WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Winter

Christmas Giveaway

Essentials, Winter, Natural Livingdanielle copperman2 Comments

This Christmas, I want to give something back to those of you following my journey, and to those of you curious about natural living and on your own journey to living more consciously, healthily and presently. I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite natural / organic / eco / sustainable / vegan brands to offer you the ultimate natural care package to see you through the Winter. The hamper contains a selection of items - from food and fitness, to beauty and fashion - and everything in between! See below for fill list of goodies, and to apply, follow these 4 simple steps:

1. Follow @dcopperman on instagram

2. Screenshot a photo from my feed and post on your own feed or instagram stories, with a few words on why you like my account

3. Screenshot my latest story and / or send it to 10 friends

4. Comment on my latest instagram post with the names of the 10 friends you shared it with

 * In 2 weeks, on Dec 17th, i will select one of you and one of your tagged friends and you will both receive a Christmas hamper by Dec 20th.

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Surviving Autumn

Autumn, Rituals, Winter, Essentialsdanielle copperman1 Comment
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Autumn is a transformational time. It is a season of constant change, and one that forces us inwards - finally! After a Summer of amplified energy and consistent buzz and opportunity, Autumn is a much more grounding season and should come as a reminder for us to slow down, simplify and take inventory. By ‘slow down’, I mean to reduce our speed and energetic output, but doing less, prioritising and refocusing on things. By ‘simplify’, I mean to let go of thing that don’t really or no longer serve us, and that we don’t really, really need. These may be physical things, or they could be relationships, duties, thoughts, feelings or desires. And by ‘taking inventory’, I mean to take stock of all that you have, and practice being grateful enough that you come to realise how fortunate and abundant your life is. These are all things we know we should do without having to think about them, but we have un-learned these simple rituals and unwritten rules of life in getting caught in the current of modern life. Take this season as an opportunity to pause for a moment, to understand what you have and what you might want, and to take it easy. The easier you take it, the easier life will come.

1. Pause

Take time to pause, either once a day, once a week, or just once at the beginning of the season or each new month. Just take a few minutes to be with yourself, acknowledge your thoughts and get present whilst everything around you insists to shift.

2. Silence

Silence is powerful and whilst there is a lot of change and perhaps a lot of noise in your mind after a busy Summertime or as you head back to work or school, it can really help to find ways to be quiet. Making this space will likely bring forth more authentic thoughts and visions that are aligned with your true self - your souls intentions - that otherwise would not have been heard.

3. Declutter

We’re all familiar with the annual Spring Clean, but there is little emphasis on the importance of an Autumnal clear out, too. For me, life seems more stressful the more things I own and the more clutter I have. So for one, being tidier at this time of year (especially as we spend more times inside, too) can have powerful effects on our overall wellbeing. For two, decluttering and actually reorganising and filtering through all that you own and getting rid of what you no longer or don’t really need, is a powerfully cleansing and refreshing process. You might also use ancient traditions like smudging (burning woods like palo santo or herbs lie sage), to cleanse the energy of a space as you shift out of one season into a new.

4. Gratitude journal / positive aspects

As I said, taking stock and taking time to notice all that you have and being grateful for it is a must, all year around but particularly at transformational times. Autumn and Winter are generally colder and darker months, in the UK, and these characteristics can bring with them low energy and low moods, but making a list of things you are grateful for can be a truly uplifting ritual.

5. Stay active

Motivation will falter, but keep you exercise routines up during the Autumn and Winter for several reasons. You’ll encourage circulation and blood flow. You’ll keep fit, strong and toned. You’ll have more energy and you’ll feel mentally more positive. And you won’t face a huge struggle come the New Year / Spring / Summer that people usually deal with after being inactive for long periods of time. It is easier to keep consistently active than it is to reduce your exercise and then try to pick it up again.

6. Nourishing foods

Autumn and Winter bring forth an abundance of healing and nourishing foods, such as root vegetables, dark fruits, cruciferous vegetables, herbs and spices and much more. Make the most of seasonal produce that is actually intended to support us season to season. Make warming foods like soups and stews. And cook with plenty of spices and citrus fruits, to protect and strengthen the immune system.

7. Keep warm but enjoy the cold too

Keeping warm is a necessity as the temperatures begin to drop, however, embracing the cold also has its benefits. New wave rituals such as Cryo therapy (standing in a cubicle at -85c) are known to increase circulation, metabolism, blood flow, detoxification, mental stamina, joint and bone health, amongst other things, but there are natural (and free) ways to achieve these results too. Alternate between hot and cold water in the shower. Stand outside with minimal layers. Brave wild swimming in the sea, rivers or lakes. And on the contrary, enjoy a sauna whenever available, to encourage detoxification, purification, deep internal cleansing, reduce muscle and joint tension and encourage relaxation and reduced stress.

8. Sleep more; literally hibernate

At this time of year, animals are hibernating, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t all be doing the same. Of course, living in a modern society we have jobs and other responsibilities to tend to, but it doesn’t mean we can’t hibernate on a less extreme level, from time to time. Do less and don’t do more than you absolutely need to. Learn to feel empowered enough to be more selective of what you say yes too, especially when there are so many things going on in the lead up to Christmas. Take pride in saying no to things and just indulging in a cosy night in doing nothing much at all.

9. Protect and prevent

Stock up on immune boosting ingredients and remedies as our immune systems are tested with a drop in temperatures and faced with local viruses. Lemon and ginger is a classic, but also experiment with turmeric, black pepper, açai, spirulina, nettle and other herbs, spices and adaptogens known to strengthen the immune system and prevent or remedy seasonal struggles.

10. Surrender

I’ve kind of covered this in points 1, 2 and 8, but I can’t emphasis enough the importance of just surrendering a little more this time of year. Surrender to the shorter days, the colder climes and the reduced amount of energy you may experience, and just embrace it. Don’t try to push past it, or work harder to stay productive. Instead, find ways to refocus your attention, redirect your energy and really take time for self cafe and self development, and you’ll end up working smarter, instead of harder.

Items and rituals to support you mentally and physically

Burts Bee’s beeswax lip balm in chai tea

Pukka herbs lemon, ginger & manuka tea

Lanolips all-natural lanolin multi-use superbalm

These bamboo socks

Bamboo blanket

Neom Natural Candles

Cosy velvet bedspread

Mugs for all the hot drinks

These cashmere gloves

An eco-friendly, rubber-less hot water bottle

A hot/cold water bottle

A recycled notebook

Autumn Outfits

As you know I am much fonder of buying second hand than buying new, but as a model I need to be up to date with the latest trends, and am constantly working with fashion brands to help sell their products. It seems a bit hypocritical, but it is my job. If you need new clothes this season, I urge you to try a few charity shops or vintage stores, or even do a swap with friends. If you’re not convinced, here’s a few of my favourite items from some of my favourite non-sustainable stores. Just promise me you’ll try to buy less, and buy quality over quantity. Only buy things you really think you will wear more than just a handful of times.

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!

Well Being Book Recipe ~ Chanterelle Mushroom, Lentil & Chestnut Casserole with White Bean Cloud Mash

Dinner, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
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This recipe is inspired by a casserole dish I had in Stockholm. Chanterelle mushrooms were everywhere and I immediately took to their earthy, buttery flavour, much richer than the standard mushrooms I was used to. This recipe combines them with many of my favourite autumnal ingredients, creating a nourishing and warming casserole-like dish. For the simplest option, serve it with grains and vegetables or atop a cloud of white bean mash.

Components

For the casserole
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
180g chestnuts, chopped (vacuum-packed)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1⁄2 white or red onion, chopped
250g chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
60g raw beetroot, chopped
200g puy lentils (yellow, orange or green lentils or mung beans will also work)
6 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs of rosemary
200ml coconut milk or plant-based milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
200ml vegetable or meat stock
3 handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 large handfuls of cavelo nero, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
For the white bean cloud mash
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g tin cannellini / butter beans, rinsed and drained
60ml water or plant-based milk
Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and, once hot, add the chestnuts, garlic, onion, mushrooms, beetroot, lentils, sage and rosemary. Sauté for 15 minutes and then add the coconut milk, vinegar and half of the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Gradually add the remaining stock to loosen it, but you may not need it all.

Meanwhile, prepare your white bean mash. Put the oil and beans in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Add half of the water or plant-based milk and then gently begin to break up the beans using a fork or a potato masher.

Add the remaining water or plant-based milk and continue to stir and mash until the beans completely loose their shape and the mixture becomes smooth and fluffy. Season to taste and remove from the heat. If you want a smoother result, blitz the mash in a blender for 30 seconds, with a little extra water or plant-based milk, if needed. Set aside.

Add the spinach and cavelo nero to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Once the greens have wilted and the liquid has reduced, remove from the heat and serve instantly along with the mash.

Variation
Preheat the oven to 200°C . To make a shepherd’s pie variation, layer the white bean mash on top of the casserole. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the mash turns a warmer shade of white and the casserole begins to bubble underneath.

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.

Honeyed Miso Puy Lentil, Beetroot + Walnut Salad

Dinner, Gluten free, Recipe, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment

I experimented with this recipe a few weeks ago when I was really feeling for something warm, earthy, grounding and comforting. I'm not always in the mood for pulses as I find lentils, chickpeas and beans quite starchy and rich, but sometimes something within me really craves something within them; perhaps protein, perhaps their many other vitamins or minerals, or perhaps even their association with certain chakras. Lentils (reddish/brown or generally dark in colour, like puy or beluga) are thought to help sooth and support the root chakra, and in some cases (usually depending on their colour) are believed to open up the heart chakra (green lentils) and solar plexus chakra (yellow lentils).

This dish is best served warm but can also be enjoyed cold, as a side or stirred through salads. I made this with friends and, although I don't tend to eat dairy, or animal milk products in general, we made an option with fresh, organic goats cheese. If you are vegan or, like me, avoid animal milk products, of course you can easily leave it out, or replace it with vegan cheese, sauteed tofu or tempeh, grilled or sautéd paprika smoked cauliflower, houmous or a spoonful of coconut milk or coconut yoghurt, or anything else you fancy that adds a similar kind of tangy, saltiness to counter the subtle sweetness of the dish.

COMPONENTS

200g puy lentils, cooked and strained
2 small beetroots
1 teaspoon brown miso paste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons organic / raw honey (or other natural sweetener of choice)
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons lemon juice
A few drops of apple cider vinegar
1-2 chopped dates (could also use raisins or dried apricots)
Salt + pepper, as desired

To Top (optional)
A handful of raw walnuts
1/2 teaspoon walnut oil
A pinch of fresh lemon thyme, thyme, majoram, rosemary or other fresh herbs - to top

PROCESS

If you've got raw lentils, start by cooking them as per the packet ingredients, for roughly 20-30 minutes (ideally in stock rather than plain water - and even better - if you have time - soak them for a few hours before cooking).

Once the lentils are cooked, or if you are using pre-coked puy lentils, measure them into a medium saucepan with the olive oil and set over a medium heat.

Add the chopped beetroot, nutritional yeast, miso, honey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and chopped dates and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until all of the ingredients are combined and everything is coated evenly.

Taste and season by adding more nutritional yeast, miso, honey and / or lemon juice to suit you preferences. Season further with a little salt and pepper as desired.

Transfer to a serving bowl or distribute into individual bowls and top with a drizzle of walnut oil, the chopped walnuts, fresh herbs of choice and goats cheese or other alternative - if using.

Finish with an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive or walnut oil, honey or lemon juice (or for extra flavour, make a double portion of the miso-honey dressing, and drizzle on top or serve on the side).

Enjoy this as a side dish to main meals, or with other vegetables. We enjoyed it with roasted cauliflower and broccoli and baked salmon. You could, of course, eat it alone as it is a filling and nutritionally dense dish as it is.

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.

 

Cinnamon Spiced Pecan Butter

Anytime, Seasonal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Recipe, Autumndanielle coppermanComment

In recent years, and especially as I become more in tune with nature, I have come to really notice a difference in all aspects of my life as the seasons shift. I don't spend too much time thinking about it, but when I stop to acknowledge my dietary patterns, cravings, thoughts, feelings, moods, emotions, body temperature and other physical and mental adjustments, I notice that most of them are changing in sync with the weather, the moon phases and the elemental adjustments of each season. Typically, pecans - although nowadays not especially seasonal as they are available pretty much all year round - are harvested from late September through to the end of November. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that nuts are warming and hot in nature and so eating nuts during Autumn and Winter is thought to help to keep us warm, internally. With their healthy fats, high protein content and abundance of vitamins and minerals, most nuts are known to nourish and strengthen the kidneys, the brain and the heart, which all need a little extra attention during the colder months as we become more  susceptible to illness.

This pecan and cinnamon butter is so simple yet highly effective, both nutritionally and energetically speaking. Cinnamon, a spice associated with the Fire element (which is the element of confidence and action, and which helps to cleanse and protect) adds extra warmth to this recipe, as well as adding aromas that can reduce fatigue and drowsiness - common side-effects of seasonal transitions into colder, darker climes. I've been enjoying this by the spoonful, stirred through breakfast bowls (such as Qnola and coconut yoghurt, chia seed porridge and smoothie bowls) and added to smoothies, tonics and adaptogen lattes. It's also delicious used as a dressing or blended into other dressings for savoury meals.

PROCESS

1. Preheat the oven to 160c. Spread the pecans evenly on a flat baking tray and once the oven is warm, place on a middle rack. Leave to toast for 10-12 minutes, until they begin to darken in colour and become aromatic.

2. Remove from the oven and transfer immediately to a food processor. Pulse for a minimum of 5 minutes on highest speed, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides, as required. The length of time required for the nuts to bind a liquified 'butter' will depend on the strength of your food processor. If necessary, pulse for up to 12 minutes until smooth.

3. Transfer to a jar or other pot and enjoy, or store in the fridge for up to 2 months.

COMPONENTS

200g raw pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder, paste, extract or seeds from a pod
½ teaspoon Maca (optional)
Pinch of salt (himalayan pink or sea)

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.