Turmeric Hummus

Turmeric Hummus

The search for healthy snacks is never ending in my house. I don’t like big meals so I tend to eat little and often so there is nothing better for me than some homemade hummus with some carrot or celery sticks or some gluten-free crackers. Check out my roasted red pepper hummus – that one was to die for (and the picture is way better than this one!) I didn’t have too much time today, I just needed to blitz it in the blender and go. I wanted to use turmeric as it is such an amazing anti-inflammatory and I try to use it in as much food as I can.


2 tins organic chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Quarter cup purified water
2 tbsp tahini paste
5 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Half tsp Himalayan salt
Half tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp turmeric


Simply blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until completely smooth – it really is as easy as that! Enjoy with gluten free bread, crackers, rice or quinoa cakes or veggies.





Homemade Chocolate Sauce

IMG_9598 (3)

Great for pancakes, baking and a million other recipes. Here is our chocolate sauce – dairy free and refined-sugar free.


1/4 cup  cacao butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter (optional)


Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on a low to medium heat, stirring quite regularly. If it’s too thick, add more coconut oil, if it’s too runny, add more cacao powder, and if you like it sweeter, add more maple.

Easy as that!


Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce

tomato sauce

Every freezer should be stocked with this simple and healthy tomato sauce – it can be used in a myriad of different dishes, and makes life easier for busy moms! Just got home from work and need to make dinner in under half an hour? Defrost this sauce and serve it with some buckwheat or quinoa pasta for a quick but still nutritious family meal.

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, particularly lycopene. Researchers recently found a connection between tomatoes and bone health, concluding that tomatoes can help to prevent osteoporosis. They are also important for heart health, and have long been hailed as the anti-prostate cancer food of choice.

I like to make up a batch of this sauce and then freeze some of it in ice trays, so that I have small portions handy for my son’s meals (I use 2 – 3 cubes for him) and freeze the rest in one portion for a family meal.



2 large onions, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of red wine (optional)
1.3kg fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped, including seeds
small handful of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dried dates
3/4 tsp himalayan salt
a few leaves of fresh basil


Fry the onions in the olive oil until caramelised. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Add the wine. There should immediately be a cloud of steam, and a strong smell of alcohol. This is the alcohol in the wine cooking off – so don’t worry, there won’t be any alcohol left over in the sauce. You can omit the wine, but it adds depth of flavour.

Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves and dates. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. An hour or longer is better – the longer it simmers the more the flavours develop.

Remove the hard stalks of the thyme and then put the sauce in a blender or food processor. For pasta sauces I like a chunkier texture so will use a food processor. For a smoother sauce (for example, for pizza) use a blender. Add the salt and basil and blend until you have the desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Traditionally tomato sauce would have quite a bit of sugar added (you’d be mortified to learn how much sugar there is in store-bought tomato sauce or ketchup!) I avoid this by adding the dates. If you feel that it needs more sweetness, add more dates or raw honey or organic maple syrup. If you feel that it needs more acidity, use fresh lemon or organic apple cider vinegar. This all depends on the natural flavour of the tomatoes you’ve used, so just taste and see!

Use immediately or freeze for future use.

Below are examples of how I would use this sauce:

tomato sauce 2

Here I roasted some aubergine with olive oil, salt and black pepper. I added it to the sauce along with some fresh chilli and basil. Served with buckwheat pasta.


I fried onion, garlic, carrot, red pepper, broccoli and chilli in olive oil. I added the sauce, cooked brown basmati rice, shredded poached chicken and fresh coriander.

Health & happiness!


Basil Pesto


This is my dairy-free version of pesto (traditionally you would add parmesan,) and using a combination of cashews and sunflower seeds makes it more economical.  If you have pine nuts, feel free to use them! If you have a nut allergy you could replace the nuts with more seeds.
This will keep in a jar in the fridge for about a week, or you could make a big batch when you have lots of basil and freeze it in smaller portions. I often freeze sauces in an ice tray, and then put the cubes into a freezer bag. That way you can just defrost a few cubes at a time, instead of the whole lot.

I’ve given alternatives in case you feel like a change, or if you don’t have the correct ingredients on hand.


80g fresh basil leaves (or replace 40g with fresh spinach)
1/2 cup raw cashews (or macadamias)
2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


I like my pesto chunky so I make it in a food processor, but you could do it in a blender if you prefer it smoother. Simply throw in all the ingredients and pulse until you have the desired consistency. As with all our dips & sauces, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary to the way you like it!
I find that this makes the perfect consistency for using as a dip or spread, but if you want to use it as a sauce for gnocchi for example, add a few drops of water just to loosen it up a bit.

Health and happiness!


Raw Caramel


Creamy, gooey, sweet caramel… it must be unhealthy, right? Not this one! And it’s super easy to make too – no more standing over the stove forever to get your caramel just right. This goes wonderfully with No-fry Chocolate and Maca Pancakes, drizzled over slices of apple, as a centre for raw chocolates or just by the spoonful!
I like to make up a batch and keep it in a glass jar for whenever I might need it. Keep refrigerated in very warm weather as it will melt and separate, otherwise in the pantry is fine.


50g organic virgin coconut oil
70g raw almond butter
100g runny raw honey or 85ml organic maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt


Place all the ingredients into your blender and blend for a couple of minutes. You want everything to melt together into a creamy consistency, and the mixture will change colour as you do this. It’s important to blend for long enough, as opposed to just mixing everything together, to get the right consistency. If it doesn’t look right yet just keep on blending!

Health and happiness.


Asian Salad Dressing

asian dressing

It may seem strange to use olive oil in an asian dressing but olive oil (along with coconut, which cannot be used for dressings) is the healthiest oil. The amount of oil in ratio to the other ingredients is small enough that it shouldn’t affect the taste but you could use another oil if preferred.
Tamari is the healthier version of soy sauce, made in the traditional manner. Today’s commercial soy sauces have unhealthy additives and are very high in sodium. An organic tamari will be naturally fermented, lower in sodium and free of unnecessary additives.

Sesame oil gives this dressing its distinctive nutty flavour. Makes enough for one large single serving of salad, or a medium table salad.


1 tbsp olive oil or other cold-pressed oil such as grapeseed
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp organic white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic tamari
1 1/2 tsp raw honey or organic maple syrup


I like to make my salad dressings in a bowl with a small whisk, but another easy method is to put everything in a jar and shake it until emulsified.


Healthy ‘Nutella’


As healthy as I try to be, as much as I now have no problem staying away from all things artificial, (I now genuinely prefer the taste of real foods) I still cannot stay away from Nutella; I just love it! So we set about creating the perfect healthy hazelnut chocolate spread. Because raw cacao is a perfect source of protein, as are hazelnuts, this is actually a great post-workout snack! Hazelnuts are a great source of Vitamin E so it’s also wonderful for the skin. I also use it to layer my breakfast parfaits 🙂


A cup and a half of hazelnuts (soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight. Do not omit this step)
Quarter cup of purified water
Quarter cup of raw cacao
Just over a quarter cup of pure maple syrup
Half tsp vanilla essence


Put the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then put them in the food processor and blend until completely smooth.

Now add the cacao, vanilla and maple, blend again then gradually add the water. Add more water if it’s too thick and add more maple if it needs to be sweetened. Follow your instincts!



Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

roasted red pepper hummus

Growing up, my cooking influences came predominantly from the Middle East / Mediterranean (Morocco and Israel) so we ate a lot of hummus! The staples of any of our meals were parsley, garlic, olive oil, coriander and paprika with lots of tomatoes and red peppers. So when I started roasting the peppers to make this dish, the nostalgia took me right back to my grandmother’s kitchen in Israel when I was a kid. Topped off with the parsley at the end, I may as well have been in 1988 for those few minutes! I closed my eyes and inhaled the beautiful nostalgic smells.

I just love hummus. It’s always been in my fridge and I like to try and make variations of it, whilst keeping to the original Vaknine family recipe – simple and healthy.

Chickpeas are an AMAZING source of protein so this is great as a post-workout snack or just as a mid-morning snack when you get a bit peckish, perhaps with some carrots, celery or some homemade crackers!


2 cups chickpeas (I use raw organic ones, in which case you need to soak them overnight, then cook them in a saucepan for about two hours. If you are using tinned, you simply need to drain them and you’re good to go)

1 red pepper
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tahini paste
Quarter cup of water
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
Half tsp garlic salt
Half tsp Himalayan salt

To serve:
Drizzle of olive oil
1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Sprinkle of paprika or sumac


Start by pre-heating your oven to 180. Cut the pepper up (removing all the seeds) into smallish pieces then place on a baking tray and roast for about fifteen minutes or until quite soft. Once ready, leave to cool for five minutes.

While this is cooling, place all the other ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until super smooth. Taste it, and add more cumin, garlic, lemon or salt if needed. Trust your instincts and your taste buds.

Add red pepper to blender and blend again until completely smooth.

Lastly, add to a bowl, drizzle a little olive oil, some parsley and a sprinkle of paprika or sumac on top. Serve, and enjoy!