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Breakfast

Breakfast

The Brew: COUGH AND COLD REMEDY

Carrageen is an Atlantic seaweed available in trendy supermarkets across Ireland. Californian hipsteratti like to call it Irish moss, and use it to set vegan desserts in place of verboten animal gelatin. So it’s not surprising that, when boiled, carrageen has an Angel Delight texture to salve achy throats. My little ones think this Cough and Cold Dynamite is a jelly dessert, administered from a spoon. Granted, their taste buds are probably shot when they’re fighting a cold.

It’s unclear whether the antimicrobial effect is from the raw honey, vinegar, turmeric, ginger or wild carrageen. There’s evidence to suggest that each of these sonic ingredients harbour their own deadly ninja moves. Not that I care much, so long as my cough is fixed.

Treating yourself with your mind is also a great recipe. If the placebo effect can account for up to a 48 per cent improvement in symptoms during some clinical trials, it’s not unfair to suggest that our minds are in fact the best superfood du jour. Such a state of affairs can really ruin a coffee break at a medical conference.

The idea that your brain can stimulate healing is hardly new. But it’s certainly worth remembering our brain’s currency in the healing process. If our emotional selves can help convince our physical selves that a fake treatment is the real thing — the placebo effect — just think of the amazing benefits and possibilities we all hold for our future wellness. Wish yourselves well, my friends!

The Brew

Makes 2 mugs

Carrageen is a type of Irish mossy seaweed available in loads of Irish supermarkets like Supervalu, and certainly in all good health stores.

  • Roughly 20g packet of Carrageen moss
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon

Optional add-ons

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • Crack of black pepper
  • Other citrus fruits
  • 1 teaspoon minced turmeric root, or dried turmeric

1. Soak the carrageen in water for 30 minutes to rehydrate it. Remove, discard liquid, and rinse under the cold tap. Boil the carrageen in a large saucepan with the cloves and around 750ml of fresh water. Secure a lid on it.

2. After 20-30 minutes, strain the “ocean veg” brew and allow the liquid to cool to lip temperature before stirring in the remaining ingredients and optional add-ons.

3. The brew will set like lemon curd once cooled. If (or when) this happens, gently re-heat. If your cough is particularly chesty, make several batches with added ginger zest and sip all day, with the aid of a couple of Woody Allens.

For kids:

Add extra honey, making sure it’s locally sourced. Administer by the spoon to help with their bark! A few teaspoons a day is plenty. Not suitable for babies.

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

GRAINOLA – a multigrain granola

Rice malt syrup – ever heard of it? You will. Hottie Sarah Wilson of I Quit Sugar fame levitates on the stuff.

In fairness, this sweetener is flipping good. Think of a malted milkshake that hits the spot without being too saccharine or sweet. That’s rice malt syrup.

But calm down, it ain’t no superfood! (BTW, I’ve bags’d that for my epitaph).

Rice malt syrup is merely a natural sugar that escapes the modern evils of fructose. What’s so bad about fructose? Little, really. Unless you regularly neck the dumbed-up version found in sodas. This is called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Fructose, itself, is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruit and some veg. In its natural state, fructose is found in small amounts within a coalition of minerals and fibre contained within that piece of fruit. Ah! But when fructose is artificially concentrated, and in isolation of other nutrients, our body treats it quite differently.

Glucose is metabolised by every cell in the body, says endocrinologist Dr Robert Lustig. Fructose, however, can only be metabolised by the liver.

Too much fructose in a concentrated, isolated form has been shown to substantially burden the liver. So if you’ve been horsing into high-fructose agave, it might be time to make friends with a new sweetener. Let me help you do exactly that.

Grainola

Enough for several weeks worth of breakfast

The number of expensive granolas to choose from in our supermarkets is unprecedented in Irish history. Trust me – you can make a much better one for a fraction of the price at home. This one has three different grains, making it a complete protein by virtue of its amino acid permutation. That’s benchpresser speak for “highfive”. Sporty teens will go mental for it.

  • 125ml (½ cup) rice malt syrup (€€€) or barley malt syrup (€)
  • 125mll (1/2 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150g oat flakes
  • 150g barley flakes
  • 150g whole buckwheat grouts (not flakes)
  • Up to 1 cup of hazelnuts
  • 4 tablespoons raw cacao nibs (optional)
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • 200g dried dates
  • 100g dark chocolate, like Green & Blacks cooking chocolate

Fire up your oven to 160 Celsius, gas mark 3.

Line your largest tray with parchment, or use two smaller trays.

In your biggest pot, melt the coconut oil, your syrup, vanilla and cinnamon over a timid heat. Turn off the heat.

Now tumble in the remaining ingredients, all except for the dates and dark chocolate. Scrape the contents of the pan out over your lined tray(s).

Bake for 22 minutes. Allow the ‘Grainola’ to cool completely before stirring through the chopped dates and glorious chunks of chocolate. Store in a tall glass jar on the kitchen counter. This is magnificent stuff with ice-cold milk.

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Pomegranate, Pistachio, Rose Water Halva

Today’s wholefoods movement is often described as the 1970’s, resuscitated on kale powder and kimchi. Please! In the 1970’s, cooking skills sucked. We were too busy lovebombing the world with geraniums.

Forty years on, our culinary skills have been heightened and honed. So yes there has been a re-awakening of wholefood ingredients, but more importantly, we see this awakening wedded to badass kitchen skills. This ain’t no hippie culture my friends. This is punk.

Great swathes of perfectly sane people have turned their attention towards mindful practices, in search of a more socially responsible roast from capitalism. But taste is at the forefront of this movement. You’ll find we don’t just do sausies. We do slow pork, where piggies have been massaged with lavender, read bedtime stories and fed bottles of rooibos tea.

Nor do we do slicepan. We do house-cultured sourdough, from heritage grains harvested by moonlight. And we do not do instant coffee. We dry hump our monthly subscription box from 3FE where the coffee beans were raised on Bach, and lightly washed with tears of joy.

We are taking unrefined ingredients and celebrating them in their most authentic form, in contrast to society’s reliance on conveyor belts and chemicals. And we are doing it with unprecedented style and skill.

Welcome to the new age rhythm of funk – food punk.

Pomegranate, Pistachio, Rose Water Halva

Serves 25

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 125ml (raw) honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 x 340g jar light tahini
  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Handful of shelled pistachios
  • Rosewater (optional)

Prep a small rectangular container by lining with cling film. Lunchboxes are perfect. Set aside.

On a very timid heat, melt the coconut oil to a liquid. Gently whisk in the honey, using a fork, the vanilla and the flaky salt. Keep going with the jar of tahini, working at speed so the mixture doesn’t seize.

Lastly, tumble through the pistachios and pomegranate, reserving a couple to scatter along the top.

Scrape into your prepped dish and freeze for 6 hours. Just like ice cream, it must be stored in the freezer.

You can slice delicious shards from the block of pistachio and pomegranate halva once frozen, and serve on a platter to pass around the party. Spray with a little rosewater before serving. Celestial stuff.