The Household COO - Part 2

Super Smoothies – 13 a Day…

Although the boys still enjoy a Boost Juice now and then, when it comes to nutrient density, you can’t beat a home-made smoothie. And since we found out about Super Sprout, we have upped the ante on our Fruit and Veggie Smoothies – it’s no longer 5 a day or even 7 a day, it’s more like 13 a day. With the Super Sprout powders, we can pack in a little more fruit and veggie power without adding extra bulk to our smoothies. That means we can add more to each smoothie.

Super Sprout is also great for adding veggies like Carrots without affecting the consistency of the smoothie.

Power Juice

Here’s what’s in our typical smoothie:

  • Strawberries – Super Sprout plus fresh strawberries
  • Blueberries – Super Sprout plus fresh blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Orange
  • Apple – Super Sprout plus one fresh apple
  • Celery
  • Carrots – Super Sprout plus a small piece of carrot (because carrots thicken the smoothies too much)
  • Spinach
  • Beetroot – Super Sprout
  • Wheatgrass – Super Sprout
  • Barleygrass – Super Sprout
  • Yoghurt
  • Honey

Even though we encourage the boys to eat greens with their meals, I don’t think we could ever get them to consume this much in a day without a smoothie. Certainly, I would never be able to get them to eat carrots, celery, or beetroot willingly. Even I struggle with raw celery. But this is really easy to drink…

Power Juice

With all the recent hype about juicing, I decided to look in a little into the benefits of juicing versus blending… So what’s the difference? Here’s what I got from Food Matters and Incredible Smoothies:

Juicing

What’s Good

  • juicing extracts water and nutrients and discards the indigestible fiber making it easier for your digestive system to absorb the nutrients, therefore you are able to consume larger quantities of nutrients from juicing than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables whole.

What’s Not So Good

  • removing the fiber means the juice is absorbed very quickly into the blood stream. If your juice is mainly fruits, it will cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, and memory problems.
  • since fiber is also filling, removing it means that juice is not as filling.
  • juices oxidise rapidly so it is important to drink it soon after making it.

Blending

What’s Good

  • the addition of fiber into the smoothie helps to slow the release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoid sugar spikes.
  • since fiber is beneficial for digestive function and overall health, it is beneficial to keep it.
  • smoothies do not oxidise as quickly which gives you a little more time to consume it.

What’s Not So Good

  • it’s harder to incorporate vegetables like carrots that alter the smoothie consistency (although we bypass this problem with Super Sprout powders).
  • it is less nutrient dense compared to juices (again, we’ve tried to overcome this with the addition of Super Sprout powders).

So I guess for our purposes, we’ll still be sticking to a smoothie.

Our Christmas Feast for 2014

Last year, we ate from lunch until dinner. This year…

We did the same.

The mains:

Clockwise from top left (sorry, I don’t know the fancy names for them):

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Roast ham
  • Fusion salad
  • Mushroom pate
  • Seafood salad
  • Roast beef
  • roast chicken with carrots and potatoes
  • Broccoli and corn

The desserts:

Clockwise from top right:

  • Trifle
  • Christmas celebration cake
  • Chocolate log cake – to die for

See also:

Breadmaker Recipes: Spelt and Flaxseed Bread

We have a spelt fixation…

Created with Snap Collage for iPhone/iPad http://georiot.co/snap

Ingredients:

  • 155g plain flour
  • 140g spelt flour
  • 30g flaxseed meal
  • 4g bread improver
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 180ml water

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients into the breadmaker.
  • Run knead function.
  • Run wholemeal function.

Notes:

The bread we’ve been making in the breadmaker has been a little dense lately – not as light and fluffy as bread should be like. So I experimented with a few tricks to get that extra rise.

Firstly, we added a little bread improver. We worked with the ratio of roughly 1g of improver for every 100g of flour.

The other thing we did was add in extra kneading time. Our breadmaker has a “knead only” function so I used that first. After that cycle completes, I switched to the wholemeal function.

The end result was great, much better than our previous bread textures. We’re back to “fluffy”, home-made bread…

Created with Snap Collage for iPhone/iPad http://georiot.co/snap

Health Benefits:

Recipes: Chocolate Cornbread with Wheatgrass

This is take 2 of the Hearty Healthy Nutritious Cornbread recipe

The thing about making recipes with ingredients that you don’t usually have around the house is that you have to find ways to use them up anyway so recipe experimentation is almost a requirement. Since our previous “healthy” cornbread recipe failed G1 and G2’s taste test, I thought I would try again. This recipe is almost exactly the same except that I used wheatgrass instead of barley grass and I added cocoa powder to mask the slight greenish colouration and “green” flavour given off by the wheatgrass. I also increased the ratio of plain flour to make the texture more “cakey”.

The end result? I reckon it can get by as a light chocolate cake – at least I couldn’t tell there was anything “green” about it. It also passed the taste test for G1 who gave it a thumbsup – hurray!

Choc cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 113g butter, melted
  • 140g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 130g cornmeal
  • 50g spelt flour
  • 30g flaxseed meal
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp wheatgrass powder

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 175 C. Prepare Baba cake pan.
  • Mix eggs, milk, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cocoa and wheatgrass powder together. Set aside.
  • Stir sugar into melted butter.
  • Add egg mixture and beat until well combined.
  • Stir in buttermilk.
  • Stir in cornmeal, flours, and salt.
  • Pour into prepared tin and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Test with a knife and remove from oven when cooked through.

The Chocoholic’s Cake

My resident cakexpert was out of the count so I did a rush job and threw this birthday cake together 3 hours before we had to leave the house. The theme is “chocolate” because my birthday boy is a chocoholic. And his reaction to my cake was probably the best one ever:

“Mama, thank you for the best cake ever!”

Chocoholic cake

Ingredients:

  • 200g castor sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 80g dark chocolate, melted
  • 185g self-raising flour
  • 90g plain flour
  • 20g flaxseed meal
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 180ml milk

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a round cake pan 23cm in diameter.
  • Combine everything into a bowl and mix on medium until well combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes before removing from the cake pan.

Decoration:

  • When the cake has cooled sufficiently, spread a quantity of Nutella over the cake.
  • Decorate with Ferrero Rocher, Cadbury Freddo Frogs, Hershey Kisses, and M&Ms.

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