Category Archives: Recipe

16 Great Garnishes for Smoothies

Smoothie Bowl

One of the reasons I like smoothies is for their garnish potential! Garnish also helps turn a smoothie from a snack into a complete meal. And I always keep extra smoothie garnishes handy so that I can garnish as I go. Come on, you know your kitchen table has totally been missing a garnish station.

Breakfast of #Imbolc champions. Chia pudding smoothie bowls. All of the garnishes. And tea. #froothie #jumpstart15

My favorite smoothie garnishes are as follows – what would you add to the list?

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – Let’s face it, pumpkin seeds are a great garnish for everything.
  2. Coconut Flakes – What’s not to love? They are crispy tasty fantastic. For some reason most grocery stores don’t seem to stock this (don’t try to substitute with desiccated coconut) but Amazon has quite a few options and it’s not very expensive.
  3. Sea Salt – Salt actually brings out the flavour and sweetness of the ingredients used in the smoothie. You could even get fancy and rim your smoothie glass with salt!
  4. Jumbo Oats – Classic, also good blended INTO the smoothie itself.
  5. Swiss Muesli – A little fancier than straight up oats and usually brings with it other tasty garnishes like seeds and dried fruit. Don’t spend lots of money buying this stuff; make your own custom Homemade Muesli Blend.
  6. Goji Berries – The most overhyped dried fruit in the universe, but they’re pretty and look so nice on green smoothies! Hefty tip: soak the goji berries ahead of time; they can be discouragingly chewy. Goji berries are sold all over the place now, alas, for a hefty price tag; if it’s only the color your after, dried cranberries make a nice substitute.
  7. Bee Pollen – Little crunchy morsels of honey sweetness. I’ve been a little obsessed with this stuff since I discovered it in France last year. I try to stock up whenever I go back, but for those of you who aren’t France-bounce, you CAN buy bee pollen elsewhere (after all it’s not like bees are a strictly French thing!) – there are lots of options on Amazon.
  8. Acai Powder – Allegedly increases energy and “vitality”; I just like it for its bitter berry tastiness. I use Naturya Organic  Acai Powder.
  9. Maca Powder – Malty sweet goodness originating from a tuberous root grown in the highlands of Peru. I’ve been using Naturya Organic Maca however I’ve recently cut back my usage when the company (very responsibly) informed me of unethical business practices and biopiracy which have made maca a bit taboo and difficult (i.e. expensive) to source. Use your best judgement here!
  10. Spirulina – Most people blend this happy protein into their smoothie but I have actually developed quite a taste for the stuff and prefer it as a garnish so that I really know it’s there! I use this stuff a LOT and have been getting my Organic Spirulina in bulk from myprotein.com.
  11. Cacao Nibs – I like these in banana-based smoothies, or in a mint chocolate chip blend. I use Naturya Organic Cocoa Nibs.
  12. Grated beetroot – I use a  Kuhn Rikon Grater & Julienne Mandoline to make cool little beetroot matchsticks (see the picture below, made with golden beetroot).
  13. Puffed Grains – Rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa… I’ve been enjoying Biona Organic Amaranth Pops lately.
  14. Freeze-Dried Raspberries – I discovered these little morsels of crispy tart goodness at Waitrose; they’re kind of expensive, but they look so pretty! You can also buy them on Amazon.
  15. Granola – Try Mardi’s Maple Walnut Granola or go crazy with savory granola.
  16. Fresh fruit – Especially raspberries and blueberries.

Today's #smoothiebowl.

 

How to Make Sauerkraut

Homemade Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, and fermented foods in general, are experiencing a revival in recent years, with a great amount of thanks to Sandor Katz who helped bring fermentation to the mainstream with his book Wild Fermentation. But there’s sound reason for sauerkraut’s new hipster status: it’s awesomely good for you, and it’s really tasty (albeit an acquired taste for some).

Sauerkraut (directly translated from German as “sour cabbage”) is made by lactic acid fermentation, a process by which glucose and other sugars are converted into cellular energy and lactic acid by naturally occurring bacteria found on cabbage leaves. One of those bacteria is lactobacillus which you’ve probably seen on your containers of “bio-live” yogurt.

This happy bacteria is the crux of why sauerkraut is so good for you. Good bacteria is the stuff that happy intestinal flora is made of, and sauerkraut contains a whole lot more of it than live yogurt. And lets not forget cabbage itself, which contain natural compounds known to have cancer-fighting properties. In fact, studies have indicated that short-cooked and raw cabbage are the only types of cabbage to show such cancer-preventative benefits, upping the ante for sauerkraut (and coleslaw for that matter!).

Note that all of the above health benefits apply only to naturally fermented sauerkraut; most of the stuff you buy in the shops will have been pasteurised, thus killing any beneficial bacteria that may have once been present in the kraut. There are some brands such as Raw Health that now sell “raw sauerkraut” but you’ll be spending over £3 for a tiny jar; it’s far better to pick up a 99p cabbage and make your own. Making sauerkraut is inexpensive, easy, and you can adapt the sauerkraut to suit your tastes (by adding spices like caraway or Juniper berries, or mixing it up with purple cabbage, carrots and more!).

Homemade Sauerkraut

How to Make Sauerkraut
 
What you will need:

  • Cabbage (green, red or a mix; use at least one head of cabbage to make this worthwhile)
  • Salt
  • A container such as a wide-mouthed mason jar, an old-fashioned purpose-built ceramic “crock”, or a large food-grade plastic container (that’s what I use)
  • A plate or other flat object that will fit inside of the container above (I used the lid from another food-grade plastic container)
  • Something heavy like a scrubbed and boiled rock or a large jug filled with water (or other liquid – see my contraptions here and here)
  • A cloth cover – a tea towel will do the trick

 
First, weigh your cabbage. For every 2kg of cabbage you’ll need about 3 tablespoons of salt.

Slice up your cabbage. I used a food processor fitted with a fine blade, but you could also use a mandolin or a knife.

Making Sauerkraut
Put the cabbage in a big bowl and toss with the salt. It won’t be long before you notice water being expelled from the cabbage thanks to the magic of osmosis!

Making Sauerkraut

Pack the cabbage into your container, pushing it down into the container as you go. You want the cabbage packed super tight – this helps force water out of the cabbage.

Put your plate or lid on top of the cabbage, then put your clean heavy thing on top. The weight will continue to force water out of the cabbage. Always cover it with a cloth when left unattended.

Making Sauerkraut

The goal now is to expel enough water from the cabbage so that the cabbage is totally submerged in brine. So every few hours, visit your kraut and push down on the weight. If after 24 hours the cabbage isn’t submerged, add some salt water to just above the level of your plate (about 1 tablespoon of salt to 250ml water).

Leave the cabbage to ferment. Check it every day or two, then start tasting. There’s no minimum or maximum fermentation time – I let mine go for about a week. After a few days it will start tasting sour, but you can leave it to keep fermenting for a stronger sour taste. (Sauerkraut is safe to eat throughout the process, so you’re not risking anything by trying it!) When the sauerkraut tastes good to you, pack it up into a smaller jar and store it in the fridge.

The sauerkraut will keep for at least two months.

Homemade Sauerkraut

Favourite Uses for Sauerkraut

I must say, one of my fond memories from my pre-vegetarian days is Reuben Sandwiches. In light of that, I make a killer Reuben-esque omelette with sautéed mushrooms, onions, sauerkraut, caraway and swiss cheese (or avocado). Or more simply, sauerkraut mixed in with scrambled eggs is fantastic. I’ve also been mixing sauerkraut into salads; it goes especially well with beetroot. Going back to my German and Polish roots, I have a soft spot for sauerkraut pierogi and sauerkraut soup (hold the kielbasa), both of which really make me miss home!

