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Vegan Protein Power Balls

I love a good protein ball! And judging from the number of balls I see on the internet, a lot of people love them too. I think protein balls are taking over the food world. They’re slowly invading the counter space at the city cafes, the health food stores, the Instagram, and soon… your very own kitchen, if not already. At least I hope so, with this recipe.

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But before you make them, be warned! There vegan protein power balls can be quite addictive so you want to be careful not to eat all of them in one go! They can also give you a burst of energy and alertness so it’s best not to have them at night. My boyfriend said that they trigger vivid dreams when he consumes them at night. I won’t get to excited about this potential lucid dreaming side effect as I’ve never experienced this myself.

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Why I love these vegan protein power balls

First of all, there’s no cooking or baking involved. It’s a pretty straight forward mix and roll operation. You can adjust the mix before you roll and because you don’t need to cook them, you can eat them as you roll (not advisable for those with a ball addiction :P). They’re rich in fibre, protein, healthy fats, slightly sweet and very moreish. Perfect for snacking in between meals or as an afternoon pick me up.

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Vegan Protein Power Balls
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 25 balls
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cup of your favourite nut flour (I use 1 cup ground almond and 1/4 cup coconut flour)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 heaped scoop protein powder (my favourite is Bioglan rice protein powder and Sunwarrior raw protein powder)
  • 2 tsp maca powder
  • 12 dates (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 hot water
  • 2 Tbsp cacao powder
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • For Coating
  • 2 Tbsp of cacao powder, matcha powder, or dessicated coconut
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth
  2. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture and roll into balls
  3. Dust or roll the balls onto a couple of tablespoon of cacao powder
Notes
Make a double batch in the weekend and freeze them to save time.[br]You could use oat flour instead of nut flour. You can make oat flour by blending rolled oat in a blender for a few minutes until it resembles fine crumbs

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how they turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me in the picture :)

 

Keren x

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Raw Vegan Chocolate Caramel Hearts

I’m not a romantic. If you’re my boyfriend, you’re lucky if I remember your birthday. Chances are, I won’t remember our anniversary, when we met, when we first kissed, held hands or other dates with any romantic significance.

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Ok, I’m not literally that bad. If we’ve been together long enough (say, three years), I’d probably remember your birthday. But I probably won’t remember your phone number. Isn’t that’s what contact lists are for, anyway?

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In saying that, I do cook chocolate hearts for my dearest once in awhile. When the stars are aligned I feel like whipping up some bittersweet chocolate love for him. Like tonight. You don’t need to be a romantic to make chocolates for your loved one. Or do you?

Why I love these chocolate hearts

Although you don’t need any excuse to eat chocolate, here are some, just for fun. These raw vegan chocolate caramel hearts are intensely chocolatey (almost bittersweet) with a nice sweet caramel centre. They are refined sugar-free and contain more antioxidants than your normal chocolate bar. The chocolate is made with raw cacao, which is from unroasted cocoa beans and is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. Romantic or not, this is love.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Hearts With Caramel Centre
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 30 hearts
Ingredients
  • Chocolate
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (organic and alcohol free if possible)
  • Caramel
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 heaped tsp cashew butter
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tsp water
Instructions
  1. For the chocolate, whisk all chocolate ingredients in a bowl.
  2. For the caramel, add all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.
  3. To make the chocolate hearts, add 1 tsp of chocolate into heart shaped silicon mould, add 1/8 tsp of caramel and fill the remaining space with extra chocolate.
  4. Plate in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours to set. Serve.
  5. These chocolates will melt at room temperature so keep them in the fridge until the second you want to eat them.

Note: Quality ingredients are the secret for a delicious raw dessert. Make sure you buy the best you can afford. I used Loving Earth cacao powder; JaxCoco coconut oil, organic and alcohol free vanilla extract; and cashew butter from Naturals by Melrose.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to share a picture on Instagram and tag me. I’d love to see your creation.

 

With love,

Keren x 

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Simple Green Smoothie

Do you notice how green drinks are hitting the mainstream cafes and juice bars now? Maybe it’s just me but when I go out, I see green juice everywhere. All the major juice bars seem to have it on their menu now. It’s so exciting and encouraging to see that green drinks are becoming more mainstream. Things are changing and I think it’s awesome.

