Comfort Food Baking – with a touch of Australian Natives

Recently my family was on holiday in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and were kindly gifted a jar of homemade Davidson plum jam – the plums are grown on a property near Maleny, which looks out over the glasshouse mountains.  Davidson plums are a plum native to rainforest areas of Australia that have fruit during a short season in December-January.  They are quite tart, and have been likened to rhubarb or quinces.

Glasshouse mountains

View over the glasshouse mountains

After carefully packing the jar of jam in our luggage, we were excited to open it up once we arrived home.  It has a deep, red colour and tart but intense flavor – and while it is delicious spread on toast, I was looking for another use for the tart jam.

As I getting into the third trimester of my pregnancy, its definitely a time for slowing down, taking it easy and staying in.  It’s a time when I want to enjoy nourishing, comforting and delicious food without spending hours slaving in the kitchen.  Jude Blereau’s oaty pecan jam biscuits had been on my list to bake for a while, and they seemed like the perfect use for Davidson plum jam, and a somewhat healthier, and easier treat to bake.  I adapted her recipe to come up with these.

Enjoy them with any kind of jam or fruit puree, but if you do happen to come across some Davidson plums, this is a perfect combination.

Nutty Davidson Plum Thumbprint Cookies
Yields 24
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119 calories
15 g
11 g
6 g
2 g
3 g
27 g
2 g
6 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 119
Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 11mg
Sodium 2mg
Total Carbohydrates 15g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 6g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 cup spelt flour
  2. 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  3. 65g raw macadamias
  4. 65g raw whole almonds
  5. 1/3 cup honey
  6. 1/3 cup maple syrup
  7. ¼ tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 125g melted butter
  10. Jam for filling
  1. Preheat the oven to 180deg C and lightly toast the rolled oats on a baking tray for about 7 minutes. Remove the oats and toast the nuts for about 10 minutes or until browned, being careful not to burn them. Pulse the nuts and oats in a food processor until finely ground, add the flour and baking powder and pulse to mix. In a jug, mix together the liquid ingredients until well combined, add to the dry mix and stir until well mixed.
  2. Form the dough into walnut sized balls and place evenly on a baking tray. Press an indent in each cookie with your thumb, and fill with a small teaspoon of jam. Bake in a moderate oven for about 15 minutes, being sure to rotate in the oven to ensure that the bottoms don’t get overly brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on the tray and then transfer to a wire rack.
Adapted from Jude Bleureau - Wholefood for Children
Adapted from Jude Bleureau - Wholefood for Children
Thoughts on an inspiring journey
 Nutty Thumbprint cookies with Davidson Plum Jam

Land of Plenty – Episode 10

In Episode 10, Deanne speaks to Jane Adams from the Australian Farmers’ Market Association to learn more about their April campaign to support Australian farmer’s – Boots for Change.

Boots for Change

The Australian Farmer’s Market Association launched the April campaign to encourage everyone to pull on their boots and get down to their local farmers’ market as an icon to support Australian farms and farming families.  The campaign idea was originally seeded by a group of rural young women, as part of the 2015 ABC Heywire Innovation summit.  Farmers’ markets across Australia participated, and the types of events were widely varied, but the support shown by all was phenomenal.

To learn more about the Boots for Change Campaign visit

Land of Plenty Podcast – Episode 9

In this episode of The Land of Plenty, Deanne talks to James Kendell from Small Acres Cyder.  Listen in to find out more about Small Acres Cyder, and the unique challenges that the cidery have been through over the past 9 years to develop their position as an award-winning craft cider producer in the diverse produce region of Orange, New South Wales.


James Kendell is the owner and founder of Small Acres Cyder. James began his twenty year career in the beverage industry while living in the United Kingdom. On returning to Australia, James spent time as the National Wine Buyer for Coles and then some time with Australian Vintage Ltd as their National Account Manager. His one passion has always been cider and cider making, which in 2005 drove him to leave the corporate world and start Small Acres Cyder, now an award winning cidery situated in the apple growing region of Orange, NSW.

Find out more about Small Acres Cyder at

Land of Plenty Podcast – Episode 8


In Episode 8, Deanne explores some of the themes discussed in the first six interviews on The Land of Plenty podcast.  Here are a summary of the interviews with Eat Me Chutneys, Sinkonah Tonic Syrup, Mamacino Granola, Distillery Botanica Gin, Bureaux Collective Coffee Roasting and The Fabulous Ladies Wine Society.  Some of the key themes have been:

  • The joy of getting to know producers and understanding their passion for their products
  • The benefits of understanding where our food comes from
  • The passion that these businesses have around preserving traditional methods of food production, and the joy of creating food from scratch
  • The beauty in capturing the real essence of our food and showcasing the flavours of fresh produce
  • The challenges each of the businesses have encountered and some different methods that small food and beverage producers have utilized to grow their businesses

Land of Plenty Podcast – Episode 7

Tim Williams – Bureaux Collective

In this episode of The Land of Plenty Podcast – join me to learn more about an exciting new concept in coffee roasting starting up in Cremorne, outside Melbourne, in May.  Hear from Tim about the new coffee roasting ‘incubator’ and shared space that allows cafes and others interested in coffee roasting to have access to state of the art roasting equipment, without needing to set up their own roastery.  Tim Williams and his partner Tim Varney will also be sharing their coffee roasting expertise with members of the collective, and providing an incubator and community space for those wanting to get more involved in coffee roasting.

In addition to setting up Bureaux Collective, Tim and his business partner Tim are also hosting the world Aeropress Championships, and wrapping up a 10 week coffee coffee roasting contract for the Sydney restaurant pop-up, Noma – touted as Sydney’s best coffee.  Download this episode of The Land of Plenty podcast to hear Tim’s perspective on ethically sourced coffee, fair coffee pricing and how to ensure that farmers are fairly compensated in the coffee value chain, and some of his favourite aspects of Australian food and produce.

To learn more about Bureaux Collective, visit

Early Morning at the Farmer’s Market on Manning

Last weekend I ended up unexpectedly in Perth, and despite the grey weather and threat of rain, I enjoyed the chance to wander through the Farmer’s Markets on Manning.  The grey weather was perfect for people to show off their boots as they wandered around the market – although it wasn’t officially a ‘Boots for Change’ campaign day at the Farmer’s Market on Manning, it was the last Saturday in the April campaign to promote connections with farmers.  What struck me at first was how much the market has grown over the past year or so – there were many more stalls and quite a crowd of people enjoying the early Saturday morning market buzz.  But the other thing that struck me was the sense of community and the laid back, relaxed atmosphere as people enjoyed their early morning coffee under the pine trees at the Clontarf Aboriginal College.  I bumped into old friends, and I saw many others chatting with people under the trees, wandering around with their families and their dogs and generally in a convivial mood.

Over the moon organics

The diversity of the stalls at the market was exciting – fresh produce ranging from eggs, honey, jams & chutneys, a huge variety of fruits and vegetables and dairy to all kinds of delicious foods to try or take home such as baked goods, raw treats, crepes, smoothies, coffees, bratwurst and more.  Each of the stall holders were bursting with passion about their products and engaging excitedly with the customers about the products.  I overheard one stallholder sharing tips on his delicious kale with a customer – explaining uses from green smoothie recipes, to a ‘how-to’ for making kale chips and delicious descriptions of massaged kale salads.  What also excited me was the range of products – once upon a time, fresh produce in Perth was fairly limited and consumers had pretty standard tastes – but as I wandered around the market I was overwhelmed by the choices that even just a few years ago would have been rare in Perth.  From persimmons to asparagus, kefir to raw protein balls, fresh sourdough loaves and all kinds of different specialty foods to try – the market was an abundance of fresh food created with passion.


What also excited me was how much the market appealed to all ages, and had something to offer everyone.  My son, even though he is only one-year-old, was very much into the samples of juicy autumn apples and pears – it was the perfect morning treat for him as we wandered around.

Finley farmers market

I encourage you to try to buy direct from the grower or producer – it helps the economy by putting more cash back in the pockets of local and smaller farms, it enables consumers to enjoy fresher produce that is more seasonal and hasn’t been packaged and stored and transported long distances, and it can bring great pleasure as you enjoy a relaxed atmosphere that brings together the community in the outdoors, with a chance to eat, chat, listen to music and sample a huge range of fare.

Land of Plenty Podcast – Episode 6

Ankit Chopra – Eat Me Chutneys

Eat Me ChutneysIn this episode of The Land of Plenty podcast, learn more about Eat Me Chutneys from the very own ‘Annoying Son’, Ankit Chopra.  Ankit shares how Eat Me Chutneys has developed his mother’s traditional Indian chutneys into fusion condiments that capture the essence of fair trade ingredients and also local, seasonal produce.  In addition to their traditional, fair trade chutneys, Ankit shares how this family run business is ‘rescuing’ produce that would otherwise be difficult to sell and creating unique chutneys.  He also shares how his family has scaled their business and taken it to the next level with B Corporation and Fair Trade certifications, and their supplier and distribution network.

To learn more about Eat Me Chutneys or purchase their products online, visit