Archive | Food Facts RSS feed for this section

The BBC’s Ingredients. An Amazing Resource.

20 Oct

I always read recipes that are adapted from the BBC, especially from British writers and chefs. As I was exploring their site this morning I stumbled across the section titled Ingredients, under the Food category at the bottom of their home page. It is a library of food facts and recipes listed alphabetically by ingredient with amazing photos (like the one above) and great ideas. I thought I would share it with you all as it would be a great place to turn when you are stuck with another pound of blueberries and can’t handle another bite of  jam, or just as an additional source of inspiration for building your knowledge and skills in the kitchen. Stay posted for more recipes soon, and until then, check out the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/ingredients/by/letter/a

Food Fact #2: Oysters.

29 Sep

Ah oysters. What delectable creatures. Served raw, grilled, fried, baked (you name it),  these little guys are always out to please. I must admit, I have had a love-hate relationship with them in the past, as twice in my life I have eaten a few not so great ones and paid the serious food-poisoning-like price. In the last few years however, our bond has re-solidified and I have nothing but good things to say about these ancient mollusks from the beds down below (200 million years ancient that is). Using my handy Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND, as well as some random facts from oyster farms that I have researched online, prepare to be educated.

Oysters grow wild in estuaries, sounds and bays. Their taste is pretty much concerned with their origin, as they are filter feeders, which means they breathe water in and out through their gills, filtering algae and whatever else may exist in their lurking grounds. The salinity, mineral content, water temperature and chlorophyll content of the local plankton all affect the oyster’s flavor. I prefer the small, cold water ones myself as they are easier to swallow so to speak. It takes about three years of life before oysters reach the table, and some take even longer.

Oysters spawn through external fertalization, and are sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they have the ability to be both sexes, just not both at the same time.  They are extremely fertile, all though sadly very few of their efforts will ever reach oyster-dom. If you and your significant other are trying for a little oyster yourself, these guys should definitely be part of your diet plan, especially for males, as they provide the highest concentration of zinc per serving of any food (essential for thyroid health and testosterone function as well as a key nutrient in sperm production), at more than 33 grams per serving. They are also a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, B-12, copper, iron and selenium.

And lastly, how many oysters do you think the undefeated Guinness Book of World Records holder ate last year in 3-minutes?

233.

A round of applause to you fine sir- your 13 children must be proud.

Asparagus

22 Aug

A large part of my background is in nutrition. I went to Bauman College in Berkeley, where I completed both the Nutrition Educator and Natural Chef program. I have also worked in restaurants my whole life, literally since the womb. What I have taken from both of these worlds is a love for high quality, well prepared food, with a keen interest on how it works in our body and how it affects our health and well being. I welcome you to our first food fact, something I totally geek out on with two of my favorite books, Whole Foods (not the store) Companion, A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers & Lovers of Natural Foods, written by Dianne Onstad and The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray. So, without further ado, Asparagus…

A member of the lily family, Asparagus was used medicinally long before it was eaten as a vegetable.The actual medicinal property is a substance called asparagine, nature’s most effective kidney diuretic, which breaks up the oxalic acid and uric acid crystals in the kidneys and muscles and eliminates them through the urine.

It contains substantial amounts of aspartic acid, an amino acid that neutralizes the excess amounts of ammonia that lingers in our bodies.

It is considered a blood builder due to its chlorophyll content, and contains many of the elements that build the liver, kidneys, skin, ligaments and bones.

It is also an excellent source of potassium, vitamin K, folic acid(to all my pregnant ladies out there), vitamins C and A, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin B6. It is also rich in protein compared to other vegetables.

Asparagus loses many nutrients, as well as flavor within the first few days after purchasing. Buy fresh and eat quick, and until you do, store in the fridge with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel…

Hope you enjoyed our first food fact, and stay posted for the next one to come!