Hummus wars at Gefiltefest

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Wow! What an honour to be asked to be part of Gefiltefest this weekend, the biggest Jewish food festival in Europe. It was a great opportunity to showcase what I do, to work in a professional kitchen with talented chefs, to connect with some of the leading names in the Jewish food industry and to meet with lots and lots of food lovers.

I was invited to participate in ‘Hummus Wars’ (a battle to be crowned Queen of the Chickpea!) and to run an ‘Israeli Pastry Workshop’ demonstrating how to cook your own home made bourekas. Hey, I wanted that crown so I started researching all about hummus.

Growing up in Israel we had hummus with nearly everything for breakfast, lunch and dinner, hot or cold as a dip or a meal, so I wasn’t intimidated by the thought of making a hummus but I wanted to make something a bit different, something green and fresh like the season, something that would leave a modern taste on your tongue. So that is why I decided to make guacamole hummus. Once I had my recipe ready to go I decided to look for an authentic dish to serve it in, time was running short so I headed to Edgware Road in central London, where the Muslim community proudly serves their dishes on every corner, from Lebanese to Turkish, Iranian food and more.

Due to it being Ramadan Edgware Road was as quiet as I have ever seen it, with hardly anyone about.  It was short on people and short on options for authentic Middle Eastern homeware too, although there were plenty of mobile phone shops, pharmacies (that sell mobile phones) and some small uninspiring grocers.  The one shop I did find was selling really, how can I put it politely, old fashion Arab style sets with lots of fake gold deco – not what I was looking for really, what a disappointment!

But, my eyes lit up as I found a health grocery shop, As Nature Intended, what a gem! So I bought some purple aubergine, chickpeas sprouts and black sesame crackers, all to go with my dishes at the festival! I didn’t have my serving plate but at least I had my ingredients.

I headed up to the Gefiltefest ready and armed with some great recipes and lots of motivation for the day ahead and what a day it was… in the chef’s kitchen getting ready and doing my prep, I worked side by side with no other than Nof Atamna, the winner of MasterChef Israel, an amazing woman with so much talent and of course I had to ask her for some tips on hummus-making… (“don’t use tinned ones…”)

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So I took part in the #hummuswars. As one of the biggest arguments in the Middle East is between the Israelis and Lebanese both claiming the best hummus dish I was expecting to face a Lebanese chef with his knives out, instead I met the lovely Sarah, a French cook who did an amazing job and cooked a traditional hummus served with spiced cauliflower, really delicious.

The show was presented by the fantastic Daniel Young from the blog: young and foodish who I met for the first time and it was a pleasure to work with him. Daniel asked us about our dishes, the ideas behind them, the ingredients and our background. I explained how hummus is a great healthy option for us.

 

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So let me talk to you about hummus.  The main ingredients are chickpeas, tahini, lemon and spices. These ingredients are protein-rich, fibre-rich legumes and a source of iron that have been linked to health benefits.

I treat hummus as a blank canvas and whizz it up with roasted vegetables (like roasted cumin carrots or roasted peppers), with caramelized onion and balsamic vinegar, even better with minced meat or lamb on top and of course with some fresh ingredients like avocado & coriander, which is what I used to create my guacamole hummus dish.

There are so many things to do with hummus, but as the name, both in Hebrew and Arabic, means chickpeas, anything without the chickpeas is not a hummus, it’s just a dip!

So here is my hummus recipe, let me know if you enjoyed it and which is your favourite one.

Guacamole Hummus

Ingredients:

1 x 400gr tin chickpeas, slightly drained (reserve about ¼ -1/2 cup liquid)

1 green chilli

5 cloves garlic, skin on

1 ripe avocado

1/3 cup coriander, chopped

1 tsp cumin

3/4 tsp sea salt

½-1 lemon + 1 lime, juiced

1/3 cup tahini

For Garnish:

2-3 TBS pine nuts

OR 2-3 TBS pumpkin seeds

1 tsp olive oil

Pinch of ground cumin

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Place garlic cloves with skin still on and whole chilli on a baking sheet, with a small amount of olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Once done, remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Peel away the skin and remove seeds from the chilli, peel the skin from the roasted garlic cloves.
  5. To a food processor, add chickpeas, coriander, avocado, salt, cumin, lime, lemon, roasted chilli, tahini and garlic cloves.
  6. Blend until creamy and smooth, adding the reserved liquid as needed.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. To prepare toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, toss the seeds in 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch each of salt and cumin. Fry in a frying pan or roast in the oven until slightly golden.
  9. Add to top of hummus, along with a drizzle of olive oil, slices of avocado and fresh coriander.

 

Lots of Love

Karin

 

 

 

 

My First Book Review: The Reboot with Joe

Those who know me will know how much I love reading, any kind of reading whether it is magazines, newspapers, novels or, of course, cookery books.  There is always a pile of cookery books next to my bed and a virtual pile waiting to be read on my kindle. So I’ve decided to put this passion of mine to good use and start reviewing some cookery books here on my blog, mainly to do with healthy cooking and techniques but maybe other types that I like as well (the odd cake now and then never hurt anyone!)

My first review is of Reboot with Joe, Juice Diet by Joe Cross published by Greenleaf Book Group.

Reboot Joe Cross

The publishers sent me an electronic copy of the book which I must say right at the beginning made it really hard to read, going backwards and forwards between the theories to the recipes etc, and there were no pictures…?? I don’t like cookery books with no pictures in them, the glory of the food, the fresh ingredients, the view of his journey is all lost without some beautiful photos.  So that was a big shame.

The book is written in a very professional kind of medical way and it tells the story of Joe Cross, subject of the 2010 film documentary “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead”.

“Joe is an advocate for the power of juicing and in his book he brings up the plan that allowed him to overcome obesity and his poor health.”

The first four chapters in the book contain lots of information and non-stop encouragements – as much as I love knowledge I found it too long and it stretched on and on for too many chapters.

Having said that you can tell how passionate Joe is about his subject which I admire him for and it encouraged me to read the book from beginning to end.  I also tried his 5 day juicing plan and lost 2 kg in the process!

So if you are not interested in reading about Joe’s life then I suggest you go straight to Chapter 5 which is where the different plans start and where you will find all the info and shopping list for each plan:

3-day quick start

5 day, 10 day, 15 day classic reboot

15 day 5-5-5 reboot

The recipes are really simple to follow: wash, cut and juice. There are some soup and salads recipes for those who need to chew some food and can’t live on juices alone. There is also a juicing guide that takes you step by step from preparation to juicing and storing.

There are more chapters after that: essential, after reboot, conclusion… which again I found to be too long.

As I mentioned before I took it on and did the 5 day plan.  I must say I did enjoy the juices but I was starving!  As juicing takes the fibre away from the fruit and vegetables there isn’t much substance to fill you up. I also didn’t like that Joe uses lots of fruit and mainly starchy vegetables in his recipes, which are full of sugar… I would have preferred to use a blender to retain the fibre and to use some healthier vegetables like green leaves, herbs, healthy fats (like avocado) and spices (like turmeric).

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To summarise: yes, include juices and smoothies as part of your healthy diet as there is no doubt you will get more vitamins and minerals from the fruit and vegetables that way (as you need such a large amount of them to make one juice/smoothie).

I give the book 3 stars out of 5 stars for the effort and the personal story, but as you can get much healthier and more interesting juices and smoothie recipes in other books and on the internet I wouldn’t recommend buying this one…

Happy Juicing if you give it a go…

Karin xx

 

Pancakes – food of the gods?

One pancake at a time…

Pancakes make me happy and give me that warm feeling, no surprise here when you realise it’s actually a sugar high.

Pancakes have a very long history and have featured in cookery books as far back as 1439. So I thought as it’s Pancake Day today, I would like to learn a bit more about why we celebrating it and of course make a healthier version as sugar rush is no longer an option on my menu (only stable sugar levels and low-gi foods).

One of the facts that I found was that originally Pancake Day was a festival celebrated by the Pagans that believed they had to help the gods of spring and fertility fight against the evil gods of cold and darkness. They created the hot, round pancake in the sun’s image in the hope it would banish the evil winter gods and invoke springtime and warmer weather – bring on the Spring!! They also believed that eating pancakes gave them the power, light and warmth of the sun – they didn’t know about sugar rush and stable blood sugar levels in those times.

