Tag Archives: ingredients

The Great Butter Debate…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always bought skimmed milk, wholewheat bread, wholemeal pasta, fat free yoghurts and olive spread. Have I been getting it wrong all along?

The Great Butter Debate

The Great Butter Debate

I’ve recently brought our butter dish back out of the cupboard.

The last time it was in use, was when my daughter was very young & the advice was to give full fat dairy products, such as whole milk & butter. I’ve always shied away from the butter dish for myself. Growing up thinking that butter was a near equivalent to downing shots of bleach, or chewing down arsenic sandwiches – you know, it *will* kill you.

Butter is fat. Fat is bad. Fat will kill you.

I follow A LOT of fitness experts, food bloggers, nutritionists, sports enthusiasts, personal trainers and hobby gym go-ers. Most of these guys are incredibly careful about what they put in to their bodies. Some are clean eaters, some are veggie, some are high protein-ists, some are paleo, some are strictly alkaline. All are about eating the most pure form of foods, the best that they can find, the unadulterated. Those of them that eat dairy, almost all eat ‘real’ butter. It has left me wondering why I do usually opt for the reduced fat spreads. I’d never really given it a thought…

The thing that started me down my route of questioning the norm, was whilst I was making a cake for a birthday party. I had bought proper butter to make the cake, but didn’t quite have enough. I reached for the pot of ‘light olive spread’ & it proclaimed that it couldn’t be used for baking, frying or cooking. Weird, I thought, I wonder why… Then I looked at the ingredients, trying to figure why it wasn’t suitable for baking, and this is what I found:

Water, Vegetable Oils in varying proportions (22%) (Rapeseed, Palm, Sunflower), Olive Oil (16%), Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Buttermilk, Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Sunflower Lecithin), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Citric Acid, Natural Flavouring, Vitamins A and D, Colour (Carotenes)

I flipped my butter pack over, ingredients:

Jersey Cream

I kind of stood in my kitchen, thinking “hmmmm, hmmmmmm, ahhhh, hmmmm”, tapping my head a bit, re-reading both packs and then thinking “hmmmmmmm”.

I feel like I’ve been sidelined in to this ‘healthy eating’ brainwash: “Butter = Bad. Low fat spread = Good.”

Reading, what can only be described as a chemical cocktail, I’m no longer convinced that low fat spreads are the way forward, certainly not for me & my family. Whilst the overall fat content of these low fat spreads may sound more appealing, I think that it makes sense to use real butter, but perhaps more sparingly. I’m not about to start eating a block a day, because, good or bad, it is still a source of saturated fat. But a little bit here and there will be better that a bunch of chemical junk any day.

I have shunned my previous favourite spread to the very back of the top shelf of the fridge – I don’t know why, I’m not planning on ever eating it again, maybe it is there for an emergency, you know, when I really feel the urge to spread some Potassium Sorbate on my toast (ick!)

By dropping ‘butter vs low fat spread’ in to the interweb search box, heaps of articles pop up, some pro butter, some very anti butter. I’m sure that there are pros and cons to each side, as there always is with any choice or debate. I’m gonna go ahead and stick myself firmly on the pro butter side.

What do you think?

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What’s in Halina’s Cupboard?

*hangs head in shame* I know, I know, this post should have been up on Tuesday, but the Fathers’ Day orders have been keeping me chained to the Cherry Pie Lane desk for most of the week!

Anywho, here we are, better late than never & this week’s post is awesome. The cupboard we are going to rummage through this week belongs to Halina, who has her own food blog at kitchenchoufleur.

I’ll hand you over to Halina to explain the contents of her cupboard and what she absolutely cannot live without:

halina

So I have included for you a photo of not just my main ingredients cupboard, but the surrounding area as well. I have too many herbs, spices, and various other ingredients/tins/crap to fit in just one easily-accessible cupboard.
I’m currently trying to lose a lot of weight for my wedding in December, so eating and cooking to a Slimming World-friendly plan is a big part of that. However, I have always cooked from fresh and enjoyed creating and exploring new recipes, hence the over-abundance of jars, pots and packets etc. My “every-day” herbs and spices are kept in the rolling spice rack you can see on the side, and the cupboard houses the more rarely-used, but also incredibly important items.
My Must-Haves include:
  • Oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cumin, paprika, chilli powder – the basic everyday herbs & spices that go into almost everything I cook
  • FryLight – a low-fat diet unfortunately means very little oil, however this stuff is a brilliant substitute
  • Truvia – a sweetener that isn’t a disgustingly fake pot full of Evil, instead being made from a plant. Only the tiniest amount is needed to give a lovely sweet taste to any food.
  • Strong wholemeal flour – I make all my own bread, both white (for the toddler) and wholemeal. It’s SO much tastier and fills my house with that gorgeous fresh bread smell.
  • Stock cubes – the way to get anything to taste good. Anything. I promise.
  • Worcester sauce – the best way to add depth and body to any meal. Plus it’s gorgeous on cheese on toast.
My Favourites (as well as all of the above):
  • Saffron – this stuff is¬†expensive, but one little jar from the supermarket can last so, so long. I bought mine over one year ago and there is still a tiny bit left. A small pinch gives the most delicious honeyed flavour to anything, and is especially good in tagines and stews.
  • Rajah (other brands are available!) packet spices – these can be found in supermarkets the same as the tiny jars of spices, but are ridiculously cheaper for a far larger amount. I make a lot of curries, all low in fat, and these are the best thing ever for that purpose.
  • Passata – I bloody love passata. I buy these cheapie cardboard boxes of it from Aldi. They last ages, they make amazing sauces without fail, and they can be used for anything. For example, I often make a weekend breakfast of spring onions, chillies, red peppers, ham and cherry tomatoes, all finely diced and scrambled with eggs and a few tablespoons of passata. Delicious.

Looking at the above, none of it seems particularly original or like a wonder-product…it’s all just simple, honest, delicious stuff that makes simple, honest, delicious food, from scratch, to low-fat requirements. These are the basic gists of my blog, really, along with budgeting, meal-planning, and slow cooking.

Thanks so much for sharing your cupboard with us Halina – what a great stash of kitchen essentials. Massive hats off to you for making all your own bread, I LOVE that smell! I totally agree with the little cartons of passata, I get through heaps of those too! There are a few things in thsi cupboard that I’ve never tried, like Frylight & Truvia – I’ve also not tried any of the slimming world plans, but I know lots of people that have had massive success using them.

What do you guys think about Halina’s cupboard? Go and check out her blog too for loads of great recipes and ideas on budgeting your meals.

Are you in to healthy eating and or fitness? Trying to lose weight? Do you have anything hiding in your kitchen cupboards that you’d like to share? Drop me a message though the ‘about’ page or mail me at: info@cherrypielane.co.uk & I’ll get your cupboards linked up!

 

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