It’s a village out there!

Category Archives: how to cook

It’s a village out there!
21st November, 2018

The Village by Matt and Lentil

A book to make you “yearn for that deep connection to people and places close to you.”

What an amazing book! Set out in three parts (the village, the growing and of course the eating) it is a thorough bible for sustainable living.

The authors’ shared experience of villages really makes you yearn for that deep connection to people and places close to you.

I loved Matt and Lentil’s advice on growing including ideas about how anyone can grow, even if you’re renting or living in a flat. The eight steps to natural gardening are so interesting and detailed. Being a novice in the garden, I found it really useful to read a frank description of what they do and when.

The planting projects are really inspiring and seem like a doable place to start. The idea to focus on one thing first up is great. I’m particularly drawn to grow an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini and rocket as suggested! Easy to grow, abundant harvest? Yes! The sweet potato crates sound pretty straight forward too.

Just as I started reading The Village I happened upon a bunch of zucchini that had split open. Sure enough, zucchini pickle featured in the book. I have it stewing away in the cupboard and can’t wait to be cracking it open over Xmas. Waste not want not.

The smoothie chart in the recipe section looks so simple and useful. It’s unique, setting out all the different elements and options/quantities to be used to build a great smoothie every time.

The beautiful photographs throughout draw you into a gardeny world and you just want to go live there…or recreate it.

Really inspiring.

Review by Bec Tyson, Co-op sales assistant

Bec’s home-made zucchini pickles. Recipe from The Village by Matt and Lentil, Published by Plum, RRP $45.00, Photography by Shantanu Starick.

Gut instinct
17th October, 2018

Happy body = happy mind

Holistic health coach, Danielle O’Donoghue, shares a yummy Happy Gut salad recipe and explores the nutritional value of the ingredients.

This is the deliciously nutritious Happy Gut Salad I made at Blue Mountains Food Co-op  for Wellness Wednesday on October 17th. It’s full of foods that nourish your gut and microbiome.

Dandelion Greens: This super healthy green is GREAT for your gut. Dandelion greens are full of minerals, improve blood lipids, and they are rich in inulin, a particular prebiotic fibre that boosts your gut’s production of healthy, good-for-you bacteria, bifidobacteria being one.

“Boosting bifidobacteria has a number of benefits including helping to reduce the population of potentially damaging bacteria, enhancing bowel movements, and actually helping boost immune function.” David Perlmutter, MD.

Asparagus: A Spring Veggie That Aids Digestion
Rich in prebiotics, these green stalks are as good for you as they are delicious. Asparagus is also rich in inulin, like dandelion greens. It can help promote regularity and decrease bloating.

Seaweed: Demulcent, nutrient and fibre-rich seaweeds are fantastic gut foods. A study of Japanese women showed that high seaweed intake increases good gut bacteria. Another study researched alginate, a substance in brown seaweed, and found that it can strengthen gut mucus, slow down digestion, and make food release its energy more slowly.

Flaxseed: This superfood seed has the highest content of lignans (antioxidants with potent anticancer properties) of all foods available for human consumption. Flaxseed is fuel for good gut flora. Soluble fibre is also in flaxseeds, helping to improve digestive regularity.

Apples: High in a valuable soluble fibre called pectin. Plus, a 2014 study published in Food Chemistry found green apples boost good gut bacteria. Stewed apples have been found to be good for your microbiome, and they may also help to heal your gut.

Garlic: Pungent and flavoursome garlic is also great for your gut health. A 2013 in-vitro study published in Food Science and Human Wellness found that garlic boosted the creation of good gut microbes. The research showed that garlic might also help prevent some gastrointestinal diseases.

What’s for dinner?
12th September, 2018

How do you answer the dreaded question?

Dish up your dinner winners and you could win one of two cook books.

We’re trying to find some winning dinner ideas to share with Co-op members. You don’t have to provide whole recipes just let us know what your favourite, go-to meals are when hungry kids or partners ask “What’s for dinner?”

Send your answers to hello@bmfoodcoop.org.au with your contact details and you could win one of these two cookbooks.

Cauliflower is King  – 70 recipes to prove it by Leanne Kitchen, Murdoch Books, RRP $19.99

or

Stuffed! The art of the vegetable boat by Marlena Kur, Murdoch Books, RRP $32.99

Competition opens Tuesday September 18 and closes Friday October 12.

Dog day afternoon
9th August, 2018

Gone to the dogs

We eat well, so why shouldn’t our dogs? Bring your four-legged friend to the Co-op on Thursday 30th August between 1 – 3.30pm for an afternoon of doggy diet discussion complete with canine canapés from Miso’s Treats and The Dog Baker.

Miso’s Treats

Based in Katoomba, Miso’s Treats are all natural, dehydrated dog treats that are low in fat with no added salt, sugar or preservatives. Only the best quality ingredients are used, with a preference for Australian, free-range and organic products whenever possible. Miso’s Treats contain at least 45% vegetables so they’re very healthy and many have no grains or dairy and so are suitable for dogs with allergy issues.

Miso’s Treats also offers dehydrated single ingredient treats like Grass Fed Beef Strips and Free Range Chicken Jerky, and dehydrated fruit and vegetables that dogs love such as Sweet Potato, Carrots, Apples and Pears.

“Miso” (above) and “Rosie” (top) photos by Paul Watkins.

facebook.com/Miso’sTreats

The Dog Baker

Sue Barclay, chief baker at The Dog Baker – a boutique Blue Mountains business – admits that prior to starting The Dog Baker she paid little attention to the ingredients in popular commercial dog treats. But when she finally did, it proved a scary read. “The ingredients included excessive amounts of salt, additive numbers (a very long list), sugar and generic references to unspecified meat products,” says Sue.  “No wonder my dogs were always gasping for a drink after feeding them treats. It seemed we had been inadvertently overdosing them on salt and other unknown additives.”

Sue realised the only way to ensure her dogs ate healthy treats was to make them herself. And so, after numerous experimental batches and lots of taste testing by her dogs, neighbourhood and friends’ dogs, and even a hungry teenage son, The Dog Baker was born. Using natural human-grade ingredients The Dog Baker treat range includes Apple Cheese Buckwheat biscuits, Banana Peanut Butter Carob bones and Sardine, Mint & Parsley paws.

dogbaker.com.au

The scoop on poop

If aliens chose to observe human behaviour through the lens of an off-leash dog park they would probably assume that dogs were the superior race. They’ve trained us well, our furry, four-legged friends, as we dutifully follow them around picking up after them. Aliens might also wonder why we are using environmentally damaging plastic bags to scoop the poop when there are much better eco-friendly alternatives.

The dog bags provided by Blue Mountains City Council in dispensers at off leash dog parks are degradable, meaning they break down into tiny little pieces of plastic over many, many years but remain in the eco-system as a pollutant and a danger to wildlife. The Co-op stocks Biobags, biodegradable dog poop bags made from a resin derived from plants, vegetable oils and compostable polymers that are completely compostable:  https://biobagworld.com.au/product/50-biodegradable-dog-poop-bags/

And because there is still much consumer confusion regarding the meaning of biodegradable, compostable, and bioplastic, here’s a nifty explanation from Choice magazine:

https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/packaging-labelling-and-advertising/packaging/articles/biodegradable-plastic

Winter wellness tips
11th July, 2018

In our last newsletter we ran a competition to win a Winter Wellness pack. To enter we asked newsletter subscribers for their tips for staying healthy during the colder months. Here are the fabulous entries we received starting with our winner Michaela Dabson’s ode to winter wellness and finishing with a spicy recipe for Sarah de Graaf’s Hot Devil Drink.

Winner:

Citrus, ginger, laughter, friends,

Epsom salt baths with 2tsp of bicarb soda added for efficacy.

Log fires lit with dried citrus peel,

Pumpkin and sweet potato soup,

Brassicas, sunlight, motion.

Flubru – boil up garlic, fresh chilli, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamon, ginger root, teaspoon of fenugreek seeds till soft.  Strain, Add lemon and zest, favorite honey (and a tot of whisky?). This tried and tested remedy for the winter flu blues can blow your socks off or gently soothe, depending on the proportions. It goes very well with a log fire, a comfy cushion and a book.  May it bring comfort, leading to wellness.

Fresh ginger and turmeric with your breakfast yoghurt and in “Golden Milk” before bed time. Recipe: turmeric, ginger, cloves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon & honey simmered in almond milk. Strain before drinking!

Stay active. Walk each day – even if it’s cold. Get some sun as well. Grab a friend to make it more fun. Staying connected helps beat the winter blues.

Keep your digestive fire alive with warm meals, nourishing teas and fresh soft homemade produce! Organic porridge with cinnamon, fresh vegetable congee and hearty coconut cream pumpkin soups!

A 10 minute morning meditation! Enable clarity and calmness to brace the chilly weather! Connect back with the inhale-exhale to embrace all that these beautiful months will deliver

Keep friends close! Connect with friends over organic chai, hot cocoa and organic coffee pots! Social connection lifts the spirit and fuels the soul with positive vibes.

Prioritising gut health in winter is an effective way to avoid the flu and getting run down. To make your own; all you need is shredded cabbage, carrot, ginger, turmeric and salt.

My tip is homemade chicken soup filled with delicious vegetables and noodles, followed by stewed pears with cinnamon and brown sugar.

The way to fight colds is to boost yourself beforehand. A colourful and tasty vegie soup with a tomato base and garlic, ginger, lemon juice plus protein helps my immunity.

Continue to get out and exercise, whether it be a bushwalking, mulching the garden or a walk around the block. Dress appropriately for the weather and enjoy the fresh air, the sun and Vitamin D. This will keep your mood elevated and help your body stay healthy.

Get plenty of sleep, Stay hydrated (so easy to not feel thirsty in colder months). Broth it up! And keep moving!

Hot Devils Death drink. It contains all and every herb and spice you can find in your cupboard with an emphasis on warming herbs/spices. If you have a healthy collection of spices don’t get too excited.

Essentials  – ginger fresh root

– pepper

– lemon juice and rind

– garlic (or not if you don’t eat alium)

– honey

– cinnamon

– cayenne

Others may include

– chilli flakes

– cloves

– liquorice dried root

– orange rind

– turmeric fresh or ground

– lemongrass fresh or dried

– fenugreek leaf or seed

– fennel seeds

– star anise

– ginger ground

– white pepper ground

Boil the ginger in 1.5 cups of water till the water shows colour and smells spicy.

If using fresh turmeric and lemongrass turn down the heat and add them and the rind of the lemon and orange. Keep at a simmer fro about 5 mins then add the seeds, dried and ground herbs after a further 5 minutes add the dried leaf herbs.

The brew should be very strong and often bitter too. Have it as a generous shot mixed with the juice of half a lemon. Throw back if needed. Follow with a chaser of a large teaspoon of honey. Or if you can drink it at a lower temperature you can add the honey. Keep the remaining and have a shot with the lemon juice every 4 hours or so. If you do this at the hint of a sniffle or headache expect to feel better the following day. It is excellent followed by savouring a tea of dried sage by the fire. A devilishly hot way to employ alchemy against the horrid bugaloos in winter.

 

 

 

Wellness Wednesdays
7th June, 2018

Wellness Wednesdays provide an opportunity for members and customers to meet our in store practitioners and learn about health and nutrition. One of our practitioners will be available to answer your questions from 11am – 1pm each Wednesday in the ‘big’ shop. See What’s On information for dates and topics covered.

Meet our practitioners

Sonya Byron

Sonya holds the staff board position. In her past life Sonya was a farmer in the US so supporting local growers and encouraging sustainability is a matter close to her heart. She is currently a fourth year student in naturopathy.

Sallyanne Pisk

Sallyanne gained her BSc and post graduate qualifications in nutrition and dietetics from Deakin University. She enjoyed several years working in community and public health nutrition in Central West NSW before undertaking a joint clinical, management and research role in diabetes. She completed her research masters at University of Wollongong in type 2 diabetes and her thesis provided the basis for the national dietitian practice guidelines.

Sallyanne then moved to Dunedin, New Zealand, where she worked in child and women’s health. On her return to Australia in 2003 she worked in integrative medicine. Sallyanne’s work, plus extensive travel in India and Nepal, sparked her interest in the common links between Eastern and Western nutrition, and the role of mindfulness in guiding personalised eating and lifestyle choices. She launched her first book, Eating for You: Your personal guide to mindful eating and living in Sydney in 2016. Sallyanne now provides online and face to face consults and programs.

Sallyanne and her husband, along with horse Chit Chat have been residents of Little Hartley since 2013. Her mindful eating practices incorporate growing and preparing seasonal food. She embraces the original definition of diet, diata, which means enjoying good health through food, exercise, sleep, relationships, work and an understanding of your life purpose. Sallyanne has been a Wellness Wednesday practitioner since 2016.

Danielle O’Donoghue

Danielle, aka the Yummy Yogi, is a holistic health coach specialising in cooking with wholefoods, herbal medicine and yoga. She currently runs our Nourishing Families workshops at the North Katoomba Community Hub.

Chris Ireland

Chris studied as a pharmacist and completed a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry before embarking on a research career in molecular biology. She returned to community pharmacy in 1997 and has worked both in Sydney and the Mountains. She trained as a herbalist with Dorothy Hall in the late 1990s and has studied with the legendary Rosemary Gladstar. She has a large garden specialising in growing medicinal plants. She loves sharing her passion for herbs and specialises in using herbal medicines in conjunction with prescription drugs. Chris has worked at the Co-op since 2014.

 

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LEGUMES OR PULSES – BY DANIELLE O’DONOGHUE
15th April, 2016

Danielle O’Donoghue, the Yummi Yogi, is qualified in nutrition, iridology and herbal medicine. Formerly a cook and founding partner of Manly’s One Earth Organic Café, Danielle now teaches yoga to kids and adults, works as an holistic health and wellness coach and runs a wholefood consulting business.
She holds monthly sessions at the Co-op where you can chat with her about your health and nutritional concerns (second Wednesday of the month 10 am–12 pm) and runs monthly food demos (third Wednesday of the month 10 am–12 pm).
On 20 April, her food demo will focus on legumes and she is making delicious Sprouted lentil patties.

Lovely Legumes

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IN SEASON – GLOBE ARTICHOKES
3rd December, 2014

Lately we have received some beautiful local globe artichokes. We don’t get lots of them, so grab them when you can! Globe artichokes are large plants that grow pretty well in the Mountains, so give them a go in your garden. They make a lovely table decoration, being a flower, and we get many enquiries about how to prepare and eat them.

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BROAD BEANS: HOW TO PREPARE
6th November, 2014

Broad beans: to peel, to double peel, or not to peel?

Very young broad beans can be cooked, pod and all, in a stir fry or a soup. The larger, older, pods need to be removed before cooking to reveal the beans inside. These beans still have a skin that can impart a strong flavour, and the extra time needed to double peel may be worth the effort. Basically, for some dishes the delicate double peel is light and beautiful; while for other dishes the ‘earthy’ taste that the single peel leaves may be desired.

(more…)

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