As someone who loves smoothies, but also as someone whose lips and fingers turn purple of eating smoothiebowls in winter, I decided to create a winter-friendly recipe that will bring you in the Holiday mood in no time. The recipe is simple, nutritious and tastes like an adult version of a Snickers bar. It’s high in magnesium, contains plant protein, good carbs and fiber. The spices stimulate your metabolism and blood flow. So yes, this recipe is not only a great after-outdoors-workout-snack, but is also a wonderful breakfast in bed option. Pick a chilly Sunday morning, put up some old crackling vinyl records and spoil your loved one with a good glass of Spiced Hot Snickers Smoothie.
1 ripe banana
1 cup warm plantmilk ( I used unsweetened organic almondmilk)
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 soaked date or 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
1 teaspoon winter spices of choice (I used a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and star anise)
As much as cayenne pepper as you can handle (a natural aphrodisiac)
Pinch of salt
Warm up the almond milk.
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass
If you have a milk frother, you can top it off with foam and more spices.
Although I am always cold and Summer is the only time I actually feel physically comfortable, Autumn is still my favorite season. Autumn is that time of nature’s warm colors, cozy and fuzzy clothes and soul-warming dishes. It’s the time of longer nights, candlelight and approaching holiday season. Autumn to me evokes feelings of melancholy and nostalgia. It is that time of wanting to spend more time my the kitchen and at my favorite coffee shop. The advent of autumn means feasting on beautiful deep colored fruits like persimmons and pomegranates, the childish joy of collecting and roasting chestnuts, trying all different kinds of mushrooms and creating family meals with starchy veggies like yams and squashes.
I am kind of excited to create recipes with all of these ingredients over the next few weeks and to share them with you. My first recipe of the season is a Mexican stuffed, baked sweet potato. I guess it’s more of a ‘Summer into Fall’ recipe, since the main ingredient is sweet potato and it’s a very comforting meal, but it still has that sunny look and Latin kick to it. It is, as always, a whole, plant based, gluten-free meal made from scratch with no added oils. It’s nutrient dense, heart-healthy, easy to prepare and with its carb to protein ratio and anti-inflammatory properties, it also serve as an excellent meal to replenish your body after a day of hard physical exertion or strenuous workout.
Watch the instruction video & subscribe to my YouTube channel for more cooking videos. The intro (first 56 sec.) is in Dutch. Skip if you want to get to the instruction part directly.
Sweet potatoes and stuffing – 2 sweet potatoes
– 200 grams canned black beans Rinsed – 1 onion Diced – 2 cloves garlic Chopped – 1 or 2 green peppers use Jalapeno for hot, Green Chili for medium, Green Bell Pepper for Sweet – 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp dried coriander
– Red chili powder to taste
– salt & pepper if desired
– 300 ml water or vegetable broth
Topping Basically this part is up to you, here are the ingredients I used, but please feel free to adjust according to your own liking.
– coriander (cilantro)
– cherry tomatoes
– lime cress & garlic cress
Guacamole – 1 avocado
– juice of ½ a lime
– fresh coriander (cilantro)
– red chili pepper
– salt & pepper if desired
Baked potatoes – Pierce potatoes al over with a fork.
– Place a baking sheet over the bottom of the oven for any syrup that may drip from the potatoes.
– Place potatoes in the oven at 200C (400F), directly on the rack and bake till tender, about 40 min. (You don’t need to preheat the oven. The baking time may vary depending on the size of the potatoes, so check with a fork to see if they’re completely soft inside).
– Turn off the oven and let the potatoes rest for a minimum of 10 minutes for optimal taste and softening.
Stuffing – Meanwhile stew, onion, garlic, green pepper and the spices with 300 ml water or vegetable broth for 20 min on low heat.
– After 20 min the onions will be softened and most of the water will be evaporated. Add black beans and stew for another 10/15 minutes, until the water is completely evaporated.
Guacamole Mix guacamole ingredients in a bowl.
Serve – Cut potatoes open
– Load on the bean stuffing, top with toppings and serve with guacamole on the side.
What if you’re craving cake on a starch based, low fat vegan, gluten free diet? You might be thinking, easy, I’ll get myself a healthy raw vegan (cheese)cake or bar, but most of those wonderful delicious options are very caloric dense and high in fat due to the heavy use of nuts. Now, there is nothing wrong with a rich, caloric-dense treat every now and then, please don’t get me wrong, but there is a way to indulge in cake without having to think about portion control. Isn’t that something?
Besides the nutritional, this-free that-free side of the story, there is another plus about this recipe. That is that you don’t have to get into the intimidating exact science of baking. With cooking you can freestyle, but baking is a whole different story. The probability of misfires, fails and flops are sometimes insuperable. That is why I created this super easy, low budget, quick, healthy, kid friendly, no-bake cake, which also serves as an endurance sports fuel. Win-win-win.
I did use a small amount of pistachio nuts, but if you have a nut allergy or you’re not crazy about pistachios, you can leave them out or easily substitute them with fruits like cherries for example.
Watch the video to see how quick and easily you can no-bake yourself a healthy cake.
(Spoken part, first 1:56 min is in Dutch. Skip if you want to get to the tutorial directly.)
Ingredients 1 cup of polenta (cornmeal)
3 cups of water 1 banana
1 cup of plant milk (I used coconut milk)
½ cup of cacao powder
¼ cup of agave syrup
Handful of pistachio nuts (optional)
– Mix all the ingredients except for the water, polenta and pistachio nuts with a blender.
– Cook 3 cups of water in a medium sized pan.
– Once the water is cooked, gently pour in the polenta.
– Stir over low heat, keep stirring until you get a ‘mashed potato’ like consistency.
– Pour in the chocolate banana mixture and stir about 2 more minutes.
– Fold in pistachio nuts.
– Transfer the ‘batter’ to a cake pan and let it cool down completely.
– Gently take the cake out of the pan and top with whatever you like. I used the raw vegan chocolate mousse from my previous recipe and some crushed pistachio.
Oh chocolat! I love you. Always have, always will…
This recipe is actually a classic raw-vegan chocolate mousse recipe and can be modified according to your taste. I kept it very simple, but please go ahead and play around a little by adding rose water, lavender or vanilla to the recipe. I paired the dark, rich chocolate mousse with the fresh, sweet tartness of raspberries. Whenever I taste raspberries I am carried back to my childhood. Growing up we had a vegetable garden with a big raspberry bush. Summers were filled with eating lots of fresh berries, making syrup, popsicles and jams. Pure bliss.
Like with all these healthy recipes, it really doesn’t matter if you have them as dessert, breakfast, lunch or as a snack, because there is nothing to feel guilty about. I think it looks most like a dessert, but it also is a great post workout snack because of the avocado base, the magnesium in the cacao and the omega3 in the chia seeds.
Watch the video to see how quick and easy it is to make this treat.
(First (spoken) part is in Dutch, you can skip the first 1:00 min to get directly to the tutorial without any Dutch bla bla :)) Enjoy!
Equipment blender or food processor
Ingredients Chocolate Mousse
¼ cup (raw) cacao
¼ cup raw agave syrup
2 tblsp plant milk (I used coconut)
Cinnamon, pinch of salt
Method – Blend or mash raspberries with 1 tablespoon of agave syrup.
– Stir in chia seeds. Let the mixture set until chia seeds swell.
– Blend chocolate mousse ingredients.
– Layer the two mixtures in a glass or serve them together in a bowl.
– Top with a fresh raspberries or anything of your choice.
When you’re looking for a snack that is nutritious, cruelty-free, low fat, gluten-free and easy on the go, then look no further. Summer rolls make a perfect on the go snack. I like to bring them with me while travelling (usually along with a bunch of bananas), but summer rolls are also an excellent choice at the pool, beach or park or in your kids’ lunch boxes. Aside from the incredible taste, they are easy to digest and easy to eat, with the promise of no sticky fingers or dirty mess.
Rice paper & imagination is what you need to prepare these tasty snacks. Yes, imagination, because the filling can be anything really. Traditionally a base of rice noodles is used, which I like very much and use in this recipe, but you could also substitute for quinoa, lentils, or just veggies. Anything is fine, but in order to put the summer in the roll, you’ll need fruit, sweet fruit to be precise. Ripe juicy mango is an excellent choice if you ask me, but how about getting off the beaten track a little and use pineapple, cantaloupe or sweet peaches?
The rice noodles and rice paper wraps are naturally gluten-free, making them a great choice if you’re avoiding gluten. The (low fat) carbs fit perfectly into a HCLF, rawtill4 or starchbased lifestyle. The carbohydrates are also great if you want to refuel after endurance training. Using peanut dipping sauce can be a good addition if you want to replenish after serious workout, but if you want to keep it low fat, there are many other options such as soy-garlic dipping or hoi sin sauce (just avoid anything that includes fish sauce to keep it 100% plant based).
Ingredients: – Rice paper
– Rice noodles
– Bean sprouts
– Cucumbers Cut into strips – Spring onions Cut into small rings – Coriander Stems removes – Mango Cut into strips
– Avocado (optional) Cut into strips
Directions: – Have all the ingredients cleaned, cut and set out before you start (prepare rice noodles as described on the package).
– Fill a large bowl with water, dip one rice paper wrapper for a couple of seconds to soften (read package for exact dipping time), then lay wrapper flat on a work surface, preferably on a clean cloth.
– On one edge, lay al the ingredients, all to taste but don’t overstuff.
– Then the rolling part: fold sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with filling.
– If you use large rolls and you’re serving a bigger group, you can cut the rolls in two and sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top, just to make it look a little more dressed. If you have small rolls, or are using the rolls on the go then leave them as they are.
– Enjoy with or without dipping sauce.
Just because it’s Summer, it doesn’t mean soup should be off the menu. If you are one of those people who have reservations about serving soup on hot days, I would like you to give this recipe a try. The Caribbean flavors make this soup perfect to enjoy in a hammock or at a family dinner in the garden during breezy Summer evenings. Originally this recipe has a chicken base and is served with boiled eggs. So I was not sure if I would be able to alter it without ending up with something that would be closer to ‘dull liquid peanut butter’ rather than a beautiful rich Caribbean specialty. The challenge is even greater when your in-laws are originally from that region and you know they will give their blunt opinion if you ask them if this vegan version is any good. So honestly, yes, I was nervous, but luckily everything turned out fine. The result is reviewed and approved by a team of experts and therefore here to share with you.
This soup sure can be served as a main dish, but because of the peanut butter, it is quite high in fat. So in order to not exceed the 80/10/10 (carb/protein/fat) ratio and to keep it within the guidelines of a High Carb Low Fat diet, I recommend a small portion as a starter or as a side dish along with rice and veggies. It also serves well after a strength workout to supplement muscle recovery.
Putting your hammock up and creating a summer playlist with Reggae, Caribbean Latin and some Calypso party classics is highly recommendable and will definitely maximize the experience.
Recipe Makes 4 small portions.
– 1 potato cut into cubes – 1 leek white part cut into rings – ½ a chili pepper or hot sauce
– 4 tablespoons natural peanut butter avoid the kind with palm oil – 1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (or kecap manis)
– 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
– 400 ml vegetable broth / bouillon
– 2 plantain bananas preferably ripe, black ones – 1 cup of water
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon raw agave
– Preheat oven at 175C (350F);
– Cut each of the plantain bananas in 4 equal pieces, place in oven dish;
– Mix 1 cup of water, cinnamon and agave and pour over the bananas;
– Put in oven and bake for 90 minutes.
– Stew potato cubes, leek rings and chili pepper with a bit of water until the leeks are soft and the water has evaporated;
– Add vegetable broth, bring the soup to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes with lid tilted;
– Meanwhile (in a separate bowl) add tamarind paste and sweet soy sauce to the peanut putter, transfer a soupspoon of the liquid of the soup to the peanut butter mixture and mix well;
– After 15 minutes of simmering add the peanut butter mixture to the soup and simmer for another 10 minutes until the soup has a creamy texture.
– Pour into small cups or glasses, garnish with your favorite toppings (celery and sprouted beans for example), and serve with the caramelized plantains and/or some steamed rice.
Summer calls for cooling foods and what is a better moment to put a little extra effort in your breakfast then weekends? Swap out your traditional Saturday pancakes or Sunday croissants for a gluten-free, sugar-free, cruelty-free nutritious, fully raw, half frozen smoothiebowl!
I have an on and off relationship with smoothiebowls and nicecreams (the healthy version of ice creams) and different variations have been considered in our kitchen: the green version, the tropical version, the plain version, the extraordinary version and obviously, this particular cherry-choc version.
Superfoods in my superbowl
One of the sweet highlights of summer is fresh, locally grown cherries, and the combination of cherries and chocolate is a classic and unbeatable marriage. Since superfoods are popular, they’re smartly packaged and slyly marketed by corporations. But don’t let them fool you, superfoods aren’t defined by their exotic origins or unpronounceable names. Our good old cherries are also considered a superfood. They are nutritious powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which combat cancer and high blood pressure and according to a Michigan State University research, also relieve pain as effectively as aspirin…!
Another superfood is raw cacao (not to mistaken for the processed cacoa powder). Cacao is one of the most nutrient rich and complex foods. It is also the highest source of magnesium (an electrolyte lost through sweat and depleted by stress hormones, processed sugars, caffeine and pharmaceuticals), one of the most deficient minerals among Western populations. You can buy raw cacao beans or cacao nibs and make your own powder in a coffee grinder or of course feel free to use a cacoa powder of your own choice, available at your store. Just make sure it isn’t sweetened or mixed with other ingredients.
For this recipe you need only three ingredients. The first two are obvious. The third ingredient is banana. Bananas are a (raw-)vegan’s best friend and a key element in smoothies, smoothiebowls and nicecreams. It gives these kinds of recipes the right softness, richness and sweetness. Bananas are nutrient dense, potassium rich, cheap and easily available throughout the year. But make sure to use bananas when they’re ripe. And that doesn’t mean when they just have turned yellow. Ripe means spotted, with a nice leopard skin, rrraawwww…!
Treat doesn’t have to be a cheat. You can make yourself the best, the sweetest, the creamiest and the most colorful treat without using any dead foods or allergens to which your body responds poorly. Meet my current addiction, a Coco-Mango Sundae. Pure indulgence without the guilt, a sweet treat without having to cheat!
The base of this sundae has just 2 ingredients: mango & coconut milk. Depending on your preference for consistency, you can add half a banana. Doing this will make the Sundae a little more creamy and fluffy, which has my personal preference. To be honest, this part of the recipe is all you have to remember, because even without the bells and whistles, it’s damn good! But of course we want to put a little more effort in it and push it a little further to make it even better.
The second step is choosing a soft fruit that can be used as a sauce. I used blackberries in this recipe, but the options are endless really.
The final touch is adding crunch. Oooh I like chrunch. Magic for me is in contrasting food textures. And I guess manufacturers of processed foods put a lot of research, money and effort in creating perfect textures. From Twix to Ben&Jerry’s and from M&Ms to Magnums, they all owe their success to the in-the-mouth contrast of the smooth and creamy with the crisp and crunchy. So that’s what we wanna do here as well, only we are choosing whole foods clearly.
How about a sprinkle of cacao nibs, sprouted buckwheat, rawnola or chopped nuts to contrast with the fluffiness of the coco-mango icecream and the juiciness of the sauce?
Equipment Immersion Blender or high speed blender
2 cups mango cubes – frozen ½ a banana
1 cup coconut milk
5 raw almonds – chopped
Method – Blend the frozen mango cubes with the banana and coconut milk, leaving it somewhat chunky.
– Transfer the ice cream to a glass or bowl.
– Squeeze the blackberries between your fingers on top of the ice cream. (or crush it using a fork)
– Sprinkle chopped almonds on top.
Enjoy as dessert, treat, breakfast or workout snack!