How to pour milk or any liquid from a carton without splashing

Don’t you hate it when you pour milk out of a carton and it splashes everywhere?
Me too.
It drives me mental.

But you don’t have to settle.

I found a simple hack which you can do to stop milk or any liquid from splashing when you pour out of a carton.

Thank me later.

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Review of Ezekiel Bread and 5 kg Sprouted Bread Giveaway

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Just this morning I had a slice of toasted Ezekiel Bread with vegemite and avocado. Quite a change from the usual green smoothie that I normally have for breakfast.

I don’t usually eat bread for breakfast as I’m trying to cut down on processed food and eat more ‘real food’. But this is not just a piece of bread. This is Ezekiel bread! Arguably the healthiest bread around…and possibly the thickest and tastiest.

The bread is nutritionally complete and contains no added yeast, sugar, salt and preservatives. Also, unlike more commercial breads that are made of refined wheat or pulverized whole wheat, Ezekiel bread contains a variety of grains and legumes - Wheat, Millet, Barley and Spelt, Soybeans and Lentils. All the grains and the legumes are allowed to sprout before they are ground, mixed together and baked to produce the bread. This explains why the bread is so thick and heavy.

Ezekiel bread also has a religious significance as it’s made according to a verse in the Bible.

Ezekiel 4:9. “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, even three hundred and ninety days, shalt thou eat thereof.” Translated from American Standard Version.

This is the bread that God told Ezekiel to make for the exact number of days Jerusalem was to be besieged.

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I’ve been wanting to try this bread for ages. I’ve heard so many good things about it and the fact that the bread is created from the recipe written is like icing on the loaf me, especially as Christian; I actually went and open my bible to check the cited verse. My mum would be so proud.

Anyway, I finally did! I found this at my local health store  7th Heaven Wholefood - the same shop where I got my sprouted  Khorasan and Spelt bread.  I’m definitely a sprouted bread convert now.

Here’s my review video on Ezekiel Bread, done in collaboration with Valourine, an old friend and the only friend of mine who’s not a foodie! I’m converting her slowly…. one spoonful at a time. :P

Dense, nutty, slightly sweet and super filling probably sums up the taste of Ezekiel bread. It’s great cold but even better toasted with avocado and vegemite….yummmmm

Interesting Fact about Ezekiel bread.

Now, though it’s pretty close, the Ezekiel bread made on the modern days are not made exactly according to the scripture.

This deviation is actually a VERY good thing because if you read on to Ezekiel 4:12, an interesting ingredient was suggested by God; “And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it in their sight with dung that cometh out of man”. Yes, you read that correctly – dung.  Check the bible if you don’t believe me. Now it is unclear as to whether that meant;  1. bake it over a dung fire which that was a common fuel back then (usually cow dung is used)– or 2. to include that ingredient in the flour.

Either way, I’m happy that neither apply to modern day Ezekiel bread.

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Giveaway time!

Thanks to Pure Life Bread I have 5 loaves Sprouted Bread to give away. That’s over 5 kg of dairy-free, egg-free, vegan grain goodness! And in case you’re wondering, the expiry date is in November 2014 or forever if you freeze them. Ok maybe not forever but a long long time. Please note that this giveaway is only valid to those located in Sydney as it’s for pick up only. You will have to pick up the bread from my home in Zetland, NSW should you win this!

To enter: Simply activate the giveaway tool below with Facebook or an email address then:

  1. Leave a comment on this post about which sprouted grain bread you’re most interested in trying. Check out Pure Life website for all the different kinds of sprouted bread they make.
  2. Subscribe to my email list (and get the highest entry points).
  3. Like my page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or Instagram.
  4. Don’t forget to record your entry in the giveaway tool below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway closed 12:00 am Sunday 17 August (Sydney time). Winning entry will be verified against entry method and winner will be notified via the email address linked to their entry.

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Spoon of The Week – Coconut Essence Coconut Chips

Chips that are actually healthy?! Yes Please.

