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A great vegetarian site

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Food Culture, Nutritional Information, Vegan, Vegetarian

www.vegetariantimes.com

Sushi Ninjas and the Jimmy Page diet plan

Categories: Blogs, Cooking tips, Food Culture

http://mariobatalivoice.blogspot.com/

From Chicago producer/musician’s Steve Albini’s food blog.

Simple, Healthy Recipes and Cooking Tips!

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips

www.simplyrecipes.com

 

Great post about Liver nourishing foods and ideas

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Heart Blood Vacuity, Liver Blood Vacuity, Meat

http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/nourishing-the-liver

From Nourished magazine.

Also mentions this cool site

Lynn Razaitis, Leader of the Atlanta, Georgia Chapter of the Weston A Price Foundation, has found some wonderful medieval European recipes. She recommends florilegium.org, where participants provide translations and comments on recipes in old cookbooks.

She says, Ancient cookbooks even describe the use of liver to thicken sauces, apparently by pressing raw pureed liver through a fine strainer and adding it to sauce that was then carefully heated but not boiled. (During Lent, fish livers served to thicken sauces!) As long as the liver flavor does not overpower the flavor of the sauce, this could be a good way to get liver into your family without them ever knowing it!

Easy Coconut Water Kefir – How to make instructions and video (tropical probiotic)

Categories: Articles, Beverages, Cooking tips, Food Education, Instructional Videos

Another of my favorite probiotic treats is homemade, dairy-free Coconut Water Kefir (a naturally fermented beverage) made from young coconuts. Beneficial probiotics feed on the sugar in the water and leave a slightly fizzy, sour, champagne-like elixir that you can add to your healing arsenal. Oftentimes, I make a batch of Coconut Kefir Yogurt at the same time since I’m opening coconuts and have all the ingredients that I need for both.

Coconut Kefir Elixir and Coconut Kefir Yogurt are basically food tools that help maintain a healthy inner ecosystem which keeps immune systems and digestion strong. There are many important benefits of coconut kefir including relief from disease as well as sugar cravings. Shiny hair, clear skin, bright eyes and a flat abdomen are a few more bennies.

While you can make Coconut Water Kefir with kefir grains (and I have many times) or starter packs, I find that you can get a more consistent result, with much less work and expense, by using a simple quality probiotic capsule or two.

According to Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology, a half cup of the Coconut Water Kefir with meals greatly helps digestion. You can add ginger, stevia, lemon, and/or lime if desired. A half cup at bedtime will help establish a healthy inner ecosystem. Studies from Europe show that when you are lying still during sleep, the microflora reproduce faster. In the morning, combine a half cup of the Coconut Water Kefir with unsweetened cranberry or black currant juice, as a great wake-up tonic.

If you are lactose intolerant or interested in eliminating dairy from your diet, keep your inner ecosystem thriving without the dairy yogurt and enjoy Coconut Water Kefir and Coconut Kefir Yogurt instead.

Makes: approx. 3 cups | Preparation Time: 20mins to prepare and 1-2 days to ferment

http://www.yumuniverse.com/2011/02/02/easy-coconut-kefir-beverage/#more-5091

Go there to see more. From Yumuniverse.com. A web site devoted to a plant based diet.

Here is a you tube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmAX2PnRCY0&feature=player_embedded

Enjoy!

“How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong” NY Times opinion piece

Categories: Blogs, Cooking tips

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/how-to-make-oatmeal-wrong/

Does covering the pot when making soup help to preserve nutrients?

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Nutritional Information, Soup

Yes, it is helpful to cover your soup pot when making soup. The process of soup-making exposes food to increased temperatures over a relatively long period of time. In addition, foods are usually chopped up or sliced before being added to a soup, and this chopping and slicing increases their exposed surface area. Finally, these chopped and sliced foods with more exposed surface areas get submerged into water. This particular combination of factors (large food surface areas exposed to water under increased temperature for an extended period of time) is a perfect combination for leaching water-soluble nutrients from food.

This leaching doesn’t happen all at once. But over the time it takes to cook a soup, some water-soluble nutrients (including B-vitamins and vitamin C) will be drawn out of the food and into the broth. There will still be important amounts of water-soluble nutrients left in the food, but a varying percentage of these nutrients will have migrated into the broth.

From among the water-soluble nutrients that have migrated into the broth, some will become volatile and evaporate in the steam that rises from the soup pot. These nutrients will be lost into the air. By covering your soup pot, you will create a mechanical barrier that will trap some of these volatile nutrients and cause them to fall back down into the broth. In this way, your soup broth will stay more nutrient-rich. In comparison to an opened soup pot without a lid, you’ll need to turn down your stove burner to achieve a gentle simmer when you’re making soup in a covered pot.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of butter and ghee when it comes to cooking?

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips, Food Education, Western Medicine

From a nutritional standpoint, both butter and ghee are basically made from the fats of whole milk. Although butter in the United States is almost always made from cow’s milk, the ghee used for cooking in India is often made from buffalo milk. Both ghee and butter are usually 80% milk fat or greater in terms of their composition, and about two-thirds of that fat is saturated fat.

How Butter Is Made

Butter is made by separating cream from milk. Since the fat-based cream portion of the milk is lighter than the water and milk solids portion, the cream in fresh milk will eventually rise to the top of the milk over time if the milk is simply left standing. However, a centrifuge that very forcefully spins can be used to speed up this process. (When milk is centrifuged, the lighter cream will stay closer to the center and the heavier water and solid portions will fly to the outside of the centrifuge.) When cream has been separated from milk, it can be churned until it reaches a semi-solid state. That product is what we call butter.

Clarified Butter and Ghee

Clarified butter is butter that has been melted over low heat and allowed to bubble and simmer until most of the water has been evaporated. Clarified butter is also sometimes called drawn butter. Ghee is essentially clarified butter, although traditional ghee-making processes (originating in India, where ghee is very commonly used in cooking) place a focus on exact steps and specific qualities of the clarified butter. The cooking process is usually extended for a longer period of time with ghee, eliminating more of the moisture and also causing the milk solids to caramelize for eventual removal from the ghee through strainers. The highest-quality ghee is obtained when the long-simmered butter is allowed to cool and only the top-most layer is skimmed off. (That layer becomes the ghee that is considered top-quality and used in cooking.)

Health Consequences of Ghee and Butter

Research on ghee and health is limited, but fairly consistent. When ghee is consumed at levels above 10% total calories, it can increase risk of cardiovascular disease. (For a person consuming 1,800 calories per day, 10% of those calories would be 180 calories, or about 20 grams of fat, which equals approximately 2 tablespoons of ghee.) At levels under 10% of total calories, however, ghee appears to help lower cardiovascular risks, especially when other fats consumed during the day are exclusively from plants or plant oils.

Butter, like ghee, can increase risk of cardiovascular disease when consumed in excessive amounts. One research study has shown that 3 tablespoons of butter per day over 4 weeks can increase total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. For this reason, if you are going to cook with butter, you will want to keep the amount at a moderate level of no more than 1-2 tablespoons.

The benefits of butter at moderate levels do not yet have the same level of research backing as ghee. However, there is increasing research interest in butter as having some unique potential benefits of its own, particularly in relationship to its vitamin K and vitamin D content. This content may vary, however, depending on the diet and living circumstances of the dairy cow. (We look forward to new research in this area, especially with respect to vitamin K2.)

Types of Fats in Ghee and Butter

When comparing ghee to butter in terms of health, one reason for the more favorable past research record of ghee versus butter might be the increased amount of medium- and short-chain fatty acids in ghee. Butter contains about 12-15% of these medium-chain and short-chain fats, whereas ghee contains about 25%. (Our bodies metabolize medium-chain and short-chain fats differently than long-chain ones, and medium- and short-chain ones are not associated with cardiovascular problems in the same way as the long-chain ones are.)

Ghee Has a Higher Smoke Point than Butter

Ghee tends to have a higher smoke point than butter. For butter, smoke point is typically reached between 325-375 F (163-191 C). Some clarified butters also fall into this general range, but ghee usually has a higher smoke point, between 400-500 F (204-260 C). This higher smoke point can be an advantage when cooking at high heat since smoke point is that moment when heat damage to some of the components in a fat or oil is sufficient to become visible in the form of smoke. When it comes to our health, heating above smoke point is not a good idea with any oil or fat.

Cooking Recommendations

For persons choosing to cook in fat at higher heats in the 400-500 F (204-260 C) range, ghee makes sense to us, provided that it’s used in moderation (no more than 1-2 tablespoons per day). Even for a person deciding to cook in fat, however, the use of butter at higher heats does not make sense to us due to its lower smoke point (325-375 F/163-191 C).

The use of butter and ghee at lower heats (300-375 F/163-191 C) may be acceptable, provided once again that both of these animal fats are used in moderation. Whether there are distinct advantages to the use of butter at lower heats versus plant oils is not clear to us from the existing research. In general, however, we do not like the idea of heating plant oils due to the delicate nature of their polyunsaturated fats and phytonutrients. Since butter has far fewer polyunsaturates than plant oils, it might provide a lower heat cooking alternative for this reason. However, the phytonutrient and vitamin content of butter would still be susceptible to heat damage, and since we have not yet seen research to confirm the health benefits of butter in lower heat cooking, we cannot recommend this practice without the benefit of more research. On our website, we offer a method of healthy sauteing that requires no fat or oil of any kind. You can visit the Cooking Healthy section of our website to learn more about this method.

References

  • Gupta R, Prakash H. Association of dietary ghee intake with coronary heart disease and risk factor prevalence in rural males. J Indian Med Assoc 1997;95(3):67-9, 83. 1997.
  • Kumar MV, Sambaiah K, Lokesh BR. Effect of dietary ghee–the anhydrous milk fat, on blood and liver lipids in rats. J Nutr Biochem 1999;10(2):96-104. 1999.
  • Kumar MV, Sambaiah K, Lokesh BR. Hypocholesterolemic effect of anhydrous milk fat ghee is mediated by increasing the secretion of biliary lipids. J Nutr Biochem 2000;11(2):69-75. 2000.
  • Nestel PJ, Chronopulos A, Cehun M. Dairy fat in cheese raises LDL cholesterol less than that in butter in mildly hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2005 Sep;59(9):1059-63. 2005.
  • Niranjan TG, Krishnakantha TP. Effect of dietary ghee–the anhydrous milk fat on lymphocytes in rats. Mol Cell Biochem 2001;226(1-2):39-47. 2001.
  • Prattala RS, Groth MV, Oltersdorf US, et al. Use of butter and cheese in 10 European countries: a case of contrasting educational differences. Eur J Public Health 2003 Jun;13(2):124-32. 2003.
  • Shankar SR, Bijlani RL, Baveja T, et al. Effect of partial replacement of visible fat by ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid profile. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2002;46(3):355-60. 2002.
  • Shankar SR, Yadav RK, Ray RB, et al. Serum lipid response to introducing ghee as a partial replacement for mustard oil in the diet of healthy young Indians. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2005 Jan;49(1):49-56. 2005.
  • Singh RB, Niaz MA, Ghosh S, et al. Association of trans fatty acids (vegetable ghee) and clarified butter (Indian ghee) intake with higher risk of coronary artery disease in rural and urban populations with low fat consumption. Int J Cardiol 1996 Oct 25;56(3):289-98; discussion 299-300. 1996.
  • Trevisan M, Krogh V, Freudenheim J, et al. Consumption of olive oil, butter, and vegetable oils and coronary heart disease risk factors. The Research Group ATS-RF2 of the Italian National Research Council. JAMA 1990, Vol. 263 No. 5: 688 – 692. 1990.
  • Yellowlees WW. Milk, butter, and heart disease. Lancet 1991 Apr 27;337(8748):1041-2. 1991.
  • Zock PL, Katan MB. Butter, margarine and serum lipoproteins. Atherosclerosis 1997 May;131(1):7-16. 1997.

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Indian Cooking; Nutrition Info

Categories: Articles, Asian, Cooking tips, Food Culture, Indian, Nutritional Information, Western Medicine

This is not how I normally like to look at food, through caloric and fat content counting, but it is useful info to look over to get an idea of what you are putting in your body. I eat mostly vegetarian (flexitarian really) and just a friend just moved to the Devon area. This is THE Indian and Pakistani area of Chicago and so I have been eating rich, delicious vegetarian Indian food just about every night. I hope to cook some tasty, nutritious meals in this style soon. Until there here are a few ideas and tips for those who want to explore this “other” Eastern Culture’s food. It is a deep well to explore. Good Indian is some of the most rich and delicious of meals, maybe because of Yin nourishing aspect and fat content. I don’t know about some of the claims below, but worth noting. Feel free to comment. ~ Enjoy

 

Mitch

_____________

Nutrition data (calories, carbohydrates, protein) of homemade Indian food are given. Also the ways to preserve nutrition in Indian cooking are discussed.

Many Indian are vegetarians and they eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk and plant-based proteins. These foods contain essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that produce antioxidants which are good for heart, blood pressure and diabetes.

But Indians, in general, consume less amount of vegetables {says who?}. Also reheating of vegetarian dishes, a common practice among Indians, destroys the micro-nutrients. “Indians, therefore, face heart attacks five years earlier than people in the West,” according to Dr Deepak Natarajan of Apollo hospital, Delhi.

Diets rich in saturated fats and hypertension are the main reason for this.

Indian Cooking & Nutrition

http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/nutrition/indian-foods.html

By 2010, India will carry 60 percent of the world’s heart disease burden, nearly four times more than its share of the global population, according to a study released by Denis Xavier of St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore in April 2008.

  • Calories in Indian foods and their nutrition depend on the way the foods are cooked.
  • An Indian dish may be very high in calories/energy (mostly from fat) if it is cooked by deep frying, or it may be low in calories or fat if it is stir fried or baked.
  • The rich creamy dishes containing foods covered with lot of spice colored liquid are often very high in fat (mostly saturated fat and trans-fat), while the tandoori dishes are low in fat.

    The research (Feb 2010) conducted by “Which” magazine of Britain found that a single meal of Indian curry in Britain has more fat than the recommendation for the entire day, an average takeaway contained 23.2gm of saturated fat, 3.2gm more than a woman should eat in a day.  Indian takeaway meals are known for their liberal use of ghee and oil, not only in curries but also breads. The researchers found that a naan contained more calories than a chicken tikka masala.

  • Indian often reheat the food, the reheating destroys the nutrients of the food.
  • Indian food is often overcooked, destroying its nutrition.
  • The North Indian dishes are very rich in taste and presentation as compared to South Indian food. The North Indian foods, especially Punjabi foods, are generally higher in calories and fat and lower in nutritional value, than South Indian foods because Punjabi cooking involves tarka or vaghar (frying of spices, onions, etc.) in pure ghee (high in
    saturated fat), butter, oil or trans fats or trans-fatty acids (hydrogenated oils and fats, dalda) that gives unique Indian taste and texture. Read more on trans fats in Indian foods.
  • The tandoori foods of North India are rich in nutrition and natural flavours, but often these are loaded with fats. A new research reported at a conference on “Fats and trans-fatty acids in Indian diet” at the Seventh Health Writers Workshop organised by Health Essayists and Authors League (HEAL) in 2007 found that the trans-fatty acids in French fries is 4.2% – 6.1%, it is 9.5% in bhatura, 7.8% in paratha and 7.6% each in puri and tikkis.

How to Preserve Nutrition in Indian Cooking?

The health benefits of the Indian food depend on the method of cooking.

  1. If a recipe calls for too much cream, yogurt, ghee or oil and crushed cashews, then the dish will be very rich in taste and texture, but with out any nutritional value. The north Indian food, Punjabi food and the foods available in restaurants are cooked (rather over-cooked) like this and they are higher in fat and lower in nutritional value. These foods are generally prepared with deep frying onions, ginger, and spices in lot of oil or ghee. Read more on Indian
    food nutrition and calories
    .
  2. Instead of deep frying, you can stir-fry or saute them in very little vegetable oil. The over-cooked foods lose their nutrition because, in the process, the vitamins and minerals are leached out. You should leave the cooking of a vegetable when it is still crisp.
  3. Never use trans-fat or vanaspati like dalda, rath, etcfor cooking, these are not healthy. Many restaurants and shops use trans-fats for cooking tikkis, bhaturas, parathas, puri (poori) and even sweets and vegetable curries
  4. Do not chop the vegetbles into too small pieces. The vegetable will lose its nutrients if it has more exposed surfaces to the atmosphere.
  5. Always chop the vegetables only when you cook them, do not chop and leave them for a long time.
  6. Do not wash the vegetables like spinach, zucchini, lauki, etc. after chopping to preserve their nutrients.
  7. When you stir-fry, do not overheat the oil.
  8. If you make pakoras, keep the besan batter thick. Deep frying of thin batter pakoras absorb too much oil during frying.
  9. Do not add ghee or oil for making the dough of poori, otherwise the pooris will absorb too much oil during frying.

However, it is possible to have traditional Indian cooking recipes that produce tasty dishes with very less fat and keeping the natural nutrition values and low calories.

Chicken in Black, NYTimes recipe

Categories: Articles, Asian, Cooking tips, Food Education, Meat

silkie chicken

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/17/dining/17blac.html