Today I wanted to muse a tiny little bit about the raw food movement, especially because I often get asked if I am a raw foodist and what my stance is on the matter. I know many of you are well aware what ‘eating raw’ means, but I also appreciate that not everyone has heard of raw foodism, so I thought I’d very briefly outline what it is all about.

As I understand it, some people choose to eat uncooked and raw plant based foods because they believe that fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables’ nutritional content is at its highest when in its raw, natural, whole and unprocessed form. They believe that once foods are cooked over 42C, they lose most, if not all of their nutrients. Raw foodists often refer to raw foods as ‘living foods’ because it is their belief that uncooked fruits and vegetables contain natural, living enzymes, which the human body needs to build proteins and to maintain optimum health. Many raw foodists argue that humans have thrived on raw, unprocessed foods for centuries and that cooked foods build up toxins in the body, thereby depriving us of much needed nutrients. They also believe that raw foods help us fight off illness and maintain youth.

Interestingly, some raw foodists are vegans, others include raw dairy products in their diet and yet others also consume raw meat and fish.

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I have been thinking a great deal lately about where I am on my whole food plant based journey. I suppose everyone’s reason to move away from animal based foods and their attraction to a plant based lifestyle is quite individual and quite unique. For me there were a lot of reasons why I chose this path. Mainly and primarily I was concerned about health and I had a strong urge to find a way of feeding my family and myself that would allow our well-being to thrive and blossom. I would love to tell you more about that aspect of my journey in another post perhaps. But today I wanted to focus on the second reason as to why I shifted to a more plant based lifestyle: my wish to honour the earth.

I know there is a lot of debate as to whether man (and woman)’s demand for agricultural produce places a greater strain on the environment than man’s wish for animal based foods. You can find lots of articles on the net supporting either position. And I suppose ultimately, it is about what research resonates most with you. For me a couple things are quite clear: the way that we consume meat now is completely unsustainable and so destructive. The earth cannot support this growing demand; it is completely impossible. And I feel very, very strongly about that.

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I live at the top of a hill, just by a playground and a big park overlooking the city of London. It’s a beautiful, beautiful location and I often have to pinch myself – I feel so lucky. But in the summer, things go a big crazy. Actually, a bit very crazy ;). You see, the ice cream man arrives, – Disney songs blazing from his van and all. And he parks right in front of my home, not once, not twice, but usually about three times a day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a soft spot for cheesy Disney songs, so I don’t mind that. BUT I do mind the content of his van – ice creams full of sugar, non-organic dairy products, additives, colourings and preservatives.

It is SO hard to keep my pre-schooler away from that stuff. So, my trick: make your own, better, wholefood version with gorgeous colours galore and more flavours than your taste buds can handle. HA ice cream man, back at ya!

Adapted from a recipe in the stunning cookbook Rawsome Vegan Baking

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NOTE: The pictures were updated and the recipe improved in June 2015 :)

I am happily married and very much in love with my husband. He is wonderful and no other man can compare. BUT despite this I allow myself the occasional harmless crush. And one of these crushes just happens to be on the amazing Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall! His commitment to good, honest, wholesome food is infectious. His program on the exploitation of our oceans made me re-think my love of eating fish and his cookbook Veg Every Day is undoubtedly in my top 5 of best vegetarian cookbooks ever. It is on one of the recipes in that cookbook that this easy dish here is based.

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‘Mama, can we ppplllleeeaaassssee make some lemonade? Pllleeaassee?’ My son asked as he gave me his best, cheeky smile and batted his enviable long eye-lashes.

‘Yes of course!’ I said.

(Some more smiles and excited giggles followed, in case you were wondering).

So, hubby, my son and I got to work and the outcome of our nice, spontaneous team effort is this looker of a drink, full of vitamin C and minty freshness courtesy of our herb garden.

I can’t think of a better drink to enjoy whilst watching the World Cup. Can you ;)?

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NOTE: The pictures were updated, October 2015.

This post is dedicated to my husband and my mother.

My husband was born and raised in the Andes, the official birthplace of the potato. It is this fact that I think explains his utter and complete love - no actually let’s call a spade a spade - obsession for this root vegetable. So, when I want to make him really happy, I prepare a potato dish for him. It always does the trick. I’ve got a few recipes up my sleeve, but this one is probably his current favourite and I like it a lot too, so I make it at least 2 times a month, perhaps even more often in winter time. It’s SO simple and really quick and utterly yummy!

I know that lots of potatoes have specific roles they fulfil like being the ideal salad potato, baking potato or mashed potato, but to be honest I’m not fussy when it comes to which potato I use for this recipe. It’s not an exact science and more about what you fancy. I’ve actually tried this specific recipe with a number of different varieties and it’s always been a winner. Having said that I do prefer using the slightly smaller ones like Anya or Vivaldi because they are ready in no time and have more skin/flavour, but it’s totally up to you which potato you choose.

Note: The pictures were updated June 2015. Why? You can find more details here :)

About a year ago I did a little experiment – on facebook I chronicled what I ate and fed my family during our transition to a mainly whole food plant-based diet. Kale was a food that featured very regularly and attracted a lot of attention! Many people had never heard of it before or were made to believe that it doesn’t taste good! So I made it my mission to try and present kale in as many ways as I could possibly think of, hoping to show off its versatility and adapting its use so that there was a recipe to convert even the most sceptical of critics. This salad here was one of my star attractions. I LOVE it. I LOVE it! I LOVE it! And hereby challenge anyone to make either version of it (Summer or Winter) and not feel the same way about it!

Adapted from a recipe by the brilliantly bold and creative mastermind that is Ottolenghi!

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Preparation Time: 25-30 minutes (the chopping takes a little while)
Serves: 6 - 8

UPDATED! Please note the pictures for this blog post were updated in December, 2016.

How do you get noticed in the competitive vegan food blogging world? It’s tough to make your mark I can now tell you from personal experience ;). But, it seems I may have cracked the code: #masonjars, or even better #bellheritagemasonjars. And the # is crucial, you see to get your followers (top tip ;)). Because, no respectable, honest, good and popular vegan blogger can do without it. And although I haven’t taken the exact stats on this, my guesstimate is that about 99.9% of all smoothies on most vegan blogs are presented in this attractive glass jar.

So, I won’t lie, I was pretty tempted to get one myself and jump full force on the band wagon. Until I saw the price tag (£10 including postage for a single jar, in case you were wondering) and decided against it. Surely, there must be another way;). Just a simple way - aha – how about the good old breakfast bowl? The 99p one you can get at your local supermarket or better still, the one that’s actually already in your cupboard with all the other old plates, cups and saucers. Perfect! So, being the stubborn person my friends know me to be, I decided to take the tough route in this game called blogging and try to win followers with a cheeky post and a cracked breakfast bowl instead of the #masonjar. :) #keepingitreal #rebelwithacause