Thursday, June 2, 2016

Food | Chutney, chocolate and washing up

John was in Cork a few weeks ago and brought back a lovely spiced apricot chutney from the English Market. When it was gone, I attempted to recreate it. The ingredients were simply apricots and coriander seeds (such a good combination), vinegar and sugar. All the recipes I looked up had quite a few additional ingredients, but I wanted to keep it simple and made it with the above (200g dried apricots, 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander, 200ml apple cider vinegar, 90g brown sugar), adding an onion and 25 grams of raisins (mainly to bulk it up, as I only had a small bag of dried apricots) and a bit of lemon juice. I followed Delia's instructions with regard to the cooking time and loosely based the ratio of the quantities on her recipe, and the result is lovely. We eat it with cheese and bread and add it to stir fries.

Overall we try to keep our sugar intake low, while not excluding it completely (see the chutney!). John is stricter, as he reckons he is an abstainer, not a moderator, whereas I am happy to make exceptions and won't refuse cake. The most important change has been to not eat processed biscuits and cakes. If it is homemade and has recognisable ingredients, it is fine - everything in moderation, of course. I use honey, maple syrup and coconut blossom sugar in my baking.

Yesterday I made these no-sugar bites, and the raspberries are actually sweetener enough. They taste best half frozen or straight from the fridge.

(Also pictured in the food photos: my friend gave me this gorgeous children's book about Frida Kahlo.)

In other sensory news, I love this washing-up liquid (another John find, when the shop didn't have Ecover, which I used for years). It smells of lemon balm and is certified by Ecocert.

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