Sunday, 1 October 2017

October 2017: please have your dairy whole!

PLEASE HAVE YOUR DAIRY WHOLE



The tide has turned, finally. Recent research, the latest properly scientific advice, says: 

Consuming full-fat dairy products seems to REDUCE your risk of becoming obese.”
So starts an article in the New Scientist of February 2014. This statement, by leading nutritionist Professor Walter Willett, is the result of several recent studies, and an analysis of lots more.
Why is it taking so long for this message to come through to us consumers?
1) It’s not easy for 'experts' to admit that the advise they have been pumping out for decades was wrong.
2) More importantly: what does the industry do with the cream which was in all the low-fat products they so successfully got us to consume? There is money to be made, selling the butterfat for ice cream [1]!

Thanks to a deluge of new research suggesting that saturated dairy fat isn’t the death sentence doctors once claimed it to be (quite the opposite, in fact), science is, once again, proclaiming whole milk, yogurt, and cheese to be healthy diet must-haves.” [2] 

Contrary to current popular wisdom, full-fat dairy products may actually be better than low-fat varieties for keeping off weight, says Harvard School of Public Health nutrition expert professor Walter Willett.“ [3]

The dairy fat is not only more satiating (preventing overeating later in the day), but is nutrient dense and reduces inflammation, the primary cause of most chronic health conditions.” [4]

Eating full-fat dairy not only keeps your weight from going up: it also keeps your heart and bowels happier and brings down your sugar intake [5]. After all, how do they get all that skim stuff to taste nice? Indeed by adding sugar, or, worse, sweeteners [6].
Last but not least, having your dairy with its natural fat, reduces your diabetes risk. A study, conducted over 15 years by Tufts University, found that people who eat the most dietary fat have a 46% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes [7].

By the way, the idea that you shouldn't drink milk when you have a cold is a total myth. It does not produce phlegm! See https://www.askdoctork.com/do-vitamin-c-or-milk-have-an-effect-on-colds-201212113882.

EAT:
veg: celeriac, turnip, beet, broccoli, cabbage, calabrese, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fennel, kohlrabi, runner beans, salsify/scorzonera, spinach, tomatoes, Jerusalem/globe artichokes, brussels', chicory, endive, swede, celery, corn salad, leek, peas/mange tout, courgettes, marrow, pumpkin/squash, (white) radish, rocket, spring onions, watercress, sweetcorn.
meat: rabbit, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, partridge, pheasant, wood pigeon, duck, venison, squirrel.
fishcrab, clam, cuttlefish, lobster, mackerel, mussels, scallop, sprats, cockles, black bream, gurnard, winkle, pollack, grey mullet, American signal crayfish.

SOW:
broad beans, land cress, round seeded peas, chinese leaves, corn salad, winter purslane, winter lettuce.
Plant rhubarb sets; spring cabbage; garlic; autumn onion sets if the weather is good. The garlic should be suited for autumn planting. Don't use your old cloves! Plant out spring cabbage and, in South England, cabbages and winter/spring lettuce.
What else can you still do in the garden? See www.thompson-morgan.com/what-to-do-in-the-garden-in-october.



RECIPES


WHIPPED CAULIFLOWER with CREME FRAîCHE, serves 4-6.
1 head cauli chopped into florets, 60ml stock, 2 large garlic cloves, 60ml grated mature cheese, 1salt, black pepper, 2 tblsp crème fraîche*, chives.
Cook cauli and garlic till very soft; 15 mins. Mash or blend. Add the cheese, fold in crème fraîche and season. Serve hot, with chives on top. 
*Try find whole fat creme fraiche if at all possible: the fat is good for you - see above -  and helps absorb the other nutrients. 

FISH - any fish - for one.
A fish, 1 tblsp grated coconut, roughly 1 tblsp tomato puree, lemon juice, oil/butter.
Heat the oil/butter slightly in a frying pan, add the (boned) fish and some salt. Sauté it slightly, add the tomato puree, coconut and a bit of water. Put a lid on, cook till done. By then there should not be much liquid left, just enough for a sauce. Squeeze over some lemon juice. Done.

ITALIAN RABBIT
Rabbit in pieces, olive oil/butter, 3 large onions, 1 tsp paprika powder, 150g tomato puree, 1.5 tblsp flour, vinegar, thyme, oregano, parsley. 
Fry the rabbit, season. Put in a large pot, strew over the flour. Sauté the onions slightly in the rabbit pan, then add to the meat. Just cover with water, let stew for 40 mins. Add some vinegar, herbs, and stew slowly for 20 more mins. 

GARLIC CHILI BEEF HEART serves 2 (main) or 4 (appetizer)
1lb beef heart (trimmed of fat and silver skin), 2 large cloves garlic, 1 tsp chili paste or some powder, 2 tblsp olive oil, butter.
Combine mashed garlic, chili paste and olive oil, mix. Pour over the trimmed beef heart and mix till all the meat is covered. Let sit overnight (or two nights). Heat a good amount of butter. Place strips of beef heart in a heated pan in an even layer. Don't crowd the pan, or you won't get the desired sear. Cook until it is starting to brown, about 2 mins, then flip and cook until just cooked through, another 2 mins. Serve very hot in a sandwich, on a salad, or in a taco. Good with beer.

For more recipes see October issues from former years - click on October 2017 on the right hand side. Or go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com, which still has eight recipes for this year. 
For an alphabetical index of subjects, click on 2017 > October, in the top right hand corner.
Next month: love your heart! To see this now, go to https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com and scroll down.




[6] See Thought for Food August 2017, click on 2017 on the right hand side of the page.

alphabetical index of subjects


For technical reasons, the months have all been grouped under the same month of the last two years. Click on 2017 and 2016. 

alcohol                                                   Dec 14
Alzheimer's                                            Sep 16
antibiotics                                              Sep 15, Apr 17
arthritis                                                   Apr 14
artificial sweeteners                               August 17
biotics                                                    Apr 17
blood pressure                                      Mar 16
brain food                                              May 13
bread                                                     May 10, Oct 16
breakfast                                               Jul 10, Aug 12
butter                                                     Feb 12
calories                                                 Jan 12
cancer                                                   Aug 11
cheese (British)                                     Dec 12
chocolate                                              Jun 13
cholesterol                                            Mar 10, Apr 11, Nov 13
Christmas recipes                                 Dec 13
common cold                                        Oct 14 
coughs                                                  Nov 14
cravings                                                Jun 12
dairy                                                      Oct 17
death                                                     Feb 17
depression                                            Feb 14
diabetes 2                                             Apr 16
diarrhoea                                              Aug 15
diet                                                       Jul 11, Jan 15
drink                                                     Dec 17, Dec 14
eggs                                                     Jan 16
emulsifiers                                            May 16
fat                                                         Jun 10, Nov 13
faeces                                                   Sep 17
fever                                                     Dec 15
fish                                                       Jul 12
heart                                                     Nov 17
heartburn                                              Dec 16
home remedies (why do I use?)           May 15
hypertension                                         Mar 16
immune system                                    Jul 17
inflammation                                         May 14
insomnia                                              Apr 15
intuitive eating                                      Nov 16
meat (processed)                                 Feb 11, (cheap) Oct 12
milk                                                      Sep 11
minerals                                               Apr 13
mood (food and)                                 Jul 16
number one                                         Aug 16
number two                                          Sept 17
osteoporosis                                        Mar 17
painkillers                                            Jun 17
pesticides                                            Dec 11
protein                                                 Sep 10
roots                                                    Jan 14
salt                                                      Oct 11, Oct 15
soy                                                      Aug 13
stress                                                  Jul 14
sugar                                                  Jul 13, Jun 15, May 17
supplements                                       Feb 15 
sunscreen                                          Apr 12
Teeth                                                  Jan 18
Traditional Chinese Medicine             Sep 14
Throat                                                 Nov 14
Urine                                                  Aug 16
Vegetarianism                                    Nov 12
vitamins                                              Mar 13
weeds (eat!)                                       Mar 11
winter salads                                      Dec 10

October 2016: bread








GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD! 


As the Good Lord is slowly disappearing from many lives, so is his bread. For breakfast we have cereals - meaning cornflakes, weetabix or worse [1]. Alternatively there are crackers or crispbread. For lunch it is increasingly common, if you’re working, to pick up a sandwich from a nearby bakery - unless it’s a bap, a brioche, or a plain hot dog. 
And when we buy ‘normal’ sliced brown, in a supermarket, or in that sandwich, this is what we get. 

After World War II, breeders developed wheat strains which delivered higher yields thanks to intensive applications of herbicides and pesticides. At the same time, the amount of minerals and vitamins in the grain went down: modern wheats are 30-40 per cent poorer in iron, zinc and magnesium than the old strains. 
Sulphur and nitrogen were put on the wheat to boost growth. The resulting flour has nearly double the number of omega-gliadins - known to trigger inflammatory reactions in the gut of sensitive people.
In the sixties the Chorleywood Bread Process appeared [2], which is still how most breads are made today. This speeds up baking dramatically, using enormous amounts of energy, additives and yeast.
Before Chorleywood, bakers took time to let their dough rise. The very little yeast they put in multiplied, and reacted with the flour: this produced enough gas to aerate the bread. Time ripened the dough, making it tastier. More importantly: as dough ferments, those parts of the protein which trigger bowel disease and other auto-immune and inflammatory reactions to gluten, are neutralised.
And then there are the additives. To avoid too many frightening chemical names, manufacturers are now allowed to group them under bland headings such as ‘flour treatment agent’ and ‘emulsifier’. These additives are derived from substances that would never normally form part of the human diet.
It was also found that the right mixture of enzymes produces light fluffy bread and stops it from going stale. What’s more: these enzymes don’t have to be declared! A loophole in the regulations classifies most enzymes as ‘processing aids’, not additives. Baking magazines even carry advertisements for ‘clean label’ improvers - cocktails of emulsifiers and enzymes, often genetically modified, which can be used without any mention on the label ….. [3]

So - what to buy instead? 

The ‘Real Bread Finder’ [4] helps you on your way. Although it does not (yet) mention quite a few decent local bakeries that I know of, it’s a start.

If you want to keep it simple, just follow these rules:
  • Bread from a wholefood shop you can normally trust.
  • Small local bakeries are more likely to deliver the goods than supermarkets.
  • If your bread goes stale quickly, this is a good sign. It means fewer preservatives have been used. Mind you, stale bread is easier to digest, and personally I prefer it to fresh. 
  • Most of us know by now that supermarkets pump out the smell of freshly baked bread in the bread aisle, so you think you’re buying freshly-baked loaves. Smell it when you’re home. 
  • Recent studies found that, among commercially baked breads, sourdough is by far best for you and your digestion. They compared three types of bread: the ‘normal’ kind you buy in supermarkets (reconstituted whole wheat flour = white flour plus bran, a typical formulation. Sounds good, doesn’t it!), yeast bread and sourdough bread [5]. The latter came out with flying colours. In sourdough the absorption of iron, zinc, and copper is enhanced, and the content of phytate, which prevents absorption of calcium, is lower [6]. 
  • To bake, yourself, simple, slow and good bread — no kneading! Here's a recipe: [7].
  • If you are using gluten-free bread, beware! Give all supermarket gluten-free products a very wide berth, says Ingrid Eissfeldt in ‘The madness of mainstream gluten-free bread’ [8], sketching horrors which would put anyone off. However, if you follow the above advice, you might not need it anymore! Otherwise, spelt or rye bread from a wholefood shop or a decent baker seems the best idea. 
And, just out of interest, in 2006 the Pesticide Action Network UK published the government's own test results which detected pesticide contamination in 78% of British bread [9].






EAT:
Veg: celeriac, turnip, beet, broccoli, cabbage, calabrese, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fennel, kohlrabi, runner beans, salsify/scorzonera, spinach, tomatoes, Jerusalem/globe artichokes, brussels', chicory, endive, swede, celery, corn salad, leek, peas/mange tout, courgettes, marrow, pumpkin/squash, (white) radish, rocket, spring onions, watercress, sweetcorn.
Meat: rabbit, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, partridge, pheasant, wood pigeon, duck, venison, squirrel.
Fishcrab, clam, cuttlefish, lobster, mackerel, mussels, scallop, sprats, cockles, black bream, gurnard, winkle, pollack, grey mullet, American signal crayfish.

