WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Seasonal

Wake Up Well Rituals ~ For ES Magazine

Beauty, Commisions, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Movement, Pranayama, Rituals, Seasonal, Wake Up Well, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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This time of year, whilst full of hope, anticipation and new beginnings, can also feel miserable, especially as the weather gets colder and the days shorter and darker. 

For me, autumn is a time for slowing down and turning inward; think of it as hibernation for the modern human. I like to use the end of summer to regain focus and take stock of where I am and what I hope to achieve.

As with any seasonal shift, changes in the weather will affect us mentally and physically. It's common to feel low, suffer with skin problems and have depleted energy levels at this time of year. That’s why I find it useful to have a bank of reliable rituals on hand to help me feel supported and prepared for anything.

Below are my top tips for keeping skin vibrant and hydrated, for enhancing energy levels (especially as the mornings get darker) and for that all-important immunity boost.

Beauty & Skincare

Massage 

Massage is a really powerful and incredibly underrated ritual for all kinds of things, but particularly for boosting circulation (which will enhance your glow), reducing tension and encouraging cell renewal. I like to mix it up between using tools (like a jade crystal roller or gua sha) and just my hands. It’s super simple and you can work it into your current beauty regime, by simple spending around 2-5 minutes massaging the muscles in your face – focusing around the eye, cheek and jaw areas. 

Neti pot

A neti pot is a traditional cleansing method originating from the East. It is a way of cleaning the nasal passages (known as nasal irrigation), and is a ritual used to clear the debri and mucus from the nose and sinuses. It looks a bit like a mini teapot and you fill it with filtered water. It helps to clear the nostrils, helping breathing and oxygen intake, reduce dryness, ease sinus-related headaches, relieve allergy symptoms and prevent viruses and infections. As the seasons change, we are often at risk of seasonal viruses or just feeling a little rundown and out of sorts, so this can definitely help. I also find it makes my head feel clearer too.

Tongue scraper

Scraping the surface of the tongue is known to remove a build up of toxins which accumulates overnight, preventing us from swallowing and ingesting them. It's a really simple, energising and powerful ritual to add to your morning routine.

To Energise 

Tapping

Tapping is a simple technique known to promotes blood circulation and energy flow. It involves tapping and massaging parts of the body, using a combination of fists and fingertips to activate them and to release any tension, emotion or energy blockages held within. This is one of my favourite rituals and can be an energising practice to include in your morning routine if you want to raise your vibrational energy and feel balanced, lighter and physically less stiff. 

Yoga

Yoga doesn’t have to be an hour-long class or strict sequence, but can be as simple as a few stretches here and there, without any kind of ‘flow’. Downward Dog is one of my favourite yoga postures to stretch out the body and to encourage circulation around the body, whilst also reducing muscular tension.

Revolved Twisted Lunge is a warming pose that energises the legs and stimulates the internal organs to promote detoxification and digestion. This is also a great one to practice in the mornings as the temperatures get cooler.

Breathwork 

Pranayama, also known as breathwork, is one of my favourite tools for supporting internal cleansing and to enhance focus, concentration and energy levels. Ideal to practice in the mornings.

Breath-counting meditation is a powerful exercise for the mind which tidies away distracting thoughts, enhancing concentration, stamina and endurance. Try this to refresh your thoughts or stay on task at work or to feel more present.

1. Sit comfortably either on the floor with crossed legs or on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Close your eyes, bring your awareness to your breath and notice any natural patterns or rhythms. 

2. On an exhale, start counting silently from one. Then inhale, pause briefly once your lungs have reached full capacity, and exhale, silently counting two. 

3. Keep counting like this at the end of every exhalation until you reach ten, and then starting counting backwards, from ten to one. If thoughts intrude, you get interrupted or you become distracted and forget which number you’re at, simply accept it and start again from one. 

4. Once you are back to ‘one’, repeat the sequence, counting up to 20 or 30 or however far feels natural, and bring the practice to a close when you are ready to. 

