WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

SUMMER

Well Being Around the World - Obonjan Island, Croatia

Travel, Lifestyle, Around the Worlddanielle coppermanComment

This summer arrived pretty slowly and disappeared pretty quickly. Last summer, I travelled around cuba, mexico, belize and guatemala with my oldest friend, which, as you can imagine, took quite some planning. But this year, I allowed the summer to unfold naturally, making no plans whatsoever, apart from to go with the flow (said the free-spirit traveller in me).

This worked out well for me, because running my own business causes me enough stress as it is, and I didn't want the pressure of making summer plans to add to this. I love going with the flow. It is so much more fun to see what experiences and oppertunities unfold. I truly, truly believe that over-planning kills magic, and that to a certain extent, the universe has its plans for you. And luckily for me, this summer the Universe made plans for me on the Croatian island of Obonjan. So I abided.

I arrived on Obonjan island towards the end of the season (Aug - Sept), having been asked to develop an island flavour of Qnola to help the visitors and guests to Wake Up Well throughout the season. Qnola Obonjan involed a base of vanilla and maca infused organic quinoa, mildly sweetened with coconut palm sugar and enhanced with dried lavender - a native herb of Croatia and a healing addition to support the body and sooth the mind. I also contributed to the schedule and hosted some Mindful Morning events throughout my time there. We held our first gathering in the woods with Pip Roberts, where we led our guests through a centring meditation exercise, before sharing our morning regimes, techniques and other offerings specific to waking up well away from home. The entire circle opened up and we connected and learned from each other as everyone offered an insight to their own rituals.

For the rest of our time on obonjan, we genuinely just. relaxed. The qnola was already produced and sitting happy in the shop, so after ensuring that each morning was mindful, we spent the rest of our days sunbathing, eating fresh, hand made food and stargazing to our hearts content.

Scenery
From split or zadar, you take a water taxi or a shuttle boat from sibinek (check out SHE whilst you’re there), and as you pull up to the island you are greeted by serene looking wicker umbrellas, lined up as if they’ve been waiting just for your arrival. As the island is only newly inhabited, it hasn’t been built up too much, so the umbrellas stand almost alone, decorating the check-in area and an ocean-facing bar and shading prime sunbathing spots in the form of rock faces and decking.

After check in and leaving your bags for someone else to deal with, you wander through the island into calm, cool woodland; home to 2-man tents and 4-man tipi-style lodges (complete with a private bathroom and a balcony - in our case, overlooking the ocean). The accommodation is idyllic. It’s quiet and away from most of the motion, its spacious and its impeccably clean.

Adventuring further into the island, you come across the huge pool (filled freshly each morning with ocean water), multiple beaches, artistic music stages and dreamy dirt track dance floors and a selection of unique eateries.

Day Time
During the day - for those rested enough to wake up - the schedule offers meditation, yoga classes, creative and spiritual workshops and the opportunity to book a slot with the islands masseuses, reiki experts, and more. Yoga and meditation is held in different places most days, dependant on the weather and amount of people attending. From the bark of the woodland, to stone semi circles, each place is unique and special in its own way, and each is, of course, quiet and calm. We enjoyed sunrise yoga overlooking the ocean most mornings, soothed by the sounds and the rhythm of the waves, and welcoming the occasional splash. The Green Bar is the perfect place to refresh after a class or just a heavy night (serving fresh smoothies, chia seed pudding, herbal teas, avocado toast and salads), and then, there’s little more to do than eat, drink and sunbathe - oh shame. Dj’s are on a chilled vibe most of the day, providing the perfect soundtrack to whatever you have the energy to do. If you don’t like chilling, this place is not for you, and i also think you are weird, but that’s ok/just my opinion.

