My Little Man turned 2 a couple of weeks ago, I took him out to a park to get some shots of him, knowing that 2yo’s go from toddlers to little people so quickly over the next 12 months!

Apollo Turns 2!

Apollo Turns 2!

Apollo Turns 2!

Apollo Turns 2!

He’s such a happy little man, he doesn’t have many words yet and that is somewhat frustrating, but he does communicate fairly effectively when he needs to!  We had an ambulance call out and midnight trip to the hospital last week with his first ever croup outbreak.. way to mark turning 2 little man!

He is forever mistaken for a girl, but I love his curls far too much to cut them off!

Miss Sonnet gets her time in boots reduced from 23/7 to 12-16/7 in just 2 weeks! I cannot wait to be able to have them off most of the day.  Her feet are looking great and it’ll be so nice not to have the added weight and awkwardness of the boots.

 

In non family news! I have received stock from the Mason Bar Company!  BPA Free Lids and straws that fit into Mason Jars!  They are gorgeous!  Now Available in the Store!

Mason Jar Tumbler

Mason Jar Tumbler

 

I’ve also Joined up with some great other businesses to run a giant Giveaway!  Come and enter!

Victorian Comp

Click on the image above to be taken to the page to enter!

 

 

We rarely do dairy in our house, 2 of the kids are highly intolerant, hubby is lactose intolerant and I’m so used to not being able to have it when Breastfeeding, that I tend not to have much anymore! This sorta ruled out cereal for breakfast for me. I don’t like cows milk alternatives on cereal unfortunately. Then I started making my Coconut Milk Yoghurt and found I could have muesli/cereal with that for breakfast! Except I just couldn’t find one I REALLY liked… So I made my own! :D

Maple Nut Toasted Muesli

Maple Nut Toasted Muesli

 

Toasted Muesli

Ingredients:

3 cups of Organic Rolled Oats
2 cups of Organic Shredded Coconut
3 Cups of mixed nuts/seeds
(Almonds, Macadamias, Pecans, Cashews, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pepitas, Chia Seeds, etc, etc..)
1/2 cup of Rapadura
1/2 cup of Maple Syrup (Real Maple Syrup, not maple flavouring!)
Sprinkle of salt.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150
  2. Roughly chop your nuts.  You can use your Thermomix here, just remember that some nuts chop easier than others, so I put my almonds in first, turbo a couple of times, then my macadamias turbo a few more times and then Pecans/Walnuts and turbo once or twice as an example!
  3. Put everything in a bowl and use a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the sweeteners.
  4. Spread evenly onto two baking trays lined with baking paper (preferably If You Care baking paper).
  5. Bake for approximately 50-60mins, make sure to stir regularly, moving the outside edges into the centre, and the centre towards the edge!

 

Topped with Dairy Free Chocolate Chips! :D

Topped with Dairy Free Chocolate Chips! :D

 

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So having a third baby added a lot more upheavals in my life than I expected! Not only is it dealing with all the normal newborn issues, Constant feeding, bum changing and cuddling! but my Little Miss also has Bilateral Talipes (Clubfoot) She has been through a bunch of treatment to correct the positioning of her feet.

Sonnet, 2 weeks old.

Sonnet, 2 weeks old. Before treatment started.

First up she had plaster casting from toes to groin, these were changed weekly to slowly alter the position of her feet.  There were lots of challenges with this, plaster rubbing, getting used to the weight, she cracked a knee once and cracked a heel another time!  After 6 weeks of plaster she required a Tenotomy (a snip of her achilles in both ankles) with further casting for 3.5 weeks!

Sonnet Casting

Sonnet, Plaster Casting Stage

After all of her plaster, she went into Boots and Bars, this apparatus is full time (23 hours a day) for 12 weeks and then will be minimum 12 hours (overnight) until she is 4 or 5 years of age!

 

Sonnet, Boots and Bar

Sonnet, Boots and Bar, Instagram/Iphone Pics.

We have 6 weeks left of Boots and Bar Full time, so we’re getting there!  Her feet are responding fantastically, and I am so excited to be able to have days free without them!  Babywearing will be so much more comfortable and the lack of excess weight will be Awesome!!

Back to the Food!

I have been trying over the last months to make Macarons with Rapadura, I’ve had many flops, all the wafers were tasty, but they were flat and barely had feet!  Then……..

Success!

Success!

Macaron Shells

Ingredients:

150g Almonds/Almond Meal (Raw, Natural, Organic, I don’t bother blanching.)
280g Rapadura
1/2 TBSP Potato Starch
1/2 TBSP Rapadura (Separate)
110g Egg White (Approx 5 eggs)

Method:

  1. Grab yourself two baking trays, line them with baking paper (I use If You Care Products, they will be available in the Shop Shortly!)  If you would like, you can draw circles onto the Baking paper to make all your wafers uniform in size.
  2. If you only have whole almonds, grind them to meal.  Speed 10, 10 seconds.  Pour into a bowl, clean your TMX bowl thoroughly.
  3. Place your Rapadura into your TMX with the Potato Starch, Speed 9, 15 seconds.  Pour into the bowl with the almonds, scrape as much as possible out with a spatula.  Do not rinse your TMX Bowl.  ( I have found that leaving  a little bit of the icing sugar residue in the TMX helps the egg whites!
  4. Pour your egg whites and the 1/2 TBSP of Rapadura into the TMX, insert Butterfly, Speed 4, 4 minutes.  I have had varied results with egg whites in the TMX, the most success I have had is by leaving this residue in the TMX Bowl.  Make sure the egg whites are nice and stiff, if they are not, your Macarons will still cook, they will just be flatter, they still taste the same though!
  5. Scoop the egg whites into the bowl of almond and icing sugar, fold together until there is no dry crumbs.
  6. Scoop into a piping bag and gently pipe directly onto the baking paper.  Do not swirl your piping tip, keep it stationary and let it fill your circles.
  7. Bang your trays onto the bench numerous times, this bursts any air bubbles and stops your Macarons from cracking.
  8. Turn your oven on to preheat to 150, leave the trays on the bench to age while your oven is preheating.
  9. Place each tray into the oven individually to bake, approximately 18 minutes.

Rapadura Macaron
Dairy Free Raspberry ButterCream

Ingredients:

75g Nuttelex or Coconut Oil (My hubby isn’t a fan of Coconut oil, so I generally use Nuttelex)
100g of Icing Sugar (I ground up the Rapadura for this)
1 TBSP of good quality (preferably homemade) Raspberry Jam
1 tsp of good quality (preferably homemade) Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract

Method:

  1. Place your Nuttelex/Coconut oil into your TMX with the butterfly, whip on speed 4, 30 seconds
  2. Add everything else and whip for another 30 seconds, scrape the sides and whip again if necessary

I’m not a huge fan of Buttercream, you have to use far too much icing sugar to get the consistency correct, and even at this ratio its not particularly firm even after being in the fridge.  I much prefer a Ganache, however I wanted pink filling at the request of my daughter, and only had dairy free dark chocolate.  I am going to experiment making some lighter coloured ganache using Cacao Butter as the solidifying agent!

I will keep on updating as I continue to tinker with this recipe!

 

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My hubby bought me a waffle iron for Xmas, I’ve been wanting one for AGES! So I decided to treat myself to a fancy waffles breakfast :D

I already had some of my Coconut Milk Ice Cream made up in the freezer, this particular batch had a swirl of Caramel through it.. mmmmm. I also had just received the most recent Co-op delivery so had some delicious organic maple syrup.

I had made a batch of AP GF Flour for some Xmas baking, so I used that for this recipe and it turned out wonderfully.

My Flour mix of choice is based on one by Gluten Free Girl. I grind and blend my flours in my TMX the following is the ratios I use.

200g Raw Brown Rice (I use the Rainfed brown rice available in the co-op)
50g Almonds (I use the Insecticide Free Almonds also avail in the co-op)
250g Sweet (Glutinous) Rice
150g Sorghum Flour (Organic, also via the co-op)
150g Potato Starch
200g Tapioca (Organic, also via the co-op)

It works perfectly for biscuits and cakes, pancakes and waffles etc :)

Onto the Waffles!

Gluten Free Waffles - huntingthealternative.com

I used a stovetop waffle iron for these ones, so they are thin and slightly crispy, but soften up when drizzled with Maple Syrup and Ice Cream heh.  They can be rolled into waffle cones and as they cool they harden.

GLUTEN FREE WAFFLES

250g Gluten Free Flour Mix
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder (Optional, I didn’t use any leavening agent in the stove top iron)
1 tsp Baking Soda (Optional, as above)
1 tsp Himalayan Salt – ground
15-30g of Rapadura.  This is entirely to taste, and dependant on what you are using them for!
90g of nuttelex or coconut oil
2 Eggs
400g Almond Milk (or other milk of choice)

Instructions

I toss everything into the TMX and mix on Speed 5-6 for 30 seconds, scrape down and whizz for another 10 secs if necessary (If your butter/coconut oil needs melting, 1min @ 90 speed soft works!).

I then ladled it onto the waffle iron, cooking for approx 1-2mins each side, or follow the directions of your electric waffle iron!

Simple!

NB: I altered this recipe to weights and changed a few things after remaking it a few times in my electric waffle iron as well!

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I have been slack!

The Current quarterly Co-op is coming to a close, so I’ve been busy working on that, Pregnancy definitely doesn’t agree with me, so I’ve been pouting about that lol, done plenty of cooking, but a few things that just weren’t quite right yet, not right enough to share anyway!

So I thought I’d do a quick Catchup post with some Instagram pics of my week! :D

Tenina - For Foods Sake for Thermomix
A Gift from a Gorgeous Friend!
Apple Cinnamon Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake with Caramel Sauce
Apple Cinnamon Cake (Gluten Free and Dairy Free) with Caramel Sauce made on almonds and maple syrup!
Didymos Gold Ruby - BabyWearing while Pregnant
Babywearing in Gold Rubin at 26 weeks pregnant.
Ramekins for Dairy Free Gluten Free Apple Crumble Single Serves
Pretty coloured ramekins for making single servings of Gluten Free, Dairy Free Apple Crumble!
Homemade Ravioli
Homemade Ravioli (will share my recipe for the filling soon)
Apollo Running in his new Shorties
Apollo running at the camera :)

First up! the winners of the Easiyo prizes :)

I numbered everyone up with their various entries and got my daughter to pick two numbers for me (but forgot to take a pic of it lol)

1st Winner is Kate Ryan
2nd Winner is Lori Howlett (Lori sent a bunch of people to the FB page and gained quite a few entries, paid off! lol)

Back to today’s scheduled posting :)

I use tomato paste a lot, on Pizza’s in bolognaise, in butter chicken! So I decided to make my own. It doesn’t work out very cost effective depending on the price of tomatoes though, so I buy some of the Spiral Organic Tomato Paste via the co-ops as well.

Homemade Tomato Paste - huntingthealternative.com

Homemade Tomato Paste!

Ingredients

  • 1250-1750g of Tomatoes, fresh, red and ripe! Smoosh as much as you can into your Thermomix/Pot.
  • 1-2 TBSP of Rapadura (Dependant on how ripe your tomatoes are)
  • 1 TSP of Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 TBSP EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 Bay Leaves

Method

  1. Chop and place your tomatoes into your Thermomix Bowl (If you are using a pot, you will need to use a food processor to process the tomatoes before putting them into your pot)
  2. TMX – 30 seconds on Speed 5
  3. Add all your other ingredients.
  4. TMX – 40 mins Varoma Temp Speed 1. (if you are doing this on a stove, you will need to have the mix at a high simmer/low boil and you will need to stir often!)
  5. TMX – Increase speed slowly until you reach 9.  Process for a minute. (if using a stovetop you will need to transfer the mix to your food processor every 40mins to process, this is important, because only once it has all been processed do you see the true colour/consistency)
  6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you are happy with the colour and consistency of the paste.  (I generally go 2 more times, but it depends on the ripeness of the tomatoes etc)

This recipe isn’t one that will last long in the fridge, so I generally transfer to small baby food containers, or Squeeze’ems (which I will be stocking in the shop!) and freeze in 70ishgram portions :)

I originally found the method for this via funkenwagnel.com and altered accordingly :)

Homemade Tomato Paste - huntingthealternative.com

Let me know how you go if you decide to make some!

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I’ve had a few requests for the way I prepare my Coconut Milk Yoghurt, so I took some pics of my current batch to share!

I use this in Smoothies, in recipes (ie; Naan or Lemon Yoghurt Cake) with Muesli/Fruit for Brekkie or I strain it to thicken it and use it instead of Cream Cheese in things like Cream cheese icing, mmmmmmm lol.

Dairy Free Coconut Yoghurt - huntingthealternative.com

Dairy Free Coconut Yoghurt Recipe/Method!

  •  2 x 400g tins of coconut cream/milk**
  • 1/4 cup of starter yoghurt or alternative (more on this below)
  • 1TBSP of Maple Syrup (or raw honey, liquid stevia etc)

Instructions

  1. Pour your coconut cream/milk into the container you are going to set your yoghurt in. This can be anything that seals, glass jars, Easiyo tub etc
  2. Depending on method, you will need to heat your coconut milk/cream to blood temp (37degrees) If you are using an Easiyo there is no need, so long as your milk is at room temp.  If you are going to use the oven method as detailed below you will need to heat the milk.
  3. Add your starter and syrup and whisk/shake well.
  4. If you are using an Easiyo, you now fill the thermos with boiling water to the top of the baffle, place the yoghurt tub into the thermos and close the lid, put it somewhere out of the way.  You can leave it for 6-12 hours depending on how ‘sour’ you want your yoghurt.  I generally do it overnight, prep it after the kids have gone to bed and get it out in the morning.
    If you don’t have an Easiyo, enter the giveaway below!, You can set your yoghurt in the oven with the light on.  No fan, no heat, just the light.  Place the jar into the oven, close the door and leave for 8-12 hours.
  5. Refrigerate and enjoy!

** I use Spiral organic coconut cream/milk as that is what I supply via the co-op and can therefore get cheap!  The 2.8L tins have a massive amount of very thick cream on the top, this makes delicious yoghurt!

There are a few things that can affect the outcome of your yoghurt -

Starter;  There are a few different options in regards to a starter.  You can use 1/4 cup of neutral flavoured commercial yoghurt.  We use a lactose free yoghurt, I find that the bacteria eats all the milk proteins and my children, who normally vomit on contact with dairy, suffer no ill effects.  You can also use a powdered/granular probiotic, the insides of an inner health capsule, or specific probiotics sold to be used as yoghurt starters from places like Cultures Alive.

Do not be tempted to add more starter yoghurt, you can overcrowd the bacteria, it will result in a watery yoghurt! :)

Temperature; If you over heat the yoghurt you will kill the bacteria, it needs to maintain temp to culture, but too much heat and it will not work.  Too little heat and the bacteria won’t grow, you’ll end up with a very mildly sour coconut cream/milk, don’t chuck it though! it works wonderfully in Dairy Free Butter Chicken or other curries :)

Using your yoghurt;  Depending on the brand of cream/milk you used, sometimes some batches are thinner than others, some have a tendency to split and you will notice that there is yellowish liquid in the bottom of the jar/tub and creamy white yoghurt on the top.  The liquid is Whey, and is great for many uses, or you can shake it back into your yoghurt, it will just then have a drinking yoghurt like consistency.  I tend to use the creamy yoghurt off the top and when I’m ready to start another batch I shake the whey into the remaining cream and use that.

You can also strain your yoghurt to make it thicker, I personally use a chux and plastic strainer (Though I’m getting some Living Synergy nut milk bags in stock in the next week or so and am looking forward to trialling one of those!) The longer you strain it the thicker the yoghurt will get.  I strain mine for lengthy periods when I’m looking for a cream cheese style consistency to use in things like Cream Cheese Icing!  If you strain it long enough you can get a cheese like consistency from it.

Don’t throw the Whey out! you can use it in smoothies it has a lovely smooth slightly sour flavour.  Or you can use it to soak oats and other grains.

Giveaway is now closed! :)

To celebrate finally getting the blog underway, I’m going to have a giveaway. There will be 2 prizes, one aimed at those who are unlucky enough not to own an Easiyo and one for those who already have an Easiyo and will now be using it all the more!

Easiyo Yoghurt maker, Giveaway - huntingthealternative.com

Prize no. 1 – Easiyo Thermos, 1L Tub and Instruction Booklet.

 Easiyo Yoghurt Maker Giveaway - huntingthealternative.com

Prize no. 2 – Easiyo Spare Tub set.  2 x 1L Tubs and 2 x 250ml Tubs plus a fantastic recipe booklet.

You can get multiple entries into this giveaway.

  • Entry 1 by commenting on this post, let me know how you use your yoghurt any success/disaster stories etc.
  • Entry 2 by liking (or already having liked) Hunting The Alternative on Facebook.
  • Entry 3 by referring someone to the HtA Facebook page and getting them to leave your name on the giveaway post on there.
  • and Entry 4 by Pinning this recipe (there’s a little Pin It button up the top there! :) ) and letting me know you have done so.

I’ll leave the giveaway open for a week and draw it next Sunday the 11th of November.

Good Luck! and I hope you enjoy the Yoghurt!

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Apollo and Surreal love Ice Cream, I make a lot of sorbets, but nothing beats real Ice Cream… and I LOVE a good Ice Coffee, made on Almond Milk with this Coconut Cream Ice Cream in it and Homemade Coffee Syrup! mmmmmmm :)

Not to mention a Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding isn’t anything without some cream or ice-cream on the side!

 Dairy Free Coconut Cream Vanilla Ice Cream

It took me quite a few goes of making this to be able to get it the right consistency.  I finally got it to a point where even straight from the freezer you can scoop it out!

I use an Ice Cream maker but those with a TMX or a lot of patience can make it without, its just a matter of getting air into it!

Dairy Free Coconut Cream Vanilla Ice-Cream!

  • 500g Coconut Cream
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 100-150g Rapadura
  • Pinch Salt
  • The seeds of 2 Vanilla Pods
  • 2 TBSP Home made Vanilla Extract**

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into the TMX
    Cook for 5 minutes at 80 degrees on Speed 4.
  2. Pour the custard into a bowl, cover with cling film/put a lid on and place in the freezer.
    (I generally leave my custard in the freezer for 24 hours.)
  3. Remove the frozen custard from the freezer and let it sit for 20mins to soften.
  4. Place/Pour it into your Ice-Cream maker and churn for 20-30 mins!
    (If you don’t have an Ice-Cream maker you can simply allow it to soften slightly, then cut into cubes, place in your TMX mix for 20 seconds on speed 9 then for 10 seconds on speed 4 and return to freezer. Theoretically you could add air manually as well, by removing when almost frozen and whipping with a hand beater/kitchenaid!
  5. Return whatever you haven’t eaten straight out of the bowl to the freezer and eat as you desire!

**I find homemade vanilla extract a necessity here as the alcohol content stops the icecream from freezing solid.  It helps keep it a consistency that you can scoop straight from the freezer.  All images in this post are of icecream scooped straight out of the container without any resting time.

Dairy Free Coconut Cream Vanilla Ice Cream

ENJOY!

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Hi there,

Welcome to Hunting the Alternative! We are a community of people who are all trying to do the best by our families within our means! Hence, starting up organic co-ops in various cities, as well as offering certain products here in the shop for as good a price as we can!

We’re big on alternative lifestyles, whether they be Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo or Primal!

We have a lot to do with Babywearing communities as well!

Nyssa is the main voice of the website and Facebook Page, she currently resides in Melbourne and handles the distribution of the Melbourne Co-op. Nyssa has a 5yo Daughter, Surreal a 15month old Son, Apollo and a Bub due early next year!

Nyssa Storyboard

Nyssa’s daughter is Allergic to Dairy, Gluten/Wheat Intolerant and allergic to Soy, she therefore does most of her cooking from scratch and will share plenty of recipes, hints, and tips! She also has a Thermomix and will share how great it is for a family with intolerances/allergies and from scratch cooking!

Kylie is the distributor for Adelaide, she has an adorable munchkin, Marley. Kylie blogs over at.

Kelly and her family, including 1yo Flynn help Kylie out with the Northern Adelaide distribution.

Renee and her family run the distribution for the Newcastle/Hunter Valley area!

We’ll do some guest posts on all our distributors as we start blogging regularly!

Please have a look around the site (there’s still a lot of dead ends atm) and come join us on Facebook!