Archives April 2015

New foods I’ve tried and my taste verdict

As a part of my job, it’s good to be able to recommend different products that taste good and meet certain dietary needs, so I do a bit of taste testing and try new products.  I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve tried recently, my favourite is the peanut butter – think it’s my new favourite!

Here’s some of the things I’ve tried lately.

1. Gerry’s Go No Gluten Wraps

If you have IBS or celiac disease, bread and bread products are one thing that can be difficult to find a decent replacement for.  When it comes to wraps, many of the brands crumble when rolled, so they’re not that practical.  If you heat before rolling, these are fine.

I made the mistake of not reading the ingredients before I bought and these wraps actually contain the sweetener sorbitol –  no good for those with IBS.  It is likely to be in fairly low doses since bread is not sweet, so it might not affect those who have IBS. But it you’re quite sensitive, you may need to avoid it.

Taste wise,  these were quite nice.  They’re made with mainly corn flour, and they remind me of corn tortillas.  They are fairly processed, like most gluten free breads, but if you do want a gluten free wrap sometimes then you could give these a go.   Have you tried a gluten free wrap that’s been awesome? Let me know in the comments!    I’m planning on giving this recipe a go for an easy looking wrap recipe.  Jess has some lovely recipes on her page, so I’m imagining these will be nice.  Will let you know!

2. Fix and Fogg Peanut Butter

I am a huge peanut butter fan.  And I like it crunchy.  This peanut butter is super crunchy with nice big peanut pieces, just how I like them.  It’s also produced in Wellington, and since I live in the Greater Wellington region, then I think that makes it pretty cool too.  This is up there in peanut butter goodness, especially if you’re a fan of crunchy.  I’ll most definently be a regular purchaser of this brand.

3. Be Nourished Raw Sauerkraut

Fermented foods are pretty trendy right now. And, unlike many food trends, the fermented food trend is deserves the attention it’s getting.  Fermented foods are great for your gut as they’re a source of probiotic bacteria. Probiotic bacteria are so important for gut health, which in turn influences many areas of our wellbeing.

This was my first try at tasting sauerkraut.  It does, of course, taste like cabbage, but with slightly sour flavour that comes from it’s fermentation.    It’s not really something that I’d enjoy on it’s own, like I do yoghurt (my favourite fermented food!) but it’s a nice accompaniment to many meals.  I’ve added it to home made hamburgers, had a tablespoon as a side with eggs and mixed some through a salad with chicken for lunch.  It’s a good way to get some probiotics, I’d buy again, and try a different flavour, as there are lots.  I loved the colour of this 🙂

4.  Te Atatu Toasted Muesli

Te Atatu Toasted Muesli healthy blend is a muesli that’s low in sugar and contains no dried fruit.  I was sent some to try.   It’s flavoured nicely with cinnamon and I love the fact that it has some nice whole almonds in it which adds to the crunch.

The ingredients are:  whole oats, buckwheat, apple puree (apple), almonds, linseeds, sunflower seeds,honey, white sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower oil, ground spices, salt

I prefer to eat it with some fruit which adds sweetness with the bonus of antioxidants and nutrients 🙂

Instant feijoa ice cream

With our feijoa tree bursting with fruit that are dropping faster than I can collect, I had been on the hunt for a feijoa recipe when Nadia Lim’s instant feijoa ice cream showed up on my Facebook news feed.  Perfect timing!

I whipped this up in the weekend to take for dessert at an Easter family dinner with the relatives at mum’s house and it was a hit.

You do need a decent food processor to do this though.  I tried to use my little wand processor which was an epic FAIL (I kind of thought it wouldn’t work but I wanted to try anyway…..)  I ended up taking everything up to mum’s house in her Kenwood and it worked a treat.

My version is slightly modified from Nadia Lim’s version but whatever you make I’m sure they’ll both be equally delicious.



500g of scooped out feijoa flesh
2 large bananas, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup of cream
3 tablespoons of the top of a coconut cream can (if you don’t shake it you’ll be able to scoop of the lovely creamy top layer)
3/4 cup of natural Greek yoghurt
3 teaspoons of honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla essence

Line a  tray or flattish baking dish with baking paper and place feijoas and banana on top in a single layer. Cover with glad wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.

When you are almost ready to eat the ice-cream, start your blending process. Place frozen feijoas and bananas in the bowl of a large food processor with a strong blade. Mix cream, coconut cream, yoghurt, honey, cinnamon and vanilla together.

Add half of the cream mixture to the frozen fruit and turn on the food processor to blitz everything together until smooth and well combined – add the rest of the cream mixture as necessary, until you have achieved an ice-cream consistency.

If you’re ice cream is a little soft, pop it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.  Don’t leave for too long though or it will be rock hard!

Scoop instant ice-cream into bowls and serve immediately, with sliced feijoas.

You can find the original recipe here


Beetroot falafels

I’m a huge falafel fan. They’re a healthy, fast food snack that can be turned into a delicious vegetarian meal.  I’m also a big fan of beetroot.  Armed with some of the new Gourmet Beetroot packets from Leaderbrand, I decided to make beetroot falfafels.

