WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

Snacks

HOW TO MAKE PECANS, DATES AND RAW CHOCOLATE TASTE UNHEALTHILY TO-DIE-FOR

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

One evening in July 2015, my flatmates and I found ourselves all at home at the same time, for the first time since we'd moved house. We moved in the first week of July, and because these days everyone has multiple jobs and no spare time at all, we hadn't even found time to sit and eat dinner together since moving in. However, this particular Saturday night we decided to have a wild one. We pulled together everything our fridge and cupboards had to offer, made a meal out of mismatches, dusted off my projector screen and had an old school movie marathon (featuring movies so terrible they're brilliant). We were thinking about movie snacks before we'd even decided on dinner, but what is a movie marathon without some sweet thangs? Popcorn gets stuck in your teeth and is nutritionally substandard. Chocolate - dairy/sugar/emulsifiers. Raw Chocolate - good but slightly boring. Sweets - just no, not these days. Chewy Bliss Balls / Cookie Dough Bites - chewy, sweet and salty goodness with raw chocolate. All natural, gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free, antioxidant, fibre and protein rich, and filling in a clean way. Well, that's just about the only way to christen a new home in my eyes, so thats exactly what we done.

This recipe is just the kind of recipe we all need more of. It is quick. It is seriously inexplicably delicious. And I practically made it with my eyes shut. I was concentrating on dinner, catching up with my flat mates and thinking about what films we should watch, whilst the food processor did the hard work. I also didn't measure any of the ingredients thoroughly, and chucked in whatever I could find. This recipe, although I have more or less estimated the quantities that I used, should work just fine. As long as you have the nuts and buckwheat flakes as the foundations, the dates and the coconut oil to bind and bring everything together, and the superfood powders to flavour, you'll end up with something delicious. The quantities only really alter the texture, not so much the flavour. So, if yours turn out too soft or wet, add more buckwheat flakes. If they turn out too sticky, and so stubborn they won't blend, add a little hot water. If they're too sweet, add extra lemon juice and/or salt/tamari. And if they're not sweet enough, add 1/2 or 1 date more.

In my defence of this seeming like a lazy recipe (why don't I just try it again and give you the exact measurements? Sadly, I. Don't. Have. The. Time), even if I did have exact measurements, the end result may not suit your personal tastes. This way, you can take inspiration from my recipe and work with it until you have it just the way you want it. I'm here to encourage you to create your own delicious foods, by providing you with the foundations and leaving the flavourings up to you. We're all different, and not everybody, for example, likes raw chocolate (shame on you tho). 

SALTED RAW CHOCOLATE CHIP & PECAN COOKIE DOUGH BITES

INGREDIENTS
100g Pecan Nuts
2 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
200g Buckwheat Flakes
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (room temp
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Tamari
6 Medjool Dates
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice or Zest
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Hot Water - if needed to help things blend
½ Tablespoon Lucuma Powder
1 Teaspoon Maca Powder
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate (I like Ombar), chopped

METHOD
Start by blending the nuts into a flour - usually takes around 1 full minute. Then add the buckwheat flakes and blend for another 30 seconds. Next, add the dates (halved), then the rest of the ingredients, apart from the raw chocolate. When fully combined and dough-like, transfer to a bowl and stir in the raw chocolate, kneading with you hands to combine (work quickly so the chocolate doesn't melt). Break the mixture into small chunks, roll into balls, flatten into bar shapes, or roll out gently and cut with shaped cutters to make raw cookies. Arrange on a baking tray or a plate and place in the freezer. Leave for 30 minutes, to 1 hour and remove 5 minutes before enjoying. I like mine straight from the freezer, and as they melt they become a fudgey consistency. If you prefer yours softer, leave them out for 10-15 minutes before enjoying. I'm sure you can work it out.

+ If yours seem too oily, wet, sticky, salty, sweet or lumpy, see above for directions.

SWEET POTATO, CHICKEN, AVOCADO AND QUINOA NORI ROLLS

Snacks, Summer, Lunch, Recipe, Gluten free, Dinner, Dairy Free, Brunchdanielle copperman1 Comment

You can't go wrong with anything that is rollable. Whether its fajita's, a quick tortilla lunch wrap, some homemade savoury crepes, burritos or sushi, there's something for everyone, and each individual has a unique way of filling, customising and rolling theirs to really make it mean something to them; or just to make it their own kind of tasty. Fajita's featured a lot in my house growing up, and as soon as there was a tortilla on each plate, everyone fell silent, concentrating on building their ideal meal. There's something so satisfying in combining your favourite things to create a few incredible mouthfuls that no one else will ever quite achieve in their own constructions, or experience to the full extent.

This recipe is - hang on, I'm about to say it again - one of my favourite creations. I was inspired by conventional sushi which, ever since moving to London from Bath (a small town where people would assume you'd just sneezed if you asked where to find some sashimi), I have been obsessed with. The recipe below isn't in keeping with many Japanese traditions, but it doesn't have to be. You can mix and match your fillings, and you don't have to use rice and raw fish. You can literally use anything. The seaweed has such a mild flavour that whatever combination of fillings you choose will work well.

It may not look like it, but this is such a simple recipe - which is always a bonus. Anyone who loves fresh food and vibrant flavours will appreciate that you can bung everything you love onto one nori sheet, roll, squeeze and enjoy instantly. If for whatever reason yours don't roll perfectly, this is not an indication of failure - it will still taste amazing. 

I love a recipe that you can really personalise, as I'm sure most of you do too. If you don't like an ingredient, you don't have to use it, and instead can combine all of your favourite ingredients in one meal. You can use any fillings you like here - I have simply provided a couple of my personal favourites. Where normal sushi uses rice, I've used Quinoa, as I find it more gently filling in comparison to rice, and it is also higher in protein and fibre, and in some cases, easier to digest. (It also suits anyone on a paleo diet). That's more or less the only similarity that these nori rolls have with traditional sushi. My fillings combine all kinds of cuisines. You could call them Confused Rolls. Whatever - they're delicious.

For vegetarians, you can experiment with a range of raw or cooked vegetables. I love using mashed or pureed sweet potato or beetroot houmous with the quinoa as it is a creamy, sweet way of binding the other ingredients together. I'd suggest cutting the vegetables into thin strips to make for easier rolling. Avocado, courgette, cucumber, red pepper, carrot, beetroot, kohlrabi, cabbage (or sauerkraut), spinach, kale and broccoli would be top of my list. Make sure you also throw in as many fresh herbs as you can too. Mint, parsley, coriander and basil add a refreshing flavour. You can also improvise with your own dips and spreads in the place of sweet potato or beetroot houmous. Try them with any kind of houmous, avocado puree or guacamole.

For a meaty version, experiment with either chicken - like I have below - or fish (cooked or raw). In the past, I've made these with locally sourced organic salmon sashimi which you can pick up from almost any fishmonger. Ask them if it is sashimi-grade, and ensure it is as fresh as it can be. Don't leave it in the fridge for a few days before you plan on making these - use it the day you buy it. 

You can either prepare your meat beforehand like i have below, flavouring it with honey, oil and lemon juice or you can keep it plain. It is best to use it cold as it will roll better and won't affect the shape of the nori rolls too much.

 INGREDIENTS
(makes around 14 rolls - perfect as a quick lunch, snack or starter)

1 Packet Plain Nori Sheets (like these)
1 Large Sweet Potato, mashed - or Beetroot Houmous (recipe below)
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Quinoa

FILLING OPTIONS
. Sliced Vegetables - I like kohlrabi, carrot, cucumber, courgette, cabbage, chopped spinach, beetroot or broccoli / cauliflower rice. With crunchier vegetables, slice them thinly lengthways.
. Shredded or Chopped Chicken (try marinating in Tamari, Ginger, Ground Coriander, Agave and Olive oil).
Flaked Fish (salmon or tuna), Raw Fish or King Prawns.

METHOD
Take one nori sheet at a time and lay it flat onto a dry surface. I use a sushi mat which helps, but it isn't essential. Spread a layer of sweet potato onto the nori sheet, in a rectangle. Don't let it get too close to the sides of the sheet. Next, spread a layer of quinoa on top, followed by the chicken or fish and your vegetables. Starting with the end nearest to you, being to roll. It can get really messy! Just go with it. I tend to almost fold the sheet in half and then roll it back towards me, tucking it into the filling as I go. I roll and re-assemble a few times to get the filling tightly packed. Squeeze the rolls with dry hands to ensure they become as compact as possible.

Once rolled, take a really sharp knife and wet it slightly. Holding the roll at one end, slice diagonally down the middle, careful not to put too much pressure on the roll or to tear the sheet.

Serve with an Asian Inspired dip, a salty dip or a sweet dip (recipes below).

BEETROOT HOUMOUS
(serves 4-6)
2 Tins Chickpeas
5 Tablespoons Cold Water
10 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic - optional
2 Small - Medium Cooked Beetroot, chopped
1 Tablespoon Beetroot Powder or 1 Extra Beetroot, chopped
3 Tablespoons Tahini
Juice from 1/2 or 1 Lemon (depending on your personal preference)
Himalayan Pink Salt or Tamari - to taste
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast - optional
1 Teaspoon Mustard - optional

METHOD
Start by blending together your chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, nutritional yeast, tahini and mustard, if using. Blend on a medium to high speed, and add the water gradually. Once smooth, add the chopped beetroot and blend for a further 2 minutes. Add more water if it isn't blending smoothly. Serve instantly, or chill in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

SALTY TAMARI DIP
(serves 4-6)
1 Tablespoon Tamari
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sesame Oil or Avocado Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon or Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon Tahini, optional

METHOD

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a small small bowl, stirring with a fork to combine everything fully. Serve chilled. If the you leave the dressing to sit, or in the fridge for a while before serving, stir again before enjoying, as the oil, tamari and tahini tend to separate.

SWEET TAHINI DIP
(serves 4-6)
1 Teaspoon Tamari
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Agave / Raw Honey /Date Syrup / Coconut Nectar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground or Grated Ginger
Crushed Garlic - optional

METHOD
Simply combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring and mashing lightly with a fork, or use your blender if you want to get a smoother dressing and ensure there are no lumps. Serve as a dip for the nori wraps, or drizzle over the top.

CHERRY JAM AND CASHEW CUSTARD TARTLETS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Recipe, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment
IMG_6778.jpg

I've been enjoying (term used loosely) a month of 'firsts' this June. The first time I've broken my left arm and, thus, the first time I've been in a cast for 6 weeks. The first time I've lived alone (peaceful but boring). The first time I've lived in West London. And I think (somehow!?), the first time I've ever used cherries in a recipe on here. It's all been wild, but it got even better with the impulsive bake that I got on last weekend. The results of which are detailed below.

It's hard for me to write this recipe. I feel I am selling it short, and that just one filling recipe for these DELICIOUS GLUTEN FREE TARTLETS isn't enough and just do them justice. Instead, I'll call it a suggestion. The rest is up to you.

As you think about all the ways in which you can fill your tartlets (of which there are many), you may also be interested in all the good that they're about to do you. Without any white flour, gluten, wheat, dairy or refined sugar, they are total do-gooders in the world of food/health/wellbeing/loving your bod, but also - above all else and the reason you're really here - flavour. They also embrace the seasonal showstoppers that are cherries. High in antioxidants, juicy but not-too-sweet sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals - it's obvious as to why the expression is 'cherry on top' and as opposed to any other fruit. 

My filling choice was dictated by two things. Seasonal produce, and all I accumulated in a minesweep of my parents kitchen (since waiting over a month to move in to our new apartment which is totally worth the wait, I am now completely the last leg of this couch surfing summer back home in Bath). The pastry was easy and honestly, if you only make part of this recipe, make sure it's the base. You can make it into biscuits for a quick snack, or into empty tartlet cases to enjoy with something as quick and simple as fresh berries. The cashew custard layer is even easier and contains just two simple steps - filling the blender, and operating the blender. And the cherry jam/coulis can be done simultaneously, whilst you work on the other parts of the recipe. 

.  OTHER FILLING SUGGESTIONS  .
Avocado Cacao Ganache
Chia Berry Jam
Salted Caramel
Coconut Cream
Honey & Tamari cover nuts and seeds

INGREDIENTS
(makes 10-12)
50g Coconut Oil
80g Buckwheat Flour
80g Ground Almonds
25g Coconut Palm Sugar
8g Arrowroot
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
35g Cold Water

METHOD
Preheat oven to 160c and lightly grease a muffin tray.
Start by whisking the dry ingredients (flour, ground almonds, coconut palm sugar, arrowroot and salt) together in a medium mixing bowl. Next add the melted coconut oil, stirring in with a wooden spoon. Once combined, gradually add the water. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface or some baking paper, at about 2cm thick. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

When you remove it from the fridge, roll it out onto a freshly floured surface, to become no thicker than 3mm. Cut, using a knife or your own cutters (i used basic round cutters). Place each circle into each hole of your muffin tin. Bake for 15-18 more minutes, checking halfway through. If one side is browning quicker, turn the tray around. 

Leave to cool before filling.

FOR THE CASHEW CUSTARD
(fills 12 - with some leftover to serve on the side)
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/3 cup cold water (or nut milk)
1 teaspoon honey or agave
vanilla
optional – ginger, rose, lemon, orange, mango, lime

METHOD
Simply add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add a little more water if it is having difficulty blending, depending on the strength of your blender. Make sure it is as smooth as possible before filling your tartlet bases.

FOR THE CHERRY JAM
(fills 12 tartlets)
250g Fresh Cherries
½ Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

METHOD
De-seed the cherries and chop or tear with your hands. Place in a saucepan with the lemon juice and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat. As they begin to soften, add the chia seeds and stir to combine. If the chia seeds absorb the water too quickly, add a few extra tablespoons of water. Simmer until entirely soft.

.  TO ASSEMBLE  .
Take your cooked tartlet bases and fill them with the cashew cream. It doesn't matter which order you fill them in, you can start with the jam if you prefer. Repeat for each tartlet. Place in the fridge to keep cool (this will also make the custard thicken and set a little - making it richer), or serve immediately.

ALMOND, SWEET POTATO AND ROSEMARY FOCACCIA

Snacks, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Gluten free, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle copperman1 Comment

F O C A C C I A . It's just fun to say. But it's even more fun to eat, especially when it contains absolutely no gluten, wheat, dairy or unnecessary additives or preservatives.

This is by far the easiest bread recipe I have developed since cutting wheat and gluten and generally unhelpful ingredients out of my diet. I always enjoy the challenge of making something I love without using any of the main ingredients usually involved. Eton Mess without meringue was a tough one. Raw Rolo's was just ingenious and much simpler than it might seem. And bread has actually proven tastier when made completely 'not right'. In baking, there are a lot of rules, backed by a lot of science. Things must rise, things must proof, things must have specific consistencies and textures. That is according to proper chefs (I still don't class myself as a proper chef as I thrive off improvisation and hope rather than actual skill and years of practice). But in my kind of cooking, it's not about making something exactly right. It's merely about making something healthy, taste just as good, if not better than the unhealthier version of itself. And dare I say, I almost always succeed. Things may not have exactly the correct properties, but as long as they taste good, nourish from within and fill a gap where something we previously adored used to be, then thats all that matters.

Bread is definitely one of those things that has to be just right. It has to grow, develop, proof and become all kinds of things from stretchy to doughy to twice the size of what it was when it began. However, in my opinion, as long as it is crisp, doughy and/or fluffy in some way, it's an instant pass. I love miracle bread for a crispy, crunchy bread. I love warm seeded rolls for my doughy bread needs. And I love this focaccia because it is the fluffiest bread to have come out of my oven.

Adding vegetables and fresh herbs to your bread may not seem the obvious thing to do, but it is all about getting those vegetable into as many meals or snacks as you can. You're not likely to eat a bowl of broccoli as a snack, but if you dice or blend it into a bread batter, you will, much more willingly. Play around with the vegetables you put into yours. You can also use carrot, beetroot, cauliflower, courgette or sun dried tomato. Just try to avoid anything too wet, as this will affect the texture of the bread.

I N G R E D I E N T S

2 Cups Ground Almonds
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Sumac
1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, chopped or kept whole
1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage or Basil, chopped
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
4 Tablespoons Buckwheat Flour (can also use ground almonds instead)
Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
1/2 Garlic Clove, Crushed (optional)
3 - 4 Tablespoons Raw Sweet Potato, grated
1 Teaspoon Arrowroot
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk or Yoghurt, optional (this will make the bread more moist, but it also works well and turns out fluffier without)
1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast, optional (to add a cheesy flavour)
.
Fresh Rosemary, to top
Sweet Potato Discs, to top 
Flaked Almonds, to top
Crushed Garlic, to top
Himalayan Pink Salt, to top
1/2 Teaspoon Organic Raw Honey, to top
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, to top

M E T H O D

Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a load tin or a flat baking tray or a heat proof dish with a little coconut oil. 

Start by adding the eggs to your blender or food processor, followed by the ground almonds, dried herbs, baking powder, salt, arrowroot, oil and the garlic, coconut milk and nutritional yeast, if using. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Stir through the whole fresh herbs and grated sweet potato (i like to keep them whole as they add more flavour and texture to the focaccia, but you can also blend the herbs and the sweet potato into the batter - either will work). Pour into your prepared tin/dish, spreading evenly and ensuring the mixture reaches the sides. Now top with whatever you like. I used flaked almonds, fresh rosemary, salt and sweet potato discs.

+ For caramelised sweet potato, heat some oil and honey in a griddle pan and place the thinly diced sweet potato discs over the surface of the pan. Heat through and turn the discs over a few times, until they begin to brown and soften. Then lay them on the top of the focaccia batter. They will crisp up nicely in the oven.

Place in the oven and cook for 12 mins on 180. After 12 minutes, reduce the heat to 160c and cook for 20 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the depth of the dish you are using, so keep an eye on it as it bakes. Poke a knife into the middle of the loaf, and if it comes out clean, the bread is done. If it comes out with batter on, leave it in for another 10 minutes or so.

+ If the toppings are cooking or beginning to brown, cover with foil.

Let the focaccia cool before cutting into individual slices.

RECIPELESS | THE FOUNDATIONS OF A GOOD PESTO

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Gluten free, Dinner, Dairy Free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment
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There are times when I have made exceptionally good food by simply clearing out the fridge, using what I know will work but what I know isn't textbook stuff (or cookbook stuff). Some of the greatest meals I have had are down to impulsive improvisation, and involve me throwing unlikely ingredients together and hoping for the best. Really, thing's can't go that wrong. If you're baking or attempting a recipe with a little science involved, then maybe. But with things like dips, sauces, spreads, goodness bowls and quick and easy lunches or dinners, there really are no major rules, and no major risks when it comes to making things up with whatever you have to hand. 
A few secrets to successful recipeless improvisation:
Mindfully stocked cupboards and fridges
Creativity
Imaginative Determination
Openness
Confidence
And Hunger.

Welcome to my first example

We have blenders to thank not only for smoothies and soups, but more recently dips, spreads and nutty goodness. You know how nowadays, we're all like "there's an App for that". Well, when it comes to the kitchen, it's more like "there's a way to blend that". I'll admit to getting carried away and sometimes ruining a perfectly acceptable solid/3D meal, but most of the time, if I enjoy a food enough, I will use it in any way that I can, and that definitely means I will somehow make it into either a dip (like pesto or houmous), a soup, a dressing, a sauce, a drink or a pudding. You just gotta know your ingredients, know what to add what not to add, and I guess have a lot of trust in your blender. 

Pesto brings back certain memories for me. It never played a huge part in my childhood - always seemed very Mediterranean in comparison to our crustless, white breaded ham and cream cheese sandwiches (which our dad used to cut into heart shapes for us much to our junior-self's embarrassment). However, when I met Lamont, one of my best friends from secondary school (who was later nicknamed Sacla' - read on to find out more), things in packed lunch and after school snack land changed drastically for me. Her parents owned a deli in town named Goodies (what a great name?). After school we would stop by the deli, ravenous and ignorant to the fact that the store was only about 1/2 a meter wide and full of dignified customers waiting patiently. We'd bustle into the deli, hang our by the cured ham and take in the smell of real proper olive oil and antipasti essentials whilst Martha (or Sacla' if thats easier for you to keep up with) found out from her mum if there was anything going spare. Pesto was always involved in this excursion, not to mention in every single sandwich or homemade quiche that my culinarily developed friend ever brought to school with her. And so developed the nickname. She was branded Sacla' by a bunch of boys in our friendship group (who clearly just did not understand pesto like she or we did). 

Although I think she has since reduced her intake of pesto (probably ever so slightly), every time I hear the word or slide a dollop of it onto my place, I will think of her, and all the good times at Goodies.

Anyway. The real point of this post: blenders are great, and pesto is delicious. But one thing pesto isn't is difficult. Nor does it have to be unhealthy. There will be no parmesan cheese (unless you want there to be), and more goodness in the form of dark green vegetables and healthily fatty nuts and seeds than any other pesto you have had before. Dips and spreads are hands down the easiest, most flavoursome and most crowd-pleasing way to make anyone in the world eat some form of vegetables (in most cases, without them even knowing it). 

There is no real recipe here - just a few helpful guidelines on how to make the perfect pesto without fail every single time. Hurried, indecisive lunch time after hurried, indecisive lunch time I'd find myself making pesto in answer to all of my hungry confusion, usually using whatever i could find in the kitchen. The fridge and the cupboards between them usually permitted great things to happen and no matter what I used, it always tasted pestoey, and always tasted goooooood. Whether I made it with spinach, kale or watercress, and whether I used brazil nuts, cashews or sunflower seeds, I was always left with a winning combination. But writing out pretty much the same method and on very slightly different recipe for each one seemed pointless. So, instead, I've outlined the foundations of a successful pesto below, along with my favourite combinations and flavour suggestions. There is no need for you to write down what you use just so you'll remember for next time. You should make it differently each time. It will always work, it will always taste good, it will always be nutritious, and it will just keep exciting you. Off you go now.

+ And be sure to make far too much than you need, because you can store it in the fridge to use for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners for up to 2 weeks, and too much pesto in this place is not a depressing matter.

T H E   F O U N D A T I O N S   O F   A   G O O D    P E S T O
(for one pretty large portion)

1 Handful Nuts or Seeds
1 Large Handful Basil Leaves
2-3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Handful Green Leaves
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt or a Splash of Tamari
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon or Lime Juice
Nutritional Yeast, optional
1/2 - 1 Clove Garlic

+ If the mixture seems to thin / runny, add a few more nuts or seeds.
+ If the mixture is too thick / chunky, add more oil, or a little boiling water (cold water will not combine with the oil and the consistency will be ruined
+ If the mixture is too bland for your personal taste, add more salt, garlic, lemon juice or nutritional yeast (can also use cheese if you are not dairy intolerant / vegan

T H E  N U T S  &  T H E  S E E D S

.  Almonds
.  Cashews
.  Sunflower Seeds
.  Walnuts
.  Pistachios
.  Brazil Nuts
.  Pumpkin Seeds
.  Pine Nuts
.  Chia Seeds
. Hemp Seeds

M Y   F A V O U R I T E   C O M B I N A T I O N S

.  Spinach and Sunflower Seed
.  Brazil Nut and Cavelo Nero
.  Cauliflower Leaves and Almond
.  Watercress and Brazil Nut (I love Watercress as they support local farmers and their products are 100% organic)
.  Kale, Pumpkin Seed and Cashew
.  Basil, Sunflower Seed and Walnut
.  Broccoli and Mixed Nut
.  Basil, Pistachio and Parsley
.  Roasted Red Pepper and Basil
.  Sun Dried Tomato, Cashew and Basil
.  Avocado Pesto Cream (just add 1/4-1/2 Avocado to your usual pesto recipe, and maybe a little more oil)
.  Rosemary, Basil, Watercress and Sunflower
. Walnut, Spinach, Basil, Avocado and Tahini Creamy Pesto
. Sunflower, Pumpkin, Ground Flax, Watercress and Spirulina Basil Pesto

 

LEMON, ACAI, BEETROOT AND BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman3 Comments
PHOTO CREDIT: RITA PLATTS / LOUIE WALLER

PHOTO CREDIT: RITA PLATTS / LOUIE WALLER

Here's one for the weekend. There is no day more fitting than a Sunday, to upload a recipe dedicated to cheesecake. A healthy, raw, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, grain free, and dangerously nourishing cheesecake, to be exact. 

This cheesecake is too good for words, and when I try to describe it to someone it comes out more in some kind of expressive facial dance combined with approving noises. There's really no way for me to put it into words. You won't understand until you've tried it yourself.

I recently met Rita and Louie through Rita's agent, who was interested in setting us up as three innocent girls with an unconditional love of good food, styling food and photographing food. Needless to say, we got on extremely well and spent an entire day positioning crumbs strategically, and eating enough cheesecake/eton mess/savoury muffins (recipes to follow) to feed an entire picnic party. It was a good day.

Since it's Sunday, you might be planning to spend the evening preparing food for the week ahead. You might be soaking some quinoa, making chia seed pudding to store in the fridge, or batch cooking stews or curries to chill or freeze, to have on hand as an instant meal for when you're short of time. I think this weekend, though, you should ignore your structured schedule, soak some cashews, de-flesh a coconut and concentrate on preparing to make this tomorrow. (It requires about 2 minutes to whack open a coconut and pour some water over a few handfuls of cashews, so if you are really serious about your week ahead, you could easily do this as well as prepping your usual meals). 

This recipe doesn't require any cooking, so once the prep is prepped, its a pretty easy and instant process from there. The food processor and blender will do the hard work for you (i remember making cheesecakes when i was younger, bashing away with a rolling pin for what seemed like hours, to crush a packet of digestive biscuits into a suitable base). The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for the cheesecake to set, but if you pre-occupy yourself with licking the blender clean, you'll hardly notice the time pass.

The base is made from nuts, coconut and dates, and is naturally sweet. As it sets in the freezer it develops into a crunchy, biscuity texture, which is hard to believe when it is in its blended phase. The fillings' main components are soaked cashews and coconut flesh. The two ingredients combine perfectly together to create a rich, creamy, mousse-life consistency. The coconut flesh adds some kind of airy bounce to the texture, whilst the cashews make it creamy and thick. Free from dairy, rich in protein, healthy fats and antioxidants and bursting with fresh, natural, vibrant colours and flavours, there is really nothing to stop you from making this.

+ If you have a nut allergy, try making the base with buckwheat groats, sunflower and hemp seeds, and the filling with coconut flesh, pine nuts (actually a seed, safe for most people with nut allergies) and solid coconut milk or the flesh from 1 avocado.

RAW BISCUIT BASE

INGREDIENTS
(makes one large cheesecake. If you have any left over, use it to top the cheesecake, or to make a few miniature ones)

1 Cup Raw Almonds
60g Desiccated Coconut
50g Raw Cashews
200g Medjool Dates
1 Large Handful Walnuts
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
Salt
Zest of 1 Lemon - optional
1/2 Cup Toasted or Activated Buckwheat Groats - optional (adds an amazing extra crunch to the base)

METHOD

Place the desiccated coconut, buckwheat groats (if using), almonds, cashews and walnuts into a food processor, and pulse on a high speed for 1 minute, until they break down into a flour consistency with some small chunks. Add the dates, vanilla, salt, coconut and zest, if using, and pulse for a further 1-2 minutes.

+ With the coconut oil, melted or room temperature will both work. If you are using room temperature, though, concentrate on scraping thin layers of it into the food processor, rather than adding great big chunks, as this will encourage the mixture to blend more smoothly and easily.

Once the mixture has become almost dough like, but still a little crumbly looking, transfer it into a dish (can be round or rectangular, or you can even use individual miniature moulds). Spread the mixture around evenly, then use the back of a spoon or your bare hands to press the mixture firmly into the base of the tin. Make sure the mixture reaches the sides, and make it as compact as possible to ensure the finished cheesecake won't crumble and break. As you flatten it, it will begin to look more like a conventional cheesecake base.

Place in the freezer whilst you prepare the fillings.

ACAI, BEETROOT AND BLUEBERRY LAYER

INGREDIENTS
(makes one large cheesecake. If you have any left over, use it to top the cheesecake, or to make a few miniature ones)

1 Cup Coconut Flesh (If you can't get hold of this, you can work without it, but it creates the perfect texture)
2 Cups Cashew Nuts, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, preferably all day or overnight
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
2-4 Tablespoons Agave, or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
120g Fresh Blueberries - not frozen
2 Tablespoons Acai Powder
2 Tablespoons Beetroot Powder (can also use grated beetroot if you don't have the powder - or omit the beetroot altogether)

+ You can also experiment with flavours here, using unsulphured apricots, fresh mango, lime juice, avocado or goji berries instead of blueberries. 

METHOD
(Allow about 45 minutes setting time, or leave in the freezer until ready to serve and transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving).

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Use a tamper if you have one, to help the mixture to blend. Add a little more coconut oil or nut milk if the mixture is too thick and lumpy. Scrape down the sides after 3 minutes, and blend for a further 1-2 minutes on the highest speed of your blender, until the mixture is entirely smooth. It should resemble the consistency of custard or creme fraiche. 

Once smooth, pour the mixture over your prepared base. You can mix in some chopped fresh berries or goji berries, or simply lay some chopped berries/fruit along the base before covering with the mixture. Make sure you leave enough room for the top layer.

If you want to make a 3 layered cheesecake, return to the freezer and proceed with the top layer. If you want the make a marbled affect cheesecake, don't place this layer in the freezer. Set aside whilst you prepare the top layer.

LEMON CREAM LAYER

1 Cup Coconut Flesh (If you can't get hold of this, you can work without it, or try using 1 cup solid coconut milk instead)
2 Cups Cashew Nuts, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, preferably all day or overnight
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
2-4 Tablespoons Agave, or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
Juice of 3 Fresh Lemons

METHOD
(Allow about 45 minutes setting time, or leave in the freezer until ready to serve and transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving).

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Use a tamper if you have one, to help the mixture to blend. Add a little more coconut oil or nut milk if the mixture is too thick and lumpy. Scrape down the sides after 3 minutes, and blend for a further 1-2 minutes on the highest speed of your blender, until the mixture is entirely smooth. It should resemble the consistency of custard or creme fraiche. 

If you are making a 3 layered cheesecake, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and pour this top layer over the berry layer. Return to the freezer and allow to set for at least 45 minutes. 

If you are making a marbled affect cheesecake, pour this mixture on top of the berry layer, ensuring you cover the berry layer entirely, and reach the edges of the tin/dish. Then, use a teaspoon to gently swirl and spread the mixtures into each other. Be careful not to smudge or spread or stir too much, or you will just end up with a pale purple cheesecake, which will still taste delicious but won't look as fun. Make small, gentle movements and don't over do it.

Return to the freezer and set for at least 45 minutes. You can store the cheesecake in the freezer until you are ready to eat it, and transfer it to the fridge 30 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften slightly.

+ Store in the freezer for months, before or after serving. You can make it in advance and store it before a big event, or simply keep any leftovers in the freezer, so as not to waste any.

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). 

CHIA SEED PORRIDGE - FOUR WAYS

Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment
IMG_1650.JPG

I don't even know how I have left it so long to post this recipe. It is by far one of my favourite breakfasts (also a perfect snack or dessert), and, providing instant yet long-lasting energy, is my go-to pre-workout meal. The combinations are endless, and the toppings are what really take things up a notch. The texture of chia seeds is unusual and completely unique. At first, people can be sceptical about even giving them a chance, as they look and feel unlike any other kind of food - and not in an appetising way. However, prepared the right way, chia seeds can become one of the most delicious sweet treats, and are packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They swell when they are combined with a liquid, tripling in size, which means when you consume them they'll contribute to keeping you fuller for longer, without making you feel bloated or 'too full'. Additionally, they retain a lot of the liquid, keeping you sufficiently hydrated too. 

Below are just four simple recipes of my favourite flavour combinations. I serve these as warm porridges, but store the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy them for days as a cold chia seed pudding, for an instant, on-the-go breakfast and portable snack. This is also one of my favourite travel companions. The chia seeds soak up all of the liquid, so it doesn't leak from the container!

The most important component of these recipes is the milk. The cashew milk is thick and creamy and I've perfected this as a base for these recipes to create the softest and creamiest results. I have previously used coconut water and nut milks, but as they are quite thin liquids, the result is generally less creamy and doesn't bind as well. You want the gel of the chia seeds to really combine and merge together, and if the milk isn't thick enough, you'll end up with more chia seeds than you do gel (see the image of all four bowls above - the pink one without any toppings is made with normal coconut water and is a lot wetter - the chia seeds more separated - than the others. This was an experiment, but the recipe for the Beetroot Pudding below, is with the thicker milk, which I believe tastes better).

CHIA SEED PORRIDGE - FOUR WAYS   

 

VANILLA CINNAMON CHIA SEED PORRIDGE WITH CACAO ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
1 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 1/2 Cups Cold, Filtered Water
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (can also experiment with using ginger or cardamom, or other spices of choice)
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk into a medium saucepan and simmer on a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener, salt, and cinnamon and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually.

CACAO ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 5 servings)

2 Large Tablespoons Almond Butter (can also try with cashew butter, other nut butters or tahini)
1/3 Cup Filtered Water
1-2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Honey
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1-2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder (depending on your taste preferences and how rich/bitter you like it)
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Oil

METHOD

Simply heat the almond butter and water in a small saucepan, whisking constantly. Add your sweetener of choice, the salt, the coconut oil and the vanilla, and continue to whisk. Simmer on a low heat, whisk in the cacao powder, and when it has dissolved and fully combined, remove from the heat and serve.

+ This recipe is extremely quick. If you cook it for too long, it can quickly burn or begin to thicken too much. If it becomes too thick, try adding a little more water and sweetener.


BEETROOT INFUSED CHIA SEED PORRIDGE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
1 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 1/2 Cups Cold, Filtered Water
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Tablespoon Beetroot Powder, or 2 Tablespoons Grated Raw Beetroot

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk back into the blender, add the beetroot powder or the grated beetroot and blend for another 2 minutes. Then pour into a medium saucepan and begin to simmer over a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener and salt, and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually


BLUEBERRY CASHEW MILK CHIA SEED PORRIDGE WITH FRESH BERRIES AND BLUEBERRY SYRUP

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
1 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 Cup Cold, Filtered Water
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 Cup Frozen of Fresh Blueberries (can use mixed berries too)

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk back into the blender, add the berries and blend for a further 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth, and purple in colour. The pout the infused milk into a medium saucepan and simmer on a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener and salt, and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually

BLUEBERRY SYRUP

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 servings)

1 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Raspberries
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Blossom/Organic Honey

METHOD

Start by blending the berries with the water, on a high speed for 2 minutes. When smooth, transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, salt and sweetener of choice and whisk to combine everything. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, adding a little more lemon juice and a little more sweetener if the mixture is too watery. Once it has thickened, serve, or pour into an airtight jar and store in the fridge.


CACAO CHIA SEED PORRIDGE WITH SALTED CARAMEL ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 1/2 Cups Cold, Filtered Water
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (can also experiment with using ginger or cardamom, or other spices of choice)
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder 

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk into a medium saucepan and simmer on a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener, salt, and cacao powder and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually

SALTED CARAMEL ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 5 servings)

2 Large Tablespoons Almond Butter (can also try with cashew butter, other nut butters or tahini)
1/3 Cup Filtered Water
1-2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Honey
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon or Ginger - optional
1/2 Teaspoon Maca (or other superfoods of choice) - optional

METHOD

Simply heat the almond butter and water in a small saucepan, whisking constantly. Add your sweetener of choice, the salt, the coconut oil and the vanilla, and continue to whisk. Simmer on a low heat, whisk in the spices and superfood powders, if using, and when it has dissolved and fully combined, remove from the heat and serve.

+ This recipe is extremely quick. If you cook it for too long, it can quickly burn or begin to thicken too much. If it becomes too thick, try adding a little more water and sweetener.


VEGAN AND NUT-FREE AVOCADO MAYONNAISE

Snacks, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunchdanielle copperman3 Comments
 

Mayonnaise is another one of those things that, when you embark upon a healthier journey through life, you think, 'God, I'm gonna miss you'. I certainly did. Before i knew anything about food and the importance of feeding our bodies sensibly, I had mayonnaise with everything. I whenever I had it, it covered my entire plate, not just a small fraction of it as it was designed to have done.

This recipe seriously puts mayonnaise to shame. Homemade mayonnaise isn't actually that unhealthy, as long as you use organic, free range eggs and good quality oils. However, it takes a bit of effort. Shop bought mayonnaise is mainly just chemicals, emulsifiers, additives and colourings in a bottle. So, seriously, do not eat it. This recipe is made with actual, real ingredients. The main ingredient is avocado, which is high in protein, fibre and healthy fats. The texture of the avocado combined with the oil is even creamier than normal mayonnaise, and makes the egg yolk you find in conventional mayonnaise recipes really unnecessary. This recipe is ridiculously simple and quick. All you need is to ensure the avocados are so ripe they are almost inedible, and a blender which will do the work for you. No hours of hand whisking involved!

INGREDIENTS

2 Ripe Avocados (preferably so soft that you wouldn't actually want to eat them on their own)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
A Gentle Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

+ OPTIONAL
Organic Wasabi Paste (Biona), Fresh Garlic, Black Pepper, Capers, Nutritional Yeast

METHOD

Slice the avocado in half, tap your sharp knife into the stone and pull it out. Score each half of the avocado vertically and horizontally and then gently scoop or squeeze out the flesh. Place the flesh into a blend or food processor along with the lemon juice, salt, apple cider vinegar and any other herbs or spices you choose to use. Blend on a medium speed. Gradually add the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add more and more, until the mixture combines. It should be blending smoothly and should become thick. As you add more oil, increase the speed of your blender or food processor. Blend smoothly for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides if you need to.

Serve cold as a condiment for meat, fish, raw vegetables, salads, crackers, gluten free toast, eggs, quinoa or buckwheat burritos, or as a dip for raw vegetables and sweet potato chips/wedges.

 

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.


