Embracing seasonal eating isn’t just an attempt to reconnect with nature. It’s one of the simplest ways to radically improve the quality of your food. And by default, you’re reducing grocery bills, packaging and food miles, all whilst supporting local farmers. That’s because seasonal food is fresh, local food. The type that our grandparents, and indeed all our ancestors, thrived on.
This post is part of our Traditional food tour through Europe.
We’re still in Frankfurt, Germany.
Thanks to the dwindling food culture – the price of convenience for our parent’s generation, we’ve really lost touch with eating this way. Most Australians shop predominantly at their local supermarket instead of markets or farmgate stalls, as is the norm in Europe. There’s certainly more of an inherent understanding over here, that all foods, including meats, have a season.
Two things sprung to mind when I spied the red roses growing outside our new country home. Rose petal jam. Rose petal vinegar. The latter won, as it turned out. It’s been far too long since I made a floral or herbal vinegar. And Spring seemed like the perfect time, with fresh salads stealing the lion’s share of the menu. Having a few novelty dressing additions on hand, never goes astray.
Flowers and fresh salads. I LOVE this time of year!
The wonderful thing about rose petal vinegar is that it’s equally at home in your bathroom cabinet and pantry. Well, to be honest, my entire beauty routine originates from the pantry anyway, so nothing special here.
As an ex-beauty therapist, I have a long-standing appreciation for roses. Their extensive list of active constituents and healing properties mean they have unparalleled scope when it comes to treating skin issues. You’ll see it recommended for dry skin, inflamed skin, acne...
And so begins our 10 week traditional food jaunt through Europe. Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland. The purpose is three-fold: to introduce the newest young member of the clan to his European elders; to sample as many nose-to-tail delights as possible and to broaden our knowledge of traditional and regional cuisine in general. My feeble attempt to address the enormous void that exists on that front, in Australia.
It's certainly taken us a few days to get used to the new timezone and lingering Winter temps (1 degree on our *very brisk* walk the other morning), but we’re now settled into our new life and loving every minute.
It's not TOO much of a stretch, when my mother-in-law (our host for the next couple of weeks) is a talented German housewife whose lifelong dream was to own a bed-and-breakfast. A master illusionist, is she. You never really spy her working, but our perfectly pressed clothes appear on the stairs each morning and the dining table is always immaculately set....
Did you realise that nose to tail eating, the art of consuming the whole animal, has been a common practice in every traditional culture? It’s something I take any opportunity to wax lyrical about and for good reason. Organ meats are the most nutrient dense food group and eating nose to tail is quite simply, the only way to achieve a balanced nutritional profile as a meat-eater. Let the renaissance begin!
Brains are enjoyed across the world and are considered a nourishing food. African, Chinese and Indonesian folk happily feast on the grey matter of monkeys, goats, pigs, cows, squirrels and horses. In India, Bheja Fry and Maghaz Masala are popular goat brain recipes available throughout the country. When in Mexico you may try some tacos de sesos, or in France, cervelles (lamb brains) are a prized ingredient in many gourmet dishes.
Traditional cultures trusted the principle of...
Are you throwing away 20% of the food you buy? Unfortunately, according to Food Wise food waste is a real problem. Australians are tossing 1 out of every 5 bags of groceries purchased. That’s a staggering 4 million tonnes, worth $8 billion dollars of edible food going in the bin each year.
Thankfully, food waste can be a thing of the past. Waste-free cooking is pretty simple, once you know the ropes. We just have to rekindle some of Grandma’s know-how.
Firstly, there’s the financial benefit: $1,036 per year for the average household (enough to feed a family for a month)! This Sustainability Victoria report found food waste in 2014 to be even higher, at $2,200 per household.
Secondly, the environmental impacts are quite significant. When food waste ends up in landfill, it produces methane gas. This greenhouse emission is a staggering 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution from your car’s...
f you grew up in Australia (or the US) during the last few decades, then it’s unlikely that organ meats – collectively known as offal – made an appearance on your dinner plate too often. But if you flick through your grandparent’s cookbooks, you’ll see it was the norm only one generation ago.
Granted it’s nowhere near as sexy as kale or goji berries, but offal deserves a place in the superfoods hall of fame. In fact if we’re defining them by their nutrient density, it truly puts all the others to shame! Many health conscious consumers are surprised to learn that organ meats are by far the most nutrient rich foods available. Even if you’re already in the know, chances are you have no idea how to incorporate them into your family’s diet.
I recently had the opportunity to test my most popular beginner offal recipe, Hearty Bolognese, on Body & Soul features writer and offal virgin, Rosie King. (And she survived!)
Gelatin is somewhat of a superfood, having its heyday again after years of misguided vilification. It is the cooked form of animal collagen, which contains an unusually high amount of the amino acids, glycine and proline. Aside from getting a small supply whenever you eat gelatinous meaty dishes, there are three other ways to boost your intake. By consuming bone broth; using the storebought powdered or sheet form; or preparing your own homemade gelatin.
Gelatin’s health benefits are extensive. It is wonderful for the gut and digestion in general. And it’s also well known for assisting with joint health and arthritis pain, largely due to its chondroitin content. The impressive amounts of glycine make it a wonderfully calming food for people suffering with anxiety, stress or restless sleep. (Especially children!)
Gelatin is naturally found in the skin and cartilage of animals. It...
Ok, so I’ve been banging on about bone broth a lot lately (sorry). It’s just that I’ve been sitting on quite a few broth-based recipes from our What To Eat e-books and have been waiting for the warmer months to spring some of them on you (no pun intended)!
Did you catch last Summer’s hottest new trend? Bone broth popsicles. Yep – brothsicles! Aussies, it’s established terminology, so we’ll have to go along with the Americans on this one. ‘Broth block’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, anyway..
Recently, a New York City eatery made headlines with its fruit-flavoured brothsicles. According to the makers, they don’t taste meaty at all. (They claim that the bone broth flavour is ‘totally overwhelmed’ by the fruit and coconut milk they use). Lots of people love them, but clearly not everyone. A randomly selected child from the audience of one live television program described them as...
You’ve probably heard about bone broth by now. As of last year, its use as a health tonic is officially a phenomenon. And it’s easy to understand why. It’s an effective remedy for countless issues we seem to be plagued with in the 21st century! Poor immunity and gut health. Joint problems and tooth decay. And most importantly (apparently), premature aging of the skin.
And while most omnivores seem be adopting this new habit, something that’s not so clear to many, is which type of bones are the best to use. This post is a collection of my tips and advice around choosing bones for bone broth, taken from week 6 of my What To Eat program.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the types of bones to use for your broth. Different bones just offer different things. For example, marrow bones provide immune boosting fats that support fertility, growth and development in children and act as a potent...
Why all this fuss about green bananas on the blog, lately? First it was my gluten-free, fluffy banana flour pancakes. And now I’m back discussing the real thing: whole, green bananas. So, what’s so good about them? And why on earth would you dare eating them in their unripe form? Well, it’s all a matter of resistant starch, you see.
Resistant starch is a unique type that helps improve satiety, glycaemic control and is now being suggested as a primary way to help tackle Australia’s alarming rates of colon cancer. It’s so named, because it ‘resists’ digestion in the small intestine. Instead, it travels straight to the large intestine where it’s the food-of-choice of our beneficial bacteria. A prebiotic, if you will. And if our good bugs are happy and fed, they’re more likely to stick around and contribute to a healthy, functioning gut.
Do you know how they do that? They devour this...