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Unrefined, low-glycemic carbohydrates

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on July 7, 2010

Low-glycemic foods

Not all carbohydrate foods behave the same way in our bodies. Each has a different effect on our blood glucose levels.

What are the benefits of the Glycemic index? How can we incorporate more low-glycemic foods in our diet?

http://www.culinarydelightsblog.com/?p=136

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Lazy Man’s Pork Barbeque Sandwich Recipe

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on March 17, 2010

This is an easy and flavorful slow-cooker recipe for BBQ flavor at home.

YouTube – nationalporkboard’s Channel.

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Bay Salt Prawns – Jamie Oliver

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on March 4, 2010

Great video of chef Jamie Oliver preparing some fresh and tasty prawns on the grill. Healthy and beautiful.

jamie oliver – my online videos.

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Food Expert Michael Pollan’s Food Rules – Video – Oprah.com

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 29, 2010

Food 101 with Michael Pollan, food expert, featured on the Oprah Show

Chicken: Then vs Now

Photo: Food, Inc.

“There’s no more personal choice than what you feed your body, but what do you really know about the food you eat? Fat, carbohydrates and calories are listed on every label, but where that food comes from, what’s been added and what’s been removed isn’t as easy to see.” Oprah.com

How much do you know? Test your knowledge this Food 101 quiz. I got 3 out of 5 questions correct. How about you?

Watch this short,  informative video.

Food Expert Michael Pollan’s Food Rules – Video – Oprah.com.

Here are a few of Michael’s Food Rules:

1: Eat food .

2: Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.

7: Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.

13: Eat only foods that will eventually rot.

39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.

“It’s not that hard to eat well if you’re willing to put a little more time into it, a little more thoughtfulness into it and, yes, a little bit more money,” he says.

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How-to Build a Small-space salad box

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 28, 2010

Enjoy easy access to fresh greens with this easy-to-build raised planter box.

How to grow vegetables at home – from Sunset.com. Learn how to build an easy-access planter via Small-space salad box – Main – How to grow vegetables – Sunset.com.

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Feel-good foods for 2009 – Almonds

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on January 24, 2009

Throughout this year I will be posting articles inspired by a list published in the January 2009 issue of Sunset Magazine called “Feel-good foods of 2009.”  It speaks about good eats to incorporate into our diet for a healthier new year. First on the list – Almonds. Here is a brief background, along with nutritional benefits. The bulk of the information will be provided by Practically Edible – “The web’s biggest food encyclopaedia.”

http://www.practicallyedible.com/edible.nsf/list/Almonds?opendocument&keyword=Almonds#almonds

Almond blossom. Taken in Swifts Creek, Victoria in September 2008

Almond blossom. Taken in Swifts Creek, Victoria in September 2008

Almonds are members of the peach family. The tree blossoms in the spring before it grows leaves.

There are two kinds of Almonds, sweet and bitter. An Almond, technically, isn’t a nut — it’s the pit of a fruit related to peaches, plums and apricots. The Almond fruit is small, green and has soft, velvety fuzz on it; the fruit isn’t any good for eating, as it is tough and fibrous.

Sweet Almonds are usually blanched before use as the outer brown skin can in some people irritate their digestive tube. Some ground Almond packages sold may contain ground peach kernels to lessen the cost to the producer. Sweet Almonds are used both in meals and in desserts. If a recipe calls for Almonds, chances are it means Sweet Almonds.

Bitter Almonds are extremely poisonous when raw and untreated; it is illegal to sell them in their natural state in North America, though their sale remains legal in the European Union. Only the oil and extract is sold. Their oil is mixed with hydrous ferrous sulfate, which reacts with the prussic acid in the Bitter Almonds and causes it to form calcium ferrocyanide crystals, which can be filtered out of the oil, making it safe.

Blanched Almonds have the brown skins removed from the nuts. The Almonds are scalded in boiling water, plunged into cold water, then put through rollers that rub the skin off. The nuts are then dried and packaged. Blanched Almonds cost more than unblanched because of the extra processing required, but not much more, and it’s almost always worth paying the extra to save yourself the fiddling at home.

If you are buying unshelled Almonds, ones that rattle a lot inside the shell have shrunk from aging, so you don’t want those.

Even if you have access to Almond trees, it’s not recommended to pick your own unless you truly know that they are sweet Almond trees and not ones that produce the bitter, poisonous Almonds. California now provides 60% of the world’s Almond production. In China, apricot kernels are often used instead of Almonds.

Cooking Tips
If your whole Almonds came with the skin on, or if you had to shell them, to remove the skin pour boiling water over them and let them soak for two minutes. Then drain, and rub the skin off. These are called Blanched Almonds.

To toast Almonds, spread them out on a baking sheet and then place on middle rack of oven preheated to 350F. You can toast slivers, halved or whole Almonds. If toasting sliced or slivered Almonds, watch them very closely as they can burn quite quickly. Toast about 5 minutes, then take out, toss, and return to oven until they are just turning a golden brown, about 15 minutes total, tops. Play close attention to them after about 12 minutes, as they can go from golden to burnt in a flash. Remove from oven, turn out onto a plate and let cool.

