Hazelnut Frappuccino

I am very exited about this new concoction. I know it’s only a drink but it’s just SO GOOD. As a former coffee addict (I used to live for my morning French press), it is one thing I do actually miss. Well, I don’t miss drinking coffee as it turned me into a jittery lunatic with crap skin, but I do miss the taste. I go into a coffee house now for a cup of tea, but really I just to smell the roasted beans…ahhh.

I <3 U Hazelnut Frappuccino. Mwah x

Because I was such a huge lover of coffee, I have always dismissed the coffee substitutes there are out there. What a WASTE OF TIME. And come on, can barley, rye and chicory really taste anything like coffee? Well, erm, yes it can actually! When I took my first sip recently, I was forced to eat my Costa Coffee hat. I mean, it’s never ever going to compare to the real thing of course, but it is really quite remarkable just how coffee like it is. I’m specifically talking about ‘Barley Cup’ here – and no, it’s not raw but I gave up coffee 2 years ago and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna give up a bloody coffee substitute as well. Ahem. Plus, they used ‘Inka’ (another non raw coffee substitute) during my raw food training out in Bali, so if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me. So! Back to the drink. It came about when I was making some thick and frothy almond milk the other day. Whilst straining the milk through my nut milk bag*, I spied the jar of Barley Cup out the corner of my eye. I thought “Hang on a little second…what if I were to put some of that in this?”. And I’ll tell you what happened – some amazing coffee milkshake magic is what happened!!! Needless to say I was very happy. I made it again today, except this time with hazelnut milk, which I think compliments the coffee taste much better. As the weather was so hot today, I was going to make it with a load of crushed ice – but when I got to the freezer… alas – there was non [hangs head in disappointment]. So I had to scrap that idea and go without – but if you do have ice in, chuck some in your blender. It will be an amazing, chilled, coffee tasting shake for you enjoy on hot summery days. An added bonus to this drink is that hazelnuts are packed full of vitamin E, so you know what that means? Fresh looking skin, glossy hair and strong nails.Woo!

*You will need a nut milk bag or a sieve to make the hazelnut milk. Sieves are ok to use but can be quite messy, and you waste a lot of milk as can’t squeeze it out like you do in a nut milk bag. My nut milk bag was the first piece of raw food equipment I bought (as it’s the cheapest!) and I use it nearly every day.

If you haven’t already got a nut milk bag, you can buy one here – Nut Milk Bag

Hazelnut Frappuccino
For a more authentic frappuccino experience, add plenty of ice to the blender jug at the end.
:
Drink
Ingredients
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 5 dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Barley Cup or other coffee substitute
  • Pinch salt
Instructions
  1. First make the hazel nut milk. In a blender place the hazelnuts, dates, vanilla extract, water and salt. Whizz everything up until thoroughly blended.
  2. Strain through a nut milk bag into a large jug or bowl.
  3. Place freshly made hazelnut milk back in the blender jug, along with a tbsp of Barley Cup.
  4. Whizz it all up again, pour into a glass and enjoy.

 

This one's mine!

 

 

Cool Cucumber and Spinach Soup

What’s that? Is that a (very small) tan line I spy? And are those freckles coming out of hibernation appearing on my nose? This can only mean one thing- the sun is shining in England! In March! It’s a miracle. Oh how I’ve missed you glorious, beaming sunshine. Everything is so much better when you’re around. It’s days like these that make you so grateful for being unemployed! What a touch. I have been horizontal all day soaking up the rays, and after hard work like this, the last thing I wanted to do is spend ages in the kitchen making dinner. Also, the sunshine makes my tastes buds cry out for something sharp and fresh. Something light and cleansing. Something just this Cool Cucumber and Spinach Soup! It’s dead easy to make, you just put everything in a blender and blend. That’s it. So if you have been at real life work today and you are wanting to catch the last few rays before they disappear, then this recipe is perfect as it’s QUICK. You can blend it, pour it into a bowl and be lying on your sun lounger in your underwear all in less than 15 minutes. Plus it’s packed full of chlorophyll – great for flushing toxins out of your body and giving you a clear complexion – so fresh healthy faces all round! 

You can serve this soup just as it is, but I topped mine with hemp seeds, basil, cayenne pepper and a tonne of nutritional yeast. Mmm. 

Cool Cucumber and Spinach Soup
:
Soup
2
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 handful of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ginger
  • Juice of 1½ lemons or 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ apple
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp dry dill
Instructions
  1. Place everything except the avocado and dill in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the avocado and continue to blend until creamy
  3. Put in a bowl and mix in the dill
  4. Serve just as it is or top with alfalfa, spring onions, more basil and nutritional yeast. Or whatever you have in the cupboards!

 

 

Juice Pulp Pizza Crusts


As it’s the start of Spring Equinox, and many of you will be detoxing, I probably shouldn’t be doing a post about Pizza. But before you dismiss it and run back to your Master Cleanse, there is some method to my seemingly anti-detox madness! If you are having a bit of a cleanse, I’m guessing you will be juicing a lot. And what will you be doing with all that left over nutritious juice pulp? Why, you’ll be turning it into these yummy Juice Pulp Pizza Crusts of course! And because they’re dried, you can store them in an airtight container and have a big pizza and dvd night when you’re detox is over. Always nice to have something to look forward to, isn’t it? 

One of the best things about having a dehydrator is nothing ever gets wasted. I always used to hate throwing away the left over pulp after juicing. It just seemed so wrong chucking all that fibrous goodness in the compost bin. I mean, I know it makes lovely soil, but I’d rather it make my body lovely first! Now after juicing I keep the pulp, and by adding a few other ingredients and popping it in the dehydrator, you can miraculously turn it into burgers, crackers, wraps or these – Juice Pulp Pizza Crusts. Yeah, yeah…I know what you’re thinking – “That’s not pizza! That’s a triangle shaped cracker!”. Well, you could be right. But they are thin and crispy, and when topped with tomato sauce, macadamia cheese, olives, garlic, basil and black pepper – they taste pretty smili- wait – no they don’t. They don’t taste anything like pizza. The action of eating it and the shape in your hand is familiar, but in a blind fold test I don’t think you’d be shouting out “Dominos!”. They are extremely tasty and satisfying though, and you can actually get up off the sofa after you’ve eaten them. Your body doesn’t have to deal with sorting out all the greasy cheese or refined carbs, and without wanting to sound like a cheesy (‘scuse the pun) advert, they are literally “bursting with flavour!”. (Can’t believe I just said that…). 

 These gorgeous Juice Pulp Pizza Crusts are the perfect base for you to top with whatever you fancy. I spread creamy red pepper sauce on mine, with avocado, olives, red onion, cashew parmesan and some freshly picked parsley from the garden. Bella!

Juice Pulp Pizza Crusts
Never waste the nutritious left over pulp from your juicer again! This recipe calls for 'ground almonds', and I find the best kind to use in this is pre-dehydrated almond pulp left over from making nut milk. It is very crunchy and gives these pizza crusts a fantastic bite. If you haven't got any dehydrated almond pulp to hand though, don't worry as fresh almonds ground in your coffee grinder or pre-bought will also work well. I've used cumin in the recipe, just because I love it, but admittedly it's not very italian! So feel free to substitute the cumin for oregano or any other mediterranean herbs.
:
Main
8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of fresh vegetable pulp (from making roughly 1 pint of juice)
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 cup ground almonds (see note above!)
  • 1 cup ground pumpkin seeds (ground in a coffee grinder)
  • ⅓ cup ground chia (ground in a coffee grinder)
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt.
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Either using a spoon or your hands, mix all the ingredients thoroughly (I find using my hands works best!).
  3. Once mixed, scrape the mixture out onto a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray.
  4. Press the mixture down and work it into a large flat circle, about a ¼" thick (think pizza!). You can also make it into little mini circles - get creative and have fun!
  5. Roughly score the mixture with a sharp knife into 8 or 12 slices, depending on how big you want your slices.
  6. Dehydrate the pizza at 115° for 8 hours, or over night. When the top is dry, flip it over and peel away the Teflex liner. Break the individual slices up and place back in the dehydrator for another 8-12 hours.
  7. When they're ready, they should be nice and dry and crunchy. Remove from the dehydrator and get topping!
Notes
Dehydrating may seem like a long winded thing to do, but it is actually a very stress free way of making food. Once the mix is in, you can just forget about it, and if it runs over an hour or two, nothing has really spoiled. The only thing is planning ahead. If you are wanting Pizza tomorrow night, get the mix in tonight and it will be ready and waiting for you the next day. Also, if you're making crackers, it's a good idea to make a big batch so you always have some on hand.

Raw Marzipan Balls

Coming from the Yorkshire dales and being the granddaughter of a professional baker, you can imagine how often the smell of baked scones, breads and cakes was always wafting out of our oven (you might want to listen to a bit of this, starting from 0.42 seconds, just to get you in the mood – “EeeeBy’Eck” ).  Reet, where were we? Ahh, yes… The good ol’ days. Baking is a part of my family heritage. My favourite times as a child were baking with me mum, stood ont’ stool so I could reach the work top. I can still recall the joy I felt when I was handed down the big wooden spoon covered in bun mix to lick. I watched amazed as mum put a little blob of bun mix into each of the cases lined up in the bun tray. How did she do that so well?! The buns were then put in the oven and we had to wait an excruciating 15 minutes until they were ready. 15 minutes!! As a 7 year old child, this felt like an eternity. I used to stand in front of the oven mesmerised, watching the buns rise as if by magic. It was magic…

Aye, thems were the days.

So why am I telling you all this? Have I finally come to my senses and realised that all this raw food stuff is bloody witch craft?! Well, no actually. I still love it, more than ever in fact. I’m telling you this because if anyone understands nostalgia and emotional attachments to certain foods, it’s me. There are times when a celery and apple juice just won’t cut it. Yesterday I found myself yearning to be in the kitchen, apron on, rolling pin in hand and flour all over my face. However, I wasn’t really that bothered about eating anything with flour in. Or anything baked. Now I’m not saying this to go “Ooo, look at me! I don’t want to eat cake! Aren’t I just amazing?”, I’m saying it because that is what naturally happens when you eat a lot of raw food a lot of the time. You don’t really want any of that stuff any more*. I mean, the idea of eating a cream cake is quite nice I suppose but my stomach doesn’t want it. But no matter how saintly you may think I seem, I do still need comfort food. Fact. I still like to curl up in front of the telly with a cup of tea in one hand and a tea time treat in the other. So when I felt the urge to bake yesterday, I got out my big mixing bowl and made these instead – Raw Marzipan Balls. You may think “boring!” but they weren’t, and I’ve had a life time of eating the best baked goods around to know what tastes good and what doesn’t. And these taste good.  And the bonus is they contain no refined sugar, they are dairy free, wheat free, vegan, raw, packed full of goodness and super scrumdidiliumptious. They got the seal of approval from the Queen of Baking herself, my brilliant mum. They are sweet, moist and sticky and are great to sink your teeth into. Now go down to Mr Crooks shop, get a packet of your favourite tea, have some friends over and eat these whilst chatting about the good ol’ days when you were down t’pit. But erm, just so you know – I drink Yogi Tea nowadays….watch?v=24N7GMk2Byo

Raw Marzipan Balls
Cosy up with these little tea time treats. Perfect for sharing with friends.
:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 cup rasins
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 4 hours or more
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 1 tbsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients apart from the shredded coconut in a food processor and whizz it up. You may need to stop and push the ingredients down a few times.
  2. When everything is mixed together thoroughly and you've got something that resembles biscuit dough, take it out of the mixer and place in a large bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl place the shredded coconut.
  4. Using you hands take the mixture roughly a tbsp at a time and roll into balls. The roll the individual balls around in the shredded coconut until they are covered.
  5. Place balls in an airtight container and place in the fridge.

 

*…although I could probably still stuff a massive wedge of my mum’s fruit cake in my gob, along with a huge chunk of Wensleydale cheese. But I refrain, of course…. 😉

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY XXX

Green Mango Smoothie

Woah. I have just read Victoria Boutenko’s book ‘Green For Life’ in about an hour; I couldn’t put it down. It was fascinating. It’s all about green smoothies, basically. Sound boring? Well maybe for some, but what she say’s in this book is important for everyone. Since getting into all this raw food stuff, I of course have had my fair share of green smoothies. I like chucking an apple in a blender along with some romaine, spinach and lemon just like the next person! But after reading ‘Green For Life’ I’m going to aim to do this every day. The thing is, although I am on a high raw diet, I still find myself craving dense foods such as dehydrated breads and crackers or nuts. Especially if I’m stressed or tired. I know, I know…there could be worse things to crave, right? But I also know OD’ing on cashews late at night, no matter how harmless that may seem to you, isn’t very good for your health or waistline. Plus, I’m not quite at the ‘I only need 30 seconds of sleep a night!!!” place yet. So even though I eat very healthily, I feel like something is a miss. I am still striving for even more energy and for once I’d like keep my hands out of the dehydrator whilst the onion bread is crisping. Interestingly the author of this book, even after being on a complete raw food diet for several years, also had these same ‘problems’ along with some other small niggling health issues.  Too cut a long story short, here is what happened when she started drinking green smoothies daily:

I felt more energised then ever before… I noticed those cravings I had occasionally for heavy foods such as nuts or crackers, especially in the evenings totally disappeared. I noticed that many of the wrinkles on my face went away and I began to hear compliments from other people about my fresh look. My nails became stronger, my vision sharpened, and I had a wonderful taste in my mouth, even upon waking in the morning. I began to feel lighter and my energy increased. My tastes started to change… My cravings for fatty foods declined dramatically. I stopped consuming any kind of salt altogether… I began to look younger… One of my fears was that I would get tired of green smoothies and wouldn’t want them any more. But after six months of regular consumption I was enjoying them more than ever. Now I couldn’t imagine my life without green smoothies…in addition to smoothies, I eat flax crackers, salads, fruit and occasionally seeds or nuts.” 

Obviously Victoria explains in much more detail in the book exactly why green smoothies are so good for you, and also why you might choose one over a juice. She also talks about the healing powers of chlorophyll, the importance of an alkaline body, why so many people hate greens and how you can change that if you do! I’m not on commission for this book by the way, I just think you all should go out and buy it. Now.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely gonna dive head first into a vat of green smoothie every day! Here’s the one I made after reading the book with what greens and fruit I had in the fridge (see picture!). Victoria recommends drinking 1-2 litres of green smoothie a day, and this one comes to about 1 litre. Although it’s best to drink it fresh, green smoothies will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, so if you don’t finish it all just save it for tomorrow…

I felt ridiculously good after drinking this Green Mango Smoothie and it tasted delicious. So fresh and cleansing! Now throw away all your anti-wrinkle creams and get a daily dose of this instead. Bottoms up!

Green Mango Smoothie
This is as green and fresh as they come! Start and end your day with this and you'll be laughing...
:
Ingredients
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves
  • Large handful of spinach
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of water.
Instructions
  1. Place everything in the blender and blend, baby!

 

Interview with ARNAUD HAUCHON – Head Chef at Raw/Vegan Restaurant Aloka, Brighton.

Meet Arnaud Hauchon, the unassuming French man who is responsible for creating some of the best raw food I have ever tasted. After my sixth visit to Aloka in Brighton, the restaurant at which he is head chef, I decided it was time to meet the man behind the Parsnip ravioli with a green olive, walnut & cashew cheese filling and the Peruvian cacao and ginger torte – to name just a couple of his sumptuous raw creations. It is hardly surprising that a man with this much talent possess an incredibly impressive culinary CV, with 4 years worth of superior studies at a hotel and catering school in France at its foundation. After working in various gastronomical regions of his home country, he then went on to work in kitchens all over the world. It was in Stravanger, Norway, that he ran the kitchen in the countries first ever organic vegan cafe “Resept”. He also worked at renowned vegan fine dining restaurants “Millennium” and “Green’s” – both of which are located in San Francisco, California.

Luckily for us, he now finds himself on British shores in Brighton, which is where our interview took place. I would have forgiven him for wanting to brag about his raw king oyster mushroom & prune ragout, or his maca bourbon vanilla ice-cream with lime & coconut crust, but as he very modestly states “the star in our kitchen is the produce and nature itself”. I beg to differ! A relentlessly hard worker with a huge passion for vegan cuisine and healthy living; here is what Arnaud Hauchon had to say whilst chatting with me on the iconic pebbled beach….

Tell us a bit about your job as Head Chef at Aloka. 

I don’t really call it my job. Well of course it’s ‘work’, but my job doesn’t finish when I go to work and end when I go home. I work 3 hours a day on the side. Planning, preparing, researching. It’s always there. It’s like being a musician, a little bit… or even an artist, because you really have to dive into it. Which makes it nice, because it becomes not a job anymore. People say to me “But Arnaud, you have no life, what are you talking about?!” But you know, I’m not dead. This is my life.

How long have you been working with raw foods?

I have been flirting with raw food for quite some years. When I started at Aloka it was pretty new to me. I said, “I can do it, but it’s nothing that I really know”. I had to deal with new techniques, but after I got it I then developed it. A few techniques can go a long way. There are still a lot of things that I take from my back ground, of course. But at the same time I need to relax about that.

What is the best raw food you have ever tasted, and where did you eat it?

The best raw food I have ever had in my life is a very ripe mango. A couple of years ago I was in India and I opened this mango, took a bite and I was like – whoosh! It was like a slap in the face! I was thinking ‘who designed this?’ ‘Who is their head chef?!’. Now this is where I totally agree with what raw food people say, that food was designed naturally for us. You don’t need to work it too much. Really, this is my aim… to go back to more simplicity. But I’m not there yet.

You are an advocate for healthy living, but you appreciate people’s need for pleasure and hedonism. How does this translate to the work that you do? 

The gourmet side of raw and cooked vegan food is very important. As a chef I put a question mark out there. I ask people to question their habits, and then I want to say to people, ‘Ok you are a pleasure seeker, you are a hedonist, but you can still be healthy. You can still be ethically correct”. Raw food is so vibrant. I put a lot of pleasure into the way a meal is presented, I get great enjoyment from this. It needs attention. You can see that every plate that is served in Aloka has had care and attention put into it. It’s a treat going to a restaurant and people need to be nurtured

Your cheesecakes are divine. Seriously. And your ice cream! It’s so hard to believe that they are raw and vegan… Can you share with us what’s in them?

Mainly cashews and coconut butter.

That’s it?! Wow… Did you make dairy ice cream in your earlier years as a chef?

Oh, yes. This helps of course. When making good food, self-confidence and belief in your abilities is very important. If you are constantly prodding, testing and stirring you are working the substance too much. It just ends up like a mush. The faster the better.

Do you use Irish moss?

No, and I don’t use young coconut meat either. When I first got into creating raw foods, all the recipes were ‘young Thai coconut this, and Irish moss that’. But when you are into raw foods or you are a vegan, you tend to be concerned for the welfare of the planet. Irish moss I suppose isn’t that bad to use, but coconuts come from many miles away. I would feel like a hypocrite if I used them in my food. It is a challenge though, but it is good as it helps with my creativity. Local food is important and we have some very good providers. We use an amazing amount of local food at Aloka.

What do you do with left over raw food in the kitchen?

There are many ways you can use left over raw food. It’s amazing what you can turn into a cracker using a dehydrator. Raw soups make beautiful crackers. I use flax as the main binding ingredient. I tend not to use chia. I mostly use chia in puddings.

How long have you been vegan for?

About 5 years now…

This a complete sweeping generalisation I know, but there don’t tend to be many people from France who are vegan. Am I right?

Yes, but I don’t live in France. This is probably why! Most people look to vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets mainly for the health part. In France, we don’t have many problems relating to health. I would say there is more balance, the portions are smaller, we can still afford to have good food and the farm factories don’t really exist. We do still have some industrially produced meats and dairy products, but nothing like they do in the States. So people in France don’t really feel the urge to become vegan or vegetarian, as they don’t feel so much shame. And the Frenchman’s connection to his plate is very strong. You try and take something off his plate and he will bite you! So vegan and vegetarianism in France is little bit too much for them.

Do you believe in a 100% raw diet? 

I believe in the many benefits or raw food, but I don’t believe in extremes.  I worry sometimes that people who are trying to be 100% raw are having food psychosis. You can get sick in the head from doing this and it’s unhealthy. You need to be happy. Love what you eat, your body will respond to that. Take pleasure in what you are cooking, shop at the place you love to shop, make food for the people that you love, eat slowly and mindfully…this is a good way to live.

Do you find being a vegan chef, especially now that you do raw food as well, that people want to get into a debate with you over food?

On the rare occasion that I socialise and I am not in the world of ‘food’ people are interested and want to talk to me about it. But often there comes a point where they don’t want to go further because they start to feel uneasy. And I don’t want to go further with the topic either. They feel like you are telling them how to eat. You have to be very careful, as people understandably will be defensive. It’s like telling a mother how to raise her child. I am very sensitive to this and I am not pointing the finger at anyone. If I meet new people I don’t tell them I am a vegan chef. I just say, ‘I am a chef’. It’s much easier this way.

What would your last raw supper be?…

A very ripe mango.

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Fourteen


Two weeks ago Jack and Sally went from eating foods like a typical English fry up and steak and chips, to eating nothing but a diet made up of raw vegan foods. This meant no meat, fish, dairy, eggs, soy, cooked grains and pulses, sugar, coffee, black tea – and nothing heated above 45°c. The phrase ‘life’s not worth living’ may spring to mind, but it is…honest! Instead of their usual diet of meat and two veg coated in cream, they ate a tonne of raw fruit, vegetables, nuts, sprouted seeds and grains, olives, seaweeds, healthy fats from avocados, coconut butters and various cold pressed oils in an effort to turn their eating habits around and give their bodies a long awaited surge of enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

As this was such a dramatic dietary change for them, I was their personal raw food chef and coach for the entire two weeks. I was able to create scrumptious and exciting raw dishes that would keep them interested and enable them to see that eating healthily doesn’t have to be boring. At all. Jack and Sally were not looking to become 100% raw, and that is not what I was advocating, but they were ready for a big change. They wanted first hand experience of what eating raw foods feels like, to see if it would make them more conscious of the foods they put into their body, and to find out for themselves if this could actually make a difference to their lives. So did it?! I’ll leave it to the ‘Get RaWcous!-Two Weeks on Raw’ stars themselves to tell you….

JACK: 

If you would have asked me a couple of weeks ago if I thought eating only Raw food was an easy change to make, I would have said, hell no! Luckily it’s all about who you know. So when we got the chance to have Elaine as a live in chef to take us through it we jumped at the opportunity.  Going into this I was more excited than nervous. I knew Elaine is a great chef so I was looking forward to being her guinea pig and tasting all of her amazing meals that she blogs about. I knew it would be hard, but having Elaine put in so much effort for us means that would have extra pressure to make sure we don’t let her down. So we had a huge pressure to stick to it, and a live in chef to prepare all of our meals. This is sounding real easy! So was it? Yes and no.  Everyone who knows me will know that I am a big meat eater. Don’t get me wrong I love vegetables… I just love them more cooked in cream & bacon, next to a nice lump of roast lamb, with a nice full glass of merlot next to the plate. My lifestyle is far from that of the stereotypical raw foodist and it did make it hard for me to make the transition. After the initial honeymoon period of the first week any time I got tired, fed up or bored all I wanted was my old diet. Luckily I had my new staff member on call to make me some amazing nut and chocolate snacks to get me through. After a couple of days of sitting on my backside ungratefully accepting delicious labour intensive foods I realised what an arse I was being… Sorry Elaine!  Because I’m used to having a heavy carb meal late at night, sleeping on it, then having a big bowl of porridge for breakfast I’m not very good at actually knowing when I’m hungry. I normally eat through routine so adjusting to a low carb vegan diet meant that I really knew when I needed something. My energy levels were very up and down and a few hours after eating I would tend to have a lull, which meant I needed raw snack foods and juices on standby. Other than that it was actually pretty easy, and it becomes easier the longer you do it.

So do I still think it’s hard to go raw? Not at all. The food is remarkably easy, but you do need some knowledge and preparation. If you are doing the 2 weeks without the luxury of a live in chef you will have to be up for spending extra time in the kitchen every day. You will need to get fresh foods every couple of days and get used to a new set of skills. I’ve never heard a blender used so much, but if you want a creamy cashew sauce, or a delicious raw chocolate mousse you will get used to it quickly. All I would recommend is that you get some guidance, pick some exciting recipes and that you make sure you have a varied diet so you are exited and well nourished. Although I think that 100% raw is not for me, I do think that the last two weeks were invaluable and it’s been potentially life changing. It has changed the way I look at food. After buying sweet chilli peppers that were full of sweeteners and some sun dried tomatoes that were coated in preservatives I learned to look at the label and see what’s in there. I want to know what goes into my body. I’ve also got used to juicing old veg before it turns and giving my body a real boost of nutrition… and spirulina, the most nutritious substance on earth. Why aren’t we taught about spirulina at school? The stuff is amazing, gives you an instant energy boost with no crash and is packed full of goodness. I’m going to take away some great recipes and knowledge, so who knows? Maybe the next time I do a raw detox my lifestyle won’t have to change as much!

SALLY:

So my two weeks of eating nothing but raw foods has reached an end.  I have not woken up this morning and gone running for the nearest cafe for a fry up but instead feel saddened by going into the kitchen and not finding Elaine whizzing up some fruitful power juice for me to start my day with, so instead I grab the manual juicer and squeeze four oranges to make some fresh OJ, delicious.  The kitchen seems strangely cold, surprising really considering the oven has not been on for the past fortnight and I’m finding I am missing the strange smells of some vegetable pulp dehydrating in the corner and an array of nuts and seeds in various guises around the place (sunflower seeds soaking in a bowl, brazil nuts in the blender, almonds whipped into a paste).  Does this mean I will be straight out to by a dehydrator, well no, not yet but i will be getting a juicer! and have re-evaluated what foods i put into my body every day.  I have had no desire to return to eating meat and will also avoid cow’s milk, replacing it with soya or nut milk, as far as egg’s go, well I still really fancy an egg!  There was no raw food I disliked and everything was packed full of flavour, for me its all about lazinesss and if I could have a pemanat live in Elaine, I would!  

Jack has done the first supermarket shop since Elaine has gone and the kitchen is packed full of fruit, veg, nuts and seeds, in the fridge there is goats cheese, fresh olives, a carton of eggs and hiding behind all of that, a premium steak. That’s Jack’s treat, he has really missed eating meat, considering his usual diet would consist of two meat meals a day, and I don’t blame him for wanting the steak, the boy did good over the two weeks and is looking noticeably brighter, we both are.  My skin feels great and my eyes are white.  Jack has a new found energy and I, not being an excersisor or one described as a high energy person (Sal, yeah she’s too much, high energy that one) have not noticed a shift in my energy but do feel generally healthier in spirit and an feeling of inner smugness that this experience has brought me.  I will continue to eat Raw and combine it with a diet of regular cooked food, if I replace one meal a day with purely raw foods then long may this smugness continue.

Sally Clark – Get Rawcous convert and supporter, March 2012

THE ‘BEGINNING’…

😉

*****

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Thirteen


Before I begin, I must first apologise. Yesterday, I promised you a recipe for Peppermint Chia Chocolate. But alas and alack, this can no longer happen. Well it can, it’s just that I don’t have an enticing photograph of the Peppermint Chia Chocolate to show you, and I do like an enticing photograph to match a recipe. The reason I don’t have a photograph of the Peppermint Chia Chocolate that I put so much love, care and attention into making, is because when we got back from the theatre (ooo, yes daarling we go to the theatre don-cha-know), we got back to find the large tupperware of Peppermint Chia Chocolate empty. EMPTY!!! Who would do such a thing?! Well it couldn’t have been Jack and Sally, as they were with me all day. It couldn’t have been me as I would never do such a heinous thing as eat an entire tupperware of chocolate all to myself. Ever. So that only leaves two suspects. Jess, and Daisy. Jess isn’t known for her greed, and she isn’t normally one to steal. She is also very short, lazy and probably wouldn’t be able to reach the counter. So that leaves only one suspect. Daisy. Daisy… was this you??? Did you do this? Did you eat ALL THIS CHOCOLATE YOURSELF?!!! I didn’t need a reply. The crazy look on her face and the speed at which her tail was wagging told me everything I needed to know. It was her alright…

But worry not! Instead of a recipe for the Peppermint Chia Chocolate, I shall now give you an incredibly special recipe for the Chocolate Macaroons. Dear, Lord. They are unbelievable. When you are making these however, be careful. The chocolatey mix that you then turn into balls is ridiculously tasty. And as much as raw food is good for you and all that, eating all the macaroon mix before it even enters the dehydrator is not. And yes, I am speaking from experience. You may have guessed that you will need a dehydrator for this recipe; but if you don’t have one feel free to make the mix and eat it just as it is. Remember though – you’ve been warned! 

Chocolate Macaroons
:
Ingredients
  • 3 cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1½ cups cocoa powder
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine. You can also use a standing mixer with the paddle attachment.
  2. Using a small ice cream scoop, your hands or a big tablespoon, spoon rounds of the dough onto dehydrator sheets.
  3. Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 12- 24 hours, or until crisp on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside.

 ***********

I nearly forgot to tell you about what we had for our last lunch together! We had a bit of a ‘bitza’ lunch… bitza this and bitza that. Jack made a lip smackingly good tomato and basil salad, and I made us all some Raw Juice Pulp Burgers in the dehydrator. They may not sound particularly appetising, but they are. So there. Jack loved them and said they were equally as good as the Walnut Burgers. I will give you the recipe for them another time, as they really were very tasty, and they are a perfect way to use up the leftover pulp after juicing. We dipped the Raw Juice Pulp Burgers in some left over Lemon Sauce, and had bowls of olives, avocados, red peppers and romaine lettuce to play with as well. So that, my friends was that! The last supper! Oh God, I better go before I start getting weepy… I’ll save that for tomorrow. It is still only Day Thirteen after all. So don’t forget to check in for the last day of our raw food journey together, where Jack, Sally and myself will be giving you our thoughts and feelings on how we think the whole Two Weeks on Raw went, and whats in store for the future! See you then (sniff, sniff)….

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Twelve

 

Jack's Raw Creamy Cauliflower Soup

If I was worried about how Jack and Sally would get on without me when I’m gone before, I’m certainly not now! I have just left the dinner table after being served a.. (wait for it).. a  five course meal made exclusively of raw, living foods prepared by non other than Jack himself!!! And let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing! We had Raw Creamy Cauliflower Soup to start, which was so unbelievably delicious I just had to get the recipe off him to give to you (see below!). To say we’ve not been in the kitchen that much together, I was doubly blown away by what he brought out. But before I go on to tell you about Jacks raw culinary delights, I need to tell you that our fourteen day journey together will now be ending tomorrow. I have to get back to the mother land that is Yorkshire. I was hoping to go back on Monday, but circumstance has made it that the only time I can get back is Saturday night. We will still be having a raw day until the evening, and Sally is coming with me to the land of the white rose, so we shall be having a reet raw feast when we get there; and a raw breakfast on Sunday too (or maybe I might let Sally have that egg she’s been fantasising about…hmmm…). But still, check the site on Sunday as Jack and Sally will be giving you their own thoughts and feelings about how the two weeks personally went for them! Should be interesting! (Argh!)

Although Sally and myself are heading up north, Jack will be staying here, so as of Saturday night he is free to do as he pleases. What is fantastic though, is the fact that he isn’t really craving other foods anymore. He has no desire to go out and get junk food. That’s a pretty huge step in the right direction, I’d say! He feels like he has really got somewhere during these two weeks on raw foods, and he doesn’t want to loose all the progress that he has made. He say’s he has no interest in getting a kebab or anything like that. He wants to carry on eating raw by himself for a few days and slowly bit by bit reintroduce healthy cooked foods back into his diet. Very wise. He now feels like he has a wide spectrum of healthy food options available to him, and both him and Sally now feel far better equipped to lead a healthier life style.

But anyway! It’s not all over yet! Let me get back to telling you about Jack’s raw food masterpiece that we had tonight. Prepare to be mightily impressed. Here is the menu…

Jack’s Raw Living Cuisine

Raw Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Feathered Mushrooms with a Garlic Sauce, served with mixed leaves

Avocado and Cashew Cocktail in a Beetroot Dressing

Chilli Hummus with Baby Plum Tomatoes, Basil and Julienne Carrots

Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Crumble

I mean, what?! It was incredible! All this from the man who was mainly living off packets of ham and takeaways only a few weeks ago. It’s amazing what’s possible, isn’t it? It was such a joy to eat this and seeing what Jack created filled me with even more inspiration and enthusiasm for raw foods. Other than the Raw Creamy Cauliflower Soup and the Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Crumble, Jack didn’t use a recipe for any of the meals. The Garlic Sauce the mushrooms were in was heavenly. The Avocado and Cashew Cocktail in a Beetroot Dressing came out looking just like the 70’s classic dish it was aiming to replicate. So clever! The small bowls of Chocolate Mousse were smooth, creamy and decedent, and I especially loved the cheeky little layer of maple syrup at the bottom. Mmm. But the star of the night, other than Jack himself, had to be the Raw Creamy Cauliflower Soup. It was such a treat for my taste buds that I shall definitely be making this one on a regular basis; as will Sally and Jack. Here’s the recipe so you can, too!

Raw Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Use good quality firm, fresh cauliflower to make this delicious creamy soup! You don't have to wait for anything to soak, which is always nice.
:
3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 head celery
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 dates
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp white miso (or dark, the soup won't be as white though, obviously)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 medium cauliflower to give 4 cups of florets
  • A handful of parsley to garnish
Instructions
  1. Juice the celery to give about 400 ml water (1 + ⅔ cups)
  2. Put celery juice into a blender jug and add the black pepper, the dates, lemon juice, nutmeg, pine nuts, miso, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Blend all to make a smooth mix.
  4. In the food processor, grate the shallots using the grater blade (or use a standard grater). Replace the grater blade with the S blade and process the 4 cups of cauliflower florets, along with the shallots.
  5. Add the mixture from the blender jug, and process until there are no big chunks and the mixture is smooth.
  6. Pour into soup bowls and top each with some finely chopped parsley, some very thin slices of shallot and a generous serving of ground black pepper.

 **************

Sally – “I am so impressed with Jacks five course raw dinner tonight, the food was just delicious! He is a really good cook, but normally when we have vegetables they’re swimming in cream or butter; which of course is very tasty, but not very good for your health… The raw garlic sauce that went on the mushrooms tonight was so tasty, after I finished eating it I really felt like I had eaten something cooked from an Italian restaurant! Very satisfying. It’s lovely to know that we will be able to eat raw when we want to, and that it isn’t such a scary unknown world anymore. It’s become part of our lives and we’ll be able to dip into it whenever we like. Amazing!”

Jack – “I enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, I very rarely stick a recipe so it was fun getting to create something raw by myself for the first time. There is no way I would have been able to do this before these two weeks though; the idea of raw food was just so bizarre, I wouldn’t have known where to start. But after eating only raw foods for two weeks, and seeing what is possible, I now feel very confident to make raw meals for Sally and myself now. I know we won’t stick to it 100%, but we will definitely be eating a much higher amount of raw foods; be it in the form of a fresh juice, smoothie or a full on raw dinner like tonight! I’m really not craving any ‘bad’ foods now, and that is amazing”

***********

Check in tomorrow to see how our last full day together went, find out what we had for lunch and check in for a melt-in-your-mouth Peppermint Chia Chocolate recipe!!!

Two Weeks on Raw – Day Eleven


Jack  – “I think I’ve turned a corner, Elaine. I feel really good this morning. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I feel really happy!

 HALLELUJAH!!! I made Jack and Sally a Raw Chocolate and Coconut Milkshake for breakfast to celebrate (see below for recipe!). Jack woke up first thing feeling energised and ready for the day.There was no grumbling, in fact there were smiles all round. He said he felt completely different to how he has felt for the last few days, it was as if something had shifted. He wasn’t craving other foods so much and he felt in a really up beat mood. I made him a fresh juice and another portion of his beloved Gazpacho Soup for his lunch. I received this text from him after he’d eaten it – “That was tremendous, superb, amazing, incredible, edible, delectable, vegetables. Thanks!“.

🙂

Sally was happy and much more centred today, too. She had a simple salad and a couple of pieces of fruit for her lunch today. She says she is really enjoying the feeling of being healthy. She no longer has any massive cravings (apart from the egg, obviously), but her biggest concern is when I leave. She is worried that she’ll just end up staring at the fridge thinking “Help!”. So tonight she was in the kitchen with me making the Raw Pesto for the courgette spaghetti. This is her favourite dish and one that she is really keen to learn how to make for herself. She couldn’t believe how simple it was, I mean, it really is just whizzing a few ingredients up in a food processor. Anybody can do it. The most taxing part may be the fact that you need to soak the sunflower seeds. A lot of people go “Ooo, soaking seeds? I’m not sure about that… Oh, that all sounds a bit much for me that… Sounds too much like hard work”. Does it? Really?!  It only takes about 30 seconds to pour some sunflower seeds in a bowl and cover them with water 🙂 It’s just the fore thought that might seem something like ‘hard work’, but once you’ve done it a few times, it’s very easy. Promise…

Raw Chocolate and Coconut Milkshake
:
Milkshake
1-2
Ingredients
  • 500 ml Brazil Nut Milk
  • ½ coconut (as in a normal brown one that you can buy easily in the uk!)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 dried figs
  • 1 tsp suma (or other superfood of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Place everything in a blender and blend!!