More seriously:

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter). Traditionally during the 40 days, Anglo-Saxon Christians didn’t eat rich foods like butter and eggs so they made pancakes from them to clear out all left overs foods on Shrove Tuesday, then they went for confession and were “shriven” and absolved.

The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolise four points of significance at this time of year:
Eggs = Creation
Flour = The staff of life
Salt = Wholesomeness
Milk = Purity

It is estimated that an impressive 52 million eggs are used in Britain each year on Pancake Day – that’s 22 million more than every other day of the year.

I also learned that in France, it is traditional while flipping a pancake to hold a coin in one hand and to make a wish.

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Oreo’s Pancakes

So today let’s embrace this tradition and make some pancakes, maybe healthier ones, pile them with fruits and nuts and savour in the happiness they bring.

One pancake at a time.

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Pumpkin Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut flour or almond flour
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour or quinoa flour
  • ½ cup oats bran                                                                                       DSC_2344 (2)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree from a tin or shredded coconut
  • 1½ cups almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup xylitol or 2 TBS Stevia to sweeten – optional
  • Coconut oil for frying

For Garnish:

  • Berries for garnish
  • Shredded coconut and nuts for

Method:                                                                                                         DSC_2347 (2)

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl: flours, baking powder, soda and salt and mix well.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the dry ones and whisk until no lumps.
  3. In a frying pan, melt a bit of coconut oil. Spoon the pancakes batter and create round shapes. Cook for 2-3 minutes then flip over for an extra 2-3 minutes until golden. DSC_2357 (2)
  4. Plate the pancakes, sprinkle some shredded coconut, nuts or maple syrup and enjoy with your favourite people.

 

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Pumpkin GF Pancakes

 

Let me know if you want my (not so healthy) Oreo pancakes.

 

Karin

 

Two Healthy Cookies

 

Here’s for Coffee! And other fat-burning foods.

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Almond Milk Latte 

I can’t wake up in the morning without a cup of coffee and I can’t face my afternoon without another one at 3pm. I also need one before bed time to wind down my day. My daughter gives me a hard time about having so much coffee in my diet, so recently I’ve started drinking water with a slice of lemon in the morning, and green tea or herbal tea for the rest of the day. I used to have my coffee with a pastry but that now this is also part of the past… the love for a good coffee is still there though. I sometimes use my coffee machine and frothing device for frothing my almond milk instead of a normal milk. I carry my almond milk with me, when I go out for a coffee as some cafes will make a soya milk latte and now Starbucks doing a coconut milk latte (at least in London they do) but NOT Almond milk latte…..?

So you can imagine my delight when I found out that coffee can actual help you with your diet?

It is important to know that you can relish foods and get more out of them then just the taste. When you know what to look for, you can be confident in your healthy food journey/ venture and flourish from the benefits.

As I mention in my  blog weight Vs Fat, one key enemy in our weight loss challenge is excess body fat. So I was looking into healthy ways to fight back the body fat. So in my small research I found that there are few ingredients that we can actually use in our daily meal plan to help with fat burning and the first one is coffee!

Coffee:  is one of the few substances that is known to help mobilize fats from the fat tissues and increase metabolism, it has fat-burning qualities that translate into big losses in calories burning over time. One cup will boost calories burning by 4% over the course of 2 ½ hours.  It can increase the metabolic rate by 3-11%, interestingly, most of the increase in metabolism is caused by an increase in the burning of fat. I can’t really explain the exact science behind it in simple words (it’s also so boring) but I can give you the bottom line.

So best way to use coffee to your advantage is to drink it half an hour before your exercise or gym visit. Skip all added sugar, cream and milk as drinking black coffee before any physical activity can achieve higher calories burning during and after the workout itself, better utilization of fatty acids for aerobic energy, and ultimately contribute to the successful weight loss and toning. The problem is that after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working. If you’re primarily interested in coffee for the sake of fat loss then it may be best to cycle it to prevent a build-up of tolerance. Maybe have it a week on and a week off.

During rest, the increase in fat metabolism alone, caused by the presence of caffeine, is not enough to prompt burning of fat. Drinking coffee alone isn’t going to get you anywhere so don’t sit on your butt all day drinking coffee.

Of course, there are plenty of other great reasons to drink coffee, including the fact that coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals and is the single largest source of antioxidants in the western diet, beating both fruits and vegetables, combined.

Having a coffee after a meal (instead of dessert) will give you a sense of fullness after eating.

 

Green Tea: Like coffee, green tea can increase fat burning and help you lose weight. Several studies suggest that green tea can make us burn more calories, even at rest and it is particularly effective at reducing the dangerous abdominal fat – although not all studies agree, so the effects may depend on the individual!  It is also loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.

 

Another way that green tea could help with weight loss, just like coffee, is by reducing appetite. So drink it with your meal or just after to make you feel fuller.

 

Chilli pepper (e.g. cayenne): it doesn’t just burn your mouth it can also help you burn more body fat. According to The Chilli Pepper Diet you can lose 10 times as much weight if you add a sprinkle of dried chillies or fresh diced chilli to your meals, it definitely increases metabolism as the nuclear heat will send you straight to the toilets..…

The research found that, compared with eating no chilli pepper with a meal, 1g of pepper reduced salty, sweet and fatty food cravings and also increased energy expenditure, decreased appetite and slowing the growth of fat cells. The spicy pepper helps the body’s diet induced thermogenesis –which means that the body releases calories in the form of heat. Studies on cayenne pepper also indicate that it aids in the increase of lipid oxidation. Lipid oxidation is when fat is burned for energy. All of these are important factors in losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight.

 

 

Cinnamon: the smell of cinnamon takes me to places of calm, warmth and happiness, so I’m always happy to use that spice in both my baking and cooking (check out my healthy morning muffins here).

Cinnamon is key in regulating insulin and blood sugar levels which will results in less hunger and overeating. Add this spice to your coffee, tea, and sweet snacks for added flavour and a health boost.

Ginger: Ginger is a known metabolic activator and has been thought to increase metabolism by as much as 20%. Ginger can also help improve digestion and even soothe an upset stomach.

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There are more foods that will help you lose weight and are highly nutritious, like: citrus fruits and berries (remember the grapefruit diet?), wild salmon and garlic but for me the above are the most surprising ones and are found in my kitchen cupboards, makes it easy to use every day.

 

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So here is my Chicken and butternut tagine recipe that incorporate: chilli, cinnamon, ginger and garlic, together with some protein (chicken breast and chickpeas).

You can cook it in the oven using a tagging or oven proof pan or just on the hob.

Serve it with a raw cauliflower rice (or a traditional couscous) and a nice cup of green tea in Moroccan tea cups.

Serves 8

Ingredients:             

  • 2 TBS Coconut oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp Harissa paste, or 2 chopped red chillies, or 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp grated ginger or ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1kg boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 680ml passata or 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium butternut, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 600gr tins chickpeas, drained
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • Raw cauliflower rice
  • 25gr Coriander , finely chopped                     DSC_2299 (2)
  • 50 gr Flaked almonds
  • Pomegranates seeds

Method:

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 C (if using tagine or oven proof pan)
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on a medium heat (oven proved one if you don’t have a tagine) and fry the onions, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.
  3. Stir in the garlic, harissa or chilli, ginger and cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes, on high, turning often to brown them slightly all over.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium, add the passata, chickpeas, butternut and season well with salt and black pepper.
  6. At this point transfer to a tagine (if you have one), if you don’t have a tagine use your oven proof pan or cook in a normal pan on the hob. DSC_2274 (2)
  7. Add the water, cover and cook in the oven or on the hob for further 30 minutes. Check from time to time that the tagine has not dried, if it needs add little bit more water so it won’t stick to the pan and burn. DSC_2281 (2)
  8. Serve on the raw cauliflower rice and sprinkle with chopped coriander, pomegranates seeds and flaked almonds.

 

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Remember when the body has the nutrients it needs, it’s better able to balance and heal itself including achieving a healthy weight.

Stay Healthy and eat real foods with the RESET plan.

Karin

Two Healthy Cookies

Fancy a Burger?!

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So my South African hubby was begging for some red meat and was craving it so badly that he started messaging me with this lovely photos of roast beef and other meat photos… point taken! I’m not a big meat eater myself but I thought I’ll spoil the family and prepare a nice cut of meat for the family Sunday night dinner. So instead of the traditional Sunday lunch roast we had our “roast” for dinner, I also wanted to use the leanest piece of meat so I decided to go with a fillet steak, yummy.

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As in the RESET plan we are on a low-carb, low GI diet and with the latest craze of bun free burgers, I decided to combine the two and create (inspired by my husband’s pictures), an bread free steak sandwich.

Now if you know my husband, he likes his burger the Kiwi way… with pineapple, egg and avocado. Having that all in mind I started making dinner.

Steak was slightly oiled and sprinkled with salt and freshly ground black pepper, avocado was sliced, the egg was softly fried (you can also use a hardboiled egg if you prefer) but hubby likes the soft running egg yolk . Then I sliced both a green apple for myself and pineapple for hubby (I decided not to incorporate fruit such as pineapple into my diet, since it has sugar and a GI-index of 66 which is medium high).

High-GI foods, over 70, will raise your blood sugar and insulin levels quickly. Low-GI foods, with a ranking of 55 or below, will have a far less significant effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels. Pineapple falls within the upper-half of the medium GI range of 56 to 69, that’s why I choose not to use it.

There are lots of other ways for substitute your bread in your favourite meals:

  • Sweet potatoes: sliced with the skin on and roast. Place your burger, steak, roast beef, chicken or tofu in between two slices to create a bun style.
  • Green leaves: use round lettuce, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard and cabbage to serve as a low-calorie, fibre-filled wrap alternative for an array of tasty fillings.

Stuff the leaves with quinoa and mince chicken /turkey, some herbs and spices and cook in tomato sauce, or just fill some endive leaves with cottage cheese and walnuts or egg mayo for an easy snack. Use the shredded chicken from the RESET plan with some avocado, baby tomatoes, radishes, chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime.

  • Seaweed / nori: One sheet of the dehydrated seaweed has just 5 to 10 calories, along with 1 gram of fibre. It’s also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.
  • Cauliflower bread or pizza crust: recipes to follow during the week.

 

 

So many things I want to make and try! More recipes for green leaves wraps and cauliflower pizza to follow during the week.

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Keep warm and eat some delicious healthy food.

Karin

Two Healthy Cookies

Hello! My name is Karin and I’m a sugar addict.

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For a long time I wanted to write about my struggle with sugar, but I had to research the subject properly and collect as much information as possible. Now, I feel that I can share what I learned in the process, all of the information was collected by me and it is my personal opinion.

I used to eat in ways that weren’t healthy, it was mainly by the form of Nutella and chocolate bars, and it became an addiction: Nutella on toast, Nutella in a pitta, biscuits covered in Nutella and Nutella with a spoon!!

I couldn’t go to sleep without my fix of chocolate or wake up in the morning to face the world without a Nutella stuffed pita… and in between had lots of cravings and an endless need for the good old Nutella.  I never felt full or satisfied after whatever size meal I had without devouring, you guessed another spoonful of Nutella (or the jar!). Eventually I realised how bad my addiction was when I left everything one night at 11 pm to drive to the supermarket as the jar was empty.

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So I decided to put an end to that behaviour of mine and take back the control of the sugar over my life. I start learning about the subject, sticking my nose in every book on the subject (another addiction of mine…), and read any article on the Internet. I discussed with my GP (that found that my insulin level was very high and I’m nearly developing diabetes) and spoke to a nutritionist and dietician to make sure I was doing the right thing.

In that process, I learnt that we all weigh 11 kilos more today than 25 years ago! We are eating on average 375 calories more per day and that’s all after we reduced our total fat consumption as for years we have been told that fat is the enemy and need to consume a low fat diet.

SO where are all these extra calories coming from if it’s not from the fat? Why is obesity a major epidemic today? And type 2 diabetics is rising dramatically? It is not the fat! It’s from the excessive amount of carbohydrates in our diet.

Sugar dominates our diet and you can find it in nearly every food and drink: bread, coke, juices, ketchup, salad dressing, tins of tomatoes, baked beans, crisps, dried fruits, etc.

