Cloudy Spinach Soup

Spinach is very versatile and it is easy to incorporate spinach into a diet. That is great because spinach has so many health benefits. Vitamin C, or ascorbate, is chemically the simplest vitamin. Unlike humans, plants can synthesise ascorbate, accumulating it up to 10% of the total water-soluble ‘carbohydrates’, according to research findings. The washing process of pre-packaged spinach, which uses circulating water with chlorine-based sanitiser, “can be a potential source of ascorbate loss and younger plant tissues often have higher ascorbate concentrations than older ones, e.g. in spinach.” (Food Chemistry 233 (2017) 237–246) So, if you are buying spinach for a salad, try the baby spinach that is sold unpacked and wash it yourself.
The following is very interesting too:
“Dark green leafy vegetables are primary food sources for lutein and b-carotene, however these bioactives have low bioavailability… Lutein liberation and in vitro accessibility were three-fold higher from spinach puree compared to whole leaves. Results for b-carotene liberation were similar, whereas that of b-carotene accessibility was only about two-fold.” (Food Chemistry 224 (2017) 407–413) This is good to know, well supports my recipe for Tabouleh. They call lutein ‘eye vitamin’.

Spinach can be added to many savoury dishes, raw or cooked. I prefer cooked spinach in winter and raw in summer. We are in the middle of the winter right now in Australia. And, here I am again with a new soup recipe. Please enjoy!

Cloudy Spinach Soup

Ingredients:

2 cup vegetable stock
2 cup filtered water
250g diced turnip
150g leek white, thinly sliced
300g fresh baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small bunch of dill
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 eggs
*for vegan version replace eggs with 1/3 cup of almond milk

Method:

1. Cook diced turnip and leek in the vegetable stock and water mix until ready.
2. In the meantime, wash dill thoroughly and chop up. Put aside.
3. Beat the eggs until consistent and creamy. Put aside.
4. When leek and turnip are cooked, add seasoning, spinach leaves, dill and garlic.
5. As the soup starts boiling, immediately add beaten eggs in a thin running stream and rotate the soup with a ladder in one direction. Add lemon juice and switch off the heat.

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Millet bread

Millet is an ancient grain that is gluten free and has less starch than wheat and rice. Millet has a high anti-oxidant activity and it contains multiple vitamins and minerals, also contains higher levels of protein.

In eastern Europe, they make porridge from millet, in central and west Asia they fry the grain and use them in the tea or consume as a cereal.

My great-grandmother used to make a millet bread for my mother when she was a child during the hungry post-war years. She remembers that bread as one of the most delicious treats of her childhood. So I decided to make a millet bread of my own and share with you.

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Millet Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup warm milk (cow, goat, almond, cashew, soya, any)
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoon honey
1 cup millet flour or 3/4 cup dry yellow millet
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon Bi-Carb soda
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Optional:
1/2 cup dry currants
* a silicone bread form
* an electric coffee grinder

Method:

1. Turn oven on to 180C.
2. Grind about 3/4 cup of yellow millet to make 1 cup of flour and sift. Repeat with larger particles.
3. Oil-spray the form, put it on the baking tray. Mix all the ingredients and pour the bread mixture into the form.
4. Keep the form at the room temperature until the oven os hot or for 15-20 minutes.
5. Mix the dough with a spoon thoroughly, and bake first for 20 minutes with fan on, then for 30 minutes with no fan at 160C.

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Cherrie Clafoutis

I agree, cherries are superfood, especially Morello cherries. They are also called sour cherries, and in US they are tart cherries.

Lately, I hear that Morello cherries contain melatonin. This is a very unique quality, as melatonin hormone is naturally produced in the body but many suffer from a low levels of it and, hence, lack of sleep. Then synthetic melatonin is used for adjusting the body’s internal clock for changing time zones or insomnia. Sour cherry is a natural source for melatonin, however they are very seasonal. So, I found that they are excellent berries for freezing.

Other outstanding qualities of cherries are powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and cyanidin. Scientific experiments demonstrated that Morello cherry diet inhibited tumor development, and the ‘results suggest that tart cherry anthocyanins and cyanidin may reduce the risk of colon cancer.’

This Clafoutis recipe below does not contain cane sugar and dairy proteins. For my family, it is a perfect dish for brunch celebrations.

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Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients:

350g Morello cherries
2 eggs
100g Rice Malt Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
270ml light coconut cream
1 tablespoon ghee
2/3 cup white rice flour, fine

* 18cm silicone baking dish

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 185C.
2. Place cherries in the saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water, cover and cook on a very low heat for 15 minutes.
3. Using an electric mixer beat eggs until smooth and light. Add all the ingredients gradually and continue to mix until well combined.
4. Place cherries on the bottom of the form evenly and pour batter over the cooked cherries.
5. Bake at 180C for 25 mins with fan on, or at 200C for 30 minutes with no fan. Serve warm.

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Fructose Free Chocolate Cake

Fructose is contained in most sweeteners that are used in traditional desserts. Refined sugar, honey, maple syrup – all contain fructose. Fortunately, it is recognised now that sugar is the main source of fat that build up in the human body. Spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels may also cause dysfunctions of organs.

Since I discovered Brown Rice Malt Syrup, I have been really enjoying it in my recipes. Rice malt syrup is fructose free, it is made from 100% brown rice. Australian brands make organic Brown Rice Malt Syrup that reduces arsenic to hardly detectable levels. This is good information to be researched for those who consume rice regularly.

The malt syrup is made through fermenting rice to break down the starches and then transforming it into syrup through cooking. The syrup contains soluble complex carbohydrates, maltose and glucose. Rice Malt Syrup is a lower GI product in comparison to fructose and it takes more than an hour to digest.

So, here you are, for milk, fructose and gluten intolerances I have a chocolate dessert for you!

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Fructose Free Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

270ml coconut cream
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Marinated Zucchini Salad

Courgette (Zucchini) is a simple and affordable fruit that is harvested immature. Some information about zucchini was collected in the other post for Zucchini Patties recipe. Young zucchini have a subtle taste and they are perfect for being used raw in salads. If you like cucumbers try to substitute them with young zucchini and you will increase your vitamin intake. Below recipe uses uncooked zucchini but not completely raw!

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Marinated Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

 5 small zucchini
100g soft goat cheese

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Sesame Tuna

This is a very simple and easy way to enjoy a fresh, high quality piece of tuna. I find, it is a perfect entrée meal to share or a snack for two on the weekend.

I was served a similar dish in one of the Melbourne’s restaurants years ago and since, I have been using this idea to experiment with different coatings and sauces. This method is so versatile. So, next time you see a beautiful piece of tuna in the shop, get it and have a try.

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Sesame Tuna

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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
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