Spinach + Banana Popeye Smoothie

spinach and banana popeye smoothie

What you’ll need: serves 2-4
3 organic bananas
2-3 big handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (I’m loving Planet Organic stoneground peanut butter)
1 scoop of Sunwarrior classic raw vegan protein powder
250mls of almond milk (with no added nasties – always read the label)
250mls of coconut water (check that the brand you buy is coconut water and nothing else)
1 tray of ice cubes

How to make:
Add all the ingredients to your Thermomix bowl or blender
Blend for 1 minute going from speed 1 to 10
Serve with a reusable steel straw

Yum x

Sweet Mung Bean Soup

This versatile dish is the prefect antidote to all the over-indulgences of the silly season. Tried and tested, this recipe was given to me by my gorgeous father-in-law who has been making this hydrating and nutritious sweet dessert-soup (known in Cantonese as lucdousa) for more than 30 years.

Traditionally the Chinese enjoy this soup after a meal, or between courses but you’ll find my in-laws, myself and our toddler sons tucking into a big bowl for breakfast or for a late lunch. Full of fibre, folate, protein, calcium, iron and vitamin C (which as we know improves iron absorption). It makes plenty, which is just as well, because you’ll be going back for more, especially after a big workout, or day at the beach.

Lucdousa_ingredients
Lucdousa1

What you’ll need: (you’ll find eveything you need at any good Asian grocer)
2 cups of whole dried mung beans (Hepai)
1 cup of black-eyed beans
3-4 ltrs of water
1/4 cup which equates to roughly 10 tapioca sticks or flakes broken into one-inch pieces also known as (Bot Khoai Dai)

Tapioca_2

1/4 cup of tapioca pearls
1 and a half to two cups of organic raw sugar (start with less, you can always add more)
1/4 cup of shredded seaweed (Hoitai) 

Utensils:
Large pot
Small and large colander
Measuring cups
1 litre measuring jug
Wooden spoon

How to prepare:
Put mung bean and black-eyed beans into a large pot, cover with water and soak for 1 hour

Break up tapioca sticks into one-inch pieces and soak for 1 hour

Drain pot of beans and refill with 3 litres (you may use the 4th litre later) of fresh water.  Bring beans to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer cooking them for 30-mins or until soft

Meanwhile thoroughly wash and untangle seaweed in a small pot, to remove any possible sand (don’t soak the seaweed as you will loose the nutritional content) then drain in a small colander and set aside

When beans are al-dente add pre-soaked tapioca sticks

When beans are soft quickly rinse and drain tapioca pearls using your small colander

Then add them, your prewashed seaweed and the sugar stirring all three into the beans. Turn off the heat, then cover for 10 mins then eat

You’ll know you got this dish spot on if the tapioca pearls are transparent, if the soup is sweet and if there is ample liquid.  If this is not the case, just add another litre of water, a little more sugar and allow dish to sit for another 10 minutes

Once you have mastered this dish, you can adjust the amount of beans, tapioca or sugar content to your preferred taste.  You may also like to cut your shredded seaweed down a bit (into smaller pieces), that’s the way I like it

This dish can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days

Fruit Shack Smoothie

We took a drive from the south of the island of Kauai to Hanalei Bay in north, where the movie the Decedents starring George Clooney was filmed. Along the way we happened across a mobile smoothie wagon. It was a sight to behold, a literal oasis with every tropical fruit you could wish for. As we drank up our fruit smoothies, I couldn’t wait to try out some of the wagon owner’s combinations for myself.

This one is our three-year-old son’s favourite. Since our return, he’s asked for the ‘fruit shack smoothie’ everyday! I’ve made it for breakfast on-the-go and even as a dessert. Guests and the kids get a real kick out of the retro bottles, jars and re-usable straws.

If you’re already a fan of my ultimate breakfast smoothie you’re going to love this one. Easy to make and packed with so much goodness, you can just feel your body hydrating with every gulp.

Smoothie in cool jar

What you’ll need: (serves 4-6)
2 bananas broken into pieces
1/2 a Papaya peeled, deseeded and diced
1 Mango peeled and diced, or just cut it in half and scoop out the flesh, then eat the pip… it’s a a little quicker
6 Strawberries
1 tray of ice cubes
1/4 cup of filtered water
Re-useable steel or glass straws available online at the raw food store
Fruit smoothie ingredients

How to prepare:
Add fruit to a powerful blender and blitz
Add ice cubes and blitz until smooth
Add water and blitz until mixed
If you have a Thermomix, I start at one and move to speed 10 for 10-15 seconds
Serve in a unusual glass or old-school jar with re-usable straws
Devour and go for more!

