Tag Archives: Dried fruits

Healthy Eating… No to Diets… Added Sugars are your worst enemy…

No Diets- sugar-fruit-natural sugars

No to Diets

Hello and welcome to Carol’s Boot camp and if that scares you well it shouldn’t… the aim of these Tuesday posts is to help you make the right choices for a healthy diet and a body which is a healthy weight and which can also fight of or help keep many diseases and illnesses at bay naturally.

One that has a healthy immune system and 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 …

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A little of what you fancy does you good!

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?

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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!

SNEAKY BLACK MASK

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.

soda- sugar-

Can of soda

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.

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I love porridge oats..although I haven’t eaten it in a while but with some home-made fruit compote or just fresh fruit a lovely breakfast which 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 wheats???

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…

Originally …I have six children and so 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 have 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 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 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.

Grapes and strawberries

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…

I will, of course, be giving some recipes for these fruits but today as promised I have a lovely Tofu recipe from my lovely blogging friend Dolly…Called Tofu Can Bite Too

Tofu can bite too

Dolly has told me she cooks with Tofu quite a lot…She has a cooking blog and like me she loves to chat and tell a story and all of her food is food I would eat… It is lovely she has also bought out a cookbook and again it is chat and recipes and very nice so if you fancy having a peek pop over to Amazon it is available in e-book and paperback on amazon.com/author/koolkosherkitchen. I just loved it!

That’s all for this weeks No more Diets I do hope you have enjoyed it and I am looking forward to your comments and if you also hit the share buttons I would love that ….Thanks, Carol xxxx

Is Sugar Really Your Enemy_

 

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Christmas Recipes…Christmas Pudding

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Day 4 of the Christmas Countdown…..I am sure I am not alone in thinking I have plenty of time Christmas is a couple of months away and then like a bolt of lightning …I realise I am running out of time and I must get a wiggle on….those of you who are super organised have probably already made your puds, cakes and sweet mincemeat…here as I live in hotter climes it is not advisable as it ferments so I make mine at the beginning of December and there is so much lovely fruit ( and booze) that they taste just as good as those either kept over from last year or made earlier…

I always used to save a Christmas pudding and a jar or two of mincemeat from one year to the next a tradition passed down through the generations…

I am maudling…I know…Get on with it Carol……

But before I do I must tell you…My lady turkeys are sitting on their eggs…..  in about 28 days time I will fingers crossed have little turkey babies running around…Maybe a Christmas baby or a New Year baby…..Excited or what…That’s me!

Christmas Pudding Recipes… One is gluten-free and the second one is my one passed down through the generations of my family..well tried and tested.

Christmas Pudding

Here is the first recipe for a… Gluten FREE Christmas pudding… Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 100gm currants.
  • 100gm sultanas.
  • 100gm sour cherries.
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Grated zest and juice of half an Orange.
  • 1tsp of mixed spice and cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg.
  • 100ml of brandy..this is where my hand slipped…haha
  • 180gm dark brown sugar
  • 1 granny smith Apple( I can’t these) so used a new Zealand apple which is quite tart.
  • 1 large carrot, grated.
  • 250gm ground almonds.
  • 50gm gluten-free cornflour.
  • 1tsp gluten-free baking powder.
  • 2 med-free range eggs.
  • 50ml vegetable oil( I use coconut oil)
  • plus extra for greasing.
  • 2 tbsp black treacle.

This makes enough for a 2-pint pudding basin or two 1 pint puddings.

Let’s Cook!

In a large bowl put dried fruit, zest, and juice, spice, and the brandy stir to combine, cover and leave for 24hrs.

Then mix in sugar, apple, and carrot, add beaten eggs then stir in oil and treacle.

Lastly,  stir in dry ingredients with a pinch of salt.

Put mixture into a greased pudding basin it should be two-thirds full. Cover the top with a round of greaseproof paper the cover with pleated tin foil and secure with string.

You can now either set the pudding in a saucepan on an upturned plate and fill the pan with boiling water about halfway up the side of the basin. Put the lid on and steam for 4 hours remembering to top up water as necessary.

I always use a steamer and in this case, it was my wicker rice steamer which the bowl sits nicely over the pot of water.

If you have made a lot of puddings over the years like me  I think you find your own preferred method of steaming your puds.

Once steamed, cool and rewrap pudding and store in a cool, dry place. It is the fridge for me as too humid…I do miss my cool pantry…

To serve simmer or steam the pudding for 1-2 hrs, then invert onto a plate and flame the pud or serve with sauce, brandy butter or cream…

It’s cream all the way for me …and lots of it!

My second recipe is slightly different but adaptable to make gluten-free and the one I make year after year….I could do it blindfold now…lol

Ingredients:

  • 300gm fresh white breadcrumbs ( I use brown)
  • 100gm self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ whole nutmeg, very finely grated
  • 350gm raisins
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 50gm flaked almonds
  • 250gm suet
  • 225gm Demerara sugar
  • 225gm sultanas
  • 225gm currants
  • 2 carrots, peeled and very finely grated
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and very finely grated

(shhhh)Wet ingredients

  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small wine glass of brandy  shhhhh and a tad more..haha
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

Let’s Cook!

Put the breadcrumbs in the biggest mixing bowl you can find. Sieve the flour into the bowl with the mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then add the remaining dry ingredients, up to and including the grated apples. Combine all the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix together, with a big wooden spoon. Take it in turns to give it a stir, closing your eyes and making a wish.

Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave overnight.

Butter 2 x 1.2-litre pudding basins and spoon the mix into them. Place a disc of baking paper on top of the puddings, then seal with a big sheet of baking paper with a central pleat, to allow expansion. Cover with a cotton or muslin cloth and tie with string or foil. Steam for 6 hours in steamers, or in pans with simmering water that reaches two-thirds up the sides of the basins – be sure to keep the water topped up. Remove and allow to cool.

When cool, re-cover the basins and store in a cool, dry place. On Christmas day, or the day you’re going to eat the puddings, steam for another 1-2 hours. Turn the pudding onto a plate, then pour 75ml of brandy into a ladle and carefully warm over a low heat for 1 minute or so. Light the match and viola a flaming pud 🙂

N.B. As I live in sunny climes then I store mine in the fridge as they ferment very quickly here and that’s not quite what we want.

I am also aware that some don’t like the richness of Christmas pudding…my hubby is one such person ( he eats mice pies) though..Work that one out! Or you may live alone so I would halve the recipe and steam in little pudding moulds for 1 hour and there you have 4 lovely little individual puddings. Enjoy!

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to make wish 🙂

Tomorrow is day 5 of my Christmas Recipe countdown and I will give some lovely alternatives to a rich pudding…

 

 

Christmas Recipes…Sweet mincemeat….

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Day 3 of my Christmas countdown and today it is Sweet Mincemeat…Nothing better and so easy to make you will wonder why you ever bought a jar from the supermarket shelves and will be rewarded with such a superior taste and richness that will take your tarts to a new level……Your taste buds will sing!

via Carol’s Sweet Mincemeat

Kindly posted by Esme on her blog which has some luscious sweet treats for you all… lots of Christmas goodies…easy to make or bake and all tried and tested…

We make the mistakes and you get the foolproof recipe and could I  show you some horrors of mine…mmmm now that could be a post????…

Carol’s  Kitchen Nightmares! ????

Haha…..You would then find out I am just like everyone else, not everything turns out perfect…..

Until tomorrow when I will give you another tried and tested Christmas recipe…

Have a lovely Sunday put your feet up and relax…Me??? I am off to pickle some onions and make some Rosella jam…I found these little beauties yesterday when I was shopping so that is my experiment for today… I have only ever seen these dried before not fresh…so something new to try… I just love it when I come across something I have not used or seen before…I get so excited.

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Until tomorrow…..

Thank you for reading…If you want to connect with me on my other social media  the links are below xxx

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Until next time Happy Cooking xxx