Raw Banana Cake
- 2 ripe medium bananas
- 1 cup dates
- 1 cup raw cashews
- Line a baking tin with baking paper or use silicone cupcake cases*
- In a food processor, process your cashews until they look like crumbs.
- Add in your dates (if your dates have been in the fridge and are quite hard – just heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute until they soften) and process until finely chopped.
- Add in your bananas, processing until the mix has combined.
- Pour your mixture into your tin/silicone cups and freeze until solid.
- When serving, serve quickly as it will begin to melt!
Makes about 8 slices, easily multiplied
N.B: *We’ve found metal tins tend to let the mix freeze solid, whilst silicone cases and tins keep the mixture quite soft.
(raw, vegan, grain free, gluten free, paleo, sugar free)
With the Aussie summer of backyard cricket just around the corner, it’s time to get those backyards cricket-ready for family and friends to enjoy a little healthy competition.
Legendary pitch maker, Les Burdett, who was Head Curator at the Adelaide Oval for more than 40 years, says that regardless of your turf variety, preparing a backyard pitch is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps.
“You don’t need to be a turf or cricket expert, or have a specific type of lawn to create a great pitch. The only tools you need are probably already lying around the house – a lawn mower, spray can of grass-friendly acrylic paint and a garbage bin or esky!
“Taking the time to create a simple pitch will pay off in countless hours of entertainment and fun for friends and family, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
“I’ve been privileged enough to travel the world making turf cricket pitches, but nothing is quite like a good old game of backyard cricket,” said Mr Burdett.
Les Burdett’s 3 steps to the perfect backyard pitch:
Select the best open space in your yard and give it a good water. Every space will have characteristics that give your cricket game its own personal character, whether it’s a shed, the hills hoist or an established tree.
Mark out your desired pitch and mow the grass low. Use string lines for a professionally cut, straight pitch and a cylinder mower if possible, as it will provide a light roll and a beautifully manicured pitch surface. If the grass is thatchy, lower your mower’s cutting height and repeat to remove more grass.
Mark the batting and bowling crease on the grass with either a grass-friendly spray can or create your own appropriate paint by watering down white water-based acrylic paint with 2 parts water, 1 part paint. Paint onto grass with a 25-50mm brush.
Want to make your pitch more pro? Top dress the pitch with a sandy loam to fill in any ridges or holes. This will provide an even better batting surface.
Post a photo of your very own backyard cricket pitch on our Facebook page, Lawnspiration, and go in running to win tickets to the KFC Big Bash in your nearest capital city.
For more information visit turfaustralia.com.au or facebook.com/lawnspiration
Here are our Top 4 Family Friendly Weekend Activities
Having quality family time together can be difficult when you take into account work, school, after school activities and sport. Although you may be ferrying the kids around here, there and everywhere it isn’t what most would class as ‘family time’. Taking advantage of free weekends to spend some time together as a family can be very rewarding; if you can only manage one weekend a month where the whole family gets together, you may find that everyone starts looking forward to that special time together (even the teenagers).
So what do you do? Find something that the whole family can enjoy together and that everyone can be involved in. We know that families are on a budget so most of things we are including are either free or minimal cost. However there are few things that do cost a bit more so maybe make them a once a year special trip.
At Home Activities
If it is a nice day then find a bunch of games that keep everyone on an even playing field (i.e.: Little ones can play just as well as bigger kids). Bocce, Crocket, capture the flag, totem tennis, soccer ball on a rope. Play one on one or in teams, get outside in the fresh air and have some fun. Why not start a bit of a veggie patch; you don’t need a lot of space or even a garden bed as a lot of veggies will grow happily in pots. Pick some veggies that are easy to grow and care for (celery and spring onions are especially easy as they will re-grow from trimmings). Herbs are also great and fairly easy to maintain, they just need a trim every now and then.
If your planned family day is a bit gloomy and rainy; grab out the board games and puzzles and enjoy the competition. I strongly advise avoiding Monopoly unless everyone can handle losing. Sit down and read some books together. Jump in the kitchen and do some cooking together (even using some of your home grown veggies and herbs). Kids love to help in the kitchen and there are parts of the preparation that are safe for even little ones to help with. (Have a read of our Kids in the Kitchen article).
