Category Archives: Detox

* Sprouted Falafel *


I’ve been living the “single life” on and off for a few years now as my Beau and I have lived in different locations for work and play. I generally adjust pretty well to life as a solo lass and have come up with a few recipes which have saved my bacon on many a late night home.

Falafel is something that I’ve been a big fan of for a long time and especially fell in love with whilst living in Jordan a few years back. In Jordan and other countries in the Middle East, falafel is a serious business. There are various people involved in the falafel creation process; from preparing, forming, frying and drying the falafel. The freshest of fresh falafel balls are then devoured with hummus, pickles and pita bread hot from the oven – and yes, the experience is amazing. The picture below is from Hashems, the world famous falafel joint in the Old Town in Amman, Jordan. I really did eat a lot of falafel that day.

All go Felafel

Back in New Zealand, no falafel has ever come close to those halcyon days of life in the Middle East. Until recently –  when I finally gave it a go myself and tried hard to replicate what those falafel artisans had made, though in true Super Foodie style, much, much healthier.

The key is to start with the best chickpeas (also referred to as garbanzos). I go to the organic shop Taste Nature around the corner from my apartment Dunedin, New Zealand. Taste Nature source their chickpeas from Turkey via Chantal Organics. Chickpeas are nutritional powerhouses, being highly valued for their high fibre and protein content, as well as iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K.

The benefits of sprouting are aplenty and definitely get the Super Foodie tick of approval. Once seeds, grains and beans have been sprouted, they have 15 – 30% more protein, more vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron and phosphorous. Through the sprouting process, these mini plants are bursting with nutrition and vitality. They’re also easier to digest, as the complex sugars are broken down and enzyme inhibitors are neutralised, in turn decreasing bloating from intestinal gas.

If you’ve never sprouted chickpeas before, it’s a doddle and only takes about a minute of your time everyday until they’re fully germinated. All you’ll need is: chickpeas, muslin cloth, a wide bowl and a rubber band. Rinse and soak the chickpeas in water for 24 hours. Put the muslin cloth over the bowl, secure with a rubber band then rinse with water morning and night for a further 36 hours. When the chickpeas have grown little tails (about 1/2 cm) they are ready to be made into morsels of delicious falafel.

Once in a while I’ll make up a massive batch of falafel to get me through. I’ll add whatever suitable spices I have in stock and greens from the garden and never follow an exact recipe. For me cooking is about tasting along the way and following my gut instinct.

After forming the falafel into balls / patties, I pop them into the freezer in an airtight container (layered and separated by greaseproof paper) and defrost as required. I serve the falafel (either lightly fried in oil or au naturel) in a wrap with grated beetroot, carrot, tomato, avocado, fresh spinach and mint from the garden and lashings of chilli sauce and tahini. Alternatively, with whatever vegetables I have in the fridge (silverbeet / Swiss chard, red cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts etc.) stir fried with grated ginger, garlic, tamari / soy sauce, and garnish with avocado, fresh herbs and yes, lashings of tahini and chilli sauce.

I encourage you to not follow the recipe exactly; try a bit of this, a bit of that. If you don’t like a particular spice that’s in the recipe, don’t use it. It’s the kind of recipe where you really can just do what you want.

Sprouted Felafel

Sprouted Falafel

2 cups of sprouted chickpeas

A small onion

5 cloves of garlic

A large bunch of parsley, chopped

A large bunch of spinach or silver beet or Swiss chard, chopped

1/2 a teaspoon of Himalayan rock salt

1/4 a teaspoon of pepper

3 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of coriander

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

1/2 a teaspoon of mixed spice

3 tablespoons of chickpea flour or almond meal (you may need a bit more)

A chia egg (1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes)

A tablespoon of tahini

Olive oil, rice bran oil or coconut oil for frying (optional)

Process the sprouted chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, spinach / silver beet / Swiss chard, salt, pepper and spices until well combined, but still a bit chunky.

Transfer to a bowl and add the almond meal/chickpea flour, chia egg and tahini and mix well.

Allow the mixture to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes then form into balls.

Eat these raw or lightly fried in oil. Shukraan!

* Beetroot, Carrot and Ginger Elixir *


Beetroot, Carrot and Ginger Elixir

I wouldn’t be without my daily dose of freshly pressed juice. I have the luxury of working approximately 2.46 minutes walk away from my inner city apartment and I return home every weekday lunchtime to my juice awaiting me in the fridge. My lovely Beau is Weekday Juice Boy and I’m Weekend and Holiday Juice Girl, so there is no excuse not to have our daily juicy juicy hit.

So, why is juicing so damn good for you?

Juice is a concentrated source of antioxidants, nutrients and immune enhancing goodness, which will increase your energy if you’re feeling sluggish and ensure you’re fighting fit again.

Juice is brimming with brilliant phytochemicals, which are the substances in plants that are among the most powerful ways to fight disease.

Juice is also a quick source of live enzymes, vitamins and minerals in their natural state. In combination with the micronutrients present in juice, cells can quickly absorb a greater amount of goodness, which supercharges your body. Also, as all or most of the fibre is removed, the digestive system is not being taxed and is able to absorb a higher proportion of nutrients.

This concoction of beetroot, carrot and ginger is called an elixir, as right now as summer beckons (and winter for you all in the northern climes), it’s a serious vitamin dose to get that spring back in your step. Beetroot in particular is one of the richest sources of nitrates and antioxidants that improves blood flow and blood pressure in the body. Beetroot juice’s star attraction is its unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which research has indicated provides antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory support. It’s also rich in folate, vitamin C, potassium and nitrates, and is one of the best liver cleansers around, so drinking it every day is a stellar habit to get in to before the impending ‘silly season’.

Some people can feel nauseous after drinking beetroot juice, so start off by juicing half a beet and gradually increase. Evidently this is due to the rapid cleansing action of beetroot as it detoxifies the kidney, liver and blood.

If you don’t have a juicer, I thoroughly recommend investing in one – it’s been one of the best purchases that we’ve ever made. With Christmas just around the corner, buy one for your beloved, then you can both reap the benefits.

Beetroot, Carrot and Ginger Elixir

1/2 to a whole beetroot

2 – 4 carrots

A small to large knob of ginger, depending how spicy you like it

A whole apple or cranberry juice to sweeten.

Rev up the juicer, press the ingredients into a glass, top up with cranberry juice (optional) and drink up.

* Embas Bread *


Embas Bread

I’d been searching for a wholesome, super healthy bread recipe for a long, long time, as bread was one of the only foods I ate that I didn’t make from scratch and I like to know what’s really in my food. Store-bought, overly processed bread just does not seem to agree with me and although I do indulge occasionally, it is best avoided. I was overjoyed when this recipe for Life-Changing Loaf of Bread popped into my mail box from the beloved My New Roots blog, as it saved me many, many hours in the kitchen and gave me some serious inspiration to bake.

I’ve called my take on this recipe ‘Embas Bread’, as in stark contrast to regular wheat bread, this keeps you going for hours, much in the same way that Lembas Bread kept those wee Hobbits trekking for days. And my other name (no, not Super Foodie, the other one) is Em.   Ta da!

I’ve adapted the original recipe by increasing the ratio of flaxseeds and decreasing the sunflower seeds, oil and salt. I’ve also made two versions of this bread, a savoury and a sweet. The sweet option is my fave and is reminiscent of the Müsli-Brot that was a weekly staple whilst living in Berlin. It’s laden with figs and dates, spiced with cinnamon and mixed spice and is perfect for breakfast as banana on toast. The savoury version is also rather delicious and certainly keeps the Other Half happy. I make them both at the same time and store them in the freezer, sliced and ready to tuck in to.

Both versions of the bread are extremely nutritious and get a big Super Foodie tick of approval. Psyllium husks are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre and keep those bowels in top form. Flaxseed and chia are tiny seeds with mighty powers which provide a solid protein hit, as well as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fat which is very good for your heart. There is also no flour in these recipes, the base being made up of rolled oats, which are renowned for sustained energy release to keep you powering through the day.

As well as being a Super Foodie dream, this recipe is also easy. No kneading, no rising, no finicky measures. Just bang it all in a bowl or pan, wait a couple of hours or overnight, bake and await the glorious scent of fresh bread wafting through your home.