SOW:
broad beans, land cress, round seeded peas, chinese leaves, corn salad, winter purslane, winter lettuce.
Plant rhubarb sets; spring cabbage; garlic; autumn onion sets if the weather is good. The garlic should be suited for autumn planting. Don't use your old cloves! Plant out spring cabbage and, in South England, cabbages and winter/spring lettuce.
What else can you still do in the garden? See www.thompson-morgan.com/what-to-do-in-the-garden-in-october.


RECIPES

CURRIED POTATO, CARROT and BROCCOLI SOUP for 8
1 tblsp olive oil, 2 chopped onions, 2 large diced potatoes, 1 large sliced carrot, 1 head of broccoli, stems trimmed and diced, florets broken into small pieces, 1 tsp curry powder or more, 700ml water/stock, 200ml whole milk, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, pepper, (grated cheddar for garnish optional).
Sauté the onions until translucent. Add potatoes, carrot, broccoli stems and curry powder: stir. Raise heat and pour in stock/water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and cook for 20 mins or until the veg are tender. Stir in milk and heat up again. Remove from heat and purée a portion of the soup with a hand blender — a larger portion if you prefer a creamier soup, or a smaller portion if you prefer it chunky. Season. Add broccoli florets and simmer for 3-4 mins or until they have turned bright green. Serve hot with grated cheddar if desired.

WHITE FISH with APPLE SAUCE
Ab. 650g white fish fillets like coley, pollack, whiting; 2 cooking apples, 1 large chopped onion, 2 tbslp oil, 2 tsp curry powder, 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cumin, 300ml fish stock/water, chives, 1 tsp salt (lemon juice, coconut milk).
Sauté onion until lightly browned. Core and slice apples and add to pan, together with everything bar the fish. Let cook slowly for 20 mins. Add fish to the sauce and simmer uncovered for 10 mins, until it flakes easily. Taste, season if necessary and add chives. You can also add lemon juice and coconut milk.
Good with rice and peas. 

For more recipes, see the same months in the past few years. Or look at https://thoughtforfoodaw.wordpress.com, which still has a selection of 8. 





[1] See also Thought for Food August 2012: click on 2016 on the right hand side of this page. By the way, did you know weetabix contains added sugar? Of the familiar cereals, only shredded wheat (not shreddies!) has not additives whatsoever. 
[9] And in 90% of oranges, 59% of bananas, 78% of apples, 71% of cereal bars, 83% of oily fish! See www.pan-uk.org/food/best-worst-food-for-pesticide-residues.
NEXT MONTH: Intuitive eating? 




October 2015: salt (II)


SALT (II)



Natural salt is an essential element in the diet of humans, animals, even of many plants. Its use is as old as history. It contains vast amounts of minerals which are essential to our functioning.
Our bodies crave salt. Our blood contains 0.9% salt, which maintains the delicate balance of sodium throughout our bodies. Just about every system needs salt to make it work, and it is especially important for our nervous systems.

On the labels in supermarkets and health food shops, the word 'sea salt' appears often. However, this  'sea salt', has been totally refined. Originally it may have come from the sea, but has been artifially degraded and heated to crack its molecular structure. It has been robbed of its essential minerals, which are, after all, much more valuable if sold to be used on their own. It has been adulterated by chemical additives to make it free-flowing, bleached, and iodised.

