Three things get tricky for me every winter:
One – It gets dark quickly and I find there’s only a very small window to go for a walk or run after work while still feeling safe and warm enough;
Two – I don’t drink enough water. So far, I’ve been trying to combat this with big teapots of fresh lemon, ginger and hot water; and
Three – I’m not particularly inspired to eat salad.
On number three, I think the secret is to use ingredients that are in season and to eat them at room temperature. Salads with tomato taste horrible because, well, tomatoes taste pretty horrible right now and who wants to eat something cold, tasteless and unripe? This salad mixes bitter but beautifully purple radicchio, crunchy sweet/tart apples and earthy walnuts. I took it along to my bookclub potluck dinner this weekend on a very cold night and it felt just right.
RADICCHIO, APPLE & WALNUT SALAD
12-15 LEAVES OF RADICCHIO 2 GREEN APPLES 3 STALKS CELERY 3-4 SPRIGS LOVAGE (OPTIONAL, I LIKE THE CELERY-LIKE FLAVOUR) 3/4 CUP FLAT LEAF PARSLEY
3/4 CUP WALNUTS
1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL 1 DESSERTSPOON LEMON JUICE 1 TEASPOON HONEY (OR MAPLE OR AGAVE SYRUP) 1 TEASPOON FRENCH WHOLEGRAIN MUSTARD (YES, I KNOW THIS ISN’T RAW, BUT IT’S WORTH ADDING) 1/2 TEASPOON SEA SALT
A FEW GRINDS OF BLACK PEPPER
Roll three or four radicchio leaves up tightly into a roll at a time and finely slice. Finely slice the green apples (I used my food processor), I like to leave the skin on. Finely slice the celery and mix in a bowl with the lovage, parsley and walnuts. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients until the honey is mixed in smoothly. Stir through the dressing just before serving.
I’m holding onto the last bits of the warm weather and these puddings taste light, tropical and refreshing. The light-coloured agave nectar keeps these a pretty, light yellow and the blended cashews and coconut oil give the mango a creaminess and pudding-like texture without the calories and associated nasties in cream, sugar and gelatine.
MANGO, LIME & COCONUT PUDDINGS
2 MANGOES, PEELED & DICED (RESERVE A FEW CUBES FOR DECORATION) 1/2 CUP CASHEWS, SOAKED IN WATER FOR A FEW HOURS 1/2 TEASPOON LIME ZEST 1 LIME, JUICED 1 TABLESPOON LIGHT AGAVE NECTAR
1 TABLESPOON COCONUT OIL
LIME SLICES & CUBED MANGO PIECES
Strain the water from the cashews. Blend these with the mangoes, lime zest, lime juice and agave nectar in a food processor or blender until smooth. Finally, add the coconut oil in last. I don’t know why, but this seems to give it a smoother texture. Pour into small bowls (I made three), cover and refrigerate for three hours or overnight. Top with a slice of lime and cubed mango before serving.
It’s starting to get colder where I live, but the days are still sunny and besides, I like ice cream year round. And this one doesn’t contain cream, milk, sugar or eggs – it derives its base from hazelnuts which gives it a Baci chocolate meets nutella kind of flavour.
Although not at all raw, the agar-agar (find it in Asian supermarkets – it’s a flavourless gelling agent made from seaweed extracts, common in Asian desserts) helps stop the gelato freezing rock solid when stored in the freezer, if you can resist not eating it all immediately.
1 TABLESPOON POWDERED AGAR-AGAR (I use Telephone Brand with the cute, gold telephone)
1/2 CUP WATER
Place agar-agar and water in a saucepan. Stir over a very low heat until simmering and thickened into a gooey, gelatinous mixture.