Sweet Embas Bread

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

3/4 of a cup of flaxseed (a mix of whole and ground if you like)

3/4 of a cup of sunflower seeds

A cup of figs and dates, rustically chopped (you can also add nuts too)

4 tablespoons of psyllium husks

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

A teaspoon of cinnamon

A teaspoon of mixed spice

1/8 of a teaspoon of fine Himalayan rock salt

2 tablespoons of honey, agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of oil (coconut, olive or rice bran)

1 1/2 cups of water (you may need a touch more if you are using ground flaxseed)

Savoury Embas Bread

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

3/4 of a cup of flaxseed (a mix of whole and ground if you like)

3/4 of a cup of sunflower seeds

A cup of nuts and/or other seeds (pumpkin, poppy and sesame seeds work well)

4 tablespoons of psyllium husks

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1/4 of a teaspoon of fine Himalayan rock salt

A tablespoon of honey, agave or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of oil (coconut, olive or rice bran)

1 1/2 cups of water (you may need a touch more if you are using ground flaxseed)

Grease a loaf pan or line with baking paper. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl or in the loaf pan. Mix all of the wet ingredients together, add to the dry ingredients and mix well. If using a bowl, transfer mixture into the loaf pan. Spread evenly in the pan and allow to rest for anywhere between 2 – 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 160° c fan bake. Place loaf in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and place upside down on the oven rack and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. The loaf is ready when it’s a wonderful golden brown colour and sounds hollow when tapped.

* Bikram Yoga *


Bikram Yoga Dunedin

I have a love/hate relationship with Bikram yoga. I love keeping up my practice, the peaceful sleeps and the alignment of body and mind. Then at times, especially during the really challenging postures which my body needs the most, I loathe being stuck in the stuffy, sweltering studio and wonder why I’m putting myself through this again. This abhorrence never lasts long, as the endorphins kick in and a feeling of immense, elated calm ensues – I’m won over again.

I’m very lucky that we have a seriously good studio here in Dunedin, New Zealand, which is welcoming, encouraging and unpretentious. I’ve practiced in a few other studios around New Zealand and Europe and I feel as though I’m more focused and poised here than anywhere else. The instructors at our studio are highly supportive and always willing to impart their knowledge about which postures benefit the various parts of the body and assist the students in fine tuning their practice. They also like to really challenge the students, much to our advantage – it’s the hottest, sweatiest studio I’ve ever been in and it puts us all in a determined, unified mindset, ready to stretch as far as we can and stay in the postures for the duration. This camaraderie is like nowhere else I’ve been. It’s little wonder we do so well in competitions, often taking out the top prizes in national competitions.

One thing that I’m attempting to overcome since I began practicing a few years ago (very sporadically, I must add) is feeling faint during the standing series. I have really low blood pressure and have often felt uncontrollably weak, where I begin seeing stars and am forced to sit down and avoid the next posture. It has long been a source of frustration but I’ve found a few ways to counteract this, which I’ll outline below.

Nutrition plays a huge part in practicing Bikram yoga and I’ve learnt that I need to be super energised to be on my game. Smaller meals throughout the day containing whole grains and protein, such as a chickpea and quinoa salad are key. I always have a high potassium snack a few hours before the class, which usually consists of a banana or a kefir bananarama shake. As I’m a hungry lass with a speedy metabolism, I often need to have another wee snack on my way out the door, which won’t interfere with my practice. A few dates dipped in a smidgen of peanut butter or tahini does the trick.

Hydration is also critical, as the 90 minute class is in tropical heat and sweating is the name of the game. A great deal of water needs to be consumed throughout the day and caffeinated drinks restricted in the afternoon. Coconut water is the bees knees for the Bikram yogi. It’s a natural isotonic drink which naturally replenishes the body with sodium, potassium and magnesium after excessive sweating. Himalayan rock salt also works wonders. In much the same way as coconut water, it restores the body with crucial electrolytes and is packed with over 80 minerals and trace elements including iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, silica and selenium. Sprinkle some over lunch or swallow a few crystals about an hour before class.

After the class, I’m often ravenous by the time I get home. My darling Beau usually has a hearty meal cooking on the stove, which I try my best not to wolf down. I head to bed, inspired, rejuvenated and enthused about the next day. Bikram yoga is highly enriching and I encourage you all to give it a whirl.

* This is the first post in the new lifestyle section of my blog. Stay tuned for more interesting topics and healthy tips for living life to the full.

* Kefir Bananarama Shake à la Fabulous Fermentation Week *


I’m so into bananarama shakes right now. I simply must have at least one per day, usually straight after work or on weekend afternoons before heading to the Botanics for some frisbee extravaganza action. I usually make my bananaramas with almond milk, but my dear friend and fellow food blogger Kauia Moriaty who writes the wunderbar eat it blog, informed me of the ladies who are spreading the joys of fermenting to the masses. Elenore Bendel Zahn who writes the Earthsprout blog and Sarah Britton from My New Roots are pioneering this fermentastic revolution and provide thorough and informed expositions on the benefits of fermenting fabulously.

