Slow Cook Tea Warmer Recipes


Tea warmer + Ramekin + nice smelly ingredients = Long lasting air freshener

A strange post I know but about two years ago I looked up “Slow Cooker Air Freshener”. I love the smell of slow cooker food and I had an idea for an essential oils blend version. This was where I first saw the Ramekin slow cooker recipes for air fresheners but it seems not as many people get adventurous with it. Everyone kind of sticks to the standard, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange slice with peel recipe. It’s nice and all but there’s so many others you can try.

Here are a few of my favourite recipes. Though you can kind of do this in a regular oil burner, a Ramikin is best. I use my teapot warmer and find it can freshen up to a quarter of my house which is quite impressive given the size and design of my home.

A quick note, always use cold water.

Lemony Lavender

1 whole cutting of lavender, leaves, flowers, stems and all. (You could also use half this, depending on the size of your lavender bush. The leaves tend to shrink a bit.)

5 Lemon Myrtle Leaves (if no lemon myrtle, lemon peel is a good substitute or lemon essential oil 3-5 drops)

Water (I prefer to use distilled water)

This blend is refreshingly relaxing. It’s a very positive smell and bound to earn compliments.

Lemony Rosemary

1 Sprig of Rosemary

5 Lemon Myrtle leaves or lemon peel or lemon essential oil. 3-5 drops.

Water

This blend I find makes my family hungry. Everyone loves the Rosemary smell mixed with lemon. It’s a bright and uplifting smell. Some have commented that it gives them a bit of a boost of energy.

Lavender Rosemary and Myrtle

1 Lavender stalk. Use only the lavender leaves. Basically all the green parts plus stems.

1 Sprig of Rosemary

3-5 Lemon Myrtle leaves (Best to use Myrtle)

Water

This is lemony with a stronger rosemary undertone. For whatever reason the green leaves of lavender can smell very similar to rosemary. It’s not quite the same but it sort of is. This recipe appears to be the most popular. It’s warm, citrusy and gentle.

Rose

Fresh, first thing in the morning rose. Dark red gives the best scent.

Water

Try to use the whole rose. If you don’t have access, regular old rose tea will do. This is a slow and gentle freshener. It takes a while to heat up, the smell slowly disperses throughout the room and gently fades after a while. Can be reheated but may not produce the same amount of smell.

Lavender

Lavender flowers, fresh or dried

Water

Much the same as the rose recipe. Goes will in bathrooms. I recommend bruising the flowers for a quicker smell.

Full Lavender

Whole lavender. Leaves, flowers, stem.

Water

Produces a lovely lavender smell with a rosemary like hint. Very nice, very gentle and relaxing. Of course you might nit to chop it up a fair bit. For best results, bruise the flowers.

Not Quite Lemon

Lemon Leaves (as much as you can fit, chopped up)

Water

This is a very delicate and gentle lemon smell. It lasts longer than the lemon peels and travels far throughout the home. I’ve had many compliments for this blend because it’s pleasant but not overpowering. It’s good for those times where you want a hint of smell to make your home seem a little fresher even though it’s already clean.

Not Quite Lime

Lime Leaves (as much as you can fit, chopped up)

Water

Pretty much the same results. Can be reused up to about 3 times.

Plain Rosemary

1-2 Rosemary sprigs

Rosemary flowers (if in bloom)

Water

Slow cooking this is very nice. I do find it tends to make my family hungry and I start getting requests to cook more roast lamb.

Cinnamon

1-3 Sticks of cinnamon

Water

I think this goes under appreciated. It’s spicy, warm and just smells delicious. Very nice and strong smelling and disperses slowly through the air. It takes a long time to extract from the wood but it can be reused multiple times before it wears off.

Cinnamon Star

1-2 Cinnamon sticks

4-6 Star Anise seed pods

4 Cardamon pods (Optional)

Warm and slightly licorice scented. Refreshing and pleasant.

Clary Sage

Leaves and Flowers (enough to fit half way in the ramekin)

Water

I love clary sage. I love the smell. It’s definitely an underappreciated herb. I’d describe it as strong, pleasant and very herbal smelling. Being slow cook style, it progressively gets stronger as you let it do it’s thing. Best used in a large room. I prefer the kitchen or dining room.

Patchouli

Use the leaves, fresh or dried

Water (cold)

Beautiful and musky, it’s a very pleasant scent to slow cook just for the smell of it.

 

So far, these are all my favourites. They’re all quick and easy and most of these I’m either growing or can find in the pantry. I started using these because I’m sick of chemicals and sick from using stuff in cans and bottles from the shop. That and I am a very allergic person.

I love smells and perfumes but I’m horrendously allergic to so many. Using these I get all the benefits of it being safe to use, organic without the harmful chemicals or allergic reactions. With commercial stuff I get either asthma, heyfever or a combination of both.

Even though this isn’t a new or original idea, it does seem to me that a lot of people are unaware of just how much they can do with a simple tealight candle and a few items from their garden or cupboard and get hours of refreshing smells without harming anyone.

Air fresheners don’t have to be complicated and they certainly don’t have to be expensive. I love making them and I absolutely recommend giving it a try. Especially if you love a particular herb. Slow cook it in some cold water in a ramekin and see what happens. You might be surprised!

 

Simple Homemade Tea


So a comment on a previous post got me thinking. How many of us go to the store for a new flavoured tea instead of using what’s in the cupboard or growing in our garden? *Raises hand*

I do but mostly because I haven’t gotten my herb garden to where I want it just yet. So here are some single or simple herb tea recipes. Most of these only need to be steeped for 7 minutes or simmered for 15 minutes. It’s a bit of try and find out type of thing.

Single Herb Recipe:

  • Rosemary fresh or dried
  • Lavender Flowers (Lavender tea can lower your blood pressure so be wary of this if you suffer from low blood pressure)
  • Carraway seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Dried fruit peel such as lemon or orange
  • Dried/dehydrated fruit
  • Mint leaves fresh or dried (I add the stems too)
  • Basil leaves fresh or dried (I add the stems too)
  • Rose petals
  • Lime or lemon leaves
  • Raw fruit of your choice. Berries work best.
  • Pomegranate seeds as well but not the rind or pith
  • Watermelon seeds (this one surprised me)
  • Chamomile flowers
  • Rosemary Flowers
  • Basil flowers
  • Mint Flowers
  • Dandelion leaves (Be sure it’s not catspaw)
  • Dandelion Flowers (Not as good as the leaves)
  • Dandelion roots roasted (tastes like coffee but I’m adding it anyway)
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Myrtle
  • Lemon Balm
  • Ginger root. I don’t recommend the powder but you can.

That’s just a few and what I often use. I use them for various reasons. Stress, headaches or just because it tastes good.

So with combinations, what’s good, where can I start? Well you can add all of those single ingredient teas to White Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea or even Red Tea. A lot of homemade tea is a matter of a lot of trial and error. So for consideration on multi ingredient homemade teas here’s a few other ingredients to consider putting in that a lot of people don’t seem to consider. Hope it gives you some ideas:

  • Whole cloves (gives a lovely taste and aroma and can be re-brewed multiple times after the tea is finished)
  • Whole pepper corns. Putting them in whole lets the pepper disperse slowly through it’s skin. It’s very good for you if you’re sick
  • Cinnamon sticks or ground
  • Cardamon pods
  • Star anise (goes best with oranges and can be nice in Chai tea, depending on what you blend it with)
  • Coriander seeds. Sometimes I use this in my Chai tea especially when I have no pepper corns.
  • Slices of ginger. Sometimes I like to add this to my Chai tea.
  • Brown sugar instead of white or raw. (For my American readers I am talking about the sugar that’s sticky and dark brown)
  • Nutmeg (I don’t use it, I’m allergic)
  • Grated rind if you don’t want a strong flavour.
  • Whole nuts. It can add a natural oils or a delightful aroma.
  • Organic milks such as nut milks, soy, coconut or rice. (homemade is better).
  • Goats milk instead of cows milk. Surprising how it changes the taste
  • A bit of whipped cream with cocoa on top (yes just like coffee)
  • Marshmallows
  • Other sweeteners besides sugar and honey. Such as Agave nectar, date syrup, golden syrup even maple. Maple is better on straight teas (by that I mean no milk).
  • A drop of vanilla or a small cut of vanilla bean in the bottom of your teapot. The vanilla bean can often be nicer since it’s reusable. Also very nice added to Chai tea.

With that in mind, all I can say is get adventurous. But I won’t leave you guys hanging. Here’s a few tasty tea blend recipes. I must admit I make up the Tea names as I go.

Rose Garden Tea:

  • Matcha Green Tea or your preferred green tea
  • Rose petals or dried buds
  • (Optional) sweetener. Recommended- Honey

Steep together and serve warm. Remove rose petals at desired level of flavour. Sweeten to taste.

Refreshing Rose Tea:

Recipe 1:

  • White or black tea. If using black make it weak.
  • Rose Petals
  • Lemon rind. Fresh or dried. If not then lemon juice is fine but not quite the same.
  • (Optional) Sweetener. Recommended- Honey

Steep all together, sweeten in your cup not your tea pot. Lemon rind takes a long time to disperse it’s flavour but the longer it steeps the stronger it gets. It can also be re-brewed with a fresh pot of tea.

Recipe 2:

  • White or black tea. If using black make it weak.
  • Rose Petals
  • Mint or Peppermint leaves. Peppermint essence would also work well but a drop. Don’t go crazy on the mint.
  • (optional) Sweetener- Sugar

Rosemary Breath Freshener:

This is more of a personal taste tea. The ratio for me is 3:1 Mint to Rosemary.

  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • (optional) White tea

Steep and if necessary, sweeten to taste. Very refreshing and interesting. Reminds me of when I cook lamb and make mint jelly.

Spicy Orange Tiger Tea

  • 3 large Navel Orange slices, whole. Must have rind
  • 3 or more whole cloves depending on your taste for it
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick. If you break it up, use half.
  • 6 whole pepper corns. I use 4 season pepper corns.
  • Star Anise (Optional)
  • 2 Cardamon pods (optional but nice, gives a menthol like touch)

Add all together and you can either steep or simmer this recipe. If you simmer it, the flavour is much stronger. If you steep it you only have to do so for about 7 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick in whole. If you break it up into many pieces only use half or less because, when it’s whole the taste disperses slower but if you break it into shards the cinnamon flavour can become overpowering very quickly. You want this to be a slow spice.

Spicy White Tiger Tea

  • White tea
  • 1 to 2 whole Rosemary sprigs.
  • Ginger slices, thin. About 1 slice a cup. So if your teapot serves 4 then put in 4 slices.
  • 6 pepper corns
  • (Optional) Lemon juice
  • (Optional) Sweeten with Honey.

This is a detox tea. This will likely make you go to the toilet. It can also help relieve annoying headaches and calm your nerves. In the past this for me has had the strength of taking Panadol. This tea is best made by steeping and enjoying it slowly. It’s very healthy but not if you add sugar. Keep it healthy and helpful and try to only sweeten with honey.

Lemon Dragon Tea

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice in your tea cup (easier than measuring it in the teapot. It’s perfect every time this way)
  • Oolong Tea (Black Dragon Tea)
  • Honey to taste if you need it

This is really good if you’re feeling sick and need a gentle energy boost. Oolong tea has caffeine similar to Matcha Green tea. It disperses slowly over a few hours. Steep your Oolong tea for 7 mintues then serve.

Orange Dragon Tea

  • 1 to 3 whole orange slice, rind and all.
  • Oolong Tea (Black Dragon Tea)
  • (Optional) Sweetener

Spicy Spicy Lemon Tea (With extra spicy ^_~)

Variation 1:

  • Several lemon slices in the teapot plus 1 per slice per cup in the cup
  • 4 to 6 whole cloves in the teapot
  • 6 pepper corns
  • 3 or more ginger slices
  • Raw Honey or Sugar to taste
  • (Optional) White tea but not necesary.

