Hi there, I’m Chantelle. Some of you might know me from my previous blog. I felt that I needed to take a break and go offline for a while. To clear my head I guess you could say and reevaluate what is really important to me. Like spending more quality time with my family rather than stressing over what my next blog post might be. It did me good I think. I could sit still and let my mind wander.
Having more time on my hands I began to look at the health of my family. My little mister (Soren, my son) was well into solids and handing him snacks from packets or pre-made spreads filled with unknown ingredients didn’t feel right. Being the one responsible in feeding him it matters a great deal that I do the best I can. I spent a lot of time reading health journals and books, especially on the topic of sugar and the way that fructose affects the body. I’ve always had a huge sweet tooth but never thought much of it. But learning about how it is processed in the body and how it could well be a huge contributor to our societies obesity problem alarmed me a little.
With being more aware of sugar I began to look at the ingredient list of the products I usually buy. Nearly everything has some form of sugar in it. Cereals, bread, condiments, kids crackers… just about all of it contains sugar. As well as a number of preservatives.
I gave our kitchen an overhaul. Rather than buying boxed cereals I now try to make them myself. I prepare condiments as much as I can and have time for. And basically I’ve tried to cut out as much processed crap as possible on a day-to-day basis. Don’t get me wrong, when we go out to dinner I won’t have an anxiety attack over choosing the healthiest thing on the menu. And I’ll no doubt slip up from time-to-time and overindulge on chocolate. But if I can make most of what we eat from scratch on most days of the week, then I feel I’m doing the best I can for my family.
So what’s the deal with hummus?
After cleaning up our kitchen the first thing I made from scratch was a batch of beetroot hummus. While putting the ingredients in the bowl I saw little mister standing by my side looking on with interest in what I was doing. So I sat on the floor with him and with an old school masher in hand I showed him how it was done. We added a bit of this and that and I let him taste as we went along. He would look to the side and ponder over how it tasted and then look back for more. That moment meant a lot to me. To sit there teaching my child how to make something wholesome and see him enjoy it meant more than words can explain.
So why am I starting another blog since I recently decided to end one? I feel passionately about eating better. And about teaching our littlies what real food is. In a way it will document my journey of working towards a cleaner lifestyle. It’s something I genuinely feel we all need to do. And if by documenting whole food inspired meals provides others with ideas and inspiration, then I feel this space is here for a good reason.
So I’d like to welcome you. The Grounded Kitchen is in essence all about whole foods. And about making sensible choices and selecting ingredients as close to their natural state where possible. It’s not strictly paleo, vegan, vegetarian or sugar-free. With two meat-eating boys we will never be a vegetarian family. But rather a kitchen with a healthy balance. One filled with quality meats, full-fat dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. With a little natural sugar here and there.
If there is one thing I hope to achieve in this space – it’s to encourage myself to be sensible about what I eat. And in turn hopefully help you too.
Makes 2 cups
1 large beetroot
1/8 cup (30ml) extra virgin olive oil,
plus extra to drizzle
2 cups (400g) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
Preheat oven to 180˚C (355˚F).
Trim stem off beetroot and give it a light scrub under water. Place on a square of aluminium foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the foil around the beetroot to enclose and roast in oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool before cutting into chunks.
Place roasted beetroot, 1/8 cup olive oil, chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with sea salt.
To serve, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
. . .
Enjoy with chopped raw vegetables
Spread on a whole grain rice cake or piece of rye bread
Spread on rye and top with feta, toasted pine nuts and basil leaves