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Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Drinking Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke !

Researchers say people who drink green or black tea at least three times a week get the benefits of polyphenols that can improve cardiovascular health. 
  • New research shows improved cardiovascular health among people who drink tea three or more times per week.
  • The health benefits are attributable to polyphenols, a compound found in black and green tea along with other foods.
  • The benefits were most pronounced among drinkers of green tea, and also for men rather than women.

A cup a day could help keep the doctor away — and increase your lifespan.


That’s according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

In it, researchers suggest that drinking tea three or more times a week can lead to improved cardiovascular health and a longer life.

In their large-scale, long-term study, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing tracked 100,902 participants with no prior history of heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

This group was split into two cohorts: those who drank tea three or more times a week and those who didn’t.

After follow-ups for a median time of 7.3 years, researchers determined that those who drank tea more frequently were more likely to stay healthy for a longer period of time.

Habitual tea drinkers were found to be 20 percent less likely to develop heart disease and stroke, 22 percent less likely to die from heart disease and stroke, and 15 percent less likely to die of other causes.

A subset of slightly more than 14,000 people was also assessed in a follow-up study.

Those who kept their tea-drinking habit in both studies saw more pronounced benefits, including a 56 percent lower risk of fatal heart disease and stroke.

Some experts quoted on the website of the Science Media Centre point out that this research was an observational study and doesn’t necessarily establish a link between tea drinking and cardiovascular health and longevity.

Polyphenol power
Experts say the health benefits seen in habitual tea drinkers might be attributed to polyphenols — organic chemicals that are found in both black and green tea.

“Polyphenols are derived from plants, especially flowering plants,” Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Healthline. “The ‘phenol’ part of polyphenols are where the plants and flowers derive their scent or aroma.”

Dr. Guy L. Mintz, director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in New York, told Healthline that polyphenols are known to have cardiovascular benefits.

“These benefits include improvement in function of the blood vessels, more dilating and less constriction,” he said. “These compounds can also increase good cholesterol, which is also cardiac protective. These compounds also have a reduction in inflammation and makes our platelets, clotting factor, less sticky.”

All of this combines to make a chemical that’s a known booster of cardiovascular health.

Experts point out that because polyphenols are not retained in the body for long, it stands to reason that frequent, ongoing tea consumption is necessary to see the benefits.

Green or black?
It’s worth noting that the benefits vary depending on the type of tea.

While both black and green tea contain polyphenols, the differences may be more pronounced among drinkers of green tea.

This could be because the fermentation process that goes into creating black tea might dilute the effectiveness of polyphenols. There’s also the fact that black tea is often served, and diluted, with milk.

Dr. Dongfeng Gu, PhD, a senior study author and professor of epidemiology and medical genetics at the Chinese Academy, noted that the preferences of research participants skewed heavily toward green tea.

“In our study population, 49 percent of habitual tea drinkers consumed green tea most frequently, while only 8 percent preferred black tea,” Gu wrote in a release. “The small proportion of habitual black tea drinkers might make it more difficult to observe robust associations, but our findings hint at a differential effect between tea types.”

Another wrinkle to consider is that health benefits were more pronounced in men than in women.

Researchers said this could be attributable to the lower incidence of heart disease and stroke in women.

There’s also more data on men who frequently drink tea as 48 percent of men and only 20 percent of women were identified as habitual tea drinkers.

The authors say their research is ongoing and should yield more findings as more data is gathered.

This year, drink more tea 
Non-tea drinkers can probably adjust their lifestyle to include three or more cups per week into their routine. But for those who don’t drink green tea, there are other ways to get these benefits. Polyphenols can also be found in foods such as red wine, dark chocolate and berries. 

“The message from this study is loud and clear: Tea, particularly green tea, is cardio protective, and should be considered as another tool in the cardiac prevention toolbox,” said Mintz. “Maybe we should listen to the advice the hare offers to Alice in ‘Alice in Wonderland’: ‘Take more tea!’”


Alice in Wonderland Tea Party


The above words from an article in Healthline by Dan Gray here

Related Posts
Benefits of Green Tea - see here
Herbal Teas - see here
Bedtime Teas That May Help You Sleep - see here 

As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes!

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

All the best Jan

Monday, 20 January 2020

Veggie Scramble : Breakfast Quick and Easy : Low Carb / Keto


When you want an easy, nutritious and fast breakfast (which could also be enjoyed for lunch or tea) then this recipe could be for you! It's scrambled eggs with sautéed mushrooms and peppers which are topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh cut spring/green onions...
Delicious, fast, easy, and low carb / keto too, why not get cooking soon! 

Ingredients
Serves One
4g carbs
1 tbsp. butter
30g (1oz.) mushrooms, sliced
3 eggs
30g (10z.) red bell peppers, diced
salt and ground black pepper
30g (1oz.) parmesan cheese, shredded

½ scallion (spring/green onion), chopped
Instructions
can be seen here 

Did you know that Spring onions are also known as scallions or green onions. Spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested before the bulb has had a chance to swell. Both the long, slender green tops and the small white bulb are edible, and are good either raw or cooked. They have a similar flavour to onions, but are much milder... more to read here


You will find a variety of articles and recipe within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Coconut and Chocolate Pudding : Low Carb : Dairy Free




Looking for a dairy-free, low carb chocolate pudding? Then this recipe from Åse Falkman Fredrikson could be just what you need! It's relatively low in sugar, all from very dark chocolate. Perhaps not for every day, but it can be a good dessert option for special occasions - perhaps Valentine's Day - February 14th is not too far away!

Ingredients
(adjust to suit)
Serves Six
7g carbs per serving
14 oz. (400g) coconut milk
2 egg yolks
3 oz. (75g) dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids

1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
can be seen here

Coconut milk has recently become very popular. It's a tasty alternative to cow's milk that may also provide a number of health benefits. Coconut milk comes from the flesh of mature brown coconuts. It is used in many traditional cuisines around the world. Coconut milk is high in calories and saturated fat. The milk is also a good source of several vitamins and minerals. Coconut milk is a tasty, nutritious and versatile food that is widely available. It can also be made easily at home. It’s full of important nutrients like manganese and copper. Including moderate amounts in your diet may boost your heart health and provide other benefits as well. Read more about Coconut milk here


Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipes/articles within this blog, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 18 January 2020

José Feliciano - California Dreamin'

Saturday night and music night again. Is it just me, or is it a fact, they don't make 'em like they used to? This track stands the test of time. Peace and goodwill to all. Eddie 

The great cholesterol con.

This short video is well worth your time. The lower your cholesterol the greater the mortality, especially in older people.  Eddie.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Chicken Casserole with pesto, feta cheese and olives : Low Carb : Keto


Yes, a lovely chicken recipe today ...
Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it can be cooked - make it one of the most popular meats around. It has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium.

Just take some Mediterranean superstars - feta cheese, olives, and pesto - bring them together in this creamy, easy-to-make low carb/keto chicken dish. Whether using low-carb, store-bought or your own home-made pesto, give it a go. Why not let your taste buds dance! I'm sure you and your family, will like this dish.

Ingredients
Serves Four
6g carbs per serving
1½ lbs (650g) boneless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tbsp. butter or coconut oil
5 tbsp. red pesto or green pesto
1¼ cups (300ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
3 oz. (75g) pitted olives
5 oz. (150g) feta cheese, diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Serving suggestion
5 oz. (150g) leafy greens
4 tbsp. olive oil

sea salt and ground black pepper
or
Cauliflower rice, see here or here 
Instructions
can be seen here



We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.
Please note, not all may be suitable for you.
If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Ways To Save Money In The Kitchen And Save The Planet !



"Looking to reduce your impact on the environment and save money? Making your kitchen more eco-friendly helps both the planet and your bank account! Use the tips below to save money in the kitchen and help save the planet.

Plan Meals in Advance
A little planning goes a long way! Set aside time each week to plan your meals. List exactly what ingredients you’ll need for each meal and add them to your grocery list. This step alone will help you avoid unnecessary purchases at the store. Having a weekly menu also reduces the temptation to order take out or go out to eat. 

Eat Leftovers 
A little planning goes a long way! Set aside time each week to plan your meals. List exactly what ingredients you’ll need for each meal and add them to your grocery list. This step alone will help you avoid unnecessary purchases at the store. Having a weekly menu also reduces the temptation to order take out or go out to eat. 

Re-use Kitchen Scraps 
Many kitchen scraps can be re-used and re-purposed for different recipes. For instance, you can use leftover vegetables or chicken bones to make homemade broth and stock. Look for ways you can use foods that you would otherwise throw out for different dishes. Check out the Zero Waste Chef for more ideas on how to reduce food waste.

