Tag Archive: raisins


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

 

Estonia 1073 Estonia 1071 Estonia 047

Hello everyone,

My sincere apologies for leaving this blog alone for quite a while, I just do not have many recipes to add as I rarely cook at home. But this recipe needs sharing.

Bread pudding is a very common dish I reckon everywhere, where bread is commonly used. Just like in the UK there is the bread and butter pudding. Well, the Estonian way – or at least the way we did it in my family – is quite different from it, and that is why I feel the need to write it down once and for all.

When for normal bread pudding you can use any bread, then this recipe requires mainly rye bread or proper black bread, not the typical white or wholemeal you can get from any store, but proper dark, rye bread. You can find them in all sorts of European/Russian/Baltic shops – and they taste amazing. Black bread is much more difficult to come across anywhere further from the countries where it is native.

Ingredients:

1/2 loaf Rye/black bread
2-3 slices of white/wholemeal bread
100 g raisins
Brown sugar/molasses (to taste)
Cinnamon/nutmeg

Milk of your own choice to serve
Whipped cream (optional) to serve

Stale bread works best, but if you let it dry out a bit, or toast it lightly, it works just as well. Roughly break the bread apart into pieces and put it in a pot large enough to accommodate it. Fill it with water enough to cover all the bread (which will rise with the water so check by pushing it down whether it is all wet). Leave it to soak for about 30 minutes or more, depending on how hard the bread was to begin with. When it is nice and soft, start working on it with hands – get in there and break any pieces you find with your hands, making it into a mash. When it looks smooth enough for your liking, drop in the raisins, add a little bit more water and heat it up, until boiling. There comes the next chance to go through it making sure there are no lumps left inside. The consistency will get smoother and you will likely need to add more water to stop it from burning at the bottom. Add the spices and sugar, keeping on stirring at the same time, according to taste, so give it a go and see how you like it. You can make it thicker or thinner as you like, normally it is quite thick, like thick porridge (and it sets once it is cold just alike also), but some make it quite runny as well, like a thick puréed soup. Once you are happy, the raisins should be nicely rehydrated, and the whole soup smooth enough. The cooking is now finished.
You can serve it hot as it is, or store it and serve it cold – is great either way. The traditional way of eating it is in a bowl with milk. I have tried it with almond, vanilla rice, soya, and possibly hemp milk. All of them are grand 🙂 Whipped cream will just put that extra cherry on top.

Here’s some photos:

DSC_0180

This portion is served with coconut cream

Or eat it just plain! I never liked milk as a kid so had it just like that all the time :)

Or eat it just plain! I never liked milk as a kid so had it just like that all the time 🙂

leivasupp 002

So if you like bread as much as I do – this is a very comforting food to have indeed, and it really is easy to make, I cannot see how one could go wrong with it. Vary the sizes according to your need – I froze once 3 portions from a batch when I had precious little black bread to make it with – to then savour it over a longer period of time.

Anyway, it has been a blast to share this with you, tomorrow I will share an amazing juicing discovery from this morning. Stay tuned!

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

kohupiimakook kiselliga 004 kohupiimakook kiselliga 013 kohupiimakook kiselliga 006

Lemony cashew pudding

Hello my dearies!

 

Time has passed so quickly again and I’ve had so few chances to actually prepare any food for myself! This pudding however is something I made a day before I left home a week ago (feels like so much more time has passed) as I had a handful of soaked cashews available. And that’s the good thing about cashews, you can make SO many things with them, especially when they’re nice and soft after being soaked overnight 🙂
So, I didn’t have time to do any fancy meal to make it into a sauce, I made it into a pudding instead! It reminded me very much of sweet curd which I used to love as a kid. Anyway, here’s the simple recipe!

Ingredients (serve 2, like on photo):

3/4 cup cashews, soaked overnight
2 bananas
5 tbsp lemon juice (or less or more, to your taste)
a few dates/agave nectar/date syrup
3 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
vanilla sugar (optional)
water
handful of raisins

The process is extremely simple: blend cashews with bananas, sweetener, lemon juice, coconut, vanilla sugar and some water, but add just enough to make it into a nice paste-y consistency, or as you like it. Afterwards, mix in the handful of raisins, or not, if you don’t want to. You can add any other fruit or berries you want to it, make it a kiwi or raspberry pudding should you wish for it! 🙂 Serve from glass bowls or go for the easy option of pouring it into a glass.
So that’s it for this time. A very simple but yet very filling and delicious dessert. Hope you like it!

Cheerio!

Eli x

cashewcream 001