This understated star of fermented foods has been around for centuries, providing extraordinary bacterial assistance to the human microbiome. If you’re into living, probiotic foods and you already have a sourdough starter bubbling away on your kitchen bench or…
Australia’s history can be told through food; we ate mutton with potatoes – the cuisine of England. Later we ate Chinese because, even though the country distanced itself from the Asian gold miners, the food was fresh and flavoursome. Each new wave of migration had us eating Indian, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and African foods. Anything but Australian. Cook these recipes, but remember that you can’t eat our Aboriginal food if you can’t swallow our history. Australian Aboriginal people domesticated, cooked and cared for foods which are adapted to our country’s climate and fertility. Most of those foods are perennial and sequester carbon; handy attributes in a drying climate. And we did it for around 100,000 years.
More and more people are willing to spend the extra money for organically grown and prepared food, with an Australian industry now worth $2.6 billion annually. So what’s all the fuss about and are there genuine reasons why we should be choosing organic?
Bruce Pascoe is working hard to reintroduce native grains and flours into Australia’s food system. Easier to grow and more nutritious than European-introduced wheat, Bruce’s work is as much about protecting the grasses as it is about protecting the knowledge.
There’s nothing better than coming home to the enticing aroma of dinner cooking. Not always about convenience, the key to slow cooking is a lower temperature over a longer period of time which both slows ourselves down and allows us to draw more nutrients from the food we eat.
With summer comes a bounty of fruit, often in very large quantities. Dehydration is a relatively easy and effective way to make the most of the season’s generous gifts. There are many ways to preserve fruit. You can turn it into jams, jellies, relishes or bottle it whole. But what makes dehydrating a really useful tool to have in your preserving kit is that it gives you a break both from working with hot glass jars, as well as recipes that often require large amounts of sugar.
Clover is one weed many people are surprised to learn is edible. We all know it well having grown up with it, wishing away sunny afternoons as kids searching for that elusive four-leaf clover
Becoming an urban forager means tapping into a resource of free and abundant food. But whether it’s foraging edible weeds, redistributing excess produce or even diving into a dumpster, there’s far more you can gain than just a free meal. The savvy urban forager can dine out on gourmet cheese, berries, herbal teas and locally grown olives without ever stepping foot into a shop. But the philosophy goes further than just eating for free. You’ll reconnect with nature, save food going to landfill, learn plant names growing in your yard, parks and bikeways and connect with your neighbours.
More than just a food fad, sourdough is an ancient practice of breadmaking that has captured our imaginations for centuries. Among many things, a sourdough starter bubbling away on your kitchen bench means you’re taking care of your gut health through the proper preparation of grains. You’re connecting with nature in the form of the microorganisms and wild yeasts that are hanging out in your kitchen, and you’re slowing your life down in a nourishing way.
Loaded with enzymes and probiotics, raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is an essential item on your cooking and medicine shelves. Raw ACV can be expensive to buy, but making your own is simple and very cheap. ACV can be flavoured with herbs and other plants from your garden and it makes use of a waste stream (apple scraps) that is often thrown away or composted.