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How to stretch food scraps that little bit further!

How to stretch food scraps that little bit further!

Alexx Stuart | July 9, 2020

 

Food wastage is a massive issue. We waste 6 billion a year in Australia alone, never mind countries far larger than us! The world has plenty to eat, if we just stopped throwing away perfectly fresh food. I personally get super excited about managing my produce supplies really well before topping up is required. I shared this with the Low Tox community, and turns out you guys do too! But you want some fun hacks and clever tips to keep you inspired. Here’s a couple of my simple ways to stretch out those scrappy stalks of kale left in the bottom of your crisper,  those bendy carrots, or those not-so-appealing soft beets. 

Keep in mind, creating yummy dishes from your leftovers is the sort of skill that takes some time to perfect. But don’t let this hold you back! Knowing what goes with what, and just how limp a veggie can actually be before no longer edible is something you can only really trial with practice. So jump in, give it a crack and marvel in whatever you create. Worst case scenario… it can go straight into compost if it doesn’t work out. 

Get going with some of my ‘Food-scrap recipes’ 

My ‘Fridge-Scrap Soup’ and ‘Buy-Nothing-New-Curry’ are probably my two go-to’s when the fridge is looking rather bare. They’re tried, tested and have the tick of approval from the family. This style of throw-together cooking is perfect when you’re aiming to – 

  1. Stretch your food budget
  2. Minimise waste
  3. Make something out of things that would individually be really uninspiring and not embraced by the family. 

Fridge-Scraps Soup

It looks as delicious and packed with flavour as it tastes. The Tahini yoghurt makes it at the end. If you can’t / don’t do dairy, swap the butter and yoghurt for olive oil and almond yoghurt.

Bonus food-waste hack: If you’ve got any cheese rinds from parmesan, gruyère, gran Padano etc… add it to your soup. It makes for the perfect flavourful soup enhancer. Pop them in & pull out before serving.

Image result for beetroot soup shutterstock

Buy Nothing New Curry 

This curry is fabulously frugal and the tastiest way I know to make the most of less-than-desirable looking veggie odds and ends in the fridge. Don’t be bound by my ingredients list; make this curry your own by using any limp veg you have on hand. I promise if you made it up for friends and family they would have no idea that the bones of it came from the depths of your fridge. 

(Photo credit Murdoch/Rob Palmer)

Get Creative and Resourceful!

Use a few of these easy ideas to stretch those scraps out just a little bit more. 

white ceramic bowl beside sliced mushrooms

Broccoli or kale stalks. Chop fine and fry in butter, with herbs and Celtic sea salt – a fab veggie side for meats and fish. 

English Spinach/Silverbeet stalks. Freeze them and use in future casseroles or bakes. The bitterness subsides with cooking.

Veggie peelings. Perfect for stock. Save in freezer and pop in when you next make a batch (We cook carrots, potatoes etc whole here though, for the extra fibre).

Bread Ends. Those crusts at either side of a loaf. Do you keep them or toss them? Keep them over time in the freezer and when you’ve got enough, pop them in a very low oven for an hour or two until they dry out. Blitz them, bag them and use them for crumbing. Pop what’s left in a jar and store in the freezer to avoid pantry moths.

Bones. Had a roast chook? Lamb shoulder? T-Bone or farmer’s cutlet? Ribs? Do not, I repeat do not throw away the bones – even if you’ve eaten from them. Pop said bones, rinsed, into a pot with some filtered water and stock veggies and leave overnight in a 120-celsius oven. Next morning you have a flavoursome, mineral-rich powerhouse to add to soups and sauces (reduce a cup for 20 minutes with a teaspoon of butter at the end, to make a delicious glaze). 

The water you’ve steamed veggies on top of / cooked veggies in. Cool it & drink it. Or add it to soups instead of plain water. Full of vitamins!

Make a puree/ favour bomb cube. Blend everything that looks old and limp (bendy carrots, soft capsicums, beets that are soft, pulpy herbs, those three ratty pieces of kale. Pop into a high-powered blender, blitz and freeze into tiny containers to add to soups and bolognese for added flavour. 

