Dr Emma Kirke Shares Her Global Food Tips
Olympic and paralympic fever has gripped the country, but could the world’s nations coming together have a bearing on food and fitness fads? BESTFIT’s Emma Kirke (@DrEKirkeOstm) finds out…
One of my favourite places to visit is New York and I am not surprised to find the city at the forefront of experimental culinary delights. Savoury yoghurt establishments are popping up like ice cream parlours and at Chobani, in particular, you have five flavours to choose from, including beetroot and butternut squash. Although I don’t seem to be able to locate any parlours to try this food revelation, I had a go at making my own. You’ll need the following:
120g (prepared weight) butternut squash /
1 tablespoon olive oil / 1 tablespoon agave syrup /
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds / 1 clove garlic, sliced /
2 sprigs of fresh basil / 50ml cold water.
Blend this all together in a Nutri Ninja (or other blender) and then add to 500ml low fat goat’s milk yoghurt. Mix together thoroughly and store in the fridge until consumption.
Blackcurrants = antioxidants! The amazing quantity of antioxidants crammed into the little fruit from New Zealand have been captured in a simple capsule format and are being exported by Curranz for us all to benefit. This is a superfood supplement with a difference. It is made from 100% natural New Zealand blackcurrants. It is bursting with health benefits including anti-oxidants. A blend of anthocyanin sourced from premium blackcurrants can also aid cardiovascular health and protect blood vessels, promote brain health, vision and aid cognition, improve immunity, fight colds and infection, reduces inflammation, improves blood flow and oxygen delivery, and improve sports performance and recovery time from exercise. The unique growing conditions in New Zealand, including strong sunlight and hot summers, result in a fruit with one of the highest polyphenolic values ever recorded. There are approximately 100 NZ blackcurrants in each capsule, which makes it a brilliant boost to your daily intake of antioxidants.
The use of Baobab is on the increase. UK foodie specialists such as Samantha Hadadi and Pamela Higgins are increasingly including this special fruit in their recipes. The special superfood from the fruit of the Baobab tree comes primarily from Madagascar and Mainland Africa. It is rich in vitamin C and its increasing popularity is having quite the economic surge for the countries growing it.
Poke is basically chunks of tuna soaked in soy and sesame oil. After marinating, it is served on a bed of seaweed and seasoned rice. Think of it as something of a deconstructed sushi dish, but nutritionally packed and delicious to boot. If Hawaii seems a little far to go for a fish dish, the top-rated London restaurant, the Black Roe, is serving Hawaiian style food whilst also boasting the first Poke bar. It comes from the people who brought us the Chotto Matte restaurant, so think fish salads and combined cuisines. There are an array of main courses are on offer, but the selection of poké (pronounced ‘poe-kay’) is outstanding. Staying in Hawaii, we could learn a lot from their penchant for including insects and algae. Cellana operates its Kona Demonstration Facility, a six-acre, state-of-the-art production and research facility in the country. To date, over 20 metric tons of whole algae (dry weight) have been produced using Cellana’s ALDUO™ process with highly diverse strains, making it one of the most flexible, thoroughly tested, and validated outdoor algae production technologies in the world. Algae are poised to be hitting as a full-blown superfood in the next 12 months.
Talking of insects, the grub-based fodder is already filtering into our shopping baskets. I was recently sent some fabulous protein bars from the lovely guys at Eat Grub who source and sell edible insects, as well as host exciting insect food events, and develop delicious new insect recipes. They jumped on the trend, which will inevitably increase as the need for sustainable sources increases. They based their company and product idea from trips to Malawi. If you want to try some of their products or the delightful protein bars, then visit eatgrub.co.uk.
Tapping water from every kind of tree is en vogue and you’ll soon see the results on your supermarket shelves. Coconut water, maple water and now birch water. Organic birch water comes from the Carpathian Mountains, an ecologically clean area of great natural beauty known as the ‘Green Pearl’ of Eastern Europe. And it’s the mixed forests here that give TreeVitalise its special taste. Birch sap is a traditional drink in many parts of eastern and northern Europe and Russia, where it has been tapped and enjoyed for centuries as a good-for-you and pleasantly refreshing drink. In the old days it would have been the first nutrient-rich nourishment available to the locals from nature itself after a harsh and long winter. According to the www.treevitalise.com website, it was known to stimulate the body’s purifying and cleansing systems because its raw form – the sap – contains vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, trace minerals, especially manganese, and also micronutrients unique to the birch tree, which were said to help strengthen the immune system, lower cholesterol and assist with weight loss. This is how it happens: in the first weeks of spring thaw; when the snows begin to melt, the roots of the birch tree absorb the new water. This liquid is enriched with all the nutrients that have been stored in the roots over winter. Filtered by the tree and packed with vitality, the living’ water wakes the tree from its winter sleep and kick-starts it into new life. If you fancy giving this a try, the website indicates the UK stockists.
Less of a specific food product and more of a food movement, waste-based cooking is rapidly rising in popularity in alignment with the buzz about the sobering statistics about the waste that we create as a nation and throughout the world. The skill of taking unused and less popular food and turning it into a Michelin-star feast of delight is being tackled by a plethora of chefs world wide, from Atlanta to Britain, and including April Bloomfield, who is the author of similar subject book A Girl and her Greens.