Tropical Fruit Chia pudding

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Yesterday I ran a workshop, with a focus all about making sensational sides from Tropical fruit that we can grow right in our backyards, with a focus on Mango, Jackfruit and pawpaw, both ripe and unripe and both cooked or raw.

We actually made this Chia desert with Jackfruit- chopped up and added into layers, after also making a young Jackfruit Vietnamese salad and roasting Jackfruit seeds!

The combination of JAckfruit and coconut (and lime) really is lovely and balances the quite pungent rich flavour of

This great pudding, which I actually eat for breakfast, is super healthy and can use any delicious tropical fruits. I was inspired by a friend who made this camping earlier in the year with some other yummy ingredients.

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This morning I made these for myself and work colleagues and layered ripe red pawpaw from my garden, ripe mango from a local (spray free) farmer in Humpty Doo, Chia and coconut and toasted coconut. If you can get fresh coconuts this is always best- then you can scrape and toast and make your own milk, but this is of course a bit more time consuming. I popped it into old cleaned jars to set. (Now I know that this is trendy- but I have been an old jar hoarder for years and it also makes many things look great and super easy to take to work/ on outings)

Chia is a pretty awesome seed, native of South America, but now grown in Australia (including Athelton tablelands)  and world wide. It is packed with nutrients, low in calories, high in fibre and protein. Check out more info here – Health Line Chia benefits

Greenies Real food (in Rapid Creek) sell these seeds in bulk – Greenies Chia 

The basic recipe to fill about 4 Jars is-

1/2 cup of Chia seeds
2 cups of coconut milk (about a tin, or use fresh!)- you can add a little water if you wish
A splash of real vanilla essence
A pinch of salt
A tablespoon of rice syrup or local honey.

Mix the above together in a bowl. Wait a few minutes until the chia starts to puff, then spoon it into a jar, layering chopped fruit in between.

You can add the toasted coconut into the layers or at the end when served.


You can puree the fruit and put in layers
You can whizz up fruit with the coconut and have it as one big chia fruity thing.
You can add cocoa and make a choco dream…




Upcoming “TOTE” workshops Late 2017

I have 3 upcoming workshops all about our wonderful seasonal produce; which are delivered in partnership with City of Darwin’s Healthy Darwin program.

These workshops hope to connect the Darwin community to our local produce and climate here in the Top End, inspiring attendees to buy from local farmers, grow their own and make local produce into healthy every day dishes.

The workshops are hands on and look at the tropical plants that feature in the recipes, how to grow them and what some look like in a garden setting. Demonstrations of how to prepare the ingredients are given and then in groups the recipes are made and the delicious dishes are shared together-

Seasonal Sides using Tropical fruits

Sunday 1st October
2pm- 5.30pm
Alawa Primary School Garden Kitchen

A cooking class that explores why September and early October is a sensational time of year for local produce in The Top End, with the most diversity on offer both in your own garden and at our local produce markets.

We will look at the produce plants and their origins, how to grow them/ source them and make them into some wonderful healthy savoury salads with a focus on fruits- with an interesting twist on how to define a salad and unusual ways to incorpate fruits and roots. We will also look at side dishes and snacks.. These workshops are presented through the Healthy Darwin program (City of Darwin).

Seasonal sides rustic banner

$25/ $20 Conc. Book here-

Know Your Tropical Roots

Sunday 12th November
2pm- 6pm
Alawa Primary School Garden Kitchen


A cooking workshop focusing on Local Tropical Root Veggies that can be found at the market or grown in your garden.Find out the stories behind our Tropical plants where the recipe is in the root! Featuring roots that can grow all year- Jicama, Cassava, Sweet Potato and Taro, with a little turmeric to spice things up!

Find out information on how to grow them/ source them and then take part in a hands on session of making them into some wonderful healthy and delicious dishes to share.Including cooked roots, raw roots, sweets and a drink- interesting and unusual ways to incorporate roots into your all year round cooking.The menu will be mainly vegetarian. This class is presented through the Healthy Darwin program (City of Darwin)

Jicama and watermelon salad

$25/$20. Tickets at

Build Up Beverages

Early December TBC
A Darwin Kitchen Garden TBC

Come and discover the delicious refreshing drinks than you can make from plants in your back garden or find at local markets.

Learn about the amazing herbs, fruits and roots that can be incorporated into healthy drinks for this hot time of year. A tasty alternative to reaching for a beer or alcoholic drink. Including iced teas, tonics, slushies and more.


$20/ $15. Ticket link to be released nearer the time.

For more info please feel free to get in touch Contact Me



Pedal to the Produce- a tour of Rapid Creek Markets and community Gardens- Next Sunday

Pedal to produce. Join me (Taste of the Top end) and Mark from Darwin Bike tours on a scenic loop of 3 community gardens and 2 Sunday markets and a bit of seascape on this Sunday with tastes and talks along the way; meet some producers at Rapid Creek Market and end with a drink at Pour cafe. 3.5 hrs. Bikes are available to borrow if you don’t have one.

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Supported by City of Darwin and all for $25. More info at weblink in bio or here and Book here 



Herbs for Health Workshop; featuring Rosella

Another fantastic botanical addition to any garden, which also grows wild- The Rosella- fruiting now – both the fleshy red calyx that surrounds the seed pod (yep the red bits) can be used in array of teas or raw to add colours in salads, it can be dried or frozen and used fresh; the leaves are also a fabulous fresh and zingy addition to any salad;

Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Family- Malvaceae
Origins in Africa and Asia
Fruits and leaves eaten
High in Vitamins A, B and C. Contains minerals zinc, silicon, calcium, potassium and iron. Rich in selenium.
Used as an anti-oxidant and a digestive.

Rosella boardFind out more about Rosella and get some great ideas of how to incorporate it into delicious dishes at the workshop coming up

If you are interested in the Herbs for Health workshop this coming Sunday, there are just a couple of spots available–  Book by email (

Alawa Primary School- 2.30 pm- 6.00 pm

$20/ $10

SWEET LEAF- Herbs for Health- more goodness from the garden

Coming up on Sunday 28th May is this year’s workshop “Herbs for Health” (and goodness from the garden)

I will be featuring 15 of the top plants we can grow all year that have amazing medicinal properties, we will then make some simple recipes, teas and tonics that include them.

Here is just one amazing plant that will be on the list and the menu

Sweet Leaf (Sauropus androgynus)

sweet leaf

Family- Euphorbiaceae
Origins in India / Malaysia
Form- Ground cover herb
Part Used- Leaf
High in vitamins A, B and C with minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Tonic and antioxidant.

High in protein 49%, fibre 14-18%

This is a great addition to any salad, stir-fry, green smoothie, curry or soup. It has a pea like taste and also can make a great pesto or herb paste in combination with other herbs. Chickens also seem to love this as a favourite green.

This is so easy to grow from cutting and makes a wonderful hedge of soft deep green leaves that just keeps on giving (a great example is at Lakeside Drive Community garden) It grows all year and does not really die back and especially love the humid wet season.

Seasonal sides for a Festive Feast

Back by popular demand – Seasonal Sides for a festive feast; plus Gifts from the Garden.


Are you sweating it out in the Top End this festive season? Well come along and learn how to make the most out of local produce, growing now in gardens or in Darwin region farms and turn it into delicious seasonal sides and gifts from the garden for your festive feast…

The session will be lead by Emma Lupin of Taste of The Top End at Karama Primary School kitchen.

The session will go through delcious ingredients growing now and ideas how to use them and then you will get to prepare dishes in the workshop to share and taste. These will include healhy and tasty side salads and veggies, drinks, tasty root dishes and more. There will also be a session of creating home gifts from the garden using seasonal produce..

The cost is $20 ($15 concession)- bring this along. There are limited spaces. So book by emailing or phone 0448 214 716

Drinks ideas and more posts about the awesome content of this workshop coming soon……

Herbs for Health and Goodness from the Garden

We can grow a fabulous array of herbs an medicinal plants. So why go to a shop and buy supplements and “superfoods” when we can have them in the garden!

I ran a workshop on exactly this and here is the start of the focus plants, with recipes to follow. There are so many but these are the ones with the most health benefits that are easisest to grow ALL YEAR in our Darwin climate…long long board of stuffTop tips on herbs for health

  1. Eat and use as many herbs in food as possible for fresh flavours and health benefits.
  2. Make the most of our climate and the herbs we can grow and use local herbs
  3. Grow as many herbs as you can, even if you have a balcony you can have some of the smaller herbs in pots.
  4. Get to know as much as you can about the health benefits and how to cook or ingest them best!
  5. PS- Officially herb refers to a plant that you use the leaf of or is a non woody stemmed perennial. Often “herbal medicine” refers to using any plant parts for health. In this instance we are looking at a combination of medicinal plant parts, including many leafy parts roots and flowers.

More plants information and recipes to come (this is extracted from the “Herbs for Health” handout by Emma Lupin).
NB. Nutritional information sourced from Isabel Shippard’s “Using Herbs in Your Daily Life” and various research texts which will be referenced later.

Here are the first five focus plants we can grow in Darwin Gardens and have fantastic health benefits:-

Moringa board1) Moringa (Moringa oliefera)

Family- Moringaceae
Origins in Africa and Asia
Form- Medium Tree to 5m
Part Used- Leaf, seed pod can also be eaten
High in Protein (38%) and 8 essential amno acids.
Vitamin A, Bs, C, D, H and K, Calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and zinc

5 spiceboard22) Mother of herbs (Coleus amboinicus)

Family- Lamiaceae
Origins in Sub-tropical Asia
Form- Ground cover herb
Part Used- Leaf
Contains essential oils
High in vitamins A, B and C with minerals calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Used as an antiseptic, for sore throats, digestive and anti bacterial

Kaffir lime leaves2

3) Kaffir lime leaves (Citrus hystrix)

Family- Rubiaceae
Form- A small tree/ shrub to 4m
Origins in Asia
Part Used– Leaf and fruit is also used in cooking.
High in essential oil
Contains vitamins B and C
Used as a digestive, antibiotic, antioxidant.
Used for coughs and mouth ulcers too.

Turmeric board24) Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Family- Zingerberaceae
Form- Herb to 1.5 m
Origins in SE Asia
Part Used- Root
Contains vitamin A and C
Active ingredient is curcumin – antiseptic, anti inflammatory, digestive aid.
Stimulates the adrenal glands and liver function
May help regulate menstrual cycle

lemongrass5) Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Family- Poaceae
Origins- India
Form- Herb (grass) to 50cm
Part Used- Stem/ Leaves
Essential oils including citral, geraniol and nerol
Contains vitamins A, B and C and high in iron, chromium, magnesium
Used in Ayverdic medicine for coughs, colds. Expectorant and digestive.