So you've grown broccoli, but how do you eat it?  Here's the place to:

  • ask how to prepare your produce using healthy recipes
  • share your healthy recipes or ask how a traditional recipe might be made healthier
  • how to store and preserve your surplus food
  • tips about healthy eating

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Jam + Yogurt

The recommended portion size for jam is one teaspoon. 

We made plum jam at the preserving workshop, which has a nice sharpness to it.  Some yummy ways of using jam are:

  • On fresh grainy bread
  • On toast topped with sliced banana
  • In baking, eg Jam Drops - plain cookie dough with a small 'dimple' filled with jam
  • Spread on a flan base and top with more fruit and nuts
  • Swirled through otherwise unsweetened yogurt, perhaps with toasted nuts - serve as a dessert or in a lunch box.

Alma was asking for a recipe for home made yogurt: it is cheaper than buying it ready made and you can add your own home made flavourings.  There is a recipe here:  They have some links to yogurt based savoury recipes too.  Many cultures combine plain yogurt with mint and finely chopped garlic to serve beside spicy food.

You need to start it with a little live yogurt: an organic yogurt is more likely to work. As with preserving, make sure your container is sterilised before you start.  

The milk needs to be kept warm while the yogurt-forming bacteria work. With more people insulating their hot water cylinders properly, hot water cupboards are no longer warm enough.  A food flask works well at holding the heat, and they can often be bought very cheaply at opp shops, garage sales or the dump shop (Russell Recycling - who also often have preserving jars). 

Yogurt is rich in calcium, but you need to combine it with exercise for your body to benefit from it!

hello Kathryn, kefir milk grains make a really good healthy yoghurt and if there isn't anyone local who can give you some, please PM your address to me and I'll post you some.

Fruit or vege glut?  How about some baking...

If you have too many courgettes (zucchini) or they have started to turn into marrows, try making Alison Gofton’s Sweet Spiced Zucchini Loaf Recipe, published by the Waikato magazine, Nourish.

There are many delicious cake recipes that use grated vegetables - best known here in NZ is the Carrot Cake eg, but I have also had a guy bring in a beautiful Beetroot Chocolate Cake in for a work morning tea!  The beetroot adds natural sweetness and moistness, as well as being better for you with more fibre and vitamens than your basic cake.  There is a version of the Beetroot Chocolate Cake here:

If you need to watch your weight or are diabetic, don't ice your baking - top the cake or loaf with some chopped nuts before baking or dust with a little icing sugar once it has cooled instead.   Yum!


Peni was asking about sweet loaves, sometimes called tea breads, like the traditional Date Loaf. They use baking soda or baking powder rather than yeast. The loaves are not for making sandwiches. They are eaten like cake for a snack, sliced like bread and often spread with butter or margarine. If a loaf lasts long enough to become stale, the slices are delicious toasted and eaten warm.

It will be feijoa season soon: there is a recipe for Feijoa Loaf here:


Often you can freeze the leftovers (if there are any!) for up to 3 months - if you cut them into pieces first, you can lift them out as needed for lunch box fillers.

WIC member Peni (Fiji) is known for his red velvet cake, but last weekend he made this awesome beetroot chocolate cake using the recipe above: it was for a 5 year old girl's birthday party. 

He used the leftover mixture to make rum balls - they were yum!    



Apples, feijoas, medlars, quinces and many other fruit trees are producing fruit around this time.  Too much of a good thing?  If you have more fruit than you, your family, your friends, neighbours, club, religious group and workmates can eat, preserve or swap, consider giving some away rather than putting good fruit in the compost.  Some places that often welcome donations of produce are:

  • Opp shops eg Hospice Shops
  • Food banks – eg Louisa ph 856-2520 (not Wednesday) or Dutch at the Salvation Army Grandview ph 846 3336
  • Pick Fruit Hamilton.


Pick Fruit Hamiltonharvests fruit offered by back yard gardeners which they then pass on to community groups like food banks.  Contact them if you want to register your trees, give ideas, volunteer to help. As a volunteer you could learn more about the kinds of fruit that grow in this area, how to tell they are ripe and perhaps how to preserve them.  For more information ph Jeremy 929-2002, or email

I notice The Freecycle Network Hamilton Group has a few people offering and asking for feijoas - another way of sharing your excess produce:

Of course, you could also put a post on our Ooooby WIC Comments Wall offering surplus too!

Min made the WIC Advisory Group his coconut jelly recently: here is the recipe (thank you Tania for writing it down for us).

Min's Coconut Jelly


Agar-Agar* Powder (25g = 1 pkt)

 White Sugar (300 ml) – this amount is for standard-flavoured coconut jelly

            you can decrease the amount of sugar depending on your taste - you will need less if you are adding fruit

Coconut Milk (165 ml)

Salt (pinch)

Water (300 ml cool water and 1000 ml boiling water)

Fruit pulp** (half a cup) – optional


                Dissolve Agar-agar powder in 300 ml of cool water – stir well
                Bring 1000 ml of water to the boil
                Add the sugar to the boiling water
                Add the salt to the boiling water
                Continue to stir until the sugar is dissolved
                After you have boiling ‘sugar water’, then pour in the cool water/Agar-Agar mixture
                Continue to boil for 5 minutes
                If you wish to add fruit pulp do so at this point
                Add Coconut Milk
                Boil for another 5 minutes to complete the cooking
                Continue to stir throughout the process
                Once finished on the stove – pour the mixture into a tray
                Refrigerate for at least an hour
                Once the jelly is set cut it up into squares or use cookie cutters
                ENJOY !!!

Min says the jelly will last for at least a week in the fridge - beyond that he's not sure, because in his household it always gets eaten before then! :-)

* Agar agar is also known as agar = dai choy goh = kanten = Japanese gelatin = Japanese isinglass = Chinese gelatin = Chinese isinglass = vegetable gelatine.

It is made from seaweed, so it is suitable for vegetarians and is said to contain helpful minerals.  It sets more firmly than gelatine, even if left to set at room temperature. 

You can buy agar-agar powder from Nu-Save or most Asian stores.

Vetro, a Mediterranean food store cum café across the road from K’aute on Anglesea Street also stocks agar agar in a thread form (looks like noodles).

**Cook fruit such as kiwi fruit, papayas, pineapple, peaches, mangos, guavas, and figs before adding them to agar agar, as the chemicals these fruits contain when they are raw can stop the jelly setting firmly.  For more information see: 

Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus)

With the cooler weather my Jerusalem artichokes have died back which means that it is time to start using them.  I will chop up the dead stalks and use them for mulch, and lift the roots (tubers - see photo, right) only as I need them for cooking over winter – they store best in the ground. 


Nourish magazine has a recipe for Jerusalem artichoke soup: If you have been told to reduce your weight and/or lower your cholesterol, replace the cream which is high in saturated fat with a tablespoon of reduced fat sour cream or low-fat yogurt or kefir instead. 

British chef Jamie Oliver has a recipe for Jerusalem Artichokes With Garlic and Bay Leaves on his web site:  

He also has a recipe for a warm salad of Jerusalem artichokes and bacon:  He suggests using radicchio (Cichorium intybus) in the salad, a colourful type of chicory popular in Italy and Europe that grows well here (see photo, left - young radicchio self sown in a path).    

Eating Feijoas

Feijoas, also called pineapple guavas and guavasteen, are in season now.  They come from south America but seem to be more popular here than anywhere else in the world. Having said that, their strong scent is loved by some and disliked by others: make sure you try a few ripe ones before you decide.

The fruit are usually ripe if slightly soft at the flower end.  They will continue to ripen in the fruit bowl.  When cut, the flesh should be cream coloured: white flesh is under-ripe (less sweet), brown is past its best.

They can be eaten raw or cooked.  Most people don't eat the skin, but it can be used in cooking.  The variety 'Bambina' is a dwarf variety bred to be eaten raw skin and all.

They can be used in both savoury and sweet recipes. 

Raw cut feijoas will turn brown, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice if you don't like this.

Use them raw in fruit salad, with muslei, or in a salsa (fresh sauce) to go with chicken, pork or fish: combine chopped feijoas, chopped red chili, a squeeze of lime juice and chopped coriander. (Yes, all those ingredients can be grown in the Waikato!) 

You can also freeze them whole or scooped out, or after cooking.

The flavour is milder when cooked.  There are whole recipe books devoted to the feijoa, like this website which also has information about growing your own.

I think Feijoas go particularly well with lemon, banana, ginger and vanilla.  They are great in dessert crumble recipes like the one in the Heart Foundation cookbook we sent out with the last newsletter.  NZ chef Julie Buiso's favourite crumble combines soaked dried apricots, bananas and feijoas. You can hear her talking about how to use feijoas and get her recipe for Feijoa Cake with Crumble Topping on Radio New Zealand's website.

How to eat Kiwifruit

Kiwifruit are coming into season at the moment and are full of vitamin C.  Most varieties are furry so the skin is not eaten.  They are mostly used raw.  There is a video here which demonstrates a couple of ways of to peel them (similar to feijoas). 

The presenter calls them 'kiwis', but try not to do that here in NZ, as people might think you've been:

  1. Eating a protected national bird
  2. Eating a New Zealander!! 



ripening on the vines at Hamilton Gardens

Healthier versions of favourite Kiwi treats

Some of the recipes from the NZ TV show The Food Truck are available online at:  The show features healthy versions of takeaway foods, and screens on TV One on Sunday nights at 7 pm or you can watch it online.

In one program he made crunchy snacks, including potato chips (crisps) made in the microwave rather than deep fried.    I used some of the purple Maori potato Tutaekuri (also known as Urenika) and we were pleased with the crunchy, colourful result.


Allow 1-2 scrubbed Maori potatoes per person.  Do not peel them.

Slice the potatoes 2-4 mm thick - a mandolin slicer does a good job. 

Spread out the slices in a single layer on a piece of baking paper on your microwave turntable (plate) or a paper towel.

Sprinkle with a little seasoning, eg crushed dried herbs, chili powder, curry powder, garlic salt, pepper, finely grated Parmesan cheese ...

Cooking time will change depending on your microwave and the thickness of you chips: watch them to make sure they don't burn, eg 4 minutes, turn over, 3 more minutes. 

Cool in a single layer on a wire rack: they will crisp up as they get cool - cooling takes about 5 minutes.

Store in a air tight container or sealed plastic bag.

If you really don't like them without the fat, spray them with a little vegetable oil.

**We gave out Maori seed potatoes at the WIC launch: if you grew some, we'd love to know what you thought of your crop! **



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