Here is a recipe for something sweet and delicious and satisfying that doesn’t have any refined sugar, gluten or dairy.
I found it in one of the great cookbooks by the sisters Hemsley and Hemsley Good and Simple and I often bring it to parties and potlucks – so I know I can have a really delicious dessert as well 🙂
H&H call it Fridge Fudge but I think it tastes more like halva, but less sweet. Anyway, it has some good fiber, lots of minerals from the sesame seeds and good fats from the tahini and the coconut oil.
It’s a really simple procedure and there’s one important thing to remember: it needs to stay cooled. As soon as you leave it on the table for longer than say twenty minutes, it starts getting too soft and it loses it’s bite. Still great taste though.
You will need a simple food processor. Now you don’t need a big and expensive one; for this recipe I use the one that came with my stick blender. If you don’t have one of these, I think it worth considering. I use it almost every day: to blend soups and sauces, make energy balls and chop onions and garlic very finely.
Makes 12 – 15 small squares
85 gr dates: use the cheaper ones that are a bit harder and dryer, like these. So not the more expensive and squishy Medjool dates…
Golden or turmeric milk is a cow’s, nut or coconut milk, heated with a good amount of turmeric in it. I shouldn’t be saying this as a nutrition and herb expert because of it’s great properties, but… I didn’t like to drink it! The reason was that I used turmeric powder. That leaves you with quite a lot of bits in your milk and it has quite a strong bitter taste.
But now they’re selling fresh turmeric root in my local shop, so I decided to try again. Delicious! I loved it! Maybe you want to have a try as well.
Turmeric is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. And this is not something woo woo to brush aside: there are currently over 10,000 peer-reviewed articles published proving turmeric benefits, especially one of its renowned healing compounds, curcumin.
In several of those papers the researchers compared turmeric to conventional medicine, and found out it worked equally well or even better than the pharmaceutical medication!
Recently turmeric has even been recognised for helping with depression!
Turmeric milk recipe
I like to use fresh ginger root in my turmeric milk as well, as it makes it nice and warming. And I do add a tiny bit of sweetener.
One warning: turmeric can stain your clothes yellow, so don’t wear your new white shirt and make sure you put on a apron!
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated fresh turmeric
Optional: a teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 mug of coconut milk from a can, full fat
1/2 mug of water
Or; 1 mug of home made nut or seed milk
A tiny bit of sweetener: 3 drops of liquid stevia or a teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup, optional
Put all your ingredients except for the sweetener in a saucepan
Heat gently until hot but not boiling
Leave it on a very low heat for 5 minutes
Pour through a tea strainer and add the sweetener if you want
During the cold and dark winter months I have been enjoying a warming and nourishing drink: my healthy hot chocolate! And I’m happy to share my recipe.
The inspiration came around at a time where I decided to stop drinking caffeinated coffee because I wasn’t sleeping well. At the same time I was looking for a mid morning snack with a good amount of protein to keep me going without an energy dip. The idea was it would prevent a snack attack later in the day.
So this is what I came up with. I make my healthy hot chocolate with my homemade cashew nut milk, raw cacao, collagen powder, maca powder, a pinch of sea salt and a bit of maple syrup.
In case you didn’t know yet, raw cacao powder is so much nicer that the regular stuff. It has a delicate chocolate taste. It is much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars. Cacao is thought to be the highest source of antioxidants and of magnesium of all foods.
Collagen powder has many health benefits. It improves the health of your skin and hair, reduces joint pain and degeneration. And since it heals and seals the protective lining of your gut as well it helps to heal leaky gut.
One of the benefits of maca root is that it increases fertility in both men and women. It’s a hormone balancer,and a booster for the immune system.
Maca is considered an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, demanding job, or illness, for example.
I notice that when I consume maca it gives me energy, like coffee would do, but without the crash afterwards. It makes me feel more grounded and alive. It helps me with restoring my hormone balance and it elevates endorphins, the feel good hormone. On top of that maca is its relatively high in protein, fiber, calcium and magnesium!
Going gluten free meant we had to re-think our snacks. My husband Hugo works as a handyman and gets hungry very easily. If he doesn’t have a good snack on him he will grab something that doesn’t work for him and suffer later.
These bars are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar and easy to make. We love them and usually make a double batch because they tend to disappear quickly.
We make them with bananas, but they work with steamed or roasted squash or sweet potato as well.
Here’s the recipe:
. 2 cups of (gluten free) oats
. 2 tbsp ground linseed
. 1½ tsp cinnamon
. ½ tsp ginger powder
. ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
. 1 tsp ground fennel
. ¼ tsp salt
. 2 mashed ripe bananas (or 1 cup of steamed or roasted and then pureed pumpkin or squash)
. ½ cup almond butter
. 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
. 8 pitted medjoul dates
. 1 tsp vanilla extract
. 10 drops liquid stevia or 2 tbsp coconut sugar or date syrup, optional
. ½ cup raisins
. ½ cup walnuts (optional but very nice)
How to do it:
. Cover the dates with hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes
. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl (oats, linseed, spices, salt, raisins, nuts)
. Blend the wet ingredients with a fork or use a stick blender: (dates, water, bananas, almond butter, vanilla extract, coconut oil)
. Line a 20-20 cm square tray with baking paper and spread evenly
. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes on 180 degrees C
. Cut and cool on a cooling rack
I’ve always loved making kefir and yoghurt with cow’s milk and really missed it when I decided to go dairy free. I missed the taste as well as the tons of beneficial bacteria that help my gut flora. No idea what kefir is? Have a look here.
So I started making kefir from plant based milks and I much say it was a bit of a messy experiment. I tried different kinds of coconut, using canned coconut milk until I discovered it had BPA (a hormone disrupting chemical in plastic) in the lining of the can. I then tried creamed coconut, that comes in a block, that you dissolve in hot water.
The problem for me with making kefir from coconut is that there’s quite a lot of (good) fat that’s solid at room temperature and that makes it hard to strain out the kefir grains once the kefir is ready.
But now I’ve found an easy way to make nut milk kefir with cashews!
I soak 1 cup of raw cashews in water for about four hours, together with two dates. These don’t have to be expensive medjool dates, any organic dates will do.
I then rinse them and add three cups of filtered water to the soaked nuts and dates and whizz them up in my nutribullet for about two minutes. That’s all: my cashew nut milk is ready.
Next step: I put a heaped teaspoon of kefir grains in a jam jar and add the nut milk and leave it on my kitchen counter for 24 hours. I store the rest of the nut milk in the fridge for later use. It keeps for about three days.
It’s then easy to strain our the kefir grains through a plastic sieve, pop the grains into a clean jar and add the nut milk I kept in the fridge.
I like it for breakfast with a grated apple, some nuts, ground linseed and cacao nibs.