Recommended reading:

It’s worth picking up one of Sandor Katz’s book (I have Wild Fermentation but he put out an extended version The Art of Fermentation in 2012 that gets great reviews). The book also offers suggestions for add-ins to your sauerkraut, including onions, garlic, seaweed, turnips, beetroot, caraway, dill and even apples. Also keep an eye on Charlotte Pike who is releasing a book on fermentation this year.

Further reading:

Recipe Review: Chia Pudding

Earl Grey Chia Pudding with Marmalade

Today my good friend Emily of sunroseclear.com is guest-posting on the chia pudding food craze. On Emily’s last visit (Imbolc 2015!), I gave her some top quality chia seeds from Naturya and sent her on a mission to experiment with chia pudding and report back on her results. Is it really worth all the hype?  

Monica and I are fashionably late to the chia party. Chia has been “so hot right now” for awhile actually, and Pinterest has long been trying to convince me of its virtues. When and why did our chia ambitions begin? My memory is fuzzy on this point (too much sloe gin?), but I think we started talking about chia as an option for smoothie enhancements. We both have a smoothie every day, and we both need more protein in our diet. So, why not? Chia ho! This is a short account of my early chia experiments:

1. Vanilla Chia Pudding

Vanilla Blueberry Chia Pudding

For my first chia pudding I looked to Choosing Raw for a basic recipe and used her 3 tbsp chia : 1 cup liquid as my pudding standard. For me this made enough for breakfast and an afternoon snack. Chia pudding is filling!

I found the basic chia, almond milk, vanilla, and honey pretty boring, even with blueberries on top. The texture is like tapioca pudding, which is not my favorite thing…but eventually I convinced myself they’re like the world’s smallest tea bubbles. That helped, but…onward!

2. Earl Grey Tea Chia Pudding

Earl Grey Chia Pudding with Marmalade

Pudding! Earl Grey! Cold! If you can use any liquid for chia pudding, why wouldn’t you use Earl Grey tea? This one went through a few test batches, and the ratio of milk to tea is a matter of taste, but here’s what I came up with:

Just mix it all up in a glass or jar and let it set for about 3 hours or overnight. I really squeezed the tea bag into my glass – and then used it again for tea! Sadly, while pretty, the orange marmalade garnish was too overwhelming a flavor.

3. Chia: Smoothie Ingredient

Strawberry Kiwi Beetroot Carrot Smoothie

As Monica has pointed out in her ingenious smoothie book (which I use all the time, seriously, she isn’t making me say this), bananas are a great smoothie thickener but also kind of a sugar bomb. Most of my daily smoothies still have a smidge of banana, but for a week I tried replacing it with chia. It definitely does the trick, especially if you let the smoothie sit for a few minutes. This is probably how I will use chia most often. More protein, calcium, and fiber for me!

4. Chia Smoothie Pudding

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Chia Smoothie

I know I’m not the first to think of it, but making a chia pudding using a smoothie as your liquid is pretty great. It completely replaced the simple pudding of my affections. You still get the tapioca texture from the chia, but with lots of healthy fruit and veg – and no additional sweeteners.

That said, it also has dessert potential. I made a Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding from a peanut butter, banana, oatmeal, and almond milk smoothie. Chill for a few hours and swirl some strawberry jam through. A nice dessert version of the sandwich classic.

Verdict: I’ll certainly keep adding chia to my morning smoothies for the nutrition boost and possibly explore some other chia desserts.

Monica’s Notes on Nutrition: I felt compelled to add some commentary on the nutritional value of Chia Pudding. As an example, a chia pudding made with 3 Tbsp chia, 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 2 tsp honey and 1/2 cup of blueberries has 333 Calories, 19g fat, 18g fiber, 42g carbs and 11g Protein. Compare this to, say, 50g of porridge with the same amount of almond milk, honey and blueberries: 308 Calories, 7.5g fat, 8g fiber, 58g carbs, 7.8g Protein. Those who are fat-phobic might scoff at the chia pudding, where ~50% of the calories come from fat. Chia has been praised as being a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids, but research shows that the body isn’t very good at converting these types of plant-based omega-3s into something the body can be used. Still, they are a source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals so they’re not going to do you any harm. I like how Katie Trant (nutritionist and author of the Muffin Myth blog) puts it in her well-researched article Chia Seeds: Healthy or Hype? – “Chia seeds are without question very healthy, but they’re not a miracle.” And probably not even life-changing.

