Cooking notes

Cooking notes

Kimberly Parsons
0 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
978 184949 775 6
Lisa Cohen

Activated nuts

Activated nuts are simply those which have been soaked to enable the natural process of germination to occur increasing their nutritional value. It allows the nuts to go back to their original purpose as a seed and provide food and all the nutrients needed for growth. It’s a secret trick Mother Nature uses and when you begin to harness this tool and really tap into it, the results are boundless. It is easy to soak your own or you can buy them ready-activated. You will find several recipes that call for them throughout the book.


Where possible buy organic ingredients, especially for items which are difficult to wash, such as broccoli or strawberries and fruit that you will use the skin in the cooking, such as lemons and limes. And for eggs or for variable-quality ingredients, such as matcha powder.

Raw honey

Most honey sold today has been heated and filtered, robbing it of its nutritional value and resulting in a product no more valuable than a simple processed sweetener. Raw honey can contain up to 80 different substances important to human nutrition. Besides glucose and fructose, honey contains: all of the B-complex, A, C, D, E and K vitamins, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulphur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper and manganese. The live enzyme content of honey is one of the highest of all foods. Honey also contains hormones, and antimicrobial and antibacterial factors and is thought to have probiotic properties, so helps to increase your good gut bacteria, thus aiding digestion. It is well worth investing in raw honey and finding a honey producer you can buy from direct. Your local farmer’s market may be a good place to start. In recipes where I have used honey, you may prefer to substitute it for a vegan option, you can use either pure maple syrup or coconut nectar.

Himalayan salt

In some recipes I choose to use Himalayan salt as I find it isn’t as ‘salty’ as sea salt. So, I use it in recipes which require just a hint of salt. Himalayan salt contains all 84 elements found in our body. Benefits include regulating the water content, promoting a healthy pH balance in our cells, particularly brain cells, blood sugar health and helps to reduce the signs of ageing.

Sea salt

I choose Maldon sea salt flakes as I love the flavour it adds to food. However, feel free to use any sea salt. If possible, do avoid standard table salt as it is highly processed and devoid of its natural nutrients.

Cold-pressed coconut oil

If you don’t mind the sweet coconut flavour of this oil, you will be laughing all the way to the good health bank every time you to cook with it. Coconut oil is the most stable cooking oil (over 400°C) to use. Although it is considered a saturated fat, it is the richest source of medium-chain fatty acids. These medium chains (as opposed to long-chain triglyceride fats) are smaller, therefore easily digested and are immediately burned by your liver for energy; like carbohydrates, but without the insulin spike. Coconut oil actually helps to boost your metabolism and helps your body use fat for energy. If coconut oil is unavailable, use extra-virgin olive oil to cook with instead, ensuring you don’t heat it above 130°C or reuse it more than once.

Extra-virgin olive oil

Olive oil is a monounsaturated oil, so it helps to lower cholesterol by blocking cholesterol absorption from food. It improves cardiovascular function and digestion by improving liver and gall bladder function and increases bile flow while also stimulating pancreatic enzyme production. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent and stabilises essential fatty acids against oxidation. (I source mine from the same organic Tuscan olive grove where I lived for two years

Filtered water

I recommend you use filtered water for all the recipes. This removes impurities, including a percentage of heavy metals and, in my opinion, gives it a better flavour too.


I prefer the flavour of hass avocados, as they are lovely and creamy, with a distinctive, nutty taste. They are the most commonly sold in the UK. Their skin is thick and black and so can be easily eaten with a spoon to scoop out the flesh. All avocado recipes used throughout this book are designed with the hass avocadoes.


Choose free-range organic eggs. Look for the code 0, which is a legal requirement in the UK for all farmers to stamp on their eggs as proof of growing conditions. (Please see list below for other coding.) Eggs are medium unless otherwise stated. Anyone who is pregnant or in a vulnerable health group, such as very young children or the elderly should avoid recipes using raw or lightly-cooked eggs.

UK egg codes:

0 Organic

1 Free-Range

2 Barn

3 Cage

UK Origin

12345 Producer ID

Cooking temperature & times

I always use a fan oven. If your electric oven is not fan-assisted, increase the Celsius temperature by 15–20°C. All cooking times are approximate and should be used as a guide only.

Preparing fresh produce

Always wash fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs and peel if necessary (but leave edible skin on when you can to improve your insoluble fibre intake).

Spoon measures

All spoon measures are level unless otherwise stated: 1 teaspoon = 5 ml, 1 tablespoon = 15 ml.

Vegetable & fruit sizes

These are all medium or average-sized unless otherwise stated

Cup measures for vegetables

If measuring leaves, such as baby spinach or pea shoots, always pack as many as you can into the cup without damaging them (or it will hold hardly any!).

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