Melbourne is well-known for its shopping, designers and innovative entrepreneurs. Besides having a long overdue break, I was most excited about experiencing the food of this iconic Australian city. It is the cultural hub of our country and I was looking forward to some of that also!
We sure had a good dose of both food and culture on our first day – attending World Vegan Day at the Melbourne Show Grounds (also home to the set of television series ‘MasterChef‘ and their amazing veggie/herb garden). The event was intense, amazing, educational, confronting, sad, crazy…..it was everything crammed under one roof. It was so refreshing to have so many people passionate about our environment, sustainable food sources, and health in the one place. It really had me excited and provided me with a load of inspiration and ideas to bring back and share with everyone up here in the slightly slow (aka backwards) Central Queensland. Don’t get me wrong I am very happy to be raising my young family here and there has been a shift towards healthier living but people up here do not embrace change and the take up of anything new takes a long, looooooonnnnngggg time!
There is a lot to be said for these events and how surrounding yourself with people who support your ideals and beliefs can influence the conviction you have in your own choices. I often feel a little extreme in my avoidance of grains, dairy, preservatives, chemicals and processed foods because the majority of the people where I live have these things as the staple of their diets. I feel as though I need to justify my choices or that people think I am on some strange fad diet. I am not! I think that anyone who follows an alternative diet must sometimes feel isolated? Or maybe that is just me? Surely not. People do look at you differently when your children have olives, sardines, cherry tomatoes, spinach, a mango and a coconut flour muffin for lunch. And think my children are ‘odd’ when they hear the latest response to the timely question of what to have for dinner, to which my 2-year-old replied “fish and water”. I loved that this minority group were all together supporting their lifestyle choices and sharing and learning from each other. Not to mention the incredible vegan businesses sharing their delicious creations.
Of the amazing array of food available at the event my absolute favourite was the Vanilla Dream coconut ice-cream I had made by Zebra Dream. It was delicious, thick, creamy and not at all icy and rock hard like other brands of coconut ice-cream I have tried. I was excited to try the Espresso flavour but it was sold out by the time I had worked my way through the crowd. Nevertheless, the Vanilla sure dissipated any disappointment I may have been feeling.
The next best thing was being able to order a coffee on almond milk!! Nowhere and I mean nowhere in my town offers this as a dairy alternative and it was delightful to not feel ‘difficult’ when ordering something as simple as coffee.
I fell completely in love with the mason jars from The Raw Food Mum – one of my favourite bloggers! I was so excited to meet her in person and get my hands on a couple of the jars – complete with their own metal straw. They are now used daily and make everything taste that little bit more special.
So there is a round-up of my first day of adventures. I ventured to many fantastic cafe’s and have picked my favourites to share with you this coming week! If any of you have attended World Vegan Day celebrations what inspired you?
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged alternative, Coconut, coffee, cold-pressed, Cooking, culture, Food, ice-cream, juice, lifestyle, Lifestyle Choices, mason jars, masterchef, Melbourne, Raw foodism, vanilla, Vegan Society, Veganism, vegetable garden, veggie patch, World Vegan Day
Yesterday I accidentally made the BEST EVER Chocolate Muffins. I planned to make coconut flour chocolate cake, but was out of coconut flour. Using almond flour instead and adjusting the liquid quantities resulted in a fantastic grain-free, dairy-free, low sugar recipe that I could not wait to share!
4 cups Almond Flour
2 Tablespoons Cacao powder
1 Teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Rock Salt
1/2 Cup Coconut oil
1/2 Cup Raw local honey
4 Organic Eggs
2 Tablespoons Organic Vanilla Essence (yes it is a lot but just trust me)
1 Cup Dark Chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life Dairy Free but you can use anything you like)
1. Heat oven to 170 degree (c). Line a muffin tray with papers.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients until well combined and all lumps of flour have broken up.
3. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients with a fork – beating well.
4. Add dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients mixing until just combined.
5. Add chocolate chips and stir through.
6. Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 25minutes.
Yum! They are so delicious – we only have 2 left from the batch I made yesterday and I think I deserve dessert tonight……..
Posted in Allergy & Intolerance, Recipes, Uncategorized
Tagged allergy friendly, Almond meal, bacon, baking, chocolate, Chocolate chip, Coconut, coconut flour, coconut oil, dairy free, facebook, flavour, free range, gluten free, grain free, health, Ingredient, muffin, Recipe, Sodium bicarbonate, Tablespoon, well-being
My mouth is watering just blogging about these delicious muffins! I had saved a recipe by The Café Wellness that included the incredible combo of bacon, banana & chocolate and I really wanted to try them. Then last night as I was scrolling through Facebook I came across a question “What is your favourite flavour combo?” I quickly added my 5 cents worth replying “Bacon, Banana & Maple Syrup”. And after collecting my monthly supply of Nitrate-Free, Free-Range Bacon from Dawson Valley Free Range yesterday how could I not make a batch of my own. I planned to use maple syrup instead of honey and leave out the chocolate chips as I thought they would make the muffins too sweet!
2/3 Cup Coconut Flour
1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1 Teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of Himalayan Rock Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Coconut oil
3 Organic Eggs
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Essence
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
5 Short Cut Nitrate Free bacon rashes
2 Ripe Bananas Mashed
1. Heat oven to 180 degree (c). Line a muffin tray with papers.
2. Dice bacon into bite size pieces and cook over medium heat until cooked half-way through stirring regularly.
3. Mash bananas in a small bowl and put aside.
4. Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
5. Whisk eggs in a small bowl and put aside.
6. When bacon is cooked add all wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with a metal spoon until well combined.
7. At this point my 5 year old injected her opinion “these look really good mum, but they would be even better with some chocolate chips in them”. So in went 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Next time I would add half a cup of toasted walnuts at this stage. Fold in gently.
8. Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake for 18-20 min or until slightly golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes in tin and then eat while still warm. AMAZING. They freeze and would be great for breakfast with nuts instead of the choc chips… Enjoy!
Posted in Allergy & Intolerance, Recipes, Uncategorized
Tagged allergy friendly, bacon, baking, banana, chocolate, Coconut, coconut flour, coconut oil, dairy free, facebook, flavour, free range, gluten free, grain free, health, muffin, Recipe, well-being
This is a quick recipe I made for breakfast this morning! My girls have been a little neglected this week -between uni & the Goodlife Wellness Festival I felt they deserved a special treat! This recipe is easily adapted using other flours!
1 cup gluten free self raising flour
1 large organic egg
1 cup organic coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Coconut oil for cooking
1. Cream egg & sugar until sugar is dissolved (I just use a fork but handheld blender would be quicker)
2. Stir in coconut milk
3. Sift in flour and mix until smooth
4. Heat coconut oil in large frypan & cook in batches of 3/4
5. Makes about 10 small pancakes
Serve with whipped coconut cream & sliced banana! Enjoy
Banana & Coconut Bread
I have always found cooking with Coconut flour difficult (my ancient oven could be part of the problem). My excitement for baked goods quickly fades as I cut into a dry and crumbly mess. However, I think after much experimentation I have one that not only smells delicious but has great texture!
I adapted my recipe from http://wheatfreeandglutenfreebreadrecipe.blogspot.com.au/ Paleo Coconut & Walnut Bread.
My recipe is as follows:
1 cups of organic coconut flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
0.5 cup shredded organic coconut
0.5 cup local raw honey
1 cup organic or homemade coconut milk (full fat)
3 free-range eggs
0.5 cup of coconut oil
3 mashed bananas (small-med)
1. In one bowl blend wet ingredients until smooth
2. In another bowl mix dry ingredients.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet slowly ensure the mixture is well blended
4. Pour into baking paper lined loaf tin and cook for 50-60min @ 180 degrees (C)
5. Ensure when baking with coconut flour that you allow to cool completely in tin before cutting.
Enjoy with reduced strawberry syrup (mush up and slowly cook strawberries with a little stevia or honey if you wish. I like them just as they are).
Posted in Allergy & Intolerance, Recipes
Tagged baking, banana, bread, Coconut, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, Ingredient, paleo, Recipe
As promised here is my extremely complicated recipe for homemade protein balls! I am always bewildered at people who imply eating healthily is difficult and time consuming….these 4 ingredient balls were prepared in less than 10 min and that included a minute of me stomping my feet after cutting my finger on my food processor blade (ouch), answering my phone and putting my 2-year-old to bed. So here we go.
Ingredients: 1 cup cashews, 1 cup medjool dates (approx 13 fresh dates), 1 cup coconut (desiccated or shredded), 2 teaspoons coconut oil
Step 1: Place nuts and coconut into food processor until fine.
Step 2: Add dates and coconut oil. Process until form into a smooth dough (this may take some time as the nut oils do take time to release)
Step 3: Roll into 12 balls and store in an air tight container in freezer for up to 1 month or fridge for 2 weeks.
I enjoy these balls with my coconut water after a gym session, or after dinner with a hot cup of vanilla rooibos tea. Usually 1 is enough but if I am running late in the morning I grab 2 and they keep me going for hours! Give them a try and let me know what you think!