Follow Emily’s chia antics – among other things – on Instagram, Twitter and her blog. And look out for more chia experiments to come: chia trifles, chia parfaits, chia jam… what else? Share your chia inspiration in the comments!

Recipe Review: The Really Hungry Burger by Anna Jones

Anna Jones' Really Hungry Burger

I have a love-hate relationship with veggie burgers (see this post from 2008: Wanted: A Veggie Burger That Isn’t a Mush Burger). The best veggie burger I’ve ever had was the beetroot burger from Mildred’s in London. I’ve since tried many veggie burger recipes, but most fail on various merits: too mushy, no texture, boring flavour, crumbly, and most commonly, made with so many breadcrumbs as to totally negate the need or desire for a bun.

I’ve even gone so far as creating a website entirely devoted to my search for the Ultimate Veggie Burger. But after so many experiments I was starting to think that veggie burgers were a total misnomer and that it was impossible to recreate the visceral joy of eating a tasty burger (with your hands, please, none of this British knife-and-fork stuff) without going back to the basic meaty principles.

It’s been a while since I’ve ventured back into veggie burger territory but I was inspired by my friend, CrossFit buddy, and fellow veggie burger enthusiast Jane to give them another go. Anna Jones’ recipe for The Really Hungry Burger caught both of our eyes. It helps that the picture of the burger looks awesome, but the ingredients sound really interesting too: mushrooms, dates, tahini… this burger was speaking my language. And Anna Jones’ own notes address some of my core concerns about veggie burgers:

Please be assured that this is not the breaded sweetcorn and mushroom mush excuse that usually shows up between two white buns. This is a hearty health-packed wonder that makes no apology to anyone…I’ve played around with a lot of recipes before settling on this one, some full of bright herb freshness and grated veg, some packed with protein-rich tofu, and all were good, but what I look for in a burger is a deep moreish flavour, savoury and complex, so this is the one.

Anna Jones' Really Hungry Burger

Jane and I made these burgers two ways: one with cannellini beans, the other with black beans. Both were awesome. The burgers hold their shape exceptionally well and they have great texture from the brown rice. The flavour really IS savoury and complex – I probably wouldn’t guess dates and tahini from the burger alone, but they combine perfectly with the rest of the ingredients to make a really tasty burger that’s totally worthy of being called “The Really Hungry Burger”.

As to toppings, Jane and I both liked Anna’s suggestion to serve the burgers with avocado and a quick cucumber pickle. We also felt that the burger benefited from a good dose of cheesy goodness. And of course, everything is better with giardiniera.

So maybe my quest for the Ultimate Veggie Burger is not fruitless after all. I will definitely be coming back to this recipe again, which means I can turn my attention to solving other problems, like what is the ultimate drink pairing to go with a veggie burger? To this end I had some help from Sir Neil of the France wine experience, whose top pick was a white Rhone. I got hold of a Jean-Luc Colombo La Redonne, which I swear I didn’t pick just for the name. This was way more fruity than the white wines I usually go for (NZ Sauvingon Blanc is my usual default, which probably says a lot about my knowledge of wine!), but I really enjoyed something new and I thought the wine’s peachiness stood up well to the hearty burger, and the total flavour explosion that came from all the wild toppings!

Finally, it should be noted that Jane fed the leftovers to a couple of meat-loving dudes who thought the veggie burgers were outstanding. The recipe features in Anna’s new book A Modern Way To Eat, probably worth picking up if you’re looking for satisfying vegetarian recipes designed to please ALL lovers of good food, veggies and omnivores alike.

Get the recipe: The Really Hungry Burger [annajones.co.uk]

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

Thursday, 19 February marks the beginning of The Chinese New Year, a celebration that lasts from the new moon to the Lantern Festival 15 days later.

Much of what I know about Chinese New Year I learned from chatting with Sachiko Saeki, a chef who was Hugh’s sushi tutor on River Cottage, and who frequently hosts regular cooking courses at Demuths Cookery School in Bath.

“To me Chinese New Year is similar to Christmas. It’s a time for family and friends to come together. Cleaning is involved and lots of it – the home, your past, in relationships, debts, to face the New Year anew mentally and spiritually.”

In this spirit of renewal and cleansing, I like to mark the Chinese New Year by making this Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup, a bowl of comfort that keeps the body and soul warm during these last days of winter, but also harkens of the coming spring with its fresh flavours and colourful vegetables.

This soup isn’t just for Chinese New Year, it’s really for any time of year when you need a nourishing pick-me-up. It’s a very easy soup to make and can be adapted to suit whatever vegetables you have to hand. I especially like mine with lots of carrots and broccoli.

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

Serves 2

  • 140g dried wholewheat noodles (or vegetable noodles for a low-carb affair)
  • rapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 handful beansprouts
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 200g firm tofu, sliced into strips
  • vegetables: carrots, courgettes, broccoli, seaweed, mushrooms, whatever you have!

Method

  1. Cook the noodles according to the packet’s instructions. When finished, rinse under cold running water and drizzle a little oil over them to keep them from sticking together. Divide between two big bowls.
  2. In a soup pot, combine the ginger, red chilli, Shaohsing rice wine, vegetable stock, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Bring to a simmer.
  3. While the soup simmers, prepare your vegetables. I like to julienne my carrots and courgettes, but feel free to cut them to your preferred daze and shape.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pot and let it come back to the simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender (any quick-cooking vegetables, especially greens, should be added at the very end so they don’t over cook).
  5. Stir in the bean sprouts, most of the spring onions and the tofu.
  6. Ladle the soup over the noodles. Serve garnished with spring onions.

Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup

 

Also seen on Great British Chefs.

Lemon Barley Water

Lemon barley water. Oh my god. This is going to be on my table all of the time from now on.

By request, here is my lemon barley water recipe. This was a Spring Equinox 2014 discovery that rocked our world. The ultimate version is made with bergamot lemons (I get my from The Organic Farm Shop in Cirencester when they’re available) and good Sicilian honey. But really any ol’ unwaxed lemons will do, and you can vary the honey to suit your tastes (or omit it completely which I sometimes do).

Making lemon barley water with @theorganicfarmshop Bergamots. #best

I usually boil the lemon rind with the barley but you can wait until after the barley’s cooked to add the rind to the hot water; just let it sit for a few hours to infuse. This way you get plain barley leftover that may be a bit more versatile for cooking.

Lemon Barley Water

Makes 6 cups.

  • 3/4 cups pearl barley
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 lemons
  • honey to taste (or other sweetener)

Method

  1. Put the water in a saucepan. Peel the zest from the lemon and add to the water. Bring the water to a boil, then add the barley. Turn down the heat and let the barley simmer for 45 minutes until tender.
  2. Strain the water from the barley, reserving the water.
  3. Juice the lemons and add the juice to the barley water. Add honey to taste (I find 2 Tablespoons is pretty sufficient but add more or less to suit your tastes).
  4. Drink hot or cold. Use the leftover barley to make an awesome salad or soup.

Lemon barley water compleat. :)

How to Make Awesome Smoothies in ANY Blender

Making berry smoothies

These are the days of Blentec, Vitamix, Nutribullet and now Froothie entering the fray. It seems like everyone’s all about their super power blenders, myself included – my Optimum 9400 blender cost more than my first car! (Granted, it was a pretty crappy car.) And while I have never once regretted my blender, I totally get that others may feel their money is better spent elsewhere (paying the rent, taking a cruise, going to SpoonFest…).

For folks with more economically-priced blenders, it might be really frustrating to go searching for smoothie recipes only to find that they’re all made with super gadgets – what can they do with their humble machine?