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Nourishment

Herbal tonics 

As the weather gets cooler, our bodies begin to crave different things. Grounding ingredients and warm foods are often desired to bring our bodies into balance, and making infusions to drink is one of my favourite ways to gain warmth and nourishment, anytime of day.

Not quite as potent as ingesting the ingredients whole, infusions and teas still draw nutrients from the plants you are using, which are then quickly and easily absorbed by the body. They also help bring variety to the daily-recommended amount of water we should be consuming.

There are several methods for infusing, and the ratio of plants to water really depends on personal taste. For hot options, simply use hot water or hot milk to brew your choice of herbs, spices, flowers, fruits, vegetables or other plant-based ingredients (such as fresh basil, thyme, mint, cinnamon, chamomile,  fresh fruits or fresh vegetables (such as cucumber, carrot, beetroot). Brew them in a large jug, heat-proof bottle or even a large bowl to then decant into smaller bottles. 

Store in the fridge but serve warm. 

Seasonal ingredients

As the seasons change - despite the fact that most ingredients are available all year around these days – it is incredibly beneficial for us to incorporate seasonal ingredients into our diets. Autumn brings with it an abundance of earth and root vegetables, such as turnips, cauliflower, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, kale, parsnips, potato, and so on.

Vegetables grown in the earth are incredibly grounding, and cooking them and enjoying them warm is even more nourishing, providing our bodies with easily digestible meals to warm from within. Do a little further research on seasonal ingredients as we shift from autumn into winter and opt to swap salads and cold dishes for more curries, soups and stews. 

Easter Edit from Well Being Book

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Lunch, Recipe, Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Spring, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

Chocolate Cookie Crunch Bars, page 196

Chocolate Salted ‘Nolo’ Caramels, page 198

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Reishi Tahini Hot Chocolate, page 172

Pecan Cookie Dough Balls, page 190

Pistachio and Courgette Cake with Avocado Lime Frosting, page 252

Walnut Chocolate Biscuits & Millionaire's Shortbread, page 188

For Easter Lunch / Dinner

Sweet Potato Gratin, page 215

Honey and Mustard Portobello Mushrooms, page 218

Cauliflower, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Salad with Sauerkraut, Peas & Avocado, page 128

Green Pancakes with Avocado, Fennel & Chickpeas , page 146

Beetroot, Carrot and Coconut Soup, page 126

Restorative Seaweed Broth, page 122

How To Spring Cleanse Your Life ~ For Ecoage

Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Wellbeing, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment
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Last week marked the first official day of spring, and with what might just be my favourite season of all approaching, I wanted to share some of the practices that I like to incorporate into my day-to-day routines during this seasonal shift, along with some tips for adapting to this transition from one season to the next.

Four times a year, we experience a shift between seasons, and whilst the actual exact shift usually passes unnoticed, when you really take time to pause and acknowledge it, and to tune into whats going on beyond your own little world, it will begin to bring your attention to just how interconnected everything is, and in turn, this will allow you to make more sense of your moods, thoughts, emotions, feelings, actions, experiences and the general behaviour of you and all other living things and beings around you. It’s quite fascinating, and you will come to learn that things going on around you are happening in your favour, and to support you. For example, different foods will grow in abundance depending on your local surroundings, as nature adjusts to the new season not only for its own welfare but to provide us and other living things with exactly what we need.

Spring is a time of cleansing, and when I think of Spring I think of detoxing, new beginnings, resetting and rebirth. It is a time of freshness and newness; a time of hope and anticipation; a time of faith and excitement as the warmest and brightest part of the year approaches. Having spent long wintery months in the shadows of gloomy weather and arctic temperatures, forced into hibernation, Spring brings with it this joyful and vibrant energy, and as our natural surroundings begin to flourish and bloom, our own cycles and energies do too. Or so they should. If you are not entirely in tune or in sync with the seasons and the natural cycles and phases of the Universe, the following practices are intended to help you to get there, by boosting your energy levels (bringing them in line with the energy of nature), boosting your mood (bringing it in line with the frequencies of nature) and cleansing your body and mind through food, movement and other rituals. Try a few of these practices to not only look and feel more thriving physically, this Summer, but also to let go of anything that feels heavy with negative energy, and to adopt a powerfully positive mindset, to attract all that you desire in abundance.

1. Food & hydration

In Ayurveda, the same way living beings have doshas, seasons do too. Spring is known to be the kapha season, which starts off somewhat wet and cold in March and develops to become still wet but much warmer between around June / July. In early kapha season, the world is slowly coming out of hibernation and things are beginning to awaken and reemerge with new life. Kapha characteristics are known to be heavy, slow and cool, so it is good to incorporate practices that make you feel light, active and warm, such as detoxing your diet, exercising regularly, eating warm foods and getting under the sun whenever it’s out.

During kapha season, when we want to adopt more vata and pita habits in order to balance the kapha energies, it is a good idea to cleanse internally, by really purifying your diet and detoxifying any internal build up. Luckily, spring’s produce supports this, providing us with light and hydrating ingredients that are high in vitamins and minerals to aid detoxification. As well, further cleansing can be done where needed, to gently purge and reset the digestive system (in other words, if you’ve never had a colonic, now could be the time).

Try incorporating some of the following ingredients into your meals and habits into your daily routines to cleanse from within and to eat as nature intended, with ingredients determined to support us this season.

Spring ingredients:

To eat in ways to support you during the spring, eat both seasonally available and abundant ingredients, but also be mindful to eat in ways that balance kapha energies. For example, avoid oily, greasy, heavy and dense foods, and instead opt for lighter and drier ingredients. Enjoy warm foods rather than cold or entirely raw foods, and favour rough, fibrous ingredients more than soft or smooth ones (such as banana and avocado).

Asparagus
Broccoli
Dandelion greens
Lettuce
Fennel
Spinach
Peas
Potatoes
Strawberries
Carrots
Green Beans
Garlic
Leafy herbs
Rhubarb

* Take into account also your own Ayurvedic constituency, as this will determine more personally what you need and also what you digest best.

As spring approaches, I would suggest a 3-7 day cleanse incorporating both spring produce and kapha balancing ingredients, with a daily eating schedule looking something like this:

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Hydration:

Start the day with two glasses of water (around 1 litre in total), on an empty stomach. Add a dash of fresh lemon juice, sliced cucumber, ginger root, turmeric root, a stick of activated charcoal or apple cider vinegar, to flavour the water but also to awaken the nutrients of it and add more nourishment to each sip.

Throughout the rest of the day, ensure you drink a minimum of 2 litres in total. Try to avoid drinking a lot during mealtimes, and instead be mindful to time it by drinking at least 1/2 an hour before a big meal. Small sips during or after a meal are fine, but it is preferable to drink a little while before eating if you can.

Breakfast:

Try to have breakfast after 10am, when your digestion is more active and energetic. If you get hungry before, try to enjoy a liquid meal, such as a juice or smoothie, or some plain, fresh or cooked fruit.

Lunch:

Try to make lunch your biggest meal of the day, and try to enjoy it between 12pm and 2pm, when the digestive system is most active and efficient. During a cleansing period, try to base your meals on raw and/or cooked (ideally not fried or roasted, but boiled or steamed) vegetables, whole or psuedo grains, and ethically sourced meat or fish. Foods like salads, soups, stews, kitchari, dahl, curries, or mixed vegetables are advisable. Try to avoid processed condiments or dressings, and select seasonal ingredients as much as possible, as they are in season for a reason!

Dinner:

Try to keep dinner relatively small compared to lunch. Try to eat by 6pm, as the digestive system is thought to slow between 6pm and 10pm. Base your meals on the same ingredients and ideas as lunch, and try not to snack before bed. Avoid rich or sugary foods and substitute with fresh fruit if you really crave dessert. Also enjoy herbal tea if you need something else later in the evening. Try to drink a small glass of water before bed (and take any relevant supplements such as probiotics before bed, too).

Snacks:

Try not to snack at odd times throughout the day, but instead snack directly after your main meals. Enjoy fresh fruits, raw vegetables, natural and wholesome dips (like houmous) and / or nuts and seeds. Also enjoy hot water (which is known to nurture the digestive system), herbal teas, coffee, cacao or other adaptogen drinks whenever you feel hungry. Light liquid ‘meals’ are also advisable, such as juices or smoothies.

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2. Movement

This season is a great time to get active. Emerging from the still and stagnant winter months of surrendering to home comforts instead of persevering, Spring brings a new energy of lightness, strength and resilience. With a sense of newness in the air, it’s time to start afresh, dust off your trainers and get moving.

Exercising regularly, even if thats just walking (aim for 10,000 steps a day if you’re not otherwise active), can help with the body and minds detox processes, and will also encourage circulation, digestion and lymphatic drainage. Not to mention, it will also increase mood, stamina, focus, concentration and positivity, so, you know, there’s really no excuse. It’s also interesting to know that as spring’s energy is associated with kapha characteristics, it is thought that living beings tend to have more strength and endurance around this time of year too, so it shouldn’t feel quite as much of a struggle as it does during the winter, when you generally feel more lethargic and sensitive.

Massage is another form of movement you can really benefit from at this time of the year, and a practice that further supports detoxing and lymphatic drainage. Try using a body brush before or after showering, and or indulge in self massage (either with lotion or oils). Even better, get a partner or friend to massage you, or treat yourself to a professional one. Focus on the neck, shoulders and back, as well and the legs.

3. Rest and recuperation

You’re gonna like this one. Getting enough rest, despite the fact we’ve basically been sleeping all winter, is still advised during early spring. Whilst the sun rises earlier, it is advised to go to sleep earlier and rise earlier too, to sync as closely as possible to the cycles of nature. So, I’m not about to tell you to enjoy your lie in’s, but I am going to suggest keeping an eye on your sleeping habits, and ensuring you get enough sleep and rest to aid physical and mental detoxing, and to ensure your energy levels are topped up (and, again, aligned with that of springs own energies). A nap here and there wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

As well as sleeping enough, be sure to practice some grounding rituals, such as meditation or breathing / pranayama techniques. This is important as towards the end of spring can become quite an energetic and buzzy time, so feeling grounded, present and supported is crucial for keeping physically and mentally balanced and for remaining tuned in to yourself and all around you.

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4. Space

This section brings me to one of my favourite parts of spring. I can feel my desperation to clean, tidy and declutter bubbling away as I get restless towards the end of winter (having been feeling too overwhelmed or lazy to approach it), but as spring arrives, I immediately want to clear the air, make some space and get rid of things I don’t use or need anymore.

The infamous spring clean. It’s a tradition for a reason, and not one to be ignored. Regardless of whether or not you do it in spring, I think at least one annual purge of your possessions is crucial for sanity if not for sight. Rather than getting rid of a little bit here and a little bit there throughout the year, an actual appointment of sufficient time gets the job done much quicker and more efficiently (and less painfully, too). Over time, our belongings build up, and if we’re not constantly replacing things, then we’re constantly adding things, which, not always, but often means that old items get buried or forgotten.

A good old fashioned spring clean is crucial to refresh a space and to clear the energy, but it has also been known to benefit our own wellbeing too, enhancing productivity, positivity, concentration, motivation and peacefulness, reducing the stress and anxiety often brought on by tidying being another overwhelming task on our to-do lists.

It’s important to note that you should cleanse your space and belongings mindfully, though, and instead of throwing things away, finding ways to recycle them - either by giving to friends or family, charity, vintage shops or even selling them on sites like eBay, Depop and Vestaire Collective or at markets if you have the time and a little patience. Try not to let anything go to waste.

Another way to enhance your spring cleaning rituals is by smudging. Using sage or palo santo, or even incense or essential oils in a diffuser to clear any negative energy. Did you know, energy from arguments or other negative situations and occurrences can linger in the air or in areas of a room where they took place, and smudging is known to cleanse these ‘bad vibes’ and reset the energy. I love to smudge a few times a month, either after an argument or bad news, or if I’ve just had a stressful or frustrating day.

Finally, when cleaning after you’ve decluttered and tidied things away, choose your cleaning products with care. Opt for natural, non-toxic products from brands like method or ecover, or even make your own, using natural ingredients like bicarbonate soda, vinegar, oils and essentials oils. There are plenty of recipes for these online and in my book, Well Being.

5. Mindfulness

Finally, mindfulness, as always, is a powerful ritual to keep up during the spring. Practicing regular meditation, stream of consciousness (writing without agenda as soon as you wake up, before checking your phone, speaking to anyone or getting out of bed), positive thinking (writing down or simply thinking positive thoughts about the day gone by (if practising before bed) or the day ahead (if practising in the morning)) and / or gratitude (writing a list of things you are grateful for), will help to keep your energy positive and abundant, which will in turn attract experiences of the same frequency. Furthermore, as this season resembles new beginnings and new life, letting go of negative habits or relationships or removing yourself from negative, draining situations is crucial in order to open up new opportunities and to ensure you can attract what it is you truly desire. It is an exciting time and with just a little bit of extra focus and attention, it can be powerfully transformational, rewarding and fun.

Springshine Vegan Lemon Curd Crumble

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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I’ve always been a fan of crumble, and from a young age was obsessed with lemon curd, so I recently thought, why not combine the two and see what happens? The love child of this experiment developed into a beautiful lemon curd crumble; creamy and tart on the bottom, crisp and crunchy on the top. It is the ultimate flavour sensation, with its flavoursome fruit layer coupled with the creamy, coconutty crumble topping.

This recipe is bright in colour and vibrant with flavour, and reminds me of the first sign of sun in the spring, and the warmth and light of the summer. It is light, with sour and acidic notes, whilst also being incredibly refreshing. Using fresh lemons, it contains an abundance of vital vitamins and minerals. Lemon season starts roughly around late winter / early summer, and runs right through to the warmer months, and eating seasonally, you can rest assured you are getting in all the goodness that nature intended for you to have access to at this time of year.

I love serving this warm as a dessert, with either plant-based ice cream (I like soy, coconut or cashew) or homemade vegan cashew cream sauce or custard. You could also use single or double cream or plant-based cream or creme fraiche (I love anything by Oatly). I also love it chilled from the fridge, served with fresh or stewed berries, either as a breakfast, a snack or a chilled dessert.

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Components

For the vegan lemon curd

60g coconut oil, melted
juice and flesh of 4 lemons
zest of 1-2 lemons
100g honey, coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
3-4 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
6 tablespoons soy yoghurt or solid coconut milk from a tin (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)

* If you are not vegan, you can use 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks instead of the arrowroot, using the same method as below).

For the topping
100g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
2-4 tbs honey
1 tbs coconut sugar
50g coconut oil
20g grated lemon zest

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Method

Preheat the oven to 160c. Lightly grease a heatproof oven dish with coconut oil or line with greaseproof paper.

Start by mixing the topping ingredients in a medium bowl using a wooden spoon, then crumble into breadcrumb-like clumps with your fingers. Place in the freezer to stiffen whilst you prepare the lemon curd layer.

To make the vegan lemon curd layer, measure the lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon flesh (removing the remaining flesh from the lemon skin using a metal spoon and / or your fingers), coconut oil and honey or other sweetener of choice into a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Immediately whisk in the arrowroot, adding 2 tablespoons first, then whisking until fully combined, before adding the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons gradually. If the mixture seems thick enough after 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot, you don’t need to add the 4th tablespoon. Whisk again to combine thoroughly.

