superfood

with love from cambodia

Raw Everything & Nettle Smoothie

Our Cambodian trip was a little while ago now but it’s taken me some time to let any notion of narrative fall into place about what it meant to be there. I still have none. The story will only be a story for you to read, and really, what would be the most amazing thing, and maybe the only real way to talk about this, is for you to go too. Take a totally brilliant friend with you. I did. And while you’re there please, please go to Hariharalaya. It’s where you can dissolve and be held at the same time. My God. And the really, really brilliant part is what you find in your heart when you get home. I’m still unpacking.

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Angkor Wat made me sit down a lot. Mostly because I was trying to stop my brain from figuring out the details. The overwhelming beauty stops all inner chat pretty quickly though.

 

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The view over the balcony from my room at Hariharalaya.

 

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We rode our bikes down dirt tracks lined either side with temples, to the soundtrack of chanting and local kids practicing their English on us, as they rode up to join us like we were old buddies that did this every afternoon.

 

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 Handmade, locally pottered tea cups. No one rides past that kind of magic shop.

 

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We had really great smoothies every morning as part of the Hariharalaya breakfast and it’s a ritual the bounty of stinging nettles has encouraged me to continue since being home. Here’s what we’ve been sipping on after yoga over the last week. It’s helping with my detachment until I can get back to Cambodia.

Raw Everything & Nettle Smoothie

makes at least 4 breakfast sized smoothies

 

3 cups freshly made organic almond milk (or milk or choice)

1 heaped tablespoon organic hemp seeds

1 heaped tablespoon organic raw cacao

1 heaped tablespoon organic mesquite powder

1 heaped tablespoon organic chia seeds

1 heaped tablespoon organic coconut oil

1 frozen organic banana

2 packed cups raw organic stinging nettles 

 

Blend everything together in a high speed blender until completely smooth. Don’t worry about the sting on the nettles, they’ll be dissolved during the pureeing process. Promise. You may want to add a little honey or agave if it’s not quite sweet enough for you.

moonlighting

Whole Spice Cola

With the very first Full Moon Farm Gate happening this Saturday night under not just a full moon, but a super full moon, I figured it would be especially good timing for my buddy Ben to share one of the most amazing recipes that will sit trestle-top on the night. Superfood cola. I can’t be entirely sure my earliest taste of this wasn’t the driving force to create the Full Moon Farm Gate in the first place. Thanks so, so much for sharing Ben, and even more for making this, it’ll be the coolest thing to be sipping on this Saturday night. After reading the epic ingredients list for this, all those heading to Langmeil on the 25th may well want to genuflect at the Moonlight Cola stall prior to purchase.

 

Beautiful pics, witty narration and epic recipe by Ben…

Cola Ingredients bottle and glass

 

 

So, this is a recipe for making cola syrup at home. I can’t remember exactly what started this little project – I suspect there may have been rum involved – but it’s developed into a series of still-running, sticky experiments which take over our kitchen for days at a time. Thankfully, it makes the house smell amazing throughout the process, otherwise I think I’d be making it in the garden shed by now.

A funny thing about cola is that it’s a wholly modern invention – well, late 1800’s anyway – and was made from the start with a lot of chemistry, using essential oils for flavour. Unlike a lot of recipes that are now mass-produced, there’s no ‘original homemade version’ we can go back to if we want the real thing (pun absolutely not intended). The name ‘cola’ comes from the Kola nut used in the original recipes, but Kola nut doesn’t really taste of much on its own – vaguely woody, and a bit bitter – it’s just there to provide caffeine. The real flavours that make something taste cola-ish are vanilla and sour citrus to offset the sweetness.

Anyway, the idea behind my tinkering is to make something that’s definitely cola, but by using real ingredients: whole spices, fresh zest and unprocessed sugars for sweetness. Really, it’s just a big, involved pot of some sort of mutant chai tea, with sugar added to turn it into a concentrated syrup. It keeps forever in the fridge – just add sparkling water whenever you fancy something sweet (yes, you can add rum if you’re a grown-up and/or a pirate).

