A Complete Guide To Fruit And Veggies In Season

A  Complete Guide To Fruit And Veggies In Season


It’s always good to know what time of year different fruits and vegetables are in season. Produce that is in season is likely to taste much better, be sourced locally, and of course will be much cheaper than out of season produce. Alternatively, if you buy out of season fruit or vegetables it probably won’t be the same quality as in season, will be significantly more expensive, and will either have been kept in cold storage for months or has been shipped in from overseas.

There are a few more benefits to eating in season produce. By only buying what’s in season you will be eating a great variety of foods year round, after all who wants to eat the same thing every day indefinitely. Nothing beats eating stone fruit and melon in summer, and vegetables like pumpkin in winter. Eating them out of season wouldn’t have quite the same appeal. Eating what’s in season is better for the local economy and the environment. You will be supporting local farmers, especially if you buy from local farmer’s markets. If you buy out of season produce it has probably been transported a long distance to make it to your supermarket, which has a much bigger impact on the environment. Otherwise the produce would have been kept in cold storage for a long period of time, which requires large amounts of energy to keep it refrigerated. Fruit and vegetables that are sold while they are still in season will have ripened properly, which means they will be packed full of nutrients, whereas produce that is picked for cold storage it is picked early rather than ripening naturally. They are then kept in cold storage for the length of time required, before being artificially ripened ready for sale, which results in less nutrients. The easiest to see benefit is that you will save some serious money on your grocery bill. It’s not hard to find in season produce at extremely low prices, even supermarkets sell it cheap. If you just buy produce that’s in season year round your food bills are going to be far less than someone that buys produce no matter what the season. Take grapes for example. In winter they can regularly be at least $15kg, whereas in their peak season they can be easily found for only a few dollars per kg. So now that you know the benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables in season, you might be wondering just what produce is in season and when. The following list will help you decide which fruits and vegetables to buy in which season in Australia. Print this chart out and stick on your fridge for later! How to tell what fruit and veggies are in season      

  

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Hidden Veggie Mac And Cheese

Hidden Veggie Mac And Cheese

Let's face it kids can sniff out the smallest veggie before it hits the kitchen table < super powers! This Hidden Veggie Mac And Cheese can make the fussiest of eaters consume veggies without even knowing it.

The best part is that it has 5 veggies in it and is kid approved, the whole family loves it when I make it and you can adapt it with whatever veggies you have in the fridge, just remember to blitz them well so no one sees ha!

Ingredients
• 1 Packet of macaroni
• 2 cups mashed pumpkin
• 1 cup mashed sweet potato
• 1  carrot
• 1/2  zucchini
• 1 litre of milk
• 60 grams of butter
• 1 onion
• 250 grams of cheddar cheese
• Pinch of salt and pepper

 

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Add butter and onion to a large saucepan.
3. Cook on high until onions are transparent and cooked through.
4. Blitz all veggies in a food processor until smooth.
5. Add milk and macaroni and stir until it boils.
6. Add the pumpkin, sweet potato, zuchini and carrot and stir through.
7. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until pasta is cooked through.
8. Add 200 grams of the cheese and stir through until it's melted
9. Pop the Mac and Cheese into a oven proof dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
10. Place in the oven for 8 minutes until the top forms a golden crust. (skip this step if you don't like a crunchy top)
11. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4

Tip: Use Spaghetti and you have a vegetarian pasta dish!

 

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Hidden Veggie Pasties

Hidden Veggie Pasties

These make nice big pasties for a main meal, you can use the same mixture to make smaller ones which are great for entertaining and kids parties. You can hide whatever veggies you like inside them just make sure the mixture is not to wet when assembling.


Ingredients

500 grams Beef mince, chicken mince is also good.

1 onion diced fine

1/2 cup peas

1/2 cup corn kernels

1 carrot grated fine

1/2 cup broccoli heads diced really fine (really fine so kids can't see ha!)

1 large potato diced into approx half cm pieces, you want it nice and fine

 1 garlic clove crushed

 1/4 cup tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1 egg beaten

4 sheets puff pastry, short crust works fine as well.

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 220C

Line a tray with baking paper

Add all ingredients except the egg and pastry to a large bowl and mix well.

Thaw out 4 sheets of pastry and place mixture into the middle of the sheet.

Roll pastry so that all edges are closed, brush with egg to seal.

Brush with more egg on top so that pastry goes a golden colour when cooking.

Gently prick a few times with a fork to allow steam out as they cook.

Cook for approx 20 minutes until the outsides are golden brown in colour.

Serve with your favourite sauce, on their own or with more veggies.


 

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6 Educational You Tube Channels For kids

6 Educational You Tube Channels For kids

Kids seem to have a bit of an obsession with You Tube, but you don’t want them watching any old videos that pop up. There are some great educational You Tube channels offering videos that kids love and also happen to be educational at the same time. We have listed 11 educational You Tube videos that will keep your kids engaged while at the same time teach them a thing or two.

Minute Physics This You Tube channel answers many interesting questions in quick 2-3 minute videos, including; Why December has the longest days, Is it better to walk or run in the rain and Why isn’t it faster to fly west. 1 Brainzy Games by Education.com This channel has fun alphabet songs, shape songs and sight word songs. There are even videos sorted by grade, including preschool, kindergarten and first grade. It’s the perfect channel to help kids aged 3 – 7 years practice their math and reading skills. 2 Kids TV 123 This channel has some very popular songs that kids just love, like the Animal Sounds Song and the Phonics Songs. These educational videos suit children, toddlers and babies. 3 Full Time Kid Mya is a young girl who shares educational tricks, cute crafts and songs. Kids love watching videos created by other kids so it’s sure to be a hit. Even parents will enjoy watching these videos. 4 Adventures in Learning These simple yet fun videos will help grow your children’s math, literacy and social emotional skills. 5 The Spangler Effect This channel is great for slightly older kids. The videos are made by a science teacher who finds creative ways to make learning fun. 6

Do you have any educational You Tube channels to share?

 

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Chicken Corn And Noodle Soup!

Chicken Corn And Noodle Soup!

It is freezing here in Melbourne at the moment and what better way to warm up then with a nice hot bowl of soup. I love making this Chicken corn and noodle soup as I know the kids will eat it without arguing

I use the recipe from Mrs Meal Planner and it always turns out lovely.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of chicken drumsticks,
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 packets if Maggie noodles
  • 1 can of creamed corn
  • 1 can of corn kernels
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup,
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • shallots to garnish - optional.

Method:

Fill a large pot with boiling water and add drumsticks.

Simmer on low for 3 hours.

While the stock is simmering, throw the diced onion with some olive oil into a pan and cook until clear.

Take the drumsticks out of the stock and strip the chicken off the bones, put this chicken back into the stock.

Empty the corn kernels, the creamed corn and the cream of chicken soup into the stock.

Add the cooked onion. Break the noodles up and throw in the stock.

Add two teaspoons of curry powder.

Let the soup simmer for another half hour before serving.

Serves 4 - 6

 

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4 Ingredient Banana bread

4 Ingredient Banana bread

This banana bread is really quick to make and great for afternoon tea. I often make this when I know I have visitors coming over.

Ingredients

  • 3 Ripe bananas mashed
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups Self raising flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Beat the eggs and sugar together.

Add the mashed banana and mix well.

Stir in the flour until combined well.

Line a loaf tin approx 22cm with baking paper.

Cook for approx 50 minutes until the top is golden.

Slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

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The Easiest Way To Clean A Dishwasher!

The Easiest Way To Clean A Dishwasher!

Honestly this is one of the easiest ways to clean your dishwasher. I do this once a week as it keeps the dishwasher sparkly clean.

Your dishwasher will be sparkling in no time by following these few simple steps.

1. Make sure dishwasher is empty of all dishes. (including wine glasses lol)

2. Fill a dishwasher safe bowl with 2 cups of vinegar (I use home brand white vinegar) and set on the top rack of the dishwasher.

3. Run through on a hot cycle once and that’s it your dishwasher will come out clean and sparkly, the vinegar will remove any unwanted food smells as well.

4. Wallah too easy! Leaving you more time to put your feet up and have a cuppa or a wine!

 

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Easy zucchini slice

Easy zucchini slice

 

 

This slice is great for making ahead for easy lunch and dinners, serve with  a side salad or veggies or eat on its own delicious. You can also add other hidden veggies or even shredded chicken if you like to change it up.

 

Ingredients

 

5 eggs

 

2 carrots grated

 

2 zucchinis grated

 

1 onion diced fine

 

200 grams bacon diced fine

 

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

 

1 cup grated cheese

 

1/4 cup vegetable oil or oil of your choice

 

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

 

Preheat oven to 180C

 

Line a tray with baking paper, you can use a slice tin or a round cake tin, we used a 25cm round tin for this recipe. a 22cm slice tray also works well.

 

Place the eggs flour an doil in a bowl and bmix until smooth batter.

 

Add all other ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

 

Pour mixture into tin and spread out evenly.

 

Cook for 30 mins until the top is golden in colour.

 

Eat warm or cool.

 

Serves  6

 

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Left Over Roast Veggie Salad

Left Over Roast Veggie Salad

 

This salad is great for when you have left over roast veggies and you don't want them to go to waste> Often their isn't enough veggies left over to feed the whole family for another night so I like to add to them and turn into this salad.

 

Ingredients

 

Left over roast veggies, whatever you have will work we used:

 

Left over roast pumpkin

 

Left Over roast sweet potato

 

Small amount Left Over roast Potato

 

We then added:

 

1/2 red capsicum diced

 

1 onion diced

 

3 cups baby spinach

 

1 carrot cut into 2 cm pieces

 

1 teaspoon Vegetta

 

Pinch pepper

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

2 cloves crushed garlic

 

 

 

Method:

 

Preheat oven to 180C

 

Line a tray with baking paper

 

Place the capsicum garlic, onion, carrot and olive oil in a bowl along with the Vegetta and pepper and coat well.

 

Place the mixture on the tray and spread out evenly.

 

Pop in the oven for approx 15  20 minutes, until veggies start to brown slightly.

 

In the mean time heat your left over veggies in the microwave for 1 minute and pop into a bowl.

 

Add the baked veggies to the roast mix and stir through, use the oil to coat the veggies.

 

Line a serving tray with baby spinach and pop the roast mixture on the top.

 

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Easy Cheesy Garlic Loaf

Easy Cheesy Garlic Loaf

 

I usually get disappointed when I buy a garlic or cheesy garlic bread and it’s far from garlicky and cheesy! Very annoying given that when I am craving it…I am CRAVING IT! So to avoid disappointment I make my own. The best thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to you taste and be quite creative. This is how easy it is!

 

You will need:

 

1 x Cob Loaf Or whatever loaf is your favourite
Butter
Fresh crushed Garlic
Cheese
and spring onions or parsley

 

Note: Use as little or as much of the ingredients as you like.  

 

Method:

 

– Preheat a fan forced oven to 200c.

 

– Melt the butter and garlic together so it’s pourable. Keep cheese and spring onions aside for now.

 

– Cut bread diagonally into 2 cm slices to within 1/2 cm from the bottom of loaf. Repeat cuts in opposite direction. Arrange cheese slices in cuts. Drizzle butter mixture over bread and sprinkle the spring onions over the top. Like the picture below.

 

– Wrap the cob in foil or you can simply bake it on some baking paper for 10mins. May need a little longer however, just keep an eye on it if you’re not using the foil method. You don’t want it burning.

