Tuesday, March 21, 2017
As I was writing up this post, Mr 6 came into the room and looking over my shoulder said 'YUCK! I'm never going to eat sweet potato scones!'
Ok, I say, but what I'm thinking is 'bad luck buddy, you actually scoffed down 3 of them last week and loved them.'
I think it is completely fine to hide vegetables in kids food. In fact I pride myself on doing it really well.
Because my kids are always served vegetables or salad with dinner. I know what they like and what they don't like, and this is the perfect way to boost the nutrition of a snack.
The only sweetness in these is from the sweet potato but the kids ate them with butter and rice malt syrup and they were definitely sweet enough.
I saved a few of these to eat with soup for my lunches and they were the perfect accompaniment to a savoury meal.
Like most gluten-free baked goods they are best eaten fresh but I didn't mind how crumbly they got. It was perfect with soup!
Gluten Free Sweet Potato Scones
150g buckwheat flour
150g gluten free plain flour
1 tbs gluten free baking powder
1/2 ts salt
100g cold butter, cubed
120g cold mashed sweet potato
190ml coconut milk (+ 2 tbs extra to glaze)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Line a 20 x 30cm baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
Place flours, baking powder, salt and butter into the bowl and mix for 6 secs / SP 6.
Add remaining ingredients and combine for 20 secs / lid locked / KNEAD.
Dollop big spoonfuls of mixture into the tray (I got exactly 15 to fill the tray). Brush the tops with the extra milk.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before lifting out using the baking paper as handles on each side. Place on a wire rack until cool enough to eat.
Delicious served warm with butter and syrup.
What's your favourite scone recipe?
Do you think your kids would enjoy these?
Let me know below!
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Years ago, before we had kids and still when my eldest was little we used to buy tons of dried fruit as a 'healthy' snack. Not realising that dried fruit is such a concentrated source of sugar and that most commercial dried fruit contains a preservative called sulphur dioxide which is linked to asthma and respiratory distress, and if you have a sulphite allergy, can actually be fatal.
Jeez, what a downer hey?
I was totally shocked when I first heard about this and I remember going through the pantry to check each and every packet of dried fruit we had. And sure enough, it was on every. single. label.
Looking back it now makes sense that I would feel a tightness in my chest and start to cough every time I ate dried apricots. But at the time I never really made the connection because I knew I wasn't allergic to apricots.
These days we choose not to eat much dried fruit.And when we do we are treating it as a source of sweetness for recipes rather than 'this is healthy so let's eat the whole packet.'
Generally I make bliss balls without any added fruit, preferring to use rice malt syrup as a fructose free sweetener.
But I've had a packet of organic dried cranberries sitting in the pantry since Christmas and it was high time to use them up, so I came up with these bliss balls. The cranberries are still dried with sugar but it is all organic and they don't contain any preservatives.
Anyone who has tasted these bliss balls has immediately asked for the recipe, so that's a sure sign of a winner!
Cacao, Cranberry and Wild Orange Bliss Balls
220g raw almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 dried dates
4 tbs coconut oil
1 heaped tbs cacao powder
5 drops Wild Orange essential oil
desiccated coconut for rolling
Place all ingredients into a food processor or high powered blender and blitz until the mixture sticks together (TMX about 10 secs / SP 8).
Shape into balls and roll in desiccated coconut.
Makes approximately 12.
Do you make bliss balls? What's your favourite recipe? Let me know below!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
I am a HUGE fan of slow-cooked meals.
Being able to get dinner prepped and out of the way in the morning is a brilliant time saver in our busy household, it doesn't heat up the kitchen like the oven does and bonus, slow-cooked meals taste amazing!
Our slow-cooker is used at least a few times a week, even in summer.
I do a batch of bone broth once a week, along with slow-roasted chicken, lamb chops and even stewed fruit.
This sticky pineapple pulled pork is the perfect slow-cooked meal for hot weather.
Pulled pork is wonderful on tortillas or baked potato/sweet potato with a zingy fresh coleslaw or with rice and steamed greens.
My version uses fresh pineapple to create a sticky but not overly sweet sauce that pairs beautifully with the pork.
For maximum flavour you can rub the pork with the honey and spices and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate. Honestly, I am not usually that organised and it's delicious even when freshly made in the morning.
We only have a pork a few times a year so it's a treat for us. Make sure you save the rind for crackling!
Sticky Slow-Cooked Pineapple Pulled Pork
1 x 2kg boneless pork shoulder
1 whole sweet pineapple
1 red onion
1 red chilli (uses as much or as little chilli as you like - 1 small chilli is good for my kids)
2 tbs sweet paprika
1 tbs honey
3 ts cumin
3 ts oregano
3 ts pink salt
2 ts onion powder
2 ts garlic powder
1/2 ts cinnamon
Peel and roughly chop the pineapple and onion, and place them into the Thermomix or food processor along with the chilli and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.
