FRUIT AND VEGETABLES TO HARVEST OR BUY FOR AUGUST…

The National Trust have a great list of fruit and vegetables for August. Heat-loving crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and chilies are in their prime now. Even aubergines and peppers, which are imported to the UK all year round, can be found growing in British greenhouses and veg gardens this month.

Vegetables to harvest or buy include:

  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Courgettes and summer squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • French beans
  • Lettuce and other salad leaves
  • Potatoes
  • Peas and mangetout
  • Peppers and chilies
  • Runner beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Sweetcorn

Fruit to harvest or buy include:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Early apple varieties such as ‘Discovery’

Source: National Trust

10 TIPS TO HEALTHIER BAKING…

A few simple tips with your baking can make your food a little bit more healthy.

  1. Avocado is a healthy fat and can be used to make a frosting, pudding, or replace butter in recipes for cakes, brownies, bread, and other baked goods.
  2. Use apple sauce instead of oil. Apple sauces are made with heart-healthy apples and they can also be low in sugar and high in fibre. Try making your own apple sauce. It acts like fat because it keeps the flour protein from mixing completely with the wet ingredients and forming a rubbery texture.
  3. Paying a little extra for high-quality products, like premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract, can pay off. More-flavorful ingredients make you less likely to miss any calories you’ve cut”.
  4. Beets add sweetness and moisture without taking away from the flavour,” says pastry chef Marisa Churchill, the author of Sweet & Skinny. Add two-thirds of a cup of finely grated raw beets to brownie batter and you can reduce the sugar by a quarter cup.
  5. For a lighter spin on cream cheese frosting, typically made with full-fat cream cheese and butter, beat together with an eight-ounce block of reduced-fat cream cheese, one cup of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. The fluffy icing contains a mere 59 calories and three grams of fat per tablespoon.
  6. Eat This also says when you’re baking try substituting the recommended oil or fat in the recipe with Greek yoghurt. You won’t lose any flavour and still have plenty of moisture in the consistency.
  7. The British Heart Foundation says using an unsaturated spread instead of butter has more benefits than simply reducing the amount of saturated fat: it actually gives a lighter texture, especially if you’re making an all-in-one sponge cake.
  8. Also, try using a drizzle of glacé (water) icing rather than butter icing for cake toppings. Or, a light sprinkle of icing sugar may be all you need to give your bake the final touch.
  9. Try a Whole-Grain Flour. White whole-wheat flour can be substituted one-for-one for all-purpose flour in most recipes. You can also replace up to half the all-purpose flour in a recipe with whole-grain flour without making any significant adjustments to the recipe.
  10. Significantly reduce the sugar in a cake by adding naturally sweet spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice, and vanilla, says Inman, or drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup over the top when serving. It fools you into believing it is sweeter than it is.

Source: Eat This Marisa Churchill The British Heart Foundation