super easy wholegrain bread

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My middle kiddo loves a slice of bread or three.  If left to her own devices, she would live entirely on the stuff.  Thankfully for her sensitive tummy I’m onto her and try to limit her intake.  I also make sure that the bread she eats is the good stuff, think spelt sourdough and homemade loaves.  I devised this bread with her in mind.  It is chock-a-block full of whole grains and seeds but isn’t too bitty, you know what kids can be like.  Whilst this bread isn’t gluten-free, it is lower in gluten than most traditional wheat loaves, and is full of oats, spelt and rye which are a little easier to digest.

My super easy wholegrain bread is basically a fibre and B vitamin love bomb.  The types of fibre found in the oats and the rye do an amazing job of regulating blood sugar levels, preventing any energy sapping spikes occurring.  Fibre is also pretty handy at keep as regular, which whilst not fun to talk about is super important.  Wholegrains and seeds are a wonderfully yummy way to get a whole raft of the B vitamins into you.  At their most basic, and lets face it when it comes to what our body actually does with the food we eat nothing is really basic, B vitamins help the body release the energy from the food we eat.  What freaking superstars.  B vitamins also do a whole heap of other amazing feats, but I feel that is post all of it’s own for another time.

We often think of bread as being a carb party and whist this bread has plenty, in the complex, slow release form, it has also invited its friends protein, fibre and fatty acids along for the ride.  Which is good news for anyone eating it as they will fuller for longer and won’t be needing to hit the cookie jar anytime soon after.

easy multigrain bread

There is magnesium aplenty from the oats, spelt and pumpkin seeds however, the presence of the phytate in the fibre-rich wholegrains can act as an inhibitor for its absorption.  But don’t fear, phytates don’t block all magnesium from being absorbed so there will be some available to assist with energy generation, protein synthesis and muscle contractibility, especially heart muscle.

We all know calcium is vital for bone structure and strength but what else does this mineral superstar, found in the rye and sesame seeds, do?  Think blood clotting, muscle function, regulating blood pressure, enzyme functioning and assisting with immune defences. Phew, calcium is a busy little bee.

Zinc in the rye, pumpkin seeds assists in immune function, protein synthesis, thyroid function, insulin release and wound healing.  Whilst the vitamin E is found in the sunflower and sesame seeds acts as a potent antioxidant, helping to defend against the adverse effects of pesky free radicals.  Vitamin E requires the presence of fat to aid help the body absorb it, it being a fat soluble vitamin and all, so feel free to slather a bit of butter on your bread.  I know I do.

If you are still reaching for a plastic wrapped wholegrain loaf from the supermarket, give this one a go.  It seriously takes 15 minutes of your actual time to make, plus you get two loaves.  The rest of the time is spent being massaged and resting in the warmth, just like the bread.  You also have the added bonus of knowing exactly what is in your bread and get heaps of  bragging rights.  Instagram pic anyone?

easy multigrain

super easy wholegrain bread

250g wholemeal spelt flour
250g plain spelt flour
200g rye flour
100g whole oats
75g pumpkin seeds
30g sunflower kernels
30g sesame seeds
2 tsp salt
4 tsp dried yeast
500ml warm water
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp milk, to use as glaze
extra pumpkin seeds and oats to top the loaves

Place all the dry ingredients, except the extra pumpkin seeds and oats, into the bowl of a stand mixer.  If you don’t have a stand mixer, like a KitchenAid, don’t worry you can still make this bread.  Just pop everything into a bowl and knead by hand when the time comes.  Add the wet ingredients, except the milk for the glaze, and using a dough hook, knead for 10 minutes.

Grease two loaf trays.  Once the dough has been kneaded, divide in half and shape each half into a loaf shape.  Place the dough into the trays, brush the tops with the milk and sprinkle over the extra pumpkin seeds and oats.  Cover the loaves with a tea towel and let to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size, in a warm spot.

Pop the trays into a preheated 210ºC oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Once the loaves are golden on top and sound hollow when tapped, turn out onto a wire cooling rack to let cool.  If you are at all like me, grab a serrated knife and slice of the crunchy end piece, slather with butter and pop into your gob.

Now take a photo, pop it on Instagram #liaburtonnutrition and we can all check out your amazing loaves and clap and cheer.

 

Here’s to a house smelling like freshly baked bread.

xx Lia

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - lia burton nutrition

Cauliflower and Zucchini Fritters For The School Lunch Box Win

Monday saw my kiddos go back to school after the Easter holidays and truth be told I did a little happy dance.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having them home with me. It’s a time  for sleep ins, easy mornings, day trips exploring nature and catching up with friends.  It’s also a time jam packed with sibling squabbles, noise, mess and so many requests for food.  How is it that children can quite happily have one snack break and lunch at school, but at home it’s all day grazing?  Maybe I need to bring some school time structure to the holidays. Who am I kidding, that’s so not me!  School holidays also mean I get absolutely no work done. Zilch, zero, none.  Hence my happy dance at the return to a quiet house in which I can be really productive and actually get stuff done.

