A Re-Examined Life

Canberra girl’s mission to live a more natural, sustainable life.


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Purity Products

purity-logo

 

Well it has been quite some time between posts and that is because I have been a very busy person.  There is my going full-time job, there is taking care of my lovely family (also a full-time job), taking care of my lovely home and garden (also a full-time job), and then there is that minor other thing I have been doing over the past 6 months….. starting my own business!!

Here is how it happened……Over the last couple of years of writing the blog I have found there are generally 3 types of people who read my blog:  there are those who jump straight onboard the “make-it-myself” train, there are those who are super keen to make their own products but would like a bit of assistance to get them going,  and then there and those who don’t have time, or maybe just aren’t into making their own stuff at all.

So here is what I decided…..

For those of you already on the train, yay!  I will keep posting on the blog 🙂

For those of you who would like some assistance, I have designed some workshops to provide said assistance 🙂

And for those of you in the last group, I have decided to make the products for you🙂

And hence the birth of Purity Products!

Purity products (as I am sure you would expect!) are about trying to live a more pure, natural, and sustainable life.

Purity Products are handmade from 100% natural ingredients that are, where possible, organic, and sourced from local business who are environmentally and socially responsible.

At the moment I am selling 3 products, all 3 of which I have posted the recipes on here before, they are my favourite.  I also have some other products in the pipeline which are going through the “testing” stages, so keep an eye out for those🙂

So please go and check out my new web and  Facebook page and, of course, feel free to put in an order🙂


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Any-kind-of-seasonal-fruit-you-like Cake with Vanilla Cream

Peaches

I’ve made a cake that is far too delicious not be shared, and is perfect for anyone who has an abundance of homegrown fruit and is a bit over making jam🙂  The first version I made was with nectarine, and the second was with peaches and raspberries.

The vanilla cream part of the recipe only came about when making the peach and raspberry version, this was because (a) I was looking to make an Australian themed something for Australia day and decided on a peach melba version, and (b) I actually cooked it for too long and was worried it would be a bit dry.  Turned out the cake wasn’t dry at all, but the vanilla cream (which is basically unfrozen, soft-as-you-like-it ice cream) is amazing, so this is one time when I am very glad I overcooked the cake.

Just as a side note, for those who don’t know, peach melba is an Aussie desert named after the famous Aussie opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba. A peach melba consists of peaches with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.  I have no idea why the guy who invented this dessert went with this particular dessert, but I have to say, if this is what someone made in my honour, I might be a bit disappointed, it is not the prettiest dessert I have seen, a couple of examples below….  I’m sure it tastes really nice🙂.

 

But anyway, back to my delicious cake.  This recipe is for the peach and raspberry version, but you could use nectarines, plums, or apricots, and then in the winter I think it would be delicious with apples and/or pears, but with those fruits I would lose the vanilla and add cinnamon instead.

I am a huge fan of vanilla, I use it all the time, but vanilla essence from the shops has sugar, and often other unpleasant stuff in it.  In the past I’ve made my own vanilla essence, (it’s super easy – you just soak vanilla beans in vodka) but it takes forward planning as you need about a month’s worth of soaking time.  So I’m also a huge fan of the a vanilla bean grinder, which is 100% vanilla bean in a salt grinder, you can purchase them in the shops, or you could make one yourself🙂  My recipe here uses the vanilla bean grinder, if you are using vanilla essence you will probably use about 1 tspn every time I use a few grinds.

Cake ingredients

4 large ripe peaches 

Vanilla bean grinder

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

80 grams softened butter

½ cup honey

1 large egg

½ cup sour cream (or you can use plain yoghurt)

3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour

3/4 cup almond meal

1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

¼ teaspoon bicarb

¼ teaspoon good quality salt

What to do 

You want to “marinate” your fruit (actually, I believe the ‘technical’ term is macerate, but to me the word sounds nasty, so I would rather marinate.  You are very welcome to macerate yours).  Chop the fruit and put it in a bowl with the sugar and a few good grinds of the vanilla bean, and set it aside for at least 2 hours, but you can leave it longer.

Turn that butter into cream using an electric beater and then add the honey, egg and a few more good grinds of the vanilla bean and mix it all up.   Add the sour cream and any liquid that is at the bottom of the marinated fruit bowl.

Combine all your dry ingredients and mix them, quite gently,  into the wet stuff.  Pop the batter into a prepared cake-tin (you will probably have to use some anti-sticking stuff, I have found that just “having a chat” does not seem to prepare the cake tin enough).

Now you want to add the marinated fruit all over the top of the batter, and then kind of press it in a bit with your fingers.  Chuck this loveliness into the oven, keep it low to avoid overcooking (ahem), around 150c fan forced is good, and cook it for about 40 minutes, but check it after 30, the old clean knife trick will work. Once cooked let it cool in the tin as you need the fruit to ‘set’ a bit before taking it out or it will fall apart.  Now get making your vanilla cream.

Vanilla cream ingredients

Thickened cream – be sure to read the labels and buy the one thickened with gelatine.

vanilla bean grinder

maple syrup – to taste

Whip up your cream and then slowly add your vanilla and maple syrup until it tastes delicious.  Start with a couple of grinds of the vanilla, and about a tablespoon of maple syrup and just keep going until you are happy.

The combination of this cream and cake is magic🙂

p.s. you may note the absence of photos of said magical cake, well that is because every time I have made it, I have been too busy eating it to remember to take a photo, and by the time I remember, there is no cake to be photographed.  So, I would be very happy if you could please take photos of yours and post them in the comments for me🙂

 

 


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Yeah… baby

I am pretty excited that I have found some time to write a blog.

Last week, one of my gorgeous friends held a this-is-not-a-baby-shower-baby-shower, (she called it a pre-baby lunch), she also requested that no one bring her presents.  But, as if that was every going to happen!

So I decided to get busy making some baby products,  I had so much fun making these, and I am pretty chuffed with the end result.  I just wish I had been into making this stuff when my little ones were younger.  My Google search returned plenty of easy, Steph-proof baby products you can make.

Speaking of being Steph-proof, I thought that, given how fabulous these baby products I made are, that you might start to think that I that this whole “I am not naturally good at all this “making natural stuff from scratch” business is made up.  So I want to take a moment to show you what didn’t make it into the this-is-not-a-baby-shower, baby-shower-gift-bag.  I decided to put some sweet treats into the bag, but the “it doesn’t get more simple than these 3 ingredient” cookies, (that I have actually made before mind you), didn’t make it into the bag.

“They” didn’t make it into the bag, mainly because I didn’t end up with cookies.  I ended up with a cookie.  A half burnt, half raw cookie.

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Yep, she’s a beauty.

But let’s now leave that behind me, and get on with the good stuff that did make it into the bag.

I did manage to get some delicious chocolate fudge into the bag.  I made my favourite, simple-as chocolate fudge recipe, that I use from the gourmande in the kitchen website.

 

 

 

 

What also did make it into the bag were these little beauties

IMG_0794

 

For the little baby I made nappy cream, and baby oil, and for the mummy-to-be, some bath salts (hopefully she will manage to find some time to use them!).

They are all in recycled jars, the baby oil and the bath salts are in maple syrup jars, and the nappy cream is in a pesto jar.

The nappy cream uses coconut oil as the base, (and actually, if you haven’t got time to make this cream, you can just use plain coconut oil as your nappy cream).  Coconut oil has (look out, I’m about to get clinical) antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, or for those who are not as clinically minded as I am, it basically means, that when it comes to healing skin, coconut oil is the business.

The baby oil uses olive oil as the base, olive oil is the king of skin moisturizing, and it also contains antioxidants which, which help keep skin young.  (now most people only start to consider how to keep their skin looking young once they already have old-looking skin, this kid is going to be way ahead of the game).

The bath salts use magnesium (epsom salts) as the base.  Magnesium deficiency is a serious issue in our society today, (statistics say 68%, or 2 out of 3 people suffer from magnesium deficiency).  One of the best ways to replenish magnesium in your body is through your skin, either using magnesium oil, or soaking yourself in it in a bath.   Magnesium baths can provide a bunch of health benefits including reducing inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps, managing headaches, and improved circulation.

All the products contain:

Calendula – anti-inflammatory and antiseptic super powers, assisting tissue regeneration.

Chamomile – antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic super powers.  It is also considered to be hypoallergenic, which basically means it can help neutralise skin irritants.

Lavender – is pretty much good for everything, but to narrow it down to a few things, it has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal, pain relieving, calming, and relaxing super powers.

If i was selling this stuff, it would be my “Mum’s and Bub’s Super Hero” range…..

Here’s how to make them:

Nappy Cream

3/4 cup of organic coconut oil

1 tablespoon of calendula tea

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea

1 tablespoon (or more) of organic corn flour

20 drops of  Lavender essential oil

I put the coconut oil into a glass jar and sat it in a saucepan of water over a low heat, once the coconut oil had melted I added in all the tea leaves and left it on a very low heat for about 3 hours.  Don’t let the water in the saucepan boil, and keep an eye on it, you will need to top it up.   When the time is up, remove from the heat and strain the oil through a colander to remove all the tea.  Set aside the coconut oil to harden (you can put it in the fridge speed up the process).  Once the coconut oil has solidified, add in the essential oil and corn flour combine.  Then get out your stick blender and whip it up so its nice and creamy.  Stick in the jar –  you’re done.

Baby Oil

1 cup of organic olive oil

1 tablespoon of calendula tea

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

Pretty much the same as above, chuck all the ingredients into a glass jar and pop it into a saucepan of water, over a low heat, for about 3 hours.  When the time is up, strain it, stick it in the jar and yep, you are done.  (A note on this one, as olive oil has such a strong scent, dont waste your lavender essential oil trying to get this one to smell like lavender, it wont work).

Bath salts

Epsom Salts

1 tablespoon of calendula tea

1 tablespoon of chamomile tea

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

Lavender essential oil

Stick all the dry ingredients into the bottle, filling it up to about 3/4 full, and give it a good shake.  Put in about 20 drops of essential oil, and give it another good shake.  Then fill the bottle to the top with dry ingredients, and shake it some more.  That is it.

Here is a picture of the back of the bottles with my cute labels listing out all the ingredients.

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What baby products are you making?


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It’s time to meet your meat packaging

 

My new job could be the death of my blog! Longer working hours = much less time to write😦

But I finally found some time and so here we are🙂

So my last blog was all about some of the conditions our mass-produced meat live in, and if you are anything like me, those conditions will have left you feeling pretty upset, and you will have made a commitment to only buy meat that comes from animals that have led happy lives.

So I’m here today to talk about the labelling of meat, as when I first decided to make this change I ensured that any meat I bought was labelled “free-range” or “organic”, but since doing a bit more research on the labelling standards of meat, it turns out it’s not that simple, especially when it comes to the “free-range” label.

If you have been reading your meat labels you will have noticed that there are plenty of different labels around, depending on which meat produce you are buying you can find:

Grass-fed

Pasture-fed

Free-range

Bred free-range

Sow stall-free

Cage-free

Certified Organic

Biodynamic

And then, adding to the confusion, these different categories might be certified and there are a number of different certification groups, each of which has different standards.

The certifying organisations in Australia that I have come across are:

Australian pork free range

Free Range Egg & Poultry Association (FREPA)

RESPCA Approved Farming Scheme

Humane Choice

AUS-QUAL limited Organic

Australian Certified Organic

Bio-Dynamic Research Institute (BDRI)

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA)

Organic Food Chain (OFC)

Tasmanian Organic – dynamic Producers.

It’s worth noting that here in Australia most sheep and cattle are “free-range”, in that they aren’t confined and so there isn’t so much focus on free-range labelling for these guys. The focus is more on the grass-fed labelling (and you definitely want to be eating grass-fed animals as grain fed animals often get very sick and don’t have much fun).

So….. in terms of the labelling, here is what I have been able to find out.

First up are the ones you might want to stay away from because, well, it’s unlikely the animals have led happy lives.

Bred free-range, bred free, or outdoor bred, are labels for pork, and a bit misleading really, because although the terms free-range, free, and outdoors are in the label, what they actually mean is the animal is born free-range but after weaning it raised indoors with no outside access.

Sow stall-free means that the pigs don’t’ live in stalls, but they are still raised inside, in what is known as “indoor group housing”.   Better than the stalls, but still pretty sad as far as I am concerned.

The next labels mean the animal has probably led a happier life than their poor friends above, but as with all food labelling, there is no legislation (or it seems, desire born out of wanting to do the right thing) to govern how people label their products. So you should totally buy direct from a farmer you know and trust, and if you can’t do that, that is where label certification comes in .

Grass-fed or pasture-fed means the animals have been raised on open grazing land with access to water and they can have supplemental feed which is a mix of grasses.   All certified organic meat is grass-fed.

Certified organic – animals must be happily roaming around on pastures and cannot be given growth-promoters or antibiotics. The general principles of organic farming mean the animals must be treated nicely.

Biodynamic Bellamy’s organic blog has a great article that spells out the difference between organic and biodynamic farming, but from what I can understand, biodynamic farming has similar principles to organic but takes it a step further by considering things such as lunar and astrological cycles, and places a lot of emphasis on the health of the soil (yay!).

Free-range – depending on which of the certification standards, and the type of animal produce you are buying, this label can mean a lot of different things. I took some time out to read through the various certification standards, but so you don’t have to, I’ve put together a couple of tables to summarise, so you don’t have to :)

Free range accreditation - poultry

Free Range Accreditation - Pork

My advice, in case you are interested, is get to know a local farmer and buy meat direct from them (this is also good on so many levels, like helping to sustain your local farmers and support your local food economy, but more on that some other time).  There are plenty of options out there, just do a google search “buy meat direct from farmer “insert your location” and you will be sure to find something.

Here is the Berra we have Lost River Produce  who sell meat from their farm at Crookwell, their animals are happily free roaming on grass and are not fed antibiotics or hormones.  I buy from these guys regularly, their lamb is particularly amazing.   Another fantastic place is Greenhill farm whose meat is all biodynamically grown, and you can order from them online and pick up at the EPIC farmers market every Saturday.  I’ll stop with those 2, but I can feel a list coming on…..

If you can’t get access to a local farmer then only buy certified products, and get acquainted with  what the different accreditations mean.

That’s it from me till next time🙂


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It’s time to meet your meat

roast-beef-clipart-clip-art-cows-605539

Last week, when my 4-year-old was being consulted about what we should have for dinner, he was asked if he likes fish. His reply – yes, but not fish from the ocean.  Cute and funny, yes, but I figure that this same principle exists for the majority of us adults.  When we buy meat, how much consideration do we give to the kind of life the lovely animal, who is providing the amazing meat, has gone through before ending up on our plates?

Last year, after I watched the doco, “genetic roulette” for the first time (if you still haven’t seen it yet, get into it), I decided that I would only eat grass-fed meat and dairy products, and there is a massive trend towards this happening in society, but then I watched a few more documentaries about the livestock industry, and realised that grass-fed, doesn’t necessarily mean the animal has been treated humanely, and what about the animals we eat that don’t eat grass.  At this point I decided to only ever buy free-range, or preferably organic meat.  The tricky thing here, is that the labelling system used around free-range and organic meat and dairy, is not as straightforward as one would hope (which is pretty much the same for all food labelling standards!).

But today I’m going to hit you with some of the things I have learned.

In Australia, we have something called the National Model Codes of Practice for the Welfare of Livestock, these codes basically define what is considered acceptable treatment of livestock and they definitely provide some good, specific principles for the humane treatment of animals.  Unfortunately however, these codes are not enforceable and are considered to be guidelines, and there are plenty of people who chose not to follow these guidelines and treat animals in a manner that is not considered acceptable.

