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Purple Power!

About a month ago, the BBC aired a documentary ‘How to Stay Young’ presented by the demigoddess, Angela Rippon, and the charming Dr Chris Van Tulleken. During the programme, they visited a small island off the coast of Japan, called Okinawa, where residents live longer than anywhere else in the world. Their occurence of brain disease are 50% less and their chances of heart disease, reduced by 80%.

The common factor here, is that they eat half a kilo per day of purple sweet potato. These nutritional powerhouses contain compounds called anthocyanins, a pigment found in many purple plants. The clever science people have shown that it is this compound which contributes to the residents healthy, younger brains.

Now, these vegetables are not easy to find in the UK. Also, I am here to discuss ice cream and I think that purple sweet potato ripple might be an experiment too far, although I’ll bet a Hemsley or Woodward will try it, However, Blackcurrants are full of anthocynanins, as are blackberries and blueberries.

Many (very many) years ago, I remember going along to our village street market. It was a hot and breezy day, one of those that seem so rare now, My best friend and I, unaccompanied for the first time, wondered past the stalls and made our way to the ‘big house’ of the village where they had refreshments set out in the stunningly beautiful, classic English garden. The owner of the house, had made her own blackcurrant ice cream, using blackcurrants from her tree, unpasteurised milk and cream from the local farm and churned by her own fair hand. My friend and I promptly ordered a cone each and I can honestly say, I have never tasted anything like it since. It was just divine. The colour was amazing, it was a perfect balance of tartness and sweetness, creamy and velvet like texture and with the occasional blackcurrant hiding. 

I have got to give this a go haven’t I? I can’t claim to have used my own blackcurrants or indeed found a local farm brave enough to let me have unpasteurised milk or cream, but, I think with a bit of love and patience, I think I could create something close to it! 

So, lets get to work and get some of the good brain stuff in our chops!



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