Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day - Remembrance, RPM and Recipes

I had every intention of getting up just after 5:00am this morning and heading off to the local RSL for their dawn service. ANZAC Day always makes me reflect not only on the brave souls who gave up their lives in the various wars, but on how lucky I am to live in this country. It also just generally reminds me to be grateful for many things which I often take for granted. I've never been to a dawn service; don't really know why.

I would love to attend the service at the Shrine of Remembrance one year, but distance from the city, the lack of public transport or available parking at that time of day, plus the thought of battling through a crowd of 50,000 is all a little off-putting. So, I checked where the local services were and got my warm clothes all ready last night, to minimise delays in the morning.

However, my plans were upset by a terrible night's sleep, which saw me still awake at 2:00am. There was no way I was getting up after only three hours' sleep, so I reluctantly switched off my alarm and stayed in bed. I'm OK with it though - I've paid my respects to the fallen, the wounded and those who returned safely from wars in other ways today.

I hadn't actually planned to do an RPM class today; hadn't even checked the public holiday timetable. But do you know what happens when you add your RPM instructor as a Facebook friend? She can SEE when you're online, doing nothing much and throw out a little "Are you coming to my 10:30am class today, Kerryn?" So guess what I ended up doing for today's exercise? Bike Boy even came along as well.

I was pleased when Kerri began the class by asking us to observe a minute's silence - as the strains of The Last Post played through the sound system, I admit that I got a little teary. That music gets me every time. Then it was down to business. I put in a good, solid, sweaty effort and was very happy that I'd been guilted into going. Saved me putting any thought into training.... Yes, I am that lazy.

The rest of the day has been dedicated to kitchen experiments. I've been inspired to get into all kinds of funky things lately. First off, inspired by Sara, I'm exploring fermentation. I'm hoping that eating more fermented foods will help rebalance the bacteria in my irritable gut. I got the hang of coconut yoghurt ages ago, so it was time to move onto other stuff.

First cab off the rank was sauerkraut. After exploring the internet (and getting sooo confused at the different methods), I settled on this recipe. It was a piece of cake! Here's the result:

Pretty, as well as good for you!

I kept it simple and used caraway seeds to flavour mine. I quite like the sour, crunchy, salty taste - I'm pretty sure it's going to seriously grow on me until I just can't live without it. A spoonful with my salad or cooked veggies adds a bit of oomph.

I also have some water kefir grains in the fridge, courtesy of a lovely Facebook friend, who packed up some she had to spare and sent them via Australia Post from far north Queensland. Hurrah for the internet! I'm looking forward to trying that soon - and will be sure to blog the whole thing.

I'm also continuing my love affair with coconut. When Michelle from Healthy Helpings posted that making your own coconut butter was easy-peasy, OF COURSE I had to try it. So this afternoon, I threw three cups of shredded coconut (not dessicated; different thing, so don't make that mistake) into the old Jamie Oliver food processor, turned it on and after about ten-fifteen minutes, I had this:

So GOOD, that I am banishing all spoons from the house, so I'm not tempted
to just shovel it from the jar straight to my mouth.
One is supposed to store one's home made coconut butter in a quaint and photogenic vintage glass jar. Unfortunately, I don't own such a thing (bad food blogger!), so one of our Easiyo plastic containers had to do.

I made another batch of coconut milk too. The method I use is shown in this YouTube video. Easy doesn't begin to describe it.

My big experiment today though was again courtesy of Michelle, who pointed me towards this recipe from Chocolate Chilli Mango for ANZAC protein bars/biscuits. I was missing several vital ingredients, so headed off to the health food store this afternoon, with little hope of actually finding them. The outer suburbs are a health-food dead zone... To my surprise, my local had everything I needed for the recipe - rice protein, cocoa butter and coconut sugar, plus some pea protein I wanted for another recipe I have lined up. Yay! I also stocked up on extra shredded coconut while I was there.

I made a half-quantity of the recipe, as I didn't really want two dozen ANZAC bikkies sitting around my house, no matter how healthy and balanced they are. They worked out perfectly - except that they barely spread at all, so next time I'd flatten them a bit more before they go in the oven.

Great flavour with a protein boost, a lot less sugar and much healthier ingredients

A busy day in Kek's kitchen.... Oh, I forgot to mention that I started the day with pudding for breakfast. I made this choc-raspberry chia pudding yesterday, and this morning layered some in a dessert dish with sliced banana and sprinkled a couple of roughly chopped walnuts on top.

Dessert for breakfast - my favourite thing!
So that was my ANZAC day.... How was yours? What did you get up to?



Liz N said...

I am loving all of these recipes and posts of yours at the moment. Please don't stop any time soon! #inspirational

Carly Findlay said...

Oh that pudding looks amazing! What a productive day :)

Kek said...

I'm loving the recipes too, Liz! it's so enjoyable to have new tastes to look forward to. I may need to extend the pantry to store my new ingredients in though. ;)

The pudding IS amazing, Carly. And it practically makes itself.

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