Posted in Food, Health & Wellbeing, Recipes

Dinner All Wrapped Up

Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay

Lately my family have gone off meat finding pork bland, lamb fatty and steak tough. So I decided to turn to the ocean for meal inspiration. As a child the humble fishfinger was the extent of my fish eating. Now I love fish, influenced by the abundance of variety available in Mediterranean fish markets.

Image by Mark Williams from Pixabay

Fish has a range of health benefits. We should be eating at least two portions a week including oily fish. White fish are extremely low in fat. Oily fish are a good source of vitamin D which aid the bodies absorption of calcium, and enhances the immune system. It is also rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers. Consumption of oily fish also improves vision and memory. Pregnant and breast feeding women should include a portion a week of oily fish, because it helps the development of babies nervous system. However no more than two portions a week are recommended, because they contain low levels of pollutants called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins, which build up in the body and can affect foetal development. Dioxins are toxic. Humans exposure occurs through animal products, including fish. Extreme exposure can cause skin lesions and damage to the immune system. Most fish contain traces of mercury so consumption should be limited.

Image by LUM3N from Pixabay

Fish in Foil

Preheat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Peel and thinly slice 1 red onion. Deseed 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green bell pepper and chop into quarters. Peel and crush 4 cloves of garlic. Grate a 1cm piece of ginger. Share the vegetables and ginger between 4 sheets of foil and top with a fish fillet of choice. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and fold into parcels. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Alternatively these fish parcels are great cooked on a barbecue or open fire.

Image by Karsten Bergmann from Pixabay

Posted in Food, Recipes

Nuts About Bananas

Image by Bruno /Germany from PixabaA

A bunch of bananas were sitting in my fruit bowl turning ripe and brown. My new years resolution was to have less food waste. I normally would give them to my mum who happily eats them turning black and syrupy, but lockdown makes that impossible. Banana bread it is then.

Bananas are associated with a number of health benefits. One of the most prominent is blood pressure. They are a good source of potassium which helps maintain blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular strain. Combined with their fibre, folate and antioxidant properties bananas are a great food source for all round heart health. A high fibre diet can help lower blood sugar, which may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Bananas are linked to preventing certain types of cancer. A carbohydrate binding protein called lectin occurs in bananas. They act as an antioxidant, helping to remove free radical molecules from the body. Cell damage can occur with a build up of these molecules. This cell damage can lead to cancer cells developing, in particular leukemia. Their vitamin C content may also play a role in this. Finally bananas are considered beneficial to good digestive health because of their high fibre content.

NutrientAmount in One Medium BananaApproximate Daily Adult Intake
Energy Calories1051,800 – 3,000
Carbohydrate (g)27 (14.4 are sugars)130
Fibre (g)3.125.2 – 33.6
Protein (g)1.346 – 56
Potassium (mg)4224,700
Magnesium (mg)31.9320 – 420
Phosphorus (mg)26700
Choline (mg)11.6425 – 550
Vitamin C (mg)10.375 – 90
Beta Carotene (mcg)30.7No Data
Alpha Carotene (mcg)29.5No Data
Selenium (mcg)1.955
Folate (mcg DFE)23.6400
Nutrition in a medium sized banana

Low Fat Banana and Walnut Loaf

Ingredients

  • 250g Plain All Purpose Flour
  • 55g Butter
  • 30g Fat Free Yoghurt
  • 110g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Medium Ripe Bananas
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/356°F/Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease a 900g loaf tin and line with parchment paper.

Beat the butter, sugar and yoghurt in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy and pale in colour. Mash the bananas with a fork and crush the walnuts in a food processor, or using a pestle and mortar. Add eggs and banana to the butter mix and stir until combined. Fold in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and walnuts.

Pour the mix into the prepared loaf tin and bake in the oven for 60-65 minutes. Use a skewer to check if loaf baked. To avoid burning crust, cover loosely with parchment paper for first 40 minutes of cooking.