There is so much to do with this moving home lark! Not helped by the fact that the kitchen appliances seem to have taken exception to being moved. Sorted out the cooker and washer, or rather my son did. My slow cooker is no more, following an accident when it was left on the cooker – a result of moving from a large kitchen into a small kitchen where space is very limited – need I say more? Engineer due tomorrow to fix the dryer – hopefully. It’s at times like this we get a very small taste of what life was like before all our modern conveniences. I’m at the age where I can still remember washing clothes by hand and either ringing them out by hand or do using a manual wringer to take excess water out before hanging them on a clothes line or clothes dryer in front of the open fire. How far we have come in such a relatively short time. Luckily I have moved close to my mum and I’ve been able to use her dryer on occasion. I currently have a load of towels drying on various radiators after someone (who won’t be named) let the bath overflow, flooding the bathroom, (it’s downstairs in this house) hall carpet and part of the dining room carpet – life’s trials eh!
The house is taking shape. I still have doors needing to be planed and rehung after carpets were fitted. Curtain poles still need putting up in some rooms but I can’t find the tools at the moment – who knows where they are? I still don’t have sofas for the lounge. I’m absolutely sick and tired of looking for them. If I find one I like it’s generally not in stock or has a 3 month wait time for delivery! Thought I’d cracked it and found a corner sofa I liked – should have been delivered this Saturday but that now is not in stock – so back to the drawing board. At this rate we’ll be sitting on bean bags!!
Not done much cooking while I’ve been here. I’ve made one batch of chickpea curry but generally existing on fruit and buddha bowls. Luckily buddha bowls can be varied to avoid getting fed up eating the same thing.
Continuing with the alphabet theme – we are at K in the alphabet of fruit and vegetables – delving deeper into the nutritional and health benefits of plant based food:
Nutritional values and health benefits of Kale – from http://www.healthline.com – of all the healthy greens, kale is king. It is amongst the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. A single cup of raw kale (67g) contains:
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
- Vitamin K: 684% of the DV (daily value)
- Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- It also contains 3% or more of the DV for Vitamin B1 (thiamin),Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus
- 33 calories – given it’s incredibly low calorie content, kale is amongst the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet
- 6 grams carbs
- 3 grams protein)
Health benefits of adding Kale to your diet:
- Kale is loaded with antioxidants that help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the main drivers of aging and many diseases, including cancer
- Antioxidants in kale have powerful heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects, to name a few
- It is an excellent source of Vitamin C. This is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body.Kale is much higher in Vitamin C than most other vegetables, containing about 4.5 times as much as spinach. A cup of raw kale contains even more vitamin C than a whole orange
- Kale can help lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol has many important functions in the body. For instance it is used to make bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system whenever you eat a fatty meal. When all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have served their purpose, they are reabsorbed into the bloodstream and used again. Kale actually contains bile acid sequestrants, which can lower cholesterol levels. This might lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.
- According to one study, steaming kale dramatically increases the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is actually 43% as potent as cholestryamine, a cholesterol lowering drug that functions in a similar way.
- Kale is one of the worlds best sources of Vitamin K which is absolutely critical for blood clotting, and does this by “activating” certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium. The well-known anticoagulant drug Warfarin actually works by blocking the function of this vitamin.
- There are numerous cancer-fighting substances in Kale as it is loaded with compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer. One of these, sulforaphane is a substance that has been shown to fight the formation of cancer at the molecular level.
- Kale is high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into vitamin A.
- Kale is a good source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium , some of which, many people are deficient in.
- Kale is high in Lutein and Zeaxanthin, powerful nutrients that can protect the eyes. Many studies have shown that people who eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two very common eye disorders.
- Kale should be able to help you lose weight as it is very low in calories but still provides significant bulk that should help you feel full. It also contains small amounts of protein and fibre, two important nutrients when it comes to losing weight.
I tend to add kale to buddha bowls, soups, stir fry, curry and anything else I can thing to add it to. I’m very conscious of eating sufficient greens, either kale, spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts so will add them to most meals.
Earlier this week I received a tip from a very good friend on how to use over ripe bananas. Cook some apples, plums, pears or anything you like to put in the bottom of a crumble. Mash your bananas and slowly add oats until it forms a crumb texture. Sprinkle this over your fruit and bake as you would your usual crumble. If you want extra crunch add chopped nuts or dried fruit. My bananas don’t ever get to the stage of becoming over ripe but if and when they do I will be making this – sounds delicious and I’m sure it will be quick and easy to make.
Wednesday night and just made another chickpea curry. Now usually I get all the ingredients out before I start cooking, but tonight I didn’t for some reason and when it came to adding the curry powder I discovered I had very little left! I had the onion, garlic and ginger sautéing in the Instapot and so was committed to cooking something. Added the little bit of curry powder I had and after some deliberation, thought what the hell and added some cumin. I expected the finished product to be underwhelming but I was surprised with the result. Tastes damn good! Getting more and more used to improvising. I learned early when starting out on wfpb to taste as I was cooking. In the beginning everything tasted bland – I realise now that I was adjusting to not including oil and salt to my food. Experimenting with herbs and spices aided in the transition to wfpb. Now I taste and appreciate the unadulterated true flavours of food.
So, February 2021 already – what does the rest of the year have in store for us? Tomorrow I have my first Covid vaccination. I sincerely hope that this vaccine is the key to getting back to something near normal. I, like so many others I’m sure, am desperate to meet up with extended family and friends. Wishing you all well.
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