When salt is being harvested, the water is naturally evaporated by the sun: dirty brown salt is left on the bottom and pretty white salt at the top. As most people are used to the pretty white version, the top salt is skimmed off and called 'sea salt'. Unfortunately, the trace minerals are mostly in the brown stuff at the bottom …
The best natural salt is not white and it is not dry. It is grayish and feels a bit damp.  It must be labelled 'unrefined, no additives added'. It usually comes in a bag or jar. 
However, the 'fine sea salt without additives' which you see in wholefood shops, is a whole lot better than table salt. This refined salt is 99.9% sodium-chloride. It contains additives like potassium iodide, sugar - to stabilize the iodine and as an anti-caking chemical - and aluminum silicate.
The result of consuming table salt is the formation of overly acidic edema, or excess fluid in the body tissue. That’s why doctors tell us to avoid salt. 
Natural salt, on the other hand: helps stabilize heartbeats, clear lungs of mucus and phlegm, balance sugar levels, absorb food, and maintain libido. It prevents muscle cramps, osteoporosis and gout, and clears catarrh and sinus congestion. See also [1].

People who suffer from high blood pressure tend to have an improper balance of salt/potassium. If you are trying to bring down your blood pressure, you want to stop or limit consumption of table salt, and replace this by proper natural salt. It also helps if you consume more potassium-rich foods such as leafy greens, prunes, apricots, bananas, broccoli  and beetroot. [2]

Listen to your body. Let your salt craving dictate how much salt to consume. But let it be good salt. 

~~~~~~~~~

BY THE WAY:
The New Scientist of 14/8/15 tells us that eating more trans fats is linked to coronary heart disease. However, eating saturated fats is absolutely fine
Most advice recommends limiting consumption of saturated fats, which are found in butter, milk, meat and egg, due to the risk of developing heart disease. But Russell de Souza of McMaster University in Ontario could not find a clear association between these fats and the chances of heart/cardiovascular disease.
This wasn’t the case with industrial trans fats, made by hydrogenating plant oils and found in refined/packaged or ‘partially hydrogenated’ food [3]. Eating more trans fat is associated with a 28% rise in the risk of dying of heart disease.
Who knew? Well …… see Thought for Food March ’10, June ’10, Oct ’13 …..

~~~~~~~~~



EAT:
Veg: celeriac, turnip, beet, broccoli, cabbage, calabrese, carrots, cauliflower, chard, fennel, kohlrabi, runner beans, salsify/scorzonera, spinach, tomatoes, Jerusalem/globe artichokes, brussels', chicory, endive, swede, celery, corn salad, leek, peas/mange tout, courgettes, marrow, pumpkin/squash, (white) radish, rocket, spring onions, watercress, sweetcorn.
Meat: rabbit, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, partridge, pheasant, wood pigeon, duck, venison, squirrel.
Fish: crab, clam, cuttlefish, lobster, mackerel, mussels, scallop, sprats, cockles, black bream, gurnard, winkle, pollack, grey mullet, American signal crayfish.

SOW:
broad beans, land cress, round seeded peas, chinese leaves, corn salad, winter purslane, winter lettuce
Plant rhubarb sets; spring cabbage; garlic; autumn onion sets if the weather is good. The garlic should be suited for autumn planting. Don't use old cloves! Plant out spring cabbage and, in the South, cabbages and winter/spring lettuce.


RECIPES




PUMPKIN SOUP - what do do with the pumpkin contents at Halloween?
200g peeled and deseeded pumpkin, 1 onion, 1-2 garlic cloves, celery leaves, coriander leaves or seeds, ½ l water/stock, butter, seasoning.
Cube pumpkin, sauté with crushed coriander seeds, chopped onion and garlic in butter for a few mins. Add liquid and chopped celery leaves (or -seeds), cook till the pumpkin is soft. Squash or puree, maybe add some water if it's got too thick, season. 


GARLIC BROCCOLI WITH COCONUT-PEANUT SAUCE (vegan and gluten-free)
Broccoli for 4, chopped into florets and small stems; 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, olive oil.
Sauce: 240ml coconut milk, 2½ tbsp peanut butter, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp nice vinegar, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 pinch cayenne pepper
Carefully sauté garlic in oil for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add broccoli and turn up the heat a bit. Sauté for 3-5 mins until the broccoli is bright green and browning in spots. If you like your greens soft, add some water, put a lid on and cook for longer. For the sauce, put the ingredients in a small pan. Whisk together until thick and bubbly. Spoon over the broccoli - and rice if desired. Or stir in, if serving with noodles.

CURRIED SQUASH/PUMPKIN and GREENS
Ab. 300g cleaned squash meat, 4 tblsp butter, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, ¼ tsp garam masala or curry powder, ¼ tsp ginger, ¼ tsp cinnamon or cardamom, 1 tsp sea salt, 2 tblsp olive oil, (cayenne); ab. 250g cleaned greens: kale, collards, chard, etc.; 2 tblsp water.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease large baking sheet. Mix spices and salt, set aside. Peel squash, discard seeds. Chop into 1-2cm cubes. Melt 2 tbsp butter, add spices and sauté for 2-3 mins until the flavours release. Don’t let it smoke!
Turn off the heat, add squash, mix well. Spread this evenly onto a greased baking sheet - keep the spicy pan for reuse. Bake squash for ab. 10 mins at 200°C. Take out, stir, and put back for 10-15 mins until soft and starting to brown.
Meanwhile, wash and chop greens. Melt 2 tblsp butter in spicy pan, add 2 tblsp of water. and sauté until done. If they start to stick, add a a bit more. When the greens are done, add squash, stir in lightly. Serve.

BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
1 tblsp butter, 1 chopped onion, 60ml butter and 60ml flour, 1l stock/water, 200g chopped broccoli, 100g carrots, salt and pepper, ¼ tsp nutmeg, grated sharp cheddar.
Saute onion in butter: set aside. Make a roux with the 60ml butter and 60ml flour as follows: melt butter, add flour using a whisk. Add liquid bit by bit, slowly, adding more only when it boils. After a while you can add the rest more quickly, whisking all the time*. Add broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Season. Blend or puree if you like. Stir in some cheese and the nutmeg, serve with more cheese.
* If you use brown flour, it’s easier!
KOHLRABI MASH 
Chop 2 pounds kohlrabi. Cook in boiling salted water until soft, about 20 mins; drain. Puree with 1 tblsp each heavy cream and butter; season. Drizzle with olive oil and top with chopped parsley. 

CABBAGE and SARDINES for 2 
(Mike liked this, I wasn't sure. Try for yourself! A lot must depend on the quality of the fish)
½ cabbage, 1 large tin spicy sardines in tomato sauce (or add spices yourself), 2 tblsp butter, 1 onion, 120ml water, salt, seasonings.
Chop cabbage and onion. Sauté onion until soft. Add sardines, cabbage and water, let simmer for 5 mins. Season.

FENNEL and CELERY SALAD
Cut 2 fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discard outer layer if tough. Slice quarters very thinly; slice three celery ribs equally thin. Put it all in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season and combine. If liked, top with lots of grated mature cheese and chopped fennel fronds.

This one's so lovely, wholesome and easy. I can't resist mentioning this, although it's not often people spot an endive/escarole in their shop/back garden. If you want to grow some yourself, make sure it's an escarole type. Here it is:
DUTCH ENDIVE MASH (Andijviestamppot)
1k starchy potatoes, ab. 250g endive, large onion, 150gr cubed bacon or cheese, vinegar, milk, butter, salt, pepper.
Cook potatoes as usual. Chop endive finely, drain well. Fry bacon and onion gently in butter. Mash potatoes. Put endive on mash, pour bacon with fat over it, mix. If dry, add milk or butter. Let everything heat through, but the endive must stay more or less raw.
In Holland they use 'rookworst' instead of bacon, but that is not easy to get here. Cheese instead is fine.




[2] Plus mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, peas/beans, yoghurt, molasses, (shell)fish, beef, poultry and raw fennel! See alshttp://wakeup-world.com/2012/05/21/good-salt-bad-salt/.
[3] Trans fats are found in margarine, vegetable shortening, ice-cream, puddings & pudding mixes, ready-made pies, cakes and cake mixes, biscuits, pizza, potato chips, fritters, doughnuts, gravy and sauce mixes, artificial creamers, confectionery and other processed foods, including many foods marketed at children, including some sugary breakfast cereals. They are also commonly found in restaurant food, especially - but not only - in fast food. So inspect the ingredients before you buy, looking for hydrogenated vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, and margarine. (http://www.tfx.org.uk/page13.html)