Zucchini Rosemary Bread — Recipes inspired by Three Gold Coins

Continuing with food inspired by Italy (where I ate a lot of food in research for Three Gold Coins), here is my recipe for Zucchini Rosemary Bread. Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Rosemary Bread

(GF and optional DF)

 

Ingredients

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

2/3 cup oil (melted ghee or coconut oil or olive oil)

3/4 cup honey

4 eggs

1 cup of milk or nut milk

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla bean powder (or extract)

1 tsp Himalayan or Celtic sea salt

1 tsp nutmeg

3 cups grated zucchini

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup gf rolled oats

1/2 arrowroot flour

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped.

 

Method

 

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two loaf tins with baking (parchment) paper.
  2. While the oven is heating, lay out your walnuts on a baking sheet and let them toast gently till fragrant.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients down to the milk and whisk till combined.
  4. Add your dry ingredients one at a time, stirring as you go till everything is well combined. (Add extra rice flour if it looks too wet.)
  5. Divide the mixture between the two loaf tins and place side by side on a top shelf of the oven.
  6. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on a cooling rack before cutting. Serve with butter.

Blossom Water Amaretti: recipe from Three Gold Coins

Like all my books, Three Gold Coins is full of food. One of those foods is the delectable amaretti.

If like me you are gluten free, the amaretti biscuit seems to be heaven sent! It’s also a great one if you’re time poor or not very confident in the kitchen. It’s sweet and chewy, freezes well and is just perfect to accompany coffee and tea.

Here is my recipe for amaretti–so easy, so versatile, so yummy! Enjoy!

Ingredients

4 egg whites

350g caster sugar

300g blanched almond meal

50g almond meal (not blanched) **
(**Note: alternatively, use 350g of blanched almond meal in total.)

30mLs orange blossom water

Method

Preheat your oven to 170 C.

Beat your egg whites with an electric beater until stiff.

Use a silicone spatula to fold in the dry ingredients, as well as the blossom water, until smooth.

Place small dollops of the dough onto two pre-greased and/or lined baking trays, leaving about a centimetre between biscuits.

Place a slivered almond in the centre of each biscuit.

Cook until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Feel the Love at Goodness Gracious Cafe

20160524_105802LOVE. This is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Goodness Gracious Gluten Free & Organic Cafe in Yandina on the Sunshine Coast. The women who run this charming abode (Jill and Nicky) radiate love.

But I’ll get back to this. For now, I’m going to sidestep a little to a time in my life when I was really sick. Stay with me…

About thirteen years ago, my health was in a terrible mess, diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Hashimoto’s Disease, hypothyroidism, a host of rheumatological issues and more. It was an intensely frightening time, unable to work to make the money I needed for the many treatments that doctors and natural therapists claimed would help. Unable to afford them, I had to make Big Life Decisions. But one of the easiest decisions I made was that I needed to invest the little amount of money I had into FOOD. It was clear to me that high quality food would be the basis of everything after that.

I started going to the Northey Street City Farm organic markets each week. And then for whatever reason, I found myself drawn to eating at Govinda’s (Hare Krishna) cafe in Brisbane city. Something that deeply impressed me about the Hare Krishna lifestyle was how important food was in their service and spirituality. So much so, I was told, that to be a person elevated to a food prep position was something of an honour, something that had to be earned. To prepare food in a Hare Krishna kitchen included loving and blessing the food before it was eaten.

Call me crazy if you like, but I felt some deep healing on those Sunday evenings spent at Govinda’s.

And this takes me back to Goodness Gracious Cafe. From the moment you pull up on the footpath you are surrounded by love–in the welcoming chalkboard signs; in the organic garden that’s lovingly tended by these women; in the heart-shaped art pieces hanging from the ceiling; in the locally-made handmade artworks for sale; in the groups of women knitting at the tables, with their rows of stitches becoming blankets for the homeless in the local area; and most certainly, most definitely, in the food.

Everything here is baked on site inside this post-war home on stumps–a home that has a fascinating history including being a railway station master’s home and having had a resident spirit called ‘Alfred’ walking the rooms (who was later ‘released’ when his daughter, who’d also lived in the home, happened upon the cafe and took him home with her).

Jill and Nicky and their friendly staff are always there with a warm smile, knowing many of their customers by name. Their gratitude for living their dream is evident, with the cafe and its customers supporting more than half a dozen different charities, both local and overseas. And their gastronomic creations never let you down.

