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

Pretty in Pink Valentine’s Juice

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I felt like something pink and sweet on this Valentine’s morning so I made this beautiful juice!

Originally from Persia, the pomegranate has been revered as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life for thousands of years. I’m always amazed at how nature gives us clues as to which fruit or vegetable is good for a certain part of our bodies. There is something heart-like about a pomegranate when you open it, with its blood-red seeds and white membranes. Pomegranate contains a unique compound called punicalagin, which is excellent for heart health. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and increases the rate at which arterial blockages melt away. The antioxidants in pomegranate also help to prevent stroke and heart attack.

Radishes eliminate toxins, aid digestion and prevent viral infections.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 pomegranate, skin and membranes discarded (you don’t have to spend half an hour picking out every little piece of membrane – just the majority of it!)
3 radishes
1 lime (you can juice the skin)
1 medium cucumber
a few sprigs of mint
1 red pepper

Method

Put everything through your juicer. Add ice if you like.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

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