Posts Tagged With: coconut

Coconut Scones

Coconut Scones (Vegan)

Coconut Scones (Vegan)

Mum’s here!!!! (and Dad)  When Mum visits we get stuck into loads of cooking.  We always have done and I’ve had these scones in mind for a while.  I knew Mum would love ’em!  Coconut + scones = genius.

This is a light, rich and crispy scone recipe especially for all those Mum’s out there. It’s MOTHERS DAY!! (Well it was yesterday when we made them!)  This will make any afternoon tea a little bit special.  Just add your favourite jam or Mum just had one with chocolate spread.  Yowzah!

These little beauties are based on the awesome recipe sent across to us by Janice at Nourished by Nature.  A place we visit regularly for nutritious, delicious, healthy recipes.  Janice is so passionate and creative and we love the way she cooks!  These scones even scooped the ‘Sweet Treat’ award at our last cookbook giveaway.  We just had to share our version of the recipe.

I love making scones and must admit, that at the moment I make more savoury scones.  Rosemary scones being my favourite.  They work so well with a nice hearty vegetable broth in these chilly winter months.  I have some great memories of Mum’s baking as a child.  Mum’s walnut and date scones were always amazing!  They were at least three times the thickness of these little guys.  I must remember to ask very nicely for a recipe…..

I have never used a food processor to make scones before, but I will again.  If used with care, i.e. not over working the mixture, the resulting scones are light with a delicious crispy crust.  I do not have a massive sweet tooth but these are right up my street!  A brilliant twist on a classic, just what we’d expect from Janice.

Mum busy with scones.  Always amazing to see Mum in the kitchen!

Mum busy with scones. Always amazing to see Mum in the kitchen!

Recipe Notes

I use the coconut oil here in solid form. This works best.

Feel free to use vegan spread instead of coconut oil, which I realise is quite expensive.  I must admit, I prefer the coconut oil ones.  Richer, lighter and with a crispier crust.

These scones can be made thicker, but I find thin scones great because there is less leftover mixture at the end and that means more lighter scones.  Once we start to reform the leftover straggly bits, the scones become heavier (although still very tasty).  Try weighing them in your hands, you’ll see what I mean.

Remember when baking scones, cookies etc they will seem a little underdone when removing them from the oven, they tend to firm up on the cooling rack.  This is perfectly normal and its best to take them out slightly undone than slightly overdone I feel.  Check the tops and bottoms, if they are beginning to brown, you’re there.

The Bits – Makes 8 medium-sized scones

225g self raising white flour

2 level teaspoons baking powder

50g unrefined white sugar (unprocessed)

100g coconut oil or vegan spread (olive, sunflower etc)

55g desiccated coconut

4-5 tablespoons plant based milk (soya milks works well)

2 tbs soya milk (for brushing)

2 tbs desscated coconut (for topping

Do It

Preheat an oven to 200oC (180oC Fan Oven)

In a food processor, add all the dry ingrdients and pulse a few times until a loose crumb forms. Add the soya milk gradually whilst pulsing until the mixture just starts coming together.

If you are not using a food processor, place all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and crumble the mixture using your fingers and thumbs (think breadcrumbs). After a while it will form a fine crumb, add the milk gradually, mixing with a spoon.

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

Pop the mixture onto a floured surface and bring it together with your hands. Do not over handle at this stage or your scones will be dense. Light scones will come about from very little handling.

Roll out the mixture using a rolling pin to a depth of 1 – 1/2 inches and cut out the scones using a cutter of your choice (Janice using a very cool heart shaped one). These ones will be the lightest, gather together the straggly bits of pasty and make into extra scones.  

Place on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake on a middle shelf in the oven for 12-14 minutes until the tops are have browned.

Coconut Scones - one ain't enough!;)

Coconut Scones with Rhubarb and Blueberry Jam – one ain’t enough!;)

Serve

You know how you love ’em!  A scone eaten still warm from the oven is a thing of rare beauty (blazing fire and purring cat on lap optional).

Foodie Fact

Coconut is an incredibly good thing in so many ways.  It is high in fat, giving it that gorgeous richness.  The fat in coconut is no ordinary fat however, a large portion of it is known as lauric acid.  A fat which has been shown to heighten our good cholesterol levels.  A medium coconut covers all of our energetic, mineral and vitamin needs for a whole day!   If you are ever in a tropical country and feeling the heat, reach for coconut water.  It is excellent at rehydrating the body

Categories: Baking, Cakes, Nutrition, photography, Recipes, Treats, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mango & Coconut Lassi

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Mango and Coconut Lassi (Vegan)

A quick and delicious breakfast for us this morning.  The perfect antidote to a very grey day in Wales, some tropical flava!  We managed to pick up/ save some very ripe mangoes recently and have been trying out coconut water, which seems like a bit of a craze at the minute.  Mangoes and coconut, beaches and palm trees, a little escapism from the dark nights and storms of our little hillside retreat.

A lassi is something like an Indian milkshake that comes in many varieties, basically salty or sweet, but there are so many ways this yoghurt based drink can be enjoyed.  Salted lassi is lovely, normally flavoured with a little ground cumin.  Lassi’s are easily made vegan with the addition of non-dairy milk and vegan yoghurt, both are best used unsweetened we find.  You can then control which and how much sweetener you choose to use, if any.  The mango and coconut water are already sweet here and any sweetener is really only needed to give the sweet tooth a little treat.

TOP MANGOES

We’ve eaten mangoes all over the world, but have to say that the best are Indian.  I don’t think any other country reveres a fruit quite like Indians with their mangoes.  Maybe the French with grapes?!  Italians with tomatoes?!!  Brits with apples?!! Its out there for discussion.  Surely having a mango tree in your garden is a sign of very good karma though!  Especially in Wales!!

The sheer diversity of mangoes in India is bewildering and the season is anticipated like the festive season over here.  Mangoes are now very expensive in India, especially certain highly regarded varieties like Alphonso, Badami, Chausa, Dasheri…..there are loads.  Where are you favourite Mangoes from?  Thailand and the Philippines are closely behind India in the mango nirvana stakes for sure.  The ones we bought here were from Brazil(!)

Adding turmeric to lassi’s is an age old remedy for stomach complaints in the sub-continent and we like adding turmeric to anything, such is it’s vibrant health giving properties (not to mention the colour!  WHAM!!  YELLOW!!!)

We are drinking these in autumnal Wales and need no extra chilling.  If you happen to be in a nice hot part of the globe (well done!) you may like to add a few ice cubes to the lassi and decrease the coconut water a little.  You could also freeze your coconut water into ice cubes, this works brilliantly and adds a lovely coco twist to cold drinks.

Other lassi varieties you could try:

Strawberry, Pineapple and Mint, Avocado and Lime, Beetroot and Thyme, Chocolate and Pistachio,  Apple and Chai Spiced…….

You may also like to check out the brilliant Vegan Richa’s recipe for a spicy Thandai Lassi.

How to pick a ripe mango?  Well worth knowing.

Mangoes are such a treat in Wales, they don’t come our way very often.  We think a lassi is the perfect home for a nice ripe mango and a breath of bright tropical air in the early dark nights and rain clouds of beautiful Wales.

Recipe Notes

If are struggling to find coconut water, go for non-dairy milk (like soya or almond) and even straight water will make a good lassi.

If you can get ground cardamom, please do.  Just a sprinkle on the top transforms the lassi.  Cardamom and Indian sweets got together perfectly, but remember that too much can be overpowering.  Lightly sprinkle.

These lassi’s are made without turmeric, so the colour is a little lighter.

Mango and Coconut Lassi (Vegan)

Mango and Coconut Lassi (Vegan)

The Bits – Makes two small glasses

1 mango (peeled and de-stoned)

175ml coconut water

5 tbs dairy free yoghurt

1-2 teas sweetener (we used brown rice syrup)

1/2 teas turmeric (optional)

 

Pinch cardamom powder

Do It

Pop all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.  Check the sweetness and you can even add more yoghurt for extra creaminess.

Creamy sweet fruity YUM!

Creamy sweet fruity YUM!

Serve

Pour into your finest glassware and sprinkle over a little cardamom and chopped almonds or pistachios for a real authentic India style.

Foodie Fact

Soya is packed full of protein and coconut has amazingly healthy fats.  Mangoes are very high in vitamin A and C……as far as breakfasts go, this is a smooth and tasty winner!

Categories: Breakfast, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Smoothies, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Avocado, Coconut and Apple Breakfast Pudding + THE Best Way to Start the Day

(Sorry guys, we had problems with the photos for this one and they now seem to be lost.  Recipe is still delicious though!)

This makes for a sweet and super nutritious start to the day.  Who says pudding is just for later in the day anyway!  We like to mix things up over here on the hill and this is dessert first thing, what a way to start the day!

A serious combination of goodness this avocado and coconut, to some a pair of fat filled fiends, but to those of us in the nutritious know, two full blown detox powerhouses of legendary proportions.  Am I exaggerating, very probably!!!!  But seriously, don’t be put off by all that fat talk, good fats doesn’t even make you fat anyway!  It’s all that refined sugar aka bad carbs, aka breakfast cereals…….  We haven’t even got started on how these actually taste, a mixture made in heaven for certain.

THE BEST WAY TO START THE DAY

The coco water here is a brilliant re-hydrator due to its high quantity of electrolytes, beats any ‘sports drink’ hands down, and we all need a good dose of hydration in the morning.  This is a dense pudding so get the body fully woken up before you attempt to spoon it down.  We’d always recommend starting the day with a pint of warm water with a squeeze of lemon or a tbs of apple cider vinger (avec mother) in it at least 20 mins before having your breakfast/ pud.  This is the best way to start the day with plenty of good clean fluids which will get the system well oiled, hydrated and sparkling early on.  A pint of water can only help at anytime, especially in the morning when our body has being shriveling up whilst we sleep.

This ‘pudding’ is utterly guilt free!!!!!  It has a firm kick of greens, with some wonder green powder, spinach (or kale, or cabbage leaves, whatever you have handy) and the wonderfully gelatinous linseeds.  This is what gives the coco pudding its super thick texture and pudding-ness.

Naturally sweet and creamy, this could probably be frozen and made into a splendid summer ice cream.  We haven’t tried this though.  Has anyone frozen an avocado?

Good Mornin’s and BHOM!

The Bits

1 avocado, ½ fresh coconut plus coco water (chopped in chunks), 2 sweet apples (halved and seeded), 1 tbs ground linseeds/ flax seeds (soaked for 20 minutes in 3tbs water), 1 cup creamy coconut milk, ½ lime (zest and juice), 1 handful spinach leaves, 1 tbs barley powder/ wheatgrass/ spirulina

Do It

Blend it, all of it, until thick and creamy.

Serve 

Sprinkle things on top if you like, but its great just as it is and as always, not too cold please, set the flavours free!

We Love It!

What a way to get things going in the morn!  Its fair to say that Jane and I are not natural morning birds, we tend to blossom later in the day, especially when we’re feed some AM dessert!  Hoorah!  What a concept, this could be the next big thing (way bigger than the last big thing, which was just medium/large in comparison.)

Foodie Fact

Coconuts are one of the most nutritious fruits on earth.  It contains a load of lauric acid, which is known for antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial properties and also boost the immune system.

Coconut water (the stuff in the nut) has a huge amount of electrolytes, making it an ace in preventing dehydration.  In some parts of the world they use it intravenously to hydrate critically ill patients.

Coconut, although being high in fat, actually helps you loose weight!  Its good for the heart, rejuvenates the skin (keeping wrinkles away), increases metabolism and actually lowers cholesterol.

Only downside is, they don’t grow in Wales!!!!!

Yesterdays breakfast - eaten in the garden!!!!!

Yesterdays breakfast – Blueberry and Mango Salad with a Banana Tahini Sauce eaten in the garden with the sun!!!!!

Categories: Breakfast, Raw Food, Recipes, Summer, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Crunchy Thai Salad with Green Coco Dressing (Raw)

 

Crunchy Thai Salad with Green Coco Dressing

Crunchy Thai Salad with Green Coco Dressing

So here we go again! Raw Earth Month at the Beach House Kitchen will see a huge influx of tasty salads and juices, its inevitable and we love ’em all!

An amazing friend of the BHK (Dodee over in Hawaii – see magical ‘Sacred Backyard Blog‘ here) said of raw food, ‘I’ve made the decision to feel good all the time!’ and how true that is.  Jane and I are buzzing around feeling ace, it’s day five I think and we are fully over our ailments brought on by a fairly intense ‘treat’ time in Dublin(Guiness-fest), lots of birthdays in a row (wine and cake-fest) and meals out (plenty of great rich food).  Our bodies are thanking us now and our energy levels are through the roof.  We are also enjoying the naturally slower life, with no lights and electrical appliances at nighttime.

Jane enjoying the slower life - Glynllifon Estate, Caernarfon

Jane enjoying the slower life – Glynllifon Estate, Caernarfon

I had some fairly strong caffeine withdrawal symptoms on day 2, pounding headache and no energy whatsoever.  After a good sleep, this passed.  Its amazing how the body adapts so quickly to things, good or bad and how sensitive you become when eating this wonderful raw stuff!  Happy days indeed.

Salad wise, we had some left over thai curry paste hanging around the  fridge that demanded a dish.  This salad has all the flavours of Thailand and more, when we’re raw we really like to make a fuss over our salads.

Jane and I love Thailand and on rainy afternoons in Wales we sometimes wonder how Bangkok is and our favourite little coast towns; how are those street food stalls doing without us!?  How is a our favourite juice guy near Kaosan Road?  How is the coconut curry man in Prachuap Kiri Khan?  At times like this, the tastebuds are going mental and they need something with the incredibly pungent and fragrant aromas of THAI.  Its unmistakable and I’d almost consider going back just for the food alone, but there are at least a 101 other countries I’d like to visit before I start re-tracing my steps in the global sand.

Nutritionally, this is a beast of a dish; with sweet potato, sesame seeds, peanuts, avocado, spinach, etc etc etc, the list goes on and with a punchy/ creamy dressing to finish things off, its a real main event salad.  When you decide to eat raw vegan, there is very little you can eat that will do you any harm, that’s one of the beautiful things about the lifestyle, pile it on a plate and know that its all good.  No baddies included.

This salad boasts quite a list of ingredients and was mainly dictated by what we had in, but you can very happily have a play with this one; veggies can be chopped and changed and any nut will do here!

Talking of chopping, if you can get them into thin, baton-like shapes, they work best here. The dressing clings to them and they look the part also.

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khwām sngb sukh (peacex)
Makes one large salad bowl full, enough for four hungry munchers.

The Bits

Salad – 1 carrot, 1 stick celery, 1/2 cucumber, 1 red pepper1/2 sweet potato (all chopped into thin batons), 1 cup rocket (arugula to some), 2 spring onions (finely chopped),1 red chilli (finely chopped), 2 cups spinach (finely chopped), 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 cup beansprouts (we used homesprouted mungers aka mung beans), 1 cup basil leaves, 1/2 avocado (scooped out with teaspoon), 1 lime (zest and juice), 1 tbs black sesame seeds, 1/2 cup raw peanuts

Dressing – 2 cup organic coconut cream (the creamier the better), 2 tbs green thai curry paste, 1/2 lime (zest and juice), 2 teas white wine vinegar, 1 handful basil leaves, 1 teas sea salt

Do It

Chop all hard veggie ingredients into long, thin batons leaving the avocado, nuts and basil leaves to the side for topping purposes.  Add all the rest of the ingredient and the hard veggies to a large salad bowl, mix in half of the dressing, combine well and sprinkle over the topping ingredients.

For the dressing, simply blend all together in a food processor.  The texture should be thick and ‘cling-y’ to get sticky all over on the salad.

Serve

Not chilled, but not quite room temperature, this is a good gauge for our salad temps.  To cold and you don’t get the flavour, to warm and you have wilting issues.  We always have a nice surplus of salad dressing in a bowl on standby.

CRUNCH! and ZING!

CRUNCH! and ZING!

We Love It!

Getting back into raw vegan ways is a serious blessing for body, mind and soul.  We are so lucky to both want to lead this type of lifetsyle, if one of us wanted chips everynight it just wouldn’t be the same!  This salad is a far from chips as you can get in the food world.  It’s a proper zinger!

Foodie Fact 

Sesame seeds are outrageously healthy, some say  they are the healthiest food in the world.  These wonder seeds have been with us for many thousands of years and are thought to originate in India, having been mentioned in ancient Hindu texts.

They are very rich in minerals, especially copper, iron, calcium and zinc.  So ‘open sesame’ and pop some in your diet soonXXXXXXX

Categories: gluten-free, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Sweet Thai Mango, Basil & Coconut Rice

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Thai Mango and Coconut Forbidden Purple Rice with Basil (Vegan)…..quite a mouthful this wonder dessert, in more than just the name!

If you love this magical dessert, you have been to Thailand and probably savoured it in a hectic street scene with a plastic spoon and big smile on your face.  It’s one of those experiences that etches itself on your memory, your first taste of sticky coconut rice is not easily forgotten.

The very mention of this desert and I’m weak at the knee; one foot in dessert heaven, its full of unspeakably good sweet stuff and awesome flavour combos. As you may gather, I quite like this dish, it’s up there with my top desserts of all time (ever) in the world.

I’m not a huge dessert fella, but sweet coconut rice topped with mango is something I’d swim to Thailand to try again.  Jane brought it all the way to the Beach House and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Jane made this ‘Forbidden Rice’ for one of our date nights (in). We are some of the luckiest folks you’ll ever meet and get much good luck/ news/ people crossing our paths and we felt like celebrating it all. I opened something fizzy and Jane disappeared into the bowels of the Beach House Kitchen to work her culinary magic spatulas, and what a feast we had. The Corn and Coconut Korma (recipe coming soon) was something to write home about (even though we were already home) but the dessert…………..I do a lot of the cooking in the B.H.K. and I also work in a kitchen for my sins, so to have a dinner presented to you with such care is a recipe for a magic night.

Purple rice (sometimes called black rice) was deemed so special, fragrant and nutty, it was only served to emperors in ancient China, hence the ‘forbidden’ moniker.  It was also popular in the fascinating Indian region of Manipur, where it is still served on very special occasions to much fanfare.  It is believed that all of the strains of this rice lead back to the Manipur region.  It is a glutinous rice and is grown in many different countries now, it is exceptionally nutritious (see the Foodie Fact) and has a distinct, full flavour.  This rice also makes for a very funky porridge.

The only problem is getting hold of the stuff, the real deal is hard to find.  Jane picked some up in Glastonbury, which is the heart of all things obscure and nutritious foodstuffs within the UK.  I imagine if you live in certain pockets of California it grows on trees there!  But generally, it may take a while to track down.  Our advise, persevere and bring this dessert into your life.   Of you can’t get black, go white jasmine instead.

This is an easy dessert to make and is perfect for when you fancy adding something a little exotic to proceedings; mango and coconut are a legendary pair and the coconut pouring sauce, quite literally, tops it off.

We had some pouring sauce left over and its been making cheeky appearances on all sorts of things, mainly bowls of muesli.

You may like to add a little jasmine thai rice to the mix, it turns a wonderful purple colour when combined with the purple/black rice.

A word on coconut milk: there is some real rubbish out there.  We have managed to find a little sustainable Sri Lankan project that makes the finest coco milk, it cannot be compared with the stuff you’ll find clogging most supermarket shelves.

MORE BEACH HOUSE DESSERTS TO TICKLE YOUR FANCY:

Raw Coconut Lime Cheesecake

Moist Almond and Olive Cake

Raw Chocolate Brownies

Raw Strawberry Tartlets

Sweet Coconuts and Happy Days to you allXXXXX

 

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Sweet Thai Mango, Basil & Coconut Rice (Gluten-free, vegan)

Makes enough for two very lucky folk

The Bits – For 2

1/2 cup black rice (or any rice you prefer really)

1 big handful of jasmine rice

1 can sustainable coconut milk

1/2 cup sugar (we used unrefined brown)

1/2 teas sea salt

1 ripe/ fragrant mango

 

Garnish

2 tbs toasted dried coconut (desiccated coconut will do)

Several leaves of basil (we forgot the first one, but it would be amazing)

 

Do It

Soak black rice for four hours or overnight to get nice and tender.

