15 Healthy and Delicious Protein Ball Recipes

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

A couple of months back, my eldest son was really ill. He was in bed for three weeks with a virus, and one of the things I really focused on was making sure that he was eating highly nutritious foods to get him back on the road to recovery.

He’s got a bit of a sweet tooth, so in between nourishing soups, bone broths and veggie juices, he was begging me for a treat. I started experimenting with a few protein balls, and they were a huge hit. So I thought I’d pull together a few of the ones we tried, and some that just look delicious.

They’re super easy to make, because all you do is blitz everything together and roll them into a ball. The kids can even help out by rolling them for you. And protein balls are great energy boosting snacks, easy to keep in the fridge to grab and go. Here’s a few of my favourites:

Choc Peppermint Bliss Balls

Choc Peppermint Bliss Balls from WholefoodSimply.com
Choc Peppermint Bliss Balls

These ones were hands down my kids’ favourite. They thought these tasted just like Mint Slice biscuits. I added a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds for the extra fibre and protein, and the kids love these for an after school snack.

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

Cranberry Almond Energy Bites
Cranberry Almond Energy Bites

This protein-packed recipe is easy to make and convenient for a snack or you could grab a couple on the way out the door for breakfast. You can store them in your freezer and just get them out whenever you need the energy to conquer the day!

Cherry Pie Energy Balls

Cherry Pie Energy Balls

These energy balls are perfect for breakfast, lunch and even after dinner. Super delicious and an easy way to get an energy boost when you need it. I found dried cherries in my local bulk health food shop, but cranberries work just as well.

Nut Free Banana Oat Protein Balls

Nut free and gluten free protein balls, so the kids will be able to take them to school. And it’s a great way to use up bananas that are just that bit too ripe.

Heavenly Coconut Bliss Balls

Heavenly Coconut Bliss Balls

I loved these heavenly coconut bliss balls with a little lemon tartness – delicious!

Carrot Cake Balls

These Carrot cake balls might just be the perfect swap if carrot cake is your favourite cake. I’m not a fan of carrot cake, but my husband thought these sounded delish!

Lemon Coconut Energy Balls

Lemon Coconut Energy Balls
Lemon Coconut Energy Balls

If you’re looking for something fresh, bright and has flavour that pops, these lemon coconut energy balls could be exactly what you need. Short ingredients list means they’re easy to pull together, too.

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites

Raspberry Bomb Bliss Balls
Raspberry Bomb Bliss Balls

Another easy one, these oatmeal raisin energy bites have good ingredients that you’ll probably already have in the cupboard. My kids don’t like coconut, and energy balls often seem to include coconut, so these were a hit at my place.

Apple Chai Energy Balls

Apple Chai Energy Balls
Apple Chai Energy Balls

I loved the apple and almond butter combination on these apple chai energy balls. They are quick and easy to make, and you don’t even need a food processor (although I did, as I couldn’t be bothered chopping the apple into small pieces). Lovely spice combination if you’re a chai fan, too!

No-Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Chia Energy Bites

No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Chia Energy Bites
No Bake Cherry Chocolate Chip Chia Energy Bites

While I’m not a big fan of adding chocolate chips to ‘healthy’ snacks, you might have a different opinion. And these Cherry Chocolate Chip Chia Bites do look yummy!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls

I totally don’t get the chocolate and peanut butter combination thing, but my youngest loves it. So I guess this one is for him!

Apricot Almond Coconut Snacks

Apricot Almond Coconut Snacks
Apricot Almond Coconut Snacks

Apricots and almonds, now that’s a combination that I totally get. Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bites? Yes, please!

Mexican Mocha No Bake Cookie Balls

Mexican Mocha No Bake Cookie Balls
Mexican Mocha No Bake Cookie Balls

Another simple and scrummy sounding recipe. Mexican Mocha cookie balls with a chocolately, coffee, spicy kick – these are definitely on my list of things to make!

Tropical Snack Bites with Almond and Chia

Tropical Snack Bites with Almonds and Chia
Tropical Snack Bites with Almonds and Chia

I like the idea of the dried pineapple in these tropical treats from Two Healthy Kitchens. Sounds delish!

Raspberry Bomb Bliss Balls

Raspberry Bomb Bliss Balls
Raspberry Bomb Bliss Balls

I’m kind of obsessed with raspberries, and these raspberry bomb bliss balls sound divine to me. Another one I’m adding to my list to try out!

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15 Healthy, Tasty Spring Salad Ideas The Whole Family Will Love

Little Gem Spring Salad with Toasted Seeds and Herbed Goat Cheese from Snixy Kitchen

I love Spring! Here in Melbourne, the weather is warming up, daylight savings has just started and a whole new array of fruit and veggies are coming into season. I reckon the best way to enjoy them is to make a fresh salad that the whole family will enjoy.

Rainbow Kale Salad

Rainbow Kale Salad
Rainbow Kale Salad

This rainbow kale salad from Brooklyn Farmgirl not only looks lovely but is chock full of antioxidants thanks to the kale.  And, it’s delicious! You’ll want this salad every night once you’ve tasted how yummy it is. You might even convert the kids to kale.

Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe

Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe
Cleansing Spring Salad Recipe

This spring salad recipe from Daily Burn is crunchy, fresh and full of vitamins. Lots of microgreens and root vegetables, and a quick and tasty dressing.

Strawberry Spring Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

Strawberry Spring Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Strawberry Spring Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

If you’re looking for a salad recipe with a bit of sweet and savoury in it, then this recipe from The Kitchen Girl is perfect. Strawberries, grapes and cranberries tossed with mixed leaves, feta and crunchy walnuts. Yummo!

Fresh Corn and Mango Salad

Fresh Corn and Mango Salad
Fresh Corn and Mango Salad

This fresh corn and mango salad is superstar of a salad. Great as a side dish on top of grilled fish or chicken, or treat it like a salsa and eat it with corn chips for snacking.

Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas

Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas
Quinoa Salad with Sugar Snap Peas

This recipe from Food and Wine is vegan and gluten-free. It makes a fantastic grain salad that’s high in protein and fibre. It is perfect for picnics, barbies or taking for lunch. It’s nut free, so it works for school lunches, too.

Kiwi Berry Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Kiwi Berry Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing
Kiwi Berry Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing

So it sounds more like breakfast than a salad, but trust me – this is so good! The kiwi berry salad from Recipe Girl comes together really quickly. The sweetness of the berries is balanced with pistachio and feta and adds a crunchy texture. And if, like me, you don’t do flavoured yoghurts, it works just fine with Greek.

Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna and Snap Pea Salad

Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna and Snap Pea Salad
Watermelon Radish, Ahi Tuna and Snap Pea Salad

How beautiful are those watermelon radish? I just want to dig in! Medium rare seared tuna tossed in ginger soy dressing with radish and snap peas make this delicious salad from Saveur. It doesn’t only look good but tastes delish as well. And yes, it will work with other radish as well.

Chicken Lemongrass Salad

chicken_lemongrass_salad
Chicken Lemongrass Salad – SBS

This quick, tasty Chicken Lemongrass Salad could be even quicker if you have leftover chicken, or if you grab a BBQ chicken on your way home. Yum!

Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus and Walnuts

Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus and Walnuts
Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus and Walnuts

More fruit in salads! It took me a long time to get over the childhood salad thing where my mum would just add random fruit – orange slice with your lettuce, anyone? But when it works, it works! This grilled strawberry salad from Simple Bites is easy to make, you can even make it with your kids. They’ll love the novelty of grilling the strawberries. And adding toasted walnuts is just genius.

Little Gem Spring Salad with Toasted Seeds and Herbed Goat Cheese

Little Gem Spring Salad with Toasted Seeds and Herbed Goat Cheese
Little Gem Spring Salad with Toasted Seeds and Herbed Goat Cheese

This pretty spring salad recipe from Snixy Kitchen is heavy on the greens but is lightened up with a herby vinaigrette. And if you have a child like mine who literally gags when you give him asparagus, you have my permission to eat their share!

Farro Salad with Arugula, Radishes and Goat Cheese

Farro Salad with Arugula, Radishes
Farro Salad with Arugula, Radishes

A colourful, hearty grain salad that combines the flavours and texture of spring radishes, arugula (rocket to us Aussies) and farro. This salad lasts for ages, too, and stays good and crispy for a few days. Just shove it in the fridge and grab some on your way out to work.

