Avocado, Benefits and Instant Recipes

Avocado

Avocado is a fruit rich in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids MUFA “Oleic acid” the good fats that help decrease LDL (the bad cholesterol) and maintain HDL (the good cholesterol).

Despite it’s a fruit, it’s always categorized within the fats group due to the high content of the monounsaturated fats. It’s also a rich source of:
– Antioxidants (protect against arthritis, cancer, heart disease, cataracts, aging etc.)
– Vitamins E
– Vitamin C
– beta-carotene
– Potassium
– Protein
– Dietary Fiber

The misconception of “Avocado” is bad and fattening is not actually correct, Avocado as seen above is a rich nutritious food item with several nutritious health benefits, yet always remember, everything in moderation (Check out the references for more details regarding Avocado and weight loss).

Food Ideas
We will be demonstrating a couple of simple, fast and easy salty and sugary recipes that are made from an Avocado Base accompanied with Labneh.

The Salty Ingredients

The Sugary Ingredients

Base
Avocado + Labneh

Salty Avocado Dip or Spread
Base + Green Onions + Sesame Seeds

Garnish
Green Onions + Sesame Seeds

A great Dip with some raw fresh vegetables, tortilla chips and a great Spread for Sandwiches

Sugary Avocado Dip or Spread
Base + Honey + Walnuts

Garnish
Walnuts

A great Spread for a lovely mini pass-around healthy dessert

For all vegetarians, lactose intolerant, non-dairy consuming individuals; instead of Labneh you can use our famous “Hommos” base (boiled mashed smooth hommos, without any added ingredient).

Sa7tein :):)

Photo Courtesy: Strawberry Blu

Related References

http://www.livestrong.com/article/310714-is-avocado-good-for-your-health/
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262
http://www.avocadosource.com/CAS_Yearbooks/CAS_76_1992/CAS_1992_123.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-edge-newspaper-2009/jun-05b.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avocado

The Manoushe…

The Manoushe is a traditional Lebanese pie; initially know as the Thym Pie.

It’s a traditional street on-the-go food found everywhere and on all streets of Lebanon. It’s usually eaten on breakfast.

The Manoushe has evolved over the years. It’s now made with different ingredients and flavours. Flavours include: Lebanese Thym, Cheese, Kishik, Spinach, Lahm b Ajeen (Meat), Eggs, Awarma, kafta etc.

Those flavours evolved to include a mix of cheese & thym, cheese & tomato sauce, thym & labneh, thyme & hot pepper paste, shanklish, Bulgarian cheese, Feta Cheese, kishik with awarma, Kishik with walnuts, purslane, eggs with awarma, awarma with labneh, kafta & Cheese, kafta & Hommos, soujouk, soujouk with eggs etc…

All those combinations developed with the development of consumer preferences; some people prefer it plain, others with extra spices, extra lemon, cocktail etc…

It has been also transformed into a dessert pie, with chocolate, halawe, sesame and butter, honey and their combinations with fruits such as bananas or dried fruits and nuts…

Caution:

If we consider a regular thym manoushe of around 150g (the dough); that means the dough alone is around 5 exchanges of carbohydrates, which is equivalent to 2.5 loafs of medium sized Lebanese bread. Thus, if you eat a manoushe you’ll be consuming most or all your carbohydrates (of course depending on each individual daily intake requirements) in a single meal, not taking into consideration the stuffing yet.

That being said, if you have the choice to chose between two manoushes of the SAME size (diameter) and the same type; yet one is of a thinner version (made of less dough) go for the thinner one…

A Lebanese Queen Honeycomb…


I was given a Queen Honeycomb filled with golden honey, as a gift, gathered from the mountains, in North Lebanon.

Honey, is one of the oldest sweeteners used in villages. Back then it was gathered from rocks, tree trunks, old jars where the bees used to form their honey. Later on most Lebanese villages start to develop beehives, thus most rural households kept bees. Then after beekeeping evolved to become one of the most luxurious hobbies, as an inherited experience of our grand old families.

Bees make honey by harvesting the nectar of plants and flowers; Lebanon is very well known of its enormous variation of flowers and plants, thus Lebanese bees tend to form several kinds of honey with different colors, smells and tastes.

For example, dark honey from oaks, amber spicy honey from thyme, amber wooden taste honey from cedars, light amber citrus honey from orange blossom flowers and so on… Each type of honey is made in different times of the year depending on the season in which the flowers and plants grow.

In many Lebanese villages, honey is said to be “sacred”, where it’s mentioned in the Bible and in the Qur’an. Traditionally, it was used for medical purposes, specifically throat problems and coughing, cosmetic purposes for the skin and as a natural sweetener instead of sugar.

In the Lebanese cuisine it’s used in hot beverages such as coffee and tea, in cooking, salad dressing etc.

A Traditional Misconception:

A traditional misconception about honey; most villagers used to think that honey, because it’s a natural sweetener fits for diabetes. Yet, in fact, honey has more or less the same chemical structure as table white sugar or brown sugar, with the same amount of calories too. Thus, it should not be consumed by diabetic patients, unless it’s incorporated correctly within the diet plan.

Caution:

Honey Bees harvest the nectar from plants and flowers thus, it can carry on with it bacteria named Clostridium botulinum, that should not be consumed by children below the age of 2 years, because at this age the digestive system is not completely developed to digest and kill such a bacteria leading to a severe infection (the infection in this case is called: Botulism).

Spring, Pork, Barbecue, Friends and Trichinella…

A couple of weeks ago I had a small gathering with some friends. It was a calm spring night embraced with a characteristic ambiance for a Pork Barbecue with Mashed Potatoes and Spicy Pineapple Honey Sauce…

The Charcoal is on…

The Pork meat is marinated in white Wine, Vinegar, Ginger and a variety of Spices

The Sauce, final stages, made from the finest bee’s Honey and the freshest Pineapple juice

The Mashed Potato with chopped mixed Vegetables and a mix of colored Bell Pepper

Wooowww the smell is just deliciousssssssss

Don’t they look gorgeous?

And here it comes… the perfect pork dish with all its accessories

Didn’t we forget anything?? Mmmmm Where’s the wine??

The night was cool, great people, great food, and here comes an interesting question:

Strawberry Blu why do they say that Pork Meat is scary and needs to be very well cooked?

Well, the only reason most people get scared when it comes to pork is due to the presence of a roundworm named “Trichinella spiralis” that cause an infectious disease.

This worm usually lives in undercooked or raw pork meat, so if the pork is eaten raw or undercooked and by any chance contains this roundworm then this worm will attack the intestine causing nausea, heartburn and diarrhea.

Then after, the worm travels from the intestine to invade other body systems mainly the muscles (heart, lungs, brain etc…) and fever will arouse. If the situation gets more sever, the lungs’ muscles will be infected causing them to stop pumping thus death might be the end result.

In conclusion, always make sure to have your pork meat very well cooked…

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