Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon Loula Natural fb

I absolutely love my slow cooker. I bought my first one just before my daughter was born because I thought that throwing things into one and leaving it and dinner is served when you need it. My first one cracked and I felt like I was without my right hand for the week it took me to replace it! This is the one I have now but they all do the job! I prefer the ones with the ceramic pots.

I use it for soooooo many things and it is one everyday for either my stock, stewing apples, making pumpkin and porridge when it is cold, cottage pie, its the only lasagna  (and my squash lasagna), stews and whole chickens are super simple and never ever dry and bland!

Modern Updates of the Classics Loula Natural

This is one of my favourite adaptations of a classic. This recipe calls for flour which I adapted to use coconut flour. The secret to this is to use a decent red wine- one you would want to drink with the meal! My dad loves his wine and so we have a great number to choose from (two wine fridges and then some). 

Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon
This is a delicious meal that fills the house with rich aromas and is filling and nourishing. The kids love it too!
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Ingredients
  1. 800g Beef Brisket cubed
  2. 500mls Red Wine- Burgundy is preferable
  3. 1 onion chopped
  4. 3-4 cloves of garlic
  5. 2 carrots cut up
  6. 1-2 stalks of celery sliced
  7. 1-2 tbs coconut flour
  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  9. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  10. 1 tsp herbs de provence
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1-2 tbsp olive oil/butter/ghee or coconut oil (your choice)
Instructions
  1. Pre- heat slow cooker if necessary
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add onions and garlic
  3. Brown meat, add flour- stir well so evenly covered
  4. Add all of the rest of the ingredients
  5. Add to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-7 hours
Notes
  1. I serve my stews with steamed green veg finished with a knob of butter and parsnip rice or sweet potato mash
Adapted from Supercooks Beef Bourguignon
Adapted from Supercooks Beef Bourguignon
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/

 

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts Loula Natural1

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Beef Bourguignon Loula Natural pin

Birthday Cakes and Frosting!

easy cake decorating

Every year for my two kids I make the same cake- It is a gluten free carrot cake. I have followed the same recipe (with additions and tweaks every year) for the last 5 years. I wanted to start a birthday cake tradition. So I am keeping the recipe to myself to share with the kids as and when they want to make the cake for their own kids.

When my son was born I wondered if I should develop a different cake for him. However I decided both kids would have the same- it is hard to dislike carrot cake! Also I didn’t want arguments in the future about which cake was better, nicer etc!

I learnt how to make cool tops for the cake on Pinterest (where else!). I wanted to share that with you…

Draw around your baking tin onto baking paper.

evas cake

On baking paper you draw the design- so far we have had Minnie Mouse, a Bulldog, Belle and the Beast and now a T Rex. I use a combination of ‘how to’s’ I have found online and artistic license! It is actually pretty easy. However if you are a little creatively challenged you can print out an image and trace it onto the baking paper.

Then using an icing pen like this one or I use these icings. Shock horror they are not organic or natural. However they do a really good job and are such a tiny part of the cake- its what I use!

Then you just use them like crayons and colour in your picture! Use the black one first to do all the out lines and then the colours. Remember your cake topper will be flipped over so will be the mirror image. I forgot and a number 4 didnt work out so well last year!

I then pop it in the freezer over night.

I cut my cake in half and frost it with all different combinations. This time I used mascapone and mixed in 2 tbs milk kefir, dash maple syrup and used some shaved cacao paste- my goodness chocolate chip frosting at its finest! Then you just pop the icing layer on top icing side down and slowly peel off the baking paper.

cake Collage

Let me know what you make!

 

easy cake decorating Loula Natural

Orange Peel Powder

Orange Peel Powder Loula Natural

Orange Peel Powder

I love keeping orange, mandarin and tangerine peels. I dry them in the dehydrator and I blitz them in my blender to powder. As a natural Vitamin C supplement the peel has numerous benefits. Organic oranges are ideal as oranges do get sprayed and retain a high amount of pesticides. However Organic oranges are hard to come by in Hong Kong so I first soak my peels in a kombucha and water solution to help remove the waxes and chemical residues. 

The Limonene and flavonoids found in orange peel (also grapefruit, lemons and limes) have been seen to have some anti-carcinogenic properties. Especially in Breast and colon cancer cases. The limonene oils may inhibit cancer cell growth. Studies have shown that limonin and limonene can start the enzyme activity  an important detoxifying enzyme called of glutathione S-transferase. This helps as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which blocks the need of the cell to mutate to protect itself. The citric acid in the peel also plays a key role in this.

Orange peels are a natural source of pectin, a natural fiber which may decrease the rise in blood sugar after a meal. Thus being of some benefit to pre and type 2 diabetes. Pectin is also a pre-biotic- helpfully feeding and balancing our bacteria friends so necessary to the body (see Culture Your Life which is all about the benefits of bacteria).

This gives orange peel has antiseptic, bactericidal, and fungicidal properties by helping out the bacterial environment. D-limonene may also be helpful in dissolving kidney stones and  beneficial in eliminating any kidney or urinary tract infections. Especially when the peels have been slightly fermented by the Kombucha in the soaking process. The Kombucha not only removes the chemical residues it may also begin the digestive process by increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients in the peel.

The natural properties in orange peel have also been seen to helpful in lowering cholesterol.

“In a May 2004 “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” article, Canadian researchers and the United States Department of Agriculture reported that isolated compounds from orange and tangerine peels showed promise as a natural alternative for reducing LDL cholesterol without the side effects of mainstream cholesterol drugs.” (source)

They may also help with heartburn. According to a 2007 Alternative Medicine Review article by Jidong Sun, Ph.D., Sun notes that an active ingredient found in the orange peel, d-limonene, possesses the ability to neutralize gastric acid and support normal peristalsis. (source)

 This great powder is so easy to make and I add it to so many things!

Orange peel powder can be added to;

Homemade chocolate (and hot chocolate or chocolate milkshakes)

Homemade fudge

Drinks (it is nice in fizzy water but also in Gin and Tonic!)

Baked Goods like Shortbread, Coconut Cookies, Carrot Cake

Salad Dressings

Jams and Spreads (especially chocolate spreads)

Sprinkled on ice-cream

Homemade Cosmetics (like scrubs and body butters)

Granola, MuesliChia porridge or Bircher Chia

Kefir,

Kombucha

Teas and coffee

Stock

Smoothies 

Homemade Cleaners

Orange Peel Powder
A great way to get some vitamin c into your diet. Also a great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can be added to homemade cosmetics, chocolate, drinks, baked goods, muesli, teas, kefir and kombucha. The possibilities are endless!
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Ingredients
  1. Orange peel
  2. Kombucha/apple cider vinegar
  3. water
Instructions
  1. Soak your orange, mandarin, tangerine or other citrus peel in a solution of water and Kombucha (use about 1 tbs kt to 500mls water)
  2. Use a dehydrator (at 100F) or oven at the lowest setting and dry your peel until it is hard and completely dry.
  3. When your peel is completely dry put in a high speed blender and blitz until powder.
  4. Add to fizzy water and drink otherwise it can be added to; chocolate, drinks, baked good, use it to flavour Kefir, kombucha or add it to teas, stocks and smoothies! Why not use in your homemade cosmetics!
Notes
  1. so easy- give it a go- you were only going to throw the peel away anyway!
  2. Another good way to use the peel is to add it to bath water
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here is an image to pin/share to remember!

Orange peel powder instructions Loula natural

 Here are my recipes to use it;

References:

D-Limonene: Safety and Clinical Applications

Health Properties of Orange Peel | LIVESTRONG.COM

Cancer Chemoprevention by Citrus Pulp and Juices Containing High Amounts of β-Cryptoxanthin and Hesperidin

Functional Foods: Biochemical and Processing Aspects – Google Books (Pg 160)

Orange Peel Powder Loula Natural Pin

Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk Loula Natural fb I love coconut. I love making coconut yoghurt, milk and butter from the meat and drinking the water and making coconut water kefir. The recipes couldn’t be simpler.

The results from making them fresh and from home are so beyond what you can buy in cartons, cans and jars! Mostly however because the natural bacteria are still present in the fresh meat and water and this greatly enhances the health giving properties. I use Young Thai coconuts, they are my favourite tasting ones. They also have a good amount of soft meat and water to make a delicious coconut milk that does not need straining. Have a look at my post to see how to easily open them

There are also several methods of making coconut milk from dried coconut too. In the tropics we have these in abundance of fresh coconuts in the supermarkets and after using the water and meat they are a bargain. Now I just need some ideas on how to use the husks- I hate waste and live on the 27th floor! (update- we now live in a house and I am planning to use them as planters for some seedlings.)

The easiest way to make coconut milk is to use the contents of one coconut (meat and water- topping up with filtered water if necessary) and blend- however if you want to make more than one glass then follow this recipe.

Fresh Coconut Milk
A delicious vibrant milk which is far superior to cows milk in taste, nutrient content and nutrient availability.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 Cups of Coconut water (about the contents of 1 coconut)
  2. 1 1/2 Cups of filtered Water
  3. 1 cup of coconut meat (normally 2-3 coconuts worth)
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender
  2. Blend until thick and creamy.
  3. No need to strain
Notes
  1. This will keep in the fridge for at least a week but it is normally used up way before then.
  2. I have also made Coconut milk Kefir from this also. Just add the milk grains and leave with a muslin cover for 12-24 hours- to taste!
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Coconut Milk Loula Natural pin

How to open a coconut- step by step

Want to stop drinking the pastuerised coconut water- but been scared to get into a coconut? Use this method to get inside and make the best use of the Coconut Water and meat. See why here, see coconut milk, coconut yoghurt and cream

 

Use the knife to push in and down following the hard shell beneath. Turn the coconut on its side and keep working your way around
You will eventually reveal the shell part. Turn the coconut back on to it’s side
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Use the bottom corner of the knife and tap away- mind your fingers!
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Until you make the incision through the shell
Turn the coconut back over so you can lever the tip of the knife in the incision and wiggle side to side and up and down
The top will come off in a handy circle nice and neat!
Use a suitable sized measuring jug to place over the top of the coconut hold with both hands and…

 

 

Upturn nice and quick, catching the water
Meat is normally soft and wet enough to use a spoon to scoop it out
Meat is normally soft and wet enough to use a spoon to scoop it out
Us to make cream, milk and yoghurt or just eat fresh!
Us to make cream, milk and yoghurt or just eat fresh!

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