ALMONDS AND RED BERRIES: THE SUMMER LOVERS

by Annalisa Rinaldi September 2015 LIFESTYLE Read in PDF format N8/2015
ALMONDS AND RED BERRIES: THE SUMMER LOVERS Macrobiotic raw-food chef Annalisa shares her top nutrition tips for a healthy summer

At the end of the summer, almonds – Ibiza’s kilometre-zero ingredient par excellence – are harvested. At this time, these sweet and wholesome nuts are ready to be collected, peeled and soaked to create some culinary delicacies. Around the same time, in the north of Europe, a great variety of juicy red berries – almond’s best flavour match – are also harvested. Almonds and red berries are one of the best pairings of the summer, and one of the most exciting flavour matches in raw vegan cuisine. Almonds are low in carbohydrates, helping to regulate cholesterol levels, and their high protein content provides natural energy for the body. Their high content of vitamin B and minerals, especially calcium, makes our skin and hair more beautiful and also strengthens our bones and joints. Almonds also contain omega 9 – healthy fats that aid brain function and create balance in the nervous system. From raspberries to blackberries, blueberries, cherries and strawberries,each one of these fruits has different nutritional properties, but all provide a high antioxidant content, lots of vitamin C and vitamin E, and have a low calorie content. As a result, they are a great healthy option for breakfast, afternoon snacks and delicious desserts. If you feel inspired to get creative with these ingredients, I recommend starting by making almond milk, a healthy alternative to cow’s milk, using a process where the liquid and nutritional essence is extracted from the almonds. In order to do this, simply soak a cup of raw peeled almonds in mineral water. After a few hours, drain and blend them with four cups of alkaline water. With a very fine sieve or a filtering bag, sieve the liquid over a large container; the filter retains the pulp and the milk goes into the container. Numerous recipes feature almonds and red berries as the main ingredients, together with other raw and nutritional ingredients for an energising snack. Overleaf are a couple of my favourites.

RAW RASPBERRY AND LEMON CHEESECAKE

For the base, use a food processer to blend:

  • 10 dates
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamon
  • zest of half a lemon
  • a pinch of Ibiza salt

Process until obtaining fine crumbs, then place on the base of a silicon mould. To create the cheesecake mixture, blend together : 

  • 1 cup of the cup obtained when making almond milk
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • a little spring of fresh thyme
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of alkaline water
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 2 spoons of maple syrup

This makes a thick pink cream that should be poured over the base and cooled for one hour in the fridge  To decorate: Prepare a sauce with two cups of raspberries and three dates in the blender and pour over the tart before serving. Top the cheesecake with fresh raspberries and a few thyme springs.

ALMOND AND BERRY ICE-POPS

This is the coolest, healthiest and most colourful summer recipe - and is great for little ones -. It requires only plastic ice-cream moulds. The ingredients are :

  • 1/2 litre almond milk
  • 2 tspb agave syrup
  • 1 cup of mixed red berries

Before filling the moulds, you can opt to either put the fruits in whole or blend them slightly to create a different look and texture. I usually leave them whole. Afterwards,add the agave and the milk,  insert the ice-pop stick and place in the freezer for a minimun of 5 hours before eating.

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