Something To Get You Through Monday Morning

I’m on a bit of a roll with banana-based recipes at the moment. I just hate chucking away over-ripe bananas when they are so perfect for baking. So this time I created a breakfast banana muffin recipe inspired by my beautiful friend’s recipe, thanks Kelsey!

Makes approximately 8 small muffins.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 over-ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp cinnamon

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees and prepare your muffin tints with muffin holders.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and honey. Add the eggs and whisk well.
  3. Add the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the banking soda, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. Add the flour and oats to the mixture and mix together using a large spoon (mix until combined). You can add extra ingredients here if you like such as chocolate chips or nuts.
  5. Fill your muffin holders about two-thirds of the way. Sprinkle a few oats on top.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean).
  7. Enjoy!!!

I loved serving these muffins with yogurt sprinkled with honey on the side. These are also great take-away snacks!

If you have any suggestions please feel free to shoot them to me!

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Who Can Say No to Banana Bread?

Who can say no to banana bread? Really… it’s just the best.

After finally handing in an assignment which had taken all of my energy over the past few days, I got the sudden urge to bake something yummy. I was pretty tired so wanted something nice and easy to make. After glancing at sad looking over-ripe bananas in my fruit ball I realised they were calling for me. I hate wasting food, so banana bread it was!

And here is the exciting news. I have made my own banana bread recipe which is low in sugar and also has dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives for those with allergies! Most banana bread recipes use so much sugar which is unnecessary because bananas themselves are naturally really quite sweet. So I hope you enjoy this recipe ;)

Tip: banana bread is best served toasted with a side of butter and accompanied by a hot drink like a cup of coffee or English breakfast tea. Yumzies!!

 

Dry Ingredients:

– ¾ cup of plain flour (use buckwheat flour for a gluten-free alternative)

– ½ cup of almond meal

– 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

– ½ teaspoon of baking soda

– 1 teaspoons of cinnamon

– 1 tablespoon of sugar (you can use more if you want, maybe ¼ or up to ½ cup)

– Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

– 3 very ripe bananas (make sure they are very ripe – as in pretty yucky looking – because you will get most of the sweetness from these bad boys)

– 2 large eggs

– ¼ cup of milk (use nut milk for a dairy-free alternative)

– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

– 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

–  1/3 cup of melted butter (¼ cup of melted coconut oil if you are dairy-free)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a rectangular loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, coconut oil and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Mash up your bananas and then add them to the wet mixture. Mix well.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold through until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and chuck in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

My thoughts about Ora

Hi all!!

I apologise for my lack of posts lately. It really has been a while since I’ve written on my blog… Now that I am back at uni and getting into a bit of a routine again I promise I will be better!

Today, I would like to share my thoughts about a cafe which I discovered on the weekend called ‘Ora‘, located on Whistler street in Manly. Now Ora is not your typical cafe… Nope, definitely not. It is quite different actually, starting from the fact that no paper napkins nor plastic straws are to be found there for example.

So, what is Ora in a nutshell?

Ora is an organic cafe in Manly which thrives on the idea that you can eat yummy healthy food.

What type of food do they serve there?

The cafe serves breakfast and lunch, including drinks and snacks. Although the food options are rather limited, the menu caters for a range of taste buds and the drink list runs for a few pages. Whether you are more of a sweet tooth, enjoy a typical bacon and egg sandwich or fancy trying something different, Ora has got you covered. However, what struck out to me the most was the original meal options like the savoury porridge served with bacon for example (see photo below!). In terms of drinks, naturopathic teas are the cafe’s go-to as well as the novel ‘Tumeric Latte’ which I got the chance to try!

Tumeric Latte

Overall experience?

I really enjoyed having breakfast there with my family on a fine Saturday morning. The vibe is relaxed, the staff is friendly and attentive and the design of the cafe rocks! Plus you will definitely feel nice and full after your meal as the portions are generous which is always a bonus.

Thumbs up?

What I liked the most about Ora is that the place definitely centres around serving organic and nice food but, most importantly, it is not about ‘cleansing’ or being ‘vegan’ or anything extreme like that. Ora genuinely aims to create yummy wholefood which is sustainable, makes you feel good and is delicious! The package deal really. And price wise, dishes costs $20 or under so not too bad!

So, Ora, you have my thumps up!!

Take-away Breakfast Idea

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I’m often rushed in the morning which  unfortunately means I don’t get an opportunity to have a proper sit down breakfast. Although I love taking my sweet time during breakfast, ideally drinking tea while slowly munching away on tasty homemade food then reading a good book or flicking through a magazine, I have found the perfect on-the-go brekkie recipe which makes up for all of the above!

What I love about this recipe is that:
1) It is dead easy
2) It takes only 1 minute to prepare
3) It is very cheap (which is always a bonus for poor university students like me!)
This recipe was inspired from Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar For Life’ book. Although I have never done the full I Quit Sugar program myself, I have experimented with her recipes a great deal. In my opinion, it is very true that we consume far too much sugar each day and that a low sugar diet makes you feel 100% better. The less sugar you eat, the less you crave it. It’s crazy!! Although I am not particularly a strong advocate of Sarah Wilson I do have a great deal of respect for her and I really love her recipes and perspective about food. I strongly support her approach to food waste management as well as her overarching vision which I discussed in my last post ‘Supercharged Vegetarian Salad (and a note about food sustainability)‘. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about! If you want more information please head to her blog.
Here’s the basic recipe for my take-away breakfast:
Ingredients:
– About 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
– 2 to 3 fresh or frozen strawberries
– Two/Three Weet-Bix (depending on how hungry you are)
– Milk (I used full-cream milk but any type of milk would do)
Method:
– Pour the blueberries at the bottom of your take away-container
– Crumble your Weet-Bix on top
– Cover the lot with milk
– Add strawberries as toppings (if frozen you might want to unfreeze them in the micro-wave)
– Let the milk soak and the blueberries unfreeze for about 20-30 minutes
– Eat your breakfast!
This is a very simple recipe. I really like the texture of ‘soggy’ Weet-Bix and find it sweet enough just like that, however, feel free to drizzle some honey or maple syrup on top for an extra boost of sweetness! I also like to add these various ingredients to it:
– a scoop of chia seeds (soaking the chia seeds in the milk with the Weet-Bix makes a more pudding-like texture)
– a few roasted almonds
– Greek yogurt
– a scoop of LSA
– extra berries such as raspberries and/blackberries
– sliced banana
– granola
– chocolate sauce which consists of one tsp of cacao, one tsp of maple syrup and one tsp of tahini mixed together with hot water (inspired from Healthsynergy)
So let’s get into it shall we!
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Supercharged Vegetarian Salad (and a note about food sustainability)

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I’ve grown up in a family which eats a lot of meat. My dad especially loooves his meat. He always sources very nice free range meat and, benefitting from the fact that I still live at home, I am so lucky to have access to such good food beautifully prepared by him most evenings. As a matter of fact, my cousins live on a cattle farm in France which explains why my dad loves his red meat so much!

However, I am well aware of the fact that the world is currently undergoing a food sustainability crisis. I’ve actually done a bit of work for Oxfam as part of a university assignment which focused around this issue of food security. In a nutshell: first-world countries eat too much and source their food in an unsustainable manner by importing and exporting way too many products, wasting an unbelievable amount of food and unsustainably growing certain plants/fruits/veggies which has serious negative environmental impacts on the planet. We simply cannot keep going the way we are. If we do then soon enough there will be no food left and our environment will be a wreck (even more than it already is…)

So… I do try to moderate my consumption of meat because I know that if every person on the planet ate as much meat as my dad does then we would be in big trouble (no offence dad). Unfortunately, I am not vegetarian because I love my protein way too much and feel that my body struggles without it. Nevertheless, I have a small amount of animal protein only once a day and then have no animal protein at all once or twice a week. I know it’s not much but I feel that a small step is better than nothing. For both sustainable and health reasons I try to vary my animal protein intake, for example, mix it up between fish, red meat, poultry and crustaceans. I also pay attention to where I get my animal protein from and avoid getting food which I know is unsustainably sourced (yet I must admit that it’s not always that easy to find out these things).

I would highly recommend checking out Oxfam’s GROW campaign which provides heaps of ideas on how to eat in a more sustainable manner. Here’s the GROW method at a glance:

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Anyway, here’s the recipe for a supercharged (as in super healthily charged) vegetarian salad:

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P.s: this salad was made from left overs in my fridge – again, trying to minimise waste and eat more sustainably!

Ingredients:

  • Salad leaves (I used spinach and steamed kale but you could also use lettuce or rocket for example!).
  • Two poached eggs (method on how to easily make perfectly poached eggs can be found here).
  • Cherry tomatoes (cut up into small quarters).
  • Handful of cut up cucumber.
  • 1/4 of an avocado (thinly cut).
  • Sprinkle of goats cheese (feta, halloumi or ricotta could also work here).
  • Dressing: roughly 2 parts olive oil, 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part mustard.

Method:

  1. Cook your poached eggs (takes 3-4 minutes)
  2. While the eggs are cooking mix all your ingredients together in a bowl (don’t forget a bit of dressing).
  3. Add the poached eggs.

So easy! You can even prepare this salad in the morning and bring it to work for a very healthy and real tasty vegetarian meal. I find that this salad has a perfect mix of greens, healthy fat and flavour. If you’re lucky enough to have the day off like I did then enjoy eating this delish salad along with a very good book like ‘Eat, Pray and Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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Note: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Book really inspires me and I often base my meals upon it (link to the I Quit Sugar blog here). Even though this book might sound like a silly ‘diet’ book it really isn’t anything like it. On the contrary, Sarah Wilson writes a lot about ways to minimise food waste as part of her overarching food sustainability vision and she discourages dieting, opting for simple well-balanced meals incorporating healthy fat, greens,protein and a small amount of carbs (and obviously, given the title of her book, avoiding sugar). I like the way she writes. I have one book of hers and it has an endless amount of yummy recipes which I love to play around with. Give it a try and you might find you like it too!

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Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

With love,

Camille.

Downtown Kettle Town!

Attention tea-lovers. I have some fabulous news for you: it’s called Kettle Town.

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Kettle Town is a newly established tea business based in Sydney. What I love the most about Kettle Town is their diversity. Have a look at their tea collection online and you will be stunned by the the range of flavours available to order. Whether you are a traditional black tea lover, or you enjoy sipping on a herbal tea, or maybe you are more found of a fresh iced-tea on a hot summer day (my personal favourite) – either way, Kettle Town has got you covered.

But it doesn’t stop here. What attracted me to this tea brand so much is the quality of their ingredients combined with their beautiful packaging. The tea can be ordered online which is super easy for busy people and who doesn’t love receiving a cute package in their letter box once in a while? I certainly do! The tea is also stocked in a few places around sydney.

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Today I would like to focus on Kettle Town’s new iced-tea collection which particularly appeals to me because this is a cold brew range. I had the pleasure of trying the Eclectic Orange (orange, hibiscus, apple) and the Perfect Peach (oolong, peach, rose) flavours. Recipes containing suggestions of which fruit to add to each iced-tea are provided on Kettle Town’s website which is also really great!

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Cold brew tea is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is to follow these simple steps:

  • Add 4 teaspoons of loose tea in one litre of chilled filtered water in a pitcher.
  • Steep overnight in fridge.
  • Strain tea from water the next morning and serve on ice cubes and with added fruits if desired.

For instant tea:

  • Bring 250 ml water to boil.
  • Add 4 teaspoons of loose tea and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain leaves from hot water, add a cup full of ice cubes with 500 ml cold water then serve.

My thoughts on Kettle Town’s Iced-Tea?

I love it. I love the fresh, delicate tea leaves and ingredients which are used. I love the smell and taste of the tea. I love the convenience of being able to order the tea online. And finally, I love the way the tea allows one to make a completely refined sugar-free drink which is very tasty, refreshing and healthy!

Eclectic Orange

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This iced-tea is a light and tangy refreshing drink combining the eclectic flavours of orange, hibiscus and apple. Sipping on this cold drink is very refreshing and provides a beautiful alternative to unhealthy, sugary drinks. The iced-tea is best served with thin slices of lemon and orange along with a sprinkle of mint. I would suggest serving this tea around lunch time or for afternoon tea. Prepare a large jug as it is likely to be finished quickly!

Note: Kettle Town suggests adding a dash of good quality gin to this tea for entertainment. I haven’t had a chance to give it a try but that does sound very appealing!!

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Perfect Peach

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Perfect Peach contains oolong leaves as well as hints of rose and apple. This blend has a stronger tea taste than Eclectic Orange which brings a very calm and soothing sensation. I enjoyed drinking this iced-tea with pieces of fresh pineapple and peach which added a bit of natural sweetness to the drink. I find this tea very tropical which left me feeling fresh and detoxed! You could try adding some passionfruit to lift the flavours even more and give it an extra boost of sweetness and tanginess!

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I can’t wait to try more of Kettle Town’s tea range, that’s for sure…

New Revelation: Poached Eggs Are Easy To Make

Have you ever been in a situation where the clock ticks past lunch-time and you suddenly realise that your stomach is rumbling so you rush to your fridge only to find, well… eggs.

Anyone with basic cooking skills knows how to make hard-boiled/scrambled/fried eggs. Cooking an omelette is not too difficult either but poached eggs… now this can be a bit tricky to make at home!

Well get excited because: I have a solution for you :)

A friend of mine taught me this simple – yet absolutely great – method to cook poached eggs at home. Once you have mastered this easy procedure the chances are you will eat poached eggs every single day (I’m only slightly exaggerating).

So here’s the secret: (It’s not really a secret – make sure you share it around!)

What you need:

  • Glide-wrap
  • A cup
  • Recipient to boil water in
  • And of course: eggs (as many as you feel like!)

Method:

  • Start by placing the recipient with water over high temperature and bring to a boil (cover the recipient to make this process faster but make sure to take the top off once the water is boiling).
  • While the water is heating up, grab your cup and place a rectangular piece of glide wrap (the more glide wrap the better) over the cup and then crack an egg into the glide-wrap.
  • Grab all four corners of the glide-wrap and twist them together to create a ‘money bag’ sort of shape with the egg at the bottom.
  • Repeat this process with as many eggs as you wish.
  • Once the water is boiling bring the temperature down slightly so that the water is still boiling but not too much and then carefully place all the eggs under water.
  • Hold on to the top of the glide wrap at first but after about 30 seconds you should be able to let go and the ‘money bags’ should just float around. You can also try to hook the glide wrap onto the side of the recipient.
  • Leave the eggs in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
  • Take them out and leave them to cool slightly.
  • Once they have cooled down a bit, open the ‘money bags’ up and gently remove the eggs.

Bellow are some photos documenting the process to give you a visual representation of the method:

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