Creamy Hot Chocolate

A hug in a mug!  There’s nothing better on a chilly winter morning than a warm, creamy, rich mug of hot chocolate.  This delicious recipe has none of the gloopiness of artificial thickeners and the sweetness comes from dates.  By mixing the almond milk with hot water the hot chocolate is warming but not hot enough to destroy the precious nutrients.

Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

1/2 cup cashews

3 tsp raw cocao powder

3 dates

160ml almond milk mixed with 80ml hot water

Method

Place all ingredients in the blender and whiz!

 

 

 

 

Deliciously creamy almond milk

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Homemade almond milk is completely and utterly delicious and very different to it’s shop-bought counterpart.   It took me a long time to get round to making my own almond milk but when I did it was a revelation and totally transformed my breakfasts.  It’s refreshingly light and creamy and I particularly enjoy pouring it over strawberries and papaya or made into a banana, maca and cocao smoothie.   You’ll need to think ahead as the almonds need to be soaked overnight, however, in the morning it’ll only take you 5 minutes.

 

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Equipment

Blender with large cup attatchment

A square or muslin (you can buy this from Tesco, Amazon, Lakeland or Ocado)

A funnel (I use a jam making funnel)

A jug to sieve the milk into

 

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Step 1 – Soak a cup of almonds in water overnight.

 

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Step 2 – Rinse the almonds then add them to the blender along with 2 cups of water (you can adjust the volume of water depending on how rich you want the almond milk).

 

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Step 3 – Whiz for about 10 seconds.

 

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Step 4 – Place the funnel on top of the measuring jug and place the gauze square over the funnel.  Pour the milk into the muslin and funnel until it reaches just below the top of the funnel.  Then fold the muslin over so the milk is contained as if in a pouch.

 

 

 

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Step 5 – At first the milk will just drain out of the muslin pouch into the jug easily as you lift it, however, you may need to twist the top of the pouch and give a good squeeze to get the last of the milk.

 

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Step 6 – Your milk is ready to drink – Enjoy!

 

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Tomato pasta sauce

This is my favourite ‘go-to’ recipe it’s just fantastic for a quick and easy family meal.  All the ingredients are tossed into the blender and then poured over spiralized courgette or sweet potato.  My children prefer spaghetti and this is a perfect stir-in sauce too.  I’ve even had this sauce as a soup and it was delicious,  there are 4 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl of Heinz tomato sauce and its nowhere near as nice as this home made raw version.  You can garnish the dish with pine nuts and basil.

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Ingredients

4 tomatoes or several handfuls of cherry tomatoes

1 cm ginger

1 spring onion (only the white part) or a small shallot

Juice from half a lime or lemon

2 dates

1/2 tsp chilli powder

 

tomato sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall of Jars

My husband Ed calls this my wall of jars and I love it! I wanted to display all the lovely nuts and seeds that go into my cooking.  Little items that I grab a pinch of to garnish soup or salad; tasty little morsels such as pine nuts and sunflower seeds.  Just one date can sweeten a raw sauce up a treat and is always within reach.jars

I buy these jars from Amazon; here’s the link (disclaimer: I’ll get a teeny bit of commission if you use this link!)
6 x Kilner Cliptop Round Preserve Jars: 0.5L/1lb

 

Pear with orange and lime cashew cream

pear

It’s autumn and I’m full of cold, there’s no better pick-me-up than a bowl of fresh fruit with a tangy and sweet cashew orange and lime cream.  And it’s wonderfully easy to put together.  The suns still out so I can sit outside and enjoy it!

 

Ingredients

2 ripe pears

Handful of cashew nuts

Juice of half an orange

Juice of half a lime

1 date

Sprinkle of toasted quinoa to garnish

 

Instructions

Chop the pear into cubes.

Place the cashews, orange and lime juice and date into the blender.

Blend together and pour over the pear.  Sprinkle with the toasted quinoa and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Beet burgers

I love the colour of beetroot and its gorgeous earthy taste.  This is another ridiculously easy meal to make that is also super healthy.  I discovered it in the pages of Raw Food by Eria Palmercrantz and Irmela Lilja.  My husband and I really enjoy this as a lunch with a raw soup.

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Ingredients

3 beets

2 carrots

1/4 cup pistachios

1/2 – 1 avocado

2 tsp lemon juice

Pinch mineral salt

1-2 tsp mustard

Some bug lettuce leaves like romaine

Capers to top

 

Instructions

Chop the beets and carrots into small cubes.

Add the pistachios and blend together.

