Posts tagged nuts
My top #Rawgust meal ideas & raw banana bread recipe!

It's coming up to the end of the month. The end of August.... and therefore the end of #Rawgust

I didn't announce it directly on my blog (kept that to social media) but I made the decision on the last day of their life to give Raugust a go - that's raw vegan for the month of August. My boyfriend was also up for playing along which helped!

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I felt very unprepared and aware that it may not run perfectly or smoothly but that's ok. It was the spontaneity that spoke to me in the moment when I saw a post by the Ethcs crew that I really resonated with.

Having spent time at Raw Fest on the last weekend of July, and more recently exploring the connection between a plant-based diet and our innate sense of creativity for my forthcoming book, I am learning that a raw vegan diet has the potential to bring you even closer to that connection with self, with source, with nature.

My good friend Rhiannon Van Der Griffin recently shared her raw journey with me a part of my book research and I was inspired more than ever to try it for myself. 

In moments like this I come back to this quote by Matt Cutts. It's simply about getting curious to explore what becoming the very best version of you could look like. For 30 days.

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So how did the month play out for me?

NOTE: more in depth update in this post!

Well, I admit I wasn't perfect. I wasn't 100% raw. Probably about 85% in reality. 

One of the biggest reasons for wanting to do it, was to increase my repertoire of raw meal ideas for the future, and that I did for sure. In particular, raw sauces, dips and dressings for salads can REALLY make a salad.... it doesn't often matter what veggies you have in the bowl if you have an incredible sauce to smoother them in, right? ;-) Make enough for the week and you have easy meals lunches you can make in moments. 

I am going to put together a separate post sharing a big roundup of raw recipes from a vegan community I am part of, but for now I'd like to share a few of my favourite discoveries and tips.

I'd also love to hear about your own 'raw' adventures...

Whether that might simply be incorporating a green smoothie each day, or a raw lunch Monday to Friday, or more raw snacks. It's not about hitting 100% perfect, what works for you?

Have you felt any benefits going more 'raw'? Or what are you currently struggling with?

My favourite things to make...

  • Raw sauces etc (as noted above) - make a weeks worth.

  • Deyhdrated flax crackers which are great as a snack in the go, as cracker as a 'bread substitute' and also as croutons in a salad when sliced into tiny squares- recipe here

  • Bliss Balls are also an obvious go-to, BUT I did have a tendency to eat a lot of them and then be too full for a massive salad- ooops!

  • Courgetti- spiralised courrgette and carrot for a fun pretty bowl. Also great with the chunky bolognaise- see pic above - recipe to come.

  • Smoothies of all kinds - green, berry or banana and raw cacao for a chocolate hit!

  • Overnight oats - this one is a little contentious as to whether it's actually raw, since rolled porridge oats are technically heated in the rolling process. But this was often nice to wake up to instead of smoothie or fruit bowl in the morning, or as lunch on the go.

  • Mushroom curry - so easy and so good (see pic above) based on this recipe using cashews.

  • Lettuce wraps with a peanut satay dipping sauce (technical the peanut butter component wasn't raw) note: gem lettuce leaves work best- those in the picture were from my veggie patch.

Still a few more days of #Rawgust to go, so I will see what creations catch my eye- I will be back with more raw recipes here soon!

For now, I'll leave you with this recipe for a raw banana bread... I totally made this up as I went along, but it worked so well as a spin-off on a bliss ball style creation.

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Recipe: Raw Banana Bread Slice

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas

  • 2 tbs flax seed

  • 1 cup dates

  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

  • 1/2 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup nuts- chopped (I used macadamias*)

  • 1/2 cup nuts- ground (I used pecans*)

  • pinch salt

* I loved the flavour and texture of the chunky macadamia pieces, but I imagine cashews or almond would also work well. Any ground nut could be used.

If you want a more intense 'double banana' flavour, try using dried banana pieces (not banana chips) instead of dates - or half and half.

Method:

Blend the banana with the flax, cinnamon and dates until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well to form a stiff slightly sticky 'dough'. (I pulsed the mix together in a food processor but you could do it by hand). 

Form into a log on a liner and chill for at least an hour to firm up. Once firm slice into pieces and serve. Store in the fridge for up to a week. This freezes well too.

NOTE: It makes about three times the amount shown, but I gifted most of it to my boyfriend before I had a chance to shoot it ;-)

raw banana bread rawgust.jpg
 

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Peanut Butter Roundup... 15 recipes for #nationalpeanutbutterday

Do you know what day it is today?

January 24th 2018 = National Peanut Butter Day!

I almost missed it - again! It was brought to my attention in the nick of time by the peanut overload as I scrolled through Instagram. So yep, I am now adding to the noise by giving you a round up of top peanutty recipes from my archives to try! Plenty of sweet and savoury options to inspire you. Or maybe you've come up with a recipe combo of your own?

If nothing else... I hope you celebrate today by grabbing a spoon and dipping it in the peanut butter jar!

Mmmm, if you want to know my top two favorites out of ALL of these recipes, it would have to be...

1) Nutty Chocolate Truffles

2) Sweet Potato Rostis

If you make any of these recipes please tag @johodson on Instagram so I can see too! :-)

Enjoy...


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Chocolate Avocado Pudding (with medicinal mushrooms!)

I have been adding medicinal mushroom powder to everything recently- well mainly anything chocolatey as the colour and flavours are perfect masked!

I bought a selection of organic medicinal mushroom powders from here and mixed them together into one blend tub which I keep in the fridge. I like to have a teaspoon a day in a chocolatey dessert or as hot drink with some cocoa and/or vanilla bean.

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

There are many reported benefits of medicinal mushrooms... I was first intrigued by the articles I read up on how mushrooms could help with focus (something I really struggle with as my creative brain fires off on all tangents!) I had also been aware of them at many health food shows but hadn't really explored them at that point. 

There are estimated to be over 5 million different species of mushrooms, yet only 270 are currently classified as ‘medicinal’ with their potent anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and immune-enhancing qualities. Some of the most popular are reishi, chaga and cordyceps- which are the three types I have.

This pudding recipe is a spin on a classic avocado chocolate pudding, and in putting this post together I realised I didn't actually have any other form of avocado pudding on this blog - every vegan food blogger has an avocado pudding!! ;-) (Now I do too!)

This recipe serves one (or two smaller servings), but I have also tried it with great success by multiplying and making a huge batch of pudding mix then freezing in muffin cups- perfect pudding portions at the ready!

You could mix other mild favoured superfood powders in if your preferred- such as maca or baobab or leave them out all together.

Bonus- this recipe only takes two minutes to blend up!

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Medicinal Mushrooms

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding with medicinal mushrooms

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado

  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (approx 3-4)

  • 3 tbs raw cacao (or cocoa powder)

  • 1 heaped tsp cashew or macadamia butter*

  • 1/2 cup water*

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (optional)

  • Tiny pinch of sea salt

  • Approx. 1 tsp maple syrup - only if needed

* You could also substitute the nut butter and water with 1/2 cup coconut milk.

Method:

Blitz all together in a small food processor/blender until super smooth. Taste and add a tiny drop of maple syrup if extra sweetness is desired. Spoon into a serving bowl and allow to chill a little to set if desired. 

I served mine with crushed frozen raspberry pieces and desiccated coconut. You could also add an extra layer of fruit at the bottom of the serving bowl.

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Medicinal Mushrooms

 

 

 

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Easy raw chocolate brownies

Guess what... it's national chocolate week! Time for a little celebration with a new recipe I think! 

I wanted to give you an indulgent chocolatey classic, yet something easy to whip up in minutes.

I have just the thing.  Actually it's a spin on these chocolate balls which are always a winner with people whenever I make them and so  a pressed a sliced version was a nice alternative. For some reasons changing the format of things always makes them taste different! I always remember when I was younger how much more I loved Maltersers in the cardboard box compared to in the regular packets! (anyone agree or am I just a weirdo!!)

You could add walnuts here for an even more authentic brownie if you fancy. I dusted the top with a raw cacao and coconut sugar blend.

Eve though they are not baked, these slices have a beautiful cake like quality to them, deeply rich, slightly crumbly and melt in the mouth. Keep them in the fridge and they'll stay more robust. They also freeze very well too not that they'll be around for long enough!

Easy raw chocolate brownies

Recipe: Easy raw chocolate brownies

Ingredients: 

Makes approx. 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup almond or cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut syrup
  • 12 pitted dates( based on deglet noor dates but if using larger medjool dates reduce to 7 dates)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raw cacoa powder (plus extra raw cacao to dust- optional)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

Soak the dates in hot water for 5 mins and then drain. In a food processor, process all the truffle ingredients together to form a thick paste, it should be sticky but not to sticky to handle. Add the walnuts to the mix last and stir through by hand (or a couple of pulses) so they don[t break up too much.

Press the mix firmly into a lined 8" square pan. Dust the top with cacao if desired. Chill until firm before slicing. Keep in the fridge.

Easy raw chocolate brownies
Easy raw chocolate brownies
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Nutty keto crackers... pack in the protein!

