Thursday, 30 May 2019

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Vitamin K: Just 20 Leaves of Spinach (17 g) A Day


Do you know that eating just eating a handful or approx. 20 leaves of baby spinach (17 g) a day will fully covers your daily vitamin K need?

A 100 g of spinach covers 604% RDI of vitamin K. A handful of baby spinach about 20 leaves (17 g) covers 100% RDI of vitamin K.

You can just blend a handful of spinach into your smoothie along with other fruits, or add them to your salad.

RDI = Recommended daily intake
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Vitamin K: Just Leaves of 1 Stalk Kale (10 g) A Day


Do you know that eating just the leaves of a small stalk of kale (10 g) a day will fully covers your daily vitamin K need?

A 100 g of kale covers 1021% RDI of vitamin K. A leaf stalk weighs about 20 g and removing the stem leaves 10 g of leaves and covers 100% RDI of vitamin K.

You can just blend a stalk of kale (with stem removed) into your smoothie along with other fruits, or add the leaves of one stalk to your salad.

RDI = Recommended daily intake
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Vitamin A: Just 1/4 carrot (30 g) A Day




Do you know that eating just 1/4 of a large carrot (30 g) a day will fully covers your daily vitamin A need?

A 100 g of carrot covers 334% RDI of vitamin A. A large carrot weighs about 150 g and a small carrot weighs about 75 g.

It won't be very difficult to achieve. Thus, aim to eat 1/4 of a large carrot or 1/2 of a small carrot every day.

Recommended daily intake (RDI): 900mcg

Functions:
Health of eyes, cell, brain, skin, heart, lung, kidneys, bone, infection resistance, metabolism of fats.

References:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2383/2
http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/vitamin-a/dosing/hrb-20060201


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Healthy Nutritious Pancakes - Naturally Sweetened with Dates


This is an update of my millet pancake here. This time around, I have improvised it and remove the salt and sugar completely from this version of the recipe.

This recipe makes about 7-8 pancakes of 18cm in diameter.

Ingredients:
1. ½ cup (90 g) millet flour (I like to grind my own)
2. ½ cup (60 g) wheat flour*
3. 1 TBS flax seeds
4. 1 TBS brewer's yeast (optional)
5. 1 TBS sunflower seeds
6. 3 TBS wheatgerm
7. 3 walnuts
8. 1/2 tsp vanilla poweder (optional)
9. 2 cup (500 ml) low-fat fresh milk 0.1% fat
10. 1 TBS olive oil
11. 6 dried dates pitted
12. 3 eggs
13. 1 tsp cooking oil for frying

Directions:
1. Blend all the dry ingredients (first 8 items on the ingredient list) in a blender mill until it became flour. If you are using a blender, remove and set aside. I use the Magimix dry mill attachment. (If you are using whole millet like I do, grind the millet into flour first, before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients and on the power to mix them together.)

2. Blend the dates together with milk and olive oil and dates in the blender until smooth (takes about 30 seconds or 1 minute if I put it on auto with my Magimix blender).

3. Mix with all the wet and dry ingredients together (except the eggs) by adding dry ingredients into the blender (takes about 15-30 seconds).

4. Lastly, add in eggs and blend for only 1-2 seconds, just enough to mix in the eggs. Don't overbeat the batter. Stop stirring once the mixture is moist or the pancakes will be tough (don’t worry about a few lumps).

5. Heat pan with cooking oil until hot (Its temperature is just right when a few drops of cold water dropped on the pan will jump and sizzle. If the pan is not sufficiently hot, the water will lie there and boil. If it is too hot, the water will evaporate instantly).

6. When the pan is hot, add some oil just enough to spread a thin layer on the pan by rubbing it with a piece of kitchen roll when making the first piece of pancake.

7. Turn to medium-low heat (no. 7 on my stove) and pour in a ladle of mixture just enough to spread it to cover the whole circumference of the pan.

8. Cook until the surface of the pancake is filled with bubbles and the underside has turned slightly brown (about 45 secs to 1 min). Raise the edge of the pancake with the wooden spatula to test if it is firm and brown.

9. Flip over and cook the other side for 30 secs more. DO NOT flip again or the pancake will be tough. (Although you may be tempted to do so, don’t use the spatula to press down the pancake or it will be heavy).

Storage:
Cool them completely before freezing. Freeze them in freezer bags between sheets of waxed paper for 3 months. To re-heat, place frozen pancakes single layer on a baking sheet in a 190°C oven for 7-10 mins. or microwave each pancake for 20 secs.

Nutritional Value:
Millet is tasty, with a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor and contains a myriad of beneficial nutrients. It is nearly 15% protein, contains high amounts of fiber, B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, the essential amino acid methionine, lecithin, and some vitamin E. It has the highest protein level of any cereal and is also excellent for potassium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.

The seeds are also rich in phytochemicals, including Phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol, and Phytate, which is associated with reduced cancer risk.

Millet is gluten-free and is not an acid forming food so is soothing and easy to digest. In fact, it is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available and it is a warming grain so will help to heat the body in cold or rainy seasons and climates.

References:
Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

I use whole millet to grind into millet flour

I use the Magimix mill atachment to grind the millet, but any blender with a dry mill will do.

The millet flour is done :-)

 Add in 3 tablespoons of wheat germ

Add in 1 tablespoon of flax seeds

Add in 1 tablespoon of brewer's yeast

Add in 1/2 cup plain flour

Add in 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds

Add in 3 walnuts

Blend to mix well (about 30 seconds on my Magimix mill attachment)

In the blender jug, add in 6 dried dates pitted.

