Summer means food growing in abundance, even in my (cold) part of the world. For the past few days I’ve been staying in the countryside and helping out a little bit in the greenhouse that is here. I got all excited because I wanted to make green juice (You’re not planning on throwing that away are you? Let’s juice it!) but unfortunately I couldn’t find the juicer. Instead I had the luxury of eating some freshly picked greens for lunch.
I picked a variety of greens for my salad: Romaine, butterhead lettuce, spinach, parsley and rucola.
My favourite Easy summer salad looks something like this: Assortment of greens, preferably a lot of rucola, lots of onion, red/white/spring onion, grated carrot, avocado, diced cucumbers, feta cheese and chickpeas/any other type of beans. The dressing consists of juice of one medium-sized lemon, some flaxseed oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, black pepper and sea salt. I mix the beans with the dressing and pour it over the vegetables. Fast, yummy and good for you.
An easy summer dessert I like to make is just plain fruit salad or fruit salad with tahini. Sweet fruit like banana/mango and mixed berries chopped up and dressed with creamed tahini is delicious. Or make a Fast tahini-chocolate sauce by mixing creamed tahini with some honey, cacao and water.
A few days ago I got the opportunity to have an early dinner at the (as far as I know only) Jamaican restaurant in Stockholm: Back a yard. The restaurant is run by a man called Papa Bull and his family. I sneaked my head into the kitchen to get some tips on perfecting my rice and peas (apparently parboiled rice works best, explains some mushiness issues) and ital cooking in general. He said that he doesn’t use pretty much any salt, instead let the seasoning (garlic, thyme, scallion, hot pepper) give taste. I also noted that there weren’t any salt on the tables.The atmosphere in the place is just like back a yard- in Jamaica; nice food, reggae music and people chatting patois. Here is a little interview with Papa Bull I found online (in swedish).
They serve the typical Jamaican dishes like curry goat, jerk chicken and rice and peas, but there are also few vegetarian alternatives: Ital stew and ackee with lima beans. My plate of food looked like this:
Mashed potatoes, rice and peas, fried plantain, fried dumpling, coleslaw and ackee and saltfish.
For the first time in about 5 months I got enjoy some ackee. Now that’s what I call a happy meal! I have ackee at least once a day while in Jamaica because I love it so much, and I know I can’t get it back home (just the tinned one). Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit, native to west africa but mostly eaten in Jamaica. It’s not like anything you have tasted before.
If I were to try to describe it the texture is a little like a mix between corn and avocado. It’s a funny looking fruit and it can be poisonous if not prepared correctly. I had it both cooked and raw (despite warnings not to eat it uncooked). In raw food preparation it’s a blessing, kind of like avocado; it gives creaminess and interesting texture like nothing else. Imagine ackee butter on top of a raw pizza crust with tomatosauce..mmm It could also make great for a vegan “scrambled ” since the texture of cooked ackee is similar to scrambled eggs. Way superior taste though AND it’s vegan.Besides being yummy ackee has high nutritional value and is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc and protein. If you get the chance have some.
Now this raw cake is a real winner. Made mostly from leftover carrotpulp from juicing, not to sweet and even better tasting the second or third day. I’ve experimented with the crust, trying to stay easy on the nuts and found a nice combination: flax, pumpkin seed, grated coconut and raisins. Makes it a little less expensive to make and the flax provides some of those important omega 3’s.
Crust In a food processor, mix approximately 0,75 dl each of ground flax (preferably you grind it yourself fresh as store-bought ground flax usually is rancid), coconut flakes and pumpkin seeds until small pieces.You could also substitute for other nuts/seeds that you have in hand. Add about 1 dl soaked (20 min is enough) raisins, 2 tbsp carob and a pinch of salt.Process until you have a dough. Taste and see if it looks enough, if not just add more of the ingredients and blend again. (Since I seldom measure my ingredients, this is how my usual working method). Press out your crust in a pie form covered with plastic (so you can lift it out).
Carrotlayer Blend 2 big bananas with about 0,75 dl soaked/fresh dates until smooth. Add about 5 dl carrotpulp, grated lemonzest of one lemon and lemon juice to taste. Season with cinnamon and process. Taste adding more seasoning if necessary. Pat out the carrotlayer on top of the crust. Dooh..
Vanilla glaze In a small blender (magicbullet type) or big blender (you will need to scrape the sides) blend 4 dl soaked cashews with some water (just enough to make it blend properly). Flavour with organic vanilla powder and 2-3 soaked dates/some raisins. Add 0,5 dl liquid coconut oil. The oil will harden in the fridge and make the glaze firm up. Glaze your cake and garnish. Let it set in the fridge or eat it straight away. Enjoy this healthy cake with good conscience. I have to admit I even had it for breakfast a few times 🙂
It’s been a while since my last post. The weather here has been mostly fantastic so I have been spending a lot of my time outdoors; enjoying the warmth, the city and all its parks. On saturday I visited the farmers market where they were selling some greens: nettles, spinach, lettuce, herbs and some root vegetables. Can’t wait until june-july-august when we get swedish tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and berries. Still now you can tell that summer is really close, since they started selling imported cherries, peaches and watermelons. Yummee! Summer is the best time to eat raw food! I really like cherries, I think they are sexy in their way, sweet and succulent, good-looking too. I decided to make a chocolate cherry cake and it came out really nice. This time I even wrote down the exact amounts I used, am getting better at this recipe creating..
Sexy cherry-chocolate cake For the crust, in a food processor with the s-blade: process 2,5 dl sunflower seeds with 3 dl grated dry coconut. Add zest and juice of one small lemon, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla powder, 1 dl pitted fresh dates and 0,5 dl liquid coconut oil. Mix until you get a dough like consistency. Press the crust into a pieform (with plasticwrap so you can lift it out) or a springform with bakingpaper in the bottom. Put the form in the fridge or freezer to firm up while you prepare the cherryjam: Blend about 1/2 kg pitted cherries (4 dl) with 0,75 dl pitted fresh dates. Save a few cherries for garnish! Spread the jam on the crust. Make the chocolate layer by blending 2 dl pitted fresh dates with 1 dl water until smooth. If the food processor has a hard time mixing you can add 1 avocado to make the blades spin. After add 3 more small avocados and 1 dl cacao/carob powder and 0,5 dl liquid coconut oi, blend. Spread the chocolate mousse on top of the jam and garnish your cake after your imagination. Let the cake firm up a few hours before serving. Enjoy.
This afternoon I did some shopping for greens. Felt like it was time to start juicing again. I dont’t bother with the fruits though- Green juice me say! Luck was in my favor because I made a real bargain, found organic celery (which is hard to even come by) for pretty much the same price as the conventional one. Yeey! (For anyone in Stockholm, that was in Hemköp under Åhlens, they also have the cheapest organic carrots in town, 10 kr for a kilo). As a base for my green juice I always use plenty celery, lemon that has some of the white pith still on it, cucumber and maybe some green apple. Today I threw in a knob of ginger and fresh mint. The juice came out fresh tasting and energizing. Another favorite thing to throw in the juice is parsley, it’s super nutritious and usually really cheap. For conventionally grown parsley a good price would be something like 20-35 kr for a kilo. And that’s a whole heap of greens! Parsley is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and folate. It also contains other beneficial phytochemicals, read more here.
Okay so I’ve been baking and eating cake a little too much for someone who is supposed to be on a detox 🙂 But it has been worth it, these recipes are great. Yesterday I baked a chocolate version of the Detoxers delight cake.
Chocolate banana cake (gluten and sugar free) In a food processor mix 3 large ripe bananas, 6 eggs and 6 dl cooked white beans until smooth. Add 1,5 dl sifted cacao,1/2 tsp sea salt, 2 tsp liquid stevia, 1/2 tsp vanilla powder, 1 dl buckwheat flour, 1/2 dl chickpea flour, 1,5 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp baking soda. Eventually you could add some honey if you don’t mind the sugars. Mix everything again and pour into a pan with greased baking paper. I did mine in a long rectangular pan but it took almost an hour in the oven. In a round pan it would probably bake faster. Bake at 165 degrees celsius for 30-60 min depending on your pan and oven. Use a stick or knife to check if the cake is ready.
I mentioned in my last post that I was making a gluten- and sugar free cake. Well I tasted it now and it was friggin amazing! I’m really excited about this recipe because I see the possibilities: changing the flavouring and topping, making a chocolate version, ginger bread or cardamom flavoured one, maybe add some puréed bananas.. I found the original recipe on a gluten-free baking page The spunky coconut. Try the original recipe there or try my strict detox version. I tell you, there is so much information and nice healthy baking recipes to try out online! Since I’m weaning off sugary foods again I changed the original recipe and took out the honey and coconut sugar in favor of stevia. For a palate used to a lot of sugar perhaps this cake will taste bland, but for somebody on a sugar detox it’s a slice of heaven. Especially with some tahini on top 🙂
Detoxers delight cake The cake: In a food processor, puree 2 cups cooked white beans, 6 eggs, 1-2 tsp liquid stevia(taste),1 tsp vanilla extract. Then add 1/4 cup liquid coconut oil, 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and 2 tsp baking powder and blend well. Pour the mixture into a long rectangular greased pan, or a pan with some greased baking paper (makes it easier to lift out the cake).For the Crumble topping I used dry coconut and chocolate nibs that I mixed with some stevia to sweeten. But you can use any nuts/seeds etc you like. Spread the crumble on top of the batter and pat it down. Bake the cake at 165 degrees celsius for about 30-40 minutes, or until ready (stick a knife in the middle and see if it comes out dry when you pull it out). Enjoy with some tahini and banana for even higher heights.Store in the fridge and enjoy.