Archive for December, 2015

Salmon with green beans and linseeds


Serves: 4 

  • 500g green beans, trimmed
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 dill fronds
  • 1 tablespoon linseeds (flaxseeds)

Prep:10min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:35min 

  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the green beans until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the salmon fillets, skin side down, in a nonstick frying pan over low heat for about 10 minutes. Turn over, cook for 1 minute, then turn over again to finish cooking, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the green beans onto 4 plates, and put one salmon fillet on each plate, and place a dill frond on each fillet. Sprinkle with the linseeds.



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Oat and linseed bread


Serves: 10 

  • 300g strong white bread flour
  • 400g strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 60g porridge oats
  • 45g golden linseeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sachet fast acting dried yeast
  • 400ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:1hr rising  ›  Ready in:2hr 

  1. Place all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Place all wet ingredients into a seperate bowl and mix well.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix, either with a spoon or with your hands. Bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough.
  4. Tip the dough out on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for an hour to rise.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
  6. Knock back the dough, and form into your required shape, place on a baking tray.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, take out of the oven and turn over, put back in the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. To test if the loaf is ready, tap the base lightly, it should sound hollow. Leave on a rack to cool.


Freeze any leftovers or crusts in a bag to make breadcrumbs at a later date.



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Golden linseeds (also known as flaxseeds) are powerhouses of nutrition. They have a subtle nutty, slightly earthy flavour and are a cheap superfood that everyone can include in their diet. They are available whole or – for easier absorbtion – split, ground or as linseed or flaxseed oil.

I particularly love the oil, as it is such a fantastic natural skin moisturiser. Drink a couple of spoonfuls a day, by either adding it to a juice or smoothie, mixing it into milk for your cereal, or making a quick salad dressing.

Linseeds are the richest plant source of omega 3 fats, which are essential for a healthy brain, heart, joints and immune system.Due to the high content of plant chemicals known as phytoestrogens, linseeds have been called nature’s answer to hormone replacement therapy. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring forms of the female hormone oestrogen and are found in certain foods. They help to either reduce high levels of oestrogens or to boost low levels. This can have a positive impact on the unpleasant effects of the menopause, such as flushing and night sweats.

There is ongoing research into the benefits of including phytoestrogens in diets aimed at preventing cancer. With a history of colon cancer in my family I am keen to keep my colon healthy. The high-fibre content of linseeds can help.

A good way to get the best from them is to soak them first. Put one heaped desertspoonful of seeds into a glass, cover with water and leave overnight. Add the swollen seeds and water to a drink such as fruit juice or a smoothie, or to your cereal or yogurt, or drink it on its own. You can eat linseeds in this way every day. They are a good cure for constipation, but avoid eating the seeds if you have bowel problems, such as diverticulitis.

Alternatively, you can grind linseeds in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder before adding them to food. Never cook with linseeds or their oil – as the heat will render them unstable. To keep them fresh, store airtight in the fridge.



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Easter fruit cupcakes

Ultimate Ginger Cookie

Total Time:35 min
Prep:20 min
Inactive:2 min
Cook:13 min
Yield:16 cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups chopped crystallized ginger (6 ounces)
Granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and then combine the mixture with your hands. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar, oil, and molasses on medium speed for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low speed, add the egg, and beat for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat for 1 more minute. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger and mix until combined.

Scoop the dough with 2 spoons or a small ice cream scoop. With your hands, roll each cookie into a 1 3/4-inch ball and then flatten them lightly with your fingers. Press both sides of each cookie in granulated sugar and place them on the sheet pans. Bake for exactly 13 minutes. The cookies will be crackled on the top and soft inside. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.



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Health Benefits of Crystallized Ginger

Health Benefits of Crystallized Ginger

Ginger, with its spicy, warm aroma and taste, is most frequently associated with South East Asian cuisines, although it is now more widely consumed than ever. Rich in a number of essential nutrients, ginger also has several health benefits, especially for your digestive system. Crystallized ginger, also known as candied ginger, is made by boiling ginger in a simple syrup and then letting the candy dry out. While the health benefits of ginger are preserved, the sugar content is greatly increased. Pay attention to your consumption of candied ginger to avoid getting too much sugar.

Treating Motion Sickness

If you get motion sickness, eating crystallized ginger, or eating some ginger chews can help alleviate the symptoms. Ginger naturally helps prevent nausea, especially when it results from dizziness or motion sickness. If you have motion sickness regularly, try one or two small to medium-sized pieces of crystallized ginger before or during travel.

Treating Morning Sickness

In addition to nausea from motion sickness, crystallized ginger can also help with nausea and upset stomachs resulting from morning sickness. Morning sickness is no fun to deal with, and the same amount of ginger per day, one to two small to medium-sized pieces, may help reduce the vomiting or nausea that comes with pregnancy. If you have extreme morning sickness, or experience it over a prolonged period of time, speak with a medical professional as there may be other factors at play.

Helping with Muscle Pain and Inflammation

Consuming ginger every day or on a regular basis can help reduce muscle pain from exercise related effort or injury. In a 2010 study published in the “Journal of Pain,” ginger was shown to help relieve some muscle pain due to exercise. A daily dose of 2 grams of ginger reduced pain and inflammation due to exercising. Ginger can also help reduce inflammation of the joints, which may be helpful also in treating conditions such as arthritis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Alternative Medicine

For over 5,000 years, ginger has been prized and used for its “warming” properties. In Asian medical practice, historically and in the current-day, ginger is used to treat a number of conditions, from arthritis and migraines, to sore throats. It is also used as a general health tonic, thought to help reduce overall body fat and improve circulation. In Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medical practice of India, ginger has been used in the treatment of anorexia and cholera.



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This imported crystallized ginger is ideal for a spicy snack, a unique cup of tea, or an ingredient in your cooking.


Crystallized ginger is pungent with a spicy-sweet flavor and is moist and chewy. It is embraced as a natural remedy for reducing hot flashes – huge numbers of women swear by it. It helps alleviate indigestion and colds…and don’t forget to take it with you on boat trips for sea sickness! (Some of us here know from experience that it’s an absolutely essential part of your travel kit…)

Interestingly, ginger itself is as old as the recorded history of man. A native to southern Asia and India, it is spoken of in the Jewish Talmud, written about by Marco Polo, and even recommended by Henry VIII as a remedy against the plague.


1) Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Crystallized ginger can reduce inflammation and relieve the pain associated with it. A 2012 study published in the journal Arthritis compared the anti-inflammatory effect of ginger extract to that of common drugs used in the treatment of arthritis, such as cortisone and ibuprofen. The researchers observed that ginger extract was as effective as cortisone at relieving arthritic pain, and that ginger can treat inflammation without the negative side effects associated with the common drugs.

2) Treatment for Nausea: Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy to alleviate nausea caused by motion sickness, morning sickness, and chemotherapy. A study funded by the National Cancer Institute examined over 600 people who had experienced nausea after a chemotherapy treatment. Those patients who received ginger supplements throughout the rest of their treatments experienced a 40 percent reduction in nausea symptoms.

3) Immunity-Booster: During flu season, make sure you have crystallized ginger on-hand! Ginger contains active compounds that can relieve sinuses and protect the body against toxins and viruses. A 2008 article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine discussed ginger’s ability to activate T-cells, a group of white blood cells that help destroy viruses and tumor cells.


Our Registered Dietitian and Health Nut likes to add crystallized ginger to stir fries (throw in some cashews, too!). Also, keep a bag of this on hand to boost immunity and to eliminate nausea!

Health Tips

Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) has also been classified as an aid to quit smoking. It has a soothing effect on the lining of the mucous membranes and helps prevent nausea.



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