Saturday, October 6, 2012

Today's funny... one of them

Honestly, I make delicious food for my kids, they refuse to eat it, 
(DS1) "I'm not hungry"
(Me) "Do you want an apple"
"Then you've got enough room for this, eat it"
"Nooooo!" etc etc
Then we get in the car and I find my eldest eating cardboard.....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Been Busy

Played with the new toy. This baby filters 2000 litres of water. Used in the Australian and US army and fits into a sunglasses case. Nice!

Looked silly in a Sari, a delightful Indian lady helped me but she admitted she isn't the best person to do it :o\

Made the world's best cookies and had a picnic in a nice spot with the boys.

Hand made some gifts.

Measured almonds, measured almonds, measured almonds... measured almonds.

Contemplated the difference in quality between the imported and Aussie Quinoa...
 ... and grizzled about it. (click to enlarge)

Been busy

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Healthy Chocolate Hit.. when you really need one!

Some friends and I were chatting at book group the other night. They're also trying to find delicious and extremely healthy recipes to substitute foods in their regular diet.

This simple and delish. Similar to the fudge pops that I make (down the page) for the kids. This smoothie/shake is perfect for when you really want something chocolatey without being naughty! It's rich, thick, smooth and dark. .

Raw Chocolate Milkshake

Water and soft flesh scooped from a drinking coconut
1 tablespoon of raw cocoa/cacao (more antioxidants than green tea!)      
1 heaped tablespoon of smooth raw/local peanut butter ( I use Dick Smith as it's delish and 100% Aussie)
1 level tablespoon of raw honey (or agave/pinch of stevia)
3 cups Almond cream

Stick the scooped out coconut flesh and a small amount of coconut water in the blender and wizz up until smooth. Then add the rest of the water and other ingredients and blend until smooth and incorporated.

Almond Cream
Make ahead of time.
2 cups of raw almonds soaked for a few hours pref 5hrs/overnight. Rinse a couple of times and then Pop in the blender with 3 cups of filtered water. Blend on high/ice crusher setting until the almond mealy bits are fine.
Strain and twist through muslin and use.

Retain almond meal for use in cakes/cookies/muffins etc. You could even get some more almond milk out of the remaining meal when blended up again with 2 cups of water.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Raw Cashew Dreamcake

I finally made it...


CASHEW (and raspberry)

Quick, easy and almost guilt free!

Yes it's raw, yes it's a HUGE amount healthier than shop bought ... anything! I still don't we could get away with eating only this for dinner. We could try though :o)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crop-portunity Awaits

As always, there's growing time, then opportunities seem to come in a glut.
In this instance there's an opportunity for a community garden/allotment nearby. It's a nice patch! I can't wait to make my hands grubby in it - I simply don't have the time.

So! If you're nearby and want to help start up some allotments, let me know.

I miss growing things.. lots of things.. taking them from the dirt to the kitchen and making dinner. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Super Food Treat for Kids (and You)

I've been nagged to put this recipe up (and the following not so super food cookie) so here it is.
My kids devour these little beauties, I thoroughly enjoy them too. No photos = too tasty to last that long!
FYI your body can break down coconut oil/fat and although it's classed as saturated fat, doesn't contribute to heart disease like other fats can when they are heated. A creamy ingredient not to be avoided.

Coco Fudge Pops

1 drinking coconut
1 banana
1 tablespoon raw cocoa
4 fresh dates (or 1 T raw honey)
1 generous tablespoon of smooth raw/locally made peanut butter (I use OZEnuts).. or whatever

Crack open the top of the drinking coconut. Pour the water into a tall jug, scoop out the soft flesh and add to the jug also.
Add the banana, cocoa, dates/honey to the jug and puree with a stick blender. (Or whatever blender you have).
Add the peanut butter to taste at the end. Blend until smooth.

Pour into ice pop moulds and place in freezer over night.

Velvety and rich. So nice!

Here is the non-super food 5 star rated (by others!)  

Suzi's Best Ever Cookies

After making a dozen batches of these cookies, I've realised that there are a few essential ingredients. Substitutes just don't produce the same flavours. The different ingredients that you'll see are ones I buy through my co-op (or bought years ago and stored) and are regular items in my cupboard. Cheaper in bulk and more nutritious.


