{RECIPE} Raw Veggie Pesto

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I have a bit of a fussy eater of a toddler on my hands lately. I think it has something to do with teething but none-the-less it makes me worry when she refuses to eat veggies. Or anything. Seriously, some days she eats nothing but 2 strawberries and a whole lotta booby! I started wracking my brains of ways to get some greens into her. She loves carbs and cheese so that was a starting point for my ideas. Except I wanted to eliminate the cheese and minimize the gluten!
One of her favourite things to eat, even on a bad day, is “cheesy scrolls” – pesto and parmasen cheese on pastry, turned into little scrolls in the oven. Bought traditional pesto is full of crap, including cheese/dairy and not to mention the actual Parmesan I would sprinkle on top! And it doesn’t have any veggies in it apart from basil which is technically a herb. Thinking cap on… and ta-da! Behold the veggie-filled raw homemade pesto!
This recipe is an altered version of the Supergreens Pesto by Belle Gibson. I’ve tweaked amounts, added new ingredients, and am very happy with how this tastes! If you give it a go, take a pic and hashtag #hippiemumma on IG or leave me a comment here, I’d love to hear some feedback!
Ingredients:
1 small head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
40g basil
40g parsley
200g walnuts (try different nuts!)
2tbs savoury yeast flakes
80ml macadamia oil (olive oil will work fine too)
3 cloves of garlic
juice of 2 lemons
And its so easy to do –
Whack it all in your food processor and blend for a few minutes, scraping down the sides once or twice, until you have your desired pesto consistency.
Store the pesto in an airtight jar in the fridge, it should keep for a few weeks.
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The savoury yeast is a vegan’s best friend. It has a cheesy flavour that Olivia can’t deny. She even loves it sprinkled on steamed broccoli florets, and popcorn! It is full of B Vitamins too.
You can use the pesto on almost anything but here are a few ideas:
Stirred through zoodles (raw zucchini noodles, shown below) or pasta.
As the base for some scroll bites – pastry is all you need, cheese optional!
As a spread on wraps/sandwiches.
To dip veggie sticks or crackers in.
Straight from the jar (I do this, it’s good).
Anywhere you’d use traditional pesto. 
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{RECIPE} Capsicum & Nut Dip

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Today I’m sharing the recipe for a delicious dip I made yesterday. It’s healthy and suitable for vegans, kids… everyone! I’ve had many comments on Instagram asking what nutritional yeast is. It’s great for vegetarians and has plenty of vitamins in it such as B vitamins, folic acid, selenium, zinc, and protein. It’s low in fat and often gluten free. It has a cheesy flavour so is often a staple in a vegan’s home. Olivia has air-popped popcorn with a drizzle of good quality olive oil  and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on it every day. It’s her favourite snack and I’m okay with that because it’s pretty healthy!

Why do I love this dip? It’s easy and quick to throw together. It took me less than 5 minutes to pop it in my Cuisinart, blitz it smooth and transfer to a glass jar. And I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen at any notice.
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 You’re going to need:
  • 1 cup pine nuts 
  • 1 cup cashews 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 red capsicum 
  • 1 lemon, juiced 
  • ½ cup ACV 
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast/savoury yeast
  •  Pinch salt 
  • Water for desired consistency (I use none)

Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender.
Store the dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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I usually only make half the amount which is perfect for one person over a week or two. I also do a little less ACV than listed as I find it too overpowering. You can smear it on some bread, or use it as a dip for some crackers, or veggie sticks.
Tip: you could use salted cashews instead of a pinch of salt.
Not sure who to credit with the recipe as my Mum sent it to me in a Word Document a couple years ago. Hope you enjoy it, maybe it’ll be your go-to dip to take to your next BBQ!

{Recipe} TWP Caramel & Macadamia Raw Cheesecake

Image from The Whole Pantry app.

“Healing_Belle” was one of the first “clean foodie” accounts I found on Instagram. She is a wonderful woman based in Melbourne who has brain cancer. Instead of conventional treatment (chemo etc) she decided to use food and a healthy lifestyle. Fermented, raw, super foods… she did her research and her passion for this field really shows, especially in her app The Whole Pantry (TWP). One of her recipes listed in the app is this raw Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake. I decided to make it for the first time this week and took it to my family’s Christmas lunch today.

I was pretty disappointed. I mean, Macadamias aren’t cheap!

Mum’s comments: “It’s boring, there’s no flavour.”
My comments: “All I taste is coconut!”
Hubby’s comments: “I like this. Yum.”

It didn’t even look the same. Mine was white. Surely I left something out… *re-read singredients* Nope. It’s all there. Even the caramel sauce was thick and pasty, not like a sauce/topping, and certainly not resembling the beautiful recipe photo above.

Usually her recipes are ah-mazing. The quinoa “meat balls” are really nice, and the biscuit recipe is one of the Hubby’s fave. I’m confused!

I’m sure she doesn’t want me to give out all the recipes on the app but this one I want to share because I don’t know where I went wrong. Make it, show me your pics, tell me I’m not just a shit cook?!
FOR THE CRUST:
150g sunflower seeds
115g shredded coconut
60ml rice malt syrup or honey
1 tbs melted coconut oil

FOR THE FILLING:
240ml coconut cream
225g macadamia nuts
120ml melted coconut oil
60ml rice malt syrup
2 tsp vanilla bean extract
1 lemon, juiced

FOR THE TOPPING:
18 pitted medjool dates
120ml coconut cream

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Grind the sunflower seeds and coconut in a food processor for about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and process for a further 30-60 seconds until mixture is coated and comes together. Flatten mixture out into an even base of a 20cm spring-form tin. store in the fridge while making the filling.

In a blender or food processor add the ingredients and blend for 1-2 minutes until creamy texture is achieved. Pour filling on top of crust, place in fridge whilst making the topping.

For the caramel topping blend the dates until a paste is formed, scraping down the sides when needed. Add coconut and whizz for 30 seconds. You can serve it with the sauce drizzled over it, or make it as another layer to freeze.

And that’s it.

Now look at mine… WHITE!

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Juicing

Months ago my juicer broke and I’ve been using one of those old school citrus juicers and having an orange, grapefruit and lime juice every morning before breakfast. Maybe once a week I’d buy a “proper” juice when out and about with O and the hubby… but it’s hard to spent $6.50 on a juice when I know I could make double the amount for half that price at home. 

We thought about buying a new juicer but it’s low on the “thing we need to buy” list. So I just made do without. Hubby being the fixer he is, tried to soak the metal mesh basket of my juicer in vinegar and bicarb.

It was pretty clogged with “juice junk”… you could barely see through it. Perhaps that’s why my juicer wasn’t working anymore? It was worth a try.

I should add, my juicer is about 8 years old. I’m sure it’s ready to retire, and secretly I want a slow/cold press juicer anyway (xmas is coming, right? I’ve already researched the Hurom juicer!). I But today I cracked out the juicer again and gave it a whirl. And while it’s still not performing 100%, it worked! 
Now I’m excited to go juice shopping again! Meaning, fruit and veg for my juices.
Today’s juice was made from the few things I have in my fridge… we really need to do a grocery shop. Plus, I was craving something sweet.

It had 2 carrots, 2 oranges, 2 green apples and 1 lemon. I juice green apples because they are lower in sugar compared to the red varieties and help to digest carbs. Winning!

Hubby was going out for the day (apparently it’s something called work?) so I did another batch (2, 2, 2, 1) and put it in an old Loving Earth jar for him to take on the run.

It was delicious. And I have plenty of left over – it’s hard to pace myself with juices but I know it’s still full of sugars so I try my hardest to have just one big glass a day!

Tell me some of your favourite juice combos!

Raw Apricot Bliss Balls




One day I really felt like apricots. But in a delicious snack form, preferably with coconut. I put my thinking cap on and this recipe came about. Hubby has declared them the best ever bliss balls I’ve made (and I’ve got quite a few in my recipe folder!).
 
