Swallowable Gum

A post title that sounds a bit contradictory I know but I only speak the truth.

To be honest, the only time I really bought gum in the past was when I needed to get cash out at the petrol station. It would end up sitting in my bag for about a week before I opened it and then I’d get through the entire packet quicker than I’d like to admit. This doesn’t happen so much now but back at school, I’ll never forget how if one person showed that they had a pack of gum, the rest of the girls automatically turned into seagulls and bam there goes your pack of gum. There was also that brief phase during childhood where bubblegum was all the rage and it would be always be those sickly sweet flavours like grape and raspberry.

Alas, fast forward to my 20’s and my handbag always feature a staple “breath freshener”. Sometimes mints or more recently I have switched over to gum so I was more than happy to give a healthy alternative a go.

Introducing Mast Chew, a 100% organic gum that has no sugars or additives! I liked that the product came in both a blister pack and a pop open bottle. The product is a mixture of minty fresh and mastic flavour. The natural based extract from trees used to make the gum has been used historically for maintaining gut health and stomach related issues. I was delighted to hear this as I am impacted by stomach related issues.

After tasting this for myself, I can say that the texture is slightly heavier than your run of the mill gum however it doesn’t feel like the gum just disintegrates into nothing whilst you’re still chewing it. It felt weird at first to be swallowing it when I was done but I went for it anyway and it wasn’t that scary!

Overall, I found that Mast Chew was an intriguing new option for fresh breath. It is a relief to have the ability to freshen your breath during the day without feeling like you’re ingesting excess sugar.

If you’re interested, Mast Chew can be purchased via online retailers including Australian Organic Products.

Disclaimer:  The Mast Chew Organic Chewing Gum was provided as a gift. I only support and endorse products that I have tried or cooked with myself. 

Raspberry White Choc Cookie Dough

Hands up if you’re guilty of eating raw cookie dough. Yep, my hands are very much in the air. Who can resist?

However… these recipes 99% of the time contain raw egg which you need to be careful consuming depending on how it has been stored/handled.

So what if there was a way to get the satisfying feeling of eating raw cookie dough which removes the whole egg factor and comes in a convenient tub with a resealable lid.

I have the pleasure of introducing you to Cookie Doh Co. An Aussie born company making your cookie dough dreams come true. I was lucky enough to sample the raspberry white chocolate flavour, one of a range of the five flavours currently available (gluten free also available for those wondering).

The rendition of this flavour that I got to try was quite special. It was created as an ode to all those singletons out there going through the winter alone but with a desire for new beginnings as we come into the springtime (sounds like me to a tee). The raspberry flavour was embedded throughout in the shape of red hearts, a sign for us to enjoy a bit of self love while we devour this delicious treat.

I was already a lover of food and all sorts of dessert so this was right up my alley. Every bite was indulgent, sweet with the perfect amount of tartness from the raspberry hearts. I displayed a “strong” sense of self control and ate the 250g tub over two sittings approximately four hours apart. Needless to say, my sugar cravings for the day were truly satisfied and I had made the right decision in what I chose as my sweet treat for the day.

If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself. The Heartberry & White Choc Cookie Dough can be purchased through the Cookie Doh website.

Disclaimer:  The Cookie Doh Co Heartberry & White Choc Cookie Dough was provided as a gift. I only support and endorse products that I have tried or cooked with myself. 

 

 

Super-Easy, Healthy & Vegan Matcha Ice Cream At Home (No Ice Cream Machine)

There’s no denying the fact that ice cream is one of the most popular comfort foods out there – but lots of recipes require you to have a special ice cream maker, which makes it difficult to make at home. Not this recipe!

This is the easiest ice-cream recipe, as it includes just two ingredients. And there’s no need for any expensive ice cream machines (all you need is a food processor and a freezer).

Plus while most ice creams can be unhealthy with high levels of fat, sugar and dairy, this recipe is dairy free, and sugar free. It’s sweet enough from the natural sugars in the bananas, and it also contains matcha powder which gives it an added boost of superfood goodness.

Matcha powder is made from green tea leaves which are stone ground to form a fine powder. Just half a teaspoon of this powder contains 137 X the antioxidants that’s found in a cup of standard green tea, and that’s why matcha helps strengthen your immune system, increase energy levels, and boost your metabolism.

So now you can easily enjoy guilt-free, homemade ice cream!

Makes 2-3 servings.

Matcha Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 large bananas (peeled, cut into chunks, & frozen overnight in a freezer bag)
  • 1 tsp matcha (Using Zen Green Tea matcha)

Instructions

  1. Place the banana chunks into a food processor fitted with the S blade, and turn machine on. Let the motor run until the bananas reach a creamy texture, just like soft serve ice cream. It might take a little time and the processor may make loud noises but it will work – don’t worry!
  2. Once the bananas become creamy, add the matcha powder and blend.
  3. Serve immediately. Any leftover can be refrozen and then re-blended for a perfect texture.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post written by Zen Green Tea. The matcha was provided as a gift. I only support and endorse products that I have used or cooked with myself. 

Barilla Cooking Class

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Northern Italian Winter pasta cooking class at Casa Barilla in Annandale, NSW. It was my first ever Italian cooking class and I was super excited. I entered the room and was warmly welcomed by all the Barilla staff and was served an aperitif. Then, it was time to meet the chef. Executive Chef Andrea Tranchero hosts all of the cooking classes at Casa Barilla and has done demonstrations at multiple food festivals and venues including the recent Good Food and Wine Festival in Sydney.

The class size was intimate giving a warm communal feel rather than a large industrial style class. We watched the chef create the two dishes we were to prepare ourselves later today and we were so amazed. The room smelled amazing and he made dishes that might seem complicated to the eye but are quite easy for anyone to prepare at home.

Andrea Tranchero plating up both courses.

So then it was our turn. First course was Cuttlefish Casserole in Red Wine and Garlic Sauce with Soft Polenta. I haven’t really cooked with a lot of seafood (tinned tuna does NOT count) but I love to eat it . So first up was preparing the cuttlefish. The cuttlefish was purchased from the fish markets earlier in the morning and was already cleaned (perfect). We pan fried it with some fresh garlic and the Barilla red wine and garlic sauce. Next step, the polenta. I really enjoy polenta but struggle to get it right. Thankfully, there is a pre prepared polenta that only takes 5 minutes to cook on the stove top! To finish it off, a mix through of some marscapone.

Progress shots from Course 1 and plate up

Second course was Three Cheese Tortellini with Pumpkin, Crispy Guanciale and Sage. I had never really thought to eat puree with pasta but it just works SO well. Good way to get in extra veggies as well. So first we started with the pumpkin and leek puree. Really simple ingredients that complement each other perfectly. With the addition of freshly made chicken stock courtesy of Andrea, the puree was smooth and flavoursome. Next up was the sage butter sauce. We melted some butter in the pan until it was golden brown before adding freshly chopped sage. Once the tortellini was cooked, we added them into the butter with a generous serving of parmesan cheese. Once well combined, it was time for plating. Puree. Tortellini. Crispy Guanciale (similar to prosciutto and was fried in olive oil to get it extra crispy). Finished off with a drizzle of olive oil!

Progress shots from Course 2 and plate up

Each course was paired with beautiful Italian wine. After devouring our two courses that we freshly prepared, we had some Pure Gelato mini ice cream cones for dessert. Yum!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this cooking experience. Cooking classes give you a chance to learn a new skill, refine old ones and better yet, try out some flavour combinations you may not have even thought of! Would highly recommend you give one a go!


If you are interested in participating in one of Barilla Australia’s cooking classes, follow the link provided here – Barilla Pasta Cooking Class 

Click the links below for more info on Barilla Australia and Andrea Tranchero

@barillaaus

@andreatrancherochef