Raw Foods

Smoothie με φρέσκα σύκα, σπόρους chia και κεφίρ - Calcium boost fresh fig, chia and carob vegan smoothie - Vegan in Athens

Calcium-boost fresh fig and carob smoothie

As a child of the summer, September, the month that takes us from the sandy beaches, the warmth and the carelessness of the summer to the lower autumn temperatures and the daily routine, was not always easy. Fortunately, however now, inspired by the wisdom life gives to each and every one of us, I think I am able to recognize and appreciate all the beauty that exists in nature and around us and to welcome changes. Besides, every day is unique and unrepeatable and as such we owe ourselves to live it. And actually September is not at all ugly! I meet my friends again, the children in school, I enjoy our happy routine and the quiet joy of our house, I attend festivals and concerts, I make big, daily walks with Petra in the woods.


There, in the forest, we discovered a great secret fig tree – a shelter for the turtles that have escaped from the fires of the last years – loaded with figs and whenever we go there I like to pick some. The other day I created a vegan recipe for a very easy and delicious vegan fig cake. Last weekend I picked some more figs which I decided to put in the freezer and today I used them to make a cool, raw, vegan smoothie for my breakfast, full of vitamins and calcium!

In order to achieve a good dose of calcium, I used ingredients rich in it, such as Chinese cabbage, chia seeds, carob powder – which also adds an extra flavor – and of course fresh figs. In addition, instead of water, I enriched the smoothie with kefir water, ensuring a good dose of friendly bacteria.

Smoothie με φρέσκα σύκα, σπόρους chia και κεφίρ - Calcium boost fresh fig, chia and carob vegan smoothie - Vegan in Athens

With all these selected ingredients, the flavor is lovingly sweet thanks to the figs and the carob, the texture is thick enough to be eaten with a spoon, its sense is cool and I think that as long as there are still figs I will enjoy it often as a morning or afternoon snack!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh figs frozen for at least 4-5 hours (5-6 large figs)
  • 1 cup. water kefir or vegan milk or homemade soy yoghurt, frozen
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Chinese cabbage or kale
  • 2 tbsp raw carob powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

optionally

1 tbsp fig or carob syrup or other liquid sweetener for garnishing

Smoothie με φρέσκα σύκα, σπόρους chia και κεφίρ - Calcium boost fresh fig, chia and carob vegan smoothie - Vegan in Athens

Method

Put all the ingredients together in the blender and blend for 1-2 minutes at medium speed until homogeneous. Serve in a glass, garnish with a drizzle of syrup and enjoy with a straw or spoon!

Note: Soy yogurt makes the smoothie thicker and more filling!

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Kale pesto - Πέστο με κέιλ - veganinathens.com

Kale pesto with toasted pumpkin seeds

I was not familiar with kale and until recently (well, until last year….), I had only read about it and its magnificent health benefits, its extraordinary nutritional value and its fantastic taste. In Athens, I couldn’t find kale neither in the farmer’s market nor in the big super markets. Eventually, the first time I found it was in one of the large outdoor markets I visited when I traveled to London! Since then many things have changed and now I can buy kale every week from the organic farmer’s market that takes place in my neighborhood.

For those who have not tasted it, its taste and its texture are reminiscent of collard greens or even broccoli leaves, which ,of course, makes sense as all of them belong to the cruciferous family and beyond their similar taste, they also share similar nutritional value .

One of the ways I like to use kale is to prepare kale pesto sauce. Pesto can be preserved for several days in the refrigerator and be used over cooked pasta, in sandwiches or over cooked or fresh vegetables.

If you want the sauce to be 100 % raw, you can simply skip toasting the pumpkin seeds and make sure that the olive oil you use is unheated. However toasted pumpkin seeds give to the recipe a very appetizing flavor that I really like!

Kale pesto - Πέστο με κέιλ - veganinathens.com

Ingredients

  • 125 g kale leaves (stems removed, it should be 3-4 cups approximately)
  • 4 tablespoons shelled pumpkin-seeds
  • 100 ml olive oil (a little less than half a cup)
  •  4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Wash the kale leaves, drain them well and remove the hard stems.
  2. Heat over medium heat a nonstick pan, pour them into the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes until golden color gain.
  3. Place in blender all ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes until homogeneous and form a thick sauce.
  4. Keep in sterilized jars in the refrigerator for several days.

Note: Use the same amount of shelled walnuts instead of pumpkin seeds for a change!

If you want to know more about the benefits of kale, check here

Kale - Veganinathens.com

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Φυτικό τυρί με καρύδια και λιαστή ντομάτα - Raw vegan walnut cheese with sun-dried tomatoes - veganinathens.com

Walnut cheese with sun-dried tomatoes – Raw vegan

Few days ago I bought lots of fresh and tasty walnuts from a farmers market and I was trying to think what to do with them. Since I love nut cheeses, walnut cheese seemed to be a good idea to experiment with. And actually it was! The nutty taste of walnuts together with the sun-dried tomatoes  create a unique, special taste and makes this cheese delicious!

Φυτικό τυρί με καρύδια και λιαστή ντομάτα - Raw vegan walnut cheese with sun-dried tomatoes - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled walnuts
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Method

  1. Soak the walnuts 12 hours in cold water. It’s better to change the water 1-2 times in order to reduce their bitterness.
  2. Drain and add the nuts with the water, lemon-juice, apple cider vinegar, yeast and salt in a blender and blend for 3-4 minutes until creamy. Stop blending every few seconds and clean the walls with your spatula until all the solid parts are blended.
  3. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and mix with the spatula.
  4. Place a strainer over a bowl and line it with cheesecloth.
  5. Spoon nut mixture into the center of cheesecloth and sprinkle some salt and 1-2 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes or spices of your choice over the cheese.
  6. Fold the sides of the cloth over the cheese and form into a spherical loaf. Twist the ends of the cloth and secure with rubber bands or a strip of cloth or a thread.  Set in the strainer over a bowl and let it stand in a warm place for 12 hours (e.g. in a dehydrator or your oven at 50oC or even a sunny, airy room or balcony in a hot, summer day).
  7. Put uncovered in the fridge for at least 48 hours so that the drying process continues.
  8. Now it will be easy to unwrap the cheese. Serve it over crackers, bread or with a salad. You can keep it in the fridge for over 2 weeks.

 

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