Monday, 20 April 2015

It’s Autumn – your guide to local and seasonal produce!

How much better do fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables taste! But when you’re at the supermarket these days and all varieties are on offer, how do you know which are in season and being grown locally? The easiest way to know is by visiting your local farmers market or asking your greengrocer – but we have put together a list for you too!

Buying seasonally will not only help your meals be as tasty as possible and deliver an abundance of vitamins and minerals, it can be better on your pocket too. Expect to see the prices of the following fruits and veggies come down over the coming weeks.

Fruits: Apples, bananas, figs, grapes, kiwifruit, watermelon, nectarines, peach, pears, persimmons, plums, quince.

Veggies: Asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, mushrooms, pumpkins, snow peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, zucchini.  

Are there any foods above that you have never tried before? What about persimmons, figs, quince, turnips or fresh beetroot? Why not pick something new next time you’re doing your shopping…. it may become your new favourite.

Check out this ‘Zucchini slice with pumpkin’ recipe for something different this Autumn and follow Newtown Nutrition on Facebook  for more seasonal recipes.

To find out which fruits and vegetables are in season specifically in your state check out seasonalfoodguide.com.

Australia’s new health stars

Have you seen the new ‘Health Star Rating System’ that has hit our supermarket shelves? The new national front-of-pack labelling system offers a quick, easy and standardised way to compare the overall nutritional profile of similar packaged foods (e.g. breakfast cereals or snack bars).

Products are given a rating from ½ a star to 5 stars - the more stars, the healthier the choice! The stars may be displayed alone or with nutritional information as shown.

    

The number of stars given is based on the following factors per 100g (or 100ml):
  •  Energy (kilojoules).
  •  Positive nutrients - dietary fibre, protein and the proportion of fruit, vegetable,  nut and legume content.  
  •  Risk nutrients - saturated fat, sodium (salt) and sugars.
The Health Star Rating system was developed by the Australian, state and territory governments in collaboration with industry, public health and consumer groups. This voluntary system was launched late 2014 and now over 400 products contain the star rating system on their packaging. Expect to see stars gradually appearing on more and more products.

For more information visit www.healthstarrating.gov.au

Zucchini slice with pumpkin


Considering zucchini and pumpkin are now in season, I wanted to share this yummy and simple recipe from Caroline at Healthy Home Café. This slice makes for an easy dinner or lunch with a side salad or vegetables, or as it is for a snack especially if cooked on the weekend ready for the week ahead.

Ingredients (serves 4):
      2 eggs
      120g low fat ricotta cheese
      60g low fat fetta cheese, crumbled
      ½ teaspoon salt
      Freshly ground pepper
      2 medium zucchinis (200g), grated
      200g pumpkin, grated
      2 tablespoons wholemeal* flour
      1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs e.g. parsley,
      chives, dill

     * wholemeal brown rice flour can be used for gluten free

Directions:

      1.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees C. Line a 15cm square tin with baking paper.
      2.  Add eggs, ricotta, half of the feta cheese, salt and pepper to a medium sized bowl 
           and whisk with a fork to combine.
      3.  Add grated zucchini, pumpkin and flour to bowl and stir through.
      4.  Pour mixture into prepared tray and spread evenly 
      5.  Top with tomato slices and sprinkle with remaining feta cheese
      6.  Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes

Tips:
  • Traditional zucchini slices include bacon for flavour, but skip the processed meat and use plenty of herbs instead.
  • Add any of your favourite vegetables for variety e.g. sweet potato, spinach, carrot, broccoli. 
  • The slice can be stored in the fridge for up to four days or frozen for weeks.
  • Add sliced tomato to the top of the mixture before cooking for more visual appeal and flavour. 
  • Keep left over feta in a container filled with water in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for next time. 
  • Use any left over ricotta as a tasty snack with some honey or stewed fruit.

How can meditation help my eating?

Guest blogger Natalia Mazzi

Your digestive system has an intimate connection with the mind. First and foremost, everything you put in your mouth is because of you. All eating issues are linked with the mind and can also be solved by it. Those who are more aware and educated eat a better quality food, whereas those who are unaware and uneducated eat without a regard for nutrition.

We must ask ourselves, “What determines what you put in your mouth? And is it your conscious awareness, or just a physical craving?” Understanding the mind is not only about what you put in your mouth, but how you feel emotionally—good and bad—when you eat.

The world is filled with stress and when this stress affects our digestive system, problems occur. When our mind cannot detach from stress, it becomes our body’s. When the stomach is stressed, it tends to release too much stomach acid thereby causing a problem. When the small intestines become hard and rigid, the nutrients in food are not properly absorbed. As food moves into the large intestines another stress related problem can occur - constipation. When one cannot mentally relax, the large intestines cannot function naturally.
When one cannot eliminate waste by regular bowel movements, toxins in the physical body accumulate.

Natalia is running a 12 week Kelee meditation course - see article below.

Kelee Mediation Beginner Course

Commencing Monday 27th April 2015

This course is recommended for people that haven’t meditated before as well as people that have another technique and want to learn Kelee Meditation.

It is also recommended for students that haven’t done the Kelee Practice in a regular form (every morning and night) for more than two years. As this course will help you develop a regular practice, which at the end of the course will feel natural to do every morning and night, with out feeling that you don’t have time to practice.

Course topics:
- Environment settings and posture for a regular
  practice.
- Reference points of the Kelee.
- Brain function, mind function, dysfunction.
- Compartments, looping and their relation with fears.
- Learn more about your self by being in stillness.
- Difference between feeling and thinking.

Course Duration: 12 Weeks, starting 27th April 2015
Classes: Mondays 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Location: Black Lotus Studios - 1st Floor, Corner of Gladstone st & Wilford st, Enmore, NSW
Investment: $240 (Includes a copy of Ron W. Rathbun book: “Free your Mind”)
Contact: Natalia Mazzi Ph.0427 258 089