Easy spiced applesauce

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Stocks & sauces
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Applesauce is a great accompaniment with roasted pork. And spiced applesauce – yum. The smell of it cooking reminds me of Christmas.

There is no added sweetener in this recipe since apples are sweet enough. All you need are fresh apples, water and a few spices. I’ve used a food processor but you can use a potato masher. You will just get a slightly lumpier sauce.

You can give it to toddlers straight off a spoon. You might just need to dial down the spices if they find it a bit too strong. Soren (our little mister) loves it with this amount of spice in it. So test it out once and then adjust the next batch you make.

Personally I love it spread over a piece of toast. Adding a slice of Gouda makes it a little more decadent.
 

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Salted nut butter cups

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Dessert
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Homemade nut butter cups are fast becoming my favourite thing to prepare for a sweet treat. They are quite simple to make as well. This recipe I’ve adapted from I Quit Sugar and My New Roots. 

I tried making them with the pistachio butter I had on hand, but the pistachio flavour gets a little lost against the cacao. Cacao is quite intense. But an awesome ingredient loaded antioxidants and a good source of fibre and iron. Almond butter works really well with cacao which is what went into these.

I’ve kept sweetening to a minimum and only added in a little rice malt syrup. But if you would like it sweeter then taste as you go and add a bit more to each mixture if you think it needs it. The same goes with salt. Alternatively you can use honey as a sweetener instead of rice malt syrup.
 

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Chicken stock

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Stocks & sauces
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I’ve recently started making my own stock/broth. It’s easy to buy stock cubes but if you look at the ingredient list they are filled with so many ingredients that really don’t sound natural. I find processed stock can be way too salty.

Making your own stock from scratch isn’t actually that hard. Plus, you end up with a whole heap of meat to use for salads or meals throughout the week.

Here’s a simple recipe for chicken stock. It takes several hours so if you have a slow cooker then it’s super easy. If not then it will take about 4 hours on the stove, which is also easy enough if you have the time to be home while it simmers away.

If time is an issue then your local butcher might have a homemade beef, chicken or bone stock available to buy in their freezer. Better for you than cardboard box varieties you find in the supermarket.

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Roasted cauliflower ‘rice’ and grilled ham salad

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Lunch
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Cauliflower ‘rice’ is cauliflower pulsed in a processor until it resembles what looks like rice. It works well in a salad when paired with bulkier ingredients. I like to roast the cauliflower as it gives it a nice texture and nutty flavour. If you don’t have a processor then just chop the cauliflower up into small pieces and roast the same way.

Today for lunch I added grilled ham, avocado, arugula, herbs, toasted almonds and a simple mustard dressing.

When looking for ham, it’s good to try to get one with as minimal added ingredients as you can. Things like added sugar, sodium nitrate and MSG are no good for you. Organic brands are usually quite good. As an alternative you could add another protein like grilled chicken or pork. Or toasted chickpeas for a vegetarian option.
 

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Pistachio butter

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Snacks
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I’ve banned peanut butter from our home. When it’s here I’m like a moth to a flame with spoon in hand. I can’t just stop at one mouthful. But with other nut butters I seem to be able to restrain from devouring the whole jar immediately. Last week I made up a jar of pistachio butter. With the salt and cinnamon it makes a yummy little treat.

When you’re grinding the nuts it may seem like they will never form a butter, but be patient. It takes a little while to get going but all of a sudden a paste forms quite quickly.

And it will stay fresher if you store it in the refrigerator. But it will harden up. So you may want to let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before using.
 

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Easy veggie scramble

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Breakfast
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This is a super simple one to throw together in the morning for breakfast. Find whatever veggies you have in the fridge, chop them up and mix together with a few organic eggs, dash of full-cream milk and scatter of herbs, salt and pepper. Leftover roasted veggies go really well also.

If you have littlies it’s a great one for sneaking some veggies into their meal. You might just need to chop them up finer so they are a little more discreet.

If you like a bit of meat with your breakfast then either slice up a grilled good quality pork sausage, some chopped up organic ham or even a few slices of smoked salmon mixed through would go nicely also.
 

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It started with hummus

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Snacks
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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.
 

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