Crochet Cake – DF, GF, SF delight

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My plan was to share a new recipe on here today …. that is until I got word at the 11th hour that the Infant Massage Course  I was running (through the local Women’s Centre who needs a minimum number of participants) could go ahead.  Then it was all guns blazing to organize everything, including baking some morning tea!

Kapiti Nov 2019 Infant Massage photo

Looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow 

So I thought I would share, and make, an old favourite to take the pressure off a bit.  This cake got its name after I continually made it for a series of crochet ‘catch-ups’ we were having as a safe option for the GF amongst the group.  It is in fact a very simple and delicious gluten free, diary free and sugar free cake which, if served warm, can also be used as a yummy dessert.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as everyone else does …. it has sparked a big discussion between themselves now that we have happy chickens producing our eggs.  Are eggs, produced by happy hens, which occur regardless of what we do (a bit like fruit on a tree) allowable on a vegan menu?   I think that debate will go on for a bit!!

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Crochet Cake – aka diary free, gluten free, sugar free delight

1.5 Cups dates

1.5 Cups of boiling water

1/2 Cup Rice Bran

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas – mashed

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp GF baking powder (2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, 1 part arrowroot)

1 Cup rice flour

1/2 Cup desiccated coconut

  • Soak dates in the boiling water for 10-15 mins (in a large bowl) before mashing into a smooth thick paste.  If this is still a bit watery you can heat it slightly.
  • Mix in olive oil to the date paste and stir until blended.
  • Add eggs and bananas to date/olive oil mixture and mix until blended fully.
  • Add all the remaining dry ingredients and mix until everything is blended.
  • Line a cake tin with baking paper and pour in the mixture.
  • Bake at 180C for 50-60 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Near the end of baking you may want to cover the cake with tin foil to allow it to keep cooking without the top getting too dark. It does take a while to get it fully baked.
  • Enjoy warm with yogurt/whipped cream or allow to cool on a rack to enjoy later.

Hope this finds you enjoying lots of natural sweetness in your life and sunshine to warm your days.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Veggie Flatbread

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After a week of off and on rain is has been nice being in the garden a little, watching the strawberries turn red, the washing blowing on the line, themselves gardening and the chickens scratching.  Yes …. after what felt like an eternal wait for themselves we have got ourselves a little brood.

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The latest addition to the whānau

There was so much discussion about breeds and so much searching that I thought they would never decide however in the end, due to their first picks not being available, they went for a brown shaver each. In the meantime I had posted on FB about bantams and someone replied, so we quickly went from no chooks on Wed, to two on Thursday then four on Saturday!  They are taking their time getting used to each other, tending to stick in their pairs for now 🙂  I don’t think the Shavers had been outside at all so the first couple of days for them was quite funny to watch as they discovered wind, sun, rain, bird song and of course themselves snuggling them like crazy.

Anyway onto the recipe you say … and I shall.  This week is a great one for using up leftover veggies.  I have been experimenting with a biscuit recipe that called for mashed pumpkin and ended up with loads of leftovers.  Bread is one of my big loves, even though the feeling isn’t always mutual, so what better to make than flatbreads to get a bit of a doughy fix.  It is another super easy one that you can adapt to suit the tastes of your whānau (family).  I used mashed pumpkin and buckwheat flour this time however I have also made kumara and rice flour ones for a sweeter version and also plain old spud ones. Of course the flour you use is also interchangeable for those gluten munchers among you 🙂

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Frying flatbreads in the pan

They don’t take long to fry up if you already have the cold mashed veg so are great for an on the spot snack or addition to any meal … even breakfast.  Themselves really love them and heap all sorts of toppings on.  I’m sure you’ll find them a hit in your household too.  I haven’t put any amounts in this recipe as it really just depends on what you have …… any amount works as long as you get the doughy consistency to be able to shape your ‘discs’ for frying.

Veggie Flatbread

  • Mashed Veg (kumara, pumpkin, potatoe or any combo)
  • GF flour (buckwheat or rice works well)
  • Oil – for cooking)
  • Salt and/or herbs (personal taste to dictate here)

-Add salt and/or herbs into the mashed veg as you desire.

-Mix in enough flour with the mashed veggies to form a soft dough. It may still be a little sticky but this will work out with a bit of flour as you form into discs.

-Spoon or grab out balls of dough which you can then flatten (going around in your hand) into discs, using more flour to help. If the dough is soft and sticky then make a little thicker.

-Fry in the pan with a little bit of oil if desired until brown on each side.

-Enjoy with salad bits or whatever your favourite topping is 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Quick and Easy Pasta

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I had great plans for getting on here over the past few weeks with recipes to share, honest I did.  However, as life sometimes goes, nothing really panned out how it should.  The recipes either went slightly wrong or the end effect was not quite as delicious as the picture had you believe.

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Enjoying the garden in lieu of jobs I should be doing!

Aside from that life took over again as we celebrated our youngest’s birthday, celebrated our youngest great nephew’s birthday, caught up with family and remembered my mum on the first anniversary of her death.  It has been a whirlwind of activities and emotions which has seen me tend to coast through each day rather than set a plan. Trying out new recipes wasn’t really high on the priority list though with an upcoming Infant Massage Course in Nov I was happy for the distract ….. and the tasting opportunities 🙂

So I thought that I would at least share something with you … a very quick and easy pasta salad dish which himself stole and copied from some restaurant many years ago.  It has transformed over the years as our eating habits have changed which is just the kind of recipes I love.  Now instead of regular pasta and feta we have plonked in GF pasta and tofu along with whatever mixture of veg, olives and tomatoes take our fancy.  It really is an easy one to do and great if you have to prepare a meal ahead of time as you can have it cold or warm and as everything is pretty much optional you can be creative and make it just how you and yours like.

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Ready to serve

Stolen Pasta Delight

  • Packet of Fusilli – GF or regular
  • Red onion
  • Capiscum
  • Tofu (can replace with feta and add in last)
  • Fresh tomatoes  (chopped into large cubes)
  • Olives
  • Olive oil (for cooking in and drizzling on afterwards if you wish)
  • Zucchini (chopped)
  • Mushrooms
  • Anything else you want to pop in 🙂
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Dried Italian Herb Mix

-Boil the pasta until it is el dente, strain and leave to cool

-Fry up the onion, mushrooms, capsicum and zucchini until they are close to being s

-Add in the  fresh tomatoes and tofu with a little bit of Dried Italian Herb mix and continue to fry off until you can see the tomato is cooked.

-Remove from the heat and blend gently with the pasta and other ingredients (olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta etc).

-Sprinkle with fresh chopped basil leaves and drizzle a bit more oil on if you wish.

-Enjoy

Hope this find you happy, healthy and enjoying each day as it comes.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Party time, Chocolate cake time

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And just like that our youngest is another year older! Yes, it is party time in this household and as he is really into Stars Wars at the moment it is a themed one for the first time.

I have to confess that we’re not really the ‘go all out’ type of family over birthdays, it is usually a quiet family occasion with maybe some close friends. However, after a fairly trying and difficult year it was really nice to have something happy and positive to focus on after all the other rubbish that has been going on.  Themselves have been finding Star Wars things left, right and centre lately where we would normally not have noticed them at all ….. like garden ornaments in our local hardware store 🙂

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Our hardware shop find … himself made the light-saber to make it look all the more authentic.

So we have been decorating, preparing and baking up a storm for our little gathering.  I have to admit that I’m feeling a bit smug at actually making the requested storm-trooper head cake look like a storm-trooper head …… there were a few nail-biting moments I can tell you.  Thankfully with a good vegan chocolate cake recipe, a little thought before hand and a free day put aside we got there 🙂

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The cake all finished

Himself has been sugar free and gluten free (along with vegan) for a while now, he is so much better at sticking to his principles than I would ever be, however for his big day he decided that a bit of gluten and sugar were needed to produce a super yummy cake for all.  I thought I had shared this recipe a while back however since I can’t find it I will share again.  It is a great vegan cake which you can adapt to make GF, sugar free or loaded up with Gluten and sugar 🙂 This cake doesn’t rise a huge amount so, because we needed a bit of depth, we decided to create two and layered them up with jam in between.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

  • 1 &1/2 Cups of flour (you can use GF premixed flour too)
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar (we have also reduced this to 1/4 C, used maple syrup instead & used dextrose)
  • 1/8 Cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Cup cold water
  • 1/2 Cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 Tb white vinegar

-Mix all the dry ingredients together.

-Add the water, oil and vanilla essence in and mix until smooth

-Add the vinegar in and stir thoroughly

-Pour into a baking paper lined tin

-Bake at 180 Celcius for 20-25 mins or until the cake tester comes out clean.

-ENJOY

 

Hope this finds you celebrating your own milestones and may the force be with you 🙂

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Oranges a plenty

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Over the last few weeks I have been in the garden a lot, not because I particularly like gardening I have to say but because it is something that I don’t mind being interrupted from.  With themselves being a bit more needy since battling chest infections there have been quite a few interruptions lately so figured it was better for me, and them, that I happily interrupted.  While I managed to get most of the weeds out there is one thing that I am constantly collecting which won’t be stopping anytime soon … oranges.

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Just one of our trees …. with our place in the background.

We have two amazingly plentiful orange trees and 2 just as plentiful sweet grapefruit trees supplying more fruit than we can keep up with at the moment. So of course the marmalade recipes have come out in a bid to use some of the fruit up … aside from all the juicing and fresh munching that is going on.  I have tried making sugar free marmalade before by using honey however as himself is not eating honey anymore I had to put my thinking cap on.

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Preparing our chunky style marmalade

I have played around with different marmalade recipes quite a bit over the years;  reducing refined sugar, trying coconut sugar and as mentioned honey all with varying degrees of success.  The key thing I have noticed is that when you reduce or replace sugar the boiling time becomes a trial of patience.  Rather than the quick rolling boil that usually occurs it becomes a slow reducing exercise until the marmalade reaches the correct consistency.  My latest play with recipes has come up with something that I’m pretty pleased with and themselves are happy to eat so it is a win/win as far as I can see 🙂 Hopefully it will be something that you can use or modify if need be to make it yum for your family too.

Refined Sugar Free Orange Marmalade

  • 1 kg sweet oranges (approx)
  • 2 large eating apples
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup ( or whatever amounts tickles your fancy)

– Slice the oranges depending on how you like your marmalade (thick or thin) then put in a large pot.

– Peel, core and grate the two apples and add to oranges.

– Just cover the orange and apple mixture with cold water and leave overnight (or for at least 8 hours) to sit.

– Next morning (or later that day) boil the fruit until it is soft and the volume has reduced a bit. Use a wooden spoon to push the juice out of the fruit a bit as it cooks.

– Add maple syrup and boil for a little longer before testing on a saucer. Place a little bit of marmalade on a saucer and allow to cool. It will be ready when you can run your finger through the juice and it stay separated for a bit.  With sugar marmalade it will stay separated however with alternative sweeteners it just takes longer to come back together.

– Spoon into warmed, clean jars and store until needed.

– ENJOY!!

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Hope this gives you ideas to spark a bit of experimenting and finds you in the best of health heading into the new season.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

The holiday let down

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Well I’m at a bit of a loss for inspiration this week after arriving back from a warm winter break in Fiji to the strong icy winds that we have blowing here at the moment.  All I really want to do is snuggle up in bed with a good book!!  So following that thought I’ve decided to just go with the ‘lazy flow’ and share my e-books with you ….. in case you have the urge to snuggle up with a book too 🙂

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Take it Easy

In this busy interconnected and wired-up world stress seems to be a natural part of daily life. Right? Wrong! Life doesn’t have to be a rush. What if you could take it easy and create a ‘stress-less’ life for yourself? With my simple tools and ideas you can discover simple ways to reduce your stress and be on your way to creating exactly that – A ‘Stress-Less’ Life. This e-book will guide you through five simple steps to help you create a life where you are enjoying your days and experiencing less stress while improving your health and well-being.

 

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Magnificent Mamas (really for anyone though as it has all my pearls of wisdom in it)

Regain balance, rediscover the joy in each day and live your dream with this 12 week program. Life is busy and when children are added to the mix life can get hectic. Often it is easy to lose sight of the things that really matter and forget to give time to yourself along with remembering your dreams. Now Magnificent Mamas with take you through week by week to create the life that you want and can have. There are tips and ideas for finding balance, for self- care and for achieving your goals and dreams.

 

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Creating a Vivacious You

Losing weight and feeling great doesn’t have to be complicated or cost lots of money. In a world where we are bombarded with new ‘diets’, ‘quick fix’ solutions and numerous products for improving our lives it is easy to forget that actually the basic rules for having health and well-being still apply. This book guides you through some ‘back to basics’ steps which will help you to feel healthier, feel happier and help create your ideal body.

 

 

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Finding Calm and Balance

This comprehensive guide has everything you need to use Bach Flower Remedies with confidence. Find out how you can begin to gain more balance, more calm and less stress naturally through using Bach Flower Remedies. This guide covers what Bach Flower Remedies are, how to select them for yourself and others, how to use them and affirmations to support your chosen remedies along with a section on using Bach Flower Remedies with children. If you are interested in becoming healthy naturally and healing then this is a must have book for you.

 

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Mother’s Little Helper

Discover easy, natural remedies and ideas for healing your children with Mother’s Little Helper by Yossarian Fay. This book is loaded with ideas to help you to continue on your journey of Becoming Healthy and ensure your children are becoming healthy too. There are recipes, kitchen cures, a section on using Bach Flower remedies with children, information on how to use EFT and reflexology with your children, making this a must have book for your collection.

 

Hope this finds you relaxed, mentally nourished and ready to enjoy the week ahead

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Sometimes life takes over

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What a  time we have had of it this past week and a bit …. all our plans have been turned on their heads and I am more than a little discombobulated by it all!  I actually had  started a whole rant blog about everything then after some sleep (two days of 4am mornings can really alter your perspective on life) and a few days to process all the changes to our plans ahead I decided I wouldn’t bore you with it 🙂

Let’s just say that 3 breakdowns, 2 mechanics and 1 tow truck later our bus home has decided it has had enough of travel for a while.  Thankfully we were able to get her back to our base in the North Island (after she overheated at 6am on our way to the ferry) and sadly there she sits for the next few months …. until we can solve the root issue and get her back on the road.

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So here, as promised 2 weeks ago, is another recipe rather than a mad rant about our first world problems 🙂  This week is a super easy vegan sausage recipe that I found when our boy decided that being Vegan wasn’t enough and he wanted to be gluten free and sugar free also.  That meant that the quick and easy tea option we had of store bought veggie sausages and salad was out the window; so began my search for something just as easy.  Thanks very much to Vie de la Vegan (click on the link to see the original recipe) for her awesome, quick and easy ideas ….. of course I have altered it to fit our cupboard contents, and when I was trying to cook it from memory, but hopefully that justs shows how easy, awesome and adaptable the recipe is.

Quick and Easy Bean Sausages

  • 400gm can of beans
  • 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour (or other gluten free flour)
  • 1 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 Tb tamari (this is the GF version of soy)
  • Dried herbs to flavour

-Mash the beans up and then add the other ingredients until it forms a ball.

-Divide the mixture up, into 4 for large sausages or 8 for smaller ones.

-Roll into sausage shapes and put into the fridge of a little bit before frying.

-Add some oil to a frying pan and heat before popping the sausages in.

-Fry until golden brown.

See it is that easy and very delicious.  You can easily double the recipe for bigger families.  We have also experimented with different beans and herbs which has been great though we are yet to reach a consensus so I hope you have better luck with that one 🙂

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Ready to munch

Hope this finds you just where you planned to be and enjoying life.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz