Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Apricot-almond cake

One of the unexpected points of difference, living in London compared to Australia, is that summer fruit is available all year round. It is quite bizarre, especially as often it is still quite cheap. I could buy two mangoes for £1, a punnet of apricots for £2, and a punnet of strawberries for about the same. We often had American cherries available around the core cherry season in Perth, but exorbitant prices meant it wasn't hard to resist them.

Most of the time I am still resisting the out-of-season summer fruit here. I like the anticipation and excitement of having summer produce come back into season, and eating it all year round wouldn't be the same. Plus, I'm not keen on supporting an industry that flies my fruit up from South Africa, or Turkey, or somewhere else decidedly not near Britain - and if the prices are that low, most likely someone is struggling to make a living.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Vegan Life Magazine, edition 3 (January - February 2015)

I receive complimentary digital copies of Vegan Life, which allows me to post reviews with screenshots included. My reflections on the magazine are entirely my own.

The third edition of Vegan Life magazine is out now, with another wonderful collection of articles, recipes, and ideas. I particularly enjoyed this edition's focus on vegan supplements, raw food recipes, and the wool industry.

There were a number of other smaller things that I liked in this edition of the magazine, and I thought I'd share some of those with you today. 

First up - vegan croissants made with spelt flour and agave nectar. I was never a huge croissant fan, but it is always fun to hear about vegan versions of traditionally non-vegan products. These croissants won an award at the international biennial food fair held in France, but were actually made by an Italian company. Let's hope more companies follow now!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Raw apple cheesecake puddings {London marathon fundraising}

Another Thursday and another fundraising recipe! This one is firmly in the dessert category, although I think these puddings could almost double up as breakfast. The ingredients are raw, vegan and entirely natural, even if the end result is rather decadent.

Raw apple cheesecake puddings

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that I've been rather obsessed with cashews. It's funny how tastes wax and wane over time. For the last two weeks, I have eaten more cashews than I would usually do in months. You see, I didn't use to like them much plain. With this turn around, there may be hope for me and avocados yet!

Given the cashew obsession, it isn't surprising that today's dessert is made with the nuts. However, don't worry if you aren't as fond of cashews as I currently am. They provide healthy creaminess but don't actually influence the pudding's flavour. That is firmly apple, with hints of maple syrup and vanilla. The final result is reminiscent of cheesecake without being exactly like it, which is why I have called these cheesecake puddings. They are a little softer than traditional cheesecake, and not as rich or as tart. They are, however, delicious.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Baked Quinoa Porridge or Pudding from Ricki Heller's new cookbook, Living Candida-Free,

Last year, I was fortunate to serve as one of the recipe testers for Ricki Heller's new cookbook, Living Candida-Free. Some of you may remember me sharing photos at the time. It was a busy but utterly delicious few months, and I am delighted to be able to review the book now. I am also delighted to host a give away so you can win your own copy of the book. To round things out, I am sharing one of Ricki's new  recipes today - Baked Quinoa Porridge or Pudding.

Before getting to the recipe (and give away!), let me share some general information with you about Living Candida-FreeThe book tackles the challenges of managing sugar intake in today's world. I think we all know that too much sugar isn't good for us, but for some people, too much sugar (or even moderate amounts of sugar) can result in a range of physical and mental health problems that persist and worsen over time. Ricki shares her knowledge and experience around an anti-candida diet, which is designed to combat the consequences of excess sugar and allow for flavour-filled dishes without added sugars. 

The book includes recipes for three phases of eating, ranging from no sugars at all through to moderate and selective intake. The amazing thing is that even in the most conservative phase, Ricki manages to create delicious dishes and wonderful desserts. It's not all about stevia either - she includes options for other sweeteners in many recipes. Her book also talks about what candida is, and covers a range of cooking basics. Plus, every one of the 100 recipes is vegan.

Baked quinoa porridge or pudding (recipe copyright to Ricki Heller, Living Candida-Free)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kale, cabbage and apple salad with a peanut dressing

Kale. It's almost become unfashionably fashionable; the stereotypical health food, thrown out as an example of new age eating and January dieting. I'm torn between being pleased that kale is readily available and winning over an increasing number of hearts (and stomachs), and sorry that it's become another 'bandwagon' food.

Mostly, though, I don't worry about it too much. I just enjoy eating it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

London marathon fundraising: Vegan banana-chia crepes (grain free) with an easy chocolate sauce

These banana-chia crepes provide my second London marathon fundraising recipe (you can read about my marathon plans here!). Ever since seeing recipes for raw banana crepes made in a dehydrator, I have wanted to master a cooked version that would work in my dehydrator-free kitchen.

My first attempt at these involved banana and almond milk and was far too runny, with the crepes refusing to set. My second attempt burnt and set off the smoke alarm. This third attempt, I am pleased to say, worked very well. The crepes themselves were sweet (thanks to the banana) and slightly doughy (thanks to the chia seeds) and more filling that you would expect from the ingredient list. The chocolate sauce rounded things off and the combination was utterly delicious.