Category: Recipes

Junk Food Craving Buster

Cashew nuts

One of the commonest issues I hear when people try to detox or diet is that they get cravings. Bizarrely, these cravings never seem to be for a head of lettuce or a shot of wheatgrass! Why is it that the cravings people get are always for the bad things?

Junk food

 

Here’s some of the things I hear all the time on the top of the cravings list:

  • Cheese on toast
  • Fried chicken
  • Ice cream
  • Chinese duck and rice
  • Pizza
  • Bowl of cereal with milk (especially the sugary ones like Crunchy Nut Cornflakes)
  • Roast dinner
  • Cake or pastries
  • Chips or crisps

As a rough rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t feel like going for a game of tennis after eating it, the food is taxing your system too heavily! All of these foods are high in fat and carbohydrates (sugar) and most also have high amounts of salt. These ingredients, when put in certain quantities, overwhelm our body’s natural appetite control, or homeostasis. They can trigger uncontrollable urges in otherwise highly disciplined people.  There is even a term for this – hyperpalatability.

David Kessler, former FDA Comissioner

David Kessler, former FDA Comissioner

Hyperpalatability was first brought to public light by David A Kessler, the former head of the US Food and Drug Administration. While in charge Kessler had taken on the tobacco industry and went on to expose how food scientists had perfected the science of making food addictive. Hyperpalatability is achieved by combining the elements of taste in specific ratios which cause our bodies natural biochemical reactions to food to go into overdrive. What should be a natural pleasure becomes used against us, hard wiring us to favour certain food types, none of which are conducive to long term health and many of which are noted in the rise of obesity, diabetes and other degenerative conditions. Kessler’s book, The End of Overeating, gives great detail on this from his extensive research in the area and is highly recommended reading for anyone struggling with weight management and food cravings.

Knowing that the body is hard wired to want certain foods and that when their flavours are combined, it sends our tastebuds into overdrive, are there any quick fixes we could use to get us over those junk food cravings? Yes, there are. Hyperpalatable junk foods all follow a pattern. A large amount of fat is accompanied by a sugar. That can be refined sugar, or a refined carbohydrate that the body will quickly convert to sugar such as white bread, white rice or white potato. In most cases there’s also some salt. What I do to treat food cravings is make something that is completely whole food based, full of nutrients and enzymes, free from pesticides or food additives and takes only a few seconds to prepare. Here’s the deal. You’ll need:

  • A small bowl and a tea spoon
  • A handful of organic cashew nuts, preferably soaked overnight and then dried in a dehydrator. I tend to do this for a kilo or so of nuts at a time and keep the dried nuts in an air tight container ready for when I want some
  • Half a teaspoon of unfiltered organic honey – use a soft set honey so it’s easy to mix in. My current favourite is an enzyme rich tropical honey from a community farm in Africa although I make this dish for a friend using local honey from a Surrey beekeeper to help her with her hayfever
  • A pinch of Himalayan Pink Rock Salt

Here’s the complicated part. Put all the ingredients in the bowl. Mix thoroughly!

Wasn’t too bad was it now? In all of about 10 seconds you just created a salted honey nut dish. This will supply a quick hit of fat, sugar and salt, however the fats in this are good and come complete with fibre, protein and minerals, the sugar is brimming with enzymes and plant phytonutrients and the salt has a balanced mineral profile. This little snack delivers all you need to quash a junk food craving and by replacing the junk with a healthy version will help to wean you off of those foods over the long term. It does this by helping your body to remineralise and as you become accustomed to eating low calorie, high nutrient food in place of high calorie, low nutrient food, you’ll find that you start to crave nutrients and not junk.

This recipe is suitable for a raw food diet too, unless you’re a strict vegan in which case you could substitute date paste for the honey.

Junk food costs incredible amounts. Here are some of the costs:

  • Junk food depletes your body of vitamins, minerals and enzymes
  • Junk food ages your body quicker
  • Junk food is implicated in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, cardio vascular disorders and many other leading health problems
  • Junk food is produced using poisonous agricultural chemicals that are destroying the Earth’s ecosystems, depleting the soil and polluting the water
  • Junk foods often use palm oil which is a leading cause of rainforest destruction
  • Junk foods often use factory farmed meats which are an inhumane form of slavery and genocide, a breeding ground for superviruses and a major source of climate change gases

Buying junk foods supports the corporations that causing the destruction of planet earth doing more of the same.

It takes less than a minute to prepare a healthy alternative as I’ve shown, so make sure you have the ingredients you need to hand. By doing so, you can help change the future of all life on earth. It sounds grand to put it like that but it was one bite at a time that got us into this state and one bite at a time that will get us out. Take the conscious health choice and within seconds of eating it your craving will go.


How to Make Artisan Vegan Mayonnaise

Cashew nuts

It’s a good idea to at least reduce the amount of animal products we consume. They contribute towards a shockingly high number of degenerative illnesses, support an industry that is a leading cause of global warming and environmental destruction, bring about the death of other sentient beings and ultimately aren’t necessary. Why? Because there’s far more nutrition in a vegan lifestyle, without the high cholesterol, and if you know what you’re doing you can have foods that will have you licking your plate for more!

In this light we present to you an easy way to make your own artisan mayo at home with no animal products involved. It’s high in good fats and minerals, low in bad fats and makes a delicious alternative to the egg version whether you’re a full blown vegan raw foodist, on a detox diet that means you’ll need to be dairy free, or just someone looking to take a small step to a healthier you.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 handfuls of cashew nuts
  • a tablespoon of flax oil
  • a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or agave syrup
  • a teaspoon of Dijon mustard

Optional extras:

  • a clove of garlic
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of himalayan rock salt, powered kelp or celery

Directions:

  1. Place the cashew nuts in a food processor and let the S blade cut them to tiny pieces
  2. Add the garlic if using it and let the S blade at it some more until it’s all finer
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients and use the S blade to combine
  4. Blend in about half a cup of water in small amounts at a time to bring the mix to the right consistency. Use your spatula to clear the sides of the food processor so that everything gets thoroughly mixed in. If you prefer a thicker mayonnaise, use less water. If you’re making a dish that’s better to suited to a greater volume like coleslaw, use a little more.

Some dishes require a thicker sauce that can stand more on it’s own rather than be used as a spread over a salad. If that’s the case, peel a quarter to half a small courgette and remove the seeds from the centre so you have only the flesh. Add this to the food processor and blend it in to give the fluffiness you’d look for if you want a mayo you can dip in.


Recipe for Satay Sauce

Ever been to Malaysia or tried Satay sauce? It’s a delicious nutty sauce that’s common in several dishes. Some use it on grilled chicken skewers and it’s an important part of Gado-Gado, a famous Malaysian salad. Perfect for a summer day.

However there’s a problem. A lot of commercial sauces available in the West are full of nasties! Lots are full of salt, some have  shrimp paste in which is unsuitable for vegetarian and vegan diets and some use cheaply sourced oils as a bulking factor. Worse, most have the dreaded e621 Monosodium Glutamate (also known as MSG, Chinese Salt or Aginomoto). Many people find that consumption of this plays havoc with their appetite, with feelings of hunger and thirst often following a meal containing it. Some people have far more severe reactions and some health experts like Dr Russel Blaylock beleive MSG is responsible for major health deterioration including damage to parts of the brain.

I love the taste of Satay Sauce! It is one of my fondest memories of Malaysia and it takes me back to hot beaches when I taste it. I therefore came up with a really easy way to make your own 100% natural and 100% vegan satay sauce. Those who are raw foodists will also be pleased to know that you can make this in raw form. Whether you follow any form of diet or are simply a lover of all food, this recipe will allow you to make healthier food that’s so delicious your guests will ask for more!

Here’s what you need:

  • Half tub of Organic Peanut Butter
  • 1 tablespoon of Organic Tamari Sauce or to taste
  • Organic Fresh Ginger – a thumb sized lump
  • Organic Garlic – 2 or 3 cloves
  • 5 or 6 large Organic Dates
  • Pinch of Korma Powder

The method is quite simple. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add hot water slowly till you reach the desired consistency. Serve over a fresh tossed salad of chopped lettuce, cucumber, sweet peppers and beansprouts and garnish with finely chopped spring onion. Alternatively use as a dip – it goes great with brocoli and carrot crudites and meat eaters will find it a far superior revision of store bought sauces. Takes under 3 minutes to make!

For the raw food version, replace the Peanut butter with a handful of pre-soaked and dried organic almonds. Blend until fine then add remaining ingredients. Enjoy with a grin – it’s laden with minerals and vitamins and you can even add a dash of White Miso if you want to increase your enzyme intake.

Peter Pure includes a similar recipe in his book Lush Salads which contains a hundred dishes from around the world remade as raw food delicacies! A tip of the hat to Pete for his basis which we’ve adapted. If you haven’t read Lush Salads yet, we recommend Peter’s Mint Fatoush, Japanese Courgette & Shitake Noodles and Sweet Onion Salad Toppers immensely. Grab a copy of Lush Salads here.



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