Posts Tagged With: honey

Himalayan Porridge

 

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Himalayan Porridge

We are a long, long way from the Himalayas at the moment.  We can see the beautiful blue Mediterranean from our terrace!  There are a few hills, but thats it for undulations.  It is winter here in Murcia though and it can get a little chilly in the mornings so this very special porridge has kept Jane and I nice and cosy.

This recipe has made it’s way to the Beach House all the way from the high Himalayas in northwest India, a tiny village set below some of the most beautiful mountain ranges imaginable.  Our wonderful friend Mary is spending the winter up there with her new husband Arjun.  Mary is braving  -20oC weather conditions and much snow in a small traditional house.  The peace and beauty of the place is truly magical.

This porridge is a recipe that they make together regularly to warm their cockles; simple, cheap and very hearty.  This porridge sticks to the ribs all day and acts as central heating for the body way up there in the mountain airs.

I visited the Himalayas a couple of years ago and was blown away by the beauty, diversity and scale of this mountain range.  I had the pleasure of meeting Mary in the small village that she now calls home, but luckily visited in the summertime when it is snow free!

Up in the Himalayas, near the source of the Ganges, 2010

Up in the Himalayas, near the source of the Ganges, 2010

This porridge is super high energy food and will set anybody up for the day ahead.  Nuts, honey, oats and coconut mean that it’s a very tasty treat too and the spices add a very Indian flavour.  Most of the ingredients must be soaked the night before, this makes them swell up and release more nutrients, it also makes them easier to digest and cook.

We didn’t have cashews for the recipe, so we used hazelnuts instead.  Cashews will certainly give it more of Himalayan feel, they are freely available up there.

Remember to cook your porridge on a low heat and stir regularly.  Good porridge needs good lovin’ and attention.  No lumps, nice and smooth.

We have made this recipe dairy free by using soya yoghurt and milk and it is equally delicious.

Over to Mary, way up their in the rare airs……

The Bits

2 mugs of organic oats, lots of whole organic milk, 1 small handful of freshly grated coconut, 4 cardamoms, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 1 full handful of organic sultanas, honey (to taste), handful of cashew nuts chopped and roasted (without using oil), live Greek yogurt

Do It

Leave all the ingredient’s (bar honey, nuts and yogurt) soaking in milk overnight. In the morning add more milk and simmer as slowly as possible (this is one for the bottom of an Arga) for 30 minutes using one of those flat metal mats to diffuse the flame.

Pour onto a dinner plate and spread evenly. Wait for 5 minutes then cover with a thin’ish layer of live curd (organic thick Greek yogurt will suffice), drizzle honey on top and sprinkle with halved roasted cashew nuts.  Serve the liquid from the coconut first to aid digestion. The nuts and coconut take a number of hours to digest so it’s very satisfying for us poor sadhus!

Serve

Allow to cool (remember the three bears story!!!!) and top with more nuts and raisins.

Himalayan Porridge (by the pool!)

Himalayan Porridge (by the pool in a tapas bowl!)

We Love It!

Just thinking about Mary and Arjun sitting around their fire and eating this breakfast fills us with the magic of travel and the beauty of world.

Foodie Fact

Oats are a hardy grain that flourishes in the worst of soil conditions.  Even though most oats are hulled this does not remove their bran and germ, this maintains their nutritional and fibre properties.  If sustenance and energy is what you are looking for, you cannot beat an oat.  They are also great for people suffering from diabetes or heart conditions due to some unique antioxidants.

Mary at her tiger pool up in the Himalayas

Mary at her tiger pool up in the Himalayas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Breakfast, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Coriander and Mint Tea with Lemon Flower Honey

Coriander and Mint Tea with Lemon Flower Honey

Coriander and Mint Tea with Lemon Flower Honey

A refreshing green leaf tea with the gorgeous addition of local lemon flower honey, perfect for a cleansing morning tipple.  We need all the help we can get in the mornings to get fully charged!

The lemon flower honey comes from a local co-operative in Murcia, Coato, who produced organic produce in a region where that term is rarely used.  We visited recently and stocked up on all things Spanish; olives, almonds, olive oil, dried chillies, paprika, saffron……the list goes on, we got carried away.  This honey is really something different, worthy of the name ‘Gold Liquid’.  It has a mousselike white honey on the top and then sticky, lemony honey below. Lucky us!

The Bits

1 handful of mint leaves (stems are fine), 1/2 handful of coriander leaves and stems, honey to taste.

Do It

Add all to a kettle and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.

We Love It!

Full of green goodness with wonderful local lemon honey.  What a treat!

Foodie Fact

Coriander is full of anti-oxidants and dietary fibre, it also has bags of potassium, iron and calcium to get you in good shape for the day ahead.

 

 

Categories: Infusions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wonders of Honeygar and the Alkaline Body

Hagar (Honey and Cider Vinegar)

Honey and cider vinegar combined with just boiled water is normally called ‘Honeygar’ and a mighty fine thing it is.  This potion is not only a lovely brew (an acquired taste) it also has great health properties and cures many ailments.  Both Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians are said to have appreciated the healing properties of cider vinegar.  It  has also been used as an anti-aging elixir, which is always popular!

Good cider vinegar is a completely natural product and is normally made by allowing crushed apples to ferment in oak barrels.  It has cleansing and disinfecting properties which self detoxify the body and it is a powerful cleansing agent and healing elixir with naturally occurring antibiotic and antiseptic that fights germs and bacteria.  Honey (unprocessed) is normally added to make the drink more palatable.

Cider Vinegar also helps to keep the body nicely alkaline.  Vinegar is obviously acid but when broken down in the stomach becomes alkaline.  An alkaline body fights germs and disease better and helps to ward off ailments such as bladder and kidney conditions, osteoporosis, aching muscles, low energy and chronic fatigue, and slow digestion.

Raw fruits, leafy green vegetables, tea and legumes are examples of alkaline foods.  Interestingly a foods actual pH is not a good indicator of a food that has acidic effects on the body, for example, lemons and limes when processed by the body actually have a very alkaline effect.  All animal products are acid forming, even if they have a alkaline pH prior to digestion.  The ideal ratio of alkaline to acid foods in a diet id 70/30.  High stress levels can also effect the amount of acid produced in the body.  For more on getting alkaline see here.

Cider vinegar is especially good at treating arthritis and with the British national health service restricting the access to arthritis treatments, many people are looking for alternative methods of treatment.  There have been many articles recently in the press verifying these healing effects.

Lillies on the windowsill (nothing to do with Cider Vinegar, but lovely non-the-less)

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the famous explorer and endurance chap, suffered with arthritis in his hand and hip and turned to drinking honeygar.  He says “Without it I wouldn’t be able to have done all the things I have done…it has completely kept my arthritis at bay.”

Honeygar is best drank regularly and can take a while to kick in, so stick with it.  It also must be combined with a low acid diet, that means no nasty foods high in sugar, nothing processed (factory food) and alcohol.  If you have stiff muscles and joints, try taking regular hot baths with epsom salts.

I have a hip that clicks and a dodgy neck, which are probably old injures from when I was young and used to do terrible things to my body, all in the name of sports.  I have started to drink honeygar and will keep you posted on the progress of my dodgy bits.

I think the message is, get off those awful painkillers and other drugs if you can and try something different.  There is enough evidence out there to suggest that honeygar and a huge number of other alternative remedies actually work.   This is not always backed up by medical tests, but who needs that when it works!

When buying cider vinegar, check that it contains the ‘mother’ and is organic.  This ensures that it is completely natural, the good stuff, and has not been distilled.   The distillation process kills of the powerful enzymes and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, iron copper, fluorine, silicon, pectin and natural malic and tartaric acids, which are important in fighting body toxins and inhibiting bacteria growth.

‘Hagar’ Recipe

Add 2 tbs cider vinegar and top up with freshly boiled water, add honey to taste (1 tbs is normally good for us)

Some of the info for this post came from the great benefits of honey site and an article in the Daily Telegraph

*Since writing is article Lee has gone fully vegan and now uses other sweeteners like maple syrup or date syrup to sweeten this drink.  The apple cider vinegar is the main reason for drinking Hagar and can be sweetened with whatever you prefer. 

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Categories: Healing foods, Healthy Living, Infusions, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments

Raw Honey and Almond Porridge

Jane making porridge (with pink dressing gown)

Sweet and comforting and slightly warm (and still technically raw).  Jane whipped this porridge up and it proved a real treat.

Raw foods are normally vegan organic wholefoods that haven’t been heated above 46oC.  This porridge is heated with warm water or milk, just enough to give the groats a nice creamy texture.  I love this, as I quite like cold porridge anyway, it sits in the fridge until you need it and comes back to life with a little glug of liquid and a stir.  I’d eat this even if I wasn’t a raw-er.

Just because we are raw doesn’t mean we’ve got rid of our need for sweetness.  Jane has been craving oats cakes and chocolate (always), I have been eyeing the crispy golden chips at work.  But we are both dedicated to this months rawness, we love the idea of this experiment and challenge.

We will be eating this porridge for breakfast and for dessert and, as I mentioned, it will sit happily in the fridge until you have the need for a bowl of goodness. In fact this is sweet two times, with the raisins and honey. Jane has that wicked sweet tooth!

Oat groats are the raw version of rolled oats, which are heated during the process and have had some of the goodness removed. Oat groats are simply the hulled grain.

Next time we makes this we will be using agave syrup as a sweetener and then raw molasses, maybe add some coconut (Jane and her friend shiny Sava have scoffed it all today!) or other nuts. Its a method that demands experimentation.

I realise that some of this raw food has alot in it! Its quite specialised stuff and you cannot avoid a trip to the health store if you would like to go raw.  It would be very limiting and as we all know, health stores equal tasty prices.  It’s well worth the investment in quality though, we have an apple cider vinegar which is almost my new favourite thing (its contains the mother!) coming just behind the dried seaweed.  This diet is opening us up to so many new and interesting food stuffs and already completely changing the way we eat and approach food.

Cinnamon is not necessarily raw, but…c’est la vie!

Raw Honey and Almond Porridge

The Bits
2 cups soaked oat groats, 1 tbsp brown linseeds, 2 cups raw almond milk (or water), 2 teas flaxseed oil (we used local Welsh rape seed oil Blodyn Au, which is delicious), handful of raisins, handful of chopped almonds (soaked overnight, they will swell to twice there size), 1 tbsp really good honey, 1 tsp cinnamon,

Do It
Soak your groats for around 12 hours, they wont sprout. Put into a blender and blitz until smooth, like a thick mash. Add the raisins, honey, oil, seeds and cinnamon and blend again. Then add the heated almond milk (heat just until steam begins to rise) and blend to a smooth puree. Stir in the raisins and nuts and serve as soon as you can.  Slightly warm.

Serve

Topped with a couple of nuts and another sprinkle of cinnamon.  If you have some soya yoghurt, you may like to spoon a little on top (if its a special occasion).

We Love It!

Soaked nuts are brilliant!  We recommend it highly, the have great flavlour, double in size and are healthier.

Foodie Fact

Oat groats are one of the least processed grains, they are rough and take a long time to digest, keeping you nice and full.  They are also full of protein.

Categories: Breakfast, Raw Food, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

May’s Coffee Challenge – Carvetii Coffee

El Tablon – Carvetti Coffee

The month of May rolls on, punctuated by some very fine coffees.  No more coffee for me in June, we are going totally raw (that means eating food that is not cooked above 40 odd degrees, maintaining nutrients, enzymes etc).  I decided to go out with a bang and fit as much brilliant coffee into May as was feasible to body and mind, gradually reducing my sipping towards the end of the month.  So this is it, the last bag of the month and I couldn’t have wished for a better example of why I love coffee.  It’s a Carvetii Coffee.

Today is a radiant day up here in North Wales, the garden is getting a good dose of sun and we fancied trying a coffee packed full of sunshine.  Any excuse for great coffee!

Carvetii Coffee certainly fits this bill.  They are Gareth and Angharad who run a small coffee roasting company located in the beautiful Lake District, Northern England.   They started off in 2006 with a small cafe in North Wales, then gradually progressed to roasting their own beans, initially on a frying pan in their kitchen!  They only roast in small batches and I love the way that they post the next roast date on their website, meaning you can order super freshly roasted coffee.   They are mad about coffee (in a very good way!).

Carvetii Coffee

The ‘El Tablon‘ coffee has a wonderful aroma, you can smell the honeyed sweetness of the bean when it is being ground.  It is a single origin, ‘micro-lot’ coffee from El Salvador.  ‘Micro-lot’ meaning very small, high quality growing.  The bean used is called the pacamara.  It is honey-processed, resulting in that wonderful sweetness and it is certainly very fruity.  The name of this processing comes from the Spanish word for the flesh of this large variety of coffee bean, ‘miel’ (which interestingly is similar in the Welsh language, ‘mel’).

This is a very high quality cup of coffee, with a very smooth, stylish flavour.  I have  never tried a honey-processed coffee and I am impressed by the unique flavour produced by this technique.

I’m looking forward to more of this wonderful stuff.  It is my birthday on Sunday and I can’t think of a better brew to toast my 34th year.

If you are interested in what the good folk of Carvetii Coffee are up to, have a look at there blog.

Thank you to Gareth and Angharad for your passion and excellence in all things coffee.

Categories: B.H.K Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Iced Yogi Tea – Ginger Orange with Vanilla and Honey

Here is today’s beverage of choice, fit for a summers day (with a gentle chill in the breeze):

Iced Yogi Tea (Ginger, Orange, Vanilla and Honey)

I’ve always loved Yogi Tea.  They make an intense brew, packed with flavour and a lovely vibe permeates everything they do.  I like the little inspirational message on the end of the drawstring.  Todays read “take time to contemplate and deliberate”……..great advice when sitting in the garden, confronted by some bluebells and a pond wriggling with tadpoles.

I’ve tried a new one today, the Ginger Orange with Vanilla.  It is a delicious blend and makes a revitalising hot brew.  But with the sun out, I decided to cool things down a little.

This will work with many herbal tea bags.  You don’t just have to use black and lemon variety.

I made Jane and I a teapot full:

The Bits

Nice clean tea pot, 2 Yogi Orange Ginger with Vanilla Teabags, 1 spoon of your favourite honey (size of spoon and which hive you visit depends on you), chopped ginger (we don’t peel), 1 juicy orange (1/2 wedged, 1/2 sliced into rounds and all de-seeded)

Do It

Brew your tea using near boiling water for around 10 minutes (good to get all the flavour out of these beauties), add as much honey as you need at this stage.  Then leave in a cool place to chill out for a while (doorsteps are good for this).  If you like vanilla, add a teaspoon of good vanilla extract.

Get some nice tall glasses ready, fill 1/2 way with ice, add your chopped ginger (big slices are best here) and a wedge of orange (squeezed, juice over ice), the fill glass 2/3 with ice.

Serve

When fully cooled (this can be stuck in the fridge overnight if you like) pour into your gorgeous glasses and top with your orange slice and maybe one more slice of ginger.

We Love It!

This has inspired me to get rooting around my tea tin and being more creative with my summer refreshments.  Watch this space…..

Foodie Fact

Any drink made with vanilla is supposed to have aphrodisiac qualities.  Meow!

Its a shame, this looked and tasted brilliant, but my computer is not happy today and won’t upload photos, so here is one I found on google images.  You get the idea!

 

Orange Iced Tea

Thanks to Burlap and Basil for this pic (http://www.burlapandbasil.com)

Categories: Ayurveda, B.H.K Reviews, Detox, Infusions, Recipes, Relax, Tea | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spiced Pear and Flax Seed Scones

Indian Scones

It’s fair to say, I’m not a traditionalist.  I like to keep things interesting.  I reckon the ‘good old days’ can always be bettered, especially when baking.

This is another fusion/experiment from the Beach House Kitchen.  Which worked quite nicely.  You need to try these things, the first guy to make carrot cake probably raised a few stuffy eyebrows.

The scones is a British classic, my favourite Mum recipe was Walnut and Date, but I’ve decided to take it to India.  The inspiration to have a mess with the humble scone came after a day of scone making at work, I found it all quite therapeutic.  Combining the butter with the flour is a very earthy activity.

White flour, sugar and butter is not my kind of nutritional mix, so I’ve changed it to be gentler and better to the body and I think it adds flavour also.  I have added ghee instead of butter, mainly because I have some delicious Pukka ghee at the minute, that graces all it touches.  Ghee also has many health attributes.  There are also soaked flax seeds here, that are super for our digestive system.  Then the spices, conjuring up an Indian chai stall, star anise and cinnamon…..  All in all, not your average scone experience.

All that's missing is a scone

Scones are super easy to make and as with most cakes, gentle handling is a must.  The less hands, the lighter the cake.  I made one large scone, then cut it up into slightly abstract shapes.  This saves on waste dough and a bit of messing around.  It also keeps the scones lighter (although with brown flour, they are heavier than their white cousins).

The weights don’t have to be exact, but do your best.  This recipe will make one large scones, approx. 8 when cut up.

Because we have used ghee here, this recipe is suitable for lactose intolerant munchers also.

These are a robust scone, with lovely spiced fruit and the rich flavour of ghee.

The Bits

250g Wholemeal flour, 75g good  Ghee, 2 big tbs of honey (more if you are a sweet heart), 2 teas baking powder, 3 teas flax seeds (soaked overnight in water and well-drained), 2 pears chopped into small cubes, 2 tbs of water, 1 star anise, 1/2 teas cinnamon, 1/2 teas all spice, 1 clove, 1 teas finely chopped ginger, 1 teas good vanilla extract (worth spending here!), 2 organic beaten eggs, heavy pinch of salt.

Do It

Preheat oven to 200oC

Heat a pan, medium heat, add a little ghee, fry your pears gently for a few minutes, then add all spices to the pan and the splash of water, stir in.  Cover and cook pears on low until tender, letting the spices infuse.  The cooking time will depend of the ripeness and type of pear.  They should nicely soft when ready.  Turn off heat and stir in your honey, it should melt and form a sticky sauce.  Remove the star anise and clove.  Leave to cool.

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt and drop small lumps of ghee in, coat the lumps in the flour and work in rubbing ghee between thumb and finger tips.  This will take a few minutes to combine and form a breadcrumb-like texture.

Add vanilla extract to the flour, mix your flax seeds into the pears and add, then your eggs, fold into mix (gently).  Using a table knife to mix is advised here.  It should be soft and sticky, if it’s too dry add a touch of milk (we used soya).  Form the mix into a large ball and turn out onto a floured, cool surface.  Dust your hands with flour and get involved, with tenderness.  Gently massage the mix into a large flat round, approx 1 inch tall.  This should rise a little.  Dust the top with a little flour and transfer (easiest to move with two flat spatulas) onto a grease baking tray (greased with Ghee that is).

Flax seeds after a good soaking.

(I have tried brushing on melted honey and ghee with a pinch of cinnamon at this stage, which worked a treat.)

Bake, without opening the door, for around 15 minutes, until the top is nice and golden.  Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

One big scone, a giant leap forward for all scone makers.

Serve

We had ours hot (hot is best) with Greek yoghurt, some homemade rhubarb compote and hazelnuts.  Rather nice.  They will compliment a nice Indian chai or like any good scone, your cuppa of choice.

Smothered in good things.

We Love It!

This is another, almost guilt free desert.  It is healthier and I think tastes better for it!  What you lose in lightness of the scone, you gain in a sense of well-being in the belly.

Foodie Fact 

Honey is quite incredible.  Especially when you think of the process involved in acquiring it from our friends, the bees.  Honey is my preferred sweetener, not only due to its wonderful flavour, but there are many health benefits to honey.  Caster sugar is a little limp in comparison.

Honey is full of good sugars, mainly fructose.  It’s fat-free and cholesterol free.  It also contains many amino acids and minerals.  The higher the mineral content, the better quality honey.  This can be measured through conductivity.  Manuka Honey is the best (yet another reasons to go to New Zealand) with the best conductivity.

Honey also has antiseptic qualities, meaning that in many ancient civilizations, honey was used on wounds and to treat many ailments.  This makes a mockery of the ‘consume by’ dates on jars bought from supermarkets.  As we know, most of these dates are ridiculous and lead to a large amount of needless food wastage.

If you have a little spare cash, try to buy good quality honey.  Gales and other large honey producers actually feed their bees processed sugars and burn them when they have produced!  It is quite a startling image, the bee equivalent of battery farm hens.

Here are 11 interesting facts about Honey:

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-benefits.html

Categories: Baking, Cakes, Desserts, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Recipes, Snacks and Inbetweens, Treats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Full Power Smoothie

Full Power!

I can’t imagine the thousands of busy London types this has fuelled over the years.  It must be the ultimate energy smoothie, a real city favourite.  Keep your pansy red bull, this is the real-deal energy drink.

I learnt this recipe whilst working for Leon http://www.leonrestaurants.co.uk/, a great little healthy restaurant chain in London.  I will be borrowing a few of their recipes, they are very nice people, I hope they won’t mind (or sue me).

This is the basic one, a real thicky.  You can add compotes, nuts, other fruits etc……..its always amazing.

It’s another quick and easy staple and well worth the washing up:

Makes on big glass, can easily be made vegan.

The Bits

One banana, handful of oats, teaspoon of honey (stringy bark honey if you’re very lucky), 3/4 cup of soya milk (use normal if you like), one big tablespoon of good yoghurt (the stuff with good bacteria in it, soya yog is nice too), a few ice cubes or a splash of water.

Do It

Whack it all in a blend and give it a quick whizz.  I like it chunky. Serve in your finest glass.

We Love It

Loads of energy from the good sugars in the banana and bark honey, good carbs in the oats.   For those mornings when you need to be a rocket.

Foodie Fact

Manuka honey has four times the conductivity of normal honey.  The higher the conductivity the finer the honey.  Honey has a low GI (glycemic index) rate, antioxidants and is cholesterol and fat-free.

Honeybee

Categories: Breakfast, gluten-free, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Raw Food, Recipes, Smoothies, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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