Summer Beetroot Soup

Another superfood in our collection – beetroot and its leaves. Beetroot juice is very powerful, and it is taken in small dozes, about 70 ml a day.

‘Beetroot juice during periods of psychological stress protects against cold symptoms. Preliminary evidence suggests particular benefits in asthma, which could translate into reduced asthma exacerbations due to respiratory infections.’ (Physiology & Behaviour, Volume 202, 1 April 2019, Pages 45-51)

Interesting facts about organic beetroot were concluded in this study below. ‘Although our analysis showed that both organic and conventional growing systems had similar average levels of the flavonoids kaempferol-3-O-glucoside and luteolin in the final products, the organic beetroot showed significantly higher contents of total betalains and total polyphenols, as well as higher total antioxidant capacities, when compared to the conventionally grown samples. …In view of the crucial role of the cultivar, it is therefore difficult to guarantee that organic rather than conventional beetroot in the shopping basket will result in better nutritional quality for the consumer.’ (LWT, Volume 116, December 2019, Article 108552)

We suggest this beautiful and delicious cold soup, perfect for summer and detox after festive season. You will love it!

If you want to sprout your own mung beans, it is a good idea. you can store them in the fridge at least for a week and use them in salad, soups, rice dishes, also as a snack. See Coconut Mung Beans for a method.

After-Festive-Season Detox Beetroot Soup

Ingredients:

1 kg beetroot
15-17 green small beet leaves
2 tablespoons linseed/ Flax seeds, ground
Lebanese cucumbers, about 2 per 3 people
Sprouted mung beans, about 2 tablespoons per person
Green chives finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons per person
Fresh dill finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon per person
1 small lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil.

Method:

1. Peel beetroots and cook them in 3L of filtered water.
2. Once beetroots are ready (medium-large size beetroot requires about 50 minutes to cook), transfer them to cool down. Finely chop the leaves and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3. Grind linseed in a coffee grinder, if you have whole seeds. Squeeze the lemon. Mix all these into the soup, also add salt and pepper to your taste.
4. Grate beetroots on coarse side and put back into the pot. Now, the base soup is ready. Place the pot in refrigerator to cool or until the serving time.
5. When the soup is to be served, peel cucumbers and cut lengthwise into quarters, then dice into 5mm pieces, and save them in a dish. Finely chop the chives and dill into two separate dishes also.
6. Place into each soup plate: two tablespoons of diced cucumbers and two tablespoons of mung beans. Pour about 2-3 ladders of cold soup, and top with green herbs. Optional, one tablespoon of olive oil per serving.

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Morello Cherry Trifle Sugar-Gluten-Dairy-Free

It is great when it is a season for Morello cherries, known under other names Sour Cherry or Tart Cherry. The superfood qualities of Morello cherries are researched in other posts, for example Cherry Clafoutis.

This Cherry Trifle summer recipe may sound sophisticated, but it is actually an easy recipe, so, please, don’t be scared by a number of ingredients and steps. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use this method with any other seasonal fruit in your region, just replace fruit and jelly. It also tastes divine with Mangoes, however please use toasted and crushed hazelnuts with Mango Trifle instead of almonds. For this post I am using Cherry Trifle, just because Morello Cherries are my favourite. Each component has a great taste, and when the trifle is constructed, the taste is unforgettable!

Cherry Trifle

Jelly Ingredients:

500ml cherry juice, at room temperature
10g Agar-Agar
500ml filtered water, warm

Custard Ingredients:

2 packs coconut milk powder (enough to make 600 ml of coconut milk)
600 ml hot water
2 eggs
3/4 cup rice flour
150 ml water
1/4 cup Birch sugar
1/2 cup Stevia and Monk Fruit sugar
50 g Ghee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Biscuits Ingredients:

2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 cup Stevia and Monk Fruit sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla exract
1/4 cup rice flour (tapioca flour for Paleo)
1/2 cup almond flour

Fruits and Nuts:

700g Morello cherries / sour cherries / tart cherries
100g sliced almonds / almond flakes

Method:

1. Jelly: mix Agar-Agar into 200ml water and bring to boil constantly mixing with a silicon spatula. Immediately add Stevia and Monk fruit sugar and stir with spatula until it dissolves and bubbles. Gradually combine with juice and the rest of water, remove from the heat, then place in the fridge to set.

2. Custard. Turn oven on at 120C. Use a tray covered with baking paper to distribute two packs of coconut powder over it and put into oven for 3-5 minutes. If needed, turn off the fan to prevent burning. It should be of light creamy colour.

3. Biscuits: Increase the oven temperature to 175C. Beet eggs and lemon juice well in a mixer until volume increases twice, add sugars and vanilla, beat further until all dissolved. Fold in flours and spread the dough in the square silicon tray, bake at 175 for 12 minutes.  When the base cake is ready, turn over on the board to cool.

4. Custard:

– Make coconut milk using only half of hot water, only 300 ml.

– Beat the eggs and mix in the flours. Add coconut milk into eggs mixture and get a consistent smooth mixture.

– Heat 150 ml water with sugar in a saucepan, stir to dissolve and get to simmering state. Add the rest of hot water (300 ml) and put the saucepan on medium flame.