When it comes to following a vegan ketogenic diet, I have found one of the easier way to keep on top of things without having to specifically track every macro to the last detail is to focus on packing in the veggies in my main meals and make up most of my protein needs through snacks in between. The hemp porridge is a great boost in this respect but handfuls of nuts and seeds (and spoonfuls of nut butter!!) also factor in pretty heavily.

These crackers are virtually the same as eating a handful of nuts and seeds but a lot more interesting with the flavours and texture. I would serve these up alongside a big salad, or just nibble on their own with a slather of PB or almond butter. The pictures show hummus which isn't really so keto friendly :-)

I use a dehydrator for maximum nutrition (no heat destroying nutrients) but you could use an oven on the lowest hear setting- just keep an eye on the timings as I haven't tried it that way.I always soak the nuts when I make crackers, this makes the nutrients much more bio-available to the body as in the nature nuts have enzyme inhibitors which make them harder to digest- soaking them breaks this down. You don't need to soak the hemp seeds. 

I haven't added any extra spices to the recipe below as you can leave plain or add your own... I love chipotle pepper sauce, or soy sauce instead of salt. Italian herbs would work well too.

These crackers freeze well so I tend to make a double (or triple) batch, and sometimes divide the mixture before mixing in different spices.

Recipe: Nutty keto crackers

Makes approx. 15-20 crackers

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup each 3 types soaked nuts/seeds (I used shelled hemp, almonds* and sunflower seeds)
  • 1 small tomato (or 2-3 cherry tomatoes)
  • ½ an onion
  • 2 tbs flax seed
  • scant 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Method:

Process all ingredients together until you have a sticky, lightly chunky mix.

Spread the mixture on to a lined dehydrator tray and smooth to approx 3mm thick as evenly as possible.

Dehydrate for 2 hours at 50C then 6 hours at 40C. Flip the sheet carefully and finish with 1 hour at 40C. Or try oven baking on the lowest temperature for approx 1 hour (maybe more?) To keep the temperature low you could leave the door open a crack.

Slice to serve. The crackers may be a little crumbly depending on how finely you've ground the nuts.

* walnuts are also especially good too.... but for this recipe version I was looking for the highest protein and lowest carb option so opted for almonds. Sunflower seeds could be swapped for pumpkin or another lower carb option, but I happened to have sunflower to hand at time time!

These were some similar crackers using almond, sunflower, sesame and chia.

These were some similar crackers using almond, sunflower, sesame and chia.

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'Life Changing' Muesli bread

I still have so many sugarfree recipes to share with you that I created to cut the cravings whilst  following the strict phase of the candida diet. However over the Easter weekend as phase one drew to a close, the rules relaxed a little (low sugar fruits and sweet vegetables could come back!!) so I had a go at re-creating a muesli loaf similar to the one I found whilst I was on holiday with my family last week.

It was a resounding success and I couldn't wait to share you on the blog… The other stuff can wait!!

This is a very lightly sweetened bread you could easily add a little extra dried fruit, some chocolate chips or syrup/stevia to suit your own taste, my taste buds are supersensitive to sweet at the moment so I played cautiously!

The base of this recipe idea came from the hugely popular 'Life changing loaf of bread' by My New Roots (hence my title!). This recipe has been in my Evernote clippings for months now and I'd not got around to making it, so this gave me opportunity to tweak the recipe to become my own in such a beautiful way.

Oh and by the way my new favourite ingredient is psyllium husk! It is what binds this bread so perfectly, and I have since used it in some other recipes, I will be sharing soon. It absorbs water and gels up in a similar way to chia seeds and so if you hate any kind of gelatinous texture then you may find you don't like pysllium. Pysllium is often taken as a supplement and used to aid digestion due to its high levels of soluble fibre and also as an anti-inflammatory. 

This bread is dense not fluffy (as you probably anticipated) it is rich with the benefit nuts and seeds...kind of like a handful of trail mix. I found it especially deliciously served slightly warm with a slather of peanut butter....just sayin' ;-)

Recipe: Muesli bread

Makes 1 8” loaf plan

Ingredients: 

  • 4 tbs flax mixed with 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbs coconut oil melted
  • ½ cup each pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup un-ground flax seeds
  • ½ sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup oats (you could probably sub quinoa flakes but I haven’t tried)
  • 4 tbs psyllium husk
  • ½ heaped cup chopped dried fruit (I used a mix of dates and apricot)
  • ½ heaped cup roughly chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp mixed spice
  • approx 15 drops pure liquid stevia*
  • For choc cookies I added: ½ cup cocoa, 1 tbs syrup, ¼ cup water.

Method: 

Mix together the flax, hot water, coconut oil and stevia (or sweetener) and set aside. 

Mix the remaining ingredients and then combine with the wet mixture. Combine well- the mixture will be very thick and sticky. Ad have that gel like quality.