 

Then you’re done! Let it cool a little and serve.

 

This Cheesy Garlic Loaf is great for parties both for kids and adult dinners, snacks. Use your imagination and create whatever you like. Try adding in some ham or bacon pieces, chives, herbs corn or try difference cheeses such as feta or parmesan….the list is endless.

 

What’s your favourite combination? Are you a Cheesy Garlic or Cheesy Herb person?

 

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2 Ingredient Ice cream

2 Ingredient Ice cream

This is a great healthy alternative to store bought ice cream. My Miss 4 and Mr 2 always ask for  ice cream, so I came up with this healthy alternative to the store bought stuff. I normally give the kids one of these in the afternoon for a snack, I can even bribe them to pick up their toys in exchange for an “ice cream” < insert wicked mum laugh here.

 

Seriously these are so yummy, low calories, each one averages about 110 calories per serve and each recipe will serve 4 people. I like that I can use whatever we have in the fridge, you can also try other ingredients like: honey, coconut, carob powder, apple, pear, etc Get creative!

 

Here are 3 of the flavor’s I make regularly:

 

Chocolate / Banana: 3 Frozen bananas and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I also sometimes use protein powder.

 

Mango: 2 Frozen bananas and 2 cups of frozen mango.

 

Berry:  2 Frozen bananas and 2 cups of mixed frozen berries.

 

Simply pop ingredients into a blender or Thermomix and blitz on high for 2 minutes. After a minute of blitzing check how it looks you may want to add 10 mls of milk, or juice to bind it together. (I find the berry mix needs a little bit of juice to get a smooth consistency).

 

Then simply scoop into cups and serve YUM!

 

What other flavors would you do?

 

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Father’s Day DIY Gift: Spice Rubs

Father’s Day DIY Gift: Spice Rubs

 

In Victoria we’re now officially in SPRING! Oh how I have longed for you! Sun, food, family and friends! This means that as the weather warms up, it’s time to dust off the BBQ, don the apron, grab the tongs and get cooking. Lots of Dad’s have this affiliation with the BBQ and believe that if the BBQ is involved then it’s their ‘job’ to cook. Perhaps they feel we women are unable to handle the heat of a flaming BBQ? Who knows, more importantly….Who cares! Let him at it I say -one less thing for us busy Mumma’s to do =) To celebrate Father’s day what better way to make up some spice rubs for them to use over the spring and summer season? These are quick, easy and inexpensive and the best bit is you can get the kids to give you a hand.  The beauty of this idea is that you can make whatever combination your Dad or even Poppy. I thought these would be a great Idea for my Hubby who enjoys cooking on the BBQ but also enjoys preparing the meat Here are three that I prepared took about 20 minutes from start to finish. You could even get the kids give the jars a personal touch with a bit of decorations: These are great for Chicken, Beef, Veal, and Pork. Why not sprinkle a little over roast veggies, salads, or scalloped potatoes? Whatever you feel needs some added excitement these will do the trick and Dad will love them. Use as much or as little as you like it’s totally up to you. They will last in an air tight jar for up to 3 months. I guarantee that they will be gone before then!

 

SEASONED SALT

 

¼ cup Onion powder

 

¼ cup Garlic powder

 

¼ cup Ground black pepper

 

3 tbsps. Paprika

 

2 tbsps. Dried parsley

 

1 tbsps. Red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Simple measure all the ingredients, pop them in to a jar and shake and you’re done.

 
ITALIAN SPICE MIX

 

3 tbsps. Italian seasoning

 

4 tbsps. Oregano

 

2 tbsps. Basil

 

2 tbsps. Dried minced onion

 

2 tbsps. Dried parsley flakes

 

3 tbsps. Salt

 

Measure all the ingredients, pop it all into a jar and shake and you’re done.

 

DADS MIX

 

3 tbsps. Thyme

 

3 tbsps. Rosemary

 

3 tbsps. Dried parsley

 

1 tsp Cumin powder

 

½ tsp Hot paprika

 

3 pinches of salt

 

3 pinches of ground black pepper

 

Same as before, measure, put in to the jar and shake shake shake!

 I hope you enjoy them. If you give them ago please let us know what you think.

 

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Friday Night Fish And Chips For $1.50!

Friday Night Fish And Chips For $1.50!


Friday night is known as takeaway night in our house, by the time Friday comes I am exhausted and the last thing I feel like doing is cooking.

 

A few months ago I was going over our budget and realised we were spending $141.00 a month on takeaway! EEEKK.......And that's not eating out all the time, that's just 4 people eating fish and chips on a Friday night!

 

I had to get my thinking cap on and think of something where we could still have our Friday night 'treat' and it had to be quick and easy, after all isn't that what takeaway is about?

 

So this is what I've come up with: 

 

A box of 12 I & J fish was $9.00 on special form Woolworths normally $10.00. This worked out to 75 cents a piece.

 

MaCain Chips cost $3.79 from Coles and you get approx: 8 serves out of a pack so equals approx: 50 cents a serve.

 

I purchased these cute cups from Big W for $2 for 8 (that's 25 cents each).

 

So all up the kids meal including the cup is $1.50 each. 

 

For hubby, I give him 2 pieces of fish, chips and we halved a $5 tub of salad from Coles. 

 

With a total cost of $4.50 each including the salad for hubby and I.

 

It is as simple as putting everything on one tray and baking on 200 degrees for 25 mins, that's all I do, then serve them up.

 

I purchased the cute little metal baskets from HOME shop, but I have since seen them at Kmart for $2.00 each, I serve it on a wooden breadboard with a side of sauce and lemon for hubby and for the kids I put the fish and chips in a little cup and they love it!

 

It normally costs us $37.00 on a Friday night if we get our regular fish and chips, this way it costs us $12.00 all up for the four of us. The kids don't know any different as its presented like takeaway and hubby likes it better than our local fish and chip shop so win win!

 

More importantly it's not that hard to put together.  I figure with the $104 that we save a month we could eat out at a few fine dining restaurants a year and have some real culinary experiences. 

 

 I know takeaway isn't for everyone we aren't suggesting that everyone rush out and buy chips. This is simply if you like the odd takeout but like to keep some dollars in your pocket. 

 

Do you have any other tips for cheap takeout?

 

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Curried Beef Sausage Rolls

Curried Beef Sausage Rolls

These curried beef sausage rolls are a nice change from normal sausage rolls. They never last long in our house even the kids love them. You can adjust the amount of curry powder  you use or even add your own choice of spices to suit your taste.

Ingredients

·       450grams beef mince

·       1 onion chopped finely

·       2 cloves minced garlic

·       1 tablespoon Keens Curry Powder

·       1 cup bread crumbs

·       3/4 cup tomato sauce

·       4 sheets puff pastry

·       1 Egg beaten for pastry edges ( can substitute for milk if needed)

·       pinch salt

·       1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Instructions

1.     Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2.     Line 2 large trays with baking paper.

3.     Add mince, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to a mix master or Thermomix and mix until mince is  a sausage consistency.

4.     Pop mince mixture into a large bowl.

5.     Add the bread crumbs and mix well.

6.     Mix the sauce and curry powder together in a bowl and add to the mince mixture, combine really well.

7.     Cut pastry across the middle so you have 2 even pieces per one sheet. You should have 12 even pieces once finished.

8.     Pop the mixture across the middle of the pastry and roll up, making sure you don't over fill as they will bust open when cooking.

9.     Press the edge's down on each end and lightly score where they will be cut with a sharp knife.

10.  Brush lightly with egg mix and pop in the oven for 30 minutes until golden brown in colour.

Makes 30

 

 

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5 Affordable Gifts every expecting mum will love

5 Affordable Gifts every expecting mum will love

Do you know someone expecting a little bundle of joy soon? We have put together  5 of the best gifts that we know any mother would love to receive. we aren't talking about cute onesies and teddy bears these are gifts that will really make a new mum feel special.

Cleaner

The gift of cleaning who wouldn't love this? I would almost pop out another baby just to have a

cleaner come to the home <jokes.

Let's face it those first few weeks/ months can be a blur and the cleaning often gets put on the back burner, especially with mums with more than one little one at home.

You can get a cleaner for as little as $50 for 2 hours and it makes a perfect gift. Clean floors and bathrooms are bliss for a new mum. It is also great for a mum who has had a caesarean as they are less likely to be able to clean in those first few weeks. You can find plenty of good cleaners on gum tree, ask for references and negotiate rates, a lot work for cash and are happy to accommodate. You can make your own gift voucher and staple the cleaners business card to it and pop in a card

 

Hair & Beauty

I don't know about you but during pregnancy my hair is amazing,beautiful, shiny and healthy and then as soon as the little one pops out it's like I am Alaskan dog shedding hair everywhere. There is nothing better than getting a hair treatment, trim and blow dry. Youcan pick up salon package deals from as little as $30 and any mum will love it, better still offer to watch the little one while she goes and has it done. You could do a massage or a facial as other options as well depending on your budget. Keep and eye out on Cudos and Groupon who have great hair deals too.

A Shower

A shower you say huh? I am sure any mum can relate that once you have kids a shower is sacred it's like the time out you need to recharge, but the thing is they aren't always easy to have especially with a new born, and toddlers, trying to shower between feeds and keeping little ones entertained. This is a great gift especially if you are a close friend and don't have much cash, write in a card that you are available for babysitting duty when the mum feels like she needs time out a good shower or a long bath, this seems so simple but to a mum it is bliss!

 

Cooked Meals

Everyone loves a home cooked meal especially when someone else makes it. Why not make some meals that can easily be frozen and drop them off as a gift. Any mum would love this after all who doesn't want a night off cooking. Also mums tend to forget about themselves and not eat  as much as they should when first home, partly from exhaustion.

The Gift of Savings 

We all know how expensive a baby can be with everything from nappies, clothes and equipment the list goes on. Why not give the gift of savings? Did you know that Australian Baby card saves an average of $1000 for Australian parents a year?  

The Australian Baby Card is a discount card for parents to be or parents of young children. To assist, they have listed discounts and offers for many products and services specifically for parents of children from birth through to 10 years of age. 

ABC Card have teamed with many fantastic companies in Australia to give you great discounts and special offers. This list is continually growing and companies will be added frequently - so keep checking this website. 

Why not see what sort of discounts you can get - you will see that membership to the Australian Baby Card will pay itself off with one or 2 purchases! You may purchase a card for $30. 

 

With the Australian Baby Card you can: 

Get great kids discounts on products and services 

Discover where to shop online - giving you more time! 

Get great ideas on bringing up your baby, or how to run a successful party, or prepare for motherhood. 

Plan your weekly family, playgroup or Mother's group outings. ....the list is endless. 

Families could save around $1000 per year, purchase one for a new mum? Give the gift of savings, something useful and unique. 

Purchase one today here.

And there you have it is five awesome gifts any mum would love. Do you have any other ideas we could add? 

 

 

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4 DIY Beauty Masks You Can Do At Home!

4 DIY Beauty Masks You Can Do At Home!

As a busy Mum I really don’t have the time nor money to be spending up big on beauty treatments. I am quite selective on what I spend it on. Usually on things I can’t do myself like a massage. So I do a couple of these masks on a Friday night and weekends to help me relax and unwind. And I love the fact that I have most of these ingredients in the pantry and fridge. I must add that I usually apply the masks and unwind further with a glass of wine in hand.

 

Here are 4 of my Favorites:

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