Friday, April 14, 2017
While we love chocolate in this house we don't go crazy with it at Easter.
My boys each receive a Lindt dark chocolate Gold Bunny from the Easter Bunny (one of the lowest sugar options around and palm-oil free), and I usually make a chocolate dessert for our Easter lunch but that's usually pretty much it!
You can make nearly anything Easter-y with a little imagination, so I decided to dig out some silicone moulds and make some Easter themed gummies for the boys to snack on over the long weekend.
Aren't they cute??
I've shared before just how good for you homemade jellies are. This is a tweaked version using some of my favourite essential oils to boost the citrus flavour.
The boys went nuts for them (as they always do) without any idea they were having something so nutritious and good for their tummies!
If you don't have any silicone moulds, you can just pour the mixture into a glass dish and slice it into squares once it has set.
When it comes to removing them from the moulds or container, just press around the edges of the gummies lightly with your fingertips, pulling it away from the edges. They should then just pop out.
1 cup orange juice
1 cup coconut water
2-4 tbs organic raw honey (I used 2)
3 tbs grass-fed gelatin (I use Great Lakes in the orange container)
6 drops doTERRA Lemon Essential Oil
2 drops doTERRA Wild Orange or Grapefruit Essential oil
Place all the liquid ingredients into a small pot. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top and leave to bloom for a minute or so.
Turn the heat onto low and using a whisk, stir together until the honey and gelatin have dissolved.
Tip into a jug then pour into moulds.
Place in the fridge to set (only takes about 15 minutes).
Remove from the moulds and store in the fridge in an air-tight container.
You can read more about the essential oils I personally use and recommend here, and be sure to get in touch if you would like to try some for yourself!
Have you experimented with gelatin yet?
Do you have a favourite healthy jelly recipe?
Let me know below! x
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If you're looking for something easy and tasty to make with the kids this Easter, then look no further!
Not only are they a 3-ingredient, 1-bowl wonder, there's no yucky copha in sight.
3 Ingredient Peppermint Chocolate Crackles
200g dairy free dark chocolate (Lindt 70% for the kids or 85% for the adults)
3 cups gluten-free rice bubbles
5 drops doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil*
Roughly chop the chocolate and place it in a large glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Once the chocolate is melted, add the peppermint oil and stir through.
Add the rice bubbles and fold through until well coated.
Spoon the mixture into paper or silicone cupcake wrappers.
Place in the fridge to set. Try not to eat them all at once.
I got 15 from this batch but it depends how much you fill each case.
* Don't like peppermint? The only limit is your imagination! Wild Orange, Grapefuit, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Lime ... go crazy and experiment with your favourite flavours! For more information about how to purchase the oils I use please read this!
My boys went nuts for these and they pretty much made them all by themselves.
Do you have any Easter treats you make with your kids?
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
While I've been dairy free for years, this is my first completely gluten free Easter, which makes hot cross buns a little tricky.
And it just wouldn't feel like Easter to me without hot cross buns!
Here in Australia we all seem to be obsessed with them and they are available in stores from the day after Christmas. That seems a little crazy to me and I refuse to make them out of principle until the Easter school holidays when I just can't get enough of them.
I really wasn't impressed with the first gluten-free recipe I tried. They were very dense and oddly chewy and we couldn't even finish them.
For my next attempt I adapted a paleo hot cross bun recipe and it was a total winner! They are a cross between a bun and a muffin and have a great flavour and texture.
These were meant just for me as the kids had some spelt ones, but they were so good the kids scoffed half of them.
I've given the Thermomix instructions below but if you are using almond meal and buckwheat flour you can just mix them by hand.
Gluten-free Hot Cross Bun Muffins (Buffins)
Adapted from The 4 Blades
100g raw almonds (or almond meal)
100g buckwheat groats (or buckwheat flour)
170g arrowroot flour
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts ginger
1/2 ts allspice
1/4 ts cloves
2 ts baking powder
125g coconut oil, melted
3 eggs at room temperature
2 tbs coconut milk
90g rice malt syrup
80g organic mixed dried fruit or sultanas
1 tbs arrowroot flour
2 ts water
Place ingredients into a small ziplock bag, seal and mix by pressing together with your fingers. It may take a few goes to get the consistency right. If you need more water add it a drop at a time. If it's too runny, add another teaspoon of arrowroot flour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Line a muffin tray with paper cases or use silicone muffin moulds.
Grind the almonds and buckwheat groats together until fine (10 secs / SP 9).
Add remaining dry ingredients (except dried fruit) and mix to combine (6 secs / SP 4).
Add coconut oil, eggs, milk and syrup and mix until smooth (20 secs / SP 5).
Add dried fruit and mix until just combined (5 secs / SP 4 / REVERSE).
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray.
Snip the corner off the bag with the cross mixture and pipe crosses onto the buns (some of the crosses looked a bit wonky after baking but that was part of their charm!)
Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.
Like most gluten free things they are best on the day they are made BUT I froze some of these and they thawed well without getting too crumbly.
I'm making another batch today to stash in the freezer so I can enjoy them for the next few weeks. If they last that long!
Do you have any dietary requirements to think about this Easter?
Let me know below x
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I have a request.
Stop cleaning your house with toxic chemicals that are
bad for the environment and bad for your health!
One of the biggest culprits for poor health is fragrance - those fake smells that are found in practically every cleaning and personal care product on the shelves.
I shared on Facebook recently a new book that highlights just how damaging fragrances can be to our health. Author Kate Grenville stated that more than 1/3 of the population reported negative health effects like asthma, allergies and headaches from exposure to fragrance.
Just think about that for a second.
Every day people are exposing themselves to chemicals that are causing them actual physical harm.
Are you one of them?
I've had a low-tox home for more than 15 years now but before that I was oblivious, even though looking back I was constantly experiencing headaches, fatigue and respiratory problems without making the connection.
I used perfume, deodorant sprays, washed my clothes in fragranced washing powder and had a different stinky cleaning product for dishes, benches, floors, toilets ... you name it.
When you add in all all the toxins in my shampoo and conditioner, make up, paints, insect sprays and the chemicals off-gassed from furniture, carpets and curtains, it was total chemical overload.
And that was just in my own home, when we're out in public you can add in everyone else's personal care products, commercial cleaning products, scented candles and air fresheners to deal with.
No wonder I began to suffer the effects of multiple chemical sensitivity in 2002 and ended up having to quit work.
The problem is so pervasive now that fragrance is "the new second-hand smoke" says one blog post which you can read in full here.
"The emerging awareness of this very “volatile” situation reveals problems much more pervasive and dangerous than tobacco smoke.2 Even washing clothes in detergents and fabric softeners containing fragrances releases toxic chemicals onto the skin and into the air all day long. At night, sleeping in pajamas and on sheets washed in the same toxic materials has the same effect. Because of this, people are awash in fragrances 24 hours each day."
This is horrifying to me and reading things like this makes me even more committed to not bringing any chemicals into our home.
While I've used low-tox personal care products for over 15 years now, it's really only over the past 8 years, since having our first child, that I've been slowly replacing ALL of our store-bought cleaning products with homemade alternatives. Even the so-called 'green' ones.
I now make my own laundry powder, dishwashing powder, all-purpose spray, insect repellant, mould cleaner, toilet and shower cleaner and window/glass spray.
It's made a big difference not only to the air quality within our home but also to our hip pocket.
Buying these natural cleaning supplies and making my own products is FAR cheaper than buying commercial products.
These are my top natural cleaning supplies:
- Bicarb soda (also known as baking soda)
- White vinegar
- Citric acid
- Washing soda
- Castille soap (liquid and bars)
- Pure essential oils
For example, you can buy a 75g container of citric acid at the supermarket for $2.48, which works out at $33.10 per kg. I bought a 10kg bucket of citric acid on eBay for $66 or just $6.60 per kg. Much more affordable don't you think?
My last 10kg bucket by the way, was bought in September 2015 and still going strong.
My favourite essential oils for cleaning:
- Tea Tree
And bonus, the house smells AMAZING!
So if you're someone who likes to have a fresh smelling house, you will love using essential oils in this way.
To help you get started making your own natural cleaning products with essential oils, I've done up a handy cheat sheet with all my favourite recipes - laundry powder, dishwashing powder and rinse aid, mould cleaner, window/glass cleaner, all purpose spray and cream cleaners (like a Jif alternative).
These are all tried and tested and the recipes I personally make and use at home, with doTERRA certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils. You can read more here about why I only use this brand and the benefits I've been experiencing.
Just click below to grab your copy!
If you aren't using oils yet but would like to know more, please get in touch. Message me at susanking.doterra @ gmail.com to find out how you get your oils for 25% off retail and shipped straight to your door.
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!