Healing Winter Soup

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Last week I experienced for the first time what it was like to be the parent of a poorly little poppet. Little Lucy got a nasty chesty cold with one of those horrendous barking coughs. As a result my body has been fighting it like crazy and that goes hand in hand with some very sleepless nights. It is true though that babies are born with universal intelligence. She knew exactly what to do. Lie down. Stop. Screw up the to-do list (which must have been stressful for her – she had to reschedule ‘chew remote’ and ‘chase dogs’). Cry those emotions out. Feel sorry for herself. Be gentle. Sleep.

Taking my cue from her I listened to what it was my body wanted. It wanted warm, grounding, healing soup. So I chose beautiful seasonal organic produce, chopped it all up and made a soup that can only be described as Bloody Bonza, Mate. (apologies to the non-Australian contingent of this readership). I then supercharged it with a whole load of ancient superfood spices and Bob’s ya uncle.

So I stopped with my daughter and we cuddled and I watched Death at a Funeral for the 34,824th time. It was lovely. 

And the more we slurped down the better we both felt. Our healing could be due to all the Vitamin C in the pumpkin and sweet potato though it is much more likely because of the soups magical powers. 

So if you are feeling sick or you just like delicious soup – this is for you! Lucy loved it…

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Healing Winter Soup

Vegan – Gluten Free – Paleo

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Ingredients

  • 1kg Pumpkin (Yam), cubed into 4cm cubes
  • 1/2 large Sweet Potato (Kumara), cubed into 2cm cubes
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 Onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups Stock or Water
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 3cms knob of Ginger, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely diced
  • Bunch of Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 1 tablespoon Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds (Cilantro)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Optional

  • 1 can of Coconut Cream
  • Dulce Flakes

Method

  1. Heat Coconut Oil in large pot
  2. Add Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Onion, Ginger, Garlic and the stem and roots of the coriander bunch. Stir until the onion is soft.
  3. Add Leek, Turmeric, Cumin, Coriander Seeds, Coriander Leaves (save some for presentation) and Nutmeg and stir until the spice has thoroughly coated the contents of the pot.
  4. Add Stock or Water and bring to the boil
  5. Then simmer until soft (approximately 20 minutes)
  6. Allow to cool slightly before blending (either in blender or with stick blender)
  7. Serve hot. If using coconut cream skim the cream off top with teaspoon and swirl on your soup for extra prettiness. I also dusted mine with Dulce Flakes.

Bored of the soup?

If you are halfway through your pot and are getting a bit tired of the same taste there are a few options.

Thai Pumpkin Soup – Add coconut cream, a pinch of cayenne, lime juice and your salty seasoning of choice (coconut aminos, tamari or fish/soy sauce). Add them all to taste and BAM – you have yourself a zesty pumpkin soup.

Curry Base – I sauteed some broccoli and onions in some spices (garlic, ginger etc) and then added a few ladles of soup. Served it on a bed of quinoa with a health handful of raw cashews for a super simple lunchtime curry!

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What about you? What is YOUR favorite healing food when you are feeling under the weather?

Raw Cross Buns

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free – Refined Sugar Free – Raw – Vegan – Paleo

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My husband looks forward to Easter for one reason and one reason only; Hot Cross Buns! He lives for them. So considering we are both gluten intolerant now the prognosis of his HCB addiction hit him hard. I had to really talk him down from the bakery ledge the other day as he was going to throw bloatedness, itchiness and general discomfort to the wind for the sake of some gluten goodness. They say grief goes through 12 stages right? Poor soul. So I have been keeping my eye out for a gluten free recipe to try and ease his pain. And as soon as I saw this recipe on fab raw food blog Rawified I knew I had to give it a crack of my own version… and i’m pretty stoked with the result.

These little bun bites are delicious! They taste identical to hot cross buns which is slightly confusing as they are an entirely different texture (obviously they are not going to have that glorious fluffiness that only refined white bread has!). While I would have easily downed 3 hot cross buns in my past life these are so rich and nutrient dense that you only need one before you are totally satisfied. Plus they are full of Omega’s, protein, fiber and deliciousness. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups raw almonds 
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup cashew pulp (made from cashew milk… see recipe here) OR 1 cup cashews if you haven’t made milk **see note
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (agave, raw honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax seed (aka linseed)
  • 3 large dates
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

** If you have prior notice to making these then I would urge you to try the milk! You are going to use the same amount of cashews in the recipe anyway and if you just soak them 6 hours before (preferably the night before) you can get a good litre of non-dairy milk as a bonus!

Icing

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice – i used maple YUM (agave, raw honey, maple syrup etc)
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (if you don’t have that table salt is fine)

Method

Dough

  1. Using a food processor grind up your almonds to a fine powder (and if you are using whole cashews instead of cashew pulp add these too)
  2. Add all other ingredients except the raisins. Pulse your food processor until the ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Add the raisins and pulse so that they are mixed but not purified.
  4. Shape your dough into balls slightly smaller than golf balls. Flatten them with the back of a spoon. Get a butter knife and carve in a cross shape. As you press the knife in wiggle it side to side so the groove of the cross is opened.
  5. Set aside while you make the icing.

Icing

  1. Using a food processor grind up your cashews to a fine, even powder. This is your icing so you do not want it to be lumpy and bumpy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and combine until they are a smooth caramel coloured paste.
  3. If you have a piping bag use this to pipe your crosses. Otherwise I just used two butter knifes. I got a bit of icing onto the blade of one knife and then just scraped it into the cross grooves.
  4. Serve with a big smile.

Have a happy healthy Easter!!!

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Teacup Cake

Gluten Free – Grain Free – Refined Sugar Free – Dairy Free – Paleo

Cooking time – 3 minutes, Serves 1

So is it a Teacup Cake or a Tea Cupcake?

A Mud Cake or a Mug Cake?

Scrumdiddiliumptious or Yumskiddilidumptious?

Some of life’s great questions. All I know is that I played around with a few healthy ingredients and ended up with the most gorgeous little cake-for-one recipe. This is perfect for when you have a sweet craving but cannot be trusted with the whole cake. This being said, it is a healthy (read; gluten free, sugar free, grain free, dairy free) recipe so even if you don’t limit yourself to just one cup you are doing okay!

I have to apologise for the photo quality… I didn’t expect to be successful so I was just playing around on my phone before putting it up on Instagram (come follow me! My user name is @oliveonblonde). Don’t worry, the photo quality is not representative of the taste. It is Delicious with a capital D.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 tablespoons Almond Meal
  • 1.5 tablespoons Organic Raw Cacao
  • 1 tablespoon Raw Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Butter
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Salt (try go for an unprocessed one like Pink Himalayan)
  • 1 Egg

Optional

I topped mine with some Cashew Cream I had already made and some Cacao Nibs.

To make Cashew Cream you need raw cashews, non-dairy milk, natural sweetener and a vanilla pod. I swear by Vegan Sparkles (one of my fave bloggers and friends) fail-safe recipe – see it here. (This will mean recipe takes about 10 minutes instead of 3)

It is perfect by itself but if you want something extra but don’t want to make the cashew cream get creative… berries, nut butter and honey. Get creative!

Method

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a teacup.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute.
  3. Optional: Top with Cashew Cream and Cacao nibs.
  4. That is it. Seriously.

NOTE: If you want to make a bigger cake, double the ingredients, put in a mug and microwave for two minutes!

Great for kids!!! (My husband wanted to add that he is proof that it is child friendly – even he managed to cook one!)

Raw Coconut Macaroons (Paleo, Raw, Vegan)

Paleo – Raw – Vegan – Gluten Free – Refined Sugar Free

Preparation Time – 10 minutes; Fridge Time – 40 minutes 

 

What a sweet little treat!

What a sweet little treat!

