Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B5 – Raw Vegetables, Spring Rolls, Chicken Livers, Salmon

Welcome to the rewind of this series from 2019 where we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid gets its name from the Greek word pantos, meaning everywhere; because it is available in such a wide variety of foods. The problem is that much of a foods content of B5 is lost through cooking; which in another reason for eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible in the raw state.

B5 is one of the eight water-soluble B vitamins which cannot be stored by the body and have to be replenished in your daily diet. We have already covered B1, B2, and B3 and B5 like the others plays an important role in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which is burned to produce energy. They are also needed to breakdown fats and proteins as well as promoting the health of the following:

  • nervous system,
  • skin,
  • hair,
  • eyes
  • the liver.

Vitamin B5 has a number of roles in the body some more critical than others. One job that is vitally important is assisting in the manufacture of red blood cells as well as sex and stress related hormones. Without B5 our digestive tract would become unhealthy and we would be unable to use other vitamins as effectively. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘anti-stress’ vitamin because it is believed to enhance the activity of the immune system and help the body overcome stressful conditions.

Currently research is looking into the benefits of B5 and treatment for elevated cholesterol but there are other areas where the vitamin may be beneficial.

Some studies are indicating that B5 may speed up wound healing especially following surgery and as part of a B-complex supplement it may help recovery from major burns.

Arthritis has also come under the microscope as blood tests taken from arthritis sufferers’ show that they were suffering from a deficiency of pantothenic acid, but more study will be needed to confirm this.

There are rumours that taking B5 can help with wrinkles and stop your hair greying but this is not proven.

What are the symptoms of deficiency?

If you are following a healthy eating plan with lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrains you will be unlikely to be suffering from B5 deficiency.

If you were suffering from a mild to moderate deficiency you might suffer from:

  • tiredness
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • tingling in the hands
  • depression
  • abdominal pains
  • insomnia
  • burning feet
  • muscle weakness
  • cramps.

In extreme cases personality changes can take place as well as heart problems.

What are the best food sources for Vitamin B5

Although offal has gone out of fashion, they are great sources of Vitamin Bs.. including B5.

  • Chicken and beef liver
  • Avocados
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Shitake Mushooms but all mushrooms have good amounts
  • Dairy including Cheese
  • Egg yolks
  • beef and poultry
  • shellfish
  • Salmon and other oily fish
  • Trout
  • Peanuts
  • Lentils
  • Strawberries.


Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources of this vitamin.

B5… As Sally has explained is one of the water soluble vitamins thus much of it is lost through cooking hence why we should eat as many vegetables as possible in their raw state…

Also as it is water soluble the vitamin will be lost if the food is boiled…

Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

These spring rolls are very popular here in Thailand both with the children and adults and are found on street food stalls everywhere.

Ingredients for the peanut dipping sauce.

• 1 garlic clove
• 1 thumb-sized piece of organic ginger
• 2 tbsp gluten-free tamari or regular soy sauce
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
• ⅓ (85 g) cup peanut butter( to make your own)which is so easy
• ¼ (60 ml) cup water (more or less as needed)

Ingredients for the Spring Rolls.

• 1 cup cooked rice noodles
• 5-8 rice paper sheets
• 1 carrot
• 1 avocado
• ½ cucumber
• ½ red pepper
• 5-8 lettuce leaves or salad greens of your choice
• 1 handful fresh basil
• 1 handful fresh cilantro

Let’s Cook!

To make the peanut sauce: blend or mix together all the ingredients until smooth.

To make the wraps: cut all the veggies into thin strips which is an art I have learnt here or use a spiraliser if you have one.

Put the rice paper sheets, one at a time, in warm water so they soften. Then place them on a large plate and carefully dry them with a kitchen towel.

Arrange your fillings in the middle of the paper and sprinkle 1 tsp of the peanut sauce over the veggies. Fold over two ends then wrap it up like a burrito, making it as tight as possible.

It took me a while to get a hang of it, so keep trying it is not easy and watching the Thais it is second nature even the kids are better than me…ha-ha Don’t worry if you get a little hole it happens as you can see…Practice makes perfect.

N.B…I often add prawns to ours which takes the taste up a notch…One of our favourites.

Chicken Livers are one of the best sources of vitamin B5 and something many people don’t like…Chicken livers are the favoured livers here and more often cooked with spices.

I also make pate which the Thais love but is not something they usually make with the livers. I have introduced that to the Thais I know, as well as Christmas pudding which they have come to love…


Chicken Liver Red Curry with Green Beans Recipe

Alternatively, I just quickly fry the chicken livers in some butter and olive oil, salt and pepper and serve with onions and mashed potatoes a dish that hubby loves…He is not usually a spicy person but I think his love of liver overcomes the spiciness…haha.

This lovely Avocado and mango salsa is fresh and vibrant and can be paired with chicken, salmon, tuna it is packed full of fresh, B5 vitamins and tastes amazing…


• 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced medium. …
• 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced medium.
• 1 small red onion, diced small.
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves.
• 1/2 to 1 red chilli finely chopped remove seeds if required
• 2 tbsp fresh lime juice.
• 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.
• A pinch of sea salt to taste

Photo credit: MarioMelendez on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and chill until required…An easy healthy accompaniment to your food…

Salmon one of my favourite fish and packed with B5 I always wrap mine in foil and cook in the oven to help retain the vitamins…

Cajun Salmon with Salted Lime Butter…

Ingredients for the Salted Lime Butter.

• 4 tbsp butter unsalted
• ½ Lime zested
• A pinch of sea salt


Mix the lime zest and salt into the butter, then keep in the fridge until required either in a ramekin or make a roll and slice of as required.

Ingredients for the Cajun Spice Topping…

• 2 tbsp of dried oregano
• 2 tbsp garlic powder…
• 2 tbsp paprika
• 2 tbsp mineral or sea salt
• 1 tbsp black pepper
• 1 tbsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 tbsp onion powder
• 1 tsp chilli flakes ( optional)

To Prepare

  • Mix all the dried ingredients together …I always add fresh garlic and chopped onion to mine so I make my mix excluding the onion and garlic and then when required I add the fresh ingredients…
  • Place the salmon on foil and add the amount of Cajun topping you require
  • seal the foil and cook in oven at 180 for 10-15 mins until cooked
  • I open the foil for the last 5 minutes of cooking and add my lime butter…
  • Serve with rice or noodles and freshly steamed vegetables or a nice avocado and mango salsa as above which helps cut through the Cajun spices.

Another way to eat your salmon is in this lovely soup…

A take on Tom Yum Soup… This is one of my favourite Thai soups and so easy to make from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady…Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup…I am sure she would also love this version…


• 2 litres of water
• 4 stalks of lemon grass
• 1-inch chunk of galangal
• 10 kaffir lime leaves
• 10 Thai chillies
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 85 gm salmon per person
• 100 gm noodles of your choice per person
• 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
• 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
• 5-6 shallots halved if really small if a little bigger quartered
• 1 and a half tsp of sugar
• 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
• Juice of 5 -8 limes.
• A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)
• Half hardboiled egg per person…optional

N.B I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

  • The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.
  • Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.
  • Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.
  • Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.
  • Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.
  • Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.
  • I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.
  • Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.
  • You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.
  • Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.
  • Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and onions. Cook for further 6-8 minutes.
  • Now add your noodles and after 2 mins add your salmon and cook for a further 5 mins until salmon is just poached…
  • Remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.
    Taste and adjust if necessary.
  • This delicious soup is now ready to serve. Garnish with half a boiled egg and some coriander…


If you are doing an original Tom Yum with prawns, only add your 500 gm of prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins max ( if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim off with a spoon. Then remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.


Wonderful recipes from Carol and we hope they have given you an idea of how to incorporate the Vitamin B5 into your diet.

Please join us again in two weeks for the next post in the series when we will be looking at all the ways you can introduce Vitamin B6 into your regular diet.

About your hosts…

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: Amazon US – Connect to Carol – Blog: Carol Cooks 2 – Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo – Facebook: Carol Taylor

55 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B5 – Raw Vegetables, Spring Rolls, Chicken Livers, Salmon

  1. Great share girls. I have learned well what happens with B deficiency. And now I’m also taking mushroom supplementation, and finding my memory is returning!. Thanks Carol for this yummy spring roll recipe. I’ll definitely be making that. Hugs to both. ❤ xx

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Such good information here, Sally. I’ve never tried to make homemade spring rolls, but I love them AND the peanut sauce. I may have to try Carol’s recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post, Sally and Carol, very informative. I’m a fan of spring rolls but never considered making them, thanks for making that possible. I also love chicken livers, didn’t know they were so good for you. Hmmm. Hugs to you both.

    Reblogged on Improvisation – “The Art of Living”

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Useful information and tasty recipes – great combination! I love vegetable spring rolls but haven’t notice rice paper around here. I’ve made samosas with filo pastry and I might substitute that and see how it goes. Many thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B5 – Raw Vegetables, Spring Rolls, Chicken Livers, Salmon | Retired? No one told me!

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