Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Home-made Tomato Sauce (Ketchup)

Tomato Ketchup Recipe

Tomato Sauce was one of the things the family was really missing since we went sugar free, and I hadn't had any success in finding a sugar free product or a recipe.  I have modified this one from a recipe I found in a Dr Mercola book. It really does need sweetening to taste like proper tomato sauce so it's worth buying some coconut sugar and/or stevia for this recipe, because you just can't buy a nice natural sugar-free tomato sauce in NZ!  Technically this does contain a little sugar from the molasses and you can leave this out if you prefer, but it does add to the flavour!

400gm Can Tomato Puree (check the ingredients, some of them contain sugar!)
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
1/2 cup white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
4 Tbs Coconut Sugar (or omit and add extra stevia)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon molasses (optional)
5-10 drops of Stevia liquid (to taste)

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring it to the boil, then simmer until it has reduced to the consistency you want, cool,  then keep it in the fridge.  Easy!

Variation: You can use tinned chopped tomatoes instead of tomato puree and diced onions & garlic (sauteed until soft) if you prefer a chunky sauce.


Friday, 13 July 2012

Pear & Ginger Coconut Flour Muffins

I am very proud of this recipe!  It tastes divine and is full of goodness, with no grains or dairy and it's reasonably low carb.

Pear & Ginger Muffins

Makes 24 muffins (they freeze well)

6 Eggs
1/2 cup Linseeds (finely ground after measuring)
1/2 cup Sunflower seeds (finely ground after measuring)
1 1/2 cups Coconut Flour
1 cup Coconut Cream or milk
2 cups Water
1/2 cup liquified Coconut Oil (or other oil)
1 TBS Baking Soda
1 TBS Baking Powder
1/4 tsp liquid stevia
4 Tbs Honey, melted *omit for low carb option
4 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Cardamom (optional)
3 Pears (ripe)

Whisk eggs in large bowl.  Add ground seeds, sifted coconut flour and remaining ingredients (except pears).  Mix well by hand or with an electric mixer (you can't over mix this recipe).  Finely grate one pear and add to the bowl (including any juice).  Finely chop the other two pears and mix it all throughly together.

Use two soup spoons to shape mixture into round-ish balls and put into muffin pans (the mixture is very thick and rises pretty much how it looks going into the oven, so shaping it helps!).

Cook at 200 degrees celcius for 35-40 minutes (yes a lot longer than wheat flour muffins), until lightly browned on top and bounces back when gently pressed). 

*If you leave out the honey, deduct 2.8g Carbs per muffin - obviously they will be less sweet though!  You can double the liquid stevia if you wish.

Nutritional info per muffin:

Calories: 155 (145 if made without honey)
Total fat: 9.3g
Total carbs: 11 (6.4 net carbs once fiber deducted or 3.6g if made without honey)
Fiber: 4.6g
Protein: 3.9g
Iron: 3% RDI

Mini Quiches (aka Egg Muffins)

This is a variation on a recipe for (Paleo/Primal) Egg Muffins that I found online.  When I made them they rose up beautifully in the oven and then totally collapsed!  They tasted fine, but lacked substance and looked pretty ridiculous!  So here is my improved version that rises just a little and keeps it's shape.  It also has some extra fiber from the coconut flour and is much more filling.  It doesn't have any coconut taste. Lovely hot or cold and brilliant for the lunchbox!

Mini Quiches - makes 12

12 Eggs (I used medium sized)
1 Onion
1 TBS Oil (I used deodorised coconut oil)
4-6 Rashers of bacon (or ham, chicken, tuna or salmon)
1 Cup fresh spinach (or frozen spinach - 4-5 'bricks')
1/4 Cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
12 Muffin pan liners

Gently fry onion in oil until soft, then throw in the chopped bacon for a minute or two.  Finely chop spinach.  Mix all the ingredients together and pour into muffin pans lined with patty liners (the egg will stick like anything otherwise!).

Cook for 15 minutes (approx) on 180 (Celcius).  Eat hot or cold!

You can in anything extra you like - chopped capsium, peppers, tomato, parsley, chives or spring onions, avocado - the list is endless!

Nutritional info:

Serving size: 1 Mini Quiche

Calories per serve: 115
Total Fat: 7.7g
Total Carbs: 3.5
Protein: 7.3g
Vitamin A: 7.6% RDI
Vitamin C: 2.5% RDI
Calcium: 2.8% RDI
Iron: 5.2% RDI


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Banana, Walnut & Sultana Muffins - gluten, grain & dairy free

Banana, Walnut & Sultana Muffins

These muffins are gluten & grain-free, high fibre, high protein, low GI, Paleo/Primal diet friendly and very tasty & filling! Coconut flour is alot more expensive than regular flour ($9 for 800gm here), but you use only 1/2 a cup for 12 muffins, so I think it works out pretty economical!

Makes 12

3 Mashed Bananas
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted (you can substitute any oil here)
2 Tbs Honey, melted (if the bananas are over-ripe, you can leave out the honey)
3 Eggs (you can make these egg free by doubling the linseed/water mix below)
3 Tbs ground Linseed/Flaxseed mixed with 9 Tbs water (or 3 more eggs)
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped Walnuts (optional)
1 cup Sultanas or Raisins (optional, but you will have less muffin mix if you leave them out)

Mix wet/damp ingredients, sift in dry ingredients and fold together.  Put into muffin pans (with muffin liners) and cook for 20 - 25 minutes on 180 degrees C (350 F).


*Instead of mashed bananas you can add 2-3 grated apples (depending on size),  2-3 grated carrots or a mix of the two.  You could also add a teaspoon of mixed spice if you're a fan.

*Add a couple of tablespoons of carob or cocoa powder to the banana muffin mix to make chocolate muffins.  You may need to add extra honey, stevia or some palm/coconut sugar if using cocoa as it will need more sweetness to balance out it's natural bitterness.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Healthy Eating / Weight-Loss Challenge

I am looking for a few people to join me in losing a few (or quite a few!) kilos.  It's so much more motivating and fun (!) when you have friends along on the journey with you!  So whether you just need to lose the baby-belly or you have years of bad food choices behind you, you can join in and make some progress towards becoming the best YOU that you can be!  I have about 6 kilos to lose, which isn't a huge amount but considering the rate I've been putting it on, I'm looking at a weight gain of 12 kilos per year at this rate!  I certainly have to watch what I eat and exercise a LOT more now that I'm in my 30's!

Now I am not generally a big fan of counting calories, but I have decided that keeping a food journal with calorie counts is the best way to be accountable to myself and prevent me from shoving unnecessary food into my mouth (like kids left-overs!).  I'm much less likely to make a bad choice if have to write it down. 

Now I have a very cool (free!) tool that makes keeping a food & exercise diary SO much easier!  You can either download it as an App on iPhone, iPad or iPod or Android, or you can use it online.  It's called MY FITNESS PAL.  I have the App loaded on my iPod touch, which is a super-easy way to use the system.  Thousands of foods are already pre-loaded with calorie, carb, protein, fat and vitamin & mineral contents.  You can program in you current and goal weights and how much weight you want to lose per week (though it is only in pounds not kilos so you'll need to work that out).  I don't recommend going below 1600 calories per day (about 1800 is probably better) as you put your body into starvation mode which prevents weight loss and causes weight gain when you go off it because it's too restrictive to maintain. 

An idea I heard yesterday on Dr. Oz was to have one FAT-URDAY no-guilt cheat day per week...a day when you eat more calories than other days (so you can get your treats in!) which is supposed to boost your metabolism and prevent your body from going into starvation mode and holding onto the kilos. 

With My Fitness Pal you can program in your daily allowance at 1800-2000 calories (depending on how active you are) and save some of those daily calories for your FAT-URDAY treats and still come out under your calorie target for the week.

If you'd like to join me on My Fitness Pal, you can add friends to your news feed and keep each other motivated. The news feed will show if you burn calories through exercise or if you are under your calorie goal for the day (it doesn't show everyone if you go over or what you eat etc).  So you if join My Fitness Pal, add me - my login is angtheflyingkiwi so you can search for me and add me as a friend.

I hope you'll join me!! 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Natural Remedies for Colds & Flu

Here are a couple of home remedies we use for preventing and fighting off colds & flu.  They are not magic cures, but have helped us avoid coughs and colds turning into anything worse, and get rid of them a little sooner than usual, although some people will be able to avoid them altogether using these tips :-)

Chicken Stock! 

Chicken soup made from scratch with lots of chicken bones (save your roast leftovers in the freezer for stock making day!) and 2 TBS of vinegar (helps to draw the minerals out of the bones) contains natural antibiotics and will boost your immune system, helping to fight off the winter ills.  Not an old-wives tale after all, this has actually been scientifically proven to contain these goodies!


Take at least 2 or 3 chicken carcasses (or whole chicken/s, cooked about 30 - 45 minutes, then remove and take off the meat and return the bones to the stock, putting the meat in the fridge to add back into the soup later).  I like to order free-range chicken frames, which actually have enough meat on them to make a nice chicken and vegetable soup.

Bring bones to the boil with 2 TBS vinegar, then reduce to a simmer for 6 - 24 hours.  In the last hour or so, add in a couple of chopped onions, celery and a carrots.  Strain bones and veges (chuck them out) and allow stock to cool, transferring to the fridge.  When cold, scoop off chicken fat that has risen to the top and freeze stock for later or make soup straight away.  The stock can also be used for rice risotto type dishes or anything that uses stock and you will get the benefit of this immune boosting, natural antibiotic, mineral rich stock, even if soup isn't your thing.

Coconut Oil & Active Manuka Honey!

Coconut oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties and boosts the immune system (and the metabolism!).  Add it to smoothies, or eat if off the spoon.  I like to mix it with Active Manuka Honey (my favourite is Mossops UMF 5+ because it's a raw honey and cheaper than the other brands - I buy it from New World New Lynn) to feed to the kids when they have a cough or cold.  Also very dark chocolate (I like Green & Blacks 85%, but it does contain a small amount of raw organic sugar) helps with bad coughs. 

You can read more about the benefits of coconut oil here in a collection of articles by Dr Mary Enig (author of 'Nourishing Traditions' and 'Eat Fat, Lose Fat' - a book I highly recommend!).  Coconut oil has a very impressive list of uses and remedies.

Check out this list of 80 Uses for Coconut Oil.

Clean Air Indoors!

Apparently, it's not the cold weather that makes us more prone to colds & flu in the winter, it's the fact that we spend so much time cooped up inside with little fresh air, so the germs get passed around more easily.  So make sure you are opening the windows for at least an hour a day (even when it's cold!) to let the fresh air in, and try and have a couple of windows around the house that are always left open a crack.  Also having pot plants, especially these types, such as Peace Lillies. ferns and palms, which will purify the air for you, which is especially helpful during the coldest parts of winter when you can't have the windows open too much.

Just as a little side note, sadly, it is just a myth that a cut onion will absorb bacteria in a room, so don't even bother with that old wives tale!

Natural Vitamin C!

Forget the synthetic vitamins you can buy...these are hard for your body to absorb and it's always better to get your vitamins from whole food sources.  I like to eat a couple of kiwifruit a day during winter.  You can read why kiwifruit is a better source than supplements here.  You can view a table with the vitamin C content of various fruits here.  If you'd rather have a supplement, a good one is Acerola Powder, which is a whole food source, but doesn't seem to be readily available in NZ, except added into Lifestream Spirulina Powder + C, which would be a great supplement to take over winter if you don't/can't eat alot of fruit, and you can fit it into your budget.

Apple Cider Vinegar!

Apple Cider Vingar (ACV) has a very long list of conditions that it is reported to help with.  Buy the real stuff (raw & unfiltered - I like this one because it's made in NZ).


Sore Throats

The good old favourite lemon and honey drink works a treat, and you can boost it's effects by adding two tablespoons of ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) and a big teaspoon of Active Manuka Honey. 

You can also gargle half a teaspoon of sea salt in half a cup of warm water (kills the germs), which works especially well if you catch it early.  A tsp of ACV in half a cup of warm water will also do the same as the salt (and I guess you could combine the two!).

Well, hopefully you picked up a tip or two you can use and I didn't spend a good part of my Saturday writing this blog post (instead of doing housework) in vain!  LOL.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

How to get an intense workout in only 35 minutes!

I don't have time to exercise you tell me!  And anyway, don't you need to spend lots of money and at least an HOUR at the gym to get any benefit anyway?  WRONG!  You can get a whole body, intense fat-burning workout, AT HOME in only 35 minutes 3 - 6 times a week.  Here's how I do it:

I made a small investment in my health and purchased a stationary exercise bike ($100 2nd hand on Trade Me) and a set of 1kg hand weights ($6 on Trade Me).  Cycling is one of the top calorie-burning cardio exercises you can do, and you can do it in the privacy of your own home, while listening to your iPod or watching TV!  You've got to love that!

I fit it in after dropping the kids at school and kindy, and my two year old gets to watch kids TV while I'm doing it (in the same room as me on the bike).  Now, putting my two year old in front of the TV is not my IDEAL, but that's the only way I can keep her occupied and out of trouble while I exercise, when she's the only child home (and she doesn't have day-time naps anymore).  You might be able to fit it in better first thing in the morning (this is my preference, but at the moment, that would mean me getting up at 5.30am, which I'm not too keen on!).

Getting the most out of your cardio

I spend about 30 minutes on the bike, the first 5 minutes are my warm-up (not too intense), then I spend about 15 minutes doing interval training.  Basically interval training is what top athletes do to get really fit and increase the bodies production of growth hormones (you can read more about interval training here, in an article by Dr Mercola ), so you get the results from a shorter work-out, that you would normally only get in about an hour! 

What I do is this:  I use my iPod's stopwatch and do 'laps' of 30 seconds of higher resistance, fast peddling ('sprinting'), followed by 90 seconds of normal speed with less resistance.  I do this 8 times.
You can also use this technique while walking or running.  The speeds and intensities should be whatever you are comfortable with at your current fitness level...a 'sprint' can be just a higher resistance peddling at the same speed or a bit faster...what ever you can maintain for 30 seconds.

Weight Training & Abs

After I've finished the interval training, I keep peddling on the bike at a regular speed, but I pick up my hand weights and do about 5 minutes of  upper body exercises (like bicep and tricep curls etc).  Then I hop off the bike, do my stretches, then head to my bed to do my abdominal workout.  I use a series of ab exercises that I know from my Pilate's DVDS, but you can just do sit-ups (start with 10 sit-ups if you're not used to doing these, and you don't need to go all the way up to your knees, just enough so you can feel your abs tensing is fine).  I do this for a couple of minutes, then I'm DONE!  All in less than 35 minutes!

I hope these tips inspire you to get on your bike (or out onto the pavement!) and give it a go!  It might be hard at first...I really struggled to do 20 minutes on the bike when we first go it, but now I can do 60 minutes (not that I usually have time!).  The more you do it, the better you will feel, and the easier it will get.  I really notice a difference in the way I feel (emotionally and physically) on the days I exercise.

I would love to hear from anyone who gives it a go!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Chocolate Fudge Balls

Chocolate Fudge Balls

This recipe is a staple in our house, and you will pretty much always find some in our fridge! 


  • 800gms Dates (approx), chopped in half (look out for stray pits!)
  • 1 Cup Ground Seeds* (anything you like, I usually use a combo of Linseeds, Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds).
  • 4 TBS Cocoa or Carob Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence (optional)
  • Dessicated Coconut (half a cup approx).


Process in 2 minute bursts in food processor until finely chopped.  Add a little water (a teaspoon at a time) or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil while processing until the mixture starts to stick together a little.  Squish small handfuls together, roll into a ball and roll in dessicated coconut.  Refrigerate or freeze.


*If you don't have a coffee and spice grinder to do this,  you can buy LSA (linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds) already ground at most supermarkets.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Introducing myself!

Hi!  So glad you stopped by!  My name is Ang and I am on a MISSION to help families eat a more nutritious, natural whole food diet!  I gave up sugar (even CHOCOLATE!!), coffee and all refined processed foods a few months ago and I am endeavoring to feed my family (hubby and our 5 kids aged 2, 4, 6, 11 & 12) a natural, whole food diet on a very modest single-income budget.  We live in urban Auckland, New Zealand.

A little about what I do...

I buy our milk RAW from the dairy farmer, I make our bread (whole rye sourdough) and pretty much cook/prepare most things from scratch at home.  Now, if you are a long way from this in your home, please don't feel overwhelmed or discouraged!  The way to go is to slowly transition to a healthier diet by adding one thing or habit at a time and getting everyone used it...unless of course you're like me and get a bit passionate (or obsessive!) and jump right in the deep end practically overnight!!  Also, you can expect to encounter a little resisitance (especially if you have older children), but don't give up, you will get there in the end.  Baby-steps!

A few things I LOVE...

Green Smoothies!  I whip up yummy (yes YUMMY!) smoothies with leafy greens (spinach, silverbeet, spirulina, chlorella etc) and lots of fruit to make sure I get lots of raw in my diet.  I like to add Hemp Protein Powder and Extra Virgin Coconut Oil to mine for lots of extra goodness.

Exercising!  Not that I get as much time for this as I might like, but you will often find me sweating it out on the stationary bike or walking and running around our neighbourhood in the mornings.  I also love Winsor Pilates DVDs.  Exercise does more than just get you fit...it is also the best stress-relief activity I know and I always feel so much better afterwards!  Remember, starting is the hardest thing...once you really get going, you will miss it on the days you don't do it, at least I do!

I plan to add a lot of recipes and health boosting ideas and information on this blog, so if you are interested in all this stuff, please stop by again!!