Friday, 13 June 2014

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Greek Yogurt 'Baklava' Pots

We're not planning a holiday abroad this year, as much as my arthritis likes the warmer weather somewhere sunny, we're getting plenty of it here and, with the little one, there is lots to enjoy at home. However, that doesn't mean I'm prepared to miss out on some of those lovely treats you get to eat abroad. Baklava will forever remind me of a wonderful sailing holiday around the Greek islands with friends. We'd eat yoghurt and honey on the boat deck every morning facing a glassy, flat turquoise sea. Then we'd round another beautiful day of swimming and sailing off by eating baklava under the stars at night. This recipe is my healthy tribute to that holiday.

Ingredients:

80g shredded wheat cereal (or similar)
20g pistachio nuts
4tbsp runny honey 
1tbsp milk or non-dairy milk
2tsp orange flower water (optional, you could use a pinch of cinnamon or ground cardamon instead).
500g 2% fat Greek yoghurt

Serves 4

Put the shredded wheat and nuts in a small sandwich bag and lightly crush them with a rolling pin. Alternatively you can give the mixture a very brief blitz in a food processor.

Mix the crushed shredded wheat and pistachios with the honey, milk and orange flower water until well combined. Divide this mixture between four small serving glasses and top with 125g each of yoghurt. 

Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then serve.

Variation
Date and walnut - You can make a date paste to replace the honey: soften 50g of dates in 100ml of boiling water for a few hours and then blitz them up in a blender to make a smooth paste. Replace the pistachios with walnuts and the orange flower water with a pinch of cinnamon.

Arthritis diet notes:
Nuts are a good source of vitamin E and healthy fat if you have arthritis. Several studies have shown that people with arthritis tend to have lower intakes of healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin E, than their healthy peers. Stick to no more than a small handful a day if you are trying to control your weight - several studies have suggested that swapping your usual snack for nuts (particularly almonds or pistachios) may help with weight loss as the fat and fibre can help keep you satisfied between meals.

 If you eat a gluten-free diet you can swap the shredded wheat cereal for a a gluten-free ones (Nature's Path Mesa Sunrise works well).

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