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ALDI shopper causes $180k in damages after smashing alcohol

<p>Footage of a woman going rampant and causing severe damage to an ALDI store by smashing bottles of alcohol has caused great concern among customers. </p> <p>The video was recorded at a supermarket in Stevenage, UK, on Wednesday (local time) afternoon.</p> <p>Footage shows the woman wearing a hoodie and a backpack removing bottles of alcohol off the shelves with her arms.</p> <p>She then slips in the mess she created and falls to the ground.</p> <p>“Oh god, she’s not right,” a man is heard saying off-camera.</p> <p>The woman quickly gets back up and starts her tirade of breaking more bottles.</p> <p>The man off camera notices the woman has cut her hand and it’s covered in blood, while another person reveals the police won’t arrive for a while.</p> <p>“I’ve never seen anything like this,” someone is heard saying.</p> <p>A man who was waiting in the check-out line asked the woman to “calm down” and the woman threw a bottle of booze at his leg.</p> <p>The store manager estimated the damages to cost approximately $AUD180,270 when taking into account the loss of stock and revenue due to being forced to close the store to clean.</p> <p>According to The Comment, police officers arrived at the scene at around 2.30 pm and arrested the woman, who was taken to hospital and treated for her injuries.</p> <p>Image credit: <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/entertainment/viral-weird/woman-smashes-500-bottles-of-alcohol-in-five-minutes-during-bizarre-aldi-rampage-c-1662545" target="_blank">7NEWS</a></p>

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Beloved 98-year-old grandma turned Facebook chef dies of coronavirus

<p>Lucy Pollock is not the only person who turned to cooking and baking during the coronavirus lockdown.</p> <p>However, she is one that stuck out after her videos, originally meant for friends and family, online began to gain traction and stick in the hearts of everyone watching her.</p> <p>Over time, the beloved 98-year-old’s cooking show<span> </span><em>Baking With Lucy</em><span> </span>amassed over 40,000 followers.</p> <p>Sadly though, the woman did not make it long enough to share any of her delicious Christmas recipes, passing away on Sunday after being diagnosed with coronavirus and suffering from a fatal lung infection.</p> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/inhercozykitchen/posts/232858605036662" data-show-text="true" data-width=""> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>As Lucy would say, " Happy Tuesday!!" Here is a beautiful photo of my mom and me at an art show Latrobe Art Center when...</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/inhercozykitchen/">Baking With Lucy</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/inhercozykitchen/posts/232858605036662">Tuesday, November 24, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p>The Pennsylvania woman’s daughter Mary Ellen Raneri was the one who announced the sad news in a video shared to Pollock’s popular baking video page.</p> <p>"The beautiful, lovely Lucy, talented woman and amazing mother, passed away last night at 3 in the morning," she explains in the video.</p> <p>"It was very unexpected. It was due to a lung infection and also, she tested positive for COVID, so it's quite an eye-opener for us and for everybody.</p> <p>"It's kind of ironic that what she struggled so hard to help people with eventually ended up hurting her."</p> <p>Raneri was able to visit her mother prior to her death and sang<span> </span><em>You Are My Sunshine</em><span> </span>in their final moment together.</p> <p>She closed her eyes, she looked really happy, and she was at peace," she said in the video.</p> <p>Pollock brought joy to thousands in her humble kitchen, cooking up almost a century's worth of family recipes, baking dishes that had been passed down through generations, donated by friends, and taken from frayed, handwritten notes.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838935/lucy-pollock.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4ef471798165452e895bde030b4f8207" /></p> <p>In mid-March, Raneri shared a photo on Facebook of her mother making cinnamon scrolls.</p> <p>The pair were then encouraged to make "live videos" of themselves cooking up more dishes.</p> <p>Raneri would often stand nearby and read out recipes while her mother baked due to her poor eyesight.</p> <p>Pollock would bake while her husband Phil filmed her and the humble, family-friendly videos took off quickly – with Pollock earning worldwide recognition, an upcoming cookbook and a national television appearance on NBC's Today show,</p> <p>"I can't believe that I'm sitting here on a Sunday morning doing this," Raneri said in the sad video.</p> <p>"Because at this point we'd all be scurrying around, yelling at each other 'Who's going to get the flour?' and 'Where are we going to put it?' But life has twists and turns.</p> <p>"I feel like my heart is breaking right now. But I wanted to tell everybody that I think right now she's in a really good place, and I'm going to go with that."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838934/lucy-pollock-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/10634dde307746af8dd66b63045051a8" /></p> <p>Pollock's cookbook will go ahead as planned.</p> <p>"I don't think I knew how much I loved my mum until we started to do this project together," Raneri said of the cookbook.</p> <p>"I loved her, but I don't think I knew how much I admired her. She was an amazing person."</p> <p>Pollock will be buried in a private service on Friday.</p> <p>The service will be live streamed at 11 a.m. on the Baking with Lucy Facebook page.</p>

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"Straight to jail!": Woman berated for “barbaric” steak video

<p>A woman has horrified online users after she shared a video of her cooking a steak in a toaster.</p> <p>Juliette shared her bizarre method on TikTok under the username @itsmeju1iette, captioning the clip: "Cooking steak for my boyfriend."</p> <p>She wrote "How to cook steak," across the video.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838831/tiktok-steak-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/aad6f49f34fb4258b42574506b98336c" /></p> <p>It showed her placing two pieces of steak into the toaster, then slathering it in sauce and eating it.</p> <p>The clip has been viewed over 10 million times.</p> <p>One user questioned: "How do you clean the toaster?" while many others were disgruntled to see she had not seasoned her meat “properly”.</p> <p>"This is so barbaric it's not even funny," one angry user wrote.</p> <p>"Straight to jail!" another said.</p> <p>Another added: "I'm physically upset," added someone else.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838829/tiktok-steak-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/12efd32f18a74140ac2acd3856062b80" /></p> <p>"How to not cook steak," one user wrote.</p> <p>Juliette has had viral clips before, with one reaching over 24 million views that shows her humorously demonstrating how to boil ice in a saucepan.</p> <p>"My grandma's secret recipe! [Please] don’t share with anyone," she captioned the video.</p>

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Man's horror at what he found inside burger

<p>A Queensland hospital worker was disgusted to find a dead rat inside his burger that he was initially enjoying on his lunch break.</p> <p>The medic found the cooked rat between the buns of his burger from the Wellbean Co Cafe, run by the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, according to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thechronicle.com.au/" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink"><em>Toowoomba Chronicle</em></a>.</p> <p>He took a photo to show staff, who quickly apologised.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838781/rat-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/488e3d2c876344578778af55d86e97f6" /></p> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Darling Downs Health Service released the following statement to media about the incident.</p> <p>“We have taken this incident very seriously, with our highest priority being the health and safety of our community, patients, and staff,” a spokesperson said.</p> <p>“We have been assured that the Wellbean Co cafe operators, the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation, comply with all food and hygiene standards.</p> <p>“The Toowoomba Hospital Foundation has been in contact with the supplier and has reviewed their process for washing and inspecting all products brought in to the cafe.</p> <p>“The foundation has had the Toowoomba Regional Council Food Safety Division and our Public Health Unit inspect the cafe, which has been cleared to continue operating.</p> <p>“The cafe has apologised to the customer and I would like to thank the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation for their immediate and proactive response to this incident.”</p> <p><em>Photo credits: </em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/queensland-hospital-worker-finds-dead-rat-inside-burger-on-break/news-story/991a93a50e7bdd065bb26ce0c4fb2a24" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink">news.com.au</a></em></p> </div>

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Furious dad told to tone down kid’s lunch box

<p>School lunches can vary from child to child, with some parents opting to keep things simple and others hand-carving fruits and vegetables into an assortment of different characters.</p> <p>But now, one dad has taken to the internet to rant about a teacher who asked him to tone the creativity down when it comes to his child’s lunches.</p> <p>“My kid is eight. Long story short, my wife tries to make really fun lunches for my daughter,” the man<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/joc042/aita_for_telling_my_kids_teacher_that_i_dont_care/" target="_blank"> wrote in his post to Reddit.</a></p> <p>“She follows a couple of those school lunches pages on Instagram for inspiration or whatever. It’s important to us that our child likes her lunches and that she’s happy.”</p> <p>The man said their teacher had called and left a message asking them to tone the lunches down.</p> <p>“My daughter’s teacher called and left a message asking us that we simplify her lunches and do the typical sandwich thing because other kids ‘don’t have as elaborate as lunches and it might make them feel bad’,” he continued.</p> <p>So the dad did what many of us would have done (and sometimes later regretted) – he wrote an angry email.</p> <p>He basically said, “no we won’t and that I really don’t care, and that if other kids get upset then maybe it would be a good teaching moment for her,” but has now asked if he was wrong to do so.</p> <p>Most people agreed that this could have been a good teaching moment for the school.</p> <p>“Does your boss request that you drive a 2007 Corolla because your co-workers can’t stand to see a Tesla?” asked one person.</p> <p>Another said, “I could see the teacher being upset if it’s just completely unhealthy like the lunch box was filled with candy or a few bags of chips and nothing else. But the fact that it’s just decent food to be fun, I don’t think this should be any sort of issue.”</p> <p>A few pointed out the dad could have handled his response a lot better: “In the real world, an email like that could be considered a tad AHish; (a**hole-ish) could have been worded better. But yeah, the teacher is tons and tons of AH, because it is a teachable moment. I remember this really good phrase: ‘The only time you look in your neighbour’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbour’s bowl to see if you have as much as them’.”</p>

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Hugh Jackman reveals hilarious baking fail

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>He’s an acclaimed actor, singer and producer best known for playing Wolverine in the X-men movie franchise.</p> <p>But Hugh Jackman has proven he’s just like the rest of us when he took to Instagram to share a video of his epic bread baking fail.</p> <p>The 52-year-old Aussie born star couldn’t help but laugh as he panned the camera over a freshly baked loaf of lumpy and flat gluten-free bread. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHVKnrADivG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CHVKnrADivG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Bread baking FAIL. #celebratethefail #glutenfreebaking</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/thehughjackman/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Hugh Jackman</a> (@thehughjackman) on Nov 8, 2020 at 5:03am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“People say all the time that we only show the perfect parts of our lives,” Hugh was heard saying in the clip, in between laughs.</p> <p>“So I thought let's celebrate the failures,” he continued, angling the camera to capture a good view of the lacklustre loaf.</p> <p>Hugh joked how gluten-free flour “apparently does not work the same way” as regular flour, while wife Deborra-Lee Furness wondered if it tasted “as bad as it looks”.</p> <p>Fans praised the celeb in the comments section saying he was genuine and down to earth.</p> <p>The Greatest Showman star is now based in New York with Deborra-Lee and their two adopted children, Oscar, 20, and Ava, 15. </p> </div> </div> </div>

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Yes, Adele has sung its praises. But the Sirtfood diet may be just another fad

<p>The Sirtfood diet has been in the news again this week after singer Adele showed off her slimmed-down figure on US comedy show Saturday Night Live.</p> <p>Adele has previously credited her significant weight loss to the Sirtfood diet. Following her appearance on SNL, there was a spike in people searching the diet on Google.</p> <p>But what exactly is the Sirtfood diet, and does it work?</p> <p><strong>What’s the premise?</strong><br />Two nutritionists in the United Kingdom launched the Sirtfood diet in 2016.</p> <p>The premise is that a group of proteins called sirtuins, which are involved in regulation of metabolism, inflammation and ageing, can be accelerated by eating specific foods rich in a class of phytonutrients called polyphenols.</p> <p>Phytonutrients are chemical compounds plants produce to help them grow well or defend themselves. Research is continuing to shed light on their potential benefits for human health.</p> <p>The idea is that eating foods rich in polyphenols, referred to as “Sirtfoods”, will increase the body’s ability to burn fat, boosting metabolism and leading to dramatic weight loss.</p> <p>Common Sirtfoods include, apples, soybean, kale, blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate (85% cocoa), red wine, matcha green tea, onions and olive oil. The Sirtfood diet gets some of its fame because red wine and chocolate are on the list.</p> <p><strong>Two phases</strong><br />The diet involves two phases over three weeks. During the first three days, total energy intake is restricted to 4,200 kilojoules per day (or 1,000 Calories).</p> <p>To achieve this, you drink three sirtfood green juice drinks that include kale, celery, rocket, parsley, matcha green tea and lemon juice. You also eat one “Sirtfood” meal, such as a chicken and kale curry.</p> <p>On days four to seven, you have 2-3 green juices and one or two meals up to a total energy intake of 6,300 kJ/day (1,500kcal).</p> <p>During the next two weeks — phase two — total energy intake should be in the range of 6,300-7,500 kJ/day (1,500-1,800 kcal) with three meals, one green juice, and one or two Sirtfood snacks.</p> <p>There’s a diet book available for purchase which gives you the recipes.</p> <p>After three weeks, the recommendation is to eat a “balanced diet” rich in Sirtfoods, along with regular green juices.</p> <p><strong>Positives</strong><br />The idea of losing a lot of weight in just three weeks will appeal to many people.</p> <p>The eating plan encourages a range of polyphenol-rich foods that are also good sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, and would be recommended in a range of diets designed to assist with weight management, or as part of a healthy, balanced eating plan.</p> <p>A weight loss diet will be effective if it achieves sustained total daily energy restriction. So the biggest benefit of the Sirtfood diet is the daily energy restriction — you are likely to lose weight if you stick to it.</p> <p>Also, the exclusion of energy-dense, ultra-processed “junk” foods will help lower the risk for chronic disease.</p> <p>But there are drawbacks to consider too.</p> <p><strong>Negatives</strong><br />It would be wise to watch the portion size for some of the foods listed, such as red wine and chocolate.</p> <p>Like most restrictive diets, phase one may be challenging and is not recommended for people with underlying health conditions without the supervision of a health professional.</p> <p>The rapid weight loss in the first phase will reflect a loss of water and glycogen, the stored form of energy in muscles and the liver, rather than being all body fat.</p> <p>Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of gallstones and amenorrhoea (missing menstrual periods).</p> <p>The food list includes specific products that may be hard to locate in Australia, such as lovage, a European leafy green plant whose leaves can used used as a herb, roots as a vegetable and seeds as a spice. Some other items on the list can be expensive.</p> <p><strong>Sirt science</strong><br />Most research has looked at the sirtuin-mediated effects of energy restriction in worms, mice or specific body tissues. No studies have tested the effect of diets that vary polyphenol content on the action of sirtuins in mediating weight loss.</p> <p>A search on PubMed, the scientific database of research studies, didn’t locate any human trials of the Sirtfood diet. So the short answer about whether the Sirtfood diet works or not is we don’t know.</p> <p>The authors’ claims about effectiveness are based on anecdotal information from their own research and from personal testimonials, such as the one from Adele.</p> <p>Considering the hype surrounding the Sirtfood diet against a checklist on spotting a fad diet sounds alarm bells. For example:</p> <ul> <li>does it promote or ban specific foods?</li> <li>does it promote a one-size-fits-all approach?</li> <li>does it promise quick, dramatic results?</li> <li>does it focus only on short-term results?</li> <li>does it make claims based on personal testimonials?</li> </ul> <p>Looking at the Sirtfood diet, the answers to most of these questions seem to be “yes”, or at least a partial yes.</p> <p>The best diet for weight loss is one that meets your nutrient requirements, promotes health and well-being, and that you can stick with long-term.</p> <p><em>Written by Clare Collins, Lee Ashton and Rebecca Williams. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-adele-has-sung-its-praises-but-the-sirtfood-diet-may-be-just-another-fad-148902">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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Five things for over-65s to consider when switching to a plant-based diet

