It was my birthday recently so we thought we’d share some pics:
It was my birthday recently so we thought we’d share some pics:
Today’s smooth one came out rather nice. The richness of avocado and the zing of kiwi, with the touch of sweetness from the apricot. A well-balanced cup of goodness.
Jane and I had just taken a long walk down to Trigonos Organic Farm in the nearby Nantlle valley. It has been an absolutely stunning day in the hills. We popped down to see Pete and the gang and also managed to pick up some delicious little onions, carrots and potatoes. Pete grows some really interesting, rare varieties.
It is all go down there at this time of year, as it is in our own garden and we are picking up many tips from the wise bunch at Trigonos. Today we learnt to always water your seedlings at night, especially when sunny. There seems so many do’s and dont’s when it comes to gardening, I have just been sticking seeds in pots and the earth and hope for a bloom. We shall see…
So smoothies. We needed something filling, I was shooting off to work , so this is a nice thick one, reminiscent of a milkshake with its creaminess, but without all that fat. Avocados are excellent for this, creaminess without the cow. I’m sure all vegans will agree!
Makes enough for two cups:
1 avocado (seeded and scooped out), 4 apricots (de-stoned), 2 kiwis (peeled and quartered), 1 cup of soya milk (or milk of your choice)
In the blender, blitz for a short time until smooth.
In the nicest glasses available, will also make a delicious smooth topping for a fruit salad or dessert (ie CAKE!), you may need to add a little something sweet to the mix, maybe honey or dates would be nice.
Avocados are technically berries and are sometimes called alligator pears. They contain a wide range of vitamins and fat (good fats, they’re full of fibre), which is actually a good thing for raw foodist. We will be needing alot of avocados in a few days (see raw June)! Avocados actually help your nutrition absorption by up to 300-400%.
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!).
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.
I am still relatively new to the north Wales area and am just getting to know a few like-minded people and producers. I have recently met a few ‘foodies’ up in these hills and they all rave about the local produce, normally mentioning Halen Mon Salt from the Isle of Anglesey. I have rarely seen people so passionate about their seasonings! Heston Blumethal and Barak Obama are converts. I felt compelled to know more.
Halen Mon is definitely our kind of supplier, the business started with a pan of sea water being heated on the Wilson family stove. Now, a few years later, they are suppling top restaurants and chefs around the world.
Having gone off salt for a while, figuring that the food we eat contains enough of it, Halen Mon Salt has made me realise that a pinch of good seasoning can make all the difference. Like anything, quality matters.
Their salt is made with charcoal filtered seawater that has passed through a mussel bed and a sandbank! Sea salt is simply made by heating the water and drying until crystals form. They are then washed in brine to make them shine.
Halen Mon have a fine selection of salts made by a lovely bunch of people. We have been using a selection of them in our cooking. The celery salt adds a distinct flavour to light salad dressings and the Tahitian vanilla salt compliments dark chocolate perfectly (see our ‘Bitter Chocolate Ricotta’ recipe). I have used their ‘Welsh Oak’ smoked salt on roasted vegetables and haloumi and the flavour is delicious.
Our favourite salt recipe at the moment is spiced nuts, using their ‘Sea Salt with Organic Spices’. Mix a few pinches of the salt with hot oil in a frying pan, pour in a selection of your favourite nuts and bake in a medium over until well roasted (15 minutes or so). This salt can also be used to liven up the humble roast potato. Having a range of salt like this in your larder increases your creativity as a cook.
The Halen Mon site has some informative, unbiased info on the pros and cons of salt in your diet (http://www.halenmon.com/faq.aspx). Basically cut out the processed food made in factories and cook your own, with a sprinkle of Halen Mon to bring out the flavour.
Quality sea salt is pure and contains non of the anti-caking agents and other dodgy additives found in normal table salt.
Halen Mon is the finest salt I have tasted. I love using it in dishes with a subtle flavour. Salt is something that we normally just throw into food, every time I use Halen Mon, it reminds me of the importance of each ingredient in a dish.
The Beach House overlooks the Irish sea, which is blue today under bright sunshine, we are very lucky to be using such brilliant produce made from that very water. Without producers like Halen Mon, cooking would be so much duller and our food certainly less tasty.