Juice fast

I’ve been reading about juice fasts and the amazing health benefits of cleansing your body by eliminating all other foods for a period of time.

I decided to give it a go. On bank holiday weekend. Have I gone completely loopy? Perhaps. Yes…but then again, Bo and Bel are away this weekend, so I have no one to cook for AND three days off work. A three day fast. Surely I can manage that. And if I fail, well, it’s not like my diet is so bad anyway…and if I succeed, maybe I’ll feel great and do it again- or carry on for 10 days- hmmm, maybe that’s ambitious.

So, today is day one. My fridge is stocked with three HUGE bags of kale, apples, celery, cucumbers, carrots, ginger and lemons.

Here goes. I made a large batch of juice this morning- I drank my usual water with lemon first thing this morning, then had a juice at about 10.30- a large glassful.

 I went out, (drinking a few more glasses of water first) taking the other half of the juice with me, anticipating I’d be starving by lunchtime.

I have to say, I didn’t feel particularly hungry and ended up having the second half of my juice at about 3pm, whilst watching a couple of friends come through the 52km point on the Isle of Wight challenge event. http://www.isleofwightchallenge.com/

It’s now just gone 6pm and I’ve been guzzling water since I got back- just now I feel ready for my next juice.

I have an evening out planned with friends- mine will be fresh lime and soda- and will report back tomorrow on how day two goes…

Not too many adverse affects today- thought I might get a headache at one point-it didn’t materialise, other than that, just a couple of speedy visits to the ladies room! 

Have any of you tried a juice fast? I’d love to hear your stories ❤️

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Rock samphire and sea purslane gnocchi 

This morning I went with my (chef) friend Jamie for a kayak along one of the beautiful river estuaries on the Isle of Wight. After a paddle we searched the river bank for sea vegetables to forage and found an abundance of fresh rock samphire and sea purslane- too good an opportunity to pass up on. He suggested I try to make some gnocchi with our free food…here’s what happened…

 So to start with, I boiled 750g of potatoes, skin on, until soft.

Whilst these were cooking, I added the sea vegetables (a large handful of samphire and a small handful of purslane) to my nutribullet, with a good handful of cashew nuts, a clove of garlic, juice of a lemon, a dessert spoon sized piece of parsley, a shake a Himalyan pink salt and 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast, and blended.

I had to add a splash of water to keep it moving and blend smoothly.
When the potatoes were soft, I peeled them and added to my blender with 200g plain flour (I used gluten free), a tsp of pink salt and the sea vegetable ‘melange’

When the mixture was smooth, I bought a pan of water to the boil and used two teaspoons to (albeit, messily) ‘quenelle’ the gnocchi into manageable sizes and dropped them into the boiling water; a few at a time, for 2-3 minutes, before removing them onto a dry tea-towel.
While I was doing this, I put most of a bulb of garlic in the oven to roast- no oil, just in the oven at 180, for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the cloves. When they are roasted, push them out of their skins and ‘smush’ them up with the back of a spoon, add some salt and extra virgin olive oil, and you’ll have a really delicious roasted garlic oil to drizzle over the gnocchi.
When all the gnocchi are prepared (this would feed 4 adults easily)


and the garlic oil was ready; I cooked the gnocchi in a heated, non-stick pan, until warm and starting to crisp a little (turn during cooking) I then added some baby spinach to the pan until wilted, and plated, before drizzling over the roasted garlic oil. 


Delicious! If you are lucky enough to live in a coastal area, please do try making these, the flavour is incredible! And of course- don’t pick and eat anything unless you are certain it is what you think it is! Enjoy ❤️

Papaya and lime

imageHow on earth have I been missing out on this treat?!

Last weekend I visited my brother and his wife and family and he introduced me to this fruity delight, a favourite of my youngest nephew.

He was shocked I’d never tried simple papaya with a squeeze of fresh lime. It’s now set to become a firm favourite- simply delicious; and when you look at the nutritional benefits amazingly good for you- have you tried it? ❤️

Messy chocolate cake

imageIt had to be done. Chocolate cake. The ‘choclatiest’ of chocolate fixes. But to fit my diet? Challenge on.

This recipe is (almost- I added some homemade jam) sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, vegan.

Ingredients:

For the icing:

200g cashew nuts, covered with hemp milk

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

50g raw cacoa

20g stevia granules

 

To decorate:

Strawberries

Jam (if desired)

 

For the cake:

230g grated courgette (about 2)

250g gluten free self raising flour (I used Dove’s farm)

1tsp gluten free baking powder

1/2tsp xanthum gum

70g stevia granules

50ml maple syrup

65g raw cacoa powder

Seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

200ml extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 170C
  2. Put all cake ingredients into a big bowl, sifting the dry, adding the wet and fold together until combined.

3. I put all of mine in one tin, but having found the cake crumbly, I would divide the mixture between two cake tins next time I make it. This will make putting the cake together at the end much easier.

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Place in the preheated oven and cook until a knife comes out (almost) clean- this is a moist cake but you can judge when it’s ready using this method. The cake will also  spring back up when gently pushed on top when it is cooked.

Mine took an hour and 10 minutes to cook, but if the mixture is divided between two tins, it will take about 30-40 minutes.

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Once cooked, leave to cool in the tins whilst you make the icing.

Icing:

  1. Blend the stevia with the grinding blade of the nutribullet (this is what I use, but a high speed blender) to make ‘icing sugar’, remove and set aside
  2. Blend the cashews and hemp milk until smooth and place in a bowl
  3. Add the vanilla seeds and stevia powder to the cashew cream
  4. Sieve the raw cacoa powder into the rest of the ingredients and whip to combine
  5. Place the icing in the freezer whilst waiting for the cake to cool. Check every 15-20 mins and re-whip to ensure an even consistently. If it gets too thick, remove and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it

 

When the cakes are cool, spread the top side of the bottom cake with jam, a layer of icing and strawberries. Put the second cake on the top and add the rest of the icing and decorate with the strawberries

Seriously yummy and actually pretty good for you…winner! ❤️