Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Making a change

After talking with a good friend of mine and watching 'Jamies Food Revolution' I have decided that I am going to attempt to change our diets to a 'cleaner' one.  My son has eczema that covers his body, we've tried all the creams, oils that doctors prescribe, as well as some more natural products that I have found.  We even tried gluten free for a while to see if that improved things, and have had no such luck.  So it is with him in mind that I am wanting to 'clean' up our diet so to speak. 

Once you start looking at what is in the food you eat, it can be a real eye opener.  I don't know if any of you have watched 'Jamies Food Revolution' before, but it's quite scary!  He got the kids to make a sundae with any topping they wanted, and then made another sundae with the real ingredients of what they had made.  Some of it included human hair, feathers and secretion from bugs!!!  Ewwww!

It also surprised me to see that these 17 year old children had no clue as to where their food comes from.  They were asked a series of multi choice questions and very few knew the answers.  I am proud to say that my son was able to answer each one correctly, so I must've done something right :)

When asked where butter came from, they answered 'sweetcorn', when asked where cheese came from, they answered 'macaroni', when asked where sausages came from, they answered 'corn dog plant' (that one really surprised me), some of them didn't know what an almond was, they thought guacamole was made out of apples, the list goes on.
I am determined to make sure my children grow up knowing what is in their food, so that they can make good choices, and at the same time, hopefully this new way of looking at food will help my sons skin so he isn't self conscious anymore.

Ok.  Rant over :)

Now, because I don't like waste, I am going to use majority of the stuff I had in my cupboards first, and slowly change things.  So far Katie and I have started to replace white sugar with raw/brown/muscavado sugar and white flour with wholemeal.  I have been checking labels and to be honest, because I make a lot of stuff from scratch, most of our food is ok.  I know I'll probably make some slip ups along the way, but it's all a learning experience :)  What you need to look out for is the ingredients that you don't understand, or the products that have a looooong list of ingredients.  There are some preservatives to avoid - especially if you have sensitive skin.

I can tell you that the Gingerbread loaf recipe in the Edmonds cookbook is great with the flour and sugar replacements, I also used Greek yoghurt as I think that is better for you.  Same with the basic spice biscuits, in fact I can't really taste any difference :)

I can also tell you that homemade ice cream is awesome!  I made one with whipped cream, condensed milk, vanilla paste and choc chips - super sweet so you only need a small amount, and it actually looked like the bought stuff!

I have made another one using eggs, chocolate, cream and a touch of raw sugar.  First you separate your eggs.  I used three.  Put yolks in a bowl with some raw sugar and beat until thickened.  Heat a small amount of cream in a saucepan, slowly pour into the egg yolk mix, beating as you go, then pour back into saucepan and heat until starting to thicken.  Place dark choc in bottom of a bowl, pour egg custard mix over top, through a sieve to catch any bits of egg that may have cooked.  Stir until choc has melted.
In another bowl, beat egg whites until thick.  Beat cream until thick (I added the cream to the thickened egg whites and beat again), adding a small amound at a time, gently fold cream and egg whites into the chocolate mixture.  Pour into ice cream tub and freeze.  You can beat it again after an hour or two, but I don't always do this.
*The chunks are chocolate that didn't melt :)

Jamies 15 minute meal that I made this week was Pork Tacos (I used tortillas though).  It was fantastic!  Normally when making tortillas I would use lots of cheese, but with this recipe, you didn't use it, and didn't even miss it.  It was nice and creamy, and I think it would work with other meats too.

Basic run down:  Pork cut into small (1cm) chunks in frying pan with fennel seeds and smoked paprika, cook until cooked through.
In another pan, olive oil, diced onion, crushed garlic, tin of organice black beans (juice included), cumin seeds, simmer and then mash - basically like a refried bean mix.
Salad - lettuce, apple cut into matchsticks, avocado, tomato.  Drizzle with EVOO, lime juice and soy sauce, toss together.
Plain greek yoghurt mixed with a touch of sweet chilli sauce.
Combine all ingredients in your wrap and enjoy!
*The only ingredients to check on with the clean living, is the soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce.  My soy could probably be a little better, but I'm quite happy with the sweet chilli sauce we use.

I have just made some honey cupcakes.  The recipe was pretty straight forward, so I thought I would try to substitute those flour and sugars again. 

This is how they turned out.

I think the sugar may be the culprit in this one.  All the other ingredients weren't changed.  Back to the drawing board on this one!

Anyways, I think I've gone on for long enough now!  Hopefully you have found this interesting and informative :)

Happy cooking!