Today's little clutch of worth knowing about (or not, in my opinion) is that eating a banana while it is under ripe is better for us than when it the skin is nicely yellow.
We shouldn't mash our potatoes as this increases the amount of sugar that is released. Eating an apple whole releases less sugar into the blood than apple puree, and apple puree releases less sugar than apple juice.
Basically, the cause is that the more a starch-containing food is treated or processed, the more easily it is digested. The more easily any food is digested (it seems) the more sugar is released. Diabetics take note.
An interesting piece for vegetarians (who may know this already) is those who eat tofu and bean curd as a (total) substitute for meat put themselves at risk of mineral deficiencies because these products made from soy beans have are high in phytic acid, a substance that can block absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and esp. zinc.
The Japanese are aware of this so avoid the problem by eating tofu alongside soy bean products such as miso and matto that have been fermented with strains of bacillus subtilis that lowers the above acid contend of these foods.
A possible bit of useful info for vegetarians (and something I didn't know) is that many eat processed protein from vegetarian sausages, burgers and other textured protein foods. Apparently any processed foods labelled as containing vegetable oil will invariably contain partially hydrogenated fats - and traces of transfats - to be avoided as studies have shown these increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Then there comes a piece about carbohydrates, and also fats, the latter being better for us they say, but not when combined with carbos. So that means bread and butter is now a no-no. Have to agree with that as the only way I can lose weight is by cutting out carbos almost altogether. It doesn't seem to affect me if I eat fatty foods, my cholesterol doesn't rise. But don't all dash to copy me, we are all different.
Last words were 'the human digestive system has evolved to efficiently and rapidly extract every available calorie from diets that, in caveman times, were often poor in nutrients. Our digestions cannot work so quickly with nutritious protein and fat, and eating these slows down the feeling of hunger because the food remains in the stomach for longer as it is much more slowly digested.' So that's why I can eat 4 hardboiled eggs for breakfast and after that never want to eat anything else during the day (or evening).
Do we wish to know any of the above? A little knowledge is a dangerous thing they say, but maybe some is better than none. Certainly I have discovered that a diet high in protein suits my particular body, cutting out carbos normally results in a lost of 1lb a DAY! (but then I have a lot to lose). Yet, if I fall by the wayside and eat just a small piece of bread (or sample a just-baked biscuit), then the scales could show a 1lb GAIN the next day (as proved by the 5lb gain during the two days of 'partying' last week when I ate rice and celebration cake. Since then I've been good and have lost the 5lbs gained plus 4lbs more).
We have a comment sent from Ollie, a new name to this page, so very welcome. Ollie is wanting ideas on how to use avocado so hope readers can send in suggestions as my normal way is to serve it sliced/diced in salads, certainly with Prawn Cocktail, and included with salads when serving chilli con carne. Many years ago I used to mash ripe avocado, sweeten it with icing sugar, and use it to make a 'mousse' in the same way we would used any other mashed fruit.
If I find any recipes close to hand will publish them at the end of this blog.
Your mention of Spam jane has made me crave it again. I've never tried it fried, although my friend Gill prefers it that way. I just eat it sliced in sarnies (when I used to eat bread), and now would probably eat it cubed and mixed in with a salad. My salads now always consist of 'things chopped' such as iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, baby courgettes, bell peppers, beetroot, radishes, shallots or pickled onions (and sometimes avocado and/or banana). Not all together you understand, but several at any one time. I just chop/grate what I have, adding diced corned beef (or Spam), or flaked canned tuna. If not including any meat/fish, then I toss in grated cheese once I've dressed the salad (the cheese then sticks to everything so each bite is full of flavour). Occasionally I add a hard-boiled egg (or two), and sometimes a couple (or so) rashers of fried streaky bacon.
Am always interested in hearing news from other countries, and when Anna tells us she lives in France but works in Switzerland am wondering if that part of Switzerland speaks French, and now that Europe has the euro and opens some if its borders, can people just drive from one country to another without showing passports?
We had our dripping cistern mended, and as I bet it had been dripping since it was fitted, no doubt that was what doubled our water bill.. What fun for the mayor to call at the house to let Anna know she had the same problem.
As can be seen, my blog is being written late in the day (it is now just after midnight as I write), due to me being at the spiritualist meeting this afternoon. We discussed quite a few things, and am beginning to think that becoming a medium is not the route I should be following. I mentioned that I'd had very good results when reading a crystal ball, and wondered if it would be better if I continued with that rather than try to be something I'm not. They agreed this might work, each has their own method of 'contacting', so maybe I'll give it a go again. Trouble is I gave my crystal ball away many years ago and can't really say "please can I have my ball back", but apparently we can get the same effect if we use a glass bowl full of water. I'll have to try that.
When B collected me, as it was such a lovely sunny (and very hot) day again, he decided to drive to Sunderland Point before we returned home. Fortunately the very high tide had receded, so the causeway was clear, but still very wet. As the car windows were open, for the first time since we came to Morecambe I had a real smell of the sea. B said it was the mud surrounding the causeway, but to me it smelt like seaweed. My dad always called this smell 'ozone'.
On our return we drove back along the front where there was another strong smell, this time fish and chips from the cafes on the prom serving to people eating outdoors. Somehow the scent of fish and chips is exactly right for a seaside resort. Made me feel really hungry for some. However, B had to slum it and eat duck confit, served with braised fennel and bell peppers, and butter-fried gnocchi. I had my usual salad.
It's horrid being on my sort of diet. The smell of fish and chips can be tormenting enough to make me break my resolve (and gain 3lbs in a matter of hours). Thank goodness I was a passenger in the car and not driving, as all I had to do was grit my teeth and try not to breathe until we had passed those lucky people munching away.
Before I go, here are a few recipes that uses avocado. Slightly different than guacamole.
Hummus and Avocado: serves 2
1 small red onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
handful of pitted olives
squeeze of lemon juice
olive oil (for drizzling)
salt and pepper
1 ripe avocado
2 tblsp hummus
Mix the onion, tomatoes, olives and lemon juice together. Drizzle with oil and season to taste.
Halve and stone the avocado, and fill the hollow with the hummus. Set in the centre of a shallow dish and surround with the tomato salad, drizzle a little more oil over and serve with toasted bread.
Souffled Avocado Omelette: serves 4
3 eggs, separated
1 tblsp milk
2 tblsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp black olive tapenade
1 small avocado, halved, flesh sliced
juice of 1 lemon
tomato salad (opt)
Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the milk and parsley and beat together, add seasoning to taste. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Add a quarter of the whites to the yolks and gently blend together, then fold in the remaining whites.
Heat the oil in an 8" (20cm) omelette pan, then add the egg mixture and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until lightly set underneath. Place under a pre-heated grill for 1 - 2 minutes to cook the top.
Spoon the tapenade over one half of the omelette, top with the avocado and spoon over the lemon juice. Fold over the other half of the omelette and slide onto a plate. Serve with a tomato salad (opt).
Spicy Bean and Avocado Tostados: serves 4
4 flour tortillas
1 x 400g can refried beans
half tsp cayenne pepper
1 x 200g can red kidney beans, drained
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 oz (50g) cheddar cheese, grated
1 green chilli, finely sliced
1 avocado, halved, flesh sliced
coriander leaves for garnish
Put the tortillas onto a baking sheet and grill for 2 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together the refried beans, cayenne, red beans and the tomatoes, then divide half the mix between the tortillas. Scatter half the cheese and half the chilli over the top, then pop under the grill again until the cheese melts.
Grill the remaining tortillas and repeat the method using the rest of the ingredients, then lift onto plates and serve with the avocado and coriander on top.
Salami, Bean and Avocado Salad: serves 4
5 oz (150g) button mushrooms, sliced
8 radishes, sliced
half small red onion, thinly sliced
1 x 400g can haricot or cannellini beans, drained
4 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
1 avocado, cutting flesh into chunks
90g pack salami, each slice cut into eighths
Mix together the mushrooms, radishes, onion, and beans. In another bowl mix the oil, vinegar and garlic, adding seasoning to taste.
Stir the avocado chunks and salami into the bean mixture, then fold in the dressing. Serve immediately.
As I'm now preferring to write my blog in the afternoons rather than late evenings, this could mean you get two published today (Wednesday), the first supposed to be the Tuesday blog. On the other hand I may write it later. Just check you make sure you haven't missed a previous one.
Off to the surgery tomorrow for my blood test (results the following week) then back home to get on with whatever needs to be done. This morning found time to make three lots of Fork Biscuits (chocolate, orange, and ginger). Made each flavour a different shape. Three dozen in all. Took two of each (in one bag) to put on the raffle table at the church (my 'winning choice' was sticks of rhubarb AND some lavender scented talcum powder). Think B has eaten all the rest of the biccies. He said they are very 'moreish'.
Believe we are in for another humid night, and possibly some rain tomorrow. But they said that yesterday and although it was warm during the night (12C) we had a lovely sunny day with just a few fluffy white clouds, the visibility across the Bay was stunning - range after range of Lakeland hills in full view. Must take a photo of it now I have my new camera so you can see what it looks like.
Enough chat for today. Hope you will find time to join me tomorrow. See you then.