Seeded Crispbread

I’ve made crackers before and posted the recipe here. Since then I’ve seen plenty of other recipes, bought seeded crisp bread and made a quite a few varieties. And, for now, I think I’ve got it right.

Here’s my latest crisp bread. Last weekend we had this for lunch topped with homemade basil and shredded carrot and beetroot. It was so delicious that I had to make it again the next day.

I’ve been adding dulse flakes to everything savoury lately. This is optional, but it’s a great way to get seaweed into your diet without noticing the strong flavour. Sea vegetables help alkalise our bodies from the over-acidity of the modern diet
and dulse flakes contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and E, and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chromium, iodine and zinc and trace elements.

Really, all you need to do is through a bunch of seeds in a bowl, mix in some water, spread it on a tray and cook it. But here’s the recipe in a little more detail.

 

what you need
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pepita seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup water
1 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp savoury yeast flakes
1 tbsp dulse flakes

what to do
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the seeds together. In a small bowl, mix the water, yeast flakes and dulse flakes. Whisk well. Pour the water mixture onto the seeds and stir until thick and combined.

3. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet with the back of a spoon until it’s less than 1/4 inch thick.

4. Bake at 160C for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully flip onto other side and score the base so it is easier to break into pieces. Bake for another 15 minutes. The bottom will be lightly golden in colour. Allow to cool completely on the pan.

raw apple pie

i recently attended a raw food preparation class presented by roar food and this apple pie was one of the dishes they presented. brendan, from roar, suggested that it tastes better when left for a couple of hours as the apples soften and the flavours are enhanced and i agree with him. although, it did taste amazing when we ate it straight after it was made.

 

what you need
½ cup almonds
½ cup macadamias
½ cup walnuts
10 medjool dates
4-5 apples, peeled and cored
2-3 dates extra
juice of ½ orange
juice of ½ lime

what to do

process nuts and 10 dates in food processor – the longer you process it for the smoother the base will be

press into a loose base pie tin and freeze for an hour

process extra dates and juice of lemon and lime, set aside

slice apples thinly, i did mine in a food processor

mix apples with dates and juice mixture

press into base and refrigerate for a couple of hours – it’s best left for 12 hours if you can resist

buckwheat pancakes

on christmas eve i made a decision that i would eat no sugars or grains for eight weeks starting boxing day. i regularly listen to a health podcast and one of the presenters had done a similar challenge. I had read sweet poison and had bought sarah wilson’s i quit sugar. the signs were out there and i felt like i had to listen and give it a go. food and drinks were already organised for christmas day so boxing day was slated as day one. fun fact: my birthday is exactly eight weeks after boxing day!

so what does that look like? no sugar? yep, no sugar of any kind – no processed sugar, no unprocessed sugar, no fruit sugar, no sugar.

just process that for a moment.

no sugar = no fruit.

no fruit for eight weeks.

bring on my birthday!

i joined an online 8 week challenge and started boxing day with no sugar or grains. i’ve said on here before that breakfast is my favourite meal and i love muesli with fruit mixed in and berries on top. that breakfast was out. bircher muesli? nope, out. a fruit smoothie? nope, out, a banana before a workout? out.

really, what is left to eat? my diet is consisting of vegetables, nuts, seeds, some lentils and beans. i started day one with a veggie smoothie. celery, spinach, cucumber, zucchini and water. to be honest it did not go down smoothly!

i needed to find something that could replace my beloved muesli breakfast. i started experimenting with pancakes and these buckwheat pancakes are on their way to doing the trick. i’m still missing my fruity breakfast. i enjoy eating the pancakes topped with mushrooms, spinach and broccolini but sweet breakfasts are so entrenched in my brain that i’m taking some time to convert to a cooked veggie breakfast.

don’t get me wrong, they are not horrible, but when you’re use to having a sweet, fruit filled breakfast these don’t match the standard. i’ve been having these as a snack as well, with peanut butter, either mid morning or early morning before a run or ride.

despite it’s name, buckwheat is not actually a wheat, it is a seed related to rhubarb. buckwheat has amazing health benefits. It has a high concentration of all amino acids which makes it high in protein. it is rich in iron, zinc and selenium (which helps regulate the thyroid and supports a healthy immune system). so you vegans out there if someone asks ‘where do you get your iron/protein?’ tell them ‘buckwheat’.

pancakes might be the wrong term if you’re thinking of sickly sweet blobs of flour with fruit. because i gave up grains, for me, they are like having a veggies on toast breakfast without the toast. give them a go. they are super easy to make and keep in the fridge in an air-tight container for a week.

what you need

1 cup buckwheat flour
2 tbsp flaxseed
1 scoop protein powder (sometimes i use inca inchi, sometimes hemp protein)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 cups water
½ cup quinoa flakes
½ cup water, extra, if needed

what to do

combine flour, flaxseed, protein and spices
slowly add water while whisking
stir in quinoa, add more water if necessary
place on hot sandwich press, turn when base is cooked

you can cook them in a pan on the hotplate but i love how easy it is on a sandwich press.

Makes 10

Choc Caramel Pops

last week’s peanut butter cups are all gone and i started thinking about what else i could put inside. my first idea was to make some kind of ice cream after i bought a packet of four small ice creams for $12. i didn’t have the time to get some green coconuts and experiment so i went with caramel.

these choc caramel pops use the same chocolate as in the peanut butter cups and are just as easy to make.

what you need

20 medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any nut butter)
½ cup cacao
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)
chia seeds

what to do

blend the medjool dates and the peanut butter in a food processor until well combined. it will be sticky.

place the mixture into the freezer for 10 minutes

take out and roll into balls. it makes around 20. put back into the freezer

mix the cacao, coconut oil, maple syrup and maca powder in a bowl. a thin, tall bowl is best so it’s easy to dip the balls in

take the balls out of the freezer, stick a toothpick into each one and dip into the chocolate mixture. the chocolate will harden almost straight away, so if you’re using chia seeds you need to sprinkle them on quickly so they stick

put back into the freezer to completely harden the chocolate.

store in an airtight container in the freezer

i had some chocolate left over and made some more peanut butter cups, this time i added some goji berries and cacao nibs on the top

peanut butter cups

ok, so the recipe i’m going to share is not actually made with peanut butter, but you get the idea.

you won’t believe how easy these are to make. just five ingredients (four if you omit the maca powder) and less than half an hour!

what you need

½ cup cacao
½ cup coconut oil
¼ cup agave or maple syrup
1 tbsp maca powder
¼ cup nut butter – i used choc-macadamia butter for half and almond, brazil nut and cashew spread for the other half (any nut butter will work)
silicon patty cases

what to do

i made these on a warm day, so my coconut oil was liquid. if your coconut oil is hard, melt it first in a saucepan

place cacao, coconut oil, sweetener and maca powder in a bowl and gently whisk until smooth

place a teaspoon of the mixture in each patty case, place in the freezer for 5 minutes

place a teaspoon of nut butter on the hardened base

top with remaining chocolate

place in freezer for 20 minutes to harden

remove patty cases and store in an airtight container in the fridge

you could add lots of other flavourings to the chocolate, like cinnamon or ginger or orange or chilli

what’s your favourite nut butter? i’d love to hear what variations you make

one soft serve please. hold the pig fat

800px-Ice_Cream_Truck_Sydney_Australia_-_cropone of the things i loved about summer when i was growing up was the sound of the mr whippy van. my ears would prick up, even when the van was miles away, wishing for him to come along my street. i’d listen intently for signs that he was getting closer. we’d run and ask if we could get an ice-cream and if the answer was yes, quickly get the money before he drove past and left us ice creamless. we didn’t always get ice cream even if he did come along our street, but when we did it was like christmas. back in the day, there wasn’t a lot of variety and i would get a single serve, sometimes i’d lash out and get a choc top, but the single serve was my favourite.

fast forward a few years and mr whippy visited less and less and mcdonalds popped up with their 30 cent cones. i loved soft serve! and only 30 cents a cone! then rumours started about mcdonalds soft serve being made from pig fat and i liked soft serve less and less. every now and then i’d buy one and try to ignore the pig fat rumours but the ice-cream became a little less enjoyable (with the research i’ve since done i couldn’t find any proof that there is pig fat in mcdonalds soft serve. there are mono and diglycerides – which are fat, so this could be where the rumours came from).

when i became vegan soft serve became one of those things that i thought i would never have again. whilst i didn’t crave soft serve, it was resigned to being a memory of long, hot, childhood summer days in sydney.

but can you believe it? it doesn’t have to be a memory any longer! i was linked to an instagram picture of soft serve made from coconut water! and the cafe that was serving it was just down the road. i couldn’t contain my excitement. how long had it been since i’ve had soft serve? there was no time to work that out, just time enough to get myself to BSKT at Nobby Beach. BSKT is a fairly new cafe that serves amazing, organic food and i couldn’t wait to go again to try this new delicious bowl of soft serve.

they claim to be gluten, dairy, lactose free, as well as organic with no added sugar. i went on sunday to try out this little bowl of goodness, then returned on monday just to make sure it wasn’t a mirage.

all i can say is

oh.

my.

god!

you have to try this. it doesn’t taste like coconut at all. it tastes like soft serve, maybe a little lighter. did i say you should try this. seriously.

this one is served with muesli and maca powder.

this is not a sponsored post, although if BSKT wants to give me free soft serve, just comment below.

do you have a favourite food memory from your childhood?

Confessions of a Noosa Triathlon Virgin

“Arising from very humble beginnings in 1983, the very first Noosa Triathlon attracted only 180 competitors, helmets were optional, wetsuits were banned and cyclists got lost in the course.
(It is now) the world’s 2nd largest Olympic Distance Triathlon, behind London Triathlon, and the largest in Australia”
Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival 2013 Program

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One Friday last year in November I had just finished a ride with some friends and we were sitting having coffee at the local coffee shop (which is, apparently, compulsory after a ride). Some of the other riders were talking about the Noosa Triathlon they had competed in the week before and how fantastic the event was. I discovered that entries were to open at 9am the next Tuesday. I started work at 10am and so decided I would give it a shot and enter. By 9:50am entries were sold out, but I had registered in time and had paid my $240 to enter. There was no looking back.
Fast forward eight months and I contacted a triathlon coach I knew about getting a program together and on the 12th August this year I started that twelve week program to get me ready for the world’s second biggest triathlon.
Twelve weeks.
12 weeks = 83 days. 83 days is 1,992 hours, which equals 119.520 minutes or 7,171,200 seconds. That’s probably getting a little carried away. Let’s just call it 83 days.
In 83 days I completed 89 sessions (I missed a total of 4). And with a rest day each week that means I completed more than 1 session a day a couple of times per week.
My 83 sessions comprised just over 40km of swimming (around 16 hours), 1000km on the bike (45 hours) and 270km of running (18 hours), as well as 4 smaller triathlons (around 6 hours)
All I have to do to complete Noosa is 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run in around 3 hours!
I headed to Noosa on Friday morning and on Friday afternoon had a swim in part of the course with some others doing the triathlon. This was an easy swim around an island. There were some beautiful houses on the island, which was accessible by a bridge and I questioned whether the locals swam in the canal, or whether there were sharks in there. I was told there wasn’t any sharks and yes, the locals do swim in there. I’m still not convinced that I was just told what I wanted to hear. But regular readers will know that as long as I’m with someone else in the water then I’m OK!
The next morning we headed out on a group ride, covering some of the course for the next day. Just as we were turning left to tackle Garmin Hill the bike in front of me clipped the wheel of the bike in front of him and down he went. I was right behind. If I swerved to the right I would’ve pushed the rider next to me onto the road and into the path of traffic. If I swerved to the left I would’ve gone down an embankment, so I went straight. Straight into his wheel and straight over the top of my handlebars, feet still clipped into the pedals. And whilst I can see it happening in slow motion, I really had no time to react. I fell onto my hand and then shoulder, but I was OK. The other rider had to go to hospital. He ended up with a broken wrist and his chance to compete in his first Noosa tri was over for another year.
My bike mechanic just happened to be in Noosa so he gave my bike a look over and said it was alright to ride (after the handlebar was straightened out) but that I would probably be sore the next day.
Sunday morning. Triathlon day! Twelve months since I’d entered and twelve weeks since I started training.
Excitement woke me at 4am. I had to be in and out of transition by 6am. I laid out my shoes, towel, hat, helmet, gels, tissues (yep, always have to have a tissue handy, I still can’t do a ‘snot rocket’). It was all a little cramped!
I then waited until my wave at 8:33am. The elite men went off at 6:15am and just before the elite women went off we heard screams from the start line and the announcer talking about sharks! And then, that there were no sharks at the Noosa tri, just one fairly long sea snake that made its way across the start line in front of the elite women. It was ushered along by the surf skis and the elite women were off.
If you’ve ever heard about a triathlon swim, chances are you’ve heard that there’s a lot of bashing and banging into each other. Well, that’s exactly what happens. At one point I was swimming next to another competitor and every time she took a stroke she hit me over the head. I thought we must be surrounded by others and that she had no space so I stopped looked around and it was just me and her, plenty of space around but she was just hitting me on the head. Maybe that was her way to get rid of me! It didn’t work, I moved around her and swam off.
Out of the swim and into the first transition. Helmet? Check. Glasses? Check. Shoes? Check. Gels? Check. I think that’s all I need and I’m on my way. There’s a distinct line that you have to cross before you get on your bike and just as I was passing it I heard someone call out my name. My bike mechanic, Chris, from Storm Cycles in Tugun! Just about everyone that I knew that was in Noosa was competing so I was surprised to hear my name. A little cheer gives a big boost.
The cycle course was pretty scenic and went faster than I expected it to, although my times don’t really reflect that.
As a runner, I was looking forward to the run. But I have to say it was one of the hardest runs I’ve done, even though the support from the crowd was amazing. It was around 32 degrees and the locals had their hoses out cooling us down along the way. The most elaborate one was a gazebo set up partly on the driveway and on the road with a soaker hose wrapped around it, so that it was like a shower running underneath it. A great cooler for the split second you were under there.
It’s always amazes me that I can find a sprint at the end. I use the term ‘sprint’ loosely. Finishing videos make me look like I’m in slow-mo, but in my head I’m sprinting alà Javier Gomez at this year’s Triathlon World Championships. I run through the finish line excited, exhausted and relieved. The water showers await, as does watermelon, drinks and a cool down swim.
The afternoon brings reflection. I think about the event and how much I have enjoyed it, but then I see my results and feel disappointed with my times. My feelings ricochet backwards and forwards. I’m confused about how to feel now that it’s over. I think that maybe triathlon is not for me. It’s just too hard. I look back at running events and feel satisfied with my times and position. But then I look at triathlon and feel that maybe I’m just not good enough. Then I think that only talented (and crazy people) participate in triathlons and so I’m up against tougher competition. I really don’t know what to feel. I should be excited and proud of what I have achieved but each time I look at the results I feel a little deflated. I say to myself that at least I have done it, but then think I only say that because I’m disappointed with my time.
The next day, my head clears a little. I’m a little less tired. I’m a little less sore and I’m feeling a little better about my achievement. Lots of people can’t run 10km. I’ve just swum 1.5km, cycled 40km and then run 10km! That’s pretty special.
I don’t think I’m about to give up triathlons. Actually, my head is in serious talks with itself about the next event to complete.
And an Ironman is still on the cards.
GULP!