Tag: food miles

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Sorrel

Posted by on 8th December 2017

Sorrel hand  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Sorrel

Sorrel is a fascinating and festive perennial herb growing in Cricket Square’s edible gardens as we head towards Christmas.

It’s used all around the world and is cultivated for a wide variety of uses, although primarily as food with its sharp, tangy taste reminiscent of wild strawberries or kiwi thanks to the oxalic acid component found in the leaves.

The health benefits of sorrel include its ability to boost eyesight, reduce certain skin infections, strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, build strong bones, increase circulation, increase energy levels, lower blood pressure, increase appetite, protect against diabetes, strengthen heart health and improve the kidney health.

The high content of dietary fibre that can be found in most varieties of sorrel allows food to move through the digestive system, improving your gastrointestinal health and reducing conditions like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and cramping, as well as gastrointestinal issues. Dietary fibre can also help to reduce total cholesterol in the body, thereby protecting heart health.

Sorrel is rich in potassium, which is an essential mineral for human health. Potassium is a vasodilator, as well as is instrumental in maintaining fluid balance throughout the body. This means that potassium reduces the stress on the cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and arteries. Lowered blood pressure reduces the chances of dangerous blood clotting and excessive strain on the heart that can lead to coronary heart disease and other complications.

Although the studies looking into the antioxidant components of sorrel are still ongoing, there is a good evidence that it contains polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, and anthocyanins, all of which function as antioxidants in the human body. The wealth of antioxidants that sorrel contains means that it is very effective at seeking out free radicals in the body and neutralising them.

Vitamin A, another of the essential vitamins found in sorrel, can improve eyesight and reduce macular degeneration and cataracts. Beta-carotene, which is a derivative of vitamin A, acts as an antioxidant, and combined with the other important antioxidant compounds in the body, it can greatly boost eye health and prevent age-related degradation.

Significant iron levels in sorrel mean that it boosts the red blood cell production and prevents anemia (iron deficiency). Increased circulation boosts oxygen levels throughout the body in the vital organs, boosts hair growth, increases energy levels, and speeds up the healing process (in conjunction with the protein content of sorrel).

Sorrel’s vitamin C content is impressive and can stimulate the immune system and increase the white blood cell count in the body, which is the first line of defense against pathogens and other foreign invaders in the body.

Our Sorrel Martini is available at The Brasserie, so now you have every reason to enjoy this festive drink.

Sorrel  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Sorrel

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Almonds

Posted by on 4th December 2017

They’re a waistline-friendly snack known to boost heart health, but before you get carried away with a heaping handful, consider a few of the lesser-known facts about this beneficial bite.

Rather than a nut, the almond is actually the seed of a fruit that grows on an almond tree. The fruit of the almond is called a drupe. The fuzzy hull around the almond seed feels like a peach and that’s because peaches and apricots are family members of the almond. The outer hull is not consumed by humans and instead, used as a cattle feed all over the world.

Did you also know that the almond is a member of the rose family and is often called “the queen of the rose family”?

Almonds are reliant on bees for crop pollination. No bees, no almonds. There are around 30 varieties of almonds, but only 10 undergo production for consumption purposes.

The immature green almond can be preserved and pickled — some consider it a delicacy.

Recent sudies show almonds eaten mid-morning can help moderate your blood sugar throughout the day. Almonds are extremely high in magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of. High magnesium intake may have major benefits for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.

Low magnesium levels are strongly linked to high blood pressure, indicating that almonds can be beneficial for blood pressure control. Eating 1-2 handfuls of almonds per day can lead to mild reductions in LDL cholesterol levels.

Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, dietary fibres, and vitamin B and are the biggest barrier against cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Almonds are high in antioxidants that can protect your cells from oxidative damage, a major contributor to ageing and disease.

Nuts are low in carbs, but high in protein and fibre. Studies show that eating almonds (and other nuts) can increase satiety and help you eat fewer calories.

Did you know that chocolate manufacturers use around 40 percent of world’s total almonds in making delicious and mouth-watering chocolates?

Raw almonds are among the lowest-calorie nut and guess what? It’s easy to make your own almond milk. The same milk that we are using in this week’s $5 ‘Peaches & Cream’ Juiced @ The Wicket special. The process essentially involves soaking almonds in water overnight or for up to two days — the longer you soak the almonds, the creamier the milk will be. Drain and rinse the nuts from their soaking water and grind them with fresh water. The resulting liquid, drained from the almond meal, is almond milk.

Real, fresh, very tasty almond milk is a game-changer!

DSC 1881  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Almonds

Biological control using ladybugs

Posted by on 30th November 2017

Brasserie garden 11  Biological control using ladybugs

Did you know that the little ladybug could be one of the best friends you ever have in your garden?

Known for their love of aphids, a single ladybug is capable of consuming up to 50 to 60 aphids per day but will also eat a variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various types of soft-bodied insects.

“I propagate ladybugs to control aphids and stop them eating the plants here in Cricket Square.”

The Brasserie’s head gardener who is also a qualified biologist, Aide Lopez, speaks animatedly about her recent visit to Mexico City to attend the National Congress of Biological Control.

Biological control is an environmentally sound and effective means of reducing or mitigating pests and pest effects through the use of natural enemies. It’s a sustainable and environmentally compatible pest management system, that avoids using pesticides.

“An example is the use of bamboo sticks to join one plant to the next like mini bridges, allowing ants to move from one leafy green to the next, foraging on nuisance insects.”

Some vegetables, herbs and flowers benefit each other by improving soil, while others deter pests from one another. Companion planting, another technique that Aide has implemented in the organic vegetable gardens, provides a fascinating blueprint for a higher garden yield.

“Eggplants and tomatoes are from the same family and therefore they will attract the same pests, creating an even bigger problem than if they were planted on their own. Some plants repel insect pests with their scent. Aroma can also be used to mask the scent of your main crop, effectively hiding them from predators.

“Corn and beans work well together. The beans break down the nitrogen, helping the corn to soak up this element in the soil.”

Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in soils throughout the world and also acts as a parasite on various arthropod species; therefore used as a biological insecticide to control a number of pests such as termites, thrips and whiteflies.

Next time you walk through Cricket Square or find yourself in The Brasserie’s greenhouse, look around, and see nature at work doing what it does best!

 

 

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Turmeric

Posted by on 28th November 2017

Did you know India is world’s largest producer of turmeric? In fact, as much as up to 90 percent of the world’s total turmeric production comes only from India.

Look at our fresh turmeric (below) harvested from The Brasserie garden. Turmeric has a very similar appearance to that of ginger. However if you break open a piece of turmeric the inside has a brilliant orange-yellow hue. Ginger has a brownish colour.

Turmeric comes from the Curcuma longa plant, which grows in India and other Southeast Asian countries. The dried root of the Curcuma longa plant is ground into the distinctive yellow turmeric powder. There are several chemical compounds found in turmeric, known as curcuminoids. The active substance in turmeric is curcumin.

The amazing health benefits of turmeric include its ability to reduce inflammation, heal wounds, improve skin health, protect cognitive abilities, and ease menstrual difficulties. Turmeric also helps eliminate depression, alleviate pain, slow the aging process, protect the digestive tract, and prevent cancer.

Turmeric helps keep your skin healthy in many ways. It keeps pimples at bay by inhibiting the growth of pimple-causing bacteria and reducing the oil secretion by the sebaceous glands. The constant use of turmeric clears acne scars, which makes your skin flawless and glowing. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties accelerate the healing of a cut and soothe skin irritation. Turmeric’s major component curcumin, loaded with antioxidants, fights signs of aging like wrinkles and pigmentation by curbing the growth of free radicals.

The golden spice, turmeric, helps accelerate the metabolism rate and lets your body burn a significant number of calories, leading to weight loss. It is also useful in reducing fat mass and detoxification of the liver, which are essential contributors when it comes to diet-induced weight loss efforts.

One of the most well-known applications of turmeric is as an anti-inflammatory agent. The active ingredients in turmeric are extensive but a particularly crucial compound is curcumin. This substance has received considerable attention in the medical community due to its potent anti-inflammatory abilities. In fact, the strength of this substance is likened to some of the strongest pharmaceutical options for reducing inflammation. For this reason, consuming turmeric is often suggested for the reduction of arthritic pain, gout, and muscle pain following exercise or injury.

Turmeric has long been used as a stomach soother and is particularly useful for constipation, cramping, and irritable bowel syndrome.

Power up your Juiced @ The Wicket smoothie with turmeric and reap the numerous health benefits that stem from this root gem.

Tumeric 25 July 2017  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Turmeric

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Tuna

Posted by on 15th November 2017

tuna steak  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Tuna

Each day The Brasserie’s fishing boats, Brasserie Catch I and Brasserie Catch II, deliver fresh sustainably-caught fish to the Restaurant to be served on the menu just hours later, including this mouthwatering yellowfin tuna fillet.

And if you’re a guest at our first Harvest Dinner of the season on Thursday, you are in luck! Yellowfin tuna is one our hero ingredients that you will have the opportunity to enjoy, paired with garden vegetables and a speciality wine carefully selected by our sommelier.

Did you know that tuna are some of the fastest swimmers in the ocean with burst speeds recorded at around 45 kilometres per hour?

Not only is this impressive, but the vitamin, mineral and nutrient content, as well as other organic compounds found in this large fish are significant. These include antioxidants and protein, without much-saturated fat or sodium. It also has impressive levels of selenium and good amounts of phosphorous, iron, magnesium and potassium. In terms of vitamins, there is a wealth of vitamin B12 and niacin, as well as a good amount of vitamin B6 and riboflavin.

The health benefits help growth and development, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, assist weight loss, boost the immune system, increase energy, maintain skin health and reduce inflammation.

The combination of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce blood pressure, along with potassium,  make tuna fish very good for lowering blood pressure. Reducing hypertension can significantly boost your health by lowering the strain on your cardiovascular system. This can prevent heart attacks and stroke.

Luckily, for pescatarians, tuna fish is packed with protein. A single serving of only 165 grams (approximately 1 can of tuna fish) contains more than 80 per cent of your daily protein requirement. Proteins are the building blocks of our body, and with proper amounts of protein in our system, we are guaranteed to have increased growth and development, faster recovery from wounds and illnesses, improved muscle tone and growth, and overall metabolic efficiency. It can boost our energy levels and make our body work more effectively.

Tuna also contains good amounts of vitamin C, zine and manganese, all of which are considered antioxidant in nature. Antioxidants are one of the body’s defines mechanisms against free radicals. However the real champion of tuna’s immune system-boosting potential is selenium.

The B complex of vitamins has been connected with a wide range of different health aspects, but as a whole, they are mainly involved in improving the metabolism and increasing the efficiency of our organ systems, while also protecting the skin and increasing energy.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on The Brasserie’s Facebook page for updates on our daily catch, and join us this Thursday for our first Harvest Dinner of the season.