Continue to heat over a medium to high heat, until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. It should become smooth, quite gloopy and glossy. During one of my test runs, a lot of the oil separated and sat on the surface, but if this happens, simply remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes together smoothly again.

Once the mixture has become thick and smooth, remove from the heat and whisk the mixture a final time to ensure it remains creamy and doesn’t separate.

Now whisk in the soy yoghurt or solid coconut milk (or whichever alternative you might be using), one tablespoon at a time, until smooth.

Pour the mixture into your prepared dish and then cover with the crumble mixture. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crumble begins to brown and crisp.

Holiday Season Bliss Balls

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegandanielle coppermanComment

I’m stocking my freezer with these so that I’ll have something to constantly (and instantly) satisfier the snacker in me during the holidays. Of course I’m human and a live with an ethos that balance is crucial and that the less healthy foods have a place in this world too, but this January I’m heading to New York for the first time in a couple of years to launch the US edition of my book, Well Being, and to meet with new modelling agencies. So, this year I’m generally steering away from outrageously unhealthy indulgences since I need to be in the best shape of my life to meet with agencies. Thus, these babies are my answer to everything. When someone offers me a cookie, mince pie, chocolate or all of the above, I’ll be blissfully chomping down on these little mouthfuls like a proper weirdo. But, to me, it’s not going to be difficult to resist what everyone else is enjoying, since I genuinely prefer the taste of these to most processed treats which these days taste too artificial and sickeningly sweet. And these are still indulgent in their own ways. They’re high in calories and pretty sweet themselves, but its just that they’re all natural and offer actual nutritional benefits, unlike most of the other holiday treats out there. I can eat these knowing I won’t have to expect a bout of blemishes on my skin, extreme bloating, a sugar rush and a sugar crash, or a headache and general grogginess. That said, I will not say no dessert.

It took me 20 minutes to make 2 full batches of these last night, and they turned out much cheaper than shop bought health food products. I couldn’t recommend the best flavour, they’re all amazing. Enjoy!

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Gingerbread bites

Components

150g cashews
50g oats (ideally gluten-free)
225g dates (ideally medjool)
2-3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla protein powder (optional)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pinch of salt

Method

Start by blending the cashews, oats and protein powder (if using) in a food processor until they form a light, flour-like consistency. Next, add the dates, ginger, coconut oil and salt, and blend again on a high speed. The mixture should begin to crumble and then clump together, and eventually (after around 1-2 minutes) it should form into a smooth, sticky, dough-like ball. Keep blending until this happens, and if it doesn’t become sticky or doughy, add a few more dates and continue to blend.

Once smooth and sticky, use your hands to form the mixture into bite-sized balls, or, as per the images below, flatten them into little cookie shapes.

Place in the fridge to stiffen, or place in the freezer if you prefer them a little harder. I would suggest storing them in your fridge if you prefer them softer, or in your freezer if you prefer them stiffer and to save them from expiring (they can stay in the freezer for as long as they last).

Enjoy!

Walnut Brownie Bites

50g cashews
100g walnuts
50g oats (ideally gluten free)
225g dates (ideally medjool)
1 teaspoon vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4 heaped teaspoons cacao powder
Pinch of salt

+ A handful chopped walnuts, for extra crunch (optional)

Method

Start by blending the cashews, walnuts, oats, cacao and vanilla protein powder (if using) in a food processor until they form a light, flour-like consistency. Next, add the dates, coconut oil and salt and blend again on a high speed. The mixture should begin to crumble and then clump together, and eventually (after around 1-2 minutes) it should form into a smooth, sticky, dough-like ball. Keep blending until this happens, and if it doesn’t become sticky or doughy, add a few more dates and continue to blend.

Once smooth and sticky, use your hands to form the mixture into bite-sized balls, or, as per the images above, flatten them into little cookie shapes. If you want to add a little crunch, use your hands to roll some extra chopped walnuts and extra salt, if desired, into each bite-size.

