Food Club June 2016

A Very Berry Summer!

Most of us love berries, their sweet but slightly tart taste, their vibrant colour and most of all their adaptability to make summer shakes, smoothies, infused water, cakes and pies – deliciously yummy and certainly a fruit that you can get the children to eat with ease.

Whilst blueberries are heralded as the most healthy, all berries can almost be designated as ‘super foods’ – they are heart healthy, gut healthy, help fight diabetes and control both cholesterol and blood pressure. They are also great as part of weight loss diet (forgetting the double cream, icing sugar or chocolate sauce!), as they tend to make you feel full. A great start to the day, as they will stave off hunger when that ‘mid-morning munchies’ state can take over your willpower!

Berries are so easy to make into a delightful dessert or to take on a picnic. Take in an airtight container on your picnic or outdoor event, and spend a few minutes the day before to make some lovely crumbly shortbread to go with them, or take some crème fraiche (in a tub) wrapped in a bag of ice to ‘dollop’ over the top. As a little ‘twist’, or a slightly sharper taste, marinate the berries in fresh orange juice, or try them soaked in elderflower cordial – they really are delicious with such little effort.

In celebration of a ‘very berry summer’, we have included one of our favourite recipes to try- great for breakfast or as a dessert.

Buttery Crêpes with Marinated Berries

Delicious French crêpes are a wonderful dessert to enjoy. We have paired them with some marinated berries. Easy to make in your blender, but remember to leave the batter to rest for an hour in the refrigerator before making the crêpes.

No. of servings:      4 crêpes

Preparation Time:  10 minutes (plus 1 hour chilling)

Cook Time:              2 minutes per crêpe

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fresh free range eggs
  • 1½ tbsp butter, melted
  • 340g/12oz milk
  • 125g/4½oz all-purpose flour
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

For the berries

  • 115g/4oz strawberries, sliced
  • 85g/3oz blueberries (you can use any fruit you like)
  • 90ml/3fl.oz fresh orange juice

To serve

  • A little cream, ice cream or icing sugar sifted over the top

Method:

  1. Place all the crêpe ingredients into your blender and put the lid on. Blend on medium, or if you have a ‘batter’ button, use that one. Blend until thoroughly mixed and then place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Prepare your fruit by slicing the strawberries and placing in a bowl with the blueberries and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Heat a crêpe pan or small frying pan on medium heat. Drizzle a small amount of oil or a couple of puffs of cooking spray into the pan and swirl.
  4. Pour enough batter into the pan and tip around from side to side to cover the base of the pan. Leave to cook for 1 minute, or until there is no sign of liquid on the top.
  5. Flip over, and cook other side for 30-45 seconds until crêpe is cooked through. Remove and place on baking paper or greaseproof paper.
  6. Place another piece of paper over the crêpe before continuing to cook the remaining batter, interspersing the crêpes with sheets of paper.
  7. When ready to serve, put crêpes onto plates, fill with the berry mix and flip in half.  Add a little more berry mix around the crêpe and serve with cream, ice cream or sifted icing sugar.

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What’s Hot for June

Raw chocolate is being featured everywhere, from recipe books to TV programmes and restaurants. So what is raw chocolate?

‘Normal’ chocolate is usually made by the cacao beans being fermented, roasted, ground, pressed and mixed with fat and sugar before being made into the vast range of sweets and bars. Some companies in the UK, US and also Asia are advocating that without using this complicated procedure which involves high temperatures, the chocolate will contain much better levels of antioxidants, by preserving the nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium and vitamin C – a similar thought process to eating raw as opposed to cooked vegetables.

There is obviously a distinct taste differential, and it will take time to adapt to this (if you think changing from milk chocolate to dark chocolate was difficult, this is much harder!).

However, there are many ways to use raw cacao,to start to adjust to the taste. You can of course buy it as pre-made raw chocolate bars, which often contain a natural sweetener such as agave nectar or coconut sugar together with the cacao to make it taste good with out the sugar and fat ‘nasties’.

If you buy the raw nibs (simply broken up pieces of whole raw cacao bean) or cacao powder, they are best mixed with something that has natural sweetness to balance the bitter taste of the cacao. For example, mix the nibs with nuts and dried fruit such as goji berries or another chewy berry as a snack, or blend them into smoothies. You can also add cacao powder to smoothies, or even make a raw chocolate ice cream with frozen bananas, cacao powder and cacao nibs.

Where to go this month

Always a great show, the BBC Good Food Show is being held in Birmingham from Thursday 16th – Sunday 19th June at the NEC. Demonstrations, food stalls, equipment etc – the show is jam packed with everything  a foodie could want, with all your favourite Celeb Chefs such as Tom Kerridge, James Martin, Michel Roux, The Hairy Bikers, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, to name but a few. Get your tickets now, and don’t miss out on this great event.

See you next month!

 

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