Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

SUP guys?! Sorry, been feelin’ a little G since watching Dope. Anyways, since I’ve had a few people asking me similar questions lately, I thought to do what I do best (harhar) and write a blog-post. Answer. A blogpost answer.

First, what the F is okara? And no, Pinterest, I do not mean okra so stop auto-correcting my precious soy-pulp to that slimy vegetable.

Okay, okara AKA soy pulp is the left-over stuff from making soy milk and tofu. Words cannot adequately describe the affect okara has had on my baked goods. It makes them, all at the same time, healthier, more filling and extra moist. Sorry about the word-choice. In Japan, you can find okara in almost all grocery stores in the tofu isles (yes, that’s how much they dig tofu, PLURAL). Which is why I think, no I am certain, okara is what I will miss of Japan, the most.

Second, why smoothie BOWL?

Well, here’s what I said to Hannah on Facebook, which by the way, if you haven’t liked my page yet, then please do…you know, so that I can harass you even more and well possibly attract enough attention (one day) to go GLOBAL.

Back to bowls:
1. It’s the act of mindfully sitting down and consuming a smoothie instead of drinking it in a rush, on the go or whilst doing something else (driving, walking etc).
2. Smoothies, often packed with ample seeds, nuts, milk, yoghurt, vegetables and fruits can be entire meals in themselves so, having a smoothie in place of a regular drink may be overeating for some people!
3. When it comes to digestion, chewing is vital. This is because, a large percentage of digestion takes place in our mouths so that’s where it’s good to eat a smoothie with a spoon and chew chew chew rather than consume one through a straw which, can also, make some people bloat.

Any more questions for Anisa sensei? Please come forward. Or raise your hand. Whatever works.

How to: Smoothie Bowl

My first boyfriend was Chinese. In addition to chow mein, chicken feet and dumplings, he introduced me to bubble tea (yes, my life really does revolve around food). Most likely, I owe my tolerance of chewy smoothies to that honeymoon stage where 13 year old me and lover regularly hung out at game arcades consuming copious amounts of ‘taro pearl milk tea’. However; I’ve learnt the hard way (I made my sister a chewy smoothie) that textured drinks are not everyone’s cup of tea (see what I did there?).

Judging by my Instagram feed, ‘smoothie bowls’ are the latests craze (to be fair, I mostly follow foodies). Unsurprisingly, a smoothie bowl is just that; a smoothie in a bowl (most often, time-consumingly decorated with even more healthy stuff – it seems as if undocumented smoothie bowls have 0-to-no nutritional value). So what’s so special about a smoothie consumed with a spoon rather than a straw? As well as more Instagram ‘likes’, smoothie bowls are genuinely more beneficial for your health:

1. Aid digestion/more satisfaction: as opposed to a regular smoothie which is often consumed on the go: behind the wheel or at a distracted office desk, smoothie bowls are typically enjoyed sitting down, at the table. This aids in mindful eating.

2. Reduces bloating: drinking through a straw may cause excess air to enter your tumtum. Since smoothie bowls are eaten using a spoon, you can still wear your favourite high waisted number without having to suck it in too much!

Ok, enough chit chat. Here’s how to: smoothie bowl.

Pick your base: filtered water, natural juice, milk of choice
Add fruit/veg: I use a mixture of fresh and frozen – frozen fruit/veg give the smoothie an ice-cream-like consistency (who doesn’t love a big bowl of ice-cream for brekkie?!)
Some healthy fats: raw nuts, chia seeds, avocado, nut butter etc
A handful of superfoods: raw cacao, goji berries, coconut, acai, homemade granola, spirulina, pumpkin seeds, maca, hemp seeds etc
A sweetener: (cos let’s face it, these days, hardly any of us are “already sweet enough”) raw honey, pure maple syrup, medijool dates, raw coconut sugar etc

Whizz all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour into a bowl (vital) then decorate with desired toppings for extra crunch.

PS Don’t forget to Instagram your smoothie bowl! Remember; no photo means no nutritional value! X

Iron-Rich Burgers

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked where I get my iron from, let’s just say, I’d be stinkin’ rich. So before any further riots break out, here’s the low down which I stole from Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangel’s PHD, Simply Vegan:

Comparison of iron(mg/100 calories) in different food sources:
Spinach, cooked 15.5
Collard greens, cooked 4.5
Lentils, cooked 2.9
Broccoli, cooked 1.9
Chickpeas, cooked 1.8
Sirloin steak, choice, broiled 0.9
Hamburger, lean, broiled 0.8
Chicken, breast roasted, no skin 0.6
Pork chop, pan fried 0.4
Flounder, baked 0.3
Milk, skim 0.1

Then there are the countless arguments about the environment, the ethics, the health risks etc etc etc but I’m not the type to shove it down your throats (neither literally or figuratively) so I’mma end on a fun fact: Tyrannosaurus Rex was the largest meat eater that ever lived… (where is he today?) LOL.

Oh yeah, the recipe!

In a food processor, simply blend 1 can of all-natural chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1 can of all natural mixed beans (drained and rinsed) 1 heaped tbsp wholemeal flour (for GF use almond meal or chickpea flour), zest of one lemon, a small bunch of fresh parsley and a sprinkle of garlic salt and paprika until well combined but not smooth. Using your hands, form medium patties just under 1cm thick then fry with a little olive oil on medium heat until golden. Serve with buns and co. Enjoy X

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully the following frequently asked questions will answer any queries you may have. If not, please feel free to flick me an email.

Where do you buy your ingredients?
For almond meal, coconut oil, dairy-free yoghurt, chia seeds etc etc:
New World Supermarkets
Piko Wholefoods (248 Stanmore Rd, Richmond)
Liberty Market (493 Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch Central)

For fruits, vegetables and free-range eggs:
Saturday Farmers Market Riccarton House
Riccarton Rotary Sunday Market

How exactly do I use coconut oil?
You can use coconut oil in a variety of ways but for 99% of my recipes when I have stated coconut oil in the ingredients, I mean melted coconut oil (do not fear – I have started specifying this on each recipe). You can melt coconut oil in the microwave or in a small pan over the stove.

What is raw cacao powder? And how is it different to cocoa powder? 
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. In other words, raw cacao powder is the healthy/nutritious/good for you version.