Place in the fridge to stiffen, or place in the freezer if you prefer them a little harder. I would suggest storing them in your fridge if you prefer them softer, or in your freezer if you prefer them stiffer and to save them from expiring (they can stay in the freezer for as long as they last).

Enjoy!

Vanilla Chai Bites

150g cashews
50g oats (ideally gluten free)
225g dates (ideally medjool)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground cloves or mixed spice - optional
1 teaspoon vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Pinch of salt

Method

Start by blending the cashews, oats and protein powder (if using) in a food processor until they form a light, flour-like consistency. Next, add the dates, coconut oil, salt ,cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and any other spices you’re using, and blend again on a high speed. The mixture should begin to crumble and then clump together, and eventually (after around 1-2 minutes) it should form into a smooth, sticky, dough-like ball. Keep blending until this happens, and if it doesn’t become sticky or doughy, add a few more dates and continue to blend.

Once smooth and sticky, use your hands to form the mixture into bite-sized balls, or, as per the images below, flatten them into little cookie shapes.

Place in the fridge to stiffen, or place in the freezer if you prefer them a little harder. I would suggest storing them in your fridge if you prefer them softer, or in your freezer if you prefer them stiffer and to save them from expiring (they can stay in the freezer for as long as they last).

Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels, Broccoli, Red Grapes and Chestnuts ~ Well Being Book

Well Being Book, Winter, Vegan, Sides, Recipe, Seasonal, Lunch, Gluten free, Dinner, Dairy Free, Autumndanielle coppermanComment

We’ve all hated Brussels sprouts at some point in our lives, and I probably still would if it wasn’t for Hu Kitchen in New York. When I was living in the city a couple of winters ago, I spent a lot of time there in between castings or on my way home from shoots. I didn’t have a kitchen in my apartment so I stocked up on their pre-cooked ingredients most nights, and became addicted to their roasted Brussels sprouts – soft and caramelised on the inside, crispy on the outside. Roasted grapes add a rich, juicy flavour to this dish and bind the other ingredients together in a subtly sweet sauce.

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Components

Serves 4-6

250g Brussels sprouts
250g red grapes
150g chestnuts
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1⁄2 broccoli head, chopped into florets
60g chard or kale, chopped
1 quantity Basic Tahini Dressing (page 135)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For a creamy version

1 tin coconut milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.

Arrange the Brussels sprouts, grapes and chestnuts in a large baking tray, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with salt. Use a sharp knife to pierce the grapes slightly and then place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.

Add the broccoli to the baking tray and roast for a further 15–20 minutes. When the broccoli is tender, the grapes are soft and caramelised and the Brussels are beginning to crisp, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the chard or kale for 10 minutes, until wilted. Stir the chard or kale into the tray, coating them in the juices of the roasted vegetables. Divide the vegetables among individual bowls or transfer to a larger dish if serving as a side. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and enjoy.

+ To make a creamy version, transfer the roasted Brussels, grapes, chestnuts and broccoli into a medium saucepan. Over a low-medium heat, stir in the coconut milk and heat until combined. Alternatively, you could do this in the oven, pouring the coconut milk over the roasted Brussels, grapes, chestnuts and broccoli and returning to the oven to heat through and combine for a further 10-20 minutes, at the same heat.

Enjoy as a warm salad, as a side for Christmas dinner or roasts, or serve with grains or psuedograins.

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

Drinks, Dairy Free, Essentials, Review, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle copperman1 Comment

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!

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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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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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)

Spring Equinox

Seasonal, Wellbeing, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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The Spring Equinox (March 20 2017) is the time when the light and dark, the yin and yang and the masculine and feminine energies of the cosmos are in perfect balance and alignment. The Universe and all its beings are reborn, refreshed and restored after a long and restful Winter, and as we transition into Spring, we let go of and leave behind what no longer serves us, and welcome the new - manifesting what we want the present and future to hold. 

This phase of the year is a powerful time to come together with those around you to celebrate and welcome the lighter, brighter energy, fresh produce and opportunities that Spring brings. It is about reassessing and manifesting the things that you desire, and now is the time to sow the seeds that you want to experience flourishing into things. 

Gather with friends to release the past and share and set intentions for things you want to see, do, feel or simply be this season. Having a clear and focused but also open approach to these things will help draw them towards you, and will ensure you feel grounded, aligned and filled with faith. As you open up to both the experiences that you manifest and also those that come to you unexpectedly as a result of this alignment, wonderful things can happen, whether physical experiences or internal shifts within your body, mind and soul. 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

AEVIRYONE NEEDS AN AEVI BOX

Essentials, Seasonal, Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lifestyle, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Aevi is a female-lead company offering seasonal gift boxes of mindfully selected body-loving beauty and lifestyle goods. Founders Marie and Natalie are fully aware of the needs of our bodys, minds and souls, and in attempt to provide exactly what each of them needs as we shift among seasons, they source the most suitable provisions to keep everything in check. They know how drastically seasonal change can effect us, whether this includes skin irritations, mood swings or something else entirely, and they do their best to provide the most powerful natural beauty and wellbeing products to cure side effects of these transitions. The word Aevi comes from an Old Norse language and translates to life, which is what each Aevi box contains.

"Everything is thoughtfully curated to help soften the affect that climate has on the body and to sustain a well loved and loving heart, mental health advocacy, and glowing beauty of your skin".

The Aevi box is here to remind us to take time to practice self love, to tune into ourselves and our surroundings, and to rediscover and evaluate the importance of ourselves. When our bodies, minds and souls are balanced and taken care of, a healthy lifestyle will evolve, and this will be reflected in our day-to-day lives, allowing us and them to thrive in harmony.

"When you take the time to love and care for yourself, you not only give yourself the power to feel grounded in your own circumstances but you also positively influence the people, situations and lives around you".

The Spring Box changed a lot of things for me. As well as discovering and connecting with new brands, the box provided me with the care my body needed to survive the climate change as we shifted from the darkness of winter to the vibrance of springtime. The Earth Tu Face body scrub helped to refresh my skins cycles, soothing dryness and giving new life to my overall complextion. The Kahina face mist served as a way to refresh and revitalise my skin upon waking each morning, and the 1509 fragrance oil worked at calming and balancing my mind as each new day unfolded.

For The Summer Box, a niche selection of pure and calming beauty products have been sourced, to amplify a sense of lightness this time of year, and to support a sun-kissed summertime glow. Having noticed that sometimes transitions between seasons can affect one’s routines and overall wellness (from cold climates to warmer weather, dark mornings to bright nights) Aevi have created a box that will help the skin, body and mind adapt in the best ways possible. Perhaps you'll be dealing with sunburn, damaged hair or fatigue at this time of year, and in any case, Aevi has something you'll need. Eir NYC Sunset Body Oil heals dry, parched skin damaged by sun, salt and wind. Nuori Lip Balm will naturally and nourishingly hydrate dried or sun damaged lips. Lichtjuwel Liebe Spray is a natural, holistic fragrance spray containing heart opening scents and a rose quartz (the stone of love), to sooth and balance the aura and elevate mood and positivity. Living Libations Sunscreen is a natural, botanical sunshade designed to reflect the suns rays, whilst also nourishing the skin without parabens or synthetics. Captain Blankenship Golden Waves Shimmer Spray will keep your locks looking and feeling lively from the beginning of your beach day through late summer nights and the Matchaeologist Matcha Kit will help to detoxify the body with an instant natural remedy, made from hand picked virgin tea buds.

As well as offering the finest products all in one place, the individual products from each box are also available to purchase via the Aevi website. So if you have big plans for the summer, and especially if you're due to travel a lot, discover which products will suit your own personal needs and create the perfect summer survival kit.

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.