25 July 2014

Did you know the peanut is not a nut?



Did you know that the peanut is actually a legume and not an actual nut?  I didn't, and only learnt this little fact recently.

What I did know, however was that they are packed full of nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins as well as mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which helps to lower "bad cholesterol" and increase "good cholesterol".

So basically (I believe), this little treat can be and should be enjoyed whole-heartily in the full knowledge of what an amazing and loving gift you're giving to yourself. 







Salted Peanut Fudge
(recipe from the I Quit Sugar Website)



Ingredients

3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup rice malt syrup
good pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut cream
350g jar, unsalted, organic smooth peanut butter.

Instructions

  1. Line a slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Melt coconut oil and rice malt syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat until combined well.
  3. Add sea salt, coconut cream and peanut butter to the saucepan and stir vigorously until peanut butter has completely melted through and mixture is smooth with no excess oil. Note: If the mixture starts to bubble and get too hot, remove from the heat and continue stirring until smooth.
  4. Pour fudge mixture into lined tin and smooth down the mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with some sea salt flakes and freeze for 1-2 hours until set.
  6. Slice into approximately 40-45 pieces and store in the fridge (or freezer) in a sealed container.











This fudge is quite soft and will soften further when left at room temperature.  Whilst it's delicious all soft and sticky, I actually love it straight from the freeze....kinda like a little lolly.

TIP:  To help keep your peanuts (if shelled) as fresh as possible - place them inside an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator.



23 July 2014

Food for Thought: Parsnip !





Food for Thought:  Did you know that the often overlooked  root vegetable known as parsnip is actually an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, helping to do that wonderful job of reducing your blood cholesterol levels?

Not me.  I just thought it looked like a white carrot, but only sweeter.

Like carrots, the parsnip contains a good dose of vitamin C (helping the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth and gums), it's anti-oxidant property helps protect us from diseases and it is rich in many of the B-complex group of vitamins (such as folic acid and vitamin B6), not to mention vitamin K and E.

And if that wasn't enough for you, it has a healthy level of minerals including iron, calcium, copper, potassium and manganese which all help to control your heart rate and blood pressure by countering the effects of sodium.

All that from a white looking carrot?

So basically, just to narrow it down.....all you need to do is eat a big bowl of this soup and you're good to go!

It's filling, grounding and has a slight sweetness from those amazing root vegetables.  I was in love after my very first spoonful.








Curried Parsnip and Butter Bean Soup
(recipe from the I Quit Sugar Website)




Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons curry powder
250 g parsnips, chopped
500 ml vegetable stock
1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup coconut cream
sea salt and cracked black pepper





Instructions

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.
  2. Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add parsnips, stock and beans and bring to the boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, until parsnips are tender.
  5. Remove from heat. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth or cool slightly and puree in batches in blender or food processor.
  6. Return to saucepan over low heat and stir though the coconut cream and season to taste.











21 July 2014

Yellow !




Yellow...is the colour of sunflowers and daffodils as well as the colour of happiness, optimism and creativity.  It is the colour of sunshine and spring and it's apparently the colour that captures our attention the most.

On a personal level, the colour yellow makes me smile.

Just like this cake that I recently made to celebrate one very lovely lady's birthday.