( Updated on May 2021)
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This blog is a natural progression for me.
I love cooking, its a way of showing love to my family. I love to have a table full of people, lots of different foods to try, long conversations and loads of laughter!
If you want to make the change for products healthier for your skin and body, then the next logical step, is to make what you put inside your body healthier too.
We became vegetarian by choice years ago. I know that isn’t for everyone. Although the following recipes are vegetarian , they can be enjoyed by everyone.
Even so, looking out for ways to incorporate a healthier way of eating is a must for us.
I absolutely love cooking and I have wonderful memories of helping my grandmother at an early age, rolling a swiss roll cake, without cracking the sponge ,has left a warm picture in my mind.
My grandmother cooked for the joy of food, her home was always filled with family every weekend. Her food was melt in the mouth yummy, but there was no real idea then on health issues. Her pastry was made with lots of butter, custard made with cream, not great for your heart, but the flavors were wonderful.
I wanted to start with Coffee as it is the first thing in the morning that wakes me up! I only drink one cup a day, but it has to be a cappuccino and made with soya milk. I can smell it now!
IS DECAFFINATED COFFEE BAD FOR YOU?
I came across this today while actually looking into a chemical for Hairspray!
We are definitely coffee people, we can’t miss our morning Coffee, When we were trying for a baby and in pregnancy, I was very conscious about not drinking caffeinated coffee. I was vaguely aware that certain coffees went through the decaffeinated process differently. I always went for the coffee that had the water process.
Inter American coffee explain about the process of using Methylene chloride (MC) in the process to remove the caffeine.
Consumer Reports.org– as “Is Decaffeinated Coffee Bad For You? ” They explain that there are three methods, Methylene Chloride, liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) or water as I mentioned above ( though we found that often cost more to buy) They suggest that if you want to be totally sure that your coffee has been decaffeinated naturally without chemicals it is better to go for an organic brand, as it can be hard to tell with some of the branding.
This article from New Food Magazine , really brought to life the thoughts I had when I found the same chemical being used in Hairspray!
NEW FOOD MAGAZINE -( FROM LINK ) “The substance found in the decaffeinated coffee products is a solvent, also known as dichloromethane or DCM, and is used in paint strippers, adhesives, automotive care products, lubricants and general cleaning, Clean Label said. In 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned methylene chloride’s use in paint stripping products for consumer use”
They go on to explain that this chemical has been found in decaff coffee ,often these coffees are being chosen by someone with health issues or pregnancy! I think that is just terrible.
WHAT EXTRA SUPPLEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT IN A VEGAN & VEGETARIAN DIET
Eating a Vegan or Vegetarian diet is wonderful, and can be full of some great recipes .A whole range of colorful vegetables and fruit. Even so, there some supplements that can help make the diet cover all the nutrients that we need.
B12- One of the ways my family gains this vitamin is through using Nooch ( A nutritional yeast) More information on this below, including how to make vegan cheese. The one we use has been fortified with the B12. You can find this also in fortified cereals, soy and other vegetable milks. Yeast extracts such as Marmite ( yes you either love it or hate it! But I find if I use it instead of a stock cube, when making dishes like nut roast it adds to the flavor without the normal Marmite flavor)
IRON– This can from Nuts ,dried fruit, Dark green vegetables for example broccoli and Greens.
Pulses and lentils, Wholemeal bread and again the cereals that have been fortified.
Calcium– This can come from Fortified Vegetarian milks such as soy, oat rice. Almonds, dried fruit , pulses and sesame seeds ( of course that includes Tahini)
OMEGA 3- This can be found in Oils such as Flax and Rapeseeed . Soy based foods and walnuts.
PROTEIN– This can come again from nuts and seeds, Soy products , pulses and beans.
HEALTHLINE-Have a list of “7 Supplements that you need on a Vegan diet“
Some Super Fruit & Foods to Include in Our Diets
I wanted to add some ideas for boosting our health through foods .
– These amazing super fruits with Vitamin C |& K, Potassium ( in Bananas & Dried Apricots too) A fantastic Antioxidant, Phytoflavinoids- protection from stress( something pretty useful at the moment! )They are also Anti- Inflammatory ,what amazing properties for such a little fruit.
They can reduce damage to our DNA, They could possible lower blood pressure and have huge benefits for our hearts. They may also help improve memory and our brain health.
They may also help with UTI’s ( Urinary tract infections, very similar to cranberries) What is not to love from these delicious fruits.
They are so versatile in cooking too, from smoothies to healthy muffins.
We try each morning to have a real varied selection of fruit and oats, I have recently started making Kefir, which feels so healthy every morning. We have been so lucky to have some fruit trees in our garden, I really look forward to fresh figs.
TODAY FINDING RECIPES WITH EASY TO FIND INGREDIENTS
We have been trying out some of these recipes, and I wanted to put some on here along with the links.
I know it has been hard for people to find certain ingredients. I fear there is going to be another wave of the virus around the corner. It hopefully doesn’t mean we are all in lockdown again. ( Yep! we are back in lockdown again here in France! back to cooking!)
Flat Bread, we have tried this recipe kindly posted online by the Metro Newspaper,
This Navajo bread, is very similar in looks to the Indian Naan bread, but without the use of yeast.
Just containing flour, baking powder, salt and a little oil with just enough lukewarm water to make a sticky dough which once kneaded is left for 30-60 mins before rolling out and cooking on a hotplate ( without oil) .
Totally yummy, though when I made double the amount expecting them to last until the next day, they all disappeared. We are totally hooked on these. Because I have been keeping a starter going for sourdough, I have been adding a little of that to these breads to give even more flavour.
SODA BREAD ( NO YEAST NEEDED)
This recipe is so easy to make, it was kindly given to me by a friend who worked in a yummy bakery.
They had the most wonderful breads and cakes. This was too many years ago to mention, and it is still a favorite quick bread for our home.
8 oz of plain flour — 1 teaspoon of salt .
1 level teaspoon of Baking Soda ( Bicarbonate of soda)
Buttermilk to mix, (I have trouble finding this sometimes, but I often use plain Yogurt as a substitute.)
Mix, all the dry ingredients together, then bind together with the wet ingredients, ie the buttermilk or yogurt.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Shape into a round, cut a cross on the top and bake in a moderate oven for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. I find that this does take about 30 minutes for our oven which is fan based.
WHEATEN BREAD (NO YEAST )
This is from the same friend and bakery. This bread cuts into slices better, and I think it also keeps better than soda bread which is much better eaten on the same day. It is healthier with the whole-wheat flour too.
1 oz of sugar & 1 oz of Margarine or Butter
1 Teaspoon of Salt & Buttermilk to Mix
Mix together all the dry ingredients, Rub in the margarine until fine bread crumbs. Add in the Buttermilk until soft consistency . Turn into a greased loaf tin and Bake for 3/4 to 1 hour at 450 degrees .
SIMPLE YEAST BREAD RECIPE
I guess this is my most used recipe for bread with yeast, if you have managed to get your hands on some yeast.
I use this basic recipe for everything from rolls, pizza dough to a loaf of bread. You can add what you want into the dough, for example olives, walnuts or even dark chocolate chunks!
This can make two medium sized loaf tins or a few pizzas.
1 kg bag of strong flour / up to a teaspoon of salt( Possible use of different flours too)
1 decent glug of olive oil
2 packets of dried yeast (or half of your starter for sourdough bread, if you keeping that going.)
warm water to mix until a soft dough. I tend to just put a finger in it and feel if it is lukewarm.
Sift the flour, add everything else and knead the bread for about 10 mins, on a floured surface. I have a mixer that has the dough hook which if I am feeling lazy bring the dough together quite quickly.
Once the dough is feeling smooth, cover the bowl with either cling film or a damp tea towel until doubled in size , which can take 1-2 hours , it really depends on the heat of the room you are leaving it it.
It should double in size so be careful on the size bowl you leave it in. I have put it into a smaller bowl before and ended up with mount Vesuvius!
Once it has risen, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knock it back again to give you an even risen bread afterwards. At this point you can form it into any shapes you would like.
If making pizza,(I use a floured or even better some cornmeal grain- which makes a crunchy base if you prefer- flat pizza tin. )
I roll it out at this point to the shape required then cook it, after adding your tomato sauce and toppings.
I use a hot oven about 200 degrees , but we have a fan assisted one and that works for us. Just keep a check on your oven to see what works best for you.
Bread is great to make if you are feeling frustrated as you can have a good bash, but not worry about it being affected! You can tell when bread is cooked by the colour and if you turn over the loaf or roll, it should sound hollow when tapped.
SOUR DOUGH BREAD
Another bread they have suggested making is a Sourdough bread . Which has to be my favourite bread ever, it is so good for you as the yeast starter develops over a long period. The only challenge with it is the wait for it to develop.
The Link Here on the Metro Newspaper is one method of making it . I have made the starter before , some years back now. I ended up walking around my kitchen waving my arms in the air to collect the wild yeast in the air! It is fascinating to see the bread rise without using packet yeast.
I have seen a few articles lately on what to do with left over starter, as you need to feed the starter with more flour etc and discard half of it, which always seems such a waste of product to me. I have taken to making soft pretzels with our left over starter.
The best thing would be to have a friend or a neighbour that you could pass this on to especially now with the lack of yeast in the shops.
Maybe a little present of some left on the doorstep, with instructions on how to use it
.Global News had someone make a sourdough bread from a 4,500 year old Egyptian starter!
Of course you can make a lot of baked goods from the starter from doughnuts, brioche, all types of bread from plain, nut, fruit etc.
I have been experimenting with all sorts of yeasty style foods, and so far I have made pretzels ,flat breads, pizza and waffles.
The flavour is so different to other yeast products, more texture and as they say much better for you to digest. I am absolutely loving the whole Sourdough experience again. I do tend to leave the starter in the fridge and take it out to feed it a few times a week.
NO EGGS? NO PROBLEM !
Another problem for some people has been the lack of eggs in their supermarket. We have been using less and less of them in our home, but I have seen this product called aquafaba which to be honest I had no idea what it was. It is basically the liquid you find when you open up a jar of chick peas. I have to admit that I normally rinse the stuff off and not even think of using it.
I found a recipe for making egg less meringues. It has many great uses as mentioned here on The Vegan Society which 20 things that you can make with it. Chocolate mousse , fudge and nougat , Baked Alaska and many more ideas. Never will I be stuck without an egg again. There is caution on over whipping it.
I recently tried this when making chocolate brownies, I just substituted 2 tablespoons for one egg. I have used this again today in Almond and apricot muffins( instead of all milk, I use a little Kefir too, its a lot healthier)
Now our daughter gets excited if she sees the chickpeas in something, as she knows something else will be on the menu!
I tried making a chocolate mousse the other evening.
This was with a bar of melted dark chocolate, sweetened with a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup, I was trying to find a healthier sugar substitute.
I haven’t tried it with a sugar substitute such as Stevia, the trick I have discovered for us is less sugar, it was too sweet. ( we tried this yesterday, totally yummy, simple aquafaba, two teaspoons of healthy sweetener, one bar of dark chocolate ) Whipping the aquafaba , adding sweetener then the cooled melted chocolate very gently so you don’t deflate the whipped aquafaba. Its great sprinkled with chocolate bits and some nuts.
The maple syrup had a softer flavor, then after whipping the liquid as though you are making meringues, slowly fold in the chocolate mixture , very gently to keep in the air.
I sprinkled some nuts and chocolate flake on top, totally yummy, very light to eat.
WE TRIED USING AQUAFABA WITH MERINGUES
I wanted to give some feed back after I tried using this yesterday.
It does whip up well, I was cautious about over whipping it, I found that it didn’t quite hold its peaks as well as egg white, it was of a softer consistency. Not that the end result tasted any differently.
Though that could have just been me! I added the sugar as I would do for normal egg whites, 2oz to one egg, so it worked out as two tablespoons of the chickpea liquid for one egg white.
Then, after spooning it on the baking sheet, I did find it took longer to cook, about an extra half an hour. Though they were quite large in shape, next time I will try smaller ones.
The taste wasn’t quite the same as with using egg white, but still yummy and almost caramel tasting according to my husband, so totally worth giving it a go. My family now prefer these to the ones made with egg whites!
I wanted to put a few recipes in here . . Being Vegetarian we have been using Chickpeas for years.
They have to be my all time favorite legume . They are so versatile, and they have a wonderful nutty taste too.
I had some friends from India who made the most wonderful Chana curry from a brown chickpea. It was unbelievably good. Though the lady used to make her own spices which were a family secret. They used to make chickpea curry for the wedding receptions.
For ourselves a family favourite is to make a simple sausage.
You can make these with other beans, but my favourite due to the flavour is the chickpea. This recipes is enough for the three of us, but they do love them, so it isn’t very often there are any left over!
I use a jar of pre-cooked chickpeas, but you can of course soak your dried ones overnight and cook them yourself( I find sometimes once I have cooked them myself they can be a little harder, so not as easy to mush down) As I mentioned I used to rinse these off, but now I am getting into saving the liquid to replace egg.
Tip the the clean chickpeas into a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher, add a glug of Olive oil, herbs of your choice and a half a cup of oats.
You can add finely chopped onion or sautéed leek, but our daughter can spot an onion a mile away, so I have to leave them out. Then just mix them all together to make a mushy paste.
Then using your hands form into sausage shapes, not too big , I guess for us these make about 10 plus. We have found that spraying a pan for the oven with olive oil then once you have placed them inside the pan, spray them lightly again.
