Hello <<First Name>>,
Welcome to our winter edition filled with wellbeing tips and tricks from our kitchen to yours. In this issue:
- Are you soy sauce savvy?
- Learn the secrets of the Asian diet for health and longevity at our NEW cookshop
- What's so amazing about kale?
- Meet celeriac, the nobby old-world vegetable making a come back
- Is non-stick cookware harmful for your health?
- Best ways to keep your avocado fresh
Do You Know Your Soy Sauces?
Soy sauce is one of those condiments that can be found in many Australian households. It is regularly used for dipping sauces, marinades, in stir-fries or fried rice dishes. But did you know there are actually many varieties of soy sauce to choose from? There are naturally brewed and commercially made; light and dark; Chinese and Japanese; regular and salt reduced. So which soy sauce should you buy?
Naturally brewed or commercial?
Natural soy sauce is made from a combination of soybeans, sea salt, water and possibly wheat. The mixture is allowed to ferment in cedar vats for between six months and two years. Being a fermented food, soy sauce was traditionally made using a slow, long process. Commercial soy sauces, on the otherhand, are now mass produced with the aid of various chemicals and only allowed to ferment for up to 6 weeks. Unless your bottle of soy sauce states it is ‘naturally brewed’, you can assume it has been chemically processed. The lower price tag will also give you a clue!
Chinese or Japanese?
If you venture into the international section of your supermarket, you will most likely come across a Japanese-style soy sauce. The Japanese varieties tend to be thinner and clearer than the Chinese soy sauces. While traditional Chinese soy sauces were made with 100 % soy, when the brewing method made its way to Japan the recipe was modified to use an even ratio of soybeans and wheat. This resulted in a sweeter, less harsh flavour, which is why the Japanese varieties are commonly used for dipping rather than just as a cooking ingredient. They are known as shoyu – an all-purpose natural soy sauce – and tamari, which is usually wheat free.
Chinese soy sauces are available in a light or dark variety, which mainly refers to their colour intensity. The dark sauces are also generally thicker and often used in combination with the light variety to achieve a deeper colour in cooking. Chinese dark soy sauces also tend to have a higher sodium content!
What about the sodium?
One of the most important considerations you may make when choosing a soy sauce is the sodium content – the part of salt which has been found to be harmful for health. But don’t be fooled by ‘reduced salt’ and ‘50 % lower sodium’ claims on labels. All soy sauces contain a large amount of hidden sodium, even the salt reduced varieties!
So how much sodium are you getting from your soy sauce? You will need to check the label, as brands vary. Here are a few examples to get you thinking. To put this into perspective, one teaspoon of salt provides 2000 mg of sodium – this is more than what is recommended for the entire day, from all foods, for people who already have high blood pressure and are on medication!
|In 2 tablespoons of soy sauce…You get this many mg of sodium
|Pearl River Bridge dark soy sauce
|Pearl River Bridge light soy sauce
|Kikkoman reduced salt soy sauce
The salt and disease connection
Too much sodium in your diet can pave the way for more than 20 conditions and diseases! It’s not just harmful for those diagnosed with high blood pressure; it even starts to wreak havoc in healthy people. There is now data to suggest that within just 30 minutes of consuming a high-salt meal (i.e. soup), the flexibility of blood vessels of healthy people is reduced by about 50%. This returns to normal after a few hours. But assaulting your blood vessels in this way, repeatedly throughout the day, will take its toll on their overall health and functioning. Think sausages for breakfast, Caesar salad for lunch and a bag of potato crisps in the afternoon – and you have a recipe for blood vessel injury all day long.
While blood pressure rises with age faster in some people, it still rises in everyone, especially as you consume more salt. If you already have hypertension (high blood pressure), you should be extra cautious with your salt intake. But even if your blood pressure is currently normal, it’s a good idea to start taking some preventative action now to prevent long-term health problems.
Think it won’t affect you? The longest running study in the world called the Framingham Heart Study found that if you haven’t already developed hypertension by the time you are 50, you still have a 90 % chance of getting it by the time you are old if you eat a Western diet where salt hides in many processed foods!
How much salt is too much? – Healthy people should consume no more than 6 g of salt each day (this is equal to 2300 mg sodium) and those with high blood pressure should not exceed 4 g (that’s a maximum of 1600 mg sodium), according to the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia.
The bottom line............
All soy sauces contain very high amounts of sodium, so whichever you choose, use them sparingly (measure them out!) and dilute with water to extend their volume. If you already have high blood pressure, or need to skip salt for other medical conditions, avoiding soy sauce is the best recipe. Sadly, there is no commercially available low-sodium alternative.
“Looking after my health today gives me a better hope for tomorrow”. - Anne Wilson Schaef.
What’s Cooking? – Secrets of the Traditional Asian Diet for Health and Longevity
Curious about the foods and dietary patterns of the longest lived people?
Join us at a brand NEW cookshop event to discover kitchen secrets of centenarians from Okinawa and the China Study!
Learn about traditional foods, ranging from seaweed and bittermelon to turmeric and oolong tea, which could benefit your health.
Taste miso, konnyaku, tofu, Asian greens and Japanese jelly the kids will also love!
This event is perfect if you have insulin resistance, an elevated cholesterol, diabetes, are at risk of cancer or osteoporosis, or for those who simply want to learn more ways to use food as medicine.
If you haven’t attended a cookshop for some time, this one is for you! You will just love the easy recipe ideas.
When: Tuesday 11th August 2015, 6.30 pm - 8:30 pm
Learn more about our cookshops
Where: Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, Castle Hill (Sydney)
Enjoy a delicious tasting menu from entrée to dessert, and head home with recipes and handouts!
Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place. Bring a friend and make it a date!
Food Matters with Sue Radd – Superfood Kale
Heard people raving about kale lately? It seems to have taken Australian by storm and now you can buy several varieties. Read Sue Radd’s short article to learn why you should use it and how to make it taste good!
What’s Fresh – Celeraic
Celeraic (pronounced se•le•ree•ac) is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots. The “celery root” or “knob celery” as it is also known, is mentioned in the famous Greek poem Homer’s Odyssey as selinon.
Celeriac is a winter root vegetable. It has a thick tuberous root with brownish skin and white flesh, similar in appearance to a potato but with a gentle fragrance of celery. Celeriac originated in the Mediterranean Basin where it is wildly cultivated and is now harvested from North America, North Africa, Siberia to Southwest Asia.
The celeriac is an increasingly trendy vegetable which also has many nutritional properties that can benefit your health. It is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C, as well as providing a good source of fibre and potassium. More noteworthy is the abundant supply of phytonutrients found in this vegetable, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, which assist in dampening inflammation in your body to help prevent chronic disease. Celeriac truly is a great vegetable to include in your diet to keep your bones and joints healthy, maintain a fighting fit nervous system and brain function, and keep your heart pumping like a champion.
Celeriac hits prime time in the cool winter months, so July is the perfect time to start purchasing this nobby root vegetable. To pick the best of the bunch, look for a celeriac that has fairly smooth skin and little ridges. This will make it easier to peel and slice in your kitchen. Celeriac is best stored wrapped in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
5 rootin’ tootin’ ideas for using celeriac:
- For a lift, use celeriac raw, grated into winter salads.
- It’s fabulous in soups along with other root vegetables, such as parsnip and some leek for flavour.
- Throw it into a stir-fry just before serving to minimise loss of nutrients.
- Try mashed celeriac for a low-GI alternative to potato mash.
- Chop up into wedges and add some tasty spices then bake for a delicious side dish or snack. The kids will love these healthy “hot wedges”.
Food InFocus – Is Non-stick Cookware Poisoning You?
Inhale the delicious aroma of your super healthy stir-fry and you may just be inhaling toxic perfluorochemicals – that is, if you’re using non-stick cookware!
Kitchen Tips – The Best Way to Keep Your Avocado Fresh
Have you ever gone into the fridge to retrieve that other half of your avocado, only to find it has turned so brown, you have to throw it out instead? What you have witnessed is the oxidative process in action!
Oxidation is the process that occurs when oxygen comes into contact with certain substances to transform them – often to their detriment! Like iron urns left outside start to rust, so too does a cut avocado start to brown.
But how can you deter oxidation from causing your avocado to brown?
Here are five methods that can help slow the browning process and keep your avocado fresher for longer.
- The pit and plastic bag method – Keeping the pit in your avocado can help to preserve freshness. Wrap your avocado tightly in plastic wrap or seal it in a plastic bag with all the air sucked out to reduce contact with oxygen.
- The olive oil method – Brush your avocado flesh with olive oil. This will create a seal between the fruit and air (oxygen).
- The lemon juice method – Squeeze lemon juice over your avocado. The acidity from the lemon will prevent the oxidative process and add a zesty tang to your next meal.
- The water method – Place your avocado face down skin up in water. This also blocks off contact with the air, however, it does tend to soften the inside fruit and create a slimy texture. It’s not our preference.
- The onion method – Place one onion chopped up into a container and sit your avocado on top (skin side down, pit side up). The strong antioxidant properties of onions help to slow down the oxidative process, in a similar fashion to the way they reduce harmful oxidative stress in your body!
So which method is best?
Watch this to see our preferred way to store your unused avocado so there is no waste! While you’re there, you might want to ‘like’ our Facebook page and get more tips and tricks for your kitchen.
The other option is to buy a Shepard avocado when it is available, which is resistant to oxidation! So you won’t need to use any of the above tricks.