Friday, 2 December 2016

Lower fat and carbohydrate christmas pudding

Christmas pudding --lower fat and lower calorie

Karderio Christmas Pudding Clip Art
    I devised this a while ago but am often asked for it so here it is again--enjoy

Christmas pudding --lower fat and lower calorie I developed this recipe a while ago and it is very popular. It can be made at the last minute or rather the day before Christmas and is both easy and economical not to mention tasty.

Having looked at most luxury style Christmas puddings as well as recipes for homemade ones using traditional ingredients like suet in them I found that most provided around 600 kcals and 80g carbohydrate per portion. So I was given the challenge of developing a lower calorie and carbohydrate pudding. 
This is what I made and it makes 8 small portions and each portion provides 204kcal 43g carbohydrate, 1.4 g fat, 0.3g saturated fat and 0.3g salt.

It was quick to make and also cheap. It will not keep so make it only the day before or freeze.

200g dried mixed fruit

100ml water

10 ml red wine

1 tbsp oat bran

I tbsp black treacle

200g self raising flour

1 tsp mixed spices

1 420g can of prunes drained

1 egg

Mix the wine and water together (I just washed out a wine bottle)

Pour the dried fruit into a dish

Pour on the wine and water mixture

Leave overnight in the fridge.

This soaking step is important as it plumps up the fruit.

To this mix add the oat bran and return the dish to the fridge

Take the stones out of the prunes and puree—if you have not got a liquidiser a potato masher works well

Add to the mix, then add the treacle and mix through.

Sift together the flour and spices and add to the mix

Finally beat in the egg

If the mix seems a bit dry add a little skimmed milk

Pour into a one and a half pint basin and smooth down

Alternatively pour into 8 small basins

Put in the microwave and cook for 7 minutes on high

Take out of the microwave and let stand for 5 minutes

Cook again for 7 minutes on high and again let stand

Test the inside is cooked with a knife or skewer –if not cooked –then cook again for 5 minutes and allow to stand then check it

 The smaller puddings will cook more quickly and so will a pudding in a shallower basin

 The pudding will not keep for long so freeze it or cook a day or so before required.

 If you do not want to cook in a microwave it can be baked for an hour in a medium oven in a covered basin stood in a bowl of water.

 Serve with custard or ice cream or as it is very low in fat a little brandy butter or my current delight a really nice plain Greek style yogurt


Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Glass with water isolated n white, 32608, download royalty-free vector vector image

An update from Nutrition and Hydration Week

Dear Nutrition and Hydration Week Supporter
“A Global Challenge” is the strapline for the week. No matter which angle you look at it from providing food and drink in sufficient quantities to maintain quality of life is fundamental to all of us involved in health and social care regardless of where in the world we are.
Search out your colleagues in likeminded professional associations, sectors of industry, establishments or services similar to yourself and you will find it’s a small world as everyone is facing the same challenge - how do we ensure everyone receives good nutrition and hydration when they are in our care?
The mission and aims of Nutrition and Hydration Week continue to strike a chord with many involved with good nutritional care around the world.
The mission “To create a global movement that will reinforce and focus, energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as an important part of quality care, experience and safety improvement in health and social care settings.” The mission is gaining strength though your continued participation in the week activities and beyond.
A reminder of the keys aims of the week:
Highlighting Good Nutrition and Hydration Practices
Protected Mealtimes
Mealtime Matters
Nutrition Advocates/Champions for each health or social care setting
The minimum standards for good nutrition in the respective settings
Continued Education for professionals on good nutrition and hydration
To further embed The 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care (in the UK)
Judging by the feedback many of you are working towards these aims and encompassing the mission of the week as we have seen plenty of evidence of energy, focus and engagement. The week is providing a legacy of good nutritional care and we continue to be amazed by your endeavours in promoting good nutritional care wherever you are.

We Need Your Updates
Whilst we’ve been out and about recently meeting some of you and seeing the great work you are delivering, you’ve been telling us about your initial plans for 2017’s week. It’s great to know you are planning and have set up working groups but don’t forget to drop us a line to tell us more about your plans, its promote the week and your work. A few lines will do just some we can use to say “Hey did you know xxxx have plans and this is an outline of what they are ....”
You may have seen ... (our idea?)
The results of an awards dinner conversation.............. It was thrown into the ring what is the largest scone ever made and could we beat it during the week?
The answer .............. is just short of 120Kg and 3 ft 10 inches wide and it was made in New Zealand six years ago. As a result of the comment and the support around the table plus from other caterers on the evening, the challenge is being investigated further. The social media tweets also drew a call from the other side of the world to Andy one of week’s leads saying the record couldn’t be beaten, a bit like red rag to a bull that call!
As they say investigations in to the logistics behind it are taking place before a a further formal announcement as to whether the challenge will be taken up.
We have heard ....
Our Canadian colleagues are planning a webinar about the week in February next year. Thank you for your continued support of the week and we are looking forward to your further plans too.
Contact for Newsletter items, photos, plans, ideas, any comments send them to:

Thanks as ever for all of your support

The Nutrition and Hydration Week Team
Andy Jones, Derek Johnson and Caroline Lecko


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

STARTING AGAIN --world diabetes day yesterday

I have not been blogging recently due to a broken ankle and trying to keep up with work which seems to take 10 times as long as I am still very slow with things.

Yesterday was world diabetes day  -- so I have taken this from the website  above --lots of really useful information

Welcome to the Global Diabetes Community

The World Health Organization estimate that over 382 million people worldwideincluding 4.05 million people in the UK have diabetes, a metabolic disorder affecting blood sugar levels. is your resource for information ontype 1 and type 2 diabetesdiabetes symptoms and diabetes treatments. is a community of people with diabetes, family members, friends, supporters and carers, offering their own support and first hand knowledge.
If you're new to the site, start with diabetes help & supportGot a question? Ask 220,419 people in the Diabetes Forum

Monday, 29 August 2016

cooking burgers

I teach food safety and fell this advise from the FSA is helpful
Rare burger banner v3

Burgers aren’t like steaks

Unlike steaks, rare burgers prepared at home can cause serious food poisoning. Steaks can be served pink as they’re only ever contaminated by bacteria on the outside. In burgers bacteria from the outside of the raw meat are spread all the way through when it’s minced and are not killed if burgers are not cooked all the way through.

So cook your burgers thoroughly this BBQ weekend and help us spread the word to keep your loved ones safe.
Rare burger banner v3

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


I have just put my hens away after their morning forage and came across this which may be of interest. Must admit I hate runny eggs but for those of you who do not.

Eggs On White Background Stock Photo

Review of advice to consumers (including vulnerable groups) on eating raw or lightly cooked shell eggs and their products in the UK

Last updated: 
25 July 2016
An expert group, set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF), to look at egg safety, found there has been a reduction in the risk from salmonella in UK shell eggs since its last report on this issue 15 years ago.
The Group concluded that the risk level for UK hen shell eggs produced under the Lion code, or produced under demonstrably-equivalent comprehensive schemes, should be considered as very low, whilst for other hen shell eggs, including non-UK eggs consumed in the UK, the risk level should be considered low. The report recommends that Lion code eggs (or eggs produced under equivalent schemes) can be served raw or lightly cooked to those in vulnerable groups, including pregnant women, the young and the elderly (but is not intended to include severely immunocompromised individuals).
Following finalisation of the ACMSF report in June 2016, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have reviewed their consumer advice taking into account the independent committee's conclusions and recommendations. It is proposed that the FSA and FSS will continue to advise that all raw, soft-boiled hen eggs or foods containing lightly cooked hen eggs are unlikely to lead to illness in people who are in good health (who are not in a vulnerable group). 
In addition, we will no longer advise against the consumption of raw and lightly cooked eggs by vulnerable groups provided that they are produced under the Lion code quality assurance scheme. This advice does not include severely immunocompromised individuals.
The existing advice on non-hen shell eggs (e.g. duck and quail eggs), which should not be consumed raw or lightly cooked, will not change. 
The ACMSF report also considered it necessary to highlight more clearly potential concerns relating to the non-domestic environment. To this end, the FSA and FSS will soon issue advice for catering establishments on egg handling and hygiene practices.
The ACMSF report provides the expert scientific opinion which has informed the proposed changes to our consumer advice.
We would be grateful for your views on the proposal for our revised consumer advice.
In parallel with this consultation, the FSA and FSS are considering the mechanism for UK egg producers which are not currently part of the Lion code Scheme to demonstrate an equivalent level of food safety control. We are therefore also seeking views on this matter from egg producers and assurance bodies as part of this consultation.
Please send your comments to

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


I belong to the British Dietetic Association Group which looks at supporting nutrition and older people so thought this may be of interest.

The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 1 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.

Why do we need an International Day of Older Persons?   By 2020, half of our UK population will be aged 50 or over.  People have a better quality of living, which means longer lives!
International Day of Older Persons
Well, as the population changes, the country will too.  We need to improve attitudes towards older people and appreciate the roles they play in society more.  They can be forgotten about and sometimes treated like lesser members of society.  That's definitely not how I want to be treated when I'm older, so let's take care of the elderly in the present and carry it on to the future!
So, would you like to help?  You could plan an event around this year's theme.  Arrange fun days, tea dances, fitness activites, or my personal favourite, events that focus on bringing generations together.
I found one story particularly heart-warming.  Sixth formers from a Community Technology College each brought a modern item of technology and spent time showing the elderly people how to use them. To return the favour, the senior citizens brought along gramophones, old typewriters and other interesting items the kids would never have had the chance to use.
For more information visit the International Day of Older Persons website.  Plan your event and then keep checking back on the official website to find about other events happening near you!

Older People's Day

Saturday, 01 October 2016
People are living longer, let's celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and tackle negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes.

witter: #OlderPeoplesDay #FullofLife
Get involved with UK Older People’s Day and help celebrate the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and tackle negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes.
This annual event coincides with the UN International Day of Older Persons.
Events will be taking place across the country
Celebrations and activities will be held on, or around, 1 October also promote healthy life styles, give opportunities to combat loneliness, encourage volunteering and sharing skills with different generations. After all nearly everyone is an Older Person to someone!
Joining in UK Older People’s Day is a great way of building new relationships between people of all ages and will create a real buzz in your local community. Visit the website to register or find an event.
Watch this space or sign up to our social media channels to keep up to date on how Royal Voluntary Service will get involved.

Friday, 29 July 2016


Issue 1- July 2016

Through this newsletter we aim to keep you updated on new research relevant to dried fruit, in particular prunes (dried plums), plus nutrition news, recipes and anything else we as fellow dietitians and nutritionists find interesting, so want to share with you!
Not another newsletter? Don’t worry- we’re keeping it to brief headlines only, so if you have any questions or would like more information, or copies of the references, just get in touch.
Who are CPB? The California Prune Board, under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture represents the entire 900 prune plums growers and 29 prune packers of California, which is the largest producer of prunes in the world and known to be the best quality due to the regions’ rigorous harvesting techniques and quality control assessments. The premium produce is supplied to 72 countries worldwide and the region contributes 43% of the world’s prune supplies and 99% of the United States’ prune supplies.

Dried fruit & dental health- dilemma, controversy or compromise?

Dried fruit such as prunes make excellent convenience fruit snacks- being portable and long life. BUT ask a dentist and advice can be confusing. As good as the new EATWELL Guide is, we have to ask why dried fruit is still limited to one portion of 5-a-day? Because it’s always been that way? On what scientific grounds? A between meal sweet addict might be more inclined to switch to snacking on prunes than fresh apples or pears, as a first step towards a healthier diet. Would this be a problem? What’s your view - we’d love to hear from you.
The California Prune Board have taken this matter seriously and commissioned Dr Michele Sadler to review the research literature. Michele presented her preliminary findings at a HCP seminar in 2015 and her paper has now been published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.¹ Oral health is a complex issue and this literature review shows a lack of consistent data such that more research is needed to ensure evidence-based practice. Prunes can provide some potential benefits including:
  • Chewing to encourage salivary flow
  • Anti-microbial properties due to polyphenol content
  • Cleansing action from fibre
  • Low fermentability as high in sorbitol and low in sucrose
Beware free sugars added to dried fruits - here’s how they are classified²:

Traditional/conventional: no added sugar, e.g. dates, figs, prunes, raisins, apricots, peaches, apples and pearsSweetened: infused with sugar solutions (such as sucrose syrup) or fruit juice concentrates prior to drying e.g. blueberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, and mangoes
Candied fruits: sold as, but technically not dried fruits! e.g. papayas and pineapples

Ground Control To Major Tim, Eat Some California Prunes!

Prunes have been investigated for use in space due to their promising potential as an aid to preserving bone mass. Research on prunes and bone health is an exciting area of current interest and not just for us on Earth! See our press release for more details.
Natural, nutritious and versatile

A brilliantly easy fibre boost to any breakfast - adding 3.5g fibre per portion to our prune porridge recipe below.
CALIFORNIA PRUNE PORRIDGEServes 4 Prep time: 10 minutes
Ingredients200g (20 prunes) California prunes
180g porridge oats
600ml milk
Mixture of toppings: Flax, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, nuts, chai seeds, fresh berries, goji berries, chopped fresh fruit in season
MethodPlace the porridge and milk in a large saucepan and place over a low heat. Add the whole or chopped California prunes and cook for approximately 10 minutes, adding more milk if needed. Alternatively cook in the microwave.
Once cooked, divide the porridge into bowls and top with toppings of choice.
For more California prune recipes visit: