How to climb a Coconut tree and Spicy Chicken and Sweet Potato in Coconut Milk

Wednesday, January 30

One of my favourite outings that we had whilst we were on honeymoon in Zanzibar, was a trip to a Spice Farm.  Ebrahim was our tour guide, and his side kick Butterfly was chief tree climber, collecting also sorts of spices from and fruit from branches unreachable from the ground.

Where Butterfly really came into his own though, was when he shimmied up a palm tree to pick us a coconut.


Butterfly used dried Banana Leaves, made into a rope and tied around his feet. 


And then shimmied up one of the highest palm trees I'm ever seen.




There he goes.



At the top, cutting the coconut down.


Posing for a picture on the way down. No hands.
Very casual.


UK health and safety standard re food prep certainly not in place here...


You don't get much fresher coconut water than this!

I think that I must have had Butterfly and his ridiculously high climb on my mind last week, when I made this tasty soup, with coconut milk.

Sweet Potato and Spicy Chicken in Coconut Milk


                      2 Tablespoons Olive oil                         
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of crushed garlic
2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger
2 green chiles, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 cups apples, diced2 sweet potatoes, diced
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized chunks1 (14 ounces) 
can coconut milk
3-1/2 cups of chicken stock
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Freshly ground saltand pepper
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, to taste and for garnish
Preparation:
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add garlicginger, andchiles. Saute for another 2 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Add applessweet potatoeschickencoconut milk, and chicken stock. Bring to  boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until chicken and potatoes are cooked. Add lemon juice, saltand pepper to taste, garnish with cilantro and serve. 

Yield: 4 servings 

You could also serve this over rice or pasta.






And in case, like me, you were wondering what the difference is between coconut water and coconut milk?

Coconut water is straight out the coconut. The milk comes from the white coconut meat which has been cooked in water and is then strained to produce the milk. 

P.S My initial plan in writing this post, was to highlight the benefits of coconut water.  I struggled to find any trustworthy sources though, and the most I was able to ascertain, is that it seems good for rehydration after exercise.  Please let me know if any of you guys have any good sources of information about coconut water?



Full Bodied: An Art Tasting

Monday, January 28

Over the past week I have been having serious thoughts about why I choose to live in this freezing cold country.   

And almost every child I treated last week had a cold, with so many different germs being coughed, drooled and spluttered all of me, I was pretty much guaranteed of catching a cold too. And I did.

Last Wednesday, a friend of mine emailed me an invite to the opening of a new Art Exhibition in Shoreditch for Friday night, and asked if me or any of my friends wanted to go.

I took one look at the Artist's website and knew that I definitely wanted to go and see this.  And after a  few emails, myself, Nikki, Robs and Chez were on the guest list.




Daily Smoothies and Abel and Cole Promotion

Thursday, January 24

I  think that one of the biggest lifestyle changes that I've made over the past year since all my cancer drama's and trying to be more healthy, has been making us smoothies for breakfast every morning.

Pic via tumblr from weheartit.com

I chop up four to six pieces of fruit, pour in about 4 tbsp of greek yoghurt and and about a quarter of a cup of water.  Fresh ginger is great in there too...

I can hear the collective sigh from anyone who doesn't have full time domestic help as they read this, because no one likes to clean the blender.  Well, nor do I really, but they say once you do something for 21 days it becomes a habit, and we hardly notice having to undo and clean the blender anymore.

Other than having got over cleaning the blender, the other thing that has resulted in this daily smoothie making ritual, is having the fruit readily on hand.

For the past year, we have been getting the weekly box of fruit and or veg, from Abel and Cole.



They deliver you seasonal, locally produced fruit and veg to your door...and if you are out, they just arrange with you, the best place to leave it.  The content of the boxes changes, according to what is in season, so each week is different.  However, if there is something you don't like, you change it on your preferences list and they swap it for something else...



They also give you a leaflet each week with recipes and inspiration for whatever has just arrived in your box.


I think that it is great value for money, and so convenient:)

You can also buy a whole lot of other products and treats on their website.

Abel and Cole are currently having a promotion.

If you live in London, and sign up, and they will give you their very cool cookbook for free, and you will also get your fourth seasonal box for free...to claim this, enter the word BOX in the checkout on their website here.

I really hope it warms up here very soon, the novelty of the snow has worn off for me, and I have a terrible cold.

And I'm being inundated with status updates on my Facebook homepage about how awfully hot it is in SA...

So keep warm, or keep cool, wherever you are!

Lulu x 




What your Tongue says about You *UPDATED*

Wednesday, January 23

Following numerous emails and requests from people, for more information about the post that I wrote on What your tongue says about you, I've decided that it's time that I wrote a post on the rest of the information that I have in Dr Gillian McKeith's book, You are What you Eat.

So this is the original post, with more of the solutions, that she mentions in her blog.


Crack down the Middle of the Tongue

Pic from labspace.open.ac.uk

A crack down the middle of your tongue means that you are probably nutrient depleted and your digestion isn't what it should be.  You are probably also often bloated after eating and have energy slumps in the middle of the day.  She recommends a few things to improve this including, taking digestive enzymes with meals, and avoiding fizzy drinks.  Also eat soups, stews and blends, where the foods are easy to digest.

Solutions:
Take a digestive enzyme with meals, this is a supplement which helps to break down food during digestion.
Eat soups, stews and blends - foods that are easy to digest.  Millet porridge would be good for you.
Don't guzzle fizzy drinks and don't drink liquids at meal times.
Eat foods that nourish the tummy:
Artichokes
Avocados
Carrots
Millet sprouts
Parsnips
Rice
Squash
Sweet Potatoes
Tofu
Turnips
Yams
Teas/herbs such as:
Fennel
Peppermint
Liquorice


Sore Tongue
A sign of a nutrient deficiency, often iron, vitamin B6 or niacin.
To improve this, take liquid mineral supplements, drink nettle teas and it may be worth getting your iron levels checked and seeing a nutritionist.

Thick White Coating or Swollen Tongue

Pic from blogs.discovery.com


A thick white coating or swollen Tongue, is an indication of too much mucus in the body.  It's also a sign of a lack of beneficial bacteria and too much yeast.  Dr McKeith recommends a number of things to help this, including reducing dairy products, eating more green superfoods and capsules to replenish your body with healthy bacteria.


Teethmarks around the sides of the Tongue

Pic from www.acupuncture123.ca

Teeth marks around the side of the tongue are due to nutritional deficiency.  Dr McKeith says your digestion is also probably impaired and you have a spleen deficiency.  If your Spleen is weak, you probably also struggle with gas and bloating.  She recommends food that nourish the spleen.  

Solutions: Eat foods which nourish the spleen:
Aduki Beans
Yellow squash
Mung Beans
Kidney Beans
Alfalfa
Lychees
Barley
Millet
Beetroot
Oats
Carrots
Parsley
Celery 
Parsnips
Chicken
Pumpkin
Fennel
Root vegetables
Fish
Sweet Potatoes
Turnips
Yams

Foods high in chlorophyll:
Leafy greens
Algae
Kale
Chard

Herbs and Spices to Nourish the Spleen:
Garlic
Black Pepper
Ginger
Cayenne Pepper
Ginseng
Cinnamon
Horseradish
Dill seed
Pau d'arco
Astragalus

Horizontal cracks, small cracks/grooves on Tongue

Pic from myjourneywith candidablogspot.co.uk
Cracks in the tongue are usually a sign of malabsorption, especially of B vitamins, and often accompanied by a lack of energy.  Most overweight patients that Dr McKeith sees,  for the first time, she says are deficient in B Vitamins.  This has usually developed over a long time.  

She recommends, Vit B Complex, digestive enzyme supplements, peppermint and nettle teas and 2 tbsp of aloe vera juice before meals.  She also recommends taking echinacea tincture (20 drops daily for 2 weeks), to help move lymph and eliminate toxins that are impeding nutrient absorption.


Thick Yellow Coating

Pic from maciociaonline.blogspot.co.uk


A Thick Yellow Coating indicates excess heat in the gut, and that you don't have enough healthy bacteria in your body.  Dr McKeith says if the coating is at the back of your tongue you need to pay attention to your colon, as you bowels may not be working as they should be.

Solutions:
You may be run down from doing too much, so start to take things easier.
Cool yourself down with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice before meals.
Drink sage tea (2 cups a day for a month), and alternate this with camomile tea.
Eat more vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds, herbs and herbal teas.


Red Tip on the Tongue

Pic from homeopathyworldcommunity.com
Dr McKeith says that a red tip on the tongue indicates emotional stress or upset and recommends at looking at ways to try and reduce the stress in your life.


 Healthy Looking Tongue.
Pic from simplysupplementsblog.com

I hope that this has helped to answer some of your questions....

And that your tongue is looking healthy:)

If you found this interesting and you can think of a friend that you think may too, please share away. 

And follow alongside on bloglovin, or by entering your email address, liking Berry Diaries on Facebook, or following Berry Diaries on Twitter...

PS: Disclaimer, I have just taken excerpts from Dr McKeiths book.  This information is no substitute for seeking Medical Advice from a Doctor if there is anything that you are concerned about!

Simple Sweet Potato Wedges with Paprika to help ward of colds and flu in Snowy weather...

Tuesday, January 22

With the weather being like this outside, after coming from 30 + degrees celsius in Africa in the last week...all I have felt like is warm comforting food.  



Pretty Snowy Pics taken by Pete

Having also come from 3 course meals twice a day on honeymoon, I've needed to get back onto the healthy wagon.  These sweet potato wedges are a perfect mix of both. Taste amazing, and packed with goodness too. 


Ingredients:

3-4 Sweet Potatoes
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1tsp Paprika

Place your oven on 180' (fan).
Slice the potatoes into wedges, skins left on.
Place the olive oil and paprika in a bowl and stir together.
Dip each sliced side of the sweet potato into the olive oil and paprika mix and then place in roasting pan.
Roast for 30-35 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through.


Enjoy.

And if you are wondering how something so delicious could possibly also be good for you?

Sweet Potatoes make up one of your coveted '5 a day' for fruit and veg, and normal potatoes don't.

Tonia Reinhard in her book Superfoods says:

The two high level of two important antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamin C, make sweet potato potentially effective in preventing cardiovascular disease and cancer.

What's in a Cup (200g) Cooked Sweet Potato

Calories: 180 (756kj)
Protein: 4g
Total Fat: 0.3g
Saturated Fat: 0.1g
Carbohydrates: 41.4g
Fiber: 6.6g

Margaret Roberts, in her book Healing Foods, says that Paprika:

High in Vitamin C, A and E, it boosts the immune system to resist winter colds and flu.

So a pretty perfect dish for this time of year...

Lulu

P.S, Have a read here of Valerie's account of the Bloggers meet up that I went to on Saturday:)






A few of my Favourite Wedding Pictures

Saturday, January 19

Our fabulous Photographer Stew Nolan. put some of our Wedding Pictures on his Facebook page this week and they have turned out so beautifully!


Why would anyone use a Sun Bed?

Thursday, January 17

It's certainly not ground breaking information that sun beds are not very good for you.

Picture from Metro newspaper.

"Research has already shown that using sunbeds for the first time before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melanoma by 87 per cent. They're not going to do you any good - the best case scenario is that they'll age and damage your skin; the worst case scenario is a cancer diagnosis and potentially death."*

Simply Delicious Morrocan Chicken on Butternut Couscous

Wednesday, January 16

My cousin Sarah and her family gave us Alida Ryder's Simple and Delicious Recipe book as a Wedding present. I hadn't heard of her, but the yellow post it note stuck on the book in Sarah's handwriting ensured that it secured itself a spot in my already bulging suitcase back to London.

Lulu,
I love Alida's blog as her food is 'family friendly' and she uses local ingredients.
Happy Cooking!
Sarah

Cupcakes and Champagne - My Kitchen Tea in South Africa

Monday, January 14

Living in London and getting married in South Africa, I thought would be quite trying.  However thanks to my Mum, the twelve hour flight between us hardly mattered at all.  Mum if it wasn't for you, our Wedding planning and Wedding day would have been a nightmare! Thank you for everything.

There are also some benefits to it though. As mentioned here, I went away with 17 of my favouritest friends in the UK to celebrate my hens party in November.  Not all of my bridesmaids nor my South African friends could attend this weekend, for obvious reasons, and so I was again spoilt and had the most beautiful Kitchen Tea in South Africa too.

The Monday before our Wedding, my cousins Jess and Laurs and sister Tess, who were also three of my bridesmaids, arranged a tea at my Aunt and Uncles house, on their farm which is next door to my Parents farm. Catching up with ladies that I hadn't seen in ages, eating delicious baked goodies, drinking and tea and champagne on a beautiful summery afternoon was a wonderful start to the week. 

Not only was I spoilt with gorgeous gifts, I also received a whole pile of money to go towards a Kenwood Cake Mixer that I have been dying to own for ages!

A few pictures from the very lovely day.

Haptastic Honeymoon!

Friday, January 11

I am sitting here struggling to write the introduction to this post.  I am not sure how to even try to begin explaining our Incredible Honeymoon!

I knew that we were going to Tanzania, in East Africa, and that we were spending sometime on Safari and then a few days on the gorgeous island of Zanzibar.  What I didn't know, was that we were going on one of the most luxurious safari's possible, I mean who really imagines having their own Butler out in the Bush? Three course gourmet meals in camps tucked away in the Serengetti, accessible by a small aeroplane or a 9 hour drive to the nearest city. A tracker and a ranger in an open land cruiser taking us on early morning and late afternoon game drives, with breakfasts and sundowners set up in the bush, massages over looking the valley ahead, and staff catering to our every whim.

Absolutely completely spoilt!

A few pictures from the past two weeks...


 
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