Archive | August, 2013

Easy Home made butter in your blender

30 Aug

I am lazy, a somewhat sad, but ultimately true fact!

The other day while discussing our favourite Organic brands with another Mum, I happened to mention that I like a certain type of store brought butter, to which the other Mum replied that she never buys butter & makes all the butter her family consumes.

A bad bout of Mummy guilt ensued!

butter

I don’t buy some of my butter, I buy ALL of my butter. So off I went to the supermarket in pursuit of pure cream to churn into butter – to dampen my Mummy guilt.

Home I came with my cream, excited to have a go. Only to consult the internet & find that making butter is a multi-step process that requires special butter bats (Whatever they are?) & lots of rinsing & kneading & other fun stuff.

Did I mention I am lazy??

So my cream languished away in the fridge, while I mustered the enthusiasm to get up close & personal with it & knead it into submission (butter).

Then I had an idea surely I could get my blender to do all the work, while I supervised! Thus this butter recipe was created. I find that this butter lasts just as long as butter made with lots of washing & kneading – just without all that time & effort!

Easy Blender Butter a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 600mls Pure Cream – make sure it is just 100% cream, no thickeners etc
  • Salt, I use about a teaspoon –  but you can do it to taste – I like it salty

I made my butter in Bella (my Thermomix knock off).

To start pour in the cream & beat at the highest setting for two to three minutes. The fat (butter solids) separates from the buttermilk & the fat ends up above the blades.

butter-churning

Pour off the buttermilk (saving it for baking, pancakes etc) all the while kneading & pressing the butter solids against the edges of the blender jug to squeeze out as much butter milk as you can.

squeezing-out-buttermilk

Once you have pressed out as much buttermilk as you can. You can add your salt & refrigerate your butter as is  – but it will only last a few days.

Or, you can wash your butter by adding water to cover your butter & a few ice cubes to your blender & blending for 30 seconds – this will wash & knead your butter for you :). You can omit the ice cubes if you live in a cold climate, they are just to keep the butter solid.

washing-butter

Pour off the water, squeezing & kneading your butter with your spatula to remove all liquid, if your water is quite milky you can repeat the process until your water runs clear.

Then add your salt & put it into your container & viola you will have homemade butter and be the envy of all the other mums, without all the effort !!

butter-2

It will be our “Little Secret”

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Furniture Restoration with homemade Chalk Paint DIY

26 Aug

SO this is what I have been doing, when I should be doing blog posts…….

coffee-table-finished-2

coffee-table-finished

Chalk painting – everything in sight, picture frames, trays, desks, tables, chairs you name it, I want to chalk paint it.

You see I am a “list girl”, yes – one of those people! Everyday I have a list of to do’s, must do’s, would like to do’s – you know the drill.

But consistently my list keeps getting hijacked by my numerous DIY chalk paint projects – because it is just SO much fun. Taking something ugly, broken, scarred that nobody wants & turning it into something beautiful is just so fulfilling – especially for the girl who has never owned a hammer & used to be “allergic” to the hardware store.

Finding bargains at my local Recycle & Re-use center for a few dollars & turning them into character-laden pieces filled with love (& on the odd occasion a few tears & curse words!) is so much better than buying mass-manufactured furniture from a store. Everytime I see my coffee table I brim with pride – I did that!! Me, the girl that can’t hang a picture hook.

So get out there & find something ugly & unloved & give it a new lease of life, Not only will the environment thank you, but I promise you will get warm fuzzy’s everytime you see your creation.

before-words

Chalk Paint a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 2 cups latex paint – I use ultra-cheap (poor quality) paint & it still works great!
  • 5 T plaster of paris
  • 3 T water

Place your water & plaster of paris in a container & whisk or beat with a stick blender until its smooth, like pancake batter (no lumps). Add your paint in slowly 1/2 a cup at a time & beat till smooth.

The beauty of this paint is that you can be a DIY don’t-er like me & still make something truly beautiful & unique with a minimum amount of effort.

Some folks say you don’t need to sand & that chalk paint can be painted onto any surface, shiny, varnished etc. I always scuff my surfaces up with some really coarse sand paper first, not enough to remove the previous surface but enough to give the chalk paint a little something to adhere to. I also like to wash my pieces with sugar soap to ensure that all grease & grime has been removed.

during-sanding

Then I paint & paint & paint, the chalk paint dries really fast – sometimes in as little as an hour, so you can normally coat your pieces 2 to 3 times in a day. Some surfaces I give three coats, some get five or six, it depends on how dinged & scratched the surface is, as the more layers of paint I put on, the more improved the surface gets.

During-painting

I normally try to allow my pieces two days to completely dry out before I start sanding them, I sand the paint back till I get a smooth finish (or until my arms get sore!) & distress my pieces here & there as I go.

Once they are all sanded smooth, I then add any painting, transfers or artwork I want & leave for 24 hours to completely dry before waxing with a good quality carnuba wax & buffing to get a high shine.

before-chair

finished-chair

It really is that easy & if I can do it – you can do it 🙂

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Sugar Free Tropical Pancakes

21 Aug

I can go healthy…………..but don’t make me give up my Sunday morning pancakes!!

Pancakes are one of life’s little luxuries.

Breakfast in bed on your birthday – Pancakes.

Late sunday morning brunch – Pancakes.

Pancakes scream celebration to me, a celebration of life, moments & fun.

So here is our healthier, yet still completely decadent version of pancakes for life’s little moments that require pancakes to round out the celebrations.

These pancakes don’t disappoint, they are light, fluffy & taste “oh so tropical”. Close your eyes & you could be eating breakfast on a beach in Fiji. Succulent fresh fruit & coconut you can’t get much more tropical than that.

These pancakes are sugar free, but trust me you won’t miss it, the caramelised banana chunks are sweet enough….

tropical-pancakes

Tropical Pancakes a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 3/4 c spelt flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 T coconut butter
  • 1/2 c kefir or yoghurt
  • 3 T water
  • Strawberries & banana’s or your preferred fruit to top your pancakes

Place all of your ingredients minus the fruit in a blender or food processor & mix to combine well. Slice your banana’s & strawberries up ready to place on your pancakes. Heat a teaspoon of butter in a fry pan & allow it to heat up until the butter bubbles, place your sliced banana in the frypan & pour your pancake batter over the top of your banana slices. Let your pancakes cook until they are starting to form bubbles, then flip them over & let them cook all the way through.

tropical-pancakes-2

Turn your pancake  out onto a plate & top with fresh sliced strawberries & banana’s & some whipped coconut cream or kefir.Go forth & celebrate with pancakesMama-going-natural-signature

Creamy Cacao Ice Cream

18 Aug

We love chocolate in this house………. we will take it anyway we can get it.

cacao-ice-cream

But add it to some cream & freeze it & we are in heaven.

This recipe makes an ultra-rich, smooth, creamy ice cream that is very decadent. Small scoops only 🙂

It is a very dark chocolate (the Lindt 75% bar of ice creams, if you will!). If you like you chocolate more on the  milk chocolate (cadbury) side of things simply adjust the amount of cacao chips you put in to make a more mild creamy ice cream.

We love to add 3 – 4 tablespoons of peanut butter to this ice cream in the last few churns to make our own knock off version of Baskin & Robbins Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream, without all the sugar & chemicals 🙂 but still packed full of flavour.

This recipe is not one of my healthier recipes, BUT it is healthier than most store brought ice creams which are aerated with chemicals & have a shelf life of 2 years +, I kid you not!! I have no idea what you put in ice cream to make it last 2 years but I am pretty sure I don’t want to eat it or feed it to my child. This ice cream made with organic ingredients & raw dairy products is simply a better healthier option without skimping on flavour or decadence.

Cacao Ice Cream a’la Mama Going Natural

  • 350ml milk
  • 300ml cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 T coconut sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c cacao chips or cacao butter

Place the first five ingredients in the top of a double boiler & gently heat while constantly whisking (like you would a custard). Once the mix has thickened to the stage where it coats the back of a spoon add the cacao chips & stir in until melted. Let your chocolate mix cool (try not to eat too much of it – you are trying to make ice cream after all) & then place your mix in your ice cream maker for the magic to happen.

cacao-ice-cream-close-up

Trust me! you will love this ice cream, perhaps it’s not too healthy – but everyone needs a treat every now & again 🙂

Go on treat yourself

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Our Favourite Mayonnaise variations

12 Aug

Mayonnaise is a staple in our house, like flour & sugar are in others. We use it on everything & I do mean everything.

We even dip our chips in it, as evidenced below – don’t knock it till you have tried it. Crunchy chips & creamy mayonnaise……..yum!

photo

We make our own Mayonnaise using my homemade mayo recipe with 100% pure cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. While it doesn’t taste too great, it is much better for you than using vegetable oils which are potentially damaging to your health.

So while our Mayo is healthy it does have a very distinct olive oil flavour – nothing like the creamy sweet artificial stuff you buy from the supermarket. Coming up with unique & flavoursome ways to hide the tart almost spicy flavour of the olive oil so that “Miss Two” will eat my Mayo is a constant battle but the below Mayo variations meet with her approval & mine!

Adding honey to Mayo may seem a little strange but it helps to take the edge off the spiciness of the olive oil & make the Mayo smoother & less sharp – great for little people’s palates.

Honey Dijonnaise a’la Mama Going Natural

Take your plain Mayo & blend in the honey & mustard to taste.

photo

Curry Mayonnaise a’la Mama Going Natural

  • half a batch of my homemade mayo recipe
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 t garam marsala (optional)

Take your plain Mayo & blend in all of the above to taste.

Now go make a batch of chips & try Mayo on your chips – you just might like it 🙂

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies

7 Aug

cookies-treasure-2

So its official – this is a dessert blog!!

I promise my next post will not be a dessert, but I just brought a Bellini Intelligent Kitchen Machine (a knock off of the Thermomix) & I am on a baking/cooking frenzy.

These cookies are firm & crumbly with a light crisp texture & the added bonus of  hidden treasures!!

Not only do these cookies have a slight vanilla coconut flavour but they are also studded with two different kinds of chocolate chips & chunks of roasted cashew nuts. YUM!!

They are suitable for vegans and can be made sugar free if you substitute the coconut sugar for 1/4 c of honey, maple syrup, agave or your preferred sweetener. If your not that fussed on coconut (we love, love, love it in this household) you can omit the desiccated coconut & swap the coconut oil for butter, but I don’t think they will be as yummy!!

treasure-cookies

Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookie a’la Mama Going Natural

You will need:

  • 4 T coconut oil
  • 2 T coconut milk (can substitute with almond, oat, rice milk etc)
  • 1 c spelt flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c coconut sugar
  • 1/4 c desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c roasted cashews

Place all ingredients except for the last three in a mixer or food processor & mix till it makes a nice firm cookie dough. Stir through your chocolate chips & rough chopped cashew nuts to mix in.

cookie-dough

Heat your oven to 175 degrees & roll your dough into balls & lightly depress with the back of a fork.

cookie-balls

These cookies do spread a little so be sure to keep them apart on the tray. Cook for 10-15 minutes. This recipe makes approximately 20 cookies.

Go Forth & Bake…..

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