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Thursday, 22 July 2021

Vegan Pineapple and Ginger Loaf Cake

I was testing a ginger beer recipe recently and found myself with some leftover pineapple and ginger pulp. In a bid to limit food waste, this loaf came to mind. 

Even if you don't have leftover pulp, this recipe can be recreated by blending a cup or two of pineapple chunks and some fresh ginger with water or plant-based milk to make a smoothie. This will be the liquid element in the cake, along with the sunflower oil. Simple, delicious and perfectly moist. You'll want to serve this alongside a glass of fruit punch or a steaming cup of tea - whatever takes your fancy.

I topped my loaf with some crushed peanut brittle (ground peanuts mixed with a sugar syrup) that I had lying around. But this is entirely optional. Feel free to use any topping of your choice such as mixed nuts, seeds or fresh fruit.

Ingredients

(Serves 8)

- 2 cups self-raising flour

- 1 cup caster sugar

- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

- 1 and 1/4 cup blended pineapple and ginger 

- 1/2 cup sunflower oil

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Method

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a wooden spoon or spatula to gently fold and combine until you have a thick cake batter.

Pour the batter into a lightly greased and flour-dusted loaf tin and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. A skewer/toothpick stuck in the centre should come out clean.

Leave to cool completely before removing from the tin and serving.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Red and Processed Meat Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Globally coronary heart diseases (caused by narrowed arteries that supply the heart with blood) claim nearly nine million lives each year1, the largest of any disease, and present a huge burden to health systems. Until now, it has been unclear whether eating meat increases the risk of heart disease, and if this varies for different kinds of meat. Researchers at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health have conducted the largest systematic review of the prospective evidence to date, including thirteen cohort studies involving over 1.4 million people. The study participants completed detailed dietary assessments, and their health was tracked for up to 30 years. The results are published today in Critical reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Overall, the evidence from the analysis indicated that:
  • Each 50 g/day higher intake of processed meat (e.g. bacon, ham, and sausages) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 18%.
  • Each 50 g/day higher intake of unprocessed red meat (such as beef, lamb and pork) increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 9%.
The findings may be because of the high content of saturated fat in red meat, and of sodium (salt) in processed meat. High intakes of saturated fat increase levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, whilst excess salt consumption raises blood pressure. Both LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure are well-established risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Previous work from the same research team has also indicated that even moderate intakes of red and processed meat are associated with increased risk of bowel cancer2.
Dr Keren Papier (Nuffield Department of Population Health), co-lead author of the study, said: ‘Red and processed meat have been consistently linked with bowel cancer and our findings suggest an additional role in heart disease. Therefore, current recommendations to limit red and processed meat consumption may also assist with the prevention of coronary heart disease.’
Dr Anika Kn├╝ppel, from the Nuffield Department of Population Health and the other co-lead author of the study, added: ‘We know that meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and we need to reduce meat production and thereby consumption to benefit the environment. Our study shows that a reduction in red and processed meat intake would bring personal health benefits too.’
Currently in the UK, about 10 in 100 people would be expected to eventually die from coronary heart disease.3 Based on the findings from the present study and current red and processed meat intakes in the UK,4 if all these 100 people reduced their unprocessed red meat intake by three-quarters (for example from four times a week to one time a week), or if they stopped consuming processed meat altogether, deaths from coronary heart disease would decrease from 10 in 100 down to 9 in 100.
The studies involved in this analysis were mostly based on white adults living in Europe or the USA. The research team say more data are needed to examine these associations in other populations, including East Asia and Africa.
-----
References:
  1. Source: World Health Organization; https://www.who.int/news/item/09-12-2020-who-reveals-leading-causes-of-death-and-disability-worldwide-2000-2019
  2. https://www.ndph.ox.ac.uk/news/moderate-meat-eaters-at-risk-of-bowel-cancer
  3. https://www.bhf.org.uk/-/media/files/research/heart-statistics/bhf-cvd-statistics---uk-factsheet.pdf
  4. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-results-from-years-9-to-11-2016-to-2017-and-2018-to-2019

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

12 Vegan Chocolate Recipes for World Chocolate Day

Celebrate World Chocolate Day with this selection of delectable vegan chocolate recipes. These treats are sure to sweeten your day. I dug through my blog archives to retrieve some of my favourites, so I hope you give them a try. Simply click on the recipe name or image to access the full recipe!

1. Chocolate and Peanut Muffins



2. Double Chocolate Garri Cookies



3. Chocolate Mousse Pots



4. Four Layer Chocolate Cake



5. Chocolate Fudge Cake



6. Peanut and Ginger Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow Cream



7. Mocha Plum Upside Down Cake



8. Bounty Chocolate Bars



9. Chocolate Almond Mousse



10. Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes



11. Vegan Flake Chocolate Bar



12. Plantain Waffles with Melted Chocolate and Strawberries