Sunday, September 22, 2013

Healthy Fast Food

Is there such a thing?

In your own home, yes. From a Fast Food place? No, I don't believe so.

In undertaking a little research for the wholefood unit that I'm taking as a part of my Nutritional Medicine course I found a great website called the Healthy Home Economist. Sarah, an American woman writes about the dangers of processed foods in our diet. She has posted a great video showing how to teach your children at a very young age not to ever want to eat fast food. She basically purchases a Happy Meal from the drive through at McDonalds, then gives her child the toy from the box. She then tells the child that the rest of what is in the box isn't food, and will make them very sick if they eat it. She removes the burger and drink from the box and places it in the rubbish bin, reinforcing the fact that the contents of the box belong in the bin, not in their stomachs.
This can be done from as young as 18 months, she says, and is a very powerful lesson. After all, the child only wants the Happy Meal for the toy inside, as the McMonster marketing gurus know. So, buy them the toy, but throw the burger away.
A very interesting way to teach children the value of fast food.
Here's the link to the video: Mom vs Fast Food

So many people tell me they only have Maccas and KFC and HJ's occasionally, when they go to Perth or Albany, for example. The more I learn about the rubbish that's churned out from these fast food joints, the more I wish I had never, ever allowed my children to put any of it past their precious lips.
However, it's too late now, they all love it. Not so much Maccas or KFC, but HJ's is a definite favourite. Though, my daughter is more keen on Wok In A Box and those sort of chain fast food places now. So much healthier and nicer!

When I was a child, our favourite take away food was Fish and Chips. This was a Friday night special treat and Dad would have to go down the street to buy it because it was Mum's night off from cooking. The fish and chips of my childhood is nothing like what most fish and chip shops serve now. The chips were hand cut and cooked in beef fat, a healthy, high smoke point stable fat. The fish was coated in a light and crispy batter and also fried in beef fat. There were no additives, stabilisers, preservatives or artificial colourings. It was just plain food. Still high in fat, but a once a week treat.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Healthy Wheat Free Waffles

This recipe is based on Quirky Jo's Blender Batter Waffles. I substituted the brown rice for a blend of different flours. My recipe isn't totally gluten free, due to the barley and rolled oats, but it is dairy free.

The batter also makes great pancakes. We had these waffles for breakfast in the morning with butter and fresh strawberries, then dessert the following night with ice cream and berries or Maple Berry Sauce.
If you're looking to cut your fat intake, serve with yoghurt (add a touch of honey and vanilla) and berries.

As Jo says, you can swap out anything for the brown rice as long as the total amount is around 250g.
It's a blender batter because instead of adding almond milk, you make the almond milk with the batter. It's important to make the batter at least 8 hours before using as the starches are best soaked to help aid digestion by breaking down phytic acid.

If having for breakfast, start the night before, for dessert, start in the morning.

Blender Batter Waffles or Pancakes

250g brown rice (I used 35g amaranth, 65g buckwheat, 70g rolled oats and 80g pearl barley)
30g raw almonds (or raw cashews)
300g water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
30g macadamia or coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Add rice to Thermomix or food processor and blitz on speed 9 for 1 minute or so until fine. Add water, ACV, oil and vanilla and blend for 30 seconds on speed 9.
Cover and leave overnight to stand at room temperature. Or place in a glass bowl, cover and leave on the bench overnight.
When ready to cook, reblend for 1 minute on speed 9.

1 large egg (optional)
Blend for a minute on speed 9. Preheat waffle iron and add raising agents and blend again for a few seconds:

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bi carb soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Bake until crispy or use to make pancakes. Serve with butter or cream and maple syrup or with ice cream and berries.

Maple Berry Sauce
1 cup frozen berries (I like blueberries)
1 - 2 Tbsp of maple syrup

Place in saucepan and simmer gently until blueberries are totally defrosted and syrup thickens a little.

p.s. I've made these a number of times with different seeds and grains and they're always fantastic. I can't recommend this recipe enough, it's foolproof! My husband loves them.