Recipe Recommendation: July

These are the recipes that I’ve tried from other bloggers/websites that I haven’t altered that we’ve really enjoyed for the month of July. It’s nice to recommend others plus it’s also encouraging to know the recipe didn’t just work for the person posting it but for others too (I’ve tried so many recipes that just simply haven’t worked).

Vegan Vanilla Cake

Vegan Vanilla Cake

For our wedding anniversary we decided to have a picnic with the kids rather than go out for a fancy meal as i have to be super strict with no dairy and soy while breastfeeding Ava. Rather than a cake, i decided i wanted trifle so of course you cannot use the traditional jam roll that you buy from the supermarket if you cannot have dairy or soy! I made this cake for the trifle and while the recipe for the trifle as a whole needs tweaking, this cake was DELICIOUS!!! I even made it again as cupcakes and it turned out fantastically! Don’t mind my attempts at piping icing though 😉

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes - Iced

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Recipe Recommendation: June

These are the recipes that I’ve tried from other bloggers/websites that I haven’t altered that we’ve really enjoyed for the month of June. It’s nice to recommend others plus it’s also encouraging to know the recipe didn’t just work for the person posting it but for others too (I’ve tried so many recipes that just simply haven’t worked).

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Vegan Blueberry Muffins (Wheat)

All of our hens went into molt at the same time and stopped laying for over a month so we had no eggs for quite awhile. I wanted to still keep baking so researched different egg replacement methods. Obviously flax and chia are a popular alternative at the moment however i find that they yield quite a dense crumb, which is fine in heavier baked goods however i wanted light and fluffy, white flour blueberry muffins. Vinegar is in fact a substitute for eggs and this recipe is a testament to how well it works. Delicious! Kel preferred when i used a rye/barley mix instead of white flour (see below) however i prefer the white flour ones 😉

Vegan Blueberry Muffins (Rye/Barley)

 

Recipe Recommendation: April

These are the recipes that I’ve tried from other bloggers/websites that I haven’t altered that we’ve really enjoyed for the month of April. It’s nice to recommend others plus it’s also encouraging to know the recipe didn’t just work for the person posting it but for others too (I’ve tried so many recipes that just simply haven’t worked).

Pina Colada Water Kefir Ice Pops

Pina Colada Water Kefir Ice Pops

I’ve been brewing Water Kefir lately (read this post here) and each brew increases your yield of Water Kefir grains so unless you want to brew enough Water Kefir to supply an army, you need ways of using up the excess grains that you’ve grown. Obviously you could just compost them however it seems such a waste. People have come up with many various ways to use up your Water Kefir grains, and i found this one that i was super keen to try because i LOVE Pina Coladas and i was wanting something healthy and refreshing in the warmer weather. Also Ethan is not a fan of the taste of Water Kefir however he really enjoys sharing one of these with me so it’s a great way to get some extra probiotics into him! Definitely recommend.

Vegan White Sauce (Bechamel)

Vegan White Sauce (Bechamel) - Before Vegan White Sauce (Bechamel) - After

As surprising as this might be, i didn’t realise you could make white sauce, or Bechamel, dairy free. I thought it had to be butter and milk. It doesn’t. It has to be fat and liquid. Kel informed me afterwards that you can even make it from stock! Well. That opened up a whole new world for me! I’d been craving Aussie style Mac n Cheese (cooked pasta, white sauce and cheese on top, baked in the oven) and i found this recipe so thought i’d give it a whirl. It wasn’t until after that i realised that basically oil had been subbed for butter and non-dairy milk for dairy milk and i could have figured that out for myself (haha). If you’re like me though and you forget quantities and like to have someone else’s recipe to work with rather than just experimenting from scratch, this is a great recipe to start with when making a dairy free (or vegan) white sauce. Apart from the cheese on top, this was just as good as the dairy version and totally satisfied my craving!

Tahini Cardamom Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Tahini Cardamom Cookies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

I finally found a cookie recipe that ticks all the boxes for Ethan’s “cup of tea and biscuit” time! These are easy, healthy, quick and delicious! Ethan loves to help me make them and because they are vegan (no raw eggs) i don’t mind at all that he loves to “taste” the batter constantly (and lick the bowl clean at the end). I’m not a huge biscuit person however even i enjoy a couple of these with a cuppa. Cannot recommend this recipe enough.

Slow-cooker Chicken Cacciatore

I forgot to take a photo of this dish – i remember it being a bit hectic when i was serving up so in all the rush i obviously didn’t stop to take a photo for the blog! I didn’t add the mushrooms because they make my father-in-law ill however it was still super tasty and warming.

Maple-Sweetened Banana Muffins

I can’t believe i don’t have a photo of these muffins because I’ve literally been baking a double batch every week for a month or so! These are obviously great considering i keep baking them. They are dairy free and super easy to make – Ethan often helps me make them. A great muffin for morning or afternoon tea.

Healthy Quiche Taco Boats

My brain must have been taking a holiday the past month considering i forgot to take a photo for the THIRD time of a recipe i made. These were delicious and a hit with the whole family.

Recipe Recommendation: August

These are the recipes that I’ve tried from other bloggers/websites that I haven’t altered that we’ve really enjoyed for the month of August. It’s nice to recommend others plus it’s also encouraging to know the recipe didn’t just work for the person posting it but for others too (I’ve tried so many recipes that just simply haven’t worked).

Dairy-Free Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

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I LOVE potato and leek soup. Kel likes the idea of potato and leek soup however he always finds that they are never potatoey or leeky enough. The last recipe i tried was not a success. I decided to try another recipe and this one makes me laugh at the simplicity of it (and that it’s on the website for Dummies). And WOW. It was DELICIOUS. Kel really liked it too. It must be that most potato and leek soups have too many other ingredients in them. Anyway this recipe has a big thumbs up from us.

Sugar-Free Spiced Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

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For Ethan’s birthday cake, we wanted something relatively healthy. We still haven’t introduced him to refined sugar and we hope to hold out as long as possible. This cake recipe was really tasty and you don’t miss the sugar at all, especially with the addition of the raisins. Obviously i omitted the walnuts as they are a potential choking hazard for children under five. Kel iced it and decorated it to represent Ethan’s favourite book – Hickory Dickory Dock. Everyone even sang it to him at his party!

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Creamy Vegan Lemon Bars (GF)

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These were another trial sweet item for Ethan’s birthday party because he LOVES lemons. He also really enjoyed these bars! As did we 😉 I omitted the coconut sugar in the base though because i felt that the maple syrup was enough sweetener for a one year old!

Paleo Coconut Pecan Breakfast Bars

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Our hens have finally started laying again and we have eggs coming out of our ears. Obviously we sell them through the shop however everyone’s hens must be laying too so we’re aren’t selling as many as we did previously. We don’t want to sell them if they aren’t super fresh so I’ve been trying to use up the “older” eggs to keep the stock rotating well. Coconut flour generally uses heaps of eggs so i browsed the net looking for interesting recipes to try. This one doesn’t use as many eggs as i was hoping for however it sure is a winner! I’m not a huge fan of the texture of coconut flour in baking however these weren’t as obvious in their coconut flour texture – even more so a winner!

That’s all for this month, hopefully next month there will be a few more savoury recipes 😉

No Bake Peanut Snowballs

In less than a month our kitchen hand turns one (No surprises that we can’t believe it’s been a whole year since he was born).

Obviously we are having a party and we thought it would be fun to have it “Disney” themed. We tried to think of food we could prepare that related to every Disney movie however it’s a lot harder than you would think and a lot of work, and really, the food ideas we came up with, well most of it didn’t really meld together (corn on the cob for Pocahontas, sushi for The Little Mermaid, some kind of Indian curry for The Jungle Book, hummus dip for Aladdin). So it was back to the drawing board.

The party is for Ethan, so i thought, well all the food should be for him too. After all, don’t we have all of our favourite foods at our own birthday parties? Then i came up with a list of all of his favourite foods. And i thought, this is great, we can even have a little sign on the food table saying “All food on this table is a favourite of Ethan’s as well as being dairy free. Feel free to feed him anything”. After all, how often in a large gathering unless you’ve strapped your child to your chest, someone feeds them something outrageous or they help themselves if they are old enough! This way there would be no worries there.

I realised though that ALL of the items on the list were savoury. Obviously we haven’t fed him sugary treats yet however he’s not really even a fan of fruit. He wouldn’t care if we didn’t have any sweet options however i thought it might be nice to have some on offer for those with more of a sweet tooth. However they still would have to be Ethan friendly. That’s when i started trawling my favourite food blogs and this beauty was my first bookmarked recipe to try on him.

Now, i must still have baby brain because i swore i had pecans in the cupboard so didn’t buy them when i bought the other ingredients (mainly just the Medjool dates). When i went to make them, i was so disappointed to find that i didn’t have any pecans, that i decided to substitute some peanuts I’d recently roasted for Kel because although it would be a different flavour, i would be able to gauge whether it was a yay or nay for Ethan.

Well. After i had made them, i picked one up and ate half, giving the other half to Ethan to try. He took a tentative bite and chewed, then stuffed the rest of it into his mouth. I gave him another one, which he proceeded to stuff entirely into his mouth and suck on. Definitely a Yay!

You can find the recipe for the real version (No Bake Pecan Snowballs (Paleo, Vegan)) here. Otherwise you can substitute the pecans for peanuts like i did and this is what you will get:

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So yummy! Like a ball of peanut buttery goodness.

Grain Free AND Dairy Free? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

If you are a regular follower you know that we are aiming for a grain free diet because for some reason it cleared up all of my acne (click here to catch up on that post).

When I fell pregnant I succumbed to the usual symptom of being pregnant – morning sickness. I had every intention of remaining grain free plus I had high hopes of being sugar and caffeine free (who was I kidding). I managed it for the first three months however when the morning sickness DIDN’T GO AWAY at that point, my resolve started slipping. Whoever named it morning sickness obviously had never really experienced it. All day sickness more like it! It was relentless and when it was still going strong through the second trimester I gave in. It was a cold day so I heated up a vegetable pastie and ate it. It sat like a lump of concrete in my gut – and I’d never felt so good!!! After that I slowly introduced grain again. Not everything though. Just because it was grain didn’t automatically mean it helped. White bread and crackers didn’t do a thing. However dense Hot Cross Buns were amazing. You might say I could have baked dense grain free foods. And you’re right. I tried. However for some reason they aren’t as plain and have a taste that set me off. I made these delicious coconut flour dinner rolls before I had morning sickness however I made them again during and even now I feel sick thinking about them. Even the smell makes me want to vomit. I also gave into sugar because I was having grain again. Funnily enough I didn’t have all that much caffeine though. That came later on when he was born 😜

Anyway I felt super guilty because I wanted to be so healthy for our unborn child and I’d completely fallen off the bandwagon. However I came across another blogger who was going through the same thing and I’d link the article however she has since deleted her blog. Basically she pointed out that while you have morning sickness – your one goal is survival. So very true. And unfortunately I had it for eight of the nine months that I was pregnant. The most difficult thing was that I couldn’t even drink a lot of water. Some of the super hot days, if I drank too much water in one go – I would just spew it straight back up. I had to have constant little sips. It drove me nuts. I used to daydream of being under a waterfall and just gulping the water down. Anyway funnily enough THE DAY he was born I was able to gulp down water again. Weird.

Anyway I’m totally off track. So I went back on grain. However my skin remained PERFECT. I had concluded that my acne was hormonal and for some reason grain was altering my hormones and causing my skin to break out so it made sense that while pregnant, where my hormones are all over the place, that it would make a difference.

Anyway soon after giving birth, I could feel my skin reacting again when I ate grain. I don’t know how to describe it except that it gets really itchy and irritated and I just want to rub my face all day and I can feel the oil oozing out of my pores. However trying to eat grain free after a new baby and breastfeeding for the first time? It was hard enough finding time to make food and enough of it, let alone grain free! Anyway I tried to eat as well as I could and my skin didn’t go back to the way it was pre grain however it wasn’t clear anymore and my skin was quite bumpy and rough.

When Ethan was around three months old, he was diagnosed with Cows Milk Protein Intolerance (CMPI). And for the sceptics out there, he had blood on his stools.
Anyway there are two options when this happens: 1) You continue breastfeeding however you must strictly adhere to a dairy free diet 2) You put the infant on a hydrolyzed/hypoallergenic formula.

It took so much hard work to breastfeed that I wasn’t about to give that up in a hurry once we’d actually succeeded so dairy free for me it was. I threw grain free out the window for the time being until I’d gotten in the groove of dairy free and had time to figure out appropriate meals and snacks that could be both.

And then the conundrum. My skin cleared and I was acne free again. Even though I was eating grain at almost every meal.

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I mean, I’ve read that dairy can give you acne, but seriously?! Just like grain, it was that simple a solution all along? And after all that time of touting grain free when dairy is a culprit too? And I was eating copious amounts of dairy when I was grain free and having clear skin…I WAS SO CONFUSED!!!

I guess like I concluded before, the acne is caused by my hormones and for some reason my body can handle grain or dairy but not both together.

Anyway the question now is…when he weans, which option will
I choose?

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Homemade Almond Butter

The other day i wanted to try something new so i decided to make my own almond butter. It’s pretty easy, you just require patience. I learned how to do it through Megan’s blog, Detoxinista. You can find her instructions here. The almonds i used were a bit stale so it ended up being a bit drier than it should be.

Apart from spreading on toast, there are many delicious things you can create using almond butter. It’s also a good alternative for those who can’t eat dairy or those who are vegans.

I have been experimenting with some recipes using almond butter, which i hope to post soon. In the meantime you can just ogle my almond buttery goodness. Haha.

Homemade Almond Butter

Buckwheat Lavosh

There is only so much cake a savoury toothed person can eat.

I’d been craving cheese and crackers and i was so tempted just to eat some and suffer the consequences when i thought to myself, surely there is a recipe for buckwheat crackers? And lo and behold, there is. Even better, buckwheat lavosh.

The recipe is from Penny at Penniless Parenting and you can find it here. They are so yummy with cheese that I’ve actually just had them and cheese for dinner. I feel like a void in my eating life has been filled. And they are crowd pleaser too. We went camping with some friends a couple of weeks ago and we took the Organic Brie that we bought from Costco with us. We brought water crackers for everyone else and the buckwheat lavosh for me. However the girls and i were swimming and when we came back the boys had pretty much eaten all the buckwheat lavosh with the Brie and the water crackers hadn’t been touched!

The recipe is also so ridiculously easy. And it’s allergy free. There are only four ingredients and not many are allergic to any of them.  Penny also suggests experimenting with different flavours and so i will definitely be trying some out. Like Rosemary and Sea Salt. YUM.

Here’s a picture of my first attempt. I’m pretty proud!

Buckwheat Lavosh