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Follow me on my journey through Motherhood, the Divine world of Raw Organic Eating, Greater Spiritual Awarness and a life that will eventually lead to Self Sufficiency and Complete Contentment.......This is my journey.....

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Fresh raw food gardens in small back yards

I have had a long term desire to create an entire meal from produce grown in my own garden. This sounds simple enough, but is rarely achieved by the average person. Sadly I am one of those that is yet to accomplish this entirely.  

A vegetable garden was once a very common every day addition to every families household, abundant with essentials to sustain a families diet, but sadly, is now a rarity. With so much convenience in supermarkets and lack of space and time, vegetable gardens seem impossible for most. With our desires to one day become self sufficient and grow an abundant food forest to nourish the needs of our families diet, we are starting small and doing what we can with what we have.   
We live on a very small block in town less then 500sqm, but still we have created a small patch of backyard devoted to fresh produce to satisfy a small portion of our diets.

Within our small space we have designed a raised vegetable garden that lines the back fence. Within this narrow garden bed, we have planted 5 citrus trees and an array of vegetables that have been both planted and self seeded. I don't garden in neat rows like the magazines, but instead mix it up with a plant here and one there, allowing natural companion planting and survival of the best plant in the best location to dictate each crops survival. This works well for me and seems to produce great results as a garden of overgrown plants working in synergy with each other. Its also great for the kids as I can hand them a packet of seeds and let them choose randomly spots to sew them with out a strict order to the layout. Some plants survive better in some spaces more than others, and the ones that do survive the best tend to self seed themselves for the following seasons crop. I like nature do most of the work and just reap its rewards at the end.

Here is some pictures of our small backyard garden that produces enough little things to add a touch of 'home growness' to every meal, weather is be a herb or a salad leaf or a handful or cherry tomatoes.

Our small backyard vegetable garden filled with organic produce
to give each meal a touch of 'home growness'
A Tangelo tree abundant with fruit 
after only 3 seasons

Lemon tree
Fresh chili's to add a touch of spice to
a raw dinner

Fresh cherry tomatoes for a home grown addition to a simple raw
salad or an instant treat straight from the vine
The kids love foraging through the foliage to
find these juicy red treasures! 
A hardy plant to grow all year round - Kale.
Excellent for salads or kale chips and seems to keep growing
and growing and growing....

We all love red capsicums and fresh from the garden is the best
Its always a challenge to get a taste of one of these
glorious red fruits as the kids eat them the moment they turn red!

It doesn't take much space or effort to plant a few small lettuce
plants or English spinach to provide for a season of continual harvesting.
I am always using green leafy vegetables in all my raw dishes so can never have too many growing!
Herbs are a essential part to any vegetable garden and an important
ingredient to many raw meals. I grow lots of oregano, parsley and Thyme which
rapidly spread across the ground acting like a cover of mulch which is extremely beneficial during the dryer seasons

A large crop of parsley which self seeded from last season crop. Instead of
removing the dead plant after it has gone to seed, I just leave the remains of the plant lay
on the ground and within a month, it will be covered in a mass of new seedlings.

I even have a collection of pots to hold more herbs
for medicinal and culinary purposes.

Nasturtium are another easy to grow, self seeding crop that had multiple benefits.
Not only are the flowers and leaves a great addition to add colour to any salad, but I find
they keep the Caterpillar off the kale!

Cherry Tomatoes, Nasturtian, parsley, orange tree, passion fruit vine,
chili plant all growing together - no rules, just letting nature
do what it does best - grow....

As we do have a great desire to eat all of our intake directly from our own backyards, we are working towards that goal and expect to achieve it some day soon. In the mean time, this is as close as we get...

Even if you don't have a backyard, you can still have a indoor garden
of fresh greens!

Starzi collecting sprouts for our lunch
Collecting cherry tomatoes and salad greens from the garden

A fantastic crop hidden amongst the foliage
With some added rocket from a friends garden, some locally pressed olive oil,
home preserved olives, home grown limes, we have created a simple home grown

Eating organic produce grown in season in your own back yard is what I believe to be the ultimate way to eat!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Simple Raw picnic lunch - Raw Mexican Parcels

Here is a simple lunch idea that can be prepared the night before and can easily be packed up for a scrumptious raw picnic, just like we enjoyed today.

Raw Mexican parcels - simple fresh raw picnic idea

Raw parcels:
cabbage leaf or any large green leafy vegetable big enough to wrap will be perfect

Easy guacamole:
2 avocados
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt
blend with a fork.

Tomato salsa
2 diced tomatoes
juice of half a lemon
crushed garlic clove/s
pinch of salt
pinch of cumin

spicy raw 'mince'
1 cup of 'activated' walnuts processed until crumbled
mixture of vegetables chopped into tiny pieces (carrot, zucchini, red capsicum, red onion, mushroom)

Toss in a bowl and add spicy sauce:

Spicy sauce
blend until smooth:
1/2 cup of soaked sun dried tomato
1/2 cup of soak water from sun dried tomatoes
1 fresh tomato
1 Tbls apple cider vinegar
2 Tbls Nama shoyu
1 tsp agave (optional)
fresh oregano
Pour over vegetables and walnuts an mix.

Raw sour cream
1 cup of macadamia nuts
2 Tbls lemon juice
2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
dash of water for consistency
Blend until smooth and creamy

place a scoop of each dish into a leaf, roll and eat

Add a scoop

And eat..

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Raw simple pancakes (No dehydrating)

I love pancakes and I am always looking for great raw pancake recipes. I have tried several styles and made a few up myself - all of which have been really yummy, but they all involved a considerable amount of preparations and dehydrating. The last batch took almost 3 days from soaking ingredients to final dehydrating, so a lot of energy for a little luxury.

In my experience over the last 6 months of eating a raw diet, the simplest ideas are always the best. Today I made a simple raw pancake and it was the best.

I have just added to my expanding raw food library, a couple of Ani Phyo's raw books, and I am very thankful I did. I love her ideals on raw recipes -meals that are simple with ingredients that are living, not just raw. A cracker that has been dehydrated for 2 days can be still a raw food, but not living - the life and water has dried up.
The first recipe I trialled was her breakfast cakes - so simple and so quick..and so tasty! An instant hit with everyone! 

2 cups of linseed ground
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1/2 pinch of salt
1/4 cup of water
Combine then roll and flatten into with fruit and syrup..yes that easy.

Raw 'instant' pancakes

I think I will try to expand on the recipe next time and add a mashed banana, maybe some vanilla powder, chopped 'activated' walnuts, blueberries....

I served these wonderful little cakes up for breakfast to everyone and every plate was licked clean with requests for more! I even had 2 serves....:)

Empty plates after a meal makes for a happy Mum!

And here is a variation that we created:
Little sweet linseed balls.


1 cup of ground linseed
1 ripe banana
4 dates
2 Tblsp coconut oil
Big blog of raw honey

Blend until well combined, roll into balls and cover in shredded coconut.

The kids ate these within minutes!

Sweet little 'nut free' balls of goodness

Raw lollipops?

Living a lifestyle of raw can be a little challenging when it comes to kids and the influences they receive from outside the home. My kids are still too small to have a good understanding for themselves of the ill effects of unhealthy food choices, so at the moment their food choices are 'controlled' by me, but as they grow, under my guidance, I hope they are able to make ethical lifestyle decisions based on the foundations our family provide in regards to food and living. 

As much as I am passionate about the lifestyle we live within our family, I am a little more relaxed outside this 'controlled' environment. I don't want my kids to feel completely alienated because of our way of living, so if their is a few home baked goods, or additive free crackers on offer while we are at social gathering then I'm happy for the kids to enjoy themselves and the food. Highly processed junk food though, I'm not so casual  about. I wont allow my kids to indulge in it. It is very rare for them to come in contact with it though as the company we choose to keep are all families who are against processed foods anyway so it is never on offer. 

Life isn't a perfect world of eating 100% raw and organic everyday for everyone,  so compromises have to be made. I also don't want my kids to feel like their childhood was a time of 'missing out', so as long as I keep our home a happy raw vegan home, then little compromises can be welcomed on the outside.

Speaking of little compromises, my kids have had a taste of lollipops and they love them. While enduring a 6 hour drive to Perth, I purchased a small bag of 'natural and organic' lollipops for the long journey and they have never forgotten them. Who would have thought a little ball of sugar on a stick would create so much joy.
So anyway, While playing around with the honey, Starzi and I stumbled across a novel raw lollipop idea.  My kids love raw honey - I find them hiding around corners with the honey tub, spoon in each hand helping themselves. They love it more when the honey is cold and the consistency is more solid. This was the beginning of our raw lollipop experiment.

