Tag Archives: organic

Beetroot, Cauliflower and Fennel soup

This soup is a delightful combination of colour and flavours with each of the main ingredients influencing the dish. The beetroot provides the most magnificent colour, the fennel a strong flavour and the cauliflower an interesting texture. 

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So lovely with fresh parsley.  This is the colour of the soup on the second day. A bit more pink than red.

Ingredients:

2 large beetroots peeled and diced

1/2 fennel washed and sliced

1 whole cauliflower washed and diced

2 sticks celery washed and sliced

1 brown onion diced

2 tablespoons Macadamia oil

3 cups home made chicken stock (see soup section for recipe)

Add all ingredients excluding the chicken stock into a saucepan and cook on a low heat until they soften. You should stir the mixture every now and again during this stage.

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All the vegetables are prepared. Drizzle with oil and cook on a low heat until they start to soften.

Once the vegetables are soft add the chicken stock and let simmer for at least an hour with the lid on.

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Ready to be pureed

Puree the mixture using a hand mixer and when it has a smooth consistency, place back on the stove and let cook for at least 30 more minutes on a gentle heat. Taste now to see if the soup needs more seasoning.

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Use the hand blender to create a smooth consistency

When the soup is cooked serve it on its own or with your favourite herbs or meat.You can freeze the left over soup or have it the next day for lunch or dinner.

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Served with baked salmon. Just after cooking the soup was very reddish but went a bit pinker on the second day.

You can follow me daily on Instagram at holistic_paleo.

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Mini quiche: A meal or a snack!

Bake a batch of mini quiche and discover how delicious they are! Fantastic for the whole family.

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A small quiche can be part of a meal or a great snack.

The basic ingredient of the mini quiche is eggs (preferably free range or organic). What you add to the mix is entirely up to your preferences. This could include seeds, nuts, vegetables, cheese and seasonings as examples.

Broccoli quiche:

Mix in a bowl eggs, grated carrot, spring onion green tops, parsley, a meat such as tuna (optional), pink rock salt and black pepper. Grease the pan very well or use patty pans. Pour the mixture into each hole in the pan and place a piece of raw broccoli in the centre of each. Cook in a 200 degree celsius oven until firm and golden.

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These muffins are poured directly into the pan. Ensure you grease it well.
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Nice and golden,. Use a knife to cut around the edges and gently pull out.

Egg and bacon quiche are delicious straight out of the oven.

Place a strip of bacon into the greased tray and crack an egg into each hole. Season with pink rock salt and black pepper.

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These simple egg and bacon snacks are so easy to make and the bacon makes them easy to lift out of the pan.
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Cook until the eggs are just cooked
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Fantastic served with vegetables

Mini quiche are also a great snack and lunch box filler. Have the leftovers the next day with a salad for lunch or grab one for morning tea. Alternatively enjoy the quiche the next night by gently reheating in the oven and serving with a delicious salad or roast vegetables.

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Small broccoli quiche with a beetroot spiral salad, sweet potato chips and bacon. Quite a combination.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. You can follow me daily on Instagram at holistic_paleo

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Beetroot, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup.

This soup has a wonderful balance of flavours with the most important element  being a beautiful home-made chicken stock. It is such a delightful colour and looks so much like tomato soup but has a very distinctive flavour of beetroot with a lovely sweetness. 

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A thick and delicious soup with a surprising flavour.

Ingredients:

Check the recipe-soup section of the website for the chicken stock recipe.

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1 litre of home-made chicken stock, 2 small beetroot or 1 1/2 large, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 large brown onion, 1/2 teaspoon pink rock salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
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Just a small amount of pumpkin to thicken up the soup.

Method:

Prepare the vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping.

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Add all ingredients except the stock, into a medium-sized saucepan with some olive oil.
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Cook until the vegetables are starting to soften and stir the ingredients every few minutes.

Add the stock and put the lid on and let simmer for about 60 minutes.

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When the vegetables are soft take off the stove and blend with a hand blender.
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Blend well so that there are no lumps. Place back on the stove on a gentle simmer for approximately another 30 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as required.

This is a very thick and filling soup. It has the most delicious sweet flavour and the colour is enticing. The main tips for this soup are to brown the vegetables before you put the stock in, use a very good quality home-made stock and use fresh vegetables.

You can follow me daily on Instagram at holistic_paleo

Lemon, walnut and silverbeet quinoa risotto

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a nutritious gluten-free grain alternative and is in fact a seed from a vegetable linked to swiss chard, spinach and beets. It is considered a super food and is high in protein, with a good balance of all 8 essential amino acids, making it a good choice for vegetarians. It is also high in fibre and has a low-GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable as well as having a slightly alkaline effect on the body.

This dish was very quick to make as l pre-cooked the quinoa and the flavours in it were lovely. There was a strong hint of lemon, a crunch from the walnuts and a flavour kick from the addition of fresh ginger and cumin.

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The risotto is quite sticky so it held together nicely when l placed it in a glass ramekin to shape.

I was inspired to make this risotto as l have a vegetable garden filled with greens including masses of silverbeet. There is no need to follow my recipe to the letter as part of cooking is having fun and experimenting with new ingredients and flavours, and my cooking is quite plain due to food intolerances, so you may wish to spice it up a bit more.

Ingredients:

2 cups organic quinoa (l used white)

Filtered water

Olive oil

1 tablespoon organic tomato paste

1 small tomato diced

1/2 red capsicum diced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

3 large leaves of silverbeet

Fresh parsley and basil chopped

1 cm fresh gInger finely sliced

2 spring onion green tops sliced

5 snow peas sliced

1/2 carrot finely diced

1 cup roughly chopped raw activated walnuts (or another nut)

Lemon juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

1 tablespoon Organic apple cider vinegar

Pink rock salt and ground black pepper (season to taste)

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White quinoa

Cooking quinoa requires some pre-planning as it needs to be soaked and rinsed prior to cooking. I soaked 2 cups of quinoa in filtered water all day and then rinsed just before cooking to remove the bitter tasting saponins. You can soak it for a shorter time such as 30 minutes if that is all the time you have. I placed the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan and covered with filtered water so that there was about an inch of water on top of the grain. I brought it to the boil, then let it simmer with the lid on until the water was absorbed and the seeds had popped open. You can turn the heat off at this point while the rest of the dish cooks.

In a fry pan place a splash of olive oil, the organic tomato paste, tomato, red capsicum and cumin. Let that cook for a minute then add the quinoa and mix well. Now add the rest of the ingredients and season well to taste with pink rock salt and ground black pepper.

Give it a good mix for a couple of minutes and serve. I spooned mine into a ramekin, then turned it upside down and let it slip out onto the plate. It looked lovely when it was on the table garnished with lemon rind and parsley.

If you don’t have the ingredients listed just use what you have in the fridge and you can also make the risotto the traditional way by adding the liquid in small intervals to the uncooked quinoa.

Below l have included a link to my favourite supplier of all organic goods such as quinoa and other pantry essentials. They offer a great service and very good prices with free delivery if your purchase is over a certain amount which is listed on their website depending on your location.

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A fabulous online store for my Australian followers.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. You can also follow me on Instagram at holistic_paleo where you will get daily photos of the meals l prepare and a few other interesting things aimed at inspiring a healthier life.

Apple and cinnamon cake-A Paleo friendly recipe.

Since l have adopted the Paleo diet this cake has become one of my favourite snacks, being gluten, dairy and processed sugar free.The mix of coconut, cinnamon and apple is really enticing and satisfying. The picture below shows that this cake is very versatile and you can make one cake or easily double the recipe so that one or two can go into the freezer.

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Such a delicious gluten and dairy free cake.
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I made a double recipe and used square tins.
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A doubled the recipe and made 3 smaller cakes.

A change in thinking:

Most cakes eaten in my life before adopting the Paleo diet had as ingredients butter/margarine, wheat flour, milk and white sugar. Thinking about ways to make a cake that tasted good not using those ingredients has been a challenge but also exciting. This recipe is so flexible and there are other variation on the website such as sweet potato/walnut, banana/coconut, beetroot/pumpkin and banana/coconut/lemon/poppy seed. All of these cakes are so nice and have the same basic ingredients with just a switch in the spice and fruit/vegetable added.

Ingredients:

2 green apples (diced finely or coursely, skin on/off)

2 cups almond meal

1/4 cup organic coconut flour (no need to sift, just squash the lumps))

6 free range eggs (600g or 5 eggs for 700g)

1/4 cup organic coconut oil

1/4 cup raw organic honey

1 teaspoon organic cinnamon

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda (Bob’s Red Mill Aluminium free ).

Method:

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Both sets of ingredients just before mixing them together.

Chop up the apples into small pieces and it is personal preference as to how finely you dice the apples. It is your choice as to whether you leave the skin on or not. The skin will add additional fibre and nutrients, but often there is a wax on the skin which you don’t want to eat. Place the apple in a saucepan with the organic coconut oil and cinnamon and bring to a gentle boil then simmer until the apples are soft. The smell in your kitchen will be amazing. If your honey is solid because the weather is cold you can also add it into the saucepan to melt.

While the saucepan mix is cooling add all of the other ingredients into a bowl, then add the contents of the saucepan to the bowl and mix together gently.

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Everything in the one bowl.
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The mixture after a good stir with a spatula.

Place mixture in a greased and lined loaf tin or tins depending on whether you doubled the recipe. Sometimes l add flaked almonds to the top of the cake and this is a nice touch. Bake in a 180 degree celsius oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the middle of the cake is firm.

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I grease my tins with coconut oil and line with baking paper.
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I used three smaller tins with double the recipe here. Smooth the top of the mixture with the spatula before placing in the pre-heated oven.

You will know when the cakes are almost done as your house will be smelling amazing. Remove the cakes from the oven and cut around the edges with a knife to gently separate from the tin. Gently turn onto a cooling rack, remove the baking paper and flip over to cool. This is a good time to have a piece as it is so delicious when warm. I use a serrated knife to cut the cake and this works better than a regular sharp knife.

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The piece on the end is always the most popular as it is extra crunchy.

Hint:

When cool, l slice this cake into single portions, wrap in glad wrap and freeze. When l am working and pack a lunch l just pop a piece into my lunchbox. Now my husband has realised how delicious it is l make double batches every few weeks to keep up the supply.

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What a delightful cake!

If you have enjoyed this recipe please share it with a friend. Please also follow me on Instagram at holistic_paleo.

Eat a fresh rainbow everyday!

Better than medication
Let nutrition be the focus of our eating habits.

There are so many ways to add colour to your meals, but the best way is to include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. The health benefits of eating a diet filled with a rainbow of colours is well known, but as l have tried to incorporate more vegetables into every meal, l have discovered the joy of eating food that is a range of bright colours. Not only are the range of flavours so amazing, but eating fresh colourful food is exciting, motivating and makes me feel happy.

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A green pancake for breakfast. Paleo recipe, gluten, dairy and sugar free filled with loads of parsley, bok choy, spinach and kale. Topped with activated almonds, organic coconut flakes and organic maple syrup. Served with fresh avocado and a daily magnesium drink.
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Breakfast pancake topped with fresh fruit, activated walnuts, coconut flakes and organic maple syrup.

A food as Medicine approach underpins my nutritional motivation, and everything l eat has a purpose and a high nutritional value. Eating a rainbow of fresh, healthy food will ensure you are consuming healthy vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre that will help you on your wellness journey.

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Lunch: A beautiful fresh raw salad.

If your daily rainbow consists of peas, carrots and corn then it is time for a change. Our taste buds can get a bit lazy and are a victim of our comfort zone just like the rest of our habits are. Trying new foods can be challenging and it can take a number of goes at eating a food, or preparing it in a variety of ways before we become accustomed to its taste, texture and how it feels in our mouth when eating. There is also the challenge of learning how to prepare new foods, but if you add one in at a time then it can be exciting and an adventure.

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Lunch: Spiced beetroot & vegetable cauliflower rice, with tuna, avocado, tomato and seeds.
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Lunch: Poached free range eggs & bacon with fresh avocado and carrot strips.

The first step after deciding you want more colour in your food is to buy a selection so it is available for you when preparing meals. If you need guidance, use a recipe that appeals to you as a starting point. I have found Instagram to be an amazing source of inspiration as l can visually see what other people are cooking and eating which helps my motivation to try new foods.

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Cold pressed green juice made from bok choy, celery, green apple, lime and ginger.
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Amazing red juice of beetroot, celery, pear, carrot & fresh ginger.

Take ownership of your food intake and start experimenting with new ingredients. It can be fun and rewarding to sit down to a meal that you have lovingly prepared for yourself and family, especially if it has an array of lovely stimulating colours that gets the family talking about what you have made.

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Dinner: Baked fish on a bed of beetroot noodles with a vegetable stir fry.
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Dessert: Banana, apple & mandarin ice-cream made with the cold pressed juicer and an avocado based chocolate mousse.

I try to make my meals interesting, flavoursome, paleo friendly and highly nutritious. It takes planning, thought, time, motivation and a strong commitment to staying on track when life inevitably throws a few challenges into the mix. I live in a busy household with a husband and three children who are mostly non-paleo. This is a major challenge for me and l am educating them, but this nutritional and lifestyle path that l am following is not without its challenges.

Top tips:

  • Take an interest in what you are eating. Help with the shopping and cooking and plan your meals.
  • Be prepared. Have a plentiful supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in the house.
  • Try to incorporate colour into every meal, ideally by using mostly vegetables and some fruit with a focus on raw or lightly cooked where possible.
  • Have a positive attitude to trying something new and do some research by looking at magazines, online or speak to a friend who inspires you. Better still, study Nutrition as l have done!
  • Take it slowly. Change is difficult and our old habits are comfortable and easy to fall back into when a challenge comes our way. Slowly form new habits and incorporate them into your daily life.
  • Have fun with it! Go to local markets and explore. Experiment in the kitchen with the fresh ingredients.
  • Have a good attitude. See it as a diet of abundance rather than a diet of deprivation.
  • Think of your short and long term goals and make every bite you take a nutritious one.
  • Eat because you are hungry! Cut out the emotional, social, bored or habitual eating.

Follow these tips and you will be on the road to a healthier you!

If you have enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. I post daily on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with pictures of the food l prepare and eat, as well as a few wellness tips and healthy resources. Thank you Carolyn

Chocolate, coconut and strawberry balls (Paleo recipe)

A raw frozen treat free of gluten, dairy and processed sugar. 

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Morning snack: fresh strawberries, raw organic dark chocolate and the frozen chocolate, coconut and strawberry balls.

These little balls of sweetness are a delightful raw frozen treat to have at any time of the day and the combination of chocolate, fresh strawberries and coconut is very nice. They are quite soft at room temperature which is why they are best eaten frozen, but if a firmer ball is desired the avocado can be left out.

Ingredients:

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Fresh strawberries!
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I actually used fresh coconut, but shredded coconut is excellent.

8 medjool dates (seeded)

1 dessert spoon organic raw cacao

3 tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 cups of mixed raw nuts (I used brazil and walnuts)

8 fresh strawberries (washed and the green top removed).

2 tablespoons black chia seeds

1/2 cup organic shredded coconut (plus a bit extra for rolling the balls in)

1 small avocado (optional)

Instructions for making the balls:

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and mix until well blended.

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Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and blend.

Use a spoon to form balls of mix and roll in the extra shredded coconut.

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Roll the balls in the extra coconut.

Place the balls in a container and place in the freezer.

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Serve the balls with some fresh strawberries.

As these balls are raw they are really quick to make and filled with wonderful nutrients. Store the balls in an airtight container in the freezer and grab one when you need a healthy snack.

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Chilli Dipping Sauce

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Not too spicy, refreshing, tangy and best of all made with nourishing ingredients.

This is a really nice dipping sauce and is just right for those of us who are sensitive to most things in a bottle or package. It is a recipe taken from the Gawler Foundation Cook Book ‘eat well: be well’ which l recently reviewed on another blog and is a book l can highly recommend.

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Amazing ingredients!

Gather together the ingredients shown above:

3/4 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar which l keep in the fridge.

1/2 cup Raw organic Honey (any honey is fine but l like this one)

1/8 teaspoon dried chilli flakes or 1/ fresh chilli finely diced (I used the dried chilli and used the smallest amount which l cut finely with a knife. The amount added will vary for each person).

5cm piece fresh ginger (grated)

1 small red capsicum or 1/2 a largish one (Finely diced. I did this in the food processor)

1 spring onion finely chopped (I only use the green tops due to a food sensitivity)

Method:

In a small saucepan bring the honey and vinegar to the boil, then add the chilli and let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes.

Place the red capsicum in a bowl and squeeze the grated ginger so the juice falls on top of the capsicum. Give it a gentle mix.

The original recipe now says to pour the honey mixture over the capsicum mix and let it cool and then add the spring onion, but l did something different here. I let the honey mix cool first and then poured it over the capsicum as l wanted the capsicum to remain raw and then added the spring onion, so up to you as to which method you choose.

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Dumplings (chicken, vegetable and herb)

I used the sauce to pour over these small steamed dumplings l made using rice paper sheets. The rest of the family had the sauce with my crispy cinnamon chicken (see recipe section on website) and basmati rice.

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Lunchtime healthy salad. I drizzled the chilli sauce over the salad. It was a taste sensation!

This is a very versatile sauce and really easy to make as long as you have the ingredients on hand. Adding flavour to a meal can be a challenge when you have food intolerances or sensitivities and this sauce will definately added some brightness and flavour to those of us living on a restricted diet.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am also on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and would love you to follow me. Thanks Carolyn

Sensational Seed and Nut bars

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Healthy, easy to make seed and nuts bars, or just seed bars if you leave the nuts out as the ones above. This recipe is very flexible and l know there are heaps of other bar recipes on the web but this one suits me, my lifestyle, tastes and food choices. The ingredients are all wonderful and you can add more or less of each seed and it wont matter. To be adventurous you could add herbs, raw cacao, cinnamon or garlic and l may start experimenting a bit now l have this basic recipe worked out. The ones in the picture above do not have nuts or coconut, but l prefer the batch l made today which included them. I use organic and activated ingredients but it is up to you and your preferences. Regular nuts and seeds will work well, but l need to support my digestion and overall health as much as possible so use the best ingredients l can.

Ingredients:

1 cup activated organic sunflower seeds

1 cup activated organic pumpkin seeds

1 cup organic sesame seeds

1 cup black chia seeds

1 cup activated mixed nuts (I used walnut, almond and brazil)

A generous 1/2 cup organic shredded coconut

8 Medjool Dates seeded and chopped (roughly chop just to make it easier for the food processor)

A good 1/2 cup raw organic honey (use organic or regular honey if that is what you have or even rice malt syrup)

A good 1/2 cup organic coconut oil

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Place the nuts, seeds, shredded coconut and dates in the food processor and chop until roughly chopped. Tip this into a good sized glass bowl. I used the same measuring cup for the organic coconut oil and raw organic honey and with both in there it should look really full. Put the coconut oil in the cup first so it is easier to remove.

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Melt the coconut oil and honey in a saucepan on very low heat. You don’t want it too hot so remove from the heat just before it is all melted. Give it a stir and then pour it into the seed, nut, date and shredded coconut mix. Stir well and taste test. It should be delicious and sweet.

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Place a sheet of grease proof paper over a baking tray and run your finger around the edge to make a crease. Pour the mix onto the tray and flatten with a soft spatula or the back of a spoon. Make sure it is quite even across the whole tray and give special attention to the corners.

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I have tried a few different oven temperatures and times but basically you don’t want the oven too hot as you will burn the seeds and lose lots of nutrients, and you want to just cook it until the edges are going golden. I cooked mine today in a Fan Forced Convection Oven at 170 Degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. You will be able to check this after your first batch.

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Remove the tray from the oven and let cool until cold. I left mine for about 1.5 hours.

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Use the edges of the baking paper to carefully remove the bars as a whole from the tray and lay it on a flat bench. Cut the bars while still on the baking paper into whatever size suits you using a very sharp knife and wiping clean after cutting a row. I think it is better to have the bars quite small as then you have more of a choice over serving size.

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Carefully lift each bar into the container for freezing unless you are going to eat them all fresh. If they are a bit crumbly you can place the whole lot into the freezer with a cutting board underneath so they harden a bit before placing in the tub.

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The best part of the whole cooking experience is eating the crumbs. Scrape them off the baking paper and into a bowl. Enjoy! You could dip something into these crumbs such as a banana or use them as a topping.

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If you enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. I am now on Instagram!, Twitter! and Facebook! which are all accessible through the webpage. Instagram: holisticwellnessforlife, Twitter: Holistic Wellness @carolynlgray, Facebook: Holistic Wellness For Life. Thanks Carolyn

Snack bars-all natural

 

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Another lunch box filler or sweet snack to fill in the holes that are left by following a restricted diet. These snack bars are crunchy and sweet eaten straight from the freezer which is how l prefer them, but if l pack them in my lunch box for work l use a cool block so they stay cool. The raw organic honey, medjool dates and organic coconut oil provide the elements of sweetness and stickiness that helps to hold the bars together. Everything in these bars is healthy and natural and the best part is scraping the bits off the tray and eating them while still warm. See if you can resist!

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I like to make things in bulk and freeze them but if this doesn’t suit you then just halve the recipe. If you halve it just use one baking tray instead of two. It can be good to start with a smaller quantity as it often takes a few goes to get a recipe right or to make adaptations to it that suit you.

Ingredients:

1 cup Almond Meal (I keep mine in the fridge)

1 cup organic shredded coconut

1 cup organic sesame seeds (I also keep all of my seeds and nuts in the fridge)

1 cup of Pepitas

1 cup of Sunflower Seeds

1 cup of Chia Seeds

2 cups of chopped nuts (I used walnuts almonds and macadamias)

2 teaspoons organic cinnamon

12 medjool dates seeded and chopped

4 generous tablespoons raw organic honey (or organic honey)-warm so it is just a liquid

1 good cup of organic coconut oil-warm so it is a liquid

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Method:

Place the nuts and dates in the food processor and pulse. Add all of the other dry ingredients and mix well. Place in a bowl and mix through the liquid honey and coconut oil. This is the time for a taste test. Yum!

Grease the two trays well with coconut oil (one if halving the recipe) and place half of the mixture on each tray. Spread the mixture evenly over the tray and using an egg flipper push the mix down so it is flattened and compacted. Focus on the corners and edges also. Place the trays in a pre-heated 160 degree celcius oven and bake until the edges are quite golden. Around 30 minutes but it will depend on the oven.

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Let the trays cool for about five minutes and then run a sharp knife around the edge of the tray and carefully cut lines into the mix as shown in the picture. When the trays are completely cool, cover with cling wrap and place into the freezer for about one hour. Take the trays out of the oven and use a cake server to go around the edge of the tray and loosen the bars. Bend the tray slightly until you can see the bars lifting off the tray. Use the cake slicer to carefully lift each piece out of the tray. Place into a container and put in the freezer. This is the time to scrape the leftover pieces off the tray and enjoy. So yummy!

If you have enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. I am also on Facebook at Holistic Wellness For Life and Twitter at Holistic Wellness@carolynlgray. Thanks Carolyn

Vegetable Soup

    

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There is so much comfort in sitting down to a lovely bowl of vegetable soup, especially on a cold day.

It might seem kind of basic to be writing about how to make vegetable soup but if you haven’t had a go at it these tips might help. I like to make up big batches of soup and keep them in the freezer in small containers so l can use them as needed. The soup freezes well and if l don’t have time to let the soup defrost overnight l place the frozen tub in a small amount of hot water so it loosens from the container, then put it in a saucepan with a small amount of water. This method works very well as l do not use a microwave oven so need to find other ways of managing.

First step:

The whole base of the soup is a good stock. I have a recipe on my website for making a stock from a chicken base but you can use beef or lamb shanks. My mother used to put the lamb shank into the soup and let it all cook for several days and if you can find some grass fed lamb shanks this would be very nice. I don’t eat red meat now due to my lack of a gall bladder but my Dad was a sheep farmer and we had some lovely lamb meals when we were growing up. Although l don’t eat the red meat l could still put the beef or lamb bones into my stock mix but at this stage l am in the habit of using free range chicken as we often have a roast chicken for dinner and it is economical to then use the bones, skin and leftover meat in the stock.

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The pictures above show the cooked stock, draining out the bones and meat and finally the delicious stock which is the base of the soup. At this stage you can place small amounts of the stock in containers and freeze to use in casseroles or bolognese as examples depending on the quantity of soup you wish to make.

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Decide which vegetables you would like in your soup. I chose sweet potato, celery, pumpkin, carrot and cauliflower this time. You can add anything that you like such as cabbage and some onion if you can tolerate it. My mother used to add split peas and soup mix but l have found these can create digestive issues so avoid them now. Make sure your vegetables are washed well then cut into small pieces. Vegetables such as the carrots and celery will be there in the diced form in the final soup, but the softer vegetables such as sweet potato and carrot will dissolve and thicken the soup. Place all of your chopped vegetables in the pot with the broth and let simmer all day. Get a potato masher and mash some of the softer vegetables such as the pumpkin so they break up and thicken the soup. Serve in a bowl or mug and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. You can add a clove of crushed garlic or some sliced spring onion tops at serving as a garnish and extra flavour. Let the soup left over cool and place into the fridge or freezer for later use. Another handy idea is to take the soup hot to work in a thermos so you can enjoy a lovely lunch or have it in a mug for morning tea.

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My favourite chocolate


chocolate

Finding products that are healthy, minimally processed and taste good can be a challenge! One of these foods l think is chocolate as the market is flooded with so many choices and sweetened with a variety of products that the consumer can find confusing to understand the origins of. My dietician recommended the Loving Earth range of chocolate to me and over the past year l have tried many of the different flavours and find that a couple of small squares every day or so supports my well being and keeps the chocolate cravings well managed.

chocolate bulk chocolate duo mint chocolate

At the moment l am enjoying a block of the Organic Raw Dark Chocolate.

raw chocolate

How is this chocolate different to the varieties found in the supermarket?

The Organic Raw Dark Chocolate pictured above is a raw chocolate and it has only two ingredients which are 72% minimum organic raw cacao and organic evaporated coconut nectar. They are the only ingredients in the chocolate and the taste is rich and amazing. This chocolate is also Australian owned and made in the Factory located in Melbourne. I have found a few health food stores in my area who sell the range such as the Cheltenham Organic Store, Melbourne or Raw on Rye but you need to watch out as some other businesses l have been to charge quite high prices and l think around $6-$7  is a good price to pay for the 100g block. I also buy this range online from places like Bulk wholefoods on the Mornington Peninsula which is one of my favourite suppliers. If you buy the chocolate online try to do it in weather that isn’t too hot as sometimes my blocks have arrived slightly soft, or some businesses offer a cool pack as an extra charge to help keep the chocolate cool.

This is not the type of chocolate that you can sit down on the couch with and eat the whole block as it is so rich that you will probably feel sick. One or two pieces is a real taste sensation. The mylk chocolate variety is really nice and my other favourite is the dark chocolate with orange and gubinge. I am sure there are other brands for sale in the raw organic field that are wonderful but this is a recommendation for this brand based on a lot of taste testing by myself. I also use these blocks in my cooking such as the chocolate chip cookies in the recipe section of this website and it is fantastic to cook with.

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