Gluten Free, Lactose Free Ginger Bread Cookies

I thought we could do this together as we go along and see how things turn out. It is 3pm on Monday December 23 2014, and I have just turned on the oven to 380 F.

In progress

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What you will need:

1 cup quinoa flour

1 cup brown rice flour

2 table spoons virgin coconut oil

2 table spoons olive oil

2 table spoons blackstrap molasses

2 teaspoon ground ginger or more if you like it spicey

1 min I am going to put the cookies in the freezer for five minutes…

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2 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 teaspoons of cardamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1/3 cup Demerara sugar

Preparation:

Mix oils, egg and spices together till smooth.

Next add baking soda and eggs and mix till eggs are blended

Now add molasses and mix

Add flours and mix will into a soft dough

Roll dough into a ball and press down till 1/2 inch thick.

Cut shapes with cutter and place on metal try, no baking sheets!

Place in freezer fro 5 minutes.

While that is happening, place oven on 380 F

Remove raw cookies from oven and place in oven.

Leave for 20 minutes on top shelf, 25 max. Any longer and it might start to burn. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin & Pistachio Risotto

Well, that’s different, but a gal’s got to eat. It looked totally amazing on the plate. Creamy and garnished, it looks ready to eat.  Fluffing a portion of round white rice with spots of purple green, you wonder if this idea, which perhaps was fulfilled in hast might have been a not so good idea. After all who cooks pistachios with rice. Ice cream, yes! Salted, yes. You had to take it a little further. As you stem through your other dinner options, the folk hits your mouth, and there it is. the subtleness of the truffle oil hits you first, musky and strong, but not over powering. As you continue to chew, the creaminess of the pistachio wakes your pallet. Yum. The sweetness of the butternut resets your tastebuds to begin the experience all over again!

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With a change in my diet, as a non lactose vegetarian, with food intolerances I had to find ways to increase my protein, calcium and other nutrients while still enjoying food, because well I love food. This risotto gave me the whole food experience without the addition of the processed substitutions.  It really was bliss.

 

Butternut is rich in beta carotene which converts to vitamin A to help you keep your immune system healthy and strong. With cold season on its way, getting as much high carotene foods in will help you fight illnesses better and recover alot faster.

The pistachios. Well, who knew these tiny purple and green nuts had this  much power! Another food not given enough credit. IT is from the cashew family, but it is able to provide so much more. Packed with protein, lutein, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc,  Studies have also shown that they help to lower LDL so if you have a cholesterol risk, start eating. You will be putting these where ever you can!

Finally Thyme,  wonderful for the upper respiratory system, especially with coughs and infected tonsil. So when paired with the richness of butternut and superfood of pistachio. You should be feeling a mountain of health in no time.

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WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

half butternut pumpkin

3/4  risotto rice

1/2 red onion

1 cup shelled pistachio unsalted

2 cups vegetarian stock

3 cups filtered water

2 table spoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon black truffle oil

stick of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

watercress for garnish or more for nutritional benefits

 

 

Prep:

peel and chop butternut pumpkin in to nice small squares or just small abstract pieces. The smaller pieces allow for quicker cooking time.  Next chop onions and place in frying pan with pumpkin. Remember frying pan not pot. Add olive and turn stove to low heat. Cook pumpkin and onions for 7mins to 10mins.

Next rinse rice till water is clear. Drain and add to pumpkin and onions. Add thyme. Stir continuously for 2-3 minutes, to prevent stick and burning. Add stock and 1 cup of water. leave to simmer. Stir occasionally, remember you are cooking in a frying pan so water will evaporate faster. Add 2 cups of water to pan once water evaporates and leave to simmer. Stir ever 5 minutes until rice is soft.

Put pistachio in food processor with last 1 cup of water and blend smoother with small chunks. Stir through rich and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Stir through 1/2 teaspoon of black truffle oil. Add salt to taste. Garnish and enjoy!

 

Blueberries & Buckwheat squares oh yay – Our visit to Blue Dot Farm

Our visit to blue dot farm wonderful. The hour drive out of the city was wonderful and pleasant, nothing short of amazing. Watching the wonderful green lush of evergreens line the edge of the roads, I began to appreciate all that nature offers.

