WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

winter

Wake Up Well Rituals ~ For ES Magazine

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

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

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

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

Beauty & Skincare

Massage 

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

Neti pot

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

Tongue scraper

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

To Energise 

Tapping

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

Yoga

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

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

Breathwork 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nourishment

Herbal tonics 

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

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

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

Store in the fridge but serve warm. 

Seasonal ingredients

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

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

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

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.

Ginger Biscuits with Raw Chocolate and Clementine Pieces

Anytime, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Winterdanielle copperman2 Comments

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).

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!

Upcoming Event ~ A Grounding Evening of Cacao Ceremony, Sound Healing & Natural Nourishment

Eventsdanielle coppermanComment

Next month, I will be hosting a really special evening with two dear friends of mine, Kate White and Mollie Mendoza, at Mollie’s sacred studio in East London. The evening will involve rituals for welcoming transformation, at this particularly transformational time between Autumn and Winter, and as the year draws to a close. It is a time of constant change and welcoming the unknown, and we will share our favourite rituals, as well as guiding you through a powerful, heart-opening cacao ceremony, meditation and sound healing.

This event is for anyone wanting to feel more grounded whilst a lot of things seem to be shifting or feel in flux, and for anyone wanting to feel more open, accepting and more aligned with themselves on a deeper level, as we enter into a new year of possibility, opportunity and newness.

Join myself, Kate and Mollie for an intimate and transformative journey into the heart space, as we share and explore rituals of sound, meditation and nourishment. Held together in a beautiful and intentional space, this candlelit workshop will be a chance to delve deeper within your self, to rest and receive with the support of ritual, cacao ceremony, sound journey, and creative expression followed by group sharing and seasonal treats. 

This will be a special opportunity to connect and share ways in which we can support ourselves throughout the season, as well as exploring the power of intentional daily practice to cultivate inner warmth, love and an open heart.

*Practice: Cacao Ceremony, Ritual & sound journey led by Mollie Mendoza and Sam Garrett. A selection of delicious and heart warming dishes will be provided by Danielle Copperman for us to enjoy after the ceremony.

15 Dec 4pm-7pm.

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

Dinner, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
ChanterelleStew_025.jpg

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.

Well Being Book Recipe ~ Beetroot, Carrot + Coconut Soup

Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Well Being Book, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
Beetroot_Soup_020.jpg

This hearty soup uses ingredients associated with the root chakra (page 326), which works to keep us grounded with the Earth’s energy and, when balanced, can increase confidence, energy and openness. Signs of a blocked or misaligned root chakra include short temper, lack of motivation, anxiety and general frustration. Eating foods associated with this chakra can help to release these emotions. Serve with Magic Vegetable 'Bread' Rolls (page 314), toasted Miracle Bread (page 314), or Crackers (page 178).

Components

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a starter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil 1⁄2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5g fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
3 large beetroots, peeled and chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
600ml vegetable or bone broth (preferably homemade, page 315)
2 × 400ml cans (800ml) coconut milk
1 tsp dried thyme or lemon thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Elevate it:
Juice of 1⁄2 lime

Method

In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the beetroots, carrots and broth. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the beetroot is soft.

Allow to cool slightly, transfer to a blender (work in two batches if necessary) and add the coconut milk. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds and then increase to the highest speed for 10 seconds. Add more broth or water to thin the soup if it is too thick.

Return to the saucepan, add the thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper and add the lime juice, if using. Heat through, then divide among bowls and serve immediately.

Top with Nut Parmesan Sprinkle (page 313), a knob of Avocado 'Butter' (page 308), herb-infused oil (page 313) or a swirl of extra coconut milk.

Blend any leftovers with a can or two of chickpeas, to make a vibrant root- vegetable dip.

Monthly Essentials ~ August & September

Essentials, Monthly Essentials, Natural Livingdanielle copperman2 Comments

So, the blog has been a little inexcusably neglected over the past few weeks. I’ve been travelling hard and working even harder, and I always prefer to give my full attention to this space, rather than bashing something out half-heartedly. There is so, so much I want to share with you all; so many blog posts in my drafts, so many shoots and videos and recordings scheduled, but it’s super hard to make time at the moment. In the meantime, a combined post to share all my favourite essentials and discoveries from August & September; 2 for the price of one, so I’m forgiven?

The incredible Fiona Burgess of Woman’s Hour performed ‘Dancing in the Dark’ at my dear friend Marina’s wedding last month in the South of France. It is everything.

