Bus life …. the down side of it

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Well, I was hoping this day would never come however with all the good weather we have been having we have been out of the bus more than in most days, catching up with friends and family. ¬†Now with the rain coming down our bit of a lapse in the cleaning while the sun shone seems to have caught up with us ….. Our bus got its old smell back! ūüė¶

Maybe it is the rain though … maybe that is all it is. ¬†Maybe just a bit of not getting the place ventilated enough? A bit of damp? ¬†Admittedly a wet/damp dog doesn’t help matters either. I don’t know but the smell was unmistakable when I walked in the door last week after being out and even himself smelt it …. yes, clearly it had a funky stink happening!

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Keeping the place smelling sweet with some orange and cloves.

So it was a busy day of ‘Spring Cleaning’ as soon as the sun did appear – briefly. ¬†Everything out and airing, cupboards emptied and wiped and floors thoroughly swept (no … still have not made that dream of a vacuum come true) and washed. ¬†Along with that I have invested in a few natural house fresheners, ¬†my favourite being an orange with cloves stuck in it. ¬†Baking soda sales at the local supermarket have soared to as I have been using it to collect any nasty smells.

I’m not sure how the winter will go if we have rain for many days in a row??!! Luckily (or unluckily) we don’t notice it until we leave so maybe the solution will simply to be hermits until the sunshine allows us to open the windows to the fresh air. ūüôā Until then I’ll try to keep on top of things using a few of these natural and nifty ideas from Bustle.

Hope this finds you bathed in fresh air, lovely smells and sunshine

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Autumn breakfast options

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Here we are back in coverage, enjoying a beautiful autumn on the east coast while parking up for the next couple of months in Kaikoura while himself does some work to restore the local rail network after earthquakes last October. It has been a busy 2 weeks of travelling from the bottom of the South Island up to nearly the top of the South Island while catching up with friends and family along the way.

Many of the aspects in our life took a back seat (such as school work, blogging and journalling) to the travels and socialising however domestic life continues regardless of the location or dwelling. ¬†Dishes still need to be done, floors swept – yes, swept as we lack any modern devices at the moment to assist … soon though my dreams may become reality ūüôā – and food prepared.

I have continued to make our bread, which is a bit of a staple food now, and as I let you know the other week our ferments are still on the go.  Another staple I have been making at the moment is muesli so that now that some of the other cereals have been used up we have an option besides toast in the morning.  Muesli is a great autumn transition food before the winter porridge appears and is also a fantastic way to get a few more nutrients into themselves without much effort on my behalf which makes it a very appealing plan!

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Warm and toasty out of the oven … hard for themselves to resist especially with some creamy raw milk we were given!

This muesli is super easy as it is really just chucking in what ever you like and then drizzling with oil before baking in the oven, of course you can also have a raw version by omitting the oil and oven part. ¬†I have been making muesli for a few years with a honey and oil drizzle, then when the price of honey went up and we noticed the effects of honey on our youngest I began to just use oil without any objections. ¬†What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you I say! ūüôā ¬†I do add a few dates chopped up and coconut so that is a fair bit of sweetness to soothe the soul. ¬†Below is what I use to create our morning muesli however it is really just a guide for you to explore and create your own, dependent on tastes. I don’t use a measure either (sorry), rather I just chuck in a bit of everything with oats being the majority of the mix

Morning Muesli

Oats – largest portion

Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Desiccated Coconut

Dates – chopped

Almonds -raw

Olive oil or similar (optional: omit if you want raw muesli)

  • Mix everything thoroughly, especially the chopped dates as they will clump together if not mixed into the dry ingredients.
  • Drizzle olive over the top and mix well again.
  • Bake in an oven at around 200 C, watching and mixing occasionally until it is golden brown.

Play and enjoy.  Until next time I hope this finds you all basking in the sunshine of life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Girl Guide Biscuit time again

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Yes … it is that time of year again where I lose all sense of good eating and choose to forget the effects of wheat on my system in order to support my daughter .. (read that as stuff my face and enjoy scoffing a load of yummy biscuits). ¬†Herself has been busy happily selling down here in Southland so we have been busy happily buying and eating.

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In the tin ready to pop in the fridge

It is also the one time of year that themselves get fudge-cake (aka hedgehog slice to some of you) made for them. ¬†I know that last year I shared my fudge-cake recipe with you however now that we are on the bus I have made a few more changes so as to fit in with what we have in the cupboards and what we are prepared to store. ¬†Icing sugar is one thing that I’m not buying, or even attempting to store on the bus, so no icing this year. ¬†That hasn’t seemed to dwindle the demand though so it is obviously still just as yummy and maybe a little bit healthier …. but only maybe ūüôā

Bus Fudge-Cake

1 packet of Girl Guide biscuits – bashed into small pieces

115 gm Butter

2 Tablespoons Cocoa

1 egg Р well beaten

1/2 Cup desiccated coconut

1/4 Cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (or a mixture of both)

1 teaspoon peppermint essence

  • Melt the butter in a pot and once melted stir in the cocoa and egg
  • Bring just to the boil then remove from the heat
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Press mixture into a lined rectangular tin (an old butter paper works well) and refrigerate.
  • Cut into small square and enjoy!

Hope this finds you all warm and well.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Fermenting on the road

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It has been 10 weeks tomorrow that we have been on the road. ¬†There are lots of things we have changed about the way we are living however there are a few that have remained the same …. my ferments are some of these. ¬†I was determined to keep up my kombucha and milk kefir on the road and so far so good. ¬†It felt so good having this practice continue that I have even tried to do another batch of sauerkraut.

The large kombucha jar simply gets a screw top lid put on it and placed in a cupboard with ‘non-slip’ matting on the bottom whenever we travel. ¬†When we arrive at our destination ¬†out it comes, the lid is taken off and on the bench top it is left. ¬†Easy as! ¬†I did notice though that after a week or so the kombucha didn’t taste as sweet as my usual batches however soon I realised that where it was sitting never got sunlight on it, as it did in our house. ¬†My solution? ¬† I simply try to get it into the sun for a bit each day (when I remember) and it seems to be back to its usual sweet, fizzy self. ¬†I usually only leave it for a week before creating another batch and apart from judging cooling time for the tea before adding to the SCOBY. The SCOBY is incredibly healthy and continues to grow happily, thankfully. ¬†I have given loads away and still had to pop this big bit (see photo) in the compost today.

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Another Sunday and a fresh batch of Kombucha on the go

The kefir grains, which I use in Rice Milk, are much easier.  They are transferred into fresh milk daily as I consume the fizzy goodness for breakfast.  The other equipment needed is a clean jar (I have 2 in total to swap), a plastic spoon and the milk.  Once again they are simply popped into a drawer with the cups when we travel and then brought out onto the bench while we are parked.  I think they would be my favourite ferment for ease of making (without thought involved) and also that I get to enjoy it everyday without running out.

Finally my sauerkraut. ¬†We came onto the bus with a jar just freshly opened, so that lasted us for most of the 10 weeks however when that came to an end I had to either justify storing an empty jar or fill it. ¬†I decided on the latter. ¬†As we had found some fresh, homegrown radishes in a road side stall I decided to create a radish, cabbage and carrot version. ¬†It is the first time I have used radishes and I’m hoping for a kimchi taste (fingers crossed!). ¬†The process of preparing the vegetables, while very messy and harder to clean up when you are trying to converse the water you have, was straight forward enough and I was feeling very pleased with my self as I packed it tightly into the jar.

Into the cupboard it went … out of sight and out of mind. ¬†Well that was until we next stopped and I realized that my sauerkraut had been jiggled around so much that it had seeped out in all directions as it fermented away. ¬†I have had this happen before at home when I didn’t have a tight seal on the jar or there isn’t enough room for ferment to do its thing. ¬†So after a lot of cleaning up and double bagging the jar we are all set. ¬†Time will tell on the taste and I will have to remember to be less enthusiastic with the amounts of vegetables I am preparing next time to avoid a repeat performance!

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Bagged up and ready for fermenting

Well that is it for now … just a wee insight into domestic life on the bus. ūüôā Until next time. ¬†I hope this finds you enjoying your own little rituals

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Date and Coconut Snackerballs

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It isn’t just living a minimalist life on a bus that has made me reluctant to part with money for things I could ‘have a go at’ rather it is a trait that I have had my whole life and a trait which many New Zealanders share. ¬†We feel that we can do anything and to be honest a lot of the time it is true! ¬†Not true just for New Zealanders of course … true that many products out there on the shelves are actually pretty quick and easy to make at home.

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They don’t last long in this bus!!

An example of this was the other day when we sampled some supermarket tastings. ¬†The person promoting these healthy coconut and date treats was very good at her job, I have to say, and I was all ready to take some home until I asked the price …. $9!! $9 for some balls of date and coconut??!! $9 for what looked like 10 balls maximum??!! ¬†Well, yes, I am a little tight with my money but lets face it, that $9 I was going to part with was clearly paying for the packaging and promotion of the aforementioned 2 ingredient treat more than the food itself.

So home I came and ‘gave it a go’. ¬†The results are pretty good I have to say and super easy. ¬†Themselves have all given the batches I have made over the last few weeks their seal of approval, by consuming them all, and the only pit-fall I can see is that I can’t seem to keep up with demand. ūüôā ¬†So here it is for you and I’m sure that many of you out there already have your own similar story and recipe …. so enjoy and experiment.

Date and Coconut Snackerballs

  • 1 Cup dried dates
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 2 Cups desiccated Coconut
  • 3 Tablespoons black chia seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon psyllium husks

-Soak the dates in the water for 10-15 mins and then mash into a smooth paste – of course if you have a blender this is easier ūüôā

-Stir in the other ingredients and mix until fully blended

-Shape the mixture into small balls (makes around 45 with this recipe) and put into a container.

-Refrigerate and enjoy

 

Hope this finds you all enjoying tasty treats with your loved ones.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

On the road again

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After many weeks in and around Christchurch we have finally made our way south. This journey marks the first time that we are all travelling in the bus with car happily being towed behind.  It was a new experience which also highlighted the things that we still need to do or learn on the bus.  We have already become experienced at removing the car and trailer in order to back track after being led past our destination, thanks to our Tom Tom, and trying unsuccessfully to reverse with said trailer and car attached.

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Our lunch spot at Mt Peel, South Canterbury

It has been a week of changes that is for sure.  Not only the change for the kids and I to be travelling with himself but also the change of not being around family and friends and also giving up on Facebook for the rest of this month (feels very strange not to update our travels daily and yet very refreshing at the same time) along with the weather suddenly changing from a heatwave yesterday to thunder, rain and hail today!  I guess that is what happens when you travel south as Autumn approaches.

So with the cold and stormy weather around us a warm afternoon tea treat was in order. ¬†This is a basic scone recipe from The Edmond’s Cookbook which I have just halved in order to make it fit into our little bus oven. ¬†It still makes the same amount of scones just a smaller version ūüôā

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Afternoon tea warm from the oven

Scones

1.5 Cups Flour (white or brown)

25 gm Cold butter

3 Teaspoons baking powder

1/4 Cup of currents or sultanas (optional)

1/2 Cup and 1/8 Cup rice milk – or cow’s milk … we only use rice milk because we don’t stock the other:)

  • Preheat oven to 220 C
  • Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl
  • Cut the cold butter into small cubes and then ‘rub’ into the flour mix until it looks and feels like fine breadcrumbs. ¬†Add fruit now if you are using it.
  • Make a well in the middle of the flour and butter mix and pour in the milk
  • Using a knife mix the flour and milk by cutting across it until a dough begins to form.
  • Using your hands lightly bring the dough into one ball. You may need a little bit milk if it is a little crumbly or a little bit of flour if it is sticky.
  • On a floured tray flatten the dough into a rectangle shape that is still at least 1.5cm high or higher (tray to top of dough)
  • Cut into 16 squares and bake for 10 mins or until brown on top
  • Enjoy warm or cold with butter and jam

Hope this finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying the life you have.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

‘Life Changing Loaf’ recipe

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It seems only fitting that the woman who helped me bring my daughter into the world and hence changing my life forever would then give me this recipe for ‘Life Changing Bread‘ 10 years later, almost to the day. Thank you to the most amazing Douala in Ireland, you know who you are.:)

This recipe for ‘The Life-Changing Loaf’ is so, so delicious and worked just like the writer said (even the original photo and mine look similar!) that even though I have only made it once I had to share.¬†I did change it …. of course you already knew that I would … only because of my lack of checking that I actually had enough sunflower seeds and because I wanted it nut free. ¬†The thing is that it worked perfectly anyway which just goes to show how great this recipe is. ¬†I did find it interesting that she considers this loaf pretty much gluten free even though it has oats in it as I have always believed that oats do contain gluten. ¬†I did include them in my loaf as oats are something I can tolerate more than other grains however the person I got the recipe from used quinoa flakes instead. ¬†I’ll leave that decision up to you.

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Fresh loaf

Please check the original blog for the recipe of ‘Life Changing Bread’ and guidelines that they give however below I will put the recipe which I used and the modifications I made. ¬†In the original recipe they use a silicone loaf tray however as I don’t have one of those I simply lined my regular loaf tin with baking paper. ¬†In doing this I was able to lift the paper to check if the loaf was staying together before baking. ¬†The down side of this was that I did have to mix the ingredients in separate containers first before pushing down into the tin.

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Delicious as toast also

Life-Changing Loaf

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
¬Ĺ cup whole linseeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 ¬Ĺ cups rolled oats (jumbo ones not the ‘quick’ or fine ones)
2 Tbsp Black chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (actually I just ground a bit in)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 ¬Ĺ cups water

  • Melt coconut oil and honey in a large pot then whisk in water.
  • Combine dry ingredients really well and then pour the wet ingredients over.
  • Mix everything thoroughly¬†¬†until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes thick
  • Tip into a lined loaf tin. ¬†Press in and smooth down with the back of a spoon.
  • Let sit out on the bench for 2 hours. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
  • Preheat oven to 350¬įF / 175¬įC.
  • Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down on a baking paper lined tray and bake for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.
  • ¬†Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too ‚Äď slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

So there it is!! Experiment, play, bake and enjoy lots of nourishing goodness. ¬†One thing is for certain … I will be making this again and again.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz