Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A delicious apricot fool

This evening, craving something sweet, I decided to make Miriam Polunin's Apricot Almond Fool, minus the almonds, but plus chopped brazil nuts. It was delicious!! So good, in fact, that rather than just direct you to the page in the book (p. 130, btw), I'm going to reproduce it here. A great recipe for the candida diet repertoire.

Apricot Almond Fool

Serves 4 (I made half the quantity and got two decent servings from it)

250g dried apricots (go for the dark, unsulphured type - much better flavour, almost caramelly)

500ml live, low-fat natural yoghurt (I actually used a half yoghurt, half creme fraiche mixture, cos that's what I had in the fridge!)

1 tbsp honey (optional, I felt the mixture was sweet enough without it, to be honest)

40g unblanched almonds, roughly chopped (I used brazil nuts instead)

fresh mint or edible flowers (for poncey decoration, if that floats your boat!)

1. Place the apricots in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for five mins. Drain and add fresh cold water to cover the apricots.

2. Return to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins, or until the apricots are soft.

3. Cool slightly. Liquidize with just enough cooking water to make a thick puree. Cool until lukewarm.

4. Stir in the yoghurt and honey, if using. Chill until ready to serve.

5. Just before serving, heat the almonds in an ungreased frying pan over a low heat for two-three mins, until just starting to turn golden. Sprinkle over the fool, decorate with the fresh mint or edible flowers, if using, and serve.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New supplement regime

Well, I say 'new', but I have been on it for a couple of weeks now. I'm back on the anti-fungals in a big way...

Bioacidophilus - 2 per day (breakfast and evening meal)
PT208 - 2 per day (breakfast and evening meal)
Echinacea - 1 per day (breakfast)
Mycopryl 400 - 2 per day (breakfast and evening meal)
Mag 2:1 Cal - 3 per day (breakfast, lunch and evening meal)
Multivit - 1 per day (breakfast)
Milk Thistle - 1 per day (evening meal)
Iron - 1 per day (evening meal)

Strange to be taking so many tablets again. Are they doing the trick? Well, they're doing something. Have been experiencing a flare-up - started in my mouth (though that could have been the two enormous pieces of chocolate birthday cake I ate at my friend's recent 30th birthday party!) and has since spread throughout (yuck), but that's no surprise. The Mycopryl always makes things worse to begin with. However, starting to feel like I'm getting back onto an even keel again - digestion has improved, mouth feels less sore and furry and the rest is improving daily. A little disappointing that things should have flared up again, but it's the first since July, and really wasn't that bad when I consider the pain I used to experience.

All in all, still feeling fairly positive about my recovery.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Adventures in Sourdough

I recently read somewhere (a link I sadly lost) that the Candida Society now recommends that sufferers just avoid sugar where possible, as the prohibitions of the hardcore anti-Candida diet make it too difficult to stick too - there could be some wisdom there! Anyway, while I was at home over the summer, I ate a great deal of sourdough bread (leavened with 'natural' yeasts) with no significant 'side-effects', so I decided - as a little diversionary project - to 'grow my own'. :)

The website I used was this one. It gives easy to follow instructions on how to create a sourdough starter and how to bake with it. Unlike a lot of other websites and recipes I found, this recipe does not use added yeast or sugar as a booster. All you need is rye flour (chosen because it ferments more quickly than other flours), wholemeal strong bread flour, water, salt and a lot of patience.

Day one

I probably chose the wrong time of year to start my...er...starter, so it took a little longer than it might usually to get nice and bubbly. I only have a tiny (shared) kitchen, so I chose to keep the starter in my bedroom where I could control the ambient temperature more easily. But, the fact it is a rather chilly room, probably retarded the starter, so the whole process described on the website took around twelve days, before the starter was ready to bake with.

Hubble, bubble...

But, as you can see, it was well worth the wait! My first loaf of (yeasted) bread - I'm so proud. :)

The proof is, of course, in the eating. The verdict? Not too bad for a first go. The bread is nice and crusty, although the texture is quite dense. I suspect this is down to one of the inherent disadvantages of wholemeal bread flour, and the fact the starter was commenced with rye flour. Over time, hopefully, my starter (which is dormant in the fridge at the moment) will improve to produce a more flavoursome loaf that is lighter in texture. Oh, and I could have done with adding a little more salt to the dough methinks.

With a bit of olive oil spread and St Dalfour apricot jam (sweetened with fruit juice) as a treat!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Juice, juice, luverly juice!

Actually, not 'juice', but cordial, or - if you prefer - squash. I discovered Suma Organic Apple, Raspberry and Cranberry Juice pure fruit concentrate in my local independent health food store this afternoon. It's refreshing, contains just concentrated fruit juice and a very little goes a long way (dilute with water). Which is good, cos it's really quite expensive (the RRP is a whopping £3.59!).
N.B. Photograph taken from the Suma website.

More Ginger and Lemon Tea news!

Whittards make a delicious refreshing and just-spicy-enough Ginger and Lemon Tea - crucially without added citric acid. It's even better than the Marks & Sparks version.