The Blog

Eating a Rainbow

rainbow pancakes fork

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the idea of imagining people feasting on a rainbow. For some reason it reminds me of that room in Willy Wonka’s factory where you could lick the fruit wallpaper… How cool would it be rocking up to a summer pot luck picnic and producing an entire rainbow from your basket like a magician?! Anyway, in my head you would eat this magical rainbow, and then be infused with it’s powers. Just like eating a rainbow of vegetables and fruit really? If you break down the job that vitamins and minerals perform in the body, that is pretty magical!

Nutrition groups have adopted the initiative, and ordinarily this concept is marketed at kids, which is wonderful, but adults need it too! Each colour represents different phytonutrients that nourish our bodies, protect against disease and promote health. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring compounds that are found in plants, giving them their colour, and helping to protect the plant from environmental factors like UV and insect attacks. The great thing is, when we eat the plants, we can glean their benefits too. I have written a very brief list below of various colours, the phytonutrients that go with them, the foods where they can be found, and some of their main roles in the body.

Red – lycopene – (berries, red pepper/capsicum, tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit) – contribute to heart heath and reducing inflammation and oxidation.

Orange/Yellow - carotenoids/betacarotene (pumpkin, sweet potato, mango, apricot, corn, carrot, orange, lemon, pineapple, squash) – boosts immunity.

Green – lutein & indoles (broccoli, cabbage, kale, chard, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, avocado, cucumbers, zucchini, green apples, kiwi, green pepper/capsicum) –  antioxidant, protect eyes.

White – sulfur & allicin – (onion, garlic, leek) – helps to fight disease and aids detoxification.

Purple/blue – …

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Double Chocolate Ice-Cream Sandwich Biscuits

choc ice-cream bisc copy1choc ice-cream bisc copy2

It has been a little quiet around here lately – I have been working hard on some new projects and can’t WAIT to share some awesome new things with you all!! It all got a bit too much the other day, so I made these biscuits. These are some pretty awesome biscuits, delicious day fixers in fact! You are welcome to enjoy them straight up, but if you need next level excitement (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) then you can sandwich them around a cheeky layer of ice-cream. So if you’re having a day when you can’t decide if the moment your drink bottle exploded over the inside of your bag, or noticing the dribbled toothpaste on your shirt half way through the day was the greatest moment, make these. And then eat them!

I have made them gluten free, and they are easily adaptable to dairy free and egg free if needed.

ice-cream sandwich biscuits hand

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE SUNFLOWER BISCUITS

Makes around 14

½ cup ground sunflower seeds – blitz in a blender or food processor (you can also use any other nut/meal)

½ cup raw cacao or dutch cocoa powder

½ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup cornflour (corn starch)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

A good pinch of fine sea salt

½ cup chopped almonds (or extra sunflower seeds or activated buckwheat if you’re nut free)

1/4 – ½ cup good quality dark chocolate

 

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup melted butter / ghee / coconut oil

1 egg (or 1 tbs chia seeds soaked in 3 tbs water if egg free – but it will be more crumbly)

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

For the Ice-Cream {ice-cream adapted from the lovely Danijela of HealthyAlways Instagram greatness!}

4 ripe bananas

2-3 tbs cacao powder

2 tbs …

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Edible Flowers, grown and gathered.

 

edibleflowers

I’m so happy to bring you some great info on edible flowers today! Edible flowers are an instant party starter in my opinion. They bring colour, fun and glam to almost any dish. Throw some nasturtiums over a baked potato, or some lavender in a dessert, and you have immediate pretty and uniqueness! They can also be used therapeutically, and in practice I regularly use liquid herbs made from some varieties along with their leaves/roots – in particular calendula (marigold), dandelion, lavender, chamomile, marshmallow, and fennel.

A few months ago I met the gorgeous Lentil and Matt from Grown and Gathered – pictured below. Together they run a small farm in country Victoria, and share their wonderful, unique harvest of vegetables, herbs, cut and edible flowers, and even home-made bread with Melbourne each week.  My favourite part is their ‘flower exchange’, where you are encouraged to bring something to exchange for some cut flowers (if you want to!).

I am so happy to bring you some insight and wisdom from Lentil on edible flowers – what to look out for, and how to grow them yourself.

H.Walker_Grown&GatheredMarch-42

Lentil says:

So, what’ s edible?

CAUTION: To eat flowers, they need to be organic – flowers are often sprayed with all kinds of chemicals not intended for food, especially if they are imported. Many common flowers are also extremely poisonous, including: lily of the valley, daphne, foxgloves, anemone, daffodils, iris and sweet pea pods. So please don’t start eating your everyday supermarket flower or flowers you can’t identify as edible.

There are hundreds of edible flowers, most commonly used for a combination effect, adding texture, flavour and “style” a dish.

Some of the most commonly grown and used flowers include: roses, chamomile, herb flowers (basil, chives, dill, ), vegetable flowers (parsnip, onion,

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Express Cashew Yoghurt – straight up, vanilla cream, and choc-mint.

cashew cream

It all started with the above creamy vanilla cashew ‘cream’.  Then I wanted more of a tang, so it morphed into a yoghurt situation, and then I made a choc-mint version – because everything should have a choc-mint version! If you are restricted with a dairy free diet, you will no doubt have a hyper appreciation of all things creamy and delicious. Normally, coconut milk is my go-to in these situations, but cashews make a wonderful alternative. I have added probiotics from powder in this recipe, rather than actually fermenting the cashews to make it quick and easy, but stay tuned for more dairy free ferments where I have used the traditional fermenting method. Use the yoghurt as you would any creamy or yoghurt topping – on breakfasts, pancakes, atop of curries, in Mexican fiestas, in smoothies, or just enjoyed with a handful of nuts or some seasonal fruit.

Cashews are high in magnesium, which is one of my favourite minerals as it is all about helping out muscles and nerves to relax. Magnesium also assists healthy blood pressure, and can prevent muscle cramps, headaches, migraines and PMS. Cashews have a wonderful healthy fat profile, have a lovely dose of zinc and copper, and a great, mild flavour that lend themselves to well to loads of different dishes. Because of their creaminess, they are an awesome alternative for yoghurt and cream, when you are after that sort of texture.

cashew yoghurt 3

 

This is a very versatile recipe. You could use different nuts, add lime juice instead of lemon, adjust the thickness by adding more or less liquid, and if you don’t have psyllium you can use 2 tsp soaked chia seeds in its place.

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

2/3 cup water (or …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Holistic Nutritionist
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