What about Frozen Food?

One of the more common questions we get is about frozen foods. Can I use frozen meat, fish, vegetable or fruit? And how much should I have when it’s frozen? 

First, yes you can use frozen foods, as long as they contain no additives, fats or sauces – simply the pure food. We’ve seen, for example, commercial frozen fruit with added sugar. This would definitely not be allowed. So if you’re buying frozen foods, always check the label. If it’s a whole food that has been frozen soon after harvesting or preparing or one you have frozen it yourself, then it’s fine. With regards to quantities this is very simple. The amount of frozen fruit and frozen vegetables is exactly the same as allotted on your plan. When weighing frozen proteins such as fish, meat or seafood, you should always have an extra 25g more than listed in your plan, as there is a loss of water during thawing. For example: if you have 125g fish listed on your plan then you will need to have 150g of frozen fish.

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What’s to Know About Pepper

Do you love pepper? We definitely do!

The peppercorns that we use as spice in our meals are from the Piperaceae family which has at least 700 different species! The pepper plant originally comes from the forests of southern India but is now cultivated in the tropics throughout the world. Black peppercorns with their thin, wrinkly skin are harvested and dried before they fully ripen. Nutritionally, black pepper is rich in piperine, which gives pepper its intense sharp taste. White pepper is made from fully ripe red pepper fruits, which are allowed to ferment. If the pulp is rubbed off after three days, the greyish-white, milder tasting round seeds appear. Green pepper is the unripe fruit that is placed in brine. No matter which one you use – (fresh) ground pepper is an excellent healthy addition in many aspects. Hot spices in general can support digestion and even kill pathogens. Of course those with a sensitive stomach or gastritis, should use peppery spices sparingly.

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Interesting Facts about Vanilla!

Vanilla is such an essential (and wonderful) ingredient in the Holiday Season, that it’s hard to imagine baking without it! Did you know that vanilla pods are the fruit of a climbing orchid? When they are freshly harvested, they actually look like green beans. The vanilla spice plant itself, originates from the rain-forests of Mexico and Guatemala and evidence shows that the Aztecs knew the secret of the vanilla pods! Only when they are fermented vanilla pods develop their distinctive aroma and taste. The complete drying process by the way, can take up to four weeks. Vanilla – either the scraped out seeds or the whole pod – is the classic spice for many desserts, egg dishes, creams, cakes, cookies and compotes. It’s known to harmonize perfectly with chocolate, cocoa, cinnamon, saffron and cloves. It also brings an interesting taste to fish, meat, poultry and vegetable dishes. 

One excellent use for the empty vanilla pod is to add it to sugar or salt. Simply put the pod into a glass jar with sugar or salt and close it tightly. After one week you will have an aromatic treat of vanilla sugar or vanilla salt. 

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