Make the most of seasonal produce

While we have been baking up a storm during lockdown, it is important not to let your nutrition down.

There are plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available from supermarkets and some Farmers Market vendors have set up home deliveries — so there’s no excuse not to experiment.

Breakfast cashew bowl. Photo: Simon Lambert
Breakfast cashew bowl. Photo: Simon Lambert
Breakfast cashew bowls

Soaking nuts overnight changes the texture and makes them easier to digest. These little bowls make a great addition to breakfasts, a great lunch with your choice of topping or as a low-calorie, high-protein snack.

Serves 2

1 cups raw natural cashew nuts
(soaked in cold water overnight  for
8-12 hours)
4 fresh dates, stones removed
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp tahini paste (optional)
1 Tbsp psyllium husk powder
pinch salt
10 Tbsp cold water or enough to create
a smooth, thick puree

Toppings

fresh fruit
fresh dates
nuts/seeds
toasted coconut
dried fruits
maple syrup or honey

Method

Place the the drained cashew nuts, lemon juice, salt, tahini (if using) psyllium husk powder and water, in a high-powered blender and blend until you have a smooth, glossy puree. If too thick, add another 1-2 tablespoons of water until you get the desired consistency.
Pour into your bowls and refrigerate until needed.

To serve

Simply top with your favourite combination of toppings.

Snack time

Fresh dates are the perfect go-to for a sweet treat. You can pretty much stuff them with anything, but my favourite is peanut butter, a fresh or frozen raspberry and a pinch of sea salt.  Or I use the cashew nut filling from the breakfast cashew bowls. Simply delicious.

Snack time. Photo: Simon Lambert
Snack time. Photo: Simon Lambert
Makes 12

12 fresh, soft dates, cut deep enough to remove the stone
3 Tbsp peanut butter
6 fresh or frozen raspberries
pinch sea salt flakes
3 Tbsp cashew nut mix (from breakfast cashew bowl recipe)
1 Tbsp toasted coconut
1 Tbsp tahini paste

Method

Place the opened dates on a plate, fill them with enough peanut butter/cashew spread to fill, add the berries and coconut.  Sprinkle the salt over the dates or drizzle tahini over the cashew nut ones.

Turmeric pancakes with smashed avocados

I have been playing around with gluten-free recipes recently.  These little pancakes are made with rice flour and have a light texture, which makes them perfect for wrapping around fresh, crunchy veges and finishing with silky avocado.

Serves 4-6

coconut oil for cooking

Pancake
300g rice flour
4 Tbsp cornflour
300ml plant milk (coconut works well) or water
200ml-300ml cup water
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt

Tumeric pancakes with smashed avocado. Photo: Simon Lambert
Tumeric pancakes with smashed avocado. Photo: Simon Lambert
Smashed avocado
2 avocados, stones and flesh removed
1 clove garlic, crushed
red onion, finely diced
1 lime, juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper

Dipping sauce
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Method

To make the pancakes. Whisk together all the ingredients until all the lumps have vanished.  The batter should be like a crepe mixture.  Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.
Heat a good non-stick fry pan and melt enough oil to lightly grease the pan. Ladle in enough batter to just cover the base of the fry pan as you want to make the pancakes as thin as possible.
Cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for another minute. Remove and place on baking paper.  Continue cooking the remaining pancakes until the batter is finished.  Set aside.
Now get together all your vegetables and place on a large platter or in bowls.
Smash the avocado in a bowl and mix through all the ingredients. Taste as you go as you want a tangy, well-seasoned plate of avocado. 
Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together and put into small bowls.

To serve

Place the vegetables, smashed avocado and dipping sauce in the middle of the table. Stack the pancakes on plates and allow everyone to fill their own.
Enjoy.

Poppy seed and lemon cake

This cake ticks all the boxes for anyone who suffers from gluten/dairy intolerance and chooses to eat a vegan diet. I adorned mine with plums, but any fruit works beautifully.

Serves 10-12

Cake
400g ground almonds
1 tsp psyllium husk powder
tsp salt
3 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
tsp ground cardamom
cup grapeseed oil
maple syrup or runny honey
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 orange, zest
juice of  orange

Poppy seed and lemon cake. Photo: Simon Lambert
Poppy seed and lemon cake. Photo: Simon Lambert
3 Tbsp chia seeds, soaked in 9 Tbsp cold water for 10 minutes

Topping

250g coconut yoghurt
8 plums, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

Method

Grease and line an 18cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Heat the oven to 180degC.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Warm the oil and maple syrup/honey
Add the zest of the lemon and orange into the oil mixture.
Add the oil mixture to the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Mix through the soaked chia seeds and combine well.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes or until done.
Remove and allow to cool before spreading over the coconut yoghurt and decorating with the plums, poppy seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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