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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds:

About:

The sunflower seed is the fruit of the sunflower (Helianthus anuus).  There are 3 types of commonly used sunflower seeds: linoleic (most common), high oleic, and NuSun (developed for sunflower oil. 
The world's production of sunflower seeds is led by Ukraine with 24% and Russia 21% of the world's total production.  China, Romania, and Argentina also contribute significant volumes. 

History:

According to the National Sunflower Association sunflowers are native to North America.  There is evidence that sunflowers were cultivated by native Americans since 3000B.C.   Sunflower seeds were discovered and taken to Europe and from there spread to Russia where they were first commercialized as a crop and harvested for their oil.  During the late 1800's they were brought  back to North America where they are popular for their oil, seeds, and as a beautiful addition to a garden.  

My Story:

My first memory of sunflower seeds was in shells in vending machines, where for a penny you could get a handful.  Later I remember my mother buying shelled sunflower seeds in a jar.  She kept up nutrition and would often buy a new food that had high nutritional value that she had read about.   I don't remember stocking sunflower seeds in the produce department.  They were kept in packages and jar in the grocery department of the supermarket. 

Nutrition:

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E and a very good source of copper and vitamin B1.  In addition sunflower seeds are a good source manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B6, folate and niacin.
Sunflower seeds, like nearly all types of nuts and seeds provide a healthy source of essential fatty acids in the form of linoleic acid.  Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of fiber, amino acids (especially tryptophan) which make up the building blocks of proteins, B vitamins, phytosterols and more.

A 1/4 cup serving of sunflower seeds provides:

180 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber

RDA's:
82% of vitamin E
70% of copper
43% vitamin B1 (thiamine)
34% of manganese
34% of selenium
33% of phosphorus
28% of magnesium
28% of vitamin B6
20% of folate
18% of vitamin B3

Health Benefits:

High in vitamin E, the body's primary fat soluble antioxidant.  Vitamin E travels throughout the body and neutralizes free radicals that would damage fat containing structures and molecules.  E has significant anti-inflammatory effects that result in the reduction of symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Vitamin E has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women, and reduce the development of diabetic complications.  Vitamin E also helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. 
Phytosterols found in sunflower seeds are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol.  Sunflower seeds also contain cardio protective fiber.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium , which has been demonstrated to help reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure and prevent migraine headaches., as well as  reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 
Selenium in sunflower seeds is a trace mineral that is of fundamental importance to human health.  Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells and to induce their apoptosis, the self destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells.

Uses:

Sunflower seeds are more commonly eaten as a snack than as part of a meal.  They can also be used as garnishes or ingredients in various recipes.  The seeds may be sold as in-shell seeds as dehulled kernels.  When in-shell seeds are processed .  They are first dried.  afterward they may be roasted or dusted with salt or flour for preservation of flavor.  in-shell sunflower seeds are particularly popular in the Mediterranean, Eastern European  and Asian countries where they can be bought freshly roasted and are commonly consumed as street food, the hull being cracked open witah the teeth and spit out.  In-shell sunflower seeds are also commonly eaten by baseball players as an alternative to chewing tobacco. 
Sunflower oil has become popular over the p ast few decades.  The oil is typically extracted by applying great pressure to the sunflower seeds and collecting the oil.

Selecting and Storing:  

Sunflower seeds are sold either shelled or unshelled and are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins.  As with any bulk bin product, make sure the bins are kept covered and that the store has a good turnover to insure maximum freshness.  Once at home store in the refrigerator to retard oil in sunflower seeds from becoming rancid.

Ways to Eat Sunflower Seeds:

  • Add the seeds to homemade veggie burgers, meatballs, or meatloaves
  • Toss some seeds onto a salad or  use sunflower seed butter in a homemade sauce
  • Try adding them to tuna or salmon salad since they add a nice crunch and texture
  • Add some sunflower seed butter to your oatmeal in the morning, spread it on your sprouted grain toast instead of peanut butter, or add a tablespoon to your favorite healthy smoothie recipe
  • Add the seeds to any baked goods you make, including grain=free muffins, breads, and scones
  • Use ground sunflower seeds in place of chia seeds in any recipe, or sunflower butter in place of another nut butter

So......... Eat up !  Enjoy ! I show you how !




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Monday, April 2, 2018

Coffee

Coffee:

About:

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the coffee plant.  The genus Coffea is native to tropical Africa and Madagascar, the Comoros, Mauritius, and Re'union in the Indian ocean.  The two most commonly grown varieties are Arabica and Robusta.  Once ripened coffee beans are picked, processed and dried.  Dried coffee beans are roasted to varying, depending on the desired flavor.  roasted beans are ground and brewed with near boiling water to produce coffee as a beverage.

History:

The plant was exported from Africa to countries around the world.  Coffee plants are now cultivated in 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.  The earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking appears in Yemen in southern Arabia in the middle 15th century.  It was in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed in a similar way as we do today.  Brazil is the leading producer of coffee in the world today producing 1/3 of the world's total. 


Health Benefits:


In 2008 a Harvard - led study that examined data over 130,000 participants were followed up for 20 years.  The results showed that regularly consuming up to 6 cups of coffee per day(with around 100 mg of caffeine per 8 oz, cup) was not linked with increased deaths in either men or women from any cause or death from cancer, or from death from cardio-vascular disease.  Earlier studies didn't always take into account that known high risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers at the time. 
Some other evidence has emerged in recent years that suggests coffee consumption may lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A Kaiser Permanente study that examined 130,000 plan members found that people reporting drinking between 1 and 3 cups of coffee a day had a lower risk than non drinkers regardless of other high risk factors of being hospitalized for heart rhythm disturbances.  In a systematic review and meta analysis of 28 prospective observational studies representing over 1 million participants every additional cup of caffeinated coffee and decaffeinated coffee consumed in a day was associated, respectively with 9 % and 6 % lower risk of type 2 diabetes.  


Cancer Risk:

A judge in California ruled that sellers must post a warning about cancer risk.  Some scientists and available evidence suggests the risk is not very great.
The problem is not with coffee itself , but s chemical called acrylamide that is made when the beans are roasted.  Government agencies have called acrylamide a probable or likely carcinogen based on animal research.  The problem is that no one knows what levels are safe for people.   The Environmental Protection Agency sets levels for acrylamide in drinking water, but not in food.  Daltis Brawby, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer states , "The issue is dose, and the amount of acrylamide that would be included in coffee which is really very small compared to the amount from smoking tobacco.  I don't think we should be worried about a cup of coffee." 

Coffee Brewing Methods:


Espresso:
Prepared by pushing hot water through a layer of compacted ground coffee contained in a port=filter.  Espresso is a very concentrated coffee with a lot of body, aroma, and flavor.  It contains a lot of coffee oils and solids.  The most distinctive feature of espresso is the foamy layer on top and the low volume of the drink.

Turkish Coffee:

a method of infusing finely ground coffee in nearly boiling water.  The Turkish Coffee grind size is extremely fine, almost a powder.  It has the fullest body of all brewing methods.

Drip Coffee:

Is the most popular preparation in North America.  The method is to pour hot water over ground beans through a paper filter.  The coffee is clear and clean.


French Press:

Consists of a plunger/filter.  The technique is to pour hot water over coffee grinds and let it steep for a few minutes.  After steeping the plunger is used to separate the grinds to the bottom of the beaker.  French Press coffee has a medium body, less than espresso, but more than drip. 

Moka Pot:

A device for making coffee that uses steam pressure to push water through grinds similar to espresso, but with much lower pressure.  The coffee is very bold and resembles espresso. 

Cold Brew:

The preferred method of brewing for people with stomach problems.  The brewing method consists of steeping coffee grinds for extended periods of time (12 to 36 hours) then straining and then serving cold or hot.


Aeropress:

A manual coffee making device that allows you to use pressure to brew a cup.  The method involves a few minutes of steeping followed by pushing the brew through the coffee grinds under pressure to extract more solids and caffeine,  Aeropress coffee is strong with body and resembles espresso.



