Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mushroom curry recipe

Those of you who have been here awhile will know by now how much of a produce geek I am. I look forward to our local Saturday farmers markets with much excitement, get my kicks out of growing our own herbs and vegetables and if anyone ever invites me on a farm tour, I'm there with bells on. 
Yesterday, on a super crisp winters day I got to look around Western Australia's largest mushroom growing facility with a bunch of fellow local Perth food lovers. I'd like to think I'm pretty well versed with the ins and outs of how mushrooms form and grow in the wild, but seeing this kind of commercial production was such an eye opener! Not only did we get to see the beautiful (and tasty) little mushrooms at every stage of their growth, but I learnt some crazy facts as well. Like, did you know mushrooms double in size in one day, and that us Western Australians purchase a whopping 110 tonnes of mushrooms every week? Awesome aye! Of those 110 tonne, 80 tonne are grown at Mushroom Exchange, just south of Perth City where we were yesterday, in a large housed facility that smells of sweet fertile soil and damp forest floors.

I've long been a fan of eating mushrooms, but even more so since my last blood tests showed up that like so many people these days, I'm deficient in vitamin D. I was kinda shocked to say the least, I mean I live in one of the hottest, sunniest cities on the planet?! But, when you work indoors like me and don't get out in the sun as much as you'd like to other than over the summer holidays, well, it's actually pretty easy to not get enough of the good stuff via the sun. Up until recently it was believed that we couldn't get enough Vitamin D from food sources alone, but we now know that simply isn't true. Mushrooms which are exposed to UV light either during growth, or set out in the midday sun after picking, absorb and retain Vitamin D from the suns rays. It totally blows my mind that you can place mushrooms bought from the store out into the sun and, for want of a better word, 'charge' them up in the sunshine! I'm constantly in awe of mother nature and seeing these little mushies growing in their large beds as tall as the ceiling, knowing their potential to deliver the vitamin D my body so needs, is just plain awesome. 
Monday, June 15, 2015

Hearty buckwheat + kale soup recipe

Vegetarianism is not something I've ever really talked about on here and to be honest, I prefer to just do my thing and if that inspires someone else to give it a go, then that's cool. If you've got my cookbook you will no doubt have a pretty good idea of the kind of childhood I had, but for those of you who don't, lets just say I grew up in a household of organic vegetable growing, loving and eating hippies, who chose not to eat meat. (We did very occasionally eat fish, so I guess we were technically pescetarians, although I don't remember ever knowing that term when I was young). My mum grew up on a farm in central New Zealand, where she was told she had to eat meat to survive, even though she struggled on a daily basis with it. It wasn't until she left home and got involved with a spiritual group (where she met my Dad) that she realised she had been lied to her whole life. Here were people who survived eating only plants, grains and dairy and they were thriving! Needless to say, my fate as a vegetarian was set long before birth!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Turmeric fire cider (aka Master tonic)

The kids and I have been taking turns at being sick over the past few weeks. As soon as one gets better the next one goes down like a fly, ache-y, and with a sore head and blocked nose, you all know the feeling I'm sure. I hit them with my usual cold and flu arsonry consisting of homeopathic remedies, olive leaf extract and copious amounts of echinacea and vitamin C. It most definitely shortens our colds and helps us get on our feet quite quickly, but this time around I also wanted to try my hand at making fire cider, which I've seen in many different forms on Pinterest over the years. 

Fire Cider, also known as Fire Water or Master Tonic, has been around for ever. It's logic is sound; cram as many anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients as you can into a glass jar and leave to mingle, which turns it into a golden elixir of sorts. Now I'm no doctor or health professional for that matter, but this stuff is a really good one to add to your bag of natural tricks when fighting the common cold. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty full on tasting (read: burning in your throat and chest when you swallow it!) and I'm not even going to subject my kids to it's, well, fire. But it really did help me feel better, instantly cleared my blocked nose and head, no joke (and mine had only been steeping for about 5 days when I fell sick).

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