Tag Archives: cherries

The healthy purple … eater

purple carrots 3Remember those purple carrots featured in my previous post? The ones that are purple all the way through [like the picture on the left]?

Well, apparently they’re chock full of a compound called anthocyanin [it’s what gives them that deep purple colour].

More importantly, real, no hand-waving type research has shown that anthocyanins are very good for you:

‘In Toowoomba at the University of Southern Queensland, Lindsay Brown researches the medicinal power of natural foods to counteract obesity and reverse its inflammatory effects, or more specifically fruit and vegetables of a certain colour – the colour purple.

Anthocyanin is a natural pigment, one of a range of compounds in plants that keep their systems healthy and potentially ours too.’

Catalyst, Why Am I Still Fat?,

You can watch the entire video here :

http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4327346.htm

[the purple connection starts at 17:13]

The Catalyst program looked specifically at obesity and some of the harmful effects associated with the condition – such as a low grade inflammation that can damage every organ in the body. But obesity is not the only condition linked to inflammation. Arthritis and ulcerative collitis, are also associated with inflammation, and in fact it was an arthritic toe that first led me to look into the anti-inflammatory effects of Morello cherries [also known as tart or sour cherries]. They too are full of anthocyanin.

So purple is good, and it’s not just the health food fanatics touting a new ‘super food’. In the link below, purple is also linked to anti-cancer properties:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

Apart from purple carrots and Morello cherries, Queen Garnet plums also contain significant amounts of anthocyanin, but I strongly recommend NOT going crazy with the Queen Garnet plum juice. As with any processed and concentrated food, more is not always better. The juice will not have the fibre in the skin, for examply, but it will probably have a higher sugar content simply from being more concentrated. So beware.

My personal view is that the best way of taking in the good things in all these foods is via a healthy diet. We love carrots in our family so eating purple carrots instead of orange carrots is no biggie. I also love Morello cherries so eating them is also easy, but again, they are just part of a healthy diet. All things in moderation, right?

In my next blog post I’ll write up the recipe for the carrot cake featured in the original purple post.

Until then, have a great weekend. đŸ™‚

Meeks

 

 


Caramelised belly pork with sour [Morello] cherries

With a heatwave forecast for the next three days, I thought it might be a good idea to cook dinner this morning, while everything was still nice and cool. So I did, and it turned out to be one of the yummiest recipes I’ve ever tried. Sadly I can’t post a photo because we ate it before I thought of taking one.

The idea for the recipe came from Aussie chef Kylie Kwong. She makes a delicious looking dish with bacon, red wine and cherries :

http://www.abc.net.au/kyliekwong/recipes/s952509.htm

My version is a much simpler dish featuring fresh belly pork and sour cherries, two ingredients I almost always keep on hand.

Ingredients [for 2]

4 lean rashers of fresh belly pork :

belly pork

2 cups of sour, Morello cherries and [their] juice. They come in a jar like this and 2 cups will be approximately 2/3 of the jar :

morello cherries jar

1/4 cup raw sugar

2 cloves garlic [crushed]

1 fresh bay leaf or 2? dried ones

1/2 of a large white salad onion roughly sliced

salad onions

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1/2 teaspoon table salt

Method

Mix all the ingredients of the ‘marinade’ in a baking dish just large enough to hold the meat. Arrange the pork in the marinade and spoon the cherries and onion mix over the top – i.e. you cook the pork in the marinade straight away.

Loosely cover the baking dish with foil and place in a moderate oven [approx 150 C] for about an hour.

[I don’t like the flavour of the bay leaf to be too overpowering so I removed it when I turned the meat – after about 1/2 an hour].

When the meat is tender, remove the foil and allow to bake for a further 1/2 an hour or until most of the juices have evaporated leaving a lovely, caramelised sauce over the meat.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving, or make ahead and refrigerate until needed.

[I made it ahead and heated it up for dinner…but only until the meat was just warm and the sauce sticky. Over cooking at this point could burn the whole dish].

The Offspring and I ate a small lettuce and avocado salad first, as a sort of entree. Then we ate the meat on its own. It was so rich we didn’t need anything else. I think this is going to become one of my favourite no-fuss dishes.

cheers

Meeks

 

 

 

 

 


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