For a few years now I’ve been following ‘Anth and Crystal’ from The Healthy Patch and I even signed up to do their home gardening course a while back. I had to put a pause on it when other things in my life got busy but that’s no excuse really! Creating my kitchen garden on my balcony years ago worked well and I loved being able to cut some lettuce at lunch and make a salad, last Winter I grew kale, spinach and herbs and it thrived, this year I plan to do the same, and hopefully more, reducing my requirement on going to the grocery store (I think I have lockdown PTSD with grocery queues for hours!) as well as spending more time in nature with the kids, and filling my cup.
As the world has changed over the past 12 or so months, many of us are a lot more obsessed with face masks & hand sanitisers than we used to be & that’s great as we all need to be extra responsible right now! But what isn’t being obsessed over nearly enough in my opinion, is the importance of being healthy, of having a strong immune system, of addressing any nutrient deficiencies, of reducing chronic inflammation, of losing unhealthy weight, of eliminating any reliance on sugar or other refined carbohydrates!
Something I’ve noticed whenever I drove to our local supermarket over many months during lockdown (when many people were legitimately concerned about food availability), is that there was a McDonald’s on one side, a Hungry Jack’s on the other & the drive thrus of both were always full!
Now if anyone wants to eat at those restaurants that’s absolutely fine, I’m not here to judge anyone else’s choices, but the fact is that when one eats those “foods” we’re exposing ourselves to a cocktail of unnatural, unhealthy ingredients from the sugar, rancid industrial seed oils, gluten, refined carbohydrates, glyphosate residues, genetically modified ingredients & who knows what else?
Avoiding all of this & eating the way we were designed to by sticking to food, “as our grandmothers used to eat it” – that is, nutrient dense wholefoods, unmodified, and unprocessed – that is what is going to give you and your family the foundations for a truly healthy body and it’s something you can start to do for yourself right now.
One of our favourite family nutrient packed recipes that we’ve been enjoying in these busier times either for breaky or as a morning tea snack, is a variation of Amelia Freer’s Healthy breakfast bars…
For the filling
170g frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1–2 tablespoons maple syrup (to taste)
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
45g oat flour (just whiz oats in a blender)
75ml maple or rice malt syrup
75ml coconut oil, melted
For the base and topping
1 chia ‘egg’ (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 2½ tablespoons water)
45g ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan. Line a 15cm square cake tin with baking parchment.
To make the filling, put the berries and water into a saucepan and heat over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon to gently break the berries up so they are less chunky but still not smooth. Add the chia seeds and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Remove from the heat, taste and add more maple syrup if desired.
Make the chia ‘egg’: mix together the chia seeds and water and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
Place the oats, almonds, oat flour, maple syrup and coconut oil in a bowl. Mix together, then scoop out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and set aside (this will be the crumble topping).
Add the chia egg to the bowl and mix to combine. Press the mixture into the lined tin and top with the berry jam. Scatter the 2 tablespoons of mixture you set aside over the top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.