As we approached the farm just off the main road, I began to feel my excitement build. My heart began to palpate and I felt as though I could not breathe. I could feel every beat as my heart pumped with glee.  We were about to harvest our own food.

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A two story home sat at the edge of the field, silent and still. It was early and there was little movement. Surrounded by trees and bush, it was a sight of tranquility. As we walked towards the building, I felt my mind confirm. “this is right, this is what we are suppose to do”. Build a relationship with our farmers. Like us they are people and not just a farm, but people that put their passion into providing us with nourishing food. To repay them and say thank you it made sense to physically say thank you and help harvest and show our appreciation for all the work they had done.

The bushes were new, young and organic. None more than two years old. They were beautiful. Filled with clusters of fresh, deep blue berries that were firm to touch and sweet to taste. Time past and buckets filled. We roamed the lanes in search of more berries and more peace. It was therapy. I began to sense a deep calm as I stood among the trees, observing the enjoyment among all those involved. The children laughed and ran with joy, picking and packing. They understood, a deep appreciation was being set in them.

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The summer has been brilliant. I can not find any fault with the wonderful warmth we were lucky to have this year.  Appreciating every ounce of D providing rays even on the hottest of days. As the summer comes to a close, I eye the many punnetts  of blueberries upon the shelf, knowing that not long from now, they will be a distant memory until the summer returns once again. I remember our farm host that allow us to be a part of their process. I remember the faces behind the boxes of clear plastics sealed with rubber bands. I remember were they began and how far they traveled.

We love making these delicious squares. I love that it is dairy free, margarine free, and low in sugar. They are easy to make anyone can do it. They make great snacks for school lunch boxes and morning and afternoon teas. Once made they can be frozen and eaten over a few weeks. They are awesome.

Buckwheat &  Blueberry Squares

What you will need:

1 cup of fresh organic blueberries

1 !/2 cup organic buckwheat flour

2 eggs

6 tablespoons of olive oil

1 level teaspoon aluminium – free baking powder

4 tablespoons of maple syrup

1/2 cup almond/soy/rice milk ( your choice)

2 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses

Preperation:

Mix  olive oil, maple, molasses, eggs, and baking powder together until mixture looks creamed. Next add buckwheat flour and non dairy milk and mix well. Finally add blueberries and mix through.

Set oven to 400 F. Oil pan and place mix in pan. Place in oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until ready. Let stand to cool. Serve.

This weeks lunch idea – Spicy shitake noodle soup

Cold days, rainy ways. What better way to fill your belly aches. Simple and fast you won’t believe your eyes, but it really is that quick to make. Onions and mushrooms in a pot, a spoon of olive oil, if that’s all you’ve got.  A taste of chilli to warm your belly. Miso and water this soup will not be airy! Throw in your choy and soy and boy what have you got? A simple soup that fills with delight! noodles

You will need:

1/2  red onion

1  cup shitake mushrooms

2  heads of choy

1 table spoon olive oil

1 teaspoon of brown rice miso paste

1 teaspoon of chili oil or 1/2 teaspoon fresh chilies

3 cups of water

2 table spoon of soy sauce

120g tofu (optional)

Preparation:

Place oil in a pot with onion and  choped fresh shitake mushrooms. Stir on low heat until mushrooms start to soften.  Next add chili oil and miso paste.  Stir for 2 minutes. Once done add choy, and tofu.  Stir for an additional 2-5 mins. Add water and soy sauce, let soup boil for an additional five minutes and voila! Serve on noodles of your pick and garnish with spring onions (shallots) .

Enjoy

 

Almond Milk Made Simple – What!

Wow, is the first thought that comes to mind as the rich white liquid hits the pallets of the mouth. It’s fresh and cool. The hint of cardamon is enough to have you wanting more. You remember you only made 6 cups, so you better go easy. Next time will be even better. You have complete control over how thick and rich you make it, from lite to full. Why has it taken soo long to get you here when all you need was just a few little ingredients.  You know the benefits of almonds, from the richness in Vitamin E, the high fiber, the vitamin B, protein, calcium, and mono saturated fats. You know the phytosterols in it helps to lower cholesterol. You know that you need to be aware that almonds can still be an allergy and intolerant food so be aware.  Yes, you knew all that. You also remembered to save your almond pulp to make desiccated almond to add to your granola and backing after all it’s all about wholefoods  and complete foods to get the full benefit of your almonds.

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Soo What Do You Need To Make Your Own Almond Milk:

1 1/2 cup of almond. (organic /pesticide free)

7 cups of filtered water

1/2 teaspoon of cardamon seeds

sieve or cheese muslin clothe

mason jars

blender/food processor/ hand held mixer

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Prep:

Place almonds in a container with 1 cup of filtered water. Leave in fridge for 24-36  hours. Make sure to cover it.

Sterilize your mason jars.

Next. Empty water out and place almonds and cardamon in processor along with the reminder 6 cups of filter water. If you would like your milk to be lite, add an additional 2 cups of filter water. Process until water is white and almond is broken down.

Pour through sieve or muslin cloth. Save almond pulp for making desiccated almond to add to your backing or granola. It’s all about wholefoods.

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Place in empty sterilsed mason jars and store.

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Enjoy!

Smoothie of the week – Melon berry bliss!

Yum!  A burst of citrus, that leaves a sweet mellow taste on the tip of your tongue. Cooling,  and my the aroma that hangs at the back of your tongue. Oh, yes the apricots. That’s what that is. Every soo subtle, that it’s gone before you realise what just happened to your mouth. The water melon lingers as a reminder that something exciting just happened to your mouth as it makes it’s way to your stomach. You reach over for another taste of bliss.

IMG_3624Having a fruit smoothie during your day is such a wonderful way to get your body refreshed and filled with an abundance of anti oxidants, nutrients and fibre. It’s easy to do and you can drink it on the run. And lets face it, It’s a wonderful way to get more fruit in you than you could chew in a single day! So get to it!

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You will need the following:

2 cups of chopped watermelon – high in lycopene , which is important for prostate health. Keep in mind, it is high on the glycemic index and should be eaten with other foods that will help low the glucose effect

1 fresh apricot– High in Vitamin A as well as potassium

1 peeled orange with with the pericarp still attached – contains Vitamin, flavanoids and calcium

7 medium strawberries –  high in Vitamin C, folate, and potassium.

1 plum

1 cup of blueberries -high in lutein, potassium. Vitamin A & Vitamin K. Lutein has been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts. It also can turn the skin bronze. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Be aware K can interfere with blood thinning medication. It is however a good way of getting Vitamin k into breastfeeding mothers, and pregnant women with low platelet counts

BLEND EVERYTHING TOGETHER TILL SMOOTH – IE AND ENJOY!

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Rosemary & Fennel Hummus – Simply yum!

The first bite is total bliss. After about a minute you realise your mouth and all digestive path are tingling with excitement. Ah, the rosemary, a gentle sensation that leaves your insides feeling refreshed and warm. Than the sweetness, not always there but pop in ever so often. It’s bliss! As you reach for another bite you are met with a new experience again and again and again. As the rosemary settles mind begins to feel alert and your eyes see clearly. Ah, snack, who lives without them?

IMG_3606I really love my rosemary and fennel hummus. It is something very different for me as I like to use more herbs as food and medicine. Ensuring I can reach therapeutic levels and gain the benefits of my food. As snack is just as important to me as my children, I want to know that I am giving them something that will not just quench their hunger but also nourish them holistically. So was born my first herbal hummus

You are going to need the following:

1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas or as it’s also called channa – they are high in protein, just what your body needs to function

2 table spoons of tahini – now if you can not buy the tahini because of the cost, you can buy sesame seeds, and simple add them to the recipe. It has the same effect. It has 0 cholesterol which is awesome, high in calcium which our heart needs and high in protein. Just two table spoon of this butter, gives you 8gms of protein.

Rosemary fresh is best from a 2 -3 inch stick – I used most of the leaves for this recipe. Great for increasing circulation,  strengthening capillary walls. This rich herb also stimulates circulation to the head helping to improve memory and concentration! I wonder if it helps with procrastination? It also aids the body from recovery from long term stress, something I can always use.

Fennel: I just love fennel, it is great for wind, bloating and low appetite. A great herb for children in low does. With it’s ability to also increase milk production, it is great for lactation mothers as well. Oh yay.

3 table spoon of apple cider vinegar – wonderful for the gut, stimulating digestion, helping to lower blood glucose. Remember though, less is more

garlic:  The awesome bulb this one is. Helping with everything from digestion, to lowering blood cholesterol levels, protects against blood clots, lowers blood pressure, and blood sugar. on top of that it has an antibiotic effect. So if you are feeling ill with cold, have lost your appetite, the fennel in this should get things going enough for you to eat more hummus to get more garlic to help you. Garlic does help to prevent circulatory issues and stokes by keep the blood thin so beware if you are on blood thinners.

1 table spoon of olive oil

1/4 cup of chopped parsley

1/2 cup of filtered water

pinch of salt 

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combine ingredients and process until creamy and all the rosemary are no longer visible.

Serve with fresh raw vegetables & naan bread

Enjoy!

Getting through the school summer holidays one project at a time

The northern hemisphere gave us a mild winter this year,  which made  school runs all the more bearable. Juggling two children between school, naps and extra activities ment I spend most of my life in the car. As my hushand calls it, my second home, and bigger handbag. Yes, I really do spend that many hours driving around, which I can say is not doing my environment any good. So you can imagine how excited I got as the summer approached, knowing that I would get at little break form a least one run of the day.

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Well summer is here, and 1 week into the school holidays, reality has began to set in. Yes, I no longer have to do the daily drives and pick ups while trying to coordinate mr 10mths nap and gentle transfer into his car seat hoping he stays asleep for the quick drive to school and back. No, that is no longer something I have to worry about. What I have now is school holidays. Hours that need to be filled with entertainment, projects and lots of talk for the next 3 months before school starts again.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my children and I enjoy spending time with them, but as a work from home, stay home mum, with a no TV policy for young minds, this means keeping two little ones busy from 7am-7pm, with very little time to get any of my work done. So It’s been a week which has felt like a month, we have relaxed, free ranged, de stressed from the routine of regular school, and now we are ready to conquer the summer. To keep you busy this week, you can have a go at the paint project. We love to paint. This is fantastic for ages 9 months – adult! Make sure that you stay next to your infants and toddlers as non toxic does not meant its ok to eat. And we know how much they like to eat EVERYTHING! this project was designed to keep both my children busy at the same time, but also help them work on their hand eye coordination, and concentration.

Soo here are the list of things we used 

  • non toxic paints ( red, yellow, blue, white) is all you will need as you can make secondary colours from them
  • non toxic fabric paint
  • paint brushers
  • rolls of paper
  • Plain tee from goodwill
  • Old news paper
  • paint rollers
  • bowl of warm soapy water
  • old rag tea towel

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For 9months and up

  • start by placing old news paper on table. Dinning tables are good as you can set infants in high chair to work.
  • Mix paint for additional colours, you can put paint in the cups of egg carton ( a tip I learnt form the Wilson family) or place them in plastic paint cups, or compostable paper plates.
  • cut a large amount of paper from roll. Tape paper to news paper
  • Secure infant in high chair close to table and let them go wild

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For 4 yrs and up

  • on same table at least an arm reach and half away from any other arms, mix fabric paint. Place on paper plate
  • Place folded news paper inside T shirt
  • place roller in white paint first, roll excess paint off on news paper and roll over tee shirt. Continue the same steps till you have cover the area you wish to paint
  • Next wash roller in warm soapy water and dry with rag cloth.
  • Next choose another colour till you have completed your art.
  • Place aside to dry.
  • once paint is dried, tee is ready to wear.
  • Wash like normal.

Have fun with it and tag me in your FB and Instgram pics of your end results!