WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

RECIPE

HIGH VIBE HYDRATION . FUNCTIONAL QUINOA HOT CHOCOLATE W/ ADAPTOGENS

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

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS

Serves 3

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

ELEVATE IT

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

METHOD

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

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

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

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

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

 

SIMPLE SWEET POTATO CANAPES

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS

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

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

ELEVATE IT

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

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

METHOD

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

WHITE BEAN CREAM CHEESE

INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD

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

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

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

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

SYRIAN-INSPIRED ROSE WATER, HONEY, PISTACHIO, COCONUT, LINSEED AND BUCKWHEAT NOLA

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Paleo, Gluten free, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

I'm not the first person to point out that I have a thing or two for breakfast. Not just the act of eating in the morning, but breakfast things. All the breakfast things. So, when I was asked to develop a collection of recipes in support of Unicef Next Generation's #cookforsyria campaign, I thought of coming at it from two angles. The first being a general food angle, which would have been a natural progression for most people, and the second being a breakfast angle, an angle only a breakfast brand owner would generally let lead her decision making. Owning a breakfast brand and running a general food blog, I often come from both angles when making most decisions these days. I wanted to create something new and interesting for my blog here, but also wanted to bring Syrian to a more traditionally Westernised concept. Breakfast, and more specifically, granola. In Syria, breakfast is more commonly a spread of savoury foods such as cold meats, cheeses and spice-rich vegetable sides and dips. They havn't been quite as brainwashed over there as we have in terms of cereals being an essential part of a nourishing breakfast. They keep it simple and they aren't afraid of eating something they'd usually enjoy for dinner first thing the next morning too.

Never the less, cereals are easy, once made, and make for instant and effortless breakfast which I'm aware a lot of us need, a lot of the time. Would be nice to enjoy a Middle Eastern feast before work but that's just not something we can all make time for, so instead... If Syrian Cereal was a thing, I think this would be it. The whole situation is like a fresh, crunchy rose garden in a bowl. Disclaimer: it's less painful and thorny than it sounds, promise. It's safe for everyone, and due to the lack of oats and other stuff, that includes people with paleo, vegan and ceoliac dietary restrictions.

This recipe is sweetened lightly with honey - a popular ingredient in Syrian desserts - and is flavoured naturally with pure, refreshing rose water which is available from most health food stores. Pine nuts feature in a lot of Syrian dishes, most commonly savoury ones, but I wanted to incorporate them for added crunch and for the unique creamy, nutty flavour you just don't get from other nuts. Pistachios are popular in most Middle Eastern recipes, and as well as adding extra bite to this recipe, they make it look pretty good too IMO.

INGREDIENTS

35g honey or other alternative natural sweetener
12g rose water
30g coconut oil
6g vanilla extract / paste / powder or fresh seeds
45g pistachio nuts, sliced in half
50g pine nuts
40g desiccated coconut
60g untoasted coconut flakes
35g sunflower seeds
20g golden linseeds
2 teaspoons chia seeds
20g raw buckwheat
25g flaked almonds
2g himalayan pink salt

ELEVATE IT

1 Teaspoon maca powder
1 Teaspoon chaga powder
1 Teaspoon ground cardamom
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 150c.

Start by measuring the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Then add the remainging ingredients and stir vigorously to ensure all dry ingredients are coated. The mixture won't clump together like oat granola but if coated properly, it will form subtle clusters once baked. Season to taste and add any herbs or spices to the mixture, but if the using superfoods and adaptogens like maca and chaga, add these after the cooking process to retain the most of their benefits.

Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 20 mins, stirring gently after 10 minutes as the edges tend to cook more quickly.

+ Store at room temperature.


#CookForSyria is a nation-wide fundraising initiative curated by Clerkenwell Boy and SUITCASE Magazine. The month-long campaign focused around Syrian cuisine will encourage everyone from the UK’s top chefs to people at home to cook and raise money in aid of UNICEF’s Syria Relief fund via Next Generation London (UNICEF’s youth branch). This month, we're supporting the cause and raising awareness by developing and promoting a collection of exclusive recipes inspired by traditional Syrian ingredients.

If you make this, be sure to tag us and the organisations involved, and use #cookforsyria in your captions. You can also donate to the cause here.