Cooking with Children

Teaching children how to prepare and cut vegetables is one of the most important and beneficial life skills you can teach them as it a task they will need to do for the rest of their lives. I was gifted the idea of getting children to wash vegetables a while back and they loved using the brush, this time I felt ready to introduce the knife!

Getting children involved in the preparation of food is a great way for them to gain culinary skills and it also helps them understand the process behind seed to mouth gifting them valuable knowledge about the produce.

It is not always easy to amuse my children when it comes to getting dinner prepared, being a single parent leaving the boys to keep themselves busy at this time of the afternoon can be somewhat of a challenge. I was once given the advice that “the tv is a great babysitter” although I don’t really want them in front of the tv and especially not that time of night. I want their minds to settle down and if they have become bored of their toys or just don’t want to do the normal activities what better way to get them active than by helping prepare the food they are (hopefully) about to eat?!

My children are still quite young so many home economics activities are still too hazardous although I am testing the waters more often now my youngest has passed the age of 3 years.
It was quite daunting the first time I had them near the stove for our Homemade Chocolate Cooking Lesson, at the time the little one didn’t really show much interest and my big boy Easy had the most fun ever getting to clean out the glass dish! This was one of the simplest methods of cooking when introducing a child to a stove as all that was required was stirring a mixture with a spoon (and being very careful of the flames!). They obviously thought it was super cool managing a wild element and making chocolate in such an awesome way!

This time the teaching was slightly more daunting as they were both using a moderately sharp knife to cut vegetables. They have to Lear sometime, right? Let us start them off young.

I asked my boys if they wanted to help cut the Cauliflower for our creamy rice dish and happily they did. We set up a chopping board and I selected a relatively appropriate knife for them, we pulled up a chair and I showed them what to do. They absolutely loved it and surprisingly it was my Little Al who had the mist pleasure in it, it was so adorable to see him cutting the veg and very cute seeing him pile it into his own little bowl.

It was absolutely lovely to watch my Son in this way, I am glad I kept my good friends’ advice in my head as it was a blissful experience to participate in. Ok so there was Cauliflower flying in all directions and the trimmings didn’t all end up in the designated pile, it was a welcomed mess and I think my baby one did very well!

I will definitely be encouraging them to get involved every single meal time that it is appropriate and one day hopefully they will show me a thing or two 😉 There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to cook a healthy meal 🙂

Depending on your knowledge of the vegetables you are using will determine what the children learn from this activity. Even if you just teach them the name of the vegetable or teach them the simple process of harvesting the veg and cooking it they are still learning something. If you know more extensive details then feed it into your child, it is quite surprising what their memories can hold and it is fascinating hearing what interested them most the next time they speak of it back to you.

I Thank God for my beautiful children and their passion for learning 🙂

Thankful Thursday – Health

This week has been a very wintery week. We welcomed much frost and much needed rest.

I am most grateful for the well health I and my family experienced in 2014 – The healthiest year of our lives. Ever. Beautiful. Seemingly I did not appreciate the blessing of health enough when it was gifted as these cold months are testing our immune strength greatly.

The biggest love of gratitude for the good health of my loved ones and I.

2015 Blessings to all

 đŸ™‚

HOMEMADE NATURAL LAUNDRY WASHING POWDER

WP_20140930_008[1]

Yes, yes, yes, I did it…finally got it right 🙂

My fabrics are clean and smell awesome. Yay! More importantly the powder is safe and free of dangerous chemicals!
The recipe below is homemade and all natural and it’s definitely been worth the wait.
After months of trying I have found the perfect laundry detergent recipe and I am so happy to share it with You!
Upon discovering how dangerous the advertised store bought washing powders and liquids actually are, with their harsh chemical ingredients that are ridiculously hard to pronounce, I got really upset at the thought of what I was allowing next to my children’s skin and decided enough was enough. How cool is the notion of home-crafting your own anyway? Very cool and really very satisfying knowing you know exactly what’s being used and the fact that it works just rocks! Ok so the store bought brands have a high potency of fragrance and are really really really cheap but they are not natural and far from eco-friendly, in my eyes it’s just not worth it, that is my babies skin I am putting those deadly chemicals on. The system over time has lured us in to just buy whatever is mainstream and has some how numbed our minds to not even question what we are buying even though the list of oddly named ingredients is plain to see, people just do not seem to care, playing ignorance and some people really are that stupid to not even think twice, only caring about price. Not this Muma.

If we think about the impact we are having on earth and the water supply by flooding it with these poisons then we are able to see how we are carelessly destroying the only place we have to live, our true source of life. Do we want to live on a totally poisoned world? That is the way it is heading unless more people wake up, quick. Eventually we will have corrupted our Mother Earth so much we won’t have grass to stand on.
One by one we can stop this mass destruction and try to create a natural clean and green world. It may take a while but why would we want to pollute our planet when we really do not need to. Eco-warriors need to lead the way by example, reaching out to others and through guidance, helping everyone to understand the damage we are actually doing and how easy it is to make these changes. You don’t need to be a wacky scientist or have a state of the art laboratory (that would be nice though), just a few natural ingredients, a grater, a spoon, a cup and a tub!

WP_20140928_020[1]

To have the pleasure and satisfaction of making your very own washing powder you will require:

Ingredients:

1 cup Organic Lavender & Chamomile Essential Oils infused Soap Bar
1 cup High Grade Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
1 cup High Grade Sodium Carbonate (Washing Soda)
1 cup High Grade Citric Acid
1 cup High Grade Dead Sea Salt
½ cup Organic White Wine Vinegar

WP_20140928_003[1]

Once you have acquired all the ingredients you will require:

The method:

1) Acquire a cup for measuring, a cheese or soap grater, a bowl to mix it together in or an airtight tub to mix / store it in and turn on the washing machine
2) Simply grate a bar of soap to fill your cup using the grater
3) Measure out the Sodium Bicarb, Sodium Carbonate, Citric Acid and Sea Salt into equal parts to each other and to the soap (1 cup)
4) Combine these all together in the bowl / tub and mix very thoroughly being very careful not to gust the powders up your nose or you will sneeze (every time!)
5) Use 1 cup of finished mixture to add to the laundry in the machine
6) Add the additional ½ – 1 cup of white wine vinegar to further freshen and soften
7) Set the machine and move on to your next job!

WP_20140928_004[1]

Tips:

– You can make your own Sodium Carbonate from Sodium Bicarbonate by popping it in the oven for 30 minutes and baking it at around 200 Celsius. You must mix it regularly whilst its baking or it will harden and although the lumps can be broken down its better to keep it as fine as possible so it will mix well in this recipe once it has cooled. Alternatively you can buy it ready-made (purchase at great prices from Intralabs.co,uk).
– I recommend using a richly infused with essential oils soap bar. You can use a plain base soap and then add oils afterwards although using a scented bar helps the oils to be distributed evenly through the mixture. Adding oils to the mix afterwards makes it difficult to ensure you get the oil in each dose you add to the fabrics as it clumps up and may only reach one load leaving all the other loads scent free (not good!) + it requires a lot of drops
– When grating the soap I used a grade size that would give me a larger consistency of shavings (there is just something I like about the idea of large slithers of soap knocking into my fabrics). Next time I will attempt a smaller grade so the soap is distributed more.
-The soap tends to ‘run off’ together in the tub and separate from the powders so it is essential you stir thoroughly before using the mixture each time to gain maximum even distribution.
– Before I was stupidly using borax as a main ingredient from a recipe of unreliable source, cross reference is very important. I DO NOT recommend using borax. Just because it’s natural it does not mean it’s good for you! Borax is a major irritant to skin, it causes nappy rash and it can choke you up in an instant if you use it without a mask. I would recommend you keep it away from contact with skin. It is great for abrasive cleaning though i.e. the toilet or the sink!
– Don’t be under the impression that the vinegar will hold its potency through the wash taking over the scent of the oils. This is not the case; you cannot smell it at all in the final product. It is added for softness!

I’m so glad I can finally post this article, seriously so happy to have done this. Bring on the Lab! I hope you enjoy this recipe, good luck and thanks for reading my posts 🙂

WP_20140928_007[1]

Organic Raw Chocolate Natural Homeschooling Cooking Lesson

IMG3158A

Monday morning’s class this week began in the most magical of ways. The Sun was booming in through the kitchen, the whole family was happy and the love was strong.
After a most healthy breakfast my children and I set about our homeschool for the day. The topic for the morning was cooking and as my children are young toddlers this was going to be our first real encounter with using the oven and quite a daunting one at that!
Nevertheless we began. Making raw Cacao Chocolate was to be the first set of culinary skills my children would acquire. Great start right!
As i had never done this before either it was a new, paleo technique i was to master also! How, simple, quick and easy it was, not forgetting to mention how deliciously potent the aromas are.
The kids got stuck right in and loved stirring the butter until it melted, this was a little lesson in patience and how to stir at the same time. As soon as it started to melt my eldest knew ‘chocolate, chocolate, chocolate’ was coming testing the virtue of patience further! Further through the process they both loved being in control of the spoon, minding not to touch the hot bowl and pan.
Their favourite part of making the mix was tasting it from the spoon and bowl and covering their hands and faces in it. It was a extreme chocolately mess and we all loved it! It was definitely a hit in this kitchen and one to be practiced  much more often as the list of ingredients that can be added is almost infinite. Such fun! We loved health-packed superfoods!

Nowadays when we think of Cacao, where the reality of our western culture has been so far obscured, its all too easy to fall under the influence of chocolate being full of sugar and not very good for our health but this is far from the raw truth and actually only has any connection to the readily available, heat treated, sugar laced / artificially enhanced types!
Natural Organic Raw Cacao Chocolate is nutritionally beneficial to our health and deeply satisfying  for our system holistically in so many ways, all you need to do is ingest a small amount to truly feel the full effects of its divine power.

Benefits of Raw Cacao Chocolate:
+ High Magnesium (happiness & stamina booster)
+ High Sulphur (known for healthy nail and hair growth whilst being cleansing to the liver and pancreas)
+ High in antioxidants (disease prevention)
+ Diminishes appetite (perfect for snacking / sees you through hunger gaps)
+ Tantalizes taste buds (joy for the mouth!)
+ Combines with every other food you can think of

As well as being totally amazing for your mind and body Cacao Chocolate is an awesome party piece and a brilliant talking point. Since learning just how easy it is to make I vow now to spread the word to all I know, gifting my dearest friends and family with starter kits to create their own so the love can truly be felt and cast far and wide.
We bought a beautifully made, simple, basic, standard, organic Chocolate making kit and added a few of our own ingredients from the cupboard to give added yum.IMG3100A

Requirements:

Heatproof Bowl
Saucepan
Spoon / Spatula
Oven top
Moulds
Cocoa Powder 100g
CocoaButter 100g
3g Vanilla Powder
100ml Agave Syrup

Optional / additional:

1tsp Acai Berry Powder
1tsp Blueberry Powder
2tsp Hemp Flour

IMG3104AIMG3111AIMG3123AIMG3116A

Method:

  • First put about 1/3 saucepan of water on to heat, no need fr it to boil. Place in your glass / heatproof inside the pan to flaoat and there you have created your own bain marie if you don’t already have one.
  • Next add all the Cacao Butter and gently stir until just melted.
  • Then add all the vanilla powder and keep stirring until totally blended. You may add the additional ingredients if desired, mixing until blended.
  • After this add all of the Cacao Powder and mix until smooth.
  • Last ingredient to be added is the Agave Syrup, using the full bottle mic for around 101 stirs hen you shall see it totally blended.
  • Pour out the molten chocolate into your desired molds and allow to set in the fridge for around 15-30 minutes depending on fridge temp and depth of molds. I recommend using a high quality rubber mold as it will be easier to pop out and wont leave as much of the chocolate behind.
  • Enjoy! (Compulsory)
    IMG3149A IMG3136A

Once you try this method and understand how simple and beautiful it is crafting your on chocolate snacks you will never look at chocolate the same again!

IMG3154A IMG3152A IMG3159A
By creating your own blocks, bars or slabs you can be truly as diverse as you feel in that moment using whichever additional ingredients that you like. Using superfood berries really makes these chocolate bars very, very healthy for you! Really. Body and mind, a whole feeling of well-being is achieved from just a small amount. Now i know how, there is no stopping me making homemade chocolates for our family every time they are craved!

I hope yours turns out as amazing as ours 🙂

Rosemary Tea Now

Just brewing
How lovely is this Tea!

After Rosemary was highlighted to me by a very dear friend I thought I would go and buy some…if they love it it’s more than likely I will love it too so I thought I’d indulge. Organic of course! Making Tea was the best option so out it came and away I was.
I made a cup for me tonight and  a 3/4 litre jug for the loved ones cold daytime tea drinks for tomorrow, which has been bottled.
From experience I can tell You that this tea improves a poor memory by increasing and stimulating the blood flow to the brain and improving overall circulation. It relieves stomach cramps and headaches and it is said to relieve fever if steeped for longer than 10 minutes. It has helped heal me of my daily IBS symptoms and aids in general digestion. It is proven to have a calming effect on the nervous system and contains various vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B6 and C and calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and maganese to name a few the herb is rich in. I love that it is antiseptic and I am definitely going to start using it as a surface cleaner too. It smells amazing and picked from nature costs nothing but your time.

Juicies

I just adore the colour! We’ll see how it goes down with the family, hoping this ones a winner!

I love potent things so I used 1 tablespoon of fresh Organic Rosemary(Rosmarinus Officinalis) leaves and twigs and let it steep for 15 mins and wallah how lush is this! Munching on the leaves  between cups is so tasty.

I’m so excited about filling the cupboards with nature and truly living by it. Making food using fresh ingredients, herbal medicines, body, face and hair care products and household products is a great way to direct loose energy and focus on what’s really important.
I am no longer scared by cooking but totally thrilled to gather wonderful things and start creating.
No meat is proving difficult with the fussies but I’m sure I will find some main foods with loads of health in that they will love too.
Recently they love Kiwi’s, Tofu, Mung Bean Fettucine and Black Bean Spaghetti…wow…did I actually just say that!!
That’s awesome but they are refusing nearly everything else, they won’t touch the soysages or seedyburgers, they did not even try my sweet potato chips and last night I had a portobello thrown at me so yep I’m stuck and shying away slightly and again feel like crap about dinners as I don’t know what to buy, make or cook for them as I can’t really afford to waste it trying, better get growing!
As I don’t have much knowledge of foods I’m lost as to what will provide enough nutrients. Unfortunately the lovelies haven’t eaten anything mashy-like since they could feed themselves so all these amazing vegan recipes that I would love I’m not trying because they wont even eat a mashed potato! They did love meat burgers and sausages as they could pick it up. These filled them up and seemed wholesome, not happening with rice and bean sausages though so that went out the window. Tofu and Bean spaghetti it is then! I thought the Mushrooms would be a brilliant substitute as they are chunky but nope! Next!

IMG0708A IMG0726A

Yes the chips were floppy as I rushed them, the screaming was doing its thing, no I didn’t have any oil for the mushrooms and yes the tomatoes were incinerated but hey ho it was creative, fun and omg…mushrooms and avocado…oh yea! At least I know what to do for next time now.

Mmmm this Rosemary tea is my new favourite. Another cup is to be taken upstairs to where w will most enjoy a deliciously oil-rich bath and washing my hair with gold magick 😉

IMG0794A

Thank You so very much ❤