Tuesday, 1 August 2017

August 2010: nanofood


Fancy a 'meal-replacement shake' containing 4 nanometre (= 4 billionth of a metre) silica particles, coated with cocoa ingredients? The food industry is trying to synthesize the building blocks of food at the nanoscale and assemble them to make artificial foods.
Nano-meals: a dream come true? 'High-satisfaction foods': filling but with less fat and sugar, they make you feel full when you aren't. The end of obesity!
Experts are even now "tweaking foods, to trick us into feeling pleasantly full long after the final mouthful."
'Trick' being the defining word here. You can't even try to listen to your body anymore.
Do we, then, overeat because we feel empty? If so, what sort of emptiness might that be? Do we feel unfulfilled for lack of 'beneficial nanoscale components' in our food, or might something else be wrong in our life?
Next time you eat or drink, enjoy the taste of real food. As real as we can - still - get it. For more information about nano foods, see below.

aubergines, french/runner/broad beans, calabrese, cauli, cucumbers, fennel, chard, spinach, summer squash, sweetcorn, globe artichokes, beet, carrots,  courgettes, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, peppers, radish, turnip, marrow, tomatoes, spring onions, carrots, pak choi, salsify/scorzonera, samphire, rocket, watercress.
Fruit: apples, apricots, berries, currants, bullaces, damsons, greengages, plums, cherries.
Cheap, free range good-for-you meat: rabbit and wood pigeon.
Fish is excellent at this time of year: dab, black bream, crab, grey mullet, trout, scallops, sea bass, flounder. Mackerel have finished spawning and taste good, are healthy, and not dear.

Chinese cabbage, spring cabbage, chicory, kohl rabi, lettuce for harvesting November/December, quick variety peas, winter-hardy spring onions, salad leaves, fast-maturing carrots (Adelaide), endive,  red, white (= mooli) and black radish, spinach beet. Lamb's lettuce (corn salad), rocket and especially land cress will survive the winter.
Perpetual spinach, (spinach beet, or leaf beet) tastes as good as 'true' spinach, is more forgiving of soil and weather and doesn't go to seed so quickly. Sow now for winter/spring crop.
Early August only: chard, florence fennel, turnip.
Plantcauliflowers (early in the month), winter cabbages, kale. 

If you sow KOHLRABI in August, they will last you to February. Start eating them when the bulge is cricket-ball size, which should be October for an August sowing. They are nicest fresh.
Keep picking RUNNER BEANS and they will feed you till well in October. If you can't/won't pick them all, leave them for another month or so. Then pod and eat like broad beans: these 'flageolets' are adored by the French. And you can eat the flowers! Look, and taste, lovely in a salad.

NASTURTIUM: the flowers are delicious raw, just on their own! Or add them to salads, or steep in white wine vinegar. They colour it orange and add a peppery flavour, good in dressings. The flowers are full of lutein, so good for your eyes. And pickle the seeds: they taste like capers.

RUNNER BEAN STIR FRY (nice as well with cabbage instead)
  • 400g runner beans,
  • 1 onion,
  • 200g cooked kidney beans (25-30g uncooked)
  • 10ml sesame oil (olive will do),
  • 1 tblsp soy/tamari,
  • 1 tsp honey,
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional),
  • juice 1/4 lemon or more,
  • ½ inch ginger finely sliced, or ½ tsp ground ginger.
Trim runners and slice diagonally into 1 cm wide strips, 6 cm long. Cook them for 5 mins. Slice onion finely. Blend soy sauce/tamari, honey, sesame seeds, lemon juice, ginger. Heat oil, add onion. Stir and cook slowly for 3-5 minutes until nearly soft. Add drained runner and kidney beans. Stir and cover, cook for 3 mins. Add sauce, heat through thoroughly. You can add ½ block firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes shortly after adding onions.

  • 400g spaghetti,
  • 200g peas, weighed without pods,
  • 300g fresh crab meat,
  • 5 tbsp crème fraîche,
  • chilli powder,
  • handful chopped parsley
  • zest 1 lemon,
  • juice ½ lemon
Cook pasta as usual for 7 mins. Add peas, cook 2-3 mins. Drain, reserve some cooking water. Mix pasta with crabmeat, crème fraîche and lemon juice. Reheat carefully, adding a little cooking water if the mix seems dry. Serve sprinkled with chilli, parsley and zest.


Cauli florets (not too big), chopped onion(s), crushed garlic, butter, pepper, thyme, salt.
Preheat oven to 210°C. Cook cauli in salted water till half done, drain. Saute onion and garlic in plenty of butter, take off the fire. Add cauli to the pan with onion and garlic, add thyme and pepper, stir. Put the mix in a greased ovenproof dish. Put dish in the top of the oven till the cauliflower is done and it is starting to brown.

To find Farmers' Markets in Somerset, go to www.localfooddirect.co.uk.
Useful site: http://eatseasonably.co.uk/what-to-eat-now/this-months-best/

Re nano foods, see:

Next month: rabbit; soy.