Make Homemade Sauces and Condiments 
Buying common sauces, and condiments like mustard and salad dressing can add up. Plus, most of these items come in single-use plastic containers which are awful for the environment. Instead of buying condiments at the store, try making them from scratch. There are a ton of homemade recipes online that are fun and taste better than the bland sauces you’d normally buy!

Skip the Dry Cycle on your Dishwasher 
Kitchen appliances are no doubt convenient, but the energy they use has a negative impact on the environment… not to mention makes your electric bill shoot up! Thankfully, there are ways to enjoy these items while minimizing their negative side effects. One way to do this is to skip the “dry cycle” on your dishwasher. When it’s time for your dishes to dry, simply open your dishwasher door or grab yourself a drying rank and let the dishes dry off naturally.

Don’t Store Hot Items in your Refrigerator 
Like your dishwasher, your refrigerator zaps up a lot of energy in the kitchen. There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of power your fridge uses. For a quick win, a great tip is to ensure your fridge or freezer temperature isn’t set too high. The most efficient temperature setting for your freezer is -18°C and your fridge between 2°C and 5°C. It’s also important to leave some space around the back of your fridge or freezer for air to circulate. Another quick win is to stop putting hot food in the fridge. Warm items increase the temperature in your refrigerator. This causes your fridge to use more power to bring the temperature down to normal. Next time you want to store hot leftovers, let them cool down first before putting them in your fridge.

Unplug Kitchen Appliances that aren’t in use 
Keeping items plugged into an outlet uses energy; even if they’re not turned on. How many kitchen appliances do you keep plugged in when they’re not in use? While you may not be able to power off your refrigerator, there are many smaller appliances that you can unplug. Look around your kitchen and see what appliances you leave plugged in. You’ll be surprised at how many you find. Some common ones I’ve noticed are microwaves, coffee makers, and toasters. This may sound trivial, but little steps like this can add up to significant savings.

Stop Using Paper Towels 
How often do you buy paper towels? When I crunched the numbers, I was shocked to learn how much I spent. Removing paper towels from your kitchen saves you a ton of money. Plus paper towels are one of the most wasteful single-use products you can buy! Instead of cleaning your kitchen with paper towels, invest in a set of kitchen towels. If you’re really looking to go green you can also cut up old clothes or bed sheets and use them as DIY kitchen towels. Leave a basket of rags on your counter and re-use them over and over.

Bulk Bin Shopping

Shopping at the bulk bin section of your grocery store is a great way to save money. You can get discounted prices on items like rice, spices, and dried fruit when you buy in bulk. Bulk bin shopping also helps you avoid the plastic packaging that many of these items come wrapped in. Most stores offer plastic produce bags to use for the bulk bin section, so by grabbing some re-usable bags you can avoid contributing to the plastic bag problem. 

Start a Garden 
Gardening is a cheap alternative to buying produce at the store. It also limits the negative impact shipping produce has on the environment. Not only that, it feels great knowing you are cooking with fresh, organic ingredients. If you don’t have space for a garden in your home, try looking for community gardens in your area. I can’t recommend community gardening enough! It’s a sustainable way to grow food and helps you connect with the people in your neighbourhood.

Saving money and saving the planet go hand in hand. Use one of the suggestions above to help the environment while cutting down costs in your kitchen!"

Related Posts
Herbs and how to grow them - see here
Eggshell Herb Garden, with low carb herb recipes - see here
Some cost-effective vegetables to grow in your garden - see here
Ways To Grow Your Own Food From Scraps - see here 




Have you any tips to save money in the kitchen? Please share them with us in the comments below!

As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! 

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. 

As always thanks for reading, and if you have left a comment, thank-you.
We hope you come back and visit again soon.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Mid-Week Already !

Goodness me it's Wednesday already and also the 15th of January - we are half way through the first month of 2020! I don't know about you, but I haven't yet made a mistake about writing, or typing, the year - I think the reason maybe that 2020 just has a lovely ring to it - and it's so balanced!

For mid-week I thought I'd share these with you
First some winter red and pink roses
image from here


Second a beautiful winters day 
featuring our two youngest grand-children enjoying some winter sun on the beach
image also used on this post here


Third a tasty low carb soup
Creamy Broccoli and Leek Soup
more details here


A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. Many thanks for reading and continued good wishes for 2020.

