Wednesday, October 28, 2009

drink to your good health

Last night I watched an interesting investigation into the efficacy of vitamins,on TV 3.
I’ve never really bought into the whole supplements thing myself. It always seemed like a bit of a scam. Research from university studies years ago showed that vitamin supplements were a poor source of vitamins and no substitute for a healthy diet so we opted to spend our limited resources on food rather than capsules and I am gratified that experts concur that this is the only way to achieve optimum nutrition unless you have an underlying medical or genetic problem.
What I didn’t know, and this show highlighted, was the danger supplements posed to healthy, health conscious people.
The bottom line is that if we want to have optimum nutrition we need to eat more fruit and vegetables. The idea that we can top up or compensate for poor nutrition with vitamin supplements is not just incorrect it’s dangerous. Did anyone else see the program? Will you be chucking out the multivitamins and whipping up a smoothie instead?

Basic Smoothie

200 ml cold milk
¼ cup yoghurt – fruity or natural
½ banana fresh or frozen
½ cup additional fruit such as frozen berries -blue berries or raspberries, fresh berries such as strawberries in season, peaches or even apricot nectar (berries are full of antioxidants, blueberries in particular, and vitamin C)
Honey to sweeten if required (or a teaspoon of molasses, great source of iron and B vitamins)

Place all ingredients in blender and whiz to combine. Frozen banana becomes ice cream like in texture, adding natural sweetness. Berries need not be defrosted, as smoothies are best drunk cold.

Freeze any leftover mixture in Popsicle moulds.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh Fudge!

Friends brought a tin of Russian Fudge around when they came for dinner the other night and it's presence is now dominating my every thought.
Even as I write this I can feel myself tilting subtly in the direction of the pantry like a plant growing towards the light. I put the Fudge in the cupboard out of sight because I thought if I couldn’t see it; it wouldn’t have any power over me. But Russian Fudge has its own gravitational pull and its addicting power cannot be underestimated. This stuff should come with a warning.
Eating doesn’t really describe my relationship with fudge, it’s more like I absorb it, and it takes me over, slowly dissolving on my tongue and permeating every taste bud, every nerve ending.
As the butter and sugar migrate into my nervous system I feel an almost drug like calm and I’m swept up in gentle waves of molten sugary bliss. Just as I’m about to slip into unconsciousness it fades, in an instant every molecule will have dissolved leaving me with the echo of the memory of sublime pleasure, and then the craving starts again, just one more little piece…Heaven help me, I think I need to join a group!

Edmonds Russian Fudge – make at your own risk!

I can’t take any credit for this recipe; it’s been around for donkey’s years. We make the one from the Edmonds book, so it may differ slightly from the one you grew up with, nevertheless full marks to whoever originally invented it.
Russian fudge has to be beaten well, we normally take turns with the beating otherwise the arm is likely to seize up. But it’s worth the effort. Mmmm

675 g sugar
½ cup milk
½ can sweetened condensed milk
125 g butter
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp golden syrup

Place sugar and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil, add condensed milk, butter, salt and golden syrup. Boil for around ½ an hour stirring frequently. Beat until thick, about 5 minutes. Pour into a shallow greased tin and cut when set.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thinking about going veggie

I saw a t shirt in wellington recently that really made me laugh – it had a butchers diagram of a whale, with all the portions neatly labelled and carried the heading ”whales are delicious and nutritious”. It was a joke – but I really shouldn’t have to explain that.
Every now and then I consider swearing off meat for good and becoming a vegetarian. It is un questionably a healthy way to eat and I am quite content to eat meatless meals provided they are tasty. I will not eat tofu, ever, but then nor will I eat window putty or tile grout or blu Tak. I stopped eating foods based on their pure nastiness around the time that the boys in primmer 4 decided the turquoise crayon was the most vile therefore the only one worth eating, having worked my way through a whole carton of crayola, I was undone as Mathew Caules proceeded to eat the entire skin of an orange without puking and no one but no one could beat that.

The trouble with so much vegetarian food is the puritanical greenie- ness of it. Why does the spicy vegetable pie have to be imprisoned in cement crust made from fair trade organic gravel? Why can’t it come wrapped in melt in the mouth flaky puff pastry? And why does the person serving it always have dread locks, harem pants and complicated vegan sandals on? It’s not helping people like me take it seriously.

Tonight I’m making spinach and ricotta calzones for dinner, with nutmeg, garlic and a crunchy crust, they’ll be delicious, but I can already feel there is hot a bacon butty waiting in the wings…