Detox & why

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I admire people who are so taken by an idea that they know there way to be right. I tend to be more undecided and I basically overthink everything. The same with detox, did one once in my life so far to quit sugar and the effect was amazing. But I do think that if you have a balanced diet even with the occasional excess, maybe you don’t need a detox.

Over the last months though I have been unwell on and off and the amount of antibiotics I had to take is in my mind just unreal and my body seems to feel the same. So now it’s time to help my liver & to prevent the infections that my body had to deal with from happening yet again.

I’m not opting for a cold turkey juice fast though, even if it might be good for me I am more drawn toward the mellow and not extreme methods.

First I want to introduce my hot chocolate! Yes chocolate:) It is sugar free, raw (maybe, I’m not sure because the milk is hot) & vegan (sure).

This healthy treat starts out with nutmilk. By now there are so many video’s that will explain how to make some and I would recommend you Sarah Britton from “my new roots”.

soaked almonds nutmilk

soaked almonds for nutmilk

You have to soak the nuts of your choice over night. If you use softer nuts like cashew a couple of hours will do. You discard the soaking water and rince the nuts. Put nuts into a powerful blender and cover with water. You can determine if you want milk or creme by using more or less water. I added a couple of dates for sweetness and ground vanilla for luxury:) Blend the mix well and strain the liquid through a cheese cloth or an actual nutmilk bag if you have one.

nutmilk in cheesecloth

nutmilk in cheesecloth

The milk heats like regular milk so keep an eye on the stove. You can of course buy nutmilk at a health store, I do enjoy making it from scratch.

nutmilk

nutmilk

I add 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 1/2 tsp of raw cacao powder. If you want more sweetness you can add some maple syrup.

curcuma & raw cacao powder

turmeric & raw cacao powder

Chocolate has detoxifying qualities. Obviously not once sugar and dairy are added,but in it’s raw state it’s really good for us.

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory & antibacterial properties. With my little hot chocolate I get a tsp a day and if that can help me to avoid the next antibiotic, I’m in.

good for you hot chocolate

good for you hot chocolate

Eat well!

meringues

For the health nut that I am posting this is out of character, but…

We celebrated my nephew’s fifth birthday and he had ordered these weeks ahead. That is more than enough reason for me to undertake the easy but sticky endeavor of making “meringues au chocolate”. I used a 85% dark chocolate to balance out the extreme sweetness that characterises meringues. It seems to be this balance that makes them the better treat, at least high in demand…

meringues au chocolat

Traditionally these are put in the oven in the bakery after everything else is done, the ovens are turned off and the remaining heat is enough to slowly dry the sugar & egg mix. They would be left until the next morning when they were finally taken out, pale, crisp outside, sticky inside.

The egg whites can be frozen, so if you bake and you have left over ones, freeze them until you are inspired to make “meringues”

dark chocolateThere is french meringue, suisse or italian! This is a french one.

8 egg whites (whipped)

slowly add 500g of sugar. The meringue looks shiny.

My patisserie chef would add a pinch of salt before whipping the whites. Do not add the sugar at the beginning.

Melt some dark chocolate and let it cool off. In corporate into the meringue mix without actually mixing it. Pour it on top and start spooning the meringue on the baking tray (baking paper is a must). The chocolate will find its way into the mixture without your help.

meringues au chocolat

Bake or rather dry for 30 to 60 minutes at 120° to 150°.

They should be dry to the touch when you take them out.

Enjoy!

life without wheat…

I finally got my head around life without wheat after reading and researching for two days. I thought it would turn out to be quiet a challenge but in this case doctor’s orders are fun.

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I stocked up the pantry and have been reading all I could get my hands on. Most importantly I already feel a difference in the right and pain-free direction after only a few days without wheat. I guess the challenge will be travelling since every snack you can buy on the road has wheat (even gum)…I will let you know how that went! Watch this space for gigiandwheatfreefood:)

White pizza & It’s not easy being green…

…not for Kermit the frog, no, but for this pizza yes. I am aware that a pizza without the red tomato sauce is a white pizza, BUT this one having exclusively green vegetables on it, I call it green.

white pizza green pizza

I got an organic food box again this week delivered right at my doorstep and I was finally able to get rid of two of my return boxes. In many neighbourhoods the concern would be for somebody to steal a box. I my street these boxes keep coming back to me like boomerangs. Instead of letting them sit outside for the delivery guy to take them away somebody always brings them back to me so that I end up with many cumbersome boxes. The intention is good I know…

In my box I had 150g spelt flour that was mixed with dried herbs. I added a teaspoon of yeast and enough water to make a dough that is not to liquid and let it proof for an hour. I added flour to work the dough into a non sticky ball and then roll it out.

white pizza green pizza

I added green tomatoes, courgette that I had slightly fired in a pan beforehand, some thyme and rosemary and finally mozzarella.

white pizza green pizza

Preheat the oven at 250°C and bake your pizza until the crust is as you like it and the cheese has melted and bubbled nicely!

white pizza green pizza

white pizza green pizza

Here comes your green pizza.

chilli oil spicy

I do not want to have pizza without spicy oil. To make some yourself, choose a nice bottle, put dried chillies inside and add a good quality olive oil. You can obviously add other spices, I just go for chilli. You leave this for a month and taste if it’s spicy enough for you. If it get’s too spicy over time you can add fresh olive oil to the mix.

chilli oil spicy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you feel like a trip down memory lane with Kermit, here you go:

Eat well

eggplant couscous & cookbooks

I have spent a few days in Munich, a city I am totally in love with. Before l left I bought a great “wintery” vegetarian cookbook. I ordered the one this recipe is from by Rachel Khoo and it was sitting in my mailbox, happily waiting when I cam back home. In this book she travels through France and collects recipes and it makes you wanna pack your stuff and join. I should also tell you that I bought two more cookbooks in Munich one being the “Luitpold” book which is more like a fun coffee-house history & recipe book, that I enjoy reading sitting underneath my fig tree on the balcony, the other one an italien vegetarian one. I know that’s addictive behaviour but it could be worse.

eggplant taboulé rachel khoo

I more or less did as told by Rachel Khoo as I prepared this dish with a couple of exception due to the ingredients in my pantry and the fact that I added raisins. Having a sweet touch in your meal takes away the possible craving for dessert. I left aside the yoghurt dressing & wanted to add mint but I bought the wrong plant just looking at the label not the actual plant at the shop;) & I have no clue what I brought home and planted in a pot with love.

aubergine couscous rachel khoo

2 Eggplants

2 tbsp olive oil

1tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp Espelette pepper (I used chilli since I was out of piment d’Espelette)

parsley to garnish (also out…)

2 cloves of garlic (me garlic never, seriously, but I know it’s healthy YES)

Cut the Aubergine into sticks, omitting the spongiest part in the middle.

Blend the ingredients for the marinade together and “paint” your Eggplant sticks.

Put them in the oven at 180°C until they look and smell done.

eggplant couscous rachel khoo

For the couscous

160g couscous

zest of 1 lemon (organic untreated )

a pinch of salt

180 ml boiling water

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

a few raisins (if you like) & I did smuggle in some tomatoes as well…

Mix the dry ingredients together, add water & olive oil, cover and leave for 5 minutes so the couscous can soak up the water.

A happy vegetarian summer meal and if Rachel is right it has it’s origin in the Basque country.

Eat well

the missing pinch of salt

I literally forgot the pinch of salt in my picture of ingredients. Please add one right away. It should not me missing, not in the granola & nowhere else.

granola wholesome

This small batch of granola will go with me to Switzerland to sit and study on the mountain. I will truly be stuck on a mountain with a bunch of lovely fellow students and teachers. No cars allowed up there and the cable car is still on winter time so the last ride up is at six in the afternoon.

I somehow imagine it like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” minus the murders.

I always feel a little off when I am fed in an hotel for a longer period of time. In general my sugar levels are not too happy and a wholesome breakfast can help me to get through the day even if my diet is not ideal & I can not influence it too much either.

My little survival breakfast:

granola wholesome

1 bowl of oats

2 tbsp of chia seeds

2 tbsp of roasted nuts

1 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp of unflavored coconut oil

pinch of salt:)

vanilla (as much as you like, which for me is A LOT)

granola wholesome

Preheat the oven at 180°C and mix everything together in a baking tray. I just wait for the coconut oil to be melted before giving the mix a little stir. Check the granola every ten minutes, stir and take it out of the oven to cool as soon as it’s slightly brown and crisp.

granola wholesome

granola wholesome

Eat well & hope to see you here when I’m off the mountain

Yoghurtcake…to bake with kids

…rather to let them bake. If you can restrain from interfering and are able to let the kids try this on their own, even if it means a bit of a mess and a couple of moments of total self-control;) I’m not telling you to leave the room! Just ‘help’ less & assist with the oven part of baking.

I’m not just talk, I tried this with larger groups of 4 to 6 year olds, who were first surprised by the lack of adult interference, ultimately happily produced cakes. Some slightly eggier but still a big hit with their fellow kindergarten friends.

Yoghurtcake children bake

Yoghurtcake is easy to make, no measuring or weighing involved, a good choice if you want to bake with small children. You can add chocolate chips to the dough or fruit. I sprinkled a handful of frozen blueberries on top just to pimp it a little bit for the picture;)

I didn’t give the rest of the pictures the same consideration since I originally made them for work. I photographed the recipe step by step so kindergarten children could “read” & make this by themselves. I made little books out of the pictures that they use as a recipe book without words. I also added full or half stars to indicate the amount of refilled yoghurt pots on each picture which is missing from the ones presented here.

I was debating writing the recipe down but I won’t! Hoping that the pictures will be enough;) Step by step…with a few words to replace the missing indication of quantity that the kids got in form of the star system & numbers.

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one pot of sugar

3 pots of flour

1/2 pot of vegetable oil

1 & 1/1 tsp of baking powder

DSC_0261     at 180°C

yoghurt cake kids baking

For the healthier option you can use whole grain flour & coconut sugar. The result is obviously different but delicious as well.

yoghurtcake

Let them bake!

not about food…

..well about less food. I’ve spent some time in Paris again, this time for my other passion…Yoga.

gfh

I discovered a great yoga teacher whose teachings I want to hear more off  in the future (Dechen Thurman) and had quiet a lot of discussions about food with a friend.

Looking at the two of us you would say we’re at the opposite end of the diet and body shape spectrum. I am the round food loving thing, she is lean and doesn’t mind skipping a meal. Who does things right? Luckily we both do, respecting our blueprint!

dfg

That being said I do have my reduced food intake days which has nothing to do with weight loss but with health.

Michael Mosley brought a lot of interesting information together about fasting. I have never been drawn to this but his approach IS sensible, no extremes & common sense. His point is that if you provide your body with the normal calorie intake (should be 2000 for a woman, 2500 for a man until science proves that wrong) the cells will happily multiply. That includes those that you don’t want to, those that are damaged or sick.

sdgf

If the body gets a reduced amount (& Mosley can tell you how much exactly) of calories a day, it actually starts repairing cells, fixing what is going wrong, instead of multiplying. Does this mean reduced calorie intake every day? NO!!! Please don’t! Two days a week in a first phase and one to maintain the beneficial effects later. According to Mosley this will bring blood sugar, cholesterol and other health indicators under control. He obviously talks about weight loss too, but I want you to focus on your health please, you’re beautiful the way you are;).

Scan 48

If you want to read this up: http://thefastdiet.co.uk

Next time a yummy, easy & healthy recipe…I promise!

Eat well

Oat & raisins…Spelt & raisins

Oat & raisin cookie…a classic as it seems in England. Here, less known but welcomed with open arms. oat & raisin cookie Yesterday I sat in my favorite cafe to work. I have a paper to write and will never finish it if I attempt to do it at home.

I am the queen of procrastination and would find many occupations that would keep me from getting the job done. So here I was, being incredibly productive with an espresso some water and…feeling a little hungry.

My only choice would have been cake or the oat & raisin cookie. I fancied the cookie but aware that both would be to loaded with refined sugar I didn’t succumb to the temptation.

Instead, later at home, I made up my own oat & raisin cookie recipe which turns out to be spelt & raisin. Spelt has less gluten and is my favorite baking grain.

This made about a dozen of small wholesome sweet cookies.

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1 cup whole grain spelt flour

3/4 cup spelt flakes

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup nuts (crushed)

1 tsp ground vanilla

1/2 cup raisins

1 free range egg

2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Start by mixing the dry ingredients. If you put in the liquids immediately, the spices will end up all clogged together and it will be a tough job to get them to spread evenly into the mixture.

Add the egg and the cooled off melted coconut oil. I added the oil gradually so I could see if I need less or more judging by the consistency of the dough. It should hold together if you form it into a ball.

oat & raisin cookie

Form little spelt & raisins balls and place them on a baking tray. Flatten them a little with a spoon and bake for about 10 minutes at 220°C. Stay close and check on the cookies regularly.

…my paper is still not finished, but this post had to be written;) ohhh

Eat well

Tortano…filled bread or rolled Pizza?

Back from an inspiring weekend with the girls in Paris.

No baking & learning this time, but enjoying the company, the city &… lots of nice food.

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One of the places I always wanted to go to and somehow never managed to, is Rose Bakery and it was all I hoped for;) I’m in love with that place and as I observed the (totally international) staff, cooking, baking and just generally working their b… off I was imagining what it would be like to work there & live in a small cozy flat nearby…I guess it would be a wonderfully stressful experience;)

I admire everybody’s welcoming manner considering how packed the place was and how crazy our style of having brunch. Showing up at different times, wanting to share a table, not fitting on one though and ordering our way chaotically up and down that menu! In the unlikely case that you (Rose Bakery elves)  will read this, you made my day;)

So it has to be a recipe today that is fit for brunch.

The inspiration comes from Leila Lindholm’s book that I own in dutch since, holding the copy in my hands in a shop in Brussels, I convinced myself that I am perfectly able to read enough dutch to comprehend a recipe…I recently bought a second copy in a language I actually do understand perfectly well;)

Ingredients:

15g baker’s yeast

300 ml warm water (not hot, that would kill the yeast)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp honey

1 & 1/2 tbsp salt

170g durum wheat flour (also used in making pasta)

250g whole grain spelt flour

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and make sure the salt and yeast do not touch until you actually mix everything together. Salt kills yeast!

Cover the dough and set it side to rise for about half an hour.

Then work the dough and roll it out into a long shape that you can fill with the vegetables, cheese …of your choice. I went for courgette, dried & fresh tomatoes and some mozzarella. 

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Roll the dough with the filling inside and close by using some water like glue on the edges and form into a circle.

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Let this rise again for half an hour while preheating th oven at 250°C.

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Just before putting the tortano into the oven reduce the heat to 200°C and bake for 35 minutes (more or less).

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The perfect side for a wintery soup or a salad!

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Eat well