Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's In My Fridge?

Myself and a few other bloggers were invited by Natural New Age Mum Sonia to take part in a "What's In My Fridge?" blog special this week!  So here goes - after a quick tidy up (my fridge is usually overflowing so in order to make it look a bit more presentable, it needed a quick clean!), here's some of what's in my fridge!

* Seasonal, local, organic fruit and veggies which I get delivered weekly from The Organic Circle
* Bodhi's sprouted spelt bread
* Homemade chocolate muesli bars (recipe by Healed Nutrition)
* Thermomix veggie stock concentrate
* Homemade kombucha (probiotic drink)
* Homemade water kefir (another probiotic drink)
* Natural mineral water (unflavoured) - love a glass of this with a slice of lemon or lime
* Homemade cordial (using my recipe
* A few jars of my homemade chicken bone broth (using recipe from Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions") - which I use for cooking with and also sometimes I like to just warm up a cup and drink it just like that with a sprinkle of Herbamare!
* Thermomix mayonnaise
* Inner Health Plus probiotic capsules (for me) and powder (for the kids)
* Certified organic free range eggs
* Preservative-free organic red wine from Settlers Ridge
* A few jars of condiments (mostly organic) including tomato sauce, bbq sauce, mustard, sweet chilli sauce
* Planet Organic strawberry jam
* Macro Organic butter block
* Blue River sheep's milk pecorino and cheddar blocks
* Meredith Dairy sheep's milk yoghurt
* Melrose certified organic flaxseed oil
* Raw hazelnut milk 
* Flaxseed oil capsules
* Nitrate-free bacon rashers
* Organic tomato puree 
* Organic tomato paste
* Organic mixed raw nuts, seeds
* Activated almonds
* Activated chickpeas
* Organic dates and figs (for sweetening my brekky smoothies)
* My homemade sauerkraut (click here for recipe)
* Spiral miso paste (which my kids have in place of Vegemite)
* Thermomix play dough
* Cooking fats - grassfed suet, duck fat, ghee
* I also have a deep freeze full of beautiful meat such as grassfed Gingin Beef which I buy in bulk from Subiaco Farmers Markets

So there you have it - now you know exactly what my fridge looks like :)  Now hopefully I can figure out how to add other health/foodie bloggers links at the bottom of this post! Also don't forget to check out the blog post from Natural New Age Mum and all the others below!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Making Sauerkraut

OK so I know this is not one of my most glamorous blog posts.... but... there are so many health benefits to fermenting veggies at home.  It's not something I have been doing too long just yet and I haven't ventured past fermenting cabbage.  But I love sauerkraut and it is an excellent natural probiotic.  I strongly believe that if we look after our gut, every other aspect of our health will improve as a result.  The other piece of equipment that I have found is necessary for my sauerkraut making is a Pickl-It fermenting jar which I bought from Kitsa's Kitchen and since then, I have not had any problems making sauerkraut.  Everytime I make sauerkraut, it still amazes me just how much the cabbage ends up shrinking and therefore fitting into that jar!

* I used a 750ml Pickl-It jar
- 800g cabbage (I used a mix of red and white cabbage)
- 2tbsp good quality salt (I used Murray River salt flakes)
- Optional - 1 large carrot, grated

1.  Shred your cabbage finely - I used the thin slice setting on my V-slicer to achieve a nice uniform result.  From your shredded cabbage, remove any thick pieces and discard.

2.  Put the cabbage into a couple of large glass bowls and spinkle with salt.  Allow to sit for a few hours - in this time, you will see the cabbage shrink in volume and the salt will draw the brine out of the cabbage which you will see collect in the bottom of the bowl.  Every now and then, give the cabbage a toss to distribute the salt.

3.  After a few hours, begin to compress the cabbage with your hands, drawing out more brine.  Once there is enough brine to cover the cabbage, mix in the grated carrot (if using) and then tip about a quarter of the cabbage and brine into the Pickl-It jar.  Using the Dunker which came with your jar and a rolling pin, compress down the cabbage in the jar to remove any air bubbles.  Repeat the process until all the cabbage is in the jar.  Leave the Dunker in the jar as this will help to submerge any cabbage which may be floating on top.  The brine should come up at least a couple of centimetres above the surface of the cabbage.  Ensure also that there are a good few centimetres in between the neck of the jar and the surface of the brine to allow room for expansion during the fermentation process.

4.  Put the airlock into the lid and then close the lid.  Fill the airlock with water to the level indicated.  Close the airlock with the lid provided.

5.  I like to wrap the jar with a tea towel and then pop the jar into a cool, dark spot - I use my laundry cupboard.  I leave the jar in there for about 3-5 days, checking every second day or so.  When I don't see any bubbling anymore, I then place the jar in the fridge and my sauerkraut is ready to eat!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Strawberry & Almond Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing

I've mentioned previously that I make my own nut milk and always wonder what to do with the leftover pulp so as I'm not wasting it.  So when my little girl stayed home sick from daycare yesterday and asked me to make some strawberry cupcakes for when she felt better, I thought these cupcakes would be a great way to use up the latest batch of leftover almond pulp.  Now I know this sounds strange but my little girl has the most amazing palette when it comes to food!  So when she suggests I make something, I know she's onto a good thing!  Later in the day she felt much better and started to get hungry so she asked me for some cucumber and avocado slices.  I was so proud!  She is the sort of kid who loves her healthy foods and who knows, maybe one day she might follow in my footsteps and study to become a nutritionist as well??

Ingredients (makes 9):
- 100g strawberries, washed and hulled
- 1 cup almond pulp (or almond meal)
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 2 free range eggs
- 50g butter, melted
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp baking powder

- 100g white chocolate (I used Green & Blacks), broken up into pieces
- 1 tbsp coconut oil 

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake tray with 9 cupcake cases.

2.  In a food processor or Thermomix, process the strawberries until finely chopped (5sec/sp5 in Thermomix).  Add the other cupcake ingredients except the baking powder and process until combined (20sec/sp4 in Thermomix).  Scrape down the sides and add the baking powder.  Process for a few more seconds (5sec/sp3 in Thermomix).

3.  Divide evenly amongst the cupcake cases and bake for around 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

4.  To make chocolate icing, melt the chocolate and coconut oil on low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.  Drizzle over the cupcakes (to make icing in the Thermomix, melt the chocolate and coconut oil for 4min/70deg/sp2 until smooth).  Garnish with fresh strawberries.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Savoury Corn, Cheese & Bacon Mini Muffins

Here's another great and super easy recipe which freezes well and therefore is excellent for your kids' lunchbox freezer stash!  And as always, I love the sneakiness of hiding veggies in something I cook and then watching my son gobble it up.  Then admitting to him that there are veggies in there.  Nowadays he just laughs when I tell him that because he knows that veggies are good for him and he loves it when he has eaten something with veggies hiding in it that he couldn't taste!

Ingredients (makes 12):
- 1.5 cups light spelt flour
- 2 free range eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated cheese of choice (I used sheep's milk cheddar)
- 1/2 cup grated zucchini
- 1/2 cup corn kernels (I used organic frozen ones)
- 1 rasher of nitrate free bacon, diced
- 1 cup milk of choice
- Sprinkle of rosemary (I used dried organic rosemary)
- Optional -  Superfoods for Kidz Vital Veggie Power
- Sea salt and pepper
- 2 tsp baking powder

1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a 12 hole cupcake tray with cupcake cases (or you can grease)

2.  In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the baking powder and stir to combine.  Then add the baking powder and stir it in.

3.  Divide the mixture evenly among the 12 cupcakes cases and bake for 15 minutes or until the muffins are golden on top and spring back when pressed lightly on top.  These are delicious served warm with a big dollop of butter!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Grain Free Pizza

As many mums out there would know, sometimes it can be a bit of a struggle to get veggies into your kids!  I have been blessed with 2 beautiful kids.... but only one of them loves veggies!  The other, who is now 6 years old, still hates most veggies (though he is slowly but surely acquiring a taste for a slowly increasing variety of veggies) and often I have to resort to hiding veggies in the meals that I cook.  Here is one example of such a meal - the main ingredient in the pizza base is cauliflower, which Ben would not otherwise eat.  But he does love pizza, and this one was no exception!

Ingredients (makes 1 large pizza):
- 1/2 a cauliflower (about 400g) cut into florets
- 3 free range eggs
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (or some freshly grated cheese)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- Squeeze of lemon juice or splash of apple cider vinegar
- Season with sea salt, pepper and Herbamare

Whatever you like but I used organic BBQ sauce, sprinkle of dried organic herbs, diced nitrate free bacon, sliced mushrooms and freshly grated sheep's milk cheddar.  I also served the pizza with a side of baby spinach leaves dressed with some extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a pizza tray with baking paper.

2.  In a food processor or Thermomix, pulse the cauliflower until finely chopped.  Add remaining base ingredients and process together until combined (20sec/sp3 in Thermomix).

3.  Tip out onto the lined pizza tray and spread out the mixture evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

4.  Top the base with toppings and put back into the oven until cooked to your liking.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Choc Mint Ice Cream with Magic Chocolate Topping

I haven't always liked the chocolate with mint flavour combination.  Must be my taste buds changing as I get older or something but I have recently started enjoying it.  So here's my recipe for choc mint ice cream.  Super easy if you have an ice cream machine, but if you don't that's OK!  You can still make your own ice cream.  And also the extra special part of this recipe is the topping (think "Ice Magic" but without the nasties) - so yummy!

Ingredients (makes about 1L):
Ice cream:
- 400ml coconut cream (or other full fat milk of choice)
- 200ml water
- 2 free range eggs
- 3/4 cup rapadura sugar
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 2 tsp vanilla essence (I make my own using this recipe)
- 1/4 tsp natural mint flavouring (I used Medicine Flower mint extract)

Chocolate topping:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

1.  In a saucepan on low heat, whisk together the coconut cream, water, eggs, sugar and cacao powder.  Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened.  Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla and mint flavouring.  Set aside to cool.

(Thermomix: add coconut cream, water, eggs, rapadura and cacao to the TM bowl.  Cook 7min/90deg/sp4.  Add vanilla and mint flavouring and mix 10sec/sp3.  Set aside to cool)

2.  Churn through ice cream maker.  Or if you don't have an ice cream maker, blend the mixture in a high speed blender for about 30 seconds (speed 9 in Thermomix)  to aerate.  Freeze for a couple of hours.  Take out and blend for another 30 seconds on high speed.  Put back in the freezer until completely frozen.

3.  When ready to serve, allow the ice cream to sit on the bench for about 10 minutes to soften to a scoopable consistency.

4.  To make the chocolate topping, melt the coconut oil on low heat and then whisk in all the other ingredients until smooth. 

(Thermomix: melt coconut oil for 1min/70deg/sp1.  Add remaining ingredients and cook for 1min/70deg/sp4).

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Passionfruit & Coconut Custard Filled Tartlets

One of the girls at uni came in one day handing out some beautiful fresh passionfruits which she had grown at home.  I adore passionfruit so I decided to make these little tartlets for the kids.  There was lots of custard leftover (what a pity right?) which we decided to churn through our ice cream maker for some beautiful coconut and passionfruit ice cream!

Ingredients (makes 24):
- 3 sheets Pampas butter puff pastry

- 400ml coconut cream
- 200ml water
- 2 free range eggs
- 3/4 cup raw or rapadura sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp gluten-free cornflour
- Pulp from 3 large passionfruit

1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees and grease a 24 hole mini muffin pan.

2.  Using a 7cm diameter round cookie cutter, cut 24 circles out of the pastry.  Line the greased muffin holes with the pastry circles and bake for around 10 minutes or until the pastry is golden.  Take out of the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. 

3.  While the pastry is baking, make the custard.  In a saucepan on low heat, whisk together all the custard ingredients (except passionfruit) until the custard has thickened.  Set aside to cool for 15 minutes and then stir through the passionfruit pulp, reserving a little of the pulp for garnish.

(Thermomix - add all ingredients except passionfruit and cook 7min/90deg/sp4.  Stir through passionfruit pulp, reserving some for garnish)

4.  Fill each pastry case with the custard and then garnish with some of the remaining passionfruit pulp.  Serve.    

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


It is finally feeling like spring in Perth and it's been such a lovely, relaxing day.  I felt like something super easy for an afternoon snack (but it was so good that I probably won't be hungry at dinner time now!).  Since buying my Thermomix in 2010, I have been making loads of different dips.  One of my faves is the hummus from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook, but I'm not a fan of using tinned legumes (where possible), so I have tweaked that recipe a bit to make the hummus just as I like it!  If you're wondering what the issue is with tinned legumes, they are usually cooked without soaking.  Soaking legumes prior to cooking helps to neutralise the phytic acid and makes the legumes much more digestible.  It's well worth the effort I think!

- 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours, then drained and rinsed and simmered in water for about an hour or until tender, then cooled and drained
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp tahini
- Small handful of fresh parsley
- 2 tsp onion powder
- Good splash of extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lime
- Sea salt, pepper and Herbamare to taste

Put all the ingredients into Thermomix or food processor and process until desired consistency is reached.  I processed for about 30sec/sp4 in my Thermomix, stopping and scraping down the sides a couple of times.  Serve with crackers or veggie sticks and an extra drizzle of olive oil on top of the dip!