Category Archives: Articles

Plastic Baby Bottles – Why risk it

BPA Free ‘ECO Friendly’ plastic products are often packaged in such as way as to feel like a very “green” or “healthy” choice – usually with the aid of brown cardboard packaging and green lettering, when in fact, nothing about them is particularly eco-friendly or healthy.

So why take the risk of feeding your baby from a plastic bottle which may be leeching chemicals into their milk?

The good news is you no longer have to!

For some time glass baby bottles were pretty hard to come by but we have tracked down a supplier of the highest quality, thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass bottles which come with a silicone teat and outer glass protector, providing a grip for little hands and protection against the occasional drop.

Glass bottles are great from the point of view that there are no chemicals that can leech out of them into your baby’s milk. Glass bottles became unpopular due to their breakability. With the addition of toughened glass and a latex outer protector they are much more durable but broken glass is still a risk.

Many plastics, including BPA-free plastics, contain other chemical plasticizers, which are added to make the containers more flexible. Unfortunately, many plasticizers are also endocrine disruptors similar to BPA, which means that they could cause many of the same health issues. According to Carl Baum, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine and the Director of the Center for Children’s Environmental Toxicology, some plasticizers may be even be more dangerous for our children than BPA.

Mountain Creek Wholefoods stock a range of natural products for small people including bottles, baby wipes, nappies and nappy cream

Quinoa – Red, White or Black ?

Quinoa is a seed, which is usually used as a gluten-free grain.  It comes in different colours, or a mix of colours (known as Andean mix).  The difference in the use and taste of the different colours is as follows:

White –soft texture, buttery taste; excellent base for sweet or savoury flavours; absorbs the flavour of  companion foods

Red – more texture than white; earthy, nutty aromas; good base for stuffings or salads; goes well with onion, garlic, vegetables, nuts

Black–  more texture again; earthy flavour; pairs well with vegetables and/or other quinoa varieties

A beginner’s guide to Shoyu/Tamari selection

Shoyu and Tamari in the Making:

Soy sauce arrived in Japan from China around the 8th century A.D. where the same traditional fermentation methods were used until the 1930’s when the modern approach of using caramel, sugar, and flavour enhancers was introduced. In health food shops such as Mountain Creek only traditionally made shoyu and tamari are sold.

There are 7 basic steps in the making of Shoyu:

1. Whole soyabeans are soaked in water.

2. Cracked whole wheat is added to the beans.

3. The culture is then added (seed koji)

4. The mixture is placed in a temperature controlled chamber and left for two days

5. The matured koji is put in fermentation tanks with salt and water.

6. It is then pressed to yield the raw soy sauce.

7. The raw shoyu is then pasteurized to produce the finished product.

Tamari is made in the same way as shoyu except that it contains no wheat. It is made solely from soybeans, water and sea salt.

Which should you use?

Tamari can be described as having a soft and rich aroma with a smooth well balanced taste. Shoyu has a sharper slightly bitter taste (from the wheat) with a more “alcoholic” note.

Tamari retains it’s full flavour after cooking. On the other hand, shoyu, because it is brewed with wheat, contains more aromatic flavour notes in the form of alcohols and esters that flash off under high temperatures.

Tamari has 37% more organic protein than ordinary shoyu.

We carry the following brands: lotus (made in USA), Spiral (made in Japan), Pureharvest (made in China). While all are made organically, Spiral is made by aging in wooden vats, while Lotus and Pureharvest are prepared in stainless steel vats.

Screaming Seeds

Screaming Seeds spice blends are pure and natural with no artificial fillers, flavour enhancers, preservatives or anti caking agents, with no wheat, rice or soy fillers, and no added MSG. The spice blends are proudly handmade in Australia, from locally grown and imported spices. Screaming Seeds are gluten and nut free, and are perfect for any style of cooking. All the spice blends are excellent for cooking with chicken, fish, lamb, tofu, seafood, beef, stirfries, rice, noodles, vegetables and marinades. We stock an extensive range of the Screaming Seeds spice blends and seasonings, ranging from mild to hot. The range are conveniently “ready to add” to your cooking, and quick and easy recipes are included for your benefit.

We stock the following spice blends: Desert Cajun Rub, Bengal 5 Spice, Outback Blend, Caribbean Chilli, Marrakesh Magic, Southern Cajun, Smokey Tomatina, Paella Mix, Kashmiri Krush, Mediterranean Mix, Garam Masala, Moonlight Dreaming, Dukkah and Piri Piri.

A Simple Guide to Protein Powders

Whey Protein is a derivative of the cheese making process.  The curd, or protein known as casein, is separated out and used for cheese while the remaining portion of the milk – the whey – is filtered and dried to form a powder. Whey protein is mild to slightly milky in taste.

Concentrates: Typically have a low (but still significant) level of fat and cholesterol but, in general, have higher levels of bioactive compounds, and carbohydrates in the form of lactose. They are 29%-89% protein by weight.

Isolates: Processed further than concentrates to remove the fat and lactose but are usually lower in bioactivated compounds. They are 90% + protein by weight.

Soy Protein is a protein that is isolated from soybeans. It is made from dehulled, defatted soybean meal.

Concentrate: Soy protein concentrate generally contains around 65% protein. To produce soy protein concentrate, the majority of fat is first removed from the soybeans to create a de-fatted soy meal.  Then the majority of the non-protein, water-soluble compounds are removed as well.  The end result is a powder that contains protein, as well as some of the original carbohydrate content, from the soybeans. Because soy protein concentrate contains a fair amount of the original carbohydrate content of the soybeans, it retains the soybean flavour to some extent.

Isolate: Soy protein isolate contains at least 90% protein.  Soy protein isolate is refined further than the concentrate to remove the carbohydrate content and is almost entirely pure soy protein.  Soy protein isolate has a more neutral flavour than the concentrate.

Pea Protein is a relatively new form of protein powder which is valued for its high digestibility (90-95%) and low potential for allergic responses.  Pea protein is an animal-free supplement made from extracting the soluble pea protein from yellow split peas and contains around 80-90% protein.  Pea protein is often combined with rice protein because pea protein is low in the amino acids cysteine and methionine but high in lysine while rice protein is low in lysine but high in cysteine and methionine.  When combined, these two proteins offer superior amino acid profile that is comparable to dairy or egg proteins.  Pea protein has a light, flurry texture and slightly sweet taste which mixes well in solution.  Pea protein powder, unlike other protein powders, can be mixed with a small amount of water and formed into a semi-solid mixture which can be used as a jam or spread.

Rice Protein is a vegetarian protein that, for some, is more easily digestible than whey protein.  It contains around 80% protein.  Rice protein has a more distinct taste than more other forms of protein powder.  It is commonly mixed with pea protein powder because while it is high in the sulphur-containing amino acids, cysteine and methionine, it is low in lysine while pea protein is low in cysteine and methionine but high in lysine.  The combination of rice and pea protein offer a superior amino acid profile that is comparable to dairy or egg proteins, but without the potential for allergies or intestinal issues that some users experience.

Carob Protein is a raw food protein derived from carob seed and has a similar amino acid profile to soy protein with 54% protein.  It is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre and has a nutty flavour.

Egg White Protein contains 80% protein.  Its neutral flavour lends itself to be used in a variety of ways, either as a substitute of liquid eggs, blended in a smoothie, or whenever egg whites are required in a recipe.

What Is Carob?

Carob is a small to medium sized, long-lived evergreen tree with dense foliage.  The fruit is a dark brown flattened pod.  It contains a sweet, chocolate tasting pulp and several bean-like seeds.  The carob tree originates in the Mediterranean and is a member of the Legume (Pea) family.  It is caffeine-free, rich in phosphorus and calcium, high in protein, and low in fat.  Spaniards carried carob to Mexico and South America, and the British took carob to South Africa, India, and Australia.  Carob is now grown commercially in South Australia and the trees grow in Cowra, NSW so much so that they even have a road named for them, Carob Bean Ave.

The pods are edible and are often used for livestock feed.  The pod contains up to 15 seeds which are surrounded by a pulp.  The seeds, which are remarkably uniform in size and weight, are thought to have been the original standard carat weight used by jewellers and goldsmiths.

Unlike chocolate, which requires sugar to make it palatable, carob has a natural sweetness which allows it to be used sugar free.  This natural sweetness is one of the things that attract livestock. Carob pods are typically dried or roasted and mildly sweet.  In powdered, chip, or syrup form it is used as an ingredient in cakes and sweets and is used as a substitute for chocolate.  Carob is free of the allergenic and addictive effects of caffeine and theobromine present in cocoa.  It also contains less fat and more sugar than cocoa.

Mountain Creek carries a wide range of carob products. In addition to our bulk carob range (see Bulk Items page) we supply carob buckwheat crispbread, carob coated rice cakes, carob coated licorice logs, carob coated marshmallows, and kibbled carob pods. We also stock carob powder, which can be used as a one-for-one cocoa substitute, and carob syrup.  Carob Syrup pairs well with pears, figs, bananas, apples and red berry fruits.  It can be used in milk for a hot or cold drink or over ice cream and yoghurt.  Add rich carob syrup to marinades, sauces and dressings.

carob-pods-150x150 carob-tree

Chocolate

We now have two new exciting ranges of chocolate  products in store.  Blanxart chocolate’s quality comes from a high standard of raw materials, and the roasting of the finest cocoa beans from Ghana, Congo, Guayaquil and the Dominican Republic.  We stock a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours of these quality treats.

blanxart-chocolates-300x225 -files-image-product-381-1-216-242-FFFFFF

Coconut Milk

We now have organic coconut milk in store called Coco Quench.  Being cholesterol-free, lactose-free, gluten-free and with no added sugar, this milk includes the health benefits of coconuts and is also deliciously refreshing.  Coco Quench is an excellent drink for young children, a great alternative for recipes which don’t require the full richness of straight coconut milk, and is a healthy option for people looking to reduce their saturated fat intake.

 

Mokosh

Mokosh make skin products from pure, ethically sourced ingredients that are strictly free of potentially harmful additives.  The key ingredients are Fair Trade,  and most of their products consist of 100% certified organic ingredients. No preservatives, colours, fragrances or synthetic ingredients are added. For babies, we advise using our products that contain no essential oils.  All Mokosh products are certified organic with NASAA.

The difference between Mokosh and other cosmetic brands is that these products contain no water.  By leaving out the water, no preservatives are required to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi.  These microorganisms are unable to grow in the absence of water.  This results in the moisturisers – oils and creams – being at least twice as concentrated, and up to 5  times the concentration of standard moisturiser, so that the tiniest amount needs to be used.

mokosh-balck300

Timbers of the shop – a photographic essay

Iron bark slab

 

timbers of the shop

While the dominant feature of the shop is the handmade spotted gum counter, originally the rest of the shelves were sourced from such places as Ikea. However over time we have made a conscious effort to gradually replace all the shelving, with recycled timber or plantation timber, such as hoop pine. Our main source of the recycled timber is Thor’s hammer (thors.com.au) and new (for want of a better term) is Cadona’s, a 3 generation family owned local timber yard.
What follows is a celebration of the gift that nature has given us.

RedGum and hoop display boxes