Ethan Hawaii Smoothie

Lucdousa – chinese sweet mung bean soup

This versatile dish screams ‘comfort food‘ and is the prefect antidote to all the over-indulgences of the silly season. Tried and tested, this recipe was given to me by my gorgeous father-in-law who has been making this hydrating and nutritious sweet dessert-soup for more than 30 years.

Traditionally the Chinese enjoy this soup after a meal, or between courses but you’ll find my in-laws, myself and our toddler sons tucking into a big bowl for breakfast or for a late lunch. Full of fibre, folate, protein, calcium, iron and vitamin C (which as we know improves iron absorption). It makes plenty, which is just as well, because you’ll be going back for more.

Lucdousa_ingredients
Lucdousa1

What you’ll need: (you’ll find eveything you need at any good Asian grocer)
2 cups of whole dried mung beans (Hepai)
1 cup of black-eyed beans
3-4 ltrs of water
1/4 cup which equates to roughly 10 tapioca sticks or flakes broken into one-inch pieces also known as (Bot Khoai Dai)

Tapioca_2

1/4 cup of tapioca pearls
1 and a half to two cups of organic raw sugar (start with less, you can always add more)
1/4 cup of shredded seaweed (Hoitai) 

Utensils:
Large pot
Small and large colander
Measuring cups
1 litre measuring jug
Wooden spoon

How to prepare:
Put mung bean and black-eyed beans into a large pot, cover with water and soak for 1 hour

Break up tapioca sticks into one-inch pieces and soak for 1 hour

Drain pot of beans and refill with 3 litres (you may use the 4th litre later) of fresh water.  Bring beans to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer cooking them for 30-mins or until soft

Meanwhile thoroughly wash and untangle seaweed in a small pot, to remove any possible sand (don’t soak the seaweed as you will loose the nutritional content) then drain in a small colander and set aside

When beans are al-dente add pre-soaked tapioca sticks

When beans are soft quickly rinse and drain tapioca pearls using your small colander

Then add them, your prewashed seaweed and the sugar stirring all three into the beans. Turn off the heat, then cover for 10 mins then eat

You’ll know you got this dish spot on if the tapioca pearls are transparent, if the soup is sweet and if there is ample liquid.  If this is not the case, just add another litre of water, a little more sugar and allow dish to sit for another 10 minutes

Once you have mastered this dish, you can adjust the amount of beans, tapioca or sugar content to your preferred taste.  You may also like to cut your shredded seaweed down a bit (into smaller pieces), that’s the way I like it

This dish can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days

Avocado Magic

Avocados remind me of my childhood, when I ate them right off the tree or doused them in brown vinegar and way too much table salt. These days I prefer them with the addition of cleansing herbs and a generous pinch of Himalayan sea salt, complete with its 84 micronutrients. I’m showing my age!

The magic of my creation is that it can be served for breakfast, as a dip, a top nachos, as a 4pm pick-me-up and is absolutely awesome piped on melba toasts or even better, mini vegan pikelets, which were gone before I could even get my camera.

Avocado_hero_shot
Avo_all

What you’ll need:
2 ripe avocados
1 lemon
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 bunch of basil
Pure or unrefined Himalayan sea salt – my favourite brands are Nirvana Himalayan Crystal Salt which you’ll find at all good health food stores or Cyndi O’Meara’s natural sea salt which you can buy on-line here: http://changinghabits.com.au/healthy-shopping/all-products/all-natural-seawee…

Salt

How to prepare:
Halve, deseed and scoop out avocado into a mixing bowl, then mash.  A chunky mash is good for toast, but a fine mash works best for canapes.

Add juice of lemon (I like to add the pulp too), then season with Himalayan sea salt.

De-leaf basil and parsley until you have a handful of each herb. I like to keep a little of the stem while de-leafing, because the stems hold so much flavour and provide a necessary crunch to the dish.

Chop herbs; a course chop for toast and nachos, a finer chop for a dip or canapes. Fold herbs into avocado mixture.  Taste, adjust seasoning if needed.

