Posts filed under ‘eating in’
Hurrah! We did it! Today is Day 29, meaning that our 28 days of 100% raw are over – and I am excited. I am excited about reaching my goal. I am excited about the health and clarity that I feel. And I am really excited about eating a cooked meal again.
As I mentioned in my 28 days post, when I first ate 100% raw, it was for health reasons. Diet was certainly not my only lifestyle change but it was certainly a contributing factor and, within weeks of eating my new diet, my skin was clear and I was well.
This time, I committed to 28 days because my partner said, “I’d like to try this.” To which I responded, “Do you realise how much work this is?” and then I added, “Ok.” So it was more about a commitment to my partner and a timeframe than feeling the need within myself.
Physical and emotional changes.
We underwent some major changes, both positive and negative, depending on the day and the perspective.
On Day 1, I was thinking, ‘Ok. I’ve done all this before. I’m already high raw. How hard can this be?’ – which, by the end of Day 2 had converted to, ‘Wow. This is so much work. Was this so much work before? I can’t remember it being so much work before.’ and, on Day 3 was, ‘Man, I’m tired.’ And I recalled that, in 2010, I slept an awful lot during my first week. Sleep was impossible to manage so well this time around; it can be elusive when you have a new baby in the house.
The main physical and mental changes/symptoms we experienced included:
- Weight loss – great for me overall because I’m now almost at pre-baby weight. As for my partner, who lost 8% of his body weight and was already at a healthy weight before we started, he now finds himself weighing in at a level that has been foreign for over 20 years. A 6kg weight loss in 4 weeks is pretty amazing – especially when weight loss is not one of your goals – but I have to acknowledge that this would most likely have been muscle as well as fat loss, given the short period of time.
- Blood pressure – I wasn’t so scientific about my measures but my level-headed partner was feeling all scientific (and good on him for doing something I should have!) and had a medical check before and after. The difference in his blood pressure was amazing, decreasing from high-normal (148/86) to an athletic level (110/60).
- Body temperature – by the end of Day 4, my body temperature (which is naturally low) dropped to an almost hypothermic level, and this improved when I concentrated on adding sea vegetables (iodine!) to at least one of our daily meals.
- Clear skin and eyes – my skin was good beforehand, and it felt great afterwards too.
- Energy levels – our energy levels varied from day to day, with lower energy in the first two weeks, and more sustained energy in the latter part of the challenge. Some days I was very fatigued (mostly due to lack of sleep), and I realised that green juice was absolutely material to how vital I felt.
- Endurance vs strength. When it came to exercise, we experienced a decrease in strength but an increase in endurance. In spite of the huge quantity of good whole and super foods we were eating, we were both active all the time and possibly didn’t consume enough of the right nutrients to build strength.
- Clarity of thought – I feel like I am thinking more clearly and concisely.
- Emotional control. Over the course of the 4 weeks, I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions – from gratitude and elation, to deep sadness and resentment. And yet now I feel like I am more in charge of my emotions after the 4 weeks.
- Consciousness about what we put into our bodies and environment. Our new diet precipitated some inspired conversations over the course of the challenge.
A raw food journey can not help but be spiritual as well as mental and physical. At the end of Day 6, my partner and I were talking about the ethics of eating animals, whether supplementation is absolutely necessary, and how processed is too processed – and I was blinded by déjà vu. These were the same questions I started to ask myself in 2010 and, I think, provide fodder for more than one future blog post.
There were challenges & obstacles aplenty.
The prep. The huge amount of prep time ate into my ‘spare’ and sleep time and I got really super tired.
The food aversions. Try eating raw without coconut oil and agave syrup. It’s not easy.
The cravings. By the end of Week 3, I was feeling pretty much over my raw diet. I craved hot soup and pasta, steamed broccoli, poached free range and organic eggs on real sourdough and a thick salmon fillet with crispy skin, all of which I ordinarily feel can be part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Lack of enjoyment of food – and loss of appetite. By the end of Week 2, I was feeling that something was missing. I ate for calories and nutrients rather than enjoyment, and feeling good about your food is so important to ensure a more complete assimilation of the nutrients in your food. For parts of Week 2 and 3, I felt like I was doing something I didn’t need to do and I felt resentful of my raw diet, yet it was my choice!
What I have learned.
Reading the previous section, you may have been led to believe that the 4 weeks was not fantastic for me, and you would be wrong. I have learned so many excellent lessons from this challenge.
The need for interest in our food rekindled my creativity in the kitchen. I am grateful to have a partner who supports me in my foodly research and experiments.
I am thankful for the huge amount of prep time that ate into my ‘spare’ and sleep time. Sleep deprivation and necessity forced me to look at where I was spending my time, which led to some interesting conversations and reprioritisation of my efforts.
My cravings were for reasonably healthful foods. With the exception of pasta, which is processed whichever way you look at it, everything else I craved was warming and wholefoods-based. I feel like I am in tune enough with my body to know what it needs. Right now 100% raw is not it, but I do feel healthiest on a high raw diet.
I feel like I have realigned my body, mind and spirit. We are all on the same page again, more conscious than before. I recognise that I am strong and I listen to my body, and I love the way I feel when I feed my body the best food I can give it.
I also learned that I need the direct injection of chlorophyll that is green juice absolutely everyday. Smoothies don’t cut it for me.
This was hard work and completely unsustainable for our family and the lifestyle we used to enjoy. The sheer amount of prep involved in trying to make our meals appetising as well as raw and healthy has been all-consuming. I was fortunate that my loving partner enjoyed my mashed-together leftovers meals (eg. the nori rolls pictured at the top and bottom of this post) as much as my more creative efforts.
While today I am breathing a sigh of relief, I am also assessing what I can build into our routine to ensure a high level of raw food. I feel that a good set point for our family is 70-80% raw, whole and mainly organic foods.
With breakfast looming and my poached egg craving in the forefront of my mind, I don’t know how my body will handle its first cooked meal. I like the way I feel now. I am never bloated, and I know that I can eat as much as I want and still accidentally lose my excess weight.
I hope this very abridged account of our recent raw food experience has inspired you in some way. It certainly has reinvigorated me.
Finding personal balance is a tough call. I appreciate the lessons this challenge has taught me about my food and self, and I appreciate this opportunity to reset my own foodly philosophy. It’s not often that we allow ourselves the time to take stock and choose our forward path. Where is your path leading you?
This is a post about raw mushroom soup.
Eating a high raw diet in the winter months can be a real challenge when you naturally crave warmth, and I know as well as anyone just how unfulfilling cold soup can be – especially cold mushroom soup. It may hearten you to discover that this soup is warm, hearty and wholesome at once.
Inspired by this Vegan Sparkles recipe, my version calls for dehydrator ‘sautéd’ mushrooms, with soft flesh and slightly crisp edges. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can just marinate your mushrooms; the flavour won’t be as intense so you may need to add salt.
Recipe #134: Raw Cream of Mushroom Soup. Serves 4. I have detailed instructions for a Thermomix (TM) and thermometer here, but you could equally use a food processor/blender followed by some saucepan time in place of the TM.
You will need:
► 320g marinated, dehydrated mushrooms [You can use any type(s) of mushrooms you fancy. The marination/dehydration method appears below]
► 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours
► 2 cloves of garlic
► ½ of a small red onion
► 1 small stick of celery with leaves
► 2 cups of cold water
► the leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
► salt & pepper, to taste
To prepare the mushrooms, slice the mushrooms and coat them in a fairly even mix of tamari, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar and olive oil (just add a good lug of each to start with – you can always add more if you run out). Leave these to marinate for at least half an hour, turning them every few minutes to absorb more of the marinade.
Lay the marinated mushrooms on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 41-46°C for 3-5 hours. You want the mushroom pieces to be softened, just hardening around the edges, and to taste delicious. If they don’t taste salty enough, dehydrate them for longer.
To make the soup, start by adding approximately half of the mushrooms to the TM bowl with the cashews (drained), garlic, onion, celery, water and half of the thyme. Blend at speed 10 for 1 minute. Check the soup for flavour and consistency, adding seasoning and more water if needed, and reblend for 15-30 seconds.
Add the rest of the mushrooms and rest of the thyme, then set the TM to reverse speed 3 and 50°C for 10 minutes, checking the temperature with your thermometer once the 50°C light stops flashing [the temperature should be 42-44°C at this point], then at 15-20 second intervals until the heat of the soup reaches 46°C.
I am so excited about this warming recipe and I hope that you are too. Have a fabulous weekend!
*** Newsflash: my last public class for 2012 is now happening on 8 August [class details here]. After much planning and searching of soul, I am reducing A Foodly Affair‘s services until at least February next year. Thanks so much for understanding, and I hope to see you at my Chocolate Cravings class! ***
This post is your introduction to my latest indulgence and your induction into something special. So special, in fact, that it took me three attempts to bring you a picture – because I kept drinking it too quickly to photograph!
I have spent a few glorious minutes of the last two cold Perth nights curled up on the couch with my latest invention: raw hot chocolate. Even with my changing tastebuds [we're now into Day 12 of our 28 days], I know that this is darn good.
It took me a while to unstick myself from my nutty nog, which I still enjoy so much, and I only did so because I felt I had to really; in the ritual of making and drinking this latest creation, I answered a primal calling.
Recipe #133: Hot Chocolate in the Raw. This is a Thermomix (TM) recipe that also uses a nut milk bag and thermometer, however you can easily adapt this for blender + saucepan on the stove, just watch the temperature of your milk carefully as you heat it. Makes 4 regular mugs’ worth of deliciousness.
You will need:
► 2 cups of almonds, soaked overnight
► 4 cups of water
► 2 heaped tbsp of cacao powder [Warning: this gives a full-on chocolate hit. If you're in any way unsure, I recommend starting with 1 tbsp and adding more to taste.]
► seeds scraped from ½ of a vanilla pod
► ¼ cup of agave syrup [or you could use panela, rapadura]
► ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
► 1/8 tsp chilli powder
► a good grating of nutmeg
► a good pinch of salt
► a relaxed and loving attitude [seriously, it makes a difference!]
First, make the nut milk. Blend together the pre-soaked almonds and water [TM: 30 seconds on speed 8, then 30 seconds on speed 10]. Strain into the TM bowl through a nut milk bag.
>Don’t discard the leftover almond meal! You can stir it into your chia porridge, add it to your next protein bar mix, or add some seeds and dehydrate it into muesli.
Next, add all the other ingredients to the TM and set to 5 minutes, 50°C and speed 5. Note that you are only aiming to heat the milk to ~46°C. In my experience this occurs sometime between 2 and 2½ minutes, so check progress with your thermometer every 15 seconds or so once you reach the 1½ minute mark.
To complete the experience, pre-heat your mugs to 46°C for a few minutes in your dehydrator before pouring your hot chocolate.
This is a very rich drink that you can tone down by adding less cacao powder or more plain nut milk. And you really do have to trust me on the chilli powder. It’s just enough to add a little more warmth without creating spicy heat.
This flavour explosion truly hit the spot for me. It’s a shoulder to snuggle into, a hug from the inside out, a lazy hour reading by an open fire. Enjoy!
This 28 days bears no resemblance to the zombie movie of the same name. It’s about going back to basics and also about reconnecting with the awesome me that I experienced when I first ate 100% raw food in 2010 for over 2 months. This time, I am only committing to 4 weeks of 100% raw. Easy peasy, right?
From last Tuesday, 19 June, my household is eating 100% raw for 4 weeks. We prepared by gradually moving from 80-100% raw over the course of about a week and I made a few essentials, like herb crackers (from “Raw Food, Real World”), zucchini hommous, onion bread (adapted to our tastes from Rawvolution’s famous recipe). I also created a few non-essentials, like velvet chocolate cheesecake and cashew vanilla icecream. Yum.
