I’m three days into my cleanse, and so far, so good! I haven’t really been craving sugar which has surprised me a little, although have been craving something sweet after my lunch and dinner where normally I wouldn’t. I also have been coping okay so far without my three or four cups of milky tea per day – instead I’ve been travelling along well with lots of fresh water with lemon and mint and herbal teas. I’ve been making sure that I keep cravings at bay – as much as possible – by making sure that I have enough food – my cleanse definitely isn’t about starving myself so I’ve been heading off to work each day with chia puddings, smoothies, big salads and nuts and chopped veggies to snack on. As well as making sure I’ve got enough food to eat so that I don’t get hungry, its also important when doing a cleanse that you have as much variety in what you eat as possible. This is not only to ensure that you are taking in a wide variety of nutrients from different foods, but also that you don’t get bored. Vegetables usually play a huge role in a cleanse, but this doesn’t mean just having plain veggies – there are plenty of ways to enjoy them whilst still eating clean. One of the best ways to eat vegetables – especially if you’re not too fond of veggies, or if you are also feeding other fussy eaters – is to dress them up a little. Fresh and dried herbs and spices; vinegars, flavoured oils and other dressings; mustard, chutneys and other condiments. One of my favorite ways is to make up a big batch of vegetable-based dip to use with my favorite veggies. The quickest easiest option is a can of rinsed legumes, a handful of leafy greens, a smaller handful of fresh herbs, drizzle of oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Nuts and seeds are also great to add in for a little texture and some protein, a little garlic adds a great bite (though careful not too add to much – raw garlic can be quite potent!) This dip roughly follows the path of a traditional pesto, with a few tweaks. Carrots are roasted until they start to brown and caramalise, and pistachios are used to add a different flavour although you could easily use another nut or seed here. This dips is very versatile, and there are many ways to use it –
- Mix through some quinoa, spinach and a can or tuna or some crumbled feta (or legumes for a vegan option) to make a tasty salad
- Toss through some freshly cooked pasta or raw zucchini noodles, and top with a little Parmesan or a sprinkle of seeds
- Spread over a pita bread, add some thinly chopped mushrooms and a sprinkle of cheese or fresh herbs to make a quick pizza
- Slather on a rice cracker with some freshly cracked pepper for a quick and tasty snack
The options are endless though, and you could easily use this tasty dip in most places where you would normally use a pesto.
- 2 large carrots
- 1 Tbsp coriander root
- ¼ cup coriander leaves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup shelled, raw pistachios
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 200 C || 390 F
- Scrub and roughly chop the carrots. Line a baking tray and brush lightly with a little coconut or olive oil. Add the carrots and roast for 40 minutes, turning half way through. The carrots should be starting to brown and caramalise by this stage - you still want them quite firm though and not startng to soften too much.
- Remove the carrots from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- Add carrots, coriander leaves and root, pistachios and garlic to a food processor and blend until the ingredients are finely chopped, but not smooth - you still want some texture (it took me about 20 - 30 seconds in my food processor).
- Add the lemon juice and olive oil and pulse a few times to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper
- The pesto will last up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.