Nutty and seedy!

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Seeds and nuts will fill little bellies for longer AND provide wonderful nutrients at the same time. We keep a variety in the pantry ready to throw into the oven when needed (they are quick, so remember the timer!). The boys love them as a snack too.
Chef Pete Evans inspired me for this one. Check out his page for great ideas for eating real, whole foods (that happen to be as part of the Paleo approach). I’m sure you will be inspired!

Natural is just as good as chemicals!

 I find it interesting that there is a trend to use natural bubble bath for kids yet hand soap, sunscreen, laundry detergent and even toothpaste have nasty, if not worse, chemicals in them.  Chemicals that if you look into it, are affecting our health more than we realise.
Slowly but surely we have been switching over to natural products because of the boys’ sensitivities.  It is just about changing habits, seeking out the products and reducing the family’s toxic load.

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Roasted Turmeric Chickpeas – cheap, quick, healthy.

The QUICKEST snack you could prepare with ‘superfood’ benefits of turmeric, which will help keep your child’s liver clean from all the detoxifying of toxins they may be ingesting. Not to mention a great fine motor task for little fingers to pick up and eat!

1. Rinse tin of No Salt Added Chickpeas.
2. Pour onto baking tray.
3. Sprinkle turmeric powder over the top. Shake tray to coat.
4. Place in oven at 200degrees Celsius for ~40mins depending how crunchy you like them. For little ones you might just do 30mins to keep them semi soft.
Enjoy! 🙂 Heidi

I usually go for handfuls...

I usually go for handfuls…

Out with the processed foods, hello wholefoods – Chookie’s Cookies

[12 months +]  So who is interested in cooking and baking without refined sugars?  It just doesn’t make sense to use refined sugar with all the health issues it brings (more on that later) when you can make tasty food without it.  So, I am turning to Wholefood Simply on Facebook for delicious baking ideas that involve wholefoods and nothing processed or refined like sugar.  You can do it too, just check out the recipes and you will see it just requires replacing a few things in your pantry.  Things like desiccated coconut or coconut oil (extra good fats), tahini (great source of calcium) and dates (sweet yet nutritious).  Bianca was inspired to create these recipes after witnessing young children eating bags of lollies and chocolate bars and knew there was better treats!

Baking is not a common occurrence in our kitchen after I have made all of our staples and nor do I want the boys to expect ‘sweet stuff’ all the time.  But I’m sure as they start to discover the processed foods out there, I will be baking more 🙂

We buy tahini by the bucket as it is so good for salad dressings, quick addition on pasta for the boys, or even on toast.  And of course our weekly batch of hummous.  I used the tahini in these cookies so the boys could take them to daycare (nut-free).

tahini by the bucketload

tahini by the bucketload

Here is the link to Chookie’s Cookies on Wholefood Simply’s website, otherwise check out the recipe below.  Yum!

Chookies Cookies

150 grams (approximately 3/4 cup) roasted almond butter (for a nut free version use hulled tahini or sunflower seed butter)

150 grams cooled roast pumpkin or pumpkin puree (approximately 3/4 cup)

150 grams (1.5 cups) desiccated coconut (finely shredded dried coconut)

6 medjool dates, deseeded

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celcuis or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a tray with baking paper.

Place the ingredients into your food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until well combined and your dates are chopped. Using your hands shape the mixture into cookies and place on your oven tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool. Enjoy.

whole foods only thanks

whole foods only thanks

Organic? Why?

Australian Organic School Gardens, a free program for any school that would like to become involved, has come up with an informative list of the top 10 reasons to eat organic.

image by: organicfarmingblog.com

image by: organicfarmingblog.com

Here they are:

It’s good for you

The average Australian consumes 2kg of food additives each year, many of which cause food intolerances, behaviour and learning difficulties for children and illness. Eat organic and you will reduce this to zero. Organic food averages 25% more nutritional value and contains about one-third more cancer-fighting antioxidants than non-organic foods.

It’s good for your children

From the womb to adolescence, your child will benefit from organics. Exposure to insecticides and herbicides during pregnancy and infancy can impact on a child’s foetal and cognitive development. Exposure to pesticides can also interfere with normal hormone development, potentially causing low sperm count in boys and an early onset of puberty in girls.

It’s good for farm animals

Buy organic and you are saying ‘yes’ to a more humane treatment of farm animals and saying ‘no’ to the use of growth hormones, antibiotics and drugs/foods that genetically modify livestock.

It’s good for agriculture

Emissions from the agricultural sector (fertilisers and crop residues) are the second-highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia. Organic standards prohibit the use of nitrogen fertilisers, which lowers emissions and provides economic and environmental benefits. Land that is organically farmed is also more resilient to drought.

It’s good for the environment

Over 29,500 tonnes of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators are used each year in Australia, buying organics will reduce this and help the environment. If only 1000 medium sized farms converted to organic production, the carbon stored in the soil would be equivalent to taking 117 440 cars off the road each year.

It’s good for native habitats

Organic farming significantly supports biodiversity, with up to 50% more plant, insect and bird life found on organic farms. This helps to protect native habitats and endangered flora and fauna.

It’s good for the industry

When you buy organic products you are placing a demand on the industry and community to support the growth of the organic industry from growers through to retailers. And if you insist on only purchasing products with organic certification (The Bud logo) you will be encouraging more producers to gain the integrity of organic certification.

It’s good for our water

Organic farming reduces the amount of chemical runoff and residues which are currently going into our drinking water, waterways and coastal areas.

It’s good for our earth

Organic farming is based on land regeneration and will reduce the acidity levels present in topsoils on many agricultural properties. This will then create more productive cropping land.

It’s good for your tastebuds

When you bite into something organic you can be sure the flavour is nothing but natural. It will look they way nature has designed it and taste the way it should – what can be better than that?

“Organic is not a luxury; it’s how food is supposed to be.”

Shane Heaton, nutritionist

BEANS DONT MEAN HEINZ!!!

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Thank you Heidi for encouraging me to make my own ‘baked beans’. These were by far the yummiest beans I have ever had and it was sooo easy it seems crazy to ever buy beans again!!!!

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I used organic tinned butter, kidney and cannellini beans, then added a tin of lentils.

I then added chopped celery and carrot and a large clove of crushed garlic.

2 tins of organic diced tomatoes

1 beef stock cube (if you make your own stock even better).

I left it on the stove top for about 20 mins and the house was filled with the most delicious smells and then served them up.

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beans do not mean HEINZThis was our family’s breakfast. All the rest of the beans went into containers to be frozen.

I am already thinking this would be great in jars as presents to our friends!!!

Getting your child off to the best start – breakfast

delicious and nutritious...

delicious and nutritious…

What does your child eat for breakfast?  Have you looked at the ingredient list of the cereal?  How much does it cost?  How many nutrients do they get out of vegemite toast?  How much salt, sugar and preservatives are in their breakfast?

Have you thought about using a plain and economical cereal (for example, porridge, weetbix) and adding some ‘super foods’?

It might be porridge with a dash of coconut milk and banana or weetbix with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds.  It is fun for your child to choose each morning!

It just takes buying these ingredients and finding a container to store the coconut milk in and you’re ready to go.  [Note: organic coconut, blueberries and cinnamon are definitely best as chemicals in these might be undoing the ‘super’ food factor.]

Talk to your child about the benefits of these foods:

Banana

– they make us feel happy

– they give us energy

– they help us to pay attention to learn

Coconut milk

(whilst there is some contradictory opinions on the benefits of coconut milk, it appears the most recent thoughts are completely positive for coconut milk.  Please make your own decisions!)

Coconut milk and breast milk are similar in regards to their pH levels, nutrient content and fat content.  Because of this, the body can metabolize the fat faster to promote better bone health and brain development.

– helps to fight germs in our body

– gives us energy that we can use all day

Pumpkin seeds/pepitas

– they help to keep us calm and sleep well at night

– they keep our hearts healthy

Blueberries

– they build our immunity, to keep us healthy and keep away colds

– they are good for our intestines, which help break down our food

Probiotics

– the good ‘bugs’ that help our intestines to stay healthy and keep the colds away

– help to clear eczema and allergies by protecting our intestines

Cinnamon

– helps our brain to think and remember

– clears out the bad ‘bugs’ in our body

This is just the beginning in being creative + healthy!