– Add the eggs mixture in and constantly mix with a spatula, going through all the surfaces inside the saucepan to prevent burning or forming lumps. Once the custard thickens switch off the flame and mix well.

– If the custard formed lumps, just use a blender to smooth the custard out, it will be shiny and smooth. Combine the ghee in and put the saucepan into the fridge to cool.

5. Cut the baked base into biscuits about 18 pieces. Place them around inside the bowl vertically. When the jelly is almost set, crush the jelly into the bowl but keep all the biscuits in place. Make another layer of cherries over the jelly. Pour the cold custard over the cherries, cover the bowl and place in the fridge until serving time.

6. While the oven is hot, place almond flakes in for a few minutes until they just start changing colour. Save until serving time.

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Cashew Feta Vegan Cheese

Cheese lovers might not approve my post.

I consider myself lucky as I am well with goat or sheep dairy products whereas cow milk products don’t agree with me. A friend of mine, who is vegan, introduced me to an almond feta cheese and I loved it.

After a few experiments, I found that a texture of cashews are more to my liking for the vegan feta cheese option. I have other recipes with cashew as an ingredient and you can find more information on this product there, for example lemon and cashew dessert .

Here I am, publishing the final version of my new recipe, please enjoy!

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Vegan Cashew Feta Cheese.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon table salt
lemon juice

Dressing:
3/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 soft rosemary, chopped
a few dill, chopped
1/4 lemon, juice separated and put aside.
1 teaspoon pepper corns

*a glass jar min 400ml; a tray or a container about 30cm x 40cm.

Method:

1. Overnight, soak the cashews in the filtered water, also infuse the oil with all the dressing ingredients.
2. On the next day, rinse and process cashews in the food processor with salt and the lemon juice saved from last night until smooth and fine.
3. Place baking paper on the tray or container, transfer processed cashews and make an even layer about 1.5-2 cm thick, cover airtight and refrigerate for a few hours.
4. Cut the whole cashew layer into the cubes or ‘fingers’.
5. Place the herbs from the infused oil into a glass jar and stack the cashew feta pieces on top, then pour the oil over it. Refrigerate for 2- 3 days before consuming.

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Cloudy Spinach Soup

Spinach is very versatile and it is easy to incorporate spinach into a diet. That is great because spinach has so many health benefits. Vitamin C, or ascorbate, is chemically the simplest vitamin. Unlike humans, plants can synthesise ascorbate, accumulating it up to 10% of the total water-soluble ‘carbohydrates’, according to research findings. The washing process of pre-packaged spinach, which uses circulating water with chlorine-based sanitiser, “can be a potential source of ascorbate loss and younger plant tissues often have higher ascorbate concentrations than older ones, e.g. in spinach.” (Food Chemistry 233 (2017) 237–246) So, if you are buying spinach for a salad, try the baby spinach that is sold unpacked and wash it yourself.
The following is very interesting too:
“Dark green leafy vegetables are primary food sources for lutein and b-carotene, however these bioactives have low bioavailability… Lutein liberation and in vitro accessibility were three-fold higher from spinach puree compared to whole leaves. Results for b-carotene liberation were similar, whereas that of b-carotene accessibility was only about two-fold.” (Food Chemistry 224 (2017) 407–413) This is good to know, well supports my recipe for Tabouleh. They call lutein ‘eye vitamin’.

Spinach can be added to many savoury dishes, raw or cooked. I prefer cooked spinach in winter and raw in summer. We are in the middle of the winter right now in Australia. And, here I am again with a new soup recipe. Please enjoy!

Cloudy Spinach Soup

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Marinated Zucchini Salad

Courgette (Zucchini) is a simple and affordable fruit that is harvested immature. Some information about zucchini was collected in the other post for Zucchini Patties recipe. Young zucchini have a subtle taste and they are perfect for being used raw in salads. If you like cucumbers try to substitute them with young zucchini and you will increase your vitamin intake. Below recipe uses uncooked zucchini but not completely raw!

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Marinated Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

 5 small zucchini
100g soft goat cheese

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Lemon and Cashew Dessert Recipe

Cashew tree produce cashew apples, and cashew apples have cashew seeds. The green seeds are processed, and we find them as light brown cashew nuts on the food store shelves.

From a traditional stir fry to a modern cashew milk, from breakfast to dinner, cashew nuts prove to be more versatile every day. Health benefits of the cashew nuts inspire not only many of us who experiment with home cooking but also some food manufacturers.

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Brown Lentil Hummus Recipe

I had a few posts on legumes previously, please search ‘legumes’ to access them. Lentils are a high protein, high fibre member of the legume family.

Traditional hummus is made of chickpeas, and chickpea hummus is a very smart food.

Here is a comparison of the brown lentil and the chickpea for your review:

One cup of cooked  brown lentils contains: Sugar 4g, Fiber 16g, Protein 18g, and Iron 37%. Total 230 Calories.

One cup of cooked chickpeas contains: Sugar 8g, Fiber 12g, Protein 15g, and Iron 26%. Total 269 Calories.

(http://nutritiondata.self.com)

So, I’ve just experimented with hummus made of brown lentils, and I love it!

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Brown Lentil Hummus

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