summer

easy spelt focaccia & a vegetable garden

13th June 2017

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I make this focaccia every Sunday as an accompaniment to our traditional pasta night.  I mix the dough in the morning and leave it covered on the side for a full day, the extra fermentation adds flavour to the bread.  You can also make it days before, and store in the refrigerator after the first rise, the dough develops a more complex flavour, and you can pull part of it out to make dinner – just be sure it has time to come to room temperature before shaping and continue with the recipe.

I usually make one large focaccia but since our move a month ago I have a small oven that fits two narrow trays – now I make two oblong focaccia.

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Quality of Food

‘A very natural lifestyle in which we could collect fresh vegetables everyday would be even more ideal, however. Growing a small garden can serve that purpose to some degree. There are also many other benefits one may experience from having a small garden. For example, one may gain beneficial exercise, as well as deep satisfaction in doing garden work. If done in a measured and relaxed way, it may lead to a calm and quiet mind.’ 

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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easy spelt focaccia

Makes 1 rectangular or 2 small focaccia. 

Recipe slightly adapted from Good to the Grain, by Kim Boyce.

‘You can top the focaccia with almost anything: a liberal pouring of oil and a dusting of salt, a handful of fresh herbs, olives or sautéed vegetables, or a flavourful tomato sauce. However you plan to top your focaccia, before cooking pour a generous glug of olive oil over the top – especially around the edges – for a crunchy golden crust’.

ingredients :

1¼ cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

tsp sugar

1 cup/120g whole spelt flour; plus additional for kneading

2½ cups/320g white spelt flour/all purpose flour

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 Tblsp olive oil + ¼ cup (divided) for drizzling over the top

herbs, spices, or other toppings of choice

preparation :

Lightly rub a large bowl with olive oil. Set aside.

Add 1¼ cups of warm water, yeast, and sugar to another bowl. Stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes.  (If it doesn´t, it may be inactive; throw it out and start again.)

Add the flours, salt, and 2 Tablespoons olive oil and mix to combine to form a sticky dough.

To knead by hand: Turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and silky.

Or, to use a food mixer: Fit the dough hook and add the water, yeast, and sugar to the mixer bowl, stir, and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low-speed until evenly combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.

For the first rise : Put the dough into the oiled bowl, turning it so that the top of the dough is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and leave for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

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Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

For the second rise : Place the dough on the baking sheet or divide the dough into two pieces and place them on the oiled baking sheet.  Stretch the dough out with your hands (It helps to oil your hands) into your desired shape on the baking sheet, and dimple it with your fingers. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour.

Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven (or put a single rack in the middle if you´re using one baking sheet) and preheat to 200C/400F.

After the dough has completed its second rise and has puffed up on the sheet, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, herbs or spices, or toppings of your choice.

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Bake for 22  – 25 minutes, until golden brown. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil while still hot from the oven.  Allow the bread to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Serve it with your favourite pasta or top it with mashed avocado, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, red pepper, fennel and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and salt.

Focaccia is always best eaten the day it is made.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

cosamberi – moong dal coconut carrot salad

31st May 2017

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Cosamberi is a delicious light, easily digestible raw salad that nourishes the body. It can be eaten twice a week and in all seasons. Cosamberi is best eaten as a side dish alongside a main meal. It can also be eaten as a small snack in the morning or evening.  It balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

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Less is More 

There are hundreds of varieties of food, but in order to be fit and healthy for Realization, we need to eat only a few of them. Once we establish a basic diet, we may or may not decide to eat other kind of foods. We are best served to work hard only for what is most needed to maintain a balanced mind and body. This is our duty and the essence of aparigraha (the value of having few belongings).

~ Dr. Shankaranarayana Jois – The Sacred Tradition of Yoga

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cosamberi

Serves 4 – as a side dish.

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma. 

Any left-over coconut can be grated, sealed and stored in the freezer. If unable to obtain fresh coconut, replace with ½ cup/35g dried shredded coconut.  For best results, grate the carrot and coconut small and fine, using the finer side of a box grater.

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ingredients :

½ cup/100g split moong dāl  (split yellow dāl)

1 heaped cup/75g grated fresh coconut

1 large carrot – approximately 100g

1 Tblsp + 2 tsp/25ml lemon juice – divided

⅓ cup/15g finely chopped coriander

½ tsp fine rock salt

voggarane :

1 Tblsp + 1 tsp/20ml peanut or coconut oil

½ heaped tsp mustard seeds

1 heaped tsp split urad dāl

1 dried red Byaadagi chilli

20 fresh curry leaves

pinch asafoetida powder

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation :

Rinse moong dāl thoroughly by covering with water and swishing around with your hand, drain, then repeat 3-4 times until the water runs clear.  Cover again with water and set aside to soak for one hour.  After one hour, drain the dāl through a fine-mesh sieve and allow it to dry for 15 minutes.

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Finely grate the fresh coconut using the finer side of a box grater – measuring 1 tightly packed cup.  Wash, peel and grate the carrot – measuring 1 tightly packed cup.  Pour 1 tsp lemon juice over the carrot to prevent discolouring. Rinse, dry and chop the fresh coriander – measuring ⅓ cup.  Place in a medium-sized bowl along with the soaked dāl, sprinkle with salt and do not mix.

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prepare the voggarane :

Depending on the level of spice preferred, cut the chilli into small or large pieces, then set aside.

In a small pan over medium heat, add oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the urad dāl and the chopped chilli, then fry until the urad dāl is golden in colour.  Add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, and continue to fry for a few seconds, swishing the pan around so the spices fry evenly.

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Pour the voggarane into the bowl, and add the remaining lemon juice, mixing well to allow all colours and flavours to blend evenly.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

everyday simple dal for Yasmin

6th March 2017

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A simple dal we make weekly, served with chapati and along side a cabbage or okra palya.  A recipe my daughter requested that I write-up so that she can refer to when she moves out later this year.  It is also one of her favourite meal combinations.  We are in the process of learning how to make 6 easy meals which she can prepare herself.  This dal being one of them.

If the thought of making chapati sounds a bit over whelming – it can be served with a bowl of rice and a crispy salad.  When drizzled with ghee it becomes a deeply soothing, warming, nourishing meal.

The tomatoes can be replaced with any vegetable of choice,  I like the process of stewing them in a voggarane pan before adding them into the cooked dāl, this way they slightly caramalise, deepening the flavour with the spices.

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~ Evening forage at the end of the day in a blanket of mist.  Silent.

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everyday simple dal

Serves 3 – 4

Inspired by Tara O’brady – Everyday Yellow Dal.

In Ayurveda, it is important to understand the different types of dal/legumes used and their energetic qualities.  There are two dals which are favourable and used most often – whole mung beans (whole moong beans) and split moong dal (yellow split lentils) which are whole moong beans skinned and split.  These two are easy to digest, gentle on the system and cause minimum disturbances to your constitution.  All other dal/legumes are recommended to use in moderation and in small quantities.

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ingredients :

1 cup/220g yellow split moong dal (yellow split lentils)

3 cups/750ml water

for the voggarane :

2 Tblsp ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

8 fresh curry leaves

1 dried chilli – torn in half

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 medium tomato, chopped into small pieces

½ – 1 tsp fine rock salt

a small handful coriander leaves

juice from half a lemon

preparation :

In a heavy saucepan, wash dal several times until water runs clear – then drain.

Pour the 3 cups water into saucepan and bring to boil on a medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a rapid simmer. (Do not cover the pot, this allows certain impurities or energetic imbalances to be eliminated.)  You may need to skim of any foam which accumulates at the top at the beginning of boiling.  Simmer until dāl is soft, creamy and broken down – approximately 30 minutes.  You may need to add a little water if the dal becomes too dry.  I like to have the consistency quite thick when serving with chapatis and more liquid when serving with rice.