 

Pestling

 

Whole Spice Cola

 1l water

Round one

3 whole vanilla beans

10 star anise nibs (1-and-a-bit whole stars)

10 green cardamom pods

10g coffee beans

10g cacao nibs or whole beans

5g cinnamon stick

2g long pepper

2g black peppercorns

4 cloves

10g dried açaí berry

 

Round two

24g tamarind pulp

20g fresh ginger

5g fresh turmeric

5g fresh galangal

pinch of saffron

2g lavender flowers

 

Round three

10g whole, fresh citrus leaves (lime, lemon, orange, cumquat are all good)

15g lemon zest

15g lime zest

15g orange zest

 

Round four

75g rapadura sugar

50g raw caster sugar

25g dark muscavado sugar

A pinch of sea salt

2tsp of citric or tartaric acid (taste!)

 

Take all the whole, woody spices (that’s all of round one, except the cinnamon, vanilla and açaí) and gently crack them in a mortar and pestle – we’re just trying to open the pods and seeds, without making any fine dusty bits. Dust is our nemesis, as you’re about to find out! Split the vanilla pods with a sharp knife – don’t worry about doing the famous ‘seed scrape’, for once we don’t need the floaty little specks. 

Starting cold, add the water and all the round one ingredients to a pot, and bring it to just under simmering. We’re really just making our giant pot of tea at this point, so we don’t need to see any bubbles. Keep it at this temperature for 30 minutes, stirring whenever you feel like it.

Lime and cinnamon

Add all the round two ingredients to the pot and give it a good stir. Keep it at the tea-brewing temperature for another 10 minutes, then go fishing for the tamarind pulp with your wooden spoon – it’ll be sitting in soft-ish lumps at the bottom of the pot. Either with the back of the spoon, or with your fingers if you’re feeling heatproof, break up the lumps so they dissolve nicely. Once that’s done, give everything a big stir, and let it keep brewing for another 30 minutes. 

Turn off the heat, then add the round three ingredients. Stir the pot well, cover it tightly, and let it cool completely. Adding the citrus ingredients last, and letting them infuse in the cooling liquid keeps the raw, zesty flavours better intact.

Infusing

Alright – what we’re dealing with now is the base flavour for our cola. Taste it: you should get sourness from the zest and tamarind, big earthy dark flavours from all the woody spices, and some sweetness and a big dose of vanilla perfume. It will taste bitter, too – just like you’d expect an hours-long-brewed tea to. That’s fine, even desirable. The real challenge now is our nemesis – the floatie. I’m going to digress on a little bit of science here (if I don’t bring science to a guest-post on the Scullery blog, I’ve failed) – but if you want to skip this part, be warned. There is filtering in your future. Lots of it.

So, the science. It’s about bubbles. Bubbles belong in cola like, well, like they belong in champagne. The problem with our lovely home-infused concoction is that it’s full of all the little floaty particles that separated from our delicious whole ingredients. Bubbles and floaty-particles are really, really good friends – as soon as sparkling water touches a floaty-particle, a big new bubble springs into being (bonus nerd points – every particle is a potential nucleation site). If there are thousands of floaty-particles in your syrup, then you get thousands of bubbles all at once – which gives your glass a head like badly homebrewed beer, and you a flat drink about 30 seconds later. Incidentally, I imagine this is why the original and ‘clone’ recipes you see floating around for the famous, mass-produced colas all call for essential oils of orange, lemon, neroli – you get some of the flavour without any floaties).

Anyway, presuming you’re going to mix your cola syrup with some lightly sparkling water we need to get our syrup as clear and free of floaty bits as we practically can. Let’s get started:

First, slowly pour off the liquid, through a colander and into a bowl. If you’ve got a fancy conical one, use that. That removes the bits bigger than 5mm or so. Save the vanilla beans, and throw the rest in the compost. Clean your pot, then pour the liquid back into it, this time through a fine mesh sieve. Pour slowly (you don’t want to push bits through the mesh with the force of the liquid), and tap gently on the side of the sieve to encourage things if you like. Definitely don’t rub spoons or anything around inside the sieve – let gravity do its thing. We’re down to soft pieces smaller than about 1mm now, which are still plenty big enough for bad nucleation to happen – we’ve got to keep going!

Set yourself up a clear glass bottle, funnel, and the clean mesh sieve. Pour the liquid gently through the sieve again to fill the bottle. Cap the bottle, and put it in the fridge overnight.

