7th August 2019


With plastic-free July drawing to an end, it is time to reflect on our choices going forward. Even being brought up in a low-waste household myself, I am constantly finding ways to do better.

Reducing packaging is an important piece of the puzzle, but when boiled down it is about being aware of where we spend our money. Food is one of our biggest outgoings so choosing to buy local and New Zealand-grown is the first port of call for the bulk of the food I cook for my family. Obviously within reasonable cost and accessibility.

With some inquiry and label reading, there is an abundance that can be found on our doorstep. Using NZ-grown grain for bread-making is something I have been discussing with my workshop attendees for many years. Nuts, seeds and legumes all grow well in our country, not to mention the incredible selection of fresh seasonal produce.

Certainly, there is some creativity required. Instead of relying on a set of recipes with the same ingredients played on repeat, they need to be mixed and matched to suit the season. To me, the concept of homegrown reaches further than our own backyards. It is looking to our immediate surrounds and supporting local growers, and seeking what grows well in in New Zealand.

Exciting News!

My Homegrown Kitchen cookbook is a finalist (!) in the Food Writers NZ – Foodies – Food Media Awards.

I am absolutely thrilled to see it standing tall amongst some of NZ finest cookbook authors. A big thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about my book. I have lost count of the number of people who tell me they found out about my book via a friend or relative who loves cooking from the pages.


One of the most basic ingredients that can be bought plastic-free, NZ-grown and easily available is rolled oats. Spices used here are often imported due to the fact they grow in hot climates, but for the small amount used I see them as flavour boosts for the homegrown fare.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes


  • 1 cup NZ-grown rolled oats*
  • ½ cup wholemeal flour or buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup seeds sunflower or pumpkin
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100 g butter cut into 1cm cubes
  • 4 tbsp honey or brown sugar
  • 4 granny smith apples peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 tamarillos scooped

*Gluten-free - see notes below


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Place the oats, flour, seeds, spices and salt into a food processor and blend into a fine meal. Add the butter and honey or brown sugar, and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Arrange the apples in the base of a 20cm x 30cm baking dish and scoop over the tamarillo flesh. Spread the crumble mixture over the top and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and the apples are soft. Serve with custard or yoghurt.


To make this crumble gluten-free replace the oats with 1/2 cup desiccated coconut and 1/2 cup ground almonds or more seeds. Use buckwheat flour (which can be purchased NZ-grown) or gluten-free flour mix. 

Follow this link for a whole-egg custard recipe I recently shared on Stuff.co.nz – including a discussion on whether it is worth making your own (obviously, yes!).


The orange juice and honey beautifully soften the tartness of the tamarillos.
Servings 4
Prep Time 30 minutes


  • 6-8 tamarillos
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 3-4 tbsp honey or sugar
  • About ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp flaxseeds
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • ½ cup milk
  • Cream to serve


  • For the tamarillos: Remove the stalk and eye from the fruit and cut in half lengthways. Place into the saucepan with the orange juice, honey or sugar, and enough boiling water to cover the fruit.
  • Cook gently without boiling for 10-15 minutes until the tamarillos soften and start to separate from their skins. Remove from the heat and cool enough to slip off the skins. Tip into a glass container and store in the fridge.
  • For the porridge: To speed cooking, combine the oats, seeds, salt, and water in a saucepan and soak overnight. In the morning, add the milk and simmer for 8-10 minutes until creamy (or skip overnight soaking allowing for five minutes extra cooking time). Spoon into four bowls and top with 1-2 poached tamarillos and syrup. Serve hot with a splash of cream.

Join the Conversation

  1. Thos sounds delicious. Where do. you source NZ grown rolled oats please?

    1. Hi Rachel, some of the Harraway’s rolled oats are NZ grown. Available at most supermarkets, check the packet for information. I think it is written on the front – I don’t have one at the moment to check. You can also ask at bulk food stores if they have (or can source) NZ-grown rolled oats.

  2. How many servings does the Tamarillo and Oaty Crumble make.

    1. This is a generous serving for 4 people, with left overs 😉

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