I’ve been obsessed with Goop for years and years and years, and I hang on pretty much every word Gwyneth has to say. Imagine my excitement, then, when they opened their first pop-up store in West London (where it all began) and launched UK shipping through their online shop. I celebrated the launch with the Goop team earlier this month with a browse around the store followed by dinner just down the road at Farmacy. Maybe I’ll just move there?

JOMO is the new FOMO.

Slow watches; watches with just the hour hand, to make you conscious of the time but less obsessed or stressed and restricted by it. They also happen to be beaut.

Jolene just opened after much anticipation, and just a stones throw away from my house in N16. Just off Newington Green, Jolene is an amazing bakery, serving incredible baked goods, insanely good coffee and lunch and dinner menus, serving fresh, local, seasonal, hand-made small plates, ideal for sharing. The menu changes daily so check in on Insta before you go or embrace the surprise.

Since joining Model Mafia, I’ve connected with some super special souls. Sinead Bovell is one of them. Listen to her story here about changing your life by taking control of it. My favourite quote: “We talk about our dreams and careers as if they should be separate. We think we’re confined to one lane. But we’re not. It’s the integration of all of your multiple passions, your life experiences and your professional experiences that support you in creating something that doesn’t exist. And something that you are truly passionate about. Your dream job should be an extension of your life and who you are. And that usually means you’ll have to create it yourself”. I love this. Our careers ultimately become our lives, and since they take up most of our time, why not work towards finding a career you truly love and enjoy, or creating one for yourself if it doesn’t already exist. It is possible if you firstly work hard and find not only your passion, but your purpose too. The rest will come.

Your October energy forecast.

One of the great things about fall/winter is ALL THE LAYERING WE CAN DO.

Qnola is now available to buy on Ocado. That means nationwide shipping and simple, one-stop shopping.

It’s time to invest in some ‘power pants’. I’m currently loving cord wide legs and suit trousers.

Discover indie beauty brands with Showcase Beauty. I’ve collaborated with the team to bring you a 10% discount; just enter code ‘danielle10’ at checkout.

P.volve - something I’d only tried online and from a distance until now - hosted a soft launch in London this month, and will be back to do more exclusive workouts in due course. For now, try their online video subscription service. I don’t usually love online workouts as I lack the motivation and actually push myself hard enough, but P.volve is more about smaller, slower movements, and I can honestly do these workouts anytime, anywhere, no matter how early it is, how tired I am or how little time I have. It’s such a unique method and I’m addicted.

05 Studio swimwear; I want it all (especially this), and it’s not even summer anymore. Run by a super creative and conscious Bulgarian duo, everything is so effortlessly yet carefully put together, using high quality materials and ethical practices.

I have too many mugs but I still can’t help eyeing up these.

These look goooood. Can anyone in Aus vouch for them?

Halloween is fast approaching.

Saw this on a friends bathroom wall and the message really resonated with me. Why are we al so frantic, as if we are in a race? We do not understand that there is no winner.

Favourite new brush. (Disclaimer: more bamboo).

I met the truly wonderful Madeleine from Astrology For Artists. Check her out. She holds some pretty amazing workshops and offers private sessions and readings.

A new video about the state of our environment, to get you thinking (although its from 2009 but its new to me).

Obsessing over everything here. Such wonders.

I struggle to find good, pure and honest make up removers. I’ve just tried The Body Shop’s camomile blend, made with natural ingredients, and made without animal testing. It’s up there with coconut oil, y’all.

My good friend recently launched a new loungewear brand, designed for slowing down, settling in and switching off. Super comfy stuff.

This is a pretty interesting little test to do on yourself. How self-actualised are you?

ADORE. Lets keep this shell/pearl vibe going through winter, plzzzz.

New podcast alert.

Just added one of these to my home and gym workout routines. Next level, I’m telling you.

Addicted to this Twin Ball self massage tool. I’m a big advocate of massage, and self massage is so easy already, but is so much more achievable and easy to do with tools like this.

Discover Kukui Cream.

🙏🙏🙏.

I’ve been hit with my first cold in years, I think due to overworking, change in seasons and elevated anxiety and panic attacks threatening to shut down my body completely if I don’t just CHILL. These have helped so far.

No matter how small your city apartment is, you can never have too much home decorations and kitchenware (at least thats what I keep telling myself):

This vase. Yessssss H&M Home.

Bamboo everything.

I can see this being added to everyone’s wish list.

This vase (and shell anything these days tbh).

You can never, ever have too many bowls. Seriously. Seriously. No, but seriously.

The Alchemist has been on my list for ages but is definitely next if things go my way. If only I had enough time to finish the books I’m already hoarding first, and get on with this one.

The boot obsession begins.

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
DSCF9273.JPG

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.