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Sneaky tactics to watch out for when buying additive-free stock/bone broth

Sneaky tactics to watch out for when buying additive-free stock/bone broth

Francine Bell | June 24, 2020

 

Additive free stock is a winter essential. The cooler warmer brings a desire for comfort food and warm hearty meals.  You will often find soups, stews and casseroles frequenting the winter menu.  The basis of many of these meals requires stock. 

Have you seen the sheer number of stocks on the supermarket shelves? No wonder I hear that our community members are feeling overwhelmed! I’ve decided to help you navigate these. 

I have reviewed 70 different stocks!

Much more than I expected when I undertook the exercise.  I know that I haven’t got ALL of them either. 

This guide is NOT an exhaustive list of all the stocks on the market.

There are so many different types of stocks depending on your preference.  We enter the world of cubes, powders, concentrates and liquids.   When I was little I only remember Mum using the stock cubes.  I doubt we had the sheer volume of options available to us today.

I would love to know what the ingredients were of the stock cubes back then.  Were they the same as they are now?  Have they progressively removed more real ingredients as time goes on. The pressure to increase profits is always mounting.  Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing.  That information isn’t kept anywhere for the public to see. 

Anyway lets get to it…

I have also included bone broths, powders and concentrates in the review too.

On my search for additive free stock I reviewed 70 different products and examined over 200 different ingredients.  

That is an ENORMOUS amount of ingredients.

Before we get into what stock is better to buy to save you time, I’d like to draw your attention to what should be the typical ingredients of a stock.

Typical ingredients

Water
Meat (and or bones)
Veges
Herbs
Spices
perhaps some oil too. 

Examples of the ingredients I came across in the review

Water 
– water or filtered water

Meat
– Organic meat and / or bones
– meat fat (beef, chicken)
– meat powders
– meat extracts
– meat concentrates

Veges
– Organic or conventional 
– Dehydrated veges 
– Vegetable powders

Herbs and spices
– Fresh
– dehydrated

Acidity regulators
– Apple cider vinegar
– Reconstituted lemon juice / powder

Sugar (not an ingredient you will typically find in home made stocks)
– Organic sugar
– Cane sugar
– Glucose
– Caramelised sugar syrups

Salt
– Himalayan, WA Lake salt, Southern Ocean sea salt
– Iodised salt

Pepper

Oil
– Organic oils
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Sunflower oil
– Canola oil
– Vegetable oil
– Palm fat
– Vegetable fat

Flours

– Organic flours (rice and corn)
– Rice, Wheat
– Wheat fibre
– Potato flour
– Potato starch 
– Corn starch

It’s really interesting when you see the range of ingredients used isn’t it?

Then the sneaky tactics start:

Colours

Caramel colours feature heavily.  You will also see burnt sugar and caramelised sugar (wheat). Does this raise alarm bells for anyone? Since when does caramelised sugar come from wheat?

Burnt sugar is an interesting one too. Burnt sugar is sold by flavour houses. It is generally used for flavour, however it does have a light to dark brown colour. The added bonus? You don’t need to say your product contains colours. For those that have been in the AFK community for some time, we know that natural colours can be just as problematics as synthetic colours.

Stocks made with real ingredients don’t need colours or burnt sugar.

Preservatives

Thankfully very few stocks contained traditional preservatives (ie 220 and 224).  However, Rosemary extract (and its various names) appeared in many of the cleaner products. Rosemary extract was approved by the FSANZ as an additive 392. It is used for its antioxidant properties and as a preservative.

What most people don’t know is how the rosemary extract is extracted. It is usually extracted using acetone or other solvent methods. Reviewing some of FSANZs reasonings when approving this additive was interesting. Rosemary has been used in cooking for hundreds of years with no harm. How about looking at the actual process of extraction? I expect those of us that are highly sensitive to this ingredient are reacting to the method that it has been extracted.

Bonus for manufacturers, the product sounds clean, acts as a preservative and an antioxidant and there is no requirement to list it as a preservative.

Gums

In my review I came across a few gums:

– Vegetable gum
– Xanthan gum
– Locust bean gum 

I urge you to think why are these gums in these products? You will see the products that have been ranked Best have no need for gums. Are these gums there for your benefit or the manufacturers?

Flavours and extracts

This is where its all happening!

Over 23 different flavours, flavour enhancers and extracts were used over the 70 products I reviewed.  We had the industry heavy weights such as MSG and its cousins, Hydrolysed vegetable proteins, Yeast extracts, Natural Flavours, Flavours and Extracts galore. 

Why are all these used?

I can tell you, in some products where they featured heavily, the product contained very few ingredients.  The real ingredients I did find were water, sugar and salt.  The rest were flavour enhancers.  No real meat.  No real vegetables.  Who needs that when you have something that is ‘identical’ in taste for a fraction of the cost?

For those that are long time followers of AFK you will have heard me talk about yeast extracts, MSG, HVP, flavours. For people that are highly sensitive to MSG these are all additives you would want to avoid.

Ok….lets move on…I know you are dying to see the results of the review.

This guide ranks the stocks and broths according to additive impact.  These are NOT all additive free!

In fact, I would suggest that 80% of these have some form of additive in them.   Saying that….some additives are worse than others. 

You will see that the Stocks and Bone Broths are categorised into four categories: Avoid, OK, Better and Best.  

AVOID

These stocks contain some or all of the following ingredients: flavours, extracts, colours, thickeners, emulsifiers, acidity regulators, gums and preservatives. 

OK

These stocks still contain some or all of the following ingredients: extracts, thickeners, emulsifiers, acidity regulators, gums and highly processed ingredients.

BETTER

These stocks / bone broths may still contain rosemary extract (or equivalents), undeclared ingredients or highly processed ingredients. 

BEST

These stocks / bone broths are completely clean and free of additives.

STOCKS / BONE BROTH – AVOID

STOCKS / BONE BROTHS – OK

STOCKS / BONE BROTHS – BETTER

STOCKS / BONE BROTHS – BEST

ADDITIONAL OBSERVATIONS FROM MY REVIEW – LOOKING FOR ADDITIVE FREE STOCK / BONE BROTH

  • Look out for the word “Style” on packaging.

    This should be a red warning to you. What I found is that when you are looking at “Chicken style” usually you will not find any chicken in the product. It will contain flavours and extracts, but not chicken. By saying “Chicken Style” they aren’t misleading anyone. They never said it was “Chicken”
  • Just because a product is organic it doesn’t mean it is additive free or free from ultra processed ingredients

    There were quite a few organic products that still contained yeast extracts and / or flavours. Definitely ingredients we always recommend avoiding for our sensitive AFK community.
  • Look at which order the ingredients appear on the ingredients label

    In conducting this review, I must say sometimes I really felt angry. That customers that don’t know better are being duped. The first ingredient listed first is the biggest quantity of ingredient in that product. In some of the AVOID products, you will see a range of ingredients such as salt, sugar, maltodextrin, yeast extract before you even get to the veges. If you look at the ingredients in the BEST category, you will see that the very first ingredients ARE vegetables!

In short, keep in mind the following tips when buying additive free stocks / bone broths.

  1. KEEP IT SIMPLE – the simpler the better!
  2. Avoid flavourings – flavour enhancers, yeast extracts, extracts, MSG..
  3. Avoid colours – caramels, burnt sugar
  4. Avoid preservatives – usual 200 numbers or rosemary extract

Check out this bone broth powder from The Wholefood Collective to keep in your pantry.

 

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.

The Pancake Recipe Collection

The Pancake Recipe Collection

Laini Oldfield | June 15, 2020

Relate?!

Ok, ok…. I’m not a fan of eating our emotions, but sometimes a good pancake really hits the spot!

Here’s some pancakes made from whole, real foods that will both nourish and sustain your energy levels.

Enjoy!

Laini x

Powerhouse Protein Pikelets (hemp seeds)Easy “Golden Pikelets” (feels more ‘white and plain’ for those fussy eaters)

Gluten-free Dairy-free Buckwheat Pancakes

Quinoa Banana Pancakes for One
Banana Quinoa Protein Pancakes

Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes
(Thermomix instructions which you can easily follow without one)
Breakfast Baked Apple Pancakes
Vegan Buckwheat Banana Blueberry pancakes RecipeGluten-free baked apple pancake recipe
Gluten-free, Gut-healthy Honey Pikelets
Thermomix Golden Pumpkin Pancakes (you can totally use your blender or food processor if you replace the cinnamon stick with powder though)
Honey PikeletsGolden pumpkin pancakes

Simple Simon Spelt Pancakes

Gluten-free Gut-Healthy Green Banana Flour Pancakes
Green Banana Flour Pancakes

Super Fluffy Green Banana Flour Pancakes

Cacao Pancakes
Green Banana PancakesCacao Pancakes


6 Science-Backed Benefits of Hemp Seeds

6 Science-Backed Benefits of Hemp Seeds

Laini Oldfield | June 11, 2020

Have you tried hemp seeds yet?!

They’re incredibly nutritious and super dooper easy to add into your family’s regular routine.

And yes, safe and very different to marijuana 😉

Hemp seeds have a pleasant mild, nutty flavour. They’re technically a nut but more easily digestible than nuts, seeds and legumes.

We add them to smoothies, pancake batter, cakes, breads, brownies, cookies, sprinkle them over smoothie bowls or cereal… the options are endless.

I’ve summarised science-backed benefits of hemp seeds below for you, and then below that, you’ll see some recipes using hemp seeds there for you.

Here we go with the 6 juicy science-backed health benefits.

They’re packed with nutrients we need to survive and thrive.


Paediatric Naturopath Jess Donovan conducted a live training in our Facebook Group, and outlined her top 5 essential nutrients for kids. Here they are…

I was so inspired that right afterwards, I got to work to identify the easiest strategy possible to get as many of those into my kids on a regular basis.

The answer?

Seeds.

Check out more on that here.

But we’re talking about hemp seeds today, and for good reason.

As you can see below, hemp seeds contain 4 of Jess’ 5 essential nutrients for kids!

Not only that, but they’re the leader for both zinc and magnesium, and in the top 3 for omega 3s and iron too!


Because protein breaks down slowly, the foods you eat at 7am will continue to nourish your body throughout the day.

That protein will support growth and repair, your immune system, and it also keeps your brain firing and your tummy feeling full for longer.

Bearing that in mind, protein is a great thing to get into your kids at breakfast, and in their lunch box at school.

Before we go any further, two things:

1. Protein deficiencies are very uncommon in our society.

So unless you’re working out a lot, or have some other special protein need, you don’t need specialised WPI powders or even vegan protein powders in your life on the regular.

2. Not all protein is created equal

Instead, we can get the protein we all need from a quality whole-food source that contains all 9 essential amino acids your body craves. Amino acids are the building blocks for protein.

What are some examples of a quality wholefood source of protein?

Here are my go-to’s:
Hemp seeds (of course!), rolled oats, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, coconut cream, chickpeas.

Hemp seeds are a great protein source, as more than 25% of their total calories are from high-quality protein (that’s considerably more than similar foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds, whose calories are 16–18% protein).

Did you know that hemp seeds contain more protein per gram than chicken?! (36.7g/100g, compared with 18.7g/100g).

In fact, by weight, hemp seeds provide similar amounts of protein as beef and lamb — 30 grams of hemp seeds, or 2–3 tablespoons, provide about 11 grams of protein [ref].

What’s more, they’re considered a ‘complete protein’ (rare in the plant kingdom), which means they contain all the essential amino acids, like quinoa does.

Your body can’t produce essential amino acids, so you must obtain them from your diet.


Good fats are great for brain function, long-lasting energy and satiation, supporting your gut health, and radiant hair, skin and nails.

My fave go-to’s are:
Hemp seeds (of course), avocado, nuts, nuts butter, coconut cream, cultured coconut cream yoghurt, and seeds.

Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat (the good kind).

They are exceptionally rich in two essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3).

They also contain gamma-linolenic acid, which has been linked to several health benefits (1).


Hemp seeds are also a great source of vitamin E (for immunity, hair, skin and nails), and minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.

You can see how zinc is a leader in at least 3 of those minerals by scrolling up to the infographics.


Hemp seeds may reduce symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, thanks to its high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).

And with up to 80% of women suffering physical or emotional symptoms caused by PMS, this is an issue well worth addressing. [2]

Scientists believe the symptoms are likely caused by sensitivity to the hormone prolactin [3].

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), found in hemp seeds, produces prostaglandin E1, which reduces the effects of prolactin [456]

Some studies have found that women with PMS who take 1 gram of essential fatty acids (including 210mg of GLA) per day, enjoyed a significant decrease in symptoms including breast pain, depression, irritability, and fluid retention [see references above].


Heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide! By far. Check this out…

And it’s preventable!

Largely by our food choices.

It blows my mind there is not more work being done to educate people on the power of food to heal and prevent disease.

Anyhow…

Hemp seeds are a great source of arginine and gamma-linolenic acid, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

To learn more about how it does it, and see info about studies, click here.



Pump Up the Nutrients with this Quinoa Fruit Crumble (you can swap the quinoa for oats for a traditional crumble if desired)Powerhouse Protein Pikelets
(a recipe for more traditional pikelets for fussy eaters is here, but definitely try these – they’re a hit in our house!)
Zingy Nectarine Maca Smoothie BowlMixed Berry Baked Oatmeal
Maca Nectarine Smoothie Bowl
Beautiful Beet & Ginger Smoothie“Free from lots” Crackers Recipe – Savoury or Sweet
Free From Lots Crackers
Get Into Good Gut Health With Prebiotic Five Seed Bread!
You could also sub any of the seeds in this prebiotic 5-seed bread, with hemp seeds.
Chocolate Hemp Protein Brownies
Healthy Five Seed BreadHemp Protein Brownies


How to Take Care of You During Winter

How to Take Care of You During Winter

Chalimah Jeanne | June 11, 2020

 

During the shorter, cooler days of winter, you may find it more difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, experience reduced energy, a tendency to gain weight and an increased susceptibility to colds. In Ayurveda, winter is the season of Vata, representing cold, dry and wind, and Kapha which is heavy and wet. To remain in good health during these months, Ayurveda offers methods to counter these tendencies so that winter becomes a time to build strength, vigour and stability for body and mind. 

1. Get more sleep

In an ideal world, we would go into semi-hibernation during winter. We would spend more time resting, building our strength and contemplating life so we’re ready to burst into spring full of energy. Sadly, the modern world slows down for no one. Aiming to get an extra hour of sleep, preferably waking at around 7 am, suits our natural rhythm during winter. Alternatively, an afternoon nap or an earlier bedtime is ideal. This will give your body the chance to go into restoration mode, allowing it to repair and recharge, and you will wake with a clear, alert mind.

2. Morning routines are important

Carrying out these 3 simple activities each morning will make an enormous difference to the quality of your day. Each is designed to release tension and anxiety, soothing the mind and setting you up to face the day with calmness and creativity. 

  • Performing Abhyanga, a form of self-massage using a warming body oil like our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil, is a wonderfully soothing and nurturing process. If time is short, performing a simple foot massage is almost as beneficial. 

  • Follow with some morning exercise: yoga, an invigorating walk in the fresh air, or an exercise you enjoy that suits your body and level of fitness. Taking deep, slow breaths and raising your heart rate will stimulate the release of natural endorphins and immediately raise your spirits. 

  • Follow with a short meditation. Meditating will allow you to connect with your inner self and will ground you throughout the day. It will leave your mind clear of stress, raise your vibration and draw positivity into every interaction.

3. Eat a healthy, warming breakfast

…and make all your meals nourishing and satisfying. Winter is the time to indulge in warm spicy foods that satisfy and stimulate the senses. Go for soups and stews, favour cooked vegetables over raw, eat fruits that are in season, and stay away from sugar. 

4. Dress in natural fibres

…and wear layers to ensure you remain comfortable if you spend time in air-conditioned spaces. If possible, spend your day in a well-ventilated area to reduce the risk of exposure to viruses, but protect yourself from cold winds and rain.

5. Stay hydrated on the inside

Sip room temperature or warm water throughout the day, together with warming herbal teas – ginger tea is particularly beneficial during winter.

6. Stay hydrated on the outside

Cold air holds less moisture, so your skin will tend to dehydrate over winter. Spending time in artificially heated buildings will aggravate this, as will taking long hot showers. The remedy is to switch to a moisturiser with a higher level of barrier protection.

Oily and combination skins may need to switch from our Elderberry & Chia Seed Beauty Serum to Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum (for normal/dry skin) during the winter months. 

Normal and dry skins may need to move from our Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum to one of our face creams: Light Face Cream, Pure Face & Body Cream, or Rich Face Cream, which offers the highest level of barrier protection.

