Recipe: Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup & Feta - Jen Miller

As featured in Forbes, Fast Company, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Greatist, Life Hacker and Dr Axe, Jen Miller of JenReviews.com has the authority on all things Food, Fitness and Home. Here she shares with us one of her favourite appetizer recipes for family gatherings, Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup & Feta.

Growing up sweet potatoes were relegated to the Thanksgiving table, and often confused with the yam. Since then I’ve found a fondness for sweet potato as long as it was exclusively used in savory applications, no honey or brown sugar, please! That is until I found a way to pair them with spices that only plays with the idea of sweetness.

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Playing with food is fun, and one of the greatest of ways is to turn that food into a crispy fritter. The flavors used marry together while the hot oil infuses them into the chosen main ingredient; grated sweet potato in this case.  Most would go with herbs or just a simple salt and pepper seasoning, but because I wanted that idea of sweet without the sugar I used cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet warm flavors, and coriander seed and cumin for fresh earthiness. The combination of which becomes something that creates a craving for one more bite and a pomegranate fruit seemed like an ideal pairing to these tastes. Turned to a thick sweet syrup, the pomegranate turns this nearly into a dessert, begging to have a sweet whipped cream or honeyed yogurt to go with it. A crumble of salty feta, on the other hand, brings the dish back to an appetizer or luxurious snack.  But really, it could easily go the other way if one was so inclined! These sweet potato fritters are so versatile it’s hard to choose how to present them most deliciously!

Sweet Potato Fritters with Pomegranate Syrup and Feta

Course Appetizer

Cuisine American

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 40 minutes

Total Time 50 minutes

Servings 4

Ingredients

Fritters

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes

  • ½ onion

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 2 eggs

  • Light oil

  • Crumbled feta cheese

Syrup

  1. 1 pomegranate

  2. 2 tablespoons sugar

  3. 1 cinnamon back

  4. 1 cup water

  5. 1 tablespoon cornstarch

    Notes: These fritters can be made ahead of time and frozen for a couple of months. Follow all of the steps up until serving, and instead freeze them. Pop them back into hot oil to fry after thawing when ready to use.

STEP ONE – PREPARE THE FRITTER INGREDIENTS

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Run cold water over the sweet potato to clean off any dirt or debris before peeling all of the outside skin and rinse again.  Remove the peels from the onion and garlic cloves and cut off the root ends. Slice the onion thinly and then chop the slices into ½ -1 inch long pieces. Mince the garlic cloves and set them aside.

STEP TWO – GRATE THE SWEET POTATOES

Grate the sweet potatoes on the large hole of a grater.

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STEP THREE – MIX THE FRITTERS

Place the sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, and flour into a bowl along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander seed, cumin, and salt. Crack the eggs into the bowl. Stir it together until it comes to a thick mixture and everything is evenly distributed throughout.

STEP FOUR – HEAT THE OIL

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Pour light cooking oil into a deep pan to about 1 to 1 ½ inches deep. Place the pan on a burner over medium-high heat and wait for the oil to reach about 350F, checking with a cooking thermometer. Alternatively, use a deep fryer, which has a temperature gage built in. If a thermometer isn’t available, drop a ½ inch cube of bread into the oil and if it turns golden brown in 30 seconds, it is hot enough.

STEP FIVE – FRY THE FRITTERS

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Scoop up a spoonful of the sweet potato mixture and transfer it back and forth between two spoons to form a loose, but sticky, ball. Drop the sweet potato ball into the hot oil and let it cook through; about 3 minutes on one side, turn and 2-3 on the other.

STEP SIX – DRAIN FRITTERS AND SEASON WITH SALT

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Transfer the finished fritter to a plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the rest of the fritters, cooking them in batches of 4-5 at a time. When the fritters are all cooked, sprinkle them with coarse salt and allow them to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

STEP SEVEN – REMOVE SEEDS FROM FRUIT

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Cut the pomegranate in half with a chef’s knife. Remove the seeds from one half of the pomegranate and put them in a bowl as you work. Transfer the seeds to a small saucepan and add in the sugar, cinnamon stick, and water.

STEP EIGHT – COOK THE POMEGRANATE SYRUP

Put the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring it just to a boil. Turn the temperature down to medium-low and let it simmer about 10-15 minutes. It’s ready when the liquid has reduced by about half and the juices from the seeds have seeped out into the pan. Turn off the heat.

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STEP NINE – STRAIN THE SYRUP

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Pull the cinnamon stick out of the pan and discard it. Stir the cornstarch into the mixture and let it thicken. Strain the syrup through a mesh sieve and toss out the seeds.

STEP TEN – DRIZZLE FRITTERS WITH SYRUP AND FETA

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Serve the sweet potato fritters with the pomegranate syrup drizzled over them, a crumble of feta, and additional pomegranate seeds from the other half of the pomegranate on top. As I mentioned above, these fritters can easily be turned into dessert if the feta is left out and either a creamy honey goat cheese is substituted or whipped cream!

For more information about Jennifer Miller please visit www.jenreviews.com

Recipe: Charred courgette & salmon with herb sauce

As the spring approaches we’re looking to ditch the stews and pies in favour of lighter, healthier dishes. Lets be honest the thought of bearing our carb loaded winter bodies right now is quite a scary prospect and so we’ve enlisted the help (basically begged!) of FYOUFODMAP’s Nikki Griffith who’s shared some of her bloat beating recipes.

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Charred Courgette & Salmon with her sauce.

Courgettes can be a bit bland, so the cooking of them is mega important here. Don’t get impatient, you need to wait for the char. It’ll add depth and smokiness and will give you the perfect backdrop for the more punchy salmon.

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Guidance from Monash University says that up to 100g of courgette is low in FODMAPs. Anything higher and you’ll come up against high amounts of fructans. That means you can pretty much eat one courgette per person (by the time you’ve lost the end bits and a few scraps). The restrictions on size definitely put this into the ‘light’ dinner category so if you’re hungry, maybe add a potato salad on the side.

  • 400g courgettes

  • 4 large, skinless and boneless salmon fillets

  • 1 red chilli, sliced

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For the dressing:

  • 20g basil (including stalks)

  • 8g parsley leaves

  • 10g spring onion greens

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • 75ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 15ml garlic-infused olive oil

  • Half a teaspoon of salt

Serves 4 for a light lunch or dinner

  1. Slice your courgettes lengthways (I use a mandolin for this on the second-to-thinnest setting). Heat some oil in a large griddle pan and cook your courgettes in a single layer until you see visible dark char lines, then flip them and repeat on the other side. You’ll need to do this in several batches but I promise, the time investment is worth it. If you put them all in at once then you run the risk of a mushy mess and none of the char flavour. Once all your courgettes are done, pop them in your oven to keep warm on the lowest heat setting.

  2. In a frying pan, heat some oil and then add your salmon fillets (the oil should hiss as you add them if hot enough). Cook them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending on how you like them to be done. I like mine still a bit blush in the middle so I do 3 minutes each side.

  3. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor*.

  4. Once your salmon is ready, remove it from the pan and flake it into large chunks. Then carefully combine everything in a large bowl, making sure not to break the salmon up too much, and serve with some sliced red chilli on top.

*If you don’t have a food processor, try finely (and I mean finely) chopping your herbs, mixing all the sauce ingredients together and pressing with a pestle. It won’t be quite the same but it’ll still be fresh and zingy. 

As mentioned, if you’re following a low FODMAP diet then you’ll need to stick to these amounts. If you’re not, you can add extra courgette for a more substantial serving.

WHAT IS THE LOW FODMAP DIET?

It’s a diet that’s been specially developed by the clever researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, to help relieve people suffering with IBS, which affects 1 in 7 people, from the associated symptoms.

The word FODMAP is an acronym, standing for:

  • Fermentable (basically that refers to foods that are broken down by gut bacteria and then produce gases in your belly)

  • Oligosaccharides (in particular: wheat, onions and garlic)

  • Disaccharides (that’s lactose to you and I)

  • Monosaccharides (a.k.a. fructose – found in honey, high-fructose corn syrups and fruits like apples)

  • And

  • Polyols (Sorbitol & Mannitol – these are found in some fruits and vegetables)

You can find a full list of foods you can and can’t eat on the Monash FODMAP app.

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The idea of the low FODMAP diet is to cut from your diet foods high in FODMAPs, for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. For some people with a gut-imbalance such as SIBO, they may be able to go back to eating as normal. Others will gradually re-introduce foods back into their diet, helping them to identify which are causing nasty symptoms.

For more about Nikki or to read more of her recipes please visit www.fyoufodmap.com or follow her on instagram at @fyoufodmap

The Vegan Protein Boost Your Breakfast Porridge is Missing!

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and choosing the right one can not only boost your metabolism and brain power but also give you that extra energy boost you need to see you through to lunchtime and prevent you from reaching for those naughty 11am treats. With the majority of nutritionists agreeing that protein is the way forward for staving off hunger pangs, Sheela Prakash at thekitckn.com has the perfect recipe for adding an extra serving of this superfood group to your usual morning porridge and whats more its gluten free!.

 

"If you're looking for a way to make that morning bowl of oatmeal have even more staying power, you may have already tried to fancy it up. Maybe you've cooked it in milk or topped it with a fried egg, but there's still another way to boost the protein content of your breakfast cereal and it starts by swapping out those oats all together.

Why You Should Be Eating Quinoa Flakes for Breakfast

Quinoa flakes are a solid swap-in for oats or other more common hot breakfast cereals. Made from quinoa seeds that have simply been rolled out flat, they are a great plant-based source of protein and they're naturally gluten-free. While oats contain protein too — and in fact, they contain a similar amount — the protein in quinoa flakes is extra valuable because it's a complete protein. That means it contains all the essential amino acids the body can't make on its own and needs for energy and more. The protein in oats is incomplete, so it contains only some of these essential amino acids.

Since the flakes are so small, they also cook incredibly fast. In fact, stovetop instructions for preparing the flakes as a breakfast cereal requires just 90 seconds of cooking time! Their texture is similar to instant oats because of their size. Try a half-and-half mix with your favorite oatmeal or go for a full whole bowl. Either way, you'll get a hearty, cozy bowl of breakfast porridge that will keep you satisfied.

From there you can top them just like your favorite oatmeal. So if the aforementioned fried egg sounds tantalizing, by all means, add it in! But since you're already getting a generous dose of complete protein, you can keep this vegan with the addition of almond milk, dried fruit, and a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar."

To read more articles like this please visit www.thekitchn.com

The 25 Best Detox Foods

Its the time of year where we've over indulged at Christmas and New Year and are feeling sluggish, toxic and just plain unhealthy. During the holiday period we tend to consume twice as much food as we normally would and give binge drinking a hall pass resulting in a battered liver and overstretched digestive system but fear not as help is at hand as Kelly Choi, editor of the 7 Day Flat Belly Tea Cleanse and Eat This Not That.com recommends her top 25 foods that will naturally revive your body and mind and get you feeling energised for the year ahead.

"If you read about ancient torture methods, you’ll find some pretty gnarly stuff like something called “infusion,” in which a victim is bound and then force fed a list of repulsive substances like salt water, honey, vinegar and hot peppers. But wait! Isn’t that the Master Cleanse?"

Truth is, you don’t need to kill yourself with a “detox” regime this New Year’s for rapid weight loss, or to cleanse your body of the damage you over the holidays. Good news is your liver and kidneys do a mighty fine job at the cleanse thing without juices, fasts, or strange concoctions. And there are a handful of foods—delicious ones—with impressive detoxifying and slimming properties, including tea, which I made the cornerstone of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, on which test panelists lost 10 pounds. So hold the vinegar and cayenne and give yourself and cleanse away the pounds, torture free, with my new plan—and the delicious foods below!

The Fat Zapper-Grapefruit

Instead of overhauling your entire diet in an attempt to slim down for New Year’s, simply eat half a grapefruit before each meal. This tactic can help whittle your middle—by up to an inch—in just six-weeks according to a study published in the journal Metabolism. The scientists attribute the powerful effects to the grapefruit’s fat-zapping phytochemicals. But that’s not all! Another study conducted by Japanese researchers found that the scent of grapefruit can “turn on” calorie-burning brown fat cells, enhancing the breakdown of fat while reducing appetite. Sounds like a great reason to add it to your spring cleaning diet to us. The fruit can interact negatively with certain medications, though, so check in with your M.D before indulging in the citrus appetizer.

Read More at EatThis.com

10 Best Low Carb On The Go Snacks

We've all heard that a high protein, low carb diet is the best for slimming down for the summer, but with so many carbalicious snacks, sandwiches and even salads (I'm thinking the mayonnaise laden pasta versions) filling the shelves at your nearest boots, tesco express and sainsburys local etc it can make eating healthily on the run particularly difficult. However the lovely lot at LIVESTRONG have compiled a list of the 10 best low carb on the go snacks to keep you satisfied without caving in to the crisps.

Sweet and savory while still keeping the carb count down? Yes, it’s possible. Cottage cheese is a nutritious, low-carb staple. Three quarters of a cup with four thinly sliced strawberries supply 15 percent of your daily calcium needs and almost half of your vitamin C requirements. You can vary the flavors by swapping out the strawberries for blueberries or raspberries, and also try seasoning with cinnamon or adding vanilla extract for extra sweetness. CARBS: 10 grams.

 

Prefer to make your munchies from scratch? Good idea: You’ll know exactly what you’re eating -- no added sugars, preservatives or other crazy ingredients you can’t pronounce. Sharon Richter, a New York-based registered dietitian from HealthiNation, recommends turkey roll-ups as a simple snack you can prepare ahead of time and then stash in your bag for later. To make them her way, take a slice of turkey and wrap it around a pickle slice along with a very thin slice of avocado and tomato. The lean protein and monounsaturated fat combo will keep you feeling full longer -- and less tempted by the office vending machine. CARBS: 9 grams (for three roll-ups).

 

Lifeway’s BioKefir isn’t quite a smoothie, but that’s the best way to describe this dairy drink that looks, tastes and smells like one. Made of kefir, which is similar to yogurt but a richer source of live and active probiotics (the healthy bacteria that can boost the immune system and aid digestion), these 3.5-ounce shots have as much protein as a whole medium egg. Two flavors worth having on hand at home or work are BioKefir Blackberry, which contains 30 percent of your daily calcium needs, and BioKefir Pomegranate Blueberry, which meets 100 percent of your vitamin C needs. (lifewaykefir.com) CARBS: 10 grams.

 

A childhood favorite is new again. For a quick, high-protein energy boost, try the totally portable ants on a log. Peanut butter is a great source of healthy fats and satiating protein. The key is to use natural peanut butter made with just peanuts (and salt, if desired) -- avoid butters with any added oils or sugar. Celery gives you a satisfying crunch, and the raisins add a touch of sweetness. CARBS: 10 grams (for two logs).

 

Forget the portion police! With Sabra’s Classic Hummus Singles, it’s OK to clean out the container in one sitting (something that’s been known to happen when somebody cracks open the family-size version too). This two-ounce pack is just the right amount to satisfy a savory craving and keep you full until your next meal, especially when you use it as a dip for peppers or celery. (sabra.com) CARBS: 9 grams.

To read the complete article please visit LIVESTRONG.