Category Archives: Raw

* 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.

* Fig and Macadamia Roll *


Fig and Macadamia Roll

Croatia. A dreamy, lush paradise basking in the warmth of the Adriatic. From a war torn country to a touristic pilgrimage, Croatia has emerged from the dark days to become a haven for foodies, the intrepid and those who simply want to laze on the beach drinking mojitos and wearing short shorts. This post marks the beginning of a series of recipes from a delightful holiday spent in Dalmatia a few months back.

As my Beau and I strolled through the narrow alleyways of the Old Town in Split, we were struck by the  intense heat of the Old Town, which entraps the hot air within its high brick walls. Sweat-drenched tourists battle on in a sedated state, longing for the next cool fix, like an icy-cold lemonade or a gelato. As is often the case in Croatia, the later in the day it is, the more critical it becomes to seek solace in air-conditioned shops and restaurants to cool off before heading to the next attraction. After watching the spectacle in the Old Town’s Square – a comical period drama of the Roman emperor Diocletian addressing the town folk outside his grand palace – we thankfully stumbled upon a tiny shop selling traditional Croatian gourmet products; sugar-coated almonds, honey lavender shortbread cookies and carob liqueur lined the shelves awaiting our Quality Control.

A generous pour of the customary carob liqueur by the hospitable host certainly did the trick and samples were devoured with great fervor. We had the pleasure of tasting a delectable little morsel of goodness, a fig and walnut roll, which many will attest has always been a heavenly combination. Made with young Dalmatian walnuts and orchard figs, dried in the Autumnal sun, this sweet treat graces many cheese boards in this neck of the woods and is typically matched with a fine local cheese, fresh from the Island of Pag or the farmer down the road.

To put an Antipodean twist on this classic, I created this figgy roll with macadamias and the result is is seriously good – intensely nectarous, wonderfully textured by the fig seeds and crunchy macadamias and lightly spiced by the cloves. The health benefits of figs are outlined in a previous post with a fresh fig recipe Goat Cheese, Figs and Walnuts with Drizzled Honey. The other super food star is the macadamia nut, which is native to Australia, New Caledonia and Indonesia, but is now grown in many warmer places, including our beloved New Zealand. Macadamias are a rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, like oleic and palmitoleic acids, which research suggests increases good (HDL) cholesterol and reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood. They are also a good source of minerals including selenium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, calcium and iron. A true wundernut, indeed.

If the figs have been laying about at the back of the pantry for a while, it works wonders to soak them overnight in some orange or grapefruit juice to freshen them up, hence why it is optional. If they are brimming with freshness, leave this part out. If you are vegan, try this recipe with a vegan cheese or creamy nut paste. This is also delicious as a sweetie treatie with a cup of tea or coffee.

Fig and Macadamia Roll

2 cups of dried figs, chopped

3/4 of a cup of orange or grapefruit juice (optional)

1 cup of macadamias

A tablespoon of honey (optional)

1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cloves

Soak the chopped dried figs in orange juice overnight if required. Drain off excess juice and pulse in a food processor until a sticky paste is formed.

Add the macadamias, honey (if you please) and cloves and pulse lightly, ensuring that some of the macadamias are still in large pieces.

Form into a roll using your hands, wrap in baking paper or glad wrap and keep in the fridge and cut into slices as required.

Alternatively, if you prefer a drier roll, allow to rest uncovered in the fridge or pantry for a few days. I can never wait that long, so I immediately enjoy with a strong cheese or a creamy vegan nut paste.

* 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.


* Dreamy Lemon and Blueberry “Cheesecake” (Raw + Vegan) *


Happy World Vegan Day!

To commemorate World Vegan Day, which marks the start of World Vegan Month, I thought that I’d celebrate by paying homage to the traditional German ritual of devouring cake most afternoons, usually at 1600 hours on the dot. In café’s and Bäckereien up and down the Vaterland, whether in a sleepy country village after a hike in the hills (with hiking poles, naturally) or street-side in the leafy green city of Berlin, people are honoring this tradition of “Kaffee und Kuchen” by eating cake.  Lots of cake.

Now that I’m back in New Zealand, I really appreciate these German niceties. New Zealand has an exceptional “café culture”, with more cafés than is actually necessary, but our rituals are not as defined as in Germany. I like to hold on to these traditions in my home country in a determined effort to feel closer to the Northern climes. Other European rituals I practice include drinking freezing vodka, listening to techno at any given opportunity and recycling with fervent intensity.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been exposed to some pretty damn good cafés in my time and my recent trip to Europe was most inspiring. There is a real movement towards eating healthier and more holistically. Naturally, the progression towards raw and vegan food was well noted, as organic shops, super markets, café’s and restaurants are offering more raw and vegan options. For more information on the benefits of eating raw, have a squizz at my recipe for Sprouted Quinoa, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad.

A wonderful café that I’ve had the privilege of working at is Goodies on Warschauer Straße in Friedrichain, Berlin. The food is amazingly innovative and the café is run like a well-oiled German ship. The raw + vegan cakes are absolute works of art and taste exceptional. Similarly with this Lemon and Blueberry “Cheesecake”, the main ingredient in a raw + vegan cake is nuts, predominantly cashews for the “cheese” mixture. The cashews give a super creamy texture and taste, without being high in saturated fat like your average cheesecake. Cashews have a lower fat content than other nuts and comprise of about 75% unsaturated fat acids. A good proportion of this is oleic acid, which promotes cardiovascular health. So you can “have your cake and eat it too” as the old saying goes.

This cake is an ode to those Goodies raw + vegan cakes and those honorary Germans eating cake pünktlich in the afternoon all over the world.

Dreamy Lemon and Blueberry Cheese Cake (Raw + Vegan)

2 cups of nuts – any mix you like (I use an even mix of walnuts and almonds)

1/2 a cup of pitted Medjool dates

1/4 of a cup of thread coconut

2 1/2 cups of cashews

1/2 a cup of agave

5 tablespoons of coconut oil, gently heated

The zest and juice of three lemons

1 vanilla pod, deseeded

1/4 of a cup of cold water

2 cups of blueberries (preferably fresh but can be frozen)

In a bowl, soak the cashews overnight or for a minimum 0f 4 hours.  In another bowl, repeat with the other nuts of your choosing. Rinse well, drain and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the nuts of your choice with the pitted dates until a crumb-like consistency is reached. Sprinkle thread coconut into a decent sized, round pan. Press the nut mixture onto the coconut, ensuring the base is flat and even.

Place the cashews, agave, coconut oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, vanilla and water in the food processor and puree until smooth.

Pour the mixture onto the crust and freeze for a couple of hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer and place the blueberries on top of the cake. Slice whilst frozen and transfer to a serving platter. Defrost for about an hour and serve to amazed friends who won’t believe it’s raw and vegan.

Serves 8.

* Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Raspberries and Candied Almonds *


Surely if there was a “Land of Chocolate”, Germany would be it (insert mental image from The Simpsons episode where Homer frolics around an imaginary German land made entirely out of chocolate here).  Chocolate appears everywhere in Germany, bright, alluring packets lining the aisles of supermarkets, corner stores and delis.  And my goodness, is it devoured – on buses, on the tube, biking down the road whilst talking on the phone, hiking in the hills – it seems it’s always a good time for a wee stück of chocolatey goodness.  Germany is one of the highest consumers of chocolate in the world and it is heavily engrained in German culture. It is also widely known that some kids grow up thinking that cows are actually purple after years of exposure to the purple Milka Chocolate cow.  In actual fact, the average German will eat around 11 kilograms of chocolate a year – meine Gute, that’s a whole lotta chocolate.

Chocolate has received a great deal of press in the past few years as research has unfolded just how high the levels of antioxidants are in cocoa, which you can read about in my recipe for chocolate spice bliss balls.  However, if you would like to go one step higher on the superfood-o-meter, raw cacao is the crème de la crème.  Raw cacao is one of the most beneficial superfoods that you can eat, it’s the cacao bean in it’s purest, most wunderbar form, containing iron, calcium, fibre, potassium and zinc.  Raw cacao is high in antioxidant flavanoids, which can help improve circulation and blood pressure. It also contains high levels of magnesium, which is one of the most effective minerals to combat stress, as well as building strong teeth and bones.  Raw cacao also promotes the release of neurotransmitters, which in turn release hormones that make you feel pretty fine and dandy.  One of these neurotransmitters, serotonin, can aid in reducing depression and combating PMS symptoms – what a superfood wunderkind!  The bonus is that by making your own chocolatey treats, you have absolute control over what you are putting into your mouths and can keep it as pure and unrefined as it was originally intended.

Chocolate mousse often conjures up thoughts of über-decadence, a bloated stomach and the goddess of all things domestic, Nigella Lawson.  In a typical chocolate mousse recipe, the main ingredients are cream, sugar and chocolate, which is such a feisty combination that it’s no wonder you feel like a nap afterwards.  However, with this chocolate avocado mousse, you get maximal health benefits with an intense chocolatey hit, without the post-dessert-too-much-dairy slump.  It’s sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan (when using agave) and can also be raw, providing raw honey or agave is used and that the almonds are kept in their natural state.  This dessert is also textural sensation – the tart raspberries, mixed with with the creamy chocolate mousse and lightly-spiced candied almonds is a superfoodie winner. Do it do it.

Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse with Candied Almonds

Two ripe avocados

Two tablespoons of raw cacao powder

Two tablespoons of coconut oil, softened

Two tablespoons of raw honey or agave

One teaspoon of vanilla paste/extract or a vanilla bean

A pinch of Himalayan rock salt

1/2 a cup of milk of your choosing (almond, hazelnut, dairy, rice, oat, etc)

1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries

Fresh mint to garnish

Candied Almonds

1/3 of a cup of almonds

One teaspoon of coconut oil

One tablespoon of raw honey

1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon

Spoon the avocado into a bowl, blender or food processor*.  Add the raw cacao powder, softened coconut oil, raw honey or agave, milk, vanilla and salt.  Mix until smooth.  In a bowl, lightly mash about half of the raspberries with a fork.  Layer into small glasses, alternating the mousse with the mashed raspberries and the whole raspberries as you like. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Toast the almonds for a few minutes in small frying pan until lightly crunchy.  Add the coconut oil and toss around in the pan for another couple of minutes.  Add the honey and keep the almonds moving around the pan until a light caramel color is reached.  Take off the heat, add the cinnamon and stir well.  Transfer to baking paper and allow caramel to set.  Once hardened, break up the candied almonds, sprinkle over the mousse, garnish with mint and serve.

*  If you don’t have a food processor or blender, use a whisk and watch your guns grow.

Serves 4

* Sprouted Quinoa, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad (Raw) *


Happy World Raw Food Day!

Today is a celebration of raw food here, there and everywhere.  World Raw Food Day, or Weltrohkosttag as it is called here in Germany, is about inspiring people to eat more raw and gather together for a raw food picnic, potluck or elaborate feast.  Here in Berlin, there are many events happening überall; a massive potluck in Alexanderplatz, virtual potlucks online, picnics in random parks and raw food demonstration classes (un-cooking classes, if you will) by leaders in the raw food industry.

I’m a huge advocate of eating a mainly plant-based diet, which is high in fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and super foods and I feel pretty, pretty good.  I aim to eat a bright rainbow of goodness every day and make an effort to eat raw where possible.  By adopting a plant-based diet, you are supporting your overall health and well being by accessing the nutrients you need to feel fighting fit and fabulous.  In keeping food raw, you are retaining those nutrients that may be lost during the cooking process, as well as the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes that can also deplete.  By making the decision to keep some of your food raw, you will be doing your body some serious good.

A very dear friend of mine, Kauia, is also a big fan of raw foods and has been most informative and inspiring.  You can check out her blog for some further raw power inspiration.

This salad is the epitome of a 100% raw food celebration.  The sprouted quinoa is a shining example of pure, healthy goodness as through the sprouting process the natural enzymes are activated, it is easier to digest and the vitamin content is boosted.  In this salad there are some interesting flavors and textures going on, with the creamy avocado contrasting beautifully with the sprouted quinoa and pistachio, whilst the ruby-red jewels of the pomegranate offer a delightful burst of tart flavor.  The crunchy snow peas and spring onions along with the fragrant mint and parsley also give a hearty dose of fresh. Delectable, satisfying and seriously good for you.

Sprouted Quinoa, Pistachio and Pomegranate Salad

1 cup of sprouted quinoa

1 1/2 cups of warm water

A spring onion, finely sliced

2 tomatoes, diced

A red capsicum, diced

1 cup of snow peas, diagonally chopped

An avocado

A pomegranate

1/4 of a cup of pistachios

A bunch of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

A bunch of fresh mint, chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnishing


The juice and finely grated zest of a lemon

A clove of garlic

3 tablespoons of cold-pressed olive oil

1/4 of a cup of orange juice

A teaspoon of raw honey or agave

1/2 a teaspoon of Himalayan rock salt

Pepper to taste

Soak the sprouted quinoa in warm water for about an hour until softened.  Drain off any excess water by passing through a very fine mesh sieve and then place in a large serving bowl. Deseed the pomegranate by cutting it in half and loosening up the flesh and seeds. Over a wide bowl, whack the pomegranate with a wooden spoon repeatedly until all of the seeds are in the bowl.  Repeat with the other half and remove the flesh that may have also been collected.  In a jar, add all of the dressing ingredients and shake well.  Add all of the remaining ingredients into the serving bowl and mix well with the dressing.  Allow to stand for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.  Garnish with sprigs of mint and share the raw food love with your nearest and dearest, whilst informing them of why eating more raw is a beautiful thing.

* Sprouted Quinoa is available in all good health food stores or you can have a crack at sprouting it yourself.