Hidden Valley Pasture Raised

Hidden Valley Pasture Raised

At Hidden Valley Free Range we operate a number of farming systems to help improve our soils for the benefit and future of our children. The integrated systems are called Holistic Management. As part of our farming system we utilise pastured free range chickens to add fertiliser to our soil and provide us with delicious pastured free range eggs.

2 of our ladies in their laying boxes

2 of our ladies in their laying boxes

 

To ensure our eggs are the freshest and healthiest possible we house our chickens in caravans. These vans have been modified to incorporate mesh floors with perches and laying boxes. Our caravans are kept in an area surrounded by electric fence netting to keep away any unwanted visitors.

 

 

Whilst in the paddocks the caravans are moved every couple of days to ensure the chickens have fresh green grass to pick and to allow an even spread of manure. We have a maximum stocking rate of 500 chickens per hectare (10000 square metres). This allows our chickens to live a happy carefree life with minimal stress.

Laying Boxes

                               Laying Boxes

 

To make sure our eggs are collected and provided to you in the shortest time frame possible our young family is involved in the entire process from providing food and water through to collecting, processing and packing our pastured free range eggs.

 

 

 

One of our laying boxes after our chickens have visited. Eggs in their most natural state. The bed of rice hulls allows our hens to scratch and maintain their natural habits and instincts.

At Hidden Valley Free Range we want you to enjoy the healthiest, most nutritious eggs available. This is why we make available our delicious pastured free range eggs to you, our valued and cherished customers.

Next generation of farmers

                                                   Next generation of farmers

Absolute Organic Non-Hydrogenated Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconuts on tree

Absolute Organic Non-Hydrogenated Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

  • FLAVOUR – naturally sweet with slight nuttiness
  • STORING – up to 2 years
  • HIGH SMOKING POINT – good for stir fry/curry
  • LACTOSE INTOLERANT – replaces butter

See Meaning of *Non-Hydrogenated below.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is enjoying a resurgence – it was a popular oil in Australia prior to the Second World War, when supply of it became limited.  The oil is extracted from the flesh of mature coconuts and proves an extremely stable oil – it can be stored up to two years. Its very high smoking point meaning it won’t break down when you use it to cook curries and stir fries.

It’s tasty and for the lactose intolerant who like their cakes, muffins and biscuits, its an easy substitute for butter.  It can also replace butter and cream in pastry, and scones and in icings.  Mixed in a frosting together with icing sugar and coconut milk it makes for a decadent topping on a dairy free cake.  For flavourings use lemon zest, or orange zest, and cocoa powder. Coconut oil’s naturally sweet and its slight nuttiness adds to the depth of flavour in baking.

As it does not break down at high temperatures it can be used to bake vegetables at 220 degrees celsius. A small amount (a tablespoon) is fabulous in a baking dish with a couple of medium potatoes, a sweet potato, 3-4 beetroot, chopped pumpkin and tofu – rendering them crispy skinned and seriously yum.

Stirfry with coconut oil

Stirfry with coconut oil

Simply do a Stirfry vegetables with Tofu using the coconut oil as your start point. Use Organic Non-hydrongenated coconut oil.

Add a tablespoon of Spice Peddler’s Tuscan, Jamacian Jerk, or Samba Seasoning to the oil and vegetables beforehand for a flavour hit.  Coconut is also excellent oil in which to fry up your Thai or Indian curry base or to use in a Thai, Vietnamese or Chinese stir fry.

 

Health Benefits

There are a number of health benefits ascribed to coconut oil – they include:

  • improved heart health
  • a better immune system
  • younger looking skin
  • improved digestion
  • more stable blood sugar
  • reduced sugar cravings.

Discussions & Studies

Some of these are examined by former Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Mike Foale in his fascinating Ockham’s Razor discussion with Robyn Williams on Radio National.

Pilot studies are being undertaken to look into the benefits of coconut oil on early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Other uses

The oil has antimicrobial properties and operates as an antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-yeast agent and can be used in small quantities as a leave in hair conditioner and de-frizzer, make up remover and skin moisturiser.

It’s important to note that some of these health benefits are scientifically unproven at this stage and all of them relate to 100% pure virgin coconut oil, not partially hydrogenated coconut oil, which contains unhealthy trans-fats.

Like all oils, coconut oil’s a fat and should be eaten in moderation.  (A tablespoon contains at least 8 calories.) So although coconut oil is high in saturated fats, these are the medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which are now thought to be beneficial, as opposed to trans-saturated fats, which carry risks of heart disease and high cholesterol.  It also changes it’s appearance in warm Sydney weather transforming from a cold weather solid to a warm weather liquid.

* Hydrogenation is the process of adding hydrogen to a fat. This stabilizes it and gives it a longer shelf life but adds nasty trans fat. So this coconut oil at Harvest Hub does not have the Hydrogenation.

 

 

 

Psyllium husks: Beautiful on the Inside

Psyllium husks: Beautiful on the Inside

Psyllium husks are one of the best sources of soluble dietary fibre we can eat.

Let’s compare it to oat bran:

100 grams of oat bran = 5 grams of soluble fibre
100 grams of psyllium = more than 70 grams of soluble fibre

Why is it good for us?  Dietary fibre helps prevent diseases like bowl cancer.
People with a regular intake of dietary fibre are leaner and have a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

What’s in them?
The psyllium husks are full of soluble fibre, have no calories, zero energy, and gluten-free.

How does it work? The soluble part of soluble fibre means that psyllium attracts water in the intestine and slows digestion, helping us feel ‘full’ for longer, reducing sugar and cholesterol absorption.

How to eat it?
The husks should be mixed with liquid or they can become a choking hazard.  You can stir a tablespoon or two into your breakfast cereal milk, or drink stirred into a glass of water or juice, or through a bowl of yogurt.  They’re a beaut addition to a smoothie.

Gluten free diet  –  add to breads: reducing crumbling through their absorption of water in baking.

Harvest Hub has Psyllium Husks in 500g bags in the Cereal & Seed section.

Psyllium Husks in a Blueberry Banana Smoothie
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup chilled milk: soy, regular Country Valley or coconut milk all work well
  • 1 banana
  • 1 punnet of blueberries
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 5-10 ice cubes
  • 1½ tbs of psyllium husks
Instructions
  1. Put in a blender and blitz.
  2. Add honey to sweeten although a ripe banana can be sweetness enough.

 

A Voluntary Code of Practice for Supermarkets?

You might have read or heard about The Australian Food and Grocery Council A Voluntary Code of Practice for Supermarkets. So why the kerfuffle?

Well, it was instigated due to investigations by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) into the manipulative power of supermarkets and have stated that if proves ineffective then they will push for mandatory regulation.

“A Voluntary Code of Practice for Supermarkets? The Code seeks to regulate supply terms and practices between major retailers and grocery suppliers. The Code is intended to lead to greater transparency and certainty for grocery suppliers in relation to supply terms and to provide an improved dispute resolution process to resolve disputes.”

Is the term ‘voluntary code of practice’ as oxymoronic as baggy tights, post-Apocalyptic, or Microsoft English?

The short answer is: self-regulation has a spotted history and is dependent on many things including workplace culture.  Just think of media ethics and self-regulation in radio.  There are a number of fiasco’s that come to mind including Karl Sandilands’ gaffs, or about John Laws coming clean about what sponsorship means for his public pronouncements.

At the moment consumers and suppliers are being dictated to by the duopoly that is Coles and Woolworths.  At least half the fresh food is Australia is supplied by these supermarkets and they’ve have 80% of the grocery market.

For the consumer this means we pay higher prices than the UK for example where four large supermarkets have between them 65% of the grocery market.

For suppliers we hope some things might improve. To date the milk wars have damaged our dairy industry.

At the Country Valley Dairy

At the Country Valley Dairy

The most successful dairy farmers are those who supply  a niche market and are able to process their own milk.  Harvest Hub’s Country Valley is an example of this.

Strange though as there is already a Produce and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct and both supermarkets are on the committee but no change forthcoming on this committee. Why another code? Is it a PR stunt?

As Matt Levey posted on Choice site “Hands up if you want cheap milk? Actually, let’s try rephrasing that – hands up if you want to rip off farmers?”

On a large scale the duopoly supermarkets have been able to issue ultimatums to suppliers and growers.  ABC news reported Simplot, the vegetable processing company, for example, has been put on notice by the supermarkets to match significantly reduced prices of China and New Zealand.

In more recent reporting Simplot is all in favor of a fairer system that might arise out of a voluntary code of practice. The Supermarkets can choose to or not to do anything with the code.

Like Nick Xenophon, the independent senator  the code is a good move but we’re worried, as many consumers, growers and suppliers are that it lacks bite.  There are no financial penalties for breaching the code.

The supermarket will voluntarily say that they will not change contracts midstream. How can you do that anyway? Why do they need a voluntary code of practice for that when we would have thought that it shouldn’t be happening anyway? And …not retrospectively change terms of the contract?

Were you also aware that the suppliers were charged for anything stolen from the shelves? An archaic presumption?

Simply removing some outrageous practices, we believe, does not make a Voluntary Code of practice reasonable.

Many believe the hype of what they see and hear on this Code of Practice but don’t question it? Or don’t fully understand the depth of the meaning of the Voluntary Code. The real issue and what is worrying is that it further reduces diversity and that is bad news. Suppliers are being turned into Home Brand suppliers and packers, losing their own branding and so it further seems to be replicating the Wall Mart effect.

Paella – Bush Tucker at it’s best

Paella – Poem and recipes

Paella Man with Bush Tucker

Paella – Bush Tucker at it’s best
by Jayne Travers-Drapes

There once was a fella
Out bush who liked Paella
“Bush Tucker at its best,”
He hollered at his guest.

A kookaburra  branch on high
Who scoffed then laughed a sigh.
Was he an Aussie? Bush Tucker? Not quite
So he’d let him know – set him right.

“Paella it’s Spanish, even I know,”
Cacked Kooka but the man, though
Knew too well that he would cook
Up a storm of Paella  – whatever it took.

So with pan asizzle with beans
Adding variety of tomato and greens
Then onion, garlic, saffron or turmeric
His herb basket swayed –  t’was atmospheric.

Paella Bush Tucker with beef or emu,
Barramundi, mushrooms, almost a stew.
Whack in some Macadamias then add rice
Let it dissolve, mmm and smell the spice.

This fella’s Bush Tucker Paella – great dish
Was more than he could even wish.
So, here are some recipes, maybe two
He wants to share –  just with you.

Kooka cries, “Pah/EH/yah  pah/EH/yah
Great with a little te – quil – a
Paella – smells the best
Maybe I’ll eat the rest”.

[ How to pronounce Paella.]

Vegetarian Paella
 
Recipe type: Paella
Cuisine: Spanish/Australian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 pinch each turmeric to colour the rice
  • 1 chilli, chopped, optional
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 cup Aborio or medium grain rice
  • ½ cup white or red wine
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 300ml vegetable stock, or water but pre-heat
  • Vegetables such as marinated artichokes/green beans/asparagus or bean of your choice
  • If you wish some meat try the Chorizo sausage
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Use a wide pan and only have ingredients thinly spread about 3 to 4cm. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, turmeric and chilli, taste and add salt and pepper and stir for 5 minute. Add the paprika and lemon zest , the rice, the wine, tomatoes and hot stock, stirring to combine.
  2. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Cover and Reduce heat simmering 8 minutes until rice is just cooked. Then add vegetables combine softly. Continue cooking covered for another 8 minutes. To serve leave in pan and garnish with parsley.

 

English: A variety of seafood to which rice wi...

A variety of seafood to which rice will be added to make Paella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Paella Seafood
 
Eating Paella is the time to sit together as a family or with friends. This is the meal that many a discussion about flavour, where the seafood came from and where in the world you would eat this great dish. Maybe a bit of Flamenco dancing.
Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: Spanish and Bush Tucker
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 pieces of fish such as Barramundi or white fish fillets, shop into pieces
  • 8 scallops
  • 8 large prawns
  • 10 mussels, de bearded
  • 2 tbs Absolute Tomato Puree (Harvest Hub on special)
  • 80g parmesan cheese (Harvest Hub)
  • 2 shallots, chopped into 4 cm pieces
  • 60g butter
  • 1 lemon zest, grated (keep lemon juice)
  • 300g of Arborio or medium grain rice
  • 20g Paprika, smoky
  • 1 tbs tumeric
  • 1 litre fish stock
  • 50ml white wine
  • 15ml olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Use as wide a saucepan as possible and put in only an amount 5cm high. Use two pans if necessary. This distributes the heat and prevents it from burning. Though your aim is to get a crust on the bottom of the Paella.
  2. In the pan heat butter and olive oil adding shallots and paprika on low heat; then add rice to the pan cooking until translucent around 12 minutes. Then add the white wine, tomato puree, then the fish stock and cook slowly. Taste for adding any salt.
  3. On a separate BBQ plate add a little oil then cook snapper and prawns or if you have a Weber as this makes the seafood smoky flavoured. Only cook 2 thirds as it will continue to cook once off stove.
  4. Now add the seafood to the rice adding lemon zest and juice. Lightly turn without disturbing the crusty base.
  5. To serve - grated parmesan cheese over top and leave in pan.

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Bruno at Pendle Hill Meat Wholesalers

Pendle Hill Meat Wholesalers started out as a small goods company 40 years ago curing hams and then branched out into meat. They supply to clubs, restaurants and now to Harvest Hub. It’s restaurant quality meat – no old cows here. ” We grow it on our own farm and it comes straightaway to the shop'” –  butcher Scott Lee.

This week we feature a range of Specials in the bag including premium mince and chuck steak. We thought you might like to try something different and add the Spice Peddler Spice mixes to the meats. Here are some recipes.

Moroccan Maghreb Meatballs and Balinese Curry – Spice Peddler ‘Balinese Spice Rub’.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Moroccan Maghreb Meatballs
 
Meatballs with a Garlic sauce to rush for. Get the kids cooking. What's in the Maghreb spice? Green Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander, Mace, Cinnamon, Pink Peppercorns, Black Pepper, Allspice, Green Peppercorns, Cloves, Nutmeg, Paprika, Ginger, Orange, Cayenne Pepper, Turmeric, Saffron, Rose Petals.
Author:
Cuisine: Moroccan
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 500gm premium mince (Purchase from Harvest Hub)
  • 1 tbs Maghreb Spice mix – Spice Peddler
  • To taste if needed salt & black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix ground beef with seasonings. Knead the mince to evenly disperse the seasonings. Then make meatballs and in a frypan with oil sauté for about 10 minutes turning them. To present these you can pop them on a skewer.
Notes
Serve with -
Maghreb Garlic Sauce
Makes 1 & ½ cups:

• ⅓ cup olive oil
• ⅓ cup vegetable oil
• ⅓ cup lemon juice
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• ⅓ cup cooked potato, mashed
• 1 tsp Maghreb spice
• pinch salt

In a hand processor bowl place garlic, oil and lemon juice adding mashed potato spoonful at a time. Puree. Again adding pinch by pinch the Maghreb spice and tasting as you do this.

 
5.0 from 1 reviews
Balinese Curry – Spice Peddler ‘Balinese Spice Rub’
 
Travel to Bali without leaving home this week. Take the kids and dress up in holiday gear for dinner. Balinese Spice Rub what's in it? White peppercorns, Black Peppercorns, Nutmeg, Lemongrass, Garlic, Sugar, Turmeric, Sesame, Onion, Chilli, Sea Salt, Galangal, Ginger, Mace.
Author:
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Balinese
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 500g Diced Chuck (Harvest Hub), braise
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbs ketchup manis (Indonesian Sweet soy sauce)
  • 1-2 tbs Balinese Spice Rub
Instructions
  1. Heat a heavy based pan with some olive oil and brown in batches the chuck then set aside in a bowl. Clean the pan then reheat on low adding olive oil adding a tablespoonof Balinese spice and fry for 5 to 7 minutes to release the flavour. Add in the browned meat with beef stock, coconut milk and ketchup manis.
  2. Simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender. Keep an eye on it and top up with liquid if required.
  3. To make vegetarian simply add vegetables instead of meat.
Notes
These are fresh Herbs, dried, mixed then crushed lovingly by Mercy and Steve from 'Spice Peddlers'.

 

 

 

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The story of Curry Masters

Suresh Singh of Curry Masters

Suresh Singh of Curry Masters

This is a classic tale from restaurant chef to manufacturing mogul: back in the early nineties, Suresh Singh (“friends just call me Singh”) had an Indian restaurant in Lane Cove ‘Nizam’s. When customers kept asking for recipes, he eventually decided to make and sell his own curry mixes. In 1993, he sold the restaurant to dedicate himself full-time to the Curry Masters business.

He now has an incredible range of more than 40 curry mixes and chutneys – and we are ranging 7 of the most popular ones.

There is a general notion that the more effort required, the better the result. That certainly applies to Prickly Pears: lot of risk getting stung, have to peel pretty carefully – but when you finally start eating, you realise it was worth your while.

The opposite is true for Curry Masters: these would have to be the easiest curries you’d ever make, and at the same time they produce restaurant-quality meals.  The Butter Chicken in particular is as good as, if not better, than what you’d get in a good Indian restaurant.

One of our younger 13 year old Harvest Hub members who cooks, Jaz, is a bit of a self-confessed Butter Chicken advocate and tells us, “Only one local Indian restaurant makes good Butter Chicken but Curry Masters is better and I can make it really easily.”

The range includes Butter Chicken (coloured & non-coloured), Rogan Josh, Fish Goa, Tandoori Masala, Lamb Korma, Biryani Masala, Mixed Vegetable and Vindaloo.

Click here to look at how to make the Mixed Vegetable dish. You won’t believe how easy it is.

 

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Introducing Bowan Island Bakery

We’re really excited to introduce you to Bowan Island Bakery our new bread supplier.

They might be new to Harvest Hub but Bowan Island certainly isn’€™t new to making bread. In fact they are Sydney’€™s oldest Sourdough Bakery and have been tantalising Sydney’€™s taste buds for more than 17 years – so they definitely know their stuff!

Australian owned and run, Bowan Island uses organic wholegrains to hand-craft their delicious slow-baked bread. As well as baking daily, Bowan Island now have three cafes around Sydney that showcase their goodies.

Here at Harvest Hub we are all about flavour and we try ALL our produce before we add it to our range. We were blown away by the taste and texture of Bowan Island’€™s bread and very excited to be able to bring that bread to you.

You don’€™t have to take our word for it that Bowan Island makes some of the best sourdough in Sydney. They are:

  • Regularly ranked in the Top 5 Bakeries in the Sydney Morning Herald People’€™s Choice Awards.
  • Regular winners of the Inner West Business Awards.
  • Regular winners of the True Local Inner West Award.
  • Ranked in Terry Durack’€™s Top 5 sourdoughs in Sydney.

You don’€™t have to believe the awards either… One taste of Bowan Island’€™s delicious bread will have you begging for more.

Bowan Island Bruscetta

Take a thick slice of Bowan Island sourdough and lightly toast both sides.

Add a scrape of silverbeet pesto.

Top with a sprinkle of Harvest Hub parmesan.

Toast put under the grill to melt the cheese, or eat fresh.

Pour yourself a glass of white wine. Sit back and enjoy!