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National Nutrition Week: Try for 5!

This year National Nutrition week is all about how to try for your five serves of veg each day by embracing your food “waste”! Trying to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill is good for our health and the health of our environment. Did you know that food waste costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year? It can cost the average household up to $3800 per year, and if that is not enough to shock you, we waste enough edible food to fill 17,000 747 jumbo jets. Here are some tips to try for five serves of veg a day while helping your wallet and the environment:

  • Eat more parts of your vegetables; such as skins, stalks and leaves. You would be surprised with how tasty some of the more overlooked parts of fruits and vegetables can be. Cauliflower leaves are a great side dish and pumpkin seeds roasted in the oven make the perfect snack. Other parts of your vegetables can be stored in a container in the freezer and used as a base for your own vegetable stock.
  • Use up your ageing vegetables that would otherwise go in the bin. We love getting experimental with our leftovers. So many leftovers can be repurposed into something different but are just as tasty for a quick weeknight dinner or meal. Casseroles, soups, dips and stews are great dishes for using up ageing veg.
  • Choose “ugly” and “imperfect” vegetables to prevent them going to landfill. 25% of farmers crops do not leave the gate simply because they are deemed “ugly”! These imperfect vegetables are just as nutritious, and often cheaper. By selecting “imperfect veg” you are keeping money in your pocket, trying for your five serves and reducing food waste.
  • Extend the life of vegetables by freezing. If your vegetables are starting to deteriorate cook them prior to freezing to retain flavour and nutrients. This will also halt any degradation and the heat will destroy any bad bacteria prior to freezing.

For more Country kitchens Tips on how to “Waste not, Want not”, look to page 26 in our Healthy Cooking Guidelines and check out our recipes at http://www.qcwa.org.au/countrykitchens/. To learn more about this year’s nutrition week topic and for some eat more, waste less recipes head to http://www.tryfor5.org.au/. We especially like their Summer Table recipe for Roast Veg and Quinoa Salad… see below!

Roast veg and quinoa salad

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
50g sugar snap peas or snow peas
400g roasted pumpkin (or other roast vegetables)
4 handfuls rocket
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
1 handful flaked almonds, toasted
50g feta, crumbled

Dressing
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
6 tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon of honey

Method

  1. Heat saucepan and add quinoa to toast for a few minutes until it starts to crackle. Remove, rinse and then place back in the saucepan.
  2. Add stock and bring to the boil. Place a lid on the saucepan, reduce heat to medium–low and simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t lift the lid. When time is up, remove from the heat and stand for a further 5 minutes (without lifting the lid). Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Steam peas for 1 minute until they are bright green but still crisp. Drain, fill pot with cold water and drain again to stop them from cooking.
  4. To make dressing, shake ingredients in a jar until combined. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  5. Toss cooked quinoa, peas, pumpkin, rocket, onion and mint leaves together in a large bowl.
  6. Pour dressing over salad and combine. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and feta. Serve cold or warm.

Tip: Quinoa should be rinsed before cooking as the seeds are coated with saponins which, if not rinsed, gives the quinoa a bitter taste. When cooked perfectly, the quinoa will be slightly translucent, with a visible ‘tail’, which is part of the hull.

Variation: Quinoa comes in a range of colours, so experiment a little. White quinoa is softer, while red and black quinoa are slightly crunchy and don’t stick together as much.

Recipe courtesy of Summer Table by Jodie Blight

 

References

Nutrition Australia. 2018. Try for 5. Available from http://www.tryfor5.org.au/.

National Food Waste Strategy: Halving Australia’s food waste by 2030, Commonwealth of Australia 2017. Available from http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/4683826b-5d9f-4e65-9344-a900060915b1/files/national-food-waste-strategy.pdf

Susann Ranson, Charleville Branch

Meet our Fabulous Facilitator from the Warrego Division of the QCWA.

[caption id="attachment_7051" align="alignleft" width="300"] Susann Ranson (second from the right).[/caption]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Susann Ranson, Charleville Branch, QCWA

I became interested in the program at the first workshop I attended. My strengths are communication and action. I do not ask members to do anything I would not do myself. I am ‘front of house’ as well and collaborate with other community groups for an opportunity to assist / showcase Country Kitchens during their activities. I do take photographs at most CWA activities and provide video’s and power point presentations for members and Facebook. I enjoy cooking, new recipes and eating with friends and family.

I have provided hands on Country Kitchens experiences at the Charleville Healthy Ageing Centre, Thargomindah School of Distance Education Sports week, Charleville School of Distance Education Sports Week, Quilpie CWA workshop and Foodie Talk and Cooking demonstrations at the Charleville Show (2017 – 2018 and 2019).  Photographs are of these activities are available on School of Distance Education website and Facebook pages. Branch members are aware of the role I have taken in Country Kitchens and frequently thank me for my commitment.

I am also the current Warrego Division International Officer and Photography Convenor. I have also been responsible for organising any catering and street food opportunities. I enjoy reading and gardening. I have recently completed art works to include in the Mental Health Weeks Exhibition and Fractured Frames Exhibition in October at our local art gallery, Mulgar Lands Gallery.

[caption id="attachment_7054" align="alignleft" width="300"] Mini Pizzas being prepped for a Back to Basics workshop with the School of Distance Education in Thargomindah.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7049" align="alignleft" width="300"] Susann Ranson running a Back to Basics workshop with the School of Distance Education in Thargomindah.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7052" align="alignright" width="300"] Our healthy rice paper rolls prepared for Tambo Stock Show Country Kitchens Showcase.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_7050" align="alignright" width="300"] Cooking workshops with Charleville School of Distance Education.[/caption]

Spinach, Pumpkin and Seed Salad

Spinach, Pumpkin and Seed Salad                                                    [qc_button size="theme-shortcode" size="medium" rounded="true" btn_style="flat shadow" color="#f7941e" link="http://www.qcwa.org.au/countrykitchens/wp-content/uploads/Recipe_Salads_Spinach-Pumpkin-and-Seed-Salad_A5.pdf" target="_blank"]Print Recipe[/qc_button]

What’s great about it

This salad is full of nutrients due to the high amount of spinach, tomatoes and pumpkin which have lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help us stay healthier. It also looks amazing on the plate with all of the bright colours – very much like Spring!

Serves 6      Prep time 15 minutes             Cook time 40 minutes

Fruit & Veggies: 2 serves per portion

Ingredients

1/3 medium pumpkin, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

1 cup sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon soy sauce

6 cups baby spinach

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

100 grams fetta, cut into 1 cm pieces

 

Method

PREHEAT oven to 200°C

BAKE pumpkin with EVOO in a baking dish for 30 minutes, until golden, then allow to cool.

HEAT frypan over medium heat and dry roast seeds for approximately 10 minutes until golden

SPRINKLE soy sauce over seeds while hot and stir well, allow to cool.

ASSEMBLE salad on a large plate: baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, pumpkin, feta, seeds.

 

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Belot, QCWA Country Kitchens Team

 

 

 

 

Recipe- Salmon and Tomato for Two

Salmon with Tomato for Two

What’s great about it

We have a vegetable garden at the moment producing tomatoes galore, so I trialed this and it worked out quite tasty. Judy Fysh, Nelia Branch, North Western Division, QCWA.

Salmon and Tomato for Two

Serves: 2 | Preparation time: 10mins | Cooking time: 20mins

Fruit & Veggies: 3 serves per portion

Ingredients

2 pieces of salmon

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

20 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/8 cup raisins

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

To serve

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 cup broccoli, steamed

 

Method

HEAT oil in a pan over medium heat

ADD onions cook for 3 -4 minutes until soft

ADD garlic and cook until fragrant

ADD the chopped tomatoes and the remaining ingredients (except fish). Bring to a boil, then lower heat& simmer for 5 minutes

PLACE the fish into a greased medium sized casserole dish

POUR the tomato mixture over the fish& bake, uncovered, in a preheated 180oC oven for 30 minutes

SERVE with brown rice and broccoli

Lisa Rolph-Smith, Ambrose Branch

Meet our Fabulous Facilitator from the Capricornia Division of the QCWA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Lisa Rolph-Smith, President, Ambrose Branch, QCWA

The Queensland Country Women’s Association when thought about, most people have a image that pops into their head of old ladies, tea and scones. I know I did until I walked into my local CWA to hire the hall for a playgroup disco. Membership numbers had dwindled in the branch, and they were facing closure as many other branches had throughout Queensland. A wave of concern and determination hit me. I grew up in the country and I worked in the cattle industry for most of my career life. The CWA was a association for me and all the women in our community, so with that I was on a mission!

Off I went to rally friends and community members to join -the response was amazing. After being a member for a short time I was asked to be Branch President and I was honored to accept. Now this is when I really came to understand the QCWA MISSON: Empowering and Inspiring women Though Friendship, Education, Service and Advocacy.

At the first Division meeting I attended I was introduced to a program called Country Kitchens, a partnership between the QCWA and the Queensland Government. The program endeavors to support QCWA Branch members to provide nutrition education and cooking skills in health promoting community activities  across rural, remote and regional Queensland. I signed up straight away to be a Facilitator and yet again I felt that determination to share this program with my community. Off I went to the local school where we were welcomed to run Country Kitchens cooking classes and we haven’t looked back!

 

[caption id="attachment_6976" align="alignleft" width="300"] Lisa with Michelle Cameron and Suellen Tappenden after a solo HONW-FT[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6977" align="alignright" width="300"] Lisa with Rachael (Nutritionist from Country Kitchens) and participants from their first HONW-FT[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6978" align="alignleft" width="300"] Lisa raising awareness of sugar in your drinks[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6979" align="alignright" width="300"] Country Kitchens healthy sausage rolls for the Mt Larcom brunch[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6966" align="alignnone" width="300"] Cauliflower and Zucchini Scones[/caption]

 

NAIDOC 2019 Recipes

Gin Gin Branch led by Country Kitchens Regional Facilitator Rose Aston hosted a spectacular showcase at the Yarning Stones

on Saturday July 13th for NAIDOC week 2019. Rose and Central Region Health Promotion Team Leader, Rachael Belot, created a range of bush tucker recipes for the event.

Keen to try some Emu Burgers with Saltbush and Native Basil Salsa…. Kangaroo… or delicious Bush Tomato, Lemon Myrtle and Wattleseed Muffins?  Download our recipe booklet, and let us know which is your favourite.

 

[qc_button size="theme-shortcode" size="medium" rounded="true" btn_style="flat shadow" color="#f7941e" link="http://www.qcwa.org.au/countrykitchens/wp-content/uploads/NAIDOC-Recipe-Booklet.pdf" target="_blank"]Download Recipe Booklet[/qc_button]

 

[caption id="attachment_6903" align="alignleft" width="450"] Bush Tucker[/caption]

 

Top 3 Ways to Achieve Good Gut Health

Everyday is a good day to raise awareness of Australia’s second deadliest cancer. Helping to raise funds to support research, prevention, early diagnosis and quality treatment of bowel cancer is something we can all do to help. Did you know that our body contains millions of bacteria and microbes – in fact, we are 90% bacterial cells and 10% human cells. Many of these bacteria (our microbiome) provide health benefits; help us to digest fibre in foods; and produce a wide range of enzymes, chemicals, hormones and vitamins. Good gut health creates a healthy environment for  cells in your bowel and boosts your immune response which reduces your risk of bowel cancers and the effect of diseases such as Crohn’s and Colitis.

[caption id="attachment_6868" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Intestinal microbiome, bacteria colonizing different parts of digestive system, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Escherichia coli, 3D illustration[/caption]

Country Kitchens recommends the top three ways to achieve a healthy gut are:

  1. Increasing the dietary fibre in your diet

Consuming a plant-based diet, high in fibre is the best way to achieve good gut health such as the Mediterranean Diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods from the five food groups to reduce the risk of chronic disease and some cancers. Foods such as: vegetables with skin on, fruit with skin on, wholegrain cereals and beans contain high fibre. Studies show that people who eat more dietary fibre, have a more diverse microbiome which is beneficial for gut health. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, we need to consume 25-30g fibre each day. We detail how much fibre is in certain foods in our Good Gut Health resource, found on our website at https://bit.ly/323jysx

[caption id="attachment_6867" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Health food concept with legumes, grains, seeds and organic vegetables.[/caption]

2. Including Probiotics and Prebiotics

Introducing probiotics (such as: fermented vegetables, yoghurt, kefir, bananas, onions and garlic) and prebiotics to your diet is also recommended. Prebiotics are the functional non-digestible food components (eg. fibre) that stimulate activity or the growth of beneficial bacteria. It is also recommended to reduce saturated fats, added sugars, processed foods and alcohol in your diet for good gut health.

[caption id="attachment_6869" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Fermented preserved vegetables in jar.[/caption]

3. Consume all three types of dietary fibre

  • Soluble: helps manage blood cholesterol and blood glucose, helps restore good bacteria and repairs colonic epithelium. Found in: oats, artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, bananas, legumes, lentils, peas and miso.
  • Insoluble: keeps stools soft and bulky, assists with diverticular disease, haemorrhoids, constipation and bowel cancer. Found in: wholegrain cereals, nut, seeds, brown rice, corn, vegetables with skin on, fruit with skin on.
  • Resistant starch: consumed by good bacteria and helps keep the bowel lining healthy. Found in: unripe banana, cooked and cooled potatoes and pasta, lentils and plantain.

To find out more and access our Good Gut Health resource and healthy recipes, visit: https://bit.ly/323jysx

References:

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/about-australian-dietary-guidelines

https://www.bowelcanceraustralia.org/bowel-cancer-awareness-month

NHMRC, 2005, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand including Recommended Dietary Intakes, Dietary Fibre, Commonwealth of Australia, 2006.

Olendzki, BC, Silverstein, TD, Persuitte, GM, Ma, Y, Baldwin, KR & Cave, D 2014, ‘An anti-inflammatory diet as treatment for inflammatory bowel disease: a case series report’, Nutrition Journal, vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 1-7.

Motivation for cultivation, all year round!

There’s no doubt about it, digging in the dirt and growing your own fruits and vegetables is rewarding both physically and mentally. People who grow their own vegetable garden tend to have an increased level of physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption which lowers their risk of developing some chronic diseases (Etheredge et al., 2016). But how do they keep up their enthusiasm for gardening during the cooler months? We understand that each region has their own set of environmental factors to consider. But one thing is for sure, as the weather cools down in Queensland, it is a great time to sit less and move more outside. So, let’s get moving in the garden!

We have put together our top three tips on how to keep up your motivation to move and veggie patch thriving all year round;

  1. Talk to your family and friends. Someone you know that loves to garden may have a wealth of knowledge up their sleeve that you haven’t even thought of yet. I decided to spark up a conversation with our Fabulous Facilitator, Jean Rosendahl of Silkwood Branch, for some of her best tips on how to maintain a vegetable garden during the cooler months.

“In the tropics I advise people to keep up their mulch to keep the weeds down.  I use Dynamic Lifter for fertiliser as it is slow release and put plastic white butterflies on sticks to keep the cabbage moth away.  Do not spray for insects or grubs but pick them off early in the morning and just on dusk.” Jean Rosendahl, Silkwood Branch.

  1. Laying the ground work in Winter will be a benefit for Spring. An example of this is that the ground is too cold in Winter to plant citrus, but we can lay the foundations for Spring. Find a space you would like to plant your trees and then during winter try this:
  • Loosen up the top soil with a pitch fork.
  • Layer 1: approx. 6cm of horse manure or a similar matter packed full of nutrients.
  • Layer 2: Add green waste like plant and lawn clippings or kitchen compost.
  • Layer 3: A layer of mulch to keep the weeds down such as straw.
  • Leave over winter and you will have a nutrient rich garden bed ready for Spring.
  1. Plant your herbs and colourful vegetables in pots. Growing your own fruits and vegetables all year round is a good way to ensure you are getting enough into every meal. By growing your vegetables in pots, it allows you to move them around for the maximum benefit of the sun in Winter. Just make sure to keep the moisture up and be mindful of drainage.

As a bonus tip, QCWA Country Kitchens, has put together a How to Guide on starting your own community garden. If you have established the need within your community for a green space that everybody can benefit from, then Winter is a great time to start the planning process. If you would like a copy of our Community Garden resource then please contact us on countrykitchens@qcwa.org.au today!

Written by Anna Lynch, Health Promotion Team Leader Northern Region.

ck3@qcwa.org.au

References

  1. Etheredge, C., Waliczek, T., & Zajicek, J. (2016). The Influence of Gardening Activities on Self-reported Health Problems, Allergies, and Body Mass Index. Horttechnology26(6), 776-782. doi: 10.21273/horttech03546-16
  2. Vegies, P. (2019). Potted Winter Vegies. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/potted-winter-vegies/9428804
  3. Work, W. (2019). Winter Work. Retrieved from https://www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/winter-work/9440400

Brain Food

Healthy Eating for Mental Well being

Mental Health is a complex issue, stemming from a variety of social, biological and environmental factors.  While many of these factors may be out of our control, one contributor to mental health we do have control over is the food we consume.   Even if you do not suffer a form of mental illness in your lifetime, it is likely someone you know will, with one in five Australians aged 16-85 experiencing a mental illness in any year (ABS, 2009).

In recent years there has been a focus on the connection between mental health and the food we eat. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to this connection between food and brain health, with strong links between poor mental health in children and adolescents, to diets high in processed foods (O’Neil eta., 2014). Before we get into the specifics of how to eat for a healthy brain, let’s take a step back with a lesson on why what we eat effects our mental health. In order for your brain to decide how to interact with the world around you, elicit appropriate behaviours, improve your chances of survival and make you happy, it has to communicate with your body (Wenk, 2019). It does this through brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The food we use to fuel our bodies has a direct impact on how these transmitters, or brain communicators, work.

The essential vitamins and minerals found in healthy, whole, unprocessed foods are essential to keeping our brain communicating properly; contributing to good mental health. By eating more fruit and vegetables, cooking at home and being aware of the sugar in our drinks it will help ensure that we receive all the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies and brains need. Some especially good brain foods include: fish, oysters, leafy greens, lettuce, capsicum, broccoli and cauliflower! (LaChance & Ramsey, 2018).

Remember those brain communicators we talked about? Well an important one linked to our mood and happiness called serotonin actually has 90% of its receptors in the gut (Naidoo, 2018). High-fat, ultra processed foods common in Australians diet tend to cause inflammation in the gut, negatively affecting these receptors (Naidoo, 2018). Opposite to processed foods, nutrient rich foods, such as fruit, vegetables and lean proteins help your gut thrive. A group of good bacteria called probiotics, found in fermented foods, are particularly good at restoring healthy gut bugs. Try including foods high in naturally occurring probiotics, rather than supplements, into a balanced diet. This includes fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, kimchi and more. Refer to Country Kitchens Good Gut Health Guide for more info on how to keep your gut and brain happy! Good Gut Health Guide

Remember, food and nutrition is only one contributing factor in mental illness. If you or someone you know are suffering from mental illness, mood or anxiety disorders consult a professional. https://www.qld.gov.au/health/mental-health/help-lines/services

Written by Lindsey Nash, Health Promotion Team Leader Southern Region

ck5@qcwa.org.au

References

Wenk, G. L. (2019). Your brain on food: How chemicals control your thoughts and feelings. Oxford University Press.

O’neil, A., Quirk, S. E., Housden, S., Brennan, S. L., Williams, L. J., Pasco, J. A., … & Jacka, F. N. (2014). Relationship between diet and mental health in children and adolescents: a systematic review. American journal of public health104(10), e31-e42.

Naidoo, Umo. (2018). Gut feelings: how food affects your mood. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/gut-feelings-how-food-affects-your-mood-2018120715548

LaChance, L. R., & Ramsey, D. (2018). Antidepressant foods: An evidence-based nutrient profiling system for depression. World journal of psychiatry8(3), 97–104. doi:10.5498/wjp.v8.i3.97

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra.

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