healthy

Homemade Vegemite

Vegemite is an Australian staple, but the downside of this spread is that it is packed full of salt, and made with added colour 150c from the manufacturing process of fructose, malt syrup and other sweeteners. It also contains unspecified  'flavours' - which can be anything from from a naturally-derived food (animal or plant source) or synthetic flavours made in food chemical laboratories.  

At Westside Renee and I prefer to make our own 'Vegemite' - it's easy to make, stores well in the fridge and the kids love it!

homemade-vegemite-westside-wellness

Ingredients

  • 120g Black Tahini

  • 100mL tamari (or coconut aminos)

  • 3 x tbs nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1 x tbs apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

  2. Store in jar in the fridge.

Makes 1 x jar. Keeps for 2 months refrigerated.

Grain Free Apple Cake

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I came across this recipe on Fresh Planet Flavor looking for grain-free sweets to recommend to a client and have come to find it a very reliable, healthy & kid-friendly recipe. I've made a few minor adjustments and added a few steps about how to make your own applesauce because it's very easy to do.

Why Grain-Free?

You can probably tell that a lot of the recipes on our website are grain-free, this is because we find many of our clients struggle to digest them well. Also you can quickly boost the nutrient content of a meal once you swap something like processed white flour for buckwheat flour or coconut flour.

Make Your Own Applesauce

Applesauce works as a wonderful binder in recipes to bring ingredients together. It also add some sweetness and extra fibre to a recipe. You can purchase some from a grocery store but it is very easy to make and will save you a few extra dollars for something else. All you need is 4 ingredients and the cake recipe will leave you with plenty left over for pancakes or baked goods!

 Ingredients for Applesauce

  • 4 apples peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of water

Method for Applesauce

  1. Place all ingredients into a large stainless steel pot.
  2. Cover and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes until the apples are soft (taking care that the water doesn't completely evaporate while cooking).
  4. Once cooled mash apples with a fork or hand blender

Applesauce will store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Ingredients for Cake

  • 1/3 cup of coconut flour
  • 1 tsp gluten free baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup of applesauce
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced horizontally
  • Coconut oil to grease

Method for Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C
  2. Grease a small cake tin with coconut oil. I used a 10cm x 21cm loaf tin.
  3. Sift the coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt into a small bowl.
  4. Whisk the eggs, sweetener, vanilla essence & applesauce until well combined in a large bowl. 
  5. Gently add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while continuing to whisk the mixture. The mixture will become very stiff. 
  6. Add the mixture to the pan and smooth the top of the cake. Add the thinly sliced apples to the top.
  7. Bake for 40 minutes until the mixture feels firm to touch and is golden on top.
  8. Allow to cool before removing from the pan.

Serves 6.   

Pomegranate, Cherry Tomato and Quinoa Salad

This salad is packed with goodness and flavour! Great as a side dish served with grilled chicken breast or sautéed chickpeas or you can add a tin of tuna/salmon or chickpeas to it and serve as a main meal.

You can prep the salad dressing in advance (it gets better after a day or so in the fridge anyways) and whip it up quick smart. People will be blown away by how gourmet this nutritious dish is!

Serves 6 as a side dish and 4 as a main

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Salad dressing ingredients

  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp zest of ginger
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is fine too)
  • good dash of balsamic vinegar
  • juice of ½ lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp rice malt syrup (or coconut or brown sugar)
  • Place in a bowl and combine well, making sure all the onion is covered. Set aside for a minimum of 20 minutes, but a few hours of resting will make it even more delicious and juicy.

Salad ingredients

  • 1 bunch of parsley (stalks removed)
  • Large handful of fresh mint (stalks removed)
  • Large handful of fresh chives
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds and juice only
  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1 cucumber cut into 1 cm chunks
  • 50 g of pine nuts

Method

  1. Place a small pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, and add to the boiling water, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Check the quinoa, you want it ever so slightly crunchy. Drain the quinoa and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside, allowing all the water to completely drain from it.
  2. Rinse the fresh herbs well, and shake out any excess water. Finely chop, and add to the bowl with the salad dressing.
  3. Add the cucumber, tomato and pomegranate seeds and juice to the bowl, then the drained quinoa and mix well.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. I usually add extra salt and pepper, another dash of balsamic and olive oil and the juice from ½ a lime (cause I like it extra tangy!).
  5. Dry roast the pine nuts over a lot heat in an dry frying pan. Turn them regularly, so they don’t burn. Once they are golden brown, remove from the heat and sprinkle over the top of the salad.
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Caramelised Dutch Carrots

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This is another simple, yet tasty side dish that will fill your house with the wonderful smell of caramelised onion and oregano. It's sweet, salty and fragrant, and really takes no time to prepare at all. This serves 4 as part of multiple side dishes, or serves 2 as a side dish on its own. It can be prepared in advance, will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, and can be gently re-heated before serving.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch dutch carrots*

  • 1 onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 3-4 sprigs fresh oregano

  • salt and pepper

  • balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

 

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METHOD

  1. Prepare your steamer to cook the carrots; fill the bottom pot with 1/4 water and bring to the boil. While the water is boiling, gently clean the carrots, taking care to remove all dirt. Once the water is boiled, place the carrots in the steamer on the top and steam for 7 or so minutes, until the carrots are cooked with slight firmness. Set aside.
  2. While the carrots are steaming, add the olive oil to a pan and bring to a medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a further 5 minutes. The garlic and onions should look translucent and golden, with a touch of crispness.
  3. Add salt (around 1/4 tsp) and pepper to taste and a couple of dashes of balsmic vinegar and stir through.
  4. Add the carrots, gently mix the onion mix through and serve.