As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been on a new eating plan in the last 2 months or so and that includes the elimination of sweeteners and sweet dried fruits, such as dates. It has been an interesting journey, at first it was really difficult, but over time it became really nice to feel so clean and eating foods which are only nourishing to my body, not eating for entertainment.
I think if you are reading this blog, you are most likely already into nutrition and healthy eating/living, so you're probably well informed and have a wealth of knowledge where nutrition is concerned. Regardless of all the "brainy" stuff we know, we can still choose to eat in a way that doesn't support our bodies, funny that. I find that once you strip away all the "extras", the body doesn't need much in order to operate at the highest level possible and, in striping away all the excess, you start to hear your body more clearly and listen to what it needs, as opposed to listening to what your mind says it wants; sugars, fats, carbs, caffeine, etc... If you have ever done a cleanse, you know what I'm talking about; by day 5 you're asking yourself " why do i eat so much ? " And still, it's nice to have a little sweet treat every now and again, especially when you are having friends over and you want to stick to your "diet" ( i don't like the word diet, but hey-ho) hence this cookie recipe was born.
This recipe is really simple to make and, chances are, you have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already. Gotta love that! The result is a super crunchy, light cookie, which I think is hard to come by in raw foods, no? If you're not interested in eliminating sugars from your diet, then add some coconut sugar or maple syrup for a sweeter and more indulgent cookie.
Enjoy and savour every bite
Coconut Chia Cookies
300g/ 3 c desiccated coconut
1/4 c lacuma / lucuma
1/4 c banana powder (could substitute coconut sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 c chia seeds, powdered in spice mill or vita
1/3 c yacon syrup (could substitute maple)
1 dropper vanilla creme stevia (optional)
- Soak the desiccated coconut in enough water to cover for 4 hours.
- Sieve the coconut, reserve soak water for smoothies
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix well with your hands to combine
- Spread the mix onto a teflex sheet to about 1/4 inch thickness and score into the sized cookies you'd like. Mine are really small and bite sized. You could also use a damp ring mould or cookie cutter to press the cookies into rounds.
- Dehydrate at 118 for 6 hours or until ready invert off the teflex and onto mesh.
- Dehydrate a further 10-12 hours or until brittle and crunchy.
- Allow to cool and then store in an air tight container.
- Use maple syurp in place of yacon
- Use coconut sugar in place of banana powder or lacuma
- Add Coffee and/ or Banana Medicine Flower extracts
- Substitute banana powder for carob or mesquite powder
- Add 1/4c of ground cacao nibs
- Kick it up a notch with a scoop or two of your favourite protein powder
Superfood Fruit Parchments Ever had fruit leathers? You know, the rolls of dried fruit that you can carry around with you, and tear strips off to chew on... Well, how about Superfood fruit leathers? What a great way to get your daily dose of superfoods! I came up with this idea when I was on a green diet, eating only natural green foods, but still had to travel and keep busy. Smoothies are great but we aren’t always in the right place to make one, and they are not the easiest things to travel with and keep fresh. This was my solution...
So I present to you 2 flavours here, but this is just to introduce you to the concept. It's so easy, and adaptable. You can really add any fruit or superfood that you think would go together. Try to work with colours, that’s my only advice. Greens, oranges, yellows go together. Reds, oranges, purples, go together.
So here I have 2 recipes for you: Purple Parchment of Health The name comes from the protective purple pigments found in the acai powder that I mentioned on Day 1 – Anthocyanins. They protect your cells from free radical damage. The cinnamon also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, and adds a warming touch to this rich concoction. You will need: 1 banana 2 red apples 12 red grapes 2 Tbsp Iswari Acai Powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Directions: 1. Blend all until smooth. 2. Spread onto a Teflex sheet (not too thinly, about 1/3 of an inch high) 3. Dehydrate for 8 hrs or until topside is dry, 4. Flip over with the sheet still attached, and carefully peel of the sheet. 5. Dehydrate for another 4 hours or until dry. Do not over-dry, it should still be quite chewy. Green Parchment of Wisdom 1 mango 1 apple 150ml orange juice 2 Tbsp Iswari Wheatgrass powder 2-4tsp Iswari Chlorella As before, simply blend, spread on Teflex sheet and dehydrate 8 hrs, flip and keep going for another 4hrs. Roll into wisdom parchments and store until you need them the most. The addition of Chlorella and Wheatgrass powder really turn this leather into one of the healthiest on-the-go snacks possible. They will dose you up on chlorophyll, protein, iron, zinc, and other vits and mins, whilst cleansing your body, and giving your brain the natural fruit based carbohydrates it needs to stay focused and energised. Be sure to drink water with these leathers, as you will need the liquid since they are dehydrated, and you want to stay hydrated. Other ideas: You can always double the recipes to make more parchments and substitute fruit or superfoods if you want/need to if you can’t get mango you use pineapple with Spirulina instead of Wheatgrass. Pear and kiwi combination could be nice too. I also had a bold idea and dehydrated the jams I made on the first day. They turned out amazing! So the next experiment will be to dehydrate fruity chia gel into parchment, and get that textured chia goodness. I leave that in your hands to discover more.... All our superfood powders, sweeteners, berries and mixes are available on www.iswari.net
Lucuma Custard Delight
This is a fantastic dessert, breakfast or mid afternoon spring/summertime snack. Its custard-vanilla tones will tickle your taste buds and delight your palate. And its good for you... Lucuma, a superfruit powder from Peru, provides complex slow burning carbohydrates, as well as Niacin which helps you to metabolise and produce energy. Bee pollen provides an excellent source of protein, and is an incredible immune system booster, rich in just about everything the body needs, and the fresh fruit gives a great Vitamin C hit...
