Health, Healing & Hummingbirds

Scientific information on improving serious disease through nutrition and treating the causes of disease
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Recipes for healthy treats

Sometimes you just want a treat but one which won’t make you feel awful and that still means you are avoiding foods that don’t agree with you.

Special foods for birthdays and other celebrations are also important.

Here are some of the recipes I have collected that are dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, grain-free, legume-free, nightshade-free and gluten-free but hopefully not taste-free!


Sweet potato chips: Slice a sweet potato very thinly, using a slicer device if you have one. One large sweet potato makes lots of chips for about 3 people or 2 very hungry ones. Spread the slices out on two large baking trays, greased with coconut oil. Bake in a hot oven until crispy but not brown all over or burned, probably 10 – 20 minutes. (How long this takes depends on how thin you’ve sliced the sweet potato and where the trays are in your oven). Lightly salt the chips using unrefined sea salt and serve immediately. They can also be sprinkled with rosemary, if desired. These chips taste as nice as potato crisps yet are full of beta carotene and all the important nutrients in coconut oil!


Coriander/cilantro pesto: Combine in a blender 1/3 to 1 cup raw or toasted (unsalted) cashew nuts, 2 cups of fresh coriander, (and some fresh rocket if you’re lucky enough to have some in the garden), and a few cloves of garlic. When combined, slowly add in ½ a cup or so of olive oil until you have a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some chilli flakes if you like, or lime juice or ginger. This is delicious spread on cold or warm chicken, warm fish or used as a dip for vegetable sticks. If you put it in a small bowl and cover the pesto with a light coating of olive oil to stop it oxidising it can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. If you have a garden, or can manage a single potplant, consider growing coriander for pesto purposes. Pesto can also be made with basil.


Chocolate covered nuts:  Melt 30 grams of 85% cocoa chocolate (Lindt is a good brand as it has no dairy products in it. The Dagoba or Nui brands, or others, may be even better. You may also want to look for ‘slave free’ brands). Lying down, dip half the brazils, cashews or hazelnuts in the melted chocolate and put on a foil covered plate or tray to set in the fridge.


Chocolate covered berries: If you can get good strawberries or cherries, chocolate covered berries are even better than the nuts! Chocolate covered frozen bananas are also good, and coconut can be added on top while the chocolate is still melted or you can just add some coconut to melted chocolate to make your own coconut rough.


Fruit sorbet: Juice some fruit that is cheap and in season or that you have a lot of. For every 100 ml (3.5 floz) of juice, add ½ to 1 tablespoon of honey, or more or less honey to taste. Very sweet fruits such as red grapes and mangoes need very little honey, if any at all. Put sorbet in a sealed container in the freezer, and after 4 hours take it out and scrape it all up with a spoon. It is ready to eat at this time and also lasts well for 2 weeks in the freezer. Serving 3 or 4 flavours and colours of sorbet together in a bowl arranged in stripes makes it extra nice.


Creamy coconutty fruit sorbet: Follow the sorbet recipe above except add some coconut milk or cream to the juice before you put it in the freezer. This works best with tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. You can also add back ½ (or all) of the fruit pulp to the mixture, if desired, to bulk it up a bit and last longer.


Coconut hot chocolate: Add 800 ml of water, 3 tablespoons of cocoa, a dash of salt and 1 – 2 tablespoons of honey to a saucepan and bring to the boil, while stirring. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and add 400 ml coconut cream. When the mixture is warmed through, take it off the heat and add ½ - 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract. Pour hot chocolate into three mugs and enjoy! Tastes lovely fresh and hot, or cold and refrigerated the next day. (Amounts of each ingredient can be adjusted to suit your own preferences.)


For an alternate recipe using coconut oil rather than coconut cream, see the Free Coconut Recipes site.


Coconut fruity milkshake for breakfast or desserts: Add to a blender 400 ml of coconut cream, 600 ml water, 1 – 2 tablespoons of honey, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 – 1 ½ cups of fruit (berries, mango, pineapple, chopped and/or frozen bananas etc.) and a tiny dash of salt. Blend well and then serve chilled. It is extra nice and icy if made with ice cubes instead of just water. Makes about 3 or 4 serves. Lasts for up to 3 days in the fridge in a sealed container. (Amounts of each ingredient can be adjusted to suit your own preferences.)

This is an easy-ish breakfast idea as it only needs to be made every 3 or 4 days and the glasses of milkshake keep well if kept in the fridge with some plastic wrap over the top. It is also very healthy and filling.


Coconut and vanilla ice cream: Add 800 ml of coconut cream, a dash of salt, 2 – 4 tablespoons of honey, and a 1 – 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract to a saucepan and warm on a low heat until all ingredients are dissolved. Refrigerate mixture for 2 hours or freeze for about 20 minutes. Add mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions, then freeze in a sealed container. (If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture until it is about half set, then put it in a food processor, and then refreeze it. This improves the texture.)

Other flavourings you can add to the ice cream mix before putting it in the churn include: coffee, frozen berries and frozen chopped bananas. Coconut ice cream keeps for up to 2 weeks in the freezer. (Remember that this sort of ice cream isn’t full of chemical preservatives and so doesn’t last as long as commercial ice cream.)


Coconut rice pudding (contains rice). Add 1 cup/250 ml coconut cream, and 2 cups of water, and one cup of long grain white rice to a saucepan. Bring it to the boil, stirring quite often. Then, still stirring often, simmer it at a low temp until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice - takes about 12 - 15 mins. Then add 1/8 to 1/4 cup sweetener such as honey or agave nectar, plus half a tablespoon of cinnamon, and 1 - 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract (I like to add 1/4 tsp cloves and nutmeg as well). Nice eaten hot or cold and keeps in the fridge for a week.


Coconut and fig breakfast slice: Add to a food processor:

1. 3 - 4 cups of dessicated coconut

2. Some dried figs

3. Some raw honey or molasses

4. Some brazil nuts, or other nuts or pepitas or similar.

5. A bit of melted coconut oil, to help hold it together and/or nut butters.

Whizz up in food processor. Then pour the lot onto an oven tray, and press it down with your hands and compact it to fill the tray. You may want to cut it into squares using a spatula etc. Cook in a very low oven, 75 - 100 degrees C, until it dries out a bit. May take 2 or 3 hours or so. You could also use a food dryer, but it is messier.

When cool, put in a sealed container in the fridge and have a handful when you need a snack or for breakfast. It also makes a good and easy fruit crumble topping. I make it different every time and don't have a recipe so the measurements given above are only rough guesstimates. Some batches hold together okay and some are just a crumble, but even then it still tastes great. Very filling too. You can make it as sweet or as nutty as you want. Peanut butter or almond butter is a great addition, as it really helps it hold together. I put nuts and things in it that I dislike eating, such as brazils. It can last in the fridge at least a week and a half, maybe more. Is also very nutritious.


Lime and ginger cooler: Add some iceblocks to a jug of filtered water, along with a cup of cooled ginger tea (of the pure ginger powder variety, made using 4 or 5 teabags) and either fresh lemon or lime juice or a few tablespoons of frozen lemon or lime sorbet. Mint leaves can be added in for decoration. This drink can also be kept in the fridge in a glass bottle and used as an anti-nausea treatment.


Frozen berries and fresh exotic fruits (coconuts, mangoes, persimmons etc.) are good all on their own.


Stewed fruit: This is a good way to eat fruit that is a little bit over-ripe or under-ripe or a bit flavourless and not very sweet as the cooking makes the fruit taste better. Cooked fruit can also be easier to digest and less acidic. Cut up fruit and place in a sauncepan with a bit of water and a small amount of honey. Cook until fruit is just soft. Works well with green apples, rhubarb, apricots and other stone fruit. The cooked fruit keeps in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


Fruit crumble: All the above comments about fruit ripeness and type apply here too. To make a fruit crumble add sliced fruit to an ovenproof dish, along with a bit of water. Then add a crumble on top of chopped or crushed nuts mixed with desiccated coconut, honey and some melted coconut oil. Cook in a moderate oven until lightly browned. Can be served with a dollop of coconut cream on top.


Mixed fruit platter: If there are two or more people present, a fruit platter can be a good dessert as you get to eat a smaller amount of three or more fruits rather than just one piece of fruit, plus you don’t have to peel or cut up the fruit as you eat. If you have a spare 30 seconds you might also arrange fruit ‘artfully’ into towers or spirals or abstract shapes or whatever else, to make the person you’re making it for (M.E. patient or not), smile. Slices of chocolate covered banana or a little bowl or scoop of sorbet can be added to the centre of the plate.


Carolyn Dean's Chocolate Banana Cream Pudding: Pulse 4 small frozen bananas, 120 ml (4 oz) coconut milk, and 2 tablespoons cacao powder in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Serve with sliced strawberries and/or blueberries. Serves 2. (Ordinary cocoa powder can be substituted for the cacao powder, if this is easier.) From the highly recommended Carolyn Dean website/newsletter.


Key Lime Mousse: Blend 2 ripe peeled/pitted avocados, the juice of 2 limes, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons honey in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Serve in a dessert cup with a sprig of mint and very thinly sliced strawberries. Serves 2. (Lemon juice can be substituted for the lime juice, if this is easier. More lemon or lime juice can be added too for a stronger tasting dessert.) From the highly recommended Carolyn Dean website/newsletter.


Guacamole dip: Mash 4 avocados and then add the juice of one lemon, ¼ finely chopped (red) onion, ¼ cup finely chopped coriander/cilantro, a teaspoon of unrefined sea salt, 2 tablespoons of coconut cream and a tablespoon of olive oil, mashing until mixture is smooth. Adding a small amount of chilli flakes is optional. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.



Other recipes that can be looked up:

Liver pâté (using coconut cream in place of butter)

Salmon pâté (using coconut cream in place of cream cheese or tofu)

Coconut flour cake with coconut frosting

Coconut flour persimmon muffins (contains eggs)

Almond joy bars

Coconut choc chip biscuits or gingerbread or choc chip scones


A coconutty reminder: Remember before going nuts on delicious coconut recipes that coconuts really do have anti-viral properties and that adding huge amounts of coconut products to your diet all at once can really make you feel awful and cause a big healing reaction. Pace yourself though and there should be no problems. Freshly made coconut cream or juice can also be used in place of tinned coconut cream, where available, for an even healthier treat.


A note on Lindt 85% chocolate: This chocolate does unfortunately contain trace amounts of soy lecithin which may be unacceptable for some people.


Further recipe suggestions are welcomed, especially if you have made them up yourself!