Friday, 29 March 2013

Vitality truffles – Choco dream

Vitality truffles – Choco dream

100g pitted dates (or a mixture of figs & dates)
100g apricots (soak in hot water for ½ hr first)
100g rolled oats
4 t cacao powder
2 T coconut oil
½ cup hazelnuts

Process all ingredients except the hazelnuts until well combined. Add hazelnuts and pulse or turbo until they are finely chopped. Use damp hands and roll into balls. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.

Savvy tip
For Easter - If you want to make them extra decadent, melt some good quality chocolate (I like to use 70%) and dip them. Set and keep in fridge. Might not tick the supper healthy box :) but a great nourishing homemade option for a chocolate hit.

Savvy Easter treats

Great alternative to chocolate eggs. So easy to make. There’s no cooking, no fussing and no lengthy preparation time. These treats are nourishing, healthy and delicious.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Simple Raw Chocolate

These are great to make for a more healthier Easter treat option.  I didn't have any egg moulds so used my heart one.  Super easy to make and yummy even my husband Dean (who has taken on the job of Chief taster) gave them the thumbs up and he is a tough critic :).

100g Raw Cacao Butter
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
2-4 Tablespoons real maple syrup or Coco Nectar syrup (I used the Coco Nectar)
1 Small pinch of rock salt (Optional - use good quality sea salt to lift the chocolate flavour)

Ensure all utensils and the bowl are dry before the ingredients are added as water can cause the mix to separate.

Place the raw cacao butter in a bowl over a pan of water on a low heat and melt gently. Once melted add 6 tbsp raw cacao powder and mix well using a metal ballon whisk (wooden spoons don’t blend as well). Ensure the heat is low and add the maple syrup or coco nectar and mix well. Taste the mix once melted and add more sweetener if you prefer a sweeter taste.

Once completely melted and blended remove from heat. Your mixture should be runny and easy to pour. Pour or spoon into ice cube trays, silicone moulds or even platic tubs to make fabulous raw chocolate bars. Place in the freezer and leave to set for 20mins to half an hour on in the fridge for around 2 hours.

This mix tastes delicious plain but there is always room for some creativity, so feel free to add some chilli powder for Chilli Chocolates or peppermint essence or vanilla extract, orange peel, coffee or orange liquors are all things that can be added.

My favourite is placing a frozen blue berry or two into the choc mixture before putting it into the freezer.

Once made keep your CHOCs in the freezer or fridge and eat to your hearts content.

Savvy tip: If your mix is not runny and easy to pour, this may be because too much raw cacao powder has been added, so try adding a little more raw cacao butter and keep mixing and tasting until you have the right blend.

Recipe from Chocchicks - adapted slightly

Marshmallow Easter Eggs (Homemade)

I first made these in my "Home Economics" Class in College. They are really simple and don't require many ingredients. This recipe doesn't require you to boil the gelatin, water and sugar mixture as other marshmallow recipes I've tried do. So its really easy to get the kids involved with or eventually (depend on age and ability) do themselves with little supervision!

Homemade Marshmallow Easter Eggs


1 cup Water
2 Dessertspoons Gelatin
1 Cup Sugar
Vanilla Essence

[Chocolate coating]

2/3 cup Chocolate
Coconut (optional)

  1. Pour hot water over gelatin, stir to dissolve - cool. 
  2. Use moulds or make moulds by placing flour in roasting trays and using a egg to press egg shaped indents in the flour. 
  3. Add sugar and essence to gelatin and beat with electric mixer until thick.
  4. Spoon into molds (I find teaspoon size good - but it depends on how bit you want your eggs.) 
  5. When set join halves together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until chilled right through (you don't want the marshmallow to melt in the chocolate!). 
  6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, cool a little and work quickly to coat the marshmallow eggs so as not to melt the eggs and roll in coconut.

Savvy Tips...

# A Dessertspoon is equal to 2 teaspoons.

# Make sure to have some baking paper ready to lay your chocolate coated eggs on.

# Keep the mould quite shallow if your going to sandwich 2 together.

# You can make large eggs but making deeper indents and filling Tablespoon lots of the marshmallow - these look best if coated with coconut as they're aren't as uniform in shape.

# Have fun with the flavour, rose or orange water are a nice change. Adding in freeze dried berries works well too. 

# It is possible to halve this recipe to make a small batch.

Hope you'll give these a try. They are a little fiddly the first time, but once you've mastered the recipe they are such to be a yearly treat. I know they will be from now on for my little family.

Better go get busy as I've had a few orders for these!

Trish x

Kremelta or Copha (as its know in Australia) is a hydrogenated vegetable oil that is solid at room temperature.
Click here to find out more on Hydrogenation

Monday, 25 March 2013

Savvy Easter

Easter is fast approaching!

When I think of Easter I think chocolate, cute bunnies and hot crossed buns.

For me Easter is a time for family - quality time. 
Sharing good food, spending time outdoors together (weather permitting) and relaxing. This year we are choosing to stay home.

