Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Health Food of the month - Haggis

January 2018

haggis

Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Mincemeat

Mascarpone

Chesnuts


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

Most people have heard of haggis; the traditional Scottish dish that is closely associated with Burns night in January each year.

Burns suppers, or Burns nights, are held on or around the Scottish poet’s birthday on January 25th and along with special readings and other foods, a major aspect of formal events is the piping in of the haggis. 

This is when a haggis is brought in on a large dish accompanied by a piper playing the bagpipe. But what exactly is a haggis and is it good for you?

The true origins of this very Scottish dish seem to have been lost in the mists of times, and there are many different stories as to how it originated.  But possible the most reliable albeit one of the least glamorous is that it was a way of cooking and preserving offal that would otherwise have quickly gone off after a major hunt.

Basically haggis comprises a sheep’s “pluck”. This means its heart, its liver and its lungs. To make it edible and tasty, these are traditionally minced down with onions and then mixed with oatmeal, suet, salt and a variety of spices, held together with stock. 

The thing that creates the most comment is its method of cooking. Traditionally all these ingredients were rolled up and then stuffed into the animal’s stomach and then boiled. It doesn’t sound very appetising but it worked well creating a really tasty dish that has been hugely popular across Scotland for generations.

Today modern haggis is usually made with a commercially prepared “thin” sack instead of an animal’s stomach, but other than that the dish has remained pretty well the same for decades.

There are lots of benefits from haggis as offal particularly is really nutritious. For a start, as a meat, the offal is packed with proteins and amino acids. The heart and liver is packed full of vitamins including A, C B6, B12, Niacin and vitamin D. It is also full of iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium, zinc and copper, all essential minerals that can contribute to numerous aspects of health including bone strength, resistance, circulation and even oxygen transportation in the body.

The oatmeal in a haggis is also full of good nutrition and fibre too. The downside comes from the suet, there can be a lot of fat and salt in a haggis so while the meal is fine as a one off treat, it is not a food that should be eaten everyday by any means.

Today you can find a range of commercially prepared haggis in the shops, many which have been prepared with specially created healthy recipes. Vegetarian haggis is also available although the taste won’t be quite the same.

You can also try and make your own which can be fun as you can alter the flavour by adjusting the spices.

bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/haggis

greatbritishchefs.com/traditional-haggis-recipe

 

 


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

 

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Barley

field of barley

While barley is still popular in America, here in the UK barley, apart from its use in beer making, no longer features highly in modern life.

This is a shame as it is a super nutritious food that offers all sorts of great benefits.

more

AXA Health:
Food allergy or intolerance?

Allergy or intolerance

Confusion around food allergies and intolerances is not unusual, with many of us growing wary of certain foods we believe might be the cause of unwanted symptoms – leaving them out of our diets ‘just in case’. But should we – are true allergic reactions to food far less common than most of us imagine?

more

White wine might also have health benefits

Glasses of wine

There have been some interesting reports in recent media about the health benefits of white wine and how white as well as red can provide good levels of antioxidants and other benefits.

more

Gene therapy – The future of our health

Gene therapy

Gene therapy is hugely exciting. Whether it will fulfil its promise and in future years produce terrific treatments for many health problems we don’t know but at the moment, although still in its early stages, the results are very encouraging.

more

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com



LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti