Category Archives: Fruity Fridays

Fruity Fridays…The Pumpkin and yes it is a fruit…

Halloween-pumpkin
Hands up who thought the pumpkin was only for Halloween decorations and to make pumpkin pie???
 It is also a fruit…Did you know that?? That plump round, this nutritious orange ball is, in fact, a fruit…

A highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.

There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.

It still makes a great Halloween decoration though, doesn’t it??

pumpkin-2327488_1280

Healthwise the potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure and the antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes. Pumpkins are also a fantastic source of fibre.

Fresh is best though so please avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups so check the label and look for that 100% sign…Then that’s good, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t …Many tins of canned pumpkin puree are actually squash.

Here is a little article from Snopes which is interesting as the Pumpkins you carve are not the ones used for pumpkin pie…

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/canned-pumpkin-isnt-actually-pumpkin/

Any uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes. I myself have not tried this as I don’t bake often but Weight Watchers recommends using pumpkin puree for one-third of the amount of butter; so if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, plan to use 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree and 2/3 cup of butter. The proportions may vary with what you are making. You may have to experiment with the exact amount of pumpkin to use until you get the exact consistency you want.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If anyone has tried this please let us know.

My recipe for pumpkin or squash soup …

squash-pumpkin- soup

The squash I always make into a vegetable soup and freeze in portions. When I reheat the soup, I then add chilli (of course) and a little coconut milk and gently warm through.

Soup ingredients:

  • 1 small squash/ pumpkin, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces.
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  • 1 carrot washed and cut
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  • 1-1½ litres of fresh chicken stock or stock cubes.

Let’s Cook!

Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds...Raw are roasted are classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods with many health benefits.

pumpkin-seeds

For more information on the health benefits of Pumpkin seeds here is a very good article from Sally over @ Smorgasbord Magazine…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-pumpkin-seeds/

Pumpkin Pie Muffins:

pumkin-pie-muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp of pumpkin spice mix ( see recipe below to make own spice)
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 ounces of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of sultanas or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 large eggs

Let’s Cook!

Set the oven to preheat on 330 F or 166 C

Mix the dry goods together sieving the flours and whisk the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time gently stirring to combine.

Fill muffin tins to just below the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool down on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Mix.

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte..

Thank you for reading if you loved this post please share on your favourite social media…x

 

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx

Asian Beef Brisket.

Not exactly fruity Friday…But chillies are a fruit….Trying to write on this damm iPad is not easy…..This is a post from my archives …I hope you enjoy and that normal service will be resumed soon ……Now back to my book 🙂 xxxx

Retired? No one told me!

sam_7679

This dish is wonderful, full of lovely Asian flavours…. On my birthday my son asked me what I wanted him to cook for me ( this was) a few birthdays ago….I chose this dish…It needs slow cooking but is well worth it…you can put it in and get back to your writing( if that’s ) what you do and who doesn’t like those dishes???

Beef is a bit hit and miss here ..butchering( properly) and hanging the meat is not widely done by many but I have found a man who does…but for quickness, we sometimes use Pork Hip which by the way is tonight’s dinner…Oh Yum 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

2k Beef Brisket

500ml beef stock

200ml clear honey

400gm shallots cut into quarters

5 garlic cloves, crushed

2tbsp oil…I use coconut oil.

FOR THE SAUCE:

250ml rice wine

70ml light soy sauce

70ml dark soy sauce

100gm fresh ginger finely chopped

2 large…

View original post 274 more words

Fruity Friday…Thai Fruits…

Fruity Friday Thai Fruit

Fruity Friday and today I am going to post about fruit which is common or uncommon to find where we live here in Thailand…..

The first fruit, in particular, is a  fruit that is not a common fruit and quite rare.

