Megan May, chef and Founder of Little Bird Organics and The Unbakery is the reigning queen of the healthy eating and plant based movement. We spoke to Megan about her passion for great tasting, organic, plant-based wholefoods.
Join her in the Electrolux Taste Theatre for “Good Taste” – Saturday afternoon sessions (2.00 – 2.30pm)
How did the idea of Little Bird Organics come about?
Megan May: It was created in response to discovering I suffered from quite severe food intolerances and allergies while working as a chef in hospitality. I now live on an organic, plant-based and mainly raw diet where seasonal fresh produce is the central focus of all my meals.
There’s a common perception that healthy foods aren’t necessarily tasty. How do you ensure your food is good for you, the planet and your tastebuds?
MM: I had to lose all the regular ingredients from my pantry due to the impact they had on my health and there is nothing like limitations to stimulate new ideas and ways of doing things. I’m a big foodie, so it meant I had to be a lot more creative with ingredients, techniques and recipes in order to create wholefoods equivalents to some of my favourite foods. When you emphasise the use of really good fresh produce and ingredients, your food will already naturally taste good.
What can’t you live without?
MM: My daughter! Also, fresh organic vegetables! The things we eat have a huge impact on our lives – if you are predominantly basing your meals around fresh veggies, then you’re more likely to experience a vibrant and healthy life. I love starting each day with a fresh green juice or smoothie – it has been totally life changing.
You’ve been involved in presenting at Taste (in Electrolux Chefs’ Secrets and Taste Theatre) for the past few years. What do you love most about the festival?
MM: There’s always a very high calibre of local and international chefs and restaurants involved, which means it’s a great place to discover new foods and trends in the park. For someone who loves food and cooking as much as I do, there’s not much more you can ask for!
In case you missed Megan’s Electrolux Taste Theatre demo last year, we’re sharing the hit recipe for her incredible ‘Chocolate, Avocado and PB Ice Cream’ – which is also in her new cookbook Little Bird Goodness
Make time: 10 minutes + nut milk | Setting time: 8 hours | Serves: 4 | Equipment required: high-speed blender
2 medium-sized ripe avocadoes
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp almond, coconut or hazelnut milk
3/4 cup good-quality cacao powder
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp tahini
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup filtered water
1/4 cup melted cold-pressed coconut oil
1 1/2 tbsp melted cacao butter
Rich, chocolatey ice-cream heaven that rivals any gourmet dairy ice cream you can buy. That said, it is only as good as the ingredients you use – take the extra time to make your own nut milk or buy a raw cold-pressed nut milk, and get a really good-quality cacao powder.
The avocados in this ice cream provide nutrient-dense wholefood fat that creates the creaminess. You won’t taste any avocado flavour when it’s frozen. The peanut butter flavour comes from a little tahini plus almond butter – in raw food diets we don’t often use peanut butter (because the peanuts are roasted), but if it’s something you enjoy you could use it instead.
Place all ingredients except coconut oil and cacao butter in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly pour in melted coconut oil and cacao butter and blend until well incorporated.
Pour mixture into a container (preferably metal), cover and freeze until firm – this should take around 8 hours, depending on your freezer. If you have an ice-cream maker you can churn it first – follow the instructions for your machine.
Stand the ice cream at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften.
I find that ice creams made with avocado don’t last very long in the freezer, so aim to use it up within 1 week of making it. If you leave it longer, it will still be good for making smoothies.
Photo credit: Lottie Hedley