Over the Salt

Mindful choices for healthy and low sodium cooking

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Making fluffy scones

2016-04-16 18.27.09I’ve been playing around with the recipe for the past couple of months. Lately, what I’m making is more like fluffy biscuits than scones. They’re light, tall, and more like muffins than those hard flat rock-like things. I’ve been adding eggs, fruit and juice, sometimes leftover jam (well I never eat the last third of a jar of jam, so may as well do something with it) and various spices.

Basic recipe

  • 3 cups flour
    (or gluten free substitute – don’t forget to add xanthan gum if you go this route)
  • 2/3 of a cup of sugar-like substance
    (baking sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, xylitol)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • lemon crystals
    (makes all the flavors better)
  • 1/2 cup liquid of some kind
    (milk, juice, rice milk)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Put parchment paper on the cookie tray


  • The key is to avoid overworking the dough
    Combine the dry ingredients and any fruit
    Melt the butter, pour it in and squish it around with your hands to coat all the flour and make crumbles
  • Add the eggs and whatever liquid you’re using
  • Add more flour if you need to just adhere all the ingredients into a ball of dough
  • Flatten on a flour coated board
  • Cut out with a cookie cutter
  • Handle as little as possible
  • Arrange on the tray and put in oven on a top shelf for 19 minutes


  • Blueberry + White Chocolate
    Add a pint of blueberries and a cup of white chocolate chips to the dry mix
  • Peach and Orange/Ginger
    Add a cup of diced peaches + ginger / orange powder (teaspoon)
  • Curry Cheddar
    Add 2 cups shredded cheese + teaspoon curry powder to dry mix
  • Dried Fruit
    Add a cup of dried fruit (diced apricot, raisons, apples etc) to dry mix

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Quick easy pancake crepes

These are not really pancakes, nor yet crepes, but fall somewhere in between as ‘pancrepes’. The main difference is in the consistency of the batter and the number of eggs. I also serve these as sweet rather than salty. Most recipes call for salt, which I leave out altogether, or call for both baking soda and baking powder. I just use a teaspoon of baking powder for the whole mix, bringing the whole down to a fraction of the salt found at restaurants. You can leave the egg out if you like – I like the flavor it adds. Same for the whipping cream. You can use just milk, or milk and water to make a thinner recipe.

Pancake crepes 'pancrepes' with maple syrup and lemon

Pancake crepes ‘pancrepes’ with maple syrup and lemon


2 cups of flour 1/3 cup of baking sugar (fine) 1 cup milk 1/3 cup whipping cream 1 egg 1 teaspoon baking powder Butter for the pan Maple syrup and ‘true lemon’ crystals or lemon juice


Sift flour and baking powder a couple of times to combine Combine with the sugar Make a well Pour milk into the well, mixing the dry into the wet to avoid lumps Keep pouring the milk in a little at a time until all combined. Reserve some milk. Pour in the cream and mix in with a fork or knife Add the rest of the milk (you can add more to make the mix thinner if you like) Rest the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour or so before cooking Put it into a container with a spout so you can pour it Heat a non stick skillet until a drop of water sizzles Add a little butter to coat the pan Keep the butter handy to coat the spatula Pour small circle into the pan and tilt the pan around to make the circle larger (4-5″) When first bubbles form (count 15) turn it over (count 15) Makes around 25 ‘pancrepes’ 5 minutes to mix the batter | wait half an hour | 15 minutes cooking time (you can make the batter the evening before and cook these up for breakfast) Put remainder into a container and microwave for 15 seconds for each plate of 3 Makes an easy stand-by snack if you are busy around the house

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10 ways to a healthy breakfast

file9831244402030Andrea’s breakfast post inspired me to write down some thoughts about eating a healthy breakfast. Just a few months ago, I’d grab a pre-made protein drink from Odwalla or Boultons and run out the door with it, in a style I called eat-while-running away. On arrival at work, I’d stop at Tullys and grab a coffee with soy milk. By lunch time, the lack of a healthy breakfast made me desperate for real food, and I’d eat more of the wrong stuff. The cycle kept repeating itself.

When I started reading labels more closely for sodium content, though, those convenience drinks stopped making it into the shopping basket, and coffee was replaced by tea, which was much more tasty. I started thinking about food in a more wholistic way, more as a series of choices that would blend together to keep my energy balanced throughout the whole day.

My considerations for breakfast are (1) high protein (2) low salt and (3) tasty and nutritious. I just noticed that I like to garnish with strawberries or grapes when I looked at the images. Here are my 10 favorite ways to a healthy breakfast.

  1. Fabulous fruity oatmeal
  2. Baked savory frittata
  3. Flatbread roll-ups
  4. Divine date loaf
  5. Living yoghurt
  6. Rock cakes
  7. Protein smoothies
  8. Fresh fruit salad
  9. Tiny quiches
  10. Sweet and savory fried rice

1. Fabulous fruity oatmeal

FabOatmeal300One of the best dishes of oatmeal I had in recent years was at a restaurant. It was a shallow bowl of oatmeal with mango puree and raspberries in the center on top. This started my love affair with fruit in my oatmeal, and not just the usual raisons. I tried fresh fruit in season, little cups of fruit in juice (peaches, pears, oranges), diced prunes and dates, mango slices and bananas. Sometimes, I tried more than one at a time! I stopped adding milk, yoghurt, cream or any dairy to the breakfast. I also stopped adding sweetener most of the time, as the fruit was sweet enough. On the odd occasion, I’d add a little maple sugar, date sugar or honey, depending on what fruit choice I made. If the fruit was not juicy enough on its own, a little mango nectar is a perfect addition.

2. Easy savory frittata

EggMuffinHeaderI was first introduced to these by the fabulous Jane. When we were at the ICU, she sent along what she calls egg muffins to help keep me fed on healthy snacks. A couple grabbed from the refrigerator, and taken along in a plastic bag would keep me going all morning. They had some onions and green peppers, garlic powder, pepper and salt. And love of course; love is always the most important ingredient. It took a couple months before I was making my own; they are made in a muffin pan, and can have many optional ingredients. Nowadays, I make a dozen on the weekend in half an hour, and carry them with me for quick snacks on the go. Heated for 30 seconds, two make a perfect breakfast. Savory frittata recipe>

3. Flatbread roll-ups

rollup300Almost any flatbread will do for this recipe, depending on what you have on hand. I like fresh corn or flour tortillas, potato flour flatbread, pancakes or crepes, or even the various thin-bread you can get now in most stores. The roll-up is just the medium to keep the ingredients off your fingers. I like using fillings like peanut butter and honey, banana, strawberries and nutella, potato salad, stir fried veges and tofu, vege bolognese, eggs and cheese, leftovers of various kinds – mashed potatoes with chicken breast and tomato for example.

4. Divine date loaf

dateloafOne of my favorites from childhood. Date loaf or date bread is tasty, nutritious, and full of bliss. It has dates, molasses, date sugar, flour, egg and butter, though not in that order. My sister has a great post on how to make it here. Delicious for breakfast, or an in-between meal snack. It is also easy to eat slices on the road, while driving. Divine date loaf recipe>

5. Living yoghurt

yoghurt-smallI’m a big fan of yoghurt with live cultures, especially probiotics. It helps balance your stomach, which is perfect after a night where you stayed up too late, or ate weird food the day before. I like to add fresh sliced fruit, berries and a little local honey for the burst of flavor and for color. Colorful foods wake up my senses in the morning. Usually, this is paired with a protein drink made from fresh juice and WPI (whey protein isolate) for the energy.

6. Rock cakes

RockCake300I know, that sounds like an odd name for a breakfast food – rock cakes. However, it is the Australian name for scones with dried fruit in them. If you are making scones and the dough gets overworked, the scones will not be as light as what Americans call biscuits, and which we Aussies call scones. So stick some golden raisons, chopped dates or fruit peel in them, and serve with butter and jam. A drizzle of honey adds joy.

7. Protein smoothies

Smoothy300Simple and delicious. I make these every morning, and take one to my sweetie to help him wake up. I found that protein wakes my brain up faster than tea or coffee, though tea in the morning is a must for the day. I like orange, guava, mango and pineapple juice, and use some or all as a start and about 18 oz. We like Whey Protein Isolate, or WPI, as it dissolves completely. We get it from Super Supplements, though my sister tells me she also found it in a health food store in Sydney. Mix it up with a blender, or shake it in one of those handy mix bottles with the round ball in it. Serves two. Optional additives are vegetable juices, a blended banana, flax seed oil or wheat germ. The juice gives an energy boost, and the protein sustains you through the morning. One thing to keep in mind is to use whole juices, rather than extracts, and if you fresh squeeze your fruit, it’s like a taste of paradise.

8. Fresh fruit salad

fruit300All the texture, flavor and delight to the senses. Fresh fruit, in season, is a fabulous way to begin the day. Don’t forget to include baby tomatoes (also a fruit) in the mix, with edible flowers if you like them. One of my favorite ways to enjoy fruit salad is to prepare a batch for a few days, slice up cheese ahead of time and serve the cheese on the side.

9. Tiny quiches

mini-quicheThese small quiches are just the same as large ones, only cuter and made in a tiny muffin pan. Colleen’s pastry recipe is a good choice for the crust, nice and thin. Add mushrooms, scallions, veges or salmon and bacon if that’s how you roll. Mix the eggs up with heavy cream for a rich taste, and cap it with grated cheese. Quick and easy once you have the pastry made, and you can make pastry in batches to freeze. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. While a few of these are great for breakfast, keeping some on hand is helpful for casual guests or afternoon tea as well.

10. Sweet savory fried rice

friedriceSweetFried rice is just as good for breakfast as it is for dinner. As a dish, it started life as a way to use up leftovers like day-old rice, odds and ends of vegetables, plus whatever spices you have on hand. When you take the notion of good coconut oil, sweet ingredients like corn, zucchini, maui onions and some crushed pineapple, and add golden raisons and an egg, it’s just about the perfect breakfast. Serve over wilted baby greens and, if you’re adventurous, stir in a nice big spoonful of jam. Fried rice recipe>

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Easy savory frittata



In the morning, I like easy better than coffee. This quick egg recipe allows me to prepare snack meals for the week and grab them to go. All I need is a muffin pan, a dozen eggs and some imagination. Other ingredients are seasonal, like fire-roasted corn, snap peas, sweet peppers or gem tomatoes. The recipe makes a dozen tiny frittata that are delicious both hot or cold.


  • One dozen eggs
  • Cheese – shredded
  • Optional vegetables – whatever is fresh – finely chopped
    • sweet onions
    • sweet tiny peppers
    • fire roasted corn
    • shelled sweat peas
    • mushrooms
    • summer squash
    • zucchini
    • potatoes or sweet potato
  • Enough liquid to make up 800ml total batter
    water or cream, both work
  • Garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pepper to taste
  • A pinch of garam marsala or savory herbs

Making the recipe

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  • Crack the eggs into a large measuring beaker
  • Add enough liquid (water or cream) to make 800mls
  • Beat the mixture and add the spices, set aside
  • Prepare a non-stick muffin pan with butter or oil (I like butter)
  • Grate the cheese and add a desert spoon to each muffin cup
  • Chop the vegetables and sprinkle over the cheese, until cups are 2/3 full
  • Give the egg mixture a last stir (herbs may have settled) and add to the muffin cups
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes
  • They are done when risen and lightly springy on top.

Savory bites

I usually make this in a large muffin tin and the recipe makes 12. However, my sister tells me that mini muffin pans make cute bites that are perfect for afternoon tea. Share the recipe link on facebook and follow us to get more fun recipes.

Store the indivual frittata in an air-tight container or in small bags ready to grab for work. I like to heat them and serve in rolled flatbread. My thanks to Jane for introducing me to the idea of the frittata and providing a couple dozen when I was visiting my sweetie in the hospital. These little protein bombs kept me going.