Category Archives: Healthy Eating

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Rewind- Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate by Sally Cronin

 

I love fish and could eat it all the time…its good to know as Salmon is one of my favourites how good it is for your health…Please head over to Smorgasboard Magazine to read what salmon you should buy and how it benefits your health…just click the highlighted link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/04/28/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-rewind-salmon-omega-3-on-a-plate-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Rewind- #Asparagus #VitaminK2 – Nutrient Packed and Delicious by Sally Cronin

There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Here Sally explores the benefits of including Asparagus in our diets plus the vitamins and nutrients this lovely vegetable brings to the table…

To read the original post on Asparagus please click the highlighted link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/04/14/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-rewind-asparagus-vitamink2-nutrient-packed-and-delicious-by-sally-cronin/

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review…10 common food substitutes plus 2 …

 

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, 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…

This week it’s…Common Food Substitutes…

I have lost count of the number of times I have gone to make a recipe or one of the grandchildren asked if they can make something and you realised you have either run out of something or realised that it’s something you can’t eat or wouldn’t use again…that’s when you start to think of a substitute something which will give you the same taste or texture….or you just might wish to make that recipe a little healthier…

Cinnamon or Allspice…

Cinnamon is easy to get here not so Allspice and it comes in the smallest of quantities and considering the size the cost is high…

I love Cinnamon it adds such a distinctive kick to many of our favourite foods, think bread pudding, apple pies… it’s a common ingredient in many dessert recipes be it biscuits(cookies), cakes, pies… plus it’s also one that’s easy to replace, which is good news if you’ve run out, or if you’re cooking for someone who has a cinnamon allergy…

However, if you run out of cinnamon then the most common substitute for cinnamon is allspice… also known as Jamaica pepper or pimento, allspice is a common ingredient in many desserts and Jamaican dishes.

Allspice has a taste similar to cinnamon with the addition of cloves and nutmeg. In fact, the best substitute for allspice is cinnamon with …you guessed it …cloves and nutmeg.

If you’re out of cinnamon and don’t have any allspice handy, try using cardamom (a spice closely related to ginger). Of course, cloves and nutmeg also work well.

Chocolate…

And guess who got some Easter eggs? For the first time ever here…I snapped them up and they are sitting in the back of the fridge ready for Easter Day or Good Friday…Not everyone can eat chocolate…or doesn’t want to sooooo what is the alternative???

Carob powder is the most popular alternative, and from a health standpoint, it’s pretty similar to the real thing…When substituting carob powder for chocolate in recipes, replace one square of unsweetened baking chocolate with 3 tablespoons each of carob powder and water.

It’s made from dried, roasted carob tree pods and looks a lot like cocoa powder. Carob powder is often used as a natural sweetener in baked goods.

Butter…

There is nothing like lovely grass-fed butter on freshly baked bread…Sometimes butter is the way to go, but it’s not always the best choice and it’s good to know the alternatives.

For those times, there are good alternatives that work well in baking and cooking. Margarine is the most common butter substitute and will work in a pinch, but there are better fill-ins if you’re looking for a healthier choice, especially when you’re baking cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies and quick breads.

You can use unsweetened applesauce to replace part of or all the butter in a recipe. You can swap it in equal amounts, (so if your recipe calls for 2 cups of butter, you can use 2 cups of applesauce instead) or just replace part of the butter. Mashed avocado also works well as a replacement for butter in baking.

Like applesauce, it can be used in equal amounts for softened butter, and its flavour works particularly well with chocolate. Of course, you can always use one of the latest vegan butter substitutes, too. Just be sure they’re marked as suitable for baking.

No Wine!

When a recipe calls for wine or maybe you are cutting down and just want the taste but not the calories…or you realize you drank it all!

Depending on how the dish calls for the wine, you could use white wine vinegar, although apple cider, apple juice or even chicken stock could work, especially if the wine is for deglazing your pan.

If the wine is for adding acidity to the dish, a squeeze of lemon or lime — or even a tablespoon or two of tomato paste — will do the trick.

When substituting an ingredient like wine, it’s important to consider the taste you’re going for. If you’d prefer more of a bitter taste, use a substitute such as vinegar. If you’re aiming for sweetness, go for something like apple cider…

Salt…

Salt has its place in both cooking and baking. But too much is never good, so if boosting flavour is your goal, try adding tons of fresh garlic…

Two of the most common and effective salt substitutions are citrus and garlic…all of the taste without the sodium.

The strong taste of garlic also helps make bland foods more appealing…we love garlic if a recipe says 2 cloves I would put 4-6 cloves… Garlic and citrus juices go well with just about anything, especially meats, potatoes and vegetables.

Try different herbs and spices ...think onion powder (not onion salt!), smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, sage or freshly ground black pepper… to see what you like best…I have still to try nutritional yeast but know many people who do and it seems quite popular…

Flours…

There are so many different flours on the market now and all different .. how you use them and how much liquid or how little liquid to use…plus many of them are interchangeable…I mix my flours especially when I am making bread…

But what if your recipe calls for self-raising flour, and you only have all-purpose? You can make self-raising in a pinch. Just add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp table salt to 1 cup of all-purpose flour. Now you have self-raising…I lived here for quite a few years before I worked that one out..

Soy Sauce…

Tamari is the closest thing you can get to soy sauce. The only difference between the two is soy sauce contains wheat and tamari doesn’t. That also makes tamari an ideal replacement for those looking for gluten-free options. You could also try liquid aminos; they’re also gluten-free and full of umami flavour. But they’re slightly sweeter than soy sauce.

Granulated Sugar…

 

Honey is one of the best substitutes for white refined sugar. It’s sweet, healthier and works well in baking and cooking.

Maple syrup and molasses are two other options, as is unsweetened applesauce. Even replacing half of the sugar in your recipe with applesauce can cut out a ton of empty calories. There are also sugar substitutes, you can use, like Stevia. You can swap many of these products for equal parts of sugar in most recipes. Just check the packaging.

Galangal…

Many Thai /Asian recipes call for Galangal…You can substitute 1 tbsp young fresh ginger plus 1/8-1/4 tsp of lemon juice..or check with your local Asian stores to see if they have galangal paste you may be able to buy galangal paste at Asian stores or online…

Green Papaya…

Green Papaya is used in Som tam which is a spicy Thai Salad…but it is not always easy to obtain green Papaya outside of Asia…I haven’t tried this but the Thai girls use Swede shredded if they can’t get green Papayas although so many Asian stores now do stock fresh Thai fruit and vegetables so it is always worth googling Asian stores in your area to see what they stock…

Thank you for joining me today.. it has been very windy here which is unusual and rainy…As always I look forward to your comments..See you tomorrow for Saturday Snippets …Have an enjoyable evening xx

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy Rewind – Brown Rice so much more than just a grain by Sally Cronin

There are certain foods that bring more than taste to your diet, rich in nutrients and energy they are worth including in your weekly shopping.

Today Sally is looking at Brown Rice and the benefits of including it in your diet…What is so special about Brown Rice?

Of all rice – any form of brown rice will contain more of the nutrients as it loses only the outer layer of the grain called the hull.

During the process that turns brown rice into white rice, it loses 67% of its vitamin B3 (niacin) 80% of B190% of B6 – 50% of its manganese and phosphorus, 60% of its iron and all the dietary fibre and essential fatty acids…

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

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/03/17/smorgasbord-health-column-ood-therapy-rewind-brown-rice-so-much-more-than-just-a-grain-by-sally-cronin/

 

CarolCooks2…National Celery Month…Home cured bacon using Celery Juice…

March is National Celery Month…

I love celery …celery which is in season and grown and not forced as when it is forced it is green and bitter-tasting…

Celery contains a plant compound called apigenin, it has long played a role in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant agent…

For me eating celery with crumpets and shellfish is how we used to eat it for Sunday Tea…an abiding childhood memory…my mother used to add it to her stews and casseroles and we used to fight over the hard, crunchy end bit of the celery…most of the time my dad won but occasionally he let us win…

Celery is mostly made up of water but it does provide fibre for our bodies…Combining celery with cucumber, apple, spinach, and lemon can produce a tasty and healthful smoothie.

Celery Juice also has naturally occurring nitrates and for this reason, I used the juice to cure my own bacon…

I have also been experimenting with various different ways of curing bacon and ham which may be more healthy…Bacon contains nitrates which some people have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery into the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring nitrates although for some people it may still cause headaches but if your aversion is to chemicals only then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Lets Cook!

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into the Pork.

Belly pork bacon Naturallly cured

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in the oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.

Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a homemade smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

Home cured Bacon frying

Naturally cured with celery juice

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Most households have some who love thick bacon and some who like thinner bacon the beauty of making your own bacon is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

Celery can make a crunchy, tasty addition to many dishes, and its seeds and extracts may offer a range of health benefits. It can also make a handy low-calorie snack…it pairs well with cheeses, hummus and peanut butter…for a healthy snack…

Braised with some good homemade stock, butter and black pepper it makes a healthy side dish for a main.

Chopped it can be added to salad, soups…it adds a nice crunch to salads and is a great addition to soups and stews.

Celery Seeds…

These small brown seeds can be deceiving as celery seeds are nutrient-dense and particularly rich in calcium, manganese, and iron. They’re low in calories and provide relatively equal amounts of carbs, protein, and fat…a versatile spice with many uses…sold as whole seeds, crushed, or as a ground spice. Ground celery seed is often referred to as celery powder.

Sprinkle them on your salad for a flavour boost…Mix them into hearty casseroles.

Use them as a spice rub for grilled meat…mix them into your barbeque dishes like coleslaw or potato salad…Add them to your pickling recipes…I always add them to my pickled onions and garlic…

Interestingly, some people use ground celery seeds to make tea. You can make your own by pouring boiling water over 1 tablespoon (6.5 grams) of ground seeds and steeping the mixture for roughly 10 minutes. Strain the seeds from the water and enjoy…

It is worth noting that traditional medicine and most research has focused on celery extracts rather than the consumption of celery sticks.

Thank you for joining me today…what is your favourite way to eat celery…I look forward to your comments as always …x

Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B5 – Raw Vegetables, Spring Rolls, Chicken Livers, Salmon

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.

In this series, 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.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make the best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

It’s always good to have a rewind and as Sally tells us it is very important that we get our B vitamins…Please head over to Smorgasbord by clicking the highlighted ink below…See you there!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/03/02/smorgasbord-health-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-vitamin-b5-raw-vegetables-spring-rolls-chicken-livers-salmon/