Sunday, February 20, 2011

Healthy Cooking

Another post sitting in draft format waiting for a photo. No photo, sorry!

I love my food and so do my family. However, it can be tricky to keep the healthy balance, so I've decided to see if I can include more whole foods into our diet.

We already eat my wholemeal/rye/white homemade bread with seeds, but it's the cakes and bickies that are the issue. I've been experimenting with the addition of wholemeal flour in two of my regular recipes.
Today I made both American Pancakes and Carrot Cake substituting one third of the flour with wholemeal.

I didn't notice any difference in either finished product. The Pancakes were still light and luscious as was the Carrot Cake.

I try to use brown rice wherever possible and will experiment with wholemeal pasta in future.

I'm also looking at the different substitutes for sugar. I refuse to use artificial ingredients, so have bought some Agave Syrup and Rapadura Sugar.

There's a great article by a blogger friend of mine which explains all about the different sugar substitutes here. Quirky Jo is a mine of dietary information on things such as sweeteners, gluten free flours, dairy substitutes, making chocolate from scratch and other wonderful ideas. She's also a Thermomix addict.

Tonight I'm making Porcupine Meatballs, a recipe that traditionally uses a can of condensed tomato soup. Since I'm not using processed ingredients, I'm making my own 'condensed soup' from a recipe provided by another Thermomix user, Chelsea. I've substituted the frozen raw tomatoes with canned tomatoes (one of the few canned ingredients that I do use) and have added a few more things to the recipe.

This is the basis of it here:

1 large brown onion, peeled and cut into eighths
1 green apple, cored and cut into eighths (I don't bother peeling)
2 x 410g cans crushed tomatoes in juice
50g red wine vinegar
150g rapadura or around 130g brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp dried bell peppers (available from bulk food stores), substitute with 1/4 red capsicum chopped with the onion and apple
1/4 tsp mixed herbs

Place onion and apple (and capsicum if substituting) into Thermomix bowl and chop for 7 seconds on speed 5. Add all other ingredients and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.

Cook for 40 minutes on Varoma temperature, speed 2.

Blend for 1 minute, slowly turning dial to 9 making sure MC is in place.

Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal. Turn upside down for 10 minutes to complete sealing process.

Use wherever a recipe calls for a can of tomato soup.

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