I’m fairly new to fermenting, in fact, I’d only ever fermented kefir using cow’s milk and the result was seriously tart – so tart, it was undrinkable. The Fabulous Fermentation Week inspired me to try again and reap the nutritional rewards of these (dare I say) seriously strange grains.

Kefir is fermented milk made with kefir grains, which is a symbiotic culture of yeasts and good bacteria. It’s believed to have originated in the Caucasus mountains and is increasing in popularity as people are waking up to its incredible health benefits. Kefir is highly nutritious, full of gut-aiding probiotics and has a good dose of B12, which is good news for vegans and vegetarians whose diets are usually lacking in this integral vitamin. It also contains vitamins B1, B6, D, as well as folic acid, iodine, calcium and iron. Kefir can also be made from various types of milk, including coconut, almond, rice, seed, soy or dairy and can also ferment fruit juice and coconut water.

I purchased whole milk kefir from the organic store and sat it on the bench for a couple of days until the cauliflower-esque grains appeared and the kefir had started to form. As I wanted to make an almond milk kefir, I strained the kefir and washed the wee grains thoroughly and started the kefir process again, by putting the kefir grains and a good dose of almond milk in a jar, popping the lid on and allowing it to sit for a day or two.

If you find it really hard to stomach uber-tart food or beverages, disguising kefir is the key. Bananas are a great way to disguise the tartiest of tart flavours and coconut milk provides a creamy hit to balance the shake. LSA (Linseed, Sunflower, Almond mix) fortified with buckwheat, quinoa and chia provide an extra nutrient hit and the honey (or agave, maple syrup) gives the bananarama shake a nectarous finish.

Kefir Bananarama Shake à la Fabulous Fermentation Week                                                                                                                                                                

A cup of kefir, any which way you please

A cup of coconut milk

2 very ripe bananas

2 tablespoons of LSA

A tablespoon of raw honey, agave or maple syrup

A few cubes of ice

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and whizzz. Serve on the deck in the sun with your dearest or if you’re in the cooler climes, watching the snow and dreaming of summery pastures new.


* Flaxseed and Chia Crackers with Beetroot and Horseradish Creme *


Entertaining season is upon us. The garden is delightfully fragrant and heaving with life as summertime has graced us with its glorious presence. Christmas and New Years are done and dusted – it’s the perfect time to catch up with your nearest and dearest, free from the pressure that can come with Christmas celebrations.

In our house, we love to entertain. A typical soiree may include mojitos on the deck in the sun, followed by a casual dinner, often piping hot from the barbeque, then an all-night, killer karaoke session (well, past midnight anyhoo.) Yes, we do have the luxury of not having neighbours, in case you were wondering.

When entertaining, it is absolutely imperative that you can whip something up quick smart and more importantly, with the greatest of ease after a couple of mojitos in the bright, bright sun. Or else, impress your guests with those famously endearing cooking show words “here’s something I prepared earlier”. Which is by far the simplest method, in my opinion. And let the boys sort out the barbeque menu, which we all know they love to do.

I’m an absolute cracker fiend, with an addiction to Vita-Weat 9 Grain crackers. I’ve been wanting to make my own crackers and as a keen observer of all things foodie, I’ve come across a few recipes for flax seed or linseed crackers. My New Roots is a very inspiring blog, which provides incredibly healthy, innovative recipes. These crackers are inspired by Sarah Britton’s Savory Flax Crackers recipe. These crackers are pure goodness – no refined flour, just a serious dose of flax, chia, sesame and sunflower seeds. Flax seeds provide omega-3 essential fatty acids, which is great for both your heart and skin. Lignans are also present- a group of chemical compounds which are estrogen-type chemicals that also act like antioxidants in the body to counteract free radical damage. Additionally, by making your own crackers, the preservatives and additives which are usually present in the store-bought varieties are avoided.

A New Year’s resolution of mine is to have beetroot every day. I usually have beetroot, carrot and ginger juice most days, but I’m going to step it up a few notches. Beetroot is one of the best foods to cleanse your body and after an epic Christmas and New Years, I think many will be in need of a mighty good dose of this super food. The wonderful detoxifying effect that beetroot has on the liver is really quite amazing. Beetroot is also high in iron and will kick start the digestive system, which probably needs to be awoken after Christmas indulgence. By serving this winning combination at your partay, you’ll be doing yourself and your guests a favour by detoxing whilst you’re retoxing, hopefully counteracting the effects of one mojito too many.

Flax seed and Chia Crackers

A cup of flax seeds

A cup of water

1/4 of a cup of sesame seeds

2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

A tablespoon of sesame oil

A tablespoon of olive oil

A teaspoon of Himalayan rock salt

1/2 a teaspoon of pepper

Pulse the flax seeds in a blender until fine. In a bowl, soak the flax seeds in water and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

Toast the sesame and sunflower seeds in a pan until aromatic and golden. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix in the remaining ingredients and spread evenly onto a grease proof paper-lined tray.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Cut into any shape you wish whilst the cracker sheet is still warm. Allow to cool.

Beetroot and Horseradish Creme

500 grams of beetroot

1/2 a cup of sunflower seeds or cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours, rinsed well and drained

2 tablespoons of horseradish or horseradish creme*

The juice of a lemon

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 a cup of freshly-pressed beetroot juice

A tablespoon of olive oil

Himalayan rock salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180°c or time it with the crackers coming out of the oven. Boil the beetroot with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a while and peel the skin off using your fingers. Cut into wedges and bake in the oven for 30 minutes with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan rock salt. Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely.

In a food processor, pulse the activated cashews or sunflower seeds until a smooth consistency is reached. Add the beetroot and pulse again until smooth. Add the horseradish, lemon juice, garlic, beetroot juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Whiz and transfer into a bowl. Garnish with fresh herbs  and serve with the flax seed and chia crackers.

* Some horseradish products that I’ve seen contain clarified butter. If you are vegan, please check the label.

* Christmas Cake with Creamy Cashew Icing *


Christmas Cake

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Wow, the silly season has really lived up to its name this year. So many dinner invites, Christmas shopping, BBQs, elderflower fizz cocktails, a wedding, driving ten hours to reach my family’s place in Kaiteriteri, Motueka. One hardly has time to think, let alone bake the annual Chrissie Cake.

If you’re like me and you love to leave things to the very last minute, this Christmas cake is a winner. I mean, look at how late I’m posting this and you’ll still have time to shop for the fruit, have a big pot of tea and cake at your favourite café, soak the fruit overnight, cook the cake and wrap all your pressies whilst drinking a sherry! Last year I whipped this cake up on Christmas Day whilst entertaining a crowd of twenty and it went down a treat.

A lovely lady called Ellie Henderson gave me this fruit cake recipe when I was a wee lass, out on a neighbourhood stroll in Kaiteriteri one day. I popped in and proceeded to devour a good portion of the Christmas cake the good host had offered me. To avoid a repeat, she kindly handed me the recipe. I couldn’t believe that this fruitcake that tasted so damn good had no fat or refined sugar.

I’ve tweaked the original recipe by adding a decadent twist of creamy cashew icing. The creamy icing is made up of cashews, which you can read how amazing they are in my recipe for Dreamy Lemon and Blueberry “Cheeseake” . The high content of dried fruit offers a generous dose of fibre, which will assist in cleansing the system after all the indulgent Christmas goodies. As this cake does not contain lard (eeek!) or mounds of sugar like a traditional Christmas cake, you’ll be able to eat a good portion and not feel like a nap afterwards, as your blood sugars should remain consistent. Until the Champagne Breakfast.

Christmas Cake with Creamy Cashew Icing

For the Christmas Cake:

1 kg of dried fruit (whatever you fancy… dates, currants, apricots, cranberries, sultanas, raisins, Goji berries, cherries, prunes.)

2 cups of good quality orange juice or tea

A teaspoon of cinnamon

A teaspoon of mixed spice

2 cups of self-raising flour

For the Creamy Cashew Icing:

2 cups of activated cashews

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

2 tablespoons of honey

The juice and zest of a lemon

A teaspoon of vanilla

A pinch of Himalayan rock salt

Water as needed

In a bowl, soak the cashews overnight in water. In another large bowl, soak the dried fruit in the orange juice, tea, or a mixture of the two. Add the mixed spice and cinnamon and stir well. Leave overnight in the refrigerator and give a stir every so often.

Heat the oven to 150°c. Line a large cake tin with baking paper. Add the self-raising flour and mix well. Spread the mixture into the lined tin and pop into the oven for 2 hours.

In a blender, combine all of the icing ingredients (apart from the water) and mix well. Add water as needed to reach the desired smooth consistency. Ice the cake and eat!