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Getting your 10 a day?

These days I don’t take too much notice about what the news has to say about what we should or should not be doing/taking/eating.  When the headlines roar one day that red wine for example is not recommended then the next we should be imbibing a certain amount each night, it does make me wonder.  

Another new study has suggested that 7-10 and not the usual recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day should be the target for those looking to reduce the risk of passing away prematurely and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

superfood

“7 a day fruit and veg ‘saves lives’” reports BBC News, while The Daily Telegraph states that “10 portions of fruit and vegetables per day” is best.

Vegetables should be the first 5 on the list, followed by a couple of fruits.  All good so far but the expense of making sure each family member has this level of intake daily can be prohibitive financially.  

What’s the answer?  Blending fruit and veg into smoothies like this Kale, Avocado Superfood smoothie, but it can be most things like apple, pear, carrot, cucumber, celery, tomato, banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.  I’ve even blended salad leaves, just keep tasting along the way if making for little ones, keeping it sweet (apples and carrots are great for this).

Smoothies don’t have to be expensive or exotic, but are a great way to get your 5 or is it 7 or 10 a day!  and remember Avocado’s are technically a fruit (they grow on trees) and Tomatoes (botanically) too!

 

Tuna Steak au Poivre

We don’t eat fresh tuna very often but sometimes I see some great looking tuna steaks and hand them over to Mr ND to make us Tuna Steak au Poivre.  These two were £3.75 and the whole meal probably amounted to less than £6.00 with vegetables for the two of us (and the dash of brandy!).  We do eat canned/tinned tuna more often but fresh is even more special and delicious.

Mr ND is the chef du jour and guest posting today.

Tuna Steak au Poivre is a successful variation on one of the tastiest and simplest dishes ever to come out of classical French cuisine.  You can follow any of the numerous recipes available, just replace the traditional beef steak with tuna.  

Tuna Steak au Poivre

tuna ingredients

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  15 minutes (extra for accompaniments)
Serves 2

Ingredients
2 x tuna steaks
1-2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
30g unsalted butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
200 ml double cream
30-60ml brandy

Tuna  Collage

Method

Coarsely crush the peppercorns preferably with a pestle and mortar.  Rinse the tuna steaks in cold water, remove any excess moisture with a piece of kitchen towel then coat both sides evenly with the crushed peppercorns.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy based frying pan over a fairly high heat.  Just as the butter is starting to turn a light brown colour reduce the heat and place the peppered steaks in the pan.  Cook for about 2 minutes each side.

Carefully pour in the brandy and flambé.  When the flames have subsided remove the tuna steaks carefully from the pan and place into a serving dish, keep warm.

Add the double cream to the pan and stir quickly until gently bubbling.  Pour the sauce over the tuna steaks and serve immediately.  Delicious!

tuna steak au poivre

Quick Nutritional Info:

Tuna –  Omega 3 fatty acids, high protein, anti-inflammatory, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium.  High in sodium.
Black Pepper – good source of Vitamin B6, C, Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium.  Very good source of Vitamin K, Iron, Copper and Manganese.

 

 
 
Link up your recipe of the week
 
 
 
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New Year Nibbles

I do love making my own nibbles/canapes for parties and family gatherings wherever I can but this year for our New Year Nibbles I am taking a few shortcuts (if it’s good enough for Delia) along with some homemade goodies.  I shall be buying all the pastry ready made and ready to roll out and I will be keeping a few M&S nibbles as backup in the fridge as we are having a small party to say ta-ta to 2013 and I know how fast the buffet table disappears!

A few of our favourites are:

Parmesan Crisps – simply grated Parmesan in little piles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for a few minutes.

Mini Quiche, these are great and so easy to make, this recipe comes out several times a year for picnics and the like,  Gruyère makes these so tasty:

mini quiche

Ingredients

375g ready rolled shortcrust pastry
90g back bacon, chopped into small squares
5 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 whole organic egg
1 organic egg yolk
3 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
50g Gruyère cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 190°C/170°C/Gas 5.

1.  Cut 12 rounds of pastry to line a 12 hole tin, I use a glass that makes the
perfect size round for my tin, around 7.5cm.  Refrigerate while you make
the filling.
2.  Dry fry the bacon until lightly golden.  Drain on a paper towel and let cool.
3.  Combine the crème fraîche, semi-skimmed milk, whole egg and egg yolk in
a bowl, season to taste.
4.  Divide the bacon and grated Gruyère between the pastry cases, then
spoon the crème fraîche, egg mixture carefully and evenly over.
5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and the filling has risen.  Leave to
cool for a few minutes before removing from the tin.

Stilton Puffs a la Nigel Slater – I saw these recently on one of his programmes and wanted to bust out the ready rolled puff pastry immediately!

Spicy Chickpeas – drain and rinse 2 400g tins of chickpeas, place on baking trays and roll in olive oil, sprinkle with spices of your choice, we like chilli powder, black pepper, garlic salt and a touch of cumin.  Bake in your oven with other canapes for around 15 minutes.

Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Blini’s – these I do enjoy making but you can also buy ready-made.  Light, sugar-free little pancakes (also brilliant for the toddler girl who wolfs them down topping free), can be made ahead, the recipe I usually use  from the Good Food Channel makes around 3o, using half a tablespoon of batter for each blini.  Top with cream cheese or  crème fraîche with a little finely chopped smoked salmon  mixed in plus a touch on top and a twist of black pepper to finish.  Delicious!

canapes

 However you are seeing the New Year in,

 I’d like to wish you all a very

Happy New Year

Linking up this week with:

Emily @ A Mummy Too

 Link up your recipe of the week

Vicki @ Honest Mum

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

and Simply.Food

Foodie Stocking Fillers

I absolutely love receiving foodie inspired gifts at any time of year, but at Christmas there is always such a great selection!  Foodie gifts can span food or food related equipment, here are a few I would be very happy to find in my Christmas stocking!

 

 foodie stocking fillers

1| Fortnum and Mason Tea  2| Combination Bottle Lock – NOTHS  3| Lakeland Flour Dredger  4| Sous Chef Ravioli Stamp  5| Next Ceramic Spoons  6| Anthropologie Measuring Cup  7|  Retro Magnetic Timer – NOTHS  8|  H&M Cake Plate

 

 

Chocolate Beetroot Cake

I have seen Beetroot being used in vegetable cakes and have often wondered what the combination would taste like.  I do like beetroots but in small quantities and not all that often, so the thought of combining into a chocolate cake had me intrigued but I did wonder if the earthy taste of the beetroot would come through into the cake.

I couldn’t have been more wrong, this cake is moist, fudgy and so delicious.  You would never know there are 3 large beetroots baked into it and more importantly the 3 year old won’t know either!

 
beetchoccake1 nd

I used the Beetroot Chocolate cake recipe from Tesco  and instead of using sunflower oil I substituted with the same amount of butter melted in the microwave and used in the same way.   

I did reduce the sugar content from 200g to 120g which I think brings out the taste of the chocolate,  (I used Tesco 74% ) and along with the beetroot it makes an antioxidant rich cake, see chocolate can be good for you!)

The cake was covered in a chocolate ganache, 100g Tesco 74% chocolate and 200 ml double cream.  Bring the cream to a gentle boil then take off the heat and stir in the chocolate and keep stirring until melted and glossy.  This amount was plenty for an 8″ cake with some to spare.  Ganache, of course, is optional, so omit if you want cut down on extra fat and sugar.

chocolate beetroot cake nd1

 

Love this recipe, it is so rich you only need a small piece (half the size of the one in the photo!) for a real chocolate hit, the cake kept really well and even the last slice was still moist a few days later.

chocolatebeetrootcake nd

 
Quick Nutritional Info:
 
Beetroot:  a good source of Vitamin C, Iron and Magnesium, very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.

Higher Nature Kids Supplements Review

I was recently sent a very generous set of Higher Nature Kids Supplements to sample.  Miss ND takes supplements as we all do as a family, she has an extremely good diet, lots of fruit and vegetables, pasta, rice, quinoa, fish and chicken, etc with limited sugar (which is getting less easy to implement as time goes on but she still has a savoury tooth rather than a sweet one…so far anyway!).  I see supplements as a top-up to fill in any blanks in our diets, I used to use a liquid based supplement but her taste buds have matured and she prefers to take something chewable now.  Omega’s are particularly difficult to get into a child, but  Omegas aren’t just found in oily fish, walnuts are a brilliant source too, you can read more about them in my Wonderful Walnuts post, I crush one up into her breakfast most mornings.

higher nature vits nd

 

 Higher Nature’s new Kid range are designed to support children from 3 years and up, the range includes products for all round health, really delicious tastes and some kiddie fun shapes and textures.  There are no artificial colours, flavourings, preservatives or sweeteners in this range either.

Vital Vits – are a delicious, chewable once a day supplement containing 19 essential vitamins and minerals in 3 fruity flavours in fun-shaped characters.  I crush one up into her porridge every morning.

vital-vits-characters

Smart Focus Omega Fish oil – these one a day jelly rounds are full of omega 3 EPA and DHA with omega 6 GLA too, emulsified for easy absorption.  These she absolutely loves and happily munches on one every day now.  They are intensely fruity with no fishy aftertaste and are free from added sugars and artificial sweeteners.  We had something similar from another company which were discontinued so was extremely happy to try these and will definitely be buying for her.

Fruit & Shake – this is like a pepper shaker for children to flavour food such as yoghurt, cereals or desserts with fruit and veg!  It contains powdered apples, tomatoes, blueberries & broccoli sprouts.  Miss ND has plenty of fruit and veg in her diet but this is great to travel with or if you have a fussy eater as she has been in the past, when she reached 2 suddenly everything was on the bleurgh! scale, it did pass but took time and the Fruit & Shake would have been ideal back then to add valuable nutrients into her diet.

Vitamin D3 Spray – there has been a lot in the news lately about Vitamin D deficiency, this handy minty flavoured spray contains 625 iu of the absorbable form of D3 and is a generous 8 month supply.  It has great novelty value for a 3 year old too!

Relax & Unwind – presented in individual sachets, this mild berry flavoured supplement is mixed into hot or cold water until it dissolves, it contains vitamins C, D, Calcium and Magnesium to help youngsters unwind after a busy day.  It also helps to protect their bones during those important early years.  Again no artificial sweeteners.  

The Higher Nature Kids Supplements get the thumbs-up with Miss ND, they are easy to take, very palatable and most importantly for me,  are free from any artificial ingredients.

 

Disclosure:  I was sent Higher Nature Kids vitamins for the purpose of review, all opinions are honest and my own.  We love this range and will be purchasing in the future.

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My New Apple Peeling Slicing Coring Contraption

Peeling all those apples has been a hard slog with just a manual peeler, so off to Google I went to see what labour-saving devices were out there and this is what I found.

applepeelercorer

This piece of equipment peels (in about 30 seconds per apple), slices into a corkscrew shape and cores the apple perfectly!  It has saved me hours of aching hands and time!  It can also be adjusted easily to peel only or to core and slice only if you wish.  The novelty will wear off once I have peeled a couple of hundred apples from our trees but I will bring it out year after year now, it does such a brilliant job.   I bought mine here , wish I’d have got one years ago!

applepeelercorer1

The Great British Bake Off is back!

I’ve enjoyed the Great British Bake Off from the moment it came on our screens and am so pleased it is back for another year this week for its fourth series.  I shall be sitting with a glass of wine in hand and feeling slightly envious but also very sure I could not put myself through such scrutiny.  I love to bake but I am a home baker not a cake decorator, although I have decorated a few in my time, I leave the novelty cake making to those who love it.   But this is part of the attraction of the GBB, the variety of baked products they need to produce and in the allotted time!

cupcake1

I would love a masterclass with Mary Berry or Bezza and they affectionately call her on set, Paul Hollywood too but I think I would be a nervous wreck baking for him!

I read in the paper today that budding bakers are stocking up with home-baking kit in anticipation of the return of the Great British Bake Off, everything from flour to baking tins are flying off the shelves!  

So, lovers of  the Great British Bake Off, see you on the sofa on Tuesday.

 

 

 

Pure Fruit Lollies

Pure Fruit Lollies – with the fabulous, but blisteringly hot weather lately and more promised, we’ve been eating lots of cooling foods and probably way too many clotted cream ice-creams at the beach.  There is something about the beach and ice-cream that is hard to resist!

kiwiraspmelonndCollage 

Method:

Making lollies is so very easy, no added extras just soft fruit (a great way to use up soft and squishy raspberries) in a blender (or mashed with a fork) as fine or chunky as you like, then popped into lolly moulds and frozen.  I used the Annabel Karmel mini ice lolly set, ideal for small hands to hold. You can sieve any fruits with pips for babies and add water to the fruit puree for a softer lolly,  we like them without as they don’t melt as fast, but you could also juice harder fruits and add instead of water, the combinations are endless!

fruitylolliesnd

These pure fruit lollies an excellent way of getting fresh fruit into a small child without them getting wise to the fact that it’s good for them and they taste delicious and fresh too.

 

Welcome to my New Blog Home!

I’ve moved the blog over from Blogger to WordPress.org, I say I, but it was seamlessly moved and improved by Liz from Violet Posy and Jo from Geek Fairy – thank you ladies, especially Liz who has the patience of many saints!

My fabulous new header was custom designed by a good friend Penny whom I met when we had our last babies, the header is a fusion of some of the things I will be covering on the blog with the “help” of my toddler daughter.  Check out Penny’s amazing artistic talents at mad-margaret.deviantart.com

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