11 Ingredients I Can’t Live Without – Local Thirty Update

Chocolate Peanut Butter Thins

Chocolate Peanut Butter Thins recipe from my eCookbook ‘The Sunday Baking Sessions’

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #00adef;”] S[/dropcap]o my ‘local thirty‘ month is just around the corner and I’ve finally decided on my list of ‘exception’ ingredients.

In case you missed it, the ‘Local Thirty’ challenge was inspired by Andrea from Dishing Up the Dirt. Where she’s planning to only eat food grown in a 200 mile radius of where she lives for the month of September.

The purpose is to learn more about where our ingredients come from.

And to discover some new local producers.

I’m also inspired to have a go at making some ingredients from scratch. Things I’ve thought about but haven’t actually tried.

Like butter. And sour cream. And pita bread.

My ‘Local Thirty’ Plan (so far)

  • 30 Days – September 2018
  • Shop at the farmers market every week
  • Eat food produced in my state (NSW / ACT)
  • 11 ‘exception’ ingredients that can come from anywhere in the world (see below)

My 11 Exception Ingredients

  • Tea – because there’s no way I could get my Irishman to agree to this without Barry’s Irish Tea. And when forced to choose between tea and coffee I’d have to take tea.
  • Chocolate – because chocolate!
  • Salt – I thought I’d found a local salt maker but just their head office is in NSW and the actual salt comes from South Australia so I’ve included them in my exceptions. Although I guess I could have got some sea water from the beach and made my own!
  • Peanut Butter – we normally buy Pics peanut butter which is roasted in New Zealand but will switch to Mayvers which is made in Victoria.
  • Linseeds (flax seeds) to keep me regular! I buy organic golden linseeds that are grown in Australia.
  • Brown Sugar for my Kombucha! and for small boys to put on their Sunday morning pancakes.
  • Miso Paste – because I needed an exotic flavour booster! I did toy with choosing soy sauce but decided that it would be a bigger stretch for me to use miso instead. Not sure if this is a good idea!
  • Tomato Paste – because it’s the easiest way to add a tomato hit. If I had planned this last Summer I would have made a batch of home made passata instead. Maybe for next year!
  • Prunes – to keep small boys regular.
  • Sultanas – as emergency fuel for small boys and because Finbarello loves them with his morning porridge (oatmeal).
  • Almond Meal – for baking both sweet and savoury.


After weeks of problems with ‘digestive issues’ my Irishman has decided to try the Low FODMAP diet to help heal his gut. If you’re not familiar, this is a very restrictive diet developed by researchers at Monash University to help people with IBS symptoms.

Given this massive change to our food, I was tempted to delay my Local Thirty experiment. But after lots of thought I’ve decided to continue with the original plan with the one exception…

All the food I cook for me will be Local Thirty compliant, but if needed it’s OK to cook things for my Irishman that aren’t necessarily local.


When I eat out or at other peoples houses, the Local Thirty doesn’t apply.

Ingredients I Almost Included…

ie. The list of things I’m probably going to miss!

  • Coffee – I love my coffee but it didn’t make sense to include both coffee and tea. Will be interesting to see how I go just from a month off coffee perspective. Still allowing myself coffee when I’m out but this is once or twice a week at most.
  • Black Peppercorns – the universal spice. But I realized I can probably live without them given I’ll be able to use spices I grow myself like chilli, fennel seeds and coriander seeds.
  • Sardines – I usually have canned sardines for lunch at least twice a week. But after our trip to Sydney I have a stash of home pickled sardines in the freezer so this should be enough to get me though. Also planning to buy some local tuna and preserve my own inspired by Matt & Lentil from Grown & Gathered.
  • Tahini – another huge huge love of mine I’ve decided it would be great to have a break from. At least I’ll have peanut butter or can use my almond meal to make almond butter if I get tahini withdrawals.

I’ll be writing about the experience here on Stonesoup. And if you want to follow along Instagram will be the best place.

More on ‘local thirty’ month

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x


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