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The cooking Journal

Posts in 'Inspiration'

Top Tips for Working from Home
Whilst working from home it is important to keep some sort of routine; this will avoid us feeling stressed anxious and perhaps overwhelmed. Here are some simple steps you can incorporate into your daily routine to make sure you can stay focused.
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Hacks for Making your Food Last Longer
We've put together a few handy hacks to help make your food last longer. From how to store your fruits to how to handle your herbs!
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Mother's Day at Home- A Spanish Feast!
If your plan to go out this Mother's Day has been cancelled don't let it get in the way of celebrating together as a family. We've put together some delicious Spanish recipes that are bound to impress!
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Mother's Day at Home- Middle East Feast!
Don't worry if your plan to go out this Mothers Day has been cancelled. We've put together a selection of delicious Middle Eastern recipes that are bound to impress! Whether you try one of them of them or all of them, you can still celebrate at home with a spread of simple but tasty recipes!
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That Old New Year’s Chestnut
For the first time in a long time I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year, not because I have achieved everything, I have set out to do, but rather because I haven’t! Instead, I gave myself a good talking to in a quiet, calm and positive manner about all the things I have achieved and reflected on how I achieved them (essentially with dogged determination and utter willpower).
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10 foods than can cause inflammation in the body and 10 that fight it
Most people tend to think of inflammation in terms of external signs: swelling, bruising, redness, heat and so on, like when you stub your toe, that immediate pain you feel is the body working in action to help fix whatever just happened. It is a normal and effective response that facilitates healing.Unfortunately, chronic inflammation is a different story and can be caused by diet, stress, lack of exercise, smoking, pollution, and lack of sleep. It can be seen in those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, coeliac disease, and irritable bowel disease. It can also play a part in asthma and diabetes.On occasions, weight gain can also be attributable to inflammation as inflammation in the body makes our weight control hormone (leptin) to be less effective, which therefore causes weight gain. Thus, the two often come hand in hand.
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The Hidden Jewels in our Hedgerows and Woodlands
It may be frosty but it's still technically autumn, this year seems to be speeding by? Although the nights are drawing in I do love the misty moisty mornings which herald this season of plenty.As the leaves continue to change colour from green through to glorious hues of red, orange and russet there’s nothing nicer than pulling on a pair of sturdy boots and going for a long walk, kicking up the leaves as you go. Of course a bit of bracing exercise tends to stimulate the appetite and makes one look forward to the comforting dishes that are characteristic of this time of year.
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The Preservation Society
It was good old William Shakespeare who coined the phrase “in a pickle” and it is certainly true that pickling, preserving and fermenting are some of the oldest methods of food preservation. These processes fell out of favour with the advent of mass refrigeration but have now firmly wormed their way back into fashion. All things bacterial and vinegary have sloughed off their slightly fusty image and have become super cool.
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The Rise and Rise of Sourdough
One of my great weaknesses is my love of bread, in any shape or form. A particular favourite is sourdough which is fortuitous as this delicious bread seems to be enjoying something of a renaissance. Apparently we can’t get enough of it and practically every artisanal bakery from here to John O’Groats is offering their own range of sourdough loaves to meet this increasing demand.
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Why you Should Switch to Plant-Based Milk
If you have ever thought about switching up your everyday cows’ milk in your coffee or cereal, then now is the time! Founded by Plant-Based News in 2017, this campaign has proved popular in helping people switch to plant-based milk alternatives. From soya to rice, cashews to coconut there’s so many options to choose from.
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Deal or No Deal- How Will We Eat Post Brexit?
Many of us bang the drum for eating seasonally and buying locally. When we exit the EU on 31st January 2020 it’s highly possible that we will have no choice in this as food importation may be affected- at least in the short term. As a nation we rely heavily on imported produce, according to a recent Government white paper (“Brexit: food prices and availability”) over 40% of our food is imported throughout the year rising to a whopping 70% during March.
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Cooking by Degrees
It won’t be long before September rolls around again and a new batch of students will be wending their way to their chosen University. In these upcoming weeks there are multitude of things to think about but it is fundamentally important not to let the subject of what you’re going to eat throughout the term slide down the list.
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Foraging for the first time and our top tips!
If you are curios about what food nature has to offer but are unsure where to start, then we have some simple tips to set you on your way into the world of foraging.
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A Waste of Thyme?
The effects of climate change have long been a concern of mine, particularly in the arena of food wastage and I’ve been hugely inspired by the young Swedish environmentalist, Greta Thunberg with her call to arms highlighting the imminent dangers of global warming. According to a YouGov poll in June 2019, public concern about the environment has soared to record levels in the UK since Thunberg “pierced the bubble of denial”. Thanks to vociferous campaigners such as Thunberg there can be few amongst us who have been left unaware of the challenges we all face from climate change and I feel strongly that through my role at The Cooking Academy it behoves me to encourage people to make the small changes that I know can bring long term benefits.
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Top Student Cooking Tips- Learn to survive at university
Save Money, Eat Healthily and Learn Essential #Survival Skills, find out our top tips to help you get through university, with a special code for our Introduction to Cooking Class!
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Seasonal Ingredients: Artichokes
It takes a bit of patience to prepare an artichoke, but once cooked you will be rewarded by the subtly flavoured leaves and the mouthwatering artichoke heart. Originating from the Mediterranean region, artichokes pair brilliantly with butter, lemon and parmesan.
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National Growing for Wellbeing Week
For me gardening is the perfect antidote to a hectic life that seems to be increasingly dominated by social media and technology, it’s a simple way of claiming back my place on this earth, of re-establishing a connection with my roots.
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Kumud Gandhi- The Original Spice Girl?
Today I am sitting opposite Kumud at the island in the centre of her impressively proportioned kitchen, looking out through the patio doors to her beautiful garden. This is not only a family kitchen but also home to her cookery school, The Cooking Academy. As I soak up the atmosphere the air is redolent with the comforting aroma of warming spices.
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Cinnamon Spring Lamb
Spring lamb is coming into the shops and this tender meat is traditionally eaten at Easter.   Our recipe for cinnamon spring lamb is a great way to serve lamb.  It uses a formidable list of spices, but don’t be daunted by that as they are all working to making you work better and the lamb even more delicious.
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Improve your cognitive function with Peanuts

A higher nut consumption could be the key to better cognitive health in older people according to new research from the University of South Australia.


In a study of 4822 Chinese adults aged 55+ years, researchers found that eating more than 10 grams of nuts a day was positively associated with better mental functioning, including improved thinking, reasoning and memory.

Lead researcher, UniSA's Dr. Ming Li, says the study is the first to report an association between cognition and nut intake in older Chinese adults, providing important insights into increasing mental health issues (including dementia) faced by an ageing population.

"Population ageing is one of the most substantial challenges of the twenty-first century. Not only are people living longer, but as they age, they require additional health support which is placing unprecedented pressure on aged-care and health services," Dr. Li says.

"In China, this is a massive issue, as the population is ageing far more rapidly than almost any other country in the world.  "Improved and preventative health care – including dietary modifications – can help address the challenges that an ageing population presents.

"By eating more than 10 grams (or two teaspoons) of nuts per day older people could improve their cognitive function by up to 60 per cent– compared to those not eating nuts – effectively warding off what would normally be experienced as a natural two-year cognition decline."  Dr. Li says peanuts have specific anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which can alleviate and reduce cognitive decline.

Nuts are known to be high in healthy fats, protein and fibre with nutritional properties that can lower cholesterol and improve cognitive health. While there is no cure at present for age-related cognition decline and neurogenerative disease, variations in what people eat are delivering improvements for older people.

The World Health Organization estimates that globally, the number of people living with dementia is at 47 million.

By 2030, this is projected to rise to 75 million and by 2050, global dementia cases are estimated to almost triple. China has the largest population of people with dementia.

As people age, they naturally experience changes to conceptual reasoning, memory, and processing speed. This is all part of the normal ageing process; however age is also the strongest known risk factor for cognitive disease. Thus finding ways to help older people retain their cognitive health and independence for longer is imperative, modifying their diet is a good start and absolutely worth the effort.

Research taken from University of South Australia – Dr li and Dr Shi  published January 2019
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