Preserve. Preempt potential food waste by taking those 45 lemons from Aunty Sue and making your own preserves, or utilise that giant cabbage half and turn it into sauerkraut. Pretty much anything can be preserved or fermented if done correctly!

Eggshells, veggie scraps, unbleached tea bags. All perfect to pop in your green waste recycling, or to make your own compost for yours or a friend’s garden. Or you can crush eggshells and sprinkle a border around your veggie patch. Apparently snails and slugs won’t cross this border and your lettuces will remain your property! The mum in law has confirmed this rumour, who’s a veggie garden enthusiast.

The spent fibres from veggie juicing. If you don’t have time to a Make a quick stock out of it with some parsley, onion and thyme. Takes 30 seconds to whack in a pan. Leave on low for an hour. and strain, jar + freeze.

Bruised / overripe fruit – Compote time! Pop in a pan with a few drops of stevia or a little drizzle of rice syrup, maple or honey and simmer with a pinch of your favourite sweet spice for 20 minutes. Serve warm over ice cream or yoghurt. Delicious!

Compost

If you’re new to composting, read all about it here: ‘Join the compost revolution!’. Another great resource is your local council. Did you know most councils will offer a subsidised compost bin to suit your garden, apartment, house needs? They also have pages and pages of resources on how to make it work for you. 

red-leafed plant

Give Back

If you have a large amount of food going to waste from a big wedding or corporate event, know your local food rescue program. Mine is OzHarvest and they’re the best, feeding millions of homeless people with perfectly good leftovers!

Image result for oz harvest

When in doubt, chuck to the chooks / dogs

Now if all else fails, and your scraps are just too far gone, you don’t have time to rework them into something new or you can’t give them away, you can always feed them to your animals (assuming that are mould-free/ not off and suitable to be eaten). I mean, how can you resist that face?… 

fawn pug puppy

 

These are just some of my tips, but I’d LOVE to hear yours! Share with me in the comments.

Low Tox. Happy bodies. Happy Planet.

10 Fruits and Veggies That’ll Last The Longest in Your Kitchen

10 Fruits and Veggies That’ll Last The Longest in Your Kitchen

Alexx Stuart | June 21, 2020

 

This post is a part of a set of resources we’ve built to address the fact that a lot of us have upped our food stocks to the 2-week window, either because your town, city or country is in lockdown or to ensure that if we go into lockdown, we’re good to go. But the thing is, this is such a wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of some of those basic low tox food principles – eat simple whole foods, plan well to avoid waste, make freezer meals for those crazy full days where you can avoid caving into vegetable-oil-drowned takeaways, knowing a nourishing meal is a quick reheat away. We have a real opportunity here to keep calm and get nourishing and with that comes the support and protection of our magnificent immune systems during a time when we need them most. Panic buying packet foods might seem the right thing to do because everyone’s doing it, but make a tea, grab a pen, write a list and plan your nourishment. 

Very important mental health note: If you have had to buy something you normally wouldn’t – or even if you darn well wanted to – due to scarcity where you live or a moment of ‘what the heck’ due to old emotional comfort patterns around food, don’t judge yourself and of course don’t judge others. We’re all just doing our best in these weird times. No one hands you a rule book on how to ‘do food’ in a time of the Covid-19 pandemic, and reducing stress and relaxing is the most powerful thing we can do to support the proper functioning of our immune systems, so stress not, refocus on foods that will nourish and support you and go with the flow on the odd thing you’re ‘what the hecking’ with. 

1. Onions

Onions last an age when they’re kept in the fridge, to prolong their life, even more, wrap them in some recycled paper or brown paper bags. If you don’t have the fridge space you can also find a dark, cool, and well-ventilated spot in your home and store them in a recycled cardboard box. 

brown onion lot

2. Apples

Apples stored in the crisper of your refrigerator can last 3-4 weeks. Just be sure to keep them away from other fruits because they give off a gas that speeds ripening in other fruits.

five red apples on white surface

3. Potatoes

Potatoes generally have a shelf life of two weeks, but you can prolong them for up to five weeks if you store them in the fridge. Like onions, if you don’t have enough room in your crisper pr fridge, store them in a cool, dark place with plenty of ventilation. Those little sprouts that shoot out of the potato’s skin are harmless and can be removed before consuming.

brown potato lot

4. Pumpkin

Pumpkin has a formidable shelf life when kept in its whole form, and will last anywhere from a month to three months on the bench or in a cool dark place. If it’s been cut open, be sure to keep it in the fridge, and thinly slice off the outer edges, which may oxidize slightly and aren’t as pleasant to eat. 

three orange pumpkins

5. Garlic

Whole garlic has a protective outer layer, preventing it from spoiling over time. If you leave the whole bulb uncut, it can last 6 months before starting to go bad. Keep it in a cool place, out of direct sunlight to prevent the bulb from sprouting. Separated cloves can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge without skin 2 months with skin. To prolong the paper bag, keep it in a paper bag on your kitchen bench or in the fridge. 

lots of garlics

6. Carrots 

Whole, fresh carrots that are in a good state when you buy them tend to last around 4-5 weeks in the crisper when stored correctly in a sealed glass container. If you have them out in the crisper, they’ll last a little less time, about 2-3 weeks. Leave the skin on to keep them fresh longer. 

closeup photo of bunch of orange carrots

7. Beetroot

Beetroots with their outer layer of skin can last several months when placed in a cool, dark space or in a crisper. A hot tip is to remove beet tops to prevent them from shrivelling. Just ensure you leave about a half-inch of the stem to prevent the juices from bleeding out prematurely.

turnips on brown wooden surface

8. Cabbage

Cabbage really does have nine lives, it’s a veggie that just keeps on giving. It can also be super economical and a brilliant ‘filler’ veg when you’re out of leafy greens. There are a few golden rules to ensure your cabbage lasts: Don’t wash it until you’re ready to use it, avoid bruising it and keep it in a crisper draw. Like pumpkin, slice off the edge the cabbage leaves if it looks a little brown. It’s still perfect to eat!

green vegetables

9. Citrus

While a bowl of citrus can look like a beautiful centrepiece on your table, the best way to prolong their shelf life is to keep them in the fridge, especially if you live in a warmer climate. They’ll last a couple of months like this.  If you do slice them open, use a beeswax wrap to keep them fresh.

round green and yellow fruit lot

10. Celery

Chopped celery can be revived by popping it directly into a shallow glass of water. Watch over the day as the stems prick up in delight. If your celery is still a little bit limp after this, it still works wonders in the base of a stew, bolognese, broth or curry so it’s a safe one to stock up on. 

Image result for celery

Extras to keep your produce fresh:

Life Basics Beeswax wraps from Nourished Life

Use these for any fruits and veggies that have been cut open. They’re a fantastic alternative to plastic wrap and can be easily moulded around bowls, plates or funny shape fruit and veg. Wash in hot water and reuse. Et Voila!

Life Basics Eco Friendly Beeswax Food Wraps - Kitchen Pack

Glass Lock Containers from Biome

The beauty of these is they’re long-lasting, and you can buy them in a variety of sizes. Glass containers are perfect for storing, freezing and serving food as they’re nonporous, impermeable and easy to keep clean! Can’t get yours online, local supermarkets like Coles, Woolworths, (and for international peeps, Tescos and Wholefoods House) have these too.

Glasslock container set 10 piece blue

Little Mashies Reusable Silicone Storage Bag from Biome

These are fabulous little fridge and freezer safe bags to keep perishables extra fresh. They’re great for cut citrus or greens that are more susceptible to going limp or mouldy in your crisper.

Little Mashies Reusable Silicone Storage Bag 1L

The Swag Produce Storage Bag

This three-layer fresh produce storage bag keeps fruit and vegetables fresher for longer.  It’s made from breathable, non-toxic and machine-washable material, so an easy one to keep clean and reuse for years to come.

