Strawberries

 

On Sunday, I went to the strawberry festival held in the quaint little Maltese village of Mgarr.   I had never been to “Festa frawli” as it is locally known; quite popular on the Maltese calendar of events.

I planned to take some nice photos, but, in the end, only got the one!

Strawberry festival 2016

When I posted this photo on Facebook, a friend of mine commented about the pesticides used in cultivating strawberries.  I never really thought of it!  Another friend, told me he does not buy strawberries for health reasons.  Hmmm …

I decided to have a quick look on the web, to find out how common practice the use of pesticides is, and came across this article.

Should we worry about pesticides in strawberries?

Not sure.  The article seems to confirm what my friend said; it is very difficult to grow strawberries without the use of pesticides.  What a pity!

I remember the typical Maltese strawberry which was very small and sweet.  At the time, pesticides weren’t widely used and fruits were only available in their “right” season.

strawberries on the vineThe little, sweet strawberries gave way to the big strawberries which are now available from December through to June.

Are we forcing nature to produce more? Could this be the reason why pesticides and chemicals are a must, nowadays?

I do not know the answer to these questions.  All I know is that, when I tried buying strawberries at Christmastime, I was very disappointed. The taste of out-of-season strawberries leaves a lot to be desired; they’re at their best in the spring and early summer.

The article I referred to for research purposes talks about strawberry farming and strawberry picking in New Hampshire. I am not aware of places where you can do your own strawberry picking, in Malta and I’m not so sure if you can buy organic local strawberries.

If you know where to buy organic local strawberries from, would you be kind enough to leave a comment to share, please? Thank you …

 

How to make perfect porridge

I do not leave the house without my porridge in the morning, but when I saw this video it brought my breakfast to shame!  I push my porridge into the microwave, cause I’m always rushing, doing something else whilst it’s cooking.

When I saw this video, I thought, this is one divine breakfast!

That’s one breakfast worth making time for!

 

10 Healthy tips to remember

I was browsing through my usual food sites and came across this page by Jamie Oliver. He doesn’t say anything we haven’t heard before, but I really like the way he puts things.  No fuss, no big words, he makes it sound all so simple!

Jamie lists 10 very important tips, for a healthy, happy life.  Who wouldn’t like to be healthier and happier? So,

  1. Cook from scratch
  2. Eat a balanced diet
  3. Variety is key – eat the rainbow
  4. Understand what you’re eating
  5. Eat nutritious calories
  6. Don’t skip breakfast
  7. Read the small print
  8. Drink more water
  9. Keep active
  10. Sleep well

Easy, isn’t it?

I can hear some of you say, but I’m hopeless at cooking, or I have no time.

It's never too late to learn

 

It’s never too late to learn.  Where there’s a will there’s a way!  Just over 20 years ago, before the world wide web took the world by storm, foodies like me used to buy all the recipe books they could lay their hands on.  Today, video tutorials make it so much easier.

There is a healthier, happier person inside calling to come out.  Let them out …

 

Real food vs ready-made food

Don’t know about you, but I love going round food markets.  Earlier on this year I went to Borough Market in London and a couple of weeks ago, I visited the food market at the Rialto in Venice.

I find food markets fascinating; the vibrant colours; sellers calling people to come and buy; the smells of fresh produce! I could spend hours going round the stalls!Rialto food market, VeniceZucchini - Rialto Market Venice.JPG

The fact that real food markets are so popular suggests to me that there are still people who are interested in cooking food from scratch.

Nowadays, people lead very busy lifestyles and many claim they do not have time to cook. Ready-made convenience foods are quick to pick up on the way home; they do not break the bank and there’s no washing up at the end of the day.

What is real food and why would people want to cook from scratch?

Real Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth. It isReal Food Wheel a food system – from seed to plate – that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability. Some people call it “local,” “green,” “slow,” or “fair.”

Real, fresh food is full of nutrients. Go for local produce which is in season; it is less expensive and does not lose out on its vitamin C and folic acid when it is not transported for long periods of time.

Benefits of real food

When you choose to eat real food, you are in control.  You are what you eat; it pays you to know what you are eating. Natural food is not loaded with salt, sugar, preservatives and a host of other additives used to slow down the deterioration of the product. Choose organic, when possible, to avoid taking in pesticides.

Real food is alive; it grows on a farm or in the sea and it goes bad within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, it is probably made in a manufacturer’s lab and the likelihood is, it is not good for you!

Cooking real food from scratch does not necessarily mean spending hours in the kitchen. With a little bit of planning, meal plans can be kept simple and healthy.

One significant benefit of real food is, it is kind to your waistline.

Is convenience food less expensive?

Ready made food can work out less expensive; especially for the bargain hunters who go for the “buy one get one free” offers.

Pushing a packaged beef lasagne into a microwave will cost less than buying premium mince and fresh tomatoes to whip up your own dish.  However, the thrifty cook will prepare a big batch of lasagne – saving on work and electricity – and freeze portions ready for use.

It is all about making choices!

In order to write the above post I made reference to the links below; you may wish to go into further detail.