In the past we used to consume our sugars naturally from fruits and vegetables, then it started to increase. In the UK, we consume over 500gr of sugar a day, and that creates a major health problem. Not only does sugar consumption cause the obvious problems like tooth decay, but sugar is also linked to cancer, heart disease, impaired brain function, depression and anxiety.

The bottom line is that sugar is not our friend! And we have to eliminate it from our diet as much as possible. This is not easy, but making sure we eat the right food, reading the labels and preparing ahead of time will make it easier.

A couple of years ago I followed a very strict sugar detox and I must say it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I went cold turkey and cut out all sugars from my diet which included fruits. After three days I started adding the good sugars back one at a time. The first week or so I had serious withdrawal symptoms that included: headaches, dizziness until I was nearly sick, my mood dipped, I had anger bursts, I had cravings that were so difficult to overcome. I was irritable and extremely tired. But eventually I got over the hump and I remember one day, having my afternoon snack of humus and red pepper sticks and I got caught in such a surprise when the pepper was sooo sweet, I realised that real food has so much more flavour when you eat sugar free.

During this time I had to keep reminding myself why I was doing it. First I was watching my kilograms melt away, especially around my middle area and the love handles. My sugar cravings stopped and my mood was over the moon, my high energy levels were back and my skin couldn’t look better!

I also start looking into healthier sugar alternatives and how to use them. There are lots of alternatives, some have more calories than the other, some have after-taste but zero calories and some are just full of fructose which is what we are trying to eliminate. They also have to have some kind of nutritional or health benefits and not just empty calories.

Stevia:

A herb native to central and South America and it is about 30 times sweeter than sugar but has NO calories and almost no glycaemic index which is making it suitable for diabetics as well as for weight loss.

It has got a bitter after-taste that last for quite a long time, but apparently you can find some blends today that have a better taste (I’ll let you know the make as soon as I find one). I tried Truvia for baking and  it had an after-taste.

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Xylitol:

Is a naturally occurring sugar from the Birch tree and also found in fibrous fruits and vegetables like beets, berries and corn.

It helps prevent bacteria from causing plaque to stick to our teeth and can help prevent tooth decay. It costs much more then sugar but it is much healthier alternative and has 9 calories per teaspoon, 40% less then sugar. It also had a low glycaemic index but as sweet as sugar.

You can substitute it in your recipes for half the amount of the sugar called for in the recipe.

 

Coconut Sugar:

Coconut sugar is nutritious and has a low glycaemic index, it tastes like brown sugar but a bit richer.

 

Raw Honey and Maple Syrup:

It is unrefined and unprocessed. It has many vitamins and minerals and helps with sore throats and cough.

Honey has more calories than sugar but sweeter so you can use less. When substituting honey for sugar use ½ cup honey per cup of sugar and reduce the amount of liquid by about ¼ cup for every cup of sugar.

—————————————————————

So today in preparation for next week RESET plan I made healthy sweet muffins to keep in the freezer and have as breakfast and they are really scrumptious.

Breakfast healthy muffins

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makes 18

ingredients:

3 eggs

1/2 cup Xylitol or truvia /1/4 cup Stevia (if you don’t mind the after taste)

1/4 cup tahini

11/2 cups Almond milk

1 tsp apple cider vinager                                          DSC_1906 (2)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup fine oats bran

1 grated apple

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

Topping: blueberries, pecan nuts, coconut flakes, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds etc.

Method:                                                               DSC_1904 (2)

  1. whisk the eggs with the xylitol.
  2. add all the other ingredients and mix just to blend, rest for 30 minutes.
  3. preheat oven to 160C.
  4. place muffins cups in a muffin tray and fill with 1/4 cup of the mixture
  5. top with you favorite topping or leave without the topping.
  6. bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. enjoy 2 as your breakfast

 

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Also as it Tu Bishvat tomorrow, the Jewish festival for celebrating the birthday of the trees, I made with my kids out own home made dried fruits, traditionally eaten on that festival. We used lots of different fruits and the results are overwhelmingly good and soooo easy! That goes on my yogurt for breakfast tomorrow.

How to dry your own fruits in your oven

  1. Use any fruit you fancy: apples, plums, apricots, mango, banana, figs,strawberries, cranberries etc.
  2. Slice the fruit and prepare them

 

3. Soak the fruits in lemon / lime juice and water for 10 minutes or more, that will keep fruit looking pretty and minimize discoloration.  DSC_1985 (2)

4. Place directly on the oven net or on a tray with a baking paper.

5. Bake on 70C, for 4-6 hours.

 

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Please let me know your personal experience with reducing sugar in your diet and if you would like to know some more about the subject.

Have a fabulous sugar free week and I hope I didn’t bore you to sleep.

Lots of love

Karin

Two Healthy Cookies

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Quinçoise and Elana’s Fish with Capers

The last couple of days were so cold here in London, all white and frosty but the sky was blue and the sun was shining for me. I sat in my kitchen (with the heating on, of course), behind the glass doors enjoying the view of my garden , feeling the sun on my skin, dreaming of summer….

I had Salad Niçoise for lunch for the last two days, which paired perfectly with my day dreaming and sun bathing…

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I had it once with tuna and boiled eggs, no potatoes! I add quinoa to the salad on the second day to make it into a Quincoise …. Love that name.

Here is the recipe and some pictures I took.   DSC_1806 (2)

Quinçoise Salad or just Niçoise

 

Ingredients

Makes 2 big salads

  • 100gr Salad leaves
  • 150gr Green beans, steamed or boiled for 4 minutes
  • 1 Roasted Courgettes, chopped (or even fresh courgettes spiralized)
  • 4 hard-boiled Eggs
  • 1 tin tuna
  • 4-5 Kalamata olives
  • 1 cup Quinoa, cooked

For the salad dressing:

  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
    4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon juice
    1/3 cup olive oil
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon pepper

Method

  1. Place all the salad ingredients in a serving bowl.
  2. Prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The dressing will keep in the fridge up to 4 days and can be used on any other salad or vegetables.

 

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For dinner Elana cooked for her family and guests, fish with capers wrapped in baking paper, she served it with the Thai inspired Kale salad from day 1. That dinner is carb free and delicious.

Fish with capers, rosemary and olives      

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serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large (or 8 smaller) pieces of any white non-fatty fish fillets or loins eg:cod
  • 4 tbsp capers in brine
  • 12 olives in brine (pimento stuffed are nice)
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 anchovies fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic (2 frozen cubes)
  • 1-2 tsp fresh or dried dill

Method

  1. Line an ovenproof dish with foil, then line that with baking parchment*.
  2. Place fish in baking parchment.
  3. Add 4 tbsp lemon juice.
  4. Throw over capers and brine.
  5. Throw over olives and brine.
  6. Season well with rosemary, garlic and dill.
  7. Place one anchovy on each piece of fish.
  8. Cover with baking parchment so that fish is not dried out.
  9. Bake in oven for 30 mins at 180C.

 

 

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Elana would also like to talk about cooking with aluminium and foil, please find her warning and explanation here:

*Cooking with Aluminium – Warning

Foil or aluminium is now known to be toxic, and chronic exposure through cooking may be a causative factor in osteoporosis and possibly neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Excess aluminium in the body also impedes the deposition of calcium in the bones preventing bone mineralisation. While studies are less adamant about the link between aluminium and Alzheimer’s than about the osteoporosis connection, it does point to evidence that aluminium is deposited in brain tissue. Studies have found aluminium build-up in autopsies performed on Alzheimer’s sufferers.

 

Contamination with aluminium occurs when food comes into contact with heated aluminium equipment or foil since heat causes aluminium from foil to leach out into foods in significantly harmful amounts. Researchers found dangerously high levels of aluminium in foods after being cooked, reheated and even cooled on aluminium foil. The higher the temperature the higher the leaching.  Foil is not suitable for cooking and is not suitable for using with vegetables like tomatoes or citrus juice as foil and aluminium are unstable in the presence of acids (even when used for cold storage)

So here are a few simple steps you can use right away:

* Never cook, heat up, or place hot food on aluminium foil. Foil can be used to store  only cold foods in the refrigerator.

* However avoid storing tomatoes, citrus fruit or spices in foil even if cold.

*Replace foil with baking paper for cooking and storing food while still hot or use glass storage containers.

* Never use aluminium pots or cooking utensils, instead use stainless steel pots and pans.

Elana & Karin

Two Healthy Cookies

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