I’ve fallen in love with my freezer.

I’ve fallen in love with my freezer.

The 'any meal of the day' green smoothie! #anourishingkitchen @theholisticingredient

A post shared by Erin Cole (@erycole) on

I’ve been flicking through, gathering Sarah Wilson’s tips on food waste of late and have stumbled across something that I have been doing for a little while but have felt recently…it’s time. To step it up a notch.

I use my freezer. Sometimes I don’t get home until unreasonable dinner hours and, rather than reach for stodgy take away or packet meal…I prefer to eat from my freezer. I often make and store soups this way. Usually created from all my random left over vegies that are on their way out of the fridge. I trim, chop and have a little chat with them before popping them into my ‘soup bag’, ready for the next batch. (Tip number one. BAM. Have a soup bag in your freezer).

When the bag is bursting and I’m out of freezer soup, I brown a bit of onion in my slow cooker, throw the veg in (YES frozen!), add stock to cover, your choice of spices and pressure cook the batch until it’s done. (Tip number two. Freeze portioned soups for lunches or a quick dinner)

The other thing I’ve been doing with my fruit and veg of late is pre-preparing smoothie bags. I got home this arvo and dinner was a little way away so I whipped myself up a green smoothie to take the edge off – green smoothie addict? I think so! The bags are best packed when you have fruit and veg that needs something done with it – love food, hate waste as they say! Zucchini has even made it into my smoothie combos. I do have a bit of a penchant for anything green! (Tip three – bag those smoothie options)

The last handy tip…. number four!

How often do you open coconut milk or cream or squeeze a lemon and then ‘save’ the rest, only to have it go to waste. I know this used to happen frequently with lemons in my house. Now though, I’ve reacquainted myself with my freezer trays and love filling them up with all sorts of leftover bits and bobs so as to save throwing things out. Here are some examples:

  • Leftover broth from slow cooked chicken to use to enhance flavour when I cook for meat eaters (Mekaila doesn’t know this yet but she’ll be getting a bunch of these cubes with her next delivery!!)
  • Leftover coconut cream – to throw into smoothies or into recipes when required in small amounts.
  • Lemon juice – to add to recipes when a small amount is required.
  • Chopped herbs in water or oil – to add flavour to stir fries, soups or stews.
  • Portioned cooked quinoa – into 1/2 C serves to use as a base to a fridge surprise dinner or lunch.
  • Sprouted buckwheat – ready to make into porridge or dry in the oven for a crunchy cereal.
  • Frozen homemade pesto and dips – I take a couple of cubes to school with some corn chips or veg to snack on.
  • Portioned slices of Lee Holmes’ Supercharged spinach loaf – this works with any kind of loaf, cut up ready to pull out and toast/bake or take frozen to be eaten later in the day.

A fridge surprise combo from earlier this week above.

Do you think any of these tips will work for you?
Let me know!

x

Get a little bit of zen in your life!

Get a little bit of zen in your life!

This past weekend I journeyed to the Yarra Valley to participate in a Yoga Retreat run by Yoga in Daily Life.

Prior to going, I considered this an indulgence. An absolute treat.

Post retreat, having left on Sunday feeling reenergised, rejuvenated and ready for reality…I’ve reevaluated my position. So often I think about giving time to myself, dedicating space, both mentally and physically, to refuel. This retreat was absolutely that. I feel like I’ve been more enthusiastic and productive this week – even more so than coming back to work from school holidays. How can that be?

The retreat focussed on a number of practices, asanas (the physical postures) and their link with the breath, pranayam (breathing techniques), yoga nidra (deep relaxation – read: tip-toe along the tightrope of a state of relaxation and sleep!) and meditation.

We also ate vegetarian, mostly gluten free and some vegan fare for the weekend. Being a vego obviously meant that this type of diet wasn’t much of a stretch for me, BUT it was really nice to not spend the weekend being the annoying one with the weird dietary requirement (aside from the fructose issue, but that’s a whole other story!) The food was delicious and steered clear of the boring typical vego options that we’re oft presented with when dining out – also Larissa’s desserts – WOW. She kindly catered for all of our strange and at times difficult requests.

If you have the opportunity to visit one of these retreats….please, DO IT! The ‘me time’ was amazing. Made all the more fabulous by the lovely ladies that were there alongside me for the ride too! All the other attendees were similarly so friendly and lovely, I’d honestly even consider going to one by myself.

I’ll make it very clear, I’m endorsing but not in any way gaining benefits from sharing this information about Yoga in Daily Life’s programs. I participated. It was amazing. I want to share. Full stop!

Have you been to a yoga retreat before? Share how it was below!!

Raw Choc PB buckwheat porridge

Raw Choc PB buckwheat porridge

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with buckwheat… my new favourite, easy, go-to breakfast, you’ve probably realised.

Here’s the latest one…

Love it. I’ve even carted it with me when I’ve been tripping around this holidays. I’m sure it would be delicious heated but I’ve been eating it chilled with a little bit of fruit – raspberries, a half of a banana with this one, topped with coconut and a random mix of nuts and seeds.

I found the original recipe on the Oh She Glows blog, with some changes bit to suit what I had in my pantry and fridge.

Raw Choc PB buckwheat porridge

2 Cups raw buckwheat groats

1 1/4C milk – your choice, I used Almond mylk

2 Tbs Chia seeds

1Tbs sweetener of your choice – rice malt syrup was mine. I usually use less than the recommended amount of sweetener, I cut this back from 1/4C.

I tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon (shake, shake, shake! I love cinnamon!)

1 1/2 Tbs cacao

1 1/2 Tbs peanut butter – organic, no additives!

Pinch of Salt 9 (omit if you like, especially if the PB has salt added)

The how to…..

  1. Soak the 2 cups of buckwheat groats in double the amount of water overnight – 6-8 hours.
  2. Rinse well in the morning.
  3. Place one cup of the soaked buckwheat in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  4. Stir the remaining cup of soaked buckwheat in so as to give a bit of crunch (if you prefer it smooth, blend it all in the previous step). The buckwheat soaks up LOTS of water so you will have more than two cups of groats in the morn.
  5. Freeze the remaining groats for later use!
  6. Serve, topped with a pantry surprise. Whatever you have on hand – coconut, pepitas, cacao nibs, almonds, macadamias, pistachios, fresh or frozen fruit.

Should make 4 x 1C servings. Store in jars in the fridge and use in the next few days.

If you want some other buckwheat suggestions, I’ve blogged another, here. Or for a savoury bowl using quinoa, check this one out.

Don’t forget to share below if you make it!

A new kind of latte

A new kind of latte

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Turmeric. That amazingly golden, anti-inflammatory spice.

I put it in everything! It’s my favourite addition to fridge surprise stir fry, a frequent midweek dinner of mine. It often gets popped into my soups too.

I went to Store Fifteen yesterday and blogged about it here

That visit reminded me of a recipe I tried a little while ago – the Golden Latte.

I’ve tried a few combos and I’m still perfecting the art. Store Fifteen have it down pat!

Here’s the ‘how to’ for the one I made yesterday morning…

 

Golden Latte

1-2 tsp Turmeric powder (depending on how used to it you are, I use 2 because I love the flavour perhaps start with 1!). Fresh turmeric and ginger are even better if you have it.

1/4 tsp cinnamon (or a shake, I love cinnamon!)

1/4 tsp grated or ground ginger

2 small drops vanilla

1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

2 tsp coconut oil

Your choice of milk – amount depending on preferred strength.

6 drops of liquid stevia

2 star anise

(REVISED RECIPE NOTE: just tried this with macadamia mylk and it was SO DELICIOUS!)

Combine all ingredients in the heated mylk, whisking on stove until it’s smooth.

Blend if you want it frothy or just strain and enjoy as is!

I’m actually hanging to try this with coconut milk. That’ll be the next adventure I think.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a coffee! I do try and stick to just one a day and I don’t drink it very often in summer. That’s why I like to try alternatives. That are often slightly left of centre.

Have you found any coffee alternatives that work for you?

Erin x