healthy

Lassi a la Little L

 

mangolassi

Wandering around Adelaide’s Central Market in a bit of a dehydrated, sleep-deprived daze, I saw some pretty Mexican mangoes arranged in one of the stalls. I thought mangoes. I thought coconut water. I thought smoothie. Then halfway through blending them I thought, ‘Hey, this is almost like a Lassi!’ So I added spices and bam! Delicious & guilt free mango almost-lassi.

Make a meal of it:

250 mls coconut water
1 mango
1/3 cup natural yoghurt or kefir
2 tbsp chia seeds, soaked for ten minutes in some of the coconut water
a pinch each of salt, cardamom and turmeric

mango

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Amazeballs, Ed. 2: Gingerbread Cashew Balls

You know those ‘Nakd’ bars you can get at the supermarket?

The ones that are super delicious, but they cost you so much it’s really hard to believe that all they put in them is fruit and nuts?

Trust tightarse Little L to find a way around that!

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Make a meal of it:

Note: You’ll need a processor for this one.
Makes a generous week’s worth.

1 heaped cup date paste (combine pitted dates and a splash of water in the processor, and mush away!)
2 1/2 cups coarsely blended cashew meal
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
2 tsp ginger juice (put ginger through the garlic crusher and juice comes out; alternatively, use powdered ginger)
A few shakes of ground nutmeg
Sesame seeds for rolling

1.  Mix it all together, roll into balls.
2. Dip in sesame seeds.
3. Pop into mouth and be genuinely surprised at how satisfying they are. I actually went back into the kitchen to sneak a few more of these while the pictures were loading.

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Amazeballs, Ed. 1: Inca Balls

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I’m deeply suspicious of protein powder. I don’t know if it’s because I’m sure you can get enough protein by consuming actual food, or because it smells exactly like the bottle formula we used to give to the poddy lambs.

Actually yeah, it’s definitely about the lambs.

Anyway, I was curious about maca powder so I decided to give it a go in some balls. These are deliciously fudgey and maltey, and I’m proud that they worked out well given that they are the result of an inspired I’m-going-to-support-the-boyfriend’s-gym-project-while-also-getting-to-make-a-mess-in-the-kitchen-inventing-stuff moment. They’ve conquered my fear (by olfactory association) of protein powder, and I’ll be making more of these for myself!

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Make a meal of it:
Note: I used a processor, but if you don’t mind paying extra for pre-made almond meal, you don’t really need one.
Makes about a week’s worth of emergency snacks.

2 cups almonds
1/2 cup cocoa (yeah yeah, I’ll use raw cacao when I finish my tin of cocoa, okay?)
1/3 cup vanilla protein powder
3 tbsp maca powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp raw honey
Pinch or two of chili (because chili chocolate)
Shredded coconut for rolling

1. Blend the almonds, cocoa, maca, chili, and protein powders.
2. Heat honey and coconut oil together until the oil has softened.
3. Mix it all in a bowl and roll into balls.
4. Roll in the shredded coconut and you’re good to go…
and go…
and go…
and go!

Green Smoothie (that doesn’t taste green)

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I know, I know. Green smoothie drinkers are about as tedious as lunch instagrammers, but guys?

These things just taste like banana & strawberries – NOT like the juice from Popeye’s rubbish bin.

I know you’ve heard it all before, but they really do make me feel great and they’re an easy transportable fuel for those crazy long days with two jobs, bus rides and no time for breakfast.

Make a meal of it:
Makes one jar-sized smoothie.
3-4 strawberries (tightarse tip: I hoard the slightly too ripe ones when they’re on special, and freeze them. The blender seems to cope with this).
1 large banana
1 generous handful baby spinach
1 tsp spirulina, green mix, matcha or similar
2/3 cup liquid, to ease blending. I use kefir, but yoghurt or coconut water also work fine.

Chuck it all in a blender, whizz away, and try not to shove your health kick down other people’s throats.

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Experimenting with Kefir

Currently at the Hutt, there are prickly pear and yucca offcuts sprouting roots in jars of water on top of the gas unit, and another jar of scary-looking milk slowly fermenting out on the table. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if one of these days I go full mad scientist and start wandering around with frizzy hair and a coat, muttering to myself.

Oh, wait…

Anyway, Kefir: It’s home-made fermented milk and looks about as disgusting as it sounds. Never fear! It’s basically a runny kind of Greek yoghurt, only with tons more probiotics up in there. You can chug it down on its own, add some honey and pop it on your museli, or (my favourite) just throw it in your blender instead of yoghurt the next time you make a smoothie.

Still not convinced?

All I can say is it’s waaay cheaper than yakult, easy to make, and more effective than probiotic tablets. It helps with bloating and other, umm, feminine issues, and I’ve also noticed a slight difference to my skin since including kefir in my diet.

I’d very much recommend getting on this stuff after a round of antibiotics too. Those things are nasty.

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Make a meal of it:
You need:
1. Kefir grains. I got mine from an online store originally, but they multiply so if you want to give it a go I can give you my extras. The grains are little white lumpy things that feed on the lactose and whatever else is in milk. You need about a teaspoon to get started.
Side note: Yes, this means kefir is safe for the lactose-intolerant, because the grains break it down.
2. Milk. I use the unhomogenized full cream milk from Paris Creek, because I like to eat the cream from the top first it’s the most ‘whole’ milk I can find. Any milk works though, except for UHT. For things like soy and coconut milk, other mad scientists recommend switching the grains back to dairy every few weeks so they can refresh themselves.
3. A mason jar, because we’re trendy like that. Really you just need a glass jar with a lid.

How to:
1. Put one teaspoon of grains into your jar along with a cup or so of milk. The more milk, the longer it will take to ferment.
2. Close the jar loosely and sit it somewhere in room temperature for 12-24 hours.
3. Shake occasionally. I just give mine a swirl on my way out the back door every so often.
4. Pour through a strainer to separate the kefir from the grains.
5. Use the grains to make another batch!

Tips:
1. Refrigerate for a little bit after straining to make it firmer and more yoghurt-like.
2. If you go away for a while, just give the grains extra milk and leave the jar in the fridge. They can sit like that for a couple of months and just take one or two batches of fresh milk to perk up again when you arrive home.

Laziest medicine ever!

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Pomegranate, Quinoa and Black Rice Salad

IMG_2631I really love pomegranates.

What other fruit comes with its own little yellow party hat?

This salad has become part of the staple rotation at home. It’s no-fuss and super-easy (a bit like the rest of us in the house really), but looks gorgeous on the table when friends pop round and never fails to produce a “can you send me the recipe?”. Because of the quínoa, it’s a more robust salad and it keeps better than your regular sad mess of wilted rocket. I can make a double batch and eat it for days on end without getting bored or having to feel guilty about it. Give it a try with some citrusy fish or simply enjoy on its own.

Make a meal of it:
Serves 3.
1 1/2 c. uncooked grain of choice. I use a mix of black rice and quínoa, but anything goes!
1 pomegranate
3 sprigs fresh mint
1-2 tbsp capers
100g soft cheese (danish feta; labne; goat’s cheese)
1/2 red onion, diced
Squeeze of lemon juice
Generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar

1. Cook grains and allow to cool.
2. Stand around appreciating the little pomegranate-themed still life you set up on the bench (come on, I know you did). Then rip it to shreds and panic about the red juice stains you’ve got all over yourself and the kitchen. Pomegranate tip: separate the seeds in a bowl of water to prevent juice getting all over the place.
3. Proceed to make salad. Do I really have to explain it?

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