The Famous Sausage Roll

Like most remarkable creations, sausage rolls are usually either faithfully adored by consumers or people are completed repulsed by them. Whichever way you feel, there is absolutely no doubt that people are passionate about these little pastry wraps.

If you are British, Australian or Canadian, chances are you love a good sausage roll, used to love a good sausage roll or have at least enjoyed a sausage roll at one time in your life.

In Australia, sausage rolls are a regular picnic affair, children’s (and adult) party food, office regulars at work place morning teas and are found at every corner gas station.

We all know however, that these tasty pastries are filled with ingredients (namely high saturated fats and processed meats) that do not facilitate good health. “Australians on average eat 580g of fat per week and 280g of that fat is saturated – that’s half a pound of butter plus half a tub of margarine each week!” says the state of Queensland, Government Health.

A recent medical study across Europe also found that higher cancer and heart disease rates were also linked to the over consumption of ‘processed meat’ including ham, bacon, salami and sausages (ie. more than 20g per day).

Of all the food types we can choose from, we all know that chunky, tough pig meat with buttery, fatty pastry is not on the optimal and certainly shouldn’t hit our priority list. But, aren’t our favourite foods always those ones that take a hold of us.. possibly as children. The ones we consumed on hot summer days with friends and family with a side of laughter and love? How can we possibly block these cravings that take us back to moments of joy?

   On family vacation as children, Dad would take us in his boat over to Rottnest Island. As we returned (generally on a  beautiful summer’s day), my brother and I would snigger with excitement as we passed Melville Hungry Jacks (aka. Burger King) hoping hoping and wishing we were going to stop. I knew exactly what I wanted, a whopper with cheese with extra pickles, no onions and mustard!!

Now, although I happily gave up my love for less than optimal foods years ago, I have to tell you how the words “mustard” and “pickles” still make me giggle!

We do not know exactly what makes us tick as children. What we do know is that each and every one of us have taste buds which view the world differently and when we associate them with moments in our lives, we share an emotional connection with that food type.

   If you’re a sausage roll lover, can you think back to a time in your life to find your emotional connection to sausage rolls? Was there one moment in particular or were there many a day that created those fond memories.

If you’re like most of us and simply don’t feel like going back to dig up the past, you realise giving up sausage rolls is the best thing for your health but it simply just doesn’t change the fact that you really just want to sink your teeth into one.. Here is a wonderful alternative that your healthy heart will just love!

My newest creation is a refreshing change to the processed meat, high fat and sugar packages we are all familiar with. We developed these delicious vegetarian rolls while my cousin was having cravings on her 60 day challenge. She absolutely loves them!

‘Spinach and Ricotta’ Flax Sausage Rolls

Pastry

  • 3/4 cup flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs (thyme, parsley, marjoram)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1-2 drops red pepper sauce
  • 1 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cold pressed coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water

Directions

  1. Blend oats and flaxseeds in a high speed blender to create flour (or use coffee grinder to grind them)
  2. Mix dry ingredients first then add olive oil, coconut oil, yoghurt (or eggs), water and chilli/pepper sauce.
  3. Spoon 1/3 of the batter onto a lightly oiled fry pan over medium heat.
  4. Spread mixture out thinly to form a medium sized pancake. Be careful not to spread the mixture too thick as the bread will break and wont cook through.
  5. Let the pancake simmer until the bread bubbles and is easy to flip (1-2 minutes). Flip with spatula and watch closely until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook as the pancake will get tough.
  6. Remember you will be baking the end product so it does not need to be thoroughly cooked, just playable.

Spinach and Ricotta Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh spinach
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 225g plain ricotta (or cottage) cheese
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Directions

  1. Sauté all ingredients (except cheese, lime juice and 2 tsp black pepper) in a medium size pot on low heat.
  2. Meanwhile, add cheese to a medium size bowl and add lime juice and 2 tsp of black pepper.
  3. Add cheese mixture to pot and combine. Scoop filling down the centre of each pancake and roll, securing with a toothpick. Bake until pastry begins to crisp and turn a little brown.

In addition to these alternative sausage rolls being lovlingly home-made (which means we actually know what’s in them!), they are tasty as the day is long and contain only 3g of saturated fat, wonderful omega 3 essential fatty acids, no sugar and only 50 calories! (but really, who’s counting!?) Enjoy these new additions

References: Queensland Health | Mayo Clinic | The Telegraph