Monday, 10 April 2017

Vanilla Plums, Rice, Sugar and Olive Oil

Things I have learned this week!

1. Rice contains arsenic! I am gobsmacked! Maybe you knew this already. If you are a not a big rice eater then eating small amounts of rice should be fine. However, to make it safer, soak rice in water overnight, drain the water and discard it and then use fresh water to cook the rice. Arsenic will be drawn out of the rice and into the water  you are discarding making it much safer.

2. Never use olive oil in non stick pans. Use grape seed oil, avocado oil or bran oil. This will enable your non stick pan to stay pristine for ever. Olive oil will burn on your non stick pan rendering it useless. Thank you George! ( I read this on the box of my new George Colombaris pan) How come I didn't know this?

3. Quitting sugar is like giving up smoking. The thought of it is way more difficult than actually doing it. I am on day 6 of a sugarless diet! But, I did buy a jar of Rice Malt Syrup which contains no fructose and I tried it in my coffee. It tasted OK but it wasn't sweet.

4. Sweet cooked fruit in season does not need added sugar. If you add sugar out of habit to your food, stop and think 'do I really need this'.

5. Volunteering for something takes less time that you think and is a great way to meet new people and learn about your local environment.

6. Plums are one of my favourite fruits.

So I had better let you have my favourite plum recipe that is so simple you wonder why you have never tried it before. (Ssh, it contains no sugar either)



1 kg ripe plums, any kind will do
1 vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup water

I feel a bit of a fake posting this recipe - if you can even call it that! 

1. Wash and cut the fruit into quarters removing the seed.

2. Add to a large pan with water, cinnamon stick and the seeds from the vanilla pod.

3. On a low heat cook plums until they are soft and thick, about 15 - 20 minutes. 

4. Take off the heat and cool. Remove the cinnamon stick. 

5. Serve warm or cold with ice cream, custard, yoghurt or by themselves.

See I told you it was really easy.

Did you know? The plum is related to the almond, peach and nectarine.Plums are called 'drupes' something with a hard stone at the centre, from the Latin word 'druppa' meaning 'over ripe olive'. (I think this must be because the olive has a hard stone in the centre). If you are a linguist and know more about this, can you leave a comment please.

Phenols are also found in plums and prunes (dried plums); they function as antioxidants - plus they aid in helping the body to absorb iron. And finally they are high in vitamin C. What a clever thing nature is.