Mixed Green Salad with Warm Breaded Goat Cheese Rounds and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mixed Green Salad with Warm Breaded Goat Cheese
Mixed Green Salad with Warm Breaded Goat Cheese

This yummy salad from Christina’s Cucina looks awesome, but is actually super easy to make and doesn’t need lots of expensive ingredients. The salad is delicious, and my whole family absolutely love it.

Purple Slaw with Turmeric Orange Vinaigrette

Purple Slaw with Turmeric Orange Vinaigrette
Purple Slaw with Turmeric Orange Vinaigrette

The sweet and sour combination in this salad from Brooklyn Supper is perfect if you’re looking for bright and bold flavours. The ingredients are very easy to find and available at any supermarket (you don’t need purple carrots – go with bog standard orange!). And yes, I know it’s not exactly ‘spring’, but who doesn’t love a slaw at a barbecue?

Asparagus Orange Salad

Asparagus Orange Salad
Asparagus Orange Salad

Super easy, and super tasty (if you like asparagus, which I most certainly do!). This fresh and bright asparagus orange salad is perfect for transitioning to spring. Perfect as a side dish with chicken and fish, too.

Spring Salad with New Potatoes

Spring Salad with New Potatoes
Spring Salad with New Potatoes

This salad recipe from Smitten Kitchen is a potato salad with a twist. There’s no mayo, but there’s a dijon vinaigrette and some lovely crunchy green veggies, too. So good!

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14 Easy Make Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Families

make ahead breakfasts

make ahead breakfastsIf your family is anything like mine, getting everyone out the door in the morning is a major task. And getting them out the door with breakfast inside them is even more tricky.

Over the years, I’ve collected a few favourite make ahead breakfasts. Some are savoury, some are sweet (although not too sweet, because I can’t do sweet at breakfast!). But all of them are easy, and they’re all delicious.

Bircher Muesli
Bircher Muesli by My Little Gourmet

Bircher Muesli is where it all started for me. I first came across it years ago, at a hotel breakfast buffet in Germany. It was so good I ate it everyday while we stayed there. And then I looked it up when I got home, and I still make it. There’s something about the combination of apple and yoghurt with the creamy oats that makes this a winner for me. I add heaps of nuts for the extra protein and it keeps me going until lunchtime.

Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats
Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats by Domesticate Me

All I can say about this is: Yum! If you’re a peanut butter and banana fan, that is. Inexplicably, my kids do not like banana, so Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats was never going to be a win for them. But I can tell you – it’s good. And it’s so simple to get ready the night before. And even simpler to grab and go the next day. What’s not to love?

Basic Pancakes
Basic Pancakes by Taste

Ages ago, I discovered that you can make small pancakes, freeze them and then toast them back to life. Yes, it’s a bit of an effort at the weekend (although I usually make my husband do them!). But it’s so worth it when you’re in a rush, as we seem to be every morning in our house. They also make good lunchbox snacks.

Buttermilk Pancakes
Buttermilk Pancakes by Amys Healthy Baking

My husband is the best at making basic pancakes, I’m best at fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Both freeze well, and I’ve found that you can even make the batter the night before and then cook them in the morning. But that never happens at our house during the week. So we make and freeze, and then we throw them into the toaster in the morning!

Maple, Pecan, and Sour Cherry Granola Bars
Maple, Pecan, and Sour Cherry Granola Bars by Bon Appetit

Muesli bars (or granola bars) are great as snacks. But they’re just as good as a breakfast on the run. Sour cherries aren’t that easy to get hold of, although you can sometimes find them in health food or bulk food stores. Cranberries substitute perfectly, though.

Peanut Butter and Chia Muesli Bars
Peanut Butter and Chia Muesli Bars by Nature’s Way

I went a bit over the top recently and bought 2 kgs of puffed rice, and then had to find a heap of ways to use it up. These peanut butter and chia muesli bars were a good way to do it! If your kids’ school has a nut free policy, try making them with No Nut butter instead.

Mango, Raspberry & Fig Coconut Chia Pot
Mango, Raspberry & Fig Coconut Chia Pot by Spamella B

I am a huge fan of chia seeds. I throw them into porridge oats and smoothies for extra protein, and I love them in chia pots. This mango, raspberry & fig chia pot is really overnight oats and chia seeds, and I love the combination of mango and raspberry!

