Category Archives: Coconut Oil

Pantry Staples at Hills Homestead

Pantry
Hills Homestead Pantry Staples

A large number of people (mainly Thermomix customers) have asked what my pantry staples are, so that it’s easier to make food ‘from scratch’ and additive free.  I did put this list together rather quickly, so I will most likely be adding items to it again soon.  Thank you Kirsty Keys (from BK Wines) for asking me about my pantry just this week, as it motivated me to complete my list.

Pantry:

Bakers Flour – for our ‘everyday bread’, I buy in 10kg bags (Foodland, Honest to Goodness)

Organic Whole Wheat Bakers Flour

Whole Buckwheat (to mill down for gluten-free flour)

Spelt Flour

Rye Flour (for sourdough starter)

Rolled Oats – for Thermomix porridge, Anzac biscuits, milling down as fillers for muffins/bliss balls

Quinoa –  always soaked/cooked/then cooled and kept in the fridge for a quick lunch, with left over roast vegetable and feta cheese.

Instant Dried Yeast

Cornflour (I used to buy the Nurses brand as it was cheaper, but now I’ve found out that the White Wings brand is the only ‘corn’flour made of purely ‘corn’.)

Arrowroot starch – for gluten free cooking/baking, use as a thickner also.

Bicarb soda – used for cooking  and  cleaning  (Bob’s Red Mill – Aluminium free)

Baking powder  – to make Self Raising flour (Bob’s Red Mill – Aluminium free)

Cream of Tartar – to make Self Raising flour

Oils – Extra Virgin Olive Oil (cold pressed), Grapeseed Oil (for mayonnaise etc), Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil (I buy in 10L containers from Loving Earth ,

Vinegars – Apple Cider Vinegar (with the ‘mother’… see stockists here), white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar.

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Coarse Sea salt / Rock Salt  – to mill down in the Thermomix with a sheet of Nori (seaweed) to use as our everyday ‘table’ salt and for all cooking.  We have Himalayan (Pink) Salt crystals in a grinder to use at meal times.

Coconut milk and Coconut Cream – full fat, always using in Indian cooking and  in a dairy free coconut/caramel custard (see Quirky Jo’s recipe here  )

Brown Rice (to have with curries) and Italian Aborio Rice (for risottos) and Basmati Rice

Organic Popcorn – to pop for school lunchbox fillers, I buy it 5kg at a time from Honest to Goodness.

Wholemeal pasta / spagetti

Vanilla Beans – Vanilla Extract (homemade.. see how I make it here with just Vodka and some Vanilla Beans) – Vanilla Bean Paste

Tea – Dilmah, Rooibos – a South African caffeine-free tea (see here for health benefits), Planet Organic, Nerada Organic / Coffee Beans –  Organic, Fairtrade if possible

Honey / Peanut Butter / Vegemite / Homemade Jam.

Cans/Jars  –  Canned pineapple (for pizza), Baked Beans (Charlie still likes bought Baked Beans!), Tomato soup (I try to make, but handy to have store bought in a can!), Tomato paste (for pizzas, I try to make but again, sometimes needed urgently!) , Tuna in spring water, Red Kidney Beans (to make this amazing gluten free ‘magic bean’ chocolate cake)

Dark Chocolate blocks – to more expensive usually means better ingredients (ie Lindt chocolate), chop in the Thermomix to make own choc chips or mill in Thermomix to make ‘grated’ chocolate

2013-02-03_2342CacaoBeansSourDoCacao beans / Cacao nibs / Cacao powder – see the differences here.  I do have some Cacao butter sitting in my pantry ready to make my own chocolate one day!!

Honey (raw and local if possible, our bees aren’t providing much at the moment so we’re having to buy it)

Black Strap Molasses – I use this (along with brown sugar!) to add minerals to my homemade water kefir (ginger beer).   My Gramps used this as a ‘medicine’ for almost anything… and he also used it mixed up with chaff to feed his cows!

Rapadura sugar / Stevia / Coconut sugar  /  Refined white sugar (for making jam to sell at road-side stall)

Pure Maple Syrup ($10 / bottle at grocery store, but so much nicer that Maple Flavoured Syrup, and better for you)

Dried fruit    – I buy huge amount of dates (they are one of the few dried fruits you can get that don’t have sulphites added to preserve them)

–  sultanas     – bought in bulk from Honest to Goodness 

– dried apricots – difficult and expensive to get sulphite-free, so sometimes I buy them from a supermarket, sometimes from a market, and sometimes we can buy apricots in bulk and make our own.

Adding the almonds, pistachio kernels, and sunflower kernels....

Nuts – I have huge jars stored high up in the pantry (away from kids that are allergic to nuts), peanuts, macadamias, cashews, almonds, walnuts.

Seeds – linseeds and sunflower seeds (for gluten-free bread and for bliss balls and muesli bars), Chia seeds, pepitas, sesame seeds.

Onions (brown and red) stored in brown paper bags with holes punched in them;  Potatoes; Pumpkins  09-2013-04-08_4427Autumn Garden

Homemade preserved peaches/pears/apple

Rice Cakes and Vita Wheat Biscuits as fillers in lunch boxes –   I don’t usually keep up with making all savoury biscuits from scratch!  I occasionally make up a batch of sourdough crackers that are lovely and so good for you.

Spices –   coriander seeds  /  fresh ginger  /  paprika / nutmeg (whole and ground) / cloves / chilli powder / cinnamon (sticks and ground) / ginger (ground) / cumin seeds and fegugreek seeds and mustard seeds (for Indian Cooking);

‘ all spice’ berries and cardamom pods (from Organic market) to make my favourite Chai Tea Concentrate;  whole black peppercorns, curry powder

Hanging up on the wall by the stove – garlic / chillis (tied with string to dry, then you just grab one or two as you need them) /  rosemary  /  thyme  /  bay leaves.

In large bowls I pop oranges / limes / lemons (locally grown lemons).  I peel the lemons and use this zest to mill up in the Thermomix to colour and flavour custards/sorbets/ dressings etc.  I pop sliced lemon in my water jug.

Currently I only have sage (HUGE amounts) and a bit of parsley and oregano in the garden, would love to have fresh basil!!

10-2013-04-08_4429Autumn Garden Fresh Eggs   2012-11-18_112T Rex Kefir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fridge:  Eggs (from our chooks)

Raw milk (we have a dairy cow!  Other Adelaide sources are via a cow share program from First Fruits and a few dairies around Adelaide that sell ‘bath milk’)

Fresh veges and fruit

Thermomix Vegetable Stock Concentrate  (recipe here)

Homemade Red Thai Curry Paste (Thermomix Everyday Cookbook recipe)

Homemade tomato sauce  (recipe here) and homemade sweet chill sauce.

Homemade mayonnaise (garlic/egg/mustard/Grapeseed oil)

Cheese – Tasty cheese, Parmesan cheese, Philly Cheese (for dips)

Homemade Thermomix Natural Yoghurt (mix with honey and vanilla extract)

Freezer:  Beans and Corn on the cob  – grown and blanched and stored in plastic Ziploc bags

Homemade (Thermomix) chocolate and vanilla icecream

Leftover Thermomix sorbet in plastic containers ready for school lunches

A huge tub of frozen homemade mini pizzas, scrolls, rolls ready to grab for school lunches

‘Homegrown’ beef/lamb

Breadcrumbs –  crusts of our homemade bread, milled down in the Thermomix and stored in freezer in Ziploc bags

Ziploc bags filled with peeled frozen bananas / blackberries (home grown)/ raspberries (home grown)

Note:  this pantry/fridge/freezer has developed over a few years (ie I’ve had a Thermomix for nearly 3 years now, prior to having the Thermomix I would never need or use 1/2 of the above ingredients).  Also my amazing husband and father-in-law are the one’s providing the raw milk / grass-fed beef / fresh eggs / home grown fruit and vegetables.

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DSC_0830   2013-02-24_2814KarenBStudySourd          Autumn Garden and Kids-008       12-DSC_0827                                  Measuring flour Sourdough loaf fresh from the oven         Autumn Garden and Kids-006

Glass bottles - ready for raw milk distribution!

Our bee hive and raw honey.
Our bee hive and raw honey.

morning routines       .

 

.. and just a photo to show you how real food cooking and ‘making everything from scratch’ is MESSY… you are continually in the kitchen making messes and cleaning up messes!

Morning mess!08-DSC_0837

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How to make Sourdough Crackers

They love them – Yea!

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Recipe – Sourdough Crackers

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sourdough starter

1/4 cup coconut oil or butter  (I used butter this time)

1 cup wholegrain flour (I don’t have any wheat left to freshly mill in my Thermomix, so I have been using plain wholemeal flour or spelt flour)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda (I now use an Aluminium Free baking soda – Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda – available at Foodland)

And for the ‘topping’ – some EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) and extra coursely ground Sea Salt

 Sourdough Starter on my bench

METHOD:

Combine all of the above ingredient (except for the ‘topping’ ingredients) in a plastic bowl.

It should form a stiff dough.

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You can add the 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the bicarb soda now or after the 7 + hours of sitting on your bench …

Cover with a clean tea towel and leave for 7 hours on the bench (NOT in the fridge).   I prepare the dough in the evening to bake the next day, or in the morning to bake later that day for after school snacks.

When you are ready to make the crackers, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Dump 1/3 of the dough onto a well-floured piece of Baking Paper (or non-stick baking mat) on a baking tray.

Roll out as thinly as possible using a rolling pin (then use your fingers to push the dough right out to the sides)

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Slosh some EVOO on top and spread it around with a pastry brush.  Top with a sprinkle of sea salt – sea salt has amazing flavour and you don’t need much.  I’ve also made  a few batches of crackers with chilli powder (from the Indian Spice Shop) sprinkled on top – YUM!!

Run a pizza cutter (or knife) along the dough to make shapes of your choice.

Pop into the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.    After the baking time, you can turn the oven off and open the door to let them ‘dry out’ a bit more.

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Once cool, store in an airtight container.

I’m sure they would last for weeks in an airtight container, but ours never last that long.  I’m now making these crackers every couple of weeks for snacks and lunches and to go with dips and cheeses.  They taste amazing and are very ‘morish’ and yet so healthy with the good stable and saturated fats, sea salt, and of course the SOURDOUGH STARTER.   When the sourdough starter is left over night mixed in with the ‘normal’ flour, it helps to break down the gluten in the flour, and the fermentation process removes phytates and enzyme inhibitors which makes the crackers far easier for us to digest.    GREAT for people who are intolerant to gluten, children, and ANY of us who have far too much gluten in our diet.

The above recipe is a modified form of a crackers recipe from a GNOWFLIGNS ebook “Sourdough A to Z” that I bought  – you can find it here.   This ebook is now on my desktop and I refer to it for ANYTHING to do with sourdough!  It contains information, instructions and recipes for …..

  • Starting a Starter, Caring for a Starter, and special section on Gluten-Free Sourdough
  • Sourdough Routines: An Interview with Three Bloggers
  • Tortillas & Tortilla Chips
  • Cakes: Chocolate & Spice
  • No-Knead Sourdough Bread with Many Uses: Pita Bread, English Muffins, Cinnamon Rolls and more!
  • Spelt Sandwich Bread, Dinner Rolls, Hamburger Buns, and Swirl Bread
  • English Muffins 
& Sandwich Ideas
  • Skillet Pancakes and Waffles
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Crepes & Crepe Cakes
  • Basic Muffins & Variations
  • Crackers: Plain, Cheese, and Variations
  • Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • Gingerbread
  • Pizza Crust & Pizza Pockets
  • Pasta
  • Pocket Bread and Middle Eastern Pizza
  • Cornbread & Corn Fritters
  • Donuts
  • Biscuits
  • Pot Pie
  • Basic Scones & Variations
  • Dehydrating/Preserving a Starter
  • Cookies
  • Impossible Pies

I haven’t even tried half of the above recipes, but am keeping my sourdough starter alive and well (‘feeding’ it flour and water every day or so!) on my kitchen counter for the usual sourdough pancakes, sourdough bread, and crackers.

WHY SOURDOUGH?

Here are some additional nutritional benefits of using sourdough in your cooking…..

  • it pre-digests starches, making bread/pastry/crackers easily digestible
  • it lowers your insulin response
  • it somehow protects Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
  • it breaks down the protein gluten (which is difficult for us to digest), resulting in a bread that gluten-sensitive/intolerant  people can eat
  • it activates phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
    • zinc
    • iron
    • magnesium
    • copper
    • phosphorus

(Source: here)

” I am convinced that sourdough is THE most nutritious way to  prepare grains.  ”  Read more at http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2010/03/05/food-for-thought-health-benefits-of-sourdough/#mR3wlTeyLPhXfbEI.99

I’d really like to share just how EASY it is to start your own sourdough starter, because you don’t need to order packets of anything, you just need FLOUR and WATER and over a few days you will collect the WILD YEASTS (I’m sure that’s the technical term!) from the air to make your own starter!!!!!!   See here to ‘Start your own Sourdough Starter’…..  

So you don’t miss the next post, feel free to SUBSCRIBE to my blog via email  (just pop your email address in the box in the top right hand corner of this page) and my blog posts will come directly into your inbox 🙂

Bye for now,

Collages-002PS  Photo’s from the hail storm we had a week ago – the cousins raced over and all the kids filled up cups of hail to make ‘slushies’ !!!

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My youngest, Max, has just turned 2 years old!  I was looking through his baby photos and found these ‘Winter Days’ photos from 2 years ago – featuring little baby Max… and my milk kefir and sourdough starter!!

2011VinceFamilyAlbum001… and my other son, Jake, turned 5 and we had a party last weekend….

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BELOW – Abbey did a magic show for the young cousins….

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Bye (again!)… and don’t forget to subscribe via email to this blog, so that you get the EASY, FREE, HEALTHY recipe for making your own SOURDOUGH STARTER

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Look what was delivered today!!!!

001 Raw Chocolate delivery

Is this normal??  To get this excited over a food delivery??  It’s just that it’s my first bulk order of coconut oil (which I use for everything – from eczema to lip gloss to peppermint creams coated in dark chocolate and cooking)

and my first EVER order of Cacao Beans.  All from lovingearth .  Loving Earth is a Melbourne-based company that are dedicated to distributing products that are  ….

 

 

Healthy:

 

  • They are sugar, dairy and gluten free.
  • Are minimally processed, with low temperatures where possible.
  • There are no artificial additives to any of the products.
  • Our focus is to source and develop products that are in their optimal nutritional
  •  state.
 Sustainable:
  • Produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides and
  • herbicides.
  • Cultivated in such a way as to help restore native ecosystems, prevent erosion and
  • support water conservation.
  • Use traditional permaculture systems and where possible are shade grown using
  •  native canopy species.
 Fair:
  • Are produced according to Fair Trade standards, that involve producers and
  •  workers being paid not only a fair price,
  •  but also being empowered with the skills and infrastructure to add as much value
  •  to the raw products as possible.
  • Create healthy environments in which producers and their families live and work.
  • Re-invest in community infrastructure such as educational, health and other
  •  essential services.   See lovingearth website for more information...

Oh, and they are delivering for FREE all over Australia in Jan 2013!!!

I can’t wait to share some of the new recipes that I’m going to trial using Cacao Beans, Coconut Oil, Vanilla Powder, and the Agave Syrup!!

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