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Sunday, 31 January 2021

Meet Bud - He's a Parrot !

Well, you can't say there isn't variety on this blog. Whether it be articles and studies about diabetes and living the low carb lifestyle, to a wide variety of recipe suggestions, and even washing tips - there is variety - and they do say 'variety is the spice of life'.

But how about this one?


Crisp-loving Norfolk parrot flies again after diet!

"A crisp-loving parrot - who was so overweight she could not fly - has slimmed down after being put on a diet.

Amazon green parrot Bud was 620g (1.4lbs) on arrival at the RSPCA's Mid Norfolk and North Suffolk branch.

Her new owner had to ban the savoury snacks from the house, claiming Bud could "detect a packet of crisps being opened from four miles away".

Nearly a year on, Chloe Shorten said the 22-year-old bird is "loving life and can fly again".

At more than 200g (7oz) heavier than she should have been, Bud was "extremely overweight", said Ms Shorten, who works at the branch.

The bird had arrived at the RSPCA a few days before lockdown hit last March after becoming "too much for her owners" and Ms Shorten and her husband decided to give her a permanent home with them in Norfolk.

"Parrots are incredibly intelligent birds and need quite specialist care - and we certainly had our hands full when she arrived," she said.

"While it's tricky to tell from looking when a parrot is overweight you could tell when she tried to fly, she would literally drop to the floor.

"She has the hearing of a bat and can detect a packet of crisps being opened from four miles away so it's no surprise she was overweight."

After the potato snack was banned, Bud's weight soon came down.

"Thankfully, she quickly lost the weight and she's now much happier as a result," Ms Shorten said.

"She's loving life and can fly again, it's great to see her soaring around the house."

Ms Shorten said parrots were "a lot of work" and it was "important that people do their research before taking one on".

"They are, however, great fun and incredibly rewarding," she said.

"We feel very lucky that we can give her a forever home and we'll hopefully have many more years with her and her hilarious antics."


Owner Chloe Shorten said Bud was "really chatty", loves to laugh and sing, and is especially fond of doing a rendition of the Addams Family theme tune and appearing on video calls.
Story from here

What to feed parrots
The best foods for your pet parrot to eat are fresh vegetables, fruit and pellets or seeds. In the wild, parrot's diet can vary considerably and they like to eat fruit and fruit seeds, nuts, flowers, and corn where they can find it. Your domesticated parrot is no different, with her diet needing to be varied.
Read more here

I'm pleased to see that Bud enjoys eating cauliflower, us humans enjoy it to! Looking for cauliflower recipe suggestions? Find some here and here

You will find a variety of posts/articles/recipes within this blog. 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

Friday, 29 January 2021

Helping my Grandchildren with maths.

 


The kids are in lock-down and Schools closed. They are learning via the internet, so I'm helping out and teaching them fractions.


Eddie

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Five Best Foods to Fight Inflammation

James Colquhoun writes:
"Did you know that an overwhelming amount of chronic disease stems from chronic inflammation in the body? And with that notion, many conditions can be prevented by addressing and taking steps to reduce inflammation within the body.

Inflammation is actually a naturally occurring process within the body, designed to help the body heal from injury or disease. It is triggered by the immune system in response to a perceived threat, such as a cut or an illness. Acute inflammation, which occurs over a usually short period of time, is a beneficial tool that helps to return your body to it’s healthiest state. However chronic inflammation, which occurs over an extended period (and is often less intense) is the kind that is linked to autoimmune conditions, prolonged stress, and debilitating disease.

After all, it is understood that chronic disease stems from chronic inflammation within the body. There is sufficient evidence to now show that heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even obesity can be influenced by this prolonged immune response. So by addressing the root cause, we begin to adopt a holistic, preventative approach to healthcare. And one of the best ways we know how to remedy and reduce inflammation in the body is with proper nutrition and using the medicinal properties of food. After extensive research, I’ve discovered that these are the best foods to fight inflammation - for all diets!

1. Turmeric (Get That Golden Goodness)
Golden lattes aren’t going anywhere and I, for one, am happy that they’re here to stay. Partly because of how delicious they are, and partly because turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories in our diet. This is due to curcumin, a compound found in the root that is responsible for the vibrant (often staining) yellow pigment we’ve all come to associate with turmeric. The exact mechanisms that determine how curcumin works in the body are still yet to be understood, but there are countless studies across different chronic health conditions that re-instate this belief. So from curries to coffee substitutes, don’t forget to add a healthy dose of turmeric to your day (and remember to add cracked black pepper, as the compounds found in pepper are needed to help deliver the health benefits of curcumin).


2. Fatty Fish & Flaxseeds (Hello Omega-3s)
We’ve been told time and time again how important a balanced intake of omega-3s is important for brain health, but there’s so much more to it than simply supporting the brain. Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids, structurally signified by their double bonds between carbon atoms. These fats, which are crucial for good health, can reduce the production of molecules and substances linked to inflammation, such as inflammatory eicosanoids and cytokines. There is even consistent peer-reviewed evidence that highlights the relationship between high intakes of fatty acids and reduced inflammation throughout the body. No matter your dietary preferences, there’s even more of a case to add omega-3-rich foods to your plate.


Plant-based Tip: Flaxseed or linseed oil is an alternative to fatty fish, that’s easy to use in everything from daily smoothies to salad dressings. It’s quite fragrant, so start small, and you’ll be all over the rewards in no time.

3. Leafy Green Vegetables
We know that leafy greens are ideal for alkalizing and detoxifying the body, but they also offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Greens like kale, arugula, silver-beet, spinach, chard, and collard greens, to name a few, offer a rich nutritional profile with high concentrations of micronutrients that reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are the four fat-soluble vitamins, have shown across multiple studies that they can fight inflammation. A lot of leafy greens also partially breakdown to contain alpha-linolenic acid, which is one type of omega-3 fat (and we know how wonderful that is for inflammation)!


4. Extra-Virgin Cold-Pressed Olive Oil
No kitchen is complete without cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. If possible, organic is best here too. But what sets this apart from your regular olive oil? It’s the first extraction from the olive, done without any heat or chemicals that destroy the integrity of this amazing plant. Extra virgin olive oil has widespread health benefits, including improving heart health, promoting brain function, potential anti-cancer benefits, and it can also handle moderately high temperatures without oxidating. The best thing about olive oil is that most of these incredible benefits come from the anti-inflammatory properties of the food. Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, which studies have shown reduces inflammation and may even have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer, alongside powerful antioxidants like oleocanthal, which has actually been shown to work similarly to ibuprofen - only naturally!


5. Blueberries & Pomegranates
It’s not just the traditionally healthy foods that claim all of the amazing health benefits; there are fun foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties too! Take blueberries, for instance, which are loved as a natural source of antioxidants. The major antioxidant, anthocyanin, is what gives this berry it’s gorgeous deep blue colour and is largely thought to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory capabilities, along with the high fibre and vitamins A, C, and E content. Pomegranates, not unlike blueberries, are also often enjoyed for the antioxidants they contain. One of these antioxidants, punicalagin, has potent anti-inflammatory properties with studies showing that they can reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, as well as in breast and colon cancer cells. 


So if you’ve ever needed an excuse to keep eating more of your favourite foods, let this be it. These are just some of the best foods to fight inflammation, and ongoing research is telling us there is plenty more. Of course, all foods should be consumed in moderation in a healthy, balanced diet, but as always, try to include these plants-as-medicine foods at any opportunity!"
Words above taken from original article here

Do you include any of the above in your menu plans?

Dear reader, a variety of articles, and 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, 27 January 2021

London Fog !

Well, I had heard of London Fogs from school History lessons, in particular the great smog of 1952 when for five days in December 1952, the Great Smog of London smothered the city, wreaking havoc and killing thousands, you can read more about that here

Big Ben, London on a Foggy Day image from here

But recently on various blogs I have been reading about 'London Fog' what is it I wondered?

"What is a London Fog?
It is a hot tea drink that is made with earl grey black tea and vanilla. It is topped with frothed milk which is where the “fog” name comes from. There are other fog-named drinks with slight variations to the recipe depending on the location.

Despite the name, the original London Fog recipe is said to have originated in Vancouver, British Columbia. Go Canada!

Earl Grey Latte vs. London Fog
An Earl Grey Latte is like other tea lattes — it consists of the tea, frothed/steamed milk and sweetener if desired. That’s all.

