farmer’s market coleslaw

Purple Carrot & Basil Coleslaw

I love how a quick trip around the Farmer’s Market can pretty much put a dish together just by the order of how things go into your basket. It started with purple carrots, then beetroot, some gnarly organic apples and the most beautiful purple basil you ever did see. I’d put my name on a bunch of basil after seeing it the night before on Thatch’s facebook page. These guys grow seriously good herbs, and they happened to be a trestle away from us this week, so when the basil was hand delivered, wrapped in a little origami newspaper pocket, it felt more like a florist had visited the stall when I wasn’t looking. Beautiful.

A group of us went to see ‘Shakespeare in the Vines’ that night, so a quick picnic was assembled to share, and what’s a picnic without coleslaw? Especially on Australia Day. Along with the array of goodies everyone else brought to share after a morning at the market and a run through home veggie patches, it was the most amazing spread of good health on a blanket I think I’ve ever experienced. And not a lamb in sight. Although as my friend said, she’d hugged her lambs that day, so we figured that fulfilled the ‘traditional’ quota of Australia Day. I guess the bottles of kombucha could’ve passed for beer too. Done and done.

 

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Purple Carrot & Basil Coleslaw

 

I’m sure everyone has their own way of making coleslaw so this is a rough guide more than an exact recipe…

 

1 organic beetroot

3 organic purple carrots,

2 organic apples

wedge organic cabbage

handful fresh organic purple basil

lemon extra virgin olive oil

organic coconut yoghurt or cream

organic apple cider vinegar

juice of 2 organic oranges

himalayan salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp each organic sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

 

With the grater attachment on, run all the veggies and apples through your food processor. Mix together in a large bowl. 

Toast the seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop.

Mix equal parts olive oil, vinegar and coconut yoghurt with the orange juice and season to taste.

Pour over coleslaw and mix through. Add the basil leaves just before serving and sprinkle the toasted seeds on top.

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fruit appreciation

Apricot and Orange Earl Hempseed Ice Cream

We picked the last of the apricots from our old tree this week. I really love this tree. It sits right outside the back door in a place strategic to spotting, both from the kitchen window, and from the shower, so we have the chance to watch it pass through its cycle of small miracles throughout the year; ballet pink blossom, lush green foliage with orange polka dots, golden leaves like Post-It notes and gnarly bare branches. So beautiful. It’s a level of appreciation that has led to quite a few conversations between me and our apricot tree.

The last of the fruit had a tad too much sun to hold very long past picking, but the flavour was stunning, a concentrated version of itself after all the hot weather we’ve had. It had to be ice cream. Good and creamy hempseed ice cream with apricots and Orange Earl tea.

I ended up adding a drizzle of orange infused yacon syrup, just to ramp up the citrus a smidge more. That’s completely optional, but I figured if I was doing an ice cream that was going to give us a a perfect and natural blend of easily digested proteins, essential fatty acids (Omega 3 & 6), Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, iron, zinc, carotene, phospholipids, phytosterols, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E, chlorophyll, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and enzymes, it seemed only fair that there should be a bundle of prebiotic goodness in the ‘sauce’.

Only a quantum leap from the ice cream of my childhood. The apricots tasted just like my 8 year old mind remembered though. Good news on both fronts.

If you’d like more info on hemp I have some links with my Hempseed Bircher Muesli recipe. It’s seriously good stuff.

 

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Apricot and Orange Earl Hempseed Ice Cream

 

1 cup organic raw hulled hempseeds

1 cup filtered rainwater 

1 cup strong Orange Earl tea

8-10 ripe organic apricots, seeds removed

1 heaped tablespoon organic raw coconut oil

1 vanilla bean, scraped

3-4 tablespoons organic maple syrup or agave

 

Organic yacon syrup infused with orange zest, optional

 

To make the ice cream, blitz the hempseeds and water in a food processor or Vitamix. When you have a very smooth paste, add the remaining ingredients and blitz again until everything has been incorporated into a silky puree.

Pour into an ice cream machine if you have one and follow your normal routine, or if you’d like to cut into ‘blocks’ then set in a low flat dish or pan.

Cover with baking paper to avoid oxidisation and put into the freezer until ready to serve.

 Drizzle the orange infused yacon syrup over the ice cream to serve. We had ours with a pot of Orange Earl too. Kind of a given.

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coconut yoghurt you say?

Coconut Yoghurt

It may have taken me a while but I’ve well and truly fallen in love with this whole coconut yoghurt thing. So good. And far more creamier than I imagined. There’s lots of great recipes online for coconut yoghurt but my interest was piqued again when we went to Mexico, and not because there are ‘cocos frios’ everywhere, but because of the pre-flight food pack I put together before we left.

I came across dehydrated coconut water, in its raw powdered form, and thought it would be a perfect flight buddy to add to water along the way for a decent electrolyte fix over the nearly 30 hours of flying we had ahead of us. It worked a treat. Once we were airborne, I started thinking of all the other things I could add it to (that daydream helped to fill in at least, oh, 30 minutes out of the 30 hours) and along with smoothies, dips, soups etc, coconut yoghurt popped into the part of my brain where I do my taste testing.

