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Can Drinking Beetroot Juice Enhance Performance?

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Supplements, especially sports drinks, continue to be popular with those looking to enhance their performance and training. However, most of these drinks are loaded with sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colourings and flavours, none of which contribute to optimal health.

So is there a healthy option out there that we can use? Well, beetroot may be the answer! This humble vegetable has been popular in salads and soups but recent research done at the University of Exeter in England has shown that consuming the juice can significantly improve your sporting performance.

Beetroot juice is one of the richest sources of antioxidants and naturally occurring nitrates in the world. When consumed, the saliva in our mouths converts the nitrate to nitrite, which is then converted into nitric oxide elsewhere in our bodies. The nitric oxide has two major effects in the body: Firstly, it causes blood vessels to dilate, allowing more blood to be pumped around the body while at the same time lowering blood pressure. Simultaneously, it makes the mitochondria in our cells more efficient, which means they are able to create the same energy while using less oxygen. The combination of these two processes (a lower oxygen cost and higher oxygen supply) allows you to train and perform faster and stronger, for longer!

Studies done by the University of Exeter have shown that beetroot juice is especially effective during high intensity exercise lasting between 5 and 30 minutes with athletes showing a nearly 3% increase in performance! Recent studies have also shown that beetroot can also enhance performance in endurance and team sport events.

Some of the top athletes and sports teams in the world swear by its effects, including World Champion cyclist Mark Cavendish and football club Crystal Palace F.C. Team GB also used the juice in their successful London 2012 Olympic campaign. Although elite athletes supplement with the juice, the average person actually benefit even more as their bodies haven’t adapted as much to exercise.

So when and how much should you consume? It’s best to drink beetroot juice 2 – 2.5 hours before you exercise as this gives your body enough time to digest it and convert the nitrates. This is also the point where nitric oxide levels peak in the body. It is important that you avoid chewing gum or rinsing with mouthwash while supplementing as the friendly bacteria in your mouth will not have the chance to convert the nitrates! Most studies have shown that the optimal amount of beetroot juice you should consume to see a beneficial gain is 600ml. Alternatively you can take two concentrated shots, which you can buy from good health-food shops.

You can try supplementing with our freshly prepared organic beetroot at the Deli Juice Bar before your next workout!

Fish Cakes with Tomato Pepper Relish

Fish cakes with tomato pepper relish

 

What you will need for 6 portions:

Fish Cakes

  • ½ lb diced Dorado
  • 3oz. red pepper
  • 3 ozs. green pepper
  • 3 ozs. onion
  • 2 ozs. red onion
  • 1 oz. coriander
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 lt oil

Method

Season fish with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Then add all the other ingredients to fish and mix well. Set aside. In a frying pan, heat oil to 300 degrees. Scoop the fish mixture into 2 oz scoops, and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil place on paper towel to remove excess oil.

Tomato Pepper Relish

  • 6 ozs. fresh tomatoes
  • 2 ozs. red pepper
  • 3 oz. green pepper
  • 1 oz. onion
  • 1 oz. olive oil
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. parsley
  • salt to taste

Method

Chop the tomatoes, onions, parsley, and peppers very small. Add the rest of the ingredients.

To plate: Place fish cake on steamed spinach leaves and accompany with the tomato pepper relish

 

 

Tao Salad: Mixed Green Leaves with Tofu, Crispy Vegetable, Roasted Almond, Tomato and Sesame Apple Dressing

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What you will need for 2 portions:

  • 4 oz. of mixed leaves
  • 4 oz. of tofu
  • 2 oz. of freshly sliced tomato
  • A pinch of black sesame seeds
  • A pinch of white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp. of roasted almonds
  • 1 oz. of white cabbage
  • 1 oz. of red cabbage
  • 1 oz. of carrots
  • 1 oz. teriyaki sauce

Apple dressing:

  • 2 tbsp. of apple cider
  • 2 tbsp. of honey
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 oz. of water

Garnish: sliced radish and fresh coriander

Method

  • Slice the carrot, cabbages and the radish in Julienne (cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks) add the herbs. Place in cold water for 2 to 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees C. Place sliced almond and sesame seeds. Toss every 2 minutes all
    owing evenly browning. Turn oven off as it’s hot enough, and place the fresh tomato slices in oven for 2-3 hours until dried.
  • In a small bowl mix apple cider, honey, salt and pepper together. Stir well and place aside in chiller. Marinate tofu in teriyaki for 45 minutes.

To plate: place a bed of crispy vegetable and mixed salad. Add tofu dices, sliced sun-dried tomato garnish with radishes, roasted almond and fresh coriander.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

DSC_8292Simple, delicious and healthy, peanut butter cookies are a great source of protein and fiber – a perfect post-workout snack.

What you will need for 10-12 cookies

  • 1/2 Lb. (225 grams) of organic peanut butter
  • 0.25 lb. (110 grams) of icing sugar
  • 1 egg

Method

  • Preheat the your oven to 250 degrees Celsius. (480 F)
  • In a mixing bowl, mix organic peanut butter, sugar and egg. Mix until mixture forms a dough. Roll the dough into balls and place on cookie sheet and flatten.
  • Bake at 250 degrees Celsius for approximately 20 minutes until the cookies turn golden-brown

Cook like a Champion with Olympian Donna Fraser! Roasted Chicken Breast with Sweet Potato, Caramlised Red Onion Salad and Baba Ganoush

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What you will need: 

  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 aubergine
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • Parsley

Method: 

  • Heat oven to 425° F
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes, red onion, 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes
  • Cut the aubergine in half, slice, season and rub with garlic clove, roast in the oven
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat
  • Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes per side
  • In a large bowl, toss the warm potato mixture with the spinach, lime juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • Scrape the aubergine flesh and mix in the bowl with some chopped parsley and lemon juice with salt
  • Serve with the sliced chicken breast

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Paprika Chicken with Quinoa Tabbouleh

What you will need

  • 1 cup (200g) quinoa
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint or coriander
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, plus extra to sprinkle
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 100g low-fat thick Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 x 180g chicken breast fillets

Method

  • Place the quinoa and 600ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat, then bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well and leave to cool.
  • Add herbs, tomato and onion to quinoa and toss to combine. Combine oil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, cumin, cayenne and sugar, then season.
  • Place yoghurt in a bowl and drizzle over 2 teaspoons dressing, then sprinkle with some paprika. Toss salad in remaining dressing.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Mix oil and remaining paprika, season, then brush over chicken. Grill for 7-8 minutes each side until cooked through. Serve sliced with salad and yogurt.

chicken paprika tabbouleh, st lucia

Kombucha: What is it and How to Make Your Own? Fermented Foods, Part 2

For Part 1, please click here. 

Kombucha has been around for a while but has only recently started to really gain popularity. Kombucha is a fermented beverage (tea) that as we mentioned in part 1, introduce helpful bacteria into your body. It does taste somewhat vinegary and may require you to acquire a taste, but it’s pretty easy to make your own.

The first thing that you will need to make a batch of Kombucha is something called a Scoby. You may also hear it referred to sometimes as the “mother.” Scoby stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. You can purchase these brown discs online or perhaps obtain one from a friend who is already making their own Kombucha.

Besides the scoby, all you will need to make your healthy fermented drink is sugar, two tea bags, and some already made unflavored kombucha tea that you can purchase in most health food stores and some grocery stores.

So how do I put this all together? It’s simple really. You combine the tea, already brewed kombucha, sugar, and scoby. That’s it! The fermentation process will usually take anywhere from 7-30 days. During this time your mixture may give birth to another scoby. It will layer on the top of the mixture. You can use this to create an additional batch or give to a friend to start their own.

 

Check out the recipe below to make 2 quarts of your very own kombucha!

  • 1 Scoby
  • 4 tea bags (black or oolong)
  • 1 cup already made unflavored kombucha tea
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 5 cups hot water

Directions:

  • If you purchased a dehydrated scoby it must be rehydrated. Follow the instructions.
  • Heat water (not boiling) and add sugar until dissolved.
  • Add tea bags and steep for 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow this mixture to cool completely to room temperature.
  • Pour mixture into the glass container/jar you will be using hold your fermented drink.
  • Add the already made unflavored kombucha tea
  • Add the scoby to the jar
  • Cover the container/jar with a coffee filter or towel with a rubber band placed around the top.
  • Let sit undisturbed for 7-30 days (Ideally around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooler the temperature the longer it will take to ferment.)
  • Enjoy!

How do I know when my kombucha is finished?

The most scientific way is to test the pH with strips you can buy at your local store. Aim for a pH of 2.7 -4. However, any time after 7 days should be sufficient to consume your newly created fermented drink. Keep in mind the longer you let the mixture sit the less sweet it will become as the sugar is being consumed by the scoby. This will leave a slightly more vinegar taste as time goes on. Thirty days is really about the maximum time you should wait to consume it because almost all of the sugar will have been used by the scoby.

Keep in mind there may be pieces of yeast floating around in your concoction. You can strain this out if you desire to do so but it will not hurt you. Just remove the scoby so you can start your next batch! Stay tuned for our next fermented food feature!

Kombucha, st lucia hotels

Mixed Green Leaf Salad with Tofu, Crispy Vegetable, Roasted Almond, Tomato and Sesame Apple Dressing

What you will need for 2 portions:

The Salad

  • Mixed leaves: 4 oz
  • Tofu: 4 oz
  • Tomatoes, freshly sliced: 2 oz
  • White Sesame Seeds: pinch
  • Black Sesame Seeds:pinch
  • Roasted Almonds: 1 tbsp.
  • White Cabbage: 1 oz
  • Red Cabbage : 1 oz
  • Carrot: 1 oz
  • Teriyaki Sauce: 1 oz

Apple Dressing 

  • Apple cider: 2 tbsp.
  • Honey: 2 tbsp.
  • Salt and Pepper: pinch
  • Water: 2 1/2 oz
Garnish 
  • Sliced Radish
  • Frech Coriander

 

Method:

  • Pick coriander and mix leaves, then carrot, red and white cabbage, sliced radish placed in cold water for 2-5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 300 degree Celsius. Place sliced almond, black and white sesame seeds in oven. Don’t forget to toss every 2 minutes which allows evenly  browning.
  • Turn oven of but leave the pilot on and wait for 5 minutes. Places fresh tomatoes slices in oven for 2-3 hours until they dry.
  • In a small bowl mix apple cider, honey, salt and pepper together stir well and place aside in chiller. Marinate tofu in teriyaki for 45 minutes or overnight.
  • To plate: place a bed of crispy vegetable and mix salad, then add diced tofu, sliced sun-dried tomato garnish with radishes, roasted almond and fresh coriander. st lucia restaurants

Lemon Rose Cocktail and Lemongrass Shrimp Skewers

Lemon Rose Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 lemon grass stems (chopped)
  • 2 rosemary stems (chopped)
  • 2 lime wedges
  • ½ ounce ginger syrup (15ml)
  • 2 ½ ounce Gin (75ml)
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitter

Method
Add Lemon grass, rosemary, and lime to shaker then muddle for 10 seconds. Add ½ ounce ginger syrup 2½ ounce gin and 2 dashes of Angostura bitter then add ice, shake and strain in Martini glass. Garnish with lime.

 

Lemongrass Shrimp Skewers

Ingredients (serves 4-6 as an appetizer)

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, woody ends trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon St.Lucian honey
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons EV coconut oil
  • 1 pound medium to large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • Finely chopped scallions or mint
  • 100grms of desiccated coconut (toasted)
  • 4 tbsp of Coconut cream
  • 10 grms baby cilantro
  • Spiced St.Lucian fruit chutney

Method

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the shrimp, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili paste, honey, lime juice, coconut oil and black pepper until smooth
  • Transfer shrimp mixture to a medium bowl. Marinate for 15 minutes
  • Mold on to the end of your lemon grass skewers and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes
  • Remove from the fridge and roll the end of the skewers in the desiccated coconut
  • Toast the rest of the coconut
  • Preheat some coconut oil in a small deep pan and place the shrimp in side with the top of the lemongrass out of the oil for a couple of minutes, then remove and finish in a preheated oven for 3 minutes, until cooked through.
  • Serve with the toasted desiccated coconut and St.Lucian fruit chutney.

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Scallop & Mahi Mahi Ceviche with Tomato and Avocado Salad and Spicy Tortilla Chips

For the Scallop & Mahi Mahi Ceviche, you will need:

  • 12 very fresh large scallops, sliced into 3 discs
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup oilive oil
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp salt

and for the Tomato and Avocado Salad…

  • 1 tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp marinade marinade from the ceviche, or to taste
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp jalapeno or other hot pepper sauce
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 3 small tortillas

 Method

Scallop Ceviche

  • In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the marinate, put into a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and for 30 minutes.
  • Slice the Scallops thinly and the Mahi Mahi. Place alternetly on the plate.

Tomato and Avocado Salad

  • Cut the tomato into petals, deseed and keep. Chop the seeds separately, add a sprinkle of salt, sugar and pepper, and a touch of lime juice.
  • Puree the avocado and spread on the plate,
  • Serve with spicy tortilla chips.

For the spicy Tortilla Chips

  • With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • In a bowl, combine the oil, hot pepper sauce and lime zest. Brush both sides of the tortillas with the mixture. Stack the tortillas and cut into 8 rounds.
  • Arrange the tortillas on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.st lucia hotels

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