Category: Snacks

Could Maple syrup enhance the effect of our antibiotics? researchers think so

Maple syrup may help fight disease-causing bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains that often grow in health-care settings, says a study published online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Concentrated extracts of maple syrup combined with antibiotics significantly reduced the growth of four common bacterial strains and bacterial communities called biofilms, the study found.

Bacterial biofilms accumulate on medical surfaces and devices, such as catheters and artificial joints, and are responsible for many antibiotic-resistant hospital infections, research has shown.

The maple-syrup extracts appeared to damage the outer membrane of bacterial cells, increasing their susceptibility to antibiotics, and to disable cellular mechanisms called efflux pumps associated with antibiotic resistance, the researchers said. The extracts also reduced the activity of genes in the bacteria linked to antibiotic resistance.

Maple syrup contains plant-based compounds called phenols that have exhibited antioxidant and anti-cancer properties in previous studies, according to researchers. Maple syrup may reduce the dose of antibiotics needed to kill biofilms, they said.

The study, at McGill University in Montreal, used concentrated maple-syrup extracts developed from syrup purchased at local markets in August 2013. The extracts and four phenols isolated from maple syrup were tested separately and in various combinations, with and without the antibiotic ciprofloaxin, against Escherichia coli, or E.coli; Proteus mirabilis, a common cause of urinary-tract infections; and two strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, associated with hospital-acquired infections.

Maple-syrup extract alone suppressed the growth of biofilms for all four strains. But pairing the extract with ciprofloaxin reduced E. coli and P. mirabilis biofilm formation by about 70% and the two P. aeruginosa strains by 83% and 54%, compared with control cultures treated with just ciprofloaxin.

Of the phenols tested, only catechol, when combined with ciprofloaxin, significantly reduced the growth of all four bacterial strains. Catechol may be responsible for maple syrup’s antimicrobial properties, the study suggests.

Caveat: Maple-syrup extracts combined with antibiotics haven’t been tested in human trials.

Now that print is dead, maple syrup may officially be the greatest thing made by trees.

Title: Polyphenolic Extract from Maple Syrup Potentiates Antibiotic Susceptibility and Reduces Biofilm Formation of Pathogenic Bacteria

This nutritional inspiration comes from Kylie one of our resident CF parents who is passionate about using natural therapies to supplement mainstream treatments.  For many of us these 5%ers are among a bunch of things that we try and incorporate into our diets and routines. If it can’t hurt and it’s received well by our children, why not try it? After all, life’s too short to wait until everything is proven. So if that sounds like you, here are a couple of little snack ideas using maple syrup to get you started… (‘grams of fat’ count in brackets as gf)

7-recipe_maple-milkshake_600x935Maple Syrup Milkshake | What you’ll need

¼ cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving (optional)

2 cup whole fat milk (4.4gf)

1 tsp. vanilla extract  & 1 tbsp Chia seeds (4.7gf)

2 scoops Conoisseur vanilla ice cream  (19.6gf)

Half a banana

Puree ingredients until smooth; pour into serving glasses and drizzle with more syrup, if you like.

Total Fat count | approx 30 grams fat

Continue reading “Could Maple syrup enhance the effect of our antibiotics? researchers think so”

Start the day with a kale smoothie

Kale is currently top of the pops when it comes to superfoods right now. Blueberries, quinoa and amaranth have been left by the wayside as health seekers bake, puree and blend their way to good health with the good green stuff. And with good reason.

Kale is a leafy green  vegetable that is chock-full of essential vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. A cup of fresh kale has only about 40 calories but packs almost 3 grams of protein. One cup of cooked kale has over 1000% more vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach and unlike spinach, kale’s oxalate content is very low which means that the calcium and iron in kale are highly absorbable in the human digestive system.

It’s a great nutrient dense way to start the day and an easy recipe to adapt for CF / non-CF calorie requirements. Continue reading “Start the day with a kale smoothie”

Guacamole

Continue reading “Guacamole”

High Energy Raw Balls

No-Bake-Energy-Bites-Redo-1High Energy Raw Balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Makes: About 2 dozen small balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or Sunbutter for nut free version)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed, almond meal or sunflower seeds  (or cereal for nut free version)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Method

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls.

Recipe borrowed kindly from Gimme Some Oven

* It’s worth noting that these are best when they come straight from the fridge so better to keep these as a high calorie snack with a cup of milo before bedtime rather than a lunchbox treat.

Mexican Egg Tarts

We make these and then freeze them so you can heat them up one at a time for a warm brekky or after school snack in between meals. Of course, they’re always better fresh.

 Preparation Time 30 – 50 minutes17153_l

Cooking Time 20 minutes

Makes 6

Ingredients

Olive oil, to grease

3 sheets (25 x 25cm) frozen ready-rolled shortcrust pastry, just thawed

1 x 270g can corn kernels, drained

100g grape tomatoes, quartered

1/2 red capsicum, deseeded, coarsely chopped

3 green shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced

40g (1/2 cup) coarsely grated hard cheddar cheese

6 eggs

 

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush six 185ml (3/4-cup) capacity muffin pans with oil to lightly grease. Using a saucer as a guide, cut six 14cm-diameter discs from the pastry. Line the muffin pans with pastry. Combine the corn, tomato, capsicum, shallot and cheddar in a bowl. Season with salt. Divide corn mixture among pastry cases. Make a well in the centre of the corn mixture. Break an egg into each pastry case. Bake for 20 minutes. Set aside in the pan to cool slightly before serving.

Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 20 min
Serves 4-6

Use raw, organic ingredients whenever possible. These measurements are flexible; don’t worry too much about being exact.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw, whole rolled oats (proper old fashion oats)
  • ½ cup raw nuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup raw seeds (sunflower or pumpkin seeds or both)
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit, chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey (or a combo of both)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or coconut butter)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large pinch fine sea salt

Nutty-GranolaRecipe: Preheat the oven to 300º. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your clean hands to mix well and toss to coat; it will be sticky and messy but that’s the fun part. The coconut oil might be liquid or solid depending on the temperature of the room you are in (it has a melting point of about 75ºF.) Your hands will warm it up and melt it into the mixture if it’s solid, just be sure to mix it all through the other ingredients so there aren’t any chunks of oil left. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until very lightly toasted. Cool before serving or storing. This granola can be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks.

CF Tip > We add this over ice cream or yoghurt to “crunch” it up with a few extra calories as well as keeping in on hand as a healthy high fat snack for car trips etc.