Into an oven of 180 degrees, for about half an hour. We prefer them to have a crunchier exterior.
I have found similar recipes on line with breadcrumbs, but I wanted to give them a healthier spin with oats which is much better for the health of your heart ,also they are much quicker to make as you can just throw in the oats. I hope that they are a hit with you too.
HUMMUS ( houmous-French )
I know there are a ton of Hummus recipes out there. This is one that we enjoy, as it cuts out the use of a load of oil.
Take a jar of rinsed chickpeas. Add two small pots of plain yogurt , add lemon juice to taste, a Tablespoon of Tahini ( sesame paste) and crush garlic, again to taste. Blend all of these together. Our daughter prefers it totally blended, but it is also good with a little texture.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE WITH VEGETABLES
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SWEET POTATO
Sometimes I think that we feel we have to mess around with cooking vegetables for a vegetarian . Some vegetables are just amazing and yummy kept simple. For example roasting a butternut squash in the oven, a simple wash of the skin, then totally up to you if you peel it or just want to cut it into slices with the skin left on.
A spray of olive oil under the vegetable slices and on top, if you feel like a little garlic ( or a lot in my husbands case!) you can throw in a few peeled cloves and just roast until caramelized in the oven. Some sprinkled cumin seeds work well on this too if you want more flavor. Ours is normally on about 200 degrees, again just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Our oven has fan so each oven has its own specification. You could add some herbs or chili flakes to this if you prefer .
Sweet potato wedges are very similar, but they seem to cook much quicker than the butternut squash. Its also yummy with a sprinkle of cumin seeds.
I found this wonderful blog site by VEGAN HEAVEN.ORG they have some 35 amazing pumpkin recipes. The bread one looks fantastic, something to definitely try
I came across this healthy pumpkin recipe, for pumpkin pie from Chocolate Covered Katie This brings back so many memories of living in New York and the very kind friends who popped by with Pumpkin pie. Yummy. The recipe I used before wasn’t on the healthy scale!
Pumpkin soup– I have hollowed out the pumpkin and used the inside as a container for pumpkin soup on the table, great for Halloween or just to encourage the children to dip in.
How about filling the case with foods for the birds? hang the smaller ones from a tree, even popping in a fat ball. I know the skin won’t last forever but it may give your children some fun .
I don’t know if you are a chocolate fan? our household definitely is . I loved the fact that now they believe that a small amount of dark chocolate is good for you!
The trick is to eat a small amount of dark chocolate as it is lower in sugar content, but does contain Minerals, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc
.Medical news today has an in depth article explaining the benefits too. Dark chocolate also contains Antioxidants another great reason to eat a small amount. I guess that is the hardest thing, to keep your portion size down. You need a good will power!
EVERYDAY HEALTH – Has 8 Healthy Reasons to Eat Dark Chocolate.
From helping to prevent heart disease and lower the risks of strokes. To weight loss, memory help and more . A really in-depth article backed up with studies.
I love the idea that dark chocolate could help you lose weight! This is all about dark chocolate though, no luck with milk or white.
We often have some frozen raspberries with ours, which seems to enhance the flavor . Yummy ! I found a healthier recipe for a chocolate brownie with raspberries added, just perfect! Like this one from Amy’s Healthy Baking
I just had to add this blog on a list of the best and worst brands of chocolate by Healthy eater.com , maybe one of your favourites is on the list? I often say to my family , moderation ! yes, I admit I don’t get listened to very often!
Finding something healthy to snack on instead crisps or sweets .
Probably the first thing I think of is popcorn, without the sugar or salt glaze. It simple to make and a healthy snack. Of course you can sprinkle over flavorings such as Nooch for a savory cheesy taste. Or a little drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
which are chickpea pods, we first tried these in the restaurant Wagamama’s, they are cooked in water , left in the pod then tossed in a bowl with sea salt or as they gave us in the restaurant some chili flakes, sea salt and garlic. They are a yummy snack.
( recipe on this blog)- With a plate of colorful veggies to dip in, everything from carrot, broccoli, peppers, celery, cauliflower and cucumber.
Guacamole-( Avocado Dip) & SALSA ( Spicy Tomato Dip)
This can be eaten with a plate of veggies, plus some healthy crackers
( I came across this blog called a Pinch Of Yum , I would recommend this site to anyone, the crackers on this link are yummy! and very popular in our family.)
CRACKERS– Some are definitely healthier than others, We used to eat rice cakes with toppings or just to snack, until we found out about the Arsenic in Rice, since then we have found corn thins which are just as good.
I came across this site called Quite Good Food- they have a recipe for 5 seed crackers just made with seeds and a little water. Fantastic and delicious , the only draw back is the length of time in the oven, but worth the wait.
These can be made with any fruits, a favorite in our house is Mango strips. But dried Banana, figs the list is endless. Better I think if you can use a dehydrator. Though I believe you can use the oven on a low setting, placing the fruit on parchment paper so they don’t stick.
NUTS & DRIED FRUIT –
The nuts can be spicy too if you fancy a change.
STRAWBERRIES DIPPED IN DARK CHOCOLATE
To gain more health benefits it would be better with dark chocolate. We enjoy ours once they have set in the fridge. This is not the only fruit that you can use. Raspberries are great too.
VEGGIE CRISPS – These can be bought but often they are fried and covered in salt, and not so healthy. They can be baked in the oven too , it can vary in time dependent on the oven and the thickness of the vegetables. Cook at 90-120 c checking so they don’t burn.
SWEET POTATO WEDGES– These are great to use in your dips or just cooked sprinkled with sea salt or chili or tiny amount of smoked paprika
( the one we have which we bought in Spain is very strong) .
Of course these are great for health , as long as they are not filled with ice-cream too, but great to go with the snacks.
I have to say in our house, we are not set for the day before we have a cup of coffee! It is a little pleasure that I look forward to.
Starting the day with a huge cappuccino, made by my husband. Then to find out that some coffee can be good for you! I am very happy.
We have always used an Italian espresso machine, one that you just pop on top of the stove. We are careful just how much milk we use with that, for us using soya milk makes the perfect cup.
It has become a little ritual every morning. Even down to the cup I use, a wonderful gift from a friend of mine.
I have been seeing in the press, just how much coffee that they think is a reasonable amount. NEW YORK TIMES have suggested 3-5 cups daily .
They have links to medical articles on the British Medical Journal too. There are benefits for such diseases as Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s and certain liver conditions, including cancer.
Of course coffee isn’t good for everyone. I know when I was expecting our daughter, I was very careful what type of coffee I was drinking, making sure that the decaffeinated one, was water filtered and not by a chemical process.
This makes me feel even better drinking it, though recently I saw that it is better for you if you use a filter, which we do now once brewing it. Apparently it can raise the LDL Cholesterol level. If you use a filter, this can help reduce this problem.
What I didn’t realise before ,was that the boiled type coffee, such as using a french press or making Greek coffee, this is boiled on the stove in a little pot, then the sludge is left at the bottom of your cup. I have to admit loving this coffee too!
Whipped coffee , cold frappe, so many different types of coffee out there, the whipped coffee seems to be very popular right now.
Finding a healthier version is right up there for us. When I lived in New York, many of my friends drank iced coffee or iced cappuccinos so yummy.
WATERMELON / PASTEQUE
I love this fruit, on a hot summers day, chilled sweet juice. Then to find out that it has so many benefits for our health.
I never realised just how good they are for you, I guess as it feels mostly like water, yes they are about 92% water.
I underestimated just how great they are.
With the added benefits of vitamin A, C& B. The report on the BBC suggest that they may be good against certain cancers and Lower Blood pressure.
Other than just eating the fruit in a slice. There are many recipes out there, from refreshing drinks .
DELISHABLY have a whole list of drinks , non alcohol and alcoholic ones to perk up your Summer.
Country Living also have a ton of recipes to use in the summer. with your barbecue in mind. It is fantastic as part of a smoothie too.
I have also seen you can treat your dog with a little of this fruit, after removing the seeds and skin. Our dogs love a bit of melon of any types!
I have been repeatedly seeing information on the health benefits of mushrooms. Even the humble white capped ones that we always see in our supermarkets.
The benefits of using cooked mushrooms to help with your health . Food revolution.org has an article on using them to help prevent cancer, including breast cancer.
This article by Dr KASENENE.COM goes into depth on how mushrooms can be used to fight disease.There is a list of the different mushrooms,
- Ganoderma (reishi)
- Lion’s mane
Which he believes are more beneficial. Dr Kasenene is based in Uganda.
As always there are two sides to every news article. Cancer research UK.ORG , suggest that at the moment there is no evidence on prevention or cure with mushrooms.
Though they mention that in Japan and China, mushrooms are used to treat lung diseases. Though they do give some links to mushroom research, with different types of mushrooms.
William W Li MD has a book called Eat to Beat Disease, Well worth reading.
This is a great guide in what to eat for your health. How much of a food is the right amount for health? what are the best juices to drink?
Is it better to eat the fruit or drink the juice? In one of his articles, Dr Li mentions the benefits of eating two apples a day for health.
One online talk I listened to in the past year, mentions the same ideas on eating apples.
They suggested making a simple apple sauce with the apples ,including the skin, then eating two tablespoons a day, which is a lot easier to manage, if you are not too keen on apples. They also suggested using some cinnamon in the mix to add more flavour.
I have always read that we are much better eating the whole fruit, than just the juice, often we miss out on the fibre and other goodness than just drinking juice.
An article on WEB MD also suggest the same advice, eating an apple complete with the skin, could help keep the Dr away! Gaining many Antioxidants and anti- cancer benefits.
If you are going to eat an apple, the benefits of eating Granny Smith Apples seem to out weigh the rest. The Healthy Tomato.com have a list of 10 Benefits of eating these wonderful crispy apples.
Science Direct give the reasons why they can help you lose weight too.
Dr William Li Also has great advice on his website., to help boast your immune system, through food, sleep and helping your own lifestyle.
STORING FOOD WITHOUT USING PLASTIC
Also the problems involved with the plastic covering and containers which is on so many foods today. I don’t like to buy anything in cans either, I try to find the same product in a glass jar. They have found there can be a risk of BPA in canned foods, which can increase your risk of Heart disease, certain Diabetes and other issues.
This article in the GUARDIAN. USA gives a clear understanding of the issues on your health and that of your family, with the Toxic plastics and products used to cover our food.
This information that I came across the other day , linked here on my other blog, explains just how much microplastic can be drunk in just one cup of tea, if made with boiling water from a plastic kettle.
This can be a problem with using plastic baby bottles and other plastic containers. This is even worse if the liquid is hotter.
Since finding out about the effects of plastic coverings , I have been looking into different ways of protecting foods in the fridge. I recently found some great glass containers with a bamboo top, which is great , at least I can see what has been put in there easily .
Also available are the covers made with cloth and Beeswax, which are available to purchase like these or you can also make them yourself.
There is a different video on making Beeswax wraps on this link here
If you are on a budget, which quite frankly most people are having to watch their budget these days, the vegetables which are at a lower price usually seem to be packaged in plastic bags or covered in a clingfilm.
How long they have been in that stuff, goodness knows.
I know its easy just to pick up a bag of salad for instance, but often the writing on the side of the package says it is ready to eat. But it has been in the bag an age, and then they say it is ready to eat without washing it? Yuk!
It is difficult to find some of these salads greens being sold without being in a mixed bag. I guess the best answer if you have the time and some space is to grow your own. Or maybe you are lucky enough to have a great market near you .
In our little town we have a local producers market twice a week which is great.
In the summer we travelled to a town about 40 minutes away, and found an amazing food market which is available every Saturday, with a huge choice of vegetable, fruit and cheeses etc.
I really didn’t know where to look first. The cost of Organic vegetables were much more reasonably priced too.
MY FAILED ATTEMPT AT GROWING PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI
We did give that a try one year ,with a purple sprouting broccoli.
I was so excited, I love the vegetable, we planted it outside, and we tended it everyday. Then came the white butterflies, I didn’t realise the plant was so susceptible to them. I kept picking off the eggs, trying not to spray them with anything.
We were due to go on holiday and had a friend looking after the house and dogs, plus watering the plants.
We bought in the pots to a conservatory side room . When we came back we found no plants left, and a ton of butterflies flying around the room!
I have to admit not trying to grow this again as yet.
Here we go again! I came across an article again today on the use of Glysophate ( Roundup) on crops.
There was a study done in America that has found that even children as young as four years old ,with this chemical in their bodies. The article is on this link for the Guardian Newspaper.
They mention that even though the dangers of this weed killer has been known since 1983, it has been used even more as the years go by, they report that it has gone up by 300 fold, above what they thought was safe in the 1990’s.
I have written before about this being sprayed on crops to bring in the yield quicker! as written about on EWG .
The one bit of good news in this report is that they have found if you eat an Organic diet for six days you can reduce the that chemical in your body by 70% , Wow, it just shows how powerful changing your diet can be. The reason for this chemical still being used is Cash pure and simple.
Avoiding these is hard going at times. The cost of Organic vegetables and fruit can be really expensive.
Again, even with pesticides the differences allowed between different countries is huge.
Here in France they have now said that they are not allowed to spread any pesticides within 20 meters of a house from Jan 2020.
I guess we will see what happens on that one. They have also said they are reducing the use of Roundup in the near future.
Neonicotinoids – This chemical has become a fighting ground here in France, as there was to be a ban which has now been moved to 2023 .
This chemical which they use here in France on the sugar beet crops, effect BEES in their decline by disrupting their sense of orientation and their reproduction.
This subject is covered here by REUTERS, we just can’t afford to lose bees!
PESTICIDES ON FRUIT & VEG
This seems to be increasing in usage everywhere!
When you start looking into what they use on the fields, and then which foods they call the dirty dozen, due to the amount of Pesticides being used on them.It is very worrying.
The USDA have a Pesticides program which you can check up each year to see which foods are considered the “Dirty Dozen” for the year. This list is one based on the USA. EWG is also an American Site.
EWG’S DIRTY DOZEN FOR 2021 – Though on the link this goes up to 46 different fruit & vegetables
- Kale, Collards & Mustard Greens
- Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes
- Bell Peppers Plus HOT PEPPERS
Just reading this article on how much Pesticides were found on Kale in the US is shocking. If you click on the Link it will give the lists in full. It makes me want to grow our own even more now.
HOW TO REMOVE WHAT PESTICIDES YOU CAN AT HOME
We have seen a few ways of removing as much of the Pesticides as you can, if the cost is too much or the availability of the produce is not Organic.
GOODNET.ORG have 5 easy ways of removing as much Pesticides as you can.
In our home we normally use the Bicarbonate Soda method , which does give you some peace of mind. As I said it isn’t always possible to buy Organic.
You basically fill a bowl with water and add the bicarbonate soda, we use the type for cooking, about a teaspoon full for the size bowl we use.
Then put all you fruit or vegetables to soak for at least ten minutes .We then rinse off the fruit or vegetables in running water.
THE BETTER INDIA.COM have a similar list but also have a homemade solution to make for a quick fix. This is on the link too, but seems to be a mix of Lemon juice, vinegar and water.
A STORY ABOUT THE PESTICIDE USE ON A BEAUTIFUL FRENCH ISLAND
I came across an article on the BBC the other day .
I suppose the story caught my attention in two ways, first was just how polluted these crops of bananas, which have been sprayed for two decades, and the effect it was having on the population of these Paradise Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe .
Leaving these beautiful islands with a pollution problem.
We have met friends here in France who have been born on these Islands. It just shows how much product can be used on a fruit like a banana.
I had seen an article some time back , talking about the chemicals used. Since then we have been buying Organic Bananas, which I have to say, is not too much more in cost.
What we have found though, is that the Organic ones, do not seem to go bad as quickly, and taste better too. We were throwing loads of bananas away from spoilage before.( pop the skins on your roses, they love potassium)
THE GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER covered a story about Roundup being used on crops which are used to make popular cereals, often eaten by children. This chemical was basically used to dry out the crop, this kills the plant allowing the company to harvest these crops at a much quicker period of time, saving them money.
EWG.ORG also have coverage of this story. They also have a video explaining Glyphosate which is the chemical in Roundup.
They also give a clear. These names are ones that we have had in our home and I guess yours too, family favorites such as Quaker, General Mills, and Kellogg’s. These brands are household names, which produce an enormous amount of the breakfast cereals in your supermarkets. It covers some of the cereal bars too.
RICE AND ARSENIC
Rice is such a staple diet for many parts of the world. We have always loved the different varieties, from brown, white, red ( info here from food.ndtv)
Rice is one of those versatile things that can easily be made into a dish from Indian Biryani to Italian Risotto, the recipes are endless, and the cost for making a meal is very attractive if you are working to a budget.
One thing that we all need to beware of is that rice contains Arsenic. Science Daily suggest that the long term effects of eating a base diet of rice is contributing to health issues.
These include cancer , heart issues and premature deaths. Unfortunately it is found in all rice, even Organic rice.
For children one serving is over the limit advised .
It makes me wonder at all the baby products suggested for weaning infants, often a rice product is suggested. What else is rice in that we really haven’t looked too closely at ?Rice is often put into a pudding recipe for toddlers too.
The BBC have an article about these concerns on rice too.
I have to admit we have cut down using rice in the house, to less than once a month. Now we use other grains that don’t have the same issues.
We used to eat rice cakes as they were easy to snack on, but even those we avoid now.
Food Revolution.org have as usual a fantastic piece about how rice can effect you and your family. Also ways of reducing the Arsenic in your rice in the way you soak and rinse the rice before cooking.
I think the main message in that is to soak the rice in many changes of water at least overnight and use huge quantities of water to cook it in . That should reduce some of the Arsenic as it is water soluble, the only issue with that, is that you end up washing away some of the nutrients too.
I came across another article today that has another way of getting rid of the Arsenic but keeping the nutrients , SCIENCE ALERT suggest using a parboil method, after which you place the rice into fresh water. They have a simple drawing guide on how to achieve this.
One of the reasons is that rice is grown in field with a lot of water, This allows the rice grain to absorb more of the Arsenic, from the ground.
A Genetically Modified Organism. In a way you can understand why they thought this was a good idea. To grow more crops by increasing the yield. The ability to stop using certain pesticides on crops such as potatoes.
I do feel though we may in the future wonder if this was such a good idea! I have to admit avoiding these foods, especially as we use such a large amount of soy bean in milk and tofu products.
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY go into the Pros and Cons of GMO .
After I was reading another blog this morning concerning some of the problems in labelling in the States and Canada, this was on the GMO information that is offered on your food labels.
The fight to have this information for the public to see has been an ongoing struggle.
The gentleman I was reading about was Rob Herring, who has made the film “The need to GROW” He was saying that in the States they are bringing out a label called B.E Bio-Engineered, which is going to be harder for people to understand as G.M.O is known everywhere.
ROB Herring says that over 90% of corn, soy, cotton, canola and sugar beets are now GMO in the States. I find that scary! It gets harder to make your own choices when you go shopping. How are you to know just what you are buying?
This the link for the preview of this film.
I have found a fantastic article on EWG concerning Organic foods well worth a read.
It clearly makes a case for eating Organic food, and gives clear research on what types of chemicals are allowed on both Organic and non-organic food.
I always thought that Organic meant no chemicals whatsoever, but this isn’t the case, they are allowed certain chemicals but the amount of chemicals 25 in comparison to 900 used by the conventional farming. Using such products as Neem oil and Diatomaceous earth .Both of these products I have seen recommended in animal health .
With Organic foods they are promoting the growth of healthy foods,
IN OUR COUNTRYSIDE
We live in the countryside here in France.
One of my favourite plants is when the farmer grows Sunflowers for the seeds.
The difference between the farmers here is chalk and cheese. Some of them are more forward thinking and are either Organic or spray their fields with organic matter, namely poo!
Others we look at in disbelief where they cover the aftermath of the harvested field in a poison to kill the weeds.
At first we were just looking at the colours of yellow, red and orange not understanding just what we were looking at.
It looked quite pretty, are they flowers????
But no, it was the poisons being used, then you see them just till the whole field over , mixing up the poison into the soil.
Then they go and add a fertiliser and replant.
How they don’t believe that the poison isn’t still in that field, being absorbed into whatever they are planting. I just don’t understand.
Unfortunately it is what they have been taught to do. And they seem to stick to the same routine.
Hopefully things are changing, we have seen more Organic produce becoming more popular here in France since we arrived. There are more controls with the local producers too.
This seems to be a hot topic at the moment. I totally buy into this, but I have noticed that the media and certain soap manufacturers have cottoned on too!
It is something else that they can advertise. Though in the case of the soap brand, it is focused on the skin. Recently I noticed that these advertisements have disappeared? not sure why this is.
I have read quite a few websites which have videos explaining the benefits of a healthy gut lining.
I am no expert, but I wanted to share some of the information that we have come across.
The BBC SCIENCE FOCUS has 15 tips to boast your gut Microbiome.
This is certainly something that is going to be more popular in our diets from now on. The effect of a healthy gut in all our lives in a must for less problems in our health.
One of the foods that is suppose to aid a healthy microbiome is fermented foods. I guess most of us eat yogurt at some point, but I am finding it harder to find find ones that contain the live cultures.
I came across this site by Emillie who write about how to ferment foods on her website FERMENTING FOR FOODIES .COM
She has some great ideas, which are clearly written and make me want to hit the kitchen.
I had tried Sauerkraut, but it was so long ago now.
I must admit to not being keen on the one I tried, but the jar variety is often so different from your homemade. Since then, I have tried making this, I came across a recipe with the added flavours of beetroot, ginger . There is a lovely recipe on Feasting at Home , the colour is amazing. My husband seems to put it on everything now, even into a soup today!
A little tip on this, I thought once it was in the fridge that it would just stay that bright red colour, but if you don’t keep turning the mixture over it does go a brown colour, which doesn’t look very appetizing!
What is it? Is it good for you?
Kefir is a yogurt type of health drink. Helpful for your gut health and your digestion.
It is made by adding grains of yeast and a bacteria to milk, normally cows or goats milk. It is a probiotic and a healthy addition to your diet. I didn’t realize that the grains can be used again ,once the Kefir has been produced over a 24 hour period.
It can be made dairy free, but apparently they haven’t got quite the same benefits. Healthline give 9 Evidence benefits to drinking Kefir.
With all the promotion on this product, I bought one at our local supermarket. I did find it a little expensive. The taste was good, a sort of yogurty sour tasting drink. It would be something that we would drink everyday.
I wondered how good this would be to make at home.
There seems to be a difference in what strains of probiotic you are buying , some are low as 7 strains, others much higher at 60 !
YEMOOS.COM Offer live cultures for making your own Kefir, plus Scoobys for producing Kombucha and other related fermented products and equipment.
The below video and others I have seen, suggest that you can reuse the same strain of Kefir time and time again.
They apparently multiply over time so you could give some to a friend or make even more Kefir!( I havent managed to do that as yet, still hoping that happens )
I have seen that if you do not wish to use an animal milk, then the website My Fermented Foods.Com has a number of dairy free alternative, such as Almond milk, Coconut and water.
We have totally fallen in love with Kefir! I love how easy it is to make, no hassle at all. The texture is wonderfully creamy. It is our new best friend!
Once you have made your Kefir, it can be used in cooking as well, in place of buttermilk or milk. Turning your pancakes or smoothies into a much healthier version. ( I used it today in chocolate muffins, instead of using milk, fantastic and very fluffy)
This drink is suppose to be good for your gut health. I still haven’t managed to taste it!
We bought a sachet in our local Bio /Organic shop, then realized it was asking for a warm place to keep it to ferment, we don’t have an airing cupboard anymore as our boiler lives outside of a cupboard.
So I am going to have to wait until the summer comes and it can be left in the kitchen. I found a video on making it which shows just what it is suppose to look like, if like me you haven’t been able to try it as yet. It is suppose to be a little Alcoholic I think.
Well ours bombed! I just couldn’t get it to grow the “Scoby” one of the jars just went mouldy and the other is just sitting there not doing a lot. I guess I need to purchase the Scoby and start with that the next time. It would be much easier if we had a warm place to leave it.
The saga continues!
We were kindly given a baby scoby to use. I was so careful, sterilizing everything, organic tea, sugar , you name it, I even spoke to it! But no luck I am afraid, even this one went mouldy on me. I have given up for now. Perhaps it was too hot? We have had some really warm weather lately. Any advice would be great!
EATING TINY NUTRIENT PARTICLES
I recently came across an article on the NEW SCIENTIST which are suggesting by eating tiny Nutrient particles , it could be better for you than health supplements.
This seems well worth trying. with the push nowadays to protect ourselves from viruses and other health issues.
They suggest that there are around 2 billion people in the world whose diet is not what it could be. It is a really interesting look into other ways that could help our health and well being. Instead of just popping a pill.
This website have a ton of videos on how to make a whole range of fermenting foods.
Even one of the places I was doing some research on, were giving the fermented foods to their dogs( you can find this on the healthy animal blog)
A great idea all in one place.
If you are like me, it is a lot easier to watch a video than try and do it on your own.
Kale seems to be a wonder food at the moment too, we see it being suggested as good for your gut health.
Our daughter is not too keen on many vegetables, but she will eat a whole plate of Kale Chips. Though one of the issues with buying Kale is the amount of pesticides that can be used.
These are so easy to make, after washing the kale,( dry the leaves too or you will end up just steaming them)then the leaves, minus the thick stalks, can be torn up into bite sized pieces and placed spread out on a baking tray. Place in the oven at around 175 c ,can take 10-15 mins depending on your oven.
The trick with these is to keep an eye on them as they can catch and go too brown, I move them around to make sure all the leaf is cooked then just take them out and serve.
We found some beautiful purple Kale in our local outdoor market too. The taste does remind me a little of when you buy the crunchy seaweed from a Chinese restaurant.
Eating Kale and other green vegetables such as broccoli can help to reduce your exposure to contaminants such as Arsenic by protecting you with a compound called sulforaphane. Another great way to protect yourself and family.
Of course water is so important to your daily routine. About 6-8 glasses a day seems to be the general guide. More on what water can do for your stress levels here.
We have seen many articles on using lemon with your water, especially to start your day.
We started buying organic lemons and leaving them in the freezer, just grating all of it into your morning water. Then you don’t have the issues with wax being grated into your drink! It is really refreshing.
Cleveland Clinic.com have 7 reasons why this is good for you.
The benefits range from Antioxidants, vitamin C, helping with dehydration. One thing I wasn’t aware of is it could help to prevent kidney stones in some people.
I have to admit, I find it easier to drink a glass of water with some flavour. I remember years ago my mum buying a bottle of a lemon stuff, claiming it helped with weight loss. Much better to have the pure lemon without additives.
SMOOTHIES FOR HEALTH
I have been listening to quite a few on line discussions on the health of your gut.
One person that I have seen often is Kris Carr , she has a book on Amazon called Crazy Sexy Juice with more than a 100 different recipes for healthy smoothies.
You can also find some of her recipes on KRIS CARR.COM
FOOD REVOLUTION .ORG also have an anti stress smoothie recipe.I absolutely love this Organisation. They are so full of helpful advice and good links to a whole number of helpful tips on keeping healthy.
Making a healthy smoothie.
It feels to me as though you can be totally creative and also look to see what is in your local market.
We have a lovely little café near us who have a range of smoothies to drink. I have really fallen in love with their green smoothie.
It has greens, theirs uses spinach or you could use kale. I think the trick is to totally blend this with water first, I wouldn’t fancy any lumps! they also add fresh Basil which gives it a lovely fresh taste.
I have seen the use of some fruits with these such as pineapple to give some sweetness.
I think to evolve your children in the adventure in making something that they can say they have made, is a way of getting more goodness down them. It is amazing what you can hide in a smoothie, getting some goodness into children can be difficult at times.
Adding fresh ginger and some different fruits, it can look and taste so much more exciting.
NATURAL FLAVOURS & FOOD ADDITIVES
Again the FOOD REVOLUTION have come up with a shocking insight into what Natural Flavours actually mean.
This is a link to Federal Regulations in the USA . I sometimes think it would be easier just to take a list with you, of actually all the codes mean, I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember all of them.
Again there seems to be a huge difference to what is allowed in the States to what is allowed here in Europe.
HUNGRY FOR CHANGE have a list of the top 10 Food Additives to avoid , suggesting there are over 300 additives in today’s food.
I really do understand that some of these additives are naturally based, the problem I have is that with just a list of additives being numbered , how on earth are you to know what you are buying.
MPH PROGRAMS LIST have an even more detailed list of 50 Jaw Droppingly Toxic Food Ingredients & Artificial food additives
They suggest very sensibly to avoid sodas, fast foods, hormone fed meats and milks. Get to know exactly what you are eating.
Try eating fruit and vegetable and where you can, cook your own foods to know what is in them. The list is a very eye opening one, quite an unsettling read.
Again I find it very shocking the differences allowed, depending in what country you live in.
The controls over what is acceptable is crazy.
I hate the fact that some countries are allowed to not even list the difference between an artificial one and some derived from a natural source.
THE FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY UK give their take on Additives.
VERY WELL FIT.COM also have an article explaining just what the term “natural flavouring “means and why they are called a food additive. Again this article is an eye opener to what is in our foods.
Food Colorings are another hidden element in a lot of foods, not just for things like icing colors, but in goods to make them look more attractive to eat.
I came across a course by SPECIAL EDUCATION DEGREE.NET called Colors to Die for , quite a title, until you start to see the effect on your health.
FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY IN UK has a list of additives and colours. They also have sweeteners and E numbers.
- sunset yellow FCF (E110)
- quinoline yellow (E104)
- carmoisine (E122)
- allura red (E129)
- tartrazine (E102)
- ponceau 4R (E124)
- This list which is from the website, says that if they are in a food , it must appear on the packaging
On the INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER _ they have an article calling for the ban of 6 colours. ( from the link- )
“The FSA’s advice to parents will be strengthened to warn them about the dangers of the E-numbers tartrazine (E102), quinoline yellow (E104), sunset yellow (E110), carmoisine (E122), ponceau 4R (E124) and allura red (E129).
These colours and the preservative sodium benzoate (E211) “
Just today I came across another scary article on the Guardian Newspaper who talk about an additive “E171, EU Watchdog says Food Coloring widely used in UK is Unsafe”
“Titanium dioxide, or E171, is often used to whiten food products, but its use has long been a point of concern over fears that it could be carcinogenic. The French government announced a ban in 2019, but it is still used in other EU member states.”
The worry in the use of this food additive is the amount of foods that it is used for, even in White Chocolate, how many of us parents have given this to our children or toddler as it wouldn’t make as much mess? I know we did. Also used in sauces made for babies and toddlers! chewing gum, baking goods, soups and sandwich spreads.
THE FDA also has a list which covers America. They give lists of what they consider safe and covers both additives and colors.
BIGGER BOLDER BAKING has a whole list of how to make your own natural coloring with foods such as beetroots
This product which is really called Nutritional Yeast , but Nooch for short, is our new favourite product.
I can not believe it took us so long to find it! It has a ” Cheesy”, nutty flavour . Can be added to recipes instead of cheese, or just sprinkled on pasta or jacket potatoes. It is great for Vegans and Vegetarians. Our daughter would just eat it out of the bag!
It can be purchased with the added B12 which is necessary to add to a vegan and Vegetarian diet.
Medical News Today also go into the benefits of using this in your diet. Suggesting it also helps with your Immune system . It is not the same as Brewers Yeast.
I also wanted to add this video about making a cheese using Nooch and Cashew nuts as it is sometimes hard to find a solution to getting a healthier cheese.
There is another guide with added recipes on making nut cheeses with Spreademkitchen. We are giving these cheeses a go this weekend, I will get back to you on what we thought the taste and how easy it was to make.
Since writing this- the update is we have fallen in love with some cheese recipes made from cashew nuts and Nooch from a website called
Loving It Vegan – wow, we are in love with all three cheeses we have tried. Thank you Alison so much! And the baked Tofu recipe is now our favorite too.
Well you would think that this would be a simple choice!
But of course not!
This was information was initially given to me by our neighbour here in France, who keeps a number of Bees and is a producer of Honey in our area and on the internet.
Apparently there is number of additives being put into some honeys .Anything from Sugar to additives
EURACTIV have an article called Honeygate.
I am not sure how wide spread this problem is, according to our neighbour and this article it is very widespread here in Europe.
With China importing around 50% of the Honey to the UK and Europe.
MYBEELINE has advice on how to see if what you are buying is real, fake or Adulterated honey.
There is a lot of money to be made in profits on selling honey which is made up of added sugars and starch which are just a couple of the additives used.
They give 11 examples of some very simple tests you can do to see if the honey you are buying is pure.
I know that buying from your local producer can be a little more expensive, but the difference in taste and the properties that it gives you , out weighs the cost.
I feel we use less each serving as the taste is more intense.
The health benefits to using Pure honey are totally worth it.
PASTILI.COM give the difference to using Raw Honey and just regular honey. Natural Honey has no artificial additives and processing. Regular processed honey “additives, pasteurising, filtering or other processing ` are allowed” ( from Link)
Our neighbour said that raw natural honey can be used for different ailments. He sells honey from different flowers and each have their own unique flavour and property.
DABUR Have 12 Benefits of Honey- Advantages & Uses of Honey
The colour difference in these honeys are so different. Some are quite dark and almost caramel in colour.
Looking at some of the articles posted for the USA it seems that the same problem exists with some of the honey on sale there.
There is more information on THE HONEYBEE CONSERVANCY. naming their article Funny Honey.
When you think of the costs of some of these honeys on sale on your supermarket shelves, what are you actually paying for? And how good is this for your health? Or are you just eating mostly a sugar base?
The fear I have with all this is the population of Bees are becoming less each year, and most countries are importing to cover the demand for a product which is on the increase.
The Pesticides being used in farming and in our gardens is not helping the Bees at all. We can’t survive without them.
The problem has become very urgent. Even if we each did our little bit to make our gardens attractive to them, and not use chemicals to make our gardens perfect. This article by Greenpeace is very relevant.
My children were watching a TV program where the bees who were living in a city had been going into Anti- freeze and the honey was blue! Another very unusual colour was a reddish one, the Bees in this case had been going into Jam that had been stored.
This totally different Blue Honey was reported by MNN where the bees have been going into the blue from an M&M factory!
These have always been a little frustrating to me. Our family have a ton of cholesterol, so I have always been cautious about how many eggs are in our diet. I can’t say for me I enjoy the taste of them.
Being Vegetarian also has me really thinking about where they have come from.
I have come across recipes where you can get away with some cakes and muffins not using them. But the baking side of things has always been an issue.
I have tried some of the other ideas out there such as flax seeds blended, but not really had much success in that. I have family members also allergic to them.
So you can imagine the interest when I saw a different product being promoted on Forbes.Com called “Just Egg” which has NO egg!
They have been developing this product and is now spreading the distribution . Even here in France they are ramping up the production.
I found a really nice video below, where the couple who are NON Vegetarian have tried this product, the lady is allergic to egg as well. Apparently this egg product is made from Mung Bean protein.
They do admit that it does have a “beany “texture and flavour, more noticeable when eaten on its own. But you can replace egg in baking with this which I find exciting, plus no cholesterol, even better.
So If you are like me, or want to give something new a go, I have put a link for Just Egg to give you some answers.
The protein content is almost the same as eating an egg. There are other substitutes out there too , like these on this link. Just also product JUST MAYO.
When I was living in NY I came across an egg product, it came in a carton and sold in the cold section of the supermarket.
It was yellow in colour and you were able to make scrambled eggs and fresh pasta without the cholesterol.
It was great, even after 30 years I still haven’t found this product over the water. I think it still contained egg, I have seen some products that are egg based, sometimes just the whites beaten in a carton. I cant remember the name of the other product.
Egg Substitutes for vegans are a little more interesting, I have tried using Flax seeds, but I have to admit not getting on too well with that.
You can get egg substitutes on line. Often the ones that I have come across are powdered . I think if you can find one that is liquid it must be so much easier to blend into a recipe.
On this article is now the wonderful Aquafaba from the liquid to chickpeas, we use that all the time now.
ALTERNATIVES TO MILK
The alternatives to milk in the supermarket is astounding. I remember when you were weird looking for a soya milk.
Now the choice is almost over whelming. Even at first glance you get to choose if it is Organic or not ( we always choose the Organic option when we can, to avoid the pesticides and the possible GMO products.)
Then you have the choice between a huge array of soya products, either on their own or mixed with something else.
Then the nut milks, such as Coconut, Almond, or a mixture of the two. Hazelnut milk, Cashew nut, our daughter also loves the chocolate flavour in some of these as well.
Of course then you get to choose if you prefer that sweetened. Some are done with sugar, others with apple juice or some homemade ones have suggested a couple of dates being whisked up into the milk or Honey.
Flax Milk, Hemp milk, Oat milk or Pumpkin seed milk are some of the seed or grain based milks.
What I find really interesting is how easy some of these milks are to make. We in our home, have started making our own Oat milk which is incredibly easy to make.
I really need to find out how easy it is to make soy milk as we get through so much of that! I will let you know. I want to find an organic bean , at least I know it wont be GMO .
OAT MILK RECIPE WE USE
The simple recipe we found is one cup of oats, which you soak
( overnight for us) in filtered water, the following day, drain and rinse them. Then add four cups of filtered water and use a blender for a short period around 20 seconds for us, if it is too long, it can go slimy.
They then suggest that you drain the oats and the milk is put into a clean jug or bottle. You can use the oats in something else.
For us because it is used on our breakfast, we just leave the oats in the milk to add more body. You do need to give it a really good stir before using.
We are happy not to have it sweetened but as I mentioned above, you can use the dates, sugar or honey if you wish.
FOOD REVOLUTION have a great piece on ditching animal milks. They have the 10 most popular milk substitutes to allow you to make an informed decision.
We live in France, where wine and vineyards are around us everywhere. The main difference that we have found here is that people stop here and have a glass of wine with their food, we haven’t come across people just drinking for the sake of it. I guess you would probably see more of that in towns and cities.
It feels like each year, wine is either good for us in moderation or bad for us. I thought I would put a few articles on here to show both sides.
NEWS MEDICAL.NET have an article that asks Why Wine is Damaging our Body More than we thought.
This goes into the risks of cancer, how much more it can effect women than men. Also into the percentages of the risks depending on how much alcohol you drink. They explain that there is no lower limit to drinking alcohol that doesn’t carry some risk. Then explaining the major problems with binge drinking.
Just what are the toxins in wine that cause these problems? These are clearly listed and explained. ( from link-
The metabolism of ethanol depends on the activity of two enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase, and aldehyde dehydrogenase.
The first converts ethanol to acetaldehyde while the second converts acetaldehyde to acetate, which is less toxic.)
MORE THAN ORGANIC – have information on why Sulphates are used in wine and just why some wine producers won’t make wine without it. A really interesting site, based here in France but in both English and French.
HEALTHLINE – has the question –Does Drinking A Glass of Wine Have Health Benefits
They say it has an antioxidant quality, red wine more than white.
Wine may also combat inflammation, and may also help heart health. All of this is in moderation. They have cautions too.
Again it is a mixed bag! there always seems to be a good reason for and against! Most research seems to be on drinking red wine.
BBC- Also ponder these facts- Can Drinking Red Wine ever be Good for Us? They discuss the difference in drinking red or white wine and the French effect of being healthy. An interesting look again at a confusing subject.
For us here in France, seeing the age of people around us in the countryside, maybe it has something going for it. Some wines seem to have more benefits than others.
We would never just sit with a glass without eating a meal too. It is more to savor the taste and enjoy the company and a two hour meal time( or more!)
NUTRITION INSIGHT –DRINK WINE AND LIVE LONGER .
I admit it is an old report done in 2007 but this actually goes into the wine that we have growing on our doorstep! St Mont & Plaimont wines.
We absolutely love St Mont wines, SW FRANCE. A very helpful cave, great friendly people.
SOME ORGANIC WINE
PRIMAL WINE – USA
VEGAN WINES – (Some animal products are used to get rid of sediment to make a clearer wine.)
This list is from Which.co.uk – best for 2020