April 26, 2012

How to deal with a break up - tips from Miss Millionaire Matchmaker

Patti Stanger shares her top five ways to cope through a break up and move forward unscathed. Recently single herself, Patti is a millionaire matchmaker and knows a thing or two when it comes to dating, and breaking up. 
  1. Take a dating hiatus: The best thing you can do is to take a dating break. It can be anywhere from 30 to 90 days, depending on how long you were with the guy. I did meditation, and my teacher did hypnosis to clear the energy from past relationships and any residue I was harboring.
  2. Embrace ExerciseThe endorphins kick in when you work out. Once I started exercising, I started feeling skinnier—and skinnier means sexier. It's not about losing weight; it's about feeling good.
  3. There's is plenty of fish in the.... : yes, we've heard this a thousand times but it's true. Whether you're 18 or 80, there's always another man around the corner.
  4. Put down the phone: The first thing you shouldn't do post-breakup is to call you ex-boyfriend and ask, 'Why did you break up with me?' Because obviously he didn't want you, and that's just going to make you feel bad. Even if he said, 'You don't listen,' or whatever the excuse, it's never going to make you feel good. Never ever. So don't ask.
  5. Find your own comfort: Watch TV, read magazines, eat chocolate or buy yourself some gorgeous new clothes, shoes or jewelry. Whatever makes you feel good. It's all about you. 

April 25, 2012

Skinny Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

A quick and easy recipe for a very moist banana cake, topped with creamy rich icing.

Healthy coconut and apricot oat cookies

I've made these cookies with spelt flour and very little sugar, just a little Natvia sweetener and a drizzle of golden syrup. The cookie flavour is inspired by the Anzac cookie, which smells of toasted butter and coconut. These are a healthier version of the traditional biscuit but very easy to bake, making the perfect treat for afternoon tea.

Healthy coconut and apricot oat cookies


  • 1 cup of white spelt flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of unprocessed oats
  • 70 grams of organic butter
  • 2 tablespoons of macadamia butter
  • 4 tablespoons of Natvia
  • 1 tablespoon of golden syrup (and extra for drizzling)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water
  • 8 dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and cover a large oven tray with baking paper. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix with flour, coconut, oats and apricot pieces together.
  3. In a microwave proof jug, microwave the butter, Natvia, 1 tablespoon of golden syrup and macadamia butter together until melted (I used 60 seconds of medium wattage).
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and pour straight into butter mixture; this should start fizzing.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the melted ingredients. Stir to combine.
  6. Roll a tablespoon of the mixture into a ball and flatten on the oven tray, leaving a little space between each cookie.
  7. Bake in a moderate oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Take out of the oven and drizzle with a little golden syrup. Let rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

April 16, 2012

Is sugar the devil in a Sunday hat? Why sugar could be called poison

I have written this post based on the very interesting book 'Sweet Poison', written by David Gillespie. David basically preaches sugar is the devil, 'sugar coated' with enticing looks and pretty promises of 'fat-free' virtues. I don't think it's any revelation that sugar can make you fat, it's basically extra energy that your body has to burn without any of the vitamins needed for your body to run efficiently or with any effect of satiety. You could eat the same calories in a full healthy dinner by eating a small packet of jelly beans. Sugar can be a dieters nightmare, making calorie cutting difficult and your job at the gym more demanding.

In his book, David explains in well-researched detail that the human body is largely ill-equipped to deal with the highly processed sugar and refined flour diet of modern day society. As someone who doesn't eat gluten or dairy, I tend to agree your body works more efficiently when you eat natural and organic foods. David was inspired to research and write his book based on his own weight loss journey, during which he lost 40 kilos from elminiating sugar from his diet. Similarly to me, David now finds it hard to eat anything very sugary if he decides to treat himself because it tastes, well so sweet! I do agree that once you weane yourself off sugar, you won't go back to having much in your diet, and you will definately lose weight from this move alone.

I agree that cutting sugar from your diet will help greatly in weight loss, but I don't support his theory of eating whatever you like, as long as it is free of sugar. After cutting sugar from his diet, David does find it easier to stick to only eating when he is hungry, and stopping eating when he is satisfied. I think this is more the key to maintaing a healthy weight. Cutting sugar from his diet has also helped with improving his energy levels and sleeping patterns, which I would imagine have also improved with his weight loss.

