Podcast and Recipe 22/10/2017

Photography Tips

Recipe of the week

October is the time for the pumpkin:

pumpkin

The benefit of living here in Portugal is that unlike many other countries pumpkin is in season all year around.

We eat it for Easter, have it as a dessert for the summer picnics, grill it on the barbecue in spring barbecues, have it in stews in December and love it when it’s traditionally eaten in October.

The leaves are falling off the trees, it is no longer 40 degrees outside and instead is just 30 and the tourists are here in their 100’s rather than the 1000’s… We can also get excited over pumpkin stews, pumpkin pie and best of all pumpkin bread.

 

If you’re looking for good uses out of your leftover pumpkin flesh after the kids make Halloween lanterns out of them, then this recipe is for you.

Though for me, the attraction to learning how to make your own pumpkin bread is the fact that you can dump your ingredients into the bowl, mix with your hand mixer, throw them into a baking pan inside your Actifryer, sometimes called an Airfryer and then 15 minutes later you have pumpkin bread. If you don’t have an Actifryer then follow the link to see what they are and where to get one, they are a must for anyone wanting to cut down on fat and lose weight. It’s just as easy to make this in the oven anyway if you don’t want an Actifryer.

Not to mention that the pumpkin bread takes just 5 minutes to prepare. So that means that you have delicious pumpkin bread in just 20 minutes.

This pumpkin bread is really healthy too,  there is no gluten in it, no unwanted E numbers and if you want your kids eating a healthy bread for supper for when they come home from school then give them a slice of this.

How To Make Pumpkin Bread In The Actifryer

Prep Time
5 mins (not counting scooping out the pumpkin flesh but then the kids do that)
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Servings4

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 6 Tbsp Banana Flour
  • 8 Tbsp Pumpkin Puree (see recipe notes below)
  • 6 Tbsp Gluten Free Oats
  • 4 Tbsp Natural Greek Yoghurt
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Essence
  • 4 Tbsp Honey
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients (apart from the oats) into a mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Using a fork mix in the oats.
  3. Grease your Actifryer or baking pan with a little extra banana flour and then pour your pumpkin bread mixture into the Airfryer or oven baking pan.
  4. Smooth the sides with a spatula to prevent lumps.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes at 180c/360f.
  6. Cut around the edges and the sides of the baking pan and remove from the baking pan. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes and then slice and serve with butter.
Recipe Notes

I recommend that you use fresh pumpkin pureed for this recipe. We steamed our pumpkin in a pressure cooker, you could use a steamer but don’t boil it as you lose all the nutrients, drained the water and blended it with our blender. It gives a much richer flavour compared to a processed or boiled version.

If you want a sweeter version then you could either double up the honey or add some maple syrup. Either way, you have a foodie pumpkin bread heaven on your way.

Why use Banana Flour With Pumpkin Bread?

I often get asked why use banana flour in my recipes. Well, the truth is that banana flour is simple to use, very healthy and in my opinion completely tasteless.

This means that when you use it as a flour in baking, you don’t have an overpowering gluten-free flour taste. So if you don’t like coconut flour (I really don’t like it) then this is your Plan B.

I use a little when I need to so that I can thicken up a dough and it seems to last forever from such a small amount. If you can’t get it in the supermarket then get it Here.

Is Pumpkin Bread Gluten Free?

Absolutely! And even better it is 302 calories per ¼ of the pumpkin bread. Remember that is not per slice as the entire pumpkin bread makes 8 slices so that means you can have 2 slices for just 302 calories.

pumpkin3

 

 

My Blog re-invented

I began blogging about a month ago and since then I have been trying to decide a direction for my blog on WordPress. I am a retired person and have time now to indulge in my hobbies/interests and share these experiences with anyone interested. My main passions are Photography, Cooking and History/Archeology. I hope to gain followers, anyone welcome and expand the direction of my blogging in these main themes. Blogging is quickly becoming another passion that fascinates me and I hope to develop my skills in writing them which at the moment is very amateurish. I hope to attract followers by becoming as interesting as possible through providing tips on Photography, Cooking Recipes and History/Archeology. I spend my time in Ireland and Portugal and I will focus my blog on the above interesting subjects in these two countries initially.

Any help or comments will be gratefully accepted. Please be constructive. No spam, please.

Camera RAW and Photoshop Lightroom.

The Program

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is a must-have program for any serious photographer either amateur or professional. It has a vast range of features and added extras that are head and shoulders above the competition, but despite this, it is still a friendly and easy to use program. You can post process, sort, rate, manipulate and publish your photos to virtually every medium and these are just a sample of what you can do.

This blog is my attempt to demystify Camera RAW and Lightroom a little and help my readers who own it now or are contemplating using it.

The RAW File Format

*The first thing you should understand about Lightroom is that it’s basically a RAW file converter. Someone new to Lightroom Software and digital cameras, in general, may find the statement is not all that clear. That is why it’s best to say something first about RAW file format and what RAW is. It may sound a bit complicated, but actually, it is really simple to understand.

What is a RAW File?

A RAW image file is also known as digital negative and this can give you a pretty good idea of how RAW can be compared to old-style film photography. Simply put, a RAW file is information gathered directly from a camera’s image sensor without any sort of digital adjustment. Just as in the past a film was first of all developed chemically to form a negative (Colour or Black and White) which was then further processed to create the final print. So too, the RAW file taken from the camera’s memory card needs to be adjusted and enhanced to create a final digital image that can be printed or shared online etc.  To photograph in RAW format, you need to set it in your camera settings,  usually, you can find it among image quality settings in the camera menu (refer to the camera’s manual for instructions).

So too, the RAW file taken from the camera’s memory card needs to be adjusted and enhanced to create a final digital image that can be printed or shared online etc.  To photograph in RAW format, you need to set it in your camera settings,  usually, you can find it among image quality settings in the camera menu (refer to the camera’s manual for instructions).

RAW isn’t a file extension, like *.jpg or *.png files, different manufacturers use different file extensions. Nikon has *.nef, Canon uses *.cr2, Fujifilm has *.raf and Adobe has the widely popular *.dng format. DNG is universal and can “store” any other file format inside it.

The key word is information because RAW files are not images, they are files containing information just like any other computer file. RAW files need to be decoded by specific software or codecs to be viewed as actual photographs. In short, RAW files carry a lot more information inside them and are more flexible than say JPEG images. More information means a little bit more resolution and lots more dynamic range (colour information and detail is hidden in dark and light portions of an image). Flexibility means taking control into your hands. Instead of allowing your camera to choose how much sharpening, noise reduction, contrast, saturation, etc., to apply to a photograph you just captured as in JPEG, you make those decisions yourself.  RAW files when opened look flat but you can convert them to exactly how you want them to look as JPEG images.

What is a RAW File Converter?

A RAW converter is a program that decodes the information stored within the file so that you can see it as an image. Secondly, it allows you to tweak the RAW file, manipulate all the information stored within it and save it as a simple graphical image file, such as JPEG.

Now you might say that even after you’ve set your camera to RAW file format, you can still see the image on your camera’s LCD screen no problem. Moreover, it’s not “flat” at all, but has quite vivid colours and decent contrast. That’s because often a RAW file has a JPEG preview stored inside so that you can view it quickly on the back of your camera.

A Summary of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (which I will simply call Lightroom or LR) is a RAW image converter, simple as that. However, in addition to providing the basic functionality of a basic RAW converter, Adobe has built Lightroom to be the only post-processing application many photographers will need nine times out of ten. With each new version, Lightroom gains more and more new features. These features allow photographers to use it from start to finish. So if you plan to make a photo album, Lightroom has that functionality. With all its tools and no-nonsense user interface, Lightroom lets the photographer organize, post-process, print and share photographs, all in one environment. Lightroom’s party piece is its focus on speed when working with multiple images (think hundreds or even thousands). This is made easier by the simple process of copying and pasting all of the available adjustments into plugins known as presets. Presets can be downloaded or created by the user very like recording a set of adjustments and applying the same to other similar files. Another great feature is none-destructive editing. It helps make sure original files remain intact and allows you to tweak, set or cancel any adjustments at any time. Such sophistication makes it pretty special for aspiring photographers.

The images below show the three main lightroom screens of Library, Develop and Map

Who is Lightroom for?

Well, if you’re the kind of person like me who takes a lot of images, particularly, but not exclusively, in RAW format, Lightroom is just right for you too. It’s very good for photographers with professional aspirations. It’s also good if you just want better control over the look of your images. It doesn’t even matter if you only photograph your family and friends as long as you keep in mind that Lightroom is a professional tool for photographers. That means there’s quite a steep learning curve which is very much worth it in the end.

Please note that LR supports regular image formats as well as RAW files, such as TIFF and JPEG but, understandably, many of the available RAW settings will not work or will not work to their fullest potential. Still, it can be extremely useful to JPEG and RAW shooters alike, especially those who want to process a large number of images quickly.

Click this link to  Visit my Podcast Page on this website to hear a set of Lightroom tutorials beginning with tutorial 1.

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*Acknowledgements  
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