All the best Jan

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Roasting Red Peppers : Why do we, How do we ... and more !

Roasting peppers is one of the best ways to enjoy them – the skin blisters and the flesh becomes soft and sweet. Try these simple methods for roasting at home, then perhaps try them in the recipes below. Discover the most efficient way to prepare and cook peppers and avoid reaching for that jar in the supermarket.



Why do you roast peppers? 
Roasting, charring or blackening peppers brings out layers of flavours that will take your dishes to the next level. The flesh of the veg becomes super-soft and sweet, making it perfect for blitzing into sauces, soups and dips. 

How do I prepare peppers? 
When roasting peppers, you can either choose to halve them or keep them whole. Halving them is the preferred method, as it's best to get the fiddly prep done before cooking. Cut each pepper in half through the stalk, then remove the white membrane with a small serrated knife. Scoop the seeds out with a dessert spoon and discard. 

Different ways to roast peppers 
There are several different cooking methods to choose from. The key things to remember when roasting are:-
1. Use baking parchment instead of foil (as this can transfer a metallic flavour to the peppers).
2. Blackening and blistering the peppers is a good thing. The more blackened the skin becomes, the easier it will be to peel. This also gives a tasty, lightly charred flavour to the flesh of the peppers.
3. Stick with red peppers. These have the sweetest flavour and work best for roasting. Most varieties of red pepper work well, including Romano.

Basic roasted pepper cooking methods 

How to roast peppers in the oven
1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
2. Line a large, flat baking sheet with baking parchment.
3. Halve the peppers and arrange on the baking sheet cut-side down.
4. Roast for 30-35 mins until the skin is shrivelled and lightly blistered.
5. Set aside to cool completely before peeling.

How to grill peppers
This is a speedier method for roasting peppers.
1. Heat a grill to high.
2. Halve the peppers and arrange on a non-stick, unlined baking sheet cut-side down (do not use baking parchment, as this can easily catch under the grill).
3. Grill for 15-20 mins until blistered and softened. 

How to roast peppers on the hob
Traditionally, roasted peppers are cooked directly on a gas hob. This method is particularly useful if you're looking to achieve a smokier, charred flavour.
Put whole peppers directly on the flame of a gas hob and cook for 10-15 mins, turning often, until completely charred. You'll know they're done when they reach a deep, blackened colour.

How to peel roasted peppers 
Once your peppers are roasted, pile them (still hot) into large food bags and seal. Set aside to cool in the bags, then peel off the skins and scrape away any lingering seeds. Alternatively, leave your peppers to cool at room temperature before peeling. The skin should slip right off if the peppers have been roasted well, so if you’re having trouble removing the skins, it may be worth cooking your peppers for slightly longer.

How do I store roasted peppers? 
Once peeled and cooled, you can store your peppers in an airtight container in the fridge for five days. Alternatively, slice the peppers and put them in a jar with good-quality olive oil and crushed garlic cloves, then store in the fridge for up to one week. Do not freeze the peppers.

Roasted pepper recipe ideas 
Roasted peppers work beautifully in so many dishes. They can be blitzed into a homemade hummus, tossed through a salad or eaten as part of an antipasto platter. Make a large batch of roasted peppers to use in different dishes. Homemade roasted peppers are more budget-friendly and tastier than their shop-bought counterparts.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Ricotta
recipe details here


Roast Peppers with Cumin and Tomatoes
recipe details here



More from original article here

Eddie and I love red peppers, see here

A variety of recipe ideas and articles are found within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Ya Gotta Larf


Eddie

Monday, 13 January 2020

Tres Leches Cake : A Slice of Low Carb / Keto Cake from Latin America


Tres Leches cake is thought to have originated in Latin America, where it remains popular today. Since many European cakes are soaked in liqueur, it's possible that the true origins lay in those earlier European cakes. There are several varieties of this cake depending on where in the world you are located. 

This low carb / keto version of the classic sponge cake, soaked in a delicious cream-based sauce, and topped with whipped cream is even quicker and easier to make than the original! Perfect for special occasions.

Ingredients 
Serves 8
2g carbs per serving
Cake
3 eggs
3½ oz. (100g) almond flour
1 tbsp. (8g) coconut flour
2 tbsp. heavy (double) whipping cream
1 tsp (5g) baking powder
½ tsp cream of tartar
3½ oz. (100g/125ml) erythritol
unsalted butter to grease the baking dish
Sauce
½ cup (125ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
½ cup (125ml) unsweetened almond milk
2½ tbsp. powdered erythritol
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
¼ tsp xanthan gum
Cream
½ cup (125ml) heavy (double) whipping cream
1 tsp cream cheese at room temperature
2 tsp powdered erythritol
To serve

1 tsp ground cinnamon
Tips 
If you don't have any cream of tartar (a white powder used in baking), you can use lemon juice. Use half the amount of lemon juice than you would have cream of tartar. 
Why use the tiny amount of cream cheese in the whipped cream? It's because if you are not going to serve the dish straight away, the cream cheese helps to keep the whipped cream smooth and fluffy for longer.
Need Help With Weight/Measurement conversion
this may help, see here
Instructions
Can be seen here


The above recipe uses 'low carb flour' and if you are just starting a low carb diet/lifestyle you may feel confused with which low carb flours to use. You may never have used any of them before and how to use them properly can be daunting. Low carb flours do not behave like wheat flour, and how to use them in your old regular high carb recipes is a common question. Of course you may also be interested, or want to know more about them. If that is the case then Libby at 'Ditch The Carbs' site has a very good guide, and you can read it here

If you may be looking for more low carb cake recipe ideas, why not consider one or all of these here




Dear reader, you will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Super Salads - Some Tips for Building A Better Salad

Salads make a nutritious and satisfying meal, whether it’s for lunch or dinner. The best part is that no two salads are exactly the same. There are limitless ways to make salad unique and flavourful. Get some tips for what to add to your next salad below!

Choose Your Base


Choose your favourite green as your base. There are a variety of greens to choose from, including romaine, spring mix, spinach, kale, rocket (arugula), cabbage, and iceberg lettuce.

Layer on the Vegetables


Chop up your favourite veggies, you can choose from tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, beets, carrots, peppers and radishes to get a great crunch and bite. Go the extra mile with additions like avocado, cucumbers, and broccoli. Who says salads are boring? Mix it up and you will never have a dull moment with your salads!

Make it Sweet


You can make your salad sweet or savoury, depending on the ingredients and dressings. To make a sweet salad, which is fun at any time of year, add sliced pears, green apples, strawberries, or dried cranberries.

Make it Savoury


You can make your salad savoury by adding a variety of nuts: Try slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, and whole pecans to give your salad a great crunch.

Choose Your Dressing Wisely



Everyone now knows it’s important how you dress your salad. Try making your own homemade dressing with the recipe below!
  • Use a 3 to 1 ratio of oil versus vinegar. As a substitute for vinegar, you can use balsamic, red wine, apple cider, or sherry vinegar, or lemon juice. 
  • Add in chopped herbs, minced garlic, a dash Himalayan or Pink sea salt. 
  • Store your creation in a glass jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator.

Some salad recipes to try:
Spinach Strawberry Salad, a refreshing spinach salad topped with sweet strawberries, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds - more details here 

South-western Chicken Salad, made with chicken, black bean, corn, green and red bell peppers - more details here 

Arugula/Rocket Salad, made with cherry tomatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese tossed with arugula (rocket) in a lemony dressing - more details here 

Courgette / Zucchini Walnut Salad, this is a very green low-carb salad that goes great as a side dish to meat or fish. Alternatively serve by itself together with cold cuts, boiled eggs, smoked salmon, canned tuna fish or mackerel - more details here 

Avocado, Bacon and Blueberry Salad, a tasty salad that's super quick to make. Packed with creamy avocado, peppery rocket (arugula) and smokey bacon topped with a delicious fruity dressing - more details here 

Triple Berry Salad is so colourful and absolutely delicious - more details here

If you need help with weight/measurement conversion this may help here
From an idea and original article here




A variety of articles and recipe ideas are within this blog. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Melanie - Ruby Tuesday

Saturday night and music night again. If I had to pick my top hundred all time great singles, this would have to be included. A great song and accompanied with some stunning photographs. I hope you enjoy.

Peace and good health to all.

Eddie

Ya Gotta Larf


Eddie

Friday, 10 January 2020

Can you eat Yoghurt on a low carb / keto diet?



