Category Archives: Cook from scratch

CarolCooks2…Christmas Recipes…Prepare now…Freeze for later…

The time is just flying by now it’s 3rd December already…

Have you finished shopping? Have you wrapped your presents yet? preparation done? Don’t know what to make? Well never fear Carol is here???

Today I am going to give you a few recipes and tips about what you can cook in advance to make life just that bit easier on the day…

Sausage rolls and mince pies

We have made our sweet mincemeat...haven’t we??? and just in case the Christmas recipes are on the same post…

Pastry Recipe.

This recipe is from my mum she makes the best pastry ever and I try really hard to match hers but she once told me that no two batches of pastry are ever alike and that the only person who realises that is moi….and I think she is right..mums usually are ūüôā

I use half fat to the flour so for example 8 oz  Flour and 4 oz fat.

Ice cold water added 1 tbsp at a time( the amount depends on the flour used)

1 egg beaten for the glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble today’s shortcrust. But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For mince pies, I use pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from the fridge, iced water from the fridge and a fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible, I quickly rub the fat into flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, and draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in the fridge.

When I roll I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten the pastry and roll it gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool.

Using a pastry cutter, cut circles and line patty tins, add filling and top with a pastry lid. Brush tops with beaten egg. Cook in the oven on 200c/gas7 for 15-20 mins until golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly and dust with icing sugar.

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my shortcrust pastry…With the sweetness of the filling and the icing dusting, I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like to add 1 tbsp sugar to the breadcrumbs before adding water.

I also use the same pastry for my sausage rolls…

Now….if you make them now omit the cooking stage and freeze them uncooked in a sealed container separate the layers with greaseproof paper and just take out however many you want as needed and cook…Simples!

For sausage rolls, I use the same pastry. I add finely chopped onions, garlic and a little sage to my sausage meat or I did in the UK…I can’t get it here so I make my own very finely chop my pork making sure I add a little of the fat and then add the seasoning as above.

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3¬† cups or 12oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A¬†cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to a boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Allow the mixture to cool and put it in an airtight container and refrigerate.

 Stuffing Mix:

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….no bacon and the nearest shop was a way away so I put my thinking cap on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant…..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts I didn’t have but they were optional.

The celery became Thai celery which is much smaller more the size of coriander…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz¬†¬†of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts( optional)
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening the mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls…Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in the oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices of smoked bacon
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with a piece of greaseproof then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook at 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and the bacon is crispy.

Bread Sauce.

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas¬†we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half a loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half pint of milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to a boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove the Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

What to make in advance???

Yesterday I pickled some more onions and just hope I don’t have to pickle more before Christmas I made 4 jars so even the one who shall be nameless doesn’t eat a jar full a week.

  • 2¬†lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2 tbsp Pickling spices or your mix‚Ķagain I mix black, and white peppercorns, and coriander seeds.

Method…2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep it in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

That’s all for today…..Take care and have fun as always thank you for joining me it is much appreciated plus I always look forward to your comments x

Eat Smart! Eat Healthy…Breakfast is a good start to the Day!

Hello and welcome to another healthy eating post…I am gradually getting through rescheduling older posts to combat these pesky scammers who invade my space…¬† I hope you are all well and although I think it is still too early for the Christmas tree it’s time to get organised for the weeks ahead no one likes a last-minute dash do they? it is such a busy time of year coming up and sometimes we don’t have time to eat or eat on the run…which is never good for our digestion…

Today I am going to post some breakfasts which I hope will help sustain you until lunch and that you can prepare really quickly…

Firstly…Porridge…

If you don’t know already I have six children and a dog and a snake and a parrot and a horse…Get the picture….lol…no longer all at home but I do appreciate how busy it can get when you are juggling all those balls and forget about yourself…

Breakfast time was ALWAYS busy when all my tribe was at home…My slow cooker was a lifesaver during the cold winter months …I put the porridge on at night before I went to bed and come the morning it was ready and waiting…So easy…Hubby was first out of the door having had his bowl of porridge and as the kids appeared they could get theirs as it was always fresh and hot…

You can serve porridge with honey, fruit compote, fresh fruit or even a sprinkling of brown sugar which was an occasional treat for me…

Other toppings:

  • Mango and toasted coconut
  • Bacon and maple syrup
  • Peanut Butter and grapes
  • Fruit Compote

I cannot pick a favourite out of these as I love them all…

 

How about some nice wholemeal Toast with peanut butter and sliced banana maybe a sprinkling of cinnamon and /or honey.

Or slice some strawberries..anything goes really or some mashed avocado and a hardboiled egg roughly chopped… Quick, easy and nutritious…

Love Peanut Butter ?

Rather than buying store-bought peanut butter which is full of nasties, it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.

It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no nasties.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Take 500 gm of raw peanuts. Put in oven on a tray and cook on high for 10 mins.
  2. Take out of the oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me.
  3. Put the remainder of the nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scraping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.
  4. Add 1tsp of salt,1 tbsp oil and the remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey, Nutella or another flavouring, of your choice then add now.
  5. Blitz again for 1 min and put it in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks.

IT’S DELISH!

Eggs are always a good way to start your day…

Softly scrambled or poached…they are one of my favourite things. Hubby has bread with his eggs I just eat scrambled eggs on their own sometimes I grill some tomatoes as I really love eggs and tomatoes.

Here is a lovely video on how to poach an egg something that many including me have problems with…I struggle to get the perfect poached egg… And if everyone wants a poached egg this man shows you how to do six eggs at once…

Yoghurt is a great option if you don’t have time to eat it at home put it in a mason jar with a lid and eat it when you get to work…

 

What I love about these jars is you can take them you and any fruit of your choice you can layer it or just top the yoghurt with it.

Easy to make oats to top your yoghurt or porridge.

Quick crunchy Oats…

  • 1 cup of uncooked oats…
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar…
  • 3 tbsp butter.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder ( optional)

Let’s Bake!

Mix all 3 ingredients together and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes stirring¬† I love to add a bit of cinnamon…

Allow to cool and top your porridge or yoghurt.

What is your favourite breakfast?

Thank you for reading I hope some of these breakfast ideas have made your tastebuds zing xxx

And just because I can…The 1st Christmas Advert 2022…I always love the John Lewis Christmas Ads and this year it is about “loneliness” which can affect anyone, any time of the year but is always more poignant at Christmas time…x

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

CarolCooks2…It’s Halloween!…Sweet Potatoes and a Mexican Michelada…

The witching hour is soon to be upon us… I expect all you lovely Halloweenies are prepared and ready…

Halloween¬†is the evening before the Christian holy days of¬†All Hallows‘ Day (also known as¬†All¬†Saints’ or Hallowmas) on 1 November and¬†All¬†Souls’ Day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of¬†All Hallows‘¬†Eve¬†(the evening before¬†All Hallows‘ Day).

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Halloween symbols are not made up or random… Black cats, spiders, and bats are all Halloween symbols because of their spooky history and ties to Wiccans. All three were thought to be the familiars of witches in the middle ages, and are often associated with bad luck.

Bats are also connected to Halloween by the ancient Samhain ritual of building a bonfire, which drove away insects and attracted bats.

Halloween is also the most important day for devil worshippers…However, for most people, Halloween is a fun time of dressing up, creating elaborate costumes and decorations, visiting haunted houses, taking kids trick-or-treating, and of course eating candy. It has become a heavily commercialized holiday second only to Christmas in terms of the number of people who celebrate and participate in it.

But many fundamentalist Christians, believe that there is a dark and sinister side to the Oct. 31 festivities when the boundaries between the living and the dead are blurred.

Did you know?

Candy Corn was originally known as chicken feed as corn was and is still also fed to chooks… They even used to have a picture of a rooster on the original box.

Halloween Food…Chilli con Carne and jacket potatoes are good for a chilly evening and easy to do but if you fancy a change I have some lovely recipes for¬†¬†Sweet Potatoes.

I like something a little different‚Ķ This recipe is a nice treat‚Ķ A recipe that was given to me by a friend who used goat‚Äôs cheese… I use feta or ricotta if I can’t get goats cheese‚Ķ

Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato with goat’s cheese, honey, and roasted grapes.

Ingredients:

‚ÄĘ 4 sweet potatoes
‚ÄĘ 2 cups of red seedless grapes
‚ÄĘ 1 tsp of coconut or olive oil
‚ÄĘ ¬ľ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
‚ÄĘ 4 ounces of goats cheese, feta/ricotta
‚ÄĘ Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
‚ÄĘ 2 tbsp of honey plus additional to drizzle if required

For 4 potatoes take 2 cups of small seedless grapes and put on a baking tray drizzle with oil and a season with salt and pepper then roast them at 350F for about 20 mins or until the skins just start to burst… Do check them as ovens vary and they can tend to burn…

Remove from the oven and leave to cool then take your cooled sweet potato and gently remove the flesh… the skins are not as hardy as a normal potato are they? So my advice is to leave some of the potato attached to the skin or you may struggle to fill them.

In a bowl mash the potato with 3 oz of the goat’s cheese, honey, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste then put the potato back in the skins and crumble some more goats cheese on top …To serve: add the grapes and drizzle more honey if desired…

Enjoy!

Other sweet potato fillings:

How about a baked sweet potato filled with cooked black beans, corn, sweet peppers topped with sour cream with some lime rind stirred through or sprinkled on the top and some chopped coriander.

Or the Thai way our sweet potatoes here are a bright purple we do get the orange but many are purple a really beautiful colour… Baked and topped with Thai Peanut sauce they are heavenly…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic very finely chopped or minced
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp.¬†fish sauce¬†(for vegetarians: substitute 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp.¬†tamarind paste¬†(or 2 tbsp. lime juice)
  • 1/2 tsp.¬†cayenne pepper¬†(or 1/2 tsp Thai red chilli paste more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until the sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.

Taste.... adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more red curry or cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you’d prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

This sauce tends to thicken as it sits‚Äďjust add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise, it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Add to your baked sweet potato and top with chopped red onion, green onions and coriander and some crispy fried garlic…yummy if you love Thai flavours.

Enjoy!

Lillie and Logan ready for HalloweenNow, who doesn’t love cute little fur babies…These two belong to Tori and she has shared an adorable image of them all dressed up in their Halloween outfits…Lillie and Logan, you look so cute…Thank you Tori xxx

All Hallows night is tonight( Thursday) but whether you are celebrating tonight or at the weekend have fun!

All your decorations are probably up by now and costumes made or hired…Just maybe some last-minute bits and pieces to do…

Just in case you haven’t decided on a Halloween special drink then this one may be the one for you…It is an awesome tipple… a Spicy Mexican Michelada which is similar to a Bloody Mary ( my fave) but made with beer and clam juice‚Ķ

michelada-beauty-shot-with-beer-bottle-and-lime-500x411

Doesn‚Äôt that look drinkable I am not a beer drinker but I may give this one a go …

 

I hope you have enjoyed these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts…

I am off to check out the Micheladas…Laters xxx

 

witch-1424756_640

Oops…nearly came off my broomstick…Hic xxx

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

Healthy foods which may help reduce your blood pressure…

lady holding veggies

Controlling your blood pressure is one of the most important things if not the most important thing you can do to improve your health and increase your lifespan. Of course, most of us now know there are alternatives to popping pills: Many foods can lower blood pressure naturally. Rather than cutting things out, science shows that you can really benefit from adding these foods to your diet.

These are all healthy foods that can be part of your diet. But whether any one food can lower your blood pressure isn’t entirely clear and will likely depend on a host of variables including your current blood pressure, your genes, how much of the food you consume and how often, and other components in your diet and exercise.

Of course, never ever stop taking any prescribed medication for your Blood pressure without your doctors say so. Always discuss your diet plans with your doctor if you are on medication and also if he is prescribing medication and you have not yet started taking it then discuss it with him..Show him that you have done your research and what you plan to do to help and he should be receptive to this and monitor your Blood pressure for a period of time to see if what you are proposing lowers it…Always ask, more and more medical practitioners are looking at natural methods of treating some conditions.

Work with your doctor.

A healthy diet and adding certain foods to that diet may help further reduce your blood pressure.

You probably already know that a diet rich in foods containing potassium, calcium and magnesium may help prevent or help normalise high blood pressure. But are there specific foods?

Salt has always been thought to be a major player in reducing blood pressure ..however, new schools of thoughts and current research into salt are raising doubts about this.

Myself I live in hot, humid climes and I need to keep my salt intake up..not in excess but not to cut it out as much as I can….my blood pressure has reduced since living here. I will admit it is lifestyle, diet and exercise which has all contributed to that. Nothing in isolation. While I am on the subject of salt in the diet this is a good ¬†article about salt and the diet¬†¬†¬†¬†

It doesn’t advocate cutting out salt completely or diving into the salt pot…Moderation not abstinence is what it is saying…

Below are some foods which if incorporated into your diet and some or most you may already be eating can help lower your blood pressure.

Leafy greens, which are high in potassium, include Romaine lettuce, arugula, kale, turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard and broccoli.

Curly Kale

But PLEASE DON’T discount frozen vegetables as they contain as many nutrients as fresh vegetables, and they‚Äôre easier to store. You can also blend these veggies with bananas and nut milk for a healthy, sweet green juice.

Beetroot.

Beets are high in nitric oxide, which can help open your blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Current research also found that the nitrates in beetroot juice lowered research participants’ blood pressure within just 24 hours.

Red Beetroot with leaves and one cut beet

For a 2013 study in Nutrition Journal, Australian researchers looked at the effects of beet juice on blood pressure among healthy men and women.. Participants drank either beet plus apple juice or plain apple juice and then had their blood pressure monitored over 24 hours. The results: The researchers observed a reduction in systolic blood pressure six hours after participants drank beet juice, especially among men. Beets naturally contain nitrates, which ease blood pressure

Servo, M., Lara, J., Ogbonmwan, I., & Mathers, J. C. (2013). Inorganic nitrate and beetroot juice supplementation

You can juice your own beets or simply cook and eat the whole root. Beetroot is delicious when roasted or added to stir-fries and stews. You can also bake them into chips.

Be careful when handling beets the juice can stain your hands and clothes and also colour your urine…

Oatmeal

Fits the bill for a high-fibre, low-fat way to lower your blood pressure. Eating oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to fuel up for the day.

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Overnight oats are a popular breakfast option. To make them, soak a cup of rolled oats and a cup of nut milk or milk of your choice in a jar. In the morning, stir and add berries, granola, and cinnamon to taste.

Bananas

Eating foods that are rich in potassium is in my book better than taking supplements.

Bananas

Slice a banana into your cereal or oatmeal for a potassium-rich addition. You can also take one to go along with a boiled egg for a quick breakfast or snack.

Love bananas? Then look no further for some delicious health tips and recipes all tried and tested by Moi

Fruity Fridays… The Banana

Salmon, mackerel, and fish with omega-3

Fish are a great source of lean protein. Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and lower triglycerides. In addition to these fish sources, trout contains vitamin D. Foods rarely contain vitamin D, and this hormone-like vitamin has properties that can lower blood pressure.

salmon

This recipe for Salmon trout cooked my way is one of my favourites..easy to do and very tasty https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/i-cook-with-wine-sometimes-i-even-add-it-to-the-food-w-c-fields/

The only warning I would give on this is to make sure that fish is from a sustainable source and not farmed.

 Seeds

Unsalted seeds are high in potassium, magnesium, and other minerals which are known to reduce blood pressure. Enjoy a¬†cup of sunflower, pumpkin, or squash seeds as a snack between meals…. a nice healthy snack.

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Chillies

For those who know me can just imagine the smile on my face …I love chilli and for anyone with high blood pressure, chilli peppers might be just what the doctor ordered, according to a study reported in the August issue of¬†Cell Metabolism,¬†a Cell Press publication. While the active ingredient that gives the peppers their heat – a compound that is known as capsaicin might set your mouth on fire, it also leads blood vessels to relax, the research in hypertensive rats shows.

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For those who can’t tolerate spicy foods, there might be some hope for there is the existence of mild Japanese peppers, which contains a compound called capsaicinoid that is closely related to capsaicin limited studies shows that these capsaicinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin.

 Garlic

Garlic can help reduce hypertension by increasing the amount of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps promote vasodilation, or the widening of arteries, to reduce blood pressure.

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 Dark chocolate

Eating dark chocolate is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study suggests that up to 100 gms per day of dark chocolate may be associated with a lower risk of CVD.

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Dark chocolate contains more than 60 per cent cocoa solids and has less sugar than regular chocolate. ¬†So you can enjoy your chocolate without feeling guilty it is healthy…

 Olive oil

Olive oil is an example of healthy fat. It contains polyphenols, which are inflammation-fighting compounds that can help reduce blood pressure.

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Virgin Coconut Oil

A¬†new study¬†looking at Virgin Coconut Oil and Hypertension was just published in Malaysia in the journal¬†Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study compared a diet of ‚Äúfive times heated palm oil‚ÄĚ with Virgin Coconut Oil, and a control group.

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For that special person…

How to make your own Coconut oil…How it is made traditionally here in Thailand…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/how-to-make-your-own-coconut-oil/

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a healthy fruit that you can enjoy raw or as a juice. One study concluded that drinking a cup of pomegranate juice once a day for four weeks helps lower blood pressure over the short term.

pomegranates showing fruit

Pomegranate juice is tasty for a healthy breakfast. Be sure to check the sugar content in store-bought juices, as the added sugars can negate the health benefits.

GREEN COFFEE

Coffee beans are naturally green, but roasting turns them brown. So in essence, green coffee is just another name for unroasted coffee.

While roasted coffee beans have a similar chemical composition to green coffee beans, the roasting process destroys much of its chlorogenic acid.¬†This is the active ingredient that gives green coffee beans additional health properties. It’s also the ingredient extracted for use in supplements such as green coffee bean extract.

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While green coffee bean extract may not be the “weight-loss miracle” Dr Oz claimed, it does appear to benefit blood flow, at least in the short term.

One 12-week study using 480 ml green coffee extract (equal to 140 ml of chlorogenic acid) found it reduced heart rate and blood pressure by about 8 per cent. These benefits were maintained for 12 weeks of supplementation, but only in those who began with high blood pressure. What’s more, benefits were lost once supplementation stopped.

Theoretically, drinking more green coffee should have many of the same benefits as supplementing, but it depends on the chlorogenic acid concentration. Doses used in these studies were equivalent to 120-300 ml of chlorogenic acid.

Try swapping your regular coffee for green coffee and then checking for any blood pressure changes after a month.

While this list is not exhaustive of foods which can help lower your blood pressure it gives you a starting point though please speak to your doctor about your plans you may be pleasantly surprised how receptive doctors are when you want to help yourself rather than just popping some pills.

You will also feel much better…I can vouch for that because I most certainly do and I still have the odd cake and biscuit it is about moderation…

Thank you for joining today and as always I look forward to your comments…this is one of my earlier posts that I have updated and rescheduled to try and reduce the amount of spam I am getting x


Photos used in this post are taken by me(Carol) or from Pixabay and no attribution is required.

 

CarolCooks2‚ĶFriday Food Reviews‚ĶAromatic Leaves‚ĶPart 5‚Ķ

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews, where I will cover a different food or product each week and look at… what they are.  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, and are they safe to eat, store, use, cook, or anything connected to that food? or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three… today I am looking at…Aromatic Leaves…Part 5.

Why am I looking at aromatic leaves?… as a foodie I am always searching for new recipes…many recipes especially Asian ones make use of aromatic leaves which are different from the regular much-used soft-leafed herbs like coriander and mint etc…

Many leaves that are native to other countries are now finding their way around the world either dried or frozen… I think that is great as we can widen our cooking repertoire and experience other flavours‚Ķsome of which we may not like and others which may become a staple in our spice collection‚Ķ

Foraging is an age-old tradition that is very prevalent here and moreso around the world in recent years as people realise just how beneficial to our health and well-being foraged greens can be…and why waste a natural resource as food shortages hit us harder we may need to rely on foraging more often…

Foraging is also a wonderful way to explore nature, conserve ecosystems, and enrich your diet, but it is vital to know which plants are edible and which plants will send you to the emergency room and always remember to wash them thoroughly… If you are a beginner at foraging like me, it‚Äôs best to start foraging under the guidance of an experienced outdoorsman/woman with extensive knowledge of local plant life…I have my DIL and a Thai friend who are both very knowledgeable and if in doubt, let the plant be and raid your garden instead until you have the knowledge to be safe…

Deep Fried Maple Leaves…

Who knew certainly not me!... Wow, you live and learn as they say…

Star Fruit Leaves…one of my neighbours has a huge star fruit tree and the fruit makes a delicious relish…however, I didn’t know you could cook with the leaves until very recently but before I tell you about the leaves I will just share this little relish recipe made with the beautiful star fruit or carambola as some of you may know it as…

Star Fruit Relish:

  • 8 cups of star fruit, thinly sliced and any seeds removed.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves tied in a muslin bag and slightly crushed.
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg( optional) see note below.

Let’s, Pickle!

Wash and thinly slice the star fruit removing any seeds. Cover with the cider vinegar and stand overnight…in the morning drain the vinegar then add sugar, salt and the clove bag. Cook gently until the relish starts to thicken then allow to stand overnight.

In the morning remove the spice bag and reheat the mix after adding the nutmeg if used and bring it to a boil.

If you plan to store the star fruit chutney then omit the nutmeg as it will turn the relish a brown colour although it does add another dimension to the taste.

Put into hot jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with some cold meats or bread and butter.

My second learning curve of the day...this post is certainly that…The Star Fruit Leaves ...my grandson’s partner comes from Bali and has been the source of a few of my recipes talking to her about the aromatic leaves they use she told me about this dish and the fact that this tree grows in many Balinese gardens…

Of course, I had to go and pick some leaves from my neighbour’s tree and they are everything she said crunchy with a slightly bitter tang…she also shared a recipe that once I make¬† I will share with you…it’s called “ Jukut Blimbing” which translates to Star Fruit Leaves in Sweet Sauce…and of course, as tradition dictates its served on a banana leaf…

Indonesian Bay Leaf…until a few weeks ago I only thought that the laurel bay was the only bay leaf and the only one I have used until very recently…how wrong I was…Duan Salam translates as bay leaf…it is however not remotely the same in taste as the laurel bay… a subtly, flavoured leaf of the Cassia family…however the flavour bears no resemblance to the laurel bay leaf which is sometimes suggested as a substitute. If you cannot obtain dried salam leaves then omit them from the recipe or substitute them with the curry leaf…

To release their flavour before adding to a recipe fry 3-4 leaves either in oil or heat them in some coconut milk either of these will release the flavour…you can then add the leaves to your recipe…

N.B...my search was successful…yeah! I have found some duan salam and they are winging their way to me…

Thank you for joining me today as always I look forward to your comments and if you forage for leaves and mushrooms and have some tales of your experiences and finds to tell then I will be happy to share them…xx

Smorgasbord Health Column ‚Äď Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor ‚Äď Magnesium ‚Äď Coleslaw, Pumpkin Seeds, Tom Yum Soup, Morning Glory

Welcome to the rewind of this series from 2019 where we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually, we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

To read the original post with recipes please click the highlighted link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/05/11/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-coleslaw-pumpkin-seeds-tom-yum-soup-morning-glory/