Decanting

The next day, you should find a layer of sediment has settled to the bottom of the bottle. Gently, gently take the bottle and pour off the clear liquid on top, back into the pot. Stop before you hit the goo in the bottom. If you want to save every last drop, pour the goo layer back through the sieve, and into a paper coffee filter. You might also see some yellowish solidified oils around the neck of the bottle – don’t worry, they’re there as evidence we’ve used real, proper ingredients, and they’ll reincorporate once you add the sugar.

Now, if you want super-crystal-clear syrup, you can paper-coffee-filter the liquid at this point. Be warned though – filtering through paper takes hours (or days, as I found out while experimenting). If you’re going to do it, set up lots of funnels and lots of filter papers, to spread the load out as much as you can. If you can’t be bothered with this step, just be gentle when you pour the finished syrup – the last little bits tend to settle out in the fridge over time.

When you’re happy with the amount and clarity of the liquid, gently warm it in the pot, just enough to take the chill off. Pour all the sugar into a clean bottle, add the liquid, and shake and stir until everything’s dissolved (you can be rough with it, it’s cool!). Now’s the time to have a taste test as you add the final two ingredients: the sea salt and the acid. The salt is a funny thing – you definitely won’t taste anything salty, but it really brings out the flavours of everything else. The acid is perhaps a debatable point: with everything else being completely whole and natural, it seems a shame to add it, but it gives the finished drink a sourness and ‘rightness’ that I just haven’t been able to get with any other ingredient. Tartaric acid is my pick – it has the handy benefit of preventing the syrup crystalizing in the fridge, and seems to help the mixed drink hold onto its bubbles better. In any case, both acids are naturally found in fruit: citric in citruses, tartaric in grapes (amongst other things), and if you use baking powder in a cake, you’re using tartaric acid anyway. You can easily, easily overdo the acid, though, so add a little bit, mix up a mouthful with water, then adjust until you have it as sour as you like. My syrup usually has about 3 teaspoons per litre, but you’ll need to adjust depending on all your other ingredients. 

For the final drink, I usually use 6:1 sparkling water to syrup – roughly 1 shot in a tumbler of sparkling water – but this syrup isn’t very sweet, as far as these things go. You can personalise the flavour a lot with the blend of sugars you use: More muscovado will give you caramelly-molasses flavour, and the dark-brown colour people expect from cola. Panela or rapadura brings mellow honey flavours, and lighter sugars (raw or even white) are sweet but very neutral, which let more of the herbs and zests come through. 

All that’s left is to bottle it however you like. Depending on how assiduous your filtering is, you’ll get about 800ml of syrup, and it’ll keep for months in the fridge. Cheers!

Finished

you put turmeric in your porridge?

Oat Porridge with Turmeric, Coconut Oil & Bee Pollen

Is is just too weird to have porridge with turmeric? And coconut oil? Gawd, it’s sounding like a curried breakfast, but honestly this is good stuff. We all know how fabulous turmeric is. I love it. Juicing it, grating into sandwiches and salads and yes, adding it to curries, but a couple of weeks ago when I was in Sydney, was the first time I’ve ever thought of putting it into porridge. The beautiful little organic cafe that was our Surry Hills local, when we were local, had porridge with fresh ginger on offer, so I ordered that with almond milk and cinnamon and while I waited for it to come, I patted people’s dogs and thought of all the other things I could pack into porridge. Wondering if turmeric would work, I added coconut oil too. Sometimes brains work like that right? Tenuous about one decision you go the whole hog and find yourself throwing way more than just turmeric in there. So here’s the porridge, with turmeric, coconut oil, bee pollen and 60 year old honey. I might do ginger next time too.

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Oat Porridge with Turmeric, Coconut Oil & Bee Pollen

1 cup organic rolled oats (or quinoa flakes for a GF version)

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tbsp organic turmeric powder

1 tbsp organic bee pollen

1 heaped tbsp virgin coconut oil

2 cups milk of your choice

organic raw honey, to taste

 

Put the oats, milk and salt into a small saucepan and cook until oats are tender. You may need to add extra milk or water depending on the kind of oats you have.