Add in 2 cups low fat fresh milk

Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Blend for 30 seconds or 1 minute for the full run under the smoothie setting of my Magimix blender (but any blender will do)

 Add back the dry ingredients into the blender with the wet ingredients

I forgot to add in the vanilla powder when preparing the dry ingredients, so I am adding it now.

Blend for 15-30 seconds to mix well

Add in 3 eggs

Blend for 1-2 seconds, just enough to mix in the eggs. Don't overbeat the batter. Stop stirring once the mixture is moist or the pancakes will be tough (don’t worry about a few lumps).

Now it's done :-)

Transfer into a mixing bowl

If you have time, let it rest in the fridge for 15-30 minutes for the flour to absorb all the flavour


Heat pan with cooking oil, no. 7 on my stove is the right temperature

Add 1/2 scoop of ladle

See if it is cooked

Scrap gently from the side to flip over

Give it another 30 seconds or until cooked on the other side


 30 May 2019 (10Y2M25D): Our Little FECS helping to make the pancake on the stove


 30 May 2019 (3Y14D): Our Baby FECS enjoying the pancake






We spread it with some homemade Nutella that we made this morning and sprinkled with some chopped almonds
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Healthy Homemade Nutella - Naturally Sweetened with Dates


Did you know that store-bought Nutella contains only 13% hazelnuts, with the main ingredients being sugar, fats, artificial flavoring and food preservatives. Thus, it is really just consuming empty calories, and yet storing unwanted or even harmful chemicals in the body instead.

You can read more here:

https://foodwatch.com.au/blog/additives-and-labels/item/nutella-the-full-correct-list-of-ingredients.html

It's really gifting your children with bad eating habits for life, for kids to growing up on Nutella. Such habits can really stay with them throughout life. When they are young, their body can take it without showing much effect. When your children reach middle age and old age, such eating habits will tax the body tremendously, but they will find helpless to shake off. So if you can, make your own Nutella and start when your children are real young, when you can still shape their taste buds for healthier and natural unprocessed food.

Below is a simple homemade Nutella spread recipe:

Makes 2 small jars

Ingredients:
1. 3 cups (400 g) skinned hazelnuts or 1 store-bought hazelnut butter
2. 4 TBS cacao powder
3. 5 dried dates pitted

Directions:
1. Get ready your hazelnut butter. You can use store bought ones or make your own following the instructions here.
2. Once the hazelnut butter done (creamy and smooth), add the cacao powder and vanilla powder, put it back on the blender for 30 seconds to mix well.
3.  Add dried dates and blend for another 30 seconds to mix well. Taste and adjust desired sweetness for more dates accordingly if needed.
4. Ready to serve :-) We like to serve it with pancake, chopped almonds and some sliced strawberries :-)

Nutritional Value:
The homemade Nutella is actually very nutritious. A serving of one teaspoon of the homemade Nutella contains approx. 63 kcal or 3% Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) based on an adult's 2000 kcal needs per day. It covers 31% RDI of manganese, 9% RDI of copper, 8% RDI of vitamin E, 4% RDI vitamin B1, 3% RDI vitamin B6, 3% RDI vitamin folic acid, 3% RDI of phosphorus, 2% RDI of potassium and 2% RDI of zinc.

Dates is a natural sweetener that is nutritious at the same time. It is high in dietary fiber and potassium.

Storage:
I read that you can store your hazelnut butter in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks, or in the refrigerator for 2 months or more. However, I never tried to just leave it at room temperature. I store mine in the fridge and it keeps well for 2 months.

Additional Information:
Many recipes use many different ingredients. I find that it is not necessary. The less ingredients used, the more natural it is. This is a healthy yet tasty Nutella spread using just three ingredients - hazelnuts, cacao powder and dates. There is no added sugar, as dried dates are used to sweeten it. There is also no added oil. It is as pure as it can get.

If you wish, you can add 1-2 teaspoon of vanilla powder. I tried adding vanilla powder, but since the cacao powder is usually the stronger and more overpowering ingredient, I don't think adding vanilla gives any effect. I didn't taste the presence of vanilla in the spread. So next time I can save the vanilla powder for other uses, since real vanilla powder is not cheap.

Some recipes adds 1 cup of dates or 12 dates, but for me 3-5 dates are enough to sweeten the Nutella. For me, 3 dates are actually enough, but for Daddy FECS, he likes it sweeter with 5 dates. Bare in mind that the more dates you add, the thicker your Nutella paste will be. If you feel that your Nutella is too thick, you can adjust by adding a neutral oil.

However, bear in mind that hazelnuts already contains a lot of fat. A 100 g of hazelnuts covers 93% RDI. So if you can live with the thicker consistency, try not to add more oil.

Don't add water to thin it. My experience is that contact with water makes the Nutella lumpy. Thus, before you start, make sure that your blender is totally dry.

References:
https://nordicfoodliving.com/healthy-nutella-nuts-dates-sugar-free/
https://blog.fablunch.com/3-ingredient-homemade-nutella/
https://minimalistbaker.com/4-ingredient-nutella-vegan-gf/

This is the hazelnut butter I have pre-made using the instructions here 
3 cups of hazelnuts yield this amount in my Magimix Le Blender.

Add 3 tablespoons of cacao powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder

Blend until mixed well

Add dried dates

I started at speed one and gradually increase it to speed 3.




Within a minute or so, all the dates were nicely blended in :-) I gave it a second run just to make sure that there is no lump left behind.


See how creamy it looks without any added oil.



 One of the ways we like to eat our strawberries is to dip them into our homemade Nutella. Then we just it as it is...

 Or we coat it with sunflower seeds...

 chopped almonds or...

 wheat germ...

They taste very good and is very nutritious :-)



Chocolate Banana Energy Balls dipped in wheat germ
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