I started having green smoothie about two years ago. Since then I’ve been having it almost everyday for breakfast. I did lots of trials with different recipe to find the perfect combination of fruit and vegetables and have since found a base recipe that works for me. There’s so many green smoothie recipes available online and offline that it can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out.

I used to put so much stuff (protein powder, superfood supplements, etc) to make it taste good but I have since simplified the recipe to make it easier for me to make (it’s not fun having to take out 10 different things out of the pantry every morning). So this is actually an updated recipe of my old green smoothie recipe which has twice the amount of ingredients. I’ve cut it down such that it can tastes great without having to put tons of fruit in it. Not that there’s anything wrong with fruit but if’s going to be a vegetable smoothie, I figure it should have more vegetables than fruit.

Currently, my favourite smoothie base consists of Frozen Kale, Spinach, Banana, and Avocado. I then add to it more veggies, fruits, herbs, nuts and seeds depending on what I have and what I feel like.

You can get a bit creative with it, adding different kind of fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, protein powder, superfood mix, etc etc. Here’s my basic breakfast Green Smoothie recipe which I have made over 200 times and shared with people. My hope is that you will give this recipe a try and start making your own green blend.

Simple Green Smoothie
Recipe Type: Drinks
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Imagine being addicted to something so healthy as this. I am. Not because it’s healthy but because it tastes great and it makes me feel great.
Ingredients
  • 2 big handful (~ 3 cups) of baby spinach
  • 2 big handful (~ 3 cups) of kale leaves (washed and freeze overnight)
  • 2 medium size ripe banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 6 sprigs of parsley
  • 10-15 mint leaves (the more, the better)
  • 2 cups of non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Optional – 1 tbsp of each of your favourite superfoods, soaked nuts or seeds
Instructions
  1. Add ingredients in a blender starting from the heaviest item (so it catches the blade of the blender, it helps the blending process). Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and serve.
  3. Can be refrigerated in a glass container for up to 3 days or store in the freezer for about a week

So, what do you think about green smoothie? Are you a green smoothie drinker? If so what’s your favourite green ingredients?

Lots of love,

Keren

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Probiotic 101 and How To Make Rejuvelac

In this post I will show you how to make rejuvelac easily using quinoa. I came across rejuvelac while looking for ways to make vegan cheese. I gave it a go and have since successfully made a few batches. As it turns out, rejuvelac is not only easy to make but is also rich in probiotics. 

By the way, if you want to make vegan cheeses, I highly recommend the Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner which, I must say, is ah-mayyy-zing! I’ve made several non-dairy nut-based cheeses using her recipes already. Anyway, I digress…let’s get back to our topic here: rejuvelac and tiny little microorganisms which call our body, home.

Warning – I’m going to geek out a little talking about science-y stuff here because bacteria is a topic that is very close to my heart. I love them because small as they are, they play a significant role in our very existence.

So, on that note…

Did you know most of our immune system lies in the gut?

If yes, well done! You must have paid attention in Science class.

If no, well, you’ve learned something new today and you can brag about your new-found knowledge tomorrow to your friends or colleagues.

Here’s another fun fact. A healthy human body is home to around 100 trillion bacteria.

That’s a hell lot of bacteria! That’s 100 microbes for every 1 gene in our bodies! We have more bacteria in us than we do genes.

Fascinating isn’t it?

Each of us has our own unique ecological community of microorganisms called microbiome that literally share our body space, living in our gut, mouth, skin, etc. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, and some just sit and watch the fight between the two. They can even make us fat.

A  recent study showed that when a scientist took gut bacteria from human twins — one lean and one obese — and transferred them into lean mice, the mice with bacteria from fat twins grew fat; those that received bacteria from lean twins stayed lean. This just goes to show how  important our gut bacteria are to our metabolism and our digestive system.

 

How To Make Your Own Probiotic

Probiotics are good bacteria which serve to prevent the overgrowth of potentially harmful microorganisms. Although study on probiotics is limited, we have tons of anectodal evidence that they are beneficial to our immune system and our digestive health.

And yes there’re still more research that need to be done to better understand how probiotic helps to promote health but I don’t see what you can’t self-experiment – most (great) scientists do it. I do it. Configure your body to promote healthy bacterial colonies and see how you feel.

