Masala Chai Turmeric Latte

masala-chai-turmeric-latte

 

I have been drinking turmeric lattes for a while now, ever since the arthritis flare up I had last year (as turmeric is such an awesome anti-inflammatory) and I love masala chai also, so when I got given a masala chai spice kit from RawSpiceBar, I thought I’d combine the two, and it was just delicious.

When Braxton goes down for his afternoon nap it’s always that time of day where I am desperate for something warm and sweet and just for me, and this really is a perfect hot drink to enjoy during the short amount of time I get to myself each day.

Give it a go, it’s so warming and healthy and also so good for you!

Ingredients

Mug full of almond milk
1 tsp turmeric
Quarter sachet of masala chai spice mix from RawSpiceBar or other masala chai spice mix
1 tsp maple syrup

Method

Warm the milk in a saucepan and add the spices. Once warm add the maple.

Drink and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

Tamari Roasted Almonds & Why Fats Are So Important

Tamari Roasted Almonds

The never-ending battle: trying to find healthy snacks to fill in those gaps between meals. I’ve always liked a snack, especially late afternoon, but since having a baby it’s almost a necessity! Not only does the constant running around and never sitting down mean that I need more energy, but breastfeeding also leaves me needing more calories. But I don’t want unhealthy calories, (I also want to lose the last of this dreaded baby weight!) I want to eat things that my body will appreciate, foods that give me the right sort of energy. If I am eating fatty foods, they should be the right sort of fats, which is where nuts, avocados and coconut oil come in.

This leads me to my next point: the importance of fats in our diet: the recent ‘fat-free’ craze may be causing more issues to our health than we realise. Please stay away from the diets and plans that tell you to stay away from fat, buy fat-free ‘foods’ and that fat is the devil. Of course, an excess of fat is dangerous and will make you put on weight, but anything in excess is not good. Just like animals and plants, we need fat for growth and our babies need it even more. What babies need mostly is fat, protein, vegetables (for other vitamins such as calcium), in that order, and anything else isn’t as essential.

Our bodies cannot make fat, it needs to come from our diet and we rely on it for energy and we can get this through essential fatty acids. Unlike carbohydrates, fat is stored as a ‘reserve’ type of energy. If you eat too much, it will appear as ‘fat’ but in the right amounts your body will thrive from it.

Fats give us myelin, a fatty material which wraps around our nerve cells so that they can send electrical messages. Our brains contain large amounts of essential fats and when we don’t get enough fats through our diets it can cause brain problems. We have seen a huge increase in early-onset dementia in the last ten years and in my humble opinion, part of this is down to our obsession with fat-free diets. People aren’t getting enough fat so their brains aren’t getting what they need and are therefore not developing properly; this lack of fat makes room for brain malfunctions such as dementia and other issues.

I used to think that certain illnesses could certainly be prevented but things like dementia were totally out of our control. WRONG. Diet and lifestyle can basically determine the rest of your life. Then we’ve got the need for omega-3 and omega-6 fats and these control insulin levels so again, even diabetes can be controlled and prevented.

So throw out the ‘fat-free’ and ‘low fat’ foods and, as I always advocate, buy only real, whole, natural foods that are not man-made. Of course it’s easier to buy a whole bunch of fat free, processed foods so that you can lose weight but how much will that benefit us in the long run?

Great foods you can eat to increase your healthy fat intake are avocados, coconut oil and nuts and great foods to increase your omega-3 intake are flaxseeds, walnuts, oily fish and tofu.

I hope this helps explain the need for fats… now onto the recipe…

Ingredients

1.5 cups raw organic almonds, soaked overnight
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tbsp tamari

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and place some baking paper on a baking tray.

Once the almonds have soaked, drain them and pat them dry with a bit of kitchen roll then pop them on the oven tray.

Dollop the coconut oil on top. It will be solid (unless it’s a particularly hot day) so just put it in the oven like this for a minute or 2 until it melts. Once it’s melted, take the tray out and mix it over the almonds then add the tamari and mix it all around.

Leave in the oven for 20 minutes. They should be hard but not burnt. Check on them after 10 minutes.

Keep in an airtight container or ziplock bag (once cooled) for up to 2 weeks.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Lemon & Poppy Seed Smoothie

Lemon & Poppy Seed smoothie

This is a beautifully fresh smoothie for the last days of summer. The baobab powder intensifies the tartness of the lemon and provides many health benefits. Baobab is an eco friendly African product, which is high in vitamin C, antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Poppy seeds are also high in calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as iron, zinc and essential fatty acids. Add the vitamin C in the fresh lemon and you’ve got a smoothie which will help to bolster your immunity for the coming winter months.

Ingredients (serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 a lemon, including skin, pips removed
1 tbsp poppy seeds
10ml chia seeds
1 tbsp baobab powder
1/8 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
1 – 2 tsp raw honey, depending on your preference
90ml coconut cream
90ml water
5 ice cubes
optional: 1 scoop plain protein powder (you may need to add some more water)


Method

Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren & Raine

 

 

 

Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice Cream

Making ice cream has always been one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen. It also holds a special place in my memory – when I was 15 a family friend tasted my chocolate ice cream and was so impressed she suggested that I go to chef school! It hadn’t even occurred to me, so that experience was what inspired me to attend chef school.

When I started cutting out dairy and refined sugar I knew that ice cream would be first on my list of things to reinvent. This ice cream is a perfect replacement for traditional vanilla ice cream. It can be eaten on its own or served with something like my Raw Chocolate Tart. It can also be used as a base for other flavours. Omit the coconut flakes and try adding cacao nibs and a few drops of peppermint essential oil, fresh raspberries, or finely chopped dates and nuts. The options are endless – use your imagination!

Ingredients (makes about 600ml)

400ml coconut cream
45ml organic virgin coconut oil
a pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
a pinch of vanilla powder
1/4 tsp stevia leaf powder
45ml raw honey
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup organic coconut flakes

Method

Place the coconut cream, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, stevia, honey and egg into a high speed blender and blend for about 4 or 5 minutes, until the mixture has heated through, thereby cooking the egg.

If you don’t have a high speed blender, simply blend the mixture until smooth or even use a whisk to combine. Then transfer to a saucepan on a very gentle heat. Stir continuously to prevent the egg from scrambling. There should be steam coming off the custard but it must never boil. To check if the egg is cooked, dip the back of a spoon into the custard and then draw a line across the back of the spoon with your finger. Hold it horizontally and if the custard doesn’t drip it is cooked. With experience you can also taste when it is done. Traditionally ice cream was made with raw egg, so as long as you have good hygiene practices in the kitchen it’s not paramount that the egg be fully cooked. However, cooking the egg does thicken the custard thereby giving a creamier texture to the ice cream.

Place the coconut flakes in a frying pan and lightly toast them over a medium heat. Keep your eye on it and toss regularly as it can burn quite quickly. Turn out onto a chopping board and use a knife to chop into smaller pieces. Add to the custard.

If you have an ice cream machine, simply pour the custard into your prepared machine and churn until done, then transfer to a suitable container and store in a freezer.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the custard into a sealable container and place in the freezer. Use a whisk to stir the mixture every 20 to 30 minutes. By breaking up the ice crystals regularly as it freezes you achieve a smoother texture. You should do this for at least 2 – 3 hours, until the mixture starts to freeze into a smooth ice cream. At this point you can just leave it in the freezer to freeze completely.

Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 5 – 10 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Healthy Hot Chocolate

IMG_3581

Nothing’s better on a cold winter’s day (like we’re having in Joburg) than a comforting cup of hot chocolate. My version is dairy-free and sugar-free, and goes perfectly with my Gluten-free Biscotti. If you don’t like spice you can simply omit these, but they do compliment the natural flavour of cacao really well.

Ingredients 

500ml almond or coconut milk
2 star anise
pinch of ground cardamom
pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
pinch of vanilla powder
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp raw cacao butter
2 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup, or 1/4 tsp stevia powder

Method

Place the milk and the spices in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat and allow to steep for a couple of minutes, so that the flavours of the spices permeate the milk. Return to the heat just to bring it up to temperature. Remove the star anise, add the cacao butter, cacao powder and sweetener and use a small whisk to combine. Serves 2.

Try using hazelnut milk or brazil nut milk for a delicious alternative.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Aubergine & Tahini Dip with Oryx Desert Smoked Salt

Hatzilim im Tchina

This is a very common dip in Israel and I often make it for Shabbat dinner. Traditionally the aubergine will be cooked on an open flame, giving it a smoky flavour. Using Oryx Desert Smoked Salt gives it that same flavour, while simply roasting it in the oven.

Ingredients

1 large aubergine
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon, or to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
small handful fresh coriander leaves
Oryx Desert Smoked Salt
Black pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 200C.
Pierce the skin of the aubergine with a sharp knife a few times. Place it in the oven, straight on the rack. Roast until the skin is blackened and the interior is soft, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Remove the skin of the aubergine and chop up the flesh. Combine with the rest of the ingredients, adding the smoked salt and black pepper to taste.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Fig & Plum Smoothie

Fig & Plum Smoothie

Figs are one of my favourite fruits, with their sweet, luscious flesh which is more desert-like than fruit-like! Figs and plums are both high in dietary fibre, antioxidants, as well as potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Plums also increase your body’s ability to absorb iron, due to its high vitamin C content.

The combination of fig, plum and vanilla makes for a delicious smoothie.

Ingredients

200ml almond or coconut milk
2 plums, cut up and frozen
3 figs, cut up and frozen
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder or the seeds scraped from a vanilla pod
10ml organic virgin coconut oil
10ml raw pumpkin seeds
2 fresh medjool dates

Method

Blend all the ingredients until the desired texture is achieved. Serves 1

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine