Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

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It is funny just how much I use coconut in my recipes considering I have always thought of myself as not enjoying coconut things. Anyway …. it does seem to be a go to sweet addition to many recipes which allow for taking out sugar or other fillers.  I think all of my offerings, bar one, for morning tea during my 5 week infant massage course have coconut added!  Not that anyone seems to mind and this week my offering of chocolate peppermint macaroons was a bit of a hit so I thought I would share it one here for everyone to find.

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All that is left from a batch of 30!

I did get this recipe, before I adapted it a bit, from Hungry Cub.  She had shared a delicious raspberry recipe however, in usual form for me, because I did not have all the ingredients I opted for a chocolate peppermint one.  Mine look no way near as beautiful or perfect as hers either ….. I tend to go for the natural, just chucked together look it seems and not just in my baking  either ;).  Anyway (looks aside) they taste yum, are very easy to make and best of all they are dairy free and gluten free!

Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

2 Cups of shredded coconut

1 1/4 Tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 Tablespoons runny honey

a few drops of peppermint essence

2 egg whites

For the coating – optional

50gm 90% dark chocolate (this is dairy free)

1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 C
  • Mix the coconut and cocoa together and mix well.
  • Add the honey, vanilla and peppermint essence into the the coconut mixture and make sure it is well blended.
  • Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
  • Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
  • On a baking paper lined tray put teaspoonful size piles of the coconut mixture and bake for 10-12 mins or until they are browning a little on top.
  • Once the macaroons are cool fully melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler (a small bowl over a pot of boiling water is my method).
  • Dip the base of each macaroon into the chocolate and place on a baking paper lined tray to set.  If you have extra you could also drizzle some chocolate over the top of the macaroons for an extra chocolaty treat.
  • Place the tray into the fridge to set fully and store there until serving or in-between servings if they last that long!
  • Enjoy

Well that is it for this week.  Until next time when I will probably share some Vegan recipe we are trying, now that my boy has decided that is his preferred eating, I hope this finds you healthy, happy and enjoying all the sweetness life has to offer.

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

 

Autumn breakfast options

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

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

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

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

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

Morning Muesli

Oats – largest portion

Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Sesame Seeds

Desiccated Coconut

Dates – chopped

Almonds -raw

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

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

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

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Date and Coconut Snackerballs

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

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They don’t last long in this bus!!

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

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

Date and Coconut Snackerballs

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

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

-Stir in the other ingredients and mix until fully blended

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

-Refrigerate and enjoy

 

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

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

On the road again

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

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Our lunch spot at Mt Peel, South Canterbury

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

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

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Afternoon tea warm from the oven

Scones

1.5 Cups Flour (white or brown)

25 gm Cold butter

3 Teaspoons baking powder

1/4 Cup of currents or sultanas (optional)

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

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

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

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

‘Life Changing Loaf’ recipe

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

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

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Fresh loaf

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

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Delicious as toast also

Life-Changing Loaf

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup whole linseeds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 ½ cups rolled oats (jumbo ones not the ‘quick’ or fine ones)
2 Tbsp Black chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (actually I just ground a bit in)
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 ½ cups water

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

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

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Shopping Habits

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Since being on the bus we have had to change our shopping habits quite a lot.  It is not only the fact of discontinuing to purchase all those ‘in case someone pops over’ items such as milk, coffee and sugar, it is also the way we are buying that is changing.

With limited cupboard and fridge space we can no longer stockpile as now we have to restrict our shopping to replacement only items.  This is fine by us and while it does require multiple trips to the supermarket is it good knowing exactly what is in our cupboards day to day.  I know for some of you reading this you already shop this way … local markets, fresh produce … however for us it is a new experience.  We usually do a weekly shop where we get enough to last us the whole week (or close to) and then repeat the process the next week. Even with a co-op shop it is a month’s worth of dry goods at a time that I purchase.

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The majority of my food storage space

What I am noticing now as I shop is that maybe what I thought was our choice to shop weekly actually isn’t completely our choice.  You see as I head down the supermarket aisles I am noticing more and more that there are incentives laid out to encourage you to buy more.  Lately when I have gone to buy broccoli it is often on a ‘2 for $3’ special where as one head of broccoli is $2 and they are not alone.  All sorts of canned items and other produce is in for the ‘special offer’ ride.

I feel the urge to buy more, save more … unfortunately I also feel the pressure of our limited space and reminded of just how insane moving things to get other things makes me feel.  My new year (bus life) intentions are to find more local places to buy from, more road side stalls and market places.  I can already feel that it will take much more effort than I am currently putting into shopping, which is probably why I am still down at the supermarket struggling with my urge to buy less and the temptation of getting more for my dollar, though hopefully slowly and surely I can create a change in our buying habits.

Hope this finds you warm, dry and healthy.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz