The story behind our wholefood cake mixes.
The 80:20 rule is a pretty good principle to apply to healthy eating. We all enjoy a bit of indulgence and indeed we should not shy away from sharing in celebrations or occasionally indulging in the foods we love as part of a balanced diet.
That doesn’t mean that sweet treats need to be completely devoid of nutrition or worse, full of unnatural colours, flavours, preservatives and additives.
We have seen many products out there masquerading as healthy alternatives when in actual fact they can contain emulsifiers, gums and highly processed starches as well as colours, flavours and preservatives.
Processing of grain and other flours removes fibre. Fibre slows the digestion of food and reduces the glycaemic load, which leads to slower and more controlled release of sugars into the blood stream. Processing may also destroy or strip out many of the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals from the otherwise nutritious starting materials.
Recent studies have also shown that gums and emulsifiers, commonly employed by the food industry - particularly in gluten free foods to replace the function of gluten - may disrupt the natural ecology in the bowel. Healthy gut flora is essential to ensure, not just healthy digestion, but also the proper functioning of every other system in your body. Research is showing that an imbalance in gut flora is associated with myriad conditions including allergies, anxiety, depression and cardiovascular disease.
Wholefood Cake Mixes
With this is mind we set out to create blends of wholefood, minimally processed ingredients that would deliver a nutritious, delicious and convenient way to prepare treats, all without added nasties.
All of our cake mixes are prepared using our own blend of gluten free flour made from sorghum flour, tigernut flour, sunflower seed meal and chia seed flour. A little more on these:
Our sorghum flour is grown here is Australia and stone milled from whole grains in the traditional way. Sorghum is an ancient grain that has sustained populations in Africa for thousands of years. Sorghum is high in protein, fibre, iron, zinc and B vitamins, as well as being naturally free of gluten. It is also higher in antioxidants than blueberries and pomegranate – two fruits commonly used as benchmarks for measuring antioxidant capacity. Owing to the high fibre content sorghum is also low GI for sustained energy release.
Tigernuts are not actually nuts, they are the tuber of a grass native to Africa. A relative newcomer to Australia, tigernuts have been a staple in many parts of the world for thousands of years. Tigernut flour is high in resistant starch, an important prebiotic that encourages the growth of good bacteria in our gut. It is also a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium as well as heart-healthy fatty acid - oleic acid. Our tigernut flour is grown organically in Niger by fair trade certified producers.
Sunflower seeds are a highly nutritious and often overlooked alternative to nut meals for healthy baking. They are high in protein, vitamin E and zinc and provide a good source of unsaturated fatty acids, with a mild but delicious nutty taste.
And finally, we add Australian grown chia seed flour. Often touted as a superfood, chia seeds are high in protein, fibre, omega 3 and sustained energy.
We took this flour blend and created 3 tasty cake mixes – Coconut, Cinnamon and Chocolate. We used only the very best ingredients such as organically grown coconut from Sri Lanka, raw organic Peruvian cacao, and Australian organically grown carob. We love the pure and natural flavours of our pure and natural ingredients. No need for mass produced chemical flavours – just the natural homemade flavour of wholesome ingredients.
Each of these blends are delicious on their own, or provide the perfect base for creative and versatile baking - they can be used to make cakes, muffins, pikelets, donuts and more!
How we pack it, and why the glass jar?
This is actually a very complicated answer so we won’t go into all the details here (feel free to get in touch for more info on this). After assessing all options we determined that jars were the most environmentally responsible form of packaging for our products at this time. We have made a commitment to continually review our practices to ensure that we are always using what’s best for our planet. You may see our packaging evolve as technologies change and improve.
We recognise that glass has its downfalls – it can be energy intensive to make and is voluminous to ship. That is why we hope you will keep the jar and reuse it time and time again to refill with Summer Hill Pantry cake mix from our eco bags or anything else you need to store!
We included non-bleached patty pans made from FSC certified sustainable paper – just enough to make the cake mix up into 12 cup cakes. We also offer our cake mixes in an 800g bio bag (that’s twice as much cake as the jar!), enough to bake a batch of cakes and refill your jar for next time. These bags are made from unbleached recycled paper and are lined with a completely renewable corn-based lining – making them 100% compostable and sustainable. The shelf life on this product is a little shorter owing to the fact that there is no plastic barrier – to overcome this we pack this in small batches more frequently to ensure optimum freshness.
Our approach to business
We didn’t stop there though. We wanted to make sure that our environmental and social impact was a positive one to ensure the ongoing health and happiness of our community and our planet.
We consider each ingredient and component for each of our products and processes – from the labels and bottles to the cleaning products we use - very carefully, and assess each one on its merit based on specific factors affecting its production. We choose fair trade and organic certification where possible, and partner with local growers where we can to reduce food miles and support our local and the greater Australian community.
We hope you will enjoy preparing and eating these mixes as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you 😊