Category Archives: Health and Nutrition

Homemade Protein Shakes…Raspberry and Beetroot…

 

I think this time of year always gets most of us thinking that better weather and longer days are on the way and also the excesses of the festive season sometimes weigh a bit heavy …we are finding we are wearing our Jim jams or joggers more often than our jeans or trousers/skirts(with) a fixed waistband and no elastic to give us a helping hand…

Couple that with the quarantine and restrictions put in place last year and for some they are still in place I know my thoughts are turning to the fact I need to move more and eat less of certain foods…too many comfort foods have been the name of the game… it all adds up…

This time of year also means that all the new diets appear and what promises lies they tell…Nothing will make you lose belly fat or any other fat that quickly and keep it off unless you are following an extremely restricted diet…

Doing more exercise also turns our thoughts and our thirst to drinks…Water is my go-to drink when I am exercising …If you are doing high-intensity workouts then it may be that your friends or the gym you attend tell you to take a protein drink to help decrease body fat or promote weight loss, but protein shakes aren’t a magic bullet for weight loss.

Replacing meals with protein shakes may help you reduce your daily calories, which can help you lose weight. They are also costly and may make you gain weight…

Which means choose wisely ..do your research…

It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot (as much as 23 grams per scoop).

Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.

The answer…How about making your own?

I know many people who exercise who take these… So I thought I would do a little research and make my own… Cost-wise it is a no-brainer against the cost of some most Protein powders I made one today and it was nice…It tasted good..my son was my guinea pig/taste tester and has been a protein drink customer in the past and it got the thumbs up from him.

The protein shake is 3/4 cup of liquid and 1/3 cup of your main protein…

Liquids:-

Coconut milk or water or Soya milk… It is important to get the right balance not what liquid you choose.

Proteins:-

Greek yoghurt, Silken tofu, nut butter i.e raw cashews ( which) require soaking overnight to soften.

Extra proteins:-

Chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax or whole oats.

Today I made a Raspberry Protein shake and for an extra boost could have used chia seeds.

Raspberry Protein shake.

Raspberry Protein Shake

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1/3 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 medium beetroot(raw) peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp honey ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ( optional)

Let’s, Blitz!

Measure all the ingredients into your blender and blitz away… The colour was amazing a beautiful colour and it tasted very nice not too sweet and I did add honey.  Having never had a protein drink I do not know what they taste like although I have listened to others who say well they don’t taste great BUT I drink them anyway…Really! Why would you?

Personally, I like to drink something which tastes pleasant.

Thank you for dropping in I hope you have enjoyed the post and I would love to hear from you in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol x

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock 2021 -Anti-Aging and pH balance Eating Plan by Sally Cronin

I think we all would like to slow down the march of time…Sally has clearly outlined how easily we can achieve this…Come and join us in the march against time…x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Background to the series.

Sixteen years ago I had a series on radio called Turning Back the Clock, which I presented in response to listeners in their 50’s and 60’s looking for rejuvenation and tips on staying young. Like me they were exasperated by the claims of the cosmetic industry that the various ingredients in their products could knock ten years off their age. I was asked to design a diet that would help reverse the signs of aging and this developed into a weekly challenge that was undertaken by nearly 100 listeners. The series became a book in 2010.

I try to practice what I preach!  And certainly so far I have managed to maintain healthy key indicators such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol without medication, much to the surprise of my doctor!

In my opinion the answer to turning back the clock by several…

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Fruity Friday…does Christmas with Chestnuts…

 

I hear you...I can see that puzzled look…It’s Fruity Friday…Are Chestnuts a fruit?

YES, they are!

If we want to be correct and proper most nuts are the seeds of a fruit, but true nuts such as chestnuts, acorns and hazelnuts are fruits in and as of themselves…Peanuts are the exception as they are legumes and therefore technically a vegetable…A source of plant-based protein they have many health benefits…

Chestnuts to me are synonymous with winter and Christmas my memories are my father putting the chestnuts in the ash pan under the fire they are also of toasting crumpets and toast over an open fire and if you got too close getting burnt legs all red and mottled… Health and Safety would have kittens now and get all freaked out methinks…

So today I am going to share a few of my favourite dishes using chestnuts…

Not only are they delicious but their health benefits are enormous… Dr Mehmet Oz, MD said…Chestnuts are the only low-fat nuts, containing just 1 gram of fat and a little less than 70 calories per ounce of dried or roasted nuts. Additionally, chestnuts are the only nuts that contain vitamin C; in fact, just 3 ounces of chestnuts supply about 45% of the recommended daily amount of this vital antioxidant nutrient. And they’re a great source of dietary fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels. When chestnuts are in season, you can roast them in the oven. If you’re pressed for time, you can buy them prepackaged and ready to eat any time of year. You should eat up to 3 ounces of chestnuts a day to maximize their benefits.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/health-value-of-foods/the-health-benefits-eating-chestnuts

This dish is a recipe I have had for a long time… These little cakes are very tasty and lovely with some steamed vegetables or a salad. This mix makes 6 rice cakes. If you haven’t made risotto before please don’t let it put you off. As long as your liquid is hot and you let each addition of stock become absorbed into the rice before adding more stock it is a doddle.

So much easier than most people think it is certainly don’t let the disasters on the TV cooking shows put you off.

Risotto Cakes with Chestnuts and Brussel Sprouts.

chestnuts sprouts risotto

These lovely risotto cakes also are vegetarian and the first time I made them was at Christmas for a veggie friend and they loved them.

I also think meat-free dishes have come a very long way…Don’t you? There is so much more on restaurant menus and I also think home cooks are more adventurous with flavours.

These risotto cakes certainly fit the bill even if you are a die-hard meat-eater.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz risotto rice
  • 8 oz Brussel sprouts finely shredded
  • 6 shallots finely chopped
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz cooked, shelled chestnuts, chopped finely
  • 1 3/4 – 2 pints of hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 8 oz fresh breadcrumbs.

15-20 sage leaves for garnish, a little flour for dusting and a pinch of paprika.

Oil of your choice for deep-frying.

Line 6 x 4-inch cooking rings with cling film.

Cook the shredded Brussel sprouts in lightly salted water for 1 minute. Drain set to one side.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the shallots for 2 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until the rice is evenly coated with the melted butter.

Stir in 1-2 ladles of the hot vegetable stock at a time and stirring until the rice has absorbed the stock before adding your next ladles of stock. Do this until the rice is just tender but with a little bite. This will take about 25 minutes as does any risotto.

Add the cheese and season being careful of the salt as both the cheese and the stock contain salt. Gently stir in the chestnuts and the sprouts. If the mixture seems too thick add a little more stock.

Divide your mixture between the cooking rings. Leave to cool and then chill until set and firm.

When the rice cakes are nicely chilled remove the rings and the clingfilm.

Double dip the lightly floured rice cakes in egg and then breadcrumbs…repeat. You may need to reshape the cakes.

Heat the oil until a small crouton of bread turns golden within a minute and dust the sage leaves with the flour and paprika and fry for 1-2 minutes…set aside on kitchen paper.

Deep fry the cakes for 5-7 minutes until they are golden and crisp. It is probably best to do these 2 at a time while keeping the cooked ones warm in the oven.

To serve:

Add some deep-fried sage leaves to the top of the cake served with your Christmas vegetables it is wonderfully tasty and makes a lovely Christmas main course for anyone who isn’t eating turkey.

Wandering around a food market in Wanong, Northern Thailand…and losing myself among the sights and smells of beautiful tempting Thai food. I spied a few fruits and vegetables which were unknown to me and this one. Although once I knew what it was then I recognised the taste ….without knowing the name I was puzzled I sort of knew the taste but didn’t connect the dots…lol

We were talking and looking for these a few weeks ago when we were thinking about what to cook for dinner and reminiscing about the Chinese food we remembered having years ago with these crunchy water chestnuts in..you never got many just a few slices… I was then looking in the shops at imported goods to see if I could them and no luck…Then there they were the other day right under my nose and fresh ones….strange world…When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.

Water chestnuts

Usually available in speciality groceries or supermarkets, they should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lemon juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.

Once peeled, they’ll only remain fresh in water that’s changed daily for two to three days.

Chinese Chicken with Water Chestnuts.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb of chicken breasts or pork finely sliced.
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of cornflour or tapioca flour
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp of spring onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated or Julienne
  • 2 cups of water chestnuts peeled and sliced ( tinned are fine) and can be found in most Asian sections of supermarkets.
  • 1 cup of bamboo sliced (optional) or bean sprouts.

N.B…I have started using arrowroot instead of cornflour it is tasteless and gives a glossy sauce and where corn flour has a slight taste and cloudy appearance arrowroot is glossy and clear. It is a great thickener and can easily replace cornflour.

Arrowroot powder is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GMO and laden with pesticides.

Let’s Cook!

Mix the sherry, soy sauce and arrowroot together, set to one side.

Heat the oil in a pan and add chicken /pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes add garlic, spring onions, ginger and bamboo and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked.

Add water chestnuts and stir-fry I minute then add the arrowroot mix and stir-fry for another minute or two until juice thickens slightly add beans sprouts if using.

I always add my bean sprouts if using add the very end as I like mine crisp and just cooked.

I also add other vegetables if I have a few odds and ends like broccoli or mange tout, baby corn.

Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles…

chicken and water chestnuts

Enjoy!

Who doesn’t love stuffing at Christmas??? If it contains chestnuts I am happy…

Stuffing Mix with Chestnuts.

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 nearest shops were 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 …tick…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz  of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 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 1 oz 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 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.

Stuffing 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 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.

This lovely dessert is a popular Thai dessert made from water chestnuts. It is called  Ta-Ko Haew…..Sweet Water Chestnut with Coconut Custard.

Ingredients:

  • For base:
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour.
  • 1 3/4 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup pandan leaf juice. This gives lovely soft green colour which is often seen in Thai desserts.
  • 8 oz can water chestnuts or fresh if you can get them.
  • 1/3 cup sugar.
  • For topping:
  • 1 can coconut milk or again fresh coconut milk if you can get some.
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

Dice the chestnuts very small.

Mix both flours and sugar together add water and pandan leaf juice. Mix well. Put in pan and bring to the boil, stirring it until the mixture thickens add the diced water chestnuts and bring back to the boil then remove from the heat.

Spoon the mixture into small individual foil cups. Or if you have banana leaves then they would be traditionally wrapped in a banana leaf or on the markets they are sliced into squares and displayed.

Now make the topping.

Mix the coconut milk, sugar, rice flour and salt together bring slowly to a soft boil whilst stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and spoon over the bases.

Allow to cool and serve immediately.

These are lovely if you enjoy sweet desserts… Also an ideal Christmas dessert with a difference for those who don’t like Christmas Pudding.

I hope you have enjoyed my favourite recipe using chestnuts or water chestnuts…

About Carol Taylor:

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

 

Saturday Snippets…31st October…A Halloween Special…and Loy Krathong…

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where anything goes…whatever catches my eye or my imagination could be on this post…something for everyone…The temperature has definitely dropped this week enough for me to sleep comfortably without a fan and it has been overcast and quite dull although this morning I was greeted by sunshine…A nice change…

You may have wondered why my image header shows two entirely different images in type…Today 31st October is Halloween traditionally known as All Hallows’ Eve, it is always the eve of the Christian festival All Saints’ Day on 1 November… it is also Loy Krathong here where we float pretty flowers and candles…

When I looked at the meaning of Halloween and Loy Krathong I was struck by many similarities so even though our communities are far apart we are not so different. Of course, there is also a blue moon …A rarity…

The next time there will be both types of “Blue Moons” in the same year will be in 2037. In fact, the 21st century will only see six full moons on October 31: 2001, 2020, 2037, 2058, 2077 and 2096.

Orange and black are the standard colours associated with Halloween total opposites as orange depicts warmth, the beautiful fall colours of the leaves, the oranges of the autumn harvest pumpkins, squash, carrots, peppers so many fruits and vegetables with a warm orange hue…

At the opposite end of the colour spectrum, we have the black of cauldrons, bats, cats, spiders witches hats black is associated with darkness and evil…the underworld, death and spirits…black is the spooky side of Halloween…

As kids, we used to love toffee apples or candy apples as they are called over the pond…

 

After eating all that candy you may want some wellness advice...Look no further as Sally is here…x

Wellness Corner with Sally Cronin…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/smorgasbord-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-essential-oils-and-aromatherapy-clary-sage-essential-oil-by-sally-cronin/

Time for some music and in keeping with the Halloween theme I have some vintage 80’s tunes of popular Halloween tunes…from U2, The Cure, David Bowie, the Eurythmics and others…A real treat…

I hope you enjoyed this medley of Halloween songs…There are some great tracks on there…

I just love Halloween trivia…

Michael Myers the villain of the film Halloween...How scary is his mask…But how did it start off? Quite innocently…

When shooting the original 1978 film, production designer Tommy Lee Wallace picked up two masks from a Hollywood Boulevard magic shop: a clown and William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek.

“Tommy came in with the clown mask on, and we went, ‘Ooh, that’s kind of scary.’ Then he put on the Shatner mask, and we stopped dead and said, ‘It’s perfect,'” actor Nick Castle told the New York Times. They spray-painted it white, cut the eye holes bigger, and the rest is history. This kept the film on budget as it was a small budget film and the William Shatner mask cost just $2.

The Disney film Hocus Pocus…was originally titled Halloween House as there was more horror than comedy…

I used to love a good horror film but as I got older they didn’t hold their appeal for me…However, I love Sleepy Hollow…and Ichabod Crane( Johnny Depp) certainly made a few hearts flutter …then along came the Headless Horseman…A perfect Halloween Film…

I loved this behind the scenes look at the filming of Sleepy Hollow…

That’s all for me this week...I hope you have found something to enjoy…I am now going to make my green tea…contemplate making more brownies at the request of my grandson and of course it is time to start the bread making…To all of you who are facing tighter lockdown restrictions please stay safe. I am praying that those who do not conform decide that it is now time to think of their neighbours and fellow man and just do it or this Virus which they think is false will carry on into 2021…Surely no one wants to see that?

Please let me know in the comments what you enjoyed …I love hearing from you it makes my day…

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippet …xxx

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe not only from Covid-19 but the wildfires around the world…xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 18th October -24th October 2020… Recipes, Health, Whimsy, Volkswagen Currywurst…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy this much-shortened version…Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

My first post of the week was on Tuesday 20th…Halloween Tales and recipes…

From what I have been reading Halloween in many places is not happening this year and in others, it has been curtailed or there may be some virtual goings-on planned…I am sure by now though the decorations are up…

I have lots of trivia, sweet potato recipes, soup from the lovely Dolly, and the obligatory cocktail…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/20/29239/

Wednesday: My doesn’t the time fly today it’s  The Culinary Alphabet with a twist…The letter H (noocH)…Now, nooch I have just discovered is Nutritional Yeast something I haven’t used but very popular with the Vegan community…You learn something every day in the blogging world which is great…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/21/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-twistthe-letter-h-nooch/

Thursday: Part 1 unseasonable -affective disorder…

Something I had not heard of but on reading, I could see the relevance thanks to Sally @ Smorgasbord Health…

Health Column

It really isn’t until we are prompted to think about health, our diets, and lifestyles that we can attribute and improve our health by adjusting certain parts of our lifestyles and diet…Quite simple really…Head over to Sally’s and you can be sure of great advice and remedies for better health something we all aspire to…See you there #recommended read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/smorgasbord-health-column-unseasonal-affective-disorder-lockdown-elderly-part-one-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Friday…The Juniper Berry

A lovely versatile little berry that makes lovely sauces is a great aromatic in stews and dried it is a beautiful spice…in Northern Europe particularly in Scandanavia, it is a popular addition to cabbage and sauerkraut.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/23/fruity-friday-the-juniper-berry/

Saturday Snippets:

I have lots this week for you, recipes, health and trivia, and The Who…My Storks are still here sometimes just one and a couple of times this week he or she has brought along some mates …they fascinate me as they stand around in a semi-circle and chat and when it’s time to go they take their formation and away they go…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/24/saturday-snippets-24th-october-2020/

That’s all for this week’s roundup a rather short week again…one of the positives… less writing has made my stats boom…go figure… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are affected or in the path of these wildfires in California…Please stay safe…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learned..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe xxx

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and well being.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – October 4th – 10th 2020 – Streisand, Narcissism, Dog Sitting, Mending Fences, books, reviews and funnies

Another interesting and fun filled week from Sally something for everyone …Grab a coffee or a glass of wine depending on your time zone ..get comfy and enjoy the read…Just click the link below which will take you to Smorgasbord where Sally will make you very welcome…Enjoy! xx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-october-4th-10th-2020-streisand-narcissism-dog-sitting-mending-fences-books-reviews-and-funnies/