When you think of Thanksgiving food you’ll almost certainly think of Pumpkin Pecan Pie, it’s as American as it gets! But, you probably also think of it being filling from a tin perhaps, and full of sugar? Well, look no further as we’ve given this American classic a Nourish makeover and now it’s gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free, and absolutely delicious too. The scent of this baking in the kitchen will fill your home with a warm festive ambience. We’d love one of these to be delivered to our doorstep, who will you share yours with? Will you portion it up and surprise lots of people, or will you deliver the whole thing to a friend you’d like to thank?
100g pitted medjool dates (about 6)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
150g roast almond butter
50g coconut oil (soft)
Extra coconut oil or avocado oil
300g cooked butternut (or other pumpkin alternative)
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp Coconut milk (full fat milk)
100g roast almond butter
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp allspice
4 tbsp maple syrup
Preheat oven to 160C
Crust – Place the dates, walnuts and coconut into a food processor and process until it is a fine crumb.
Add in the cinnamon and almond butter. Pulse until mixed. Finally add in the soft coconut oil and pulse until it comes together.
Line a round tin with baking parchment. Then grease well with avocado (or coconut oil).
Tip your crust dough into the tin and press evenly around the tin, going up the side about 2cm.
Filling – Place all the ingredients in a processor and process until well mixed and smooth. Tip into your lined cake tin and spread the filling evenly.
Decorate with your pecans.
Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, until set and crust lightly brown.
Allow to cool. Enjoy warm or cold with a spoonful of your favourite yoghurt (COYO vanilla with mine!) Enjoy
I used the top end of a butternut (i.e. where there were no seeds, and used the bottom part for roasting for a salad). I cut it into chunks and steamed this for a few minutes. Very quick and easy. Allow to cool before using.
You could sub the roast almond butter for a different nut butter such as pecan, or our ABC nut butter.
We really enjoy a meal that can be shared, like our Roast Vegetable Crumble. There is something about the delight that comes from sharing food with one another. During both lockdowns we’ve sat down to eat as a family even more than normal. We’ve also been making extra portions for the freezer, but now, on Thanksgiving week, we’re making extra portions to share with friends and neighbours that we can’t be with right now. This roast vegetable crumble portions up beautifully to drop round to a friend, or surprise a family you know and take the whole lot!
Serves – a crowd! 6-10 depending on how hungry they are.
For vegetable filling
1 small cauliflower
2 large sweet potato – cut into cubes
2 large carrots – finely diced
1 red capsicum – cut into cubes
200g brown mushrooms – stalks removed and cut into quarters
Cinnamon – pinch of
For cheese sauce
2 cups cashew nuts
1 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp mustard
3 Tbsp savoury yeast (nutritional yeast)
For parsley crust
150gm bread crumbs (I toasted our keto buns and then whizzed them into breadcrumbs)
20gm parsley finely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 170C
Vegetable Filling – Cut your cauliflower into florets and place in a processor to make into a breadcrumb/rice texture.
Tip out into a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle avocado oil over and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and set to the side.
In another baking/roasting dish, place your prepared vegetables, drizzle with a good glug of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Place in the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender.
Cashew Cheese – Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
Crumble – Combine the bread crumbs with your chopped parsley and seasonings. Mix together well.
Assembly – Mix together your cauliflower crumb through the roast vegetables in one of the roasting dishes used. Spoon the cashew cheese sauce over the vegetable mixture. Finally sprinkle the parsley crust over the top. Bake until warmed through and the crust is just crunchy. Nourish – grow, cook ENJOY!
Change it up –
Sub out the cauliflower and use 2 cups of cooked quinoa.
Replace some of the sweet potato for pumpkin
Try adding parsnips
Replace the cashew cheese with a ready brought cream cheese and thin it with a little nut milk, to make a thick cheese sauce.
You could add a clove of crushed garlic into your crumb mix if desired.
The joy of cooking, we feel it, we write about it, and it’s the reason Ineke started Nourish – grow, cook, enjoy. This month we’ve been using the individual words of our brand name as our pillars, or a theme, for each week of November. Our brand name wasn’t the result of a brainstorming session with a big agency, it was created by us, about the things we love. This week we’re looking at why cooking is important to some of our favourite people and trying to find out where it’s enduring appeal comes from.
As a nation we love to cook, perhaps we watch one of the many programmes about cooking, or go out and be cooked for in a restaurant (when we can). We hold dinner parties, we even have programmes about holding dinner parties, and then listen to podcasts about the perfect dinner party guests. But, what does cooking mean to you?
For some it will be a necessity that isn’t enjoyed so much as endured, simply a seeking out of fuel. For many others it will be a way of relieving stress at the end of the day, or an outlet for creativity. It could be a way of getting your kids engaged with what’s on their plates. Or perhaps it’s a hobby that you share with a friend, or loved one, and you create things together. Maybe you learnt to cook at a loved one’s knee and now it’s your link to the past and a way of remembering someone? Perhaps you cook for competition, firing yourself up with the complexity of a Michelin starred dish. Or it could be that it’s just what you do everyday without thinking about it. Whatever reason it is, one thing is sure, it’s something we all do and can share with one another.
Here are just a few of our favourite people’s reactions to the question, ‘what does cooking mean to you?’, we hope you enjoy them and that maybe they inspire you in the kitchen too.
“Spending time in the kitchen is proven to be good for body, mind and soul and also helps families build a positive relationship with food. It’s fun cooking together too, even if it does get a bit messier!”
Pauline Cox – Owner of Sow & Arrow, Author, Nutrition and Health Consultant
A couple of Pauline’s favourite quotes about how she feels about food. We love these and the 2nd one in particular resonates with us at the moment, while we all struggle a little to care for ourselves.
“The fork is mightier than pharma.” “Cooking is an ritual that reinforces the message that you care enough about yourself to eat mindfully.” “Cooking is an art. Bringing together Mother Nature’s colour palette and creating your own Masterpiece.”
‘We get a veg box each week from The Community Farm, just round the corner from us here in the Mendips. Me and my partner love it as it makes us try out new things – and new recipes! Cooking for me is a way of relaxing and taking things slow. As the nights draw in we’re talking more on the soup/stew side; maybe a spiced butternut squash soup, for example. Frank Sinatra is most probably on in the background, and, if it’s a weekend, a bottle of Merlot has been opened and poured!’
‘One of the things I love about cooking is that it’s creative, mixing flavours, colours, textures that go well together on a plate and producing meals that are enjoyable, delicious and nutritious! Cooking allows me to create colourful fun foods that my whole family will enjoy. Knowing that everything is fresh, natural and wholesome.
As a nutritional practitioner as well, I understand the effects of different foods on our health and wellbeing. Which makes it even more important to cook and eat the foods that will help to support every part of our body but that doesn’t mean boring, it means unprocessed, natural, whole foods with lots and lots of colour and flavour.’
‘Cooking makes me think of home. My mum’s warm kitchen, feeding family & friends, making a mess and turning food into new tastes and flavours. Through work, I love cooking with athletes and showing them how fun & easy it can be to find tasty ways to nourish their bodies for health & performance. It’s an essential and very enjoyable life skill and it’s great seeing how much pride they take in what they’ve created.’
Cooking for me is all about the satisfaction of finding or inventing recipes that are not only nutritious but that my family absolutely love and ask for more of. This doesn’t always happen with a 3- and 5-year-old though, but when it does there is nothing better than that feeling! With any time to myself, I will head straight to the kitchen to cook in peace. It’s literally the best thing ever! With either Netflix or just my mind as my friend I can happily get baking or chopping ready for the week ahead, and I get a great sense of accomplishment getting prepared for future meals and snacks!’
‘So what does cooking mean to me? Well if I am honest having started out enjoying cooking when I first got my own home. After many years of cooking for the boys, I had fallen out of love with it which may seem strange for a nutritional therapist! My husband is a very good cook and as at home he cooks most evenings which is lovely. However, over the last year or two I have enjoyed cooking again probably because I can come to it when I feel like it rather than out of necessity. I think the key for me is in the produce, knowing it is organic, hopefully relatively locally grown. With that base you can’t go wrong – in theory! so one of the greatest inspirations and pleasures for me in the kitchen has been the discovery of greener greens veg boxes which are just full of great produce that you can’t help feel inspired.
Life is very hectic owning a shop and I do like to try to find moments to regroup and feel grounded so I find the calming simple process of washing the vegetables , chopping and peeling very restful, using my hands, handling the veg, looking at the colours , cutting a cucumber that smells so fresh and with the true smell of cucumber really helps bring me back into the moment and stops my racing thoughts. With that assurance of good quality produce then I feel whatever I might scramble together, provided I don’t burn it or boil the life out of it, I know it is full of vitamins and minerals. ‘
‘Cooking is a way to relax and unwind, to be creative and to try new things! It’s my creative outlet as well as being my way to show friends and family how much they mean to me. Feeding others brings me so much joy!’
And a great one for right now from Nigella Lawson that really speak to us.
I think we all live in a world that is so fast-paced, it’s threatening and absolutely saturated with change and novelty and insecurity. Therefore, the ritual of cooking and feeding my family and friends, whoever drops in, is what makes me feel that I’m in a universe that is contained.
We’ve spent much of the last few months sowing ideas for growing Nourish. Working out what’s top on our list to do first. It’s now been a month since we ended our crowdfunding campaign and we’re pleased to say it’s all starting to feel like we’re getting there, and we should soon have the funds to start on our plans. As anyone who has been involved in this style of fundraising before will know it takes a while for everything to be finalised, but we can see light at the end of the tunnel now!
Although we can’t give you details on everything on our wish list, we wanted to fill you in on a few things that will make a big impact to us as a business, and ultimately you too!
We’ve struggled on with a slightly temperamental website for a while now. We know it’s not quite as smart, whizzy or speedy as some of the others out there. Thank you for persevering with it when you’ve been buying from us, reading our blogs and using our recipes. We’ll be starting the design process very soon and we can’t wait to show you our shiny new, fast, simple to use site in 2021.
At the heart of everything we do at Nourish is the desire to run a sustainable, eco-friendly business. We already produce our Coconut Bites in home compostable packaging, and we’re now transitioning all of our Coconut Macaroon flavours over to the same. Cacao and Raspberry (and shortly Red Velvet) are already in home recyclable packaging and will change to home compostable too!
New ranges that we have planned will be packaged like these too. Helping us, to help you, limit your household waste.
We have been busily developing new products that we can’t wait to share with you. We can’t share a great deal about these just yet, but we are getting there and YOU will be the first now as soon as everything is in place. One thing we can tell you is that we’ve hugely enjoyed the testing and tasting phase! We know you’re going to love what’s coming!
Teamwork, making the dream work
We will be expanding our team a little to enable us to work harder and faster to get your favourite products out there on the shelves. We’re currently a small but efficient team, but a few more hands-on deck will mean that we can improve a few of our processes and work smarter. We’ll introduce you to the whole team in early 2021. We know you’ll want to meet the faces behind the little nuggets of deliciousness!
The picture above was taken on a Nourish family visit to RHS Wisley. Inspiration for our wonderful Pumpkin loaf recipe! Click on the link here to check out the recipe!
We hope this has given you just a little insight into what we’re sowing and growing at Nourish. If you want to find out more about any aspect of what we’re up to please drop us an email. We’ll be happy to answer.
Looking after your mental health during lockdown is the key to staying positive in spite of the news. We want to help you to nourish your mind, body and spirit through this time and today we start with a blog from the lovely Vidya at Vivid Outcomes. Vidya is a therapeutic practitioner here in our local town, Reigate, and she has written all about supportive practices that can help you at this time. If you’d like to contact Vidya directly please see her bio at the bottom of the page.
Looking after your mental health during lockdown.
We are living through such unique times right now. With a second lockdown bedding in for the foreseeable, so much is unclear and what the coming months will really look like is anyone’s guess.
That vacuum for the unknown breeds uncertainty, which when in exaggerated abundance, can feel problematic to even the most resilient amongst us!
The sense of ‘powerlessness’ over the unknown, can lead to those increased feelings of ‘negative stress’. We try to overthink the permutations of the unforeseen, with scenario creation; ‘what if’, ‘what might happen’, ‘what will happen if’, and try desperately to juggle with outcomes we just don’t know for sure and have no guarantees over. The literal pressure of overthinking can leave us either in a spin of overwhelm, or standing still, frozen in despair.
Reclaim your power.
I know the picture I have painted looks slightly on the gloomy side. But that said, I know from my own experience, and from working with my lovely clients, that just by adopting a slightly different approach to the one you usually might, you can feel significantly calmer, more relaxed, and feel able take back and reclaim your ‘power’.
It’s really worth stressing (no pun intended!), that the most important relationship to nurture is with yourself- especially in times of stress. When the tough gets going – who ultimately listens to all those thoughts that go round and round in your own head? You do. Who has your back when you’re up against it? You do. The means to keep going and breathe from moment to moment, even on the not so good days – who finds the way to do that? You do.
You are uniquely you, and in order to change the relationship to stress, you have to change the relationship you have with yourself, and find the means to take the moments of time and space you can afford, to nurture yourself and show yourself the appreciation you deserve. Only when you do that, will you grow strong within and feel self-motivated to weather the internal and external storms you may face.
Fill your ‘cup’.
Fill your ‘cup’ with the things that bring about fulfilment and wellness. When you allow your own cup to overflow, you create the surplus and abundance of energies to help to support those who rely on you. You can’t do that fully and completely, from a place of scarcity and depletion because those times when your cup is nearly empty, there isn’t sufficient amount to even quench your own thirst.
Perhaps take stock of the times in your life when you’ve probably felt the most stressed and overwhelmed, you will most likely notice self-care dropped off your ‘to do list’. I want you to read that again slowly: ‘to do list’, because that’s everything self-care shouldn’t be. Instead, embrace it more as a way of life. Think of it as a strategy for going about life more calmly.
Let that sense of calm be the focus and create rituals which are joyful and nurturing to you. Rituals create certainty, and our minds appreciate a fair bit of that. They’re those patterns, rhythms and activities that we rely on to ground us:
Three simple things
1) Mindfulness & Meditation. Many say they find it difficult to ‘empty’ their thoughts when they’re so stressed. The idea with mindfulness isn’t to create emptiness, but to notice simply how cluttered your mind is with thoughts that take you away from being with your present moment. Every time you notice your mind wandering, come back to whatever you are ‘being’ with at the moment. Sometimes we’re so busy and consumed, stressing about what tomorrow brings, we miss simple pleasures contained in today, right now.
2) Journalling. Writing down our thoughts, help us to literally ‘dump’ a lot of those consuming thoughts that have nowhere to go, whilst providing some space for greater clarity.
3) Flow activities like Arts & Crafts, Exercising, Music, Gardening. Flow activities are wonderfully calming because they provide the opportunity to be completely out of ‘negative stress’ mode. In fact, flow activities promote ‘Eustress’ – this is a ‘positive stress’ which in fact helps us to feel a sense of meaning, wellbeing, confidence and hope…
I think it’s fair to say that we could all do with a bit more of that right now! So next time you are feeling the negative stress, it’s worth reminding yourself to ‘Go with the flow’!
Vidya Bellur is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Practitioner, Mindset Coach and Mindfulness Trainer. Her passion is helping people to change their relationship to their thinking, to alter their behaviours to affect their outcomes. She’s experienced in helping people who suffer from anxiety, worry, stress and depression.
Parenting during a pandemic isn’t something that any of us imagined doing this year we’re joined by Dr Mari Kovanen to look at 3 key steps towards peaceful parenting. Just in time for half term some wonderful advice for how to deal with your triggers and maintain a calm, peaceful parenting approach. If you’d like to find out more about Dr Kovanen see below for her biography to find out more.
3 Key Steps Towards Peaceful Parenting: Dr Mari Kovanen.
In the past few weeks, you have been living under very unusual circumstances and spent most of your 24 hrs in a day with your family. There may have been the added pressure of home-schooling. You may have been triggered & on high alert a lot of the time and/or even personally affected by Covid-19. Now things may or may not be slightly changing and improving for you in terms of your movement is less restricted.
Then, in the past week, you may have experienced anxiety over the state of the world following the news of a person (and many others) losing their life because of their skin colour. You may have experienced a full range of emotions from anger and rage to sadness and disbelief of how still in 2020 there is such inequality between us humans.
Whether your personal experiences of inequality have been triggered or you feel helpless because you don’t know how you could personally impact the world and make it a better world for all of us here, we have all been touched in some ways. Your other personal experiences of feeling rejected, perhaps within your family, maybe triggered.
I am so really sorry if you personally have ever experienced discrimination on the basis of the colour of your skin or any other quality. How can we collectively change the world? That is a big, even overwhelming question if we don’t break it down to smaller, more manageable steps.
Why good enough parenting is in the heart of changing the world?
Children are the future. Only by us parents and other parental figures teaching children about values such as (self-)compassion, acceptance of difference, equality, resilience and problem solving when facing difficulties can change happen for the future generations. As I generally write about childhood trauma, this post is for you if you struggle with parenting at the moment. Positive role modelling and being a peaceful parent may feel very difficult at the moment.
If your nervous system has been alarmed by the recent events, you may have also been more triggered by your children’s behaviour as the smoke detector of your body, the amygdala, is already alarmed.
You may have had strategies for coping with parenting dilemmas and challenges, but when you are spending extended time with your children and/or your internal wounds are triggered, your usual coping strategies may go out of the window.
It is so hard being a parent, and especially if you did not receive appropriate mirroring and nurturing in your family of origin. It is very hard to know how to parent peacefully and you feel at a loss.
Stress in parenting
When under a lot of stress, you may revert to the parenting practices you experienced as a child, even if you swore that you would not repeat the same patterns. Please be kind to yourself, without appropriate knowledge about triggers and tools for bringing your nervous system down when you are being triggered, it is very hard to change patterns. Hence, often prevention is the key in trying to keep your nervous system in the window of tolerance (where you are able to function well).
Parenting is in the heart of social change and the values of peaceful parenting can help with creating an atmosphere at home that helps children to become individuals with not only a strong sense of self and confidence, but also having the courage to speak up if facing inequality or injustice, and having (self)compassion, acceptance and a sense of celebration of difference and uniqueness. Children learn best through our example and not necessarily just by our words.
This post talks about the steps towards becoming a peaceful parent. The key features are parental self-regulation and self-compassion, cultivating connection with your child at all times and especially when a child is having a hard time, and being a loving coach to our child.
3 Essential principles for becoming a parent you wished you had
When you think about your own parenting experience, how would you have liked your parents to be with you? This post was inspired by Dr Laura Markham’s book “Calm parents, happy kids”. The secrets of stress-free parenting.
Previously I wrote about parenting in this post. These three key principles of parenting can truly change your experience of parenting particularly if you did not receive adequate parenting yourself.
Grounding oneself and having compassion towards self
It is awful being in a state of high alert (your nervous system is alarmed) when you are triggered because something your child did or didn’t do triggered some old stuff within you or by external circumstances. It is very difficult to parent effectively from that state of mind.
If you want your children not only to be happy but also to be future role models of a society that is kinder and more accepting, the change starts from within you. Please do not take this as a pressure for you having to do more but just as an invitation to acknowledge how important you are in this world.
Being a calming influence in your family starts from taking care of you, the leader of your family. You can only create an atmosphere of peaceful family existence by learning to acknowledge, accept and regulate your own emotions. If you are responding to your children from a place where you are triggered, it is like putting more fuel to the fire.
Be kind to yourself
Please be kind yourself, if this has been very difficult for you in the past. You are learning and the more aware you become, the easier it is for you to change your patterns of behaviour to help your family to become more peaceful. I have previously written about self-compassion here.
It is essential that you focus on supporting yourself and seek support (even professional support) if you find yourself dysregulated a lot of the time.
Start a self-care practice that helps you to feel grounded and return to the window of tolerance when you may feel triggered by something. You could join this 10-day self-care and self-compassion challenge to kick start your self-care practice.
When you get triggered during a parenting moment, take a deep breath. Give yourself a moment, if it means going to the bathroom to catch your breath. If no one is likely to harm themselves whilst you pop out of the room for a couple of minutes, take the space to regroup. Notice your body and stand tall. When you are grounded, then address whatever is going on in the family. A calm leader makes better choices.
The Resource Library has some tools e.g. Safe/Happy place exercise that can really help with creating a resource for you which you can use in these moments to regulate your nervous system.
Humans crave connection: Children and adults want to feel connected. Our survival as a species has been dependent on the connection. When your child/children are playing up, they are likely to feel disconnected. Those are the moments that someone might label them as being “naughty” when in fact this is likely to be a way of a child communicating that they feel distant and disconnected from you. These are the moments when children need our attention and feel connected even more than ever.
Connection means that your child feels that his/her feelings are accepted as they are and s/he feels heard. Connection means that you and your child are in tune with each other. S/he feels calm and at ease in your presence.
This connection can be created through talking, but often it does not necessarily mean words but your child experiencing your loving, accepting presence. Your child feels that you have time for them and their thoughts and feelings without being judged. Some children feel more physical contact to feel connected such as roughhousing or giving your child a back massage.
Start to notice patterns and look beyond your child’s behaviour. What is s/he communicating to you about connection and disconnection either by words or behaviour?
If you struggle with connecting with your child, seek professional support to help you out to understand what is stopping you from a connection. Often this may be linked to your own experiences of being parented.
Being a peaceful parent is about being a guiding leader and coach who sees disruptions in the relationship with child and children’s unwanted behaviours as opportunities for teaching and coaching. Coaching can only be effective when it takes place after a full connection has been created.
Your child will not hear you trying to explain why they should have not done something if they are in a state of alarm and feeling disconnected. This is a standard threat response. When we are feeling disconnected which is experienced as a threat, the higher parts of the brain go offline and we cannot learn new things. Your child may not hear or even understand what you are trying to say to them if they are in that state.
Therefore, the key thing is for you to regulate yourself so that you can approach the situation from a calm place. When you have reached that then you can connect. And once you have connected you can start to coach and teach again. 3 Key Steps Towards Peaceful Parenting.
Finally, I hope this piece gives you hope that you can do a lot for changing the world by being a good enough parent who role models (self-)compassion, kindness, acceptance and fairness. If you feel a mixture of emotions at the moment, please be kind to yourself. If it feels all too much, please seek support for yourself whether it is with understanding your trigger points or parenting.
Dr Mari Kovanen, CPsychol, is a registered counselling psychologist who helps individuals to heal from past trauma, live whole-heartedly and have fulfilling relationships. She is passionate about peaceful parenting and supporting individuals, who have suffered childhood emotional neglect themselves as children, in becoming knowledgeable and peaceful parents.