The Leaderbrand ready to eat beetroot are a part of a new range that also includes corn and potato.  There’s nothing added, it’s just 100% pure baby beetroot cooked and ready to eat. While I do still cook my own beetroot, these are perfect for those days when you’re in a rush and want something nutritious but quickly.

Beetroot is a rich source of folate and also a source of potassium.  The plant pigment that gives beetroot it’s vibrant red purple colour is called betacyanin. Betacyanin belongs to the betalin family.  This pigment is thought to help boost the body’s detoxification processes and have an anti inflammatory effect in the body.


This is a slightly unconventional falafel recipe with the addition of beetroot, but it’s just as delicious, if not more so than your usual falafel.  Beetroot falafels are simple to make, and provides a source of fibre and protein.

Beetroot falafel ingredients:

1 teaspoon oil + 1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 packet leader brand beetroot
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/3 cup rolled oats (or you could use ground almonds or flour)
1 small egg

Heat oil over a medium heat in a fry pan. Cook the onion and garlic for around 5 minutes, until the onion has softened.  Add the cumin and cajun seasoning and mix through. Add the can of drained chick peas and cook for 2-3 minutes.  This helps crisp them  up a little and removes any excess moisture.  Place the onion spice mix, chickpeas, beetroot, parsley, oats and egg in a food processor and blend until well combined.  If the mixture is a little wet, add some extra oats.

Place the tablespoon of oil in a fry pan over a medium heat.  Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture into the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until heated through.

Serve in corn wraps (or wraps of your choice) with salad, feta cheese, minted yoghurt and avocado.


Super simple no knead seed bread

I love the idea of making my own bread.  It’s the opportunity to use lots of wholesome ingredients without any any of the extras that are found in some store bought breads.  However, the time and effort required has put me off in the past.  Traditional bread making requires the bread to rise in a warm place before cooking, a process that takes time.  It also requires kneading which is a bit of an arm workout.  This version of bread is a cheats version that’s cooked and ready to eat in one hour.

I made this bread in the weekend, which is a modified version from Nadia Lim’s cookbook and it turned out well.  The husband gave it a seal of approval and that’s always a good sign 🙂  I used pumpkin and chia seeds in this, but you could switch it out other seeds.  I also added some psyllium husks to give the bread a bit of extra fibre as I had some at home, but you can leave this out if you don’t have any.

The bread uses mostly wholemeal flour, with a little white. I used less white than in the original. You could use all wholemeal, and I’ll try this in the next recipe 🙂 This bread contains plenty of fibre from the wholemeal flour and the addition of seeds, and is less refined than many on the market.

Here’s the recipe:

No knead seed bread

Makes 1 loaf.  (Double the ingredients for two loaves)

1/2 tablespoon golden syrup
1 cup boiling water
1 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon dried yeast
350g wholemeal spelt flour
100g 00 bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons psyllium husks (optional, adds extra fibre)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds + extra to sprinkle on top
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons linseeds (or you can add extra chia)


In a bowl, mix the golden syrup, water and milk together.  Sprinkle over the yeast and leave for 5 minutes until the yeast has bubbled and gone frothy.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the middle and pour in the liquid yeast mixture and mix well.  The mixture  will be sticky and slightly wet looking – don’t worry, it’s supposed to be like this

Oil a loaf tin and pop in the dough mixture.  Sprinkle extra seeds on top if you wish.

Put loaf into a cold oven, then turn the temperature to 50 degrees Celcius.  Leave for half an hour.  This is the quick way to rise the bread.  After half an hour increase the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and cook for around 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Fresh bread does go stale faster than store bought bread, but it’s still fabulous toasted. Alternatively, you can freeze this and slice what you need as you need it.

Simple homemade chocolates

Easter is so much more than chocolate.  But it is a lovely holiday to celebrate with a bit of a chocolately treat.  I made these delicious heart shaped chocolates in the weekend to share at easter.  When I say “homemade”,  it’s a bit of a cheat version since we’re simply melting chocolate and adding other goodies.  But hey it still takes more effort than buying a lindt bunny and they taste great too.   It’s the addition of passionfruit powder and freeze dried raspberries is what makes these special.

Here’s how to make them:


1 block Whittakers dark chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoon Fresh As passionfruit powder**
Freeze dried raspberries and extra passionfruit powder (optional)

Break up the chocolate into pieces.  Place in a microwaveable glass bowl.  Heat for 1 minute.  Take out and stir.  Continue heating in 30 second bursts, stiring well in between each one.  Once the chocolate is melted, stir through the passionfruit powder.

Spoon the chocolate into moulds. Sprinkle over top some of the freeze dried raspberries (optional) and refrigerate until set.

When the chocolate has set and you’ve popped them from the moulds, you can also add a little extra passion fruit powder as decoration and to add extra flavour.

I used silicone ice cube trays as moulds which work fine, otherwise you can use proper chocolate moulds.


**You can find the passionfruit powder at Moore Wilsons, Farro Fresh and other speciality food stores.  A little adds a lot of flavour, so it’s value for money.  The passionfruit powder is lovely stirred into natural yoghurt and I’ve even mixed it through my porridge, which was delicious.  You can add it to bliss balls and smoothies too.  There are lots of other flavours, but passionfruit pairs nicely with dark chocolate.