While waiting for the dal to soften, prepare the voggarane.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee, once hot add mustard seeds; as the seeds start to splutter and pop (make sure the mustard seeds have popped well), add the cumin seed, curry leaves, fry for a few seconds, then add asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around allowing spices to fry evenly.  To the voggarane add the chopped tomatoes and ginger, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, fry until the tomato starts to break up.

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Stir this into the dal, add salt, lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander.  Serve with fresh chapati, a cabbage or okra palya.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

a traditional Ayurvedic herbal drink – Kashaya

3rd December 2016

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Kashaya is a deeply nourishing and soothing drink that brings calmness to the mind and supports the general health and balance of the system. Kashaya is appropriate for all constitutions and in all seasons.  It is recommended to consume at the end of a meal and to have once – twice a day.  Kashaya balances Vata, Pitta and Kapha, helps maintain the digestive fire and reduces heat in the body.

There are many variations of Kashaya – Below are two very simple and easy to prepare recipes for everyday use. They require only two of the main spices – cumin and coriander.  The first is a Kashaya powder which involves lightly roasting and grinding the seeds and the second, a simple infusion using the whole seeds.

Considering your constitution, it is good to keep in mind that jaggery is more heating for the body than brown sugar.

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coriander seed:

Coriander is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, pungent and sweet in taste.  It evokes the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing. It tonifies, increases absorption, improves digestive enzymes, reduces nausea and blood pressure.  Coriander seed removes excess heat in the body, making it useful in cooling Pitta-related imbalances associated with menopause.  It also supports proper function of the kidneys and healthy urination. The seeds combine well with Cumin to make an excellent digestive tea.

cumin seed:

Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion.  Bitter, Pungent and Astringent.  It is carminative, aromatic, and on the whole, cool in action.   A common household spice, its Sanskrit name literally means ‘promoting digestion’.  In addition to providing flavour to food, cumin evokes the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins.  It is useful to the eyes, beneficial to the heart and strengthens the uterus.  It enhances immunity and invokes good sleep.

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Coriander-Cumin Kashaya Powder

This recipe was shared by our teacher, Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Sadvidya Yoga Diploma.  It came about as an aid to reduce Pitta disturbances in the body and to assist with interrupted sleep due to menopause.  It is deeply nourishing and satisfying drink to have after a meal and satisfies that sweet craving, as well as benefiting from its wonderful medicinal qualities.  The key to opening up the real flavour is making sure that you get the kashaya to a rolicking boil just before straining – the heat changes everything.

Makes approximately 18 – 20 cups Kashaya

ingredients for kashaya powder :

⅓ cup/35g whole cumin seed

½ cup/35g whole coriander seed

preparation :

On a medium flame, heat a skillet until it is hot to touch. Dry-roast the cumin seeds until their colour deepens and a noticeable smell appears – approximately 1 minute. Seeds may start popping by that point.  Be careful not to burn the spices as they can ruin the taste of the kashaya.  Set aside to cool.  Place the coriander seeds into the skillet and repeat the process – the coriander seeds will take 1½  minutes to roast.

In a powerful blender/coffee grinder, grind the toasted cumin seeds to a fine powder. Pour into a bowl and set aside.  Repeat with the toasted coriander seeds – these may take slightly longer to grind.  Pour into the bowl with the ground cumin and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.  

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To preserve the medicinal qualities of the spices, it is recommended to make fresh every 10 – 14 days.

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to prepare the kashaya :

¾ cup water

1 heaped tsp Kashaya Powder

1 heaped tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 – 2 tsp/5 – 10mL milk (less milk is easier on the digestion, especially in the evening)

preparation:

In a small pan, pour in ¾ cup water and bring to boiling point.  Add the Kashaya powder and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk, stir and pour into a cup (no need to strain as drinking the layer of powder which collects at the bottom is beneficial for the medicinal properties). Set aside to cool until moderately warm.  Enjoy.