1 CUP RAW HAZELNUT BUTTER 1 1/4 CUPS DUTCH PROCESS COCOA POWDER (OR RAW CACAO POWDER) 1/2 CUP DARK AGAVE NECTAR 1.5 CUPS WATER PINCH OF SALT
1/2 TEASPOON MACA (OPTIONAL, I like the caramel-y taste)
Whirl all ingredients in the food processor or blender with the stabilizer, if you’re using it. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before churning in an ice cream maker.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you could freeze the mixture in ice cube trays and blend these in a food processor, or freeze it into individual portions and just take them out 15 minutes or so before you want to eat them to soften a little.
Whenever I think of truffles, I always think of this scene or this music. Incidentally, I’ve just started doing some work for someone that owns a trufflerie in Pemberton, but this recipe does not involve those kinds of truffles.
No, these truffles do not involve any shuffling, glitches or sniffing dogs, nor do they contain cream, butter or sugar… Only almonds, dates and cocoa. This is probably the raw recipe I make the most. The truffles are best made the day before so they have time to set in the fridge or freezer.
RAW CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES
1 CUP ALMONDS 1 CUP DRIED DATES, ROUGHLY CHOPPED 2/3 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR RAW CACAO POWDER 1/3 CUP DESSICATED DRIED COCONUT 1 TABLESPOON ORANGE ZEST
PINCH OF SEA SALT
FOR FINISHING, IN TWO BOWLS
1/3 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR RAW CACAO POWDER
1/3 CUP DESSICATED DRIED COCONUT
Put all the truffle ingredients into your food processor and pulse until combined. As per some of the cake recipe bases, your food processor won’t like this much but once you get it past a certain point and the mixture starts to come together, it won’t seem so violent. You might need to scrape down the sides every so often and add a splash of water to help it along. One the mixture has come together, pulse a few more times to further blitz up the almonds (you can leave a bit of texture in there to your liking) and transfer to a bowl.
Wet your hands with water and roll walnut sized balls from the mixture. Finish by dipping the ball into either the cocoa or the dried coconut and then set aside. When they’re all rolled and dipped, store in the fridge or freezer.
Is a raw soup really a soup, or is a juice with some salt and herbs sprinkled on top and put into a bowl? I don’t know, but I’m calling it a soup because that’s how I eat it.
This recipe is like locking sunshine in a bowl – the carrot juice is good for eyesight, bones and teeth, liver and nails, skin and hair as well as betacarotene and vitamin A, there’s the obvious vitamin C from the oranges and the ginger, well, it seems ginger is good for you for pretty much everything.
CARROT ORANGE & GINGER SOUP
2 CUPS FRESH CARROT JUICE 2CM FRESH GINGER ROOT, JUICED WITH THE CARROTS
2 CUPS FRESHLY SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE
1/2 TEASPOON SALT FLAKES
FLAT LEAF PARSLEY, CORIANDER, BASIL OR CHIVES/CHIVE FLOWERS
Juice the ginger with the carrots til you have two cups worth of juice. Then juice the oranges until you have two cups of orange juice. Mix together in a jug, sprinkle in the salt and pour into two bowls. Top with fresh herbs (I used chive flowers and flat leaf parsley because my coriander was dead. I really wanted to use fresh coriander, but oh well).
For a more substantial soup, blend the soup with 1/4 of an avocado.
For a warm soup, gently heat it in a double saucepan over a low flame until it is warm.
The first time I ate this salad was around ten years ago on holiday with a then-boyfriend’s family – his Dad and step-Mum both happened to be ridiculously good cooks – in beautiful Eagle Bay. Ever since, I’ve referred to it in my mind as The Summer Holiday Salad. They had theirs with only cabbage, onion, capsicum and tuna and freshly baked bread with butter. They always put some ‘plain’ salad aside for me, but I’ve never considered it plain. It’s simple, sure, but comforting and I always feel virtuously healthy eating it.
The raw cabbage contains thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and not many calories, and the capsicum has super high levels of vitamin C plus vitamin A, vitamin E and folate. Adding the parsley gives you more of vitamins C and A, folate and a huge dose of vitamin K. Start making this salad a few hours before you’d like to eat it as the textures and flavours get better with a little time.
1/2 CABBAGE 1/2 RED CAPSICUM 1 STALK OF CELERY 1/8 RED ONION 1/2 CUP KALAMATA OLIVES 1 CUP FLAT LEAF PARSLEY, CHOPPED
1/2 TEASPOON SALT FLAKES
1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL
2 TEASPOONS LEMON JUICE
I remember being told the secret to this salad was that it was an exercise in texture. The key to making it taste especially good is to make sure everything is sliced as thinly as possible. I use my food processor with a slicing attachment which does the trick but you could use a very sharp knife.
Thinly, thinly slice the cabbage, capsicum, celery and red onion into a bowl. Add in the chopped parsley and olives, sprinkle with sea salt and set aside. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the olive oil and lemon juice until combined and stir through the salad. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the cabbage soften, and then bring it to room temperature before serving.
I’ve always liked orange matched with chocolate. This tart is best eaten in small doses, however. It’s fudge-y, heavy, make-you-feel-ill chocolate-y. Hmm, I’m not selling this well but it really is delicious when you’re in the mood for such decadence, especially with some tart fruit like strawberries, raspberries or fresh orange wedges, and is a fantastic introduction to raw desserts for the skeptical. Plus, unlike a normal chocolate tart there’s no animal fats, cream or processed sugar, (just a hell of a lot of coconut oil and agave nectar).
2 CUPS ALMONDS – FOOD PROCESSED INTO CRUMBS 3/4 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR CACAO POWDER 1 CUP CHOPPED DRIED DATES 1/2 CUP DESSICATED COCONUT
2 TEASPOONS DESSICATED COCONUT FOR DUSTING THE TIN
4 CUPS SOAKED RAW CASHEWS 1 CUP DUTCH PROCESS COCOA OR CACAO POWDER 3/4 CUP COCONUT OIL 3/4 CUP AGAVE NECTAR 1 TABLESPOON ORANGE ZEST 1/3 CUP ORANGE JUICE 1.5 TEASPOONS OF CINNAMON
1/2 TEASPOON OF SALT
Line the bottom of a springform cake tin with cling film. Dust the bottom of the tin with 2 teaspoons dessicated coconut.
For the base, place all base ingredients in the food processor and process until almost smooth – you want to keep a bit of the almond texture in there. Pat this into the base. You may need to wet your hands slightly to smooth it out. Place it in the freezer until the filling is ready.
For the filling, place all ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth as possible. Spoon on top of base and smooth the top with the back of the spoon. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for at least three hours. Dust with sifted cocoa/cacao before serving.
I accidentally drank most of this smoothie before I photographed it, (and let’s not mention the dusty when illuminated table – texture, if you please). I’ll put that down as testament to its deliciousness rather than my carelessness. I went through a phase of having one of these every morning for breakfast instead of coffee, and I’d like to get back into that phase again soon. It’s such an easy way to get lots of greens into your diet and make your body more alkaline. Victoria Boutenko’s Green For Life book has lots of info on green smoothies and is an interesting read.
There’s a gazillion recipes online for green smoothies with coconut oil, blue-green algae powder, spiralina and the like, but I prefer to make mine very simply. Here are two, super simple green smoothie recipes I have on repeat:
#1 SPINACH BANANA GREEN SMOOTHIE
1 FROZEN BANANA, CHOPPED 1 CUP BABY SPINACH
1.5 CUPS WATER (OR COCONUT WATER, IF YOU CAN BE BOTHERED. I USUALLY CAN’T).
Put the chopped banana in a blender first, then the spinach and the water and blend on high until smooth.
#2 KIWI MINT GREEN SMOOTHIE
1 FROZEN BANANA, CHOPPED 1 CUP BABY SPINACH 1 KIWI FRUIT, PEELED AND CHOPPED 2 SPRIGS OF FRESH MINT LEAVES
1 CUP WATER (OR COCONUT WATER, AGAIN IF YOU CAN BE BOTHERED).
Put the chopped banana and kiwi fruit in a blender first, then the spinach and mint and finally the water and blend on high until smooth.