Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Bliss Balls with Essential Oils

Christmas Bliss Balls with essential oils - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

My boys have finished school and daycare, I've stopped setting my alarm and I'm making the time to get back into the kitchen - yep it's the Christmas holidays!

I love this time of year!

Leading up to the big day I will be sharing my favourite festive recipes flavoured with pure essential oils. Have you used oils in your food yet? The pure flavour is incredible and can take a very simple recipe to new heights of deliciousness. You generally need only a drop or 2 of each oil so it's also really cost-effective.

So which oils are suitable to use in your food? You will get a clue in the name eg. if it's a herb, spice or fruit it will be food-grade. I only use and recommend doTERRA essential oils and you can find more info about the oils and how to purchase here.

doTERRA essential oils for use in food:

- Wild Orange
- Lemon
- Lime
- Grapefruit
- Basil
- Rosemary
- Thyme
- Oregano
- Cinnamon
- Cassia
- Cardamon
- Clove
- Black pepper
- Cilantro
- Coriander
- Fennel
- Ginger
- Lemongrass
- Peppermint

Yummo!

I made these festive bliss balls for an oils class last weekend and they were a big hit! Packed with flavour, they are perfect for when you are asked to bring a plate and I guarantee you will have trouble stopping at one!

Christmas Bliss Balls (with essential oils)

140g raw almonds
100g dried dates
80 g dried cranberries
pinch salt
1 drop cinnamon essential oil
2 drop ginger essential oil
3 drops wild orange essential oil

Place all ingredients into the Thermomix and blitz for 30 seconds / SP 9.
Roll mixture into balls. Makes approximately 14.

What's your favourite Christmas recipe? xx

Friday, December 1, 2017

Raw Chocolate with Chai and Cashews



It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

At our place the 1st of December is all about Christmas - the tree goes up, the Christmas music goes on and we start our nightly tradition of reading a different Christmas book each night with the kids. Love it!

On Facebook, I'm starting a 12 days of DIY Christmas gifts series today with a selection of recipes using our beautiful essential oils. Hop on over and like My Wholefood Family Essentials to get inspired and play along! 

One of my favourite ways to use my oils is to flavour my food, especially anything chocolate.

So given my chai obsession at the moment I've adapted my basic raw chocolate recipe and made this amazing chai chocolate with cashews!

If you like the warm, sweet spiciness of chai you will LOVE this chocolate. These spice oils are warming for our bodies, can aid digestion and are packed with antioxidants. And of course it tastes AMAZING!

Raw Chocolate with Chai and Cashews

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cashews
pinch salt
2 drops Ginger essential oil
2 drops Cardamom essential oil
2 drops Wild Orange essential oil
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil
1 drop Black Pepper essential oil

Place the coconut oil, cacao powder, salt and maple syrup in a small pan over low heat and stir until smooth and well combined. Remove from the heat and add the cashews and essential oils. Mix well and pour the mixture into a lined 20cm baking pan or a silicone cake pan and place in the freezer to set. Once firm (it doesn't take long at all), break into pieces and store in an airtight container in the freezer.

As this chocolate contains coconut oil it will melt if left at room temperature. You can see in the photo that it was already starting to melt! 

I only use and trust doTERRA essential oils to use at home and in our food. To get your hands on some please leave me a comment below or read this post on how to get started with essential oils

Susan xx


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

gluten free - dairy free - sugar free - chocolate peanut butter cookies - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

Hello dear reader!

I'm back and with a delightfully simple and seriously delicious recipe to share.

As we approach the end of the term, the kids have been really running out of energy. Tempers are short and patience even shorter.

I've learnt that the best way to guarantee a peaceful time after school is to feed them well the INSTANT they walk in the door.

Such a cliche but a few of these cookies and a glass of milk (1 x cows milk, 1 x rice milk, 1 x coconut milk) and there were 3 happy little campers.

I made these yesterday and saved a couple for myself to have today, and I'm so glad I did because they were even better today! More flavour and better texture. When they're fresh they are verrrry soft and likely to fall apart. Next day, they have a good bite to them and are absolutely perfect with a cup of tea.

I've been doing a bit of experimentation with xylitol as a sweetener lately and so far I'm really impressed. Most peanut butter cookies call for equal amounts of peanut butter and sugar, which would be WAY too sweet for us. Even the 1/2 cup of xylitol was a little much and I would cut it back to 1/3 or even 1/4 cup next time.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol made from birch with a low GI. As with all sweeteners, I use it sparingly and rotate between different types so we are not having the same thing all the time.

If you have dogs, I would suggest using an alternative sweetener as it is DEADLY for them and you wouldn't want to risk your fur-babies eating the crumbs of these cookies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup xylitol
1 heaped tbs raw cacao
1 egg
1/2 ts salt
3/4 ts bicarb soda

Mix together until well combined. Roll teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on a baking tray.

Flatten the tops with a fork and bake for 10 minutes, rotating the trays halfway.

Makes 24

Have you tried xylitol? What's your favourite non-refined sugar sweetener? xx

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Glitches

Hey there! You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here lately.

The first reason is that my father had a stroke and car accident at the end of July. He spent 2 weeks in intensive care and now 2 months later is still in hospital. I try to get to the hospital most days which uses up what little ‘spare’ this me I have with 3 children and a business.

The second reason is that my computer died! I was very attached to my MacBook and definitely lost some photos and files in the process. Back up your work people!!!

The third reason is that I’m now running everything from my iPad and cannot for the life of me work out how to upload photos from my iPad into blogger. It just doesn’t work! And a food blog without photos is no food blog at all.

BUT I am still sharing recipes and lots of other good stuff too over on Facebook, so make sure you like my page to stay in touch.

Join me on Facebook

I also have a twice-monthly newsletter which you can subscribe on the top right of this page.

Hopefully back to normal soon, I have so many half written posts waiting for the photos!

Susan xx

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coconut Pannacotta Gummies


Are you a fan of gummies?

We've been making LOADS of them over winter with orange juice, coconut water and immune supporting essential oils like lemon, orange and On Guard. Get the recipe for my citrus gummies here.

The gelatin is just so good for gut health plus the kids love them and have no idea they're eating something so healthy!

I wanted to switch things up a little this time and make more of a dessert.

Pannacotta is one of my all time favourite desserts and it was easily converted into gummies.

While gummies are usually quite firm, I wanted to recreate the wobble that is so characteristic of a Pannacotta so I used just 1 tablespoon of gelatin. With this amount of liquid you could use up to 1/4 cup of gelatin.

I used rice malt syrup as the sweetener here to keep them fructose free, but you could use honey or maple syrup instead.  You might just need less though as they are much sweeter than the rice malt syrup!

Coconut Pannacotta Gummies

1 tin Ayam coconut milk
1 tin Ayam coconut cream
1/3 cup rice malt syrup (or preferred sweetener)
2 ts vanilla extract
1 tbs gelatin (I use Great Lakes)

Place the coconut milk, cream, syrup and vanilla into a small saucepan and mix until just combined.

Sprinkle over the gelatin and leave to bloom for 5 minutes.

Place the pan over low heat and stir together until melted and smooth.

Pour into a glass dish and place in the fridge to set.

Slice into squares and serve.

What's your favourite gummies recipe? x




Saturday, July 29, 2017

DIY Homemade Hand Sanitiser

DIY Homemade Hand Sanitiser with Essential OIls - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

So, hand sanitiser.

Do you use any? Do you use it on your kids?

I remember always having a little green bottle of it stashed in my nappy bag when my eldest was a baby. And it was certainly handy if you had to change a nappy and there was nowhere to wash your hands. Yuck!!

I never felt quite comfortable with it though, which is why it really was for emergency use only.

It seems that was a good thing because it doesn't take much research to see that hand sanitiser has some very questionable ingredients.

One of those ingredients is triclosan.

Triclosan is a chemical used for its antibacterial and antifungal properties in products like soap, toothpaste and hand sanitiser. Have a read of this article on Nourished Life for more info about triclosan and why we should avoid it.

Bottom line, it's no more effective than washing your hands with plain old soap and water PLUS it has some potential serious health implications. The FDA in America has banned triclosan from being used in antibacterial soap products (read here) but there has been no similar move here in Australia unfortunately.

Last term my 8 year old came home with a note saying all children in the class were required to bring in a bottle of hand sanitiser to use in the classroom. Because apparently it takes too long for everyone to wash their hands at the sink that is literally next to their door.

I checked with his teacher and unfortunately our homemade one wasn't going to be acceptable because it's in a glass bottle (and you never keep essential oils in plastic). There is a great guide to natural hand sanitiser here on Nourished Life (I went with the Squeakie for Mr 8 to take to school).

Bottom line - it is best wash your hands with soap and water rather than anything marketed as 'antibacterial', and on those occasions where you can't, choose a natural hand sanitiser without triclosan. My stance on all these types of products is to go as natural as possible.

If you would prefer to make your own hand sanitiser (and given the price of the natural ones you can purchase, you might want to consider it!) this is the recipe I've been making since January.

It has some powerful ingredients, feels nice on your skin, no nasties and it smells amazing.


I use doTERRA's On Guard essential oil blend in this because the ingredients are exactly what I'm looking for. It is a blend of clove, cinnamon, wild orange, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils which together are protective against environmental threats and have cleansing and purifying properties.

The aloe vera gel is moisturising and the witch hazel has astringent, antioxidant and soothing properties perfect for your skin.

Homemade Hand Sanitiser

3 tsp aloe vera gel
1 tsp witch hazel
20 drops On Guard essential oil

Place all ingredients into a 60ml glass bottle* with a spray top. Top up with filtered water and shake before use.

I keep this bottle in a zip lock bag in my handbag so it's with us whenever we're out and about.

When the kids jump back in the car after school, daycare, playing at the park or doing the shopping I give their hands a spray with this and I have to say, we seem to have avoided most of the bugs going around this year.

On Guard is one of our most used essential oils. We have a roller bottle made up with On Guard and Frankincense which we get on our bodies everyday and if anyone has the sniffles or the start of a cough it goes in the diffuser to cleanse the air and support healthy immune function.

Love, love, LOVE our On Guard.

If you haven't yet introduced doTERRA essential oils into your home click on over here to read more.

So are you up for making your own hand sanitiser?

* I get all my glass bottles from au.aromatools.com (there are some available on ebay but people have had issues with quality and breakages so I don't recommend those)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Warm and Spicy Coconut Quinoa Porridge

Warm and spicy coconut quinoa porridge with essential oils - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

When I decided to go gluten-free, I did it cold turkey.

One day I ate gluten and the next I didn't. Simple as that.

Don't get me wrong though there was a lot of preparation involved in that decision and I made sure I was completely stocked up on foods I could eat. But having that line drawn in the sand made things easier for me mentally so I didn't get stressed about eating something I 'shouldn't' because I was trying to cut out gluten.

One thing I never really got a good substitute for was porridge.

I LOVE porridge and have since I was a kid. It's just so comforting, so filling, so adaptable in terms of flavour and it really is the perfect tummy warmer on a cold Winter's morning.

So with that in mind I got serious about finding a decent porridge alterative. Not something that was just ok, but something that was totally delicious and I would look forward to eating.

This coconut quinoa porridge is IT!

I think in the past I have always overcooked whatever gluten-free grain I was trying so it became mushy and stodgy and pretty unpleasant.

This takes literallly 5 minutes to prepare and I've done it old-school in a pot on the stove, partly because both our Thermomix jugs were dirty at the time so I had to, but also because it's so quick and I love a one-pot wonder.

Using essential oils to flavour my food is my favourite way to use them and they give you incredible pure flavour.

The cinnamon and ginger are very warming for the body which is exactly what I need given I feel the cold so much as a result of my dodgy thyroid.

Don't be tempted to half the amounts of coconut milk and quinoa and still use 1 full drop of each of these oils because it's too much!

You can dip a toothpick into your oil bottle and swirl it through your porridge at the end if you prefer.

So there you have it, my new favourite Winter breakfast.

Enjoy!

Warm & Spicy Coconut Quinoa Porridge

2 cups coconut milk
2 ts coconut oil
pinch salt
2/3 cup quinoa flakes
1 drop Ginger essential oil
1 drop Cinnamon essential oil
2 drop Wild Orange essential oil
blueberries, raw almonds and maple syrup

Place the coconut milk, oil and salt into a small saucepan and heat until it just starts to boil.

Add the quinoa flakes, stir and cover. Turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.

Spoon into your serving bowls. Top with a handful of blueberries, some roughly chopped raw almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Serves 2

Are you a porridge person? x

Saturday, July 15, 2017

DIY Homemade Washing Powder with Essential Oils

DIY Homemade Washing Powder with Essential Oils - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

Is Saturday laundry day at your place? With 5 of us the washing on Saturdays feels never ending!

Did you know laundry products (powders, fabric softener, soaks and stain removers) are one of the biggest sources of synthetic fragrance in our homes?

These chemical scents stick on our clothes and are absorbed into our skin as we're wearing our clothes and inhaled at night from our sheets and pillow cases. There's no way this can be good for our health and in fact there's increasing evidence it could be doing real harm. Well no thank you, not at our place!

We switched to lower tox washing powder more than 15 years ago, but then about 4 years ago made the switch to homemade washing powder and haven't looked back!

I've tried LOTS of different recipes and this is by far the best - with the fewest ingredients for the best results.

You can use whatever soap you like but keep in mind that most soaps and soap flakes all have fragrance in them, which is what we are trying to avoid!

I bought 12 bars of Dr Bronner's castille soap bars back in Septemer 2015 and just today used the last one in this batch of washing powder. So obviously it depends how much washing your family does but we seem to get 1-2 months out of each batch.

These are the ingredients I use for my homemade washing powder:

Homemade washing powder with essential oils - ingredients - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

- washing soda
- bicarbonate soda
- salt
- citric acid
- Dr Bronners soap
- essential oils

You can find citric acid in the baking aisle of your supermarket but it's very expensive over time. I buy my citric acid in a 10kg bucket on ebay which works out at about $3 per month. I use it in both my washing powder and dishwashing powder, and it's the BEST toilet cleaner you'll ever use!

Just 1 minutes work and you have delicious smelling and effective washing powder.

DIY Homemade Washing Powder
Adapted from TRTLMT

1 cup washing soda
1 cup bicarb soda
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup citric acid
1 bar Dr Bronner's castille bar soap
10 drops Lavender essential oil
10 drops Lime essential oil
10 drops Eucalyptus essential oil

Roughly chop your soap and then process until fine (TMX 20 secs / SP 5-9)

If you don't have a food processor or thermomix you can grate the soap by hand on the finest side of your grater (I've done that quite a few times!)

Add all remaining ingredients and mix for 20 seconds or until well combined.

Pour into an airtight container.

Front loader - 1 tablespoon per wash
Top loader - 2 tablespoons per wash

If you are making your washing powder in the Thermomix it's very easy to clean afterwards.

Scrape out as much of the washing powder as you can. Add 500ml water and heat for 5 minutes on 50 degrees / SP 3. You should have a full bowl of suds (keep an eye on it though because the more soap left in the bowl the more suds you'll have and you don't want it to overflow!). Just tip out into the sink (I use it to clean the sink at the same time) then rinse and you have a spotless bowl.

homemade washing powder in the thermomix - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

(looks like marshmallow but those are soap suds!)
 
Easy right?

Do you think this is something you'd like to try? x



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gingernut Bliss Balls

Gingernut bliss balls - GF, DF - ginger essential oil - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

I am a ginger in a house full of gingers who also happens to LOVE the flavour of ginger!

So it's no surprise that I keep finding ways to incorporate my beautiful ginger essential oil into my diffuser blends and into my food.

This is my favourite ginger infused diffuser blend to have on at the moment and I don't care in the slightest that it's Winter not Autumn. It smells cosy and comforting and like there's something delicious baking in the oven!


The other ways I like to use it are in my stirfrys with lime and lemongrass oils, and in my quinoa porridge with cinnamon oil. So delicious and such an easy way to get incredible pure flavour.

These recipes are on my list to try next:

Carrot rice with Ginger and Mint
Lazy Avocado Sushi
Glazed Spicy Sweet Potatoes

I wanted to make something different for my last essential oils class so came up with these ginger nut bliss balls. I know not everyone loves ginger as much as me so I kept it quite mild and tamed down with the addition of wild orange. If you are a ginger fiend like me and not serving them to kids, you might like to add another 2-5 drops of ginger oil, tasting as you go!

They are absolutely delicious and quick snack to grab on the run.

Gingernut Bliss Balls

1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1 scant cup pitted dates
50g extra virgin coconut oil
1 ts vanilla extract
1/2 ts salt
5 drops Wild Orange essential oil
10 drops Ginger essential oil

Place all ingredients into the food processor and blitz to a sticky crumb.

Roll teaspoonfuls into balls and store in the fridge.

Makes approx 16.

Do you like ginger? What's your favourite ginger recipe? x

Friday, July 7, 2017

Raw Chocolate with Tahini and Orange

Raw chocolate with tahini and wild orange essential oil - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

Have you made your own chocolate yet?

If you have, you'll know it's both a good and bad thing. Good because it's so easy and so delicious.
Bad because is so easy and so delicious!

We LOVE raw chocolate at our place and I love experimenting with different flavour combinations!

The base recipe is always the same - cacao, coconut oil and whatever sweetener you like.

I generally use rice malt syrup because it's fructose free, not too sweet and it has a very neutral flavour.

Some other great combos I've made before are:
- peanut butter and honey
- almond butter and cranberries
- rocky road with Quirky Cooking's honey sweetened marshmallows, goji berries and cashews
- plain with peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, cardamon or grapefruit essential oils

This combination of tahini and wild orange is my new favourite and it's been a hit with the kids too (even though tahini is a bit of an acquired taste).

So why use tahini? So many reasons not the least of which is, it's delicious!

Tahini is sesame seed paste and a great alternative to nut spreads like peanut butter if you have allergies. It's really high in good fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and has been shown to be beneficial for heart health, helpful for balancing hormones and improving nutrient absorption (https://draxe.com/tahini/).

It also pairs beautifully with both chocolate and orange!

Raw Chocolate with Tahini and Orange

1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1/4 cup tahini (organic and unhulled if possible, but you may prefer hulled tahini as it's lighter in flavour)
generous pinch of salt
5 drops of Wild Orange essential oil

Place all ingredients in a small pot over. Place over very low heat, just to melt the coconut oil, and stir together until smooth. Pour into a lined slice pan or silicone baking pan. Store in the freezer and break into pieces to serve.

What's your favourite chocolate flavour? x

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Super Sprinkle!

Super Sprinkle - boost your nutrition with nuts and seeds - www.mywholefoodfamily.com

I used to love breakfast.

Back in the days when I ate gluten and dairy (and had a myriad of health problems I might add), breakfast was my favourite meal of the day!

Sugary cereal, yoghurt, fruit bread, toast with jam, pancakes, waffles you name it.

These days I'm not really hungry as soon as I wake up and often won't have breakfast until after I've dropped the kids off at school. And as a side note, there's a lot of research about the benefits of fasting so getting a solid 14-15 hours between dinner and breakfast is probably doing me lots of good!

Most days I have eggs scrambled up with some veggies leftover from dinner the night before BUT I'm really starting to crave other things and getting a bit bored of eggs.

For the past few days my breakfast has been a grated appled topped with a few tablespoons of this super sprinkle mix on top. Light, fresh and surprisingly filling!

It's really just a mixture of nuts and seeds but I've started calling it Super Sprinkle to get my kids on board with it. Once I gave it a name they have loved having it on their porridge or yoghurt and in smoothies. Haha!

It's a great way to boost their nutrients and good fats and of course it tastes delicious too.

Just throw everything into the food processor and blitz. We like it a little chunky but you could process it until it is more finely ground and add it to your biscuits and muffins as well to give them an extra boost.

Super Sprinkle

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup linseeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tbs cinnamon
pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients in your food processor or Thermomix and blitz to desired consistency (TMX about 8-10 seconds / SP 9).

What's your favourite breakfast? x


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