Add the avocado and blend.

Add the lemon juice, mustard and salt  and blend again.

Place a spoonful in the middle of each lettuce leaf and garnish with the capers.

 

 

Blackberry overnight oats

Overnight oats require soaking overnight but in the morning they are ready to be eaten straight away from the fridge making them a brilliant breakfast for when you’re pushed for time.

I wanted to make my oats look so amazing I couldn’t resist eating them.

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Instructions

2/3 cup oats – I recommend gluten free

2/3 cup almond milk – I prefer home made

 

Additional ingredients 

Blackberries

For awesome yumminess I stirred in blended blackberries. I love the pastel purple colour.   Personally I don’t mind bits but if you like smooth purées you’ll need to then pass the blended berries through muslin. You can prepare a punnet and freeze portions ready to used when needed.  Save some whole ones for the top.

Edible flowers for total gorgeousness.

Chopped pistachios.  I used a pestle and mortar to break them up.

Sliced banana

Sliced strawberry

Toasted quinoa.  The only cooked ingredient.

Raw chocolate powder dusted over the banana

Dessicated coconut.  Total heaven!

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Maple iced carrot cake

This raw carrot cake is absolutely delicious, it takes a little bit of time to make but it’s well worth the effort.  I call it ‘better than’ carrot cake as it beats the real thing.  Of course being greedy I had to have three layers!

carrotcake

 

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups carrot grated as finely as possible then squeezed free of liquid, alternatively use the pulp from juicing carrots.

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup pitted dates

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cm ginger

5 tbsp almond flour

 

Maple syrup icing

1 cup cashews

1/3 cup coconut oil

3 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lime juice

 

Instructions

Add all the ingredients of the cake mix into the blender and pulse until they are well mixed.

On baking paper separate the mixture into three balls and flatten form the layers with your hands.  The mixture should be moist and sticky enough to do this easily.

Place the three layers into the freezer whilst you make the icing.

Put all the ingredients for the icing into the blender and whiz until smooth.

Start to assemble the cake by spreading some icing across the first layer.  not too much or it will ooze out.  Place the second layer on top then again spread with icing, making sure you have enough icing for the top layer.

Keep in the fridge and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

What Blender?

The most used item in my kitchen is without a doubt my Nutri Bullet blender;  it’s used at least 5-6 times a day.  I use it to make almond milk, soups, dressings-and sauces, grinding nuts, smoothies and all manner of pates and spreads.  Almost every meal I make requires the blender.  See it in action below where I’m making a quick spinach soup…

The Nutri Bullet is good because it can run continuously for up to a minute, some blenders can only run for 10 seconds before they need to rest.  Its high power means it can cope with some tough mixtures like dates and tahini.  Its so easy to use, the children use it for their frozen fruit slushies! It’s very easy to wash, I rinse the blades as soon as I’ve finished and the cups can go in the dishwasher.  There’s a lid like a sports bottle which I use when I need a smoothie on the run.  There are no loose parts to lose.  It’s light and small enough to be taken on holiday.  I love it.

There are lots of blenders out there, before my Nutri Bullet I had a smaller Magic Bullet (same company), which was fine for protein shakes but it could only run for 10 seconds at a time and was less powerful than the Nutri Bullet so I discovered that I had to upgrade.

Here is a link to the Nutri Bullet on Amazon – if you buy it after using this link I’ll get a small contribution which helps to keep this site running!

Spinach Soup

I love raw soups! I’m totally converted from their cooked counterparts, however, it took a while, whilst transitioning to raw I had a mental block about having raw soup.  I thought ‘how can this be filling and wholesome and warming?’ I was wrong and now I cant get enough, particularly after a long bike ride.  I go through phases of which soup I like best, but it’s wonderful getting home and being able to choose from a selection of soups all of which can be made in minutes.

My trick is to make the soup up using 3 parts of water, one part of which is boiling water.  This means the soup is warmed even though it doesn’t exceed the magic 40 degrees (after 40 degrees the active nutrients such as enzymes are destroyed by the cooking process).

Instructions

  1. Pack your blender with as much spinach as you can without overloading it – sometimes I feel really sorry for my blender, it works really hard!
  2. Add the juice from half a lime
  3. Add 1 spring onion
  4. Add half an avocado
  5. Add a pinch of good quality salt such as Himalayan Mountain Salt

Whiz then enjoy! you can sprinkle some pine nuts on the top with a drizzle of  olive oil, or if you’re watching your weight add some ripped basil leaves to the top.