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Posts from the ‘Breakfast’ Category

A winning Gingerbread Smoothie, for any time of the year.

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As many of you would know, we ran a Christmas competition in December and received a whopping 120+ entries for festive inspired recipes. Today we are very excited to share the winning recipe with you all. Thank you Melanie Lionello (IG: @naturally_nutritious) for this delicious creation – it is indeed a winning smoothie, for any time of the year.

I now present to you, the much anticipated recipe: Gingerbread Smoothie!

Gingerbread Smoothie

Serves 1.

1 cup almond milk
1 banana
1 dessert spoon chia seeds
1 date
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp mixed spice
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Throw all the ingredients into a blender and combine. Pour into a glass and stand for 10 minutes, allowing the chia seeds to emulsify and the smoothie to thicken. Garnish with whatever your heart desires – I think walnuts would be just delish. Here we showcase chunks of Melanie’s gluten free gingerbread biscuits. The recipe for these will feature in our upcoming eBook, the next in the ‘A Nourishing Kitchen’ series, ‘Morning’, due to be released early 2014 (such a tease, I know ;).

If you’re yet to grab a copy of my whole foods eBook, ‘A Nourishing Kitchen’, you can do so right here.

Free radical fighting choc-mint and berry smoothie. A ‘tough as’ smoothie.

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This smoothie was the result of a post holiday empty fridge and a strong sense that I needed a hefty dose of free radical fighting antioxidants post a slightly over-indulgent festive season (slightly? Hardly!). Enter my antioxidant powerhouse – a minty choc-berry ‘need a spoon consistency’ smoothie, blended until smooth and creamy and ready for teaspoon dippage (my favourite way to eat a smoothie is not to be able to ‘drink’ it).

“So what are the benefits of antioxidants?” And “why is fighting free-radicals so important to our health” I hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you.

What are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are produced as part of everyday life.  Even breathing in oxygen is enough to cause the production of free radicals! Under healthy conditions the body has the ability to neutralise these free radicals on its own, but external factors such as pollution, UV radiation, alcohol, chemicals and smoking can cause an overload of free radicals that the body is unable to cope with, leading to damage. It is this damage that is the primary cause of visible and internal aging and can also contribute to inducing illness. Examples of damage caused by free radicals include:

  • joint inflammation
  • eye (and sight) deterioration
  • accelerated aging
  • increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers
  • damaged nerve cells in the brain

The Benefits of Antioxidants.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals that neutralise the negative effect of free radicals in our bodies. Oxidation in the body produces these free radicals which in turn cause oxidative stress/damage within the body.  Antioxidants, as their name suggests, are capable of stabilising the free radicals before they cause damage.

As an example of the protective effects of antioxidants, the lycopene in tomatoes may help protect men against prostate cancer, the lutein in spinach and corn may reduce the degeneration of the eye lens, and flavenoids may help to lower the risk of heart disease.

Some of the best overall sources of antioxidants are berries, walnuts, raw cacao, sunflower seeds, pomegranates, and ginger. Just think of these as the super foods of the antioxidant world!

Free Radical Fighting Choc Mint & Berry Smoothie

Handful fresh blueberries
Handful fresh mint
2 frozen strawberries
130g coconut water
1 raw egg (optional, or choice of protein powder)
1 dessert spoon chia seeds
1 heaped teaspoon maca
1 heaped teaspoon ground flaxseed
1 heaped teaspoon raw cacao
1 heaped teaspoon goji berries
1 tablespoon organic natural yoghurt

Simply combine all the ingredients in your blender and whizz it up. Pour into your serving glass and allow to sit for twenty minutes to allow the chia seeds to soften. Voila!

What’s your favourite free radical fighting recipe?

The ‘Breakfast in Bondi’ Smoothie.

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This quick and easy recipe pays tribute to my awesome years residing in Sydney, in particular that time spent living by the beach at Bondi. How I loved that life. Jumping out of bed in the morning for a Bondi to Bronte jog and a quick dip before pulling on a (pin striped) suit and heels to jump on the 389 bus to Bondi Junction (it was the 389 wasn’t in Bondi peeps?) and heading off to my corporate job. I remember those days so clearly. I had a flat at North Bondi with a best friend. We have such happy memories of sitting on our balcony on a balmy Saturday night with a big bag of cheesy CC’s or Doritos and (cask) Yalumba chardonnay – before hitting the local clubs. Clearly a little has changed in the 15 (or so) years since.

Tropical fruits are so much affordable and resplendent in Sydney – I recall eating mangos like an apple back then.

‘Breakfast in Bondi’ Smoothie
Makes 1 generous serving.

1 cup coconut water
1 banana
1 mango cheek
1 heaped tablespoon natural or Greek yoghurt (I use five:am organic yoghurt)
1 dessertspoon ground flax seeds
1 dessertspoon chia seeds
1 heaped teaspoon maca powder
Juice ½ lime

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Leave to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to soften and thicken the smoothie.

For more simple, summery smoothie inspiration, you’ll find some scrumptious ideas in my eBook, A Nourishing Kitchen.

Cauliflower Toast.

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Every once in a while I plate up a new creation that leaves me wondering how on earth I got by for so long without it in my life. Much like the 5 minute 40 second egg you see adorning this dish. That recipe is on repeat every single week, without fail. This recipe creation was a suggestion by my friend Tash, and a mighty fine one at that. To all of you gluten-free peeps out there, let’s be honest – eggs are definitely better on toast. I don’t care what you say..that golden yolk needs toast – it needs something to dribble on!

Given many of us choose not to eat toast often (if at all), I’m hoping this alternative will win your hearts, as it did mine. Just don’t blink, you’ll miss it for sure.

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Cauliflower Toast

In order to make this dish you will need a full or at least a half head of cauliflower, for obvious reasons.

Half a head cauliflower, minimum
Good drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Spice of choice (I used a sumac spice rub, you could also use cumin or your spice of the moment!)

Heat your oven to 200C and line a tray with baking paper. Cut the cauliflower into 1.5 centimeter slices, utilising the core to hold it all together. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbing it all over, then rub generously with the spice. Place the ‘toast’ on the baking tray, and into the oven for 30 minutes at 200C (or until golden). Serve immediately, with a five minute 40 second eggs, of course.

Coconut Yoghurt Recipe.

Yogurt with fresh blueberries

Ok, so I won’t judge you for not having the same dairy yoghurt obsession as I. I do understand, really I do. In support of those of you who seek alternatives to dairy (out of taste bud preference – heaven forbid – or of course, dietary requirements), this little post is for you.

Many of us are fully aware of a delightful dairy free coconut yoghurt on the market (CoYo) that is damn tasty but can be a little on the steep side financially, with huge variations between one store and another. For many this yoghurt is to be considered a rare treat. So why not create your very own coconut yoghurt from home? Save your hard earned pennies, know exactly what you’re getting (with every mouthful) and have it on tap if you can.

Coconut Yoghurt Recipe

This simple and delish recipe has been adapted from Lesh, The Mindful Foodie’s coconut milk yoghurt recipe. We particularly love Lesh’s resource as she explains how to prepare this yoghurt both with and without a Thermomix. Thank you Lesh!

Some notes to consider before you begin:

  • If you chose to use canned coconut milk, purchase a full fat variety.
  • The composition of coconut milk is different to dairy, so you will need to add a natural thickener and sweetener (if desired) to reach your desired yoghurt texture and flavour.
  • Live cultures can be sourced from your local health food store, or a good quality probiotic may be used. Alternatively you may use a couple of spoonfuls of a natural yoghurt with live cultures (eg CoYo). Save a few spoons of your yoghurt once it’s complete so that you can start the process again next time.
  • You will need a kitchen thermometer.

Utensils:
Thermomix , OR a stainless steel saucepan and a food grade thermometer
Small sterilised jug (not plastic)
Thermos (with a wide mouth, such as the Thermosaver)
Tea towels
Esky
2 x 500ml sterilised glass jars with lids (sterilise in boiling water and then dry the jars in an oven on low heat)

Ingredients:
900ml coconut milk
2 tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca starch (more if you like a thicker yoghurt)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Live yoghurt culture or probiotic capsules

Thermomix instructions:

Combine arrowroot and coconut milk in the Thermomix bowl. Cook at 90C for 9 minutes, speed 3 (this helps to sterilise, as well as to cook the starch). Allow the mix to cool to 37C (this will take about 1.5 to 2 hours). Then add the maple syrup and stir for 4 sec, speed 3. Pour about ½ a cup of the milk mixture into the sterilised jug and add the culture (if using probiotic capsules, pull them apart and pour the contents into the milk). Gently stir the culture into the milk and pour the mix back into the Thermomix bowl. So that the culture is mixed evenly and the temperature is at 37C, cook for about 3 mins on Speed 2, 37 degrees.

Whilst the yoghurt is heating, fill your thermos with hot boiling water and place the lid on (this helps to sterilise and warm the thermos). Then empty the water from thermos, and pour in the yoghurt. Put the lid on the thermos, and wrap it with some tea towels. Place it into an esky, and leave undisturbed for 12 hours. Then pour into containers and refrigerate for another 12 to 24 hours before eating. This helps the yoghurt to set and thicken.

Stove top instructions:

Combine the arrowroot and coconut milk in a saucepan. Cook on gentle heat for about 9 minutes so the starch thickens. Stir continually. Then turn off the stove and allow the mixture to cool to 43C. Leave your thermometer in and keep checking it periodically. Once cooled to 43C, stir in the maple syrup. Pour about ½ a cup of the milk mixture into the sterilised jug and add the culture (if using probiotic capsules, pull them apart and pour the contents into the milk). Gently stir the culture into the milk and pour the mix into pot. So that the culture is mixed evenly and the temperature is at back at 45C, reheat and stir until you have the temp back to 43C. Then turn the stove off and follow the latter half of the recipe above.

To make a thicker coconut yoghurt you may like to try adding the following:

  • agar agar
  • egg white powder
  • pectin
  • coconut meat
  • Or simply drain excess liquid from the mix.

Now go make some yoghurt. And have fun with it! Be sure to report back with any tips to share!

Savoury breakfast muffins for the kids – a great lunchbox snack!

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A few weeks ago I wrote a review on the gorgeous new Supercharged food for kids eBook by Lee Holmes.  This eBook has been hugely popular, and in light of my absence from work this week I asked Lee if we could share another of her beautiful recipes. I get the feeling that it’s the lunch box that lacks inspiration – what to feed the children whilst ensuring great energy, lots of nutrients and (most importantly) that their interest levels are being met. This protein filled muffin will start your child’s day off on the right foot. In fact, it should get the ‘big kid’s’ mornings off on the right foot too 😉

SAVOURY BREAKFAST MUFFINS

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup natural plain full fat yoghurt
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped ham (no additives)
  • 1/2 cup goats cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Grease 6 pan muffin tray. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl whisk yoghurt, butter and eggs, then add to flour mixture. Stir through remaining ingredients and spoon evenly into muffin tray. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, remove and let cool.

A delicious variation is the addition of smoked salmon. To make them lunchbox friendly swap the almond flour for 100 grams of your favourite gluten free flour.

For over 90 gorgeously creative recipes, plus oodles of tips and tricks to help you ensure your little people are getting the very best start, you can purchase Lee’s book here for $18.

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Strawberry, Orange and Vanilla Chia Jam.

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Last weekend I went to the markets on Sunday afternoon. As many of you would know, visiting the markets at the end of the week has it’s upside – you get loads of produce very, very cheaply! The downside can be the sheer volume of people with the very same idea, which is one reason I don’t tend to go on a Sunday. Anyway. This particular Sunday I bought a LOT of strawberries (a lot of very ripe strawberries) which needed immediate attention. After the recent success of my raw raspberry and vanilla chia jam, I decided to create an equally delicious jam, only this time using fresh strawbs. As with the last recipe – jam was never easier to make, mark my words! Oh and a special little shout out to the gorgeous Catie at The Staple Store, who is one of the most loved functional food store owners going around (in Melbourne). She rocks.

Strawberry, orange and chia jam
1.5 cups fresh strawberries
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1/2 orange, peeled
1 teaspoon orange peel or zest (I literally just sliced a little of the peel, omit if you prefer less tang)
Seeds of one vanilla pod (or vanilla essence)
Sweetener to taste (I used 4 drops of liquid stevia, the orange is quite sweet so you son’t need much).

Simply throw all your ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Cover and pop in the fridge for a minimum of an hour or overnight. The jam should last in your fridge for up to a week. If you prefers yours runnier, add 1/4 cup water to the blender.