Tag: from paddock to plate

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Chia

Posted by on 27th June 2017

chia superfood  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Chia

Don’t be fooled by these tiny seeds. They might be small but they are mighty when it comes to packing a nutrition-dense and energy-boosting punch to your diet.

Originally grown in Mexico, chia seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency! Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them energy and endurance. Apparently one spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours! Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and the food was known as “runners food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.

For that healthy glow and to reduce the signs of ageing, to speed up the skin’s repair systems and prevent further damage, incorporate this antioxidant-rich food into your breakfast cereal and reap the rewards.

Foods that are high in fibre help people to feel full for longer and reduce those sugar cravings. Chia absorbs 10-12 times its weight in water, immediately expanding the stomach when eaten. Because of this, chia seeds can prolong hydration and improve nutrient absorption of electrolytes.

High-fibre diets decrease the prevalence in flare-ups of diverticulitis by absorbing water in the colon and making bowel movements easier to pass, which are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins. Increased fibre intake also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Did you also know that a high-fibre diet can lower the risk of developing diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels stable.

Chia seeds are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids that can assist to decrease the risk of thrombosis and arrhythmias, which are disorders that can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Just one ounce of chia seeds has 18 per cent of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Calcium is fundamental in bone health and helps maintain bone strength and mass. Packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc, it’s no wonder that chia seeds are a great for the health of your teeth. Zinc prevents tarter by keeping plaque from mineralising onto your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away.

Ranked among the top plant based sources of protein, this is another reason that the super seed is great to consume for those trying to put on lean muscle, burn fat, and balance blood sugar levels. Speaking of exercise, chia packs a powerful antioxidant punch to help replace some of those nutrients lost after a workout.

What’s more, these seeds are also gluten-free, and due to their high antioxidant content, chia does not spoil easily and can be stored for long periods.

What more could you ask from one tiny seed? Perhaps a delicious recipe like our Chia Pudding below (pictured above), available from the Grab & Go fridge at The Market or Juiced @ The Wicket.

CHIA PUDDING

Ingredients

300ml almond milk
150ml maple syrup
500g chia
strawberries
blueberries

Method

Combine the almond milk and maple syrup. Once combined, continuously stir while gradually adding the chia seeds. Rest for five minutes and then stir the mixture again to avoid clumps forming. Leave the chia mixture in the fridge overnight to set. Serve and garnish with fresh seasonal strawberries and blueberries.

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: Spirulina

Posted by on 21st June 2017

DSC 0167  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Spirulina

What is spirulina? A herb? A green leafy vegetable? One of the most nutrient-rich foods on earth?

Spirulina belongs to the bacteria kingdom, not the plant kingdom. Although widely called blue-green algae, it’s a cyanobacteria (meaning blue bacteria) and is partly responsible for producing the oxygen in the planet’s atmosphere. Spirulina grows naturally in the wild in warm, fresh water lakes and is also cultivated and harvested in man-made reservoirs.

Spirulina has between 55 and 70 per cent protein (more than beef, chicken, and soybeans), eight essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, as well as high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, phosphorus, nucleic acids RNA and DNA, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, a pigment-protein complex that is found only in blue-green algae.

This vibrant ingredient provides a wide range of health benefits including an energy boost and reduced fatigue. It helps improve the immune system, and provides exceptional support for the heart, liver, and kidneys. Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, oxygenating the blood, and helping cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health complications.

Spirulina is also a natural appetite suppressant and helps to improve the body’s digestive system. It contains powerful antioxidant properties to balance the body’s pH, thereby reducing inflammation throughout the body, as well as improve your immune system and brain function.

And there’s even more good news! Whether you freeze it, refrigerate it, leave it at room temperature, or process it, you will still get all of its nutrients.

JUICED @ THE WICKET GREEN BOWL

Ingredients

avocado
banana
spinach
pineapple
maca
spirulina
almond milk
hemp seed
coconut
bee pollen

Method

Blend spinach, avocado, pineapple, banana, maca, spirulina and almond milk until smooth. Sprinkle hemp seed, coconut and bee pollen on top and add sliced banana and pineapple. Enjoy!

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?