Almonds are often eaten on its own, raw or toasted. Along with other nuts, they are often sprinkled over desserts for an added crunch. Sweet almonds are used in marzipan, nougart, French macaroons, Financiers, baklava and other wonderful sweets.

Substitutes
Other nuts or seeds.

Nutrition
Almonds contain as much calcium as milk.

Bitter Almonds, when mixed with water, let off cyanide gas. For this reason, it is illegal to sell them as is in many parts of the world; you are restricted to selling only a treated extract from them.

Sweet almonds contain almost no carbohydrates, so they can be made into flour for cakes and cookies for low-carb diets. Almonds are also rich in Vitamin E and monounsaturated fat. Recent research shows that including almonds in the diet elevates the blood levels of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and lowered levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL).

Equivalents
1 pound unshelled Almonds = 1 to 1 1/4 cups shelled = 5 to 6 oz shelled = 150 -170g shelled
1 pound shelled Almonds = 450g shelled Almonds = 3 cups whole or halved = 3 1/3 cups chopped = 4 cups slivered or sliced

Storage
Packaged Almonds can be stored at room temperature for up to two years; even longer if refrigerated right from the start. Once opened, refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 months. If your Almonds turn yellowish, taste one: they may be getting quite old and rancid, in which case offer them to your neighbourhood birds or squirrels. Toasted Almonds can be frozen for up to 6 months.

History
The Almond tree is a native of western Asia and North Africa. Almonds were grown in ancient Egypt, and in Israel: they are mentioned in the Old Testament. The Greeks and Romans both grew Almonds and made oil from them. A Greek myth has the gods changing a disconsolate woman (Phyllis) into an Almond tree (probably the bitter kind). The Romans introduced the Almond tree into England during their settlement there.

Almonds
Mixed blanched almonds
– © Denzil Green

The Romans and Greeks believed that Bitter Almonds helped prevent you from becoming drunk, and this belief carried through the middle ages. This theory (noted by the writer Plutarch) may have led to the now out-of-fashion practice of serving salted Almonds with dinner.

Almonds have been found at Pompeii and under the Knossos palace in Crete.

During the Middle Ages, Almonds were an important trade commodity — Almond Milk was used in a great deal of cooking. It wasn’t until about 1562 that people in England began deliberately growing Almond trees, largely as garden plants for their blossoms. Yet Almonds were widely known. At the time of Shakespeare, “An Almond for a parrot” meant the height of temptation, perhaps bad temptation, as they must have noted that Bitter Almonds were not good for birdies.

Almond trees were brought to Spain and Portugal by the Moors; Spanish monks brought Almond trees to California.

Literature & Lore
Almond < Almande (Old English) < amande (French) < amandela (Latin) < amygdalus (Greek)

And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded Almonds. Numbers 17:8

Would I could meet that rogue Diomed! I would croak like a raven; I would bode, I would bode. Patroclus will give me any thing for the intelligence of this whore: the parrot will not do more for an Almond than he for a commodious drab. Thersites. Troilus and Cressida, V, 2. Shakespeare.

Also called: Prunus dulcis (Scientific Name) Amande (French) Mandel (German) Mandorla (Italian) Almendra (Spanish) Amêndoa (Portuguese) Badam (Indian)

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What is Soy Sauce?

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on September 24, 2008

Soy sauce is an extremely important ingredient in Asian, especially Chinese, cooking. It is a dark, brownish, salty liquid made by fermenting boiled soybeans and roasted wheat or barley. Although in the US we are accustomed to one main type of soy sauce, China and Japan create a number of varieties ranging in color and texture.

The History

The soybean plant was not discovered by the Europeans until the early eighteenth century, but the Chinese have been relying on the plant as a food source at least 5,000 years ago. Soy sauce immerges about 2,000 years ago during the Zhou dynasty. It originally started out as a salty paste, then evolved into two separate items – the liquid, called shoyu in Japanese; and miso.

Properly prepared soy sauce is made by mixing boiled soybeans with roasted grain, like wheat, rice or barley; and fermenting that mixture for several months. After the fermentation and aging process is completed, the mixture is strained and bottled. Synthetically-produced sauces, in comparison, can be created in a matter of days using a hydrolytic reaction and colored by caramel, and seasoned by corn syrup, salt and water. They often have a metallic taste.

The Types

Chinese cooking uses two basic types of soy sauce, light and dark. Light soy sauce has a lighter color and texture, and is much saltier than dark soy, and is used more in cooking. Dark soys are aged much longer than lights, which results in a dark brownish-black color and thicker texture. The pungent odor and very dark color limits its use in cooking. It is good, however, for marinating meat.

Soy sauce has been used in the traditional cuisines of many East Asian and South East Asian cultures, and as an important ingredient in Japanese, Thai and Chinese cooking. Although similar in appearance, sauces created in different cultures and regions are very different in taste, texture and saltiness. It may not be appropriate to substitute sauces from one region or culture for another.

Although there are many types of soy sauces, they have a distinct taste called umami by the Japanese (, literally “fresh taste”). The free glutamates which natually occur are what give it this taste quality.

Health

A study conducted by the National University of Singapore shows that dark soy sauce “contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine, and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.”  [Daniells, Stephen (200606-06). “Antioxidant-rich soy sauce could protect against CVD“. nutraingredients.com. ] It has also been found to be rich in lactic acid bacteria and has high anti-allergic potential.

In  2001 UK Food Safety Agency tests, various low-grade soy sauces (ones made from hydrolyzed soy protein, rather than being naturally fermented), more than 20% of the samples contained a chemicals at levels higher than those deemed safe by the EU. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and the Agency recommends those products be avoided. [Food Standards Agency (200106-20). “Some Soy Sauce Products To Be Removed“. Press release. Retrieved on 200801-07. ]

Final Word

Few ingredients in Chinese cooking are more essential, yet more misunderstood, than soy sauce. We use it in a number of ways, either as a condiment or during cooking, as a sauce or as a marinade. I hope this post has opened your eyes a bit more regarding the humble brown liquid, and please avoid any soy sauces that are chemically manufactured.

 

References:

 About.com-Chinese Food

http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa101698.htm

Epicurious.com

http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/search?query=soy+sauce

Wikipedia.com

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Food-related Business Ideas

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on August 19, 2008

I have a bit of a dilema, and I could use some help.
I love food  Grin  I’ve gone to school for the Culinary Arts and have worked in the field for a few years. I currently own a gourmet gift business. I love my business, however, recently I’ve been feeling a bit unfulfilled.
I Love Baking! I Love Cooking! I love seeing the joy and satisfaction on people’s faces as they enjoy what I’ve created. That’s when I feel fully expressed and self-actualized. Unfortunately it’s hard to establish a food-related business in the State of Florida (lots of hoops and red tape and money 😦 ).
Does anyone have any ideas regarding food businesses I could look into? I don’t have a lot of resources to invest in starting something big like a restaurant, but, I welcome all suggestions.

Thanks so much. Look forward to hearing from you.

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The Foodie Blogroll – A Great Find

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on July 8, 2008

I came across a link to this blogroll on another food fan’s site. As described on the website, “The Foodie Blogroll is the first of its kind and is one of the fastest growing online communities for foodbloggers. With over 1500 members spanning the globe in less than a year, there is a reason for its popularity. It is the first blogroll created just for foodies like you by a foodie like you. When I started my food blog, I went looking for a blogroll for food and cooking related websites and there were none to be found. So I decided to create my own! This is all about building the best community online for foodbloggers! Imagine what being exposed on over 1500 blogs about food would do for your traffic.”

I was thoroughly impressed with the number and quality of blogs listed and decided to join.

The address for the blogroll is http://www.foodieblogroll.com/ If you’ve been in the food industry for years, or you just love learning about food, check it out. Let me know what you think!  🙂

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The History of Butter

Posted by culinarydelightsgb on April 23, 2008

The word butter comes from the Greek word “bou-tyron”, which seems to mean “cowcheese.” It is also thought to be borrowed from the language of the Scythians, a northern tribe of horsemen. According to ancient histories, the Scythians considered butter so important that they employed blind slaves to produce it because they wouldn’t be distracted while churning the cream needed to make it.

Some historians believe that by the time the Scythians were traveling across the plains of Central Asia hundreds of years before Christ, butter had already been in existence for millennia. Abraham, went visited by the three angels and told he would have a son named Isaac, served them butter and cakes and meat [Genesis 18 v 1-8]. It was used to flavor the breads of the Pharaohs in Ancient Egypt. It was also used to treat wounds and burns by the Romans. The first documented mention of butter making occurred around 1,500 – 2,000 BC in the sacred writings of Asiatic India dwellers. Back then, butter was not only used as food, but also as an illumination oil, for medicinal purposes, and as a coating for the skin to protect tribe members from the bitter winter cold.

In India, clarified butter is called ghee. According to Hindu mythology, and mythologies the world over, butter symbolizes semen; and churning represents both the sexual act and the formation of a child in the womb. To make ghee, butter is melted and simmered long enough to extract all the water, leaving the anhydrous butter fat. During the process, it takes on a buttery taste. By removing the albuminous (simple heat-coagulable water-soluble proteins which occur in milk and other animal substances) curd and water that favor the growth of organisms that promote spoilage, ghee does not become rancid as easily or readily as butter. It can also be stored unrefrigerated for several months.

Butter is made by churning cream until it reaches a semi-solid state. By U.S. law, butter must be at least 80 percent milk fat. It may be artificially colored with annato and carotene; it may also be salted. Unsalted butter contains absolutely no salt. Salt acts as a preservative and, because unsalted butter contains none, it is more perishable than salted butter and should be stored in the freezer section. To store butter, wrap airtight and refrigerate for up to 1 month (regular butter) or up to 2 weeks (unsalted). It can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

I am currently searching for relevant pictures to include with this post. Please bear with me.

References:

http://webexhibits.org/butter/

The Butter Board –

http://www.naturalandtasty.co.uk/history_butter.htm

Food For Life Global –

http://www.ffl.org/ffl_pf_real_milk.php

Epicurious.com –

http://www.epicurious.com/tools/fooddictionary/search?query=butter

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