Sunday, 15 May 2016

Whole: Recipes for Simple Wholefood Eating

I was part of the WholeFoods movement in the Sixties, baked wholemeal bread, sprouted beans, made yoghurt and floated around in long muslin dresses. And then life got busier. I went back to work and cooking from scratch began to fall by the wayside. The number of packets and tins in my pantry steadily grew.
But what goes round comes round. The Wholefoods diet which has taken the blogging world by storm in recent years sounds remarkably similar to what we ate in the sixties.
Older now, and less pressed for time, adopting a healthier lifestyle which might well lead to a longer life (and is better for the planet) is beginning to appeal to me once more.
A Wholefood diet means eating more mindfully, consuming food in its most natural state, processed and refined as little as possible.
In WHOLE Bronwyn Kan asked 11 of New Zealand’s healthy food bloggers and providers who have embraced this wholesome lifestyle to share their stories and their favourite recipes.
Our diet was simpler in the sixties. There are quite a few ingredients in WHOLE that I don’t have in my pantry like Psyllium husk, vegan protein powder, coconut nectar, cacao butter, bee pollen, savoury yeast flakes and chia seeds.
I don’t think you need to include all of these to have a healthy and balanced diet and restocking my pantry with all of them at once would be expensive. I decided to buy just two, chia seeds and almond milk for a start.
My favourite: Raspberry Chia Jam
Who doesn’t love slathering jam on toast? But it is full of sugar. This recipe in WHOLE is not only ridiculously easy to make but contains no refined sugar at all. You simply bring a punnet of any kind of berries to a simmer with 3 tablespoons of water and 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup or honey, stirring gently. Remove from the heat and mash. Let cool for 5 minutes and then stir in a heaped tablespoon of chia seeds. It will set in an hour and keep in the fridge for a week. Good dolloped on Greek Yoghurt and muesli for breakfast.
When I ran out of fresh fruit I made it with frozen blueberries and left out the water. It worked just fine.
My granddaughters’ favourite: Yoghurt and Blackberry Ice Pops
We’re trying these days, not to load our granddaughters up with too many sugar laden treats so the yoghurt and blackberry ice pops appealed. For these you blend creamy natural or coconut yoghurt, smooth vanilla, honey and berries. Put this in paper cups and pop in Popsicle sticks. Then freeze in paper cups overnight.
They were a hit with our granddaughters and they could make them themselves.
Meatless Mondays:
We’re eating less meat and more vegetables these days so I am always on the lookout for some new vegetarian ideas.
Stuffed Garlic and Feta Portobello Mushrooms:
In this tasty recipe Portobello mushrooms stems are carefully removed, diced and mixed with tomato, feta cheese, garlic and fresh chives. The mushrooms are brushed with oil and filled with this mixture before baking.
Scalloped Potatoes:
Scalloped potatoes are a firm favourite at all of our extended family gatherings but with all that cream I don’t make it too often. It’s good to have a lighter version made with almond milk and parmesan cheese.
Courgette Cakes:
This really useful and tasty recipe contains ground almonds and parmesan and no flour so is gluten free. It calls for a cup of lemon balm, an old fashioned herb, not so often found in gardens these days. But you can easily substitute basil or coriander which I did. With courgettes in season right now it’s cheap as well.
Indian Chai:
It was while travelling in India that I fell in love with chai. It’s the perfect drink in hot weather which may seem surprising but the hot tea triggers your body’s cooling reflexes and brings your temperature down. The English, who brought tea to India, also brought sugar, which is often added in copious quantities, making it a rather unhealthy drink.
The chai in WHOLE is made with black tea and brewed with almond milk, cardamom, fresh ginger, and black peppercorns. It has no added sugar! It’s very nice.

There are lots of treats in WHOLE like Fresh Mint, dark chocolate and sea salt cookies, Beetroot and blackberry chocolate cakes, Raspberry and coconut cake with honey and cream cheese, Jaffa Amazeballs and Paleo Banana Bread. They do sound tempting and none contain refined sugar.
WHOLE was a good introduction to this generation’s approach to a wholefoods diet. There were plenty of recipes which appealed, were easy to follow and simple to make.
Title: WHOLE (Recipes for simple wholefood eating) Author: Bronwyn Kan Publisher: Beatnik RRP $45

This reviewfirst appeared in my weekly column on the GrownUps website

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