Autumn is here and like Mary Mary Quite Contrary, mother nature’s weather is quite changeable at this time of year. This time last year the Dalai Lama was soon to visit our shores, this year it’s Jamie Oliver. Both men have messages of change – the Dalai Lama for greater compassion and understanding, Jamie Oliver for a change when it comes to obesity and our eating habits.
Buy – what’s in season during Autumn?
Food in focus: Samphine
Samphire otherwise known as sea asparagus looks like small succulent stems. It has little red tips.
Whilst relatively new to the everyday shopping list (it’s only been grown commercially in Australia’s Snowy River region for four years but is a native to South Australia’s salty flats), it’s been around for eons.
In fact, Shakespeare mentions it in King Lear growing on the cliffs at Dover. (Although he’s probably referring to the English Rock Samphire) and Henry XIII had people abseil down cliffs to collect it.
This little green vegetable is credited with assisting weight loss, boosting energy, enhancing the immune system, and able to fight some types cancers, particularly lung and blood cancers.
Sea asparagus is packed with phytochemicals that protect the liver, heart and cellular DNA. It is also rich in vitamins A, C, B2 and B15; amino acids; and minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium. It is also low in calories with 100 calories per 100 grams.
Samphire is very versatile – it can be eaten raw – when it’s young, crisp and tender. Or blanched briefly and tossed into a salad. Sauted, stirfried or steamed is the best way to cook samphire if it’s a bit older and tougher.
Samphire is a great compliment to eggs (omlette, scrambled), fish and shellfish but I like to lightly blanch and toss into a mung bean pasta with some pine nuts and a little pepper (they are quite salty so taste before adding any).
Anzac Biscuits March On
In the newspapers recently came the news that the original Anzac Biscuit Company – which produced 4.5 tonnes of Anzacs an hour – has gone into receivership and there could be a dearth of biscuits come 26 April. Hopefully the company can be saved however, the good news is that you can make your own Anzac very simply.
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wholemeal plain flour
1 cup coconut
½ cup raw sugar
25 grams butter
3 tablespoons honey (or golden syrup)
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
4 tablespoons boiling water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
In a bowl, combine rolled oats, flour, coconut and sugar and stir.
In a saucepan, combine butter and honey over a low heat and stir until well combined.
Pour butter and honey into rolled oats mixture and stir.
Mix together bicarb soda and water before adding to other ingredients.
Using a wooden spoon, stir until ingredients are well combined and form a thick mixture.
Form balls of mixture and place on a greased or lined baking tray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on 150-160 degrees C or until golden brown.
Allow to cool a little before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.