Traditional Food Tour: indulging in the name of research

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2017

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....

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Nose to Tail for Beginners: Brainy Frittata

traditional food tour Jan 31, 2017

Nose to tail eating: a lost tradition

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!

Eat brains; become brainier? Our ancestors thought so.

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...

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Food Waste: how to avoid it in your kitchen

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.

Why bother with waste-free cooking?

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...

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Offal for beginners: Delicious ‘Hearty’ Bolognese

food as medicine recipes Sep 14, 2016

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!)

Offal: Body+soul

Why we...

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Homemade Gelatin: a neutral-flavoured version for desserts!

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.

Benefits of gelatin – why we all need it

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!)

Sourcing vs. making gelatin

Gelatin is naturally found in the skin and cartilage of animals. It...

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Bone Broth Pops: Strawberry, Vanilla & Fingerlime

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...

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Bone Broth: Your guide to the best bones

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.

Which are the best types of bones for bone broth?

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...

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Thermomix porridge recipe: a savoury twist

Uncategorized Jan 24, 2016

This supercharged, high-protein Thermomix porridge recipe is a crowd favourite. In fact, it’s probably my most popular to date. It’s even been featured on I Quit Sugar a few times.

 

The issue with standard porridge? It’s not a balanced meal. Which isn’t so great for breakfast, because it means you’re hungry again within an hour or two. No matter how you adorn it, regular porridge is extremely high in carbohydrates and low in protein.

Now, I’m not going to deny anyone a delicious bowl of porridge with cream and a lick of maple syrup from time to time. (Soul food is an important food group!) However on a day-to-day basis, a balanced breakfast – with a good amount of quality protein and fat – is the key to happier, more productive mornings. For both adults and kids alike.

So, what’s the answer, fellow porridge lovers?

As usual, I look to traditional cultures for inspiration. Most of them consume grains in the form of porridge,...

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Thermomix Recipe: Healthy Marrow Butter

Uncategorized Dec 12, 2015

This Thermomix recipe is one with tremendous health benefits, thanks to its star ingredient: bone marrow.

Revered by traditional cultures as a medicinal food for fertility, growth and development in children and as a potent healer for the sick, bone marrow is one of the richest sources of alkylglycerols or ‘AKG’s’, second only to human breast milk and shark liver oil.

And I’m confident neither of those ingredients are as accessible (for most) or delicious as this recipe – not that I’ve tasted either, recently!

 

What’s so good about AKG’s?

– They’re powerfully immune boosting and anti-inflammatory. This animal study found that on a dose for dose basis, they’re more effective than aspirin, more potent that phenylbutazone and equally as effective as hydrocortisone. Go nature!

– They may help with sperm health. This animal study found that they improve both fertility and motility via a mechanism that applies...

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Lemon Myrtle, Honey & Crème Fraîche Caramels

Uncategorized Nov 25, 2015

This lemon myrtle recipe has taken far too long to perfect. I love making caramels but there are so many variables at the best of times, let alone when you’re introducing unrefined sugars and oily native leaves into the mix!

I’m happy to say, it’s now ‘perfect’ enough for the blog – although I’m sure there will be updates and I’d love your feedback if it doesn’t turn out perfectly for you.

Now so I don’t get carried away waxing lyrical about how much I adore lemon myrtle, I’m going to save the endless nutritional benefits for another lengthy essay, because this post is about indulgence. There are far healthier ways to enjoy the benefits of lemon myrtle. Caramels (in strict moderation of course), are simply good for the soul. So let’s have a closer look at our star ingredients.

 

Unrefined sugars

When you’re choosing sugars to make good caramel, the heavily refined versions are much, much easier to...

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