Monday, 21 March 2016

Sweet potato brownies

Deliciously Ella has done a lot for healthy cooking. She is young, pretty and have taken her own health in her hands. I love her recipes, but sorry Ella I have pimped your Sweet Potato brownies and made them even more yummy. This recipe is also been halved, since I only had one sweet potato!

So here is my even better version:

1 Sweet potato 
7 Medjool date, pitted
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp Raw Cocoa powder
2 Tbsp rice syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of salt
Vanilla
2 or 3 Tbsp almond milk
And some dark 70% chocolate 
Cocoa nibs

Set the oven to 180 degrees. 
Stab the sweet potato all over, wrap in a piece of kitchen roll and in microwave for 6- 7 mins .
Scoop out the flesh of the potato into food processor and add the 7 dates, coconut oil, rice syrup, salt, vanilla and almond milk (or water). Whizz until smooth paste, and add the dry ingredients (almonds, buckwheat flour, cocoa powder). Whizz again and you might want add more liquid. Scrap it into an small oiled Pyrex glass dish or other.
Into the oven for 20 mins. As soon as you take out the brownies out of the oven, spread the dark chocolate on the hot brownies and let it melt. When it is melted, spread out with a spatula and drizzle while still soft with some Cocoa nibs.
Now do yourself a favour, resist to start eating it until it is cold - good luck! 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A matter of loaf and death part 2

My obsession with bread making is still going on. And I pimped a bread I done previously before the bread maker arrived. 
In Honestly healthy, alkaline chef Natasha Corrett's cookbook "Cleanse", there is a great recipe for a Chia and teff bread. I love Natasha's way of cooking, great tasting and doable. However this bread has a lot of ingredients, but so worth it.
This bread reminds me of a sourdough type of bread, but without the hardship of  fermenting dough.
But I had to change a few things to make the recipe work in the bread maker.
 So down sized and pimped by me, Chia and teff bread:

375ml lukewarm water 
1.5 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp rice syrup or honey 
3 Tbsp neutral oil
15g psyllium husks
2 tsp grounded linseeds
70g teff flour 
40g buckwheat flour 
20g quinoa flour 
70g tapioca flour 
70g almond flour 
15g potato flour 
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds 

Everything into the bread maker. Use the settings with the longest raising time. 
Mine is the Gluten free setting.
If you want a larger loaf, double the ingredients, but not the yeast - only 2tsp.
A money saving tip is buying flours like Teff, tapioca, grounded almonds etc. in Indian supermarkets, 
a 5th of the cost in the health shops.





Friday, 24 July 2015

A matter of loaf and death

 Gluten free bread can be a bit of hit and miss. Sometimes the shop bought breads are dry and horrible. The breads are expensive (understandable) and some times when I get to Gluten free section, the breads are almost out of date, or none left on the shelves. 
So I thought to myself, how hard can it be!?!? I am going to buy a bread maker and make my own - problem over!
Ha ha ha! I should have known better. My Dad was a baker and he always said :"Baking is chemistry!"
This even more when baking gluten free. You don't have the gluten to make the stretchy structure and the lovely crumbly texture. If my Dad was alive, I would love to have a conversation with him about this matters. 
And it would have been great to challenge him with , making a nice Gluten free bread.

Buying a bread machine. I choose the smallest version on the market, this for easy storage and also that the breads are only for me. Lakeland had a affordable small machine, job done.

First attempt and recipe was from "Gluten free " magazine, recipe for Oat Bread. OMG this turned into a rubbery brick. Seriously something wrong! I guess the proof reading  slipped that day at the office.
Next attempt GF baking mix Finax, recipe on back of package. Not for human consumption, unless you were dying and there was nothing else to eat.
3rd attempt, I went to Waterstones book store and bought a book "Cooking gluten, wheat and dairy free" Michelle Berriedale-Johnson.
Quick white loaf! Yes pleasant and enjoyable to eat. But still not totally happy.
So last night 4th attempt I cracked it. From same book "brown loaf with almonds" - Eureka!
But I did pimp her recipe, as always and made this mine.
This makes one small loaf:

Put in your bread maker :
350 ml lukewarm water 
3 Tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp honey 
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast 

The dry ingredients on top of the wet:
200 gram Dove Brown GF flour
50 gram Gram flour (Indian chickpea flour)
50 gram ground almonds 
2 tsp psyllium husk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

Set machine to setting closest to a raising time 30 - 45 min. And baking time 45- 60 minutes.

I will use this recipe from now on. But there are always room for improvement! So watch this space, more to come.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The heat is on - Pimp your water!

The summer has finally arrived in London and with a vengeance. I went to the Wholefood market in Picadelly and there was rows of beautiful bottles of infused waters. It was boiling outside and looked so beautiful in the bottles.


I bought a bottle and the boys and I agreed this was a great drink, but a bit expensive for what it really was.
I can do that myself I thought.
I found on Amazon Kindle a free book about Flavoured water to down load, even better.

No need for juicers and blenders, only your patience. If you are real fancy, you could buy an "infuser", but really a glass or plastic bottle is all you need.
I got lots of mint in my garden and 3 pebble strawberry plants., so the first batch we made was strawberries, mint and lime. Left it for 3 hours and ready to drink.


Other great combinations are:

- cucumber w/lemon infuse for 2 hours 
- Kiwi on its own, or with strawberries. Infused for 3 hours 
- Pineapple with mint, or ginger. Infused for 3 hours 
- Watermelon w/rosemary infused 2 hours 

There are hundreds of other combinations, but no excuse to get dehydrated. Enjoy the summer.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

"Against all grain" granola

I really don't like many of the breakfast products you can buy in the shops. Too much sugar, boring or something I don't like i.e. Raisins. So when I occasionally get the craving for granola, I do it myself .
This recipe is pimped from Danielle Walkers book "Against all grains - meals made simple". I really really like her cookbooks a lot and can highly recommend to get your hands on one of her two books. 
Her granola is called "Nut-free granola " and that it isn't anymore in my pimped world. I also halved the portion size.
So here it is: 
Mix 2 tsp chia seeds with 1 Tbsp warm water - set aside.
In a pot 1/4 cup raw honey + 1 Tbsp coconut oil + 1 Tbsp almond butter, melt these on very low heat.
In a bowl mix 1 cup of mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower) + 1/2 cup coconut flakes + 2 Tbsp hulled hempseed + 1 tsp cinnamon + dash of vanilla powder and salt. Put all the seeds into a food processor and pulse 6 time.
Mix the melted honey and oil with seed mix - spread on lined baking tray and into oven 150 degrees 5 mins, flip around and back again for another 5 minutes. Please keep an eye on this, at this stage. Mine got a bit dark this time, but still okay.
When the granola is cold, mix in 1/3 cup of dried sour cherries. Could be raisins or cranberries.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Raw Raspberry Chia seed jam

Enjoying a morning at home, kids at school and some well deserved time to myself. So while staring out in the garden and reflecting on life and what brings joy to your life, I realised how much I missed blogging. Last couple of years has been a challenge, with my twin boys autoimmune diseases, my own and life in general.
So why blogging!? Do I have something to share and does anybody care? I don't know, but maybe - just maybe someone is reading this out there and find some of this useful.

First cookbook to be pimped is Madelaine Shaw "Get the glow". Great recipes and beautiful photos. 
Well done Madelaine!

So this morning I decided to make from her book, the raw jam for my breakfast. Shop bought jams are often a sugar/fructose feast, attacking your blood sugar beyond believe. But this version is fresh and healthy. But of course pimped by me.

Raspberries and chia seed jam

Put 250 gram raspberries into a food processor/blender together with 1 Tbsp raw honey, 2 tsp stevia and some vanilla powder. Blend until smooth stire into this 2 Tbsp Chia seeds. As soon as the seeds is added, make sure it is well mixed in and pour into a kilner jar. Let the jam set for at least 15 min, then it is ready for smearing on bread, or mixing into yogurt.
Keep in fridge for 4 days, but don't worry it will be gone by then. Enjoy 






Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Hot chocolate for the soul

There is something about autumn, winter and hot chocolate,
So on this official first cold day in London, after a day with wind so powerful that a few panels of my old garden shed got ripped off, time for Hot chocolate!!!



I always experiment with little improvments to make this drink even better.
So inspiration for this dark cup of pleasure, is from a new cook book from Fran Costigan "Vegan Chocolate - Unapologetically luscious and decadent dairy-free desserts".

So here my pimped version per person :

1 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp Cocoa powder
1 Tbsp grated dark chocolate
1 Tbsp Agave syrup
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Into a pot and on the stow, warm up slowly.
 When heated up add 1 tsp arrowroot powder dissolved in a little almond milk. Stir into the hot chocolate and see it thickening, just ever so slightly. This is to create that perfect chocolate moustache!
Take of the heat. You might want at this state to add a little sugar or stevia, to satisfy the sweet tooth, that is your choice.
But what ever you do, it is love in a cup and great gesture to make for someone you love - I.e. Yourself!!!!