I have played with several grain free pizza bases over the years. We have been using this recipe for a year now and I am ready to share it with you all.
In my experience grain free bases are a faff to make and never taste like pizza most of the time! Traditional pizza base is very simple; flour (gluten and grain rich!), olive oil, yeast, water, sugar and salt. To recreate this without gluten and adding nutrients (which I always have to do!) is a tough thing.
I have really enjoyed my cauliflower crust however it was not nice cold and that is a must for lunchboxes! So I have been searching and playing for the right combination. I tried simply replacing the flour with a gluten free mix, but my need for nutrients was not being met! Then I decided that I actually wanted it grain free for the kids and my digestive needs. Thats when I turned to tapioca flour (see here for a great one to buy). Learning to use tapioca flour is an experience!!
2/3 cup of olive oil (I have also used coconut oil)
1tsp of dried herbs (I like an italian mix- you can use what you like or sun-dried tomato flakes)
2 tsp garlic or dried onion powder
2 tsp salt
3 cups of tapioca flour
1tbsp collagen hydrolysate (gelatin)
2 beaten eggs
1tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
3tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp almond flour (optional)
dash of kefir (water or milk) (optional, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar)
Add the water, oil, herbs and garlic powder to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Add the tapioca flour and it will instantly become a sticky mess (I mean dough)
Ensure it is all mixed in and allow to cool for 10-15 mins
Heat your oven to 200 centigrade.
Add in remaining ingredients until it is a dough that can be kneaded. You may need to adjust the dry ingredients. Coconut flour expands so be careful if you add more. The gelatin helps to make it more doughy.
I roll the dough out in between two pieces of baking paper. It is then easier to get really thin and then move to a baking sheet or pizza stone.
Roll your dough out to a couple of mm. It is a nice thin and crispy pizza, any thicker and it is a bit too chewy.
I have frozen the bases at this point
Put pizza in the oven to 20-30 mins to pre cook (longer if you have cooked from frozen)
Add toppings. I add passata, and whatever I fancy (the kids eat ham, pineapple and olives!) we like bacon, artichokes, olives and peppers!
Add cheese if you like and put back in the oven for another 10-15 mins.
The gelatin, almond flour and eggs add a good nutrient content to the pizza base so it is not so starch heavy. The oil adds a good fat content. We always serve with a nice crisp and colourful salad and it is very filling.
Nurture Your Life is the second in my series of books on natural health (the first was Culture Your Life published 2014). Children’s nutrition is a big passion of mine. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I see many children with chronic conditions like persistent illness, skin conditions, energy and growth issues and a staggering increase in children with allergies and intolerances. With two children of my own, I feel compelled to help these kids find their strength and return them to health to help prevent more serious conditions in their future.
Weaning a child onto food is a very powerful first step in a child’s relationship with food. A relationship which is of fundamental importance to health. Think of your own love/hate relationship with food. There are so many non-foods in our diets in the west, our supermarkets are sometimes almost 80% stocked with chemical, processed and unhealthy foods. Conventional avenues still persist that rice cereal (which may be hugely inflammatory to an immature digestive system) is the food we should be starting our kids on. This book does not recommend that route.
I hope you enjoy reading it and ask questions, keep reading, become informed as to how the body works. Change your own relationship to food if need be. Lets start our kids off the right way, with foods to nurture their life from the beginning.
This spicy, tart and juicy Christmas Kraut is a match made in heaven for your plate, throughout the holiday season.
Traditional Christmas foods are naturally rich in fats, nutrients and, of course, sugar! Many of us will also be enjoying a tipple or two at parties over the coming weeks. Adding a fermented aspect to these meals, this Christmas Kraut may help the body to deal with and digest all these excess foods and drinks. Hopefully lessening the fatigue, bloating, hangovers, sugar highs (and lows) and of course the noxious fumes that generally comes with turkey, sprouts et al.
Perfect on the plate at the main event or served with cheese, this Christmas Kraut will totally change some of your Christmas traditions!! It will certainly be on the menu for me for years to come.
So simple, if you are in a warmish climate you could ferment this in a week and have it ready for your Christmas table this year.
Char sui (Chinese Barbecue Pork) is one of my all time comfort foods. Growing up in Hong Kong, Char Sui is the lynch pin for so many meals. Served with rice and veggies, in noodles, in buns and just by itself as a snack, its salty sweet bbq flavour is completely addictive. However of course so are all the nasty additives, colourings and msg you can find in it nowadays- not in a good way of course.
When I first stumbled across this recipe I was not convinced it was going to taste as good. But oh boy is it on the money! Simply marinade and roast. We serve with chinese greens stir fried with garlic or we make coconut rice (or try cauli mash/parsnip rice)
Homemade Char Sui (Barbecue Pork)
A clean ingredient recipe for a classic favourite. Authentic takeaway/restaurant flavour with great ingredients.
Kombucha is a fermented Tea. It is described as a ‘delicious sour tonic beverage’ slightly sparking and a little like apple cider. The drink is made with a SCOBY( symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Also known as “The Mother” just like with Apple Cider Vinegar. It is a bit like a disc which floats on the surface as it ferments.
Kombucha is an aerobic process so it has to float as its where the oxygen is- if it is not floating after a few days or generate a new film- sadly it may have died. Although sometimes it will sink then rise. It is best to use a wide glass vessel (no metal) that is partially filled. Your SCOBY will generate a film that is the same size and shape as your vessel. As you make more the SCOBY will get thicker and generally grow in layers that you can peel off and use to generate other batches and to share (babies!) As they have no added benefit by being thicker you can share or why not puree it into a paste and use it for a facial?!
This is how you can make it at home
Each SCOBY and brew will be different, much like Kefir. Some will be more robust than others and some may be able to brew herbal teas and adapt to other sugars. Some people have even used fruit juice. It is best to start with a more fail safe ‘tea leaf’ brew; black, green or white tea. Then play with the herbal teas in the second fermentation.
All you need is Tea, sugar and an acidic environment. The amount of sugar is dependent on your taste. It is possible to brew a strong tea as a concentrate and then water down (also to cool it). The tea can be sweetened while still hot (as it is easier to get the sugar to dissolve) but can also be done when cold
What you will need:
Wide glass jar (I use 1.6 litre Jar)
1 litre Cooled, strong brewed tea (black, green or white tea)
1⁄2 cup sugar (I use coconut)
Acid (either 100mls brewed Kombucha saved from last batch or 2 tbs of any vinegar) Plastic tongs (to transport the mother)
Piece of cotton or muslin/rubber band to secure)
Plastic Funnel and Glass bottle to store for drinking
Glass Jar to keep mother in (with some reserved tea)
The tea needs to be at body temperature (no hotter) mix in the sugar.
Then add 100mls Kombucha about (5-10 percent so for a litre about 50-100mls)or 2 tbs of vinegar (any kind) if you have no matured Kombucha.
Add the Mother (SCOBY)
Always cover the vessel with a light porous cloth that allows air circulation but protects from bugs and dust. Kitchen towel works well too.
Leave Vessel in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.
The length of fermentation will depend on how warm it is and how acidic you want your drink to be. Taste it every few days to see if you like it, but on average it is between 7-14 days (can be months- when it’s really cold)
When it is to taste, take the mother out and place in a bowl to separate the layers or the ‘babies’
Reserve in some of the tea to store in the fridge (cool temp stop fermentation). Have another batch of tea ready to start again and drink tea (bottle as is either in tight sealed bottle or open bottle and store in the fridge) or bottle with fruit for the second fermentation.