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Whole Coriander-Cumin Seed Kashaya

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1 serving

Don´t throw away those left over seeds after straining, place them in a pot outside your kitchen or in the garden – in no time you will have fresh greens to harvest for your cooking.

ingredients :

½ tsp whole coriander seeds

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

1 cup water

1 tsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 tsp/5mL milk (optional)

preparation :

In a small pan, pour in 1 cup of water and bring to boiling point.  Add the whole coriander and cumin seeds and sugar.  Allow to simmer for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat, add the milk (if using), and strain the Kashaya.  Set aside to cool until moderately warm.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

raw zucchini pasta with a creamy green garden dressing

3rd October 2016

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This is a recipe created last year for a series of raw dishes for Holmes Place, however I never got around to posting it here.  Also included, was this raw carrot slice and a refreshing, light gazpacho. A wonderful addition would be Donna’s roasted thyme-infused cherry tomatoes, and for a more substantial meal, you could even use a combination of zucchini noodles and cooked whole-grain pasta.

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~ Garden, bursting with beans and zucchini

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raw zucchini pasta with a creamy green  garden dressing

This is a light, refreshing raw meal and makes a great pasta replacement.  I love how the zucchini noodles behave so similarly to pasta. Tossed with a creamy herb dressing, it is a perfect meal on a hot Summer’s day. And is perfect for using up the surplus of summer zucchini in the garden.  

Serves 4 

Recipe slightly adapted from here

for the noodles :

2 large/800g mixed zucchini (yellow and green zucchini are always nice)

½ tsp fine Himalayan salt

for the creamy garden dressing :

½ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight/a minimum of 4 hours)

2 Tblsp water

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar

½ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 Tblsp fresh mint leaves

freshly ground pepper

pine nut parmesan for sprinkling

to make the noodles :

Wash, dry and cut the ends off the zucchini.  Take a box grater and place it on its side – the side with the largest grating holes on it face up.

With pressure and in long strokes, push the zucchini along the top of the grater in order to create long, thin ribbons of zucchini.  Or alternatively, use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to make long ribbons.

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Sprinkle the zucchini with the salt, toss gently, and place in a colander over a bowl for 20 minutes, allowing the excess liquid in the zucchini to drain.  Carefully and gently squeeze the zucchini over the colander.  Pat with a clean, absorbent kitchen towel to dry and soak up more of the liquid.

for the creamy garden dressing :

Drain the soaked cashew nuts.  Place in a high-speed blender or food processor, with the water, vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice.   Blend until smooth and creamy.  Add the basil, parsley and mint leaves and blend again until the herbs are well incorporated.

to assemble :

Using your hands, gently toss the zucchini with about three-quarters of the dressing.  Sprinkle over the pine nut parmesan, a few rounds of fresh pepper and toss again, using more dressing if needed.  To serve, garnish with more pine nut parmesan, and small leaves of basil and mint.  This dish is best served immediately.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

almond quinoa chocolate bars

21st September 2016

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Cool softened air, full moon swell, falling leaves, savouring the light….

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These have been a decadent treat around here.  Loved by all.  Perfect when you need something more than a dried date or fig for a sweet after a meal.  Based on this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories – a wonderful video is included showing you just how easy they are to make.  I altered the recipe slightly, adding ¼ cup hot water to the dates when mashing them. Even though the dates I used were soft, the hot water helped in the overall consistency. Instead of pumpkin seeds, I used extra almonds and toasted them to make them snappy and to bring out their flavour. I prefer using just almonds, as their qualities are less heating than most other nuts and seeds.  You could use a carob topping instead of the chocolate, by melting down carob buttons or using this glaze.

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almond quinoa chocolate bars

Makes 16 squares.

ingredients:

2 Tblsp coconut oil

200g soft medjool dates – approximately 10 dates

¼ cup/60ml hot water

1 cup/250g home-made almond butter

1 Tblsp fresh ginger, grated

a pinch rock salt, optional

½ cup/55 grams toasted almonds/hazelnuts

1 cup/80g puffed quinoa

for the chocolate topping:

100g dark chocolate

3 Tblsp dried unsweetened coconut

preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

to roast the almonds:

Place the whole almonds/hazelnuts on a tray and toast for approximately 8 minutes.  If using hazelnuts – while they are still warm, rub the nuts in a towel to remove the skins.  Allow to cool, finely chop and set aside.

to make the almond quinoa bars:

Line a 7 x 7/8 x 10-inch baking tray with baking paper, leaving 2 inches around the edges.

Remove the seeds from the dates and measure out 200 grams.  Set aside.  Melt the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Take off the heat and add the dates into the saucepan with the coconut oil.  Add the hot water and mash with a fork.  Mix in the almond butter, ginger and salt, stirring until it all comes together.  Remove from heat and add the puffed quinoa, chopped roasted almonds/hazelnuts, incorporating everything evenly.

Using your hands, press the mixture very tightly into the lined dish, until completely even and flat. Using the edges of the baking paper, fold over and run your finger along the edges to create level sides and corners.  Place in the freezer while preparing the chocolate coating.

to melt the chocolate topping:

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Remove from heat, then using a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly over the slice. Sprinkle with half the shredded coconut, leaving the other half to sprinkle on later.

Place in the freezer for at least two hours, until cold and firm. Using a sharp knife, cut into bite-sized squares or rectangular bars. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. The bars will keep for a month.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

green bean palya

11th September 2016

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This is a great dish to make in late August when you have a glut of beans that cannot be picked fast enough and are becoming quite tough and in need of that extra boiling time to soften and bring out the flavour.  The climbing bean would have to be one of my favourite vegetables growing in the garden.  Once they are at their peak they continue to produce at a fast and furious rate.  Here, in Europe I grow the runner beans which have proven to do the best, being most resilient and tough, in this odd unpredictable, misty, Sintra climate.  They also produce the most beautiful flowers of ivory and cream.

Before leaving for our Summer holiday I planted a second round of climbing beans, planting in hope to extend the season, but alas only two came up, fortunately I also threw in a bed of very old french beans to clean out my seed box.  To my surprise all sprouted with robust enthusiasm and are close to picking in two weeks, I just hope the weather stays warm as we edge our way into early Autumn.  This is the warmest and dryist of Summers we have had since arriving in Portugal and the garden is rejoicing in it.

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This dish may be used as a condiment or independently served with rice, chapati or poori.  It strengthens the body, is easily digested and is suitable for all constitutions.   Suitable to be used daily and throughout all seasons.  For a variation of taste, lemon juice can be added at the end of preparation.  This variation is recommended when eating with rice.

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Green Bean Palya

The chilli, commonly used in South Indian cooking, is Byaadagi chilli and is known for its deep red colour; it is relatively sweet and less spicy.  If unsure about the level of spice of the chilli you are using, leave whole or cut in half.

The Byaadagi chilli, split bengal gram & urad dāl can be purchased at your local Indian store.

Serves 4

Recipe shared by our teacher Ganapati Aarya, as part of the Jivana Yoga Diploma.  

ingredients :

4 cups /420g green beans

4 Tblsp peanut/melted coconut oil

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp split bengal gram (chickpea)

1 tsp split urad dāl (black gram)

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 medium, mild dried red chilies,chopped

tsp hingu powder (asafoetida)

½ tsp turmeric powder

20-25 fresh curry leaves

1½ cups/375ml  water

5 Tblsp dried shredded coconut

1 tsp rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

½ cup chopped coriander leaves

Preparation:

Wash, top-tail and chop the green beans into small pieces.  Set aside.

In a heavy bottom skillet, over a medium flame, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds; wait until they start to splatter and pop and then add the bengal gram, urad dāl, cumin seeds, chillies, and hingu. 

