Monday, 24 June 2013

Homemade Cough Syrup

Homemade Cough Syrup

2 TBLSP Apple Cider Vinegar (choose a quality one)
4 TBLSP Water
2 TBLSP Honey (Raw if you can get it or Manuka)
1/4 TSP Cayenne
1/2 TSP Fresh Ginger (crushed)

Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake well.
Take 1 TBLSP as needed for cough.

Note: This is potent watery syrup.
It doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using.

Caution: If you suffer from allergies please take caution when trying any home remedy. This recipe is not recommended for children, especially under 1 as it containers honey which poses a risk of infant botulism - never give honey to a infant.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Chicken Soup for Cold Relief

There is much information on web debating weather CHICKEN SOUP IS infact useful in easing symptoms of the common cold. 

Well you know what - we love it and it does nourish so what's the harm in whipping up a large batch of Chicken Soup? 

We've got a very SIMPLE recipe that is AFFORDABLE and ADAPTABLE! 

I made this batch with bone in chicken thighs on special for $7.99 per kg.


Soup Base

Chicken thigh bone in  

Saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in saucepan. 
Add in chicken and cover with water (add any other vegetables now). 
Simmer until chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender.
Remove the chicken and take off the bone, shred and return to the soup.

Additions / Adaptions

Fresh Ginger 
Other vegetables  - you can bulk it out with seasonal vegetables and not only make a larger batch but add in lots of nutritional value.

Savvy Tips
# make a large batch in the crockpot/slowcooker and freeze into individual portions for grab and go lunches or when you can't be bothered to cook dinner.

# use any chicken on special, if skin on you can brown in the saucepan first to get the flavour and then remove the skin before shredding back into the soup.

# If have kids that don't like certain vegetables or lumps you can blend for a smooth and creamy soup.

Check out our post here for more on winter wellness.

Do you make soup at home? what your favourite? let us know below...

Trish & Treena x

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Friday, 21 June 2013

Winter Wellness - Homemade Cold and Flu Remedies and Tips

I'm quite used to using NATURAL REMEDIES for colds and flu's as in the past 4 years I've either been pregnant or breast-feeding, so much so that I don't ever think of going to the chemist or supermarket for drugs. I have a few health store brought natural products but mostly I rely on my pantry and garden for easing symptoms.

It's around this time of year that we notice a increase in sniffles and colds. Having 2 small people in daycare this at the forefront of my mind "how do I keep my family well through winter?"
I've noticed a lot of Facebook posts with poorly families stricken with colds, chest infections etc. it can be a vicious cycle, by the time last family member is just getting over it's passed on again or pick-up from elsewhere.

Although there are a large number of store brought remedies available for cold's an flu's, natural cures can often be just as effective. In fact, many individuals prefer to avoid the chemicals and possible irritants present in store brought remedies and opt instead for natural treatments. Finding the best one depends largely on the preferences of the individual

So what can you do? This list is quite basic but often these simple tips are forgotten.

Below you'll find some #Savvy Tips from our Savvy at Home Family

The first 3 things ...


  • It might be a no-brainer but hygiene is the first fight against spreading germs. Washing hands with soapy water. 
  • Cleaning the children toys (mine are always chewing on them)
  • Teach children not to put fingers in their mouths, nose and eyes as this is a easy way to spread infection. 
  • Clean Drink bottles daily, don't share drink bottles!

  • Eat a rainbow - lots of fresh vegetables and fruit
  • Hydrate - water, lemon water to flush out toxins
  • Soup - Bone Broths, Chicken, Vegetable etc
  • Fresh Juices
  • Include foods containing probiotics - Yoghurt, Miso soup, Kefir Water/Milk, Kombucha

  • A good nights sleep lets the body restore.

And some more ...

Exercise - not something you would maybe immediately associate with Cold's 'n Flu's
  • Regular exercise is a crucial strategy for increasing your resistance to illness. There is evidence that regular, moderate exercise can reduce your risk for respiratory illness by boosting your immune system.
  • Vitamin D - Yes, get some sun (if there's any winter sun get some on!) 

From the pantry ...
These won't cure or prevent a cold or flu but may help you through more comfortably and reduce the duration.

Hot lemon drink
Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon in to mug, 1 tsp of honey (Manuka if you can afford) and add hot water. Sip slowly to sooth a sore throat.
Savvy Tip # add a small pinch of Cayenne Pepper

A simple broth is not only soothing but beneficial. Here's a simple chicken broth recipe.
As soup can be blended smooth it is a soft option for those with sore throats. Depending on the ingredients you can find some relief from sinus infections - garlic, chilli, ginger.
Check out this recipe

Homemade Fruit Ice Blocks
Blend/Process ripe fruit and freeze in ice-block molds - perfect for soothing a sore throat and a healthy treat for the little ones with the bonus of extra vitamins.

The allicin in garlic is also a powerful antibiotic, which fights infection and bacteria. Garlic helps to open clogged sinuses.

# Add into soups, stir-fry and curry
# Make Garlic Tea

Ginger can not only be warming on a cold day, but can help promote healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flu's.

Savvy Tips ...
# Grate some fresh ginger into your hot lemon drink 
# Add to freshly squeezed juice
# Add ginger to a seasonal stir-fry for a extra boost. 
# Grate into a bowl, pour over boiling water and inhale to relieve sinus congestion.

Cayenne pepper
Antiseptic and Antibacterial. The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is called capsicum. Capsicum increases appetite and helps fight colds. It is used to treat the flu, chills, heart problems, and throat problems including hoarseness. Capsicum also helps ease pain – even severe migraine and cluster headaches.

Chilli Peppers
Chilies produce capsaicin. Capsaicin is a natural antioxidant and helps protect against disease caused by toxins. Capsicum increases endorphins and other mood elevating, good feeling substances, thus, it helps fight depression and relieves stress.
Savvy Tip
# Add fresh chilli's into your salsa (remove the seeds if you don't like it too hot!)
# Make a curry using a chilli paste

Vitamin C

If you want to take vitamin C to help your immune system, we try and get it through diet instead of supplements. 

Foods high in vitamin C include ..
Green and Red Peppers
Citrus Fruits
Dark Leafy Greens
Brussel Sprouts

Essential Oils 

Eucalyptus oil: can be beneficial when you have a cold because it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. In addition, its decongestant qualities help you break up the phlegm and mucus that causes painful congestion.

# Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the boiling water for a steam inhalation provides additional relief because it is a decongestant.

Lemon oil: Its health benefits can be attributed to its stimulating, calming, carminative, anti-infection, astringent, detoxifying, antiseptic, disinfectant, sleep inducing, and antifungal properties.

# Try 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation.
# Add to carrier oil and rub on chest and neck.
# To cool fever, use 2-3 drops in a cold compress. 

Lavender oil: is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infections, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. It may also induces sleep and give pain relief.

# Try 2-3 drops in a steam inhalation
# add to carrier oil and rub on neck and chest
# Rub a couple of drops into the temples to relieve headaches

Also you could add a couple of drops to a handkerchief to inhale, thus making a portable remedy.

As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult a medical professional before using.  A wide variety of essential oils can cause irritation on sensitive skins: always do a patch test to check allergy reactions when using on sensitive skins. If unsure consult a health professional before using.

Sinus Relief

Many people have also found that adding eucalyptus, Lemon or Lavender essential oils to a pot of boiling water and inhaling the steam to be beneficial. 

The steam from a hot shower can help to loosen mucus from the nasal passages and relieve congestion.

Try sniffing a cut onion can stimulate a stuffy nose to start running it may help relieve congestion and unblock the nose.

Drinking water can help to loosen mucus and relieve congestion.

Sore Throat Relief

Place 1/2 tsp of salt in a glass of warm water and swirl, then gargle and spit out.

Sip on hot soup

Make up a hot lemon honey drink

Suck on a homemade fruit ice-block


Adults try this Homemade Cough Syrup

Do you make any of your own remedies? Has the flu hit your house this year? 
Let us know below…

Wishing you a happy and healthy winter!

Trish and Treena x

We hope these tips and home remedies a helpful to you and your family. We do recommend that if symptons persist that you seek medical advice. This blog post informational only and should not be used in place of medical advice.

Honey should NEVER be given in any form to children under the age of one year, due to the risk of infant botulism–hence the remedy should never under any circumstances be given to an infant.

References for this blog post.

Family, Friends and Personal experience.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Gluten Free made Easy Workshop


Gluten Free Made Easy Workshop - 6th July 2013 in Silverdale

During the workshop they will show you how to create great tasting food with ease while you take notes, ask questions, and if you wish, get some hands on experience. Morning tea & lunch will be provided (plus lots of snacks and treats). You need not bring anything apart from a container to take some delicious samples home at the end of the day.

Neville will also show you how to blend your own flours which enables you to cater for your own dietary needs as well as save money

"This is great value ... 5 hour course, recipe book with 50+ recipes, morning tea, lunch, 12 months subscription to their recipe club and some delicious baking to take home! Talking to Neville I was amazed at how much they pack into those 5 hours. Can't wait!" Trish

Book Direct on the Gluten Free Made Easy website

Check out more details on our Facebook Page

Seasonal Veggies and fruit - June

# Savvy Seasonal Vegetables and Fruits

Local and in-season fruit and vegetables are fresher than produce that has travelled from far away or had an extended life (due to preservatives). They taste better when they are fresh. The nutritional content is higher, and it is more cost effective to produce and purchase seasonal products.

Chilli sauce - raw

Photo from the Healthy Chef Facebook page
I came across this recipe the other day and thought it would be good to try and a great way to add a flavour hit to your meals. I love how simple it is. Enjoy!

1 long red chilli, deseeded and chopped

2 red capsicum, seeded and chopped
1 cm piece fresh grated ginger
4 fresh pitted dates
1 lime (the recipe says 1 lime added but I would try the juice only first, taste, then add the rest of the lime if needed)
pinch of sea salt
generous pinch of black pepper


Combine chilli, capsicum, ginger, dates, lime, sea salt and pepper into a high performance blender like a Vitamix or Thermomix. Blend for 15 – 30 seconds until smooth.
Pour into a glass jar store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Delight your taste buds and enjoy over your favourite dishes.

Optional extras:
1 clove smashed garlic
1 cm piece fresh turmeric

Savvy tips
Add 1 – 2 teaspoons of  chilli sauce to any stir-fry
Smear 1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce over an organic egg or egg white omelette and top with fresh coriander, avocado and lime.

Savvy Nourish Snapshot
Chillies are a great source of beta-carotene which is an antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A, helping to promote vision and support reproduction, growth as well as a healthy immune system.  It can raise your metabolic rate, increasing energy expenditure and metabolic rate.  Studies have shown that chilli consumption can help control and reduce insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) often associated with type 2 diabetes. Other great benefits are that chilli can help stimulate digestion and help with gastrointestinal orders and also work as an anti-inflammatory helping to reduce symptoms of arthritis. Red capsicum (bell peppers) are low in fat, carbs and calories and high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene a precursor to vitamin A, helping to promote vision and support a healthy immune system.. Black pepper contains an active ingredient called piperline that is known to enhance digestion and work as an anti-inflammatory.

Recipe and information from the Healthy Chef

Monday, 3 June 2013


Savvy eating in Season

Persimmons are not something I used to use, but one of my daughters loves them and Dad has a tree. Here are some recipes you may like to try.

History: Persimmons are the fruit of deciduous trees that originated in China where there are more than 200 varieties. They have been grown in New Zealand since 1873.

Persimmon Facts: Persimmons can be eaten fresh or cooked.

Available: May to June

Storing: In the home, persimmons are unlike many fruit, as they keep longer if they are at room temperature. Room temperature is in the range of 15°C to 25°C. In warmer climates therefore, rooms with air conditioning are ideal to keep your persimmons in top condition. 
Persimmons kept in a fridge will go soft more quickly than if left at room temperature.

Spicy Persimmon Chutney
This recipe sounds great and it would be good to have a few jars in the store cupboard or to give away.

½ cup apple cider vinegar 
1 onion, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 red chili, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
4 persimmons, peeled and chopped

In a large saucepan combine the vinegar, onion, apple, sugar, lemon juice, chili, ginger, lemon zest, coriander and cloves

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes
Add the persimmons and simmer until the persimmons are tender about 5 to 10 minutes
Remove from the heat and let cool completely
Spoon into jars

Persimmon Salad With Blue Cheese

Looking for something different in the salad line, try this recipe.

Preparation: 5 minutes

12 cups salad greens of your choice
2 persimmons, peeled and cut into chunks
100g blue cheese
Reduced balsamic vinegar

On a large platter assemble the salad; greens, persimmons, blue cheese and walnuts
Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar

Sweet Persimmons with smooked Salmon Salad

2 sweet persimmons
250g (9oz) sliced smoked salmon
Assorted lettuce leaves


2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil

Peel and thinly slice the persimmon.
Arrange in a fan shape on four serving plates.
Form smoked salmon in rosettes and add to plate with assorted lettuce leaves.

Whisk vinegar and mustard together then slowly add the oil.
Sprinkle over the salmon just before serving.

Serves 4 as a starter.

Sweet Persimmon Sundae

8 scoops vanilla ice cream or gelato
3 sweet NZ persimmons
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sugar (optional)

Prepare scoops of ice cream and place back in freezer until very solid.
Meanwhile peel two persimmon and cut in chunks.
Puree with lemon juice in food processor until smooth.
Sweeten to taste if desired.
Cut remaining persimmon into small dice.
Place ice cream in four serving dishes top with diced persimmon then the puree.

Garnish as required.
Serves 4.

Treena x

Recipes and photos from 5+ A Day and NZ Persimmons website