White month coming up and a Parsnip with roast garlic soup!

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I hope you all had a merry and relaxing Christmas! I have truly had a proper Christmas break so far, sleeping a bit more than normally, no blogging (not that blogging feels like a chore), reading, eating lots ( good and bad things), doing some fun holiday type things ( London aquarium amongst other things) and just generally lazing about (watched 2 episodes of Danish/ Swedish crime series The bridge….during the day when the kids had their nap) I never watch tv during the day so a very nice treat indeed! Basically hanging with my family and enjoying life.

I feel really refreshed mentally but physically…..let’s just say I’m looking forward to January! Too much sugar, wine and food in general. I do find it’s good to remind myself sometimes ( very rarely, like once a year ) how unwell and rubbish I feel when I go on a food indulgence spree.

My husband has always had a white month in January and in recent years it has been more like 2 or 3 months. He likes his drinks and figures that if he can’t stop for a month he has a drinking problem so apart from a healthy break it’s a test of sorts. I tend to join him and I have started to look forward to January because of it. This year I will do no drinking, no sugar and no dairy. And I will also start 13th of January since I have some dear friends coming to stay. I might keep it up until the end of February, we shall see.

And just a brief mention about my B12. ( I will certainly write a long post about it soon) The tests came back within normal range but about 2 weeks after having started taking sublingual B12 and after using high-potency B12 patches I feel like a new person. All the weird symptoms and the absolute fatigue is gone, and I mean gone! Something fishy is definitely going on. Anyway I’m seeing the neurologist in 2 weeks so stay tuned….

If you are feeling stuffed from all the heavy, sugar laden food from Christmas here’s a great soup to enjoy! It will certainly scare away all cold and flu germs given the amount of garlic. And it’s very delicious!

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Parsnip and roasted garlic soup

Serves 4

5 medium parsnips
1 sweet potato
3 garlic heads
1 onion
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup of Single cream or diary-free alternative
1 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
Black pepper to taste

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Chop the parsnips and sweet potatoes in cubes. Cut the bottom of the garlic heads off and wrap the garlic heads in foil. Put half of the parsnips on a baking tray with some coconut oil and put it in the oven together with the garlic heads.

In the meantime gently fry the chopped onion in some oil in a large pot for a couple of minutes. Then put the other half of the chopped parsnips and the chopped sweet potato in the pot and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the vegetable stock and cook for about 40 minutes or until soft. Take the garlic and parsnips out from the oven after 40 min and add to the pot. (The garlic can be squeezed out like tooth paste from a tube : )

Add cream and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn of the heat and add the turmeric. Then blend the soup and adjust the thickness by adding some water if necessary. Serve with some spelt bread and wave bye bye to those flu germs!

Healthy and happy new year to you all!

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Dirty Dozen and yummy pistachio and goats cheese figs!

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Now if all the fruit and vegetables that you consume are organic because a) you are loaded or b) you skip holidays, presents and restaurant visits because eating healthy is the most important thing to you or c) you grow all your own veg then great, you can skip this next part and just scroll down to the recipe.

But if you’re like me, you would love to be able to buy all your food organic but sometimes you just can’t afford it. (About 60% of all the food I buy is fruit and vegetables and all organic would get quite expensive) What is one to do?….I found this very useful list that can help one to optimise their organic purchases.

The Environmental Working group (EWG) is an American non-profit organisation whose mission, according to their website, is “to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. “The EWG comes out with a list every year of the fruit and veg with most pesticides ( Dirty Dozen ) and the least pesticides ( Clean Fifteen ) Armed with this on your phone or in your wallet when you go shopping you know where you have to go organic (or if that’s not possible perhaps go for an alternative) Apples, strawberries and grapes are fruits that my kids eat several times a week. I certainly will ALWAYS buy them organic in the future!

The Dirty Dozen+ (Always Buy Organic)

Apples
Celery
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers
Grapes
Hot peppers
Nectarines
Peaches
Potatoes
Spinach
Strawberries
Peppers

On the +list ( did not meet traditional Dirty Dozen criteria but were commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system)

Collards and kale
Summer squash and zucchini

The Clean Fifteen (OK to buy non-organic)
Asparagus
Avocado
Cabbage
Cantaloupe
Corn
Eggplant
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Mangos
Mushrooms
Onions
Papayas
Pineapples
Sweet peas (frozen)
Sweet potatoes

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So we are eating figs tonight. They are not on the EWG list and I am not sure how they fare in terms of pesticides, so googled it. There isn’t a definite good or bad. People were saying that they are easy to grow and aren’t attacked by a lot of pests so hence shouldn’t have a lot of pesticides…..I went organic anyway : )

Found this truly lovely recipe on a beautiful website called a subtle Revelry, so simple and so delicious. We’ve been eating them 2 days in a row!

Goat cheese and pistachio figs

Serves 2

4 fresh figs (halved)
8 teaspoons of soft goat cheese
4 tablespoons of pistachios (finely chopped)
black pepper to taste
1 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar ( I prefer to use Balsamic vinegar of Modena cream)
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Place the halved figs on a plate and press 1 small teaspoon of goats cheese on top. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios and pepper. Whisk together honey and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle the mixture over the figs.

Figs are very nutritious. High in potassium, fibre, good for eye sight and more. Definitely worth eating more of!