Hi There Everyone,
When I was studying to be a primary school teacher way back in 1993 I took myself to the CSIRO for a science assignment and while I was waiting for the person I was there to meet I noticed a guide on food preservatives. The guide listed what each food preservative number meant and the potential side effects of each number. I was shocked to see some of the possible side effects, some could bring on joint pains and headaches, and some itchy skin, acne, rashes and even asthma.
It was then at the age of twenty four that I decided I would check the labels of anything I bought and better still go back to cooking from scratch like my mother and grandmother had always done.
It was easy to give up preservatives as at the same time I lived quite close to a very progressive health food shop and was beginning to understand the benefits of organic produce. This increased awareness of what I was putting in my mouth and body to fuel it, was exciting and saw me spending much of my spare time (which was actually minimal in those days with juggling study and work) in the kitchen creating sensational vego meals.
More recently it was brought to my attention that it is also important to cook from scratch due to the sugar content in processed foods. I was watching the ABC’s Australian Story on Damon Gameau and the film he made That Sugar Film where he shows that the vast majority of foods found on supermarket shelves contain sugar. If we were to remove all the lines with sugar in them there would be very empty supermarkets indeed. He suggests that by buying processed foods a person on average consumes forty teaspoons of sugar a day. This is a horrifying thought that I had never even considered as it is rare for me to step foot in a supermarket.
By making food from scratch you can easily avoid ridiculous amounts of sugar that is usually added to food. Take for example mayonnaise. I have no idea why there needs to be eggs in mayonnaise let alone sugar. When you make mayonnaise from scratch you soon realise there is no need to either add sugar or eggs.
Preservative Free Vegan Mayonnaise
½ cup home made almond milk malt free soya milk
1 cup unrefined cold pressed sunflower oil
1 to 2 tsp of fermented mustard (found at local farmers markets /this is optional) or ¼ tsp mustard powder
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 tsp salt or more to taste
½ lemon juiced or more to taste
Anything you like to add to mayonnaise like fresh dill or chives
Place everything (except the fresh herbs) in a blender cup and with a hand held blender blend for a minute or so or until thick. You can also do this with a hand held whisk, just takes a bit longer. Fold through the finely chopped fresh herbs if using.
Note the photo is of the mayonnaise which is par tof a dish of quinoa and puy lentils and the beetroot puree is just mashed beetroot. Top it off with steamed vegetables.