A word about Iswari Bee Pollen: Our pollen comes from one of the most deserted areas of South Portugal, free from any roads factories or industrialisation. Although it is not certified Organic, this is because the local family farm that produce it have chosen not to go down that official route of certification. It is however naturally free from chemicals and pollutants.
Enjoy this on a summers day, and share it with your friends... this recipe makes 3 small or 2 big servings.
1/2 cup cashew soaked at least 20mins and drained
1 Mango, peeled and sliced
1 small banana (or ½ large)
100mls orange juice (fresh if possible)
2 Tbsp Iswari Lucuma
3/4 Tbsp Iswari Bee Pollen
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon Pollen to garnish
Put all ingredients into your blender, blitz until smooth. If you don’t have a high powered blender, you may want to soak the cashews for up to 4 hours to increase softness.
Serve in small dessert bowls and garnish with pollen and coconut sugar if desired.
I was introduced to the amazing sea buckthorn plant by a friend who forages around the coast in Suffolk. It grows abundantly along stretches of southern England’s sea shores, as well as Scotland and in land, in dry, sandy areas. It is commercially grown mostly in Asia, where it grows in desert conditions where other plants do not survive. I often think that plants which thrive in these harsh conditions have a very strong energy which is present in the fruits we consume. Goji berries and Acai have been widely used by people searching for the ‘super-fruit’ full of antioxidants and healing properties, though these are not presently hugely available to pick within the UK. Sea buckthorn can be found not only all over the UK, but covers itself in bright orange berries from July -November, when the first frosts hit and they lose a lot of their nutrients and flavour. As long as you can get beyond their spiky thorns, which can hinder picking unless you are armed with thick rubber gloves and secateurs, then they are the ultimate local, wild and seasonal super food. Just one berry will fill your mouth with an intense hit of tangy, acidic, sweetness. You’re unlikely to be eating them as you gather due to their potent taste. However, added as a medicinal supplement to raw food dishes, a small amount will pack your food with nutrients. They are high in vitamin C (12 times greater than oranges), carotenoids (evident in the bright colour), vitamins A, K E, B1 and B2, amino acids, folic acid and flavanoids. The oil is commercially used in skin products for its anti-aging properties.
Making your own sea buckthorn juice can be a tricky, thorny business, though can be done by blending the berries with 1 part water to 6 parts berries, then squeezing the juices out through a nut milk bag. If you can’t wait until the summer to get your sea buckthorn super juice, it is available to buy online or in some health food shops. My favourite way to enjoy the super fruit is to use it as an addition to smoothies. I’ve also been adding it to my water kefir base for a buck-fizz!! Just add 10% juice to the second fermentation stage and leave for 48 hours. Wows!
Here is my recipe for a simple sea buckthorn smoothie. You can just drink it on its own, or try making two smoothies (I made a green smoothie) and swirling them together. If you want more of a layered smoothie, use less liquid so that they ‘sit’ on top of each other.
Sea buckthorn smoothie:
15ml sea buckthorn juice
2 frozen bananas
250ml orange or apple juice
1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy straight away or swirl into a green smoothie for a green and orange layered drink:
2 frozen bananas
250ml apple juice
1 handful leafy greens
1 tsp barley grass powder
1 tbsp hemp seeds
Blend all ingredients together and pour into glass, alternating with the sea buckthorn smoothie.
Supercharged Sweet Potato & Spice Smoothie
This smoothie is thick, luxurious and has the taste and consistency of Egg Nog without all the nasty stuff; Not to mention all the health and fertility benefits - Almonds are a great source of essential fatty acids, zinc, folic acid and vitamin E. Sweet Potato is a wonderful source of safe vitamin A and is hormone regulating. Linseed oil is brilliant for your daily dose of Omega 3 essential fatty acid. Cinnamon will assist with regulating your blood sugar and helping you curb the sugar cravings. And if that wasn’t enough, Bananas contain B6 and tryptophan, an amino acid that makes you chill out and feel good. Who couldn’t use a bit of that?
600ml Nut Milk
150g Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
½ tsp Vanilla Powder
½ tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Maca
1 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg or ⅛ tsp nutmeg powder
2 tsp Coconut Syrup
200g Banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 tsp Linseed/Flax Oil
Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender for about 30-45 seconds or until it’s smooth and creamy. Serve at once.
A true power house of a smoothie and great for an afternoon “pick me up and keep me going till dinner.” or as a meal replacement. Bee Pollen is a good source of vegan protein and helps promote a regular menstrual cycle and blood flow. It also contains B vitamins and minerals which are helpful for fertility. Hemp Seeds are a good source of both Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. Blue Green Algae will give your immune system a boost and will regulate your metabolism. While chia seeds are probably your best source of vegan Omega 3.
2 tbsp Shelled Hemp Seeds
250g Banana, sliced and frozen
1 tbsp Bee Pollen
1 - 3 tsp Blue Green Algae
2 tbsp Chia Gel
1 tbsp chia seeds
60 ml water
Make chia gel by combining seeds in a small bowl with ¾ c or 180ml water. After about 5-10 minutes of the seeds soaking in the water, whisk and then transfer to a small jar. Will keep in fridge for 4-5 days. Combine all smoothie ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.