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Small Victories Book Review Plus Buttermilk Pancake Recipe

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Food & Drinks, Reviews

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Food always tastes better when made with love. Whether it's from the passion the cook has for it or from the love for the people it’s being created for. Each mouthful becomes even more pleasurable when love is involved.

Julia Turshen’s new cookbook Small Victories is full of wholesome yet exciting meals made from such moments. Revealing and laughing at her own cooking mistakes, turning them into useful tips, Turshen encourages you to overcome the daunting and stressful task of making a meal. To find enjoyment in the ‘small victories’ like not dropping any celery on the floor when first learning to sauté, or turning ice cream that wouldn’t freeze into a dinner party milkshake hit.

Small Victories has a humble quality, from Turshen’s expert but easy-going guidance, to its focus on utilising good, fresh produce that is accessible to most home cooks. With a few ingredients and flavours included to help broaden your pantry and excite your tastebuds, Turshen takes away the angst of having to find and buy these ingredients if you don’t have them, by providing effective alternatives.

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Out of milk? You can still have pancakes for breakfast (or dinner)!  Try out the ‘Sour Cream Pancakes with Roasted Blueberries’ recipe from the book, which I SuperCharged by using a Turshen alternative of buttermilk rather than sour cream. By the way if you’re dairy free coconut milk would be just as nice!

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This book is Turshen’s outstretched welcome into her home kitchen, with beautiful nostalgic photography and personal stories, and every turn of the page is filled with the essence of her love for food and cooking.

The other wonderful thing about Small Victories is that you don't need to be an expert to enjoy it; if you're more of a "one recipe kind of a cook" the book features creative ways to reuse recipes, turning your single mastered meal into a multitude of delicious moments.  

Small Victories is a great introduction to food for new cooks because it gently takes away the seriousness of getting it right and finds laughter and pleasure in your ‘small victories’.

My first stop was the Sour Cream pancakes and I made a couple of supercharged switches using buttermilk in the recipe which I'm sharing with you here.

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Buttermilk Pancakes with Roasted Blueberries

  • 1 ¼ cups (160g) blueberries, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • ½ cup (60g) oat flour
  • ¼ cup (30g) sorghum flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) Buttermilk or coconut milk
  • Coconut oil for cooking and serving

Preheat oven to 200°C

In a baking dish, combine the blueberries with 2 Tbsp of the coconut sugar and stir to mix.

Place in the oven and roast, pulling the baking dish out a few times to stir the blueberries, until their skins burst and they have released lots of juices, this takes about 20 minutes.

Using a fork or a potato masher, crush the berries a bit so that they become jammy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, add the buttermilk and remaining 1 Tbsp coconut sugar, and whisk until the mixture is uniform. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to mix everything together. It’s okay if the batter isn’t perfectly smooth – it’s better to under mix than over mix.

Set a large cast-iron pan, or your largest frying pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Once the oil melts, swirl the pan or brush the pan to evenly coat the surface.

Pour the batter into the pan using a ¼ cup (60ml) increments to form pancakes that are roughly 10cm in diameter, cook only as many pancakes at a time as can fit comfortably.

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The minute that pancakes become too precise is the minute they become no fun, so don’t stress over this – it’s okay if they’re not the same size. Cook the pancakes until small bubbles appear on the surface and the undersides are nicely browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Flip the pancakes over and cook until the second sides are nicely browned, another minute or so.

Transfer to warm plates and continue making pancakes, adding more coconut oil as you go, until you’ve used up all the batter.

Serve pancakes immediately, with more coconut oil on top and the warm roasted blueberries.

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SPIN-OFFS  You can use coconut milk, buttermilk, sour cream or even yoghurt.

SHAKE UP THE TOPPING ROUTINE by roasting just about any fruit in place of the blueberries (berries are the most jammy, but all fruit benefits from the concentrated caramelisation that happens in the oven). Roasted blackberries, sliced bananas, sliced peaches, and thinly sliced apples or pears are all really delicious. Or rhubarb! Just keep an eye on the fruit while it’s roasting, as some types (e.g., apples) take a little longer than others and some (e.g., sliced bananas) take not much time at all.

THE ROASTED FRUIT TOPPING IS VERY VERSITILE; serve it with coconut cream for dessert, on toast spread with goat's cheese for breakfast, or on waffles for any time. Stir it into yogurt. Or serve alongside or grilled rich meat like pork shoulder or pork chops. Or lamb! Lamb loves fruit.

JULIA TURSHEN has co-authored such cookbooks as Spain…A Culinary Road Trip with Mario Batali, It’s All Good with Gwyneth Paltrow, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen with Dana Cowin, and The Kimchi Chronicles, Hot Bread Kitchen: The Cookbook, The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries, and Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food

She hosted the first two seasons of Radio Cherry Bombe and has written for Vogue, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Saveur, and The Wall Street Journal.  She lives in upstate New York with her wife, dogs, and cat.

 Follow her on Instagram + Twitter!

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Pete Evans Spiralise!

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

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Spiralise! is a fun, easy to digest book which is packed with inventive vegetable dense recipes.

All centred around the use of a spiraliser, this book really opens up your mind to a new way of cooking.

Featuring simple healthy recipes and nutritious meals that are not your usual Saturday night dinners, Pete Evans has gone above and beyond with creativity in this book and it’s infectious!

Bursting with recipes designed to increase your vegetable intake, anyone with a twirling machine can enjoy Spiralise!

Hosting a range of enticing recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are swirly soups, curly vegetables and delicious meat-based dishes; basically something for everyone to get stuck into and practice the art of spiralising.  

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Even if you’re new to the world of spiralisation, you’ll be amazed with the variety of uses displayed throughout the book and the colours, flavours and inventiveness of the dishes too. 

Many of the back to basic ingredients used in the recipes are a breath of fresh air, and feature good-for-you real whole foods from mother nature.

Pete has concocted some fantastic quick and easy meals that are medicinal feasts, crucial for a healthier life, and with every turn of a page, you’ll truly believe more and more that he himself lives by this very mantra.

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I had the pleasure of working and spending time with Pete recently and he’s not only a super fun guy to be around, but also an exceptional cook with a unique way of making cooking feel effortless and fabulously virtuous. For example, his gorgeous recipe for Pad Thai with spiralised zucchini noodles and tons of crunchy nuts is angelic in comparison to the usual Pad Thai ladened with carb and sugar-heavy ingredients. 

It's safe to say that Pete’s Spiralise! is a fun and exciting book, and boasts recipes that are far from ordinary, whilst making spiralising a vital part of any healthy kitchen.

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Go here to find out more details about this nourishing bookshelf must have. 

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Lola Berry The Happy Life

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

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The Happy Life is a captivating and easy to navigate book which is in part a mixture of fun and healthy recipes as well as a sweet guide to whole wellness.

Featuring simple, healthy recipes and nutritious meal ideals that contain relaxed ingredients, it’s refreshing to discover a healthy cook book that is devoid of too many strict guidelines.

Although this book oozes Lola’s unique laid-back holistic approach, it's obvious to the reader that she really knows her stuff when it comes to nutrition.

The beautifully crafted recipes are wholesome, cute and scrumptious and the book features stunning photography that captures a sense of wonderment at every turn of the page. 

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Not only does Lola demonstrate her health food nerdiness, she also illustrates her desire to strive at the ultimate goal; happiness. Talking through nourishment, mind, body, soul, friendship, intimacy, career and travel you can feel how personable and down-to-earth Lola is in this personal feel good book.

I like her unique approach to creating recipes that not only light up the page, like her gorgeous Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Macadamias, ideal for any movie night, but also the fact that her recipes are super tasty and adaptable for many different food tastes.

For more information about The Happy Life visit here.

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Mastering Your Mean Girl

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 10.00.55 pmMelissa’s debut book Mastering Your Mean Girl is an honest, heartfelt, thought provoking and relatable guide which navigates and steers the reader to delve deep inside, to pull out and deal with the inner critic, often a source of unhelpful and niggling doubts, fears and negative self talk.

Mastering Your Mean Girl offers clear and actionable steps to enable you to recognize and understand how disparaging mean girl thoughts that swirl around in your mind can be and the negative and damaging affects that your internal dialogue can have not only your frame of mind but on your relationships, career and your everyday life.

The book examines limiting beliefs and their destructive and caustic nature and provides advice on how to deal with restraining and preventative thinking to arrive at a place of self-acceptance through self care, self love and heart centered practices.

The book is peppered with inspirational quotes and real life examples that can nudge you into the positive and with daily practice can help you to live the life of your dreams.

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I sat down with Melissa in my garden and asked her a few questions about her beautiful brand new book.

 What is your Mean Girl and why should we be mastering her?

Your Mean Girl is that fear-based voice inside your head that tells you you aren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, skinny enough… whatever enough. Essentially, it is your ego. That voice is NOT your truth. Your truth is love, and in order to live a life beyond your wildest dreams, you need to learn how to master her and live from your heart. That’s when life starts to seriously rock.

It's an interesting concept, what drew you to this subject?

A strong desire to help myself at first, then I realised that if I was struggling with bucket-loads of fear then other women might be too. I started sharing the concept of mastering your Mean Girl and it resonated with so many women all over the world. I now have a burning desire to help as many women as I can master their inner Mean Girl and live the life they truly desire.

Any tips on how to master our Mean Girl?

Reading my book Mastering Your Mean Girl is the first place to start 😉 But to jump in right now, there are 3 quick steps you can take to master your Mean Girl:

  1. Awareness. Become aware of when she pops up and tells you that you’re not good enough, thin enough, whatever enough. Most times we are so unconscious and not present that we aren’t even aware of her internal dialogue, so bringing your awareness to her words is the first step.
  2. Gently close the door on her. Once you are aware that she has popped up, you can now choose to gently close the door on her. It’s not about fighting her, or waging an inner battle — that’ll just cause more pain and suffering. Instead, it’s a gentle, grateful act that comes from a place of peace.
  3. Choose love instead. Once you have gently closed the door on her you, choose to come back to your heart and choose love instead. It’s so much more fulfilling when you do.

How do you think you've evolved since writing the book?

I guess I care less what other people think — even more so now. When you share from your heart and pour it all out, there’s nowhere to hide! In my book, I share very personal details about myself and my life which left me feeling very vulnerable, but at the end of the day my intention was to inspire and support my beautiful readers, which I believe I have done.

What motivates you?

Being of service... Gets me fired up every time.

What's Melissa up to next?

I am just enjoying the ride and focusing on being present.

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About Melissa

Melissa Ambrosini is the author of Mastering Your Mean Girl, an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and self-love teacher. In her signature straight-talking style, Melissa teaches women how to master their inner Mean Girl, smash through limiting beliefs, and ditch the self-doubt so that they can start truly living the life of their dreams. Named a 'self-help guru' by Elle Magazine, she is known for her inspirational live events, books, booming online community, her weekly Goddess Groups, game-changing online programs such as the MA Academy Business Bootcamp, her soulful guided meditations and empowering keynote talks.

Her mission is to inspire women across the globe to create a heart-centred life that’s wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy and bursting with love.

Connect with Melissa here...

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

YouTube

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The Wholesome Cook, Martyna Angell

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

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The Wholesome cook is a stunning book featuring do-able healthy and nutritious meals that are not only approachable but devoid of over-complication and unpronounceable ingredients that cost an arm and a leg.

Martyna experienced a traditional upbringing where wholefoods were the norm and throughout the book she interweaves her cultural background into the beautifully crafted recipes.

Growing up in Poland meant that family shopping trips to the local farmers' market would result in basketfuls of farm fresh and in-season produce filling up her fridge and pantry, and the underground cellar piled up with delicious preserves, pickled wild mushrooms, and homemade pasta stocks and sauces.

Her cook-from-scratch training was a family affair and evident when you flick through the beautiful pages of the book to discover a well ordered menu beginning with a homemade basics section with wholesome staples such as dressings, spice mixes, pestos and sauces and stocks.

 You’ll find her personal take on non-healthy foods, ways to detox your fridge and pantry and also a chapter on food wastage a subject which is somewhat de rigueur.

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I love the roasted vegetable salad, poached chicken and crab salad and hot raspberry and apple kisiel, a Polish hot jelly made with tapioca flour.

Martyna is a talented cook with a unique approach to creating recipes that not only light up the page and are supremely beautiful to look at, but also extremely tasty and adaptable for many different diet styles.

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The Healthy Life- Jessica Sepel

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

The-Healthy-Life-Front-CoverJessica's book is an allegory of her own inspiring journey towards freedom with food and thriving health.

Her wisdom shines through in its pages; encouraging a shift from the outdated calorie-counting and restrictive dieting approach to eating.

Instead, her philosophy is one which acknowledges that good health can be attained when we heal our relationship with food and embrace a mindset of self love.

Jess's personal story is interwoven throughout the entire book, and includes a helpful step by step plan of how she healed her personal relationship with food, which then radiated into a healthy mindset and physical body.

It's a beautiful looking book peppered with hand painted illustrations and natural photography which focusses on the delicious recipes within. My favourites include the Japanese Broccolini and Green Bean Salad, Asian Style Snapper, Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder and Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt.

FullSizeRenderThis practical guide will equip and empower you to embrace clean eating with passion, which will have wonderful effects on your skin, gut, immune system and energy levels.

For more information about Jess visit her website here.

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Happy Go Paleo, Irena Macri

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

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I am so refreshed by easy going, non-fussy, non-judgemental and all embracive health resources, and Irena's book totally nails this vibe in her creation of Happy Go Paleo.

As the name suggests, this paleo guide won't leave you feeling like a failure before you've already begun, but will encourage you with light-hearted passion to begin your own paleo-inspired journey and explore its benefits.

On a practical level, the gorgeous recipes are complimented by helpful menu plans, with ideas for full meals, and side dishes that are completely gluten and sugar free.

The ingredients lists are also very approachable for the everyday home cook so you won't be sent on a wild goose chase to try and pin down anything wildly exotic.

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Irena has a section on her favourite feasts and themed menus as these are her way of having fun in the kitchen.

Here she embraces the concept and mood of a meal to bring wildly abundant feasts such as Havana Nights, Cuban Steaks served with Mojito Tomato Salad and Star Anise and Coconut Braised Sweet Potato.

You'll love the nourishing Warm Superfood Bowl theme which features Roasted Buckwheat with Garlic and Tomatoes served with Mushroom Medley, Warm Silverbeet and Hazelnut and Lemon Crumbs.

This is a wonderful cookbook that will help you to realise how enjoyable and easy 80/20 Paleo eating can be.

For more information about Irena visit her website Eat Drink Paleo here.

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The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

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Charlotte and David Bailey are an English couple who have released their debut cookbook The Fresh Vegan Kitchen here in Australia.

The book has stemmed from their successful business Wholefood Heaven which saw them fall in love with a Citroen H van and transform it into any foodies dream- a mobile food van that only produces the freshest, most nutritious whole foods to people on the go.

Since the inception of their food truck, Charlotte, an oxford graduate, and David, a fully qualified chef, have turned it into their full time business.

So much so, David now offers classes and retreats for budding cooks who want to increase their skills and expertise when trying to cook vegetarian, vegan or create raw dishes at home.

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My Fresh Vegan Kitchen combines over 100 of David and Charlotte’s favourite recipes, bursting with flavour, fresh ingredients and modern twists.

Their inspiration comes from their many travels throughout Asian and India in addition to recipes ranging from Spanish tapas, Middle Eastern mezzes and classic Mexican favourites.

Not surprisingly, every recipe is vegan and many will accommodate people trying to follow a raw, sugar free, wheat free or gluten free diet.

You can find out more about My Fresh Vegan Kitchen here and get to know Charlotte and David here.

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Simplicious by Sarah Wilson

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

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Sarah Wilson's Simplicious is a must for every aspiring cook, and even the most learned home cooks. It has all of the tips and tricks you need to help re-master the basic art of food preparation.

Far beyond a simple recipe book though, this resource is a text book of how-to's; including practical guides on waste avoidance expressed through tips on how to buy in bulk, freeze, preserve and use scraps to make mouthwatering new meals.

This is a beautiful cooking guide filled with aesthetically gorgeous images reflecting simple, straightforward but innovative meal ideas that are completely free or low in sugar.

One of the key elements about this book is the emphasis on mindful eating and enjoying real, wholesome food for pleasure, rather than perceiving it with stress or fear and it embodies Sarah’s principles of “JERF” (Just Eat Real Food).

I made the Green Scraps Shakshouka with some leftover greens, pesto and eggs and it was delicious. It’s an environmental take on a classic Israeli bubble ‘n’ squeak.  Should have taken a pic but mine looked a bit "fugly".

Sarah has dedicated a whole chapter to leftover mishmashes, featuring an abundance of clever leftover dishes to make the most of your spare ingredients and bits and bobs. Look forward to globe-trotting your way through Bibimbap Pancakes, Green Gumbo, Fridge-door Tonnato, Fish Pie and a wholesome Vegan Quiche.

My favourite bit? Three ways with oily fish...Only another sardine lover would understand my excitement about this!

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An overall brilliant cookbook that is generously informative and will inspire people to realise that cooking is a vital practice that saves money, time, your health and the environment.

More information can be found about Sarah here on her blog or you can find her recipe books here.

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The Greengrocer’s Diet

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

the green grocers diet Visiting your local green grocer or farmer’s market is a wonderful way to discover new vegetables such as daikon and celeriac and rediscover old favourites like cauliflower and green beans.
Now a book has come along that focusses on the virtues and deliciousness of vegetables through simply brilliant recipes.
Judy Davie’s recently released book The Greengrocer's Diet has over two hundred and twenty recipes that focus on eating with the seasons for optimal weight loss.
The book includes testimonies from participants of Davie’s program that has seen some lose up to thirty two kilograms, decreased blood pressure, improved digestion, better sleep, improved skin and hair quality and outstanding increases in energy levels.
The diet primarily consists of portion control and focuses heavily on consuming large portions of vegetables, as they are a great source of nutrients and low in calories.
The Greengrocer's Diet focuses on eating seasonally, something I am very passionate about, so it’s a great book to look over before heading to your local farmers market or produce store for some inspiration.
The diet focuses on long-term, sustainable weight loss rather than a fad temporary body transformation that has both an expiry date and high level of unsustainability.
The Greengrocer's Diet is the most recent book for Judy Davie, following on from other best selling titles including Star Foods and The Food Coach.
You can order your copy online here.

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The 20/20 Diet Cookbook

Written by lee on . Posted in Books, Reviews

GF_353_lola_cover-20140219110810745813-300x0 Nutritionist Lola Berry's gorgeous cookbook is based on her own personal weight loss journey having lost 20 kilograms in 20 weeks. The way that she transformed her body was by changing her diet and not over eating. Previously she ate alot of sugary type foods and this contributed to her weight gain but after transforming her diet she lost a bunch of weight and now has so much energy and feels fantastic.

Lola shares how simple it is to make delicious meals using "high energy wholefoods".  The recipes are gluten and wheat free so perfect for people who are on a gluten free diet. The sweetener she uses in her recipes is maple syrup and she swaps out milk for almond milk.

Her recipes are delicious with not too many ingredients so they are suitable for everyone, even if you are just beginning to cook using natural ingredients you'll find this book very easy to follow and it has a great quirky style too.

The recipes are full of healthy and nutritious ingredients and she includes fruits, veggies, meats, and good fats in her diet.

If you want to lose weight and get healthy with yummy recipes, this is a wonderful cook book to have in your kitchen. Find out more about Lola here.

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Bounty Bar Recipe from I Quit Sugar Kids

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Books, Christmas, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kids, lunch box ideas, Reviews, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

The Bounty Bar IQS KidsToday I’m super excited to be sharing details and a recipe from Sarah Wilson’s latest e-book, I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook, aimed at helping parents and care-givers encourage their children to eat healthier food. As someone who has written a kid’s recipe book Supercharged Food for Kids, I was thrilled to be asked to contribute one of my recipes to Sarah’s new book, which is full of so many delicious sugar free recipes that kids will enjoy eating again and again. The book also has a lot of helpful information for parents about how to make savoury foods fun and exciting. IQS KidsThere’s a section on navigating the school tuck shop which can be an area where many parents struggle with their children’s choices.  But kids will be pleased to know that the IQS Kids Cookbook is not suggesting a full ban. They provide a real canteen order list and the foods which are IQS approved.  There are ways to steer your kids’ choices in a healthier direction whilst still letting them have the thrill of ordering from the tuck shop. Speaking of the school yard, I’m sure there will be much playground envy when kids start to open up their lunchboxes to reveal the yummy and fun recipes that are included in this fantastic book. One of the chapter’s in the book is aimed at fructose free party recipes, an area where many parents struggle to find party food that isn’t going to send their kids through the roof on an artificial high. 

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