WHAT FOOD COMES TO MIND when you think about Easter? For us here at Cedele, it isn't colourful Easter eggs, it's our wide array of hot cross buns. But have you ever stopped to wonder why hot cross buns are only eaten during Easter? We've decided to dig a little deeper into the origin of these spiced buns and here are some interesting anecdotes...
Three things you didn't know about Hot Cross Buns:
1. A monk introduced the cross to the bun
Like most food histories, there are multiple stories. The most common story is that a 12th Century monk baked the buns, and marked them with a cross in honour of Good Friday. The spiced buns soon grew popularity around England as a symbol of the holiday weekend. However, some researchers say that the cross on the bun was not originally a reference to the Christian story. Instead, it was modelled after the Celtic cross that has equal length bars which represent the intersection of earth and Heaven, the human and the divine. Nevertheless, this seems to have blended over the years to point to the traditional Christian symbolism.
2. Hot cross buns got banned in England
In 1592, Queen Elizabeth I issued a decree that forbade the sale of hot cross buns, except at burials, and during Good Friday and Christmas. Some historians say that it was because the buns were just too special to be eaten year round. Others believe that the Protestants in power were trying to rid the country of a symbol of English Catholicism. Despite this, people got around this rule by baking their own buns in their own kitchens. However, if caught, they had to give up all of their illegal buns to the poor.
3. Many superstitions surround the humble hot cross bun
According to English folklore, buns baked and served on Good Friday will stay fresh and not grow mold for a whole year. In the past, some considered the hot cross bun almost like a good luck charm. They hung it in their kitchen rafters to protect from evil spirits or prevent kitchen fires. Similarly, sailors brought it with them on voyages, claiming that the buns endow their boats with protection from shipwreck.
Our Easter hot cross buns
[From left to right: Pandan Coconut, Chocolate Chip, and our Classic hot cross buns]
At Easter every year, we consistently offer you a range of hot cross buns. This year is no different! We're bringing back the Classic hot cross buns, which are filled with raisins, cranberries, orange peel, and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
We know you love these, so we're bringing back our Pandan Coconut and Chocolate Chip hot cross bun flavours. Choose the Pandan Coconut for hot cross buns with a local twist. Or pick our kid-friendly soft dark roll, because you can't really go wrong with chocolate chip.
[From left to right: Green Tea Chocolate Chip, and Mexican Cheese hot cross buns]
This Easter, we're introducing a couple of exciting new flavours. First, our Green Tea Chocolate Chip hot cross bun, where chocolate chips are baked into a light and tender matcha brioche. Also available, our Mexican Cheese bun, which combines Mexican spices and cheddar cheese for a slightly spicy kick.
But that's not all: Mexican Hot Cross Sliders
On top of our range of hot cross buns, we're also offering Mexican Hot Cross Sliders at our Bakery Cafe outlets. Order pulled pork & avocado (pictured above) or turkey ham & cheese paired with our Mexican Cheese hot cross bun.
Can't wait? Visit our Bakery Cafe outlets to bite into these hot cross buns!
"Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." - Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (translated from French)
WOULD YOU AGREE that what we eat is intricately linked to our mood, emotions and behaviour? Consider this: do you find yourself reaching for comfort food when you feel sad? More often than we'd like to admit, it's usually fatty, sugary and processed food. Since International Day of Happiness starts this week, we've decided to zoom in on 6 foods that makes us happy. For a mood boost, grab these healthier options instead!
For a mood boost, eat these:
[From left to right: Fish Pesto Pasta, and our new Shellfish Pasta, available at all-day dining outlets]
More commonly known as food for your brain, consuming seafood is an easy way to lift your mood. Shellfish like oysters and clams are packed with vitamin B12, an essential vitamin your body needs to produce dopamine and serotonin. Oysters, in particular, are rich in zinc. Low zinc levels are typically linked to anxiety.
Similarly, oily, fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout are full of omega-3, a key mood-boosting nutrient. Omega-3 fatty acids alter your brain chemicals linked to mood, specifically dopamine and serotonin. Most of you would know that low levels of serotonin are linked with depression and anxiety. Dopamine, on the other hand, is a "reward" chemical the brain releases in response to a pleasurable experience.
Caffeine lovers rejoice! A Nurses' Health study found that women who drank two or three cups of coffee a day were 15% less likely to become depressed. The magic of this mood lifting bean is well-known. Caffeine increases dopamine and serotonin transmissions within just 30 minutes. Admit it, you reach for a cup of coffee in the morning to boost your mental focus and alertness. Here's the catch: the less you consume, the better it works.
[Left to right: Our newly launched Super Acai Bowl, and our Berry Punch Yoghurt Cup]
Since majority of serotonin is made in our gut, cultured dairy products are the way to promote a healthy gut. Consuming yoghurt or kefir helps enhance the population of healthy probiotic bacteria in your gut. Just make sure to choose yoghurt labeled with "contains live and active cultures", to cultivate healthy bacteria you need for a positive mood.
[A couple of our avocado-filled sandwiches: our Beetroot Avocado sandwich and our Pulled Pork sandwich]
Time to put avocados on your shopping list! Deficiencies of folate, vitamin B6 and tryptophan have been linked to depression, but fret not, avocados contain plenty of all three. Also known as a natural hormone balancer, avocados ensure your brain is making the right chemicals needed to keep you happy.
[Our vegan-friendly, Portobello & Tri Colour Quinoa]
As a complex carbohydrate and complete protein, quinoa helps keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady. This prevents blood sugar spikes, which can make you irritable and unfocused. A flavonoid found in quinoa, quercetin, has also been shown to have anti-depressant effects.
6. Leafy Greens
[Right: Our hearty Prawn & Bacon Spinach salad]
For your 5 a day, choose dark leafy greens like spinach, bok choy or kale. These vegetables are rich in folic acid, a nutrient that affects your brain's neurotransmitters and alleviates depression or fatigue. Moreover, spinach comes packed with B vitamins which regulate serotonin production and repair tired muscles.
Happiness is just a mouthful away!
Since you now know about these natural mood boosters, head over to our outlets to eat yourself happy! Specially for International Day of Happiness, we have a treat for you, our loyal customers. Head on down to any of our outlets for some good vibes!
IF THIS NEW WORK WEEK has got you down, why not make some plans to treat yourself during lunch or dinner? We're introducing three yummy desserts from our new menu that come with a healthy side of our homemade superfood granola. So don't hesitate, make plans to grab our new desserts, available now at our all day dining outlets.
Sweet Dreams are made of these: our new dessert menu
"Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance." - Chef Edward Lee
Pavolva & Fruits
It's hard to deny that this dessert plate is not a stunner. Shards of berries swirl meringue are perfectly placed on top of our eggless vanilla ice cream. To top it off, we serve fresh fruits, a moat of mango coulis and our crunchy superfood granola*.
Warm Apple Crumble Tart
For a more comforting, nostalgic flavour, our warm apple crumble tart comes with a scoop of eggless vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of caramel and our homemade superfood granola*.
Cheesecake Ice Cream & Cookie Stack
For this sweet treat, we have balanced two scoops of our eggless Blueberry Cheesecake ice cream between two of our homemade vanilla oat cookies. Served with fresh fruit, our superfood granola* and a drizzle of maple syrup.
*So what's so great about our granola?
Our superfood granola is homemade, and contains the following healthy fruits and grains.
Chia seeds: Historically, these tiny seeds were used as strength and energy boosters. So much so that the word "chia" used to stand for "strength" in ancient Mayan culture. According to modern science, chia seeds are a highly concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants and dietary fibre. They offer a long list of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory action and a reduced risk of heart diseases.
Oats: Oats are rich in carbohydrates and packed with fibre. They also contain beta-glucan, a soluble fibre that reduces cholesterol reabsorption in the gut, which reduces your risk of a heart attack. Oats also have a low to moderate glycemic index (GI), which means they fill you up and keep your glucose levels stable.
Pumpkin seeds: Also known as pepitas, pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and fibre. They also contain a high concentration of magnesium and zinc. These aid in poor appetite and sleep patterns, skin conditions and mood disturbances.
Almonds: Once avoided for their high fat content, almonds are making a comeback. They are high in protein and are proven to help stave off heart disease, diabetes and bad cholesterol.
Cranberries: Chock full of antioxidants, these tart red berries are rich in vitamin C and fibre. They are also known to be one of the best foods for preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries also fight against inflammation, aid oral health and prevent ulcers.
'Inspired by' is a series which highlights a person, movement or object that has inspired us here at Cedele. We believe in giving credit where it is due, and these posts aim to do just that. Take it as a peek into what drives us and our ethos. Hopefully, you'll get inspired too.
WE ARE CONTINUING our 'Inspired by' series, and just in time for International Women's Day this week, we're putting the spotlight on physician, speaker and New York Times bestselling author, Lissa Rankin.
The Shocking Truth about Health
Titled "The Shocking Truth about your Health", she opens her 2011 TED talk with a bold statement: "Caring for your body is the least important part of your health". Rankin believes that the medical profession has got it backwards. Instead of shaping how we live our lives, the body is a mirror of how we are living.
"The body is brilliant this way. It speaks to us in whispers, and if we ignore the whispers of the body, The body starts to yell."
According to Rankin, our bodies are well-equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms. But these mechanisms are deactivated when your body is in stress response, also known as the body's natural fight-or-flight response. From much of Rankin's research, it is clear that she is passionate about finding out what makes people healthy and what predisposes them to illness. But beyond that, she is "on a mission to merge science and spirituality", to "facilitate the health of the individual... [and] uplift the health of the collective".
Her following talks at TEDx events point to this. In the most recent talk, she alludes to loneliness as the "#1 public health issue doctor's aren't talking about". Emphasising the power of the tribe, she encourages us (her viewers and readers) to befriend ourselves, to be vulnerable. In sum, her research reinforces the notion that the greatest risk factor for disease is not a poor diet or lack of exercise, but loneliness.
Mind Over Medicine
[Left to right: 'Mind Over Medicine' by Lissa Rankin, Rankin speaking at a TEDx event]
Rankin's turning point from conventional medicine came when she took a job in the posh Marin County, California. Despite following organic diets, working out with personal trainers, sleeping 8 hours every night, and spending money on the best healthcare, her patients were still ill. She began looking into the medical case studies of people recovering from seemingly "incurable" illnesses. The mind-blowing data is compiled in her book, Mind Over Medicine.
Her findings reveal a recognition of the body's innate ability to self-repair. According to Rankin, our thoughts, feelings and beliefs can alter our body's physiology. Her book digs into the scientific data that proves how loneliness, pessimism, fear and anxiety cause harm to the body. On the flip side, intimate relationships, gratitude and authentic self-expression allow the body to heal itself.
If you have the time, listen to Rankin's interview with Jonathan Fields for The Good Life Project. (Perhaps in the car or this weekend over tea at one of our outlets?) Through the interview, you learn about Rankin's own story - of how she felt called to medicine since 7 years old, how quickly her medical career derail and how she came back from that.
As you know, our philosophy here at Cedele is to help our customers "Eat Well, Be Well". Rankin's story and findings inspire us to take wellness a step further. Beyond providing wholesome food, we're reminded to listen to our bodies - they are a mirror of how we are living. More than that, we hope that she inspires you to open your heart, to be kind and to remember we're all connected.
IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD, we launched our new menu for our All Day Dining outlets last week. Our previous post took the time to introduce two dishes on our new menu that we're really excited about. This time around, we're looking at two more "super" nutritious brunch items we can't wait for you to try!
Super Green Omelette
Don't be put off by the name of this dish, it's just as delicious as our other brunch items! This Super Green Omelette is made with following healthy greens:
Zucchini: Extremely low in calories, zucchinis aid in weight loss and boost the nutrient value of your diet. It also promotes eye health and prevents diseases that occur from vitamin C deficiency.
Avocado: Although high in fatty acid content, avocados contain extremely low levels of cholesterol. Their soluble and insoluble fibres help keep your digestive system running smoothly. Packed with nutrients, avocados are also great for enriching dry or chapped skin.
Spinach: Rich in water-soluble vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, this leafy vegetable is amazingly versatile. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K which is important for maintaining bone health.
The omelette comes topped with feta, pine nuts and sauteed onions. It is also served with rosemary focaccia with homemade lingonberry orange chutney and pink Himalayan salt butter. So heed your mother's advice and eat your greens!
Super Acai Bowl
You probably have heard of acai (pronounced ah-sah-ee) berries, which originate from Central and South America. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and healthy fats, they were traditionally used as treatment for diarrhea, parasitic infections and hemorrhages. Today, acai bowls are all the rage among clean eating enthusiasts.
Our Super Acai bowl builds upon an acai yoghurt base, with fresh berries, immunity-boosting goji berries and raw honey. We top it off with our blend of crunchy superfood granola, which includes:
Chia seeds: Despite its tiny size, these seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Loaded with antioxidants, chia seeds are also high in quality protein, which aids in weight loss.
Oats: Research found that oats increase appetite-control hormones, improve insulin sensitivity and helps lower bad cholesterol.
Pumpkin seeds: Despite being small, pumpkin seeds are rich in iron and are a healthy protein option. Their green colour comes from the high amount of natural chlorophyll which alkalises and naturally cleanses the body.
Almonds: Almonds are known to deliver huge amount of nutrients including powerful antioxidants largely concentrated in the brown layer of the skin. They are also high in vitamin E, which protects your cell membranes from damage.
Cranberries: Often associated with holiday feasts, cranberries are at the top of the list of healthy foods for their high nutrient and antioxidant content. The cranberry is known for preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs) and improving immune function.
Pick this Super Acai Bowl or our Mango Berries Yoghurt Bowl as a vegetarian option for your brunch!
IF YOU'VE BEEN READING our blog, you might wonder why we've been dwelling on breakfast lately. Here's why: we're launching our new menu at our All Day Dining concepts! The new menu features a great selection of brunch items. Here's a closer look at two brunch dishes we're excited about.
Green Baby Pancakes
Start your morning with our tasty savoury Green Baby Pancakes! This dish comes topped with an egg, homemade spring onion yoghurt and dukkah. Our pancakes are made with these healthy veggies:
Broccoli - High in fibre, and known to help reduce inflammation, this vegetable greatly benefits your digestion and immune system. It also aids in detoxing your body and reducing cholesterol.
Pinto beans - When dried, these beans look like little painted canvases, hence their name "pinto", which means "painted" in Spanish. They are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fibre, and their high fibre content prevents your blood sugar from rising too fast after a meal.
Avocado - While containing mostly carbs, this fruit is high in healthy fats and prized for its high nutrient value. Avocados are also high in potassium (more than bananas!), which regulates our fluid levels and nerve and muscle functions.
Kale and Sweet Potato Hash
With this dish, we serve a pair of fried eggs on top of a bed of curly kale, sauteed mushrooms and sweet potato hash. Dressed with vegetarian furikake and sriracha ketchup for an Asian twist, this dish will fill you up and give you a much needed boost for the morning. Some benefits from this healthy veggies include:
Kale - Research has shown kale to be one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, given its incredibly low calorie content. Kale is also packed with antioxidants which help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body.
Sweet potatoes - Nutritious and high in fibre, these tubers are also rich in the antioxidant, beta-carotene, which raises blood levels of vitamin A. Compared to regular potatoes, they have a lower glycemic index and contains more fibre.
Great news! Our brunch menu will be available at our All Day Dining outlets from 7 March. If you can't wait till then, head on down to our Great World City outlet to try our new brunch items today! Stay tuned as we continue to highlight our best from our newly launched menu.