Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Having a good selection of sauces and dressings is essential in our kitchen. Especially for those busier times in life, when having tasty sauces on hand helps make the simplest of meals taste great. This roasted red pepper sauce is our current favourite - it's fresh, deliciously tangy and adds a perfect amount of spice to food. We've been loving it on salads, potatoes (as a healthier version of patatas bravas), with veggie burgers and roasted portobello mushrooms. We hope you you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients (makes a medium jar)
1 cup of roasted red peppers (either from a jar or roast your own)
1/2  cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
dried red chilli to taste (optional, if you like it spicy! We use 4-5 de-seeded Kashmiri chillies) 

1. If roasting your own peppers, you'll need to roast them until blackened. Allow to cool and then remove the skin and seeds. 
2. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep in the fridge for at least five days. 

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Vegan Turmeric Butter

This turmeric butter is like sunshine goodness in a jar. We've both noticed that eating more plant based fats gives us a lot much more energy throughout the day. This butter is really satisfying and full of healthy fats from good quality, organic oils. It's delicious spread on sourdough toast and crackers or added to a risotto.  It only takes a few minutes to make so it's easy to whip up a jar for the week!

Turmeric is one of our favourite spices and had to be included to give the butter such a vibrant yellow colour. It's also a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, due to the curcumin that it contains. Combining turmeric with black pepper helps our bodies absorb the curcumin, so make sure to be generous with the black pepper! 

turmeric butter
vegan turmeric butter
turmeric butter
turmeric vegan butter

Ingredients (makes 1 medium jar)
1 cup of coconut oil (we use an unscented version for this recipe, but you could use a normal one)
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1. Firstly, make sure your coconut oil is solid (see photo above). The recipe won't work as well if your coconut oil is in liquid form. If you live somewhere hot, put the oil in the fridge before making the recipe and then store the finished butter in the fridge after.
2. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mash together with a fork. (You could use a food processor if you're short for time). Mix until smooth and there's no lumps. 
3. Transfer into a jar and enjoy! 

turmeric vegan butter

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Fermented Broccoli

We're all about making healthy foods accessible to everyone. Having little tricks & condiments on hand when life gets busy and time is scarce. It's no secret that we love adding fermented foods and pickles into meals ... it's one of the best ways to aid digestion & boost healthy bacteria in the body. We've already shared a few fermented recipes on the blog, but this one is definitely our best yet. The broccoli has an amazing, crunchy texture after a week of fermentation, as well as tasting so good!

Fermented Broccoli Pickle

Unlike some ferments, this is pretty simple and quick to prepare. We recommend using good quality salt (either himalayan or sea salt) & buying organic broccoli if it's available to you. Heads up, Aldi now sell organic broccoli for 80p, so it's really affordable to make! 

Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of broccoli will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of broccoli will need roughly 8.75g of salt. This formula can be applied to other ferments and pickles, such as sauerkraut & kimchi. So far, it hasn't failed us! 

To make 1 large jar you'll need:
1 large jar, sterilised with boiling water
500g Organic Broccoli, chopped into strips (including the stalk!)
8.75g good quality salt (1 & 3/4 teaspoons)
5 whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Optional flavourings: 1 whole garlic clove, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients so that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the broccoli. If you have time, leave it for 15 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the broccoli. 
2.Add all the ingredients to your sterilised jar, pushing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more broccoli (the back of a wooden spoon is helpful for this). The idea is to pack everything really tightly into the jar. 
3. Once you've added all the broccoli to the jar, top up with clean water. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth, or loosely place the lid on top. 
4.Now it's time to let the broccoli ferment! Around 7-10 days is the perfect amount of time. Everyday, check on your jar and firmly push down the broccoli with the back of a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar. The pieces of broccoli need to remain submerged in liquid, so if you find it gets too dry, add a little extra water.
5. After around 5-7 days, taste the broccoli to see if it suits your taste buds. If your ferment tastes really salty, leave it for a few extra days to let the flavours mellow. 
6.Once your satisfied with your flavour, secure the jar with a tight lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and shared and should last for months if sealed well.

Fermented Broccoli Pickle

Have you tried fermented foods? We'd love to hear your experiences! 
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Fire Cider Vinegar - A Herbal Remedy for Winter

Happy New Year everyone! We hope 2017 is full of health & happiness for you all. On a personal note, we're both feeling really excited for the year ahead. New plans, ventures & ideas are making us feel inspired and ready for this new cycle. This hopefully means even more creativity in the kitchen & the garden! 

We've loved experimenting with herbal recipes during the past few months. I'm talking herbal oils, honeys, vinegars & infusions...there's so many delicious possibilities. This fire cider vinegar is well-known in the herbal community, and it's a wonderful remedy for all the viruses & colds that are circulating at the moment. Full of immune boosting & anti-microbial properties from the apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion & turmeric, a tablespoon of this mixed with raw honey is an amazing way to fight off illness. It's also a delicious addition to soups, stews & dressings.

Fire Cider Cold Flu Herbal Remedy

The key to the this recipe is chopping everything up as finely as possible. The apple cider vinegar will slowly draw out all the healing properties from your ingredients & herbs - leaving you with a potent, medicinal vinegar at the end of the process. Feel free to adapt the ingredients to suit your taste buds! 

Fire Cider (Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar)
1 medium sized glass jar
1 onion, chopped finely
3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
4 tablespoons of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of grated turmeric root (or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder)
A small handful of rosemary
A small handful of thyme
4 whole peppercorns
Raw apple cider vinegar (with mother), to fill the jar
optional extras - a small chilli for extra spice, horseradish, orange peel, parsley etc

1. Fill a sterilised jar with all your ingredients and add enough apple cider vinegar to cover. 
2. If your jar has a metal lid, place a square of baking paper between the jar/lid. This will protect the metal from being eroded by the strong vinegar. 
3. Place on a windowsill or a warm spot and let it sit for around 3-4 weeks. We shake our mixture every now and then, & check how the smell develops over time. 
4. Before it's ready to use, you'll need to strain the vinegar and discard the herbs (hopefully onto a compost bin!)
5. Enjoy, heal & store your vinegar in a cupboard (where it should last for a long time)

Fire Cider Cold Flu Herbal Remedy

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What natural remedies do you use during cold/flu season?