Category: recipes

Bye bye to vegetable stock cubes and HELLO organic homemade vegetable stock concentrate


When I got my Thermomix, the first thing I made was a vegetable stock concentrate. Probably like all of us Thermomix owners! I can’t believe I lived without this ingredient my entire life! It truly is the most versatile and most often used ingredient in my kitchen. I use it in loads of dishes, from soup to stews and even pasta sauce and risotto. If something needs a bit of a boost, that’s what I use.

I am going to share this recipe with you, because I think everybody needs to have a jar of vegetable stock concentrate in their fridge. There are many ways to make this and the best way, I think,  is to use vegetables that are left over or almost gone. It is a fantastic way to use those veggies that have been in the fridge a tad to long, but have not entirely passed away.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion or leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 large sticks of celery, chopped, leaves on
  • 3  carrots, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 2 tsp of dried thyme
  • 4 leaves of fresh basil or 2 tsp of dried basil
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 150 gr. rock/sea salt


Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and add all the ingredients to your pan. Stir and put the lid on. Simmer for approximately 20 min. But do stir occasionally  to prevent your mixture from sticking to the bottom of your pan. After 20 min. remove from heat and transfer your concentrate to a blender. Blend till it is a nice paste. You can put this vegetable stock concentrate into a glass jar and store it in your fridge for up to 6 months. The salt acts as a preservative, if you remove the salt it will not keep.  If you don’t have all the herbs, don’t panic, use what you have on hand. Although, I recommend at least using a bunch of fresh parsley. Other than that use what you got, fresh or dried.

1 Tbsp is equivalent to 1 stock cube.

How easy was that!



Making yoghurt

When I moved to Sydney 12 years ago, the first thing I noticed were the high prices for groceries. In the 12 years that I have called Australia home, nothing has really changed in that department. In fact, it seems that prices just keep on rising…..and quality keeps dropping…

It wasn’t until 2 years ago, that I decided that I had more than enough of paying $5 a liter for natural yoghurt. In Holland my family pays only 0.75 cents for a liter of yoghurt!!! I now pay $1.75 for 1 litre of yoghurt, if I make it myself and if  you buy the homebrand milk, it will only cost you $1.25 a litre.

This is all I use

  • pot
  • cooking thermometer
  • thermos flask or bowl with lid
  • towel


  • 2 liters of milk
  • 2/3 cup of milk powder (opt.)
  • smidgen of yoghurt culture

First cook your milk at 90C for 15 min. to kill all pathogens. While your milk heats and pasteurizes, add the milk powder and stir. When your milk has been cooked at 90C for 15 minutes, let it cool down to about 37-40C. Now, add your smidgen of yoghurt culture and transfer this to your lidded bowl or flask. Wrap a towel around it and keep it overnight inside a turned OFF oven.

When you wake the next morning, your yoghurt will be ready for you to eat.

How easy was that!!

 If you are as lucky as I am and have access to raw milk, you can leave out the powdered milk.

Instead of using a yoghurt culture, you can use a couple of tablespoons of good quality organic yoghurt to start your batch.

Make sure you keep some yoghurt to start your next batch!

Grain free Banana Choc-Chip Muffins


When I was forced to give up grains and coffee, I thought I would not make it! I am Dutch after all and this is what the Dutch love the most, bread and coffee.

Luckily, I did make it and I came out the other end a whole lot happier and healthier.

Grains make you gain a lot of unnecessary weight, hence the reason farmers feed them to their cows to fatten them up before slaughter!! Interesting…… I am glad to say, we eat grass fed beef for a whole lot of other reasons, but I will have to leave that for another post, another time.

I have been on quite a creative journey trying to healthily substitute my bread and muffins and other snacks. We don’t consume refined sugar in this house, because I regard it as drugs. In fact it is often quoted as it being “the drugs of the food industry”. It is significantly more addictive than cocaine! So why, would I want to get my beautiful children hooked on it??

I have been able to create some delicious muffins and I am excited to share the recipe here with you. My mother-in-law visited us the other day and she really enjoyed these muffins too. I know that she is looking forward to the recipe 😉

Banana Chocolate Muffins (I made 17, but it depends on the size of your tins)


  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil/butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bananas mashed
  • 1/2 cup choc chips


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C and grease some muffin tins.

In a bowl mix the melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla.

Add the eggs and whisk well. Now add the cocoa, the cinnamon and the coconut flour. Whisk until well combined.

Then add bananas and choc chips.

Feel free to use a food processor for mixing, it will be a lot quicker and easier to do.

Pour the mixture into a greased muffin tin and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

If you can avoid it, do not use the microwave to melt the coconut oil/butter, it really defeats the purpose of using such a healthy oil.





Flaxseed crackers



When I started on my grain free diet in order to heal my digestive tract, I also started to make some new foods to replace the grains I could no longer consume.

Was that a bad thing? NO!

Here is is my recipe for delicious crispy flax seed crackers.

  • 500 grams of flax seeds soaked in water for at least an hour

  • a handful of sunflower seeds, almond flour, pepitas. This is optional.

  • salt to taste or a tablespoon of homemade vegetable stock concentrate

If you juice you can also add the left over pulp the juicer spits out. Add them in for extra fiber. I add pulp from:

  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Red cabbage
  • Apple
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato

Be creative!

You can also make one with banana, prunes, dates, figs, vanilla, honey and cinnamon. Real exotic!

Your flax seeds have soaked for at least an hour and are now very gelatinous. This is what makes the cracker stick together. If there is any leftover water on the flax seeds, drain it. Often, though, this is not necessary.

In a food processor combine all ingredients and whiz until well combined. This might take a minute or so. Then spread your mixture onto a dehydrator sheet, no thicker than 1 cm. Dehydrate for around 18 hours. Make sure you flip them over, so the other side dries also!

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you might be able to do it in the oven at a higher temperature, for a shorter amount of time.

Play with it, there are no hard and fast rules.

A “soft drink” with a twist.


Water Kefir Grains

You may have previously read about my love for milk kefir. If you haven’t here is the article for you to read. I have since been very busy with my water kefir grains and have decided that I love them as much. In fact, I crave it.

I recently went to Europe for almost 4 weeks and was not able to have any of my probiotic Kefir drinks. I felt sick for the entire time I was away. Because I have difficulties with my digestive system it is very important for me to ingest plenty of enzymes and probiotics to help me digest my food and absorb the vitamins and minerals that body needs to function properly.

Water Kefir Grains Fermenting


Here is what you need for making water kefir:

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 TBSP white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp molasses
  • 1 3/4 cup of cold filtered water
  • 1/2 egg shell (free range)
  • 2 TBSP water kefir grains

In a jar, dissolve the sugar and molasses in the 1/4 cup of hot water. Add the rest of the cold filtered water to the sugar/water mixture. Put in the egg shell and the water kefir grains and cover the jar with a cloth. Let it sit for at least 24 hours and no more than 72 hours. After the fermentation period of 24 to 72 hours you will strain the liquid into a flip top bottle and add your favourite juice. I use pear juice. But the options are endless. Leave the bottle on your counter for another 1 or 2 days. During this time more vitamins and enzymes are released and more carbon dioxide will build up to create a fizzy and refreshing “soft drink”.

If you are worried about the sugar in the drink, don’t be, the grains will eat it and turn it into carbon dioxide.

Water Kefir with Ginger 2nd Fermentation


What are the health benefits of water kefir:

  • Kefir lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, cleans the gastrointestinal tract and stops the growth of cancer cells.

Water kefir contains many different strains of friendly bacteria, such as:

  •  Lactobacillus brevis, A colonizing species producing lactate, carbon dioxide, ethanol, and acetate. Resistant to gastric acid, bile acids, and digestive enzymes. Excellent adherent properties. Increases production of interferon. Metabolically unique in the production of arginine deaminase to break down arginine and reduce polyamine production, compounds associated with vaginal dysbiosis and intestinal carcinogenesis.
  • Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus , Produces more peptidases than any other Lactobacillus species. Favorably enhances innate and acquired immunity. Inhibits proinflammatory cytokine production. Outstanding colon epithelial cell adherence. Suppresses pathogenic Escherichia coli internalization. Antagonizes rotavirus and Clostridium difficile. Supports gut microflora during antibiotic therapy. May support immune function in infants with allergies.
  • Lactobacillus alactosus,
  • Lactobacillus casei casei, A hardy, adaptive transient species. Makes many proline-specific peptidases enhancing casein, casein-derived polypeptide, and gluten break down. Beneficially modulates innate immune responses. Increases the number of intestinal IgA-producing cells. Antagonizes Helicobacter pylori. Decreases proinflammatory cytokine secretion. Inhibits E. coli adherence to and invasion of intestinal cells. Decreases Shigella-mediated inflammation.
  • Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum,
  • Lactobacillus plantarum, A highly beneficial transient bacteria generally lacking in people consuming a standard Western diet while universally present in people consuming traditional plant-based diets. Exceedingly resistant to gastric acid and bile salts. Facilitates induction of the central regulatory cytokine, interleukin-12. Decreases production of inflammatory mediators. Supports intestinal barrier function. Reduces translocation of gut bacteria. Antagonizes C. difficile. Supports normal microflora in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Streptococcus lactis,
  • Streptococcus cremeris,
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroide,
  • Saccharomyces florentinus,
  • Saccharomyces pretoriensis,
  • Kloeckera apiculata,
  • Candida lambica,
  • Candida valida 
  • Lactobacillus brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide matrix that forms the grains.

Another health advantage of water kefir is that people who do not wish to consume dairy or have a vegan type diet may find that water kefir provides the living probiotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, like kombucha.Vegans also may like to know that through the fermentation process kefir becomes an excellent source of vitamin B12, and is high in vitamins B1 and B6.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a leading expert in the raw food community, writes in his book “Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine“:

“Kefir grains produce right-rotating L(+) lactic acid, which is an important constituent of the human body. It is particularly important in the prevention of cancer and has been used experimentally with success in the treatment of cancer. In addition, right-rotating lactic acid may help maintaining healthy functioning of the heart. According to some researchers, the cells of the heart muscle obtain their energy primarily from right-rotating lactic acid.”

If you want to get an even deeper understanding into this amazing culture than feel free to have a read of this website. It is very extensive and incredibly interesting

So, there you go, a wonderful refreshing and most beneficial drink to share with the whole family!

Enjoy x