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Smash a Cup of Greens in a Drink Before School!

Smash a Cup of Greens in a Drink Before School!

Belinda Smith | April 23, 2019

 

In Australia only 5 out of every 100 kids are eating the recommended 5 serves of vegetables a day. Rather than try to get all 5 serves on our dinner plates, I’ve made it a way of life to get some vegetables into our kids day before school, then in their lunchbox so that we’ve already smashed a few of the day’s servings. A green smoothie is a great way to boost the veggie intake.

I tend to give my kids a green smoothie every day before school. It’s a great way of filling them up and getting some extra veg into them before school.

So our mornings look like this:

They have their first breakfast at around 6.45am (this is usually one of these – overnight oats, eggs, sourdough with homemade baked beans, banana pancakes, homemade banana bread with yoghurt etc).
Then about 7.30am, they have a green smoothie. This One Cup of Greens In A Drink Before School is their current favourite.

You can’t even taste the greens in this because of the fruit, yoghurt and milk. This Green Smoothie means the kids have essentially had a piece of fruit before going to school too, I only need to pack one piece of fruit in their lunchbox to ensure they are getting their 2 serves of fruit a day.

 

Ingredients

1 orange
1 banana (or green apple)
2 handfuls of baby spinach
½   avocado (optional – if they are too expensive, I just skip this)
½  cup coconut flakes
2 tbsp natural greek yoghurt
1 and ½ cups of coconut water/milk or milk of your choice
4-6 cubes of ice


Method

 

1. Throw everything in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.

 

Another 2 ways


1. Freeze the green smoothie in reusable pouches – it’s great to take them to school or to have in the afternoon
2. Add some mint to the mix before blending, then top with some cacao nibs for a great choc mint green smoothie – yum!

 

Find more healthy, wholefood, kid-friendly recipes on Bel’s website, The Root Cause.

Share your smoothie routine with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Can Dried Fruit Actually Be Healthy?

Can Dried Fruit Actually Be Healthy?

FoodMatters | April 15, 2019

This is the sweet question on everyone’s lips. If you are a follower of the “I Quit Sugar” team, then you may have heard the “no dried fruit can sit with us” line being thrown around. And they make a good point. Dried fruit is really high in fruit sugars, known as fructose, which can only be metabolized at a certain rate. Otherwise, it is stored as fat.

However, when it comes to the fructose debate, we thought we would look a little further in order to give you a more comprehensive discussion on how to “let dried fruit sit with you”.

Dried fruit is any particular fresh fruit that has had the water removed either naturally, through sun drying, or by using a dehydrator. This concentrates the sugar content, giving dried fruit its trademark sweet flavor.

Energy Density

As healthy and nutritious as a piece of fruit is, once dried, it becomes more energy dense. It is also very easy to eat dried fruit in large amounts – resulting in excess sugar and calorie intake.

How many pieces of whole fruit would you normally eat? Now think of its dried version. Taking apricots as an example, a cup of fresh apricots will become approximately 1/4 cup, once dried. The sweet flavors make it very hard to stop at one or two pieces. However, don’t be scared off by dried fruit. If you are not trying to lose weight or are looking for a healthy option to sugar, look no further.

Dried fruit is very rich in nutrition and is also full of fiber. This means the sugars are not absorbed as fast as refined sugars, making dried fruit a great substitute in clean cooking recipes. We can’t forget that our super foods such as goji berries, inca berries and wild blueberries are all coming to us in the dried-fruit form.

Now let’s look at dates. Yes, they are high in fructose, but they are not solely fructose sugars. They are also not refined fructose like you find in sodas, high-fructose corn syrup and elsewhere.

We understand the liver can only metabolize so much fructose at a time, and the rest will then be stored as fat. However making smart portion sizes with your dried fruit is all you need to be considering.

A Perfect Snack

Dried fruit is the perfect snack for the kiddies. The key is to not give them a whole cup full at a time. Instead, portion dried fruit in a sensible size, mixing them with some nuts and seeds to also give some protein and fats. This will help prevent the liver from being overloaded with too much fructose. You might even find that if you mix them up, they won’t even eat the whole serving.

Nutrition Time

Let us look at some of the nutrition found in our favorite dried fruits.

Dates a rich source of dietary fiber, helping to reduce LDL cholesterols. Dates are also a good source of iron, manganese and vitamin B6.

Figs rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.

Apricots contains almost half your daily intake of vitamin A and is a rich source of iron. Always opt for brown or black organic apricots, as the orange colour is due to a sulphate-based preservatives.

Sultanas a good source of potassium and manganese, they are the perfect snack. Go for oil-free & organic.

Mangoes contain a powerful punch of vitamin A and C, both important for immunity.

Eaten with awareness, and not thrown down like a bag of potato chips, dried fruits are a nutritious, healthy, sweet snack-on-the-go. They can also provide a great replacement for refined sugars in homemade desserts recipes.

We would love to hear your thoughts on dried fruits. How do you control or limit your dried fruit intake, and which recipes you like to use dried fruit in?

Blend Up a Hot (Frozen!) Cross Bun Smoothie This Easter

Blend Up a Hot (Frozen!) Cross Bun Smoothie This Easter

Kate Parker | April 14, 2019

 

This smoothie is a SUPER delicious way to enjoy all the flavours of hot cross buns in a healthy, nourishing way that will cool you right down! We whipped up some hot (frozen) cross smoothies using our fantastic selection of oil & sulphur free dried fruits and spices. This smoothie will keep little legs powering all Easter long weekend.

 

Ingredients

1 frozen banana
1 cup of almond milk
1 medjool date
1 small handful of mixed raisins and sultanas
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of cardamom
A pinch of ginger powder
A pinch of Himalayan salt
Extra cinnamon powder

Method

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth except the extra cinnamon.

2. Create 2 paper strips to make your cross and then sprinkle with cinnamon!

 

Check out Kate’s website, Hobart Green Guide to find the best vegan and eco parts of Southern Tasmania and some great vegan recipes.

What treats are you enjoying this easter? Share them with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Super Seedy Wholemeal Wholefoods Multigrain Bread

Super Seedy Wholemeal Wholefoods Multigrain Bread

The Wholefood Collective | April 9, 2019

 

Hi, I’m Kellie. I’m a wife, midwife and mum to 4 beautiful rapidly growing boys. I’ve always loved to cook and entertain and feed my friends and family. My husband jokes that no one leaves our house hungry, ever.

My food journey changed dramatically when my second child was 6 weeks old. At this point, my settled, beautiful baby started to scream and not sleep, at all. It turns out he was basically allergic to the universe. His reactions ranged from anaphylaxis to intolerances, to foods, food chemicals, additives, colourings, preservatives, and on and on.

Until he was 18 months old there were only about 8 foods he could tolerate and that I could eat while breastfeeding. My learning curve with food started a massive turnaround to all our lives. I have no formal training but lots of life experience at creating and adapting recipes that he and I could eat.

Wholegrain BreadThankfully now he has grown out of most of his allergies and has undergone desensitisation for his most serious allergies at the Royal Children’s Hospital, to which he is slowly responding.

Somewhere along the line, I must have done something right because, in complete contrast to most kids with allergies, he loves food. He is adventurous in trying new things, never passing up a chance to try something new.

Now, thankfully, I can mostly just play around with food to create healthier options for my family. To make food that fills them, fuels them, and fits into our ever-tight budget.

This bread is so full of goodness, everyone in our family loves it. It freezes fantastically and is great for school lunches, toasted and salad sandwiches. It is real bread, to me, it’s how bread should be.

 

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup warm water
40g honey
10g yeast
170g wholemeal flour
100g rye flour
2 tsp salt
170g wheat flour (organic if you have it)
50g rolled oats
35g flaxseeds
25g sunflower seeds
30 g pepitas
30g melted butter

 

Method

Multigrain Bread Process1. 1 ¼ cup warm water, 43g honey, 10g yeast
Combine in a large bowl to activate yeast while measuring other ingredients.
(I do it in the Kenwood with dough hook). Set aside (preferably in a warm spot) for 3-5 min should go bubbly….

2. Weigh out: 170g wholemeal flour, 100g rye flour, 2 tsp salt
Then add to activated yeast. Mix together

3. Weigh out: 50g oats, 35g flaxseeds, 25g sunflower seeds, 30g pepitas, 28g butter, melted, cooled slightly
Add to other ingredients in  mixing bowl and mix

4. Weigh out 170g wheat flour.
Add gradually until dough comes together into a ball, not sticking to the sides.
This is the tricky part in bread making, all flours absorb water slightly differently, just gradually add extra flour/water until the dough comes together in a nice smooth ball. Temperature and humidity can also affect the absorption, so just trust yourself, if it needs more add more….

Multigrain Bread Process 25. Knead in mixer 3-4 min. Remove from bowl and shape into a ball.

6. Oil the mixing bowl lightly, then place back in. Score top, cover and leave to rise.

7. When the mixture has doubled in size, knock down, shape, place in a loaf pan to rise again.

8. When it has risen above the edge of the pan bake in a preheated oven (200*C) for 25 min.

 

Notes
I always double this mixture to make two loaves at a time and freeze some for toast and later in the week.

While the recipe looks complicated, it’s pretty forgiving and most of the time it’s ignored in the corner while rising.

My 3 yr old loves to “help” measuring out, get your little ones in the kitchen, too!

 

Thanks to our community member, Kellie, for this fantastic recipe.

Share your wholefoods recipe with us on Instagram with #myTWC

 

Bringing Up Baby, the Plant-Based Way

Bringing Up Baby, the Plant-Based Way

Megan Garner | April 4, 2019

When my daughter, Airlie, turned 6 months old and it was time to introduce solid foods I found myself overwhelmed by how much conflicting nutrition information was out there and that there was nothing specifically available for vegan/plant-based diets.

I wanted to know what foods to feed her and how much, I was worried that she may not have been getting enough of what she needed to thrive.

Fortunately, I was studying nutritional medicine at the time, I spent hours researching. Trawling through books, textbooks and online resources to find the information I needed. It was also extemely important to me that the information was evidence-based.

All these countless hours spent developing a comprehensive understanding of how to nourish my bub got me to thinking that there must be countless other mums out there doing the same, but without the nutritional education that I was fortunate enough to have. It was this that led to the idea to write my book Babies and Toddlers Plant Based Nutrition’ so that other parents can build the confidence to raise a plant based child who can thrive. This eBook is the only nutrition guide you will need for your child, I’ve done all the hard work for you.

Babies and Toddlers includes evidence based information that is supported by research and includes 25 references.

In Babies and Toddlers you will learn:

  • When to introduce solids to your child and which foods are safe.
  • Introduction to Baby Led Weaning (BLW).
  • Key nutrients for babies and toddlers, including Australian RDI’s and plant based sources. 
  • Plant based food guide for 1-3 year olds.
  • Essential vitamins and minerals for babies and toddlers to avoid deficiencies and implications throughout life.
  • Over 20 of my daughters favourite plant based recipes. 
  • Plus much, much more!

Excerpt from Babies and Toddlers

Food for Babies

Iron and zinc are two minerals needed from solids from about 6 months onwards but this varies between babies. Because we don’t know which babies are in most need, we usually aim to start giving all babies solids containing these minerals from this age (“Breastfeeding”, 2018).

Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids DHA and ARA are particularly important for infants and young children. They are critical for neurological and visual development.

Protein is required for growth, development, illness and repair.

A breastfed baby can obtain B12 and Iodine from breastmilk, it is important that the mother is obtaining enough of these nutrients (Davis & Melina, 2014).

References:

Breastfeeding. (2018). World Health Organization. Retrieved 23 April 2018, from http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

Davis, B., & Melina, V. (2014). Becoming vegan. Summertown, Tenn.: Book Publishing.

Purchase ‘Babies and Toddlers Plant-Based Nutrition’ online now!

Great Sources of Calcium (When You Can’t Have Dairy)

Great Sources of Calcium (When You Can’t Have Dairy)

Sharon Selby | March 21, 2019

 

Thanks to the overzealous marketing from the dairy industry, we’ve been conditioned to think that the only sources of quality calcium, come from cows milk in the form of butter, cheese, yoghurt and milk. It’s true that we need calcium for bone and dental health, but also for muscle development, healthy blood pressure and healthy skin.

However, many suggest that calcium from dairy (cows milk) is not the most easily absorbed and can be quite inflammatory to the body. Cows milk protein is also the number one allergen amongst children and it’s suggested that 6 out 10 people have some form of reaction to it. It makes you wonder then if there really is a biological need for us to consume dairy in such high doses, or even at all?

Turns out there are many other sources that are just as high (or higher) in absorbable calcium than dairy products (and without the negative side effects). Not only that, for our bodies to absorb calcium we need good levels of vitamin D and magnesium. The body uses magnesium to convert vitamin D into its active form so that it can be used in calcium absorption. And that’s not done so well with dairy.

Better options come from natural food sources of calcium (like fatty fish with bones in) and are good sources of Vitamin D, which makes the calcium in these foods more absorbable. So non-dairy food sources of calcium can often be healthier as they’re also sources of other vitamins and minerals which allow the body to absorb calcium more effectively and put it to good use.



Calcium Food Sources

While dairy is the most common food source of calcium, it’s by no means the only food source or even the healthiest. There are many nutritious and dairy-free foods that are an excellent source of calcium. Here are some great options that are budget friendly and with these tips really easy to add in the diet for you and your children.

 

Bone Broth

Bone broth is an excellent source of calcium and our immune systems love it (double whammy!). A stack of minerals get leached from the bones, and these minerals include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, all really easily absorbed. The great news, if you’ve never cooked it, is that it’s so easy to make at home. Literally you just need two ingredients: 1) filtered water and 2) leftover chicken bones. Boil them up for anywhere between 8 – 24 hours in a large simmering pot or slow cooker and you’re sorted. Use this broth daily in stews, casseroles, spaghetti bolognaise, gravy, sautéing vegetables and as an absorption liquid for rice and quinoa. Basically, wherever water is required in a savoury dish use broth…it’s healthier and makes dishes so much tastier. Make a large batch and store in small containers in the fridge and freezer.

 

Fish with Bones

SardinesFish with bones are an excellent source of calcium. An easy and inexpensive way to consume fish with bones is in the form of canned fish like salmon (with bones) and sardines (with bones). The bones become soft during the canning process so they can be easily chewed and consumed with the fish. Since these foods are also a good source of Vitamin D, they enhance digestion of the calcium and make it more usable. I get my boys to eat sardines by grilling them in a bit of olive oil so they become a bit crunchy and they taste great with eggs or as a spread on sourdough toast with avocado. Also, use wild tinned salmon in homemade fish burgers.


Dark Leafy Greens

Kale Dark Leafy GreensDark leafy greens are another great dietary source of calcium, though some are better than others. Collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, kale and broccoli are all ranked really well for being absorbable sources of calcium while spinach and seaweed ranked low on the list. Dark leafy greens are also great sources of folate, Vitamins A, C, E and K and B-vitamins.  My boys will have dark leafy greens in morning smoothies and bok choy in stir-frys. I also sneak these dark green leaves in my spaghetti bolognaise sauce and blitz them along with a ton of other vegetables.

 

Seeds

Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are all good sources of calcium. In addition to their calcium content, these tiny seeds are also a good source of antioxidant-rich vitamin E and copper—a nutrient that supports white blood cell health.  Enjoy on top of porridge, in homemade muesli bars (here’s are some great recipes), in smoothies and on top of salads and as snacks.

Dried Figs

FigsThis is a surprising one, but dried figs are up there when it comes to calcium content. They’re an excellent source of dietary calcium. Dried figs are available year-round, and make great additions to baking, trail mixes, and plain snacks! When I found this out I replaced my children’s raisins with chopped up figs. Don’t go overboard…these are still very high in sugar but a great and generally fuss-free option to add calcium in the diet.

 

Other Foods

Other sources of calcium are oysters, seafood, broccoli, oranges, sweet potato and pumpkin, blackstrap molasses, almonds, tofu and edamame and seaweed. Check out the recipes on this website for inspiration. All the recipes are dairy free.

So the long and the short of it is this – calcium from dairy is actually not as bioavailable to our bodies as in some other food sources. And by choosing alternatives you may also be increasing your intake of other valuable vitamins and minerals.

 

Find more delicious, nutritious recipes, healthy eating articles, courses and classes on Sharon’s website, Deliciously Allergy Free.

Share your favourite dairy-free treats with us on Instagram with #myTWC.

 

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