I recently came across this very informative article on Karen's KETohh blog, and thought it one to share … Yoghurt on a Low Carb Diet

"Can you eat Yoghurt on a low carb diet? 
Is Yoghurt suitable for a low carb lifestyle, particularly one where you are seriously reducing your carbs? It can be very confusing, given that you should be avoiding milk and yoghurt is made from milk so surely that means it is off limits as well. Well there is good news for you, and it simply comes down to making wise choices. You certainly shouldn’t be eating the low fat, sugar and fruit laden overly processed yoghurts that dominate the market but you can add the crème de la crème of yoghurt into your diet- plain Greek style full fat yoghurt. So yes, you can eat yoghurt on a low carb diet.

Being able to eat Greek Yoghurt doesn’t mean that you can eat as much as you want to, especially if you are sticking to a keto or very low carb eating plan. You may have to watch your serving size and limit it so it fits in with your macros. It is possible to do though. Some people also find that eating dairy can cause weight gain or stalling so if this impacts on you, you may also have to watch your intake. 

For anyone who cannot eat dairy, there are some yoghurt variations available such as coconut yoghurt. If you are watching your carbs then please make sure you read the label of these products as they are often thickened with products such as tapioca flour etc, which can push up the amount of carbs per serve. They often have sugar added as well so just make sure you know what you are buying.

Plain, Full Fat, Low Fat and Greek Yoghurt 
The differences between the various yoghurts is quite distinct. You can generally decrease the amount of lactose in yoghurt if it has been fermented for longer- this is one of the benefits of making your own yoghurt as you can ferment it for as long as you want to. Plain Greek yoghurt is the best low carb yoghurt option as it is higher in protein but lower in carbs. This is followed closely behind by plain, natural full-fat yoghurt (although it only has about half the amount of protein in comparison to Greek style,) so my first choice would still be eating the Greek style option. A lot of the carbohydrates are poured off with the whey in Greek yoghurt which is why the carbs are lower and there is also an increases in the amount of protein. In a 180 gm serve of Greek yoghurt there is an average of approximately 6 g. carbs. The same serve of plain full fat yoghurt has approximately 8 g. of carbs; low-fat plain yoghurt has approximately 12 g. of carbs and non-fat yoghurt has approximately 13 g. The low-fat and non-fat versions often try to make up for a more watery flavour by adding sugar, fruit, thickeners etc to improve the taste which is why they are to be avoided.

Tips for Buying Yoghurt
When buying yoghurt make sure you read the labels and look for the lowest carb option available with the least amount of preservatives. Choose a plain flavour and add your own toppings to it, that way you can control exactly what you will be eating. Adding low carb fruits such as berries is delicious and I love creating a bit of crunch by adding muesli (KETohh of course) or nuts and seeds. Yoghurt is also a great base for smoothies, dips and marinades. It is something I always have in the fridge and has many a time been a great fulfilling snack if there isn’t anything else in my cupboard to munch on.

I eat about half a cup of yoghurt nearly every day and I make my own yoghurt when I have time. It is so simple and easy to make and trust me when I say it will be one of the best yoghurts you have ever eaten. I’m quite certain it isn’t going to be hard to convince some of you to jump on this band wagon. Have a read of this yoghurt recipe to find out how easy it is to make your own. On the other hand, there are some great commercially produced yoghurts out there to choose from so don’t ever feel guilty about buying it.

For some other recipes where yoghurt is used or that go well with yoghurt, have a look at the following recipes:-
Raspberry Protein Smoothie - find it here
Moroccan Chicken Salad - find it here

It’s time for breakfast! Greek Yoghurt with fresh raspberries and some low carb muesli of course.

Enjoy"
Karen's original article is here




Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe ideas and articles within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Chicken Casserole ... a little like mother used to make !



We never tire of chicken, it has so many plus points. Its versatility, and ease with which it can be cooked, make it one of the most popular meats around. It's certainly popular in our house! Plus of course it has a high level of good quality protein, as well as B vitamins, iron, copper and selenium... and it's usually reasonably priced too, which is a great help in todays ever increasing price of bills etc.

My dear Mum had many good recipes for chicken, and this one below is a little like she used to make! It's a BBC good food recipe suggestion, and really is quite like mother used to make … I can almost smell it cooking now!

