Nutrition - Step 2 part 2 : How to include essential fats in our diet

Tuesday 08 May 2018

Following on from last week I want to look at how we can include the essential fats particularly omega 3 in our day to day diets. We know which foods they are found in and we all need some fresh approaches at times.

  • When you shop always make sure that you buy oils in glass bottles as plastic is made of chemicals and these chemicals migrate into the plastic. For example PCB’S which have been shown to be hormone disruptors. So if you do have fat in plastic use it up and next time buy in glass if you can.
  • Always make sure that you have a selection of unsalted nuts and seeds in the house as these make an excellent snack, eat with some fresh fruit or on their own. They are also good chopped into in breakfast cereal and sprinkled onto salad or blended into a smoothie mix. I always buy small packet regularly to ensure freshness.
  • A very Moorish treat is to sprinkle some nuts and or seeds with a little Tamari sauce, spread over a baking tray and bake for a few minutes in a hot oven until they are brown and sticky. These will keep in a tin or jar for a few days.
  • Another idea; Lacuma and cinnamon nuts. Mix 2 tblsps of Lacuma powder, 2 tblsps of xylitol, 1 tbsp of olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of vanilla extract in a bowl and make a paste. Mix in 125g of mixed unsalted nuts. Then spread on a non stick tray or baking parchment and bake in the oven on its lowest setting for 4 hours. This seems a long time but it is very simple and needs no attention and really worth the effort because the Lacuma powder will give the nuts a delicious caramel flavour that will make a very nice snack. They will keep in an airtight container. I buy my Lacuma powder from Holland and Barrett and but 2 packets when they have their penny sale.
  • When I make a stir fry of vegetables I use olive oil plus a tablespoon of water, lemon juice, lime juice or tamari sauce to the pan. This will create more of a steam fry than a stir fry. The addition of water etc. will prevent the oil become overheated and potentially damaged.
  • Try to eat 3-4 portions of oily fish each week to ensure a good level of omega 3 in the diet.
  • Simple things like a piece of poached salmon with steamed vegetables, or sardines on wholemeal toast, or a grilled tuna steak with salad or a sandwich using tinned salmon.
  • A simple way to lift salmon to another level is to marinade the pieces in a mixture of 2 tbsps of soya sauce, 1 tsp of wasabi paste or powder, ½ tsp of runny honey. Simply mix the soya, wasabi and honey in a cup and drizzle over the salmon. Leave to marinade for 10 mins then grill. The cooked salmon can then be sprinkled with sesame seeds for a crunchy texture.
  • A simple light meal or snack could be simply a sliced avocado sandwich.
  • Use cashew nut butter, almond nut butter or pumpkin seed butter on oatcakes, rice cakes or whole meal toast as a satisfying snack. These can now be bought in most supermarkets. Peanut butter tends to be very processed high in both salt and sugar.
  • Another nice idea, Easy Chocolate nut milk; 2 cups of water plus 1 tbsp of almond or cashew nut butter, 1-2 tbsp of raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of honey and whiz together in a blender, chill for a delicious nourishing drink.
  • For a delicious nut dressing that can be used on a salad, as a sandwich spread, or stirred into cooked pasta, simply blend together; 3 tbsp of almond butter, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tsp of xylitol, 2 tbsps of tamari or soya sauce, 2 tbsp of coconut butter, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1/3rd of a cup of water (Or enough to make it as runny or firm as you want). This will keep in the fridge for a few days.
  • I often make a pesto dressing that is rich in the essential fat omega 3. I got the recipe from The Functional Nutrition Cookbook by L Nicolle and C Bailey. It will keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. I use it on many things, roasted vegetables, bean salads and cooked fish and I am sure it is versatile enough to be used on many other things.
  • Simply whiz together; a clove of garlic, pinch of sea salt, 15g of basil, 15g of watercress, 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 30g of pumpkin seeds, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3 tbsp of flaxseed oil or hemp oil, 15grm of grated parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes.
  • And finally a recipe that is a little more complicated but well worth the effort for those non meat days. It is an adaption from the recipe book called ‘Nourish’, by Christine Bailey. Hope you give it a try.

Seed and Nut burgers


1 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil.

1 red onion finely chopped.

1 carrot grated

6 oz finely chopped mushrooms.

1 garlic clove crushed.

6 oz canned and rinsed cannellini or butter beans

2 oz walnuts

4 oz cashew nuts.

2 tbsps of shelled hemp seeds or chia seeds.

6 oz fresh breadcrumbs or rolled oats

1 tbsp tamari

2 tsps honey

1 egg yolk


Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion, carrot, mushroom and garlic. Gently fry for 10 mins until the vegetables are soft and liquid evaporated.

Add the beans to the pan cook for 1 minute then cool slightly.

Put the nuts in a food processor and chop until coarse. Add the bean mixture and remaining ingredients and blitz to combine. Chill for 30 mins.

Shape the mixture into 8 burgers. Put on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 mins until crisp and lightly coloured. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze uncooked and cook from frozen

Next week I want to look at step 3 and that is the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet.

Blog originally posted by Caroline March 2014

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