One of the things I love most about my job is connecting with people who are really passionate about what their families eat and sharing this knowledge with other people as well.
This week I'd like you to meet one of my favourites - Karen Stevenson fromFood, Glorious Friendly Food. Here she is below with her gorgeous boys and hubby at a family wedding recently.
I interviewed her last week to find out a bit more about why her family eats the way they do and to get an awesome recipe from her for you to try out!
Can you tell us why you started Food Glorious Friendly Food?
Not surprisingly, it was through my own journey with food intolerances. My eldest son was basically born with eczema and bowel issues and as he grew he was an incredibly lethargic and 'always-sick-with-something' kind of kid. But it took us a long time to realise just how much of a role his food intake played in his health.
Through the help of a naturopath, we began to heal his gut and discover which foods were affecting him. Through this process I realised how unwell I had been over many years - things that had become 'normal' to me that really shouldn't be normal.
Long story short, we discovered that our whole family feels so much better, full of energy and get sick a whole lot less if we steer clear of wheat, dairy, refined sugar and processed foods in general.
My son was also allergic to egg and peanuts, but has (thankfully!) now grown out of these allergies. At first I found switching what we ate a little difficult as I wasn't given any resources to help me do it.
But over time, I found and developed recipes that we love, and lots of tips along the way for making the switch easy. It seemed natural to want to share these tips and recipes with others, in the hope that their journey will be a little more straight forward than mine was. So, I began a blog!!
What are the top 3 recipes people love on your website?
My Paleo Butter Chicken and Paleo Almond Satay are a real hit on the savoury side. My first love, however, is sweet foods and I've gotten the best feedback and most hits on my Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies and the Best Ever Fudgey Brownies or the Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars (sorry - can't limit it to just three!!)
What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?
Always chocolate! I probably have a disproportionate number of chocolate recipes on my blog, and of course I then wrote a whole cook book with chocolate! Of course, I only use dark chocolate - dairy free, low sugar or naturally sweetened, and Fair Trade. I also love coconut sugar, coconut cream (makes a fabulous custard), and chicken is my favourite meat to cook with.
What items are regulars in your kids healthy lunch boxes?
My kids rarely have sandwiches in their lunch boxes as I try to limited processed grains in our lives. So we tend to have 'bits and pieces' kind of lunches: carrot sticks, cheese pieces (usually a hard sheep cheese like Manchego) and cherry tomatoes, left over bits of chicken or gluten free/organic sausages, home made muffins (my Buckwheat Banana Muffins are the favourite at the moment), bliss balls or my Fruit and Nut Slice, home made Muesli Bars, apples or berries. I have a whole blog post listing my favourite lunch box ideas if you're interested in checking out more click here.
Karen has kindly given me her Buckwheat Banana Muffin recipe for you to try out.
Gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, soy free, nut free, refined sugar free and can be egg free
Makes about 15 medium-large muffins
3 large bananas (frozen banana is okay too)
3 eggs (OR 3 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 9 tablespoons filtered water for about 10 minutes, until gelatinous)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (100g) pure maple syrup (if you've been refined sugar free for a while you can reduce this)
1 cup tightly packed buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
50g dark chocolate chips or chocolate bar (70% cocoa, dairy free, naturally sweetened), cut into small pieces (about 1/4 cup when chopped) OR try using raisins or sultanas if you prefer
Optional 60g (about 1/2 cup) roughly chopped walnut or pecan pieces
I know you'll want to connect with Karen now and you can do so by following these links: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. Make sure you also join Karen's community so you never miss a new recipe or blog post. Click here.