Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Ask the Waiter for Some Water

So how did I embrace the habit of drinking two liters of water per day?
Why  has it become just another step in my daily routine?

 

 

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Tools and Techniques

First of all there are different tools and techniques can I use to help me start drinking the suggested amount of  water each day?

 

1. Carry a small refillable water bottle with you everywhere you go.,,,Using a  reusable water bottle does not create the litter that typical water bottles do, is environmental-friendly, makes you a smarter consumer, saves water, and saves you money.

What factors should you consider when choosing a water bottle?

The first factor to consider is what material the bottle is made from. Water bottles can be found in many different materials—including aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, polyethylene, and copolyester.

  • Glass…bottlesUP, Life Factory, Love Bottle, Takeya

  • Metal…Earth Lust, Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen
  • Plastic…Fit & Fresh, GOBIEH20, Nalgene

In addition to the material that the bottle is made from, you also need to recognize how easy the bottle will be to both carry and to clean, how easy the bottle will be able to fill with ice cubes and water, what type of drinking valve the bottle has, how big the bottle is, and whether or not the bottle has a filter.

Another option would be a specially designed fruit infused water pitcher with an infusion chamber.

They work great, the large pitchers look fantastic on a dinner table and encourage your family to drink more water, and the travel bottles help keep you hydrated all day long.

You can refill the pitcher or travel bottle several times before it starts to lose flavor.
You can even eat the cucumber slices if you like, but discard your batch after 24 hours.

 

 

2. Decide when you want to drink your water. A few suggestions are…

  • Before Meals...makes you feel full and helps you eat fewer calories.
  • Certain parts of your daily routine—such as when you first get up, just before leaving the house, when you sit down to work, whenever you get up from your desk at work to take a bathroom break, after your brush your teeth in the morning, and right before you eat lunch.
  • Hourly...ensures that your water quote is met by the end of the day.
  • Morning…gives you more energy to face the day ahead.

 

3. Enlist other people to help you reach this goal.

 

4. Fill a larger pitcher or bottle with the amount of water you want to drink each day.

 

5. Invest in a filter.

 

6. Make your own carbonated water with the help of a home “seltzer” machine.

 

7. Use a straw so that you drink faster, and drink more at one time.

 

 

 

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“Recipes”

Cucumber Water…One way to make water a little less boring is to add fruit and veggies. The first one that we are going to consider is cucumber.

 

To make the perfect cucumber water, add 1/2″ slices of cucumber to your ice water. Top the cucumbers with more ice so they won’t float up to the top.

In addition to the cucumber, you could also add…

  • lemon
  • lime
  • mint
  • pineapple
  • herbs—such as tosemary or rhyme

 

Water-rich foods….One sneaky way to increase the amount of water you consume on a daily basis: eat your H2O. Addfruits and vegetables with a high water content to your grocery shopping list. Some top picks include cucumber (96% water), zucchini (95% water), watermelon (92% water), and grapefruit (91% water).

Spicy foods…Garnish your meal with chili flakes or fresh peppers and you’ll be reaching for more water in no time. Another benefit of adding heat? Some studies show that spicy food may help boost your metabolism.

Sparkling Water…Choose sparkllng or mineral water instead of Cokes…( yes, I am from the Deep South, so every single carbonated beverage know to man is referred to as Coke)…Sparkling or mineral water is just as good for your body as regular water…and much more interesting..

Other water-based beverages….Gee, both hot tea or unsweetened iced tea contain water. You could also reach your water goal for the day by drinking juice, lemonade, or iced coffee.
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Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Saving Money in the Bathroom

  • yyyn 

1.  Anti-Mold Spray and Bathroom Cleaner…Fill empty spray bottle at least half full with vinegar. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, leaving about a 1″ gap at the top of the bottle. Add 1tsp tea tree essential oil for every 1C vinegar/water solution.

To use, shake vigorously to combine the essential oils throughout the mixture. Generously spray on surfaces-showers, shower doors, walls, and tubs, etc-and do not wipe down.

2.  Carpet Freshener…Fill a shaker about halfway with baking soda. Add ten drops essential oil. Do another layer of baking soda and essential oil. Mix well. Sprinkle over carpet and rugs, and then vacuum.

3.   Daily Shower Cleaner
…Mix together 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tsp dish soap, and 1 Tbsp dishwasher rinse aid into a 24oz spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle the rest of the way with water.

The hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol work together to help keep mildew at bay, and the soap and rinse aid fight soap scum.

Hydrogen peroxide will break down in sunlight (which is why it’s sold in brown bottles). You can keep this spray in a dark bottle, or just store it in a dark cupboard between uses.

4.  Floor Cleaner… Simply mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water. Mop.  There’s no need to rinse, and the vinegar smell dissipates once the floors have dried.

This floor cleaner works well on all floor types-sealed wood, tile, laminate and linoleum.

5.  Glass Cleaner...Funnel 1 1/4 cups distilled water, 1/2 cup 80-proof vodka, and 1/4 cup white vinegar into a glass spray bottle. Add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Replace the nozzle. Shake well.

To use, spray on windows and mirrors, and then wipe with a soft microfiber cloth until dry.

6.  Lavender Linen Spray...Combine 2Tbsp witch hazel or vodka and 10 drops lavender essential oil in a small jar with tight-fitting lid. Place the lid on tightly. Shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine the two.

Open the lid to the jar. Add 6Tbsp water. Replace the lid. Shake again for 15-20 seconds to combine.

Place the funnel in the opening of the spray bottle. Pour the mixture from the jar into the spray bottle. Replace the spray bottle lid.

Spray on your pillows, sheets, and blankets.

 

7.  Room Freshener Spray…Stir together 1Tbsp baking soda and 10 drops essential oil. Put mixture into 16oz spray bottle. Top off with 2C distilled water. Label. Shake before each use.

Scent Combination Ideas…

1. 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Wild Orange
2. 5 drops Wild Orange, 3 drops Ginger, 3 drops Ylang Ylang
3.  4 drops Bergamot, 4 drops Lemon, 2 drops Peppermint
4.  4 drops Lemongrass, 3 drops Wild Orange, 2 drops Peppermint

8.  Toilet Bombs…Stir together 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid. Add 25 drops peppermint essential oil and 10 drops tea tree/melaluca essential oil.

Place vinegar in spray bottle.Spritz baking soda mixture lightly with vinegar. Spritz and stir, then repeat until mixture sticks together when squeezed.

Press mixture firmly into a muffin tin or silicone molds. Allow to dry a few hours. Pop from mold. Store in a quart mason jar.

To use,  toss one toilet bomb into the toilet bowl. Wait 15min. Swish with toilet brush. Flush.

9.  Wood Floor Cleaner and Polish…Combine 1 gallon of hot water, 3/4 cup of olive oil! and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Apply it to your floors with a mop that you’ve wrung out fairly well. Let it dry on its own, without rinsing.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Pumpkins…The Why

Not only does pumpkin make such awesome treats to eat and enjoy, pumpkin can also be enjoyed as a treat to help you feel pampered and relaxed.

Why should you consider using pumpkin in your “beauty routine” in the first place?

Pumpkin is packed with vitamins—such as vatima B, vitamin C, and vitamin E… as well as beta-carotene. This means that it helps promotes healthy skin and hair.

Other ingredients commonly found in these products…or used when you’re making your own…include…

 

1.Coconut or Olive Oil…These both moisturize the skin, act as an antioxidant, and keep your skin looking younger.

2. Spices…Not only is the “aromatherapy” of the spices rejuvenating, awakening, warm, and comforting…cinnamon also stimulates better blood circulation all over the body and brings blood to the surface of the skin…resultting in plumper skin with a healthier glow, as well as healthier hair.

3. Sugar…Sugar helps the skin retain moisture and gently exfoliates dead skin away.

4. Vitamin E…Vitamin E not only benefits your skin, but also extends the shelf life of your ingredients.

 

 

Not only that…these cosmetics and concoctions will enable you to enjoy the sweet, nostalgic aroma of pumpkin all year long.

 

 

So first let’s look at what I call OTBC products…those Over the Beauty Counter products…and then we’ll talk about a few ideas that you yourself can make at home.

 


Acure-Energizing Body Wash,,,availabile at Target or Kroger…ungredients iunclude organic Argan oil, sea buckthorn oil, Moroccan Argan stem cells, coq10, and pumpkin seed oil

*

Desert Essence Organics Hand & Body Lotion–Pumpkin Spice—…available at Sprouts…other fragrance options—Island Mango, Italian Lemon, Tropical Coconut, Coconut Lime, Bulgarian Lavender, and Spicy Vanilla Chai

 One Love Organics,,,available at Nieman Marcus…ingredients include pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil, green tea seed oil, kelp extract, sea buckthorn oil, chia seed extract, rosemary leaf extract, and rooibos tea extract

 

 

 

Other OTBC products containing pumpkin in some form of fashion include…

 

—Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte Super Smooth Body Lotion…available at Bath and Body Works…(go figure)

 

—Burt’s Bees® Burt’s Bees Lip Balm, Pumpkin Spice with Beeswax, $2.97, available at W-almart

—EcoLove Shampoo Orange Collection

Ecosevi Pumpkin Seed Shampoo-

—Good Earth Beauty Shampoo Pumpkin Chai Natural…available at Amazon

—Hempz Pumpkin Spice & Vanilla Chai Body Moisturizer…available at Ulta

—Native Deodorant Kit…available at Native

—Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer…available at Sephora

—Sara Happ Pumpkin Spice Lip Scrub Kit…available at QVC

 

 

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Now as far as DIY ideas…

Pumpkin Body Scrub…Combine…

    • 1C brown sugar
    • 1/2C coconut oil, room temp
      1Tbsp cinnamon
      1 vitamin E capsule
    • ½C pumpkin puree

Scoop body scrub into an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to four days. Before using, let the mixture come back it warm up to room temp and stir if needed.

This scrub is best when used immediately because the longer it sits, the more the sugar will dissolve and the less exfoliating the body scrub will become.

The scrub will last for about two months as long as the airtight container hasn’t been opened.

 

 

Pumpkin Hair Conditioner…Combine the following ingredients…

  • 1/2C pumpkin puree
  • 1/4C yogurt
  • 2Tbsp honey
  • 1Tbsp coconut oil

Pumpkin Hair Serum…This hair serum helps repair dead ends and control “fly-away” hair.  Using apricot seed oil instead of pumpkin oil keeps the pumpkin oil from making your hair feel so weighted because the oil is so much lighter.

To use the serum, lightly spritz water in your hair…and then comb the pumpkin serum through your hair.

Pumpkin Hot Oil Treatment…Combine equal amounts of coconut oil and pumpkin puree. Heat on top of your oven over low heat. Let cool slightly. Apply to soaking wet hair, working from the ends to the roots. Wrap hair in a hot towel, Wait twenty minutes. Rinse well.

Pumpkin Oil Hair Vitamin Mist…Fill a spray bottle with two ounces of pumpkin seed oil and 1Tbsp coconut oil. Fill the bottle with distilled water. Shake before each use.

Pumpkin Puree Hair Mask…Mix together…

  • 1tsp argan oil
  • ½C pumpkin puree
    2tsp coconut or olive oil (unrefined)
    1tsp cinnamon
    1 Vitamin E capsule

Apply the concoction on your hair, making sure to cover your strands from tip to roots. Put on a shower cap to keep the goop from dripping all over while you wait. Wait at least 25 minutes before shampooing your hair. Use this mask once or twice a week to help make your hair soft, shiny and silky.

Pumpkin Seed Oil Hair Mask,,,Another option as far as a hair mask would be to use…

1 Tbsp. pumpkin seed oil
1/2 apple puree
1 tbsp. shea butter
1 egg

Process half of the apple in your blender. Add shea butter and pumpkin seed oil. Whisk egg by itself. Stir the egg into the mixture. Apply to freshly washed hair. Leave in for twenty minutes. Rinse out.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Perfect Pumpkin Treats To Please Peter Piper Pumpkin Eater

Now for a collection of pumpkin recipes that I have posted previously on my blog…just in time for pumpkin season…

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Pumpkin Energy Bites

  • 1C old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1/4C pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2C wheat germ
  • 1/3C honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3C white chocolate morsels

Combine all ingredients. Chill 30min. Roll into 1″ balls, Store in airtight container in fridge.

 

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Pumpkin Muesli

Making your own muesli is more of a math formula…4C grains…to 1-1/2C nuts/seeds…to 1/2C  dried fruit.

 

The Grains…4CGrains make up the base of your muesli. Typically rolled oats are used to make muesli because they have a nice texture and thickness, but you could also use any other grain—including wheat bran, whole rye, whole barley, sorghum flakes, quinoa flakes, millet puffs, and millet flakes. The grains will become soft when combined with milk or yogurt.

The first thing that you will need to do when making your muesli is to toast the grains in your at 350 for a few minutes. This will make your oats more aromatic and crispier.

 

 

The Nuts/Seeds…1C,,,Nuts not only give your muesli a delicious crunch,. but also make your muesli healthier because of their omega-3 fatty acids and protein content..

Choose any nut, seed, or combination that you like…or omit them altogether if you’re allergic to them or simply don’t like them.

 

The more nuts you throw in, the crunchier (and more expensive) it will be.

Not only do you want to toast your grains before stirring all of your ingredients together, you also want to toast the nuts to give them extra crunch and flavor.

As you are toasting them, never add oil, butter, or any other liquid to the pan. Toasting the nuts will release the natural oils in the grains…so adding anything extra will make your muesli greasy.

 

Nuts and seeds that you might consider using include…

  • Brazil nuts
  • cashews
  • chia seeds
  • coconut flakes
  • hazelnuts
  • macadamias
  • peanuts
  • pecans
  • pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • pistachios
  • poppy seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • sliced almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • unsweetened coconut flakes.
  • walnuts

The Dried Fruit…1C…Dried fruit will add both sweetness and chewiness to your muesli….

The more fruit you add, the sweeter and chewier it will be. Add only enough fruit to make your granola taste sweeter…but not so much that your granola is too sweet.

Do not add fresh fruit to your muesli because this will make your muesli too soft and make it “turn bad” faster. Use only dried fruit at this point. Save fresh fruit for when you actually get ready to eat your muesli.

Avoid dried fruit that contains added sugar.

Chop up your dried fruit into bite-sized pieces before adding to your muesli.

There are no set-in-stone rules as far as what fruits to add…simply choose whatever fruits that you and your family like. A few ideas as far as what fruits you could add…as long as they are dried or dehydrated…are…

  • apple chips
  • apricots
  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • cherries
  • cranberries
  • currants
  • dates.
  • figs
  • mango
  • papaya
  • raisins
  • strawberries

The Spices…If you would like your muesli to have even more of a taste that your family will enjoy, feel free to add spices—such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and ginger.

Once you finish making your meusli, add some spices—such as a cinnamon stick, a few whole cloves, or a vanilla bean—in the container with your muesli to infuse your meusli with even more flavor.

 

Do not add any additional sugar to your muesli. You shouldn’t need it…and as we already know…it’s not good for you.

 

Stirring Your MuesliNow that you have chosen your ingredients, put all of them into a container. Close the container. Shake until everything is combined.

 

Storing Your Muesli…Store the muesli in an airtight glass jar or plastic container. Your muesli will stay good for  up to two months as long as it stays dry.

 

Serving Your Muesli…Soaking or cooking your muesli will break down the oats, making them easier to chew and digest…and making the muesli more nutritious becsuse the nutrients—such as the fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants. vitamins, protein, omega 3 and minerals found in muesli—are more easily absorbed by your body.

The easiest way to enjoy your muesli is to add milk or stir it into some yogurt.  Waiting for about ten minutes to half an hour before eating it will soften up the grains a little.

You could also soak your muesli in milk overnight….at a 1:1 ratio. To make overnight oats, combine 2/3C muesli with 2/3C milk in a small lidded container. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy cold in the morning.

A third option is to heating your muesli in the microwave before serving.

 

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Pumpkin Bread

  • Flour…2C…
  • Baking Powder……2tsp
  • Salt…1tsp
  • Sugar…1C granulated or brown sugar (or combination of both)
  • Eggs…2…
  • Fat….1/4C  butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • Milk…1C milk or buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Line one 9″x5″ loaf pan or three 6″x3″ mini pans with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides so that you can easily remove the bread from the pan once it finishes cooking. Coat well with cooking spray.

Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center.

Combine liquid ingredients. Add them into the well that you made in the dry ingredients.

Mix the ingredients together. Mixing the ingredients by hand gives your bread batter better texture and appearance than using a mixer…but be careful not to over mix your batter so that you bread won’t turn out tough. Your goal in whisking is to to break up any clumps in the flour and aerate the mix for a lighter loaf….so leave the batter lumpy and even with a few streaks of flour still showing.

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Pumpkin Seed Brittle

  • 1C sugar
  • 1/2C water
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 3/4C green pumpkin seeds
  • 3/4C bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4C chopped pumpkin seeds
  • large-flake sea salt

Bring first three ingredients to a boil. Cook until candy thermometer reads 238ºF. Remove from heat. Stir in green pumpkin seeds with a wooden spoon. Stir 5min.  Return pan to medium heat. Cook stirring constantly, 5 minutes.

Pour hot mixture onto parchment paper covered surface. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll mixture between these two sheets of parchment paper as thinly as possible with rolling pin.

Let cool until firm. Break into pieces. Cool brittle completely.

Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Dip cooled brittle in chocolate.  Sprinkle with 1/4C chopped pumpkin seeds and large-flake sea salt. Let cool until chocolate is firm.

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Collecting the Seeds…As you are carving or cutting the pumpkin to use for whatever else, collect the seeds of your pumpkin in a colander as you get them out. Once you have collected the seeds, rinse them under cold running water to remove any pulp and fiber. Pat them dry with paper towels as you spread them out on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Seasoning the SeedsToss the seeds with salt and either melted butter or olive oil.

A few more ideas for adding even more flavor to your pumpkin seeds are….

  • Italian…2Tbsp melted butter, ¼C grated Parmesan, ½tsp Italian seasoning
  • Savory…2Tbsp melted butter, 1tsp seasoned salt, 1tsp white vinegar (add vinegar after roasting)
  • Spicy…2Tbsp olive oil, ½tsp Cajun seasoning, ½tsp fresh lime zest (add zest after roasting)​
  • Sweet…2Tbsp melted butter, 1Tbsp brown sugar, ½tsp cinnamon

Prepping the Oven…Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pre-boiling…Many people boil their pumpkin seeds before roasting them in order to make them extra crispy, but this can be skipped if you need to.

Baking…Roast the pumpkin seeds at 200 degrees for 20min…until light golden brown and crisp, stirring once.

Cooling...Cool at least 10min before serving.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

The Great Pumpkin…and What’s So Great About It?

So are pumpkins merely for setting by your door every Halloween…and perhaps using a can of pumpkin to make pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving?

Actually no…they have far too much nutritional value to keep on the back burner…or out of your oven…

Pumpkins are actually packed with vitamins and minerals such as…

 

 

 

1.Antioxidants.…Pumpkins contain antioxidants—specially the carotenoids alpha-carotene and beta-carotene—as evident by their bright orange color.

Beta-carotene is especially important because it is easily converted into vitamin A…which in turn triggers the creation of white blood cells that fight infection.

