Tag: sustainability

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

THE PITCH: December in Cricket Square

Posted by on 30th November 2017

Celebrate the holiday season at Cricket Square as we commemorate The Brasserie’s 20th year in operation and our farm-to-table commitment to you.

Holiday celebrations start here!

THE BRASSERIE — As we head towards the festive season make sure The Brasserie is your first stop when planning your celebrations. Our exclusive Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve menus are available in hardcopy at the Restaurant. Click here for our holiday hours and book now. Call 945 1815 or email.

Tent Sale: 3-6pm, Friday 1 December

WICKET BAR — Did you miss the Black Friday sales? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our exclusive fine wines, speciality spirits and your favourite craft beers to enjoy this festive season. All available at discounted prices at the Brasserie Purveyors Tent Sale to celebrate The Brasserie’s 20th Anniversary.

SWIRL: 5-7pm, Thursday 14 December

WICKET BAR — Party into the holidays with sparkling! Join us for our 2017 SWIRL finale as we pop open our finest bubbles and cheers to the festive season and The Brasserie’s incredible 20-year milestone. Did you know the longest champagne cork flight was 54 metres? Hurry and book before the bubbles are all gone!

Host your Christmas party at Cricket Square

THE BRASSERIE — Looking for a venue to host your Christmas party this year? Buyout the restaurant for up to 80 people. What about the green outdoor space at the Wicket Bar for a cocktail party of 150? Or the relaxing vibe of our restaurant garden that can hold 40 people as you sip on cocktails under the stars? Call 945 1815 or email to book your event.

Hospitality Industry Night every Tuesday

THE BRASSERIE — Do you work in the local hospitality industry? Treat yourself and one guest to 50% off all food at The Brasserie. Bring along your business card or pay stub to receive this offerfrom 5-10pm every Tuesday night for a limited time. Book now! Call 945 1815 or email.

Juiced @ The Wicket weekly specials

WICKET BAR — Enjoy our $5 Juiced @ The Wicket special each week using local seasonal ingredients in our nourishing, nutritious, energising and refreshing concoctions that will make you and your wallet feel good. Our specials don’t often feature on the regular Juiced @ menu, so make the most of this sweet opportunity. Call 927 6419 to order ahead.

Latest update on Cricket Square construction

CRICKET SQUARE — The steel frame to the Club (our new fitness centre) is underway and we expect to have wall panels arrive in the next few weeks – it should be enclosed before Christmas. The fitness equipment has been ordered and we’re doing all we can to open the facility early in the New Year. We will be inviting Cricket Square tenants to join as members soon.

ENERGY Christmas Party!

ENERGY — Come and celebrate the holiday season with the team at ENERGY, 5-9pm on Wednesday 6 December. Explore the beautiful studio, enjoy holiday nibbles and beverages, get a sneak peek at the new programs for 2018 and be in the running to win exciting wellness prizes. RSVP by 4 December. Call 946 6006 oremail.

Highly acclaimed chef to visit The Brasserie

THE BRASSERIE — We are excited to welcome chef, restaurateur and ‘Iron Chef America’ television star, Makoto Okuwa, to The Brasserie next month. Makoto brings with him over twenty years of experience in traditional Japanese style cooking, and we look forward to hosting a dinner with him on Saturday 13 January 2018.Email for more details.

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: Carob

Posted by on 21st November 2017

carob  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Carob

Did you know that carob pod husks are chewed by singers to clear the voice and throat?

Made from dried, roasted carob tree pods, carob powder is a sweet and healthy substitute for chocolate.

The carob tree, or Ceratonia siliqua, has fruit that looks like a dark brown pea pod, which carries pulp and seeds. Carob can boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, improve digestion, slow down aging, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and help prevent and manage diabetes.

Carob tannins contain Gallic acid that works as an analgesic, anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic. The tannins found in carobs can increase the effectiveness of certain substances (enzymes) that help to regulate the digestion process.  Additionally, carob provides powerful anti-viral benefits that supply the body with essential antioxidants. Foods rich in tannins are often recommended for treatment of diarrhea as it reduces acid production and combats related ailments.

Experts say carobs contain fibre that naturally helps to regulate blood sugar levels (useful for people who suffer from diabetes). As an insoluble fibre product (which contains pinitol, a type of inositol), carob helps water bind in the digestive tract, which enhances the health of the intestinal tract and regulates blood glucose.

Due to the high percentage of insoluble fibre contained in carobs, research shows carobs have the potential to lower cholesterol levels. Carobs have naturally high levels of lignin and polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

In a clinical trial conducted in the US, consumption of a carob pulp preparation decreased postprandial responses of acylated ghrelin, triglycerides, suggesting a change toward increased fatty acid oxidation. In other words, carob fibre might exert beneficial effects in energy intake, and thus, reduce body weight.

Carob is high in phosphorus and calcium, which means it may help in the fight against osteoporosis ailment. It has also been recommended for children who have had polio ailment, due to the high levels of calcium and gallic acid.

As carobs are rich in vitamin E, and full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, they have, on occasion, been suggested in aid of the treatment of anemia, coughs, osteoclasis, colds and influenza.

Enjoy our $5 Juiced @ The Wicket ‘Carob Delight’ this week, guilt-free, knowing that this fibre-rich ingredient, high in antioxidants and low in sodium and fat, is a superfood that all chocoholics will love.