Chocolate Quinoa Bliss Balls

Chocolate Quinoa Bliss Balls

This is the first recipe I ever created as a nutritionist and it’s still one of my favourites. Chocolate quinoa bliss balls are high in protein and good fats and are an excellent snack packed full of goodness and flavour, and are ideal for providing long lasting energy.  The best thing is that they freeze well, so I like to make a big batch and freeze some so I always have a tasty treat on hand for unexpected visitors.

This is a great recipe for kids to make!!!

Ingredients


1 cup LSA (or almonds, cashews or macadamias blitzed in the food processor)
1 cup cacao
1 cup of quinoa flakes (or blitzed rolled oats)
2 cups pitted dates
4-8 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups desiccated coconut for coating

Method


Place LSA and dates in food processor until well combined (the smaller the date segments, the better)
Melt coconut oil at a low temperature on stove top.
Add half of coconut oil to the food processor, along with remaining dry ingredients.                 

Add the remaining coconut oil if necessary – mixture should be sticky enough to hold together but not too oily.
Take a large teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball – roll until balls hold together and press them together gently. Balls should hold together but be careful not to compact them too tightly or they will become dense.
Roll balls in coconut and place into an airtight container.
To make this paleo, simply leave out the quinoa or replace it with coconut flakes. 

Peace, love and wellness,

Mandah xo

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

SHOPPING LIST

These are my 2 favourite combinations, but the sky’s the limit.

1 large cabbage head (any kind except wombok)

2-2.5 tablespoons of sea salt

2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 heaped tablespoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons grated ginger

2 small birdseye chillies (finely chopped)

OR

1 large cabbage head

1 Granny smith apple (julienned)

2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

2 tablespoons fresh dill (finely chopped)

METHOD

Peel off outer leaves of the cabbage and place to the side for later use.  Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice cabbage and place into a large bowl.

Add sea salt and start massaging the cabbage by squeezing it like a stress ball.  This will take 10-15 minutes, continue until the cabbage becomes soft and the water is drawn out by the salt.  At first it may seem like you’re to getting anywhere, but you will! Keep massaging until there is enough liquid to cover the cabbage when you press down.

Add any herbs, spices apple etc. at this stage or leave plain. Mix well.

Place in a glass jar (or jars) and press down on cabbage to ensure it’s completely submerged in the liquid.

Place a piece of cabbage leaf (the ones saved earlier) of the top of the mixture to cover and help keep mixture submerged.  Press this top leaf down to immerse.

Ensure you leave a couple of centimetres from the top of the jar to the top of the liquid.

Seal jar tightly with airtight lid and store out of direct sunlight.  Make sure you place an old towel or dish under the jar to catch any liquid.  Don’t worry if your jars get lots of leakage, this simply means that your sauerkraut is happily fermenting. Sauerkraut is usually ready after 1-2 weeks, though it can take longer in cooler weather.  Taste it to see if you like it, when you do, transfer to fridge.  If you’d like stronger flavours, keep fermenting up to 4-6 weeks and increase your happy little probiotics.

Peace, love and wellness,

Mandah xo

Bone Broth

Bone Broth

I hadn’t originally intended to publish this photo, so please excuse the presentation.  It’s a great example of what a cooled bone broth should look like. 

Bone broth recipe

With beef bones, sprinkle a little salt on them and roast in the oven for half an hour prior to using in bone broth. For chicken broth, just throw them in the pot. I used a chicken carcass, some necks and feet (creeped me out, but they’re full of nourishing gelatin).

Place roasted bones in slow cooker on low and cover with filtered water.

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Generous handful of sea salt or Himalayan salt –  should taste like the ocean (NOT table salt – throw that in the bin)

The rest can be altered according to what your preferences are.

1 heaped tablespoon of crushed garlic.

Handful of chopped continental parsley.

1 heaped teaspoon paprika.

1 heaped teaspoon turmeric.

You may add vegetables if desired, though I prefer to add the broth to what I’m cooking, not the other way around.

Add more water to slow cooker to ensure everything is covered and allow to simmer for 24 hours (you can do for only 12 hours if you have a glutamate issue).

You may need to add a little more water during the cooking time, but not too much, as you don’t want this to be diluted.

Once cooked, carefully remove bones from the broth (they may crumble).

Place broth in jars and allow to cool. You will notice a layer forms on top, this is fat and/gelatin (depending on the quality of your bones). DON’T THROW THIS AWAY! It’s excellent for cooking – packed full of flavour and nutrients.

This broth can be consumed as a soup or added to other foods as a stock.

NB. Please buy the best quality bones you can afford. I recommend organic, and crass fed for cattle is a must. This is especially important as you will be consuming everything that was stored in the animal’s bones. Most of us would prefer to avoid added hormones and antibiotics!

Kombucha

Kombucha

By now you probably know how much I love to include ferments as a daily part of my diet, so here is my recipe and some tips I’ve learned over the years.

You Will Need

4L glass jar, preferably with a tap. NB please ensure that your tap is not metal, as the kombucha can cause corrosion and leach toxins from the metals.  Similarly, this is why a glass or ceramic container is used for brewing instead of plastic.

Saucepan

Cheesecloth or cotton top for covering

Twine (long enough to secure cloth)

Glass bottles for second stage of fermentation.

1 kombucha SCOBY (This should always be stored in a small amount of liquid from the previous batch). 

15 teabags (I use a combination or black tea and green.  This recipe is not suitable for herbal teas).

350g raw sugar.

1L filtered water.

3-4L filtered water (separate to first lot).

METHOD

Place the SCOBY in the 4L jar.

Pour 1L of filtered water into the saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add sugar and stir continuously to allow sugar to dissolve.

Remove from heat and add teabags to sugar water mixture.  Allow these to steep for approximately 20 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool completely before pouring into the jar with your SCOBY.  If the mixture has not cooled properly it may kill your SCOBY and cause mold.  Even luke warm water can damage your SCOBY

Fill the jar with the remaining 3L of water (or as much as is needed) until it is an inch or two from the top.  Cover with cheesecloth and secure it with twine.

Your SCOBY will be happiest in a quiet place without lots of movement and noise.  Store away from direct heat and light for best results.

The fermentation process takes from 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the ambient temperature.  The best way to tell if your kombucha is ready is by tasting it.  If it’s quite sweet then it’s not ready because the sugar hasn’t yet been effectively metabolised by your SCOBY.  If it is sour it is because your fermentation has been sitting for too long.  Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few tries to discover a good balance for your home.  Just remember that fermentation happens more quickly in a warmer environment.

SECOND FERMENT (this stage is optional.  Many people really enjoy the flavour of kombucha after the first ferment)

You will need

2-3 large bottles with airtight tops (I like the ones with a hinged top)

Fruit of choice (my favourites are passionfruit, turmeric and blueberries, but the options are limitless).

METHOD

Transfer kombucha (minus the SCOBY) into glass bottles.  Ensure you leave enough behind for your SCOBY to live in (approximately 15% of kombucha brew). 

Add slices/pieces of fruit to kombucha liquid, leaving a couple of inches from the top. Secure lids.

Place bottles in a cool, dark place.

Check the bottles every few days by opening them.  When they are fizzy and you like the flavour, your kombucha is ready.

NB if you are not using your SCOBY again immediately, store in a glass container in it’s own liquid and covered.  Must be stored at room temperature and NOT in the refrigerator, as this will cause your SCOBY to hibernate and may even kill it.

Don’t worry if your SCOBY sinks, they all behave differently, but this doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it.

Ensure that the glass container you are going to store your SCOBY in is clean, but doesn’t have soap residue, as this may kill the SCOBY.  Remember to wash your hands well before handling the SCOBY, as they will reproduce bacteria and this is harmful for the SCOBY and you.

Peace, love and wellness,

Mandah xo

Dandelion Radikia with a Twist

Dandelion Radikia with a Twist

Weed or tasty treat?

I’m sure my neighbours think I’m a little nutty for always allowing my grass to grow a little longer so our dandelions sprout flowers for the bees. The dandelions aren’t just great for bees though, they’re great for us!
Many cultures, such as Greek, have been eating dandelions for centuries. 
Dandelions are a rich source of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K, are a great source of fibre, packed full of wonderful antioxidants, and are excellent at aiding digestion.

Who would have thought this humble little weed was such a nutritional powerhouse?

There are many ways to prepare and eat your bitters, so here’s how I prepared mine today, a spin on traditional Greek Radikia.

Select young leaves (before they have flowered, toward the centre of the plant -Leave the rough leaves and go for the smoother ones and rinse well. The young leaves and more tender and less bitter. 

In a hot pan, brown off some onion and garlic in olive oil.
Add the leaves and diced tomatoes, with salt and pepper and allow to simmer.
Once they leaves are cooked until tender, add some pinenuts and stir through.

Serve with lemon drizzled on top.

dandelion radikia

Enjoy!

Dahl, the winter hug

Dahl, the winter hug

Winter means comfort food and an increased need to support your immune system. So in our house I like to make sure our freezer is stocked with nourishing soups and stews instead of processed convenience foods.
This Dahl is absolutely loaded with flavour and super satisfying.

NB: Flavour intensity for your spices will vary according to their age, brand, country of origin and quality etc., so you will need to experiment with quantities, though I do tend to prefer ginger and cumin as the dominant flavours.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups red lentils, soaked for several hours.
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1/4 pumpkin, cubed (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 small knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 5 fresh chills, finely chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 6 curry leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter for frying

Method

  1. Cook the lentils until soft, then remove from heat. Add more water during the cooking process if required.
  2. Melt butter in a pan on medium heat and add all the spices. Add the tomato and onion and stir. Cook until onions are translucent and then add to the lentils.
  3. In the same pan, fry the pumpkin on a low heat until cooked through. Once cooked, remove from heat and mash well with a fork before adding to the lentil mix.
  4. Stir until well combined, then serve.

Peace, love and health,
Mandah xo

Vegan Gut Broth

Vegan Gut Broth

In the process of making a beautiful vegetable broth for gut health. This one has:

red cabbage, Spanish onion, kale, leek, dried shiitake mushrooms, nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, wakame seaweed, turmeric powder, garlic, ginger (tip for this is to store it in the freezer to make it easier to grate), Murray River salt and ghee, though you could replace this with coconut oil for a vegan version.
I’ve used all organic ingredients, local and fair trade where possible. 

I have a tendency to cook by feel, so haven’t measured this one out. Lots of wakame, kale and dried mushrooms make this an incredibly hearty dish.

Peace, love and wellness,

Mandah xo

Handmade Gifts

Handmade Gifts

Thanks to my housemate for the inspiration, I knocked these little gifts up last night.
Peppermint sugar scrub is super easy to make and is a great way to give a thoughtful gift without breaking the bank.

You’ll need:
Jars – I used 250ml jars, but it’s up to you.
Ribbon 
1L coconut oil 
1-1.5kg sugar (raw or caster sugar)
Natural food colouring 
Peppermint essential oil

Ensuring the coconut oil is soft, place it in a bowl and combine with the sugar.

Mix well. You may want to add more sugar to the mix to give it more texture.

Add 2 drops of colouring, being careful not too use too much, or your jars will end up looking like the grinch!

Add 10 drops of peppermint oil. Ensure you don’t use too much, as the purpose is to invigorate, not burn.

Mix thoroughly and spoon into jars, then decorate however you wish.

I also used the same recipe with lemon oil and salt instead of sugar. Delish!

Peace, love and health,

Mandah xo

Gooey Caramel Brownie Cakes

Gooey Caramel Brownie Cakes

Gooey Caramel Brownie Cakes

Cake

2 cups blanched almond meal

1/2 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 vanilla pods, scraped

1 tsp baking powder 3 eggs, separated

1/3 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup almond milk

Gooey caramel

1/2 cup medjool dates

1/3 cup almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp mesquite powder

1/4 cup coconut cream

Generous pinch of Himalayan salt

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180

2. In a large bowl, combine dry cake ingredients.

3. Add almond milk, coconut oil and egg yolks.

4. Whisk egg whites until firm and gently mix into cake batter.

5. In a separate bowl, combine all caramel ingredients and combine until smooth. This may require a food processor or blender set on high.

6. Grease and flour (with almond meal) 6 ramekins.

7. Spoon in some cake batter, then caramel and top with more cake batter.

8. Pop into oven and cook for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm

Nourishing Vegetable Curry

Nourishing Vegetable Curry

Sometimes when we are busy we can forget to take care of ourselves because it’s easier to opt for the convenience option.

Well, for those of you with a slower cooker, this one’s for you!

I love to do a big cook up and set myself up for the week. Storing them in portions helps prevent over eating and also means you have a convenient option that’s great for when you’re on the go. This recipe also freezes beautifully.

This is what I popped in mine, though the options are limitless. What a great way to use up your odds and ends of veggies too!

Chop all veggies roughly (I like mine chunky).

For non vegans, melt the chunk of butter in once you’ve turned the cooker off.

2 cans of organic coconut cream (cream rather than milk because we want all the lovely fats)
2 tablespoons homemade vegetable stock paste (or 1 cups liquid stock)
250g diced tomatoes
3 medium carrots
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cauliflower head
2 medium zucchinis
6-8 large cup mushrooms
1 brown onion
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 beetroot
1 sweet potato
1 large Birdseye chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon curry powder
Add filtered water to top
1 large chunk of butter (optional, to be added at end).
This is also lovely with chickpeas.

Peace, love and health,

Mandah xo