A London Fog consists of earl grey tea, frothed/steamed milk, vanilla and sweetener if desired.

Therefore, the difference between the two comes down to the vanilla. It is a slight difference, yes. But, that vanilla addition adds a lot to this tea latte!

What is the best earl grey tea to use for this latte?
A classic earl grey is a black tea with bergamot oil. Sometimes an earl grey also has blue cornflowers added to the blend, but that is purely for aesthetics.

Use your absolute favourite earl grey tea so you’ll be sure to love this latte. You can use loose leaf or tea bags.

It's best to make sure the earl grey tea you use is blended with real/natural bergamot oil and nothing artificial.

What form of vanilla is the best to use for this latte?
When it’s time to add the star ingredient to this latte — vanilla — use whatever form you have on hand. However, pure vanilla extract offers a true, rich flavour.
You can also use vanilla powder, vanilla beans or even vanilla simple syrup. In cafes, vanilla syrup is often used for a London Fog!

However, if you use vanilla simple syrup in yours at home, you may want to omit any additional sweetener in the recipe as that form of vanilla flavouring is already filled with sugar. Since the recipe below is using pure vanilla extract, it calls for sweetener, too.

Don’t have any vanilla at home? You can use any milk for this recipe! So, if you have a vanilla flavoured almond milk, oat milk, etc. use that in its place! The vanilla will be more subtle, but this option is better than nothing.

London Fog Recipe
This recipe makes 1 mug serving or 2 if you serve it up in vintage teacups! Double the amount of tea is used to create a stronger earl grey flavour before adding the milk.
Ingredients
1 tablespoon Earl Grey black tea, loose leaf (or 2 tea bags)
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (i.e. sweetener, sugar, maple syrup, honey)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Steep earl grey tea in boiling water for 5 minutes, covered. Covering your tea while steeping will retain heat and, therefore, help extract all of the flavours.
2. While the tea is steeping, simmer milk in a small saucepan on the stove. Using a handheld frother, froth the warm milk until it is fluffy and cloud like (about 30 seconds).*
3. When the tea is done steeping, strain the tea leaves or remove the tea bags. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir until dissolved.
4. Top the cup of tea with the frothed milk and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Notes
*If you have an electric milk frother/steamer, you can use that instead. If you don’t have any of these devices, you can whisk the warm milk in the saucepan by hand until it gets frothy."
See the above words, original recipe and more at 'The Cup of Life' tea blog here
'Marks Daily Apple' site also has a recipe here


no matter what your choice of beverage may be
just relax, unwind and enjoy some 'me time'


You will find a variety of recipe ideas and articles 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

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Lemons So Good in Lower Carb Desserts !


Lemons, so handy when cooking. They are oval in shape, with a pronounced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits around, and contain a high level of Vitamin C. Although the juicy yellow flesh is a little too sour to eat on its own, its citrus fragrance and tartness means it's wonderful combined with all manner of ingredients and dishes, from the sweet to the savoury. The bright yellow skin can be used as well, when zested. A kitchen essential. You can read more about lemons here 

Have a look at these four recipe suggestions below. Will you be trying one?


Lemon Baked Custard
Ingredients
800ml full fat milk
4 eggs
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
5 tbsp. granulated stevia, or sweetener of choice
Instructions
can be seen here


Lemon Cheesecake Fluff 
Ingredients
Serves Four
8 oz. / 225g cream cheese
½ cup / 125ml heavy (double) whipping cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon erythritol (optional)
Garnish
½ cup / 125ml fresh blackberries (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
Instructions
can be seen here


Lemon Pots
Ingredients
Serves Two
2 tbsp extra thick double (heavy) cream
2 tbsp mascarpone
2 tbsp inulin
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Instructions
can be seen here


Lemon Mug Cake
Ingredients
For the cake
3 tablespoons almond flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter unsalted and melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon (Swerve confectioners) sugar substitute
For the icing
1 tablespoon (Swerve confectioners) sugar substitute
½ tablespoon heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
can be seen here

We bring a variety of recipe ideas and articles to 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

Monday, 25 January 2021

'Why older people need to be extra careful when wearing masks and how to help'

image from here

"Older people wearing face masks need to take extra care to make sure they don’t trip over obstacles when walking. New advice from UK researchers says that taking more time, both before and during walking, is a good way of staying safe.

