Recipe: Immune Booster Lollies

I have experienced some crazy unusual sickness and injury over the last few months. I’m baffled as to why this is so I’m going to try to work it out, and definitely boost my immunity back up so it ends and so I feel well again.

Clint and I eat 90% Paleo, get lots of nature time and I get “nakey bakey” most days (a new name for naked sun time my friend recently came up with. Love it!), so maybe some stress is the underlying cause? Well, whatever it is I know my eating could be improved a little, especially while my immune system is obviously weak.

One of the most popular natural health tonics today is raw juice. We, though, are not fans of regular juicing. Ooh, controversial…! The reason? There are two main ones: 1. Humans need to chew their food most of the time; our stomach enzymes that digest our food need to wake up to be ready for the food to arrive and that happens in the mouth when we salivate and CHEW! 2. Juicing removes a large portion of the essential fiber in the foods blended up. That’s wasteful and not healthy.

But some of the foods that go into making up ‘health tonic’ or ‘superfood’ juices can be pretty darn healing, so why not utilise them in a way the body can better use?

That’s why I decided to make some Immune Booster Lollies! Or “Gummies” if you wanna get technical 😉

These are really easy to make (as are most pure gelatin recipes), can easily be changed to suit tastes and allergies, and are easy to grab from the fridge during the day to get some goodness into the body.

Want to know how to make them yourself? Well alrighty, here you go!

IMMUNE BOOSTER LOLLIES

What you’ll need:

1 cup filtered/spring water

1 cup mixture of diced raw beetroot, carrot, green apple (peeled or not), fresh ginger (the beetroot taste can be overpowering so use less of this if you prefer)

6 tbsp pure beef gelatin powder (grab some from Gelatin Australia here).

Tips: Use half as much gelatin if you’re wanting to make jelly cups instead of lollies.

Tips: Add another tbsp gelatin for really firm lollies, especially if using molds. Use half as much if you’re wanting to make jelly cups instead of lollies.

Optional: Stevia powder or raw honey to your liking, to sweeten if needed.

Do this:

  1. Pour water into a small-medium saucepan, stove turned off, and gently sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the water.
  2. Once all the gelatin is on and appears translucent (this is called “blooming”) you can turn the stove to a medium heat to gently warm the liquid up. Use a whisk to stir as it heats up.
  3. Once all gelatin granules have dissolved pour half the liquid into a blender jug along with the diced fruit, veg and ginger. Blend on high until you have a fine mixture with as few chunks and lumps as possible. If using a sweetener, add it to the blender to combine.
  4. Pour the remaining gelatin liquid in and stir to combine. The more gelatin you blend with food the frothier the mixture becomes and ends up setting with a thick layer of froth. I prefer the texture of a bit of froth, not too much. For almost no froth blend the foods with just enough pure water needed then gently stir the gelatin liquid in. Possibly add a smidge more gelatin to the saucepan if you go with this method.
  5. Once the mixture is blended to your liking you can pour straight into silicon molds or into a square/rectangle container to create a gummy ‘block’ to slice up once set.   Tip: if you’d prefer less texture from the food ‘bits’ then simply strain some of the liquid through a fine sieve but keep in mind that’s where a lot of the nutrients and fiber are.
  6. Place in the fridge for a few hours to set firm. Remove from molds and store in an airtight bag or container in the fridge, or slice up the block into small squares.

Grab some to munch on during the day and enjoy the pure whole food healing goodness! Include some in the kids or your own lunchbox (as long as it stays cool), take on road trips, include them at parties.

Remember, these are versatile. Add or remove ingredients listed for others you’d prefer. Pretty much all of my recipes are versatile so you can adapt to your own tastes and needs!

If ALL of my gelatin recipes and all the techniques you’ll ever need to become a gelatin pro, grab my e-book here.

Let me know how you go with this recipe and happy healing 🙂

Aimee x

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Healthy food at the local show? It really happened!

Hard to believe isn’t it? Healthy food available at the local Show! Well we’re witnesses that it really happened… at the 2016 Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show held in Nambour we provided healthy food!

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I was invited to be a presenter in the Heritage Stage area over the 3 days the Show was held for in June. I decided to cook up my new creation… No Nasties Golden Chicken Nuggets with Tomato Sauce! I knew the event would attract a lot of families with kids, and I know how much kids enjoy chicken nuggets, so to provide a healthy alternative to the nasty regular varieties was a privilege.

ag show 1

 

I hosted 3 x 30min cooking demonstrations and had a great time showing show-goers how to make and cook up this really easy and healthy recipe. I received terrific feedback from so many people and gave out free recipe cards so everyone could make the recipe at home.