You will need:
  • 1 cup of almonds (I’ve also used macadamias with success)
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut
  • 10-12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond essence
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) of dried apricots
Then do this:
Process the nuts and coconut in your food processor until reasonably fine but still a little crumbly.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the last ingredient. Process until a dough forms. Start with 10 dates but add more if the consistency isn’t doughy enough.
Add the apricots and pulse until combined. If you over-process it you won’t have chunks of apricot in your bliss balls and it’s just not the same 😉
Roll into balls with your hands. I get about 20-30 balls but it depends on the size you make them. 
I then roll them through desiccated coconut. Crushed nuts would be nice instead. This step is entirely optional though.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours before consuming, and keep stored in the fridge in an air tight container.
Yum!

Raw Caramel Slice

This slice is to die for! I posted it on Instagram and Facebook and got a lot of requests for the recipe so I just had to share. It’s so easy to make, and is actually healthy for you, even though you feel a little bit naughty when eating it. I was pleasantly surprised by how fudgey and, well.. caramel-y the caramel layer was. It turned out perfectly! The best thing is the tiniest piece is so rich and sweet (but not an over-whelming type sweet) that you really don’t need much and it lasts forever!




Raw Caramel Slice

For the base:

  • 2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 12 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp water
Put all ingredients in a food processor and whizz until combined. It will take a few minutes to come together, don’t despair! Start with 10 dates and add a couple extra if needed. I ended up using 12 and a half this time, as 10 wasn’t enough to make the mixture sticky.
Once combined well, press firmly into a slice tin lined with baking paper. I used a 7″ x 7″ pan. One of my favourite tricks is to use another piece of baking paper to press the mixture down. That way it won’t stick to your hands or be lifted by a spatula/spoon.
Pop the tray into your freezer.
For the caramel:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup tightly packed medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp water
Pulse the macadamias briefly. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Be patient – it WILL become smooth! Remove the base from the freezer and spread it evenly on top. You can use a spatula, your fingers or another piece of baking paper to get an even coverage. Put it back in the freezer.
For the chocolate:
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (maple syrup, rice malt syrup and agave should work fine too)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, not melted
  • 2 tbs raw cacao powder
Place all ingredients in your processor and whizz it until it’s smooth. Pour evenly over the top of your caramel layer and again put it back in your freezer. After an hour or so, it should be set enough to slice up.
You can keep this in the fridge or freezer but I leave mine in the freezer and take a piece out a couple minutes before eating – the consistency is just right! 
You could use cocoa instead of cacao but remember cacao is so much better for you! You could even add a tablespoon of it to the base if you like things chocolaty. Using a liquid sweetener such as agave instead of honey will make this dessert vegan. 
Leave me a comment if you give this recipe a go, I’d love to hear your feedback!

Blueberry & Banana Smoothie

Some mornings (or really any time of the day) I just can’t be bothered to create a meal. I can’t be bothered to think and I can’t be bothered to spend lots of time in the kitchen. And I can’t be bothered I don’t have the time to sit down and eat a meal let alone scratch my arm sometimes (ah, children). 
My solution on these types of days is this: SMOOTHIE! There’s always some spare vegies or frozen fruit in our house, and experimenting is half the fun. This one is full of antioxidants and is very filling! A great breakfast smoothie to get you going for the day.
Blueberry & Banana Smoothie
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1/4 cup coconut water
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs flax meal
1 tsp agave or raw honey
Blend all ingredients thoroughly. Enjoy immediately (chia turns to a pudding!).

A Different Take On Jam

I love toast. I love jam on my toast. I love jam on lots of things. Even just jam out of the jar! But the jam you buy in the supermarket is full of sugar. And preservatives. And other things you don’t need in your body. And the jam you might find that doesn’t contain all those nasties are so expensive.

One day I made my own jam and I was very skeptical, because this wasn’t your usual preserve jam. No, this was jam made from chia seeds. I give O chia seeds soaked in water or almond milk for breakfast every morning, so I know it goes a great jelly like consistency. And it’s often used as a binder and egg replacer in vegan recipes. So it made sense to work as a jam but I just wasn’t sold.

And then I ate it. SOLD. I eat it from the jar with a spoon while watching TV at night. It’s that good. I love it!

I came across quite a few recipes like the one I’m about to post. This one is my own, but they’re really all the same and it’s so versatile. You can add anything you want, and have some fun experimenting!

Raspberry Chia Jam

500g frozen raspberries (defrosted), or fresh berries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tbs lemon juice

Mash your berries. I used a potato masher but I suppose you could also throw them in the blender. I like my jam a little chunky though so I don’t over mash! Stir in the sugar. I used coconut sugar which is like brown sugar but unrefined and is a low GI sugar. Add the lemon juice and then stir through the chia seeds. Make sure it’s all combined nicely. Pop the mixture into a air tight jar and leave it in the fridge overnight. It’ll be perfect for your toast or pancakes in the morning! It’ll last about 3 weeks in the fridge.

You could use any berry but I haven’t tried anything other than raspberries yet. You could do mixed berries, blueberry, blackberries etc. You could also add some orange peel, or maybe some vanilla essence. Maybe even some mint.

Let me know if you try this or come up with any variations!

The Best Muesli Ever

I’m a big breakfast person. I look forward to it the moment I wake up. Heck, I look forward to it when I go to bed! I’ve always been a breakfast lover. And to be more precise, I’ve always been a cereal lover. Growing up, breakfast was cereal with fruit and milk. And a sprinkling of sugar. Usually we mixed our cereals (one “good” and one bad type) and the fruit was either strawberries, banana, or tinned peaches and pears. I still cannot eat cereal without fruit on top! When I met my husband he thought I was weird for mixing cereals let alone adding fruit! Now he loves it himself 😉

When I went off dairy and gluten and all that jazz, I started forking out at least $7 for a small box of cereal. I had no choice! Then I thought Why not make my own? It couldn’t be that hard…
And it’s not. I promise.

Now I’d never go back. I now know what’s in my cereal (healthy, nourishing ingredients) and NOT in my cereal (colourings, additives & preservatives). I can add and customize it every time I make it too, it’s great! I haven’t worked out the cost but I’d be interested to see the difference.

This recipe can be so versatile. You can use different nuts, add some berries, or maybe some orange peel? I usually eyeball the amounts but I made a batch yesterday and tried to measure so I could write out a recipe to share on my blog.

The Best Muesli Ever

  • 1 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup & 2 tbs pepitas
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 & 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 3 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup sultanas (or goji berries, cranberries, white mulberries…)
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup puffed millet
Combine, melt, bake!
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Combine the first part of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

In a small saucepan, slowly melt the honey and coconut oil and stir so they are combined. Once runny and smooth, remove from the heat and pour it over the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla essence. Stir and make sure it’s all coated evenly. Spread the mixture onto lined baking trays and pop into the oven for about 15 minutes. Bring it out, stir and move it around the tray and put it back in for another 10 minutes.
Add the third part of the ingredients and combine well. 
Once it’s cooled, store in an air tight container! 
You could use the oats in the first part of the ingredients but I prefer my oats raw (more nutritional value!) and you might have to add more liquid if you do that. The puffed millet is used for a bit of a “filler”. It makes it go further.
I double the above recipe. Depends how often you eat cereal and how many of you will be eating it! It never stays around long enough here to know when it starts going yuck. And of course, I always top mine with some fresh fruit and almond milk.
Tell me about your typical breakfast! I would love you to leave me a comment if you try this recipe.

Green Smoothies

Drinking my greens is my favourtie way to get all those vegetables, vitamins and minerals into me. If I had to eat as many vegetables as I can easily drink, I’d be eating all day! And who honestly likes chewing on a kale leaf, or a celery stick all on it’s own? Not me… I’d rather mix it with lemon and cucumber and some ginger. Which wouldn’t be very easy to do if you were eating it as a solid, would it! But drinking a combination makes it more enjoyable and much easier to get extra goodness into you.

I usually juice my fruit and vegetables but my juicer recently went to heaven and now I’m using my blender. Which is far from the same… I still get chunky bits in my drink from the blender, something my juicer would never do to me! Oh how I miss you, juicer 😦 I’m sure if I was cashed up and could buy a Vitamix it would blend my vegies to a smooth and creamy consistency. What floaties?! I’ts not that bad – I’m still able to suck it all up through a straw!

Here is one of my current favourite green smoothie recipes.

Mean Green Smoothie

  • 1 lebanese cucumber
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • handful of parsley
  • ginger to taste

Blend all ingredients, serve over ice and drink immediately!

Do you drink your greens? Do you prefer juices or smoothies?