Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Raw Pepita-flour Choc-Chia Cookies

We go through almonds like crazy here. With my little gluten intolerant one and me being the same, nearly everything I make has almond meal in it. This is fine, I love sneaking the protein and nutrients into my pancakes through raw almonds mixed with buckwheat flour, but it gets expensive, and I'd like to sneak even more goodness into our meals and treats and create more variety too.

So I've been playing around with pepita flour and sun-flour (sunflower seed flour) and am a little bit excited by the results.  I followed this recipe from Paleo Movement blog to make Pepita-flour Pumpkin bread. I added mashed pumpkin and omitted the maple syrup for a more pumpkin-y pumpkin touch. Next time I'll be adding cinnamon and nutmeg but the pepita flour was perfect.

Yesterday I was craving chocolate by the usual 10am but with no such substance in the house I resolved to whip up one of my Thermomix chocolate ball/slices with what-ever I had available, plus the essential raw cacao powder.

I almost went a step further and added the baking soda to shape and bake cookies like these beauties but my need for instant chocolate and lack of time with school holiday activities whirling around me I ate a couple of spoonfuls and threw the rest of the flattened balls into the freezer. 

A few hours later my Raw Pepita-flour Choc-Chia Cookies emerged. Actually I used half sun-flour and half pepita flour but the name is already too long. I could squeeze 'gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, no-bake, paleo, vegan...' into the name too but hopefully you get the gist.

Here's my recipe:

-A cup of pepitas
-A cup of sunflower seeds (or any nut or seed you have handy)
-2 Tbs Chia Seeds
-1/4 cup Cacao or good quality cocoa powder (or more if you like a richer flavour)
-1/4 cup rice malt syrup (or to taste, you may need more)*
-2-3 Tbs Coconut oil
-2 Tbs water

Whizz up your seeds (and nuts if using) in your Thermomix or a high powered food processor, speed 9 for Themomixer's.
Add the remaining ingredients but leave the water until you have mixed all other ingredients together and tasted your mix. You will need to scrape down the sides and move the mixture to free up the mixture a couple of times to mix it thoroughly.
Add the water to create a more gooey mixture ready for rolling and flattening on a tray.
Pop your raw cookies into the fridge or freezer, I like to use the freezer in the hope that I'll forget about them and they'll last longer.

*You can use maple or agave syrup if you like but you'll need less as these are sweeter than rice malt syrup. I prefer the latter as it is fructose-free and helps create a 'gooey-er' texture.

You could also try pressing the mixture into a slice tray and pouring melted dark chocolate over it once it is chilled for a raw brownie treat.

Have fun playing with seed flours. I'm using them in place of almond flour where possible and hoping to replace coconut flour too as I seem to be reacting to some coconut products. The joys of the irritable bowel...


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Farm life in July

We always jump at the chance to 'farm-sit' while my parents are away. We love the break from home and fresh farm air. We love the manageable list of chores to do and we love tasting some of Mum and Dad's simple life in Mount Duneed.

We light the combustion stove each morning and let the kettle sit there for most of the day, with constant tea-temperature water. We have rare and short showers and use hot water bottles in place of electric blankets. We head out to the chicken shed in search of eggs for lunch and drink milk from the goats, milked the night before. We bundle up and walk up the hill to my sister's house and the kids are up and down all day, 5 of them, on mini-bikes or running at top speed in search of new things to do or to deliver messages.  We graze in mum's wonderful veggie garden for good things to cook. And we settle down at night in the kitchen to play Jenga over and over and read whatever Narnia book we are up to.

This past stay was a little different. It was uncomfortably cold and the wind and rain forced us inside for much of the time. We had to look a little harder for beauty and comfort. My sister has mastered the goat milking and feeding so we were less needed, and the young ones grew tired easily from the harsh weather.

But we found delight in a day or two of afternoon sun, and the peaceful wanderings to watch the milking with my nephew in tow and the others climbing trees and playing, Scout never far behind. My sister's family are easy to be with, generous and relaxed, their children blend easily with ours. 

I played All Sons and Daughters loudly while I cooked in mum's small kitchen and sat with my cups of tea, reflecting...

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings and turn routine jobs into joy.

-William Arther Ward


A Puppy Party for the littlest

Our littlest turned 6 a week or two ago. I've given up trying to slow down time. It just goes faster every year. So we threw a party, all about dogs, her favourite topic.

We did gross things like pick up 'dog poo', and slightly scary things like play balloon games with our rather large energetic dog Scout. The puppies up for adoption had crazy-big eyes but the kids each fell in love with their chosen pooch and officially named and adopted each one.

No girly colors or games for this Miss 6. She was happy playing on her new penny board or having Scout used for 'pin the no, tie the party hat on the doggy'.

She and her friends decorated cupcakes with doggy faces, watched Beethoven on the projector screen and when her Dad and I were exhausted, her big sister took over and played party games with doggy crafts for prizes.

Of course there were tears of tiredness for our little introvert near the end and the usual quiet promise to ourselves to not have another party for a few years. 

Sighs of relief when the last little girl and her puppy left, from Scout too I'm sure!