Hey Pesto!

Homemade Pesto

Homemade pesto is great condiment served with eggs, salads, steaks, cauliflower pizza, chicken, and quinoa; basically anything your taste buds feel like. As an alternative to basil you can use coriander, parsley or kale. I like to use walnuts as an alternative to pine nuts. They have a buttery texture and nutty flavour which blends very well. Chilli flakes give it a little kick, however, if you do not like chilli leave it out of the recipe. If you have some left over pop in a glass jar and store in the fridge for a couple of days. This recipe is gluten and dairy free.

Ingredients

Large handful Basil

Handful Walnuts

4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove

Sprinkle Chilli Flakes

Pinch of Pink Rock Salt

Black Pepper

Method

Pop in food processor and blend until all ingredients are combined. Serve with whatever tickles your fancy!

Eat Real, Great Feel!

No Hass Man!

This food creation is very deceptive in a positive manner. I know it might resemble a cheesecake but it is not a cheesecake. In fact there is no cream cheese in the recipe at all. Avocados are used as a cream cheese alternative. Avocados are a powerhouse of healthy nutrients. The base is made from walnuts and almonds instead of biscuits. Walnuts and almonds are packed with essential fatty acids (EFA’s), protein and B vitamins. This recipe is grain free, gluten-free and dairy free, however, if you have an allergy to nuts I would not advise eating a slice.

Ingredients

Base

300 grams Walnuts & Almonds

½ cup Desiccated Coconut

30 grams Coconut Oil or Butter

¼ teaspoon Vanilla Powder

1 tablespoon Rice Syrup/Honey/Coconut Sugar

Pinch Himalayan Pink Rock Salt

Method

Pop the walnuts and almonds in the food processor and blitz until combined. Add pinch of salt and vanilla powder.

In a larger mixing bowl using your fingertips rub in coconut oil until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Next add desiccated coconut and melted rice syrup to the mixture and stir it all together.

Place the mixture on a round cheesecake pan with removable bottom. Spread the mixture out evenly and gently press it using a spatula, potato masher or your hands.

Place in the fridge until the filling is ready to be added.

Filling

4 medium ripe Hass Avocados

4 tablespoons Carob Powder or Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

3 tablespoons Rice Syrup/Honey (you might want to add more depending on your sweet buds)

4 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted (this allows the mixture to set)

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

½ teaspoon Vanilla Powder or Vanilla Essence

Method

Melt coconut oil.

Remove flesh from the avocados.

Pop all ingredients in food processor and blitz until combined it should resemble a mousse consistency.

Spread the mixture evenly over the walnut & almond base.

Place in freezer and allow setting for 5 hours. Defrost for half an hour before serving. It will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Serve with fresh strawberries, roasted coconut flakes and whipped coconut cream.

Eat Real, Great Feel!

 

From Batter to Cookie

Homemade Rustic Coconut Cookies

Dying for a nice cookie the other day I decided to bake these rustic delights. Rustic because they are not cut perfect but who cares when they tasted luscious. To complement these heavenly creations I mustered up a hot ginger cocoa made from coconut milk (1 cup coconut milk, ½ teaspoon ginger powder, 2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder, pinch of vanilla powder, 1 teaspoon rice syrup; heat in a saucepan).

The recipe is gluten-free and only uses a natural form of sugar, rice syrup. The coconut flour is rich in dietary fibre and protein. How could you resist?

Ingredients

1 cup Coconut Flour

½ cup Desiccated Coconut

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ginger

½ teaspoon Cardamom

2 ½ Pecans, Almonds, Walnuts

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

Pinch Vanilla Powder

Pinch Himalayan Rock Salt

¼ teaspoon Baking Soda

2 tablespoon Rice Syrup (you can adjust this to cater for your sweet buds)

¼ cup Coconut Oil

6 Free Range Eggs (this will moisten the batter up as coconut flour can be dry)

Method

Preheat the oven 180c.

Chop nuts, you can pop them in a bag and bash them with a rolling-pin or break them up with your hands.

In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients and combine.

In a separate bowl mix whisk eggs, oil, rice syrup and pour into the dry mixture.

Mix all ingredients. The batter should be thick and moist.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Scoop batter onto the tray. Smooth out the mixture with your spatula ½ inch thick. Place in the oven at 180c for  25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Remove grease proof paper, cool on a wire rack, cut into squares or triangles.