Very soft  unsalted butter (US 3/4 cup plus 2 T spoons, the rest of us - 200g).
1/4 cup "raw" sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour (organic/biodyn.unbleached flour - different from white "enriched" flour at the shop)
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups porridge oats 
1 cup chopped eating chocolate
1/2 cup chopped unsalted peanuts


Stick your oven at 180C.
Beat the sugars and butter until light. Then add both eggs and vanilla and whip fast for a minute or so until fluffy.
Add dry ingredients (sifting soda and salt). Add to wet ingredients. Mix then add oats, choc and nuts.
No need to refrigerate (but you can if you like). Scoop dessert spoon sized balls of cookie dough onto a baking try (lined with baking paper), 2inches/5cms apart.

My oven is electric fan forced and takes 13 mins at this size and temp. If your cookies are smaller at about a 5cm in diameter blob of dough then they'll take 10mins. Just until they're a light golden brown.

Leave to cool completely. EAT.
Makes 2 dozen-ish.
Super food version has cacao nibs instead of chocolate

Monday, June 4, 2012

Doolally Sally? or Hippy Misgivings

I recently came upon this article (see below for excerpt). I was all for Sally Fallon's back to traditional simple food approach. I still want to be, but flip! So many points in the article just set my eyes rolling.

There were some things I really agreed with like MSG labelling (or lack of, including re-naming to hydrolyzed protein) and the goodness of bone broths. Also the over processing of cereals etc
I struggle with my hippy tendencies: 
  • I love growing vegies as I think it's so much healthier without the pesticides, plus I enjoy the natural taste of old fashioned varieties.
  • I want to buy land and grow vegie trees, start a permaculture school and weave my own jumpers.. possibly dye them with nettles (but it has to be done well and in a funky style inline with Espirit)
  • I don't use fluoride toothpaste and believe that comfrey and arnica works to prevent and dispel bruises (just because I experimented with it on my own family and my Dr gave me some!).
  • I like my kids to play in the trees and dirt rather than on plastic play equipment

There's a certain kind of behaviour that sets my teeth on edge about "natural, herbal, hippy" folk and that's when they try to use facts to convince others of their views. They use a fact.. here Sally's used tests from the 1940s to back one of her claims and then has a 'feeling' at the end of another or a "nah nah nah nah naaaah, yeah, your putting toxins in because you just are." A bit harsh you say? Well that's how I feee-e-eeel about someone I respected having said so many looney, bendy, incredible things. I'm annoyed. Now I don't know what to think.

You'll see what I mean. I went straight to the rat trials as it looked interesting.  My response is below the article.

Dirty Secrets of the Food  Industry
By Sally Fallon This presentation was given at the annual conference of Consumer Health of Canada,
March, 2002.

The Rat Experiments
"Let me tell you about two studies which were not published. The first was described by Paul Stitt who wrote about an experiment conducted by a cereal company in which four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals. A second group received puffed wheat, water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given only water. A fourth set was given nothing but water and chemical nutrients. The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on this diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived about two months. The animals on water alone lived about a month. But the company's own laboratory study showed that the rats given the vitamins, water and all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks---they died before the rats that got no food at all. It wasn't a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock.
Results like these suggested that there was something actually very toxic in the puffed wheat itself! Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the pressure of the puffing process may produce chemical changes, which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance. (incredulous. *eye roll*)
Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups:
one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water.
This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted."

_ _ _

Here's why Sally's rat trial point fell apart for me:

  1. She talked about these studies not being published as if it was being kept a secret from the masses. Stuff like this is published all the time, proving links with cancer etc - people just don't care, or there isn't the right budget to put into marketing the results to make people notice enough to make a difference.
    There are so many health journals out there plus the kind like the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics etc who would have happily have published findings like that.
  2. Since they were "done as a joke" is one HUGE bell clanging "Don't take me seriously" and clearly means that guidelines may not have been followed. The strict observation that goes into rat studies (and it's done for pretty much everything - even Stevia) is so much so, that when followed, some journal somewhere will publish it. Publishing means it's METHOD was credible. As I said before, there are a tonne of Natural/Alternative medicine journals that would have loved to publish findings as these, so not being published is another clanger that it must be taken with a large dose of salt.
  3. The biggest clanger of all was the fact that Sally surmised from these unpublished "joke" studies that rats had died from a toxic substance within the puffed grain = "insulin shock". This condition is otherwise known as hypoglycemia. That's right folks! High insulin levels - raised due to the only food their eating to be high GI. NOTHING TOXIC in the manufacturing or protein structure, just high pressure and steam. That's it!

I had alot of respect for Sally as her theories about food were music to my 'sourdough healthy home food' sympathetic ears, but I was so blown away by the mindlessness of her rat study conclusions, that I've stopped soaking my grains while I think on it all a bit. It is really disappointing because now I'm wondering what other supposedly healthy habits I've been doing that are merely misguided opinion and not fact..

Puffed corn isn't a great snack owing to it's high GI-ness but better than lollies (and after some low GI food!)

Oh and if you have some published studies on why certain foods are better, then I'd love to see them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gina's Granola & Suzi's Flapjacks

Gina from Home Joys is a woman after my own heart. We've never met, but chatted a little. She's one of my favourite people in cyber world! A blog well worth keeping up with.

Her objective and realistic view of things makes me giggle. It's so easy to think, "she's so perfect" but she's very much removed from the 'look at me - you want to be me' kind of bloggers out there. She's real.

This is her recipe from the corker of a book, Nourishing Traditions. Ok so it's not her recipe, but she shared it with me so I'm naming it hers hereafter.

"If you are familiar with Nourishing Traditions, you know that "soaking" is an important facet of their diet recommendations. They suggest that all grains and seeds should be soaked in an acid medium (such as yogurt or lemon juice) before being prepared for eating. According to their research, grains are hard to digest and can actually bind up important minerals.

I always rolled my eyes and considered those who cook according to Nourishing Traditions the worse food snobs ever."

Gina's Soaked Granola (crunchy)
 I followed the recipe. The first time using raw coconut oil and yoghurt and no fruit (Steve's batch). The second time (pictured) I used whole peanuts, pepitas, chia seeds - just chucked a whole bunch of seeds in..  and dried, sweetened cranberries. I used Kefir and butter as I'd run out of coconut oil. (This is the batch you have "Treena")
 I started drying it out in the oven and then it got too close to dinner time and needed the oven. So I finished them off in the dehydrator. Worked a treat! It's better in the dehydrator, you end up with a crunchier finish.
 It filled one and a half cereal containers. The one on the right is some that I finished in the oven.. which I forgot about - thanks FB. It fed the bin.

My Flapjacks

You know the usual flapjack recipe? Well I couldn't help Suzi-fy it! This version is NUT-FREE for school lunches. You could also make a maple pecan version (omitting the golden syrup/honey and seeds).

1 cup quick oats
1 plain flour
2/3 dessicated coconut
1/2 cup rapadura (or you can use brown)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (for the batch above I put sunflower and pepitas with chia, linseed and sesame seeds to add extra nutritional value)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
1/2 cup finely chopped dates
1/2 cup butter
3 T golden syrup/honey
1 T water
1/2 tsp bicarb

Melt butter, golden syrup and water in microwave or stove top. Then add in the bicarb and stir.
Add all dry ingredients and press down firmly into a greased lamington try.
Bake at 160C for approx 20mins until slightly golden ontop and set.

Store in airtight container - freezes well.

The best thing?? My kids LOVE it and ask for it in their lunch boxes for recess everyday. I have to fight them off!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dosa House - for a well earnt break

Almost at the end (of the beginning) of a long trawl of fights, debates, pushing of my opinion to be counted. Desperate for my voice to be heard through emails and letters and feeling like I'm holding the worries of the world - though I'm not.. it just feels like that sometimes.

After signing as many petitions, emailing politicians on every topic, I've decided to put all the causes of the world on hold. My seven page hack at a major TV channel and the Advertising Standards Bureau will be submitted with the 60 supporters. Their comments and my inclusion of a government study showing massive HOLES in or lack of policy, codes and restrictions of advertising - will have to wait for me to catch my breath!

Trying to be counted in the fight against goodness, against nudity in advertising (even though it's targeted at adults, kids are still THERE in the shops seeing it!), trying to save Marriage in it's original and special form, trying to stop post-birth abortion... any kind of abortion - finding out there's an abortion clinic near where I live!!!! Helping hammer the stores selling porn t-shirts.... too many very worthy causes to fight for.

Sometimes I think the only reason we get sick (I'm just a bit sick.. it's a "man cold") is  just so we slow down and have time to think, reflect and calm down.. a bit.

So, aside from my fight against what seems the impossible, my irks against misleading the public and researching my fingers raw to find a more affordable, ethical/eco means to household living..... I'm having fun taking my friends to the DOSA HOUSE. Thanks to Jeyanthi and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, I've remembered where some of my delightful happiness lies. In simple, pure, unadulterated food.

First it was my father in law, the next week it was Amanda my amazing and calm sister in law, then one of my favourite down to earth 'say it how it is' friends Kay and this week it was  my close friend who works her butt off for her family and doesn't faint with exhaustion every week (like I would) Maryanne. Every single one of them great company.. and so is Jeyanthi (pictured).

You, you and YOU should come down to the Dosa House with us for a night out (instead of Max Brennar... too much chocolate.. is... ok, good for a stress relief! Maybe we'll alternate). Jeyanthi loved the sound of Max Brennar as made me write it all down so she can go - she loves chocolate :o)

 I never thought it would take off when she told me at her market stall about the new shop opening. Who opens a shop with only a few things on the menu?! Well for a one chef place she's busy! South Indians and Sri-Lankans go there when they miss home and want Auntie Jeyanthi's cooking, just like home. Which is alot! I even convinced her into maybe doing a group of us some Thalis.. maybe even with a massive table sized Dosa!! :o)

With it's plastic cups of tap water, maps blue tacked to the wall and flurescent elephant picture, it's a traditional no frill affair.

The three things that keep me going: 1. Jeyanthi's beautiful smile, personality and caring nature 2. the sheer lack of pretense and 3. the food! So good, you don't care if the order's wrong. It's ALL good!

See you next week J. x

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Supermarket Sourdough Scam

..sounds rather dramatic doesn't it? Do you know what you're eating when you buy "fresh sourdough" from Aussie supermarkets? (pics are of the good stuff)

In my quest to make purist sourdough (no additives and only the s.dough starter as a raising agent) and eat a low GI diet,  I've been buying the odd loaf at the supermarket aka stupidmarket.

Fresh "Sourdough" bread has a big section in every (local to me) supermarket bakery area. So why is it that when I eat the organic sliced loaf, it FEELS completely different to eat than the in store baked stuff??

Taking a quick peak at the ingredients (OK! OK! So it's my favourite past time to read labels, ingredients, who grew, packed and produced the product. Sorry if you're nodding off to sleep, I'll get to the point.) and found a whole bunch of additives, preservatives and yeast in the bread. Most of which did have some sort of sourdough ingredient - I'm guessing to introduce the taste to the faux sourdough - but some had NONE! Using      vinegar or lactic acid for the sour effect.
* pic is of the good stuff. Bills

Now here's a case here of misleading advertising:
*Yes, the bread has a sourdough element in it (most of the time)
*Yes,  it's freshly baked
*It wouldn't have the same Low GI rating as a true sourdough and..
*It would negatively impact those on diets requiring this low GI fermented product.
*It contains yeast which is a fast acting raising agent - fast production = more money but not the fermentation
*It has the sourdough starter for a flavour addition (not the point!)

Can I just EXPLAIN!? The whole point to having a sourdough bread is that it's a HEALTHfood. Not a fad food.

When grains, seeds, nuts and flours have been soaked, sprouted and/fermented the inhibitors are released (the chemical that helps preserve itself until ready to grow in the right conditions). This enables the high level of nutrients to be readily available.

Fermentation partially digests and introduces *friendly bacteria so those with IBS or other digestive and gut issues find this friendlier to their bodies.

I'm just a passionate person OK!? With one too many causes to fight for, I have to curb it all to focus on home, kids and figuring out what the heck's  for dinner! So I chat, vent and blab to you. On here. Thanks. x

P.s. The big seller for me, was Bill's stone ground flour. We order this flour through the Co-op Stop and it stores exceptionally well in our foil pouches long term.
Any bread you see with a multitude of added vitamins and minerals is from a super duper refined and quickly processed flour - having to add a little back for all the goodness it lost in the fast money making process.


*with friendly bacteria there's always bad bacteria present. Though not in sourdough as it's cooked, but (lactobaccilus is what makes it taste sour) if you're concerned ask your doctor before eating the good stuff if you're on chemo or something! Home made Kim chi, sauerkraut, any yoghurt, unpasteurized milk/cheese, keffir etc etc

Sunday, February 12, 2012

tricky bricky..

Trying to find better recipes for sourdough bread, I've driven myself into a youtube stupor.
I just can't believe the amount of mind numbing, lengthy, helpful and not so helpful clips out there on the topic of sourdough.

Well, my patient friend who I called today (me being company deprived and home bound).. could tell you a thing or two about lengthy, mind numbing moments!


My purist desires are being compromised and I may just have to use some vit C, gluten and heaven forbid lecithin (non-soy based anywhere?!) to get sourdough bread that isn't tough or bricky.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thrill or Fear? (wonderful things)

What is it that we love so much about fear? This none OH&S slide on holidays was nail bitingly steep.
DS1 looked so scared that I thought he was going to cry - but up he went a dozen times.

I'm sure we don't really like being scared. If you got on a roller coaster with a friend, then sneakily took a bolt out of your pocket and said, "oops! look what just came out!" then you could really test the 'loving fear' theory on your friend.

I don't think we really like it at all. Sometimes it's good for us though. Not knowing the future, the stomach lurching moments, the thrills and anticipation, smiling, screaming, laughing... and about to wet yourself or puke or both.

I personally don't subject myself to roller coasters or other panic inducing rides. I like to stay safe.

LIFE is one trip full of anticipation, stomach lurches, tears, laughter, heart bursting happiness and puke that I wouldn't miss for the world. {Thank you for mine Creator and co-creators}

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just say something!

With all the controversy over certain stationary items and t-shirts at the moment (and OH MY! are they shocking!!), I figured there was enough people on the case demanding change. There was an absolute outcry which was GOOD!

BUT when I walked into my local shopping centre to be confronted with a poster ad of a totally nude lady I was livid! I sent this letter in... I didn't hold back:

I am a mother of two young boys and have shopped at Westfield for the past 9 years.
I have three serious complaints to make about the inappropriate presentation 
of advertisements and music at Westfield.
1. the Coca-cola advertisement on the board near Woolworths and pie shop of 
a passionate kiss. Steamy hot kisses aren't appropriate!! I was really appalled 
when I saw this and continue to be. Children see this and think it's ok to 
kiss each other like that. It lowers the level of accepted (among their peer 
groups) physical contact. It's showing us that since it's public it's ok 
to do at any age. WRONG.
2. The new advertisement that has a NUDE poster of the biggest looser trainer.
WHAT THE HECK IS THAT ALL ABOUT!?! This isn't some sleezy back alley shop 
with an Adults only sign, it's a GENERAL PUBLIC AREA. This goes beyond 
acceptable and is nothing more than porn. Seriously! Having my 3 and 5 year old 
boys look at a poster of a naked woman signals to them that it's ok to see 
pictures like that. It's immoral and NOT G RATED.
3. I understand you have to appeal to all audiences when playing music but 
"I wanna sex you up" is not appropriate shopping mall music. 
So far with the heated kiss, naked body and music lyrics (which they DO pick up 
and notice) I have no desire to shop at Westfield. 
There are codes on television. So where are your codes of conduct? 
I can only assume you were getting alot of money for those ads. I'm fuming.

 So after a few emails back and forth, one claiming they weren't responsible for those ads as they're managed by someone else. They promised to give the feedback and follow up.

This is the final response I got:

I just wanted to let you know that all the Biggest Loser posters have been removed from the Centre entirely and we are in the process of removing the Diet Coke campaign.

The company who manages the advertising have taken on board the feedback. When it comes to advertising creative they do try ensure that all campaigns comply with the Australian advertising standards.
If you would like, you could also refer your complaint to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) via the ASB website.

Kind regards,

Leanne Waterfield
Marketing Manager

So off to the ASB I go to make sure they at least hear what I, as a consumer, Mother and member of society have to say. It didn't hurt the last time I did.

Good result! I urge you all to stand up for the innocence of our children and for goodness. Just one email made a real difference. A small victory, but worthwhile.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"If only.." is the worst!

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C.S Lewis
I copied this off a women's e-newsletter that came this week. It's EXACTLY what I need to remember and what I've decided to take action on already.
The thing is... I have no dream attached to my goals. In my experience, I've found that doing what I feel is right and being consistent pays off big time in the end!
Learning German is an old goal from 2002 when I started a distance education course and never finished it. Ten years later I could be fluent if I'd have just stuck with it! 
German is just so impractical! Why not learn Japanese (we're close, only makes sense - lots of J. tourists!), Spanish - the most spoken language after English, or French (Fr. Polynesia's close, get an understanding for alot of words in the modern English language). It also sounds as ugly as the flag looks.. yerk!

But for some strange reason I'm loving it! It's confusing as heck, learning languages but at least my accent's ok! 

I've finally decided that when I grow up I want to be a....
Oooh.. do I dare say? mmmmmm... No. For now I'll just learn the basics of chemistry and physics (like I never did at school because of the crummy teacher - lost opportunities make me gasp!)
Then in a couple of years when I'm enrolled I'll let you know.
For now, it's German, high school brush ups and little boys to enjoy (in the reverse order).

I LOVE my family! And thank you Mum and Dad. For extra time, for extra chats, for those feelings of home, of safety and relief in belonging. You get me and I'm so glad I get you for a while longer. xxxx (can you feel the tears spilling over?).