You can get probiotic supplements from most health stores, but  they can be quite expensive; and why buy when you can make your own probiotics at home, by making rejuvalac.

Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac is an enzyme-rich, probiotic living drink made by fermenting sprouted grains such as rye, barley, millet, buckwheat, rice, quinoa, or other grains. It contains lots of vitamins B, K and E, proteins and enzymes that aid digestion, and the growth of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus bifidus and Aspergillus oryzae.

It tastes slightly tangy and earthy with a subtle hint of lemony sour. It is slightly fizzy and refreshing to drink. Again, it is very easy to make and quite inexpensive. You basically soak the grains, rinse daily until they sprout (i.e., produce a cute little tail at one end), add water, wait a few days while it ferments,  strain and voilà, you just made rejuvelac.

I highly recommend using organic quinoa as they are quick and easy to sprout, but feel free to use other whole grain if you wish, bearing in mind that it may take longer to sprout other grains. Avoid grains that are already sprouted, and irradiated grain (this usually done on rice) which prevents sprouting. If you’re a first-timer, go with quinoa. Get the freshest and the best quality quinoa you can afford to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

Rejuvelac

Here’s a simple recipe which you can experiment with.

How to make Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac (makes total of 4 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic quinoa
  • Water, preferably filtered but I tried with Sydney’s tap water and it worked
  • Mason glass jars big enough to accomodate 2 cups of liquid, I used ex-pasta sauce glass jars

Method

Step 1. Sprout the quinoa

  1. Rinse and drain 1/2 cup of quinoa.
  2. Fill up the jar with water. Cover with cheesecloth secured with a rubber band.
  3. Soak overnight. My quinoa sprouted the next morning so if yours do the same, just drain the water and proceed to Step 2. Otherwise, continue below.
  4. Drain the water, leaving the quinoa moist, but not covered in water.
  5. Rinse and drain quinoa a couple of times a day until they sprout (maybe once in the morning and once in the evening).
  6. Note: It only took 24 hours before my quinoa started to sprout.

Step 2. Ferment sprouted quinoa to make rejuvelac

  1. Fill the jar containing the sprouted quinoa with 2 cups water. Cover with cheesecloth secured with a rubber band.
  2. Place in a cool dark place.
  3. Taste each day until it develops an earthy, tangy, fermented taste – usually 2 to 3 days depending on the temperatures.
  4. Once ready, pour the liquid into a glass and serve.

Step 3. Drink and make a second batch

  1. Serve rejuvelac with some fresh lemon juice. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for about 7 days.
  2. To make a second batch. Add another 2 cups fresh water to the soft seeds so they are just covered, and after a further 1-2 days pour off your second batch.
  3. Discard the quinoa seeds or add them to your salad.

Tips

  1. If you see some white bubbly scum on the surface of your rejuvelac during fermentation, just scrape it off.
  2. Always check the smell. It should smell fermented but not off. If it smells bad or if there is the slightest sign of mold, throw the whole lot away.
  3. I like to drink it chilled with some lemon juice.

So I hope you would try making your own rejuvelac. And if you do give it a go, let me know what you think.

Keren x

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Fennel Orange Strawberry Salad (vegan, paleo and gluten-free)

Wow! Where did the time go? I left the country for three and a half weeks and I came back to this Awesome. Weather. Spring has sprung!

One of the things I love about spring is the diverse range of fruits and vegetables available in this season: the berries, the citrus fruits, peas, cauliflowers, broccoli, asparagus, all the things I love to eat! Strawberries are cheap as chips and, oh my goodness, fennel is here! And I love fennel.

Strawberry and Orange Fennel Salad-3

Let’s be honest here, fennel and I weren’t friends until a couple years ago when I discovered that it’s actually a vegetable and not a weird-looking giant onion. It actually tastes really nice: it’s slightly sweet with anise-like flavour. You may need to get used to its flavour at first but if it is combined with the right ingredients, you can render its taste mild and delicate. I love eating it raw as it has the most irresistible crispy crunch similar to that of celery. It stays crunchy for a long time after it’s sliced or cut, making it a perfect ingredient for salads, and in fact, I think fennel salad tastes even better the next day.

 

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