I love it when I come across innovative health food products like this at the supermarket. It’s great seeing how fast health foods are taking over our supermarket shelves. I saw this at Harris Farm and I just had to try it.

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Baked not fried, gluten free, vegan, dairy free and contains no trans fat. Unlike the long list of ingredients you’d find in your typical potato chips, this one have just three (3);  Coconut, Natural Cane Sugar and Salt. No numbers or other hard to pronounce chemicals!

You can find out more on this product by visiting their website here.

And by the way, turns out they also have other flavours like Salt N’ Vinegar and Chocolate! How crazy is that? I have to try them next time.

But here’s me tasting their original flavour in this week’s Spoon of The Week video.


So, have you come across anything interesting in your recent trip to the supermarket? Do tell…

 

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What is Sprouted Bread + Review Pure Life Sprouted Khorasan & Spelt Bread

I’ve never heard of sprouted bread until my flatmate Ward first introduced me to it last year (he’s in my first Spoon of the Week video – Babushka Almond Coconut Yogurt by the way). One afternoon he came home with a bag full of all this healthy stuff he bought from Bondi, one of them being sprouted bread. He said it’s healthier than normal bread. I thought, “what’s wrong with normal bread”?

Nevertheless, he gave me a slice. I took one bite and almost spit it out. It was awful. I thought it tasted a bit off. But I did the right thing and ate the whole slice, with lots of peanut butter and jam. “It certainly tastes healthy”, I said.

He agreed that it wasn’t the best one he had and just to prove his point, every time he bought himself another ‘sprouted bread’ of different variation, he’d ask me to taste it. And I’d taste. That’s the Foodie Code I can’t break. The code reads: “When someone asks you to taste, you taste”. So yeah, you don’t see me passing on a sampling plate often. Unless of course it’s not vegan, smells toxic or glows in the dark (actually, I probably wouldn’t mind trying that).

Anyway, not sure what happened but one afternoon I found myself bringing home this 1 kg pack of Pure Life Sprouted Khorasan & Spelt Bread from the shop!

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But what is sprouted bread?

Well, basically sprouted bread is made from sprouted grain. It is a healthier alternative to your normal white or whole grain bread because the grains are sprouted, a process which breaks down the proteins and carbohydrates in the grain, increasing vitamin content to the body.

What’s the difference between white bread, wholemeal /wholewheat bread and sprouted bread? Why is it healthier?

Quite simple really.

White bread is made from wheat flour wherein the wheat kernel’s germ and bran (where most of the nutrients are) have been removed, grinding up only the endosperm into flour.

Wholemeal bread is made from whole wheat flour wherein the whole kernels are ground into flour. As they are less processed, whole wheat bread generally has more fiber,vitamins and proteins than white bread.

Sprouted-grain bread is made by sprouting the wheat kernels and then grinding them to make sprouted flour which is then used to make the bread. This process increases the nutritional value of the bread.

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What are the Benefits of Sprouted Bread?

1. Sprouted grain bread is technically flour-free. You’re eating the vegetable (since it’s already sprouted) rather than the grain itself. It contains more nutritional benefits (more protein, more fibre and vitamins) than normal bread.

2. Sprouted grains are easier to digest. The sprouting process pre-digest the starches for you by breaking them down into simple sugars.

3. Sprouted grains contain less gluten, which is great for those who are gluten-sensitive. Although sprouted bread is not recommended for Celiac patients or those with true gluten allergies, it is good for those with gluten sensitivity.

  Khorasan and spelt sprouted bread

How does it taste?

Well it definitely has a unique taste. It’s not as springy or soft like your normal bread but rather nutty and dense. Depending on the brand it can be extremely nice or extremely bad. You really need to try different brands and flavors to find the right one for you.

As for the Pure Life Sprouted Khorasan & Spelt Bread that I bought, check out my video review below.

By the way, Khorasan is a type of ancient grain that is slowly gaining popularity as it is easier to digest compare to wheat grain, same as spelt.  I have been a fan of spelt grain, it tastes nutty and it doesn’t make me bloat the way wheat does and the same with Khorasan grain. I’m now a fan of it too! Plus, it’s really really healthy for you. I’ll talk about this more in my next post.

What about you? What’s your favourite grain?

Thanks to all of you who have already supported my blog, my facebook page and all of the other social media sites I’m involved with.

For those of you who haven’t visited my facebook page or maybe haven’t visited it yet, check it out!  If you enjoy what I do, stop by and “like” it for me.

It makes me really happy and motivated everytime I get a new “like” on facebook, a ‘heart’ on instagram or a ‘follow’ on twitter. I know it’s kinda sad but it’s really nice to know that you guys are supporting me and loving what I do.

I appreciate the support in advance. Thanks all!!

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Spoon of the Week #11 – Fantastic Goodies crackers (vegan and gluten-free)

I’m always on the hunt for new vegan, gluten-free snacks so I was excited to find these Goodies at Coles while browsing. They come in 2 flavours; 2 Seeds and 4 Grains. 2 Seeds are made from sesame seeds and poppy seeds, whereas, 4 Grains are made from millet, buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth. You can check out Fantastic Goodies website for more info.

They look quite tasty with a pretty short ingredients list without a lot of numbers other than the E320 additive which you may need to watch out for if you have skin allergy. More about E320 here. As always with processed food, try not to have it everyday.

For research purpose though, I bought and did a taste test of both products.

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2 seeds

2 Seeds

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4grains

4 Grains

 

Which one do you think I like better?

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Ippudo Sydney – Beyond noodles and ramen (a vegan experience)

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Foodies flock to Ippudo, line up halfway across the food court  and go ga ga over their ramen (Japanese noodle soup). I once did too myself. But now that I’m vegan and ramen is on the ban-list, how does the restaurant perform beyond its ramen and how does it cater to non-meat eaters or vegan patrons such as myself?

The first time I went to Ippudo, I was an omnivorous foodie (i.e., I ate everything). I had their famous tonkotsu ramen, the coveted pork bun, gyoza (Japanese fried dumpling) and a couple of other things on their menu. I had a great time.

The second time I went to Ippudo, I was already a vegan. I remember it was almost 10 pm on Saturday night before we went to a birthday drink in the city (I think it was Zeta bar) and the kitchen was closing so the only thing available was ramen, and none of them were vegetarian. So I had nothing (maybe water). I blamed it on The Man who insisted that we ‘eat out’ even after I told him that it would be difficult to find a place in the city where we both can eat so I should just eat at home. “No Keren, we will find something for you, we will go out and we will eat together,” he said in his deep and Arnold Schwarzenegger-like voice.

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And then a few nights ago, I found myself at this fast-paced buzzing ramen place for the third time. This time I was invited (read my usual disclaimer here) by Ippudo to celebrate the opening of their second store in Sydney, which will be located somewhere in Central Park this coming August. I’m sure a lot of Ippudo fans would be pleased to hear this — 2 restaurants = more tables = less queueing = more eating. Yes I think that’s the idea.

It was around 7 pm on a Tuesday night and I thought the restaurant was quite busy with around 80% of the tables filled, but it is apparently pretty quiet compared to their normal bustle. “Usually we get a huge line stretching halfway around the food court,” said Sho Yoshi, the restaurant’s Operations Manager. And, yes, I have seen 20-30 people queueing outside their Westfield store.

I went with a non-vegan foodie friend — pretty much all of my close friends fall under this category. They are slowly embracing my veganism and I think they have come to terms with me not eating meat, egg or dairy anymore, even for special occasions. And yes, the question does come up from time to time.  Anyway, my friend had the ramen and the pork bun, like most non-vego/vegan foodies who go to Ippudo do. As for me, I was hoping that the Vegetarian Noodles dish they have on the menu was also vegan, but it turns out that the noodle has egg powder, so no noodles for me. So instead, I ordered a few side dishes from the starters and salad menu.

The Goma Q, Japanese Cucumber with sesame sauce ($7) came first and it tastes as good as it looks. It is refreshing, crunchy with a hint of spice from the dried chilli, salty and nutty from the sesame oil dressing.

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Avocado and Tofu Tartar ($10) came second and it was hands down my favourite dish of the night. I was impressed with how it was presented. It is served in a cone made of banana leaf (4 cones per serving) standing on a bed of ice. You eat it with a spoon, with a bit of  this tasty creamy sesame sauce.  On the top you have these tiny cut avocado cubes with soy sauce jelly that melts in your mouth and seeds that look so much like caviar (I think it’s called tonburi or field caviar). As you dig down the cone you see the creamy and silky tofu tartar waiting to get in your spoon. Yum!

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For the main I had Ippudo Salad ($10) which is a simple combination of fresh green vegetables (lettuce, thinly sliced red capcisum topped with grated radish and shredded nori) served with Japanese soy dressing. I ordered extra tofu and avocado topping (+$2 each) to make it a substantial main meal and it was more than substantial, alright, especially after polishing off the first two dishes. It tastes ‘clean’, fresh and delicious. What can I say, I love the freshness and simplicity of Japanese salad. It fills me up without making me feel heavy and bloated. In fact, all the of the dishes I had that night tasted clean and fresh.

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And how cute is this little Sesame Mill.

Freshly ground sesame, anyone? I dumped a whole heap on my salad. My Naturopath would be very proud of me.

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The service was just like the kind of service you’d expect to find in Japan — polite and very friendly, with better English. Much much better English. In fact, all of their staff are fluent in English that there’s very little chance of you getting all lost in translation in this restaurant. I was also impressed with how particular they are with the placement of the chopsticks and spoons — horizontally with the tips on the left.

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We ended the night sharing a glass of  Yuzushu Jelly ($7), a home-made citrus jelly spiked with sake. It is slightly sweet, slightly boozy and citrusy. It was a nice and refreshing way to end the meal. Both my friend and I left with a full belly and happy thoughts.

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So would I recommend this place to a vegetarian or vegan?

Yes absolutely. And even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, do try their vegetarian dishes and look beyond ramen and pork buns. They are really good.

I think we need to have more reformed foodies (vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, health nut, etc.)  visiting great non-vegetarian restaurants such as this to show that the demand is there. Go and ask for more vegetarian/vegan dishes to be added to the menu, and really, I believe they will listen. Put it this way, more vegetarian food = less meat = less animals being killed for food = less of a green-house effect = world peace. Get it?

The great news is that according to Sho-san, Ippudo is currently developing a vegetarian ramen recipe due to a lot of customer enquiries (see, I told you they listen). Hopefully they will launch late this year to coincide with their second opening at Central Park and hopefully there will be more vegan and vegetarian dishes. I remember my vegan ramen experience at Mr. T’s Tantan in Tokyo and how amazing it was. It’d be really cool to be able to have that here. And what about tofu or seitan pork buns? That’d be awesome, right? Don’t worry, I’m keeping in touch with the lovely guys at Ippudo and I’ll try to make this happen y’all.

But until then, give me another serving of that Avocado and Tofu cone thingie…

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE!

New store address: IPPUDO SYDNEY Central Park
Level 1 RB07, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW2008

Opening Date
2nd store will be opened middle of September

IPPUDO original video
60 seconds/ http://youtu.be/N1Eq3kREmhc

Feel free to leave your comments here and get a conversation going!

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Spoon of the Week #9 – Mayver’s Organic Peanut Coconut Spread

I’m one of those people who like to browse every aisle at the supermarket. I’d start with a short shopping list and would end with a trolley full of stuff. I’m a sucker for specials.

I love going through the shop catalogue and compare prices before I shop. Is that bad? I also love checking out new products popping up in the store. I think it’s great that the supermarkets are responding to market demand for more variety and value. And lately, I see an increase in the number of health food items at the the supermarkets, which is awesome.

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I stumbled across Mayver’s Organic Peanut Coconut Spread at the Health Food section when I was doing my usual grocery shopping at Coles.

I thought it looked interesting and appealing. They have a range of other products and other flavour combinations such tahini spread, peanut and cacao, etc. I thought I’d try this one since I looooove Peanut Butter.

But this is not your average peanut butter spread. It is organic and contains no added sugar, oil or salt.

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It is made with just 2 ingredients:

Peanut and coconut. Quite an interesting flavour combination if you ask me.

It’s smooth, thick, rich, creamy and sticky! I had one spoonful and it stuck to every corner of my mouth. Definitely something that needs to be consumed in small amount each time.

It’s not sweet. If the average PB spread is 5 out of 10 in terms of sweetness, this is a 2. I personally think it’s less sweet than almond or cashew butter. Just a hint of sweetness from the coconut and peanut. It is delicious though. I’ve been having it with banana on toast and it’s heavenly. I think it’d be perfect to make nut balls with as well, as it is gooey and super sticky.

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Here’s the unboxing and tasting video.

Just ignore the siren noise in the background… I think it was a false alarm… I think.

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Spoon of the week #8 – Raw Cashew Yogurt – organic, vegan and sugarfree

Found this exciting premium quality product at the Cruelty Free Shop. It’s Raw Cashew Yogurt from Botanical Cuisine. Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy free and egg free. 100% natural, organic and vegan. Fro-yo doesn’t get any healthier than this.

After shooting the video I realised that I couldn’t eat the whole cup as it was so filling. Such a contrast with your typical sugar-laden dairy ice cream/fro-yo when you just can’t seem to stop eating until you finish the whole container. I know because I’ve done it. Unlike the mainstream stuff, this raw cashew yogurt has a very high satiety level. I stopped eating after I ate about a quarter of the content. I just didn’t want anymore. It was enough.

At just over $8 for 170g cup it may appear pricey but you really do get what you pay for. No nasty fillers, additives, sugar and animal products. Just real honest ingredients.

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They come in classic, raspberry and coffeexocolatl flavour. I tried the classic one but I think I will try the raspberry flavour next.

Guilt-free comfort food…. yes please.

Here’s the tasting video.

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Spoon of the Week #7 – Antiox Chocolate (Goji Berries)

Happy Monday! Hope you had a fantastic weekend! I spent my weekend wandering around Sydney, checking out a few houses/townhouses/units up for sale with Buzz as he is looking for a place to live sometime in June. Boy, was it tiring… and I didn’t even drive… LOL. Anyhow, good thing we wouldn’t have to do it again for at least a few weeks, now that we have some idea around how much places cost (too much!). You know when you have a budget, the things that are just over your budget always seem to be incredibly attractive because it’s only just that much more (or maybe it’s just me?). Anyway, there’s only one thing to do now. Save.

Ok, our spoon of the week is my ‘secret’ chocolate treat that I have whenever I feel like a piece of chocolate late at night (you know the feeling). It’s lighter and healthier than your normal chocolate with no added sugar and just lightly sweetened with stevia. It’s not couverture chocolate by any means but it tastes pretty good and it is full of antioxidants.

Antiox Choc contains 10g less sugar than 85% Lindt Chocolate per 100g quantity. Following is the nutrition information:

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and here’s Lindt’s Nutrition Info for comparison. I was surprised at how much sugar is actually added as it tastes pretty bitter.

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Last time I checked it was $3.99 at Coles for an 80g pack. You can find it in the health food section in the major supermarkets as well as in any reputable health store. Sometimes they go on sale which makes them at really good value and I often grab a few for rainy days :D

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Here’s my tasting video which is also up on my YouTube channel. I have a few videos up there now so let me know what you think about the videos. Is it too long, too short, too boring? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions.

Until next time!