The food of the Gods: Meals during exam period
Brain food by renrut
Prepping up just before an exam with the right foods and the right stuff to drink is really important. Not only does it help you time out from hard-core revision, it can also help you absorb facts in a more productive manner. Here’s our list of the top exam foods you should have in your store cupboard:Fruit
Bananas and oranges are said to be some of the best revision helpers out there, because they give you energy at a slower rate, making you more productive in the long-run. Grapes are also good for you, as are strawberries, so make sure you stock up on all of these. If you can’t get your hands on fresh berries, get a hold of some apples
Eating your portion of five a day is essential if you’re planning on getting the grades. Even if you’re not too keen on your greens (and if you are, you should be buying spinach by the truck-load as it’s packed with iron), you can pick from a variety of other legumes. Soya is really good for you, as it helps with your memory. Other vegetables which are good brain food include kidney beans, chick peas and lentils. The more the merrier, basically!
Packed with Omega-3 oils, fish is a staple for all bookworms. Easily digestible as it isn’t as fatty as red meats, salmon and haddock will help you through your textbooks. Either fresh, smoked or in tins, fish is also quite cheap compared to meat, you can get real bargains at the supermarket or even at your local fishmongers.
Nuts and oats
Go nuts for these, as they’ll be the right food to go for, if you’re feeling a little peckish (better than your chocolate bar or crisps), or if you are looking for something that will help you go the distance. Almonds and walnuts are particularly good for your memory, so make your way down to your local Holland and Barrett for student deals on nuts and dried fruit. Oats are also really good for you, as they release energy at a slower rate than other snakc foods. Porridge or flapjacks are common standby foods for athletes and hard-cored workers, such as yourselves!
By far and large, the best liquid to go for. Dehydration is a real brain-stopper, so make sure you keep your cerebral muscles at peace by ingesting plenty of water. It’ll also help you relax, as the going gets tough. If you’re after something hot, opt for green tea over your usual PG Tips, as it’s got loads of antioxidants as well as other qualities which will help you keep an (ironically) cool head.
Stuff to avoid:
- Snack foods like chocolate bars, biscuits, crisps and anything you usually go for when you need your four o’clock tea break
- Coffee and tea, as they’ve got too much caffeine, which might seem to help at first, but will inevitably cut you short of long-haul revision
Some recipes to get you in the mood for revision and exam love:
Orange and Banana Smoothie
1 cup cold milk 2 oranges, peeled and segmented 1 banana 1/4 cup sugar 1 pinch salt 1/2 (8 ounce) container vanilla fat-free yogurt 4 cubes ice
PreparationIn a blender, combine milk, oranges, banana, sugar, salt and yogurt. Blend for about 1 minute. Insert ice cubes, and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
2 tablespoons olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons dried parsley 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes salt to taste 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 2 zucchini, sliced 1 large onion, sliced into rings 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 1 green bell pepper, sliced 2 large tomatoes, chopped
PreparationPreheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until lightly browned. Mix in parsley and eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Spread zucchini in an even layer over top. Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, with onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Charred Salmon with a Red Pepper and Red Kidney Bean Cass
2 cans of red kidney beans (drained) 2 salmon fillets 2 red peppers, roasted 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 4 anchovy fillets, tinned 100 ml of fish stock 100 ml of red wine 50 ml of red wine vinegar mixed herbs (basil, coriander, chives etc) olive oil Preparation Sauté the garlic and onion in a pan with some olive oil, add the beans and red wine, bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile in a hot non stick griddle pan add the seasoned salmon and charr. Then create the lines on the surface and cook gently through. To finish off the casserole add the anchovy fillets, diced pepper, herbs, seasoning and a bit of the vinegar to taste. Place the casserole on the plate, the salmon on top and the basil leaves as a garnish.