Category Archives: Other

Top Tips for Jamming

It’s Jam and Chutney season…..so here are some great tips from Wares of Knutsford on jamming. Enjoy 🙂

I recently made my own Plum jam and my is it good!

“Making your own jam is immensely satisfying. Nothing tastes better on toast or scones. For those of us who made jam or watched jam-making as children it also brings back some lovely memories of fruit picking, boiling sugar and full jars with fabric covers.

Choosing and tasting your fruit is a huge part of the fun. Many people fondly recall picking blackberries, plums, apples or strawberries as a child and having a little taste just to make sure it’s good enough. You can use under-ripe fruit – it has more pectin – but it won’t have the richer scent and flavour of a fruit that’s ripened a little longer. Harvesting is a magical part of the process, but don’t double the recipe because you have a lot of fruit. Jam-making is quite a science and messing around with quantities could mean it won’t set.

The secret of jam-making is speed and efficiency. Warming the sugar before adding it can speed up the process considerably and not removing the foam on top until the very end cuts down on your time and on wastage. The best jam is that made in small batches from really fresh fruit. Making it this way is faster and allows for more control over the process. It lets you experiment with the amount of pectin or lemon juice you need and your sugar quantities and should the worst happen and the bottom of the pan burn, you won’t have wasted a huge quantity of fruit. Small batches are also easier than large ones to make with a young helper if you have one, which is great for passing along the memories and love of fresh jam to the next generation.”

Meal Planning: make life simpler, smarter and sustainable.

Every now and again I get myself into a bit of a stressful state, life feels like it’s overtaking me, I have lists of things to do, nothing feels like it’s getting done and suddenly I realise I’ve no idea what we’re eating for dinner and am running low on food. DISASTER. You know that feeling?

Hilariously as a dietitian I am often found writing meal plans for others, but then I forget to write my own. OOOPS. I love recipes, food, cooking, meal ideas and all that jazz, so actually for me sitting down and planning out the meals for the week is a relaxing and fun thing to do, it means I have time to think through the week, flick through some recipe books, bring those food ideas to the front of my brain and at the end of it I have at least one part of life under control.

Here’s mine for the next 2 weeks, I’d love to see yours!

Dietitian UK: Meal Planner
Dietitian UK: Meal Planner

5 Reasons to Meal Plan:

  1. SAVE TIME in the long run. Half an hour planning means you won’t be stood in the kitchen later racking your brains for a meal idea.
  2. Use it as a chance to check the BALANCE of your weeks meals, see the tips below.
  3. SAVE MONEY by then planning your shopping list so you don’t end up with random ingredients that you don’t need.
  4. SAVE WASTE by using all the ingredients in your fridge and planning it so you can take leftovers for lunches or fill the freezer.
  5. SAVE STRESS. Having a plan helps my stress levels, I can plan the quicker meals for busy days and know what I’m doing from day to day.

5 Top Tips for Balance over the week:

  1. Meat free Monday: Plan in some meat free days, we usually have 3-4 a week.
  2. Fishy Friday: Aim for fish a couple of times a week, oily fish contains those heart healthy omega 3’s.
  3. Reduce the Red Meat: to just 1-2 times a week.
  4. Veggie Vitality: Eat a range of colourful veggies over the week.
  5. Treats  Ahoy: Keep that takeaway or those chips to planned times, so they don’t appear on the menu too often.

Get planning those meals and please share – I’d love to hear how you do things and what meals you include.

Sri-Lanka Cookery: Mallum a form of greens

I’m half Sri-Lankan so loving Sri-Lankan food is a given…and the greens that my grandmother (Archchi) cooks are an all round favourite of mine. So I was very excited to be able to learn how to make this variation which uses a leaf called Mallum. I’d not heard of it before but it’s known in Sri-Lanka to be very nutritious. I also tried a Mallum salad and Mallum style porridge (very green but tasty).

I’m going to try making this dish at home with Swiss chard because that’s what I have growing in my garden. Here’s my great aunt showing us how to do it, in her kitchen in Sri-Lanka.

What are your favourite curry recipes? Have you been to Sri-Lanka, I’d love to know.

Sri-Lanka Breakfast

Dietitian UK: Sri-Lanka rice and curry breakfast
Dietitian UK: Sri-Lanka rice and curry breakfast

Breakfast….it’s one of my favourite meals of the day, and even more so when I’m in Sri-Lanka.

I’m half Sri-Lankan and so I have a special love for this teardop shaped island in the sun. We visit regularly as we have lots of family and also work with Young Hope – a charity that supports children orphaned post tsunami and the civil war.

One of the best bits about visiting Sri-Lanka for me has to be the food. I am a true food-a-holic. Good food makes me happy. Tasty, healthy food is even better. Sri-Lankan cuisine can be great for hitting that food spot for me.

In the UK breakfast can be a bit of a dull affair, lots of toast and cereal. Over in Sri-Lanka it’s a whole different story…. think tropical fruit, Hoppers – special pancakes that are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, string hoopers – rice noodles shaped in a round design, omelettes, kiri-bath – coconut rice and many varieties of rice and curry. Yup that’s right, rice and curry for breakfast. I love to embrace all of this and actually rice and curry for brekkie is pretty good. My personal preference is for lentils with a fish curry served with a spoon of chilli hot sambol…..and it’s all wheat free, yay!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve had for breakfast?

Dietitian UK: Tropical Fruit Platter
Dietitian UK: Tropical Fruit Platter 

Dietitian UK: Sri-Lankan Kiri-bath, Spinach and Sambal (coconut rice)
Dietitian UK: Sri-Lankan Kiri-bath, Spinach and Sambal (coconut rice)