As far as health, antioxidants may reduce your risk of developing certain illnesses, such as…

  • age-related macular degeneration
  • asthma.
  • certain types of cancer, including prostate and colon cancer
  • degenerative damage to the eyes
  • diabetes
  • heart disease

As far as beauty, antioxidants help reverse UV damage and improve skin texture.

 

 

2. Calories...One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 49 calories.

 

3. Carbohydrates...One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 12.01 grams of carbohydrates.

 

4.Cholesterol…One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains no cholesterol.

 

5.Fat…One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 0.17 g of fat..

 

6. Fiber…One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 2.7 g of fiber, while canned pumpkin provides over 7 grams of fiber….helping you reach the recommended daily allowant for fiber intake of between 25 and 30 grams.

Fiber is important for slowing the rate of sugar absorption into the blood…promoting regular bowel movements…and supporting the digestive system in general.

 

7. Protein…One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 1.76 grams of protein.

 

 

 

8. Vitamins

Vitamin AOne cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains more than 200% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A….whicv is very important if you don’t want to grow bald before you’re fifty.

Vitamin B…Pumpkin is a good source of most of the B vitamins—such as niacin, riboflavin, B6 and folate. This makes pumpkin great for treating acne, improving circulation, and increasing cell turn over and renewal.

Vitamin C…Vitamin C helps prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, promotes collagen production, and improves skin tone and elasticity….also strengthens hair follicles….

Vitamin C...One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 19% of the RDA of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the immune system, especially important on days like today when the temperature is lunging from 85 degrees today to about 50 degrees tomorrow….

Vitamin E…Vitamin E stimulates blood circulation in the scalp, which then promotes hair growth also.

 

 

 

9. Minerals…Pumpkin contains extensive amounts of two vital minerals—potassium.. and zinc.

Potassium helps promote healthy hair and regrowth….while zinc prevents and treats flaking, irritation, and itching scalp.

Other Nutrients…One cup of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin without salt contains 10% or more riboflavin…and 5% of thiamine, folate, and pantothenic acid,

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Pumpkins…The Which

Ghosts and goblins, squash and pumpkins

Found on every aisle

As the shippers rush home with their treasures

Hear the whispers, see the costumes

Sitting there on display…

And above all this bustle you hear

 

 

Halloween, Halloween…

It’s creepy time in the city.

Hslloween, Halloween…

Soon it will be Halloween.

 

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks

See the kids walking by

At each door they will ask for some candy.

Hear them all say “Please” and “Thank You”

As they say “Trick or Treat”

Soon it will be Halloween.

 

Halloween, Halloween…

It’s creepy time in the city.

Halloween, Halloween…

Soon it will be Halloween.

(Original poem written by yours truly…think of it as corny or creative…your choice)

 

 

This is the only time all year that you will see the color orange plastered everywhere you look. Suddenly you look up, and there’s almost as much orange to be as you look around as there is green.

I personally love this time of year because pumpkins are about the only food out there with such a sweet, cinnamon-y taste…a taste that reminds of us Halloween and Thanksgivings as we were growing up.

Read the next few posts for some ideas for great homemade gifts to give your  neighbors, teachers, and whoever gives me an unexpected gift during the upcoming holiday season.

These posts will highlight ways to cook with pumpkin…make awesome coffee…decorate…and stir up your own DIY beauty concoctions, such as hair masks and facials.

But first let’s take a brief look at which pumpkins to buy so that you don’t end up leaving the produce section with a lemon.

Going to the closest pumpkin patch to pick out your pumpkin(s_ can actually end up being more stressful than you would think.

Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by all of these small round spheres in all  sorts of colors and sizes…

Which one should you actually buy?

Let’s take a quick look at your options, and your best bets.

 

 

 

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The Gray Ones

Kakai...These are the gray ones with orange stripes or ribbing…even though these pumkins are edible, they are better known for their blue seeds, which can be roasted.

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The Green Ones

Fairytale…These are the flat, dark green ones with deep vertical ribbing that are about 15″ around and 6″ high and weight anywhere from twenty to thirty pounds. Use these for cooking, especially for baking pumpkin pies.

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The Orange Ones

Baby Bear…These are the flat orange ones out of this grouping…and are best for…pies, roasted pumpkin seeds, and using as a bown to serve soupf, stews, and chili.

Baby Pam…These are the deep orange, ir yellow if immature. .very smooth ones. These supposedly have a sugary, starchy, string-less, and dry flesh…choose these if you are willing to spend the extra time prepping the pumpking.

Long Island Cheese…These are the pale yellow or orange ones that .have light vertical ribbing on their exterior.

Musee de Provence:…These are the yellow-orange ones with deep and distinct vertical ribbing. These are great for snacking on because they have a rich, sweet, creamy, taste. In fact slices of this pumpkin are often sold in French markets.

Tiger…These are the flat yellow ones that have orange mottling that are about 5″ around and 3″ high in size. They have a recessed stem and deep vertical ribbing the top that fades at the bottom

Winter Luxury…These are pale orange round ones with a unique netted-looking

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The Red Ones

Lakota…These are the red ones with green and black markings and light ribbing…and supposedly they taste like butternut squash.

 

 

 

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The White Ones

Baby Boo…These are the bright white palm-sized ones out of the group. Supposedly their flesh is inedible…so use these only for…decorating.

Casper…These are the bright white ones that are .more round than squat…and have slight ribbing on their exterior.

Lumina…These are the bright white., smooth ones.

Marina Di Chioggia…These are the squat green ones that have a thick and warty​ skin. They are actually a favorite for cooking because they have such a sweet flavor.

White Ghost…These are the pure white, squat ones.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

18 Reasons to Start Drinking

    • IMG_4473-1

    Production Foods

 

 

So now that we’ve gotten off the detour of using organic body and skincare products, let’s once more begin our journey up the Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land–type game called the Raw Foods Pyramid…first by looking at the bottom tier of the pyramid—water.

 

 

 

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WHY

Water is one drink that you’ll want to consider the next time you’re feeling thirsty. It not only helps genuinely hydrate the body, it can help you feel better overall, and even look better. Here are some of the benefits you’ll reap, and some recipes to help you along.

Our bodies contain about 55-60% water…so the more hydrated, the healthier you will be.Water does such important things—such as transporting nutrients and flushing toxins out of our system…, so getting an adequate amount of water each day is very important.

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Let’s take a closer look…

1. Aging...Due to the antioxidant content of water, water helps your body fight free radicals, promotes healthy aging, and enhances your body’s ability to fight disease.

2. Antioxidants...Water contains the antioxidants that are needed to ward off free radicals and help the body flush out built-up toxins. Detoxing the body doesn’t have to be a one time or once a year event, you can help your body stay clean with daily attention to the foods that you’re taking in, as well as avoiding foods that are known as being toxic to the body. This sort of regular maintenance keeps you feeling great all year long.

3. Appetite…Eating when you’re not actually hungry can lead to weight gain and sluggishness,,,and can throw you off your natural eating cycle. Drinking a glass of water when you’re hungry instead of raiding the refrigerator or vending machine can help you make it until your next meal if it’s not quite mealtime.

4.Asthma and Allergies…helps keep your air passageways open because the body closes up these passageways in an effort to minimize water loss whenever we are dehydrated

5. Blood Pressure…Keeping your blood pressure in check is important because it will help keep you away from debilitating diseases like stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, or vision loss. Saying hydrated helps prevents your blood from becoming so thick that it increases your blood pressure,

6. Bone Health…Water may reduce the risk of osteoperosis and bone fractures in post-menopausal women. 

7. Body Temperature…cooling the body whenever you sweat by making you sweat more

4. Brain Function…protects brain structure and function, as well as producting hormones and neurotransmitters. Drinking water promotes clearer thinking and reasoning

8. Cancer…A healthy lifestyle gives you a better chance at staying healthy long-term and perhaps preventing serious conditions, such as cancer….especially cancer involving the urinary tract system.

9. Headaches...may help relieve the intensity and duration of headaches.

10. Hangovers…,Alcohol is dehydrating and toxic to your system, so you need plenty of water and nutrients to start healing.. Water can help prevent the unpleasant symptoms from drinking too much—such as thirst, fatigue, headache and dry mouth—because it is a diuretic. In fact, many people claim that drinking one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage that you drink is great in preventing your having a hangover in the first place.

11. Hydration...When you meet your specific water needs you’ll enjoy the benefits of staying hydrated,…which is important for maintaining the right body temperature, helping your cardiovascular system, assisting in the cleansing of toxins, and having more energy to help each of your organs do its job better.

12. Joint Pain…maintains the ability of the joints to absorb shock

13. Kidney Stones…makes you have to pee more often, which prevents minerals from consolidating, crystallizing and becoming kidney stones

14. Muscles...Whether or not you’re trying to put on muscle, helping your muscles stay strong is a good idea.  Water makes a great contribution to the overall health of your muscles, and your body in general.

15. Nuttritonal Value…Drinking water will provide more vitamins and minerals., such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

16. Skin...Water helps your skin from the inside, as well as the outside. Staying hydrated will help your skin stay supple and smooth. Water makes your skin look healthy and vibrant…prevents your skin from becoming dry, flaky and tight…and helps prevent skin disorders and premature wrinkles..

17.  Tooth Decay…Water keeps the mouth clean and reduces your chance of having tooth decay.

18. Weight Control…Water will naturally quench your thirst and make you forget about mindlessly reaching for drinks loaded with sugar, so it’s an easy way to cut calories from your diet. Water can also act as a natural mild diuretic…helping you get rid of that excess water and bloating.

 

 

*****

HOW

In order to enjoy the complete benefits of water listed above, you should be drinking eight or more cups of water per day….or half your body weight in ounces.

Think that this will never happen…I did also when I first started trying to get a handle on my weight and my health…

But I’ve been drinking two liters of water per day for the last three years.

