Bananas are top bananas

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You probably know by this time that we love bananas, right? They are inexpensive, easy to find and great to have as a snack, which means there is virtually no excuse to not have a few each week. Do you want to know why we’re calling them top bananas? Keep reading and you’ll find out why. 🙂

Banana contains important dietary minerals such as: potassium (important for optimum cellular function), magnesium (muscle function), and phosphorus (strong bones and teeth). When ripe they can be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown and basically all common varieties are good sources of these minerals.

Different colours of bananas

In terms of cooking, it can be used in many different recipes and be used to create the following dishes (not an exhaustive list): pie, cake, bread, ice cream, tart, and smoothie. To give you an idea of its flexibility and surprising taste try the following: slice a couple of bananas vertically in half, sprinkle some ground cinnamon and put them in the oven until they become golden. Who needs a better dessert? 🙂

Babies can also immensely benefit from the fruit due to its soft and gentle consistency – it’s probably one of the very first fruits introduced by healthy-conscious moms to their children. To maximise the time you’ll be able to consume them fresh (in other words, how to keep them naturally edible for longer), store them in room temperature out of any plastic bags. When you see them turning brown, cut them into slices and put in the freezer.

Athletes (even weekend ones) can also benefit from the nutrients found in a banana. A common belief though, that it helps to prevent leg cramps, is currently known to be untrue. On the other hand, bananas are an important source of carbohydrates and fructose, which are then consumed as energy by our body muscles during an exercise session.

Note, however, that consuming a considerable quantity of bananas immediately before exercising can cause stomach pain during the physical activity. Ideally, an average person should eat two to three bananas between 30 and 45 minutes before the activity starts.

This text is a translated and expanded version from the article originally published here.

Avocado: Real Food of the day

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Avocado is a fruit native to Central America and Mexico. It is technically classified as a member of the berries family, although we might agree it is definitely bigger than most of its family friends. Nowadays, avocado trees can be found in essentially all continents, from North America to Australia.

An open avocado

Incredibly rich in monounsaturated fat, avocados typically have 10% of its composition made of this important fatty acid, a vital element to reduce the “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein, or simply LDL). Not only that, they are also a great source of vitamin K – essential for healthy, strong bones.

Now that you know a bit more about its history and general composition, here are five fantastic facts about avocados, backed by scientific research:

Fact 1: Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)

You had a preview of this topic in the initial paragraphs of this text, but now let’s talk about real numbers. A Mexican study discovered that the individuals in the experiment group had a reduction of 16% in their levels of LDL with a moderate consumption of the fruit.

Fact 2: Blood pressure regulator

Avocado is also an important source of potassium. You might not know, but potassium is used by your body as a regulator for blood pressure, making proper use of this element when a reduction in blood pressure is necessary. So, as suggested by this Harvard study, if you want some help to push your blood pressure down, stock up some avocados.

Fact 3: Promote weight loss

Some people incorrectly believe that avocados are strictly forbidden if they want to lose weight. Yes, they are fatty, but 75% of its fat is unsaturated, which, in fact, turns out to be a fantastic replacement for other types of food, less healthy and rich in saturated fat. Too good to be true? Check this study for more details.

Fact 4: Combat cancer

As if all the facts above weren’t enough to convince you about the benefits of avocado, here is a very important one: it helps to combat certain types of cancer. This study by the American Association for Cancer Research discovered that the lipids found in avocados will fight damaged cells, whilst preserving healthy ones.

Fact 5: Anti-inflammatory agent

Avocados naturally contain fatty acids rich in omega 3, phytosterols, and carotenoid antioxidants. This might sound like a collection of buzzwords, but these are essential elements that constitute a great anti-inflammatory agent. People fighting arthritis, for example, can specially benefit from this characteristic.

Nutrition Facts
Avocado - Nutritional Facts
Source

Great! Now that you know that avocados can be found in all five inhabited continents and they rightfully own the title of super food, bring some with you on your next trip to the supermarket. And if you’re looking for ideas on how to use avocados in your next meal, check the recipes with avocado we have published so far.

My favourites: Top 5 Cooking Games for iPhone, iPad, or iOS

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Every now and then, even when you have easy to make recipes at hand, what you really want to do is relax and play the best cooking games ever!

In this list, I’ve organised the top 5 apps to keep your culinary brain active when you aren’t preparing those delicious dishes I know you can make. 🙂 Have fun!

COOKING MAMA Let’s Cook!

Image for COOKING MAMA Let's Cook!

This game is simple to understand and play, but it can be definitely addictive! You play as “Mama” and you’re supposed to use the best ingredients available to make any recipe that will please “Papa”‘s taste. As you progress throughout the game, you will unlock special and seasonal recipes that increase your combination possibilities.

You can also practice before cooking the final recipe, so you will know in advance all the required instructions for a particular recipe. Depending on your performance, “Papa” will give a certain number of stars and these stars can also be used to unlock more in-game recipes.

You can download COOKING MAMA Let’s Cook! from the App Store here.

Restaurant Story 2

Image for Restaurant Story 2

The second version of this popular game introduces stunning visual effects and very important additions to the game mechanics. You aren’t not only required to prepare dishes using recipes, you will also need to grow and harvest your own ingredients.

It’s a great concept because it also promotes awareness about the importance of natural, healthy ingredients to compose balanced meals. Your virtual kitchen is also fully customisable, so you can enhance it and organise the way your prefer with new ovens, stoves, drink makers, blenders, and other utensils.

You can download Restaurant Story 2 from the App Store here.

Gourmet Ranch: Farm, Cook and Serve

Image for Gourmet Ranch: Farm, Cook and Serve

This game promotes the idea of a sustainable culture as it allows you to see and interact with all the relevant steps in the field of agriculture. You can grow organic crops, raise animals, cook your own meals with the harvested ingredients, and finally serve final customers in a busy local cafe.

It also has a social aspect, where you can trade crops and dishes with friends around the world. And as opposed to some “rush” games, the most important element in this game is planning ahead. You have to think in advance what you’ll grow so certain dishes can be prepared at the appropriate time. Definitely a complete experience!

You can download Gourmet Ranch: Farm, Cook and Serve from the App Store here.

Cooking Fever

Image for Cooking Fever

Effective time management is to key to success in this game. Here, you are the owner of a successful restaurant and you need to make sure all customers are served in a timely and satisfiable way. To make them happy, you can cook signature dishes from 12 locations around the world, including: India, China, Mexico, and United States.

In order to progress throughout the game you have to cook from main meals to desserts, using a combination of more than 15o base ingredients. If you’re doing well enough, you can even upgrade your kitchen to prepare the dishes more quickly. Do you have what takes to run a busy, successful restaurant? 🙂

You can download Cooking Fever from the App Store here.

Chef Town: Cooking Simulation

Image for Chef Town: Cooking Simulation

The life of a chef is definitely challenging, no doubt about it. In this game you are supposed to work out all the necessary steps in order to make your restaurant successful: from growing your own ingredients to recruiting the right and motivated people to work with you.

Following a completely sustainable approach, you can buy a plot of land around your restaurant and cultivate different ingredients that you can freely incorporate into your recipes later. Additional and timed sidequests pop up from time to time to keep you and your restaurant busy. Definitely something your brain will enjoy during your spare time.

You can download Chef Town: Cooking Simulation from the App Store here.

Android fan? Don’t worry, the list with the best cooking games for Android is coming soon.

I’ve also published super detailed reviews to help you find the best calorie counter app.
Make sure to check them out!

Links that worth a click #week11

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2015 | Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay - Australia
2015 | Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay – Australia

1. How to season cast iron cookware
2. Low-Carb and Exercise in the Real World
3. Healthy Nut Free Kids Snack Recipes!
4. A Quick Look at the New Dietary Guidelines for Americans
5. Overeating Does Not Make You Fat
6. This Is Your Brain on Bugs: How Gut Bacteria Affect Mental Health
7. Sugar the evidence
8. Digestive Symptoms and Trouble Losing Weight? What’s your Body Really Telling You?
9. 9 Spices & Herbs Everyone Should Eat For Optimal Health: A Doctor Explains
10. Can Changing Your Mealtimes Make You Lose Weight?

Brazilian Carrot Cake #glutenfree #dairyfree #paleo

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Every now and then we need a change, specially talking about food. So, why not indulge yourself with this delicious Brazilian Carrot Cake?

So, you might be wondering what is so different about this cake. I mean, this is just a carrot cake, right? Well, let me try to explain it to you: when you think about a carrot cake, what is the image that immediately comes up to your mind? A light orange coloured cake, topped with a white and smooth cream cheese topping… and surprise! That’s not what we are going to make today. 🙂

This carrot cake is covered with a gorgeous chocolate glaze. Yep, you read it right, cho-co-la-te glaze. Do I need to say more?

Ingredients
  • Cake
    • 2 cups of almond flour
    • 1 tablespoon of ground golden flaxseed
    • 2 tablespoons of psyllium
    • 2 tablespoons of baking powder
    • a pinch of salt
    • 4 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons of raw honey (or any sweetener you like)
    • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted (120ml)
    • 300g of diced raw carrots
  • Chocolate glaze
    • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
    • 1 cup of coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon of raw honey (or any sweetener you like)
Directions
  1. Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 150C (300F)
    2. In a bowl mix all dry ingredients.
    3. Using a blender add all wet ingredients and the diced carrots.
    4. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients bowl and mix everything together.
    5. Grease a cake pan with coconut oil (or use a silicon one) and pour your batter into it.
    6. Bake it for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  2. Chocolate glaze
    1. Meanwhile, put all ingredients in a sauce pan.
    2. Mix everything well in high heat for 3 minutes.
    3. Lower the heat and let it simmer until its volume is halved and you get a very smooth glaze.
    4. Pour the glaze on top of the cake and it’s done!
    5. Everything’s better with chocolate and Brazilians definitely know it! 😛