Updated: Aug 6, 2020
Cat Scotland is an organisation to support migrants in the community. They asked me to do a presentation and cookery demonstration for them last week. (Skip to bottom for recipes)
My presentation, as a nutritionist, was to help get the message out about balancing blood sugars. What do I mean by that? Our blood sugar level in our body vary depending on what we eat. The more easily a food substance is turned into sugar by our digestive system the more our blood sugar is elevated. If we regularly eat food that elevates the blood sugars too rapidly we may end up with many different types of conditions, such as obesity, diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease and hormonal imbalances which can lead to hormonal cancers, thyroid and adrenal issues and for women heightened menopausal symptoms.
So which foods cause us problems? Food, such as carbohydrates, that quickly turn into sugar are white bread, pasta, sugary products, for example, cakes, sweets, biscuits, etc. Even too much natural products such as potatoes and fruit can elevate the blood sugars. If we are having these things a couple of times per week we are unlikely to experience many problems, however if we eat then every day, long term we may be damaging our body’s ability to cope with this type of food.
My cookery demonstration for CAT Scotland included a gluten-free, wholemeal, buckwheat pancake recipe (see below). The wholemeal flour takes longer to digest than the white processed flours, thereby slowing down the digestion of the food and releasing sugars more slowly into the body. I served it with a full-fat organic yoghurt and some berries (frozen) with a drizzle of maple syrup for added sweetness. Berries are lower in fructose than most fruit and have powerful antioxidants which are essential for good immunity. This makes for a good breakfast or a healthy dessert.
I also did some dips (recipes below) to be served with vegetable sticks. Snacking should be kept to a minimum in order to help balance blood sugars, however, when snacking choose foods that will be digested slowly and will provide lots of good minerals and vitamins.
Buckwheat Pancakes Makes 12-15
- Mug of buckwheat flour (plain flour can be used instead) - Mug of milk (can use almond milk or soya milk) - 1 tsp of baking powder - 1 large egg - Butter or coconut oil
1. Put all the ingredients except the oil in a large bowl. 2. Mix until you have a nice batter. 3. Add a little butter/oil to a frying pan under a medium heat. 4. Once hot but not too hot add 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan. I usually get about 3 pancakes at a time in the pan. 5. The pancakes will bubble and once they are dry around the edges they should be flipped over. 6. Once cooked place on a warm plate in a slightly heated oven. 7. Repeat from step 4 until all the batter is used up. 8. Serve with a topping of your choice, such as organic yoghurt and berries.
Snack Size Portions
Greek Dip - 3 tablespoons of yoghurt - Chunk of cucumber - 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1. Add yoghurt to tub. 2. Chop up cucumber and add to tub 3. Chop up mint and add to tub. Mix together well. 4. Serve with vegetable sticks or wholemeal pitta bread.
Garlic and Herb Dip
- 2 tablespoons of cream cheese - 1 tablespoon of yoghurt - ½ clove of garlic - 1 tablespoon of chopped chives or a spring onion - 1 teaspoon of lemon juice - Pepper (optional)
1. Add cream cheese and yoghurt to tub. 2. Grate or crush garlic, chop chives and add to tub. 3. Add lemon juice and pepper if using and mix it all up. 4. Serve with vegetable sticks or wholemeal pitta bread.
- ½ avocado - 1 tablespoon coriander - 2 cherry tomatoes - 1 teaspoon of lime juice - 1 teaspoon of olive oil - Salt and pepper to taste
1. Scoop avocado from skin. 2. Mash or chop the avocado and add to tub. 3. Chop coriander and tomatoes and add to tub 4. Add lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to tub and mix well. 5. Serve with vegetable sticks or wholemeal pitta bread.
Marie Jarvis, Nutritional Therapist, BANT