Hemp Seed Falafel

When I think of Hemp Seed now I have association with the words: Fatty acids, Protein and Minerals. It is amazing how well balanced the nutrition of the hemp seed is. It is one of a few plants where we get not only high level of protein but also a good level of fatty acids, this allows our body to process and use this high quality protein. In addition, we get magnesium, calcium, iron and copper from hemp seeds, if only to mention a few minerals, and vitamin E.

There was even a research for the impact of adding hemp seeds to the meat products, which showed dramatic improvements in quality and demand!

One research work caught my eye, ‘Chemical constituents of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seed with potential anti-neuroinflammatory activity‘ (Yuefang Zhou, February 2018). They isolated two new compounds along with 18 known compounds. And what is wonderful about it, they found “The results laid a solid foundation for additional research on hemp seed related to its value against neurodegenerative disease.” This is due to a new compound coumaroylamino glycoside derivative (2), which exhibited significant inhibitory effects by an anti-neuroinflammatory activity.

And if you try to find out the health benefits of Hemp Seeds, you will find lots of articles on Internet. The main five evidence-based benefits that are listed in many sources are: Risk of heart disease reduction or boost heart health; Skin disorders improvement or anti-ageing effect; PMS and menopause symptoms reduction or emotional stability; Digestion aid; Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases aid or brain protection.

Hemp seeds inspired me for my version of this Super Healthy Falafels, they are crispy on outside and soft and rich inside. Serve with this traditional Tzatziki with a modern twist. Enjoy, and stay healthy!

Hemp Seed Falafel

Ingredients:

2 can organic chickpea
2 cup hulled hemp seeds
200g organic spinach, (1 pack of finely chopped and frozen baby spinach)
50ml light olive oil
2 tablespoon pea or brown rice protein (alternatively brown rice flour)
1 small garlic clove, finely grated or minced
1 cup parsley and coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt as desired

Method

1. A couple of hours before, thaw the spinach in the sieve, do not press the juices.
2. Switch the oven on to 185C.
3. Process hemp seeds in a coffee/spices grinder in five-six batches by pressing only for two seconds, otherwise it will cake.
4. Drain chickpeas well and process in a food processor only by doing three pulses. If any whole chickpeas are left, you can squeeze them between your fingers in the next step.
5. Mix all the ingredients, and make 16 falafels. Each is about 60g a wheel of 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick.
6. Use a shallow tray with some oil in it – the amount enough to cover half of the tray only by turning it. Then with the help of your fingers or spatula distribute to cover the whole tray.
7. Place all falafels on the tray and bake at 185C for ten minutes. Then take the tray out, turn the falafels over and bake for another ten minutes. Serve warm with Tzatziki dip or plain yoghurt.

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Buckwheat Mushroom Pie

This has been my longest trial so far. Maybe it shows I crave pastries. Maybe because I have been trying to make it gluten free. Apology to my coeliac (celiac) followers, but I could not. If you want to experiment, try to substitute Spelt flour with Brown Rice flour. Although, the flavour will be different, the overall experience will be very close.

So, here we are!

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Buckwheat Mushroom Pie

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup very hot water
25g ghee (or butter, if not allergic to dairy)
3 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup goat, sheep or greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour, take 2 tablespoons for filling

Filling:
350g button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
15g ghee (or butter)
2 tablespoon wholemeal spelt flour
salt and pepper
*silicone baking form and frying pan with lid, matching sizes

Method:

1. Season mushrooms well and cook with garlic in butter for 5 minutes on low-medium heat, reduce the cooking time if juices start to separate. Add two tablespoons of spelt flour, heat through, and switch off the heat. Cover and let it cool.
2. Make a dough from buckwheat flour by gradually adding the hot water. Make a consistent mixture.
3. Dissolve soda in lemon juice to react, then combine all the dough ingredients in the order of the recipe, mix well until consistent.
4. Use little oil or spray with oil the frying pan on medium heat, then cook half of the dough as if you were making a large pan cake that covers the whole pan. Reduce the heat to minimum and cover with the lid, cook for 2-3 minute.
5. (If you don’t have matching sizes form and pan, cut the base out for a required size in the pan. Enjoy the cuts, they are tasty!) Turn over the pan cake into the baking form and spread the mushrooms on top of it. Then, using a spatula, distribute the rest of the dough over the top. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes with fan or for 45 minutes without fan.

