WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Winter

The Only Dessert You Need This Winter (which could also double up as a nourishing breakfast just FYI)

Recipe, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment
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I grew up adoring rice pudding, but not especially or necessarily the homemade kind. I was ecstatic at just the site of a little blue and yellow Ambrosia rice pudding pot. Wrong, I now know.

This version, you’ll be pleased to know, is not inspired by those but instead came about after I tasted the best rice pudding of my life; made by a patisserie chef at my sister's old place of work, The Quality Chophouse, and pretty much equal parts cream and sugar, whisked to silk with eggs and completed with fresh vanilla seeds.

This variation is, of course, adapted to the distinctive characteristics of my Well Being nutritional principles; free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar, and made with pure and unprocessed ingredients in their most natural forms possible.

This pudding is super rich and creamy, and the warming vanilla lends not only an unbeatable flavour but an aroma like no other; sweet, comforting and calming in some way. I often make this for guests, and then enjoy any leftovers in the morning, either chilled or heated up to breed porridge’s more indulgent cousin. I suggest you do the same.

Components

200g pudding rice (can also use brown or white short grain, or try with quinoa, millet or buckwheat, but be prepared with more liquid, incase needed)
500ml plant-based milk, like almond milk or coconut milk (in a carton)
1 tin tinned coconut milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract plus 2 fresh vanilla pods (can also use vanilla extract, paste or powder)
4-5 tablespoons coconut sugar (or other natural sweetener of choice)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil, avocado oil, flax oil, chia seed oil)
Pinch of salt

Optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maca 
1 teaspoon lucuma
2 tablespoons tocos
Raw choc chunks or cacao powder

Method

To start, measure the pudding rice or other rice or grains of choice into a medium saucepan and cover with your plant-based milk of choice, the tinned coconut milk, salt, vanilla pod seeds (adding the whole stick to stew), vanilla extract, coconut sugar, cinnamon, maca or lucuma (if using) and oil of your choice.

Bring to the boil over a medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes, and then reduce to a simmer for 10-20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the kind of rice or grain you use. If the mixture becomes too dry before the rice is fully cooked through, add a splash or water. 

When you are happy with the consistency, stir in any of the remaining optional ingredients. I like stirring in raw chocolate chunks for a slightly chocolate variation, but you could also try 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder.

Top with any extra toppings of your choice. I love to heat fresh fruits (usually berries or citrus fruits) in a saucepan with a little lemon juice to stew them, and then pour them on top of the rice pudding. You could also serve with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, a jam, syrup or homemade sauce (like cacao chocolate sauce or date caramel). I love making this chocolate spread and thinning it with a little boiling water to pour on top.

Serve hot.

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Five Recipes That Will Make You Love Porridge Again

Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Recipedanielle coppermanComment
Double Oat Porridge with Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds and White Miso

Double Oat Porridge with Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds and White Miso

I have never, in all honestly, been much of a fan of porridge, but every now and then I find myself craving it. There’s something about how warming it is, and perhaps the memories attached to it from my childhood, that I love, and I do find it keeps me fuller for longer. If I’m being super, super healthy, I’ll force down a very simple and plain recipe using water, not salt and no sugar, and I’ll top it with fresh or stewed fruits. But if I’m feeling a little more indulgent, or if I’m cooking for guests, I’ll get more creative and I’ll swap the water (or 1/2 of it) for a plant-based milk (to make it more creamy), and I’ll flavour it will all kinds of funky things. See below five of my current faves.

Double Oat Porridge with Oatly

Serves 2

This variation is super creamy, but essentially, you could use any milk or plant-based milks if you don’t have oat milk. As with any porridge, the toppings are really the main attraction. I’m not really here for a bowl of plain porridge with a little salt here and some sugar there. I’m here for the party thats going on on top and, in this case, it’s sesame themed so come prepared; sesame oil, tahini and sesame seeds. But, by all means, run with your own theme, get seasonal or use your usual go-to favourites. As you wish!

Components

200g gluten-free oats (ideally soaked in 100ml oat or other plant-based milk for minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight)
200ml oat milk
200-400ml water (depending on how thick or runny you like it)

Optional toppings

1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon tahini
1 teaspoon white miso paste
1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar, honey, other natural sweetener or chopped dates (add more, to taste)
1 tablespoon pistachio or other nut butter

Double Oat Porridge with Homemade Pistachio Butter and Chopped Pistachios

Double Oat Porridge with Homemade Pistachio Butter and Chopped Pistachios

Method

Start by soaking the oats. Place the oats in a small to medium bowl, then cover with 100ml oat milk (or other milk or plant-based milk). Ideally use enough milk to just cover the oats. Leave to soak for a minimum of 2 hours, ideally overnight.

If you don’t have time to soak the oats, or once the oats have been soaked, transfer to a medium saucepan set over a medium heat, and add the other 200ml oat milk (or other milk or plant-based milk), along with 200ml water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the oats are soft and creamy. If the mixture becomes dry too quickly, add another 100ml water, and stir to combine. After a few more minutes, add another 100ml water if needed, and keep adding until you are happy with the consistency.

Once happy with the consistency, portion into bowls (if making just 1 serving, leave the rest in the pan for now and save for another day). Add the toppings or any other toppings of choice and enjoy, preferably piping hot.


Turmeric Porridge with Black Pepper, Honey, Sesame & Flax Seeds

Turmeric Porridge with Black Pepper, Honey, Sesame & Flax Seeds

Turmeric Porridge with Black Pepper, Honey, Sesame & Flax Seeds

(Serves 2)

This variation is definitely a new favourite. I love turmeric in most things, but this is like a turmeric latte in porridge-form. It’s great! I also know from previous research that black pepper helps the body assimilate (that’s absorb, to you and I), turmeric’s nutrients, and to ensure the body is making the most of what the turmeric has to offer. It doesn’t really alter the flavour too much, and adding honey is a nice way to add a gentle sweetness. You’ll notice a variation topped with a knob of butter which is something my parents used to do when I was a kid. It adds a subtly salty flavour and the fat enhances the nutritional profile, and will see that fat-soluble nutrients are assimilated. The sesame seeds and flax are just what I had on hand at the time, but you could of course add other nuts and seeds along with other toppings, such as fresh or dried fruit. Grated fresh turmeric would be a nice touch too. Jus sayin’.

Components

200g gluten-free oats
200ml milk of choice (I use oat, almond or hemp)
300ml-400ml water
1 tablespoon honey or other natural syrup of choice (like coconut sugar or nectar)
1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric (can add more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt

Optional Toppings

A sprinkle of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey or other natural sugar or syrup of choice (like coconut sugar or nectar)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 knob of salted butter, vegan butter or ghee (optional)

Method

Ideally, soak all of the porridge ingredients, apart from the water, overnight or for at least 2 hours before cooking. Then, simply transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan set over a medium to high heat, add the 250ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

If you don’t have time to soak the oats before cooking, simply place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Stir to combine then bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

Pine Nut Porridge

Serves 2

Components

200g gluten-free oats
1 portion pine nut milk (simply blend 100g pine nuts with 200ml water, until smooth)
300ml-400ml water
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon maca, lucuma or mesquite (optional)

Optional toppings

2 tablespoons pine nuts (raw or toasted in the oven or in a saucepan)
1 teaspoon natural sugar or syrup of choice (like honey, coconut sugar or nectar)

Method

Start by making the pine nut milk. Blend 100g pine nuts (either raw or toasted) with 200ml filtered water, until smooth.

Ideally, soak all of the porridge ingredients, apart from the water, overnight or for at least 2 hours before cooking. Then, simply transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan set over a medium to high heat, add the 250ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

If you don’t have time to soak the oats before cooking, simply place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Stir to combine then bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

Caramelised Banana Porridge

Caramelised Banana Porridge

Caramelised Banana Porridge (1) & Cacao Banana Bircher (from Well Being Book) (2)

This bircher is my favourite thing to make if I’m in a rush, as it is highly energising, filling but not too filling, and takes just minutes to prepare. The caramelised banana porridge is something I’ll make it I have guests who’ve slept over or who are joining me for brunch. It takes a little extra effort but its so worth it. The flavour of the caramelised bananas paired with the creaminess of the porridge base is out of this world.

(1)

Serves 2

Components

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 ripe bananas
100g gluten-free oats
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, powder, paste (or vanilla protein powder)
400ml plant-based milk of choice (or 200ml milk + 200ml water)
1-2 tablespoons natural sweetener (such as honey, coconut sugar or coconut nectar)
Pinch of salt

Elevate it: 1 teaspoon maca, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds ground or 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds

Method

Start by slicing the bananas, preferably length ways, but will also work sliced into rounds. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and then fry the banana. Fry for a couple of minutes on one side, then carefully flip using a tongs, a spatula or a fork (they may become quite soft and hard to handle). Once the banana begins to caramelise and brown, remove from the heat and set aside.

Next, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and then the oats and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the milk. Stir to combine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Take half of the caramelised bananas and mash it into the porridge mixture, whilst still on the heat. Add a splash more milk or water if the mixture becomes too dry or too thick. Stir to ensure the banana is combined, and then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. The longer you leave it the the more creamier and softer the oats will become.

Once you’re happy with the consistency, top with the remaining caramelised banana and finish with natural sweetener (if needed) and a pinch of salt. You could also add knob of butter, vegan butter, ghee or coconut oil, a selection of chopped nuts or seeds, fresh, sliced banana and extra cinnamon.

(2)

Components

150g gluten-free jumbo oats
200ml plant-based milk of choice, plus extra if necessary
1 ripe banana (you could substitute for 1 ripe avocado)
4–5 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
2 tbsp milled flax or golden linseeds
1 tbsp whole chia seeds
1 tsp coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
Pinch of sea salt

Optional toppings
Nut butter
Fresh fruits
Chopped nuts or seeds
Qnola or other granola

Elevate it: 1 tbsp tocos powder, 1 tsp mucuna pruriens powder, 1 tsp ashwagandha powder or other adaptogens of choice

Method

Place the oats in a large bowl and cover with the plant-based milk. Chop the banana into the bowl and use a fork to mash it into the oat mixture. Add the cacao, maca, seeds, natural sweetener and salt along with any elevational extras of your choice, and mix to combine with a fork. If the mixture seems dry, add a little more milk. If it seems too wet, add a small handful of extra oats.

Leave to soak for 5–10 minutes (or longer if you have the time). Top with any or all of the serving suggestions above.

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The Ultimate Porridge Bowls

Vegan 'Mince Meat', Four Delicious and Even More Nutritious Ways

Dinner, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
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I’m sitting here wrapped in my Goop Travel Wrap at my parents house in Bath, the place surrounded by snow and going nowhere very fast at all. We live in a tiny village, or a hamlet to be precise, and since not much goes on around here, not many cars pass by and apparently, not many gritters either. The lanes are beautifully but inconveniently piled with snow, and only the tractors and land rovers can take them on. Whilst some would find this frustrating, I personally love it, being so rural and detached, especially as I’m visiting from London which is, well, the exact opposite. I love moments like this that just force you to stop and slow down, quite literally.

So, finally, having tested these recipes months and months ago, I’m taking this pause as an opportunity to share them. Bolognese is winter food at it’s best; so deeply comforting, and warming like nothing else. It is a highly regarded meal by many; whether it’s a staple weeknight meal, a weekend treat or one of those things you only order in restaurants cos they just do it better. It’s a failsafe crowd-pleaser, thats for sure, but what if you’re a long standing or recently converted vegan or vegetarian, or simply want to reduce the amount of meat you’re consuming? Well, I’ve got a few options for you. I’ve experimented with all kinds of vegetarian variations, and since all of them were delicious and nourishing in their own unique ways, I just figured I’d give you them all. The meaty textures and flavours in the recipes that follow are purely and simply natures own ingredients. Take your pick, from mushrooms and lentils to carrots and walnuts, or try them all. And if you’re willing to try something completely different and a little bit out there, my favourite might just be the Green Bolognese, made with spinach, broccoli and tofu.

I’ve branded these as bolognese sauces to serve with pasta (I’d use gluten-free rice or vegetable-based fusilli, spaghetti or linguine), but you could also serve these chilli-style (Chilli Sin Carne), with rice or other grains (like buckwheat, millet or quinoa), in tacos or with tortilla chips, nacho-style (all-over or as a dip). Add a little extra chilli and maybe stir through some kidney or pinto beans to make a more traditional chilli, or leave as it is.

Each of the following recipes are also so, so good on their own, or maybe with steamed vegetables or seasonal salad. They’re delicious served cold, too, either perched next to other leftovers, rainbow-bowl-style, or part of a packed lunch.

Let me know how you get on, and tag #WellBeingAndOtherStories if you post any of your creations online!

+ Pictured, only the Carrot & Walnut Bolognese.

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Carrot & Walnut Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

3 medium-large carrots, grated
4 large tomatoes
10 medium mushrooms (button, chestnut or portobello)
1 clove garlic
1/2 white onion
120g raw walnuts
1-2 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Handful of fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoons dried oregano
5 handfuls spinach
30g sun dried tomatoes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh or dried gluten-free pasta of choice, for two (about 200g)

Method

Start by peeling, chopping and grating the carrots. Then chop the tomatoes into 2 inch pieces. Next, finely dice the mushrooms into tiny pieces, dice the onion, crush the garlic and roughly chop the walnuts. The walnuts should be in pretty small pieces, kind of resembling the size and width of minced meat.

Next, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, and then add the carrots, tomatoes, mushroom, onion, garlic and walnuts. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, and then add the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir to combine and then add the nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, spinach, sun dried tomatoes (if using) and salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave (ideally with a lid on) to simmer whilst you prepare the pasta (for roughly 20-30 minutes). Cook according to packet instructions or if using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate.

Top with extra walnuts, basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast).

Tempeh ‘Mince’ for Chilli, or Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

200g tempeh (could replace with firm tofu)
1 clove garlic
1/2 white onion
1-2 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (if making a chilli, or basil if making as bolognese)
1-2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon paprika
½ - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ - 1 teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
1-2 teaspoon mustard (optional)

250g grains (such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet) if making chilli, dried or fresh gluten-free pasta to serve 2 (about 200g) if making bolognese, or gluten-free corn tortilla wraps, tacos or nachos if making either of those

+ You could also serve this as a burrito or in tacos.

Method

Start by dicing the tempeh (or tofu) into tiny pieces, crumbling the pieces in your fingers until it resembles a minced meat texture. Next, chop the onion and crush the garlic.

Heat the oil in pan and then add the onion, garlic and chopped tempeh. Sear over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, nutritional yeast, fresh coriander, tamari, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, oregano, chilli and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave (ideally with a lid on) to simmer (for roughly 20-30 minutes), whilst you prepare your grains (if making chilli), pasta (if making bolognese), tortilla wraps or tacos. Cook according to packet instructions. (For unpackaged grains, cook 1 cup grain to 2 cups water, bringing water to the boil and then reducing to a simmer and cooking covered with a lid until all liquid has been absorbed. If using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine. Add the spinach just before removing the sauce from the heat, and stir it through until wilted.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the grains or pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate. If using tortilla wraps or tacos, you know what to do.

If serving with grains, serve with extra fresh herbs (coriander, as used above), creme fraiche (or vegan alternative) and cheese or vegan cheese. If serving with pasta, top with extra fresh herbs (basil as used above), and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast). If making burritos or tacos, serve with extra fillings, such as rice, sautéed vegetables, creme fraiche (or vegan alternative), and cheese or vegan cheese.

Mushroom & Lentil ‘Mince’, for Chilli or Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

500g medium-large tomatoes
2 red peppers (preferably the long ones, known as Marconi)
450g mushrooms (button, chestnut or portobello)
1/2 white onion
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
100g puy, beluga or green lentils (preferably uncooked, and soaked for a couple of hours)
50g uncooked quinoa (optional)
250ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 bay leaves
1-2 teaspoons cocoa / cacao powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons mustard (optional)
30g black or green olives - chopped (optional)
1-2 handfuls spinach

250g grains (such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet) if making chilli, dried or fresh gluten-free pasta to serve 2 (about 200g) if making bolognese, or gluten-free corn tortilla wraps, tacos or nachos if making either of those

Method

Start by chopping the tomatoes and red peppers into roughly 2 inch pieces. Dice the onion and crush the garlic, and then finely dice the mushrooms, into tiny cube-like pieces. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions and garlic begin to brown and the mushrooms soften.

Next, add the lentils and quinoa and continue to sauté for a further 5-10 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock, tomato puree, nutritional yeast, bay leaves, cocoa powder and salt and pepper, to taste. If using, add the mustard and olives now, too. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and leave to simmer (for roughly 20-30 minutes), whilst you prepare your grains (if making chilli), pasta (if making bolognese), tortilla wraps or tacos. Cook according to packet instructions. (For unpackaged grains, cook 1 cup grain to 2 cups water, bringing water to the boil and then reducing to a simmer and cooking covered with a lid until all liquid has been absorbed. If using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine. Add the spinach just before removing the sauce from the heat, and stir it through until wilted.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the grains or pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate. If using tortilla wraps or tacos, you know what to do.

If serving with grains, serve with extra fresh herbs (coriander, as used above), creme fraiche (or vegan alternative) and cheese or vegan cheese. If serving with pasta, top with extra fresh herbs (basil as used above), and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast). If making burritos or tacos, serve with extra fillings, such as rice, sautéed vegetables, creme fraiche (or vegan alternative), and cheese or vegan cheese.

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Green Spinach & Broccoli Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

120g broccoli, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach
150ml water or vegetable stock
50g extra broccoli, diced
200g mushrooms (button, chestnut or portobello) (or green lentils)
100g firm tofu
1 onion
1 garlic clove
5 tbs olive oil
Handful fresh basil
1 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh or dried gluten-free pasta of choice, for two (about 200g)

Method

Start by bringing a small saucepan of water to the boil. Chop the 120g of broccoli and add to the pan, along with both handfuls of spinach. Boil for 5 -10 minutes, until soft, then drain and transfer to a blender. Add the water or vegetable stock and blend on a high speed, until smooth. If too thick or paste-like, add another 50ml liquid. Leave in the blender whilst you prepare the other ingredients.

Dice the remaining 50g broccoli as finely as possible. Finely dice the mushrooms into tiny cube-like pieces, and do the same with the tofu, crumbling the tofu pieces in your fingers until it resembles a minced meat texture. Finally, chop the onion and crush the garlic.

Next, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, diced broccoli, mushrooms and tofu and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms soften and the onion and garlic begin to brown. Next, add the fresh basil, dried oregano, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave (ideally with a lid on) to simmer whilst you prepare the pasta (for roughly 20-30 minutes). Cook according to packet instructions or if using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate.

Top with extra basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast).


Since there’s a lot of information and a lot of options here, feel free to leave any questions in the comments below! Enjoy!

Simple Lifestyle Hacks for Surviving the Winter ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Beauty, Autumn, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Winter, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments
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WITH WINTER IN FULL SWING, THE DAYS ARE SHORTER, DARKER AND HARSHER, YET OFTEN WE FORGET TO TAKE THE TIME TO ADAPT OUR LIFESTYLES IN ORDER TO SURVIVE THEM. LONDON-BASED NUTRITIONIST DANIELLE COPPERMAN SHOWS US HOW.

Whilst we take care to brace ourselves for the freezing conditions (think more layers, bigger boots and larger coats), too often we forget to consider the areas of our lives impacted by the cooler weather other than our wardrobes. Instead, we carry on our lives as much as normal, trying to power through and forcing ourselves to continue our usual lifestyles whilst enduring winter’s side effects (such as low energy, low moods, low motivation, skin issues and much more).

For me personally, when the seasons change (and especially during the shift from summer to autumn/winter), I try to make small changes to all areas of my life to help me continue to thrive.

I find that I naturally begin to crave more seasonal foods (which I believe, if we are tuned in to listen to our bodies, is in our innate nature) and honour these cravings;

  • Swap out a few of my daily beauty products

  • Incorporate new rituals such as self-massage and natural movement (even if exercise is the last thing that I feel like doing!)

  • Make space for little moments to pause, take a breather and tune in to acknowledge and honour my energy at least once or twice a week – especially if there’s a lot going on in my life socially or with work. Sometimes, it’s important to learn how to say ‘no’ and the winter is a wonderful excuse for this, so use it!

These little life hacks make a big difference in my life.

Struggling to find the mojo to make it through to the summer with as much energy, inspiration, motivation and positivity as possible?

Try these life hacks and watch your mood improve (you’ll also benefit from supported physiological functions, a thriving immune system and vibrant, hydrated skin – bonus!)

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR CRAVINGS ARE TELLING YOU

We have cravings for a reason and our cravings speak to changes in our activity level, physiological responses and environments.

We crave carbs when we’ve worked out or run or walked for miles. We crave sugar if our blood sugar levels are dipping too low. We crave salt if our blood sugar levels are too high. 

Similarly, at different times of the year and in different climates, we need different things from our food, and nature knows that. It prepares itself for the ingredients that our bodies really need to flourish, and in winter, these foods are usually ones that keep our immune systems strong and keep our energy levels high. They’re also usually warming and grounding.

At the beginning of the year, my seasonal cravings usually include Brussels sprouts, apples, cabbage, chestnuts, mushrooms, dark leafy greens, earthy roots (like carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and beets), blood oranges and grains (like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat).

I tend to prepare more cooked meals during these colder months as they are easier on our digestion, warm us internally and support circulation. I also try to incorporate apples or citrus fruits into most of my days too, for their abundance of vitamins to protect against viruses.

I also ramp up my adaptogen game during the colder months and add in some new ingredients to replace those I need during the summertime. Adaptogens, herbs and spices play a major part in my daily diet and I find the easiest way to use them is in smoothies or stirred through hot or cold water or plant-based milks. During the winter, I love the SUPER ELIXIR with cacao, mucuna puriens, ashwaganda, cordyceps, reishi, shilajit and maca that really do wonders to keep my energy levels and moods high (as well as keeping those dreaded winter illnesses at bay).

NOURISH YOUR SKIN

My skin always suffers during this time of year and becomes incredibly dry, fragile and sensitive, so I always make sure to switch my lighter and usually water-based summertime products with denser and oil-based products. I also exfoliate less (and use more gentle products when I do) and cleanse as usual. 

Once a month, I also do a steam with essential oils and throughout the season, I use all-natural, organic products made with whole ingredients (without nasty additives or chemicals) and most importantly, lots of natural oils (such as coconut, almond, shea, cacao and essential oils).

If you suffer from dry skin, I’d highly recommend using more oil-based products - or even just pure carrier oils - as they are gentler on the skin whilst providing rehydration and bringing balance back to your complexion. Many people falsely believe that oils will make their skin greasier and blemish prone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to being nourishing, these natural oils are often antibacterial and antiviral too and as such, keep skin clean.

STEP UP YOUR DAILY MOVEMENT

During the winter, one of the most important rituals to incorporate into your routine (at least a few times a week, if not daily!) is movement. It’s so important to keep things moving and keep your circulation in check with supported blood flow and oxygen intake. If you can’t bring yourself to work out or if it’s just too cold for a run, try to walk places as much as you can. Walking is enough to get your heart rate up so it’s a great option for those who struggle with finding the time or motivation for more strenuous activity during winter.  

It’s super important to find ways to move that are still gentle and not too stress-inducing, as this is a time when most other animals are hibernating… and to some extent, we should be too. But it’s important for us, as we continue to go about modern life and our daily responsibilities, to keep things moving. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for it!

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

Other rituals I like to practice during the winter and particularly at the beginning of the year in January include setting intentions and journaling. This really helps me to reflect on my achievements from the year, focus on what I have and note what I am grateful for – as well as helping me map out my goals for the year ahead.

I also like to use tarot cards or oracle cards if I’m feeling particularly lost, stuck or unmotivated in life. These cards can help to give you a sign, a message or just a nudge in the right direction, and you don’t have to be a pro tarot reader to use them. It works by simply putting your energy into the deck of cards and asking them questions on things you want to know or need some clarity or guidance on. I love this practice and even if it seems a bit ‘woo woo’, if nothing else it helps you to become present and grounded and always gives positive and inspiring information.

BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH THE COLD

This one’s going to hurt, but it’s actually really good for us - mentally and physically - to be exposed to the cold… not for a long time, perhaps, but for short intervals.

That’s why during this time of year, I try to take interval showers a few times a month, which means standing under cold water for 1 minute then returning it to warm water and repeating a few times. It’s like cryotherapy in your own home.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is of course super beneficial to be warm too, and so I’d suggest saunas or steam rooms to be incorporated into your rituals, at least once a month if you can.

When I’m in Sweden visiting my boyfriend, there are places you can go to jump naked into an iced-over lake, and then run quickly (with a robe of course) into a sauna nearby. It’s so invigorating, revitalising and energising and is a wonderful way to move energy, shift blockages and keep your metabolism active.

Danielle Copperman is a qualified nutritionist, food writer and chef based in London. She is also the founder of QNOLA. You can also find Danielle’s book, Well Being, on Amazon.

How to Boost Your Immunity This Fall ~ for Glasshouse Journal

Commisions, Winter, Wellbeing, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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Earlier this winter, I shared my winter wellness tips with Glasshouse Salon - one of my favourite natural / organic hairdressers and beauty salon. Find out how I keep well during the colder, darker months, below.

What do you do during the colder months to boost your immune system? Do you incorporate different things that you might not use during the spring/summer?

Yes, totally. Naturally, my body craves different kinds of foods this time of year. I never used to pay much attention to it but as I become more aware of locally seasonal foods, its super interesting to notice how my preferences adapt. I don't know if its tradition and comfort as the temperatures drop, but i start to crave more root vegetables, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, spices, curries, soups and broths, as well as tea on tap. So in that sense, i incorporate different ingredients into my diet and cook very different (more hearty and grounding, but also energising) meals. I also take more supplements (like vitamin D, 5 HTP, multivitamins, omega fish oils, zinc, copper, probiotics - depending on how I'm feeling) to support my body's natural immune response. And i continue to drink lots of liquids - lemon and ginger, water, charcoal in water, spirulina in water, greens powders and more. I think the more antioxidants the better. It's also useful to know that sometimes, depending on the type of illness (cold/flu or sore throat or headache) will depend on which remedies work for you. Last christmas my sisters and I were all ill with sore throats (it often happens when we fully surrender and relax and our bodies just shut down!), and we were chugging ginger tea like there was no tomorrow. but it was actually aggravating our throats more. So don't just follow what you read. Do some research and use more gentle herbs, rituals and rest whenever you feel the onset of any ailment.

In terms of beauty, I change up my routine slightly as things like colder, drier weather, heating, wearing layers and more viruses in the air tend to aggravate it. I stick to the same fundamentals mostly, as i find my skin gets confused if i change my products too often - and if your regular products are natural and pure enough, they should have a variety of adaptable properties and functions that can provide for all kinds of situations, skin-types and seasons. But I will stop cleansing my face too much with water-based products (as they are more drying), and I tend to use much genteel exfoliation processes, and much fewer masks (changing to sheet masks which I find more hydrating and moisturising). I like to let the natural oils of my face stay as balanced as possible and so i try not to over-wash. I think we over-wash so much these days, that our skins normal and natural PH, oil levels and immunity gets out of whack. If you wash your face less I find the skin is trained and more prepared to cope with bacteria and dirt, as the oils of the skin are our natural protection against these things. It's only really when you've been wearing make up that you need to cleanse thoroughly. A parting note would be not to be scared or sceptical of oils, as i think many people assume they will make the skin oilier. i wear an oil to bed almost every night, and as long as your diet is in check and you are drinking plenty of water, you won't find that natural oils contribute to blemishes or clogged pores like you think they will. what clogs pores is dirt, not powerful and functional ingredients from the earth. Oils are full of essential fats (for cell growth, elasticity and renewal), as well as antioxidants and are antiviral, antibacterial and much more. I use oils as my body moisturiser too, and dry brush to encourage circulation, lymphatic drainage and to remove dead skin.

Rituals I use to elevate my immune system include yoga, movement and pranayama. Pranayama can be really cleansing for the organs and also ensure that breathing is regulated and youre sending enough oxygen around the body for vital functions. I also find movement is vital in order to keep the body feeling alive and active. I use meditation and pranayama to enhance my energy levels this time of year too, as well as yoga and other exercise. I do tapping and shaking (both rituals from my book, Well Being) in the mornings to encourage circulation, to reduce muscle tension and to warm up the body. Hot baths are great when it gets colder, as they regulate temperature. Better more, use a potent mineral-based bath soak to restore essential vitamins and hydrate. I also turn to massage more in the colder months, as the drop in temperature can lead to aching or tight joints, muscle tension and poor circulation. I have the worst circulation and am a cold person most of the year, so in the winter i get really cold hands and feet and my fingers occasionally go completely numb and lose their colour. I use oils on my body to give myself regular massages (especially on my hands, legs and face), to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage.

I truly believe that illnesses are an indication of a much deeper emotional / mental / energetic / chakral issue. There is so much to learn in this area and it sounds pretty woo woo but it makes perfect sense to me. When I'm anxious or stressed, I always reach burnout and my body just shuts down to show me that i'm trying to make it operate at a pace that isn't normal, and to really force me to stop. When i recently felt super low-confidence, fearful and a little uncertain, I had a sore throat and my chest was tighter than ever. I went to an energy healer and she told me sore throat was associated with not speaking your truth and intense worry. And in the past I have had migraines when i've been too in my own head with thoughts and not living in the present moment. The body is so clever, so if you do feel something coming on, take time to pause and really tune in. Then the real healing can begin. It may not always be something that can be healed with food, supplements or rituals. Although, often at this time of year, illnesses are virus or bacteria based (especially in over-crowded cities), so sometimes its unavoidable and nothing personal at all! Just be aware and then you'll find what you need.

Festive Favourites ~ Archived Recipes from Over the Years

Recipe, Autumn, Winterdanielle coppermanComment

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.

Ginger Biscuits with Raw Chocolate and Clementine Pieces

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Winterdanielle copperman1 Comment

I improvised with this recipe in desperation the day before an event I hosted last weekend, and thank god they turned out to be a huge win. I always loved gingernut biscuits as a child, and so it is with great pleasure that I present to you this healthier and all-natural variation, which, IMO, is better than the shop-bought ones I used to crave.

These biscuits are so crunchy and bake to perfection, and unlike most processed biscuits are a) only gently sweet (and only sweetened with natural and nutrient-rich sweeteners) and b) gluten-free and c) made with only 5 main ingredients, and absolutely no additives / flavourings / preservatives or anything else funky you wouldn’t recognise.

I personally love the ginger, but you could also leave the ginger out and / or swap for other spices (such as cinnamon, vanilla or cardamom).

Components

For the biscuit

200g gluten free oat flour (gluten-free oats ground in a food processor until they resemble a fine flour consistency)
50g coconut sugar
60g coconut oil
50ml natural syrup (like date syrup, coconut blossom nectar, maple syrup or organic / raw honey)
Pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons ground ginger (to taste)

For the chocolate layer

100g cacao butter (a combination of part cacao butter, part coconut oil will also work)
Pinch of sea salt
40g cacao powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or natural syrup (see above for options)

To top (optional)
Crushed hazelnuts or other nuts
Halved or full clementine segments (or other fresh or dried fruits)

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c.

Start by making the biscuit. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor until they form a crumbly dough. The mixture should stick together compactly when pressed with the back of a spoon or spatula, or when squeezed between your fingers.

Tip the mixture out onto a flat baking tray. You can grease the tray with a little coconut oil, but I didn’t feel the need to, and the biscuits didn’t stick. Spread the mixture out evenly across the baking tray and then press down with the palm of your hands, your fingers and fists - whatever works for you. The aim is to make the mixture completely compact, pressing it together and spreading it evenly to about 0.5mm in thickness. Pat the mixture and bring the sides in as much as possible, then when the mixture is as flat, even and compact as you can get it, use a sharp knife to gently slice off the edges (which will look slightly uneven and loose) to make them clean-cut and straight.

Next, use the same knife to gently score the mixture into biscuit shapes. I use the knife to make small rectangle shapes, but you could make squares or other shapes, or use a cookie cutter if you’d prefer. Ensure the knife cuts through to meet the baking tray rather than just lightly scoring the mixture, as this will make it much easier to break the cookies apart when they have baked.

Place inside the pre-heated oven and bake for 12-20 minutes. The baking time will depend on the thickness of your biscuits. Just keep an eye on them after 10-12 minutes, and if they still feel a little soft, leave them baking for a little longer. The edges should begin to brown slightly. If you aren’t sure if the biscuits are done, try to break an edge piece off and leave it to cool for a few minutes before testing. It should be crisp and crunchy, and ideally not chewy - unless you prefer them a little chewy in which case, remove from the oven slightly earlier.

When you are happy with the baked texture, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully breaking the biscuits apart along the lines / cutter shapes you made before baking.

Set aside on a cooling rack to cool whilst you prepare the chocolate.

To make the chocolate, fill a small saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pan (creating a double boiler), then add the cacao butter and salt.

Once the cacao butter has melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder. Add your natural sweetener and whisk again, until combined.

Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes ideally, and then, one by one, dip the biscuits into the chocolate, on one of the flat sides only. Place immediately in the freezer on a tray or plate, and repeat until each biscuit as been dipped. After about 5-10 minutes in the freezer, double dip, to get a thicker layer of chocolate. This time, before placing in the freezer to set, sprinkle with your crushed nuts and fruit - if using. Then, this time, place in the fridge in an airtight container to set and store them hear until ready to eat (you can also store at room temperature but the chocolate may soften a little, depending on the temperature of the surrounding area).

Updated Mince Pies

Autumn, Recipe, Sweets + Desserts, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment
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For someone who doesn't usually like mince pies, I ended up eating 3 of these for breakfast the day after I made them. The pastry - which is free from gluten, dairy and refined sugars, and made from all-natural, nourishing ingredients - is the perfect texture; not too crumbly; not too sweet; just doughy enough; and with the perfect amount of crunch. The filling - which is also free from gluten, dairy and refined sugars, and made from all-natural, nourishing ingredients - is also much more flavoursome and juicy than other shop-bought mince pies i've tried. I add superfoods such as blueberries and goji berries to mine, which bring a unique flavour and also additional nutrients. The apricots and dates add a really rich flavour, and mean you don’t need to add extra sugar or sweetener to the filling mixture. Combined with the natural citrus juices and spices, it’s an unbeatable combination.

Granted, its easier and often more appealing to buy mince pies from the shops, and these do take a little time and effort to make, but isn't that what Christmas is all about? Taking time, taking care and enjoying the process of each stage of preparation. It's tradition, after all! But, hey, I hear ya. Theres always enough to do, so to avoid having too much on your plate (so to speak), I'd suggest preparing these a few days (or weeks - as they freeze well) before the festivities begin, to reduce stress and take the pressure off. I'd also suggest getting children involved too, as they will love getting creative and helping.

Components

Makes 12

For the Crust

250g Buckwheat Flour
50g Ground Almonds
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temperature
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
5-6Tablespoons Honey, Date Syrup, Maple Syrup or other natural sweetener of choice
1 Egg

For the Filling

4 dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, paste or powder
6 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 medium apple, chopped
100g blueberries
30g goji berries (optional)
The juice of half a fresh orange (and zest, if desired)
1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon grated fresh or ground ginger
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
60ml water
1 teaspoon maca or ginseng (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c.

Grease a muffin tin with a light coating of coconut oil.

For the crust, place all of the ingredients -but only half of the flour - into a food processor. Blend to combine, until the ingredients form a crumb-like texture then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining flour and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. Add a little more flour if the mixture seems too sticky, and add a little more syrup if it seems too dry.

Knead the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is about 3mm thick (I do this in 2 stages, using half of the dough at a time). As you roll, gently apply pressing, pressing down onto the dough as you roll it. This ill help to ensure the dough stays together and compact and doesn’t crumble or separate.

Next, use a round cookie cutter to cut out individual crusts, and use a thin spatula to lift the dough discs if they stick to the surface. Lay each circle into each section of the greased muffin tin. Leave the leftover dough for the lids.

Bake for 8 minutes until the crusts begin to brown, but aren’t cooked through. Whilst they cook, prepare the filling.

For the filling, simply place all of the ingredients apart from the chia seeds into a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to a gently boil, stirring constantly. As the blueberries soften, burst them with the back of a wooden spoon and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the fruit (particularly the apple) has completely softened. Add the chia seeds just before you take the mixture off of the heat. Leave the mixture to cool slightly and allow a few minutes for the chia seeds to swell and absorb some of the flavour.

Take about a tablespoon of the mixtures and fill each pre-baked crust.

Roll out the remainder of your dough and use either the same round cookie cutter or a more fun, festive one (like a star, a Christmas tree or holly leaves). Take each shape and arrange it on top of the mince mixture. If using another circle, I like to seal them by pressing a fork around the edges to connect them to the crusts. But if using a shape, you can just rest it on top of the fruit mixture.

* At this stage, you can use 1 egg, whisked, to brush on the pie tops. This gives them a more glossy finish.

Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the pastry turns a golden brown.

To serve, dust with buckwheat flour or desiccated coconut (or icing sugar if you prefer a sweeter option), and serve with coconut cream, runny almond cream and with an extra dollop of the fruit filling if you had some left over.

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Surviving Autumn

Autumn, Rituals, Winter, Essentialsdanielle copperman2 Comments
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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 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!

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.