Sunday, 13 November 2011

Drop that Spoon! 4 Days: 4 Healthy Breakfasts

If you are like most other Australians and start your day with a bowl of Kellogs cereal (or any other brand for that matter) listen closely. Almost all of these cereals contain between 25-45% sugar! Despite their clever marketing campaigns which make you believe they are ‘healthy’ – full of fibre, low GI, low fat, full of antioxidants it’s all a load of rubbish – they contain less nutrition than the boxes they come in.

Here’s a look at my breakfasts over the last 4 days:

Green Juice

Almost everyday I start my morning with a Green Juice.. My lovely neighbour Lindsey put me onto them and I’ve never looked back. Packed full of enzymes, oxygen, minerals and vitamins it is pure liquid nutrition that will fuel your body and kick start your day.

Knob of Ginger
4 Stalks celery
½ Lemon
¼ Cucumber
1 head of bok choy

Occasionally I will throw some carrots or beets in there. Feel free to add an apple if you need a bit of sweetness
Pan Fried Beans & Kale

1/2 bunch kale
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tin of cannellini beans
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan)
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Chilli diced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Finely chop the kale, wash it, and shake off as much water as you can. Set aside. Heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the beans in a single layer. Stir to coat the beans, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside.
Add the kale and salt to the pan and cook for less than a minute, just long enough for the kale to lose a bit of its structure. Stir in the pine nuts and garlic. Wait ten seconds and stir in the lemon juice. Remove from heat and drizzle with some extra chilli and olive oil.    

Homemade baked beans

2 gloves of garlic
1 Chilli diced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tin of tomatoes
1 tin of cannellini beans
Handful of basil or oregano

Heat the olive oil over medium-high. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for several minutes. Finally add the cannellini beans and herbs and season to taste. After 5 minutes remove from heat and drizzle with olive oil.

Quinoa Porridge

¼ cup of uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
½ cup of coconut milk
¼ tsp cinnamon or ½ tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbs of sunflower seeds
1 tbs of pumpkin seeds
Handful of strawberries
Manuka honey for drizzling

In a small pot, bring quinoa, cinnamon/vanilla (if using) and coconut milk to a boil, then simmer on low heat until all liquid has been absorbed and quinoa is tender (about 10-15 minutes). Add a little more coconut milk or water if the liquid is absorbed to quickly and the quinoa note done yet. Transfer quinoa to a breakfast bowl. Add chopped strawberries and sprinkle with seeds. Finally drizzle some honey or maple syrup and serve immediately.

Bircher Museli

1 cups rolled oats
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 cup Water
1 granny smith apples
1 cups Natural Yoghurt
1 tablespoons Manuka Honey
Fresh fruit and nuts to servce

Mix the oats, lemon juice and water together, cover and soak 1 hour or overnight.

Add the yoghurt to the oats, along with the honey and freshly grated apple.

Keep the mixture quite wet. Top with seasonal fruit and nuts. I like to use berries and brazil nuts.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Going Organic: Can you afford not to?

I love heading down to the organic markets every Sunday morning, there is something so liberating about actually knowing where your food has come from. And I would much rather give my hard earned cash to a local farmer than a big corporation like Woolies or Coles.

I’m going to be honest, I often find little creatures in my greens but I’m absolutely fine with that. It means it’s good enough to eat! And YES, it IS more expensive, but for under $150 I have more than enough food to feed myself and Joe for a week. It’s a rare site to see one of us in a ‘supermarket’, we don’t spend money on processed food, so I have no hesitations spending $8 kg on apples. At the end of the day our overall shopping bills are probably less than the average person and we live organically and as close to nature as possible:
So here’s why you should too:

1. Organic produce is not covered in a cocktail of poisonous chemicals. The average conventionally-grown apple has 20-30 artificial chemicals on its skin, even after rinsing.

2. Fresh organic produce contains more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce.

3. Going organic is the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food.

4. If you eat dairy or meat products, going organic has never been more essential to safeguard you and your family's health. Intensively-reared dairy cows and farm animals are fed a dangerous cocktail of antibiotics, growth promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines on a daily basis, whether they have an illness or not. These drugs are passed directly onto the consumers of their dairy produce and meat.

5. Organic produce simply tastes sooo much better. Fruit and vegetables are full of juice and flavour because they haven’t been artificially ripened.  

Did you know:

  • The white garlic you find in the supermarkets (imported from China) has been bleached to make it look cleaner/whiter. Always purchase garlic that is grown in Australia and is purple or brown in colour. At the markets I spend $50kg on organic garlic – yes a lot compared to the $2 bleached variety.
  • The most heavily sprayed fruits & vegetables are: stonefruit, apples, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, capsicum, lettuce and potatoes.
  • Australian strawberries have been genetically engineered  with Salmon(fish) DNA to enable them to grow in cooler months and to make them grow bigger.
It’s scary what scientist are doing to our food these days.. and without us even knowing. So the only way we can take back control is by going organic.. we can’t afford not to.