Variation 2:

  • 1 to 2 whole juiced lemons in a medium to large teapot
  • 1 teaspoon of whole black pepper corns
  • A sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • Honey to taste or without.

Variation 3:

  • Lemon juice of 3 lemons
  • Lemon slice in each cup
  • Ginger slices, about 6 or 8
  • 4 season whole pepper corns (so black, white, green and red.) About half a teaspoon
  • Honey

These are really nice. This will also clear your chest if you’re sick and definitely speed up recovery. This too can have Panadol like effects because of the ginger or pepper. If you feel the need to add tea, use Green Tea or White or it can ruin the overall flavour and experience.

Vanilla Chai Tea

Variation 1

  • Black Tea
  • 3 Whole bay leaves
  • 6 Whole pepper corns
  • 3 Whole cardamon pods
  • 4 Whole cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2cm cut of vanilla bean sliced open like a book. Think a book open in to the middle page
  • Brown sugar (the sticky mostly raw one)
  • Milk or coconut milk

Variation 2:

  • Black Tea
  • 3 Whole bay leaves
  • 6 Whole pepper corns or a half a teaspoon of Coriander seeds, whole
  • 4 Ginger slices
  • 3 Whole cardamon pods
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 2cm cut of vanilla bean sliced open like a book. Think a book open in to the middle page.
  • Brown sugar (the sticky mostly raw one)
  • Milk or coconut milk

Steep or simmer for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy! If you don’t have any then a quarter to a half a teaspoon of thick vanilla essence will do. I haven’t tried the more raw vanilla paste but I plan to.

Cold Killer Green Tea

Variation 1

  • Teaspoon or more of lemon juice in your teacup
  • Greentea
  • 1 teaspoon of Honey

Variation 2

  • Teaspoon or more of lemon juice in your teacup
  • Several ginger slices. To your taste. I recommend 6 for a whole pot
  • Greentea
  • 1 teaspoon of Honey

There are a lot of health benefits to green tea. One of which is boosting your immune system. Adding lemon juice can help break down congestion and let the tea and ginger get to work quicker. Ginger can be strong and have the effects of Panadol and settle the tummy. Honey is gentle and antibacterial. Combine them all and you’ve got one powerful cold and flu remember.

Refreshing Chamomile

  • Spearmint leaves or Peppermint leaves (or mint. Spearmint is best)
  • Chamomile (dried flowers or teabag just make sure it’s pure and not a blend)

Steep for about 7 minutes and enjoy. Try not to sweeten it. This is calming and tummy settling. The spearmint counteracts the drowsy effects of Chamomile but not completely. This tea can leave you feeling very relaxed. It’s also a pretty good “after yoga” tea. Don’t drink this tea before bed. Just about anything in the mint family is a natural diuretic. So in simple terms, it makes you pee, a LOT. If you drink it before bed you will be up and down all night and if you’re diabetic you will be up and down all night frequently.

If you suffer fluid retention this tea can help reduce it, but drinking just the spearmint, mint or peppermint on it’s own will reduce fluid best. Try to have it unsweetened. It’s not a guarantee though so don’t rely on it.

 

These are some of my favourites. Not in my top 5’s but perhaps my top 20. But I’m not going to stop here I have just one more tea to add. These aren’t really tea’s but they could pass as iced tea or lemonade.

Basil Lemonade

Mix up a batch of classic homemade lemonade. I won’t make a recipe since there’s a million out there. But before you put it in the fridge while it’s still hot to warm throw in a few chopped up basil leaves. Basil and lemon go great together. But if you’re not a fan of it’s strong flavour, add it in when the lemonade is cold and it will disperse slowly.

Mint Lemonade

Same instructions as above only you really should add the mint in while it’s still warm.

Mint Limeade

Same instructions as above only add the mint in the lime juice while it’s warm and lots of it. Adding some white tea can really kick it up a notch. Limeade is excellent for a fever.

All of these though they seem like a lot of work are all really very simple. The time it takes is however long it takes you to throw it inside a teapot and steep. With the exception of a few that really need to be simmered.

All of these teas are healthy and excellent for your health unless you go overboard with sweeteners and sugar or start adding cream. The rose petal and limeade recipe in particular are good for a vitamin C boost.

I was talking to my love just the other day about tea. Honestly if I had a job at T2 or The Tea Centre I would be in heaven. I could spend all day around tea and talk about it all day. Honestly if I could find a local course I’d take up becoming a herbalist.

But enough rambling. Here’s just a few more tea blends and recipes, and yes I do mean a few. There is so much more you can do. I hope some of you might try these out! Though I must warn you, if you don’t like the herb then you might not like the single herb on it’s own in the simple tea version.

One thing I would like to leave you with is for each ingredient (if you have the time) look up “[herb name] health benefits” and you will find an incredible range of information.

Most of these herbs are excellent for headaches, stress, feeling under the weather and joint pain. So please do look it up. It might help you out in ways you never expected.

Knitting With Chopsticks


This was something I did in the 90’s as a kid. I started knitting around the age or 6 or 7. My favourite was s small circular loom because it was easy and the results were fast. However being a kid I frequently lost my plastic knitting needles.

My alternatives (being mostly poor growing up) Chopsticks or HB pencils. But there is the ever pressent issue of the burs causing a problem. Sticky tape doesn’t work well and not all of us have some kind of varnish. My solution has always been to dip my homemade knitting needle in nail polish.

The nail polish also helps make the chopstick ends a little more slippery and it covers all loose burs that can pull on your wool. But being a chopstick you will likey end up with an odd shaped uneven work. I prefer pencils. I generally scribbly them blunt and polish them.

I would share a photo but I can only take pic’s with my phone at the moment and nowhere nice to take a snap but if I take a good pic I’ll update this post for sure.

I’ve seen a lot of suggestions but none for using nail polish. It’s simple, cheap and effective when you’re in a bind and can’t go out and buy a new set of needles. You can also colour your homemade needles anyway you like as well. I use to stipple mine. I haven’t done it in years until yesterday when I realised all my knitting needles were gone.

I dug through my drawers, grabbed a sharpener and sharpened my chopsticks. After I got them as sharp as I liked I used a nail file to sand them smooth. Then I just simply dipped them one by one in my nail polish bottle. I just use a cup to stand it upright to dry but I find blue-tac works well too.

I’ve now started a new project. It’s been semi successful. Mostly a lot of restarting. I’ve been crocheting for years on and off and more or less forgot everything about knitting except 3 ways to cast on.

Anyway I thought I’d share that little tid bit with you guys. Some of you might find it interesting.

 

Homemade Soy Milk Using A Slow Cooker


I’ve always enjoyed slow cooked anything but what lead me to using a slow cooker for soy milk was because my stove is awful. The element only heats on one side on all of them and it’s hard to cook things at an even temperature. My first milk batch was too raw. Second attempt had an under taste of burn. The bottom slightly burned. And since I can’t get a new oven I had to think of some other way to cook my homemade soy milk. I thought, why not the slow cooker? It wouldn’t over boil and foam wouldn’t rise so why not? First I googled if anyone had and I couldn’t find so much as a blog post so I went with what I knew and the results where beautiful. It made the perfect soy milk. It also doesn’t have a raw bean taste like my other milks had. I put in some vanilla bean this time for flavouring and slow cooked it on high for 2hrs. I’m going to be making my soy milk this way from now on.

Below a picture of my slow cooking soy milk. 1 cup of hydrated soy beans, 3 and a half cups of filtered water. 1inch vanilla bean.
Soymilk

Homemade Toasted Rice Rice Milk


I’ve tried every way to make rice milk and I didn’t like any of them but I was determined to get it to work until I had an idea. I like the consistency of raw rice rice milk but I didn’t like how it tasted. It was to raw. I was going crazy trying to think of how to get it with a cooked flavour and then it hit me. Toasted.

I make my own rice flour for a variety of reasons, one of which being, to make short bread. After or before I make my rice flour, I toast it to preserve it and to stop it from going moldy to make sure it has no more moisture left after soaking it. So I did this to my rice milk batch.

I used one cup of brown rice and soaked it for several hours. After draining it thoroughly I toasted it lightly in my frying pan. Enough to make it dry but also until it smelled delicious. After I was done I put it in a heat safe bowl to cool. Then I added 3 cups of way and blended it. Because it’s raw it takes a long time. To speed it up, I blended it, then used my sieve to filter it and gathered the pulp in my strainer, placed that back in the blender with rice milk at half the amount and blended. I repeated this until my rice pulp was as fine as rice flour. This was my end result also I am sorry for the mess in my photo:

Rice milk, home made

Rice milk, home made

 

When I placed my hands in the milk (something I do to check the consistency) I noticed it was exactly like cows milk. Very white, watery like cows milk and it tasted a lot better. However to use it, it functions like any other type of rice milk except my batch is much stronger than store bought. I was very surprised by the resulted and delighted. After all the recipes I tried and read, this method works better. I tried it all and I am glad I had thought to toast my soaked grains.

I hope this post might help others out there making their own home made rice milk.

Healthy Noodles & Homemade Bread


Soy Sauce Noodles.

Image via Wikipedia

Healthy Noodles + a ramble

How? Wholemeal plain flour and water. That’s it. Guilt free and ok for diabetics to eat. You only need a golf ball size to make two bowls of noodles.

You roll it out thinner than paper, cut it into the desired lengths, allow to dry out for an hour or until hard, then place in boiling water until it rises to the top and there you go, noodles. You can store it in the fridge for up to a week when they are dried out properly, if not they are likely to go mouldy so dry them first and make sure they are well coated in wholemeal flour.

I’ve been making these noodles all week. I cook them and rinse them in luke warm water then I make the noodle soup. Beef stock or chicken stock, veggies of my choice, cooked well or till still crunchy, put it in a bowl, put in noodles and have the best damn lunch ever! Potatoes of course are always fully cooked. It would be ideal to google why if you don’t already know why. I won’t say here just because the post would never come to an end 😉

I’m high risk for diabetes even though I am not overweight like so many believe that you have to be overweight to have diabetes, this is a myth. My mother is a diabetic so we try to cook for the one menu instead of two separate things so I eat diabetic like anyway and when I say like, I mean I don’t include all the junk food I’ve been known to have on hormonal days. Plus it seems like the more preservatives the more sick I seem to be getting eating food so for the last few months I’ve been like, well screw it, I’ll make my own things.

This week I have made barely flour. Barely is good for lowering cholesterol, I made basmanti rice flour, rice noodles, wholemeal fetuchini and a whole heap of other pasta with wholemeal. ALSO, I can tell you now, handmade wholemeal doesn’t taste like utter shit when you make it yourself! You don’t even know what wholemeal is like until you make your own bread! The store and bakery stuff, it’s nothing compared to home made with no preservatives. I’ve got nothing against preservatives, they just make me vomit or other illness symptoms. I can’t be bothered getting tested for food allergies, I know what makes me sick and I know making it myself doesn’t. I even made my own bacon and cheese bun with low fat cheese and cooking and draining the fat of the bacon before putting it in the roll. I didn’t get sick or have any repercussions.

I’ve lost weight to when I’ve made my own wholemeal stuff in the past and I don’t mean dramatic I just mean a normal healthy body type is what I got and stayed at. Lately I’ve “blossomed” so to speak but for me with the risk factor I can’t sadly allow it to go on so now I have to keep up with less junk, more wholesome healthy and exercise >_> I hate exercise lol but it’s the only sure fire way to a longer happier life.

I totally lost interest in food though for many reasons. Things weren’t tasty any more or it just made me sick and I was sick when I ate and sick when I didn’t so I couldn’t win. The headaches and migraines daily were the worse part. There was worry that I had an eating disorder which is total crap because I love food!

But now that I’ve looked into things more, more about preservatives and about grinding my own flours blah blah blah hippie talk hippie talk, I’ve been happier living a more all natural foods diet where it can be helped, home grown… if it can break through the clay lol and all that jazz. I’ve always been a fish and chicken girl but you have to have red meats for iron and many other dietary minerals and vitamins you simply can’t get. Vitamin pills make me vomit and I don’t know how vegans and veggietarians do it having iron pills and suppliments all the time and being so sick and no energy all the time and drinking energy drinks which do nothing for them or give them energy because they’re so deficient. I’ve had iron deficiency before and it is not fun! It does damage to your body to lack necessary vitamins and minerals and a lot of it is long term damage in your later years. It’s been hard finding a balance but when I do I find I have loads more energy and way less art blocks. My thinking is much clearer and my sleep is better. Everything is better, even the health of my hair and skin and eye sight. I say, not matter what the diet, if it works for you then go with it because we are all different. Not everyone that becomes a vegan or vegitarian suffers deficiency, in fact sometimes it is better for them because the way their body breaks down things they may have to much and only need it on a rare occasion. But that is only for some people. So be careful.

Always study any diet fully before you chose to follow it. Always look for the cons, not just only the positives. Always look at how a particular diet could harm your health because some can! You will always end up much better off when you chose proper moderation eating, foods that lower cholesterol such as almonds, foods with less fat, draining the fat from your meats and low GI foods and gluten free where possible. You’ll find even better luck with low carbohydrate foods and drinks since carbs convert into sugar. This is why I will never approve of those milkshake diets. There are no real minerals, vitamins or health benefits. Yes you MIGHT get skinny but at what cost? You don’t actually get improved energy at all from it either. I actually knew a number of people desperate to loose weight quickly and they put on more weight with that diet because they were so hungry. Their body was crying out for minerals and to be feed. Like a car our body needs fuel, so give it the fuel it needs. Have poridge/oatmeal instead of bacon. Oatmeal is great for lowering cholesterol and it’s good for your heart. It sticks in your stomache so you aren’t likely to be hungry again ten minutes later. It helps you have energy for longer since it’s slow burning. Little things like that. Have olive butter instead of regular butter. Olives, olive oil, olive butter all help lower cholesterol and it’s a lovely and light butter. There’s no taste difference either. Just a better health option. Personally I don’t eat butter at all. I just don’t like the taste of it much. I only have it on Vegemite toast on the rare occasions I have that and toasted fruit loaf which is once a year. Actually I have a really good heart and health because I have so little butter in my diet.

Olive oil is a lot better to use to replace any oils in your cooking. There’s no fat in olive oil. It’s also great for your skin and heart. You can use olive oil as a bath oil and it helps to repair skin damage. Great for stretch marks as well. Just a little random info for you there. Anyway back to my point since I am clearly getting off subject.

If you do choose a diet where you end up needing to take supplements instead of just eating the foods and meats and nuts necessary for your body to absorb then it would be in your best interest to research the damage you could potentially be doing to your body. Like eating disorders of anorexia and many others, ones that cause obessity and other things that can’t be helped because of genetic’s, or maybe it’s just the lifestyle, you end up missing out on so many minerals for meats, veggies and nuts and grains. It does long term damage to your liver, heart and kidneys. Not eating can contribute to diabetes to because it messes with how your body produces insulin, producing to much or to little at a time.

I know when you first have wholemeal most of us go EW YUCK WHAT IS THIS! I admit it, I hate wholemeal. But when I made it myself it tasted nothing like the store bought crap. Sorry but it’s crap, plain and simple. It’s stuffed full of preservatives and things we don’t need. Me and mum did a little test. I made her a bun, a sizable bun of my wholemeal recipe which I doctored myself. It had a table spoon of caster sugar and she must be very careful with her sugar intake, I did the same with another bun the next day with brown sugar and the next day with raw sugar. Sugar in bread is used to sweeten the dough. Anyhow, all of her blood sugar reads came back better than they have all year round. Her diet was no different. She’s a strict eater, worried for her health so she never eats white bread. She’d rather starve than risk pushing up her sugars since she knows the damage it does to your kidneys. Well we were surprised at the results. The home made bread worked and digested better than the store bought bread. With all it’s health talk and things on the label, it all started to mean nothing after that experiment. And I though Why not share the recipe on my blog?

Ingredients:

1 cup of sifted wholemeal flour, either plain or self raising. Me personally I like self raising. The buns are HUGE! Must be sifted or it comes out incredibly dry and flakey.

1 teaspoon of yeast

roughly 200 ml of warm water. For taste you can make it a mix of warm water an milk just as long as it is 200 ml

1table spoon of the sugar of your choice. I have found it doesn’t matter

1 table spoon of olive oil. The olive oil is the most important ingredient, I’ve made it with out and it came out like a brick. The olive oil makes the bread moist and fluffy with a lovely even browning coat

1 egg

Preparation:

In a lovely large steel/metal mixing bowl pour in the cup of flour, then the sugar, then add the yeast and mix through the flour. Next, make a volcano shape out of the flour by placing your fist in the center and pressing down. Crack the egg and make sure it cracks in the hole you made, next add the oil. slowly begin to mix the egg in the center creating an even dough mix and add water slowly. You don’t want it to runny or too dry. You may have to have some sifted flour ready incase you need to add more to the mix. Knead well for about 5-10minutes. Then, prepare a pot of water in a steamer pot set. This is the tricky part. Depending on your stove, get the steamer pot and place above said boiling pot of water as if you were about to steam some veggies.

Bring to an almost boil so you can see some steam. Then when you have a nice steady flow of steam going, turn either all the way to low or a bit before low. You don’t want scalding steam, but you might want to add one more pot on top. This is why the metal mixing bowl.

Place the mixing bowl atop the steamer and cover with a tea towl/dish rag. This will allow your bread to rise in a shorter time with a controlled temperature. The old fashion way was to store in a warm room for 15 minutes or until the bread dough rises, if you do it this way with gentle steam it will rise within 5-15 mintues. Now if it is too hot the dough will go stick and not rise, if it is too cool it will rise incredibly slowly. The other way to do this, is to fill your sink with warm to hot water. Like you would run a bath, place the metal bowl in the water and cover so the warm air stays inside. Do this if you have no steamer, put timer on for about 15minutes. When you check on your bread you will see it has trippled in size from a base ball almost to a basket ball. Depending on how well you kneaded it before. Take the bowl, allow to cool then knead thoroughly. Repeat the steaming step again. The dough will again gain a large size possible larger possibly the same it can be a bit unpredictable until you get use to the mixtures and kneading for the right amounts of time. Knead well, repeat again. So basically you want the dough to have risen 3 times and kneaded it 3 times.

Now for cooking. You can either place into a bun type tray, whatever tray you plan to use, through it in the oven whole, you will leave it there on 180 for about 45mins, you might even have to leave it in there for an hour. The times can be very tricky. You also have to play with the temperatures. I found with my oven some days it came out great after 45mins, other days I had to cook it at 150 for an hour. If the bread comes out to hard on the bottom lower the temp for next time and put on an extra 5-10 mins for every 10 degrees you minus. I have found however that a toaster oven cooks these buns the best. I put a small flat ball in my toaster oven for 10-20 mins, times vary on size, wait till it’s golden brown then eat it. It’s wonderful but in the toaster oven with it’s instant heat I out the temp on 200. But that is my oven. The other way to cook it in the oven is on the 3rd steam and rise, instead of kneading, place that carefully into bread pan so when you cook it, it is extra soft and fluffy since it has already risen it then rises again in the oven because of the yeast and it turns out incredibly taste and fluffy and more than enough for a family.

I have found that it costs almost $2 for one loaf of bread yet it cost me $0.89 for a 1kj bag of flour to use only 1cup to make bread. Adding up the small amounts of the other ingredients it has worked out to be cheaper and more efficient for me to make my own bread and noodles than it is to shop for them on their own.

And that’s it. I hope that is helpful.

So yeah, that’s my little healthy food ramble for the day ^w^ hope something out of it was helpful at least. Got questions then feel free to ask.