<p>There are plenty of reasons people switch to a plant-based diet, including ethical and environmental reasons. However, a growing number of people are shunning meat for health reasons. Evidence shows that plant-based diets may help support the immune system, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, and may be good for overall health.</p> <p>While a well-planned plant-based diet can support healthy living in people of all ages, our nutritional needs change with different life stages, so people over the age of 65 may need to take more care when opting for a plant-based diet. They may have specific nutritional needs and may need certain nutrients, vitamins and minerals to stay healthy.</p> <p>Here are some things over-65s may want to consider when switching to a plant-based diet:</p> <p><strong>1. Eat enough protein</strong><br />Older adults need more protein compared to the general adult population in order to preserve lean body mass, body function and good health. While most adults only need around 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight a day, it’s recommended that healthy older adults should increase their daily protein intake to 1.0-1.2g per kilogram of body weight. This is even higher for older adults who are malnourished or have a severe illness, as these conditions trigger a hypermetabolic state, where the body needs more energy and protein to function.</p> <p>To ensure adequate protein intake, make sure meals and snacks contain plant-based proteins, such as chickpeas, tofu, black-eyed beans, kidney beans, lentils, quinoa, wild rice, nuts and seeds, nut butters and soya alternatives to milk and yoghurt. Eggs and dairy products are also good protein sources if you’re including these in your diet.</p> <p><strong>2. Include calcium and vitamin D</strong><br />Calcium and vitamin D both play an important role in maintaining good bone health, which is extremely important in older age as osteoporosis and associated fractures are a major cause of bone-related diseases and mortality in older adults.</p> <p>Most adults need 700mg of calcium per day. However, women past the menopause and men over 55 should have 1200mg of calcium per day. There’s a wide range of non-dairy food products that contain calcium for those who are plant-based, including calcium fortified soya milk and almond milk, calcium fortified cereals, pitta bread, chapatti and white bread.</p> <p>For those who include fish in their diet, fish such as whitebait, and sardines and pilchards (with bones) contain good amounts of calcium per serving.</p> <p>Older adults are also recommended to get 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D daily. Not only is vitamin D important for bone health, it’s also one of the nutrients involved in supporting the immune system and helping it to function properly. Older adults are more vulnerable to deficiency as they may have less sunlight exposure, and their skin is less able to synthesise vitamin D.</p> <p>Mushrooms grown in sunlight, fortified spreads, breakfast cereals, and dairy alternatives are all good sources of vitamin D.</p> <p>Having said this, it’s hard to get vitamin D from diet alone, so a supplement of 10mcg a day (especially in the winter for those who may not get outside often), is recommended. It’s worth noting that some vitamin D supplements aren’t suitable for vegans, as they may be derived from an animal source, so vitamin D2 and lichen-derived vitamin D3 may be used instead.</p> <p><strong>3. Get your vitamin B12</strong><br />Vitamin B12 is essential for making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, and providing energy. Older adults need 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day, similar to younger adults. But many older people may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, affecting an estimated one in twenty people aged 65 to 74 and one in ten people over 75.</p> <p>Those who don’t eat meat, fish or eggs may not be getting enough vitamin B12, as it’s found abundantly in animal-based food sources. Some plant-based sources of vitamin B12 include fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extracts (like Marmite), soya yoghurts, and non-dairy milks. People may consider taking a Vitamin B12 supplement. Taking 2mg or less a day of vitamin B12 in supplements is unlikely to cause any harm. However, they should consult their doctor or registered dietitian first.</p> <p><strong>4. Eat iron-rich foods</strong><br />Low iron intake can be an issue for those who don’t have a varied diet, especially for men aged 65 and over living in residential care homes and women over 85.</p> <p>Iron is essential for making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. It’s also essential for physical performance, wound healing, supporting the immune system, cognitive development and function and thyroid metabolism. Older adults need 8.7mg of iron a day.</p> <p>Foods containing vitamin C – such as citrus fruits – may help the body absorb iron better. Alexandra Anschiz/ Shutterstock<br />Plant sources include wholegrains, green leafy vegetables like spinach, seeds, pulses and dried fruits. Since iron in plant foods is absorbed less efficiently compared to iron in animal proteins, having vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, green pepper and broccoli can help iron be better absorbed.</p> <p><strong>5. Make every bite count</strong><br />Some people find their appetite decreases as they get older. This can be caused by difficulties with chewing and swallowing, constipation, acute illness, impaired taste, vision and smell. But reduced appetite can contribute to unintentional weight loss and nutritional deficiencies. It’s therefore important to find ways to get adequate nutrition in every meal, especially when plant-based, such as:</p> <ul> <li>Including protein in each meal.</li> <li>Eat small meals and snacks in between throughout the day.</li> <li>Include plant-based milks (such as soya, almond, or coconut milk) in your tea, coffee or smoothie.</li> <li>Add olive, vegetable or sunflower oil to your favourite meals.</li> <li>Mix plant creams or vegan cheese in mashed potatoes, soups and stews.</li> <li>Add nut butters to bread, dairy-free yoghurt and smoothies.</li> </ul> <p>No matter your age, switching to a plant-based diet may have many health benefits if planned properly. Consulting with a registered dietitian before making the switch may help you develop the best plant-based diet tailored to your specific needs.</p> <p><em>Written by Taibat Ibitoye. This article first appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/vegetarian-and-vegan-diet-five-things-for-over-65s-to-consider-when-switching-to-a-plant-based-diet-144088">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

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Adele has sung its praises but the Sirtfood diet may be just another fad

<p>The Sirtfood diet has been <a href="https://nypost.com/2020/10/24/snl-host-adeles-weight-loss-with-sirtfood-diet-inspires-fans/">in the news</a> again this week after singer Adele showed off her slimmed-down figure on US comedy show Saturday Night Live.</p> <p>Adele has <a href="https://coach.nine.com.au/diet/sirtfood-diet-behind-adeles-weight-loss-explained-by-a-dietitian/552b4d0e-c543-4095-8564-e9e819489215">previously credited</a> her significant weight loss to the Sirtfood diet. Following her appearance on SNL, there was a spike in people searching the diet <a href="https://trends.google.com.au/trends/explore?q=Sirtfood&amp;geo=US">on Google</a>.</p> <p>But what exactly is the Sirtfood diet, and does it work?</p> <p><strong>What’s the premise?</strong></p> <p>Two nutritionists in the United Kingdom launched the Sirtfood diet <a href="https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-sirtfood-diet">in 2016</a>.</p> <p>The premise is that a group of proteins called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirtuin">sirtuins</a>, which are involved in <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24115767/">regulation of metabolism, inflammation and ageing</a>, can be accelerated by eating specific foods rich in a class of phytonutrients called polyphenols.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/phytonutrients-can-boost-your-health-here-are-4-and-where-to-find-them-including-in-your-next-cup-of-coffee-132100">Phytonutrients</a> are chemical compounds plants produce to help them grow well or defend themselves. Research is continuing to shed light on their potential benefits for human health.</p> <p>The idea is that eating <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21045839/">foods rich in polyphenols</a>, referred to as “Sirtfoods”, will increase the body’s ability to burn fat, boosting metabolism and <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23043250/">leading to dramatic weight loss</a>.</p> <p>Common Sirtfoods include, apples, soybean, kale, blueberries, strawberries, dark chocolate (85% cocoa), red wine, matcha green tea, onions and olive oil. The Sirtfood diet gets some of its fame because red wine and chocolate are on the list.</p> <p><strong>Two phases</strong></p> <p>The diet involves <a href="https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-sirtfood-diet">two phases</a> over three weeks. During the first three days, total energy intake is restricted to 4,200 kilojoules per day (or 1,000 Calories).</p> <p>To achieve this, you drink three sirtfood green juice drinks that include kale, celery, rocket, parsley, matcha green tea and lemon juice. You also eat one “Sirtfood” meal, such as a chicken and kale curry.</p> <p>On days four to seven, you have 2-3 green juices and one or two meals up to a total energy intake of 6,300 kJ/day (1,500kcal).</p> <p>During the next two weeks — phase two — total energy intake should be in the range of 6,300-7,500 kJ/day (1,500-1,800 kcal) with three meals, one green juice, and one or two Sirtfood snacks.</p> <p>There’s a <a href="https://metro.co.uk/2020/10/25/adele-weight-loss-what-is-the-sirtfood-diet-and-is-there-a-sirtfood-diet-recipe-book-13476892/">diet book</a> available for purchase which gives you the recipes.</p> <p>After three weeks, the recommendation is to eat a “balanced diet” rich in Sirtfoods, along with regular green juices.</p> <p><strong>Positives</strong></p> <p>The idea of losing a lot of weight in just three weeks will appeal to many people.</p> <p>The eating plan encourages a range of polyphenol-rich foods that are also good sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, and would be recommended in a range of diets designed to assist with weight management, or as part of a healthy, balanced eating plan.</p> <p>A weight loss diet will be effective if it achieves sustained total daily energy restriction. So the biggest benefit of the Sirtfood diet is the daily energy restriction — you are likely to lose weight if you stick to it.</p> <p>Also, the exclusion of energy-dense, ultra-processed “junk” foods will help <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33012621/">lower the risk for chronic disease</a>.</p> <p>But there are drawbacks to consider too.</p> <p><strong>Negatives</strong></p> <p>It would be wise to watch the portion size for some of the foods listed, such as red wine and chocolate.</p> <p>Like most restrictive diets, phase one may be challenging and is not recommended for people with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31207126/">underlying health conditions</a> without the supervision of a health professional</p> <p>The rapid weight loss in the first phase will reflect a loss of water and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycogen">glycogen</a>, the stored form of energy in muscles and the liver, rather than being all body fat.</p> <p>Rapid weight loss can increase the risk of <a href="https://theconversation.com/got-gallstones-heres-what-to-eat-and-avoid-53229">gallstones</a> and <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/menstruation-amenorrhoea">amenorrhoea</a> (missing menstrual periods).</p> <p>The food list includes specific products that may be hard to locate in Australia, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovage">lovage</a>, a European leafy green plant whose leaves can used used as a herb, roots as a vegetable and seeds as a spice. Some other items on the list can be expensive.</p> <p><strong>Sirt science</strong></p> <p>Most research has looked at the <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24115767/">sirtuin-mediated effects</a> of energy restriction in worms, mice or specific body tissues. No studies have tested the effect of diets that vary polyphenol content on the action of sirtuins in mediating weight loss.</p> <p>A search on PubMed, the scientific database of research studies, didn’t locate any human trials of the Sirtfood diet. So the short answer about whether the Sirtfood diet works or not is we don’t know.</p> <p>The authors’ claims about effectiveness are based on anecdotal information from their own research and from personal testimonials, such as the one from Adele.</p> <p>Considering the hype surrounding the Sirtfood diet against a checklist on <a href="https://theconversation.com/blood-type-pioppi-gluten-free-and-mediterranean-which-popular-diets-are-fads-104867">spotting a fad diet</a> sounds alarm bells. For example:</p> <ul> <li>does it promote or ban specific foods?</li> <li>does it promote a one-size-fits-all approach?</li> <li>does it promise quick, dramatic results?</li> <li>does it focus only on short-term results?</li> <li>does it make claims based on personal testimonials?</li> </ul> <p>Looking at the Sirtfood diet, the answers to most of these questions seem to be “yes”, or at least a partial yes.</p> <p>The best diet for weight loss is one that meets your nutrient requirements, promotes health and well-being, and that you can stick with long-term.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/clare-collins-7316">Clare Collins</a>, University of Newcastle; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lee-ashton-336722">Lee Ashton</a>, University of Newcastle, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-williams-354598">Rebecca Williams</a>, University of Newcastle. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/yes-adele-has-sung-its-praises-but-the-sirtfood-diet-may-be-just-another-fad-148902">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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Queen Elizabeth reveals her favourite scone recipe

