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June 2017

Beef and Vegetable Recovery Soup…and care packs

By NutritionNo Comments

Compared to past winters, this has been a mild one. I can remember having 5 degree C mornings one year in particular, when Rick and I were first married (and had little furniture!) and we’d sit on a cushion at the coffee table for breakfast in the freezing cold!

But this post isn’t actually anything to do with our minimalist beginnings!

It’s more about making some healing food and getting through this flu season. We’re a pretty healthy family usually, lots of veg, sunshine, fresh air…all that. But this Autumn/Winter there has been so much seasonal illness sweeping through our household! It’s been crazy. And I’ve heard the same from a lot of other families in the Toowoomba area.

So, what can you do to help your own family and others as they rest and recover from all the bugs going around?

Being a Nourishing Traditions follower, one of the ways we recover is by eating some bone broth based soup.

I used an organic/free range leg of beef (sawn into pieces that actually fit in a stockpot!) and roasted it for an hour at 180 C. This then went into the stockpot for 48 hours of simmering with a little vinegar, rosemary, sage, garlic, onion and some greens.

You can use a chicken frame (or whole chook) but just be aware if you are making broth with chicken that it only needs up to 24 hours of simmer time.

Then I scoop out the bones, shred any meat off the bone that is overly chunky and add lots of veg. I used a lot of carrot, broccoli and cabbage in this batch (all organic).

This was all chopped into bite sized pieces and added to the broth/beef mix.

It was then heated and simmered just long enough to partially cook the veggies. If you were going to eat all the soup right away, you could simmer until the veg are all tender, but this made a BIG batch, so I didn’t want to overcook as I’ll have to reheat later and don’t want to eat mush!

Besides being helpful for healing from seasonal illness, this type of soup is so kind to your gut if you have any gastrointestinal issues. I found it very helpful when I used to have autoimmune disease. It’s also very satisfying.

And there it all is in the pot, looking vibrant!

Now, if you have a decent sized stockpot you can make liters of this soup in one hit and have it in the freezer on hand for yourself, or friends/family that are under the weather (or who just love soup :-))

One idea is to pour soup into a glass canister with a good seal and label it, then add a little packet of fresh herbs (to add to the soup when they heat it) and take it to friends/family that are ill. Just don’t stick regular glass in the freezer. It really doesn’t like it in there!


By NutritionNo Comments

Hawaii, Iceland and the Lockyer Valley’s Mt Sylvia…what do they have in common?

You’re probably thinking “not much!” These three areas are places that palagonite, a rare rock dust formed through the interaction of water and volcanic glass, is found. Normally it occurs where there is recent volcanic activity, but in the past 11 years has been found at Mt Sylvia! Interested in how it happens?

I’m mentioning this because I know a lot of you are into gardening to some extent…and most of us have soil that needs help. It’s either too sandy, too clay ridden or too depleted of organic matter.

And that’s where palagonite can help. Palagonite has the natural ability to hold and retain water, which is great news for a lot of gardeners, but when mixed with manure and microbes it becomes a powerful growth agent for gardens. The mine at mt Sylvia has already exported their blend to Dubai, where it was able to support the growth of healthy grass in a polo center! This was desert…and then they added the palagonite/manure blend and grass grew!

In a more local example, Bauers organic farm used palagonite in addition to some other natural goodies for the soil and gained a 50% increase in their ginger crop.

Of interest to my husband and I with our organic market garden, is the paramagnetism of palagonite. We already use blue metal in our compost brew to increase the soil paramagnetism and recently found out  palagonite has triple the paramagnetism of crusher dust/blue metal. It also improves the soil pH, microbial activity and adds many trace elements to the soil.

If you live in the Toowoomba area and want to try palagonite out, keep checking our website, where we will soon be offering this supplement for sale to home gardeners.

The link below gives you some more info about this mineral:

In Season: Red Russian Kale

By Market GardenNo Comments
[fancy_box image_url=”6661″ color=”Accent-Color”]Growing up, I don’t think we ever ate kale…I doubt I’d even heard of it. Now it’s all the rage, and when you see how versatile and nutritious kale is, it’s no wonder why.

Kale is a winter crop, and even thrives on light frosts (so it’s loving our garden right now!).



Ever heard of the Dirty Dozen? It’s a list of the 12 most risky fruits and vegetables to buy conventionally. They are the ones with the highest numbers and concentrations of toxic sprays. Kale is on that list. As a matter of fact, up to 55 different chemicals have been found in varying degrees on conventionally grown kale (you can check it out at

We grow it organically here and the only pest we find on it is aphids, which are gently washed off in a bubbler with water. It’s like giving the kale a soft spa bath in pure water. This means the kale is ready to use straight out of the fridge, whereas conventionally grown kale comes with the advice to be washed and then swished in a saline solution for 10-15 minutes to remove dirt, fungicides and chemicals!

How do you use Kale? I love to just slice it up and saute it in butter with zucchini, rainbow chard, carrots or whatever else is in season and in the fridge! Then add some salt and pepper and you have a very tasty green side dish. A classic French variation is to add some garlic and balsamic vinegar to the mix….mmmm, this is making me hungry.

Otherwise you can slice or puree it and add it to soups.

Or smoothies.

Or use it raw in salads…or chopped up in frittatas, quiche or savoury muffins.

Or make yourself some kale chips.

Loads of options! So this winter, why not give this green nutrient powerhouse a go? 🙂