The advice is also helpful for anyone whose balance is particularly reliant on vision, such as people with Parkinson’s disease or those whose sensory nerves are impaired by diabetes.

In an editorial published in the British Medical Journal, the academics from Brunel University London and the University of Exeter highlight how face masks obscure the ground just in front of our feet, an issue that’s been missing from guidance about mask safety."

"Masks shall be worn is the order of the day, so we may as well learn to wear them properly. That doesn’t mean just slipping the loops over your ears and fabric over your mouth. Not if you’re old it doesn’t.

Many find that each time a mask is put on and they try to look down they feel they might stumble and that’s because masks shrink your field of vision.

If your vision is a bit dodgy to begin with, as it is in many older people, then wearing a mask can carry the real risk of falling.

Glasses wearers are particularly vulnerable as masks make glasses fog up and blur vision on top of blocking the lower field of vision.

Visual information from your lower peripheral field is important for ­spotting and avoiding approaching hazards and placing your steps safely.

Wearing a face mask makes it ­difficult to gather this important ­information during walking and may increase your chance of tripping or falling, particularly when negotiating obstacles and going downstairs.

Looking down while wearing a mask doesn’t help says Dr. Elmar Kal. Older adults use vision to detect obstacles and plan a safe path to walk. But having to look down more often makes it more difficult to plan ahead.

Recent research using eye tracking shows that older people make greater stepping errors when looking down compared with looking ahead.

Then, to keep your balance, visual information needs to be integrated with spatial information from limbs and joints. Not moving your head and eyes while walking provides a stable visual “anchor” for regulating balance. Looking down often works against this strategy.

It could even cause serious instability as it requires frequent, large movements of the head and eyes.

So, a recommendation to “look down” when wearing a mask may paradoxically impair stability by ­interfering with the fine tuning of vision we use to keep walking safely.

This will affect not only older adults, but anyone who is reliant on visions for balance, such as people with Parkinson’s disease or diabetic neuropathy.

How can we minimise the effects of masks on walking safety? Kal advises a tight fit around the nose and cheeks.

You should always take your time, rather than looking down, before starting to walk and then walk more slowly so you have enough time to see hazards ahead and plot a safe route.

A slow pace also means you don’t need rapid head and eye movements while walking."

Good tips! And maybe we should think about ­transparent masks?

‘Face masks, vision, and risk of falls’, by Elmar Kal (Brunel University London), Will Young (University of Exeter) and Toby Ellmers (Exeter/Brunel), is published in the British Medical Journal.

xxxxxxx

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

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Pork and Sausage Stew : Deliciously Made In A Slow Cooker !

This recipe suggestion uses pork which is the world’s most popular type of meat. Pork provides a rich source of high-quality protein, as well as various vitamins and minerals.

The recipe uses "a slow cooker which is the pinnacle of low-maintenance cooking. Place the ingredients inside, turn it on, and let it cook. Your only thought is how delicious that meal is going to taste. But some slow cookers have features which make them better suited to your specific needs than other models. To be happy with your purchase, you'll want those needs met. 

The best slow cookers offer a consistent temperature through many hours of cooking. The warm setting must keep your food warm without letting it continue to cook. You'll want a capacity that can accommodate your family's needs, a removable inner pot that is easy to clean, and durable construction that will allow many long years of use.

Some slow cookers have programmable features that might be of interest. If you'd like a more in-depth look at these appliances, continue reading here"


And now on with the recipe ...
Ingredients
Serves 4-6
4 pork sausages
4 pork shoulder steaks (approx. 500g) cut in half
1 medium onion chopped
3 large leeks, white part only chopped
For the dressing
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsps plain flour
1tbsp grain mustard
1tsp cumin seeds
300ml cider
Method
1. Turn the slow cooker on. Heat a large frying pan with 1 tbsp of the oil. Brown the sausages and pork steaks on all sides and remove.
2. Add the remaining oil and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and sauté another minute. Add the mustard, cumin, some seasoning and the cider. Stir well and pour into the slow cooker along with the meat.
3. Cook for 4 hours on high heat or 8 hours on low heat. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the leeks and place on top of the meat. Ensure meat is thoroughly cooked through with no pink showing.
Serve as a stew or with mash potato or the lower carb mash swede and fresh chopped flat leaf parsley.
Nutrition Per Serving
Carbohydrate 11.2g Protein 22.6g Fibre 3.1g Fat 15g Salt 0.8g
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Cook as instructed and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through.
Recipe from original idea here

Some other slow cooker recipes
Chicken Casserole recipe here
Vegetarian Stew recipe here


We bring a variety of recipe ideas and articles to 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

Friday, 22 January 2021

Will Chicken Soup Really Cure Your Cold?

Jo Lewin, registered nutritionist writes:
"Make no bones about it – chicken soup is the nation’s go-to dish when we’re feeling blue - but is there more to this brothy tonic than its comforting connotations? What do you reach for when your body succumbs to the winter sniffles? A 'State of the Nation' survey revealed the majority of us find sanctuary in the warming goodness of chicken soup – but why are boiled bones so restorative? Please read on and discover how the classic tonic delivers more than just a placebo high…


Prevention is better than cure
It may be worth giving yourself a dose of chicken soup as a preventative measure before the first twinge of a cold appears. A 1998 report from Coping with Allergies and Asthma found that broth may improve the function of cilia (the tiny hairs in our noses) that prevent contagions getting into the body.

Added benefit to support immunity
Other key ingredients in a chicken soup include onions, garlic and additional vegetables that add flavour and a healthy dose of phytonutrients – vital for a well-functioning immune system. They can also help to reduce inflammation in the body, which in turn may help to ease the symptoms of a pesky cold.

Healthy calories
At the first sign of sickness, your body will be working overtime to fight off infection, and this takes energy. Often we don’t feel like eating much when under the weather, but this is where the old adage, 'feed a cold' rings true. Chicken soup is a great source of healthy, easily digested calories, with heaps of added nutritional benefits.

Gut feelings
Keeping our digestive system healthy is especially important when we’re sick so that our bodies are able to absorb all the infection-fighting vitamins and minerals it needs from the food we eat. Glucosamine is one of the main building blocks of our digestive system and is released from bones when they’re cooked down. As your broth cools, a layer of gelatine will congeal on the surface. This combination of gelatine and glucosamine can help protect and heal the lining of the digestive tract.

Reduce symptoms
Chicken is especially rich in a compound called carnosine, and it’s this that studies suggest helps reduce that stuffy, congested feeling in your nose and throat. It’s thought that carnosine minimises inflammation in the upper respiratory tract by stopping the migration of white blood cells. The benefit only lasts for as long as the soup remains in the body – so be sure to make up a big batch!

Anti-inflammatory effects
When cooking bones with joint tissue on them (like necks, knuckles, ribs or the leftover carcass from a roasted chicken) the joint tissue cooks down and dissolves into the broth. The gelatine, glucosamine and chondroitin contained within are released into the broth, absorbed by our bodies and used to repair and rebuild our own connective tissue while reducing inflammation, helping you to get back on your feet faster after a bout of illness.

The nostalgia factor
While the evidence stacks in favour of chicken soup being the ultimate cold remedy, don’t underestimate the power of placebo. If your mum used to tuck you up with a bowl of boiling broth and promised it would make you feel all better, these associations probably still influence how you feel today. The placebo effect is a well-documented phenomenon, relating to the power of the mind over the body – if we expect to get better as a result of a medicinal or natural tonic, we often will feel that we are on the mend. The message? Think positive and eat up!
You’ve read the science, perhaps now it’s time to try some soup!"
Above words taken from Jo's original article which can be read in full with all research links here

"this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider."

Rustic Roast Chicken Soup


Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 tbsp. thyme leaves, roughly chopped
300g leftover roast chicken, shredded and skin removed
200g frozen peas
3 tbsp. Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
squeeze lemon juice
Instructions
can be seen here

Other soup recipes you may like
Chicken Soup for the Soul, with some tasty vegetables - see here
Herby chicken and butter bean soup - see here
A Quick Minestrone Soup - see here
A Summer Vegetable Minestrone - see here

should you have a cold, or be feeling 'a little under the weather'
I hope these winter roses may help to cheer you up

Dear reader, you will find a wide variety of articles and recipes 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

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Ya gotta larf.



No money in dead people, no money in healthy people, the money is in keeping us alive..... sort of.

Eddie

Bubble and Squeak !

more about guinea pigs here

Perhaps some readers may think I am talking about two guinea pigs named 'Bubble and Squeak' when I'm actually referring to a wonderful dish my dear Mum quite often used to serve up on Mondays ... and we enjoyed it!

Yes, memories and family traditions are important, well they are to me!

"Traditional Bubble and Squeak
Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish made from the leftovers of Sunday dinner or Christmas dinner, with the main ingredient being the leftover potatoes and cabbage, though most vegetables can be added such as Broccoli and carrots. It is all mashed together, shallow fried in hot lard, and then traditionally served along with cold meats (also leftover from the Sunday/Christmas roast) and pickles, or sometimes served as part of a cooked breakfast (fry-up). Some people when cooking a roast dinner will even cook extra potatoes and vegetables so that they have enough for their Bubble and Squeak the next day!

The History of Bubble and Squeak
The earliest known recipe of Bubble and Squeak was by Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell in 1806:
"Boil, chop, and fry, with a little butter, pepper, and salt, some cabbage, and lay on it slices of rare done beef, lightly fried" - Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell.

Bubble and Squeak was very popular during World War II when food was short due to rationing. History suggests that it was around this time of food rationing that Bubble and Squeak went from a beef-based recipe (such as in the recipe by Maria Rundell) to the modern potato based recipe that we all know and love today.

Bubble and Squeak is so called because of the noises it makes whilst frying in the pan, though others have said that the bubble and squeak is the noise your stomach makes after eating it! We'll let you decide.

Bubble and Squeak Recipe
There is no precise recipe for traditional Bubble and Squeak as it was always made from leftovers, which is part of the beauty of it. Here is a very quick take on how to make Bubble and Squeak. The only thing people often say to make sure of is that you use equal quantities of potatoes to vegetables, but there is no golden rule, however the potato is what binds it all together and so having more potato than veg is fine. You can use leftover boiled potatoes or even roast potatoes if you wish.
Mash your leftover potatoes in a bowl.
Finely chop or shred your leftover vegetables and add them to the bowl, mixing them in with the potatoes.
Add a thick slice of butter (or preferably animal fat) to a non-stick frying pan and when it's hot, add the mixture from the bowl, .
Press the mixture down with a spatula and smooth it out slightly. Leave it undisturbed to cook on a moderate heat for five minutes or more until a nice thick brown crust forms, then turn it over and repeat before serving it up.
Use animal fat to reach higher temperatures which is when it starts to 'Bubble and Squeak' plus you'll get a better crust.
For added flavour, cook some streaky bacon in the pan first, then remove it before frying the Bubble and Squeak in the bacon fat, then serve it up with the bacon and whatever else you fancy as part of a good old British fry-up.
You might also like to finely chop an onion and fry it in the bacon fat for a few minutes until soft, before adding the Bubble and Squeak mixture to the pan and mixing it in. Then simply press the mixture down with the spatula and leave to cook and form its crust.
Many people like to form the mixture into patties, and then serve them up with a fried egg on top."
Words taken from article here

Here is a lower carb version of bubble and squeak

Ingredients
Serves 3
2 tbsp. butter
10 oz (approx. 3 cups) cooked mixed low carb vegetables,
eg cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, carrots
2 cups cooked mashed cauliflower 
salt and black pepper
Instructions
1. Shred or finely chop the cooked vegetables.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet/frying pan and add the cauliflower and vegetables. Sauté for 10 minutes, making sure the veggies are thoroughly warmed through.
3. Press the mixture into a large patty and leave alone for a few minutes. Slide the patty onto a plate, then invert it back into the pan to cook the other side.
4. After a few more minutes, slide the cooked bubble and squeak onto a serving plate.
Note
Approximately 7g net carbs per serving, but due to the nature of the recipe with using various leftover vegetables it is impossible to be exact!
See recipe and more details at 'Step Away From The Carbs' site here
Need help with weight/measurement conversion see here

A variety of articles and recipes 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

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Quote of the day.

A new Administration in the US today, will life improve for the average American? While checking out a US political website last night, I read the following regarding the new Government.

"Very similar to advertising “New and Improved”.However, in reality it’s the same crap in a slightly different box that just cost more, and generally less of it."

Pretty much the same here in the UK. We swap one bunch of crooks for the other bunch of crooks. It was ever thus. 

God bless America 

Eddie

Cauliflower Choices : A Healthy Vegetable

Cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable that’s a significant source of nutrients, in fact cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need. It also contains unique plant compounds that may reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Additionally, it’s weight loss friendly and incredibly easy to add to your diet.

It's certainly one of our favourite vegetables and I know many 'low carbers' enjoy it in their menu plans. It seems that cauliflower is having a renaissance. Yes, it can sometimes be a little more expensive, so keep your eyes open for any special offers that your local store or supermarket may have.

Loaded Cauliflower Mash
Ingredients
Serves Four
1½ lbs (650g) cauliflower, cut into florets
2 oz. (55g) butter, room temperature
4 oz. (110g) cream cheese, room temperature
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4 oz. (110g) bacon, chopped
1 cup (4 oz./110g) shredded/grated cheddar cheese
½ oz. (2 1⁄3 tbsp/14g) scallions/spring onions, thinly sliced
½ cup (120ml) sour cream
Instructions
see here


Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower
Ingredients
1 Head of Cauliflower
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1 Clove Garlic, grated or pressed
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Instructions
see here


Garlic and chilli prawns with cauliflower rice
Ingredients
Serves Two
300g (10oz) cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm (1in) piece fresh ginger, finely grated
150g (5oz) raw king prawns
5 spring onions, (scallions) sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 courgette, (zucchini) cut into ribbons
50g (2oz) frozen garden peas, defrosted
For the dressing
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp clear honey
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Instructions
see here

I hope you may try one (or all) of these recipe suggestions soon
If you should need help with weight/measurement conversion, see 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

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Creamy Pork and Wild Mushroom Casserole : A Delicious Dish !


Tender chunks of pork and wild mushrooms with every delicious mouthful in this rich and creamy dish. It could become your perfect dinner!

Ingredients
Serves Four
1 tbsp olive oil
700g pork shoulder steaks, cut into large chunks
3 tbsp plain flour
65g Italian smoked pancetta
2 echalion shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
250ml white wine
150g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp freshly picked thyme leaves
100g wild mushrooms
75ml double (heavy) cream

Method
1. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick casserole pan. Season the pork, sprinkle over the flour and toss well to coat. Place ⅓ of the pork in a single layer in the pan and cook until brown on both sides. Remove and repeat with the rest of the pork.
2. Add the pancetta to the pan, cook for 1 min, then add the shallots and garlic, and sauté for 2 mins. Pour in the wine and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, then allow to reduce by half.
3. Return the meat back to the pan along with the chestnut mushrooms, chicken stock and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook with the lid on for 15-20 mins. Remove the lid, add the wild mushrooms and cream, and simmer for 5-10 mins or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Season to taste and serve with vegetables of your choice, for example mashed potato or swede and sautéed Savoy cabbage.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Cook as instructed and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal and freeze for up to 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through.

Nutrition Per Serving
Carbohydrate 9.7g Protein 41.6g Fibre 1.2g Fat 28g 
From original recipe here

also sharing these snowdrops, one of the January birth flowers

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe ideas are 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

Monday, 18 January 2021

Have we been washing our towels all wrong – here’s how you should really be cleaning them

Well, you can't say there isn't variety on this blog. Whether it be articles and studies about diabetes and living the low carb lifestyle, to a wide variety of recipe suggestions, and even wildlife photography - there is variety - and they do say 'variety is the spice of life'.

But how about this one?

Have we been washing our towels all wrong? 


"Towel designer and expert Lucy Ackroyd of Christy has revealed some top tips in keeping your towels light, fluffy and practically hotel standard.

The first tip Lucy advises is to wash your towels separately. Sure, it's easy to just put a whole stack of laundry into the machine - but Lucy reveals that this can stop them from becoming lovely and fluffy.

"When washing your towels, never overload the machine. The towels need plenty of room within the drum to breathe and circulate, allowing them to be rinsed and fluffed up properly," she explains.

"If you try to stuff too many in, you'll end up with a clumped together heap, with moisture pockets throughout, leading to scratchy, stiff towels.

"Make sure to wash your towels separately to your other laundry to avoid any colour or fibres transferring onto your beautiful pristine towels."

Another hot tip from Lucy is to avoid silicone-based fabric softeners when putting you towels to wash. Why? Because repeated use of these sorts of softeners can lead to build up, and make your towels less absorbent in the long run - and no-one wants to be left dripping wet after a shower.

And while it may be tempting to boil your towels in a super-hot wash, this could be the very worst thing for them.

"Generally, wash your towels at 40 degrees as any higher can cause them to wear out too quickly," Lucy says.

"However, to remove oils and bacteria that can build up over time, put them through a 60 degree wash occasionally. This routine will allow them to be perfectly hygienic without taking away from their quality and texture."

Once they've been through the washing machine, shaking your towels can genuinely make all the difference to how soft they can be.

Lucy advises a brisk shake before they go into the drum, and a brisk shake after they've done a cycle.

"This will open up the fibres slightly, allowing the detergent to sink inside every pore and make them super clean," she says.

"At the end of the drying cycle, or before hanging them outside if you are line drying, shake the towels a second time. The act of shaking will loosen the fibres of the fabric, making your towels super plush and fluffy."

One golden rule for drying your towels is to always avoid putting it on the radiator. "This will lead to a rough finish, exactly what you are trying to avoid!" 

"Instead, alternate between tumble drying and line drying. The best way to get super fluffy towels is tumble drying immediately after a wash, however overuse can make the fabric wear down over time.

"To combat the effect of the tumble dryer, line dry your towels occasionally. Not only does line drying leave your towels with a fresh natural scent, but the sunlight can also have a bleaching effect which is perfect if you have white towels. "The UV rays can even help kill bacteria!"" ...

Well there you have it!
Who knew there was so much to it?

Out of interest how do you wash your towels, if you have any tips do please share them in the comments.

Above words from article here

Related Post That May Interest You
Wash Day Blues - read it here

After you've done your washing why not reward yourself with a cup of tea (or coffee)
and a Lemon 'Sponge' Cake Bar, they are low carb and sugar free - more details here


A variety of articles and recipes 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

Sunday, 17 January 2021

UK study shows you can cut Blood Pressure on a low carb diet


UK study shows you can cut Blood Pressure on a low carb diet by 10 units
"Adapted from Substantial and sustained improvements in blood pressure, weight, and lipid profiles from a carbohydrate restricted diet: an observational study of insulin resistant patients in primary care. David J Unwin. Simon D Tobin et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 Jul 26;16(15);2680

Hypertension is the second biggest known global risk factor for disease after poor diet. Perhaps lifestyle interventions are underutilised? This study was undertaken in 154 patients with type two diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance in a general practice. This was an observational study that lasted an average of two years.

The average systolic blood pressure reduction was 10.9 mmHg. The mean diastolic reduction was 6.3 mmHg and the mean weight loss was 9.5 Kg. Lipid profiles were markedly improved. Medication was meanwhile reduced by an average of 20%."
Words above taken from The Diabetes Diet Blog here

You can see the original paper "Substantial and Sustained Improvements in Blood Pressure, Weight and Lipid Profiles from a Carbohydrate Restricted Diet: An Observational Study of Insulin Resistant Patients in Primary Care" 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

Saturday, 16 January 2021

It's Time For YEAR !

Hello there, this post continues my take on New Year!
This means I give a food take on words.
As we are in the early stages of the New Year these are the two words I have chosen!

Have you seen my take on NEW here

This post is about the letters which make up Y E A R  !

Starting with Y for Yoghurt
Lemon Yoghurt Cheesecake : The Low Carb Way
see details on this post here


Moving on to E for Eggplant (also known as Aubergine)
Eggplant Bruschetta (Baked Aubergine) - Lower Carb and Vegetarian
see details on this post here


Next comes A for Avocado
Sail Away on a delicious Avocado Boat
see details on this post here


Finally it's R for Radish
Salmon, Cucumber and Radish Salad
see details on this post here


Well that's my take on Y E A R
What foods would you have chosen for these four letters?
Do please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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