Mango Chia Pudding
Mango Chia Pudding by Ashley Neese

Mango anything is divine, so combining mangoes with my favourite chia seeds is a sure fire winner for me. Make it the night before (although I’d leave out the dates because mangoes are sweet enough for me) and you’ve got a tropical-icious breakfast ready to go the next morning.

Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl
Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl by Oh She Glows

This is another take on chia puddings, but I love the combination of banana with the chia seeds, and then the cinnamon and nuts on top. Nuts are a great addition to breakfast, because they’re full of protein to keep you going until lunch!

Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
Lemon Chia Seed Muffins by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Muffins are really cakes in disguise, so I’m not a big fan of them for breakfast. But halve the sugar and increase the chia seeds and these lovely lemon chia seed muffins are perfect for breakfast on the run!

Oven Omelet
Oven Omelet by Paleo Leap

An oven omelette is great on Sunday, and then you can eat the leftovers for breakfast on Monday. It’s endlessly adaptable, too, so you can throw in whatever you’ve got in the fridge.

Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole
Potato and Bacon Breakfast Casserole by Chow Hound

I love potatoes for breakfast. So a potato and bacon breakfast casserole is right up my alley. Make it on Sunday, and you’ve got breakfast for at least a few days (depending on how greedy you are in the morning!).

Overnight Egg and Cheese Strata
Overnight Egg and Cheese Strata by Leite’s Culinaria

This overnight egg and cheese strata is like baked eggy bread. It’s simple, and it’s very tasty. And a little secret? You can make it Sunday morning, bake it Sunday night and eat it Monday morning. Easy. Oh, and I’ve never seen fontina cheese here in Australia, so just use gouda or gruyere instead.

Lemon Blueberry Scones
Lemon Blueberry Scones by Pastry Affair

Scones are super easy to make. In our house, it’s my husband who makes scones, and he often keeps a batch in the freezer. They’re great for breakfasts, because they’re not too sweet. And they’re delicious with cream and golden syrup. Or raspberry jam and cream. I’m very taken with these lemon blueberry scones, though, and I think I might have to make a batch of these!

What are your favourite make ahead breakfast ideas? Give me some more ideas for easy mornings, below!

11 of the Best Slow Cooker Recipes for Winter

best slow cooker recipes for winter

One of the things I love most about winter is cold weather food. There’s nothing nicer than coming in after a cold day and sitting down to a warming, tasty stew. But as a working parent, I don’t have time to get a stew on when I get in of an evening. That’s why  I love the slow cooker. Get everything into it in the morning, and when you come home you’ve got dinner waiting. As the temperatures plummet across Australia this week, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite slow cooker recipes for you!

Irish Stew
Irish Stew – The Guardian

Irish Stew is one of my family’s favourites. I love it because it’s so super easy, and it’s cheap. I always use lamb chump chops for this, with the bone in. Long slow cooking with the bone is so good for you, and it makes the stew so tasty.

 

slow cooker lamb-okra-stew SBS
Slow-cooked lamb, sweet potato and okra stew from SBS

I was eating okra in the office the other day, and half the office said, ‘what’s that?’ while the other half of the office said ‘yuk’. I know that not everyone likes okra, but if you do, you’ll love this lamb, sweet potato and okra stew. The instructions say to cook it in the oven, but I’ve done this in the slow cooker and just added the sweet potato in the last hour and it was fine.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff by Daring Gourmet

My kids love beef stroganoff, and I have to admit that it’s pretty tasty. This slow cooker recipe by Daring Gourmet uses cream cheese, but I don’t bother. I just add a bit of extra sour cream and stir it through, then serve it with another dollop of sour cream on top. Yummo!

Slow Cooker Crock Pot Best Pulled Pork
The Best Pulled Pork in a Crock Pot by 100 Days of Real Food

This absolutely is the best pulled pork recipe I’ve ever made. I once made this for a party, thinking there would be heaps of leftovers, but it was so good that everybody went back for seconds and thirds! If you do manage to have any leftovers, they’re so versatile. Use it in sandwiches, burgers, rice paper rolls or just cold in lunchboxes.

slow cooker red roast pulled pork jamie oliver
Slow Cooker Red Roast Pulled Pork by Jamie Oliver

Although I love the Best Pulled Pork recipe, above, I also love this Asian-style pulled pork recipe from Jamie Oliver. It works better in rice paper rolls, and it goes nicely with rice and an Asian style coleslaw, too.

slow cooker lamb-apricot-olive tagine
Slow Cooker Lamb Apricot Olive Tagine by Real Simple

Slow cookers are perfect if you don’t have a tagine (and let’s face it, who does?). This Lamb, Apricot & Olive Tagine is really easy to make, but it tastes exotic because of the cinnamon, ginger and cumin. And yet it’s not so exotic that the kids won’t eat it.

