Archive for the ‘Life style’ Category

Scarborough sardines

It was a hot Sunday and everyone’s heads needed a cold dunk in the Atlantic Ocean to revive from the night before. We ambled towards the sea and threw ourselves into the water.

We then noticed that there were large numbers of seals jumping in the water, and noticed the big ball of sardines just knee deep in the water.  The sardine run.

The boys fetched a net and just one throw filled a big bucket with the shiny blue fish. Soon we were covered to our elbows in sardine scales, as we sat in the shade of the garden, scaling and gutting the fish.  I’ve always said that I agree with eating meat straight from the source whether it’s a chicken you raised, or a rabbit, or fish, but haven’t actually been the one to ever do the dirty work. I hate blood and guts – I still have scar tissue from when I dramatically feinted face down on the school desk during dissections – but I didn’t think too much and it was actually quite easy.

Then I went inside to trawl the food blogs to find out what to do with our fish.  The general consensus was that sardines have to be fresh and eaten immediately.

We decided to simply roll the fish in flour and salt and fry them in the pan. They barely took a minute and we ate them hot out the pan, crispy and delicious.

We also filled big casserole dishes with fried fish and covered them in a marinade of onion, garlic, origanum, cinnamon, wine, vinegar and pepper so they’d last into the next days.

We took more to a braai that evening and cooked the fish over the fire with just olive oil, salt and lemon juice.

We now have had Omega 3 in absolute abundance and I am all the more convinced I want to live off the land. Magic happens when food moves straight from the land/ocean to our plates. (Well, the fish barely touched plates, we scoffed them right out the pan!)

The next day, in my opinion, they had lost the fresh-out-the-ocean magic. They were now just, well, fish. I decided to make seed, potato and fish patties with green thai sauce.

Fish cakes and thai green curry

 

  1. Start with the laborious de-boning process. 
  2. Blend sunflower seeds into a flour.  Put in a big bowl.
  3. Put onion, chilli and garlic into the blender.  Add that to the bowl too.
  4. Grate a potato and add. 
  5. Blend the fish and add to the bowl. 
  6. Roll into balls and roll those in flax seeds.
  7. Fry in coconut oil. 
  8. In a separate pan, cook green pepper and baby marrow with yoghurt, teriyaki sauce and green thai paste. 
  9. Pour the sauce over the fish cakes. 

 

 

Natural shampoo: A + B = C

Did you know that you can use baking soda (bicarb) and lemon juice/ vinegar to clean and condition your hair?

Let’s start with a sensible question:

Why would I not just use shampoo?

  1. Shampoo not only cleans your hair but it also strips it of natural oils that should keep it soft and strong.
  2. Shampoo contains all sorts of chemicals including mineral oil – a byproduct when making petrol from crude oil. This coats the hair to make it nice and shiny. However it also coats the scalp since it can’t be absorbed into the skin and prevents oil from being released. Also, foaming agents in shampoo make hair frizzy, especially curly hair.
  3. Shampoo is expensive. And if you use shampoo you need conditioner. And maybe those other products that promise to breathe life back into your hair.
  4. There are natural products that you can use instead that work really well.

Baking soda for your hair as a cleanser

Baking soda is a natural cleaner. It is a very weak alkaline that cleans away chemical and dirt build up.

Mix 1 cup water with 1 tbsp bicarb (a bit more for curly hair) and use as you would use shampoo.

Vinegar (or lemon juice) for your hair as a conditioner

White wine or apple (or other) vinegar or lemon juice  are all mildly acidic and act like a conditioner, detangling the hair folicles, sealing the cuticle and balancing the pH again.

Mix 1 cup of water with 1 tbsp vinegar/lemon juice and use as you would conditioner.

Practical tips

  • Putting the mixtures in a squeezy bottle (an old shampoo bottle for instance) makes the process of actually putting it on your head easier.
  • You will probably need to play around with the ratios that suit your hair
  • You can add herbs to the mixtures for nice smells and all sorts of different benefits. Have a read here.
  • Use rooibos in the place of the water – it promotes hair growth, adds shine and smells good. Read some more.
  • Do a cursory google search on natural shampoo solutions to find hundreds of blogs on going without shampoo and get all sorts of hints and opinions.
  • I strongly advise against adopting the much-used term “poo free” to describe your natural hair cleaning ways.  Giving people the impression that you have constipation will never sell the green movement.

