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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Interesting tidbits about food

Recently I picked up this book in our library
- but it would be a great one to own. Wendyl, of Green Goddess fame, has compiled this book from many of her articles written for the NZ Herald called Wendyl Wants To Know, in which she investigates, in easy to follow language, what is in some of the foods we buy. She also gives alternative recipes for some that we can easily make at home, so sparing ourselves a lot of additives and numbers.
In the back is a comprehensive guide to our food codes - which is really the reason that I would like a copy of my own.
Today I had a look at some items in my pantry - most of which are now pretty good as I have been doing slow living for about a year in a more serious fashion, but I did find a packet of Cup a Soup lurking in there.



This stuff really should not be considered a food, and I will never be buying the likes of it again. Not only is there no chicken in it, one serving has 695mg of sodium, which is 30% of the RDI. One of the "flavour enhancers" is MSG, and the other is 635 - 'a chemical compound. May cause itchy rash and welts in sensitive people. Asthmatics, gout sufferers, infants and children should avoid it.' (that excerpt from the Supermarket Guide)
One of the recipes in the book was
Lemon/lime water

I have adjusted this a little to make a sugar free version using natural sugar replacements.
1/2 tsp citric acid
4 tsp sugar  (or 2 tsp of my stevia/ no cal mix - see below)
juice of 1 lime or lemon

Add these ingredients to 1 litre of chilled water then throw in the sliced up squeezed lemon as well. It is really refreshing!
So much better than buying bottled drinks - and really economical.

Natural no calorie sweetener
I have been searching for a way to reduce our sugar intake - not that we have that much, but none is better. I don't want to use chemical artificial sweeteners, which I don't think are that good for me, plus leave a horrible aftertaste.
Recently in our Health shop I found No Cal powder - which is 100% erithritol. The packet says it has 70% the sweetness of sugar, but I thought it seemed less than that.
I also had purchased stevia - which I am used to, and sometimes add just a tiny bit to deserts etc, but find it too overpowering to try using in coffee or drinks.


What I have done is mixed the two, with the No cal acting as a carrier. Now I can put a little in my drinks - or marmalade when I'm making it, and not have the strong stevia taste, but get enough sweetness.
I mix 3 teaspoons of No Cal to 1/2 teaspoon of stevia in a jar. I find 1/4 tsp enough in my coffee.


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