THE BROWNIES PROMISE

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman8 Comments

I call these gratitude brownies. Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free and nut free, these brownies not only make you feel grateful for all of the ingredients they contain that enrich life here on earth, but also for every single thing going on in your life at this moment in time. You could call them stress-releif brownies, you could call them break-up brownies, you could call them holiday-blues brownies. What i'm trying to say is, no matter what life is throwing at you, making (and then demolishing) a batch of these brownies will make none of it matter. You'll instantly feel grateful for all the good in your life, focussing on everything positive (predominantly, the brownies that sit before you), and momentarily leaving behind any bad/negative thoughts/issues/situations. It's like these brownies take your problems and pack them away into an insignificant little box never to be found, creating more space for you to dwell on the positive aspects of your life. I guess you could call them feel-good brownies, but thats a little generic. Name them as you see fit. Today, these are Easter brownies. And also it's-so-grey-outside-lets-brighten-things-up brownies.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 10-12 large brownies, or enough batter to split between two tins for thin brownies.

300g Coconut Oil
120g Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt
4 eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Bean Paste or Seeds from Fresh Pods
200g Coconut Palm Sugar 
2 Tablespoons Agave
200g Buckwheat Flour
1 Teaspoon Maca
1-2 Tablespoons Brown or Golden Linseeds, to top

+ These brownies are incredibly decadent and dense. They aren't fluffy or cake-like, and once chilled in the fridge they stiffen and begin to resemble fudge. For a cakier, lighter version, use less coconut oil and use ground almonds and dates, instead of buckwheat flour and sugar. I'll develop a precise recipe for these in the next couple of weeks.
 

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a heat proof dish with a little coconut oil. (You can line the tin with baking paper, but if the mixture sticks to that, it isn't as fun to salvage and is extremely frustrating to separate the paper from the brownie).

Start by melting the coconut oil in a large sauce pan over a low-medium heat. Whisk in the cacao powder, vanilla, maca and agave. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour and salt. In another bowl or a wide mouth jug, whisk the eggs with the sugar until completely combined. When the coconut oil and cacao has dissolved and come together, remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, whisk the sugar and egg mixture into the chocolate, working quickly to avoid allowing the egg to cook in the warmth of the chocolate. Next, add the flour, a few large tablespoons at a time, and whisk constantly. When everything is combined, pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 30-45 minutes. I like to take mine out when the middle is still a little gooey, as they will continue to cook as they cool, and this will leave the middle incredibly chewy. If you cook them for too long, they may end up too dry.

+ I prefer these cold having been chilled in the fridge. Serve with coconut cream or top with avocado cream, almond butter or tahini frosting.

+ This recipe fills an entire tin about 5cm deep. I made large brownies then cut them in half as they are so rich and dense it was almost too much. You could simply halve the mixture to make your brownies flatter/thinner, or split the mixture between a couple of tins. Alternatively, use a larger tin, or shallow baking trays with high sides, and make really flat brownies to serve canapé style. (see picture above, with almond butter topping)

EASTER EGG SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

Shortbreads, despite their three main components being butter, sugar and white flour, have proven to be one of the easiest things to make healthily. I substitute the butter with coconut oil, the sugar with coconut palm sugar or natural fruit sugars/syrups, and the white flour with buckwheat flour, oat flour, or nuts ground into a flour consistency. From there, it is easy to add other ingredients to increase the nutritional profile of your biscuits even more - such as superfood powders, raw vegetables and linseeds/flaxseeds or chia seeds. You can also very easily make these into savoury or sweet biscuits, simply reducing the amount of coconut palm sugar or syrup used for savoury biscuits (and adding vegetables, more flour and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour), or increasing the coconut palm sugar or syrup quantities to your personal taste, and adding things like low fructose dried fruit and super foods like maca and cacao. Once you've got the base down, you can add pretty much anything.

And you don't have to skip the icing either! Creamed coconut is a mysterious ingredient and, as it sets, resembles sugar icing almost exactly. I actually prefer it, as it has a nicer texture, a creamier flavour and doesn't leave a strange aftertaste or sugaring coating in your mouth after you've eaten it. While some of the colouring items are quite an investment, they're definitely worth it. I alternate adding each one to smoothies, porridge and soups as well.

-  View the full recipe on WOMENSHEALTHMAG.CO.UK  -


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.

FRESH MINT COCONUT CREAM CHOCOLATES

Snacks, Sugar Freedanielle coppermanComment

These are one of those things that are born from your leftovers. You could use any fresh herbs but the mint adds a delicious sweetness to these chocolates, and is refreshing against the richness of the raw chocolate. And for those of you who are partial to an after eight from time to time, these are your new after dinner treat. Made without dairy, refined sugar and artificial flavours and additives, these chocolates should make it onto every dinner table and should be considered just as important as the main course. Cacao butter builds the foundations of the these chocolates, making them exceptionally high in antioxidants and healthy fats. Cacao butter is the pure oil that comes from raw cacao beans, and although it hasn't much flavour eaten in its solid form, it adds a rich, smoky, chocolate flavour when combined with cacao powder and a little sweetener. No need for flavourings or E-numbers, these nutritious mouthfuls are 100% natural, and the cacao and fresh mint help to aid digestion - so they really are the perfect way to end a meal.

INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE

6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Coconut Nectar or Sweetener of Choice
1 Tablespoon Coconut Milk, solid (for a slightly milder, creamier chocolate)

FILLING

1 Large Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Bar Creamed Coconut
3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

METHOD

Melt the chocolate ingredients in a medium saucepan on the lowest heat. On a medium heat, wait for the cacao butter or coconut to melt. Then, whisk in your chosen sweetener, along with the cacao powder, salt and finally the coconut milk. Whisk until everything is combined and everything has dissolved nicely. Pour into a jug and distribute a small amount into your chosen chocolate moulds. Fill the moulds just under half way up with the chocolate mixture, and set the remaining chocolate aside for later. Place the filled moulds in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Start by melting the creamed coconut. Fill a large mug, jug or bowl with boiling water and sit the bar of coconut inside, so it is fully covered with water. Do not cut open the outer plastic packet, as this will let the water in an dilute the creamed coconut. Massage the bar once the water is cool enough to touch, until it has become entirely soft and runny. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan or in the oven. Once melted, pour both the oil and the creamed coconut into your blender or food processor, adding the fresh mint leaves and coconut milk. Blend on a low speed for 1 minute, then as the ingredients begin to combine, turn the speed up and blend for a further 30 seconds. Once everything is smooth and runny and the mint leaves are no more than a few green specs, use a small spatula (i can't live without this one), to get every last bit out of your machine. Remove the chocolate from the freezer and, leaving them in the moulds, spoon a small amount of the mint cream into the centre of each one. Flatten it as much as you can, but be careful not to spread the cream to far towards the edge of the chocolate. You want it as central as possible in order for the top layer of chocolate to cover it completely. 

Take the remaining chocolate from earlier and, if it has solidified, briefly melt it again. Pour over the mint cream until you can no longer see it. Return to the freezer to set for a further 15 minutes. Remove 10 minutes before serving/enjoying. Store in the fridge

COURGETTE AND SPINACH CREPES

Snacks, Vegetarian, Lunch, Gluten free, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle copperman1 Comment

When i was a child, i thought that pancakes literally came from heaven. i made them every weekend and used to dowse them in maple or golden syrup, peanut butter, or sugar and lemon. It began to be less about the pancakes and more about the toppings.

They are delicious, and the best thing about them is how easy they are to make. I used to make 3 ingredient crepes which just involved whisking the mixture and pouring it into the pan. As my tastebuds and nutritionally hungry mind have developed, i have found ways of making these pancakes with as many ingredients as possible. And by that, i don’t mean artificial additives. I add fruit and vegetables to my pancakes these days, and substitute white flour and cows milk for creamy nut milks and nutritious, fibrous, high-protein seeds (amaranth, millet, buckwheat, quinoa) or their flaked versions. I also add as many super foods as possible, and only sweeten the pancakes with natural, unrefined syrups or coconut palm sugar. Although these green crepes are savoury and i don’t use any sweetener at all, you could very easily make them sweet, as the crepes themselves have a very neutral flavour, and don't taste as spinach-y as they look! You could top them with fruit, natural syrups of your choice or raw nutella, but I prefer these for lunch or dinner, topped with vegetables, salad, tahini and other dressings.

Happy pancake day! 

INGREDIENTS
(makes 10-12 large crepes)

220g Buckwheat Flour
3 Eggs
2 Cups Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
1 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Large Handfuls Spinach or Watercress
1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Cup Courgette, grated or spiralled
1/2 Teaspoon Spirulina or Chlorella
1/2 Teaspoon Charcoal Powder, optional
Coconut Oil, for frying

METHOD

Simply place all of the ingredients into a high speed blender. Add the milk and the eggs first to avoid the flour becoming a lump and clogging the blade. Blend on a high speed for about 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and becomes a pale green. Once completely smooth, heat a heaped teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan. When it has melted, pour the crepe mixture directly from the jug of your blender (less washing up!) and spread the mixture out evenly across the pan by moving and rotating it gently. Don't use too much mixture at once of the crepe will be too thick and cakey. Pour in enough to cover the middle of your pan, leaving about 2 inches between the edges of the pancake and the sides of the pan. Then spread the mixture to make it slightly larger, and thinner. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip with a spatula and cook on the other side. The pancake should begin to brown and crisp ever so slightly at the edges. You may need to flip it over several times to get it exactly right and cooked through.

Repeat until you have used all of the mixture, or store any leftover batter in the fridge, in a jug covered with cling film or an airtight container. I'd advise you to cook them all at once though, so you'll always have the foundations of a healthy snack, breakfast, lunch or dinner, when you're short for time.

+ Serve with Chanterelle Pate, Tahini Avocado Cream or simple mashed avocado, Carrot Sesame Dressing, Red Pepper Houmous, Pure Tahini and fresh or steamed vegetables. These are also amazing with Pea Houmous, Bean Slaw and Celeriac Broccoli Slaw.

CARROT SESAME DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

2 Carrots, grated
Juice of 1/2 Orange
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon or Lime Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Tamari or pinch of salt
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
1 Tablespoon Cold Water
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger or fresh ginger, grated
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric or 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric
2 Tablespoons Goji Berries, optional (can substitute for 1/2 teaspoon honey)

METHOD

Soak the goji berries, if using, in a small bowl in just enough boiling water to cover them. Let sit for 5 minutes, to soften. Place all of the other ingredients into your blender, adding the goji berries once they become soft, and blend together on a high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the carrot is no longer lumpy, and the mixture becomes smooth and thin.

Season to taste.

+ Thicken with tahini if you want a thicker dip/dressing. Or blend 1/2 ripe avocado in with the rest of the ingredients.

RAW VANILLA SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten free, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

The recipe for these raw shortbreads came about quite accidentally. I was going through the stages of making Raw Caramel Shortbreads and got as far as step two, when I realised how good step one tasted solo. I scrambled the mixture out of the baking tin and chopped the raw biscuit base into fingers resemblant of the  traditional tea-time favourites. Despite having a buttery biscuit base (did I steal that from somewhere?), these biscuits are set in the freezer, instead of baked. If you're used to conventional biscuits you probably can't even begin to imagine how these must taste. But let me assure you; these biscuits are more melt-in-the mouth than a Rich Tea, any day. They are incredibly moreish, cleverly crafted and, simply put, very, very nice indeed. No matter how hungry or fed I am, each bite - even the tiniest nibble -  is a thrill that never loses its charge. 

Once set in the freezer to stiffen, these biscuits have almost exactly the same texture as a normal shortbread, just a little less crumbly. They are like a cross between shortbread and fudge - a winning combination if ever I came across one.

INGREDIENTS

100g cashews
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
A Generous Pinch of Salt
3 Tablespoons Tahini
5 Tablespoons Ground Almonds
3 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted on a low heat
2-3 Tablespoons Agave

Optional
Juice and Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon
Fresh Rosemary
Cacao Powder
Raw Chocolate Chunks or Raw Cacao Nibs
Superfoods of Choice - Lucuma, Maca, Mucuna and Chia Seeds work well

METHOD

Simply add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender. The speed and power of your blender is really important for this recipe, as the biscuit tastes so much better smooth. 

 + Experiment with flavours such as solid coconut milk or creamed coconut, for a clotted cream variation.

+ For a raw choc chip cookie, simply add cacao nibs or chunks of raw chocolate to the mixture, and form into flat discs instead of shortbread fingers. For a dehydrated version, click here.

+ serve with homemade cashew cream, runny coconut cream or coconut and ginger whip.

+ Try my raw caramel millionaire shortbreads.

SUPERFOOD MINCE PIES WITH DAIRY FREE CREAMS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

An incredible recipe for the perfect gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free mince pies. This recipe uses the most amazing gluten and dairy free pastry I have ever made, and the filling is a unique caramelly take on traditional mince meat. I was never a fan of mince pies growing up and always hated sultanas or currents in anything, picking them out excruciatingly from anything I found them in. This recipe doesn’t use conventional, high sugar dried fruits, but instead combines antioxidant rich super foods such as goji berries and dates with fresh blueberries. The dates make the texture of the filling incredibly caramelly, and the berries release a delicious flavour into the mixture which is absorbed by all of the other fruits as they cook.

+ Get ahead of yourself and make the dough now, which you can freeze or which will last in the fridge for a couple of days before you need to cook it.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 18 (base and top)

For the Crust
250g Buckwheat Flour
50g Ground Almonds
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temperature
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Creamed Coconut Bar, melted (not essential, but delicious)
4 Tablespoons Agave, Date Syrup or Maple Syrup
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda

For the Filling
4 Apricots, chopped
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Powder, Extract or Fresh Seeds
6 Dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 Green Apple, chopped
30g Goji Berries, optional
125g Fresh Blueberries
Handful Dried Blueberries, optional (can substitute for other dried fruit)
The Juice of half a Fresh Orange (and zest - optional)
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Tumeric
1 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger or Ground Ginger
1-2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Maca or Ginseng, optional

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160c. Grease a muffin tin with a little coconut oil.
For the crust, place all of the ingredients but only half of the flour at this point, into a food processor or high speed blender. (To melt the bar of creamed coconut, simply fill a bowl with boiling water and place the sealed bar inside. Let it sit until the water has cooled enough for you to put your hands in it and then massage the bar to quicken up the melting process. Once melted, snip the corner with some scissors and measure out two tablespoons). If using a blender, add the wet ingredients first so the flour doesn’t clump around the blade, and blend on a high speed for 20-30 seconds. If the mixture isn’t completely smooth this doesn’t matter, just make sure the coconut oil is more or less combined. Transfer to a bowl and continue to mix the mixture, adding the remaining flour, until it is completely combined. Add a little more flour if it seems too sticky and wet, or a little more agave if it is too dry. Knead and fold the dough over itself on a floured surface, using the warmth of your hands to melt any small lumps of coconut oil that might remain. Roll the dough out until it is about 3mm thick. This pastry is easiest to work with freshly made and warmer rather than colder, so there is no need to store it in the fridge. The pastry is also a slightly unusual texture, both dry and doughy at the same time, so i find the best way to roll it out without it crumbling/breaking/sticking to the surface is to press down with the rolling pin, rather than just rolling and dragging. Work with it gently. Use a round cookie cutter to make you individual crusts, and use a thin, wide, sharp knife to separate the dough discs if they have become slightly stuck to the surface. Lay each circle into the muffin tin. Leave the leftover dough for the toppings. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the crusts begin to brown, but aren’t cooked through. Whilst they cook, prepare the filling.

For the filling, simply place all of the ingredients apart from the chia seeds into a medium saucepan on a low-medium heat. Stir constantly and burst the blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, and add the chia seeds just before you take the mixture off of the heat. Take a tablespoon and fill each pre-baked crust. 

