Thursday, 21 September 2017

Raw Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Raw what?

Lately I’ve been really interested in creating healthier alternatives to traditionally high fat treats, like cheesecake. With my new dairy-free diet I actually can’t tolerate a lot of cheese so that means cream cheese has pretty much been eliminated :(

I’ve been researching some new recipes online and I found this one by Vegan Huggs. I made the filling pretty much exactly like their recipe but instead of cherries (because they aren't in season here) I used frozen raspberries. I also eliminated the bottom layer because I didn't have any almonds but I think the base might give it more stability so if I was to make them agin I would put the base on the bottom.

The filling is actually so delicious. You do need to blend the filling for a long time in your food processor to get it smooth and to be honest mine could have been smoother which would have been even nicer I think.

The hardest step I thought was remembering to soak your cashew nuts for at least 6 hours before hand. If you can I’d do it overnight though then it’s even better because they will blend much easier.

CRUST INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • Pinch of sea salt
FILLING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews soaked in water for 4 hours or more
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquified (in the microwave or a pot)
  • 1/2 cup of canned coconut milk (use creamier part)
  • 1/4-1/3 maple pure syrup ( I like it less sweet, so I used 1/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut shreds
  • 1 cup raspberries (thaw if using frozen)
  • Pinch of sea salt
CRUST METHOD:
  1. Process the almonds and dates until if forms a loose dough. Press between your fingers to make sure it sticks together. Add more dates or nuts for the needed consistency.
  2. Fill muffin liners with the crust. Press firmly down. (I used a muffin pan as well, to keep things sturdy)
  3. Pop in freezer while you make the filling.
FILLING METHOD:
  1. Combine all ingredients (except raspberries) in a blender or food processor. Blend until really creamy and smooth.
  2. Pour on top of crust to the halfway mark. Pop back in freezer, while you prepare the raspberries filling.
  3. Place the raspberries into the remaining other half of the filling, blend until creamy and smooth.
  4. Pour raspberry filling on top of vanilla layer.
  5. Freeze for 2-4 hours
Recipe Notes:
 
Let sit out for 5-10 minutes before serving. Top with fresh coconut whipped cream (just whip your left over coconut cream) chocolate shavings, coconut flakes or a little raspberry like I did.  
 
I was a bit too eager and didn't wait long enough so my first one wasnt the best but if you can wait (clearly I couldn't) I think the wait will be worth it. 

-Recipe adapted from Vegan Huggs -

Friday, 8 September 2017

Making Lime Curd

As you know I'm a huge lover of citrus things! So when my lovely antenatal friend offered me a kg of fresh limes from Nelson I jumped at the chance. I had lots of ideas about what I wanted to make but ended up deciding on some Lime Curd.

I made a test batch first because I wasn't sure how it would go and wanted to make sure the recipe worked before comitting to using the whole kilo.

I'm pleased to say the recipe was really great! The hardest part was cooking your mixture so that it thickens but doesnt scramble the eggs. I got a few lumpy bits but they were easily strained off in a sieve.

I'm going to make another batch this weekend and hopefully it will last a few months in the fridge.

Here is the recipe I used and a few pretty pictures. I really love making things like this! Maybe I'll have to go fruit picking in the summer and try my hand at jam making next?





Sunday, 3 September 2017

Yummy Breastfeeding cookies (but you don't need to be breastfeeding to enjoy them!)

A few weeks ago (when I was still desperatly trying to breastfeed) I made these yummy breastfeeding cookies. This recipe makes a huge batch so I shared some of them with my antenatal group friends and some for friends in my baby RIE classes.

They are a little complicated the first time you make them becuase you need to toast the fennel seeds and I also like to grind them up a bit so they are a nicer texture. My beautiful fellow Mama friend Kate gave me the recipe- Thank you! Who knows if they actually do help with your milk production but they sure taste delish! So why not give them a go?

Here's the recipe she sent me. The picture doesn't really do them justice because they are truly super delicous! (Just click on the picture of the recipe below to enlarge it).




















Thursday, 31 August 2017

Some thought's on becoming a Mama and some more healing foods

Today I went to a pretty exciting fundraiser event for Wellington Hospital. It was a 'pop in' photo shoot where you give $20 and get one professional photo of your baby. As I was waiting for our turn I started to casually chat with the Mum sitting next to me. I complimented her on her sweet baby boy and asked her about how it was going for her. Then I suddenly realised I was the ' more experienced' one. CRAZY! She had a little baby maybe 2.5 months and here I was with a rather big for his age almost 5 month old- where has the time gone!?

Becoming a Mama

Becoming a mum is honestly the single most joyous thing I have ever done. Whilst my journey to parenthood was anything but ordinary I think in those very trying circumstances you can grow and learn a lot. I ultimately learnt that I am 1000 times stronger than I ever knew I was or could be and even if I could have had my 'natural or dream birth' I'm not so sure I would have really wanted that now.

Let me explain...

I think that when you get everything you want or imagined easily it's not always as sweet. With that in mind I think that when I look back on the last 4.5 months of my new life as a mummy I honestly wouldn't change a single thing. It's been in those extreme moments of pain or difficulty that I have learnt the most about myself, about my husband and also the strength of my own families love for us. I definitely don't wish eclampsia on anyone - not even on my worst of enemies but what I am saying that this experience has added richness to myself like I never could have imagined. Not only do I have the most gorgeous lovely baby who's little smile lights up my day continuously but I also have a new appreciation for lifes difficulties. There were days I couldn't move, days I couldn't lift him, days I thought I would never get better and days that I cried and cried for the 'natural birth' that I never got. Through it all I kept positive! I held on to the glimpse of hope that I could do this and that I had to do this for my little boy and my husband.


Almost 5 months on...

Now that I'm 95 % better I can announce that I *think* I have done it! and by done it I mean I have got through the single most difficult thing in my entire life. Not only have I done it but I have emerged with a new lease on life and a new positive take on the fragility of life. I think becoming a Mama has also made me become a better human being. I'm more conscious of the foods I eat, I'm more careful with the exercises I choose, I'm more giving and loving than I ever thought I could be and most of all I'm just more happy than I ever thought it's possible!

No one can tell you what it's like, no one can say for sure what experience you'll have but all I can say is that you have to live it and know that even in those hard moments when you think you are alone or you think you can't do it- YOU CAN!!

 I have been sharing with some of my close friends that what got me through was telling myself daily that I could do it! I started saying mantras to myself like  

"You are strong, you are capable, you got this!"

I say it EVERY MORNING! It sounds bizarre but don't dis it until you try it. Theres actually a lot of psychological research that shows how beneficially this is to all kinds of aspects in you life. Give it a go...

Healings foods:


As some of you know I went through some pretty extreme pain. I'm talking pain that is so bad that radiates in every part of your body and in places you never knew even existed!

I've discovered that milk is a big contributor to the inflammation and tiredness I was feeling so have eliminated than completely but I have brought back things like gluten now after trialling a gf diet for for a little while.

I talked about green tea in my last post but I've also been enjoying turmeric tea and ginger teas with ginseng.

Coconut has a lot of great energy boosting properties and I've been enjoying buying those little energy balls from the supermarket or making my own.

Iron! I'm still taking iron supplements and I think they really help me with my tiredness but I also have found that iron rich foods are not just red meat or chicken. There's actually a lot in nuts ( heaps!) and lucky for me I love nuts so have been adding them to everything. I have a few great nut recipes I will share with you next week after I trial a few new flavours out.  I'm also enjoying sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds that are toasted with a little sugar and some spices. I recently went to a foodie photography class for Wellington on a plate that showed us how to plate food. The head chef of Zibbibo loves them too! (just saying!)

This was a long post but if you made it to the end, Thank you!

Thank you for supporting me and my family and thank you for being you xx

SR

Monday, 21 August 2017

Naturally boosting your immune system and metabolism (and some yummy baking tips to help)


Lately I've been thinking a lot about natural alternatives to prescription medicine and just a lot about holistic well being in general. After the birth of my little boy I was on heavy pain killers which ended up having some pretty awful side effects. What I discovered about myself is that pain is really relative and unique to everyone, it depends on what you’ve been through in your past experiences or what you might be currently going through too (especially your current mental health).

When you're in so much pain that even the big opioids (e.g morphine type) drugs don't work then you suddenly realise you are a lot stronger than you ever imagined possible!

Heres the thing…

4 month on I still feel as though those drugs only work sometimes.

I have painful days where my muscles and organs ache and yes thats pretty weird but I’ve found natural ways to manage it. Boosting my immune system has  been one key aspect of getting back to a healthy and happy me.

Immunity:

1. Try natural anti-inflammatory foods

I’ve been using a lot of turmeric in dishes I cook which is a natural anti-inflammatory properties and also popping in extra green veggies which can really help give your immunity a boost.

Turmuric lattes are a thing now and they are so yum! especially if you ask for extra cinnomon and honey like I do.



We are also also growing our own silverbeat this season and I’m looking forward to making a big spinach, silver beat and feta pie soon when we harvest it.

Click on the pie for a yummy recipe

2. Only eat when you feel hungry.

Getting up in the middle of the night frequently ( to feed my little one) has really helped to boost my metabolism, weird but true! Sometimes I will be awake for an hour or so and that means I get crazy hungry! I've decided to not fight my body anymore and instead eat when I'm hungry. That might sound silly but your body gets hungry for a reason and in those moments if you really listen instead of ignoring it your body it seems to be rewarding me with weight loss!

Metabolism:

Tip 1: Drink more.

This sounds easy but when you have a busy job or already low energy levels its very challenging! My tip is to buy a good quality drink bottle that you like drinking out of and preferable pretty with cats (ok thats just me). That way you’ll enjoy drinking out of it. Leave it on your desk or take it with you if you go out. Then in any spare moment chug some water back! If your not a big water drinker then how about cold tea? Iced tea is pretty much just brewed tea that has some sugar but I’d skip the sugar and try a lil honey for sweetness. Anything natural is better than a teaspoon or two of the ‘hard stuff’.

I’ve also been drinking green tea and only one coffee in the mornings. Green tea has some really wonderful immune system and metabolic benefits and if you don't like the taste you might just not have found the right one for you yet. Keep searching!

My favourite is this one from Tea Total an Auckland company that sells loose leaf and it is delicious!! My Dad actually introduced me to it- Thanks Dad!


 You can buy it online from their website.

Tip 2: Probiotics!

These beautful things are sadly not made by me they are called antioxident probiotic bites. Click the above photo to check out one of my favourite nutritionists x

Probiotic are my new best friend. I take one everyday or sometimes every second day. I really think they help a lot to aid digestion and also increase my energy levels. Did you know you can make probiotic cookies? OMG! So delish. Check out this recipe from

What is a probiotic? 

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called "good" or "helpful" bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.- Thanks Dr Google for this Info!


So there you go a few little tips and tricks I’ve learnt in the last 4 months as I recover from my traumatic birth. I'm not a medical professional but these are some simple things that have really made such a difference in my life, I'm still not there just yet but I’m on the mend!

xx SR


Friday, 18 August 2017

Vegan chocolate cake and the perfect ganache

Since my lovely friend sent me this recipe a few weeks ago I've baked it twice. I love this cake because it literally takes 5 minutes to assemble and then 45 to bake in the oven. The cake can easily be made gluten free and is already dairy and egg free as well as having low sugar compared to most cake recipes. My favourite part is how moist and decadent it is!

Perfect ganache

My one tip for the ganache is that you can't reheat it otherwise it loses it's shine. My wee man decided to scream when I was just about to pour it over and I ended up having to leave it on the bench for about 30 mins while I put him to bed. When I got back it had gone really hard and I couldn't spread it so I heated it briefly over a bowl of water to bring it back to spreadable consistency. You can see the differences between the two cakes. One is matte and the other very glossy. Science aye? soo fascinating. This is the recipe from Chelsea Winter and I cannot recommend it enough. Thank you beautiful Shevaun for sharing it xx




Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric crunch

Thank you for this beautiful photo Amelia!
Recently I've been experimenting with old recipes and trying to make them a bit more healthy. Replacing the dairy milk with nut milks and adding in anti-inflammatory foods like turmeric.

As most of you know I am still recovering from a lot of complications from our birth and I have choosen to eliminate dairy from my diet in an effort to speed up my healing. Almost 4 months on and sadly I STILL have severe pain but the pain is slowly beoming less frequent so that's pretty positive (phew!)

A couple of weeks ago I made this yummy Ginger Crunch for my lovely antenatal class friend. She has some food senstivities as well so I made it gluten free for her and dairy free for me.

It's from an early 90's cookbook that is actually from my old primary school up in Auckland. The school as I knew it doesn't exist now because it got bought out by the expanding high school next door and now are about 2 km's up the hill over looking Orewa Beach.

Anyway! Here is my recipe. I used a dairy free spread instead of butter and added in about 3 tablespoons of turmeric to the base and 1 tsp into the icing. It does stain everything it touches so my pro tip is be VERY careful with it and wash your hands afterwards. I some how managed to get it all over my tea towels and I have no idea how I did it?

I hope you enjoy this as much as my friend and I did! What classic kiwi slice should I tackle next?



Featured post

Raw Raspberry Cheesecake Bites

Raw what? Lately I’ve been really interested in creating healthier alternatives to traditionally high fat treats, like cheesecake. With ...