We all know just how important it is to avoid too many processed foods. Everything from sauces to cheeses and butters to jams, and even pickles; all of these are delicious foods but often by the time they hit our palates and plates, they've been enhanced with additional sugar, salt, artificial ingredients and refined carbohydrates.
The art of creating your own versions of these foods however, for some people can seem all too difficult in this day and age. Sometimes it seems as if creating a whole new pantry of items can cost more than an arm and a leg and leave us with an even bigger dent in our wallets.
This is where the Amber Rose’s latest book, The Wholefood Pantry, comes into our lives.
Amber grew up in New Zealand where her pantry was actually her mother's garden. Her mother and her would forage for wild flowers, exotic fruits, mushrooms and seasonal goodies to include in their cooking.
Her family have a love for not only cooking deliciously simple food, but appreciating the whole process; the excitement of discovering and collecting food, completed by the rituals of preparation and cooking.
Amber's childhood inspired her love for cooking and teaching others how to do it themselves. Amber introduces us to pantry essentials so we can re-build the contents of our kitchen from the inside out. The Wholefood Pantry includes wholesome recipes for stocks, sauces, butters, milks, pickles and more!
Her cooking style is extremely intuitive, delicious and simple. She uses lots of flavoursome herbs and spices to make her recipes as nourishing as possible.
The Wholefood Pantry starts with the basics, teaching us the art of fermenting, creating and customising. Kim chi, nut milks and cheeses are all on the agenda. Once you’ve nailed these pantry staples down, we can move on to utilising these items in delicious recipes. Expect to find loads of salads, meat dishes and of course, beautiful sweet chocolatey dishes too.
'The Wholefood Pantry' simply embodies the ideal that food is medicine. It takes us back to our hunter gatherer roots so we can fall in love with not only food, but cooking it too.
Lucky for us, Amber has allowed me to share her delicious recipe for Chia Pudding basic mix plus two delicious variations down below.
Congratulations on the beautiful book Amber!
Photographs © 2016 Nassima Rothacker
BASIC CHIA PUDDING MIX
- 500ml coconut milk or almond milk, or a mix of the two
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½–1 teaspoon vanilla powder (optional)
- ½–1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 1–2 tablespoons kefir, either milk or coconut (optional)
Pour the coconut/almond milk into a glass jar, add the raw honey and give it a good whisk. Add the chia seeds and use a fork to stir them through the milk really well. Let the mix stand for 1–2 minutes and then stir it really well again, breaking up any lumps that have formed. Repeat this process a few times over a 10-minute period. Add the spices, if using, and stir. Place the chia pudding in the fridge and let it soak overnight, or for at least a few hours. This allows the chia seeds to soak and thicken up.
You can also try the layered vanilla chia and fruit cup below;
- 1 quantity of the basic chia mix
- 550-600g your favourite fresh fruit or compote
- Edible flowers, optional
Spoon half the chia mix into three glasses. Sprinkle over half the fruit, layer on more chia pudding, then sprinkle over the rest of the fruit. Serve.
Raw chocolate and red berry chia pudding.
MADE IN ADVANCE
- 1 quantity of the basic chia mix, to which add 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder before soaking and 2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw clear honey
- 350g strawberries and raspberries, mixed
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1½ teaspoons coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
- 1–2 spoonfuls coconut kefir (optional)
Put the berries, lemon juice and coconut sugar in a small bowl and mix well, lightly crushing the raspberries. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.
Spoon half the chocolate chia pudding into three glasses, spoon over half the macerated berries, then layer the rest of the chocolate chia pudding on top. Finish with the rest of the berries and lastly sprinkle over the cacao nibs. Serve.
Recipes from The Wholefood Pantry by Amber Rose. Published by Kyle Books. RRP $39.99.