<p class="p1">The coronavirus pandemic has brought changes to nearly everyone around the world and the British royal family is no exception.</p> <p class="p1">Most of the large scale events for 2020 were cancelled or dramatically scaled back in favour of virtual engagements.</p> <p class="p1">And the Garden Parties - hosted by the Queen during the British summer - happened to be one of the festivities that was forced to cancel.</p> <p class="p1">Not only was it a huge blow to the Queen herself, but also to the thousands of guests from across the UK and the Commonwealth invited to have tea with the monarch.</p> <p class="p1">Every year the Queen invites over 30,000 guests for tea in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in London, or the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.</p> <p class="p1">But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the Royal Pastry chefs decided to share the much-loved recipe for fruit scones served at the Garden Parties.</p> <p class="p1">The recipe was posted to the royal family’s Instagram account in May, have a watch below.</p> <p class="p1"> </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAYSjYcHO7E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAYSjYcHO7E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Every year at Garden Parties across The Royal Residences, over 27,000 cups of ☕️, 20,000 🥪 and 20,000 slices of 🍰 are consumed! The Royal Pastry Chefs are happy to share their recipe for fruit scones, which traditionally would be served at Buckingham Palace every summer. Remember to tag us in your #royalbakes creations! 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀: -500g Plain Flour -28g Baking Powder -94g Butter -86g Sugar -2 Whole Eggs -140ml Butter Milk -100g Sultanas - a type of raisin (Cover in hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes) 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱: -Preheat oven to 180 C -Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar together in a bowl, until a crumb is formed -In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together -Add the liquid to the crumb mixture -Continue to mix the dough, until it is smooth -(Optional) Add the sultanas, and mix until evenly distributed 1Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten the dough and cover -Leave to rest for approximately 30 minutes -Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2.5 cm and cut to desired shape -Rest the scones for another 20 minutes -Gently egg was the top of the scones -Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown -Cool before serving with jam and clotted cream Enjoy!</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"> </p> </div> </blockquote>

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KFC patrons get surprise of their life after Prince William visits

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Prince William surprised some unexpecting KFC diners after he said hello through the glass at a London KFC.</p> <p>He was on the way to an engagement with his wife, Kate Middleton, and walked past the outlet.</p> <p>He stopped to say hi to a woman through the glass in a window seat of the store, according to photographers.</p> <p>A member of staff was visibly shocked but someone ordering at a touch screen was oblivious to who was outside.</p> <p>The takeaway chain later took to Twitter to joke about the incident, saying Prince William, or "His Royal Thighness" as they call him in one tweet, "can't wait to be wing".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">William whispered quietly to himself; <br /><br />“Oh, I just can’t wait to be wing” <a href="https://t.co/oKlQPiV3YJ">pic.twitter.com/oKlQPiV3YJ</a></p> — KFC UK &amp; Ireland (@KFC_UKI) <a href="https://twitter.com/KFC_UKI/status/1318547339573940225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 20, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Waterloo to see one of the sites featuring the Duchess of Cambridge's Hold Still community exhibition, with 112 sites around the UK showcasing shots from the digital photo exhibit.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"></div> </div> </div>

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Baked breakfast mushrooms stuffed with spinach, feta and egg

<p><span>Prep / cook time: 25 minutes</span></p> <p><span>Serve: 2 mushrooms per person</span></p> <p> </p> <p><strong><span>Ingredients:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li><span>4 large flat mushrooms (large Portobello mushrooms also work well)</span></li> <li><span>1 big handful of baby spinach leaves</span></li> <li><span>1 1/2 tbsp marinated creamy feta cheese </span></li> <li><span>4 medium free-range eggs</span></li> <li><span>2 thyme sprigs</span></li> <li><span>Cracked pepper to taste</span></li> <li><span>Sea salt to taste</span></li> <li><span>1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped, to serve</span></li> </ul> <p><span> </span></p> <p><strong><span>Method:</span></strong></p> <ul> <li><span>Pre heat the oven to 180</span>°<span></span></li> <li><span>To clean the mushrooms, brush the skin with a dry paper towel to remove any dirt.</span></li> <li><span>Using a small paring knife, remove the stems.</span></li> <li><span>Fill the base of the mushrooms with the baby spinach leaves, ripping larger leaves into smaller pieces. </span></li> <li><span>Carefully crack an egg into each mushroom on top of the spinach.</span></li> <li><span>Add a spoonful of marinated feta cheese as well as a drizzle of the feta marinating oil on top of the cracked egg.</span></li> <li><span>Add a pinch of salt and pepper and sprinkle a few leaves of the fresh thyme on top.</span></li> <li><span>Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until the mushroom has softened and the egg is still soft inside.</span></li> <li><span>Serve straight away topped with parsley.</span></li> </ul> <p>This recipe has been published with permission from Australian Mushrooms.</p>

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10 foods you should never reheat in a microwave

<p>Some 30 years ago, domestic kitchens received the gift of the microwave and quickly became dependent on it for lightning-fast heating. Younger generations can’t even imagine making porridge, hot chocolate or popcorn without it. And yet so many of us are using the microwave incorrectly for reheated foods. Sure, we know to never zap aluminium foil, metal, or plastic, but there are equally dangerous risks involved in nuking certain foods. For starters, a microwave does not cook food evenly, which often means that any bacteria present in the reheated foods will survive. Then there’s the problem of microwave blasts directly contributing to the production of carcinogenic toxins. To minimise the microwave risks, don’t use it to cook or warm these ten foods:</p> <p><strong>Hard-boiled eggs</strong></p> <p>Shelled or unshelled, when a hard-boiled egg is cooked in a microwave, the moisture inside creates an extreme steam build-up, like a miniature pressure cooker, to the point where the egg can explode! Even scarier, the egg won’t burst inside the microwave while it’s being heated, but afterward, which means the scalding hot egg can erupt in your hand, on your plate, or even in your mouth. To avoid turning your egg into a steam bomb, cut it into small pieces before reheating, or better yet, avoid putting it in the microwave altogether.</p> <p><strong>Breast milk</strong></p> <p>Many new mothers freeze and store their breast milk for later use, which is great, as long as it’s not reheated in a microwave. In the same way that microwaves heat plates of food unevenly, they can also warm a bottle of breast milk unevenly, creating ‘hot spots’ that can severely burn a baby’s mouth and throat. Then there’s the carcinogen hazard that comes with reheating plastic. It’s recommended that breast milk and formula be thawed and reheated in a pot on the stove, or using hot tap water. As a workaround, you could heat a cup of water in the microwave and then drop the bag or bottle of breast milk in it to thaw.</p> <p><strong>Processed meat</strong></p> <p>Processed meats often contain chemicals and preservatives extend their shelf lives. Unfortunately, microwaving them can make those substances worse for your health. In microwaving processed meats, we might unknowingly be exposed to chemical changes such as oxidised cholesterol in the process, according to research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. A study in the journal Food Control suggests that reheating processed meats with a burst of microwave radiation contributes to the formation of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs), which have been linked to the development of coronary heart disease. Compared to other meal-prep methods for reheated foods, microwaving processed meats is far more likely to introduce COPs into your diet.</p> <p><strong>Rice</strong></p> <p>Rice, really? Well, according to the Food Standards Agency, microwaving rice can sometimes lead to food poisoning. The issue with rice involves the common presence of a highly resistant bacteria called Bacillus cereus. Heat kills this bacteria, but it can have produced spores that are toxic, according to findings in the International Journal of Food Microbiology – and surprisingly heat resistant. A number of studies confirm that once rice comes out of the microwave and is left out at room temperature, any spores it contains can multiply and cause food poisoning if you eat it. (The humid environment of the warm rice makes it an ideal breeding ground.) As is explained on the U.S. government website Food Safety: ‘B. cereus is a type of bacteria that produces toxins. These toxins can cause two types of illness: one type characterised by diarrhoea, and the other, called emetic toxin, characterised by nausea and vomiting. Sources: a variety of foods, particularly rice.’ To avoid contaminated rice, heat it to near boiling and then keep it warm (above 60 degrees C) to keep it food safe.</p> <p><strong>Chicken</strong></p> <p>The most important thing to realise about microwaves is that their heat does not always kill bacteria, because microwaves heat from the outside in instead of the inside out. As such, certain bacteria-prone reheated foods will have higher risk of causing sickness when these bacterial cells survive. Bearing this in mind, you can see why chicken, which is at risk of salmonella contamination, could be a dangerous food to microwave. Before eating chicken, you have to cook it thoroughly to eliminate all present bacteria. Since microwaves don’t fully or evenly cook all parts of the meat, you’re more likely to be left with surviving bacteria such as salmonella. In one study, out of 30 participants who reheated raw meat, all 10 who used a microwave became ill, whereas the 20 who used a frying pan were fine. This goes to show how much bacteria can survive in meat when microwaved, compared to other cooking methods.</p> <p><strong>Leafy greens</strong></p> <p>If you want to save your celery, kale, or spinach to eat later as leftovers, plan to reheat them in a conventional oven rather than a microwave. When blasted in the microwave, naturally occurring nitrates (which are very good for you on their own) may convert to nitrosamines, which can be carcinogenic, studies show.</p> <p><strong>Beetroot</strong><br />The same chemical conversion that happens to spinach holds true for reheating nitrate-rich beetroot and turnips! Good thing they’re just as delicious cold.</p> <p><strong>Chillies</strong></p> <p>When chillies are reheated in the microwave, capsaicin – the chemical that gives them their spicy flavour – is released into the air. Airborne, the chemical can burn your eyes and throat. In fact, one US apartment building was evacuated after a microwaved chilli caused residents to start coughing and have trouble breathing.</p> <p><strong>Fruit</strong></p> <p>Microwaved grapes won’t make raisins, but they will make plasma, which is a form of matter that’s created when gas is ionised and lets electricity flow. In a video, Stephen Bosi, PhD, physics lecturer at the University of New England, shows nuking two pieces of a plain ol’ grape in a microwave can create enough plasma to melt a hole through a plastic container. Plasma might not be produced from other fruits, but you could still be left with a mess. Whole fruit traps steam under the flesh, meaning it could burst while it’s heating.</p> <p><strong>Potatoes</strong></p> <p>Thankfully, you’re still safe to nuke a raw spud for a quick and easy side dish. The danger comes when you try reheating cooked potatoes. Cooking potatoes in aluminium foil protects the bacteria C. botulinum from the heat, meaning it can still thrive if the potato stays at room temperature too long, and potentially cause botulism. Popping that contaminated tatie in the microwave won’t kill the bacteria, either, so play it safe by cooking them on a baking sheet instead of wrapped in foil and refrigerating leftover potatoes as soon as possible. Did you know Queen Elizabeth II refuses to eat potatoes, microwaved or otherwise? Find out what other foods the Queen will never eat here.</p> <p> </p> <p class="p1">This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/kitchen-tips/10-foods-you-shouldnt-reheat-microwave"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</p>

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Lyndey Milan’s simple chocolate fudge cake

<p>Time to prepare <em>65 mins</em> |Serves <em>8</em></p> <p>Ready to discover the best chocolate cake ever?</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>150g butter</li> <li>¾ cup (165 g) brown sugar an</li> <li>150g dark chocolate</li> <li>1/3 cup condensed milk</li> <li>½ cup sour cream</li> <li>2 eggs</li> <li>¾ cup (110g) self-raising flour</li> </ul> <p><strong>To serve</strong></p> <ul> <li>2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder</li> <li>2 x 125g punnets fresh raspberries</li> <li>Melted white chocolate for drizzling</li> <li>Thick cream (optional)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Place a 23cm (aprox) round silicone dish (<u><a href="https://gifts.com.au/brands/lyndey-milan">from the Lyndey Milan range</a></u>) on a baking tray. Or lightly grease a 23cm round cake tin and line base with baking paper.</p> <p>2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add sugar, chocolate and condensed milk. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly and the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.</p> <p>3. Whisk together sour cream and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add cooled chocolate mixture and flour and mix well. Pour into dish and bake for 45 - 55 minutes or until cooked. Stand in dish for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.</p> <p>4. To serve, place cake on serving plate, sieve cocoa over the top of the cake. Add the raspberries and drizzle with the melted white chocolate. Serve with thick cream if desired.</p> <p><em>Recipe provided by <a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/71095/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fsearch.ep%3Fauthor%3DLyndey%2520Milan">Lyndey Milan</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/lyndey-milans-simple-chocolate-fudge-cake.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Sweet and tangy lemon and blueberry cheesecake

<p>Time to prepare 1 hr 10 mins |Serves 10</p> <p><strong>Lemon and blueberry cheesecake</strong></p> <p>Bringing together sweet blueberries and tangy lemons, this simple cheesecake is light but luscious. It’s the perfect end to a lazy summer meal!</p> <p><strong>Ingredients </strong></p> <ul> <li>Melted butter, extra, to grease</li> <li>375g cream cheese, at room temperature, cubed (see Tips)</li> <li>3 eggs, at room temperature</li> <li>185g (3/4 cup) sour cream</li> <li>125ml (1/2 cup) thin (pouring) cream</li> <li>165g (3/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar</li> <li>1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest</li> <li>2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice</li> <li>200g fresh or frozen blueberries (see Tips)</li> <li>Icing (confectioners’) sugar, to dust</li> </ul> <p><strong>Biscuit base</strong></p> <ul> <li>100g plain sweet biscuits</li> <li>60g butter, melted</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Line the base of a 20cm spring-form cake tin with baking paper. Brush the side of the tin with a little melted butter to grease.</p> <p>2. To make the Biscuit base, process the biscuits in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the butter and process until well combined. Sprinkle the mixture over the base of the tin and use the back of a metal spoon or the base of a glass to press down to cover evenly. Put the tin on a baking tray and place in the fridge.</p> <p>3. Clean the food processor bowl and process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Add the sour cream, thin cream, sugar, lemon zest and juice and process until well combined and smooth, scraping down the side and base of the bowl when necessary. Pour into the tin over the base. Scatter the blueberries over the top.</p> <p>4. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until the cheesecake is just set but the centre trembles slightly when the tin is shaken gently. Turn off the oven, use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door ajar and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 hour (this helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking). Transfer the cheesecake, still in the tin, to the fridge and chill for at least 3 hours or until well chilled. Dust with icing sugar and serve.</p> <p><strong>Tips</strong></p> <p>Having the cream cheese at room temperature means it will easily become smooth and creamy in the food processor. If you use it straight from the fridge it will take longer and you’ll need to scrape the side and base of the food processor frequently so that no lumps are left after processing.</p> <p>If using frozen blueberries, use them straight from the freezer – do not thaw.</p> <p><strong>Variations</strong></p> <p><strong>Orange &amp; Raspberry Cheesecake</strong> – Replace the lemon zest and juice with orange zest and juice. Replace the blueberries with fresh or frozen raspberries.</p> <p><strong>Blueberry &amp; White Chocolate Cheesecake</strong> – Replace the lemon zest and juice with 1 1/2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence. Melt 180g good-quality white chocolate and cool to room temperature. Add to the bowl of the food processor just before transferring the mixture to the tin and process until just combined.</p> <p><strong>Individual Lemon &amp; Blueberry Cheesecakes</strong> – Line a 12-hole 80ml (1/3 cup) capacity muffin tin with paper cases. Divide the biscuit base, cream cheese mixture and blueberries evenly among the cases. Bake at 160°C for 30 minutes. Cool as per the recipe, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before removing the paper cases and serving.</p> <p>Recipes and images from Bake Class by Anneka Manning ($39.99, Murdoch Books).</p> <p><em>Republished with permission <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/lemon-and-blueberry-cheesecake.aspx">of Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Pear upside-down cake

<p>One thing I love about social media is its ability to bring people together who share similar passions. I met Jess of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/jess_mycleantreats/">@jess_mycleantreats</a> on Instagram and after scrolling through her feed of healthy desserts I was dying to try them for myself.</p> <p>Jess doesn't follow any particular diet, she just loves food and prefers to make healthier choices. She particularly loves desserts, so much so that she says "I may have spent the previous year heaping 3 teaspoons of Nutella into my mouth every night before I went to sleep (and also heaping on 3 kilos while I was at it)." So she decided to start experimenting with creating her own healthier treats using natural ingredients. She shares her creations on her blog, My Clean Treats, and says "if you pair these treats with a healthy lifestyle of fresh meals and regular exercise, I’d say you’re on the right track." Agree!</p> <p>I tried out Jess's Pear &amp; Date Upside-Down Cake and it was delicious. Her original recipe included chopped dates, which would be really tasty but I left them out to make a Pear Upside-Down Cake (because I can't eat a lot of dates). I also used brown rice flour instead of wholewheat or spelt to keep the cake gluten-free and it worked out nicely! The recipe for my adapted version is below and you can check out Jess's original recipe here. I loved the mixture of pear and cinnamon.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients </strong></p> <ul> <li>4 pears</li> <li>6 x 20ml tablespoons coconut oil, melted</li> <li>1/2 cup rice malt syrup</li> <li>3 large free-range eggs</li> <li>1 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract</li> <li>1 2/3 cup brown rice flour</li> <li>2 tsp (gluten-free) baking powder</li> <li>1 tsp cinnamon powder</li> <li>1 cup unsweetened almond milk</li> <li>Extra cinnamon powder for dusting</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. Peel and core the pears and cut them into halves. Poach the pear halves in simmering water for about 30-40 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool.</p> <p>2. While the pears are poaching, preheat your oven to 170°C (fan-forced) and line the base and sides of a 20cm circular cake tin with baking paper.*</p> <p>3. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil over the base of the tin, then arrange the pear halves cut-side down to cover the base.</p> <p>4. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, rice malt syrup and vanilla together until creamy. Add one egg at a time to the mixture, beating until well combined.</p> <p>5. Sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder over the liquid mixture, then gently fold everything together. Add the almond milk and beat lightly to combine.</p> <p>6. Pour the mixture over the pears, then bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour - 1 hour 20 minutes (mine took 1 hour). Allow to cool. To serve, flip onto a plate and dust over some extra cinnamon. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.</p> <p>Serves 8.</p> <p><strong>Tips</strong></p> <p>* I used a springform cake tin, which meant that the coconut oil dripped through the tiny gaps in the base while in the oven causing a bit of a mess. So I ended up wrapping the tin in two layers of foil to stop the dripping. I'd recommend doing this from the start or using a normal cake tin (without a removable base).</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/pear-upside-down-cake-ld.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Honey, whisky and saffron cheesecake

<p>An indulgent twist on a timeless classic, impress your guests tonight!</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong></p> <ul> <li>500g mascarpone</li> <li>A few saffron strands, steeped in 1 tablespoon boiling water for at least 1 hour</li> <li>160g caster sugar</li> <li>1 tablespoon leatherwood honey, warmed</li> <li>4 eggs</li> <li>50ml whisky</li> </ul> <p><strong>Sweet shortcrust pastry</strong></p> <ul> <li>190g plain flour</li> <li>90g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes</li> <li>1 tablespoon caster sugar</li> <li>1 egg yolk</li> <li>2 tablespoons cold water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. To make the pastry, rub the flour, butter and sugar between your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, you can use a food processor to do this. Add the egg yolk and water, and mix until the dough comes together to form a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to rest.<br /><br />2. Mix the mascarpone, saffron water, sugar, honey, eggs and whisky together in a large bowl. Set aside.<br /><br />3. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to about 4mm thick. Line a well-greased 23cm springform tin with baking paper and carefully place the pastry in the tin. Trim the edge of any excess pastry and return to the fridge to chill.</p> <p>4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the pastry base with baking paper and weights, and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and baking paper and bake the tart shell for a further 10 minutes.</p> <p>5. Pour the filling into the tart shell and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until set and golden on top. Allow to cool before serving.</p> <p>Serves 8.</p> <p><em>This is an edited extract from <a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fmilk-made-nick-haddow%2Fprod9781743791356.html">Milk. Made.</a> by Nick Haddow published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $55 and is available in stores nationally. Image © Alan Benson.</em></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/honey-whisky-and-saffron-cheesecake.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How I mastered baking a yeast bread from scratch after years of failure

<p>My introduction to baking started with the home-kitchen classic that cracks open the oven door for so many – chocolate chip cookies. It was the 1970s, and most of the mums in our largely Catholic neighbourhood were busy raising big families. For the girls in my house, that meant our mother made sure we knew our way around the kitchen. At the flour-dusted table, Mum taught eight-year-old me how to make the cookies perfectly chewy with a crispy exterior. (The big secret: Always chill your dough.)</p> <p>We crafted them by the dozen, measuring ingredients from yellow Tupperware containers and mixing everything in my mum’s aqua Butter­print Pyrex bowl, part of a set she’d received as a wedding gift in 1963. Friends who grew up in “fresh fruit is dessert” households could not get enough when they visited. And if they happened to come over when the cookie jar was empty, they were not shy about sharing their disappointment.</p> <p>So from a young age, I was crystal clear on the power of a baked-to-perfection cookie to make people happy. Baking cookies – then brownies, cakes and pies – became my hobby and a tasty form of social currency. First I used my skills with butter and sugar to impress a series of teenage boyfriends. In time, the fresh goodies were left on doorsteps to welcome new neighbours and set out in the break room for co-workers. Baking was my superpower.</p> <p>A few years ago, I became the content director for Taste of Home, Reader’s Digest’s sister magazine and website that celebrates the treasured recipes of home cooks. I’d never been more excited for a new job, but privately I worried that my baking chops wouldn’t measure up. Why? I had a secret as dark as an oven with a burned-out light bulb: While I had baked sweets my whole life, I’d never made a yeast bread from scratch.</p> <p>Mum couldn’t help me with this one. For her, store-bought frozen dough was her go-to when she needed “from scratch” bread. I understand why: Bread dough provides so many opportunities to fail. Cookies are forgiving. You can be a little off in your measurements, and, trust me, those cookies still disappear from the office break room. Not the case with yeast breads. Most recipes recommend weighing ingredients carefully, down to the gram.</p> <p>Then there’s the yeast. Yeast is fussy, the Goldilocks of ingredients. Mix it in water too cool and it won’t activate; too hot, and it dies. Yes, yeast is a living, one-celled member of the fungus family. Because it is alive, I could, of course, kill it – and unfortunately rather easily.</p> <p>And don’t forget that other potential failure point: the kneading. Too little kneading and the bread will be flat. But don’t overdo it! Knead it too much, and the loaf will be tough and chewy.</p> <p>Still, this was no time for excuses. I was a baker, now one with Taste of Home attached to my name. I may have been intimidated by bread, but it was time. I wanted in.</p> <p>Getting started, I found Instagram to be a friend. A basic no-knead bread was the one I was seeing online overlaid with dreamy filters. People described it as easy, and to be honest, the thought of removing even one intimidating variable – kneading – was enough to get me to buy two kilograms of bread flour and dive in.</p> <p>I gathered everything I’d need (“be prepared” is the first rule of any baking), including my mum’s trusty Pyrex. It had seen me through my first days as a baker, so I was counting on it to work its magic. I had an easy Taste of Home recipe all set on my iPad. I mixed the flour, salt, and yeast and made sure the water temperature was just right – 38 to 46 degrees – before pouring it in.</p> <p>And then it happened – or didn’t happen. I followed the instructions to the letter, but my dough didn’t rise. Somehow, impossibly, it looked smaller. Sludgy, gooey, wet with a few bubbles. Sad.</p> <p>The Pyrex bowl didn’t save me, so I had to figure out how to do it myself. Frantically googling “bread dough didn’t rise” yielded a likely answer – the room was too cold. But I found some solutions too. I put the disappointing dough in the oven with the light on, a trick that provides just a bit of gentle heat, to let it try again.</p> <p>Three hours later, after I’d resisted the urge to keep checking on it like a nervous mum with a newborn, a puffy dough filled the bowl. I hadn’t killed it; it was just … sleeping. A quick fold, a second rise, and then my bread went into my Dutch oven and off to bake.</p> <p>Thirty minutes later, I took it out. Sure, it was slightly misshapen, but in my eyes, it was golden-brown, crusty perfection, right down to the yeasty-sweet hit of steam coming from its top.</p> <p>Naturally, the first thing I did was grab my phone and hop on Instagram, positioning my beautiful bread just so in a shining stream of daylight on a wooden cutting board. No one needed to know it was my first yeast bread ever – or how close it came to getting scraped into the garbage can. The online reactions started almost immediately – heart emojis and comments like “This looks DELISH!” from my friends.</p> <p>They couldn’t taste it, but virtual sharing yields its own rewards.</p> <p>Finally I cut into that lovely brown crust and doled out slices to my husband and kids. Those slices led to seconds, then thirds, each piece slathered with softened butter and a little sprinkle of salt. I made my family perhaps happier with slices of warm, buttered homemade bread than I had with all the sweets combined. They were used to the cookies and brownies; this was something totally new and equally delicious. Soon enough, I was left with a butter-smeared knife, a few lonely crumbs on the cutting board, and, of course, my post on Instagram as the only evidence of its existence.</p> <p>At last, I was a bread baker – despite yeast’s best attempts to intimidate me on this first try. No more feeling inferior or afraid. Now I make bread and homemade pizza crust regularly. Yeast and I have such a good relationship that I’m done buying the little packs – I buy it in large enough quantities to fill its own Tupperware container. And I have enough confidence to start thinking (and stressing!) about my next difficult baking challenge: homemade croissants.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Tips from my trial and error</strong></p> <p>Read the whole recipe before you start.</p> <p>We’ve all gotten halfway through a recipe only to find we don’t have any buttermilk. Plus, a quick read can help you prepare for what’s ahead, particularly if there are any techniques with which you’re not familiar.</p> <p><strong>1. Use butter at the right temperature</strong></p> <p>Most cake and cookie recipes call for softened butter, which is the right consistency for creaming with sugar. Biscuit and pie pastry recipes call for ice-cold butter in order to create the flakiest layers. If your butter isn’t the correct temperature, your bakes won’t mix up the way they should.</p> <p><strong>2. Weigh all your ingredients</strong></p> <p>When it comes to baking, it’s always preferable to measure your ingredients by weight rather than volume. This ensures you get exactly the right proportions. It may not be critical for something simple like a pan of brownies, but it’s important with fussier baked items, such as macarons.</p> <p><strong>3. Chill cookie dough</strong></p> <p>We know how tempting it is to get your cookies in the oven the second you’re done mixing up your dough. However, chilling the dough can help develop flavours and prevent cookies from spreading too much. Do not skip this step!</p> <p><strong>4. Coat mix-ins with flour</strong></p> <p>When a recipe calls for add-ins (dried fruits, chocolate chips, and/or nuts), you’ll often see instructions to toss them in a bit of flour before adding to the batter. You might think that’s a waste – after all, there’s flour in the batter. But coating these heavy mix-ins helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pan. The extra step gives you even distribution and a prettier result.</p> <p><strong>5. Cool cakes completely before icing</strong></p> <p>Always let your cakes, cupcakes, and cookies cool completely before icing them. If they are too warm, the icing will slide right off the top of your cake or melt and soak in. Cooling racks speed up the process. If you don’t have one, take the cover off your ironing board and use the board as a cooling rack.</p> <p> </p> <p><em>Written by </em><em>Jeanne Sidner</em><em>. This article first appeared on<a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/how-i-mastered-baking-a-yeast-bread-from-scratch-after-years-of-failure"> </a></em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/how-i-mastered-baking-a-yeast-bread-from-scratch-after-years-of-failure"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/home-tips/how-i-mastered-baking-a-yeast-bread-from-scratch-after-years-of-failure">.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.com.au/subscribe"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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