Cooking Healthy Meals for Living a Healthy Lifestyle

 

Foods that are Healthy.

Did you know that some foods can affect your mood? Foods actually have a powerful impact on body and mind and one of these foods is Omega-3 found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herrings, mackerel and tuna as well as in flax seeds, walnuts, canola oil, soy, pumpkin seeds and the one higher than all the above, Chia seeds. Eating any of these heaalthy foods will help your whole well-being and have a positive effect on your mood.

Green tea

This is another mood enhancer as well as a fighter against several forms of cancer. Plus it has the added benefit of reducing the bad LDL (cholesterol) in your system.

Buck Wheat Flour

As part of our research into alternative flours, and cooking healthy meals and desserts, my wife recently cooked this Carrot Cake.

Healthy Carrot cake

Healthy Carrot Cake

Instead of following the old recipe, she replaced two common ingredients. Buckwheat flour took the place of regular white flour and Chia seeds in place of eggs. To create a non-egg, put 1 tbsp of Chia seeds in a cup and add three tbsp of warm water. Leave to soak for 15 minutes. It will turn into a gel and you simply add it to the ingredients as you would an egg. The recipe for this carrot cake, which by the way, tasted wonderful.

Ingredients:

1 cup of whole meal flour 1 cup of buck wheat flour 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda 2 tsp. of cinnamon 2 tsp. of nutmeg 1 cup of Demerara sugar (very dark sugar) cup of rice bran oil or similar 4 tbsp. of chia seeds or 4 eggs 4 cups of grated carrot Mix flour, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg, add sugar and oil, mix well, and add chia gel, grated carrot mix well. Pour into baking tin, bake at 180c for 45 minutes, let cool before adding the cream coating. Mix is 150g of cream cheese, 50g butter, and 1 tsp. of grated lemon to 1.5 cups of icing sugar. Mix cream cheese, butter and grated lemon until smooth and lastly beat in the icing sugar. Spread over top of cake, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds and cranberries over the top. When providing for your family, it’s sometimes difficult to make something 100% healthy, in this cake you have cream cheese and sugar, of course you can cut either or both ingredients, if you want too. In answer to why I  discourage the use of white wheat four is because it has little food value having 15 of the main nutrients taken out, is bleached with chemicals and 5 man-made nutrients put in. Of course there is a risk of residual chemicals being left in the flour, but that’s not the worse part, highly refined white flour causes the pancreas to over react producing more insulin into the blood stream playing merry hell with your blood sugar level. No sooner have you eaten than you feel hungry again, with the end resulting in increased weight gain. White refined sugar is similar, it effect the blood sugar levels by raising the insulin levels in your blood, this in turn depresses the immune system, sugar turns to fat that  increases weight, cholesterol,  obesity,  and the very real risk of diabetes that can seriously affect your health. It’s said that Americans consumes 2-3 pounds of sugar per week. Sugar is addictive and like smoking it’s hard for many to give up or simply to cut their sugar intake. As we become more aware of the harm that excess sugar does to our body we look for alternatives, natural is better and the two that is growing in popularity is Stevia and Xylitol

Stevia 

Stevia 30 time sweeter than sugar

Stevia a natural sweetener

For centuries Stevia has been grown and used by countries in South America as a sweetener in foods and drinks. It was banned in the USA by the FDA and the EU until the early 2000 when researchers proved that it was not only safe but also had many health benefits. Including no fat, sodium, carbohydrates or proteins, great in aiding weight loss programs as well as treating diabetes, high blood pressure, heartburn and acid re flux.   (just goes to show that the so-called experts gets it wrong from time to time) China is the world largest exporter of stevioside The advantage of Stevia is it is 30 times  sweeter than sugar, the disadvantage is its more expensive and has an after taste that lingers, however read on to see how to overcome this lingering taste.

Xylitol

We produce a certain amount in or bodies, the commercial Xylitol comes from corn,  birch tree and berries, to all tense and purposes Xylitol is a natural sweetener full of good minerals and vitamins. One comment I read recently  suggested one part Stevia to twelve part Xylitol makes for an excellent sweetener to cakes, buns and biscuits, without the lingering aftertaste of Stevia. One bit of advice my Dad gave me when first starting in the work force was save 10% of your income (if only I listened) The same can be said for healthy types of food, if we only started eating healthy stuff when we were young, how much better off would we be. Instead for most of us we saw the wisdom later and not earlier. lets live a healthy lifestyle and feel the benefits as we get older..

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