Enjoy a green Packham’s Triumph Pear this season

Written by editor. Posted in Foods & Cooking

Australian fruit information: Packham’s Triumph Pear  

Packham’s Triumph is a great eating pear. Created in Australia by Charles Packham in 1896 when he crossed a Williams’ pear with a Bell pear, this hybrid offers the best qualities of both.


The Packham is a slow-ripening pear that turns a less intense green when ripe. It is not to be mistaken with the Williams’ pear, which looks similar but turns golden when ready to be devoured.



Sweet in flavour, Packham pears can be eaten firm and crisp (hard) or fully ripe (soft). It is the perfect pear to pop into a lunch box or to have as a snack at work. Try them sliced in a salad like the one here, or on a cheese plate.


Complement the flavour of the Packham in a Pear, Rocket and Parmesan Salad with Lemon Dressing; perfect for lunch or as a delicious side at dinner.



The Packham season is from May until January and is the longest season of all the Australian pear varieties. Harvesting of this years’ Packham crop has commenced and great quality Packham pears are in store now.


This year’s crop is slightly smaller than previous years as damage was sustained by this year’s March thunderstorms and Black Saturday weather conditions of 2009. Eating quality of the Packham has not been affected and due to increased rainfall the fruit is larger than usual. Consumers can expect delicious large Packham pears throughout the entire season with fruit looking beautiful and bursting with flavour.
To check if a pear is ripe, simply check the neck. When ready to eat, the flesh around the neck will give when pressed gently
  • Pears soften best naturally in the fruitbowl
  • When pears are ripe, store them in the fridge to keep them fresh
  • If pears become extra soft, simply pop them into a soup or smoothie for added richness
  • Pears are generally sold unripe as the fruit continues to ripen off the tree. Buy your pears a few days ahead to enjoy them at their peak




Written by editor. Posted in Foods & Cooking

More than $250 million[1] spent annually on pharmaceutical remedies
Australians are being encouraged to forget the pharmacy this winter and invest in their wellbeing by eating a diet rich in Vitamin C from fruit such as Tropical Pines King of Fruit pineapples.
Australian Tropical Pineapple: King of Fruit Vitamin C rich diet

Australians spend $250 million on over the counter cold and flu remedies annually. Little evidence exists to suggest that popping a pill is more effective than a balanced diet


“Before turning to expensive cold and flu tablets, we can build our immune systems to combat winter colds with one of nature’s best superfoods, pineapples,” says MasterChef Season Two contestant, Skye Craig the ambassador for ‘King of Fruit’ Tropical Pineapples, Australia’s leading supplier of fresh pineapple.


Pineapples are one of the most nutritionally balanced fruit available, containing more Vitamin C than apples or bananas. A cup of pineapple offers the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C.

Where cold and flu medicines cost between $10 and $20 per packet; a King of Fruit Topless Pineapple costs on average between $3 and $4.
“Pineapples are a winter super-food that are naturally sweet, high in vitamin C and B but are low in calories and sugar,” says Skye Craig, who has opened a dessert business, Wild Sugar, since leaving Masterchef.
“Most home cooks don’t realize that pineapples are bountiful during the colder winter months. Australians miss out on enjoying delicious tropical fruit just when they most need the vitamin hit!” says Skye.


According to Skye, adding ‘King of Fruit’ Topless pineapples to winter recipes is the perfect way to give classic dishes a sweet lift. She says, “Pineapples are underused as an ingredient. They add a fresh modern twist to classic dishes. Pork loin roasted pineapple is a great take on a classic winter meal. Making sticky pineapple pudding with a coconut sorbet is a lighter tasting dessert perfect for cold winter nights.”
“Offering naturally sweet pineapple to kids is a great way to boost their winter immunity too. Kids love the sweetness of the fresh pineapples. It’s a great tasting way to slip in extra vitamins to their diet.”
Skye recommends parents choose topless King of Fruit Pineapples which are guaranteed to have low acidity and do not taste ‘tart’. They can be identified by their striking green and yellow tag.
“Try having a juice made of fresh pineapple each morning to get your vitamin C hit early in the day,” she says.
Joe Craggs, Sales and Marketing Manager at Tropical Pineapples, agrees. He says, “Pineapples are grown all year round, and King of Fruit have a tasty ‘topless’, sweet, winter variety. The current pineapple season is bountiful with great quality fruit that is really good for you.”
Selection and Storage
Tropical Pineapples picks its King of Fruit pineapples when ripe. The pineapples are on shelf within two to five days of harvest and ready to eat. When choosing a pineapple, look for:
· Fruit that is free of soft spots, bruises and darkened “eyes”, all of which may indicate a pineapple is damaged or past its prime.
· Skin colour that is right for the season. In winter look for more coloured fruit, while in summer, look for greener fruit with a ring of colour at the base.
Pineapples can be left at room temperature for a couple of days until they achieve your preferred skin colour or wrap them in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Store cut fruit in an airtight container in the fridge to retain its quality and nutrients for up to six days.
About Tropical Pineapples
Tropical Pineapples was founded in 1987 and represents 22 growing families throughout Queensland.
Tropical Pineapples ‘King of Fruit’ Pineapples are grown in the region north of Brisbane extending to the southern borders of Cairns. This spread allows us to supply fresh, sweet pineapples to our consumers for twelve months every year. It is the largest supplier of fresh pineapples into the Australian market and pack 10 million pineapples a year.

[1] Cough, cold and flu treatments, CHOICE, 31 March 2010 www.choice.com.au

Consumers fishing for omega-3 in all the wrong places

Written by editor. Posted in Foods & Cooking


Thursday 5th August 2010….A new Newspoll survey1 has revealed that 9 out of 10 Australians know that fish is the best natural source of long chain omega-3 when compared to other foods.


However, the majority are unaware that different fish have significantly different levels of omega-3, which could affect their purchasing decisions when looking to buy seafood with the richest sources of long chain omega-3.

The Newspoll survey revealed:
  • Only a fifth (21%) of Australians are aware that sardines have one of the highest levels of naturally occurring long chain omega-3.
  • Even fewer (9%) realise mackerel is one of the best sources of long chain omega-3
  • However over a third (38%) correctly identified salmon as near the top of the long chain omega-3 scale
In response to this confusion amongst consumers, leading seafood brands John West and Birds Eye are making it easy for shoppers with the new Omega-3 Fish Scale.
The Omega-3 Fish Scale is an on-pack rating system that helps to quickly and easily identify the levels of long chain omega-3’s EPA and DHA in each product. The more stars on the Fish Scale, the more omega-3 there is in the fish you have chosen. There are three levels – Source, Good Source and High Source. Check the nutrition information panel on pack for the omega-3 EPA and DHA content of products.
The Heart Foundation recommends that healthy adults have 500mg of omega-3’s EPA and DHA per day for heart health3. They also suggest that we should eat 2 to 3 serves of oily fish or seafood every week.
Omega-3s are unique fatty acids that are essential for growth, development and ongoing health from birth to old age. In particular, long chain omega-3’s EPA and DHA help to promote brain function, maintain a healthy heart and good eyesight. As the body can’t produce enough long chain omega-3s for our requirements, it is important to ensure that we include them in our daily diets, preferably in their most natural form.

Fish is one of the most versatile foods to incorporate into your diet. And with many chilled, canned and frozen varieties available, they are a quick and easy alternative to fresh fish to ensure you are getting enough long chain omega-3 in your diet, so always look out for the John West and Birds Eye new Omega-3 Fish Scale.



Cajun Spiced Fish and Warm Corn Salad Recipe Omega-3 Healthy Family Pasta Fish Recipe: Linguine with Salmon Slices Omega-3 Healthy Family Fish Recipe: Mackerel and Lemon Dip with Omega-3 Healthy Family Fish Recipe: Sardine Pizza source Omega3 Healthy Family Quick Fish Finger Recipe: food rich in Omega-3


1 Newspoll survey was conducted 14-16 May 2010 on the Newspoll Telephone Omnibus amongst a nationally representative sample of 1200 respondents aged 18 years and over.
2Omega-3 Comparison Chart sourced from:
· Food Standards Australia New Zealand. NUTTAB 2006. Online database of the Nutritional Composition of Australian Foods. Canberra: FSANZ, 2006.
· MLA. The role of red meat in healthy Australian diets. 2007.
· AECL . Nutritional information research study October - November 2007.
· Nichols PD et al. Seafood the good food. 1998.
· Sinclair AJ et al. The ù-3 fatty acid content of canned, smoked and fresh fish in Australia. Aust J Nutr 1998; 55:116-120.
· McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods integrated dataset (CoF IDS). http://www.food.gov.uk/science/dietarysurveys/dietsurveys/ (accessed 30/09/09).

Beating obesity with the Magic Plate of balanced diet

Written by editor. Posted in Foods & Cooking

By Dr Ian Campbell

As a GP I was increasingly aware of what obesity was doing to my patients. I could see that it was causing a lot of unhappiness, but I could also see that it was causing a lot of ill health that could be prevented.


When I realized the health benefits of weight management for individuals and families and also important to our society I became increasingly motivated to do something about it so we could work together to reduce and prevent the amount of ill health in our communities.


It’s taken a long time for everyone to wake up to the fact that obesity is a silent killer. It increases your risk of heart disease, of type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.


And yet it affects one in four of the adult population – two thirds of us are carrying excessive weight and one in four of us are carrying enough to sharply increase our risk of these diseases.

What is particularly worrying is that so many children are obese. Weight problems in childhood so often lead to obesity and obesity-related diseases later in life.


In Australia, one out of every four Australian children aged between five and 17 years is overweight or obese – 17 percent are overweight and 7.8 percent are obese.


The rate of obesity among boys has jumped from 4.5 percent in 1995 to 9.7 percent in 2008. The rate among girls is steady at 5.8 percent.


It’s very hard for families to address obesity. But good health starts at home. There’s so much we can do to help ourselves – and our children.


Any family that has sought help about weight control and healthy eating will have been made aware of the energy balance equation. The energy balance equation is what doctors refer to, to explain simply, that the energy that goes in through food has to be less than the energy that goes out through physical activity. So with any weight management program increased physical activity has to be an important part.


But controlling the amount of energy that we eat – even healthy foods – can be an equally difficult challenge. The key is to eat normal healthy food but in the right proportions.


In my clinic, one of the problems I’ve found time and again is that many families struggle to control the amount of food each family member consumes. Among all the messages about food and nutrition we’re bombarded with, it’s hard to determine what a normal plate of food should look like.


Through my work I’ve come across many different diets or programmes designed to help people control their weight. One is very helpful for families trying to prevent weight problems and educate children about healthy eating habits. It’s a simple portion control plate. It doesn’t mention the word diet anywhere on the kids’ version, called the Magic Plate), and it can make mum and dad’s job a lot easier.


The Magic Plate allows the balance of good nutritional health to be maintained and actually encourages increased vegetable consumption. It has produced great results in clinics across the UK.


One of the beauties of using The Magic Plate is that everyone in the family can eat the same food, the food that you enjoy, but in the right proportions.


Initially some families might find it slightly awkward having to adjust the portions of food on their plates, but it very quickly becomes normal. They very quickly realise that their expectations of what a normal plate of food should look like starts to change. The Magic Plate is not asking you to do anything unnatural, it’s actually asking you to do what’s very natural which is to get the correct proportion of carbohydrate, of protein and of fibre on your plate and in your diet. It becomes part of everyday healthy eating habits.


It is important for families to get help when they need it. But it’s also important to do what we can at home and help ourselves, and our kids.



For more information, visit www.thedietplate.com.au


About Dr Ian Campbell

Dr Campbell is a full time GP, obesity expert, and prominent campaigner for the prevention and treatment of obesity. He is an UK Government Obesity advisor and founder and first president of the UK National Obesity Forum. Dr Ian Campbell was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2009 for his services to healthcare.
Dr. Ian Campbell is a non-executive director and medical adviser to The Diet Plate® Ltd.

The Australian Veg Food Guide 2011

Written by editor. Posted in Foods & Cooking


Find the best Vegetarian food across Oz!


After a sell out Melbourne edition, this new rewritten and redesigned nationwide food guide contains over 200 reviews and listings of as many vegan, vegetarian and veg friendly restaurants as can be crammed in from all around Australia.


The Australian Veg Food Guide 2011 is published by Aduki Independent Press and is available November 2011 at all good book stores. http://www.aduki.net.au


The book includes:
· Clear icons and ratings
· Indices by name and area
· Over 200 reviews by dozens of contributors
· Accompanying community site

· Contains results of annual Veg Food Awards


About the Author
Edited by Lisa Dempster, who edited the previous edition of the Melbourne Veg Food Guide. Lisa is the director of the Emerging Writer’s Festival and is a renowned food blogger. She resides in Melbourne.


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