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Treats & Snacks

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

Gut-Loving Family Snacks

If you find feeding your family healthy food is as easy as foxtrotting up a glass wall, then this shortbread recipe is for you. Kids love it. Teens dig it. And adults can’t keep their mitts off it.

Try to find a local raw honey where you live – it will contain impressive antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. These work like a giant Pac-Man in the bloodstream. Heat treated, mainstream honey cannot boast the same benefits and can be cleverly adulterated. You might want to check out the honey documentary on Netflix right now. Creepy.

Our body will also appreciate the swag of vitamin C & antioxidants from your favourite berries. These should help slay any renegade free radicals loitering in our system.

Plus, you’ll find a consignment of vitamin E in almonds. This vitamin works synergistically with vitamin C, to pimp up our immune system and front line defence. How cool is that? I kept the best bit until last … a nifty cargo of live probiotics! You and I can neck probiotic capsules when our bodies feel like a Petri dish. But our little ones? They need our help.

This recipe is magical – enough to impress Hermione Granger.

No-Bake Probiotic Shortbread

Makes 30

  • 80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 7 tablespoons good runny honey
  • 250g (2&1/2 cups) ground almonds
  • 4 tablespoons raisins, dried blueberries, goji berries, and/or mulberries
  • 4-6 capsules of probiotics, or probiotic powder (I swear by Udo’s #NotSponsored!)
  • Pinch of ground turmeric (optional)

Gently melt the coconut oil with your honey. Try not to kill the honey’s health benefits with intense heat, if you managed to get your mitts on some fabulous local raw honey.

Tumble in the ground almonds and dried fruit. Now parachute each opened capsule into the shortbread dough and the optional turmeric for extra nutrition. Mix thoroughly.

Spoon onto a sheet of baking parchment, and squash together with the palm of your hands. Using another sheet of parchment atop, exercise a rolling pin over the surface and flatten the dough to a depth of 1cm or 5mm. Freeze for 2 hours.

When the kids return from school hollering for a treat, remove the dough from your freezer and carefully cut into chards of shortbread, just like the photo. These are designed to be eaten straight from frozen like ice cream cookies. They need no baking, and can be stored like this for up to 3 months. Thunderous hurrah!

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.

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks

How to make Kefir at home

Kefir is yoghurt’s low-maintenance, tarty cousin. She’s got a gutsy attitude and is addictively refreshing among a sea of shiny, clean eating accessories. I have a feeling 2018 is going to be her year.

When can you meet? Today! Find kefir grains in the refrigerated section at your local health store or trendy café. We got ours from The Hopsack in Dublin 6. Failing that, a quick Tweet thankfully sorts out most bourgeois problems in Ireland. Kefir grains look very similar to cooked rice pudding. Nothing too freaky, I promise.

 

 

The grains burp and feed on whole milk, gobbling up the natural milk sugars and lactose. All those gorgeous good bacteria multiply faster than grass through a goose. What you’re left with is a funky ferment more potent than natural yoghurt.

 

 

Kefir  

Makes 500ml

Use organic milk, raw milk, goat’s milk, even coconut milk. I drink kefir straight up on ice, but yogi types like to flavour their kefir with second ferments using honey and vanilla pods. Kefir is also really great with spicy curries, to help your tastebuds and mascara survive the heat. It makes a rather brilliant marinade for meat, replaces buttermilk in baking recipes, and sings with soft cheese as a last minute mash-up for spreads.

 

2-3 tablespoons milk kefir grains
500ml full fat organic milk (goat’s, cow’s, nut milk)

 

1 Using a clean mason jar or 500ml glass bottle, pop the kefir grains in with your preferred type of milk.

2 Cover with kitchen paper, secure with a band, and leave on your kitchen counter 24-36 hours to ferment.

3 When the desired tang is achieved, remove the kefir grains with a plastic sieve and pop the live grains into fresh milk to start the process all over again. You’ll know the grains have doen their work when you see the milk split a little.

The fresh kefir can be refrigerated or guzzled straight away to pimp your flora.

If you aren’t reusing the kefir grains straight away, they can be stored in a little whole milk for 1 week in the fridge. The milk be will perfectly good to use – the chilled temperature merely slows down the fermentation process. It’s okay to keep extra kefir grains in the freezer too.

One final point – if you are using plant milk, the kefir grains tend to benefit from a little cow’s milk every 4 or 5 batches of kefir-making. This is because the kefir grains like lactose as a source of go go juice.

 

Taking the hell out of healthy.

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