Cook all rice in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to a boil, simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until tender but still with a little bite.  Drain, keep warm.

Pour coco milk (make sure you get all the cream from the bottom of the can), sugar and salt into saucepan and bring to boil, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly.  Reserve a cup for pouring at this stage.

Add your rice to the saucepan, heat again gently to a boil, then simmer for 10 mins until it thickens.  Check sweetness.

Cut mangoes, this can be quite a fiddle, so heres a little example of how its best done by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone (we loved the name).   This will give you cubes, for the thin slices, just take off the skin at  the cubing stage and slice thinly.  Any questions, we are here to help on the mango hotline, Wales.

Next up toast your coconut in a small frying pan, medium heat for 5-8 minutes will do and this can be done well in advance, although warm is better.

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Forbidden Purple Rice gets a drizzle

Forbidden Purple Rice gets a drizzle

Serve

In lovely shallow bowls (small servings are best as this is a very rich dessert), spoon in your purple rice, lay on your slices of mango (fan shapes look brilliant here) and offer the pouring sauce in a small jug.  The general sweetness of the dish will be enough for most.

Sprinkle on your coconut and basil leaves and serve warm and immediately.

 

We Love It!

You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve heard me get all excited, you imagine the flavours……..you know you’ll love it!

 

Foodie Fact

Purple/ black rice contains all of the 18 amino acids, which means that technically you can live on the stuff.  Great for dessert islands (small joke there)!  It is also high in iron, zinc, copper, caroten and several great vitamins.

It also contains anthocyanins, which make it black and are also found in blueberries and peppers.  This chemical mops up bad molecules and is a poweful anti-oxidant.

Purple/ black rice has also be touted as  the new superfood against the big C (cancer).

 

Tunes

Because music and food are the same thing, one in your ear, one in your mouth……

Two tunes this time from Beach House radio and both relevant to this incredible dessert.  Deep Purple ‘Child in Time’ for the deep purple of the rice and because it reminds me of the dawning or rock music in my world (I was around 10 years old in the back seat of a car when it hit me like bolt, you can wail and not be told off! IT’S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL.  If I could sing like Ian Gillan, I’d happily forgo my forbidden rice.

and a shaky clip from one of my favourite music bars in the world, the Adhere Blues Bar (just of the infamous and rubbish Khaosan Road) in Thailand (queue more wailing with a Thai accent).

Categories: Desserts, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Pina Colada Juice

Pina Colada Juice

At this time of the year, with summer on the wane, you need some colour adding.  You need something to remind you that holidays, beaches and the sun, are not just figments of your imagination.  They exist and are alive and well in this pina colada.  It is guaranteed to add a little tropical swing to any day.  Sweet and vibrant, when we tried this, we both felt like we were back on a Thai island or any land where the pineapple grows.

Pineapples always remind me of Costa Rica, where in many places, pineapple plantations stretch to the horizon.  Quite a site, rows and rows of those sharp leaves.  Pineapples take  a long time to grow, like a lot of the fruit and veg we eat and they are real gifts from the earth.  They also look quite amazing, bar the rambutan and the dragon fruit, is there a cooler looking fruit?

You can technically grow your own pineapple, just take the severed head part and plant it in the ground.  Quite shallow.  After a year, a pineapple may have grown.  We have not tried this for obvious reasons.  Wales is not a pineapple friendly environment (however the raspberries are looking well this year).

You can see we quaffed this with a rather funky fruit salad, putting the meat of the coconut to good use with some other fruits seeds and yoghurt.  You can try to make your own coconut butter/paste, just blend it up in a decent blender and after a few minutes it will take on a lovely creamy texture.  Ideal to keep in the fridge and add to dishes.

This sweet and tarty juice takes half a pineapple to make, but its well worth it and the lime juice adds a nice tang to proceedings.  We’ve added a little bit of canned coco milk, for creaminess.  The combo of coco and pineapple is always tantalising and a quick burst of escapism in the morning sets you up nicely for the day.

The Bits

1/2 pineapple, 1/4 tin organic coconut milk (stirred and creamy), juice of 1 fresh coconut (the water only), 1 squeeze of lime juice.

Do It

Get the magimix fired up!

Juice your pineapple in large chunks into a large container.  Stir in the coco water and milk.  Just before serving, squeeze a little lime into the juice and stir.

Serve 

Immediately, with sun hats on and some calypso music.

We Love It!

It’s a tropical juice to spark wanderlust in even the most rooted of souls.  The tropical beaches seem ever closer with this juice in your life.

Foodie Fact 

Pineapples are drought tolerant and the plant grows up to 8ft tall.  Pineapples are a brilliant source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.  They also contain bromelian and incredible enzyme that actually helps you digest your food and fight all sorts of infection/ disease.

View of a autumn sunset from the Beach House Kitchen window

Categories: Juices, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Avocado, Coconut & Lime Cheesecake

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This is just one of those recipes that comes along, out of the great blue yonder, that catches the eye and demands to be made.  This floated by via a recommendation from Yolanda at the wonderful Byzantine Flowers blog.  There are millions of recipes hovering around out there, but only a small minority grab me and really get my creative juices flowing.  I like something a little bit different, something challenging and new.  When I saw that this cheesecake had either kale, beetroot leaves or spinach in it, I knew I’d discovered a new dessert for me to play with.  I’m strange like that!!