So today, I want to outline some of the things that may have happened to an animal on its journey from birth to your plate.

Cows – When they are still quite young, many cows are branded, which means they are burned with hot irons, they have their horns cut or burned off, and males get castrated, which means they have their testicles cut out, all without any anaesthetic. If they are really lucky, they will then be sent to feedlots, here is what a typical Australian feedlots look like.

Dairy cows are repeatedly impregnated and separated from their calves so that they produce lots of milk to keep up with the demand we create by using so many dairy products.  Eventually their bodies become exhausted and cannot produce any more milk, when this happens, they will be sent to slaughter.   Cows are mammals like us, and they form strong maternal bonds with their babies, there have been many cases of reports where these poor mums can be heard crying out for their babies, sometimes for days.

Eventually all these cows will end up at the abattoir where they can be in the head, and/or have their throat cut, skinned and gutted, it is not uncommon for the cows to be conscious through this entire process.

Pigs – It is estimated that around 97% of all pigs grown in Australia spend their entire lives indoors.  The treatment of mummy pigs is very sad with these poor pigs spending much of their time gestational crates, like the one below, having babies.

Photos and video footage taken from sow stall sheds in Australia has shown pigs screaming and biting the bars of their stalls, some frothing at the mouth and/or suffering from injuries like swollen limbs, lameness, and open wounds. In the very worst cases, to induce early births, pigs are made to starve, given only one single small meal a day.

Other general practices with pigs:

  • Ear cutting – this is a method used to identify pigs and piglets, and it is usually done without any anesthetic.  It involves cutting off pieces of piglets’ ears in their first few days of life.  A google search can provide you with a “how-to template for pig ear cutting.

  • Tail cutting – the industry says that this a necessary practice to stop piglets and pigs biting each others tails.  However some would argue that the pigs are only biting each other because they are bored, stressed and overcrowded.
  • Teeth cutting – the industry says that piglets require their teeth cut so that they don’t damage their mother’s teats and udder.  Some would argue that under natural conditions a mother pig would be able to move or push her piglets away if they were causing her pain or discomfort, but as you can see above, the gestational crates don’t even have enough room for the mum’s to turn around.

  • castration as with cows,  male piglets can be castrated (a reminder, that means their testicles are removed) without anesthetic.

Chickens – there are two types of chickens bred in Australia, “layers” and “broilers”.  And when I say bred, I really mean they have been bred.  Through selective breeding, today’s layers are bred so that they can lay up to 250 eggs per year.  It is thought that chickens way back in the history of time, like before we started selectively breeding them, may have only laid around 2 dozen eggs per year.  The layer chickens don’t grow fast enough to meet the demand for meat, so if you are a male born layer bred chicken, your life will come to a swift end.

If you buy yourself some caged eggs, this is how the chickens that gave the lovely eggs would spend their whole lives:

Broiler chickens have been bred to produce a lot of meat, and more specifically, a lot of breast meat.  Today’s chickens weigh up to 3 kgs, which is almost double the size of chickens 60 years ago, plus their breasts are 80% larger.  The chickens are also bred to reach this size in 6 weeks, whereas back in the 1950’s it took a chicken 15 weeks to reach its full growth. The accelerated growth leads to many physical problems for the chickens, particularly with reference to moving and walking. A study published by Science Daily showed that 27% of 40 day old chickens had difficulties with movement and 3.3% of them could barely walk.  Even more frightening is that from these groups of chickens, farmers had already culled the “lame” chickens, so these ones were considered normal.  Here is a typical home for broiler chickens, the lights are kept intentionally low so that the chickens will move around less and use less energy and as a result require less food, as well as trying to reduce the amount of fighting between the chickens due to the overcrowded situation.

One of the problems with buying meat from your local supermarket, is that you don’t know the farmer, you don’t see the farm and therefore you have no idea of what that animal has been through.  Labelling is our only way of getting an understanding, but as I mentioned, these labelling systems are confusing.  I am going to come back to the labelling next week.  Your best option would be to find yourself a local farmer and get acquainted with the kinds of conditions the animals you eat are living under.  As the Fair Food documentary highlights, we are the first generation of people that eats food grown and manufactured from places and people we don’t know.  Fair food is another doco you should definitely see, and it provides plenty of other good reasons why you should buy your meat from a local farmer.

Just in case the information above wasn’t disturbing enough, I am going to leave you with the “Meet Your Meat” doco, which is also very disturbing, but well worth a watch.


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Slow Food Part II – The Greatest Ever List of Wholefood Eating Establishments from Around the Globe

Last week I was lucky enough to go on a holiday to the south coast, and I had a fantastic time, but I did struggle when it came time to eat-out, as finding a place to eat that sold something that wasn’t covered in batter, or deep-fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil proved quite difficult.

Here in the Berra we are very lucky, as there are more and more food establishments with a whole-food focus opening up around the place.  I figure there are probably places at the South Coast, but I just didn’t know how to find them.  So that got me thinking ……  I would like to get together a list of whole-food eating establishments around the world…. yes – the world.  I decided it’s best to get a list that covers the entire globe so that when I am off travelling the world, as I am sure to do, I can easily locate wholesome eating establishments, that way I will be able to pack more clothes and less food🙂

So I’ve started putting together a list, but I would like to keep adding to this list FOREVER….. So, can I ask you to please add your favourite places from around the globe in the section below?

First I thought I would list out a few of my faves for you to check out, and then after that, is the list.  The list is already quite long, seriously, this is going to be the longest whole-food-eating-establishments list EVER.   (Unless you are really bored and hard-up for things to do, I wouldn’t suggest reading this already-massive-and-soon-to-be-even-massiver list from start to finish, you can just do a page search and hopefully find the location you are looking for).

Maple + CloveRealm Park, 7 Burbury Close, Barton

Open Mon – Fri 7am – 3pm and Sat – Sun 7.30am – 3pm

I love this place, and that has a lot to do with the fact that I am happy to eat everything on the menu. And basically that means I am happy to eat their sweet options because, in addition to serving locally sourced whole-foods, they also have a refined-sugar free menu. Yay. They also have lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Food Co-op cafe – 3 Kingsley Street, Canberra City

Open weekdays for breakfast 8am – 11am and lunch 12pm – 2pm

100% organic, always Vegan and usually gluten-free.   Always super, super cheap – lunches are a flat rate of $6 for non-members or $5 if you are a member. They keep their prices down (and reduce waste) by providing one lunch option each day, and you wash your own dishes. You can also pop in next door to the co-op shop where they stock a bunch of organic produce, the majority of which is naked (as in no packaging), once again to reduce waste.

My rainbow dreams cafe – Dickson Place, Dickson

Open Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm and Tues, Sat and Sun 8.30am – 4pm

Vegetarian cafe with gluten-free options, owned and operated by students of Sri Chimnoy who was an Indian meditation teacher, their ethos is to “serve food that is nourishing to both the body and soul…”.

As Nature Intended – Belconnen Markets

Open Tues 11am – 4pm and Wed – Sun 8.30am – 6pm

Organic, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The cafe sits inside the organic grocery store which has a comprehensive stock of organic fruit, vegetables, groceries and beauty products. This is a great place to take the kids as there is plenty of room outside for them to run around and even little boxes of toys and books for them to play with.

Sweet bones Bakery – 8/18 Londsdale Street, entry via Eloura Street

Open Monday – Saturday 7.30am – 4pm and Sunday 8.30am – 3pm

These guys sell all organic, vegan deliciousess with lots of gluten-free options, their coffee is organic fair-trade is roasted locally. They have multiple menus you can choose from – all day breakfast, light meals, burgers and salads, south of the border, smoothies and juices, and of course their famous baked goods.

Red Brick EspressoShop 4/35 Curtin place, Curtin shops, Curtin

Open Mon – Fri 7.30am – 4.30pm, Sat 7.30am – 4pm, Sun 8am -2pm

These guys are coffee roasters who sell seasonal coffee. They are coffee experts, which you will experience when you taste their coffee. They also have a fabulous whole-food menu with vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Mrs Sackville – 21 Eastlake Parade, Kingston

Open Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday 9.30am – 3pm

From Mrs Sackville’s menu “Mrs Sackville believes strongly that contented animals, able to indulge in their natural behaviours, provide us with better quality products….” All animal products sold are free-range, organic, or biodynamic. Her bacon is also free of preservatives and she has gluten-free and vegetarian options available.

And here we go with the list….

The Greatest Ever List of Whole-food Eating Establishments From Around the World. 

Australia

ACT

Canberra

  • A Bite to Eat – Shop 8 Eggleston Crescent, Chifley Free range and organic products are used where possible, plus they make all their cakes daily on site. Lots of Gluten-free and vegetarian options.
  • As Nature Intended – Belconnen Markets Organic whole-foods with vegetarian and gluten-free options
  • Autolyse and – 5/21 Lonsdale Street, Braddon.  They hand make sourdough and pastries without any preservatives.  They also have a menu of lovely whole-foods with vegetarian and and gluten-free options.  They also have a cold-pressed juice bar at 2/21 Lonsdale Street Braddon.
  • Deeks Bakery and Cafe – Dickson Place, Dickson and Hodgson Crescent, Pearce shops, Pearce. Whole-foods, 100% gluten-free with vegetarian and grain-free options
  • Double Shot Cafe – 7/18 Duff Place, Deakin. Whole-foods menu with plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options
  • Eighty Twenty Food – 1/18 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Whole-foods with gluten-free and vegetarian options
  • Elemental Cafe – 54/30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Paleo cafe using locally sourced ingredients. 100% gluten-free with vegetarian options
  • Food Coop Cafe – 3 Kingsley Street Canberra City. Organic, Vegan and usually gluten-free whole-foods with organic food coop
  • Local Press – 81 Giles Street Kingston. Whole-foods with gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free options.  They also now sell locally made whole-food raw treats from fuel well.
  • Maple + Clove – Realm Park, 7 Burbury Close, Barton. Whole-foods, gluten-free and vegetarian options, refined-sugar free
  • Mocan and Green Grout – 1/19 Marcus Clarke Street, New action South, Canberra. Seasonal Whole-foods made from locally and sustainably produce, these guys even have a compostable kitchen waste system which feeds into the neighbourhood’s community garden.
  • Mountain Creek Whole-foods – 14 Barker Street, Griffith. Organic, vegetarian with lots of gluten-free and dairy-free options. They also have an organic supermarket.
  • Mrs Sackville – 21 Eastlake Parade Kingston. Organic, locally sourced whole-foods
  • My Rainbow Dreams cafe – Dickson Place, Dickson. Vegetarian whole-foods with gluten-free options
  • Paleo Perfection – 121/2 Trevillian Quay, Kingston. 100% Paleo friendly cafe which means lots of organic ingredients and 100% free from gluten, grains, peanuts, soy, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Selling snacks and beverages
  • Quizine – 17 Botany Street Phillip. Whole-foods – fast-food style with vegetarian and gluten-free options
  • Red Brick Espresso – Shop 4/35 Curtin place, Curtin shops, Curtin. Locally roasted coffee and locally sourced whole-foods
  • Sweet Bones Bakery – 8/18 Londsdale Street, entry via Eloura Street. Organic, vegan whole-foods with gluten-free and raw food options available
  • Thr1ve – Canberra Centre (opposite Supabarn), Bunda Street, Canberra City. Paleo friendly, with locally and ethically sourced ingredients which are always gluten-free with no added sugar
  • Vspot Cafe -Crnr City walk & Petrie Plaza, Canberra City. Vegetarian/vegan whole-foods – Gluten-free and raw food options available
  • A.Baker – New Acton Pavilion unit 2, 15 Edindburgh Avenue Canberra. Seasonal whole-foods made from local produce, as the name suggests they bake their own bread on site. Gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
  • Elk and Pea – 21 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Whole-foods with some organic options, and lots of gluten-free and vegetarian options
  • Ginger Catering – Village Centre, National Arboretum Canberra. Whole-foods produced using seasonal, local and sustainably grown produce. Some organic produce with plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options
  • Sage – Gorman house Arts Centre, Batman Street, Braddon. Whole-foods predominantly sourced from the Sage Farm which grows organic, sustainable produce. Gluten-free and vegetarian options.
  • The Ridge organic restaurant – Farrer Shops, Farrer Place, Farrer. Organic, whole-food restaurant where the entire menu is gluten-free with the exception of “regular” bread that is available. Lots of vegetarian options.

NSW

Byron Bay

  • Naked Treaties Cafe – 2/3 Marvell Street, Byron Bay.  100% raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free.

Gundaroo

  • Grazing – The Royal Hotel, Corner Cork and Harp Streets, Gundaroo. Fresh, local, sustainably sourced produce. Lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options
  • Capital Wines cellar door – The Royal Hotel, 42 Cork Street, Gundaroo. Fresh, local ingredients including produce picked from the kitchen garden out the back.

Huskisson

  • Pilgrims Wholefoods – Shops 4, 5 ,5, 57 Owen Street, Huskisson.  Vegetarian Whole-foods cafe with gluten-free options.

Milton

  • Pilgrims Wholefoods – Shops 8 & 9, The Settlement, Princes Hwy Milton, NSW.  Vegetarian Whole-foods cafe with gluten-free options.

Moruya

  • Moruya Health Cafe -11 Church Street, Moruya. Whole-food cafe with vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Newcastle

  • Goodnessme Organics – 617-621 Glebe Road, Adamstown.  Organic whole-foods catering to vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free.
  • Momo Whole-food Cafe – 10 Williams Street, East Maitland. Organic Whole-food cafe with gluten-free and vegetarian options.
  • Raw Cafe – 33 Hunter Street, Newcastle.  Raw menu catering for vegetarian, gluten-free, and paelo.

Sydney

  • About life – 605 Darling Street, Rozelle. 31-37 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction. 520 Miller Street, Cammeray. 1 Kiaora Lane, Double Bay. 285a Crown Street, Surry Hills. Each of these stores has a natural grocery store plus a whole-foods cafe with lots of organic, gluten-free and vegetarian options.
  • Henley’s Whole-foods – 9/310-330 Oxford Street, Bondi and 38 Mitchell Road, Alexandria. Paleo friendly, with their whole menu sourced locally and sustainably which means it is chemical free. Grain and gluten-free with lots of vegetarian options.
  • Paleo Cafe – shop 5, 310-330 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction. Paleo menu which means often organic, wholefoods, grain-free, refined sugar-free
  • Real Food Connection – 2 Sterling Circuit, Camperdown. Paleo friendly, 100% grain, gluten and processed foods-free.
  • Sadhana Kitchen – 147 Enmore Road, Enmore.  Organic whole-foods and raw foods.  They even have a raw, vegan, gluten-free high tea!
  • Thr1ve – MLC Centre, Shop 28, Level 6 19-29 Martin place Sydney and Shop 5005, Westfield Pitt Street, Corner Pitt St Mall & Market Street, Sydney. Paleo friendly, with locally and ethically sourced ingredients which are always gluten-free with no added sugar
  • Ungaro Raw – 656 Darling Street, Rozelle.  Raw, organic, food all refined sugar-free.  A big selection of nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free and vegetarian/vegan options.
  • Pilgrims Wholefoods – 97 Gerrale St, Cronulla.  Vegetarian Whole-foods cafe with gluten-free options.

Taree

  • Wild Fig Whole-food Cafe – 2 Commerce Street, Taree. Whole-foods with organic and free-range animal products used where possible, lots of gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

VIC

Melbourne

  • Thr1ve – Emporium Shopping Centre, Shop 3-026, 287 Londsdale Street, Melbourne. Paleo friendly, with locally and ethically sourced ingredients which are always gluten-free with no added sugar
  • Yong Green Food – 421-423 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Predominantly organic vegetarian food using eco-friendly principles. They have an extensive Gluten Free and raw food menu.
  • Monk Bodhi Darma Specialty Coffee and Roastery – 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava. Predominantly organic, vegan/vegetarian free with lots of gluten and sugar-free options.
  • Admiral Cheng-Ho – 325 Johston Street, Abbotsford. Seasonal whole-food menu using mostly organic and locally sourced produce, predominantly gluten-free and vegan.
  • Vegie Bar – 380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  Whole-foods specialising in vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and raw food.
  • Kinfolk Cafe -673 Bourke Street, Melbourne.  These guys are more than a cafe, they are a social enterprise who give away 100% of their profits to charity.  Their food is seasonal, sourced locally and, where possible, biodynamic, organic, and fair-trade.
  • Green Cup – 593 Chapel Street, South Yarra. Selling green smoothies, superfood smoothies, acai bowls, and superfood snacks.  Vegetarian and and gluten-free options available.

QLD

Brisbane

  • Thr1ve – Shop 9, 215-221 Adelaide Street, Brisbane. Paleo friendly, with locally and ethically sourced ingredients which are always gluten-free with no added sugar.
  • Kunara Organic Cafe – 31/77 Hudson Road, Albion. 95% organic and gluten-free whole-foods.

Gold Coast

Sunshine Coast

  • Kunara Organic Cafe – 330 Mons Road, Forest Glen.  95% organic and gluten-free whole-foods.
  • The Velo Project – 19 Careela Street, Mooloolaba.  Fresh whole-foods with plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian options.
  • Ground Organics – 7/11 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba.  Locally sourced, seasonal whole-foods with plenty of organic, gluten-free and vegetarian options.

SA

Adelaide

  • Red Lime Shack – 158 St Vincent Street, Port Adelaide.   Seasonal, locally sourced whole-foods, 100% vegan and dairy-free with plenty of gluten-free options.
  • Enliven Holistic Health Cafe – 467A Brighton Road, Brighton.  Organic cafe with gluten-free, vegetarian, raw food options.
  • Bliss Organic Garden Cafe – 7 Compton Street, Adelaide.  Organic, vegan, locally sourced and seasonal food with plenty of gluten-free, and raw food options.

WA

Perth

  • The Raw Kitchen – 181A High Street, Fremantle.  Raw, seasonal, plant-based whole-foods.  The menu is 100% gluten-free, diary-free and refined sugar-free.
  • Mana Whole-foods – 274 South Terrace, South Fremantle.  Most of the food is made on the premises and is vegetarian/vegan, with organic, gluten-free and raw foods available.
  • The organic Circle – shop 1, Pioneer Village, 7 Albany Highway, Armadale.  Organic, vegan/vegetarian cafe with lots of gluten-free and raw options.  They are also have a microwave-free kitchen.
  • Swan Valley Cafe -990 Great Northern Hwy, Millendon.  Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, raw menu with meals made daily from locally sourced seasonal produce.
  • Health Freak Cafe – 3 locations – Corner Alvan Street & Railway Road, Subiaco.  148, The Esplanade, Scarborough.  Corner Reid Prom & The Boulevard, Joondalup.  Everything is gluten-free and refined sugar-free, with lots of vegetarian options. 
  • Soul Tree Cafe – Shop 6, 3-5 Railway Parade, Glen Forrest.  Wholefood cafe, lots of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo and raw food options.
  • Samudra – 226 Naturaliste Terrace, Dunsborough.  Raw vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free menu with dairy-free options.  Ingredients are seasonal and sourced locally including from the biodynamic kitchen garden on site.

TAS

  • Alchemy Cafe -640 Forth Road, Forth.  Mostly organic, 100% gluten-free with lots of vegetarian and raw food options.

New Zealand

  • Little Bird Organics Unbakery – 3 locations – 385 New North Rd, Kingsland.  Corner Summer Street & Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby. 14 Customs Street East, Auckland Central.  The menu is mostly raw, organic, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and without refined cane sugars or soy.
  • Raw Planet Juice & Raw Food Bar – Shop 2, 3 McLean St, across the road from the sea at Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti Coast. Fresh organic juices, smoothies, superfoods, raw vegan pizza, organic real fruit ice-cream & raw sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free cakes & treats.
  • Revive Cafe – 2 locations – 24 Wyndeham Street, and 33 Lorne Street, Auckland.   Vegetarian, whole-food cafe with lots of vegan and gluten-free options.

United States of America

California

  • Mission : Heirloom garden cafe – 2085 Vine Street, berkeley. Whole menu contains is organic and non-GMO, plus free of processed refined oils, sugars, gluten, grain, legumes.  In addition, their kitchen is plastic and aluminum free to avoid adding any extra toxins into your meal.   
  • Brodo -1st Avenue at 12th Street NYC.  A cafe specialising in bone broth.  They sell whole-food bone broths and soup, all gluten-free, all sugar-free, all dairy-free.  They have a vegetarian soup which can be made vegan and/or gluten-free on request.
  • Hu Kitchen – 78 5th Avenue, New York.  Huge selection of organic, non-GMO foods, non-processed foods. Entire menu is gluten-free, and dairy and grain-free unless noted on the menu. They season with sea salt and pepper and cook with olive and coconut oils only.  Plenty of vegetarian options available.

Pennsylvania

  • 3 Measures Vegetarian Cafe – 15 Broadway, Bangor.  Bakery and cafe, where breads, cakes and pastries are baked on the premises using unrefined ingredients.  That means no refined grains or sugars.


2 Comments

Easter Sweeties

As I have mentioned before and will no doubt mention again, I am doing my best to avoid all processed sugars and to reduce the overall amount of sugar/carbohydrates I am eating.  So this year I made all my own Easter sweeties, sans processed sugar, but super delicious and so I’m sharing the recipes at the end of this post.

But first, seeing as for most people, Easter is a massive sugar-fest, I thought it was timely to talk a bit more about sugar.

If you haven’t yet seen the the fabulous Australian Documentary “That Sugar Film”, you totally should. It’s very good.

But if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, and until you do, I thought I would pack you up with a few videos you can watch online.   I’ve put in a couple of short ones a couple of longer ones🙂

This cute little 3 minute video from a 2012 American campaign to try to help people eat less sugar.

Nicole Avena’s 5 minute TED talk – How sugar affects the brain

A Catalyst episode from 2013 – Toxic Sugar?

And lastly another TEDx talk, this time by Dr Robert Lustig called Sugar – the elephant in the kitchen.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that our daily intake of food should include no more than 10% from sugar, and that a reduction to 5% would provide additional health benefits.  5% equates to around 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, current statistics show the average australian is having around 30 teaspoons per day.  Imagine how many teaspoons that increases to over the Easter long weekend!

One of the main reasons for the high sugar intake is the result of added sugars in the foods we buy from the supermarket.  It is currently estimated that 80% of all supermarket-bought foods contain added sugar, and in most cases this is refined-sugars.  Refined sugars, as I am sure you are already aware, contain no nutrition for the body and in many forms are actually quite toxic, one well-known example being our not-friend – high-fructose corn syrup.

As I have mentioned a number of times before, I have a mouth full of sweet teeth, and I am definitely not at the stage of giving up sweet foods completely.  I figure that, given there are a number of sweeteners provided to us by nature that do contain nutrition, I must be meant to eat them🙂

So, as I mentioned, this Easter I made all my own Easter chocolates.  For the record, making my own was as much about making sure I had chocolate to eat this Easter, as it was for any other reason🙂

Without question, my favorite natural sweetener is maple syrup. Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees, which is heated to remove some of the water content so that it creates that lovely syrup.  Maple syrup contains small amounts of vitamins and almost all minerals, which means our body knows what it needs to do with it.  Just don’t eat too much of it, because when you eat too much sugar/too many carbohydrates, your body knowing what to with it = adding it to your fat cells.

Ok, enough of that, let’s get to the good stuff, here are the Easter sweeties I made this year, each of them super easy and super delicious.

Chocolate Almond Crunch Recipe

Up till this recipe I had been making all my own chocolate from coconut oil, this was first go with cocoa butter and I don’t think I can go back.  It is very delicious.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cocoa butter
  • 1 cup of cocoa
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup of almonds

What to do:

Melt the cocoa butter in a saucepan over low heat, then stir in the cocoa and maple syrup.  Scatter the almonds on the bottom of a non-stick tray and pour over chocolate mix.  Freeze.  Eat.

These are best kept in the freezer but you can keep them in the fridge but they will be more of a chocolate almond chew than a chocolate almond crunch🙂

Chocolate Rough Type Things

My comment above about never going back was a bit hasty, I had no trouble going back to these.

IMG_0032_2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups shredded coconut.

What to do:

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat then add the cocoa and maple syrup to taste.  Put the coconut into a bowl and stir through the chocolate concoction.  Place smallish balls of the mixture onto a non-stick surface and freeze.  Now eat.

Carrot Cake with cream cheese or “cream-cheese” icing

Adapted from Donna Hay

For our family celebrations I put my hand up to make an Easter themed dessert, I didn’t want to do anything chocolate as there is always plenty of that around so I decided on a carrot cake, themed so as the Easter bunny eats carrots.  This cake has the added benefit of being grain free to help keep you under your daily carbohydrate limit🙂  The smell of this cake whilst it was cooking was amazing, and it is without question the tastiest carrot cake I have ever eaten.

IMG_0076

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 -1½ cups maple syrup (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3½ cups almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon aluminium-free baking powder
  • 400g carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup sultanas

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to around 160 degrees celsius.  Beat the eggs and maple syrup and vanilla with electric beaters until the mixture becomes thick and basically triples in size, this can take a while, took me around 10 minutes.  Combine all other ingredients into a separate bowl and then fold through the egg mixture.  Pour into a springform non-stick tin and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Cake is ready when a knife/skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let the cake cool completely in the tin and then refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours.

Top with either cream cheese icing, or if you are avoiding dairy (like me at the moment), this “cream cheese” icing which is what is on my cake, and is surprisingly good:

Coconut Cream Cheese Icing 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (more or less to taste)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • water

What to do:

Using a stick blender whip all the ingredients, excluding the water, until you have a lovely, fluffy mixture. Add water/coconut oil as required to adjust the thickness.  Add apple cider vinegar/maple syrup as required to adjust taste.

Slap the icing on the cake.  Eat the cake.

That’s enough sweet treats for today🙂