5 Recipes for Vibrant Health.

recipesIt’s no secret that I’m a bit of a foodie. And while I love to indulge in a decadent slice of cake or a cheesy bowl of pasta when I’m out, but mostly I love to make food that’s totally healthy and also wildly delicious. So when Indigo Herbs got in touch with me about sampling some of their products, I was excited to play around with some new ingredients.

My focus was to create health-promoting recipes that show just how yummy these super foods can be (yep, even the green ones!) The best way to achieve vibrant health is from the inside out. Clean eating promotes glowing skin, boundless energy, and generally improves your quality of life. So I hope you’ll be inspired to give these recipes a try and make some magic in the kitchen!

IMG_7282Incredible Hulk Protein Pancakes
A protein-rich breakfast will help you stay full for longer and after drinking green smoothies for so long, I treat it as an imperative to get a serving of greens in the morning. Spirulina is a blue green algae that’s high in protein, as well as being a good source of vitamins and minerals. The alkalising chlorophyll also helps the body detoxify and get rid of harmful toxins and bacteria that can lead to illness. But it has quite a particular taste that many people find off-putting. I’ve masked the flavour with cocoa in this recipe and since these pancakes are made of whole, clean ingredients, they taste indulgent but are actually loaded with goodness.

1 egg
1 banana
2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon spirulina
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coconut oil for frying

1. Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.
2. Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a pan and then ladle in batter. This recipe will make about 3 pancakes.
3. Wait until the top of the pancakes begin to bubble and then flip over. Cook until both sides are golden brown.
4. Serve with honey (or sweetener of choice) and fresh berries!

IMG_7303Beetroot Dal
Dal is one of my favourite staple recipes because I always have the ingredients on hand, so it’s the perfect thing to whip together when my fridge is looking a little bare. And if you start keeping beetroot powder on hand, you can add some veggie goodness even if your crisper is empty. Beetroot powder contains the vitamin-rich profile of fresh beets, in a concentrated powder form. It’s great in your morning smoothie, but also adds a nice flavour to soups, stews and curries.

2 cups vegetable broth
½ cup red lentils
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons beetroot powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt & pepper to taste

1. Bring broth to a boil and add lentils.
2. Add spices and reduce to a simmer.
3. Cook until water is fully absorbed (10-15 minutes).
4. Serve with steamed greens or grain of choice.

IMG_7030Immune Boosting Smoothie
It seems that cold and flu season is upon us again, so why not use your food as medicine and help boost your immune system, so that you can avoid getting sick in the first place? This smoothie is loaded with health-promoting goodness, as well as ingredients to aid in digestion, so you can soak up all those nutrients. The super special ingredient is cordyceps powder – a fermented mushroom that is said to help boost athletic performance, but is also like a super hero for your immune system!

2 cups spinach
1 cup almond milk
1 cup orange juice
1 banana
½ cup frozen pineapple
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon baobab powder
2 teaspoons cordyceps cs-4 powder

Blend until smooth and then drink up!

IMG_7291Wheatgrass Face Mask
I like keeping a small container of greens powder for days when I’m struggling to get my five-a-day. Simply add some to juice, shake, and go. This is how I’m used to using wheatgrass powder and its detoxifying properties mean that it will help your skin glow from the inside out. But little did I know that it has topical benefits as well! It’s exfoliating, antiseptic, and is set to help reduce visible signs of aging, and it’s easy to get all of these benefits with this simple face mask.

1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of wheatgrass powder

Combine ingredients thoroughly and then apply a thin layer to your face. Leave for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly.

IMG_7044Cookie Batter Bites
I’m currently on a mission to snack healthier! If I don’t come prepared, I end up grabbing a bagel or muffin, which never makes me feeling great. I’ve missed making lots of snacks, like date and nut bars, as I don’t have a food processor right now. But by using ground almonds and chopping the dates really fine, I’ve found the perfect hack to get around this. Inspired by my one of friend Fab’s recipe, I’ve been making these cookie batter bites and they’ve quickly become my favourite snack to take to work. The protein and healthy fats make them quite filling and you get the lovely fruity nutrients from the raw banana powder. Plus, they taste like eating cookie batter so what’s not to love?

1 cup ground almonds
1 cup hemp protein powder
10 dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk, light (canned)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp raw banana powder
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Stir everything in a large both and then get in there with your hands until thoroughly combined.
2. Spoon out 2-3 tablespoons and roll into a ball.
3. Once you’ve rolled all of them batter, place them in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
4. Store in the fridge in an airtight contain for up to 1 week.

Have I inspired you to give any of these superpowered ingredients a try? What are your favourite healthy recipes? I’d love to hear!

Love, raw chocolate lattes, and vintage bicycles,

My 3 Favourite Ways to Eat Baobab.

IMG_6185I love discovering new superfoods, exotic spices, or other ingredients I’ve never tried before. I don’t buy into the hype that any particular food is going to completely restore my health and change my life. But I find it somehow romantic to try new ingredients – especially when they’re from faraway lands – and experiment with incorporating them into recipes. And sometimes they do have a significant impact on my energy levels and overall health.

Like baobab.

When Minvita offered to send me an item from their site, this superfruit powder instantly stood out. Baobab comes from inside of the hard-shelled fruit of the African Baobab tree. It’s rich in vitamin E, calcium, iron, vitamin C, fibre, and potassium – so it’s a great supplement to a plant-based diet and I find it gives me a nice energy boost.

Baobab has a mild, slightly tangy taste that blends into things easily without adding much to the flavour profile. I enjoy eating a teaspoon stirred into a bowl of yogurt, served with fresh fruit and a sprinkling of granola or cacao.

energy-bitesblogRaw energy balls made from a combination of nuts and medjool dates are one of my favourite homemade snacks to have on hand. They’re the perfect little energy boost to curb my hunger between meals.

This recipe from Deliciously Ella incorporates baobab powder and coconut oil to create a snack that helps balance your blood sugar and satiates my growling tummy so that I don’t reach for a packet of crisps instead.

Baobab SmoothieAnd baobab has also become a regular addition to my morning smoothies. This one was spinach, cucumber, pineapple, banana, grapefruit juice, and baobab – but I’m itching to try it in Jessica’s Pina Colada smoothie recipe.

What about you: are you on a particular superfood kick at the moment? Do you know any yummy ways to eat baobab?

Love & chocolate-flavoured everything,

Second photo from Deliciously Ella.

Vegan Key Lime Tart with Coconut Rum Caramel

Vegan Key Lime Tart with Coconut Rum CaramelI call myself a sometimes-vegan, or vegan-ish. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 11 and I mostly make plant-based meals at home, but I do eat some dairy and eggs (a topic for a different post). Even still, when I had the opportunity to collaborate with Malibu Rum by putting together a recipe for World Vegan Day (this Saturday!), I jumped at the opportunity. Because I don’t buy butter, milk, or eggs at home, all of my baking is vegan. And I can really appreciate the many merits of a completely vegan diet, so I thought this was a great opportunity to show people that it’s not as difficult or limiting as they might think.

Even though the colder weather seems to mean just one thing for most people: pumpkin-spiced everything, the grey days already have me dreaming of sunshine and tropical vacations. Since flavours have such a powerful ability to transport our minds to another place, I decided to use this as inspiration for creating an over-the-top dessert that reminds me of sunny holidays and afternoons at the beach.

This Key Lime Tart is mostly raw, so you won’t even have to turn on the oven. But filled with a creamy lime custard, spiked with ‘drunk pineapple,’ and covered in coconut rum caramel sauce, I think it’ll prove to even the most die-hard skeptics that vegan desserts can be just as delicious and decadent as any other.

IMG_5584Here’s what you’ll need…

Pineapple Topping
1 cup chopped pineapple
2 tbsp Malibu Rum

1 heaping cup dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and drained, then finely chopped
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt

Lime Custard
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and then drained
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp maple syrup
juice of 2 limes

Coconut Rum Caramel Sauce
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp Malibu rum
1/4 tsp sea salt

IMG_55861. Soak pineapple in rum in an airtight container in the fridge, preferably overnight.
2. Thoroughly combine crust ingredients, using your hands to form a thick dough. Or, if  you have a food processor, blitz ingredients a few times until dough forms.
3. Press dough into pie tin and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. While your pie crust is setting, combine your lime custard ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
5. Pour custard into your pie crust.
6. Squeeze pineapple gently and drain excess juice/rum (I recommend setting it aside for a cocktail).
7. Press pineapple into the custard.
8. Place pie into the fridge for at least 2 hours.
9. To make your caramel, add maple syrup, coconut sugar, and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves.
10. Add rum and sea salt to the caramel sauce and simmer, continuing to stir, for three minutes.
11. Remove caramel sauce from heat and allow it to come to room temperature (it will thicken as it does).
12. Drizzle pie with caramel sauce right before serving. Serve pie chilled.

The pie will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. This recipe makes way more caramel sauce then you’ll need, so keep it in the fridge and use it for dunking cookies, topping ice cream, or whatever else your heart desires. If the coconut oil solidifies, just put the jar of caramel into a bowl of warm water until it melts.

My friend Daisy said this tart is, “almost as good as sex” and vegans and carnivores alike were singing its praises when I served it to them. I think it tastes even better served with a cocktail – especially pina coladas or a pineapple mojito. Go ahead, pretend you’re on holiday!

Let me know if you give it a try. And I’d love to know, have you ever tried baking with rum? Even if you’re a dyed in the wool carnivore, will you try making something vegan this Saturday?

Love, cocktails in coconuts, & floppy sun hats,

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