Healthy ice-cream?! Now there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one. The reality is that you cannot really call any sweet dessert “healthy”. But everything in life is shades of grey, and you can certainly find healthIER ice-creams and frozen desserts, that at least limit the bad stuff and/or have redeeming nutritional benefits. I add as a proviso to this that at TMA, we don’t really think anything should be totally out of bounds, and portion control is arguably the best “diet” in the world. My own preference would be for one scoop of real Italian gelato than a tub of any nice-cream, which may in fact be higher in sugar anyway so watch out for those. Remember to look beyond labels. Coconut Collaborative snowconut may be dairy free but it is higher in sugar (more of an enemy, unless you have a dairy allergy) than Haagen Dazs vanilla. Also, don’t forget you can make your own ice-creams, nice-creams and sorbets. My recipe for matcha green tea nice cream is here, and I also love making popsicles with the kids – they like orange best (just plain freshly squeezed orange juice), while my favourites are either lime and mint (like a kind of virgin frozen mojito; tastes great tequila’d up too if you are party planning) or banana and coconut milk (I add a handful of spinach leaves and/or vanilla protein powder sometimes – sounds vile but honestly so delicious). Other than those ideas, here is my pick of the commercially available alternatives.
I often think that walnuts are like an inferior tasting pecan nut that is somehow 1000 years past its use-by-date but freakily ended up in my kitchen. Judged by taste alone, they’d be one of my least favourite nuts, reserved solely for carrot cake and brownies, in which they actually taste pretty great. But (sadly) I cannot live on brownies and carrot cake. So I am inspired to figure out other acceptable walnut situations because for nutrition, the walnut is pretty unequivocally the healthiest nut. This is BTW a topic I discuss with my children: food is not just about taste. It is fuel, and if we want our bodies to perform really well, we need to nourish them correctly. Superman, supercars and Popeye feature heavily in this kind of chat. Continue Reading
Well, if there’s one thing that every single nutritionist in the whole world ever could agree on, it might be this: vegetables are a great thing! The more (in terms of quantity, quality and variety) that we can include in our diets, the better. I am very fond of lycopene, a phytochemical pigment that gives tomatoes their red colour. Lycopene is thought to have some role in preventing cardiovascular disease and to a lesser extent, protecting against prostate cancer. Studies have also shown that it helps protect skin against damage caused by UV exposure.
Our bodies absorb this antioxidant more easily when it is consumed alongside fat and also when tomatoes are cooked. Since all jars and packaged tomatoes are heated during the canning process, this is one area where arguably the packaged product is better for you than the fresh, at least in terms of this anti-oxidant. I always have canned chopped tomatoes and passata in the house. This recipe is based on passata, but hides a whole load more vegetables (and therefore a whole variety of nutrients) in it also. I prepare this in huge batches and keep it in the freezer in portion sizes. It is great alongside meat or meatballs as well as a pasta sauce. Adults love it too, just up the seasoning and sprinkle a few herbs on top. Continue Reading