recipes

DUST by Organic Merchant...

Chocolate Nut Muffins  by Organic Merchant, Photographed by Pia J B.

Chocolate Nut Muffins by Organic Merchant, Photographed by Pia J B.

It’s no secret that I’ve been an enthusiast of naturopath Chalimah Jeanne’s organic teas for many years. I first came across her collection when we moved to Sydney in 2011, while wandering through Paddington Markets. Chalimah has such a beautiful energy and incredible wealth of knowledge, and I found myself coming back for more. For those who’ve been around for a while, you might recall I featured her teas in a story I wrote for Country Style back in 2013, and have continued to use her teas over the years for styling projects and as gifts for clients.

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Last year I had the pleasure of collaborating with Chalimah to photograph both her new packaging (you’ll see these sensuous images soon) as well as the recipe cards for her new Dust Collection. Dust is a range of healthy & delicious raw cacao infusions, designed to improve mental focus and physical performance. There are six infusions in the range: Super, Sex, Soothe, Spark, Shine, and Spirit. Each one is designed specifically to enrich the characteristics we need to strengthen within us.

Chalimah wanted to create some beautiful recipe cards that show the many ways you can incorporate the infusions, as they are not only wonderful as warm elixirs but also scrumptious in pancakes, muffins, smoothies and popsicles. So one morning, she made an incredible array of some of her favourite foods and I came with my camera to photograph them all on her long wooden dining table.

Would you like to see some of the photographs? I took many, it was such a beautiful setting. And there was a gorgeous natural coppery light that came through, infusing everything with a warmth and glow. Here are a few of my favourites…

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Chalimah has been sharing a few of her delicious recipes on instagram and on her website, and I’ve included a few here for you. They are all so yummy…

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Nourish Bowl…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat hulls

  • 2 cups plant mylk

  • 4 heaped tsp DUST infusion of your choice

  • 2 tbsp chia seed/flaxseed

  • 1/2 cup fruit – currants/raisins (optional)

How to assemble:

  1. Combine ingredients into a bowl and soak overnight to allow hulls/seeds to soften.

  2. Once soaked, transfer to saucepan and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add more mylk or water if needed.

  3. Serve into bowls topped with your choice of suggestions from the list below.

Suggestions to add…

  • Grated apple with cinnamon

  • Fresh figs with honey and walnuts

  • Poached pears with vanilla

  • Pomegranate jewels and pistachios

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Cacao Pancakes…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour

  • 4 heaped tsp DUST infusion of your choice

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)

  • 1 to 1.5 cups plant mylk

How to assemble:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir well.

  2. Whisk in mylk to create a batter.

  3. Set stove top to medium and add butter/coconut oil.

  4. Gently pour 1/3 cup of batter into pan using ladle/large spoon to create pancakes roughly the size of an orange.

  5. Flip pancakes over once bubbles have risen on the surface.

  6. Set / stack cooked pancakes on wire rack or plate and continue until batter is finished.

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Chocolate Nut Muffins…

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour

  • 1 cup ground seed/nut meal

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup DUST infusion of your choice

  • 1 tsp bi-carb

Wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plant mylk

  • 2 eggs or chia egg replacement*

  • 2 ripe bananas mashed

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts/frozen berries

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil/butter melted

*Chia egg replacement = 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp of water. Combine and set aside for approx. 10 minutes.

How to assemble:

Preheat oven to 180 ̊C.

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir well.

  2. In a smaller bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and stir well.

  3. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and combine (It’s OK if the mixture is a little lumpy).

  4. Spoon mixture into muffin tray or baking cups.

  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

  6. Cool in tray for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

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There are more wonderful recipes at Organic Merchant so please head on over, along with more details about the full Dust range and where to purchase them. And Organic Merchant’s instagram is here.

Enjoy!!

With Love,

Pia xx




Happi Health photoshoot: vitamin boost...

Vitamin B6: Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers

Vitamin B6: Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers

Here are some of photographs I produced for Happinez, for a story on how to boost your vitamin intake with certain foods, in the special edition called Happi Health that was published in The Netherlands a couple of months ago. It’s been years since I worked with food - I used to work regularly as a food stylist for magazines, catalogues and books around the world, sometimes styling the food myself, other times working with wonderful cooks & stylists like my dear friend Yvette van Boven, as well as Michele Cranston and Emma Knowles, and photographers Petrina Tinslay and Jeroen van der Spek were among my favourites.

I had forgotten how much I love working with food until this shoot. As I got creating, I was thinking, why haven’t I done this for so long? To be honest, I think it was because of the over-abundance of cookbooks, food magazines, food shows… it felt to me like there was enough already, and that it feeds that consumer energy, that need to fill up ‘the void’ in us with so. much. Also, there is so much incredible talent out there already, I felt like it was well and truly covered.

But I have a genuine love of eating well, sharing my love of nourishment with my daughter and her friends, and enjoying a beautiful meal with my friends and partner (we are often talking about food, as the French do!) I’m not an entertainer - I am not that friend who always has a fridge full of everything and can whip up something amazing any time of day or night. I’m not always in the kitchen. It’s more that it’s one of the mediums of creative expression for me - like painting is for some.

So having said all that, I do absolutely love shooting delicious food! Focusing on taste, texture, colour and nourishment. It’s why I am so looking forward to co-hosting the kids tasting workshop in a couple of weeks!

This shoot reignited that passion within me. With this story, it was the first time I’d photographed, cooked, and styled at the same time - I’ll just say this, it was bloody challenging to do all roles. A little bit nuts really, in hindsight. But the challenging aspects did not take away the joy! My studio was in full swing- every part of it was in use, the kitchen was abuzz - the oven on, the blender going, chopping boards and utensils in action. The walls were lined with canvas backdrops and wooden tabletops. There was music. There was mess. It was beautiful chaotic order - just the way I love to work.

I thought you might like to see the shots in their entirety, and to share with you some of the recipes I created to be able to get the full benefits of each vitamin I was asked to represent…

Vitamin K: roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans

Vitamin K: roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans

Folic Acid: roasted dark leafy greens & sprouts with sesame oil & micro herbs

Folic Acid: roasted dark leafy greens & sprouts with sesame oil & micro herbs

Vitamin E: avocodo topped with seeds, wheatgerm oil and edible flowers. Vitamin B12: homemade nori chips

Vitamin E: avocodo topped with seeds, wheatgerm oil and edible flowers. Vitamin B12: homemade nori chips

Vitamin A: roast carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato soup topped with micro herbs

Vitamin A: roast carrot, pumpkin & sweet potato soup topped with micro herbs

Vitamin D: delicious sun beams - soak them in! Vitamin C: grapefruit slices.

Vitamin D: delicious sun beams - soak them in! Vitamin C: grapefruit slices.

Here are the recipes for the roasted sweet potato dish and the red quinoa. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory (if not let me know and I’ll happily answer questions in comments)…

Roasted purple-skinned sweet potato with Japanese natto beans…

Cut a purple-skinned sweet potato in half lengthways and roast in the oven with an oil of your choosing (olive, coconut, whatever you like!), with a little salt. Top with warmed baby spinach leaves and natto beans which you can get in asian grocery stores. The texture is a little unusual - its very sticky, but don’t be put off, as with the combination of the sweet potato and the spinach, it’s delicious and so very good for you! Garnish with micro herbs (which are also full of nutrients).

Coconut & Red Quinoa porridge with nuts, seeds & edible flowers…

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rinsed red quinoa

  • 1 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)

  • 1 cup filtered water

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • maple syrup (depending on your sweetness needs, but for me it was about 2 tablespoons)

  • pistachios, pecans, whatever nuts you have on hand, activated and if desired, slightly roasted or warmed.

  • edible flowers if you have them

  • shredded coconut for garnish

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring quinoa, milk, water, salt, and cinnamon to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for around 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed,

  2. Turn off heat and let stand covered 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

  3. Transfer to serving bowls. Top with the nuts, petals and shredded or toasted coconut.

With love,

Pia xx