Spiced Walnut Butter

 

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If your anything like me, walnuts haven’t rated too highly on my ‘nut list’ either. But did you know that walnuts have the highest amount of omega 3- fatty acid of any nut? In other words it’s the all round hair, skin and nail food. Now does it sound a bit more appealing? Ok well I tried.

I still believe the walnut has the right to be released from the prison of banana breads and festive nut trail mixes; it has a hugely bold even bitter flavour, I agree, but when combined with sweet cinnamon and nutmeg, it seems to mellow down to a smooth pecan like taste. I say make the most of that trail mix and create the most irresistible butter you would have ever tasted. I’ve been enjoying it all week and feeling good!

This recipe can keep for up to 2 weeks if stored in an air tight glass jar in the fridge. This recipe makes just over a cup of walnut butter. Enjoy!

 

Spiced Walnut Butter

Ingredients

3 cups of raw walnuts
pinch of salt
40 mls Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2-3 tsp liquid coconut oil

Method

Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (350F). Place the walnuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Watch them carefully as you don’t want them to go brown. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, place the other ingredients and add the walnuts. Blend on a high speed until you have the consistency you want: crunchy or smooth butter. Taste the mixture and add more syrup or spice if desired.

Serve with warm toast or bagels.

Nutritional value of Spiced Walnut Butter.

Spiced Walnut Butter(2 tbsp)
Calories(Calories from fat) 258
Sodium 2 g
Total Fat 19 g
Potassium 42.8 mg
Saturated Fat 2 g
Total Carbs 17.4 g
Polyunsaturated 2 g
Dietary Fibre 3.2 g
Monounsaturated 3 g
Sugars 11.9 g
Protein 5 g
Zinc 5.5%
Calcium 4.8%
Manganese 33%
Iron 5% 9.3%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

7 Recipes to Beat Bloating

 

 

I know I’m not the only one who has experienced the ‘bloated feeling’, when your tummy is stretched, puffy, uncomfortable and feels like a permanent rubber dingy round your waist. It often follows a big weekend of eating badly or late into the evening or some other festive occasion.

But for some people, bloating is more than an occasional inconvenience. If your stomach or tummy often feels bloated, it could be due to several things besides excessive wind and constipation.

Funny, I was always told as a child to chew my food properly and to drink peppermint tea and water, I wish I knew then what I know now that these are some of the aids to reducing bloating.

Medical advice is always advised if this appears to be your experience over a sustained period of time, but for many other people, there are moderate changes and intelligent ways we can incorporate ‘Bloat Beating’ foods into our diets and hopefully avoid the need for medical intervention.

This week I will be sharing with you 7 recipes that combine some of the many foods that help reduce bloating. Feel free to share your reviews and tips as I would gladly welcome them!

 

Breakfast:

  • Lemon Aid

Warm lemon or lime water is not only a good defence against the common cold, it also serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, to flush out toxins and kick start your digestive system. Lemon water also prevents constipation and diarrhea, by ensuring smooth bowel functions.

Lemon is also a rich source of vitamin C, which enhances your beauty by rejuvenating skin from within bringing a glow to your face, and helping to prevent the formation of wrinkles and acne.

One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves the way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. So before anything else enters your system, have a tall glass of lemon/lime water every day.

 

  • Watermelon  and Bananas

All kinds of melons are beneficial to your health, but watermelon is known as one of the juiciest fruits on the stand. That’s probably because it consists of 92 percent water. It is also reported to have a natural diuretic property and is a great source of potassium.

Too high an intake of salt is one of the most common causes of water retention around the abdominal area. Foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, help combat bloating caused by salty food. When incorporating bananas into your anti-bloating diet, be sure to only eat ripe fruit — unripe bananas contain resistant starch which can cause wind and bloating.

Try the Watermelon ‘Brain Freeze’ Smoothie on the blog for a potassium rich start to the day!

 

  • Greek Yoghurt & Honey

Cultured natural yoghurt typically contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and/or Bifidobacterium bifidum (or ‘friendly bacteria’ as it’s otherwise known ). This probiotic bacteria lives in the gastrointestinal tract where they help digestion and fight the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, thereby preventing bloating. You can actually purchase Probiotic Acidophilus in a tablet form from good health shops or online; but a tasty package to enjoy this is Greek Yoghurt with Honey.

 

  • Bran Cereal and Oatmeal
Fiber helps relieve constipation, which is an all-too frequent cause of bloating. By adding bulk in the form of certain cold or hot cereals, everything moves through the intestines more quickly.  Just be certain to not add too much fiber to your diet too fast, or worsened bloating can occur.
  • Strawberries and Blueberries

Fiber also takes the form of certain delicious fruits and berries. Snacking on high-fiber foods such as strawberries and blueberries, can help clean out one’s system regularly.

Why not try the Peanut Flax Granola recipe on the blog with some of the Greek Yoghurt and berries for a perfect bloat busting breakfast! 

 

Lunch:

  •  Brown Rice

Some foods, especially certain carbohydrates, are either indigestible or only partially digested in the gut. These foods can cause gas buildup and therefore bloating. Rice however, particularly brown rice makes a good substitute for starches such potatoes. Rice is fully digested in the small intestines, giving it the least potential to form gases in the gut.

  • Turmeric Powder

You’re probably familiar with turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. Turmeric is used for many ailments including to treat, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, heartburn and liver problems.

This week on the blog: A quick Pilau Rice recipe which combines these ingredients for an easy tasty way to a flatter stomach!

  • Rosemary and Garlic

Rosemary has been used to treat everything from heartburn and headaches to toothaches and high blood pressure. But it also treats intestinal gas and helps digestion. Garlic helps reduce the levels of fat in the liver, whose main functions include detoxification and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion — major aspects of the prevention of bloating.

Try the garlic and rosemary infused sweet potato chips, the crispiest chips every time!

 

Dinner:

Celery:

Over the years this green crunchy stalk has been used as a digestive aid to regulate bowel movements and to control intestinal gas because its chemicals are known to decrease fluid retention. Because of its high water content with a detoxing system, this helps purge your body of toxins.

Check out this tasty celery recipe on the blog this week!

Beans and Lentils:

Most of us grew up believing beans was the source of all bloating and flatulence, but don’t be too harsh on the little gems, their high amount of fiber, are a good choice for aiding with digestion. The potassium-rich foods are also naturally high in both estrogen and protein and can relieve period-induced bloat.

Kale and Spinach
These green leaves, in addition to lettuce and chard, require ample chewing and provide a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also help with acid indigestion, constipation, and urinary tract infections.

Another healthy recipe combining these ingredients will be coming your way this week…

 

 

 

Salmon Kebab Sticks

IMG_7101Here marks the end of the stick it in the oven with a drizzle of lemon and pepper Salmon fillets. No more, and I mean it.  I have no problem with grilled Salmon any day of the week, especially if you want something quick after a long day that still tastes pretty decent with a simple side of potatoes or vegetables.

I bought some salmon earlier at the weekend and seriously that was all I had in mind; but as with life, we all need a transformation of some kind and so as I walked through the dreary aisles of Morrison’s Superstore I almost shouted:  “What about the salmon?!” So this post is dedicated to the beloved Salmon which has served us tirelessly and has been crying out for a make-over greater than being chunked, diced or smoked. He wants more out of life.

This recipe should take you no more than an hour. I took my time with this one only because I find cooking very therapeutic, but I’m sure it can be achieved in much less time. As with regular Salmon fillets, be careful not to over-cook them, you want to retain the juices, this often happens when you re-heat Salmon which sometimes can’t be avoided. Having said that I re-heated these for my lunch and they were fine.

Salmon Kebab Sticks

  • Difficulty: easy
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INGREDIENTS

2 skinless salmon fillets (480g)

2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

1 tbsp Thai Green Paste

1/4 cup finely chopped red sweet peppers

1/4 cup freshly chopped Coriander

1 tbsp fish sauce

1/2 tsp garlic and ginger paste

Mini kebab sticks (optional)

1/2 black pepper

 

‘Basting’

1/2 tsp Tumeric Powder

4 tbsp Honey

1/2 cup hot water

 

METHOD:

  1. Take the salmon steaks and either roughly blend it in a food processor or mince it using a meat tenderiser and sharp knife on a chopping board. You want a mince like consistency.
  2. The breadcrumbs are formed from stale white bread of a crusty loaf of bread which you can slice and place in the oven for a few minutes to dry out slightly before blending in the food processor.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together adding the breadcrumbs little by little, you want the mixture to form a large ball.
  4. Shape the mixture into 8-10 balls and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, this will help the mixture hold together whilst cooking.
  5. Remove from the fridge and form the salmon into ‘tear drop’ shapes before piercing through with the kebab stick. Alternatively roll them into sphere’s on to a well oiled baking sheet or pan. Make sure you leave spaces between the kebab sticks whilst cooking.
  6. Place in a pre-heated oven a gas mark 5 for 15-20 minutes, turning the kebab sticks over if necessary.
  7. Half way through the cooking mix together the turmeric, honey and water, using a pastry brush, brush the kebab balls with the marinade before returning to the oven for the last 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with sweet mashed potatoes

All content and images copyright ©  2014 Ranette Prime – Love Loretta’s Kitchen

Spring Salad Series: Fennel with “Ranch” Dressing

 

I had a spring in my step last weekend. For the first time in about 5 months or more, the first signs of Spring began to emerge. The most noticeable effect of this glorious beam of sunshine and clear blue skies, is actually waking up happy. Seriously it’s as simple as that: when you have spent the last winter waking up and working and going to sleep practically in the dark, it’s like someone literally flicked a switch on in a dark damp room: suddenly everything is clearer and looks attractive.

London feels like a welcoming place again. Another noticeable change is my appetite. I don’t know about you, but it’s a lot easier to eat and enjoy fresh fruits and salads in the summer than it is in the winter.

Maybe the problem started when we started eating fruits and vegetables out of season, I mean the king of comfort vegetables, Pumpkin just feels better in winter than in the middle of March right? That’s why I thought for this months recipe I would work on a couple of salads that suit the warm crisp air of Spring.

I can’t promise you warmth, but these salads are definitely fresh and crispy. I combined a couple of them in a tortilla wrap with the vegan ranch dressing last night…amazing! I didn’t miss meat or cheese at all.

So here to start the Spring Salads Series off is Fennel. Fennel with its aniseed like flavour is a great source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, folic acid, vitamin C and potassium. It also helps with digestion (particularly that of fat…yay!), stomach cramps and freshens breath.

Fennel Salad

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Servings: 3 Prep time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

2 Fennel bulbs, finely sliced length ways

1 large celery stalk, finely sliced (against the grain, ‘V’ shaped slices)

1/2 Cucumber – shredded

Drizzle of Lemon Juice

1/2 cup Pine Nuts – lightly toasted

Toss all the ingredients together, leaving the pine nuts until last as you want them to retain their crunchy texture. You can then drizzle in the lemon juice or stir in the vegan ranch dressing. As I said great in a wrap or as a side dish.