In keeping with the theme of the event I wanted to really focus on using local quality agriculture. I used Walker Farm Foods pastured chicken breast and thigh fillets, plus produce supplied by Sunshine Organics.

ag show 2

Because it’s such a popular and tasty recipe I’d love to share it with you guys too! So here it is, my new chicken nuggets recipe, enjoy!

 

GOLDEN CHICKEN NUGGETS WITH TOMATO SAUCE

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NUGGETS  – makes 6 large

 

250g free-range chicken mince (I used breast and thigh fillets food processed to become ‘mince’)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup Natural Evolution green banana flour (avail. via our affiliate link here)

1/4 cup coconut flour

Himalayan salt, pepper to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil, organic olive oil or rendered animal fat to cook in

  1. In a container add mince and garlic and with either plastic gloves on or using a large spoon mix it all together so they’re combined thoroughly
  2. In a large, flat container add the flours. Stir to combine then pick up about a tablespoon of the chicken mince mixture, shape with your hands then place in the flour mix and turn to evenly coat. Shake off excess flour. Repeat with remaining mince mixture
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick fry pan on the stove at medium-high temp
  4. Place nuggets in the pan, turning each over once one side is coated with oil, so the other side is coated. If the pan isn’t completely flat with a raise in the centre, that’s ok. As long as each side of each nugget is coated with some oil they’ll cook fine in the centre without the majority of oil touching them. Too much oil under the nuggets can prevent the surface crisping up and cause them to become soggy, so a dry-ish area on the pan is ideal!
  5. The nuggets won’t take long to cook through. Once cooked place them on a plate to serve, or paper towel for a minute or so if they’re too oily

 

TOMATO SAUCE

 

1 brown onion, finely diced

1 organic tomato, finely diced

1/2 cup organic tomato paste

1 tsp smoked paprika powder

1 tbsp Niulife coconut amino (avail. via our affiliate link here)

2 tbsp bone broth (free e-book avail. here)

2 tbsp raw honey

Himalayan salt, pepper to taste

Oil/fat to cook onion in

  1. Place the oil and onion into a medium saucepan on the stove at low-medium temp and cook until onion is translucent
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and let simmer until it reduces to desired consistency
  3. Allow the sauce to cool then use a stick blender (or pour into regular blender) to blitz and remove some or all of the onion and tomato chunks
  4. Serve alongside nuggets in a dipping bowl or pour into a container to store in the fridge. This recipe makes a lot more sauce than needed for the 6 nuggets, so you can freeze batches of it so you always have some to thaw and use.

Enjoy!!

I’ve had parents of conventional-foods-eating kids tell me their kids LOVE these nuggets and would definitely eat them often. That makes me happy!

I hope you and your kids enjoy and benefit from them too 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I might see you at next year’s Show for more cooking and food fun!

Aimee x

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For:

  1. Finally being almost over the bad ass cold I had all week
  2. Being able to cook for people and teach them healthy recipes
  3. Getting 1hour sunshine today, it felt so good
  4. Sitting by the fire outside in the courtyard during Winter
  5. Aloe vera tissues lol

Our bug adventures – Part 1

That’s not a typo, it is actually meant to read “Our bug adventures”, not “Our big adventures”.. did you get a bit confused there for a second?!

If you read the blog post we did about our 2015 Paleo Camping Retreat you’ll know we’re open to eating bugs, because one of our awesome sponsors Primal Collective gave us tubs of roasted crickets! They actually just taste like savoury popcorn, serious! And as we’ve discovered recently catching and cooking up some bugs ourselves.. there’s not a great deal of flavour. Generally speaking anyway. It’s more the mindset and the look of them that’s hard to get your head around. But once you get past that and free yourself of the ick-factor so many people naturally have at first, it’s really quite a positive experience!

Humans have been eating bugs since humans first walked the earth. Insects are just another rung on the food chain ladder. But these days, with the modern conveniences we’re used to such as shops selling pre-cut pieces of attractive-looking muscle meats.. we are really out of touch with what our food originally looked like, where it comes from and how it lived before it served the purpose of feeding another form of life. I.e. Us!

The fact humans do naturally eat bugs for survival and fuel seems to have been forgotten.

So because this is such a unique thing in the eyes of most, Clint and I thought we’d write about our bug hunting and eating adventures in the hopes of inspiring others to get on the insect train!

Our friend Dan the Aussie Paleo Chef has been eating bugs for a while. He often sends us photos of scorpions and other insects he finds in the bush near him in Canberra and then cooks up at home in coconut oil and other typical paleo flavourings. He’s really inspired us, we’d wanted to do this ourselves for a long time but were always a bit nervous about the safety of it. There’s so little information on the internet about which bugs are safe to eat, we just didn’t want to eat something that ended up being poisonous. Of course!

But a few weeks ago a new friend of ours saw an article we shared on Facebook by Stirring Change on eating dehydrated ants and indicated she was keen to try this herself. So we asked if she’d like to come on a bug hunt with us and she jumped at the chance!

We picked a day and a location and off we went into the bush to catch us some bugs! Our friend Sarah and her son had a list of edible insects they’d found online and Clint and I were pretty well read on the bugs in the area that would be safe to consume. We took some gloves, plastic containers and headed down the main track of a local parkland, turning over logs, sifting through leaf litter and basically looking in all the places we figured bugs would be.

We must admit, it was a pretty slow process! There weren’t as many rocks and logs as we’d hoped, but over the course of an hour or two we ended up a few keepers…

bugs1

That big sucker is actually a giant centipede! Plus there’s a witchitty grub-type thing, a bush cockroach and a beetle.

bugs2

This little guy is a regular centipede. Not to be confused with millipedes which we read are not safe to eat. To tell the difference, centipedes only have one leg per body segment, whereas millipedes have more.

“But don’t centipedes contain poison?” I hear you say? They do indeed but we’d read that cooking the bugs cooks out this poison, making them totally safe to eat!

Only 4 bugs (the beetle didn’t seem worth it so we didn’t include him) and 4 people to share around to.. hmmm. Sarah ended up letting us take them home to eat. I think she was still too nervous to cook them up herself! We didn’t mind!

She had wanted to score a haul of ants to take home to dehydrate, but when we started trying to catch some ants at the beginning of our trek we soon realised they are pretty hard to get! They’re really quick, so when you manage to get one or more in a container, you have others trying to get out at the same time. We figured we’d need to design our own ant-catcher contraption, or go home and Google for some ideas. So that’ll be for another bug hunting expedition!

Clint and I took these few bugs home and fried them in just coconut oil and salt. The centipedes and roach turned out perfectly; nice and crispy. The grub, however, wasn’t so nice, but we found out later from our friend The Free-ranging Chef that we needed to cook it slightly differently so we’ll definitely keep that in mind for next time.

bugs3

Yes, there’ll be a next time! We’re already planning the next Bug Hunt! Cos, well, you could say … we’ve caught the bug for it..! haha sorry, couldn’t resist!

Next week we’re planning to try catching ants with a homemade trap (cos they are fast little buggers and tricky to catch!) to dehydrate. Plus more general insects so we can keep experimenting and hopefully enjoy a bigger feed!

So as well as the actual bug hunting, we also eat farmed bugs. The roasted crickets are great, but recently we also found out about cricket FLOUR! Or “powder” to be exact, because of the texture roasted crickets become when broken down.

Our new friends from Bugsy Bros in Brisbane sell packets of cricket powder and kindly gave us some to play around with. I’ve been cooking with it and really like it!

bugsy2

I even used it in a recipe I gave at my last Sunny Coast cooking demo… Mini Banana Muffins… and the tasters when down a treat! They’re a great addition for kids and adults lunchboxes because they’re small but filling and nourishing. That extra protein helps you stay fuller longer, and the exclusion of nuts, and even coconut flour, means there’s less chance of bloating and feeling ‘heavy’ after eating, unlike many paleo muffin recipes.

Would you like the recipe for the muffins so you can easily test out the cricket powder without it being a really strong and overpowering taste experience? And also to hide it from the kids? Here it is!

mini muffins

MINI BANANA MUFFINS

You’ll need these:

1 cup Natural Evolution banana flour (found here)

3 tbsp Bugsy Bros cricket powder (grab some here)

3 large organic bananas (brown spots are best!)

1-2 tsp each of pure vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg

Honey to sweeten (1 tbsp. – 1 cup.. It’s up to you!)

1/2 tsp each of bicarb (aluminium-free), baking powder (gluten and rice-free) and Himalayan salt

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 pastured eggs

3 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee

Do this:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor (or leave out bananas if you want chunky muffins. Add them in at the very end and blitz for a second or two) and mix well
  3. Grease some mini muffin trays/moulds with coconut oil or ghee, then spoon mixture into trays/moulds and place on a baking tray in the oven
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown on top

Tip: place slices of  banana on top before baking to make them prettier!

Ideas: swap banana for pumpkin or sweet potato (to help bind and moisten but with less sugar), add dates for extra sweetness, add whole blueberries, turn into savoury muffins with grated veggies and savoury spices/herbs… there are so many ways to change this recipe to suit your health needs and tastes!

These muffins are nutrient-dense so a few are very filling and great for school and work lunchboxes. They are nut-free which is great for schools or when having kids’ friends over who have allergies. They can be made coconut-free by using ghee or olive oil instead of coconut oil (the cricket powder is high in protein so it’s a perfect swap).

Storage Tip: Double the quantity, make large batches and store in bags or containers in the freezer to thaw and use when needed! For use within a few days store in an air-tight container out of the fridge.

So there you have it.. you’re up to date with our recent bug adventures and even scored a healthy and yummy recipe you can use insects in!

We hope this inspires you to step outside your comfort zone and try bugs if you haven’t before. Life’s so much more interesting and fun when we walk outside of those boring comfort zones and try new experiences 🙂

Please let us know how you go with bug hunting and/or eating, we’d love to hear from you!

Stay tuned for Part 2 🙂

Aimee (and Clint!)

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT MANY INSECTS ARE CLASSED AS CRUSTACEANS DUE TO THEIR SHELLS SO ALWAYS BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU CONSUME IN REGARDS TO ALLERGIES

5 Things We’re Grateful for Today:

  1. Trying cool new foods like bugs and cricket powder
  2. The rain on the garden today
  3. Clint having a good birthday yesterday and loving his gifts
  4. Special friends who bring joy to our lives
  5. Natural movement and play
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Recipe: Easy Paleo Honey No-Soy Chicken

At our last meetup on the weekend Clint and I took along a few paleo goodies for t he picnic, and the honey soy chicken I made was a huge success.

 

Especially with my little friend Lachy who has a lot of food allergies and often can’t eat much at meetup picnics. I always try to include something he can have and this time he scoffed down the chicken, with a big smile on his cute little face. So I thought I’d better get this super easy, tasty recipe up on the blog for more people to enjoy!

 

Remember… my recipes are pretty much always really simple and easy, I’m not into overly fancy meals because often a lot of ingredients with a lot of processes involved in putting them together can  be confusing on the gut. So if you like my kinda view of cooking then you’ll like my recipes.. I hope 😉

 

HONEY NO-SOY CHICKEN

Pollo a la soja, miel y limn

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius

You’ll need:

2 x free-range chicken breasts

3 tbsp coconut amino (for nightshade-free I use Matakana range available here, but otherwise use Niulife or a similar brand)

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2 tbsp local raw honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: crushed garlic, ginger

 
Do this:

For the time-poor folk…

1. Cut chicken into strips or cubes and place in a deep oven dish

2. Add the coconut amino, honey and salt/pepper

3. Get your hands in there and mix thoroughly so the sauce is coated evenly over the chicken

4. Place in the oven, uncovered, and set the timer for 20 minutes. Then at 20 minutes get the tongs or a large spoon and mix the chicken around so the inside raw pieces move to the outside and all chicken cooks properly

5. Place back in the oven for another 20 or so minutes or until all chicken is cooked through

6. There’ll be a lot of liquid at the end but I like using this as sauce for pouring over veggies as it can be placed in a container in the fridge and used later, or it can be simmered down on the stove right away to thicken up. Add some arrowroot to create a honey soy gravy

7. Store chicken in an airtight glass container in the fridge. It’s great served cold! If you include the liquid, you’ll find it’ll become jelly once refrigerated, yay!

Now for those with more time up their sleeves…

1. Follow steps 1-3 as above but then place in a container in the fridge for a few hours to marinate. This will infuse the flavours into the chicken more

2. Then cook and store as mentioned above

How easy is that!?!

It will go great sided with cauli rice, veggie mash or mixed into a salad
Enjoy 🙂

Aimee

 

5 Things I’n Grateful For Today:

1. A fun meetup at the Glasshouse Mountains and people enjoying my food

2. The 30 mins of magical #NakedSunTime I just got on the balcony

3. Wrestling Clint yesterday and finally getting him to the ground, woo!

4. My ‘Cowgirl’ mug cos it’s cool!

5. Country music