My recent holidays in Spain inspired me for croquettes. The tapas variations in Spain are endless, and the croquette is the most common one. Traditionally croquettes are made with potatoes. There are regions in Spain that use paella for croquettes.
My new croquette recipe uses celeriac that is sometimes called “root of celery”. This vegetable is rich with vitamins and minerals, and it is twice less calories than potato.
Another ingredient that is a vital part of the traditional croquette recipe is the bread crumbs to keep the shape and make a crust. I am replacing bread crumbs with fine oatmeal. Also, I am using an ingredient that will help me to make a perfect croquette shape, see below 🙂
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.
5 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 cup teff flour
Beautiful apricots are now ripe and sweet across Australia. This simple delicious addition to your cheese board is full of Christmas spirit. This paste is prepared with raw apricots and takes only 10 minutes.
500g apricots, ripe and sweet
1/8 cup semisweet or sweet white wine
1g agar (European, fine quality)
* Fine mesh sifter drum, silicone spatula, 170ml wide jar.
If along with vitamin and mineral content, phytochemical content is also taken into consideration, food can be ranked, and the food that contains the most nutrients per calorie are ranked the highest. Phytochemicals are plant substances that have beneficial health effects. Cauliflower would be in the top 20 foods in regards to this score. This concept was created by Dr.Fuhrman.
Cauliflower contains natural sulforaphane that has been of increasing interest for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries due to its anti-cancer effect. The highest amount of sulforaphane is found in cauliflower seedlings. (Food Chemistry, Volume 104, Issue 4, 2007, Pages 1761-1764, ‘HPLC Screening of anti-cancer sulforaphane from important European Brassica species.’)
The cauliflower is used raw in the below recipe, as it is more beneficial for health when it is fresh. But you can easily increase the heating time in step 5 to make the ‘rice’ softer.
Calamari Cauliflower Risotto
During the last few decades no fat was welcomed in our kitchens. Now we are coming back to a good fat. And chefs say the duck fat is one of the must-have ingredients.
The duck fat is considered to be a good fat. The content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is high and the content of saturated fat is very low. According to Google, the duck fat has only 10% of saturated fat. Compare that to the natural butter, which has 51% of saturated fat.
This is very fortunate because duck fat tastes great too. The traditional duck confit is not a French duck confit without a duck fat.
Cooking the whole duck is easy but the eating is simply unattractive. I had been buying only legs or fillets until one chef shared a secret for the consumption of the whole duck. I used his idea in my recipe below. Enjoy, this is a very special risotto that has an unforgettable taste.
All chocolate lovers probably felt even happier when cacao was declared a super food. However, a chocolate and raw cacao are very different. The process of producing cacao powder involves cold-pressing raw cocoa beans to remove cacao butter before turning the product into cacao powder.
So, how harmful is a high temperature for the health benefits of cacao? It was found by multiple researchers that the critical temperature for cacao is 130C. Temperatures above 130C reduce the cacao’s antioxidant activity, however temperatures above 170C significantly change the product.
I came across one study that investigated insulin secretion qualities of cacao under various pH (3.5 and 5.2). In that research, fat, alkaloid and polyphenol (which act as antioxidants) were removed from cocoa beans before the material was used for these experiments. The cocoa under 3.5 caused the highest insulin secretion, but both types decreased blood glucose. The research paper concludes ‘It can be suggested that besides other compounds of cocoa, its peptides and amino acids could contribute to its health benefits.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 134, Issue 2, 15 September 2012, Pages 905-911 )
Cocoa contains about 60% of dietary fibre, most of it is insoluble fibre. This is why raw cacao as a low calorie and high-fibre food with exceptional anti-oxidants qualities is an amazing product.
Of course you could sprinkle cacao over your porridge, add some to your chia puddings, add into your coffee instead of adding a chocolate syrup…
I worked very hard on this chocolate cheese cake, but finally I am very happy with the result and can’t wait to publish my recipe!
Cheese for Teeth
There is a lot of advice we can follow to maintain our baby’s health. One of the important things we can do for our children’s health is to provide special care for their teeth. Some of you might be surprised to hear that baby teeth first start to develop while the baby is in the womb. At birth, the baby has a full set of 20 teeth hidden within the gums. This is why it is crucial for the mum to consume enough calcium during her pregnancy. This is maybe even just to protect herself: the human body is amazing, the baby in the womb consumes calcium from the mum’s body. Amongst all diary products, cottage cheese is the best for calcium intake. Continue reading