Eat your way to better health

2016-04-27 06:00
PHOTO:supplied Tracy Paxton is the owner of AbsFood and is passionate about health and wellness. She is a qualified personal trainer and wellness coach and is certified in food preparation. As an enthusiastic sports woman, wife, and mother of four, she believes there is a strong correlation between food and happiness. Tracy’s goal is make nutritious, delicious, and ready to eat meals accessible to all homes in the Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas and encourage people to make better choices about food and to produce better tasting food ... check out her website www.absfood.co.za for a selection of ready-to-eat meals.

PHOTO:supplied Tracy Paxton is the owner of AbsFood and is passionate about health and wellness. She is a qualified personal trainer and wellness coach and is certified in food preparation. As an enthusiastic sports woman, wife, and mother of four, she believes there is a strong correlation between food and happiness. Tracy’s goal is make nutritious, delicious, and ready to eat meals accessible to all homes in the Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas and encourage people to make better choices about food and to produce better tasting food ... check out her website www.absfood.co.za for a selection of ready-to-eat meals.

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YOU see the word “superfood” often in the media, news feeds and on glossy packaging, and although you cannot believe everything you read, without doubt certain foods are more nutritious than others.

Many studies around the world show that what we eat impacts hugely on our health and ultimately our happiness. The more we know about food and harness our knowledge in our everyday diet, the more able we are to literally change our life.

Don’t be daunted about getting your diet on the right track. All it takes is making that decision, selecting one superfood to try or a food you have always wondered about, and go for it. One step at a time.

At the end of the day what matters is incorporating these foods into your life, as if your health depended on it, because it does. Live your healthiest life, deliciously. Its time.

Vegetables - eat more

Science has shown that people who eat more vegetables (five or more servings a day) have roughly 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s not just about volume, but diversity to. Dark green leafy greens and brightly coloured vegetables in red, yellow and orange are particularly beneficial. Explore the wide, wonderful world of vegetables and enjoy.

Aubergine, brinjal, eggplant

Like potatoes and tomatoes, brinjal belongs to the nightshade family, although it’s actually a large berry (a fruit categorised and consumed as a vegetable). The freshest aubergines have glossy, firm skin. There are several varieties of brinjal. Small white or striped eggplants, or slender purple variety known as Japanese eggplant. Smaller varieties are great thinly sliced or quartered in stir-fry while larger aubergine can be sliced or cubed, with their edible skin, then baked whole, mashed roasted or grilled.

Aubergine in world cuisine

Early humans believed aubergine was poisonous, perhaps due to its almost black colour, but fortunately through the ages it became a beloved food in world cuisine, for example ratatouille, a French-Mediterranean dish made with braised aubergine, tomatoes and chopped herbs. On the other side of the world is an Indian favourite known as baingan bharta, which features roasted, mashed and curried aubergine.

Aubergine for your health

Aubergine is low in calories yet high in fibre. It boasts 25 calories and three grams of fibre per 100 grams. Its meaty texture creates a feeling of fullness. The rich purple colour of the skin comes from nasunin an antioxidant that may lower risks of cancer and heart disease.

RECIPE

Brinjal, bacon and mozzarella bake

(with tomatoes and olives)

500g brinjal rounds

250g streaky bacon

150g mozzarella cheese (grated or sliced into rounds)

50g pitted olives

100g red onions

20g crushed garlic

410g tinned chopped tomato

20g sage, oreganum, basil, fresh and chopped

50g finely grated parmesan

5g black pepper

10g fresh ground salt

Place the brinjal rounds onto a baking tray, brush with olive oil and salt.

Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C turning at least once.

Gently caramelise the onion and garlic until soft, add a little seasoning and chopped fresh herbs add the chopped tinned tomatoes with juice and allow to thicken.

Using a medium size baking dish layer brinjal, bacon, tomato and onion mix, mozzarella, olives, brinjal, etc.

Top off with cheese and parmesan lots of black pepper.

Bake at 190°C for 30 minutes.

Have you got a favourite family recipe that you would like to share with other readers? Send it to
editorial@pmbfever.co.za

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