2015 started of with a lot of thinking for me.
Actually most days do but this time I have decided to surround myself with people who are good for me and in a short month it's proving to be successful.
So much so that I really decided that I'd take some advice from my daughter who has Lymes Disease (although in Australia we don't accept that it exists, blood tests from the US state differently) but that's another day.
For as long as I've known my daughter and her ways of eating, I have to say she's imaginative, and a very good advocate for clean living when it comes to what you put in your mouth to digest.
For a long time I've tried to be a consistently good eater, although sometimes my weight may infer something else, and I remember back to when my kids were small and how I fed them, but today, the choices that are presented to us in marketing, media and shopping, give me doubt now that good food is possible unless you make it yourself.
I started to analyse what was in the food, as well as where it's from and it concerns me when I read.. made in Australia from local and imported ingredients. What does that imply? Which ingredients? But also the chemicals, fillers, preservatives, flavourings and other products that end up in food, without us even blinking an eyelid.
So, when I had the opportunity to spend a few days with my lovely girl, we discussed diet in further detail and she came up with some terrific recipes. I decided that I'd work on removing all sugar and wheat from my diet. It's tricky, as there is so much sugar in food these days and wheat - not gluten free, but no wheat products has been a challenge because I think that it's hard to find enough food that fills you when you remove anything with wheat, but I thought I'd give it a try.
I had never thought that eggs were neutral, which I guess if you think that you're using them for a meal and a dessert, so why not have eggs as a sweet treat, rather than savoury. So imagine my surprise when pancakes were on the menu. I thought perhaps we were going to have some gluten free filling, some almond or macadamia milk, and then a couple of eggs, but no, it was simply out of eggs. A sweet type of omelette. Now for all of those youthful people who get to mix with the in crowd, perhaps you know of this sort of eating but for someone in their fifties, as diverse as I think I've been in my eating, I confess this was a first.
My initial thoughts were that the eggs would be quite plain, but a couple of eggs, mixed with a touch of cinammon, cooked on one side fairly quickly in coconut oil, then having very thinly sliced bananas added and then flipped in half and put on the plate was interesting to say the least.
We'd been to the markets the day before and bought some raspberries and blackberries, and with her recent trip to Queensland, we had some fresh lychees, passionfruit and banana to add to it. I think any current fresh fruit would have been good, but I do love a lychee!
I'd been introduced to Naked Man Muesli - now that's a mung bean product if ever I saw but the right combination of ingredients really does make for a delicious topping, as does some agava.
As a young mother, I used to make my own yoghurt, well before it was 'fashionable' and also because I found most yoghurts are incredibly sweet. When you make your own yoghurt, you can control the acidity by how long you've allowed it to set, so over years, as yoghurt has grown in popularity for me, the preference has been for plain yoghurt, with the Greek style being one that I find creamy, not too tart and thick, and a good one won't have any thickeners. Just pure, creamy yoghurt. There are so many choices these days, I'm glad the plain ones are my favourite.
While presentation of food hasn't been my 'most important' feature of a meal, I found that when trying something new and different, presenting in a way that is as appealing as possible helps create the enthusiasm to try something different.
This was no exception. My daughter seems to have a way to present things in ways that make even the hardened meat eaters, want to eat what she presents, even if it's vegan or vegetarian. I call that a skill, but I think, to be honest, that the relationship of eating good, clean and healthy foods has your mind set to present in a very joyful, colourful way that simply makes you feel great when you eat it.
So the recipe is fairly basic - perhaps out there on the interwebs, but this delicious breakfast was made of these ingredients for each person -
For the pancake
- 2 Eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon (or more if you love it)
- 1/4 very thinly sliced banana, just for the sweetness
- Coconut Oil (you can be generous here - it's good for you)
For the topping:
- Fresh seasonal fruit - here we used fresh raspberries, lychees, mangoes, bananas and passionfruit.
- Yoghurt - unsweetened Greek Yoghurt (You could substitute for light sour cream)
- Naked Man Muesli (Or a mix of gluten free, wheat free muesli, maybe some extra chopped almonds)
- Cinnamon to sprinkle on top.
Well, it's pretty simple - prepare the fruit first, cut it up into reasonable size pieces that can be cut easily as shown in the picture.
Prepare each person's serving individually - we did cook them one at a time and serve on the plate, but perhaps you could prepare them like pancakes and server altogether - I might try that next time I make this.
Generously oil a large frypan because it allows the eggs to be lovely and thin and very pancake like. Mix the eggs and cinnamon together, beating well, and then when the oil is quite hot, (coconut oil gets very hot) add the beaten eggs, and make that lovely circle like you were making a pancake. The idea behind this is you're not going to turn it over but want it thin enough to cook without needing to turn over.
Just before you take it out, shake the pan a little, and then add in the thinly sliced bananas. That will give you sweetness.
Fold the pancake in half before adding to plate, and you'll see that it will only take a couple of minutes because it's quite thin and watery. (If you're a pancake maker like me, who does the thin, thin crepes you get the idea of how to cook it quickly without burning it)
You can't leave these at all as they cook very quickly.
Now this is the part that you think about when it comes to presentation - me, I just put fruit first and then the yoghurt as I didn't want it getting too hot, but it really doesn't matter.
The main thing is to add the seeds, agave and cinmmon last so there is something to stick too.
It's all delicious and the egg tastes really like a crepe. I was very surprised.
Years ago, I watched that fantastic Julia Julia movie with Meryl Streep. I then researched how to make the best omelette. I haven't tried it but I may add some water to the mix to see if I can get that lovely texture, but I want to say that it was very delicious and I'm putting this on my 'must make again' list. In fact, I think I could actually make it as a dessert at night with a range of mixed fresh berries.
That's my contribution for the day - I hope you feel inspired enough to make it and know that you're eating really well!