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How to Cook Quinoa

How to Cook Quinoa

Laini Oldfield | June 19, 2019

 

Quinoa. Keen-wah. Kee-noa. Kwi-noo

 

However you say it (it’s keen-wah by the way), it’s a fancy word but it doesn’t have a fancy cooking method.

At all.

It’s cooked just – like – rice.

Yep, it’s that easy.

However, you cook rice, cook your quinoa the same way.

Note: 1 cup of uncooked quinoa makes 3 cups of cooked quinoa.

 

How to Cook Quinoa

Directions:

For pre-soaked quinoa:

Go you! 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.

 

So now you know how to cook it. Did you know it’s soooo much better for your health (and the taste of the quinoa) if you rinse and soak it first? Check it out…

Why Rinse Quinoa?

Never rinsed quinoa before? Nothing tricky here. Just place quinoa in a fine strainer and wash with water!

Extra points for rubbing the seeds between your fingers.

You may be tempted to skip this step. Don’t. If you don’t wash away the thin saponin coating on this tiny seed, your quinoa will taste bitter.

 

Why Soak Quinoa?

Not everyone soaks quinoa before cooking, and even I have been known to cook it without soaking when I haven’t planned ahead properly.

But… if you want a comfy tummy and the benefit of allll that nutritional goodness then you might want to!

Because though cooked, it may not be very digestible, and this method may be downright harmful to your gut.

Soaking your nuts, grains, seeds and legumes is essential for proper nutrient absorption and optimal digestion.

It also:

  • Removes bitterness (the saponins)
  • Breaks down phytic acid so nutrients can be absorbed properly
  • Reduces anti-nutrients
    Anti-nutrients are substances designed to protect the plant from being consumed. They do this by causing digestive irritation to the one eating it! Anti-nutrients are in most all plant foods, and without proper preparation to reduce them, they can bind to and inhibit nutrient absorption which interferes in the function of certain organs.

So soak your quinoa people!

How to Soak Quinoa

 

You’ll need: 1 cup Quinoa, 2 cups Water, a pinch of Sea Salt, and 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar.

1. Combine the above in a bowl.

2. Leave overnight (or 12 – 24 hrs)

3. In the morning, add warm water and stir. You’ll see a bunch of foam rise to the top.

4. Tilt the bowl to pour out the water and foam.

5. Add more water, stir and pour out again. Repeat until the water runs clear and there’s no more foam.

You’re removing anti-nutrients and bitterness so don’t skip this part.

Wanna know some mind blowing facts about quinoa and how it can and will absolutely help your health when you eat it? Check out this POST. We’ve added some delish recipes there, too.

Pump Up the Nutrients with this Quinoa Fruit Crumble

Pump Up the Nutrients with this Quinoa Fruit Crumble

Laini Oldfield | June 10, 2019

Our family are fruit crumble l-o-v-e-r-s. Dessert, breakfast, school lunches…. doesn’t matter. With all the goodness in this meal, you don’t need to reserve it for dessert!

You’ll sense the difference between this crumble and the ultra-sweet supermarket versions. And everyone I’ve served this up to says they love it. It’s delicious and they can sense it’s doing their insides some good! Even my super honest nieces and nephews agree 😉

This is a super versatile recipe! A few notes:

  • Use whatever fruit you have on hand
    A great ‘make the day before you go food shopping’ meal, you can use whatever in-season fruit you have left over from the week. I used about 8 small apples, a small tray of rhubarb, a cup or two of frozen berries and a few random strawberries I had sitting in the fridge. Pear and rhubarb go great together FYI.
  • Add whatever ‘boosters’ you have on hand
    I’ve included a few nutritional ‘boosters’ in this recipe because I love to squeeze ’em in at every chance I get! I used hemp seedschia seeds and maca powder here. You can sub them out altogether or swap ’em out for something else. Use your health needs for motivation. For example, if you’re working on your gut – you might like to add a little slippery elm powder and banana flour. Immune system need a boost? Throw in some of nature’s vitamin C powder – camu camu powder!
  • Leave the sugar out or add it in. It’s up to you and your taste buds!
    I often leave the coconut sugar out and just sprinkle a little maple syrup over the top. 
  • The addition of quinoa gives this meal a crazy super nutrition boost, but if you prefer a more crispy, crumbly topping, try subbing it out for oats – still totally nutritious.

Ingredients:

Filling

  • Fruit of your choice (see note above)
  • Juice of 1 x lemon
  • 1 tspn ground ginger (any excuse to add the super healing ginger in – the better!)
  • A drizzle of rice malt syrup (for extra sweetness without the fructose. Use maple syrup / coconut sugar if you don’t have rice malt syrup on hand)
  • A splash of water if needed.
Crumble
To serve
Yoghurt / cream / ice cream of choice.

Directions

1. If you don’t have cooked quinoa on hand, pop that quinoa on the boil now (1 cup quinoa : 2 cups water. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer for about 15 mins or until all the liquid is soaked up. Fluff with a fork).

2. Preheat oven to 180°C. 

3. Chop fruit into pieces around 2cm wide and pop into a fry pan on low-medium heat with the rest of the filling ingredients.

4. Let simmer for a few minutes until partly cooked, but not mushy.

5. While that’s goin’ on, throw together the crumble ingredients and add in the cooked quinoa.

6. Assemble the crumble by layering the fruit (with the juices from the pan – don’t leave that behind!) on the bottom of a large baking dish, and pop the crumble mixture on top.

7. Cook for 15 mins, or until you feel the top is cooked / browned / crispy enough.

 

Enjoy that bowl of delicious real food goodness!

Cold Killer Elixir

Cold Killer Elixir

Jordan Oldfield | June 3, 2019

THIS awesomeness is what we have affectionately dubbed the “Cold Killer” in our house.

It’s Jordan’s creation that’s getting quite a name for itself! Friends and family come running for it when they’re sick.

It’s not for the faint hearted, and it’ll stop any colds and flu’s in their tracks!

(You can down play it by watering it down, adding more honey and less cayenne pepper).

Ingredients:
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger 
1 tbsp grated fresh turmeric (or turmeric paste)
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to activate the turmeric)
500ml Water

 

Method:
Add all ingredients to water, heat to desired drinking temp.
Easy Vegetarian Curry

Easy Vegetarian Curry

Katherine McCoy | June 3, 2019

Ingredients:

2 tbsp ghee (or coconut or olive oil)
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2cm piece ginger, grated
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp tomato paste (or a large tin of crushed tomatoes)
3 cups vegetable stock
400ml tin coconut milk
6-8 cups chopped vegetables – eg cauliflower, sweet potato, eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini
3/4 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
1 ½ cups frozen peas (you can also use lots of spinach instead to give it a fresh green boost at the end)

 

Method:

  1. Add ghee to large deep saucepan/stockpot and heat to medium. Add onion and cook for a few minutes to soften. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a further two minutes.
  2. Add spices and fry for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add tomato paste and fry another minute, stirring.
  4. Add stock, lentils, coconut milk and vegetables (except peas).
  5. Simmer over a low-medium heat until vegetables have softened. The longer you can leave it, the more flavour will develop. I like to cook it for at least an hour, but it’s a fairly hands-free hour – just an occasional stir and check.
  6. Stir through peas 5-10 minutes before serving.
  7. Serve with basmati rice, cauliflower rice, naan or chapatti bread, yoghurt, pickles/chutneys, pappadums – whatever your favourite curry accompaniments.

 

Note from Laini: 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! 

Powerhouse Protein Pikelets

Powerhouse Protein Pikelets

Laini Oldfield | April 28, 2019

Want a vegan option? Click here.

Looking for a quick, no fuss way to add a hit of protein to the school lunches?

Bel Smith of The Root Cause (Australia’s lunch box guru) says protein is so often missing in kids lunches, and it’s sooo critical to optimal firing of our kid’s brains throughout the school learning day.

So, I created this recipe to help our family with that.

These little pikelets are sweeeet, so all the kids like them – even without any toppings (which makes them great for on-the-go).

And with the sweetness all coming from whole sources – bananas and medjool dates, the little guys are getting all the fibre and good stuff that comes with it.

And the protein? Well….

Did you know that hemp seeds are super high in protein? About 30% protein actually. That’s about the same per volume as chicken!

Just 2 tbsp of hemp seeds = about 8.76g of protein. Amazing.

And they’re one of the most nutritious foods on the planet!

Rich in healthy fats, the perfect balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, and they’re a great source of vitamin E and minerals.

If that wasn’t enough, they’re considered a complete protein source, which means they provide all the essential amino acids we need to survive. So, if you’re ever stuck somewhere with only one food, this would be a pretty great one to have!

Combine that with the eggs, which Naturopath Jessica Donovan says are nature’s superfood, and you have a powerhouse pikelet! (Side note: She says never to remove the egg yolks for kids. They have fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E that are essential for healthy children).

To top it all off, being a ‘throw it all in the blender’ kind of pikelet, it’s easy as pie!

Well, it’s actually easier than pie.

Let me know how you go with them!

Ingredients:

1 banana
1/4 cup oats (or omit and replace with equivalent in hemp seeds – it’ll be a little stronger in taste though)
3 eggs
Deodorised coconut oil for frying (it’s safer for cooking with heat than virgin coconut oil)

 

Method:
1. Chuck all ingredients in the blender
2. Blend

3. Pour straight into fry pan (medium heat only) in small pikelet sizes. Bigger pancakes will be impossible to flip!
4. Flip carefully when it’s browned.

Enjoy!

Almost Raw Cookie Dough Balls

Almost Raw Cookie Dough Balls

Angela | August 6, 2018

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Oats, Banana, Coconut and Chocolate Chips make these almost raw (no-cook) cookie dough balls a sweet but healthy treat. Vegan and Gluten-Free.
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Serves: 12 balls
.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, add the oats, and pulse for 20 seconds in order to break the oats down slightly.
    .
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT the chocolate chips) and pulse until fully combined.
    .
  3. Stir-in the chocolate chips.
    .
  4. If the dough is too soft/sticky, refrigerate for 10 minutes to harden it slightly, then roll into 12 balls and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    .
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Recipe Credit: Angela @ Vegangela.com

 

Ree.

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