When the oats are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and add the turmeric and coconut oil. Stir through and serve into bowls sprinkled with bee pollen and drizzled with honey. I always add extra cold milk to mine so I can eat it faster. Goldilocks syndrome.

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raw gratitude

Raw Plum & Raisin Choc Tops

The most amazing generosity happens at this time of year in the Valley. Orchards and veggie patches kindly offer their wares in brown paper bags, handed over with the care and reverence homegrown produce deserves, accompanied by a simple ‘thought you’d like these’ or ‘our peach tree’s having a good year’. Sometimes it’s just a smile as the package gets put down and conversation continues on easily because both parties are fully aware of the exchange – equal parts kindness and gratitude. I can’t tell you how much I love this unspoken, old school, country practise.

In the last fortnight we have had gifts of homegrown cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant and asian greens (thanks Pete and Beck), just picked figs (thanks Ilona), peaches and plums from gnarly old trees that know exactly what flavour is (thanks Janelle and Paul) and the most beautiful little bean flowers (thanks Jenny). Any gardener knows the preciousness of bearing witness to food being created in amongst leaves and tendrils, which is probably the reason that any gardener also completely understands the joy in sharing it. It’s far from just a bag of peaches that gets placed in your hands.

So, this is the state of mind I was in when I received a handpicked bounty of lovely dark plums the other day and the shrine of plum appreciation began its construction. That’s my romantic take on ‘these-raw-plum-and-raisin-choctops-take-a-while-to-make’. Not as long as the tree took to create them though. The deal’s still well in our favour here.

 

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Raw Plum & Raisin Choc Tops

makes 4 – 6 

 

1 cup organic raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours

1 fresh organic drinking coconut

1 tablespoon organic coconut oil

1 tablespoon organic raw maca powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

2 tablespoons organic coconut nectar

1 vanilla bean, stripped

8-10 organic dark red plums

1/2 cup organic raisins

batch of raw chocolate, for dipping

paddlepops sticks or similar for ‘handles’

bee pollen ‘sprinkles’

 

Start this ice cream the day before by dehydrating the plums until semi dried to really intensify the flavour. You can soak the cashews the day before too if that helps the flow of things. 

To make the ice cream, crack open the young coconut and scoop out the flesh being carefully not to bring any husky bits with you. Put into a food processor or Vitamix, along with the coconut oil, maca, 1 tbsp coconut nectar and vanilla seeds. Blitz until really smooth. Drink the coconut water while you wait.

Once the mixture is thick and creamy, stir in the raisins and put aside in a jug ready to pour into the moulds or cups that you have chosen to set the ice creams in.

To make the raw plum ripple, simply blitz the semi dry plums, cinnamon, cloves and remaining coconut nectar in the processor until smooth.

Have your sticks and ice cream moulds ready. I used vine cuttings because I didn’t have paddlepop sticks and I think I’ll do this every time now because they looked pretty cute. Just make sure if you head into nature for your sticks that they haven’t been sprayed.

To assemble the ice creams, fill about 1/6 of the mould with the raisin/coconut ice cream mix, then add a dollop of plum jam, and continue layering like this until the mould is full. Push your ice cream stick into the mix and stir it around no more than twice before positioning it in the middle of the mould. Repeat with all moulds until full and place into the freezer to set.

When the ice cream is really solid, you’re ready to dip into the raw chocolate. Remove the ice creams from the moulds by setting the moulds into hot water for a few seconds and then slide the ice creams out by gently pulling on the sticks. Set the ice creams on a piece of baking paper back into the freezer to harden again while you make the raw chocolate.

While the chocolate is still runny, dip each ice cream into it to coat and sprinkle bee pollen over the chocolate as you turn the ice cream round in your fingers. Place back into the freezer to harden once the chocolate has lost its shine and you know it has set.

You will probably need to take these out of the freezer for 5 minutes before you want to eat them as they are solid ice cream. But so creamy. And good for you. Done and done.

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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oh, Spring!

Stinging Nettle Juice

Today was a grand day. From start to finish. We did everything Spring had on her request list in the hope she’d finally take centre stage and stop Winter pushing in with encore performances. We planted and mowed, and weeded and planted some more, we bared our skin to the first sunshine of the season, we filled water bowls for thirsty bees, we piled straw high for nesting geese and broody chooks. We fell into silence at the beauty of the first apricot blossom, the budding vines and the dappled light. We remembered to look up midway through a task to absorb the crazy amount of life humming across the hills around us, with crops glistening like the ocean and canola flowers creating an entirely new colour, above and beyond yellow. We were drawn into real life egg hunts finding little clutches hidden under the hedge or on top of the hay stack. We watched the ducks chatting about all the important things in life under the newly formed shade of their favourite tree. We hung clothes in the sunshine to dry, and folded that unmistakable crispness into them, pressing them to our faces like some paid talent in a laundry powder advert before we put them in the basket. We hung out on a blanket and imagined new farm projects, all the while looking up at the bluest of blue backdrops. We patted all the members of our family and were covered in shedding hair. We picked jonquils to put on the table. And we took full advantage of one of our favourite edible heralds of Spring and drank stinging nettle juice. We couldn’t have managed to squeeze another moment of Spring into the day. I hope she’s here to stay.

 

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Stinging Nettle Juice

 

Any juice recipe of mine is never really a recipe at all but more of a nod in the direction of a combination, so please feel free to add or subtract as you see fit. Don’t miss the stinging nettle bit though – such a great way to get a good whack of Vitamins A, K and D, iron and calcium amongst others. Pretty amazing little ‘weed’ really.

 

Big bunch of organic unsprayed stinging nettles (pick them with gloves to save the stings, or go in with intent if you have the skill to ‘grasp the nettle’)

2 organic lemons, peeled

3 organic apples

knob of fresh organic ginger

 

Juice everything and drink immediately. No need to worry about blanching the nettles, the juicer will take care of breaking the protein that forms the fine hairs on the leaves and I promise you won’t have any stinging as you swallow!

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free cow butter

vegan superfood butter

Winter throws some of my favourite things together on the hill. Really little things that may or may not even register if you took a wander around our pad for the first time. There’s the jonquils flowering under the leaf-bare apricot tree, violets beaming intense velveteen colour against everything green, fuzzy buds on the pear tree bunkering down until some warmth comes their way, and early, early in the foggy mornings spider webs glistening with enough dew to guard them against a line of runner ducks hurrying to their next appointment.

Then there’s the furry new life that turns up at the coldest part of the year. Little lambs that pogo-stick around the paddocks as though the near zero temperatures are just fine by them. And the calves. I can’t help but have favourites. It’d be a hard heart not to be stopped in its tracks by seeing a cow give birth. Tiny hooves leading the way, superhero style out into the freezing cold. Determined mooing from the Mumma cow as she connects into that realm where Nature seems to guide everything. Then in a warm, slippery crash, a calf is on the ground and life cycles again. Amazing. Even more amazing is how the older cows ‘midwife’ the younger ones who are giving birth for the first time, gathering in a circle around the birthing cow to offer support. I couldn’t believe this the first time I saw it. The wisdom of the elder cows is such a beautiful thing as they help the newborn calf to stand up and find its mother’s udders, gently nudging the mother into the right position.

I’ve watched this happen with the herd of dairy cows over the fence from us so many times. I guess it’s that direct experience of such a shiny moment that makes the facts of what happens next so hard to watch, let alone take any part in. I know you know all the arguments. I do too. That’s why we have our 2 lovely steers Wilhelm and Helmut, because male calves don’t fare well on dairies, no matter how kind the farmers are, and believe me the farmer that owns the cows next door to us is a really good guy. Sure, he thinks it’s a little ‘zany’ that we rescue calves for nothing more than the love of them. He jokes, ‘you can’t save them all’. That never makes me smile.

Beyond the fact that calves are taken from their mothers almost immediately after they are born so that their milk can be put into bottles for humans, the little boys have no future use in a dairy, so they’re killed, usually 2-3 days after being born. There’s so, so much information online that I could quote here, but I really just wanted to share the experience of bearing witness to this first hand. That’s when things seem to stick for our human brains right? How are we expected to join the dots otherwise? And I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone hearing a cow cry for her new born calf all through the night and make the decision that, yes, this is what we should be striving to achieve in our time on the planet.

