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Would you eat me?…Banana Worm Bread…

In this day and age when the population is increasing scientists and people’s thoughts turn to other means of food…GM modified foods have many critics so a lot of people are looking at alternatives foods which in the past we would never have considered eating and which now due to research reveal that many are very good sources of proteins and vitamins. We just need to get over our natural ..well revulsion…Yuk instinct!

inchworm-1732290_1280

Picture source:

Maybe not in the Western World but in Asia and other parts of the world it is deemed quite normal to eat insects…to me, it is all relative we are creatures of learned habits …the food we eat is what our parents fed us with…some of us are more adventurous… others are damn fussy and are even revolted by vegetables…

The Mealworm:

Is the brown worm-like larvae of the Darkling Beetle and it can be a pest as the larvae feed on stored grains but they are also a good source if properly and humanely killed of protein and fat.

To prepare the mealworms for cooking:

You can either leave them for a day or two with zero food or as they take the flavour of what they eat you can give them small pieces of apple, cinnamon sticks crushed or carrot diced small.

Do avoid citrus or watery foods they DON’T work.

The next step is to freeze them for one to two days…NOT as some suggest 15 minutes as they go into a state of dormancy and do not die. Well, we all eat or have eaten food that is killed by one means or another…

Then boil

Crispily fried mealworms with chilli and garlic:

 

Slice some chillies and finely dice some garlic. Melt some butter in a pan and add the chillies and garlic saute for 2 minutes and add mealworms. If they start to pop ….lower the heat..it is too high and then fry them until they are golden and crispy…a lovely snack.

This snack is sold on every market and all bars will offer these as a bar snack…very popular.

Banana worm bread:

  • 4oz margarine.
  • 6oz castor sugar
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup roasted mealworms
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

Cream together the sugar, margarine, salt and baking soda.

Stir in the mashed bananas, nuts and, mealworms.

Put mixture into a prepared loaf tin and cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45mins to 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

This bread came about as an online friend requested a recipe for worm bread…She is looking at alternative food sources and it may be that we may all at some point will need to do this. An interesting point was raised by a comment on my post that these TV programs like Get me out of the Jungle have not done eating insects as part of our diets any favours.

Info on the Global Insects Market…

Just a thought worth pondering…..What do you think? Please tell me your thoughts in the comments…

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical Friday’s…The Korlan Fruit…

 

This tiny little sweet and sour fruit  Sapindaceae is part of the soapberry family which includes lychee, longan and rambutan.

Many are lactiferous, i.e. they contain milky sap, and many contain mildly toxic saponins with soap-like qualities in either the foliage and/or the seeds, or roots.

This tiny little fruit grows wild and is often called the wild lychee the tree it comes from is enormous and the fruit so tiny it also quite rare to find… I came across this fruit quite by chance when I took a ride back from the market in a tuk-tuk.

The tuk-tuk driver had a bag of these in the back and told me to try some which I did ..of course…when I expressed my pleasure he gave me some…Thais are very generous if you try what they offer and you like it you will always be gifted some. He told me that he had a tree in his village which was where he got the fruit from…

When peeled they look like very small lychees  … I have found this fruit locally on markets or often people just sit on the sidewalk with a few fruits and vegetables from their land which they are selling to make a few baht but this is also where you come across unusual fruits and vegetables which are not commercially grown or grown wild.

Found also in Laos and Myanmar it is not grown commercially or generally cultivated so quite a rare fruit…backyard fruit as it can be called…

Korlan… the rare wild fruit juice has a delicious and unique taste of sour and sweet variety with health benefits from vitamins and antioxidants.

It is said to regulate blood sugar and also to improve concentration and stress. Locals say eaten daily or taken as a syrup/extract made from the fruit it gives increased energy and boosts the immune system, therefore, combating flu viruses and colds.

My daughter in law said they were also eaten with dried chilli, fish sauce and lime sauce and they were quite nice this type of dip/sauce is quite commonly eaten with fruits.

It is actually quite nice eaten like this…pictured…

Not that we would eat the stone but it is said that it is probably poisonous…I always err on the safe side with pips and don’t eat them …

Have you come across this fruit?? Do you have any recipes using this fruit?? If so I would love to hear from you in the comments x

Thank you for reading this post I do hope you enjoyed reading about this little known fruit.

