The Blog

Marie Anita’s

Honest, Original, Inspiring

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This small unassuming blog offers gluten free and organic inspiration, recipes and projects taking on board a grain free, high raw, refined sugar free, and dairy free approach to real food. With an adoration of organic and local produce, and products and an understanding of ethical and sustainable eating, I hope to share with you my life.

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Bursting with excitement and inspiration for true nourishing food and wanting to share my passion for what organic and clean seasonal eating can be like, I, Marie Anita, have decided to introduce myself outside the walls of my cafe.

Growing up with a backyard of chickens and choko vines, self-taught artisan gluten free baking seemed to become a reality opening doors and adventures beyond what I had imaged in a home kitchen covered in organic sorghum flour. The people I have met, the realisations I have come to, and the love that I have experienced for the simple things in life shape my admiration for organic produce produced locally, artisan products, and nourishing foods presented simply.

Since the doors of my humble gluten free cafe opened, the way I choose to eat and cook has been refined and sometimes judged. I want to communicate my respect for all dietary choices and my love of vegan and raw foods. Taking this on board I am hopeful that people from all backgrounds and lifestyles can appreciate real organic food, respected and presented honestly.

 

Raw Carrot Hummus

Generally I do not eat legumes, not to fit into a label but because I listen to my body. I find most legumes difficult to digest and sometimes bloating. I therefore choose to opt for other, easier-to-digest, alternatives. I do not suffer from an intolerance but my body does not appreciate legumes and it does love healthy fats and proteins. I have a low carb diet, with the exception of fruit, which helps me to listen to my body, curb cravings and always feel super satisfied with all my good fats! Happy lady over here!

With all this is mind, I do still miss hummus! Along side an almond hummus, I adore a carrot hummus. It is still filling with the beautiful almonds and tahini but definitely not as heavy as a chickpea hummus. Works perfect for a light snack or a picnic where you don’t what to fill up on dip.

This scrumptious dip also provides a nice little iron boost assisted by the vitamin C in the lemons. Carrots also contain vitamin C and are super high in vitamin A where 1 medium carrot can provide 210% of a person’s required intake of vitamin A for the day. Just a little reminder that our lovely orange coloured carrots are high in beta-carotene which is a pre-cursor for and also converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A loves our skin, our eyes and our immune system <3

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Recipe note; I absolutely love lemon, so I opt to add 2 big juicy lemons!! I can sometimes also overdo this … so feel free to add 1 lemon and a splash of water to help loosen the dip and make it creamy. Enjoy!

Recipe:

Please use quality organic ingredients and support local <3

  • 4 large carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw tahini
  • 1/3 cup cold-pressed olive oil
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons, depending on size
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • Water to loosen dip

Method:

  1. Place carrots in a food processor and process until the carrot becomes very fine
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients and process until well combined, smooth and creamy
  3. If needed, add a splash of water to help loosen your dip and make it creamy. Too easy!

29/4/15

 

Raw Rocky Road

I am loving Easter this year! So far I am pleased to share I have not only found a giant gingerbread man cookie cutter (which you may have seen by now), a combination of baby chicken, bunny and egg cookie cutters, and an assortment of gooey cute chocolate moulds <3 Such a reason to make too many raw sweets!

This beautiful recipe is a take on one the desserts my man and I were inhaling for a week or so. It did become a short-lived addiction so I am hesitant to share it in all its flexibility and goodness. There were quite a few good nights sitting up slightly over cacaoed.

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Feel free mix up the nut butter and milks. I must say that peanut butter is a must-try variation on this bad boy. I always wish to inspire creativity and, in turn, more ability.

On another note, please don’t skimp on the organic sour cherries. If you have not yet tried them, they are absolutely delicious. Any good health food shop will stock them, organic and untouched. I will definitely be sharing this around at our Easter family gathering and teaching my nieces what real chocolate is.

Joy, love and sharing is what recipe creating is all about.

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||Recipe||

*Love yourself and use organic ingredients*

For the chocolate base:

  • 1 cup raw cashew butter
  • 3/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla powder
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw almond milk

All the extra rocky bits:

  • 6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cherries
  • 1/3 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut, flaked

||Method||

  1. Combine all the base ingredients in a food process and mix until the dates are well combined into the mixture
  2. Combine the chocolate mixture with the remaining ‘rocky bits’ and stir until well combined
  3. Line a tray or loaf tin with greaseproof paper and fill with rocky road. Smooth the mixture with a spatula
  4. Press some extra ‘rocky bits’ into the top of the mixture to remind people of all the goodness in this nourishing rocky road
  5. Chill until firm
  6. Enjoy!

31/3/15

 

Gingerbread Men (Raw or Baked)

Easter is almost here, and for a rare change I am really enjoying all of the superficial bunnies and not bothered by all of the horrible marketing and merchandise. I may although need to cut back on all the taste testing; raw Easter eggs, raw rocky road and I could not forget the humble little gingerbread man! Easter is good.

I have had so much fun with this recipe. My man mentioned the good old gingernut cookie not too long ago and I quickly chimed in with the, leave it to me, while I plotted to sneak in an organic, grainfree, vegan and sugar free treat. These gingerbread men taste just like the forgotten gingernut cookie while still being nourishing and satisfying.

I had wanted to play around with colours, which I haven’t done for a while, so I definitely took advantage of some bright ingredients in this recipe while hopefully introducing something new for some. Everything in life is usually optional so feel free to stick with the base recipe and decorate with raisins, cherries, nuts or cacao nibs if that is more your style. Either way, I hope a few kids end up with beetroot dough in their hair or at least their mouths!

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Happy Easter and remember it’s the small, nourishing and nurturing things that make this holiday special; family, friends and of course, food!

These gingerbread men are super clean and even more versatile so enjoy them raw, baked, decorated or massacred.

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||Recipe – Baked ||

Makes 8-10 men depending on your cookie cutter. Please love your body and use organic ingredients <3

  • 5 cups almond meal
  • 3 t cinnamon, ground
  • 1 t nutmeg, ground
  • 2 T ginger, ground
  • 1 t fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 t vanilla powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 6 T cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
  • 4 T organic maple syrup (alternatively rice malt syrup or honey)
  • 1/2 t spirulina
  • 1/2 t beetroot juice

|| Recipe – Raw ||

  • Omit baking powder and maple syrup.
  • Increase number of dates from 10 to 14
  • Follow method below until point of baking

||Method||

  1. Combine almond meal, spices, dates, and baking powder (if applicable) in a food processor and mix until the mixture begins to form a dough
  2. Add coconut oil and maple syrup (if applicable) and further process until the dough becomes very sticky. The mixture will feel quite oily as the almond meal releases its natural oils but the nut and coconut oil will allow the men to firm when cooled if leaving them raw
  3. Take aside 2/3 cup of the dough separating into two portions. Place one portion of the dough back into the processor with the spirulina and process until the dough becomes an even colour of green. Repeat this process using the beetroot juice to colour the other portion of dough red. Put aside for decorating!
  4. Using two large sheets of greaseproof paper, place uncoloured dough between the two sheets and using a rolling pin, roll out until approx. 1/2cm thick. You may wish to roll your gingerbread men slightly thicker if using the raw recipe. Cut out your men using a cookie cutter. Place men on tray for decorating
  5. Using your 2 portions of coloured dough, you can now begin decorating. I have given my men 2 red buttons and green cuffs on their little arms! But this is the fun part so enjoy being creative <3
  6. If using the raw recipe, place men in the fridge until cool and firm. Eat!
  7. For traditional, baked men, place men in a preheated oven at 150° for 25-30 mins until well browned then eat!

23/3/15

 

Green Seasonal Chia Trifle

Happy Wednesday readers! Hope your having a beautiful week <3

As much as I keep a close eye on my sugar intake (even unrefined sugars), I love to start my day with something sweet. Usually my first step out of bed is straight towards my colourful, seasonal fruit bowl!

For those that hadn’t considered the benefits of a piece of fruit in the morning, here is the wrap,

  • Natural sugars are quickly turned into energy after fasting for the night to snooze helping us to get over that sluggishness sooner
  • Fruit is best eaten first… eating slow to digest foods before consuming fruit encourages fruit to sit and ferment in our stomachs and this can contribute to creating gas
  • I am a huge ambassador for breakfast. If you can’t handle a meal straight out of bed at least go for your piece of seasonal organic fruit. Look after that metabolism!

Chia pudding is such an easy go-to for me. You can actually mix these guys up, go and get dressed for the day and it will be ready by the time you are. Hint >> if you mix it in a processor the chia will break up allowing it to swell more quickly!

So, now I am going to share with you the rule of thumb for chia

1 cup liquid || 2.5 tablespoons chia seeds || one serving

Always take into consideration the consistency of your ‘liquid’. I love pureed fruit and nut milk combos to add some sweetness so if your fruit puree is thick you may need to go for more like 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups liquid.

Today’s chia trifle was put together as I was needing an extra kick today so this baby is loaded with healthy medium-chain fatty acids from our beautiful friend, the coconut. Medium-chain fatty acids are used differently being sent to the liver to be immediately converted into energy.

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On another note, please respect our farmers and use local and organic produce whenever you can <3 Today’s bananas are from a spray-free roadside stall in northern NSW and, the best spinach from my friend and supplier at Miami Organic Farmers Markets, Sylva. Mangoes are still in abundance but very close to the end of the season and I am very anxious about what will happen to me when I cant buy trays anymore!! My current mango tray is a certified organic spotty/second mangos from QLD purchased at $8.00/tray. In season organics really can be sourced at good prices!

Recipe:

*Using organic ingredients

For chia pudding:

  • 1/2 cup home-made raw almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 5 Tbl chia seeds
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 banana
  • Handful of spinach

For trifle:

  • Organic coconut yoghurt (I have used a locally sourced biodynamic yoghurt sweetened with dates)
  • Mango and banana or your choice of seasonal fruit

Method:

  • Layer the chia pudding yoghurt and fruit to make you happy

18/2/15

Iron + High Iron Seasonal Smoothie Bowl

Super excited about the first actual recipe share for the blog! I wasn’t intending to share something as unpretentious as a smoothie bowl although this nourishing staple breakfast of mine must not be overlooked.

I have definitely jumped aboard the smoothie train! Not only easy to digest and, for me, generally raw, but I can jam pack the nutrition of a super salad into a cure-all concoction, all the meanwhile strategically minimising sugars and maximising good fats, protein and all that other vege goodness.

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Something that I have always felt I have had to watch in my diet is my iron intake. I could often feel light-headed first thing in the morning, which I put down to genetic low blood pressure (thanks Mum). But I would notice feeling sluggish, bruise easily, dizziness or light-headedness at times and with a quick dose or iron and I would be chipper in no time.

Now for those that didn’t know (the educational part of this smoothie bowl), iron is needed to carry oxygen around the body and it is estimated, according to the American Society of Hematology, that approximately a quarter of the world’s population may be iron deficient. Of course this takes into account malnutrition and disease worldwide although even Aussie menstruating women are at a significantly high risk. Further more, vegetarians and vegans remain in a further high-risk category. So, from where I’m standing that’s a lot of people!

Now what I find interesting is that there are two types of iron; haem iron (from animal foods) and non-haem iron (from vegan foods). Due to the way our bodies absorb iron, we expect to absorb between 15-35% haem iron as it is absorbed through our gut wall into the blood, where we expect to absorb 2-20% of non-haem iron as it is absorbed less directly. The absorption of non-haem iron is affected directly by our diet, which is what this humble smoothie bowl aims to conquer.

Here’s the key; our bodies rely heavily on having enough vitamin C to absorb non-haem iron.

Now I am lucky enough to have a mother that has engrained this into my mind. Every time I see a bunch of spinach here comes the lemon. Sufficient vitamin c is one of the simplest methods to ensure your iron absorption. Lemon and orange juice salad dressings, pineapple in your green smoothie, and tomato with your tahini!

Another fun fact, although we absorb more iron from meat sources it does not mean everything is black and white. I eat sustainable and organic meats regularly, although I find that this does not meet my iron needs. Iron is often expressed as mg per 100 grams so for comparisons sake… I eat small portions of meat and in terms of calories I am not retaining a huge amount of iron per serve as cooked beef only contains approx. 3mg iron/100g. Eating a high raw and plant-based diet, I need to ensure I receive substantial nutrition and iron from vegan sources. So for some of my favourite little raw vegan preferences;

  • Spinach – 2.71mg/100g
  • Kale – 2mg/100g
  • Chard – 1.8mg/100g
  • Raw Unhulled Tahini – 9mg/100g > the best raw tahini hummus coming soon!
  • Pepitas – 15mg/100g
  • Cashews – 6.1mg/100g
  • Raw Cacao – 7.3mg/100g
  • Fresh apricots – 4mg/100g

Now that speaks for itself. Many vegan foods are more iron dense than meat. Now just to help you all go home any calculate your iron intake (hah!) … men (age 19-50) require 8mg/day where women (age 19-50) require 18mg/day.

So put simply, understand where your iron comes from and where your vitamin C comes from and be aware of your bodies’ requirements. This iron deficiency dilemma is all about knowledge, awareness and making simple nourishing choices <3

Recipe:

Note the sources of iron and vitamin c!

For smoothie

  • 2 mangos
  • 1 leaf swiss chard (0.9mg iron)
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 3 Tbl organic dessicated coconut (0.5mg iron)
  • 1 Tbl organic coconut paste
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 Tbl organic black strap molasses (3.5mg of iron)
  • 1 C raw home-made cashew milk (2.6mg of iron using 1:4 ratio cashews to water) or your choice of milk

For garnish

  • 1 kiwi fruit, diced (85mg vitamin c)
  • 1/4 cup raw activated grain-free muesli
  • Seasonal fruit such as beautiful summer strawbs

And a couple handy sources:

Australian Sports Commission 2009, Iron – are you getting enough, < http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/basics/iron_-_are_you_getting_enough>

The Vegetarian Resource Group 2015, Iron in the Vegan Diet, < http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.php>

Viva Health (n.d.), Ironing out the Facts, < http://www.vegetarian.org.uk/factsheets/iron.html>

31/1/15

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