Tag Archives: yoghurt

What is really in your Yoghurt and how healthy is it really?

yogurt- coes milk- added sugars

Reading e-mails and news this morning …I don’t why I was shocked but I was and all the protestations from suppliers and manufacturers didn’t cut it with me…I have heard it so many times before…Parents hoping to aid their children through the pain of teething could be using products that contain “potentially harmful ingredients”, dentists and researchers warn.

A new study of 14 teething gels, including Anbesol, Dentinox, Calgel, Bonjela Junior and Boots own brand, found that two contained sucrose (table sugar), six contained alcohol and six contained an anaesthetic used to numb tissue called lidocaine.

All this just doesn’t stop and it seems that tiny babies are not immune from devious/greedy money-orientated manufacturers…

This made me decide to repost a previous post on yoghurts as many of them are aimed at children and packaged to entice them…

Yoghurt is a universal food and has been around since the Neolithic period or around 5000 BC found in all cultures around the world where animals which produce milk are kept.

Yoghurt at its best and most natural only contains milk, live cultures and bacteria and as part of a balanced diet is excellent for your health.

Yoghurt at its worst contains added sugars, cream, gums, thickeners, starches, artificial colours and flavours.

One of those artificial colours comes from insects and I know that insects are used for colouring or eaten in many cultures and the red colour comes from a cockroach variety called Carmine the colour is also known as cochineal or Natural red…That I can accept as we eat many animals and insects in our diets it is when the waters get muddied by the pesky manufacturers who add to the preparation fish glue and gelatin and who knows what else in their quest for the cheapest production possible and have proved so many times that they don’t have a care about the consumers health???

But as with anything be it plant-based, insect based it may cause reactions in humans and such is the case in this instance  used as a colouring not only in yoghurt but fruit juices, ice cream, confectionery (sweets) and also in cosmetics lipsticks and eyeshadow is Carmine/cochineal has  been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people.

Isn’t that a cute picture of a child feeding himself and doesn’t he look pleased and why wouldn’t he?

BOY-EATING-YOGHURT

Kids yoghurt line those supermarket chillers and they act like a magnet with labels which promote the latest kids fad …I.E…Ben 10, Barbie, Frozen, Munch Bunch, YoKids, Frubes, Smarties, too many to mention all designed in bright colours to attract kids…many labelled as deserts rather than yoghurt and that in itself should set those alarm bells ringing… They come in pots, pouches, tubes, little Fromage Frais pots so cute…

Do you know what is in them???

Most are very high in added sugars which all have an effect on the  taste buds and if kids eat so much of this sugar-laden food then real food just doesn’t have that same taste…It ruins the taste buds and of course is a major factor in childhood diseases, obesity and that is as well as probably ruining their teeth.

Manufacturers have proven time and time again that all they care about is profit…They don’t care about the EFFECT on the nations children’s health and would say if challenged that you don’t have to buy them…NO…YOU DON’T!

Packaged breakfasts with muesli or fruit which I used to eat years ago working on the assumption that they were healthy I since found out they are anything but healthy… An average container contains 2.25 servings but the label shows the ingredients and quotes for 100gm but working on the basis that most people would eat the pot and not 100gm again sneaky manufacturers hiding true figures. It doesn’t take much to work out that if 100gm is stated to contain 594 KJ then if you eat the whole pot you are now looking at 1339 kJ plus 42 gm od added sugars…NOT such a healthy breakfast…

It is a sad world when you have to not only read the label but check the weight to get an accurate figure of what you are actually consuming…

I will now look at some individual types of yoghurt…

Coconut yoghurt just screams healthy, doesn’t it? Many contain per 100gm 785 KJ and 11.5 saturated fat and no calcium.

Probiotic yoghurt is marketed as healthy for your gut  They can’t do any harm as part of a balanced diet BUT to really be of benefit to your gut you would have to consume  many pots on a daily basis to benefit and then if you suffered from say IBS it could aggravate your condition so it would be more beneficial to seek advice from a dietician who specialises in gut health.

Again WHEN manufacturers are advertising the benefits of these the yoghurt how many you would have to consume is very conveniently not mentioned  …IS IT?

Greek Yoghurt… Pure proper traditionally made yoghurt.

goat being milked-1617132_1280

Greek yoghurt is a delicious thing it is made from sheep or goats milk which is strained to filter out excess liquid …whey…leaving a thicker yoghurt which is tart and higher in protein than other yoghurt.

BUT… Isn’t there always a but? Because there is no definite legal definition of true Greek Yoghurt some companies have found cheaper ways to produce a yoghurt with a similar taste and texture and get away with calling it Greek Style Yoghurt.

Greek Style Yogurt contains milk protein concentrates ( MPC), whey protein concentrates (WPC) as well as fillers like gelatin or modified corn starch. Now many MPC’S come from anywhere in the world the import of them is pretty much unregulated…That always sets of alarm bells for me as so many unregulated or very lax with regulated products and they  have been since proven to be detrimental to our health.

It seems that the US is far more lax and does not and this is my opinion seem to put much store on the nation’s health and well-being in the words of the FDA “found no evidence of any significant hazard to the health of the human population”

The European Food Safety Organisation ( EFSA) on the other hand had concerns about the use of Carmine in foods and set up a committee to evaluate because of the number of recorded  allergic reactions by the usage. The Carmine has now been replaced with a synthesized version made from plant extract using Calcium Oxide. A step in the right direction but I would like to know more about what the synthesized product is made up of…too many times things have been found to  NOT be as they were touted to be…Yes, I know I am suspicious but past performance of committee’s and health organisations does not fill me with trust.

Pot set yoghurt the makers claim it is healthier and more nutritious because they don’t add thickeners or stabilizers but really there is rarely little difference…READ THE LABELS.

Natural or plain yoghurt is simply yoghurt with no sweeteners or flavourings or they should be again READ THE LABEL.

Lactose-free yoghurt… Are made using soy, almond or rice milk and can contain whey (milk proteins) not sugars…

Pouring yoghurt or drinks… Made the same as other fruit yoghurts just less or no thickeners to make them portable. But they are aimed again at kids much of the time and check the label because they may have fewer thickeners but what about the colouring and the sugars???

Your safest options are natural or plain yoghurt, Greek Yoghurt ( not Greek Style) and this is what irks me as tradition Greek yoghurt takes longer to make it is more expensive but although the Greek style yoghurt is cheaper to produce you will notice that they will be higher in cost than normal yoghurt and there will also not be hardly any difference in cost to the traditional Greek yoghurt…

I think we really need to be sending manufacturers a big message by reading labels and I know it is time-consuming but once you find a yoghurt that is healthy and not loaded with added sugar and preservatives then you won’t need to read the label every time you can also check from your comfy chair if you have the make as to what they contain and the longer the list the less inclined I am to buy the product .

Or… You could make own yoghurt get the kids to help choose their favourite fruits and if they help make it they are more inclined to eat it.

Making your own natural yoghurt is quite easy and you can either buy a yoghurt maker or if you have a thermometer, a saucepan and an oven or a thermos flask you are ready to go.

I would suggest making a small amount to start with and then take it from there as with anything some like their yoghurt to be quite tart whereas others prefer a milder taste it is a little bit of trial and error until you find what suits your palate.

Firstly you will need to buy some natural yoghurt to make your starter it must be a plain yoghurt not flavoured and must have live cultures…check the label. Once you have made your first batch of yoghurt you will then have the base for the future it is a little like your sourdough starter or ginger beer you need to have a starter.

The milk that you use to make your yoghurt should either be raw milk or locally produced milk which has been produced using a low pasteurisation process that is not homogenized or uses goats milk. Just double-check that the milk you use is NOT ultra-pasteurized or homogenized you must use whole milk.

The healthier the milk used the healthier your yoghurt will be.

I would recommend starting off with a small batch first. For each 1 pint of milk, you will need 1 tbsp of the natural yoghurt unless you already have a starter and then it is 1 tbsp of your starter.

spoonful natural yoghurt with raspberry-583076_640

 

Ingredients:

1 quart of milk

2 tbsp of yoghurt or starter.

Let’s make some yoghurt!

Heat your milk in a stainless steel pan until it reaches 180 F.

Pour the milk into sterilised jars and cool down to 115 F you could also stand the jars in cold water to reduce the temperature quicker.

Then lightly stir in your natural yoghurt or your starter.

You can now either put your jars in your oven with just the light on which will produce a temperature of around 110 F and leave in the oven for 12-24 hours the longer it is left the tarter the yoghurt will be which is why I suggested making a couple of small batches until you get the flavour correct for you.

AT THIS POINT IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO USE THE OVEN THEN YOU CAN PUT THE MIX INTO A THERMOS FLASK AND LEAVE FOR THE SAME 12-24 HOURS.

Lastly, put the jars into the fridge until the yoghurt is cold and set. Then pour off the whey which has separated or pass the yoghurt through a muslin or cheesecloth to make a thicker yoghurt.

Once this is done then store in the fridge and eat as req and also keep some as a starter for your next batch of yoghurt.

This is where you can now sweeten the yoghurt with some honey or fresh fruit whatever your fancy is or just eat with fresh fruit or muesli. Once you have made your own yoghurt you will not want to buy any from a store it really is very easily made and much healthier and with no fillers or sweeteners.

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed if you did please feel free to share…Sharing is caring… x

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 there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…Seeing honeybees dining on the flowers in my garden say it all to me…

 

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

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Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely week, Enjoy your pie  xx

 

Healthy Eating…Potassium

lady holding veggies

 

Potassium is vital to our good health and we need to eat enough potassium each day to maintain a healthy body.  Potassium can be found in every one of our bodies cells and plays a major part in our continued good health. Although let us be clear it is not potassium alone which keeps us healthy.

But to feel our best we should eat enough potassium-rich foods every day to help prevent certain chronic conditions. Regularly not eating enough potassium-rich foods could jeopardise our long-term health in many ways.

Recommended daily amounts:

Adults over the age of 19, adolescents between 14 and 18 years old and pregnant women should consume 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day while limiting themselves to 1,500 mg of sodium.says the Food and Nutrition Board. Nursing women over the age of 14 need more: 5,100 milligrams daily.

Please note however and I always stress this …moderation… but too much can be just as damaging to your health.

The body needs a delicate balance of potassium to help the heart and other muscles work properly. But too much potassium in your blood can lead to dangerous, and possibly deadly, changes in heart rhythm.

Home cooking does determine our intake of potassium but boiling depletes potassium. For example, a boiled potato has almost half the potassium of a baked potato. To preserve potassium, eat fruits and vegetables raw,  roasted or lightly steamed.

Food rather than supplements is always a better option for increasing your intake of nutrients as foods contain fibre as well. Let food be thy medicine is my mantra. I just have this thing about supplements of any sort and maybe it is me but I prefer to eat food rather than take a powder or tablet.

I know what is in my food… That’s me, folks …

Here is a little list for you of foods high in potassium:

  • Winter squash, cubed, 1 cup, cooked: 896 mg
  • Sweet potato, medium, baked with skin on 694 mg
  • Potato, medium, baked with skin: 610 mg
  • White beans, canned, drained, half cup: 595 mg
  • Yoghurt, fat-free, 1 cup: 579 mg
  • Halibut, 3 ounces, cooked: 490 mg
  • 100% orange juice, 8 ounces: 496 mg
  • Broccoli, 1 cup, cooked: 457 mg
  • Cantaloupe, cubed, 1 cup: 431 mg
  • Banana, 1 medium: 422 mg
  • Pork tenderloin, 3 ounces, cooked: 382 mg
  • Lentils, half cup, cooked: 366 mg
  • Milk, 1% low-fat, 8 ounces: 366 mg
  • Salmon, Sustainable fishing, 3 ounces, cooked: 326 mg
  • Pistachios, shelled, 1 ounce, dry roasted: 295 mg
  • Raisins, quarter cup: 250 mg
  • Chicken breast, 3 ounces, cooked: 218 mg
  • Tuna, light, canned, drained, 3 ounces: 201 mg
  • Coconut water, 100 gm: 250 mg

I always get my daily fix of coconut water from a little man up the road when I come back from my daily walk it is a most welcome drink as he always has a chilled one for me… I love it and it does you good…just be careful if you buy coconut water in a bottle or can that it doesn’t have added sugar and the like because it then takes it from that healthy coconut water to something that is not so healthy. Just beware and read the labels I never trust claims on the front of the bottle and it should have an ingredient list of one…Coconut water ..pure and simple…

Fresh Coconut

There is nothing like a healthy drink of Coconut juice fresh from the fruit.

If you take prescribed medication, please before you embark on any change of eating plan always ask your doctor or pharmacist about how all of the medications you take affect the potassium levels in your body, and if you need more, or less, of the mineral.

 

If you enjoy these Healthy eating posts please let me know in comments and reblog or share so everyone can see how easy it is to eat healthily it is just being aware… And I love fudge.. or burfee…

Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot as of all the medicines laughter is the best….

 

 

 

Egyptian Lamb Flatbreads

Lamb is very expensive here and a treat for us…Monday we had a lovely butterflied shoulder and had some leftovers ..cold lamb is not very nice so decided to make some flat bread..a first time for me and I was really pleased with how they came out..very quick and easy to make and use the leftover lamb. Hence my Egyptian Lamb flatbreads.

Egyptian lamb flat breads (2)

Ingredients:

Flat Bread:

flat-bread-easy-recipe

Flatbreads

  • 1/2 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 cups flour.
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

Filling Mix:

  • 300 gm leftover cooked lamb…can use beef, pork or chicken.
  • 1 lemon finely zested.
  • juice half lemon.
  • 2 tsp black pepper.
  • 1 tsp oregano or marjoram.
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • I tsp Paprika.
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted.
  • 2 eggs beaten.
  • 1 tsp sea salt….I always use Himalayan salt.
  • 4 Spring onions finely sliced.

Let’s Cook!

To make flatbreads.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

flat-bread-uncooked-esy-recipe

 

Lamb Filling:

Chop lamb into rough little chunks and pieces. Put in large bowl with lemon zest and squeeze half of the lemon juice into the mix. Add all your spices, the eggs, salt and pepper and most of the spring onions..retain some for garnish. Mix together thoroughly.

Layout flatbreads and cover half with filling, then fold over and press together. You get half-moon shape.

Get 2 large baking trays rub one with Olive oil Lay flatbreads on an oiled tray, lightly rub other tray and pop this on top of flatbreads. Put trays into the preheated hot oven and cook 6-8 minutes. This way the flatbread will get lovely and crispy on top. If you have small trays you may need to do in batches.

Depending on the size of flatbreads cut in two …I left mine whole as I served individually( see picture) and not on a large serving plate but for a party or just because you want to….. serve on one dish with Houmous… Just as a little note it was my young grandson(11) who arranged these on the plate for me…didn’t he do well?

Ehyptian-lamb-flatbreads

.Recipe  for hummus can be found on a previous blog ..published June 18th ..titled ..If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/if-you-think-sunshine-brings-you-happiness-then-you-havent-danced-in-the-rain/

The yoghurt dip was made with some chopped mint, good squeeze lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Scatter over reserved onions, sprinkle with little cumin. Serve with lemon/ lime wedges.

Voila ………… Eat and enjoy!