MERCI CHEF!

We are in veggie heaven at the moment after helping chef strim his garden.  To be honest it was more of a wild field than a garden and due to our combined efforts in helping tame his jungle, chef gifted us a serious glut of amazing vegetables from his pristine veg garden (you can see where his priorities lie!).

Chef lives way up in the hills and has a fantastic garden that he and his Zimbabwean wife, Estele, take magnificent care of.  Estele is a natural with the good earth and can grow things that just shouldn’t grow in these temperate parts.  Chef is a proud frenchman and quite handy with a strimmer and mandolin.  Thanks to them we are now the proud owners of literally bin bags full of incredibly sweet spinach, fiery mint, intense chives, vibrant cabbage and some of the most vivid carrots.  You may be seeing more of these ingredients soon (maybe in desserts?!)  I have never tasted spinach this sweet (see below), the seeds came from chefs sister in the Loire Valley in France.  Ideal dessert spinach I’d say.

Raw desserts normally have a lot of components, but they are easy to get together and require a lot less messing around than normal baking (its not going to sink, burn, crumble, split……etc), it just sits there on the plate looking sexy.  I’ve never used pumpkin seeds in a base before and I think they taste even better than nuts.  Less fat, more flavour.  Seed bases are a winner.  The filling is rich and bright green (the spinach doing its thing) and you won’t believe that cream cheese wasn’t added.  It’s so smooth and creamy.

Who needs flowers

In the bright, green future, we’ll all be eating these!

Here’s the recipe with a few Beach House additions.  I stuck with handfuls, rather than exact measuring, here because its so straightforward and we love getting our mitts involved in cooking!!!

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Avocado, Coconut & Lime Cheesecake (raw, gluten-free, vegan, yum!)

Avocado, Coconut & Lime Cheesecake

The Bits – 6 little cheesecakes or one large one

Crust

4 big handfuls pumpkin seeds

2 big handfuls dates (pitted and soaked in warm water for an hour)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 teas tahini

Pinch sea salt

 

Filling

2 avocadoes (peeled and stoned)

3 big handfuls spinach leaves (washed)

2 handfuls dates (pitted and soaked n warm water an hour)

125ml (1/2 cup) water/ water from date soaking

3 tbs lime juice

2 tbs coconut flakes/ desiccated

1 tbs coconut oil (melted)

1 tbs maple syrup

1 tsp lime zest

Pinch of sea salt

The pumpkin seed bases

Do It

Using a food processor, pulse the pumpkin seeds, dates, vanilla, tahini and salt together until they start to clump into a ball.  Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up.

On a chopping board, using your hands, press the ball down into a flattish sheet (approx 1.5cm thick).  Then take a cake/cookie cutter and cut circles.  Roll up the leftovers and make another smaller sheet, repeat this until most of the base mix is used (eat the rest.  Yum!)

In the mix

Get all of your filling ingredients in your food processor/ blender and blitz up until nice and smooth.  Place you cake/ cookie cutter over your bases and spoon in a good layer of mix, using the spoon, even out the mix and make sure it meets the edges (giving you a nice looking, clean edge).  Gently pull off the cutter, your cheesecake should look splendid.  If not, be more careful with the next one!  Repeat until your mix runs out.

As I mentioned, the base can be rolled up into little balls and snacked on at a later date, so no waste here.

Please feel free to play with sizes and shapes.  We used this cutter as it makes for a decent dessert size and was handy.  The original recipe was more of a cupcake size.

Serve

They don’t last long, for many reasons, the avocado doesn’t help (so creamy!)  Serve them immediately with thin slices of lime, bits of coconut or as we did, a sprinkle of coconut flakes and a few pumpkin seeds.

We Love It!

People look quite disgusted when we tell them we’ve been making desserts with spinach in.  Hopefully they’ll read this post and have their minds changed, even better, they’ll actually try it for themselves.  Vegan desserts are the future, next week, garlic beer! (joking)

Foodie Fact

Coconut oil is an excellent substitute to cooking oils and especially butter.  It has been heralded as a ‘superfood’ and it certainly is.  The benefits of coco oil are many, for example, it can even be rubbed into your hair and skin giving amazing nutrition to both. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but they are mainly lauric acid, which actually helps repair the heart and arteries.  These fats also contain micro-biological qualities that fight bad bacteria and fungi in your guts, they also help you absorb many vitamins and minerals.  I could go on here……..I’m sure you get the idea.  Eat more cocos!

Categories: Desserts, Raw Food, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Raw Vegetable & Coconut Curry

One bright day in June (the bright day in June), our picnic spot, above Beddgelert

So the raw food lifestyle is continuing in the Beach House, this is a good sign.  We have been feeling good and loving experimenting with raw foods, so we are rolling on raw well into July.

Our aim is to eat a lot of raw food, but soon start cooking again.  I cook alot at work, but its not the food that excites me, it seems a strange idea getting the pots and pans out again at home.  The oven, instead of the food processor.  I’m sure it will happen gradually and at the right time.  I still haven’t drank a coffee or any wine, again, it just seems like a strange thing to get back into now.  Those of you who have been on a raw diet will know how I feel.

It has been an atrocious June for weather, we’ve had a fire on most nights and the rain and wind has lashed down on our poor little seedlings.  Even with this wintery weather,  Jane and I have been perfectly happy with salads and cold food.  I think a full raw food diet (ps – when I say diet here, its not like a weight loss diet, just what we are eating) in winter is a possibility, whereas before I would have not considered it.  No hot soups!

One spoonful of this curry and we both exclaimed “This is the best yet!” Which is always a nice thing to hear about something.  This coconut curry has a lovely sweetness, the smooth richness of the creamed coconut and the gentle warming hint of garam masala.

We have not been eating a great deal of spice of late, the raw diet it not overtly anything really (bar amazingly healthy food). This dish added so much needed spice back to our lives.

I think this curry is a real winner this summertime. Raw food is, of course, perfect for a sunny day (which are rare in these parts, but hopefully on their way).  Summer is the ideal time to dabble with raw food and this Coco Curry would make an interesting salad to serve as a side dish at a barbecue or take for a picnic to a beauty spot.  It keeps well and is nice and quick to get together.

If you’re not a raw one, this will go very nicely with something like a cold rice salad.  You can even heat it up!  The flavours will still be amazing.  It can be thinned down for a lovely soup (just add a little stock or water)  and used as it is for a dipping and spreading.

The original inspiration comes from the brilliant British raw food book “Eat Smart, Eat Raw’ by Kate Hill, but I have dabbled with the recipe to bring it more into line with our taste.  That means more spice, more garlic, more ginger……..we like a big and bold flavour in the BHK.

Cauliflower can be used as a substitute for rice in the raw food world.  You just need to chop it up very finely, or stick it in a food processor, and it resembles rice but without the stodge factor.

The serving here is enough for four strapping individuals.  Jane and I saved some for lunch the next day.

The salad base, as you can see, we like ours chunky!

The Bits

Sauce

1/2 tin of organic coconut milk

1 avocado

4 dates (pitted)

4 tomatoes

1 carrot

1 medium onion

2 tbsp tamari (or soya sauce)

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tbsp turmeric

1/2 red chilli

1 inch cube ginger

2 cloves garlic

150ml water

 

Salad/ Filling

3 tbsp raisins

2 handfuls green lentil/ mung bean sprouts

1/2 handful of chopped coriander (with a little saved for topping)

2 handfuls of spinach

2 sticks celery (finely chopped)

1 carrots (finely chopped)

1/2 cauliflower (finely chopped)

1 handful of mangetout

1/2 butternut squash (chopped into little cubes)

The Coco curry pre-mix

Do It

Salad – We use a food processor, because it is so easy.  You lose the individuality of hand chopping, but it saves alot of time, especially when you’re eating raw foods and most of your days could be spent peeling and chopping veggies.  Most of these contraptions have a chopping and grating blade as standard that can come in very handy.  However on this occasion we hand chopped, just to be awkward!

So, put carrots, celery and cauliflower in food processor.  Chop up your butternut squash and avocado into small chunks and mix all of these with the other ingredients in nice big bowl.

Sauce – Chop all vegetables into manageable chunks for your food processor.  Ginger, garlic and chilli should be finely chopped.  Put it all into the food processor and give it a whirl.  Make sure you hold the lid down firmly to begin with, if its a small one like ours, it tends to jump around a little.

Indo Coco Curry (Raw)

Serve

Sprinkle on left over coriander, raisins and grated coconut (dessicated coconut is fine).  We ran out of coriander and forgot the coconut!  It would look grand though, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

We rarely have time for presentation touches as we are such scoffers!  In the bowl, quick pic then get stuck in!  Tends to be the order of eating affairs in the Beach House.

You could try it with some cauliflower rice (see above), it makes for an interesting change.

Foodie Fact

You may have heard that coconut is full of fat, well it is, but they are great fats!  Avocado, nuts, seeds etc do contain a high proportion of fats, but they do not harm your body like the fats in processed foods or donuts!

The fat in coconut does not raise your cholesterol levels like saturated fats in animal products.   It is actually the most health-giving oil available, you can buy coconut oil for cooking.  The make up of the fats is similar to mothers milk, the lauric acid (a fatty acid in mother’s milk) has antibacterial qualities.

Categories: Dinner, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Raw Carrot Dip

Raw Carrot Dip

It was time to wish Savannah goodbye and good luck for her trip to Spain, so we made her a beach house special raw lunch.  Over the last few days I have come to realise I LOVE preparing food raw.  It is a new found passion for me! It’s so quick, easy, the washing up takes two minutes, and I am learning about some amazing ingredients that make everything SO tasty.  Plus the herb garden herbs are becoming so bushy of late they are just perfect.

This makes a jam jar full 🙂
The Bits
3 large carrots, half an onion, chopped parsley, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 4 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp water
Do It
Chop the carrot and onion (we used the grater blade in our blender which grated everything perfectly), put everything into the blender and blend for a couple of minutes and then have a little taste – YUM!
We Love It!
This adds a nice bit of richness to our salads and can be used for dipping or spreading on your favourite things.
Foodie Fact
Tahini has an incredibly high nutritional content, full of most of the vitamin B’s and calcium.  In most diets, calcium is taken in via cows milk which is not great for the digestive system, potentially leading to irritation and other difficulties.  Many people believe that tahini has the highest calcium content of any food.

Fresh coco and nut yogurt

We thought we’d add this little snack on, we made it as a fatty number to be eaten 3 hours after our sugary morning fruit salad and before dinner (see our Raw Food No No’s for why?)  We chopped up fresh coconut, a handful of mixed nuts (unroasted) and a good blob of soya yogurt.
Happy dippingX
Love, JaneXXXX

Sunshine lettuce

 

Categories: gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Sauces, Side Dish, Snacks and Inbetweens, Superfoods, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coconut & Sweet Potato Polenta with Asian Vegetables

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Mwynhewch eich bwyd! (Bon appetit in Welsh)

The East meets Wales with a stopover in Rome.

This is a rich polenta dish that adds a full-on Eastern flavour to this very European dish.
We served this dish with pan-fried Asian vegetables, flavoured with sweet chilli. We kept the veg organic and as local as possible, so we made some substitutions here. Instead of water chestnut, we used chunks of jerusalem artichoke, instead of pak choi, we used swiss chard, instead of spring onion, we used leek.  You can use any mixture of veg here, preferably a good mix of colours and textures.

This is luxurious modern dish that takes little time to prepare and was inspired by chef Paul Gayler, who’s recipes I find extaordinary.

This makes enough for two hungry people with leftovers.

The Bits

Polenta

1 large sweet potato (peeled and chopped)

1 1/2 pint of veg. stock

1 1/2 cups of coconut milk

4 cups of polenta

salt and pepper

 

Veg

3 cloves of sliced garlic

1 leek sliced

2cm cube of ginger sliced

1 teas chilli flakes or fresh sliced chilli

1 small head of broccoli chopped

4 jerusalem artichoke chopped into chunks

1 large carrot

1 large handful of chopped swiss chard

splash of veg stock

4 tbls sweet chilli sauce (we use Linghams brand)

splash of veg oil

 

Do It

Polenta – Simmer veg stock in pan, cook sweet potato in stock until tender, around 15 minutes.  Blend with stock to a smooth paste in a blender.  Put mix back into a pan, add coconut milk, bring to a gentle simmer and add polenta gradually whilst stirring.  Texture should be that of a wet mash.  Season.  Cover and leave on a low heat until serving.

Veg. – Move onto veg, all pre-chopped and ready to go (important when cooking in an asian style, which is quickly cooked and immediately served, fresh and crunchy).  Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok, add garlic, ginger and chilli, fry for 30 seconds, add all veg and toss together for a couple of minutes, then add the splash of stock and chilli sauce.

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The new Beach House herb garden

Serve

In big warmed bowls, polenta poured into the base topped by the veg., spoon on the sauce  Serve and eat asap.

We Love It!

This is a really new take on Polenta for me.  The coconut adds a real luxurious finish to the polenta, which the sweet sauce compliments perfectly.  YUM.

Foodie Fact

Ginger, a pungent root with incredible properties.  Famed throughout the ages for its soothing effect on the intestines.  It can ease intestinal gas and relax the digestive tract.  Ginger is very effective at eliminating the effects of motion sickness and can generally help against nausea.  It contains gingerols that are a powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, aiding ailments like arthritis.  Gingerols also help us to fight off the big ‘C’.  Ginger boosts the immune system, which is why it seems so good on a cold morning with a little hot lemon and honey.  What a root!

Boozy Bit

Light white, medium bodied wine.  I would recommend a nice German White like a Riesling or Gewürztraminer.  Good German whites are not cheap, but well worth it, especially with spiced Eastern dishes.

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Jane outside the Beach House, the day after the spring blizzard.

Categories: Local food, Recipes, Special Occasion, Vegan, Wales, Welsh produce, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Spinach Smoothie

A shot of pure green goodness

This smoothie will kick any day off with a natural sugar hit and good dosing of iron to wake you up and feed your sleepy body.  Sweet and smooth with an iron fix.

It is so simple and quick to make and is Janes favourite morning booster.  You won’t be craving biscuits for elevensies either, the banana will see you through!

The Bits

1 1/2 bananas per person (ideally, I have two because I’m like a sloth in the morning)

2 tbsp coconut cream

Two good handfuls of spinach

A splash of water (to get it all blended nicely)

Need balast?  Add a handful of oats.

Do it

Stick it all in your blender and whizz until smooth.

Serve

Jane eats it from a bowl with a spoon, topped with some finely sliced veggies, celery is nice.  I glug from a glass, which is scrapped out after with a spoon.

We Love It

Its so easy and nutritious and its very green!

Foodie Fact

Spinach is famous as a good source of iron, but surprisingly not as good as much as most beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.  Even a dried apricot has more iron!.

Bananas are packed with natural fruit sugar (frustose), the highest of any fruit by a jungle mile.  This is still relatively low compared to most maufactured sweet foods.  They are great for the digestive system, with lots of fibre and also rich in Vitamin C and Potassium.

Categories: Breakfast, gluten-free, Raw Food, Recipes, Smoothies, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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