This is our ninth day in and it’s becoming easier as we go.
When you eat 100% raw, a number of interesting things happen. Your body and brain start to operate differently. You may feel fluey during the first week or two. The cravings during the first few days in particular can be overwhelming. All of this is par for the course, and a good reason to set a finite timeframe for the challenge because all of these changes can be off-putting.
After the first two-ish weeks, however, your body starts to normalise, your mind becomes crystal clear and you feel so much more energised. We are starting to feel this happen for us. It’s like the build-up in the wet season; bring on the rain, I say!
At first, our biggest challenge was keeping interest and variety in our meals whilst also managing to get on with life. For the first four days, most of my waking hours were spent in the kitchen. This was hard work and completely unsustainable for our family. [And I know my better half values his life too much to tell me this, but I am pretty sure I was a little short-fused from Day 5-6.]
Some of our more notable main meals have included:
- wild rice salad;
- pasta puttanesca;
- mushroom, asparagus & walnut ravioli;
- chilli beans and herb crackers;
- mushroom soup – a raw soup inspired by Vegan Sparkles’ recipe;
- raw sunshine soup;
- mushroom steaks; and
- last night’s veg stack.
Some of these recipes will follow in future posts – as will more desserts!
Over the last three days, we have been eating greener and simpler. Once I took stock of the fact that I am working two jobs and feeding me, a man (= 2 x me), a 7-year old (sometimes), a 4-year old and a baby (solids and breastmilk) every meal and snack from scratch, I stopped trying to be perfect and focused on the essentials in life and food. Now most meals comprise a dehydrated ‘bread’ and a selection of salads, perhaps with a selection of fruit and nuts, cashew nut cream and/or raw ‘cheese’. And sometimes we have dessert.
As for snacks, we have been eating:
- smoothies. Many smoothies;
- activated almonds with goji berries and cacao nibs;
- two-toned raw halva – made according to a recipe I modified from Hot Pink Chilli;
- Medjool dates;
- fresh fruit; and
- veg sticks with raw zucchini hommous.
So here we are on Day 9. One of us is nursing an onion bread addiction, I am craving greens instead of pasta, and we are eating and drinking lots and lots and lots of nurturing plant-based foods. I’d say we have almost found our groove.
In case you are interested, there is more to come.
PS. Other foodly tidbits:
- My next class still has a place for you! Winter Warmers is running on 4 July at the beautiful Maylands Yacht Club. Cost is only $100. I would love to see you there! Book via: 0468 830 114 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Annette at Wellness WA has initiated “Green July”, a month of green juices/smoothies, as an alternative to Dry July. I think it’s an awesome idea so I have signed up. Will you?
- Joel Serra Bevin, a fellow MasterChef 2009 contestant, has now launched his own foodie tours business in Barcelona. Named for his great grandfather, Papa Serra promises a culinary journey like no other. Yay Joel!
This salty-fishy dish of dubious origins has been a firm favourite since my university days, however I had never tried it raw until my recent raw degustation at CNR. It was so delicious and true to taste that I vowed to recreate it at home, which I did a few days ago – with the help of a willing partner, who performed most of the grunt work.
The noodles in this recipe are made from spiralised zucchinis (courgettes), which are technically just out of season in Perth, however I was still able to source decent local zucchinis from an organic grower at yesterday’s markets. That said, you can substitute carrot or butternut pumpkin for the zucchini in this recipe.
Recipe #131: Pasta puttanesca. Serves 2. You will need a spiraliser or peeler to make this recipe, and a mortar & pestle would also come in handy.
You will need:
► 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
► a small chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
► a few good lugs of olive oil
► 2 tomatoes, seeds & skin removed – then diced [optional: and bashed with a mortar & pestle]
► 1 large handful of kalamata olives, pitted and cut into 1/8 pieces [optional: and bashed a little with a mortar & pestle]
► 1 small handful of capers, drained [optional: and bashed a little with a mortar & pestle]
► 2 heaped tbsp of oregano, finely chopped
► 2 heaped tbsp of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
► a good pinch of salt
► optional: 1 tsp of lemon zest
► 2 zucchinis
For the sauce, combine the garlic, chilli and olive oil together and let stand while preparing the other ingredients. Mix all ingredients, except for the zucchinis, together. That’s your sauce made.
The bashing with the mortar & pestle releases the flavours of the ingredients and makes the final consistency of the dish a little more saucy, but it really is optional.
Prepare the pasta just before serving, by either spiralising (for thin noodles) or peeling (for pappardelle style noodles) the zucchinis into strips.
Combine the noodles and sauce, adding extra olive oil if it lacks a glossy sheen. Serve into flat bowls, top with raw parmesan and devour. Yummy.
What is raw parmesan? I hear you ask. It’s a very simple blend of ingredients and, while it is not made from cheese per se, it does taste remarkably cheesy when sprinkled over raw pasta.
Recipe #132: Raw parmesan. A food processor, Vitamix or Thermomix would come in really handy for this recipe.
You will need:
► 100g freshly shelled walnuts
► 50g sunflower seeds
► 35g nutritional yeast
► 1½ tsp Himalayan salt, finely ground
► 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
► 1/8 tsp chilli powder
► a good grinding of black pepper
Start by grinding the walnuts and sunflower seeds by pulsing with your food processor/TM until you reach a crumb-like consistency [as you can see in the images above; you can grind the ingredients more or less, depending on your preference]. Mix in the other yeast, spices and salt until well combined. Taste; add more salt/pepper as needed, or a little more yeast if it doesn’t taste cheesy enough. Now it’s fabulous and ready to be used immediately, or to be stored in the fridge for later use.
Wishing you a fabulous week,
A stockpile of frozen young coconut flesh is a fortunate side effect of my addiction to fresh coconut water. What to do with that stockpile presents me with endless opportunities for foodly experiments.
Yesterday I set out to make coconut sorbet. Because the young coconut flesh did not process as I thought it would or should, I ended up with a refreshing coconut granita instead.
I paired my coconut with pomegranate, a fruit I have loved more since seeing this YouTube clip on how to deseed them [although I have since discovered another clip that I find more respectful and marvellous]. Aside from tasting mouth-poppingly great, pomegranate seeds are incredibly healthful, purportedly acting to inhibit cancer, reduce symptoms and risk factors of heart disease, and generally improve cardiovascular, skeletal and nervous system health.
This recipe is also momentous because it represents my first ever use of yacon syrup. While not a raw product, yacon syrup promises health benefits including (among others) “strengthening the immune system, higher absorption of calcium by the body, reduction of cholesterol level, [and] inhibition of the production of toxins and other carcinogenic substances in the colon” [Manrique, I., Parraga, A. & Hermann, M. (2005) "Yacon Syrup: Principles and Processing", Centro Internacional de la Papa, Peru]. With a pleasant sweetness that sits somewhere between molasses and malt extract, I can see this prebiotic becoming a regular feature of my foodly experiments.
Recipe #130: Coconut Granita, with pomegranate and yacon syrup. Makes enough for 6-12, depending on serving size. You will need a good blender, food processor or Thermomix (TM) to recreate this recipe.
You will need:
► 520g frozen young coconut flesh, cut into 1-inch squares
► ½ tsp vanilla powder [made from dehydrated and ground vanilla pods, equivalent to the seeds from ½ of a vanilla pod]
► good pinch of salt
► yacon syrup
► seeds from 1 pomegranate
Start by processing the young coconut flesh with the salt and vanilla until a fine ice forms [TM method: 30 seconds on speed 8, then 30 seconds at speed 10, scraping down the sides of the TM every 15 seconds]. Spoon the icy mixture into glasses, layering with pomegranate seeds and at least two drizzles of yacon syrup for a light sweetness.
Find a comfortable seat and indulge immediately using a parfait spoon. Delicious.
Thank you to Angie, for coming along for the ride.
It’s been over a month since mt last blog post and more than 3 months since the smoothie magic of the last recipe post. That is way too long! What better way to break my blogging hiatus than with a delicious recipe.
Because of the rush that comes with getting big and little people ready for each morning, I haven’t really felt like going to any effort for my own breakfasts lately. As a breastfeeding mum, I can’t afford to go without, so I have been making superfood smoothies instead.
This is my latest and most favourite recipe and it is completely free of refined sweeteners. You will find all the ingredients with the help of a good health food shop or organic store.
Recipe #129: Choco-banana smoothie. Easily serves two adults.
As well as a good food processor, blender or Thermomix (TM), you will need:
► 2 large frozen bananas, cut into chunks
► young coconut flesh from 1 coconut
► 4 tbsp of chia seeds
► 3 tbsp of sunflower seeds
► 2 tbsp of bee pollen
► 2 tbsp of cacao powder
► 1-2 tbsp of lucuma powder
► 1 tbsp of maca powder
► 1 pinch of finely ground Himalayan salt
Place all ingredients into your blender/food processor/TM with sufficient water to blend, and blend until super-smooth. I used my TM as follows: adding enough water until I could just see it (~1L mark), I whizzed the ingredients at speed 8 for 30 seconds, then speed 10 for another 30 seconds.
You can always add more water if it’s too thick, or more lucuma if you need a little more natural sweetness.
Serve in a large glass with a sprinkling of cacao nibs. Drink for immediate satisfaction, or store in a jar in the fridge for comsumption within 3-5 days.
[Note that leaving your smoothie for longer than a few minutes will give the chia seeds time to gel and you may need to add more water - or you could eat it by the spoonful as a yummy dessert!]
Many people have embraced Meatfree Mondays; maybe it’s time we started Smoothie Tuesdays.
Enjoy your Smoothie Tuesday!
In our house, there is a magic fork.
Our magic fork looks more like a spork:
My friend T introduced us to the magic fork yesterday, telling a wide-eyed Mr 3, “When mummy looks away, the magic works. Fill the fork with food… Now quickly make the food disappear before mummy turns back around!”
And indeed the food did disappear – behind a giggling toddler’s grin.
As Mr 3 was finishing his lunch in record time, T added, “Do you know that any fork can be magic? All you need to do is wish it.” – although I doubt as to whether he actually heard this advice; he was too busy eating.
It has taken nearly 4 years for me to be inducted into this mystical secret that has my little one raring to devour his meal without prodding or spoon-feeding. Why did no one tell me about this before?
Maybe it’s because, until recently, the tried-and-truthful tactics still worked [see Toddler Feeding 101], or it could be the fact that I used to look at such games as ‘tricks’. I was sure there was a more honest way to inspire children to eat healthy, delicious food all on their own.
Now I understand that, even though Mr 3 usually enjoys the foods on his dinner plate, there are many reasons other than lack of appetite or enjoyment as to why a meal will remain untouched, or take more than an hour to eat. With a new tiny person taking up much of my time and affection, the latest reason is the need for attention.
The magic fork has given me a fun new way to encourage my little person to eat while engaging his imagination – and it’s also been a wake-up call for me. Sometimes the eyes I use to view life are too adult. Sometimes I need to take myself back to a time when I set my imagination free. And sometimes all that is needed for a non-compliant child is a little tenderness and focused time.
When was the last time you used the magic fork?
PS. Thank you, T
Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Pauline, a friend who has selflessly put her sobriety on the line to test out hangover remedies just for you, and all in the name of research [thanks, Pauline!].
I am sure you will enjoy her post, and maybe even take away a few useful tips.
Planning the big night out. As well as choosing what to do, where to go and what to wear an important choice is how to avoid the big hangover.