Ingredients
Serves Four
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs* (around 850g/1lb 14oz)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 rashers smoked back bacon, cut into roughly 2cm/¾in slices
150g/5½oz small mushrooms, halved or quartered if larger
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into roughly 1.5cm/⅝in slices
20g/¾oz plain flour (around 2 tbsp.)
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
500ml/18fl oz. hot chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube)
1 medium leek, trimmed and cut into roughly 1cm/½in slices

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Preheat the oven 190C/375F/Gas 5. Season the chicken thighs all over with a little salt and lots of black pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and fry the chicken for 7–8 minutes, skin-side down, or until the skin is nicely browned. Turn and cook on the other side for 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
3. Return the pan to the heat and add the onion, bacon and mushrooms. Fry over a medium-high heat for 4–5 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring regularly. Tip into a medium, lidded oven-safe pan or casserole. Add the carrots and flour and toss together well.
4. Sprinkle with the thyme, then pour in the stock, a little at a time, stirring well between each addition. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan with a lid.

5. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and stir in the leeks. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until the chicken and leeks are tender and the sauce has thickened.
6. Serve with mashed swede.

*You can use boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets for this recipe if you like. Fry for 3 minutes on each side before transferring to a plate. Follow the recipe as above but cook for 35 minutes rather than 45 minutes before adding the leek.

From an original idea here
For readers who may prefer a vegetarian casserole option, have a look here 

Dear reader, a variety of recipe ideas, are within this blog, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

January, the coldest month of the year in the northern hemisphere !

The breathtakingly beautiful area of Langdale, in the UK's Lake District.
It runs west of Ambleside up to the Langdale Pikes. Pike is a local term for peak.
It splits into two valleys, Great Langdale and Little Langdale (image from google)

"January, the coldest month of the year in the northern hemisphere, is a time when many people usually stay indoors as much as they can and try to stay warm. It might seem that a very cold month like this would not have anything interesting about it, but this impression would be wrong. Even the most frigid month has some strange facts and fascinating things to learn about it. 

The name of January itself has an interesting origin - it comes from Janus, the name of a Roman god from antiquity. Janus, the god of doorways and boundaries, had two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back, because a door also faces in both directions at the same time. His name was thought appropriate for the first month of the year, both because it is the "doorway" into the new year and because it is a time when people look back over the year they just went through, and forward towards the new year that's just beginning. 

Other people had different names for January than the Romans had. The most unusual of these was the Saxon name - Wulfmonath - or "Wolf Month." They called the month this because by this time in the winter, the wolves in the forests were having a lot of trouble finding food. Driven by cold and hunger, they would enter human villages to try to steal chickens, pigs, geese, and other farm animals. Since wolves are dangerous animals when they are hungry, the Saxons noticed their presence close to people's homes as one of the major yearly events of January. 

January also witnesses some strange temperature events. For one thing, even though it is bitterly cold and snowy in the northern hemisphere, with icicles hanging from the eaves like sparkling teeth and roads often slippery and hazardous, this month is the height of summer in the southern hemisphere (the half of the Earth south of the equator). While people in the north are shivering in coats and mittens, Australians and South Africans are putting on their swimming trunks and heading to the beach"... although sadly as I post this Australia is experiencing devastating bush fires. 

"Another strange detail about the temperatures in January comes with the "January thaw." This is a warmer period that comes towards the end of the month, and may see temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the temperatures before or after it. This is a welcome break from the point of view of most people, but in scientific terms, it comes at the wrong time. By scientific measurements of the Earth's climate, the January thaw should come at the start of the month, but instead, it comes at the end - nobody knows why. 

You might think that the warmer months would be the best time for birds to lay their eggs and hatch their babies, and in most cases, you would be right. But the Great Horned Owl - once of the fiercest owls in America - start laying their eggs in late January, when the trees are still bare except for snow and the owls need to sit on the eggs constantly so they will not freeze. Scientists think this is so that the babies hatch out in time plenty of food with the return of life in Spring, when there are many rabbits, rodents, and not too many hawks around to compete for them. However, other owls do just fine nesting later, so the Great Horned Owl is still a very strange bird. 




As you can see, although January is one of the coldest months in the north, and a time when some people may avoid going outside as much as they can, there are still plenty of fascinating things to learn about it and plenty of events going on in the natural world." I wonder what country you live in and what sort of weather are you experiencing? 

If you may have been out and about and experiencing cooler/cold temperatures, this soup may be just what you need.

Tuscan-style winter vegetable soup
more details here


However, for those living in warmer countries, this may suit you better...

Watermelon Pizza
more details here


Dear reader, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan