Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Hello dear readers!
I've been taking some time away from the computer these past few weeks and am now refreshed and ready to jump back into things.
My big boys have just finished their first week back at school (in grades 1 and 3) and my priority at the moment is keeping their lunchboxes packed with nourishing and tasty food.
I don't know about your kids, but mine are always STARVING on the holidays and tend to graze a lot more. So it's always a bit of a shock to their systems to have nothing between breakfast and 11.10am when lunch starts!
I actually don't mind the boys having sandwiches for lunch as long as they are made with good quality bread and decent fillings.
For me, the ingredients on a loaf of bread should read flour, water, yeast and salt, with maybe some honey for sweetness and a high quality oil for a soft crumb.
If you haven't actually read the label on the bread you purchase you are probably in for a shock - most of them have numbers galore, vegetable oils, unpronounceable preservatives and additives to keep it fresh on the shelf for way longer than it should be.
I Quit Sugar did a post on the 5 healthiest breads at the supermarket but even those contained canola oil and a few other sneaky ingredients.
Baking your own is definitely the best option and my wholemeal spelt bread is the one I make for the kids that always gets eaten.
It's easy and pretty forgiving (my husband can make it on his own!) and it freezes well. I make a loaf most weekends, slicing and freezing it as soon as it has cooled.
If you have a Thermomix and haven't made your own bread yet, what are you waiting for?
The aroma of freshly baked bread is one the best smells in the world and the taste is better than anything you can buy. It's also far cheaper as a loaf of spelt bread will typically set you back at least $6.
I buy my spelt flour in bulk 12.5kg bags through my co-op and store it in the freezer.
The best wholemeal spelt bread that kids actually like
2 ts instant dried yeast
2 ts honey
600g wholemeal spelt flour
2 ts salt
2 ts apple cider vinegar
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Place the water, yeast and honey into the Thermomix and heat for 2 minutes / 37 degrees / SP 2.
Add the flour, salt, vinegar and oil and mix for 10 seconds / SP 3.
Lock lid and knead for 8 minutes.
Leave in the bowl for 20 minutes to rest.
Turn out onto an oiled surface, punch down and shape into an oblong.
Place dough into a large/jumbo/900g bread tin.
Cover and place in a warm, moist place to prove until it rises to the top of the tin (I do mine in the just emptied dishwasher!)
While the dough is proving, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 180 degrees fan-forced.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
Remove from tin immediately and leave on a wire rack to cool.
Do you bake your own bread?
Thursday, January 5, 2017
Hooray it's 2017!
Can you feel it?
There's an excitement in the air - like the coming year is a blank slate just waiting to be filled with all sorts of awesomeness. Like this awesome mint-choc-chip ice cream! But more on that in a moment.
While I am not really into setting resolutions, at the beginning of a new year I think a certain amount of reflection is good.
Some people set goals, some choose a guiding word, some cross their fingers and hope for the best.
Me? I've found 3 little questions to be really helpful:
1. What do you want more of?
2. What do you want less of?
3. What do you want to introduce?
If you sit with each of those questions for a few moments the answers do make themselves known.
For me personally, I want more fun activities with my kids, more focus on my relationship with my husband, more meditation (I've committed to a 365 meditation challenge this year), more personal development, more reading of fiction, more gluten and dairy free cooking because this way of eating is serving me well, and more mindfulness and gratitude
I want less fear, stress and worry about things that I can't change, less self-recrimination, less feeling that I have to do it all.
I want to introduce - more movement, more date nights, a dedicated self-care ritual, to incorporate essential oils more into our daily lives, more fermented foods and a real focus on gut health for myself and Mr 6 especially.
I also want to eat more ice cream - if it tastes as good as this one does!
I've used a tin of coconut condensed milk here but if you have a Thermomix you can of course make your own with whatever sweetener you choose. I usually would but being time-poor on New Year's Eve and also wanting a very white base I chose to buy some. Totally up to you!
Dairy-free Mint-Choc-Chip Ice Cream
3 cans Ayam coconut cream (chilled in fridge upside down for 24 hours before you begin!)
1 can coconut condensed milk (also chilled in the fridge for 24 hours)
3-4 drops peppermint essential oil* (or 1 ts peppermint essence)
100g Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate, chopped into small chunks
Insert the butterfly into the thermomix bowl.
Take your already chilled cans of coconut cream, open them carefully and place only the thick creamy parts into the thermomix. Depending how you stored your can in the fridge you may be able to scoop off the cream leaving some watery milk in the tin, or you could pour off the milk leaving the cream behind. Just don't use the milk for this ice cream or it won't work!
Beat the cream for 30 secs / SP 4.
Add the (already chilled) condensed coconut milk and peppermint oil and whip for another 30 secs / SP 4.
Add the chopped chocolate and mix on reverse / SP 2 for 10 seconds.
Pour into a freezer safe container and chill until firm. Or serve immediately for a (very) soft-serve style ice cream.
My kids went nuts for this on New Year's Eve and there were arguments over who got to lick the bowl and spatula!
If you don't have a Thermomix then a good food processor or blender will work well too!
*I don't believe all essential oils are safe for ingestion. Here though a small amount of peppermint oil in a high fat ice cream is fine. Do what you feel comfortable with and if you prefer not to ingest any essential oils then peppermint essence is a great alternative. If you use oil make sure it is a high quality food-grade one. Click here for more information on the brand I use and love!
Peppermint is one of my all-time favourite essential oils and to help you experiment with it I've done up a handy printable with some of the best uses for this wonder oil. Just click on the image below to grab your copy!
Do you use essential oils at home? What are your favourites?
Let me know below.