Natural alternatives to sugar, savoury snacks, menu planning and more!

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With the recent release of 'That Sugar Film' - a film dedicated to showing the dangerous reality of our sugary world - the negative effect/s that sugar can have on the body is hot news right now! Haven't seen the trailer yet? Watch it here

And you can find out if the film is being screened somewhere near you here. 

There are lots of scary facts about refined sugars, and most of us know they're not good for us, but how can we avoid them in our everyday lives when they're in everything?! And besides, it's so nice to sit down and relax with a cuppa and a piece of cake now and then, so do we have to forego that??

I think it's ok to have some healthy sweets now and then, as long as you remember that any sweets you make, no matter how nutrient dense, need to be eaten in moderation and really shouldn't be an everyday food. But, for those times when you really feel the need for a sweet treat... here's my list of substitutes you can use to replace that pesky refined stuff.
Here are my three top tips for cutting down on the sweet stuff:
  • Keep baked sweets for 'now and then' - not everyday.
  • Start changing over to savoury snacks as much as possible for home and school lunch boxes.
  • When you do have sweets, team them up with good fats and proteins so that the sugars are released slowly into the bloodstream.


Savoury snacks

After all that sugar talk - it's definitely time for some savoury snacks!

I've had heaps of suggestions come in from Quirky Cooking readers on their best healthy snacks! Here are a few of the favourites I've picked to share with you:
  • Mini meatballs packed with shredded veggies.
  • Homemade hummus with carrot sticks, celery, cucumber and cauliflower. 
  • Homemade wraps with salad and chicken. 
  • Frittatas or hummus patties.
  • Zucchini fritters.
  • Ok, and one special sweet one - coconut yoghurt chia pudding.

For lots and lots more reader snack suggestions, both sweet and savoury, you can check them all out here. And even add some of your own! 

Quirky Cookbook Recipe Tips

For those who have questions about my recipes when cooking from my cookbook, don't forget there's an album on my Facebook page full of Quirky Recipe Tips! 
This album includes, for example, tips for making my dairy free, nut free, soy free and starch free coconut yoghurt successfully! (Coconut yoghurt is notoriously hard to make, but these tips will help to ease it up!)

If you want help with a recipe that's not shown in this album, send me your questions and I'll try and get some tips up about it for you!


Need some menu planning ideas?

I will be posting my weekly menu on my Facebook page every Monday to help you with some inspiration for the week. You can find the menu plan album here.

TIP: I keep my weekly menu handy by writing it up on my phone, then taking a screen shot of it and making it the home screen on my phone! 


Paleo Way

I'm really looking forward to cooking my Thermomix version of Pete's delicious "Chorizo and Seafood Paella" at Pete Evan's "Paleo Way Tour" in Cairns this Sunday! My son Isaac and I will also be speaking about our family's GAPS journey! Who's coming? 

You can find the details here!

Pete's paella was popular here with my kid's friends - so delicious!!
Check it out on his Paleo Way program.

Five Free Dinners to Give Away!

My chef friend, Fouad Kassab (ex-Chic Pea Restaurant) is starting Baraka - Food inspired by the Middle East which is a new pop-up restaurant in Sydney serving whole foods influenced by the Middle East! 

Baraka is due to pop-up sometime next month in Alexandria. The amazing support that you guys showed Fouad when he opened his first pop-up restaurant, Chic Pea, prompted him to give away FIVE FREE DINNERS (for two guests each) to Quirky Cooking Fans. 

Dash over to his page to enter! 

And hurry - the giveaway ends 31st March.

Giveaway Reminder!

Don't forget, the fabulous folk at Litter Free Living have generously provided lots of foodie storage goodies to give away. Head over to my Facebook page to enter for your chance to win an entire collection of these funky snack bags that keep your fruit and veggies fresher for longer - worth $84!



This week on "A Quirky Journey," Jo and Leah empty their kitchen cupboards and chat about :

  • What they mean by a real food kitchen, and the importance of going back to homemade foods
  • Kitchen tools they have invested, in both good and the misguided, and what they recommend as alternatives
  • Their best options for cookware
  • Their top five tools that they can’t live without

Join us for an informative session on the making your kitchen as healthy (and functional!) as possible.

Listen to Podcast
Thanks for reading, and listening, everyone! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend, and I look forward to meeting some of you in Cairns on Sunday!

Jo xx
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