Today it's all about Xochi Balfour's new The Naturalista cookbook, but if you just want the yummy raw vegan Acai Smoothie Bowl recipe, please don't be shy and make your way to the end of this blog post where you'll find it.
I posted the following statement under this image of Xochi Balfour's new healthy lifestyle book 'The Naturalista' on instagram the other day:
'FACT I get lots of cookbooks sent to me. FACT I buy lots of cookbooks,. FACT I'd never recommend something I don't wholehearted believe in.
So if I say that the healthy living book 'The Naturalista' by @xochibalfour is INSANELY AWESOME you better believe it's true. I hope this treasure gets the attention it so deserves when it comes out at the end of April. @xochibalfour you should be darn proud of this looker.'
And, though it's been a few weeks now since I first received the book, I still feel mega excited about it and super duper lucky to have been given a copy. Yup, it's THAT good. So, what about it is so special, you might wonder? Well, ...
1. The voice behind the book - Xochi is engaging, genuine, so, so sweet and I read the story of her journey to health with great interest. It's one that so many of us can relate to. (I'm not telling you more. You just gotta buy the book ;)). Plus, I've had the pleasure of meeting Xochi in person and I can tell you, she's not a brand. She's the real deal :).
2. The stunning, healthy and most importantly achieveable recipes - I have literally bookmarked every other page - banana almond pancakes, kale and avocado rice with pickled carrots, smoky beet hummus etc.. I mean there are soooo many recipes to get excited about and most of them require ingredients that are easy to come by. However, please be warned - there are a few non-vegetarian recipes in this book. It doesn't bother me as you can count them on 1 hand, but I'm aware that for some of you this may be a deal breaker, which is why I'm pointing it out.
3. Drop dead gorgeous photography - In case it's not totally obvious from the hours I spent writing about it, I'm obsessed with good food photography. And this book's got some of the most stunning shots I've seen in a long, long time. In fact, if I ever photograph a cookbook I kinda want the pictures to look like the ones in Xochi's book *blush*.
4. More than just another cookbook - I love the fact that Xochi has incorporated her extensive knowledge of nutrition into The Naturalista. For example, there is a section dedicated to why turmeric is so healthy and another to why aloe vera is good for one of our biggest organs, our skin. Furthermore, Xochi shares how to make your own natural beauty products like body scrubs and deodorants. And as if that weren't enough, Xochi also provides tips on mindful living without sounding preachy or dogmatic.
COMPETITION NOW CLOSED! Do you now understand why I'm head over heels in love with this book? Luckily for you, I'm not just keeping this thing of beauty to myself. Nope. Instead, I'm sharing the love and giving YOU the chance to win a copy of The Naturalista. That's because Headline Books generously agreed to send one of my readers a copy of the book. All you need to do for a chance to win is comment below, telling me what your definition of healthy living is. But be quick with your answers, entry to this give-away closes at midnight (Greenwich Time) on Monday, May 3rd. The winner will be picked and notified within a week of the closing date. THE WINNER IS MARIA. CONGRATS!
Please also note that this competition is open to UK and Ireland residents only. Therefore, I'd be super grateful if you can be clear when you comment whether you live in the UK/Ireland or not. And even if you don't please do feel free to leave a comment. I'm super interested to read your answers no matter where you live :). Good luck everyone!
P.S. Want to find out more about Xochi Balfour, attend one of her supper clubs or buy her book? Then head over to her blog or follow her journey on instagram.
RAW VEGAN ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL (V+, V, ChF, GF, GrF, P, R)
Recipe mildly adapted from The Naturalista Cookbook by Xochi Balfour.
Pre-Preparation Time: soaking the tigernuts for 12 hours or overnight (see tips for alternatives)
Preparation Time: 5 - 10 minutes
Ingredients for the tigernut milk:
1 cup tigernuts
3 cups filtered water
1 date (stone removed)
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
Ingredients for the acai bowl:
1 heaped tbsp acai powder
2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
a handful of berries
240ml/1cup of tigernut milk OR milk of your choice (see tips below)
1 tsp almond OR cashew nut butter OR tahini for a nut-free version
1tsp coconut oil
a handful of seasonal fruit
a handful of dried fruit
a dash of maple syrup or honey
a sprinkle of chia seeds
a sprinkle of acai powder
Instructions for making the tigernut milk:
Soak the tigernuts in water for 12 hours, or overnight. Once this step has been completed, drain the tigernuts and wash them with clean water. Place the nuts in a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix, but any blender will do) together with the pitted date, salt and 3 cups of filtered water.
Pour the mixture through a cheese cloth or sieve. And there, you’ve got your tigernut milk. I then placed the milk back in the blender and added the ground cinnamon, blending until just combined. But this step is optional.
This recipe should yield about 3-4 cups of tigernut milk. Use 1 cup/240ml to make the acai smoothie and store the rest in an air-tight container in the fridge. It will keep for about 1-2 days.
Instructions for making the smoothie bowl:
Place all the smoothie ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately and add the toppings of your choice. Then enjoy!
Tip 1: I loved the flavour that the tigernuts gave this smoothie, but you can use whatever type of milk you like - home-made or shop bought. The smoothie will still taste lovely.
Tip 2: You can find a milk recipe here and here if you're looking for alternatives to tigernut milk. You can also use dairy if that floats your boat.
Tip 3: Tigernuts aren't actually nuts meaning this recipe is nut-free as it stands, ideal for those of you with nut allergies.
Looking for more quick and easy vegan breakfast ideas? Then just click here.
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