Paleo coconut granola


This granola is for lovers of coconut. There’s no dried fruit, just any combination of nuts and seeds you want to try or have available in the cupboard. I used a combination of pecans, walnuts and pepitas.

Paleo coconut granola

3 cups coconut flakes
2 cups of nuts and/or seeds, roughly chopped
2 Tbsps chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g coconut oil or butter, melted
3 Tbsps honey

  1. Preheat oven to 120 degrees C and line a baking try with baking paper.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and then spread out evenly on baking tray.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven. Turn mixture half-way through.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. Serve with almond milk or coconut milk.

Makes 5 cups.

Paleo bircher muesli

paleo bircher muesli

This is a satisfy and filling breakfast which makes a large portion (you may like to use teaspoons if you want a smaller portion). I soak all the seeds and sultanas and craisins for better digestion, but you don’t have to. If you want to use ground flaxseeds (linseed meal) it is better to grind the seeds fresh, so they don’t go rancid. You can use also organic yogurt for a primal option.

A great way to start the day with paleo friendly muesli recipe.

Paleo bircher muesli recipe

1 Tbsp flaxseeds or ground flaxseed
2 tsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp sultanas or currants
1 Tbsp craisins (dried cranberries)
1 orange juiced
1 small apple grated
2 Tbsps of coconut yogurt
2 Tbsps of almond milk

  1. Soak the flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, sultanas and craisins in the orange juice overnight.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until combined.

Serves 1.

How to grow a lychee tree


Lychee – Litchi chinensis

Nearly two months ago we ate a bag of fresh lychees and I kept some of the seeds. I just rinsed them and then let them dry in a saucer (above), then planted them out in some soil – nothing fancy it was just some compost because that’s all I had at the time.

Out of a dozen seeds that I planted, four of them thrived and they were transplanted into a small pot each. Each little plant is now about 20 cm high and looking pretty healthy. One is straggling but I think they’ll all make it.

Lychees are self-pollinating, producing both male and female flowers on the same panicle, so only one tree is needed to get fruit. To become productive trees however, they need a week of cool night temperatures (below 20°C) before flowering.
ABC Gardening

Top food gardening books

Here are some of my favourite food gardening books written for an Australian audience.

Discovering Fruit and Nuts – Susanna Lyle

Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture – Rosemary Morrow

How Can I use Herbs in my Daily Life? – Isabell Shipard

Organic Fruit Growing  – Annette McFarlane

Organic Vegetable Gardening – Annette McFarlane

Smart Permaculture Design – Jenny Allen

The Permaculture Home Garden – Linda Woodrow

The Seed Savers Handbook – Jeremy Cherfas, Michel and Jude Fanton

What are your favourite food gardening books?

Seed addiction

I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to seeds and seed catalogues. I love discovering all the new varieties I’d like to grow, the full coloured illustrations and the tiny graphical icons coded in a special gardeners language. Then of course I can feed my list-making-addiction as I write down everything I’d like to order.

The artist is drawn to rainbow coloured silverbeet, concentric candy striped beetroots, purple carrots and odd shaped pumpkins. The ecologist wants to try different varieties to see which suits our climate and ecosystem the best. The environmentalist wants to eat local food and reduce the transportation carbon footprint. The conservationist wants to save traditional species and oppose modern hybrids with their unknown genetic modifications. The health nut wants to eat unprocessed organic home-grown produce. The gourmand wants to taste new sensations and create foreign dishes.

It infuriates Matt to no end. “How many different types of tomato do you need?” I try lamely to persuade him that other women waste their money on handbags and shoes. I buy plants and seeds, and they’re relatively inexpensive in comparison. I argue that I’m adding value to the house with landscaping and that we’re saving money on groceries.

So many seeds, so little time!

Storing seeds

Seeds need to be stored in a dark and dry place (ideally 5°C). Jerry Coleby-Williams uses old film canisters to store his seeds. Specimen bottles would work well, but I’m not sure where to buy them. To help keep the moisture out, add some silica gel crystals. (You may know these as the small white “Do Not Eat” bags you find in vitamin bottles).

I have found the best way to store my seeds is alphabetically in an IKEA cd box. If you want to get fancy try the Plant Agenda. Josh Byrne keeps his seed packets in use pinned to a cork board in his potting shed.

If you are storing your seeds for a long time the fridge might be the best place for them. Don’t forget seeds are living and they need to be sown and collected every couple of years.