Tag Archive: blueberry


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

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

Raw buckwheat porridge

Hello dearest all,

Significant amount of time has passed once more as my life took my skills and area of expertise to a new plant based start-up called Rawligion. Never before have I worked so many hours, but neither can I recall a time I have been so happy to go to work in the (very early) morning. Anyway, this was to say I have been utterly busy and only now finding time to share another delicious recipe with yous.

Ever since I was a kid, buckwheat has been a big part of my diet. That is only in the form of kasha though, the toasted buckwheat groats. We used to do porridge with that, and by porridge I mean very similar to rice – boil with about double the amount of water until soft and fluffy; then free hands to use in risottos, salads, or as appropriate for a kid – eat with ketchup and veggies on the side. It is also great with vegan cheese layered in between freshly cooked buckwheat, then left to stand for 5 minutes so the cheese melts perfectly. Anyway, I love buckwheat.

My affection to buckwheat was strengthened with my thesis, when we compared buckwheat with a number of other high protein plant foods to meat regarding their satiating properties. As buckwheat came out as a winner in the acute study I had the most data for when writing the thesis, I began to advocate it even more when people were telling me that they find it difficult to feel full or to feel full for as long on plant based diet compared with one including meat.

Raw buckwheat came to my horizon a few years ago as I was experimenting with a fully raw diet, when I used the raw groats in patties, rehydrated and then dehydrated them to have as part of my morning cereal bowl, or even did these raw ‘cornflakes’, if you must, again for breakfast purposes. However, the porridge aspect has enthralled me for a while but I had not the courage to experiment with it, given that at that time, I tried a very simple version and it tasted horrible. I think I may also have tried cooking raw buckwheat and that was the worst mistake ever.

But lots of time has passed and here I am, spreading the recipe of how to do amazing raw buckwheat porridge for breakfast with my mum, with my siblings, and to be added to the menu at work for winter. I had been scanning a few different recipes, especially given as I had promised to include that in my cookery demo at the next London Vegfest in October, and was utterly happy when my first trial turned out so well that it was deemed good enough for work.

So here goes a recipe I have been spreading with my folks:

100 g raw buckwheat groats – soak for about 2 hours until the starch is all released and it is easy to mash between fingers
15 g chia seeds
100 g plant based milk (I have used almond, or hemp milk, good with any!)
60 g dates (I subbed with 4 tsp honey I get from my uncle – guaranteed ethically produced!, as I had no dates at home, or agave would do as well potentially)
40 g blueberries (in frozen form my mum had in abundance in the freezer, may have used more; can also sub for other berries)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Once the buckwheat is soft and starch released, berries defrosted if using frozen ones, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, chia seeds broken apart and the texture thick but somewhat runny. You can adjust it with more milk, or more dates if you want it thicker or runnier.

For presentation I like layers. I would add in a glass 2 tbsp of porridge, 2 tbsp desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp ground almonds (or more coconut to keep nut free), 2 tbsp porridge, 2 tbsp more berries, 2 tbsp porridge, and garnish on top with more berries, coconut, goji berries, whatever you feel like. I also made blueberry jam by blending blueberries with a bit of chia and dates for an extra layer of different textures.

Hope you enjoy as much as I have and will!

Eli x

 

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Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I have had time to post a new recipe here. So here goes! A pretty simple but delicious recipe for your delight. It may seem to be long and complicated, but it really is easy to do despite the many layers!

Ingredients:

Base:

1 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup cashews (or any other nuts, or more coconut)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup soft dates

Coconut cream:

4 tins of full-fat coconut milk
1-2 tsp vanilla
2-3 tbsp agave/maple (or any other sweetener)

Blueberry jam:

150g blueberries
2-3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp agave

Fillings:

1 mango (or any other soft fruit, like banana, or kiwi)
50-100g blueberries

Process:

This is fairly simple. Add the dry base ingredients to the food processor and let it work until it is quite floury consistency. Then add the vanilla and dates until it all sticks together. Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor, blend dry stuff to flour, blend dates and vanilla with little water to a thick puree and mix them together in a bowl. Or mince dates in a mincer and mix together again. Press flat to the cake tin. Line with baking parchment prior to that, to make it easier to get the cake out afterwards.

For the jam, blend the blueberries with a little agave to a puree and mix in the chia seeds. They will start to set already in 10 minutes, so keep an eye on them to see about the consistency, whether they need more seeds or water.

Scoop out the thick white part of the coconut milk tins into a separate bowl. Try to get as little of the water as you can. Add the vanilla and sweetener and whip it all together. It should be really creamy and remind much of whipped cream. Add vanilla/sweetener to taste if needs adjustment. Do not under any circumstances use a blender for the mixing – the coconut will then separate and trust me, it is not easy to try and save it by turning it into a completely different dish.

Slice the mango to about 2-3mm thick slices. Arrange them on top of the base to cover the layer more or less. Add a layer of the coconut cream to fill in all the gaps and have a bit on top of the mango. Add another layer of the mango and top with nearly all the coconut cream. It should add a decent centimeter at least if not more. Leave a few scoops for decoration on top.

The jam should be of a relatively thick consistency by now and you should be able to spread it evenly on top of the coconut cream.

And all that is left to do is decorate! Put the rest of the coconut cream in a piping bag and set about doing whatever shapes you fancy! I made this cake as a birthday cake, so wrote the name in the middle and did the circle around, which I then also topped with more blueberries. But let your creativity fly and have fun. Here is the cake I made:

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It was quite well received an definitely up on my list of favourites.

Enjoy! More to come soon

Eli x

Raw blueberry tarts

Hello, my dearies,

Today I would like to share a recipe with yous that is just so delicious, I would go as cheesy as to call it yummalicious!

In my childhood I liked a lot something I guess you would call meringue cupcake in English, and the ones we had in Estonia often had a piece of banana in the middle on the biscuit layer. And ever since I have enjoyed so much having a piece of fresh fruit in the middle of my cakes 🙂

I have been keeping a keen eye on Amy’s blog and she has been using a lot of this base recipe which I tried out here as well, not exactly the same ratio, but ingredient-wise. My friends whom I was making them for can vouch for the deliciousness! 🙂 So!

Ingredients:

4o0g dates (soaked)
2 cups coconut (desiccated)
2/3 cup flax seeds
2/3 cup buckwheat flour (raw soaked, dehydrated, ground buckwheat)
pinch of salt (optional)
3 bananas
400 g blueberries
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
blueberry flour (optional)
agave nectar/coconut sugar

For the base grind the coconut, flax and buckwheat into a flour and put into a bowl. Blend about half the dates and one banana into a thick paste, add water if needbe. Once blended, mix it with the flour and put it in your cake tin or cupcake holders as the base.

This is also optional but I think really gives something extra to it – slice a banana and put the pieces on the base.

Blend 350g of the blueberries with another banana and the rest of the dates. Once blended, add 1/4 cup melted coconut oil. That is the filling which you can then put onto the base layer.

On some of the cupcakes on the photo underneath you can see I made a topping as well. That was basically a blueberry whipped cream. For that blend the soft cashews with any sweetener of your choice, I used coconut sugar, but agave works the same say, and the rest of the blueberries. I also added some more blueberry flour to get the distinction of colours between the filling and frosting. Once all smooth, pipe or just smooth on top of the filling and put it all to the freezer for 30min-1hour and serve immediately! Or if too frozen, let it melt for 10 minutes beforehand. 🙂

Perfect to share with awesome friends of guests, as it’s fairly quick to make!

Hope you’ll give it a try and will enjoy it as much as I did!

Until next time!

Eli x

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Raw (blueberry) cake recipe

I got this extremely easy but soooo delicious recipe for quite any kind of fruit/berry cake you’d like to make. And it’s nut and gluten and all of the allergens free! Unless you can’t tolerate bananas, which is sad….

You only require 3 ingredients:
1) Dates (~500g)

2) Bananas (raw and dried) (~200g dried, 2 raw)

3) Berries/fruits you’d desire (~400g)

And that’s it! So instructions:

Crush the banana chips (difficult to find them from shops raw and pure, usually always fried in palm oil or sth, or with honey… best to make them yourself if you happen to have a dehydrator! :)) with half of the dates that it would make a nice crust that would stick together when played with for a while. Cover your cake-tin base with it (and sides, if there’s enough). Blend the berries/fruits with the rest of the dates for a nice creamy texture. With the raw bananas there are two choices – either cut them in slices and place on top of the crust or blend them in the cream. 

And you’ve got it! You can garnish it with whatever you’d like, I topped it with some desiccated coconut just for the looks of it, but the field is open for any moderations you’d fancy.

Good luck experimenting! And bon appetit!

 

Here are two not-too-good pictures from the blueberry cake I made. Otherwise it looks nice and is a delight to have! All the non-raw and non-vegan people (and not even necessarily vegetarians!) approved of it and admired the flavour 🙂

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