With its prickly outer shell which is NOT edible this fruit grows on climbing vines. Going from green to a dark orange when it is ripe this fruit has a short season of only 2 months from December to January. It is quite a rare fruit and found on local markets in Southern Thailand. It is the soft pulp surrounding the edible seeds which you eat. The seeds are not only edible but used in traditional Chinese medicines.

It is used to treat eye conditions, burns, skin problems and wounds.

The juice makes a healthy drink which is said to be good for the eyes, immunity, skin and heart health.

The taste is a cross between a tomato and a ripe papaya it is also commonly called the Gac fruit.

Its other names are  Chanbada Fruit or spiny bitter gourd.

Today the Gac fruit extracts are used in very popular skin care supplements around the world.

Rich in antioxidants and beta-carotene it is said to contain 70 times more than in tomatoes or zeaxanthin.

It has the highest concentration of beta-carotene than any other known fruit or vegetable as much as 10 times more than the carrot.

Once in the body, it converts to Vitamin A and is said to have a variety of protective properties.

Due to the fruits magnificent orange hue, it is often grown as an ornamental plant.

It is also used to make a delicious deep fried sweet cooked in coconut batter. You will only find this sweet in the south of Thailand as the fruit is quite rare which also makes it expensive. It also tends to be found in local gardens and not really grown commercially.

Its brilliant orange colour is very attractive and it is also cooked in  Khao Soi( Sticky Rice) flavoured with cinnamon and served at New Year Celebrations and weddings.

Gac fruit

Image Credit: James Morris a friend who has given me a free licence to use this picture.

Thank you, James 🙂

The next fruit is:-

The Matum fruit which has a very hard shell and you wouldn’t want one dropped on your head from a great height.

It comes from a gum bearing mid-sized subtropical fruit tree. It has many other names such as golden apple, Indian quince, and holy fruit. It is said to have many medicinal benefits.

The fruits medicinal purposes are very high when the fruit has just ripened. It has a high tannin content which makes it suitable for the treatment of cholera and dysentery.

A hot poultice of the fruit leaves are said to be an effective treatment for various inflammations, a leaf decoction is also used as an aid for asthma.

The root, leaves, and bark are also effective when used on a snakebite.

More often than not the fruit is sliced, dried and a thirst quenching tea can be made by steeping the dried slices in hot water, it is a very popular drink in Thailand.

The fragrant flesh is also eaten with Keow Neow…sticky rice. The young leaves and shoots are eaten as a vegetable here in Thailand and used to season food in Indonesia.

It is also a prototype of today’s Orange.

matum tree

Images: My own.

The Mangosteen Garcinia Mangostana has a very hard outer shell and is a widely eaten and available fruit here in Thailand.

When open it is similar with its segments to an Orange. It has a thick outer skin which is about 1/4 of an inch thick. If picked straight from the tree it is easier to open because as the fruit ages it dries and loses water thus the outer shell quickly hardens.

Keeping it in a bag in the fridge slows down the moisture loss.

It grows naturally in South East Asia and is known for its sweet peachy tasting flesh. Its seeds are bitter and should not be eaten.

When young ..freshly picked from the tree the seeds are white but turn brown as the fruit ages so it is a good indication of how fresh your Mangosteen is.

To open the fruit using a thin sharp serrated knife carefully cut around the circumference of the fruit. Then twist to open.

mangosteen-showing cut fruit half

Warning: Be very careful not to cut yourself as the shell is very hard which may cause the knife to slip.

Low in calories and high in fibre with a high Potassium content the Mangosteen also has healthy amounts of manganese and magnesium which is good for intestinal health.

It is known as one of the 5 not so typical fruits noted for its life-changing potential. Scientists believe that an antioxidant in Mangosteen can cause cell death in cancer.

But as with everything we consume moderation is key. Its high fructose levels can be harmful to humans.

Thai-style Mangosteen Clafoutis recipe:

  • 5 fresh Mangosteen opened and segmented( leave seeds in)
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tbsp.
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup rice flour ( all purpose flour) can be used.
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk.
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp grated lime/lemon zest.
  • 1tsp of vanilla and coconut essences.
  • Icing sugar to finish when serving.

Let’s Cook!

Pre-heat oven to 350F.generously grease a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish or you can use individual ramekins.

Prepare Mangosteen by removing from the outer shell and dividing into segments(leave the stone in)

Toss the fruit with 1 tsp cornflour and 1 tbsp of sugar. Arrange the fruit in the bottom of the dish/dishes.

In a large bowl or food processor whisk eggs with salt and sugar. Then whisk in flour. Add coconut milk, lime zest, vanilla and coconut essences and whisk to blend together.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish/dishes, the fruit may float but that ok.

Place dish in the oven, if using ramekins they need to be placed in a tin/dish containing water which goes 1/3 way up the Ramekins.

Bake for 55-60 minutes until the middles are set and the top is lightly browned.

Serve warm with a light dusting of icing sugar with ice cream or whipped cream.

Warning: Advise guests to be aware that there are stones in the fruit.

Enjoy!

Thai Cherry and pickled Thai cherries 

thai cherries 1

The Thai cherry or mountain cherries as they are also called are found in East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. They are from the family Rosaceae and the genus Prunus.

To me, they also look very much like a tomato but there the resemblance ends

The name in Thai is naang pha yaa suea khrong which translated means Tiger Queen. It sounds so pretty, doesn’t it?… I love some of the Thai translations.

Trees flower in autumn and winter and produce a yellow fruit which turns red as it ripens.

The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked as can the seed of the cherry.

This recipe is for pickled cherries. 

  • 6 cups of pitted and washed cherries.
  • 1 lime
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass crushed
  • 4 pieces of dried ginger( galangal)
  • 10 dried birds eye chillies
  • 2 cups of  white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of rice vinegar.

Either one large mason jar which holds 4 cups or 2 smaller jars sterilised.

Zest your lime and add to a mason jar with lemongrass, ginger and chillies.

Put both kinds of vinegar, sugar and juice of the lime into a pan and on a medium heat, stir until the sugar has dissolved when the vinegar is warm add the cherries and cook for 4 minutes.

With a slotted spoon put the cherries into the jar, then strain the vinegar and pour over the cherries any remaining vinegar put in a clean bottle and use for salad dressings or marinades.

Seal the jar and leave for 4-6 weeks to allow the flavours to develop.

Enjoy!

Further information on the uses of the bark and leaves.

Gum is obtained from the bark and chewed also the juice from the bark if applied externally to the back is said to give some relief from the pain of a backache.

Both the fruit and leaves also produce a green dye.

The seeds are used in the production of necklaces by the ethnic tribes in Northern Thailand.

This tree has hard, strong aromatic wood which is glossy and the branches are used for walking sticks.

A little warning: 

This fruit belongs to a genus where most if not all its members produce hydrogen cyanide which is a poison which gives an almond taste to their characteristic flavour.

The toxin which is found mainly in the leaves and the seeds is easily detected by its bitter taste. The quantity is too small to do any harm but a very bitter seed or fruit should not be eaten.

On the plus side in small quantities, it has been proved to stimulate respiration and improve digestion. It is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer.

Which brings me to what I always say ..moderation is key and as always  I can’t say it enough ” check” what you are eating before you eat it if it is unknown and you have just picked it because it looks pretty and because you have heard you can use other flowers. Not all flowers are edible.

Please always check and stay safe.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing about some of the fruits which we have here in Thailand if you have and you think any of your friends would love to read about them then please share on your favourite social media or to Pinterest.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you  for reading until next time stay safe, laugh a lot and enjoy your weekend  xxx

 

 

 

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Retired No One Told Me!..Weekly Roundup… It’s all about the Flavour…

Welcome to my weekly roundup …you know the procedure by now..comfy chair, a drink relax and enjoy!

lady relaxing kindle-1867751_1280

My first post week was one which bought back memories of a lovely holiday in Malta and their lovely National dish of rabbit stew which in turn made me remember my granddad and my uncle Ken…Both of who worked on the land and taught me much when growing up…The rabbits were mostly poached(shhh) and his ferret definitely not a pet but that is life and how it is…The rabbit stew, however, my mum and Nan used to make..I loved it!

Enjoy recipes and I think I will be making my first octopus dish as Jovina’s recipe sounds and looks glorious…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/cooking-the-mediterranean-island-countries/

Then it was my regular Tuesday No more Diets …Healthy Eating… I started keeping a food diary as I had decided no more biscuits with my morning cuppa…Day 6 and No biscuits I sent Lily home with the biscuits so as to avoid temptation…How did all this come about? I read the lovely Sally’s post and perused the chart she provided and was shocked that those two biscuits could have such an impact so I duly weighed myself and started my food diary…

The plan??? Keep the diary and weigh myself every Monday( no hopping on and off the scales)…Well…Today is Sunday and the lure of the scales just too much…4LBS… OFF!

 

You two are so dumped from my diet…

I will also be truthful and did dump the Haribos only little packets of jellies but nearly every night… 2 things and 4 LB in 6 days…

Thank you, Sally, for getting me refocused …Hugs! xxx

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/healthy-eatingno-more-dietseat-yourself-slim/

Wednesday is the day I can indulge my passion for cooking courtesy of Sally and this week it was my favourite recipes …The recipes I make the most instead of buying them…

Healthier, it saves me money…A no-brainer really and it takes less time to make them than it takes to get in the car, negotiate the traffic, find a car parking space and then queue at the till and you still have to drive home…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-fajita-spice-tahini-peanut-butter-hummus/

Following on from Fruity Friday and the red Bananas I discovered along with some things I didn’t know …That all red bananas are not naturally red…The ones on the bunch are but not the pretty looking red bananas in a dessert…They are red because they are cooked in Lime water?? A trip to the local market with my daughter in law and we found the red paste…Spoiler Alert!

Small cooking bananas

Today I will be cooking the green bananas and turning them into a red dessert and all will be revealed on Friday…..

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/what-is-lime-water-nam-pboon-sai/

It was then the turn of one of my archived posts about the tradition of charcoal making down on the farm which the lovely Sally once again showcased for me …Such a generous lady is our Sal xxx

charcoal-pit

The tradition of making charcoal here in rural Thailand.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-thailand-down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal-by-carol-taylor/

Date time…I should be so lucky as sung by Kylie… Stuffed with blue cheese they are a wonderous thing or wrapped in bacon… I love those beautiful patterned Tagines, don’t you???Fruity Friday Dates (1)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/fruity-friday-dates/

Lastly …Are you still with me??? Do you need to take five, top up your cuppa ???

Lastly, I took you on a journey through the 5 tastes of  Thai cuisine the ingredients which make up those tastes of Spicy, Sour, Sweet, Salty and Bitter…

fresh cut limes-1239267_1280

How you don’t get a starter, main course and then a dessert here… Even in a restaurant that serves western food Thais don’t get the concept of individual courses as their food is about the whole meal and how the flavours compliment each other how if you have a hot curry you will get a mild but tasty soup and stir-fry…

Which is why a Thai recipe is a guide as chillies vary in heat, fish sauce can vary by brand, depending on the time of year the taste of limes vary which takes me back to what I always say to you TASTE and TASTE again build your flavours to suit your palate and then you may be able to say I can cook Thai Food …

It has taken me 10 years and I am still learning…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/thai-cooking-sweet-sour-spicy-salty-and-bitter/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup if you have please share or pin to your favourite board or media…Thank you xxx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you so much for reading this I hope you have a lovely weekend …xxx

 

Fruity Friday…Dates

 

Fruity Friday Dates (1)

Welcome to Fruity Fridays and this week it is a date…No, not that kind the sweet delicious dates that pair wonderfully with bacon or blue cheese or add that touch of sweetness to a Moroccan Tagine.

I do have as pictured above a date palm in my garden but dates don’t fare well here they like hot, dry temperatures not hot and humid.

The dates that are on my tree are picked while young and unripe and we take them to Lily’s other grandmother who loves them…so they don’t go to waste as the village ladies like them unripe but unripe the texture in your mouth is like when you eat banana peel but a lot drier and sour and not something that I like to eat but each to their own it wouldn’t do for us all to be alike, however, she also loves it when we take her fully ripe dates  as a treat.

Dates are probably one of the only naturally dehydrated fruits they are also fat-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol free, sodium free and a great source of fibre.

Dates have been a staple food in the Middle East for thousands of years and many people still offer dates at each meal as a sign of hospitality or as an accompaniment to unsweetened tea or coffee.

When I was a child the only time we had dates were at Christmas they were a treat but dates now are used as appetisers wrapped in bacon the saltiness of the bacon is a good foil for the sweetness of the dates also stuffed with blue cheese they are a lovely thing and very moreish and are seen on many a buffet table.

dates rolled in bacon-2327534_1280

Date and walnut loaf or bread is also quite nice a little sweet for me and I remember my dad loving a sticky date pudding with custard.

Sticky Date and Walnut Pudding.

  • 1 cup dried pitted dates chopped
  • 4 tbsp low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup  margarine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2  eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger if using fresh ginger chop/grate finely.
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and roughly chopped.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 1 litre (1 quart) pudding basin lined with a disc of parchment paper.

Place the dates in a bowl and pour over 2 tablespoons milk. Stir to coat, then leave to soak.

Place the margarine, sugar, eggs and remaining milk in a bowl. Sift over the flour, cinnamon and ginger, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes or until smooth. Fold in the soaked dates and walnuts.

Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin. Set the basin in a baking pan and pour in boiling water to come 1 cm up the sides of the basin. Cover the pan and basin with a tent of foil.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the pudding has lightly risen and a skewer comes out clean. If not, bake a further 10 minutes.

Turn the sticky date and walnut pudding onto a serving plate.

Serve with custard which is how my mum always served it although now many make sauces with fruit like an orange sauce  I think with this custard is all you need.

ENJOY!

Dates in Morocco, for example, are added to savoury dishes like a tagine …I just love how ornate some of these tagines are and the food which cooks in one of those is always just amazing.

Lamb Tagine with Dates.

morocco- date tagine 2290936_1280

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 onions, thinly sliced
  • half sm cauliflower cut into florets.
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh root ginger
  • 2kg boneless lamb  shoulder, cut into 5cm chunks
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp each paprika  and ground coriander
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 850ml passata
  • 700g sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 350g pitted date
  • Some slivered almonds and some coriander for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan. Add the onions, then gently fry until softened, about 5 mins.

Stir in the ginger, add the meat in batches, then fry on all sides until lightly coloured. Return all the meat to the pan, stir in the spices and cinnamon sticks, then cook for 1 min.

Add the passata and 800ml water, then bring to the boil, stirring. Season well, then cover and simmer for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is tender.

Add the sweet potatoes and vegetables, stir well, cover again, then cook for 20 mins or until the potatoes are just tender.

Stir in the dates and heat through for 5 mins. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary.

To serve, spoon the tagine into a serving dish and scatter with the almonds and coriander.

N.B. As with all tagines or stews, you can add any vegetables i.e carrots, sweet corn, courgettes whatever you have that needs using.

Lastly, this little stuffing is a match made in heaven…

stuffed pork loin-386802_640

Date and bacon stuffing.

  • slices bacon, chopped
  • stalks celery, finely chopped
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4cup snipped pitted whole dates
  • tbsp snipped fresh thyme
  • clove garlic, minced
  • cups dry cubes sourdough bread
  • 1 – 1 1/3cups vegetable or chicken broth

Let’s Cook!

In a large pan, cook bacon until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of drippings. Add celery and onion to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in dates, thyme, and garlic.

In a large bowl combine bread cubes, date mixture, and bacon. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten, stirring to combine.

You can then cook the stuffing and serve as an accompaniment or use to stuff a piece of loin as I have done we love pork loin with stuffing.

To stuff, the pork loin either cut a pocket and stuff or cut the loin but not right through put the stuffing down the middle and roll and tie with string.

This recipe is for stuffed pork loin but with a different stuffing but more detailed on how to stuff a pork loin if you are a beginner.

You can then wrap the loin in bacon if desired.

I hope you have enjoyed this post on the Date …Have you a favourite recipe which you make using dates? If so please share it with us.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you so much for reading this I hope you have a lovely weekend …xxx

 

 

Fruity Friday…The Red Banana

Red Bananas (2)

Banana trees are everywhere here in gardens, growing on wasteland, by the side of the road everywhere… Sometimes I can’t even give them away…

They can be frozen, used in fruit shakes and smoothies or banana bread…Banana pancakes are very popular here and we have a little stall just down the road from us.

The kids love them but they are too sweet for me and an occasional treat for them as they pour condensed milk all over them.

You will also see BBQ’S by the side of the road grilling them and serving with some sweet syrup or fried bananas, banana balls which are one of my favourites when I go to market but you name it you can get the banana any which way…

They range from tiny little bananas to fair sized one not sold by the kilo as in western countries but by the hand as bananas are freely available here and very prolific crops.

The red banana I was given as a gift by one of my neighbours they are very nice and so pretty… it has a balanced sweet taste and can be used as a cooking banana even though it isn’t plantain but we just enjoyed eating them just as they were.

Red Bananas (2)

The leaves of the red banana, however, cannot be used to cook, wrap or serve food on. The red banana is not so popular as other bananas as it is harder to grow they also require more water and the skins tend to crack so I think I got a bit of a treat as I hadn’t seen them before. and the skins on these were lovely and smooth so they obviously were well watered.

More so unusual because when I was showing a friend she told me that some red bananas sold as a sweet dish here are not a special variety that is naturally red like mine but rather, the bananas are soaked in red coloured hydrolyzed lime water, made with a lime powder obtained from fossilized shells dissolved in water. The soaking hardens the bananas so that they don’t fall apart when later boiled in syrup. These “Red ” bananas may be eaten on their own or served in sweetened coconut milk.

That was an interesting piece of info not sure if I would like to eat them but I will certainly be keeping my eyes out and have asked my friend to get me some if she sees them…I will now be investigating this fossilized shells they use.

You learn something every day don’t you??? Have you seen this dessert or tried it???

Healthwise the red banana is high on potassium and is alkaline in nature. Since it is red in colour, it has a high content of anthocyanin which acts like an antioxidant. It is also high on fibre and vitamin C.

Even though the basic constitutes of all varieties of bananas are the same, the red bananas are high in all the vitamins and minerals and is a great antioxidant-rich food.

Just a little tip… I was told that Red bananas are great for your skin when made into a paste… To prepare an easy and effective face mask mix powered oats, mashed red banana and few drops of honey to make a paste. Apply it on your face an let it dry and then wash it off.

Not only do they make a great face mask but they are good for your hair…

You can mash the banana with coconut, sesame or almond oil to moisturize your hair and to relieve problems like dandruff, hair fall and dry hair. Add few teaspoons of lemon in the mask and apply it all over your hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash off for bouncy and shiny hair.

I hope you enjoyed this post about my gift of red bananas…

If you did please hit the share buttons …xxx

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Thank you  for reading and have a lovely weekend x

 

Fruity Friday…The Raspberry…

Fruity Fridays The Raspberry

 

Welcome to Fruity Friday today I am showcasing a fruit which is synonymous with desserts and I definitely am not the desert queen by any means…I may make the odd ice cream or a fruit compote but my culinary skills lie elsewhere I am a savoury lady although I  used to make birthday cakes when my kiddies were young and I wish I had the photos but I didn’t back them up and lost all of them a few years ago…Lesson learnt the hard way … I think my favourite was Goldilocks and the three bears and of course, I made numerous forts and fairy castles…I digress…

I suppose this is what has stopped me my lack of dessert making in showcasing a fruit which I love… fresh or frozen it freezes very well…The Raspberry…

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Raspberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre. They are a very good source of copper and a good source of Vitamin K, Vitamin E, magnesium, folate, omega-3 fatty acids and potassium.

A little powerhouse of benefits…

Spicy Raspberry Sauce.

  • I punnet of raspberries
  • 3 tbsp. Hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

Let’s get saucy…

In a blender, purée raspberries with 1/4 cup water; strain through a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl, pushing the mixture through with rubber spatula.

Into the raspberry mixture, whisk the honey, smoked paprika, 1/8 tsp salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons hot sauce.

This spicy little dip is lovely with chicken wings or sliced strip steak…

I like raspberries made into a fruit compote and I love it with porridge oats …To make the compote measure 3 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar, I tsp lime juice…Just pop your berries in a saucepan on a low heat with half the sugar if you think you need a splash of water then add it bring to a slow rolling boil and let simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the fruit has broken down add your lime or lemon juice.

I don’t mind the pips but if you prefer a smoother compote then pass the mixture through a fine sieve.

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Adjust the sugar depending on how sweet you like your compote ..I prefer mine on the tart side …This will keep in the fridge for about a week or freeze it in portions.

You could also do a mix of different berries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries which is also very nice and something which I do…

A compote is also lovely served with natural or greek yoghurt…

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Mix raspberries and sugar together in a bowl; set aside until mixture is juicy, about 10 minutes.

Mash berries using a fork until liquefied if you prefer a smoother vinaigrette then blitz in a small mixer.

Pour berry mixture into a jar with a lid; add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt. Cover the jar with a lid and shake until dressing is mixed well.

Store in refrigerator.

Raspberry Smoothies.

Raspberry Protein Shake

Doesn’t that look beautiful? To me, it just screams drink me the colour is awesome so vibrant.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1/3 cup of greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 medium beetroot(raw) peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp honey ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ( optional)

Let’s, Blitz!

Measure all the ingredients into your blender and blitz away… The colour was amazing a beautiful colour and it tasted very nice not too sweet and I did add honey.

This smoothie can be drunk instead of a drink with protein powder and the like in it …An alternative to bought protein drinks…Having never had a protein drink I do not know what they taste like although I have listened to others who say well they don’t taste great but I drink them anyway…Really!

I think I know which one I would rather drink…Don’t you??

Did you know?

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Each raspberry consists of around 100 individual tiny fruits, called drupelets, filled with one seed. They are arranged in a shape of a helmet around the centrally positioned small stem. When ripe raspberries are harvested from the plant, the stem remains on the mother plant, leaving the hole in the middle of the fruit.

Did you know?

Scotland is famous for its raspberry growing. In the late 1950s, raspberries were brought down from Scotland to London on a steam train known as the Raspberry Special.

I think my abiding memory of raspberries is one picking them as a child and two my nan used to make the best trifle with raspberries no custard just plain sponge, raspberries and jelly made with raspberry juice and served with lovely fresh cream …Very simple and how I make my trifles to this day…Nothing fancy…Just simply done so fruity and fresh…

So no I am not a fancy dessert queen just simple flavours and that is how I roll…No airs and graces…Just me…

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have please pin it or share on your favourite social media … Comments in the comments section it really makes my day to hear from you…What is your favourite recipe using raspberries???

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Enjoy your weekend, have fun and laugh a lot and be mindful xxx