We will be repeating some activities we have started with our daughter (almost 3). The main one being our "EASTER EGG HUNT" - CHOCOLATE FREE! I know clever right?

We haven't needed to buy easter chocolate for the last few years, we leave that up to Nana, Granddad and Gran. We've even managed to get through our daughters first 2 Easters without introducing chocolate.  Not there is anything wrong with good chocolate, we just believe that there are plenty of years ahead so no rush aye?

Piper loved this Easter egg hunt. We filled her plastic eggs with hair ties, clips and stickers. You could add mini chocolate egg, mini toys or personalised notes for older kids. From memory the plastic eggs came from the supermarket. I would say you could find them in the dollar stores or the warehouse.

Some more ideas for Easter.

Easter Breakfast ...
I'm thinking french toast with banana this year! We always do one special breakfast over Easter. 

Hot Crossed Buns ...
Over the years we have homemade these. If you have a breadmaker there are some great recipes that are quick and simple. We've just sampled hot crossed buns from the bakery on my way to work "WILD GRAIN" in Silverdale and they are delicious - light with just the right amount of fruit and spice. For our Dad who has a egg allergy I'm liking the look of the ones on sale at Naturally Organic that are Egg and Gluten Free.

Take some time ...
Those who are lucky to have the whole of Easter off work and aren't going away, why not try and do a few things that you may have not had time previously.

# Catch up with that friend you always mean to have coffee with but always fail to!
# Try a new recipe
# Take some time out and doing something solely for you
# Get out in the garden, plant some winter veggies
# Make time to just play with your kids - no interruptions
# Go for a walk, hit the beach or find a new walk way.
# Revise your goals - 3 months into the year its easy to loss focus, make a plan to get back on track.

Wishing you all a happy easter and if you are going away safe travels!

Trish x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Gluten-free Baking powder

Did You Know? Most commercially produced baking powder contains aluminium - sodium aluminium sulfate to be exact. Make your own baking powder, and keep your baked goods aluminium-free. I use this recipe for all my baking.

Here's how to make your own baking powder:

1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cream of tartar
1/2 cup arrowroot flour

Sieve together baking soda, cream of tartar and arrowroot flour. Store in an airtight container.

Makes: 1 1/4 cups

Savvy Tip: The corn starch in this mixture will absorb any moisture from the air, and prevent the baking powder from reacting before you need it.

To make 3 teaspoons

1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Mix together, use immediately.

Celebrate - Cake decorating

I have been catching up on work in the office, so have been a bit slow putting up Mum's 70th Celebration photos and recipes. 
This is Mum's Birthday cake that Jade (my daughter) decorated. Mum's only request was that we had a red and white theme. Jade used cream cheese icing - see below for the recipe.

Savvy tips:

- No need to spend money on different icing nozzles, Jade uses the Wilton 1M for her cake and cupcake decorating. It is very versatile.

- Use fresh flowers to enhance and add colour to your cake decorating, quick to use and cost effective - we got these beautiful red roses out of the garden.

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese, room temperature (used 1 block of Philadelphia)
110g butter (unsalted) room temperature
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl or caker mixer bowl. With a handheld electric mixer or cake mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat, on low speed to combine. If too soft, chill until slightly stiff, about 10 minutes, before using.

Icing Notes:
Quantity: The recipe here creates an amount of frosting that allows for a thin coat between and over the cake layers. For the cake that Jade iced we needed to double the recipe.

Savvy tip:
Ice a cake in two batches, first a “crumb layer” and then the more decorative one.  To do this, place a small amount of frosting on the cake and spread it over the entire surface that will be iced, thereby anchoring wayward crumbs in place so that they will not mess up the final product. A few minutes in the freezer or longer in the fridge will firm this up so that you have an ideal surface to build the real layer of frosting.

This recipe is adapted from smitten kitchen, its the one she uses with her “red velvet cake recipe”.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Savvy Shopping Tip

Online grocery shopping and pickup service, this is a great way to save time and money.


I bumped into a lovely lady I had not seen in a while and she passed on this time and money saving tip – Online Grocery shopping. 

She had started shopping online at the local Countdown Supermarket, our local Countdown is the new Silverdale store. Logged on last night, set it up, put my order though. Then today popped in and there was my order in bags in a trolley ready to take home. Also got given some free eco store samples as well. Saved time and spent less!

  • Buying online takes away the temptation to pop extra items into your trolley and lets you see your running total. 
  • Once you reach your budget, you can delete or change items for cheaper options.  
  • Set up your own list of the items you buy regularly, saving even more time.

#Savvy shopping

The first log in does take a little time to familiarise yourself with where to find everything but once you have a regular list it is totally a breeze. 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Unsweetened Greek Yoghurt

We love UNSWEETENED GREEK YOGHURT for its high protein, tangy flavor and thick texture. 

What might surprise you is its versatility ... sweet or savoury.

Use it to increase the nutritious nature of your food without taking away from the taste and texture of the dishes you love.
Cooking with plain unsweetened yogurt is easy. In many cases, the substitution ratio is one to one, so all you need to do is replace an ingredient without worrying about a change in the consistency of your cooking. 

For example:
Substitute yogurt one for one with sour cream. Greek yogurt works particularly well for this because of its tangy taste. Use it in any recipe that calls for sour cream - whether you are making a dip recipe or baking cake. 

Greek yogurt also works well as a topping on baked potatoes, nachos, soups, curries, pasta and many other popular dishes that use sour cream.
Cut back on the mayonnaise - substituting with unsweetened greek yogurt. No one will notice that your pasta salad, coleslaw, chicken salad or spinach dip is healthier, unless you tell them.
If you love creamy pasta dishes, try cutting back on the cream or cream cheese with Greek yogurt. 
You choose - replace completely with unsweetened greek yoghurt or a portion.

Use it in dressings, sauces, dips, curries, to replace mayo or sour cream, in baking, in ambrosia, fruit iceblocks, smoothies... the list is endless.

Homemade yoghurt is super quick with a Easyyo yoghurt maker , its so simple and takes along as it takes to boil the kettle. Do it before bed and pop it in the fridge in the morning. $3-4 to make 1 litre. Our family of 4 goes through 2 of these a week!

Below you'll find the links to some of our favourite recipes using GREEK YOGHURT

Make YOGHURT CHEESE by straining the yoghurt in a sieve lined with paper towels for a couple hours in the fridge. Then add to BASIL PESTO make a super yummy spread to go on toasted homemade bread.

Click here for BASIL PESTO recipe.  

We would love to hear from you, let us know how you use greek yoghurt.

Trish and Treena x

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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Autumn Heath Check

1. Am I eating properly? Proper nutrition is key to a healthy immune system. If your body’s defences aren’t strong, then you won’t be able to ward off the bugs. Sometimes our food choices change with the change in temperature. We stop eating as many healthy salads and fruits that provide us with the vitamins and antioxidants we require for a healthy immune system. It is suggested that for good health, we enjoy a minimum of three cups of fresh vegetables each day.

2. Am I getting enough sleep? A lack of sleep compromises our immune system and you will be more likely to get sick, especially after being exposed to a virus such as the common cold. A lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover from an illness. Most of us require between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you are finding it hard to get this, try increasing your intake of magnesium rich foods.  Magnesium helps you to feel more relaxed and enjoy a deeper sleep.

3. Is regular exercise part of my routine? Regular activity not only reduces the risk of picking up a bug, but also helps your body to be more resilient if you do get sick. Research shows that moderate, consistent exercise helps to support a healthy immune system. 

4. Do I drink enough water? Autumn can be a very drying time of year. If you keep yourself hydrated, your mucous membranes will not dry out and can work more effectively to filter out anything unwanted. Drinking water is a simple inexpensive way to good health. Most people need a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day, with an extra 750ml for each 1 hour of exercise. Being well hydrated is also vital for good kidney function and to help flush toxins away.

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Adapted from Ideal Health (

Chai Seeds

These tiny black (or white!) seeds are an amazing super food packed with so many essential nutrients. Chia seeds give you the necessary nutrients for gorgeous hair, healthy nails, and smooth, glowing skin! Beauty starts on the inside.

Great to use in just about anything. The flavor is very mild and almost non-existent.

We love them in:
  • baked goods
  • smoothies
  • sprinkled on top of yogurt or cereal, fruit and salads. 
Unlike flax seeds, there's no need to grind them first. But if you want to unleash even more goodness just pop a tablespoon into your mortar and pestle - give a quick grind before adding to your breakfast etc.

High in Omega 3
A rich source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, meaning that you need to get from food sources because your body cannot produce them itself. Omega 3′s reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. They’re also said to help with weight reduction related to their regulation of blood sugar levels and insulin.

High in Protein
Chai seeds are one of the highest plant based sources of protein you can find. Protein is an essential macro-nutrient needed for almost every function in your body. It helps with weight loss and is a must for building lean muscle.

High in Fiber
They are great source of fiber. This helps keep you feeling full, controlling hunger and balancing your appetite. It also means less sneaky snack attacks. Fiber helps regulate your system, which will contribute to detoxing!

High in magnesium, potassium and calcium
These essential nutrients keep your body healthy and energized

How much chia should I eat daily?

For general purposes of health, nutrition and energy an adult would typically consume about 1-2 tbsp dry seeds daily.

Where do you buy chia seeds?

They are readily available in supermarkets. They can be found in the bulk section. Your local Organic store or Bin Inn will stock them as we'll.
Chia seeds have the ability to absorb 10 times their weight in liquid, creating a unique gel that is incredibly hydrating and satisfying! Use chia seeds to make a vegan pudding or add some thickness to your smoothies.

Did you know chia seeds are an ancient secret to strength & endurance? They have been traditionally used as an important food source in Mexico and Central America for thousands of years. They were even a main food source for Aztec warriors!


Let us know how you use chia seeds!

Information sourced from Internet