Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thankyou Santa Claus & A Raw Start to the Day

Hope you have all had a great xmas with your loved ones.  I have personally been enjoying the break and the company of my sister and her family who arrived from Melbourne last week.  I have also been enjoying my new chairs which I have Santa to thank for.   As part of a collection of items passed on from my late grandmother I decided for xmas to have two of her chairs recovered in textiles by  Clothfabric - have you heard of them? If not, they are a small independent company based in Sydney, Australia who like doing things the old fashioned way.  They screenprint by hand and use an array of natural fibres such as hemp, organic cotton and linen which is naturally stylish.  Click here to find out more.   I only have one deliberation -  should I keep the arms of the chairs  the original colour as I have considered changing them?  Anyone got any thoughts?????  The fabric here is banksia.  I was instantly drawn to this print as I love this native plant for the same reason cloth do - its strength and resilience...  two amazing qualities that I respect and desire.   I think the end result was worth every penny and even more special is their individual status which I so openly love and admire.

  Continuing on the natural theme is our breakfast in recent days.  Raw Buckwheat!  Initially I was skeptical due to thoughts of a gritty palate but I was surprised to discover, not so.    The boys eat their serving with natural yoghurt + a drizzle of maple syrup and I prefer mine with almond milk, cinnamon & coconut. Add to it whatever you like to make it taste your way and consider this an easy way to add some raw goodness into your day and keep your tummy happy.  Click here for other ways with buckwheat if this one doesn't take your fancy.


    Raw Buckwheat with Almonds & Berries
    Serves 2

    1/2 cups buckwheat, soaked overnight
    1 Tbs Pumpkin Seeds, soaked overnight
    1 Tbs Sunflower Seeds, soaked overnight
    2 Tbs Almonds, soaked overnight

(click here for why you should soak)

    Serve with:

    1/2 - 2/3 cups blueberries, washed (or your choice of fruit)
    Splash of almond milk or a dollop of yoghurt
    Sprinkle of shredded coconut and cinnamon
    Add a drizzle of maple syrup if you like it a bit sweeter

    Place the buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds in separate bowls and fill each           
    with filtered water (up to three times as much as the ingredients) 
    Leave to soak overnight
    The following morning combine the buckwheat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a sieve and rinse      
     under a running tap (use your fingers to move it around and remove any sticky residue) then put aside to drain
     Rinse the almonds in the same manner then chop roughly before adding to the rest of the mix
     Spoon into bowls and add a splash of almond milk, your choice of fruit and a sprinkle of shredded
     coconut and cinnamon

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Dandechino & Merry Xmas To All & A Happy New Year Of Course

Wishing everyone a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.  I am looking forward to taking some time out to enjoy the company of my loved ones and those very special little people who make xmas so magical again.  Xmas always inspires my inner creative soul to explode and we have loved wrapping and creating some little extra  pieces around the house whilst sipping on my newest thing - the dandechino.

Have you heard of dandelion root tea?  This herbal infusion can be bought from most health food stores and is made from roasted dandelion root.  Crazy thing is it has a very similar appearance and taste to coffee.  You see a good cup of coffee is my one vice in life.  It became so after I had children.  Stuck at home day in day out I felt like going out for a coffee made me feel like a part of the world that existed beyond the perimeter of my house and and unfortunately it has now become a pure habit.  I have known about dandelion root tea for a while now however just hadn't bothered to try but I know that caffeine wreaks havoc on my blood sugar levels and as a sufferer of PCOS this is not helpful at all.  So with an
indulgent couple of days ahead this little fella is going to be by my side.  Who knows I may even convert some family members.   I can only try right!!  You can find out loads more about dandelion root tea here and also find some lovely variations here that I am certainly going to try when I stop cooking for xmas but essentially all you need to make a dandechino is:

1) brew some dandelion tea*,
2) froth your choice of milk
3) add a sprinkle of  unsweetened  chocolate powder and voila!!!

* Roasted dandelion filters bags can be purchased from most health food stores.  A word of advice - read the label to ensure there isn't any preservative or added flavours and check they haven't been genetically modified as well.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Giving, Sharing and Saying Thanks with Honey Ginger Cantuccini

Can somebody please tell me where the last 12 months have gone?  As the year draws to a close it is time to say thanks and be gracious for all the year has given us.  As my husband and i look toward the start of school for our eldest son next year we can't help but feel our lives and his are moving way to quickly.   Over the course of last week we baked many batches of biscuits to share and say thanks to the teachers and carers that have helped shape our sons growth and development over the years whilst in care and, of our many batches these "little nooks" as the Tuscans would refer were our favourite by far.

We also took part in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and shared the honey almond cantuccini above with Amanda from Easy Peasy Organic, Steph from Bondville and Yasmeen from Wandering Spice which was great fun especially when parcels of cookies started arriving by mail instead of bills....  I love that and so did my two prize taste testers!!!  To make these simply omit the glace ginger in the recipe below and replace with finely chopped almonds instead.  

Honey & Ginger Cantuccini
(inspired by Maria Speck)
Makes approx 44 small biscuits

1 3/4 cups spelt four
1 cup lightly packed almond meal
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup finely chopped glace ginger
1/2 cup cold press olive oil
1/2 cup  raw honey
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Chocolate for topping if desired.....

Whisk together the flour, almond meal and salt in a large bowl
Then scatter in the ginger
Make a well in the centre of the dry mix
In another bowl whisk the olive oil, honey and vanilla until thick and syrup like
Add the wet mix to the centre of the dry ingredients and combine using a rubber spatula just until a soft dough forms
Do not over mix
Then cover with a clean cloth and let sit at room temp for 30 mins

Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 150 C or 300 F
Line a baking sheet with baking paper

Lightly sprinkle the bench with almond meal
Cut the dough in the bowl into four  equal pieces
It will be soft and sticky so briefly knead each piece to smooth and form into a log shape that is about
7 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide
Add more almond meal if needed
Repeat with the remaining dough then place the logs onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving approx 2 inches between

Bake the logs until small cracks show in the top and they are just starting to brown approx 25 - 30 mins
Remove from the oven and carefully slide off the baking sheet onto a wire rack to cool for roughly15 mins
Leave the oven going

Once cooled place the logs on a cutting board and then take a sharp serrated edged knife and cut each log diagonally in 1/2 inch thick pieces.
Place the slices upright on the same baking sheet you used previously and return to the oven
Bake the cantuccini until it feels dry to touch at the cut sides and the edges just start to brown approx 15 mins
Transfer the cantuccini to a wire rack to cool completely before drizzling with dark melted chocolate if you wish

We made cards that said"thankyou for making me shine"

gift wrapped our biscuits in some pretty boxes for safe transport

and nibbled on some of our creations of course........
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Socca and a Fresh Bean & Brocolli Salad

I first came across Socca in a cafe years ago and then was pleased to rediscover it after this post over at My New Roots a little while ago.  It is my most favourite thing at the moment because I can pile whatever on top and it tastes good no matter.  Granted it does pay to soak the batter overnight or during the day for the benefit of your digestion but seriously that is nothing to be concerned about.  I have seen a number of recipes for this all of which are similar.  Feel free to add some herbs or spices to the batter for something a bit extra.   I would recommend making the salad before the socca to allow the dressing to mingle with the other ingredients.


Makes approx 3 x 7 inch soccas

1 cup chickpea or besan flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil
Ghee or coconut oil for pan

In a large bowl, sift the chickpea flour, salt and pepper (sometimes I just dump it in and use a whisk to combine all the ingredients)
Whisk in the warm water and olive oil then let sit with a cover overnight or all day if you can otherwise aim for min 30 minutes.

Preheat a suitable frypan in the oven at 225 degrees celcius or 450 F
Remove the frypan from the oven and add a knob of your chosen oil
Pour a steady stream of the batter into the pan to your preferred size
Bake for 8 - 10 mins or until the pancake is firm and the edges are set
When done, flip the socca over and continue to cook for a few more minutes under your grill or until it have browned nicely.

Remove from pan and place on a plate 
Spread with a layer of hummus and top with Bean and Brocolli Salad as per below.
Add  few shavings of parmesan reggiano and soaked pepitas. 

** I have made these successfully by cooking as you would a normal pancake in frypan on the stove top.  I find this the quickest approach when cooking for a couple of people.   

Bean and Brocolli Salad
Serves 4 as a side 

150 grams brocolli, grilled (spray with a little olive oil and pop under a pre heated grill and cook until florets are looking a little charred approx 5 mins)
1/2 cup berlotti beans, ( i used canned on this occasion for convenience but soaking and cooking your own is superior)
1/2 dozen cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
1/4 buch each of mint and italian flat leaf parsley
4 x green olives, sliced
2 T lemon juice
1 T cold pressed olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
2 Tbs pepitas (preferably soaked)

Hummus and Parmesan to serve

Combine the  lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine
Then place the first five ingredients in to a bowl before pouring over the dressing

Stir to combine and allow the flavours to mingle whilst you cook the Socca.

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Hey There, I’m Sherilyn the creator of Wholepromise. This is where I venture outside of being a mum, wife and Fertility Nurse Specialist. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia and am spoilt by year round access to Farmers Markets offering a plethora of local, seasonal and organic produce. In all Wholepromise is my style of food, it’s the food I want my boys to appreciate and it’s the food that makes me happy. Styling and photographing it is just another bonus.


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