Evening Time
Later on, the music transitions accordingly and live acts come into play on a few of the main bars and scenic stages. Sunset yoga is a must, even if you dont do or like yoga, go and watch those who stand silhouetted in warrior 1 and the sun paints the sky (and the sea) pinks, oranges and purples. Late Lunch at Bok, dinner at The Kitchen or a pizza from Pavillion Pizza are options if you don’t fancy a floor feast in your tent, and some of the islands cocktail specialities (from Drift, The Pool Bar or Forest Bar) wash all of the above down nicely. Before, after or during the music - depending on your vibe - its nice to take a stroll to the edge of the island to find astrologers with their telescopes, eager to share their knowledge of the constellations, and stun you with a close up of the Moon and nearby planets.

Conveniences
The food on the island is amazing. It's good quality, locally sourced and fresh. So local, in fact, that if the boats can't get out or the rish can't be caught, you will experience shortages. The island has a few stores, including the SLC concept store (selling summerwear, souvenirs and spiritual offerings) and a small grocery store (selling local necessities, picnic essentials and, ofc, Qnola). There are fridges in the accomodation, so I'd recommend bringing a few things in from the boat port if you're prone to getting hangry.

Obonjan is a magical place. The island, until now, has been completely uninhabited and untouched. As soon as you arrive on the island, your mind slows down and your mood adapts to the serene surroundings and the other islanders. The energy on the island is so balanced and everyone connects somehow - if not at sunrise yoga then most probably later on at the Forest Bar. The island is small, and there is not a lot to do other than stretch, meditate and just be. But in a place where everyone else is just being, it makes the concept of checking emails or even opening your laptop totally bizzare. Obonjan is all about letting go and exploring the other special people sharing the island with you at the time. Despite live music, buzzing bars and quite possible a few hangovers, it's not really a festival at all.

AEVIRYONE NEEDS AN AEVI BOX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CARAMELISED COURGETTE, PEA, MINT AND MACADAMIA DIP

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

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

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

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

INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD

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

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

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

 

SIMPLE AVOCADO, ALMOND AND COCONUT GELATO

Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Eating Ice cream, for me, is usually a spoon in tub kind of activity, which is why you wont find an ice cream scoop in my kitchen. Pointless waste of space or what? A spoons a spoon and if scooping is all that needs doing, I think my current collection has all angles covered. Well actually, today I swayed more towards the ‘or what’ part of that sentence. It would have been nicer, neater and easier for me to get across the beauty of this simple, no-churn, no-ice-cream-maker ice cream with the help of an ice cream scoop. But, by default, I’ve accidentally proven that this ice cream - as well as being achievable without an ice cream maker (who actually owns one), and without dairy or refined sugar - is also achievable without an ice cream scoop. This is probably not very exciting for you because, I realise, for most people, the presence of an ice cream scoop in the cutlery drawer is not a big deal. But I’m basically making an excuse for my shoddy food styling, so just go with it, yh. It's Christmas after all. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Ripe Avocados
¼ Cup Almond or Coconut Milk (or alternative plant based milk)
6 Heaped Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste / Extract / Powder / Seeds
1 Tablespoon Raw Honey / Coconut Palm Sugar / Agave / 2 Medjool Dates
2 Tablespoons Flaked Almonds
2 Tablespoons Hulled Hemp Seeds

Optional
2 Tablespoons Strong Coffee or 1 Teaspoon Coffee Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Chicory Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Medicinal Mushroom Powder (Reishi / Shilajit / Chaga)
Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
Handful Fresh Mint Leaves and Cacao Nibs or Chunks of Raw Chocolate