Eat Real, Great Feel!

 

Cupboard Essentials in My Kitchen

Trips to the supermarket can be a daunting task when you aren’t sure what you really need or want. Below I have put together an outline of essential items that will help you to enhance your healthy eating habits.

Cupboard Essentials

  • Oils: Coconut Oil Cold Pressed, Olive Oil Cold Pressed, Avocado Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Ghee Clarified Butter.
  • Salt: Pink Himalayan Rock Salt, Rock Salt.
  • Spices: Every press should have an abundance of spices to add flavor to your favourite dishes. Pick yourself up some Chilli Flakes, Garam Masala, Turmeric Powder, Cardamom Pods, Star Anise, Mustard Seeds, Chilli Powder, Whole Coriander Seeds or powder, Ginger Powder, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Fennel Seeds, Fenugreek, Cumin Seeds and Peppercorns; the list is endless!
  • Herbs: Where possible I like to use the fresh herbs, however, it isn’t always possible so I go for the dry option. Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Bay Leaves, Sage, Tarragon, Mint; tailor to suit your cooking habits.
  • Sauces: Fish Sauce, Tamari Style Soy Sauce (gluten-free option), Tabasco Sauce, Mustard, Peanut Butter (make sure it has only peanuts in the ingredients, this is the healthier and more natural form).
  • Tins of Coconut Milk. Check the ingredients list and try to avoid brands that add additives, try keeping it as natural as possible. My favourite brands are Biona or Chaokoh.
  • Tins of Tomatoes. Great for the bases of sauces and soups.
  • Vinegar: Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, brands I like are Bragg or Biona, Balsamic Vinegar, White Wine Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar.
  • Sweeteners: Raw Honey, Unrefined Brown Sugar, Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Agave Syrup.
  • Chocolate: 70-85% Dark Chocolate is great when you get a sugar craving. My favourite brands are Lindt or Green & Black. Also keep an Organic Cocoa Powder in the press; Green & Black have a great cocoa powder. It comes in very handy for making your own natural hot chocolate drink (recipe to follow),Carob Powder is fantastic.
  • Nuts: Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Brazil Nuts, Roasted Coconut Flakes, Raw Peanuts ; these are all great for snack recipes.
  • Flour: Almond Flour, Coconut Flour and Desiccated Coconut; I use these flours mostly as I am Gluten Free.

Places I can recommend in Johannesburg are:

For a list of Farmers Markets in Johannesburg visit Eat Out.

The list above is an outline of products that will be needed for the various healthy recipes and ideas that I post. There is no need to make a burst for the store straight away to purchase the entire product list. I will add to the list as time progresses.

Eat real, Great Feel!


Homemade Gluten Free Cereal

Be warned its addictive!

What you will need:

  • 3 cups Desiccated Coconut (Read the product label to ensure there are no other chemical additives present)
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (nibbles, flaked, blanched – any kind you like)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts (crushed) I usually crush them with a rolling-pin if the supermarket doesn’t have the crushed version.
  • 1/2 cup Hazelnuts (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup Golden Linseed
  • 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 Sesame Seeds
  • Coconut Oil (1 teaspoon)
  • Pink Himalayan Rock Salt (pinch)
  • Honey (1 tablespoon, however, you can season to taste)

Method:

Oven Temp: 150 degrees Fan Oven

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Next put the mixture on a flat baking tray. I tend to layer it up to about 1 inch in thickness.  Once the mixture is golden in colour remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool. Place in a storage container.

In a Pyrex jug add the honey and coconut oil. Place the jug in a saucepan of heated water and wait for the mixture to melt. Once melted pour on the cereal and mix it all together

Serving Suggestions:

Coconut milk works great if, like me, you prefer the dairy free option. A brand I am very fond of is “Kara”. You can also use rice, soya, hazelnut, quinoa or almond milk. Add some fresh fruit, dried fruit or natural yogurt.

Recipe Alternatives:

The recipe isn’t set in stone and if you are feeling creative you can mix up the ingredients by adding pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. I am a coconut fiend so I like to add roasted coconut flakes. Swap honey for agave syrup or molasses. Season it to your taste buds.

Tip:

You can have the mixture pre-made and store it in your press so when you are running low it is easy to throw another batch in the oven.

Eat Real, Great Feel!