Man, these are as good as regular cheese and onion crisps, but vegan and healthy! The only thing I dislike about these dehydrated spinach chips is that they take twenty-four hours to make but only approximately twenty-four seconds to eat. Still, that’ll teach me to forget that a large handful of raw spinach shrinks down small enough to fit on a five-pence piece when cooked (or, as in this case, dehydrated).
Although the spinach was dehydrated at under 45C, I can’t call this a raw vegan recipe as it contains nutritional yeast which is pasteurised to kill the yeast so if you want to make it raw vegan, leave out the nutritional yeast.
Recipe: Vegan Cheese and Onion Flavour Dehydrated Spinach Crisps
A variety of healthy snacks were sent to me to try recently, and I’m going to share them with you below. That’s ‘share’ as in let you know about them – not share them literally. They’re my snacks, go away.
Urban Fruit – Pure Fruit Snacks
You all know what dried fruit is and these pure fruit snacks from Urban Fruit are just that – pure fruit. They’re gently baked and have nothing added to them; no sugar, no sulphites, no oils, no nothing. As well as being available in a variety of flavours, they also come in handy snack packs and big sharing bags, but if you think a big sharing bag will last you a long time, you’d be wrong – I ate a whole big bag of pineapple in one go, which is saying something for someone who’s not a huge fan of dried fruit.
Find Urban Fruit in Asda, Tesco, Co-op, Waitrose, Ocado, Wilkinsons, in the
meal deal at Boots, on Amazon, and in loads of independents.
I love adding plain seeds to salads and smoothies but these Munchy Seeds are fab for snacking on, with flavours such as Choccy Apricot, and Chilli Bites. The pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids which help to lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood vessels, while the sunflower seeds work to rid you of free radicals.
Gluten-free and free from empty calories, these seeds will give you the energy to keep going without any sugar crashes which other snacks can cause.
Munchy Seeds have an RRP of 69p-£2.35 (depending on size of pack) and are available in Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco and Co-op.
These Fossil Fuel bars are right up my street. Although I don’t follow a paleo diet and don’t know much about it other than it seems to have something to do with cavemen, I do love a raw energy bar.
As you’d expect from this kind of raw snack, Fossil Fuel bars only contain natural ingredients that you’d find in your own cupboard (they’re currently in my cupboard, anyway – I haven’t been peeking in your cupboards, honest). For example, the macadamia & cacao variety only lists dates, cashews, macadamias, raw cacao and coconut oil.
Perfect as a snack anytime or to fuel you on long bike rides, etc.
I’ve got to admit, when two chicks (that’s the name of the company, honest – look, you can see it on the packets in the photo above) asked me if I wanted to try their Chirps egg white bites, my first thought was ‘ugh, they sound revolting’. But they intrigued me, so I said yes. And, do you know what? They’re nice and nothing like you’d expect. They don’t taste like egg whites – they taste just like crisps and have a texture of something that’s in between popcorn and a chunky crunchy crisp like, say, a Kettle Chip (other premium crisps are available).
Although the egg bit does put me off, I really like these. They’re high in protein, low in carbohydrates, low in fat, low in sugar and have fewer calories than other crisps, so give them a try.
For more information and to find stockists in your area, visit www.twochicks.co.uk/chirps-snack
I love these energy balls. They’re healthy, use only a few ingredients, are made in minutes and don’t require any baking. As an added bonus, you’ve probably already got the ingredients in your cupboard, so there’s not even any need to go out shopping.
I originally got the idea from Ani Phyo’s book, Raw Food Desserts (although her recipe uses raisins, while I used sultanas), but the mixture was too dry to form into balls, so I added the coconut oil which made it stick together while giving it an extra dimension with the coconut taste.
A bag of kale seems to last forever, doesn’t it? If you’ve got a never-ending bag of kale in your fridge, here’s something to do with it. This recipe is loosely based on the one in Ani’s Raw Food Essentials – it was her idea to add the agave nectar. I won’t bother with the agave nectar next time as, although it added a nice sweetness, it made the chips too sticky for my liking.
I’ll also fill up all the dehydrator trays with kale next time because a couple of large handfuls (two trays’ worth) of kale seemed like a lot at the time but it shrank down loads and only made a ramekin’s worth of chips. And you’re going to want more than one ramekin’s worth, I can tell you. If you’re in the market for a dehydrator, I can recommend the Froothie Optimum P200 Dehydrator.
Why did I wait so long to get a dehydrator? What I’ve eaten from it so far has made me want to give up pizza and become a raw foodist. Well, that might be a bit hasty, especially as it’s Friday and Friday night is chippy chips night, so any new raw foodist lifestyle will have to hang on for a bit.
But, these raw crackers I made are amazing. I tried some raw crackers a couple of years ago when I bought some at VegFest but I didn’t like them. So I wasn’t expecting great things from these but now I never want to eat anything else, ever. They’re especially good spread with the best ever hummus and topped with olives.
The original recipe is here but I added chilli flakes because, well, you know… chilli…
I’ve been hankering after a food dehydrator for years. Mostly, I’ve got to admit, because it’s a kitchen gadget and, despite what The Meat Eater says, you can’t have too many kitchen gadgets.
The thing is though, what exactly does one do with a dehydrator? Yes, I know you dehydrate food in them, but what? and – more importantly – why? I know raw foodists find them essential for their diet, as I found this out a few years ago when I briefly pondered whether to do a ‘raw food week’ challenge and picked up a raw food recipe book and saw it mostly contained recipes using a dehydrator to make, amongst other things, pizza bases (which led me to briefly ponder whether I wanted a raw pizza, decided I didn’t and put the book down and phoned Papa John’s instead).
Then Vida got in touch and asked me if I wanted to try out one of their appliances; one of which being a food dehydrator. The time had come to release my inner raw foodist, hurrah!
After googling ‘what do I do with a food dehydrator’, I looked at a few websites, got thoroughly confused, so I asked on the Little Vegan Kitchen Facebook Page what people there did with theirs. One reply I particularly liked the sound of was courgette crisps. I did some more googling and found a whole load of recipes with varying drying times ranging from 5 hours to 15 hours, so back I went to the Little Vegan Kitchen and asked how long they usually dry for and was told 24 hours. Oh. That’s a long time. But I was going to make my courgette crisps, no matter how long they took.
Anyway, before I tell you about my courgette crisps, let me tell you about the Vida Food Dehydrator.
The first thing you need to know is that it’s big. I thought food dehydrators were about the size of a shoe box. This is more the size of a post box. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration but this is not a small machine, so it’s not going to sit unobtrusively on your kitchen worktop.
I also thought food dehyrators were silent. I don’t know why I thought this but I did and they’re not. They’re not washing machine noisy but you will notice the sound, so my dehydrator has been banished to the conservatory where it can whirr away without disturbing anyone.
As with most kitchen appliances, the instruction manual is useless. Saying that though, you don’t need a manual for this machine, as there is absolutely nothing to working out how to use it: Put on the trays whatever fruit or veg you’re drying, put the lid on top, switch it on, turn the dial to the required temperature and press a button to tell it how many hours you want it to be on for (23 is the maximum but you can just turn it off and start it again if you want it to be on for longer – the instructions do say though not to have it running longer than 72 hours without giving the machine a bit of a rest). So, yeah, you don’t really need a manual, it just seemed a bit odd to get an appliance with no suggested recipes in the manual with which to start you off.
But I already had my suggested recipe from my friends at the Little Vegan Kitchen anyway, so I prepared my courgette crisps and about a day later they were ready and I ate them all in one go, they were that good. I don’t usually like dried fruit or vegetable crisps, so I probably only liked them because I made them, in the way a mother loves her ugly baby, but, hey ho. They didn’t come out properly crispy like a crisp, but I’m assuming the longer you leave them dehydrating, the crispier they get.
You’ll see from the photo above that I lined my trays with baking paper. Some recipes said to do this, some didn’t. I decided to, I don’t know why. I probably wanted to keep the trays clean.
I currently have some cashew, onion and sunflower seed crackers in the dehydrator and I’ll let you know what they turn out like.
The Vida Food Dehydrator is available from ebuyer.com for (at the time of writing) £29.99.
I’ve wanted to make a vegan chocolate mousse for ages now but most of the recipes I’ve seen contain avocado, and you should all know by now my feelings about avocado but just in case you don’t, my feelings generally revolve around the word ‘bleurgh’.
So, silken tofu to the rescue. Tofu in a dessert sounds weird, I know, but don’t let that put you off making this chocolate pudding – it’s absolutely delicious and only takes a minute to make.
When Jamie Oliver first appeared in the public eye, I found him seriously annoying. All that mockney cockney cheeky chappie Essex wideboy stuff got right on my wick. Over the years, however, I’ve grown to like him. Unlike a lot of other ‘celebrity’ chefs, he seems to have remained the same and not turned into a caricature of himself (yes, I’m looking at you Gordon Ramsay), plus I think he does a lot of good in promoting affordable healthy eating and encouraging kids to eat other things that are green apart from bogies.
Despite me liking Mr Oliver these days though, I’ve never made any of his recipes. Until now, that is*. A friend on Facebook shared a link to a raw vegan chocolate fudge recipe on his website and so I thought I’d give it a go and I’m seriously glad I did. This raw vegan fudge is deliciously moist and chewy – if you know anyone who’s put off by the phrase ‘raw vegan’ (and let’s face it, it’s not the most appetising phrase in the world, is it?), give them some of this.
I made these mini cheesecakes after spotting the recipe while browsing the Minimalist Baker blog. I ate the first one straight from the freezer and while it was okay, it wasn’t amazing. So, today, after taking one out of the freezer, I let it defrost and soften before eating it and it was a major improvement.
If you’d like to make some too, you can find the recipe here.
Just reading the ingredients for this juice makes you feel healthier before you’ve even tasted it. Because it has so many vegetables in it, I was worried it would taste a bit ‘green’ (despite it being red in colour) but I needn’t have worried, it was just as fruity as a normal glass of juice.
Okay, so here’s the bit where I tell you what I left out: 1/2 an inch of broccoli stem (because I didn’t want to buy a whole head of broccoli just to use a bit of stem and didn’t know if I’d be able to use the rest of it up in the next few days) and a small handful of alfalfa sprouts (because I have no sprouts at the moment).
2 Golden Delicious apples
a small chunk of carrot
1/2 stick celery
1 large handful of mixed greens – watercress, kale, parsley, spinach and whatever other green leafy veg are available (I used spinach and parsley)
1 inch slice cucumber
1/4 inch slice unpeeled raw beetroot
1/4 inch slice courgette
1 small piece of lemon
1/4 inch slice ginger