Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Are You Reading The Nutrition Labels On Your Food Correctly?


In recent years, people have begun to recognise the value of incorporating a dairy and/or gluten-free diet for a healthier and better life, especially those that are sensitive to such ingredients. Others, particularly those who are dieting, may Of course, if you are going down this path it’s important that you understand what kinds of food you can eat and that you should avoid.

The ability to read and understand nutrition labels that are found on many foods is therefore very important. This article goes through a few of the considerations you need to make and things you need to remember that you may have overlooked.

Organic Doesn’t Necessarily Means Healthy



Possibly as a result of clever marketing, many of us tend to associate these terms with healthy foods, without considering the fact that there is really no intrinsic connection between the two. Gluten-free foods can still be fattening or unhealthy, they are simply free of the gluten protein that causes some people health problems. In much the same way, there are plenty of organically grown products out there that aren’t necessarily suitable for someone that is trying to eat healthy.

The same goes for claims such as ‘no added-sugar’, which is often found on the label of many foods that are already naturally high in sugar, and should be avoided if you’re dieting.

Understand Your Food & Fiber



Natural fiber is important for two reasons; first of all, it can reduce risk of high cholesterol and various diseases, and second, it can help make you feel full for longer, meaning you’ll eat less throughout the day if you’re on a diet.

Bread, pasta and other carbohydrates that you’re eating should have around 3-4g of fibre per serving. Avoid added-fibre products if you can.

There’s Fat And Then There’s Fat



When reading food labels, keep in mind that fat comes in a number of different forms, with some being worse than others. Trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided for a healthy diet. Check the fat content - if it’s mainly coming from unsaturated fat it’s probably okay.

Trans fat and hydrogenated oils are what you really want to steer clear of, as they’ve been shown to contribute to bad cholesterol, which can be a real health concern down the line.

Try To Avoid Too Much Sodium



Sodium, which is found in high amounts in packaged and highly processed food, is something you want to watch out for. Too much has been shown to contribute to heart disease and a higher blood pressure. When it comes to sodium, you don’t want to exceed around 2,300mg per day no matter who you are, so if a single serving exceeds more than a third of this, it’s probably a good idea to avoid it.

Be Aware Of Your Recommended Daily Intake



Labels can be misleading as they may list ingredients and nutrients as a percentage of your daily recommended intake. Of course, the numbers should not always be trusted as they are usually relevant to the ‘average adult’ for example, when everyone’s particular needs are actually quite different.

If you’re serious about adopting a healthy diet, there are helpful guides for recommended number of serves for adults   that can give you a good idea of which kinds of foods and how much of these foods you should be eating according to your age and gender.


You’ll be pleased to here that if you are gluten or dairy intolerant, Pud For All Season’s offers a range of puddings and other delicious products that you can enjoy. While our products are healthy, it always pays to read the label and make sure you’re not overdoing it. It’s always important to have a balanced diet, so moderation is the key!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

3 Interesting Christmas Pudding Traditions

Christmas Pudding Traditions As we’ve discussed in previous posts on this blog, the origin of the christmas or plum pudding goes back centuries and is steeped in tradition. In fact, this delicious sweet has evolved in many ways here in Australia and the ways we serve and enjoy it are quite different than in Europe for instance. Through its history, many different traditions and customs have emerged, some of which we still observe today. Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable and well-known christmas pudding traditions.


Stir up Sunday


Most of pudding traditions find their origins a few hundred years ago, where cooking up a plum pudding became an important part of the Christmas season.
Much like today, Christmas puddings were enjoyed in the lead up to Christmas as well as on the day of Christmas itself. ‘Stir up Sunday’ as it came to be known, was a day a few weeks before Christmas on which many families would prepare their puddings for the festive season.

This was something of a special day of togetherness for families who would gathered in their kitchens and were actively involved in the pudding-making process.


Wishing


Stir up Sunday itself had some traditions as well.

For instance, everyone in the family - including the servants - would stir the pudding mixture for good luck throughout the day. Stirring the pudding was actually quite hard work, which probably explains how the tradition originated as everyone invariably shared the load.

Each person would make three wishes while stirring up the batter and according to the custom, one of the three would come true in the coming year.



Coins and other items in the pudding


There were a number of traditions pertaining to puddings that centered around the notion of good fortune. Small items would frequently be added to the mixture - from coins to chicken wishbones - with the idea being that whoever’s portion of pudding contained them would receive good luck or wealth for the coming year.

Other items would symbolize something else. For instance, a thimble - generally used for sewing - would be a sign of thrift (or good use of money) for the finder. A ring would foretell of an upcoming marriage in the year ahead and an anchor charm meant that the finder would be safe and protected.

Interestingly, the remnants of these traditions remain to this day. While most people don’t put coins in the pudding itself, some will place sterilised coins under servings of pudding to symbolise good luck. However, nowadays people will often prefer ready-made traditional plum puddings rather than mixing up the batch themselves. There are plenty of great plum pudding options available for order online!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

5 Ways to Give your Homemade Cakes a Gourmet Edge


Ever wondered how to give your cakes a professional finish? Creating gourmet cakes at home is easier than you think. We’ve rounded up five of the best techniques for creating cakes that look like they’re straight out of an award-winning bakery.

Whether you’re new to cake decorating, or a seasoned pro - our tips are perfect for giving you something new to challenge yourself with. So roll up those sleeves, and get stuck into five simple ways to give your cakes a gourmet edge.


Use the dripping technique

 


You know when you sit down for a meal in a fancy restaurant and your plate is decorated with creatively drizzled sauce? Think of the drip technique as an extension of that - but with cake.

The trick to the drip technique is to get it to look casual, yet intentional. To create this technique, make a white chocolate ganache and add the colouring of your choice. You’ll want to keep the ganache at the right temperature so it’s runny, but not liquid. Giving it short, sharp blasts in the microwave as you decorate each section can help.

Use the dripping technique to create interesting colour combinations, with both contrasting and complementary colours. Chocolate drip cakes are immensely popular, although you could try out metallic drips of gold, silver or bronze by using cake dust in your ganache mixture.


Go to the dark side

 

Black icing is big news this year, so give it a try. You can choose to either make the entire cake covered in black icing, or cover sections. Black and white cakes, with one additional accent colour - such as, pink, blue or gold - work really well. Or go all black, with bright, multi-coloured detail.


Top it with a sugar flower

 


You don’t have to be a cake decorating expert to create a realistic flower using molds, cutters and modelling paste. Cakes with foliage are very trendy for wedding cakes at the moment, and you can even look to your own garden for inspiration.

Flowers can be as simple or as complicated as you dare! Studying a real flower is the best way to get an authentic looking result. A good tip is - the thinner you roll the modelling paste, the more realistic your flowers will look. Once you’ve created your flower, use some luster to give it a professional pearly sheen.


Try out edible painting

 


Turn your homemade cake into a work of art. Edible painting is all the rage right now in the professional cake decorating world, and can add a beautiful edge to any cake. If you aren’t confident at painting freehand, then a great tip is to sketch out your design on tracing paper, then use a pencil to indent the icing so you’ll have a guide for the pattern you want to create.


Make it square

 


Move away from round cakes if you want to give your cakes a truly gourmet edge. While square cakes may look fancy, they are actually reasonably straightforward to make. First off, make sure you measure out the dimensions of your cake before cutting, to ensure you get it just right. Then use a large metal scraper when you apply the ganache to get straight edges, and acetate smoothes over the icing to give every edge a straight ‘finished’ look.

We hope you’ve got plenty of inspiration and ideas for adding a gourmet edge to your homemade cakes. You can find out how to master all these techniques and more with the online cake decorating tutorials available at Paul Bradford Sugarcraft School.

Thanks for reading!