Festive Nut Roast Recipe

Nut roast 01

Nut roast is a traditional festive recipe that is common amongst vegetarians. This raw version is packed full of flavour and contains lots of seasonal vegetables which are good for us at this time of year. All the ingredients combine to create a deliciously nutty winter dish.

For the Nut Roast:

½ cup walnuts
½ cup almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ red pepper, diced
½ yellow pepper, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 large courgette, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
¼ cup olives, finely chopped
1 tsp harissa
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Pinch salt and black pepper
¼ cup ground flax seeds

Nut roast 02

¬ Process first four ingredients in food processor until finely chopped
¬ Marinate red and yellow pepper, tomato, red onion, courgette in olive oil and lemon juice in a separate bowl, for at least 30 minutes
¬ Add nuts and seed mix to marinated vegetables and stir well
¬ Add remaining ingredients and continue to mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined
¬ Roll into log shaped pieces
¬ Optional: place on mesh screen in dehydrator for 3-4 hours at 115F

Caramelised onions:

3 medium red onions, finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp ground coconut sugar

¬ Coat diced onions in other ingredients
¬ Place on teflex sheet and dehydrate for 8-10 hours at 115F

Butternut squash and sage mash:

butternut-squash-mash

1 medium butternut squash, peeled
½ cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
4 tsp fresh sage or 2 tsp dried sage
2 tsbp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tsp Pink Himalalayan salt
Pinch black pepper

¬ Using a vegetable chopper or food processor, dice butternut squash into very small pieces. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp lemon juice and cover in water. Soak for at least 2 hours
¬ Rinse and drain butternut squash and place in blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until very smooth. Garnish with black pepper

Wilted spinach:
4 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
Pinch black pepper

¬ Add spinach to remaining ingredients.
¬ Mix well and marinate for 1-2 hours at room temperature

Mushroom gravy (optional):

3 portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tbsp sweet white miso
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
Pinch black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup water

¬ Marinate mushrooms in miso, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper for 30 minutes
¬ Spread out on a teflex sheet and dehydrate at 115F for 2 hours
¬ Place ingredients in blender with 2 tbsp olive oil and blend adding a little water at a time until smooth
¬ Place gravy in a squeezie bottle

Nut roast 03

To assemble:

¬ Place a bed of spinach in a circular bowl, with a circular space in the middle
¬ Spoon the butternut squash mash into this hole in the middle of the spinach
¬ Lay 3 nut roast pieces cut into 2 inch3 discs in a stack on top of the mash
¬ Optional – top each piece of nut roast with mushroom gravy
¬ Garnish with caramelised onions and diced red pepper
¬ To serve warm, cover and place in dehydrator for 2 hours at 115F

You can keep in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook where I share lots of great tips and recipes (and lovely photos of all the raw food goodies I’ve been making at Down To Earth Café.)

Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to hear about my upcoming Raw Food Workshops and the latest Raw Foods Company news.

Advertisements

An Introduction to Superfoods – Part 2

Maca

Archaeological evidence shows that maca was domesticated over 2,000 years ago by the predecessors of the Incan people.

maca

Often indigenous tribes would bring cacao nibs and beans (raw chocolate) up to the Andes from the jungle and in exchange maca would go down from the Andes into the jungle. Both cacao and maca were used as money by ancient indigenous peoples, which says a great amount about how much it was revered.

Maca is a powerful adaptogen, which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s systems, such as the cardiovascular system, nervous system, musculature and lymphatic systems. Adaptogens also boost immunity and increase the body’s overall vitality by 10-15% according to most studies.

Rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sulphur and iron, and contains trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper, selenium, bismuth, manganese and silica, as well as vitamins B1, B2, C and E. Containing nearly 20 amino acids and seven essential amino acids, Peruvian research claims that maca improves memory, increases oxygen in the blood, improves the function of neurotransmitters and increases libido.

Maca is excellent in smoothies, desserts and chocolate. It has a wonderful synergy with cacao due to its hormone balancing properties. It has a beautiful and powerful malty caramel flavour, but beware it is strong, so use responsibly! I have experienced excellent benefits to energy levels when I have maca and found it has also helped when endurance is required such as in sports training or exercise.

Carob

The carob plant bears fruit known as carob pods. 

carobThese pods have been used as food for more than 5,000 years. Carob powder comes from carob pods.Carob powder is an alternative to cocoa powder, having several distinct advantages.

Unlike chocolate, carob contains neither caffeine nor theobromine. Caffeine, and to a lesser extent theobromine, are both stimulants, making you more alert and giving you a boost of energy. However, they can also make you restless, anxious and irritable.

Too much caffeine can lead to headaches and even abnormal heart rhythms. For many people who consume caffeine on a regular basis, stopping consumption leads to symptoms of withdrawal. If you like a taste similar to chocolate, but without the stimulating effects, carob provides a suitable alternative.Carob contains calcium, which is important for proper bone and teeth formation and about 100g of carob provide almost half of the average person’s daily calcium requirement.

It is rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and potassium. It is also a good source of fibre and protein. In addition to being naturally cholesterol-free, carob also contains pectin, which lowers cholesterol levels and decreases your risk for heart disease. In a study by Zunft et al, carob pulp was shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients.

Carob is a great addition to raw desserts and works really well in smoothies. Use as a great alternative to cacao for that energy boost without any stimulant effects. I love the beautiful malty flavour. It is a wonderful natural sweetener. I especially love putting carob in chocolate as it adds another dimension of flavour.

Lucuma

Lucuma is a subtropical fruit of Andean origin. Its flavour is similar to a cross between maple and sweet potato. It has been called the “Gold of the Incas”.

lucuma-giant

Lucuma is an excellent source or carbohydrates, fibre, carotene, vitamin B3, and other B vitamins. It has remarkable concentrations of beta-carotene, an immune system boosting vitamin and also contains niacin and iron with significant amounts of calcium and phosphorus.

The level of complex carbohydrates, minerals and fibre make it an excellent low glycemic addition to desserts and recipes.

Lucuma can be mixed into smoothies, used to make ice cream or can be used as an excellent sweetener replacement, due to its low GI score. It provides a delicious caramel-like flavour. I love adding lucuma to sweeteners and have recently discovered a wonderful recipe for raw caramel, which includes lucuma, maple syrup, coconut oil and ground almonds.

Please do contact me if you’d like anymore advice on Superfoods! 

You can keep in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook where I share lots of great tips and recipes (and lovely photos of all the raw food goodies I’ve been making at Down To Earth Café.)

Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to hear about my upcoming Raw Food Workshops and the latest Raw Foods Company news.

p.s I highly recommend a Fermentation Master Class that I will be attending, taught by Amy Levin – you can find out more details and book your place here.

An introduction to Superfoods (part 1)

Superfoods can have hugely positive impact on health, especially when high quality foods have been sourced.

In this blog post, the focus is on 3 plant based superfoods, grown and cultivated in pristine waters and lakes – Chlorella, wrack seaweed and blue green algae.

Chlorella

chlotella_plate

Chlorella has its name due to the high concentration of chlorophyll it possesses. It has the highest amount of chlorophyll per gram of any plant studied so far. Chlorella is known for its remarkable detoxification properties. It has been found in numerous research findings to aid in the breakdown of hydrocarbon toxins and heavy metals such as mercury and lead, whilst also being involved in strengthening the immune system.

Chlorella stimulates red blood cell production and helps transporting oxygen around the body and also to the brain.   Is is also thought to increase interferon levels, which results in increased production of T-cells and macrophages, enhancing the body’s natural defences and protecting against diseases such as cancer.

Being high in fibre, it has a cleansing effect on the bowel and aids in healthy digestion due to the presence of digestive enzymes such as pepsin and chlorophyllase. Chlorella is also alkalizing for the body helping to balance pH levels.

It is important to ensure your source of chlorella is high quality, as poorer quality sources may contain contaminants and toxins.

Wrack Seaweed

wrackseaweed

A perfect trace mineral balance for the human body. Wrack seaweed is also very alkalising and acts as an excellent preservative for other foods.It is one of the finest natural sources of iodine and all amino acids. It contains up to 60 trace elements and contains vitamins A, B, B12, C, E and potassium.

The ocean contains the same minerals and trace elements as human blood and these are integrated into the living tissue of seaweed. The natural vitamins, foundation minerals and vital nutrients are in a form that is easily assimilated. It has been estimated that certain seaweeds are up to 30 times higher in minerals than land food, which is affected by depleted nutrient levels in our soils.

Many people are understandably concerned about consuming produce from the oceans due to media reports of pollution, but this issue is widely misunderstood. Generally the ocean is a far less polluted growing medium than land soil especially farm soil because of the widespread use of pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers as well as airborne industrial pollutants.

Blue green algae

bluegreenalgae

Blue green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria is found naturally growing in alkaline waters of ponds and lakes. It is actually closer to a bacteria than an algae. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E and the B complex vitamins including B-6 and B-12. These vitamins are highly bioavailable, in a state that is easily assimilable for the body.

Phycocyanin is the pigment which gives blue-green algae its characteristic colour. Blue-green algae is high in protein and essential amino acids and also rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron and high in trace minerals.

Due to the exceptionally high nutrient content of Blue-green algae, it has huge energy-bossting and immune-system strengthening properties. It also has strong anti-oxidant properties, which aids in the detoxification and elimination process. It is also believed to balance flora in the gut and fight overgrowth of candida. Other potential benefits can include anti-ageing, reduction in depression and levels of stress and improved memory.

It is very important to find a high quality source of blue-green algae, as poor quality sources may contain high levels of heavy-metals and other toxins.

And with all superfoods source only organic, truly raw and the highest quality possible ensuring that those growing the foods are committed to living sustainably.

You can keep in touch with me on Twitter and Facebook where I share lots of great tips and recipes (and lovely photos of all the raw food goodies I’ve been making at Down To Earth Café.)

Sign up for my newsletter and be the first to hear about my upcoming Raw Food Workshops and the latest Raw Foods Company news.