Healthy Hummus (sesame free)

We’ve got a great recipe here for a healthy, homemade hummus – sesame free for those that are allergic or work in allergen sensitive settings…

Ingredients:

  • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100ml water
  • 10 cumin seeds, crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process for two mins or until smooth and creamy. Half way through, use a spatula to push pieces off the edge of the processor.

Serve and enjoy with some fresh vegetable dippers as a super healthy snack…

Fats: Friend or Foe?

Fats, Facts & The British Diet 
–> First:
ignore the horror stories, you need fat in your diet!!!
However, it is not as simple as that…We require specific types of fats and in lower amounts than most of us consume…below are some useful facts:

– Fat = 9kcal/Gram whereas Carbs & Protein = 4kcal/g, Fat is energy dense!!
– Saturated & Trans Fats have no health benefits & contribute to high levels of bad cholesterol
– Excessive fat intake is linked to: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, strokes & cancers
– UK average = 12.7% of our energy comes from saturated fat which is 1.7% higher than recommended & 35% of our total energy consumed is from Fats
– UK average is close to its recommendation for Omega 6 but far from it’s Omega 3 needs

Why We Need (some) Fats 
Fats provide us with essential fatty acids which the body cannot produce itself. These are needed to support a variety of functions:
– absorb fat soluble vitamins: A, D & E
– support healthy cholesterol balance
– sources of Omega 3&6 needed to support: brain function, blood pressure regulation & many more
– a source of energy

Types of Fat
It is important to distinguish between the types of fat as there is a considerable difference in requirements and the effect on our health.

Unsaturated
Commonly referred to as good fats, unsaturated fats provide us with all of the essential fatty acids required to perform vital bodily functions. These can be further broken down into 2 categories:

Monounsaturated:

  • found in: Olives, Olive Oil & Spreads, Avocados, Almonds, Peanuts & Brazil Nuts
  • Helps to maintain HDL (good cholesterol) & reduce LDL (bad Cholseterol) by taking it to the liver to be disposed of

Polyunsaturated:

  • 2 types: omega 3 & omega 6
  • Omega 3 Sources: oily fish
  • Omega 6 Sources: rapeseed, corn, sunflower, some nuts
  • Lowers both good (HDL) & bad (LDL) cholesterol

Saturated Fats:
Commonly referred to as ‘Bad Fats’, they offer no health benefits and can contribute to high cholesterol and a range of health risks.

Sources of Unsaturated Fat:
– Cake, Pastry, Biscuits & Chocolate
– Processed Meat eg. burgers & sausages
– Butter, Cheese, Ghee, Suet, Palm Oil & Lard
– Fatty Meats

Trans Fats:
These are also considered as bad, like Saturated Fat they increase Bad Cholesterol in the body, provide high amounts of calories but no health benefits.
– Found naturally in low levels in some foods
– Also formed from processing vegetable oils from liquids to solids, known as hydrogenation. These are commonly used in processed foods: cakes, biscuits, pastries & Margarine

Tips To Take Away:
– Reduce Saturated & Trans Fat intake, aim for majority of your fats to be unsaturated
– Consume 2-3 portions of Oily Fish/Week (omega 3)
– Grill Meet allowing fat to drain away
– Cook in Rapeseed Oil (minimum amount)
– Engage in regular pulse raising exercise
– Read the labels before you buy

References:
McArdle, W., Katch, F., & Katch, V. (2010) Exercise Physiology, 7th Edition:  Nutrition, Energy & Human Performance. Lipincott, Williams & Wilkins. Baltimore
https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/fat.html?limit=1
https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Fat.aspx

Miso Soup Recipe

This Miso soup tastes great and takes no time at all to make…its full of veg & flavour

Serves: 2
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken breasts (skinless)

  • 45g miso paste

  • 160g Stir fry veg pack (bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, red onion)

  • 700ml hot chicken stock

  • Spring onions

  • small piece of ginger

  • Rice noodles x2 nests

  • ½ table spoon fish sauce

  • one garlic clove, crushed

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Slice the spring onions and chicken into very thin strips ~5mm wide.

  2. Fry the spring onions for 2 mins in a drop of hot oil. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for another min.

  3. Stir the Miso paste into the onions and garlic. Add the stir fry vegetables and stir so the vegetables are covered by miso paste. Fry for 2 mins or until the vegetables have cooked down slightly.

  4. Add in the stock and heat until it starts to simmer

  5. At the same time, add chicken to the soup and add the noodles into the boiling water. The chicken is sliced so thin that it cooks in just a few mins. Add the fish sauce.

  6. Once your chicken is white, check it is cooked through.

  7. Once the chicken is cooked, drain the noodles and stir into the sauce.

Serve & Enjoy…