 Pack into a greased and lined loaf pan and let sit covered for min two hours or overnight. Bake at 189C for 20 mins and then remove from tin, flip over and continue to bake for approx 30 minutes until golden and sound shallow when tapped.

Make sure the loaf is fully cool before slicing.

The loaf can also be frozen (best to slice before freezing).

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

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Date and walnut butters... seriously addictive!!

I have made both versions of this addictive 'butter' twice now... the second time was supposed to be given as a gift to friend. Ummmm.... that didn't quite happen. A spoon and my mouth happened ;-/

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Oh well... there is always another time (my friend got another gift instead- in case you were wondering!)

So, these 'butters' are seriously addictive.

Seriously.

And they take barely any tip to whip up. 

Winner!

They tickle the 'sweet' tastebuds without being overly so, the delicate rich flavours of the toasted walnuts are beautifully complimented with the dates. The chocolate version gives you your chocolate hit, again without taking you to sugar overload. Being so dense in nuts, a spoonful will be enough to hit the spot. I guess in many ways you have a kind of 'trail mix in a pot'.

I originally got the idea for semi-sweet nut butter spreads here on Ricki Heller's site, she uses purely stevia as a sweetener as dates are a no go for her, but I loved the ideas and options she suggested, so I went to have a play and a tweak myself.

I spread these butters on crackers, sandwiched between cookies, stirred through ice cream, blitzed into a milkshake. The list is pretty much endless- though I will admit I mostly ate it straight from the spoon. I may need to learn a little self control.

Nut butter... sweet or savoury? How do you eat yours?

I have loads more 'nut butter' recipes currently under creation... I am in the midst of creating yet another free book for the Real Food Source, and this one is dedicated to nut butters! We hope to release in in the next month... I will keep you posted!

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Recipe: Date and walnut butters

Each makes 2 smallish jars

Ingredients- The 'Regular'

  • 2 cups heaped walnuts- lightly toasted
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

Ingredients- The 'Chocolate'

  • 2 cups heaped walnuts- lightly toasted
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs raw cacao nibs
  • few drops stevia if extra sweetness desired

Method:

Roast the walnuts for about 5 minutes- you want them to be lightly toasted, make sure there are no burnt bits as it will impair the favour.

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and easily spreadable, stirring cacao nibs through last (if using)

These will store in a jar on the counter for a few weeks- mine didn't last longer than a week (and that's pushing it!)

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walnut butter 2a.jpg

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

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Chocolate trailmix breakfast cookie

The breakfast cookies are back...in time for the long bank holiday weekend (here in the UK at least)!   

I'm spending my weekend visiting family by the seaside so I enjoyed my breakfast cookie a day early just so I could get it up to post for you today. ;-)

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It's been a while since i've had breakfast cookies, though the 'single serves' are definitely back with a kick... with my (amazing) choc cherry pots and a new blueberry version I have in the works. These single serves are a great way to recipe test whilst also ensuring i don't eat a whole batch of 12 cookies all at once....portion control!!

My original choc chunk cookie is still one of the most popular recipes on my blog, but I reckon this little cousin packed for of chewy fruit and chunky nuts has the potential to over-take in the popularity stakes! Add a dollop of creamy topping and you have 'bressert' to go!

Oh, and surely you know me by now...speed and versatility are the key, so get creative and raid your cupboards, the trail mix concept really begs you to throw in any fruits of nuts you fancy!  One sure way of making your breakfast (or snack) fire you through to lunch!

Enjoy the weekend and make the most of the final days of summer before it's back to school and back to routine!

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Recipe: Choc trailmix breakfast cookie

Makes one fat cookie

  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbs ground flax or chia
  • 1 tbs each dried cranberries, chopped nuts, raw cacoa chunks (optional)
  • Vanilla extract to taste (approx. ½ tsp) or other spices as preferred
  • up to 1 tbs sweetener of choice- agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar
  • approx. 3 tbs vegan yoghurt or mashed banana to mix

  • Topping: 1 tsp peanut butter, 1 tbs vegan yoghurt and 2 drops of stevia (use ratios to make as much as you want)

Method

Mix and mash all ingredients together well to form a thick sticky ball of dough. Roughly flatten the ball with your palms and place on a small microwaveable plate.

Cook on full powder in the microwave for 1 minute. Press with your finger and if it springs back and there are no visibly sticky bits you’re done!

Of source this could also be baked in the oven for 10 mins or so- watch just out for the dried fruit burning. 

For the topping, simply whip together yoghurt, sweetener and PB and dollop on top.

 

trail cookie 3a.jpg
trail cookie 1a.jpg
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