Today is beautiful winters day to bake biscuits with the kids, the mist has lifted in the valley the sun is beaming down through the soft blue sky onto the garden and the icy droplets of water are slowly dripping off the evergreen vegetables and the blue borage stars. I adore a rustic, textured biscuit that is wholesome and hearty. My appetite sways towards food with a little oomph in winter so the boys and I spent the morning cutting creating, shaping and then baking these little humble biscuits. It is a lovely winters activity for the little rat bags, it's like playing with play dough, but even better as you can eat the dough!
120 grams butter
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
1 free ranged egg
1 cup oat bran
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup currents
extra oat bran for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Beat together the butter and sugar until pale in colour. Add egg and beat in well. Fold through the flour, baking powder, oat bran and salt until the dough forms a soft dough. Pour the currents in with the soft dough and knead for a few minutes with your hands adding a oat bran if needed. At this stage I like to roll out the dough between two pieces of baking sheets, scattered with oat bran. Place the rolled dough into the fridge to harden before cutting out the shapes. Once they have been in the fridge for a little time to harden, this will often be around 10 minutes, cut out your desired shapes then place them out on a baking tray. I love to cut my dough into circles with the top of a cup, my boys love dinosaur shapes! Bake for 7-10 minutes or until golden around the edges. Repeat until all the dough is used up. The dough also freezes well for 3 months.
Preserved lemons are a staple in the house. They are the first thing I grab when making a quick casseroles and stew. They also bring out the best in a chicken or fish dish. Preserved lemons are pickled in their own juices allowing the rind to soften. It's a huge part of the middle eastern and moroccan cuisine.
The recipe below is the quantity of ingredients to fill a standard 1 litre Agee or mason jar. Try using in season organic Meyer lemons if available.
1/4 cup good quality sea or kosher salt
Place 2 Tbsp salt on the bottom of your jar
Cut your lemons into lemon quarters or wedges ( the traditional method is to leave your lemons whole but I find this way easier to handle )
Dust your lemons with salt and press every lemon into the jar with a wooden spoon to realise to juices. Once your lemons full the jar make sure the lemon juice covers all your lemons and if not then squeeze some extra lemon juice in your jar until it does.
Sprinkle an extra 2 Tbsp of salt on top
Seal your jar with a lid then leave on your bench for a few days then place in the fridge for 3 weeks making sure you give the jar a slight shake every few days.
Your lemons will be ready to use after 3 weeks or when the lemon rind is soft.
Keep lemons stored in the fridge for up to 6 months.
To use your lemons remove the lemon pulp and seeds and slice the rind up or leave whole when using in casseroles and stews.
A cold winter calls for warming foods. My memories of porridge when I was growing up was the smell that swirled through the rooms as my Mum whipped up the goodness that filled and satisfied our empty stomachs before school. I am going through a porridge stage at present, firstly because it's delicious but secondly because the whole family can eat it - why do you want to be dishing up four different breakfast bowls? Little George is going on 7 months and he loves the porridge mashed with a little stewed fruit or banana and Theo just has what I have ( he has no choice! ). This porridge has grated apples throughout it along with a few raisins and walnuts then topped with ginger stewed pears and pure maple syrup. Breakfast is served.
5 pears, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp local raw honey
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups quick cook oats ( If you are GF then opt for gluten free oats )
3 cups nut milk, regular milk or water
1/4 cup raisins
Handful of walnuts
1 grated apple
1 tsp cinnamon
Maple syrup to serve
In a medium sized saucepan add your pears, honey, ginger, cinnamon and water and bring to a simmer stirring every now and again until the water has reduced and your pears have softened. Place these into a glass jar and what you don't use can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Rinse your saucepan then add your oats, milk, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts and grated apple. Stir your porridge constantly over a low heat until your porridge has thickened and is a creamy consistency.
Serve into bowls and drizzle with maple syrup and top with your ginger stewed pears.
Makes 3 adult plates or 2 adults and 2 children.
Seasonal Winter Juice
1 bunch spinach
3 stalks of celery
Handful of each mint and parsley
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of speed well- leaves and flowers are medicinal
Juice the above ingredients and enjoy over ice. When slow juicing enzymes last up to 3 days.
This weed is known by the names of - Birdseye Speedwell, Veronica Persica, gypsy weed
This weed is of abundance in winter time and grows in rich soil of lawns or overgrown patches of grass. For such a tiny weed it has powerful healing and medicinal properties. Speedwell is named after its ability of fast healing.
Medicinal Properties include:
• used by gypsies as a blood purifier
• removes excess mucus, soothe internal tissues, treat coughs, asthma, pleurisy
• a tea made of speedwell is used to clear sinus congestion, help eyesight and ease sore eyes.
I had a swollen top eyelid and sore eye - bathing it with speedwell healed it quickly
• goes to areas of tension, especially the neck and shoulder areas and helps relax the muscles
• externally to treat skin rashes, inflammation
• contains chlorophyll, minerals, vitamins, protein, antioxidants and is another plant easy to find in the garden to add to your smoothie or chop up finely and add to salads or make a pesto.
A handful of speedwell brought to the boil and steeped - drink as a tea or use cotton wool to dab one’s eyes as I did.
Sourced from http://www.wisdomseekers.co.nz
Gypsy weed song
Speedwell to travellers!
And speedwell is me.
My roots keep me from travelling,
As you can see.
Yet all those who travel
With their feet on the ground
Have noticed I've spread
The whole world round.
I'm too small to spy
From a car or a plane.
Yet, see me or not,
I'm here just the same.
So go on your travels.
And though they may say, "God speed,"
Don't pass by the gifts
Of the wise Gypsyweed.
A classic combination of rich chocolate and citrus orange, this cake is a soft and light indulgence. Made with wholesome ingredients, it’s also perfect for the winter season when oranges are of abundance.
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
juice and zest of 2 oranges
2 free range eggs
2 tsp mixed spice
1 1/2 cups organic ground flour
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Beat together the butter and rapadura sugar until pale in colour. Add your eggs and beat for a few minutes. Fold in the rest of your ingredients and evenly pour into a lined and buttered bundt cake tin. If your using a processor then combine all the ingredients and blend until incorporated.
Bake at 170 ° C for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean
Once cake is cooled add your cacao, coconut oil and maple syrup into a double boiler, slowly melt together then drizzle over cake.
Bone broth is a great way to use up every last bit of a comforting roast chicken. Bone broth is simply made up of vegetables, bones and water. A lot like a broth or stock only you roast your bones first -If using raw bones or skip this step if your using a carcass from a roast, this enhances the flavors, you then boil the liquid for a longer amount of time ( this time can be up to 12 hours ). Bone broth is also ridiculously good for you and commonly know to cure respiratory infections, colds and flues due to it's ability to lessen the severity of the illness. This is proven with science backing this! Read here
Other beneficial properties include:
Helps with poor digestion and the secretion of gastric acids
High in protein and minerals ( The minerals are realized after a prolonged cooking time )
The high gelatin content is an inexpensive protein supplement to help with joint care and arthritis
Can especially help those with GAPS through better digestion
Gelatin also supports good hair, skin and nail health
1 free-range chicken carcass
Enough water to cover
2 bay leaves
3 large whole cloves of garlic
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
handful of lovage or italian parsley (optional)
If you are using raw bones then roast the bones first for 30-40 minutes. If you are using a carcass from a roast dinner then skip the first step and place all the above ingredients into a large heavy saucepan. Add enough water to cover your carcass, bring the water to a boil then immediately turn the heat down to low and simmer with a lid on for about 10-12 hours. Stir from time to time. The bones should crumble in between your fingers when pressed, that's when you know you have pressed all the nutrients from within. ( If the bones are not doing this then remain simmering.
Sieve through a fine mesh and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for 6 months.
You can enjoy your bone broth as is with a little seasoning or you can add a little into a bowl of miso soup. Also add our bone broth in your soups, stews and casseroles for a health boost.
A rustic, sustaining soup on a cold day is a winner. One that accompanied with a slice of sourdough smothered in slowly melting butter leaves you warm and satisfied. I started making this soup a few years back and when winter approaches I whip out the recipe once a week or I make a big batch and freeze half for a quick wholesome meal. This recipe is a Moroccan cuisine due the spices and is a soup that always tastes better when reheated on the stove the next day as the flavors combine and enhance over night.
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic bulb, peeled and crushed or finely diced
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger and fresh turmeric (1 tsp turmeric powder also works)
Spices - 1 tsp of each paprika, coriander, cumin and chili flakes
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 carrots, grated
1 cup grated pumpkin
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cups puy lentils, soaked in water to activate for 8 hours *see note below on why you activate your nuts
8 cups water
Salt and pepper
Parsley to finish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, garlic, ginger and spices until softened. Add vegetables, lentils and water and simmer on a low heat for 1 hour. Season to taste.
When ready to serve, mix in coriander or parsley. I also serve the soup with a dollop of natural un-sweetened yoghurt.
*Why soak your nuts, seeds and legumes?
Nature has set it up so that the nut, grain and seed may survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defense mechanism includes nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after the nut, grain, legume or seed germinates. When it rains the nut, grain, legume or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak. See sprouting chart on this link here
Recipe inspired by Annabel langbein
This cake is soft yet moist, satisfying yet not to sweet. Its light and it will not last long- I mean it when I say this or maybe its just my family whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs?
While in season I get my apples from a local organic farmer at which I trade cake for. I pick the apples straight off the tree and drive home thinking up master plans of what to do with them all. Trust me I have good intentions but the apples just don't get to make it to the dehydrator or preserving jars as planned they are manly used for crumbles, cakes, fresh apple juice ( at which I sweeten my jams with ) and gobbled up just how they are. Maybe I will get their next week....... I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my greedy family did, at least you can have in the back of your mind whilst they eat that you have made it with wholesome and much loved ingredients.
Enjoy CK xx
3 medium sized apples, peeled and cut into wedges
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
½ cup rapadura sugar
2 free-range eggs
1/2 cup apple juice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar- to help activate the baking soda
Desiccated coconut – to decorate
Preheat your oven to 170°C
Soak your apples in 1 cup of water, a squeeze of lemon and a cinnamon stick overnight, once finished drain off water. This intensifies the flavour and softens the apple. *If time is not on your hands then you can place the apples in a saucepan with the water and cinnamon stick and simmer slightly until softened but not falling apart, this will only take a few minutes.
Beat together the butter and rapadura sugar until pale in colour. Add your eggs and beat well after each addition. Fold your wet ingredients into the mixture and then the dry ingredients including ¾ of your apples leaving the rest to decorate the top. Evenly pour your mixture into a lined and buttered cake tin. Line the top of the cake with the remaining apples pressing them in slightly, scatter over some desiccated coconut (optional).
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean