18 November 2012

Comfort Food

Ok so the blackberries may have disappeared by now but any fruit will do for homemade compotes. Apple and banana work really well together, making a delicious and comforting dessert - especially with the homemade granola and custard!

The trick is to use eating apples instead of cooking apples, which means you don't need to add any sugar (thus removing the hyperactive behaviour afterwards!) Bananas too add a wonderful sweetness and a tiny pinch of sea salt will bring out more of the natural sweetness of fruit.

Simply peel and chop the fruit (children can help with this with supervision), and season with some orange zest, little rice syrup, (tiny pinch of seas salt as previously mentioned) and a little Kuzu or Maize flour as a thickener and cook until soft. Perfect!

For the homemade granola, mix a packet of sugar free muesli with some rice syrup with a little olive oil and orange zest and bake until lovely and golden. Perfect on top of compotes and porridge etc.

This dessert is wonderful for the little ones around an hour or two before bedtime, as the natural sweetness will have relaxing effect on them by the time they need to go to bed.

14 November 2012

The White Stuff

You may of noticed that I don't use dairy in soups...for me this blog is all about encouraging children to enjoy fruit and vegetables, getting them involved with natural, unprocessed foods that will create health and vitality.

Nowadays so many people have lactose intolerance's (lactose - a sugar found in milk), as well as increasing levels of respiratory problems, skin problems etc all of which have been linked to dairy foods.

We are the only species on this planet that chooses to regularly consume milk from another species and continues to do so when we are full grown adults

A few things about the white stuff...
  • Cow's milk is originally only intended for calves.
  • Our body naturally reduces the levels of lactase (enzyme that digests milk) when we no longer need to be breastfed. This is natures way of indicating that we do not need milk when we are adults.
  • Cow's milk is high in saturated fat.
  • We need many more minerals than just calcium to create healthy, strong bones which are not present in Cow's milk.
  • Dairy foods have been linked with skin and respiratory problems, as well as being known for creating mucus within the body.
  • Cow's milk can contain many growth hormones and added chemicals.
  • Cow's milk has been linked to digestive problems, prostate and breast cancer.
  • Cow's milk has an acidic effect on the body - in order to function properly the body needs a slightly alkaline pH of the blood. If the blood is too acidic, the body uses minerals from the bones to neutralise the blood, thus defeating the whole purpose of consuming milk!
  • Oriental countries, who have never traditionally consumed any dairy products have some of the lowest levels of osteoporosis in the world...what did they consume for healthy bones? Sea vegetables!

For many thousands of years sea vegetables were consumed worldwide, however only the oriental countries continued to this day. Traditionally in the UK people consumed Laverbread from Wales, Dulse from Scotland etc etc. Even the Vikings were known to chew on Dulse on their sea voyages!

If you are new to sea vegetables, it may be a little weird at first to consider them as part of your diet, however start first with soups for the family. A piece of Kombu, Wakame etc added to soups and blended will be undetectable but all the goodness will remain. They have been said to offer the broadest range of minerals than any other known food on Earth and their properties are easy to digest and gentle on the stomach.

They are great for stronger healthier bones and helping to add to the wonderful nourishment of vegetable soups.

Disclaimer: If you havent done so already please read my disclaimer on the welcome page.

Make Soups Fun

As seen in the photos section of this blog, adding a decorative element on top of soups can help children to be more interested in eating it.

Dont worry this needn't be a Picasso masterpiece, however a simple smiley face, a heart, a sunshine etc will add a bit of fun to their meals.

Through using nuts, seeds (If your child cannot chew properly then grounded nuts/seeds in a coffee grinder work just fine), croutons etc...

Small cubes of fried Tofu, Seitan or other good quality proteins also work well giving extra protein and a delicious crunchy texture to the soup which kids will love.

12 November 2012


Flavours to try...

Creamy soups (Blend to create creamy consistency at end with a hand held blender)...
  • Carrot and Orange (add some orange zest when cooking carrots with the sauteed onions)
  • Pumpkin and cinnamon (add a touch of cinnamon powder when cooking the pumpkin with the sauteed onions)
  • Pumpkin and chestnut (add some cooked, peeled chestnuts to the pumpkin and sauteed onions)
  • Lentil and Fennel (add red lentils and chopped fennel to the sauteed onions)
  • Cauliflower (Add a few bay leaves or a little nutmeg along with the cauliflower and sauteed onions - This makes a perfect alternative to bechamel as well)
  • Courgette and leek (Add courgette and leeks to the sauteed onions. Wakame sea vegetable works very well with this soup)
The list is endless...

Just experiment! Remember the sauteed onions are key and also watch how much water is added. Keep the soup nice and thick and creamy, bringing lots of nourishment for the little ones!

Nourishing Soups

Soups are the perfect way to cram the veggies in, and the best way to start a nourishing, creamy soup is with onions.

Sauteing onions is the key to bringing natural sweetness, creaminess and body to soups.

Finely slice 2-3 onions and saute in olive oil with a pinch of sea salt for 10-12 minutes until they become transparent. The longer onions are cooked, the more natural sweetness they bring, something that is really lacking in modern day diets. No need for dairy, thickeners etc. You can make completely delicious soups using only vegetables and a few natural seasonings.

Once you have the onions sauteed, you are then free to add many different vegetables as you like, a little water (adding hot water instead of cold will create more natural sweetness) and cook until soft. To season try adding some white miso before blending, which helps to reinforce the intestinal flora and strengthen digestive systems (perfect for growing children) as well as adding great flavour.

For extra nourishment add a piece of Kombu sea vegetable (available from health food shops and large supermarkets) and cook with the vegetables. Kombu contains high mineral contents and its calcium is much easier to digest compared to dairy foods. Keep it in the soup when blending to ensure that all of the minerals remain in the soup. Once blended its completely concealed, and it will not affect the delicious flavour of the vegetables.

Why not give it a try? You may be pleasantly surprised!

1 November 2012

Happy November

Happy November everyone!

Well it may be getting a little cooler and the days drawing shorter, however this is not to say this season doesnt come with benefits - there is so much on offer too. Perfect time to wrap up warm, enjoy the comforts of our home after a beautiful autumn walk by the sea or in the countryside. This season is all about comfort and what a better way to achieve this than to bring in some hearty comforting food.

This season is all about soups, stews, caseroles, bakes, vegetables roasted in the oven...all of which can offer a wide variety of possibilities and opportunities of giving nutritious vegetables to your children.

I will be focusing on soups over the next few weeks, a perfect way to serve vegetables and also add the extra minerals of sea vegetables without drawing attention...

Keep posted for delicious recipes!