Remove the skin and fat from the pork using a very sharp knife, and either discard it or save for crackling.
Place the pork into a large baking dish.
Mix together the honey, spices and salt.
Rub the mixture over the pork until it is thoroughly coated.
Place the pork on top of the pineapple puree. Pop on the lid and cook on low for 8 hours.
Use 2 forks to pull the pork meat apart and mix through the sauce.
Do you have a slow cooker?
What was the last thing you made in it?
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Having a child who is fussy about food is incredibly frustrating at the best of times.
And at the worst of times? It's a bit of a nightmare.
My now 6-year-old hasn't eaten a good dinner since before he was 2.
Let that fact sink in a little.
That's approximately 1500 nutritious dinners prepared lovingly by me that have NOT BEEN TOUCHED.
If we can get him to the table, he will eat plain pasta with extra virgin olive oil, homemade pizza (no sauce and topped only with cheese, olives and tinned pineapple) and takeaway fish and chips.
The list of foods he will eat is incredibly small and shrinking by the week.
We've done feeding therapy sessions with an occupational therapist and speech pathologist, and seen a GP, naturopath, dietician and psychologist.
So where does that leave us?
Well, it leaves us trying to pack in nutrition wherever and whenever we can.
At the moment breakfast is the only decent meal he will consume in a day.
It is usually a smoothie which I cram to the brim with good stuff like avocado, chia seeds, oats, yoghurt, protein powder, nut butters, berries, greens and more. Something like My Favourite Green Smoothie but with organic full cream milk.
Lunch usually comes home completely untouched so needless to say he is STARVING when he gets home.
So that leaves afternoon tea.
I try to make it a good one!
Hiding vegetables in cakes and muffins etc is not new, but it is definitely my favourite way to increase their nutrition. These have been some of favourites:
'Apple' Crumble Slice (without any apple!)
Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Pumpkin Fruit Cake
Chocolate and Zucchini Muffins
Sweet Potato Brownies
Pumpkin, zucchini, carrot, sweet potato and beetroot all work beautifully in baked goods. Add in a good unrefined sweetener and some sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and you have a delicious sweet treat that will fill them up and give them some much need veggies.
Today I had a lot of pumpkin to use up so I whipped up this pumpkin loaf cake which I am calling a 'Spicy Golden Loaf'. It is beautifully moist with lovely warm flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, orange and molasses.
A slice of this with a glass of milk will happily fill up even the fussiest tummy.
Spicy Golden Loaf
100g butter, at room temperature
100g coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
1 ts blackstrap molasses
zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup mashed pumpkin
1 2/3 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 ts bicarb soda
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts nutmeg
1/2 ts ginger
1/4 ts cloves
Beat together the butter and coconut sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time beating until smooth.
Add the pumpkin, vanilla, molasses and orange zest and mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients and fold through until just combined.
Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and the middle springs back when pressed gently.
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature. Serve with butter.
Do you have a fussy eater?
What are your strategies? Let me know below!
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
So if you haven't already noticed, today is Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day!
Do you do Valentine's Day?
We don't but it is definitely a good excuse to make something chocolatey for dessert!
I've actually been making these little bliss ball beauties for my doTERRA classes that I've been running at home and for friends.
They have been such a hit that I now make them for more special occasions too.
I've been loving experimenting with using different essential oils in cooking and baking.
Plus it's so handy to be able to add a drop or 2 of lemongrass, ginger or fennel, for example, to give a big boost of flavour when you might not have those ingredients handy.
The intense flavours of wild orange, lemon and peppermint oils pair so beautifully with raw desserts like slices and bliss balls.
I've made lemon balls and a chocolate-peppermint slice recently that were just divine so keep an eye out for those recipes soon.
Wild Orange Bliss Balls
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup dates
1/2 ts vanilla paste
4 drops Wild Orange Oil (I use and recommend doTERRA essential oils, click here to find out why)
30g dark chocolate
Zest of 1/2 orange
Place the dates and cashews into the Thermomix or high-powered blend and process to a fine crumb. Add the vanilla, salt and orange oil and process until the mixture clumps together.
Roll spoonfuls into balls and place in the fridge.
Melt the chocolate ( I do it in a small glass bowl over a small pot of hot water simmering on the stove). Drizzle over the tops of each bliss ball and top with a sprinkle of fresh orange zest.
Makes approximately 10
Have you used essential oils in cooking before? Do you have a favourite oil or recipe you would like to share? Let me know below!