Nannan’s Mt Peel Chutney


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.


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 😉


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.



Allergy Sufferers look away!


This is definitely not a post for anyone wanting gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, vegan or paleo recipes.  The warning has been issued so it is up to you how you proceed 🙂

I have to say that since beginning  this blog and let people know about my sugar free journey I am often amused by people’s comments about my ‘healthy’eating.  While I guess my eating is fairly healthy I still eat what makes me feel good physically and mentally … unfortunately that actually cuts out most of the old treats I used to partake in. People often assume too that because I am blogging about vegetarian things or sugar free recipes that my children and husband eat like I do…… which is so not the case!


Our March treat – Hedgehog Slice

With my children (and often with myself) I tend to work on the 80/20 rule where 80% of the time I try my hardest to nourish them well so that the other 20% we can relax and enjoy life.  It has to be said though that this is not a everyday 80/20 rule.  Some days we are 95/5 (that 5% is for both healthy and ‘unhealthy’ foods depending on the day), some days we are 50/50……. we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with treats, goodies and processed delights and as much as I would love to only give my children whole, organic and natural food while adapting recipes constantly I also value my sanity quite a lot 🙂

So it is that every year around this time we have a family treat.  You see it is Girl Guide Biscuit time here in New Zealand.  That special few weeks in the year when we can get Girl Guide biscuits before they are sold out,  never to return until March the next year and having a Brownie (junior Girl Guide) who has to sell the elusive biscuits means that every March we end up with a small stash.  The children get to buy their own choice (usually chocolate minis) and I buy a couple of packets of plain to create my favourite slice for them – Hedgehog Slice.

Some call it Fudge Cake however a few years back when we were having a home-school hedgehog day we found this recipe (thanks and apologies to the actual owners as I have no record of where I found it) and, realising it was my all time favourite slice, decided to make it so the name stuck.  Me being me I have actually tried to adapt it (sorry just can’t help myself) and I have made this slice without the sugar and using sunflower seeds instead of nuts. The results were a bit crumbly around the edges and otherwise very yum 🙂  Here however, without any further waffle, is the orginal and this week’s ‘not of the allergy suffer’recipe

Hedgehog Slice

1 packet of broken Girl Guide Biscuits (or any plain 230 gm packet of biscuits)

115 gm butter

1/4 cup of sugar (as mentioned this can be left out)

2 tablespoons cocoa

1 egg – well beaten

3/4 cup of chopped nuts (I usually use almond or cashew) (can replace for sunflower seeds)

1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Melt the butter and sugar in a pot over a gentle heat.
  • Remove pot and stir in cocoa and egg.
  • Bring just to the boil – stirring constantly – and remove from heat again.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Press mixture into a lined/greased square cake tin and put in the fridge
  • When cold ice with chocolate icing (icing sugar, a blob of butter, cocoa & a small amount of hot water) and slice.  It is just as yum without the icing too.
  • ENJOY!

Hope this finds you working out the balance which fits you and yours.