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

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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!

Love,
Lauren

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.

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Ingredients

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

Method

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.

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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!

Love,
Raine

Creamy Cashew Yoghurt

Cashew Yoghurt

I love yoghurt and I think it’s one of the things I found I missed most when cutting out dairy. But don’t fret! We can make our own dairy-free version of course! And I used cashews here. Mainly because cashews go really nice and creamy and are also quite sweet so they make a great yoghurt. The magnesium content in cashews also helps keep our bones strong and are packed with flavanols which starve tumours and stop cancer cells from spreading, which is essential in this day and age with all the cancers around.

I added 2 probiotic capsules to this also, firstly to help keep my gut strong (read about that here) but also to help build yoghurt cultures in the yoghurt, so it’s not just a cashew cream.

In order for nuts to survive, nuts contain inherent toxic inhibitors that protect the plant from germination until the ideal conditions are present (nature is amazing!) It is not until they get wet and there is sufficient moisture that they germinate. It can wreak havoc on your digestive system if you don’t soak them because these protective enzyme inhibitors do not digest in our bodies, your body will fight them, so you must soak them to release these toxins. Not soaking nuts first will also inhibit the absorption of nutrients. I suggest soaking overnight but 4 hours will do it.

You can top this with anything you like, I used strawberries, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts.

Ingredients

1 cup cashews
1 and quarter cup purified water
2 dates
2 tsp organic natural maple
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 probiotic capsules

Method

First, you must soak your cashews in purified water for AT LEAST 4 hours. Soak overnight if you can. Do not omit this step. (See above for explanation). Once the nuts are ready, drain and rinse, then put them in the blender with the water and blend for around 7-10 minutes. You need it to go super smooth and creamy. If you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix, the mixture will heat up like a soup, don’t worry.

After around 4 minutes of blending, add the rest of the ingredients and proceed to blend until completely smooth like a yoghurt. Add more water if it’s too thick.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge (once it has cooled) for up to four days and enjoy with your favourite toppings.

Happy weekend everyone!
Love,
Lauren