Sunflower, Rosemary and Sesame Crackers

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I love these gorgeous crunchy crackers, they’re easy to make and taste amazing.  I first found this recipe from http://www.mypetitekitchen.com.  My Petite Kitchen is a great whole food blog that has loads of deliciousness!
INDREDIENTS
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked and dried in oven below 50 degrees or in dehydrator)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (soaked and dried in oven below 50 degrees Celsius in oven or dehydrator)
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp rosemary (thyme also works well)
  • 3-5 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
METHOD
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.
Place the sunflower seeds , salt and garlic granules in to a food processor.  Process on high for 2-3 minutes or until the seeds become a dense flour like consistency.
Add the sesame seeds, dried herbs and olive oil, pulse to combine. With the food processor running on low, slowly start to add the water one tablespoon at a time. The mixture will start to come together in a dough like consistency. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking tray and knead slightly (it will be a little crumbly don’t worry). Place a piece of baking paper on top of the dough and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to around half a cm thick. Remove the top piece of baking paper then using a knife, score criss cross lines in to the dough.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely, then using your hands, break along scored lines and serve.
Makes around 20 crackers. Will keep in an airtight container for 1 week.
Enjoy
from
Abby
x x x
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Gorgeous green smoothie (nut free)

green smoothie

This green smoothie is wonderful for those that are sensitive to nuts or want to find a way to get beautiful pumpkin seeds into your diet.

Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc so they’re amazing for our skin, immune system and our tolerance levels (yip this smoothie will make you and your kids happier!!)

Kale packs a wonderful antioxidant punch containing the cancer fighting sulforaphane, so is wonderful for prevention of disease and boosting immunity.   Its also a great green to have in smoothies as it has minimal taste so doesn’t take away from the sweetness of the banana and dates.

  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight)
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 4 organic dates
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 4 cups of water
  • Blend and serve
  • Makes 4

Tip: For getting your kids to drink smoothies, get them to help you make it and enthuse how delicious it is.  Add a straw to drink from and they won’t look back

Enjoy

x xx

Getting little ones to eat their greens – part 3

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In part 1 and 2 of ‘How to get your kids to eat their greens’ I touched on
1. The importance of keeping little ones amused at the table, getting their taste buds used to vegetables from an early age.
2. The importance of learning about nutrition ourselves, so we as parents can gently educate our kids to eat healthy food. How food is used in the body and what our immune system actually is!
3. Easy ways to get loads of veges in with minimal fuss

See ‘Getting Little Ones to Eat their Greens’ part 1 & 2 for more info

GETTING LITTLE ONES TO EAT THEIR GREENS – PART 3
Today I’m going to be talking about the bigger picture of health and how it all starts with us as parents. How to get educated around Nutrition, and lastly how to teach our children to cook for themselves, providing them with the knowledge and know how that will follow through generations to keep our grandchildren and their children healthy and happy.
The more you know about good food the better that good food will taste. Increasing your nutritional knowledge will make health foods more appealing, not only due to taste but also their nutritional content. Knowing what you’re eating and what it’s doing is extremely empowering and it’s the same for kids. If we can impart our (correct) knowledge then we can instil in them the knowledge of longevity and a disease free life. Surely that is what we all want for our children? Think of food as medicine (in fact it’s far better than medicine) the best preventative pill you’ll ever take!
We as parents have the window of opportunity to instil life long eating patterns, the foods you serve and the habits you promote become your Childs nutritional norms. Helping your children to crave foods that are healthy for them.
Remember the food your children eat in their first 10 years of life determine their genetic expression…. this decides whether undesirable genes for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity are turned on or not. Food determines this. What we eat affects our hormones, which in turn affects our Genes.
Again, Childhood diets are the number one cause for adult diseases! But we as parents have the power to ensure this is not our children’s destiny, we have the choice to determine our children’s health.

LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Since we teach mostly by example we have to evaluate and change our own eating habits before we can shape our children’s. Getting the right food in the house is number 1….
1. Get rid of the packets (packets don’t grow on trees!) and processed junk. Chuck it out and replace it with real food that is grown in nature and minimally processed. Clear out the cupboards so there is not temptation to eat foods that don’t serve your health.
2. Eat lots and lots of vegetables and fruit (low glycemic load carbohydrates). These should make up the majority of our diet, vegetables especially. We need to eat plenty of these.
3. Eat moderate amounts of protein i.e. meat/fish/tofu/tempeh and complex carbohydrates potatoes, grains etc (no bigger than palm of your hand at each serving)
4. Eat moderate amounts of good fat i.e. avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil and its products, nut oils, flaxseed oils these are all great food sources of fat that are essential to our diet and provide omega 3 and 6.
5. Avoid processed food!!
6. Eat 90% good food 10% bad (birthday parties etc). If we go 100% good it’s not sustainable and we’ll set ourselves up for failure, there has to be some give and take in today’s society. Try to keep home food good and the food you can’t control at other people’s homes can make up the 10%.
7. Drink lots of water (30mins either side of meals)

HOW TO EDUCATE YOURSELF IN NUTRITION
– Here at the Nourish Blog and Facebook page!
– Food Matters website and all the films they have to view on http://www.fmtv.com The food Matters Film and Hungry for change are two films that are a great place to start, especially to get your partners on board!!!
– Dr Sears http://www.askdrsears.com
– Dr Joel Fuhrman http://www.drfuhrman.com
– Katy at http://www.wellnessmama.com
– There are soooooooooo many more but there is a start!!
– If you are interested in studying nutrition I thoroughly recommend The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, it is life changing and the most informative, comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle education I could have ever hoped for. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to make a career out of nutrition. http://www.integrativenutrition.com/aff/iin-video?affid=0015000000rwi1zaaa&rectype=affiliate If this sounds like you let me know and I can tell you more about it x

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
Allowing kids to participate in cooking is so essential in getting them to eat healthy food. It is hard to do this when you are a busy Mum or Dad who just wants to get dinner out and get everyone feed with minimal time and mess! Unfortunately they’re never going to learn like that.
We need to welcome our children into the kitchen, allow them to make their own food (with guidance), gently passing on our knowledge around nutrition and cooking skills so they can adopt this as their own.
For example I have always been open to the kids joining me in the kitchen (my mum was the same)…..a lot messier this way but it is now starting to pay off tenfold. The two oldest boys can competently make the family salad for dinner, they can bake on their own and produce beautiful meals!
My oldest Jesse is a bit of a star in the kitchen…..his latest dish is sautéed tomatoes and mushrooms in coconut oil and garlic….he does it all himself without any help from me and it tastes amazing! I love it when he gets his cook on!!! He wouldn’t have a bar of mushrooms before he started doing this….now will happily guzzle back 4 in one sitting.
We have to let go and let them get in there and feel what it’s like to cook, with successes and failures. Each one is an equally good lesson in life, we learn from every experience.
If our children have the knowledge around food, how to grow it, prepare it, soak it, ferment it, blend it and cook it…..then they have that for life, to teach their partners, to nurture their children, to pass this on from generation to generation. You can be the start of that!

TRYING NEW FOODS
Eating Green food is essential to every human. There are so many different dietary theories out there and rightly so as we are all different and a diet that works well for one person may not work well for another. However the thing all these diets have in common is that they all agree that green leafy vegetables are essential to optimal health. Now I totally appreciate how hard it can be to get your kids into to this stuff. But it’s just like anything that we have to teach them in life…..like learning to sleep, learning to share and learning to read. It all takes time and is essential for them to function in life. Eating green vegetables is no exception!!!!
Recently we have added capsicum and mushrooms to our family meals. My husband Scotty is scarred for life from childhood memories of mushrooms cooked within an inch of their lives into a black slop and likewise from similar experiences I cannot stand the smell of cooked capsicum to this day! But after learning about the medicinal benefits of mushrooms and why we should have them in our diet daily we decided to give them a try again….likewise with capsicum you can’t go past their antioxidant properties, making them wise choice to include in our diets when in season. So be both reluctantly agreed to give these two veges a try.
To our amazement the kids LOVED them……especially Riley our middle boy, who now eats capsicums like apples and is always stealing mushrooms out of the fridge….we never would have known that if we hadn’t tried these foods. So this is my new mantra….try a new food every week…..not only will the nutritional benefits be profound, but you may find that your children LOVE something you never expected they would!
Let me know how you get on
Abby
xxxx

Getting Little ones to eat their greens – part two

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GETTING YOUR LITTLE ONES TO EAT THEIR GREENS – PART TWO

Last week I posted about getting younger kids to eat well by keeping them engaged at the table with reading stories.

This week I’m still including preschoolers but this is more relevant to those with older children too.

I’m covering 2 points this post
1. Immunity / body growth
2. More ways to get the good stuff in

IMMUNITY/BODY GROWTH
I think it is important to talk with kids about why we eat food. That food isn’t just something to fill our tummies, it has a purpose, that each food has many many nutrients and how our bodies use those nutrients to grow and develop an immune system to protect us from becoming sick.

Even really young children are interested in the body and how it works. It just needs to be explained in a way that they can identify with and understand. This is how I explain our immune system and how food makes us grow to my kids…….

“Inside our bodies we have an immune system…it is like having a special army of super heroes in our body. Our army keeps all the baddie bugs out that can make us sick. We need to feed our army really healthy food so that our superheroes can be big, strong and fight to kill the baddies. If we eat junky food (lollies, chips, fizzes, packet foods, no vegetables) our army gets really tired, they start lying down and the baddies creep past them and make us sick!!! BUT if we eat lots of green food made by nature and food with lots of colours, veges, fruit etc then our Army gets strong and healthy and the baddies can’t get past them.”

Praise them for attempting every bite of a healthy food, ‘wow your army is going to love that piece of capsicum, it will be giving the army special powers to get those nasty baddies’ (you can tell I have boys, but you could make a fearless force of Charlie’s angels for your girls or beautiful fairies that kick some serious ass!)

“Every bite of food we eat gets made into a part of our body, a bone cell, a blood cell, a bit of our muscles or our brain. I really want my body to be made of healthy food so it isn’t weak. If our body is made of junk food then that part of our body is weak and can’t work properly “

Using analogies like this teach our kids the importance of looking at food as fuel and what nutrients each food gives our bodies….. For example we love seeds in our house, they are such a nutrient dense food, full of essential minerals for our bones and teeth, good fats for our hair and skin, and they’re like a broom that sweeps our gut and bowel so all the dirt gets cleaned out. We also talk about how the gelatinous coating around chia seeds suck up the toxic poisons that get into us like the fumes we breathe in when a bus goes past … the chia sucks that smoke up and takes it out of our body into the toilet! They’re not only learning about how awesome chia seeds are they’re learning about how our body uses food to eliminate toxins.

“Food makes us feel happy or sad. Junky food makes us feel sad afterwards, sick, tired, grumpy, angry……Healthy food makes us feel happy, excited and gives us energy to have fun” This can be especially seen after a birthday party, when kids go hard on sugar and come down with a crash….it’s important to acknowledge how they are feeling and explain how that food made us feel that way, what we could try to eat instead next time or maybe have a little bit less of the sweet food so we don’t feel so yucky. (essentially they’ve been poisoned by excess sugar!)

When we eat we usually have a chat about what I’ve served up and what each food is giving us nutritionally….this gives the kids buy in, they innately want to be healthy, they want their Army to be strong and their cells to be healthy. Take parsley for example, not generally a favourite among the younger ones, but once we talk about our army and how they love parsley because it cleans the armies blood and gives them supersonic powers ….. Gulp in it goes no questions asked! My youngest isn’t too into textures and wasn’t too keen on nuts, but he knows that Brazil nuts give him selenium that keep his throat healthy (thyroid) so he will happily chow down a couple a day…”there mummy now my throat will be happy” he says! Since he learnt the connection between his body’s health and that food, he happily eats his brazil nuts in the morning no questions asked.

I feel that it is really important to teach our children the correlation between food and health, physical health, mental health and how we interact with others. If this awareness is fostered in them they become aware of their bodies, its wants and needs. Most importantly awareness of how they feel and what foods makes them feel good and bad. This will help them make well informed choices as they grow up.

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TIPS FOR GETTING THE GOOD STUFF IN

Last week I talked about keeping them happy at the table once their attention wavers. This week I’m going to suggest trying smoothies and fresh juices with your kids.

These two methods are one of the easiest ways to get nutrients in.

Smoothie tips
– Make sure you have a good smoothie maker that doesn’t leave chunks.
– Start basic, banana, berries, milk…..slowly add in more good stuff, spinach, kale, soaked seeds / nuts or oats as a milk replacement. Sweeten with pineapple, bananas and dates.
– Keep offering and don’t give up. Even ¼ of a cup of these smoothies contain more nutrients than packet cereal could ever offer.
– Offer the smoothie first. Explain they can still have their usual breakfast food, but they need to try their smoothie first, explain how their army needs it. The more of the smoothie they have the more it fills them up and crowds out the other less desirable foods. Soon they’ll be having half a smoothie and only 1 piece of toast instead of two. Or a smoothie and only 1 weetbix instead of 3.
– The aim is to move away from packaged processed breakfasts completely, opting for nutrient dense smoothies and say oatmeal or eggs as other options for breakfast.

They’ll be loaded with amazing nutrients for the day and full till morning tea. You would have crowded out the bad stuff!

If they don’t like the texture of the smoothie try using a straw, all kids love straws, makes smoothie drinking super easy. I highly recommend starting with one.

Again you can try reading stories to little ones snuggling them on your knee reading while they’re sipping on a smoothies, it will be gone in no time.

I give my kids smoothies for breakfast (they have porridge as well in winter) and juices with other healthy snacks for afternoon tea.

A juice gets those amazing nutrients into them without the effort of eating all that green food (of course it is still important for them to eat veges in their true form but juicing is a fantastic way to double their green intake with every little effort.)
The ratio for juicing is 2/3 green i.e. cucumber, silver beet and 1/3 sweet i.e. orange.
Starting with cucumber, lettuce and apple its very palatable; it just tastes like apple juice…you very slowly move into more dark green veges or different flavours. Again a straw is your best friend here.

Juicing tips
– Get the kids to help
– Name the juice i.e. green hulk juice
– Use a cool straw
– Talk about the army in their body and how excited they are to get all that goodness!

So keep trying to get the good stuff in, learn together about food and respect your body with the food you give it
Abby x