The Sweet Meadow

food

Product Spotlight: Grain-Free Granola

foodAishe Besim
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We've been serving up our grain-free granola dish since we started the cafe almost a year ago. I wanted to offer a breakfast option that would appeal to the paleo and low-carb/high fat way of eating (even if personally I eat the opposite!).

Enter the star of the show - granola from The Belle General Bakehouse. I discovered this granola on my first visit to Byron Bay a few months before I opened the business, and quickly became obsessed with it. The girls at The Belle General bake this granola in-house at their cafe in Ballina, NSW, and use mostly local ingredients. Full of nuts and seeds, we like to serve our granola with almond milk. Almonds are one of the only alkalising nuts and a great source of vitamin E, the major antioxidant in human epidermal tissue, which create smoothness and suppleness to our skin. 

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The granola also has chia seeds, which contain the all-important essential omega 3 and 6 oils. They have twice the protein concentration of other seeds and are easily digestible in their whole form. We serve our granola with coconut yoghurt, a great source of probiotics that will help maintain a healthy stomach environment to aid in digestion and gut heatlh.

You can also sprinkle the granola on your oats, smoothie bowl, yoghurt or savoury muffins for an added protein and fibre hit. 500g bags of the granola are available at our cafe for $24, although we tend to sell out quicker than we can order it in (I always joke that the The Belle General crew are on "Byron time"). Alternatively, you can purchase other sizes directly from The Belle General's online store here

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Wild Orange Cacao Crunch

recipes, food, essential oilsAishe Besim
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Orange and chocolate are a classic match (hello, Jaffas!), and this granola recipe delivers on both counts. 

Full of wholesome ingredients like almonds, buckwheat and dates, the addition of wild orange essential oil is two-fold. Wild orange is known to aid in digestion, while aromatically, it is calming and uplifting to the mind and body. It is known as the 'Oil of Abundance', assisting individuals to foster creativity and inspire an abundant mindset. 

If stored in an airtight container, this mix can last up to a month. 

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WILD ORANGE CACAO CRUNCH
VEGAN | GLUTEN FREE

INGREDIENTS
1 cup Loving Earth caramelised buckinis
1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
6 medjool dates
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Pinch of pink salt
3-4 drops of doTERRA wild orange essential oil (learn how to purchase these oils here)

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celcius. Line a baking sheet with paper and set aside.
2. Blitz the almonds and buckinis in a food processor until crumbly. 
3. Meanwhile, use a small handheld processor to mix together the dates, rice malt syrup, and coconut oil until smooth. Add a few drops of essential oil into this 'wet' mix to flavour the granola. 
4. Combine the dry mix with the wet mix in a large bowl (hands work best for this to make sure the sweetener is combined well with the dry mix). 
5. Pour mixture onto the baking tray and drizzle with a little coconut oil & rice malt syrup.
6. Bake for around 45 minutes - check midway through and give the granola mix a turn.
7. Once cooked through and crisp, remove from oven and allow to cool before eating.
8. Use as topping on a smoothie bowl (brownie points if you post it on Instagram), oats, or chia pudding, or eat alone as a snack with some fruit. 

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Winter Escape - Where to eat on the East Coast

travelAishe Besim
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My path is to create, and in order for me to do that properly, I have to have solitude and peace of mind. And that comes from turning everything off, being alone, staying away from social media and being with nature.
— David LaChapelle, photographer

David LaChapelle was on to something. After a crazy busy and intense 18 months renovating/opening/running The Sweet Meadow I finally allowed myself (because let's be honest, no one else was stopping me) a few days off for a mini winter break. And it was glorious!

I headed north to Brisbane to catch up with family and check out the cafe scene in the Sunshine State (surely I'm not the only one that plans their holidays around food?). We definitely found a few gems.

Nodo is an eatery I had been following for a long time - it made its mark baking gluten free donuts and have now expanded to offer a full cafe menu. While their famous baked donuts aren't vegan, they have lots of options for plant-based eaters, including raw donuts. 

While we didn't eat here, I also liked the vibe at Miss Jones cafe in New Farm (the pastels and timber tables had me hooked). Charlie's Raw Squeeze is also pretty awesome (two vegan brothers turned their dad's fruit shop into a vegan empire - think juices, smoothie bowls, desserts and even a moo-free burger offering with multiple locations across Brisbane).

Next,  we drove down to Byron Bay for a day trip. This little beach town has to be one of my favourite places on earth. Lots of new eateries have opened since I last visited. Combi had beautiful decor and a huge smoothie menu. These guys also have a cafe in Elwood, Victoria, although the Byron store is triple the size and is a lot more comfortable to eat at. I had a beetroot latte which was more sweet than I expected. Look out for this superfood latte at The Sweet Meadow very soon!

We cruised over to nearby Newrybar for a quick stop at my hands down favourite retail space in Australia - Newrybar Merchants. I'm partial to an old cottage - of course - but I love that this store is a collective of makers and artists who all have the opportunity to showcase their wares in more of a lifestyle setting. Across the road is the award-winning Harvest restaurant (their kitchen garden is next level). We sat on the verandah and drank a housemade kombucha with some fresh sourdough - this is vegan living at it's best!

My last stop was Broadbeach, Gold Coast in Queensland. So many plant-based eateries have popped up here since I last visited (granted it was almost four years ago), and I had less than 24 hours here! We ate dinner at The Cardamom Pod which is a vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options. I'm not really a fan of buffet-style eateries but I'd be keen to try this place again on a weekend when they offer breakfast/brunch items. I was starting to get homesick so I ordered the buckwheat pancakes from BSKT Cafe at Mermaid Beach for breakfast - cool vibe and good pancakes, but not as good as The Meadow!

Blend Love, Greenhouse Canteen and SeraBar Burleigh are all other plant-based cafes that are producing the goods along the Gold Coast, just not enough hours in the day to get there.

There's always next time...
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