Tag Archives: food

Not messing about too much with food

I’ve been enjoying exploring the world of variously raw-clean-vegan-whole foods (I’m a curious omnivore). There are really creative cooks (or whatever the not-cooking version of a cook is), with a passion for healthy, delicious food that doesn’t mess around too much with the basic – fresh and unprocessed – ingredients.

I quite like that. Throwing a few frozen bananas, some natural peanut butter, and a dash of cinnamon and maple syrup in the trusty Magimix to whip up “icecream” to go with my standard fruit platter for the hungry hordes post-school, is ideal, for someone who’d rather be gardening, is supposed to be working and should probably be vacuuming the remains of yesterday from under the table. Anyway, now the big kids do it themselves if they feel like an creamy icy fix – what’s not to love?

I’m not entirely convinced that a frozen squishy mix of vegetables, fruits and the seemingly inevitable coconut oil qualifies as cake or cookies or pudding . . . but some creations are truly delicious and pretty convincing alternatives to the traditional treats. Like the Vanilla Slice from Wholefood Simply. Incredible.vanilla-slice-1

Or these banana cookies I made recently.

Banana Cookies
Banana Cookies

The best thing about this non-fussy approach to food – besides how easy it is whip something up – is the (mostly) unadulterated tastiness of real, healthy food.

My current favourite place to find afternoon tea treats is Wholefood Simply and I also love The Healthy Chef, My New Roots and Plant-based Munchies for everything from breakfast to dinner.

What about you?

Just Banana Cookies

Just Banana Cookies
Just Banana Cookies

I came across this recipe for banana cookies on the book of face recently that was just right for the daily afternoon mummy-energy-slump v hungry-hordes battle.

It’s simple, fast and free of stuff you might want to avoid like grains, sugar or dairy. I  tweaked the original and doubled it, as you do.

Here is my version:

4 bananas

2 cups rolled oats/quick oats

1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Chef’s pinch of cinnamon (a generous three-fingered pinch my big girls and I adopted after a cooking demonstration we went to – particularly for salt, uh-oh!)


Mash the bananas, mix in the oats, cinnamon, vanilla and nuts. Drop spoonfuls onto a lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes at 180 degrees.

Makes enough for four ravenous kids and one afternoon-slumped mummy.

That’s it!

I am going to try some variations next time: drop the nuts and use a mix of seeds – sunflower and sesame are always yum; a slosh of maple syrup instead of vanilla; adding dates.

Grandma wisdom, food and life.

Grandma (and Grandpa) wisdom will change the world.

Well, some things. Like making do, making your own, mending what’s broken and saving up for something. And playing the piano. Or bowls.

I was blessed with two Grandmas I grew up knowing and loving dearly. They taught me lots about how to live and love, in their own different and precious ways.

They both lived through the depression and post-war rationing, and knew first hand what it was like to go without, although they never had to raise a family without a wage-earner as many women did.

Grandma Molly was the kind of lady that everyone loved. She had an enormous heart (despite its physical weakness) and an incredible zest for living. Even when her body was falling apart, she never stopped being interested in life. She was definitely the life of the party, and could knock out a tune on the piano for Grandad Reggie to croon along to. There’s no doubt her spirit is alive and well in my extended family!

Grandma Joan was a great cook (and doyenne of the lawn bowls green). When they lived on the farm she cooked everything on the wood-fired stove. Coming from a blessed realm of electric fan-forced multi-function oven with actual thermometer, wood-fired everything doesn’t sound so hip. There was always something delicious to eat at Grandma’s – real Melting Moments and Monte Carlos, cakes and slices. Grandma knew all the classics, of course, but certainly wasn’t hide bound when it came to trying something new! Everything was made from scratch and her skill and high standards were passed down to Mum, Auntie Ann and Auntie Trish.

So, I am the lucky inheritor of a taste for great food, the ability and expectation to be able to make it myself, the experience of a welcoming and generous table. And the importance of doing something you love – whether it be lawn bowls or bringing out the piano and forte in the pianoforte.

Eating well is not really about eating gorgeously-rich and decadent food (I have no problem with that!). It’s not simply eating fresh, real food. Or being conscious about how our food is produced, how it impacts on living creatures, the natural environment or other people. All those things are important ingredients – even the occasional decadent indulgence – to eating and living well. We need to nourish our bodies, not just fuel them.

Grandma Molly knew to put off her diet for another day and enjoy the special feast. Grandma Joan knew the value of good food prepared with love.

You are what you eat. And a little of what you like will do you good.

And don’t forget a dash of music and a game of bowls.

A balanced diet.