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Ellie Kennard
Words, Pictures, Whole Plant Based Food
Words, Pictures, Whole Plant Based Food

Ellie's posts

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Another of my Star Birds - The Blue Tit
For those who don't want to visit the blog, continuation of my post

On my recent trip to England, at the end of last year, I also wanted to see a blue tit again. They are such pretty little things, too, I have many fond memories of them during my time in England.

This little one sat so nicely for me so bright and pretty on this stake and gave me just enough time to take one photo before he flew off in a hurry.

The first of the posts in this series is here: and you can see my full gallery of animal photos here:

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For the Birds
Star Birds

And now back to England. This post is for the birds.

I have always associated England with birds as it was there that I first really started to learn about them. I have never been a bird watcher in the focused, knowledgeable and dedicated ‘twitcher’ sense. But I was very fortunate, when I was in my early 20’s, to take an adult education (evening) class given by the warden of Minsmere Bird Reserve in Suffolk, Jeremy Sorensen, who subsequently became a great friend. He loved birds and was a passionate advocate for conservation and protection of the habitat of the reserve. That love for birds that he had was instilled in all of us, to the point that it still forms an important part of each day wherever I live.

Whichever country I was in, I took special note of the sounds, sights and behaviour of the birds around me. I had already experienced the attacks and shrill cries of the protective arctic terns as they dive-bombed us in our little boat on the lake in Lapland, a few years before. (That story and podcast are here if you want to read about that wonderful night. Now I was even more aware and observed with an intense thrill my first ever osprey as I saw it dive into the Baltic sea off the coast of Finland and watched as it caught a fish and rose, flapping heavily, to take it to its nest where its young waited.

Those were the moments of drama and excitement. But life is mostly made up of the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane. And with birds, my memories of England are the fondest when I think of those that fit that description.

The Robin

For me, on returning to England, I wanted to find and photograph a robin. The little bright, cheery fellow who is so belligerent and so cheeky will always represent that country to me. And I was not disappointed, as he appeared on this feeder you see in the photo, decorated so nicely with the cobweb. But I hoped to see and hear more of my old friends, as many as I could in the time I was there. During my trip there were times when birds were the stars, and there were times when they were important components of the landscape, still a vital part of the visit. This post is dedicated to the stars. The next will be the incidentals.

You can see the full post at this link, with all the photographs of my star birds.
My gallery of animals and birds can be seen here:

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Martlesham Sunset Multiplied

The sunsets in Suffolk are legendary. Beloved of the painter William Turner, I understand that they are produced by the particular quality of the misty droplets in the air from the North Sea which refracts the light in a certain way. We had some truly spectacular sunsets while we stayed in Suffolk and this one was taken through a window where the foreground was filled with the rooftops of the neighbouring houses and the trees. Once again, a multiple exposure showed the scene off to best advantage. My friend who lives in this house sees these kind of sunsets every day (when there is actual sun...) from her kitchen window! Just imagine.

See all of my photography and posts on my blog:
My blur gallery can be seen here:
This post is found here:

#unsharpsaturday with +Alex Lapidus +Julianne Bockius +Jetski +Patrice Christian +Nadia Cantou-Pewinski ( +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 )

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Spot the Imposter
Or: When is Raw Not Really Raw?

Okay, so I had a terrible shock the other day. I use California raw almonds for my almond milk and in other recipes (including my nutty miso soup recipe of course). At least I thought I was using raw almonds. That is how they are labelled, imported from the USA. But they are not raw. They are pasteurized!! And unless they are 'organic raw' they are pasteurized using a gas which is banned for use in Canada (although permitted on import to comply with trade agreements), Mexico, Europe, etc. But compulsory in the US. This gas is a known carcinogen. Organic 'raw' almonds are pasteurized using steam. So not raw.

Is pasteurized milk 'raw'?

I ask you this: would you be able to call pasteurized milk 'raw'? No, of course not. It's been treated by heat to pasteurize it, so it's not raw and could not legally be labelled as such. How, then, are they permitted to call pasteurized almonds 'raw'? The treatments destroy many of the nutrients of this nut, so calling them 'raw' should not be permitted. Let the buyer at least choose if they want to buy nuts that have been pasteurized with a toxic chemical (propylene oxide - PPO) or, for more money as the product is labelled organic, using steam. Or to buy genuine raw almonds that are grown in Europe (and pay the higher price for this). As in so many healthy food options, you pay now, with a higher price for genuinely healthier foods, or you pay later in medical bills. But you pay sometime.

When I found out this information, I called my local health food shop. They contacted their own supplier and found that they were selling pasteurized almonds that they thought were raw. Now they are in shock, themselves. Calling around the local stores that sell 'raw' almonds got them all digging (they all thought they were truly raw and only agreed to make inquiries at my insistence) discovered that they all were selling almonds that are not really raw.

Yes, you can buy real raw

Now you know. You can make the choice yourself. At least it's an informed choice.

So yesterday I found a local supplier of real, honest to goodness raw almonds imported from Spain. Yes, they are much more expensive. But that's my choice. I choose to pay at this end rather than the health end later. And incidentally they actually do taste of almonds, which is something I realize was missing before.

What I resent is the legal mislabelling of this product which is intentionally misleading the public - presumably for 'their own good'. How there are any Europeans left after they have eaten untreated almonds for so many hundreds of years baffles me. But there you have it. They are obviously made of sturdier stuff than their North American cousins.

The true 'raw almonds are on the left. The imposters are on the right. Yes, they're all almonds. Just don't call the pasteurized ones 'raw'.

For any wanting to learn more about this shocking fact, read here:

* I made this comment on a reshare of this post and thought it worth repeating here:
"Everyone must make their own choices, but making an informed decision is not possible while this deception is being practiced. I wonder how often chicken is steamed or boiled or whatever to make it safe before sale? Some years ago I applied for a job in a chicken processing plant. I was told at the interview that it was a certainty that I would contract salmonella if I worked there. They said it's in all the chicken and all the workers get it. That's a certainty. (I decided against the job.) I wonder how many people catch salmonella in Europe from eating unpasteurised almonds?"

Organic real raw available in Canada with free shipping over $100

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Still Frozen

Still frozen, but bubbling underneath! You know what it's like when you just can't do what you want, for whatever reason. It feels a lot like this waterfall that has been stopped by the cold, but you know it's bubbling underneath as you can see the stopped drama, waiting... then just as soon as it gets warm, all of the energetic vitality that flows beneath will be released in a torrent!

This baby waterfall is in Baxter's Harbour, not far from where we live. I have photographed it before, but always in the summer. The tide is fairly high here, lapping at the base of the ice, as if trying to coax a thaw. This photo seemed a natural follow-on from my post yesterday of the frozen flowers.

#LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography​ curated by +Margaret Tompkins+Eric Drumm+Chandler L. Walker+Krzysztof Felczak+Jeff Beddow+H Peter Ji+Dorma Wiggin​ 

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Breaking Out of the Deep-Freeze

Where have I been lately? It must seem to my regular readers as if I have been in a time warp, or frozen in our great white North! Well it’s been a little like both, so I hope you will forgive me. I can’t write much at the moment, but I thought that even just sharing a photograph is better than doing nothing.

I have been doing a lot of cooking in the time when I seemed to be inactive and finally realized that I had to clear out the frozen flowers that have been in my deep freeze for over a year! So with fond memories of summers past, like ghosts of their former selves, and looking forward to more flowers to come when (finally) the snow goes, here is one of them. I love how there does seem to be ghostly outlines of the blooms behind, and the stronger ones in the front. I am making my way to the front again, I hope.


(Ihope this qualifies, but if not, that's okay too!) At least I shared something. :D
#unsharpSaturday +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 with +Alex Lapidus +Julianne Bockius +Jetski +Patrice Christian +Nadia Cantou-Pewinski

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Stage photos of
(so you can see you're on the right track the first time you try this!)

Photo 1: when you have processed for a short time the bananas become almost like flakes. Keep going!

Photo 2: you'll see it begin to 'come together' rather the way pastry dough might. Keep going!

Photo 3: suddenly it becomes creamy and looks like soft serve ice cream.

Photo 4: Now add the extra yummy ingredients (cocoa, chocolate chips, honey, peanut butter etc). Blend until it's all incorporated. Eat at once or freeze!

See my previous post for the finished ice cream ready to serve.

#dairyfree #vegan #guiltfree #icantbelieveitsgoodforme #icecream #kindlydelicious 
4 Photos - View album

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"You've had your vegetables, now it's time for the fruit serving."
Are you wondering where the fruit is in this picture? You're looking at it!

Don't let the fact that it's good for you put you off trying this out! (No ice cream maker needed.)

Serves 2 or 3

2 bananas peeled and cut into medallions and frozen for several hours (I have several sitting in the freezer waiting for emergencies)
1 tblsp organic plain cocoa powder - not drinking chocolate! (I use Camino Organic)
1 tblsp peanut butter, with nothing but peanuts in it - no sugar, salt, added oils etc (optional, but if you leave it out you have to change the title!)
1 tblsp honey (optional)
Small handful of unsweetened plain chocolate chips (Camino Organic 71% again) for a bit of crunch


Put your frozen banana pieces into a high speed blender or food processor and blend. Keep on blending, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed as you watch the chunks of banana transition through a kind of dry looking mixture, then start to resemble soft serve ice cream.

At this point add in the additional ingredients - cocoa powder, honey, peanut butter, chocolate chips - and keep blending to incorporate and aerate the ice cream.

Either eat at once or put into a container and freeze for a little while. Make it a 2 fruit serving by serving it with strawberries, blueberries etc.


#nodairy #dairyfree #vegan #veganrecipes #crueltyfree #chocolateicecream

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Now that's Matcha!

What a special experience this has been! Our first taste of ceremonial grade Matcha tea. It's not just about the tea, it's also about the presentation and preparation: the simple bamboo utensils and the beautiful bowls. And then the taste. And then the feeling... Happy discovery!

#matcha #japanesetea @tealyra #tealyra #teaceremony


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Air Dried Plant Based Cheeses
Taking the non dairy cheese making to the next level

These cheeses are based on home made almond cashew yoghurt, rejuvelac and for two of them cashews (in the the darkest, cheddar type air dried one and the darker round air dried camembert type) and hemp seed in the paler round one. In the first image, the two varieties of 'camembert' type are formed and ready for air drying. The left round is made with the hemp seed, the right from cashews. In the second photo, the cheeses have cracked nicely and formed a slight skin over the creamy interior. The cheddar type has dried longer as it should and has a much more robust, sharp flavour.

I wish you could taste them. They are so good!

#nondairy #vegan #nutcheese #fermentation #fermentedfoods
2 Photos - View album
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