Well, a lot, actually. For example, my friend Emily has been making some terrific smoothies from my book Smarter Fitter Smoothies and getting great results with her soooo nifty Kenwood Smoothie 2GO. It retails at £29.99 and does a very fine job of blending carrots, pecans and other tough ingredients, making it a very worthy competitor to the Nutribullet. It’s not terribly useful for soups, and it won’t grind rocks, but for its purpose it’s pretty good, so why not?

Smoothie  Making

For folks like Emily, and other people who have more conventional blenders, I’ve put together a list of ways to make an awesome smoothie in ANY blender, and I’m psyched to be sharing that list over on Mardi’s blog today. If you’ve been struggling to create smoothies that qualify as “awesome”, do check it out!

How to make an awesome smoothie in any blender [eatlivtravwrite.com]

Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera

Homemade giardiniera

Giardiniera is a spicy mixed vegetable pickle flavored with garlic and oregano that’s popular in my home town of Chicago where it is often served on Italian beef sandwiches. The name comes from the Italian word for “from the garden”, and you can see why:

Jarring the giard

I wish I could remember my giardiniera origin story, but I’ve loved this stuff for so long that I can’t remember where the love affair began. In my family, giardiniera is one of those “good with everything” foods that sits alongside ketchup and mustard and other condiments to always keep on hand. We love it on pizza and sandwiches, and I’ve recently discovered that it’s stellar with hummus. My love for giardiniera took on new heights when my sister and I learned to make it ourselves several years ago.

It had been a while since I made giardiniera, but a “relish platter” of epic proportions at last December’s Camont Christmas party reignighted my fervor. Granted, it wasn’t just the giardiniera, but the context of the situation: a happy day hallmarked by lots of cooking, good vibes, great friends and, the surprise element, an unlikely wine pairing that took the giardiniera to new levels of pickle heaven.

Wine revelation of the evening

The wine, chosen by my friend and wine enthusiast Neil, was a vin jaune, a sherry-like white wine made in the Jura region in eastern France. Unlike sherry, vin jaune is not fortified, but like sherry, it’s quite beautiful, especially with the right food.

Neil posited that his chosen vin jaune, a 2008 Domaine Macle, “would have the strength to battle pickled items and hold its own”. It totally did. Neil described the flavor of the wine as having “deep gold with notes of almond, bread dough and a lingering sweetness…dry, with a creamy mouthfeel while still remaining somewhat light”.

Cotes du Jura + Relish Platter = Unforgettable

I got the almond, and the sweetness, and the creamy mouthfeel (I aspire to have a pallet refined enough to pick up “bread dough” in my wine). All agreed it was a total treat and worked with the giardiniera amazingly well. For me, it took the giardiniera out of the bowl and turned it into an unforgettable story. They should write children’s books about these moments (just think of the illustration opportunities).

I enjoyed the experience so much I brought a bottle of vin jaune back with me which I’m saving for another yet to be determined giardiniera moment (pickle-themed dinner party, maybe?).

Cotes du Jura

Since Christmas I’ve been making a big jar of ‘giard’ every couple of weeks – one of these jars was polished off between Mehrunissa and I in a single evening (for the record, we felt amazing the next day!).  Giadiniera is very easy to make and once you get into the rhythm of it, you can knock up a jar in no time, tweaking the ratio of vegetables to suit your fancy (I like LOTS of cauliflower and carrots). You can also play around with the herbs. I like to keep it simple with oregano, but you could also add celery seed, chilli flakes, whatever inspires you. In France, Kate and I replaced some of the vinegar with pickle juice and rice wine vinegar (because it’s what we had to work with, such is the way we cook in Gascony!) which added a fun twist.

Christmas Giardiniera

You do need to brine the vegetables overnight and ideally let it sit for a few days to marinade. To be honest, there hasn’t been a single instance this year when I’ve been able to wait those three days to eat it.

Things I like with giardiniera include:

  • Omelettes (especially onion, mushroom and sauerkraut omelettes served with avocado)
  • Hummus (use giardiniera as a garnish)
  • Pizza topping
  • Mufaletta sandwiches
  • Veggie hot dogs (not that we should ever feel guilty about food, but this is totally a guilty pleasure)
  • Fried egg sandwich with mushrooms and avocado
  • On its own as a snack!

Hot Giardiniera

Feel free to adjust the quantity of vegetables to suit your liking. Once you’ve chopped everything and mixed it in a bowl, you can look at the mix and decide if you want to up the quantity of anything – I almost always add a bit more carrot and cauliflower. The red chilli flakes are optional – if your jalapeños aren’t very spicy, you might want to add them to up the heat factor a bit. As to chopping the vegetables, the size is up to you – sometimes life calls for a finely chopped giardiniera (great for putting on sandwiches, hot dogs, etc) but chunky giardiniera is best for the relish platter. 
 
Ingredients

  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 8 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • water to cover
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • 1 (5 ounce) jar green olives, sliced (optional, omit if you don’t like olives)
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil

Method

  1. Place into a bowl the green and red peppers, jalapenos, celery, carrots, onion, and cauliflower. Stir in salt, and fill with enough cold water to cover. Place plastic wrap or aluminum foil over the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, drain salty water, and rinse vegetables. In a bowl, mix together garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and olives. Pour in vinegar and olive oil, and mix well. Combine with vegetable mixture – if the liquid doesn’t cover the vegetables, add some more olive oil and vinegar in equal proportions until the veg is totally submerged.
  3. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 days before using (if you can wait this long!).

Related links:

Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus

This is my favorite way to make hummus at the moment, using edamame soy beans instead of the traditional chickpeas. It’s an awesome high-protein, high-fiber snack that also travels well making it perfect for packed lunches and long hikes.

I buy shelled edamame in the frozen section at Waitrose and make this in a blender (a food processor will work, too). I like to mix in a small handful of whole edamame at the end for a texture sensation.

Hummus is always better with garnishes so I’ve included some suggestions below.

Edamame Hummus

  • 2 cups shelled edamame
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt
  • water

Combine everything in a blender (I use an Optimum 9400) and add enough water to get the machine blending away. Blitz to a smooth consistency and serve with garnishes of your choosing.

Garnish ideas: Cilantro, paprika, berbere, piment d’Espelette, olive oil, argan oil, pumpkin seeds, dukkah, more edamame beans

More alternative hummus recipes:

 

Make Your Own Damn Vitamin Water

Make your own damn vitamin water! I will be showing you how soon in an upcoming blog post on smarterfitter.com. #froothie #juicing #JuiceFeast #jumpstart15

My favourite way to stay hydrated lately is to make my own “vitamin water” using fresh pressed juice from my slow juicer and lots of good old fashion H20. There’s something so super cheerful about having a pitcher of this on the table. The juice is made from beetroot, pineapple, apple and lemon, but you could easily mix it up to include any fruits and vegetables you want. I recommend always including a bit of lemon and lime, though, because they’re nice!

Making my own "vitamin water" with the #froothie #optimum600 slow juicer. #JuiceFeast snackage. Recipe to come.

The recipe is inspired by Jason Vale, who includes this in his 3-Day Juice Program as an uber liver cleanser / blood purifier / life awesomeizer. It makes about 1 liter putting you well on your way to achieving the 1.6 liters of water that the NHS recommends we drink per day (or 2 liters if you’re a dude).

DIY Vitamin Water

  • 1/2 raw beetroot
  • 1/2 apple
  • 2 inch slice of pineapple
  • 1 inch slice of lemon or lime
  • 3/4 liters water
  • 1 sports bottle, flask or pitcher

Juice the beetroot, apple pineapple and lemon (I use an Optimum 600 Slow Juicer, pictured above). Mix with the water into a large bottle. Drink!

And in case you’re wondering, yes it travels well!

DIY vitamin water for my journey today. (And a cup of @teapigs Darjeeling.) Getting the eff back on track. #juicing #travel #pun