Thursday, 1 June 2017

June 2015: sugar




SUGAR


There are 0 vitamins and minerals in sugar.
Sugar is an anti-nutrient: it depletes your body of more nutrients than it provides [a].
If you want to know exactly what sugar does to you, on the internet you can easily find 5, 10, 25, 141 or even 144 reasons why sugar is bad for your health [b].
A ‘disease generator’, sugar affects your mind, your heart, your veins, your hormones, your bones, your skin and your digestion [e, f].

Sugar goes under many names. Such as: high-fructose corn syrup, diastatic malt, dextran, galactose, maltodextrin, caramel, diatase, fructose, glucose, invert sugar, maltose, treacle, rice syrup, barley malt, corn syrup solids, ethyl maltol, dextrose, malt syrup, ethyl maltol, molasses, sucrose etc.  
These are no better than plain ‘sugar’: on the contrary, they’re usually worse. 
Fructose, for instance, often called HFCS, glucose-fructose syrup or the other way round, seems by far worst. [g]

Are sweeteners any better?
You can find both answers - yes and no - on the internet, though there is always the question of who pays for the research. Weaning yourself off the sweet taste seems by far the best option. [h]

So what else can you do?
Sugar hides especially in processed, precooked food so if you make your own as much as possible, that’s a start. If your skills don’t stretch to baking bread, buy it from decent shops, along with sugarless cereals.
Oats are wholesome, cheap and filling.
Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry.
Eat enough before you go to places where you’ll be tempted.
Eat naturally sweet foods.
Don’t skip meals, and make sure you have protein and fat in them.
And for some of the many more websites with suggestions, see [i]. 

PS: I recommend a brilliant little booklet which you can read, for free, on the internet: “Emotional Eating”, by Elizabeth Walling. If the title arouses your interest, go to Emotional Eating.

EAT
Veg: broad beans, beet, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, mangetout, peas, cauliflower, radish, spinach, spring onions, spring greens, watercress, kohlrabi, turnips, rhubarb, redcurrants, strawberries, gooseberries.
Meat: lamb, wood pigeon.
Fish: grey mullet, black bream, gurnard, pollock, whiting, mackerel, lobster, whelks, clams, cockles, coley, crabs, crayfish, flounder, grouper, gurnards, herring, megrim, scallops.

SOW:
beetroot, calabrese, lettuce, salsify/scorzonera, french/runner beans, kale, carrots, cauliflower (mini only), salad onions, (sugar) peas, radish, kohlrabi, mooli, turnip, chicory, fennel, courgettes, marrows and pumpkins.
Sow swede and sweetcorn in early June. If the soil is above 25°C, sow crisphead, cos or little Gem only.
Plant out: courgettes, cabbage, sprouting broccoli, sprouts, celery, celeriac, ridge cucumbers, runner/french beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, sweet corn.

RECIPES

WATERCRESS SOUP  
2 bunches of watercress, 1 potato, 1 diced onion, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp oil, 1l stock, bit of milk, salt, pepper.

Sauté onion for a few mins in oil and butter. Add garlic, fry for 30 seconds. Grate potato and add, fry 1 minute. Add stock and milk, stir, simmer for 5 mins. Add chopped cress, cook 5 more mins, season

GREEK BROAD BEANS for 2
3 to 4 tblsp olive oil, 1 grated onion, 400g podded broad beans, 250ml water, 2 tblsp tomato puree, 1 to 2 tsp dried oregano, sea salt, pepper.
Sauté onion for 5 mins in oil, making sure it doesn't brown. Add beans for one more min. Raise heat, add water and tomato puree, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook at a strong simmer for 20-25 mins. You don't want water left in the pan; if toward the end of cooking there's too much water, uncover the pan so it evaporates, leaving a rich tomato and olive oil sauce.
To enjoy it the traditional Greek way, serve a big plate of broad beans as a main course with some crusty bread to mop up the sauce, and slices of good feta. Or have as a side dish.

A FISHY SUGGESTION:
Mash up a tin of sardines or mackerel with lemon juice and olive oil or sour cream, to form a sauce for a warm potato-and-pea (with herbs) salad. Or for pasta cooked with peas. Add herbs (dill is nice), pepper and some paprika powder. You can also sauté some onion very slowly - don't let it go brown - to mix in. 

SAUTEED SPINACH with WHITE WINE: side dish for meat or fish. Very quick!
spinach, dry white wine, olive oil, salt, pepper, (lemon juice).
Sauté spinach in the oil. Add salt and pepper. Once it cooks down, add wine. You may or may not want to add a bit of lemon. Serve hot. 

WATERCRESS/CARROT STIR FRY (or use spinach)
1 tblsp olive/sesame oil, 3 spring onions/1 onion, 3 carrots, 1 bunch watercress/spinach, 1 tblsp tamari/soy, (250g firm tofu [j], sesame seeds).
Wash and dry the cress. Chop, especially the thicker stems. Cut carrots into ½ cm slices. Chop (spring) onion(s). (Cut tofu into 1cm squares). Heat oil, add carrots and onions. Cook 4 mins. Halfway through, add tofu if using, stir regularly. Add cress/spinach, cook till done. Add soy, stir. Sprinkle with seeds.

STIR FRIED LETTUCE serves 2About 400g cleaned lettuce, oil or butter, soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds, onion.
Chop the onion and cut the lettuce into strips. Start sautéing the onion. After a few minutes add the lettuce. Stir until the lettuce wilts, add the soy. Stir some more and add the seeds, serve when done to your liking. 

MUSHROOMS and BROAD BEANS
Per person: 220g unpodded or 60g podded broad beans, 50g mushrooms, small (red) onion ab. 30g, 1tblsp creme fraiche, thyme, pepper, butter. 
Pod the beans, cook in salted water, 5–8 mins, drain. Sauté the mushrooms and onions with thyme in plenty of butter until soft. Stir in crème fraîche, then the beans. Season and cook until the beans are heated through. Grate on some pepper. With nice bread (or anything else you fancy!)

SPINACH-PEA OMELETTE for one.  
100-150g spinach, 75g peas, large egg (or two), 1/2 tblsp cream or milk, 1 tblsp flour, salt, pepper, (garlic).
If using fresh peas, cook them first for a few mins, add the spinach, cook together 5 mins. If using frozen peas, put them on at the same time as the spinach. Drain. Fry both in plenty of butter for a few mins, add flour. Mix the egg with cream or milk, season, add to veg, stir, put lid on. When nearly done, put the sliced garlic on top and turn over. 






If you want to know the difference between sucrose, glucose and fructose, see http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/difference-between-sucrose-glucose-fructose-8704.html
[j] Tofu, being a non-fermented soy product, is not exactly good for you. See for instance www.guardian.co.uk/news/2006/jul/25/food.foodanddrink and www.frot.co.nz/dietnet/basics/soy.htm.





NEXT MONTH: STOP!