METHOD

Simply blend all the ingredients except for the flaked almonds and hemp seeds in a high speed blender or food processor. If you are adding the optional flavourings, add them now too - apart from the cacao nibs or raw chocolate, which should be stirred gently through the main mixture before freezing. Blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes until the blender runs consistently and smoothly on its highest speed. Taste, and add a little more sweetener, salt or flavourings to suit your tastes. Transfer to a deep container, bowl or a bread tin. Stir in the cacao nibs or chocolate, if using, or your choice of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butter, berries or compotes (to create a raspberry ripple kind of taste sensation). You can enjoy instantly as it is, as a pudding / mousse / yoghurt kind of dessert, or freeze for around 4 hours (depending on the depth of your tin) or overnight to turn it into a rich, creamy ice cream. 
This recipe doesn’t require an ice cream maker as previously stated, which means the texture can be a little tricky to work with, and serving the ice cream requires organisation and a little patience. Remove from the freezer 1 hour before you wish to serve. Let it thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes, and then leave to thaw gradually in the fridge for 40 minutes. When ready to serve, simply scoop single portions into bowls and top with the flaked almonds and hemp seeds, to add protein and healthy fats, as well as texture and sprinkle-like excitement.

WASTE NOT | STRAWBERRY TOPS

Summer, Recipe, Lifestyle, Drinksdanielle coppermanComment

As I sit and write this in the Bath countryside in which I grew up, I feel content. And - whilst I'm at it - I feel wildly grateful. I'm letting it be. Whatever it is. Sure, there are things I would change - like being able to tan the lower half of my left arm instead of sitting uncomfortably with it in a cast, in which it is gradually overheating. But you know what? That's all part of the plan. Being one arm less recently has, again, made me feel grateful. Not only for being blessed with two arms usually, but also for the people around me who've constantly been there to (laugh at and graffiti me) support me. They're good guys, really.

With all of my belongings sat in boxes in my parents garage, in the past 2 months I've learned that I feel most free and most grateful without any of them. It's funny how little you need, and how simple and uncluttered life becomes when you remove everything you've spent you're life collecting. You begin to appreciate anything you do have, which is pretty much where the whole idea of mindfulness comes from. Instead of focussing on what you don't have, what you want and what you wish for, you focus on what you do have, and over time none of the other stuff matters. 

Anyway, what have strawberry tops got to do with this? Making the most of things, and appreciating the less significant things in life, that's wot. We all love a good strawberry, especially this time of year. But we are all too quick to dispose of the leafy greens that sit beautifully on top of them. I know. There is no need for them, and no one has any desire to eat that part. I know. But this doesn't mean they can't serve a purpose other than satisfying our tastebuds. They really can. You'll also notice how much of the actual strawberry you waste by beheading them. There is perfectly juicy, flavoursome flesh going to waste here. It's really not on.

Here's what to do:

+ Freeze your strawberry tops and use them as ice cubes
+ Freeze your strawberry tops and add them to your smoothies - the greens on them are just as edible as the greens you are used to. Make sure the strawberries are organic, and make sure you have washed them well.
+ Use your strawberry tops to infuse a glass or jug of water, or add them to your water bottle
+ Barbecue or grill your strawberry tops and top them with nut butter for a warm snack. If you don't want to eat the green leaves, they will fall apart from the strawberry flesh with ease as they become more tender during the cooking process.
+ Use them as decorations to top cakes, scones, cookies or cupcakes
+ Mash your strawberry tops in with whole berries to use if you are making Eton Mess. Make sure the strawberries are organic, and make sure you have washed them well.
+ Add them to soups to thicken the texture and also to add a little sweetness. I imagine this would work well in tomato, carrot, sweet potato, squash, spinach or broccoli based soups. Make sure the strawberries are organic, and make sure you have washed them well.

SILKY SMOOTH MANGO AND COCONUT FLESH YOGHURT

Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

This recipe is something special. I'll admit now that if its yoghurt you came for, you won't be satisfied with this post. This kind of yoghurt is no usual kind of yoghurt. It is creamier. It is tastier. It is dairy free. It is quick to make. It is easy to make. It is not a massive palaver to make. And it is D-licious. Unlike conventional homemade yoghurts, this recipe doesn't require a yoghurt making machine, nor does it demand that you sit, wait and watch for hours, monitoring and altering temperatures as the yoghurt develops the perfect live cultures and probiotics. Although these probiotics and doses of good bacteria are incredibly good for you and your gut, many processed, shop-bought yoghurts contain additives, chemicals, sugars, flavourings and emulsifiers. That is one reason why I prefer to make nut yoghurts instead. The other reason is because they taste almost too good to be true..

