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

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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.

crown pumpkin

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

 

ANZAC Day

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Well done Kaikoura … that is the best service I have been to!  Yes, today we remember all those who have gone before us and fought in our names.  It is ANZAC day.  For those of you overseas it is the day that Australians and New Zealanders remember our soldiers and all those lost fighting in wars. The date however is special to those Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who landed on and fought in Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

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Anzac Day in Kaikoura

I have been teaching Infant Massage this morning (just managed to sneak it in before the service began) and since I provide the morning tea sustenance what better than ANZAC biscuits on Anzac day? Again this is hardly a recipe for becoming healthy, although I will post a healthier alternative one of these days, however it is a big part of our lives and something that I only make at this time of year so it seems fitting to pass it on here.

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Anzac Biscuits

There are many recipes I know … this one is from the good old Edmonds Cookbook which is another mainstay of kiwi life. 🙂

ANZAC biscuits

  • 100 gm butter
  • 1 Tablespoon golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon hot water

-Melt the butter and golden syrup in a pot.

-Mix in sugar then add in the coconut, oats and flour.  Stir one

-Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add into the main mixture.

-Place  teaspoonful onto a lined tray. The mixture may seem crumbly however if you press it together a little and flatten the teaspoonful it will bake together nicely.

-Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until golden

-Cool on a rack and enjoy.

Hope this finds you safe, free from the worries of war and remembering those who have gone before us.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

The Easter Crash

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Well we made it! … Through Easter and the chocolate feasting that seems to come with it I mean.  It is almost unavoidable these days and even though during the rest of the year themselves eat more consciously (reading labels together and avoiding palm oil products where possible and things with heaps of sugar in it) at Easter this all goes out the window!  The bright wrappers, cheap and cheerful chocolate along with offered eggs from all manner of sources (shops, family, friends, guide group and businesses) win out every time …. it is irresistible it seems even for the grown ups in the family 😉

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Some of the Easter stash.

What is Easter after all without a chocolate gorge and feeling sick?!!  Well of course there are other things but when you’re little I’m pretty sure the chocolate aspect of Easter takes precedence.  As parents we have turned and blind eye and vowed to start a fresh after the feeding frenzy has finished.  It is funny though watching their eating habits, and sometimes not so funny when you see your own habits mimicked, watching the saver and the scoffer, the giver and the taker.  Chocolate can surely bring out the best and the worse in people and sometimes both!  To be fair though there has been a lot of sharing with others, thankfully, as they have been playing with new made friends over Easter.

I confess I haven’t helped much either as I have been preparing morning tea snacks for my Infant Massage Course.  This week I decided to make chocolate chips cookies and not that much is left over for themselves to sample it will mark the beginning of weening off chocolate for a while for everyone in this here bus!  These cookies are from a recipe herself found while researching the inventor of chocolate chips (Ruth Wakefield) and we have been using it as a special treat ever since.  Hardly becoming healthy I know … but I’ll share anyway 🙂

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Herself’s poster from 2 years ago about the invention of chocolate cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies 

This is half the original recipe and makes around 45 biscuits.

1 1/8 Cup Flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

125 gm softened butter (1/2 Cup)

3/8 Cup raw sugar

3/8 Cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1 large egg

1 Cup of broken up dark chocolate (the darker the better and the less sugar). One block is more than enough.

  • Pre-heat oven to 190 C
  • Melt the butter and beat with the sugar until blended
  • Add the egg and vanilla essence, mixing well.
  • Mix in the flour and baking soda.
  • Add chocolate in and stir well into the dough
  • Drop teaspoon sized balls of dough onto a lined tray (baking paper is good)
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies begin to flatten a little and brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Hope this finds you healthier than we are at the moment, enjoying life and family.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

Infant Massage classes

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One of my big dreams about living in a bus and being on the road was to be able to offer my Reflexology skills and Infant Massage Instructor skills to some of the smaller communities around New Zealand.  It seems that often these communities get the short end of the straw as courses are prominently offered in larger centres.  Thankfully with the help of Kaikoura Community Hub I can!!

Starting tomorrow I will be teaching a 5 week Infant Massage course here in Kaikoura and I am so, so excited! 🙂  The benefits of the course and the enjoyment factor are huge, with a focus on nurturing touch, respecting babies and supporting families.  Luckily for everyone reading this the International Association of Infant Massage (which is the course I’m trained in and teach) is offered in many countries around the world.

If you have an infant who is pre-crawling or know someone who does then check out your local courses …… or come to the Kaikoura one tomorrow 😉  I’ll have my yummy GF, DF and sugar free  crochet cake on offer for morning tea too.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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! 😦

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. 🙂 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