Home' Nova West : March 2011 Contents THERE'S RECENTLY BEEN a great
conference in the United States termed
'Whole Grains - the New Norm', and
it's a good example of how things are
changing bit by bit around the world in
regard to wholefoods. It was heartening
to read that whole grains are now
becoming mainstream, normal even, and
the continued positives for all aspects of
health. While I am always cautious about
the latest and greatest in scientific research
(really, you can find a study to support
pretty well anything you want these days),
this does mean that the mainstream will
sit up and take a bit more notice, and that
can only be good.
We have become a society very afraid
of the food we eat -- the source of
nourishment and, I believe it's fair to
say, some joy. We are especially afraid
of carbohydrate -- indeed, I am tired of
hearing the view that discusses a low fat
and low carbohydrate diet as the panacea
for obesity. This fractionalised approach
persists and is deeply held within Australia
(far less so overseas).
Now, I'm not saying that there aren't
some aspects of this view that hold
enormous merit, but it is a far, far bigger
and more complex picture than that.
Neither am I saying that grain and
carbohydrate is the saviour come to save
us, but a food will only be as good as the
soil in which it grows, how (and if) we
process it, and how we include it in our
eating pattern. Grains (and some of their
pseudo grain friends such as amaranth,
buckwheat and quinoa) are a rich store
of wonderful nutrients -- proteins, high
quality fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals, anti
oxidants and, of course, carbohydrate
which breaks down to one of the body's
most important fuels, sugar. This is a very
different thing to the more popular form
of grain -- highly refined products fortified
with a few essential vitamins and minerals
(and, God forbid, Omega 3 EFAs in some
cases) and eaten copiously for breakfast,
lunch and dinner and all things in between.
This is the recipe for overweight issues,
obesity and malnourishment. It does not
bode well and we are now beginning to
see the results of this in our young and in
the exploding rates of obesity.
I define a whole grain as that which
has only had its inedible husk removed,
and thus its bran and germ are intact. The
carbohydrate here will work very differently
when consumed as a whole grain, or
ground into a whole flour. The other
aspect I'd like to touch on in regard
to eating carbohydrate is that of food
culture. A strong food culture is the way
we hold our accumulated wisdoms of
eating ('Don't eat oleander tree, it will
kill you'), or ('No, that brownie is not a
proper breakfast.'). Our food culture is
almost lost, and is currently lying in bits
and pieces on the floor of our society
(which I believe is another very large part
of the obesity dilemma).
We are a society obsessed with
carbohydrate, and we are so because it
is a cheap way to produce food (so a win
Changing to Whole Grains
for the manufacturer) and a cheap and
quick way for the eater to get a feeling of
fullness (so an illusory win for the eater).
Far easier to have a bread, cereal or chip
snack (and in their refined forms) than
some protein, quality fats, vegetables
and small amount of whole grain. Why?
Because most often it is cheaper and
quicker. I would say to you, please don't
be afraid of carbohydrate, but eat it in
its more whole form and in balance and
I'd like to leave you with a recipe for
the cooler weather (please hurry up!).
It's one I've been working on for my new
book (it's a while off yet), so a bit of a
preview for you. It's a scone. Scones used
to be highly thought off, and come from
the Celtic Bannock, a mix of oat and
barley cut into wedges called "scones"!
Those whole grain flours were the
base of much nourishment and
while this is quite different, I'm sure,
from the original flat bread, I think it's
a delicious way to include wholesome
carbohydrates in your day.
For more information on the
conference, see www.wholegrainscouncil.
© NOVA MARCH 2011
PEACH AND NECTARINE OAT AND BARLEY SCONES
Wheat Free / Low gluten
Makes 8 - 10 generous scones
This scone is not designed for cutting and
using as a base for jam and cream, or indeed
any topping. The low level of gluten means it
will just crumble apart. Instead, we sandwich
layers of scone with the most delicious maple
and vanilla scented dried peach and nectarine
spread, and rely on the low gluten levels to
give us the most amazingly light and tender
crumb. They freeze brilliantly.
• ½ cup / 65 gm white spelt flour
• ¾ cup/ 99gm oatmeal
• ¾ cup / 82gm barley flour
• 1 ½ tablespoons rapadura sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking flour
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
• ½ cup full cream, non-homogenised milk
• ½ cup buttermilk or yoghurt
• 100gm very cold unsalted butter, cut into
rough 1 cm pieces
• ½ cup Dried Peach and Nectarine Spread
Preparing to Bake:
Pre heat the oven to 190c or 175c if fan forced.
Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the flours, baking powder and sugar in a
bowl and sift in the baking soda. Mix through
with a whisk to combine ingredients and break
up any lumps of flour.
Add the vinegar to a cup measure, and fill it
to ¾ full with half the milk, and half buttermilk,
leaving the rest to use only if needed.
Generally, you will use ¾ cup milk for this
recipe. Set aside.
Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture
resembles coarse breadcrumbs -- some bits
will be the size of a pea, this is fine. Add the
milk and mix with a large spoon to just combine
See our website novamagazine.com.au
for more of Jude's fabulous wholefood recipes
-- take care not to over mix. Because it's so low
in gluten this is, and is best as, a soft and loose
mix, so don't be alarmed if it looks quite moist.
Place half the dough onto a lightly floured
board. Do your best to pat the soft dough into
a circle approx 16 cm x 1 - 1.5cm thick. You
may need to flour your hands a little. Gently and
evenly spread the Dried Peach and Nectarine
spread over the dough, right to the edges. Place
the remaining dough on top -- it's best to just
dollop the dough on top and gently spread out
with your floured fingertips as best as possible.
It doesn't have to be perfect.
Using a sharp, floured knife, cut the circle into
flour the knife between cutting. I use my knife or
a palette knife to move them to the lined tray as
best as I can and it doesn't matter if they lose
some shape or collapse a little, it will just make
a more interesting and delicious end result.
Bake for 15 - 20 mins, or until golden and the
fruit is lightly caramelised. Remove and serve.
Dried Peach and Nectarine Spread
Wheat free, dairy free, gluten. Makes 1 cup
• ½ cup / 75gm roughly chopped dried, peaches
• ½ cup / 50gm roughly chopped dried nectarines
• 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Add the dried fruit, 1 tablespoon maple syrup
and the vanilla all to a small saucepan with 1 cup
water. Cover with a lid and cook at a very gentle
simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and
let sit for 30 mins.
Turn into a food processor with the remaining 1
tablespoon maple syrup and blend into a chunky
puree. If needed, add a little more water to make
to a moist, spreadable consistency.
Store in fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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