This is a very rare event. Food shopping and preparation is very much my domain as I have more time than he does and I am also far more selective, so he was greeted with an air of intrigue when he came home this evening with a supermarket bag – unprompted by me!
I had prepared a supper of organic purple sprouting broccoli and some baby leeks to accompany some fish. He turned up with 2 bottles of champagne, 2 different types of houmous, another dip made from cannellini beans and chickpeas, some french brie and a large, white, albeit organic, baguette.
To many, this may seem like a perfectly reasonable range of goods, in fact, there was some healthy stuff in there, right? Well, sorry to be a health bore, but I was not at all impressed when I checked out what was in the dips.
So, let’s start with the houmous – a dip made from those super-healthy little legumes, chickpeas, so houmous has to be healthy, right?….well, the 2nd ingredient after chickpeas (only 41%!) is vegetable oil – YUK!
Most people are under the impression vegetable fat is a healthy fat. Vegetable oil can be sourced from one or several oils such as corn, sunflower, rapeseed, or, most likely, soya. All of these fats are high in the essential fatty acid, omega 6. This makes these oils very unstable meaning they react to heat, light and oxygen very easily, turning them rancid. Therefore, vegetable oils are highly processed using very high temperatures, de-oderizers, bleaches and other chemical processes to create a stable oil that can be used in food manufacturing without spoiling.
This results in a user-friendly but very damaged fat containing trans-fats which have been shown to be extremely harmful to our cells. A far better option is olive oil as it contains mostly monounsaturated fat which is more stable. If you can’t find a houmous made using olive oil, either make your own (I’ll post an easy recipe soon) or opt for the ‘healthy’ or ‘light’ version which will contain lower amounts of vegetable oil (I generally steer well clear of ‘lite’ options but in this case it simply means a higher percentage of chickpeas and tahini).
By the way, so you don’t think I am too virtuous, I did pinch the crusty end off of the baguette and had it with some organic, Jersey butter – delish! Naughty but very nice and one mouthful was enough to satisfy me.
Next time…. what on earth have they put in that bean dip and why white bread is such a no no.