Preparing for a big night out is sometimes like preparing for a triathlon: the body is about to go through a multitude of challenges and the first step is to get hydrated. If you are not the person who remembers to drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink getting hydrated before you go out is a good option.
If drinking lots of water isn’t your thing, then milk can help ‘line the stomach’ (as my dad says). My friends and I tried this many times with a good level of success.
Attacking the hangover. So here are the Top 4 Rescues counted down, and how they help your body:
4th place: Marmite. Marmite contains salt, which is important to help retain the fluids you have left in your body and it is a great source of vitamin B12. B vitamins are important in the fight against the Big H. Of course you may be more familiar with Vegemite but, following many trials, Marmite seems to give the best hangover relief. The B vitamins can also be replaced by Berocca – which is also great, as this ensures you are getting fluids in too!
3rd place: Bach Rescue Remedy.. In my youth I spent many a morning working in a kitchen. Luckily my boss was into natural remedies and used to give me this. The alcohol solution gives you a small ‘hair of the dog’ fix while the flower essence gives you reassurance [it reassured me that I could survive the full shift!].
2nd place: Peppermint or Ginger Tea.. Both tick some critical boxes including rehydration, soothing nausea and indigestion. Ginger also has pain reliveing properties that should help the headache. Ginseng tea is also reported to have similar positive effects but I have not tested this.
1st place: Strawberries. Strawberries offer a tasty way of replacing the vitamins destroyed by alcohol and are so juicy helping to replace vital fluid levels! More good news for this yummy berry is that it can also act as a preventative hangover measure. If you don’t have strawberries on hand, bananas are also another great cure.
Smoothie magic. Even more effective than the Top 4 Rescues, the best cure I have found was recommended to me during a stay at Samudra in Dunsborough: chlorella. Just in case you can’t get chlorella in tablet form you can make an awesome smoothie, this is especially good if you are off for the second night in a row and need an energy boost as well as hangover cure and a boost to fluid levels!
>Note from Hannah: for a basic overview of chlorella’s properties and benefits, you can do a quick google or follow this link.
Recipe #128: Chlorella Smoothie.
Pop into your blender or Thermomix the following ingredients:
► 1 frozen banana
► a small handful of berries
► ½ tsp chlorella
► ½ tsp spirulina
► 1 tsp cacao powder
► 1 tsp maca powder
► 1 tsp acai powder
► 1 glass fortified soy, rice or oat milk
► 1 tbsp honey
Put the blender on high (or speed 8 on the Thermomix) for 1 minute, pressing the Turbo button from time to time.
The drink is enough for two so you can share with a friend or save some for the morning after. When you have tried the smoothie a few times, try slowly increasing the chlorella to maximize the effectiveness of this superfood!
[DISCLAIMER: This article is designed for people going out on a reasonably big session - not an all day, all night party. Sleep might be the only way to help recover from that!]
My guest posts typically get lots of clicks well after they are published – because I only choose talented & interesting people to write on a very foodly diary! Check out previous guest posts via their links:
- Guest Post 1: The Green Smoothie – by Marion Egger
- Guest Post 2: Pure Decadence – by Aileen Sforcina
- Guest Post 3: A craving for flourless orange, coconut and almond cake – by Adrianne Barba
- Guest Post 4: Mango & Avocado Salad – by Joshua Jones
I love liquorice (aka “licorice”) in all forms, or at least I thought I did until I tasted a triple-salt variety last weekend. The black cats and coins were ok. Even the soft double-salt triangle had its charms. Maybe it’s my pregnant tastebuds, the low added salt in my diet, the unfamiliar tang of ammonium chloride, or a blend of all of the above. No, I did not like the three-times salt, not one bit.
This is a usual reaction of non-Dutch zoute drop tasters, the nice Dutch man said as he effectually patted my pretty little head. I guess I will have to be satisfied with my Anglo-Saxon/Chinese/Italian heritage and accept that I do not have an in-built preference for salmiakki.
I had assumed that, given the name, liquorice may have originally contained alcohol. I was wrong. Seeking an etymological description to explain the name and history, at least in part, I discovered that the word ‘licorice’ is rooted in Latin with an Old French influence (from liquere – to liquefy – and reglisse - after the method of extraction). The Anglicised ‘liquorice’ apparently came about c.1600.
Liquorice is traditionally contraindicated in pregnancy as it is linked to stimulating uterine contractions, premature labour and raising blood pressure. Although most reports of liquorice’s pregancy-related side effects are suspected or anecdotal, I did manage to find one definitive study: high consumption of liquorice (100g+ of pure liquorice per week) while pregnant is associated with lower IQ and behavioural disorders in the child.
For the general population, so long as you do not suffer from high blood pressure, liquorice promises some amazing health benefits. Its therapeutic use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine is well documented and diverse; it can be used to promote good oral hygiene, aid weight loss, and treat ulcers and eczema – amongst other cleansing and protective functions.
I have developed this week’s recipe in honour of this herb – with thanks to @bradav & @Claudia_delaMot for sharing flavour pairing ideas! While it could benefit from tweaking, I think you will find this recipe to be refreshingly different, with a pleasant and lingering sweetness.
Recipe #127: Cherry liquorice sorbet. If you apply my method, it will take you 15-24 hours to make this recipe, thanks to brewing & freezing time. I used organic ingredients and Mac, my Thermomix (TM), to create this recipe. I also used a kettle, a teapot, and an icecube tray and a flexible baking dish to freeze my ingredients.
You will need:
► 2 tsp dried liquorice root
► 1 tsp dried peppermint
► 75g dried cherries [not a technical measurement. I had 14 dimples in my icecube tray and placed 5 cherries in each dimple. 5 dried cherries = 5g]
► 60g panela, pre-ground into a fine powder
► the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
► 810g (about 810mL) water
There are 4 main steps to this recipe:
(1) brew the tea;
(2) plump the cherries;
(3) freeze everything; and
(4) turn it into sorbet.
For (1), place the liquorice root and peppermint into a tea pot and wet with cool water. Start to boil the water in your kettle, but heat only to the point that the kettle becomes hot to touch (~50°C). Turn off the heat and pour the water over the herbs, then allow the tea to brew for around an hour. Do not strain all of the tea afterwards; you will use some of the tea in step (2) and the rest in (3) after more brewing time.
(2): Distribute the cherries evenly across the icecube tray. Pour some of the (strained) tea from (1) over the cherries and cover the tray; leave overnight. Leave the remainder of the tea to brew overnight.
(3): The next morning, place the icecube tray in the freezer. Strain the rest of the tea, which has brewed overnight, into a flexible baking dish and also place this into the freezer. Leave everything to freeze completely.
(4): Remove your cherry cubes from the icecube tray and crack your tea into icecube-sized pieces. Place all of this into your Thermomix (or I am sure you could use a decent food processor/blender) with the panela and vanilla. Process until you have a beautifully homogeneous mixture [TM: speed 7-8, using your TM spatula to constantly push and work the mixture from the TM lid, for as long as it takes to get a smooth sorbet].
Serve on chocolate dirt [crumbed remnants of raw choc pastry from my pretty little raw petit fours] with little pieces of dried cherry. The dried cherry pieces candify in your mouth when combined with the ice cold sorbet.
At one day shy of 37 weeks pregnant and with a naturally low blood pressure, I reckon my risk of ill effects from moderate liquorice enjoyment to be negligible – making this sorbet my newest low guilt treat.
PS. For those of you who haven’t yet taken the plunge, I have extended the closing date for my 2012 survey to 14 January:
Thank you to those of you who have completed or are about to take the survey! I will use the results to better meet your needs as a reader and/or client.
Addendum of 9/01/2012: I corrected the weight of cherries in the recipe to 75g after a remeasure this morning, although I’m not sure that the 5g would make a detrimental difference. I also included an instruction to strain the liquorice-peppermint tea before freezing.