3 Comments

There really is no valid excuse for my ongoing absence from the blog. I just. couldn't. keep. up. It's sucks but at least it's honest, right? Anyway, I'm getting back into it. I have thousands of recipes and fun topics to share with you, all waiting patiently in the wings (or word docs) eager for the time to come for them to shine. Their time will come, I promise. For now, here's something I've been drinking A LOT lately. Life giving liquids have really been life saving liquids for me lately. I have been travelling a lot, and working a lot more, and meals aren't always an option. Even if they are, I find they can be counteractive if I am stressed, preoccupied or unfocussed. If I'm using up most of my energy on stressing and doing, there isn't enough leftover to allocate to my digestive system. This is no good for anyone. I experience digestive discomfort, my digestive system experiences exhaustion and any food I consume is not properly registered or optimally broken down. It's not appreciated as much as it could be. I could spend time and money on making healthy food, but if I'm eating it whilst stressed or distracted, they benefits will likely go unnoticed.

So, all hail liquid nourishment for times when you want to be nourished, but don't want to stress out your system. Not before some autumnal feeling good stuff that I'm keen on right now though:

G O O D   S T U F F

. Davines Hair Care . Sustainable beauty in the form of all-natural haircare, for all natural needs.

. 1905 Baby Bud's Breath Fragrance Oil . My current scent. An hand made fragrance oil, made from naturally distilled amber oil preserved with baby's breath bud. If you smell me around, come say hi!

. Wellth by Jason Wachob . This book is every thought in my mind put down on paper. For anyone interested in mindful and intuitive eating and keen to step away from even the non-diet diets, this one's for you.

. Glossier The Supers . Your needs are constantly changing, and thankfully, Glossier have created three super potent serums to refill skin’s deficiencies and strengthen it over time. Feeling dry? Use Super Bounce. Feeling stressed? Use Super Pure. Feeling...meh? Use Super Glow.

. Frank Ocean . Everywhere and anywhere.

. Vanilla Chia Qnola . Our most popular limited edition is back in stock y'all. Happy Autumn and enjoy!

. The Naturalista by Xochi Balfour . Good friend Xochi Balfour has combined her heart and soul with plant based recipes and documented the outcome in a book. A really light, honest and open cookbook with special stories and serious recipes.

. Jessica Murnane's One Part Podcast . will change your life.

INGREDIENTS

100g soaked walnuts
600-700ml cold water, depending on how thick you want it (use less if you want to experiment with a cream-like consistency, ideal for accompanying desserts)
pinch himalayan pink salt
1 medjool date (or 1/2 teaspoon natural sweetener of your choice
½ teaspoon fresh vanilla or vanilla powder / extract / paste
½ teaspoon lions mane powder
½ teaspoon he shou wu powder
1 teaspoon maca or red maca powder

METHOD

Simply add the soaked walnuts, water and pinch of salt to a high speed blender. Blend on the highest setting for 1-2 minutes. Use a regular sieve or a nut milk bag if you enjoy the mess, and strain the milk. Rinse the blender, then return the milk to the blender, along with the date, vanilla, lions mane, he shou wu, maca and any other superfood powders you desire. + Note. This recipe functions without the inclusion of the superfood powders, but they are there to inspire you to elevate the recipe if you have them - or other superfood powders - on hand. Now is the time to use them! Blend for a further 1 minute and strain again.

Chill or serve over ice and drink immediately.

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

CARAMELISED COURGETTE, PEA, MINT AND MACADAMIA DIP

Seasonal, Sides, Snacks, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Dips + Spreads, Dairy Freedanielle copperman1 Comment

I've been on and off home turf the past couple of months but everytime I do stop by I head straight for the kitchen to regurgitate information and inspiration gathered during my time away. Some things are inspired by new places and new cultures. Some things are inspired by local cuisine. Some things are inspired by seasonal produce. And some things are inspired by me just having too much time to myself to think about fun new things I could try when I get home.

This recipe is mostly inspired by the fact that we are in peak pea season, with some influence coming merely from me having had too much time to think about the things you could do with peas. I've made pea and mint houmous in the past and I'm a huge dip lover in general, as they require next to no thinking at all, and pretty much the same amount of effort. Dips and spreads are one of my favourite things to make purely because they are so easy and customisable. You can disguise any ingredients you don't like the taste of by combining then with ones you do, and you can also invent your own new combinations by simply getting creative with whatever you can find in the kitchen (within reason).

I've been wanting to develop some good summertime recipes (although it has seemed pointless since it still feels like winter in the UK), but have been caught up in the waves of life, and by that I mainly mean work. June felt like the heaviest month. The energy was low and dull, the weather was grey and practically everyone I know was feeling totally depressed about the EU Referendum results. I honestly believe that the energy of others around you has a huge effect on your own energy, even the energy of people you don't know. But, I also believe that seasonal produce provided by the Earth exists to help us cope with certain times of the year, by providing us with what we need, when we most need it. Natural, life-rich produce has transferrable energy. It has so much to give, and all we have to do to attain it is consume it.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, the peas are here to help. I had leftovers of this for breakfast this morning and the sun is currently out. It hasn't even rained yet today (!?). I'm feeling good about July already, and sending total Bye Felicia vibes to June.

INGREDIENTS

180g Garden Peas (cooked)
200g White Beans, Butter Beans, Cannelini Beans or Chickpeas
70g Olive Oil
20g Filtered Water
30g Avocado Flesh
100g Sliced Courgette, sauteed (can also substitue for sauteed broccoli or cauliflower)
Large Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt - to taste
15g Tahini
10g Fresh Spinach
1g Lemon juice
15g Macadamia Nuts (Pumpkin Seeds + Brazil Nuts would work well too)
6g Mint - optional but v v nice
1/2-1 Clove Garlic - optional (I am mildly allergic so I didn't include this but if you're into it I think it would be a sure)

METHOD

If using frozen peas, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes until soft, then strain and leave to cool. If your peas are pre-cooked and ready to go, start by sauteeing the courgette in a little olive oil and salt, over a medium heat. Meanwhile, blend the peas, your beans of choice, olive oil, water, salt, avocado flesh, tahini, spinach, lemon juice, nuts and mint and garlic - if using - in a high speed blender. Blend for about 1-2 minutes, using a tamper to get things moving properly. Keep an eye on the courgette and flip them as they begin to sizzle and brown. Once cooked well on both sides and soft in the middle, add them to the blender and blend for a further 1-2 minutes. Ideally, the blender should be able to run smoothly without the help of the tamper, as this will create the smoothest result. If it's really struggling, add a little more water.

Once you are happy with the texture, taste and season with extra lemon, garlic or salt, until you are happy with it. Transfer to a bowl or tuppaware and leave in the fridge to cool before serving.

To serve, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and either some chopped macadamia, sesame seeds or hemp seeds, dukkah or za'atar, to add a little crunch.