Winter Wellness – Part 2 – EFT

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Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is one of the healing tools I have in my kete (basket) which I have to admit was a bit out of my comfort zone the first time I tried it.  That was over a decade ago now and since then it has become an invaluable which never fails to make a positive difference in how I feel.  I regulary use it for relieving syptoms of discomfort and illness, with great results, so I thought you may like to try it too.

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Tapping on the karate chop point

As you may know, I believe that all our health and well-being, yes all of it, comes down to our emotions.  Our emotions dictate how we interact with the world and what we do in it.  If we are feeling safe, we are more able to make good choices in our life as we operate in more of a ‘rest and digest’ state of being. If we are feeling stressed, worried or scared a different part of our nervous system kicks in and we operate out of a ‘flight or fight or freeze’ survival mode where our decisions are based on what we think we need at that moment to survive.  Obviously, there are bugs out there that can make us sick however when we are operating in ‘survival mode’ due to us feeling stressed, worried, angry etc then our immune system is impaired which make that fact, bugs will make us sick, all the more likely to occur.

Our bodies can’t heal or fight disease in our bodies if we think our safety is compromised as it is too busy worrying about survival, which is where EFT can help.  Tapping (another name for EFT) works by tapping on meridian points, which studies have shown helps calm the amygdala (a part of the brain which plays a key role in processing emotions) and thereby helps clear emotional blocks within our system. While you tap you also say statements about the issue or how you are feeling – focusing on the negative to start with and then moving to the positive – which also helps to bring the body back to that all importance place of calm and balance.  In a nutshell EFT/Tapping assists you to move through the negative (sickness, emotions or pain) by combining tapping on certain points in the body and saying how we feel about the issue we have, simple as that!   It honestly is that easy, yet it is so effective and you don’t need to get ‘tied up’ about what to say either, rather just say how you are honestly feeling.

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The tapping points as portrayed by an amazing artist 🙂

Now at this point you may be saying ‘but a cold is physical, it has nothing to do with emotions’ and that is true to a point. There are two things that bring it back to the emotional though …. one, when we are stressed/angry/worried or rushing all the time our bodies go into survival mode which lowers our immune system, so allowing bugs in a little easier and two, everything we experience has an emotion attached to it.  So when we get that cold we may begin to wallow in how sick we feel, get angry about still having to do jobs, feel frustrated that being sick stops us from doing something and all of these emotions end up making us feel worse.  Tapping helps clear that emotional aspect which allows you to feel brighter and more able to cope.

Tapping/EFT is really easy to do and best of all you don’t even have to leave your bed to do it!  Even if you feel a bit silly to start with, tapping under your arm especially, after a few rounds it will help you to feel better.  There are loads of tap along videos on youtube ( I’ve listed a few below to try) however if you want a little one page quick guide, by yours truly, then here is a PDF to help you along.  If you want a more detailed look at EFT and how you can reduce your stress then try out my book ‘Take it Easy’ which you can purchased at Amazon, Smashwords and other online bookstores.  I will say though that while tapping at home and using youtube videos is great for relieving minor issues I do suggest that if anything comes up for you and you feel you have deeper work to do then please seek out a professional practitioner.

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Try out my e-book for a more detailed guide on reducing stress to improve health.

Cold and congestion tap along with Nivedita Mehta

Cold tap along with Beth Tuttle

Healing tap along with Brad Yates

Cold and flu tap along with Julie Schiffman

Hope this finds you getting a bit of relief and feeling healthier each day.

Arohanui
Y
www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Winter Wellness – Part 1 – Reflexology

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After five weeks of recipes and with winter officially here in NZ I thought I would begin a ‘Winter Wellness’ series of blogs.  As the Chinese proverb goes ‘The superior doctor prevents sickness; The mediocre doctor attends to impending sickness; The inferior doctor treats actual sickness.’  So I thought I would share a few tools and give the opportunity for you to all become your own superior … or at the very least mediocre …. doctor and get on top of your health before any of those dreaded winter lurgies appear  … or reappear 🙂

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Rainy day views

Each week over the next few weeks I will give a few suggestions for you to try. which can help you find some relief from winter lurgies or may help boost your immune system to keep them at bay completely.  These don’t replace medical advice of course, rather they can be used in conjunction with other techniques or medications you are using to help  bring your body back into balance and hopefully heal a little quicker.  Once your body has balance (we naturally want homeostasis in our bodies and the body strives for it at a physiological level) it has more energy to focus on healing and maintaining a healthy body.

Reflexology is a great tool for helping you bring your body back into balance and one that I love to use.  While I primarily give foot reflexology treatments to my clients, I know that this isn’t always the easiest option to use at home, by yourself, or when you’re out and about.  So for that reason I teach a lot of hand reflexology points during my workshops so that you can actually use this fantastic tool yourself.  The positive effects of hand reflexology are usually a little shorter lived than foot reflexology though thankfully it is easy to repeat as needed.  Best thing is that you can do some basic moves in the comfort of your own home.

Ingham method hand map

Ingham Method Map

I thought a one page hand out would be the best way to share (click here to download a PDF version) and a little video (thankfully the sun came out so that herself could video me in the light) to help you along the way … including a bit of eye rolling from me as himself runs in and out of the bus and I thought that I wasn’t having my face filmed!!!  Excuse our low tech productions ….  not that much room for lighting and screens in our 1956 Bedford 🙂 If you feel there is something that isn’t clear then please let me know so I can do another ‘take’. The most important thing is that you are mindful of your own wellbeing.  Stop if  you’re feeling pain, go easy on tender spots, ease up if things feel ‘too much’ and if you are concerned then see a health professional

Hope this finds you happy, healthy and working those hands to your benefit!

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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

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

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

Elder-flower Treats

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Hello again …. I know it has been a long time since I last wrote.  Life has well and truly had me by the ‘short and curlies’ – as my Mum would say 😉 – and I’m only just starting to feel like I’m getting back on track.  At the start of October my Mum passed away, in her home just as she always wanted, and since then just getting through the basics of each day has been the focus.  Grief is a strange beast that is for sure!!

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Mt Fyffe treating us to a surprise sprinkle of snow in Summer

Our plans needed to dramatically alter as a consequence of Mum’s death and though it was a shock to absorb all the changes it has also brought some unexpected pleasures.  Instead of still being in the North Island we are now back in the Kaikōura (South Island) and the way we have been welcomed back has been a real tonic for the soul.  Themselves have also been given opportunities to care for animals here, build with the Community shed and re-unit with friends through local groups while I have already been asked about running more Infant Massage courses … Yay!  Our arrival also coincided with the all the overgrown and wild Elderberry flowering which lead us to do a little experimenting.

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Preparing the mixture

We don’t really get Elderberry growing as well in the North Island so while I had heard that you could turn the flowers into fritters I was yet to try it. After a bit of research on which parts actually are edible, themselves went on a huge flower forage and we began to create.  While pictures on most of the blogs for elderflower fritters make it look like you can eat the stems of the flowers in the recipe it is only the flowers that are safe as the stem, if too much is consumed, will create a bit of nausea.

The recipe I have below is pretty much our pikelet/pancake recipe (vegan style) with the flowers added in.  Using another recipe as a guideline for any other vital ingredients I may need we added a little bit of icing sugar however the pollen is super sweet so unless you have a very sweet tooth you probably won’t need to add it. We tried this recipe two different ways; doughnut style (spoonful dropped in hot oil) and pikelet style (spoonful dropped in hot pan). The doughnut style were definitely the favourite of themselves, evidence by the lack of photos as they scoffed them before I could clean up and get the camera! However I opted for the pikelet style as the repeat recipe  …. less greasy and less cleaning up too 🙂  Sorry if this is a little late for the elderberry flowers blooming in your neck of the woods but hopefully you can remember it for next year 🙂

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Half way there

Elderberry treats

1 Cup GF flour (I used Edmonds ‘ready mix’)

1 Cup Rice milk or sim

1 Tb olive oil

1 Tb water

2 tsp baking powder

1 Tb icing sugar (optional)

1 cup of elderberry flowers (just the flower heads not the green stalks)

  • Mix everything until a smooth paste is achieved
  • Heat a pan then place spoonfuls into the hot pan.
  • Wait of the top of the pikelet to ‘bubble’ then flip to cook the underside.
  • Enjoy by themselves or with your favourite topping
  • If you want the doughnut style then drop small spoonfuls of the batter into hot oil and wait until they are golden before removing. Drain very well before eating … if people can wait that long 🙂

Until next time, when (fingers crossed) I’ll be sharing a Vegan/GF christmas Cake that I’m trying out, I hope this finds you surrounded by those you love and making the most of them.

Arohanui

Y