The Organic Butler Blog

June 25, 2017

It’s worth it: why you should buy certified organic, and what that means

Whilst searching for an optimal way to feed your family wholesome, nutritious foods, you have probably come across various claims and classifications which get a bit confusing sometimes. What to choose – “certified natural” or “certified organic”? Is “contains organic ingredients” good enough? Finally, is the certification process even worth it, or is it just another way the governmental bodies are trying to extract more dollars from the farmers and food companies? In short – yes, purchasing produce that is “certified organic” is well worth it, and this is one of the most important things to factor in when planning your shopping. Why? Well, sit back and keep scrolling, as this is just what we’re about to discuss in this material.   Organics at a glance A popular belief that “organic” simply means “chemical-free” is completely false. In fact, organic certification is an entire system of growing and handling produce, which guarantees that organic products are: Free of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers and GMO’s Ecologically sustainable Compliant with rigorous standards Produced with market integrity and transparency in mind In other words, organic produce is great for your health, the farmers and the planet – this is why it’s very important to support sellers who choose to go through the process to certify their products organic.   Natural or organic? At a glance, it may seem like “natural” is good enough, and all-natural foods must be as good as organic. Unfortunately, this is not the case! To put it simply, “natural” is not an official certification, and such foods may be produced […]
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June 25, 2017

How to eat your stress away and become more productive

If you’re a high achiever persistently climbing a career ladder in a competitive business world, high levels of stress are probably no news to you. And we’re not talking occasional “good stress” here, which is essential for inspiration and motivation [1]. The stress we have in mind here is a chronic, exhausting one which keeps you tired, irritable and unproductive [2] – not exactly the qualities sought after in the corporate world, let alone the after-hours which are supposedly for family and friends, not stressing even more. If you’re suffering from chronic stress, you’re not alone – for instance, insomnia, one of the key indicators of stress, affects approximately 9-12% of the population, making the affected individuals over 10 times more likely to have clinically significant depression and anxiety [3]. This makes stress-related issues more prevalent than heart disease and cancer, placing an enormous financial burden on both your own wallet and the society as a whole [3]. However, knowing that there are other people suffering the same issues while voluntarily participating in the dreadful 24/7 grind doesn’t quite cut it – wouldn’t it be much better to reduce your stress levels by implementing some simple techniques? Fortunately, thanks to the almighty internet, it’s not too hard to find a starting point: it seems like all it takes is a couple of yoga postures and a few clever mindfulness techniques, and you’ll be just fine… …except there is a large elephant in the room that gets ignored way too often, whereas we are convinced this must be a starting point. […]
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June 25, 2017

My Food Philosophy – Rachel Mason

The path to understanding food and my own health has been a long one for me. As someone in my mid-twenties, I’m definitely still learning. I hope that continues – learning is key to growth. I’ve always struggled with gut sensitivities, so I made the decision to start studying postgraduate nutrition, in the hope that I might gain a deeper understanding of how to eat well, live well and help others to do the same. While the course content has been incredibly enlightening, I’ve spent hours and hours of my own time reading books, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, experimenting with recipes, and pondering the ways in which food can impact our bodies, minds and the environment. The information is endless, the opinions often appear to contrast, and the conclusion that I have come up with is that the science can be a bit overwhelming. However, there are a few key things that I have latched on to, and would encourage you to do the same. Plants are our friends. Plants are a phenomenal source of all kinds of wonderful nutrients. Fibre is the structural part of fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, nuts and is digested by the bacteria in our large intestines. The bottom line is that this process and the byproducts created by the bacteria are really important for maintaining the health of our bodies and minds. Try to eat food that is as unprocessed, and as close to its natural state as possible. Food that is highly processed has been stripped of most of the valuable nutrients that […]
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June 25, 2017

Moroccan-inspired Sweet Potato & Broccoli Soup

(A family-sized serve) Ingredients 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger  1 medium white onion 2 cloves garlic 1/2 red chilli (optional) 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 carrots 1 sweet potato 1 head of broccoli 1 small romanesco (or cauliflower) 1L vegetable stock 1 lemon (zest and juice) 1/2 cup coconut milk Salt and pepper to taste Preparation 1. Finely chop garlic and chilli. 2. Roughly chop onion and carrot. 3. Cut sweet potato, cauliflower and broccoli into pieces of around the same size. 4. Combine all dry spices (coriander, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, ginger) and cumin seeds in a small bowl, ready to add during the cooking process.  Method  5. Put a large pot on a medium heat and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and chilli. Allow them to fry for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously.  6. Add the spice mix to the pot and mix through (if the spices start sticking, you can pour in a dash of water). Let the spices cook for a couple of minutes – you should start to smell their fragrance.  7. Add the carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, vegetable stock, coconut milk, lemon zest and lemon juice. Give the soup a stir.  8. Turn up the heat and bring it up to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with a lid on for about 30 minutes (or until vegetables are completely cooked through).  9. Take the soup off the heat and blitz, using a […]
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June 25, 2017

Tropical Smoothie

Smoothies are perfect for breakfast or snacks. My nieces think smoothies are one of the best treats (even though I put in as many healthy things as I can get away with). I know we’re right into winter, but I couldn’t help but be inspired by the pineapple and kiwi fruit that came in my Organic Butler delivery this week. This tropical smoothie recipe can be shared between 2 kids (or enjoyed by 1 grown-up kid), and is really easy to make. Ingredients:  1 fresh or frozen banana 1 kiwi fruit 1 slice pineapple 1 teaspoon chia seeds 3/4 cup coconut water 1 dried date Method: 1. Using frozen banana will give the smoothie a beautiful, creamy texture. I tend to buy ripe bananas, peel and halve them, and then put them in the freezer in a zip lock back or container to use for the week.  Put all ingredients into a blender and whiz until the mixture is smooth.  Serve and enjoy. Rachel Mason is a nutrition student who loves cooking, writing and photography. She spends much of her time reading the latest research about health, and considers good nutrition to be an important part of holistic wellness. Rachel takes a creative approach to food, particularly focusing on colours, textures and interesting flavour combinations. Her simple recipes focus on whole food, plant-based ingredients, and are often taste-tested by her 2 young nieces who love to help out in the kitchen. In her spare time you’ll often find Rachel exploring new cafes or walking trails with friends and family, or […]
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June 17, 2017

Super Green Soup

This soup is packed with detoxifying greens, and other nutrient-rich ingredients. So not only is it good for you, it’s full of flavour and will keep you going back for more.   Ingredients 1 tbsp ghee 1 onion, peeled and diced 380g pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped 10g ginger, grated 2 garlic cloves, crushed 310g bok choy, roughly chopped 220g broccoli, roughly chopped 170g kale, washed and stems removed 150g baby spinach 2 litres vegetable stock 1 tsp herb salt ½ tsp pepper 400ml tinned coconut milk 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes Here’s what you do… In a stockpot, fry the onion in the ghee over a medium heat until the onions begins to soften. Add the pumpkin, ginger and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add remaining vegetables and the stock. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and add the salt, pepper, coconut milk and nutritional yeast. Blend all the ingredients until the soup is smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.   Kirsty Underwood is a health and happiness expert, integrative nutrition coach and food consultant with over 10 years’ experience in the wellness industry. She works with people who want to shake up their health and discover jump-out-of-bed-in-the-morning happiness. Through her coaching, programs and scrumptious wholefood recipes she shows you how to make food fun and life less complicated. When she’s not spreading the health word or hanging out in her kitchen, you’ll find her seeking sunshine, getting lost in nature or enjoying something chocolatey. Get to […]
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June 17, 2017

Green Dream Smoothie

  You’ll be satisfied until lunch and beyond with this beauty! It’s packed with healthy fats, fibre and quality protein to keep you fuelled, focused and fabulous. Ingredients 1 avocado 1 frozen banana Handful of baby spinach 1 tbsp vanilla protein powder  1 tsp ground cinnamon 600g coconut milk Here’s what you do… Blitz everything I your food processor, blender or Thermomix. Pour into 2 glasses. Top with nuts, seeds or coconut if you wish. Kirsty Underwood is a health and happiness expert, integrative nutrition coach and food consultant with over 10 years’ experience in the wellness industry. She works with people who want to shake up their health and discover jump-out-of-bed-in-the-morning happiness. Through her coaching, programs and scrumptious wholefood recipes she shows you how to make food fun and life less complicated. When she’s not spreading the health word or hanging out in her kitchen, you’ll find her seeking sunshine, getting lost in nature or enjoying something chocolatey. Get to know Kirsty over at www.vitalitykitchen.com.au.  
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June 15, 2017

3 strategies for helping your child prepare their body for sleep.

Most of us long for those moments of bedtime snuggles, connection and whispered sweet nothings as our kids drift off to sleep with a smile on their faces. But the harsh reality is that, “Time for bed”, is often met with groans, excuses, frustration and arguments. By the end of the day, you just want unwind, sit back and do “you” and yet when you’re continuously met with “I can’t get to sleep” or “I’m scared”, our patience often wears thin, and we become snappy and abrupt. Just like us, our kids need the opportunity to unwind after their day and prepare their little bodies for sleep. When we provide this space for them, we maximise our chances of ending up with a little “me” time.   Following are 3 great strategies for helping your child, prepare their body for sleep….   Colouring mandalas Through my work running Mindfulness & Meditation Programs for Kids, I am always astounded to see the energy level drop and a sense of calm take over whenever we do mandala work. Colouring is a wonderful form of meditation for children as it centres their attention. Mandala colouring pages are easily accessible on the internet and generally free. The word mandala comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and loosely means “circle” or “centre”. Within its circular shape, the mandala has the power to promote relaxation and healing. Print a few out, dim the lights slightly, put on some soft music and bring out the colouring pencils. Ask your child to set an intention for whilst they’re […]
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June 4, 2017

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

Submitted by Liza V. Ingredients: olive oil plain flour , for dusting 300 g good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 250 g raw beetroot 4 large free-range eggs 150 g golden caster sugar 120 g ground almonds or plain flour. 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon good-quality cocoa powder natural yoghurt , to serve. Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.2. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin with olive oil. 3. Use scissors to cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, roughly the same size as the bottom of the tin, and use it to line the base. 4. Dust the sides of the tin lightly with flour, then tap the tin to get rid of any excess. 5. Break 200g of the chocolate up into small pieces and add to a heatproof bowl. 6. Place the bowl on top of a small pan of simmering water over a medium heat, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water, and allow to melt,stirring occasionally. 7. Once melted, use oven gloves to carefully remove from the heat and put to one side – beware of the steam when you lift up the bowl. 8. Use a Y-shaped peeler to peel the beetroot (you might want to wear gloves to do this), then quarter them on a chopping board. 9. Push the beetroot through the coarse grater attachment on the food processor, then tip into a large mixing bowl. 10. Separate the eggs, placing the whites into a large clean mixing bowl […]
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June 4, 2017

Zucchini Super Slice

ZUCCHINI SUPER SLICE Ingredients 375g zucchini, grated, excess liquid squeezed out 150g cheddar cheese, grated 120g olive oil 120g gluten free self-raising flour
 30g baby spinach, roughly chopped 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced 1 carrot, grated
 6 eggs
 Fine Himalayan salt or Herbamare Ground black pepper Here’s what you do… Combine all ingredients together in a bowl Pour into a greased slice tin Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 30-40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. KIRSTY UNDERWOOD Kirsty Underwood is a health and happiness expert, integrative nutrition coach and food consultant with over 10 years’ experience in the wellness industry. She works with people who want to shake up their health and discover jump-out-of-bed-in-the-morning happiness. Through her coaching, programs and scrumptious wholefood recipes she shows you how to make food fun and life less complicated. When she’s not spreading the health word or hanging out in her kitchen, you’ll find her seeking sunshine, getting lost in nature or enjoying something chocolatey. Get to know Kirsty over at www.vitalitykitchen.com.au.
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