Sunday, May 19, 2013

Banana-Berry Cake

Every Sunday I make a cake for the week, and about 3 out of every  weeks I make one both M & I will eat. (1 week a month I will make a traditional buttery, sugary cake that M super-enjoys not being a health nut by myself.  Though I will scrape icing quite happily).

This week, I put together a banana-berry arrangement.

Don't quote me on exact quantities, because you know I am useless (I have seriously managed all of about  recipes for my recipe book with exact quantities - I'll get there!), and instructions for all my cakes are 'mix wet ingredients, add dry ingredients, mix well'.  I hate fuss.  Oh, except with this one - add the berries right at the end and don't stir too vigorously.  Easy!

Here we go...

Banana-Berry Cake

1 1/4 cups of rye flour
1/3 cup of almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup of oats
2 small or 1 1/2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 dessert spoon of honey melted with 1 dessert spoon of coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I use the really thick non-essence stuff, not sure what it's called)
1/2 cup almond milk (I use almond breeze unsweetened)  
Water - add as much water in the end, before adding the berries, to bring it to a thick-batter consistency.

I baked it at 160 degrees in a fan-forced oven for 30-ish minutes, but just watch it and do the skewer test.

Serve with tea!

This made about 10 portions for M & I.. the below is half of one of those portions I had just before sitting down to right this with my tea.

Oh how moist!

I think people can get a bit funny when it comes to adding water to cake.  Listen up folks - it does wonders!  Try it and you will prove to yourself you do not need masses of oil or butter to make a cake feel moist.  

Variations?  You could get rid of the berries and bananas and add grated apple and cinnamon instead (granny smith works best).
You could use pineapple pieces and coconut.. yummy!
You could use a different flour.. spelt, perhaps?  Coconut flour?  Remember to add more moisture if using coconut flour.
Leave out the berries and add walnuts and cinnamon - yummy.
You couldd throw in chia seeds if you're into that sort of thing.. 

Let me know if you try it!

There's not much better in life than sitting down to a tasty cake (whatever the kind), and a cup of tea.  Especially on a Sunday afternoon..

Stay well,

Nat x

Sunday, May 12, 2013


Food from Instagram this week;
(follow me @nataliejoanzee)

Ricotta, spelt and cinnamon pancakes with berries, geek yoghurt & honey.

Fresh pineapple for dessert.
Pineapples are AMAZING right now, and on special at all my haunts.

Tuna Salad 
(left over roast veg, lettuce, tuna, sweet potato and cashew dip)

Stay well (& follow me!),Nat x

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Cook-Up.

Thanks for the love on The Rant.  I have really, really strong opinions on things in real life and I don't share them too much here because I never know how they'll be received (plus, pushing your opinions on others is such an unattractive thing to do), but it made me smile that there were so many people that agreed.  

I have a terrible cold that M gave me, but spent this afternoon cooking up a storm to make the week easier.  Do you ever do this?

Potatoes (sweet & regular), lentil and kale curry with rice.  I made 5 serving for lunches.

Red sauce which will go on a mid-week parma for M, and will accompany some wholemeal pasta one day for lunch for me.  

Lemon cake with a drizzle of white choc on it.  I tend to bake a healthy (rye, low GI, no butter/ugar, whatever) cake one week, and then a more traditional (white with sugar) cake the next.  But I always replace at least some of the butter with coconut oil (I promise you can't tell!)

These little meatballs are from M's Mum which I cooked up for M to use in lunches during the week.
I also roasted those beetroots at the bottom for mid-week side dishes and for salads.  They are from my parents' garden.

Dinner was my favourite leek & mushroom soup.
Get one leek, wash, halve & slice it, fry it in about 1tbps of oil and 1/2 tbps (or more) of butter (do not skip the butter it will not taste the same) until leeks are clear and a bit caramelised.  Add sliced mushrooms (I use about a cup), boiling water and salt to taste.  Cook for at least 10 minutes on a simmer, then add some risoni and cook until risoni is done.  So easy and so yummy.  

I still want to share my food with you so I will keep blogging, just listen to your body.. and please do not be sucked in my advertising.  Do a little research and make up your own mind on things.  That's all.

Stay well,
Nat x

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Fear. (The Rant)

I haven't been blogging lately because I've developed this fear.. a fear that you will read my blog, see what I eat, see my seemingly healthy slender body, and decide that you will eat like I do.

I ate this at the Windsor High Tea - I recommend you copy this experience!

Here's the thing.  We're all different. We have different genes, we live different lives, we have different everything. (youi insurance!  I kid.)  My diet won't work for you.  The diet of the longest living people in Okinawa is most likely also not going to work for you.  X brand new diet books eating plan with x calories and exact perfect instructions will probably make you drop weight, but that is still not a sign it is right for you.

Everybody is looking outside for advice on what to eat and how to live longer and healthier and it freaks me the hell out.

Watching loved ones hang off every word of a current affairs story or the latest popular nutritionist kills me inside.  Why are you not listening to common sense?  Most of the people reading this blog have been blessed with intelligence and autonomy.  What an amazing mixture - the ability to make smart decisions and then act on them?  No wayyy!

Some rules are worth following, like, don't eat processed food.  How simple is that?  Just because you can chew it and swallow it, it doesn't make it food.  Did you ever wonder why those sugary boxed treats have vitamins pumped into them?  Because without them.. they're sweet cardboard...  

Eat what your great great grandparents would have eaten (note that they may have eaten cheese, but they certainly didn't eat sliced processed cheese.. and their yoghurt wasn't sugar laden).  That's it.. not hard.  The rest is pretty much common sense.  Think of your longest living known relative and take those cues.  Mine lived to their late 90s, ate a Mediterranean/Arabic blended diet and was SO active that even blindness didn't stop her.  Somehow I don't think she was trying to look up in books what would make her live longer.  

Also remember that food and diet and weight loss is just a giant money making wheel because THEY KNOW how much you want to look like that model over there.  Food with a health claim really does not care about your health and, guess what?  Foods labelled 'diet' are REALLY REALLY BAD FOR YOU.  But people buy them and make money.  Books telling you what to eat... money.  It is so looked down upon when people try to make money off the ill (diet books to cure x disease.. pill from tagu-tagu koala forest.. whatevs. CFS was a massive market for this), but somehow when it comes to food, everyone gets away with it.

Here's a diet plan that will work;
Breakfast - 1 slice of toast with 1 pear and a glass of green tea with ginger.

Morning Snack - 1 tim tam
Lunch - 2 eggs with 3 egg whites, a baked onion and as much lettuce a you want.
brush your teeth IMMEDIATELY after eating for at least 3 minutes.  4 minutes if you had more than 2 lettuces.
Afternoon snack - 20 jelly belly jelly beans, but no popcorn flavour. 

Dinner - Meat or fish the size of your palm, 3 oysters, 8 stalks of celery cooked in 1 cup of vegetable broth, and a cup of peppermint tea.

Drink at least 2 litres of water throughout the day.  

... I just made that shit up, but if I stuck it in a book with 'The Tim Tam and Jelly Bean Diet! Lose 2kgs a week!", it would sell.  And yes, you would probably lose the weight... and be totally unhealthy and unhappy.  Yay!  

How sad is it that it is more sensible than 80% of the diet books out there?
Eat only fruit until midday!
Starve yourself 2 days a week and eat whatever you want the other days!
Don't touch sugar but eat as much processed bacon as you like!
Cayenne pepper and lemon!!!
I have a nutrition degree... WHAT I SAY IS RIGHT FOR EVERYONE.  

So sad.  

Had to get this off my chest!

Stay well and please just listen to your body and ignore everyone, including me.
Nat x