I find Middle Eastern cuisine packed with flavour and is easy to replicate at home. Rarely a week goes by without me making a batch of Tahini dip. It can be used in so many different ways. It can be a great snack with either veggies, falafel or crackers, it can be used to drizzle over salad or meat or even as a simple spread in your sandwich. Tahini is a great alternative to dairy as it is a rich source of calcium and healthy fats.
¾ cup Unhulled Tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 lemon juiced
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup filtered water
Place all ingredients into a blend and combine until smooth. You may wish to add more water for a thinner consistency. I usually do this when I want to use the dip as a dressing.
Adjust seasoning as required.
Makes approx. 1 cup
Ooooh how I love smoothies. I love them for breakfast or even as a snack. This chocolate banana smoothie is one of my regulars. It’s packed with so many nutrient rich ingredients, tastes great and will keep you feeling satisfied for ages!
200ml almond mylk (Recipe is here)
½ frozen banana
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup ice
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
Additional superfoods you can add:
1 teaspoon Reishi powder
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until well combined.
For a thicker consistency you may want to add more ice.
I am so happy that I discovered chia puddings as a breakfast option. They’re quick to prepare, and taste best when done the night before therefore making it extremely convenient. Despite their small size, chia seeds are packed full of important nutrients like anti-oxidants, Omega-3 as well as fibre, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. With all that goodness, a small amount of chia seeds goes a long way!
I like to keep my chia pudding base really simple and then add different toppings to change the flavour. You can experiment with what ever spices and sweeteners you want.
3 tablespoons chia seeds (white, black or a mix)
1 cup almond mylk (or milk of your choice) My almond mylk recipe is here
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon raw cacao
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (sugar free)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw honey)
1 tablespoon nut butter
Toppings (any combination of):
Shredded coconut, mixed fresh berries, cacao nibs, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, banana, kiwi fruit.
Place chia seeds in glass jar.
Combine protein power and almond mylk and pour over chia seeds. (Add additional flavours at this point.)
Stir well and then give it another stir after a couple of minutes. Make sure all the seeds have come off the bottom and you don’t want them to clump together.
Place in fridge overnight or allow to sit for 20 minutes before serving.
Top with any nuts, seeds or fruit to complete.
I love to entertain regularly. Whether it's having family or friends over for afternoon tea or dinner, I always like to have something sweet and special. Jessica Sepel introduced me to this delicious, anti-oxidant, chronic disease fighting brownie that has the perfect texture combination of a solid base and gooey topping. It has my sweet-toothed husband's seal of approval, so is one for you all to definitely try!
1 cup walnuts
1 cup fresh dates, pitted
4 heaped tablespoons raw cacao + 1 tablespoon for icing
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch celtic sea salt
¼ cup desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon vanilla powder
2 tablespoons virgin organic coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons raw honey
¼ cup hulled tahini
a few drops of filtered water
Grind the walnuts to a fine crumb in a food processor.
Add the dates, raw cacao powder, cinnamon, salt, coconut and vanilla and process until sticky.
Line a small square dish with baking paper. Press the mixture in firmly.
To make the icing, place the coconut oil, honey, tahini and extra cacao in the processor. Press until the mixture is firm and smooth in texture. If it is too thick, add a few drops of water.
Spread the icing evenly over the brownies.
Put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
Makes 15 squares
Who says you can’t have chocolate first thing in the morning? This smoothie bowl is my absolute favourite indulgent breakfast. It is so smooth and creamy, and packed with all the goodness that you need to start your day. Raw cacao is rich in anti-oxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fats, fibre and vitamins. It has all the qualities to help you fight the aging process and those chronic diseases, but best of all it tastes delicious!
200ml almond mylk (the recipe can be found here)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 tablespoons raw cacao
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until desired consistency.
Transfer into a bowl and top with your choice of shredded coconut, berries, cacao nibs, buckinis and chia seeds.
Makes 1 serve
Ahh broccoli! High in Vitamin A, D, & K, and also know for its health benefits in fighting chronic diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and oxidative stress makes this a winning dish. Such a quick, simple delicious salad that can be enjoyed on its own or as a side to any protein. The combination of mint with the lemon/lime based dressing makes it extremely refreshing on a warm summer's day.
1 head of broccoli
100g baby spinach, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons Goji berries
handful parsley, chopped
handful mint, chopped
3 limes or 2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Chop broccoli to fine pieces or place in blender for 3-5 seconds until you get the size that you want.
Prepare spinach and onions and add to broccoli.
Sprinkle with seeds, berries and herbs.
Combine dressing ingredients and pour over salad.
The health benefits of coconut has been so controversial over time, but I have no doubt that this saturated fat which is full of lauric acid (which is found in breast milk, and will boost your immune function while helping your body kill viruses and yeasts) should be a regular inclusion in your diet. These balls are fabulous to have stashed away in the fridge/freezer, and really hit the spot when you are looking for something small to snack on. Thanks Kirsti Pesso for these little gems.
2 cups shredded coconut (plus more for rolling)
2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
Juice of half a small orange
Zest 1 small orange
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coconut milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch celtic salt
4 Medjool dates, pitted
Process all the ingredients except for the dates.
Add one date at a time and pulse until combined.
Roll into balls and then roll through the extra shredded coconut.
Chill in fridge or freezer before serving.
Serves 14-16 balls
Almond myIk is a fantastic substitute for dairy and I am constantly making it at home to add to smoothies, pour over cereals and use in baking. Almonds are rich in fibre, Vitamin E, Magnesium, anti-oxidents and healthy unsaturated fatty acids. Unfortunately many of the commercially made almond mylks available at the supermarket are shredded of all their goodness and packed with preservatives, so why wouldn’t you want to make your own clean, healthy, preservative free mylk?
1 cup raw organic almonds
1.25 L filtered water
Pre-soak almonds overnight (8-12hrs) in glass jar with filtered water and a pinch of salt to activate almonds.
Rinse almonds thoroughly from the soaking liquid.
Place almonds in high speed blender together with filtered water.
Blend on high speed for 90 seconds.
Strain the blended almonds through a nut bag (or fine strainer) saving the almond milk.
Pour almond milk into glass jar and keep in refrigerator for 3-4 days.
The pulp remaining from the strained almonds can be dried out in a low temperature oven for 3-4 hours and used as almond meal. Transfer the dried almond meal into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator until required.
Note - Make sure that the almond meal is completely dried out before storing because if it is left wet, it will start to smell and become toxic.
My kids have always loved having a muesli bar added to their lunch box, or as a snack on the weekend. But they had to go when we made the change to become a sugar free home, so I needed to find a school friendly (nut free) replacement. These have the perfect balance of sweetness from the raw honey and dried fruits while still providing all that nutritional goodness. It's so easy to make, and easy to adapt to whatever you have in your pantry. Best of all the kids love them!
½ cup sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter / tahini)
¼ cup raw honey
¼ cup coconut oil – melted
1.5 cups rolled oats (gluten free alternative)
¼ cup linseed meal
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries or sultanas
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
Prepare 8x8 dish with parchment paper.
Melt sunflower seed butter, honey and coconut oil on low heat until liquid form and set aside.
Combine all other ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and mix until well combined.
Press mixture into pre-prepared dish.
Freeze for 30 minutes and then cut into 16 squares.
Keep in well sealed glass container in the fridge.
Serves 16 slices
Juicing is one the easiest ways to get loads of nutrients and vitamins into you whilst giving your digestive system a bit of a break. It's all about throwing in a mix of whatever you have available in the fridge, but if you are new to the concept, here's a recipe that is easy to follow and won't be too bitter to drink.
1 baby cos (romaine) lettuce
2 Lebanese cucumbers
1 lemon, peeled
1 slice fresh ginger
small handful parsley
1 cup water or coconut water
2 green apples, cored (optional)
1 teaspoon Spirulina (optional)
Place lettuce, cucumber, lemon, ginger, parsley, and apple through juicer.
Whisk in Spirulina and add the water.
Pour into glasses and enjoy!