In winter time, salads are not my daily choice of food, like they are in summer. I tend to go for the warm and comforting foods I grew up with in The Netherlands where it is always cold and rainy.
Now living in Australia where the weather is so different, I have found that my diet has changed according to the climate. Although winter here in Sydney can be rather cold as well, during the day we often have beautiful clear skies with full sunshine. Some days you can still wear short sleeves even. So nice. During the winter season I do enjoy a salad every now and again and in particular I like to enjoy a pressed salad.
A pressed salad is more a vegetable salad, than a lettuce salad. it is packed full with nutrient dense and low calorie vegetables from all colours of the rainbow. What I love most about this salad is the fact that all the vegetables in it can be eaten raw, to give you an extra boost of precious enzymes that otherwise would have been destroyed in the cooking process. Because of the way the salad is prepared, the raw vegetable fibers become soft and thus easily digestible. The salad also goes through a slight fermentation process providing you with beneficial bacteria. You can use any vegetable you like, but I like to stick with cruciferous vegetables mainly as they give you the added benefit of immune boosting and cancer fighting activity through the release of powerful ITC’s (isothiocyanates) a compound found only in cruciferous vegetables.
cabbage red and green
Grate, shred, cut or slice all vegetables and put them in a bowl. Per 3 cups of vegetables add 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt or rock salt. Take the vegetables in your hand and gently massage them. You will notice that water gets released and the vegetables will reduce in size. Once you have massaged the vegetables for a minute or so, put a plate on top of the salad and a heavy jar filled with water to continue the pressing process. You can press the salad for up to 5 hours or just 30 min. This is up to you. Once you are ready to stop pressing, drain of the liquid. If it is to salty, give it a bit of a rinse. Dress the salad with some apple cider vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of honey and enjoy.
I only ever saw them used as a decorative garnish on the food buffet at the local Chinese restaurant in the town I grew up. Together with carrots, which was another Chinese carving favourite.
But tonight I cut up thinly a bunch of radishes I had bought for a pressed salad I was going to make. I didn’t feel like making the pressed salad, so instead I decided to simply eat the thinly sliced radishes as a snack on its own. Except, that is somewhat boring. What happened next needed to be shared with the world. It is absolutely astounding what a drop of olive oil and apple cider vinegar can do to an otherwise boring bunch of radishes. You MUST try this at home, peeps! It is impossible for me to describe or put into words what party occurred on my tongue. But as the Dutch would say “It was like an angel urinated all over my tongue” If you want to know what that tastes like, follow the recipe instruction below 😉
1 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
A drizzle of olive oil
a drizzle of apple cider vinegar
a shake of Herbamare
Put everything In a small bowl and combine well. I had a lidded bowl and gave it a good shake.
Absolutely enjoy this all by yourself, you will not want to share this!
Vegetables and fruits come in several different colours, which I am sure you all have noticed!
If you eat at least (and I do recommend you eat more) the 5 recommended servings of vegetables daily, you can almost eat a rainbow of colours. Colours who each serve a special purpose to your health. How cool is that!
All vegetables apart from having vitamins and minerals, also contain several disease fighting PHYTONUTRIENTS. Each colour made up of different phytonutrients and each phytonutrient serves a different purpose. But all phytonutrients have anti oxidant promoting activities. Anti oxidants help to neutralise free radicals therefore preventing cell damage and damage to our DNA. DNA methylation when accumulated results in cancer. More reason to eat several rainbows every day!
Let’s have a look at each colour and it’s super powers:
Phytonutrients can often be identified by the colour of the vegetable.
- Blue & purple foods like berries, eggplant, red cabbage are rich in flavanoids
- Yellow & orange foods like carrots, squash, pumpkin, papaya and melon are rich in beta carotene, hesperidin, lutein/zeaxanthin.
- Red & pink food like tomatoes, guava, cherries, watermelon are rich in lycopene.
- Green foods like kale, spinach, collard greens are rich in indoles.
- White foods like garlic, onion, leek are rich in powerful sulphur containing phytonutrients
THINK: Heart, Brain, Bone, Arteries & Cognitive health. Also fights cancer and supports healthy ageing
THINK: Eye health, Healthy immune function, Healthy growth and development
THINK: Prostate, Urinary tract and DNA health. Protects against Cancer and Heart disease.
THINK: Eye health, Arterial function, Lung health, Liver function and Cell health. Also helps Wound healing and Gum health.
THINK: Healthy bones, Circulatory system, Fights Heart disease and Cancer
This is 1 serve of vegetables. 75gr, 1/2 a cup. We are advised as adults to eat at least 5 of these serves every day and our children to have at least 2 serves, but from research we know that many struggle to reach this number of serves.
I want to give you a few ideas to help you reach your daily quota. In the morning most of us reach for the cereal, after all it is so quick and easy. But by doing so you miss out on an awesome opportunity to start of your day with a serve or 2.
Let’s us start with a satisfying breakfast;
- How about some eggs with a side of sauteed spinach, mushrooms and baked beans next time? 1 cup of raw spinach is 1 serve, but by the time you saute that not much is left over, add 1/2 a cup of mushrooms and 1/2 a cup of baked beans and you are well over half way of your daily quota! And who doesn’t love a full breakfast first thing in the morning?
If you have a sandwich for lunch or a wrap;
- why not pack it with a cup of salad greens or sprouts, some cucumber and tomato. Add some chicken, cheese or beef and you will be sweet for the rest of the afternoon plus you got another serve out of the way!
If you are a salad person;
- 2 cups of leafy salad greens make up 2 serves, add some carrot, tomato, cucumber, red onion and you are well on your way to the nirvana of ultimate health 😉
- Coleslaw (homemade!) is another awesome salad full of natures cancer fighting goodness. The small green cup in the picture above is exactly 1 serve of rainbow coleslaw. I bet you can easily devour 3 serves in one sitting!
How about an afternoon snack, I hear you ask,
- Some raw carrots, celery sticks, cucumber and cherry tomatoes served with hommus is delicious way to get those life giving phytonutrients into your cells. And this is a great snack for morning tea or afternoon tea instead of the office donuts that get passed around! Just have those donuts after the healthy stuff, okay? 😉
Now that you are already 4 serves in, dinner will be easy.
- Just pick your favourite vegetable and have 75 grams of it. But if you had cereal for breakfast, well, you will need to have 300 grams of you favourite vegetables. How about some delicious roasted broccoli or cauliflower, topped with some grated cheese? Another favourite of mine are green beans and carrots, covered in butter and a little bit of garlic.
Please share with us on Facebook your favourite way to get your veggies in? Do you know how many serves you get each day?
Try to reach the 5 serves a day goal and observe how you feel.
For this and more tips to balance your health and wellbeing join me for my FREE 6 week nutrition course in The Ponds from April 23rd. For more info contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I made cookies with my youngest son this week, but lets be honest………..
Most kids love baking, but most mums don’t love baking with kids!
However mr. Nelson and I had a fabulous time baking some yummy oatmeal cookies today. They were gone before I knew it! Let me share the recipe with you:
3 cups of oats
1/4 cup of butter or coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup of honey
1 tsp vanilla powder or essence
2 tsp cinnamon (opt.)
1/4 sultanas or other dried fruit of your choice
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
In my Thermomix I blended the oats with the baking soda until ground. I then added the butter and honey, cinnamon and vanilla and mixed until blended. Lastly I added the sultanas and stirred.
I greased a baking tray and put small tablespoons of cookie batter on there. Pop it in the oven for 6-9 minutes.
#Thermomix #bringingrealfoodbackintothekitchen #glutenfree #dairyfree#healthy #qualitytime #masterchef #sugarfree
I decided to start my day with this smoothie:
- 1 banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 400ml coco quench (non dairy milk)
- 1 super duper heaped tbsp raw cacao
- handful of goji berries
- 2tsp or more of Maca
- handful of dates
I’m full now! #loveraw #superfoods #vegan #preventionisbetterthancure #eatrealfood
Maca is a root that grows in Peru and it gives you loads of energy and balances your hormones. You can have up to 2 tbsp of Maca a day.
The raw Cacao will give you a hit of caffeine. If you prefer to leave the cacao out, you may do so. It will still be yummy without.
When I started keeping chickens in my back yard I bought 6 ISA Brown hens. I did not know much about chickens then, so I bought what was easily available. Most people with backyard chickens keep ISA Brown hens, becasue they are such great layers, right?? I don’t think so, anymore…
Here is what I learned over the years about the ISA Brown laying hen:
- They are a hybrid bird, created in a laboratory in France by a company called the Institute de Selection Animale. I don’t eat laboratory made food, so I have decided I don’t want to own laboratory chickens either!
- This French company owns the rights to this bird, which means that you are not legally allowed to breed them. Not that this is possible anyway, because the formula for these birds are a closely guarded secret. Kind of like the secret ingredient in Coco Cola or KFC, which are both junk as well 😉 It also sounds awfully familiar to Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta who own and control a huge part of the food supply by genetically manipulating seeds, rendering them infertile and forcing farmers to solely rely upon these companies for new seeds, pesticides and fertilizers. This practice has forced many farmers into bankruptcy. Anything that is a closely guarded secret when it comes to food, seeds or animals should be considered suspicious and it needs your further attention and research before investing in it. Since when did we humans create (made out of nothing) anything, anyway? Everything was already created by the Master at the beginning of time…..He does not keep any secrets from us.
- The Institute of Selection of Animale, merged with Merck Pharmaceuticals in 1997. I do not trust the integrity of (P)harmaceuticals all that much. They are very profit driven with not much regard for human health care. I guess I.S.A and Merck suit each other well. I feel like a hypocrite having ISA Brown hens and supporting Big Pharma……
- The ISA Brown hens lay for approximately 16-18 months of their life ONLY. After that the health of the bird declines and no eggs are produced.
- ISA’s are specifically bred for commercial operations. In other words, they are BATTERY HENS. If you decide to buy these chickens, you ARE supporting the commercial poultry industry. Since you are thinking of buying chickens, or already have them, I know that you believe in free range chickens and eggs. Free range backyard ISA Browns are an oxymoron……
- ISA’s rely on a high protein layer pellet, which you must purchase in order for them to lay. What is in those pellets??Most likely GMO corn, GMO soy and a variety of other grains. Although these pellets do not look like grains at all! Now you are not only supporting, the commercial poultry industry (battery hens), but also Big Pharma and Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta……..
Here are plenty of reasons to buy a pure bred chicken
- Pure breeds lay CONSISTENTLY for 5 years!
- Pure breeds do not need to rely on high protein layer pellets.
- Pure breeds love your kitchen scraps and whole grains in the form of a scratch mix. If your scratch mix contains corn, make sure it is Australian corn. If it is imported, it will most likely be GMO corn.
- Let your chickens free range. They get loads of protein from grubs in your garden. Free ranging will also increase the quality of your eggs.
- Keeping a pure bred is like growing Heirloom seeds. By doing so you support and increase bio diversity or genetic variety. The less genetic variety exists, the smaller the chance that your chickens or vegetables will be able to fight off disease.
- Having a variety of pure breeds looks very pretty too 😉
Pekin Bantam sooo cute!
How and where do I buy REAL chickens? I am glad you asked. There are several ways of acquiring some interesting and beautiful varieties and they are no more expensive than the ISA Brown.
- You can incubate fertilized eggs at home. Fertilized eggs can be bought on sites such as Gumtree. If you are in my neck of the woods, North Western Sydney I can refer you to Kathryn Stedman from http://thehomegrowncountrylife.blogspot.com.au
- Kathryn has been breeding Araucanas for years and has an amazing set up on her property. She sells fertilized eggs for the incubating enthusiast or chicks for those who don’t own an incubator. Her chickens are gorgeous and lay blue-green shelled eggs! It’s a sure treat for the eye. For inquiries you can contact Kathryn on 0433247695
- Another reputable breeder is Shahid from http://www.shahidpermaculture.com/ Shahid is a permaculture enthusiast. Apart from growing a vast variety of organic fruit trees and vegetables, he also breeds his own fish as well as his own chickens. Shahid has a vast knowledge of all things permaculture. His main breeds are Rhode Island Reds and the Australorps. For inquiries I refer you to his website: http://www.shahidpermaculture.com/
Now that you are fully informed by the truth of it all, I trust that you will be able to make an informed decision.
I love coconut, in case you haven’t noticed yet. And recently I have been on quite an exciting coconut journey making all sorts of delicious coconut creation. From muffins, to smoothies and even butter, cream and milk. I try to incorporate coconut into my diet everyday. Here are some reason why I love coconut oil:
- Anti-bacterial: Coconut oil kills bacteria that cause various bacterial infections, including ulcers, urinary tract infections and gum diseases.
- Anti-viral: Coconut oil can kill the viruses that cause herpes, influenza, measles, hepatitis C, AIDS and SARS, to name a few.
- Anti-fungal: Coconut oil kills fungi and yeast making it great for fungal infections such as dandruff and athlete’s foot and yeast infections such as thrush.
- Antioxidant: Coconut oil protects against free-radical formation and damage.
- Anti-inflammatory: Coconut oil helps kill harmful intestinal microorganisms making it an important element in reducing inflammation.
- Anti-carcinogenic: Coconut oil has been found to prevent the spread of cancer cells as well as boost the immune system.
- Anti-microbial: Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties which protect against infection from bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi and parasites.
- Anti-parasitic: Coconut oil can help rid the body of tapeworms, lice and other parasites.
- Anti-protozoa: Coconut oil kills protozoa parasites such as giardia.
- Improves nutrient absorption
With that in mind I decided to find as many ways as possible to add coconut oil into my everyday life. And I found out that it wasn’t that difficult to do so.
In the morning I added a few tablespoons to our smoothies. In my muffins I use coconut oil instead of butter. I make coconut butter and eat that straight from my spoon. It is very delicious. And I made coconut and chocolate balls, which were even easier to eat all day long!
Last week I decided to try and make Coconut Yoghurt and it turned out really nice. I wasn’t to sure if I would have much success with it as there are a few ways to do this. I looked online for a recipe and after much deliberation I decided to use the recipe from Green living Australia as I already purchase my yoghurt culture from them. I did use gelatine as my setting agent instead of pectin, which is what she recommends to use. I only had gelatine in my cupboard, hence my reason for trying that. If you have Agar you might be able to use that too.
Here is what I did:
- First I made a liter of coconut milk (recipe here) I left the pulp in with the milk as the pulp also contains a lot of goodness. But you might want to drain it.
- I reheated the coconut milk to boiling point, before turning the gas off all together.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sweetener of your choice. I prefer coconut sugar or honey. This will be extra food for your yoghurt culture to eat, they will need it to proliferate.
- At boiling point I removed about 100ml of coconut milk and dissolved in it 2 tsp of gelatin. Once dissolved I poured it back into the coconut milk and stirred it thoroughly.
- With a thermometer, check for the milk to come down to 40 degrees. Once there, add a smidgen of your yoghurt culture, stir it through and transfer the pan into your (turned off) oven. Leave it there for about 12 hours.
- You will notice that after 12 hours the yoghurt is still runny. It will set when you put into the fridge for a few hours.
There you go! If you are already making normal yoghurt, than this will be a breeze for you. But even for first timers, it will be fun to do.