Slow Cooker Chickpea Tagine
Slow Cooker Chickpea Tagine by BBC

This slow cooker chickpea tagine from the BBC is perfect for a meatless Monday dinner, or a really yummy and filling vegetarian main course. Kids will love the sweetness from the apricots, too!

Slow cooker chicken cacciatore by taste
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore by Taste

Another dead easy and really tasty slow cooker recipe, Chicken Cacciatore is a bit of a classic. The ingredients are simple, but the combination is so good that the whole family will like this one. I serve this with mashed potato and lots of green veg, but it works just as well with pasta and a salad.

 

Slow Cooker Ghurka Chicken Curry by Jamie Oliver
Slow Cooker Ghurka Chicken Curry by Jamie Oliver

My husband is English, so we eat a lot of curries. And although the ingredients lists seem long, curries are deceptively easy to make. My 13 year old is a dab hand these days! Jamie Oliver says to cook this Ghurka Chicken Curry in the oven, but I’ve done this successfully in the slow cooker, too.

 

Slow Cooker Warming Winter Lamb Shanks by Move Nourish Believe
Slow Cooker Warming Winter Lamb Shanks by Move Nourish Believe

Who doesn’t love a lamb shank? Cooked for hours in the slow cooker, they’re so tender that the meat just falls off the bone. This recipe from Move Nourish Believe is incredibly simple, but is so yummy you’ll be licking the plate afterwards.

 

slow cooker osso bucco by Stephanie Alexander
Slow Cooker Osso Bucco by Stephanie Alexander

I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cooks Companion, and my copy is rather dog eared and food splattered after so much use. I love this version of Osso Bucco, but I always make double the sauce as we love it so much. I usually take the meat off the bone, and stir in all the marrow which makes this dish so rich and delicious. One of my children will NOT eat the marrow, but if I stir it in he doesn’t notice. I usually serve this with buttered pasta, but sometimes with mashed potato and lots of greens. Don’t skip the gremolata at the end – it adds a lift that makes it really wow!

What are your favourite slow cooker recipes? Share below!

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Healthy, Hearty Winter Soups Your Family Will Love

healthy hearty winter soups

healthy hearty winter soups

I love soups. In summer I make big batches of ice cold gazpacho and cold cucumber soups, and in winter I’ve usually got a stash of hearty soups in my freezer for cold days when I need something warming and filling for lunch.

There was ice on my car this morning, so I thought it was high time I shared some of my favourite healthy and hearty winter soups with you.

Healthy Lentil, Tomato & Spinach Soup by Jamie Oliver
Healthy Lentil, Tomato & Spinach Soup by Jamie Oliver

This lentil, tomato and spinach soup from Jamie Oliver is chock full of good for you stuff like red lentils, sweet potato and tumeric. It’s nice and filling, and so simple to make.  It freezes well, too.

Thai Coconut Soup by Yummy Healthy Easy
Thai Coconut Soup by Yummy Healthy Easy

I love a Thai soup – sweet and sour, spicy and savoury all at the same time. This Thai Coconut Soup by Yummy Healthy Easy is really easy to make and it can be cooked in under 30 minutes. That’s faster than getting a takeaway!

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe by Jessica Gavin
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe by Jessica Gavin

This Butternut Squash Soup by Jessica Galvin is an Italian take on the classic Australian pumpkin soup. I love butternut squash, but my boys aren’t so keen. Adding some Italian sausages as a topper means that my kids not only eat it, but love it!

World’s Best Tomato Soup Recipe by Sprouted Routes
World’s Best Tomato Soup Recipe by Sprouted Routes

Who can resist tomato soup? Not the horrible canned stuff with all the added sugar, but a delicious homemade one like this one from Sprouted Routes. Even if you don’t have lots of lovely home grown tomatoes hanging around, you can still get the same flavour with a tin of good peeled tomatoes, roasted off in the same way. And I have to admit, sometimes I don’t even bother with the roasting – I just make the soup! Still delicious.