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So there you have it, if you’re purchasing produce not knowing if you’re about to go into lockdown, or you’re already in one, you can make sure you focus on some long-lasting items in the mix to go the distance for you and to save you having to freeze everything and take up freezer space.

Hope this post has helped you find a few ideas, and we’ve also crafted other posts you might find useful on cheap+simple meals you can make and eat or freeze, and things you can blitz, prep and cook to freeze that you might not have thought of. Plus the best antiviral herbs you can add to cooking. Enjoy the resources.

Got any super fun tips to keep your produce fresher for long? I’d love for you to share it below.

Low Tox. Happy Planet. Happy you.

15 Nutrient-Dense Single-Ingredient Snacks

15 Nutrient-Dense Single-Ingredient Snacks

Alexx Stuart | May 12, 2020

15 Single Ingredient Nutrient Dense Snacks 

Here’s a crazy fact to ponder… did you know that the revenue in the ‘Snack Food’ industry in Australia alone amounted to over 2 billion in 2019? That’s over half of the fruit and veg industry combined, just on snacks (which fruit and veg are NOT categorised as, by the way. Fancy that!). Wowsas! Just take a minute to think about the sheer volume of soft plastics and non-recyclable packaging that is produced from this new way of consuming an often individually portioned snack, let alone the quality of the farming of the raw materials and the added lab-made ingredients.

It got me thinking – when did all this packaged guff start to become the norm and what happened to just munching on a carrot when you’re a little peckish, or getting your protein at main meals instead of in powdered form and processed bars? With less than 10% of Aussies getting in their recommended fruit and veg intake each day, is there perhaps not an opportunity to redefine the snack? I remember taking my little guy out and sitting on a park bench with him and eating a carrot and a few salted, cooked chick peas for a snack when he was hungry and people being shocked and calling him a ‘good boy’. He’s a hungry boy and it’s food. It’s not some sort of special achievement to eat a carrot but I guess we’ve come to a place culturally where it is, and that’s something we have to face if we’re ever going to fix it. 

As Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food argues, ‘dining has been stripped of its ceremony and has been replaced by a lot of snacking and thoughtless noshing.’ He laments that the multi-billion-dollar food industry has engineered foods in a lab so that we can continue to eat insane amounts of them, rather than just cutting back a little and concentrating on whole foods that don’t have to be tweaked by science. Sadly, we’ve turned away from our roots through some very clever advertising by Big Food, and it’s up to us to remind each other that simple is always best. Three documentaries you might like to watch if you’re keen to get educated or simply feel excited about what real food’s gifts are again, a personal favourite Sustainable and Food MattersIngredients Inc and Fed Up are good too.

So, in the spirit of bringing things back to simplicity and ease with a side effect of deep nourishment, I’ve pulled together a list of 15 single ingredients package-free snacks that you can turn to when you’re hunting around the pantry. If you’re currently 100% in packaged food land for snacks, don’t panic. Go slow, do a mix of packet and wholefood ‘plates’ to start with so it’s my old winning formula of ‘something familiar, something new’ and over time you can reduce the packets more and more.

A little caveat before we dive in – yes these are solo ingredient recipes ‘ish’ – we’re not counting a dash of oil or a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt because really…those staples in your pantry can elevate any ingredient and it’d be a shame to leave them out!

#1 Carrot Sticks 

Simply wash the skin and eat as is if organic or peel if conventional is what you have access to, or for little kiddies, you can pre-chop and store in the fridge in a half-filled jar of water for freshness. Put them at the front of the shelf for an easy-grab option. Carrots make for a good snack when you’re craving the crunch factor, and they’re rich in betacarotene, potassium, vitamin K and antioxidants. 

baby carrots

#2 Roasted Chickpeas 

Pop a drained and rinsed BPA-free tin of chickpeas onto a tray (or soak for 24 hours in water with a squeeze of lemon juice and cook well and drain to then roast). Drizzle with some olive oil and sea salt (add a cheeky spice in there if you fancy), and roast at 200 degrees for 15-25 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Store in a jar, and you’ve got the perfect salty protein-rich snack to keep you away from the chips packet. These are dirt cheap too especially if you buy dried chickpeas from the bulk foods store. 

yellow corn on glass bowl

#3 Half an avocado 

Such a simple and delightful snack. All you need is half a fresh, ripe avocado and a spoon. Add a sprinkle of salt if you like. This is the easiest way to get satiated quickly. I challenge you to eat this when you have cravings, and see if you still feel the chocolate niggle afterwards. Avocados have a rich source of vitamins, fibre, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which makes for a nourishing snack. Studies also show they demonstrate positive heart healthy effects on blood lipids profile so an ideal snack for big a little people. 

sliced avocado

#4 A banana 

Fruit has had a bad rap over the last few years, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with a beautiful fresh banana. Give me one of these over a sugary packaged snack anyday. Bananas are super rich in potassium, a great source of energy and balanced with plenty of fibre to support digestion. Hot tip if you are sensitive to fructose, slice up the banana, and add a spoonful of nut butter to mediate any blood sugar spikes. 

yellow banana fruits

#5 Cucumber sticks

You don’t even need to slice your cucumber! Simply, give it a wash and munch away. But of course, if you’re in a work environment or on the go, it might be more socially acceptable to do so hehe. They’re 96% water, making them filling and hydrating to the body. 

cucumber lot

#6 Blueberries 

These little gems are loaded with antioxidants, which are great for supporting healthy immune function and reducing oxidative damage. They’re also the ultimate low-fructose snack, meaning you won’t have an energy crash post snack.

blueberries on white ceramic container

#7 A few strips of beef jerky

Best to source this from a good quality grass-fed beef supplier. If you’re Sydney based, The Ethical Farmer’s have the most delicious jerky! Beef jerky is packed with protein, making it an ideal mid-afternoon snack. A few strips will leave you satiated and curve any salty cravings you might be having. The trick is not to go overboard (easy to do) because jerky is dehydrated. Too much in one sitting will be tough on your digestive tract. 

HOT & SPICY HOME MADE BEEF JERKY Yield: Yields about 650g of finished jerky INGREDIENTS 2kg (5lb) grass-fed beef brisket (or other lean ...

Image via Pinterest

#8 Baked kale chips

A perfect way to get your dark leafy greens in is through baking up some kale chips in the oven. Here’s my simple recipe for Easy Peasy Kale Chips. Given the store bought variety cost about $6 a bag – these are definitely are more cost and yield effective option! Kale is also a great source of vitamin C, iron and antioxidants. No wonder they call it a superfood. 

#9 Mixed (or single) Berry Sorbet

If you’ve got a bag of frozen berries and you’re craving a sweet treat on a summer afternoon, you can throw two cups into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. I add a couple of tablespoons of coconut cream to make it nice and creamy, but you can leave out. You might also want, for the 100% berry version, to add a tablespoon of honey so it’s not too tart for the wholefood-uninitiated. Baby steps, right? It is SO delicious and complete satisfies that sorbet craving. This works with any frozen foods like mango, banana, strawberries. 

Image result for berry sorbet"

(Image via Pinterest)

#10 Homemade Popped Popcorn

If you or the little ones are wanting something fun to snack on, pop some popcorn in a pan and season with some Himalayan salt and organic butter. You can add a fancy twist with my turmeric popcorn, too. It goes down a treat. Try to always use organic, GMO-free kernels and keep it to a small bowl so you don’t overload your digestive system.

photo of popcorn kernels

#11 Tinned Wild-Caught Sardines 

These are such a lovely snack (if you’re that way inclined. I get that these aren’t for everyone, but I include them because my son will literally open a tin and down the lot and my theory is, is that he’s in touch with an omega 3 need.). Sardines are one of the most nutritious sources of food going. One tin contains nearly 5 times the recommended daily intake for omega 3s, they are packed with protein and calcium, and they’re eaten by many centurians who live in blue zones around the world. 

sardines on can

#12 Boiled egg

The humble egg is a complete high protein snack all packaged for you. You can simply boil a batch of these at the beginning of the week and peel as needed, or fry up a 1-minute, 2-egg omelette on the spot. If you’re iffy about the health claims that eggs are no good, the BBC has written a great article summarising all their benefits with links to research. In summary – studies have found that those who ate eggs every day had an 18% lower risk of death from heart disease and 28% lower risk of stroke death compared to those who didn’t eat eggs. How eggcellent hehe! Read the full review here. 

white ceramic egg holding near spoon

#13 Full-fat Greek Yoghurt OR Coconut Yoghurt

Yoghurt is once again one of those great satiating snacks (much like avocado, sardines, or eggs), that will fill a hole in the tummy quick smart, as long as you’re opting for full-fat, unsweetened variety (ideally organic). Dairy yoghurt is rich in protein and live cultures – so a good option for the gut (if tolerated). If not, coconut yoghurt is a satiating snack, too. 

Image result for yoghurt"

#14 A heaped teaspoon of nut butter 

If you’re hankering for something that tastes a little indulgent but isn’t, have a tablespoon of nut butter – you could also have it on some slices of banana or apple. The healthy dose of fats and protein will keep you satiated until your next meal. Always ensure you’re having nut butter that is 100% ground nuts and go for almonds, macadamia or brazil nut spread for the best dose of nutrients.  If you’re sensitive to molds, steer clear of peanut butter as it can sometimes be high in ochratoxin A. 

peanut butter with black spoon

# 15 Root Veggie Chips 

You may have seen these cropping up in health food stores or even in the “healthy” aisle of the supermarkets. Sadly many of these seemingly healthy chips are actually cooked in cheap inflammatory omega6-rich vegetable oils like canola, vegetable, soybean or rapeseed oils. The good news, they’re so easy to make at home and far cheaper! All you need to do is mandolin or thinly slice some sweet potato and beet (washed with skin on), coat in coconut or olive oil, and season with salt. Bake for 20-35 minutes in a hot oven at around 200C or 180C/350F fanforced until crispy and you’re good to go! 

Image result for root veggie chips"

(Image credit: Trader Jo’s)

So there we go – 15 delicious, waste-free, nutrient-dense, easy peasy one ingredient snack for you to enjoy. Have I missed any? Share some ideas below! Sometimes on the holidays it can be all too tempting to load up on packed and, while I do have a few packaged items in the mix from time to time, I wanted to create a list for us that got us focused on the possibilities from simple, quick whole foods too!

Low Tox. Healthy People. Happy Planet

Alexx x

Simple & Hearty Autumnal Vegetarian Stew

Simple & Hearty Autumnal Vegetarian Stew

Alexx Stuart | May 2, 2020

I took a trip down memory lane today, to my little flat in Bondi where I lived for a bit when I was a bartender. I loved that little place. As I was a bartender working crazy hours, having evenings to prepare dinner wasn’t really a ‘thing’. So I would batch cook a few basics that I made up – I was never good at following recipes – and would freeze little plastic container portions and defrost them straight into a non stick saucepan at lunch time before heading in to work.
Cheap. Hearty. Yummy. Ridiculously simple. Done organically it’s a $15 meal for 4 with accompaniments. I hope you enjoy it as my little family sure did tonight. All gobbled up.

Cook Time: 31 mins
Serves 4: 2 adults, 2 kids.

Ingredients

1 large purple onion, rough chopped
¼ cup olive oil
500 ml stock veggie if you’re keeping the whole thing vegetarian / vegan otherwise I use chicken or beef broth
1 tin BPA free chopped tomatoes or 1/5 cups tomato passata
1 tin organic pinto or kidney beans, drained
1 tin organic lentils, drained
3 cups baby spinach or kale
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1-2 cups fresh herbs to garnish (parsley for keeping it Euro or coriander if you want to take it into Mex territory with avocado, cheese and corn chips)

Method

1. Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil. 

