Newsletter 96 – October 2011

Hi everyone 25/10/2011

What a great result for NZ in the R.W.C. and what an awesome international festival it has been. This edition of the newsletter (No. 96) will cover a report on the Vegetarian Society Festival, an idea to help Bees in NZ and some snippets about other product lines I have access to. Featured vegetable is asparagus.

The Vegetarian Society festival was again a great day. The weather was fine, there were lots of interesting stalls promoting and selling food and all things vegetarian, Sea Shepherd were there, a chiropractor, lots of cooking demonstrations and films. Also animal rights groups.

Our draw for a baby box of veges was won by Venise Cornfort. It was great to see existing clients there and to meet many new ones.

Asparagus

The name comes from a Greek word meaning “shoots” or “sprouts”. Asparagus is a perennial garden vegetable and a member of the lily family. Widely cultivated for its tender, succulent, edible shoots, asparagus was known more than 2000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region. Greeks appreciated asparagus for its unique flavour, texture and alleged medicinal qualities. They ate it fresh in the season and dried in winter.

Asparagus is an excellent source of folic acid, a good source of vitamin C, Thiamin (B1), Vitamin B6, and potassium. It is the highest testing food containing glutathione, one of the bodies most potent cancer fighters.

To store trim bottom end of spears and stand the asparagus in a plastic bag in an inch of water in the frig.

To cook take each spear by its end and bend gently. It will snap at approximately the point where tenderness begins. Reserve the stem ends for soup. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, drop in the asparagus spears, let water return to the boil and cook uncovered till tender.

Occasionally fish out a spear and bite to test. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of spears and freshness.

If asparagus is to be served cold, remove from saucepan with tongs and drop into a bowl of iced water. This stops cooking and sets the bright green colour. This versatile vegetable can be served hot, or cold in a vinaigrette. It can also be included in an omelette, quiche or frittata, and makes a delicious soup.

Cream of Asparagus Soup

1/2 kilo asparagus cut into 2” lengths
1 onion chopped ½ cup cream
2 tablespoons each butter and flour
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter for 3 minutes. Stir in flour and add chicken stock slowly. Add asparagus, cover, and simmer 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Puree until smooth.

Add cream, salt and pepper to puree and reheat.

Serves 4.

During my recent dog sledding expedition, I met a lady in the café at the Snow Farm who has done lots of exciting projects in wine and restaurants and is currently engaged in projects to ensure the bees of the world survive and prosper. Her name is Maureen Maxwell and she has recently become Regional President for the Oceania Commission of Apimondia (a Rome based international federation of beekeeping associations).

Bees need our help because:

The bee cannot survive without the help of humans, and we cannot survive without the bee.

More than 1/3 of what we eat and ¾ of the diversity relies on bee pollination and so do billions of $$$ in export earning.

Bees all around the globe are being critically threatened by Varroa, pesticides, disease and loss of habitat.

So, what can we as individuals do??

Establish a bee friendly plot in the garden. Maureen has available as a fund raiser for Help NZ Bees, a $5 packet of seeds called “Wild Flower Seed Rescue Remedy” These are available on line at www.wildforage.co.nz

I have my packet and a spot in the garden in mind.

Protein Powder

Are you and your family getting enough protein? Adults need approximately 1g per kilo of body weight daily. Vegetarians in particular need to be creative to ensure adequate protein intake. Protein powder added to a fruit smoothie, makes a fantastic breakfast.

Many of you are familiar with the soya and milk product and this has been my staple breakfast for a long time.

I am excited about the introduction of a protein powder specially formulated for vegetarians (100% plant based product made from soy, wheat and pea).

Please let me know if you are interested in either of these high quality products.

Health Programme

Anyone concerned about diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, ageing, or just plain would like more energy??

I have run into a programme which is having great results for many people including me. If you would like more information please advise.

All for now

Regards

Lorraine