Home comforts of GF bread on the road

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So, I know … it has been a while since I posted, longer than I planned anyway.  It seems that one down side to bus life in Winter is the reduced solar power we have.  My old laptop is the one thing on the bus that needs to be plugged into a regular (i.e. not solar) plug and sucks up the power fast which means that I either have to duck into the library to use it for any length of time or wait until a sunny day! Well here it is a sunny Sunday afternoon and I thought I would get onto a blog post at last.

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Themselves in the bus … looking south to Oaro

We are just back from a quick overnighter down the coast.  It was only 30 mins away and yet with SH1 closed it was such an awesome break.  Parked up right on the beach without the hum of traffic made us all feel very spoilt and themselves spent hours on the rocky shore exploring and playing.  It is wonderful having our home with us where ever we travel and being able to have those home comforts too.  One home comfort I have been enjoying lately is some homemade Gluten Free bread (and toast).  The shop stuff is good but it usually comes a quite a price and invariably gives me a bad case of wind …. enough said!!

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Slices so well and I even got an ‘It looks just like shop bread’ seal of approval comment.

Anyway … this recipe is one that I shared last year but if you are like me and completely forgot about it while basking in the Summer sun then here it is again.  Actually I have a lovely mum from one of Infant Massage Courses to thank for the reminder and I’m so glad she did.  This loaf recipe is super easy!!  It is my favourite kind of recipe in fact … the chuck it all in and bake kind ;).  I have changed it only a little since last time so as to accommodate my vegan child however you can’t really tell anything is different and it makes a fantastic loaf.  This GF loaf will last quite a few days in an airtight container, slices really well and can be frozen for toasting later.  I have to say, with many other recipes tried and tested, that this really is my favourite Gluten Free bread recipe. Hope you enjoy it too.

Gluten Free Bread

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 Tbsp Dried Yeast
  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Chickpea Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 8 tsp black chia seeds
  • 8 tsp boiling water
  • Sprinkle of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

– In a large bowl whisk the water and yeast and leave for 10 minutes to activate.

– Add all dry ingredients apart from chia seeds and mix well

– Mix chia seeds and boiling water then add to bread mixture with the oil.

– Mix well and pour into a lined bread tin.

– Leave to rise for 10-15 mins.  It doesn’t rise much on baking so if you want a bigger loaf then leave it to rise longer before cooking.

– Bake at 170 C for 45 minutes.

-Enjoy!!

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and warm,  possibly enjoying some yummy GF toast 😉

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Back home again

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Well after 3 weeks of staying in foundation-ed accommodation rather than our wheeled one, due to a right royal break down, I for one am very happy to be back home on the bus, happy to have my home comfits and happy to be in my kitchen again …. God I never thought I would utter those words!

As it was an unexpected, side of the road (thank goodness in cell phone coverage), night time break down it was a bit of a mad rush to collect everything we needed and get out of our tilting bus before the tow truck came to collect.  Our little Honda Jazz doesn’t have that much room in it either after a big dog, mouse in a cage, 2 children and 2 adults are within so it was a bit of a haphazard pack to say the least.  As it was the tow truck didn’t come until the next morning … All Blacks seemed to have priority there and little did we know at the time it was going to be three weeks before our beloved would be with us again.

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On her way to the mechanic the next morning.

Had I known I probably would have packed differently.  I would have packed better with a lot more thought involved.  I didn’t though and we still survived 😉  It is strange though when you have to stay/live in other people’s homes especially when they have been set up for holiday makers.  They don’t have the same ‘essential’ items you have, pantry basics aren’t there, ovens function differently – if at all, things are ‘missing’ that you would normally use.   So you have to make do, you improvise, you shop a little differently knowing that soon you’ll be re-united with your kitchen and you take a lot of deep breathes ….. ok, maybe that was just me using the blunt knives! 😉

As we thought it would be only a week we began with the ‘it’s only a few days’ attitude … the shop bread would do (after a lot of reading to ensure it was vegan), baked beans became a staple food and cereal was more sugary than normal, much to the kids delight.  Then we realised it was going to be more than a week so the veggies started to appear more frequently and the bags of food we had grew from 1 to 3. That is until we got the call that it was going to be longer still at which point the pantry staples began to be brought, flour and yeast for making bread again … we had all tied of the shop stuff by this point, and I even ventured to make some bread in a rice maker when our oven wouldn’t work in the holiday home ….. our food store was beyond the bag point now and I was stocking cupboards instead.

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Rice Cooker bread … yes it can be done with a lot of patience for the long slow bake.

Now though, we’ve been home for 3 days and it is awesome!  Sure the cupboards here are bulging a little with double ups as I tried to fit everything in but it is so nice to have everything we need (not what anyone else needs clearly) to cook and eat smoothly.  I’m guessing themselves are feeling the same as they are back into cooking tea mode with a flourish ….. tonight was himself with pineapple rings (egg free batter of course for the vegan), homemade beans (yes, beans are an obvious favourite now) and chips.

We are still on the homemade ‘take away’ menu many nights however their range is expanding and tomorrow herself has planned a 3 course Vegan meal.  I think the ‘Masterchef Australia’ watching with Nan has been a bit of a help too as I heard her explain that there would be a side of lettuce boats with carrot, peas and dressing ;). So I’m loving being back home, loving being able to create healthy food and most of all loving that someone else is cooking evening meals! There is a lot to be said for being home and having those home comfits.

Hope this finds you all enjoying your own dwellings where ever and whatever they are.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

Vegan goodness

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So our latest culinary challenge, sorry, adventure has been delving into the world of veganism as our youngest has decided that he is now Vegan.  He has always been a bit of a picky eater around meat and is constantly worried about animal welfare so it really didn’t come as a huge shock when he announced a month ago that he was vegetarian and then followed up a week later with ‘ I think I’ll give being a vegan a try.’

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The last few pieces of our vegan shortbread.

It actually hasn’t been that bad and if anything it has been awesome not having him tempted by all the rubbishy chocolate treats that abound in every shop.  There are 2 main stumbling blocks I have hit so far though; 1) Eating out and 2) Baking.  Eating out is a bit of a mine field as it seems every thing is out on the children’s menu … have you noticed how every kid’s menu is deep fried meat of some description … and most things suitable on the adult menu are either too spicy or so expensive it makes us think twice. Thankfully we don’t eat out that much, the thought it takes is beyond my mental powers at the moment, and when we do venture out at least he is having a fairly healthy meal unlike before.

Which brings us to the second point ….. soooo many recipes rely on eggs (well the ones I currently make anyway) and even though we are pretty good at replacing the dairy it is taking me a while to get my head around using egg replacements (chia seeds and water is the main one I’m using at the moment).  I have been doing the research though to ensure that we get all the good bits into him and thanks to some great Vegan recipe books from the local library  I have found some great savoury and sweet baking ideas to keep everyone (well half of us to be honest) happy.  The one recipe that has been made the most so far is courtesy of Jennifer Katzinger’s Flying Apron Gluten Free and Vegan Baking Book.  This delicious ‘Vegan Shortbread’ (my name for it as I have returned the book and forgot the name sorry) is so easy and so delicious that I’m sure you’ll be whipping it up numerous times too.

flying apron

What I’m putting below is a half recipe of what is printed in the book as I found that was more than enough.  I also cut it into more squares than the recipe in the book indicates as we found it very rich and a little square of it was enough.  If you enjoy this recipe though I would recommend checking out the whole recipe book as has so many more delicious things to make. 😉

Vegan shortbread

  • 2 & 1/4 cups Rice Flour
  • a grind of salt
  • 1 Cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

– Preheat the oven to 190C (375F)

– Melt the coconut oil and then add the maple syrup

– Blend all the ingredients together.

– Pour and flatten the mixture into a baking paper lined baking dish

– Bake for 15 min or until the edges are slightly brown

– Remove from the oven and cut into squares while it is still warm in the tin

– Slide onto a cooling rack and break into separate peices when it is fully cooled.

– Enjoy!

Well that is it from me on a cold and snow predicted evening. I hope this finds you all warm, healthy and enjoying life at whatever temperature you have it at. 😉

Arohanui

Y

Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

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It is funny just how much I use coconut in my recipes considering I have always thought of myself as not enjoying coconut things. Anyway …. it does seem to be a go to sweet addition to many recipes which allow for taking out sugar or other fillers.  I think all of my offerings, bar one, for morning tea during my 5 week infant massage course have coconut added!  Not that anyone seems to mind and this week my offering of chocolate peppermint macaroons was a bit of a hit so I thought I would share it one here for everyone to find.

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All that is left from a batch of 30!

I did get this recipe, before I adapted it a bit, from Hungry Cub.  She had shared a delicious raspberry recipe however, in usual form for me, because I did not have all the ingredients I opted for a chocolate peppermint one.  Mine look no way near as beautiful or perfect as hers either ….. I tend to go for the natural, just chucked together look it seems and not just in my baking  either ;).  Anyway (looks aside) they taste yum, are very easy to make and best of all they are dairy free and gluten free!

Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

2 Cups of shredded coconut

1 1/4 Tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 Tablespoons runny honey

a few drops of peppermint essence

2 egg whites

For the coating – optional

50gm 90% dark chocolate (this is dairy free)

1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 C
  • Mix the coconut and cocoa together and mix well.
  • Add the honey, vanilla and peppermint essence into the the coconut mixture and make sure it is well blended.
  • Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
  • Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  • On a baking paper lined tray put teaspoonful size piles of the coconut mixture and bake for 10-12 mins or until they are browning a little on top.
  • Once the macaroons are cool fully melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler (a small bowl over a pot of boiling water is my method).
  • Dip the base of each macaroon into the chocolate and place on a baking paper lined tray to set.  If you have extra you could also drizzle some chocolate over the top of the macaroons for an extra chocolaty treat.
  • Place the tray into the fridge to set fully and store there until serving or in-between servings if they last that long!
  • Enjoy

Well that is it for this week.  Until next time when I will probably share some Vegan recipe we are trying, now that my boy has decided that is his preferred eating, I hope this finds you healthy, happy and enjoying all the sweetness life has to offer.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

GF, DF Carrot Cake

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It is wonderful being back in our old stomping ground for the past week and we are looking forward to more of the same over the next 4 weeks.  We immediately noticed just how much warmer winter was up here though I have to say it doesn’t take long to acclimatize.  One of the best things about being here is catching up with friends.  I love watching the kids happily playing with their friends and over the past weekend we even managed to combine that with an overnight stay at the beach front … life can be hard! 😉

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Our overnight stop by the beach.

The real reason we are here though is for me to do some more teaching of Infant Massage (Yay!!) and with that comes lots of baking.  I always find it interesting the mix of people I have in each group and the dietary needs of each group.  As I like to make something yummy for our morning tea breaks I try to cater to those needs and so all the old GF and DF favourites come out to be baked like my all time favourite ….. carrot cake.

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Yummy with or without icing.

I got this recipe from a book a purchased many years ago in Ireland called ‘Eat with Joy on a Wheat-free Gluten-free diet’  By Ann O’ Dowd Fogary.   I have adapted it to be dairy free since then so below is what I have adapted the recipe to and I have put the original ingredients in brackets.  If you are keen on GF and DF recipes though I would definitely recommend her book as it is packed with great recipes for all kinds of meals and treats.

GF, DF Carrot Cake

100 gm rice flour

25 gm cornflour

1.5 tsp GF baking powder

2 eggs

75 gm  Runny honey (sugar)

100 gm Coconut oil (Butter)

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground clove

1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

  • Melt the coconut oil (butter) and honey (sugar) together
  • Add the dry ingredients
  • Add the eggs and mix until light and fluffy
  • Add carrot.
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake at 190 C for 30-45 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.

 

Hope this finds you enjoying the wonderful flavours of life!

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Coconutty Pumpkin Soup

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It is winter here in NZ, well almost, so what better way to warm up than making a big pot of yummy soup?  I do love soup it has to be said and I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and tea quite happily however lately it has been a bit of a necessity for me as a way to rest my digestive system.

We have been lucky enough to have a free place to park our bus for the past 9 weeks, while himself has been working to restore the railway after earthquakes last year, beside a large paddock of a local Irish Pub.  While we haven’t had to pay for the spot we have felt obliged to spend a bit of money here to keep in the owner’s good books so we have been going out for tea up at the pub at least once a week.  I’ve been thoroughly enjoying not having to cook however my digestive system has had other thoughts.  Being a vegetarian in a small country area has its downsides … namely that there are only a few items on the menu you can have and of these few selections most contain gluten, dairy, a combination of both, or are deep fried.

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View from across the paddock back to our bus … the kids love it!

It has been an exercise in having the things that effect me least or trying to just have things sparingly.  Trouble is that I’m not that good at sparingly and I’m really not a have one and be satisfied kind of girl!  So let’s just say that over the past 9 weeks my eating has been very ‘off’ and I am now paying for that prolonged accumulation of foods that my body just doesn’t agree with.  Over the last few days I have been experiencing pain due to diverticulitis (flaring up of diverticular disease) and I completely know why it has reared up …. I only have myself to blame and myself to sort it out.

My main way, and this may not suit everyone, is to rest my system as much as I can until the pain subsides and my body feels ‘normal’ again.  I tend to go liquid for a few days so that my body isn’t having to deal with too much in the way of digestion in the hopes that it will have more time to deal with healing.  So far this has worked, on the few occasions that I have needed it, however the best plan is always to keep my diverticular disease at bay by eating well, exercising and having good fluids.

As it is pumpkin time here, and we New Zealanders love our pumpkins, I have been enjoying making up some pumpkin soup and my latest pots have been a little different after getting a few ideas at a local community dinner.  I usually just love pumpkin soup with a few onions and garlic thrown in, nothing fancy just yummy pumpkiny goodness, however I may have changed that for good after adding some coconut cream and ginger to the mix.  This recipe doesn’t really have any measurements, sorry, aside from 1 tin of coconut cream which you may want to increase if you are making  a large pot of soup. Experiment with what you like using this simple recipe as a base.

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Crown Pumpkin

Coconutty Pumpkin Soup

  • 1/2 a large Crown Pumpkin (this is the best flavoured pumpkin for soups)
  • Ground or fresh ginger
  • Garlic
  • Veggie stock cube
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • Water

– Fry off the garlic in a pot with a little oil

– Add in pumpkin chopped into cubes (should come to almost the top of the pot)

– Pour in coconut cream (should cover 1/2 – 3/4 of the pumpkin in the pot) and then cover the rest of the pumpkin with water

– Bring to the boil and add in the stock and ginger

– Boil until the pumpkin is all soft.

– Take off the heat and mash until you have a thick soup.  You can add more liquid if you like it runny or mash less if you like your soup chunky.

– Enjoy!!

 

Hope this finds you free of pain and full of life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

 

Honey Biscuits

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For a long time I have wanted to find out more about the ‘Blood Type’ Diet.  It is something that I have heard about many times over the years and something that intrigued me …… well ok, truth be told most things about eating, food and health interest.  Anyway the other day while perusing the local op shop (charity run second hand shop for those of you outside NZ) I managed to find a copy for only $2.  For that price I couldn’t really resisted could I?!

It has been a very interesting read.   Most things that are recommended for my Blood type are actually things that I found true for myself through listening to my body, monitoring my health and well-being over the last 15 years.  All things I learnt about myself well before reading this book.  It was a kind of confirmation both for myself and added a bit of belief to the lifestyle changes he was advocating.  There were also some things that it recommended as being beneficial for me which I know through experience aren’t which goes to show that we are all individual and still need to listen to our own bodies and tailor our lifestyles to that rather than a set formula.  All of that aside though there were also some recipes contained in the book which. of course, I was eager to sample.

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These little sweeties come out a bit like madelines in my mind.

This recipe was a carob chip cookie recipe however there seems to be a bit of a shortage of carob chips in this particular small rural township, if there ever was a supply, so I decided to simply try it without.  I’m not sure when I’ll ever be able to make a recipe as written in a cookbook!!  I’m too eager to try them out and too lazy to do the extra shop required ;).  They turned out very yum despite the missing carob chips and very sweet due to the honey component.  If you’re wanting an easy gluten free, dairy free cookie recipe then I would definitely give this one a try.

Honey Biscuits

(as adapted from Eat Right for your Type’s Carob Chip Biscuits)

  • 75 ml olive oil
  • 175 ml honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 215 gm rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp Mixed spice or allspice or any spice you like 😉

-Preheat oven to 190 C (or in my case as close to that as possible)

-Mix everything together in a bowl. The mixture will be quite runny still.

-Place teaspoonful size lump onto a baking paper lined tray.  They will grow a bit.

-Bake for 10-15 mins or until golden.

-Place on a baking tray to cool before enjoying them with a cuppa.

 

Hope this finds you enjoying life with lots of energy to spare.

Arohanui

Y