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Posts Tagged ‘organic’

DIY Golden RoughDo you remember growing up with those chocolate, coconut treats called Golden Roughs? They still sell them at the shop today. If you loved them growing up, then you’ll love this lovely home-made version. It tastes similar but is all natural and without all the nasties. It’s not suitable for lunch boxes as home-made chocolate tends to melt easily, but it makes a nice, guilt-free chocolate fix when you need it.

IngredientsIngredients1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup of almond butter or paste

1/4 cup of honey (or maple syrup)

1/4 cup of cocoa (or cacao powder)

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Pinch of salt

DirectionsInstructions

Melt all the ingredients in a small pan over a low heat.

Pour a small amount of mixture into the bottom of a 12-cup muffin tray.

Freeze for 1-hour until set.

Store in the freezer.

Enjoy with tea.DIY Golden Rough

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The Summer of the ZucchiniAt the start of summer we planted a number of zucchini seedlings along the back of our yard and it wasn’t long before they’d taken over half our garden and we were reaping over a kilo of zucchinis a day. For months we had so much zucchini we couldn’t even give them away (I am continually amazed by the food we manage to produce with our neglectful gardening style.) In the last month our ‘crop’ began to slow and we think we picked our last zucchini the other day. You know zucchinis have become part of the family’s psyche when your 4-year old son starts to produce artworkΩ involving vegetables.

Roar Sweetly tips for growing zucchinis

  • Plant in full sun.
  • Leave loads of space between seedlings because these babies will grow like you can’t imagine. They’ll produce dinner-plate sized leaves and football sized zucchinis.
  • Water frequently in the early stages…then forget about them.
  • Try to pick the zucchinis when they’re slender, delightful things… before they morph into ginormous marrows (see below).

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Carrot and Apple Ice BlocksSeveral years ago I attended the Newtown festival on an incrediblly hot day and was blown away by a stall selling 100% pure fruit ice blocks. I immediately went home to experiment with my own version. After a little trial and error I realised that the secret to making a good ice block was to create a mixture that doesn’t ‘separate’ as freshly juiced fruit is prone to do. The trick I came up with was to puree the fruit to mix with vegetable juice. This ‘fluffs’ up the mixture and creates lovely even ice blocks. With the warmer weather upon us, I thought I’d share my simple instructions for homemade ice blocks. These are pure wholesome goodness and the kids love them. The only drawback is the amount of equipment you need in comparison to your available bench space, but it’s well worth the time and mess to stock your freezer for summer.

Carrot and Apple Ice Block CollageEquipment Needed

Juicer

Steamer set

Food Processor

Ice Block Moulds (these are a few dollars in K-mart or discount variety stores)

Ingredients

2-3 Carrots

4-6 Apples

1/4 cup of water

Instructions

1) Peel and chop apples.

2) Steam apple pieces on stove-top until soft (approx 15 minutes)

3) Place apple pieces in a food processor and blitz until thick and smooth. Set aside.

4) Juice carrots.

5) Combine pureed apple with carrot juice. Add water to dilute a little.

6) Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.

Makes approx 6-8 ice blocks depending on the size of your moulds.

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Blanket I discovered this crocheted blanket at a little church run op-shop. It’s one of those op-shops that’s only open one morning a week and only the locals know about it. I was told that the lady who made this blanket passed away peacefully at home two weeks ago at the age of 83. She had kept active with her crochet and was quite renowned for her handiwork in her church community. It’s nice to know the story behind a blanket. Lego My son keeps producing the most extraordinary lego creations. For some time he followed the instructions meticulously…but like every great artist has kept his style evolving. The past few months have been an era of unbridled creativity. His vehicular creations have extraordinary names like “The Flying Audiologist” in a homage to a recent medical check-up. MintOur mint plant was on death’s door so I gave it a generous scoop from our compost and a good watering. There’s obviously something magical in our compost, because here it is a few days later completely reinvented with a new lease on life. Kitty My daughter has become quite attached to this stuffed cat and sleeps with it every night. It’s called “Kitty” and is getting pretty worn and smelly…but I love this thing.Homemade Golden Rough

This is a wholefood version of a Golden Rough. It’s completely natural, raw, organic and vegan. But don’t let that put you off…it tastes amazing. I will be posting the recipe soon. BooksThese past few weeks I have been quietly amassing a little stash of books and get a ridiculous amount of pleasure at the thought of reading these. There’s nothing more decadent than ignoring the 1001 things that need to be done and reading a novel in bed.

Vintage sheets

And finally…watching vintage sheets hanging on the line in the sunlight. And how do you know that a gorgeous little floral number is vintage?

Vintage Sheet Tag

Check the tag. Made in Australia’s the giveaway.

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Beetroot Cannelloni 1Beetroot Cannelloni 2Beetroot Cannelloni 3Beetroot Dip 3Beetroot Cannelloni 4Beetroot Cannelloni 6Beetroot Cannelloni 7

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Muesli BarFor many years I’ve searched for the perfect muesli bar recipe. It has to be tasty, healthy, sugar-free, easy to make and chewy. I’m excited to share this recipe from Minimalist Baker for Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars. Check out her amazing photographs and please try this!

As a note I used organic almond paste (which is 100% almonds) and *ahem* don’t forget to remove the pits from the dates.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed dates, pitted (deglet nour or medjool)
  • 1/4 cup honey (or sub maple syrup or agave for vegan option)
  • 1/4 cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, loosely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.
Instructions
  1. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about 1 minute). It should form a “dough” like consistency. (mine rolled into a ball)
  2. Optional step: Toast your oats in a 350 degree oven for 15-ish minutes or until slightly golden brown. Otherwise, leave them raw – I just prefer the toasted flavor.
  3. Place oats, almonds and dates in a bowl – set aside.
  4. Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the dates to disperse throughout.
  5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8 dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they lift out easily. (A loaf pan might work, but will yield thicker bars.)
  6. Press down until uniformly flattened. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let set in fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden.
  7. Remove bars from pan and chop into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. I kept mine in the freezer to keep them extra fresh, but it isn’t necessary.

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Dirty RiceDo you ever get the feeling that brown rice is the least desirable member of the grain family? Well I love brown rice. I love its nutty texture, its earthy colour, its distinctive flavour. I want to be the Patrick Swayze to this dish and give it its moment in the spotlight. This meal is fabulous with leftover brown rice that has sat in the fridge over night. I’m deliberately loose with the measurements; make the proportions to your own preference.

DIRTY RICE

Ingredients

Cooked brown rice that has been cooled in the fridge

Vegetable Assortment i.e. broccoli, red capsicum, mushrooms, carrot….cut into stir fry sized pieces

Extra firm tofu, sliced and patted dry

Garlic and Chilli, finely diced

Cashew nuts

Soy Sauce

Olive Oil

Instructions

1) Fry the tofu crispy, then set aside.

2) Heat a generous amount of oil in a wok. Add chilli and garlic, closely followed by all the vegies with some generous splashes of soy sauce. Cook for a few minutes.

3)  Add tofu, cashews and brown rice. Add more oil and soy sauce. Cook stirring until well heated.

Enjoy!

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Not Ice Cream

Recently I’ve been visiting Little People Nutrition and was intrigued by a recipe for Dairy Free Banana Coconut “Ice Cream”.  Feeling curious, I decided to experiment with a combination of Banana, Raspberry and Coconut Cream. After trying this a couple of times now, I can honestly say…I can’t believe it’s not ice cream. This iced dessert is sugar-free, preservative free, additive free and colouring free. It has only three ingredients, can be made using completely organic products and is only sweetened by the natural sugars in the fruit.

Ingredients

1 can of coconut cream

2-3 ripe bananas

A cup or so of raspberries (or pre-packaged frozen raspberries)

Instructions

1) The night before, or early in the day, you will need to pour coconut cream into a couple of ice cube trays to freeze. You will also need to chop and freeze the bananas and the raspberries. Once these have set, you have your three ingredients. I used about a third of each.Ingredients

2) Place the three frozen ingredients into a food processor and blend. It may be difficult to blend at first if it’s frozen hard, but it will gradually break up. Stop every few moments to use a spatula to scrape down the sides and scoop off the base, then continue blending.

Food ProcessorThere’s something quite magical that happens during this process as air is whipped into the components. The end result is a lovely, light, ice cream-tasting dessert.  I am so looking forward to trying this with other fruits. Mango would be sublime…with some crushed macadamias included at the end. If you try this dessert at home, let me know what you think.

Pink Iced Dessert

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Homemade PastaWe’ve been tinkering around with a pasta maker we were given a few Christmases ago. There’s loads of tutorials on the internet so I don’t really have anything to add here. Except that I’ve learned kneading wholemeal pasta is a bit like learning to drive a manual vehicle before an automatic. Once you can knead wholemeal dough…the white dough’s a piece of cake. I mean, this baby is TOUGH. Prepare yourself for a workout. Wholemeal pasta also tastes better and makes you feel smug. My husband is pictured below kneading white ’00’ flour which is very finely milled…oh what a breeze. Kneading Dough

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The Accidental Gardeners

We’re absent gardeners, forgetful with water and not much is safe around our two toddlers. Yet somehow in the space of a few short months, we have managed to grow ourselves a vegie garden.

A real one.

This year we’ve harvested half a dozen zucchinis, a bunch of baby carrots, a couple of heads of lettuce, a punnet’s worth of cherry tomatoes, a dozen green beans, bucket loads of wildly out-of-control rocket and a crop of 1-metre high basil to keep us in pesto for a year. Our passionfruit vine grew like Jack’s beanstalk and is covered in little green golf ball shaped fruit. In pots we have lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, chilli, a bay leaf and kaffir lime tree.

It’s incredibly satisfying to have an edible garden. Forget Fischer Price, our garden provides endless entertainment for the kids. Watering, mulching, caterpiller capturing and handling little yellow lady beetles. The kids have taken to chewing on basil leaves and can identify herbs from their smell and taste.  Given the size of our backyard, I can’t imagine us ever living sustainably, but we can keep ourselves in herbs and teach our kids where food comes from.

In terms of sharing a garden with toddlers, I can’t recommend enough the Birdies raised garden bed, which provides a little protection for our green friends and puts the vegies at a lovely height for our backs. The kids have a little foot stool each which they happily ferry between compost bins and vegie patch. We had our garden bed filled with beautiful soil from Flower Power…which was a fabulous event all on its own (see below).

I don’t know if it’s our Sydney climate, but I’ve come to the view that if we can garden…anyone can.Soil

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