Go on a scavenger hunt, this can be an inside and outside game although I recommend you limit the territory (either inside or outside), set a time limit and give the kids a bag to keep their ‘treasure’. Put together a list of about 20 items for them to find. Be a bit creative and let them use their imagination by giving clues like “find something beginning with K”, “find something that smells really bad”, “find something that is yellow” etc. Set them off and when time us up everyone comes back and the winner who has found the most items gets a little prize (they get to choose dinner, a trip to an ice cream shop), something that they will enjoy but that you can also include other children in as well.
Visit the Local Park/Explore Your Local Area
Visit your local tourist information centre and see what they recommend for tourists to do in your local area; you might be surprised at what there is to do that you never knew about or even something that you have been to previously and forgotten about.
Why not find a great playground that has a mixture of play equipment for the kids and open space to run around, kick a ball etc. There are more and more parks with exercise equipment popping up around the country. These are a great way to get the whole family some exercise while having fun. Most of the equipment can be used by kids about 5 years up with a little help from Mum and Dad. No matter what type of equipment your local park has you can even create your own obstacle course and make a bit of a competition of it.
Have a look at your local council website for a list of parks in your area and see if you can find one close by that will suit your family.
There are a surprising number of miniature train ride facilities; they are a great, cheap day out for the family because seriously who doesn’t like Miniature Trains? Most miniature train locations will run a ride day once a month and they generally have picnic/BBQ facilities on site so why not take along a picnic lunch and extend the day out a bit? Try doing a google search for miniature trains in your local area and see what is around; I can assure you that even if it is a bit of a drive it will be worth it; the kids will have a ball and most parents do too (although we could never admit that we had more fun than the kids).
A little bit of research in this area can go a long way. Discovery Centres and Museums are becoming more popular and most nowadays have a dedicated kids’ area where they can play and learn. There are
loads of discovery centres, museums and botanical gardens throughout Australia so no matter where you live; you should be able to find something close by; if not some of these places would be well worth a weekend away to see.
Have a look at this website for some ideas: https://www.scienceweek.net.au/discovery-centres/
Whatever you decide to do; do it as a family and do it as regularly as you can and enjoy your family.
I love to encourage little ones to be creative and teaching them to cook is a great way to express their creative side. I’ve already been in the kitchen cooking with my two-year-old granddaughter, we made my Muesli Slice from book 3 which she loves as a snack. One of the benefits of teaching kids to cook is that as they get older they can help out when you are busy; and who doesn’t want dinner cooked for them.
Here are some tips with kids in the kitchen:
- Have a stool handy so little ones can reach the bench easily.
- Provide an apron to avoid extra mess.
- Let them pick recipes that they like and help them to write a shopping list. In the supermarket they can be the shopper; this is a great opportunity to encourage learning about weights and measures. For example, show them how to locate sizes on products, e.g. 500g of mince or a 420g can of tomatoes.
- Don’t make cooking too hard as this can lead to frustration and spoil the experience. Choose recipes according to level of difficulty that suit the age group, so they can be in charge as much as possible.
- Never criticise or be angry with them, even if they drop an egg on the floor forget about the mess and have fun.
- Make sure the tasks are age appropriate, safety first! Provide proper oven gloves to protect their hands when removing food from the oven or microwave. Talk about knife safety.
- Explain hygiene – chopping on different boards i.e. chicken on one, vegetables on another. Show how to avoid cross contamination and encourage washing of hands.
- Make a reason for the children to cook such as a visit from Grandma or for snacks to take to school or a gift such as cookies, muffins or a fruit cake. Praise is a mighty strong way for cooking to become a fun and pleasant experience.
- Fill the sink with warm soapy water and clean up as you go so it’s not a big chore at the end.
- Spending time together cooking gives parents an opportunity to teach fractions and other measurements and also educate about food and nutrition. I’m sure some kids think milk comes from a carton.
Cooking with kids is a perfect opportunity to share knowledge with your children or grandchildren and then enjoy eating the food you cook. Fond memories are made when spending time together and who knows, you might find you have a budding chef on your hands.
Article submitted by Annette Sym of Symply Too Good
Let`s start by looking at what Amines are…
Amines are naturally occurring chemicals found in many foods. They result from the breakdown of proteins or through the fermentation process, and are responsible for giving the food its flavour. The more intense the flavour, the higher the amine content, so the longer, say, a fruit ripens or a meat cures the more amines it will contain. The highest amounts can be found in aged cheeses, chocolate, wine, many alcoholic beverages, aged meats such as sausage or salami, canned or smoked fish, banana, avocado, and tomato. Amine content increases as certain fruits ripen and as meats and fish age, so those sensitive should only consume the freshest produce, meats and fish.
When you eat a food high in amines, the histamine it contains is metabolised by enzymes and bacteria to amines which are quickly absorbed in the gut and, in people who are sensitive, an allergy-type of response occurs. The end result is widening of blood vessels, tissue inflammation and swelling just as our own natural histamine creates.
Amine Intolerance or Allergy: What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of an amine allergy or amine intolerance usually depend on the amount of amine you eat you are likely to tolerate smaller amounts than larger amounts and occur when the enzymes responsible for breaking down histamine are saturated, or used up. The most common symptoms experienced by those sensitive to amines are recurrent eczema and hives, headaches or migraines, sinus trouble, mouth ulcers, fatigue (frequently feeling rundown and tired for no apparent reason), nausea, stomach pains, joint pain that is undiagnosed and digestive issues. Children can become irritable, restless and exhibit symptoms related to ADHD. Breast fed babies can exhibit colic, diaper rash, loose stools, and eczema through the milk if the mother is taking in excessive amounts of amines.
If you know that you have reactions to wines, aged cheeses or chocolate, there’s a good chance you may be reacting to other foods high in amines. Take them out of your diet completely for a few weeks and see how you feel. If you do have sensitivity to amines, you’ll want to limit the amount you eat every day, and determine what your own personal tolerance is to these highly reactive chemicals.
Read more Amine Free & Salicylate Free articles
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If you are trying to reduce toxic chemicals from your home, then you may have heard about using Bicarb Soda instead of harsh cleaning products around your home. Here are some ideas for how Bicarb can be used to clean and deodorize your home.
Using bicarb to clean your children’s possessions is a great way reduce their toxic chemical intake; especially since pretty much everything goes in their mouths.
Add 3 tablespoons of bicarb to a pot of boiling water, add your baby bottles and boil for 3 minutes. Then follow your usual sterilizing procedure. Sprinkle their stuffed animals with bicarb, leave for about 15 minutes and dust off the excess, this will get rid of nasty germs and make them smell better too.
Toilet training accidents are bound to happen; along with food and drink your lounge is bound to end up with some smells and stains. The good news is a good sprinkling of bicarb, leave for a few hours then vacuum off will leave your lounge looking and smelling great. Add a sprinkling of bicarb inside everyone’s shoes and leave overnight. Next morning give them a good shake and the smells will be gone.
Let’s face it kids will draw on anything and getting crayon off the walls is a pain; try using a wet sponge with a sprinkle of bicarb when wiping your walls.
Using bicarb in the kitchen:
Make your stainless steel sink sparkle again with a sprinkling of bicarb over your wet sink, scrub, rinse and then line your sink with vinegar soaked paper towel for about 20 minutes. Using a soft brush or cloth with a paste made from bicarb to scrub around the sink rim and caulk will see your sink shining.
To deodorise your fridge or pantry place an open box of bicarb or a pour some into an open container and leave in your fridge/pantry for up to 6 months. The bicarb will absorb food odours so make sure you discard it when the 6 months is up. Put it down the kitchen sink to give the drain a clean on the way through. You can also wipe your garbage and/or recycling bins with a damp cloth sprinkled with bicarb to deodorize them; sprinkle with some bicarb in the bottom (once dry) to keep the odours away.
Wooden and plastic chopping boards can be refreshed by giving them a scrub with a paste of a tablespoon each of bicarb, salt and water. Make sure you give the boards a good rinse afterwards (make sure any wooden boards are completely dry before using again).
A sprinkle of bicarb topped with hot water and an overnight soak will remove funky smells and stains of your plastic containers and burnt food off your saucepans and frypans.
Have a look at our blog for more great articles on how to reduce the toxic chemicals around your home.
Visit the What Can I Eat Directory for great toxic free product suggestions.
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