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Our Pick of Melbourne's Best Organic Food Stores for National Organic Week

9-15 September 2019 marks National Organic Week - supporting sustainability and increasing awareness of the benefits of organic products. Buying organic helps to reduce your exposure to unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals in your food, household and beauty products - allowing you to support the health of your family.

“As consumers, you want food you can recognise and trust. Buying organic products supports food safety, health, good nutrition and the environment. Products that carry the logo of an accredited organic certification body are guaranteed to be genuine organic.” - Costa Georgiadis, Ambassador - National Organic Week.

Here in Melbourne, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to having easy access to a variety of organic food stores, organic beauty products and farmers markets carrying a wide range of organic produce.

So, how do you know if the food you’re purchasing is organic? Keep an eye out for one of the Australian Certified Organic logos, or if you are at your local farmers market simply have a chat to the farmer. Organic products are GMO free and also free from any harmful additives.

Why not go organic for National Organic Week?! Check out our pick of the best organic goods stores in Melbourne here! To learn more about National Organic Week visit organicweek.net.au

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Vegan Cooking for Families Class - Unwrapped Pantry

Unwrapped Pantry will host a fun-filled and inspiring ‘Vegan Cooking for Families’ cooking class in Belgrave on Saturday 10 August (2019). The cooking class will be full of ideas on how to incorporate more plant based meals into meal time with your family - with a focus on simple yet delicious options that your little ones are sure to devour with joy. Tickets are strictly limited - so get in fast!

The Details:

When: Saturday 10 August 2019 (3PM - 5PM)

Where: Unwrapped Pantry - 164 Colby Drive, Belgrave South VIC

Cost: $22.92

Tickets: Via EventBrite

 
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Cafe of the Month - Lisica Cafe

The Western Suburbs’ new vegan cafe, Lisica, certainly hits the mark! This fully vegan cafe offers friendly service and delicious dishes - the chocolate pancakes are sure to be a hit with the fam! What vegan cafe is complete without Buddha Bowls and smoothies on the menu too! A must visit if you’re in the area. 

The Details 

Where: Shop 6&7/45 Edgewater Boulevard, Maribrynong VIC

Hours:* 

Wednesday: 8AM - 6PM

Thursday - Sunday: 8AM - 7PM

Monday & Tuesday: Closed  

*Hours subject to change, please visit Lisica Cafe website for up to date opening hours. 

Playgrounds nearby:  

  • Footscray Park: 40 Maribrynong Blvd, Footscray

  • Black Sapphire Pirate Ship Playground: 122 The Blvd, Aberfeldie

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Australia’s first ever Free From Show and Allergy Show (2019)!

Exciting news! On 12 – 14 July 2019, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) will play host to the two events, designed to empower and educate those avoiding particular foods, allergens or substances due to choice or necessity - Australia’s first ever ‘Free From’ Show and Allergy Show.

With 4 million Australians living with an allergic disease, and more and more people cutting out meat, gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, parabens, fructose, sugar, egg, soy, GMO and cruelty, the demand for an event catering to allergies and food intolerances has never been stronger. - Australian ‘Free From’ and Allergy Show

The shows are co-located, so one ticket with provide you with access to both events. The Allergy Show is the chance to hear from leading experts in a dedicated forum and speak one-on-one with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia health educators. Topics covered in the Allergy Learning Centre include Challenges of current food labelling,hosted by A&AA CEO Maria Said, Infant feeding resources by National Allergy Strategy Coordinator Sandra Vale, and Thunderstorm Asthma by Asthma Australia. The Allergy Show is proudly supported by peak consumer support organisation Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA), as well as industry leaders Asthma Australia and The Eczema Association of Australasia Inc. 

The ‘Free From’ Show will cater to those with dietary needs and exclusion lifestyles spanning gluten, dairy, peanut, tree nut, parabens, fructose, sugar, egg, soy, GMO and even cruelty. There will also be a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly brands and education, as well as FODMAP friendly foods.

Visitors will enjoy samples of Twobays Brewing Co.’s famous gluten-free beer; cult classic Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Flavours; a gluten free Asian Hawker-style zone from New Chinese Garden and a range of skin-sensitive beauty products. The robust list of confirmed exhibitors includes: Orgran Health & Nutrition, Rebel Kitchen, Schar, New Chinese Garden, Tumerix, YUM. Gluten Free, Weis, Organic Formulations, Nestle Health Science and JellyFish Mattress.

Check out the Allergy Show and ‘Free From’ Show websites for more details!

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Immune Boosting Vegan Winter Stew

With winter on our doorstep, it’s time to bring out the nourishing and hearty stews and soups to keep us full and warm. One of our go-to’s during winter is this immune boosting vegan winter stew - it is easy to make, with leftovers for the next day too!

In the pantry you’ll need:

  • Vegetable Stock (1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 3 Garlic cloves (crushed)

  • 1 large brown Onion (roughly chopped)

  • 1/2 cup Passata Ristica Crushed Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Can Organic Brown Lentils (rinsed well and drained)

  • 1 Can Organic Cannellini Beans (rinsed well and drained)

  • 1 Cauliflower (divided into smaller florets)

  • 4 large Carrots (peeled and roughly chopped into smaller pieces)

  • 2 large zucchinis (roughly diced)

  • 1 cup cooked Peas

  • 1 small Sweet Potato (peeled and diced)

  • 2 Dutch Cream Potatoes (peeled and diced)

  • 2 large sticks of Celery (roughly chopped)

  • 1 generous handful of washed Baby Spinach (to serve)

  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Now, to cook your delicious stew…

  1. Make up your half a cup of your vegetable stock according to packet directions.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius, peel and dice your sweet potato, dutch potatoes and your carrots. On a large lined baking tray place your diced sweet potato, diced carrot, diced dutch cream potatoes and cauliflower florets. Place in the oven to roast for around 30 minutes (or until slightly soft).

  3. In a large saucepan, brown up your roughly chopped onion. Add three crushed garlic gloves, chopped celery, cooked peas, passata tomato sauce, beans and lentils. Stir until warmed, then add to the saucepan your vegetable stock, tumeric and your roasted veg from the oven. Bring to a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce thickens, stiring to combine ingredients well with sauce.

  4. Place portions of your stew in large serving bowls along with some brown rice, topping with washed baby spinach and season with salt and pepper if desired. If you have leftovers, they do very well paired with some pasta the next day!

Bon Appétit!

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Cafe of the Month - Little Wattlebird Cafe

Blackburn’s newest cafe addition, Little Wattlebird Cafe is well worth a visit! With plenty of delicious vegetarian options on the menu, including a gorgeous mermaid smoothie bowl, it is sure to be your new favourite local! 

The Details 

Where: 1/20 Blackburn Road, Blackburn

Hours*: 

Monday - Saturday: 8AM - 4PM

Sunday: 8AM - 3PM

*hours subject to change, please visit https://m.facebook.com/littlewattlebirdcafe/ for up to date details.  

Playgrounds nearby:  

• Morton Park Playground - 28/30 Central Road, Blackburn

• Blackburn Lake Sanctuary Playspace - 103 Central Road, Blackburn

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Food Allergy Week (2019)

Next week (26 May - 1 June) is Food Allergy Week. With the tag line, Be Aware, Show You Care we thought it was a great time to spread awareness about food allergy - including potentially deadly food allergies.

Did you know that one in 10 babies born in Australia today will develop some sort of food allergy?  

If you suspect your little one may have an allergy it is important to see a qualified professional (such as a GP, Pediatrician or Specialist Allergist), who can make the diagnosis. 

Would you know what to do if your loved one had an allergic reaction? This video from Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia helps to understand the signs and symptoms, and how to best respond. 

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia also share some great tips on managing food allergies:

  • Avoiding the food trigger(s) is key - if you know there is a particular allergy stay away from this food.

  • Always read the label: recipes can change without warning and seemingly harmful products can contain allergens (we learnt this one the hard way...)

  • Be mindful of hidden ingredients (for example: mayonnaise, gelato and homemade ice cream = egg, rissoles = tree nuts, curries such as massaman curry = peanuts, some chocolate sauces = hazelnuts, etc).

  • Be aware of cross-contamination: don’t share utensils, cooking areas or come in contact with children (or adults!) if you’ve been eating their allergen...in this case a kiss from Grandma could have dire consequences!

  • Disclose allergies when eating out and check the menu carefully - if unsure, ask!

Some of our favourite allergy-friendly and kid-friendly recipes and cafes are below.

Our Favourite Allergy-Friendly Recipes: 

Best 10 Allergy-Friendly Cafes in Melbourne (and surrounds):

Visit Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia for more information on allergies and allergy management. Enjoy your allergy-friendly food!! Bon Appétit!

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Market Spotlight: Big Vegan Market

It’s nearly time for the Melbourne’s Big Vegan Market! Held Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, this market offers a massive range of vegan fashion wears, vegan foods, vegan beauty products and organic goods. It’s a great day out for conscious consumers, people curious about the vegan lifestyle and those who just love good food! 

The Details: 

When: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May 2019

Time: 10AM - 6PM Each Day

Where: Royal Exhibition Building - 9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, VIC

More Info: Only $2 Entry (and under 12’s are FREE!)

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