Healthy Honey Cake

Honey Cake

This is a healthy take on my mum’s original Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) honey cake and it really is just as delicious as the original.

When I ran this blog with Raine, she added a gorgeous touch by adding rose water and cardamoms. I’ve left it as optional in the ingredients so you can decide if you want to use it or not.

Shanah Tova to all my Jewish followers – may you have a sweet AND healthy year!

 

Ingredients

225g clear runny honey
2 large eggs
110g coconut palm sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp applesauce (optional, for added moistness)
250g ground almonds
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
150ml warm water
2 tsp rose water (optional)
1/2 tsp ground cardamoms (optional, if using rose water)

Method:

Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

Grease and line a 25cm square cake tin.

Warm the honey in a thick-based saucepan until it thins.

Beat together the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy and stir in the oil and honey (and applesauce if using).

Mix together the ground almonds, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the warm water.

Fold the dry ingredients and water alternately into the beaten mixture.

Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in centre of oven for about 1 ¼ hours but check after 45 mins as all ovens will bake this differently. It will be treacle-like.

Leave the cake in the tin for 10 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. The cake can be served plain or brushed with honey and sprinkled with flaked almonds.

Happy new year!

Lauren

Carrot & Coriander Soup

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Autumn is now upon us in London, and I’m feeling the drop in temperature instantly. I tend to make heaps of soups during the winter months. They are great for lunch as they fill you up but are super nutritious also, if you use the right ingredients. Carrots are a great source of fibre and are also high in vitamins C & K, and once again, here I am trying to increase my vitamin K levels in the lead up to my birth. They are also a good natural source of iron and folate, important not just during pregnancy.

Ingredients

Drizzle of coconut oil
About 8 large carrots
2 potatoes
1 onion
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp organic vegetable stock in 1.5 Litres boiling water
Salt & Pepper
Large handful fresh coriander

Method

Peel and chop all the veg then heat the oil in a large saucepan. Once hot, add the onion and cook for a minute, then add the potato, cook for a further minute, stirring a lot. Finally add the carrots, followed by the ground coriander, then add your stock and mix well.

Add a little pepper, wait until it just starts to boil then turn down, put the lid on and leave it to simmer for about half an hour.

Once all the veg is soft, either use a handheld blender if you have one, or put it all in a food processor, along with the fresh coriander, and blend. Taste to see if it needs any salt and as add required.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Overnight Oats with Mulberries

Overnight Oats Mulberries

It’s Vitamin K central round my house! As you have probably gathered from my recent posts, I am upping my natural intake of vitamin K in the last eight weeks of pregnancy to prevent having to give my baby the injection after birth. Mulberries are the highest natural source of Vitamin K so I’m stocking up! And what better way to have mulberries than in their natural form, to sweeten up my overnight oats. This was a really delicious breakfast bowl, I’m stuffed! And so satisfied.

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free, organic, rolled oats
2 cups almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Toppings:
Handful of dried white mulberries
1 banana, chopped
A sprinkle of desiccated coconut

Method

Simply put the ingredients (excluding the toppings) in a bowl, mix well, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to add the maple syrup, just depends how sweet you like it.

When you’re ready to eat it, add the toppings. Simples!

Enjoy,

Love,
Lauren

Lunchtime Quinoa Salad (in preparation for the week)

Quinoa salad

Stuck on what to make as a healthy lunch? I also find quinoa salad to be such a good, easy and healthy option and today I made a HUGE batch of it which means it will last me until at least Wednesday. Cooking healthy food does take time and preparation, but this took me ten minutes to make and I’ve now got lunch for a few days. You can add homemade tahini with it or have it with other hot, steamed veg on top, on its own, or with any meat or fish-based protein if you like, although quinoa is a complete protein so you don’t actually need it if you don’t want it.

I always use whatever vegetables I have to hand so just use whatever you have in the fridge!

Ingredients

1 cup organic quinoa
1 red or orange pepper
1 red onion
1 fennel
7 chestnut mushrooms
1 tin organic sweetcorn
1 courgette (zucchini), spiralized
1 lemon
Himalayan salt and black pepper

Method

Make the quinoa as per the packet instructions.

While it’s cooking, chop all your veg up into small pieces.

Once the quinoa is ready, let it cool a bit before adding it to the bowl of veg, mix well with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

TIP: if you want more flavour add a tsp Bouillon to the quinoa while it’s cooking.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Healthy Hot Chocolate

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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

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

Gluten-free Biscotti

Biscotti

Biscotti are a family favourite so I knew I had to come up with a healthier version of these traditional Italian biscuits. They are wheat- and grain-free, and I’ve used some stevia, allowing me to cut the amount of coconut sugar in half. I love to have them with a cup of tea or hot chocolate while I’m working on the blog 🙂

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 tsp stevia (or replace with an additional 1/3 cup coconut sugar)
pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Place 1 cup of the almonds in a blender or food processor and grind finely. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup almonds roughly. Combine both with the almond flour, coconut sugar, stevia, salt, baking powder and zest.

Beat the eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg into it. Use a fork to pull the dry ingredients into the egg, mixing as you go. It may look like the mixture is too dry, but just keep going and it will come together. Use your hands to fully combine if necessary, and then shape it into a ball.

Dust your work surface with a generous amount of almond flour. Divide the dough in half, and then shape each half into a log about 7cm wide and 3cm high. Place both logs onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat, or greased with coconut oil.

Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 140 C. Slice the logs at an angle and about 1.5cm thick. Slicing at angle will give you the traditional biscotti shape. Lay the slices out on the baking tray and return to the oven to dry out; 30 – 40 minutes, depending on how you like them.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

White Chocolate Mulberry Fudge

 

White Chocolate Mulberry Bars

This is such a simple recipe and so healthy. Dried white mulberries contain less than half the natural sugar of raisins and other dried fruits. They are high in fibre and in protein – just 1/3 cup contains 4 grams of protein and 20% of your daily fibre needs. They also contain powerful antioxidants which help to protect your heart from damage from some toxins. Raw cacao butter is a source of healthy fats, which optimise organ function.

I’ve added no sweetener as the natural sweetness of the mulberries is enough for me. However if you would prefer it slightly sweeter you could add a bit of raw honey or organic maple syrup.

Ingredients:

100g raw cacao butter
100g organic dried white mulberries
1/8 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder
2 tbsp almond butter

Method:

Gently melt the cacao butter over a very low heat. Be careful not to raise the temperature too much as this will destroy the nutrients found in raw cacao products. I normally turn the stove on for a few minutes, then turn it off and put the saucepan on the plate – the residual heat is enough to melt the cacao butter.

Place the mulberries in a food processor and process until they are broken up into a meal. Alternatively you could grind them in a coffee or spice grinder. Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine.

Spread into a dish lined with baking paper or clingfilm and allow to set, then cut up into blocks. It can be kept at room temperature if it’s not too hot – you might want to put it in the fridge if you have temperatures over 30 C.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Pomegranate & Fennel Salad

Pomegranate always makes for an impressive addition to any dish when you have guests. These beautiful little ruby-like jewels are bursting with flavour and packed with health. Over 8000 years ago they became one of the first cultivated fruits, and ever since have been a symbol of prosperity and abundance in many cultures.
They are rich in vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants – specifically punicalagin, a polyphenol unique to pomegranates, and anthocyanins, which are responsible for giving pomegranate juice its rich red color.

Ingredients (serves 3-4 as a side dish)

1 medium-sized bulb of fennel
1 pomegranate
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 handful fresh mint
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp organic maple syrup or raw honey
Oryx Desert Salt to taste

Method

If you have a mandolin use it to finely slice the fennel. Alternatively a sharp knife will do the job with a bit more effort!
Cut the pomegranate in half, and gently remove the arils (seeds), trying not to burst them. Discard any bits of white membrane, and add the arils to the fennel.

If the spinach leaves are large you can roughly chop or tear them, otherwise leave them whole. Remove the mint leaves from the stems and roughly chop them. Add to the fennel and pomegranate.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon and maple or honey. Pour over the salad. Season to taste with salt and toss thoroughly.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine