The sparkling lights, the gambling, the shows, the parties. I admit it, if you asked me where I would go in the world RIGHT NOW (expense being no worry) I would have to go with Las Vegas. Viper and I are obsessed with all-things-American, and even if I should be saying Europe (for the culture!) or India (for the spiritual enlightenment!) I would be off drinking cocktails and putting it ALL on 26 red before an Elvisn impersonator could pronounce myself and Viper, “hound dog and Lisa Marie.” Seriously, although my wedding last year was lovely – there is still a teeny tiny part of me that wished we had gone with our original “Vegas Elvis Elopement” plan. One day.
At the moment though, I have to live vicariously through the tales of other bloggers. Hannah recapped her Vegas adventure here and here, and the very brave Bethaney did it with her toddler in tow (not sure I’m game enough for that!) We all know, however, that I am slightly obsessed with vegan food – so while on my insomnia-spurred-Vegas-trawl I began researching into the foodie options available. Paul Graham from Eating Vegan in Vegas really covers all the bases when it comes to compassionate cuisine.
While Viper would be (oh so predictably) tempted by the promise of celebrity chefs cooking up all sorts of meaty-glory…. Vegas is actually turning into a bit of a hub for vegan dining, which gives the place even more appeal. During the witching hours of insomnia (oh the joy) I have been perusing different restaurants/menus for inspiration…. although I love reading food blogs, I never really try out recipes – just reading the title of a dish can really get the creative cogs in my brain turning – I find recipes way too restrictive. I saw the Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Almonds on the menu at Mesa Grill, and then that little inspirational tidbit turned into my “Ode to Vegas.” I know America has a real fondness for mayonnaise, and while I can’t stand the traditional stuff in any way, shape or form, this vegan/root veggie version is quite the delicious variation. I couldn’t have possibly dedicated a recipe to Las Vegas and NOT include some sort of Elvis-ingredient either – hence the “Bacon” almonds, which are given a sweet/salty/smoky marinade which is a pretty stellar addition to this salad.
The whole orange/spinach combination reminds me of my Mum, who always made me make sure I was eating a little vitamin C (orange) whenever I ate an iron-rich vegetable (spinach) – thanks Mum – and it just so happens they go great with sweet potato and fake bacon – who would have thought?
Spinach & Orange Salad with Sweet Potato Mayo and Smoky Baked Almonds (aka “Bacon” bits)
(Vegan: Gluten/wheat/refined sugar/grain/soy/corn free)
Makes 4 large serves
“Bacon” Bits (Sweet Smoky Almonds)
- 1C almonds
- 4t tamari
- 3T maple syrup
- 2t smoked paprika
- Combine all ingredients except almonds in a small mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Throw almonds in and toss to coat.
- Roast at 180 degrees C for 8-10 minutes…. careful they will catch and burn quickly.
- When dry (they will almost be like a cluster of toffee) roughly chop.
Sweet Potato “Mayonnaise”
- 2C cooked sweet potato (roasting will get the best flavour)
- 3T nutritional yeast
- 3T tahini
- 3T olive oil
- 2t wholegrain mustard
- 2t apple cider vinegar
- 1C water (up to 1 & 1/2C to achieve desired consistency)
- 2t lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor, adding water bit by bit until you reach your preferred “mayo” consistency.
- Season (S&P) to taste.
(Ingredients for each person – you are making 4 serves)
- 1 navel orange, cut into segments, free of pith.
- 1 good handful (2C) baby spinach leaves
- 1/4C “Bacon” almonds
- 1/4C Sweet Potato Mayonnaise
- Place spinach leaves on plate, arrange orange segments.
- Sprinkle over chopped almonds, and drizzle with the mayo – putting the mix in a squirty bottle is the best idea (an old ketchup/mustard bottle is perfect for this).
So now I shall eat this salad and pine for the parties, lights and loose times that Las Vegas seems to promise. One day I will get there. How about you? Where in the world would you LOVE to visit? Your dream escape? Your ultimate adventure?
So the holiday break is over – back to reality (and normality). I really love doing nothing at all. It’s simply lovely. Actually, I lie – while doing “nothing at all,” I spent a lot of time reading nutrition articles, blogs, forums, books and the likes. It’s amazing how much information regarding health and diet is out there. How much CONFLICTING information too – how does one navigate through all this and come to some sort of conclusion WITHOUT having a PhD in some really smart-science-type-thingymebob? I honestly don’t know.
Lack of a fancy degree really leaves me only one option in terms of discovering what type of diet truly works for me. Trial and error – which in turn, is rather “sciency” – and that’s not even a word. I have started looking more in depth towards the balance of macronutrients that make up my diet – in the attempt to feel more energetic and motivated. From my research I think I can pinpoint that I may have sort of, maybe, just a little bit over done things in terms of (healthy) fats in my diet (think – nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil). Now I’m not going to jump on the “fat is EVIL,” bandwagon, oh no – I love fats and they love me. I just have a problem with moderation. Sluggish digestion and energy slumps can be attributed to over doing it in the fat department – as well as combining fats with the wrong foods (fruit mainly). So my little experiment of the moment is slightly decreasing my fat consumption (slightly), not combining fat with sweet things, and upping my carbohydrates (the majority coming from fruit). We’ll see what happens. I’m glad to report I am feeling MUCH better having kicked the caffeine habit – yes, it was hideous coming down off the naughty bean for a few days, but well worth the pain. I still miss the taste though.
Are you interested in finding “optimum” health through food? Does all the conflicting info out there do your head in? Mine hurts.
Something else that is a science is baking. Baking bread in particular. I have learnt the hard way (Read: had to throw many a disaster-loaf) when it comes to trying to bend the rules of bread baking. There are a few things you can do though, to keep life (bread) interesting…. again with our lovely Sourdough starter.
Cranberry and Almond Sourdough Loaf
- 1 & 1/2C sourdough starter
- 3C flour (plus an additional 1/2C for kneading) – I used 1C rye flour and the rest high protein “strong” flour ( 00)
- 2t yeast
- 1/4t sea salt
- 4T liquid coconut oil plus additional oil for the bowl
- 1/4C runny honey
- 1C dried cranberries
- 1C almonds
- 1t ground cinnamon
- Combine starter with 2C of the flour, yeast, and oil – leave in a warm, draught free area for about 20 minutes.
- Add the honey, cinnamon, salt and rest of the oil to the bowl, and mix together with your hands.
- Turn out onto a floured surface – the dough is quite wet and you will need up to 1/2 and additional cup of flour here to get it to a soft, satiny dough. Knead for 10 minutes.
- Knead in nuts and berries for an additional 5 minutes – it’s a good arm workout.
- Oil a clean bowl and place dough ball in it…. leave for 30 minutes.
- Lightly knead dough and place in your chosen cooking container – I used a 25cm cake tin this time, for a different shape, but a regular loaf pan will be fine too.
- Leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Cool on a wire rack.
I think this has been my most successful bread making experiment yet. Next up Viper (he of discerning tastes) has requested an apricot and walnut variety – at least I’m getting him to eat something other than sugary white fluff loaves, right?
If you follow me on Face Book – you would have seen me hounding you all for votes for a recipe competition featuring Australian Macadamias (above photo courtesy of Australian Macadamias). Thank you to everyone that voted for me – I won! My photo/recipe now take pride of place on the front cover of the 2013 Australian Macadamias calendar.
BUT, the editor of the calendar may need his/her eyes checked. Unfortunately when I received my copy, it seems that the MAIN INGREDIENT (except for the macadamias, of course) was forgotten (!) FAIL. The tofu was left out, and the salt/vanilla quantities were written around the wrong way – so if anyone attempts to re create this tart it will be a salty flop with hardly any creamy filling. Empty, over salted tart shell, anyone?
Anyway, I took it upon myself to post the recipe here, because it is simple, delicious and surprisingly healthy – although it tastes SO decadently sinful. Viper even stated that this was one of my finest creations, and requested that he received one every evening. Yeah right, Viper.
Macadamia Shortbread Tart with Lemon Coconut Cream
(Vegan, soy/seed/refined sugar/wheat free – gluten free if you use certified oats)
I was never a big cheese fan. I liked it OK, back in the day of dairy-eating, but was never crazy for the stuff. I suppose that little factor made my transition into being a vegan relatively simple; cheese is the one thing that holds a lot of people back. I have dabbled a few times in the art of nut “cheese,” using soaked cashews or macadamias to produce a cheese-like substance. True (dairy) cheese lovers will never be fooled by a vegan substitute (or may even be totally weirded out by them = Viper) but they are quite yummy in their own right.
Recently, the lovely Sara from Fit To Blog (who I have had the pleasure of meeting in person, on my last junket to New Zealand) posted about her adventures in almond cheese making. She used probiotic capsules to culture her nut cheese (whenever I hear the term “cultured food,” I imagine a sandwich in opera glasses drinking an aged marzemio, Ha) – I am always up for adding a little “culture” to my food, and this sounded a whole lot more fun than just swallowing a tablet. You can follow Sara’s instructions here – I basically stuck to her method, with a few tweaks, naturally.
Basic Cultured Almond “Cheese”
Adapted/Inspired by the recipe/method from Fit To Blog
- 2C raw almonds (or cashews/macadamias)
- 1/2C water
- 1/4C nutritional yeast
- Powder from 2 probiotic capsules
- 1/2t sea salt
- Any flavourings you like – fresh/dried herbs/sun dried tomatoes etc.
- First you need to soak your almonds overnight or until they get a little white tip (pictured below).
- Peeling the nuts is optional, but the end result will be much prettier and smoother if you do.
4. Pour mixture into a bowl, and leave overnight to “culture-up.” Be aware that this stage could take longer if you are in a colder climate – it’s very warm where I live (over 30 degrees celsius most days) so if you are in a colder climate this could take anywhere from 12-36 hours. Trust your nose – as is the key with all fermenting ventures!
5. Place mixture in some cheese cloth, and squeeze out all excess liquid. (Hint – save this liquid – mix it with some tahini, whole grain mustard and apple cider vinegar and it makes a yummy, creamy salad dressing).
6.Pat into small individual “rounds” and dehydrate at 90 degrees C, flipping over once, until you achieve your ideal cheesy consistency.
After dehydrating, the “cheese” has a delicate outer crust, with a soft centre – in between a dry cottage cheese and a crumbly feta? It’s really up to you – if you dehydrated it long enough, it would become dry and crumbly – the perfect parmesan substitute!
No, it’s not CHEESE….. BUT it does contain essential bacteria for a healthy gut, plus all the goodness from almonds, and it has quite a sharp, cheesy flavour thanks to the nutritional yeast. Brilliant on salads, and I can see a vegan cheese-board with home made crackers in my very near future, that’s for sure. Frankly, the vegan cheese substitutes I have tried from the supermarket resemble AND taste like chemical-laden-plastic, so to have a straight forward, whole food recipe for one is quite exciting. Thank you, Sara!
Are you a cheese lover? If you are vegan – do you miss cheese? What’s your favourite alternative?
I’ve been enjoying the most lazy of lazy weekends – so I am just popping in to share with you the winner for my Christmas give away. Beach swimming, yoga, apple cider, gardening and movie-watching have been my weekend loves…. I hope you are all having a lovely time too. Congratulations to fellow blogger KARI who posted:
“What a lovely idea Lou – and so organised Happy Christmas to you in advance and I hope the lead up to your festive season is everything you want it to be.
I haven’t decided what will be on my Christmas menu yet, but I think a nut roast will be involved “
Thank you to everyone that entered – as a consolation prize, here is a recipe…..
I’m all about “bits” – that is, the yummy little add-ins to cookies/bars and the likes. There’s nothing worse than getting a cookie with 3 measly raisins in it – massive rip off. These cookies are more “bits” than cookie – huge chunks of macadamia nuts and sweet dried strawberries, barely held together by a small amount of dough for the “glue” aspect. You could use any nuts of dried fruit you like – cranberries, pecans and cinnamon would also be lovely for a real Christmas-y version.
Strawberry Vanilla Macadamia Cookies
(Vegan, soy/corn/refined sugar free)
- 1T chia seeds mixed with 4T water (OR 1 flax “egg” OR one regular egg)
- 2T (solid) butter or vegan spread (Earth Balance, Nuttelex etc)
- 2T (liquid) coconut oil
- 1/2C chopped macadamia nuts (or any nuts/seeds)
- 1/4t sea salt
- 2/3C dried strawberries (or any dried fruit – cranberries, apricots, figs, dates)
- 1t vanilla extract
- 3T brown rice syrup
- 1C wholemeal flour
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Make your chia seed “egg” by mixing seeds & water – leave to gel for about 10 minutes.
3.Mix all ingredients together.
4. Wet hands, and shape tablespoons of the mix into cookie shapes. Place on a lined baking tray.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown around the edges.
6. Cool on a wire rack – store in an air tight container when cool.
These are seriously SO simple to make, and could be adapted to whatever ingredients you like/have in your pantry. They are actually pretty healthy as well – full of good fats, protein and omegas, low in sugar – an easy, nutritious treat – who’d have thought it?!
It’s that time of the year when Christmas festivities/activities are rampant – I am finding I am having to “bring a plate” to most gatherings. One of Misty’s groups is having a Christmas party this week – no matter the season, I’m always keen to provide wholesome snacks – even after it was suggested that a bag of Cheezels (an Aussie snack-chip thing) would be an easy/appropriate snack (!) We are talking kids who are 6 months-3 years here. Out of curiosity, I googled the ingredients in a bag of Cheezels:
Cheese Powder (3.0%)
Mineral Salt (170)
Flavour Enhancers (621, 627, 631)
Vegetable Extract (Maize)
Food Acids (270, 330, 331, 262)
Flavours (Natural & Nature Identical)
Mineral Salt (339)
Colours [160a, 160e (Soy)]
Antioxidants (304, 306)
I wouldn’t feed that to my dog. I think my cookies would be a yummy treat, without making the kids bounce off the walls/break out in hives – do you agree? What do YOU usually take to a “bring a plate” occasion – when kids are involved?
Summer in Queensland is awesome (sorry to all of you cowering in the cold of the Northern Hemisphere) hot days, balmy (OK, sweaty) nights and all the amazing Summer fruit.
16 punnets of fresh strawberries for $10? Don’t mind if I do. That’s about 5kgs of berries. Awesome. Viper thinks I’m crazy, and my dehydrator has been going for about 3 days straight, not to mention my (tiny) freezer is full to bursting. Not to mention all the fresh-berry-munching.
Good thing Misty has taken a real shine to strawberries – it’s only the beginning of the season. A few trays of mangoes are the next item on the horizon.
I suppose it does seem a little bit of a shame to dehydrate these amazing berries – but I would much rather my jars be full of sweet, dried fruit then my fridge be full of mushy/growing green bits/blackened berries. My dehydrator has been running constantly, as I mentioned, so I decided to dehydrate a bunch of leftover almond-milk-making pulp – I’ve never bothered to do this in the past, but I figured I might as well. Basically, it turns into something similar to almond meal – so you can sub in plain almond meal for the following recipe.
Again – I’m trying to use up ingredients I have in my house, rather than going out and purchasing all sorts of new ingredients. I must admit, blogging and reading food blogs can gets me a little overly-excited about certain ingredients/recipes and I have the tendency to go overboard when shopping. I am cracking down on my weekly food-budget, so making the most of what I have on hand is key for me at the moment.
What’s your favourite way to use strawberries? Does food-blog-reading make you blow your budget on obscure health-food products?
If you’re nut sensitive – grind up some sunflower seeds into a fine meal, and replace the almond with that. You can leave out the macadamias completely, it won’t make a difference.
RAW Chocolate Nut Fudge with Sweet Strawberry Topping
- 1 1/2C almond meal (or dehydrated almond pulp from making almond milk)
- 1/2C vanilla protein powder (unsweetened)
- 2/3C pitted dates
- 1/2C shredded coconut
- 2T ground flax seeds
- 1/2t sea salt
- 3T brown rice syrup
- 3T cacao powder
- 3T coconut butter
- 1t ground coffee (optional)
- 80g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 1/3C roughly chopped macadamias (or any nut)
- Pulse all ingredients together in a food processor – if you prefer chunks of chocolate/nuts then leave out the last two ingredients, and fold them into the mix once it forms a soft “dough” – otherwise just whizz everything together.
- Press into a lined loaf pan, and let it chill in the fridge and “set”.
- 1C dehydrated/dried strawberries (or any dried fruit – cranberries/cherries would be great)
- 2T brown rice syrup (or any liquid sweetener)
- 2T coconut butter
- 2T coconut oil
- 1/2t vanilla extract (optional)
- Quickly pulse everything together in a food processor, leaving it reasonably chunky.
- Spread thinly over the set fudge, and return to the fridge.
- Carefully cut into small bars/squares once set.
- Store in the fridge.
Do you really know what’s in your food? I mean, really? If you read Fridge Scrapings, then you probably have a bit of an interest in including healthful whole foods in your diet, but do you scrutinise every single ingredient list of every single packet that you purchase on your weekly shop?
I know I don’t. Yes, I am aware of most preservative/additive free products…. so I admit, I have grown a tad relaxed about examining labels. Plus of course, I’m a bit of a cheap-skate, and can easily be lured into a purchase on the premise of saving a few bucks. Is saving a few bucks really worth the potential detriment of your/your families health though?
Let me explain. Last night I went to a talk by the passionate (extremely knowledgeable) Tanya Winfield, (above) the go-to girl for anything additive related. This woman knows her stuff. Mother of 3, she began cutting out additives from her pantry after her middle son was diagnosed with asthma….. and her youngest was having a few behavioral outbursts after eating certain foods. A few years down the track (and a LOT of research!) Tanya and her family are fully additive free, and enjoying the benefits of eating purely unadulterated foods. She founded the Additive-Free Pantry, and is now a Mama on a mission to spread the word on all the hidden nasties in our food, cleaning products and cosmetics.
“Additive-Free Pantry is dedicated in helping families, canteens and childcare centres rid their pantries of all harmful food additives. Additive Free Pantry, Inspiring change……..because our children are worth it!” – Tanya Winfield.
Honestly, the talk was scary – the way food products are marketed to us, and the sneaky tricks producers use to hide away what is REALLY in the food – if you are not aware, then you are easy prey for sure. Basically, chemicals are added to a product to make it look/taste better/last longer, which means the product is crap to begin with, right? This is just a handful of the goodies that may be sculking around in your packaged foods….
- Anti-caking agents – stop ingredients from becoming lumpy.
- Antioxidants – prevent foods from oxidising, or going rancid.
- Artificial sweeteners – increase the sweetness.
- Emulsifiers – stop fats from clotting together.
- Food acids – maintain the right acid level.
- Colours – enhance or add colour.
- Humectants – keep foods moist.
- Flavours – add flavour.
- Flavour enhancers – increase the power of a flavour.
- Foaming agents – maintain uniform aeration of gases in foods.
- Mineral salts – enhance texture and flavour.
- Preservatives – stop microbes from multiplying and spoiling the food.
- Thickeners and vegetable gums – enhance texture and consistency.
- Stabilisers and firming agents – maintain even food dispersion.
- Flour treatment – improves baking quality.
- Glazing agent – improves appearance and can protect food.
- Gelling agents – alter the texture of foods through gel formation.
- Propellants – help propel food from a container.
- Raising agents – increase the volume of food through the use of gases.
- Bulking agents – increase the volume of food without major changes to its available energy.
Just a few of the symptoms that can occur as a reaction to food additives (scary):
Hyper-activity, digestive issues, asthma, eczema, itchy rash, poor behaviour, irritability, fatigue, depression, mood swings, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, acne, flu-like symptoms, excessive sweating, flushing, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, joint aches, weakness, numbness, palpitations…. the list goes ON and ON.
Anyway, I was so stoked to have been present for Tanya’s chat – I have clearly been inspired, and now I have a copy of her Additive-Free Shopping Guide (goes through all the additive-free products available at Coles, Woolworths and Aldi - over 800 of them – for all my Aussie readers who might be interested) in my hot little hands I am armed and ready to rid my household of any nasties I was unaware of.
On the subject of good, wholesome, additive free fare – here comes today’s recipe. Now this isn’t Anti-Candida friendly due to the sweetener, but I’m sure stevia (especially vanilla stevia liquid) would be a delicious substitution. There have been whispers that cashews aren’t the best for those trying to rid themselves of a Candida overgrowth either (cashews have a tendency to contain more mould than other nuts). The reason I made this was for a little “swapsie” – delicious vegan treats for a yoga book – good deal, good deal. Anyway, Viper was my taste tester, and he very much approved. This is not quite a nut-butter….not quite fudge – somewhere in between. A spreadable fudge shall we say.
Coconut Carob Cashew Fudge Spread
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/refined sugar/grain/soy free – HIGH RAW)
- 1 + 1/2C raw cashews (make sure you know your source and they are pesticide free)
- 2T carob powder (or cacao)
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract
- 2T coconut syrup (you can use any liquid sweetener here…. agave, rice syrup, maple….. feel free to increase the sweetness if you like)
- 1/2t sea salt
- 1/4C coconut oil
- Using a food processor, whizz cashews until they become a “butter” – this will take about 10-15 minutes of whizzing, depending on the power of your machine. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Once the cashews have made butter, then add all other ingredients and whizz to combine.
- Scoop into an air tight jar…. store in the cupboard so it remains nice and fudgey.
Spread on bread, crackers, fruit slices, use as a “frosting” – or just eat straight out of the jar. If you want a runnier texture (for topping some sort of delicious vegan ice cream, maybe?) simply warm up a little. Add a scoop to a smoothie for some rich, creamy, good-for-you decadence.
REAL food tastes good without the nasty additives, am I right?
Where are YOU at with knowing what is in your food?
**(All the opinions and thoughts in this post are mine, and mine alone. I was in no way compensated for writing this post, and I paid my own merry way to hearing Tanya’s talk. I just think she’s pretty awesome, and want to spread the additive-free love).
An empty school is the best place to play. You don’t have to wait your turn. You can do all sorts of weird moves on the equipment if you want. Or just have a rest. It doesn’t matter; you can just do what you wanna. It’s school holidays here at the moment. Empty play grounds ahoy. We even went back to my old High School (which was really weird, but Aunty Sez is a teacher there) and Misty did some wicked cool stunts involving his little bike and the plentiful ramps that adorn the grounds. Serious play requires serious refreshment. I love and miss dates intensely. I pine for Medjool dates that are oozing from being stuffed with inappropriate amounts of creamy almond nutter. Oh how I pine. I like to live vicariously through my child, and so, DIY Caramel Milk for Misty has been added to the repertoire of Misty Milks. This is kind of a cheat’s version: you don’t have to make your own nut milk first – a decent scoop of nut butter + water = creamy, dreamy non dairy milk. Just remember – soak your dates…. makes life a lot simpler (and easy to blend… if one was to put life in a blender?) DIY Caramel “Milk” (Vegan, gluten/wheat/grain/refined sugar/soy/corn free) Makes 2 large toddler serves
- 6 medjool dates, soaked for a few hours in 1C filtered water
- 1 + 1/2T cashew butter**
- 1t lucuma powder (or maca/mesquite would also work well) -entirely optional.
- Tiny pinch sea salt – 1/16t
- 1/4t pure vanilla extract
- 1/2C water
**I think cashew butter lends itself to the caramel flavour best – BUT almond butter works a treat, as does tahini if you have nut sensitivities.
- Blend all ingredients (including date soaking water) in a high speed blender, or food processor.
- Store extra in the fridge… it will separate if left to stand for more than a few hours – just shake well and it all comes back together.
Misty sculled back the whole batch in about 30 seconds flat.
Milk on the run.
I love this stuff.
I thought I loved it before I started my Anti-Candida crusade. I now know it’s not just a simple crush; we are entwined in a full blown love affair. (Sorry Viper).
I’m eating tablespoons full of the stuff throughout the day – I’d never thought in a million years I would turn into a fully-fledged fatty oil muncher, but here I am.
My favourite use (at the minute) is making a sauce with it…. something like this: 1T melted coconut oil, a few teaspoons of cacao OR carob powder and a few drops of vanilla liquid stevia. As soon as you drizzle it onto anything cold, it turns into “Magic Shell.” Awesome.
Cooked quinoa with Carob+ aduki “Bean Sludge” drizzled with glorious glorious carob coconut oil sauce.
Another thing I’d never considered trying is Oil Pulling. I stumbled across this concept recently; it’s a traditional ayurvedic technique which boasts a long list of benefits…. oral health, (prevention of bad breath, decay, and overall strengthening of the teeth and gums) – there has been suggestions that it could also relive migraines, reduce sinus congestion, aid in the reduction of eczema, help gastro-enteritis, correct hormone imbalances, reduce insomnia – the list goes on and on.
Worth a try? Absolutely. (Viper laughed in my face when I explained to him what I was doing. He’s a cynic, big time).
Basically, in the morning, on an empty stomach, you place about 1T melted coconut oil (I chose coconut due to my Anti-candida cleanse and I don’t think I could stomach any other oil) in your mouth and swoosh it about for 20 minutes. It’s a bit gaggy at first, but you get used to it. Spit it out and it should be all milky like this:
Yummo. Then rinse with some salt water, and you’re done.
I’m on day 3 of this trial, so I will report back. Fancy a try?
Candida -cleanse wise I’m doing pretty good…. I haven’t experienced any intense “die off” symptoms like last time (rash, extreme fatigue, flu-like symptoms) but maybe because I don’t have so much yeast to kill off? Who knows?
I am going to share with you my latest way of using up almond-milk-making pulp: it’s not the prettiest of dishes, but these cookies are surprisingly tasty, and fill the void.
Carob Almond Pulp Cookies
Vegan, gluten/wheat/soy/seed/refined sugar free. Anti-Candida.
- 1 + 1/2C almond pulp
- 1/3C vanilla protein powder
- 1/8C psyllium husks
- 1/4t sea salt
- 4T carob powder (or cacao)
- 2T maca powder (or lucuma/mesquite – or omit)
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- 30 drops of liquid stevia (or to taste)
- *A handful of cacao nibs would be great for a bit of texture.
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- It will form a very loose crumb. Depending on how dry your pulp was to start with (mine wasn’t overly dry) you may need to add a splash of non dairy milk for it to come together into “cookie” shapes when you squeeze the mix firmly into the palm of your hand.
- Dehydrate at 55 degrees C for about 3 hours… flipping cookies over once during this time. If you prefer them crispier, then continue to dehydrate until desired texture is achieved. You may also be able to do this with your oven on the lowest setting, with the door open.
I should be packing, organising my self (and child), and getting ready for married life (Ha.) Yet, I am making a mess in the kitchen, as per usual.
I’ve been essentially grain free (bar a small amount of brown rice protein and rice milk) while on this candida cleanse. I don’t really count buckwheat, quinoa or millet in the grain category. My latest favourite “cereal” blend is raw buckwheat groats whizzed up with coconut, flax seeds and whatever else I’m in the mood for. You could use sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat groats for this, or roasted groats, but I’m lazy and actually really like the taste/texture of raw.
Basically I whizz up 2C raw buckwheat groats with 1/2C shredded coconut and 1/4C flax meal until it resembles a flour with a few chunks. The good thing about this blend, is that it is SUPER absorbent, and you can add lots of milk/yoghurt until you create a rich, creamy texture. It’s particularly good with coconut milk, vanilla stevia and cacao nibs. Yummo. Grind up a whole bunch, store in a jar, and it’s a quick and easy “cereal” snack when the mood strikes. Also gluten free which is a bonus.
Something that is not so much a new find, but an on- going obsession is cacao butter. If you want to try your hand at raw, home made chocolate-making then this is the gear you need. Loving Earth is the best I’ve found – not to mention all their other amazing products. Oh to be rich and be able to flap around doing raw-foodie angels in such products. Sigh.
The combination of lucuma and almond butter is one that needs to be experienced; don’t think cacao butter needs to be restricted to use in CHOCOLATE treats only. This following recipe is one that has gotten a bunch of ideas going in my head – this would be amazing as a truffle, dipped in additional raw chocolate, or as a filling for a decadent dessert tart. Or just straight up like I have done here:
- 2T raw almond butter (or any nut butter)
- 6T grated cacao butter, melted
- 1/4t vanilla bean powder OR 1/4t vanilla extract
- 1/8t sea salt (ONLY if your nut butter is unsalted)
- 2T raw lucuma powder
- 2T almond milk, slightly warm or at least room temperature
- 10-15 drops vanilla stevia liquid, or to taste
- Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Pour into moulds (I use silicone cupcake moulds) and place in the fridge to chill – they will harden, but not go super hard like a chocolate bar – think more along the lines of a smooth, solid, creamy fudge.