Cooking with grandma

I have such fond memories of catching tadpoles and making gingerbread men with my grandma in the holidays. I know we helped cook in the kitchen at home, but the most memorable times were at grandma’s, with the green and white flecked Formica bench tops.

School holidays are fast approaching so you may like to add some extra ingredients to the shopping list to plan an afternoon of cooking and baking with grandchildren or your own kids.

Children are great little helpers in the garden, so planting some herbs could be on the list for holidays. Adding the herbs to your cooking is a great way to boost your family’s immunity. Oregano and thyme are two of the best culinary herbs for your immune system. They are anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-viral all in one. Thyme is particularly good for respiratory infections and coughs. Thyme pairs well with chicken – mix some lemon juice, chopped thyme and garlic for a tasty chicken marinade.

To make a quick tonic for coughs, you can add a sprig of thyme to a cup of boiled water, stir through some raw honey and, once cooled slightly, serve with a slice or squeeze of lemon.

Oregano is easy to add to favourites such as lasagne, pasta and pizza. Making pizzas can be a fun activity for children – include different ingredients such as roast pumpkin, capsicum, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, pesto and tomato paste mixed with olive oil and oregano.

Whilst it is nice to be less regimented in the school holidays, being consistent with meals and snacks can certainly make it easier to get good food into growing bodies.

Dairy-free peanut butter choc chunk biscuits

Makes 16

2 cups whole grain rolled oats

½ cup peanut butter

3 rows dark choc, chopped into chunks

2 free range eggs

¼ cup thread coconut

3 Tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda


Clear a space on the kitchen bench, wash hands and pop on an apron.

Preheat the oven to 180degC fan bake. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Put the oats in a food processor and blitz until fine.

Combine all of the ingredients, except chocolate, together in a large bowl and mix well. This may need an adult to mix the sticky dough. Fold in chocolate chunks (hopefully most make it into the bowl).

Use an ice-cream scoop or tablespoon to scoop out the dough. With your hands, roll into balls and place on to baking trays — 8 per tray, well-spaced. Use a fork or two fingers to flatten each biscuit.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Leave on the tray until set and then transfer to a wire rack.

These biscuits freeze well also, if they last that long.