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

Unicorn Bonbons

Unicorn toast sounds like something a softly spoken, vegan nanny makes for children after completing their origami homework and positive affirmation chanting. Right?

Wrong. It’s for spoiled brats living in L.A. and bonked-up adults like me. Unicorn toast is scorching hashtags all over the world, and accessing the deepest of crazy childhood recesses. Our synapses are trip wiring on the stuff, and our eyes are beating like voodoo drums. We. Can’t. Get. Enough.

Unicorn toast is set to be the biggest food trend of 2017. All you need is a thick slice from a square-shaped loaf, such as Irish brown bread. Some cream cheese (DIY recipe in my Sunday Independent column this weekend my friends). And food colouring. Breathe – I haven’t completely lost my mind. Wholefood junkies have thankfully hijacked the movement with Mother Nature’s library of colours; yellow turmeric, red raspberry, pink strawbs and green matcha powder. And guess who won the dance off? Let’s hear it for the plant-powered hippies!

 

 

Unicorn lattes have even started making guest appearances on Starbucks menus all over NYC, turning suited stock brokers into a gaggle of giddy girls on their coffee break. And now, the unicorn bonbon is exploding across the Irish countryside from Cobh to Cong.

You don’t need to stock up on 12 different plant colours. Stress gives you inflammation. Even I’m not that unreasonable. Just start by choosing two unicorn shades from the following …

pink raspberry powder
purple beetroot powder
blueberry powder
orange gojiberry powder
green barleygrass or wheatgrass powder
red strawberry
cherry powder
yellow turmeric*
pastel green Matcha green tea powder*

(*You’ll only need half a teaspoon for these final two colours, in the recipe below).

 

 

 

Unicorn Bonbons

Makes 26

1 teaspoon of plant-powered colouring (see options above)

120g desiccated coconut

45ml coconut oil

60ml honey (or rice malt syrup for vegans)

2 tablespoons coconut flour

Squeeze of lemon

Pinch of sea salt

 

 

1 Using a food processor, blitz the ingredients into a soft snowball. My food processor usually takes 20 seconds to do this.

2 Pinch a piece of dough and roll into a smooth bonbon. Repeat until all the dough is gone. Chill until set.

3 Repeat the recipe, with lots of different colours. These unicorn bonbons freeze really well if you run out of refrigerator storage or stomach space.

 

 

 

Taking the hell out of healthy.

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Out next week, the paperback version of The Virtuous Tart, in all good Irish bookstores. New price too. Twit-twoooo!

Events

The Top 20 Irish Instagrammers, for foodie whores

This is my list of sonic wholefood Instagrammers I lovebomb everyday.

I think you will too.

All are Ir-ish and have a unique voice.

Think of Instagram like your own personal trainer on the path to better food choices. Surrounding yourself with thoughtful, inspiring cooks will change how you see food and seep into your kitchen like tea from a teabag; softly, slowly, but full of flavour.

Cooking for yourself and for those you love is a deeply meaningful experience. What makes food truly satisfying is not just the physical hunger-squashing sensation of mainlining food into an empty stomach. It’s the adoration poured into the preparation of ingredients, and the fulfillment of receiving someone’s time and dedication. Nothing beats the magic of homemade food.

High-vibing wholefood IG accounts feel like they can burst into my body’s engine room with an emergency toolbox and remedy a mood slump.

So here they are … in no particular order!

 

 

 

Happy to be home again in my own kitchen

A post shared by N I A M H B R O W N E (@niamhmbrowne) on

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Good morning #breakfast #berries #yoghurt #simple

A post shared by Helen James (@helenjamesdesign) on

Little gem going up in an hour ? link in profile ?

A post shared by Terry Cullen (@twowoodenhorses) on

I really hate strawberries. Like, REALLY | #onthetable #jetteswork #lifespantry

A post shared by Jette (@jettevirdi) on

Panna cotta in all its glory on what appears to be Spring starting. #foodstyling #foodphotography

A post shared by Zita (@afoxinthekitchen) on

We planted SO many radishes today. 3 different kinds. I have a big stack of empty egg boxes that I just can’t throw out and usually give them to someone with hens but today we filled them with compost and planted our tiny radish seeds! Once the seeds germinate in about 2 weeks we’ll slightly crush the outside of the egg box (top tip thanks @raedih ) and plant them outside in the soil. It was such a lovely way to spend an hour though and makes the smallies think even more about where their food comes from and what it takes to grow something. We are all VERY excited and have checked on them several times and watered them, again, before bed ?? #gardening #growyourown #radishes #growyourownfood #gardeningwithkids

A post shared by Lilly Higgins (@lilly_higgins_) on

 

An army of carrots.

A post shared by Keith Coleman (@keithjamescoleman) on

 

I know there are many more awesome Irish Instagrammers, so forgive me for not including them here today. These are my current faves, and represent where my headspace is right now (ego-free, meat-free, mindful, locally-sourced, veg-bombing beauts). If you’re a big meat eater, or a paleo fiend, then check out Natural Born Feeder, Domini Kemp and Little Green Spoon for extra inspo too. Love and peas! xxx SJ

 

 

Taking the hell out of healthy.

Hit “BOOM” at the top left corner with your email address my friend, to receive a new weekly recipe direct to your inbox.

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Aubergine Bacon

My attempt to stay well-informed with world politics is at odds with my attempt to stay sane these days. It’s increasingly necessary to distract my head from translating Trump’s alternative facts and brain farts.

I console myself with spectacularly weird recipes like this plant-powered bacon. Know what I mean? The more arcane the recipe, the longer I spend away from US politics and Cyclone Twitter. It’s kind of like hacking into my own network of synapses, and writing in some anti-viral code to stop my adrenal glands from imploding. I highly recommend it.

Back to plant-powered bacon. Yes. Meat-free rashers. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy meat. But I find myself wondering whether future generations will look back and yak at the idea of supermarkets selling solid lumps of animal flesh. If you arrived on Earth today and saw how we dismembered other living creatures, then sold them in plastic boxes, you’d think that we were greasy psychopaths. (Some of us are. See first paragraph).

But for now, the mass manufacturing of meat limbs seems perfectly acceptable. Strange, eh? (Come to think of it, we’d probably find our obsession with Wow Brows and golf equally disquieting).

If society’s relationship with factory meat seems disturbing, could we start buying less of it? Give sales a massive wedgie? I’d love to see footfall directed back into our butchers, where it mindfully and respectfully belongs. We’d also be doing our wallet, our health and our environment a whopping great service. Look, I’m pretty caffeinated right now, and this aubergine bacon is making me disproportionately emotional. Try it.

 

1 large aubergine

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 -1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chilli

1/2 tablespoon tamari soya sauce

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon rapadura or coconut sugar

3 tablespoons filtered water

 

Using a sharp potato peeler, thinly slice long strips of aubergine. Give the aub a slight turn every slice. The idea is to leave a small strip of peel on each piece, and work around the aubergine. Compost the seedy centre.

Lay the strips out on a cutting board. Sprinkle evenly with your salt and let sit for 1 hour to draw out all the moisture. Pat dry with kitchen towel, and wipe away as much salt as you can. Whisk the remaining ingredients together and let the slices marinade for at least 1 hour, but frankly as long as you fancy.

Preheat the oven to 120C. Transfer the marinated aubs onto a roasting tray (unlined) and bake for 70-90 mins, or until dry, CRISP and deeper in colour. You can do this in a dehydrator at a lower temperature for longer.

Aubergine bacon makes a kickass DVD snack with some popcorn, or as a breakfast with avo toast.

 

And in other news, THE VIRTUOUS TART cookbook has gone paperback in Ireland. Which means another fun cover shot with Jo Murphy! This is what you’ll spot in bookstores across the country …