Cow & Co

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I’m not sure if I’m going to get hate mail for this but I want to put it out there – froyo > ice cream. Cue the screams. Seriously though, I love ice cream and all, but the joy I get from pulling a lever and filling my never-big-enough cup of frozen yoghurt and then eagerly scooping a variety of amazing fruits, nuts and sugary treats on top, will never be greater than eating an ice cream cone. Maybe it’s the fact that I am taking part in the creation of something awesome and therefore my ego is stroked every time I create a winning combination of froyo goodness. Mostly it’s just that it tastes damn good because it’s definitely not the fact that it’s a healthier option (let’s stop kidding ourselves, shall we).

Before Cow & Co I must admit my love for froyo was weak. I had tried Fruizberry in Glenelg which I thought was good but the fact is, I didn’t know what was really good until I had had GOOD. Cow & Co is my new standard for froyo. Located in the heart of Adelaide, on King William Street, Cow & Co is a small self-serve frozen yoghurt store as well as a cafe which serves up a bunch of organic and gluten free treats. The main attraction is the froyo of course, with six flavours on offer which change daily including coconut, hazelnut, taro and good ol’ original which is my personal favourite. Once your cup is filled with your yoghurt of choice, you can head over to the tables of toppings where you will find a range of fresh fruits and other things that you wouldn’t find at your stock standard froyo shop. Things like organic buckinis, shaved coconut, almonds, mochis and poppers are some of my favourites on offer. Their selection is definitely the best I’ve seen in adelaide.

The only downside to this place is that it is way too easy to go OTT with the yoghurt and toppings, making it pretty expensive compared to ice cream. My creations have ranged in price from $6-8 because I like to go crazy when I’m there! But it’s worth it because it tastes so good. Compared to other frozen yoghurts in adelaide, this stuff is so much better, it doesn’t melt in 30 seconds and the range of flavours and toppings is next to none. Pop in when you’re in town next, you won’t regret it!

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Devour Cafe & Patisserie

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I live just down the road and have been watching eagerly as this place has been developed. Today was my first chance to pop in and I was not disappointed! It’s a nice, open space with minimalist decor and blackboard menus. We were greeted immediately and given the menus which detailed breakfast (served til 3) and lunch. The breakfast options were your standard eggs and toast fare, nothing too out of the ordinary but from spying on the neighbour’s order, they looked amazing. I got the Bircher Muesli ($10) which was so beautifully presented with apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapes and was a very decent-sized portion. It tasted as good as it looked with the perfect amount of sweetness from the honey. The coffee was great too. Service on all accounts was fantastic, friendly and genuine. I expected more from their patisserie side of things, only noticing a small selection of cakes and macaroons at their counter but I will need to take a better look next time! Fantastic food and lovely experience, seems pricey but I believe it’s worth it 🙂

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Gingerbread Granola

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Americans always have funny names for things don’t they? Biscuits are “cookies”, soft drink is “soda” and lollies are “candy”! I soon learned that what the Americans call “granola” is what we Aussies call “toasted muesli”! Well, wherever you’re from and whatever you call it, we can all agree that granola tastes amazing!

I have to admit, granola is not something I generally eat because the store-bought stuff is usually super high in sugar and fat and let’s face it, I eat enough sugar and fat in one day so I don’t need any extra at breakfast. But I love the stuff! I’m a big fan of anything crispy, crunchy, cereal-y and nutty. Luckily, I came across a post on Pinterest of gingerbread flavoured granola and I knew I had to try it! Everything ginger reminds me of being a kid and visiting my favourite Auntie and Uncle who would always have a container of Arnotts biscuits waiting for us when we arrived – my choice was of course Gingernuts! I also love chocolate-covered ginger, ginger cake and I always make gingerbread for Christmas. So I was very excited to add one of my favourite spices to a long-lost breakfast love!

As this was my first time making granola, I wasn’t sure of exact measurements and wasn’t fussed with making it super healthy. Consequently, I just threw everything in a bowl and made use of whatever ingredients I had to make this batch. Next time I will probably substitute the golden syrup with rice malt syrup or honey and add a variety of different nuts, this is just what I had on hand. Feel free to use whatever you like! And if you like ginger as much as me, you may want to add more spices to this recipe (including more ginger and mixed spice) as mine didn’t come out quite as spicy as I would have liked!

Anyway, have fun making this granola or any version you like with added dried fruit, peanut butter or shaved coconut. The possibilities are endless! I plan to enjoy this for breakfast with greek yoghurt and some baked peaches 🙂

 

Gingerbread Granola (makes about 4 cups)

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups mixed nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)

1/3 cup golden syrup

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper or a silicon cookie tray. Bake for about 15 minutes at 180 C, mixing several times (depending on your oven, just check to see how brown the granola is getting).  Don’t be too worried if mixture looks a little wet when you take it out, it will dry up as it cools down. Then eat!

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The Perfect Diet

Atkins, candida, low-fructose, raw food, gluten-free, high protein – I wonder, how many different types of diets exist and which one is perfect for everyone? Some of us have probably tried one, two or all of these diets in a bid to make a change in our health, whether it be for weight loss or to battle illness. Personally, I have dabbled in at least three of these diets over the years and have not found complete success with any of them. But just take a look online and you can be sure to find thousands of people who can advocate for the benefits of each one. At the same time there are thousands of people who claim that none of these diets work. With so many mixed messages, how is someone like me meant to figure out what’s best?

Over years of experimentation with raw food, low carbs, gluten free and the like, I have discovered that there is no popular diet that is perfect for everyone.  While one diet is perfect for one person, it may be harmful for the next. The problem is, there are so many diets now accessible online that people simply download a plan, follow it exactly and expect results. And they may get those results. But there are always those who don’t and that is because if a diet is not personalised, it is likely to fail. To find the perfect diet for you, it’s about being conscious of how your body responds to certain foods. I discovered early on that dried fruit was a no-go for me when I ate half a bag of dried apricots and ended up doubled over in pain from bloating and gastrointestinal issues. The same thing happens to me when I eat grapes and too much ice-cream. Both dried fruit and grapes are very high in fructose while ice-cream is high in lactose so I put two and two together and decided that I probably have some sort of sugar intolerance. As a result, I  avoid the kinds of sweet foods which lead to those gastrointestinal issues.  Interestingly, I have no problems drinking freshly squeezed juice, eating wheat and various other high-sugar fruit and vegetables which may have negative effects for others following a low FODMAPS diet. So it’s really about discovering what works for you.

As a general rule, fresh, unprocessed foods and plenty of water is the foundation of a great diet. From there, it’s all about experimentation to find out what foods and meals work best for your digestive system, energy levels and palate! Recording how your body responds after each meal is a fantastic way to pinpoint some of the foods that could be potentially contributing to great health or ill health. And my final tip: the perfect diet is the one that makes you feel good on the inside and look good on the outside! x

Mini Coconut Brown Rice Puddings with Fig

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Before a few months ago, I had never eaten a fig. Fresh, dried or otherwise, this fruit always seemed to elude me. I had never seen it in a grocery store until recently and at the occasional time I saw it on a menu, I would ignore it in favour of fruits like pear or apple – safe and delicious! However, I was forced to finally try figs when I went out for breakfast with the BF one day to a hip, little backyard cafe called Cafe Komodo. The fruit from the “pancakes with fruit” I ordered turned out to be dried figs, served with cute pikelet-sized pancakes, maple syrup and a small scoop of ice cream. Granted, it wasn’t the healthiest breakfast I had that week but the dried figs were a perfect addition and from then on, I decided to give figs a fighting chance!

Unfortunately, fresh figs are pretty uncommon in my local grocery stores, so when I found a packet in Woolworths I had to snap it up! I thought my first time trying a fresh fig would be amazing. It was bland and boring! I’m not one to waste though, so I set about discovering all the ways I might cook up the six pint-sized figs before they shrivelled up and died.

So here’s a simple dessert recipe using only a few ingredients! I adapted the recipe from [http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2011/08/recipe-gluten-free-fig-gateau-de-riz.html] – I swapped the brown sugar for rice malt syrup as I am trying to reduce my fructose intake and I used silicon moulds to bake the puddings in for portion control. I also used a steamed sachet of brown rice which only took 90 seconds to steam in the microwave. This takes all the hassle out of cooking rice on the stove if you’re in a hurry! This recipe would probably work with quinoa and chia added in to the rice as well. Overall, these mini desserts are low in fat, sugars and GI and so make a perfect treat for the health-conscious. They are not terribly sweet so I would suggest drizzling a bit of rice malt syrup over them to serve. Hope you enjoy!

Mini Coconut Brown Rice Puddings with Fig (makes 7 small puddings)

Ingredients

1/2 can of full-cream coconut milk

250g cooked brown rice (I used Sunrice Organic Brown Rice Steamed Rice Sachet)

2 eggs

1 tbsp rice malt syrup

2 small figs, sliced into 7

Directions

1. Steam your rice in the microwave if using a rice sachet. Otherwise, just put your cooked brown rice in a bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix the coconut milk, eggs and rice malt syrup until well combined.

3. Pour milk mixture over cooked rice and stir.

4. Pour rice batter into 7 silicon moulds (sit the moulds in a muffin tray) and top each with slice of fig.

5. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 180 C until golden brown. Let the puddings cool down slightly and set a little in the tray.

6. Eat hot from the moulds if you like or let the puddings cool down completely and slip off the moulds, pop the puddings on a plate and drizzle with rice malt syrup to serve. Enjoy!

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Raw Ferrero Rochers

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Oh dear. It seems I have an obsession. But I think it’s a healthy one this time! For anyone who follows me on Instagram, they may have seen that I was given the greatest gift anyone could ever receive on their birthday – a stash of products from the latest Mayver’s Food range! If you don’t know about Mayver’s, they are an Australian company who makes raw seed and nut spreads (among some other things) that are completely natural and functional – that means they are good for you! I have six products from their range so far and all of them are AMAZING. Consequently I’ve been going hammer-time in the kitchen, spreading, mixing and dolloping Mayver’s goodness on pretty much anything. Now, it should be noted that while these products are totally raw, they are definitely not fat-free or low-calorie. Personally, I don’t really believe in calorie-counting if you are eating natural, clean, pure foods so I am a massive advocate for this brand, especially if you’re using it to replace highly, processed, sugar-filled foods that are devoid of nutrition.

Which leads me to this awesome recipe! It’s my take on Ferrero Rochers (which I absolutely love but know that they aren’t the healthiest treat in the world). If you liked the previous post ‘Chewy Choc Peanut Slice’ you will see that this is just a variation on that, and so you can experiment with your own flavours if this doesn’t take your fancy. I adore how these balls turned out and they are sure to satisfy any sweet cravings, trust me!

Enough rambling, here’s the recipe!

Raw Ferrero Rochers (makes about 11 balls)

Ingredients

6 heaped tbsp chia seeds

3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

3 tbsp almond meal

1/2 cup Mayver’s hazelnut & cacao spread

1 tbsp honey (more if you like it really sweet)

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it makes a thick paste. Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm. Eat!

Note: These raw balls would have looked cute presented in some gold tin foil but all I had was some silver metallic paper which I crushed up in my hand to give it a crinkly effect. They would also look great in some super mini patty pans which you can buy from homeware/kitchen stores 🙂

Chewy Choc Peanut Slice (Gluten, Sugar & Dairy Free!)

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I posted this recipe up on my Facebook and Instagram and I was bombarded with comments and requests for the recipe! I don’t blame y’all – this sweet treat tastes even better than it looks! The texture is a mixture of chewy, soft and crunchy thanks to the addition of chia seeds. Seriously, it’s the best thing EVER. For my overseas readers, you may not be able to get the Mayver’s products however you can just substitute with whatever brand you like. Go make it now! You won’t regret it! 

Chewy Choc Peanut Slice (makes 16 bite size pieces)

Ingredients

6 heaped tbsp chia seeds
6 heaped tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/3 cup natural peanut butter 
1 heaped tbsp Mayvers peanut cacao spread 
1 tbsp PB2 (if u don’t have this just add another 1/3 c of peanut butter) 
1/4 c honey
Roasted nuts, chopped (I used almonds)

Method

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a sticky paste. Spread the mixture into a thin slice tin lined with baking paper and top with nuts. Refrigerate until firm (a few hours should be fine) and slice it up into bite size pieces. Easy! 

Note: You can also use the same mixture to make bliss balls, just roll into small balls, coat with crushed nuts or coconut and refrigerate.