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Long Life Foods for Optimal Health

Long Life Foods for Optimal Health

Laini Oldfield | March 27, 2020

I went to Woolies the other day to *try* and find…. toilet paper. It was to no avail, of course. 

You know what I DID see there? A notice on the freezer that stocks frozen chips. It read, “Due to increased demand for frozen chips, we now have a purchase limit of one packet per purchase”.

Ummm…. frozen chips is what we’re reaching for in a health pandemic?!

I get it – people want long-life foods. But daaaamn… those frozen chips are coated in refined vegetable oils that are known to damage our cells. They have numerous additives and thickeners also known to cause damage to our bodies.

This, at a time when we could be using food to strengthen our immunity, to make it robust against virus, sickness and disease. 

Our community have been asking which foods are good to store longer-term, and have high levels of nutrient-density for optimal health. That’s what I’m talking about!

So, let’s get to it.

Laini x

PS. Want recipe inspiration for these foods? There’s a link to recipes using that food at the end of each section.
PPS. You can access many of these foods from The Wholefood Collective. Just click the hyperlinked title of the food.


Quinoa

Royal White Quinoa Tri-Colour Quinoa Puffed Royal Quinoa Quinoa Flakes

Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free superfood. 1 cup of cooked quinoa is jampacked with protein, fibre, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, iron, zinc and potassium. It’s also rich in potent plant antioxidants, quercetin and kaempferol, which may have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant properties. If you were to be stranded on a desert island with one food, THIS is the food you’d want to survive on. It has all nine essential amino acids to growth and development as well.

Prep Instructions:

As with most grains, it’s best to soak for 2-12 hours first. This will make digesting the grain easier on you, and provide you with better nutrient absorption.

For pre-soaked quinoa:

Your quinoa to water ratio is 1:1.

For un-soaked quinoa:

Your quinoa to water ratio is 1:2.

1. Add quinoa and water to a pot and bring to the boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes with the lid on.

3. You’ll notice the quinoa seeds will sprout ‘tails’ and become somewhat translucent. It’s then you know it’s all done!

4. Remove the lid and leave to sit until all liquid is completely absorbed.

5. Fluff the quinoa lightly with a fork.

Get Quinoa Recipes


Rice

Arborio RiceBasmati Rice White Brown Basmati Rice
Brown Rice (Medium Grain) Brown Rice Puffs
brown rice puffs

Rice is a quick energy source. Brown rice is high in fibre which helps to lower inflammation, improve gut health, and boost metabolism. Some of the nourishing nutrients brown rice contains are key B vitamins, phosphorus, selenium, manganese and magnesium.

Prep Instructions

After rinsing brown rice, soak with filtered water for a few hours or overnight. Add one part rice to two parts boiling water or broth. After the liquid has returned to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.

Get Rice Recipes

Pasta

Brown Rice Penne Brown Rice Spiral Pasta Quinoa Rice Penne
Quinoa Rice Spaghetti Chickpea Fetuccine
Chickpea Fetuccine

Like rice, pasta is high in carbs, which turns to energy. Thanks to the high fibre-content of whole-grain pasta, it helps maintain steady blood sugar and energy levels. Unrefined pasta also contains a good amount of manganese (for nutrient absorption) and selenium (brain & thyroid health). We love the pasta at TWC because the grain it’s made from is not soaked in glyphosate prior to harvest.

Prep Instructions:

For the Quinoa Rice Penne, bring 3–4 litres of water to a rapid boil. Add a pinch of salt and one pack of the penne. Cook for 13–15 minutes, stirring occasionally (be careful not to overcook it!). Remove from heat and drain. Serve promptly.

Get Pasta Recipes

Dried / Tinned Beans

Black Beans Cannelini Beans Mixed Beans Mung Bean Fetuccine
Black beansCannelini beans
Red Kidney Beans, BPA Free Red Kidney Beans, OrganicSoy Beans Borlotti Beans
Red kidney beans

Beans are inexpensive, very nutritious (high in protein, fibre, folate brain development, iron, magnesium and phosphorus) whilst low in fat and calories. Just perfect! They may also have a positive effect on blood sugar levels and heart health because they’re low GI food and high in fibre.

Prep Instructions:

Clean ’em: Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.

Soak ’em: Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking – I usually do this overnight (hint: cut a bean in half; if the centre is still opaque, keep soaking). I add a bit of ACV in the water to help the process.

Rinse ’em: After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, and then skim off the foam.

Rinse ’em: After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, and then skim off the foam.

Spice ’em: To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water.

Simmer ’em: Cover and simmer for the suggested time. Check out this handy bean cooking chart for times, conventional and pressure cooker times.

Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.

Shortcut: However, if you’re short on time I do buy tinned organic beans in BPA free tins. Just be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can and you’re good to go.

Thanks to Sharon of Deliciously Allergy Free for those instructions on preparing dried beans.

Bean recipes coming soon, here.

Lentils and Pulses

Black Beluga Lentils LentilsRed Split Lentils

Lentils are rich in polyphenols (a type of phytochemicals) which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may prevent cancer. Because of the proteins and folate in lentils, they may help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Prep Instructions

No prior soaking required. Best to rinse them before cooking, though.

Get Lentil Recipes.

Chickpeas

Chick Peas, Australian – Organic Chickpeas, Certified Organic (BPA Free) Besan (Chickpea) Flour
Chickpeas BPA Free

Chickpeas are another affordable option with an impressive nutrition profile. Their fibre content (soluble) may help increase the good bugs in your gut and regulate blood sugar levels. It’s also a good source of plant-based protein as it contains almost all essential amino acids. Protein aids in muscle strength and bone health.

Prep Instructions

Soak dried chickpeas for 8-12 hours before cooking. Rinse, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 20-25mins for firmer beans, and 40-50mins for softer beans. You can add a little salt, garlic and bay leaves to the water for extra flavour if you like.

Of course, tinned chickpeas only need a rinse and they’re good to go!

Get Chickpea Recipes.

Nuts and Seeds

Seeds are packed with good fats for the brain and magnesium responsible for hundreds of biochemical reactions. Nuts may also help fight chronic illnesses, including heart disease and diabetes. The reason I love seeds so much is because they contain 4 of 5 essential nutrients we need – zinc (great for immunity), iron, magnesium and omega 3s. Interested to read more about that? It’s pretty mind-blowing. Check out this blog.


Tinned Tomatoes

Diced Tomatoes
Diced Tomatoes

Tomatoes are lycopene powerhouse. Lycopene is a red pigment and antioxidant that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes also contain other plant compounds such as beta carotene (for eye health), naringenin (may fight inflammation) and chlorogenic acid (may lower blood pressure).


Passata

Tomato Passata With Basil Tomato Passata, Certified Organic

Our Tomato Passatas have the same health benefits as that of our tinned tomatoes. They are rich in lycopene that helps lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and cancer. Tomatoes also contain other plant compounds such as beta carotene (for eye health), naringenin (may fight inflammation) and chlorogenic acid (may lower blood pressure).


Pasta Sauce

Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce Napoletana Pasta Sauce Vegetable Pasta Sauce
Napoletana Pasta Sauce

Our pasta sauces are also rich in lycopene. I’m partial to the Napoletana pasta sauce – it’s seriously delicious and I always get positive feedback on dinner when I use it!


Coconut Cream and Milk

100% Coconut Cream, Ayam (BPA Free) Coconut Cream (BPA Free), Certified Organic Coconut Milk (BPA Free), Certified Organic
Ayam coconut creamtopwilorgcoconutcreamtopwilorgcoconutmilk

In a study in women, coconut milk has shown positive effects on triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Its lauric acid may also help fight bacteria and viruses that cause infections. It may also reduce stomach ulcer size and inflammation. At my house, I use it every week for either curries, satay sauce, smoothies, desserts or cultured yoghurt.

Get Coconut Cream Recipes.

Spices

Spices have heaps of remarkable health benefits. Cinnamon, for instance, may help lower blood sugar levels. Spices are also well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties that may combat chronic diseases, such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

To learn more about the powerful health benefits of spices, check out this blog.


Superfood Powders

Add a punch of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and vegetables that have been simply dried, and ground into a powder.

Beetroot Powder
beetroot powderOur organic beetroot powder is rich in antioxidants, dietary fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, folate and manganese, along with plenty of other nutrients. Other than adding vibrant colour to a recipe, beetroot powder can be used to lower blood pressure and increase brain blood flow due to its high levels of nitrates.
Camu Camu Powder
camu camu powderCamu Camu provides a valuable source of vitamin C to support immune function and help combat tiredness and fatigue!
Boasting a range of goodness, Camu Camu comes in a convenient powder form, making it easy to add a burst of vitamin C to every meal! With its mild citrus flavour, Camu Camu can be added to juices, smoothies, yoghurt, desserts and more to boost your nutritional intake.
Super Greens Powder
Super Greens has a complete amino acid profile, and naturally occurring digestive enzymes, for ease of absorption. The Super Green combination delivers antioxidant and alkaline properties to assist with reducing free radical production and acidity in the body. 
Supreme Green Blend
Made from a blend of real food, dried without any chemicals or fillers. We’re not going to lie – it doesn’t taste great. But I personally use it every day and my body lets me know if I miss it! It’s nature’s way of supplying plant-based vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, conveniently. It’s also free of chemicals, pesticides, additives, processing agents, and herbicides.
Greens Plus, Organic
– Promotes healthy digestion and detoxification
– Supports hormone and blood sugar balance
– Promotes healthy heart function
– Assists healthy weight management
– Supports the immune system
– Easy way to quickly access valuable nutrients
– Add to a smoothie or simply mix with water
Maca Powder
As an adaptogen and tonic, maca may boost your overall health in a number of ways. It’s packed with iron and vitamin C and contains all the essential amino acids that we require to thrive. Iron helps restore red blood cells, which aids in avoiding anaemia and cardiovascular diseases. Maca is also believed to promote prostate health. The nutrients in maca have also long been valued for keeping bones and teeth healthy and helping wounds to heal more quickly. Other benefits include increased fertility in both men and women, hormone balance, strengthening of the immune system, and increased energy, stamina, memory and focus.
Slippery Elm Powder
Organic Slippery Elm powderSlippery Elm Powder has soothing actions on all mucous membranes, including those of the digestive tract, urinary and respiratory tract and also soothes the skin on contact. It also has astringent effects, tightening the surfaces on which it contacts, providing an effective barrier to bacterial infection and alleviating diarrhoea. Slippery elm is also rich in nutrients and can be used as a gruel for infants, invalids and patients with intestinal inflammation.
Ground Turmeric
Organic turmeric powder, the Golden Spice, is known as a “Super Food” with many proven health benefits.
Turmeric has been credited with helping reduce harmful inflammation, particularly in arthritic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, helping manage metabolic syndrome (by helping improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood pressure and inflammation), helping improve cholesterol levels, possibly lessening anxiety, and tempering post-exercise muscle soreness. It may also ease digestive woes, including peptic ulcers, and regulate digestion.
Moringa Leaf Powder Capsules
Moringa Leaf Powder capsulesMoringa leaves have 7x the vitamin C of oranges, 4x the calcium of milk, 4x vitamin of carrots, 3x the potassium of bananas, and 2x the protein of yoghurt. Moringa contains 92 nutrients, 46 antioxidants, 36 anti-inflammatories and enzymes, and 9 essential amino acids.
In addition to vitamin C and beta-carotene, Moringa contains high concentrations of quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may help lower blood pressure; and chlorogenic acid, which may help to moderate blood sugar levels after meals.



Other Long-life Foods to Store

Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has both amazing beauty and cooking properties. It has a similar molecular structure to the oil in our skin, making its nourishing vitamins and minerals easily absorbed.
Nutrient rich, it’s also a great raw superfood. Coconut is a rich source of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and the essential minerals iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Chicken Bone Broth Powder
Ultra-healing bone broth in the convenience of a powder. Sprinkle on or in anything! I commonly add it to smoothies, pancake batter, scrambled eggs…

If you’re looking for an immunity boost, broth powder could be a wise addition to your diet. It is a healthy and fast-absorbing protein with a high concentration of minerals from the bones, which act as great electrolytes. The gelatin in broth powder also helps to restore that lining and protect from leaky gut and other inflammation caused by damage to cell walls. To compound this gut-loving effect, the nutrients in bone broth help to maintain a balanced bacteria environment in the gastrointestinal system and provide defence against autoimmune disease and flu.
Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Nutritional yeast is a unique vegan food with a pleasantly cheesy flavor and it packs a powerful nutritional punch! It is rich in B vitamins, including B12, and provides 8 grams of protein per serving. It’s low in fat, gluten-free and contains no added sugars or preservatives.
Ulu Hye Mylks
Ulu Hye’s Mylk Bases make making milk easy and convenient, with no nasties. Simply spoon out your desired serve, add water, blend and you’ve got fresh, homemade plant based milk.

These Mylk Bases have been consciously created using only the best raw, certified organic ingredients where possible, to give you a unique base for creamy plant based milk.
Oats
Recent scientific studies have revealed that eating oats can significantly help lower blood cholesterol levels. Oats are a good source of both dietary fibre and soluble fibre, and are especially well-suited for a diabetic diet.
Popping Corn
The health benefits of popcorn are mainly derived from its impressive content of fibre, polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants, vitamin B complex, manganese, and magnesium content.

To prepare, add one tablespoon of coconut oil, butter or ghee to three tablespoons of popping corn to a large, lidded pan. Heat on medium for 1-2 minutes. When the corn starts to pop, shake the pan constantly to ensure all the corn pops and doesn’t burn. Once the popping stops, remove from heat and enjoy. You can also add a little salt or sugar if desired.
Hulled Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds are among the most nutritious foods in the world. They are rich in healthy fats, have a perfect balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, and they’re also a good source of vitamin E and minerals. Hemp seeds are high in protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. They are about 30% protein making them one of the best plant based protein sources available, and are easily digestible. Just 1 serve (2 tbsp) of hemp seeds provides 8.76g of protein.
Honey
Honey is a healthier alternative to sugar. It is rich in antioxidants and helps improve cholesterol levels. For children, honey is a natural and safe cough suppressant.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Sodium bicarbonate or ‘baking soda’ has many benefits to the human body and is useful for numerous household applications. It promotes a healthy digestive system and is a natural antacid, while at the same time it can be used in baking and deodorising.
Baking Powder
Baking powder commonly has aluminium in it. It’s important to find one without it – which of course, you can do at The Wholefood Collective.

Baking powder is commonly used as a leavener in baking.is used as a leavener in baking.


Ferments

Sauerkraut is a great thing to have on hand in the fridge. A little to the side of any dish, or sprinkled in rice paper rolls, is a great boost to the immune system.

At my place, we love making ferments using the Kultured Wellness starters. They’re dead easy (almost as easy as ‘just add water’), they’re therapeutic grade, and I just know they offer a balanced offering of good bacteria strains, to nurture my family and help to maintain and restore their gut health.

I find I can sneak the cultured yoghurt into smoothies and satay sauce really easily. The kids aren’t big fans of the yoghurt straight 😉 

Our 3yo Rosie LOVES her “coconut fizzy” (coconut water kefir), and next on my list to try is the orange juice kefir! I think the other kids will be alllll over that.

The starters will last 3 months in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.

At the time of publishing this article, Kultured Wellness are offering 25% off their starters. Now is a great time to get some into you home, and into those bellies.

Click here to get their starters at 25% off (at the time of publishing).


Frozen / Tinned Fruits & Veggies

Frozen fruit and veg is fabulous. It can be frozen right after harvest. Health-wise, it’s preferable to tinned.

Tinned is another good option to get those amazing fruit and veg into you. Just be sure the cans are BPA-free.

Recipes Using Pantry Staples

Recipes Using Pantry Staples

Laini Oldfield | March 27, 2020

There’s been an influx of requests asking for recipes that can be made from pantry staples at home. With more time at home now on the cards for all of us, it’s a great idea to have these types of recipes up our sleeve in case we can’t get to the shops (or don’t have our own edible garden) for fresh fruit and veg.

If we set up our homes with long-life, nutrient-dense foods like quality grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, fruits and veg that are frozen or tinned (or even freeze-dried and turned into powder for us), dehydrated bone broths, the options go on…. you’ll be able to make a plethora of nourishing, life-sustaining meals.

If you want some guidance on how to do that, check out this blog post: Long-life Foods for Optimal Health.

Thanks to our beautiful recipe contributors, we’ve curated these recipes to help you if you have less access to fresh fruit and veg. If the recipe calls for something fresh that can’t be stored long, we’ve made notes as to how you can tweak it.

Check these out…

Lentils

Smokey Eggplant and Lentil Curry
Smokey Eggplant CurryThis recipe is a flavour loaded combo and is a great way to use one of my favourite summer veggies – eggplant! It’s easy to throw together at the end of a long work day, and freezes well for whipping up in bulk for future meals.
Lentil Chilli Sin Carne Recipe
Lentil Chilli Sin CarneYou can find most of the ingredients in this savoury recipe in our store. Our Vegetable Bouillon Broth Powder can substitute with vegetable stock, or make your own using a mix of spices like dried parsley flakes, onion powder, and celery seeds.
Amazing Ayurvedic Kitchari!
Ayurvedic KitchariKitchari is the chicken soup of Indian cuisine; a wholesome and nourishing dish that you crave when you’re sick, or turn to for an easy meal. It’s made from a blend of soaked basmati rice and mung dal which resembles a chunky porridge when cooked. The word Kitchari literally translates to “a mess of” and this dish is exactly a delicious mess of lentils, rice and spices.
Tomato Dahl with Gluten-Free Naan
Tomato Lentil Dal with Gluten-free naanMany Dahl recipes call for cinnamon and cloves, but I left them out as a personal taste preference. If you cannot get your hands on the special Indian ingredients, you can substitute lentils for moong dal and garlic and onions for hing.
Creamy Coconut Lentil Curry
Creamy coconut lentil curryHave a go at using lentils from dried, rather than tinned for this recipe. Brown lentils are a great choice for curries, stews and salads. They are one of the most common varieties of lentil, and probably the one that you’re most familiar with. They can range in colour from khaki-brown to dark black, and generally have a mild, earthy flavour. They cook in about 20-30 minutes and hold their shape very well.

We have a wide range of lentils and legumes in the TWC pantry which includes red lentilsmung dalblack beluga lentils and mung beans.

Soak in a jar with room temperature, filtered water. Drain and rinse thoroughly before adding to recipes.
Lentils and Rice (Mjaddra)
Mjaddra is a wholesome, tasty vegetarian dish of lentils, rice and caramelised onions that I have always looked forward to when visiting my Lebanese Aunties and cousins.

The recipe is inexpensive, easy to make and delicious. You could try to soak your lentils in an acidic medium and rinse off well before cooking (I did my rice too) the night before. This makes them both more digestible and quicker to cook. 
Protein-Packed Greek Lentil Salad
Greek Lentil SaladThis is one of those salads that tastes sensational as is, but should you wish you can split the servings down a little and add more protein from fish or chicken etc. If the other salads in the image are also making you drool then read on to find the recipes!
Lamb, Bacon and Lentil Pot
This delicious slow-cooked meal is so nourishing and easy to prepare. It’s sure to become a firm favourite.
Enjoy This Healthy and Hearty Lentil Shepherd’s Pie This Winter!
Lentil Sheperds Pie Food MattersThere’s nothing we enjoy more than getting into the Food Matters Kitchen and recreating old favourites. As requested by one of our Food Matters Team Members, we’ve taken the much loved Shepard’s Pie and done our own spin on it to create a vegan version.
Beetroot, Spinach and Caper Salad with Creamy Dressing
Beetroot, Spinach and Caper Salad with Creamy DressingThis is the perfect salad to take to a barbeque to impress a crowd, throw together on a weeknight or spend a couple of hours in the kitchen perfecting. For the quick version use canned lentils and baby beetroots, but for a more wholefood approach cook your lentils and beets from scratch!
Sweet Potato, Coconut and Turmeric Soup
It was super tasty! Next time I might even add some red lentils for protein (my husband says soups are a great ‘entree’!). I also added a lot more coconut cream to reduce the spice, but we’re pretty weak when it comes to spices. Definitely making this one again.
Lentil & Grain Protein Salad
Grain SaladThis healthy grain salad is a filling salad which is great for a mid-week meal or entertaining a crowd, it’s just so delicious. The combination of rice, lentils, nuts and seeds ensure it is a ‘complete protein’ and a very nourishing plant-based meal or side.
Easy Vegetarian Curry
My family LOVE this recipe with dialled down spice intensity. I simply double all the liquids and they all happily slurp it up with some garlic flat bread. Mmmm! 
Taco Time! Try This Super Simple Recipe to Make Tasty Plant Based Tacos at Home
Veggie tacosThis is a great mid-week recipe you can create in a pinch, and even get the kids involved. Tacos are something that so many families rely on overly packaged and additive heavy products for. Not to mention that these things are also expensive!

This recipe takes more prep than the packaged variety, but once you know the routine you’ll be able to whip it up pretty quickly. Bust out the food processor to deal with all your veggies quickly if you’re in a time crunch.
Vegan Taco ‘Mince’ Salad
Vegan Taco MinceHere’s a dish that many of you have been waiting for! This vegan taco or nacho base from The Kitchen Coach is packed with tasty spices, sneaky veggies and loaded with flavour. Give it a go and it might just become a firm favourite in your house as well.
Delicious Dhal
This quick and easy dhal recipe is great for a last-minute meal, serve it with rice or quinoa and a big leafy salad, or some steamed vegetables and you have a nutritionally balanced meal.

Chickpeas

Turmeric Rice with Cauliflower Steaks
Cauliflower Steaks with Turmeric RiceThe health benefits of regularly consuming turmeric are numerous, and there are plenty of fabulous ways to include this gorgeous spice into your regular diet with drinks such as turmeric lattes, and simple sides like the turmeric coconut rice in this recipe.
Sweet Potato & Chickpea Boats
Sweet Potato Boats HeaderWe love plants and the myriad of ways in which to prepare them for a healthy, complete meal for breakfast lunch and dinner, so though this fabulous dish with roasted sweet potato boats, topped with a fresh salad and zingy tahini sauce – the perfect mix of carbs, fresh and raw veggies and protein – would be a brilliant way to celebrate the vegetarian lifestyle.
Spiced Chickpea, Cashew & Kale Mix
Spiced Kale and Nuts MixA nutritious alternative to commercial versions of roasted mixed nuts, these are particularly great as an afternoon snack to avoid those 3:00 p.m. sugar cravings. The good fats and protein will keep you fueled until dinner.
If kale is not available, add more seeds and nuts or replace it with spinach, cabbage or sprouting broccoli.
Spring into Sweet Corn Season with Lemony Millet Salad With Chickpeas, Corn & Spinach
Millet Corn Spinach Lemon SaladDon’t you love those dinners when you have extra for lunch or even another dinner that week? This recipe is exactly that. Simple. Leftover-friendly. Nourishing.
If you’re new to millet it’s a definite must-try.  It’s a bit thicker + chewier than quinoa with a less earthy flavour.
Spiced Beetroot Hummus is a Delicious Twist On is Fave Dip
Spiced Beet HummusA super-quick and easy-peasy recipe! This spiced, lemony beetroot hummus is heavenly with fresh pitta or veggie sticks!
Moroccan Chickpea Soup
In a dairy-free household, chickpeas are great as they are brilliant for bone health. Being rich in manganese, they help build bone structure. They also contain bone-healthy minerals including calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Furthermore, they are a great source of fibre. If I use canned beans I always go for organic and BPA free tins.
Basic Hummus
For a super smooth hummus, just toss the chickpeas in a big bowl filled half-way with water. Rub the chickpeas between both hands. The peels should rise to the water’s surface. Skim them off and rinse the chickpeas.
Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies
My kids love these! These cookies are naturally sweet and chewy and packed full of great nutrients. Thanks to the chickpeas and tahini they contain plenty of vital bone-healthy minerals including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium – all needed for strong growing bones.  Perfect for dairy-free kids!
Chickpea & Corn Falafels
Chickpea FalafelsChickpeas are packed with nutrients like manganese, folate, copper, phosphorus and more. They help to increase satiety, boost digestion and regulate blood sugar levels and are also high in antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body.

These falafels with chickpeas come paired with a spicy tomato salsa. Add a salad and you have a satisfying, substantial meal. If you have any leftover patties, you can refrigerate them and they will be delicious eaten cold with a salad or simply by themselves. They will last for 3 days.
Roasted Spiced Chickpeas
Serve them sprinkled over salads or soups, or eat them by the handful as a moreish snack.

Chickpeas make a great high fibre, high protein snack in your kids’ lunchboxes which they’ll just love munching on.


Quinoa

Fast Quinoa Coconut Chocolate Porridge
Chocolate Quinoa PorridgeThis is a fabulous and speedy breakfast for a cold winter’s morning, giving you energy, nourishment and total satiety. Love that!
Pump Up the Nutrients with this Quinoa Fruit Crumble
Dessert, breakfast, school lunches…. doesn’t matter. With all the goodness in this meal, you don’t need to reserve it for dessert!
Gluten-Free, Protein Packed Quinoa Banana Pancakes for One
Quinoa Banana pancakesSometimes you’re home alone and just want to treat yourself, but so many pancake recipes make a huge batch for the whole family. This super simple recipe makes a small serving of three medium-sized pancakes, perfect for a light breakfast.
Vegetarian Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms
Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms HeaderOne of my favourite vegetarian meals, these Quinoa Stuffed Mushrooms are tasty and super simple to make. The combination of protein from the quinoa, carbohydrate via the vegetables and essential fats from the walnuts makes this one brain-boosting, nourishing meal.
Satay Vegetable Curry with Quinoa
Satay Vegetable Curry With QuinoaSatay fans rejoice! This vegetarian dish is extremely satisfying. And of course, as with all curries, if you like extra spice, add as much heat as you need to keep your sweat glands happy!
Protein Packed Berry & Quinoa Flake Chocolate Muffins
Choc Berry Quinoa Flake MuffinsThese muffins are so rich and decadent, you wouldn’t believe how good these are for you! They’re packed with protein from the quinoa flakes, yoghurt & eggs, making them a healthier morning tea option to keep you charging through the day.

Whip up a batch in no time at all with our super-simple chocolate cake mix.
Spiced Quinoa Porridge
This quinoa porridge is choc-a-block full of goodness with just about all the ingredients containing powerhouse immune-boosting properties such as protein and zinc, iron and fibre, Vitamin C, lauric acid and so much more. And it’s gluten-free!!

Rice

Comforting Pumpkin & Spinach Brown Rice Risotto
Brown Rice Pumpkin RisottoRisotto is a gorgeous comfort food, isn’t it? I hope you enjoy this one which has a bit less rice than the usual risotto – all the ingredients are equal players. If you don’t have leftover roast pumpkin do it with leftover sweet potato or even eggplant it would work too. Enjoy!
Brown Rice, Lentil and Veggie Patties
Brown rice lentil and veggie pattiesThese delicious brown rice, brown lentil and vegetable patties are a great vegetarian recipe that you can use for dinner and lunch. They’re loaded with protein and long-lasting carbohydrates, perfect for keeping tummies full. They’re delicious served warm with a great big dollop of hummus or tzatziki and a salad or steamed vegetables for dinner. The leftovers are super yummy for the lunchbox too. We served ours in cos lettuce leaves so wrapped around the patties.
Puffed Brown Rice & Blueberry Bites
Blueberry BitesCrispy fruit with a hint of coconut – they’re yummy in lunch boxes, for snacking at parties, something sweet after school, and even a quick breakfast option.
Delicious Brown Rice Breakfast Pudding
Brown rice breakfast puddingThis baked brown rice pudding is a quick, easy to make and sustaining start to the day. It’s so much more nourishing than anything you’ll find in a cereal box.
Brown Rice Sushi Bowl with Miso Roasted Carrots
brownricesushibowlCalling all sushi-lovers! This recipe provides the perfect instructions for making wholefood sushi rice. If you have fresh (or even frozen) carrots on hand, you’ve got to try them miso-roasted. So good.
Jewelled Persian Rice Salad
Jewelled Persian Rice SaladThis salad has been a big hit – not only with my own family, but with dozens of families in our Facebook community. Lots of raving reviews!

A little bit of turmeric goes a long way to make this bejewelled salad burst with colour and the colours of gold, red and green play beautifully together in this dish.

I love to get the almonds roasted almost to the point of burning so they’re extra toasty, roast a little longer if you’d love this effect too.
Coconut & Ginger Infused Rice Porridge
This rice was perfect with a simple red kidney bean, sweet potato and kale casserole for dinner and with the leftovers, I made a winter-warming rice porridge for breakfast.

If you decided to cook only 1 cup of rice, then add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of coconut cream.

Coconut Milk

Quick and Simple Mild Fish Curry
Fish CurryIt may look like lots of ingredients = lots of time, but trust me when I say it was a really quick whack-everything-in situation. If you don’t have ginger, fresh garlic or one of the spices, it honestly won’t matter too much. Just adapt. I hope you enjoy it!

It’s super tasty and mild enough for kids. If they’re super fussy about the flavours, just use the whole can of coconut milk to make it even milder.
Gut Healthy Chocolate Mocha Coconut Custard
Chocolate Mocha CustardWhip up this delicious custard dessert to enjoy with cake, or just on its own!
Chocolate Bean Pudding for Breakfast – Yes Please!
My approach to eating well is this – eat mainly vegetables, some fruit, nuts, seeds, good quality eggs and meat and minimise processed packaged food. When it comes to processed packaged food, I choose them consciously by understanding what’s in them. They are a minimal part of our diet, but they are what I call my fall-back food. You know, for the times when the wheels fall off or you’re in a mad rush.
Vanilla Apple Chia Pudding
You can add your preferred milk, other dairy-free milk options include macadamia, hazelnut, almond and rice milk, and by all means try cow’s milk if you’re not dairy-free (always look for good quality though).

This recipe is great for the whole family with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in chia seeds which help lower risk of heart disease, balance thyroid hormones, and play a role in breast cancer prevention.


Beans

Try These Super Versatile Home Made Baked Beans
Home Made Baked BeansThis is a simple recipe and a great one to get the kids cooking in a home economics session at home. Because I like making cooking easy, it starts off using the same ingredients and method as My Base Recipe (which I also use for spaghetti bolognaise, stir fries, soups, dahl and more).
Sneaky Beans Super Sweet & Gooey Lunchbox Cake
Drum roll, please… The secret ingredient in these delicious cupcakes is cannellini beans! Gluten-free gooeyness & a huge nutrition bump!
Tex Mex Burrito Bowls
These Tex-Mex bowls are fun, filling and delicious and can be served hot or cold, so it’s a great one to prepare ahead.

The Tex Mex Burrito Bowl is also a great example of packing as much nutrition into one delicious meal as possible.
Vegan Meatballs With Zoodles
Vegan Meatballs With ZoodlesYou will be amazed by the hearty taste of these meatless meatballs! Approved by the Food Matters Team, these meatless meatballs are packed with flavor, fiber and protein!

A great way to sneak more veggies into the kids diet!

Pasta

Thermomix Peanut Chicken Noodles
Peanut Chicken NoodlesOur peanut chicken noodles have all the flavour of an authentic stir-fry, but without the effort and mess! Simply steam everything in the Varoma while you put your feet up (or wash the dishes left from breakfast…). The sweet, salty, tangy, satay sauce will not disappoint!
Easy Thermomix 2 Minute Noodles
2 Minute NoodlesWhile these aren’t quite ‘2-minute’ noodles, they are still darn quick clocking in at just 15 minutes.
The Thermomix or thermo cooker makes the broth so simple, but of course, you could make it on the stove.
Healthy Mac & Cheese
Healthy Mac and Cheese RecipeYou don’t have to miss out on your old favourites when eating healthy. We’ve made some simple swaps to revamp this comforting dish while making it vegan-friendly!
Topped with a crispy herby topping, this vegan mac and cheese will hit the spot!
Spicy Broccoli Pasta
Broccoli Chilli PastaThe perfect quick meal for two, you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes! Our star ingredient broccoli forms the bulk of the sauce, enhanced with chilli, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and cheese – it’s a winning combination. Finish this dish off with toasted pine nuts for creaminess and crunch, there’s nothing unsophisticated about this simple dish.
Kale and Almond Pesto Pasta
Almond and Kale Pesto PastaFor a nut-free version, substitute the almonds with toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.

Replace the parmesan with nutritional yeast and a good teaspoon of salt if you like it dairy-free and vegan.

I love to add in other vegetables sometimes too. A handful of cherry tomatoes, broccoli and sautéed mushrooms work really well, as does roasted sweet potato.
Pumpkin, bacon and chicken pasta
Ways to pimp this meal:
Try olives instead of bacon.
Use zucchini noodles instead of pasta.
Add a sprinkle of dulse flakes on top of pasta.
Use half pumpkin and half zucchini as the sauce to get another veggie in.
Lisa’s Pasta Free Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup RecipeI’ve added pearl barley to this soup, instead of the traditional pasta – which makes it wheat-free – a great bonus when you are looking to cut down on wheat.

You can replace the sliced bacon with a bacon hock and remove it when cooking is over, but for ease of ingredients – I used actual bacon in the recipe below. A nitrate-free bacon from free range pigs. It is heavenly. You don’t need much for a lot of flavour.
Springtime Zucchini, Lemon, and Almond Spaghetti
Zucchini spaghetti HeaderThis recipe is packed with delicious springtime flavours from fresh zucchinis, lemons, and parsley. Make it dairy-free by choosing a great dairy-free feta like Botanical Cuisines, or make your own at home with this great recipe!



Immunity-Boosting Foods

Immunity-Boosting Foods

Laini Oldfield | March 25, 2020

Food can propel us forward in energy, vitality and health, or it can drag us down to lethargy and longer-term – chronic disease. 

We get to choose which it is.

Food (along with sleep and mind work) is what I reach for when I have a need, be it energy, clarity of mind, or targeting a specific health goal.

Right now, immunity is on everyone’s mind.

My family are looking to food, sleep and mind work. I’m confident those 3 things will give us the most robust result.

Here’s my tips for which foods to reach for more each day, especially in times like this.

All my love,

Laini x

Camu Camu Powder
camu camu powderIncredibly high in vitamin C for fighting bacterial infections, general immunity, iron absorption, and to fight fatigue and tiredness. One teaspoon a day gives you more than your baseline Vitamin C needs for the day (for an average woman leading an average lifestyle).
Kiwi
Kiwi is high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, and antioxidants (alpha-Tocopherol and lutein). It has been shown to have positive effects on the immune response — making it potentially helpful in preventing a wide range of ailments.
Bone Broth Powder
Bone broth is a great source of amino acids, glycine and therefore my fave antioxidant again – glutamine, that helps restore gut health and immune function, as well as reduce inflammation. Glutathione also helps cleanse the liver, and we need our liver to be in tip-top shape when we’re trying to fight viruses.

The nutrients in bone broth help to maintain a balanced bacteria environment in the gastrointestinal system and provide defence against autoimmune disease and flu.
Black Garlic Cloves
A study in 2012 showed that black garlic had a more powerful effect on stimulating immunity than raw garlic. This is because of the antioxidants found in black garlic which fight free radicals, reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative damage to your cells.
Immunity Premix
Just add this premix to your base (liquid + fruit + veg), and not only will you enjoy a mega-dose of targeted nutrition, but a diversity of real, whole foods that will nurture your gut and support both your physical and mental health! Yes, food can help your mood, your mental clarity and recall, your energy, stress levels, hormones… the list goes on.
Turmeric Powder
Its antibacterial properties is one of the best ways it works to help us build robust immunity. It’s also well known in its ability to reduce inflammation and contribute powerful antioxidants, namely curcumin.
Mango Turmeric
Mango TurmericMango turmeric is naturally bio-available. That means you don’t need pepper to activate it, yay!  Traditionally mango turmeric was believed to strengthen bones, increase mobility and blood flow. In addition, when consumed in the morning it was considered to produce an uplifting effect assisting a positive attitude.

Turmeric’s antibacterial properties is one of the best ways it works to help us build robust immunity. It’s also well known in its ability to reduce inflammation and contribute powerful antioxidants, namely curcumin.
Cruciferous Vegetables
They are rich in sulfur-containing substances called glucosinolates, which make sulforaphane — a phytochemical known for its immune-boosting effects.

Research has shown that cruciferous vegetables (kale, collard greens, mustard greens, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, kohlrabi, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts) are a source of a chemical signal necessary for the immune system to function at its best.
Green Banana Resistant Starch
Resistant starch?  It’s a type of fibre that ‘resists’ traditional digestion in the stomach and small intestine, and makes it all the way to our colon where there’s a big party of both good and bad bugs. The resistant starch then feeds the good bugs so they can outnumber the bad ones. Having a better balance of those bugs in our gut typically helps us feel lighter and more energetic.

Moreover, this fibre also serves to seal and heal the gut, and reduce inflammation.

And a healthy gut and lower inflammation are essential for a strong immune system.
Probiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria in your gut. We need a good balance of good and bad bugs in the gut to boost our physical and mental health and fend off diseases.

This probiotic is made from 100% real, organic potent foods (like sprouted broccoli and alfalfa) that’s been carefully fermented.
Cumin Powder
When digested, cumin releases a component called megalomicin, which has antibiotic properties that may restrict the growth of infectious bacteria and fungi. Cumin also contains a heap of plant compounds (including terpenes, phenols, flavonoids and alkaloid) that function as antioxidants, which are chemicals that reduce damage to your body from free radicals.
Greens Powder
These greens are things like organic chlorella, spirulina, kelp, barley grass, alfalfa…. things we don’t usually get into us regularly. And all that adds to a greater diversity of nutrients going into the gut, which we know helps build that robust microbiome we all want, boost immunity and optimise cellular function and energy levels.
Supreme Green Blend
Made from a blend of real food, dried without any chemicals or fillers. We’re not going to lie – it doesn’t taste great. But we’re PROUD to say that, as it means that it contains no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. It’s simply nature’s way of supplying plant-based vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, conveniently. It’s also chemical, pesticide and herbicide free.
Greens Plus
What are the benefits of Greens Plus?

– Promotes healthy digestion and detoxification
– Supports hormone and blood sugar balance
– Promotes healthy heart function
– Assists healthy weight management
– Supports the immune system
– Easy way to quickly access valuable nutrients
– Add to a smoothie or simply mix with water
Maca Powder
Did you know that one ounce (28 grams) of maca root powder provides 133% of your vitamin C recommended daily intake? Amazeballs! Vitamin C may boost immunity by helping white blood cells function more effectively and strengthening your skin’s defense system.
Onions
Next time you shop for onions, pick out red and yellow varieties as they are particularly high in quercetin, an antioxidant which is known to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Cool fact: The highest concentration of quercetin is in the outer rings.
Fire Tonic
This herbal infusion is a potent immune booster and metabolic stimulant with its broad-spectrum of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It also helps your immune system mobilise and move blood through the system.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The healthy bacteria found in ACV can soothe a sore throat and support healthy lymphatic drainage to kick seasonal sniffles and allergies to the curb.
Raw Honey
Raw honey contains phytonutrients that are responsible for its antioxidant properties, antibacterial and antifungal power. These phytonutrients are also thought to be the reason raw honey has shown immune-boosting and anticancer benefits.
Berries
Berries are high in vitamin C, which helps prevent cell damage and inflammation. Another notable antioxidant found abundantly in berries is ellagic acid, which may help protect the immunity of the oral mucous membrane.

Also, resveratrol found in red grapes and pterostilbene in blueberries have the most impact to boost immunity.
Pepitas
Pepitas contain high levels of antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and protect you against many diseases. Not only that, but pepitas are also rich in zinc which is known to kick up your immunity.
Chia Seeds
High in magnesium, chia seeds help boost lipolysis (the process through which the body releases fat from its stores) and help flush out those gunky toxins in the morning. Magnesium is also responsible for more than 600 chemical reactions in your body.
Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Nutritional yeast contains beta-glucans, which are known to have powerful infection-preventing and immune-boosting properties by enhancing natural killer cell (anti-cancer and anti-infection) activity.
Ginger
Studies show that ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. Also, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger called gingerol can help lower the risk of infections. Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.
Sunflower Seeds
They’re packed with Vitamin E and zinc which help regulate and maintain a healthy immune system.
Goji Berries
Goji berries contain polysaccharides, which research has shown, enhances our ability to resist disease. Interestingly, Goji’s polysaccharides have a chemical structure similar to echinacea and mushrooms which are well known in their ability to support a healthy immune system too. Goji’s are also super rich in Vitamin C and Zinc – both of which we already know help to protect against disease and aid recovery.
Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. Selenium’s role in immunity is to support your body to make my fave antioxidant – glutathione! Glutathione is an antioxidant that powers up our immune systems’ front-line bug-killers, a type of white blood cell called T-cells. The great news is that 1 brazil nut gives you 73% of your selenium needs for the day.
Chilli
It is a healthy seasoning, with significant amounts of several beneficial nutrients including vitamin A and vitamin C.
Gelatin
Gelatin can work by helping to heal the gut lining by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach.
Kultured Wellness Starters
My family love Kultured Wellness’ cultured yoghurt starter (in smoothies and satay sauces), and the coconut kefir (“coconut fizzy” according to our 3yo). I’ve just ordered the apple juice starter this morning. Right now at time of publishing, Kultured Wellness have 25% off their starters.

Check it out HERE.
Citrus
Vitamin C powerhouse, citrus fruits help to boost your immune system and make you less susceptible to illness. And check this out – simply smelling citrus fragrances could reduce stress-induced immunosuppression.



Easy “Golden” Pikelets

Easy “Golden” Pikelets

Laini Oldfield | February 4, 2020

Sometimes you need a pikelet that tastes and feels a lot like those you can buy from the supermarket. You know the ones – kids love ’em in their lunches. 

We know the supermarket version of pikelets detract from our kid’s health. In fact, of the 16 ingredients used in the brand I looked at, only 2 (two!) of them were not guilty of damaging our precious health (water and baking soda). 

And don’t we mostly eat to fuel our bodies to thrive and function their best?!

I’ve been making a supercharged version of pikelets for ages (see it HERE), but today we felt like some run-of-the-mill “supermarket” type pikelets.

Of course, I didn’t rush out and buy some. I just made them quick smart.

These babies are super quick and tasty, will likely get past the fussy kid’s noses, and contribute to our health instead of taking away from our health.

Enjoy.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup white spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk of choice
1/2 – 1 banana (optional, but it makes the pikelet oh-so-soft-and-delicious)
2 tablespoons date paste (or 2 medjool dates)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Method:

  1. Throw all ingredients into the blender and whizz up until smooth.
  2. Heat pan with a little deodorised coconut oil or butter.
  3. Pour a small amount of mixture straight from the blender into a pikelet size. Fit as many in the pan as you comfortably can.
    *If you’ve added banana, leave more room in between each – they become a little trickier to flip, but you’ll get the hang of it real quick.
  4. Cook until brown on one side, flip and repeat

Simple Simon Spelt Pancakes

Simple Simon Spelt Pancakes

Laini Oldfield | January 8, 2020

You can’t get easier than this. My kids make these pancakes themselves more than I care to admit.
You can easily boost the nutrition of these pancakes by adding the optional boosters below, but of course my children more often than not choose to keep it super simple.

 

Ingredients:
1 cup spelt flour (use wholemeal, white, or half half according to your preference)
1 cup milk of choice
1 egg

 

Optional boosters:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon LSA
2 teaspoons beetroot powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 mashed banana / berries / grated apple or pear
Sub 1/4 cup spelt flour for another flour like quinoa flour

 

Method:
1. Mix flour and baking flour together
2. Add milk and egg
3. Pour into greased pan and flip when bubbles appear, or when the underside is brown.
4. Enjoy with maple syrup, yoghurt and berries.

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