Their return to school also means I’m back to making school lunches and I thought I would share with you the recipe for my cauliflower and zucchini fritters.  These little babies went down a treat with my kiddos and are perfect for popping into lunch boxes.  They taste great hot or cold, on their own or tucked into a sandwich.  I use besan (chickpea) flour in my fritters, which makes them gluten free, and also imparts a lovely nutty flavour to them.  You can substitute the besan flour for any type of flour, whatever you have to hand will work.  I just have a shed load of besan in my fridge and am finding ways to use it up.

Cauliflower and zuchini fritters

Once you get the hang of the fritter, the combinations are endless.  They are really just vegetables, egg and flour at their core.  You can use up whatever veg you have lurking in the crisper drawer of your fridge.  Think grated pumpkin and haloumi, broccoli and carrot, spinach and pea.  The idea is to get creative.  The egg is important as it helps to bind everything together.   If you are cooking for someone with an egg allergy, another protein may work, like mince or mashed beans, but don’t quote me on this.

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - besan flour - lia burton nutrition

I created these fritters with my eldest in mind.  Zoe has decided that eating meat just isn’t her bag and has decided to give it a flick.  It is a decision she hasn’t come to lightly, but she is dedicated to her new found vegetarianism.  As a result of this, I have had to get my thinking hat on to make sure she gets nourishing and yummy lunches that tick all the boxes.  Lucky for Zoe, her mum’s a nutritionist and a foodie!

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - grated veg - lia burton nutrition

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - lia burton nutrition

Cauliflower and Zucchini Fritters (gluten free, vegetarian, kid-friendly)

1 free range egg
1 cup of besan flour
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tsp baking powder
1 small zucchini, grated
1/4 head of cauliflower, grated
1/2 cup of grated cheese
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Break the egg into a mixing bowl and whisk until it has doubled in volume.  Add half of the besan flour and mix to form a paste.  Add the yoghurt and stir to loosen up the mixture.

Add the grated vegetables, remaining flour, baking powder and cheese and mix well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Add spoonfuls of mixture and cook for five minutes on each side until golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel.

I like to serve these fritters with a squeeze of lemon and a little bowl of Greek yoghurt to dunk them into.

xx Lia

the real deal pancakes

Going against the flow + real deal pancakes

the real deal pancakes

Today is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day as my kids would want it known.  Being all about the food, I’m all for an official renaming of the day to ‘shove all the yummy, fluffy pancakes in your gob’ day.  I doubt my kids school would be so keen.  They will probably keep to tradition.  Fair enough.

In keeping with such tradition, my children’s school have a pancake morning tea.  Parent helpers file in to assist with the mammoth task of cooking more than 700 pancakes.  In keeping with my real food approach to cooking and eating, I opted to make my three kiddo’s pancakes at home and bring them up to school.  I can no longer go with the flow and allow my kiddos the supermarket shaker pancakes.  Or the lollies handed out to celebrate fellow student’s birthdays.  Or the fairy floss on LOTE day (that one I just can’t figure out!).  Or the additive and artificial-colour filled icy poles for sale at lunch time.  I had to draw a line in the pancake batter, so to speak.

The pre-packaged version is full of refined wheat flour, sugar, non-fat milk powder, maltodextrin (a form of sugar with a super high GI that is absorbed quickly into the blood stream.  Hello blood sugar spike.), egg powder, an anticaking ingredient and salt.  I understand why these ingredients are in a packet mix, they just don’t need to be in my child’s diet.  Personally, I try and mix things up a bit when it comes to flours and not rely on just wheat flour.  As for non-fat milk, that stuff is just not allowed in my house.  Milk is not a high fat product to begin with, around 3-4%, so why mess around with the real stuff to make something that tastes like milky water.

With pancakes in hand, I found my three kiddos in a sea of blue and gold.  It is deceptively hard to locate your own flesh and blood in a crowd of 350 kids all wearing the same thing. Hats on and its almost impossible!  Thank goodness for sharp-eyed teachers.  Zoe, Eadie and Mackie seemed more than pleased with their pancakes that were gloriously fluffy and large and not pale, insipid and as flat as, well, a pancake.

As pancakes are the order of the day, I thought it best to share my recipe for my fluffy, delicious pancakes that are made using real ingredients.  The kind of ingredients you will have in your kitchen.  Wholegrain flour, eggs, milk are the simple trinity that form the basis of these delightfully sin-free pancakes.

 

The Real Deal Pancakes

1 cup wholemeal spelt flour, you can you use plain wholemeal flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup milk
3 eggs, separated
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey (optional)

Whisk the flour, baking powder, milk, egg yolks and maple syrup together until nice and smooth in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until the form stiff peaks.  Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the pancake batter and mix in.  Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the mix until all the egg white has been incorporated.

Heat a large pan to a medium heat and add a small amount of butter to coat the pan once melted.  Make the pancakes as large or as small as you like them.  I usually cook two at once in the pan.  When bubbles start to appear in the top of the pancake, flip them over and cook until golden on both sides.

 

Here’s to moving forward and not going with the flow,

xx Lia

First day of school feels + Muesli bar slice

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My youngest babe is starting school next week.  My feels are all over the place.  One minute I’m thrilled to bits for this really ace kid as he is so excited to be going to school, and the fact that he looks super cute in his uniform is a bonus.  The next, a wave of pure emotion washes over me and I have water welling in my eyes.  I’m looking forward to the silence that will transcend over the house, especially after the Yell Fest 15/16 (school holidays) ends.  I can’t believe how loud an argument between a ten year old and an eight year old is!  I really can’t wait for all the extra mental space I will get with no interruptions from children requesting food, drinks, more food, the ipad and all their other really important needs to be able to focus on my little nutrition business (if you need a Nutritionist in 2016, I know a good one!).

I really can’t quite believe how quickly life travels and a milestone, such as your youngest starting school, is such a reminder of this.  Whilst I am going to miss my ace kid so freaking much, I am also so very ready for the next stage in my life.  The stage where I get to make a whole heap of goals and hit them hard.  This year of 2016 I have declared to be the year of me.  The last ten years has seen me devote so much time, energy and love towards my kidlets, and whilst I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I am now ready to make me more of a focus of the time, energy and love.

That said, I still need to get the kids organised for their imminent return to school and so I hit the kitchen this morning and knocked up a rather awesome muesli bar slice.  Me being me, it had to be nourishing and delicious, and I reckon I have met the brief.  Oats are such a great addition to your baking as they provide heaps of soluble fibre, keeping little tummies feeling fuller for longer.  Oats are also a good source of B vitamins, particularly thiamin and niacin, that assist in energy metabolism and helping fuel active bodies.

I thought it only fair that I share this winning muesli bar slice recipe, as I know quite a few mums that will be feeling all the feels about their kiddos starting school this year. And for those of you well established in the school life, I salute you, you survived the holidays.  Enjoy the peace next week.  And maybe a cheeky piece of my muesli bar slice.

 

Muesli Bar Slice

1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup puffed rice
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/3 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
125g butter
1/2 cup nut butter or tahini
1/2 cup honey or rice malt syrup
1/2 cup golden caster sugar or coconut sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 160C.  Line a slice tray with baking paper.

Mix the oats, puffed rice, quinoa flakes, spelt flour, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl.

Pop the butter, nut butter, honey, sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and gently melt everything together over a low heat.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir well to combine everything together.  Pour the batter into the lined slice tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden on the top.  Remove and let cool completely before slicing.

 

Here’s to moving forward

xx Lia

 

Mackie’s Chocolate Milk

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My son was a little bit addicted to chocolate milk in his super fussy years.   Just like his days of white-blond curls adorning his beautiful head have gone, so to have his super-fussy, refusing any food that didn’t come out of a boob days.  In those dark and frustrating times he seemed to live on toast, milk and air.  It didn’t help that he is naturally a little mite (I fear he has inherited my petite stature), I’m sure people thought I wasn’t feeding him at all.  I was!  He just wasn’t into food.

With two older children to wrangle as well, I took the easy route and gave him what I knew he would eat.  Toast and milk.  I know there was way more than just toast and milk, but my memories of that time focus on this.  My middle daughter was also pretty good at creating her own havoc with my plans to feed my kids nourishing food.  Our chickens were well fed during this time, that’s for sure.

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In order to try and nourish his little body I devised a cunning plan to make sure his beloved chocolate milk was full of the good stuff.  I bought a decent blender and started with just full cream milk, cacao and honey.  Initially, he told me it was yuck and he wouldn’t drink it.  However, every time he asked for chocolate milk (daily!) this is what I gave him.  Blow me down, he eventually started drinking it.  I then decided to boost it a bit more and added banana, which was a downright fail. Next step was to add frozen banana instead to make it more like a milkshake, all cold and creamy.  It is amazing how changing the texture of a disliked food can all of sudden make it a liked food.  He even started eating frozen banana pieces all on their own, woohoo.  I thought that I would try and take this milk even further and added avocado for a good fat and fibre hit.  He didn’t even notice this change and hoovered it up.

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I have never met a child who can drink chocolate milk quicker than my little fella. He will have his ‘chocolate milk’ most mornings as well as his breakfast.  Mackie is now what I consider to be an ‘eater’, trying new foods and inhaling favourites.  Like most kids, some days sees him eating way more than others.  He follows his hunger cues and I just go with it and I don’t let it stress me out like it used to.

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Mackie’s Chocolate Milk

Serves 2

2 cups milk of choice (cow’s, almond, whatever your little person is into)
1-2 tsp cacao powder, depends on how chocolately you like it
1-2 tsp honey, depends on how sweet you want it
1 frozen banana
1/4 avocado

Pop everything into a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy.  Serve in a favourite glass, fancy stripey straw optional.