Want to Stay Young? Eat These!

Good morning World!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you romantics out there!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

OldPeopleCartoonStaying young.  It’s something most of us want to do, but as time goes by, things start to go haywire…an ache here or there, age spots, hair thinning or going grey, you can’t move as fast as you used to, you get annoyed at young people and you find yourself at the doctor’s office more than you want.  It can’t be helped…we all grow older.

Some say ‘you’re only as old as you feel!’ which is fine as long as you ‘feel’ about 21 even when you’re nearly 3 times that age.  But some aren’t so lucky and do feel their actual age.

So what or who do you blame?  Was it due to all those late nights when you were younger?  Too much booze or cigarettes or even drugs?  Is it mom and dad’s fault?

Actually, genes account for only about 25% of aging, so what you eat could possibly make a huge difference in how you’ll feel when you get ‘over the hill’ if you aren’t there already.  Here’s how to adjust your food intake and get smoother skin, a faster brain and some other youth boosters…

OliveOilOLIVE OIL

Youth Benefit: Less wrinkled skin

Australian researchers found that those who regularly ate olive oil along with fish and veggies had, on average, 20% fewer wrinkles than those who did not.  This may seem just a cosmetic benefit, but an American trial recently linked deeper wrinkles with increased risk of osteoporosis.

SPINACHspinach

Youth Benefit: Healthy eyes

An antioxidant that protects the retina against damage from years of exposure to sunlight is lutein.  The high lutein in spinach is specifically related to lowered risk of macular degeneration (MD).  To help protect eyes, the MD Society recommends eating two to four servings of lutein-rich leafy green veggies a week such as spinach and kale.  Pour olive oil over greens as lutein is fat-soluble and therefore better absorbed if eaten with a little fat.

ONIONS

Youth Benefit: Lower inflammation

Onions, especially the red ones, are useful in avoiding arthritis, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.  Controlling inflammatory status may allow a better chance of successful aging.  Quercetin is the nutrient in onions that help with anti-inflammatory.  Other foods with quercetin are citrus fruits, apples and sage.

BRAZIL NUTSbrazil_nuts

Youth Benefit: All-around anti-aging

Brazil nuts get high marks for anti-aging on account of their very high content of selenium, a vital antioxidant mineral.  According to the UK government’s 2011 National Diet and Nutrition Survey, many of us do not get enough of this mineral, with women over 65 faring worst.  Low selenium status has been associated with increased risk of mortality, poor immune function and cognitive decline.  Just 25g/¾oz (a handful) daily, will significantly boost your selenium level.

blueberriesBLUEBERRIES

Youth Benefit: A clear mind

Blueberries could play a role in healthy cognitive function.  Research found a 200g dose sustained people’s ability to perform tests of short-term memory and concentration.  The berries are rich in a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, which may help protect brain cells and arteries and keep blood flowing to the brain.  Cranberries and pomegranates contain similar levels of anthocyanin.

BROCCOLI

Youth Benefit: Cancer protection

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli contain glucosinolates, which form anti-cancer chemicals.  When researchers added juiced broccoli to precancerous cells, they found the survival rate of these cells was reduced by 95%.  Other studies have shown that these anti-cancer chemicals may also reduce levels of estrogen derivatives that stimulate breast tumors.  Other cruciferous veggies include cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes and watercress.

RED WINE

Youth Benefit:  Heart health

Research shows moderate imbibers of any type of alcohol (one or two units a day) tend to live longer than both abstainers and heavy drinkers.  Alcohol can also increase the ration of ‘good’ (HDL) to ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol in blood vessel walls.  Stick to no more than 150ml/5fl oz of wine per day.  Other foods that provide these flavonoid benefits without the alcohol are 70% cocoa chocolate, red grapes and red apples.

Other foods for staying young include OILY FISH such as mackerel, salmon and sardines which contain the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints, STRAWBERRIES for healthy arteries and CARROTS for a strong immune system.

So avoid junk food, eat healthy and stay young!

  Terri  

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Silken Chocolate Pudding ~ South Beach Diet

Hi Gang!

StormNemoCartoonHope you all had a wonderful weekend and that all of you on the east coast of the US survived the big snow storm.  Many of my family and friends had anywhere from 22″ to 3 feet of snow!  We had a small storm last night with rain and snow and high winds…I was glad we were all snug indoors!

Today I’m going to give you a quick and easy SBD dessert you can whip up in about 5 minutes, assuming you have the necessary ingredients.

It’s a silken chocolate pudding, which I must explain first.  Chocolate pudding in the US is not the same as what it is in the UK.  In the US, when we hear ‘chocolate pudding’, our first thought (or at least mine) is Jell-o brand chocolate pudding.  That smooth, custard-like, melt-in-your-mouth pudding.  I always enjoyed the top after it set as it got a bit chewy and gooey, unless you like to cover it so you don’t get that.  In the UK, saying ‘pudding’ is like saying ‘dessert’ as it could mean anything from a sponge cake to an apple or rhubarb  crumble…something sweet to have at the end of the meal.

Think back to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  There’s a scene where they all get on the cart with Luna Lovegood (being pulled by a horse-like animal that only Harry and Luna can see)  and one of her lines is: ‘I hope there’s pudding’  It didn’t matter what type it was, as long as it was available.

This chocolate pudding is more on the lines of the US version.  It’s not exactly Jell-o brand, but I think it gets the job done.

This is made with silken tofu, which has a softer consistency than regular tofu and is perfect for this creamy Phase 1 pudding.  Tofu (in the US) comes in soft, medium, firm and extra-firm consistencies.  I’ve only ever seen silken and firm here in the UK.   Be sure to buy the soft type to use here.

SILKEN CHOCOLATE PUDDING

16oz/454g soft silken tofu, drained

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 C granular sugar substitute

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt (i left this out – didn’t see the need for it)

4 Tbsp no-sugar-added light whipped topping (garnish, optional)

2 Tbsp dry-roasted raw peanuts, chopped (garnish, optional)

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, cocoa powder, sugar substitute, vanilla and salt.  Purée until smooth.

Spoon the pudding into 4 dessert dishes, dollop each with 1 Tbsp of whipped topping and sprinkle evenly with peanuts, if using.

Serve right away or chill to serve later (add toppings right before serving).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sorry mine looks so dull, but I don’t have any sugar-free whipped topping, nor do I know if I can even get it.  We don’t have Cool-Whip here. 😦

Enjoy!

♥♥  Terri  ♥♥

 

 

Terri’s Tuesday Tips ~ Jan 8

Hello!

I’ve got a new calendar with lots of kitchen tips so thought I would share these with you on a weekly basis.

Here’s the first round along with my two cents….

BOGOF♠ It is estimated that food worth £420 ($638) per person is thrown away every year.  Turn over a new leaf at the start of the year ~ avoid BOGOF (by one, get one free) offers in supermarkets which encourage waste and plan the weekly menu before shopping.

Terri’s thoughts on this one:  I see nothing wrong with these as long as it’s a product that you actually use.  We tend to get these more on store cupboard items, such as coffee or pasta; something that isn’t going to go bad in a short amount of time.  Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale.  Yeah, that BOGOF offer on the 20lb. bag of flour is great, but unless you run a bakery or do a sh!tload of baking, do you really need 40lbs. of flour??

♠ Use the unpopular chocolates from a selection box by melting them all together and making a fudgy chocolate sauce to pour over ice cream for an instant dessert.

Terri’s thoughts:  Unpopular chocolate??  This was definitely written by a member of the male species or Martha Stewart.  That’s like saying ‘leftover wine’. The only chocolate I don’t eat is if it’s wrapped around marzipan or a sickly sweet cherry.  And of course, that’s what most of us want to do, especially if you’ve decided to start a healthy eating regime!

♠ If a recipe calls for thinly sliced meat, freeze it for a couple of hours as it will then slice more easily.

Terri’s thoughts:  This actually does work!

♠ Put a damp tea towel under the chopping board to prevent it slipping or under a bowl while mixing.

Terri’s thoughts:  I actually have a piece of that rubbery shelf liner under my cutting board and I have a stand mixer so no need for it under the bowl.  Even if I’m using my hand-held mixer, I usually have my other hand on the bowl, turning it.

♠ When preparing a packed lunch in the morning, use frozen bread.  It will defrost and taste fresh by lunch time.

Terri’s thoughts:  A good idea if you take a lunch to work.  Taking a lunch is always a better idea than buying your lunch.  Think of the money you save!

Cheap-white-bread♠ To freshen a slightly stale loaf of bread, steam in a pan with a lid on until warmed through.

Terri’s thoughts:  Not a bad idea if you want to use it for a sandwich, but slightly stale bread will taste just as good as fresh when toasted.  It almost doesn’t seem worth the trouble.

Next week, how to sooth a sore throat, an idea for tissue paper and making a tastier cup of tea!

Terri  ♥

Did You Forget Something? ~ False Advertising

A well known ‘hazelnut spread’ contains the following ingredients:

Sugar (50%) and vegetable oils (mostly palm oil), followed by hazelnut, cocoa solids, and skimmed milk. In the United States, this spread contains soy products. This product is marketed as “hazelnut cream” in many countries. Under Italian law, it cannot be labeled as a chocolate cream, as it does not meet minimum cocoa solids concentration criteria. About half of the calories come from fat (11g in a 37g serving, or 99 kcal out of 200 kcal) and about 40% of the calories come from sugar (20g, 80 kcal).

OK, so you’re saying ‘so what’, right?

Well here’s the thing.  Last night while watching the boob tube, there was a commercial on for this product.  It showed a mother and her kids at breakfast, running around and trying to get out the door in time for school or work.  It showed them eating this product on bread.  Not a big deal.

Then the narrator of the commercial started to speak and said that this product was a great way to start the morning as it contained

…”two whole hazelnuts in every tablespoon, skimmed milk and cocoa powder”…

Did you notice anything missing, like the sugar??  Why didn’t they mention that?  Because they know how bad the sugar is for you and they just thought they’d let that pass.  Perhaps they thought you wouldn’t notice.  Perhaps a lot of people won’t.

SUGAR IS THE ENEMY.

Now I’m no angel when it comes to sugar, but at least I have a pretty good idea of how much I’m eating.  Usually my sugar intake consists of home baked goods that I’ve made myself or my daily square or two of dark chocolate.  In checking the label on the chocolate, one square contains 3.2g of carbs, which I’m sure is mostly from the sugar.  And considering I don’t eat home baked goods everyday, my daily sugar intake is pretty low.  I don’t eat sugary cereals and I don’t drink soda of any kind.  We cook from scratch every night and don’t have ready meals or processed foods.

I use artificial sweeteners, honey, fruit sugar or agave nectar, depending on what I’m eating or drinking.  I try to stay away from the sugar because I know what it does to me if I have too much of it.  I have hypoglycemia/low blood sugar and it’s not fun when I get an attack.

The problem is that sugar can be an addiction just like smoking, alcohol and drugs.  It takes willpower to resist but sometimes resistance can be futile.

Usually it is easier to make dietary changes gradually, however sugar has the unique ability to inspire cravings which are refueled every time you give into them. The only way to break the cycle is to stop feeding the fire. Use this challenge as an opportunity to go cold turkey and break the addiction.

And stay away from that falsely advertised hazelnut spread.  Perhaps they should really call it Sugar Spread with Hazelnuts…

♥  Terri  ♥

Chocolate ~ Morning, Noon and Night

I’m sitting here in my crop jeans and they feel a bit tight.  Not a good thing considering they fit just fine last year…sigh.

What is wrong with me??

I was doing so well with my eating, and I’ve completely gone to pot; well maybe not completely but probably 80% to pot.  I’m eating proper meals, but it’s the in between stuff that is causing havoc…and all the baking I’ve been doing.  Most of the baking has been stuff for the market, but if I don’t sell all of it, I bring it back home and well, I can’t let it go to waste, so instead I’m letting it go to MY waist!  This is not only bad for my weight, but also my health and I know this all too well.

On Sunday, my neighbors across the street brought me a container of freshly picked strawberries.  So what’s wrong with those?  Nice fresh fruit, healthy and great tasting all by themselves.  But did I just eat them as is?  No.  I felt I had to elevate them to a higher level and make something with them.  And what did I make?  Yesterday, I made this….

Chef P took a piece to work to have with his morning coffee, I cut off a chunk to give to the neighbors, and of course, I had to test it out to make sure it was OK to eat.  Obviously, it is perfectly fine…and quite delicious.  I made the sponge cake, soaked the berries for about 3-4 hours in some sugar and a small bit of brandy, and whipped up some double cream with a small amount of sugar and a bit of pink food coloring.  I spread the first layer of cake with the soaked berries and then covered with a bit of the whipped cream, then put the next layer of sponge and the remaining soaked berries then frosted/iced and added more berries for decor.  I’m not posting the recipe because this is dead easy to do and all you need to do is make your favorite sponge cake and with the rest, you can just wing it.

So you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with the title of this post.  Well, actually nothing, but maybe a small something.

Some of you may remember a while back (Nov or Dec) that I posted about a delivery I received from the Chocolate Tasting Club.  A lovely box of fine chocolates which I would receive every 4, 8 or 12 weeks, depending on my choice…and each delivery would contain different chocolates, hence the name.  I must say the chocolates I’ve received so far have been heavenly.  I only eat one or two at a time, and usually only once a day, sometimes skipping days here and there.  They not only have these scheduled deliveries, but they also offer other delectable delights.  I don’t normally order the extra stuff because frankly, a huge box of chocolates every 8 weeks is enough.  However, I ordered this because there wasn’t much chocolate that came with it.  What I got was this…

I’ve got an apron, three packs of different chocolate slabs and this book, from Hotel Chocolat called Morning to Midnight ~ A book of chocolate recipes for the whole day and night.

It’s a rather large book and gives you chocolate recipes that could, in the words of Professor Snapes, bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses.  I was drooling just looking at the pictures.  I’ll give you just a small sampling of what’s in there…

Yes, there’s even recipes for main meals!

What a great idea, these are adorable!

All of the recipes are contributed by chefs know in the UK, whether they be celebrity chefs, or well know restaurant chefs.

The book also gives an introduction into the history of chocolate, various terms used and also the various methods used on chocolate including tempering and proper melting guides.

I’m not sure what recipe I’m going to tackle first, but you’ll find out soon enough!

No wonder my jeans are tight…….

Terri  ♥

Makin’ Whoopie!

Good Day, dear readers!

Some of you may remember my rant angst disbelief post a while back about whoopie pies and the horrid transfiguration that was bestowed upon them when they traveled over here to the UK.  For those of you who didn’t see it or want a refresher, you can find it here.

As I’ve also been having fun with my new mixer, I’ve been making a few cakey type stuff to sell at the Family Fun Day (FFD) in a couple of weeks.  This coming weekend is the monthly market at Cliftonville and the following weekend is the FFD.  As there will be lots of kids there, I decided to make things that the little brats tots would like.  I’ve made brownies and some tea loaf (for the adults) and I’ll be making those yummy vanilla cupcakes and I also decided to make whoopie pies to show these Brits what a whoopie pie is supposed to look and taste like.  (In case you’re wondering, I’ve put the brownies, tea loaf and whoopie pies in the freezer until needed.  I’ll make the cupcakes towards the end of next week, probably on Thursday or Friday as the FFD is on Saturday).

Homemade Whoopie Pies

This recipe is from an Amish cookbook so it is a traditional recipe.  For those of you who want to try making these, you will get a good many of them…I got 30 pies (60 cakes).

They’re not difficult to make; just a wee bit time consuming as you can only make about 6 cakes per pan.

There’s also more than enough filling for all of them, although you won’t have that much left over.  I just put extra filling in the last 6 or so that I made.  I also made the cakes one day and the filling the next day.

Some of the cakes will come out slightly bigger or smaller.  Try to match up same size cakes with each other.

~~WHOOPIE PIES~~

2 C sugar

1 C shortening or butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C plain flour

1 C cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

1 C sour milk (add 1-2 Tbsp white vinegar to milk)

2 tsp baking soda

1 C hot water

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.

Cream the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix.

Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt.

Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour milk until well incorporated.

Dissolve baking soda in hot water and add to mixture, mixing well.

Using a small ice cream scoop (about 2 Tbsp), drop onto greased cookie sheet or silicone mat. Depending on the size of your baking sheet, you may only get about 6 on each sheet.  Don’t forget, they will spread to about a diameter of about 2 to 2½ inches.  You want to make sure they are all uniform in size, as best you can.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cakes sit on pan 1-2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

~~CREAM FILLING~~

2 egg whites, beaten until foamy

¼ C milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C powdered/confectioner’s/10X/icing sugar, divided

1½ C shortening or butter

Mix together the egg whites, milk, vanilla and 2 cups sugar.

Beat in shortening and remaining sugar until smooth and fluffy.

Spread a dab on the flat side of half of the cooled cakes.  Top with another cake to form a sandwich pie.

Pies can be individually wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen.  Allow to thaw at room temp. (They taste pretty good right from frozen too!)

Enjoy!

♥ Terri  ♥♥

How Sweet it is!

Sugar.  We all know we shouldn’t eat so much of it, but yet we do.  It’s irresistable.  It’s sweet.  It gives us a pleasurable taste on the tongue.  How can we say ‘no’???

The average American eats approximately 1,500 pounds of food every year. Of that, 160 pounds are primarily sugar.

Of all the food stuff we eat, sugar is the least nutritious.  In fact, except for the energy in its calories, there’s not much to recommend about sugar. It’s a prime source of empty calories, and for those of us who are trying to lose weight, sugar’s the first thing we should start trimming from our diets.

The problem is that it’s added to so many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis, hidden from view.  You say ‘no, how can that be’?  Try reading food labels.  The food manufacturers have ways of hiding it by giving it different names:  sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, fructose, sorbitol, maltose, lactose and maltodextrin, just to name a few.

One of the best ways to disguise the amount of sugar in a product is printing the information in grams. Most Americans haven’t the foggiest idea of how much a gram is, because they’re unaccustomed to the metric system. So when they pick up a can of soda that contains 40 grams of sugar, they pretty much shrug their shoulders and pop the top, assuming they’re even reading the label.   But what if the label said 10 teaspoons of sugar?  If you saw someone popping 10 tsp. worth of sugar into their coffee or tea, you’d think they were crazy, but that’s how much is in a typical 12oz. can.

The food industry has cleverly snuck its sugars and corn syrups into products where we never would have thought to look for sugar. It’s good for the manufacturer. It hikes up the calorie load, can enhance the product’s appearance (high-fructose corn syrup gives hamburger buns their golden glow), and can keep our sugar cravings simmering at a low boil. Here are some types of products whose labels you should look out for.

Spaghetti sauce. A half cup of store-bought sauce can contain as many as three teaspoons of corn syrup or sugar. While some of the naturally occurring sugar in tomatoes and other vegetables will show up on the nutrition label, most of the sugar is added. Look for brands that don’t include sugar.

Ketchup. Ketchup can be 20 percent sugar or more. Not to mention that you’ll get 7 percent of your daily sodium allowance in one tablespoon. Look for low-salt, no-sugar brands, or make your own, using pureed carrots to add flavor and texture to the tomatoes.

Reduced-fat cookies. Most brands of cookies now offer a reduced-fat version of their product.But while you’re patting yourself on the back for choosing the low-fat option, check the label. The sneaky food manufacturers did take out the fat, but they replaced it with, you guessed it, sugar. And because there’s no fat to make you feel full, you’ll be tempted to eat more “guilt-free” cookies. And just because there’s less fat, it doesn’t mean you’ll be less fat. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar make you fat.

Low-fat salad dressing. Like the cookies, manufacturers have taken the fat out of the dressing, but they’ve added extra salt and sugar to make up for it. Check the label to make sure you’re not replacing heart-healthy olive oil with diabetes-causing sugar-because that’s not really a “healthy choice.” Your best bet? Make your own vinaigrettes using a small amount of olive oil, a tasty gourmet vinegar or fresh lemon juice, and some fresh herbs.

Bread. Most processed breads, especially white hamburger and hot dog buns, can contain a good bit of sugar or corn syrup. That’s what gives them the golden-brown crust. As always, check the ingredient label, and consider making your own or getting your bread at a real bakery or a farmers’ market – it’s the best idea since, well, you know.

Fast food. Needless to say, fast food is generally not good for you. But even if you’re staying away from the sodas and the shakes, everything from the burgers to the fries to the salads is a potential place to hide sugar. Check out the ingredients carefully at your favorite restaurant. You may be getting more than you bargained for.

And don’t forget that alcohol also contains sugars.

********************

And how do you know that you’re consuming too much sugar?  Well if you eat too much sugar…

You’ll have trouble getting enough healthy nutrients without going overboard on calories.
You gain weight.
You do not feel the need to eat food that contains more of the important nutrients that our body needs, such as vitamins, iron, calcium and magnesium.
Tooth decay and gum disease.
Unstable blood glucose.
Obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Malfunctioning immune system.
Chromium deficiency.

Soooo….you still want that candy bar??