Mother by Nature Blog

Caravan mini cakes

December 29, 2018

Caravan mini cakes

It’s the summer holidays – hooray!

We are travelling in our caravan enjoying quality family time in the sun sand & sea; getting outdoors and relishing in all of nature’s glory.

No routines, no curfews, and my personal favourite – no alarm clocks!

All that fresh air, exploring and swimming makes for constantly insatiable appetites so for my hungry family of 5 I have been baking up more vanlife gourmet meals and homemade healthy sweet treats than ever.

Food to nourish the body and feed the soul.

In our van we have a half sized gas oven which has performed brilliantly, so much that I’m wanting one for at home now too. Even though it’s been 40+ each day we still have to eat so I have been making mini banana muffins – renamed ‘Caravan Mini Cakes’  to keep the food stores up and save me from buying packaged and processed flavourless ‘food’.

Healthy home cooking is something I am very passionate about.

You are what you eat and good health sets you up for life. I want my children’s bodies to have the best start to adulthood without all the junk, sugar, additives and other hidden nasties wherever possible.

There is a lot of ‘stuff’ on the supermarket shelves pretending to be food, and I avoid those isles at all costs.

But sometimes we all need a sweet treat so this is my go to cake to make and everyone in our family loves it!

Now I’m about to spill some family secrets here because this recipe is so old that I had to convert it from pounds and ounces from my nana’s younger days, and, with a modern twist I have reduced the sugar and butter amounts and added some power packed superfoods.

My dear nana who is 96 was a professional chef in her younger years and as result my mother and I have been handed down the passion and flair for ‘from scratch’ cooking with the DNA and skills to back it up. For as long as I can remember I have had this banana cake made for me and now I carry on the tradition by baking it for my little darlings.  There simply is no better recipe.

Firstly the biggest secret I can share with you is the actual bananas themselves. Don’t use yellow bananas, always use old brown ones. I pop them into the freezer when they can’t be eaten anymore. When you pull them back out they do look quite bad but don’t be put off…It will make all the difference!

So here it is, a Mother By Nature family recipe delight!

90g Butter

80g Raw Sugar or substitute with honey etc

2 Fresh farm eggs

2 Old Bananas

200g SR Wholemeal flour

1 Teaspoon Bi Carb Soda dissolved in 1 Tablespoon warm Milk

Chia seeds, walnuts, lsa mix, flaxseed, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sultanas, chopped dried apricots etc

Method:

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy and then beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Mash the bananas (for more ‘chunks’ mash less) then stir through mixture. Sift flour and mix in alternately with the milk / bi carb.

Add the healthy additions of your choice and mix through gently.

I only had silicone moulds with me to keep the weight down in the van which made the mini cakes shape but you can use whatever cake or muffin tray you have.

Bake at 180 degrees Celsius: 20 mins for mini cakes or 45 minutes for full sized tins then remove and cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turing out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

There you have it!

It’s so easy and my children love to make it with me, I’m sure your little helpers would love to as well!

Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

If you really want to live large you can whip up this Lemon Icing which transforms it into a full on decadent dessert, one that you would be proud to take to a friends event to really show off!

Lemon Icing:

Mix together 250g Cream Cheese (reduced fat) and 3/4 cup of Icing Sugar to a smooth consistency. Zest and juice 1-2 lemons depending on how much zing you like it to have then gently stir into the icing mixture. Leave to set out of the fridge for 15 minutes and then ice once cakes are completely cooled.

Enjoy!

Jolie x

Mother by Nature Blog

THE BENEFITS OF A NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER

July 19, 2018
THE BENEFITS OF A NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER WWW.MOTHERBYNATURE.COM.AU

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHERS? WHY SHOULD I BUY IT OVER ANOTHER?

Buying a Natural Rubber Soother means you get a product that is:

  • Safer and more hygienic for your baby
  • Made from 100% natural rubber
  • Better for the environment

Plus you and your baby avoid:

  • Allergy-causing substances
  • Biphenol-A (BPA)
  •  Artificial colours
  •  Chemical softeners
  •  Parabens, PVC, and phthalates

Find out more about the benefits of Natural Rubber Soothers.

THE BENEFITS OF A NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER WWW.MOTHERBYNATURE.COM.AU

THE BENEFITS OF A NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER

You’re also reducing your carbon footprint

We manufacture and import our Natural Rubber Soothers and Natural Rubber Teethers directly from Malaysia. Many other brands are manufactured in or imported from Europe, interestingly natural rubber is only grown in Malaysia or South America, which means when you buy their brand the rubber is flown to Europe and then flown back to Australia and then to you. In one case we know of, the rubber goes from the country of origin to Italy then to Denmark and then to Australia.

When you choose a Natural Rubber Soother you minimise the carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

If you wish to purchase a dummy, all of our available soothers can be found by clicking  right here

WHICH SIZE AND STYLE SHOULD I GET?

Natural Rubber Soothers are available in round (cherry) and orthodontic shapes, both have the same size shield and there are five sizes to choose from depending on the age of your baby:

  • round small 0-3 months
  • round medium 3-6 months
  • round large 6+ months
  • orthodontic shape small 0-6 months
  • orthodontic shape large 6+ months

Natural Rubber Soothers are helpful in satisfying your baby’s need for self-soothing, while preventing possible negative effects on teeth and palate formation created by his or her thumb sucking.

Round Shape – Tends to work better for breast-fed babies because the tongue is positioned under the nipple as it is during breast-feeding, which helps prevent nipple confusion. About 80% of babies tend to move soothers around in their mouths, so the position of the round soother can never end up around the wrong way. Because the tongue’s position never changes, midwives usually recommend starting babies on rounded soothers. Natural Rubber Soothers round model is available in small (0-3 months), medium (3-6 months) and large (6 months+).

Orthodontic Shape – With the orthodontic shape, the tip of the nipple is slanted to encourage tongue movement against it (as opposed to under it). The tongue’s pressure is directed towards the tip. This shape is ideal for babies who are already accustomed to the orthodontic shape. The Natural Rubber Soother Ortho shape is available in small (0-6 months) and large (6 months+).

 

ARE NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHERS MADE FROM SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS?

Absolutely! The natural rubber used to make our Soothers and Teethers comes from a manufacturer in Malaysia that values both sustainability and the environment. Through them we ensure the natural rubber is sustainable by replanting rubber trees and investing in research and development.

On top of their environment policy our supplier has a water treatment plant to clean up its processed water before discharging the water, meeting the standards of the Malaysian Department of Environment regarding public water ways. To ensure little waste they also recycle their waste by selling it to other manufacturers who convert the waste to a lower grade rubber, for example the production of rubber floor mats used in public parks & playgrounds.

For more information visit the Malaysian Rubber Board website www.lgm.gov.my.

WHAT IS THE NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER DUMMY MADE OF?

They are made from a single piece of 100% pure Natural Rubber crafted from the sap of a Hevea Brasiliensis tree.

 

TO WHAT STANDARDS ARE THE NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER DUMMIES PRODUCED AND TESTED?

We are proud to say that our Natural Rubber Soothers meet both Australian and European safety standards.

 

WHAT ARE THE CARE INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER?

Before first use:

Before using your Natural Rubber Soother, please sterilise by immersing in boiling water for 5minutes, then remove from the water & allow to cool. This will remove the oily film that naturally occurs on the rubber. Never allow to cool in the water.

 

Daily care:

Simply wash in warm water with mild liquid soap. If extra sterilisation is required place the dummy in a strainer and pour boiling water over the top. Do not sterilize in a bottle sterilizer, wash in a dishwasher or leave in boiling water after the first clean.

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY SOOTHER?

Natural Rubber Soothers should be replaced every 8-12 weeks (depending on frequency of use) with the age appropriate size. Provided you carefully inspect the dummy before each use (especially when your child has teeth) there is no harm in using it for a longer period of time, however you’ll notice the rubber get darker and possibly sticky, which a sign it’s time to replace the dummy.

 

It’s also recommended that you match the age of your child to the size of the dummy. Replacing a small with a medium at 3 months and a medium with a large at 6 months is ideal.

These sizes are only a guide as some babies prefer a larger or smaller nipple.

 

I’VE NOTICED THE SHIELD TOUCHES MY BABY’S NOSE! IS THIS AN ISSUE?

The large rubber shield is deliberately designed to gently touch your baby’s nose as it helps simulate breastfeeding. The closeness gives them the same secure feeling they get with their mothers nipple and breast during breastfeeding.

 

THE NEW DUMMY I BOUGHT IS SMALLER THAN THE ONE I HAVE, DID YOU CHANGE THE SIZE?

No, the size of our dummies hasn’t changed. However what you may be noticing is the enlargement of your original dummy. After heavy use the nipple of the dummy expands, hence we recommend replacing the dummy every 8-12 weeks or having a few in rotation to extend the use time. Having a few dummies also allows you to completely dry the dummy before it’s used again. Unlike some other dummies being 100% natural means we don’t use stabilising chemicals that keep the shape of the nipple.

 

WHY ARE SOME OF MY DUMMY’S DARKER?

As Natural Rubber Soothers are made from a 100% natural product it’s common for them to look different. The absence of artificial colours means they are in their organic form so some will be darker than others.

 

I’VE NOTICED MY NATURAL RUBBER SOOTHER DUMMY GET DARKER WITH USE. IS THIS NORMAL?

This is completely normal. Because the Natural Rubber Soother contains no chemicals or anti-oxidants to keep it light the rubber can sometimes darken over time. This is not a concern; it’s simply an effect of using a 100% natural product.

 

TO SOOTHE OR NOT TO SOOTHE AND ARE WE ENCOURAGING THE USE OF A SOOTHER?

Natural Rubber Soothers are not encouraging you to use a soother, but encourage you to do things that help you during tough times. You do not need to make soothers a permanent feature of your baby’s life, Natural Rubber Soothers can help you through a rough patch.

Ideal uses for a Natural Rubber Soother:

  • Aeroplane travel – whilst the plane is ascending or descending air pressure changes and babies are unable to unblock their ears unless they are sucking and swallowing.
  • Painful nipples – when you just can’t use your breast anymore as a comforter, a Natural Rubber Soother can give your nipples the chance to repair.
  • Sleep Activator – Some babies drift off to sleep whilst feeding and when you transfer them into bed they can wake up. By using a Natural Rubber Soother during this transition from feeding to the cot, baby can use the Soother as a sleep activator.
  • Optional Parent Helper – Natural Rubber Soothers are an optional parent helper, they are not always essential, as many babies will never need a soother. Every parent has different needs, providing safe alternatives for your babies in these circumstances are what is desired.
  • This ‘whitish’ layer is scale that can attach to the surface of your dummy if left in water too long. It’s harmless and should disappear after a couple of washes with warm water and mild soap.

WHY DOES MY DUMMY HAVE A WHITISH LAYER?

It’s important not to leave your Natural Rubber Soother in water beyond the very first sterilization (see care instructions for more detail) because it will make the dummy look dull and could cause it to age and become sticky more quickly.

Mother by Nature Blog

I know what I said but…

July 22, 2017
mother baby

I know what I said but…

Isn’t there something about women and changing their minds? Is that a thing? Well it sure is now, for this crunchy mama.

I know I know… I winged, I cried, I carried on and had everyone feeling sorry for me;

Pregnancy.

Swore it was the last time. I may have even said I would never EVER do that again. The sickness, the gestational diabetes, the hugeness, the impracticality of having a giant turtle shell strapped to my front while trying to parent and even just adult.

And then the icing on the cake, giving birth. It nearly KILLED me.

I was quick to say (with a few colourful words) in the labour ward THAT’S NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN!

No pain relief is not a good choice ladies.

Well that lasted for about 5 minutes after the baby was born, and then the newborn baby love train smacked me fair in the face (and heart) and I completely forgot (or blocked) it all.

All the nausea, all the vomiting, all the drips, all the pain and feeling yuk and blechhh, all the uncomfortable sleeps or sleepless nights, all the blood tests, all the fingerpicks and diabetes, and all the diabetes bloody diet rules. All of it has gone from my mind and I’m left with the warm fuzzy giddy love bubble of the drug that is the newborn baby.

Valentija. She is a beauty.

I want more.

Like an addict chasing a high, I want more.

More more more more MORE!

I definitely don’t feel done. Far from done actually; I worry I will never feel done. No need to alarm the hubby…

Menopause will have to physically punch me hard in the ovaries and yell IT’S OVER LADY and then maybe I will. I’m sure I’ll cry.

But then theres always grandchildren..

Mother by Nature Blog

Crunchy Mama Vegan Lasagne

September 21, 2016
vegan, dairy and gluten free lasagne

Crunchy Mama Vegan Lasagne

Yesterday I posted a picture on my Instagram page of a vegan lasagne I kind of made up on the spot – it was so healthy and delicious! 

Since then I’ve had so many requests asking for the recipe so I decided to write it down so I can share it with you all.

Quite a few years ago, I was a vegetarian/ wannabe vegan (wannabe simply because non-dairy cheeses back then were unheard of) so I am very familiar with the ‘crunchy’ lifestyle. People immediately tend to think of ‘rabbit food’ but in actual fact I found it made me a more adventurous budding young cook and I surprised my family quite a few times with divine earthy vegetable creations.

These days I am slowly embracing the lifestyle again but more towards a pescatarian diet. I want my children to have the healthiest possible start to life and for me that begins with proper nutrition. At the supermarket I spend 3/4 of the weekly shop on fresh fruit and veg alone, and it raises a lot of eyebrows at the checkout. “Wow, that’s a lot of fruit and vegetables!” Is that really so strange?  Yes, I agree it can be expensive to buy healthy food but that is a small sacrifice I’m willing to make…it’s called priorities.

For this meal I partially made it in my thermomix, I really love not having to chop up anything anymore, it’s such a time saver!

If you don’t have a Thermomix you are going to have to cut the vegetables by hand. You can also use the same béchamel sauce recipe but you will have to make it in a saucepan the old fashioned way.

Basically you can put whatever you like or have to use up including left over roast vegetables which would make such a great flavour.

So here’s what I did, I hope you love it too!

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Anzac Biscuits

April 6, 2016

Anzac biscuits

Talk about organised!

Anzac Day isn’t until the 25th of April this year so I am getting in nice and early with my recipe that I am sure you are all going love. As you are probably aware this is a very traditional Australian biscuit dating back to the first world war.

But did you know that they were originally known as an Anzac wafer or tile? The biscuits were included with rations instead of bread as they were made with ingredients which were less likely to ‘spoil’ and therefore had a longer shelf life that kept well during naval transportation. There are even stories that soldiers used them to ground down into a type of porridge! After the war they were still very popular because the ingredients were quite affordable in such hard times.

This is my families recipe, which is a pretty standard representation of most recipes out there, however I like to change the way I cook them to enhance the flavour and texture. For this recipe I have made the softer, chewier version (= less crumbs to clean up after my children discover them!) but for myself I prefer squashing them very flat and baking them for 5 – 7 minutes longer to get a lovely thin crunchy golden brown biscuit.

Either way they are very extremely bloody good, and the cookie jar has been totally raided at my house already.

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Best Banana Bread Blog

March 14, 2016

Best Banana Bread Blog

Listen up lovely readers…this is the only Banana Bread recipe you will ever need so be sure to save it and then share the love around!

I’m about to spill some family secrets here because this makes the most delicious, moist and flavoursome cake that smells so divine and I’d love to share it with you all.

Besides, If I’m going to be getting fat by eating so much damn cake, then you should be too. 

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Munching Madness

February 23, 2016
LUNCHPUNCH - SPACE www.motherbynature.com.au

Recently I had to run a few errands with both children in tow.

Now, I’m sure every mother alive knows my pain; getting children in and out of the car downright sucks and it usually takes longer than the actual task itself.

A pain in every lovely mothers ass.

As a spontaneous reward to the little darlings for behaving so well on our ‘quest’ I asked if they would like to go for a special treat of hot chips and milkshakes at the ‘big’ hotel.

Delighted little nodding faces assured me they were in a good and somewhat focused mood that would allow for a pleasant experience for all involved.

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Mini Finger Buns

January 18, 2016

Hello lovely readers and welcome back to the blog for 2016!

I have really enjoyed some time out during the festive period with my darling diamond family; Yay for our long hot Australian summer holidays! We have been jetty jumping, spending time at the beach, visiting family and friends and of course enjoying the playground circuit crawl. Although we usually have to burn the children’s clothing afterwards…playgrounds are bloody filthy!

So now it’s that time where we have to think about getting back into routine and reality. It won’t be long now until school and kindy goes back, so I thought I would start off my blog with a cute yummy treat that will fit perfectly into little lunch boxes. I have road tested these on my children and they were a big hit to say the least. I actually used chia seeds as sprinkles on theirs, and depending on your school, kindy or day care food policy you might need to do the same. For photography purposes today I used the traditional 100’s and 1000’s as well because they look so visually appealing and fun!

I made these using my Thermomix because it’s so easy to knead the dough, so easy I don’t have to do anything at all!  Of course you can still make it using exactly the same recipe in the old fashioned way if need be.

Mini Finger Buns

290g luke warm water

5 tsp instant dried yeast

560g white bakers flour

pinch salt

2 tsp bread improver

50g sugar

40g melted butter

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place all ingredients into the mixing bowl in the order listed here and combine for 30 seconds on speed 3. Select dough function, set for 9 minutes and then go put your feet up! Once finished place dough onto your thermomat or in a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a clean tea towel for about 20 minutes.

Buttercream Icing

I used the basic cook book recipe for this but found it to be way too sweet (besides the Fournado is hyped up enough on fresh air alone!) so I cut back the sugar. Mill 90g raw sugar for 20 seconds on speed 10. Using the butterfly whisk, add 60g milk, 250g soft butter and a splash of vanilla. Whisk for 3 minutes on speed 3. This will give you a super fluffy whipped icing, the best I have honestly ever made. It will keep in the fridge for quite some time.

I found these cute silicone bread moulds at Kmart for about $10 and they are great for achieving the desired shape. Just be careful not to over fill them…on my test run we had humongous loaf sized buns. Eeek! I worked out by using 60g of dough per mould it makes a perfect serving size.

Roughy roll into sausage shapes with your hands making sure there are no air bubbles trapped inside, then press evenly into the moulds and right into the corners. Bake for 15 minutes then remove and cool on a wire rack.

Once completely cooled ice with buttercream icing and sprinkle with chia seeds or 100’s and 1000’s!

Makes approximately 18 buns and they can be frozen before icing.

Mother by Nature Blog

The Pub Toilet

November 17, 2015

I never knew too much about it myself to begin with as I didn’t have a brother growing up so I wasn’t even aware. Later when I heard snippets of various mother’s conversations about the topic I never thought it could be that bad. They must be over dramatising it. Surely. Turns out those mothers were wrong: it was much, much worse than I could have ever have imagined.

Toilet training boys…Number ones. Wee. Wizz.

Teaching the precision art of aim; without having the actual equipment yourself.

Something that I wish I wasn’t so clued up on but unfortunately I am. With my previous career experience and now with a son of my own I am all too familiar with the epic fails that can happen in the toilet training business. And beyond. One of my first days as a wide eyed young child care trainee I was horrified to find a toy car sitting at the bottom of the children’s (clean) toilet. ‘EWWW, I am not getting that out of there‘ I thought to myself. That was early days. Very early days. From that moment on my visual tolerance level for anything disgusting, stinky and vile that a child can do has drastically risen. Because once you have seen someone else’s little darling vomit up fritz and sauce sandwiches, and then had to clean it up, that shit gives you iron guts. Or you can never ever eat fritz again. Or maybe a bit of both.

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Savoury Scrolls

October 28, 2015

Another one of our families favourite foods to snack on right now… the best part is that the combinations are endless! Again these are made in the Thermomix and I love that I no longer have to knead dough. Such a time saver! Thank fluck for technology…I would have failed miserably as a 50’s housewife. If you don’t have a ‘Therminator’ you can easily adapt this recipe I’m sure, but I can’t be arsed looking for that conversion method right now. #sorrynotsorry

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Flying with Children (and surviving)

October 18, 2015

If you have ever flown anywhere with children you know it’s a whole new ball game. Gone are the days of a small carry on bag (if any at all) and swanky drinks in the airport bar. I longingly stare these people now when I see them effortlessly gliding through the airport without a care in the world. To the leisurely solo traveller in business class…you have no idea how much I would love to be sitting in your place for the entire duration of the flight.

Instead I am madly rushing to catch the red eye with a babe in one arm, handbag and overfilled nappy bag in the other and our plane tickets firmly clenched between my teeth. The Fournado is running ahead bumping into strangers having a wow of a time with his new found freedom, while I’m left wondering if I have remembered to activate the house security system, what time the flight was, fumbling through my bag to check I got my sunnies and lip balm, hoping I have my wallet and praying that I packed all the important things we require for the trip…did I mention it doesn’t matter if you are travelling for a few days or a few months – babies need the same amount of ridiculously oversized cargo either way! It is exhausting just getting off the ground!

We have flown to various destinations around the world with children in tow from a 50 minute flight to our closest capital city to the mother of all flights…22 hours to Europe and I have learnt a few hot tips along the way. So if you are planning a long haul flight with kids you might want to read on.

Continue Reading…

Mother by Nature Blog

Heavy Breathing

October 14, 2015

 

Silent swift and stealth is what you have to be.

Bed time!

Say no more. The pinnacle of every parents evening. If we can just get through this last epic task we are home free…WineOclock! Sleep is such an underrated thing to those without the joys of children. Party all night and sleep all day; enjoy it while you can people.(Evil laugh) Fast forward a few years singeltons and it begins in pregnancy. You can’t sleep on your back. You must lay on your left side. Use the support of pillows. Blah blah blah. I was always so damn hot I would have to sleep near naked, giant tummy mountain blazing in full glory taking somewhat relief in the overhead fan pelting down from above. Meanwhile dear Muž would be a wearing a snow suit and 2 quilts as it was approaching the middle of winter…or sleeping on the couch. Apparently pregnant people snore too. As if…Pft. Continue Reading…