Explorations… and Sorbet.

Sunny Saturday finds me at Leisure Coast Fruit Market, Fairy Meadow. A long overdue trip. The temperature inside the market is goosebump-chilly, but I spend a good hour or so carefully perusing the shelves anyway. The mass of goodies are notated in my ‘Product list’.

Anyway, what I really came here to get, was bananas. To make Dun Dun DUNN! …Sorbet. Although you probably surmised that from the blog title. Without further ado:

1. Slice ripe bananas.

2. Freeze.

3. Blend with other ingredients.

4. Nom.

Exhibit A: 1 Banana combined with 6 frozen strawberries…

..sprinkled over with choc vanilla nibs.

Exhibit B: The sky/your imagination/cooking skill is the limit.

Left to right: Banana strawberry; Caramelised carob pecan; Cinnamon.

Coat pecans in sticky liquid of choice (carob molasses in this case, though maple syrup would also work) and watchfully heat in oven until coating caramelises.

In some blenders, you may need to add a liquid (such as rice or almond milk) to facilitate the blending. Pause blending and stir often. Mushing with fork helps too.

Other sorbet versions such as those here suggest peanut butter mixed with cocoa powder. Have fun kids, and post any cool variations you come up with 🙂

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Recipe for disaster

My cooking tends to parallel my emotional life. I have been reading ‘The Gabriel Method’, about how important it is to not starve yourself of anything, be it the nutrients your body craves or the yearnings of your heart. I move away from myself, and then I return and wonder how I ever left. Sorting through interesting emotions, I tend to find myself creating equally interesting kitchen concoctions. I have been cooking sporadically and with less vigour than usual, with my attention instead on curling my hair and dancing in the sunshine, moving house, getting a job, enrolling in post-grad, completing my travel blog, and publishing a recipe book. And yet from amongst the mess emerged this strange and wonderful creation. For a few days I wasn’t sure exactly what it was I had created, coining it my ‘unintentional flan’ in reflection of its distinctly egg-like texture. While eating the final mouthful of the dish (literally), it hit me like a ten tonne truck. I was tasting a long forgotten but adored treat from my childhood.

Custard Tart.

Prior to my wholefood, balanced life, I used to inhaled this artificially coloured, dairy and sugar laden dessert as if it constituted food. And now I had created my very own. Less pretty, definitely. In an inappropriate base, and not as sweet as I’d like. But edible, and therefore worth sharing.

Custard Tart.

500gram silken tofu
1/4 cup 1/2 C maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp nuttelex
1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp agar agar
vanilla extract
cinnamon
ginger
nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves

pour runny mix into base. sprinkle over with cinnamon. put in oven at 180 for an hour or so. cross fingers.

Speaking of base: I took an awesome looking recipe, and tailored it to what was in my kitchen. Up to a point it was delicious; however I Do Not Advise following in my pepita and millet-y footsteps. At least not in this instance. Get more pecans in the first place and avoid needing to substitute. The original pecan base recipe can be found here.

Base.
1 cup oats
1 cup 2 cups pecans
cinnamon
vanilla
1 tsp nuttelex
salt
1/4 C 1/2C maple syrup
some leftover buckwheat flour
1/4 cup puffed millet
pepitas
pinch bicarb

Blend. press into greased pan. bake til brown.

In keeping with my general weirdness at the moment, and to compensate for it not being sweet enough, I topped mine with mixed banana and pumpkin. Don’t do that. (Ever. Seriously). Get the pecan base right the first time, or put it in a gluten-free pastry. Add in the extra sweetener, and you’ll be good to go.

The mission for a balanced, informed and wise perspective on wholefoods continues. On how to not diet (The Gabriel Method), On sugar addiction (Potatoes not prozac), On honey here, and for other glorious links (as always) check my Facebook page. Bless. xx

‘Hungry for Change’

Okay. So it’s about time. And I’m just gonna come out and say it.

I’m offically a foodie. An organic buying, locally grown supporting, ideologically committed foodist. It’s not just something I like. It is crucial to me. The soft drink aisle has been dead to me for longer than I remember, and my food shelves are filled with a range of organic grains and seeds. I’m happy this way.

I suspect this will come as no great revelation to anyone except myself; similar to when I came home from Morocco and solemnly announced to my mother that I am a vegetarian- she rolled her eyes. My mother had been carefully coercing me into more mainstream animal consuming behaviour for the 21 years that I was in the closet.

Today, I ticked off an entry of my post-university to-do list. I watched Food Inc. And I kid you not, I cried. Tears of compassion, but also relief. First hand reporting of real-life experiences is what I require, as heart-wrenching as it can be. Things are the way they are because everyone is doing their best within a system that is inherently flawed. The people working within the system wish for change as well. And it is possible.

Here are some of my favourite quotes:

‘A culture that just views a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure to be maniuplated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter, will probably view individuals within it’s community and other cultures in the community of nations with the same type of disdain, disrespect and controlling type mentality’.

‘Is cheapness everything that there is? [Work goes into] creating the mystique of cheap food.. when actually, it’s very expensive food. When you add up the environmental cost, societal costs, health costs… the industrial food is not honest food. It’s not priced honestly, it’s not produced honestly, it’s not processed honestly’.

‘To eat well in this country [America] costs more than to eat badly. It will take more money, and some people simply don’t have it. That’s why we need changes at the policy level, so that the carrots are a better deal then the chips’.

‘Imagine what it would be if as a national policy we said we are only successful if we have fewer people going to the hospital next than last year. The idea then would be to have such nutritionally unadulterated dense foods, that the people who ate it actually felt better, have more energy and weren’t sick as much. That’s a noble goal’.

‘You have to understand that we farmers are going to deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands. People have to start demanding good, wholesome food of us. And we’ll deliver. We’re very ingenius people, we’ll deliver’.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to feel this way about one American, let alone three… but I have so much love and adoration for these beautiful, smart men. I want to hug them.

If you are even remotely curious about why the world is the way it is, do yourself a favour and check this out. I am not sure there are many other things that could be considered as important.

www.foodincmovie.com

I am very curious to find some information relevant to the legislation and farming practices here in Australia. No doubt as with many things, America in this instance serves as a warning for the smaller countries considering following in their massive, corporate footsteps.

God forbid.

Luscious Carrot Cake

.. That’s right, I’m going to use the word luscious. Because I am so delighted to have finally created a moist, spongey, vegan, gluten-free cake!

Luscious, I tell you.

So without further ado.

First step. Simmer for 5-10 minutes:
3 C Carrots
½ C orange juice
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg/all spice
4 cloves, crushed
Pinch Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup-ish of water

Take off heat and mix through:
½ C rice malt syrup
1 tsp. bicarb soda
1 tbsp. arrowroot powder & 1 mashed banana
1/2 cup canola oil
(Optional: ½ C walnuts or pecans, toasted)

Fold through 2 C buckwheat flour

Bake for 40-45 minutes at 200 °C, or until bouncy and knife comes out clean.

Frosting. Blend together:
1 tub Kingsland/Tofutti soy cream cheese
1 tbsp. lemon juice
½-¾ C rice/maple syrup
Pinch Celtic sea salt

Refrigerate frosting to thicken, ice once cake is cooled.

Devour.

Here, the juice of two fresh oranges made half a cup, and for dried fruit I used dates. For the frosting plain tofu also works. This amount of lemon results in quite a tangy icing, adjust according. It is also lovely with coconut frosting, like that found here

I used banana as egg-replacer which made a lovely texture but changed the taste slightly. I have also made it with half a banana, a Tbsp of arrowroot powder, and a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds which adds a little texture and crunch.

Plenty of egg alternatives exist here: http://vegweb.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=d65d6b49c858f3c477e5c730419aff1f&topic=7678.0

clear conscience

too many people have food guilt. too many people hesitate before they have a bite, or swallow without fully savouring what they have in their mouths. too many people say ‘no’ when they would be much happier saying ‘yes’.

I have found that I have the most guilt when I am not living in alignment with who I really am. I worked answering the phone for Telstra for 6 months, to the day. In performance reviews with my manager, no matter how constructive or wonderful she was, I would feel guilty. And why? Because I was attempting to live in a circumstance that was not conducive to me. I was attempting to fit into a mould that was not ‘me’. I felt I ‘should’ be different, but I wasn’t. Because to work for a company that operates for profit and to be in an air-conditioned office 9-6  is not me.

This leads me to my favourite thing about being vegetarian, and about eating naturally sweetened whole foods. It wasn’t until I explored vegetables that joy took centre stage in my relationship with food. Thoughtlessly eating factory-farmed foods is not part of who I am. Neither is eating processed, nutrient-deficient inedible ‘foods’. Now I know what sits well with me, and it is not the bodily discharges of unhealthy, caged animals.
Living in alignment with that, I can eat this

gluten-free, dairy-free, naturally sweetened pumpkin pie to my heart’s content. Guilt free all the way. Doesn’t hurt my belly, and doesn’t hurt the cows. It will make me grin. It will satisfy me. I will share it without hesitation. And then, my body will tell me quite clearly when I have had enough, when I start lusting after crunchy greens or savoury tempeh.

When I listen, my body will steer me towards balance. And everything I eat can feel joyous. That’s my favourite part.

For my absolute favourite take on dietary balance, Check out Jessica Porter and Macrobiotics at  http://www.hipchicksmacrobiotics.com/