For anyone who is trying to cut dairy out of their diet, but who is bored of coconut yoghurt or fed up of nut milks, a nut-based yoghurt like this is the perfect option. Nut yoghurts are creamier, thicker and more fulfilling than normal yoghurts. I don't eat dairy because I personally feel more tired when I do, and notice a considerable difference in the condition of my skin too. This kind of yoghurt is high in protein and healthy fats, which means it keeps you feeling full of energy for longer, and also contributes to healthy cellular activity, skin, hair and nails. This recipe is incredibly quick, easy and stress and mess free. It makes a perfect breakfast either on its own or with toppings (see below for suggestions) and also makes a brilliant dessert, similar to a mousse or a cold custardy pudding. It requires only a few ingredients, and it is one of my favourite things to make if I have fruit that's on it's last legs. The riper the mango, the better this recipe will turn out as it blends much more smoothly and is generally juicier. You can also try using banana, stewed apple, normal or blood oranges or other fleshy fruits like melon, in place of the mango. You can even increase the quantity of liquid you use too, if you want to make more of a smoothie or pouring yoghurt for cereal or fruit. Go bloody nuts with it.

+ Retrieve the coconut flesh from the coconut the evening before, and soak the cashews whilst you sleep, so that when you wake up bleary eyed, you can leave the hard work to the blender.

+ Make a large batch and store it in the fridge for up to 1 week. This makes the perfect instant grab & go breakfast, and also travels well if you want to take it in a container to work.
 


INGREDIENTS
(makes 2 portions)

The Flesh from 1 Young Thai Coconut
1/2 Ripe Mango

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Fresh Vanilla Seeds
3 Tablespoons Coconut Water or Nut Milk
Pinch of Salt
1 Large Handful Soaked Cashew Nuts
1 Tablespoon Melted Coconut Oil


METHOD
 Simply place the cashews into your blender along with your liquid of choice, and blend on a high speed for 2 minutes. With the blender still running, gradually add the coconut oil. Add a little more coconut water or nut milk if the mixture needs help running smoothly, then chop the mango and scrape the flesh from around the stone and add to the blender, along with the remaining ingredients. Blend for a further 2-3 minutes, adding more liquid if you think it requires it (this really depends on how thick or runny you'd prefer the finished product).

Once smooth, pour into a bowl or some tuppaware/a jar to store in the fridge.  

+ Serve with poppy seeds, chia seeds, Qnola (Beetroot or Ginger create amazing flavours and add the perfect texture) chopped nuts, fresh berries or fruit (more coconut flesh or mango works well). 

HEALTHY COCONUT AND CASHEW CUSTARD DREAMS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman2 Comments

Healthy snacks are hard to come by. They are hard to find in cafes, even harder to find in supermarkets or convenience stores and seemingly hard to make yourself. It is for this reason the title of this post - healthy custard cream biscuits - probably seems like some kind of un-amusing joke. You've probably never felt less enthused or more hopeless about something in your life. However, having mastered several other gluten, dairy and refined sugar free shortbread recipes, you should feel comfortable in my hands. I've only made these biscuits three times. Once as an experiment, once again to share around my agency (IMG Models) during London Fashion Week, and then a final time on demand, requested by Laney Crowell, who flew all the way to London from New York just for one bite (and kind of to oversee a shoot; but mainly in pursuit of the custard cream close ups I'd teased her with on instagram a few weeks beforehand). She just needed them. And I may not know you well, but I do know you need them too.

The biscuits are one of my favourite things I've ever made. I almost wish they would develop some kind of flaw, as, when I make them, I can't stop eating them, and when they're gone, I can't stop thinking about them. The biscuit is completely gluten free, made with buckwheat flour and ground almonds (although you can leave the almonds out if you want to make a nut-free version). The filling is incredibly easy too, and made with cashew and coconut is full of healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids), protein, fibre and antioxidants. If you make one thing for guests or one thing for someone who refuses to believe healthy food can be delicious, make it a batch of coconut and cashew custard creams.

INGREDIENTS
Makes Roughly 45 Biscuits (20-25 finished biscuits using 2 either side of the filling)

180g Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon Tahini
50-60g Coconut Palm Sugar
4 Tablespoons Agave
Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Bean Paste or Fresh Vanilla Seeds from a Pod
200g Buckwheat Flour
4 Tablespoons Ground Almonds

FILLING
Makes enough for 45 Biscuits

1 Bar Creamed Coconut, melted
30g Raw Cashew Nuts (you can replace theses with another bar creamed coconut for a nut-free alternative)
3 Tablespoons Solid/Soft Coconut Oil 
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Seeds from a Fresh Pod
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk - optional
1 Teaspoon Coconut Sugar, Nectar, Agave, Date Paste or Raw Honey

METHOD

Lets start with the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 160c. Use a chunk of solid coconut oil to grease 2 flat baking trays.

I'll warn you now that the biscuit dough seems to hold together differently every time i make these. I think it depends on the heat of my hands, the moisture, the texture of the coconut oil and just generally how the dough is feeling. If it isn't cooperating, it can be quite frustrating. That said - every single time i have made these, they have worked impeccably.

Start by using an electric whisk to beat together the coconut oil and the coconut palm sugar. Make sure the coconut oil is soft not melted, and not rock hard. To soften it if it is too cold, place it in a plastic sandwich bag and wrap the bag in a flannel or towel soaked in hot water. Squeeze and massage the oil until it becomes slightly softer.

Once the oil and coconut sugar have come together into a light, fluffy mixture (it will be darker than the usual cake batter you are used to, due to the coconut palm sugar) add the salt, agave, tahini and vanilla before gradually adding the buckwheat flour and the ground almonds.

Continue to whisk and when the mixture becomes too doughy to whisk, use a wooden spoon or you hands to combine everything. Once all of the ingredients are coming together, use you hands to knead the dough slightly, and form into a large ball. Squeeze and massage the dough until it holds together nicely. If it is too dry or too crumbly, add a little more agave. If it is really too dry, add a tiny bit of extra coconut oil. If it is too oily, wet or sticky, add more buckwheat flour. For me, I notice that the biscuits cook best with more flour, however dry the mixture may seem. So try to keep the mixture quite dry, working it with your hands as much as possible to encourage it to bind. It may take a few minutes of kneading to get it to where it needs to be.

Leave aside for 10-20 minutes in a tightly squeezed ball. Don't place it in the fridge as the coconut oil will cause it to stiffen rapidly.

Lightly flour a dry surface and roll out half or a quarter of you dough at a time. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out, using a lot of pressure to encourage the dough to stick together, until it is no more than 4mm in depth. Use your cutter of choice (I use the lid from a jar of coffee which is more or less the perfect rectangular shape. You can also use a knife to cut out shapes, although this is rather laborious and time consuming).
+ Use a thin, sharp knife or a metal spatula to peel each biscuit off of the surface if it become stuck.

Place each raw biscuit onto your prepared baking tray. Place in the over for 10-15 minutes. This will depend on your dough (i.e: if you felt inclined to add more flour or more agave). Check the biscuits after 10 minutes, and then again after 12, as if they don't seem ready after 10 minutes, they can cook incredibly quickly. Although they taste perfectly fine a little over cooked, this isn't ideal.

Whilst the biscuits are cooking, make the cream filling. Keep an eye on the biscuits though, as, like i said, they can become overdone quite quickly. Place the bar of creamed coconut in a bowl or jug of boiling water. Make sure the plastic that it comes in isn't pierced or broken. Leave for 3-5 minutes to melt completely, and as the water cools enough to touch, massage the packet to help disperse the chunkier bits. 

Place the melted creamed coconut, raw cashew nuts, salt, vanilla, coconut milk, if using, and the coconut oil into a high speed blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes, starting on a low speed, and going to the highest. A tamper is really useful for getting the mixture going, if you have one. If it is not blending smoothly enough, add a little more coconut oil and/or coconut milk. Don't add melted coconut oil or water though as the mixture will separate.
+ Add a teaspoon of agave or coconut sugar to taste, if you have a sweeter tooth.

Scrape the cream into a bowl and set aside until the biscuits have cooked and cooled. Don't place it in the fridge as it will solidify and will be impossible to work with. Keep stirring the mixture whilst the biscuits cool.

Remove the biscuits from the oven when they begin to turn a golden brown. They will probably become darker than you imagined but this is normal. If they are still soft to touch, don't worry - they will become incredibly crunchy as they cool, so don't be tempted to put them back into the oven unless they are still really soft and pale.

Leave to cool before sandwiching the cashew coconut cream between them. Simply take a small teaspoonful of the cream and spread it gently onto the centre of one biscuit. Then place another biscuit on top, press the two together gently and place in the freezer to set.

Repeat until all of the biscuits have been used up, and place them all in the freezer to allow the centre to solidify slightly. You can enjoy them at room temperature too. 

+Store in the freezer or fridge in an airtight container.

+ Add ground or fresh grated ginger to the biscuit mixture for a Ginger Crunch Cream variation.
+ Add cacao to the biscuit dough for a Bourbon Biscuit or Oreo Variation
+ Add cacao and 1 tablespoons Agave to the cashew cream for a Bourbon Biscuit variation or just for a more chocolately treat in general.


BROCCOLI AND CELERIAC BRAZIL NUT SLAW

Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman2 Comments

An incredibly refreshing, vibrant side of seasonal ingredients combined with a creamy, dairy-free sauce high in healthy fats and plant-based protein. This slaw is amazing served alongside other salads, plain protein sources such as salmon or chicken, served with quinoa or vegetable burgers and falafels, or enjoyed as it is. A perfect condiment for picnics in the summer or to refresh a warming meal in the winter - experiment with using whichever vegetables are in season. Celeriac adds the perfect crunch to this slaw, but you can substitute it for cabbage, kohlrabi or courgette throughout the summer.

INGREDIENTS

100g Brazil Nuts or Macadamia Nuts
1/2 Cup Water
Salt or Tamari, to taste
Tahini
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Nutritional Yeast
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
1 Tin Coconut Milk, solid
1/3 Broccoli, grated
1/2 Cauliflower, grated
1 Large Shredded Celeriac

METHOD

Start by making the slaw sauce. Place the brazil nuts into your blender with the water and blend on a high speed until smooth, for 2-3 minutes. Pour the 'milk' through a nut milk or jam straining bag into a jug, to strain it smoothly. Rinse the blender before returning the milk to it, along with the other ingredients. Blend on a high speed for a further 2 minutes. Taste, and season with more salt, garlic or lemon juice depending on your personal tastes. When you are satisfied with the flavour, leave to chill in the fridge temporarily whilst you prepare the vegetables. Grate the broccoli and cauliflower, and shred the celeriac in a food processor, with a mandolin slicer or with a large blade on your grater. In a medium bowl, combine the vegetables and pour the cheesy brazil nut sauce over them, tossing and massaging the sauce into the vegetables with your hands, to ensure everything is evenly coated.

Serve immediately. Will last 2-3 days in the fridge, but sauce tends to separate if left too lone.

QUICK CHIA SEED BERRY JAM

danielle copperman3 Comments

When most people think of jam, they imagine an arduous process involving sterilised jars and very precise temperature maintenance. With this jam, the chia seeds do the hard work. No wonder they're called super foods.


INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries or Cranberries (can use just one or a mixture of your favourites)
4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Agave or Raw Organic Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon or Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger, optional
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, optional

METHOD

Start by melting the coconut oil in a medium saucepan. Add the berries and the water and stir on a medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, press the berries to burst them as they begin to heat, and stir to combine, using a gentle mashing motion to release all of the flavour. Add the chia seeds and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring every so often and adding more water if it seems to become too thick. Then add the vanilla, lemon or lime juice and sweetener, if using, stir a final time, and pour into jars or airtight containers.

RED PEPPER POURING HOUMOUS AKA THE NEW BBQ SAUCE

Snacksdanielle coppermanComment

Earlier this summer in June i attended my first Brai - that’s a barbecue to you and i. Brai is a South African term and translates directly to grill. Just 5 minutes into arriving at the Brai with my sister, I understood why they had their own name for it. It was not an ordinary barbecue. Ordinary barbecues at their best include marinated chicken, some hearty salads, corn on the cob and insanely unhealthy desserts. But more common barbecues, if we’re lucky enough to see the sun at all in England, consist of burnt 30%- meat sausages, plastic cheese in plastic films, rain, more rain and far too much alcohol. A Brai is an entirely different game. We had marinated shrimps the size of my hand, barbecued mackerel, turkey burgers, onglet steak, barbecued bone marrow, teriyaki salmon kebabs and much, much more. The food was brought out over the course of about 8 hours. This, i thought, was brilliant. No one was filling up on Walkers crisps with cheese and chive dip. People were pacing themselves and really savouring and appreciating each individual dish. The burgers were not ordinary burgers either. They were layered with fresh cheese, spinach and the best sauce i have ever tasted. That’s where this story becomes relevant to the following recipe.

INGREDIENTS
Halve this recipe for a single serving.

6 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Tin Chickpeas or 4 Tablespoons Organic Houmous
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Cup Water (Use only 1 tablespoon if you want a thicker houmous)
2 Large Peppers
4 Large Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon Tamari
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon juice

Optional:
A Few Leaves Fresh Basil

METHOD
Preheat the oven to about 180c. Cut the peppers into quarters and the tomatoes too. Place them in the same baking tray with a little olive oil or coconut oil, and salt. Roast in the oven for about half an hour, then turn the heat up to 200c and roast for another 20 minutes, until the peppers are soft to touch, the skin looks baggy, and the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the oven and run under cold water. When they have cooled, peel the skins off of the peppers as much as you can. Don’t worry about doing this for the tomatoes.
Place the vegetables into your blender with 1/8 cup of water, the oil and the garlic. Blend for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides, then add the remaining ingredients and the rest of the water, if you think it needs it. The water thins the mixture and helps the ingredients to combine as smoothly as possible. If you want more of a proper houmous dip (pictured below), leave the water out, although you may find you need it in order for the mixture to combine fully. If you want more of a pouring houmous, add as much water as you desire, and up the seasoning to maintain the flavours.
Serve as a dip for vegetables, crisps, sweet potato chips or as a side with chicken, beef or salmon. Pour over courgetti, salmon and ragu, add to sauces or soups, or stir through a quinoa/buckwheat salads.

RAW LEMON, ROSE AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Sugar Free, Vegandanielle coppermanComment

Baked cheesecake was never something i made much of a fuss about. Fridge-set cheesecake on the other hand… now we’re talking. Theres just something about cream cheese mixed with sugar. Its so wrong yet so, so right and combined with a crunchy gingernut or digestive base - I’m weak at the knees just thinking about it. These days, with dairy, sugar and gluten no longer part of my diet, i rarely crave a slice of cheesecake. I also rarely opt for the fruit flavour on the dessert menu, not because of the fructose but because vanilla, chocolate and caramel will always have one up in my opinion. Lemon, however, is an exception. When i first discovered lemon curd as a 7 year old, i couldn’t get enough of it and loved the confusion of its sweet yet sour taste. Citrus flavours and creamy flavours create a perfectly balanced taste sensation when combined together. So, to celebrate the first week of Spring in London, i decided to recreate these flavours using healthy, natural ingredients. I wanted to use fresh, fruity flavours that reminded me of summer. The cashews, avocado and coconut milk make this cheesecake creamy and the fresh lemon combined with organic rose extract makes it vibrant and refreshing. This “cheesecake” honestly turned out better than i thought it would. It tastes just as good if not better than a conventional cheesecake, and comes without the side effects of dairy, gluten and sugar. It is also pretty easy and quick to make - you could call it a Smoothie Cheesecake as you rely heavily on your blender for most of it. Also, with no baking required, once you’re done making the mixture you just leave the hard work to the freezer. As it is raw and doesn’t require baking, this cheesecake keeps hold of all its nutrients, vitamins and minerals without destroying anything, making it incredibly nutritious. It makes a perfect dessert but i also think it is more than acceptable to have for breakfast. It is full of healthy fats, protein, long-lasting sources of energy, fibre and antioxidants and is also incredibly alkalising. You could even leave the base for another time and make the filling as you would a smoothie or a cashew pudding. Stir through some soaked chia seeds or serve as a smoothie bowl topped with nuts, seeds and clean granola/muesli.

BASE INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Medool Dates
1 1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Almonds
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil
Salt
2 Tablespoons Beetroot Powder

METHOD

Place the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the blender if it isn’t combining properly, and blend several times until the mixture is pretty much smooth. once combined, scrape into a tart or cake tin or mini tart tins and spread along the bottom. Press down until the mixture is compact. You can spread it up the side of your tin depending on the shape or it if you want a side crust too. set in the fridge.

FILLING INGREDIENTS

Fresh Lemon Juice of 1 1/2 or 2 Lemons
1 Cup Cashews, soaked briefly or overnight if you have time
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2 Teaspoons Agave
1-2 Teaspoons Rose
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
80g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil (the cacao gives it the ‘white chocolate’ flavour)
2 Tablespoons OSB Skin Food or Maca or Superfood of choice
2 Tablespoons Solid Tinned Coconut Milk, or Coyo Original

METHOD

Place the cashews, lemon juice, avocado, agave, rose, vanilla and coconut milk into a clean blender. Melt the cacao butter in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once fully melted, add this to the blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. You may need to stir to encourage the mixture. Blend until fully smooth and pour this over you prepared base(s). Spread evenly over the base and set in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour. It should be almost entirely solid when you remove it, and if it seems too solid, remove from the freezer and store in the fridge to soften before serving.

OTHER FILLING SUGGESTIONS
You can omit the beetroot powder from the base or substitute it for cacao if you want to experiment with different cheesecake flavours. I love mixing the base with cacao for a Raw Cacao Torte or a Vanilla Choc Chip Cheesecake.

CACAO
(makes one large torte)
120g Cacao Butter or Coconut oil
400g Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Spirulina
Handful Cashews, soaked
1 Tablespoons Organic Orange Oil or Extract (or Fresh orange juice & zest)
1-2 Tablespoons Agave (as the Cacao has quite a bitter taste)
Salt
Blend, pour onto base then freeze.

VANILLA CHOC CHIP
1-2 Fresh Vanilla Pods
100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Cacao Nibs
1 Cup Cashews
4 Tablespoon’s Solid Tinned Coconut milk
1/2 Cup Chopped Raw Chocolate or Cacao Paste (made by melting 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil or cacao butter with 2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder and leaving to set)
Salt
Blend, pour onto base then freeze.

CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL TART
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/3 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
1-2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Avocado, optional
Heat all the ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil and whisk like this for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat then simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer to a blender and blend until combined. Pour onto the base then freeze until almost solid.
Top with a layer of melted Raw Chocolate or Dairy Free Dark Chocolate. Either cover the whole tart of drizzle over the caramel. 
Freeze again until chocolate harden.