Thanks for stopping by my blog. Here’s a little bit about me, and why I started on my ‘quirky cooking’ journey.

My mum taught me to cook from a very young age, using basic, fresh ingredients, and cooking ‘from scratch’.  I developed an interest in healthy eating as I grew up, and when I got married and we started our own family, I worked hard to cook wholesome, delicious meals.

I studied up on healthy foods. I ground my own grains, baked my own breads, cakes and biscuits, cooked with fresh fruit and veges, and tried to avoid junk food. But despite my efforts to keep us all healthy, I was constantly fighting exhaustion, headaches, recurring colds, tummy upsets, low blood pressure, and low weight problems. My children also began to have health issues, and it all seemed to point to food reactions and gut issues.

With the help of a naturopath, I worked out which foods were causing the problems, and learnt to replace them with alternatives that our bodies were more easily able to cope with. We began to eat a more wholefood diet, cutting out dairy, wheat, sugar, and over-processed and refined foods as much as possible. We were also more careful to avoid additives, colours and preservatives, and tried to buy mostly organic or pesticide free.

Cooking for food intolerances with four young children is a lot of work, so I was very excited when I first saw a Thermomix in 2003! I knew it would save me a lot of time and money. I bought my first Thermomix in August, 2004, and very soon found I couldn’t do without it.        

I used it for:

–          grinding grains and making wheat free, gluten free and grain free breads;

–          making dairy free milks, creams and custards;

–          whizzing up juices and fresh fruit ice-creams and sorbets;

–          baking cakes and desserts with wholesome ingredients and natural sweeteners;

–          making nut butters, sauces and spreads from natural ingredients, without additives;

–          and for quick, healthy meals.

This is why I use the Thermomix* a lot in my recipes, although I often provide non-Thermomix versions also.

Changing to a gut-friendly diet built on wholefoods and fresh ingredients has made a major difference to our family’s health. After eating this way for a couple of years, I decided I really wanted to help others learn to cook healthy food for their families. Many people I talked to were struggling with allergies, intolerances and health issues, and they found the idea of changing their diet overwhelming. Or they thought healthy food was bland and boring. As a busy, homeschooling mum, I couldn’t go and study to become a naturopath or nutritionist, and help people that way (which I would have loved to do), so in 2008 I decided to start a blog to share my recipes, tips and meal plans with others. I wanted to encourage people to get creative with their cooking, using wholesome ingredients to make delicious food that would suit their family’s needs.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Food intolerances and allergies don’t have to make life difficult. My hope is that ‘Quirky Cooking’ will help to open people’s eyes to the possibility of wholesome food that tastes great, is easy and fun to make, and meets the needs of those with diet challenges.

(See this post for more details about how our family eats, and why: The Way I Eat)

I hope you enjoy the recipes I’ve developed for my family, and that my blog will be an encouragement to you in your journey to good health. As you join in our quirky cooking community, please feel free to share photos of what you’ve been cooking – we’d love to see them! You can email me a photo or share it on my Facebook page, with the understanding that I may share it with my readers (always with thanks to the sender). When sharing photos on FB, Instagram or Twitter, you can tag my recipes #quirkycooking, and recipes from my cookbook #quirkycookbook so that everyone can see them. (Facebook photos need to be set to public if you’d like to share with everyone.)

You’re also welcome to join in the conversations over at the Quirky Cooking Chat Group. This is a closed group dedicated to sharing our tips and advice for healthy eating with one another in a non-judgemental, friendly environment. It’s a great place to ask your food and cooking questions, and I pop in to have a chat each day as well.

All the best in your healthy eating journey,

Happy cooking,

Jo Whitton.

* “Thermomix ® ” is a registered trade mark of Vorwerk International AG (Vorwerk) in Australia & New Zealand and Thermomix ® in Australia Pty Ltd (Thermomix ® in Australia) is its authorised user and exclusive distributor in Australia and New Zealand of Thermomix ® products. Neither company supports, authorises or endorses this site”.

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