My favourites include the Turkish delight hot chocolate (with real rose water); the chocolate, blueberry and lavender mud cake (seriously, you MUST try this!); the banana pancakes with homemade caramel sauce and banana ‘nice cream’ (dairy free); the chicken crepes and salad; the paleo lemon bar; and, well, pretty much everything else on the menu too.

There is some kind of deep wisdom that tells us that to provide food with love, and to eat food with love, is one of the most powerful things we can do. That’s why so many of our memories involve food with loved ones. That’s why we say ‘you are what you eat’. That’s why we go home for a ‘home cooked meal’. That’s why we make our loved ones soup when they’re ill.

Hippocrates is reported to have said, “Let food be thy medicine.”

Whether it’s intentional or not, the love and care that comes from these women’s hands infuses every mouthful. Just like my time at Govinda’s all those years ago, I come away from Goodness Gracious every time feeling blessed, nurtured and a little bit healed. And I walk away feeling that the world is a good place after all.

 

Goodness Gracious Cafe: 3 Conn St, Yandina. 

Opening Hours

Mon – Fri  8:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday  7:00am – 2:00pm & Sunday  7:00am – 1:00pm

(This post is part of a series of fortnightly reviews by Josephine Moon and Ashley Jubinville of healthy places to eat on the Sunshine Coast.)

 

Husk & Honey (Food Tour of the Sunshine Coast)

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(A guest post today from my friend and tour partner, Ashley Jubinville, Kitchen Coach.)

Like the quiet little bees that go about their service of pollinating flowers so we can exist – without question or many thanks from us, this little café has been diligently going about “business as usual” in quiet little Nambour for over 4 years! The difference though is that their “business as usual” is really quite extraordinary and so refreshingly authentic.

If the reference was suiting enough already, the café’s name happens to be Husk & Honey AND my café-touring friend Josephine Moon has most recently released her wonderful foodie-fiction book called The Beekeeper’s Secret too (lovingly set on the Sunshine coast)!!! How fitting?! …you probably think I planned that one…. Haha

For those of you diligent foodies out there who are looking for a refreshing break from the stress of finding somewhere that you can eat without concern, the short drive out to the very funky Queen St. in Nambour is highly worth your while. There is not an ounce of gluten to be found anywhere in their kitchen, nor any other grains for that matter, and they make everything from scratch!!! – like everything! Even their tea blends, non-dairy milks, and hot chocolates! I LOVE YOU!

Next time you go, please pass on an extra bit of gratitude on my behalf to the lovely Johnny, Tashi, Sam, & Sarah for me – for their dedication to healthy, homemade goodness, authenticity, and happy service! And for anyone wanting a copy of any of your Josephine Moon books signed by the lovely Jo herself, you MAY just find her writing her next book in the cosy corner of Husk & Honey one day too!

Keep up the great work, smiles, and AWESOME food Husk & Honey – we need more like you to lead the way and help inspire people with what is possible. For all you Sunshine Coasters, lets ‘vote’ wisely with where we choose to spend our dollars – for the future of our food supply like the good bees we can bee!

Kunara — a health foodie’s dream

Dear friends,

As Australia’s first foodie fiction author, I take my position seriously and therefore I have decided to make the ultimate sacrifice for you and eat my way around the Sunshine Coast in order to let you know what’s out there. No, please, no need to thank me. It’s my service to you 😉 To keep my spirits boosted during this obviously arduous task, I’ve enlisted the assistance of my friend, Kitchen Coach Ashley Jubinville (of the amazing “bee cake” fame). Together, we will eat on your behalf.

The obvious place to start is at Kunara, the organic superstore that is fast becoming the power centre of what the Sunshine Coast does best: health. Not only is there the organic supermarket itself, but organic cotton clothing, an organic hair salon and day spa, a holistic vet, holistic doctors, organic garden centre, organic butcher and more on the way.

In the cafe you’ll find everything a food sensitive soul would want: coconut milk cappuccinos, paleo chocolate desserts, golden turmeric mylk, vegan pastries and more.

One of the most delightful things about Kunara’s cafe is the outdoor seating that is situated within their garden shop, with the sound of the natural (and spectacular) water feature nearby. It’s a tranquil little space and we both agree it’s rather special. The other thing we particularly loved today was the gluten free spinach and feta roll. Wow! (If you’re not gluten free you won’t understand how exciting this is. For me, I’ve been gluten free for twenty-five years and this is the first one of these I’ve seen in that time. Trust me, it’s a big deal.) Ashley and I are strictly gluten free and to stumble across one of these was a first for both of us. And it didn’t disappoint. Go get one!

And for a bit of trivia, Kunara even features in The Beekeeper’s Secret.

Until next time,

Jo x