Archive for October, 2011

Pumpkin cake

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Preparation: 10 mins | Cook: 1 hour


  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 255g pureed pumpkin
  • 200g dark brown soft sugar
  • 110ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg and butter until well blended. Pour into a 9×5 inch loaf tin and smooth the top.
  4. Bake for 1 hour in preheated oven, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.


College students – healthy eating tips

Monday, October 10th, 2011

When you go to college or university it may be the first time you’ve lived away from home and been fully independent. To have enough energy to study and enjoy student life to the full you need to eat regularly and healthily!

What does a healthy balanced diet really mean?

  • Eat regularly and base your meals on starchy foods
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat a wide variety of foods
  • Try to eat less salt
  • Cut down on saturated fats and sugars
  • Get active and try to be a healthy weight
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t skip breakfast

Get organised

  • With some planning you can eat cheap and healthy meals on a tight budget
  • Make a shopping list before you go and shop
  • Watch your waste – when you buy foods that go off quickly, plan your meals carefully so it gets eaten or frozen straight away
  • Vary your meals otherwise you will get bored of eating and cooking the same things over and over again

What could you have in your food cupboard?

You need to stock your cupboard and fridge with easy to cook ingredients. Suggestions of meals include:

  • Soups – easy to make and nutritious especially if you add a lot of vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned).
  • Pasta – it’s quick and easy to cook and prepare. Keep pasta sauces in your cupboards and add your own flavours, vegetables etc. to it
  • Rice – mix cooked rice with leftover vegetables and meat
  • Bread is a good source of carbohydrate. Choose wholemeal bread rather than white as it is more nutritious and filling.
  • Potatoes – Baking potatoes are great value and versatile.
  • Porridge oats – cheap and it’s a really filling meal to start the day with. You could add some fresh or dried fruit for variety.
  • Beans and lentils – cheap to buy and a small amount goes a long way! Canned varieties can make a quick and nutritious addition to soups and stews. Lentils and beans can be used as a main meal with vegetables added. Baked beans on toast is a classic and is actually a very healthy dish, especially if you use wholemeal bread, and low fat spread.
  • Vegetables and fruit – can add vegetables to curries, soups, stir fries. Canned and frozen vegetables can be used as additions to last minute meals. Fruit is excellent for a quick nutritious snack. We should be eating at least 5 pieces of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • Condiments – add taste and flavour to your cooking. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, vinegars, tomato sauce, soy sauce and stock cubes in your cupboard.
  • Tinned tomatoes – these can form the base of all sorts of sauces, are low in fat and count as a portion of your fruit and vegetables.
  • Chicken – chicken seems to be of better value if you buy in larger quantities. If you’ve got a freezer you could chop it up and freeze it in small amounts.
  • Eggs – are easy to cook and versatile.
  • Canned fish – Mackerel, sardines and pilchards are good sources of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Milk – full of calcium and vitamins and is healthy drink at any time of the day. Choose semi-skimmed or skimmed milk for a lower fat option.