And 2016 is almost done! How has your year been - full of health and happiness? Have you accomplished all you set out to do? Lived each day fully? Tackled any inevitable downs with your highest and best self? Even if you can't answer yes to all of those, I love this time of year when it always feels so good to review the year that's been and make plans for the one coming. I'm a mad goal setter ("Goals 2016", "Goals 2015", "Goals 2014"... are keystones in my iPhone notes), and love making new ones each year. It's such a great time to review where you are at in life, and what you want to focus on in the coming year to live your very best one yet. What do you want to achieve personally, in your relationships, or in your career, to experience even more happiness, love and fulfilment? I'm yet to write my 2017 goals (that's definitely a 1st of Jan endeavour - we're too busy cooking and eating up a Christmas storm right now). But I'll be sure to check in next week to share what I come up with you.
As for us, we've just arrived in Matarangi, a beautiful beach in the Coromandel on the east coast of the North Island. Tony's mum lives here, so we're lucky enough to be able to whip down and enjoy the sun, sand and fresh sea air for the next few weeks. I'm also incredibly blessed to be able to work remotely (my girls are holding the fort back home), so I'll be continuing my weekly notes and recipes to you over the break. Doesn't much feel like work when I've been for a beach walk in the morning, and am spending the afternoon in the kitchen! Mila's midday sleeps are always a great time to sneak a bit of screen time in, so here I am with you :)
This week I've put together your favourite recipes from 2016! We had a tough time selecting these, as there were actually about 12 strong contenders. But here's our final five - a good selection of sweet, savoury, pantry staples and icy treats for those hot summer days. From my Jelly Tip Ice Creams, to my Orange Almond and Coconut Cake, Five Seed Sourdough, Banana Walnut Bread, and my very first recipe video of this delicious Salted Caramel Macadamia Slice - there are some goodies in here that I hope you'll try and love.
I've so enjoyed seeing all your recipe recreations this year, so thanks so much for sharing them with me. Whether it's been over on Instagram, Facebook, in the comments below my posts or over on my new YouTube channel - it's always so lovely to hear from you, see what you come up, and hear your successes in the kitchen, health, and life. I hope you enjoy this top 5 selection - you can read more of my Christmas musings below!
This year's been another big one for us (but hang on, I always say that). Our little Mila started pre-school, is running, talking, singing (Old McDonald and Twinkle Twinkle are favourites), and developing the funniest little outgoing, mischievous, independent personality. It's crazy to think that how she is now is probably how she's going to be as an adult, and that that personality is already ingrained! We've almost (almost..) finished our house renovations with a now flourishing vege garden, and the last step about to start - a new walk in pantry which obviously i'm mad excited about. I completed another year of my Nutrition, Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine degree, so am almost done. And a final big project for me this year was starting a new YouTube channel, on which we've already shared four videos which I'm really proud of, with another bunch in the pipeline. I'd love to hear what you think, what you'd like to see more of (or less), so do leave me your thoughts in the comments below this post!
And with that, I'll let you go and enjoy the festivities. Wishing you the merriest of Christmases. I hope you get the chance to spend some quality time with the ones you love most. That's what it's all about right? Oh, and of course, a good dose of fabulous food. Hopefully my recipes have inspired you to put a few healthier plant-based options on your family Xmas table this year too.
Much love, and til next week as always, stay happy and well.
PS If you make any of these recipes, I'd love to hear how you go. Post a pic on Instagram and tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, or share your beauty on my Facebook page under one of my latest posts - I always love seeing your kitchen masterpieces (or not so masterpieces, as the case may be!).
Home to my first ever YouTube video! We had so much fun making this vid, and I'm so glad you guys loved it too - this gorgeous Salted Caramel Macadamia Slice is hands down one of my favourite raw sweet treats to date. With a subtle hint of caramel, and quirky offset from the fresh sea salt it channels all the flavours you want from a caramel slice, without the sickly feeling afterwards. The creamy filling is just sweet enough, and perfectly balanced by the more-ish biscuity base and crunchy macadamia topping.
Here's a couple of lovely comments you guys had to say about this decadent slice:
"I made this a few weeks back, and am about to make my second lot. It's amazing!" ~ Roz
"Oh..my..god! Can still taste them! Best raw treat I have ever had!!" ~ Niki
"Seriously taste EVEN better than they look... and they look incrediblleee!!! xo" ~ Emma
Try out my Salted Caramel Macadamia Slice recipe here.
I originally made this recipe because I'm a sucker for banana bread. And while the cafe versions taste good, the sugar/dairy/white flour/egg combo is not so great for every day. So my goal was to create an effortlessly delicious banana bread recipe that you'd be able to recreate at home. It's super low in sugar, naturally gluten free, and tastes amazing topped with your favourite nut butter. Banana and walnuts is one of those flavour matches made in heaven! Here's what you guys thought...
"Yum this is delicious! My two littles love it too, will be adding this to my weekly repertoire!" ~ Jacqui
"Was such a yummy loaf, I made another this week! Even got the tick of approval from hubby" ~ Kat
"Made this last week it's sooooo good. Perfect to slice and freeze then take out and warm up in the toaster!" ~ Willow
"Made this yesterday and had a slice this morning with some of my homemade almond butter - it was delicious! It's great because it's not super sweet. Well, I don't feel as guilty eating it for breakfast haha. Thanks for yet another cracking recipe Buffy!" ~ Karly
To try my Banana Walnut Bread recipe click here.
One of the only 'baked' cakes I made this year, but boy is it a goodie. So many of you recreated this gorgeous cake for a special occasion and shared your amazing photos and comments with me, I was blown away! So thank you. There’s not much else to say about it other than (a) it’s amazing, and (b) you have to try it! It's quite unique using just almond and coconut flour on their own, and has the most divine citrus 'cream cheese' icing. Most cakes (even paleo ones) are held together with some combo of eggs, butter, sugar and refined white flour, and whilst it's easy to replace one of those at a time with a healthier alternative, removing all four together is a definite challenge! Which is why I was so pleased with this recipe - none of those above four, and yet all the moisture and flavour of the cakes you know and love. 100% plant-powered goodness.
Here's what some of you had to say about this gorgeous cake:
"I made it this morning and the icing is TO DIE FOR! Will be serving up as an after dinner treat for my little family tonight. Especially love that it is egg free." ~ Amanda
"I made this cake for our staff's dinner party last night and everybody had a second piece! I have made lots of your cakes, but this one has to be my favourite by far! Thank you so much for sharing it!" ~ Anja
"I made this tonight, myself hubby and our little babe loved it! Great recipe!" ~ Allie
To check out my Orange, Almond and Coconut Cake recipe click here.
To get my Jelly Tip Ice Creams recipe, click here.
This delicious healthy bread recipe is super easy, requires only a handful of ingredients, is packed with healthy polyunsaturated fats and omegas from the super seed blend, and there’s no fancy bread maker required. When I first made this recipe I was making a new loaf every third day, I just couldn't get enough of it! There is truly nothing better than the delicious warming smells of a home baked loaf wafting out of your oven. Once you become a home-made bread convert, there's no turning back...
Here's what some of you said:
"The first loaf was just superb. So delicious, yet so simple. I'm already onto number two!" ~ Sarah
"I'm completely guilty of over-spending on wholegrain loaves from the local health food shops, so I'm so excited to have found a recipe to replace these - at half the cost. I used the yeast method, and the resulting loaf smells divine, and tastes delicious! Have added to my weekly meal prep, and it's so worth it" ~ Elise
To try my Five Seed Sourdough recipe click here.
Enjoy, and talk soon!
These crunchy, salty clusters are a deliciously affordable way to rev up your favourite salad or meal, as well as delightful on their own as a healthy, zero-sugar snack! Plus, only 3 ingredients to make and a breeze to whip up, as well as nut-free to boot.