 If you already use one of our face creams and you feel the need to step it up further, you can layer the Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum under your face cream for an extra protective boost.

Whatever your skin type, remember to keep your lip balm handy at all times. Our Coconut & Blackcurrant Lip Balm offers the perfect solution to dry, cracked lips, with both moisturising and protective properties that will keep them in perfect condition. 

7. Bedtime rituals

A calming nighttime routine will help you enjoy a wonderfully restorative sleep, which will keep your immune system healthy and keep your mind fresh and alert. Aim to be in bed by around 10 pm and eat at least 3 hours before bedtime. It’s best to stay away from alcohol and caffeine to give your nervous system time to wind down. Also, stay away from screens for an hour or so before bed. Instead read, write or listen to music while sipping a calming herbal tea like chamomile or lemon balm. Take a warm relaxing bath or a shower to relax the body and wash away the tensions of the day, and follow with a light massage with our Sesame & Frankincense Body Oil. Make your bed inviting and comfortable and make sure your room has some airflow by keeping the window just a little open.  

If you have trouble drifting off, try performing Yoga Nidra, a beautiful meditation where you relax each part of the body in sequence. You can find guided meditations for Yoga Nidra on the internet.

Now, relax and sleep…

 

10 Warm and Hot Meals to Pack for School Lunches

10 Warm and Hot Meals to Pack for School Lunches

Brenda Janschek | June 8, 2020

 

The hot lunch is an easy-as-pie lunch option because all you do is make extras for dinner and then pack for lunch the next day!

A hot lunch on a wintery day is like a big warm, welcome hug for our kids when they need some comfort from the cold. 

I’m often asked how to keep the food hot until lunchtime.

Well, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Boil the kettle and then pour the water into the thermoses, be sure to pop the lids on
  2. Heat up the food
  3. Pour out the hot water add the warmed up food into the container,  then pop the lid on immediately.

Want some extra insurance that the thermoses will stay hot? Make ’em Cheeki food jars! They’re double-walled and vacuum insulated, these high-performance food jars are versatile, leak proof and they keep contents hot for up to 8 hours!

10 WARM AND HOT LUNCH RECIPES

SOUP – Serve the kids their favourite soup and some bread for dipping. Find my super easy Pumpkin and Root Vegetable Soup Cheeki food jars.

Or Spinach Lentil and Lemon Soup here.

CHICKEN NUGGETS – The morning of packing kids lunches, put some nuggets in the oven, pop into a thermos and send to school with a little tub of tomato sauce. Here’s the recipe.

PORRIDGE – Porridge is comfort food to the max, especially in the winter time. Oats are rich in the B-complex vitamins which help convert our food into fuel, keeping our bodies energised throughout the day and help us have great hair and skin. Just stir through some fruit like stewed apples. blueberries or strawberries. Find my recipe for oat porridge here.

Or Spiced Quinoa Porridge here.

CASSEROLE – Filled with chunky meat and vegetables, you guys have written to tell me how much you love my Easy Chicken and Vegetable Casserole. Here’s the recipe

CRUMBLE – Warm up some leftover Pear and Ginger Crumble in the oven and pop into thermoses for a cosy and warming  recess or lunch. Find the recipe here. 

BAKES– Simply heat up some of this Creamy Cauliflower and Bacon Bake with some spelt pasta, pack with a fork  and voila, kids will be begging for more! Grab the recipe here. 

Or this French Baked Lamb with Crispy Potato Topping

RICE – One of our favourite meals, Mjaddra (otherwise known as lentils and rice) derives from Lebanon. This humble dish packs a punch of flavour and can simple mixed together when heated up and just add a side of vegetable stick to munch on. Find the recipe here. 

OTHER HOT MEAL IDEAS WHICH YOU CAN FIND IN MY EASY, WHOLEFOOD LUNCHBOXES RECIPE EBOOK

Curried Lentil and Vegetable Sausage Rolls

Creamy Bacon Pasta Bake

Kale and Cannellini Bean Minestrone

If you’re looking for some sweet as well as savoury recipe inspiration, take a look at my new recipe ebook which is getting rave reviews, Easy Wholefood Lunchboxes.

It’s packed with 40 delicious nut-free, refined sugar free sweet and savoury recipes which have all been kid-tested and approved!

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