Tag: home-made

My Wholefood Romance Fermentation Series Part 1: FERMENTING VEGETABLES

My Wholefood Romance Fermentation Series Part 1: FERMENTING VEGETABLES

fermentedVeg1Welcome to the wonderful world of FERMENTATION! I’ll be your host, Meg. I’ve been wanting to write about this for a long time, as it is a topic close to my heart – and I have a book coming out soon on fermented beverages!! Fermenting is also a very big topic, so I have decided to break it down into a few episodes. This first foray into fermentation is all about culturing vegetables. It is one of the least intimidating ways to ferment, as you don’t need any special starters or equipment. Just a little patience {insert Guns n’ Roses style whistle….any late 80’s early 90’s music fans out there? Anyone??}.

Fermented foods and drinks are magical! Most noted for their positive effects on the digestive system, they work to promote an optimal balance of bacteria in the gut. Healthy gut bacteria is essential to the health of the whole body, and unfortunately many of our dietary and lifestyle habits such as sugar, caffeine, processed foods, toxins and stress are harmful to these precious bacteria. Fermented foods and drinks work to maintain, protect and nourish our intestinal cells, and can also alleviate some common digestive conditions such as IBS, bloating, and reflux to name a few. In addition to their wonderful digestive talents, fermented foods and drinks can improve the function of our immune system, help to regulate our allergic response and reduce susceptibility to allergies, improve detoxification, and can contribute to healthy skin and hair. More on that to come.

The greatest thing about making fermented anything is that they are simple, cheap, delicious and easy to make at home, and they are a lot of fun! Making your own ferments is essentially making your own probiotics.

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I say that fermented foods and drinks are magical, because the process …

Double Chocolate Pancakes vs Blackberry Buckwheat

Double Chocolate Pancakes vs Blackberry Buckwheat

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Pancakes are great! I’m fairly sure I’m not on my own there. The reason I love them so much is that they are so versatile – savoury, sweet, traditional, thin crepe-like, thick pikelet style, and they lend themselves beautifully to catering for any food intolerances. A few weeks ago, The Urban List asked if I would create a healthy pancake recipe for them, which I was super chuffed about, but it got me thinking. I don’t really like to use the word ‘healthy’, as I don’t think it means a whole lot. People have vastly different ideas on what healthy is, and compounded with a complete overload of information available these days, it makes for a confusing world! So, in putting these recipes together, rather than holding them up as the perfect healthy pancakes, I thought about giving some great, sustaining nutrition in the morning, I thought about making them as allergy friendly as possible, and of course I wanted to make them simple and delicious!

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I was very fortunate to have the lovely Jacqui Wilkins in my kitchen to take these beautiful snaps for Urban List – thank you Jacqui. This has inspired me further to take that big grown up step of organising an actual real camera to take my photos with, rather than relying on the ol’ iPhone – which I think has done a pretty good job so far… It also inspired me to clean up my kitchen, ha ha!

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I ended up with two pancake recipes – Blackberry Buckwheat, and Double Chocolate and Coconut. As promised they are easy and quick to make, contain no gluten, dairy or sugar, and are deee-lish! The double chocolate numbers are grain-free, so take extra care when flipping.

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I think you’ll be pleased! You can find the recipes here.

Nourishing Antioxidant Fudge

Nourishing Antioxidant Fudge

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Another chocolate treat for you today, bringing with it some nourishment, balance, and deliciousness as always! Actually, this fudge is almost a little too delicious. The great thing about eating whole and real food is that delicious and nutritious don’t have to live at opposite ends of the street – in this case they are BFFs.

This gooey chocolate fudge is packed with antioxidants, firstly from the gorgeous raw cacao, and secondly with the addition of the maqui powder. You can very easily use acai berry if you prefer, or just leave it out if you don’t have it. It also happens to be loaded with the goodness of coconut oil, so add immune boosting and body nourishing to the list. Round out with some mineral rich protein from the nuts, seeds and spirulina (if using), and you have a delightfully decadent but guilt-free treat – just in time for Easter. The only down side is that is does not travel well, in that it will become soft and start to melt when it has been out of the fridge for a while. This hasn’t been a problem for us as it disappears way too quickly!

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[headline]Nourishing Antioxidant Fudge[/headline]

Gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free

¼ cup almonds

2 tbs sunflower seeds

2 tbs pepitas

1 tbs chia seeds

½ cup desiccated coconut

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons raw cacao (or ½ cacao, ½ carob powder)

½ cup coconut oil

½ cup rice bran syrup

1 tbs maqui powder

¼ – ½ tsp spirulina (optional)

Freeze dried raspberries, cacao nibs, any other nuts and seeds for garnish

Blitz the almonds in a food processor, then add the sunflower seeds and pepitas and blitz again to break them down a little. Add all the other ingredients and process to combine.

If you …

Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream; and how to make ice-cream without an ice-cream machine.

Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream; and how to make ice-cream without an ice-cream machine.

chocthymeplateIt’s chocolate thyme! Ha ha, okay, that was pretty bad. But it’s weird and wonderful flavour combination day at My Wholefood Romance – so I’m a little excited. In keeping with my promise last week, I wanted to show you how to make DELICIOUS ice-cream without the use of an ice-cream machine. Chocolate is fairly universally accepted as being awesome, but to give it a little something something, why not crazy it up a bit with other flavours? Chocolate and chilli, chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and any warming spice like ginger, cinnamon, or cardamom, chocolate and mint, chocolate and orange, Heston Blumenthal’s chocolate cauliflower risotto, you get the idea, the list is endless.

Today I have paired it with thyme, which gives the ice-cream an earthy, ‘adult’ kind of edge, that is still incredibly delicious. If that’s not your bag, feel free to substitute another flavour, or stick to chocolate straight up. This recipe is an egg based ice-cream, but I have kept it dairy free using coconut milk for its creaminess and nutritiousness (not sure if that’s actually a word….). It has only a few ingredients, and provides you with a nourishing sweetness that is full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein.

In terms of health benefits, we normally think if thyme as a respiratory herb, used to assist chest infections or congestion. It is also antimicrobial and antioxidant. In a savoury sense, thyme is great with any vegetable, bean or egg dish, or in any stock, stew or soup. It is easy to grow yourself in a pot, so you can just harvest what you need as you need it.

cocothyme[headline]Chocolate Thyme Ice-Cream[/headline]

10-12 sprigs of fresh thyme

550ml full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder

4 egg yolks…