Posts Tagged With: good cholesterol

Avocado and Basil Cheese

Avocado and Basil Cheese

Avocado and Basil Cheese

The idea for this little wonder came from the venerable Paul Gayler, a man who is a top, top chef and also creates magic vegetarian food.  We had his book out of the library ‘Pure Vegetarian’ and it was refreshing to read such inventive vegetarian dishes created by a chef who is not actually vegetarian himself.

I wrote down quite a few of the recipes, but this one stuck in my mind and I’ve been going on about it ever since, ‘Jane we must make that avocado cheese’ was becoming a daily muttering as I opened the fridge.  Finally, I got around to it and it was worth the wait.

Somethings are just meant to go together, and creamy cheese, avocado and lemon is a match made is tasteville.  I added some Basil because we have a profusion (I have no idea where Jane is getting it all from!)

Preparation is simple here and for a vegan alternative, try it with well drained firm tofu or even cashew cheese.  If you are not a huge fan of feta, try ricotta instead.  You’ll be downgrading the flavourful, salty tang of the feta, but the most important thing is that you try this recipe!  In fact, it could be called more of  technique, mashing avocado with different delicious ingredients.  Hmmmmm, this could become a hobby of sorts.

Here it is, in all its glory and simplicity.  Green cheese!

The Bits 

1 avocado (Haas is best), 1 block of tofu or feta, 1/2 lemon (juice only), 10 basil leaves (finely shredded), 1 tbs nutritional yeast flakes (if using tofu)

Avocado cheese in the mix

Avocado cheese in the mix

Do It

Two ways- for a chunkier finish to the cheese, place all ingredients in a bowl and mash together using a masher or a fork.  This is a nice hands on way of getting it together.

Alternatively, for a smoother cheese, pop all ingredients in a blender and whizz up until well mixed and all is green and smooth.

If you are using tofu or ricotta, you may need to add a pinch of sea salt to the mix.

Tip – When scraping out the avocado (this is true for most fruit and vegetables) make sure to scrape out the parts closest to the skin, if you can, use the skin.  This is where the highest levels of nutrients are found.


We had ours simply lathered on celery sticks but I’m eating an oatcake now drowned in this glorious creation and it seems really good on anything.  Use in salads or on pan fried/ steamed vegetables.

Avocado and Basil Cheese

Avocado and Basil Cheese

We Love It!

This will be a regular in our fridge this summer, it will not keep for long with the avocado turning brown quickly, but it wont last long anyway!

Foodie Fact

There are always odd facts and advice about food.  Avocado got a bad name previously for having high fat, but its good fat, natural fat.   These fats regulate your blood sugar levels and boost levels of good cholesterol.  Avos contains all of the amino acids which are absorbed into the body via the high fibre content of avocado.   They are also high in carotenoids which are high in vitamin A (and normally associated with carrots) A is a great vitamin for protecting the body.

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Homemade Peanut Butter

I’ve been buying expensive organic peanut butter for years.  It’s well worth having in the cupboard, it adds great flavour and nutrients to a whole host of dishes and snacks.

Recently it struck me, why not make my own?

So I peeled a bag of monkey nuts and realised peanut butter can be made by anyone with a blender (or pestle and mortar and lots of time) and some nuts.

It’s this simple:

The Bits

2 cups of roasted peanuts (unsalted)

A pinch of salt

Do It

Get your blender with a blade on, add peanuts (I warm and colour them slightly in a frying pan beforehand, not necessary).  Pinch of salt or spoonful of honey (if you’re a sweetie).  Blend until creamy.  Takes around 5 minutes.

If you’re feeling like getting really in touch with your P.B., you can mash them up in a pestle and mortar.  This takes a while and is much messier.

We Love It

Mix in into curries to give a new dimension of flavour and glowing finish, especially Thai style coconut curries.  Cor!

Foodie Fact

Peanuts are actually a legume!  They are often called earth nuts and are high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.  They contain good amounts of dietary protein, essential for growth and development and resveratrol, which is a super antioxidant.  A handful of peanuts per day will provide you with a large amount of your required minerals, proteins and vitamins.  Wonder nut!

Categories: gluten-free, Healthy Living, Recipes, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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