I have been completely embracing a new way of life lately – a life where I actually value the body I am trudging around in! This means I have forgone grains, refined sugar, dairy and opted instead for loads of vegetables, fruit and lean proteins. Not only am I aiming for a slightly lighter existence (post baby bod blues) but I have added motivation now. Since having my baby I seem to have developed allergies – itchy red rashy allergies! Strange but true. As you can see here The New York Times reported that due to weakened immune function, it’s not uncommon for women to develop allergies after giving birth. So with that in mind I am not only on a mission to discover what I am newly allergic to but I am also trying to balance that with breast-feeding cravings. Enter Sir Macaroon!

Strawberry optional... but was tasty I can assure you!

Strawberry optional… but was tasty I can assure you!

This fluffy, gooey ball of love was oh so simple to whip up. They are very sweet and moist and the perfect afternoon snack for that 3pm pang of sweetness. Next time I will dip them in raw chocolate and drizzle it over the top as well. (If you want to try this the raw chocolate recipe that I would use is the Ganache Icing from my Superfood Slice – see that here). Could be the makings of an indulgent raw dessert in there somewhere?

Ingredients

½ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Coconut Butter (Buy this at health food store or make your own see here)
1 ½ – 2 Cups unsweetend shredded coconut
3-4 tablespoon of sweetener of choice (maple syrup, raw honey or agave)

Method

  1. Soften the coconut oil and coconut butter by heating in a small saucepan or by placing inside the oven at low heat
  2. Once melted to liquid remove from heat.
  3. Add your sweetener and combine.
  4. Add the shredded coconut bit by bit until you get the consistency you want. The mix won’t stick together like a traditional doughy mixture but it will cool down and harden into a solid form.
  5. Form the mix into whatever macaroon shape blows your hair back – little domes are tradition. You may have some liquid leftover at the bottom of the bowl… I poured these over the the mounds for extra richness. They will cool to be solid!
  6. Put in fridge to cool down.
  7. EAT THEM!
Snowy Stack!

Snowy Stack!

Spectacular Superfood Slice (Paleo, Vegan, Raw)

PALEO – VEGAN – RAW – GLUTEN FREE

Preparation Time – 20 minutes; Fridge Time – 1 hour

Oh my!

Oh my!

Now I don’t want to blow my own trumpet here… actually screw that! – get me my trumpet, my trombone and even my flugelhorn god-dammit because this is my most successful clean living recipe yet!!! It is vegan, paleo and raw not to mention being chockablock full of superfoods. And while I am sure there are many recipes that boast the same credentials this one is so unbelievably tasty that you would never believe it was good for you! I would gladly serve this as a dessert option to the most devoted of junk food eating, sweet tooths. It is a perfect healthy alternative for the 3pm sugar rush or as an after-dinner treat. It is so indulgent that you only need the tiniest amount to satisfy yourself.

It's sweet.... its salty... its spectacular!

It’s sweet…. its salty… its spectacular!

Can you tell i’m proud of this one? I sound like i’m on an infomercial! “And if you make one slice today… i’ll send you these 3 attachments FREE!” So, while i’m selling it, here are the superfoods you’ll find within its chocolatey walls:

Goji Berries – filled with powerful antioxidants and other compounds that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses including heart disease. Also boosts the immune system and lowers cholesterol.

Raw Cacao – filled with iron, dietary fiber, calcium, zinc, potassium and antioxidants. Helps oxygenate the blood. A rich source of magnesium, which helps in balancing brain chemistry. It is also rich in sulfur, which builds strong nails and hair, and promotes beautiful skin.

Cacao Nibs – Refer to raw cacao benefits above.

Raw Cashews – decrease risk of heart disease, full of dietary fiber, good source of protein anf full of magnesium which promotes burly bones, nerve functioning and a natural heart rhythm!

Coconut Oil – contains lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid and has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and soothing properties. Therefore helps to maintain cholesterol levels, aids weight loss, increases immunity, helps proper digestion and metabolism and  provides relief for a host of diseases (including kidney problems and heart disease).

Himalayan Pink Salt – Other than being pretty this salt is a natural, chemical free alternative to table salt containing 84 essential minerals. Himalayan salt has no additives and can alleviate the symptoms of a variety of conditions

If you need any more convincing than that I give up!

The perfect amount of gooeyness and crunch

The perfect amount of gooeyness and crunch

Ingredients

(Aim for as many organic ingredients as possible and try get cold-pressed coconut oil)

Fudgy base

    • 2 cups raw cashews
    • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 260g medjool dates (pitted)
    • 100g goji berries
    • 1 cup raw cacao powder
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • ½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt (I used a whole teaspoon because I love the combination of salt and chocolate but if you are trepidatious add it bit by bit and taste the mix as you do. Remember, the ganache icing will be sweet so it will balance that out!)

Ganache Icing

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (try get cold pressed for ultimate health benefits)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • Generouse pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Optional Toppings

  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Goji Berries

Method

Fudgy base

  1. Place cashews in the bowl of food processor and grind until very finely ground (be careful to not over process the nuts into butter
  2. Add the shredded coconut and process until well combined and fine in texture.
  3. Add the pitted dates and goji berries and process until a soft paste forms.
  4. Add the cacao powder – process again.
  5. Finally add the maple syrup and the salt and process to combine until you have a nice creamy texture!
  6. Press firmly into a dish lined with baking paper.
  7. Place in fridge while making the ganache topping.

Ganache Icing

  1. In the food processor, blend together maple syrup and coconut oil until well combined.
  2. Add in cacao powder and a pinch of salt and process until smooth.
  3. Pour over fudge base and spread out evenly over the top.
  4. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and goji’s and return to fridge to set and firm for at least one hour.
  5. Cut into squares and serve the fudge cold. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

These will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months (though I doubt they will remain uneaten that long!) and you can also freeze them if needed.

ENJOY!

Perfect healthy snack food for kids!

Perfect healthy snack food for kids!

Coconut Vanilla Strawberry Cupcakes (Gluten and Dairy Free)

Dairy Free – Gluten Free – Grain Free 

Preparation time: 10 minutes ; Cook time: 20 – 30 minutes

Makes 12

I often find that Gluten Free muffins, cupcakes, breads, pancakes – anything with a doughy naughtiness about them – have a funny dry texture that leaves you mouth feeling somewhat… powdery? That is why I am so obsessed with coconut flour. Every recipe I use it in turns out delicious and moist and tastes more indulgent than it is. I have spoken of my coconut love before (in my recipe for paleo pancakes – see here) but to sum it up; this is a grain free flour that is backed full of fibre and protein. Plus it is made from a ‘waste’ product; i.e. the husk of the coconut.

Inspired by this recipe by The Wannabe Chef, these cupcakes were super moist and had the most subtle coconut flavour. After I took them out of the oven they did sink a bit but I was actually okay with that because it gave a nice flat surface for me to apply the icing too. This being said, it wasn’t a light fluffy cupcake. I am sure they wouldn’t have sunk had I stopped opening the oven door to ogle them!

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (you could also use palm sugar, honey or maple syrup – I was just feeling naughty!)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

‘Cream Cheese’ Frosting 

  • 1 tub tofutti (vegan cream cheese) or normal Cream Cheese if that’s how you roll
  • 1 x Punnet of strawberries
  • Icing sugar to taste

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 175C (350F) and grease your cupcake tin (I use coconut oil but your standard ‘oils’ are fine)
  2. Combine all your ingredients in a bowl and mix to form an even batter
  3. Scoop batter into cupcake wells
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes – until the tops are firm and a skewer comes out without any mix
  5. Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting them
  6. Place entire tub of ‘cream cheese’ into a mixer. Then sprinkle in icing sugar bit by bit and taste as you go. I don’t like my frosting too sweet so I hardly use any but others like that tooth-tingling buzz.
  7. Slice up strawberries and place on top of cupcakes.
  8. EAT!!!