In the next post, I’ll show you how I mastered this habit…and how I maintain it.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Pancakes

 

 

 

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The Ingredients

  • n2C flour
  • ¼C sugar
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp salt
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1½C milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼C melted butter
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Dry Ingredients

Mix together these dry ingredients.

You can do this with either a whisk or a Mason jar.

You want to go ahead and mix your dry ingredients enough to get rid of any lumps at this stage in order to avoid big lumps….and because later you will need to avoid over-mixing the batter once you add the wet to the dry,

 

 

The Baking Powder…Be sure to check the expiration date on the baking powder canister. If your baking powder is old or expired, your pancakes will not right…and will end up flat, instead of light and fluffy.

If you would like even fluffier pancakes, feel free to double the amount of baking powder.

You might also want to try using only 2tsp of baking powder and then adding 1/2tsp baking soda.

 

The Flour…Spoon your flour into a measuring cup instead of scooping the flour out of the flour canister with a measuring cup, like most of us do…including me.

Scooping the flour causes your measuring cup to be filled with too much flour, often resulting in tough pancakes.

Don’t restrict yourself to only using all-purpose flour…be adventuresome by swapping out half of the flour with another type of flour—such as whole wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, corn, oat, or gluten-free.

 

 

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Mason Jar Method

You can also use a Mason jar to shake your ingredients together.

To do this, layer your wet ingredients first—milk, egg, and oil…and then your dry ingredients—flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a wide-mouth quart-sized jar. Seal the jar tightly . Shake the jar vigorously for at least two minutes…until the ingredients are combined. Once the ingredients are combined, you can either cook pancakes immediately or stick the jar in the fridge for later.

To make your pancakes, simply pour the batter straight from the jar onto your griddle or pan…and cook them…(more on that later)…

 

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Liquid Ingredients

Combine your liquid ingredients.

 

The Butter…Using unsalted butter allows youu to control the taste of your pancakes better..

 

The Buttermilk...Butttermilk is what makes your pancakes tenderest. If you do not want to use milk or buttermilk, use water, coffee, or juice as your liquid base instead…reducing the amount of liquid called for in the original recipe by.one-fourth of the amount.

 

 

 

The Eggs…Bringing your eggs to room temp before mixing into your batter will give you the best results.

To make your pancakes even fluffier, take the time to separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. …beat your egg whites  with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form…and finally fold the beaten egg whites into your batter gently with a rubber spatula until just combined.

 

 

 


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Mixing Ingredients Together

You should have already whisked your dry ingredients together before you added in the wet ingredients…so you should be able to combine your wet ingredients and dry ingredients together very easily.

Now gently fold your dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just combined.

Stir until the flour is moist, but there are still a few small clumps of flour.

.Do not over-mix the batter. It’s okay to leave some lumps in the batter.

If you overmix the batter, you will end up with tough and dense pancakes, not fluffy.

At this point, you should add any ingredients that you would like to add to your batter…such as…

  • Banana…one mashed ripe banana
  • Blueberries…1C
  • Cream cheese…3oz finely chopped cream cheese
  • Lemon…1tsp grated lemon peel
  • Orange…1tsp grated orange peel
  • Pecans…1/2C…toast and chop finely
  • Strawberries…1C
  • Walnuts…1/2C…toast and chop finely

 

 

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Resting Your Batter

Now that all of your ingredients have become friends, it’s time to rest your batter. What does it mean to “rest” your batter?

To rest your batter means to simply leave it alone for anywhere from ten to thirty minutes. The longer you rest your batter, the better your pancakes will turn out…

Why should you “rest” your batter?

Resting your batter will…

  • dissolve any small lumps
  • give the baking powder enough time to activate
  • give the flour a chance to absorb liquid in the batter

 

 

 

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The Pan

As far as what kind of pan to use when making pancakes, the best option is an electric griddle…

An electric non-stick griddle makes flipping your pancakes much easier.

But if you’d rather cook your pancakes on top of the stove or don’t have an electric griddle, use a large, about 12,” non-stick skillet with sloping slides….preferably cast iron.

Cast iron will give you even heat distribution allow you to brown your pancakes without having to use tons of butter.

 

 

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Heating the Pan

 

Heat your pan or skillet over medium heat until drop of water sizzles..

Heat a little bit of vegetable oil…(for other types of oils to cook with, check this previous post out)…

Avoid using regular butter because the butter will be more likely to burn and make your pancakes turn out funky tasting.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

 

 

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Cooking

Use a 1/4C measuring cup…or pour the batter from the Mason jar depending on which method you used earlier…to shape the batter into medium-sized circles….about 3-1/2″ wide. 

Cook your pancakes for a couple of minutes…until little bubbles appear and the edges start to get firm.

Be sure to avoid squishing the pancakes with your spatula.

Flip. Once you flip the pancake over, don’t press down on it with your spatula. Let the pancake cook naturally so you do not end up with flat, boring pancakes.

Cook your pancakes for a couple of minutes on the other side…until both sides are lightly golden.

Keep pancakes warm while you’finish cooking the rest by covering the pancakes with aluminum foil and then sticking them in an oven that has been preheated to about 200.°

If you find that your pancakes are browning too quickly, turn down the heat down and let the pan cool down for a minute or so before starting the next batch.

If you find that your pancakes are sticking to the pan, add more butter or oil.

Wipe out the pan between batches…especially if you are using butter instead of oil.

Finish cooking any remaining batter.

 

 

 

*********

Storing

Obviously most of us know what to do with the pancakes once you finish cooking them, but did you know that you can also make them ahead of time…instead of resorting to buying already frozen pancakes from the grocery store…

I was kinda shocked to find pancakes stored by the frozen biscuits and frozen breakfast burritos and frozen waffles…wonder how many preservatives are in all of these products, right?

 

To refrigerate…put the pancakes in an airtight container…will stay fresh for up to 5 days

To freeze…flash freeze them and store in large ziplocs…will stay fresh up to 2 months

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect “Energy Muffins”

Muffins can be another healthy breakfast food…

…but store-bought tend to be fairly calorie-dense, usually contain preservatives and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients, and tend to be very high in sugar…oversized nutritional disasters packed with tons of calories and fat and little protein.

 

 

Instead make your own muffins…they are so easy to bake and freeze in bulk…not to mention cheaper.

 

 

The following base recipe allows you to be creative by adding different fruits or nuts…and is totally sugar, oil, and gluten free.

 

Fruits and nuts may add calories, but are worth it. Dried or fresh fruits…such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, apples…are packed with antioxidants. Nuts…such as walnuts, pecans, almonds… provide heart-healthy fats.

 

The carbs in the whole-grain flour will help fuel your muscles, and the high fiber will keep you feeling full.The substitution of applesauce for oil reduces the fat content of the muffins.

 

 

 

Energy Muffins

2C whole-grain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4C ground flaxseeds
2tsp cinnamon
2tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1/2C unsweetened apple sauce
1C unsweetened almond milk
1tsp vanilla
1/2C dried, fresh, or frozen fruit (optional)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Fill a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups.Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slightly beat the eggs. Mix in the milk and applesauce. Add wet ingredients to the dry mix. Stir until just combined, sprinkling in the nuts or fruit. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until muffin tops are golden brown.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Visions of Veganism—Eggs

Barley

  • People who ate a half-cup of whole barley regularly during a five-week period USDA study saw their cholesterol levels drop by nearly 10% compared to those who went without. Try adding raisins or dried apricots to quick-cooking barley and serving it as a side dish. Just make sure it’s whole-grain barley, not “pearled,” which means the bran and germ have been removed.
    • dddddddddddBARLEY (LOOK FOR “WHOLE GRAIN,” “HULLED,” OR “DEHULLED,”)
      Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 3 cups liquid (expands to 3½ cups cooked grain)
      Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 45–60 minutes (some brands recommend an overnight soak)
      Best Uses: Pleasantly firm chew makes it ideal for grain salads and pilafs. Great substitute for rice, especially in curries, stir
      fries, and risottos. (Note that pearled barley is not whole grain.)
      Flavor Profile: Rich flavor with a mild sweetness. Pairs well with mushrooms, root vegetables, warm spices, and fall flavors
      (like apple).
      Gluten-free? No
      History: One of the oldest grains cultivated in the Fertile Crescent, barley (often cooked as a porridge or baked into a crude
      bread) was also one of the first grains eaten in the ancient cuisines of China and Egypt, and was an important source of
      nutrition during Greek and Roman times.
      Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 8g fiber (more than any other whole grain!), 6g protein. Excellent
      source of manganese, selenium, and thiamin. Good source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and niacin.
      Recipe Ideas:
      » Barley and Wild Rice Dressing with Fennel, Apples, and Marsala (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
      » BBQ Baked Barley (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
      » French Onion Soup with Barley (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
      » Greek Inspired Fresh Artichokes with Barley and Tomatoes (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
      » Pecan and Barley Burgers with Peach Ketchup (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
      » Crystalized Ginger and Barley Tea Bread (Robin Asbell, The New Whole Grains Cookbook)

************************************************************************************Buckwheat

  • BUCKWHEAT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2 cups liquid (expands to 4 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes
    Best Uses: To keep the grains from becoming too creamy, buckwheat is often coated with an egg (or other fat) before
    cooking. These pyramidal shaped grains work well in casseroles, and breakfast porridges. Buckwheat flour is quite versatile,
    adding richness to soba noodles, pancakes, and pastries. Flavor Profile: Robust and earthy. Pairs well with dried fruit, dark
    spices, beets, walnuts, and hazelnuts. Untoasted (raw) buckwheat groats have a much milder flavor than toasted buckwheat
    (kasha).
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Technically a pseudo-grain (it is not even related to wheat), buckwheat has a strong history in Asian and Eastern
    European cuisine because it can grow in cold climates. It is the grain of choice in traditional dishes around the globe, including French crepes, Russian blini, Japanese soba noodles, and Jewish kasha. Buckwheat is also a popular cover crop, restoring the soil between seasons of farming.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 140 calories, 4g fiber, 5g protein. Excellent source of magnesium, copper, and
    manganese. Good source of phosphorus, riboflavin, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Chocolate Buckwheat Waffles with Juicy Berries (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Cheesy Buckwheat with Kale and Mushrooms (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Savory Kasha with Parsnips (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Beet and Buckwheat Borscht with Parsley-Yogurt Garnish (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Thai Buckwheat Larb (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Buckwheat Gingerbread (Alice Medrich, Flavor Flours)
    » Buckwheat Butter Cookies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
  • Many people living with celiac disease can tolerate this whole grain, along with quinoa, amaranth, and sorghum. And it’s one of the best grain-based sources of magnesium, a wonder mineral that does everything from ease PMS symptoms to improve nerve functioning; and manganese, which boosts brain power. And thank goodness for that, because who doesn’t enjoy a good buckwheat pancake from time to time?

********************************************************Bulgur

  • BULGUR WHEAT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 10–12 minutes (fine bulgur reconstitutes just by soaking)
    Best Uses: The fluffy, chewy texture makes it ideal for grain salads, sides, and pilafs. Great for adding substance to light
    dishes. It also is delicious served warm as a creamy breakfast porridge.
    Flavor Profile: Nutty, wheat flavor. Pairs well with parsley, tomatoes, cinnamon, and most fresh produce.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Bulgur is wheat that’s been pre-cooked then cracked into smaller pieces (hence, the quick cooking time). In fact,
    some call it “ancient fast food.” Bulgur wheat has a rich history in Eastern Mediterranean cuisine, dating back to Egypt and
    the Ottoman Empire.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 120 calories, 4g fiber, 4g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good source
    of magnesium, phosphorus, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Overnight Peanut Butter Bulgur with Berries (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Bulgur Pilaf with Fresh Tomatoes, Thick Yogurt, and Fried Onion Strings (Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Grains and Greens)
    » Zeliha Gungoren’s Scallion Bulgur Pilaf with Golden Raisin Hoshaf (Paula Wolfert, Mediterranean Grains and Greens)
    » Mexican Stuffed Poblanos (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Lamb Burgers with Bulgur and Mint (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Creamy Bulgur with Honey and Tahini (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
  • For all practical purposes, bulgur is considered a whole grain, even though up to 5% of its bran may be removed during processing. It’s so good for you, though, we’re putting it on the list. The grain, which is used to make tabbouleh salad, is a great source of iron and magnesium. The fiber and protein powerhouse (a cup contains nearly 75% of the dietary fiber you need for the day, and 25% of the protein you should get) can be used in salads or tossed in soups. Plus it cooks in only a few minutes.

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Corn

  • Cook 1 cup dry whole grain cornmeal with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 2½ cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–35 minutes
    Best Uses: Whole grain cornmeal is best suited for porridge or polenta style recipes. (Note: If it says degerminated, it’s not
    whole grain!) Great thickener for stews. Not well suited for grain salads or pilafs. Popcorn is also considered a whole grain
    (although fresh corn, such as corn on the cob, is not).
    Flavor Profile: Sweet taste. Pairs well with chiles, berries, stone fruit, aromatic spices, tomatoes, cumin, peppers, and beans.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Corn is native to the Americas, and has a rich history in Aztec, Mayan, and Native American diets.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 110 calories, 2g fiber, 2g protein. Good source of phosphorus,
    magnesium, manganese, selenium, and thiamin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Cornmeal Pancakes with Warm Cherry Sauce (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Orange Polentina with Honey Mascarpone Topping (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Sweet Corn and Zucchini Quiche with Cornmeal Crust (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Whole Grain Cornbread (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Savory Grits with Slow-Cooked Collard Greens (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Rustic Fall Polenta with Fontina and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Almond Polenta Tart with Sherried Plum Compote (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
  • Corn can be extremely healthy for you when it’s whole. A good source of B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus, whole corn is also thought to increase healthy gut flora, which can ward off diabetes, heart disease, and chronic inflammation. Yellow corn is also high in antioxidants….The easiest way to eat it? Popcorn. You can buy the kernels and pop them in a microwave using an ordinary paper bag, or do it the old-fashioned way on the stovetop.

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Couscous

  • Most of the couscous you see is a form of pasta made from refined wheat flour. So when you’re eyeing the aisle for the healthiest couscous pick, look for the whole-wheat kind, most easily found in natural food stores. Skipping the refined version and going with the whole-grain type will net you 5 additional grams of fiber per serving.

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Freekeh

  • This Arabic grain is a low-carb form of ancient wheat that has up to four timesmore fiber than brown rice. Freekeh kernels are harvested while they’re young and then roasted. They contain more vitamins and minerals, such as immune-boosting selenium, than other grains. Once in your stomach, freekeh acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria that aid digestion. (This is different than a probiotic, which is a beneficial live bacteria you consume). Look for it in Middle Eastern markets, natural food stores, and on Amazon.
  • FREEKEH GREEN WHEAT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2½ cups liquid (expands to about 2½ to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 20–25 minutes (longer if not using cracked freekeh)
    Best Uses: The fluffy, chewy texture makes it ideal for grain salads, sides, and pilafs. Great for adding substance to light
    dishes. Flavorful grain base for meat dishes and other entrees.
    Flavor Profile: Signature smoky flavor. Pairs well with Middle Eastern flavors, especially cinnamon, tomatoes, lemon, and
    pine nuts.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Found mostly in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, freekeh wheat traces its roots back several thousand
    years to ancient Egypt and surrounding areas. Legend has it that freekeh was discovered when an ancient village in the
    Eastern Mediterranean hurriedly picked young wheat before an attack on their city. Attackers’ fires burned the young
    wheat, but the result was quite delicious.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 6g fiber, 7g protein. Good source of iron.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Freekeh (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Kale and Freekeh Frittata (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Roasted Cauliflower and Freekeh Salad (Gena Hamshaw, Food52 Vegan)
    » Freekeh with Chard and Roasted Carrots (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Middle Eastern Freekeh Salad with Sesame Yogurt Dressing (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Baked Chicken Freekeh Paella (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Baked Moroccan Lamb Stew with Freekeh (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)

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MILLET

  • Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2½ cups liquid (expands to 4 cups fluffy, cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–35 minutes
    Best Uses: Depending on how much liquid you use, millet can be prepared fluffy (for pilafs and grain salads), sticky (for
    croquettes and patties), or creamy (for warm porridge). Millet is also a delightful base for curries, stir fries, and pilafs. Best
    served warm.
    Flavor Profile: Buttery. Pairs well with mushrooms, herbs, warm spices, scallions, and squash.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Millet is one of the leading staple grains of India, and was also used in ancient Chinese noodles before wheat was
    domesticated. Although common in birdseed in the US, nutritious millet is also important to the cuisines of South America,
    Russia, the Himalayas, and Africa.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 190 calories, 4g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good source of
    magnesium, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Fresh Peach, Banana, and Warm Millet Smoothie (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Millet and Sweet Potato Porridge (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Orange Millet Scones (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
    » Creamy Curried Carrot-Millet Soup with Mint (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Millet Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (Robin Asbell, The New Whole Grains Cookbook)
    » Millet, Squash, and Sweet Corn Pilaf with Tamari Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Dirty Millet (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Lemony Millet Pudding with Caramelized Grapes (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)

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Oats

  • Oats are particularly rich in avenanthramide, an antioxidant that protects the heart. When you’re shopping for this whole grain, whether you see the word “whole” or not doesn’t matter the way it does with wheat products. Oats in the ingredients list mean the product is made from whole oats….But, if you are buying something like instant oatmeal, avoid those that contain high-fructose corn syrup. We suggest sticking to the good old-fashioned unsweetened kind and mixing in a little fruit or honey….Cook 1 cup dry steel cut oats with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)…Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 30 minutes…Best Uses: Porridge or polenta style recipes. Steel cut oats can also be substituted for rice in risotto style recipes….Not well suited for grain salads or pilafs….Flavor Profile: Sweet toasty aroma with hints of butterscotch. Pairs well with cinnamon, dried and fresh fruit, thyme, mushrooms, walnuts, coffee, and coconut….Gluten-free? Yes. (Check for certified gluten-free oats, as oats are frequently cross contaminated with gluten during…growing and processing.)…History: Oats are the porridge of choice in Scotland, Ireland, and other northern European nations, as they grow best in…cool, rainy climates. Today, most oats are steamed and flattened to produced rolled oats, quick oats, or instant oats—but…all are whole grain, as the bran and germ are virtually always left intact. Oats have also been used in cosmetics for their…anti-itching properties….Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 150 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein. Excellent source of phosphorous, manganese,and thiamin. Good source of iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper….
  • Recipe Ideas:

» Boil-and-Leave Steel Cut Oats (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
» Sprouted Lentil Granola with Apricots (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
» Dark Chocolate Muesli with Hazelnuts (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
» Sweet Potato and Oat Cakes with Blue Cheese and Sage (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
» Steel Cut Oats Risotto with Asparagus (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
» Chocolate Oat Agave Cookies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
» Pistachio Golden Raisin Cookies with Cardamom (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)

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Quinoa

  • Though it’s technically a seed and not a grain, this ancient South American power food is packed with more protein than any other grain, and each uncooked cup of the stuff (about three servings) has 522 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Your family will likely enjoy its light, nutty flavor for a change of pace at the dinner table. And it keeps well, so makes an easy make-ahead lunch to pack to work or school.QUINOA
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 12–15 minutes
    Best Uses: Pleasantly firm chew even when served chilled, making it ideal for both warm and cold grain salads. Popular in
    sides and pilafs.
    Flavor Profile: Hints of grassiness. Pairs well with nearly anything, especially Latin American ingredients (corn, black beans,
    avocado, citrus, cilantro, peppers, & tomatoes). Be sure to rinse well before cooking, as quinoa has a bitter outer coating
    (saponin) that needs to be washed off.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Technically a pseudo-grain (related to chard), quinoa was sacred to the Incas, and has been central to Bolivian and
    Peruvian diets for centuries. It’s primarily grown high up in the Andes mountains, but some US producers are starting to
    grow their own also. Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that serves up a complete protein, offering all essential amino
    acids in a healthy balance.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 3g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus,
    and manganese. Good source of iron, copper, thiamin, and Vitamin B6.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Quinoa, Hazelnut, and Cherry Granola (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Herbed Black Quinoa Muffins with Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onions (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Quinoa Congee (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Mushroom, Chard, and Quinoa Enchiladas (Gena Hamshaw, Food52 Vegan)
    » Grilled Scallops with Orange Scented Quinoa (Giada de Laurentiis, Giada’s Feel Good Food)
    » Cranberry, Orange, and Chocolate Quinoa Bars (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)

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Rye

  • Rye has more nutrients per 100-calorie serving than any other whole grain, according to nutritional research from the nonprofit The Organic Center. It has four times more fiber than standard whole wheat and provides you with nearly 50% of your daily recommended amount of iron. The problem is, most rye and pumpernickel bread in grocery stores is made with refined flours. Be persistent and look for “whole rye” topping the ingredients list to get the healthy benefits.
  • RYE & TRITICALE (A WHEAT-RYE HYBRID)
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: After soaking overnight, bring to boil, then simmer 45–60 minutes.
    Best Uses: Rye berries & triticale berries can be used interchangeably with wheat berries in most recipes, and work
    especially well in pilafs, casseroles, and grain salads. Rye flour adds a distinct, rich flavor to baked goods, especially in
    yeast breasts. Rye flakes and rye grits work well in breakfast porridge or polenta style recipes.
    Flavor Profile: Rich and slightly tangy. Works well in Eastern European recipes, especially with cabbage, beets, mustard,
    raisins, and sweet and sour flavors.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Because rye can grow in colder climates where many other grains can’t survive, it has a long tradition in the cuisines of Russia, Poland, Scandinavia, Argentina, Turkey, China, and Canada. Rye and wheat have long cross-bred in nature,
    but it wasn’t until 1937 that the mash-up called triticale became a fertile crop. Triticale grows easily without commercial
    fertilizers and pesticides.
    Nutrition in 1 serving rye (¼ cup uncooked): 140 calories, 6g fiber, 4g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good
    source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, selenium, and niacin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Sweet Potato, Coconut, Date, and Rye Muffins (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Oven Rye Porridge (Darra Goldstein, Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking)
    » Leek Salad with Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Rye Berries (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Flemish Beef Stew with Caramelized Onions and Rye (Maria Speck, Simply Ancient Grains)
    » Lamb, Toasted Rye Berry, and Apricot Tagine (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Aroma Bread With Coriander and Fennnel (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
    » Rye Chocolate Brownies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)

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SORGHUM

  • Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–40 minutes
    Best Uses: Pleasantly firm chew makes it ideal for grain salads and pilafs. Its pearly shape makes it a great substitute for
    couscous. Can also be popped, like popcorn. Sorghum flour performs beautifully in pancakes, waffles, crepes, and cookies.
    Flavor Profile: Sweet taste, with hints of corn or wheat flavor. Pairs especially well with Southern ingredients, like ham,
    bourbon, pecans, peanuts, berries, dates, figs, banana, and warm spices.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Sorghum (also called milo) is believed to have originated in Africa, where it remains an important cereal grain, even
    today. It is naturally drought tolerant, making it a smart choice for diners eating with their environmental footprint in mind.
    Traditionally, sorghum is used in porridges, flatbreads, and even beverages.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 3g fiber, 5g protein. Excellent source of manganese. Good source of
    magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamin B6.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Sorghum and Eggs Ranchero (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Spring Vegetable and Sorghum Minestrone (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)
    » Grilled Raddichio and Sorghum Pilaf (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Milo Salad with Oregano, Feta Cheese, and Cucumbers (Jesse Cool, The Oldways Table)
    » Sorghum Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle (Alice Medrich, Flavor Flours)
    » Puffed Sorghum Salted Caramel Popcorn Balls (Jodi Moreno, Grains as Mains)

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TEFF

  • Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 3 cups liquid (expands to 2½ cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 20 minutes
    Best Uses: Porridge or polenta style recipes. Great thickener for stews. Not well suited for grain salads or pilafs. Teff flour
    adds a rich, cocoa flavor to baked goods.
    Flavor Profile: Slightly sweet taste with undertones of cocoa and hazelnut. Pairs well with nuts, chocolate, seeds, pumpkin,
    and dark fruit.
    Gluten-free? Yes
    History: Teff is a tiny (less than 1mm) grain native to the Horn of Africa, where nomads could carry enough teff seed in their
    pocket to sow an entire field. In fact, its name may come from the Amharic word for “lost” because the seed is so tiny. Teff
    is most well known as the main ingredient in injera, the spongy flatbread that Ethiopians use in place of utensils.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup uncooked): 180 calories, 4g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of magnesium, copper, and
    manganese. Good source of iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, and vitamin B6.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Teff Porridge with Dates, Figs, and Pistachios (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
    » Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)
    » Cajun-Spiced Shrimp on Creamy, Cheddar Teff (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » African Sweet Potato, Teff, and Greens Stew (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Superfast Injera (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies (Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains)
    » Bittersweet Teff Brownies (Alice Medrich, Flavor Flours)

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Whole Wheat

  • This one is pretty easy, as long as you don’t let food marketers trick you. It can be readily found in bread and pasta products, but make sure the label says “100% whole wheat.” Terms like “multigrain” and “wheat” don’t cut it. When you’re shopping for any whole-grain product, look at the ingredients and make sure the whole grain is at or near the top of the list. Each serving should contain at least 2 or 3 grams of fiber….WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (INCLUDING KAMUT ®, SPELT & EINKORN FLOUR)…Best Uses: Whole wheat flour can be substituted for up to 50% of the all-purpose flour in a recipe without making adjustments. To convert a recipe to 100% whole wheat, add an extra 2 tsp liquid per cup of flour, then let the dough rest for 20…minutes after mixing. White whole wheat flour has a milder flavor and lighter color. Whole wheat pastry flour and sprouted…whole wheat flour are also good options for baking, while whole grain spelt flour is well suited for pasta and pastries….Flavor Profile: Hearty and slightly nutty. Pairs well with nearly everything, especially honey, chicken, squash, mushrooms,
  • cheese, and warm spices.
    Gluten-free? No
    History: Wheat is one of the earliest domesticated grains, and even today provides 19% of available calories. Breads (nearly
    always made from wheat) have been a mealtime staple for centuries, and whole wheat breads in particular were especially
    common before the advent of roller milling in the late 1800’s. Wheat was to the Mediterranean what rice was to Asia and
    corn was to Latin America.
    Nutrition in 1 serving (¼ cup flour): 100 calories, 3g fiber, 4g protein. Good source of magnesium, phosphorus, and
    thiamin.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Prune, Oat, and Spelt Scones (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Whole Wheat Jalapeno Cheddar Scones (Leanne Brown, Good and Cheap)
    » Whole Wheat Molasses Yogurt Bread with Figs and Walnuts (Amanda Hesser, Food52 Baking)
    » Summer Spelt Almond Cake (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » No-Knead ‘Stealth’ Bread (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Kamut, Vanilla, and Chocolate Chip Cookies (Claire Ptak, The Violet Bakery Cookbook)
    » Almond Butter Brownies with Sea Salt (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Easy Wheat and Olive Oil Tart Shell (Maria Speck, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals)
  • WHEAT BERRIES & ANCIENT WHEATS: EINKORN, EMMER/FARRO, KAMUT ®, & SPELT
    Cook 1 cup dry grain with: 2½–4 cups liquid (expands to 3 cups cooked grain)
    Cook Time: Bring to boil, then simmer 25–40 minutes (some sources recommend soaking overnight)
    Best Uses: Pleasant chew even when chilled, making it ideal for both warm and cold grain salads. Popular in sides and
    pilafs. Farro (also called emmer) is becoming popular in risotto (“farrotto”).
    Flavor Profile: Nutty and slightly sweet. Pairs well with nearly anything!
    Gluten-free? No
    History: These ancient strains of wheat were first domesticated along the Fertile Crescent, but were largely ignored after
    modern dwarf wheat became popular in the mid 20th century (with the advent of the Green Revolution). Einkorn is thought
    to be the most ancient of wheat varieties available today, with just two sets of chromosomes (instead of six, like modern
    wheat).
    Nutrition in 1 serving Kamut (¼ cup uncooked): 160 calories, 5g fiber, 7g protein. Excellent source of manganese,
    selenium, and thiamin. Good source of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.
    Recipe Ideas:
    » Crunchy Farro-Hemp Breakfast Bowl with Fresh Berries (Sharon Palmer, Plant Powered for Life)
    » Farro with Clementines and Yogurt Dressing (Robin Asbell, The Whole Grain Promise)
    » Chicken-Farro Salad (Andrew Weil, True Food)
    » Roasted Acorn and Delicata Squash Salad with Wheat Berries and Bitter Greens (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole
    Food Kitchen)
    » Roasted Fall Vegetable and Cannellini Bean Stew with Spelt Berries and Kale (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food
    Kitchen)
    » Herbed Spelt Berry Salad with Peas and Feta (Amy Chaplin, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen)
    » Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad (Bryant Terry, Afro-Vegan)

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  • Simmering
  •  is gentle
  • boiling,[10] while in poaching the cooking liquid moves but scarcely bubbles….
  • A number of specific terms apply to methods of cooking with hot water. Scalding is accomplished in water heated to around 185 °F (85 °C), usually in a double
  • boiler, which conducts the heat of the water, contained in a bigger pan, to a smaller pan containing the food, thus avoiding contact between food and water. This technique is commonly used to prepare milk for breads and custards. At just above the scalding temperature, water begins to circulate visibly and to shiver; at this point, foods, notably eggs and fish, may be poached. At the simmering point, variously specified but generally approaching the
  • boiling temperature, the surface of the water breaks into small bubbles; simmering, in a covered or open pan, is commonly used to prepare soups, stews, and pot roasts. In blanching,
  • boiling water is poured over vegetables, fruits, or nutmeats in order to loosen the outer skin. Parblanching or parboiling consists in immersing the food in cold water and then bringing it slowly to a simmer or
  • boil….Steaming comprises two related techniques, both used primarily for the cooking of vegetables. In the first, the food is placed on a rack above a shallow portion of water, heated to the
  • boil, in a covered pan; this method is valued for its preservation of color, texture, flavor, and nutrients. The second technique, called pressure cooking, requires a tightly sealed, often latched, vessel, in which characteristically tough or long-cooking foods may be subjected to steam cooking under high pressure.
  • The classic New Englandboiled dinner, consisting of corned beef cooked with cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and onions, is traditionally boiled in the conventional manner but may be adapted readily to pressure cooking….This technique cooks food at a relatively high temperature―212 degrees is the boiling point for water at sea level.
  • Green vegetables
  • are tossed into
  • boiling water
  • to cook as quickly as possible so they
  • retain their flavor and bright color in a process called
  • blanching; if they
  • were
  • to simmer gently in a covered pot, their color
  • would dull, and they
  • would lose much of their texture.
  • Boiling is actually the least likely of the three
  • to be used for cooking.
  • That’s because

Braising…Braising is a hybrid cooking method. Foods are first browned in oil to caramelize the sugars and enhance flavor. Then, a small amount of liquid is added to the food, enough to generate moist heat but not enough to cover the food. The liquid is brought to a low simmer, roughly simmering or poaching temperature. A cover is added to the cooking pot. The steam builds inside. The food steams and poaches slowly, softening hard vegetables and tenderizing tough cuts of meat.Braising & Stewing…With braising, the item to be cooked is first seared or sautéed, then partially covered with liquid and simmered slowly at a relatively low temperature. Braising can be done on the stovetop, but it’s best done in the oven so that the heat will fully surround the pot, causing the food to cook more evenly than if it were only heated from below….Braising is a good technique for cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as those from older animals, or ones that naturally contain more connective tissues….These tissues are what can make these cuts of meat tough and chewy when improperly cooked. But the long, slow application of moist heat dissolves these tissues, with the result being a tender piece of meat….What’s more, as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine….Meanwhile, braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. That gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavors from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings….Braising…Braising involves simmering large cuts of meat in a small amount of liquid in a covered dish. Keeping the braising dish covered traps moisture within and helps intensify the flavors. Liquids used for braising are often wine, stock, or the meat’s own juices….Braising & Stewing…With braising, the ite to be cooked is first seared or sautéed, then partially covered with liquid and simmered slowly at a relatively low temperature. Braising can be done on the stovetop, but it’s best done in the oven so that the heat will fully surround the pot, causing the food to cook more evenly than if it were only heated from below….Braising is a good technique for cooking tougher cuts of meat, such as those from older animals, or ones that naturally contain more connective tissues….These tissues are what can make these cuts of meat tough and chewy when improperly cooked. But the long, slow application of moist heat dissolves these tissues, with the result being a tender piece of meat….What’s more, as the connective tissues break down, they dissolve and form gelatin, which thickens the cooking liquid and gives it body and shine….Meanwhile, braising causes the muscle fibers to absorb moisture from the cooking liquid and steam. That gives you a juicy piece of meat. Braising also melds flavors from the stock, vegetables and any herbs and seasonings….Braising…Braising involves simmering large cuts of meat in a small amount of liquid in a covered dish. Keeping the braising dish covered traps moisture within and helps intensify the flavors. Liquids used for braising are often wine, stock, or the meat’s own juices….Stewing…If you were to cover the meat entirely, you would then be Stewing the meat. This produces a soup-like consistency and, obviously, is the preferred method for creating stews….Sous Vide…Sous Vide Chicken…Sous vide is a method of vacuum sealing food into plastic and then simmering the package in water to heat throughout. Sous vide is a relatively new method, developed in the 70s. The method removes the product from the external environment where it cooked in a way that retains its natural flavor….Sous vide is fast becoming very popular in the food industry, as this method of cooking creates a beautifully even cooking method at an exact temperature. While not for the beginner cook, it takes patience, investment, and know-how….Stewing…Stewing is similar to simmering in that the liquid is heated until it forms gentle, yet quickly moving bubbles. The difference between stewing and simmering is that stewing generally involves a much smaller amount of liquid that is retained and served with the food as a sauce. Stewing is great for softening tough cuts of meat or fibrous vegetables…

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Steaming…This means cooking your food in water vapour over boiling water….For this, it’s handy to have a steamer, which consists of a vessel with a perforated bottom placed on top of another containing water…. Steam rises as the water boils,cooking the food in the perforated vessel… above….teaming…Steaming…Steaming involves the transfer of heat through vaporized water or other liquids. This is by far the most gentle moist-heat cooking method. Because food is not allowed to steep in the hot water, steamed food retains more nutrients than food that is boiled or simmered. Pressure cookers utilize steam and pressure to increase the cooking temperature above the boiling point of water.Steaming involves the transfer of heat through vaporized water or other liquids. This is by far the most gentle moist-heat cooking method. Because food is not allowed to steep in the hot water, steamed food retains more nutrients than food that is boiled or simmered. Pressure cookers utilize steam and pressure to increase the cooking temperature above the boiling point of water…. Once water is heated past the 212°F mark, it stops being water and turns into steam. As far as physical agitation goes, steaming is very gentle, making it ideal for cooking seafood and other delicate items. It also has the advantage of cooking quickly while avoiding the loss of nutrients through leaching….Interestingly, steam’s maximum temperature is also 212°F, just like water. But unlike water, steam can be forced to exceed this natural temperature limit by pressurizing it. The higher the pressure, the hotter the steam becomes. Cooking with pressurized steam requires specialized equipment, though, so it’s not something that a home cook would typically use.Cooking methods in the culinary arts are divided into two categories:… Steaming…Steaming involves cooking food over a liquid that is heated to a temperature high enough to generate steam. Specially made steamers have holes in the bottom and sides that enable the cook to lift the food out of the water in the bottom of the pan. The lid of the pan traps the steam, creating a hot, moist environment, which cooks the food. Steaming is ideal not only for delicate foods like steamed breads, it also maintains the nutrition of vegetables, which can lose vitamins to the water in which they are cooked….Steaming allows you to reach a higher temperature with liquids by steaming them. It is defined by the steam released once the water reaches past 100C (212F). Food is in contact only with the steam produces from the boiling liquid. Steaming is a common method due to its fast cooking times, high heat and moist-heat cooking nature….Steam is also the cooking method that reduces the result of major losses of water-soluble vitamins….Steaming involves the transfer of heat through vaporized water or other liquids. This is by far the most gentle moist-heat cooking method. Because food is not allowed to steep in the hot water, steamed food retains more nutrients than food that is boiled or simmered. Pressure cookers utilize steam and pressure to increase the cooking temperature above the boiling point of water.

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Poaching…This involves a small amount of hot liquid, ideally at a temperature between 160 and 180F….The cooking liquid is normally water, but you can also use broth, stock, milk or juice….Common foods cooked by poaching include fish, eggs and fruit.,,,Partially or fully submerging food into water or another liquid that has reached 160 to 180 degrees F is called poaching. Water at this temperature is hotter than scalding but is not vigorously bubbling like boiling water. This allows for delicate foods to be cooked without being disrupted or damaged. Poaching is often used with eggs and fish, both of which would break apart if exposed to rapidly boiling water….Poaching…Poaching is the lowest dtemperature method, defined at between 71C – 82C (160F – 180F). This produces an environment that is calm enough for delicate foods, such as eggs. The water should show slight movement and no bubbles….Poaching refers to cooking food in liquid that has a temperature ranging from 140°F to 180°F. Poaching is typically reserved for cooking very delicate items like eggs and fish…. At poaching temperatures, the liquid won’t be bubbling at all, though small bubbles may form at the bottom of the pot.,,,Poaching…Poaching involves cooking foods in liquid heated to 160 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Bubbles don’t form in the liquid at that temperature, so poaching is suitable for delicate foods that would be damaged by the movement of the water were they to be boiled or simmered. Thus, poaching is suitable for eggs and delicate fish…Poaching…Partially or fully submerging food into water or another liquid that has reached 160 to 180 degrees F is called poaching. Water at this temperature is hotter than scalding but is not vigorously bubbling like boiling water. This allows for delicate foods to be cooked without being disrupted or damaged. Poaching is often used with eggs and fish, both of which would break apart if exposed to rapidly boiling water….

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Simmering…This involves cooking liquid on top of stove in a pot or pan. It should be carried out on a low heat, and you will see bubbles appearing on the surface of the liquid as your dish cooks…Simmering liquids are above 180 degrees F but not vigorously bubbling like boiling water. Simmering liquid has gentle bubbles that rise swiftly from the bottom of the pot. Simmering is a more gentle cooking method than boiling and is often used for long and slow cooking processes because there is less evaporation than with boiling. Tough meat, soups, and stews are often simmered over low heat for long periods of time.

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Pan Frying…Pan frying involves cooking an ingredient in a frying pan at medium-high heat. Pan-frying involves a bit more oil than usual as it helps prevent moisture releasing from the ingredient. As with sauteing, pan frying should be done in smaller batches to help retain the temperature of the pan and keep it consistent….An indication of an inferior pan is moisture leaking due to temperature falling. This can turn your pan fry into a moist heat cooking method that can ruin the intended result. Non-stick pans can be used here and are recommended for amateur cooks. —–Ensure that you are choosing a hard anodized non-stick surface as it can handle more abuse than your standard soft Teflon pan. I recommend Cook Standard for pan frying as I personally own a pair and they have held up fantastically to the abuse I put them through. They are incredibly inexpensive and are worth every penny. You can check them out on Amazon by clicking here.

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Sauteing…Sautéing involves very high heat and very little oil is us are added once the oil starts to smoke slightly. Less oil is needed because the high heat prevents moisture from escaping and as well as being safer from oil splattering and potentially causing a fire. Sauteing can be nerve-wracking due to the intense heat and sound of the product being cooked. Be sure to wear the appropriate clothing to avoid burns….It is not recommended to saute using Teflon or other non-stick pans. Using a multi-clad stainless steel fry pan is the proper tool for this job as it can tolerate high heat, will caramelize food beautifully, and can transfer to the oven seamlessly and can be deglazed without fear of warping. I recommend investing in a high-quality brand such as All-Clad. They have unmatched heat transfer, build quality and they are made in the USA. You can check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

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Dry…Dry heat cooking, such as roasting, broiling …Dry Heat Cooking Method…Dry-heat cooking methods are those that utilize air or fat. These are:…Broiling…Roasting…Grilling…Baking…Sauteing…Pan-frying…Deep-fat frying…Foods cooked using this method have a rich flavor due to the caramelization and browning of the foods….Dry-heat methods, with or without fat…Dry-heat cooking methods like stir-frying, pan-frying, deep-frying, and sautéing rely on fats and oil to act as the cooking medium….In dry-heat methods that don’t use fat—like grilling and roasting—food is cooked either by direct or indirect application of radiant heat. No liquid is used, and any fat that is added during the cooking process is intended to add flavor and not to act as a cooking medium. The end result is a highly flavored exterior and moist interior….Dry Heat Cooking…Dry heat cooking refers to any cooking technique where the heat is transferred to the food item without using any moisture. Dry-heat cooking typically involves high heat, with temperatures of 300 F or hotter. Baking or roasting in an oven is a dry heat method because it uses hot air to conduct the heat. Pan-searing a steak is considered dry-heat cooking because the heat transfer takes place through the hot metal of the pan. Note that the browning of food (including the process by which meat is browned, called the Maillard reaction) can only be achieved through dry-heat cooking. Examples of dry-heat methods include:…

Roasting…

Roasting…Roasting is basically a high heat form of baking, where your food gets drier and browner on the outside by initial exposure to a temperature of over 500F….This prevents most of the moisture being cooked out of the food….The temperature is then lowered to between 425 and 450F to cook through the meat or vegetables….Roasting/Baking…Roasting/Baking uses the air, or convection, to transfer heat to an ingredient. Your oven provides this cooking method and is used because of its highly-accurate temperatures and ability to cook evenly for longer controlled periods. Large items are usually cooked, or items requiring even cooking….The browning it provides is a desired effect of roasting and enhances the flavors of most foods. NOTE: Using a convection oven is a bit different than a conventional oven….A convection oven uses a fan to move the hot air around, promoting more even cooking and causing the product to be cooked faster. Because of the nature of a convection oven, there is a specific rule to follow….All standard recipes here assume you are using a conventional oven and the temperatures used to reflect that. If you are using a convection oven (And if you’re lucky enough to have one, use it!), reduce the temperature by 25F….TIP: Baking is exactly the same as roasting. The key difference is baking is only referred to as such in the bakery world….A proper roasting pan should be easy to clean and durable enough to handle various temperature changes. The roasting pan I use can be placed on the burner to help with deglazing and gravy making. I find this is a must-have feature. You can check out the pan on Amazon by clicking here.

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Baking…Baking…This involves applying a dry convection heat to your food in an enclosed environment. The dry heat involved in the baking process makes the outside of the food go brown, and keeps the moisture locked in. Baking is regularly used for cooking pastries, bread and desserts.

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Grilling…Grilling…This is a fast, dry and very hot way of cooking, where the food is placed under an intense radiant heat….You can use various sources of heat for grilling: wood burning, coals, gas flame, or electric heating….Before grilling, food can be marinaded or seasoned….A similar method to grilling is broiling, where the heat source originates from the top instead of the bottom….Grilling…Grilling is the favorite past-time of many men around the world and they all love to cook a nice ribeye or t-bone. This dry-heat method is desired for the flavor that is imparted from the rapid convection cooking….It is ideal for smaller cuts of meats and grilling requires an advanced and experienced cook to ensure proper cooking and the ability to not burn the product while producing perfect rarity on a consistent basis….Professional cooks and chefs use a cast iron grilling surface to do their grilling which provides that deep, noticeable grill-marking. It is much harder to do this with the coated stainless steel grill surface that comes with most barbeques today….If you are in the market for a good grill, look for one with a quality cast-iron grilling surface as that will indicate whether or not you’re buying quality or if you’re just buying brand and gimmicks.

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Broiling…Broiling…Similar to grilling, the heat source comes directly from the top….You should be able to adjust your oven setting to broiling, but be careful, as this cooking methods works quickly and your meal could easily become burned….Favourite dishes for broiling include chicken, beef and fish….Broiling…Broiling is similar and almost reverse to Grilling in that is uses radiant heat from an overhead source. Broiled foods are placed on a preheated metal grate and the heat above cooks the food while the grill below marks it.

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…Sautéing & Pan-Frying…Deep-Frying…How to Use Dry Heat Cooking Methods…Dry heat cooking boils (ha) down to cooking without moisture as the medium. For example, roasting is a dry heat cooking and so is grilling. When using high heat dry methods, be sure to watch the moisture content in your pan as that pan fry can easily turn into poaching. Use small batches to keep the heat up in your pan to avoid this.

 

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Combination…

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Blanching…Here the food is part-cooked, and then immediately submerged in ice cold water to stop the cooking process….All sorts of vegetables can be blanched, including green beans, asparagus and potatoes.

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Stewing…Again, the food is sauted or seared first, and then cooked in liquid, but normally uses smaller ingredients such as chopped meats or vegetables

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Blanching…Blanching involves dropping food into boiling water briefly and then immediately halting the cooking process by submerging the food into ice water. Blanching is used to loosen the skin on fruit and vegetables and to halt enzymatic action that causes fruit and vegetables to deteriorate. Fruit and vegetables are often blanched prior to freezing to maintain their color and freshness during storage…. Blanching…Blanching involves dropping food into boiling water briefly and then immediately halting the cooking process by submerging the food into ice water. Blanching is used to loosen the skin on fruit and vegetables and to halt enzymatic action that causes fruit and vegetables to deteriorate. Fruit and vegetables are often blanched prior to freezing to maintain their color and freshness during storage….

 

Deep Frying…Deep-fat frying or Deep Frying is another popular method of cooking. It means to cook in a large amount of hot fat. As odd as it sounds, deep frying is not considered a moist-heat method but rather a dry heat method. What separates deep frying from boiling is the temperature….Boiling water can never go above 100C (212F), while deep frying temperatures can be as high as 200C (400F). These high temperatures allow the product to be cooked faster and be browned.

 

Scalding…Water that has reached 150 degrees F is considered scalding. At this temperature, water will have bubbles attached to the side or bottom of its container that does not release or move as they do with simmering or boiling water. The scalding technique is sometimes used to help solids, such as sugar, flour, or chocolate, dissolve more easily into the liquid. Scalding was also used in the past to kill bacteria in milk before pasteurization was so prevalent.

Simmering…Simmering involves cooking food at a temperature just below a boil. The bubbles in the cooking liquid are not large and rolling like they are during a boil, but rather are small and break the surface of the liquid a few at a time. Simmering is appropriate for foods that are soft but not delicate. Vegetables like peas, corn and potatoes can be simmered. Sauces that would burn if boiled can also be simmered….Simmering is distinguished by cooking temperatures that are a bit hotter than with poaching—from 180°F to 205°F. Here we will see bubbles forming and gently rising to the surface of the water, but the water is not yet at a full rolling boil….Because it surrounds the food in water that stays at a fairly constant temperature, food that is simmered cooks very evenly. It’s the standard method for preparing stocks and soups, starchy items such as potatoes or pasta, and many others. One of the downsides to simmering is that vitamins and other nutrients can be leached out of the food and into the cooking liquid….Simmering…Commercial steam oven. Steam is a moist cooking method….Simmering is a common temperature range because it is the most balanced. It is defined at 85C – 96C (185F – 205F) and you will notice a simmering liquid by having small bubbles breaking through the surface of the liquid. It is great for promoting flavor release in stews, meats, and soups…Simmering…Simmering involves cooking food at a temperature just below a boil. The bubbles in the cooking liquid are not large and rolling like they are during a boil, but rather are small and break the surface of the liquid a few at a time. Simmering is appropriate for foods that are soft but not delicate. Vegetables like peas, corn and potatoes can be simmered. Sauces that would burn if boiled can also be simmered….Simmering is distinguished by cooking temperatures that are a bit hotter than with poaching—from 180°F to 205°F. Here we will see bubbles forming and gently drising to the surface of the water, but the water is not yet at a full rolling boil….Because it surrounds the food in water that stays at a fairly constant temperature, food that is simmered cooks very evenly. It’s the standard method for preparing stocks and soups, starchy items such as potatoes or pasta, and many others. One of the downsides to simmering is that vitamins and other nutrients can be leached out of the food and into the cooking liquid.

 

 

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