Monday, 29 February 2016

Weekend Apple Walnut Cake

This past weekend I was home with the flu.
Just before it kicked in I watched a great documentary by Michael Pollan called Cooked. And within this documentary someone said a very interesting thing: "if we told someone who was craving dessert, such as an apple pie, that he could have as much as he wanted, that he could it the whole thing if he wished, AS LONG AS he made that pie himself..He probably would not have it at all...".
It really made me think. It is true, most of us end up eating unhealthy snacks or sweets or desserts or some other kind of processed foods just because they are there, ready available, sometimes we might not even be that hungry but they are there. We might just be bored. And end up having something containing ingredients we might not even be able to pronounce...
So on Sunday, when I started to feel a bit better and started craving something sweet and comforting. I decided to use the time it took for my flatmate to take a shower, to get up and whip up a home-made apple cake. My first one. Gluten and dairy free.
I am always worried about making "healthier" version of desserts as Patch (my flatmate) is often not convinced... But this time he was happy and asked for seconds!

So here it is, takes 10 minutes to put together and 35 to cook. Enjoy.x

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plant milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
2 flax-eggs (a total of 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds and 6 tbsp water mixed together)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 handful of walnuts
2 organic apples


Pre heat your oven on fan, 180C.
Mix together the dry ingredients. Add milk and flax-eggs and mix it all until smooth. Slice you apples thinly (after washing them of course and ps: I kept the skin on) and add 3/4 to the mix and keep 1/4 to add on top. Add all walnuts.
I used a round baking tin, but a heart shaped one would have been cuter...Lined it with baking paper and added the mix. Then added the last 1/4 of apples on top.
Pop the cake in the oven for 35 minutes. When you take it out just check that a knife comes out fairly dry (you have lots of apples in so there will be some moisture) and leave to cool for 20 minutes.

Both me and Patch were still poorly, so we enjoyed it with a Camomile, vanilla and manuka honey tea. And a good movie!

Hope you'll like it too.



Monday, 22 February 2016

Salad & Blogging..

This happy salad was made during my first ever  event for food bloggers here in London. They had a salad styling competition with lots of colourful ingredients to choose from for our creations and this recipe is what came out of it! A happy and tasty salad. Enjoy :) 

Black and white quinoa ( a handful of each)
A handful of rocket 
4 Roasted sweet potato wedges 
2 radishes sliced thin to decorate
A handful of broccoli sprouts
1tsp Pumpkin and sunflower seeds each 
Sliced carrots 
Pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top and make it pretty 

The dressing was simple the juice of one sweet orange!

You can put it together however you want it. For the purpose of the competition I used rocket first, followed by quinoa,sprouts, wedges leaning on each other, carrots and radishes all around. To finish,  all seeds were sprinkled on top before squeezing my orange all over it!

Pretty easy and delicious :) Enjoy.



Sunday, 14 February 2016

Chocolate walnut smoothie

I am thinking... What better way to start the week than with chocolate? And what if this delicious breakfast also contained some delicious nutrients that are oh so good for you?

I am going to keep this short and sweet.
It has been my go to smoothie during this crazy busy week, takes 1 minute to make and it's like having chocolate ice cream for breakfast. You're welcome.

Maybe keep it in mind for mornings when it is not 2 degrees outside ( she thinks.. Shivering while waiting for her train..).

In addition to pure cacao powder with its antioxidant goodness and magnesium burst to help your nervous system work efficiently, you get healthy fats from walnuts and avocado ( you will not taste it, but it'll make your smoothie super creamy...), a hit of potassium from banana, sweetness and a hand to keep your energy levels steady thanks to cinnamon, and some protein deliciousness from almond butter ( and again, walnuts). Oh, I forgot your 1 of 5 a day with spinach ( my favourite to add to
smoothies as there is no taste).

So what are you waiting for?

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 frozen banana chopped
1 handful spinach
1 tbsp almond butter
1 handful walnuts
2tsp cinnamon
1tbsp protein powder (optional, I use Pulsin' Brown Rice protein)
1tsp vanilla extract
Half ripe avocado
1cup almond milk ( or any other plant milk) 

Pop in your blender and whizz it up!

Top with crushed walnuts if you wish...x

Now grab a spoon and enjoy...

Happy Monday!



Monday, 8 February 2016

Salted Caramel Chocolates

On Saturday, I attended a seminar on nutrition for fertility organised by a wonderful and incredibly knowledgeable nutritional therapist called Belinda Blake. She runs these workshops called Fabulous Foods, focusing on which foods can help for different conditions.
Each time the focus is on a different topic and on this occasion the subject was fertility. Throughout the seminar Belinda suggested delicious recipes made with specific foods that would help women looking to conceive, and each delegate got a sample to taste. Oh boy... There were smoothies, beetroot fish cakes, asparagus hummus and much more. However, this post popped into my head towards the last part of the seminar, the one dealing with libido. You heard me.. And since Valentine's Day is around the corner, I thought you MIGHT be interested in her recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolates. These mouthwatering bites contain magnesium, a mineral that many people seem to be depleted in and can help the body to  produce energy but also helps the nervous system to function efficiently.   
And.. They happen to also have Maca powder in them, Maca is a Peruvian root which, in addition to help the body deal with stressors, is also thought to have an aphrodisiac effect. Just saying..

So here it is.. 

Makes 12 

Ingredients for the chocolate:
70g cacao butter
60g coconut oil
Pinch of Hymalaian pinch rock salt
85g pure maple syrup or Sweet Freedom
65g Cocoa Powder

For the salted caramel centre:
8 fresh mediocre dates pitted 
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp pure maple syrup or Sweet  Freedom
1tsp Maca powder
Pinch of Himalayan pink rock salt 

To make the chocolate:
Bring a small pan of water to the boil and then take off the heat. 
Place the cacao butter, coconut oil and salt una. Heatproof bowl and place in top of the pan of steaming water, stirring occasionally until fully melted.

Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

To make the salted caramel centre: 
Place all the ingredients in a food processor until you have a smooth caramel.

To assemble:
Line a mini muffin tin with sweet paper cases.
Drop a spoonful of the raw chocolate into the bottom of each case and then place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to set.

When firm to the touch, remove from the freezer and drop a teaspoonful of salted caramel into each cup, smoothing down where needed.

Lastly, spoon or pour the remaining raw chocolate into each cup, ensuring the caramel is covered.
Return to the fridge to set.

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you..




PS: The next Fabulous Foods events with Belinda are taking place at Institute of Optimum Nutrition (click on the link and call the institute on 020 8614 7800 to book your place) in Richmond, and here are the date for you all:

5th March 2016: Women's Health- The Menopause and Beyond
2nd April 2016:  Digestive Health
11th June 2016:  Pregnancy and Weaning

Should you want to have a one to one consultation with her instead, you can email her at: