Tag: environment

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Beetroot

Posted by on 12th June 2017

DSC 0074  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Beetroot

Beetroot’s deep, overpoweringly red juice has earned it the reputation as the bossiest of vegetables. It’s much-deserved place at the centre stage of a healthy diet is because these ruby gems are a goldmine of essential everyday nutrients like iron, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium.

Whether you blend into a classic soup, drink as juice like elite athletes or roast whole and create a delicious fulfilling salad like our ‘Garden Beet Salad’ (pictured above), beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants – a health-food titan.

Belonging to the same family as chard and spinach both the leaves and root can be eaten, making the beetroot of exceptional nutritional value. They are an excellent source of folic acid and fibre, essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract.

Beetroot is rich in nitrates and when ingested, scientists believe our body converts nitrates into nitric oxide, a chemical thought to lower blood pressure.

If ever we had a perfect food to cleanse the liver, it would be beets! Why? Because beets are extremely high in plant ‘flavonoids’ and beta-carotene. Beetroots have long been used for medicinal purposes, primarily for disorders of the liver as they help to stimulate the liver’s detoxification processes.

Need a boost to make it through your next workout? Beet juice may again prove valuable. Those who drank beet juice prior to exercise were able to exercise for up to 16 percent longer. Researchers believe beetroot juice may work to boost stamina by affecting how the body processes nitrate into nitric oxide, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen burned by the body during a workout.

Beets are a unique source of betaine, a nutrient that helps protects cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental stress. Research also found have found that drinking juice from beetroot can improve oxygenation to the brain, slowing the progression of dementia in older adults. And let’s not forget choline, a very important and versatile nutrient in beetroot, which helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.

Beetroot’s delicious but distinctive flavour and nutritional status have escalated it to the root you can’t beat!

GARDEN BEET SALAD

Ingredients

beetroot
arugula
shaved fennel
long beans
vanilla goat cheese
seville orange and honey dressing
brasserie bee pollen

Method

Combine beetroot, arugula, shaved fennel, long beans and goat cheese. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with bee pollen.

World Oceans Day

Posted by on 7th June 2017

What does the ocean mean to you?

In Cayman, the Caribbean Sea is a prime food source and a place to learn about and enjoy our diverse marine life.

However, did you know that invasive lionfish are out-breeding, out-competing and out-living native fish stocks and other marine species? The consequences are impacting food security and economies affecting over a hundred million people.

Introducing CULL, Cayman United Lionfish League. Our on-site Executive Chef at The Brasserie, Thomas Tennant, is one of the founding members behind this conservation effort to protect Cayman’s reefs and marine life.

“Lionfish are disrupting the food chain. They eat the marine ecosystem that clean the reef and if the reef is not cleaned, algae and bacteria start to build up which decreases coral growth rates,” says Thomas.

“The fish we love to eat, like snapper and triggerfish, are reliant on the reefs for protection to grow. If the reefs are no longer there, the fish have no protection and fish stocks are reduced.”

Data collected is showing that lionfish will eat anything that they can fit into their mouths. Their stomach can expand up to 30 times the normal volume and a lionfish will fill it up to capacity as soon as it is able. Scientists have catalogued over 70 different species that lionfish will eat through stomach content analysis. In addition to the fish they eat, they also eat invertebrates and molluscs – shrimp, crabs, juvenile octopus, squid and juvenile lobster, for example.

Lionfish are not native to Caribbean waters (they are native to the Indo-Pacific oceans and the Red Sea), so they have very few predators, yet they themselves are voracious predators. Pretty much everything about the lionfish – its red and white zebra stripes, long, showy pectoral fins and generally cantankerous demeanor – says, “Don’t touch!”

“We’d love to find a natural predator for the lionfish. In the meantime, we need to lead by example, encourage local divers to follow suit, and increase the education and awareness of the detrimental impact that lionfish are having on marine life. The coastal waters around the islands are our backyard and we need to focus on mowing our own lawn,” Thomas explains.

“If you have a licence to spear, hunt lionfish on your next dive and sell them to a local restaurant like The Brasserie. The demand is there. People enjoy eating lionfish and as long as the fish are fresh, I’ll take them.

“Just remember to buy and eat local lionfish to support the health of our local reef systems. Restaurants now have the option of importing lionfish, but in order to make a difference locally, we need to be sourcing and eating local lionfish.”

Thomas is one of several chefs on island who is incorporating lionfish into the menu. So, enjoy eating lionfish at The Brasserie Restaurant knowing the conservation effort behind this dish and the low food miles that it took to get to the plate.

Please contact the restaurant with your lion fish catch on 945 1815.

Another inspiring local initiative is the Cayman Swordfish tag and release program that is “single-handedly becoming responsible for more satellite tagging data and science on the swordfish than anywhere else in the world,” according to Gray FishTag research scientist Travis “Tag” Moore.

“The data indicates peak seasons for when the swordfish are in the Cayman waters. The data shows feeding behaviour and the vertical migration patterns. The data can indicate how long swordfish stay around the islands and which islands they stay around the most.

“This information is important to help protect Cayman’s exclusive fishery against international rogue fishing fleets by establishing scientific evidence for international authorities that illustrate these fish are in the Cayman waters for certain time periods.”

How do you intend to celebrate World Oceans Day?

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Olives

Posted by on 29th May 2017

DSC 9830  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Olives

Want that “healthy glow” and perhaps a few less wrinkles? The answer could be staring you in the face while you eat your lunch.

Black olives are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that nourish, hydrate and protect. Chief among those is vitamin E. Whether applied topically or ingested, vitamin E has been shown to protect skin from ultraviolet radiation, thus guarding against skin cancer and premature ageing. Create a healthy, glowing complexion by washing your face in warm water, applying a few drops of olive oil to vulnerable spots, and letting it work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. In fact, you can moisturise with olive oil before any bath, and even condition your hair by mixing it with an egg yolk and leaving it before rinsing and washing.

The vitamin E content in black olives also has the ability to neutralise free radicals in body fat. The anti-inflammatory abilities of the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols in black olives may help dull the severity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Olives are known to eliminate excess cholesterol in the blood, control blood pressure and are an alternative source of dietary fibre to fruits and vegetables. They are not only tasty but nutritious and rich in minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus and iodine. Olives contain polyphenols, a natural chemical that reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Eating a daily serve of olives helps to improve your memory by up to 25 per cent.

On the topic of olives, ‘cold pressed’ means that the olives are kept under a temperature of 27ºC when the oil is being extracted to retain more nutrients, flavours and aromas. ‘Extra virgin’ means that the olives are only pressed once to produce the highest possible quality oil.

PICKLING OLIVES

Ingredients

plain table salt (not iodised)
vinegar
water

Method

Make sure olives are fresh and are firm to touch. Cut the skin 3 times along the olives and drop them into cold water. Leave in water for 1–3 days, changing water every day. (Green olives require 3 days; black olives 1 day.) Pack olives tightly into clean jars with tight-fitting lids. Fill the jars up with water, then tip it into measuring jug. This helps you calculate how much brine to make. When you’ve done all the jars, add a little more water because a bit of extra brine if needed. Use a ratio of 10:1, water to salt. This means for every litre of water you need 100 grams of salt. Dissolve the salt in the water, add about 2 per cent vinegar (this is 20 millilitres per 1 litre of brine). Fill up the olive-filled jars with the brine and allow to stand for a while, so that air bubbles can escape. Top up the jars with brine if required and seal the jars. Check the jars after a few days, because you may need to top them up with brine. Don’t be concerned if the brine seeps out slightly as the pickling gets underway. Keep olives in brine for at least 3 months, then open a jar and try them. If there’s a creamy white scum on the surface (yeast) and the olives and brine smell pleasant then normal fermentation is taking place and there’s no concern. However, if the scum looks grey and hairy and/or if the brine smells foul, toss them out! Something has gone wrong with the fermentation. If the olives are too bitter for your taste, close them up and leave in the brine longer. Once you are happy with the flavour, they are ready to eat. Store your olives in the brine.

This recipe is from the the book, From Paddock to Plate.

“THE MARKET” SALAD
(pictured above)

Ingredients

olives, handful
fresh spinach
cherry tomatoes
green beans
tofu, cubed
radish, sliced thinly
red pepper, sliced thinly
feta, crumbled
chickpeas
pepitas
sunflower seeds
chia seeds
coconut, shredded

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Eggs

Posted by on 25th May 2017

eggs  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Eggs

The humble egg has impressive health credentials.

Both the white and yolk of an egg are rich in nutrients – proteins, vitamins and minerals with the yolk also containing cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.

More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin – the compound that enables emulsification in recipes such as hollandaise or mayonnaise.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps your body to break down food into energy, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is vital for producing red blood cells, vitamin A (retinol) is great for eyesight and vitamin E (tocopherol) fights off the free radicals that can cause tissue and cellular damage, which may lead to cancer.

Eggs are also rich in several nutrients that promote heart health such as betaine and choline.

The egg is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Brain development and memory may be enhanced by the choline content of eggs.

Hang on, but aren’t eggs loaded with cholesterol? Just because a food contains cholesterol doesn’t mean that it will raise the bad cholesterol in the blood. The liver actually produces cholesterol every single day. If you eat cholesterol, then your liver produces less. If you don’t eat cholesterol, then your liver produces more of it. The thing is, many studies show that eggs actually improve your cholesterol profile. They raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and increase the size of LDL particles, which should lower the risk of heart disease.

In need of a delicious breakfast? You must try The Brasserie Market’s ‘Breakfast Sandwich’, ‘Omelette’ and ‘Brasserie Style Breakfast Platter’ all using our ‘Chateau Chooks’ fresh eggs.

For lunch at the Brasserie Restaurant, you can’t go past our ‘Brasserie’ Chopped Salad packed with chickpeas, cranberry beans, quinoa, long beans, carrots, ‘Chateau Chooks’ hard boiled egg and garden oregano yogurt vinaigrette.

And for dinner, Poached ‘Chateau Chooks’ Egg with confit chicken, caboose roasted pumpkin, local mustard greens and chicken jus, or a Grilled 16oz. Kansas City Steak with ‘Chateau Chooks’ poached egg, roasted localbreadfruit, charred leeks and red peper sofrito.

Who’s hungry?

eggs 2  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Eggs

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Honey

Posted by on 9th May 2017

Honey  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Honey

Did you know that bees are the only insect in the world that make food people can eat?

One bee will only make 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life, so remember that next time you drizzle honey on your yoghurt in the morning. It takes 1,100 bees to make 1 kilogram of honey and they have to visit approximately four million flowers to do so.

Since producing our own Brasserie Honey we’ve noticed a significant increase in the production of fruits and vegetables in our edible gardens around Cricket Square. Many plants rely on insects like bees in order to be pollinated. In gratitude, the plant provides nectar to the bee to say thank you.

Honey helps to keep your memory sharp. It contains ‘pinocembrin’, an antioxidant that improves brain function.

This golden liquid also contains flavonoids and phenolic compounds that help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide. This contributes to the incredibly long shelf-life of honey.

Honey’s anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for acne treatment and prevention, while the antioxidants may assist slowing down the signs of ageing. It’s also moisturising and soothing for the skin.

Regular consumption of honey can give your immune system a boost because of its anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties. It can also help cleanse and build up your digestive system, which is essential for optimal health.

Ancient Olympic athletes ate honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.

Honey helps with coughs by coating the throat and soothing the nerve endings that protect the throat. Some doctors believe that two tablespoons of honey are just as effective as cough suppressants. Because of honey’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is able to help reduce allergy symptoms.

After a good night’s sleep? The sweetness of honey causes your insulin levels to rise, which in turn releases the neurotransmitter serotonin. Thee body converts this serotonin to melatonin – a chemical that helps your body sleep.

Honey is considered the oldest known wound dressing due to its natural antibiotic nature. However when considering using honey for the treatment of wounds and burns, it’s extremely important to understand that there’s a major difference between raw honey and highly processed honey. The latter is more akin to high fructose corn syrup, whereas raw honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria.

Honey is one of the oldest and best sweeteners on earth and we all know that we could use less processed sugar! Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels.

Ever feel like lying your head down on your desk at work after lunch because you’re feeling completely zapped? Honey’s high carbohydrate load makes it a great source of unprocessed sugar energy. Although honey is super good for you, use it in moderation due to its level of fructose.

So next time you see a bee, not only appreciate that its wings are beating 190 times a second (11,400 times a minute!) but also the effort by this bee to produce a superfood that provides so many health benefits.

Did you know that our skilled beekeeper Efrain makes beeswax candles? Take a look at the magnificent candles below that we sold at our farmers’ market in February.

DSC 7799 1  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Honey