The Herb Diaries

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Immune Boost Lemon Ginger Juice

DSC_0377I am back – I have had the busiest 2 weeks ever and I am completely exhausted! After a very big weekend of birthday celebrations with my family and best friends, I then had to move house (which is not much fun without a lift in the building!) whilst trying to keep up to date with my half marathon training, yoga, work and the Tuja 30 Day Meditation Challenge I am doing… So it is very exciting to have a quiet looking week ahead of me and an apartment with an oven!DSC_0375DSC_0376This juice is a great recipe for when you are feeling tired and run down. The combination of vitamin C packed citrus fruits and tangy ginger are sure to clear your head and leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

Ginger is my absolute favourite addition to any juice – I love how fresh it tastes, and fresh ginger comes with so many amazing health benefits. Not only does it do wonders for your digestive system by improving how you absorb nutrients, but it can ease all sorts of stomach aches and stop you feeling nauseous. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties ginger will even help join and muscle pain and it is great drunk with warm water (maybe with some honey and lemon) – it is incredibly warming and soothing on a sore throat. Whilst the ginger cleanses your insides, the vitamin C from the lemon will give you glowing skin, a boost for your immune system and a happier sinus due to due to its anti-bacterial properties.

1 cucumber
2 sticks of celery
2 apples
2 clementines
1 lemon
Thumb sized piece of ginger


Juice all the ingredients, pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!



DSC_0264Having had such a lovely week at home seeing all my friends and family, I am back in Paris, but sadly not feeling as fresh and rested as I might like…! I crammed a lot into my few days at home and with all the Christmas and New Year parties, lots of cooking, eating and travelling around, I feel like I hardly stopped to sleep! It was completely worth it though and I saw 2014 in with a whole load of my best friends, and feeling drained is a lot more bearable when you feel so lucky and happy.

On arriving back in Paris, I remembered that I no longer have the use of a juicer or an oven, and to top it all off, my hob has decided to quit on me! I can only think that this is a sign, and I need to embrace it by feeding my body with lots of salads and raw goodness. Luckily I managed to get some recipes photographed while I was at home, so I will share those while I am living off gazpacho, vegetable spaghetti and other raw treats.
My big news before I get to the recipe is that I have signed up for the Paris Half Marathon in March! I will be running to raise money for La Fondation Motrice and you can see my page here. I have never done anything like this before, so I am really excited. I think it will be a great challenge for me, and I am proud to be running for such a good cause – La Fondation Motrice fund research for Cerebral Palsy, as well as forming a support system for sufferers and their families.

So the juice – I know it is not a very appealing colour, but it tastes so much better than it looks, plus it is extremely nutrient dense, and will literally flood your system with much needed vitamins and goodness, perfect for a good old January detox. Whilst juice lacks the insoluble fibre you get in a smoothie, it is absorbed much quicker by your body, leaving you healthy, energised and glowing.

(makes one large glass, or two small ones)

1 cucumber
2 sticks of celery
2 carrots
2 tomatoes
2 big handfuls of kale
2 apples


Wash all ingredients thoroughly and then juice!


Sticky Ginger Oat Cookies and a Festive Shake

It is so nearly Christmas! I am so excited, not just for Christmas, but to go back to England for a few days. I can’t wait to see all my friends and family, plus it will be so good to get out of the city, have some fresh air and be able to use an oven! Even more exciting than all the parties and delicious food is the fact that I get to see someone who I haven’t seen in far too long… I CANNOT wait to see this beauty.
There doesn’t seem to be such a festive buzz in Paris as in London, and I just don’t feel Christmassy yet. Rosie and I watched Love Actually last week and even that didn’t really help, so I have been trying to help the festive feeling along with lots of Christmas flavours. I have made this shake everyday this week and I LOVE it. I would love to have made the cookies everyday too, but I can’t make them quick enough for how quickly they disappear.
Everyone is in such a mad rush with the lead up to Christmas, so I made this recipe super quick, with only a few ingredients each. It is all raw and can be made both gluten-free and nut-free but switching almond butter for your favourite plant milk, and swapping the oats for gluten-free ones. Christmas is not a time to be preachy about healthy eating, but with these its irrelevant, because they contain only natural, clean ingredients – so tuck in!
Sticky Ginger Oat Cookies:

Blend 12 pitted medjool dates until smooth caramel forms. Add in 1-2 tsp of ground ginger, 1-2 tsp of cinnamon and 1-2 cups of oats and blend for a few more seconds. (You can blend them longer if you want a smoother consistency, but I like having whole oats in there). Roll into balls, squish them down a little with your hand, then put in the fridge until serving.

Festive Shake:

Blend 1 banana with a spoonful of almond butter, 1/2 tsp of ground ginger, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1-2 cups of water until completely smooth. These quantities are for one, so times them by the number of shakes you want to make. I like my shake quite cold, but they are also delicious warm before bed.

Happy Happy Christmas everyone!IMG_1232


Beetroot, Ginger and Cucumber Juice

I went back to England this weekend and found our garden full of apples. There were so many that my mum had to borrow her friend’s juicer as a way of using them up before they went bad. This was really exciting for me, since I am still researching all the different types of juicer before choosing which one to buy. My best friend came over to see me on Friday night, and as soon as she was up on Saturday morning she was out collecting apples

Our juice making got off to a bit of a dodgy start, with a lot of brown foam, and even a bottle that just tasted like water! (It looked like apple juice and tasted like water – if anyone has any idea what happened here please tell me, because my whole family are so confused!!) By the third attempt we has sussed it out and the apple juice was delicious, but whilst we had the juicer there I had to try and make my favourite juice, so that I could share the recipe with all of you.


It is a combination of two of my favourite juices I have found out here in Paris (although I have had a bit of a guess at the ingredients so I can’t be sure how accurate it is). The first is the Purple Power juice at Sol Semilla – mine and Rosie’s favourite vegan restaurant in Paris. The second is a delicious cocktail at Le Comptoir General – a very funky bar just off the Canal Saint Martin – which is a mixture of vodka and a very cucumbery purple juice.

So this is my best guess at what a mixture of the two would taste like, and I think it is yum. It is good enough that I am definitely going to have to get a juicer! The beetroot and apples taste like autumn, and the cucumber makes it so refreshing, but the ginger is my favourite because it is so spicy and warming. I really love spicy food, but you might want to use less ginger if spice isn’t your thing.



(Serves 2)
1 cucumber
2 carrots
4 beetroots (peeled)
4 apples
Thumb sized piece of ginger

Wash/peel/top and tail fruit and veg as necessary and pass them all through your juicer. Cucumber straight out the fridge makes the juice very cool and refreshing.
I would really love to know what juicers you are all using and what you think of them, before choosing one myself, so please comment and let me know!

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Pomegranate and Orange Juice


I sadly don’t have a juicer. These days a lot of people have a proper juicer, so if you are lucky enough to be one of those people, this recipe may seem a bit easy and unadventurous. What I do have is a new blender, with a special setting for juicing oranges. So until I upgrade this is as good as it gets! Having said that, this is seriously delicious, and whilst many people ignore pomegranates because they can be a bit fiddly to peel, they are my absolute favourite thing at the moment. My flatmate and I have got into the habit of sharing one every evening after supper because we both have an evil sweet tooth, and I can’t see us stopping anytime soon!

I love weekend mornings – there is no rush to get up, you have time to make your favourite breakfast, drink tea and read the newspaper, without the mad rush of trying to get to work on time – but despite my best intentions, my idea for Sunday morning’s juice, turned into Saturday evening’s cocktail. It works well as either so that choice is yours. We ended up doing both!


There are only two ingredients, but they are two of the prettiest and juiciest fruits around. Oranges are packed full of vitamin C, so are great for giving your immune system a big boost. Our bodies can’t actually store vitamin c, which is why it is important to up your intake when everyone around you starts getting fluey.

Pomegranate was used in ancient Aryuvedic medecine, and with advances in medical technology it is being proven to have a huge number of amazing health benefits.Not only is it extremely rich in vitamins, but also some strong anti-oxidants. It helps to protect from heart diease, and prostate cancer, as well as keeping skin young, smooth and wrinkle free. It is delicious juice, in salads, in puddings and on its own. My sisters make a mean Pomegranate Bellini, so I will have to share the recipe for that too soon.

4 oranges
2 pomegranates
crushed ice
vodka (optional)


Remove all the skin and pith from the pomegranates. Juice the oranges. Blend orange juice with pomegranate flesh, then strain. Stir in the crushed ice (and vodka), pour into two glasses and serve!


Cucumber, Peach and Banana Smoothie


Just a quick one today. I feel like I am always saying how quick things are to make, but I have realised that that is one of the beauties of this kind of diet. This is my absolute favourite breakfast at the moment and it is so quick that there are no excuses for unhealthy eating. I make my smoothie every day when I wake up and that way I have had 3 or 4 of my 5 a day before I have even got to work!


Most people are a bit skeptical when I tell them to put cucumber in their smoothies, but over the summer I have fallen in love with them and have to eat them with everything. I suppose it is because they are so cool and refreshing that they are perfect in the heat, and these days when so many people forget the importance of drinking enough water, cucumbers are a saviour.

Peaches are a great source of vitamins A and C, and the linseeds are extremely high in dietary fibre. Spinach is packed full of vitamin C and antioxidants, and whilst the banana makes the smoothy thick and creamy, it is also giving you a little potassium boost. Despite all the great health benefits of these 5 ingredients, the best thing is that when all blended together they taste amazing!



1 banana

1 peach

1/3 cucumber

1 handful spinach

1 tsp linseeds (soaked in a class of water over night, then use the water in the smoothie too)



Blend all the ingredients until thick, creamy and smooth. I like to keep my fruit in the fridge the night before I make my smoothie so that it is super chilled.

On the subject of really quick recipes, I just whizzed up my lunch ready for tomo. It was the quickest recipe of the blog so far, and by far one of the most delicious. So watch this space, I can’t wait to share it!

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Raspberry Elderflower Mojito


I haven’t yet come across a health blog with alcoholic drinks on it…. but the beauty of the Flexitarian diet is that the rules can be bent! We’ve had such gorgeous weather recently and I wanted to make something refreshing (but a little bit naughty) to enjoy on these long summer evenings.

I was at a friends house last week, and she had the most incredible veg patch. Her strawberry and raspberry bushes were even more impressive! I got picking and had filled two big boxes in no time, and she said they are growing so quickly that they have to pick that many every day. I was so sad not to have my camera on me as they were the biggest, brightest strawberries I have ever seen. So I felt like I needed to think of something fresh and exciting to do with all these berries!

I made this drink for my sister last weekend, and it went down a treat! She sipped them down whilst my brother in law nailed a whole bowl of my sun-dried tomato hummus. They said they were pretty impressed with my asian style-salad too, so maybe that will have to be the recipe for my next post!


(serves 2)

16 raspberries

12 mint leaves

Elderflower Cordial (I used homemade)

Vodka (Gin or Rum could be used if you prefer)

Sparkling water

Lots of crushed ice



Crush raspberries and mint in a pestle and mortar. Pour a measure (or more!) of vodka into each glass, along with a glug of elderflower cordial (amount depends on how sweet you like your drinks). Fill with crushed ice, the raspberry/mint mix and top up with sparkling water. Serve in the sunshine! Enjoy!