But how many of us get that experience first hand? To arrive at the point where we base decisions on a genuine kinship with another animal rather than simply being told ‘you shouldn’t’, is a seriously powerful thing. There’s no punishment or judgement, on our behalf’s or the other animal’s. It’s just kindly recognising the desire in each other to lead a good life.  Reconnection with nature, in the way that us moving to this hill has given, has taught us so so much.  And while I respect everyone’s choice to care about this or not, and I really do, that’s not just some throw away line, I thought it might be cool to offer an alternative rather than just deliver the sad facts. That’s when I came across this brilliant vegan butter recipe from this gutsy blogmeister.

I’ve been using coconut butter and olive oils in my baking for a while now and although you’ll still find some of my earlier recipes use dairy, we just never have it in our fridge anymore so I don’t think to use it. That was a gradual thing. More information and knowledge lead to different thoughts and actions. What accounts for right and wrong only gets figured out with education and experience, huh? So, would it be great if calves were allowed to be nurtured by their mothers in the same way we nurture and love our babies? Absolutely. Would that mean the dairy industry would cease to exist. Most likely. Would that mean no butter. No way. Read on… and thanks again to Vegangster for this recipe and the information that has made my heart bust out of my chest all over again this week. There’s always more to learn. And more to care about.

PS. You can eat this just because it tastes good and is so good for you too. That’s a very cool reason. And equally good news for cows.

 

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Vegan Butter

directly from Vegangster with thanks

 

1 cup organic raw coconut oil

2 tablespoons organic, extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Pinch of nutritional yeast flakes 

Very small pinch of organic turmeric powder

 

This is super simple but there’s a few things you need to have in place ready for actions stations. Have a stainless steel or heat proof crockery bowl chilled in the freezer and an ice bath ready to put it into.

 

With your mixing bowl situation covered, put the coconut oil into a saucepan over heat until about half of the coconut oil melts. Immediately remove from the heat and add the olive oil, turmeric, salt and yeast flakes. Stir to combine and then pour into the bowl you have pre chilled in the freezer.

Keep stirring and place over the ice bath, being careful not to get any water into the butter as you mix it.

It should start to change colour and begin to solidify after a couple of minutes. Keep stirring until you have a softened butter consistency.

I put mine into grease proof paper at this stage and then into the fridge to really harden. 

All that’s left to do is pop that sourdough in the toaster and brew a pot of tea.

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flowers for mum

Coconut Custard Tart

It’s not exactly like our family to get overly romantic about Mother’s Day but a little bit of sentiment sat at the table with us for afternoon tea today. My Mum always talks about how when she was a kid, her and her sisters would often be sent on ‘hunting and gathering’ missions for nasturtiums so my Nana could make them nasturtium sandwiches for lunch. I love it when she tells this story because the idea of wildcrafting edible flowers for lunch ticks lots of boxes on my favourite-things-to-do list. Plus, nasturtiums are delicious.

 

We’ve had a little nasturtium goodness going on across the Scullery trestle table at the Farmer’s Market of late, and while it’s so easy to throw a handful of sunshine colour and peppery fragrance into any salad, or across a carpaccio, or float in soup like a couple of lily pads, I really wanted to eat nasturtium sandwiches today. With my Mum.

 

And once I’d invited sentimentality to the table, custard tarts asked for a part to play too. Remember those? All eggy, milky goodness freckled with nutmeg. I used to love those. So actually maybe this was more my tastebuds’ memory than my Mum’s. Ooops. Anyway, my Mum doesn’t go in for anything milk based these days so I set out to reinvent the custard tart without milk. There we go, back to her.

 

After I took the milk out of the custard tart, I thought coconut would be a nice swap, and then I didn’t need eggs to set it, and actually it didn’t need to be baked, and then if I just used the gluten free flour mix we’ve been doing for the Farmer’s Market, and some of that yummy mesquite powder I have in the cupboard and that cute little baking pan I found in the 2nd hand shop this week… You know how it goes.

 

So here’s a take on my Mum’s childhood, mixed in a bit with mine – but without the milk. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums. That’s really what afternoon tea says.

 

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Coconut Custard Tart

makes one 20cm tart

 

1 1/4 cups organic GF whole flour mix

1/4 cup organic mesquite powder

1/2 cup organic coconut butter, melted

pinch sea salt flakes

3 1/2 tbsp organic coconut water (saved from the fresh coconut)

 

2 organic young coconuts (drinking coconuts)

1/4 cup organic macadamia nuts

1 1/2 tsp raw organic honey

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp organic vanilla bean paste

juice of 1 organic meyer lemon

2 tsp organic mesquite powder

freshly grated nutmeg 

 

Pre heat the oven to 180C.

Mix the GF flour, mesquite and salt together in a bowl and then stir in the melted coconut oil and coconut water. 

Press the dough into your prepared tart tin using your fingers. Make sure to push the dough up the sides of the tin too. Prick the base of the dough with a fork and then bake for 12-15 minutes. No need to weight or pre chill the dough.

When the tart base is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

 

To make the coconut filling, blitz the macadamias in a food processor until fine. Scoop the soft flesh out of the coconuts and add to the food processor with all of the remaining ingredients, except for the nutmeg. Blitz until smooth.

 

Spoon the coconut mixture into the cooled tart base and dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. We had ours with extra honey to pour over the top. 

 

To make the nasturtium sandwiches, simply pile some fresh leaves and flowers between thinly sliced sourdough, season with salt flakes and freshly ground pepper and serve with copious amounts of tea.

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rave fuel

Aloe Vera, Feijoa & Mint Juice

Ramping up for another Breakfast Rave this Sunday, and it seems the ramping up for fresh juice amongst the Rave ranks is happening in parallel. The Rave has been such an ‘onion’ of learning layers and sharing info between all involved. And that’s on both sides of the trestle. It’s the coolest thing that we all came together to create an organic and sustainable breakfast on a Sunday morning and in the background to that has been a table tennis game of food discoveries going backwards and forwards between us all as we find out another snippit of seed saving info, or we gather for a raw chocolate fest and communal screening of the latest Food Matters download, or we figure out the best way to feed our sourdough mother. You get the idea.

 

The latest batting around of knowledge has been juice based. Nothing new in fresh juice and its health benefits, but add in some David Wolfe superfood wisdom and all of a sudden we’re asking ‘would you like marine phytoplankton with that?’, or ‘what’s the best way to fillet fresh aloe vera?’ Love it.

 

Because The Breakfast Rave has always had a bit of an envelope pushing nature, it’s no surprise that as we’ve all been learning and experimenting with ways to make ourselves and the planet healthier, another layer is peeled, and shazam, there’s fresh aloe vera on offer in Rave juice. The marine phytoplankton is waiting to ‘pop up’ next time round – we figure superfood baby steps is probably the best way forward first thing on a Sunday morning!

 

We’ve been juicing fresh aloe for the last 3 weeks or so, and you know that thing that happens when you are blown away by something that makes you feel amazing, you just want the whole world to have it too! We’ll settle for being able to share it with a few Ravers on Sunday morning but if you’d like to give it a go at home, here are some of the reasons aloe is our new superfood hero…

 

Raw aloe contains vitamins A,C and E, along with sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and chromium, antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes and immune boosting, joint lubricating polysaccharides. David Wolfe also talks about how aloe can help you lose weight and gain lean muscle mass, increase nutrient absorption along your intestinal track, aid in stabilising blood sugar levels and kill yeast infections, while at the same time increasing the effectiveness of probiotics such as acidophilus. Who wouldn’t want to swallow some of that for breakfast?!

 

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Aloe Vera, Feijoa & Mint Juice

 

1 fillet of fresh organic aloe vera

3-4 organic feijoas

3-4 organic carrots

1 organic lemon

1 organic orange

handful fresh organic mint

knob of organic ginger

 

To fillet the aloe vera, run a knife down the long sides to remove the spikes. Then lay the aloe flat on the chopping board and very carefully slice the top layer of skin off, then holding the gel with the flat of your hand, put the blade of the knife between the bottom layer of skin and the gel and slide along the length until the fillet of clear gel is free of any skin. A little bit of skin won’t matter but it does have a very bitter edge to it so you wouldn’t want to let too much make its way into your juicer.

 

Put the feijoas and ginger into the juicer first, then the mint, aloe, citrus and  carrots.

 

I put a teaspoon of acidophilus powder into my glass first and then pour the fresh juice on top. Quick stir and you’re good to go.

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