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Zucchini Roulade

Food allergies. People have different approach to handling their food allergies. Some are proactive and want to change their diet. In Australia, Clinical Labs have a remarkable blood test called Food Sensitivity Test that checks 93 products. Others prefer to enjoy their current lifestyle and diet. In any case, everyone can enjoy this recipe below, this roulade is divine.

My Zucchini Roulade recipe is ideal for someone who is on gluten free diet. Especially, it will be perfect for those who have discovered that they are allergic to cow milk. I guess, I created this for myself 🙂

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Zucchini Roulade

Ingredients:

Base:
5oog small zucchini
1/2 cup goat milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
seasoning as desired
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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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Sesame Tuna

This is a very simple and easy way to enjoy a fresh, high quality piece of tuna. I find, it is a perfect entrée meal to share or a snack for two on the weekend.

I was served a similar dish in one of the Melbourne’s restaurants years ago and since, I have been using this idea to experiment with different coatings and sauces. This method is so versatile. So, next time you see a beautiful piece of tuna in the shop, get it and have a try.

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Sesame Tuna

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Pumpkin Bread Recipe

In addition to being healthy, pumpkin also contains another healthy ingredient, that is pepitas, or pumpkin seeds. Pepitas are very rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They are also high in protein content, about 20%. Unfortunately, like many other nuts and seeds, pepitas contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, or phytate, that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These anti-nutrients bind to minerals, especially zinc and iron, and the minerals cannot be absorbed.

I found a study that was specifically designed to research this factor in pumpkin seeds. It concluded, ‘The subsequent digestion under intestinal conditions showed that Zn becomes less accessible, indicating that antinutrients like naturally present phytate may be responsible for complex formation in the small intestines, thus reducing the potential for Zn bioavailability.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 128, Issue 4, 15 October 2011, Pages 839-846)

So, if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them, that is what doctors advise. Unfortunately, ‘the soaking of whole seeds for 24 h can lead to leaching of iron and, to a lesser extent, of zinc ions into the soaking medium.’ The same applies to all legumes and grains. The good news, it was also proved that fermentation can completely hydrolyze the phytic acid. (Food Chemistry, Volume 138, Issue 1, 1 May 2013, Pages 430-436) And by the way, the heating also causes phytic acid reduction.

In this recipe I suggest to bake the whole pumpkin. But don’t worry the baked pumpkin can be stored very well and there are other recipes where the baked pumpkin can be used. See the links:

Quinoa Porridge

Barley Risotto

Pumpkin Soup

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Pumpkin Bread

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Avocado Breakfast Recipe

Avocados

Avocado is an amazing fruit. It’s been very popular amongst healthy eaters for years now. No wonder why we have this sudden wave of avocado popularity. Any cafe you come in for a breakfast will have an avocado dish, I could say it is basic now.

Avocados are very healthy. Mostly for two important things: antioxidants and phytosterols. Phytosterols are plant cholesterols, they compete with cholesterol and get absorbed in our body. So, eating more avocados will protect your heart and brain.

If you wonder why the avocados are sometimes stone-hard on the shelfs of the retail shops, the following could be an answer for you. There is an effect of harvest date on the nutritional compounds and antioxidant activity in avocado. You can ripen avocados at +25C for the best effect of the fruit’s health benefits. Antioxidant activity in avocados harvested earlier then stored at cold temperatures was much higher than in the later harvested fruit according to this research. It was concluded, ‘Therefore, avocado can be harvested earlier for economic benefits according to the market and can keep high nutritional value for human health benefits.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 2, 15 November 2012, Pages 694-698)

According to another scientific research, avocado oil is richer than olive oil in total phytosterols, although olive oil has higher in vitamin E and retains it for longer during the heating (180 °C). (Food Chemistry, Volume 132, Issue 1, 1 May 2012, Pages 439-446)

Another interesting fact, ‘For all varieties, seeds contained the highest antioxidant capacities, phenolic content, and procyanidins, whereas the pulp had the lowest.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 122, Issue 4, 15 October 2010, Pages 1193-1198)

I am very curious now, about the avocado seeds 🙂

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Avocado Breakfast

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