After leaving the raw honey to stiffen in the fridge, we dipped a paddle pop stick in, twirled honey around the tip and layed it on a teflex sheet. After a number of sticks were coated, we set the honey in the freezer to harden further. The results were wonderful looking raw honey lollipops. Only problem was their stiffened state did not last so they began to droop quite quickly, but the kids ate them fast, so they did prove to be a novel raw lollipop after all. They just need to be eaten directly from the freezer!

Raw honey lollipops!

Our next attempt was to create a 'longer lasting' raw lollipop so I melted some coconut oil and stirred in some raw honey until creamy. This was then partially set in the fridge and once again twisted around paddle pop sticks and set in the freezer. The kids requested to decorate the lollipops with currents and goji berries. 

Raw honey and coconut lollipops

The results were completely different yet still novel. The texture was soft and chewy - 'like yogurt buds' was Rhody's comment on initial taste. He then proceeded to eat 4 in a row while Starzi ate 3... A successful experiment!

Choose your lollipop...

Even while living a raw vegan lifestyle, the kids don't have to feel like they are missing out on anything they love.....

'Just like yogurt buds!'
Almost all eaten within minutes...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Starzi's Raw birthday cake (back in March)

Even though it was Starzi's Birthday a few months ago, (march actually) I thought I would still share photos of her fabulous birthday cake and treat stand. I wanted to keep the party all raw and simple and this was the results which were quite impressive and loved by all the kids!

A raw watermelon birthday cake and stunning raw table centrepiece

The cake was simply made by slicing the ends off a large watermelon and trimming the skin to reveal a solid round slab of watermelon.  (Thanks Michael for his precision cutting skills) The walls and top were scooped out by a melon baller to leave little holes which were filled with red and white grapes, and fresh blueberries. The top decorations were made by slicing star fruit and sticking them onto toothpicks.
I surrounded the cake in melon balls and left over fruit.
The final result was a really fun kids birthday novelty cake that could be sliced as 'normal' and shared with everyone.

Cutting the cake

 I also made another fun fruit addition - fruit kebabs made by balling a combination of melons and threading on a kebab stick. They were then all displayed by spiking each stick into the skin of an upturned empty melon and topped with a star fruit slice.
This would also make a great centrepiece for any summer party. Ideas I will be using again. Any melons can be used for either item.

I am starting to really miss my summer fruits and these lovely warm winter days are reminding me so much of them.......

Raw 'nut-free' Chocolate and vanilla Ice blocks

I know its winter, but the days are beautiful at the moment, so thought we should make delicious raw iceblocks. I found this fantistic recipe to make  a nut free versions of chocolate coated ice blocks and they were loved by everyone. They look like the 'real thing' and taste so much better!

A raw summer treat for a warm kalgoorlie winters day

Raw vanilla 'icecream'
Flesh of 4 young coconuts (I have been drinking so many lately and have been wondering what else I can do with all that left over flesh...of course..icecream!)
1/2 cup of coconut water
1/2 to 1 cup of agave - depending on how sweet you like your icecream :)
dash of vanilla powder
Blend until creamy - it may taste over sweet at this stage, but once frozen, the sweetness will become milder.
Pour sweet cream into iceblock moulds and freeze until solid. Dont forget to place a paddlepop stick in each one.

Once frozen solid, carefully remove each ice block and coat in a chocolate sauce.

Chocolate sauce recipe:
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup of cacao powder
stir to combine.

The chocolate sauce will set hard as each iceblock is coated so can be eaten imediately, or stored in the freezer, if the kids arent hanging around to grab them from you as soon as they are coated!

Raw 'nut free' iceblocks

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Raw fermented nut cheese

So after looking at a few beautiful pictures of some mounds of raw nut cheeses on the Internet, I was enticed to try it myself.
It was definitely a long process, but now that I am eating the rewards, I do believe it was worth it - particularly after my raw crackers are finished dehydrating in the morning!

The final product...Raw fermented nut cheese after many days of preparing.

Making rejuvelac:
So the process began by soaking 1 cup of wheat berries for 12 hours to begin the making of rejuvelac. The soaked berries are then drained, rinsed and placed in nut milk bag to sprout for about 3 days. When the tails reach the length of the berries, they are ready. The sprouted berries are then placed in a clean bowl with 2 cups of filtered water and left for another 2 days to soak. The end product should be rejuvelac. Slightly sour lemon tang with a slight amount of white froth visible on surface.

Sprouted wheat berries soaking in filtered water for 48 hours to make rejuvelac
The rejuvelac is poured off the sprouted wheat berries and can be stored for about 3 days in the fridge while the next step begins.

Soak 2 cups of cashews in filtered water for 12 hours. Drain and rinse. In the blender, add the soaked cashews and enough rejuvelac to allow the blender to combine to make a smooth cream.
I added some nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, seasoned salt and some fresh herbs from the garden to the blend. The herbs made the cheese turn slightly green, so I added a touch of turmeric to make it more yellow, but I should have really left the herbs out and kept the colour white. It is also recommended to add a sprinkle of probiotic powder to kick start the fermentation process especially if you are using water only and not rejuvelac. I added a 1/2 teaspoon of "Inner health plus' probiotic that I had in the fridge. 
After the cheesy paste is formed, transfer to a nut bag and tie off in a ball, leaving it to sit for a further 48 hours in a warm spot. I left mine near the fire at night, or on top of the dehydrator if it was in use.
Rejuvelac and cashews blended and then rolled up in a but bag to begin the fermenting process 

After just one night, my small ball of cheese had grown to double its size! It's alive!

After 1 night of resting in a warm place, my cheese ball has come alive!
Finally after 2 days of resting, I then opened my bag of cheese and spread the contents into a lined bowl and set it in the fridge for another 12 hours to harden..

Spreading the fermented nut cheese into a lined bowl
ready for the final stage of hardening in the fridge.
At last after many days, my fermented nut cheese was ready to sample. I tipped the cheese onto a place, massaged a sprinkling of cumin seeds and dried coriander herbs around the edges and....

The final product - Raw fermented nut cheese coated in
cumin seeds and dried coriander.
.....sliced to serve.
Ready to eat on fresh raw crackers

A wonderful addition to a Raw picnic platter with raw crackers, raw olives,
raw pesto, raw carrot sticks and fresh cherry tomatoes from the garden.

Simple lunch recipes

One of the best things about eating raw for me, is just how quickly a few vegetables can be transformed into something delicious with out much effort. 
This was our lunch today - prepared in literally minutes!

Raw zucchini pasta with tomato sauce -
Pasta: Using my spiraliser, I created a bowl full of wholesome zucchini noodles
Sauce: In my blender, I combined until smooth, 1 cup of soaked sun dried tomatoes with 2 fresh tomatoes, a garlic clove, 2 dates, dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Assembly: Toss noodles through sauce, top with olives, spinach leaves, thin slices of left over sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, 'rawmassen cheese' (made by grinding to a powder  1/2 cup of cashews, 1 tsp garlic granules and pinch of salt) 

Raw zucchini pasta in raw tomato sauce
Vegetable 'Rawfry' in a Sweet & Sour sauce
Vegetables: Thinly slice a selection of vegetables - zucchini, carrot, broccoli and place in a dish. Throw in a handful of spinach leaves and some kelp noodles. 
Sauce: blend 3 Tbls Nama Shoyu, 1 dollop of honey, 1 clove of garlic crushed, 1 small cube of crushed ginger, 1/4 cup sesame oil, small piece of crushed de-seeded chili. (forgot to top with sesame seeds)
Assemble: simply toss sauce through strips of vegetables an place in dehydrator for about half an hour to warm and soften.

Vegetable 'rawfry' in sweet & sour sauce

After about a month of struggling with Rhody to eat anything other than fruit, or raw 'buckwheaties' and almond milk, or raw crackers with almond butter and honey, I was totally amazed to see him today, literally scoff down 4 serves of the vegie rawfry! He was the last to leave the table, scraping out the last remnants of the dish. Its incredible how much kids attitudes can change over food - from one day spitting food in their hand declaring it to be 'yuk' to literally overnight, scoffing down an entire bowl full of the same thing...! 


More please!

4th serve!