White Pepper

2020-01-31 12:04:39

white pepper recipe

White peppercorns, like black peppercorns are berries from the piper nigrum plant.  They are however distinctly different to black peppercorns as a result of being differently processed. For white pepper, fully ripe berries are soaked in water, the outer fruit layer is then removed, and the seeds are then dried. This process removes some of the volatile oil and piperine compounds that gives black pepper its specific heat component, aroma and health properties. The flavor of white pepper is thus less complex, lighter, and more earthy but it still has health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and may also improve digestion. 

White pepper preserves the uniform appearance in food and is therefore often used in lighter coloured dishes like white sauces, mayonnaise, potato and noodle dishes. It has been used as a common spice for at least 3000 years in European and Asian cuisine featuring in hot and sour soups, marinades, poultry and spicier stir fries. It is often advised to add white pepper after the dish has been cooked, as overheating can release a bitter flavor.

By making your own salt mix (2 cups salt mixed with 2 teaspoons white pepper), and then using this cooking, you can get a ‘full body taste’ and thus cut back on salt. 

Mashed potato

Serves 8

Ingredients

1.5 kg potatoes, peeled and quartered

2 bay leaves

¼ teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup hot milk

1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks OR 45 ml olive oil

Method

  • Place potatoes and bay leaves in a saucepan. Add water to cover. Bring to boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return potatoes to saucepan. 
  • Remove bay leaves. Add salt and white pepper. 
  • Mash with a potato masher, gradually adding milk and then butter. 
  • Serve immediately.  

Ring the changes: 

Use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to cook the potatoes and/or replacing half the potato with cannellini beans .

Tips

Whole peppercorns retain their flavor much longer so best to grind peppercorns just before using. Pepper is also best stored in a tightly sealed container away from light. The peppercorns store longer as ground may lose flavor after about 3 months

Healthy School Snackbox

2020-01-17 10:07:18

PLANNING A HEALTHY SCHOOL SNACKBOX FOR 5-7 YEAR OLDS

It's that time of year again - back to school! Does the thought of getting back into the routine of packing school snack boxes daunt you? We all know that providing a balanced snack box is important, but challenges such as limited time, picky eating, and keeping food fresh, make this hard. We are here to help: here are some tips and ideas for packed school snack boxes for children approximately aged 5 – 7 years old. 

  • Packed lunch or snack boxes are great tools to teach children about healthy eating principles. Getting them involved in the planning and packing of lunchboxes can create more ‘buy in’ and increases the likelihood of them eating the food (less food waste!).
  • When choosing foods for your child, consider your child’s individual requirements e.g. if they are very active they may need more snacks. 
  • A good rule of thumb to use: Try to choose more homemade, wholesome foods and less processed, pre-packaged foods as much as possible.
  • If you are short on time during the week, make time over the weekend to plan a snackbox menu plan for that week. Write down a shopping list, and get everything for the week ahead so that you don’t need to do any last minute dashes to the supermarket. 
  • Try to make the food in the lunchbox as bright and colourful as possible, with different tastes and textures  - this makes it look (and taste) more appetising. Including plenty of fruit and veg will make this easy to do. 
  • To make things a bit more interesting, occasionally pack the lunch according to a theme e.g. colours, seasonal foods, countries, holidays. Including a special surprise note for your child is also a fun idea.
  • Remember to make sure you follow food safety practices. This is especially important in summer - pack an ice block into the lunch bag and use an insulated lunch bag that will keep food cooler for longer; make sure lunch boxes aren’t sitting for long periods in the sun. 
  • Remember to include plenty of fluids especially at this time of year. It might be a good idea to pack two water bottles on very hot days or when they have lots of activities or sport planned. Water should be your number one choice - make it more exciting by adding some fruit pieces to add flavour. Cold water is usually more appealing on hot days, therefore freeze a bottle of water over night. Once in the lunchbox the next day it will start defrosting and will keep their food cool and provide them refreshingly cold water to drink.

Some snack box ideas: 

When planning make sure half the box includes fruit or veggies and then add in the wholegrains, protein-rich foods and healthy fats.

Day 1:

1 peach

Cucumber, apple & cheese skewers

Muesli muffin

Edamame beans

Day 2:

Multigrain wrap with chicken & grated carrot

Bunch of grapes

Date balls

Day 3: 

Muesli & yoghurt cup 

Watermelon cubes

1/2 mielie

Mini fish cakes

Day 4:

Pot of berries

Wholegrain crackers with nut butter or hummus

Egg muffin

Baby carrots

Day 5:

Leftover wholewheat pasta or brown rice with peppers (pesto optional)

Roasted chickpeas

Rainbow fruit kebab

 

For individualised assistance please contact us to book a consultation. We also do fun educational workshops for kids and can come to your school. 

Rowena workshoplunchbox