Friday, October 15, 2010

Five a Day.

Do you get your recommended ‘five a day’? Nutritionists suggest that we should all be eating four hundred grams of fruit and vegetables a day, made up from at least five different varieties (one serve is about half a cup of vegetables, or a cup of raw salad.) It can be quite a challenge to do this, even in the most motivated households. It seems to me that part of the solution might be to eat more vegetables for dessert.

To determinedly take up this challenge requires more choices than pumpkin pie and carrot cake however, lest boredom creep in after a few weeks. In previous posts we have had parsnip cake and sauerkraut cake – and no doubt there are others I have forgotten about, but there are still not enough choices for a long campaign. I have, therefore, collected some recipes from history to help you in your efforts. Bon appétit!

How to make a Pudding in a Turnep root.
Take your Turnep root, and wash it fair in warm water, and scrape it faire and make it hollow as you doo a Carret roote, and make your stuffe of grated bread, and Apples chopt fine, then take Corance [currants], and hard Egs, and season it with Sugar Sinamon, and Ginger, and yolks of hard egs and so temper your stuffe, and put it into the Turnep, then take faire water, and set it on the fire, and let it boyle or ever you put in your Turneps, then put in a good peece of sweet Butter, and Claret Wine, and a little Vinagre, and Rosemarye, and whole Mace, Sugar, and Corance, and Dates quartered, and when they are boyled inough, then willl they be tender, then serve it in.
Boke of Cokerye 1591

Carrot Cheesecake.
Boil a moderately sized carrot until tender. Pound it in a mortar, and pass the pulp through a fine hair sieve. Mix with an ounce of oiled butter, two dessert-spoonfuls of washed currants, two table-spoonfuls of sugar, half a nutmeg grated, a table-spoonful of fresh curd, and a well-beaten egg. Line some patty pans with good puff paste, half fill them with the mixture, and bake in a good oven for twenty minutes.
Cassells Dictionary of Cookery, London, 1877.

To make a carrot pudding.
You must take a raw carrot, scrape it very clean and grate: Take half a pound of the grated carrot, and a pound of grated bread, beat up eight eggs, leave out half the whites, and mix the eggs with half a pint of cream: then stir in the bread and carrot, half a pound of fresh butter melted, half a pint of sack, and three spoonfuls of orange-flower water, a nutmeg grated. Sweeten to your palate. Mix all well together, and if it is not thin enough, stir in a little new milk or cream. Let it be of a moderate thickness, lay a puff-paste all over the dish, and pour in the ingredients. Bake it; it will take an hours baking. Or you may boil it, but then you must melt butter and put in white wine and sugar.
Art of Cookery, Hannah Glasse, 1774.

Potato Jelly.
Take equal quantities of potato flour and finely powdered loaf sugar, incorporate them well together by rubbing them with the back of a spoon until a perfectly smooth powder is produced; pour upon it some boiling water, keeping it stirred the while; when you think the jelly is of the proper consistency, flavor it with wine, brandy, vanilla, or orange-flower water, essence of lemon, noyeau, or anything you prefer.
This is quite as nourishing as arrowroot, and possesses the great advantage of not turning watery when it grows cold. Two good teaspoonfuls of the meal and the same quantity of sugar will be found to be sufficient for half a pint.
How to cook potatoes, apples, eggs, and fish; Georgiana Hill, 1869

Beet Cake.
Two cups sugar, one cup oil, three large eggs, two teaspoons cinnamon, one teaspoon ginger, one-half teaspoon salt, one teaspoon vanilla, two cups flour, two teaspoons baking powder, one eight-ounce can crushed pineapple, two cups grated or ground raw beets, one cup coconut, nuts if desired.
Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together. Add the dry ingredients and continue beating until thoroughly blended. Stir in pineapple, beets, coconut and nuts in that order. Bake in 9 by 13 by 2 inch pans at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Frost with the following recipe.
Frosting: four teaspoons dry cherry gelatine, one-fourth cup melted margarine, four cups confectioners sugar. Blend ingredients thoroughly.
Syracuse Herald-American, 1980

And if we can have tomato marshmallows, why not tomato cake? The following recipe “uses the unlikely combination of tomatoes and raisins … stays moist and is “oh, so good.”