Friday, February 2, 2018

Kimchi

Kimchi:

About:

Kimchi, a staple in Korean cuisine , is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly nappa cabbage and Korean radishes with a variety of seasonings including chili powder,m scallions , garlic, ginger, and jeatgal (salted seafood).   There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from different vegetables as the main ingredient.  In traditional preparations kimchi was stored underground in jars to keep It cool, and then unfrozen in the winter months.  Today kimchi refrigerators are more commonly used to make kimchi.
Kimchi is served at every meal , either alone or mixed with rice or noodles.  Kimchi is used in everything from soups to pancakes and as a topping on pizza and burgers.   As part of a high fiber, low fat diet, kimchi has kept obesity ast bay in Korea. 
Native Koreans say, "Kimchi!" when they are having their picture taken instead of "cheese". 

History:

The origin of Kimchi dates back at least to the early period of the 3 Kingdoms (37BC - 7AD).  Fermented foods were widely available, as Records of the Three Kingdoms, a Chinese historical text published in 289AD mentions.   A 23003 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that South Koreans consume 40 pounds of kimchi per person annually. 


Nutrition:

Kimchi is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C.  It's biggest benefit may be its healthy bacteria, called lactobacilli found in fermented foods such as kimchi and yogurt.  This good bacteria helps with digestion.  Some studies have shown that fermented cabbage has compounds that may help prevent the growth of cancer.  Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber while being low in calories.  One serving of kimchi provides 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C  and carotene.  Most types of kimchi contain onion, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers.  Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), and riboflavin (B).



Health Benefits:

Health benefits of kimchi:

  •  Promotes digestion, source of probiotics
  • Regulates cholesterol
  • Antioxidant Properties with phenols and flavonoids
  • Treats atopic dermatitis's
  • Helps with weight loss 
  • Boosts immune system
  • Has anti-aging properties
  • Prevents cancer
  • Treats diabetes - study shows better glucose tolerance, and lower fasting glucose

Ways to Use Kimchi:

  1. Add kimchi to scrambled eggs
  2. Layer kimchi on grilled chicken 
  3. Whip kimchi into develed eggs
  4. Put kimchi into tacos
  5. Stir kimchi into fried rice
  6. Stuff kimchi into a quesadilla
  7. Put kimchi on a pizza
  8. Top a rice bowl with kimchi




Prepared kimchi is available in your local supermarket.  While you can make it yourself, that is for after you've tried it and know you like it.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Oats

Oats:

About:

The oat (Avena sativa) is a member of the grass family of plants sometimes called the "common oat".Oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats.  Oats are a nutrient rich food associated with lower blood cholesterol when consumed regularly
Oatmeal is made of hulled oat grains - groats - that have been either milled (ground), steel-cut, or rolled.  Ground oats are also called "white oats".  Steel-cut oats are known as "coarse oatmeal" or "Irish oatmeal" or "pinhead oats". Rolled oats can be either thin or thick and may be called "old fashioned", "quick" or "instant".
The oat grains are dehusked by impact, then heated and cooled to stabilized the oat groats - the seed inside the husk.  The process of heating produces a nutty flavor in the oats,  These oat groats may be milled to produce fine, medium, or coarse oatmeal.  Steel-cut oats may be small and contain broken groats from the dehusking process (these bits may be steamed and flattened to produce smaller rolled oats.)  Both types of rolled oats may be eaten uncooked as in muesli, or may be cooked with water to make porridge.  Rolled oats are steamed and flattened whole oat groats.  Old fashioned oats can be thick and take a while to boil into a porridge.  Quick-cooking rolled oats are cut into smaller pieces before being steamed and rolled.  Instant oatmeal is precooked and dried often with a sweetener such as sugar or flavoring.

History:

Ancestral wild oats are believed to have multiple centers of origin including one center in Southwestern Asia, as well as a center in the general area of the Mediterranean Sea.  As a family of plants, grasses (including  oats) evolved ten's of millions of years ago.  As a cultivated food, the planting of oats still goes back in time several thousand years.  
Today the Russian Federation remains the world's largest producer of oats with Canada coming in second.  Oats are grown throughout Europe and the Middle East.  Oats are also grown in the United States and Australia, and also in parts of South America and Mexico. 

Nutrition:

Unenriched oatmeal cooked by boiling or microwave is 84% water, and contains 12% carbohydrates, including 2% dietary fiber (7.5 grams) and 2% each of protein and fat.  In a 100 gram serving cooked oatmeal cooked oatmeal contains 17 calories and 29% of the Daily Value for manganese and moderate amounts of phosphorus and zinc.  In the phytonutrient category oats provide valuable amounts of beta-glucan and saponins.

Health Benefits:

Consuming oat bran or whole rolled oats can lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a low fat diet via the effect of oat beta glucan to reduce levels of blood cholesterol.    Oatmeal has proven ability to curb bad (LDL) cholesterol due to a type of fiber called beta-glucan.  The fiber in oatmeal helps you feel full and eat less later on during the day.  Fiber also eases constipation and helps control blood sugars.  Both oats and oatmeal may provide digestive benefits in connection with their ability to increase the viscosity of our digestive tracts.  Viscosity refers to the thickness of the contents and their likelihood to flow too quickly or too slowly through the digestive tract..  Intake of oats and oatmeal has been associated witah optimal levels of viscosity in which it becomes easier for food to pass through our upper digestive tract and improve our blood sugar regulation.  Healthy passage of oats through the digestive tract has also been associated with an increased feeling of fullness.  Smaller waist circumference, lower body mass index (BMI), and decreased risk of metabolic syndrome in adults has been associated with oatmeal intake.  The beta-glucan found in oats helps prevent abrupt increase in blood sugar levels after consumption.  Intake of oats and oatmeal has been shown to improve post-prandial blood sugar and insulin levels and also healthy levels of A1c.

Selecting and Storing Oats:

 Buy small quantities of oats at one time, since this grain has a slightly higher fat content than other grains and will go rancid more quickly.  Oats are generally available in prepackaged containers and bulk bins.  If buying from a bulk bin make sure the bins are covered, free from debris and that the store has a good turnover to insure the store has a good turnover to insure maximum freshness.  Smell the oats to make sure they are fresh.  When purchasing oats in bulk or packaged containers, make sure there is no evidence of moisture.  
Store oat in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place where they will keep for approximately two months.  It buying prepared oatmeal products check the ingredients to insure the product does not contain any salt, sugar, or other additives.  



So, eat up.  Oats are good for you.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Celery Seed

Celery Seed:

About:

 Celery seed is the dried fruit (seed) of Apium graveolens L.  The light brown seeds have a characteristic aroma and warm bitter taste.  Celery seed is the dried fruit (seed) of a wild variety of celery called "smallage" which grows to a height of about 18 inches.  It is not derived from the vegetable of the same name. 

Celery seeds and its oil have been used for thousands of years in the treatment of many ailments. It is known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, calming , and diuretic activity.
It has been used to treat the following problems and conditions:
  • Stomach and digestive issues such as dyspeptic/poor digestion, irregular bowel movements (IBS) , loss of appetite, flatulence.
  • Water retention
  • Arthritis/gout
  • Joint pains
  • Muscle spasms
  • Hysteria and nervousness
  • Exhaustion
  • Insomnia
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Hypertension
  • Low libido
  • Menstrual problems.

Usage  Tips:

  • Use in making pickles
  • Add to cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, egg salad, and fruit salad dressing.
  • Use in meat loaf, salmon loaf, and chicken dishes
  1. Beware that celery seed has a very strong taste.  Treat it like a highly concentrated celery.
  2. Use celery seeds in vegetable dishes and sauces.  Give these dishes a touch of celery flavor with the addition of just a few seeds.
  3. Use celery seeds in pickles, mustard, and chutney.  Toss in a few seeds when preparing the pickles or chutney.
  4. Use celery seed in homemade bread or bread rolls.  Use it both to decorate and flavor the bread.
  5. Add to soups and stews.  The celery seeds will give an oomph of celery flavor.  Try them sprinkled over thick soups such as chowder.
  6. Add to fish dishes.  For a strong flavored fish celery seeds can make an interesting tasty addition to the marinade or poaching sauce.
  7. Sprinkle over sandwich fillings to give them a strong flavor. 
  8. Make Celery seed tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of freshly crushed celery seeds.  Steep for 10 = 20 minutes, strain and drink.

Health Benefits:

  1. Celery seeds have cancer fighting ability.  They contain tumor fighting polyacetylenes and phthalides
  2. They help manage blood pressure.
  3. They protect against  and reverse the bad effects of acetaminophen on the liver.  Daily consumption of celery seed helps balance the harmful effects on the liver.  
  4. Celery seeds have the ability to reduce cholesterol levels and are used to cure circulatory system problems.
  5.   Celery seeds contain flavanoids, linoleic acid, coumarins, and several volatile oils which are helpful ion curing many diseases.
  6. Celery sees have anti-inflammatory agents which with daily consumption help in treating pain and inflammation of the joints and help in curing inflammation related to gout, rheumatism, and arthritis.
  7. Celery seeds stimulate the uterus and help in easing muscle spasms especially related to the female reproductive system.
  8. Celery seeds are diuretic and cause excess urination which helps to flush out toxins with extra water host importantly uric acid along with the urine.
  9. Celery seeds are recommended for people with kidney stones, water retention , and gout.  Celery seeds do not permit extra accumulation of uric acid and fluids.
  10. Celery seeds are antibiotic and antiseptic in nature.  They are essential in curing infections of the urinary tract.
So, that's the info about Celery seed. 


Eat up.  Enjoy.  Get Healthy!


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Tofu or Not Tofu

Tofu:

About:

Tofu is also known as bean curd.  It is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into a soft whi8te block.  It is an ingredient in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine.   Tofu can be soft, firm, or extra firm.  It has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes.  It is often seasoned or marinated to suit a dish. 
The production of tofu essentially consists of :
1.  Preparation of soy milk;
2.  Coagulation of soy milk to form curds;
3.  Pressing the soybean curds to form cakes.

In Asian cooking tofu is eaten raw, stewed, stir fried, in soup, cooked in sauce, or stuffed with fillings.  Using tofu as a meat substitute is uncommon in East Asia. 

History:

Tofu making was first recorded during the Chinese Han dynasty some 2000 years ago.  Its production techniques were introduced into Korea and then Japan.  Ben Franklin was the first American to mention tofu in a 1770 letter to John Bartram. 

Nutrition:

Tofu has a low calorie count and relatively large amount of protein.  It is high in iron and can have high calcium or magnesium content depending on the coagulants used in its manufacture.

A 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of tofu contains:

Protein:  8 grams
Carbs:  2 grams
Fiber:  1 gram
Fat:  4 grams
Manganese:  31% of the RDI
Calcium:  20% of the RDI
Selenium:  14% of the RDI
Phosphorus:  12% of the RDI
Copper:  11% of the RDI
Iron:  9% of the RDI
Zinc:  6% of the RDI

70 calories.

Health Benefits:

Many of the health benefits of tofu are attributed to the high isoflavone content.  Isoflavones are natural plant compounds found in soybeans.  The 2 main isoflavones in soy are genistein and daidzein. 
 Research indicates that soy has a  protective effect against breast, digestive, and prostate cancers .

Potential Health Benefits of Tofu Due to high isoflavone content
Bone health:  80mg of soy isoflavones per day may reduce bone loss especially in early menopause.
Brain Function = soy isoflavones may have a positive influence on memory and brain function, especially in women over 65.
Skin Elasticity - taking 40 mg of soy isoflavones per day significantly reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity.

Tofu may reduce the risk of Heart Disease:
Research has shown that high intake of legumes, including  soy, is linked to lower rates of heart disease.  We know that soy isoflavones can reduce blood vessel inflammation and improve their elasticity.
One study fouynd that supplementing with 80 mg of isoflavones per day for 12 weeks improved blood flow by 68% in patients who are at risk of stroke.
Taking 50 grams of soy protein per day is associated with improved blood fats and estimated 10% lower risk of heart disease.
In post menopausal women high soy isoflavone intake was linked to several 

Selecting:

Tofu can be purchased in bulk or individual packages, refrigerated or non-refrigerated.
You can also find dehydrated, freeze dried,jarred or canned tofu.

Generally, not a lot of processing is necessary to make tofu, so choose varieties with short nutrition labels. 

Once opened tofu blocks need to be rinsed before being used.      

Tofu can be frozen, in its original package for up to 5 months.

Contra Tofu:

According to Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of "The Whole Soy Story" soy is not a health food, does not prevent disease, and has not even been proven safe.   Numerous scientific studies link soy to digestive troubles, malnutrition, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders as well as heart disease and cancer. 


Dr Josh Axe, nutritional guru and blogger lists 8 Reasons to Not Eat Tofu

  1. Genetic Modification:  Today at least 90% of all soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified and GMO foods are linked to so many health problems, because they kill off good bacteria in your gut and damage the working of your digestive system
  2. Phytoestrogens and Breast Cancer:  tofu contains phytoestrogens that have an estrogen - like effect on the body which blocks normal estrogen production and have been linked to breast cancer.
  3. Thyroid Disruption:  Goitrogens that are in soy products are thyroid hormone blockers that can interfere with thyroid hormone production and cause hypothyroidism.
  4. Antimutrients:  Soy products like tofu contain several antinutrients that can lead to leaky gut, gas, kidney stoines, vulvodynia, malnutrition, poor protein digestion, poor growth, digestive distress, pancreatitis, and nutrient deficiencies.
  5. Cognitive Problems:  soy tofu has been linked with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
  6. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D Deficiencies:  tofu contains B12 analogs that stimulate vitamin B12 but can't be used by the body the way it uses real B12 while soy foods increase your vitamin D requirements which means eating tofu can make a vitamin D deficiency even worse.
  7. Digestive Difficulty:  Most people lack the enzymes to digest the unfermented soy food which causes indigestion, gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal issues.
  8. Potential Heart Issues:  Research on animals has shown that a soy rich diet can potentially have a profound negative effect on heart health.

Good Tofu Alternatives:

Natto:
  • Fermented soy superfood
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Contains good bacteria and nattokinase which produces vitamin K
Tempeh:
  • Made from fermented soybeans 
  • Uses whole soybeans, giving it high protein, vitamin and mineral content.
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Increases bone density
  • Reduces menopausal symptoms
  • Promotes muscle recovery.

So..... Eat up.  Enjoy.  I'll show you how.

Serving Ideas for Tofu:

  • Blend together soft tofu , olive oil, garlic and lemon juice to make a tofu aoli dip
  • Scramble soft tofu together with your favoritevegetables and the spice turmeric to give it a yellow egg-like color.  Thisdelicious dish can be served as is or can be used as a basis for tofu rancheros by being wrapped in a tortilla and served with black beans and salsa.
  • Stior fry firm tofu with your favorite vegetables and seasonings. 
  • Blend soft tofu with your favorite fruits (and honey or other natural sweetner) and blend  .  Serve fora breakfast or dessert. 
  • Add cubes of tofu to miso soup. 

Friday, September 8, 2017



Honey:


About:

Honey is a sweet viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects.  Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants(floral nectar) or other insects through regurgitation, enzymatic activity and water evaporation, and store it in wax structures called honeycombs,  Honey is collected from wild bee colonies, or from hives of domesticated bees, by a practice known as beekeeping. 
Honey gets it sweetness from mono saccharides and glucose, and has about the same relative sweetness as granulated sugar.  Most micro=organisms do not grow in honey, so sealed honey does not spoil even after thousands of years.  Honey contains 64 calories in a typical serving of 1 tablespoon.  It has no significant nutritional value.  
 As of 2014, the world's largest producer of honey was China, followed by Turkey and third the U.S. 

History:

Honey use and production have a long and varied history as an ancient activity as depicted by a cave painting of humans foraging  for honey at least 8000 years ago in Valencia, Spain. Over its history  as a food the main uses of honey are in cooking, baking, desserts, as a spread on bread and as an addition to various beverages such as tea and as a sweetener in some commercial beverages.  Honey barbecue and honey mustard are other common flavors used in sauces.

Shelf life:

The shelf life of honey is due to an enzyme found in the stomach of bees.  Glucose oxidase is mixed by the bees with nectar previously consumed by the bees which creates two by-products: glucosic acid and hydrogen peroxide which are responsible for honey's acidity and ability to suppress bacterial growth.  

Characteristics of Honey:

Most commercially available honey is blended , meaning it is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density, or geographic origin.   Adulteration of honey is the addition of other sugars, syrups, or compounds to change its flavor or viscosity, make it cheaper to produce, or increase the fructose content to stave off crystallization.  In the US according to the National Honey Board which is overseen by the USDA,' honey' stipulates a pure product that does not allow for the addition of any other substance including water or other sweeteners.
Most commercially available honey in blended, mean it is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin.  
Mono floral honey is made primarily from the nectar of one type of flower.  Different mono floral honeys have a  distinctive flavor and color because of differences between their principle nectar sources.  Typical examples of North  American mono floral honeys are clover, orange blossom, blueberry sage, tupelo, buckwheat, fire weed, mesquite and sour wood. 

Indications of Quality:

High quality honey can be distinguished by fragrance, taste, and consistency.  Ripe, freshly collected high-quality honey at 68 degrees F. should flow from a knife in  a straight stream without beading into separate drops.  After falling down the honey should form into a bead.  In jars fresh honey appear as a pure consistent fluid and should not set into layers. 

A 1980 study found that mixed floral honey from several U.S. regions typically contains:
Fructose.............38.2%
Glucose..............31.3%
Maltose...............07.1%
Sucrose...............01.3%
Water..................17.2%
Higher sugars.....01.5%
Ash.....................00.2%
Other undetermined... 03.2%


Classification by Packaging and Processing:

Crystallized honey: when glucose has spontaneously crystallized from solution.  Also called                                               granulated homey, can be returned to liquid by warming.
Pasteurized honey: heated in a pasteurization process (161 degrees F.) Heat affects appearance                                              (darkens), taste, and fragrance.
Raw honey:   As it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, setting, or straining without                           adding heat.  Raw honey contains some pollen and may contain small particles of wax.
Strained honey: has been passed through a mesh to remove particulate material.
Filtered honey:  filtered to the extent that all or most of the fine particles, pollen, grains, air bubbles,                             or other materials have been removed.
Creamed honey: also called whipped honey, spun honey, churned honey or, honey fondant has been                              processed to control crystallization.
Comb honey: is still in the honeybee's wax comb.


Grades of \Honey:

In the U.S. honey grading is done voluntarily.  Honey is graded on the basis of many factors including water content, flavor and aroma, absence of defects and clarity.  Honey is also graded on the basis of color, though it is not a factor on the grading scale.
Honey is graded A, B, or C. 
 A - is for good normal flavor and aroma, free from caramelized flavor or objectionable flavors from fermentation, smoke, chemicals or other causes.  
B - is for reasonably good flavor and aroma . practically free from caramelized flavor.
C - is for fairly good flavor and aroma , and reasonably free from caramelized flavor.

Medical Uses:

Research into medical uses for honey is ongoing, particularly because of antimicrobial resistance to modern antibiotics.

Wounds and burns - to help healing.

Coughs - for chronic and acute coughs

Other - Honey is useful in controlling side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Consumption of honey is sometimes advocated as a treatment for seasonal allergies due to pollen.
Honey contains an antimicrobial peptide effective for certain antibiotic resistant microbes.  Honey has both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Benefits:

  • Natural Energy Booster
  • Immunity System Booster
  • Brain Booster 
  • Remedy for Ailments: cuts and burns, hangovers, sore throats, sleeplessness


Ways to Incorporate Honey in your Diet:

  1. Use honey to sweeten your dressings and marinades
  2. Stir honey into coffee or tea
  3. Drizzle honey on top of toast or pancakes
  4. Mix honey into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal
  5. Spread raw honey onto wheat toast and cover with peanut butter.


Eat up.  Enjoy.  I'll show you how.


Simple but Good...........


Baked Honey Mustard Chicken:

6   Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. prepared mustard
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F,
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place into a 9 in x 13 in baking dish.
In a small bowl combine honey, mustard, basil, paprika, and parsley.  Mix well.  
Pour half of this mixture over the chicken and brush to cover.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
Turn chicken pieces over and brush with remaining honey mustard mixture.  Bake for an additional 10 - 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.  
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.