Tag Archive: berries


Hey everyone,

On the 22nd of October, in Kensington Olympia, London Vegfest took place. I was lucky enough to have amazing friend Tomi telling me to contact the organiser regarding doing a cookery demo there. So I did, and there I was, many months later!

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Overall it was quite a nice day, all the more better to get to catch up with Tomi and see my colleagues and friends supporting me doing this kind of presentation for the first time. For some reason though the atmosphere was very much different, and strange I would even say, compared with the vegfests I have been to before. There was a lot more space than usual which was good, given that  you did not have to fight your way through the little corridors between stalls, but it also made it feel much more emptier. And despite there being many, many stalls, there still seemed to be nothing around. In the sense that there surely was all aspects of veganism represented in the form of food, drink, clothing, publications, charities, animal rights groups, alternative healthcare providers and more, yet when we were in search of food, all the stalls that would have been quite inviting had a queue worth 30 min of your time. Either the 7200 people that passed through the doors yesterday were too little for the amount of space that they this time had booked, or there were not enough stalls for it, but it just felt empty, and we ended up in a restaurant nearby for actual dinner, which is quite odd.
Luckily there is the Animal Aid Christmas fayre coming at the beginning of December, which I think will bring along quite a different atmosphere. Only time will tell!

I think everyone knows about my fascination and love with buckwheat by now, and that is what I wanted to showcase – the diversity of this pseudo cereal.
A little information about buckwheat – it is naturally gluten free, related to rhubarb, that is quite high in protein with 13.25 g in 100 g of dry produce, with 343 kcal of total energy. The  study that I wrote my undergrad thesis on also demonstrated buckwheat as the most satiating of the alternative plant based protein sources it compared (hemp, lupin, fava, green pea and buckwheat vs meat), which is why I always recommend it to people who claim that vegan foods make them full and empty again in very short periods of time; or for sportsmen who need more protein (or so they think). A great source.
There are also different types of buckwheat – raw, sprouted, and roasted. I grew up consuming the latter one, as porridge – we would call it – which essentially meant instead of rice in the context. It is boiled similarly to rice, and it does expand a lot once boiled. As a kid I would always eat it with ketchup. Letcho made a good sauce also. As I grew older I had it with cheese mixed in so it would melt – it works magic with melting vegan cheeses too! My brother would mix the two I think, but I always had a problem with mixing dairy with ketchup. And that has carried over to veganism as well, I find it mentally challenging to eat ketchup with vegan cheese.
Anyway, after being vegan for a year or more, I had quite a look into the raw food world and started using sprouted buckwheat for breakfast – mix it with dried fruit and seeds/nuts for muesli for example, or blend soaked raw buckwheat with flavouring such as cinnamon, and spread it out to dehydrate instead of cereal. However when I tried cooking raw buckwheat into porridge I was put off for quite a while trying to do any kind of porridge from raw buckwheat. For so long in fact that I was eagerly waiting for Rawligion to open given that they were supposed to serve raw buckwheat porridge and I wanted to see proof that it can be done tasting good. Well, Rawligion did open but there was no buckwheat porridge. So one day I decided to pick up the matter again and looked up 10 different recipes and thought I realised what I needed to do. And so I tried. And it came out amazing.  🙂
And the different states of buckwheat is something I also wanted to demonstrate, which I am quite happy worked out even without realising! I came up with three different recipes that I showcased at vegfest, and here they are also for everyone’s convenience.

Buckwheat krispie cakes

Makes six about 60 g bars (with about 14 g protein per bar), or many many smaller pieces

Base:

1 cup (160 g) activated buckwheat (soaked for 2-4 hours, dehydrated)
1/3 cup (70 g) almond butter
1/4 cup (50 g) manna (coconut butter)
1 heaped tbsp (20 g) maple syrup/coconut nectar/other sweetener
pinch salt

Chocolate:

1/4 cup (50 g) manna
1 tsp (5 g) cacao powder
1 tbsp (10 g) xylitol, pulverised, or any other sweetener you fancy
1 tbsp (15 g) coconut oil

Method:

Melt the manna in hot water bath. Mix all the base ingredients together and press into a container about 10 x 20 cm size, dependent on how thick you like it choose larger/smaller surface area.
Mix together the chocolate ingredients, melt again in hot water bath if needed to get it more liquid, and pour over the base. If you like, add cacao nibs, coconut, or whatever else you fancy for decoration on top now so it would set together with the chocolate.
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it sets. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

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Raw buckwheat porridge

Makes two about 150 g servings (plenty for breakfast!)

100 g raw buckwheat groats
1 g (pinch) cinnamon
100 ml almond milk (or any other plant milk)
60 g dates (more if you want it sweeter)
50 g berries + more for topping if you like

Method:

Soak the buckwheat in water for 2-4 hours (can be overnight if you prefer), rinse well until the water runs clear
Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you want it thicker, feel free to add some chia seeds to it and blend again, or reduce the amount of milk.
I have done this with blueberries, bilberries and strawberries, and it has worked magic with all of them. I have no reason to think it would not work with raspberries, grapes, or even kiwis, but only experience will tell.
I quite like layering food and having a layer of desiccated coconut for example adds some texture and visuals when serving from a glass. A strip of cinnamon could also do, or more berries is also very nice. Voila!

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Buckwheat risotto

Serves two with a side, or one very hungry

100 g kasha (roasted buckwheat)
300 g water (more/less depends if cooked with or without a lid)
1 stock cube
1 small swede
1 carrot
1 small / 1/2 large courgette
small handful of fresh parsley
125 ml oat cream (or any alternative)
Pinch of onion, garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Method:

Boil the kasha for 10-15 min with the stock cube, until soft, drain excess water.
Grate the vegetables, chop the parsley, and mix in the kasha together with the cream and all the spices/herbs.
You can either cook it for a few more minutes or let the heat of the kasha soften and heat up the rest of the ingredients.
Taste and add as much of salt/pepper to make it appealing to your palate. I added a decent 1/3 tsp I think of freshly ground black pepper to the portion I made, but always taste and season to taste.
Serve with a side salad, veggie sausages or anything else you desire. Decorate with fresh parsley or microherbs.

Hope you will enjoy these as much as I did and do. Will all be available at Rawligion very soon! Stay tuned!

More photos and videos on my presentation coming soon thanks to the ever amazing Tomi 🙂

Eli x

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Raw chia pudding

Hello everyone,

I am on a roll and here is another of my recipes.

I have much got into chia seeds now, given that we do amazing ones at work and I have not had it too much yet. Being at home and bringing with me a pack a chia seeds I would never find time to use up whilst in London, now was my chance to spread the love of chia seeds given that I actually had to prepare myself breakfast. I do like chia puddings 🙂

Ingredients:

100 g blueberries
250 g raw plant milk (I made fresh hemp milk, 100 g hemp seeds with 1 l of water, blended, strained through muslin cloth or nut milk bag)
50 g dates
1 banana
pinch of salt

50 g chia seeds

Blend all ingredients together except the chia seeds. Once smooth, mix in the seeds by hand. Let is stand for some 15 minutes to see whether the consistency is what you want. Change by adding milk or chia seeds. Leave it for at least 30 min further so the seeds could rehydrate, best left for 2 hours to overnight. So easy to do in the evening and then serve in the morning.

For decoration use anything you fancy, I did desiccated coconut, more blueberries, goji berries, agave syrup/honey from your ethically producing relative. Yum!

Enjoy!

Eli x

Hello everyone,

I was baking a bit the last couple of days and thought of the numerous times people have asked me – how do I bake and substitute eggs. So I thought I’d put this down ‘on paper’ and have something to refer to whenever asked the question again.
Firstly, my cake and muffin and cupcake doughs are all the same, in their essence. And the basic recipe is so basic you can modify it and make hundreds of varieties. So here it is –

500g flour (I always bake with wholegrain flour)
200g sugar/sweetener (I use molasses or brown sugar or just chop dates, add more or less depending on your sweet tooth)
1 tbsp baking powder
(Pinch of salt)
(2 tbsp cinnamon)
(1/4 cup oil)
(2 tbsp lemon juice)
(1 cup milk of your choice)
Water

All the items in brackets are optional, so you can add oil and milk but you can as well omit them and add more water. As always, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones. Add enough water to make the dough into a yogurt like consistency.

And now some of the ingredients you can add to it –
– bananas (mashed)
– berries (fresh, frozen or ground)
– fruit, like apples, peaches, pears
– cocoa (& chocolate, or carob)
– superfoods like maca, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, baobab, lucuma
– alternative flours like gram, rye, buckwheat, hemp, oats
– raisins
– applesauce
– essences like vanilla, or peppermint
– buttermilk (milk mixed with vinegar)
– poppy seeds
– nuts
…..

So what I’m trying to say, is you can make it into any flavour you want.
To bake it into a cupcake, just mix vegan margarine with icing sugar and maybe some wheatgrass or raspberries for colour? 😉
And now some photos of the stuff I’ve done:

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So I hope this will help you get your imagination going regarding cakes and baking 🙂

Yours,

Eli x

Everybody has the foods they remember from their childhood that have been their favourites and later in life bring back the warm feelings and memories of you eating the dish. Well, this post and recipe is my veganised version for one of my childhood favourites – a curd cake served with a berry kisel. Many people don’t even know what the kis(s)el is anywhere else but the Baltic and Slavic areas, so it’s basically fruit/berry juice, often with berries or fruit pieces, which is thickened a bit with some starchy substance. So it’s still runny but a bit thicker and can serve as a sauce or it’s delicious just for drinking as well. We always made plenty to make sure there’s enough to go with the cake and to drink as well 🙂
The curd cake was a classic one to make when there was curd that was getting close (or past) the use-by date. I have to say I don’t remember exactly how my mum made it, but I remembered it tasted very much like curd and it had some semolina in or on it. So that’s what I went by when making the cake. 😛 For the curdy tase I used yoghurt I made myself a day ago, but natural or flavoured yoghurt from the supermarket is definitely as good! Alrighty, enough of chit-chat and to the recipe!

Cake ingredients:

500-700 ml (soy) yoghurt
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 banana (mashed)
100 g semolina
1/2 cup raisins (optional, I just love raisins)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup sweetener (agave, date syrup, vegan honey) (or to taste)
1/3 cup water/soy milk

The amount I did was pretty big, so you can of course make less, hence the range for yoghurt.
Mix the flour and semolina with baking powder. Add the yoghurt, banana, lemon juice and sweetener and mix well. It should be of the consistency of a pancake dough. Add more flour/semolina if needed thicker or water/soy milk for making it runnier. Or both for increasing the amount. Mix in raisins.
For some reason we always made it in a glass over dish. Oil the dish and drizzle some more semolina on it to cover all the oily areas – to prevent from getting stuck to the dish. Pour the dough in it and cook at 200 degrees for an hour or so. Afterwards let it cool down (it might fall down if it rose before, but that’s cool!) before serving 🙂 And that’s that done!

Kisel ingredients:

1 pack of frozen berries (I got summer berry mix with currants and raspberries), you can use fresh or tinned stuff also!
200-250 ml of berry cordial/squash (vary depending on the total amount)
1.5 l of water (depending on how much you want)
3 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
1-4 tbsp cornflour/potato starch/arrowroot
sweetener

I made a huge potful of the kisel because there was much of the cake and I simply love this thing. You can use less of everything.
Bring the water with the berries, lemon juice and cordial to boil, add more water/cordial and sweetener should your preference require it. It depends on the cordial you use also, I used one without added sugar so it wasn’t very sweet, so I added a bit of some sweetener. Once it’s boiling, mix the starch with some cold water in a separate glass until the starch has dissolved completely. Once the kisel is boiling, turn the heat down or move it to another part of the stove and with mixing constantly, slowly pour the starch in. You should feel it how mixing the whole thing gets heavier and it gets thicker. To avoid making it too thick, add it very slowly, and you can pause in between also. As I was running out of cornflour, I had to do it in 3 batches actually, first used some arrowroot, 1tbsp, that did nearly nothing. So I added 1 tbsp of cornflour (all I had), and that made it a bit thicker. Afterwards I decided I want to make it even thicker so heated it up again and mixed in 2 more tbsp of arrowroot so it got sufficiently more thicker. And that’s it! Ready to be enjoyed hot or lovely when it’s cooled down also.

And then to the merging the two! Serve a piece of the cake covered in plenty of the kisel! It’s just LOVELY! I really do hope somebody will try it and be convinced of the nice soft texture of the cake and curdy taste and the fresh berry flavour that comes with the kisel. 🙂 That’s all folks!

Eli x

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