While his book is fascinating, I wouldn't buy it unless you are really interested in the full comprehensive examination of the biology behind weight and food. David suggests eating about 10 grams of sugar a day, since it would be impossible to avoid it alltogether; this equates to a couple of pieces of fruit. Of course I think we all need our treat moments (clearly) and as always, if you practice balance in your diet, you can maintain a healthy weight.

April 12, 2012

Do you add artificial sweeteners to your coffee? Then you may want to know the facts

Artificial sweeteners are in thousands of products that we consume everyday, especially when selecting diet products. Most commonly, sweeteners like Splenda and Equal are used to replace sugar in people's every day coffee dose. But before you rip open that sachet, you may want to know a few more of the facts.

Some people can be sensitive to artificial sweeteners and experience symptoms such as headaches and upset stomach, but otherwise, there is no credible information that aspartame — or any other artificial sweetener — causes brain tumors, or any other illness, says registered dietitian Wendy Vida. In saying that, there is no credible research to support these are safe for your body either. Artificial sweeteners are made with chemicals and researchers still don't know what effects these chemicals have on our bodies long term. 

Since artificial sweeteners are so much sweeter than sugar, a very small amount is needed to achieve the same sweetness one gets from sugar. The theory is, if used normally, the amounts you take in of these sweeteners is so minuscule it cannot cause harmful effects.


Splenda was invented by scientists trying to find a better pesticide. Splenda is "made from sugar" because the manufactuers take a sugar molecule and substitute three of its atoms with chlorine. Chlorine when ingested in your body turns to methanol then in turn gets absorbed as formaldehyde, which is the same kind of stuff used to embalm and preserve bodies or to make nail polish. Slightly alarming.... However, the FDA confirms Splenda is safe to for human consumption. There are many arguements against the FDA's standpoint, as can be imagined when looking at Splenda's origins and the lack of research or studies on its effects on humans. 

The manufacturer's own short-term studies showed that very high doses of sucralose (far beyond what would be expected in an ordinary diet) caused shrunken thymus glands, enlarged livers, and kidney disorders in rodents. The FDA decided that because these studies weren't based on human test animals, they were not conclusive. However, rats had been chosen for the testing specifically because they metabolize sucralose more like humans than any other animal used for testing. Hmm.


About 6000 products, including diet soft-drinks, gum, candy, yoghurt and Equal all contain aspartame. It's 200 times sweeter than sugar, and is the most sweet tasting of any artificial sweetener. It's a synthetic chemical combination that is comprised of approximately 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid, and 10% methanol.

Current evidence does not support this idea that aspartame could cause cancer, or that it is unsafe. According to the American Dietetic Association, aspartame’s safety is documented in more than 200 objective scientific studies. The FDA has concluded that aspartame is safe, and that there is no strong data to say otherwise.
In 2007, the most comprehensive look at the research was conducted, and the conclusion was, again, that aspartame is safe. An important caveat to that research – it was paid for by the company Ajinomoto, which makes aspartame. This question of bias results is a common issue in the studies of artificial sweeteners. There is a lot of scary evidence out there to report the harmful effects of aspartame, including headaches, birth defects, cancer, brain tumours, digestive problems and more.
When a product is so widely used, it often happens that there is some scientific scrutiny. So I would imagine this debate and these studies will continue for quite a while. With any artificial sweeteners, the best approach is to use in moderation. The FDA recommends a daily intake of no more than 50 mg of aspartame per kilogram of body weight. That amounts to 22 cans of diet soda for a 175-pound man, and 15 cans for a 120 pound woman.

Jam and macaroon slice

So after blogging about the macaron/macaroon fiasco, I reminded myself how much I do love some decadent macaroons. To recap, macaroons are not the delicate little French beauties, they are the plain and simple (but absolutely delicious) rich coconut cookies. With a lonely jar of jam sitting in the fridge, I decided to take my baking one step further and make a jam and macaroon slice. Old-fashioned and a frequenter at bake sales, jam slice is one of my favourite afternoon cheat treats. Slices are easy to make and I use a disposable foil tray, which means there is hardly any clean up and you have a portable present to bring friends.

Jam and Macaroon Slice


  • 140 grams of organic butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup of caster sugar
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1 and 2/3 cups of plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of jam of your choice (I used raspberry)
Coconut macaroon topping:
  • 2 cups of dessicated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  1. Spray a large deep baking tray or disposable foil tray with cooking oil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (moderate heat oven).
  3. Beat butter, sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir together to combine into a dough. 
  4. Press the dough into the baking tray until flat.
  5. Heat the jam in the microwave until melted and stir. Then pour the jam on top of the dough and cover evenly.
  6. To make the coconut topping, beat the eggs, butter and sugar together and mix in the coconut. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the slice.
  7. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until browned on the top and cooked through. If the coconut topping is getting too brown, cover with foil and continue baking until the bottom dough is baked.

April 11, 2012

Skinny orange cheesecake

Skinny cheesecake is packed with healthy proteins and low in fat, making it a perfect healthy sweet treat. The texture is creamy despite the reduction in fat and the citrus burst makes the cake taste refreshing. You will need to make this in advance if its intended for a special occasion as it will need time to bake and set (make it early that morning if needed for that evening or leave overnight to chill for the next day).

Skinny Orange Cheesecake


  • 110 grams of digestive biscuits
  • 50 grams of low-fat margarine spread, melted
  • 285 grams of cottage cheese
  • 200 grams fat-free or diet fromage frais (Fruche yoghurt is fromage frais)
  • 130 grams of caster sugar
  • finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons of cornflour, dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water
  • 4 eggs
  1. Grease a 20-cm round springform cake tin. Using a food processor, finely crumb the digestive biscuits. If you don't have a food processor, you can put the crumbs in a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin (this is my trick!). Stir the crumbs into the melted low-fat spread. Press the crumbs into the base of the prepared tin. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Wrap the tin in two layers of foil.
  2. Press the cottage cheese through a sieve to purée the texture. Using an electric mixer, beat the cottage cheese and fromage frais together, adding the sugar, orange zest, lemon juice and cornflour mixture. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Pour the mixture over the crumb base. Place the cake tin in a large roasting tin, surround by boiling water that reaches half-way up the cake tin. Bake in a moderate oven for about 50 minutes, until set but with a slight wobble in the middle.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before turning out. 

Tips for macaron making

The famed French macaron has almost overtaken the beloved cupcake in the sweet treat popularity stakes. Renowned for creating baking conundrums, perfecting macaron making can be quite the challenge. The key is to start off with no expectations, follow instructions, and relax while making your first batch. The more you bake, the more you will learn tricks to improve your macaron results. There are endless flavour combinations for macarons, but the most popular tastes are rose, chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla and coffee. I have included a delicious rose and citrus macaron recipe in this post.

* Just to clear up the confusion, a macaron is not a macaroon! A macaron is the delicate French almond meringue sandwiched with a decadent filling. The macaroon is an American sweet cookie made with shredded coconut and condensed milk (this is also very delicious).

8 Tips to Baking Macarons
  1. Rest your egg whites: Leaving your egg whites to rest dehydrates them, resulting in a firmer, more stable meringue. Place your egg whites in a plastic wrap-covered, non-porous bowl, and poke a few holes in the plastic with a fork or skewer. Leave the bowl in the refrigerator for up to three days. Be sure to bring the egg whites back to room temperature before using.
  2. Use only fresh ingredients: Buy only the freshest ingredients, including almond meal: old almond meal causes a macaron to lose its glossy luster.
  3. Use finely ground almonds: Your almond meal should be very finely ground, fine enough to pass through a mesh sieve. If you're using packaged almond meal that appears too coarse to sift, give it a good grind in a food processor to break apart any larger pieces.
  4. Colour with gels: Liquid food coloring can alter the texture of your macarons, making your batter too runny. Use gel colour and add it while whipping the egg whites. Remember that incorporating the almond meal mixture will slightly diminish the potency of the mixture's colour.
  5. Develop your own techniqueEvery baker has an opinion about the best way to create the perfect macaron batter, a process known as macaronnage. The idea is to press out just enough air from the batter so that it runs off your spatula thickly, slowly, but consistently. Try gently folding the dry ingredients into the meringue, scooping from the sides, and then "punch" the center of the batter with my spatula. Another method is to press the batter into the side of the bowl. Find what works best for you.
  6. Rest your piped macarons: If you find that the tops of your macarons are cracking in the oven, allow your piped macarons ample time to dry with the next batch. This can take upwards of 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the humidity of the room. You'll know they are adequately dried when you dab the tops with your finger and nothing sticks.
  7. Prevent cracking: If you sufficiently dry your piped macarons but find that they still crack while baking, your oven may be trapping too much humidity. Try using a wooden spoon handle to prop open the oven door just a smidge for the first two minutes of baking.
  8. Practice makes perfect: No one gets it right the first time around. With so many variables, you will need to find the equation that works best for you, your kitchen, and your oven. 

French Macaron Recipe

from Taste.com.au 


  • 300g icing sugar
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 5 eggwhites (from 59g eggs)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
  • Red and yellow food colouring

  • Fillings
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp finely grated mandarin rind
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 tsp rosewater


  1. Using a fine sieve, sift icing sugar and almonds, pushing through with a wooden spoon. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whisk until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tbs at a time, and whisk until dissolved. Stir meringue into almond mixture (mixture will be stiff), then halve. Tint one half pink, the other half orange.
  2. Spoon 1 mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm piping nozzle. Pipe (or spoon) 1.5cm rounds on to baking paper-lined oven trays*, then repeat with other mixture. Set meringues aside, uncovered, on trays for 1 hour (this will help minimise cracking).
  3. Preheat oven to 150°C and bake macaroons, 2 trays at a time, swapping trays halfway through cooking, for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool on trays. Slide a knife under each macaroon to release from paper, then store in an airtight container until ready to fill.
  4. For fillings, using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale and fluffy, then gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Transfer half the mixture from the bowl to another bowl and add mandarin rind and orange blossom water. Stir to combine. Add raspberries and rosewater to remaining mixture in mixing bowl and, using the electric mixer, beat until well combined. Sandwich pink macaroons with raspberry filling and orange macaroons with mandarin filling. Serve.


  • * To create a perfectly smooth top on your macaroons, dip a finger into a bowl of water and gently smooth out any peaks.

April 09, 2012

Easter Bunny Cookie Cake for a baking day in

In need of a fun day of baking to celebrate the Easter holiday season? Well set aside a cosy day in to bake this gorgeous bunny cake masterpiece. Beautifully presented and delicious, impress your whole family and friends with this beautiful Easter cake. 

This recipe is taken from the Food Network



  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature

Icing and Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jam
  • Rabbit Sugar Cookies, homemade or store bought, recipe follows
  • Candied almonds
  • Pastel sanding sugars

For the cakes:


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly brush 2 (9-inch) roundcake pans with shortening or butter. Line bottoms with buttered parchment paper and dust with flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt into a medium bowl; whisk to combine evenly. Stir the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup, and set aside.
Beat the butter in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on high until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop and scrape butter off the sides of the bowl. Continue beating while gradually adding the sugar-- it should take a couple minutes to add all the sugar. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the lemon zest. Add theeggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
At low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the sour cream in 2 parts, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the top with a knife. (Lightly tap the pan on the counter so the batter settles evenly.)
Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes; then turn cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

For the Icing:

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a saucepan that can hold a mixer's bowl above the water. Whisk the sugar, the egg whites, lemon juice, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl by hand. Set the bowl above the boiling water and continue whisking until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar dissolves, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bowl to a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the whites at medium-high speed until they almost holds a stiff peak and are cool, about 10 minutes. Beat in the butter, a little at a time, until the icing is smooth and spreadable. (If the icing separates, just keep beating and it will come back together.)

To assemble the cake:

Slice each cake in half horizontally with a serrated knife, to make 4 even layers, taking care that they are as flat and straight as possible.
Set a large flat plate on a large inverted bowl or bottom of a salad spinner (of course, if you have a cake stand, use that), dabbing a little frosting on the bottom of the plate to secure it. Place a cake layer top side up on the plate. Using an offset spatula spread about half of the jam in a thin layer over the first cake layer, leaving about 1/4-inch border along the outside. Lay the second cake layer on top, stacking it as straight as possible. Using an offset spatula spread about 1 cup of the icing on the top layer. Place a third cake layer on top. Spread remaining red raspberry jam over the cake layer and place the final layer on top, pressing down lightly to secure all 4 layers together. Spread about 3/4 of the remaining icing around the sides with a knife or offset spatula, then ice the top of the cake. Use an offset spatulato smooth icing as much as possible. Press plain or iced cookies around the sides, taking care to leave space to cut the cake. Garnish with additional candied almonds and sprinkle the top of the cake with pastel colored sanding sugars.
Serve immediately or set aside at room temperature for up to 2 hours before serving. If refrigerating the cake, bring to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Cook's Note: Double wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved

Sugar Cookies for Decorating (and eating):

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or vanilla extract
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat the butter and both sugars in another medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs and vanilla mixing until fully incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture, and continue beating just until the dough comes together, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide dough in half, pat into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Generously flour a clean work surface. (For a nice, even layer of flour, lightly sift flour over the work surface.) Gently roll chilled dough about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shape using a cookie cutter, working quickly enough so dough remains chilled. If dough gets too soft, refrigerate on a lined baking sheet until firm again, about 30 minutes.
Transfer cut cookies to un-greased baking sheets, leaving about 1-inch between cookies. Refrigerate the formed cookies for at least 30 minutes. Lightly dust off excess flour with a dry pastry brush. (Excess dough can be pressed into a disk, chilled and rerolled.)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Bake the cookies, until the bottoms are golden, about 12 to 15 minutes depending on shape. Cool on the baking sheets until firm enough to transfer to a rack to cool. Decorate as desired and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Yield: 4 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies, depending on shape
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 hours
Ease of preparation: easy

Is saturated fat really that bad for you? Does fat make you fat?

When I was in high school, the 'fat-free' epedemic began and me and my friends started to avoid anything that had any fat in it, be that 'good' or 'bad' fats, for fear it would make us, well fat! Since high school I've learned a lot, like just because marshmellows are labelled 99% fat-free doesn't mean you can eat the whole packet, duh! But I've also learnt that the dreaded fats can actually be your dieting friend.

New research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most weight, which is a shocking revelation considering what we have been told time and time again. So fat doesn't make you fat? Biologically, your body needs fat to function. Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, and they are vital for your nervous system. Of your total daily calories, 25 to 30 percent should come from fat. Most research indicates that fat sources should mostly come from monounsaturated sources, which lower bad LDL cholesterol (those that cause blocked arteries) and raise the good HDL cholesterol levels. These fats will actually prevent stomach fat from forming. Foods boosted with these healthy fats are olive oil, almonds and cashews, peanut butter and tahini, seeds and avocados.

What's most surprising is that while we've all heard saturated fats are the ones that raise those bad cholestrol levels, saturated fat plays a couple of key roles in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Currently there are no medications for reducing lipoprotein, except for eating saturated fat. Just like the 'fat-free' movement, saturated fat has been falsely accused of the reason why we are fat. Eating saturated fats, like unsaturated fats, also raise good cholesterol. 

Those 'evil' saturated fats we have been well schooled on are found in foods like burgers and fries, many desserts and sweets, cheese, butter and coconut. But in actual fat, a small dose of saturated fat in your diet a few times a week can help to fire up your metabolism. Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, and coconut oil function directly as signalling messengers that influence the metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.Without the correct signals to tell the organs and glands what to do, the job will not get done properly. Saturated fats also play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

The other type of fat is the polyunsaturated fats, which also help to lower your bad cholestrol levels. The important quality of these fats is that they contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which boost brain function, strengthen your immune system and improve your mood. These fats also contain omega-6 fatty acids, which help keep skin supple and eyes healthy. Omega-3s are primarily in fish like salmon and swordfish, as well as canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, and tofu. Omega-6s are in corn and safflower oil, corn-fed chicken and beef, and farmed fish.

The debate of good and bad fats and their role in your diet will continue as research is carried on in this area. It is important to remember than when you eat something higher in fat, not sugar, you will feel more satisfied and eat less throughout the day. However, it is best to eat everything in moderation and enjoy the odd burger and fries.

April 03, 2012

Hot Cross Buns, the perfect Easter breakfast

The aromatic wafts of hot cross buns conjure vivid Easter memories, and are signature to the season like mince pies are to Christmas. I was determined to make my own hot cross buns this Easter, impressed by a memory of my father making his own many years ago. Don't be concerned by the thought of making a 'bread' of sorts, the instant dried yeast will do all the work for you to ensure the dough rises to create the right texture. To make these buns that little bit more Easter inspired, these are flavoured with dried cherries and dark chocolate. The perfect breakfast to celebrate with on Easter Sunday.