Category Archives: Vegan

* Banana, Date and Coconut Baked Porridge *

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking – that’s no’ how ye make porriiidge!

Well, you may be right there, but this is not your average porridge. I’ve been making banana and date porridge in the traditional fashion for years now and loving the satisfyingly sweet warmth first thing in the morning. Porridge season always begins every year on the morning of Anzac Day (which falls on April the 25th) after the 6am Dawn Parade Service, which commemorates the soldiers who fought and died in the world wars. Providing we weren’t spending the New Zealand winter in the Northern Hemisphere, we would generally eat porridge until well into the spring.

Then I discovered baked oatmeal, or baked porridge as it’s called in these parts. Being an avid online foodie follower, I came across a few recipes for baked oatmeal and it’s only recently that I’ve actually started making it. This recipe is a fusion of a few of the recipes I’d seen online, but has been given the usual Super Foodie makeover to ensure that it’s the best possible start to the day (or night). As with most of my recipes, you can play around with the ingredients to ensure it suits your taste and diet, whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free or just trying to be healthier.

The coconut cream gives the porridge a luscious richness and through the process of baking, the porridge develops a crispy, biscuitesque crust. It really is an indulgent yet nutritious breakfast or brunch, perfect for kick-starting the weekend. The oats contain high levels of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, which has proven to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol and keeping your insides so fresh and so clean (clean). Oats also have a high concentration of balanced protein, as well as a good dose of essential fatty acids, both of which promote longevity and good health. In short, this is verdammt good stuff.

The beautifully designed ceramics featured in the photo are available from Whiteroom – Dunedin’s top design destination.

Banana, Date and Coconut Baked Porridge

2 cups of oats (non-contaminated, gluten-free oats if you are gluten-intolerant)

1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

A heaped teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg or mixed spice

A handful of sunflower seeds

A handful of chia seeds

A good pinch of Himalayan rock salt

A cup of coconut cream

A cup of milk of your choosing (almond, hazelnut, dairy, hemp etc)

A tablespoon of honey, pure, unrefined maple syrup or agave (optional)

A teaspoon of vanilla paste, extract or a vanilla bean, de-seeded

An egg or equal quantity of egg replacement

2 very ripe bananas, chopped

15 dates, chopped

Greek yoghurt or non-dairy alternative to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a baking dish with coconut oil or oil. In a bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, spices, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and Himalayan rock salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the coconut cream, your choice of sweetener, vanilla and egg or egg replacement together. Add the bananas, dates and liquid mixture to the dry mixture and mix.

Pour into the baking dish and pop in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, cut up and serve with Greek yoghurt or whatever else you fancy.

Serves 4 very hungry people or 6 moderately hungry people.

* Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread *

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I LOVE Nutella. In fact, I can never quite get enough of it. I find that if I start the day with this creamy, dreamy spread, by mid-morning I’ll be scrambling around the kitchen looking for anything to spread more Nutella on, whether it be strawberries, a teaspoon (errrmm, I’ll admit, a tablespoon) or an old crust of bread. However, I do limit my Nutella consumption to Europe (where I tend to eat much more chocolate in various, delectable guises) along with other hedonistic indulgences like dancing in techno clubs until 8:30am and unemployment.

One of my favourite past times whilst working in Waterloo, Belgium (yes, where the Napoleon-led French army was defeated), was to visit Le Pan Quotiden – a rustic, communal table kinda place – which made delicious hazelnut and raisin baguettes and their very own chocolate hazelnut spread, in dark, milk and white chocolate flavours. The combination of the baguette, laden with plump fruit and crunchy nuts, with the dark chocolate hazelnut spread was heavenly. So heavenly in fact, I sought out new establishments in other European cities lucky enough to be home to Le Pan Quotiden such as Antwerp, Amsterdam and London and further indulged my addiction.

In order to get my Nutella fix now that I’m no longer living on the Continent, I’ve found the perfect Nutella substitute which is much more in line with my superfood philosophy and tastes far superior. In comparison to Nutella, which is extremely high in sugar and modified palm oil, this recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Spread is actually good for you. It has no refined sugar and is packed full of superfood goodness from the raw cacao, which you can read about in my recipe for Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Raspberries and Candied Almonds. It also contains good fats like coconut oil and hazelnuts. Hazelnuts are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, which increases good cholesterol and lessens bad cholesterol. Hazelnuts are also especially rich in folate, which is good news if you’re expecting a wee nipper and are also high in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. Happy days!

When purchasing the hazelnuts, I recommend getting the freshest, best quality nuts you can find. In Dunedin, we have a stall at the Saturday market that offers the best damn hazelnuts you’ve ever had. Clive and Jen Blunden of Island Stream Hazels grow their own hazelnuts and produce an array of premium hazelnut products. Seriously, once you’ve attempted to shell generic, old hazelnuts from the supermarket, usually of Turkish origin, you’ll never make the mistake again. Ever. Or you can save yourself time and energy and buy pre-skinned hazelnuts, which make this recipe an absolute breeze.

The beautifully designed ceramics featured in the photo are available from Whiteroom – Dunedin’s top design destination.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

200 grams of activated* hazelnuts (soaked for a minimum of 4 hours and rinsed well)

1/2 a cup or raw cacao nibs or raw cacao powder

A tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (or the seeds from 2 vanilla beans)

1/2 a cup of agave nectar, raw honey or pure, unrefined maple syrup

A pinch of Himalayan rock salt

3 tablespoons of coconut oil, lightly warmed

1/4 – 1/2 a cup of nut milk (almond, hazelnut, etc or other milk if you’re not vegan) depending on how creamy you’d like it.

In a baking tray, roast the activated hazelnuts at 18oºc for about 10 minutes until toasted. The skins should turn a couple of shades darker and a sweet, nutty aroma should have filled the air.

While the hazelnuts are still warm, remove the skins by shaking in a fine mesh sieve, or rubbing between a tea towel or your fingers. If there are some stubborn ones, you can pop them back in the oven for a few more minutes and try again. Aim to remove at least 80% of the skins. Allow the hazelnuts to cool completely.

In a food processor, blend the hazelnuts until a fine or buttery consistency is reached. If you are using cacao nibs, when the hazelnuts reach approximately the same size, pop them in to the food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and velvety. This is highly addictive. You have been warned.

* Activating nuts is when you soak nuts in water, thus helping to release enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid found in the outer layer of nuts (and also in seeds and grains). Phytic acid binds to the minerals in nuts, which makes it hard for the body to absorb properly. By soaking or activating nuts, our bodies get maximum benefits from the nutrients.

* Beetroot and Pumpkin Dahl with Smashed Avocado and Coriander *

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We’ve just returned home to Dunedin from an incredibly inspiring three month adventure in Europe, gratefully avoiding the bitter winter in New Zealand.  Apart from a few blustery days in Norway and England, we were basking in the warm European summer the entire time. Now that we’re home I’m acclimatising, as even though it’s officially spring, the warm weather doesn’t usually kick in until later in the summer – occasionally not until autumn. What I’ve been craving upon returning is a warming dahl to heat me from the inside out and provide a rejuvenating boost of nutrients which my body demands after living the good life in Europe.

I’m a big fan of beetroot and its incredible health benefits and antioxidant properties, which you can read about in my recipe for Beetroot, Feta and Mint Salad with Orange and Tahini Dressing. Another super food wunderkind is pumpkin, a highly nutritious vegetable that lends itself perfectly to a hearty dahl. Pumpkin is a low-calorie staple which is both filling and high in dietary fibre, which assists in lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels. Pumpkin’s bright orange colour is from its high concentration of carotenoids, which repel free radicals in the body and help prevent cardiovascular disease and other infections. Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which boost the immune system, perfect for the inconsistent weather. It’s also a natural diuretic, which flushes out toxins and waste material from the body, leaving you spring-cleaned and detoxified.

This recipe was created completely by chance as I had to use up some of the tired looking veggies I’d all but abandoned at the bottom of the fridge. The beetroot gives the traditional pumpkin dahl recipe a beautiful depth of flavour and the ruby red colour is pure delight. The avocado also adds a rich creaminess which satisfies on a cosy night in. Thankfully beetroot and pumpkin are still in season, so make the most of it while it lasts. Serve the dahl with brown rice, quinoa or with soldiers (fingers of toast) drizzled with olive oil.

Beetroot and Pumpkin Dahl with Smashed Avocado and Coriander

1 1/2 cups of brown lentils, rinsed well

A large onion

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

Olive oil, plus extra for the smashed avocado

A large knob of ginger (3 cm), finely grated

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds

2 teaspoons of mustard seeds

A teaspoon of tumeric, ground

A teaspoon of cinnamon

700 grams of pumpkin, chopped into small pieces

3 large beetroot, thoroughly washed and chopped into small pieces

6 cups of water (1.5 litres)

2 organic vegetarian bouillon cubes

Himalayan rock salt and ground white pepper to taste

A large avocado

A bunch of coriander (cilantro), rustically chopped

In a saucepan, cook the lentils in water until tender. In another large saucepan, heat the olive oil to a medium temperature. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute. Lightly ground the spices in a mortar and pestle and add to the saucepan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pumpkin and beetroot and sauté for a minute or so. Add the water, bouillon cubes, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for about 40-50 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked and the flavors have developed. Puree with a stick blender, then add the lentils and cook for a further 5 minutes.

In a mortar and pestle or bowl, smash the avocado flesh, olive oil and coriander until a smooth consistency is reached. Arrange a good portion of dahl in a bowl with the chosen accompaniment. Place a spoonful of the smashed avocado with coriander on top of the dahl and garnish with more chopped coriander. Enjoy the warmth whilst dreaming of the forthcoming summer sun.

Serves a hungry crowd

* Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Raspberries and Candied Almonds *

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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) *

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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

Dressing

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.

* Orange Blossom Stuffed Dates *

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The locale of Neukölln where I’ve recently been residing, is home to the largest mosque in Berlin and a considerable population of people of Middle Eastern descent.  As Ramadan is over for another year and the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr (Eid) is in full swing, there is great excitement in the air, a Christmas summer holiday-kinda feeling, where hanging lanterns festoon windows and shop fronts are adorned with bright, kaleidoscopic decorations.  The Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, literally translated as “festivity of breaking the fast”, signifies the end of Ramadan, the holy month on the Islamic calendar where Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations during daylight.  Ramadan is a time of intensive sacrifice and reflection, where empathy for others less fortunate is expressed through acts of generosity and charity.  It is also a time of reconnecting with friends and family during the evening meal, Iftar.  The warmth and connectedness continues to be celebrated during Eid, when loved ones gather together for a few days of lavish feasts and merriment.

Dates are considered very important at this time and during the month of Ramadan they feature in daily rituals.  An odd number of dates (usually three) are consumed after sun down with a glass of water to break the fast and will unquestionably star in a dessert during Iftar later that evening.  During Eid, they are also given out as presents.  What I love about dates, especially the Medjool variety, is that they are like eating a healthy caramel.  They are so naturally sweet and satisfying, that eating one or two will kick any mid-afternoon sugar cravings to the curb.  Dates are an excellent source of fibre and are also surprisingly rich in protein – evidently 5 times more than other fruit.  They also contain 15 different minerals including zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorous.  Basically, they are wee powerhouses of goodness.

When I lived in Jordan, one of my beloved pursuits was to visit the sweet stores, especially during Ramadan and Eid.  There were so many delicacies on offer, tantalizing combinations of dried fruits and nuts, usually with an aromatic hint of rose or orange blossom.  It was here that I first encountered stuffed dates and I was instantly charmed as they’re my kind of sweetie treatie – naturally healthy and bursting with super sweet flavor.  This is my take on stuffed dates, which are the quintessence of good times and celebration.  Eid Mubarak!

Orange Blossom Stuffed Dates

16 – 24 Medjool dates

A selection of nuts:  Walnuts, macadamias, almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews…

The juice and zest of an orange

1 tablespoon of honey or agave

1 tablespoon of orange blossom water *

1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon

In a small saucepan, slowly bring to boil the water, honey, orange-blossom water and cinnamon.  Allow to boil for a couple of minutes, stirring often, then set aside to cool. Split the dates open and remove the pit.  Set the nuts into the dates, with the nuts resting lengthwise.  With a pastry brush, generously glaze the stuffed dates with the syrup.  Pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the glaze to set.  Arrange on a platter and sprinkle the orange zest over the stuffed dates.   Enjoy at any time of the day or night, with rose tea, coffee or as a celebratory sweetie-treatie.

Note:  There will probably be some left over syrup, which makes a great accompaniment to yoghurt.

* Orange blossom water can be found at all good delicatessens or Middle Eastern food retailers.

* Chocolate Spice Bliss Balls *

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Bliss balls are convenient wee gems of chocolaty goodness, perfect for any time of the day (or night).  When I have them in the house, I may have one (or three) for breakfast with fruit, when I’m craving a sweetie treatie or needing some energy before I hit the gym.  They are super easy to make,  keep well and can be frozen and then eaten straight from the freezer.  I’ve adapted this recipe from a traditional bliss ball recipe I was given years ago to make them healthier and even yummier, with the addition of a dash of spice and the hint of orange.

These delightful chocolate spice bliss balls are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and jam packed full of energy.  They also have a high cocoa content – which means you get the chocolaty hit and numerous health benefits.  Cocoa is doing great things out there in the big, wide world – it has a large component of flavonoids , which are an effective antioxidant.  These flavonoids are known to  decrease blood pressure, improve blood vessel health and reduce cholesterol levels. Cocoa also has an uplifting effect on mood due to its content of phenylethylamine, which has a mood elevating effect somewhat akin to amphetamine-type substances. And my, doesn’t it feel good to be doing good.

Put the following dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside:

½ a cup of cocoa powder

1/2 a cup of sesame seeds

1/2 a cup of nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)

1 cup of  coconut, thread, chips or dessicated

In a saucepan, bring the wet ingredients to the boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to boil for a few minutes.

1 cup of chopped, pitted dates

1 cup of smooth or crunchy peanut butter

4 tablespoons of honey, agave or rice malt

1/4 of cup of  water

The zest of a whole orange

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 a teaspoon of mixed spice

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Form into balls as big or small as you like.  Roll in coconut, cocoa powder. sesame seeds or leave plain.

Put in the fridge on a baking paper-lined tray and allow to rest.  Enjoy any time  for a chocolaty energy hit, sans guilt and a sickly belly.

* Coconut Shimmy *

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Yipee, the sun is back on!  It’s time to kick back on the patio with this tangy and über-hydrating Coconut Shimmy and make the most of these sunny afternoons.  It’s fruity, creamy and contains no sugar, soy or dairy – just pure super food goodness from the earth.  This Coconut Shimmy is especially good if you’ve just had a work out or a footloose and fancy free night on the town, as the main ingredient is coconut water and just in case you have not heard what amazing stuff this is, take note.  Coconut water is the clear liquid from young, green coconuts.  It is a natural, isotonic drink with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood, so it will replenish your body back to perfection.  Coconut water contains many essential vitamins and minerals, has a high potassium content and is oh so naturally sweet.  So, even as the nippier autumn kicks in, this dreamy refreshment will transport you back to that summer holiday by the sea, whilst giving you the bang to get outside and frolic in all of the pretty leaves.

300 mls of coconut water

1/2 a cup of fresh pineapple chunks

A few sprigs of fresh mint

A 1cm piece of ginger

A squeeze of lime or lemon juice

A few ice cubes if you need some cooling

Put all of the above ingredients in a blender and crank it on its highest setting.  Serve in the sun with your nearest and dearest.

Rose-scented Oranges with Dates and Macadamias

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Rose scented Oranges with Dates and Macadamias

Much like the scent of a rose in bloom is one of life’s pleasures, devouring a rose-scented pudding  is also a delight for the senses.  This dish is Middle Eastern inspired, however instead of using the traditional pistachio nut common in Eastern sweets, I’ve added macadamias for a contrasting texture.   The ease of preparation is a bonus with this dish and it is perfect for entertaining, as it can be prepared a few minutes before the guests arrive and left to chill in the fridge.

This fragrant dessert is light, nutritious and the perfect way to end a meal,  as the oranges have a high concentration of vitamin C, which will boost the absorption of iron from the main course.  Macadamias are a good source of protein, potassium, calcium and dietary fibre and also provide a buttery richness which round this dish off perfectly.  Yummo.

Serves 4

4 large oranges

2 tablespoons of rosewater or Monin rose syrup

2 handfuls of macadamias

6 Medjool dates

A sprig of mint to garnish

Using your smallest and sharpest knife, slice around the orange to remove the pith and the flesh.

Slice the oranges into rounds, reserving the juice. Quarter the dates lengthways and remove the pip.

Arrange the orange rounds and dates in a serving bowl.

Mix the reserved juice with the rosewater or rose syrup and drizzle over the oranges and dates.

Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle over chopped macadamias just before serving.

Watch your guest’s eyes light up when they taste this delectable dessert and give yourself a pat on the back.