How To Make The Perfect Leek And Potato Soup by The Guardian
How To Make The Perfect Leek And Potato Soup by The Guardian

Leek and potato soup is insanely easy to make, and it’s so delicious. I like this version from The Guardian, but I don’t usually bother baking the potatoes first. Sometimes I use potatoes with skins on, if I want a rougher, more robust soup. And sometimes I peel the potatoes first, for the most velvety refined version. I make this in large batches, and then freeze individual portions so that I’ve got grab and go lunches for work or lazy weekends.

Warming Beef And Barley Soup by SBS
Warming Beef And Barley Soup by SBS

A rich and delicious beef and barley soup like this one from SBS makes cold winter days worthwhile. My whole family loves this, and it’s so good with homemade beef stock that I make batches just for this soup. I usually leave out the potato, as I don’t think it freezes well, and I generally add heaps more veg. I like lots of carrots, onions and celery, and swede and parsnips add extra deliciousness if you can get them.

Winter Soups: Chicken and Corn Chowder by Annabel Karmel
Chicken and Corn Chowder by Annabel Karmel

This is another one of my kids’ favourite soups. Chicken and Corn Chowder by Annabel Karmel is a cinch to make, it’s super quick and it’s hearty and filling. There’s nothing ‘weird’ in this, so kids will love it and eat it without fuss. It’s a great soup for sending along in a flask for school lunches.

The Best Clam Chowder by The New York Times Cooking
The Best Clam Chowder by The New York Times Cooking

For winter soups, you can’t go past clam chowder. Before we had kids, my husband and I went to New York and Boston one Thanksgiving. Boston was freezing, and I ate a bowl of clam chowder that was so warming and delicious, that I bought a recipe book of New England cooking so I could recreate it at home. I still use that recipe, but this one from The New York Times is just as delicious. I make this with pippis that I can usually buy from my local fishmonger.

Soffritto So Good: Rachel Roddy's Winter Minestrone Soup Recipe by The Guardian
Soffritto So Good: Rachel Roddy’s Winter Minestrone Soup Recipe by The Guardian

I remember eating Minestrone on a family trip to Sydney. We ate in a long gone Italian place in The Rocks in Sydney, called The Spaghetti Factory. It seemed like the height of sophistication, eating Italian, in Sydney! (I was a small town girl from Queensland, which probably explains why I found it so thrilling at the time.) Although there are many versions of minestrone, you can’t go past this winter version from Rachel Roddy.

What are your favourite winter soups? Share below!

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8 Yummy, Vitamin Packed Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

healthy smoothies kids will love

Healthy Smoothies for KidsHealthy smoothies for kids can be a great way of getting some good nutrition into even the most reluctant of eaters. My kids love smoothies these days! I’ve got one who is not a breakfast fan, and it’s all I can do to get him to eat something before he walks out the door in the morning. But he’ll take a smoothie with him to drink on the bus.

I’ve got another child who loves breakfast, but won’t eat much lunch. He comes home starving and grumpy, and unable to recognise that he’s hungry. A quick, healthy smoothie gets him set up and ready to go for after school activities.

I’m not much of a breakfast fan, either, but I know if I don’t have anything that I’ll be crashing by 10am. And I’m a working mother, so I’m often rushing out the door, smoothie in hand to be drunk on the go for the school and office run.

Even my husband has got in on the act, and is great at keeping our freezer stocked with ready chopped frozen bananas, and packs of frozen organic berries for easy smoothie making. We always have plain yoghurt in the fridge, and I’ve managed to add extra protein, like nuts and nut butters, and even chia seeds into the list of acceptable smoothie additions. The one thing I haven’t managed to convince them on is that you don’t need sweeteners, but at least I’ve managed to restrict that to honey or maple syrup.

If you haven’t given smoothies a go at your place, why not try one of the delicious options below? And even if you’re into smoothies already, these might give you a few delicious new ideas!

Easy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe by 3 Boys and a Dog
Easy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe by 3 Boys and a Dog

This easy strawberry smoothie from 3 Boys and a Dog is pretty simple, but it’s packed with fresh fruit, protein, fibre, and nutrients. It’s not just healthy, though, it’s delicious and even the most unadventurous of kids will love this smoothie.

Peaches and Cream Breakfast Smoothie by Will Cook For Smiles
Peaches and Cream Breakfast Smoothie by Will Cook For Smiles

I love this simple peaches and cream breakfast smoothie from Will Cook for Smiles. And while the recipe calls for non fat vanilla yoghurt, I’d be more inclined to go for a full fat, probiotic natural yoghurt and add some extra vanilla to the mix. Scrumptious!

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie by Yummy Healthy Easy
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie by Yummy Healthy Easy

What kid (or big kid!) doesn’t love the peanut butter and banana combo? And if you take Yummy Healthy Easy‘s advice and add a bit of chocolate or cacao to the mix, you can make it even yummier!

 

Raspberry Banana Chia Smoothie by Oh My Veggies
Raspberry Banana Chia Smoothie by Oh My Veggies

I’m a huge fan of the raspberry and chocolate mix, so this smoothie from Oh My Veggies is right up my alley. I’m not big on flavoured milks, so I’d be more inclined to go with plain milk and add my own cacao or vanilla. And the chia seeds in this will keep you full until lunchtime.

Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie Bowl by Emilie Eats
Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie Bowl by Emilie Eats

Okay, so we’re not talking strictly smoothie here with this Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie Bowl by Emilie Eats, but this combo is so good that I had to include it. Chocolate and avocado, I hear you say? Trust me, this is one super yummy mix!

Apple Strawberry Smoothie by Gimme Delicious
Apple Strawberry Smoothie by Gimme Delicious

The most delicious of combinations are not always ones that you’d think of. Apple and strawberry in a smoothie? But it works so well together, that I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. Thanks, Gimme Delicious!

Coconut Raspberry Chia Smoothie Recipe by Super Healthy Kids
Coconut Raspberry Chia Smoothie Recipe by Super Healthy Kids

When you’re using chia seeds in a recipe, you do need to soak them a little beforehand. I find that 15 minutes is plenty, so I usually mix up my chia seeds and head for the shower. When I’m showered, I start whizzing the smoothie up. This recipe calls for overnight soaking, and if you want a really smooth smoothie, that’s probably a good idea. I love the flavour combinations of raspberries, coconuts and chia in this smoothie from Super Healthy Kids.

Mango Avocado Smoothie by Eat Yourself Skinny
Mango Avocado Smoothie by Eat Yourself Skinny

I have a pile of mangoes in my freezer from a school fundraiser, so what better way to use them up than in a smoothie? This yummy smoothie from Eat Yourself Skinny adds avocado, orange juice and mint to the mango mix. I’d probably add a whole peeled orange to this, because we never have juice at home. Plus you’d be getting the extra fibre from the whole fruit. I’m loving the addition of the mint, too!

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Are you and your kids smoothie fans? What’s your favourite combo? Share in the comments below!

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Easy, fudgy chocolate biscuits with gluten and dairy free options

Easy, Fudgy Chocolate Biscuits with Gluten & Dairy Free Options

Easy, Fudgy Chocolate Biscuits with Gluten & Dairy Free OptionsI have this lovely friend, Kerryn, who also happens to be a wonderful cook. She always bakes for the school’s cake stalls, and her stuff always sells out first. I’ve been buying her chocolate biscuits from school fundraisers for years, and they’re always delicious. Now Kerryn is not just a fabulous cook, she’s a very generous one. When I asked for the recipe, she not only wrote it out for me, but accompanied it with another batch of biscuits. What a sweetheart!

This recipe works just as well with gluten free flour as it does with normal flour, and you can substitute a dairy free alternative for the butter. I’m not gluten free or dairy free, and neither is anyone in my family, but these are the best chocolate biscuits I’ve ever tasted. They’re fudgy and densely chocolatey and they’re just as good after a fancy dinner with coffee as they are for a school lunchbox treat.

This is such a simple recipe that older children can make it by themselves. Younger children can help out by rolling the dough into balls. Try making a batch. I have no doubts that you’ll love them, and I’m pretty sure that these will be making an appearance at your school cake stalls next year!

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Do you have a favourite cake stall recipe? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup - from your store cupboard!

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup - from your store cupboard!

Soup is my go-to comfort food in the cooler months. I can’t live without it. Normally I make ‘leftover’ soup, which is whatever vegetables are leftover in the bottom of the fridge at the end of the week. But sometimes I actually follow a recipe, or at least try to recreate one.

Way back in my early twenties, I backpacked through the Middle East. I remember eating heaps of lovely lentils and beans – they were cheap and super delicious. Back then I wasn’t much of a cook, so the thought of making some of these dishes at home never occurred to me.

Then one day late last year, I was stuck in Abu Dhabi airport waiting for an onward flight, and I wanted to eat something that was healthy and real and wholesome. So when I spotted lentil soup on the breakfast menu (yes, really!) I couldn’t wait to try it again.

I wasn’t disappointed. It’s tasty, it’s wholesome and filling, and yet it’s fresh, too. And the best thing about it is that it’s so easy to make, and you’ve probably got all the ingredients in your pantry.

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You can easily adjust this for baby or toddler, too. Make sure that you’re only using a homemade stock that’s low in salt, and leave out the tumeric and cumin until after about 9 months. Introduce spices one at a time, just like you would with any other food.

Another thing I love about this recipe is that it keeps really well in the freezer. So make up a big batch, divide it into portions, and freeze.

What’s your go to winter soup?

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Cauliflower Soup – for baby and for adults!

Soupe a la choufleur (sounds posher than Cauliflower Soup!)

 

We have just got a lovely new greengrocers at the bottom of our road, which I am very excited about. I’ve been known to get quite worked up about the quality of fruit and veg at our local supermarket (which I try not to shop at anyway, being rather a fan of supporting independents). Popped in yesterday to the new fruit and veg shop to check it out, and I was pleasantly surprised. Lots of lovely fresh veg awaited me, so I bought a few items to check it out.

I bought a creamy white head of cauliflower that was too good to resist. We’ve already had cauliflower cheese this week (it’s my youngest son’s favourite dinner) and I didn’t want to eat that again so soon. As it’s a cool day in Melbourne here today, I whipped up a cauliflower soup that could easily start life as a puree for baby, and be extended to make a delicious soup for mum, dad and older siblings.

I had no cream, and didn’t want to have to add chicken stock or even powdered vegetable stock, which was all I had in the house. I made French onion soup during the week for a friend of mine who is vegetarian, and I decided to do something similar with the cauliflower soup. I didn’t thicken it with flour as I usually do for onion soup, but I decided to puree it for a deliciously creamy soup. Here’s the result.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, chopped

1 head cauliflower, in smallish pieces

2 tbsp butter

salt and pepper

Gently soften the onions in the butter. Don’t brown them, just soften them for about 15 minutes. Add the chopped cauliflower and half a cup of water to the saucepan, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook for 20 minutes on medium low. After twenty minutes, blitz to a puree for baby.

To turn this into an adult soup, simply add two more cups of water and salt and pepper to taste and you have cauliflower soup!

You can easily add extra flavours to this by crumbling some blue cheese over the top when you serve it, or some anchovy fried breadcrumbs for crunch, or even just a sprinkling of grated parmesan.

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Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

Watermelon, Feta, Mint & Olive SaladWatermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

After being scarred as a child by too many salads finished with apple, twists of orange, sultanas, etc, for years I would eat fruit in a salad unless it was for pudding. My brother’s girlfriend, however, changed my mind by making me a delicious salad with bitter greens and nectarines. I was hooked, and started looking around for salads with a hint of fruit.

Here’s an unusual salad that I first had years ago when I was backpacking through Turkey. I’d forgotten about it until I saw something about watermelon and mint, and I remembered this yummy little number.

Watermelons have been so delicious lately, that I decided to make this one for some Chinese friends coming around for a barbecue. Needless to say, they loved it!

Ingredients:

Quarter of a seedless watermelon (I find these are less woolly)

Bunch of mint, roughly chopped

200g of feta cheese

black olives (kalamatas are good here)

Chop the watermelon into chunks about 2-3cms square. Lay it out onto a big platter.

Crumble the feta, scatter the mint and olives, and then toss it through gently with your hands.  Serve cold – so refreshing!

I’ve seen versions of this made with lime juice, olive oil and red onions, but limes are usually so expensive that I just don’t bother. It’s pretty yummy as it is.

I’ve also skipped the olives and just had this as a feta, watermelon and mint salad. This version is super yummy for breakfast with hardboiled eggs, flatbread and coffee!

 

 

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