AVOCADO – Our top five AVOCADO attributes:

avocado-2644150_1920

We love the tastiness and effortless preparation. Here are five extra nutritious reasons to eat avocados.

  1. Alpha-linolenic acid – an essential fatty acid that we use to synthesize omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is plant based, can’t be synthesized by humans and is thought to have a role in reducing inflammation.

  2. Oleic acid – a mono unsaturated fatty acid and like alpha-linolenic, a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. These fatty acids are associated the prevention and treatment of heart disease and a reduced risk of breast cancer.

  3. Dietary Fibre – 100g of avocado has 7g dietary fibre which is close to 30% of our recommended daily intake. There is a mixture of soluble and tougher fibre types, all good for feeding bugs in our digestion and keeping bowl contents happily moving along.

  4. Beta-sitosterol – one of the phytosterols similar to cholesterol which help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut.

  5. The cardiovascular/blood sugar dream – no sodium, very low carbohydrate and cholesterol free. We all need healthy levels of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Avocado

A regular portion of avocado also contains a smattering of B vitamins, a little vitamin E and protein. Unlike most vegetables it is fairly high in calories, around 170Kcal per 100g (1 avocado, no skin or stone = about 135g).

A Mediterranean type diet gives us the best chance of keeping healthy throughout our lives. We need very little meat and processed foods, some oily fish, lots of vegetables, whole grains and nuts, fruit and olive oil. Avocados are a perfect fit.

Read more about the health benefits of avocado here.

 

Quinoa porridge with flaxseed, mango and blueberries

 Try this quick, tasty breakfast for a healthy start to the day.

img_3972.jpg

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Half a cup/90g quinoa flakes

One and a half cups/360ml  water

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed

A few chunks of mango (fresh or frozen)

Two tablespoons of blueberries

One quarter cup/60ml milk

Honey or maple syrup to taste

Instructions:

Place water in pot and bring to the boil.  Add quinoa flakes and cook for 90 seconds stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Pour in milk. Sprinkle flaxseed, mango and blueberries on top. Drizzle honey or maple syrup to taste. Delicious!

 

 

 

 

Smoked salmon and pasta salad

Try this delicious and nutritious mediterranean pasta dish. The bright colours indicate a myriad of phytochemicals, while the cooked and cooled pasta gives us our low GI carbs.  The inclusion of raw olive oil and salmon provides valuable omega 3 fatty acids.

Pasta with smoked salmon

 

 

Ingredients:

100g smoked salmon slices, cut into strips

2 cups (180g) bowtie (farfalle) pasta

2 zucchini/courgettes sliced

1 red capsicum cut in thin strips

1/2 red onion sliced

Ground black pepper

50ml extra virgin olive oil

Small bunch fresh dill leaves, washed and chopped

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon capers, washed and chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Small handful of continental parsley

 

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to instructions on the packet, and let cool. Gentry fry zucchini and capsicum in a little olive oil until soft.  Make a dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper and dill leaves.  Combine pasta with smoked salmon, red onion, cooked vegetables, capers and dressing. Sprinkle with pine nuts and continental parsley to garnish.

 

 

 

 

Carbs – Pasta is a star!

Carbs are our bodies main source of energy, so a very important part of our diet.

Pasta sits squarely in the carb basket, and can be vastly underrated. Here are some reasons we think it’s a star carb.

pasta-salad-1974762_1920

It’s a slow digest compared with purer carbs

The simplest carbs, like rice cakes, boiled white rice or boiled potato are made from chains of glucose units. These are quickly digested and the glucose easily absorbed into the blood stream. This gives a portion of boiled rice a GI of 72 and potatoes 82 (where pure glucose is 100). A portion of boiled spaghetti has a GI of 46.  The rise in blood glucose is slower and the energy available for longer.

Pasta wheat has protein

Regular pasta has one ingredient, durum wheat. This wheat needs the elastic protein gluten to give pasta it’s strong structure. No good if you can’t tolerate gluten, but otherwise a 90g dry serve gives a 200g cooked serving which provides around 20% of our protein requirement for the day.

Pasta is a vehicle for extra nutrients

Pasta is virtually fat free, but it needs a protein complement. To get a truly nutritious, delicious meal, there are endless additions we can make.  We can add a rich tomato sauce with tuna, a simple Arabiata with chilli and anchovies or pesto with veg like peas and asparagus. It’s only the addition of fatty meats or creamy sauce that makes a pasta meal less healthy.

seafood-pasta-1907116_1920

Served with a green salad, pasta has everything

Chilled reheated pasta has an interesting story of its own. Check out Carbs and Cooking at Diabetes UK for more on this.

If you would like to learn more about the Glycaemic Index check this out from the Better Health Channel.

Carbs… the good, the bad and the scary!

It’s been fashonable to demonise carbs, but is it always justified?

The term covers too many foods to give a sweeping verdict on the lot. A few examples are the:

Instant energy carbs – such as the bananas we see tennis stars munching mid-match.

bananas-fruit-carbohydrates-sweet-38283

Slow release energy carbs – such as whole grain cereals which can keep us sustained for hours.

wheat-field-wheat-cereals-grain-39015

Complicated carbs – the barely digested carbs in pulses like chickpeas, which become food for our gut bacteria.

IMG_6797

Junk carbs – sweets and biscuits, with virtually no nutritional value.
pexels-photo-375904

Chips, doughnuts and biscuits are obviously unhealthy carbs, but the foods with hidden sweetness are harder to spot.

Sugar – Genetically speaking, we have evolved to love the taste of sweetness. A quick look for sugars in the ingredients list of a packet of oaty, wholegrain, low fat, high fibre breakfast cereal and I find:

  • sugar
  • glucose syrup
  • honeydextrose
  • partially inverted brown sugar syrup
  • barley malt extract

pexels-photo-141815

Of all these ingredients, sugar is the least sweet.  We have found so many ways to alter a starch or sugar molecule and enhance the sweetness.  Chemically splitting a sugar or starch molecule results in small glucose molecules which have a more intense sweet taste.  One danger is that we subconsciously develop a sweet food habit.   We need to be warey of foods that look “healthy” at a glance!  Always read the ingredients list.

Our aim with Moodilicious is to promote good food prepared from scratch.


	

Welcome to Moodilicious!

We all eat food but our body needs nutrients.

We’ll explore delicious dishes with the nutrients we need to boost our immunity, energize our bodies and nourish our souls.

Sharing good food is an immense source of happiness, including the occasional indulgent treat.

An awareness of the abundance of nutritional value in simple foods is the first step to a Moodilicious life!

pexels-photo-214574

What’s Coming Up?

Anything we see on a plate and can’t resist sharing.

Plus the nutrition, nothing precious or preachy, we’ll stick to our Moodilicious credentials.

Topics we want to cover will start with our own favourites and move on to anything topical and interesting.

Demonising Carbs – Carbs have had a huge ‘fake news’ story. We want to bring a little love to the carbs in our lives.

Guts and Bugs – an unfolding story, research is ongoing. What we need to learn about our internal fermentation vessel and the importance of keeping our gut happy.

Mediterranean cuisine – it is delicious simplicity and nutritional excellence.

Suggestions for future topics will be happily received – or requests to dig deeper on anything of interest.

Join us on our journey…

pexels-photo-302478