I would like to thank everyone who sent their good wishes and healing thoughts for my daughter however after waiting 3 weeks the news was not good…she has an MRI scan booked for next week and based on that they will decide what the course of action is…We are shocked as you can imagine and at the moment unable to travel back to the UK without having to quarantine for 2 weeks Thailand is a red zone for travel to the UK …Carol xx

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating…Bread…The staff of life or is it???

 

Bread has been around virtually since the beginning of time… A staple in many diets but also something to be avoided in many cases…I mean who has eaten that tasteless sliced bread that sticks together and makes for a very unappetising sandwich?

Bread is made in many different ways and from many different flours, it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and is also prepared in so many different ways around the world…

Bread may be leavened by methods which have a reliance on naturally occurring microbes as in the process of bread making using sourdough, or by using chemicals which are used as is industrially produced yeast or even now high pressured aeration… In commercial breadmaking. Some of the bread-making processes would now probably cause many traditional bakers to turn in their graves. Because of this, there has been a revival and an upsurge of traditional Artisan bakeries springing up which is good for all of us who appreciate good bread rather than the mass-produced unhealthy rubbish which masquerades as a loaf of bread …Whoever said this is the best thing since sliced bread was obviously deluded.

Bread is basically flour, water, yeast and a small amount of salt. If it is properly made and allowed to rise properly and yes it takes time but as the bread rises it is also fermenting. Fermentation neutralises the part of the wheat protein that is most likely to trigger bowel disease and other autoimmune diseases and inflammation which is a reaction to gluten.

Of course, using traditional dry or fresh yeast and adding no preservatives or other additives means the shelf life of the bread is shorter and the bread is best eaten the day it is baked …

But who doesn’t love day old bread toasted? It also makes lovely breadcrumbs for making stuffings or for coating meat or fish alternately freeze the odd bits and make a bread pudding there is no excuse for wasting good bread.

Bread can come with the addition of fruits, nuts and other fats it is also served in various forms with any meal of the day. It is eaten as a snack by making it into sandwiches, fried used to coat other foods in the form of bread crumbs when frying as it prevents the food from sticking it can be made into bread pudding as an addition to stuffing mixes it has untold uses it also plays an important part in religious rituals and secular culture many sayings or expressions in language refer to bread, in prayer ” Give us this day our daily bread ” or “He stole the bread from my mouth

Adding other products to bread is fine such as honey, seeds, nuts or fruit as long as it is natural or naturally produced so if you have an artisan baker near you then you are very lucky and enjoy of course in moderation as too much…I am a party pooper aren’t I? but it can have that effect on the waistline…

Did you know that the lottery has funded a Real Bread campaign??? 

Now we come to the bad bread the bread you really don’t want to be eating …commercially produced bread generally contains additives to improve the flavour, texture, colour, shelf life, nutrition and speed of manufacturing.

Most bread in the UK is made using the Chorley Wood Bread process which came into being in the ’60s and is still used in many bakeries to this day…The bread is mixed at high speed using intense energy, many additives and preservatives are added, increased amounts of yeast are used and the bread is given no fermentation time.

This modern practice of increasing the yeast element in bread and modern bakery practises have lead many medical researchers to believe that this is a factor in the extraordinary rise in digestive illnesses such as gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.

Who doesn’t stick a slice or two of this into the toaster? Who hasn’t eaten cucumber sandwiches? the pictures look quite inviting, don’t they? But they are empty of healthy ingredients and may aggravate or cause any illnesses or disease you may have and for what?… They can and should be avoided at all costs…

As a consumer who reads the labels …Yes I do…The enzymes which are used to aid rising and give lightness and freshness to bread DON’T have to be declared in the list of ingredients…Why? Because they are processing aids …REALLY.?..One of the most common is called Amylase which is known to cause asthma and this is also one of the most common diseases among bakers…

So please when you buy bread think about what you are buying…I think it is about time that we all backed The Real Bread Campaign….Don’t you???

Or make your own… And here’s how…

 

Homemade Bread Day…November 17th 2020…

Just a note I make bread regularly now and never buy processed bread…I always buy unbleached flour and as I rarely eat bread myself but my hubby does I add some wholewheat flour to it as much as I can get away with or make soda bread or sourdough but he prefers white bread so my aim is to keep him happy and add as much wholemeal flour as I can without it being too obvious… I make the occasional wholemeal loaf again he eats it but much prefers white bread…as his diet is in the main healthy I concede on the bread…xx

Enjoy!

That’s all for this week’s healthy eating… I do hope you have enjoyed it I am looking forward to your comments  ….Thanks, Carol xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical Friday…Pomegranates…

The Pomegranate with fruit like beautiful red jewels glistening in the sun always makes me think of far-off climes and hot sandy deserts…I have updated and reposted it for any new readers of my blog…Enjoy!

Pomegranate just says eat me it is such a beautiful fruit and even just a few arils scattered over a dish make it look and taste so wonderful… it is another fruit that grows in abundance here and I can see the little pomegranates as I type. The branches swaying in the gentle breeze.

It has beautiful flowers and is grown as an ornamental tree because of these.

Although not native to Japan or Korea it is widely grown there as when they mature the bark makes unusual, twisted patterns and hence this tree is very suitable for Bonsai trees… some Bonsai trees live up to 200 years.

Originally from Iran, it has been successfully cultivated throughout the Meditteranean area and North India. It grows very successfully from seed and we have many pomegranate trees here..well in almost every garden, this edible fruit is a berry and the tree is extremely drought tolerant so suited to the climate here and other Asian countries.

Medicinally the fruit rind is used to treat chronic dysentery and diarrhoea. The pulp and seeds are used as a laxative.

Like many people I was put off by getting those little seeds out from the surrounding membrane don’t they make a lot of mess? but if you separate the seeds in a bowl of water it is much easier to do. Tricks of the trade so simple when you know-how!

They make wonderful juices, smoothies, garnishes for cooking…I just love seeing those little red jewel-like berries scattered over some lamb, duck or just a simple eggplant dish and Pomegranate syrup is a lovely thing and elevates many a dish.

Lovely in a cocktail as well…just saying…lol

Just make a lovely gin and soda cocktail and add a handful of pomegranates and a splash of the syrup..it’s very nice and has a beautiful pink colour.

Or blend your own grenadine with pomegranate juice, sugar and orange blossom water to liven up lemonade and make your favourite cocktails and mocktails…

Pomegranate seeds are also used to make a spice called anardana which is very popular in Indian and Pakistan cuisine it is made from the dried seeds of the pomegranate and then ground to a fine powder. It is used as a flavour enhancer in many dishes from salads, meats, smoothies and yoghurts.

I  cannot buy pomegranate syrup/ molasses here but it is very easy to make and I love it poured over Ice cream.

Let’s Cook!

To make the syrup you need

  • 4 cups of Pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice.

Put the arils….which is what the fleshy coloured coverings are called into your blender and pulse just enough to break them up. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

Put the juice into a large wide pan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, let the juice simmer until it has reduced to about a cup or a cup and a quarter and is nice and syrupy. Pour into a sterilised jar/ bottle, cool and keep in the refrigerator.

Because Pomegranates vary in their sweetness and acidity you may need to add more or less sugar/lemon juice. 

Fruit vinegar is so lovely and very versatile.

Any good quality wine vinegar can be used or balsamic vinegar as it gives a sweeter tasting vinegar.

To make you will need equal quantities of pomegranate seeds to vinegar. What I do is decide on the bottles or jars I am using and measure the vinegar in that then once I know the amount of vinegar I then work out how many arils I will need( they must be deseeded)

 

.Put the pomegranate seeds in a saucepan and flatten them to release the juice ( use a plastic cup or something to flatten the seeds.

Bring them to a slow rolling boil not completely boiling so as to release the pomegranate juice and turn off the heat. Pour everything into a sterilized jar or bottle and cover the top loosely and allow to cool completely. Once cool put the cap on the jar or bottle and store it in a dark cool place or in the fridge the flavour will develop as the days go by…When ready to use strain the vinegar you can add some molasses to strengthen the flavour or add sugar to sweeten.

It can be used as a drink by adding a tbsp or two of vinegar to a glass of water and sweeten with honey. OR used to make salad dressings either on its own or by mixing with Olive oil, garlic or mustard.

It also makes a lovely gift..who doesn’t like a bottle of handmade vinegar…

I hope you are enjoying these Tropical Friday posts …Thank you for reading and I hope you love the recipes …xxx

 

 

Healthy Eating… Added Sugars are your worst enemy…

Hello and welcome I am going to republish/update a selection of my Healthy Eating posts some of you may have already seen them before but for my new followers or if you want to recap… I hope you enjoy them… the aim of these Tuesday posts is to help you make the right choices for a healthy diet and a body that is a healthy weight that can also fight or help keep many diseases and illnesses at bay naturally.

One that has a healthy immune system however that doesn’t mean eating foods that taste like cardboard and it doesn’t mean never ever letting that piece of cake or chocolate ever past your lips again it means learning what food you need to be healthy and knowing that you can have the occasional treat …

It is about moderation, about enjoying those 2 squares of chocolate even more than when you demolished a whole bar and then felt guilty about eating it, so almost certainly you then starved yourself or ate those cardboard things called rice cakes for two days…I mean how tasteless are they???

But is that good for you?… Certainly not…

SUGAR…..Do we need it?

 

Yes…Your body does need carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugar in your body. This sugar is essential for your body to create energy to survive. However, it is not necessary to include sugary foods or added sugars in the diet in order for your body to make energy.

If we know our sugars and know how much we should be consuming in a day then that is the first step.

UK NHS guidelines:

  • Adults should have no more than 30 gm of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to seven sugar cubes).
  • Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24 gm of free sugars a day (six sugar cubes).
  • Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19 gm of free sugars a day (five sugar cubes).
  • There is no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but it’s recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it.

Free sugars are found in foods such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks. These are the sugary foods we should cut down on.

It is not referring to the sugars which are naturally occurring in foods although some foods do have a naturally occurring high amount of sugar so it is knowing which food you can eat almost as you like although that word which I love does creep in here…Moderation!

But… eating a sensible amount as many foods with naturally occurring sugar are also packed with lots of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Therefore it makes sense to know your foods…Know which ones are high in sugar and which ones are lower in sugars…It means reading the ingredients on the packet and if sugar is in the first three ingredients then put it back!

 

Manufacturers I just love to hate are sneaky people and love to fool us… So if you see a label and don’t see the word sugar DO NOT think it is sugarless because those sneaky manufacturers have used another word like simple carbohydrates, honey, rice syrup, organic dehydrated cane juice, agave nectar, barley malt syrup, corn sweetener, fructose, invert sugar, high fructose corn syrup and it goes on… PLEASE check those labels carefully.

It is knowing what you can substitute for those high in sugar foods… It means making an informed decision about the food YOU eat and feed YOUR family.

You can still eat great food, tasty food so don’t think you are going to be deprived …You won’t..

I am now going to give you a little list of foods which are high in sugar and foods which are lower and also some suggestions as to an alternative…A healthier alternative.

Foods High in Sugars.

Cereal, Cereal Bars, Ketchup, Sauces, Flavoured teas, Fruit Juices, Soda’s, Flavoured yoghurt, Dried fruits… I think by now you should have got the gist… These are all processed foods…

Now just looking at that list what small adjustments can you make or do you make already??

Porridge Oats.

 

 

I love porridge oats..although I haven’t eaten it in a while with some homemade fruit compote or just fresh fruit, a lovely breakfast will keep you going until lunchtime.

Muesli

Honestly not for me..maybe if I made it…No…I have never been a fan but I know many people who just love it! ( At least) I am honest…lol

Shredded Wheat

Now, who can eat two shredded wheat???

Bran flakes

These I do like with a sliced banana…very nice.

Cereal bars…again why would you? But no accounting for taste and many of my friends and family love them…Check the labels.

It is as I have always said it is about eating the food …You like!

Ketchup…Homemade ketchup is far better and also less sugar.

Sauces… Sauces come in jars and packets and almost certainly are packed full of preservatives, salt and sugar…What can I say I have always made my own gravy and sauces…even if you just use the meat juices in the pan and add a dash of wine …

I have six children all grown up now but with me and hubby that was 8 to feed and that was without the kid’s friends …etc, etc…To buy packets and jars I would have needed a trolley just for that for a month… No brainer I made my own … It is amazing what spurs you on to do that…Isn’t it???

Fruit Juice…

Again with all my lot …I learnt to buy fruit in season, make juice and top it up with sparkling water…I will also add that was a treat… Water was the drink of choice …Pure and simple…WATER!

Sodas…

I was a mean mum… Soda’s were a treat at Christmas…

Now I know how much sugar is in them… 39.2 grams of sugar per serving, which is almost 10 teaspoons of sugar… I don’t feel mean at all…

Flavoured yoghurt.

A quick tip: Natural or plain full-fat yoghurt will contain about 4.7g of sugar per 100 gm, but this is lactose, not fructose. Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in dairy and doesn’t affect the body in the same way that fructose does.

Some fruit flavoured yoghurt has as much as the equivalent of 7 tsp of sugar…

From where I am standing you would only need a can of soda pop or a pot of yoghurt and you would be over your recommended daily guidelines.

Buy natural or Greek yoghurt or make your own …I think Yoghurt needs to be a separate post…Don’t you??

Fresh Fruit…Who doesn’t love fresh fruit there is so much choice and it is a good choice but fruit also has sugar and although it is naturally occurring sugar some fruits are better than others.

Dried fried has a higher concentration of sugar but eaten in moderation it is also high in fibre and vitamins so when choosing also look at that…

Which fresh fruits have the highest amount of sugar??

Grapes, lychee, Figs, Mango, Cherries which are all fruits I love but I still eat them just apply some common sense and although I love figs and they are high in sugar I couldn’t or wouldn’t eat that many anyway… They also have a laxative effect.

A few of each…I could just dive in now.

 

Olives( Yes) it is a fruit, avocado, rhubarb, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi are all fruits which are lower in sugar and all fruits which I absolutely love…

 

That’s all for this week’s healthy eating… I do hope you have enjoyed it I am looking forward to your comments  ….Thanks, Carol xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tropical Friday…The Mango!

Mangoes known as Mo Muang in the Thai language are in season again and are eaten here both green or ripe.

They are one of my favourite fruits and my new addition to my garden is the purple mango which I am willing it to grow and fruit I am so looking forward to sampling this beautiful fruit…

Whether the mango is eaten green or ripe, they are sliced and a dip made from sugar, salt, and chilli used to dip your slices of fruit in…

 

There are many stalls here selling ready prepared fruit in bags and it is always accompanied by this little bag of chilli mix…It comes as standard here…haha…it is also Lily’s favourite dip the more chilli in it the better for her…

Sticky rice with Mango is probably one of the most iconic Thai desserts and on most restaurant menus from the little cafe to the poshest restaurant.

 

To make this at home is very easy… First, steam some glutinous rice.

To prepare the milk:

 Heat 1 cup of coconut milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and let the coconut milk simmer. DO NOT let it boil hard as coconut milk will curdle. Also, make sure that the coconut milk you buy is 100% pure as I have been informed by my son that where he lives in the UK all coconut milk sold is not 100% and that definitely separates on heating to high.

Then add  2 tbsp of sugar and 2 pinches of salt. Remove from heat. Pour 3/4 of the hot coconut milk over  1 cup of the hot sticky rice. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The hot sticky rice will absorb all the coconut milk. The rice should be a little mushy.

 Spoon the rest of the coconut milk on top of the rice at the serving time.

Enjoy!

Smoothies here are made from just mango or the mango is mixed with other fruits all very nice and fresh… I have also been experimenting with making my own protein drinks…

 

Doesn’t that fruit look lovely and fresh?? I am watching it ripen from my bedroom window to pick the fruit methinks might be a problem unless I can get someone to shin up the tree although we do have a hook on a long pole to retrieve the fruit of our palm tree I just don’t want it to land on the floor with a bang and get bruised…

Mango is such a versatile fruit I make my own mango chutney it is lovely in a mango salsa or as a mango and mustard dip. What do you make from your mangoes???

Mango and Mustard Dip is lovely with chicken or fish Goujons or a nice piece of grilled white fish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of fresh mango puree
  • 1/4 cup of mayo
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt to taste

Just put everything in your blender or a bowl and whisk it together and there you have it … with the chilli, I would add 1 tsp and taste before you add the second.

Mango used as a sauce or in a savoury dish is also lovely and this is my Mango Chicken which I featured on the Recipe Hunter a while ago it is a firm favourite in this house.

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/06/24/thai-mango-chicken/

Lastly, if you are not sure how to prepare a mango…Easy when you know how x

 

I hope you have enjoyed this culinary journey with the marvellous Mango …

I hope you all have a lovely weekend wherever you are… I am now off to make choc chip cookies with Lily xxx

Thank you for reading have a lovely day xxx