The perfect marriage of flavours leaves you with something salty, sour, cleansing and with an addictive crunch that contrasts the creamy avocado. Well that’s how my darling husband described it to me anyway.

Make factory farming history… you can make it possible.

Grand Granola

Feeling inspired on our recent holiday to sunny Queensland, it seemed a crime to start the day with a serve of demineralised cereal from a box.  So I found some time to road test a few granola recipes and this was the result… a grand granola.

Trust me, there is nothing better than starting your day with your very own custom-made breakfast full of wholesome goodness, real flavour and no dodgy additives.  My only regret is that I didn’t make this sooner.

Granola_feature_2
Chia

What you’ll need:
A large baking tray and baking paper
1 cup *agave nectar or 2/3 of a cup of quality maple syrup (available at good health foods stores)
500g whole rolled oats
Raw almonds – 1 1/2 cups
Flaked coconut – 1 1/2 cups
5 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil
Half a teaspoon of sea salt
Chia seeds – a generous handful
Sunflower seeds – a generous handful
100g of dates pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon of organic cinnamon

Dry_ingredients_2

How to prepare:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
Line your baking tray with paper
In a big mixing bowl measure out oats, almonds, coconut flakes and salt
Over a low heat whisk together the oil and agave nectar/maple syrup until it combines and thins

Agave_2
Syrup

Make a well in your oat mixture, pour in oil and nectar then fold in dry ingredients until nicely coated

Spread the coated oats on the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and fold entire mixture over.  Put back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. Repeat this process another 4 times or until your granola is a delicious golden brown

Mix

Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Put mixture into a large bowl add seeds, cinnamon and dates. Toss well, then store in an airtight container or serve. I have mine with rice, soy milk or a generous splash of freshly squeezed orange juice.

The great thing about granola is you can easily vary the ingredients.  If you don’t have dates use dried cranberries.  If you don’t have chia seeds use pumpkin seeds instead.  As long as you have your ‘base’ of oats, one type of nut (almond works best in my opinion) and coconut you can then add and change the other ingredients to create your very own grand granola.

What is agave nectar or syrup?
*Agave pronounced ah-gah-vay is a large spiky plant that resembles a cactus or a yucca, but is actually a succulent. It is best known for the plant from which tequila is made but it has also been used for centuries as a natural sweetener (comparable in taste to honey) in food and beverages alike.  Agave comes in both a light and dark syrup.  The dark unfiltered nectar contains more minerals and a rich flavour (comparable to that of maple syrup).

Why agave?
It has a low glycemic profile
It is ethical, which is not the case for honey I’m afraid
1.4 times sweeter than sugar means you use less
It can be used in any food or drink; coffee, tea, smoothies, for baking, in sauces, dressings, as a topping and is oh so divine on a piping hot crumpet!

The ultimate breakfast smoothie

This smoothie is my family’s favourite… so much so, that our toddler’s eyes light up when he hears the words ‘smoothie time’.

Smoothies

What you’ll need: makes 4-6 serves

2 bananas
1 pear
1/2 an avocado (I often use a whole one, but half will do the trick)
Protein powder (optional: I use Sun Warrior’s raw vegan 80% protein – available at all good health food stores)
50g rolled oats
1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds
500mls Rice milk (I use Australia’s Own with added calcium)
500mls Soy milk
1 tray of ice-cubes
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg
A blender or your Thermomix

How to make:

In a blender, peel then break up the bananas
Quarter the pear (no need to deseed)
Scoop out the advocado
Add the oats, chia seeds and two tablespoons of protein powder (if using)
Finally add rice milk and soy milk along with 5-8 ice cubes
Blend until smooth.  If you have a Thermomix blend for 25 seconds on speed 9

Pour into glasses and sprinkle with either ground cinnamon or nutmeg

If you are rushed for time in the morning these can be made the night before. I just pop a reusable take-away lid on top of the glass before putting them in the fridge.

Did you know… calcium fortified rice milk, mixed with a quality soy milk will give you a complete dairy substitute?  The soy milk provides you with fat and protein and the fortified rice milk your calcium.

The secret to my recipe is the avocado, which gives the smoothie its irresistible creamy consistency.  Not to mention, avocado is thought the world’s healthiest fruit containing nutrients like potassium, folic acid, vitamin C, B6 and copper.