Craves Crow. Here’s something you might not know. I was once stuck on a pole. I was up there for a long time looking out over all the blooming gorgeous stuff that has been heading to market – and getting pretty jealous. That’s why the other scarecrows gave me this name. I was always banging on about what I was craving. It just all looked so GOOD. The other fellas just didn’t get it. I thought I was going to be up there forever. And then one morning, I woke up and things were different. I could get out and about. And I could taste things. Maybe it was some sort of Oz wizardry or possum magic, but I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth (they can get a bit bitey).
That’s where my adventure really started. I hitched a ride on a truck and I ended up at a Harris Farm Market. Now that I’ve been there, I feel it’s my duty to let you know about some of stellar fruit, vegies, gourmet groceries and deals you might not know about. I don’t want anyone else missing out!
I reckon any great story starts at the beginning, so let’s wind the clock back to sunrise. Here are my picks for the best ways to start your day. I’m talking about BEE - AUTIFUL spreads for toast (how good is honey? Harris Farm Market’s honey is sweet-as, I promise). And while we’re having a chat, can we also just take a moment to say thanks to my mates the bees, for all the good they do too?
But wait, there’s more. I’m also talking about glorious mueslis, brekkie sandwiches worth getting out of bed for, choose your own adventure overnight oats and a cheeky thing called kefir that you’re really going to care for. Let’s start as we mean to go on. With all this to pick from, there’s no reason every day can’t be a cracker.
So what are we waiting for?
Word on the paddock is you’re supposed to have five servings of veg a day. Here’s an easy way to sneak in an extra portion – just lob it in your morning smoothie (shhh) and get one out of the way, first up. It’s as easy as 1,2,3.
1 cup of liquid.
2 cups of chopped fruit and veg.
3 tbsp of extras (try things like nut butters, chia seeds, cocoa, rosewater, honey, dates, coconut oil, protein powder, espresso (maybe not espresso for kids!)
Did you know: freezing veg to makes them easier to smuggle. Microscopic channels in our tastebuds called TRPM5 are more sensitive to food that is warm. Which means bitter flavours aren’t as intense when they’re really cold!
This stuff gives me a real buzz. Who doesn’t love honey on porridge and crumpets, over Greek yoghurt and in banana smoothies. It’s also tops in a pot of lemon ginger tea or off a spoon if your throat is sore.
Here’s a good fact for trivia night. Pure honey is naturally anti-microbial so it will last forever in your cupboard. It can also help cuts and scrapes if you dab it on the wound and cover with a band aid. Honey’s got some unexpected pals in the kitchen too. Have you tried it with pan fried halloumi and a squeeze of lemon? Or what about goat cheese with fresh rosemary or thyme as a topping for toast? Maybe try slicking your crispy bacon with some and then add some diced chilli and rocket for a punchy breakfast sandwich, or add a squirt to a jar of apple cider vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard, give it a good shake and use it to dress your next bowl of brekkie greens.
Did you know that honey is the third most mucked about with food in the world, behind milk and olive oil? That means you’re not always getting what you think. There’s been a bit of chat in the past year about international fraudsters who make fake honey, cutting it with cheaper corn syrup or sugar cane. They then mark it up and pass it off as real honey, with you missing out on the golden goodness. But don’t worry. All honey stocked at Harris Farm Markets is the real deal. It’s the bee’s knees.
Harris Farm’s own honey gets made in Central West NSW by Vicki Lockwood and her son Jon at Goldfields Apiary. They’ve look after more than 350 million bees on 7000 hives. They get moved about on trucks so they can best follow the honey flow. Those really are busy bees. They even have a side hustle as commercial pollinators to help crops of pumpkins, watermelon and almonds come to fruit. (Where would we be without bees? In big trouble it turns out. But that’s a much longer story for another day).
The beauty of 100 per cent pure honey is how the taste tells you a yarn about what blossoms the bees have been visiting. Harris Farm honey is made by bees that have been gadding about with native eucalyptus, like ironbark, stringy bark, spotted gum and bloodwood, so its flavour is like liquid Australian sunshine. I’m sold. A squeeze of this in the morning and you’re off to a buzzing good start.
● Harris Farm Honey 500g, $8.49 each ●
How good is a brekkie sanga? They’re the best thing since sliced bread. Eat at home or pack up to go (and maybe think about making a second one for lunch).
Thirty years ago the Brook family bought a rundown dairy farm on the crest of a ridge overlooking the sea. There in the Byron hinterland they restored an ancient rainforest planting more than 30,000 trees and a eucalyptus forest.
In that rainforest there are more than 4000 macadamia trees. That lush rainforest is also home to insects, bees, platypus, koalas, turtles, water dragons, snakes and owls. These clever creatures all work hard to maintain the balance of Brookfarm.
It’s that natural teamwork that produces some of Australia’s most delicious native nuts.
Now, where can you taste these magnificent macadamias you ask? Well, start by getting your mitts on a bag of Brookfarm Muesli. You’ll find them in every bag.
A good muesli is a thievingly great thing. It’s so much more than scroggin. It’s the combination of nubbly grains, juicy fruit and crunchy bits that really make it shine. You know what’s even better? A muesli our gluten free buddies can enjoy. Puffed rice, buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa pal up with Brookfarm macadamias and dried cranberries in this unsung hero from Brookfarm. (But maybe you’re more of a Cacao, Coconut Granola kind of person?)
Take my advice. Stash some in the pantry or take it to work. Have it with yoghurt, milk and fruit, or use it to top a smoothie bowl. Just think about putting your name on the bag. When word gets around about how good this stuff is, it’ll go fast.
● Brookfarm Cranberry Macadamia Gluten Free Muesli 350g, $12.29 each ●
Love your guts. (Seriously! You’re lucky to have them!) We could all probably do with a few more good bacteria in our tums. Want to know one of the easiest ways to get some? Try these milk kefirs.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a cultured milk that comes from the Caucasus mountains. The folks there live for yonks and it’s thought that kefir has something to do with it. If you haven’t tried kefir, it tastes like a drinking yoghurt, but is chock with live cultures and probiotics. These ones by Made By Cow have 14 live active kefir cultures and billions of good bacteria per serve.
Made By Cow kefirs come from their award-winning cold pressed raw milk. That milk starts with a single herd of Jersey cows, cared for by Stewart and Hayley Menzies on the South Coast of NSW. They’re the third generation of the family to be dairy farmers. Stewart and Hayley know each one of their cows by name. Every morning at milking time Miss Rivendell Jade Eileen and Miss Rivendell Bowtie Progress wait at the gate, then lead their buddies into the dairy and jostle for first place to be milked. Made By Cow then treat that raw milk with patented cold high pressure technology. The high pressure destroys any harmful bacteria, making Made By Cow the world’s first safe-to-drink raw milk. This milk is then naturally fermented with traditional kefir cultures before they mix it with real fruit and honey for a creamy, 100% natural kefir. YUM.
Kefir is best stored and served cold, to get the most out of the live probiotics. Why don’t you try some in your smoothies, overnight oats or as an easy dressing for fruit salads? Your tum and tastebuds will thank you.
● Made by Cow Manuka Honey & Vanilla Bean Kefir 750ml, $9.99 each ●
Food for thought; have you ever wondered why there was just paste made from peanuts? I did, for a long time. Guess what? I was wrong! Those days are long gone.
Turns out there’s a whole world of nut butters out there waiting for us. Noya reckon theirs are the finest spread in all the lands. They also think I should talk to a jar if I wanted a second opinion. I’m not sure how much good chat you’ve had with a jar of smashed macadamias lately, but that’s ok. The taste here does all the talking.
Macadamia butter you say? Absolutely. Australian macadamias are handpicked, lightly roasted and crushed to make these pot of deliciousness. Believe it or nut, there’s also hazelnut butter (try it on toast with some dark chocolate grated over the top). Or maybe Almond with Chia Butter is more your style (lob a bit of that in your banana smoothie). Or Cashew Butter. That one is pretty good by the spoonful (but is also a great way to thicken a curry sauce). There’s no added sugar, oil, additives or preservatives in any of these.
That’s just nuts. The same thing goes for the peanut butters from Ahoy Nuts and The Ridiculously Delicious Spreads. These faves have ridiculous amounts of quality peanuts in them. They come in either smooth or crunchy. You just have to pick which (crunchy all the way, right?).
Just don’t go spreading yourself too thin. There are plenty of these pots of goodness to around.
● Noya Nut Butters 250g from $9.49 each ●
● Ridiculously Delicious Peanut Butter 375g, $7.49 each ●
● Ahoy Nuts Organic Peanut Butter 375g, $6.29 each ●
Not everyone is a morning person. I get it. Make yours a bit sweeter and get jamming. Bop to it. Your toast, croissants, French toast, pikelets and porridge are calling out for a worthy co-star.
These jams are awesome. Harris Farm Markets’ jams are hand stirred in small batches at Cuttaway Creek farm in Mittagong in the Southern Highlands. (Can you feel the serenity?). There’s nothing artificial about these. No colourings, preservatives or flavourings. Maybe you’re a Chunky Fig, or Three Fruit Marmalade sort of person. But take it from me; Triple Berry is a real triple threat. It’s a stellar combo of strawberries (from growers in Queensland and Victoria), blackberries (from Cuttaway Creek and Victoria), and raspberries from Cuttaway Creek, Tasmania and Victoria. My friends Nicky and Dave Penn make these, and they’re even kind enough to put it in a Crave-worthy sized jar. Preserve yourself. One of these should be enough to keep you humming along for a while.
(Be sure to keep your jars after you clean them out - they’re a great way to tote your smoothies or overnight oats to work!)
● Harris Farm Triple Berry Jam 620g, $10.49 each ●