Tag: environment

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Avocado

Posted by on 14th August 2017

DSC 0798  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Avocado

Fondly known as “supercado” or “alligator pear” the avocado is loaded with nutritional perks and is beloved among guacamole aficionados.

Avocados are one of the most inexpensive anti-aging tools for your skin! Don’t let its rough outer covering fool you — the inner smoothness and creaminess are what we need for youthful skin. With all the antioxidants, amino acids and essential oils inside an avocado to help repair damaged hair, moisturise dry skin, treat sunburns and maybe even minimize wrinkles, an avocado tree could be the next fountain (tree) of youth!

Their thick skin protects them; it’s natural packaging! You can’t eat the skin, but it shields the green goodness inside, making avocados perfect for travel. It’s a  climacteric fruit, meaning it matures on the tree but ripens off the tree.

You might be inclined to call an avocado a vegetable, thanks to its green hue and savoury taste, but the avocado is technically a fruit and even more specifically, a single-seeded berry.

Avocados are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian and cholesterol free, so there’s no need for special labels.

Potassium is an important mineral that most people don’t get enough of. Avocados are very high in potassium, which should support healthy blood pressure levels.

Avocados tend to be high in fibre about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fibre can have various important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.

Avocados are one of the only fruits that contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat (the good-for-you fat) that helps boost good (HDL) cholesterol and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods. You can add them to salads and various sorts of recipes, or you can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain. They have a creamy, rich, fatty texture and blend well with various other ingredients. A notable mention is guacamole, which is arguably the most famous use of avocados. It includes avocado along with ingredients like salt, garlic and lime.

Not ripe? Put the avocado in a brown paper bag for 2-4 days, or you can speed up this process by adding a banana or apple to the bag.

The creamy texture and healthy fats make for a surprisingly-easy baking substitution. And no, you won’t be making green muffins. In the right ratios, you can ditch some butter and replace with avocado for healthier chocolate chip cookies, banana bread and brownies.

Enjoy Eric’s satisfying Texmex Salad for lunch at The Wicket, topped with our favourite avocado.

ERIC’S TEXMEX SALAD

Ingredients

sweet corn
beans, various
avocado, sliced
chicken, roasted or poached
mixed greens
red pepper, sliced
lime juice

Method

Add each ingredient into a bowl separately and then slice avocado over the top. Drizzle with lime juice to add an extra kick and enjoy!

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Flaxseed

Posted by on 24th July 2017

DSC 0713  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Flaxseed

After a natural hair treatment? Look no further. Did you know that flaxseeds are not just for consumption? The omega-3 fats that are in flax also benefit hair by promoting growth and overall scalp health. You can impart these great nutrients onto hair by boiling the seeds and making a hair gel.

Although flaxseed has recently been praised for its many health benefits, it has been around for more than 4,000 years. It was used by Hippocrates in 650 BC for the relief of intestinal discomfort. Today, research shows that this sweet and nut-flavoured seed provides essential nutrients, including protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fibre that all help protect our health.

Flaxseed benefits could help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss… and that’s just the beginning!

Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world!

One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content. Mucilage is a gel-forming fibre that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract. The mucilage can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine which can increase nutrient absorption. Flax is also is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

The soluble fibre content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it’s unable to be absorbed. Soluble fibre also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol, in the gallbladder. The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and lowering cholesterol overall.

The healthy fats and fibre content of flax will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation.

Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which are inflammatory whereas flax is anti-inflammatory.  So flax seeds are great for those who have Celiac disease or have a gluten-sensitivity. They may also be a good alternative to omega-3 fats in fish for people with a seafood allergy.

Amongst its other incredible nutrition facts, flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants. Lignans are unique fibre-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health. Polyphenols support the growth of probiotics in the gut. Lignans are also known for their anti-viral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus.

As mentioned earlier, if you want healthier skin, hair and nails then consider adding two tablespoons of flaxseeds to your smoothie or one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your daily routine. The ALA fats in flaxseeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fats as well as vitamin B which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema. This also applies to eye health as flax can reduce dry eye syndrome.

Like many seeds, flaxseeds are hard for your body to digest, so try grinding them to help your body get them most out of them.

BRASSERIE SUPERFOOD SALAD

Ingredients

long beans
mizuna
green mango, sliced
local basil
fresh orange segments
flaxseeds
garlic, sliced, boiled and roasted
chickpeas
lime juice
orange juice, freshly squeezed
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method

Combine lime and orange juices with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, and flaxseeds, to make the vinaigrette. Dress the mizuna leaves. Drape the long beans on plate in a circle and place the leaves inside the beans. Dress the mango and orange segments and scatter delicately on top of the mizuna. Sprinkle the garlic chips and flaxseeds over the salad and serve.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Celery

Posted by on 26th June 2017

DSC 0279  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Celery

Anyone for “crunchy water”?

Kale and blueberries walk away with most health accolades. In comparison, celery is the somewhat unsung hero, but once you read its incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.

Firstly, save on the chewing gum and grab a celery stalk! Did you know that nibbling celery stalks helps to clean your teeth and mouth after a meal?

Celery also provides dietary fibre that boosts digestion and weight loss. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in our mouth-watering salad recipe below.

The high percentage of water and electrolytes found in celery can prevent dehydration, especially over these hot summer months. Special compounds act as a diuretic and reduce bloating.

As a supplier of antioxidant flavonoids and polyphenol phytonutrients, other significant benefits of celery include its ability to improve liver, skin, eye and cognitive health. One large stalk of celery delivers five per cent of your daily vitamin A needs, a group of nutrients that protects the eyes and prevents age-related degeneration of vision.

Celery contains antioxidants and polysaccharides that are known to act as anti-inflammatories, especially flavonoid and polyphenol antioxidants. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.

Stressed and anxious? The minerals in celery, especially magnesium and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system and assist to calm you down. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you may even sleep better.

Celery reduces “bad” cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. An active compound called phthalides in celery has been proven to boost circulatory health.

And don’t be scared of using the leaves of the celery stalk. Just like Chef Arte has done in our featured Brasserie salad this week (pictured above, recipe below), celery leaves not only taste delicious but add an aesthetic frill to attract any celery critic.

If you’re still hesitant to give celery a go, present your Mum with a bunch of celery, just like the winners of athletic events in Ancient Greece were presented with instead of flowers. A practical gift that won’t break the budget.

BRASSERIE CHOPPED SALAD

Ingredients

For the salad:

local mixed greens
Château Chooks hard boiled eggs
long beans
watermelon radish
chickpeas
celery, stalk and leaves
bell peppers
flax seeds

For the dressing:

parsely
mint
basil
dill
grape seed oil
Dijon mustard
champagne vinegar
lemon aioli
salt
pepper

Method

Combine all salad ingredients together. Blend dressing ingredients and drizzle over salad before serving.

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?