I’ve tried it and it really truly made my hair literally squeaky clean and lovely.

You might have wondered why A + B = C. This is a complex formula derived by my brother studying chemistry. Acid plus base equals clean. 🙂

There is a time and a season for everything

There is a time and a season for strawberries and apricots. That’s summer.

There is a time and a season for guavas and avocados. That’s winter.

“Together we shall rejoice through all the seasons” Kahlil Gibran

Different foods come at different times of year. Berries need the sun and warmth and buying them in winter prompts suppliers to heat greenhouses and battle the natural seasons. Wait a little.

In the mean time there are all sorts of good things around…

Winter veggies

Asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, gem squash, kale, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, onion, parsnips, peppers, pumpkin, radishes, spinach, spring onion, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, peas, turnips.

Winter fruits

Avo, apples, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, naartjies, limes, guavas, pawpaw, pineapple, gooseberries, granadillas, kumquats

 

Have a look at Earthshine’s full seasonal list.

Getting through winter

Winter is when I am so much more reluctant to eat raw foods and much prefer baked goods to fresh salads.  But winter is when the germs attack and bodies need all the goodness they can get.

Here are some of my ideas on getting through winter – little compromises are better than not even trying to incorporate raw eating .

  1. Only- just- cooked soups. For those not fully raw, but who still want to preserve the goodness of their food, soups can actually be a decent option. They’re warm and filling and you don’t have to cook them for hours on end like your great aunt did. Use soft veggies (like broccoli) and steam them very lightly just enough to soften them slightly. I put a centimeter of water in a pot, throw the veggies in, and put the lid on for a minute or two and then blend them. Also, once you have cooked a soup, add in leaves such as baby spinach and blend it in for hidden nutrients.
  2. Add raw veggies and greens into cooked foods. Play around with not cooking everything and keeping some ingredients nice and raw. Try spinach, grated carrot, grated baby marrow, grated butternut.
  3. Keep sprouting. Add sprouts to everything for a boost of fresh goodness.
  4. Warm porridge. As a treat when it’s cold I like to add in steamed cinnamon apple slices to my usual chia porridge.
  5. Make the most of what’s in season. Have a look at the list of winter fruits and veggies and make the most of those.
  6. Chocolate treats. When it’s raw cacao i’m talking about, you can indulge! Make some Dark Chocolate Florentines and Hot Chocolate…

 

Winter lunchboxes

Try using glass jars to pack delicious lunchboxes of easily re-heatable leftovers or soups. Fill up a jar and throw in a fork or a spoon and you’re set. At lunch just take of the lid and microwave it to have a winter-friendly warm meal.

So much less packaging than a ready-made meal or take-away, no plastic forks and no ingredients whose quality and origin you don’t know.

The Raw Food Frenzy

Recently I was hit by raw food from every angle. Every magazine I picked up had an article on raw eating in it and every second person was talking about it.

The Living Food for Africa site is a fantastic resource that talks about the benefits of raw living.

And the benefits are great! However, a lot of the benefits of raw eating are not exclusive to raw – they are benefits that one gets from not eating meat, eating organic and eating whole foods that are not processed, preserved and packaged (my 3 evil Ps).

So my opinion is that it is not necessary to be 100% raw in order to obtain a large percentage of the benefits – for your own health as well as the health of the earth. At a certain point, I believe that the energy needed to maintain a 100% raw life starts to outweighs the benefits.

So I encourage you to incorporate as much raw food as possible without spending too much time muttering about why you don’t want to be fully raw. Go be 50 (or whatever)% raw and start trying it out tomorrow.

  • Try out my raw recipes
  • Sprout! This is a very easy and inexpensive way of including more raw food into your diet. Instead of adding cooked lentils and chickpeas you can sprout them instead.
  • Check out the raw food spots. Earthshine has put together a list of raw resources in SA which is also useful.

My raw recipes:

Breakfast:

Salads:

Snacks/ Desserts: