Spring Cleaning Mega Blog 2

We're mid-way through September, and I've compiled another mega blog from the week that was. Full of tips, tricks and did you knows. Read on to discover more:

Buckwheat - What do I do with it?

Did You Know? Buckwheat is high in protein and can be cooked like rice, turned into porridge, ground into flour or sorted sprouted for salad sprinkles? This versatile fruit seed is an awesome alternative to wheat flour in cooking. Have you tried buckwheat? Tell me about your favourite recipes! Grab your bulk buckwheat from your local bulk food store...

The Kitchen Coach's Gluten Free Nutritious Loaf

Spring gluten free homemade bread that WORKS. I've spent years perfecting this recipe so it works, tastes good and is easy to make! All it takes is making your own bread pre-mix, water, olive oil, eggs (or flax eggs for #vegan) and apple cider vinegar. Ready to bake in 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

SINGLE LOAF

• 1 Cup Almond meal

• ¾ Cup Tapioca flour

• 1 Cup Buckwheat flour, Rice flour, Sorghum flour or combination of any of them

• ⅔ Cup Flax seeds (pre-ground into meal)

• 1 tsp Slippery Elm powder

• 1 tsp Baking soda

• 1 tsp Salt

• 1 Cup Water

• 4 Tbsp Olive Oil

• 1 ½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

• 3 Eggs (Flax Eggs work too!)

 

PRE-MIX (4 Loaves of Dry Mix)

• 400g Almond meal

• 400g Tapioca flour

• 550g Buckwheat flour, Rice flour, Sorghum flour or combination of any of them

• 400g Flax seeds (pre-ground into meal)

• 1 Tbsp Slippery Elm powder

• 5 tsp Baking soda

• 4 tsp Salt

To make one loaf from the pre mix use 460g of premix + • 1 Cup Water • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil • 1 ½ Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar • 3 Eggs (Flax Eggs work too!)

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and take out as many loaf pans as you will need.
2. Whisk up all 4 wet ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients well, OR use 460g of pre-mix per loaf.
4. The bubbles will begin to be created as soon as you combine the wet ingredients with the dry so stir them together ONLY until the last little bit of flour has been moistened into the wet. Mixing any longer can result in a denser, heavier bread.
5. Transfer immediately into a loaf pan and bake covered for approximately 35minutes. Remove the lid/ cover and continue to bake for another 8-12 minutes or until only slightly browned on top and firm to the touch in the middle.
6. Let this bread sit before cutting into it for at least 20min. out of the oven just in case the middle has not fully finished setting.
7. This bread slices well and freezes well pre-sliced. It tastes amazing fresh out of the oven and delicious still once cool, a personal preference is warmed/ toasted in the toaster first.
8. It is very high in protein and fibre and should assist healthy bowel movements due to the addition of flax and slippery elm - unlike conventional breads which can have the opposite effect.
9. Feel free to experiment by adding other nut or seed meals, starting at about 1/3 Cup at a time instead of either almond meal or GF flour.

Propane Gas in Your Oil???

Would you like a little toxic propane with your "healthy" olive oil? This spray oil contains the propellant propane, the same thing that fuels your BBQ! Hydrocarbons are a good fuel for your car, but it is not FOOD. My pantry detox tip today - throw away your oil sprays and replace them with high quality cold pressed organic oils! It's just as easy to pour as it is to spray, and a whole lot healthier!

Switch Sugars

Detox Your Pantry Tip: Switch Sugars! What type of sweeteners do you have in your pantry? Ask the question, how close to nature is this sweetener to nature? What processes has it gone through to be in its current form? Take the time today to switch out the refined (most cane sugar is over refined far from its original form as rapadura) and fake (yep, Equal is made from aspartame, acesulfame potassium, dextrose and maltodextrin plus other culprits pretending to be good for you, Splenda for example - 100% AVOID these 😵). Replace with real whole food sweeteners, like medjool dates, honey 🍯, coconut sugar or organic maple syrup - these are refined concentrated sweeteners, but far more nutritious for you. Extra tip - reduce your sugar intake, eat whole fruit 🍎🍍🍓 to satisfy the sugar cravings, make your own healthy chocolate to avoid the sugar laden baddies 🍫🍬 that lurk in the supermarket. Once you wind back the refined sugar your taste buds will adjust and make even broccoli seem sweet! Seriously!! Every piece of whole contains exactly what our body needs, to add sweetener or other flavour enhancers deny us the real beauty of food...

Spring Cleaning Mega Blog

This week I've been giving tips, guides and recipes to get your spring pantry detox well and truly underway. Some of you may have missed what was shared, so I've put them all in one easy to consume spot for you to review :)

You Are What You Eat

You are what you eat – so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake!

I love this saying! How many items are currently hiding in your pantry that you bought:

- in a rush because you were hungry (fast);
- because it was on sale or a total bargain (cheap);
- as ‘convenience’ food to save you time (easy);
- with ingredients containing numbers and additives (fake)?

We have all been there! If your pantry hasn’t experienced a detox and de-clutter in the last year then just start with one shelf at a time.

Out with the old and in with the fresh

Out with the old, in with the fresh!

Fresher tastes better, it’s as simple as that. Many flavour compounds are volatile and degrade over time. How many spice jars in your pantry are currently out of date? In pantries that we detox, we often find jars that are a whole year out of date; the oldest one yet was 6 years past!

It’s no wonder we begin to lean on packaged sauces, condiments and stock powders to create flavour. Smelling and digging into a super fresh lot of my favourite herb (coriander), freshly ground almond butter, or organic Turkish apricots send me happily batty! If this is an unknown experience to you, dive in and discover what you have been missing out on. The flavour blending skills can come after with play or a bit of training.

Better out than in!

Better out than in.

Colloquially, this is used in reference to flatulence or belching. Strangely enough, most of the foods I find regularly in pantries are very low in naturally-occurring fibre. Without enough soluble and insoluble fibre in our diets, we can get constipated, and no person can remain as healthy as a button if chronically constipated (2-3 bowel movements per day is ideal).

Those processed foods are better out of the pantry and house; replace them with fibre-rich wholefoods such as linseeds, chia seeds, wholegrains and legumes etc. Your insides will thank you.

Monkey see Monkey do

Monkey see, monkey do.

Your children are watching and learning from you whether you know it or not.

Are they currently learning a definition of “normal” eating that you desire them to have for life? Will it keep them healthy and happy into their old age or is what you stock in your pantry currently decided upon by other factors like them begging you for certain items, sugar addiction, or past habits?

Even if their current behaviours are trying enough that you give in, they can be improved in surprisingly short periods of time. What would you wish your children to have in their normal diet when they become adults and how can you start exposing them to those foods now so they become the new definition of “normal”.

Waste not want not

Waste not, want not.

Is there more waste in an average Australian pantry of largely processed foods or a wholefoods pantry of bulk goods?

Think about the packaging, the marketing that went with that packaging, and how many stale packages of forgotten-about ‘foods’ get thrown out because they got buried in disorganization. More importantly still, if we were to measure dollar-spent-per-nutrient-value, do you think we would be wasting more dollars on all the processed foods or on all the nutritious bulk goods such as oats, sultanas, quinoa, tahini, and nut mixes etc?

The lower the nutritive value of a food, the more food our body tells us to eat because it is still technically starved of the building blocks it requires.

These may be the top 5 reasons to improve the state of your pantry but there are many more. It is one of those experiences where you won’t be able to fully understand the many layers of positive side effects until you actually do it in your own pantry, whether on your own or with the help of the pros. I will also be sharing my inside secrets for a better pantry on a webinar in late September. Register here - www.tinyurl.com/pantrysecrets - Happy detoxing!

nut butter

Healthier Choices

How many times have you got caught thinking you were making the healthier choice, only to find that it wasn’t quite what you expected?

Lets take the average nut butter for example. One that comes to mind is called “Cashew Spread” (not shown for protection reasons) and comes in a very simple, earthy-toned tub. Further inspection reveals that the first ingredient is vegetable oil, then maltodextrin (a partially hydrolysed starch from either wheat or corn, said to contain MSG), cashews, milk solids, sugar, 2 emulsifiers, salt and other tree nuts. Guess what percentage of cashews this Cashew spread contains? Only 25%.

In order to detox your pantry, we need to know what options we have for substitutions. Some of the best substitutions are skills! But until we gain new skills, we must either develop the automatic habit of reading labels meticulously before purchasing – OR choose to stock our pantries with foods that don’t require an ingredient label because they are comprised of the single ingredient you are buying (ie. Whole raw cashews to make your own butter at home, or freshly pressed butter from nuts, and only nuts, in your local The Source Bulk Foods store).

DID YOU KNOW that a spoonful of nut butter either straight, or on a big piece of celery, will carry you through that 3pm energy lull better than any other form of stimulant such as coffee or sugar?! It is easy to keep a container of it in your bag, desk, or office just for those occasions too!

Old Pantry

How is your Pantry?

Not too many decades past, before the fridge, the pantry or “larder” was an entire room where meat was stored dry or in lard (hence the name), as well as dairy, preserves, wine, and vegetables. Today’s pantries range from virtually non-existent to an average size approx. 1/10th of a traditional larder.

The returning trend of most recent times resembles a traditional larder, being a “Butler’s Pantry” or a Walk-in pantry.

The key thing to remember about whichever space you have is that it is what’s inside that really counts. You can make it beautiful AND functional with well-sealing glass jars, a pinch of structure (such as baskets or larger containers), and a dash of order (such as labels or designated places for things).

As far as history goes, let’s make sure we are writing the history well now that we wish our children to live later.

Tahini Lentils

Ingredients:
🔶 2 C Dried Lentils, soaked overnight **
🔷 1 Lg. Onion, brown, yellow or red
🔶 2 Tbsp Ghee **
🔷 2 tsp Cumin **
🔶 2 tsp Celtic salt **
🔷¼ C Fresh coriander stems, chopped
🔶 6 Tomatoes or 1 tin diced tomatoes
🔷 ½ Capsicum, sliced thinly
🔶 2 Cloves Garlic
🔷 ½ C Tahini, unhulled is stronger in flavour
than hulled **
🔶 ⅓ C Coconut cream, thickest part
🔷 2 Tbsp Olive Oil **

To serve it as a main, garnish with:
🔶 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
🔷 4 Eggs, boiled and sliced
🔶 2-3 C Green beans, blanched
🔷 Fresh coriander
🔶 Salt & Pepper **

** Grab these from your local The Source Bulk Foods!

Instructions:
1. Cook the lentils in plenty of water by bringing to a
boil and then lowering the heat to simmer for approximately
30 minutes. Once fully cooked, drain and set
aside.
2. In a large pan, sauté the chopped onion in ghee.
Once softened, add the cumin, salt, coriander stems
and tomatoes. Continue to cook on med heat for 3
min.
3. Add in the capsicum, crushed garlic, tahini, coconut
cream, olive oil and all the lentils. Heat through with
the lid on. Mash down the lentils enough to thicken
up the mixture. This may simmer or be served immediately.
4. If serving as a main, you may blanch the green
beans over the pot of water that is boiling the eggs.
The beans only require approximately 5 minutes in
steam. Hard boiled eggs take exactly 10minutes if
put into already-boiling water.
5. Drizzle the lemon over, sprinkle on the fresh coriander
and give a generous cracking of S&P. Serve the
hard boiled egg halves and green beans on top.
6. Goes well with a fresh green salad and flat bread.

Note & Tips:
−− Get creative with other forms of lentils, mung beans, chickpeas, or various dahls.
−− You can add all sorts of different vegetables to the mix to round it out as a stand alone meal.

Make your own muesli

Throw Out Your Cereal

Throw out the cereals in boxes and plastic bags, when you buy these you are not just buying the cereal, you are paying for the marketing (I have a rule, if food needs an advertisement then it's probably not food - looking at you Kellogg's and Sanitarium), the waste that goes to landfill (cardboard AND plastic, really cereal companies?) and sometimes a whole lot of fillers that are low in nutrition, full of refined sugar + man made vitamins and minerals!

Buy your breakfast cereals in bulk, or make your own from beautiful organic ingredients from The Source Bulk Foods, store them in your beautiful glass jars, save waste and eat fresh and healthy cereal! Easy!

Pantry Flip

You don't know what you don't know!

Sounds simple and silly, yet many of us don't know what lurks in our pantry. What lies in your pantry? Is there something there that could make you sick or impact your well-being? Is your pantry more like the left one than the right one?
Take some time this weekend and read some ingredients that lurk in your pantry. Something you can't pronounce or something that has E200 in it? Become a detective and find out what you SHOULD know!

Why Should I Detox/Declutter My Pantry?

Pantry Detox: “A process involving physical cleaning; de-cluttering unused or excess stuff; and re-defining which foods will be allowed in that space, for the purpose of reduced stress, improved health and greater peace of mind.”

What are we detoxing from? The average pantry has accumulated toxins from plastics, dust, mites, bugs, food residues, crumbs, and food chemicals or additives. From the body’s perspective, any food that the body does not recognize as something useful - for any of the hundreds of thousands of functions it performs daily (growing, new skin cells, digestion, hormone production, oxygen-transfer etc.), is considered a toxin by the body.

If it is not useful for me, it must be eliminated.” – YOUR body!

Unfortunately, the body is not always able to shelter us from the effects of that toxin on its way out – IF it gets out completely. Sometimes, the best the body can do, is to store the toxin as far away from the vital organs as possible. Where would this be you may ask? – in fat layers under our skin (La Merrill et al, 2012), discuss fat and it’s toxicity holding ability. This means that for some people, the easiest way to remove these toxins is to spring clean the body from the inside out by eating less processed foods and more whole foods. Even if you are not holding excess weight, there may still be a fat stores with a toxic load within your body that is held in closer to the internal organs. This has become so common in the last few years that it now has a term: “TOFI” – Thin Outside Fat Inside. Or in a more medical sense, it is being referred to as “MONW” – Metabolically Obese Normal Weight. Regardless of weight, we live in a world that exposes our bodies to a toxic load.

Dr Sarah Lantz, in her book Chemical Free Kids, found that the average baby is BORN WITH over 200 chemicals in its tiny little body straight off the starting line! These chemicals were mostly made up of ‘everyday items’, common food chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and plastics. The detoxing of the pantry, household and body is crucial to minimise the effects of these toxins.

How can we regain control of our longterm health? With food of course!

We need to identify the area in which we can make the biggest difference and then go back to the root of that problem.

There may be little we can do to change the air we breathe and the environmental pollution we are exposed to but there is an enormous potential for change in what we choose to put into our mouths everyday, and those decisions are largely influenced by what is on offer in our kitchen. The root of the problem that we have the most personal control over is then the pantry (and fridge).

WE get to choose what we put in it and equally what we choose NOT to put in it. Get yourself and your family set up for success in long-term vibrant health by detoxing your pantry (or having the Kitchen Coach come to assist). The “next step” will look different for everyone but it's the most important step by far. Stay posted for powerful, tried-and-tested tips and tidbits, shared via Instagram and Facebook over the next month as we help you Detox your Pantry so you can Spring Clean from the inside out. You can follow the Kitchen Coach on Facebook and Instagram.

How toxic is your Pantry?

To find out how your pantry fares, take The Kitchen Coach’s Pantry Quiz, CLICK HERE to discover how your pantry rates.

 

1 – La Merrill, et al, 2012, “ Toxicological Function of Adipose Tissue: Focus on Persistent Organic Pollutants”, published online at US National Library of Medicine - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3569688/

How to increase your nutrition in your everyday life

Many of us are on the path of eating healthy, eating more whole foods and avoiding processed foods. As a community we have made huge steps to empowering our neighbours to make the conscious choice to be hungry for change and know that food matters.

I am asked daily, how can I eat even better, how can I boost my meals to get the highest nutritional value per mouthful? The good thing is, it’s easy, and these simple nutrition hacks ensure you get the best result on your plate and in your belly!

Make your pantry and fridge “organic and natural whole food-only zones” – if the only foods in your house are whole foods, your nutrition is well on the way to being at peak level.

Plant nutritious snack packs everywhere (in the desk drawer at work, in the car and ready to go in your pantry), to avoid the temptation of those cafe muffins or croissants when on the run. I always carry an activated nut snack or a whole food bliss ball in my purse to manage the snack attacks, or if in a rush out the door, a quick scoop of organic nut butter to give me a protein and healthy oil boost.

Think outside the box, avoid packaged foods, buy bulk and make your own mix – supercharge your breakfasts with your own oat-free porridge blend or granola blend. Next time you go to buy processed food (even if it’s organic!), think about how you can make it yourself, fresh and to your liking. Not only will this increase the nutritional value by being fresh and minimally processed, you will make whole food eating a whole lot more affordable.

Put away the recipe book! Learn how to turn nutrient packed fresh produce into your own recipe formulas, cooking to a formula allows you to be flexible and creative when preparing foods. By cooking to what’s fresh in your fridge and in season, you don’t let food go to waste and you use fruits and vegetables full of vital nutrition.

Finally, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, get your gut biome in good shape, have fermented foods daily! Adding living probiotics such as sauerkraut, kimchi and apple cider vinegar to your meals (uncooked) will ensure your belly bugs are strong to extract maximum nutrition from your whole food diet.