Cauliflower mash | vegan

It’s probably already out of fashion now but cauliflower mash, I took a while to get to meet you but now I have, it’s true love.

My gorgeous friend Maria-Elena (check her out on Insta @thewellnessfountain) made me the most delicious cauliflower mash a few weeks ago & I swore I would try it at home.

With a dairy-free 1 year old, I opted to make this version vegan but of course you could swap olive oil for butter if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS
700g cauliflower (approx 1 small cauliflower)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt, to taste
It’s not essential but I recommend popping fresh herbs of your choice on top – thyme, oregano, finely chopped rosemary or parsley

Note: I infused my olive oil with rosemary, thyme & oregano from my garden which is really a fancy way of saying I threw some herbs into a jar with the olive oil & let it sit for 24 hours.

METHOD
1. Chop the cauliflower roughly into quarters
2. Throw the cauliflower in the thermomix – whizz it up on speed 5 for about 15 seconds. If you need to after this, remove the lid & scrape down the sides
3. Add in about 200g water (you could also use stock if preferred)
4. Set the timer for 15 minutes & 100 degrees celsius, on speed 3
5. When the time is up, be super careful as it will be piping hot – I hold a little sieve (a tea leaf strainer does the job) to tip in the squeezed lemon & olive oil
6. Give it one last whizz – just about 10 seconds on speed 4 (no heat required)
7. Once this is done, give it a taste & check you’re happy with texture & balance of flavours. I of course add more olive oil on top & some fresh herbs

Moving towards a plastic-free life

Thankfully more & more celebrities are bringing to light the frightening impact of single-use plastic on our planet – to animals, our waterways, & the chemicals leached from them into our bodies. Sadly, I don’t understand why so many people will only follow an action once a ‘celebrity’ spruiks a cause. Don’t get me wrong, I think they should do it more!

I do not claim to be perfect but as a family of 5, we are slowly moving towards decreased plastic consumption & hope that we can encourage you to make these simple changes too

1. Loo paper – we use Who Gives a Crap – they are made from 100% recycled materials & wrapped in paper (not plastic like the supermarket brands)

2. Paper towel – while you’re ordering your loo paper, add in some paper towel from Who Gives a Crap – again it’s made from sustainable materials (sugarcane & bamboo) & comes wrapped in paper.

3. Coffee cups – sorry to sound harsh but if you’re not using a recyclable coffee cup by now, slap a big “L” sign on your forehead. There’s literally no excuse not to have a reusable cup – we love Frank Green (although my bestie hasn’t loved hers), KeepCup & I love my glass one from The Source. Single use coffee cups are not recyclable. They contribute to landfill. If over 300 cups per year are yours then it’s time to take your head out of the sand & buy one. Now.

4. Pantry staples – I started buying from Naked Foods about 4 years ago. Take up your own glass jars, they’ll weigh them, then fill ’em up. I also love The Source. Check them both out to see if there’s one near where you live. Honest to Goodness are also great – we visit them at Orange Grove Market most Saturdays – if you forget your jars, they will give you produce in paper bags.

5. Water bottles – again, slap that big ‘L’ up on your forehead if you’re still buying single use plastic water bottles. They contribute to landfill, chemicals leach from the plastic into your water then into your body & they cost a lot when you think about it! Buy a reusable water bottle. Now. My sons have glass water bottles w detachable silicone bases for home, we have 5 stainless steel water bottles too which are shared around. We never leave home without at least 3 of them (joys of 3 children – someone is ALWAYS thirsty).

6. Soap – I really dislike those plasticky (is that a word?) soap packets. We are loving the Ecostore soaps – you can even buy them in Woolworths. Ecostore get bonus points IMO as they are a carbon zero factory. How awesome is that?! We also love their washing machine powder (comes in a cardboard box). Their laundry liquids are also great & come in renewable sugarcane plastic. Big ticks all round!

7. If you have little ones, buy some corn starch nappy bags – we love Wotnot brand, they come in cardboard packaging & are about $8 a packet for 50 bags.

8. Produce bags – I love ONYA bags to take to do my grocery shopping, they are great for putting fruit / veg in, rather than doing the juggle of apples, pears & bananas rolling off the scales at checkout (we’ve all been there!). I’ve had mine for about 2 years & they are in perfect condition. They are made from recycled plastic drink bottles, giving those single use products a 2nd life – why not, seeing as they will never degrade?! I also have Ever Eco bags which I’ve had for a year & are in perfect condition. These are also made from recycled plastic drink bottles (also called ‘rPet’).

9. Organic fruit & veg bags for the fridge – we LOVE the Harris Farm organic muslin bags. They keep our herbs, veggies & even lettuce super fresh in the fridge. I can genuinely say (no sponsorship) that they have prolonged the life of many a veggie in our fridge.

10. Toothbrushes – you guys think about how many plastic toothbrushes you’ve had in your life & that not one of them has ever degraded. YUK. No excuse not to switch to bamboo now – my faves are from Harris Farm Markets (Bondi Beach Store) which unfortunately don’t seem to be on their website & Nourished Life. My older children (aged 6 & 8) use the bamboo toothbrushes & the 1 year old has a bamboo but also a Jack & Jill which are made from 100% corn starch & are biodegradable. Plus they won’t break the bank at only $5.95 each. Plus the legends at Nourished Life deliver to your door & I can honestly say I have to hold in my excitement when one of their gorgeous pink boxes arrives on my doorstep!

11. When you’re buying sushi, ask them to hold the soy sauce plastic fish. Even better, ask (nicely) your local sushi joint not to pre-pack them into the boxes. It will save them money & have a positive impact on the environment.

12. The last tip would be one that you hear from me ALL. THE. TIME. As a consumer, every cent you spend is like a voice to the companies you buy from – buying their apples in a plastic container wrapped in plastic rather than the loose ones tells them to produce more plastic. Purchasing parsley not wrapped in plastic sleeves (like the legends at Harris Farm) says we are cool with that – we all wash our herbs when we get home anyway. Refusing to buy single use plastic water bottles tells the producers we don’t want this rubbish (literally) in our lives. Supporting companies who utilise biodegradable corn starch based packaging & produce encourages these companies to produce more of the awesome products & hopefully eventually bring down their prices as a result of increased demand.

I still have a lot of room for improvement & am shocked by how much soft plastic rubbish we create. Being conscious is not enough & I am striving to improve all the time.

I’d love to hear your tips on moving to a more plastic free life – leave me a comment on Facebook.

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3 ingredient dairy-free ice-cream

3 INGREDIENTS | VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | NUT-FREE | CHILD FRIENDLY | NO ADDED CANE SUGAR | LOW FRUCTOSE

I made this “nice-cream” or vegan ice-cream or whatever you choose to call it because I have been getting mighty bored of the whinging of “Whats for afternoon teeeeeeea?” the whole walk home from school! You could add any supplements you enjoy to pimp the nutrient content.

250g frozen mixed berries
150g coconut yoghurt
100g coconut water

Blend until you reach desired consistency – I use the Thermomix on speed 5 for about 20 seconds

Enjoy immediately or pour into a reusable glass container & pop in the freezer

Pineapple & blood orange frappe

You guys, I know it’s not my normal thing blending lots of fruits BUT I’m trying to get my body ready for the 30 or so hours of travel we are embarking on this Friday. I am keeping ginger farmers afloat at the moment with the volumes I am consuming. I’m also trying to finish up all the food in the house, hence the sometimes odd combinations.

INGREDIENTS
350g pineapple, frozen overnight
60g blood orange (half)
100g coconut water (I love Natural Raw C)
A tablespoon of mint
A ton of ginger

METHOD

Blend all ingredients in the Thermomix on speed 6 for 15 seconds.

Serves 2

Pink grapefruit & strawberry frappe

VEGAN | RAW | GLUTEN FREE | DAIRY FREE | PALEO | LOW FRUCTOSE | JERF

I have never done a juice fast, nor do I plan on ever doing one but I do love adding a blended smoothie / frappe every so often to get a massive nutrient hit in a condensed form (eg 3 cups of spinach blended down to approx 1 tspn, you know what I mean?).

This guy is low fructose for all the IQSers & with the amount of ginger I spiked mine with, I’m hoping all bugs will stay away.

INGREDIENTS

1 pink grapefruit (mine was approx 400g, down to about 275g when peeled)

10 strawberries (approx 150g)

10 ice cubes (approx 100g)

1 tablespoon mint

Ginger, to your taste – I used about a dessert spoon full

METHOD

Throw all ingredients into the Thermomix or your preferred blender, whizz until well liquified. I used speed 6 for 10-15 seconds.

Drink immediately.

Makes 2 glasses, or if you’re greedy like me, you can polish off the whole thing on your own

Spinach strawb blood orange juice

What it lacks in looks, it makes up for in both taste and nutrients…now that the boys rugby season is over, we have spent the last two Saturdays at Orange Grove Market. One of my favourite fruits, the lemonade fruit has been irresistible so I figured at this time of year while flu & are the nasty bugs continue to circulate, I’d dose up on nutrients in the hopes that when we head to the UK in two weeks we will all be well.

SIX INGREDIENTS

150g strawberries

130g blood orange (1, average size)

150g lemonade fruit (1, large)

50g spinach

100g coconut water (or water)

Ginger, to taste. I like mine with some kick!

Blend all ingredients (I don’t juice) & try to ignore the awful colour it becomes because it really is delicious!

Vanilla miso tahini fudge

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | NUT-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | EGG-FREE | LOW FRUCTOSE | IQS APPROVED | 6 INGREDIENTS ONLY | ONE PAN ONLY

I become innovative when I am craving something sweet – which is a dangerous attribute to have! After scanning the pantry, I came up with this combination which is incredibly fudge-like but without any sugar, dairy, preservatives, colouring & minimal plastic packaging (my other passion currently is the environment). The only ingredient that comes in plastic is the Miso paste.

INGREDIENTS
100g tahini
80g coconut oil
35g coconut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
1 teaspoon miso (I love Spiral Foods)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (I use Heilala)

METHOD

  1. Melt coconut butter, coconut oil & miso on a low heat. I never bring any part of this recipe above a low heat. I find the Miso doesn’t completely mix in which gives the fudge some lovely salty pops
  2. Once almost all melted, tip in the tahini & sprinkle in the vanilla
  3. once all mixed together, turn off the heat & stir through the rice malt syrup
  4. You can let it cool slightly, then pour into silicone moulds. I recommend placing the silicone mould tray on a chopping board so it doesn’t bend/spill when you’re lifting it into the freezer. Seeing as it is halfway to Christmas, I thought I’d give my Christmas tree moulds a go 😉
  5. Depending on the size of your mould, these can be ready in as soon as 30 minutes.

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