“How can we enjoy the festive season without regret?”
We pose that question to Caffe Republic owner, Peter Dufty. A classically trained ‘master chef’ who jumped the culinary fence from haute cuisine (Cha Cha Char, Peppers Spicers Peak Lodge and Palazzo Versace) to healthy eating, leaving behind 30+ kg on the way, Peter and his wife Leena have owned Caffe Republic in Bundall since 2009.
Pete stresses the need for balance in life, finding time to move, to get enough sleep so that our bodies can recover and heal, drink plenty of water, limit our intake of alcohol, and eat a diet without refined sugar, dairy or wheat, consuming food in as natural a state as possible.
For a guilt free Christmas that’s still full of cheer he recommends:
– Swap packaged, processed, convenient food items for smaller amounts of real, seasonal ingredients.
– Keep the main feast simple. It’s about being together more than anything. Ask visitors to bring a plate where possible.
– Plan ahead. Last minute rushing leads to elevated stress levels which make those easy, packaged sweets and alcoholic drinks far more attractive.
– Use seasonal ingredients of our great south east: mangoes, seafood, stone fruit, salads, local hams and organic poultry.
– Get active and stay hydrated.
Pete shares the recipe for Date and Almond Protein Balls, one of Caffe Republic’s bestsellers that people buy to enjoy with coffee. It’s the perfect, chocolatey, pick-me-up snack to get you through to your next healthy meal, cacao bringing many health benefits including magnesium and antioxidants.
Date and Almond Protein Balls
Ingredients (Serves 10)
12 pitted, fresh dates (250-300 grams)
40 grams raw, unflavoured protein powder
250 grams raw, organic almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons raw, organic cacao powder
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Blitz almonds in food processor to a fine meal. Remove to a bowl.
Blend pitted dates and vanilla to a smooth paste, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if required.
Mix with all remaining ingredients in the bowl to form a smooth, pliable ‘dough’.
Form into 10 X 50g balls or simply divide into 10 or more as desired and roll between two hands.
Toss balls into shredded coconut to avoid sticky fingers, (or in a mixture of coconut, ground goji berries and chopped pistachio nuts).
Check out more of Chef Peter’s recipes on his website, Food with a Conscience: http://www.foodwithaconscience.com.au/
NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on 22 November 2017.