February 2017

Ellie’s story: Home cooking for a healthy family

22nd February 2017
mother and teenage son

A working mum with two sons – including 13 year old Luke who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 10 – Ellie tells us how relaxing in the kitchen (and using Cook&Count app!) helps her to feed her family…


Healthy eating and home cooking

Healthy eating was important before Luke’s diagnosis anyway – we’ve always cooked healthily and had a healthy balanced diet. We’ve never been into any kind of fad diets at all, but when you have type 1 it is partly about making sure you can carb count accurately. We aim for a low fat, healthy, balanced diet, and the way to get that is home cooked food.

Part of why I enjoy home cooking is relaxation. I’ve always enjoyed cooking but I work so I don’t have time to cook every night. I usually just potter around in the kitchen on my day off and make a batch of food for the week. I enjoy cooking for appreciative hungry boys – they’re very easy to feed! It can get a bit tedious doing the same day in day out, so I like to mix it up a bit.


The importance of accurate carb counting (and the benefits of calorie awareness)

The reason I’m interested in knowing the nutritional content of my food is predominantly for carb counting. Even if you look at recipe books that have the carb content per portion, I’ve noticed they can be way off, or not include the portion of rice that it comes on the side. The information out there can be quite misleading, so actually doing it yourself is the best way to guarantee that you’re getting the carbs right. If you get it wrong when you’re matching it with insulin, you risk having your blood sugar shooting up or plummeting down. I was quite shocked when Luke was first diagnosed that his dietitian said that he needs to be within 10 grams of carbs of accuracy in what he’s counting. It sounds dramatic, but it is important.

I don’t diet at all and I don’t do fad diets, but I have to say that when I want to lose a bit of weight the only way that I think works is doing a calorie counted diet. So I’ve been using the calorie content as well which is an added bonus! One other thing that is important on the nutritional content is fat. It’s good to have an awareness of whether your food is particularly fatty.


Making life easier

I couldn’t believe the irony of Luke being diagnosed as my maths is really not strong. I had all these scribbles – ratios worked out on the backs of envelopes in the kitchen, and I would go through packets of rice and packets of sugar, working out whole recipes by hand on a calculator. This wasn’t particularly time efficient, but then I’d write them all down for future reference. It’s much easier to have it calculated for you.

I discovered Cook&Count app on Twitter. It was quite early days and Luke had only just been diagnosed. Cook&Count app is helpful if I’m doing a new recipe from scratch to work out the carbs. I recently went through a period of thinking I had it all sorted – I’ve got all my usual recipes off the top of my head now – but he’s growing all the time. When you’ve got a teenager with type 1, they suddenly start eating more and the portion is one and a half times the size. It’s being able to adapt the sizes that’s really useful. You think you can carb count in advance, but then actually you might want seconds and a bit more pudding, so it just gives you that flexibility.


It’s all about portion sizes

The most important thing for me is the ability to carb count based on weight and portion sizes. Sometimes you’re not going to be near scales, so you can just judge it by portion size and divide it up – that’s really helpful. I haven’t seen anything like it. I know other health and fitness apps have carb counting, but it tends to be more about takeaway and restaurant food rather than actually being able to create your own food at home.

The only thing to improve Cook&Count app for me would be to be able to use it online on my laptop – I think that would be useful!



Try out Cook&Count app for free for yourself from the App Store or Google Play.

Lemon heart biscuits for Valentine’s Day

13th February 2017
lemon and chocolate heart biscuits

A tasty heartfelt gift for the one you love this Valentine’s Day – lemon biscuits dipped in dark chocolate – created by our founder Debs…

Visually striking, with dark chocolate part coating the buttery lemon biscuits. These crisp biscuits have a refreshing zing of lemon and rich chocolate flavour that go perfectly together.

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 300g plain chocolate

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3. Line two baking trays with baking paper and leave to one side.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl before adding the lemon zest. Mix for 30 seconds then stir in the egg.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking powder and keep stirring. Gradually add the milk to turn the mixture in to a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes if the kitchen in warm.
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface so it is 5mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes and transfer on to the trays. Bake for 15- 20 minuets, when turn lightly golden remove them the oven and transfer on to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a microwave. Half dip each biscuit in the chocolate then return it to set on a new sheet of baking parchment.

 

Lemon biscuits

 

Enjoy this sweet treat with someone special, or share the love with your friends, family and colleagues!

Check out the nutritional information in the app – you’ll find this delicious recipe in the Baking section.

 

Download Cook&Count for free now for lots more tasty creations, all with accurate nutritional information, available for iPhone/iPad and on Android.

New Cook&Count Android release goes live!

8th February 2017

We’re pleased to announce that the much anticipated Android release of new Cook&Count is now available!

Offering gluten and dairy filters for those with special dietary requirements, along with lots more tried and tested recipes, Cook&Count provides nutritional information for all your home cooked favourites.

Here are some of our favourite new recipes…

 

Baked herby falafels from the Fakeaways cookbook

Baked herby falafel

Falafel are a great fast food. They are a traditional Middle Eastern food, very nutritious and versatile. Serve with a flatbread, salad and hummus. They’re also great for snacking or served as part of a mezze tray.

 

Cheesy potato pancakes with mizeria from the Cheap & Easy cookbook

cheesypotatopancakes 710x440

Potato pancakes are a popular Eastern European staple. This is a Polish recipe, which we recommend you serve with mizeria, a yoghurt and cucumber salad. This makes a perfectly balanced meal.

 

Gluten free orange and almond cake from the Gluten Free cookbook

Orange almond cake 710x440

A classic recipe, first published in A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968. It remains popular nearly 50 years later. Easy to make, low in fat and gluten free. This works well as a dessert or cake.

 

Completely free to download, you can give Cook&Count a try by adding three of your best recipes and following many of our own. Then for just 79p per month (£7.99 per year) you can access the full range of recipes and save as many of your own as you’d like to.

Download the brand new Android version here, or the iPhone/iPad version here, and get cooking!