Tag: superfoods

not porridge, oatmeal

not porridge, oatmeal

We used to call this porridge but now it’s oatmeal which sounds less stodgy and more superfoodbloggy, but don’t let that put you off if, like me, you’ve had a gutful of the superfood thing – it’s incredibly delicious and so easy your dog could make it. I have it every single day and never tire of it.

oats porridge nuts raisins
That’s Gary in the background, a lonely fighting fish.

Chop up a couple of cups of raw oats in your food processor with an optional tablespoon of psyllium husks and a handful of chia seeds. Store in a jar in the pantry.

oats nuts oatmeal jar

Toss into food processor your own preferred quantities of nuts (almonds, brazils, etc), seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds etc), muscat raisins and coconut. Chop so it’s still chunky. You’ve just prepared about two week’s worth of porridge oatmeal.

 

Recipe

2 cups oats

some psyliium husk (optional)

boiling water to cover

microwave for a minute

add handful of nut/raisin mix, and a big slug of pure maple syrup

top with blueberries – they have just been proven by Harvard researchers to be even better than you thought

 

To serve, put about half a cup of your porridge in a bowl, add enough boiling water to cover and microwave for a minute. Stir in a large handful of the nuts mix, and add maple syrup. You won’t think about food again until lunchtime.

The Angry Almond in Perth (Subiaco and Nedlands) has everything you need.

AngryAlmond.jpeg
Angry Almond, Rockeby Road Subiaco (conveniently two doors down from Jean-Claude Patisserie)

Let’s Do Coffee

Let’s Do Coffee

Finally. Proof from my favourite people (scientists) that coffee is good for you.

Huffington Post reported earlier this week that drinking coffee can lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. I went to Google Scholar to check the paper the news came from and yes, it’s true.

black coffee

That’s not all my fellow Cimba’s regulars: Coffee has also been discovered to do the following. I am keeping this very short as I know you want to skim over this and rush to the kettle to get cracking.

  • Coffee can lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s by as much as 25%
  • It can help ward off basal cell carcinoma (more so for women than men)
  • It can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer in men
  • It can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by boosting GCSF levels in the brain (google it)
  • It can lower the risk of depression in women by 15% to 20%
  • Finally it can help you spot grammatical (although not spelling) errors in your writing

The ‘dose’ seems to be around three to four cups a day and it’s still unclear as to whether the benefits are specifically tied to the caffeine although the evidence seems to point in that direction.

If this isn’t the best news you’ve had all day…you just haven’t had enough coffee.

Energy Balls (Amazeballs #2)

Energy Balls (Amazeballs #2)

I wasn’t kidding when I said it was impossible to go wrong with the amazeballs, consequently our recipe here at home has morphed with each making and currently it’s proving an easy winner and looking better than ever before.

Lately I have been leaving out the raw cacao powder for some variety and rolling them in a really lovely desiccated coconut I found at The Angry Almond. Rather than weigh the ingredients into the thermomix (food processor), I sit it on the same shelf of the pantry as the jars of ingredients and just throw them in, hence the measurements in handfuls rather than grams.

Energy/Superfood/Bliss AmazeBalls

  • 3 handfuls almonds
  • 1 handful cashews
  • 2 handfuls pitted medjool dates
  • 1 handful each of gogi berries, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, shredded coconut
  • Big Tbsp coconut oil, small Tbsp coconut sugar if you want extra sweet.

Grind the nuts a bit first then add everything else, form into balls (or press into a muffin tin) and roll in desiccated coconut.

energy bliss superfood balls

Bliss.

 

Heal Thyself

Heal Thyself

This post is about cancer, so first let’s make some jokes about superfoods. That works, doesn’t it?

zucchini pasta

I read a very funny article by Maggie Kelly yesterday. Her view of the clean eating mega-trend that is sweeping the first world. Among the gems, this:

Zucchini pasta is nothing like the real thing. It is like how those people in Argentina were selling rats on steroids as toy poodles. Just not the same.

The photo above is some zucchini ‘pasta’ I once made and thought about blogging. True.

And this.

To some of the more hard-core Clean Eaters telling them that I eat bread is like admitting I masturbate to old Adam Sandler movies whilst listening to One Direction and eating Skittle sandwiches. For them it’s weird, confusing and disturbing.

Before you think I am poking fun at you, disclaimer: I am riding that bandwagon myself. I have a kitchen full of chia seeds and gogi berries. My kids drink the occasional green smoothie – hell, there’s a huge bunch of kale sitting on the bench right this minute – and coconut products are spilling out of the fridge and pantry. It’s a superfood mecca here. I draw the line at pressing my own turmeric capsules but I have friends who do.

What the fantastic and yet slightly annoying trend indicates is a desire for we, the fat, unfit, unhealthy Western World to take our health into our own hands and work on healing. Work on creating and maintaining wellness rather than just fixing sickness. It’s good.

Scientists have been working through this stuff for years. They humbly lean over petri dishes and microscopes occasionally popping their heads up to say “ahh you might want to have a look at this” and bang, there’s a cure for polio or measles or cholera. Now the big strides are being made in the field of cancer research. They are just the coolest people.

I will try to explain cancer and some new research; the idea itself isn’t new but the progress being made is and it’s pretty amazing. Bear with me as I was born without science genes; I am just a science junkie with no insider knowledge.

New Scientist magazine reports that we are finally getting a leg up on finding a way to beat cancer, in this case melanoma, common here in Australia. This new approach has not only made the cells retreat, in some people they have disappeared altogether, within days and weeks in some cases. All thanks to the scientists teaching the good healing cells how to do their stuff.

In order to explain how the new treatment (still in the testing stages) works I have to first semi-plagiarise NS in order to explain how this cancer operates.

Cancer cells are good at hiding. What makes them so scary is they hide in plain sight. You can sometimes see a tumour growing right there on a body and that body’s own immune system simply can’t detect it.

The T cell is the antibody whose job it is to locate and destroy bad cells. The cancer cell grows a surface molecule called a ligand, like a little tentacle that can stick on to stuff. The ligand then binds on to the T cell (the good guy).

Once it has attached to the T cell, it instantly activates a receptor in the T cell called PD-1. You can guess the rest: Once PD-1 is activated, the ligand, along with its sneaky cancer cell becomes invisible to the good guys, the T cells. Tumours are now seen by the body as normal tissue.

cancer cell

Traditionally, cancer treatments have involved trying to kill off cancer cells, however this means killing a lot of good cells too, which is why some cancer patients become even sicker during treatment.

Scientists have worked out how to wake up these T cells. There are three antibodies that are being trialled. Two, Lambrolizumab and Nivolumab work on the PD-1 receptor and the third works on the cancer cell ligand. In each of the therapies, cancer disappeared altogether in nine of those on the trials (135 in one trial and 53 in another) and halved or more in another 75.

“Many effects happened very quickly, sometimes within three weeks,” says Jedd Wolchok of the Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who led the trial.

Jedd Wolchok

Wolchok says that what makes the antibody therapies so exciting is that unlike conventional cancer treatments, such as radio and chemotherapy, they work by reviving the power of the patient’s own immune system – something that has evolved to efficiently dispose of infectious, foreign or abnormal tissue. “They treat the patient, not the tumour,” he says. – New Scientist

All three drugs are now the subject of larger trials involving people with skin, kidney, lung and brain cancers. The third antibody trialled has already shown promising results with early trials of kidney and lung cancer.

So in a nutshell, scientists are working out how to get the body to heal itself from cancer, simply by being able to see the cancerous cells and then just do what it is already really good at. Healing itself. It’s exciting stuff.

I [sort of don’t] Quit Sugar: Granola

I [sort of don’t] Quit Sugar: Granola

On the advice of a sensible friend who recently quit sugar and has not cried into her vodka soda once about it, I picked up Sarah Wilson’s new cook book in the flesh the other day. I already had her book on kindle but since I decided to catch up on six seasons of Mad Men I don’t even know where the kindle is. There’s nothing like flicking through an actual real life book when cooking.

It’s called I Quit Sugar which I know is going to put some of you off and draw others like a bear to honey. Perhaps, like me, you fit into both categories.

This is a fantastic cookbook although I am not sure about the name. While it will immediately appeal to the anti-sugar purists (I tried and failed this and am now simply anti-purist) it has loads of really gorgeous recipes suited to the committed sweet toother. Some of the really beautiful ‘sweet’ recipes in it that are actually sweet enough on their own, or alternatively lend themselves really well to a few glugs of maple syrup or coconut sugar (my two favourite sweeteners).

Coco-nutty Granola Sarah Wilson

This is my own version (very close to the original) of Sarah’s Coco-Nutty Granola as I have made it twice now – the first time it was quite easy, the second time it was ridiculously easy and “ridiculously easy” is a pre-requisite for getting a recipe up here. I’ve linked the title above to Sarah Wilson’s recipe at her website.

Coco-Nutty Granola Ingredients
These storage jars make finding stuff in the pantry and fridge easy – from IKEA.

Coco-Nutty Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded)
  • 2 -3 cups nuts (I used almonds, brazil nuts and cashews)
  • handful chia seeds
  • handful goji berries (optional)
  • 1 tbsp spice (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg)
  • 80g coconut oil
  • big splash of maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup raw muesli (fine without this)
  • a few apricots

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 120* C.
  2. Use a food processor/thermomix to chop nuts, apricots – not too fine.
  3. Combine all ingredients and spread on a baking tray covered with baking paper (it doesn’t matter if it’s a little deep).
  4. Bake for 20 mins, toss and turn, keep baking till golden brown.

coconutty granola

Sarah’s recipe calls for a total baking time of 20 mins but mine took closer to 40 so just keep an eye on it.

Brazil nuts are a good inclusion if you want to up your selenium intake as they are a very rich source. If you’re having trouble finding unsweetened coconut flakes, try the link in the recipe or here and check out Supercharged Food, it’s a great site for whole-foodies and a flat shipping fee of $10.50.

Easy Peasy: Persimmon Brekky & Stuffed Spuds

Easy Peasy: Persimmon Brekky & Stuffed Spuds

Food Prep: Hate it (mostly).

When I want to paint a room, the only way to do it is buy a big tin of paint and pour some into a tray, roll a roller into it and start painting. I have not left out a single detail. My husband Rob boringly always says “preparation, preparation, preparation” and says it the three times, irritatingly. So now we only use Barry who does all our painting for us. Being in a very old house with a lot of timber there is regularly some painting to be done.

It’s the same with cooking – because I do not want and could never afford to have Barry do all our cooking and food prep, I will spend a day having a Condiment Day, where I make all the things that are so nice added to food like pesto, tomato sauce, béarnaise, mayonnaise, pasta sauce, umami paste and so on. All so that the rest of the time I don’t need to bother with all that.

In light of all that here are two meals that have pleased us all here and are perfect for the busy working/stay-at-home/unemployed mother:

Baked Spuds Stuffed With Whatever’s Handy

No one needs a recipe for this – it’s just more of a reminder.

Bake however many potatoes you like, takes about an hour and can be done the day before if need be.

Once well-baked cut in half, scoop out the soft potato and sit skins on baking tray.

Bake skins to crisp them up a bit sprayed with oil and salt/pepper for 20 mins 180 C

In a pan saute onion and bacon with maple syrup, salt and pepper, then add fresh vegetables, chopped and herbs.

Mix with the potato, stuff the skins, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes.

stuffed potato skins stuffed potato skins before stuffed potato skins cheese

The other one is the result of The Local Grocer. I had a Seasonal Box delivered and with it came two persimmons which I have never before bought or eaten.MSF persimmon

I chopped one up in my food processor (thermomix) along with some shredded coconut, gogi berries and chia seeds (superfoods alert!) and it was amazeballs. Try it with a few macadamia nuts as well.

persimmon brekky persimmon brekky 2 persimmon brekky 3

Amazeballs and Rosa Brook

Amazeballs and Rosa Brook

Here is a recipe that you can alter entirely without screwing it up. I call it Amazeballs because thats how you feel when you’re eating them. And they’re balls.

date nut chocolate energy balls

Amazeballs

300g approx of:

nuts/seeds. I used 50g each of walnuts, almonds, pepitas, brazil nuts, pistachios and cashews

30g (1 tablespoon) coconut sugar, optional

10 medjool dates

50g melted raw cacao butter (substitute with coconut oil if it’s handier)

20g (1 huge tablespoon) cacao powder or cocoa

Method:

Blend the bejeeziz out of it all in your thermomix/food processor. Roll into balls and store in fridge. I sometimes add a bit of protein powder or some maca powder (libido booster anyone?). This batch I couldn’t be bothered with any of that. Also there will be teenagers eating them, don’t want to boost anything but brains and good manners thank you. I only used these nuts because they were in the pantry – you can just use almonds if you like and they are just as nice.

I drove through Australia’s most adorable town on Sunday and thought ‘I have to get a photo of this on my blog’, as you do. Rosa Brook is not far from famous wine and surf town, Margaret River. There’s Darnell’s General Store and about half a dozen houses you can barely see. I always stop there just because I can’t not stop there, it’s too cute:

rosa brook darnells general store

Here is the view up the road:

rosa brook view 2

….and here is the view down the road:

rosa brook

This is who I parked next to. His mileage is nearly as efficient as mine:

rosa brook car

Rosa Brook is quite close to a great olive oil grower called 34 Degrees South which is my favourite olive oil at the moment. You empty some wine bottles (easy!) and take them in and fill them under the vat tap of your choice. It’s worth a visit and exactly like walking into the M.A.S.H 4077 tent that contains olive oil rather than Hawkeye and Radar. There are some slightly scary geese to negotiate on the way in.

34 degrees south

 

 

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