Not that the idea is to make the yoghurt from the dehydrated coconut water, but I found out that if you add it to your fresh coconut yoghurt it makes it thicker without losing that lovely creaminess. Bingo. I’m sure you could go ahead and flavour the yoghurt too but the coconut flavour it pretty big on its own, so I’ve just been enjoying adding it to things rather than adding things to it. So far, coconut yoghurt had been dolloped onto raw granola, mixed with chia seeds and fresh apricots for a take in the jar kind of breakfast, dipped into with chapati to have with dahl, swirled through gazpacho and spooned through grated cucumber with toasted cumin seeds. It’s good stuff.

 

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Coconut Yoghurt

makes 2 cups

 

3 fresh whole organic drinking coconuts

2 capsules dairy free acidophilus probiotic powder

1 heaped tablespoon organic dehydrated coconut water (optional)

 

The trickiest part about this recipe is getting into the coconuts! I have a cleaver that I bought especially for this in Thailand, but if you don’t have a heavy cleaver, use the heaviest knife you have in your collection. I have been known to use a screwdriver and hammer before too!

Start by chopping into one side of the top of the coconut using repeated strikes until you feel the knife break through the shell. Then move onto the other three sides of the square you’ll eventually be able to pull open to access the coconut water and flesh.

Once you have a 3 coconuts open, drain the water into a jug and sip away on that because you’ll only need about 1/4 cup or so in your yoghurt. Using a rounded soup spoon, scrape the flesh from the inside of the coconut and put into your blender. Don’t forget to get the flesh right at the top too. Pull off any bits of shell that come with the flesh, your blender won’t like these.

Once you have all the coconut flesh in your food processor, break the capsules apart and sprinkle in the acidophilus powder, add the dehydrated coconut water and blend to a smooth puree. If you are happy with the consistency as is, then there’s no need to add any fresh coconut water. I probably added a little less than 1/4 cup.

Put the coconut puree into a clean glass jar with a lid and leave the yoghurt in a warm place for 24hours to allow the culture to activate. Then pop it in the fridge. It will keep for about a week. You’ll have scraped the bottom of the jar well before then though I’d imagine!

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hola 2013!

Cacao Mole with Borlotti Beans & Charred Capsicum

I had a thought about jetlag when we arrived home from Mexico last week. Perhaps the icky feeling is because your heart isn’t quite ready to let go of the experience you’ve had on your adventure away, rather than the idea that sitting in plane for nearly 3o hours has anything to do with it. This is clearly not a logical explanation, but I ran with it regardless, and brought as much of the Yucatan to the farm as possible.

We have a new year’s tradition that involves spending the evening with some of our very favourite people, sharing beautiful food, watching the stars and being grateful for more things than I could possibly list. This tradition only started last year, but it feels like there is no other way to see in the new year now, like it’s what we have always done, so tradition it is, despite its infancy. I have always loved the ‘new’ part of new year’s eve; that feeling that anything is possible, a distinctive connection to now, in the shiniest way possible. Ambrosia. Or whatever the Mexican equivalent might be.

My heart was definitely not done with our time in Mexico, so to aid the ‘jetlag’ we filled our tummies with the smells and tastes of the Yucatan. It was a fragile thread to hold on to, but you can never underestimate the power of a good mole.

I hope 2013 is filled with every mystery and beauty for you, completely raw and real. Surrender to the ride! Feliz Año Nuevo!

 

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Cacao Mole with Borlotti Beans & Charred Capsicum

serves 6-8

 

375g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight and cooked until only just tender

2 organic yellow capsicum

1 tsp organic cinnamon powder

1 tsp organic smoky paprika

1 tsp organic sweet paprika

3 black peppercorns

3 organic cloves

1 organic star anise

40g organic raw almonds

40g organic raw sesame seeds

3 – 4 organic dried chillies

1 organic red onion

2 cloves organic purple garlic

1 tbsp organic raw cacao

1 tbsp organic panela sugar

300-400ml organic vegetable stock

350g organic tomatoes, chopped

organic raw coconut oil

 

To char the capsicums, place them whole, without cutting, over a direct flame and continue rotating until all sides are evenly charred and the capsicum is cooked through. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Don’t worry about how blackened they get, you will be peeling the charred part off completely.

When cooked and thoroughly blackened, place in a paper bag and seal to let them sweat a little. This helps the skins to slip off far more easily. After 10-12 minutes in the paper bag, remove the capsicum and peel off the charred skin. Rinse under water and put aside while you make the mole.

To make the mole, dry roast the peppercorns, star anise, cloves and almonds in a frypan over high heat. Keep the spices and nuts moving in the pan so they don’t burn. After about 3-5 minutes add the sesame seeds and chillies and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes until the sesame seeds start to crackle. Remove from heat and either place into a mortar and pestle or a food processor, along with the smoky and sweet paprika, cinnamon, cacao and panela sugar. Grind to a fine powder.

Dice the onion and finely chop the garlic. Add a heaped tablespoon of coconut oil to a pan and fry the onions for about 10-15 minutes until caramelised. You will need to stir them occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic and continue cooking for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the spice mixture and stir to evenly distribute the onion, garlic and spices. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes and the cooked borlotti beans and continue cooking over low heat for another 30-45 minutes to allow the flavours to really meld together.

Season to taste.

Serve with strips of the charred capsicum on top and lime wedges on the side. We had ours with corn and buckwheat polenta, tortillas and grilled corn on the cob. Oh, so good.

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