Roll out the remainder of your dough and use a cookie cutter (a star, a christmas tree or holly leaves work well but you can use a round one to make a sealed pie). Take each shape and arrange it on top of the mince mixture. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the pastry is turning a golden brown.

To serve, dust with buckwheat flour or ground desiccated coconut, and serve with coconut cream, runny almond cream or with an extra dollop of mince meat if you have some left over.

'SINGLE' ALMOND CREAM

Ingredients
1 Cup Soaked Almonds (or cashews, macadamia and brazil nut work well too)
1/3 Cup Water
Vanilla, optional
Agave, optional
Himalayan Pink Salt, optional

Method
Simply blend the almonds and water together on a high speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve or, even better if you have one, through a nut milk bag or jam strainer. Return the strained mixture to the blender and add your flavours or sweetener of choice, if using. If the mixture is too thick for you, add a little more water to thin it. Blend again and then transfer to a serving jug. Pour over warm or cold puddings, over your breakfast or even into savoury dishes.

GINGER COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger or Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Agave or Date Syrup

Method
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth - this will only take a few seconds. Transfer into a jar or container and set in the fridge for 1-2 hours until ready to serve

    PARSNIP, CELERIAC AND QUINOA BURGERS

    Snacks, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

    These patties are a quick and easy way to get in plenty of vegetables, vitamins and nutrients. Blenders are a godsend for many reasons, one of them being that they make it possible to disguise and/or completely reinvent vegetables into something far more delicious and flavoursome. Making pesto with kale or spinach and adding vegetables to homemade houmous are two of my favourite quick and easy blender recipes, as well as vegetarian burgers and patties, like these. The great thing about both pesto/spreads and burgers/patties is that they are both perfect for using up leftovers too. There are no real foundations, meaning you can add pretty much anything to them, and as long as they stick and combine properly, you’ve got a vibrant and filling meal in an instant. If in doubt - make patties. They are total crowd pleasers. You can serve them as snacks or canapés, starter or sides, or make a real meal out of them and serve them with plenty of sides as you would a normal burger. These are great in the summer, but just as good during the winter when the best ingredients are in season, and in abundance.

    INGREDIENTS
    Makes 8-10

    2 Parsnips, grated
    1 Carrot or 1/2 Sweet Potato, grated
    1/2 Celeriac, grated
    5 Medium Spinach, Kale or Broccoli Stems, chopped
    1 Egg
    180g Quinoa, cooked
    1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds or Nuts of Choice
    1 Clove Garlic
    60g Cup Buckwheat Flour
    1/4 Cup Ground Almonds
    1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill
    1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
    1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
    3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    1 Teaspoon Sumac
    1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
    Pinch Salt

    METHOD

    Preheat the oven to 160c. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or grease the tray with a little coconut oil.

    Blend the sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor for 10 seconds. Add the greens or broccoli and garlic and blend for about 20 seconds until everything is finely chopped.

    Transfer to a large bowl, and grate in all of the vegetable ingredients. Mix to combine and then add the cooked quinoa, fresh and dried herbs, flours, salt, oil, egg and nutritional yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon and bring the mixture together with your hands once it has reduced in stickiness. 

    If the mixture is too wet, add more buckwheat flour or ground almonds. If it is too dry, add a little extra oil. Form the mixture into flattened burger shapes, or into small balls if you wish to make them more like falafels.

    Place them on your prepared baking tray, careful not to place them too close together. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

    GOJI TAHINI DRESSING

    INGREDIENTS
    1/2 Cup Goji Berries
    3 Tablespoons Tahini
    1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    Juice of Half an Orange
    1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger or Fresh Ginger, grated
    1/2 Teaspoon Raw Honey
    3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    2-3 Tablespoons Water

    METHOD
    Start by softening the goji berries. Place the berries in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave to sit for about 5-10 minutes, then drain the berries and put them into your blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture seems to thick or isn’t becoming smooth enough, add a little more water, but the longer you blend it for the smoother it will become.

    Serve from a jug as a dressing or in a small bowl as a dip.

    SAVOURY TAHINI DIP

    INGREDIENTS
    3 Tablespoons Tahini
    5-6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
    1/2 Teaspoon Tamari
    1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
    + Sweetener of choice, optional

    METHOD

    Simply mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl or add to a blender and blend on a slow speed until combined.

    STUFFED MEDJOOL DATES WITH CASHEW CHEESE AND BACON

    Snacks, Sugar Free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

    This recipe is a winner for anyone catering a festive event this time of year. These dates are real crowd pleasers (you can omit the bacon for an equally delicious vegetarian version, and even replace it with wilted chicory leaves). With so many flavours in just one small mouthful, people take a good few minutes to finish one, masticating on each element more than they realise, before commenting on its tastiness. The sweet, chewy texture of the medjool dates, combined with the creaminess of the cashew cream cheese and topped off with a smoky saltiness from the meat is a taste sensation like no other. Perfect as a lunch box snack (easy to pack and easy to transport), served on platters at a canapé event, served as snacks, starters or sides at an informal Christmas gathering or enjoyed as ‘afters’ - part of the cheese board or a cheeky evening snack.

    + I’ve also done this recipe with chestnut cream fillings instead of cashew cream which has worked really well. Simply blend 200g soft chestnuts with 1/2 tin solid coconut milk and a little coconut oil, until smooth. Add salt, tamari, garlic and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour, or leave as it is for a subtly sweet, creamy alternative.

    INGREDIENTS

    20 Dates, pitted
    3/4 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
    1/4 Cup Macadamia Nuts or Brazil Nuts (optional - or just another 1/4 cup cashews)
    1/4 Cup Water
    Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
    1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
    1 Tablespoon Tahini, optional
    Fresh Herbs of Choice
    200g Organic Bacon or Good Quality Ham (use bacon if you want to cook the dates, and use ham if you want to keep them cold and uncooked).

    Optional:
    1-2 Shallots or 1 Tablespoon Onions (raw or cooked, either with work)
    1 Small Clove Garlic (caramelised with blend better - bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the clove becomes soft)

    METHOD
    Start by slicing your dates lengthways down the middle, careful to score them and not to slice the whole way through. You want them to open at a hinge, rather than cutting them into two separate halves. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and prepare the cashew cheese. 

    Place the cashews, water, macadamia or brazil nuts, salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice into a blender and blend on the highest speed. Stop to scrape down the sides, reduce the speed slightly and blend for another minute. Add the nutritional yeast, tahini and shallots if using and blend for a final time, for 1-2 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth. There’s nothing wrong with it being a little lumpy, it will resemble a feta or goats cheese sort of texture, especially once cooked, but i like the cheese to be as smooth as possible. Now, take a teaspoon of the cheese mixture and fill the dates with it. Depending on the size of your dates you may want to use more, or less. 


    Now prepare the bacon or ham. You can either wrap the bacon or ham around the stuffed dates, or you can dice the meat and add that to the cheese stuffing too - this works best in larger dates which you are able to almost close. If you are wrapping the dates, slice the bacon in half lengthways, take a date and place it on one end of the meat. Then carefully roll the date along the bacon, wrapping it up neatly until it is covered. Place it back onto the baking tray and repeat with the other dates. This method creates a much smokier flavour in the dates and the cheese as they catch and absorb the smoky flavour of the meat during the cooking process. If you decide to add the meat to the stuffing, simply dice it into tiny pieces, spoon it onto the cheese mixture and mix it in slightly to combine. Return to the baking tray and repeat with the other dates.

    When each date is nicely stuffed and wrapped, place them under the grill for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is fully cooked. Turn the dates over after 5 - 10 minutes so they cook evenly. The dates and cashew cheese don’t need to be cooked through, so as soon as the bacon is done, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Either serve warm on a sharing platter or as canapés, piercing a cocktail stick into the middle of each one to make them easier to eat, or serve as part of a cold buffet, with cranberry chia jam or homemade christmas chutney.

    + Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.