Ginger-Nut Bites

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It is the final week of my Infant Massage course tomorrow and the final week of baking for all those wonderful mamas.  It has been such a lovely group and I always love seeing just how much the bubas enjoy the massage (or not some days) and grow over that time.  Themselves have also loved catching up with friends each week while I teach especially with all the amazing weather we have been having ….. well that was until Summer officially arrived on and the rain started. 🙂

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Themselves enjoying the local river.

So with the weather feeling a bit cooler I thought I would warm the insides of everyone a bit with some good old ginger-nuts.  This recipe is delicious, easy and able to be eaten raw or cooked so win/wins all round I say.  The original recipe says that it makes 8 biscuits however we usually get at least 16 and sometimes 20 out of it so obviously it is all about size.  I tend to double up the recipe to get a decent batch and because themselves love these yummy morsels it also means I have a chance to get some too!  The fact that they don’t expand on cooking does mean that you can pack them pretty close together on your tray which for us means one batch rather than two … always a bonus when your oven is a tiny bus one.

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Ready to go in the oven – with a bit of ground almond to help with the flattening part.

Gingernuts

1 C ground almonds

2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 Tb black strap molasses

3 Tb maple syrup

  • Mix the almonds and ginger
  • Add the molasses and maple syrup then mix until the mixture forms a dough
  • Roll into small balls and place on tray
  • Flatten each ball with a fork (you may need to dip the fork in rice flour or ground almonds so it doesn’t stick)
  • Bake for 10-15 mins at 180C
  • Cool on the rack before devouring

Hope this finds you warm, happy and content regardless of the weather outside.

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

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

Paraoa Panana – Banana Bread

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It is Infant Massage time again and that means bringing out the old favourites as well as a few new recipes to keep those parents nourished.  I love teaching the classes and seeing all the little ones soaking up good massage vibes as well as the parents enjoying my baking. It is definitely one of the best bits of my job ……. and as for themselves as they always get the left overs, so they think it is the best bit of my job too!

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Infant Massage in action last year

Last week was the first session and I decided to go for good old Banana Bread (Paraoa Panana in Māori).  This recipe is a repeat however it really is so easy and so yummy that it is worth bringing it to the foreground again 🙂  I found this particular little treasure in a free magazine from a local health shop a few years back and since our bus-hold (thinking this is our version of house-hold) love banana bread it has been a very well used recipe.

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A few pieces left over for themselves

It comes from a book by Daisy Dagg and Amber Vito called Kai for Kids eBook and while the original recipe had half honey and half maple syrup in it we have just replaced the honey with all Maple Syrup without much change to the flavour.  I’m sharing the gluten version this time however we have used GF flour with success in the past (see post from Feb last year) …. in fact the only reason I’m not baking it for the class with Gluten Free Flour is so that I won’t scoff all the left overs this time!! 😉

Paraoa Panana (or Vegan Banana Bread)

1 Cup Wholemeal flour

3/4 Cup self raising flour (or regular white then add 1 tsp baking powder to the recipe)

1/3 C melted coconut oil

1/2 C pure maple syrup

4 mashed bananas (large)

1/2 C shredded / desiccated coconut

2 Tb chia seeds

1/2 C rice milk (or other milk alternative)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • Melt coconut oil in a pot and stir in the maple syrup, rice milk, vanilla essence and mashed banana
  • Add in the chia seeds and stir well
  • Add in all the other dry ingredients and mix until blended well
  • Pour into a baking paper lined tin and bake at 180 Celsius for around 35-40 mins or until a cake-tester (skewer) comes out clean.
  • Cool and Enjoy 🙂

Hope this finds you surrounded by those who love and believe in you, enjoying the present moment and nibbling on something nice.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

Vegan Goulash

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Goodness two weeks in a row and I’m on here writing …. It seems I’m on a roll!! With the extra sunshine and daylight we are getting now it certainly makes it easier to fit in using the computer without depleting our solar energy supplies. The other added bonus is that themselves have been outside playing around the farm and exploring much more which equals undisturbed head space for me 😉  I love spring time especially when you’re out in the country.

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Themselves taking the compost down to the hens

This week is a recipe that is becoming a strong favourite in the bus and one which I’m more than happy to make as not only is it a ‘one pot wonder’, it also gets lots of veggies into themselves.  I found this recipe when himself first decided to become vegan and I was doing due diligence to ensure that I wasn’t going to leave him malnourished ;).  The original recipe has long since been left behind though as I have adapted it, once again, to our cupboard stock.  It is a super quick and easy meal to make which has the bonus of being very filling too.  I find it great for those days when we are out late as I can just cook the veg and pasta a little less then leave it all sitting in the pot (off the heat of course) to keep ‘cooking’ in the heat until we get home to warm and eat.  Himself has taken to sprinkling nutritional yeast on it while herself prefers grated cheese.

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Ready to eat

Vegan Goulash

  • Gluten free pasta (around 125gm dry)
  • 400gm can of beans (kidney or cannellini)
  • Can of diced tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Veg boullion
  • Onion
  • Vegetables of your choice (celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, beans etc)

– Bring water to the boil, add pasta and par cook the pasta in a pot until it is nearly soft. Turn off the heat and leave in the water.

– Rinse and drain the beans

– Dice the onion and cook, using a little bit of oil, in a large pot until it is soft.

– Add chopped veggies to the onion and fry off a little more, adding oil if needed.

– Add veg boullion (we use a heaped teaspoonful to start with) and then add the diced tomatoes.  Fill the can again with water and add this too.  If it isn’t covering all the veg then add a little more water until it is.

– Cook until the veggies are soft or to your preference.

– Add a few tablespoonfuls – sorry I’m a bit useless with the measurement side of this adapted recipe 😉 – of tomato paste, the beans and the drained pasta.

– Taste and add salt and pepper, more veg bouillon or other flavourings you like.

– Mix until combined and cook a little longer to warm the beans then you’re ready to serve.

– Enjoy by itself or with some chunks of bread.

Hope this finds you with the sunshine warming your body and the wind at your back, blowing out any cobwebs 😉

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

 

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

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