I love my ingredients – every single one for a different reason. Being recently asked what I personally would put on a top grocery list, here is what you always find in my fridge or kitchen cupboard:
Extra virgin olive oil – for salads and infused oil preparations. Its a pity to heat this oil however I do it – occasionally. Raw coconut oil – for cooking, baking and for beauty (yes, I put it on my skin every day) Fresh avocado – a super basic for salads, salsas, smoothies, spreads and raw ice cream. Exceptional healthy fat. Green lettuce – vitamin rich raw ‘rabbit food’ with high chlorophyll factor, good to improve oxygen absorption and digestion Parsley – great for detoxification and of course for taste. I sometimes juice it with apple to a delicious green super juice. It is a main ingredient in my aromatic herb oil. Tomatoes – for everything from salads, soups and broths, base for cooking healthy complex carbs such as quinoa. A very versatile vegetable I can’t live without. See here something ideal for a summer party! Cucumbers – for their high water content, low calories and and fresh taste. And I use the juice as skin tonic too. Pumpkin – for color, taste, smooth texture when cooked in purees and soups and for their support in kidney function. You should try one of my most famous recipes. Almonds skin on – for non dairy milks, for baking, in muesli and for the extra crunch in salads and their good fats. The leftover pulp when I made almond milk is good face scrub by the way. Himalaya salt – my favorite quality when it comes to salt. It has an almost sweet and mild taste, less aggressive than many other salts and great for cleansing too. Bird’s eye Chillies – my personal every day favorite. The little hot and spicy devils I just put often in my home cooked dishes. I keep a home made chilli oil next to the basic salt and pepper, so I can drizzle a little dash on my salads. For those less adventurous with spicy flavors: Sometimes a hint of chili brings the little something to soups and marinades, when used sparingly. Artichokes – a little luxury and one delicacy I buy when i come across fresh and good quality ones. Although they need a little extra attention to clean and leave a somewhat brown color on the fingers, they are so delicious and support liver detoxification. I use them cooked in salads, or just braise them with garlic, lemon zest, rosemary and tomatoes. Naked oats – I never buy flakes, but crush the oats freshly before use in mueslis, protein pancakes, quenelles and much more. Crushed oats mixed with honey and yoghurt make a great skin treatment too. Quinoa and Amaranth – wholesome healthy protein packed powerhouses. I cook them, sprout them, puff them, bake with the flour….very versatile and taste delicious. My signature puffed Amaranth muesli featured at the Burj Al Arab. Black Rice – this wholesome carbohydrate is a great asset in the kitchen, it turns into a dramatic deep purple shade when cooked. Rice has an alkalizing effect. Cottage Cheese – low in fat, high in protein I mix it into pancakes, spreads and toppings. Together with diced tomato, cucumber and parsley a super snack. You can see it here on a super healthy beach breakfast after a yoga session at Madinat Jumeirah Resort. Acacia honey – besides agave and maple syrup great to sweeten foods when necessary. Although I have not a sweet tooth, I often add a hint of honey to anything cooked with tomato to balance flavors. Raspberries – fresh or frozen they add antioxidative power and a lovely taste to my herb water, non alcoholic punches and desserts. Passion fruit – high in Vitamin C and the seeds add extra crunch. I love this fruit. Just 1 added to a fruit salad or muesli lifts tastes to new heights. Lemon – without lemons I just can’t work, similar to tomatoes. They balance flavors, prevent from browning, add Vitamin C and their fresh taste to many food preparations.
I posted on this Blog already often about RAW food. This very special, delicious, highly nutritious way of eating is much more than only salads and smoothies. Today I am preparing delicious, savory, crunchy, spicy dehydrated raw Mini Grissini for an upcoming prestigious event at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. Need to start early, dehydrating at low temperature takes time.
I am looking forward to a trip to the capital and serving Talise Nutrition food!
This week I was extremely honored to be invited to a panel discussion at the Hospitality Business Summit Middle East. The topic: ‘The perfect menu – trends in dining’.
Healthy eating has become a mainstream trend. But definitely not one of those trends that lasts only one season. It’s a lifestyle followed by many. Good to see it broadly influencing the food offerings of the business.
This is why Talise Nutrition is one of the 3 core pillars of Talise, Jumeirah Group’s Wellness brand. Healthy food is an essential source for a healthy body. Because we are what we eat. Together with Talise Fitness and Talise Spa it is the destination of good living:
Food provides our bodies with the fuel source to manufacture energy. We often forget the importance of a healthy diet in producing energy. The key to having a diet which produces high levels of energy is to avoid refined foods. Basically the more food is refined, the more energy deficient it becomes. Foods like sugary sweets, lollies, chips, fried foods, fast foods and junk food are all heavily refined and lacking in nutrition.
Another important element related to food is the amount we eat. Digestion takes up over 50% of our energy reserves. So overeating is one of the largest energy drainers on the body.
The human body is the same as a plant. If you give it the correct environment and food, it will flourish and heal itself. We often complicate our health, when in reality it is very simple. Look after yourself, eat healthy food, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and maintain a positive, happy outlook on life. Your body will produce bounds of excessive energy.
With Ramadan just around the corner I am sharing one summery and light sweet treat with you that might become also your favourite once you tried it. Easy, quick, packed with nutrients and delicious.
Eat healthy, stay fit and look good!
RAW Chia Almond Pudding with Exotic Fruits
What to Buy for 2 portions
20 g Chia seeds
200 ml almond milk (I make it fresh and raw with 1/2 cup soaked almonds and 200 ml water in a blender, strained through a fine sieve)
1 teaspoon honey
80 g diced mango, papaya, dragon fruit
juice of 1 lime
How to Make It
Mix honey and almond milk. Stir in the chia seeds and transfer immediately into serving bowls. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. The chia seeds will absorb most of the almond milk and create a thick texture.
Short before serving top with the fruits and lime juice.
Chef Gabi’s Tip
Nutrient packed and raw – a dessert that supplies long lasting energy and vitamins without sitting on the hips. Mango season is coming soon here in Dubai. But the dessert tastes also very good with fresh berries or peaches.
It’s time to get summer ready and have some light sunshine recipes on hand for optimal hydration and cooling effect.
Living and working in sunny Dubai I may have the perfect advise for you:
Keep your food fresh (means a certain percentage also raw), light (means not heavy on fat or carbohydrates), easy to digest, and as natural as possible. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Read more about drinking here and here.
There are food combinations that are close to ideal, because they satisfy the taste buds and our body nutritional requirements in the same time. Such as, for a hot summer day, below salad I often make and truly love:
Watermelon Feta Cheese Salad with Sprouted Nuts
What to buy for 2 portions 1 medium wedge water melon (about 300 g) 2 mint sprigs, leaves picked,washed, pat dried 120 g feta cheese
5 g sunflower seeds
5 g pumpkin seeds 1 lemon (juice) 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It Soak the nuts in water for minimum 2 hours or maximum over night. Strain and rinse them well before use.
Peel and deseed the watermelon. Cut it into 1-2 cm cubes. Crumble the feta cheese. Mix all ingredients carefully and season with salt and pepper.
Chef Gabi’s Tip This combination is so good, nutritious and hydrating. It can be ready in 5 minutes, and is absolutely great to take along packed in a cooling bag in case you plan a beach day. Try it and enjoy – the weekend is not far away!
In my consultations people often ask for healthy, guilt free, weight friendly sweets. Well, sweets are not healthy when eaten regularly. But there are some that contain less fat than others. Try my favorite little treat I recommend to those who find it difficult to resist eating something sweet once in a while:
What To Buy
What to Buy for 20-25 pieces 4 egg whites 1 pinch salt ½ vanilla bean seeds scraped out 150 g Acacia honey 1 drop bitter almond oil 65 g low fat quark cheese 200 g coconut desiccated 80 g honey black berry jam
How To Make It Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven at 210 degrees Celsius.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt, almond oil and the vanilla seeds until firm.
Cook the honey in a small pot for around 3 minutes. Gradually add the hot honey into the egg whites while continue whisking. Then carefully fold under the quark and coconut, do not stir too much to retain the foamy texture. Transfer the dough with two teaspoons in dollops (size of a walnut) onto the parchment paper on the baking tray. Make a small whole in each cookie and fill it with a little bit of jam. Close the dough over the jam. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.
The biscuits can be kept in a box and cool and dry place for up to 3 days.
Chef Gabi’s Tip There is no “healthy” cakes and biscuits to be precise. However above recipe is very low fat, high protein and better carb. Keep this for exceptions when you allow yourself to satisfy sweet cravings, but don’t consume them daily or in larger quantities.
A little detox once in a while is very helpful to maintain good health, radiant beauty and to stay in shape. What better time to tackle the issue than spring?
I recently rediscovered juicing and here is my new favorite – a pale powder rose, fragrant juice I serve in small shots that gives you that extra boost of goodness in a minute!
Pink Grapefruit Fennel Juice
What To Buy for 1 large or 4 small portions
1 medium fennel bulb
1 pink grapefruit
2 yellow apples
1 tablespoon flax seed oil
How To Make It
Peel the citrus fruits. Juice the fruits and the fennel. Stir in the flax seed oil and enjoy immediately.
Chef Gabi’s Tip
Flax seed oil or freshly crushed flax seeds ( I prefer the golden ones with their great nutty flavor on my salads, muesli, smoothies) contain alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor to the essential Omega 3 fatty acid and is said to help lower cholesterol and tryglicerides.