2. Once just getting browned, add the garlic salt, rosemary, thyme and fry for 1-2 minutes. 

3. Add everything else. 

4. Simmer for 30 mins on low until thick and rich. Add salt and pepper to taste.

DONE. Too easy, right? 

Serve with sautéed spinach and quinoa or rice.

Spiced Whole Food Carrot Cake

Spiced Whole Food Carrot Cake

Alexx Stuart | March 24, 2020

I have been asked 5 times this month already (it’s the 6th!) whether I have a carrot cake recipe – I took that as a sign and here she is – the Low Tox Life’s very own gluten and dairy-free carrot cake. AND it’s delicious.

Bake it up as a two-level cake or a huge single or as muffins with or without icing, or ice with a coconut cream cheese icing or a traditional cream cheese icing. Either way, it’s a delicious, lightly spiced, moist (gosh I hate that word but it is!!!) cake that just melts in the mouth with those delicious chunks of walnut through there. I hope you like as much as the little taste testers here just did this afternoon.

I didn’t ice it – didn’t have time and no coconut cream at the ready in the fridge! You can do the coconut cream “icing” like the one I do for my key lime pie, which is delicious – scroll down to ‘cream top’ in the link.

You could ice with a traditional cream cheese icing or my whipped caramel icing.
Or, like me you could use as a tea cake, simple and un-iced – no one seemed to have an issue with it not being iced. It’s practically all gone already. One went to a play date and the other got “started” at dessert tonight. I’ve got a full day tomorrow, so with a bit of luck Friday I’ll get to ice a slice for a picture!

However you tuck in, enjoy this soft and tasty cake and pop the way you ended up serving it on Instagram if you’re there #lowtoxlife @lowtoxlife

Equipment needed

2 spring form cake pans 20-22cm. It’s big batch and makes two cakes to layer on top of each other with icing if you fancy.

Ingredients

100 g arrowroot/tapioca flour
260 g rice flour
1 cup or 250g rapadura sugar
3 flat tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground cinnamon*
½ tsp nutmeg grated or ground
¼ tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground vanilla
½ tsp salt
200 g (1.5 cups) walnuts, rough chopped in half
200 g softened apple chunks (softened with a 1/4 cup of water in a pan for 10 minutes on high on the stove) OR 200g tinned pineapple if you wanted to go old school / 1 cup
4 pieces of small carrots grated finely OR 2.5 cups loose packed OR 270g
250 ml Macadamia oil / 220g
110 ml olive oil / 100g (you can just do more macadamia oil to do one type, but more olive oil and it will taste of olive oil which, if you’re fine with, be my guest)
4-5 large eggs

Method

Preheat oven to 180C (170C fan-forced) 350F

Thermomix Method

1. Finely chop your carrots at speed 6 for 5 seconds.

2. Remove and pop in a jug or bowl.

3. Whip the sugar, oil and eggs together on Speed 7 for 30 seconds.

4. Add everything else except the carrot and walnuts.

5. Run at speed 6 for 10 seconds, then reverse speed 6, 5 seconds.

6. Next, manually stir in your carrot and walnuts, and voila: You’re ready to pop in a tin.

Regular Method

1. Cream the eggs, oils and sugar together in a free standing mixer, with hand held beaters, blender or food processor

2. Add in the flours, spices, baking powder and salt and mix on high until JUST combined. No need to over mix it.

3. Stir through by hand, the soft apple/pineapple, chopped walnut and grated carrot until just combined.

4. Grease the tins or grease the parchment paper and line the tins with it.

5. Pop both tins side by side in the oven and bake for 30 mins or check with a skewer that they come out clean. If they’re still showing a little ‘mix’ on them, bake for another 4-5 minutes and skewer test again.

6. Pull out of the oven once done, and cool on a rack. It will look golden and delicious like in the image.

Find more fantastic low-tox recipes and advice on Alexx’s website, Low Tox Life.

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