Fry until bengal gram and urad dāl have turned golden in colour then add the turmeric powder and curry leaves.

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Add to the skillet the chopped beans, water, salt and jaggery. 

Stir to combine.  Simmer rapidly on medium heat until the beans have softened – approximately 15 minutes.  If wanting more of a firm bean, simmer for less time.

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Turn off the heat and stir in the dried coconut and fresh coriander leaves. 

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Allow to sit for 5 minutes in order to cool slightly and for the flavours to be absorbed.  Taste, adding more salt or jaggery, as needed.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

blackberry – acai popsicle

2nd September 2016

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A gorgeous coloured blackberry sorbet in celebration with the season, with the added benefits of acai – a recipe for the Holmes Place magazine; an ongoing concept of ‘super foods ‘ throughout the year.

‘Acai is a rich, deep purple fruit which is similar in shape to a grape and has a mild chocolate-y berry sweetness. These berries grow in huge clusters near the tops of palm trees, which grow in the Amazon rain forests. Each Acai berry contains just 10% fruit and pulp and a large seed, which has no benefits, so harvesting this fruit is laborious since the tree has no branches and each cluster of berries needs to be cut and brought down manually in order to preserve the fruit and pulp.  Within the nutritional pulp and skin, Acai berries are packed with antioxidants, amino acids, fibre, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It helps to increase your antioxidant levels, boosts your energy levels, supports your immune system and helps to promote a healthy digestive system.’

There are three basic ways to add acai to a recipe: acai powder, acai juice and acai frozen smoothie packs. Here, I choose to use the powder which is more widely available and which has been freeze-dried instantly to preserve the active components and is not overly processed. The powder can be added to smoothies, juices, home-made ice creams, sprinkled over your morning porridge, or added into raw treats.

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~home~

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Blackberry-Acai Popsicle

Makes 9 small popsicles

If you don’t have blackberries, try a different berry variety, blueberries, raspberries or even strawberries.  For a creamier sorbet, replace the apple juice with coconut cream by refrigerating a tin of coconut milk, & scooping out the white thick cream on top.   If you don’t have access to acai powder, it can be easily omitted. 

ingredients:

3 cups fresh blackberries, washed

2 medium ripe frozen bananas

½ cup unsweetened apple juice or fruit juice of choice

2 teaspoon acai powder

2 Tablespoon natural sweetener of choice (coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey)

preparation:

Wash the berries and place in a high-speed blender or food processor, along with the peeled frozen bananas, apple juice, & acai powder.  Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping if you need to push the fruit down with a rubber spatula.  Taste, and add sweetener, if required.  Blend again to incorporate the sweet.

Spoon or pour into your popsicle holders, & freeze until firm or enjoy as is, for an instant treat.  When ready, pull the popsicle out of their moulds by running them under some warm water. 

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References – https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/facts-and-myths-about-acai-berry

Goodness shared by Stacey

mango passionfruit sorbet

6th August 2016

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I photographed this before I left for our holiday. We travelled for almost 2 days and a bit, arriving in a bit of a daze – a haze. Finally, with our feet on earthly ground and toes in the sand.  The jet lag is HUGE, but worth every moment of breathing in all these scents and sounds which are so familiar.  The early, early mornings are my most favourite, most alive, sitting out on the deck, watching the sky change its colour from black to blue to pink to orange – so brightly. And with it all, along comes the eerie call of the curlew, followed by a kookaburra and then the screech and squawk of the white-crested cockatoos.  Australia is a beautiful country.

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Glorious days, white sands & soft, glowing, clear skies.

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mango passionfruit sorbet

Serves 6

This is incredibly quick & easy, with a remarkable end result of a golden-coloured smooth, refreshing sorbet for these hot Summer days or as a light evening treat to end a meal.

ingredients :

650g/3 heaped cups fresh ripe mango (2 large mangos)

6 – 8 passionfruit

2 Tblsp mild-tasting honey/maple syrup (optional)

preparation:

Peel & chop the mango flesh into large chunks and place in a bowl.  Run your hand over the seed to remove as much of the mango pulp and juice as possible.  Place the pulp and the honey into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.   Set aside.

In a medium jug, half the passionfruit and scoop out the pulp.  Pour the mango puree into the jug and stir to combine with a spoon.

Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and churn for about 25 – 30 minutes, or to the manufacture´s instructions, until frozen.  The sorbet will be soft.  Transfer to a container, cover and freeze for at least 3 hours or until completely frozen.

When ready to serve, allow to soften outside for 15 minutes before scooping into bowls.  Garnish with leaves of fresh lemon verbena and bright, edible flowers.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, freeze the cut mango until solid.  Place in a blender with the honey and blend until smooth.  Stir in the passionfruit pulp and place in the freezer until it just starts to harden around the edges.  Whisk vigorously with a fork to break up any ice crystals, then freeze until firm.

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roasted red pepper walnut spread

1st July 2016

roasted red pepper

One of the (much well received) additions to our table recently is this roasted red pepper walnut spread.  This is one recipe I have made quite a few times as a wholesome snack, entree, spread or more filling side dish to an otherwise light salad based meal. Whatever the occasion, time of day or audience I can almost always be assured of…’mmm…whats in this?!’. My answer has always been…’oh, I’ll post it on my blog’. So here it is.

If there is one vegetable when roasted that brings it´s goodness, it’s a roasted bell pepper.  After being roasted in the oven, the skin becomes charred, wrinkly and the inside sheds its blistered skin – emerging more succulent and sweeter than the raw version. The transformation is magical and delicious.

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-a garden edging it´s way into Summer

red pepper

roasted red pepper walnut spread

Makes about 2 cups

I  have been looking for a another tasty dip other than the usual hummus or guacamole we serve so often here, and one that satisfies the matured taste buds of young adults.  The roasted pepper adds a distinct sweetness and the toasted walnuts & breadcrumbs balance out that sweetness.  It is great served as a dip, as a spread on sandwiches or over a base for a pizza.

Recipe from 101 cookbooks – Heidi Swanson.

ingredients :

3 medium/450g red pepper  (I like to use the long pepper – I find them sweeter more flavourful than bell pepper)

¾ cup/70g walnuts

¼ cup/25g whole-grain bread crumbs

½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes

½ tsp whole cumin seeds

2 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve

2 Tblsp honey/pomegranate molasses

4 Tblsp tomato paste

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

preparation :

Pre – heat the oven to 410F/210C.

Place the whole peppers on a rimmed tray lined with a baking sheet.  Roast, until the skin has become charred, and wrinkled, 50 to 60 minutes.

While the peppers roast, place a few slices of sourdough bread in the oven and toast until crunchy, approximately 20 minutes, place the walnuts into the oven to toast for 5 minutes. Careful not to burn.  Remove and set aside to cool.

When the pepper are ready, remove from the oven and gather up the corners of the baking sheet from the tray and wrap the peppers (use a kitchen towel to help if it is too hot).  This will steam them enabling the skins to easily peel off .

Cool until you can handle them, about 15 minutes, then remove the skin, seeds, and stems.   Keep the liquid from the peppers to add to the processor.  Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.

Using  a food processor attached with an S blade, process the bread crumbs, when coarsely ground, measure out ¼ cup and return to the processor, add the chilli flakes and walnuts and process until the walnuts are roughly ground.

roasted red pepper ingredients

Add the cumin seeds, olive oil, honey, tomato paste, salt and skinned peppers with their roasting liquid, process until everything is well incorporated and you have a smooth consistency.

Garnish with basil leaves, extra walnuts, and drizzle with olive oil.  Serve with fresh crackers, toasted bread, or with freshly made chapati (my favourite option) and a green, garden salad.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

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