Buttermilk is the liquid left over after cream has been turned into butter by churning. Contrary to its name, buttermilk does not contain butterfat, but it does provide protein, minerals and milk sugar or lactose, as well as a delightfully piquant taste.
Apples are a good source of soluble fiber in the form of pectin. Eating apples with their skins offers the maximum amount of fiber. Research has shown that eating apples can also benefit the teeth, as it appears to help to prevent gum disease.
Flavonoids, found in carrots, may inhibit enzymes responsible for the spread of malignant cells. Research indicates that they may also fight heart disease.
Calcium pectate, a type of soluble fiber found in carrots, has potent cholesterol-lowering properties.
Cornmeal is a good source of B vitamins. The nutrient content of both the white and yellow varieties is similar, but the yellow is higher in betacarotene.
Milk is an excellent source of many essential nutrients, the majority of which are concentrated in the non-fat part of milk. Low-fat and skim milk, therefore, contain more of these nutrients that full-cream milk does.
Homemade pikelets generally contain less fat and sugar than bought pikelets, and by serving them with low-fat yogurt instead of butter the total fat content remains low.
Milk is a good source of calcium, essential for healthy bones and teeth. It also supplies protein and vitamins B2 and B12.
Apples are a good source of soluble fibre (pectin), and they provide vitamin C.
Dried peaches are a good source of potassium. They also provide useful amounts of iron, carotenes and the B vitamin niacin.
Both dried peaches and dried pears are good sources of fibre.
The sweetness of fruit is concentrated in their dried forms, so spreads such as this need no additional sugar to make them as sweet as commercial jams and preserves. Ordinary jam can have about 65 per cent sugar, which, weight for weight, is double the amount of sugar in this spread.
Along with its rich flavour, rye flour provides magnesium and riboflavin, plus folate to help your heart. And a diet high in rye fibre may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels.
Eggs have often received negative publicity because of their cholesterol content. In fact, for most people, eating eggs and other foods rich in cholesterol has little detrimental effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Preparing vegetables just before use helps to minimize vitamin loss.
By mixing mayonnaise with yogurt, rather than using mayonnaise alone, the fat and kilojoule contents of a dish such as this can be reduced.
All berries are high in vitamin C. These days vitamin C is not only recognised as essential to prevent scurvy (a condition where gums bleed, skin becomes fragile and blood vessels leak into the surrounding tissue, causing bruising) but also for maintaining the immune system and as an anti-oxidant, preventing the processes that can lead to heart disease and cancer.
This salad of succulent berries is rich in dietary fibre and vitamin C. In addition, passion fruit provides vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and good vision, and blackberries add vitamin E, an important anti-oxidant. The effects of vitamin E are enhanced by other anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, so the combination of fruits in this salad is particularly healthy.
Tasty cheese is a particularly good source of calcium, a mineral vital for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Because tasty cheese is high in saturated fat, it’s a good idea to choose one that is mature and well flavoured so you won’t need as much to create an impact.
Spinach, like other dark green, leafy vegetables, is a good source of many important phytochemicals that are though to help protect against several forms of cancer.
Though there are more than 2500 varieties of mushrooms grown throughout the world, not all are edible-indeed some are positively poisonous. All edible mushrooms are a useful source of several B vitamins.
Like other cheese, soft cheese such as ricotta is a good source of protein and calcium. Because of its high moisture content, it is lower in fat than many other varieties of soft cheese.
Dried apricots are one of the richest fruit sources of iron and a useful source of calcium.
Today, it is possible to buy 97% fat-free bacon rashers. These offer an excellent lower-fat alternative to normal bacon: 100g of 97% fat-free bacon contains 3g fat and 427 kJ, whereas the same weight of middle bacon contains 22.5g fat and 1340 kJ.
Minced lamb can have quite a high fat content but, because these meatballs are grilled, much of the excess fat is drained off during the cooking process.
Making the meatballs with a mixture of lamb and rice means less meat is used than normal, and healthy starchy carbohydrates are added with the rice.
Using filo for these parcels keeps that fat content low. This is because only a light brushing of oil is needed to stick the pastry edges together and to give a golden sheen and crisp texture. By baking the parcels rather that frying, these are even healthier.
Ginger is believed to aid digestion and help to stimulate the circulation. It is also used as an antiseptic; to help to relieve the symptoms of colds; as well as to help relieve morning and travel sickness.
Pine nuts, used in Middle Eastern rice dishes and stuffing and an important ingredient in Italian pesto, are rich in a variety of minerals, including magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc and copper.
Goat’s cheese is a delicious source of protein and calcium, as well as B vitamins (B1, B6, B12 and niacin) and phosphorus. A medium-fat goat’s cheese contains about half the fat of tasty cheese.
By regularly eating walnuts in moderate amounts, you may help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and guard against heart disease and cancer. This is because of the anti-oxidants found in walnuts: copper, selenium, vitamin E and zinc.
Fresh mangoes contain high amounts of the anti-oxidant vitamin C, on average 30mg per 100g.
Chilies are another source of vitamin C, containing more, weight for weight, than citrus fruit such as oranges and lemons.
Crab is a good source of phosphorus, as mineral needed for the development and maintenance of healthy bones. Phosphorus also plays an important role in releasing energy from food.
Celery, first grown as a medicinal herb, only become a popular vegetable in the late seventeenth century. It provides potassium and the anti-oxidant betacarotene.
Ricotta is a soft Italian cheese made from the whey drained off when making cheese such as mozzarella. It has a high moisture content, which makes it lower in kilojoules and fat than many other soft, creamy cheeses.
In common with all cheeses, ricotta is a good source of calcium and it contain vitamins A and D. Less of these vitamins are present in low-fat cheese such as ricotta-vitamin D is fat-soluble, so the less fat in the cheese, the less vitamin D-but the amounts are still useful.
The apple and dried dates provide useful amounts of fibre.
Both cinnamon and cardamom can help to relieve indigestion. Also, cinnamon acts as a nasal decongestant.
Mushrooms provide useful amounts of some of the B vitamins and are a good source of the trace mineral copper. This mineral has several functions – it is found in many enzymes, and is needed for bone growth as well as for the formation of connective tissue.
Hazelnuts were known in China 5000 years ago and were also eaten by the Romans. They are a particularly good source of vitamin E and most of the B vitamins (with the exception of B12).
Baking potatoes in their skins helps to retain their vitamins and minerals-many nutrients and found just beneath the skin. Eating the skins also boosts the intake of dietary fibre.
Salmon is an oily fish and a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that is thought to help protect against heart disease. The process of smoking the fish to make smoked salmon doesn’t destroy the beneficial oils.