Croí Recipes

Often the food you cook yourself tastes the best! Also, you have the advantage of knowing exactly what goes into your food when you prepare it yourself. Cooking healthy food at home doesn’t have to be boring.

Check out some of these Croí recommended recipes below for some great tips and ideas:

Fruit juice: Friend or Foe?

Like many of us, do you eagerly put cartons of juice in your shopping trolley in an effort to help your family achieve their Five-a-Day quota? Buyer beware – while fruit juice is tasty and refreshing, it is not a healthier alternative to whole fruit. So while we’re all keen to increase our daily fruit intake we should be careful not to load up on fruit juice.

The biggest problem with fruit juice is the high sugar content, lack of fibre and the quantity at which it is consumed. The main difference between whole fruit and fruit juice is the fibre content, when fruit is pressed or squeezed to make juice some nutrients and most notably fibre is lost. A small glass (100mls) of unsweetened fruit juice can provide one portion of your recommended Five-a-Day. However, if you drink more than a small glass it will still only account for one portion of your Five-a-Day!

The role of fibre

Fibre present in whole fruit has many health benefits, it promotes both heart and digestive health by helping to reduce blood cholesterol, control blood sugar levels and prevent constipation. It also keeps us feeling fuller for longer which has the added benefit for weight control. Whole fruit has moderate to high amounts of fibre, the fibre slows down the digestive process and provides a slow release of sugar in to the blood stream. Fruit juice has no fibre therefore the sugar is released in to the blood stream more rapidly and elevates blood sugar levels more quickly than whole fruit.

Be cautious of juice drinks

Many juice drinks available in supermarkets contain a small amount of real fruit juice and are often high in sugar. Therefore, it is easy to consume a large amount of calories with little nutritional benefit. Many people may consider fruit flavoured juice drinks to be a healthier alternative to fizzy soft drinks, however, a recent survey compared the sugar content of drinks regularly consumed by the public and showed that a 200ml serving of a popular juice drink contained as much sugar as the equivalent serving of well-known fizzy soft drinks. There is strong evidence to link the consumption of high sugar drinks with obesity.

Top Tips:

  1. For optimum nutrition choose whole fruit over fruit juice.
  2. If including fruit juice keep it to a small glass (100mls) of 100% fruit juice that contains no added sugar.
  3. Remember that a small glass (100mls) of fruit juice only contributes to one of your Five-a-day regardless of how much you consume.
  4. If you are giving fruit juices to children, dilute it one part juice to ten parts water.
  5. All fruit juices are acidic and can damage teeth so are best kept to meal times.
  6. Water is the best alternative to high sugar drinks, including fruit juice.

Understanding food labels is essential to making healthy food choices. Croí provide weekly supermarket tours teaching the skill of reading food labels in an easy interactive way. To book your place contact Croí on 091 544310.

Fish Recipes

It’s no coincidence that fish-eating Inuit populations in the Arctic have low levels of heart disease; seafood is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3, (which can both) protect the heart from disease and lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. One study has even suggested that an extra portion of fish every week can cut risk of heart disease in half.

Eating fish can improve your circulation and reduce the risk of thrombosis. The EPA and DHA – omega-3 oils – in seafood can save your body from having to produce eicosanoids, a hormone-like substance which can make you more likely to suffer from blood clots and inflammation.

Please see the PDF File Below for a list of delicious fish recipes including:

  • Sole & Salmon Roulade
  • Tuna or Salmon Pizza
  • Oaty Fish Crumble
  • Haddock Crumble
  • Fish Fillets with Sherry
  • Citrus Mackerel

Note: Each Recipe provides 2 glasses (2 portions)!

STRAWBERRY AND BANANA LUMPIE

Ingredients:

  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • ½ cup low fat milk
  • 4 tablespoons low fat yoghurt (e.g. Onken Natural Fat Free Yoghurt)
  • 1 tablespoon of rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon raisins or muesli (no added sugar!)

What to do:

  1. Add fruit, yoghurt and milk into blender and whizz until smooth.
  2. Add the oats, raisins or muesli to the blender.
  3. Whizz to the desired consistency

PINK GRAPEFRUIT, ORANGE & LIME

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 pink grapefruit
  • 1 lime

What to do:

  1. Peel oranges and put in blender.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit & lime into the blender.
  3. Whizz!

Notes: Ideal as snack! Do not replace breakfast cereal with smoothies.

MELON, KIWI & WHITE GRAPES

Ingredients:

  • ½ galia melon
  • 2 or 3 handfuls of seedless white grapes
  • 2 kiwi fruit

What to do:

  1. Remove the seeds of melon.
  2. Place the flesh of melon and the grapes into the blender.
  3. Cut the kiwi fruit in half and scoop out the flesh into blender.
  4. Whizz altogether!

AVOCADO, CHILLI & GINGER

Ingredients:

  • 1 large apple
  • 1 small, fresh chilli
  • A thumbnail of fresh ginger
  • 150 mls of low fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons of low fat yoghurt
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 5-6 ice cubes

What to do:

  1. Cut the apple into wedges and put into blender.
  2. De-seed and finely chop the chilli.
  3. Peel and finely grate the ginger and then put the ginger and chilli into the blender.
  4. Add the milk and yoghurt and whizz once, then spoon the avocado flesh into the blender.
  5. Squeeze the lime into the blender, whizz it once more and serve over ice!

PINEAPPLE, MANGO & LIME

Ingredients:

  • ½ a small pineapple
  • 1 small mango
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime

What to do:

  1. Remove the skin from the pineapple and slice the flesh into the blender.
  2. Peel the mango and slice the flesh into the blender with the pineapple.
  3. Squeeze the orange and the lime, add the juice to the blender and whizz!

Note: You could use 75ml of bottled, freshly squeezed orange juice instead of squeezing you own oranges!

APPLE, BANANA, PINEAPPLE & LEMON

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ pineapple

What to do:

  1. Cut the apple into wedges and put into blender and whizz!
  2. Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice into the blender, adding the banana too.
  3. Remove the skin from the pineapple and slice the flesh into the blender.
  4. Whizz until smooth! Serve over ice or add 4-5 ice cubes to the blender!

Suitable yoghurts:

Dr. Oetker Onken (Fat Free), Rachel’s Organic Luscious Low Fat, Yeo Valley Organic Fat Free, 0% Fat Yoplait, Danone Vitalinea, Irish Diet Yoghurts, Danone Activia Fat Free.

Healthy Baking Tips

By adjusting the ingredients you use in cooking and baking, you can incorporate treats into your healthy eating lifestyle.

Butter

  • Swap butter or hard margarines for sunflower or olive oil based margarines instead. For example; Golden olive, Flora or Low Low Gold are suitable for baking.

Milk

  • Instead of whole milk, use low fat milk

Flour

  • Use half wholemeal flour and half white flour in the recipe to increase fibre content
  • Add a handful of oat flakes to further increase fibre content

Sugar

  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe to half
  • Use sweeteners instead of sugar where possible, for example Splenda and Canderel
  • Add spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg or flavourings such as vanilla and almond extract to enhance the sweetness.

Cream

  • Go for custard with desserts instead of cream. To make custard use low fat milk and sweetener instead of sugar
  • Replace sour cream with low fat natural yoghurt
  • Light or extra light cream cheese works perfectly in cheesecake recipes

Chocolate

  • Substitute every ounce of cooking chocolate with 3 Tbsp cocoa powder

Nuts

  • Reduce the quantity of nuts by half and toast them. By toasting the nuts it helps develop the flavour, so fewer nuts required!

Baking Time

  • Reduced-fat baked goods tend to bake more quickly – so lower the oven temperature by 25° and/or check the product a few minutes before the end of the usual baking time

Success in lower-fat baking comes from trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Remember to limit portion size and frequency of treats!!

To help you get your child’s school year off to a healthy start we have put together some healthy lunchbox tips.

Filling the daily lunchbox can be a chore for many parents. Packed lunches, just like any other meal, need to be balanced to keep our kids happy & healthy! Here are some ideas to make filling a healthy lunchbox that little bit easier, tasty & fun – ideas that your kids will love!

Healthy lunchbox tips:

♥ Variety is the spice of life! Avoid the same sandwich five days in a row.
♥ Make the lunch appealing by adding in different colours and textures: baby sweet corn, sliced red pepper, cucumber and carrots.
♥ The lunchbox should include at least one portion of carbohydrate for energy. Choose from bread, wraps, pitta pockets, crackers, baps and a selection of rolls.
♥ Include at least one portion of vegetables or salad and one portion of fruit. Choose from a selection of fresh fruit, mini boxes of raisins, dried fruit such as mango, apricots and dates, unsweetened fruit juice or smoothies.
♥ Add a portion of dairy for their growing bones. Go for milk, cheese, yoghurts, fromage frais or a yoghurt drink.
♥ Add a source of protein for growth and muscle development. Choose from hummus, ham, beef, cold chicken or turkey, tinned fish, eggs or cheese.
♥ Fluids are important for children. Always include a drink in the lunch box to prevent dehydration. Go for water, fruit juice or milk as a healthy option. Stay away from the sugary and fizzy drinks!
♥ Make sweet stuff, such as chocolate, biscuits and cakes an occasional treat rather than an everyday lunch item (some schools prohibit chocolate snacks & biscuits as part of school lunches).
♥ Involve the kids! Fussy children are more likely to eat a lunch that they have helped make.
♥ Overall try not to give the same foods on consecutive days. Make the lunchbox interesting e.g. add different types of bread each day etc.

LUNCHBOX IDEAS

Lunchbox 1:

  • Stuffed pitta pocket (leftover meat, lettuce, tomato and a little light mayo)
  • Mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit
  • Low fat yoghurt
  • Vegetable soup in flask
  • Water

Lunchbox 2:

  • Wrap with tuna, sweetcorn and mixed peppers.
  • Carrots sticks/batons
  • A stone fruit (nectarine, peach, plum) or banana
  • Yoghurt drink
  • Little unsweetened juice


Lunchbox 3:

  • Salad roll (wholebread bap filled with cucumber, crunchy lettuce and tomato, smeared with hummus)
  • Handful of grapes
  • Slice of cheese
  • Fun size carton of milk