Nutella Cake with Banana Caramel Frosting

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I needed to bring a cake to a dinner party that was gluten free – for a gluten free person, dairy free – for a kosher person, sugar free – for a diabetic and egg free, but of course I still wanted it to be yummy! Here is what I came up with… And I called it a Nutella cake because it is chocolate and hazelnut… (BTW someone got confused when we use the term ‘cups’ to measure things. It really is as simple as using a cup to measure. A normal size mug is usually the best way to measure a cup.)

Ingredients

3 cups buckwheat flour
Half tsp baking powder
3 large bananas
1 and half cups almond or hazelnut milk
Just under a cup of maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 cup hazelnuts
Half cup vegan chocolate chips

Frosting:
1 banana
Half cup maple
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp almond butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 / gas mark 6.

Measure out the buckwheat flour and baking powder and put it in a large mixing bowl then set this aside.

Add the bananas, almond milk, maple syrup and coco palm sugar to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour this mix into the flour and mix well.

Add the hazelnuts to the blender and blend until they form a flour, then add this into the bowl and mix well.

Lastly, add the chocolate chips and mix evenly.

Get two springform cake tins of the same size and cut baking paper in a circle the same size as the bottom of the cake tins and put one in each, then grease with coconut oil.

Distribute the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes. You want it to be moist but not undercooked.

You can make the frosting while it is baking by putting all the ingredients in the blender and letting it blend non-stop for at least 2-3 minutes, if not more, until a caramel-like consistency forms.

Once the cakes are ready, leave to cool fully. Once cooled add half the frosting to one cake, then place the other one on top and top with the rest of the frosting. You can serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Raw Chocolate & Coconut Mousse

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Pregnancy has got me craving something sweet after a meal (or all the time?!) and although I am totally happy with my 80%/20% lifestyle in which, during the 20% I allow myself to eat out, have the odd pizza or have a processed chocolate bar, I have to remember that my continued remission is not something to take for granted; it is a product of continuous maintenance on my part and that maintenance comes in the form of diet and homeopathy. If I get slack on either one I could see the arthritis coming back at any point and now, more than ever, with a baby on the way, I need to make sure that I stay strong and healthy, especially because carrying extra weight could also impact my joints if they are not kept healthy and supple enough. It is constant work, this keeping healthy business, but I can’t think of anything more worth it.

Sometimes people say to me, ‘we can’t afford to eat organic’ or ‘I don’t have time to make those meals’. In some cases this is very true, but a lot of people who say these things to me would happily go out on a Saturday night and spend £150 on a meal, or buy a new pair of shoes, or spend the evening in front of the TV. There is nothing more precious than our health and prevention is better than cure so ditch the dinner out and save yourself some money and put it towards buying organic, and spend an extra hour in the kitchen once or twice a week preparing fresh lunches and snacks like this one here. I have to sacrifice many things to be able to afford organic food, superfoods and my supplements, and it shouldn’t just be a case of ‘well that’s ok because you had a disease but I don’t’. Because if you ever get diagnosed with something, from arthritis to cancer or the millions of others that people suffer from, you will wish you did all you could to prevent it, for you and your children. There are ways around EVERY SINGLE HEALTH ISSUE, you just need to be willing to work hard enough and remember that a lifetime consuming the chemicals that are found in every single thing you eat or drink that isn’t organic, WILL lead to disease. Don’t do it to your bodies, not in this day and age when there are so many options. Enjoy an organic, superfood lifestyle! And if you need any help getting started, feel free to drop us a line so we can help.

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse layer:
Half cup pecans
1 frozen banana
Half an avocado
Half a cup of almond milk
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup
Half tsp vanilla extract

Coconut mousse layer:
2 frozen bananas
The cream from the top of a can of organic coconut milk (save the watery part for cooking)

Optional toppings:
Raw cacao covered goji berries
Desiccated coconut

Method

You will need a high speed blender to make the ‘ice cream’ from bananas. I use a Vitamix.

Put the pecans in the blender and blend well until they form a fine meal. Then add the banana and blend until smooth, followed by the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add this to fill just over half a small glass.

Wash the blender out then add the 2 bananas for the coconut layer until smooth but not melting, then add the coconut cream and blend quickly so combined but not melting.

Add this to the top of the chocolate layer then top with your choice of toppings. I used cacao covered goji berries and desiccated coconut.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as my husband and I will enjoy it after our dinner tonight!

Love,
Lauren

P.s. I had some leftover from the coconut layer so I used this as a milk / yoghurt replacement with my homemade granola this morning. Was lush!

Coconut mousse granola

Cauliflower & Tahini Soup

Cauliflower & Tahina Soup

I love cauliflower, especially as a purée, because of the beautiful smooth texture it blends into. This soup makes use of that, and the addition of tahini makes it even creamier!

Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Researchers believe that eliminating cancer stem cells may be the answer to fighting cancer. It is also packed full of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, is good for your heart and your brain, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Sesame seeds (the main ingredient of tahini) are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Need any more reasons to make this soup tonight? It’s simple to make and takes no time at all!

Ingredients (serves 4)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
6 big cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 whole star anise
a head of cauliflower (about 500g) cut into florets
one potato (about 200g) peeled and cut up
1 litre water
1 tbsp organic vegetable stock paste or powder
3 bay leaves
the juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup organic tahini
pomegranate concentrate (optional)

Method

Fry the onion in the olive oil until it caramelizes. The more colour you get on the onions, the more flavour you’ll be putting into the soup. You want them to look something like this:

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The trick is to keep it on a medium heat and stir every now and then. If you feel that they may start to burn, add a few drops of water and continue. You could brown them even more than I’ve done here, I was just in a rush to make supper!

Add the garlic, cumin and star anise. Fry for a few more minutes. Add the cauliflower, potato, water, stock and bay leaves. Simmer until the cauliflower and potato are tender. The smaller (and more evenly-sized) your pieces of cauliflower and potato, the faster they will cook.

Remove the bay leaves and star anise, then pour everything into your blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until completely, 100% smooth. The measurements I’ve given for lemon, salt and pepper are just a guideline – use your taste!

I’ve served it with a drizzle of pomegranate concentrate – the sweet tartness balances the soup beautifully.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Protein Packed Breakfast Parfait

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Tell me this doesn’t make you hungry just by looking at it! I’m in heaven right now eating my breakfast… mostly because I love that I can basically have dessert for breakfast!

So let’s start from the bottom: the bottom layer is my homemade maple and pecan granola, followed by raspberry coconut chia pudding, then some puffed quinoa pops, then my homemade healthy nutella, followed by Meridian Foods natural organic peanut butter, then some more granola sprinkled on the top. This is basically just one big jar of plant protein. I had a bit of this then went for a 45 minute power walk with the dogs. The cacao, quinoa and peanut butter are packed full of protein and the great thing about chia seeds is that although they contain carbohydrates, most of their carbohydrates are not digested by the body as carbohydrates but as fibre, so it speeds up the metabolism and gives you energy at the same time. They are also loaded with anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids; gram for gram, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon…

Ingredients

Homemade granola – click on link for recipe
Raspberry chia pudding – click on link for recipe
Quinoa pops – store bought
Homemade healthy nutella – click on link for recipe
M
iridian Foods smooth peanut butter

Method

Simply layer away and enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Raspberry Coconut Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding with raspberries

Chia seeds are the ultimate health food. Although they contain carbohydrates, most of their carbohydrates are not digested by the body as carbohydrates but as fibre, so it speeds up the metabolism and gives you energy at the same time. They are also loaded with anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acids; gram for gram, chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon, and they are just an excellent source of protein.

Being a vegetarian doesn’t just mean you don’t eat meat but eat everything on the side, you have to make a conscious effort to know about where to get your protein from and this was a learning curve for me but I make sure I get all my protein from plant-based sources and believe it or not, these sources of protein are actually absorbed better by humans than protein from meat. So chia puddings are the way forward!

Great for baby breakfast!

Ingredients

2 tbsp chia seeds
The creamy bit from 1 can coconut milk (must be the original kind, not light or lower fat) I find the Blue Dragon brand to have the creamiest cream.
5 or 6 raspberries
1 tsp agave nectar (optional)

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, making sure to get an even coating of the chia seeds. Cover with cling film and leave in fridge overnight. If you like it sweet you can add the agave, if not, you can omit this.

Enjoy on its own, as a yoghurt, with granola or as a dessert.

Love,
Lauren

Homemade Maple & Pecan Granola

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As you can probably tell by now, I’m a massive breakfast fan. When I started teaching myself about diet, I was so shocked to find out what nasties were in all the usual breakfast cereals; you know, the ones claiming to be ‘the best way to start your day’… they’re basically cardboard and sugar, with heaps of additives and chemicals. I wish the information was more accessible so people knew not to give this stuff to their kids.  Honestly guys, if you want to give your kids the right start to their day, throw away all those boxes of artificial cereals, even the ones claiming to be healthy, and make your own. It really is so easy and CHEAP! I make a huge batch of this and divide it between a few of these jars that I buy from Tesco or Ikea and it keeps fresh for ages… You can serve it with yoghurt – dairy or dairy-free, whatever your preference, or any number of nut or other milks. Add fruit, seeds, anything – kids will love it! For other breakfast ideas check out the breakfast page and the smoothie page. Braxton usually has a smoothie for breakfast most days, packed with superfoods.

Ingredients (for one jar)

4 cups organic rolled oats
1 cup pecans, crushed to about quarter size in a pestle and mortar
1 cup organic natural maple syrup (the real stuff, not the one full of rubbish!)
Half cup sunflower seeds (optional but great for extra calcium)

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees then simply put all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until all the oats are coated with the syrup.

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Line a baking tray (you may need two trays) with baking paper and place in oven for twenty minutes. Give it a mix around then bake for a further twenty minutes, checking after ten minutes. You want it to go brown and crispy but you don’t want it to burn and some ovens work faster than others.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Blueberry Acai Smoothie

blueberry acai smoothie

I just love this picture! It snowed for the first time this year and I thought it would be nice for you guys to see it, especially Raine, who is probably lying by the pool right now – it’s summer in South Africa you know!

Anyway I need my anti-oxidants at the moment and acai berries have more anti-oxidants than any other known food. These anti-oxidants come from the high count of polyphenols in the berries, this is what gives them their gorgeous purple colour. If you want an immune boost, get yourself some Organic Burst acai capsules and use them as much as you can! If you add a probiotic capsule to this also, you’re really doing all you can for your immune system right now!

Ingredients

Half a cup of raspberries
Half a cup of blueberries
Half a cup of strawberries
1 tbsp almond butter
2 acai capsules (opened and sprinkled in)
2 dates
1 probiotic capsule
3 tbsp almond milk
1 frozen banana (cut in slices and frozen the day before, or any day before!)

Method

Simply put all the ingredients in your blender, in that exact order, and blend away! Pour into a glass and enjoy the sweet, smooth taste.

Love,
Lauren

Swede and Courgette Soup

swede courgette soupYou’ll find with most of my soups they literally consist of whatever vegetables I have lying around – I don’t plan them. It was freezing on Sunday and we really fancied soup so I looked in my fridge and I had two courgettes, and I looked in the pantry and there was a swede. So here you have it, a nutritious, delicious, warming soup for winter 🙂

Ingredients

1 large swede, peeled and chopped
2 courgettes, sliced
1 onion
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Half tsp coconut oil

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the onion and cook until transparent, just over a minute. Then add the courgettes and swede and coat in the oil.

Add water and almond milk, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the cumin, salt and pepper, give it a good stir and put on the lid.

Leave for an hour until vegetables are really soft. Once ready, use a handheld blender to blend in saucepan (if you don’t have one, transfer to a food processor). Blend until smooth then taste. Add more salt, pepper or cumin if needed.

Serve immediately or keep it in a container in the fridge (once cooled) for up to four days and heat just as much as you need each time. You can top it with chopped chives and some sumac like I did if you like.

Love,
Lauren

 

Blood Orange & Jaffa Orange Juice

blood and jaffa

These winter days (in London, not in South Africa where Raine is sunning herself!) need lots of vitamin C and anti-oxidants, so some days I may make a fruit juice instead of a green vegetable juice. Today I really craved oranges and the lovely people at Abel & Cole sent me a box full of them!

Ingredients

3 Jaffa oranges
3 blood oranges

orange

Method

Peel the oranges, leaving the pith on, and juice! Simples!

Love,
Lauren

Easy Peasy Quinoa Salad

Basic Quinoa saladI do love a quinoa salad, I really, really do. What more could you want from an ingredient? It’s pure protein, easy to make and tastes good with pretty much anything! I will be posting different variations as time goes on but right now I wanted to post my really easy, go-to, basic quinoa salad recipe.

Ingredients

200g quinoa (this will make enough for 3 or 4 servings)
1 tsp Bouillon
1 carrot, shaved into ribbons
6 or 7 cherry or picolo tomatoes, chopped
Half a cucumber, chopped into small pieces
1 Avocado, cut into small pieces
Handful of chives, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Start by cooking the quinoa. Put it in a saucepan and cover with water, then add the bouillon and stir well. Once it has started boiling, turn heat down and put on the lid. Keep stirring every few minutes – it WILL stick to the bottom and you don’t want this.

While it’s cooking chop all your veggies.

Once it’s ready, spoon it all into a medium sized bowl and add all the veggies. Then add the lemon, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren