nutrition with jackie ~ FAKE NEWS - CARBS ~

sow it, grow it, eat it! by Annette Gibbons


Annette Gibbons OBE is renowned as a champion of real Cumbrian food. She hosts Cumbria’s Fine Dining Club and also enjoys her organic vegetable garden.

On days like today, I’m sure I live in paradise. It’s a still fluffy cloud day with a mirror sea reflected ice blue under the sunny sky. My only sound is of insects buzzing. Yes, there are bees gathering what they can from courgettes, lavender and poppies in the vegetable garden. Both England and Scotland’s mountains rise on both sides of the garden. Everywhere is green once more. There’s no denying we needed rain this summer and no matter how many bowls of cold washing up water I threw onto plants, there’s been such an improvement with a steady fall of the real thing. responding with vigorous growth.

Plants are

Herbs need to be cut now and frozen for winter use. Once they are dry from morning dew on the plant, I like to make chive or parsley butter, sometimes with lemon zest too, cut into portions ready to top fish or potatoes for baking. Parsley is definitely a best friend in the freezer, as it breaks easily when crushed from frozen, ready to add to sauces, casseroles and dressings. Make sure it’s thoroughly dry when you bag it.

Pumpkins are basking in this morning’s sunshine, courgettes Italian green, continue to thrive but I notice that my red cabbages have been used as a recipient for little white eggs. Lots of butterflies are using the kitchen garden but I shall have to remove these if I want an autumn crop. I made a red coleslaw recently, with more yogurt than mayonnaise which worked well. The rain has helped beetroots to swell and I’ve loved them raw in salads, cooked, diced and mixed with sour cream and fresh dill plus finely sliced spring onions as an accompanying vegetable and today’s experiment is grated beetroot made into a kofta with spiced lentils. Anything is better than sour vinegar soaked pickled beetroot!

There’s still plenty to do in the greenhouse too, as I take strawberry runners and pot them into hanging baskets for an early crop.

Now I notice that Newton Wonder apples have ripened about a month early. I shall make a sweet chilli jelly with my own garlic and chillies. (What is the plural of chilli?). I’m going to attempt to preserve apple slices in my new range cooker and if there’s any space left in the freezer I can use more fresh diced with that red cabbage and a glass of port for a warming autumn vegetable.

I hope you’re getting as much contentment as I am from my kitchen garden.

If you enjoy eating out but can’t decide where to go and what to choose, Annette’s popular Dining Club may help. The Club visits Cumbrian eateries where the evening is planned for you. If you’ve just moved to the area and would like to meet new people who also enjoy good food and wine this is a perfect night out. Long standing locals are welcome too!

Telephone 01900 881356 to request a newsletter by post or email to have one sent directly to you.


Did you see the news? ‘Low Carb Diets Shorten Your Life.’ Actually, they don’t. The media have taken the findings of a poor study (ARIC) and turned it into sensational headlines that have confused and alarmed people. That’s what I call Fake News. Only a few months ago, the papers were proclaiming that our high carb dietary guidelines have had disastrous consequences for the nation’s health.

Yes, they have. Always

remember, the media’s business is not good science but selling stories.

So, what was wrong with this new study?

Firstly, the data were collected by self- reported questionnaires which is notoriously inaccurate.

Secondly, there were many ‘confounding factors’. The people eating the lower carbohydrate diet in the late ’80s, early ’90s were ignoring official advice. They tended to be male, diabetic, smokers who took little exercise. They had many poor health habits.

Thirdly, they split people into uneven bands to artificially inflate the low carb risk. Zoe Harcombe brilliantly explains the small comparator group statistical

shenanigans: “20 children go skiing, 2 are autistic. 2 die in an avalanche, one with autism, one without. The death rate for the non-autistic children is 1 in 18 (5.5%) and the death rate for the autistic children is 1 in 2 (50%).” By manipulating the data, they got the conclusion they wanted.

I’ll also just mention that there are carbs and carbs. Eating fresh vegetables is good and some fruit (eaten whole, not drunk as juice). With plenty of variety and different colours you’ll get nutrients, energy and fibre. Eating loads of processed carbs like cereal and things made of flour like bread, cake, biscuits, pastry and pasta is only going to put weight on you and damage your health.

Top tips – Real food saves you a packet!

Jackie Wilkinson - Nutrition Coaching 077824 77364

We have an abundance of Victoria plums in our garden and before the wasps get them all, I thought it might be time for a good baking recipé.

Victoria plums are the quintessential English plum, with an outstanding flavour. They are marvellous to eat straight from the tree or to use in baking, so with that in mind...

Spiced Plum Cake Ingredients

175g butter - plus some for greasing the tin 175g dark Muscovado sugar 140g golden syrup 2 eggs

200ml milk

300g self-raising flour teaspoon of baking powder 1 tablespoon of ground ginger 1 teaspoon of mixed spice 500g plums

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar

Here we go... pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4 and position the shelf in the middle of your oven.

Grease and line the base of a 23cm square tin

with baking parchment.

Spread some more butter on the parchment. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of Demerara sugar. Chop the plums in half (removing the stones) and place on the bottom of your tin with the cut-side down. Just one layer!

In a large pan over a low heat, melt the butter, Musovado sugar and golden syrup, stirring until smooth. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes. In a bowl beat the 2 eggs and add the milk. Pour this into the pan and stir. Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder, mixed spice and ginger. Mix until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter over the plums in your baking tin. Place in the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the cake is firm to touch.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking tin for 10 minutes and them turn out onto a wire rack, with the plums at the top and leave to cool further.

Serve with cream or good old custard!

What you don’t use can be wrapped in foil and kept in the fridge for up to five days. It won’t stay there for that long I’m sure!

Enjoy! ISSUE 429 | 20 SEPTEMBER 2018 | 38

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