Tomato Cake.
1 stick [½ cup] margarine, 2 cups sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups fresh tomatoes
1 cup raisins, 1 cup nuts, 2 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Cook tomatoes, add raisins to hot tomatoes and let mixture cool. Combine ingredients and beat. Bake at 250 degrees F [approx.150 degrees Centigrade] in fluted or angel food pan for 1 hour.
Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania), May 19, 1973

Quotation for the Day.

Large, naked, raw carrots are acceptable as food only to those who live in hutches eagerly awaiting Easter.
Fran Lebowitz


Anonymous said...

It's not that hard. My nieces eat more or less like this during the week:

Breakfast: Steel-cut oats with a serving of fruit mixed in. Can be:

Apples and honey
Peaches and lavender
Bananas, garam masala, and maple syrup
Apples and cinnamon
Pears and ginger
Orange juice (to soak), cranberries, and apples (this is one and a half servings of fruit, more like)
Strawberries and mint

Lunch: Sandwich with lettuce, side "salad" (some combination of cherry tomatoes, snap peas, bell peppers, and baby carrots), and fruit side.

Snack at school: Some fruit that travels well, or else raisins.

Snack at home if they're hungry: More fruit! Occasionally a treat instead - bread and honey, peanut butter and jelly, leftover bacon, whatever.

Dinner: Main dish should include at least one major amount of veggies, and there's at least one veggie side. One or two nights a week they also have half a cup worth of salad, which is nothing, but it helps.

Dinner might be pasta with green beans on the side and carrots and beets on the OTHER side, it might be doro wat with ginger veggies on the side, it might be thyme lime chicken with tomato-spinach rice, green beans, and mashed sweet poatoes.

Dessert: More fruit!

If you eat a serving or a serving and a half of fruit or vegetables at EVERY meal and as your primary go-to choice for snacks, it's insanely easy to fit them all in.

Saffron Paisley said...

I love this! I want to try the carrot and turnip recipes! I'm currently working on 'eat your vegetables' lollipops so this is right up my alley! :) Thanks, Janet!

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Sonia - I have lots more similar recipes - the link to the tomato marshmallow source has a lot of interesting ideas. Will send you some other recipes, if you like.

Saffron Paisley said...

Yes, please! Tomato marshmallow sounds interesting. I just canned about 125#s of tomatoes so I have access to a lot of tomato essence!!!

Anonymous said...

There must have been something going around in the early '80s. I have a "Old Farmer's Almanac" from 1981 with recipes for tomato cake and beet cake. But without the pineapple and coconut!

Marcheline said...

Sigh... if only they could come up with fruit and vegetables that taste like lasagna, Italian bread, and popcorn!

Conuly... eating like that might be fine for those with tons of money to spend, but unless you live in the tropics where you can grow/pick your own all year, all that fruit would kill the weekly budget!

Anonymous said...

I'll be darned. Word verification is at last visible on my computer! (Ovenocks--what you end up with if your bread doesn't rise while it bakes.)

I think a lot of people have trouble eating their vegetables because they have been told that all kinds of ways to make vegetables tasty are "bad." Personally I have a big bowl of vegetables at dinnertime, with a hamburger patty on top and some good brown mustard on top of the patty. It looks weird, but the seasoned meat perfumes the broccoli with delicious cooking juices, I eat up my veggies, and I don't like hamburger buns or most types of bread anyway.

Putting lots of veggies in a beef stew or a stir-fry with a fragrant sauce (which also makes it easy to skimp on the rice) also works.

About that carrot pie: Our SCA chapter frequently serves an old Russian savory pie which is filled with mashed carrot, chopped hard-cooked egg, and lots of butter. Delicious!

Jenny Islander

The InTolerant Chef ™ said...

I pay my little daughter to grow the home veggies. The more she eats, the more she gets paid! We had slight teething problems with the whole size vs price issue with zucchinis, but now it's great. Win win.

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Fantastic lesson in history, as always!

The Old Foodie said...

Great idea to get your daughter to eat veggies, Chef - I love it!
Thanks for your kind words, Scott. I am almost up for five years of blogging (the blog birthday is Oct 31 - I think I should have a cyber-party!)

The Old Foodie said...

Hi conuly. I dont have any trouble myself, but it is surprising how many people just cant do it. Lack of imagination? I think the problem with a lot of fruit, instead of vegetables (apart from the expense) is that it contains a lot of sugar. I think that nutritionists would rather people ate more veg and less fruit (in making up their five a day), but fruit is more palatable - and easier as it does not need preparation.