Breakfast Cookies

I created Teff cookies and I found them magical. First, one cookie keeps you going for a few hours and also, they are great for weight management.

Besides Teff’s high-fibre and high-protein qualities, which were mentioned in the previous posts for Teff recipes, this super grain also contains vitamins K, B1, B2, B3, B6 and C, which is unique for a grain. Combination of minerals is also admirable, just a few to mention: copper, zinc, magnesium, iron (which is easily absorbed), and what is the most attractive for me is high amounts of calcium. If your body, like mine, doesn’t agree with dairy products, Teff is a very good option for calcium consumption. This array of vitamins and minerals found in Teff makes it a healthy, weight-managing and bone-strengthening food.

There is also a nut butter ingredient in my recipe. My choice is a cashew nut butter, which I love using for my desserts. However, a similar result can be achieved by using peanut butter. Peanuts have more protein than any of the other nuts. Also, peanuts champion the other nuts with plant Sterols, which can help lower bad cholesterol in your body and reduce the risk of heart disease. Cashews have the lowest fat content (the same as pistachios), although peanuts aren’t far behind.

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Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients:

1.5 cups Teff flour
1/4 cup Rice Malt syrup
1/4 cup Maple syrup
1/3 cup sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Cashew nut butter
1/4 cup macadamia pieces

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175C. Keep all the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Mix all the ingredients except Teff flour in the bowl using just a tablespoon until consistent.
3. Add Teff flour to the mixture and using your hands mix and form a baton.
4. Place baking paper on the large tray and roll the dough baton with your palms to make it 5 cm in diameter.
5. Cut in half, then each half into two, and again until you get 16 pieces. Form a cookie smoothing the edges of the each piece and layout on the tray. Bake for 12 minutes.

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Hawthorn Tea Recipe

Hawthorn (Greek Crataegus) is a beautiful plant that grows in all continents now. The leaves, flowers and berries have health benefits and they are used to produce medicine for heart diseases.

The British Homeopathic Review revealed of Dr. Green (Ireland):
“… For many years had a reputation for the cure of heart disease that caused patients to flock to him from all parts of the United Kingdom. He cured the most of them and amassed considerable wealth by means of his secret. 

For, contrary to the code, he, though a physician in good standing, refused to reveal the remedy to his professional brethren. After his death … (in 1894), his daughter, a Mrs. Graham, revealed the name of the remedy her father had used so successfully. It is Crataegus oxycanthus …”

The health qualities of Hawthorn are still being researched:
‘This study was to investigate the anticancer effects of the peel polyphenolic extract (HPP) and flesh polyphenolic extract (HFP) from hawthorn fruit in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. It was found that the polyphenol and flavonoid contents of HPP were significant higher than that of HFP. Both HPP and HFP inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner with …, suggesting that HPP was more effective against MCF-7 cells than HFP. … All these findings indicate that hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is an excellent source of natural chemopreventive agents in the treatment of breast cancer.” (Food Chemistry, Volume 141, Issue 2, 15 November 2013, Pages 1008-1018)

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Hawthorn tree, Daylesford

In autumn (April for Australia) the berries can be picked and dried. Alternatively, the flesh of berries can be preserved with the inner pips removed. The berries are best brewed in a teapot fresh or dried.

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Hawthorn Berries

To make hawthorn berry tea take one tablespoon of fresh berries for one cup of tea, crush them between two spoons and cover with boiling water in a pot. Fresh berries will brew in 10 minutes. Dried berries need to be boiled first and simmered for about 20 minutes.

This tea is only for leisure, if you need to use Hawthorn as medicine please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Pumpkin Bread Recipe

In addition to being healthy, pumpkin also contains another healthy ingredient, that is pepitas, or pumpkin seeds. Pepitas are very rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They are also high in protein content, about 20%. Unfortunately, like many other nuts and seeds, pepitas contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, or phytate, that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These anti-nutrients bind to minerals, especially zinc and iron, and the minerals cannot be absorbed.

I found a study that was specifically designed to research this factor in pumpkin seeds. It concluded, ‘The subsequent digestion under intestinal conditions showed that Zn becomes less accessible, indicating that antinutrients like naturally present phytate may be responsible for complex formation in the small intestines, thus reducing the potential for Zn bioavailability.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 128, Issue 4, 15 October 2011, Pages 839-846)

So, if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them, that is what doctors advise. Unfortunately, ‘the soaking of whole seeds for 24 h can lead to leaching of iron and, to a lesser extent, of zinc ions into the soaking medium.’ The same applies to all legumes and grains. The good news, it was also proved that fermentation can completely hydrolyze the phytic acid. (Food Chemistry, Volume 138, Issue 1, 1 May 2013, Pages 430-436) And by the way, the heating also causes phytic acid reduction.

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Pumpkin Bread

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Avocado Breakfast Recipe

Avocados

Avocado is an amazing fruit. It’s been very popular amongst healthy eaters for years now. No wonder why we have this sudden wave of avocado popularity. Any cafe you come in for a breakfast will have an avocado dish, I could say it is basic now.

Avocados are very healthy. Mostly for two important things: antioxidants and phytosterols. Phytosterols are plant cholesterols, they compete with cholesterol and get absorbed in our body. So, eating more avocados will protect your heart and brain.

If you wonder why the avocados are sometimes stone-hard on the shelfs of the retail shops, the following could be an answer for you. There is an effect of harvest date on the nutritional compounds and antioxidant activity in avocado. You can ripen avocados at +25C for the best effect of the fruit’s health benefits. Antioxidant activity in avocados harvested earlier then stored at cold temperatures was much higher than in the later harvested fruit according to this research. It was concluded, ‘Therefore, avocado can be harvested earlier for economic benefits according to the market and can keep high nutritional value for human health benefits.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 2, 15 November 2012, Pages 694-698)

According to another scientific research, avocado oil is richer than olive oil in total phytosterols, although olive oil has higher in vitamin E and retains it for longer during the heating (180 °C). (Food Chemistry, Volume 132, Issue 1, 1 May 2012, Pages 439-446)

Another interesting fact, ‘For all varieties, seeds contained the highest antioxidant capacities, phenolic content, and procyanidins, whereas the pulp had the lowest.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 122, Issue 4, 15 October 2010, Pages 1193-1198)

I am very curious now, about the avocado seeds 🙂

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Avocado Breakfast

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Zucchini Patties Recipe

Zucchini

Did you know that zucchini is a fruit?

In addition to the inelegance of this fruit, a green zucchini looks very similar to a cucumber. Nutritional values of both are similar too, a zucchini is a little higher in calories and protein, whereas a cucumber is higher in its fibre content. The vitamin and mineral content is significantly higher in zucchinis.

You can eat zucchinis raw or cooked. Steaming or stir-frying them are the most common methods of cooking. Below, I am suggesting my zucchini patties recipe that I have been improving for the last 8 years. My latest modification was to remove the dairy component. Please enjoy, they are so simple to make but they are delicious and always surprise new tasters.

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Zucchini Patties

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Teff Polenta Recipe

In Tzatziki and Teff Crackers post we discussed the health benefits of teff. This recipe will be loved by those who enjoy corn polenta but wish it had less carbs and more protein. Adding olives and cheese is just my improvisation that adds more flavours, you can also experiment with herbs and seeds. This polenta is best to accompany any  dish with a sauce. Alternatively, polenta slices can be toasted and served with a soup.

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Teff Polenta

Ingredients:

5 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 cup teff flour
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Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Blueberries

In Australia, Blueberries are my favourite berries. Every year I organise Blueberry picking trip to one of the local organic blueberry farms.

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Magic Tablecloth. My daughter and a friend are picking blueberries in December 2015.

The blueberries can be stored fresh very well at low temperatures for up to 1 month. They don’t just stay fresh but they also retain all their qualities that provide health benefits. There is research just on that, and ‘The results suggested that sufficient available energy status and a stable enzymatic system in blueberries collectively contribute to improve chilling tolerance, thereby alleviating pitting and maintaining quality of blueberry fruit in long-term cold storage.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 164, 1 December 2014, Pages 493-501). 

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