18 April 2014

A cracking recipe for crackers and dip!

A 'cracking' recipe for crackers and dip! Get it?! 'Cracking' and 'crackers'?! hehe

When I want a healthy cracker for social occasions I usually make a raw chia cracker in the dehydrator. But the whole chia seeds can be a little tricky on digestion so I don't have them very often.

Plus they're very 'seedy' and not quite the same as a regular cracker. I want something different!

I'd made my yummy beetroot tapenade this week and definitely needed a paleo-friendly cracker to go with it. So what to do?!

I was thinking of using my chia meal flatbread/pizza base recipe and making it work for crackers. But I'm not eating coconut at the moment (2 weeks off of it to see if it gives me any skin problems) and this recipe calls for coconut oil and coconut flour.

So I thought, maybe I could remove the coconut and just make a thinner version.

I did! And it worked!

Okay so the crackers don't look all that pretty but they taste good so that's the main thing!

This is just the most basic of recipes. It's up to you to add in flavours you'd like. You might want a hot and spicy cracker, so add spices, pepper etc. You might like a fresh herb flavour so add in your favourite herbs. For a really salty cracker which is nice with some dips, add in plenty of Himalayan pink salt to the mix. You get the idea!

I used the dehydrator to make these crackers. I'd probably prefer using the oven but ours doesn't work at the moment. If you'd like a raw cracker go for the dehydrator but I think the oven would give a more crispy result.

Chia Arrowroot Crackers

You'll need:

1 cup chia seeds ground up blender to make flour
1 cup organic pure arrowroot powder 
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil (or butter/ghee if using oven)
1/2 tsp baking powder - rice and gluten-free
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups water 

To do:

1. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine well (this is where you'll add herbs, spices etc)
2. Stir in the apple cider vinegar
3. Slowly mix in the water and allow it to absorb into the mixture. You may need less or more water, you want to end up with a dough but not too watery.
4. Mix really well to ensure there are no dry lumps throughout. This is a thick dough so it takes a bit of work. The dough should be sticky but not too wet.
5. DEHYDRATOR: Place mixture on a large sheet of baking paper, with another the same size on top. 
6. Use a rolling pin to roll out mixture so you get an evenly flat shape, about 3-4mm high. It will shrink slightly when dried so you don't want it too thin or with any gaps/holes showing
7. Once you have the desired thickness, cut into rectangles the size you'd like for crackers, keep the underneath sheet of baking paper there, discard top sheet, then place in the dehydrator and place on medium temp until the mixture is completely dry and breaks easily
Or: OVEN: follow steps 5 and 6 but place onto an oven rack/dish and bake on medium temp for a lot less time than a dehydrator! Maybe try 170-180 degrees for 40-45 mins but keep checking on it so it doesn't burn.

You can leave the mixture as one large square/rectangle to dry/bake then break apart into cracker sizes later. Up to you!

Store in an air-tight container.

My crackers were still slightly soft even though completely dried so I think baking them in the oven may create more crunch. But they're a simple and healthy cracker option, eliminating many common allergy foods, so they're a great option for parties and picnics.

#grain-free #gluten-free #dairy-free #egg-free #coconut-free #seeds #paleo #primal

Click here to see the recipe for my Beetroot Tapenade.

This time I used sheep feta, cold-pressed olive oil, apple cider vinegar and salt/pepper. Because the oven isn't working I had to fry the beetroot on the stove but baking definitely produces better flavour and is easier to do!

So that's my take on healthy and easy crackers and dip!

If you're looking for a dehydrator to have at home you can grab one here in the Primal Pantry :)

Enjoy and let me know how you go if you make this!


17 April 2014

What's happening in the garden?

The Sunshine Coast has had some epic rainfall over the last few weeks which means our garden is very happy!

I went outside today to see how my little organic container garden is going now that the temperature has started to drop heading into the cooler months of the year, and this is what I found...

Beetroot, chives and marigolds growing nicely in a styrofoam box. Wish the beets would hurry up though, they're taking forever! Lol

Radishes and baby carrots. It's my first time trying to grow baby carrots. Cross fingers and toes they grow well!

My first chilli's have just appeared!! I don't eat nightshades often but I want to dry these and hopefully sell them

Coriander seedlings, how cute are they! They're about ready to have the tops chopped off so they grow thicker

Beautiful yellow marigolds in bloom. We love adding the petals to our meals for colour and texture.

This is my baby - a native Australian raspberry which gives us gorgeous sweet berries every year for months and months. Love it!

Strawberries, radishes and marigolds growing in our hanging recycled gutter garden. Can't wait to get some beautiful sweet strawbs

Notice the mulch? That's actually just lemongrass leaves! I have lemongrass growing in a container, it grows super fast, so every week I trim the leaves and use as mulch throughout the containers. Works a treat, it's free and easy!!

What's growing well in your garden right now? 

If you'd like some new additions to your garden and live on the Sunshine Coast, feel free to pop by and grab some organically-grown seedlings I have for sale

Check out what I have available here: http://www.primalinfluence.com/#!plants/c19n5


5 things to be grateful for today...
1. My beautiful healthy organic garden 
2. Spending time outside gardening, getting sunshine, fresh air and earthing
3. Continually learning new things about gardening
4. Healthy teas made with herbs from the garden
5. Having friends over for dinner in the courtyard

What are you grateful for?

16 April 2014

Day trip to Booloumba Creek

We love spending time in the country so when we didn't have the internet working at home one day last week we thought it the perfect time to go for a day trip!

We chose Booloumba Creek out at Kenilworth because it's such a beautiful spot. There's plenty of nice spots to have a picnic and go for a swim.

It's so nice to breath in fresh air, go exploring, have a dip in our own private swimming hole and just totally relax.

Here are some photos from our country visit...

You know you're heading in the right direction when you have to cross through creeks!

Our picnic spot of choice. Not too shabby at all!

This was our view while we ate our picnic lunch. Hearing the sound of nature including the running creek was so relaxing and soothing
We always take the snorkles just in case we find a pool with clear water and fish
Bats. LOTS of bats. I've never seen so many!

The noisy colony was spread out on both sides of the creek

Go away clouds! Luckily most of the day was sunny, these clouds were just teasing us!

Is that beautiful or what?! Crystal clear water and colourful stones all around us 

Spent most of the day barefoot and got some major earthing

Kenilworth looking nice and green after some much-needed rain. The cattle looked happy

What the?!?! Oh it's just Clint diving! Phew! 

We stopped at Obi Obi Creek on the way home to grab a few more native fish for our tank. Clint uses the end of a pool scoop net he found ages ago!

So that was our nice day out in the country! 

I hope this inspires you to get out, go for a drive, explore the region and hopefully come across hidden gems and special places that make you feel alive. It's so easy to do and has so many health benefits!

Go on, get out there!


5 things I'm grateful for today are:

1. Day trips to the country!
2. A smart phone with a camera - so handy!
3. The rain the Sunshine Coast region has had lately
4. The herbal tea I'm drinking with plants from the garden
5. Pretty sunsets

10 April 2014

Our Picnic & Games Meetup was so much fun!

Last Sunday was the Picnic and Games Meetup at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens in Tanawha - and what a sensational day it was! It was meant to finish at 12pm but quite a few of us stayed until well after 1pm because we were having such a good time!

About 7 adults and a few kids came along which was a great turn-out. There was slacklining, eating and lots of chatting! Also, Clint spent most of the time playing frisbee, hide-and-seek and running around with all the kids. I was all talked-out afterwards while he was just plain knackered!

Thanks so much to everyone who came along - the food was delicious and the conversations sensational! Clint and I learnt a lot actually. 

One thing I didn't know, which one of our members Lauren told me was that not all grass-fed meat is technically just grass-fed because if animals are being sold at saleyards or waiting in yards at abattoirs, they are most likely standing in pens with no access to fresh grass and are instead eating grains. Meaning they'd be classed as 'grain-finished'. Which for anyone wanting to avoid grains and eat just organic/grass-fed meat, this is something to be aware of.

To find out if the meat you're buying was finished on grains you need to ask the butcher, at the very least, or go direct to the source and ask the farmers about their products. Also, if you're buying from a local source than it wouldn't be likely the animals were at saleyards or waiting at an abattoirs, but it's best to ask and be 100% certain if it's something you care about.

I mentioned to a few of the gang about the natural health practitioner we are big big BIG fans of, who may be able to assist with a lot of the health concerns talked about on the day. So for anyone who didn't get Gavin Heward's business card from me, please check out his website and feel free to give him a buz so he can explain his unique and thorough approach.

He's done amazing things for us and my mum so if we can connect others to him so they can benefit too, then YAY!!


Okay let's get to the photos from the meetup! Here they are...

Clint does a demo on how to slackline

Chris has a go next

Ross had been dying to have a proper go and here he is balancing nicely!

Absolutely deeee-lish choc brownies thanks to Lauren

Choc chip cookies made by Ross - non-paleo choc chips but the biccies were paleo-friendly!

The kids enjoy a game of tiggie. No wait, that's Clint and a couple of kids!

Avocado dip and veggie sticks is always a winning picnic food - yum!

Chris and Wendy brought date and pumpkin loaf which was amaaazing and didn't even include nuts!

Aimee's failsafe choc pudding gelatin lollies - looking slightly squished after the hot sun melted them and they then re-lollied in Ross's cooler bag!!!

Chris and Wendy enjoying a chat with other really nice paleo locals

Group shot!

Group shot with Cheryl taking the photo so Wendy can be included!

a simply stunning Autumn day for a picnic at the Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens!
 What a terrific day!

Thanks again to everyone who came along, we hope you can make it to the next event :)

-Clint & Aimee