People of the World, Spice up your Oats!

To be honest I’ve never really been a fan of oats, I find them bland and tasteless, requiring copious amounts of honey to taste, and whilst they are not the first thing I would pick off a breakfast menu, every so often (when the weather starts to cool down) I don’t mind having a generous bowl of oats.

Now you’re probably like “Does this chick even know how to cook anything other than breakfast?” and the answer is I do, however breakfast just happens to be one of my favourite meals of the day and I really want to share every one of my delicious breakfast creations with you. For some reason I find all my most exciting creations come to me in the morning and that’s probably why I have a whole note book full of recipes appropriate for breakfast or brunch. But I promise that after this post I will endeavour to mix things up a bit! In the mean time, enjoy my two way version of oats perfect for those cool Autumn mornings.

Love Wifey xx

 

Oats with Yoghurt & Grilled Peaches 

Ingredients

1 Peach cut in half and sliced

1 Cinnamon sticks

2 Star anise

1 Vanilla bean split and seeds scraped

1 Tsp Stevia (granules)

Ground Cinnamon

Greek yoghurt

2 Cups Almond milk

1 Cup Rolled oats (also works well with quinoa flakes)

Walnuts

Butter

 

Method

  1. In a saucepan combine the oats, almond milk, seeds from the vanilla pod and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and mix over a medium heat until your oats are cooked to the desired consistency.
  2. Whilst your oats are cooking, in a fry pan on a medium heat add a knob of butter and place the sliced peaches, stevia, cinnamon stick, star anise and the left over vanilla pod and fry until your peaches have caramelised and are fragrant.
  3. Place your oats in a bowl, top with a dollop of greek yoghurt, delicious peaches and some walnuts.

Oats with Spiced Plums

Ingredients

1 Plum cut in half and sliced

1 Cinnamon stick

2 Star anise

3 Cloves

1 Vanilla bean split and seeds scraped

1 Tsp Stevia (granules)

2 Cups Almond milk

1 Cup Rolled oats (also works well with quinoa flakes)

Butter

 

Method

  1. In a saucepan combine the oats, almond milk, seeds from the vanilla pod and mix over a medium heat until your oats are cooked to the desired consistency.
  2. Whilst your oats are cooking, in a fry pan on a medium heat add a knob of butter and place the sliced peaches, stevia, cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves and the left over vanilla pod and fry until your plums have caramelised and are fragrant.
  3. Place your oats in a bowl and top with your yummy spiced plums!

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Got Milk? – Breastfeeding, Boobies & Cookies

Raising your first child as many would know is a great big journey into the unknown. There are of course pre-natal classes that are great at providing you with lots of information regarding health during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding etc and it’s fantastic that we have these resources available. However, it can feel quite overwhelming getting all of this information at a stage where you’re shitting your pants and thinking how am I even going to get through childbirth and why the hell would I need to start thinking about breastfeeding now?

The truth is, I didn’t really give breastfeeding much thought. I had heard from many mums that it wasn’t easy and me being naive thought surely childbirth is harder… Boy, I was wrong. Thankfully, like my birthing experience, I went into breastfeeding with an open mind, “que sera sera” was pretty much my motto and I was determined to give breastfeeding a go for as long as I could and if it didn’t work I was going to accept it and not get upset about it. I’m not sure if it was the circulation of post-natal hormones, but I wasn’t prepared for how upset I would be when I wasn’t able to breastfeed. But looking back I realise that I really didn’t need to be upset. I’m not less of woman or a bad mother just because I couldn’t continue breastfeeding my son. It just wasn’t going to happen for me and unfortunately I was already behind the eight ball before I even started.

There were several factors that prevented me from successfully breastfeeding and they were all out of my control. The first was missing the all important unlimited skin-to-skin contact and the first breastfeed. I was rushed to theatre almost immediately post birth, meaning my son was also immediately introduced to the bottle. I had severe postpartum haemorrhaging which delayed my milk supply from coming through and my son had a mild tongue tie that prevented him from being able to latch on and stay on.

Being determined to give breastfeeding a real go I did plenty of research, used lots of resources and tried LOTS of different things. The hospital was a great support and my advice to all new mums is don’t be afraid to use the resources that are provided to you, because you’re not alone and you don’t have to do it on your own. Breastfeeding is really hard work. A great source of information was the Australian Breastfeeding Association website they have great fact sheets and loads of helpful FAQs like where to hire a breast pump or breastfeeding classes. My local maternal and child healthcare nurses were also extremely helpful and offered great advice and tips. But a real big help for me was attending the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital. I spent a whole day with a lactation consultant to demonstrate how my son was breastfeeding. We tried lots of different tricks and I got lots of helpful hints and advice. The greatest piece of advice I received was to eat lactation cookies (see my recipe below) to help increase my milk supply and they did work! But unfortunately my son’s tongue tie, which we picked up with the maternal child healthcare nurse and lactation consultant, made it  really difficult for him to even latch on.

Whilst waiting to see the paediatrician to review the tongue tie, I decided the best thing to do was to just be relaxed as I could and rather than making every feeding session traumatic for the both of us, I just offered the breast if he was feeling up for it and expressed 8 times a day. This was really tiring and challenging but I persisted  for 2 months and even after snipping his tongue tie, which improved his ability to suck, his interest in feeding from the breast just wasn’t there. The bottle which he had known from the beginning was just far easier than working for it!

I won’t lie I felt really bad and ashamed that I stopped breastfeeding, but how could I continue when I got upset every time? I felt like a big let down and it was at this point I knew I had to stop, it just wasn’t working for me. It took a while for me to convince myself that I wasn’t letting anyone down and I can see now the best decision I made was to stop breastfeeding. A big weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

So to the mums out there who might be sitting there reading this, doing it tough and struggling it out, you’re doing a great job. Remember you’re not alone, use all the resources available to you and talk to someone. Everybody’s experience with breastfeeding is different and keeping your sanity is just as important for you as it is for your baby. But most of all, do what works for you and don’t feel bad about it, you’re already a star in the eyes of your baby.

 

Love Wifey xx

 

Boobie Cookies

The key ingredients in this recipe for aiding milk supply are oats and brewer’s yeast. Oats contain loads of iron which is important in maintaining a healthy milk supply and immune system. Brewer’s yeast also contains loads of iron but also lots of protein and phytoestrogens which is thought to be the main reason why it works so good for increasing milk supply. If you don’t like chocolate chip you can substitute with other flavours such as pistachio and dried cranberries or almonds and incaberries.

 

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour

5 tbsp brewer’s yeast

3 tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tsp chia seeds

230g dark chocolate chips

pinch of pink himalayan crystal salt

180g butter

4 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

1 vanilla bean (split and seeds scraped) or alternatively you can use vanilla bean extract/paste

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Mix oats, spelt flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, shredded coconut and chia seeds.
  3. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, begin to beat the butter and coconut oil on a medium speed, then slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg, egg yolk  and vanilla until throughly combined.
  5. On a low speed begin to add the dry mixture little by little until combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips to the mixture using a spatula.
  7. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop balls of mixture and place on the lined baking tray approximately 5cm apart and flatten the balls slightly with your fingers to make more of a disc shape but don’t completely flatten them, you want them to be fairly thick.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool and store them in an airtight container.

 

This recipe makes about 20 cookies.

Protein Power Pancakes

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to cook and right up until the birth of our little baby I was spending my pre-natal days cooking up a storm. As my cooking spree was temporarily put on hold post-baby, you can imagine my excitement when I finally had the energy and opportunity to get back in the kitchen.

Five weeks post-natal and what a beautiful day it had been in Melbourne, the sun was shining and baby was sound asleep after his early morning feed. I felt like it had been eternity since I was feeling semi-normal again and decided it would be a great day to get back into the kitchen. Having woken up with a craving for pancakes but not the guilt that’s associated, I whipped up these babies, ticking all the boxes for a yummy & nutritious breakfast. These not only make a delicious breakfast but they also make a great snack to suppress those mid morning or late afternoon sweet cravings. I often like to make a big batch storing them in an airtight container in the fridge and then popping them in the toaster when I’m ready to eat! There are a few flavour variations you can try but I am a plain Jane and love vanilla!

So without further ado I present to you my Protein Power Pancake recipe, enjoy!

Love Wifey xx

Ingredients

1/4 cup spelt or GF flour

1/4 cup LSA (if you can’t find LSA use any other nut meal like almond meal)

2 tbsp desiccated/shredded coconut

2 scoops of protein powder (you can have fun with this, I like to use Amazonia RAW protein powder in vanilla or cacao & coconut)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 eggs

1/3 cup of milk/milk alternative

pinch of pink himalayan rock salt

 

Method 

  1. Mix all dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Add eggs and milk and mix well. If you need to, add more milk or LSA to get it to a good consistency, you obviously don’t want it to be too runny!
  3. Heat a non-stick pancake pan on medium flame and pour approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the hot pan (the pancakes should only be pikelet size).
  4. Once the mixture starts to bubble flip your pancake over for about a 1-2mintues.
  5. Top your pancakes with anything you like or just eat them plain! I like to top with banana and honey or fresh berries and shredded coconut!

Serves 4 (makes about 12 pancakes)