Nannan’s Mt Peel Chutney

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Feijoa season is upon us here in NZ and we are consuming them by the dozen! They are one of my favourite fruit and one that until very recently you never saw in the supermarket which made it all the more special and tasty when they were in season.  One of the best things about them though is that there is never any doubt when they are ready as they fall when ripe and lay just waiting for you to come along and collect them.

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Monster Feijoas from a neighbour

However even I have limits of how much fresh feijoa I can consume, so when we were gifted a huge box of huge feijoas it was time to search out my chutney recipes.  I do have a great feijoa recipe (shared it a while back if you want an alternative) which is super easy however as I was searching for my paper copy of it I stumbled across a chutney recipe from my grandmother which looked like it might just hit the spot on this occassion.

The thing that really appealed to me however was the name (Mt Peel Chutney) as I just been doing a bit of research on the Māori name for Mt Somers, where our family originally settled, to add to my pepeha. for my next Māori lesson.  While they are different places they are in the same area, for those of you outside NZ, or Canterbury, Mt Somers is only about 40 min drive to Mt Peel, and our family worked, had land and lived all around that area.  So …… I’m guessing this recipe may just be a family one, as I couldn’t find anything online with same name. Well that’s my story now anyway and I’m sticking to it 😉

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Ready to bottle up

Below is the feijoa version of this chutney that I have made though the original recipe actually says 2lb fruit (just under a kg).  As feijoas are quite ‘juicy’ you’ll see that I have increased the amount of fruit to 1.5 kg just to give it a bit more chunk rather than liquid.  Being my usual, time efficient, self I simply top and tail the feijoa and roughly dice. Then once the mixture has boiled and softened I give it a quick mash to help blend it all.  I have also used coconut sugar for the first time, not because I think it is better than sugar (honey is out for the vegan’s on the bus) but because himself has decided he doesn’t want to eat refined sugarcane anymore ….. always keeping us on our toes that one!!

Anyway here it is and I’m sure you will be able to adapt it to your own kitchen supplies and preferences, just as I constantly do. 🙂

Nannan’s Mt Peel Chutney – Feijoa version

400 gm coconut sugar

500 gm raisins

750 ml white vinegar

1.5 kg feijoa (topped and tailed then diced)

4 cloves garlic

A few good grinds of salt

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Optional: If you like a really spicy chutney then add in some fresh chopped chilies

  • Boil fruit, sugar and vinegar together till soft and brown.
  • Give a quick mash or blend if you want a smoother chutney.
  • Take off the heat and add the seasonings. Stir well
  • Bottle and label.  Heat jars in the oven before hand to sterilize and avoid cracking with hot chutney.

See, couldn’t be easier …. just my kind of recipe!!  Hope this finds you relaxing and easing through life with joy.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Something for the cold nights

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Here we are back in the South Island after a quick trip up North for himself to do work.  For the first time I was really looking forward to getting back to the South Island and parking up the bus, which has to be a good sign I think,  and themselves were super excited to get back so they could snuggle some chickens!

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Themselves with Bertie and Gertie

While the days are gradually getting shorter and cooler I have been enjoying a delicious evening drink thanks to a post from the Minimalist Baker.  I have pretty much followed it by the book this time (I know shock, horror …. or as a friend used to say hock, shorror!)  Though as we didn’t have any ground black pepper in the bus, much to the disgust of himself, I decided to add a few grinds from our pepper grinder.  I’m not sure of the overall impact, as combining pepper and turmeric magnifies their effects, however I do know that I keep forgetting about my pepper ‘grinds’ and biting down on the lumps I find and, well ….. spicy bursts do occur!!

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Straight out of the fridge 

Anyway here is the recipe and to see more then please visit Minimalist Baker’s post.  You only need an old jar to shake the dry ingredients up in first then pour in the wet and stir.  I have been storing it in the fridge and using 1 heaped teaspoon full of an evening with some warmed rice milk.  There are loads of health benefits to this turmeric drink (which you can see on the original post) however I confess that I’m more about the taste which is why I’m still using this recipe, drinking it, enjoying it and sharing it with you 🙂

Evening Turmeric Drink Mix

4 TB ground turmeric

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground black pepper – or if you’re daring a few grinds of the old pepper mill 🙂

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp ground clove

1 Tb melted coconut oil

4 Tb maple syrup

2 Tb hot water.

  • Mix (or shake) the dry ingredients up in an old glass jar – gotta love recycling!
  • Pour in the wet (water, oil and syrup) and stir until everything is blended.
  • Store, sealed, in the fridge until needed.
  • Mix 1-2 tsps with warmed milk (or milk alternatives) and stir well before enjoying.
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Almost ready to enjoy

Until next time I hope this finds you happy, healthy and revelling till your heart’s content

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

GF, Vegan Lasagne

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The cold, wet weather has started, daylight savings has ended and the comfort foods are being sought out!  Himself has had a bit of a fascination with Garfield over the last year and we have been searching loads of charity shops for Garfield bits and pieces to help his need to create a ‘collection’ however one of the things that stands out in most of the books is Garfield’s love of lasagne.  This has brought up quite a lot of discussion as we had never had it … even when there were more meat eaters … and themselves have been left wondering what all the fuss is about.

Corrected garfield with words

 

Then the other week at a Maths Club shared meal lasagne (the meat version) appeared on the menu and herself finally got to sample it.  She was smitten and loads more discussion about why Garfield loved it so much occurred which then brought up the next question ‘how could create a GF, vegan version to suit the whole family?’.

We already had a ‘tince’ (tofu and onion mashed into a tomato sauce) which himself had created for his tince pie and then for our spaghetti tofunaise.  So it was really just working out how to get a good white sauce to create layers for a vegan lasagne after we spotted some gluten free and vegan lasagne sheets in the local supermarket.

We have made white sauces before however due to us mainly having rice milk in the bus the sauce has still been quite sweet. On our initial attempt we did try coconut and almond milk thinking this may help it be more savoury along with some nutritional yeast however it was still not quite right. In the end it was Soy milk that did the trick and gave us a good white/cheese sauce …… it has been a while since I tried ‘proper’ cheese sauce so I guess it is down to personal taste here though we did get our meat eaters approval so it can’t of been too far off!

Anyway the end result was a very comforting and filling meal which the whole whānau (family) …vegans and meat eaters alike …. enjoyed.  Below is the basic recipe we used however we have also layered in spinach leaves and/or other veg like grated carrot or courgette.  Whatever tickles your fancy and leaves you feeling satisfied will work with this easy recipe.  I’ve tried my best to give you accurate measurements of ingredients where I can however as you know (if you follow my blog) I’m a bit of an experimenter and a ‘chuck it in’ kind of cook …… so it gives you a chance to play 🙂

Vegan Lasagne

  • GF pasta sheets (or regular if this is a necessity)
  • Vegan cheese (we used Veesy Vegan cheese as it is a softens a bit more like melted cheese)

‘Meat’ section

  • Tofu (at least 300gm size block)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Powdered Veg stock or herbs
  • Mushroom (optional)

-Fry off the chopped onion, mushroom and garlic until soften

-Add in diced tofu and powdered veg stock and or herbs to flavour and stir as it cooks a little

– Add in enough tomato paste and water to cover the tofu and cook over a low heat briefly

-Turn off the heat and mash the tofu mix.

-Add more tomato paste and/or water if needed to create a good consistency for layering into the lasagne (not too dry and not too wet)

‘Cheese sauce’ section

-Melt the coconut oil and take off the heat to mix in the flour

-When the oil and flour are a smooth paste then add the milk and mix well (all off the heat)

– Stirring constantly put the sauce back on the heat and continue cooking, and stirring, until it thickens up.

-Take off the heat and add in the nutritional yeast and stir well.

-Add more soy milk, if you wish, to get the sauce to a good consistency, ensuring there is enough of it for all the layers.

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Ready to layer up

Putting it together section

  1. -Layer the bottom of an ovenproof dish with pasta
  2. -Cover the pasta with a layer of tofu mix
  3. -Cover the tofu with a few slices of cheese. You can also layer in your spinach etc here if you wish.
  4. -Cover the cheese with white sauce

-Repeat steps 1-4 until you get near the top of your ovenproof dish.

-Finish off with a layer pasta with tofu mix (or just tom paste if you’re running low of tofu mix) on top and slices of cheese at the very top.

-Bake in the oven for at around 30 mins at 180-200C

-Enjoy with salad or other veg as you wish 😉

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Ready to eat

Hope this finds you enjoying warm, hearty meals with those you love.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Healing Hands Reflexology

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My mind is still filled with all those families who are now learning to live without their loved ones.  I constantly think about how magnified their emotions must be, not only with grief but also dealing with the way the loss occurred, of what the future holds and possibly a sense of uncertainly in their own community.

love is always at hand

For that reason I thought that I would share a bit of my Healing Hands workshop so that people can put it to use at home or out and about as they deal with the everyday stresses with everyday situations which may trigger huge emotions to surface.   Reflexology is such a great tool for well-being and since feet aren’t always that practical to get to when emotions arise, I love to use hand reflexology.  It is a bit of self love and soothing that you can be using, anytime, anywhere,  without anyone being the wiser.

Reflexology is a natural, holistic treatment which works on the principle that everything in the body is connected.  It is is a mixture of ancient wisdom and modern thinking where by the nerve endings in the feet and hands can be massaged in a particular way to help bring the body back into balance.  (Read more here)

What I’m offering here is a very basic guide as to where some points are in the hand which can help elevate the stress reaction as emotions come up.  The points shown in the images are ones you can rub and/or massage to help bring you some calm in order to move forward.  For the purposes of self calming and self love it really doesn’t matter how you approach the massage rather focus on breathing deep while holding the intention of calm and love with you as you work so that your body can respond in kind. In fact I would suggest any hand rubbing, twisting, shaking and clicking with the intention of release would be fantastic!

These points relate to parts of the body which frequently come into play as part of our stress (fight or flight) response.  Our breathing can quicken so rubbing the top of our palms (lung points) can help bring our breath back into balance. Our heads can spin so rubbing the fingertips (head, brain and sinus points) can help to bring clear thinking back into play.  Our shoulders and back tense up so rubbing the base of the little finger (shoulder point) and along the edge of our thumb and wrist (spine and nervous system) can ease the tension for example.

So without further ado I’ll let you look below and give it ago ……… don’t be shy, just try it and you’ll be impressed with how much more relaxed you can feel.  I was thinking about making a wee video of it all in action so if you think this would be helpful please leave a comment below and I’ll get cracking 🙂

Healing Hands Mini Stress Relief Routine

  • Pictures are all shown palms up.
  • Remember to take care of yourself so if anything hurts then ease up or miss it out. 
  • These are only guidelines, if you find a technique which is better for you then go with that. 
  • If it seems too much and overwhelming then just focus on one or two points to start with.
  • Breath as deep and slow as you can throughout the routine if possible. 

Begin with shaking out your hands then squeeze, twist and pull each thumb and finger. Rub hands together gently (front and back) while taking some deep breaths before starting the points below.

  1. Head and Brain points:  These are your finger tips.  Rub/massage in a circular motion with the thumb of the opposite hand or whatever feels good for you. This will help to bring calm and balance to the mind as well as hitting on some endocrine and sinus points.

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2. Chest and Lung points: This is the area is at the base of your fingers and the top of your palm.  You will feel the metacarpal heads (the other side of your knuckles) and the base of these is pretty much the lower part of this point.  Using the thumb or fingers of the opposite hand rub/massage across this area.  This will help to balance your breath and give more oxygen to the brain to bring calm.

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3. Diaphragm Points: This is at the base of the lung area or just below the bony metacarpal heads. Using the thumb of the opposite hand ‘caterpillar walk’ or rub across this line in both directions. Again this helps with bringing balance to the breath.

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4. Solar Plexus Points:  This is the in the centre of the diaphragm line above and in line with the middle of your palm.  You should press on this point with the thumb of the opposite hand while taking slow, deep breaths.  Do three breaths .. pressing in as you breath in and release at you breath out.  Repeat as many times as necessary to bring almost instant calm.

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5. Shoulder Points:  This are located at the base of your fingers and the section at the bottom of your little finger.  Using the fingers or thumb of the opposite hand work across the area … first the ‘line’ and then the section at the base of the little finger. Notice any tenderness (not pain just tenderness) and breath into it to help ease away the tension from this area of the body.

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6. Spine points: This area runs along the outside of your thumb and along the bottom of your palm.  There are various ways to work this area on  yourself so see which feels the most comfortable – work with thumb of opposite hand in a ‘caterpillar walk’ style, work with fingers of the opposite hand, rub with the whole of your opposite hand.  If you think of the tip of your thumb as your head then work up towards the head will bring more calm energy and working down towards the wrist will bring a relaxing calm.

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7. Adrenal Points:  These points are found near the fleshy part at the base of your thumb and likely to be found by the tenderness there.  Best worked in a gentle circular motion with the opposite thumb while the fingers of the opposite hand ‘cradle’ the hand being worked.  Remember to breath as deep as you can while working these points 🙂

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I hope this finds you safe and secure with another tool in your kete (basket) while feeling a little more calm.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

What can we do?

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As most of you have seen we have had the most horrible event here in NZ last Friday.  Such a senseless act of violence and terrorism has seen so many families and communities, not only here but around the world, left with loss, confusion, grief and fear.

our culture

It was in my hometown and while I no longer live there it made me feel so confused that anything like that could happen in Christchurch.  I also felt incredibly powerless to help in a meaningful way.  Then this came into my inbox and I thought it is actually so good I would share.

While it is obviously targeted to the Christchurch terror attack it has valuable message for being able to put your grief and confusion into action while creating a compassionate future.  Already here in New Zealand good discussions and law changes are coming out of this horrendous attack.  Sad though that we had to wait until so many innocent lives were taken.  Maybe you can find something the email below to help you process your feelings and the world around you feel a little better.

‘ Like many New Zealanders, I have spent the weekend absolutely devastated.

Friday started off with so much hope. I joined our young people for their school strike against government and corporate inaction on climate breakdown. I watched as thousands of rangatahi took a collective stand for Papatūānuku in Wellington’s Civic Square. I cried happy tears.

Then a man with a murderous weapon, inflicted with the ideology of white supremacy, shot, hurt and killed Muslim men, women and children who had gathered to pray. I cried mournful, sorrow-filled tears and it’s been hard to stop ever since.

Below is a list of ways that may help you channel your anger and grief, as well as show solidarity with the Muslim community and the people of Ōtautahi/Christchurch.

Donate to the victims and families

The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre has set up a crowdfunding campaign on Launchgood (a crowdfunding platform for Muslim people) with all funds raised distributed to the victims and families affected by the Christchurch attack. All proceeds will go towards helping with their immediate, short-term needs.

The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups has also set up a crowdfunding campaign on Givealittle. Victim Support says it will use all donations received to the page to provide support and resources for people affected by the Christchurch shootings and their family members. This one has already raised $3 million from everyday New Zealanders, which I think is a bright spot in an otherwise very dark time.

Attend a memorial vigil

In Māori culture, one of the most important aspects of losing a loved one is the tangihanga or tangi. The word means to weep, and to sing a dirge (a lament for the dead).

People travel from all around the country and world to come together at these funerals to share in the grief of loss and memories of those who pass. They are an important part of our culture. I see public vigils as serving the same purpose. Here are a few happening around the country over the next week:

  • Invercargill – Sunday 17 March from 11am – 12pm.
  • Wellington – Sunday 17 March from 6pm – 7pm at Basin Reserve.
  • Christchurch – Thursday 21 March from 8.30pm – 9.30pm at Cathedral Square.
  • Dunedin – Thursday 21 March in the Octagon.
  • Auckland – Friday 22 March from 6pm – 7pm at Aotea Square.
  • Nelson Race Unity Day – Sunday 24 March 24 in Victory Square.

Listen to the perspectives of Muslim people

Like with any religious, ethnic or age group, there are multiple perspectives and experiences within the Muslim community. Muslims are an ethnically diverse demographic hailing from 80 different countries around the world. They have been in Aotearoa since 1860.

Widening the articles we read, and the podcasts we listen to, to include a range of Muslim writers or producers is one way we can begin to understand these different perspectives. Here are a couple of pieces that have been written in the wake of the Christchurch attack.

Here is a podcast that came out in 2017, but is essential listening for anyone wanting to understand what life is like for a Muslim person living in New Zealand today.

  • Public Enemy is an award-winning four-part podcast series from RNZ looking at the growing Muslim communities in the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and how elections, counter-terrorism policies, war and xenophobia have changed lives.

Condemn racism

This violent attack on Muslim people who were praying peacefully was based on the gunman’s idea that white people are superior to people of colour. This idea was fuelled by the renewed rise of neo-Nazis, xenophobia and far-right extremism all over the world.

For the last few years, powerful people with platforms (some politicians, some media commentators, almost all giant tech corporations) have stoked racial division to sell ads, generate headlines and create fear among us for cheap votes and clicks.

This racism and hate was also allowed to fester, because we have not been doing enough to condemn casual racism when we see it.

Report Islamophobic and xenophobic comments when you see them. Read this guide from Amnesty International on how to tell someone you love they are being racist.

This is a good book for people working through how they might be complicit in white supremacy.

You can also check out the NZ Human Rights Commission’s toolkit on their Give Nothing To Racism website.

Volunteer to teach former refugees and migrants English

English Language Partners New Zealand has a volunteer teaching programme providing free English lessons to former refugees and migrants. They will train you to provide those who need it with the language skills and confidence necessary to integrate and participate fully in Aotearoa.

Volunteer for The Red Cross

Contact your local Red Cross and see what they need. Volunteer tasks may include setting up a home for a refugee family, helping them with everyday admin such as enrolments, budgeting and shopping, and generally welcoming them into New Zealand.

Take action to end hate speech

For the last few months, our team has been researching the links between online hate, online misinformation and the rise in hate crimes.

One thing is abundantly clear: Extreme words lead to extreme actions. We need to do all we can to stop both.

Sign this petition that we’re delivering in a couple of weeks if you want our government to crackdown on online hate and misinformation:

I support an end to hate speech and misinformation online.

Take action to ban semi-automatic weapons

A member of the ActionStation community, Nik Green, is calling for a ban on all semi-automatic firearms. You can sign his petition today:

I support stronger gun laws

There are many other ways you can take action. Find your local Muslim community support group or mosque and reach out to ask how you can help.

Some people have been pledging to form human chains of protection around mosques so Muslims can worship and pray. Others have offered to accompany Muslims to wherever they need to go if they do not feel safe going out in public. We will be in touch again soon with other ways you can help as we find them.

Sending aroha (love) and kaha (strength) to all at this horrific time. Especially to our Muslim, migrant, and refugee communities,

Laura, Madeleine, Eliot, Leroy and Kassie, on behalf of the ActionStation team.

P.S. If you need someone to talk to about grief or trauma you may be experiencing, please call or text 1737. Both are free, confidential and available 24/7.

With special thanks to The Spinoff who originally published some of these ways you can help.’

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Farewell 2018

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Here we are  …… we made it! The last day of 2018 is upon us with 2019 just waiting to emerge.

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Preparing for the year ahead.

Each year at this time I sit down and take time to prepare myself for the year ahead.  I change journal/diaries (my own creation) and with that I also write down some of the activities, hopes and goals I’d like to complete in the upcoming year while seeing all the great things I have achieved in the outgoing one.  These are pretty loose I have to say and not all of them are huge.  I include things like getting a massage, reading a book, writing a letter to a friend – an actual pen and paper one that is 🙂 – along with some ‘work’ things like newsletters, ‘planning’  for homeschooling and blog posts and some more inspirational goals too.

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Hoping to get back here a bit more often next year 🙂

They often aren’t all completed, actually I don’t think I have ever done that, however that is not really the aim. Those that aren’t completed in one year just more on over to the next  …….. I have only just framed some cross-stitches I did for the kids after that being on my list for 2 years!  Rather my ‘108 Things to do’ serves as a reminder instead of a ‘must do’ list which kinda takes the pressure off while still realizing my hopes and dreams.

You may also think that 108 is an excess amount of things to write down and you’re probably correct if you try to write all 108 at once.  However I begin with with all the things I need to carry over (like updating my website so it is phone friendly), then the things I know I’ll be doing (like the monthly family blog) then add to it in drips and drabs along the year.  I only came to 108 things to do as I couldn’t get the tables to give me 100 nicely.  Then I read in a book how 108 is a sacred number 108 is a sacred number and felt kind of glad it worked out that way 🙂

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Hope I can jump into the new year with as much enthusiasm! 

With that said I’m off to get writing in that journal/diary.  I hope this finds you remembering and releasing 2018 with a smile while welcoming 2019 for all the wonderful possibilities it holds.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Christmas Cake!

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The sun is out here in Kaikōura and it is finally feeling like Christmas is on its way!!  So of course with Christmas comes the proverbial cake.  Last year we just missed out on having a cake as I didn’t think I had a recipe, then low and behold as I was sifting through the recipe book I came across this beauty.  I have actually had this recipe for a long time, since my sugar free time four years ago, without realising that it was actually vegan.  At the time it lost out to another recipe, as I was still eating eggs, only to be found the other month when I was searching for birthday cake recipes.

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Enjoying some pre Christmas sunshine …. homeschooling outside 🙂

Sadly, I can’t remember which book I got the recipe from all those years ago and I have altered it quite a bit over the couple of times I have baked it (both four years ago and now) so if you recognize it please let me know so I can credit the original correctly 🙂  I have halved the recipe so that it fitted into my bread loaf tin which also meant that it was consumed in a timely manner.  As with many GF vegan recipes the sooner the munching is completed the better … we stretched it to three days to see what it was like with success though day three wasn’t as yum as day one and two’s munching 🙂

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Decorated and ready to go in the oven

As you’ll know if you’ve been reading my blogs for a while I like simple and quick recipes. This one is a little out of the norm for me as it required cooking and mashing some kumara prior to mixing everything in one pot …. thankfully I survived the ordeal as it wasn’t quite as daunting as it seemed when I first read it 😉  I figure one extra dish for some yummy Christmas cake was worth the effort ….. at least once a year that is.  The almond essence and decoration definitely gave it that Christmassy look and taste while using the vanilla essence instead, and flagging the decoration, produced a good fruit cake for any occasion.

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 …. now for the munching to begin

So here is it for you to play around with and enjoy over this festive season and beyond ….

A Merry Vegan Christmas Cake

1 Tb maple syrup

250 gm of raisins or sultanas

1 Cup of water

1 small apple (peeled and grated)

62 gms chopped almonds – or in my case bashed almonds 😉

1/2 cup of mashed kumara (doesn’t matter if it is cold or warm)

1.5 Tb olive oil

1 tsp almond essence (vanilla also works fine if you just want a fruit cake)

3/4 Cup rice flour

3/4 Cup buckwheat flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp cinnamon

extra almonds to decorate – optional

  • Bring maple syrup, fruit and water to the boil in a large pot then remove from the heat.
  • Add apple, bashed almonds, kumara, essence along with oil and mix well.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and mix well again.
  • Pour into a baking paper lined tin and gently press in extra almonds to decorate.
  • Bake at 160 C for 45 mins and then leave to cool in the oven for the next 15-20 mins before placing on a cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container and enjoy.
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Even got a thumbs up from the non-vegan among us!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas/Holiday season enjoying the good things life has given you and remembering lots of special memories.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz