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These fluffy blueberry pancakes are perfect for a special breakfast. Remember to include lots of maple syrup and when you have finished put a message in the comments section about how tasty these pancakes were.

Serves 2-3

Ingredients: 

25g butter 

2 small bananas

6 eggs

1 tsp lemon juice 

1 tsp baking soda 

¾ cup almond meal 

1 ½ tbsp maple syrup 

½ cup pistachios 

1 cup Greek yoghurt 

½ cup blueberries 

Instructions: 

  1. In a large bowl, mash then whisk together bananas, egg yolks, almond meal, lemon juice, and baking soda.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form (4-5 minutes).
  3. Gently fold the egg white into the pancake batter, followed by the blueberries.
  4. Grease a large non-stick pan with butter and place over medium-low heat. Pour pancake batter onto the pan, spreading it out evenly. Cook until both sides are lightly golden.
  5. Top pancakes with blueberries, pistachios and yoghurt. Drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy.

New Zealand best pie has been found.

Sopheap Long​, of Euro Patisserie in Torbay (Auckland), has won the coveted Supreme Award for her steak and cheese pie.

It is the first time that a female has taken out the prize.

The Supreme Pie is the best of the best, named by the competition’s judges to be the top entry among the 11 category winners.

Long’s pie beat out nearly 5000 entries from 465 bakeries around the country.

The pie includes chunky steak, surrounded by a rich, dark gravy. It is then topped with a semi-soft tangy cheese. Sounds yummy!

A United Nations report has found that humans waste almost a billion tonnes of food a year.

The study found that on average each person wastes 74kg of food each year. This represents around eight meals per household each week.

The UN report also included data on food waste in restaurants and shops. It found that 17% of all food is dumped. On top of this food is also lost on farms and in supply chains. It means that overall a third of food made is never eaten.

The study found that if food waste was a country, it would have the third highest emissions after only the US and China.

Researchers said cutting food waste was one of the easiest ways for people to reduce their environmental impact.

Food waste had been thought of as a problem mostly affecting rich countries. But the UN report found levels of waste were surprisingly similar in all nations, though data is scarce in the poorest countries.

The report was produced to help in the global effort to meet the UN’s sustainable development goal of halving food waste by 2030.

Can you think of some ways that we can cut down food waste?

Locusts have destroyed thousands of acres of crops in east Africa.

This means that more than 20 million people are now facing food shortages.

In 2020 there have been twenty times more locusts than usual. An increase in the amount of rainfall has encouraged the locusts to breed in larger numbers.

The United Nations said that the locusts are “an extremely alarming” threat to millions of people living in east Africa.

Desert locusts tend to feed on crops meant for humans and travel in incredibly large groups called swarms.

This latest swarm comes after a similar event occurred in January.

How damaging can locusts be?

The United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation said that a swarm covering one square kilometre contains up to 80 million locusts.

The insects can travel up to 150 kilometres (93 miles) in 24 hours and an adult locust eats its own body weight in food each day.

A recent study has found that eating avocados improves concentration.

Avocados are high in lutein, which has proven to have positive effects on the brain.

Researches from the University of Illinois completed a 12-week randomised control trial.

They discovered that adults who are overweight or obese had an increase in cognitive benefits after consuming the fruit.

For the study, 80 adults were split into two groups and given the same meals. However, one set of participants included an avocado daily.

At the end of the study, those who had avocados had improved performances on a cognitive test which required them to focus on the task while being distracted.

New Zealand-made avocado milk has been developed by chef Sachie Nomura.

The milk is sold across 100 stores in the United States and is becoming popular due to its health benefits.

The avocado milk is believed to be a world-first and is made in Hawke’s Bay from avocados and oat milk.

The new product was named among the winners at the global awards for food innovation in the UK.

Nomura also owns Auckland cooking school Sachie’s Kitchen.

At the annual World Food Innovation Awards in London on Thursday night, the avocado milk was named the winner in the best Health or Wellness Drink category.

Currently, the avocado milk is not available in New Zealand, but there are plans to launch a version soon.

A Hawaii family has won a place with the Guinness World Records for the world’s heaviest avocado.

The Pokini family received the Guinness certificate this week for the avocado weighing 2.54kg.

The average avocado weighs about 180g, according to Guinness officials.

The Pokini family’s avocado tree is more than 10 years old and 6.1 meters tall.

Mark Pokini planted it when his son was born, using a seed from his brother-in-law’s tree on Oahu island, he said.

Mark applied in December for the Guinness recognition involving a tough verification process.

Sugar cookies are a great treat to eat and so easy to make. I like making them for a special treat.

The secret is to make sure that get the measurements correct and the fun part is you can decorate them any way you like.

 INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup unsalted butter

1 Cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 190° C.

In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth, at least 3 minutes

Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt  with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.

DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).

Bake at 190° for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Original recipe © In Katrina’s Kitchen

This is the royal icing recipe

Ingredients

1 egg white
250g Chelsea Pure Decorating Icing Sugar
1 tsp lemon juice (you don’t have to have it)

Method

Using an electric mixer, whisk egg white until light and frothy.  Gradually add Chelsea Pure Decorating Icing Sugar and lemon juice to egg white.  Beat at high speed until fluffy, thick and shiny.  Fill piping bag with mixture, and pipe onto biscuits and cakes.
Sets within 5 minutes.
Note: Contains raw egg whites – not suitable for pregnant women and those on restricted diets.

A new disgusting food museum has opened in Malmo, Sweden.

The museum’s founder, Dr. Samuel West, is a psychologist by day and a museum curator by night.

His first museum was called the Museum of Failure, and proved to be a big hit.

His latest museum is situated in a 400-square-meter old factory. Visitors can smell, touch and taste different foods that have been considered “disgusting” around the world, from foie gras to fermented shark.

American favourites such as root beer and Jell-O salad sit in the museum alongside fried tarantula and cooked guinea pigs. “If you give root beer to a Swede they will spit it out and say it tastes like toothpaste, but I think it’s delicious,” he notes.

After three months, he plans to take the show on the road and bring the museum to other cities.

Questions:
1. What is the most disgusting thing you have ever eaten?

A processed food is anything we eat that we’ve changed on purpose in some way from its natural state. We call the process that causes the change ‘food processing’, and we’ve been doing it for thousands – even millions – of years.

Simple processing includes things like bagging, washing and cutting up food.  This doesn’t change it too much. Heavier processing includes cooking, adding preservatives, sugars or salt, combining foods, or changing their textures. It is more likely to change the properties of a food and also how good it is for us. When people talk about “processed foods” they usually mean heavily processed ones like snacks and convenience foods.

Washing, cooking or chilling food to kill harmful bacteria are examples of processing which can make food safer. Adding lots of sugars, fats, or salt are examples of processing which can make it less healthy.  We need to balance the helpful and harmful.

There are different degrees of food processing

We can think of processed foods as falling on a scale depending on their level of processing:

Simple processing keeps most of a food’s natural physical, chemical, and nutritional properties. We do it when we wash, clean, bag and cut up fresh food.

Minimal to moderate processing changes more food properties. It includes blanching*, cooking, freezing, drying, juicing and extracting, crushing, mincing, pickling and canning; it’s also processes like pasteurising, refining and milling. It can involve adding ingredients like fats, oils, sugars and sweeteners, salt, flavours, and preservatives; or using processes like baking to combine foods and change their structure.

Heavy processing involves even more ingredients (including additives: emulsifiers, colours, and stabilisers) and more complex chemical or physical processes (like adding hydrogen to saturate unsaturated fats, water to plump up bacon, or carbon dioxide to make fizzy drinks). This further changes the structure, taste, time it will last, texture, and nutritional value of foods. It creates the products most people think of as “processed foods”: crackers, snacks, cakes, biscuits, deli meats (like salami, ham and bacon), cook-in sauces, breakfast cereals, soft drinks … all the way up to convenience foods and ready-to-eat meals.

Why do we process foods?

To help ourselves. Simple or minimal processing makes foods cleaner and easier to eat and transport. We also process foods to make them suitable or safe to eat (e.g. milling grain, boiling raw potatoes, pressing oil, pasteurising milk, or cooking meat). Some processes (like blanching*, canning and freezing) preserve foods so we can enjoy them safely at our convenience and out of season. But we also process foods to make them more appealing – whether by adding sugar, fats and salt for taste, removing some fats, swapping artificial sweeteners for sugars, removing fibrous husks, adding or removing caffeine, adding vitamins or minerals, altering textures, or using preservatives to make foods last longer.

Sometimes processed foods may not be the best choice

Some processed foods encourage us to eat more salt, sugar and fat (especially saturated) than we need, and various substances about which we know very little. Our understanding of what’s in a food usually decreases as processing increases, so it’s harder to make healthy food choices. Processing can also alter concentrations of key nutrients.

Sometimes processed foods are helpful

However, many processed foods have a place in our lives – and not just because they keep foods safe from unwanted bacteria. If someone is busy, being able to use frozen, pre-cut, or washed fruits and vegetables for a meal could make the difference between eating them or deciding not to; canned foods like cooked kidney beans or tuna provide nutritious foods we might not have time to prepare safely or at all; and affordable tinned foods like tomatoes, fruit salad and pineapple can add useful amounts of vitamin C to our diet.

*Briefly putting food in boiling water or steam to stop the enzymes that break it down from working.