Have you ever wondered what the correct spelling is for hommus or hummus and who invented the dish? While it is dipped, spread, served with crackers and loved all over the world, who can claim it as their own?

The topic sparked a social media debate in the UK and many experts believe “hummus” is the most accurate spelling as it’s the closest to the Arabic translation for the word. The word “hummus” come from an Arabic word that means “chickpeas” which may be derived from the Aramaic language. This is an ancient language that spanned the middle to late Bronze age – so super old! It’s thought that the world entered the English language in the mid 20th century. The most common spelling seems to be “hummus” in most dictionaries but if you want to use “houmous” you can do so with confidence as some people believe that spelling connotes a more Arabic pronunciation of the word.

There are so many theories on the origins of hummus but no evidence to prove the claim. The basic recipe of chickpeas, sesame, lemon and garlic has been eaten in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia for centuries (sometimes referred to The Levant this refers to modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordon and Cyprus. But then some people sat the Egyptians, and the Greeks invented the dish.

Hummus derivation is no laughing matter though; the matter of hummus derivation and ownership has gone to the EU. In 2008 the Hummus Wars began when Lebanon accused Israel of cashing in on what they believed should have been Lebanon’s legacy, publicity and money. The president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, angry that hummus had come to be known and marketed throughout the west as an Israeli dish, sued Israel for infringement of food-copyright laws. The Lebanese government petitioned the EU to recognise hummus a as Lebanese.

Then in 2010 the minister of Tourism for Lebanon thought that making a plate of hummus so large it would be recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records would set the record straight. And it did … for about 6 months with plate of hummus that weighed around 2,000kg. Then Israel responded with a 4,082 kilo of the hummus served in a satellite dish. Finally, Lebanon responded with a 10,450-kilo dish of hummus and have held the record since.

While the derivation matters to businesses and tourism ministers, the question often asked by foodies is “Who is making it best?” Some delightful hummus tips for deliciousness include:

You might have heard of glucomannan, glucomannan powder, flour or glucomannan supplements for weight loss. But do you know what glucomannan is and why it might be useful?

Glucomannan is a natural, water-soluble dietary fibre that is extracted from the roots of konjac. For just a few calories, glucomannan can help you to feel satiated or feel full by absorbing water and expanding to form bulk in your stomach.

It absorbs so much liquid that if you add just small amount of glucomannan to a glass of water you will see it turn into gel. If you’re trying to lose weight, it might be beneficial to feel full but only consume a few calories.

Interestingly, glucomannan has been used for centuries in traditional Japanese cooking as a thickener or gelling agent. In Japan it is lovingly called “the broom of the intestines”! This can give you a good indication of what it can do for you on the inside!

Preliminary studies on the health or weight loss claims of glucomannan are promising. In one 2007 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, participants taking a glucomannan and psyllium husk combination supplement lost approximately 4.5 kgs in 16 weeks compared to 0.77 kgs pounds lost in the placebo group. Another study using only glucomannan showed an average of 2.5 kgs lost over eight weeks, without making any other diet or lifestyle changes.

When you eat glucomannan you need to be very aware and vigilant about drinking enough water. This fibre is very “thirsty” in your stomach and will absorb water and it’s important to make sure the fibre ball your stomach is working on is soft and flexible.

The ways you can take glucomannan include:

Glucomannan powder:

Practically tasteless, glucomannan powder or flour can be mixed into smoothies and other foods as a thickener.

Glucomannan in food (in konjac):

You can find glucomannan in a whole range of foods from pasta to lollies! Slendier offers:

Konjac pasta

Konjac noodles

Konjac rice

Konjac in smoothies (4 delicious fruit flavours)

Ready Meals (with 3 organic pasta sauces)

Glucomannan powder tablets:

These are a convenient way to take glucomannan but, while occurrences are rare, solid tablets are more likely than other forms of glucomannan to cause blockages of the throat and intestines.

In Australia we think of marinara sauce as being full of seafood and tomato goodness, but elsewhere in the world marinara sauce is a simple tomato sauce with garlic sautéed in olive oil, tomatoes and herbs. Did you know that the original marinara sauce has played an important role in the world’s history?

Marinara sauce was developed in southern Italy, with both Naples and Sicily claiming it as their recipe. The background story to marinara sauce becoming the base for pizza and pasta dishes is rich with explorers, sailors and the high seas.

Italian and Spanish explorers were exceptional in the 16th and 17th centuries; they were so good that they worked for many exploring and conquering nations as “explorers for hire”. It was during their voyages to the Americas that they were introduced to and recognised the potential of the tomato. They went on to ship the backbone of marinara sauce from The New World back to Italy. Those New World tomatoes were considered fruit in central Mexico; their taste and colour made them impossible to resist.

The cooks aboard the ships returning from the Americas are widely credited with being the inventors of marinara sauce using the red, plump fruit already onboard from The New World in order to feed the crew. The ingredients – oil, tomato sauce, garlic and dried herbs – travelled well and didn’t spoil as easily as meat or fish. In addition, the ingredients could be assembled quickly and easily, in about the same time it took pasta to cook. Pairing pasta and marinara sauce made a tasty, filling and inexpensive meal to fuel the men working at sea.

Therefore, Marinara Sauce is named after the sailors (marinai –  the Italian word for “sailors”) who worked on the ships that established sea trade. Fast forward 350 years or so and the early 1900s saw the largest migration of people across the globe- this enabled marinara sauce to become a staple across Western cuisine.

This humble sauce helped to fuel the people who discovered new lands and was one of the most famous food staples that Italians, who had emigrated to the United States and other countries, brought with them.

Today, companies like Slendier make healthy, organic Italian pasta sauces in many flavours. There’s even Lentil and Mushroom and Vegan Bolognese versions! You too can fuel up quickly and go on conquer your own version of the New World!

Many of us love a green smoothie for breakfast because they can be nutrient dense and easily boost your intake of vitamins and minerals. However, we have to make sure we don’t turn it into a calorie and carb blowout.

Starting the day of with a green smoothie, mango smoothie or berry smoothie can be a joy. And the “blend and go” kitchen utensils we have now make it a whizz to blend, screw on a lid and head out the door.

If you’re an OG green smoothie lover, you’ll be blending leafy greens like kale, roquette and spinach with water or coconut water. The health benefits of leafy greens are enormous: eyesight, heart health, memory prolongers… the list goes on.

Where people can stray to the unhealthy sip of the smoothie is that they can add ingredients to counter the naturally bitter taste of leafy greens. Here some ideas of foods you can add to your smoothie green base and stay heathy:

  • Add a Slendier Fruit Smoothie to your blender first. There are 4 flavours: Apple, Berry, Kiwi and Tropical. They are chock full of Australian fruit and veggies, are yummy on their own, add a natural thickness to your drink and as a base to your green smoothie, they are revolutionary. Best of all, they are under 60 calories and are packed with fibre to keep you feeling full for longer.
  • Nuts and seeds like almond or peanut butter, hemp or chia seeds, and flax meal
  • Herbs and spices like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, or cocoa powder

If you’re looking for some new green smoothie recipes, we would like to suggest:

Spinach Orange Green Smoothie with a Slendier Tropical Carrot Smoothie Base

Blueberry Mint Green Smoothie with a Slendier Summer Berry Smoothie Base

Spring Detox Green Smoothie with a Slendier Kiwi Paradise Smoothie Base

Pear and Coconut Smoothie with a Slendier Apple a Day Smoothie Base

I was of a friend of mine recently and the peculiar way he shops at the supermarket. He doesn’t have a car and lives alone so he visits the supermarket twice a week with his backpack. His strategy is to only visit the aisles on the outside of the supermarket on a Wednesday and then the inner aisles on a Saturday. I asked him what happened if he ran out of toilet paper on Monday and he said that it would be unfortunate as that would be a Saturday morning trip.

His level of discipline and strategy is extraordinary to me, and quite the opposite of my “let’s see what’s calling us” approach to shopping. I like to wander up and down the aisles in a leisurely manner, pick up all the new things, see what’s on special, see what looks nice and generally shop by mood. I never have a list and never have a meal plan.

My friend who played supermarket shopping chess is skinny, fit and very well all of the time. I am not. So, it got me thinking that perhaps a more strategic approach to shopping could be in order.

According to Deloitte, shoppers are valuing fresh food and veggies more and more but we are also feeling more and more stressed when it comes to shopping (clearly they didn’t survey me!).  Since 2020, we are shopping less often but when we do, we are stocking up on items on a more regular basis.

I’ve done an experiment this week. I was going in for some Slendier Bean Pasta anyway and found that the health food aisle is now a place of glory and wonder. The number of new things in there is staggering!

So, this week I started in the health food aisle, made my way to the fresh produce… and left! I looked down and realised that I really didn’t need anything else.

Eat for health has given me some good tips this week too:

 

I’m not sure how many of those I can stick to at once, but I’m sure going to start with the health food aisle from now on!

No doubt many of us have been in a Japanese restaurant and enjoyed edamame as a snack before the main course. But the world has caught on to the sweet, savoury, nutty and nutritious use of edamame as spaghetti and fettucine pasta. But why? Why has it taken off?

First things first: edamame is the Japanese name for immature soybeans and literally means “stem beans”. This is probably because they are traditionally sold with the stems still attached.

But why do we love edamame? Because like most beans, soybeans are sweeter and have more umami (the core fifth taste of glutamates and nucleotides, officially identified by scientists in 2002 which is literally translated as “pleasant, savoury taste”), due to higher concentrations of sucrose and amino acids before they are fully mature.

The other reason people love edamame is for the perceived health benefits. There doesn’t appear to be a study that correlates eating soy with the cure or prevention of an ailment. Rather, people enjoy the nutritional properties and taste of edamame.

For example, half cup of shelled edamame roughly gives you

  • 120 calories
  • 9 grams fibre
  • 2.5 grams fat
  • 1.5 grams polyunsaturated fat (0.3 grams plant omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 0.5 gram monounsaturated fat
  • 11 grams protein
  • 13 grams carbohydrate
  • 15 mg sodium
  • 10% of the Daily Value for vitamin C
  • 10% Daily Value for iron
  • 8% Daily Value for vitamin A
  • 4% Daily Value for calcium

You can see that edamame contains about 12% protein – which is great for a plant food and it’s a good quality protein source with all the essential amino acids.

With all that in mind, plant-based pasta makers like Slendier are now using edamame to make pasta because it tastes great, keeps its shape, is loved by the whole family, is gluten free (ours is also organic), looks great on the plate and adapts well to take on the taste of the pasta sauce it accompanies.

To get you started with your own edamame pasta dinners or lunches, you might try:

Winter vegetable pesto with organic Slendier Edamame Fettuccine

Asian Chicken Noodle Soup with Slendier Edamame Spaghetti or Fettuccine

Chiang Mail Chicken Curry Noodles (use Edamame Spaghetti or Soy Spaghetti)

Enjoy edamame as a main meal tonight!

Where you can buy Slendier products

Slendier products are available in the health food aisle of major supermarkets such as Coles, Foodworks, IGA and Woolworths throughout Australia and New Zealand.

From time to time you can also find our products online at catch.com.au

We sell all of Slendier products online here and offer free delivery for all orders over $100

Coles
Woolworths
Iga
Foodworks
Catch

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