Green Banana Flour Orange Cake Recipe

Green Banana Flour Orange Cake Recipe

Banana Flour – what’s all the fuss about

Banana Flour is relatively new to the health food scene in Australia and is in super high demand due to its versatility and nutritional benefits. Quite simply, it is flour made from pulverised green bananas. The fruit must be unripe and only certain varieties are suitable. Australia’s first commercial producer of Green Banana Flour – Natural Evolution, is located in North Queensland and uses Cavendish Bananas for best results.

The product is completely gluten free, making it suitable for coeliacs, those who are gluten intolerant and has also been shown to help with weight loss. In addition, and unlike regular wheat flours, it is also packed with nutrients, containing vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your health.

One of the concerns people have about banana flour is its taste. If you have been wary, don’t be. It surprisingly doesn’t taste like bananas. It has an earthy, wholemeal-y taste so it doesn’t overpower or interfere with other flavours in baking or cooking.

You may need to experiment with your favourite recipes and quantities used. Green banana flour is high in starch so the general rule of thumb is to use 30% less of this product. If you have recipes you have loved and perfected in the past it may take a while to get the combination just right. It’s lighter and fluffier than coconut or almond flour so will result in a less dense finished product than these flours.

To get you started on your quest for success we contacted the folk at Natural Evolution and asked for their favourite, no fail recipe using this new wonder product. Try this Orange Cake recipe pronto. It is awesome!

Natural Evolution Orange Cake

Ingredients

1 cup of Natural Evolution Green Banana Flour
½ cup of water
½ cup of milk (can be rice, almond, coconut)
¼ cup orange juice
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 tablespoon of orange rind
2 eggs
125g of softened butter (or replace with something else you like to use)
¼ cup of honey or ¾ cup of sugar

Method

Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly for three minutes.
Pour mixture into a prepared tin. A 20cm x 20cm loaf pan works well
Bake in a preheated 180 degree oven for 30-40 minutes
Allow to cool in the tin before turning onto a wire rack.

Serve as desired.

A clean, eco-friendly home is possible

A clean, eco-friendly home is possible

If you’re like a lot of Australians you’ve wondered from time to time about the effectiveness of natural cleaners. Will they live up to their promise? Will they get in and remove dirt, grime and germs the way ‘regular’ cleaning products do? Will they leave your house or your clothes smelling fresh, clean and fragrant?

Made from non-toxic, plant based ingredients, natural household cleaning ranges have been carefully manufactured to ensure they are powerful enough to perform they function they’re made for but gentle enough to have around your home, your children and pets.

DIY

You can’t beat good old fashioned baking soda and vinegar for some household tasks. It’s especially good for removing tea stains from pots and cups and for helping clear blocked drains.

But for convenience we all find ourselves turning to commercial products. They’re easy to grab out of the cupboard and are generally fit for purpose. Here’s a few of our current favourites. Tried and tested by members of the team – both at work and home.

Kin Kin Naturals Laundry Liquid

First up, we love the smell, with eucalypt, tangerine and lemon myrtle essential oils. Talk about a fresh fragrance! This product contains no LAS or SLS – but includes eco-friendly potassium coconut soap and potassium citrate to get the job done. It’s also made on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland so gets extra points for being locally made.

Eco Logic Tile and Floor Cleaner

None of us like cleaning floors (do we?) but this Rose and Geranium floor cleaner makes the job a little easier. It contains NO ammonia which makes for a good start. Instead it’s made up of beautiful, natural ingredients like Lavender, Soapwort, Horsetail herb, Coconut extracts, Citrus seed extract and Rose Geranium essential oil. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties will kill germs in their tracks and is safe to use on timber and tiled floors. It is also biodegradable and septic safe.

Ecostore Wool Wash

This eco-friendly product is great for delicates such as lace, wool and silk. It can be used for hand washes or machine wash in top or front loaders. The pH balanced formula ensures an effective clean and is kind to sensitive skin. The Eucalyptus fragrance is pretty nice too.

Organic Clean Oven, BBQ and Grill Clean

This is a powerful but non-caustic, non-toxic cleaner that cuts through grease and baked on gunk from oven, grills and your BBQ. It is made from environmentally friendly ingredients and Eucalyptus, Lemon Myrtle and Rosalina essential oils.

For people who suffer from sensitive skin or allergies, natural products are a lifesaver but we recommend always reading the labels carefully and speaking to a Wholehealth Pharmacy and Healthfoods team member for advice.

Healthy Summer Berry Pavlova Recipe

Healthy Summer Berry Pavlova Recipe

This pavlova recipe, by nutristionist Sophie van Kempen, uses coconut sugar and apple cider vinegar for a healthy twist on a traditional pavlova recipe. She has also substituted coconut yoghurt for cream or ice-cream but feel free to play around to find something that suits your taste!

Ingredients:

6 egg whites (keep the yolks for your breakfast omelette)
3 tbsp rapadura or coconut sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
250g coconut yoghurt
150g frozen mixed berries
sprinkle with pistachios or flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 120’C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. It is a good idea to grease the baking paper with butter and dust with some cornflour to help with removing the pavlova once cooked.
  2. Use an electric beater to beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of sugar at a time beating until dissolved. Meringue should thicken and become glossy.
  4. Add cornflour and vinegar at the end and beat until just combined. Spoon the meringue mixture onto the baking tray in a round shape using the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake for approximately 1.5 hours. Check pavlova after 1 hour to make sure it isn’t cooking too quickly. Once cooked it will be slightly brown and dry to touch. Turn off oven and leave pavlova inside with door ajar for 2 hours or until cooled.

Top with coconut yoghurt and seasonal fruit. Fresh fruit is always best but frozen berries will also work well. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

You will find many of the ingredients in this recipe at your local Wholehealth Discount Drug Store and Healthfoods pharmacy.

Find more recipies by Sofie on her website www.healyourgut.net

Keeping Mosquitos at Bay

Keeping Mosquitos at Bay

Mosquitos are a nuisance for many reasons but mainly due to their ability to spread infection and disease. In Australia, there are approximately 5000 cases of human illness caused by Ross River Fever and Barmah Forest Fever every year. Both fevers are transmitted by mosquitos.

Bites from mosquitos can also cause infection, particularly in small children and infants who are more prone to scratch their bites. So, as summer approaches, it is best to be prepared for the onslaught that will come.

Clear areas where water pools

Make sure all backyard tubs and unused plant pots are free of water and keep gutters and drains clear. Mosquitos breed in water so it’s important to eliminate their breeding grounds. When you are out and about during summer take extra precautions as outlined below.

Keep Covered

Mosquitos are attracted to darker colours, so when you are in areas where you know they will be hovering, cover up with long sleeved light coloured clothing.

Mosquitos tend to feed at night but don’t forget to take precautions at dusk and dawn when they are still active. The old fashioned mosquito net is an effective way of keeping mosquitos away while you are sleeping as is having a fan turned on in the bedroom.

Mosquito Repellents are the only really effective deterrent

Use a repellent containing DEET or Picaridin for the best protection. Read and follow the instructions on product labelling carefully and be particularly careful when applying product to young children and babies. Speak to your pharmacist for advice about what products will work best for your family.

 Essential Oils and Natural Remedies.

Many people prefer a natural alternative to chemical repellents and there are a host of essential oils and natural remedies available. One of the essential oils that is proving to have a good level of effectiveness is Lemon Eucalyptus. And while there is certainly a place for natural repellents, it is important to note that studies have shown they are less effective than DEET or Picaridin and would have to be applied more often to be effective. Care also needs to be taken about applying these directly to the skin.

Once again, your pharmacist or a Wholehealth Discount Drug Store and Healthfoods team member will be able to help with advice and recommendations on a solution that suits you.

For this post we referenced:

https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/all/prevention/mosquito-borne/bites

http://theconversation.com/aussies-vs-mozzies-a-users-guide-to-repellents-10964

Beat the 3pm Energy Slump

Beat the 3pm Energy Slump

We all know it. That sluggish feeling you get mid-afternoon, when your eyes will NOT stay open and you lose concentration. You feel like there is an eternity until you can ‘knock off’ for the day and there is still a mountain of work to get through. Whether you are at work or at home with the kids, the 3pm slump can be beaten with a few simple, energy boosting steps.

Eat a balanced lunch

Regardless of how hungry you feel, avoid a heavy lunch, especially a high fat one. Instead, opt for a balance of healthy fats, slow release carbs and lean protein. This combination, added to a salad will give you the energy you need to get you through the afternoon.

Drink Water

It can’t get easier than that. But how does drinking water which has zero nutritional value, help with energy levels? Put simply, dehydration leads to fatigue as the body has to work harder to push oxygen and nutrients to the bodies organs, brain and muscles. Keep an insulated jug of water beside you during the day and sip on it constantly. Iff you get to mid-afternoon and find yourself feeling tired, have an extra glass of water or herbal tea.

Don’t fall into the sugar trap

You might get an instant energy hit from chocolate or a sweet biscuit but it will be a temporary boost and the sugar low afterwards will leave you feeling worse than before. Instead, reach for chia seeds which promote energy and are rich in B vitamins, omega 3 and protein. Mix them in with some low fat yoghurt and a handful of nuts and you’ll feel better in no time.

Breathe and Move

Take a few minutes to get some fresh air and sunshine. Take a few deeps breaths, making sure you take air right down into your lungs and stomach and exhale fully. This oxygen injection will help energise your body and the sunshine certainly can’t hurt (you’ll be getting a bit of vitamin D for a start). Walking around a bit will also help wake up your system and get that new found oxygen moving to your brain.

If you have to cheat

Try dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa content, the better it is for you. Cocoa is high in anti-oxidants and minerals such as magnesium and iron.

Kombucha Mocktail Recipe

Kombucha Mocktail Recipe

Summer and a good hydration plan go hand in hand. We need to drink more during warmer months as our bodies sweat more to try and counteract the heat and keep temperatures from climbing.

While water is the go-to, gold standard solution and we should all aim to drink six to eight glasses a day, there are times when the good old H2O just won’t cut it and you need something with a bit of pizzazz to quench your thirst. Especially for that after work catch up with friends or week-end treat.

Here’s our suggestion for achieving the best of both worlds – a Kombucha Mocktail.

We sell a lot of Kombucha in our stores. And when we say a lot we mean a LOT. The health benefits are reportedly due to it being full of probiotics, living enzymes and organic acids. It is said to be good for the health of the gut and in balancing mind, body and spirt. All that aside, and with a stack of flavours to choose from, the lightly sparkling drink is refreshing and hydrating. The team at Wholehealth Discount Drug Store and Healthfoods, Pease St came up with the following recipe they’ll have on high repeat over Christmas.

Ingredients
  • Cocktail glasses – you have to look the part : )
  • Cocktail umbrellas if you want to go all out
  • Garnish – lemon, berries, mint
  • Plenty of ice
  • Kombucha – we like keeping it simple and buying the bottled and flavoured variety. For this one, we used Ginger
  • All the ingredients you would add to your favourite green juice. Think apple, pineapple, celery, cucumber and kale.

Blend the ice, green juice ingredients and kombucha in a blender until smooth. Pour into your cocktail glass and add your garnish.

It’s as easy as that. No dehydration headaches. Just energy, vitality and a healthier gut : )